Concerns Over Beverage Ban Mount In Elmhurst
By MEGAN MONTALVO
In light of the recent sugary beverage ban proposal made by Mayor Bloomberg, many New Yorkers have all but kept quiet about the issue. While debate continues, Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-Elmhurst) took the conversation to the streets of Elmhurst.
On July 19, representatives from New Yorkers for Beverage Choices joined Ferreras as she marched down Junction Boulevard to speak with local business owners. As she made stops at a local pizzeria, deli, convenience store and coffee shop, each owner gave accounts of how their business would be they will be affected by the ban.
“We sell a lot of drinks that are 18 and 20 ounces,” said Abel Ahuatl, owner of Metro Star Coffee Shop, located at 32-11 Junction Blvd. “If I don’t sell those drinks, I’m going to lose a lot of business and cut back on employees.”
Ferreras noted that while the proposal has caused much confusion amongst local small business owners, it could also potentially create an unhealthy rivalry between business owners.
If passed, the proposed ban would be implemented in March 2013 and would place a cap on sugary drinks sold at a maximum size of 16 ounces for establishments containing a Dept. of Health letter grade, including restaurants, delis and movie theaters. Drinks sold at grocery and convenience stores would be exempt from the ban.
As an alternative to combat obesity, Ferreras asked that Bloomberg pursue other avenues of change, such as the allocation of more funding to the redevelopment of public parks. “There’s no one that wants to combat obesity in our community than I do,” said Ferreras. “The good intentions may be there, but I think we need to look at the full impact of this. It just doesn’t make sense.”
Reach Reporter Megan Montalvo at (718) 357-7400 Ext. 128 or firstname.lastname@example.org