Utah legalizes homebrewing
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Utah legalizes homebrewing

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The United States state of Utah has legalized homebrewing of beer and wine.

H.B. 51, “Exemption for Alcoholic Beverage Manufacturing License”, was signed into law by Utah governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. on March 24 after being passed by large majorities in both houses of the State Legislature. The bill was introduced by Salt Lake City representative Christine A. Johnson (D-25th district) and will take effect on May 12.

The act modifies existing Utah law to give an exemption to the state’s requirement of a brewing license for amateur brewers, as long as the beer or wine they produce is not for sale and the amount produced is less than 100 US gallons (379 liters) per year for an individual or 200 US gallons (757 liters) for a couple. The unlicensed distillation of spirits remains illegal in the United States under federal law.

Although prohibition of alcohol in the United States ended in 1933 and the homebrewing of beer has been legal at a federal level since 1978, many US states, counties and cities restrict the production, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages more tightly than is done at the federal level. With the passage of Utah’s legislation, four US states still forbid homebrewing: Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi and Oklahoma.

The legislation was introduced largely through the work of University of Utah law student Douglas Wawrzynski. AHA director Gary Glass was also closely involved with Rep Johnson in drafting the bill’s language. Wawrzynski told Wikinews about what led him to initiate a campaign to change the law:

I moved to Utah from Connecticut in 2005 and started into the hobby [of homebrewing] shortly thereafter. There are multiple homebrew shops that have been operating legally in Utah for several years, so it wasn’t until after I started law school in the fall of 2007 that someone suggested to me that the hobby might not be legal in Utah. After having done some research and contacting the American Homebrewers Association, I began to understand the current ambiguity of the law and how it could certainly be interpreted to adversely affect homebrewers. In fact in 2005 the city of South Salt Lake had taken steps to affirmatively enact penalties for engaging in homebrewing. While that effort was ultimately abandoned it illustrated just how the current state of the law could have a negative impact on homebrewers.

Home-brewing is a healthy and vibrant hobby in Utah

Despite the restrictions, according to the American Homebrewers Association (AHA), some seven thousand people in Utah were illegally taking part in the hobby, which has 750,000 adherents nationwide. Rep Johnson said “home-brewing is a healthy and vibrant hobby in Utah” and thanked the AHA for “thorough education, great committee testimony and association members who flooded elected officials with emails of support.”

The bill passes on Rep Johnson’s second attempt to introduce it. As H.B. 425, the act was introduced late in the Utah legislature’s 2008 session, where it did not reach a Utah Senate vote. Ms Johnson’s legislative work has primarily concerned equality and human rights in Utah, including a successful attempt to add a voluntary amount to the marriage license fee in order to fund shelters for victims of domestic violence and a failed attempt to introduce language banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity into Utah state law.

I’m not comfortable with home brewing. It seems fraught with mischief to me

Opposition to the bill, meanwhile, was sporadic and reflected, in Wawrzynski’s view, bad understanding of homebrewing rather than hostility toward the hobby:

In each of the several committee meetings this bill went through, the bill was met with challenging and sometimes bizarre questions regarding its impact and what this would enable people to do. One Senator, Senator Lilenquist [State Sen. Dan Liljenquist, R-23rd district] even inquired if this bill would make it legal for someone to put beer in a baby bottle and give it to a one year old.

Ronda Rudd Menlove, a Republican representing the 1st district, says her primary concern in voting against the bill was the potential for alcohol to affect children:

When the vote was taken on HB 51, I had a constituent sitting by me, a young high school student. I briefly explained the bill to him during the debate and then asked him how he would vote on the bill and why. This is what he told me. He said that he was concerned that young people would have greater access to alcohol because alcohol would be brewed in homes resulting in great accessibility for youth living in those homes. This concerned him greatly as a member of a local youth city council as well. He is concerned about the amount of under-age drinking in his community and believed that greater access to alcohol could cause an increase in under-age drinking in Utah….

