Some city ordnance in philly

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Some city ordnance in philly

Post by MKSheppard » 2017-12-17 08:58am

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/crime ... 71214.html
Despite strong opposition from Asian American beer deli owners and their supporters, Philadelphia City Council voted, 14-3, Thursday to approve a bill that most members said would enhance neighborhoods, but that the merchants fear could jeopardize their safety and livelihood.

Mayor Kenney’s office said he would sign the bill.

City Councilwoman Cindy Bass introduced the bill Nov. 2 as part of an effort to rid the city of what she has called illegal stop-and-go outlets. Although much of the bill involves categorizing food establishments by size for city licensing purposes, one paragraph generated huge protests and polarized communities, exposing fissures involving race, class, and perceptions of immigrants.

That paragraph called for banning bullet-resistant windows in large food establishments. Beer deli owners were affected because state law requires them to have at least 30 seats. Many of the owners, who are largely Asian American, decried the bill, saying removing the safety windows would expose them to being robbed, injured, or killed. But Bass called such windows, which separate food servers from customers, “an indignity.”

On Dec. 4, Council’s Committee on Public Health and Human Services amended the bill, removing the mandatory window ban on large establishments, and instead instructing the Department of Licenses and Inspections to issue by Jan. 1, 2021, regulations for “the use or removal of any physical barrier” in places that serve food and alcohol. The amended bill was unanimously approved that day by the committee.

But beer deli owners and their supporters still saw the amended bill as risking their lives.

Just before the full Council vote Thursday, Bass said the bill was a culmination of 25 years of work to eliminate stop-and-go outlets that sell drug paraphernalia, fruit-flavored cigarillos, and candy for children next to alcohol for adults. “Sometimes they sell food. Mostly they don’t,” she said. “They aren’t delis. … They’re the modern-day pusher.”

“We’re going to say goodbye to the breakfast-booze spots,” she said, to some applause.

Hundreds of beer deli owners and their supporters showed up Thursday to protest the bill. During a public-comment period before the vote, Council President Darrell L. Clarke said he was allowing 10 people on each side to speak against, then for, the bill.

When Adam Xu, chairman of the Asian American Licensed Beverage Association, who has been a vocal opponent of the bill, approached a microphone to speak, he was told he could not do so because 10 people already had spoken against the bill.

Mouy Chheng, the first to speak against, said her 19-year-old son was fatally shot by two armed robbers at the family’s South Philly convenience store in 2003 when it did not have a bullet-resistant window.

Peter Ly, a West Philly beer deli owner who made news after he was shot three times in December 2011 when he went to deposit money at a Cheltenham bank, told Council of another incident a decade ago when he was shot six times during a gunpoint robbery at a beer deli he then owned on Lehigh Avenue in North Philadelphia with no bullet-resistant window. He has a partition in his current business.

“If you take down my bulletproof glass,” he said, “I will not be lucky next time.”

City Councilman David Oh, a Korean American who has opposed the bill specifically because business owners could be ordered to remove their safety-glass windows, said he feared removing them could increase crime and cause more proprietors to buy guns. “I will not expose [beer deli owners] or anyone else to the risk that they could be killed,” he said.

Oh and Council members Allan Domb and Mark Squilla voted against the bill.

Although many of the bill’s opponents were Asian American and many supporters African American, not every speaker’s position was predictable by race.

The Rev. Robert Shine, an African American who is pastor of Berachah Baptist Church on Limekiln Pike in East Germantown, asked Council to reconsider the section of the bill dealing with protective windows. Removing the windows “would certainly expose proprietors to greater hazards or dangers,” he said.

And Councilwoman Helen Gym, a Korean American, voted for the bill, eliciting boos from beer deli owners and applause from African American residents.

The bill seeks to address “irresponsible businesses” that promote addictions, she said. “At its heart,” she said, the amended bill seeks “to reject predatory practices that have hurt black and brown communities. This bill only targets the small fraction of businesses” that are not operating legally, she said.

Also speaking in support of the bill was Asa Khalif, a leader of Black Lives Matter Pennsylvania. “Stop-and-gos have always been a thorn in the side of black and brown communities. … Finally, black and brown people say enough is enough,” he said.

