Letter: Bars vital part of this community
There has been a lot of speculation in the past years and especially in recent months about the "petty crimes" and littering that occur on River Falls' Main Street. Local business owners and other citizens have voiced their concern that the bars need to take some kind of responsibility for the crimes and other messes that occur. People are wondering what the bars give back to River Falls. We serve a purpose just like any other business, but it seems that the negatives are more apparent than the positives, or maybe it is all in a person's perspective.
We have the venue to hold numerous benefits throughout the year, and we do. We are the businesses that people feel comfortable approaching when asking for money for numerous different causes. We sponsor many local events and organizations from River Falls Days to Music in the Park to Nikolas' Gift. We sponsor many community activities: Bowling teams, dart teams, pool teams, softball teams, trap shooting teams, basketball teams, etc., etc.
We are an integral part of the community. We attract people to our downtown, and these people are spending dollars downtown supporting other businesses other than the local taverns. The resounding majority of these people are good citizens who contribute to their surrounding community. I wonder, in this question of what we do for the community, what would happen if people were to discern that we give more to the community than some other business? Then what? Every business serves a purpose, and different businesses hold different levels of esteem to many different citizens of this town and surrounding towns. It is a slippery slope when it comes to vindication.
When we decided to purchase our local bar, we liked the atmosphere that the bar promoted and decided to carry it forward. We thought about the future, and the conduciveness of the business to a marriage and possibly a family, and decided that it could be good or bad -- it was all up to us. There have been plenty of ups and downs in our short three years of ownership, but it has remained important to move forward with a positive, productive attitude. We do our best to pick up in and around our business, and as a citizen when I am walking around town I do pick up litter, even though it is not mine, or even if I do not think one of my customers is the responsible person.
I feel badly for businesses that are vandalized and victims of theft. We were victims of theft in the second year of ownership, and it is a discouraging event. I agree that actions must be taken to solve these problems. However, blaming the bars is not a productive solution.
At some point, people have to be responsible for the individual choices they make instead of blaming others for the consequences of their actions. We have to find a way to work together to solve these problems.