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LETTERS: READERS REACT TO ALCOHOL ELECTION

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By The Staff

I am an adult child of an alcoholic father. My dad, Ernest Inghram, was given his first taste of alcohol when he was 12 years of age, at school. Older folk thought it funny to let him have his first drink, then to watch his behavior, which was out of control afterwards, with laughs.

Later he married my mother, Edna Martin Inghram, who was forced to raise four children, that were born to their union, alone. She struggled, after the abuse, physical, vocal, and emotional, to make a living by farming, working in the county school system, and finally running for Spencer County Circuit Court Clerk where she retired.

My father was a hard worker, but no amount of money was enough for his drunkenness. Because of out of control behavior this brought my folks to a divorce. There were times that had it not been for extended family and neighbors, we would have been hurt physically. At this time of our lives it was the boot-legger who furnished my dad’s alcohol.

I sincerely believe that our county has the greatest folks that any county could have living here. Some of us were born and raised here and have chosen to raise our families here. Others have moved here because of many reasons. I believe that all are Bible believing folks who want the best for their families.

Bible references that show bad things that happened due to the destructive power of alcohol:

 Noah’s  drunkenness brought shame to his family (Gen. 9:20-27)

 Lot’s drunkenness resulted in an incestuous relationship with his two daughters (Gen. 19:30-38)

 An inebriated Xerxes sought to humiliate Queen Vashi publicly (Esther 1:9-22)

May we consider how the consumption of alcohol impairs judgment, inflames passions, and invites violence (Lev. 10:8-11, Prov. 20:1, 23:29-35, 31:4,5).

We watch as alcoholism and the depression associated with it often lead to a breakdown of moral inhibitions, indiscreet or violent behavior.

May we consider broken homes, children without a parent to provide, and long term illness from liver damage. Pay close attention to the binge drinking that causes deaths, the fatal auto accidents that are often caused by alcohol-impaired drivers, and the estimated loss of work because of alcohol.

How can we say that this vote for a wet county can help any of the above?

It seems that our Spencer County Business Association has tunnel vision to believe that alcohol is the only way to bring businesses into our county. We have been told that only 30 counties in our state of Kentucky are wet, then we must ask, how are the other 90 counties surviving economically? I sincerely believe that concerned/educated leadership can find other ways to bring money into our county other than through alcohol sales.

For we who take the Bible as our guide, we read in Lev. 10:9 that the use of wine or other fermented drink was forbidden to the priests during all the time they were in the tabernacle, and employed in the service of the altar; also in Num. 6:3 this was also forbidden (total abstinence) for the Nazarites.

Proverbs 23:29-33 reads: “Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine. Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. Your eyes will see strange sights and your mind image confusing things.” Proverbs 20:1 reads: “Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.” NIV.

I urge you to vote ‘no’ on this issue and may each of us bind together to find ways to bring industry into our county without compromising our children and grandchildren with influences that will cause them harm.

Mavis Bennett

Taylorsville

Our county,

wet or dry

In about 1998 my wife and I started looking for some land to build on when I retired. In 2002, we found a suitable plot in Spencer County that was the same price for about seven acres that it would cost for one acre or less in the surrounding counties.

I retired in 2004, and started building our home and that is when I became familiar with many residents that were born and raised here and we found a real home in this county with and through them. Over time I became friends with many long-time residents by working for, talking to and hanging around with them. I began to understand some things about the people and the county. I feel like I am one with the people of the county now and hope they have accepted me as I have them.

The county was a rural farm community in the middle 1990s and when the people from Jefferson county started moving out here because of the low land prices, low taxes and rural setting, the land owners began selling and getting well-off over the deal. That is good, and the contractors and builders in the area prospered as well. In the meantime, some of the new residents were not receptive to more people coming into the county and began working against new development and subdivision of farms. They said they came to the county because of the rural setting and they wanted to keep it that way by keeping others out. The problem is, the cat had escaped the bag and development was going to happen in spite of them. Then came the deep recession and subdividing and building came to a near halt.

Now, we have the Elk Creek area and North on KY 155 becoming a thriving business area, challenging Taylorsville for business. The concentration of development seems to be in that direction because it’s closer to Jefferson county, where all or most in that area work. What has happened is Spencer County is a bedroom community for Jefferson County and nothing more. Few of the new residents are involved in the community activities of Taylorsville/Spencer County and I doubt any of them shop in Taylorsville. I am active in and participate in many local activities and see what is going on.

