Should we help the City Attorney's Office object to the renewal of the liquor license for Deano's Market (the Store, NOT the bar)? Please read the letter below from the East Precinct's Assistant City Attorney, Dan Okada. whom many of you met at our recent neighborhood meeting.

Please send your thoughts in writing: see item 5 below. Please also E-mail a copy to me, Andrew Taylor, tayles@jps.net, for posting on the website, so that others can see what you wrote - I'll post them anonymously if you wish.

If you have questions, please contact: Dan Okada, Assistant City Attorney, (206) 684-4375. E-mail: dan.okada@seattle.gov

Thanks,
Andrew Taylor

Here are some letters submited by Miller neighbors, to guide you with your letter.

For better explanation of the process, please see the MADCAP web page on the liquor renewal

 

Some advice from Sonja Richter on the sort of infractions that the Liquor Board is concerned about:

One thing that is URGENTLY needed is to get additional letters to Dan Okada ASAP (that is in NOW) from any one who may object to the Liq. Lic. at the DEANO's MARKET, 2040 E Madison, (not the Lounge) or would like to see a provisional liq. lic. granted, or not. If any one wants to send in a letter please remember that the information MUST tie or directly relate the activity/behavior to the market such as:

You get the picture: the act must be connected to the market to
be grounds to object to the renewal of the liq. lic. at Deano's Market.

 

Note also that letters to the Liquor Board are part of the public record and so will be available to any interested parties: I've had my words quoted to me by a lawyer in the past!

 


Letter from Dan Okada:


(OK, it's two letters merged!)

The liquor license for Deano's Market is set for renewal at the end of June. I am looking for community input into whether an objection should be filed against renewal of the liquor license or whether a request should be made for a restricted license that would prevent the market from selling high alcohol content beer and fortified wine.

If an objection to a liquor license or a request for a modified liquor license is to be made, it needs to be done very soon. If there is a general consensus not to object to or request a modified license, that is fine too. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me 684-4375. I will be out of the office on Friday but will be back on Monday.

Please keep the following things in mind:

1) This is just for Deano's Market, at this time, not for Deano's Cafe.

2) The basis, under the Washington Administrative Code 314-09-015, for non-renewal of a liquor license is a showing that the issuance of the liquor license will detrimentally impact the safety, health, or welfare of the community.

3) Under the Revised Code of Washington 66.24.360, the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) shall issue a restricted license if the board finds that the sale of strong beer or fortified wine would be against the public interest. The factors the board is to look are 1) the likelihood that the business will sell strong beer or wine to persons who are intoxicated, 2) law enforcement problems in the vicinity of the establishment that may arise from persons purchasing strong beer or fortified wine at the establishment, and 3) whether the sale of strong beer or fortified wine would be detrimental to or inconsistent with government-operated or funded alcohol treatment or detoxification programs in the area.

4) I am looking for specific examples of the impact the sale of alcohol by the market has had on the community. Also, I am looking for specific examples of whether the sale of high alcohol content beverages by the Market has caused problems in the area, what those problems are, and its impact on the community.

5) Please have residents send a copy of their observations, reservations, or concerns in letter form to me at: Dan Okada Seattle City Attorney's Office 700 Fifth Ave., #5350 PO Box 94667 Seattle, WA 98124-4667. Also, please have them send a copy to Lorraine Lee, Director Licensing Services, WSLCB 3000 Pacific Avenue SE Olympia, WA 98504-3075.

6) Any objection or request for modification of the liquor license is due by the end of May.

6) If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (206) 684-4375.

Thank you for your help.

Dan Okada
Assistant City Attorney
East Precinct Liaison
Public & Community Safety Division
Seattle City Attorney's Office


Letters submited by Miller neighbors

To whom it may concern:

I am writing to express my concern regarding the renewal of the liquor license for Deano's Market located at the intersection of 21st Avenue and Madison Street in Seattle.

I moved into the neighborhood down the street from this business about two months ago. During this short time that I have lived in the area, I have been deeply disturbed and alarmed by some of the activity I have observed near Deano's.

