Friday, August 26, 2005

HEY, KIDS ....

Here's a link to my story in today's New Mexican about the proposal to prohibit liquor sales at all-ages shows in nightclubs. CLICK HERE

Here's the deal kiddies -- the state probably will adopt these new regs and one excuse they will use is that hardly any youngsters showed up to give their side of it.

I humbly suggest if you really care about this issue, don't just whine about it at the coffee house or on your blogs. Show up to the meeting Tuesday morning! It'll be boring and bureaucratic and at the inconvenient hour of 9 a.m. But if you care, be there and let them know.

Santa Fe Alcohol and Gaming Hearing on Minors on Licensed Premises
Tuesday, Aug. 30, 9:00 AM
Regulation and Licensing Dept.
Rio Grande Conference Room
2550 Cerrillos Rd.
Santa Fe, NM

Here's from the official release of the Department of Regulation and Licensing:

At the hearing, the Hearing Officer will allow all interested persons reasonable opportunity to provide testimony. If you are unable to attend the hearings, written comments may be made to the Alcohol and Gaming Division at P. O. Box 25101, Santa Fe New Mexico 87504. Written comments must be received by August 8, 2005 to allow time for distribution to the Alcohol and Gaming Division Director and available at the hearing.
You can find a copy of the actual proposal HERE.

And here's a copy of an e-mail from Fan Man's Jamie Lenfesty:

Live music in New Mexico is under attack by Alcohol and Gaming.

As you may know, the NM Alcohol and Gaming commission has been considering a change to the rules that allow minors to attend concerts at venues that have liquor licenses. Aside from having no real basis in any actual complaints and further limiting the options for teens in New Mexico, this would ostensibly mean the end of the Sunshine and Launchpad in Albuquerque. No matter whether you have ever been to either of those clubs or what you may think of them as venues, they are pretty much the only remaining clubs for smaller artist to play in New Mexico.

They have been successful because they have been very carefully able to control their spaces to have COMPLETELY SEPARATE, CONTROLLED areas for those patrons who are 21 and over and choose to drink, and for fans who are under 21 and just want to see the band. Given the litany of things that one may argue are morally and culturally bankrupt in America, I do not believe that the major threat to our youth is being in the presence of adults drinking alcohol at concerts. Excluding minors from these events will only serve to further isolate and alienate them, driving them more and more to uncontrolled underground parties where drugs and alcohol are readily available. I know for a fact that I personally would have imbibed less as a teen if I would have been able to attend concerts at Minneapolis clubs like First Avenue instead of house parties at whomevers parents happened to be out of town that weekend. Now, as a parent of two, I also know I would much prefer my own kids attend a concert at the Launchpad then drive off to who knows where to do who knows what.

While purportedly seeking to protect our youth from the evils of drink, this new legislation hypocritically does nothing to address much less controlled alcohol service at venues like the Journal Pavilion, Kiva Auditorium and Sandia Casino Amphitheater, where patrons are allowed to buy alcoholic beverages and take them out into the theaters themselves, intermingling with patrons of all ages and where an unscrupulous person might even give a drink to a friend who is under age. The Sunshine and Launchpad are being unfairly targeted unless the greater issues at these larger, big money, corporate venues are to also addressed.

I hope you will consider showing your support for live music by attending the hearing at Alcohol and Gaming on Tuesday Aug. 30 at 9:00 AM. Full information is attached and below. I will be there, along whit others form the music community. If you cannot attend but would like to have your comments included feel free to email me your thoughts and remarks.

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