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Kids lemonade stand fined $500 and ordered shut down by county

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: lemonade stand, permit, health news

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(NaturalNews) The bank robbing outlaw Jesse James. The gangster Al Capone. Drug dealers and traffickers. Kids selling lemonade without a permit. Which one of these doesn't belong?

If you guessed the last one not only are you right, you are probably someone Big Brother may want to talk to someday, because obviously you're not an adherent to the growing American police state mentality.

What does it say about the state of our nation when scalpers can freely make a small fortune selling parking spots to U.S. Open spectators, but if young children try to sell lemonade to help fight pediatric cancer, their operation is closed down by bureaucrats and the kids are fined $500?

According to a local news report, children of some well-to-do families near Bethesda, Md., set up their stand last week in the hopes of bringing in some bucks to help cure an awful disease. Montgomery County officials spotted the stand and swooped in, warning that since the kids didn't have a permit they would have to shut the stand down. When they didn't, the county fined their parents.

"This gentleman from the county is now telling us because we don't have a vendors license, the kids won't be allowed to sell their lemonade," Carrie Marriot (of Marriot Hotels lineage) told local news reporters.

Understandably furious and confused, Ms. Marriot called officials to inquire about the situation. She was told, in essence, that the county isn't beating up on little kids, but rules are rules and, well, a lemonade stand with a few cases of bottled lemonade could draw in more unapproved (as in, non-permit holding) enterprises.

"Cute little kids making five or ten dollars is a little bit different than making hundreds. You've got coolers and coolers here," Jennifer Hughes, the county's permitting director, told Ms. Marriot.

Yes, she said, but only to raise money to help fight a terrible disease. "Does every kid who sells lemonade now have to register with the county?" she asked.

So much for charity in America.

Oddly, the county gives out permits to people who want to overcharge U.S. Open and other golfing venue spectators, some to the tune of $60 a day, with the intention of pocketing every penny. Why is that okay with Montgomery County?

Because they charge $300 per permit.

There are some real criminals in America - some very bad people who do awful things to our society. None of them dare sell lemonade without an expensive permit in Montgomery County, Md., though.

At last report, after getting a fair amount of pressure from around the country no doubt, the county was gracious enough to waive the $500 fine if the kids moved the stand to "a more private, safer area." What a bunch of saints, huh?

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