Teacher asks for limited alcohol sales

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In other action

At its Tuesday meeting, the Moffat County Commission:

• Signed an independent contractor agreement with attorney Paul Sunderland, of Grand Junction, for consultation regarding road ownership.

• Awarded a $57,970 bid for installing RV electrical hookups at the Moffat County Fairgrounds to Englewood-based Corey Electrical Engineering. It was the only bid received.

• Signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Governor's Energy Office, which will allow the county to use state resources when it looks for a contractor to update the Moffat County Courthouse's heating and air conditioning. The agreement also allows the county to apply for grants from the Energy Office. In return, the county will use a contractor pre-certified by the state who will look for ways to maximize energy efficiency.

• Approved a resolution allowing the county Retirement Board to approve companies to contract for benefits.

• Went into executive session to discuss city of Steamboat Springs financial claims against the county - and county claims against Steamboat - regarding the Steamboat Transit facility site in Craig. The Commission and the city of Steamboat are negotiating a resolution.

— Enough was enough.

Norm Yoast, father of a son who plays Little League Baseball and a daughter who umpires, often enjoys the spring- and summertime games at Loudy-Simpson Park.

A game last week, however, was stained when Yoast took a look around the field, he said.

Adults drank beer in the dugouts with 9-year-olds sitting next to them, he said. Parents were drinking in the stands and yelling at 15-year-old umpires.

The scene was an example of a larger problem, he said.

"I have no problem with selling beer at adult night games," Yoast said. "My opinion as a coach, parent and teacher is that they shouldn't sell alcohol when kids are playing at the park. It's no different than if someone brought in a beer and drank it in the stands at a high school football game."

He said that influence may seep onto Moffat County's youngest.

Yoast, a 17-year Craig resident, also is a science teacher and track coach at Craig Middle School and freshman girls basketball coach at Moffat County High School.

Being around Moffat County students most days of the week, Yoast said he often hears young students talk about drinking.

"I hear kids every morning at the middle school talk about parties and who was drunk," he said. "These kids are 12 and 13 years old.

"It's gotten worse the last few years. You hear it when you're around 500 kids a day."

Drinking through little league and youth softball games sends the wrong message to a community when statistics indicate has a youth drinking problem, Yoast said.

"You're sending a message to eight- and nine-year-olds that drinking in the dugout during games is fun," he said. "I don't agree with them that that's OK."

Yoast wrote a letter to the Moffat County Commission about his concerns.

"What role models," he wrote about adults drinking and yelling at children. "Parks and Recreation is about providing positive activities for kids. This directly opposes that goal. These young players and umpires deserve to play in an alcohol-free environment."

At their meeting Tuesday, the commissioners agreed there may be a reason to change standard operating procedures at Loudy-Simpson. However, they want to include the community in the discussion and see what issues arise.

Commissioner Tom Gray said he wasn't aware park officials sold alcohol during youth sporting events.

But, learning the fact did raise some flags with him, Gray added, and he wants to know how the community at large feels.

"I do wonder, if you're taking a nine-year-old to little league, if there has to be alcohol there," he said. "Maybe it's been going on for too long a time. Maybe it's not a big deal."

Gray said one possible action the county may look at is to limit alcohol consumption to a specified area within the park.

Adult leagues and programs are different, commissioners said. Gray added he did not see the county doing some research into the subject as trying to look over people's shoulders.

"We always want to preserve individual rights," he said. "Especially of adult individuals."

And, Gray said, if the research shows that there are no larger issues present, or if there is not an abuse of liquor laws, then the county wouldn't change policies just to change them.

However, if park staff is obeying all liquor licensing laws but minors are somehow getting alcohol, that still is the county's responsibility and liability, he said.

"If you sell alcohol, you're responsible for what happens," Gray said. "Yes you are."

Yoast said he has never seen minors drinking at Loudy-Simpson, but added he did not think it would be hard for them to do so.

Commissioner Saed Tayyara is unsure whether changing the rules would do any good in combating underage drinking.

"I think there should be some improvements there," he said.

"Are we going to cure the problem we're having nationwide and cure it in the county?" Tayyara said, shaking his head. "I don't know."

Comments

grannyrett 6 years, 7 months ago

I agree with Mr. Yoast. Kids are influenced by what they see around them. We have enough problems with kids drinking. If this one small step could help, we should all be behind it.

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David Carrick 6 years, 7 months ago

Keep up the good influence, Mr. Yoast! And may there be more like you!

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Taylor 6 years, 7 months ago

We had a similar policy years ago when I coached baseball (in a different state). Sure, there were still some unruly parents, but not drunk and unruly. Alcohol has no place at a kid's activity.

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csualum 6 years, 7 months ago

I think it would be appropriate for liquor sales to be limited to adult league nights and weekend tournament events. You could check with the current vendor at Loudy, but I doubt if this would impact their overall profit. This is assuming that adults consuming alcohol during youth events is not prevalent, but limited to a handful.
While it is true that alcohol will contribute to loud & obnoxious behavior, it is not always the cause. Participants and spectators that yell at, and berate umpires, players and coaches are going to do so whether fueled by alcohol or not. I remember witnessing one of our former Sheriff's screaming at a young upmire during a baseball game. He was not drinking. This behavior is accepted in our society. Anyone see LeBron James mother go crazy during an NBA game last week? I appreciate Mr. Yoast's concerns, but this is just another example of the degradation of our society. People are no longer respectful and appreciative of others. People today have a sense of entitlement that permeates everything they do. I don't know where it started, but it isn't good. By all means though, have the commissioner's change the policy at Loudy and see if no alcohol sales equals better behaved adults.

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whitten05 6 years, 7 months ago

i agree. no alcohol at kids games is a good thing.

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50cal 6 years, 7 months ago

come on you guys the kids need this, how else will they learn grown up behavior. They need druck adults around

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50cal 6 years, 7 months ago

DL where have you been? I like this someone taking up for the kids. What kind of jackass do you have to be to go drink at a little league game. Thats gotta be some fun huh? Best yet someones gotta get tanked up to yell at a 15 year old ump. that takes a big set of brass ones. Wonder if he goes home and beats the dog afterward.

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calvinhobbs 6 years, 7 months ago

Here is another concern. Who is driving these kids home after the game? The bottom line here is $$$$ the county gets a cut of the sales at the stand. Let the kids play without the alcohol being present. Save the beer sales for that night.

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