ATF trolls taverns for tax cheats
The ATF is on patrol. Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms have begun to routinely check taverns for allegedly unlicensed liquor. Unlike the rest of us, tavern owners can't just go to the liquor store to restock, they have to use a wholesale distributor and keep detailed invoices.
The ATF has hit at least six taverns in recent weeks, according to word on the street. The bars receiving surprise visits include Ace High, the Valley Inn, the Ark Inn, the Dawg Pound, Drink 'em Up and Pandora's Box.
Car Question: A proposed apartment building on Downtown's west side might not have to supply a parking spot for each unit, contrary to city rules. Owners of the building at 2040 W. Wisconsin Ave. want an exemption from the requirement. Ald. Bob Bauman, who represents the area, likes the idea since it would allow the building to cater to folks who use mass transit or walk, for the most part. He says that since the building is geared mostly towards students, parking is not a priority.
"About 50 percent of households in the Avenues West and Concordia neighborhoods do not have cars. This is why there is very strong transit ridership in this area as well," Bauman said in an e-mail. "Generally, I think we require too much off street parking in new developments. It dramatically increases the cost of the development which cost is passed on to tenants and / or buyers.
"For a tenant / buyer who does not have a car, they end up paying a premium for parking capacity they do not benefit from. The parking rates charged by landlords/condo developers do not come close to covering the cost of the required parking. It is another example of the many hidden and indirect costs of cars."
A Wading Issue: It's time to get out the hip-waders and clean up area streams. Saturday marks the day of the 13th annual spring river cleanup sponsored by the Friends of Milwaukee Rivers and other organizations. More than 2,000 volunteers turned out last spring to clean the Milwaukee, Menomonee and Kinnickinnic Rivers and the group will set up at 36 sites for this weekend's project. www.milwaukeerivercleanup.org
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Ah, the liquor wholesale distributors rear their ugly heads again. This group uses their lobbyist to strong-arm small businesses into using the least cost-effective means of buying beer and liquor. This is the same group that forced a last-minute change to the new brewpub law that puts limits on how many locations a brew pub can have and how much beer they can brew and sell themselves. Wisconsin business is on the decline, and this group is artificially LIMITING business to make sure they get their piece of the pie. They force businesses to use distributor by making it a law. Since when is that a good thing?
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