On the song and dance routine of Dr. Tom Harris.


NABC appeals food permit citation; Health Department: Permit needed to sell alcohol during events, by Daniel Suddeath (News and Tribune)

You know, all we’re really looking for in this case is some measure of honesty on the part of the Health Department.

If it had been enforcing temporary food permits for alcoholic beverage vending in the manner implied by Dr. Harris, don’t you think that after 11 years of NABC beer events, and four years of River City Winery wine events, that either myself or Gary Humphrey would recall even one instance of the assertion being true?

We cannot. Because it isn’t true.

If Dr. Harris can exhibit a consistent pattern of Floyd County Health Department enforcement over a period of 22 years pertaining to temporary food permits at events where alcoholic beverages (only) are being poured under ATC statutory control … if he can show this to be the case, then I’ll drop all of it and pay under protest until legislative action can be initiated.

But he cannot. Because there is no precedent. Because we’re getting Orwelled here — Orwelled good and hard, and the Newspeak is getting just a bit tedious.

Note the circular logic. We ask for an explanation of how alcoholic beverages are included in the permit, and Dr. Harris answers: Because they’re included in the permit.

Thanks for clearing that one up.

Dr. Harris is bobbing, weaving, and obfuscating, because he knows good and well that his department has never consistently enforced temporary food permits as necessary to pour draft beer.

Might there have been random instances? Perhaps, but notice that when pressed by Daniel Suddeath, Harris prattles about corn dogs and fair food.

If he’d like to concede a recent (read: last week) departmental change in policy broadening previous practices, I’m up for persuasion on that count, too. But if sterility was an issue in pouring beer, don’t you think the inspector sent to cite us last Friday would have actually inspected a piece of equipment to see whether it was sterile?

Note also that Dr. Harris shies away from addressing the state’s exclusion of beer and wine from food handling training procedures. If the Health Department can’t or won’t train pourers as to procedure, how can it cite them for not obeying?

Can’t the Health Department just be honest and admit this is ad hoc amended practice?

ON THE AVENUES The long train of usurpations adds a caboose.