Progress and motion brings growing pains
To the editor:
As things continue to move forward in Estill County and blinders have been removed from most in the field, I’m shocked that some believe things are happening in a RUSH….. It’s very encouraging most want to move on, be progressive and understand there will be challenges as historical infrastructure projects get started and completed over the next few years. With “Progress and Motion” there will be some growing pains, don’t lose the VISION!!
In closing, as bids go out, bids get accepted and a new sanitary sewer system and large capacity sewage treatment plant is a reality in Estill County, it will be not be too soon for all the past city/county officials, directors, board member sand citizens that stayed the course over the past 15 plus years and supported the notion of one system. What a time in the next few years for Estill County and the twin cities to re-open it’s door to industry, small business, residential growth, and tourism.
Welcome to Estill County “small county….. big hearts”
Kevin T. Williams
President did deserve the Nobel Prize
To the editor:
I couldn’t disagree with you more about President Obama (it is disrespectful to omit his title) being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He has done more in his short presidency to promote peace than his predecessor accomplished in eight years. Closing the prison at Gitmo is an excellent start to new foreign policy. He was given the award for his commitment to human rights, freedom, and his message of hope.
Disappointed in the CV&T
To The editor:
I am disappointed in the CV&T. I know that small town papers often report opinion as fact, but I had hoped for a little better from you. With the wet/dry vote coming up in Estill County, it is your responsibility to make sure the citizens of the community that you “proudly serve” are informed. Instead, week after week we are subjected to a simple opinion–that going wet “doesn’t help anything.” Nevermind the jobs from the new businesses and restaurants, nevermind the money that citizens of Estill County spend annually in Madison County on alcohol. Nevermind that spending that money at businesses here in Estill County would help the economy here. Those things are important–and it’s nice to know that alcohol sales would, in fact, help something. I think most of us would agree, however, that our safety is more important than our wallets.
So how would alcohol affect the safety of our community? I have seen a few statistics in the paper from Mothers Against Drunk Driving–an amazing organization that does a lot of good, but they are clearly biased. What about information from a source without an agenda? Scholarly studies and legal data, these are the facts that we should be given. So what are the facts, you may ask? A study of over 39,000 alcohol-related traffic accidents in Kentucky, by use of Geographical Information System (GIS) found that residents of dry counties are more likely to be involved in alcohol-related crashes. An explanation of why this occurs is pretty simple: people from dry communities drive farther from home to get alcohol increasing the risk to all of us. County-level prohibition is not and has never been an effective way of improving highway safety. In fact, if you look at information, readily available from the Kentucky State Police website for the last three years (2005-2008), there is no evidence that a dry county is safer than a wet county as far as traffic accidents involving alcohol go. In 2005 the percentage of accidents in Estill County involving alcohol was 37.5 percent that number was only 20.9 percent in Madison County. 2006 the numbers were 21.7 percent in Estill, 20.7 percent in Madison. In 2007, both Estill and Madison saw 21percent of their accidents involve alcohol and in 2009, 18 percent of Estill accidents involved alcohol, 22 percent of Madison County accidents did.
People are going to drink. It does not matter if we force them to drive down the street or across the county line or across the country. The United States learned that lesson the hard way in the 1920s with the failure of prohibition when we saw increased crime and social unrest as well as harmful economic effects. Unfortunately that lesson was lost on some–typically poor, rural communities throughout the southern part of the United States. Our dry county is a remnant of prohibition. When prohibition was repealed, local governments were required to vote to re-allow alcohol sales. We never did. For over 80 years we have continued a failed policy out of tradition or a lack of knowledge about the issues. If people are going to drink they might as well be able to purchase it legally here. At least if it is legal it will be regulated unlike the bootleggers that we have now. At least if it is legal the money will stay in our community instead of helping Madison County to grow. At least it will keep drunk drivers from driving longer distances, increasing their risk to others on the roads. Alcohol sales won’t solve all of our problems, no one thing is going to do that, but we have to begin somewhere, and the sell of alcohol would help the economy through business growth and in turn, job creation. We are going to have to change if we want Estill County to grow and to thrive. Let’s begin with passing alcohol sales. It won’t help everything, but it will help some things.
Young professionals stay in their communities
To the editor:
Young professionals stay in Eastern Kentucky for many reasons: to build the community with service and leadership, to establish Eastern Kentucky as a place for growth and development and to provide its people with a high quality of life. One way Young Professionals are meeting the current and future needs of their communities is through joining a new organization, Young Professionals of East Kentucky (YPEK). YPEK allows Young Professionals to connect with one another, grow individually, and engage in service leadership in their communities. Recently, Young Professionals from around the region met to discuss issues that involve their communities. In the future, YPEK plans to host issue-based forums which will bring Young Professionals together on how they can better their communities. If you are interested in learning more about YPEK, please go to www.YPEK.org or email info@YPEK.org. Join us as we strive to CONNECT, GROW and LEAD!
Young Professionals of East Kentucky