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Massachusetts government orders Whole Foods stores to be closed for Thanksgiving

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Massachusetts government orders Whole Foods stores to be closed for Thanksgiving

Old 11-22-05, 11:21 PM
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Massachusetts government orders Whole Foods stores to be closed for Thanksgiving

http://austin.bizjournals.com/austin...21/daily2.html

Whole Foods stores to stay closed on Thanksgiving in Mass.

The Massachusetts attorney general has handed Whole Foods Market Inc. a real retail turkey.

The Austin-based natural and organic foods retailer had planned to open its 14 Massachusetts stores on Thanksgiving. But the state's attorney general, Thomas Reilly, told Whole Foods that it risked criminal charges if it conducted business that day at its Massachusetts stores, The Boston Globe reported Saturday.

Reilly's ruling cites the state's "blue laws," which allow convenience stores and gas stations to be the only Massachusetts retailers that are open on three holidays -- Christmas, New Year's Day and Thanksgiving.

David Lannon, president of Whole Foods' North Atlantic region, tells the Globe: "Until the blue law changes in Massachusetts, it's not something we can offer our customers, although we'd very much like that.

"We're not going to break the law. If the blue law says we'll have to be closed, we have to be closed."

Reilly's attention was drawn to the proposed Whole Foods openings after competitor Shaw's Supermarkets Inc. lodged a complaint. Shaw's, based in West Bridgewater, Mass., is a division of Boise, Idaho-based Albertson's Inc.
Old 11-22-05, 11:43 PM
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I don't know if I could come up with anything stupider than this. Outside of Greenpeace and PETA,anyway.
Old 11-22-05, 11:45 PM
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I'm sure that in Wisconsin any store that wants to be open on any day can do so. A little too much Puritan heritage in Massachusetts.
Old 11-23-05, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by movielib
A little too much Puritan heritage in Massachusetts.
Yeah, that conservative stronghold...
Old 11-23-05, 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Rockmjd23
Yeah, that conservative stronghold...
The Pilgrims came to Massachusetts in 1620 and the Puritans in 1630. These two groups (probably mostly the latter) formed Massachusetts. The blue laws go back to colonial times:

http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~haas/...eline1600.html

(The term blue law, still in use today to describe areas where all stores that sell non-essential items are closed on Sunday). The term "blue laws" took its name fron the blue Puritan emblem or the blue paper the laws were printed on.
Not all colonies or, later, states had blue laws. The Puritans were certainly the force behind the ones in Massachusetts. They are a product of the Puritan heritage, regardless of how liberal Massachusetts is today.
Old 11-23-05, 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by movielib
The Pilgrims came to Massachusetts in 1620 and the Puritans in 1630. These two groups (probably mostly the latter) formed Massachusetts. The blue laws go back to colonial times:
Really? Gee I've never been there.
Old 11-23-05, 12:49 AM
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It's one day. Get over it. Buy your shit the day before and be punctual Thanksgiving celebrators for once in your goddamn lives.

Forgot the stuffing? Too frickin' bad! Like the Pilgrims had such convenience! Bahh!
Old 11-23-05, 01:21 AM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
It's one day. Get over it. Buy your shit the day before and be punctual Thanksgiving celebrators for once in your goddamn lives.

Forgot the stuffing? Too frickin' bad! Like the Pilgrims had such convenience! Bahh!
If the law applied to abortion clinics, would you feel the same way?
Old 11-23-05, 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by movielib
I'm sure that in Wisconsin any store that wants to be open on any day can do so.
Oops, I forgot about something. In Wisconsin, car dealers have to be closed on either Saturday or Sunday (I think that's the law, that they have to choose one of those days). AFAIK, all close on Sunday. I don't know the rationale for this but I don't think it's anything religious. But it's just as stupid.

Last edited by movielib; 11-23-05 at 01:28 AM.
Old 11-23-05, 09:26 AM
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Blue laws are about the dumbest thing I've ever heard of. The fact that some still stand is a joke.
Old 11-23-05, 09:44 AM
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Until about 10 years ago Maine had similar blue laws that forced stores larger than 5000 sqft to close every Sunday. And when I lived in Mass 5 years ago you still couldn't buy alcohol on Sundays because of the blue laws. Any store that sold alcohol and was open Sundays had security cages they would use to close off the alcohol coolers and wine isles.
Old 11-23-05, 09:44 AM
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BLUE LAWS

State and local regulations banning various activities on Sundays are called "blue laws." The origin of the term is uncertain. It has been said variously to have originated in the color of the paper on which a code of laws for the early New Haven, Connecticut, colony was printed or to have derived from the concept of being "true blue" to the law. Whatever the origin, these measures, which are based on the biblical injunction against working on the Sabbath, have been traced back to fourth-century Rome, when Constantine I, the first Christian emperor, commanded all citizens, except farmers, to rest on Sunday. The first blue law in America was enacted in the Virginia colony in the early 1600s and required church attendance.

About three-fourths of the states still carry on their books laws imposing some kind of Sunday restriction on such activities as retail sales, general labor, liquor sales, boxing, hunting, or barbering, as well as polo, cockfighting, or clam digging. These laws have been challenged in federal courts as a violation of the Sherman Anti-trust Act and the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion. The Supreme Court has upheld them, starting with McGowan v. Maryland (1961), ruling that though the laws originated for religious reasons, the state has a right to set aside a day of rest for the well-being of its citizens.

