Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Dorchester District Two board members plan to submit a written letter opposing a beer and wine license that is being obtained by the convenience store Mia Quickstop, located across the street from Alston Middle School on W. 5th North Street.
Chairwoman Gail Hughes presented the case to board members during their board meeting June 23.
“I feel we just need to tell them what our concerns are,” she said. “I think it’s important that we speak out.”
The store has recently been the focus of surrounding neighbors, who have banned together to petition against the owner’s attempt to obtain a beer and wine license. Neighbors are being led by Louis Smith, founder of the Community Resource Center, who addressed the school board on June 9 to express concerns about having a store sell beer and wine that close to school grounds.
Smith had argued that middle school students are “impressionable” and having a convenience store that sells beer and wine right across the street from a middle school creates a bad image.
Smith reported that he and other concerned neighbors were in the process of gathering signatures in protest. Their goal was 250 signatures, and they had already accumulated nearly half that by the time of the June 9 board meeting.
After the most recent board meeting, Superintendent Joe Pye said board members feel an obligation to the residents who live around Alston Middle.
“We are trying to have a community concept,” he said. “If this is their wish, this is also our wish.”
Pye said it is not just concerns with students finding ways to obtain alcohol, but also to keep it off school grounds.
“We don’t need adults loitering around the schools, drinking,” he said. “I think we need to stand up and be heard.”