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• Via e-mail: Why do we need more alcohol in our grocery stores? We already have three or four wine stores in the area.

• Via e-mail: Concerning wine in grocery stores, I think the gas price argument is very weak. I also do not agree with the argument that it would create more jobs than it would cost to the many people currently working in the wine and spirits industry. I also would bring up the point of easier availability of higher alcohol beverages to minors.

• Via e-mail: In relation to the wine in grocery store argument: nine good words! Support your community and shop small, local-owned businesses.

• Via e-mail: In response to the “Through the Lens” article I wish to state that people should support local businesses over large conglomerates. After all they are the backbone of every community. This said, the addition of wine in grocery stores will not add employment to the grocery stores, but it will take away jobs from people in the retail wine and liquor stores. It is estimated that if the wine goes into grocery stores that 500 small businesses will close and 3,000 people will lose their jobs. If the wine stores are allowed to sell other items in an attempt to help compensate for the loss of 60 percent of their revenue it will not work. It has been calculated that wine stores in Tennessee will have to sell 90 MILLION bags of ice and 30 MILLION corkscrews, in one year, to make up for the loss of revenue. These small retail stores cannot possibly do this. The odds are also high that alcohol being sold to minors will increase. Wine store clerks are very diligent about checking IDs, but the 16-year-old working the register at a grocery store may not be. Is saving you a stop, perhaps once a week, worth the cost of your friends and neighbors losing their jobs? If you think so, then put yourself in their position and ask yourself what you would think if this was a possibility of happening to you. We all need to stand by each other and support our local small businesses.

Editor’s Note: All alcohol sales in grocery stores, i.e. beer, must be rung up by an adult. Minors are not allowed to participate in the sale of alcohol.

• Via I am strongly against the sale of wine in grocery stores in Tennessee. I believe things are right the way they are and do not feel anything should be changed. I believe it will only cause problems. It will kill small business liquor stores. It’s been about 25 years since they passed that bill in any state. I do not see why we should hurt a small business that established itself when this bill has not been around. I also believe increasing the number of outlets will also cause problems.

• Via Stop it from happening.

• Via Most Tennesseans do not realize that this measure will: 1. Cause the loss of about 3000 jobs 2. Tax dollars currently sent to Tennessee (privately owned liquor stores) will now go to Ohio for Kroger, and Arkansas for Wal-Mart 3. Most Tennesseans DO NOT drink, and therefore would be a “convenience” for only the few 4. Liquor Stores DO NOT want to start selling other things. Most stores are small and can only handle the inventory they currently have. 5. The Tennessee distributers [sic] are not prepared to handle the extra work and storage. Space that would be required for a Kroger or Wal-Mart order. Eventually, these distributers [sic], (also privately owned Tennessee corporations) would be forced out when Wal-Mart decides that it is too large to deal with these distributors and wants to deal only with the large houses, like Gallo Wine. Goodbye, jobs. Also, any state (none since 1986) that enacted this had a major increase in the social costs to that state, directly related to underage drinking and other factors.

• Via Wine in grocery stores sounds like a simple issue, but it is not. The bills in question would put alcoholic beverages in gas stations, convenience stores, corner markets in neighborhoods and in any other establishment that can configure themselves to meet an unwritten definition of a “grocery store.” It is much more than mere convenience. Tennessee enjoys moderate consumption patterns, less binge drinking, lower numbers of accidents involving alcohol than the national averages. More outlets really will mean more alcohol related problems. The selection of wines available to Tennesseans is at an all-time high — much more than in 1979 when wine in grocery stores was first proposed. And, if a wine is not distributed in Tennessee, the winery can choose to obtain direct-shippers permit and a customer can order those wines. The state of the economy and our lifestyle is different than in 1979 too. Then, there were vibrant downtown squares in most of our smaller communities. Independent grocers abounded. Small business was the backbone of community charity and employment. Wal-Mart and Costco and the big boxes have altered the landscape tremendously, creating empty business districts and lost employment. They and other out of state corporations are behind the current wine in grocery push, a move that would eliminate many more small businesses and put more people out of work and just transfer any profits out of state. I for one like specialty retail, with knowledgeable employees and personal service. Wine in grocery stores will reduce customer choice in the end — I call that inconvenience.