Rochelle Bilal, a retired Philadelphia police officer and president of the Guardian Civic League, an organization of black Philadelphia police officers, said a lot of beer delis “are a scourge” on neighborhoods. She said the bill was not about the partition windows, but “about human decency.”

Xu, the head of the beer deli group, which now represents 245 businesses, held a news conference across from City Hall before the hearing, standing with Chheng, the mother whose 19-year-old son, Luckily Ky, was killed in 2003. Xu said in a message to Council members: “You want to kill more people?”

Three African American men also spoke at the news conference, including Linwood Holland, chairman of the Philadelphia Black Republican Ward Leaders Caucus. “Bodies are not bulletproof, so we need this glass to protect everybody,” Holland said.

Mayoral spokeswoman Lauren Hitt, in a statement Tuesday, said the mayor planned to sign the bill if Council were to pass it Thursday. “To be clear,” she wrote, “the bill does not require the removal of plexiglass — it gives L&I three years to convene a diverse group of stakeholders to decide how the plexiglass issue is to be handled — that could mean L&I ultimately decides to leave the plexiglass as is, to remove it completely, or something in between.”

Asked if beer deli owners would be part of the group of stakeholders, she replied: “Of course.”
Posted here since it seems somewhat ontopic for a police abuse thread, since police = public safety, etc.
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Re: General Police Abuse Thread

Post by White Haven » 2017-12-18 09:38am

If by 'somewhat' you mean 'not at all,' then...
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Re: General Police Abuse Thread

Post by Thanas » 2017-12-18 03:19pm

off topic posts split
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Re: Some city ordnance in philly

Post by Zaune » 2017-12-18 03:30pm

Does this seem any less nonsensical to people who actually live in Philadelphia? Because I seriously have no clue what rules about bulletproof glass in front of the cash register has to do with people not liking the fact seedy convenience stores sell bongs, much less how race politics factor into this.
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Re: Some city ordnance in philly

Post by Broomstick » 2017-12-18 03:46pm

Poverty overlaps with race, ethnicity, and immigration status in the US. You see more physical barriers - bars, bullet resistant glass, etc. - in poor, brown neighborhoods where business are frequently robbed because they're about the only people/places in such neighborhoods with money or anything else worth stealing. Business owners are not installing these systems because they think they look good, they're installing them because of real or perceived risk to life and limb.

This strikes me as an attempt to make certain areas look more prosperous by cosmetic improvement when what's really needed is more effective law enforcement and more attention to eliminating the causes of poverty and drug addiction in the first place.

The gas station attached to the store I work at sells both food and "fruit flavored cigarillos" alongside "candy for children" (which seems to be mostly purchased and consumed by adults). As it happens, we do not have bullet barriers at the checkout, but then, it's a relatively low crime area. (After 10pm the doors are locked and our staff communicates through a bullet barrier to customers until around 7am) The other two gas stations I frequent - one a block from my home, one between home and work - DO have those barriers in place. And yes, they also sell the fruity tobacco products, roll-your-own machines and supplies, and so forth which, yes, probably are used for illicit smoking more than legit (my store sells these, too). But every damn last one of them asks people for proof of age for purchases, the "next to candy for children" is just an appeal to "think of the CHILDREN!!!" The problem isn't kids buying this stuff, it's adults robbing adults at gunpoint.
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Re: Some city ordnance in philly

Post by Zaune » 2017-12-18 04:08pm

Okay, that makes sense. A very ugly, cynical and racist kind of sense, but still.
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Re: Some city ordnance in philly

Post by Broomstick » 2017-12-18 04:19pm

Additionally - there has been decades of conflict in major urban areas between Asians (often immigrants or first generation) and the black community (centuries of residence in the US). Many businesses are Asian owned for reasons a bit too complicated to get into, but extend back into a past where black people where systematically denied business loans or access to purchasing real estate based solely on the color of their skin (this also impacted Asians, but not to the same degree). The Asian owners are perceived as exploiting and/or taking advantage of the local black population (before that, in some locations like New York City, it was Jewish people fulfilling that role with similar problems but that started changing somewhere between 1950 and 1980 - not sure, going strictly off memory here which is not 100% reliable). The Asians say they come in and run businesses where other groups (like white folks) don't and if they didn't do that NO ONE would have businesses in those areas which, despite the problems associated with them, are often the local place to buy food and some services (there is, sadly, some truth to that). While there is a movement within the black communities to "support black businesses" that goes back to the late 19th Century such efforts have lost considerable momentum since the 1970's. On top of that, many black owners of such businesses have the exact same problems and complaints as Asian owners.

