Jackson County’s controversially high water and sewer fees could remain unchanged following implementation of a 2017 state law that was designed to ensure that these fees are calculated fairly and consistently.
A muralist has been chosen to create the painting that will soon decorate a blank white wall on Mill Street’s Ward Plumbing and Heating building. From a field of 21 applicants, the Sylva Public Arts Committee selected Brevard native Aaron Harris for the job.
To the Editor:
In his guest column in the Jan. 17 edition, Martin Dyckman proposes to “eliminate the power of the Electoral College.” I submit that his proposal about how to do that virtually eliminates the need for it altogether and might as well be seen as the last stage in the ongoing reduction of the states from sovereign entities in a sovereign union to dependent provinces of an all-powerful federal leviathan.
Mr. Dyckman proposes that each state should enter a compact to cast all that state’s electoral votes for the winner of the nationwide popular vote, no matter who wins the state’s popular vote. This would result in further conversion of this country’s political system into a virtual direct democracy, which means that it would be only a matter of time before it became a tyranny, possibly after passage through a period of rank anarchy and civil strife.
This is not to say that the Electoral College system could not stand some serious reformation: Even when one clears away the vestiges of TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) that called forth this particular column, there is a need for such reform, so long as it preserves the republican nature of the American Constitutional order.
Accordingly, I would propose that states enter into a compact to cast their electoral votes according to which candidate receives the most votes in each Congressional District, with the two that correspond with the Senate seats being given to the statewide winner. In 2016, that would probably have meant that Mrs. Clinton would have garnered one or two of North Carolina’s 15 votes instead of the zero with which she finished.
This is a system that at least two states — Maine and Nebraska — already use and which another — Virginia — has been considering in a modified form. Like Mr. Dyckman’s proposal, it requires no federal amendment. All that is necessary is the willingness of the state legislatures to enact it.
Such a plan would accomplish one of the objectives that Mr. Dyckman says he wants much more efficiently than his own proposal, in that it would impel candidates for the presidency to allocate their campaign resources more generally than they do at present.
Certainly, the ideal would be to incorporate the Congressional District method into the federal Constitution, but I suspect that Mr. Dyckman is correct in his assessment that such an effort, at least for the moment, is futile. It will be difficult enough in this state, given the bipartisan willingness to rise above principle when political power is at stake. However, it is worth a try, and I strongly encourage our Reps. Mike Clampitt, R-Bryson City, Rep. Keith Corbin, R-Franklin, and Rep. Michelle Presnell, R-Burnsville, and Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, to submit and support a bill to make it happen.
Drawing more than 300 million visitors each year, the National Park Service is both a reservoir of natural beauty and an economic anchor for the communities surrounding its lands — and many of those communities are now banding together to demand that Congress address the parks’ $11.3 billion maintenance backlog.
“To know what this means to us — the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park — and for us to have to ask them for some sustainable revenue to keep these parks going, it’s almost like asking somebody to take care of their baby,” Jackson County Commissioner Boyce Dietz said before the board unanimously passed a resolution in favor of sustained funding Dec. 18, 2017.
It may be winter, but the Tremont Institute in the Smokies has its lineup of summer camps and programs ready to go, with a $50 discount on selected camps offered through Feb. 23.
The 2018 program schedule offers summer camps for kids and young adults, educator workshops, photography, hiking, naturalist programs, backpacking and more. Participants typically stay on Tremont’s campus for three to 10 days, with prices including lodging and meals.
The infamously steep trail leading up to Blackrock from Pinnacle Park will soon find itself with a gentler incline following the planned reroute of 0.37 miles of the most severely angled piece of the pathway.
The ongoing and exhaustive trademark dispute between Sylva’s Innovation Brewing and Bell’s Brewery is now over.
Downtown Sylva looks quite a bit different these days than this time last year.
A routine board appointment turned contentious last week when Sylva Commissioner Harold Hensley announced that he’d like to see someone else appointed to Commissioner David Nestler’s expiring term on the Tuckaseigee Water and Sewer Association Board.
Film fever is hitting Sylva as the release of “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” draws closer.