• Via Perhaps there [are] bigger issues at stake than convenience with gas rising prices. Perhaps the fact that every convenience store in the state could offer 20 percent alcohol wines which are flavored to appeal to the young and underage shopper. This is a product that is 4-to-5 times stronger than beer, which is now available in groceries and convenience markets. This would also quadruple the number of places where underage purchasers could try their luck at beating the system. I don’t think these locations would be anywhere nearly as vigilant as the current wine and liquor stores are about not selling to underage or impaired individuals. It is not all about convenience and free market capitalism. There are bigger issues at stake. Small businesses that care about their community would be crushed by large corporations [that] don’t.

• Via No, wine should not be sold in grocery stores. If grocery stores are permitted to sell wine, so will convenient stores, drug stores, dollar stores and any other location that sells food products. The current system works, leave well enough alone.

• Via Alcohol is a drug. It needs to be very controlled. The present system serves our state very well. Wine is 3-to-10 times more potent than beer and can be very sweet. Just what kids, especially young girls, love. Kids work in grocery and convenience stores and everywhere food is sold. They would be under great peer pressure to sell to or allow their friends to get it or take it themselves. If you could get a grocery manager to talk candidly, he would tell you the most stolen thing in his store is beer by minors. Grocers do not care about the social ramifications; they just want more profits sent to their home offices, which are for the most part not in our state. The grocers stress convenience. We do not need to make this drug more accessible.

• Via I do not want wine in the grocery stores, or at my local pharmacy, or where I buy my gas, or at the Dollar General, which this new law will allow! Did you realize alcohol would be that available?

• Via This is a bad ideal [sic]. Most liquor stores are conveniently located near or adjacent to grocery stores. If passed, it will cost jobs, as grocery stores will likely just be adding more SKUs, not more jobs. It will also remove money from the local economy and put it in corporate offices of out-of-state retailers like Kroger, Food City, Wal-Mart, etc.

• Via I am opposed to wine in the grocery stores. Please leave something for small business owners to sell. Grocery stores already sell many other items besides groceries, and I’m sure that wine sales represent a very large portion of a liquor store’s profits. Let things stay as they are. By the way, I still make it a point to buy gas from the gas stations that were here 10 years ago instead of patronizing the grocery store gas pumps. Some things, such as loyalty, are worth more than a discount on gas — or wine.

• Via I’m all in favor of the red-light cameras. I have a feeling that the persons who oppose the cameras are the same ones who don’t bother to follow other laws with which they disagree, such as speed limits, handicapped parking regulations, etc. A law is a law, whether you agree with it or not.

• Via Thanks Farragut for a great new park! Parks are perfect places for children and families because they are safe. Is the park still safe for families when alcohol is served? As a pediatrician I feel strongly that it is dangerous to allow alcohol use during any event in the park where children are present, especially in crowded parking lots.  How can alcohol in parks benefit Farragut?  What benefit of alcohol use could possibly outweigh the risk of someone running over a child at a busy event? This question must be wisely addressed before the “beer in parks” issue moves anywhere.

• Via I just wanted to vote a resounding “YES!” for allowing wine (and I assume high-gravity beer) in grocery stores in Tennessee … this is a measure that is long past due, especially considering the market conditions in many of our neighboring states and the country at large. On balance I also feel that liquor stores should have available to them many of the supplementary items to wine and liquor that they cannot currently sell. It would seem to me to be a win-win for consumer and retailer. The overwhelming majority of consumers want this — there is no debate. Having lived and shopped in numerous other states, the argument that this would put liquor stores out of business is preposterous, and is only a thinly veiled argument for self-preservation at the expense of freedom of choice. I will continue to support the many fine liquor retailers in the area, and when I need a special wine they are no doubt the place I will shop. But when I need a simple bottle of pinot gris or a 6-pack of imperial stout to go with my BBQ party, the local grocery store should be able to help me out in an expeditious, convenient manner.

