Friday, August 26, 2005

Alcohol Ban on Parkway

Following excessive drinking on the American River during the traditional July 4th rafting, there were calls from public leaders for the banning of alcohol in the Parkway and on the river.

Our organization feels this would be an over-reaction to an event more reasonably handled by an increased law enforcement presence on the river during those times when this might occur.

River rafting with a six-pack and Parkway picnics with wine, are a local tradition, and the abuse of that tradition should be dealt with in the traditional way, by increasing law enforcement.

That is why our organization is calling for management of the Parkway by a nonprofit conservancy, to replace the current, ineffective management.

A conservancy could also raise funds to supplement public funding, one result of which would be more money for law enforcement.

This is a model being used effectively in other regions, the Central Park Conservancy in New York as just one example.

In our search for responsible methods of preserving our Parkway, and local tradition, we don’t want to throw out the beer with the river water.

So, we were happy to read this article in the Bee today, and learn that both will continue flowing.

Here is the referenced article:

Booze to flow on river - for now
Supervisors don't have the authority to impose alcohol ban.

By Phillip Reese -- Bee Staff WriterPublished 2:15 am PDT Friday, August 26, 2005

Makeshift water cannons, public nudity, mass brawls and dozens of arrests - officials are hoping this Labor Day on the American River isn't a repeat of Fourth of July shenanigans.

But the main ingredient for past rowdiness - large quantities of alcohol - will still be around.

On July Fourth, as more than 10,000 people, many of them drunk, floated down the American River, festivities erupted into a melee. Sacramento County sheriff's officials had to fire pepper-powder balls on revelers in a mass fight. They arrested about 50 people on offenses ranging from public intoxication to beating another person with an oar.

The next day, tons of trash sat in the party's wake, littering the banks of one of the county's jewels.

Motivated by the increased problems, parks officials started talking about prohibiting alcohol on the river.

Read the rest of the story here: