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Sharp County Arkansas Wet Dry Issue Sale of Alcohol SERT for inclusion on ballot 2010

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Sharp County Arkansas Wet Dry Issue Sale of Alcohol SERT for inclusion on ballot 2010 Empty Re: Sharp County Arkansas Wet Dry Issue Sale of Alcohol SERT for inclusion on ballot 2010

Post by Paul2CV Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:22 pm

Hi Forum,

Some Wet/Dry Debate humor:

An angry wife was complaining about her husband spending so much of his free time in the local bar, so one night he took her along with him. "What'll you have?" he asked.

"Oh, I don't know. The same as you I suppose," she replied. So, the husband ordered a couple of Jack Daniel's and threw his down in one shot.

His wife watched him, then took a sip from her glass and immediately spit it out. "Yuck, that's TERRIBLE!" she spluttered. "I don't know how you can drink this stuff!"

"Well, there you go," cried the husband. "And you think I'm out enjoying myself every night!"

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Post by Paul2CV Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:10 pm

Hi forum,

Last year there was a major game played in keeping this off the ballot. It seems that there were technicalities and deadlines that needed to be met. Are we on track to get this on the ballot? What's happening with this initiative?

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Post by mike Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:35 pm

I have very little respect for a few leadin the charge on the dry side, because of the blatant hypocrisy on display by them since this has played out. Very unimpressed, and when and if it finallly makes it ot the ballot, all forecasts show wet will win in the landslide. I am not blaming the followers on the dry side at all, however the leaders are showing very ugly colors and they are certainly nobody I would ever associate with or do business with, period. If they conduct themselves like this in the public arena, just imagine what they would do behind your back in a friendship role or in a business dealing. No thanks. They are using "the end justifies the means" way of going about it. Again, very unimpressed with a few of the leaders of the dry side and I have no problem saying it out loud.

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Post by Paul2CV Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:00 am

Hi forum,

This issue seems to be dying a slow death in the public's mind. What's going on? This past newspaper article really amused me:

By The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Thursday, November 20, 2008

LITTLE ROCK — Financial reports filed with the Arkansas Ethics Commission show that Yota Shaw, who filed a lawsuit that kept a wet/dry vote off the ballot inSharp County, received $13,000 from Missouri alcohol distributors and businesses.

"If I had had the money, I would have been up there instantly," Shaw said. "We don't have that kind of money to start a lawsuit. So when someone said, 'Hey, are you willing?' I said, 'Absolutely.'"

When asked if that meant that the Missouri alcohol companies had approached her, asking her to be a face for the lawsuit, Shaw said: "I've got agirlfriend who's involved in all that, so I probably shouldn't go into it."
Link to whole story below:

http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2008/nov/20/sharp-county-funding-lawsuit-called-quest-20081120/?threerivers


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Post by Paul2CV Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:45 am

Hi Forum,

This topic of wet/dry seems to have died down locally. What's the update on when this thing is being voted up or down? A lot of local people did considerable work against great odds to get this to the voting public. every possible maneuver was done to keep it away from the ballot box. Have those roadblocks been removed? What's up with wet/dry now?

Paul2CV

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Post by Admin Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:55 am

Sign of things to come if it ever makes it on the ballot here in Sharp County. If it does, it will win easily. It is winning easily in every county that gets the it on the ballot.

http://arkansasmatters.com/election2010text-fulltext/?nxd_id=365787

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Post by unbeliev Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:39 pm

Do you have any more information or links to articles or discussions about the Missouri money thing. I have heard a little bit about this on a couple of forums, but not a whole lot. I am very interested in what is going on with all of that aspect of this whole thing. Thanks.

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Post by Bettan Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:09 am

Ruth Reynolds SERT was at the courthouse the other day. She's still going strong. Hopefully 3 times' a charm, but from what I've learned about the outright shady looking dealings of the Missouri money, I think Ruth needs to bring in the feds to make sure this is done right. I mean I've heard talk that someone is contacting Jimmy Carter about monitoring the election process of this as there's some bad dudes in the midst of this and if Carter can monitor elections in third world regimes, then he just might be able to make sure we have a safe and fair election over booze in this county. It's almost too unreal to believe. Somebody should make a movie about this. It's got it all.

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Post by Paul2CV Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:43 pm

Hi Mike and unbeliev,

These are good responses. Unbeliev is right to point to my making a "leap" and Mike is right to challenge back with his view that the impact will be a net positive with few drawbacks and mostly that it is a legal right that meddlesome religiously motivated people -- especially if they are behaving hypocritically -- should get their nose out of and "live and let live." Agreed.

My effort is simply to point out the legitimate gray area here. In the end, I think there will be more of a negative impact than Mike does but not nearly as much negative impact as the zealots say. Life will go on.

Of course, the issue isn't simply access to stores that sell alcohol. It is also about bars and drinking establishments located where they formally did not exist, impacting areas formerly not impacted by such places. Not all of these places will appreciate that change and not all these drinking places will be nice chain TGI Fridays, or such. There will also be biker bars and so on as well. Fine. These things are peoples rights. My only point is that whatever side we are on we go in with an honest view of the landscape, not a fantasy -- either a positive fantasy or a negative fantasy.

My problem is that I've lived through dry wet changes elsewhere. I can't deny my own experience. Sure, it's a legal product. Sure, it will be good for business locally. Sure, there will be largely responsible drinking. But just as surely, there will be some amount of real social baggage as well. And that's not a religious view -- just reality. Maybe Mike is right we'll hardly notice. I'll split the difference with him on this one.

The real point that I am making is finally philosophical: There are freedoms and rights that don't impact other people and there are freedoms and rights that do impact others. In my opinion, alcohol usage in our present cultural context falls in the second camp. In fact, that's why it is a regulated product even where it is legal to purchase. I hope for good zoning. But most of all, I'm an honest American. Let's get it to the voting booth and the end with all the illegitimate delays and outside booze money from MO. It makes me sick.

In the end this issue is gray, not black and white. It's not all good. it's not all bad. That's why we need to vote. There are genuine issues on both sides, but only one view can prevail. In America, we vote! And thank God for that!

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Post by mike Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:40 pm

My views are well known on this issue, but I just want to add that if I thought CV would turn into a war zone due to the area going wet, I'd have second thoughts. I have no such fears and really don't see a major increase of problems happening on the local community. On the contrary, the problem that many people speak of, of having the CV police force camping out in front of the Copper Feather waiting for people to leave may be less and less if the county goes wet. For the record, I have never stepped foot inside the Copper Feather. I'm not saying that it is good or bad, I just have never gone in, although I hear the food is fantastic, but that's another subject for another post.

This wet/dry issue is about personal rights, convenience, and economics, and has nothing to do with religion. If it did, the majority of the United States would be dry. I also say this as a practicing Methodist.

My beef is really with the dry group leadership and the appearance of hypocrisy within that leadership group, and the fact that a very small majority of people feel they have some inherited right to speak for the rest of the county on a legal product. I have a statement to that dry group leadership.... "Please stay out of the personal lives and business of the citizens of Sharp County. You do not have any clue or any right to tell the citizens and visitors what is good for themselves and their families. The good citizens and countless visitors to Sharp County will make those decisions on their own and do not want or require any of your assistance. You would do well to try and help your own lives by trying to convince people you're not a group of hypocrits as you most certainly are coming across as these days. Thank you."

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Post by unbeliev Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:58 am

I understand what you are saying, but think that is a matter of zoning laws, not a wet or dry county issue. You are correct, nobody wants to have a bar right next door, that's why they have to adhere to zoning laws that should put those types of establishments outside of residential areas. Your concern also doesn't address the ability to sell alcohol at existing stores or building a liquor store (in a properly zoned area) so that people can buy for home consumption. It just seems to me it's a pretty big leap in going from "I don't want a bar next to a school." to "No alcohol sales at all."

I agree that probably everyone who is against the county going wet doesn't hold that position strictly on religious or moral grounds, but I'd bet it's around 90% or so. And not to change subject, but if you think these people who want to tell others how to live don't get into people's bedrooms you haven't been to a gay marriage thread.

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Post by Paul2CV Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:01 am

Hi All,

This has been a great thread from the start. I want to thank our newer posters unbeliev and Baptist for their insights. Let me stir the pot a little here. One thing that I try hard to do is to understand where the side I might not prefer is coming from. I agree that there is a tendency to want to feel that the motive of the "dry" side is moral control over others' lives. I don't doubt that there is a strong religious and moral dimension for very many out there. But let's try to look also at a bigger picture.

These same religious people are not trying to make Sharp County a place where you can't legally buy "nasty" rap music at the Walmart or "nasty" magazines at the local conveniences stores or stop you from drinking in your own home or check on what you're doing in bed -- at least from a legal control perspective. Hang in there with me. I'm trying to make a point.

