Claim that alcohol destroys families is true
As the date of the wet/dry election draws near, I hope people will think long and hard about how it will change our county and our town if they vote it wet. Making Estill a county in which liquor sales are legal is a giant mistake for the people who live here. I may be old fashioned and I may be stuck in the 20th century, but there is nothing wrong with loving your home county and wanting it to remain as it is.
It is no secret that there is a major drug problem here. Just read the court news in this paper every week and you will see all the DUI’s, robberies and domestics that are mainly caused by addiction. Do we really need to make it easier for excessive drinkers to obtain their particular brand of addiction?
I understand that not all drinkers are alcoholics but some certainly are and after living with one for 24 years, I can tell you that life with them is not a happy life for spouses or children. It makes it really hard to stretch a pay check to cover everything when a large chunk of it goes to booze every month. The signs around the county that state that “alcohol destroys families” are more true than the average observer knows.
Be a responsible citizen, go to the polls on Jan. 15 and vote no. Not all change is good.
Rhonda M. Smyth
Thanks to nursing home visitors, volunteers
As a daughter of a parent who resides at the Irvine Health and Rehabilitation Center (nursing home). I would just like to take a few minutes to publically say “thank you” to many people in our community.
My mom, Janice Miller, has been a resident of the Irvine nursing home for a few years now and I am always touched by the community support of our facility and its residents. During Christmas, especially, I would often find gifts, cards, pictures drawn by children and special treats randomly left in her room. I don’t always know who has been to visit, but I am always thankful.
If you, your church, school, organization or community group has made visiting the residents part of your Christmas traditions, I would just like to say “thank you so very much.”
You may not realize what a difference you are making by just offering a few minutes of your time to share a smile, a song or a word of encouragment with those very special people. But let me assure you that you are sharing more than just a few moments of your time. You are sharing a part of yourselves.
I know that I surely speak on behalf of all the family members, residents and staff of the nursing home when I offer these thanks.
Please know that even though you may not receive thank you cards or other acknowledgements your service does not go unnoticed or unappreciated.
I, for one, can’t say enough how much it means to me to know you care about my mom enough to go visit from time to time.
Jesus said in Matthew “I tell you the truth, whatever you do for one of the least of these, my brothers, you did for me.” I pray you are each blessed richly in the new year.
Underage drinking should be concern in election
During all of the current debate in our county concerning the wet/dry election I have not heard many people address the concern of underage drinking. The law states it is illegal for a person under 21 to purchase, possess or consume alcoholic beverages.
Underage drinking affects more teenagers in our county than any other drug except nicotine. The Kentucky Incentive for Prevention Survey is conducted every two years for sixth-, eighth-, tenth- and twelfth-grade students. In 2010 just 38 percent of the twelfth-grade students had not had a drink of alcohol. When asked: “If you wanted to get some beer, wine, or hard liquor (for example: vodka, whiskey, or gin), how easy would it be for you to get some?” 74 percent of twelfth graders responded it was “sort of easy” or “very easy” for them to obtain alcohol.
The problem of underage drinking is not a recent occurrence. Through the years, drinking alcohol has been considered by many adults as a “rite of passage” or “at least they aren’t doing drugs” mindset.
Reliable medical studies have shown that a person who uses alcohol or drugs before age 15 has a five-times greater chance of becoming addicted to them. The greatest increase in student use of alcohol is seen between the eighth and tenth grades. In 2008 there were six percent of eighth graders who reported having had at least a drink of alcohol in the past 30 days. When the same students were surveyed in 2010, the number increased to 25 percent. These students are not old enough to drive, much less obtain alcohol.
To help protect the future of our youth, our county needs to look at underage drinking as a serious problem. Having local legal access to alcoholic beverages is not worth the small amount of revenue the sale of such products would generate. Adults need to remember that youth look to them as role models. Whether we realize it or not, someone is watching to see how our actions match up with our words.
Estill Substance Abuse Coalition
Alcohol sales won’t lead to economic growth
I find it very interesting that I continue to read about the need to legalize the sale of alcohol so we can keep thousands of dollars in tax revenue in Estill County. I can’t help but wonder about the logic in that statement. While it is true that a portion of the tax dollars from alcohol sales will be distributed in the county, that money will be earmarked for the expenses incurred from the consequences of alcohol. In the May 29, 2012, edition of the Central Kentucky News there is an article discussing the tax revenue for the city of Danville since they went wet in 2010. Here are some figures that explain the great financial benefits that the citizens of Danville have enjoyed:
Since Danville went wet in June 2010, they have collected about $850,000 in alcohol taxes. They have also spent about $760,000 of that money on alcohol education, code enforcement, police officers and equipment. That leaves them a windfall of $90,000. However, that $90,000 along with an estimated $475,000 of future tax revenues will help defray an estimated $610,000 in alcohol related costs in 2012-2013. So the city of Danville will have to come up with another $45,000 just to break even.
Back in Estill County the alcohol election alone will put us somewhere in the neighborhood of $20,000 in debt. Can we afford to pay for the election and the cost of legal alcohol sales? I don’t think so.
Personally I don’t think this is about tax dollars. Even if there was a great windfall from alcohol sales (and there isn’t), how much is a life worth? I believe there is no amount of money that can make up for the loss of one life due to alcohol, much less the 75,000 who will die in this country this year. I, for one, do not think we can put a price tag on the destruction of families due to alcohol. I hope you will join me in voting for what is best for this community. Please vote no on Jan. 15.
