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Manhattan’s Annual Puke-fest Weekend
Posted: 05 March 2013 06:46 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Once again, Manhattan will host the infamous Faux Patty’s Day celebration this weekend.  This attempt to empty the pockets and stomachs of as many kids as possible, to generate profits for the bars in Aggieville, gives Manhattan a black eye.  But, our elected officials don’t care when there is money to be made off booze.  We’ve been lucky… so far.  A few hundred drunks.  A number of kids passed out in streets and residential back yards.  A few homes broken into by drunks not having any idea where they are.  A few unwanted pregnancies.  A group of volunteers cleaning up vomit and human excrement from sidewalks and streets on Sunday morning.  Yep!  Just what Manhattan needs to make us proud of our community.

When does the first student die of alcohol poisoning?  When does the first drunk, attempting to go from the AV bars to a local hotel while driving drunk kill a family.  When does a drunk student get gunned down by a resident fearful of who is busting down their front door?  Hopefully, never.  Hopefully, this will be just another day of padding profits for bars and RCPD policing public drunks.  Hopefully, this will be just antoher weekend of overcrowded emergency rooms and over worked first responders. 

Be proud, Manhattan.  Our elected officials applaud this event… or, at the least, close their eyes as their political cronies rake in more dollars.  It does sound, however, like RCPD will work diligently to police the the drunk-fest and attempt to keep us safe from ourselves.

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Posted: 05 March 2013 09:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Larry,
You are such a fuddy-duddy sometimes.  Why don’t you go down and mingle with the children…show empathy.

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Posted: 05 March 2013 02:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Larry:  What would you propose?

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Posted: 05 March 2013 02:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Wynn,
I know you didn’t address this to me, but I would like to respond.  Larry will respond when he gets up from his nap.  Here is what I propose.
Shut it down. If you don’t feel like you can do that, then make the cops come down hard on these folks. Do a head count in the bars hourly.  Arrest any drunk stumbling around in the street. No tolerance. No containers outside…no tolerance…no vomiting, urination…no tolerance…police the six blocks surrounding Aggieville…stop the lawn parties.
The city has caved in to the Aggieville bars regarding this fiasco.  Take a lesson from Stillwater, Oklahoma. Many years ago, Eskimo Joes held an annual birthday party. Thousands of drunks cluttering the streets. The city finally told them to stop it or they would be liable for damages and they would be fined as well as the offenders, and closed down.  Simple as that.  Does Manhattan have the similar cojones to do that with the Aggieville bars?  I doubt it.

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Posted: 05 March 2013 03:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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The press release file exceeds the limits for the post, so details can be found at http://www.cityofmhk.com/  The enforcement aspects that you have mentioned were in place last year and will be in place this year – to include some adjustment and inclusion of reinforcements.  As I compared sales(bars) between 2011 and 2012 it looked like the increased enforcement (overcrowding) dropped sales by about 30% between 2011 and 2012.  I have been looking at the social media sites and they seem to contain much less advertising.  A couple that I viewed had comments from folks stating they would not attend because of the wrist bands and the law enforcement procedures.  Progress is being made.  You and Larry are correct that the city will not shut down the private business activities of the local bars, just like we will not shut down tail gate parties at KSU football games, or the Country Stampede.  I think the best that can be achieved is more like a normal game day weekend.  The moniker of the Drunk Fest needs to go for sure, and I hope that goal can be reached.

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Posted: 05 March 2013 03:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Best of luck on all that. It is a noble goal.  Maybe this one will be more tame. I have no personal interest because I am miles away from this adventure. In the past, this has coincided with a high school basketball tournament.  I hope that is not the case this time.  Parents and high school students would innocently walk into a riot just to get lunch. Not exactly a good impression of KSU.  Of course, the young folks thought it was really cool, but, I doubt if their parents did.

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Posted: 05 March 2013 05:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Wynn Butler - 05 March 2013 03:00 PM

the city will not shut down the private business activities of the local bars, just like we will not shut down tail gate parties at KSU football games, or the Country Stampede.

It’s disingenuous to call it a private business event when the city’s resources are used so heavily to manage it. The amount of resources used far exceeds what a football game costs, and with the football game KSU contributes their own resources. We don’t have that in this instance. We have, at best, some undertrained, overworked people “carding” and maybe—MAYBE—calling 911 if something happens. Other than that, the management of the event as it spills into public places is entirely on the city.

I’m not so worried about someone dying in Aggieville, not because I’m callous (necessarily) but because people have died at the Stampede and no one particularly cares. What I’m concerned about is a private citizen needing assistance and having to wait a long time because of the load on emergency services thanks to a bunch of 19-year-olds with fake IDs who drank too much green beer and are now passed out on someone’s lawn on Laramie St.

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Posted: 05 March 2013 06:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Wynn asks what to do????  MIchael pretty well hit it on the head.  Enforce ALL applicable laws and codes until the word gets out that Manhattan is not the place for binge drinking drunk fests.  Sales were down last year?  GREAT!!  Hopefully, it will rain all day Saturday and 25 people show up for the event. 

But then, is the solution to be left to the citizenry or is that what we elect representatives to do?  If a college kid or two die due to this event, it’ll be just like the Stampede and the event will go on.  It’s when a local family, politically or socially connected, loses a loved one as a result of the event that solutions will be found.  Emergency response personnel have testified before the Commission as to the burden this event places on them and their resources.  When the heart attack victim or child with a seisure is left wanting because emergency personel are working with a student puking up a days worth of alcohol, solutions will be found. 