There are things that others do that we may or may not agree with, but do not impact us directly. But there are some things that people do that do impact us directly. For example, no one wants a methadone clinic next to their house or a school or an adult book store or massage parlor there either. There's a reason. There is a legitimate fear of crime and the "types" of people involved. Some behaviors and establishments, regardless of their "legal" right to exist, still impact innocent bystanders. Kind of like second-hand smoke, their presence impacts well-being and quality of life. There's no denying it. You want that stuff in an industrial park as far away as possible.

I've lived in towns that went from dry to wet. I've seen the impact. There's noise, there's trash, there's rowdy cars full of horn-honking kids. Now none of this may happen in CV. But let's face it, few people want to live next door to a bar or above one or have a biker bar near a school. Let's be honest, drinking is not like reading a "nasty" magazine in the privacy of your own home. Rather, drinking is a behavior that spills over into the community and affects people who may not choose to drink. It isn't fair to assume that all of the "dry" side is just working from blind moral prejudice. Sure, some are -- maybe even a lot. But there's also simple practical, completely non-religious reasons to point to negative quality of life issues.

I suspect that going wet will be an overall economic plus, and I believe it will happen. I am furious that MO money is all over this, and I do not support in any way moral zealots that want to control others. Mostly, I respect the heck out of Ruth's tireless efforts to get this on the ballot and to have this voted up or down. The political maneuvers to keep this off the ballot upset me very much. So let's vote. But let's try to be fair to those who may occupy a position somewhere in the middle and see both sides.

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Post by Chuck K Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:02 pm

Hi unbeliev and believer, I totally agree with both your posts. Trying to compare towns can be very hard to do. There are to many variables. It does show that even with Mt Home having an influx of out of town tourists, there has not been a dramatic rise in crime. Rodgers may be a good pick, as it does not have strong tourism, but I also agree that criminal statistics really should not be a factor in this issue. It really is not the alcohol.
I guess that's where my thinking was at. Great thread and discussion!!

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Post by believer Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:55 am

I lived in a dry town in Massachusetts years ago and still have family up there. It was a dry town then and as far as I know it is still a dry town today. There are countless dry town in the northeastern states, but I think it is by town and not by county as much. I remember we used to drive far if we wanted to buy, but in those days we made our own and there are some good recipes I can tell you. Many up there in western Mass still make good shine. Not too known for it as much as in the south, but I have yet to taste any better homemade than the stuff my granddad made. I can still taste it. Having said all that, I'm a church goer down here and am in favor of becoming a wet county. These old laws are worthless, just like unbeliev is saying. I also do not like how bad it looks how the dry folks took all that money from Missouri. It doesn't look right and it smells even worse!

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Post by unbeliev Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:04 am

That's an interesting reason for wanting it to go wet. Never thought of it, but it is true. For me, someone who only drinks on rare occasions, it's always been about 2 things. Taxes and whether or not it's even Constitutional to have these laws in place.

Taxes are easy. Many supporters of dry counties will say that it doesn't matter because Arkansas' alcohol tax structure is set up so that all counties share tax revenue from alcohol sales equally, therefore it doesn't matter where you buy it, every county still gets the same amount of tax revenue. That may be true for internal counties, but for border counties it certainly isn't. Everyone I know that does drink alcohol buys up in Missouri. I'd be willing to bet the same happens for all border counties. All of that tax revenue goes to the neighboring state and Arkansas gets none of it. It doesn't look like any bordering states have dry counties next to Arkansas, but I can't find a good map of Louisiana.

Constitutionality is tricky. I personally believe it is a violation of the First Amendment and the separation of church and State. Almost all, if not all States that allow dry counties are in the South, where a large number of Baptists live. The biggest supporters of dry counties always seem to be religious groups. They are led by local ministers and keep these laws on the books for their own religious reasons. Same goes for no alcohol sales on Sunday laws. There is no reason, other than religion, that these laws should exist. If you take religion out of the equation (which you are supposed to do in this country where the law is involved) Sunday is no different than any other day of the week.

As for my little study and choosing Mountain Home as my example. That was purely because it is a small town that I happen to know is wet. If you know of another small town that is wet I'd gladly see if I can find crime data for that town as well. I don't know why you think it is irrelevant tho. I was just showing that having alcohol available doesn't automatically drive up crime, it's more a factor of other things like the type of people who live there and the population level. Your comment seems to support my claims as much as the numbers do. It's not the alcohol, otherwise Mountain Home would have comparable crime numbers. It's the people and the population of the city. Making Sharp county wet isn't going to suddenly make good people into criminals. If they were, crime would already be high just like in the dry counties I listed.

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Post by Chuck K Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:16 am

Hi everyone, and welcome to the new members and posters. This sure has been an interesting read, and a great discussion. I have pretty much stayed away from this topic, but decided I would throw my two cents in.
I find it ironic that Ruth Reynolds, the main petitioner regarding the Wet / Dry issue really has a totally different reason for it coming to a vote than any of the arguments mentioned in this thread. She has worked tirelessly to get this on the ballot, and all for environmental reasons. Her main concern is to cut down on pollution from vehicle emissions, by reducing the need to travel to the state line to purchase something she believes could be sold here. I applaud her for her dedication to this cause, and truely feel she has had the rug pulled out from under her. She was simply trying to improve the quality of life here. Alcohol will be here regardless.
I read the comparisons of criminal statistics from Jonesboro and Harrison to Mt. Home, and I find it hard to compare. Mt. Home is geared towards the retired. With the two big lakes, it also attracts vacationer's, fishermen, and boaters. With that comes alcohol consumption.
Jonesboro is a more industrial town, with a much larger base of working middle class, and impoverished population. With that comes alcohol consumption.
Harrison is more a combination of the first two towns, but is also home of the Arkansas K.K.K., and known to have a more criminal element to its population. With that comes alcohol consumption.

In regards to drinking in CV being a problem, I would agree that it is. I do not believe it to be more of a problem than anywhere else though. Alcohol will be here regardless. As for Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights in C.V. being a place where the police are waiting to pick people up for DWI's, that is correct. The police are literally waiting. Anyone that goes out for a late dinner at the Copper Feather, or to the club can tell you that police park and wait for people to leave there. The police at times will also set up checkpoints at closing time. It is known by locals to be more entrapment that anything. I am totally against driving while intoxicated, but given the narrow tolerance in the new laws, the police laying in wait is a little unfair. If you go for dinner and have a cocktail or two, or to hear live music at the club, you need to watch it. What is also ironic is that the other drinking establishment in the village is not treated in the same regard.

When it all comes down to it, at some point we will have a vote on this. Having lived here for 9 years now, I have seen this Wet / Dry vote go both ways in other counties. Although I believe that here it will pass, never underestimate the power that this minority group wields.

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Post by SZ Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:38 pm

" but in the end it is nothing more than their own desire to control other people's lives."

Yep u got it

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Post by unbeliev Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:45 pm

Yeah, upon doing my research into the subject I stumbled across this map of the state showing all the counties and their wet/dry status.

MAP

I just find it hard to believe that in this day and age there are still people in this country who believe it is their right to stop other people from doing perfectly legal things such as purchase or sell alcohol. It's not like anyone is trying to force anyone else to go buy and drink alcohol. They will complain about all these reasons why it should be illegal, but in the end it is nothing more than their own desire to control other people's lives.

You are certainly right though, it is difficult to find good studies that aren't biased one way or the other and just present the facts. That's why I decided to just look up the info on city-data.com and see what I could find on my own. I know it's not a huge study, but I found it interesting when comparing those cities to each other.

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Post by Paul2CV Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:36 pm

Hi unbeliev,

Good and helpful post. What is frustrating for both of us is how hard it is to get the internet to connect us to the detailed studies, or even when you find them, to give you relevant side data that helps someone interpret them. I think that the US Dept of Justice study that I cited does factor in population and other controlling factors like income, etc. I will try harder to get at that. Again, I remember a University of Arkansas study connected with their Justice Center that found "wet" was an issue like the DOJ report. Regardless, you and I know that a lot of what motivates both sides has little to do with the data pro or con. All we can hope for is a balanced view.

By the way, here is a list of Dry counties in Arkansas. It sure shows a disposition that is more than just local toward "Dry" for whatever reason.
ARKANSAS
Ashley
Benton
Boone
Bradley
Clark
Clay
Cleburne
Columbia
Craighead
Crawford
Faulkner
Fulton
Grant
Hempstead
Hot Spring
Howard
Independence
Izard
Johnson
Lafayette
Lawrence
Lincoln
Little River
Lonoke
Madison
Marion
Montgomery
Nevada
Newton
Perry
Pike
Polk
Pope
Randolph
Saline
Scott
Searcy
Sevier
Sharp
Stone
Van Buren
WhiteYell

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Post by unbeliev Sun Oct 10, 2010 3:39 pm

Disregard the per 100,000 people thing... misread the chart. They are actual numbers of crimes committed those years combined. Not sure if anyone cares, but I also did Harrison since it is in a dry county and is about the same size as Mountain Home.