My secondary reason for voting against the bill is that I am adamantly opposed to the excess use and abuse of alcohol. I am opposed to any use of alcohol by pregnant mothers. As a secondary level teacher and high school administrator, I worked with troubled youth and special education populations. I have struggled with young people who live with the effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. If you want to be very depressed, read about the lifelong effects of FAS. This syndrome affects learning and behavior that is often erratic and unpredictable. Most of the students with FAS fail miserably in school and find little success in school, jobs, or life. This is a very serious problem related to alcohol use and one that affects the innocent fetus and not the perpetrator of this action.

Utah has quirky alcohol laws. The overarching goal of preventing under-age drinking and the abuse of alcohol has created these laws. The intention is admirable and one that I support. How to achieve these goals is challenging and has resulted in laws that may seem strange to others living outside of Utah. Utah’s Governor and Legislature has struggled with this and recently passed legislation revamping these laws. I voted against those changes due to the fact that little information was provided about the impact of the changes.

Kraig Powell (54th district), a Duchesne County Republican, the other representative to vote against the bill in its final form, said he did so because a constituent was “concerned about increased access to alcohol and drunk driving dangers”. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Assistant Whip Gregory Bell (R-22nd district), said to the Deseret News: “I’m not comfortable with home brewing. It seems fraught with mischief to me.”

Relax, stop worrying, and have a legal homebrew

Wawrzynski believes that education and understanding from the community were critical in the passage of the bill.

[T]hrough the efforts, emails and testimony of people like Representative Johnson and Gary Glass, and most importantly, from Utah homebrewers themselves, we changed minds through education. In fact, the Chairman of the Senate Business and Labor Committee, Senator Valentine (R-14th district) openly admitted on the record that he had been compelled to change his vote to a favorable one after hearing compelling testimony from member of the Utah community.

I think that as the state of Utah continues to grow in diversity, the community will become enriched with a wide array of backgrounds and opinions. As this happens we will have an opportunity to develop a greater understanding of our own neighbors and how differences in lifestyle can ultimately be respected and embraced.

Paralleling a common motto of the homebrewing community, Wawrzynski proclaimed on passage of the bill: “Utah homebrewers are finally free to relax, stop worrying, and have a legal homebrew”.

Self Certification Loans For Homebuyers

By James Copper

If you’re currently renting or leasing a residence, you probably often think about how wonderful it will be to actually own a place of your own. You could finally paint the walls that shade of beige that you love, remove the shaggy carpet and replace it with laminate, and not have to worry about every scratch your cat makes in the paneling.

Additionally, its no secret that renters essentially throw away thousands of dollars every year without getting the benefits such as tax breaks afforded to homeowners. But what if you are self-employed and make only an estimated salary What if you’re a self-described freelancer or consultant Never fear There are self certification loans geared just for you

Self certification loans are offered by many financial institutions as a way for the self-employed or those who cannot prove income for the past three years to borrow funding to pay for homes or other items. After all, without official pay stubs, many banks and lenders will not even consider a loan application thus, self certification loans open the door perhaps even the FRONT door to a new home for persons of all ages, backgrounds, and experiences to afford their own lovely digs.

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With self certification loans, the customer or loan requester is expected to basically self certify how much he or she makes annually. Remember the honor system in school or with friends Its a similar process. For a self-employed man or woman, this is accomplished by mathematically developing an estimate of expected income flow.

Of course, some individuals who choose the self certification loans routes also ask for the assistance of a professional accountant to help verify income amounts and expectations. This eases the burden of trying to come up with a figure themselves, and some lenders who offer self certification loans may decrease the interest rate slightly as a result. Though it costs a bit of money professionals never work gratis, its a good investment if a self certification loan is your goal.

Speaking of interest rates, interest rates accompanying self certification loans are notoriously higher than average interest rates. However, this is completely understandable, as self certification loans are a bit riskier for the financial institution. Its rather like the honor system, and whenever such a system is put into place, there is room for chicanery.

