Opinion: Kids selling lemonade fined $500 for not having permit on Thursday are allowed to sell again on Friday


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Kids in Maryland were fined $500 for selling lemonade Thursday when a county inspector cited them for not having a permit. One of the parents is concerned that government has grown too large.

The location was unusual and the children were not from your typical family, which is why they were fined and perhaps why the fine was later revoked.


The cute little blond-haired kids were selling lemonade near the entrance to the golf club hosting the U.S Open tournament. The event is so popular that entrepreneurial families in the neighborhood have paid $300 for permits so they can have the pleasure of charging upwards of $60 a vehicle for visitors to park in their lush and spacious lawns.

The kids, who intended for the proceeds to go to charity, had no permits, so they were fined.

But two things happened. First the news was captured by journalists who quoted one of the mothers arguing with the inspector and finally telling the camera, ‘The message to kids is, there’s no American dream.’

The other thing that happened was it was discovered that the children were part of two D.C. power families: the Marriotts, known for the hotel chain, and the Augustines. Norman Augustine is the former head of Lockheed-Martin.

Call it coincidental, but according to WUSA in Washington, D.C., county permits director Jennifer Hughes on Friday waived the fine and instructed the families that if they moved their children’s stand 100 feet from where they were originally, all would be well.

Although the matter is resolved, one of the mothers, Rene Augustine, complained: ‘This feels like a whole lot of government to me,’ WUSA reported.


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-- Tony Pierce