More than 6,000 signatures appear on petition opposing beer sales at Sheetz

An Altoona pastor who is leading a charge against the sale of beer at a new Sheetz location in Altoona said this morning that more than 125 churches, organizations and individuals have joined the coalition and noted that a petition with more than 6,000 signatures will be delivered to Sheetz Corporation headquarters.
The announcement came this morning in the library of the Faith Baptist Church in Altoona.
“The majority of those who signed the petition and sent letters to the LCB believe that Sheetz is a very good organization and produces fines products in their stores,” said Dull, “but are very concerned that beer should not be sold in any convenience store or grocery store in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
“It is the belief and fear of those who are involved in the campaign that if Sheetz is granted a license to sell beer, this may open the flood gates to other similar stores in the state to request the same.”
Pastor Dull said he believes that the more than 6,000 people who signed the petitions and those who sent letters to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board represents only a small percentage of those who would oppose the sale of beer in convenience or grocery stores across the state if they had the opporunity to do so.
Pastor Dull noted four specific reasons as to why beer should not be sold at the new 17th Street location. He said these reasons were presented to David C. Martin, director of licensing with the PA State Liquor Control Board.
He said the new store will be located very close to the Jaggard Street United Methodist Church, which he said is a very respectable house of worship.
He noted the new store is located very close to the Willim P. Kimmel Alternative School of the Altoona Area School District and may provide a temptation and an opportunity for young people to experiment with beer at an early age.
Also, Dull said the new store is located on a major access route to Interstate 99, Interstate 80 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike and “the purchase of beer at that location could lead to drinking while driving, intoxication and motor vehicle accidents on those or any other highways that could potentially injure or take the lives of innocent victims.
Finally, Dull said the new Sheetz store is a part of a convenience chain in which children and young people of every age frequent on a regular basis by themselves as well as with the families and the sight and availability of beer may potentially give them greater temptation to frink, purchase or even steal beer that may eventually become detrimental to their lives and the lives of others.
“There are many places in the Altoona area and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania where those who are of age may purchase and even consume beer or any other alcoholic product,” said Dull. “It is believed by many that the sale of beer at stores like Sheetz would not contribute to the positive development of personal character for any individual or community.
“In that alcohol is addictive and can have the effect of any serious drug on those who consume it,” he continued, “from the breaking up of families, to the loss of jobs, to the loss of good health, to personal injury and the loss of life, many are of the opinion that the sale of beer should not be made more convenient to society, but be made more controlled and restrictive.
Pastor Dull said the coalition is praying that the Sheetz Corporation will decide, in and of themselves, not to sell beer in the Altoona store or any other potential location across Pennsylvania and that the LCP will refuse the Ohio Springs division of Sheetz the license to sell alcohol.