Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

January 20, 2013

In Your View

The Independent

ASHLAND — Alcohol sales bad for economy 

There is a lot of discussion in Greenup County about the election for alcohol on Jan. 22.

The “dry” movement isn’t just a group of people against drinking. I drink alcohol but am working to keep this proposition from passing. My reasons have nothing to do with the moral issue of whether alcohol is good or bad. My reason is it’s a bad economic decision for Greenup County.

Greenup County is simply too sparsely populated for alcohol sales. That is probably why 50 of the state’s 120 counties are dry.

Greenup has 10 sheriff’s deputies for an area of 321 square miles. The city of Ashland has 49 police officers for 11.1 square miles. 

Ashland’s laws provide for restaurants that seat 100 with 70 percent of revenue from food sales and package stores, but bars are prohibited except in hotels and no hotel currently has a bar.

The proposition states: “Are you in favor of the sale of alcoholic beverages in Greenup County, Kentucky,” which translates into bars and package stores. For the past three years, Russell has allowed for restaurant sales like Ashland, but no chain restaurant serving liquor has opened. Greenup does not have enough people to generate the income these establishments require.

We have only 14,536 households with a median income of $32,142, which isn’t enough to generate tax revenue to make any substantial change to Greenup County’s tax base. Try a reasonable scenario that 50 percent of the households spend 1 percent of income on alcohol annually and 3.5 percent of the sales tax remains in Greenup County. The county, along with the seven cites, will share a pot of $86,000, which works out to $10,750 per taxing entity.

The cost related to the sales will far exceed the income. It is a poor economic decision to vote wet.

Margaret Blackwell King, Greenup County

Don’t let alcohol sales in county

On Tuesday, Jan.22,  a special election is being held on a wet-dry vote for alcohol sales in our county. This, we, the life-long residents of Greenup County, cannot allow happen.

I have lived here in Flatwoods for the past 40-plus years. Flatwoods, like all other Greenup County cities, is a clean, quiet and safe place to raise our families. If we do not take a stand and defeat these individuals who are trying to ruin our way of life in Greenup County our way of life will be turned upside down and ruined forever.

Ashland went wet in 1981, and the crime rate there has multiplied  20-fold if not more.

Don’t believe me. Just read the police reports every day and see for yourself. The sale of alcohol will not produce enough money to cover the cost of the extra law enforcement we will need to hire to keep our roads and cities safe.

There is no restriction clause which means anything goes — and I mean anything! Is this what you the citizens of Flatwoods, Russell, Worthington, Raceland, Greenup want? I know I don’t. I love the quiet, clean and safe town I live in.

Don’t forget, our children are going to be raising our grandchildren here.

Please join me in voting “no” and keeping life in our county safe for everyone, young and old. Thank you for your support.

Greg Stevens, Flatwoods


Exercise right to vote Tuesday

How vividly I recall my sweet little boy when he reached the legal age and all I had was the right to pray to God. I hadn’t allowed alcohol in my home and always tried to steer my children in the ways of God just as my father had taught me from a young age.

My son had just turned 21 and I was having to face the fact that my little boy had become an alcoholic. I began to pray and educate myself to the realities of this monster drug, known as alcohol. I began testing different opportunities to try to relate to my son, to get into his head, to try to make him see what he was doing to himself.

Finally, when I had tried all I knew, I gave it totally to God. I placed that little boy of mine in the hands of God, trusting God to see us through.

This Tuesday, Jan 22,  from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. is a special election for Greenup County with one question: Should Greenup County become “wet.” I never thought I’d see this day, but it is now reality. You have a vote. It is simply a yes or no vote.

If a few evil terrorists can make such a life-changing impact on our society, how much more impact can we, a body of believers, make upon our community just by being proactive with our right to vote. Please help make an impact upon the lives of others like my little boy who is now a daddy himself, and all the lives that have been impacted by this drug. Please exercise your right to vote in this special election this Tuesday.

JoAnn Scott, South Shore

Westwood can’t afford more taxes

I was on the committee that circulated utilty tax petitions in 2005 and 2006, and the Fairview Board of Education said the same thing then that it saying now about the petitions. But there was still an election, and it was legally voted down two times.

The school board said then the school district would have to shut down without the tax money, yet it has thrived and has purchased land, renovated the sports facililties and built new administration offices. The school board says the high school is in disrepair and they need to build a new school, yet a $2 million renovation is already scheduled.

When questioned about the renovation and the new school, they now say they would just build on. They are not sure what they would use the money for. 

Westwood is a small community with a small school system because the school has to be supported by tax money from a lot fewer residents than larger schools like Boyd and Greenup counties and Ashland that have a much larger population to receive tax money from. Therefore, the Westwood community cannot afford to support a large school or a large amount of students like the larger schools.

From all the talk and comments from people supporting the tax, what they like about Fairview is the small-school atmosphere. But if the school board has its way, that would not be the case for long. If they had their way, they would build a bigger school and bring more out-of-district students in and the small-school atmosphere would no longer exist. The small Westwood community cannot afford to pay more taxes. We already pay a much larger property tax rate than most districts.

Jamie Hinkle, Westwood

NRA doesn’t represent hunters

The National Rifle Association has endorsed placing armed guards in all schools, but you know, I know and they know that is not economically feasible. In line with the NRA goals of advocating for gun manufacturers, it is a great idea, though, because it would require the manufacture of many more thousands of guns, further lining the pockets of dealers and manufacturers, as well as bringing more money into the NRA coffers.

I think I may have come up with a more practical solution that would meet the goals of the NRA at little to no cost to taxpayers. We already require children going to school for the first time to be inoculated against diseases for the protection of all, so why not require each child prior to entering the first grade to undergo firearms training, whereby the student could be issued a permit to carry a firearm, and then require they carry them to school each day for their personal protection?

 How many more guns would that require? And there could also be a rule that students be required to carry only newly manufactured weapons made in the USA. Buy American to kill Americans.

 This may also create a secondary industrial boom where there will be a great need for bullet-proof vests to protect teachers and first-graders from angry first-graders.

For the record, I am a former longtime NRA member who came to realize the NRA represents the firearms industry, not the hunters.

Thomas Williams, Ashland