Though I am too wary to enter the establishment, I drive by there daily. I have seen countless people loitering outside the storefront, despite the signs stating "No Loitering." On a regular basis I have observed people who are obviously intoxicated entering and exiting the business.

Although I cannot personally provide hard evidence to connect crimes in the neighborhood to the sale of alcohol at Deano's Market, I firmly believe that this establishment contributes greatly to the violent crimes, intimidation of residents, and overall negative image of the neighborhood.

While I did choose to move to this area, it was with the hope and expectation that the city will do whatever can be done to improve the well-being of the residents and their visitors. Please do not renew the liquor license for Deano's Market, and do help improve the Miller Park/Madison neighborhood. Thank you in advance for your support.

Sincerely,

Dear Mr. Okada,

I am writing regarding the renewal of the liquor license for Deano's Market and to urge you to recommend a restricted license that would prevent the sale of high alcohol content (HAC) beer and fortified wine.

I live on 20th avenue, just a few blocks away from Deano's Market and have first hand experience of how the sale of HAC beer and fortified wine impacts our community.

At least once a week my sleep is disturbed by the noise and rowdy behavior of individuals consuming HAC beer and hanging out on my street.

Every day I encounter the black plastic bags containing HAC beer cans littering our neighborhood. On numerous occasions I have witnessed public drunks littering their empties as well as other items; I believe that a majority of the trash on the sidewalks and streets in our neighborhood are the result of the careless behavior of these public drunks.

The bus stops in my neighborhood often reek of urine and it is not uncommon to encounter vomit on the sidewalk. I suspect the lack of cleanliness of our public spaces is correlated to the sale of HAC beer and fortified wine.

Our neighborhood is plagued by drug dealers and drug users. The sale of HAC beer and fortified wine contributes to this problem. It makes the area more hospitable for users as they are able to purchase alcoholic intoxicants when they are unable to obtain their drug of choice. This, in turn, makes the area more hospitable for drug dealers as it increases the concentration of drug users.

In closing, I hope these specific examples help you to understand the detrimental impact of the sale of HAC beer and fortified wine by Deano's Market in our neighborhood and that you are able to help our community by restricting the sale of these intoxicants.

Sincerely,

Seth Falcon


Dan Okada
Assistant City Attorney
Seattle City Attorney Office
700 Fifth Avenue Suite #5350
PO BOX 94667
Seattle, WA 98124-4667
Dear Mr. Okada
I am concerned public safely will continue to suffer in our neighborhood if Deano's Market is allowed to retain their liquor license. As you may or may not know, we recently organized an adopt-a-street and neighborhood watch program. Saturday April 30th our community met for a good part of the day to clean up our neighborhood. We collected about fifty bags of garbage with only half coming from nature. The rest were large beer bottles & Cansand an occasional crack pipe and needle. Three days later I took my dog for a walk and found four empty bottles (1 smashed) right where we had just cleaned.


Two months ago a friend of mine was visiting us. We were walking her out to her car (in the middle of the day) when a man walked towards us completely inebriated. I told her to get in her car and that I would make sure she was okay. He started pounding on her window trying to talk but was so drunk he couldn't formulate a sentence. She was extremely scared even though she was safe in her car. Unfortunately, because she doesn't feel safe in our area, she no longer visits us.
It's no secret this Market has been a thorn in the backs of most of the home owners in our area. Historic reports will show you that at least once a week there is a call to 911 to that area. Someone was even shot and killed behind the market two weeks ago.


I hope that you will seriously consider the impact allowing the market to sell fortified alcohol or any type of alcohol for that matter will have on our area. We're not only complaining about drunks walking around smashing beer bottles. We have school bus stops and children who live around this establishment. Parents don't even let their children play out in the street because they fear they will be assaulted or worse.
Sincerely,

Copy sent to: Lorraine Lee
Director of Licensing Services WSLCB
3000 Pacific Avenue SE
Olympia, WA 98052-3075


Dan Okada
Seattle City Attorney's Office
700 Fifth Ave., #5350
PO Box 94667
Seattle, WA 98124-4667

 

Mr. Okada,

I am writing to request that the liquor license at Deano's Market be revoked so that not only will the market no longer be able to sell high alcohol content beer and fortified wine, but they be prevented from selling any alcoholic beverages at all. All one has to do is visit our neighborhood at virtually any hour of the day and he or she will see the damage these substances have wrought and why a complete revocation is in order.

