Today’s news:

Not all stores should sell wine

Gov. David Paterson’s proposed budget would give stores that sell beer the ability to sell wine. This may sound good to the consumer, but it will close the independent retailers and consumers will be left with less choice. But far worse is that passage of this budget will result in more alcohol−related auto fatalities. We state voters and taxpayers have to tell the governor and our state representatives that we do not want this change.

There are 2,400 licensed retailers in New York. If this budget passes, 19,000 additional stores will be licensed to sell wine. The types of stores are gas stations, convenience marts, beer distributors, chain grocers and big box stores. In states where this change has been allowed, the number of alcohol−related auto fatalities is higher than in New York.

Florida, California and Texas, states with high−density populations like ours, have alcohol−related automobile fatality rates for drivers 21 and younger that are triple that of New York. If the governor’s proposal passes, you and your loved ones will not be safe on New York’s roadways. No state in 23 years has passed similar legislation. Four states — Massachusetts, Minnesota, Tennessee and Colorado — have recently defeated similar proposals.

Law enforcement organizations in New York are aware of the increase in fatalities in other states and have formed a coalition, Law Enforcement Against Drunk Driving, to fight the governor’s proposal.

The governor’s proposal will put you and your family at greater risk of being injured or killed by a drunk driver. Unfortunately, states that have allowed this change know it painfully well. Once the laws change, there is no going back to a safer way of life.

If you want to voice your objection, visit www.lastmainstreetstore.com so you can send the governor and your state legislators an e−mail telling them you are against this proposal. Let’s keep New York safe for our children and loved ones.

Ed Wassmer

Owner

Young’s Fine Wines & Spirits

Manhasset, L.I.

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