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Posted: 8/14/2007 4:43:56 AM EDT
AP • New York Times • CBS • USA TODAY • FOX News • Photos


Ala. City Considers End to Alcohol Sales

Aug 14, 4:34 AM (ET)

By JAY REEVES

ATHENS, Ala. (AP) - Voters have a chance on Tuesday to return this northern Alabama city to the days of Prohibition.

A measure to end the sale of alcohol in Athens is up for a citywide vote, a rare instance where voters could overturn a previous vote to allow sales. Business interests are against repeal, but church leaders who helped organize the petition drive that got the measure on the ballot are asking members to pray and fast in support of a ban.

Christians who oppose drinking on moral grounds believe they have a chance to win, however small.

"If it can be voted out anywhere, it will be here because so many Christians are against it," said Teresa Thomas, who works in a Christian book store.


Business leaders argue that ending the sale of beer, wine and liquor would hurt tax revenues and send the message that Athens is backward.

"Economic impact is really the big issue," said Carl Hunt, an organizer of the pro-alcohol sale Citizens for Economic Progress.

The United States went dry in 1920 after the 18th Amendment outlawed the production, transportation and sale of alcohol. Prohibition was repealed in 1933.

Now, less than four years after they first voted to legalize alcohol sales, the nearly 22,000 residents of Athens will decide whether to prohibit alcohol sales within the city, located about 95 miles north of Birmingham. Possession and consumption would remain legal.

Such "wet-to-dry" votes aren't unheard of, but they're rare, said Jim Mosher of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, which tracks public policy issues including alcohol laws.

"In Barrow, Alaska, when they legalized alcohol sales, problems went through the roof," Mosher said. "Then, when they banned it again, it improved."

Twenty-six of Alabama's 67 counties, including Limestome, where Athens is located, don't allow alcohol sales. Besides the Athens vote, residents of the southern Alabama town of Thomasville were to cast their ballots Tuesday on whether to legalize alcohol sales.

Regardless of whether Athens winds up wet or dry, a leader of the 138-year-old National Prohibition Party is glad voters have a chance to decide. Such issues rarely make it to the ballot any more, said attorney Howard Lydick, a member of the party's executive committee.

"The beer and wine industry has very good PR," Lydick said. "Those pushing (prohibition) have been pushed aside."

The Rev. Eddie Gooch feels good about the chances of ending alcohol sales in Athens, but he isn't taking any chances.

A leader of the petition drive, Gooch urged members of his United Methodist Church to pray and fast on election day and the two days leading up to it. Church volunteers have sent thousands of letters and made phone calls encouraging people to vote "dry."

Mayor Dan Williams said the city government is making nearly $250,000 in extra sales taxes directly tied to alcohol, and the city's schools get the same amount.

Besides that money, he said, overall tax revenues have grown since alcohol sales were legalized in January 2004 - an increase he attributes partly to alcohol sales.

An upscale Italian restaurant recently moved to Athens from the nearby dry city of Hartselle in order to sell alcohol, and Williams said other restaurants have arrived since it went wet.

"It's a big deal for a small town to get a new restaurant," he said.

Gooch isn't worried about the city losing businesses or tax revenues if alcohol sales are banned. Normal economic growth and God will make up any difference if residents dump the bottle, he said.

"We believe that God will honor and bless our city," Gooch said.



Link Posted: 8/14/2007 4:51:33 AM EDT
It worked so well the first time...



Gooch isn't worried about the city losing businesses or tax revenues if alcohol sales are banned. Normal economic growth and God will make up any difference if residents dump the bottle, he said.


Must be from the Song of Religious Nutjobbery.

"and the Lord spoketh onto him and said 'get thee involved in everybody else's god damn business, leave not man alone to make his own decisions and accept the consequences. Shove thy big f$#%ing nose into your neighbors door and tell him how to live his life.'"
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 4:54:50 AM EDT
20s again
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 4:57:28 AM EDT
IF the people of the community vote it in, well, it is ok.

I wonder how many people are registerd voters?
I wonder how many of the registered voters will vote?


Link Posted: 8/14/2007 4:58:59 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TruckinAR:
IF the people of the community vote it in, well, it is ok.

