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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Vander Woude: ‘I just sell beer and wine’

Among the most outspoken opponents in JFAC today of later liquor store hours was Rep. John Vander Woude, R-Nampa, who operates a convenience store that sells beer and wine and is open until 11 p.m. He argued in the JFAC debate, "By extending the hours, we're saying it's OK to increase consumption for our profit and that's why we want to do it."

Vander Woude said afterward that he doesn't view state liquor sales as competing with his store's beer and wine sales. "They sell the hard liquor, I don't sell any of that," he said. "I just sell beer and wine." Asked whether he thinks private businesses like his also shouldn't sell alcohol in evening hours to avoid encouraging alcohol consumption, Vander Woude said, "You know, honestly, I never had looked at it that way. I guess to me it's the promotion." He said, "I think the state should not be in the liquor business. We deal with substance abuse. ... How can we be on the other side of that?"

The Liquor Division already has about a dozen state liquor stores that are open until 9; its request was for $455,000 to add staff to allow 27 more stores to stay open between 7 and 9 for a six-month experiment; the division anticipated a $2 million return.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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