Lynn M. Walding, Administrator
e - NEWS
September 5, 2003
1. Bar Owners’ Minimum Insurance Rises Today
Associated Press – Des Moines Register
September 1, 2003
The dram-shop law holds taverns responsible for damage caused by patrons who get intoxicated.
DES MOINES – The minimum amount of insurance that bar owners in Iowa must carry to cover damage caused by customers who drive drunk will be five times higher from today.
Bar owners were informed of the change in the dram-shop law more than a year ago. Most say they already have more insurance than the new rule requires.
The law, which holds bars responsible for harm caused by intoxicated patrons, has since 1973 required bars to carry enough insurance to cover minimum payouts of $10,000 per individual claim for injury or death.
The amount will jump to $50,000.
The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division increased the amount, which did not require action by lawmakers.
A spokesman for the division, Jim Kuhlman, called the old level “drastically low when compared to many other jurisdictions.”
The cost of living has risen 400 percent since the original minimum was set, he said.
The higher amount will “at least provide some relief to victims in somewhat real dollars in today’s world,” he added.
Bar owners agreed.
“I already have a lot more than what the state requires,” said Gary Fitzpatrick in Iowa City. “Anyone who has any type of mortgage, that’s talked about when you get the loan.”
Most bar and restaurant owners at a public hearing in Davenport last month complained more about provisions in the dram-shop law than about increases in insurance requirements.
Too much of the burden is heaped on bar and restaurant owners, even if the patron stopped elsewhere to drink after leaving their establishments or went to a liquor store or a private home to drink, some said.
Grocery and liquor stores and places that sell alcohol for off-premises consumption are not required to carry the insurance.
That in itself is unfair, said Jim Clayton, a former bar owner who is now involved with the University of Iowa’s Stepping Up Coalition, a group that promotes responsible alcohol use. Some off-premises sales establishments mean for alcohol to be drunk immediately after purchase, he said.
“You go into a convenience store and alcohol is sold by the can, ready to drink and ice cold,” he said. “The message they are sending is, buy it and drink it in your car.”
Jerry Fleagle, president of the Iowa Grocery Industry Association, which represents grocers, convenience stores and other retailers, said association members oppose any change in state law that would require them to carry dram-shop insurance. They have no control over what happens to alcohol once customers buy it and leave their stores, he said.
By Gigi Wood - Iowa City Press-Citizen
September 1, 2003
Numbers far surpass last year's tallies
IOWA CITY - Underage drinking charges from Wednesday to Sunday totaled 200, more than double the number during last year's busiest weekend for underage charges.
Iowa City Police officers have until Monday morning to turn in reports from weekend charges and arrests, so that number could rise after any remaining charges are recorded into the arrest blotter.
• The 200 charges were far more than the busiest weekend for police last fall - Aug. 23-25 - when 96 underage drinking charges were filed, which was the first weekend of classes at UI.
• From Aug. 29-31 last year, 92 people were charged with underage drinking. During those same days - Friday, Saturday and Sunday - of this past weekend, 151 people were charged.
Police officials said additional officers were added to patrols Saturday because of University of Iowa's first home football game.
"I don't think more officers had to do with the more arrests, though," said Lt. Rick Wyss. "The extra officers were added Saturday, and more arrests were made Friday."
On Wednesday night, police charged 25 people with possession of alcohol under the legal age, 16 on Thursday, 105 on Friday, 32 Saturday and 22 Sunday. Police also made 36 public intoxication arrests throughout the four-day period.
Of the 200 charges, 190 were made at 13 bars in Iowa City's pedestrian mall area.
Police charged the most people with underage drinking at Malone's, at 39. They charged 31 at the Sports Column, 25 at Et Cetera, 24 at One-Eyed Jake's and 18 at the Summit. Thirteen people were charged at Vito's, 10 at the Union, seven at the Airliner, Brother's Bar and Grill and Bo James each, six at the Q, two at College Street Billiards Club and one at Buffalo Wild Wings.