In the end, if you’re interested in pursuing self certification loans, don’t hesitate. Even if you’re not quite ready to move, its a great time to investigate self certification loans so you have all the information beforehand. The time has never been better to take out self certification loans, and global competition has lowered rates considerably thanks to the Internet.

Never allow your incorrect perceptions I could never own a home and I’m going to be stuck as a renter forever. I don’t have any pay stubs, so no financial institution will even consider me to become your reality. You CAN own a residence, whether a condo, townhouse, apartment, single family dwelling, or even house boat Check out the many self certification loans available to you now.

About the Author: James Copper is a writer or

any-loans.co.uk

where you can find out about

self cert loans

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=193932&ca=Finances

SpaceX scrubs Falcon I rocket launch
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SpaceX scrubs Falcon I rocket launch

Monday, November 28, 2005

SpaceX called off the much-delayed inaugural launch of their new Falcon 1 rocket on Saturday from Kwajalein’s Omelek Island launch site. The intent was to launch the U.S. Air Force Academy’s FalconSat 2 satellite, which will monitor plasma interactions with the Earth’s upper atmosphere and magnetosphere.

The launch was delayed, then finally cancelled after an oxygen boil-off vent had accidentally been left open. The oxygen was unable to cool the helium pressurant, which then proceeded to evaporate faster than it could be replenished. A main computer issue, probably serious enough to cause a scrub on its own, was also discovered.

This long-anticipated flight was originally expected to be launched in January 2005, however a series of setbacks forced a series of delays, with the flight most recently scheduled to be in early 2006. It was intended to be launched from the Kwajalein atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

The maiden voyage was originally intended to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California with a Naval Research Laboratory satellite and a Space Services Incorporated space burial payload.

Wikinews interviews Australian Paralympic skier Andrew Bor
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Wikinews interviews Australian Paralympic skier Andrew Bor

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sunday, Wikinews sat down with Australian Paralympic guide skier Andrew Bor who was participating in a national team training camp in Vail, Colorado.

((Wikinews)) This is Andrew Bor, who is Melissa Perrine’s guide skier. How did you become a guide?

Andrew Bor: I was coaching with the team, the September before the games here. And the APC [Australian Paralympic Committee] found out, I’m not sure how, sent Melissa out to New Zealand where there was a training camp. She didn’t have a guide. And one of the coaches chose me to guide Mel.

((WN)) Had you done much guiding before?

Andrew Bor: Two days. Guided a visually impaired athlete twice before that.

((WN)) Was there a steep learning curve?

Andrew Bor: Yeah, very steep learning curve. Still learning.

((WN)) Is it more difficult as a male guide with a female skier, do you think, because the rules require you to use male ski equipment?

Andrew Bor: No. No, I don’t think so. I don’t think there’s any issue with that. The skis make a different radius turn. Sometimes. No, I don’t think it makes a huge difference.

((WN)) As a guide skier, do you think that guides should be getting medals when their skier gets a medal? Are you that important?

Andrew Bor: No, I don’t know. It’s the athlete’s performance really.

((WN)) But you’re an athlete aren’t you?

Andrew Bor: No. I’m their eyes if that makes any sense. If they don’t have the commitment to go down the hill, you’re never going to get them to go fast anyway. The guide’s responsibility is to put them in the right place. But beyond that…

((WN)) You’ve gotten support because of the performance in Vancouver? The government has been supporting you guys?

Andrew Bor: The government has decided to support the guides as equally as the athletes. Before I was employed by the APC, and now I don’t get paid by the APC, I get the same support levels. Otherwise, you can’t do it, you can’t afford the time.

((WN)) Why have you chosen skiing as opposed to oh, waterskiing or some other sport?

Andrew Bor: I’ve worked in this industry for about 20 years. Teaching skiing, coaching. It’s not something I chose to do, it’s something that kind of happened. After a while a door closed, a door opened. I enjoy the environment. Working outdoors and work in some lovely places. You get some great days when there’s blue sky and sunshine and other days in Australia where it might be two degrees and raining. But it beats working in an office.