I wondered why the county did not have a manufacturing base like surrounding counties, so I investigated. C.L Glasscock may have been the first county judge-executive to try to get an industrial park but to no avail, because no one wanted it. Larry Lawson as county judge-executive tried and bought some land but was not able to get the industrial park going; the land is the current site of the recycle center, EMT center, extension office and health department. Still, no one wanted an industrial park but the magistrates wanted to give the land away while Larry managed to get those offices in place. David Jenkins was not interested in trying to get an industrial park so in the long run no land for an industrial park was purchased. He did allow the official start of the EDA. At one time land was purchased for industrial development at Elk Creek by private parties and is now commercial business property.  Now, it’s too late. The only industrial park in the county is privately owned and sells for about $50,000 per acre and is on land not really suited for an industrial park.

A business person can go to Washington county and they have an airport, natural gas, a rail line, Bluegrass Parkway, truck route rated roads, an industrial park with land for $15,000 per acre, buildings ready for occupation, Springfield is wet and is a community that wants their business. Spencer county has none of those.

Where do you think a business will go, surely not here because we have none of the above listed attractions. You can forget about industry coming to Spencer County. Now, let’s get down to business. The EDA has to look where they are capable of drawing from and it’s not industry. It’s mom and pop stores, restaurants, fast food, free-time activities and tourism or any other small business they can attract. Going wet is a major attraction to many of those businesses regardless of what you may think.

For the residents of Spencer County to see reasonable taxes, upkeep of or improvement of the infrastructure and continued business development we have to exploit tourism and Taylorsville Lake.

How, you may ask. Well, we have to make businesses and tourists want to come here. One way is going Wet and while it’s not a guarantee, it can work; it is known that it has done wonders in other counties. What is at issue here is a business decision, not a religious decision. The county and its cities are not rolling in money and while Taylorsville is a little flush from money from the water company and has been doing a lot of beautification lately it can’t go on forever. Something has to be done to raise revenue and I don’t want it to be more taxes on me or anyone else.

Since the economy has fallen we are getting in dire straits and we have to put aside our personal feelings and decide if we want the county to prosper from new business or will the residents foot the full bill for the upkeep of the county and cities. The county is not just the county or Taylorsville as some think, it is every city and citizen in the county. We are all in this win or lose.

While this county is officially dry, it is just as wet or more so than any surrounding counties that are wet. We have to own up to that and realize that if we go wet there will be little if any change in the crime rate and possibly less DUIs. Some of the preachers have to support voting no because total abstinence is the teaching of their denomination. Some denominations believe in using moderation in life and all things related to religion. Therein lies the rub. Are we to consider the growth of the county and cities and try for a rounded community growth in business and family or will we decide for status quo and pay more taxes?     

Carl Darnell,

Taylorsville

Forum informational

I attended the “Wet/Dry” information forum sponsored by the Spencer Magnet. I have two spoons of honey and one of vinegar  to offer.

First, thank you to the Magnet. You put together an excellent panel.  I thought I was pretty knowledgeable about the issues, but learned some interesting information. For example, I did not know that even if the measure passes, under Kentucky law we are too small to have a “stand-alone” bar serving hard liquor. I did not know there are special licenses that can be issued for a farmer to grow grapes and become a small-time vintner. That offers a potential impact that had not occurred to me prior to the forum.

The panel was much more interested in informing rather than persuading us. I appreciated that, especially because some of the members have strongly held beliefs on the issue. I did not want to be preached to, I wanted to learn. I think they did their level best to stay with the facts and avoid opinion.

Second, thanks to the folks who came to the event. You were courteous and polite.  In an age where rude conduct seems to be celebrated in the political arena, I had concerns that the forum could turn into a town hall style shouting match.  It did not. I am proud of you, my neighbors. You did not forget your manners.

My spoonful of vinegar is for the approximately 17,900 eligible voters that did not attend.  I was very disappointed that less than 100 people showed up. This is important stuff, folks. Yes, I know it was a week night and it rained. Nonetheless, I have seen more of us at a high school basketball game under similar conditions. Regardless of your opinion on this issue, the results of the vote will affect our community for years to come. You owed it to us and yourselves to take advantage of the opportunity the Magnet provided to be a more knowledgeable voter.

Gordon P. Deapen

Taylorsville

Let’s defeat alcohol vote

A recent writer, wrote a letter asking vote no for what? That is very simple, vote no for all of the kids in our county. As adults we need to make decisions that set the right example, and is the best for our kids. People wonder why their kids are drinking and getting in trouble, but they had alcohol in the house setting the example.

There is a pastor in Taylorsville teaching that alcohol is okay to use in moderation. He also says he was a teenager once and didn’t know what moderation was. Guess what? The teenagers today are no different, just ask the family that lost a son in Spencer County to alcohol poisoning. Is marijuana and other drugs okay to use in moderation? I personally wouldn’t want my grandkids to be exposed to this kind of irrational thinking.

People tend to make decisions based on their bank account, and that is exactly the case of the wet/dry vote. There are a handful of businessmen that are thinking of the money they can make but no of the consequences for the rest of us.They and the EDA keep speaking of businesses waiting to come in if a wet vote passes but they won’t or can’t tell us who. Maybe because there are none. I believe if they knew we were going to get jobs or make money for the county, they would have been the first in line to attend the Forum put on by the Spencer Magnet instead of hiding from it. This speaks for itself.

There will be some people lose their jobs if this passes. If you are in school and working the checkout for any business that decides to sell alcohol you will lose your job simply because you are underage.

As for them saying there are businesses on the sideline watching this vote, how ludicrous is that statement, that restaurants and manufacturing are wiring for a wet county to come here. We don’t have the population to support these restaurants and please tell me what kind of manufacturers prefer a wet county. How stupid do they think we, the people of Spencer County, are? Just goes to show they are using fiction instead of fact to push their personal agenda on us. Fact is, we have been one of the fastest growing counties in the country, all while we were dry. Fact is, we were dry when everyone of these businesses decided to do business here. Why didn’t they choose a wet county? Like they claim is necessary for a business. Not too late to move! Fact is, they already know we can’t tax alcohol, therefore, expect no income from it. The only income for sure is from liquor licenses which is $2800. How long will it take to get back the $20,000 to $25,000 just for the vote?

I thought the EDA was to work for the good of all Spencer County. All they’ve done on this is divide the county. I’m not saying it is everyone on the EDA, but I do know of one business owner in Taylorsville, that happens to be on the EDA, that has made statements questioning the mental ability of people that have written to the editor also other business owners that don’t share his views on alcohol. Does this sound like a person we need to represent the county, or someone putting his personal agenda ahead of the will of the people?

Someone with the authority needs to investigate what is going on within the EDA. We need to know if tax dollars are being spent on personal agendas. Maybe it’s time to replace some of these people. I would challenge the Magistrates or someone to investigate a conflict of interest within the EDA.

Still the main reason to vote no is for our kids and grandkids. Do you want your kids or grandkids to have easy access to something that can be so addictive and change their lives forever? Our kids are the future of our county and it is our job to protect them.

It is very important that everyone take this seriously and go vote. The people that are pushing this will do anything or say anything to get it passed, because if it does, they have a lot to gain money wise. Likewise, if it passes the county will be the loser. Let’s defeat this thing soundly so the EDA member that said they will keep trying to go wet will get the message.

Larry Goodlett

Taylorsville

Stand up for your convictions

I have been reading and listening over the past few months as the debate over alcohol has heated up. I have tried to be a quiet participant by giving my opinion only when asked and sharing on the topic with my congregation. Even then I have encouraged my members to stand up for their own convictions without attacking people. I am even hesitant to share my opinion in this paper, but I have noticed something that I would like to draw attention to.

In my observations, we have gotten away from the real issue in our debating. The issue to be voted on by the citizens of Spencer County is to sell or not to sell alcohol in our community. However, many have been distracted by another issue of whether drinking alcohol is right or wrong. I am a pastor but I will spare you another sermon and I’m not even going to share any scriptures with you. This never really had to turn into a biblical debate. When you go to vote on Oct. 20 you will not be asked if you think drinking alcohol is right or wrong. You will be asked a simple question of whether or not you want alcohol to be sold in Spencer County.

I have friends that drink alcohol that I love and respect very much. I know that they in return respect me for my decision to not drink alcohol. I know of people that drink responsibly and never cause any problems while exercising their right to consume alcohol. Thee are those who drink and never get behind the wheel of an automobile, abuse family members, and are able to hold a job down. However, I also know that there are those that do not drink responsibly. Those are the ones that I do not respect. Those that choose to drive intoxicated also sow no respect for me and my family. Driving impaired turns an automobile into a deadly weapon capable of destruction. I went to college with a survivor of the well know Carrollton bus crash in 1988. She is covered with burn scars all over her face and arms and is forced to live with the consequences of a bad decision made by a good man. I am also a school bus driver and you can see on my bus the results of that terrible accident for it changed forever the way a school bus is built.

So my issue is not with the person who consumes alcohol responsibly but rather with the many who cannot. This should not be turned into a moral debate of if drinking is right or wrong. The issue for me is that I really don’t want to deal with the drunkards at Octoberfest, the count fair or little league ball fields. I don’t want to deal with the bars and all that comes with them. We are being told that DUIs will go down because right now people are driving to surrounding wet counties to purchase their alcohol and drinking on the way back. We are being asked to make alcohol more accessible rather than ask for people to be more responsible. Adult responsibility, now there is an idea. Instead, we’re asked to allow bars and liquor stores into our county to better accommodate those who can’t act responsibly.

Now, I am aware that we already deal with some problems with irresponsible drinkers in our community but how much more would that increase with alcohol that is readily available? I already know of many that drink alcohol that are going to vote no. I would like to make an appeal to my fellow citizens that practice their right to consume alcoholic beverages. Would you consider making a small sacrifice for your community? Would you consider voting no on October 20 and continue to purchase your alcohol where you have been purchasing all along? Remember, just because you may be a responsible drinker of alcohol, we can all agree that there are many more that are not.

Fellow citizens, let’s not be deceived by the promise of restaurants. There are no major restaurants out there waiting for Spencer County to go wet. Those who make this claim, I have noticed, can’t even talk about this issue without getting mad because they cannot provide us with any proof of this. The group that is behind this election also didn’t bother showing up at a community forum last Thursday night. They declined the invitation to address the issue before the community even though they work to serve our community. It would appear they only serve the ones that agree with them. I am at least willing to admit that no one really know how alcohol sales would affect our community and i respect those with opposing views.

I would also like to respond to a couple of remarks that have been made in the paper over this issue at hand. One letter to the editor accused those that are against the sale of alcohol of forcing their beliefs on others. Well, that could be turned around to say that those who support the sale of alcohol are forcing their beliefs on others. It looks to me like we are all being forced like it or not. All tax paying citizens are being forced to pay for a special election in the amount of 20 some thousand dollars. Who’s doing the forcing?

Another sarcastic remark that was made said, “prayer doesn’t fill potholes.” I have been waiting to say this for a long time so here goes. Sir, apparently, alcohol doesn’t fill potholes either. Just take a drive in our surrounding wet counties and you will learn that they have just as many, if not more, potholes as Spencer County.

As for my fellow pastor friend who informed us in his letter to the editor that he drinks wine with his wife. I could care less. Again, this is not an issue of whether it is right or wrong to drink alcohol. This did not have to become an issue to be used for condemning or judging others. Sadly though, that has been taking place from both sides of this debate. Let’s stick to the issue before us and show some respect to one another. Let’s learn to agree to disagree and thank God for the men and women in uniform that have sacrificed for our great country so that we may that his right to debate and to vote. Exercise your right to vote on October 20 and remember that we are still a community after this is over. A great community with many great people.

Thank you Lord for blessing me with the freedom to share my two cents worth. God Bless.

Chad Goodlett

Taylorsville

I just wanted to reply to all the letters and negativity surrounding the alcohol subject. Are you seriously thinking that just because alcohol is sold in a county that things change for the worse? Well wake up Spencer County. How many drug arrests have been made or how many burglaries have there been in Spencer County this year? What about murder? Yes it all happens without being able to sell alcohol.

In response to last week’s letter, Children & Alcohol, you said it yourself...”to obtain alcohol, for many Spencer County residents, it is about a 15 minute drive.” So how can people be so naive to say that it’s not here. It is here, and crime is also here , without the ability to sell alcohol. One of our own stores in Taylorsville was robbed a few weeks ago, and from what I read in the paper, the robbery was not alcohol related.

How many beer bottles and beer cans do we already see on the side of the road? For being a dry county we sure have it everywhere. Why support all surrounding counties, put your money where you live. And if I’m not mistaken Spencer County sells cigarettes, which by the way, lines the roads everywhere. What about the innocent victims of second-hand smoke related deaths? You don’t see non-tobacco users going door to door trying to stop sales in Spencer County. Yes drunk drivers kill innocent people too, but that already happens in towns that are dry.

I do understand everyone has an opinion, but to vote no for something when all of the negative reasons already exist in Spencer County is just lame. Why support all surrounding counties on something we could profit on? I hear people saying Spencer County is one of the poorest counties in Kentucky, well don’t you think something needs to be done about that? Open this county up to new restaurants and business. Just because you vote yes for alcohol doesn’t mean you have to vote yes for strip clubs.

If you’re worried about teens and alcohol, worry about it now...it happens every day in Spencer County.. I know several teens that have drank at parties, home and after prom. If we’re not selling it, how do you suppose they’re getting it? Other counties! If someone wants a drink they will find ways to get it regardless if Spencer County sells it or not.

Kelly Alexander

Taylorsville

To The Editor:

Go out and vote

I highly commend the Spencer Magnet for putting together the wet-dry vote forum last week at Spencer County Middle School.  The panel was well balanced and the entire evening was very informative, both in what was presented particularly by the representatives of the ABC, and maybe even a little of what wasn’t.  Sadly, after all the effort, more than 99 percent of Spencer County residents for whatever reason chose not to attend.

Perhaps the poor attendance was indicative that just about everyone in the county made their minds up long ago and nothing could sway them. How I feel is really not important since I doubt anything I were to say here would change a single mind anyway. We all have three choices on the Oct. 20, vote yes, vote no, or stay home and let the first two groups decide for you. I hope I am wrong, but I suspect that the later of the three groups may be the majority. From what I’ve read this election is going to cost the county more than 20,000 dollars. Come next Tuesday, no matter how you feel, let’s at least get our money’s worth and have a good turnout. As was pointed out in a letter last week, the election could be close and regardless of how you feel, if you side comes up a little short you’ll regret it if you didn’t vote.

 

Jim Michalowski

Elk Creek

 

Consider the youth

To all citizens of Spencer County, our names are Michael and Teresa Gray. Almost all of you who read the newspaper either have read or heard about what happened to our family. First, we would like to thank everyone who has lifted us up in thoughts and mostly prayers. Please continue to do so. For those who have not heard or read about what happened, let me try to explain to the best of my knowledge. Our son, Donald DeJesus Jr., was at a prom party on May 9, 2009. At that party my step-son and a lot of others (minors and adults) were drinking. Our son, Donnie was pronounced dead, the next morning. We didn’t even know until later that afternoon around 3:30 p.m. Actually, we were on our way to meet for a Mother’s Day Dinner. This was May 10, (Mother’s Day) when Teresa and I were notified that our son was deceased. I can not speak in detail because of an on-going investigation that still is under way. I can’t explain the horrific, tragic news that was told to us that day. It is indescribable, unbelievable, and by far the most devastating news we have ever heard in our lives. It’s been five months now and it is still all the things have just mentioned. After waiting, for some time on his autopsy report, because we were not for sure what took our son’s life. We were finally called by the medical examiner in Louisville with the results. She told us that without a doubt it was alcohol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning (I thought )–this was something I had heard of, but didn’t know what exactly it meant. After I researched and researched on alcohol and alcohol Poisoning, I could not believe what I found out about alcohol.

Although in my early years, God knows how much I used to drink, I still think to this day, how could this be. Donnie’s life is over here on earth and as far as we know he’s only drank a few times, he didn’t like to drink. I just want to try, hope and mostly pray that you think about what your doing, if you are even considering voting to allow alcohol sales in this county.We have learned so much about alcohol in the past few months and its devastating effects to families of all races, origins and backgrounds. Alcohol is no respecter of people. Look them up for yourself, please. You can on the computer, just type in alcohol-related deaths (it blew my mind). We have been going around to different social events, churches and speaking on the awareness of alcohol. Alcohol is defined as a toxic chemical. It causes so much family problems you wouldn’t believe, or maybe you do. Getting to the point, alcohol sales in our county will increase the risk of not only this happening again, but, also the risk of major problems. I think the sheriff at the forum quoted “Anytime there’s alcohol there’s problems.” We have talked about writing a letter on behalf of Donnie or an ad. But, we don’t want to state it that way. We want your vote to be on behalf or honor of your child and our children. Please VOTE NO for your family. Donnie’s Death certificate states cause of death ALCOHOL POISONING

The Gray family

Spencer County