That's about as condensed as I can get the explanation. Suffice to say social and historical problems in the US are a big factor here.
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Re: Some city ordnance in philly

Post by MKSheppard » 2017-12-18 04:54pm

So hmm... Request renaming of the thread title from Some city ordnance in philly to Philadelphia wants people to die.

A quick search around the internet reveals that a simple bulletproof enclosure for a small area costs $3K to $5K (before installation).

The kind of enclosures that you see in gas stations, truck stops, convenience stores, etc runs to $15K to $20K (before installation).

Labor costs for installation probably double both price ranges.

As Broomstick said above me:

Business owners are not installing these systems because they think they look good, they're installing them because of real or perceived risk to life and limb.

It's not just "stop and rob" convenience stores run by immigrants that install these systems.

Chicago Illinois Subway store

Detroit, MI McDonalds

That's about as condensed as I can get the explanation. Suffice to say social and historical problems in the US are a big factor here.

Here's the simple version. People with decent amounts of money tend to go for low-risk investments to grow their money. They open a franchise in suburbia and start printing money for the 60-70+ hour weeks they put into the franchise.

What they do not do is start a franchise in intense crime areas. The liability costs alone are a killer -- standard workman's comp cases are bad enough, what do you do when your employees are at intense risk from major violent crime?

So, basically; the only people left who are crazy enough to open a franchise or a independent store in said high crime areas are the people low on the totem pole -- recent immigrants to the United States, who tend to be East Asians or Indians (Apu on Simpsons comes from this).

They come in, run the store long enough to make a return on their investment and then cash out to a safer area; and the next set of owners (either new immigrants or another set of the original owner's family) takes over and repeats the cycle.

There's a woman whose son was killed in 2003 mentioned in the story; here's a story from 2003 about that:

Link
Community Reflections
South Philly Asian Fear Factor
Taken from Philadelphia Daily News
[12/16/2003]

Asian community ‘scared every day’ since store slaying
By Simone Weichselbaum

It is a different world on the other side of the bulletproof glass.

The thick plastic barrier that divides customers from the meager kitchen in the Jade Express is the only thing that makes Le Heng feel safe.

The clear wall is a nuisance to customers who have to yell to give their order and reach through a small window for their take-out Chinese food.

But if it wasn’t for the glass wall, Heng, 47, thinks she would have been dead by now.

“I get scared every day,” said Heng, speaking through a partially opened side door separating the kitchen from the customer’s entrance. “You don’t know who to trust.”

Heng, a Cambodian immigrant who came to this country 20 years ago, rented the corner take-out on Wharton Street near 16th after its former manager, Dayu “Mike” Yee, was shot dead during a robbery in July in the same spot Heng now works.

She said she coped with what happened to Yee, but the fear of violence got too much for her last week when her best friend’s son, Luckily Ky, was shot while trying to fight off two armed robbers sticking up the Ky family’s grocery on 17th Street near Moore.

“After I saw what happened, I couldn’t do it,” she said. “I had to close my store.”

Despite the two killings and the yearning to leave the restaurant for a more secure work environment, Heng said she’s stuck.

“I cannot read English,” she quietly confessed. “But I want to take care of my family. I don’t want to ask the government for money. I want to work.”

Heng doesn’t like to talk about her disadvantages in adjusting to life in this country, and she doesn’t know who will take advantage of her weaknesses.

Her wariness is not uncommon. Police in South Philadelphia said they have had numerous incidents were Asians have been the victims of crime.