I wonder how many people are registerd voters?
I wonder how many of the registered voters will vote?




"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard." ~ Henry Mencken
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 4:59:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/14/2007 4:59:24 AM EDT by skygod]
It is this crap that makes me go about my new home state.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 5:01:07 AM EDT
Plenty of dry counties in the south. So what else is new?
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 5:01:39 AM EDT
uh, there are whole counties in this state that are "dry"

It isn't a new concept

You actually find that the adjacent counties (the ones who are wet and want to stay that way) support these referendums because they obviously raise the revenue for them.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 5:02:00 AM EDT
I live in a dry county. On every road leading into and out of the county stands a liquor store on the county line. It's just ridiculous.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 5:07:30 AM EDT
Only two kinds of folks are for prohibition, preachers and bootleggers.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 5:09:46 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 5:10:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Only two kinds of folks are for prohibition, preachers and bootleggers.
And some of them do both.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 5:16:05 AM EDT
This isn't a surprise , didn't AL outlaw adult sex toys state wide a few years ago.....
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 5:19:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Only two kinds of folks are for prohibition, preachers and bootleggers.



aptly spoken

I do know that if it is voted a dry county, it is very hard to get it voted back wet.

Link Posted: 8/14/2007 5:24:00 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 5:24:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Barrelburner:
Plenty of dry counties in the south. So what else is new?



I'm still waiting FOR alcohol.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 5:26:07 AM EDT
If the majority of the voters approve such a measure, then so be it.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 5:26:29 AM EDT
Where in the Bible are Christians told to lay off the hooch?
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 5:26:43 AM EDT

Christians who oppose drinking on moral grounds believe they have a chance to win, however small.

"If it can be voted out anywhere, it will be here because so many Christians are against it," said Teresa Thomas, who works in a Christian book store.


Thank GOD for the Christians!!! They will save us all!!!

Too damn bad the Christians weren't as bent out of shape over the islamic take-over of America. Maybe the Christians should get together and ban islam... if they don't then islam will ban Christians.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 5:26:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:

Originally Posted By KG5S:
This isn't a surprise , didn't AL outlaw adult sex toys state wide a few years ago.....


no they have always been illegal to sell.


Any idea what their reasoning behind that is ? Seems kind of silly to stop consenting adults from buying them !
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 5:27:11 AM EDT
It's federalism in action. I have no problem with it. I'd probably vote for it if I lived there. I don't like alcohol or the element it attracts, and I do like being contrary.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 5:29:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Cypselus:
It's federalism in action. I have no problem with it. I'd probably vote for it if I lived there. I don't like alcohol or the element it attracts, and I do like being contrary.
I have a problem when government, whether it be the Feds, State or locality telling me what I can and can't sell or what liquid I can drink or what herbaceous vegetation I can't/can grow or smoke.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 5:32:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Only two kinds of folks are for prohibition, preachers and bootleggers.


My dad used to say that whenever a wet dry vote came up in Cullman County.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 5:35:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By monkeybusiness:

Christians who oppose drinking on moral grounds believe they have a chance to win, however small.

"If it can be voted out anywhere, it will be here because so many Christians are against it," said Teresa Thomas, who works in a Christian book store.


Thank GOD for the Christians!!! They will save us all!!!

Too damn bad the Christians weren't as bent out of shape over the islamic take-over of America. Maybe the Christians should get together and ban islam... if they don't then islam will ban Christians.


While I as a Christian could care less if you drink or not and will not vote to take away your ability to procure alcohol to drink, your post is asinine
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 5:44:40 AM EDT
1 Timothy 5:23 (King James Version)

Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.

Link Posted: 8/14/2007 5:47:52 AM EDT
I use to live in a dry county. You would drive out this remote highway and when you reached the county line it looked like Vegas. A steady stream of cars. When the county seat voted to go wet all of those businesses closed up. DUI arrests went down. New parks, remodeled the PD, lots of new patrol cars, the city actually had to find ways to spend the new revenue.

During the days leading up to the election, it was discovered the bootleggers were actually funding the anit-wet vote.

