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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 5, 2010 12:24 PM. The previous post in this blog was Condo monkey business continues to spread. The next post in this blog is Renting a car in Portland? Start in the 'burbs.. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Thursday, August 5, 2010

By popular demand

Many readers have e-mailed me about the little girl whose lemonade stand was shut down by Multnomah County health officials because she didn't have a permit. The mainstream media has been all over the story, and I'm not sure what I can add to the numerous comments that have been left elsewhere.

I'll try, though. First of all, this stand was not in front of the girl's house. It was at the notorious Last Thursday drunkfest up on Northeast Alberta Street, which definitely needs policing, on several levels. I'm glad there are county health inspectors there. Second, the girl does not live in that neighborhood -- she and her mom drove up from Oregon City, which is a long way to go to sell kiddie lemonade. Maybe they should have stayed closer to home.

Comments (25)

Why don't they start with controlling all the open drinking and pot smoking on Last Thursday, then worry about the lemonade stands.


Those are some good points. When you get the full story this is sounds more like a case of someone trying to skirt regulations for a food business and using a kid as cover.

Reminds me of when parents truck their kids to my neighborhood on Halloween because they believe (mistakenly) that they can harvest more and better treats.

Yes, it is always better to get the whole story!

When you get the full story this is sounds more like a case of someone trying to skirt regulations for a food business and using a kid as cover.

Sounds to me like some media hungry parents who are exploiting their kid to get some free press. I wouldn't be stunned to discover that the police were alerted to this stand by an anonymous phone call from the parents themselves.

Yeah, your teenagers will be playing the piano while making funny faces and sleeping with Black and Mexican people in no time flat after smokin' that demon weed.

(rolls eyes)

Sounds to me like some media hungry parents who are exploiting their kid to get some free press.

If you actually read the story, it was the local vendors who stood up for the young girl. And it was a local anarchist who made the story public.

I actually like Last Thursday on Alberta. God forbid, Portland have a night where people can drink in public and smoke a little pot. Nope gotta make sure Portland stays as lame as possible. But I digress...

Look, the health inspector was just doing her job. But the girl wasn't hurting anyone either. The inspector should have just said,

"Hey, I understand you two are trying to have a fun evening and make a buck or two in the process. But you really do need a permit to operate here. I'm going to look the other way this time, but if you want to continue to do this, then you're going to need to buy a license."

Problem solved.

Glad you guys like Last Thursday. It was less enjoyable for me to find frat boys pissing on the side of my house last month. And listening to them light off fireworks all night. And cleaning up their garbage from my flower beds in the morning.

Why don't we "have a night where people can drink in public and smoke a little pot" next to your house.

But I guess I'm just being "uptight".

Good fences make good neighbors. People used to smoke weed and get drunk and even get in fights outside of my place on NE 17th in the Alberta neighborhood...I lived over there for nine years...and that wonderful invention known as "The Fence" kept them on 17th and out of my yard.

Mine was pretty easy to put up, too, and cheap. Just sayin'.

Glad you guys like Last Thursday. It was less enjoyable for me to find frat boys pissing on the side of my house last month. And listening to them light off fireworks all night. And cleaning up their garbage from my flower beds in the morning.

No. That would annoy me too. I think it's the price you pay for living close to a busy street. But I understand why you would dislike Last Thursday.

"I think it's the price you pay for living close to a busy street."

There is some negative stuff from the street in general, but Last Thursday is above and beyond. It used to be much better, but it's just grown every year and the city and police completely abdicate any responsibility for it. But I know why its fun for people from outside the area. Anarchy is a blast.

Hey ex-cabbie, shut up.

If she'd have puked in somebody's yard and left a few beer bottles there, she wouldn't have been bothered. But no--she had to go and sell lemonade.

In thinking about it, I guess Multnomah County certainly did the right thing here. Having been an exterprising kid myself, running several lemonade stands "back in the day", the lesson kids need now is how difficult the business environment is. Lisences, fees,'s all part of the game and the earlier in life you learn that...the better.

