There may be some truth to that, both for myself and for our community.
As announced in last week’s Tribune-Courier, this is my final issue as a member of the staff. A good thing ending for sure. After working in the industry in other areas, it was a blessing to come home. I’m thankful I had the opportunity to work alongside and around people that don’t need a GPS to find Olive or Brewers.
On the other hand, as a few people know, there seemed to be no end to personal trials the last couple years. At times, it seemed like bad days were going on forever.
Lately, the county is in a similar state. There’s a divisive nature settling in. Unfortunately, a conversation over economic options has turned into a pack of squabbles. The pious versus the penny-wise, sheperds versus sheep.
I understand the slippery slope argument.
If the community allows alcohol in...which it already does judging by the number of bottles and cans littering our shoreline... it won’t be long before Marshall becomes like all other wet counties of Kentucky. Brothels will line the streets, bringing in legalized prostitution. Sweat shops will replace our industrial complex in Calvert City. Meth, pills and pot will become even easier than just dialing one of the dealers who make house calls. Fiery meteors will rain down like spring showers.
Anyone who has driven through surrounding wet counties can tell you how difficult a commute can become with fiery meteors shooting at you. It might even discourage some from driving there to buy their beer.
Maybe. At least the lite beer.
On the other hand, pro-business advocates have a point.
If jobs that pay a living wage continue to dwindle, there won’t be much of an issue– anyone who wants a beer will probably be working in a county that serves one. So, instead of working together as a business community to increase opportunities (both for tourism and other industries), it’s probably best to just hope alcohol sales will solve all the problems.
Forget about businesses and services that used to line the lakes and U.S. Hwy. 641, each complimenting one another and bringing in tourism traffic. It wasn’t those business owners retiring or leaving that reduced the tourism industry, it was the lack of alcohol. It wasn’t a lack of innovation that brought tourism attractions to other communities– it was the fact they had alcohol which magically made customers appear.
In truth, everybody is a little right. And they’re all wrong.
Alcohol isn’t going to make tourists with fat pockets suddenly aware of Kentucky Lake. Will it make some spend more? Sure. Mostly on alcohol. Will it make them decide on a lakes vacation over a trip to Disney World or Gatlinburg or wherever? No.
It will help, but not as much as a committed vision and supported drive bring in visitors.
Likewise, those seeking to keep prohibition in place are a little right. And they’re wrong, too.
Having a liquor store in Olive isn’t going to turn the four-way into the vice capital of the world. Those who drink are going to drink and those who don’t aren’t going to get the urge any more than they already do.
Fairly regularly the Tribune-Courier reports on alcohol-related traffic crashes. In a dry county. It’s already illegal to drink and drive– that’s not going to change. And, if statistics in almost every other community are any indicator, the number of crashes here will go down if sales are legalized.
In the end, the problem isn’t with sale, or even the product. It’s with the use and misuse. And that is an individual choice– those who make bad decisions tend to make them whether they’re legal or not.
Either way, whatever county voters decide, it can’t come quick enough. So much squawking and balking isn’t good for a community that, at times, can do so many wonderful things for its members. No place I’ve worked or spent a fair amount of time in pulls together like Marshall County. Most of the time, there’s no better place to call home.
Hopefully, the current cloud of hard feelings won’t linger much longer.