It's Southern inhospitality

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One more black eye for Augusta, as the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office arrests out-of-town golf enthusiasts seeking Masters Tournament tickets. This is so wrong in so many ways.

Of course there is a market in tickets, and it would be mighty interesting to see everyone who has ever bought or sold a ticket hauled before a court. But the law apparently is enforced only against out-of-towners who are singled out by undercover cops – never against the little old ladies who, every year, sell off tickets “inherited” through their families.

Sheriff Ronnie Strength’s answer is that hoary old cliché that “ignorance of the law is no excuse,” while declining to inform those who have no way of otherwise discovering our selectively enforced law. No signs, no warnings – just grab and arrest. I think the sheriff is wrong when he quotes the “not to be sold” wording on the ticket as somehow representing the law. That is a private contract, not a statute. Besides, how can the purchaser possibly read it since he doesn’t have the ticket to read?

Police even nabbed a minister, of all people. Never mind the injustice of abusing well-intentioned visitors to our city – consider how this makes Augusta look.

Once a year, we clean the streets, fluff our pillows and put on our best smiles, while the police undermine our hospitality by laying traps for unwary fans seeking admission. I strongly support our sheriff’s office in its efforts to avert real crime, but this ticket policy is asinine and should be stopped.

Post some signs, politely warn any obnoxious offenders and stop harassing our guests. The sheriff’s policy and his attitude on this is an embarrassment to all of us.

Alan Stahl

Augusta

Comments (8) Add comment
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Conservative Man
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Conservative Man 04/29/12 - 12:10 am
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Agree with you Mr. Stahl. I

Agree with you Mr. Stahl. I thought the arrests were for the most part unnecessary. Especially those where no money changed hands.But let's not forget ANGC is responsible to some degree for this policy as well. I'm sure the RCSO didn't just suddenly decide to enforce this issue without some "prompting" from Augusta National...

HighSociety
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HighSociety 04/29/12 - 05:22 am
2
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I've said it over and over

I've said it over and over you break the law
you pay the price. Pastors are arrested all over the country for crimes way more violent (child molestation) then this, so sure one would not do something as simple as scalp a ticket. Augusta hasn't got a black-eye, but they may have a few less scalpers next year.

JRC2024
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JRC2024 04/29/12 - 07:55 am
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Tickets are not inherited.

Tickets are not inherited. They pass from husband to wife and vice versa but when they both die that is the end. I do agree that arrest for trying to buy a ticket is too much.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 04/29/12 - 08:13 am
2
2
You are wasting your breath

You are wasting your breath HighSociety. I am going to the Hawks/Celtics game tonight. The same law will be in effect and people will be getting arrested.

Pu239
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Pu239 04/29/12 - 10:40 am
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somebody call 911 and
Unpublished

somebody call 911 and dispatch a WHAAaaambulance....

willie7
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willie7 04/29/12 - 12:51 pm
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3
Tickets are passed from
Unpublished

Tickets are passed from granddaddy to son, to grandson, and soon to great grandson.

scorehouse
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scorehouse 04/29/12 - 01:44 pm
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no they aren't. my mother
Unpublished

no they aren't. my mother passed away in 2010. she had rec'd 4 tickets since the 60's. i tried my best to keep the tickets to no avail.

itsanotherday1
45281
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itsanotherday1 04/29/12 - 02:02 pm
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Willie, they are NOT

Willie, they are NOT inheritable beyond spouse to spouse.

garner49
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garner49 04/29/12 - 02:28 pm
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I actually don't see the harm

I actually don't see the harm in passing them along to someone else to enjoy, that would not have the opportunity otherwise. I was given tickets to another event (in another state) as I was standing in line to buy - I thanked and offered to pay something and was declined. I saved the entrance fee but spent more inside with the extra cash. Made the day better.

The officer's should have just made them aware, and told to not do that. Arresting is a tad harsh for such. If it were me, I'd never return.

broad street narrow mind
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broad street narrow mind 04/29/12 - 04:44 pm
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i bet the tycoons had the
Unpublished

i bet the tycoons had the cops on extra froggy watch this year in case of protests. augusta may not realize, but the ultra rich are being picketed a bit lately.

Patty-P
3516
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Patty-P 04/29/12 - 06:06 pm
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Quite frankly I think people

Quite frankly I think people know they aren't supposed to buy/sell the tickets. Sometimes people think they are somehow immune to the rules because it's the 'Masters'. I just read an article from the LA Times about this years arrests, saying that outside the gates of the Masters, as well as Washington Road 'is an embarrassment to the club'. Apparently those on the other side of the fence don't have a problem with law enforcement making the arrests.

itsanotherday1
45281
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itsanotherday1 04/29/12 - 08:33 pm
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Patty: "Apparently those on

Patty: "Apparently those on the other side of the fence don't have a problem with law enforcement making the arrests."

You may be right about that, and they are the ones with the absolute power to curb re-sales quietly and without publicity.

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