20090226

I'm baaack


William M. Dowd photo

Mmmm. Cheeseburger in Paradise!

I just returned last night (Wednesday) from a business trip to St. Croix, in the American Virgin Islands, thus the lack of recent posts until I set loose a flurry of them today.

Thanks to the gazillion readers who kept checking back in that quiet period. It was nice you were reading while I was enjoying a cheeseburger and a tropical breeze.

Since I was one hour ahead of the continental U.S. (much of the Caribbean goes by Atlantic Time), I have looked into the future for you. I can report that ...

What's that? I'm not allowed to reveal the future? OK, Sarah Connor, if you say so.

And now, we return you to your regularly scheduled blog.

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20090212

Anti-tax protest doesn't make a splash

William M. Dowd photo

Presidents and master distillers from some of Kentucky's leading distilleries joined a protest Tuesday in Frankfort over a proposed retail tax on all alcohol products. However, on Wednesday the bill they were fighting received approval in one section of the state legislature.

The current liquor taxes include an 11% wholesale tax on packaged liquor, a 6% tax on drinks purchased in bars and restaurants, an 8-cent-per-gallon tax on beer, a 50-cent-per-gallon tax on wine and a $1.92-per-gallon tax on distilled spirits.

The protest was in reaction to a House committee approval for a 6% additional tax on alcoholic beverages in stores. The measure then passed the full house Wednesday and is expected to go to the full senate by the weekend, according to Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville.

More than 400 people — many of whom work in Kentucky's signature bourbon industry — attended the Tuesday rally, which culminated in the bourbon "tea party," a play on the Boston Tea Party, the most famous American colonial tax protest.

A convoy of trucks from breweries and distilleries circled the Capitol building while individuals such as Wild Turkey's iconic master distiller Jimmy Russell (at right in photo with a tour group at the distillery) poured bottles of bourbon on the Capitol's front steps in protest.

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20090203

Nashville targets single-beer sales downtown

Music City can get a bit rowdy when the sun sets, so legislation has been proposed to limit sales of single beers within Nashville's downtown Interstate loop.

The proposed legislation would ban sales of single bottles or cans of beer within the loop as a way to counter loitering, litter, vagrancy, panhandling and public intoxication.

To mollify critics of the proposal, a sunset provision will be added to make the regulation expire in one year, thus allowing for review and potential renewal based on experience.

City Council members Mike Jameson said Erica Gilmore, who introduced the legislation last month, also will seek to remove an exception for specialty and craft beers often sold only in single bottles.

They also want to confine enforcement to the area within the interstate loop instead of adding two North Nashville streets that Gilmore initially had included.

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