Moist vote drawing attention


Ann Matheny had a good article in the paper recently concerning the moist election. In it, Matheny said that all tax money from sales of alcohol must go to the police department. But according to a councilman this may not be 100 percent accurate as some tax money might be used for other things, i.e. “administrative costs.”

Corbin taxes package sales at 5 percent which supposedly generates tens of thousands of extra dollars each year. Middlesboro could do this if it had package sales and the extra money could be used to increase services in every department, pay raises for city employees or lowering city taxes.

Being a Middlesboro native and traveling there almost daily, I am very interested in what is best for Middlesboro, over any other place. Why not keep alcohol generated tax money in Middlesboro for the benefit of the people of Middlesboro, instead of seeing it go to Harrogate, Tazewell, Knoxville or Lexington.

Nor should this be a moral issue. Good Christian people who vote “no” will not help keep one soul out of hell, because people who drink are going to drink. Why not let them do it here in the comfort of nice restaurants, instead of traveling to other places. People who don’ drink and don’t want to be around it, can stay out of restaurants with alcohol. Why not live and let live.

I’ve seen others espousing gloom and doom if this goes through, that little children will be at increased risk, and so forth and so on. If things get so bad with legalized alcohol in restaurants, why haven’t the good people of nearby Corbin and London, to name two, voted it out.

The answer is obvious. Corbin citizens even voted to go from moist only to package sales. I don’t know of any place in Kentucky that has gone wet in any degree in recent years that have voted it out. This should tell us something.

I’m guessing, but I would say that at least 90 percent of the population of the United States live where alcohol is legal, and the sky hasn’t fell. This is Middlesboro’s opportunity to finally join the mainstream of America, and the 21st century. Give this a chance. Don’t blow it. If it doesn’t work out you can always “go back.”

Dennis Smith



You have been told to compare Middlesboro to Harrodsburg, Kentucky. Why, I don’t understand, unless it is once again to mislead you.

Harrodsburg, Kentucky is located about 29 miles outside of Lexington and about 30 miles from Frankfort. Harrodsburg has a population of about 2,700 with a median household income of $46,004 and an average household net worth of $366,080. Our coal severance tax money has gone to this area of the “Golden Triangle” for years and to now use this town as a comparison to our community is foolish. So decide for yourself if this is a fair comparison between two cities.

Why not compare Middlesboro to Pineville, where a moist vote passed nine years ago, then determine how much it has done for them. Or compare Middlesboro to Harrogate, where it has been wet for some time, and all the businesses or the Applebees’, Red Lobsters and O’Charleys that have yet to rush in.

Our community is a beautiful place to live. Consider our beautiful mountains, rivers and streams; the color changes in the fall, Cumberland Gap National Park and the campgrounds. The beautiful Lincoln Memorial University, Crater City, Pine Mountain State Park, Chained Rock, Hensley Settlement, the oldest continuously played golf course in the United States, Mountain Laurel Festival and the Cumberland Mountain Fall Festival. Think of Southeast Community College, Henderson Settlement, Wasioto Winds Golf Course, the White Rocks of Virginia, Powell Valley and our beautiful churches. We have the attractions for tourism without another drug being introduced into our community, while keeping in mind that alcohol remains the gateway drug to all others. Keep our children and community safe. May we all explore God’s world and live like God intended.

To be sure not to say the wrong thing, I went to the dictionary and looked at the definition of the word “lie.” It means “a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive, something intended or serving to convey a false impression, to mislead by a false appearance or statement.” Don’t be fooled or misled. Alcohol is not the answer for our community. We need jobs for our coal miners and others displaced and looking for work. Let’s work together to bring jobs, not alcohol into our community. We are being given a false impression and deceived about what a moist vote is and a false appearance of what Middlesboro would become. Vote “no” on Sept. 15.

Mike Marcum



All of us will agree that our children are our greatest treasure. However, I must be borderline stupid since I don’t understand how keeping Middlesboro legally “dry” will protect our children.

It is a fact, supported by a number of studies in Kentucky and other states, that there are more alcohol related vehicular accidents and deaths in “dry” areas than in neighboring “wet” or “moist” communities. It is also a fact, proven by a recent study by U of L economists, that there is significantly more meth produced in Kentucky’s “dry” counties.

How does it protect our children to have more drunk drivers and more drug traffickers?

I must also be blind since I have not seen open bars in downtown Pineville. When I recently had dinner at Pine Mountain lodge, I saw no one who seemed to be drunk or even verging on it although several diners were having a bottle of beer with their meal. When I visit my children in Lexington or Indianapolis, we sometimes go out to eat at a “better” restaurant, some even with separate bars, but I have yet to see a drunk in one of those establishments.

All of us, including our elected officials, will agree that our greatest need is jobs paying adequate wages. How does staying legally “dry” promote that goal?

Industry recruiters say that many businesses, and not just restaurants, will not even consider locating in a “dry” community. Why? Recruiters say the reason is twofold. One is that the management who will be asked to locate there expects a certain lifestyle not available in “dry” areas. The other is the typical demographics of “dry” communities. This is unfair to atypical towns, but is a fact of life.

Voting to go “moist” may not bring in any new businesses which offer good jobs, but staying “dry” certainly won’t.

I have no dog of my own in this fight. I own no business or any property other than the house I live in. I’m retired and my children have already left Middlesboro. I never order alcohol in a restaurant. It’s expensive and if I have extra money I’d rather spend it on dessert. So I will in no way benefit personally from going “moist.” However, I love Middlesboro and hate to see our town in our present downward spiral.

The definition of insanity is to continuing doing the same thing time after time and expecting a different result. Let’s try something different by voting ourselves “moist.”

Ann Matheny


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