'Alcohol and the Community'

Congratulations for the excellent public service you performed both in your timely editorial (April 8), "Alcohol and the Community," and Douglas Shuitt's subsequent article (April 13), "L.A. Group Deters Bid to Ease Zoning for Liquor Stores."

State Senate Bill 2522, introduced by Ken Maddy (R-Fresno), represents another gluttonous power grab by the Southland Corp. (7-Eleven stores) and its "convenience-store" cohorts to hijack local control from cities and counties as they awaken to the need to better regulate proliferating package beer/wine premises. This local control presently also extends to stores selling both gasoline and booze.

These off-sale alcohol outlets, needing Type 20 licenses from the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, can now first be put under a conditional-use-permit procedure by aware local governments. SB 2522 would remove this most common alcohol outlet for off-premises consumption from the traditional purview cities and counties.

Liquor stores selling distilled spirits (Type 21 licenses) would still be subject to both local and state review. Yet it is alcohol in beer form that comprises 78% of all booze consumed in California; wine is second with 15% and the so-called hard stuff at 7%.

Your readers should be informed that sponsoring SB 2522 are Food and Fuel Retailers for Economic Equality (FFREE) and California Independent Oil Marketers, whose members include: Southland Corp., Beacon Oil Co., Carnation Co., Circle K Corp., National Assn. of Convenience Stores, Quik Stop Markets, Inc., Thrifty Oil Co., and USA Petroleum.

Opposing SB 2522 are the following: City of Los Angeles, County of Los Angeles, L.A. County Sheriff, L.A. County District Attorney, L.A. City Attorney, League of California Cities, County Supervisors Assn. of California, California Police Chiefs Assn., California State Sheriffs Assn., California Peace Officers Assn., Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Californians for Drug-Free Youth, California Council on Alcohol Problems, CLARE Foundation Inc., Prevention Research Center of Berkeley, and Americans for Substance Abuse Prevention.



Chavira is a member of the Los Angeles County Commission on Alcoholism.

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