Barkeeps shouldn't be drinking alcohol
Madison's Alcohol License Review Board (ALRC), normally a responsible organization, dropped the ball when it voted to kill a proposal to prohibit alcohol consumption by bartenders ("Sober Server Law Cut Off," 7/2/10). Bartenders and other lounge staff are regularly faced with difficult customers and situations. They must act with their mental faculties intact, and that means not being under the influence.
The ALRC offers bogus reasons for opposing the ordinance. Yes, bartenders must know what drinks to recommend to customers. But this is based on a common fund of knowledge, not on the bartender "tasting" individual drinks. And the brew master must sample his beer in order to perfect its quality. But this is done prior to offering the beer to the public. The bartender at the counter plays no role in this process.
Wisconsin is ground central for the overconsumption of alcohol. It is the number-one state for binge drinking, a dubious honor. The ALRC has the responsibility for policing the abuse of alcohol. It should not be in the business of promoting the alcohol culture.
The Common Council should overrule the ALRC, enact the ordinance and send a signal that it is determined to stamp out alcohol misuse by bartenders and everybody else.
Stanley B. Kaufman
She did it her whey
Regarding your fine article "Tera Johnson's Big Idea" (6/25/10), I'm offering something apt, I think, to the wordplay of her "Tera's Whey" brand. To wit: "Where there's a whey, there's a will."
Michael Hoel, DeForest