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Wednesday, 12 October 2011 14:02

General Assembly puts burden on locals

To the Editor: It has become evident that the principle guideline being used by Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, and the Republican-led General Assembly in governing North Caroline is to cut state expenditures by placing the burden for traditional state services…
Wednesday, 12 October 2011 13:59

Pope is pulling the strings in state politics

The news media in this country is abuzz with talk about North Carolina. Unfortunately, it’s not flattering. What they’re saying is that we are being controlled by an oligarchy of sorts that begins and ends with multimillionaire Art Pope, the…
Wednesday, 19 October 2011 13:08

Don’t cut Postal Service jobs prematurely

Editor’s note: Rep. Health Shuler wrote this letter to U.S. Postmaster Pat Donahoe to express his concern for potential job cuts at the Postal Service. I write to express my concern for and opposition to plans being discussed by the…
Wednesday, 19 October 2011 13:08

Cashiers Leaf Festival was huge success

To the Editor On behalf of the Greater Cashiers Area Merchants Association we would like to thank everyone who contributed to the 2011 Cashiers Valley Leaf Festival. The Festival, held on Oct.7-9 once again brought thousands of visitors and tourists…
Wednesday, 19 October 2011 13:07

Let Duke know rate hike request is too much

To the Editor: Duke Energy has applied to the N.C. Utilities Commission for yet another rate increase in an attempt to force ratepayers to finance the cost over-runs of their ongoing construction on the new, un-needed coal-burning power plant at…
Wednesday, 19 October 2011 13:06

SMN needs to practice balanced journalism

To the Editor: I was born and raised in Cashiers and have always disliked the phrase “country come to town.” Unfortunately that is the exact phrase that came to mind as I read Scott McLeod’s column “Pope is pulling the…
Wednesday, 19 October 2011 13:00

The killer is among us, and she is Tuppence

When I moved to Sylva from Bryson City, two dogs stayed and three cats came with me. These are Edgar — I’ve written winningly about him before — and two calicos, Agatha and Tuppence. That’s a lot of cats. But…
The Occupy Wall Street movement is leaderless, somewhat vague and lacking vision. Still, people are joining in growing numbers around the world in spite of the fact that the movement is flawed in so many very fundamental ways. And I…
The exquisite, fleeting beauty of autumn is with us now. Cold nights signal changes to come. Soon there will be a killing frost; winter will be upon us then. “Men must endure / Their going hence, even as their coming…
Wednesday, 26 October 2011 13:30

Smart bear kicks off ‘Bear Smart’ program

To the Editor: Just prior to the opening of the “Bear Smart” program, on Tuesday night at the Sapphire Valley Resort Community Center, a very large black bear showed up to protest the theme of the meeting by walking down…
Wednesday, 26 October 2011 13:29

Despite problems, we need less government

To the Editor: In the Oct. 19 Smoky Mountain News, a photo and story feature covered the Oct. 15 Occupy Sylva event. However, what the article did not report was that our Rep. Phil Haire, D-Sylva, chose the Occupy Sylva…
Wednesday, 26 October 2011 13:29

Candidates should promote unity

To the Editor: In the election article for Maggie Valley, I read three candidates — the  mayoral candidate Ron DeSimone and two of candidates for aldermen, Phil Aldridge and Phillip Wight — are quoted as being in lockstep for their…
Wednesday, 26 October 2011 13:27

We need to know who is pulling the strings

To the Editor: In reply to Shirley Slaughter’s letter of Oct. 19 in The Smoky Mountain News (www.smokymountainnews.com/news/item/5374), I don’t think the N.C. Republicans need any help from The New Yorker to discredit themselves because they’ve accomplished that objective pretty…
Wednesday, 26 October 2011 13:25

Tricks, not literature, impress 6-year-olds

By all accounts, my wife’s trip to Riverbend Elementary School to talk to Mrs. Gidcumb’s first-grade class about her career as a personal trainer and fitness coach was a smashing success. I’ll go ahead and disclose that I had some…
I missed a golden opportunity to see my name emblazoned on a book spine by not writing about Western North Carolina’s very own serial bomber, Eric Robert Rudolph. Many people suggested I turn my experiences into a nonfiction account. I…
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 19:41