Sgt. Stephen Biello of South Detectives, a 14-year veteran, spent his entire law enforcement career in South Philly and said armed robberies of take-outs and grocery stores is nothing new in that area.

“It is known in the criminal community that since Asians have a language barrier, they won’t go to the police that quickly,” he said.

Stereotyping also drive muggers to attack Asians, Biello added.

“They say they don’t use banks and wear a lot of yellow [more expensive] gold,” said Biello.

About two weeks after the fatal shooting in the Jade Express, Xui Jiang Chen, 35, and Chao Yan Lin, 32, were shot dead during an armed robbery in Lin’s China Wok take-out restaurant on Rising Sun Avenue near Gilham Street in Lawncrest.

The three summer shootings prompted Police Commissioner Syl-vester Johnson and Chief Inspector James Tiano to meet with about 150 representatives, mainly from the Chinese community, at the Holy Redeemer Catholic Church on Aug. 7.

Out of that discussion, Tiano’s office of Community Affairs, along with other police divisions, are now working toward educating the Asian community how to better protect themselves, and also to educate police how to handle the non-English speaking population of the city.

The Police Department is improving its 911 system to better accommodate non-English speakers. The program would require callers to submit forms listing their name, address and language. The form will then be passed on to the department’s communication office, said Sgt. Joseph Spera, who is helping to spearhead the new operation.

Spera said that callers can obtain the forms by phoning 215-685-3940. He said that once residents who are registered in the system call 911, they will be quickly connected to a translator rather than waiting up to 10 minutes for one to be found.

“When I help immigrants, I always think of my grandfather who came from Italy and no one would help him,” Tiano said.

Despite police efforts, Quyen Ngo, vice president of the Asian-American Business Association of Greater Philadelphia, said it will be hard for immigrants to let go of their mistrust of the American government due to their experiences in their home countries.

Their difficulties are compounded by their illiteracy and the fact that many live in poor, crime-ridden neighborhoods.

“We have to live in the rotten areas because that is affordable,” Ngo said. “We have no skills, no education so we have to open a business.”

The first step toward the American dream is to become a vendor on the street, explained Ngo. Then open a lunch cart, proceeded by a take-out or a grocery store.

Ngo once owned a store in Southwest Philly, but sold it seven years ago. He now has a master’s degree from St. Joseph’s University and a house in Cherry Hill.

While Ngo is now a proud suburbanite, Heng’s dream of success in embodied in her 3-year-old grandniece, who is always by her side behind the bullet-proof glass in the Jade Express.

The giggling toddler is unaware of the fear her aunt tries to mask from her as the take-out fills with six men waiting for food, all of whom could fit the description of the killer of Luckily Ky.

“I am going to stop selling Chinese food,” Heng vowed while looking at her grandniece.
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Re: Some city ordnance in philly

Post by MKSheppard » 2017-12-18 05:13pm

There's an alternative solution to bulletproof glass that would preserve public safety of shopkeepers, one done by New York City from 1968 to 1973.

The NYPD Stake-Out Unit.

It was intended to combat a tide of violent armed robberies of businesses in NYC; because then, as now, it's almost impossible to get a concealed permit, even if you're a business owner. (Trump is a NY CCW, AFAIK).

Anyway, the concept was simple. You put a armed plainclothes/uniformed cop in a room armed with a shotgun or rifle in a bodega/deli in a very high crime area, and....waited.

Possibly the New York Magazine Article that led to the Squad's disbandment for 'efficiency' reasons

NYPD Disbanding it

The Stake Out Unit responded to 182 requests for help by 1972, resulting in:

24 armed robbers killed
19 armed robbers wounded
53 armed robbers arrested.
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Re: Some city ordnance in philly

Post by MKSheppard » 2017-12-18 05:23pm

A lot of the furor concerning this seems to stem from a comment the bill's creator said earlier this month in an article in the Philly Inquirer:

"Bass says the windows only foster a sense that the establishment – more specifically, its clientele – is dangerous. And that too many of those stores masquerade as eateries when their biggest sales draw is alcohol, feeding vices in the city’s struggling neighborhoods.