• Via I question the timing of Mike Hamilton’s words having to do with the possibility of eliminating Bruce Pearl as coach of The University of Tennessee men’s basketball team. Right before UT plays in [its] first game of the NCAA tournament, he chooses to express doubt regarding Pearl’s future employment at UT. I imagine that his words had an effect on morale with both the coaches and the team. I have a suggestion: let’s give Mike Hamilton his pink slip and hire Phillip Fulmer as AD, keep Bruce Pearl, and stop this coach merry-go-round that is going on the UT campus Athletic Department.

• Via To the person comparing our home security systems to the red-light cameras. I think you are missing the point! I have a choice to have a home security system (I even get to pick the company) and until there is a democratic vote for the red-light cameras, it would not make since [sic] to have that comparison. Other cities have voted the red-light cameras out because they live in a democracy. If we hold it to a vote all this talk will be over. Those that want or do not want the red-light cameras would need to accept the democratic rule, until then the discussion will rightfully continue.

• Via In response to your March 17, 2011, Opinion page, I think wine should be available in grocery stores. One stop shopping appeals to me because it would be a convenience, save time and with gas prices increasing, it would be more economical.

• Via Where to buy wine ... why, from anyone [that] sells wine. In a land created and founded on the principals to provide its citizens their rights to Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness. Using this as a guideline, let’s review this issue to see WHO should sell wine ... Whose Right to Life is impacted by limiting who should be allowed to sell wine? For clarity, let us assign to every adult the full responsibility of their own actions, and the consequences of those actions. If the storeowner only sells to legal adults, they have met their end of the bargain. If the buyer gets drunk and ends up killing someone ... well, the drinker should be held responsible. So, given that a storeowner complies with the law to only sell wine to legal adults, the right to Life is preserved, no matter the venue. Whose Right to Liberty is impacted by limiting who should be allowed to sell wine? Why, of course, the person(s) wanting to sell the wine at their establishment because someone else wants to limit their freedom. Sure, make them apply for a license, and even tax them on their sales, and most importantly, create an oversight process that will insure that the seller is only selling to legal adults, but don’t just say no, you’re not allowed to sell wine. This could be called Liberty with Oversight. Now, let’s consider the Right to the Pursuit of Happiness ... being able to buy my wine at the grocery store would make me happy. Seeing this put a stress on small Mom-n-Pop liquor stores, who can’t possibly match the prices or convenience of the deep-pocketed chain grocery stores, would make me sad. Seeing the Big Business Grocery stores “lease” some space to the already licensed Mom-n-Pop stores, hum ... seems like a happy compromise to me! What about you?

• Via Since wine is used in cooking, it only makes sense that all of the ingredients for a recipe, including the wine, be available at the grocery store. Wine and liquor stores will not be put out of business by grocery stores. Many people, including those who might buy wine from the grocery store, will still go a wine and liquor store to buy wines when they wish to have a wider selection or when they want to seek advice/guidance before purchasing wines. Also, hard liquor will continue to be available only in wine and liquor stores. I can’t wait for wine to be available when I grocery shop!

• I am definitely in favor of buying wine in supermarkets; it’s done in other states successfully and is appreciated by the public. Thank you.

• It’s about 10 ’til 1 on Monday, [March] 21, and I’m on Grigsby Chapel Road, which has now become Smith Road, and I’m driving behind someone who is driving themselves a brand new, bluish color Elantra with tags that are getting ready to expire, temp tags on the 26, and it looks like their dealer tag is from [a car dealer in] Maryville. I just want to say, “Who told you that the roads out here are your personal trash can?” You have been, the entire time I’ve been behind you, dropping paper and Kleenexes out the window, just slipping them out, not a care in the world. My God. Were you raised in a gutter? It is against the law to throw trash in the road. It is people like you who make our roads look nasty. It’s people like you who I’m sure run the red lights and so forth. You’re a disgusting person. I hope to God you don’t have children because I guarantee you’re not teaching them any values.

