Google news is a Godsend, providing glimpses into local news from far away that makes you glad that you are, in fact, far away. Consider this news on a hearing recently held before the Benton County Beer Board in Tennessee and be glad you are not there:
Approximately 75 community members filled the courtroom to voice concerns about a beer permit that they feared was about to be issued to Henry Howard Butcher to open a facility formerly known as Perry’s Country Kitchen, located on Highway 192, near the intersection of 641 in Holladay. Butcher is renting the building from Norman Fowler of Camden. The community residents are greatly concerned with the location of the business and the many large vehicles that travel through the area from Highway 641 to and from Vulcan Materials and to other destinations on Highway 192. The Tennessee Codes Annotated (T.C.A.) states that a permit should be denied if the business is to be opened within 300 feet of a residence and the owner of the residence appears and asks that it not be issued. Keith Arnold, the owner of the nearest residence, appeared personally to ask that the permit be denied, due to the fact that it is 287 feet from the nearest corner of the business to the nearest corner of his house as measured by a licensed surveyer.Notice in the above, on the one hand, a lack of any application of rational thought by the arbitrator of the issue which might entertain either the freedom of the property owner or a balancing of interests. Notice, on the other, later in the story that the board took its own member's word over that of the surveyor - fudging the math to achieve an end. You will recall that the beer boards of Tennessee are generally not in control of the hard liquor trade - just beer. I was going to look for more detail in Title 57 of the Tennessee Codes, the law of booze, but it is one of the more complex ones I have ever seen and the only one I have seen so far to use the word "traffic" to refer to the sale of beer. Good lord! If you have more than 12 bottles of an untaxed beer in a car, they can confiscate your car under 57-3-411(b)!!!
All to safeguard the good of Tennessee, like those thirteen good feet up there between Henry's place and Keith's house.