((WN)) Do you think the classification system for blind skiers works and is a good one? Especially with the factoring issues, and you’re competing with B1, B2, B3, all compete against each other.

Andrew Bor: Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t think there’s a big enough pool of athletes to have three different classes. It’s never going to be ideal. Different classes have different issues. The handicap for the twos and the threes is fairly similar across the different disciplines. Maybe the threes have an advantage in the tech because they can see a bit more, but they have a bit of a disadvantage in the speed because they can’t see enough to see the next gate and have to rely on the guide. Bit of a trade off. It’s never going to be perfect. It’s a tough one.

((WN)) Are you planning to go to Sochi with Melissa?

Andrew Bor: Yes. Yes I am.

((WN)) Do you think you guys have, you and Melissa can pick up a medal, and you get a medal?

Andrew Bor: I think Melissa is yeah. I think Melissa has a fairly good chance. You know, if things fall in place. I think she’s got an opportunity to win at least a medal. If things don’t fall in place. Yeah. She might miss out completely.

((WN)) Do you plan to continue guide skiing with Melissa for a period following Sochi, or are you going to be like “I’ve had enough, I’m getting old, these mountains are really tall, I’m going to retire?”

Andrew Bor: I don’t know. We’ll wait and see. At the moment the commitment is until Sochi. You see with athletes, some announce their retirement early. Depends what Melissa wants to do. Depends on whether you achieve the goals that she sets or not. Whether she’s got unfinished business…

((WN)) But at the moment, the goal is Sochi?

Andrew Bor: The goal is Sochi, yes. You’ve got to have an end goal, and at the moment it’s Sochi. The energy of the last four years has been put into that. There’s been a commitment for her to go to Sochi, and at the same time you’ve got to commit to the same thing. The guide-to-athlete thing is a relationship that takes time to build and work out the needs of the athlete and the wants of the athlete. Beyond Sochi, don’t know. We’ll see.

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Purchasing Your New Forklift In Hawaii

byalex

Things really move in Hawaii. With limited space and a lot of people, along with no main access to the mainland, there is a high demand for warehouse space and lift trucks to work in them. If you are responsible for one of these warehouses, then you may need to look for a forklift for sale in Hawaii. Follow some simple steps to make sure that you get the forklift that you are looking for and keep your business rolling as things continue to grow.

How to Choose a Forklift for Your Business

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Since there are so many choices for your business, you want to make sure that you get the best fit for your business with the right forklift for sale in Hawaii. One of the things that you can do is to rent several different forklifts and use them all. Try them out and see which one works best for your situation. Make sure that as you test them out, you make sure that they will work for every situation in your warehouse. There is no point in buying a forklift in Hawaii if you will have to rent another unit to handle specific tasks routinely.

Make sure that you look at new options that are available in forklift technology. As the industry changes so do the capabilities of the lift truck. You may find that purchasing a truck with more options that you end up saving yourself more money in the long run. That is because the new options will save your employees time and there is less need for overtime or extra employees. Get everything that you need in your lift truck when you shop for a forklift for sale in Hawaii.

Get the Maintenance Plan that You Deserve

When you shop for your lift truck, make sure that you go to a company that will give you a great maintenance plan and warranty. When you have these two pieces in place, you will make sure that you have a lift truck that will last. Keep up with the maintenance plan and then you will not have to worry about as much downtime. The last thing that you will want with your truck is waiting around for it to get fixed.

When shopping, make sure that you are able to use your best judgment and get a lift truck that will work best for your situation. There are a lot of choices available to you.

Pakistan: car rams into police truck killing at least seven, injuring 22 in Quetta
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Pakistan: car rams into police truck killing at least seven, injuring 22 in Quetta

Friday, October 20, 2017

On Wednesday, at least seven people were killed and 22 were injured in Quetta, Balochistan province, Pakistan, after a car rammed into a truck carrying policemen. Abdur Razzaq Cheema, a police chief, said five police officials died in the incident and eight were critically injured.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, police official Muhammed Akbar said the incident took place on Saryab road. Sanaullah Zehri, chief minister of Balochi province, said, “it was a sucide attacker who appeared in a car with 70 to 80kg of explosives”. Reuters reported Pakistani Taliban had claimed responsibility for the attack.

