- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Recent editorials from Alabama newspapers:

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Jan. 8

Opelika-Auburn News on a law allowing alcohol sales earlier on Sunday:

Cities throughout Alabama, such as Auburn and Opelika, are mulling a change in law that would allow Sunday morning alcohol sales in restaurants to begin earlier, as opposed to noon under previous state law.



The driving factor behind it is that local restaurants want the freedom to serve typical brunch-time beverages that are available any other morning and in most any other state, but not in Alabama on a Sunday morning.

As noble as the idea is that restricting alcohol sales during that two-hour time span from 10 a.m. to noon will enlarge church crowds or enhance the Sunday morning church experience, it’s an antiquated concept, and for more reasons than that, the new law should be approved locally by the state’s municipalities.

Auburn already has adopted the new law, just this past week; Opelika tabled a vote to clarify information on it. Other cities throughout Alabama are acting similarly.

Gov. Kay Ivey signed the “brunch bill” into law last year, so it became then a local-level decision.

Local churches, especially those in a downtown area surrounding the nearby restaurant scenes, most certainly deserve and require any and all assurances that their morning worship services will be respected with all due diligence and courtesy.

Any time this respect is neglected, the source of the problem should be identified and addressed. If a municipality should ever incur a problem with Sunday morning restaurant alcohol sales, it can revert to its previous policies or address it with a specific business creating the problem.

However, piling on government restrictions and regulations can, as we all know, become a cumbersome beast, and few churches can boast that their pews are full and filled with reverence because of a Sunday morning restaurant-alcohol law that most state residents probably never knew even existed.

Furthermore, many local churches have changed from days of old, or have successfully grown, and now offer multiple services or services at different times throughout Sunday, not just between 10 a.m. and noon as was traditional for many decades.

The law restricting restaurants is a law that simply isn’t necessary.

If a patron desires brunch and with it a brunch-type drink such as a Bloody Mary, it should be a decision with responsibility that an individual adult makes, not one decided by a law that says wait until noon.

And beyond customers, it is the restaurant owners pushing for this outdated law to be adjusted and for their businesses to have the freedom to operate without such governing oversight.

They are correct. Philosophical differences aside, as long as they do not interfere with the sanctity of the church, restaurant owners deserve that freedom of choice, given it is now state law allowing them to have it.

Thus, for those reasons, local municipalities should comply and limit government’s role in the restaurant business.

Online: http://www.oanow.com/

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Jan. 10

The Decatur Daily compares University of Alabama football’s national championship to issues for state lawmakers:

It was a raucous season for the Crimson Tide, and it culminated in a game that riveted the nation.

While the state of Alabama is used to being an underdog on the national stage, the Nick Saban-led Alabama football team is not. But that was the situation the team found itself in Monday night.

The team had clawed its way into the College Football Playoff, and frustrated naysayers were vocal. What about the University of Central Florida? What about Ohio State? Other teams appeared to have decent arguments for being in the No. 4 slot of the playoff, and many who follow college football figured inertia from past seasons was all that allowed Alabama to slide into postseason play. They weren’t even the SEC champs, for goodness sake.

Alabama’s victory over No. 1 Clemson in the first round of the playoff gave some critics pause, but the Tide’s offense remained suspect. The first half of Monday night’s game against Georgia fueled the critics and humbled the staunchest Bama fans. As the thunderstruck team moped into the locker room at halftime, they were the underdogs.

Saban apparently saw what the fans saw, what his weary team saw. Something had to change dramatically, or the naysayers would have their day. So the coach shook things up. He had the audacity to bench an excellent quarterback who was having an off day, replacing him with an untested freshman. Indeed, he flooded the field with talented freshmen who lacked the experience to know they could not win.

And win they did. They won yet another national championship, and Saban’s sixth as a head coach. The nation watched as second-string quarterback Tua Tagovailoa humbly gave the credit to God and his teammates, and as benched quarterback Jalen Hurts focused on team success rather than personal pride.

It was, of course, just a game. But it was a reminder that the state of Alabama needs to be just as adamant about success.

As a state, we are the clear underdog. Alabama struggles with poverty, high infant mortality, poor health, low tax revenue, below-average educational outcomes, pollution, partisanship and racial tensions. We routinely are ranked high in the bad things and low in the good.

But Alabamians are a proud people. Our pride is not limited to the excellence of the football teams fielded by the University of Alabama or Auburn. We know we can do better, and we decline to let our underdog status dictate our future.

The Legislature began its session Tuesday, and once again was called upon to confront the state’s immense challenges. They must find a fix for decrepit prisons. They must find funding options to provide health insurance for tens of thousands of children who may lose access to health care. They must address failing rural hospitals.

It is, in other words, the beginning of the second half and Alabama is down 13-0. Will the Legislature hang its head in defeat, or strive for victory?

Online: http://www.decaturdaily.com/

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Jan. 10

Dothan Eagle on Alabama football’s national championship win:

A customer at the counter of Richie B’s New York Pizza watched as a worker read an order slip and picked up a couple of slices to take to the table. The name on the ticket read “Roll Tide.” The lunch rush had passed, so he had no trouble finding the customer - he was the one in the crimson windbreaker with a big smile. When the clerk returned to the counter, the waiting customer said, “I think you were supposed to yell, ‘Roll Tide!’” The Bama fan across the room raised a slice of pizza and grinned.

After Monday’s nail-biting national championship game against the Georgia Bulldogs, even the most indifferent Alabama residents can’t help but bask in the glow of yet another national title.

It didn’t come easily. Auburn beat both Alabama and Georgia in season play, but wasn’t a contender for the championship. And when the Tide and the Bulldogs faced off in Atlanta, the first half belonged to Georgia. Alabama stampeded through the second half to tie the game, and a missed field goal attempt sent the game into overtime.

From a viewer’s perspective, a better game doesn’t often come along. It was anyone’s game until the last play.

There will surely be plenty of noise until the 2018 season opens, with rightful bragging from the victors’ fan base, and mullygrubbing from everyone else.

Give the Crimson Tide its due - Coach Nick Saban and Company have fielded a stellar team and guides them with precision strategy. This year’s title was hard-won. Every Alabamian should be proud.

Online: http://www.dothaneagle.com/

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