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Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operate

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Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operate

Old 08-06-10, 08:57 PM
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Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operate

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/i...nd_runs_i.html


It's hardly unusual to hear small-business owners gripe about licensing requirements or complain that heavy-handed regulations are driving them into the red.

So when Multnomah County shut down an enterprise last week for operating without a license, you might just sigh and say, there they go again.

Except this entrepreneur was a 7-year-old named Julie Murphy. Her business was a lemonade stand at the Last Thursday monthly art fair in Northeast Portland. The government regulation she violated? Failing to get a $120 temporary restaurant license.

Turns out that kids' lemonade stands -- those constants of summertime -- are supposed to get a permit in Oregon, particularly at big events that happen to be patrolled regularly by county health inspectors.

"I understand the reason behind what they're doing and it's a neighborhood event, and they're trying to generate revenue," said Jon Kawaguchi, environmental health supervisor for the Multnomah County Health Department. "But we still need to put the public's health first."

Julie had become enamored of the idea of having a stand after watching an episode of cartoon pig Olivia running one, said her mother, Maria Fife. The two live in Oregon City, but Fife knew her daughter would get few customers if she set up her stand at home.

Plus, Fife had just attended Last Thursday along Portland's Northeast Alberta Street for the first time and loved the friendly feel and the diversity of the grass-roots event. She put the two things together and promised to take her daughter in July.

The girl worked on a sign, coloring in the letters and decorating it with a drawing of a person saying "Yummy." She made a list of supplies.

Then, with gallons of bottled water and packets of Kool-Aid, they drove up last Thursday with a friend and her daughter. They loaded a wheelbarrow that Julie steered to the corner of Northeast 26th and Alberta and settled into a space between a painter and a couple who sold handmade bags and kids' clothing.

Even before her daughter had finished making the first batch of lemonade, a man walked up to buy a 50-cent cup.

"They wanted to support a little 7-year-old to earn a little extra summer loot," she said. "People know what's going on."

Even so, Julie was careful about making the lemonade, cleaning her hands with hand sanitizer, using a scoop for the bagged ice and keeping everything covered when it wasn't in use, Fife said.

After 20 minutes, a "lady with a clipboard" came over and asked for their license. When Fife explained they didn't have one, the woman told them they would need to leave or possibly face a $500 fine.

Surprised, Fife started to pack up. The people staffing the booths next to them encouraged the two to stay, telling them the inspectors had no right to kick them out of the neighborhood gathering. They also suggested that they give away the lemonade and accept donations instead and one of them made an announcement to the crowd to support the lemonade stand.

That's when business really picked up -- and two inspectors came back, Fife said. Julie started crying, while her mother packed up and others confronted the inspectors. "It was a very big scene," Fife said.

Technically, any lemonade stand -- even one on your front lawn -- must be licensed under state law, said Eric Pippert, the food-borne illness prevention program manager for the state's public health division.
But county inspectors are unlikely to go after kids selling lemonade on their front lawn unless, he conceded, their front lawn happens to be on Alberta Street during Last Thursday.

"When you go to a public event and set up shop, you're suddenly engaging in commerce," he said. "The fact that you're small-scale I don't think is relevant."

Kawaguchi, who oversees the two county inspectors involved, said they must be fair and consistent in their monitoring, no matter the age of the person. "Our role is to protect the public," he said.

The county's shutdown of the lemonade stand was publicized by Michael Franklin, the man at the booth next to Fife and her daughter. Franklin contributes to the Bottom Up Radio Network, an online anarchist site, and interviewed Fife for his show.

Franklin is also organizing a "Lemonade Revolt" for Last Thursday in August. He's calling on anarchists, neighbors and others to come early for the event and grab space for lemonade stands on Alberta between Northeast 25th and Northeast 26th.

As for Julie, the 7-year-old still tells her mother "it was a bad day." When she complains about the health inspector, Fife reminds her that the woman was just doing her job. She also promised to help her try again -- at an upcoming neighborhood garage sale.

While Fife said she does see the need for some food safety regulation, she thinks the county went too far in trying to control events as unstructured as Last Thursday.

"As far as Last Thursday is concerned, people know when they are coming there that it's more or less a free-for-all," she said. "It's gotten to the point where they need to be in all of our decisions. They don't trust us to make good choices on our own."

-- Helen Jung



WTF!?!? Seems these health inspectors have to much time on their hands, typical bullshit state workers.

Last edited by Lateralus; 08-06-10 at 09:00 PM.
Old 08-06-10, 08:59 PM
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Re: Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operat

Update:

Lemonade stands get reprieve: Multnomah County Chairman Jeff Cogen apologizes for health inspection shutdown

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/i...eprieve_m.html
Old 08-06-10, 09:11 PM
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Re: Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operat

The inspectors should be fired just for being too stupid to do their jobs correctly. Have they never heard of the intent of the law? Those rules surely weren't made to pursue kids.
Old 08-06-10, 09:11 PM
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Re: Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operat

an update a whole two minutes after posting? must not be that much going on in Oregon.
Old 08-06-10, 09:14 PM
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Re: Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operat

just to play devil's advocate, what happened if the water used was contaminated and caused people to get sick?
Old 08-06-10, 09:17 PM
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Re: Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operat

Any wonder many people hate their government.....
Old 08-06-10, 09:29 PM
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Re: Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operat

Originally Posted by D.Pham00 View Post
just to play devil's advocate, what happened if the water used was contaminated and caused people to get sick?
A lot of neighbors would be shitting themselves!
Old 08-06-10, 09:32 PM
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Re: Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operat

Originally Posted by BKenn01 View Post
Any wonder many people hate their government.....
Old 08-06-10, 09:37 PM
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Re: Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operat

I hate government regulations as much as the next guy, but I honestly have no problem with this. I would bet my life that every single other vendor at the fair had a proper license. It's a lot different when it's a fair with thousands of people compared to a lemonade stand at the end of your driveway.

