Kid's Lemonade Stand Shut Down by County Inspectors

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By Tanya Roth, Esq. on August 10, 2010 12:58 PM

First there was the Boston Tea Party (the original one, not the current one). Then Prohibition. Now, there is the Portland Lemonade Revolt. Yes, like her forbearers, this modern American citizen truly resents government bureaucrats tampering with her God given right to sell and drink her preferred legal beverage. Now, after county inspectors shut down a little girl's lemonade stand, some Portlanders are up in arms.

Last week, 7 year-old entrepreneur Julie Murphy (with VP Mom assisting) opened a lemonade booth at a local arts fair in usually laid-back Portland, Oregon, according to MSNBC. Unfortunately, it was not long before a county health inspector stepped up to the booth, not for a refreshing sip of the Kool-Aid concoction, but to demand to see Julie's restaurant license. When Julie and her mother admitted to the inspector they did not have a license, he threatened them with a $500 fine if they did not shut down their illicit lemonade stand immediately.

The 2010 version of the Sons (and Daughters) of Liberty stepped in at this point forming a crowd around the stand and urging Julie and her mom to stand strong. Sadly, the showdown concluded when a crying Julie packed up the stand and left. My children, the battle was lost, but the war was won. Multnoma County chairman Jeff Cogen has apologized to Julie. He concedes that selling lemonade is, "... a classic, iconic American kid thing to do," according to the local paper, The Oregonian. Julie has accepted the apology, received widespread support, and turned a tidy profit as well. How American.

Permits are issued, much to the dismay of some, at all levels of government, including federal, state and local. Health Department permits are usually required for businesses involve in the preparation and/or sale of food, among other types of businesses. This would apply here of course, if one can call a Kool-Aid based drink, "food." That will remain open for discussion.

But the defenders of the iconic American childhood are not so easily mollified. The Oregonian reports that one vendor at the arts fair is planning the Lemonade Revolt for the next time the fair is held, later in August. Imagine county inspectors surrounded by a crowd of angry vendors, all selling lemonade without a license. Talk about civil disobedience.

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