Harrison (MH)
Murder: 1 (2)
Rape: 75 (24)
Robbery: 21 (5)
Assault: 291 (86)

So even tho Harrison is only about 700 people larger than Mountain Home, and Mountain Home is wet and Harrison is dry, Harrison has had only one less murder in those years and far more of all the other violent crimes I listed. I must say that I was surprised to see those numbers myself. I thought they would all be closer together based on population. Still, it shows me that alcohol being more readily available certainly didn't drive crime rates up in Mountain Home compared to dry Harrison.

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Post by unbeliev Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:22 pm

Here are just a couple of stats I pulled up myself using info from city-data.com.

I compared smaller, wet, Mountain Home to larger, dry, Jonesboro to look at crime rates and this is what I found.

Between 1999 and 2008, numbers are per 100,000 people.
Murder: MH - 2 Jonesboro - 23
Rape: MH - 24 Jonesboro - 171
Robbery: MH - 5 Jonesboro - 1559
Assault: MH - 86 Jonesboro - 1649

Not sure if this necessarily proves anything, but it does show an example of my point.

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Post by unbeliev Sat Oct 09, 2010 5:56 pm

I'm not sure about that study you have quoted there as I've never read it myself. My question about that would be did they take into account the population difference between the wet and dry counties when they figure that out. I think most of the larger populated areas are wet, and dry counties usually have lower populations. (I have not researched that, just a guess on my part.) If my guess is accurate, that would seem to account for the increase in violent crime, especially murder. Small towns generally don't have as many murders and violent crimes. My guess is that if you add all of the people from 50 small towns to equal Little Rock's population, you will still have more murders in Little Rock even if the small towns are wet. I would like to see numbers comparing similar sized towns or counties that are wet but don't have a larger populated city in them. If I find some data I will definitely share it here whether it confirms my position or not.

I am in no way trying to dismiss the idea that some idiots get drunk and beat their wives or rape or kill someone. I just think that those people will do those things whether they can buy a 6 pack right down the street or 2 counties over. I really think that the only one that might be swayed at all by keeping a county dry would be the domestic violence. If it's easier for the drunk to get the alcohol he may beat his wife more often I suppose.

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Post by Paul2CV Fri Oct 08, 2010 11:09 pm

Hi Unbeliev,

I do hope that you will register and join in the Forum's discussions as you have here. I appreciate your post.

You really don't have anything like a hard opponent to going wet in me. I'm up for it going straight to a vote and, as I said, the behavior of the "dry" side has hardly impressed me. But I'm going to hold my ground on the crime and obnoxious behavior issues. The matter of DWI fatalities does seems to be lower in wet counties because of the traveling to get alcohol which averages 50 miles in dry counties. But being "dry" doesn't cause people to drink and drive. It takes a certain kind of reckless person to do that in the first place. However, there is a proven statistical basis for violent crime and alcohol use including easy access as a factor. I know that the University of Arkansas has its own study, but I couldn't bring it up on the web. I will keep looking. Here, however, is a quote from the US Department of Justice's study # NCJ 226352:

"There was evidence that variation in the availability of alcohol, as a situational factor, strongly influenced county-level homicides. The fact that “wet” counties experienced two more murders in 1995 than their “dry” county counterparts is even more significant when considering that the average number of murders in all Arkansas counties in 1995 was 3.11."





Paul2CV

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Sharp County Arkansas Wet Dry Issue Sale of Alcohol SERT for inclusion on ballot 2010 Empty Re: Sharp County Arkansas Wet Dry Issue Sale of Alcohol SERT for inclusion on ballot 2010

Post by Admin Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:20 pm

unbeliev,

The reason you are not seeing your links you've added is because guests can post to the forum, but cannot add links to their posts. However, members of the forum can add links, photos, and videos to any of their postings. Registration to become a member is free and very easy if you want to add your links.

Thank you for your comments. Hope that helps. Your participation is very much appreciated.

Mike

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Sharp County Arkansas Wet Dry Issue Sale of Alcohol SERT for inclusion on ballot 2010 Empty links???

Post by unbeliev Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:20 pm







I don't think the links are working??? Sorry....

unbeliev
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Sharp County Arkansas Wet Dry Issue Sale of Alcohol SERT for inclusion on ballot 2010 Empty Re: Sharp County Arkansas Wet Dry Issue Sale of Alcohol SERT for inclusion on ballot 2010

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