Cartoons keep focus on Grand County’s alcohol problem
December 14, 2007
To the Editor:
I would like to respond to the letter written by Dean Billington of Kremmling regarding the cartoons satirizing underage drinking in our communities.
I did not find the cartoons “off focus” and found them to be humorous in a positive manner. Sometimes, a little levity helps to better focus on the issue. I applaud the Sky-Hi Daily News for keeping this issue in the forefront.
Grand County has a long history of underage drinking beyond just a “woodsy.” Reporter Will Bublitz recently wrote a series in the Daily News on the problem. Grand Futures and other local agencies have been enlightening our community about the problem.
Earlier this month, our local law enforcement agencies announced ahead of time they would be checking businesses on the unlawful sale of alcohol and still observed numerous violations. A member of the Granby Board of Trustees is awaiting trial on serious charges related to underage drinking.
As a member of the West Grand Board of Education, Mr. Billington presumably has at least a cursory knowledge of the county-wide problem which is at epidemic proportion not only here but nationally.
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Earlier this year, the U.S. Surgeon General said if this problem is to get under control, then it’s the adults who need to change their attitude regarding underage drinking. This is where the solution is.
Educating your own children is a start but it’s not enough when alcohol is readily available almost anywhere, particularly at community functions. There is a lot of information available, but the bottom line is the more alcohol is available within a community, even legally, the more widespread underage drinking is.
I would like to ask Mr. Billington and all school, town, or chamber board members who serve the public a fair question. Are you a part of the solution but also a part of the problem?
The Marin Institute states, “Community events (such as fairs and farmer markets) where alcohol is served reinforces their (youth) perception that it’s acceptable for them also.” Unfortunately, statistics show it’s already too late for most of the class of 2014. Can we save most of the next class?