No town money spent to purchase public art

To the Editor: Recent political ads by the Waynesville-Haywood Concerned Citizens contain materially false representations. There has never been any Waynesville town money or taxpayer money used for the public art pieces described in their ads. These works have been…
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 19:40

WHCC claims skirt the truth

To the Editor: I appreciated your article “Meet the candidates: Who’s who in Waynesville’s race” (www.smokymountainnews.com/news/item/5412) regarding the upcoming elections, and I am particularly grateful for you drawing my notice to the Waynesville-Haywood Concerned Citizens (WHCC) political action committee —…
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 19:39

Political ad mis-stated several key facts

To the Editor: As a member of the Waynesville Public Art Commission from September 2006 to March 2011, I am very concerned about the misinformation presented in the ad placed in the Oct. 26/Nov. 1 issue of The Smoky Mountain…
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 19:37

Facts matter and homework counts

To the Editor: Homework counts. I like to think that candidates running for the Waynesville Town Board would be interested in checking public documents to support or reinforce their point of view. Facts from public documents concerning our entrance corridors…
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 19:34

Once you cross the line, there’s no going back

I followed the Janet Moore controversy from the beginning to its conclusion, which was all of three days. The former vice president of marketing for Mission Hospital made a mistake — a mistake that became very public — and paid…
Wednesday, 09 November 2011 21:12

Youth have no time for the love of reading

Is reading — just for the pure, leisurely joy of it -— becoming the pastime of a bygone era? For many a modern adolescent, it is. Today’s teens are about as likely to bury their noses in a book as…
Wednesday, 09 November 2011 21:11

Cooperative marketing essential to success

To the Editor: With reference to Quintin Ellison’s and Becky Johnson’s excellent reporting on the tourism marketing program for Jackson County in the Nov. 2 Smoky Mountain News, it was disturbing to read about the conflict between Cashiers and the…
Wednesday, 09 November 2011 21:08

Smart phone volunteers lead us into the future

One of the drawbacks perks of my job is the amazing number of meetings I’m forced fortunate enough to attend. For instance, earlier today (a Sunday) I spent several hours in Franklin at a Tourism Development Authority retreat. The nice…
During the five years that I spent at Western Carolina University (1954-58 and 1965), I had the good fortune to attend classes under some extremely gifted but eccentric instructors. There were two Rhodes scholars that passed through the university like…
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 13:59

Words bring us together and open pathways

Editor’s note: Dawn Gilchrist-Young teaches English at Swain County High School and was the 2011 winner of the Norman Mailer Writing Award for High School Teachers for her short story “The Tender Branch.” The winner receives a monetary award and…
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 13:54

To dream the impossible garden dream

As I have written previously, in my dreams I am a tidy gardener. One of those saints who uses a tool and trots dutifully into the garage, cleans said tool in a bucket of sand and oil, and hangs up…
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 13:53

Reducing stray cat population is goal

To the Editor: “Population shrinking and growing older,” a headline from a recent newspaper article, is exactly Haywood Animal Welfare Association’s spay/neuter, trap-neuter-return (TNR) program’s goal for free-roaming cat colonies in Haywood County. Through generous donations and a grant from…
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 13:53

Newspaper policy bad for Bryson City

To the Editor: I found it curious that The Smoky Mountain Times in Bryson City had not run any articles or any biographical information about the candidates running for mayor of our fine town of Bryson City. And to me and…
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 13:50

Awful timing for Duke’s rate hike request

I don’t know Duke Energy CEO James Rogers and don’t have anything against him. But it’s not very hard not to imagine he and the giant utility he runs as the symbolic poster children for much of the discontent brewing…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:34

The mad, mad world of Scroto Baggins

Newspaper people are a special breed. As a type, these are individuals who tend toward the eccentric and are decidedly off-kilter; perhaps, dare I say it, are even slightly mad. They are ill suited for employment anywhere except at newspapers,…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:33

Warm memories from a frozen scout – awesome

During the winter, we met every Tuesday night in the conference room of the First Methodist Church, and on the colder nights of December and January, the smell of the kerosene heater stung our nostrils and coated the inside of…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:32

Enjoyed talking to mountain farmers

To the Editor, I just want to express my sincere appreciation to the farmers of Haywood County, the members of the Farm Services Agency and the Haywood County Cooperative Extension office for providing the public with the opportunity to ‘Talk To a Farmer’…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:31

‘I hear the train a comin’ … to Dillsboro

To the Editor: Every businessman and political and community leader in Jackson County should feel some gratitude this Thanksgiving and exercise some vision towards an economic reality check — I hear the train a comin.’ Thanks Johnny Cash for that…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:31

Tea Party and Occupy are so similar – not

To the Editor: I guess it’s inevitable that comparisons will be made between the Occupy and Tea Party movements. In many respects Occupy is a mirror image of the Tea Party. To the Tea Party, government is the enemy. To…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:30

No more important time than now to keep it local

There’s more than just a little irony the official Small Business Saturday promotion that encourages people to spend their money with small, independently owned businesses on Nov. 26 rather than only with big box retailers. Irony or no irony, though,…
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 21:10

Serving up a heaping helping of internal turmoil

I helped raise three turkeys this year. They were named Thanksgiving, Christmas and Extras. These turkeys were intended as the centerpieces for dinners on those festive occasions, plus one was targeted to fill a particular corner of the freezer. There…
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 21:10

Poppies beneficial to VFW projects

To the Editor: On behalf of Veterans Of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 5202 in Waynesville, I would like to thank the all the businesses who allowed us to sell poppies at their locations on Nov. 11-12: Ingles, Big Lots, K-Mart,…
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 21:09

With rights come responsibilities

To the Editor: I believe I can answer the question used as a headline for Quintin Ellison’s story in the Nov. 23 edition about dog’s barking: “Are dog-barking complainers simply howling at the moon?” Yes. In fact, one is apt…
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 21:08

Why the deficit supercommittee failed

To the Editor: The deficit reduction supercommittee failed for two reasons. A deficit results when expenditures exceed revenues. The Republicans adamantly refused to eliminate the temporary Bush tax cuts on the wealthy (increasing revenue) and would only support expenditure cuts.…
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 21:02

Could we bring Shangri-La back to the mountains?

One fall when I was 9 years old, just about the time WWII ended, the Jackson County Elementary School was visited by a truck loaded with magic and magicians — at least, it seemed that way to me. When we…
I normally veer from airing my opinion as a columnist in the editorial pages on issues that I cover as a news writer in the news pages for The Smoky Mountain News. In my world, and in the worlds of…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:14

People too gullible about Occupy movement

To the Editor: After reading Carol Larivee’s letter noting the differences between the Tea Party and the Occupy movement, it amazes me that in this day and age of vast online resources a person can continue to be so gullible…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:14

Tea Party faithful are decent Americans

To the Editor: In the Nov. 23-29 issue of The Smoky Mountain News, Carole Larivee wrote a letter comparing the TEA Party to the Occupiers. As I read her letter at first I thought it was a joke. However, I…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:06

Remember that it’s Democrats raising taxes

To the Editor: So the Democrat North Carolina state senators have waived off the chance to cap the automatic 4 percent gas tax increase set for January, claiming they’ll lose jobs and money needed for roads. Liars. This is not…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:02

Backhanded compliments all a part of turning 50

When I turned 50 last week, I did not feel any older and certainly no wiser, but I did realize one thing I hadn’t really noticed before. I have now reached that age when people begin qualifying certain kinds of…
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 21:30

The sage gardener won’t put off these chores

If you haven’t covered your greens yet — and I’m among those who have not — it’s time. We’ve been favored by a long, relatively warm fall, but these 20 degrees nights cause wear and tear on our mustard, collards,…
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 21:29

Marketing success depends on cooperation

To the Editor: With reference to Quintin Ellison’s and Becky Johnson’s excellent reporting on the tourism marketing program for Jackson County, it was disturbing to read about the conflict between Cashiers and the Jackson County Travel and Tourism associations. In…
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 21:28

Think before making a taxpayer-backed loan

To the Editor: “When asked about the likelihood of the AM radio station surviving in today’s advertising landscape, Jackson County commissioners said they were relying on the financial projections provided by the prospective radio owner.” This excerpt is from the…
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 21:22

Gingrich’s rise a sad indictment on GOP field

For Newt Gingrich to have floated to the top of the Republican presidential slough tells what a dismal swamp it is. As most of the other alternatives to Mitt Romney have turned out to be dim bulbs, the former House…
On Christmas Eve, my dad would always bring home a huge box of navel oranges and bags of pecans, walnuts, and almonds, all still in their shells. These would be arranged, though not artfully, on the fireplace mantel underneath our…
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 14:41

The story of the Christmas tree and the wife

Another Christmas tragedy appeared on the horizon with the arrival of our Christmas tree. I have often thought the holiday season would best begin if it didn’t start with this most terrifying event. I don’t believe in the recreational use…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 20:57

Building community protects against calamity

While reading the article “Getting ready: Growing number of preppers work to ensure survival in case of societal collapse” (Dec. 7 edition, www.smokymountainnews.com/news/item/5738) in a recent edition of The Smoky Mountain News, I paused often to really think about what…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 20:56

99 percenters better pay attention to GOP

To the Editor: To all 99 percenters. You had better be paying attention to what Newt Gingrich and his cronies are proposing for the future of your country. Get informed about what is being thrown out there. Then, get involved!…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 20:56

Does the right practice what it preaches?

To the Editor: We find ourselves during the holidays celebrating the birth of a man whose teaching greatly affected our present-day social contract. He taught us to be tolerant towards each and every one and to love our neighbors as…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 20:55

Cutting Russ Avenue trees was bad move

To the Editor: I think that clear-cutting the slope on Russ Avenue across the road from Kmart was ridiculous. I understand that they needed soil for the contaminated apple orchard, but they could not have chosen a worse place to…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 20:55

Why spend money moving art during tough times?

To the Editor: As I bounce merrily along the potholes on the way into town, I often wonder if the money spent on pubic displays of artwork could have been better spent in these trying economic times. I may be in the…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 20:53

Staring down a blank computer on deadline

It happens to writers much better than me. I know this, because I need only to open a book and find a sentence like this one to be instantly reassured: “I was sitting at my typewriter one afternoon several weeks…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 03:10

Warm weather brings unseasonable activity

Cutting collards this past weekend, I was surprised to find colonies of purplish-colored aphids under many of the leaves. That discovery spurred me into a more extensive garden inventory. I discovered several of the more tender greens, such as the…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 03:09

Court ruling promises sleazy campaign season

To the Editor: Are you sickened by the millions of dollars spent to elect politicians at a time when too many of our citizens are hungry? Did you get disgusted by the incessant TV ads during the 2008 election season?…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 03:08

Medwest affiliation will benefit patients

By Kate Queen • Guest Columnist At the beginning of December, Mountain Medical Associates, an established, multi-specialty internal medicine practice in Clyde, joined the MedWest Physician Network. Our new affiliation with MedWest is a continuation of Mountain Medical Associates’ longstanding…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 03:05

A good time to get back to the beginning

I’ve put my keyboard-soft finger on what is probably the most common flaw of the human species: the unnerving tendency to quit doing what we know is good for us. Or, put another way, to make destructive or unwise choices.…
Sometimes what we expect to happen doesn’t: On vacation this week, I stopped in Raleigh and viewed the “Rembrandt in America” exhibit currently showing at the N.C. Museum of Art. I enjoyed the exhibit very much indeed. But what honestly…
Wednesday, 11 January 2012 14:36

Bothwell would be better than Shuler

To the Editor: Cecil Bothwell is running for U.S. Congress in Western Northern Carolina. He is looking to unseat the conservative pro-corporate Blue Dog Democrat Heath Shuler in the next Democratic Party Primary to be held on May 8. This…
Wednesday, 11 January 2012 14:35

Whole tax system needs an overhaul

To the Editor: We have been hearing much about taxing the rich more in order to help our debt problem, and yet if you look at the statistics, even if we taxed and took “all” the money and profit away…
Wednesday, 11 January 2012 14:35

Vindictive measure should send message

To the Editor: My grandmother always told me that, “nothing good happens after midnight.” I never quite grasped why until last week. While the vast majority of North Carolinians were sleeping, the radical Republican-controlled legislature was at it again. With…
When the state House voted to override Gov. Beverly Perdue’s veto and stop letting teachers use payroll deductions to pay dues to the N.C. Association of Educators, a cry went up across the state. The vote came late in the…
Wednesday, 18 January 2012 14:22

The time is ripe for garden planning

January is a time for new beginnings; nowhere is that more true than in the garden. A difficult task for newcomers to Western North Carolina who want to garden, or for first-timers to gardening, is an absence of good information…
Wednesday, 18 January 2012 14:20

A reminder of the inhumanity that is war

It was pouring last Wednesday as I drove home, the cold rain  painting the winter landscape a dull grey. Standing on the sidewalk outside the Haywood County Courthouse was a single peace protester, his raincoat losing the battle against the…
Wednesday, 18 January 2012 14:19

NCAE needs to work for schools, not Democrats

In spite of Scott McLeod’s assertion that “it would be hard to argue otherwise” in his column (“Vote on NCAE dues a slap in the face to teachers,” The Smoky Mountain News, Jan 11 edition), I am going to give…
Wednesday, 18 January 2012 14:18

Locke Foundation critical of tactics

To the Editor: It’s unclear where Justin Conley (“Vindictive measure should send message,” The Smoky Mountain News, Jan. 11 issue) gets his information about the John Locke Foundation’s reaction to last week’s controversial session of the N.C. General Assembly. Lumping…
Thursday, 26 January 2012 03:18

We need to stop the Great Outdoor Giveaway

Over 100 years ago, Republican President Theodore Roosevelt said to the American people: Of all the questions which can come before this nation, short of the actual preservation of its existence in a great war, there is none which compares…
Thursday, 26 January 2012 03:17

Protesting against war remains important

To the Editor: Thanks for the kind words you have for me and our peace vigilers in last week’s issue (“A reminder of the inhumanity that is war,” Jan. 18 Smoky Mountain News). However, it was not I standing alone…
Thursday, 26 January 2012 03:16

WNC Alliance also a Needmore partner

To the Editor: As Quintin Ellison notes in her article, “By Land and By Water— (Jan. 18 Smoky Mountain News) the “crowning success” of the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee was undoubtedly the preservation of the 4,500-acre Needmore Tract…
When the legendary — and former — Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno died on Sunday morning, the first thought I had was of Oedipus the King. Like Paterno, Oedipus was much beloved by his subjects and, like Paterno,…
Thursday, 26 January 2012 01:37

Selfish Me and Harried Woman

“Why didn’t you tell me?” the woman — wild-eyed, disbelieving and somewhat hysterically — called over to where I was standing slightly hidden behind the next set of gas pumps. Why, indeed? I asked myself before replying truthfully that I’d…
Thursday, 26 January 2012 01:36

New LTLT an important voice for the region

Western North Carolina residents will be well served by the merger of the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee and the Little Tennessee Watershed Association. The merger undoubtedly makes sense from an administrative and fund-raising perspective, something employees and board…
A good friend of old came to stay last week. A great respecter of proper etiquette, she provided ample warning of her pending arrival, noting that she planned on getting in midweek and staying for the foreseeable future. That bold…
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 21:19

Newspaper criticism was just off the mark

To the Editor: I had to read “Shame on you, SMN, for poking fun” (Smoky Mountain News, Feb. 1 edition) twice before I grasped that Danya VanHook was serious in her criticism of The Smoky Mountain News and hurt by…
To the Editor: In a recent article in The Smoky Mountain News, Jackson County Commissioner Jack Debnam was quoted as saying that he did not believe in self-gratification. The Debnam quote went on to say “I would prefer the plaque…
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 21:17

Who does Sen. Jim Davis really represent?

