Our View: No squeeze necessary on lemonade stands

·3 min read
Alliance Review logo
Alliance Review logo

It’s never a good look when big organizations pick on little kids.

That’s probably why all parties involved in a recent dispute over a lemonade stand near the Carnation Food Fest − the festival board, the Alliance Police Department, and the city − wanted so much to avoid any conflict.

According to a story in The Alliance Review, a young entrepreneur had the permission of a local business owner to set up her lemonade stand near the downtown event. This caused a board member to contact the police, who had the girl take down the stand, as it violated a city ordinance about outside vendors setting up shop within 500 feet of a special event.

Everybody felt bad about it — the little girl, her family, the Greater Alliance Carnation Festival Board, the police, and the community.

It’s a story without a villain. The little girl was learning about business, her family was encouraging her, the police were enforcing the law and the board was looking out for the vendors who had paid to set up at the event.

Next year, maybe there is a compromise that could satisfy everybody.

The board could set up a Young Entrepreneur Zone at the Carnation Food Fest. Kids with a product to sell could sign up in advance.

Then, they could take turns in shifts, provided whatever they were selling still fell within the city’s non-enforcement exception for kids and as long as the products did not compete with other vendors at the event.

The vendor’s license for the zone could be covered by local businesses, or perhaps a fund could be created in the name of education.

This potential solution does nothing to salve hurt feelings over the recent dustup, but it would show that all parties involved are operating in good faith.

Following the law is important, as is protecting vendors who pay big money in addition to other overhead costs to set up at an event like the one downtown.

But encouraging the next generation of entrepreneurs is also important.

Back to school they go

Students in Alliance City Schools head back to the classroom over the next few days on a staggered schedule, depending on their age and the school where they are enrolled.

In surrounding districts, students will do the same in the days and weeks to come.

It’s an exciting time for young residents. Older readers often recall with fondness the rituals of back-to-school time, both for themselves and their children.

The last few years have been especially challenging for kids, families, and school staff. Frequent interruptions because of the pandemic have affected learning and teaching. Fear of violence has added an extra level of anxiety and preparation.

Still, a formal education is one of the most important parts of a young person’s life. Learning is beneficial for its own sake, and also so this generation of young people can contribute financially, civically and culturally to society.

Here’s hoping for a smooth start for all area districts and a productive year of growth and learning.

This article originally appeared on The Alliance Review: Our View: No squeeze is necessary on Alliance lemonade stands