Twelve people were charged with violating the city's new under-19 ordinance that forbids people under the age of 19 in alcohol-serving establishments after 10 p.m. Five people were charged last weekend. The ordinance went into effect Aug. 1. One person was charged at the Q bar Thursday. On Friday, two people were charged at the Union, two at Et Cetera, two at the Summit, two at Malone's, one at One-Eyed Jake's and one at Vito's. On Saturday, one person was charged at the Summit.
Underage drinking charges were down during the first weekend of UI classes this year, when police charged 51 people with underage drinking.
The Associated Press
September 2, 2003
ST. LOUIS - Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. is rolling out the latest addition to its family of Bacardi "malternatives," hoping the juiced-up, raspberry-spiked beverage quenches what the world's largest brewer believes is consumer thirst for more flavors.
Bacardi Silver Raz joins a lineup that includes Bacardi Silver and Bacardi Silver O3, the latter introduced in March by the St. Louis-based brewer and named for its flavoring by three oranges. Anheuser-Busch unveiled its rum-flavored Bacardi Silver a year ago.
Flavored malt beverages, or "malternatives" that are malt-based like beer but flavored to taste like liquor, account for about 2.6 percent of the beer market, though sales are expected to dip more than 14 percent this year, said Marlene Coulis, chief of new products at Anheuser-Busch. The beverage category has blossomed recently, with offerings such as Smirnoff Ice, Mike's Hard Lemonade, Zima, Skyy Blue and Tequiza.
With Bacardi Silver Raz, Anheuser-Busch seeks a larger chunk of the malternative market, specifically those based on brands of popular distilled liquors.
While such niche products may not contribute sizably to Anheuser-Busch's bottom line, malternatives including the Bacardi-based line do not hurt in helping round out the company's portfolio, RT Jones analyst Julie Niemann said.
"I think this is basically an attempt to offer a broad array of one-stop shopping from friendly distributors," she said. "Is it going to have wide acceptance? I think it's a very narrow audience."
Malternative sales in supermarkets and drugstores grew 36 percent last year - a rapid rate, but less than the 79 percent expansion in 2001, Chicago-based Information Resources Inc. has said.
Analysts have worried that the malternative market has gotten too crowded as brewers and distillers rush new products to market. A shakeout started last fall when rum-flavored Captain Morgan Gold was taken off the market, and older lemon- and lime-flavored drinks generally have lost steam.
"It's probably too early to tell whether [malternatives] have run their course or gone the way of 'dry' or 'ice' beers that were trends or fads," said Charlie Papazian, president of the Association of Brewers, a Colorado-based trade group. "But malternatives very well may have a place on the shelves."
4. Allied Domecq Corks Takeover Rumours
By Rosie Murray-West, City Correspondent – Telegraph.com
September 2, 2004
Allied Domecq, the drinks company that owns Beefeater Gin and Malibu, yesterday moved to quash rumours that it could be bought by US drinks group Brown-Forman or Bacardi Martini, the privately owned rum distiller.
The company, whose share price has been buoyed by corporate rumours in recent weeks, said it was not in any takeover talks with anyone.
The rumours had centered on the possibility of a bid from Brown-Forman, which owns Jack Daniel's whiskey, backed by venture capital group Texas Pacific. Bacardi's recent move to change its shareholder structure had also prompted suggestions that it could be involved in a merger or takeover with Allied.
The company was speaking as it issued a bullish trading statement that pushed the shares up 12.75 to 393p. The company confirmed that earnings were in line with expectations and that there was a strong underlying growth in trading profit.
This contrasted sharply with the profits warning that Allied had issued in February, when it said that profits for the year to the end of August would be hit by a combination of adverse currency movements, trade destocking and higher pension costs.
A company spokesman conceded that tough economic conditions continued and that the European business has been held back by sluggish economies and by difficulties in the Spanish markets with distribution channels, which improved in the second half.