Another police official was killed in a different part of the city. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for shooting and killing that official. They also claimed to have installed a bomb on the roadside. Officials said two Pakistani soldiers were killed due to that explosion.

At least five were killed in in a gunfire incident in Quetta last week. Earlier this month, more than a dozen were killed at a Sufi shrine in Balochistan in an alleged suicide attack.

US unemployment rate reaches 9.8%
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US unemployment rate reaches 9.8%

Friday, October 2, 2009

Companies in the United States are shedding more jobs, pushing the country’s unemployment rate to a 26-year high of 9.8%.

The US Labor Department said on Friday that employers cut 263,000 jobs in September, with companies in the service industries — including banks, restaurants and retailers — hit especially hard. This is the 21st consecutive month of job losses in the country.

The United States has now lost 7.2 million jobs since the recession officially began in December 2007. The new data has sparked fears that unemployment could threaten an economic recovery. Top US officials have warned that any recovery would be slow and uneven, and some have predicted the unemployment rate will top 10% before the situation improves.

“Continued household deleveraging and rising unemployment may weigh more on consumption than forecast, and accelerating corporate and commercial property defaults could slow the improvement in financial conditions,” read a report by the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook, predicting that unemployment will average 10.1% by next year and not go back down to five percent until 2014.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com, said that “it’s a very fragile and tentative recovery. Policy makers need to do more.”

“The number came in weaker than expected. We saw a lot of artificial involvement by the government to prop up the markets, and now that that is starting to end, the private sector isn’t yet showing signs of life,” said Kevin Caron, a market strategist for Stifel, Nicolaus & Co.

Also on Thursday, the US Commerce Department said factory orders fell for the first time in five months, dropping eight-tenths of a percent in August. Orders for durable goods — items intended to last several years (including everything from appliances to airliners) — fell 2.6%, the largest drop since January of this year.

The US government has been spending billions of dollars — part of a $787 billion stimulus package — to help spark economic growth. There have been some signs the economy is improving.

The Commerce Department said on Thursday that spending on home construction jumped in August for its biggest increase in 16 years. A real estate trade group, the National Association of Realtors, said pending sales of previously owned homes rose more than 12 percent in August, compared to August 2008.

A separate Commerce Department report said that consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of US economic activity, rose at its fastest pace in nearly eight years, jumping 1.3 percent in August.

Other reports have provided cause for concern. A banking industry trade group said Thursday the number of US consumers making late payments, or failing to make payments, on loans and credit cards is on the rise. A survey by a business group, the Institute for Supply Management, Thursday showed US manufacturing grew in September, but at a slower pace than in August when manufacturing increased for the first time in a year and a half.

Stock markets reacted negatively to the reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 41 points in early trading, reaching a level of 9467. This follows a drop of 203 points on Thursday, its largest loss in a single day since July. The London FTSE index fell 55 points, or 1.1%, to reach 4993 points by 15.00 local time.

Argentine footballer Mascherano announces international retirement
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Argentine footballer Mascherano announces international retirement

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Argentine footballer Javier Mascherano announced retirement from international football after losing 3–4 against France in the Last 16 knockout phase of the FIFA World Cup yesterday.

Mascherano made his international debut on June 17, 2003, at the age of nineteen. Since then, he has won 147 international caps with Argentina, a national record. Mascherano has featured in four different FIFA World Cup tournaments, since the 2006 World Cup.

After the match, 34-year-old Mascherano said, “It’s time to say goodbye and for the younger players to step in.” He also said, “Personally, from now on, I will be just another fan, it’s over” ((es))Spanish language: ?En lo personal, a partir de ahora, seré un hincha más. Se terminó.

In the last four years, Mascherano has won the silver medal at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, 2015 Copa América ((en))America Cup and 2016’s Copa América Centenario.

