Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Of vending machines and ghost walks.

This isn't the most important local story by any stretch, although it slyly points in more than one direction as an all-purpose prompter of discussion.

Great moments in (non?) ordinance enforcement: The Elm Street Coke Machine.

A reliable source tells NAC that it's not a question of if, but when, the machine is confiscated or removed. Legalities are the sole reason for the delay, and the Board of Public Works remains on top of the situation with the assistance of the city attorney.

In other matters, yesterday's Public Works meeting must have been a good one, as that body brought a rare smile to the face of The Gary by annointing a council-free Wendy's on Charlestown Road, and also pre-empted a ghost walk component.


McCartin finds a home for Wendy’s a few blocks from current location, by Daniel Suddeath (News and Tribune).

Gregg Seidl won’t be scaring anybody at Fairview Cemetery during his haunted tour this weekend. The board of works denied Seidl’s request to take tour-goers through the public cemetery due to concerns over the amount participants might have to drink during the event.

And so Gregg will have to spin his scary yarns while walking past the graveyard, not through it.

I must confess that having spent portions of three Parisian visits drinking wine and singing at Jim Morrison's grave in Pere Lachaise cemetery, leading a group through Fairview for an evening visit doesn't strike me as a derogatory gesture, although I readily concede that there's room for conflicting views on the subject, and that the Board of Public Works tends to be one of the most thoughtful and efficient local governmental entities.

Still, should one's blood alcohol content be the basis for official policy in this instance?

If Gregg decided to bring his ghost walkers into the cemetery during customary daylight visiting hours, would someone be on hand to administer breathalyzer tests?

I think the message here is less one of protecting the cemetery's sanctity than the fact that we can expect to see a reaction of sorts on the part of officialdom in response to the minority opinion that it's bad for adults to legally consume alcoholic beverages downtown. It's prudery of sorts, but that's America -- and a likely topic for Michael Moore's next documentary.

4 comments:

bluegill said...

For the record, my relatives in Fairview would consider somebody stopping by for a drink a sign of affection and respect.

G Coyle said...

“A reliable source tells NAC that it's not a question of if, but when, the machine is confiscated or removed. Legalities are the sole reason for the delay, and the Board of Public Works remains on top of the situation with the assistance of the city attorney.”

Aren’t we talking about removing a coke machine? “A reliable source” talks like we’re decommissioning a nuclear plant here.

"...He noted the cemetery deserves respect and it might be perceived that including it on a tour where people will be drinking is distasteful. “That’s a very special place for many families,” Denison said.

I think the message ought to be - it’s not possible to debase Fairview Cemetary anymore than it already is. One wrong tip and most of the Victorian monuments are going down, anybody else notice the erosion? While I agree Fairview Cemetary is an irreplaceable and special place, I disagree with the idea anyone’s protecting it’s sanctity. It’s already a place to hang out and drink at night. Is that a secret? The cemetary is not secure, anyone between the ages of 12 - 27 who lives within a 1/2 square mile can tell you that. In fact, if you paid some of those kids a few bucks, they’d arrange one of those haunted tours fer ya’ tonight. $5. Totally unsanctioned! BYOB.

Having “law-abiding” drunks in the Cemetary at night can’t be worse than the “drunk” hoodlams.

SBAvanti63 said...

Yea, Gina, but this is NA. Why even ask?

The New Albanian said...

Aren’t we talking about removing a coke machine? “A reliable source” talks like we’re decommissioning a nuclear plant here.

As it was explained to me, the city attorney wishes to be sure that legalities are observed in the sense of mandated notification of the owner. Apparently there is some question as to who owns what (building and machine).

It seems crazy that it would take so long, but at the same time, the idea is to enforce and encourage respect for law, not to ignore it. Or did I miss something?