“It’s an indignity” to buy a meal through such a window, she said."


Linky
Barrier windows in Philly beer delis: Symbols of safety or distrust?

Bill Chow, the former owner of Kenny’s Seafood & Steak in Germantown, spoke on Monday, Nov. 27, at the beer deli about how a customer had tried to throw bleach on him.

For Jeff Liu, the thick, bullet-resistant window that separates him from patrons at his Germantown beer deli, Kenny’s Seafood & Steak, is a matter of safety. For City Councilwoman Cindy Bass, the barrier window is an insult.

MORE COVERAGE
Beer deli debate runs much deeper than bulletproof glass issues
Beer deli group leader: 'Nobody should remove their bulletproof glass'
Philly's proposed bulletproof glass ban could get someone shot | Editorial

The partition serves to protect workers from crime, but it also cuts them off from customers — a literal and metaphorical divider between their worlds.

Several years ago, after Liu argued with a man selling drugs in the Wayne Avenue deli’s lobby, the man returned with a rifle and shot Liu’s car, shattering its windows, Liu said.

Bass says the windows only foster a sense that the establishment – more specifically, its clientele – is dangerous. And that too many of those stores masquerade as eateries when their biggest sales draw is alcohol, feeding vices in the city’s struggling neighborhoods.

“It’s an indignity” to buy a meal through such a window, she said.

The debate is likely to gain steam Monday, when hundreds of merchants and advocates are expected to protest before a Council committee hearing on the matter. Bubbling beneath are undercurrents about class, race, and how far the city can go in telling business owners how to operate.

Bass has proposed legislation that would force beer deli owners to remove thick, bullet-resistant, counter windows. Her bill has five co-sponsors.

It needs a majority, or four, votes in the seven-member public-health committee to head to a full Council vote Dec. 14. Mayor Kenney, through his spokeswoman, said Thursday that he doesn’t yet have a position on the bill.

Yale sociology professor Elijah Anderson, who has written extensively on Philadelphia’s urban environment said the barrier window sets up “a symbol of distrust” in neighborhoods where many African Americans live.

“Of course some people are bad, but most people who come to that window are good, and they’re not trusted either. That angers, alienates them,” said Anderson, who previously taught at the University of Pennsylvania. “They know they’re civil, honest people. They’re hit with this symbol of distrust and it works on your psyche in subtle ways. You know that you’re devalued as a customer.”

But Adam Xu, 54, chairman of the Asian American Licensed Beverage Association of Philadelphia, said the protective window should be a business owner’s choice. His association represents 217 beer delis in the city, about 70 percent of which are owned by people who are ethnic Chinese and another 20 percent of Korean descent.

“Most of our businesses,” he said, “are in not-as-safe neighborhoods.”

State law requires businesses selling malt liquor or beer to have tables and chairs sufficient for 30 people and to regularly prepare and sell food. The proposed city prohibition on the window would apply to beer delis, but not to takeouts that don’t sell alcohol.

Bass and Liu have clashed before. Over the summer, she and others visited his store unannounced, setting up folding tables and chairs, in a bid to showcase businesses that she said flouted the law by selling alcohol without providing seats or food.

During a visit Monday, Liu pointed out the benches, tables, and chairs now in the lobby and said customers could order cheesesteaks, burgers and fries.

“You can ask us to cook food, no problem, to put in bathrooms, no problem, to put out seats, no problem,” said Liu, 53, who came to the U.S. from China in 1985. “The problem is the protective glass. Because without the glass, maybe one day I would get killed.”

The deli’s previous owner, Bill Chow, said a customer who claimed Chow shortchanged him threw bleach at him through an opening in the window even after he showed the man the surveillance video disproving his claim.

“Without [the window], it’s going to be right in my face or right in my eyes,” said Chow. “Luckily, I wasn’t hurt.”

Nearby, at the Wayne Junction Deli on Windrim Avenue in Logan run by Chow’s wife, Michelle Tran, 12 customers were milling about, some drinking beer or smoking cigarettes.

“I can ask them to leave, but they tend to hang around,” Tran said. She recalled a time in 2011 when an unarmed man climbed over the 6-foot //barrier// window and stole $200 to $300.