Petition pressures City of Edinburgh Council to review clause affecting live music scene
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Petition pressures City of Edinburgh Council to review clause affecting live music scene

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Live music venues in Edinburgh, Scotland are awaiting a review later this year on the 2005 licensing policy, which places limitations on the volume of amplified music in the city. Investigating into how the policy is affecting the Edinburgh music scene, a group of Wikinews writers interviewed venue owners, academics, the City of Edinburgh Council, and local band The Mean Reds to get different perspectives on the issue.

Since the clause was introduced by the government of the city of Edinburgh, licensed venues have been prohibited from allowing music to be amplified to the extent it is audible to nearby residential properties. This has affected the live music scene, with several venues discontinuing regular events such as open mic nights, and hosting bands and artists.

Currently, the licensing policy allows licensing standards officers to order a venue to cease live music on any particular night, based on a single noise complaint from the public. The volume is not electronically measured to determine if it breaches a decibel volume level. Over roughly the past year there have been 56 separate noise complaints made against 18 venues throughout the city.

A petition to amend the clause has garnered over 3,000 signatures, including the support of bar owners, musicians, and members of the general public.

On November 17, 2014, the government’s Culture and Sport Committee hosted an open forum meeting at Usher Hall. Musicians, venue owners and industry professionals were encouraged to provide their thoughts on how the council could improve live music in the city. Ways to promote live music as a key cultural aspect of Edinburgh were discussed and it was suggested that it could be beneficial to try and replicate the management system of live music of other global cities renowned for their live music scenes. However, the suggestion which prevailed above all others was simply to review the existing licensing policy.

Councillor (Cllr) Norma Austin-Hart, Vice Convenor of the Culture and Sport Committee, is responsible for the working group Music is Audible. The group is comprised of local music professionals, and councillors and officials from Edinburgh Council. A document circulated to the Music is Audible group stated the council aims “to achieve a balance between protecting residents and supporting venues”.

Following standard procedure, when a complaint is made, a Licensing Standards Officer (LSO) is dispatched to investigate the venue and evaluate the level of noise. If deemed to be too loud, the LSO asks the venue to lower the noise level. According to a document provided by the City of Edinburgh Council, “not one single business has lost its license or been closed down because of a breach to the noise condition in Edinburgh.”

In the Scotland Licensing Policy (2005), Clause 6.2 states, “where the operating plan indicates that music is to be played in a premises, the board will consider the imposition of a condition requiring amplified music from those premises to be inaudible in residential property.” According to Cllr Austin-Hart, the high volume of tenement housing in the city centre makes it difficult for music to be inaudible.

During the Edinburgh Festival Fringe during the summer, venues are given temporary licences that allow them to operate for the duration of the festival and under the condition that “all amplified music and vocals are controlled to the satisfaction of the Director of Services for Communities”, as stated in a document from the council. During the festival, there is an 11 p.m. noise restriction on amplified music, and noise may be measured by Environmental Health staff using sophisticated equipment. Noise is restricted to 65dB(A) from the facades of residential properties; however, complaints from residents still occur. In the document from the council, they note these conditions and limitations for temporary venues would not necessarily be appropriate for permanent licensed premises.

In a phone interview, Cllr Austin-Hart expressed her concern about the unsettlement in Edinburgh regarding live music. She referenced the closure of the well-known Picture House, a venue that has provided entertainment for over half a century, and the community’s opposition to commercial public bar chain Wetherspoon buying the venue. “[It] is a well-known pub that does not play any form of music”, Cllr Austin-Hart said. “[T]hey feel as if it is another blow to Edinburgh’s live music”. “[We] cannot stop Wetherspoon’s from buying this venue; we have no control over this.”

The venue has operated under different names, including the Caley Palais which hosted bands such as Queen and AC/DC. The Picture House opened in 2008.

One of the venues which has been significantly affected by the licensing laws is the Phoenix Bar, on Broughton Street. The bar’s owner, Sam Roberts, was induced to cease live music gigs in March, following a number of noise complaints against the venue. As a result, Ms Roberts was inspired to start the aforementioned petition to have Clause 6.2 of the licensing policy reviewed, in an effort to remove the ‘inaudibility’ statement that is affecting venues and the music scene.

“I think we not only encourage it, but actively support the Edinburgh music scene,” Ms Roberts says of the Phoenix Bar and other venues, “the problem is that it is a dying scene.”

When Ms Roberts purchased the venue in 2013, she continued the existing 30-year legacy established by the previous owners of hosting live acts. Representative of Edinburgh’s colourful music scene, a diverse range of genres have been hosted at the venue. Ms Roberts described the atmosphere when live music acts perform at her venue as “electric”. “The whole community comes together singing, dancing and having a party. Letting their hair down and forgetting their troubles. People go home happy after a brilliant night out. All the staff usually join in; the pub comes alive”. However licensing restrictions have seen a majority of the acts shut down due to noise complaints. “We have put on jazz, blues, rock, rockabilly, folk, celtic and pop live acts and have had to close everything down.” “Residents in Edinburgh unfortunately know that the Council policy gives them all the rights in the world, and the pubs and clubs none”, Ms Roberts clarified.

Discussing how inaudibility has affected venues and musicians alike, Ms Roberts stated many pubs have lost profit through the absence of gigs, and trying to soundproof their venue. “It has put many musicians out of work and it has had an enormous effect on earnings in the pub. […] Many clubs and bars have been forced to invest in thousands of pounds worth of soundproofing equipment which has nearly bankrupted them, only to find that even the tiniest bit of noise can still force a closure. It is a ridiculously one-sided situation.” Ms Roberts feels inaudibility is an unfair clause for venues. “I think it very clearly favours residents in Edinburgh and not business. […] Nothing is being done to support local business, and closing down all the live music venues in Edinburgh has hurt financially in so many ways. Not only do you lose money, you lose new faces, you lose the respect of the local musicians, and you begin to lose all hope in a ‘fair go’.”

With the petition holding a considerable number of signatures, Ms Roberts states she is still sceptical of any change occurring. “Over three thousand people have signed the petition and still the council is not moving. They have taken action on petitions with far fewer signatures.” Ms Roberts also added, “Right now I don’t think Edinburgh has much hope of positive change”.

Ms Roberts seems to have lost all hope for positive change in relation to Edinburgh’s music scene, and argues Glasgow is now the regional choice for live music and venues. “[E]veryone in the business knows they have to go to Glasgow for a decent scene. Glasgow City Council get behind their city.”

Ms Martina Cannon, member of local band The Mean Reds, said a regular ‘Open Mic Night’ she hosted at The Parlour on Duke Street has ceased after a number of complaints were made against the venue. “It was a shame because it had built up some momentum over the months it had been running”. She described financial loss to the venue from cancelling the event, as well as loss to her as organiser of the event.

Sneaky Pete’s music bar and club, owned by Nick Stewart, is described on its website as “open and busy every night”.”Many clubs could be defined as bars that host music, but we really are a music venue that serves drinks”, Mr Stewart says. He sees the live music scene as essential for maintaining nightlife in Edinburgh not only because of the economic benefit but more importantly because of the cultural significance. “Music is one of the important things in life. […] it’s emotionally and intellectually engaging, and it adds to the quality of life that people lead.”

Sneaky Pete’s has not been immune to the inaudibility clause. The business has spent about 20,000 pounds on multiple soundproofing fixes designed to quell complaints from neighboring residents. “The business suffered a great deal in between losing the option to do gigs for fear of complaints, and finishing the soundproofing. As I mentioned, we are a music business that serves drinks, not a bar that also has music, so when we lose shows, we lose a great deal of trade”, said Mr Stewart.

