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Drinking In Public Ordinance: Readers Comment

February 10, 2013

To the Editor:

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is often used, and our Town Board isn’t paying heed. They already made a poor decision relative to the use of alcohol on Town property. It appears they believe that if you allow people to have a beer or a glass of wine, they will automatically get drunk and misbehave. So they are going to save us from ourselves.

And now, they are going to take it one step further and tighten things even more. What’s next a sobriety check point for pedestrians near the town dock? Get real people. Where is the problem that we need to put a halt to?

Our Town Board must have too much time on their hands because they are looking for things to do, but are missing the obvious.

Our harbor area isn’t littered with drunks, it’s littered with pollution. Why is there no discussion about the horrible pollution from a sunken fishing vessel? Could it be that one of the commissioners owns the dock where the derelict vessel is tied? That town commissioner is, in fact, enabling the vessel to pollute our harbor and streams. He has the ability to have it towed away, however our Board is more focused on the vast population of drunks that are wandering our streets.

Sitting back while this vessel did its damage is wrong, but then they seem to be on a roll with wrong decisions. They are doing their best to make Oriental unattractive to outsiders. When will they focus on making Oriental “open for business” rather than “no trespassing”? Face it, the Board’s decisions are negatively affecting the quality of life in Oriental.

Let’s hope they find a way to save us from them.

Steve Snyder

Apparently the ban on alcohol means that any of us who arrive in Oriental by boat and tie to the Town Dock must keep our alcoholic consumption on board. After a cruise from Fairfield, or anywhere else for that matter, it is often nice to be able to stretch ones legs by getting off the boat and onto a dock while enjoying a “celebratory drink” to mark the arrival.

Too bad that is illegal in Oriental.

John Y. Jackson
New Bern, NC

To The Editor:

I believe the new proposal is beyond ridiculous. That means if you have a block party or cross the street from one house to another in a progressive dinner party or wine tasting or celebration, you may not carry a margarita or beer in the street or sidewalk?

They are taking a laid back atmosphere of convivial neighborhoods and turning it into an area of nosy, intrusive, intolerant informants. Surely this little village does not have to intrude on amiable drinking but concentrate on the abuse of it.

When it becomes a public nuisance then give the police clear reason to intrude but labeling all affairs that include drinking is invasive.

Maybe I am just unaware of the amount of drunks and rowdies that are running around the Oriental town and am mislead by thinking it a sweet village and a lovely place to invite people to sit back, have a drink and relax in.

Mary Cancel
Merritt, NC

This move by the Town Board to tinker with the language in the Public Nuisance ordinance evolved from a now-killed proposal to grant permits for drinking in public places. To read letters to the editor on that topic, click here.

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