“I would love it if it were Center City, I could sell $8 burgers and $10 beers,” as opposed to $1.25 beers, said Tran. “But it’s a solid working-class neighborhood.”

Sae Kim, who owns Broad Deli on Broad Street near Susquehanna Avenue in North Philadelphia, said his business has been threatened numerous times but never robbed at gunpoint, crediting the bullet-resistant window as a deterrence.

Before his family took over the business 20 years ago, the prior owner’s son was fatally shot when there was no partition, Kim said.

About 15 years ago, Kim said, a man with a knife tried to rape his mother-in-law but she was able to escape to safety behind the partition and lock the door.

“Basically, they’re telling us either to do away with the glass, knowing you could be endangering your life and employees, or shut down the store,” said Kim, 46, who was born in South Korea and came to Philadelphia when he was 10. “Who’s going to be responsible when we see body bags going out of these establishments?”

Bass said she certainly isn’t aiming to put lives at risk.

“I would never want to be part of a bill that would put somebody in jeopardy,” said Bass, whose district includes Germantown, Nicetown, Tioga, Logan, and parts of North Philly. She said the proprietors could hire security guards and install surveillance cameras.

“These businesses in particular have skirted and flouted the law for years,” said Bass.

She said the bill stemmed from constituents’ complaints about stop-and-go stores being nuisances that sell alcohol nearly round the clock.

“My interest is to see restaurants where a family can go down and have a meal,” she said, adding that she has been “flabbergasted” by the image of workers serving food through a window as if customers were “in prison.”

Councilman At-Large David Oh said he is not against Bass’ effort to regulate nuisances surrounding beer delis, but has concerns about ordering owners to remove the windows.

“I would just prefer the bulletproof glass, it’s transparent, as opposed to the person with the gun on the holster on the hip,” said Oh.

Meanwhile, Councilman At-Large Allan Domb said Thursday he has to learn more about the issue. Safety is his top priority, but there should be some way to make the windows look “cosmetically better,” he said. “A compromise is a win for everybody.”

Editor’s note: This story was updated Dec. 11, 2017, to remove the word “plexiglass” to avoid any reference to the trademarked Plexiglas® product.
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Re: Some city ordnance in philly

Post by MKSheppard » 2017-12-18 05:28pm

Link

Money quote(s) in this article:
Since Bass introduced her bill Nov. 2, beer deli owners, who on a regular basis face racial insults and threats from customers in some neighborhoods, have received further threats, Xu has said.

As one example, Pauline Lim, 47, who with her husband Alex, 54, own the Sunrise Deli on Allegheny Avenue in North Philadelphia, said in an interview that on Sunday, a man yelled to her from the other side of her bullet-resistant window, saying: “You’re lucky. Wait until this glass comes down.”

“He said he’s going to beat the crap out of us,” Lim said. “He said, ‘I can’t wait until the bulletproof come down. You have no s—- to say then.'”

The man was angry after he tried to buy a $1.50 beer, but didn’t have enough money, Lim said. “That day he just cursed at us and banged on our glass and said, ‘You’re lucky this s— is up,'” she recalled.

Lim, a U.S. citizen who is ethnically Chinese and whose family came as refugees to the U.S. from Cambodia, said if the bill passes, she will arm herself and relatives who work at her store with guns, and that her husband will renew his gun permit.

“We don’t want that,” she said. “It’s going to be a war. We have to protect ourselves.”

“Are you going to wait for him to shoot you first?” she asked. “We have no choice but to train ourselves [on how to use a gun] and protect ourselves and our family,” she said. “Everyone’s life matters. That’s why we’re pleading with Cindy Bass not to go through with this at all.”

Another beer deli owner shared a video of an incident that occurred in February. In it, a man in a gray hooded sweatshirt is seen on the other side of the bullet-resistant window yelling insults at the store owner, who did not want his name or the video released publicly out of concern for his safety. “This f—— glass. … That’s disrespectful. … I will beat your Chinese ass!” the man is heard saying.

