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Rio Restaurant & Lounge Hearing Now Feb 3 - Petitions / Emails / FAX Letters (2011)

Please share this information widely.
Please send emails and petitions as described below
Soonest but no later than 3 pm February 3.

For this article & updates:
j.mp/rio2010jan

For recent Rio history: j.mp/rio2009july

Update Jan 31, 2010:

Update Jan 8, 2010:
Now that the hearing date has changed to 7 pm Wednesday February 3, please download and circulate this revised petition form. (To preserve earlier links, the filename was not changed.) Please do not continue to circulate the old (Jan 13) petition form, but please do deliver to the Liquor Board in any remaining signed copies of the old (Jan 13) petition.

Please deliver petitions to the Liquor Board soonest, but no later than 3 pm February 3.


Board of License Commissioners
County Service Building
5012 Rhode Island Avenue, Room 204
Hyattsville, Maryland 20781
Phone: (301) 699-2770
Fax: (301) 985-3548

Please also consider sending the following revised message text with your elaborating comments from yourself individually and separately by your community organization by email or FAX or letter delivered to the Liquor Board soonest, but no later than 3 pm February 3.

Revised opposition email/letter/FAX text:



To: Prince George's County Liquor Board, Chairman Jackson
Subject: OPPOSE Rio Restaurant & Lounge Extending Hours of Operation and any Loosening of license conditions

I, (FULL NAME), living at (FULL ADDRESS), am a Prince George's County registered voter,
[For organizations: and President/etc of the XYZ Homeowners Association/etc ].

I oppose loosening any of the current liquor license conditions for Rio Restaurant & Lounge located at 13501 Baltimore Ave., Laurel, Maryland 20707

I specifically oppose any extension of the hours of operation.

I believe that the one or even two months that Rio Restauant & Lounge will have been in operation since opening December 2, 2009 is a totally inadequate amount of time in which to assess whether to loosen any of the current conditions on their liquor license, including any extension of the hours of operation.

I believe that any loosening of the conditions on this liquor license is a threat to the peace and safety of the community.
Respectfully,
[Your Signature Block]
==========

Update Jan 7, 2010:
This afternoon i received notification from the Liquor Board that the January 13, 2010 hearing for Rio Restaurant & Lounge has been continued (rescheduled) to February 3, 2010 at 7 pm at the County Services Building in Hyattsville.

February 3, 2010 7:00 P.M.
Board of License Commisioners / Liquor Board
County Service Building, Hearing Room 200
5012 Rhode Island Avenue, Hyattsville, MD 20781

Thanks to all who were able to write to the Liquor Board on such short notice. And special thanks to our elected Representatives, and their staff, who sent letters and otherwise engaged the Liquor Board on behalf of our Community:


MD District 21 Senator - Jim Rosapepe (Carolyn Brenner, Stacey Baca)
MD District 21 Delegate - Barbara Frush
MD District 21 Delegate - Ben Barnes
MD District 21 Delegate - Joseline Peña-Melnyk
MD District 23 Senator - Douglas Peters
MD District 23A Delegate - Gerron Levi
MD District 23A Delegate - James Hubbard
Prince George's County District 1 Councilman & Council Chair - Tom Dernoga (Laura Moore)
Prince George's County Education Board Member District 1 Rosalind Johnson
City of Laurel, Mayor Moe


If you have not yet sent a message to the Liquor Board, please do so, expressing your opposition to loosening any of Rio's liquor license conditions as described on this web page J.MP/rio2010jan (see UPDATE Jan 8, 2010 for revised message text and a revised petition) -- Omit opposition to the Jan 13 hearing date because that hearing is now rescheduled to Feb 3.
==========

Update Jan 5, 2010:
Please reserve Jan 13 7 pm for Possible Rio Hearing [now Feb 3]
Even as we urgently send the Liquor Board our emails, letters, faxs and petitions to change the scheduled Rio hearing date (see below), please try to reserve January 13 7 pm [now Feb 3] on your calendars, so as many of us as possible can go to Hyattsville on that date to attend the Liquor Board hearing IF the hearing is not rescheduled to later as we are requesting.

Just standing up at the beginning of the Liquor Board hearing when the Chairman literally counts how many are present "in Opposition" to Rio's request (and how many are "For") -- its not a vote -- but it is very effective in showing our communty's opposition to Rio's attempt to expand its operating hours (see below). Such very late hours are totally inconsistent with Rio's long standing liquor license requirement that they operate as a "Family-Friendly" restaurant, due to the long history of violence at that location. Community organization leaders and elected legislators would be testifying, but attendance by a large number of citizens sends a unique and powerful message -- which has been very successful for our community at past hearings like this.