He believes there is a better way to go about handling complaints and fixing public nuisances. “The local mandatory condition requiring ‘amplified music and vocals’ to be ‘inaudible’ should be struck from all licenses. The requirement presupposes that nuisance is caused by music venues, when this may not reasonably be said to be the case. […] Nuisance is not defined in the Licensing Act nor is it defined in the Public Health Act (Scotland) 2008. However, The Consultation on Guidance to accompany the Statutory Nuisance Provisions of the Public Health etc (Scotland) Act 2008 states that ‘There are eight key issues to consider when evaluating whether a nuisance exists[…]'”.

The eight key factors are impact, locality, time, frequency, duration, convention, importance, and avoidability. Stewart believes it is these factors that should be taken into consideration by LSOs responding to complaints instead of the sole factor of “audibility”.He believes multiple steps should be taken before considering revocation of licenses. Firstly, LSOs should determine whether a venue is a nuisance based on the eight factors. Then, the venue should have the opportunity to comply by using methods such as changing the nature of their live performances (e.g. from hard rock to acoustic rock), changing their hours of operation, or soundproofing. If the venue still fails to comply, then a board can review their license with the goal of finding more ways to bring them into compliance as opposed to revoking their license.

Nick Stewart has discussed his proposal at length with Music is Audible and said he means to present his proposal to the City of Edinburgh Council.

Dr Adam Behr, a music academic and research associate at the University of Edinburgh who has conducted research on the cultural value of live music, says live music significantly contributes to the economic performance of cities. He said studies have shown revenue creation and the provision of employment are significant factors which come about as a result of live music. A 2014 report by UK Music showed the economic value generated by live music in the UK in 2013 was £789 million and provided the equivalent of 21,600 full time jobs.

As the music industry is international by nature, Behr says this complicates the way revenue is allocated, “For instance, if an American artist plays a venue owned by a British company at a gig which is promoted by a company that is part British owned but majority owned by, say, Live Nation (a major international entertainment company) — then the flow of revenues might not be as straightforward as it seems [at] first.”

Despite these complexities, Behr highlighted the broader advantages, “There are, of course, ancillary benefits, especially for big gigs […] Obviously other local businesses like bars, restaurants and carparks benefit from increased trade”, he added.

Behr criticised the idea of making music inaudible and called it “unrealistic”. He said it could limit what kind of music can be played at venues and could force vendors to spend a large amount of money on equipment that enables them to meet noise cancelling requirements. He also mentioned the consequences this has for grassroots music venues as more ‘established’ venues within the city would be the only ones able to afford these changes.

Alongside the inaudibility dispute has been the number of sites that have been closing for the past number of years. According to Dr Behr, this has brought attention to the issue of retaining live music venues in the city and has caused the council to re-evaluate its music strategy and overall cultural policy.

This month, Dr Behr said he is to work on a live music census for Edinburgh’s Council which aims to find out what types of music is played, where, and what exactly it brings to the city. This is in an effort to get the Edinburgh city council to see any opportunities it has with live music and the importance of grassroots venues. The census is similar to one conducted in Victoria, Australia in 2012 on the extent of live music in the state and its economic benefit.

As for the solution to the inaudibility clause, Behr says the initial step is dialogue, and this has already begun. “Having forum discussion, though, is a start — and an improvement”, he said. “There won’t be an overnight solution, but work is ongoing to try to find one that can stick in the long term.”

Beverley Whitrick, Strategic Director of Music Venue Trust, said she is unable to comment on her work with the City of Edinburgh Council or on potential changes to the inaudibility clause in the Licensing Policy. However, she says, “I have been asked to assess the situation and make recommendations in September”.

According to The Scotsman, the Council is working toward helping Edinburgh’s cultural and entertainment scene. Deputy Council Leader Sandy Howat said views of the entertainment industry needs to change and the Council will no longer consider the scene as a “sideline”.

Senior members of the Council, The Scotsman reported, aim to review the planning of the city to make culture more of a priority. Howat said, “If you’re trying to harness a living community and are creating facilities for people living, working and playing then culture should form part of that.”

The review of the inaudibility clause in the Licensing Policy is set to be reviewed near the end of 2016 but the concept of bringing it forward to this year is still under discussion.

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