Reader's view: Liquor ban in Lakeside is not about racism
The News Tribune's Feb. 5 "Our View" editorial ("Is liquor ban in Lakeside racist?") quoted a Duluth historian who said that, "Those who want to keep Lakeside and Lester Park 'dry' because of 'tradition' are upholding a 120-plus-year tradition of...
The News Tribune’s Feb. 5 “Our View” editorial (“Is liquor ban in Lakeside racist?”) quoted a Duluth historian who said that, “Those who want to keep Lakeside and Lester Park ‘dry’ because of ‘tradition’ are upholding a 120-plus-year tradition of racism and religious intolerance.” This statement seemed more about the cultural views 120-plus years ago. Times certainly have changed - we are more informed now - but some desires have not.
The Lakeside-Lester Park debate over whether “no bottle shops, no taverns and no sale of intoxicating liquor of any kind” is still a good policy is about quality of life in a neighborhood. In my view, it is certainly not about racism, religion, ethnicity or intolerance.
Lakeside-Lester Park is a family-centered neighborhood with a small group of organizations that offer products and/or services for the primary needs of its entire population, including banking, groceries, hardware, health/image care, hobbies/crafts, spiritual and vehicle fuel.
As stated in the Feb. 5 letter, “Liquor sales are not an answer to financial woes,” there are locations near Lakeside-Lester Park that already sell or serve intoxicating liquor. Neighborhood residents can access those areas, and those sales will not impact Lakeside-Lester Park residents or its primary-needs businesses.
An analogy is community zoning for residential, commercial or industrial development, zones that can be subdivided by additional use restrictions. Lakeside-Lester Park residents should have the right to express their views on how the community is planned.
As for the “$1.6 million of debt the city golf fund has racked up in recent years,” as reported in the Feb. 5 story, “Duluth City Council to take up stadium, trail and golf course,” neither “recent years” nor the amount attributable to the Lester Park Golf Course were defined. In Minnesota and nationally, public and private golf courses are closing for financial reasons. Apathy and the economy are two causes.