Let's Meet the Ladies Who'll Decide Whether Seattle Can Drink All Night

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As you've likely heard by now, Mayor McGinn's nightlife initiative, unveiled yesterday, proposes to do away with mandated last call, allowing bars to keep serving as long as they like, or never stop serving at all.

No doubt a certain segment of Seattle will be very high on this idea. But, as with the replacement of the state-owned, state-funded viaduct, we don't get to make our own choices. The State Liquor Board controls the rules of the drinking game. Let's meet the three ladies who currently comprise the board, shall we, and suss out our chances of getting all-night pours.

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The veteran of the group is Ruthann Kurose, who's been on the board since January 2007. She lives on Mercer Island, home to approximately two bars. She has served on the boards of KCTS and the Seattle Center Academy (an arts program for 7th and 8th graders) and the Children's Campaign Fund (a PAC that tries to elect kid-friendly legislators). The only professional experience she's had that clearly suggests expertise in heavy, late-night drinking is as a onetime legislative aide to then-Congressional Rep. Mike Lowry.

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The most recent addition to the trio is Olympia resident Linda Bremer. She just joined the board May 1 but she was previously on staff at the liquor control agency as its Director of Information Technology Services, which means she likely has a strong familiarity with energy drinks, at the very least. The rest of her varied career experience has involved "project management; business management tools; customer relations; partnership building; strategic planning; policy development; and human resource issues." All-night partying, while not explicitly included, is perhaps implied.

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Finally, there's Liquor Board chair Sharon Foster, who was appointed by Gov. Gregoire last August. She was previously a lobbyist for 20 years, representing such clients as the Council of Youth Agencies, Community Mental Health, and NARAL--whose positions on round-the-clock boozing are, at best, unknown. Before that she worked for the YMCA. According to her bio, "Sharon was raised in Mt. Vernon, WA and now resides in Olympia with her husband Dean. They have 5 children and enjoy many wonderful grandchildren." The bio adds: "She dreams of a world in which those grandchildren can move to Capitol Hill, stay out drinking until 4 or 5 in the morning, and then ride home on a bus, thanks to a forward-thinking urban mayor."

Yep, McGinn's proposal should see smooth sailing from here, I'd say.

 
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