The company's quick service restaurants businesses, which include Dunkin' Donuts and ice-cream brand Baskin-Robbins, have also performed strongly. Although these businesses are not seen as core they provide the company with plenty of cash.
The company gave a seminar to analysts on its wine business yesterday, at which it said its wine interests were on track to deliver targeted returns of 7.5pc on investments by 2005, and 10pc by 2008. Allied has spent more than £1.2 billion building up its wine business, which now includes Montana and Mumm champagne.
Stuart Price, analyst at WestLB, upgraded his profit estimate for the business by £10m to £484m to take into account a stronger performance in the US. However, he advised shareholders to take profits on the stock. Allied is now the second biggest spirits group in the world, but the gap between it and the biggest, Diageo, has widened ever since the battle for the Seagram drinks portfolio two years ago.
Analysts are now waiting for Allied and other smaller businesses to consolidate in order to compete with Diageo, whose brands include Gordon's gin and Bailey's Irish Cream.
A company spokesman admitted that consolidation in the industry had further to go and said that Allied would like to be a part of it.
By Tom Suk and Madeline Jerousek – Des Moines Register
September 5, 2003
INDIANOLA - A welcome party tonight to introduce Simpson College students to Indianola has brewed up a mini- controversy.
Plans to include a beer garden, operated by Indianola City Council member and restaurant owner Randy Gathers, have raised questions about the appropriateness of such an attraction at an event targeted at a college-age population.
"I'm all for welcoming students here, but I think we can do it without having a beer party. Most of those kids are underage," Indianola resident Jack Ludgate said.
Ben Carpenter, an Indianola resident and business owner, told the City Council this week that it was inappropriate for Indianola to encourage alcohol consumption at an event aimed at underage, incoming college students. "It just seems like we're sending the wrong message to the kids: "Hey, we've got to have beer here to have fun," "" said Carpenter, who owns Hometown Health Foods on the town square.
A University of Iowa expert on alcoholism said he was disappointed Indianola would offer alcohol at an event intended largely to welcome college students to the community.
"I don't know the reasons, but I would have thought the community would have decided on a different event to welcome students back," said Peter Nathan, professor of community and behavioral health. "One of the things we know about alcohol use among college students is, the greater the access, the more likely they will be to drink to excess."
This is the third year the Indianola Chamber of Commerce has offered an event to welcome Simpson students back to Indianola. Past years have featured a picnic and goody bags from local businesses.
The event this year was intended for not just Simpson students, but the general public, said Carol Sinclair, Indianola Chamber of Commerce executive director. The event, which features popular Iowa band the Nadas, is free for Simpson students and $5 for others.
"We were trying to be responsive and create an event that students will find compelling," she said. "The reality is there are Simp- son students who are of age. Drinking is part of the fabric of the college environment."
Students were looking forward to the event, said Simpson freshman Jessica Haug, 19, of West Bend. "A beer garden's not a big deal," she said. "A lot of people who are going are of age. Since it's not on campus, if they choose to drink, they can."
Organizers said beer sales in the roped-off area will be carefully monitored, and extra security has been hired to supervise the event. In addition to beer, soft drinks and water will be available.
"I guess I could understand the concern if it was only open to students, but it's open to the public," Gathers said. "The chamber has gone to great lengths to see that we won't have any problems with underage drinking. It's just a convenience we're providing to those attending the concert."
Jim Clayton, co-coordinator of the University of Iowa Stepping Up Project, which sponsors alcohol-free events for U of I students, said the event still increases access to alcohol.
"No matter what college drinking research you look at, one of the main ways people under the legal age of 21 get hold of a drink is in a situation where there's a large crowd where they can easily blend in," he said.
Simpson President Kevin LaGree said he had no objections to the event, which is co-sponsored by the college.
"Simpson is not a dry campus. We allow alcohol consumption if people are 21 years or older," he said. "To me, if it's something a business person in the square wants to do, then it's perfectly within their right."