The man then went outside the store and smashed the front glass window with his fist, punching a hole through it.
EDIT: The only upside of this shitshow is that it won't take effect until around 2021; which gives store owners time to slowly liquidate their inventory and close down before it takes effect -- they'll take a money hit, but it won't be the "fuck you" hit that one with a 1 JAN 2018 effective date would.
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Re: Some city ordnance in philly

Post by mr friendly guy » 2017-12-18 06:11pm

Stereotyping also drive muggers to attack Asians, Biello added.


Speaking of stereotyping

http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2017/04/burg ... rob-homes/

YG's song, "Meet the Flockers," is again finding its way into real headlines, after three burglars claim they were inspired to commit crimes by the track.
According to TMZ, three guys who recently were arrested for running up in houses in San Fernando Valley, Calif., were interviewed after getting caught by police and admitted that it was YG's song that put the battery in their back. According to the report, the LAPD is very upset with the rapper.
The song, off YG's 2014 album, My Krazy Life, details a hypothetical home invasion. "First, you find a house and scope it out/Find a Chinese neighborhood, cause they don't believe in bank accounts/Second, you find a crew and a driver, someone who ring the doorbell/And someone that ain't scared to do what it do/Third, you pull up at the spot/Park, watch, ring the doorbell and knock/Four, make sure nobody is home (knock knock)/They gone, okay it's on," the Bompton MC spits.
This isn't the fist time the song has made headlines. Last October, the track sparked outrage in China over the line, "Find a Chinese neighborhood, cause they don’t believe in bank accounts.” A petition to then President Barack Obama was started in an attempt to get the song removed. It stated, “The song ‘Meet the Flockers’ by YG encourages violence and crimes to a specific ethnic group,” reads the petition. “As one of this group in North America, I feel seriously offended and threatened. Please ban the song from public media and investigate legal responsibilities of the writer.”
The petition ended up surpassing 100,000 signatures.
Its easy enough to find videos and lyrics of "meet the flockers." I won't post it here as it may not be worksafe since he uses the N word several times while telling people to rob Chinese homes.

But it has been reported that some criminals target Asian Americans because they are perceived to be easy targets.
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Re: Some city ordnance in philly

Post by Guardsman Bass » 2017-12-18 07:28pm

MKSheppard wrote:EDIT: The only upside of this shitshow is that it won't take effect until around 2021; which gives store owners time to slowly liquidate their inventory and close down before it takes effect -- they'll take a money hit, but it won't be the "fuck you" hit that one with a 1 JAN 2018 effective date would.
I definitely think that's the point, although they don't want to say it out loud. It sounds like it only applies to establishments with 30 seats or more, so maybe they could reduce their seat count to 29 or less to slide under that rule.
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Re: Some city ordnance in philly

Post by mr friendly guy » 2017-12-19 05:46am

https://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/c ... roof-glass

The following encapsulates what I think of the situation
On Thursday, the council voted 14-3 to pass the legislation, which is aimed at regulating certain businesses in poor neighborhoods. These “beer delis” offer bottles of beer to go, shots of liquor to consume on the premises, and food. They are also accused of being frequent sites of public urination, selling cigarettes to children, hawking drug paraphernalia, and serving as gathering places for dealers in illegal drugs.

Liquor is regulated by the state of Pennsylvania, so the city can’t do anything about the stores’ booze sales. But since the stores also claim to be restaurants, the council is trying to regulate them as such. The bill passed Thursday creates new restaurant licenses for establishments with fewer than 30 seats, limits what such businesses can sell, and mandates that they maintain public restrooms that do not require patrons to pass through restricted areas.

Whether or not one agrees with these measures, they at least are germane to curbing beer delis’ alleged nuisance activities. One provision in the bill, however, is not. It requires Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses and Inspections to issue new regulations on the “use or removal of physical barriers,” specifically bulletproof-glass panels used to separate patrons from cashiers and servers. The original bill actually banned the barriers outright, but after store owners raised a ruckus about it, it was watered down to a demand for regulations that do not even have to be promulgated until 2021.
This pretty much cuts to the crux of the matter.

