There’s a tricky thing about this column. Our purpose is to shine a light on the LC, but in the process we sometimes end up inadvertently burning the victims of the department’s capricious oversight. Because of this, while we periodically get tips from bar and club owners about stuff the LC has done to them, or threatened to do, they rarely want their names used for fear of reprisal.
Their fear is well-founded. In 2007, Director Frank Silva admitted that “we do pay attention to your paper.” That quote was in response to a rumor that Tip Ups Tavern and Grill had caught heat for a story that ran in Maui Time. The piece, titled “Booty Money,” was about a dance contest. Contributor Heidi King wrote that one of the participants “was wasted,” though in the next sentence she added: “Well, I hope she was wasted because she looked like a whore.”
At the time, Silva said the bar wasn’t in any immediate trouble, but hinted that stories like that one pique the LC’s interest (over-serving is one of their favorite things to bust venues for, right after selling to a minor decoy).
And it’s not just our editorial content they peruse. In June 2008, this column noted a couple instances of liquor-serving restaurants being cited for using shortened versions of their trade names in Maui Time advertisements, which is a violation of the LC’s rules.
Late last year, we got multiple reports from establishments that run ads in this paper that they were being targeted for nitpicky language, some of it relating to Halloween costume contests. In most cases, the law is technically on the LC’s side. But that doesn’t mean it’s right, or a good use of government resources.
Anyway, all that is a set-up to a recent tip we received, about how an entry in Maui Time’s Da Kine Calendar put an event on the LC’s radar. Tune in next week for details.