Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Death at the Liquor Store

Tragically, another life was snuffed out on the streets of South Berkeley, just across the Oakland border. Two days after the Oakland City Council denied the former Nic Nak Liquors the ability to sell liquor at 6400 Shattuck Avenue, Kenneth Jerome Tims Jr. was gunned down behind the Stanford Market and Liquor Store at 62nd and King streets. The killing happened only a block from where two other people were shot and critically wounded on May 20.

In opposing the Nic Nak Liquors, neighbors and residents, presented concerns about the attendant crime associated with 19 liquor stores within a mile radius of 6400 Shattuck Avenue, including the Stanford Liquor Store which is one-half a mile from 6400 Shattuck Avenue. South Berkeley gang members are often seen loitering around and behind the liquor store and inebriated patrons often cross the street into Oakland to drink at the bus stop and benches at a small pocket park along Stanford Avenue.

One review on yelp suggests, Don't mind the dealers and hobos, it's just South Berkeley, after all. You do know to hit the ground if you ever hear gunshots, right? Good. You'll be just fine.

A memorial was set up where Tims Jr. was found mourning his death. Tragically, the memorial includes a significant number of empty Hennessey and Cuervo Tequila bottles. Hennessey has apparently gained a reputation among rappers, gangsters and wanna be gangsters as a drink of status.

An abundance of local, national and international studies show that concentrations of liquor outlets result in higher crime rates, public nuisance issues and community health problems for nearby neighborhoods. The City of Oakland has policies limiting liquor outlets, while the City of Berkeley has worked to limit or shut down nuisance liquor stores in South Berkeley. However, the process to shut down nuisance liquor stores in either city is arduous and lengthy. All the while, neighborhoods suffer the spillover effects greatly diminishing their quality of life and endangering their families.

Despite the existing policies limiting liquor stores and the abundance of peer reviewed studies showing the detrimental effects of concentrations of liquor outlets, Oakland City Councilmembers Rebecca Kaplan, Larry Reid and Desley Brooks all supported more liquor sales in North Oakland by voting to approve the Nic Nak using an unprecendented rationale of "historical relevance" fabricated by Planning Commissioner's Anne E. Mudge and Doug Boxer.  The rationale was rejected by the City Attorney and a majority of the City Council and Nic Nak was denied liquor sales.


Anonymous said...

Oh yea so if the Nic Nak was open ,killings will happen there too...
We fight blight you are pathetic.

Roberto said...

I know why we fight blight remains anonymous... you don't want anyone to confront you about the bullshit on this Blog

Fight Blight said...


I think you are smart enough to know what we are saying. But I will state here in plain English for you to understand. Local, national and international, peer-reviewed studies show that higher concentrations of liquor sales/outlets/bars/stores result in higher amounts of crime, public nuisance problems and public health issues for nearby neighborhoods. Nic Nak would have been one of 19 liquor stores within a one mile radius. That excludes bars and restaurants such as the Starry Plough, Dorsey's and and the White Horse, among others. So this is an issue of cumulative effects. Because there is a high concentration of liquor outlets within a mile of Nic Nak the neighborhoods suffer a higher amount of crime and other liquor related problems than would otherwise occur. We are not saying that if Nic Nak were to open there would be a killing behind Nic Nak. Please.

Fight Blight said...


Those of us at We Fight Blight remain anonymous because we want people to focus on the issues, not the personalities. In the dispute over the Nic Nak, some were inclined to focus on the race of an individual and then make wild assumptions about his/her motive based on the person's race rather than focus on the merits of their message. Whether we are white or black, young or old, rich or poor, male or female is irrelevant. What is important is what we say and how we back it up. So you want to confront us abou the "bullshit" on this blog? What are you waiting for? This blog is intended to debate, deconstruct, criticize and otherwise argue over issues important to the North Oakland and South Berkeley communities. Without that kind of dialogue we cannot learn, grow or appreciate other people's points of view or experiences. So, tell us exactly what you think is "bullshit" on this blog?

Anonymous said...

Why must you slander city officials just because some of the city officials did not go your way?

Fight Blight said...

Anonymous June 11,

We are interested to understand what statement(s) you believe are libelous? In common law juridictions, slander refers to malicious, false and defamatory spoken statements. I think you mean libel, which are for written or published words. Thanks

Anonymous said...

So what are you going to do about that Liquor Store.... anything????