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July 02, 2009

Overnight Open Thread – The Most Trusted Name in Overnight Open Threadiness on Ace of SpadesHQ for the Last Six Months Or So. (genghis)

*shuffles papers*

Item #1: We begin tonight with disturbing news from the state of Washington. With Independence Day nearly upon us, the state-run liquor stores may be forced to limit alcohol sales due to a “distribution problem.” (More on that below)

”State workers are scrambling to fix a distribution problem that has crimped the flow of alcohol to customers across the state, as liquor stores and restaurants are gearing up for one of the busiest weekends of the year. "For us, the timing is really brutal," said Anthony Anton, president and CEO of the Washington Restaurant Association, who said some restaurants have been unable to get key ingredients for their most popular cocktails. "For a small-margin industry like ours, where every sale counts, that's an issue." Dozens of "temporarily out of stock" signs dot the shelves of some state liquor stores, and store managers say they're not sure when their complete product line will again be available.”

Bravo! So this system just broke down, right? Otherwise you would’ve let us know earlier so we could make other arrangements. Right? Hello?
”Smith said shortly after the problem was detected June 8, the distribution center was filling only 65 to 70 percent of the orders it was receiving. By Monday, the rate was up to more than 80 percent, he said. The computer program, from Atlanta-based CDC Software, is the key to successful operation of a highly automated system in which cases of liquor are moved from shelves and sent along conveyors in time to be placed in trucks serving all 161 state-run and 154 contract liquor stores in the state.”

Oh. Well, I see then. CDC Software in Atlanta? Are you guys sure you ordered the right type of software? Well, don’t let whiners like this guy who runs a restaurant in Seattle get you down:
”Hanning said the pinch is compounded by the fact that a state alcohol surcharge takes effect Aug. 1, which will force bar owners to increase prices. The surcharge, which will add between $1 and $3 to the price of most bottles of booze, was enacted to raise about $80 million to replace money legislators took from a liquor-reserve fund to balance the state budget.”

Hat tip to ParanoidGirlinSeattle whether she wants it or not.

More overnight threadiness below the fold:

Item #2: In happier news, thousands of editorial writers across the state greeted Monday with smiles on their faces as a new law took effect aimed at saving the vital Washington State opinion industry.

“OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - As newspapers across the country struggle through a brutal economic climate, papers in Washington state are getting a tax break. A new law that gives newspaper printers and publishers a 40 percent cut in Washington's main business tax took effect this week, providing some much-needed relief to the business after a year in which The Seattle Post-Intelligencer printed its final edition and other papers suffered drastic cutbacks. "It's not a bailout, because it's not enough money," said House Majority Leader Lynn Kessler, the Democrat who sponsored the measure. "But it is our way of saying to the newspapers that we do believe you're incredibly important to our state and our democracy, along with our party’s continuing efforts to remain in office and establish a permanent monopoly over state government."

It’s possible that there’s a typo in that last sentence since I have sloppppppy typing habits, but so far spell-check seems to be o.k. with it. As we’re about to be told, things have been kinda’ sucky in the opinion industry lately:
”Newspapers across the country have resorted to layoffs, pay cuts, furloughs and other cost-cutting moves to deal with a wounded business model and a recession-fueled drop in advertising. The Post-Intelligencer was converted to an Internet-only publication with a much-reduced staff, and The Seattle Times - the only mainstream daily left in the state's largest city - has had severe financial troubles of its own and has cut 500 positions in the past year. Gov. Chris Gregoire called the decision to stop printing the 146-year-old P-I a "huge historical loss." Gregoire said that while the tax break won't cure all that ails newspapers, she felt the state needed to do something. "The industry has to right itself, and government can't and won't be a part of it righting itself," she said. "But I don't want government to be part of the reason that this industry can't make it."

Unemployed loggers throughout the Pacific Northwest were unavailable for comment. However, other naysayers and cranks were quick to weigh in with an opinion of their own:
”But media watchers are quick to point out that those other industries have a different relationship with the government than newspapers. "It makes me a little nervous," said Dave Aeikens, president of the Society for Professional Journalists. "There needs to be a clear separation between the government and the watchdog role of the press. If it looks like there's any type of tie, then the public's not going to trust the press."

Item #3: Here’s something to cheer you up a little after all that grim/bright news. I’ve posted it before but that was while ago. So time to do an updated link to our sister site They’re not really our sister site but we’d really really like it if they would be. Or at least start taking our phone calls again. And maybe cancel that restraining order against us?

Tonight’s Overnight Open Thread is sponsored by the Ogrefish aka the “Fangtooth.” The origins of the name are unclear.

”We can haz shredz of ur flesh?”

Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to Otherwise send tips to Ace.

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posted by xgenghisx at 08:56 PM

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