Free Fry! This Friday, November 20th, and every 3rd Friday of the month from now on, Pike Street Fish Fry (925 E. Pike St.) will

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Monday Announcements: Free Fries, Energy Drink Nannying, Ragin' Amber

Free Fry! This Friday, November 20th, and every 3rd Friday of the month from now on, Pike Street Fish Fry (925 E. Pike St.) will give away boats of fries and offer $2 pints of New Belgium beer (the co-host of the event). Lest this make you think of those old 1950s pictures of people stuffed into a phone booth, the deal is good at the shop and Moebar, 5:00-7:00 p.m. only.

Erika Hobart opines about Amber over on Reverb. Gotta agree, it can get two deep and more at Amber's bar (a very large, circular bar in the middle of the room to be exact). It's a blast to watch the "whaddya need? whaddya need?" style of bartending. Free pouring, fast, and dirty--it all ends up pretty darn precise and also very cordial here.

I TOLD YOU SO! And now... they are coming for your Cuba Libre...

Well, almost. That's phase two, after "collect underpants." (A prize for the first person to get that reference) The Washington State Liquor Control Board is anti energy drink and alcohol marriage. So much so, they made up a rule about it. Scan the full press release below from Rob McKenna, the Attorney General of Washington detailing his support of the WSLCB's crusade against energy drinks and booze. He is "urging the FDA to examine whether the use of caffeine in alcoholic beverages is considered safe under FDA regulations." Sure, this is about AEDs (alcoholic energy drinks)... for now. They'll have to pry my Baileys & coffee from my cold, dead hands...

Why you should care: Give the nanny state, "What about the children?" crowd an inch, and they will take a mile. This is a job for parental responsibility, a dot org campaign, or cultural censure--not legislation. In other words, don't tread on me my bad decisions.

Directly from the email sent out last Friday:

Rob McKenna

ATTORNEY GENERAL OF WASHINGTON

1125 Washington Street SE · PO Box 40100 · Olympia WA 98504-0100

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Nov. 13, 2009

AG McKenna: alcoholic energy drinks are a recipe for disaster

Applauds federal inquiry into boozy, caffeinated concoctions

OLYMPIA - They have names like "Joose" and "Max Fury." According to state attorneys general, these super-caffeinated alcoholic concoctions may not be safe. And worse, they're being marketed to young people.

That's why for more than two years, Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna and other AGs have been sounding the alarm about alcoholic energy drinks (AEDs). Today they're applauding the federal government's decision to look into the issue.

"Alcohol plus caffeine equals a serious health threat, especially for young people," McKenna said. "The jolt of caffeine or other stimulants masks the feeling of intoxication. Health professionals say that leads to more risk-taking behavior, traffic accidents, violence, sexual assault, and suicide."

McKenna joined the chief legal officers of 18 other jurisdictions in applauding the Food and Drug Administration's recognition of the potential harm of alcoholic energy drinks. The FDA announced today it's requesting that manufacturers of AEDs support claims that the drinks are safe under FDA regulations.

Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, a substance food additive is unsafe and unlawful unless its use has been approved by the FDA or if there is evidence, generally known and accepted by qualified experts, that it's safe.

"The increasing popularity of consumption of caffeinated alcoholic beverages by college students and reports of potential health and safety issues necessitates that we look seriously at the scientific evidence as soon as possible," Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, principal deputy commissioner of food and drugs, said in a release.

State AGs have longstanding concerns about AEDs. In 2007, 30 attorneys general, including McKenna, urged the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to stop alcohol manufacturers from making misleading health-related statements when advertising alcoholic beverages combined with caffeine or other stimulants.

In 2008, AG McKenna and 24 state AGs pressed MillerCoors Brewing to drop Sparks Red, an energy drink with boosted alcohol content. The same year, several AGs launched investigations of MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch, two major producers of AEDs. Each company eventually agreed to cease production of the stimulant-infused beverages altogether. However, other AED manufacturers have stepped in to fill the void with products packaged in larger volume containers (23.5 oz.) and containing a higher percentage of alcohol (up to 12%) than was in MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch products.

On Sept. 25, the Attorneys General wrote to the Food and Drug Administration, urging them to examine whether the use of caffeine in alcoholic beverages is considered safe under FDA regulations. They included a letter from scientists and medical professionals who argue that adding caffeine and other stimulants to alcoholic beverages pose serious public health risks.

The FDA has given the AED manufacturers 30 days to submit the requested information.

"State AGs have been working on this for years," McKenna added. "I'm gratified that today the federal government is taking action."

 
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