MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Erie Times E-Edition Article-Bracing for impact

Posted by M. C. on December 12, 2020

Note the common complaint about the lack of notice and lack of planning. This situation has been predicted for a decade. Remember Gates Event 201 from last October?

Yet people are putting their lives in the hands of a government that did absolutely nothing to prepare for this. Maybe that WAS the plan.

Comrade Wolf is doing what government does best. If it didn’t work the first time, lets do it again.

https://erietimes-pa-app.newsmemory.com/?publink=3ef2fea3f

Chris Sirianni, owner of The Brewerie at Union Station, said he was feeling frustrated, disappointed and heartbroken for his staff.

About 45 full-time and part-time employees were on Sirianni’s payroll Thursday at the popular downtown Erie restaurant at 123 W. 14th St.

Sirianni estimates he will likely lay off about 35 employees on Friday in response to the latest temporary state COVID19 mitigation guidelines outlined Thursday by Gov. Tom Wolf.

In an effort to curb the surging spread of COVID19, Wolf announced that indoor dining at restaurants, taverns, breweries, wineries, distilleries, social clubs and private catered events is prohibited for the next three weeks.

Wolf also announced the following COVID-19 mitigation measures, which are scheduled to begin on Saturday and continue until Jan. 4 at 8 a.m.: Indoor gatherings and events of more than 10 persons are prohibited.

Outdoor gatherings and events of more than 50 persons are prohibited.

Matthew Gurcza, of Erie, works out on an elliptical machine Friday at the Glenwood YMCA in Erie. Pennsylvania gyms will be closed beginning Saturday due to the latest temporary state COVID-19 mitigation guidelines outlined Thursday by Gov. Tom Wolf. [JACK HANRAHAN/ERIE TIMES-NEWS]

The Brewerie at Union Station owner Chris Sirianni estimates he will likely lay off about 35 employees on Friday in response to the latest temporary state COVID-19 mitigation guidelines outlined Thursday by Gov. Tom Wolf. [GREG WOHLFORD FILE PHOTO/ ERIE TIMES-NEWS]

Businesses serving the public may only operate at up to 50 percent of the maximum capacity, except as limited by existing orders to a smaller capacity limit.

Indoor operations at gyms and fitness facilities are prohibited.

All in-person businesses in the entertainment industry serving the public within a building or indoor defined area, including theaters, concert venues, museums, movie theaters, arcades, casinos, bowling alleys, private clubs, and all other similar entertainment, recreational or social facilities, are prohibited from operation.

In-person extracurricular school activities are suspended, but these activities may be held virtually.

All K-12 sports and club, travel, recreational and intramural sports are paused.

“The big thing is the state knew this was coming and there was no plan for any relief from the state,” said Sirianni, who is president of the northwest chapter of the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association.

“The state is sitting on $1.3 billion in CARES money, and there’s no current plan for that money to filter down to businesses that are restricted or closed,” Sirianni said. “We had local representatives asking the governor to keep any extent of indoor dining available through the holidays knowing that major retailers will still be allowed to do business as usual.”

Restaurants and taverns will be allowed to offer takeout food service and takeout alcohol sales, outdoor dining, plus online sales and delivery.

Those restaurants include the ones located at the Millcreek Mall, including its food court, said Joe Bell, a spokesman for mall owners Cafaro Corp.

“We will be removing the seating, so that everything is takeout,” Bell said.

The new mitigation efforts will have less of an effect on the mall’s retail stores, which will have to limit their number of customers to 50% of maximum capacity, Bell said.

“The crowds have been self-regulating,” Bell said. “We’re not even close to the point where the 50% occupancy levels come into play.”

Wolf’s mitigation orders mean that the YMCA of Erie County planned to close its fitness centers Friday evening at all four locations: Glenwood, Downtown, Eastside and County.

The Y’s childcare services will remain open, and the Y will continue its meal service and other programs it hosts remotely, said Tammy Roche, the Y’s vice president of financial development, membership and marketing.

