Ned Russell: Corporate profit or healthy kids? |

Ned Russell: Corporate profit or healthy kids?

Are corporate profits more important than our local young people? I’m asking because one of the few places where our young people can go after school for snacks, drinks, and chats with friends, and see adults being sociable without alcohol, has applied for a license in Grass Valley to serve beer and wine along with food. Starbucks.

A quick check of the ABC’s website shows we already have 53 eating places with an active license for on-site sales with food — just in the 95945 zip code alone! Maybe some of you are thinking “I saw lots of drinking, and did lots of drinking, and turned out OK.” I’ve thought that about myself at times, but maybe we’d have a couple million more brain cells if we were different in our youth. Any day’s police blotter will show that many kids and adults don’t turn out okay, with many repeat DUI arrests — and some recent spectacular crashes.

Harmful substances cause the most harm to developing body parts. Although 77 percent of our youth avoid alcohol, the most recent California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS) reported that 23 percent of our 9th graders had used alcohol in the past 30 days — that’s long before their brains are fully developed.

It is important for kids’ development to see adults socializing without alcohol, as often as possible. To quote Robert Fulghum, “Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.” If you agree with me that Starbucks without alcohol is better for our community, please speak with the manager and say so.

Ned Russell

Grass Valley

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