Tag: Memorial Day weekend

Lessons From Atlantic Beach Bikefest

Atlantic Beach Bikefest time has come again and Myrtle Beach is in its usual frenzy.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors will be on the Grand Strand this Memorial Day Weekend to attend the Bikefest and related activities.

However, rather than appreciating the tourists that come to spend their hard earned dollars, the city treats this weekend like an invasion by ISIS.

Downtown Myrtle Beach looks like a third world Banana Republic for most of Memorial Day weekend with police, many in commando style gear, on every corner.

But, most of the people in town for the weekend are tourists who come to have a good time.

That’s the lesson that is escaping our supposed government leaders. The events of 2014, which gained national headlines for Myrtle Beach, were caused by a small group who weren’t here to have a good time. They were troublemakers and they caused trouble.

I saw the same thing 45 years ago when I was stationed in Scotland and used to go to soccer matches (especially ones like Rangers v. Celtic or Scotland v. England).

Many headlines the next day were about the “soccer hooligans” and the mayhem they caused. But, the overwhelming percentage of the crowd was there to support the respective teams.

And they were surprised by the “Yank” in their midst and very friendly to him.

The real lesson from Atlantic Beach Bikefest is that most of the people who come here want to have a good time and spend money. That’s what a tourist town is all about and presumably why over $31 million taxpayer dollars are spent on the advertising campaigns of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.

Extra Courts Planned for Atlantic Beach Bikefest

Increased numbers of bond hearings are being planned for as the Atlantic Beach Bikefest over Memorial Day weekend draws near.

Part of planning for the weekend includes special bond hearings beginning at 6 a.m. Friday morning and convening every six hours thereafter through Sunday night.

The only conclusion that can be drawn from these preparations is that many more arrests are expected this year.

Myrtle Beach City Council – A Glimmer of Hope

A glimmer of hope made its way into the Myrtle Beach City Council deliberations on ordinances aimed at Atlantic Beach Bikefest.

At its regular meeting Tuesday, Myrtle Beach City Council tabled an ordinance specifically defining riots as three or more persons acting together.

Additionally, Myrtle Beach City Council amended its extraordinary event ordinance, before passing second reading, to eliminate some of the more ridiculous restrictions previously contained in the ordinance.

Now, over Memorial Day weekend, you can walk your dog or carry a cooler without worry of being arrested.

Singling Out Atlantic Beach Bikefest Crowds

We are being told by local officials that plans are ready for the crowds attending Atlantic Beach Bikefest over Memorial Day weekend.

You can see headlines like – “Hundreds of officers, thousands of barricades…to fill the streets.” And verbiage about the traffic loop, increased police presence, new restrictive laws and new equipment and technology all for Memorial Day weekend.

All this money, planning and effort wouldn’t have stopped the killings that made national headlines last year nor will they stop two gangs coming up here from the Charleston area and using Ocean Boulevard as a shooting gallery if they wish to this year.

Desperate Preparations for Atlantic Beach Bikefest

Two Ordinances aimed at the Atlantic Beach Bikefest and passed first reading by Myrtle Beach City Council appear acts of desperation.

Called the extraordinary events and public peace act ordinances, they could be lumped together under the title “Gall Doctrine” after Myrtle Beach Police Chief Warren Gall.

Why acts of desperation?

Randy Webster, Director of Horry County Emergency Management, was quoted in local media as calling Atlantic Beach Bikefest an uncontrollable event. Webster went on to say with all the planning that has gone into Bikefest “it’s still uncontrollable.”

With Myrtle Beach as the epicenter for the crowds that come to Bikefest and with planners calling the event uncontrollable, passing what amounts to de facto martial law ordinances was the answer from Myrtle Beach City Council.

Or are there ulterior motives?

Myrtle Beach City Council Mental Breakdown

Myrtle Beach City Council passed first reading of an ordinance Tuesday aimed at controlling Atlantic Beach Bikefest crowds.

The ordinance can only be described as the result of an apparent collective mental breakdown on the part of Myrtle Beach city officials.

Supposedly for use during “extraordinary events”, the ordinance specifically names Memorial Day weekend as an extraordinary event, thereby establishing de facto martial law in Myrtle Beach for that weekend.

Among other things, the ordinance allows the city manager to close private businesses, require private property owners to employ private security, close public streets and makes the possession of a number of objects, some as innocuous as backpacks, coolers, bottles and pets, violations subject to arrest.

Atlantic Beach Bikefest Plan Incomplete

Two months before the next Memorial Day weekend Atlantic Beach Bikefest and planning is still incomplete in what should be the most important planning areas.

Horry County Council heard a briefing on plans for the weekend from Horry County Emergency Management Department head Randy Webster at its regular meeting Tuesday night.

Included in Webster’s briefing were details such as 600 out-of-area law enforcement personnel will be on hand to help with weekend; magistrate courts will be open extra hours to keep the detainee population at J. Reuben Long Detention Center manageable and the traffic loop.

Sounds like a lot of arrests are planned.

Atlantic Beach Bikefest Planning

The Atlantic Beach Bikefest announced tentative agreement on a 23-mile traffic pattern yesterday achieving its number one goal.

The goal? Sealing off the north end neighborhoods of Myrtle Beach from bikefest traffic as much as possible.

Beyond that goal, there doesn’t seem to be much planning at this point.

Myrtle Beach Planning for Atlantic Beach Bikefest

It seems the main planning items for the Atlantic Beach Bikefest that came out of the two day law enforcement summit in Myrtle Beach earlier this week deal with federal programs.

The City of Myrtle Beach has expressed significant interest in taking advantage of several U.S. Department of Justice grants that will provide the department with patrol rifles, ballistic riot control shields and diversity training.

Those three put together seem to be mixed planning unless diversity training means putting daisies in the barrels of the patrol rifles.

Myrtle Beach City Council Must Broaden Policing Focus

Myrtle Beach City Council held an executive session yesterday to discuss safety and security planning for Memorial Day weekend.

That’s great, but it’s only a small part of the public safety problem in the city.

While the Myrtle Beach City Council is looking for better ways to control crowds during Memorial Day weekend, it must not forget it has a growing year around policing problem.