“We certainly will comply with the governor’s mitigation efforts,” Roche said. “Though we don’t want to see the Y close. Right now we need the wellness, to move our bodies, to reduce stress and feed our spirits.”

Nearly 400 people work at the four local Y branches, Roche said. Most of them work in childcare and will continue their jobs, but others who work in the fitness centers could be laid off.

Customers will have the option to freeze their memberships, cancel them or donate their fees over the next week weeks.

Fearing and expecting rising COVID-19 numbers this winter, Dave Litz Jr., owner of the Sloppy Duck Saloon at 726 W. Bayfront Parkway in Erie, closed his restaurant in early October. He hopes to reopen in April or May.

“I feel real bad for the restaurant industry,” Litz said. “They’re (restaurant owners and staff) are taking it hard. Operating with limited seating is tough and now these guidelines are eliminating that.”

Litz said his staff totaled 37 employees before the onset of the pandemic in March. He operated his restaurant with 14 employees this past summer.

“In early October, we anticipated the COVID numbers would get worse and decided to close the Sloppy Duck,” Litz said. “We usually do a lot of Christmas events. We’re looking for better times this spring and we’re hoping to see a different world. We decided to hunker down and ride it out and, hopefully, open this spring in better times.”

Sirianni said that while he believes the restaurant industry has demonstrated resiliency during the past 10 months of the pandemic, December is a time when restaurants and taverns “make their bottom line to get them through what is traditionally a very rough January.”

“We’re fine with mitigation measures,” Sirianni said. “Public health is what we’re about. The problem is the way the state has delivered these restrictions. From day one, the state has given the industry only a 24-hour notice before each shutdown. Businesses can’t operate like that.”

The COVID-19 mitigation measures announced Thursday also will put a three-week halt to open and league bowling at numerous Erie-area bowling lanes.

“Financially, we’ll be able to weather the three weeks,” said Tom Lytle, owner of Westway Lanes, 8674 West Ridge Road, in Girard Township. “You kind of save money all winter to get through the summer, which is a dead period. Still, it’s going to hurt.”

League bowling runs from September through April and represents a substantial portion of income for area alleys.

“It’s going to be lost revenue. What’s tough in the bowling industry is that league bowling numbers are on the decline. It’s getting harder and harder to make money, and that’s where we pay the bills.”

Lytle estimates he has about 400 league bowlers at Westway Lanes.

“This will affect us more than the COVID shutdown in March.”

David Kacprowicz, who has owned Erie’s Eastland Bowl, 3729 McClelland Ave., since 2012, said the threeweek shutdown will mean a loss of revenue from pro shop and bowling ball sales, open bowling, league bowling and walk-in customers.

“I don’t like it, but I understand it,” Kacprowicz said. “I’m not discouraged by it. I’m taking a positive approach that we’ll be able to open up again in January.”

Kacprowicz just wants everyone to comply with mask mandates and social distancing.

“COVID cases are out of control,” he said. “I wish everybody would abide by the simple request of wearing a mask and social distancing.”

Kacprowicz said he expects the seven employees on his payroll to file for unemployment compensation.

Mark Wattle, owner of Greengarden Lanes, 158W. 38th St., in Erie, knows that feeling.

“I have to lay off 21 employees at Christmas. How can it get worse than that?” Wattle said. “I wish the best to all the small businesses and I hope they get back on their feet when this is over.” Staff writer David Bruce contributed to this story. Contact Ron Leonardi at rleonardi@timesnews. com. Follow him on Twitter @ETNLeonardi.

Be seeing you

One Response to “Erie Times E-Edition Article-Bracing for impact”

  1. Tell that ahole to take off his mask when he is working out. That is pointless, just as dumb as walking down the edge of the industrial zone wearing a mask or driving alone wearing one.

    Heart disease and diabetes/metabolic issues are killing us quicker.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

 
<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: