Sobering statistics from Miners Jubilee

By Baker City Herald Editorial Board July 24, 2013 08:06 am

There was much to like about this year’s Miners Jubilee.

Baker City’s annual summer celebration continues to feature a variety of events attractive to families — a parade with plenty of candy skittering across the asphalt, a fun center at the park, a chance for kids to pan a few flakes of gold.

Police Chief Wyn Lohner offers a vastly different, and quite troubling, view.

His memo summarizing Miners Jubilee includes such phrases as “drunk lady bleeding from arms and knees,” and another person “too intoxicated to walk or be left alone,” and a “passed out male trying to get into a vehicle between periods of consciousness.”

Put simply, too many people are drinking too much alcohol during Miners Jubilee.

This problem is not unique to Miners Jubilee, of course. People abuse alcohol every day.

But based on police reports it seems that excessive drinking is more prevalent during Miners Jubilee than during other major events. There were far fewer alcohol-related problems during the Hells Canyon Motorcycle Rally the previous weekend, for instance.

It’s tempting to suggest that restrictions on beer gardens would curb the problems, but we’re not convinced that would have any appreciable effect.

The real solution lies with people — specifically, that small minority of people who cause all the trouble.

There’s nothing wrong with celebrating, of course.

But if you choose to include alcohol in your festivities, please be responsible and encourage others to do the same. This is supposed to be fun, after all.

And we doubt anyone who ends up “too intoxicated to walk” is likely to remember Miners Jubilee with fondness — or, indeed, to remember it at all.