TLP: Wait, We Need To Add One More Lost Job To The Latest Figures
Couldn't make it up better, especially in this economy.
Julie Murphy, a 7-year-old Oregonian, set up a lemonade stand on July 29 at an art fair in northeast Portland. County health inspectors shut her down, however, telling Julie and her mother, Maria Fife, that they needed a temporary restaurant license, which costs $120. The penalty for selling food without a permit, they warned, was $500. At 50 cents a cup, that’s a lot of lemonade.Come on, NYT, surely you know the classic journalism credo: Follow the money. This one has set-up written all over it. How could those over-priced vendors who work every street fair, carnival and community party hope to compete against cute and the 50-cent price?
Others at the fair urged the family to give away the lemonade, and they wrote “free” and “suggested donation” on Julie’s sign with a marker. But the inspectors were unmoved.
Julie left the fair in tears.
This, of course, is the kind of incident that the Internet was made for. “Oregon Fascists Shut Down 7-Year-Old’s Lemonade Stand,” one blogger blared on a pickup of a local newspaper article. Another posted photos of police officers and federal agents in riot gear with the caption “WHERE’S THE REST OF THE BOOTLEGGED LEMONADE?”
On Thursday, Jeff Cogen, the Multnomah County chairman, called Ms. Fife and her daughter to apologize. “My kids sell lemonade, and I sold lemonade as a kid,” Mr. Cogen said in an interview.
The Health Department employees were doing their jobs, he said, and “there’s a reason those laws exist,” but “a 7-year-old selling lemonade isn’t the same as a grown-up selling burritos out of a cart.” As for the health inspectors, Mr. Cogen said he had “engaged them in a conversation” about professional discretion.
Clearly, someone snitched.