Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: AIA


Third Tacoma AIA seems like anti-inebriation overkill

NWS0220_TACCOUNCIL_pThis editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

Tacoma’s two Alcohol Impact Areas – where merchants are prohibited from selling certain cheap, high-octane beverages – have had success in decreasing public drunkenness within their boundaries.

But the success is only partial if they’re just pushing that problem into other parts of the city.

That’s apparently what’s happened since formation of the Urban Core District in 2001 and the Lincoln District in 2008. Many of the chronic inebriates who can no longer buy their mind-numbing rotgut head north or west into neighborhoods that aren’t in either AIA. Alcohol-related police calls have risen there as have emergency medical calls – which often are for people who have passed out drunk.

The problem has residents in the North End and the West End now seeking approval for their own AIA.

Tough luck, South Tacoma and University Place. If the Tacoma City Council gives the go-ahead for its third and geographically largest AIA, and the state Liquor Control Board agrees to it, your neighborhoods will be next in line for the overflow – and the problems that go along with that, including increased panhandling, homeless camping and public intoxication. Read more »


Cecil’s story offers hope for those hitting rock bottom

Cecil Leading Horse

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

Ten years ago, News Tribune readers knew Nicholas Cecil Leading Horse as the poster boy for the price society pays for street drunks and addicts. In his case, it was an estimated $2.4 million.

His story was a revolving door of dysfunction. He’d get drunk on cheap alcohol and pass out. Someone would find him and call the fire department, which would respond and transport him to a local hospital emergency room for treatment. He’d go into detox or rehab, get out, start drinking and the cycle would begin all over again.

Leading Horse’s craggy face was all too familiar to firefighters and ER personnel, and his care was a costly drain on public and hospital resources.
But in September 2008, he almost died when his alcohol-ravaged esophagus ruptured. And that’s when he decided to live. He checked into rehab, and this time it took.
Read more »