Drinking up the alcohol proposals

I’ve been thinking about alcohol policy in Madison a lot lately. This week, I wrote a piece in Isthmus about the concerns local tavern owners expressed over a proposed package of ordinances that could restrict their ability to sell their taverns in the future. These proposals are still in the very early stages. Many business owners are not yet aware of them. Often, during interviews, I would find myself telling people, “Not to be the bearer of bad news, but you might not be able to sell your business or retire if this thing goes through…” Awkward.

I also made my first interactive map that described the area affected by the proposal using Google Maps Engine. Isthmus published it, but because of space constraints it didn’t display in full. Here is the link: Area Affected by Madison’s Alcohol Licensing Proposal.

I spoke with a variety of people around town about alcohol licensing, including the executive director of a Madison Central Business District, the local alderman, several bar owners and the city’s alcohol policy coordinator. I’m getting to know Madison’s alcohol community, for lack of a better descriptor. (Today at an information session, a longtime Madison resident who I frequently see at city meetings asked me “What’s new in your life?” My response: “Alcohol!”)

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I took a number of photos as I worked on this story. Doing so was even more exciting than usual because I got a new lens that zooms to 128mm, when my old one only went to 53mm. So I took my first head shot. I’m becoming a photo geek.

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