If getting rid of the bullet proof glass really protects the dignity of patrons, well it still shouldn't be at the cost of the life of the owner. I don't live in such a neighbourhood so I can't speak about how safe it is, but its telling if the owners are willing to fork out several grand to protect themselves.


If its some other reason, ie to get rid of these beer deli's no matter what, as owners will pack up rather than risk their safety, its a high price to pay economically. Of course there is the other possibility that shop owners just arm themselves instead, and apparently Bass has said that would be ok. I guess having a gun to protect themselves from customers doesn't impact on the dignity of the customer. LOL.
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Re: Some city ordnance in philly

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-12-19 06:26am

The biggest question is whether the rule about bulletproof barriers in stores applies only to "beer delis" or to a wider array of businesses.

In the latter case, this isn't just going to get rid of the beer delis, it's going to get rid of or greatly reduce ALL business activity in or near high-crime neighborhoods. People aren't going to want to run or to work for businesses that endanger their physical safety.
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Re: Some city ordnance in philly

Post by FireNexus » 2017-12-19 12:37pm

As a Philly resident, my read of it is to put the barrier beer stores out of business in poor neighborhoods or at least force them to switch away from their cash-heavy business model. They’re a blight which slows gentrification (which sucks but which the city is full steam ahead on) due to implying dangerous conditions in their neighborhoods, they’re notorious as tax cheats, they serve a market niche which is actively bad for their neighbors anyway, and they’re generally attractive targets for crime.

Essentially, the law is saying “If you can’t safely run a cash only booze spot in a neighborhood without bulletproof glass, maybe that neighborhood shouldn’t be hosting a cash-only booze spot?”

It comes off as a little harmless, but those kinds of store cause negative feedback loops on their neighborhoods at best.
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Re: Some city ordnance in philly

Post by FireNexus » 2017-12-19 12:41pm

But smoothing gentrification to continue goosing the tax base is a not-small motivation, I’m sure. The barrier beer stores were mostly out of business in the previously gentrified areas because they had so many abanadoned houses anyway. They’re edging into less-abanadoned areas now, and those stores are an impediment.

I’d bet if you check housing prices today, they’re lower in a block or two radius of a barrier beer deli then the surroundings. Those stores are a bright red “this neighborhood is dangerous” indicator to anyone who lives here.
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Re: Some city ordnance in philly

Post by FireNexus » 2017-12-19 12:47pm

Dupe error-meant to change harmless to heartless in first post. Hit quote. Time limit up for first.
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Re: Some city ordnance in philly

Post by FireNexus » 2017-12-19 12:51pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2017-12-19 06:26am
The biggest question is whether the rule about bulletproof barriers in stores applies only to "beer delis" or to a wider array of businesses.

In the latter case, this isn't just going to get rid of the beer delis, it's going to get rid of or greatly reduce ALL business activity in or near high-crime neighborhoods. People aren't going to want to run or to work for businesses that endanger their physical safety.
Practically, only beer delis. They’re required by state law to have 30 seats, making them large establishments according to the new law. They’re also forcing them in a separate enforcement measure for a different (existing) ordinance to have a larger physical footprint that many physically cannot do (another effort to drive them out of business). But the barrier stores without beer don’t have a footprint which will be affected by this and the other measure, the ones with beer who do not have the required footprint are either already illegal or are going to be rendered illegal by this ordinance unless they remove their barriers.
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Re: Some city ordnance in philly

Post by FireNexus » 2017-12-19 01:01pm

Another possibility is an attempt to reallocate their beer licenses to more upscale businesses that would move in. And/or drive down the secondary market price of those licenses to encourage grocery stores in more marginal neighborhoods to upgrade by offering sit down food and beer, which is WAY more attractive than a little bodega with bulletproof glass and rotten deli meat.

Remember, the state limits the amount of licenses in specific areas, and while it’s loosened restrictions on the kinds of businesses that can sell beer and wine it hasn’t increased the limit on licenses enough to drive down their price. They’re worth like 500,000 or more now (more since the restrictions were loosened) so the owners hoard them and new businesses that would be economically beneficial can’t afford them.
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