River Drive Christian Church
Wet/dry vote isn’t about religious doctrine
Most of us like to consider ourselves Christians. I consider myself a Christian. I do not wear it on my sleeve, but I do try to live my life in accordance with Christian values and what I believe to be the inspired word of God as laid down in the Bible.
I would say I am probably in the minority of Christians, though, in that I accepted a challenge some years ago, along with a copy of the NIV Men’s Devotional Bible, to read the entire Bible from cover to cover.
It has been my experience that most Christians never do that. They read the passages that support this week’s sermon; they may read the passage that supports this week’s Sunday School lesson and they re-read favorite passages or books from the Old and/or New Testaments. I would suggest that there is much to learn from reading the whole book, in sequence, to keep the passages, the history and message in context.
Many of us have favorite passages that we hold dear, as touchstones to anchor our faith and personal values. However, the risk of focusing too much emphasis on the passages is to lose understanding of the context from which they came.
For example, in looking at how the Bible addresses alcohol use, the Old Testament specifies wine as a drink offering in both the Tabernacle and then the Temple ( Exodus 29:42, Leviticus 23:9, Numbers 15:5, Numbers 28, etc.).
The Old Testament repeatedly directs that the priests and the Levites are to receive the finest new wine as part of their wages (i.e., Numbers 18: 8 and 28, Deuteronomy 18:4, 2 Chronicles 31:5, Nehemiah 10:37).
Moses in his blessing of the tribe of Asher says they will be “secure in a land of grain and new wine” (Deuteronomy 33:28).
In Proverbs 3:9-10, King Solomon tells his son “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of your crops; … and your vats will brim over with new wine.”
In the New Testament, John 2 tells us that Jesus’ first miracle, at his mother’s request, was to turn water into wine for a wedding banquet – his mother’s request was the result of the banquet planner’s failure to provide enough wine for the celebration.
And one of Jesus’ last acts as a free man before his crucifixion was to host his disciples in breaking bread and sharing wine at the Last Supper (Matthew 26:27, Mark 14:24, Luke 22:18), an event we Christians regularly, solemnly, and symbolically recreate in our Sacrament of Holy Communion.
Certainly, to be complete in the Bible’s treatment of alcoholic beverages, while the use of alcohol is both condoned and even directed (as a sacrifice and as a wage) throughout the Bible, it is not without warning.
As we all know, as with all temptations there are hazards involved in intemperance and excess.
A few of the warnings concerning alcohol include: Proverbs 20 warns us not to be led astray by wine and beer, Proverbs 23:20-21 carries a two-edged warning against wine and gluttony and Proverbs 23:30-32 warns us not to linger over the wine (i.e., drink in excess) – while it may go down smoothly it can bite like a snake.
The Bible, particularly the Old Testament, also contains a number of stories about individuals and societies brought down by the excessive use of alcohol, among other vices. Even so, the Bible does not tell the faithful not to drink alcoholic beverages.
Nonetheless, while the use of alcohol is narrated as a cultural norm throughout the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments, I do think there is some implied guidance: If you chose to consume alcohol and discover that you cannot do so without carrying it to excess, do not drink. Drunkenness, along with a litany of other excesses (gluttony, being consumed by acquiring material things, abusing others, adultery, stealing, etc.), is wrong in the eyes of the Lord.
Coming full circle back to the topic of the upcoming wet/dry vote for the county, it is not a biblical issue or a matter of Christian doctrine. An individual’s use of alcohol is a personal choice that is neither encouraged nor discouraged by the Bible, only intemperance and excess are discouraged.
Concerning our children, Proverbs 22:6 admonishes parents to: Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. It might also be interesting to note here a recent article in the Wall Street Journal (Dec. 20, 2012) summarizing the annual report of the National Institute on Drug Abuse: teenage alcohol abuse remained at the lowest levels since the survey started in 1991 – in spite of the increasing availability of alcohol sales across Kentucky and across the nation.
So, the wet-dry vote really is about economics. As Estill County citizens, do we believe that allowing the legal sale of alcohol within the county is in the best economic interests of the county? I think it is. First, it will keep a lot of commerce dollars in this county that county citizens currently spend at liquor stores in surrounding counties (Madison, Fayette, Clark, Montgomery, and now Wolfe), and that means jobs – not a lot, but some.
Second, Estill County would become a location for mid-level and maybe upper level restaurants to consider as a location – something they will not do if alcohol is not an option.
And finally, and most importantly, it will make Estill County a more attractive location for hosting new business – and that means potential jobs and a future right here for our young people.
I encourage everyone to think about the economic future of the county and to vote for what you think is best for our future and the future of our young people. Most importantly, as citizens of this county, make time to vote. I hope you will vote wet.
Congregations should vote Jan. 15
As our community approaches the Jan. 15 wet/dry vote, active voters have already made up their mind concerning how they will vote. As a Christian, a father of two young girls and a minister, I will be voting to keep Estill County dry. I want to encourage church congregations to get out and vote on Jan. 15.
Christians must realize that a wet Estill County will not simply end with the sale of alcohol in this community. Take our neighboring counties that are already wet as an example. How long will it take for the alcohol to attract liquor stores, bars and strip joints and the like to this area? What degrading establishments might like to come here and further disrespect the Christian community? If this election makes Estill County wet, what will come next? Remember, if we give the Devil an inch, he will become our ruler.
Brother Mark T. Pearson