• I have a wonderful idea: why don’t we make all the main roads in Farragut toll roads? Then we could set up toll booths and collect tolls; that would certainly cut down on the truck traffic that’s coming through and the tolls we could use to pay for the security guards that would be at the toll booths. And we could even give them machine guns to be able to stop those trucks.

• How can our Vice Mayor [Dot LaMarche] run again, since I believe her time has expired? If this is the case, we suggest a write-in vote for alderman on the south side of Kingston Pike. Also, it needs to be put on the ballot to let people vote [whether] we need red-light cameras or not. We can get over 200 names that are against these cameras if a petition is needed. Thank you.

Editor’s Note: Vice Mayor Dot LaMarche is running unopposed for the upcoming Farragut municipal election in April. If elected, this would be her third term. Farragut’s recently approved term limits do not go into effect until 2014. They limit any elected official to 12 years total in office, rather as an alderman or as mayor, and don’t apply retroactively.

• Hi; I’d like to make a complaint about [a company] that has called my home and tried to pitch me a new alarm system for my home. First of all, they use scare tactics like I’m not safe in my home, and my neighborhood crime rate is up and that I definitely need an alarm system with a keychain remote, because one day I’ll be attacked in my car and I’ll need the keychain. It was a very rude salesperson and I don’t appreciate that kind of behavior, especially from a telemarketer who I’m giving my time to. Thank you.

Editor’s Note: You can avoid many unsolicited sales calls by registering your telephone number with the National Do Not Call registry.

• On the wine in grocery store issue, it’s a little more complicated than it appears: there are plenty of liquor stores right now. If the grocery stores get it, they’re going to be wanting to open up on Sundays, which should be a sacred day for us. The money will travel to out-of-state corporations, big box corporations, and we’ve got enough wine locations now. Theft at grocery stores is very high; minors have access to grocery stores and they don’t in liquor stores. Thank you.

• I think it’s a great idea to have wine in grocery stores. When I go to Orlando, Fla., there’s wine in every grocery store down there. It’s a wonderful idea, wine in grocery stores. Thank you.

• I’m calling in regard to the tree topping on Interstate-75/40 westbound near Campbell Station exit. It’s obviously done, has been done, to allow a better view of the billboards on that side of the Interstate, and it looks absolutely terrible. And my question to the farragutpress: can they do anything about it or raise the issue or can the town of Farragut do anything? I think if people start noticing what they have done, they will agree it’s an atrocity. Thank you.

Note: According to associate town administrator Gary Palmer, the area that has been cleared near the Interstate is in the TDOT right-of-way.

• Regarding the wine and liquor sales in large grocery stores — I have no connection to any stores except as a customer — but I think there’s a need in the community for large box stores and for small specialty stores. If you are a wine lover, the wine shops of Farragut are very special places. The personnel are warm and friendly and take the time to educate their customers. These stores came about because of our state’s liquor laws. It would be a shame to penalize them now and put them out of business. That’s exactly what will happen if grocery stores carried wine. The little stores cannot survive on liquor sales alone. Thank you.

• People, people, people: the red-light cameras are here to stay. No amount of moaning, groaning, crying, sniveling, snorting or anything else is going to take that away. It’s a simple situation: stop at the red light. Stop. If there’s nothing coming, go; if there is, don’t go. Why on earth the educated, well-to-do, upper class citizens of Farragut can’t understand this, I will never, ever know. Please, get with the program. If you stop, you don’t get a ticket. If you do not stop, you will get a ticket. It’s as simple as pie. Please get off of this subject. Thank you.

• Reading today’s article about where to buy wine, I thoroughly agree that grocery stores should be able to sell wine for one-stop shopping. Gas prices are getting out of sight, and it makes a lot of sense. Also, beer should be sold at liquor stores. That would help them on the other side and also one-stop shopping, less gas. Thank you.


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