Link Posted: 8/14/2007 5:52:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
I use to live in a dry county. You would drive out this remote highway and when you reached the county line it looked like Vegas. A steady stream of cars. When the county seat voted to go wet all of those businesses closed up. DUI arrests went down. New parks, remodeled the PD, lots of new patrol cars, the city actually had to find ways to spend the new revenue.

During the days leading up to the election, it was discovered the bootleggers were actually funding the anit-wet vote.

I remember working in Cullman 4 or 5 years ago. After my 3rd day of no beer I decided to make the drive down I65 to that HUGE beer/liquor store just north of Birmingham. You really aren't joking about it looking like Vegas.

On my trip to the Hun farm I was also shocked to realize that most of western Arkansas and eastern Texas are dry. I think I drove for 300 some odd miles before I found a place to fill my cooler.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 5:55:20 AM EDT
What is even more mind boggling around here is that some places you can't buy "cold" beer, only hot beer.

In some places no beer, just liquor, and in others no liquor, just beer.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 6:02:04 AM EDT

I have a problem when government, whether it be the Feds, State or locality telling me what I can and can't sell or what liquid I can drink or what herbaceous vegetation I can't/can grow or smoke.

This is probably a basic disagreement that we can not bridge. I think the federal government under the constitution ought to be extremely limited, but that states and localities ought to be much more free, limited by their own constitutions and charters. One of the great benefits to this approach is that one need only move a few miles in order to find conditions more to one's liking. Freedom that doesn't include the freedom to frame suitable, agreeable laws and customs within one's own community isn't freedom at all.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 6:03:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/14/2007 6:04:38 AM EDT by pv74]
I'm a Christian and I drink a beer or two every now and then...whats the big deal
Christ had wine at the last supper after all...
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 6:04:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By dedfella:

Originally Posted By monkeybusiness:

Christians who oppose drinking on moral grounds believe they have a chance to win, however small.

"If it can be voted out anywhere, it will be here because so many Christians are against it," said Teresa Thomas, who works in a Christian book store.


Thank GOD for the Christians!!! They will save us all!!!

Too damn bad the Christians weren't as bent out of shape over the islamic take-over of America. Maybe the Christians should get together and ban islam... if they don't then islam will ban Christians.


While I as a Christian could care less if you drink or not and will not vote to take away your ability to procure alcohol to drink, your post is asinine
How do you figure??

the religion of islam is ANTI-Christian and when the islam apologists and promoters succeed in their agenda, there will be pockets of islam controlled towns all over America.

look at it like this... islam is like the tiny mold speck on a loaf of bread. if you don't cut off the moldy area, the mold will continue until it consumes the entire loaf of bread.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 6:14:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Cypselus:

I have a problem when government, whether it be the Feds, State or locality telling me what I can and can't sell or what liquid I can drink or what herbaceous vegetation I can't/can grow or smoke.

This is probably a basic disagreement that we can not bridge. I think the federal government under the constitution ought to be extremely limited, but that states and localities ought to be much more free, limited by their own constitutions and charters. One of the great benefits to this approach is that one need only move a few miles in order to find conditions more to one's liking. Freedom that doesn't include the freedom to frame suitable, agreeable laws and customs within one's own community isn't freedom at all.


So you're saying we should all live in Winnebagos so if an election went against us we could drive on to where we could get a drink of hooch, have unfettered RKBA and find a good sex toy?

Link Posted: 8/14/2007 6:15:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By VTHOKIESHOOTER:

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
I use to live in a dry county. You would drive out this remote highway and when you reached the county line it looked like Vegas. A steady stream of cars. When the county seat voted to go wet all of those businesses closed up. DUI arrests went down. New parks, remodeled the PD, lots of new patrol cars, the city actually had to find ways to spend the new revenue.

During the days leading up to the election, it was discovered the bootleggers were actually funding the anit-wet vote.

I remember working in Cullman 4 or 5 years ago. After my 3rd day of no beer I decided to make the drive down I65 to that HUGE beer/liquor store just north of Birmingham. You really aren't joking about it looking like Vegas.

On my trip to the Hun farm I was also shocked to realize that most of western Arkansas and eastern Texas are dry. I think I drove for 300 some odd miles before I found a place to fill my cooler.


I use to live in central Arkansas and the county was dry. You could travel out a dirt road to the middle of no where, a guy had two mobile homes set up as a quasi double wide. It was stocked with booze, even had glass front coolers.

I also know of another place near the Mississippi river in NE AR that the only time the place was open was on Sundays because it was illegal to sell on Sunday. The only thing he sold was 6 paks of can bud for $5. He had a drive threw window.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 6:17:25 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pv74:
I'm a Christian and I drink a beer or two every now and then...whats the big deal
Christ had wine at the last supper after all...


Don't try to take legalism out of institutional Christianity.

What else will they have if they don't have a list of do's and do not's?

You can't actually expect people to transform themselves as a human being rather than simply follow the list of rules like a second grader.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 6:21:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/14/2007 6:21:36 AM EDT by callgood]

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
...........I use to live in central Arkansas and the county was dry. You could travel out a dirt road to the middle of no where, a guy had two mobile homes set up as a quasi double wide. It was stocked with booze, even had glass front coolers.

I also know of another place near the Mississippi river in NE AR that the only time the place was open was on Sundays because it was illegal to sell on Sunday. The only thing he sold was 6 paks of can bud for $5. He had a drive threw window.


Same situation here in then dry Marshall county, circa '79-'80. We went to a friend's house for a cookout. He said he'd like some beer to go with the BBQ. I told him it would take too long to drive to Madison county and back. Soooooo, we get in his car and drove to a setup like the one in your first paragraph. A few years later the sheriff went to the slammer.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 6:23:37 AM EDT
To paraphrase the late Rodney Dangerfield:

"Our town voted to reinstate the Volstead Act.

We didn't know what we were doing. We were all stoned on weed!"
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 6:27:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By callgood:

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
...........I use to live in central Arkansas and the county was dry. You could travel out a dirt road to the middle of no where, a guy had two mobile homes set up as a quasi double wide. It was stocked with booze, even had glass front coolers.

I also know of another place near the Mississippi river in NE AR that the only time the place was open was on Sundays because it was illegal to sell on Sunday. The only thing he sold was 6 paks of can bud for $5. He had a drive threw window.


Same situation here in then dry Marshall county, circa '79-'80. We went to a friend's house for a cookout. He said he'd like some beer to go with the BBQ. I told him it would take too long to drive to Madison county and back. Soooooo, we get in his car and drove to a setup like the one in your first paragraph. A few years later the sheriff went to the slammer.


The Ms county i live in is dry. You can buy as easy or more easily any day of the week.

I know where an old non-running school bus is parked right now off a dirt road. On the weekends he fires up the genny to run the cooler and sells by the case for a 7-8 dollar premium.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 6:38:26 AM EDT
I’ve seen alcohol fuck up a lot of lives. Alcohol causes people to act in criminally stupid ways. I’ll be that over half of the murders in this country are committed by people who are drunk. Since the murder rate is used as an excuse to ban guns, alcohol is a direct threat to my right to own guns as well as a direct threat on my life and the life of everyone I love.

Alcohol causes more damage to society than every illegal drug combined. Many people believe that illegal drugs justify incredible violations of our civil liberties including no knock warrants and asset forfeiture. People are given felony convictions and are sent to government sponsored sodomy centers for mere possession of drugs that are far less dangerous than alcohol is.

It’s probably worth pointing out that I have been known to occasionally drink a bit and I don’t personally want the sale of alcohol banned. I’m not arguing in favor of the ban. What I’m saying is that anyone who approves of the nations war on drugs ought to support a similar war on alcohol. And a local community has just as much right to ban alcohol as they do to ban cocaine or marijuana.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 6:44:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Thuban:
I’ve seen alcohol fuck up a lot of lives. Alcohol causes people to act in criminally stupid ways. I’ll be that over half of the murders in this country are committed by people who are drunk. Since the murder rate is used as an excuse to ban guns, alcohol is a direct threat to my right to own guns as well as a direct threat on my life and the life of everyone I love.