Of course, we hope the hearing will be rescheduled to much later in the year -- which is why your emails, letters, and petitions are so important and urgent right now -- and you will be notified immediately if/when that happens -- but we may not learn that until the very last moment -- so we need to be prepared for Jan 13, just in case. [now Feb 3]

So, please try to join our email, letter, and petition campaign -- and also attend the hearing if you can (see below)

==========

On Dec 31, 2009, just before the New Year's holiday weekend, we learned from a Laurel Gazette article that a Liquor Board hearing is scheduled at 7 pm Wednesday, January 13, 2010 [now Feb 3] for Rio Restaurant & Lounge (which was confirmed by a call to the Liquor Board.) That hearing was requested by Rio owner, Mr. Tak Yoon, to extend his hours of operation (*) and possibly also to argue for the loosening of other conditions requested by the community, which were approved by the Liquor Board on July 28, 2009 due to the long history of violence at that location. (Liquor Board Letter, July 29, 2009).
At the July 28, 2009 hearing, the Liquor Board said it would schedule a hearing to review this license in no less than six months (i.e. no earlier than January 2010). At that time, Rio was expected to open soon -- giving several months of Rio operations to consider in a January 2010 hearing. But Rio did not open until Dec 2, 2009. Now, after only one month in operation, the Rio owner is already trying to extend Rio's hours of operation to later than those imposed by the Liquor Board. (*).
I am asking community residents -- and community organization leaders on behalf of your organizations -- to please consider immediately sending emails or faxed letters to the Liquor Board requesting that the January 13 [now Feb 3] hearing should be rescheduled to no earlier than June 2010 [June 2010], to provide adequate experience with Rio operations before considering any loosening of the Rio's current liquor licence conditions -- but such a hearing should be in no case earlier than February 10, 2010, as a matter of fairness, due process, and open government. (See example wording below)

We have since learned that Mr. Tak Yoon appeared at a regularly scheduled
10 AM session of the Liquor Board on December 22, 2009 to submit his request for extended hours of operations. But the Liquor Board declined to hear his request at that time. The Board scheduled the January 13, 2010 evening hearing so that community Persons of Record in the case could attend, but somehow, our community Persons of Record did not receive any notice that the Liquor Board's regularly scheduled January 13, 7 pm administrative session would deal in any way with Rio. (Liquor Board Rule & Regulation 25).(*) We understand that the extended hours being requested by Rio are:
  • Monday through Friday -- extending closing from 11:30 pm to 1 am
  • Sunday -- extending closing from 11:30 pm to 2 am
  • Sunday -- extending opening from 12:30 pm to one hour earlier at 11:30 am
PETITIONS:
Given the very short notice we all have received, nonetheless, if you can, please download this petition [revised for February 3 hearing] and collect signatures from local residents (must be Prince George's County registered voters) and deliver them by hand, mail, or FAX to the Liquor Board by no later than Noon January 13 (and earlier if possible) [now Feb 3] so there is time for Liquor Board staff to verify the names and addresses with the county voter registration rolls.

Board of License Commissioners
County Service Building

5012 Rhode Island Avenue, Room 204
Hyattsville, Maryland 20781
Phone: (301) 699-2770
Fax: (301) 985-3548

EMAIL or FAXed Letters:
From Individuals and additionally from Organization Leaders on behalf of your Organization:

You can copy/paste/modify the following text into your own email or faxed letter (not as a petition with multiple names) AND your own elaborative comments
This following email text is now outdated by events -- please use the email text above under Update Jan 8


To: Prince George's County Liquor Board, Chairman Jackson
Subject: OPPOSE Jan 13 [now Feb 3] Rio Hearing and Hours Extension.
I, (FULL NAME), living at (FULL ADDRESS), am a Prince George's County registered voter,
[For organizations: and President/etc of the XYZ Homeowners Association/etc ].
1) I oppose loosening any of the current liquor license conditions for Rio Restaurant & Lounge located at 13501 Baltimore Ave., Laurel, Maryland 20707; including, but not limited to, opposition to extending the hours of operation.
2) I oppose holding the liquor board hearing on this matter on January 13, 2010, as currently scheduled.
3) I request that this hearing be held no earlier than June 2010 and in no case before February 10, 2010
I believe that the only one or even two months that Rio Restauant & Lounge will have been in operation since opening December 2, 2009 is a totally inadequate amount of time in which to assess whether to loosen any of the current conditions on their liquor license, including any extension of the hours of operation.
Moreover, Persons of Record representing our community somehow did not receive notice from the Liquor Board, that the January 13 hearing would address Rio Restaurant & Lounge (R.R. 25).
Further, I believe that any loosening of the conditions on this liquor license is a threat to the peace and safety of the community.
[Your Signature Block]
===========================================

You are of course, free to communicate any other thoughts you wish in any way to the Liquor Board.


In any case please do not forward this entire message to the Liquor Board
-- just your own personal correspondence