Public drinking spurs plan to boycott convenience store

Public drinking spurs plan to boycott convenience store

PORTLAND, Ore. - Homeowners in Northeast Portland say they are sick of seeing people passed out in their yard or openly drinking alcohol on their street. So now some in Grant Park plan to boycott a nearby convenience store.

They are focused on high alcohol beverage sales like 24-ounce cans of Four Loko, which contains 12 percent alcohol and cost $2.50 each.

It's the kind of beverage some say is harming their neighborhood and they want a promise from Jacksons convenience store not to sell them.

There's already a Jacksons convenience store on one side of Northeast 33rd Avenue, but on the other side of the street another Jacksons convenience store is set to open next month.

Neighbors in Grant Park argue there's no need for two stores, especially if it means more sales to street drinkers.

"My fear is more transients, more crime, more noise," said Steve Lemon.

Lemon's family is fed up with finding people lying on their driveway and they’ve started taking photos of men urinating in public and drinking in the middle of the road.

"What we're trying to do is kind of take back this neighborhood," Lemon said.

Like many of his neighbors, Lemon says his home is his family's biggest investment and their quality of life is damaged each time someone walks down the street drinking a beverage out of a paper bag.

"What they are, are very low cost, high alcohol beverages, so they can spend not a lot of money and get a pretty good buzz," said Ken Peterson, who has led neighborhood negotiations with Jacksons.

He points to the two nearby schools and scores of empty bottles on the ground in arguing Jacksons should not sell malt beverages and fortified wines and shouldn't sell any alcohol after 1 a.m.

"We don't think it's a great thing for school kids to have to stumble over passed out drunks that are near their school," he said.

So far Jacksons has agreed not to sell beverages like Four Loko for the first 90 days after its new store opens. Neighbors plan to boycott the company if they don't agree to a permanent ban.

Jacksons corporate office did not get back to KATU News Monday but chief operating officer Andrea Jackson wrote in an email to neighborhood leaders Monday afternoon that "Jacksons is committed to working with our neighborhood association to come to a mutually acceptable long term solution."

There is a QFC on Northeast 33rd that agreed 12 years ago not to sell these kinds of drinks.