Friday, June 21, 2013

Jeeebus, what a week. Here's a review.

It's dress down day at the health department,
and Dr. Harris is dining at Chick fil-A.

(Sat., June 22 update: Kevin Gibson has a solid take on the imbroglio here: NABC vs. Floyd County Health Department)


Let's review the past week, beginning with tonight, when there'll be a concert at Bicentennial Park featuring local favorites Ballroom Blitz.

Because these days New Albany periodically functions almost as an urban area should, it is achieving a modicum of pleasurable results.

WAVE-3: 'New' New Albany attracting visitors and dollars.

People like it, and this is an utterly alarming development for Floyd County's perpetually reactionary and non-creative political ruling class. About the best idea these second-raters can come up with is to harass those who actually are "doing" something, by means of petty bureaucratic racketeering.

Another day, another Floyd County Health Department power grab.

The beer and wine sellers are being told they are entitled -- privileged, even -- to be regulated and cited according to statutes as yet unrevealed, ones apparently unknown outside Floyd County, while being held weirdly responsible for certain known food handling regulations (for pre-packaged liquids) that specifically exempt us from learning procedures we’ll subsequently be cited for not knowing, while we have one simple question: Exactly how is it that a local health department trumps our own beer and wine business’s regulatory authority, the Alcohol & Tobacco Commission?

Food handling, panhandling and regulatory free-basing.

But amid the tortuously Orwellian world of Dr. Tom Harris's health department, it's just another $20 slapped down to fund programs his county political bosses won’t. Others in New Albany might be interested in the implications, assuming they're finished with the party intended to congratulate themselves for … for … er, I guess for holding congratulatory parties.

Health Department's revenue enhancement + Develop New Albany's event calendar = ?

Whilst swatting at the torpid newfound regulatory mosquitoes, NABC prepared to contest the citation issued last Friday.

Preview: NABC's appeal to the Floyd County Health Department.

The full appeal then was published, as full transparency always matters, both to NABC and NAC.

ON THE AVENUES: The long train of usurpations adds a caboose.

The News and Tribune picked up the story, offering Dr. Harris the opportunity to inform a breathless world that NABC’s appeal would be overturned, before ever being heard, thus rendering the concept of “due process” into the sort of thin, worm-ridden gruel last seen being eaten by peasants in a Dostoevsky novel.

On the song and dance routine of Dr. Tom Harris.

Perhaps the leftovers can be fed to the inmates at the county jail?

It is now 8:00 a.m. on Friday, and there's a show to cater tonight. Deadlines approach. As NABC awaits an appeal, a procedure already publicly compromised by the health department's chieftain's detached smugness, we have an obligation to proceed judiciously. Let's slow down this game for just a moment.

In the short term, we will comply with the health department's demands for tribute, however specious, and pay $20 each time we pour pre-packaged alcoholic beverages into plastic cups. We will do so under specific written protest, each and every time. In these instances, we will comply in such a manner as to fulfill ATC regulations, which we regard as pre-eminent, and that we always seek to implement.

In short, the master event caterer (NABC) to whom the ATC permit is issued will indeed possess a temporary food service permit.

County government can rest at ease, safe in the knowledge that further taxation of recalcitrant tea-baggers in the Woods of Lafayette need not be considered, after all.

Kudos to those who have been reading the past week's dispatches here at NAC. The hit counter has been spinning furiously. You are urged to speak with or write your local elected representatives with input on these and other matters. As for this particular issue, the short-term has concluded. Mid- and long-term strategies begin today. Thank you.

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