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Informer: Code has provisions on glass, open containers

Last Modified: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 7:22 PM

By Andrew Perzo / American Press

I have lived in a loft on Ryan Street in downtown Lake Charles for the past 10 years. I have seen downtown development, both good and bad.

For years, I have witnessed people on the sidewalks with glass bottles in the late evenings. Every morning, glass bottles can be found scattered everywhere along our newly renovated sidewalks downtown.

Does Lake Charles have a glass container ordinance or open container law downtown?

The city code contains prohibitions on both glass containers and open alcohol containers. But the provision for the former has a specific application, and the one for the latter applies citywide.

The glass container ordinance, Section 13-51 of the city code, says a patron of a downtown business can’t “bring or have in his possession any type of glass bottle, container, or receptacle on the outdoors or outside of the business establishment except in outdoor areas of the business that are permanently enclosed, and form part of the business establishment.”

The City Council occasionally makes exceptions for certain events — most recently the Rouge et Blanc fundraiser, a benefit for the McNeese State University Banner Series.

Section 3-7 of the code defines “open container” as “any drinking vessel made of glass, metal, plastic, styrofoam, or paper, which contains an alcoholic beverage, and upon which the seal has been broken.”

The provision prohibits possession of open containers “in or upon any public street, sidewalk, park, playground or other unenclosed public place within the city limits.”

Online: www.municode.com.


Name for clock comes from old song

To round out today’s column, The Informer answers a question put to it by an inquisitive 7-year-old, your editor’s son:

Why do we call it a grandfather clock?

The name comes from a tune written in the late 19th century by Henry Clay Work, an American songwriter.

Work based his song on a tale he heard about a large upright clock in an English hotel where he stayed in 1875. According to the story, the clock stopped at the exact moment when the last of the hotel’s two former owners died.

The song’s opening lyrics:

My grandfather’s clock was too large for the shelf,

So it stood ninety years on the floor;

It was taller by half than the old man himself,

Though it weighed not a pennyweight more.

It was bought on the morn of the day that he was born,

And was always his treasure and pride;

But it stopp’d short — never to go again —

When the old man died.

“Lucky for Work, the public went cuckoo for the clock song,” reads the website mentalfloss.com. “Work not only sold over a million copies in sheet music, but the term ‘grandfather clock’ eventually became attached to the style of clock that inspired the song.”

• • •

The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098, press 5 and leave voice mail, or email informer@americanpress.com

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