Given that Deano's Market is directly across from a new full-service Safeway and a new Trader Joe's is two blocks away, there is plenty of beer and wine available in this area of Seattle, not to mention hard liquor available at two state-run stores within walking distance. Simply put, alcohol is available to all members of our neighborhood. These establishments, however, adhere to strict rules regarding the sale of beer and wine to intoxicated individuals which can effectively shut down the constant traffic brought about by chronic inebriates. Deano's Market does not adhere to these rules. Because of this, they have created a business that doesn't simply sell high alcohol content beer and fortified wine to intoxicated people but one that caters to them. Step inside that store and it won't take long to determine that alcohol is the only reason a person would shop there. The shelves are sparsely stocked, the floors are grimy, and there is a complete absence of anything that would resemble an atmosphere conducive to an occasional quick stop to shop for a needed item. The short version: Deano's Market's primary purpose is to sell alcohol to anyone who comes through the door, inebriated or not.

The law enforcement issues arising from the use of alcohol and other substances such as crack, meth, and heroin in our neighborhood are well documented. One need look no further than the 911 records of the Seattle Police Department, the Miller Park Neighborhood Association website, or the archives of The Seattle Times, The Stranger, and The Seattle Star to find evidence of the crimes committed in our neighborhood as a result of substance abuse, beginning with alcohol. These crimes include murder (just weeks ago next to the market), rape, assault, prostitution, identity theft, drug dealing, robbery, car theft, graffiti, property damage, and burglary. Research clearly indicates that alcohol fills the void until other substances can be procured. If high alcohol content beer and fortified wine were not available, the wait for the next fix would not be nearly as comfortable. Our neighborhood is the poster child for crimes committed by individuals who are drunk and high. The revocation of Deano's Market's liquor license would be a solid first step in rectifying law enforcement issues in our neighborhood.

The sale of high alcohol content beer and fortified wine as well as other alcoholic beverages at Deano's Market has nothing but a detrimental impact on our neighborhood and puts additional pressure on local government-operated and funded programs in our community. First and foremost on the list of affected programs is The Madison House, a Department of Corrections recovery facility located twenty-five yards from the front door of Deano's Market. It is described on the DOC website as, "a therapeutic community for chemically dependent individuals" and provides further information about the treatment and self-help programs available. These men and women are described as being in the "second link in a comprehensive recovery program", yet they literally sit on the doorstep and picnic tables of their facility and watch alcohol and drugs consumed and crimes committed twenty-four hours a day. It is unconscionable that a market such as Deano's, which sells high alcohol content beer and fortified wine and other alcoholic beverages with impunity to whomever enters should be allowed to operate in the vicinity of such an important recovery facility. Although it is a non-profit entity, another facility impacted is Seattle Mental Health, a facility whose website states it offers "services for a variety of mental health, behavioral and substance abuse problems for people of all ages..". This facility is a mere five blocks from Deano's Market. Due to Deano's liberal selling practices it should be considered a destination for those with mental health and substance abuse issues interested in unfettered access to high alcohol content beer, fortified wine, and other alcoholic beverages. There are other programs and facilities in our neighborhood that may not be officially designated as alcohol treatment or detoxification, but they represent a section of our community that does not need to be tempted by the constant presence of drunks and junkies who begin and end their days with alcohol purchased at Deano's Market. These facilities include Planned Parenthood and, most importantly, Meany Middle School, whose front entrance and playground is one city block away from Deano's Market.

