Private clubs and Uber/Lyft hit LR City Board agenda | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Private clubs and Uber/Lyft hit LR City Board agenda

Posted By on Sat, Aug 9, 2014 at 7:05 AM

click to enlarge STATISTICS: Numbers might not tell the whole story about crime, police activity and private clubs.
  • STATISTICS: Numbers might not tell the whole story about crime, police activity and private clubs.

The agenda is out for the Aug. 12 Little Rock City Board Agenda meeting, at which items will be scheduled for discussion and votes the following week.

But, these two items are listed for discussion, with any attached proposals by way of ordinances or city staff recommendations:

1) 5 a.m. ABC permits.

2) Uber/Lyft

The ABC permits refer, of course to the handful of private clubs that still allow them to operate until 5 a.m. There's a movement on the City Board, led by Director Joan Adcock, to require an earlier closing hour. It's an arbitrary and nonsensical idea. The board can't claim public safety issues when it allows a proliferation of crime- and vagrant-magnet convenience stores with no statutory limitations on their hours or any of the added security measures required of private clubs. It's simple conventional small minds attempting to impose their ideas of behavior on others.

Uber/Lyft is, of course, the ride sharing service tied to phone apps that is taking major cities around the country by storm and upsetting taxi operators no end. Little Rock has a single taxi franchise holder. He's a political contributor and longtime friend in political ways of Director Joan Adcock. She's being fighting the entry of Uber, which has been advertising for drivers. It should be a non-starter to attempt to keep Uber out of the market. It doesn't mean they can't be regulated as they have been in other cities.

I'm trying to find out if the agenda means they will be discussed at the agenda session or set for discussion the following week. It's important that all interested parties be heard.

UPDATE: The discussion WILL be this Tuesday, I've been told. 

The agenda meeting starts at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

UPDATE: Fox 16 reported last night on police calls to private clubs. I suspect they're right in saying the numbers should influence the city board  debate. They should not; or at the very least should be taken with a big dose of salt. Here's why:

1) Of course police calls rise between 2 and 5 a.m. compared with between midnight and 2 a.m. Business at the late-night clubs increases dramatically after 2 a.m., when other venues close.

2) It is seriously misleading to focus on police calls in the early morning at private clubs to suggest that police calls there are somehow unique products of clubs.

The Times is working on a story about police calls. You might be surprised at the dozens — hundreds — of calls to a big Walmart in Southwest Little Rock during daylight hours. They swamp private club demands. You'd be floored by the police manpower detailed to the River Market district — at routine city expense — and at the innumerable encounters there on any given day. Just Tuesday, the Little Rock city board heard that a 10-man detail has been created to center operations at a problematic Kum & Go convenience store at Asher and University. Nobody is proposing to make the Kum & Go shut at sundown.

Police calls to clubs prove not much. They reflect conventional thinking — that people should be in bed between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. Some people work night shifts. Some live nocturnal schedules. The city should think long and hard before it imposes its idea of conventional behavior on a narrow group of businesses and their customers. At the least, it ought to take a look at Walmart, Kum & Go and River Market police activity before it decides that a police response count is evidence enough to put somebody out of business.

PS — Sharp readers here and on our Facebook post note that 1,241 calls over 30 months is 41 per month, or 1.3 per day among about 10 clubs. And only half of those are in the hours targeted for suppression. Not a heavy load, in other words.

Tags: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (21)

Showing 1-21 of 21

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-21 of 21

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Womack gets questions. He doesn't answer

    The resistance mustered a turnout for a rare public appearance by U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, which meant a ferry ride from Peel, Ark., and a drive almost to Missouri. He didn't seem happy to see them.
    • Aug 22, 2017
  • Democratic Party calls for resignation of Jake Files

    The Arkansas Democratic Party says Republican Sen. Jake Files of Fort Smith should resign over news about handling of state General Improvement Fund money that wound up with him, not the project for which it was intended.
    • Aug 22, 2017
  • Rutledge touts effort to allow discrimination against gay people

    Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is braying about her intervention in yet another out-of-state lawsuit — this one to protect a Washington state florist who doesn't want to sell flowers to gay people for use at their wedding.
    • Aug 22, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Judge Griffen: Why black lives matter

    Another few words from Judge Wendell Griffen growing from the controversy over the sale of Black Lives Matter T-shirts at the state black history museum — removed by the administration and restored after protests from Griffen and others stirred by a story in the Arkansas Times:
    • Mar 13, 2016
  • Presidential thriller, co-author Bill Clinton, coming to bookstores in 2018

    June 2018 is the expected publication date for a novel collaboration by former President Bill Clinton and crime writer James Patterson.
    • May 9, 2017
  • More on how highways were used to wipe out "blight" of non-white neighborhoods

    Vox, a news website that concerns itself with energy and other issues, has a fine piece, including before and after images, on the history of the U.S. interstate system and why roads were built through the middle of cities (unless people of influence stopped them — see Manhattan, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.)
    • Mar 22, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Tuesday's open line

    • Sorry--I posted the wrong list above. The current list is for the class of 2021…

    • on August 23, 2017
  • Re: Tuesday's open line

    • To distract from the Trump craziness, here is the annual Beloit College Mindset List. It…

    • on August 23, 2017
  • Re: Womack gets questions. He doesn't answer

    • Big thanks to the Indivisible members who took the time to make that out-of-the-way trip…

    • on August 22, 2017

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation