Live Oak —
Letter to the Editor
March 30, 2011
I understand some are pushing to bring up the wet/dry issue again. For me this is an easy decision since this is a moral issue with nothing that I can find good coming from alcohol. We can’t even justify selling our souls for the tax since the majority are distributed state wide on a per capita formula anyway. Some may try to convince you that this is about jobs. When we talk about economic development the jobs are usually classified as service, warehouse/distribution, and manufacturing. If we are trying to create jobs that are good for the community we should be going after the warehouse/distribution and manufacturing jobs because these are the ones with good pay and benefits. The service jobs are fast food, hotel/motel, bars and restaurant which are the high turnover jobs with low pay and little or no benefits. The service industry jobs are the type that will come with the alcohol industry and are not the jobs we want for our children.
Warehouse/distribution and manufacturing facility do not make a decision to locate in an area based on wet or dry. They look at things like location to good transportation, what type of workforce is available and what buildings are available that fit their needs. When we look at the service industry they will use traffic counts and population. If we are wise we will build our job base with the warehouse/distribution and manufacturing companies. If we grow the service industry will follow the growth since they are looking at population and traffic numbers.
If you have no moral objection to exposing our community, your family and your children to the perverted filth that comes with alcohol and the things that follow then you should vote for it, but don’ t listen to those who try to convince you to vote wet because this will create jobs or benefit our community. The people who are pushing this have a plan for some personal financial benefit not for the benefit of the community.
For those who claim to be Christians this should be an easy decision, which could define for you whether you are a Christian or just part of the world and claiming to be one. I don’t believe that you can find anything good in alcohol. Maybe you should ask yourself, do you think Jesus would vote yes because this might create some bars for my children to work in. For the preachers and the churches it’s time for you to decide who you are and what your role should be or maybe to be like the Laodicea’s Church that Jesus spoke to in Revelation 3 verse 14-22.
This is from a study by the University of Minnesota.
Alcohol involved in:
41% of all deaths from falls,
30% of drowning deaths,
25% of boating deaths,
45 - 55% of fire fatalities are alcohol related.
55 - 75% of homicide victims and
40% of rape offenders had been drinking at the time of the incident;
50% of those who commit sex abuse crimes also abuse alcohol.
80% of all adolescent suicides have been reported to be children of alcoholic parents.
In 44 - 70% of the reported cases of battered women, the offender was drunk.
70% of adult women alcoholics were sexually abused as children.
Children of alcoholic parents are twice as likely to develop their own alcohol problems.
82% of adjudicated delinquent adolescents had at least one alcoholic parent.
From the Marin Institute’s web site:
• Alcohol availability is closely related to violent assaults. Communities and neighborhoods that have more bars and liquor stores per capita experience more assaults. 1
• Alcohol use is frequently associated with violence between intimate partners. Two-thirds of victims of intimate partner violence reported that alcohol was involved in the incident.
• In one study of interpersonal violence, men had been drinking in an estimated 45 percent of cases and women had been drinking in 20 percent of cases.
• Women whose partners abused alcohol were 3.6 times more likely than other women to be assaulted by their partners.
• In 1997, 40 percent of convicted rape and sexual assault offenders said that they were drinking at the time of their crime.
• In 2002, more than 70,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 were victims of alcohol-related sexual assault in the U.S.
• In those violent incidents recorded by the police in which alcohol was a factor, about nine percent of the offenders and nearly 14 percent of the victims were under age 21.
• Twenty-eight percent of suicides by children ages nine to 15 were attributable to alcohol.
An estimated 480,000 children are mistreated each year by a caretaker with alcohol problems.
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Facebook liquor movement
Facebook Fans sound off about the liquor movement rolling ahead:
• where do I vote and were do I sign??
• Can't wait to sign mine! Please do the smart thing and allow these sales to bring in sales tax revenue that we have been giving away to other counties for years!
• Looking forward to when it arrives
• One of the good reasons to live here is because it is a dry county. There is nothing good about drinking and it ends up with addiction and deaths.
• Where do you sign the petition?
• HIP-HIP HURRAY!!
• people in Suwannee County are drinking now, and they always have been. They just purchase it in another county.
• we need the jobs as well .
• Got three voters right here ready to sign the petition. This will do a great job of bringing in revenue and jobs to this county as long as we can keep our politicians from blowing it. There are only 4 counties in the state of Florida that are still dry and this is one of them and two of them are next door to Suwannee.
• I understand what you are saying. I just feel that I don't want to be part of something that I have seen destroy so many lives. Some times you just have to stand up and say what you believe
• they are going to get it if they want it anyway and if that means driving to another county they will do that so why shouldn't we be getting the money instead of Hamilton or Columbia. I mean seriously it's only 10 miles across the river to get liquor.
• read the Bible. Jesus turned the water into wine for a wedding party. Anything can be abused if not used in moderation. Sorry but I live in Jacksonville and I also like in REALITY.
• hoping it brings jobs and revenue to this area, much needed and over due.
• People need to just say that they want to buy alcohol, because the trickory that it will bring great revenue is just a lie that satan has concocted, look at Jasper, they have alcohol and gambling and what do they have to show for it. Tell those young men and women setting in prison for vehicler homocide that drinking is fine! Or better yet ask their victims family if it is ok. None of you can define anyones "in moderation limit", drink if you wish but please stop trying to justify it.
• I drank some liquor and now Im hooked on K2
• we can buy all the alcohol we want but why should we give the taxes to another county? We buy from another county and bring it back to this county. That is just stupid.
• I want to buy not just alcohol which I can already do in the form of beer and wine coolers but I want the hard stuff like Rum so I don't have to drive 20 miles to buy it from another county. While I'm on the way home I... might be tempted to open that bottle and just take a swig out of it instead of waiting until I get home to mix it with a coke. Yep that might be totally illegal but hey it's only because I'm such an alcoholic that I can't hardly wait for the time it will take me to drive back home to feed my addication. Wereas if it was sold in Suwannee I could wait to take my bottle home. Jasper is furnishing a good number of jobs for Suwannee County and Hamilton that wouldn't be available if they were not a wet county.
• I know people addicted to chocolate so lets make it illeagle to sell m&m's........I side w those trying to pass it. This county is losing money due to the fact that we've got a lot of ol timers trying to slow down the growth of our fine county. meanwhile those of us who have been here all our lives are struggling to find jobs w security or jobs at all for that matter. I vote yes!!!
• Cars and trucks kill.
• not interested in buying liquor at all.
• One way you can bring in tax revenues is vote out the current county commisioners they are the ones that have kept suwannee county from growing. By making suwannee county a wet county it will attract so many businesses that would create jobs something suwannee county doesn't have. most people have to go out of the county to find work.
• that was a horrible way to promote this wet county gig,lol Im not against the liquor law but please be reasonable about how much tax money it will bring we will not turn into a paradise like Hamilton and Columbia county. And checkout the westcoast and Nevada is now tryin to lower the gambling age to 18. To bring in "Tax Revenue" meanwhile Nevadas unemployment rate is at 20% Cmon guys just think about
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Several years ago the invocation for the United Way of Suwannee Valley Annual Meeting was given by one of our local United Way’s founding fathers and local attorneys, Tom Brown, who distributed for group reading John Wesley’s Rule. Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can. John Wesley 1703-1791
This rule agrees with the United Way LIVE UNITED theme to Give. Advocate. Volunteer. There are many means to do good.
This rule also agrees with our United Way of Suwannee Valley mission “To advance the common good through community impact initiatives and agency support.”
Through our local United Way affiliated agency programs, school-age children participated in after-school programs, which provided safe, supervised activities and enhanced their academic success. Victims of domestic violence and their children found shelter, comfort and guidance. Our residents with developmental disabilities more fully participated in their community. Through the 22 community agencies, nearly 22,000 residents – not including their family members who were also affected – received a variety of services.
Through our local United Way’s 2010 community impact initiatives 600 residents were afforded financial assistance to maintain housing stability through the American Recovery Act Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program. Another 36 households were afforded the necessary case management to receive financial assistance through other resources. Without stable housing, these family members cannot maintain stable employment. Without stable housing, the children in these families cannot succeed at school.
Above and beyond the inquiries seeking the basic needs of rent and utility support, our United Way information and referral specialist assisted almost 2,000 callers. Another 3,150 received information and referral guidance through United Ways 2-1-1.
It has been a tough year. United Way and each of our partner agencies have felt the challenge of increased needs and diminished resources. The United Way Campaign Cabinet recognized the challenges to be faced through this year’s fundraising campaign. The team refused to decrease its fundraising goal when the community needs are so great. With the leadership of General Campaign Chair Mike McKee, Suwannee County Campaign Chair Stephanie McClendon, Hamilton County Campaign Chair Danny Johnson and Columbia County Campaign Chair George Miller assembled their respective teams to attempt the impossible.
As the United Way staff and volunteers prepare for this year’s annual meeting to be held April 5, we remain a community with much to be thankful for. We are blessed to live and work in a caring community with generous donors and with volunteers who lend their time and talents to many worthwhile efforts. While the work of United Way is best measured by the lives changed, the community improved and not simply the dollars raised, these dollars represent the means to the end.
For any of our community members who have not personally received an invitation to LIVE UNITED by giving their financial support to our community through United Way, by volunteering with United Way or any of our community agencies, or by lending their voice to advocate on behalf of those served by community agencies, please accept this as your personal invitation. Our community residents and the agencies striving to assist them continue to feel the challenges of the current economic environment.
Let us do all the good we can by all the means we can in all the ways we can in all the places we can at all the times we can to all the people we can as long as ever we can. Rita Dopp Executive Director United Way of Suwannee Valley
Live Oak —
Letter to the Editor
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