Shame on the mom for not taking the proper steps. I don't know if she just didn't know that a license was needed or she figured that since a little kid was involved the rules didn't apply, but if you're going to be a vendor you have to do it properly.

And by the way I think they should think twice before accepting support from an anarchist. As much as people might hate the government sticking their noses where they don't belong, anarchy is NOT what we want.
Old 08-06-10, 09:41 PM
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Re: Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operat

Those kids are lucky they weren't tased or shot. Fucking scofflaws.
Old 08-06-10, 09:53 PM
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Re: Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operat

I started a unrineade stand and never got fined. Unfortunately it ever got odd that ground.
Old 08-06-10, 11:02 PM
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Re: Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operat

Originally Posted by NORML54601 View Post
I started a unrineade stand and never got fined. Unfortunately it ever got odd that ground.
were you just pissing on people?
Old 08-06-10, 11:14 PM
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Re: Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operat

Gee whiz.
Old 08-07-10, 12:16 AM
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Re: Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operat

So if you pay the $120 your lemonade is suddenly deemed safe?
Old 08-07-10, 12:51 AM
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Re: Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operat

Originally Posted by asabase View Post
So if you pay the $120 your lemonade is suddenly deemed safe?
That's how government works, yes.
Old 08-07-10, 01:01 AM
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Re: Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operat

Originally Posted by D.Pham00 View Post
just to play devil's advocate, what happened if the water used was contaminated and caused people to get sick?
The local government would have to commission an exhaustive study of the water and lemons used in said lemonade to determine whether any elements were contaminated. Only at that point could they make a determination as to the veracity of the claims made by the alleged people.
Old 08-07-10, 01:24 AM
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Re: Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operat

I can't count how many times I've eaten and had a drink at a fully licensed restaurant or food stand and still got the runs.
Old 08-07-10, 11:14 AM
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Re: Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operat

This was at an art fair where other venders had to pay $120 for a license to operate. If you had a stand nearby and had to charge $1.50 for a soda or ice tea, I think you would be happy that she was shut down. You wouldn't want an unlicensed vender undercutting your prices.

If she set up this stand next to a concession stand at a professional baseball game, would the stadium have the right to tell her to shut down?

I'm just saying that I have no problems with kids having lemonade stands, but not at public events where license fees are being used for operational costs.

Last edited by Heat; 08-07-10 at 11:19 AM.
Old 08-07-10, 11:36 AM
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Re: Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operat

Originally Posted by whoopdido View Post
I hate government regulations as much as the next guy, but I honestly have no problem with this. I would bet my life that every single other vendor at the fair had a proper license. It's a lot different when it's a fair with thousands of people compared to a lemonade stand at the end of your driveway.

Shame on the mom for not taking the proper steps. I don't know if she just didn't know that a license was needed or she figured that since a little kid was involved the rules didn't apply, but if you're going to be a vendor you have to do it properly.

And by the way I think they should think twice before accepting support from an anarchist. As much as people might hate the government sticking their noses where they don't belong, anarchy is NOT what we want.
Old 08-07-10, 11:38 AM
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Re: Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operat

If the kid had permission to be there with the booth, then, ok.

Everybody knows that the acid in lemonade makes it a pretty safe thing to drink.
Old 08-07-10, 11:56 AM
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Re: Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operat

for sure, it kills the germs.
Old 08-07-10, 11:57 AM
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Re: Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operat

I don't believe she was cutting into anyone's profits. She was selling Kool-Aid... for 50 cents. I would be willing to bet that most of the people who bought her Kool-Aid only did it to support a 7 year-old kid. Then they went and paid money for something they really wanted to drink. Like real lemonade.
Old 08-07-10, 12:05 PM
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Re: Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operat

What, she didn't make real lemonade? Burn her!
Old 08-07-10, 12:09 PM
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Re: Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operat

Originally Posted by D.Pham00 View Post
just to play devil's advocate, what happened if the water used was contaminated and caused people to get sick?
The water is already contaminated here. The city has been uprooting pipes all over the city and not really commenting why.
Old 08-07-10, 12:23 PM
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Re: Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operat

Originally Posted by D.Pham00 View Post
just to play devil's advocate, what happened if the water used was contaminated and caused people to get sick?
Then the only thing is the government would be out their $120. Seriously a license isnt going to stop that. They were not there to make sure it was safe, they just want to make sure they get their damned $120.

The company I work for has 65 stores most of which have food service. The Food Service Director spends most of her time just dealing with health department regulations anymore. The states are far behind in adopting the federal standards. I think KY just got to 2002.

Most of it is paper trail bereaucracy. They have so many rules and regulations they cant possibly enforce them. Typically all a health department inspector does is picks out his or her little peeve and focus on it so that they can show they are doing something.

This is why you scratch your head when the local fast food place always scores better than you know it should

I am all for safe food but the government needs to streamline their regulations to something that can be realistically enforced.

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