Here are two things you might not know about me. When I was young we lived next to a busy highway in Springville Iowa and I was a huge professional wrestling fan. When I was a teenager, professional wrestling was still called WWF. Most weekends my brother, our friends, and I watched WWF and cheered for our favorite wrestlers. I liked George “The Animal” Steel because he always won and he always bit his opponent. I don’t know why I found that so amusing but I was young.
One weekend we were religiously watching WWF when it was interrupted by something I never heard before. It didn’t register at first. It was surreal; we didn’t move we just looked at each other trying to process what just happened. Then someone finally yelled “car accident!” Finally the sound made sense; it was squealing tires and an explosion of metal and glass. We grabbed our shoes and ran outside.
The first thing I saw was over 100 yards away. I recognized it immediately, it was an old tan Olds Mobile on its side with its front end firmly planted into a huge utility pole. It’s a small town, everybody knew that car. Everybody knew who rode in that car, three friends who liked to party. They graduated less than a year before the accident.
The second thing I saw was two of the friends near the car, injured, maybe seriously. The third thing I saw was the third friend not 20 yards away. He was already dead. It is an image in my memory I will never forget and too graphic to put in print. I didn’t know him very well, he was much older but his cousin was in my grade. His death devastated his family. It changed many of us forever.
I don’t want any family to go through what this family went through. I don’t want anyone to see the things I’ve seen. Every reasonable effort should be made to prevent underage drinking. Social Host ordinance is a non-intrusive ordinance that compliments existing underage drinking laws and provides law enforcement with another tool. Social Host does not interfere with religious sacraments or the parent’s right to provide alcohol to their children in their home. Social Host ordinance is a proposed ordinance to charge a fine to adults that knowingly provides opportunities for parties that have underage drinking and drug use. Many counties and cities in Iowa already have this ordinance in effect. Almost half of the states in America have statewide Social Host laws.
The Social Host ordinance is culturally sensitive, common sense, reasonable, and needed to help prevent underage drinking and drug use. This Thursday March 27 the Vinton City Council will be asked to pass a Social Host ordinance. Please join me at the City Hall Thursday at 7pm to support the adoption of Social Host ordinance.
Peter Shaw Vinton


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Comments (3)

Great article Pete! Thanks for the invitation for Thursday's meeting!
By: Zach Zajicek on March 25th 2:01pm
If I still lived in Vinton I would definitely attend this meeting. I urge my friends to support this ordinance.
By: Linda Duffie on March 26th 1:45pm
Well written! Your sincere interests are engaging and I hope this is seriously considered and successfully passes. I think back and still wonder how many friends of mine or myself didn't suffer similar fates by careless actions. Good luck!
By: Candace Hayden on March 26th 8:07pm

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