'Lottery Row' a plague on Hayden Island

My View • Bartenders serve alcohol until man passes out on bar
by: L.E. BASKOW, A My View writer believes that lax Oregon Liquor Control Commission enforcement at Jantzen Beach's

This is a testimony of outrage.

"Lottery Row" and the bars within are unregulated, a financial drain upon the city, and a detriment to this island community (Lottery Row fight leads to new rules, May 10).

This is a demonstration of how the Oregon Liquor Control Commission rules and regulations are a paper tiger with no checks and balances, while lining the pockets of owners not having to worry about repercussions.

I moved to the Portland-Vancouver area 16 years ago. My mother followed about 10 years after. When one of my relatives was released from prison in the South, he followed about three years ago. All but my mother in my immediate family are multi-generational addicts via major family dysfunction. We perpetuated what we learned. Three thousand miles was not far enough to escape dysfunction -- it followed me.

Alcohol is the addiction of choice for my family in general, and Lottery Row took advantage of that fact. The relative who followed from the South has his own accountability that is being hashed out in the Multnomah County courts.

Here is where the checks and balances come into play. I attended a Hi-Noon meeting, an organization that represents all of the various residential communities on Hayden Island. At that meeting, I about fell out of my seat when a police officer stated that it takes two incidents per establishment for a liquor license to be sanctioned, and that it is difficult to connect which establishment has overserved (an OLCC concept that a bar and/or bartender are accountable if overserving).

Example: My relative has exited one restaurant and bar at Lottery Row and gotten into two car accidents in the parking lot. There is also a domestic violence charge within the restaurant/bar itself. This is three incidents, one bar. This fact can be found via court transcripts and other public records.

My relative is not the only one with this problem.

Who is checking the public record of violation in direct conflict with the law? There are no checks and balances in place enforcing the law.

Example: I have walked into the same Lottery Row restaurant/bar and found my relative passed out on the bar, at the very least a dozen times, always with the same result: If I do not quit making a disturbance, the police would be called ... on me!

One of my relatives put a shotgun to his head after a night running the bars and was successful at his suicide. Another relative threatens this regularly. How would you feel if this was your brother, sister, son, daughter, mother or husband? What would you do? There are no checks and balances in place enforcing the law.

Example: I have been turned down by the same Jantzen Beach restaurant/bar attempting to order pizza, because they were too busy serving alcohol to serve food. You cannot have a hard-liquor license without serving food. Let us not serve food to drunken people before they leave a bar.

Example: I have gone to McDonald's to eat and sat in the parking lot watching Lottery Row. I have watched while people come out from another Lottery Row location to gather money from a little pregnant girl to turn around and walk right back into the bar.

I was livid.

I told the girl I was going to call the police because I thought she was underage and maybe they could get her some help. Cussing me every step of the way, she went and retrieved her cronies and left, heading toward west Hayden Island.

Example: I drive to Safeway, the bank, restaurants and various services throughout the island daily. All too often, I dodge someone pulling out of Lottery Row, or dodge hitting someone jumping out in the road drunk headed for the bus stop or the west end. There is no stop light at this intersection.

At the same Hi-Noon meeting, the officer stated that a large chunk of the Portland Police budget is spent "handling" incidents on Lottery Row. There would be no need in spending copious amounts of cash on Lottery Row if there were checks and balances in place. There would possibly be no Lottery Row if a plea bargain and/or guilty plea included a mandatory statement of which bar you were patronizing when ticketed.

Addiction touches every person via themselves, family or friends. Is it correct that the OLCC has rules in place that it does not enforce? Is it right for individuals to line their pockets out of another's misfortune with no repercussions or accountability, especially when it has been brought to their attention time and time again?

I bring what I have seen, my experiences and my family dysfunction to the forefront in outrage. How many others are willing to bring their family issues to the table in order to make OLCC and Lottery Row accountable for their actions within this neighborhood and all over the city? Where is the tracking of incidents within Lottery Row? What is the title of that job? Where are the statistics of illegal incidents on Lottery Row, and why are they not public record?

I am angry that the laws set to protect the public are ignored.

Valarie Hubbard Heuvel is a concerned citizen.