Apparently, the Maui County Department of Liquor Control staff has so much time on their hands that they’re spending their days combing through the pages of this very publication looking for liquor licensees that they can punish for buying ads that use shortened versions of their trade names.
I wish I was kidding. Here are two examples:
In the May 22, 2008 issue of Maui Time, Charley’s in Paia purchased an ad. Since that establishment’s official name is Charley’s Restaurant, the LC issued a notice of violation.
And in our May 15, 2008 issue, Jawz Tacos purchased an ad. Since that establishment’s officially recognized trade name is Jawz Fish Tacos, the LC issued a notice of violation.
This is nothing more than a chickenshit campaign to intimidate, harass and bully the small businesses that support this paper. It is unprofessional and petty and it needs to end.
Now. Today. Immediately.
Yes, the law—as narrow and myopic as it is—is on the LC’s side. The apparent statute governing these actions by the LC can be found in Section 08-101-36 of the Rules of the Liquor Commission of the County of Maui. Paragraph (c) states, “Use of any trade name without prior approval of the commission is prohibited. Any publication or advertising or sign with an unauthorized trade name will be considered prima facie evidence of use of such trade name.”
Whoop-de-fucking-do. Are there no more minor decoys to send into establishments trying to get bartenders to serve them booze? Are there no more intoxicated people in the jails to ask about their drinking habits? How on earth is any of this just?
This apparent decision that the LC needs to throw the book at licensees for the slightest, most ridiculous rule violation possible is not merely a waste of the department’s enormous cash reserves—it’s a mockery of whatever loose thread of justice once hung in the LC’s now-calcified offices. And it shows that, more than ever, the LC is seriously drunk on its own power.