To the Editor: State Sen. Jim Davis had an excellent idea. He suggested that anyone who wondered about contributions to his 2010 campaign could just check out the NC. Board of Elections website. I did. Here is what I found.…
In this country built on capitalism, it’s a constant source of antagonism among politicians and citizens. I’m talking about the intersection of government aid to private businesses, and when is too little and when is too much. Jackson County has…
In the 1960s and 70s, everybody smoked, everybody but my mother, who didn’t smoke, drink, or do anything that Ann Landers wouldn’t have approved of. She still doesn’t, although I seem to recall that she once drank a pina colada…
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 13:43

Alzheimer’s letter draws needed attention

To the Editor: My heartfelt gratitude to John Corkran of Black Mountain for his letter (Asheville Citizen-Times, Feb. 6) titled “Current alzheimer’s sufferers need more attention.” My wife, Debbie Ginn, was diagnosed with early-onset alzheimer’s. We have struggled with the…
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 13:42

LTLT strives to be non-partisan, helpful

To the Editor: A letter appearing in The Smoky Mountain News two weeks ago incorrectly characterized the mission, work, and views of The Land Trust for the Little Tennessee. The letter stated “Environmental Groups like the Land Trust for the…
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 13:42

Cherokee bear zoos need to be shut down

To the Editor: How many times do the roadside zoos in Cherokee have to be cited for violations of federal law before the Tribal Council slams their doors shut once and for all? The three decrepit zoos keep bears in…
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 13:41

Planning board needs to be controlled

To the Editor: One of the most memorable days of my life was Jan. 19, 2001. Macon County had tried to institute a serious zoning ordinance about the size of a telephone book that would have affected every property owner…
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 13:40

Can Macon County make a decision?

To the Editor: At times when difficult decisions are being considered, leaders may seek the counsel of community-minded, experienced individuals for input and clarification of concepts and ideas pertaining to the problem at hand. With this obtained information, experience and…
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 13:37

Earning the right to indulge myself

I was recently among a group of friends who were discussing habits — what they are and why we have them. Something I noticed pretty quickly is how those of us participating in the conversation, me included, tended to justify…
No. It’s the biggest word in politics, often setting off a firestorm when delivered at a crucial moment. Gov. Beverly Perdue’s “no” to a re-election bid started an avalanche across the state from which the fallout still hasn’t ended. Here…
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 21:26

The secret life of Quintin Ellison

In a time-wasting exercise, I was giving thought recently about my earliest memory, which is of getting my knee stuck in the balusters of a porch in my family’s house in Columbia, S.C. We lived there briefly while my father…
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 21:25

Taxpayers deserve easier access to voting

To the Editor: My name is John Herrin and I am a registered voter in Swain County, and I wrote this letter to the Swain County Board of Elections. I have served in the past as a board member on…
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 21:24

Swain needs to keep one-stop voting site

To the Editor: Ms. Sallie Smith Bradley will celebrate her 98th birthday on Saturday, March 3, at her residence in the Big Cove community of Cherokee. Congratulations Ms. Bradley. The gift I would like to give to Sallie Smith Bradley…
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 21:20

My go-to source for a shot of inspiration

Do you have a muse? At different times in my life that role has been filled by different entities. As a teen, I had a very close friend whose quiet yet intense lust for a unique life was a source…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 22:00

Critics off mark in planning board attacks

To the Editor: Back in the 1990s, I was privileged to serve several years on the Macon County Planning Board, six of those years as chairman. During that time I served with a good number of persons, some of whom…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 21:59

Lest we forget: Whitney was a criminal

Pardon my insensitivity. Whitney Houston was a great singing talent, indeed. That was a gift of nature. She was also a criminal. There are over a million people in our jail and prisons today, and another two million on probation…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 21:59

We should provide health care to all

To the Editor: As of 2010, 50 million people in the U.S. had no health insurance (no doubt more now). Compared to people with health insurance, 40 percent more deaths occur among people lacking insurance. In 2009, nearly 45,000 people…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 21:58

Justice delayed is justice denied

To the Editor: For centuries, the citizens of our state have extolled the virtues of a fair and judicious court system. But state budget cuts, promoted by Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, and the Republican-led General Assembly, are seriously challenging the…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 21:58

Ordinance revisions deserve public scrutiny

To the Editor: The Jackson County Planning Department is methodically revising sections of the subdivision ordinance. In the fall, the section pertaining to road design in subdivisions was simplified and, in our opinion, improved. Now, the department has issued proposed…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 21:57

Racial Justice Act should remain intact

To the Editor: It is painful and, frankly, disgusting to witness North Carolina’s prosecutors and their allies in the General Assembly trying to sabotage the Racial Justice Act and the Innocence Commission. These are two of the finest achievements ever…