Alcohol causes more damage to society than every illegal drug combined. Many people believe that illegal drugs justify incredible violations of our civil liberties including no knock warrants and asset forfeiture. People are given felony convictions and are sent to government sponsored sodomy centers for mere possession of drugs that are far less dangerous than alcohol is.

It’s probably worth pointing out that I have been known to occasionally drink a bit and I don’t personally want the sale of alcohol banned. I’m not arguing in favor of the ban. What I’m saying is that anyone who approves of the nations war on drugs ought to support a similar war on alcohol. And a local community has just as much right to ban alcohol as they do to ban cocaine or marijuana.

Great...Sounds like we got a hippie in our midst!
j/k
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 7:05:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Thuban:
I’ve seen alcohol fuck up a lot of lives. Alcohol causes people to act in criminally stupid ways. I’ll be that over half of the murders in this country are committed by people who are drunk. Since the murder rate is used as an excuse to ban guns, alcohol is a direct threat to my right to own guns as well as a direct threat on my life and the life of everyone I love.

Alcohol causes more damage to society than every illegal drug combined. Many people believe that illegal drugs justify incredible violations of our civil liberties including no knock warrants and asset forfeiture. People are given felony convictions and are sent to government sponsored sodomy centers for mere possession of drugs that are far less dangerous than alcohol is.

It’s probably worth pointing out that I have been known to occasionally drink a bit and I don’t personally want the sale of alcohol banned. I’m not arguing in favor of the ban. What I’m saying is that anyone who approves of the nations war on drugs ought to support a similar war on alcohol. And a local community has just as much right to ban alcohol as they do to ban cocaine or marijuana.


Blaming alcohol is like blaming guns.

Both ideas take out the human element.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 7:11:52 AM EDT
I have a hard time imagining living somewhere that I could not buy alcohol. I don't even drink that much, but I can't wrap my head around not being able to stop at a grocery store on the way home from work and pick up a 6 pack.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 7:13:41 AM EDT



I use to live in central Arkansas and the county was dry. You could travel out a dirt road to the middle of no where, a guy had two mobile homes set up as a quasi double wide. It was stocked with booze, even had glass front coolers.

I also know of another place near the Mississippi river in NE AR that the only time the place was open was on Sundays because it was illegal to sell on Sunday. The only thing he sold was 6 paks of can bud for $5. He had a drive threw window.


What Co in AR did you live in ? I am in White Co and we are dry.....
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 7:25:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KG5S:



I use to live in central Arkansas and the county was dry. You could travel out a dirt road to the middle of no where, a guy had two mobile homes set up as a quasi double wide. It was stocked with booze, even had glass front coolers.

I also know of another place near the Mississippi river in NE AR that the only time the place was open was on Sundays because it was illegal to sell on Sunday. The only thing he sold was 6 paks of can bud for $5. He had a drive threw window.


What Co in AR did you live in ? I am in White Co and we are dry.....


During my drinking days, Faulkner, Mississippi (wet), and what ever co El Paso is in.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 8:01:39 AM EDT
I think ElPaso is in White , if not it is right on the edge. Just wondering.
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 2:50:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dawgsquat:
I live in a dry county. On every road leading into and out of the county stands a liquor store on the county line. It's just ridiculous.


And usually memorials and crosses along the roadside, where people have died in DUI crashes driving to the next county to get more booze.
Going "dry" solves nothing IMHO
Link Posted: 8/15/2007 4:54:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/15/2007 4:55:00 AM EDT by Merlin]
It lost 2-1: Crappy Hsv Slime link


Athens to continue alcohol sales; Limestone County rejects penny sales tax hike
Posted by Keith Clines August 14, 2007 8:47 PM
ATHENS - By similar 2 to 1 margins today, voters in Athens and Limestone County rejected a one-cent sales tax increase and supported the continued sale of alcohol in the city.

The Limestone County sales tax referendum, which would go to the county schools, was defeated 7,875 (66.4 percent) to 3,991 (33.6 percent). The vote included 34 of 35 boxes. The other box is the provisional ballots which will be counted next Tuesday.

In Athens, with 11 of 12 boxes counted (the 12th being the provisional ballots), the vote was 4,288 (67.9 percent) to continue the sale of alcohol to 2,030 (32.1 percent).


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