BVC - Re: Brewing issues-Duke Andrews form letter <grin>

Rurik rurik at ccgnv.net
Wed Jun 16 08:02:49 PDT 1999


eric mauer wrote:

> > Greetings,
> >
> > I'm sure that by now you have received more then a few irate responses
> > on this issue. Let me add my voice in what (I hope) is a rational and
> > constructive manner, to ask you to both rephrase and rethink your
> > statements on this matter.

Not quite yet, but the amount of daily mail is building :) But, that's what I volunteered for.

> > I have read commentary from the Exchequer's office as well as
> > responses and clarifications from Duke Andrew. What I have read fills
> > me with great concern. I have several major issues, which I'll outline
> > below.

Please do.

> > Before I start, let me say that I agree that SCA money should not be
> > used to purchase supplies for local brewers. Although I think that
> > effectively freezing assets of those guilds that were foolish enough to
> > have SCA accounts is unkind, I agree that guild monies should be
> > completely separate from the SCA, and feel that this is a reasonable
> > policy to avoid both potential liability and misuse of SCA funds.
> > This does, however, leave some significant issues.

I agree that it is somewhat unkind to the guilds that had done this, but there really was no choice
in the matter. It is extremely unfortunate that it had to happen.

> > First, it appears that due to the SCA's insurance policy, the Board is
> > trying to put a definition to the term "manufacture" that includes
> > publications. Even after subsequent clarification, this definition is
> > so subjective as to be unenforceable. Publication of recipes, even
> > modern ones, is not by any stretch "manufacture" of alcohol. There can
> > be no justification for such a restriction based on harm to the
> > insurance policy. Although I agree that, in keeping with the
> > educational purposes of our organization, publications should focus
> > on re-creation of period art forms, I don't think it's the Board's
> > place to exclusively regulate a single art form, especially in the
> > guise of insurance policy issues.

Perhaps I can clarify the publication policy:

Any publication funded by the SCA (ie: Kingdom Newsletters, Local Newsletters) can only publish
primary
source recipes as they appeared in the original text. For example, I could submit a recipe quoted
and credited directly from Digby, but could not publish the recipe for my Habenero wine. However,
this publication issue is still under revue and we have strong hopes that it will be relaxed if not
overturned.

There is no "guise" involved in this policy and the BoD is not trying to regulate any particular art
form. It is simply fulfilling it's responsibility to protect the Organization. The question of
alcohol issues was raised by the insurance company, not the BoD. The company randomly selected (I
believe the number was) 13 newsletters from throughout the Known World. They reviewed them looking
at any references to alcohol, or what they perceived as alcohol. Unfortunately, they did not
completely understand some of our terms such as "Tavern Feast". They saw the word "Tavern" and
interpreted it to me the type of Tavern that is a Bar. Now, of course, we know this to mean
something completely different, but the mundane who represented the insurance company did not. Also,
anyone would have to admit that at gatherings such as Pennsic, a great number of injuries and such
that are treated by the Chirurgeons is alcohol related. This also alarmed the insurance company. So,
they are trying to protect themselves as *any* insurance carrier would do. Again, there is no great
"conspiracy" by the BoD to regulate our Art form.

> > Secondly, using the same logic applied to publications, it appears
> > that the Board could arbitrarily ban brewers from teaching, competing
> > in arts competitions, and otherwise participating on arts and sciences
> > venues. As a group, we have enough trouble with mundane regulation. I
> > am concerned that the Board seems to be choosing to add the weight of
> > its bureaucracy to the formidable obstacles we face. In my opinion, if
> > it is in fact the case that the unreasonable definitions are at the
> > assistance of our insurance company, then it's time to find a
> > competitive company that better fits the organizations needs.

The BoD is not banning competitions, teaching, or guilds. We practice a legitimate Art form within
our Society. The BoD recognizes this *fact*. Since this whole issued was raised there has been much
review and clarification. Yes, it originally appeared that we (the B&V community) were "getting cut
off at the knees" (a phrased I stated at the Seneschal/Exchequer Symposium when it was brought
before us bu Duke Andrew), but since then, the regulation and restriction are slowly melting away
through review with attorneys and the insurance company. As I said above (and I will repeat it for
clarity sake), the BoD is doing it's job. Their responsibility is to protect the organization as a
whole. They are not targeting the B&V community just to be arbitrary. These issues were brought *to*
them, they did not come *from* them.

> > Finally, one of Duke Andrew's responses raises a grave concern about
> > my participation as an officer in the Society. I chose to serve the
> > alcohol I produce to friends, many of whom are members of the Society,
> > sometimes at Society events. I do so as a private individual. I would
> > like to think I do so responsibly. However, if by doing so I am, as he
> > states, putting the SCA's insurance at risk, then I need to resign as a
> > officer. I would think that a blanket policy that any officers of the
> > Society who chose to serve alcohol do so as private individuals and
> > assume all responsibility would be sufficient for the insurance
> > company, while allowing those of us who chose to do so to pursue both
> > endeavors of service and our chosen art.

I too am in this position. However, the policy is:

No Officer of the Corporation may Manufacture, Distribute, Sell, Serve, or Furnish alcohol as any
part of their office. This
includes local officers, Kingdom Officers, Kingdom Crowns and Coronets, Baronial Coronets, Corporate
Level officers, and any person who is warranted or rostered as any part of any office. This means
that no one in the above categories can engage in any of the 5 restricted activities as part of
their office. For example, a Seneschal cannot give someone a gift of alcohol in an open meeting as
thanks for service provided to the Shire. The Crown could not receive a bottle of mead as a
Coronation gift while they are holding court. This is because they would be given the mead because
they are holding that office (yes, the Crown is an officer of the Corporation). This also means that
alcohol cannot be given as a prize for a competition, because then the event has furnished the
alcohol.

Furthermore. this does not restrict individuals from acting *as* individuals. For example, I taught
a Mead Making class at Art-Sci. It was not done as an officer, nor did it have anything to do with
any offices I held at the time. Therefor, I was not acting in the capacity of an officer ... I was
acting strictly as an individual .... as a Vintning Laurel. Another example, Lord Johann's mundane
name is James. He has a friend named Charlie who happens to be King Olaf in the SCA. there is
nothing restricting James from giving his friend Charlie a bottle of wine, but for Lord Johann to
present the wine to HRM Olaf at feast or court, is not acceptable.

If a law suit were to be filed, the SCA, Inc.'s position would be "The SCA, Inc. is not in the
business of Manufacturing, Distributing, Selling, Serving, or Furnishing alcohol." In order for this
statement to be true, there must be regulation in place regarding these issues. This will
essentially remove the SCA (and therefor it's insurance company) from liability. *THAT* is the
reason for these policies. Not some grand conspiracy by the BoD.

> > I look forward to further clarification of this issue, and wish you
> > both courage and wisdom in your decisions.

I hope that I have provided clarification. As for wisdom, well, wisdom is usually determined after
all is said and done. Since these issues are not settled yet, we are doing the best we can to
preserve both the Society *and* Brewing and Vintning *within* the Society.

In Service to the Society,

Rurik

--
*** Master Rurik Petrovitch Stoianov
*** mka Steve Harrett
*** rurik at ccgnv.net
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