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Four businesses caught selling alcohol to minors

Original post made on Aug 30, 2010

Employees at four Menlo Park businesses fell for the police department's minor decoy trap on Saturday (Aug. 28).

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, August 30, 2010, 10:27 AM

Comments (27)

Posted by Football Mom, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 30, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Again? Just wondering if we really need another (BevMo) liquor outlet if the ones we have can't follow the laws.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 30, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Football Mom - properly educated and disciplined children don't try to buy alcohol, regardless of how many stores are selling it.


Posted by Law Supporter, a resident of Atherton: other
on Aug 30, 2010 at 12:24 pm

This is great. Bev Mo will set a better example than the scoff laws of the old guard or those in the "in crowd" that appear above the law.


Posted by Joe, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 30, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Peter, I definitely disagree with your comment although I wish it was true; it's just naive. Many "properly educated and disciplined children" try to buy alcohol, esp. on the weekends after studying hard during the week. But, I do think that BevMo would actually follow the law better and be less likely to sell to minors. Major chains (i.e. Safeway, CVS Pharmacy, etc.)don't seem to get "stung" in Police stings. It's the Mom and Pop stores...


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 30, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Joe states:"Many "properly educated and disciplined children" try to buy alcohol, "

Not by my definition of properly educated and disciplined ! If I had tried to buy alcohol when I was underage I would have been much more afraid of my parent's reaction than anything the police might have tried to do to me.


Posted by Joe, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 30, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Peter Carpenter writes, "If I had tried to buy alcohol when I was underage I would have been much more afraid of my parent's reaction than anything the police might have tried to do to me."

Yes, that may have BEEN true but when was that? I'm not trying to be dispectful but I know that my kids are growing up in a different world than I did. Hence, believing that they are exposed to the same temptations I had, let alone having the same peer pressure that you had "back in the day," is quite naive. I hope you were not among those who believed that Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" campaign would stop the drug problem once and for all. Underestimating a problem makes it worse not better!


Posted by Maria, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Aug 30, 2010 at 1:23 pm

Peter, you are definitely NAIVE. To my knowledge my children and grandchildren haven't tried, but I wouldn't bet on it. They are all well educated at home and school by loving parents!


Posted by Mike, a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Joe: AMEN

Maria: DITTO

Peter: I'm so proud that you and your offspring have led such exemplary lives! If only we could all have had the opportunity to use you as an example. Oh, wait. This isn't a perfect world after all, complete with perfect people, always making the right decisions, even as adolescents, is it?


Posted by OldMan, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Aug 30, 2010 at 2:12 pm

I am over 60 but I could wear a wig and pass for 19 so can I have one of those decoy jobs (I got laid off..)


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Atherton: other
on Aug 30, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Mr. "holier than thou" posts again.

Were we all so blessed to live in his world of perfection. Or is it the "world of his perfection."


Posted by Mike, a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Surprised that nobody has mentioned that these have all been restaurants being caught, which has nothing to do with whether or not BevMo would be more likely to follow the laws. Fact is, Beltramo's and Safeway and Draeger's and all of the other retailers seem to be playing by the rules. So maybe we should be putting new law abiding restaurants in those vacant buildings, rather than diluting the business of those who have been supporting the community properly all these years.


Posted by BoarderMom, a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Aug 30, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Thank goodness other parents in the community spoke up about "properly educated and disciplined children" would never do such a thing. Many many properly educated and disciplined children try to and succeed in buying alcohol in our communities. From talking to my kid, the police are barking up the wrong businesses. The real culprits are the independent liquour stores around town, including the one in Sharon Heights, across from Menlo College, Country Corners and the ones along Woodside Road. Those guys need to be able to sell to kids so that they can stay in business. Same way with cigarettes. No Id; no problem.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 30, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Boarder Mom states:". Many many properly educated and disciplined children try to and succeed in buying alcohol in our communities. From talking to my kid, the police are barking up the wrong businesses. The real culprits are the independent liquour stores"

Wow - the sellers are the problem, not the buyers. This is a fascinating concept of personal responsibility - anything that someone will sell me is OK to buy.

Sorry but I was indeed brought up in a different world where individuals were responsible for their actions. I think that those parents who blame someone else for their children's behavior will reap the seeds that you sow.


Posted by Just Wondering, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 30, 2010 at 8:00 pm

It takes a village to raise a child, Peter - not the fantasy land that you live.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 30, 2010 at 8:11 pm

Just Wandering states:"It takes a village to raise a child, Peter -"

For once you are right and the essential elements of a village are personal accountability and personal responsibility - not blaming problems on someone else.