The recent Mercury article sounded like RCPD would be on a pretty short fuse with handling the inebriated.  Hopefully, the Fire Department and Code Enforcement will be just as strict with body counts in the businesses supporting this activity.  The Commission didn’t have the wherewitheall to stomach levying of substantial fines or closing down businesses that violate overcrowding ordinances.  If the Fire Department will work each and every establishment… hard… and dictate a zero tolerance policy, that will go a long way towards making this less than a fun event that encourages dangerous behavior.

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Posted: 05 March 2013 07:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Larry,
Remember when you were 21?  Would rain have kept you away from a good party? It wouldn’t have deterred me one bit.  Don’t rely on the weather to dampen this party.

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Posted: 06 March 2013 08:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I think it is worthy to note that not all bar owners exploit this to the fullest. Jeff at Auntie Maes does not even open until noon. On the down side for him, all of his customers will probably already be toasted.  Of course, that makes it easier to keep them out, and/or refuse to serve them.  There may be others as well who actually police their own establishments.  I don’t know. We all know, however, which bars have encouraged this mess.

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Posted: 06 March 2013 03:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I do not believe the emergency services as compromised by the event.  It does require extra staff.  Last year I spent over 12 hours watching various activities of the event during four time blocks between 800 A.M til 230 AM on Sunday; walking with RCPD, watching MFD do over crowding checks, looking at events in the round house (EMS), observing the command post and even going to the ER at Mercy to see about the workload.  My wife is an ER nurse and works most of these events to include the Country Stampede.  Not fair to say no one cares if anyone dies.  I believe everyone agrees that we can maximize enforcement and that will be done.  But flat closing that part of the city for the day is really not an option.  There is of course a cost of providing extra security, that cost happens for all events.  If you crunch the numbers it is paid for by the event, as we do collect those taxes on sales and the Municipal Court gets the fines for any one that is ticketed or arrested.  In fact a part of every beer sale goes to support social services – the Special Alcohol fund.  I agree with Michael that some of the bars are open a bit early and that is function of the owners, efforts to get everyone to volunteer for later opening was not supported. 

The Fake Patty day or green break is not ideal, neither are some other events like the stampede and football games.  For those folks that have been around Manhattan for a while, think about the worst day in Aggieville – when was that?  Wikipedia has a listing:
The Aggieville Riots occurred in 1984 and 1986 in Manhattan, Kansas, following football games between Kansas State University and the University of Kansas. They were some of the earliest collegiate sports-related riots in the United States.

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Posted: 06 March 2013 06:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Wynn Butler - 06 March 2013 03:37 PM

Not fair to say no one cares if anyone dies.

You know what I meant: Events continue with little or no change to security regardless of whether someone dies or not. The Stampede has had two deaths I can remember, perhaps three.

Wynn Butler - 06 March 2013 03:37 PM

If you crunch the numbers it is paid for by the event, as we do collect those taxes on sales and the Municipal Court gets the fines for any one that is ticketed or arrested.

Wait, so you’re saying this event is totally cool because it pays for itself when people who break the law get arrested and/or fined? That ain’t no kind of way to run a city, Wynn, and you know it.

Bringing up the 1984 riot doesn’t help your case much, by the way.

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Posted: 06 March 2013 07:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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That 84 riot was a deusey. I happened to be back here on a honeymoon trip at the old Ramada.  We drove through Aggieville the next morning and it looked like a war zone. I guess we all pine for the good old days.

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Posted: 06 March 2013 09:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Stacia:  It is all about spin.  You did say no one particularly cared if anyone died at the Country Stampede.  I just stated that maybe somebody did – those that work EMS and the Mercy ER.  You are correct that the deaths will not stop the event.  Second, I did not say the drunk feast was OK because it paid for itself, that is spin.  I did say that that data indicates that the drunk feast is not the drain on public resources that some have implied as it generates a revenue stream.  The riot was not mentioned to provide evidence for any case, but to put things into perspective.  I am not for the Green Break event.  Did not create it, just have to live with it and make what attempt we can to mitigate the bad.  It will most likley go on for years, just like the stampede.

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Posted: 07 March 2013 02:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Wynn Butler - 06 March 2013 09:10 PM

Second, I did not say the drunk feast was OK because it paid for itself, that is spin.  I did say that that data indicates that the drunk feast is not the drain on public resources that some have implied as it generates a revenue stream.

It only creates a revenue stream if people break the law, Wynn. You said so yourself, that the fines from tickets and arrests bring in money.  If people don’t break the law, there is less of a revenue stream.

There are about a dozen problems with that scenario. Do you really not see them?

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Posted: 07 March 2013 09:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Stacia:  We are in agreement that this particular party is not a good thing.  And yes of course any fines from the municipal court are the result of people doing wrong and that is not a good thing.  But the court system is not the only revenue source that pays for the increased EMS, MFD and RCPD participation - sales tax is the biggest source.  The RCPD presence is more about prevention than arresting folks.  I am not an advocate or defender of the event that will take place on Saturday.  Neither is RCPD, they just have to deal with it in the best manner possible.

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