alcohol

BNC is proposing to put a package liquor store in a the Kipusvik building, the former site of Swanson’s grocery store. Photo by Geraldine Brink / KYUK.

BNC is proposing to put a package liquor store in a the Kipusvik building, the former site of Swanson’s grocery store. Photo by Geraldine Brink / KYUK.

It’s been four decades since Bethel had a liquor store, and for now that status will continue. The Bethel City Council voted Tuesday to protest two liquor store license applications from the Bethel Native Corporation’s Bethel Spirits and the Alaska Commercial Company. As KYUK’s Ben Matheson reports, the debate now leaves city hall as citizens gear up for a new advisory vote.

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The Bethel City Council can consider protesting two liquor licenses. Photo by Dean Swope / KYUK.

The Bethel City Council can consider protesting two liquor licenses. Photo by Dean Swope / KYUK.

The Bethel City Council can protest two applications for liquor store licenses in their regular Tuesday meeting. They will consider resolutions that ask the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to turn down the applications for the Bethel Native Corporation’s Bethel Spirits and a proposed store within the Alaska Commercial Company grocery store. Both resolutions highlight local and state laws about the proximity to churches and schools. Read more →

The Bethel City Council introduced an an ordinance for an alcohol advisory vote. Photo by Dean Swope /KYUK.

The Bethel City Council introduced an an ordinance for an alcohol advisory vote. Photo by Dean Swope /KYUK.

The Bethel City Council introduced two ordinances in their regular meeting to bring about community votes on future alcohol sales. One calls for an advisory vote on July 28th with five questions about whether the city should support several types of liquor licenses, while the second calls for a vote on a 12 percent alcohol tax.
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The Bethel City Council will Tuesday night in a regular meeting. Photo by Dean Swope /KYUK.

The Bethel City Council will meet Tuesday night in a regular meeting. Photo by Dean Swope /KYUK.

The Bethel City Council can introduce two ordinances concerning potential alcohol sales Tuesday. One calls for an advisory vote on July 28th with six questions about whether the city should support several types of liquor licenses. The second ordinance would ask voters in the July election on whether to institute a 12-percent tax on alcohol sales within the city.
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BNC President and CEO Ana Hoffman speaks at a community meeting in Bethel. Photo by Dean Swope / KYUK.

BNC President and CEO Ana Hoffman speaks at a community meeting in Bethel. Photo by Dean Swope / KYUK.

The clock is ticking on a sixty day period for the City of Bethel to consider protesting a package liquor store license before the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. The Bethel Native Corporation’s Bethel Spirits LLC application was officially filed the morning of April 6th. The Alaska Commercial Company also plans to file for another package liquor store.
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Cynthia Frankin is Director for the ABC Board. Photo from State of Alaska ABC website.

Cynthia Frankin is Director for the ABC Board. Photo from State of Alaska ABC website.

The state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board will attend a community meeting in Bethel Monday about proposed alcohol sales. Director Cynthia Franklin will present on how the license process works, what laws the board follows, and how it takes community input. No board members will be present.
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ONC's Gloria Simeon testified in opposition of a liquor store license. Photo by Dean Swope / KYUK.

ONC’s Gloria Simeon testified in opposition of a liquor store license. Photo by Dean Swope / KYUK.

The Bethel City Council heard hours of passionate testimony Tuesday night urging them to protest anticipated applications to sell liquor. Many in the capacity crowd asked the council to consider the consequences of local sales in a region that suffers disproportionate effects from alcohol abuse and related violence. Read more →

The Bethel City Council met Tuesday night in a regular meeting. Photo by Dean Swope /KYUK.

Photo by Dean Swope /KYUK.

The Bethel City Council will hold a public hearing Tuesday during their regular meeting on the potential of a package liquor store application to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.
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Walter Pickett, Vice President of Operations, Alaska Commercial Company

Walter Pickett, Vice President of Operations, Alaska Commercial Company

Daysha Eaton, KYUK News Director, interviewed Walter Pickett, Vice President of Operations for the Alaska Commercial Company Monday, March 23rd about the company’s plans to apply for a liquor license.

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BNC is proposing to put a package liquor store in a the Kipusvik building, the former site of Swanson's grocery store. Photo by Geraldine Brink / KYUK.

BNC is proposing to put a package liquor store in a the Kipusvik building, the former site of Swanson’s grocery store. Photo by Geraldine Brink / KYUK.

Bethel could see its first liquor store in four decades if the Bethel Native Corporation goes ahead with plans to open a package store and it clears regulatory hurdles. BNC President and CEO Ana Hoffman said via email that a wholly-owned subsidiary, Bethel Spirits, LLC is in the process of applying for a license to put a package liquor store in a portion of the Kipusvik facility. That’s the location vacated last week by the Swanson’s grocery store.

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