Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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Eat, drink and be merry

The Madison Park Commission is considering a sweeping alcohol ban for Madison's 250 parks, possibly requiring a permit in order to enjoy a brewski at the family picnic. Eighteen of the parks have already outlawed alcohol individually, and we can't see why a citywide ban is necessary.

One of the booze-friendly facilities in question is Vilas Park, most likely due to its proximity to the University of Wisconsin campus. Located just five blocks south of Regent Street, Vilas draws tailgating crowds before Badger games and hosts Keg Ball tournaments when the weather is warm.

But drunken mischief is going to take place near campus whether or not alcohol is openly allowed, and the police already have the ability to punish inebriated wrongdoers by the panoply of citations at their disposal.

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By instating a park-wide prohibition, responsible citizens would be disallowed the pleasure of enjoying a can of beer while tossing the disc to Rover, even under completely legitimate circumstances.

What's more, if a park does turn into a dangerous, drunken playground, the Park Commission has demonstrated an effective solution: pull the plug on the Kegerator by outlawing drinking on a park-by-park basis.

Even better, provide more flexible restrictions on booze consumption depending on the park: if weekends are causing the majority of Madison Police Department interventions, Mom and Dad shouldn't have a problem enjoying a glass of Merlot with their fresh parmesan hors d'oeuvres on Tuesday nights.

Either way, keeping cocktails out of each and every park in Madison is overkill, especially when assaults and muggings are taking place on a regular basis and the city's police force can't keep up even now.

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