Last edited by classicman2; 11-23-05 at 09:49 AM.
Old 11-23-05, 09:49 AM
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Thanksgiving and Christmas were the only 2 days Shaw's (A competitor... kinda... to Whole Foods in MA) closed, but I didn't know it was a requirement. I just thought they were being nice (how naive I am...)
Old 11-23-05, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
BLUE LAWS

State and local regulations banning various activities on Sundays are called "blue laws." The origin of the term is uncertain. It has been said variously to have originated in the color of the paper on which a code of laws for the early New Haven, Connecticut, colony was printed or to have derived from the concept of being "true blue" to the law. Whatever the origin, these measures, which are based on the biblical injunction against working on the Sabbath, have been traced back to fourth-century Rome, when Constantine I, the first Christian emperor, commanded all citizens, except farmers, to rest on Sunday. The first blue law in America was enacted in the Virginia colony in the early 1600s and required church attendance.

About three-fourths of the states still carry on their books laws imposing some kind of Sunday restriction on such activities as retail sales, general labor, liquor sales, boxing, hunting, or barbering, as well as polo, cockfighting, or clam digging. These laws have been challenged in federal courts as a violation of the Sherman Anti-trust Act and the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion. The Supreme Court has upheld them, starting with McGowan v. Maryland (1961), ruling that though the laws originated for religious reasons, the state has a right to set aside a day of rest for the well-being of its citizens.
So is that precedent going to stop people from chalenging it a month from now? I realize it's gone on every year, but it seems like a ripe time to bring it up for Christmas 2005 with all the other cases floating around.
Old 11-23-05, 10:50 AM
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Bergen County NJ has blue laws, with the Township of Paramus having even stricter blue laws. In Paramus, only food stores can be open on Sundays. The rest of Bergen County, it's kind of vague, as Barnes and Nobles are open (just not in Paramus) but Targets and Bed Bath and Beyonds are closed.

I used to think it was ridiculous to tell a business owner when he can do business like that.

Then I moved to Bergen County. The politicians of Paramus long ago decided that their quality of life paled in comparison to the tax riches to be reaped by zoning half the place for commercial retail. Anyone who has driven along Routes 4 and 17 knows what I am talking about. It's basically 10 miles of non-stop shopping centers and malls. There are four malls within 5 miles of each other and in between are countless big box centers and stripmalls. The traffic is a nightmare on Saturdays.

So the benefit of all of those malls being closed on Sunday is no traffic. That makes the blue laws worth it. Besides, if you really need something, you can always go to Passaic County or Rockland in NY.
Old 11-23-05, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
The Supreme Court has upheld them, starting with McGowan v. Maryland (1961), ruling that though the laws originated for religious reasons, the state has a right to set aside a day of rest for the well-being of its citizens.

No one said they are unconstitutional, just that they were stupid.
Old 11-23-05, 11:00 AM
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We needed a referendum just to get stores open normal hours on Sunday and holidays. This state sucks.
Old 11-23-05, 11:37 AM
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Why hasn't anyone in Massachussets complained? These blue laws seem to be very popular if they've remained on the books for so long.
Old 11-23-05, 12:04 PM
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They are slowly being repealed, but it can be tricky. New England isn't nearly as religious as it once was, but there are still parties interested in keeping the laws. Like I said, Maine at least partially got rid of it's blue laws about 10 years ago. Many of the smaller stores lobbied against their removal because most of their business was on Sundays, when people had no other choice but to shop there. So it became "mom and pop" stores vs "Big Business" (and everyone who wanted the freedom to shop or work where they pleased on Sunday).

Looking into it now I see that 2 years ago Massachusetts also removed the Sunday liquor ban I mentioned. It had already partially caved in several year earlier for monetary reasons. A lot of Mass residents would go to New Hampshire to buy liquor because of the blue laws and also because NH has no sales tax. So in order to retain some of that revenue Mass exempted stores within 10 miles of the NH border.
Old 11-23-05, 12:31 PM
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Stores in East Baton Rouge can't even sell wine on Sundays. But apparenly you can get wine if you just drive a few miles west from the Mississippi River.

I'm not sure if the ban includes beer but there was a bit of a debate. When the Saints had to play here on a Sunday, the Tiger stadium staff implied that it was going to sell beer anyway despite the city council's refusal to lift the ban.
Old 11-23-05, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Ranger
Stores in East Baton Rouge can't even sell wine on Sundays. But apparenly you can get wine if you just drive a few miles west from the Mississippi River.

I'm not sure if the ban includes beer but there was a bit of a debate. When the Saints had to play here on a Sunday, the Tiger stadium staff implied that it was going to sell beer anyway despite the city council's refusal to lift the ban.
Is beer sold at LSU football games?
Old 11-23-05, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Is beer sold at LSU football games?
There are colleges that sell alcohol at games?
Old 11-23-05, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Thor Simpson
There are colleges that sell alcohol at games?


Actually, about half of the Div-I football schools do: 54 out of 119 acc'd to USA Today.
Old 11-23-05, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Is beer sold at LSU football games?
Yes because those football games are on Saturdays but beer is not allowed in the student section but that policy was set by the stadium management I think.
Old 11-23-05, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog
Actually, about half of the Div-I football schools do: 54 out of 119 acc'd to USA Today.
I guess I shouldn't be suprised, since there are schools that also sell alcohol on campus or even have taverns. That was a no-no at our school, so naturally the stadium was included.

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