Instead just telling me to shut up, why not do what I did and put up a fence to keep annoying idiots out of your yard ? Except for the can zombies, it worked wonders. I say this without a hint of rancor, Snards.

Why does he have to put up a fence to expect people to not piss and throw garbage in his yard? Geesh.

Actually, a fence is a really good idea. You can get cheap, electric fencing at the farm store. Try peeing on that, frat boy!

(JUST kidding, not really recommending a hot fence in the city)

When County Chair Jeff Cogen was apologizing all I heard was :
"I don’t know – not having been there and not seeing all the facts – what role being 7 years old played in that, but I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two that the Inspectors acted stupidly in harrassing somebody when there was already proof that they were violating a health ordinance,"
Way to go Jeff Cogen. Throw your health inspectors under the bus. Why couldn't you apology and suggest hiring some contractor "coaches" to train the inspectors how to avoid public outrage when there are witnesses.

What? the BDS wasn't there to issue fines for not paying the 'systems development charges' and check for seismic upgrades? Where was Randy and the HIT squad?
Outrageous! the slackers!

I agree with those on the side of the law on this one. They trucked themselves in to sell some lemonade and got busted. Tough on them. I particularly liked the "anarchists" coming to their rescue. Give me a break...

On a similar note, I've noticed quite a few folks selling fruit on street corners recently. On my recreation bike ride, I've seen them at 82nd, 72nd, and 60th/Cully on Prescott. Shouldn't this fall under the same law? Someone contact BDS and Randy's Raiders. ;-)

"When you get the full story this is [sic] sounds more like a case of someone trying to skirt regulations for a food business and using a kid as cover."

Ok, I admit this made me laugh hard and spit Diet Coke on the computer a little. Obviously, the most nefarious plan to "skirt regulations for a food business" someone can come up with is a freakin' lemonade stand. The profits must be enormous LOL!

Reminds me of those parents with their kids frequently outside Fred Meyer/etc trying to sell oversized candy bars for some "community center".

Little Mattie Evans... how much traffic do you think goes by that area per hour during that event? What do you think the conversion rate is (meaning what % of bypassers on a hot summer night might buy lemonade).

Let's play what if. What if 2000 people go by per hour. Let's say the stand is there for 3 hours. OK now we have 6000 folks. Now let's have a conversion rate of 10%. Ok, 600 folks have bought lemonade. Now, lets see the gross profits. 600 times .50 dollars = $300 dollars. So, that ain't exactly peanuts, Little Mattie Evans. Just sayin'.

And my number for people going by is probably low. As for the conversion rate, I'd be clueless as lemonade stand sales are not anything I know about.... but.... 10% is generally considered low by a lot of retailers.

LucsAdvo - I seriously doubt that little girl brought 600 plastic cups with her. It was Kool-Aid lemonade she had, so assuming she brought enough Kool-Aid and water for five 2-quart pitchers, that's about 40 cups she's selling. I think that's a much more likely scenario than her serving 10% of a gazillion people walking by... Maybe I'm wrong and she doubled that and was planning on selling 80 cups....

Perhaps the little miscreant should also be busted for misrepresenting Kool Aid as Lemonade. Now the City has apologized! This reminds me of the Sherrod firing from Department of Agriculture.

Last summer I bought a corn cake from a guy set up at Last Thursday. He had a card table, a mixing bowl of batter and an electric griddle. It was quite tasty, and only $2. As I waited for it to fry I definitely had a push-pull between encouraging entrepreneurs and protecting public health. I can love the loose, entrepreneurial, urban, free market nature of Last Thursday vendors, and also wish that someone from gov't would protect me from ingesting E. coli with my corn cake.

Larry K... it makes no sense to drive from the OC to N. Portland to sell 40 cups of fake lemonade....


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