A furious email this morning from Michael Goldman, who tried to take water into the Multnomah County Bike Fair at Colonel Sumner Park yesterday, but was DENIED.

Dear Multnomah County Health Department,

I would like to complain about an OLCC rule that put many attendants of today's Multnomah County Bike Fair (MCBF) in jeopardy. I attended the fair with my friend who naturally brought a large bottle of water to stave off the heat of today's very high temperatures, as did I. We were both told that we would not be able to bring in outside containers whether they contained water or not due to an OLCC rule against outside containers in a beer garden. Some poor MCBF volunteers had to go around telling people who responsibly brought their own water to empty their containers to comply with OLCC rules.

I hope the various health departments in this state overrule a very irresponsible rule that makes hydration at events with alcoholic beverages in hot weather onerous and dangerous.

As a young person who is aware of both the age of the OLCC and its commissioners, I believe it to be inevitable that such an anachronistic state power will be discontinued at least by the time my generation fills the voting records and capitol building. In the mean time, I would hope the greater and more reasonable concerns of the state and municipal health agencies keep the OLCC's idiocy to a minimum.

Michael Goldman

"OLCC does not have a rule that specifically prohibits outside containers in a beer garden," says Linda Ignowski, Regulatory Services Director with the OLCC. "An applicant to a temporary sales event submits a control plan to us on how they will monitor and manage the area where alcohol is sold and consumed. They are responsible to ensure that minors to do not obtain alcohol and to avoid serving a patron who is showing signs of intoxication. Perhaps they did not want to take the change that someone was bringing in alcohol in water bottles or other containers, since
some alcohlic beverages looks like water such as vodka and gin
. It is this very reason that other venues prohibit outside containers like U of O and OSU football games."

"I reviewed their plan today and did not see anything in their plan that stated they were going to prohibit water bottles," Ignowski continues. "However, I did read that they were going to serve water in paper cups and beer in water bottles and plastic cups. This may have been another reason why they prohibited outside containers."

Whatever. In Saturday's heat, they should have changed their policies.