This letter cannot begin to describe what life is like in our neighborhood. Due to the sale of high alcohol content beer and fortified wine and other alcoholic beverages which, in turn, leads to the consumption of crack, meth, and heroin and the criminal activity it encourages, our community is in trouble. All of us, from residents to those participating in the local recovery programs, need your help. Please revoke Deano's Market's liquor license so that our neighborhood can begin its own recovery. Thank you for your time.

 

Sincerely,


May 11, 2005

Mr. Dan Okada
Assistant City Attorney
City of Seattle
700 Fifth Avenue, #5350
PO Box 94667
Seattle, WA 98124

Regarding: Deano's Market Liquor License Renewal

Mr. Okada,

As long time residents and homeowners in the Central Area, we strongly object to the renewal of liquor license for Deano's Market, located at 2040 East Madison Street. The negative impact of this business is present every day. Living less than 100 yards from this market, I commonly bear witness to many of the public health and safety issues that occur in and around the immediate area of this market. The main issue is the inebriated individuals entering the market and leaving with more beer. At any time of the day anyone can easily witness customers loitering on the front steps of the store, or in the very immediate area of the store, drinking from open containers. These open containers then become litter on my block, which we have to pick up on a weekly basis.

Additionally, the constant public inebriation and open containers lead to a large number of people urinating throughout this area. I witnessed such an example just this morning while walking my dog. The constantly poor sanitation and garbage that accumulates around this market is beyond disgusting and directly impacts the health and safety of all of us in this neighborhood. A very large percentage of that litter is beer can or glass bottles of cheap wine purchased at this store and a very large percentage of the people urinating in the area are customers of Deano's Market.

The loitering of Deano's Market customers leads to larger issues of safety. It is simply unsafe to walk past this corner. We have tried to walk through these groups on several occasions with near disastrous results. The small sidewalk is filled with drunks and addicts constantly demanding money, directly confronting us in an aggressive manner and yelling racial slurs at us. The corner this market operates on and the sidewalks to the west and north are blocked with intoxicated people 24/7. These people all have open containers they purchased at Deano's Market. During a Block Watch walk, our community police officer ordered two underage women on the sidewalk in front of Deano's Market to dump out the beer in the open containers they were sipping from. The public drunkenness spans all ages and races.

In summary, we believe Deano's Market's liquor license should not be renewed because of the legacy issues of their customers' actions including: constant public drunkenness, loitering, loitering with open containers, urinating in public, littering and their combative nature while intoxicated. I would ask anyone considering a renewal of this license to sit in the Starbucks across the street and watch this corner market for ten minutes. Just ten minutes while drinking a cup of coffee would shed light on all the issues we have conveyed within this letter. These legacy issues will continue until the Liquor Control Board steps up and ends this neighborhood nightmare.

Sincerely,


To whom it may concern:

This is a letter to express my opposition to the renewal of Deano's Grocery Liquor License. Several times a week I spend my time picking up garbage that has been deposited on my lawn, in my carport, under my vehicle, behind my garbage cans. This rubbish consists of several aluminum cans of malt liquor, black plastic bags, illegal drug paraphernalia and human feces. I live about 100 feet from Deanos and I witness the harassment, the loitering, the violence, the incessant drug dealing, prostitution and complete disregard for the neighborhood that the people who frequent that business encourage.

I have woke up in the morning to impromptu living rooms set up in my front yard replete with people sitting in lawn chairs and drinking beer.

I have gone in to Deano's several times to purchase things, even beer. However if given the choice of having the convenience of a store a block away, or removing the convenience from my neighborhood, I would choose to walk the extra distance and get rid of that menace. I have been told by people loitering on that Deano's corner that I should walk on the other side of the street, I have had people approach my car while waiting at that corner and inebriates frequently walk into traffic on Madison with complete disregard for their safety or the safety of drivers. Deano's store is a public safety hazard and that block is more or less no longer considered 'public property'.

Deano's proprietors through their tolerance, or dare I say, encouragement, of this constant display of contempt for the neighborhood, Deano's has turned a business opportunity into a menace.

Removing the liquor license will be an inconvenience to some, yet will offer a greater community benefit to many. Please consider not renewing the license.