Posted by Mike, a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2010 at 8:33 pm

Peter, you sure know how to either miss a point, or spin it to your own tweaked perspective. The buyers are, in fact, the problem, be they educated, disciplined, or not. They are empowered, however, by willing sellers. No vendor, no transaction.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 30, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Mike - I would bet the these kids get a lot more alcohol at poorly/unsupervised parties than they ever purchase. Somehow I don't hear a lot of the parents holding other parents accountable for letting their kids drink their alcohol.


Posted by SimpleMinded, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 30, 2010 at 9:54 pm

* Major chains (i.e. Safeway, CVS Pharmacy, etc.)don't seem to get "stung" in Police stings. It's the Mom and Pop stores...
* Bev Mo will set a better example than the scoff laws of the old guard or those in the "in crowd" that appear above the law.
* Beltramo's and Safeway and Draeger's and all of the other retailers seem to be playing by the rules.
* Wow - the sellers are the problem, not the buyers.

It's a minute before closing time and the crowd in line at the register is asked by a lipstick wearing woman in a hat if she can quickly make a single bottle purchase of a bottle of red wine because she is late for dinner at her uncle's house. The customers let her thru and the hurried part time cashier with a long line of customers at closing makes the ring. A minute later the "decoy" looking like she is 25 comes in within a minute with a police officer who efficiently cites the cashier and the store.
It's noon at a very popular Woodside Road Deli and a young man reaches over a customer in line and asks if the cashier can ring up the beer to go with the sandwich they bought minutes before. Again, a minute later an officer cites the cashier and the store and the store is penalized by not being allowed to sell alcohol for 6 weeks.

Real life stories ... about as close to entrapment as you can get. Has nothing to do with well run chain stores vs. mom and pop's, nor protecting your well heeled youth that would never touch alcohol until they turn 21. It has everything to do with revenue generation.
I don't know any Menlo Park retailer, deli owner or restauranteur who embraces the intentional selling of alcohol to a minor. Be brave, ask your local business people about their experiences with "decoys".


Posted by Joanna, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 31, 2010 at 12:21 pm

The Daily Post listed the business names:

* Eric's Gourmet, a deli at 325 Sharon Park Drive
* Applewood Pizza, El Camino Real and Ravenswood Avenue
* Lutticken's, a deli at 3535 Alameda de las Pulgas
* Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel, 2825 Sand Hill Road


Posted by Downtowner, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 31, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Rosewood Hotel? Can't sell alcohol for 6 weeks? They'll manoeuver around that one somehow.

Does MPPD have nothing better to do than spend $6000 "training" decoys & paying officers for a sting? Couldn't they earn their salaries & benes better by stinging for drug sales or fencing of stolen goods? Even simpler, cite the many cell phone users who still aren't "hands- free"? Those are at least 1 per block on ECR, Valparaiso, and Ravenswood.


Posted by Just Wondering, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 31, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Mike:
"Peter, you sure know how to either miss a point, or spin it to your own tweaked perspective."

Yes, if there is one thing I'll give him credit for, it's exactly that - Peter is even better at spin than the talking heads on Fox News.


Posted by Cameron, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 31, 2010 at 4:19 pm

"The decoys must be younger than 20 years old, and not dressed to appear older during the sting, according to police department guidelines."

This is laughable -- I was at Carpaccio during their "sting" in July and the man in question looked to be about 26 years old. If the decoy was younger than 20, then he had been shaving since the second grade!

Bottom line, why are man hours and tax dollars being used to "sting" family restaurants? These are not the places where kids go to drink, whatever their level of education and discipline...


Posted by NoNames?, a resident of another community
on Aug 31, 2010 at 5:28 pm

The Almanac story listed the business names.


Posted by and your point?, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 1, 2010 at 10:45 am

Joanna, The Almanac named the businesses, the Daily Post named the businesses. What exactly is your point?


Posted by there are better ways to spend tax money, a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Sep 2, 2010 at 10:58 am

Cameron makes good points, and thanks for the personal observation.

I'd add, of course some enforcement of alcohol laws is needed, in order to keep things from deteriorating to where all stores and restaurants are selling alcohol to minors. BUT these particular businesses in the stings are not exactly hotbeds of excessive underage drinking, so it is a waste of money - local or federal. How about stings for auto burglary (leave a GPS on the dash), or bike theft (nice bike locked downtown)? or other even more pressing problems?

If we are spending tax money, lets spend it doing something useful.


Posted by Exactly, a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Sep 2, 2010 at 2:29 pm

I don't know many underage persons that can afford Rosewood prices. A complete waste of time and money. Not surprised, though


Posted by Exactly, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 2, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Meant to add that suspending these liqour license is a great way to cut City sales tax revenue.


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