Waynesville takes a look at board meeting procedures

Governing a small municipality is work enough, but add in unprecedented amounts of federal recovery funds that need to be appropriated and a strong undercurrent of residential development and the workload for Waynesville’s aldermen and planning board only gets bigger and bigger.

Maggie Valley taxpayers deserve better

It may sound like some kind of bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo, but trust me it’s not: the processes by which elected boards operate more often than not is a reflection of the wisdom of the decisions that emanate from that public body.

Rough start for Haywood Commission candidates

There aren’t a lot of differences between the five Republican candidates running for Haywood County Commission this year, but one big disparity was glaringly apparent during a March 15 candidate forum rife with ignorance and misinformation.

Waynesville Planning Board meeting falls into disarray

Update March 24, 2022: Near the end of a chaotic March 21 meeting of the Town of Waynesville’s planning board, a vote was taken to consider recommending the Allison Acres project to the Board of Aldermen. That vote was 4 to 3 in favor of approval.

When town hall is empty: Boards debate merits of in-person, remote meetings

After a mass migration from boardrooms to cyberspace last spring, one by one Western North Carolina’s public bodies have transitioned back to in-person meetings — with the exception of Sylva’s town board. 

Public sounds off on Confederate monument

Jackson County Commissioners saw a precursor to the intense public discussion ahead of them when 16 people gave public comment at their July 7 meeting to talk about the fate of the Confederate statue that stands on the historic courthouse steps. 

Public protests N.C. 107 plans at town meeting

Nearly a year to the day since a standing-room-only crowd filled Sylva Town Hall for a forum on the proposed N.C. 107 project, a town meeting Thursday, Aug. 8, drew a full house of folks determined to speak out against the road during the meeting’s public comment section. 

The Naturalist's Corner: Speak up

If you want the opportunity to have knowledge about and input on actions, policies and/or decisions affecting property you own, you need to speak up now. The present administration and the USDA Forest Service announced, in June, plans to “streamline” the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) protocols when it comes to actions receiving federal funding on federal lands, which the public owns.

Shining Rock continues to struggle with transparency

Editor’s note: This is the seventh in a series of stories on Haywood County’s public charter school, Shining Rock Classical Academy, which has been beset by a host of academic and organizational problems since opening in 2015.

Since 2015, Haywood County’s first public charter school, Shining Rock Classical Academy, has used more than $2.75 million in local taxpayer money to educate children to a level far below the county average, and also below the state average.

The inherent flaw of a rush to judgment

His is the face that provoked untold millions of posts on social media, the teenage boy from Kentucky face-to-face with an aging Native American man playing a drum, the two of them surrounded by a group of shouting boys, many of them in those red “Make America Great Again” hats.

We see the boy smiling. Is that a smug smirk, or the smile of a boy who has no idea how to react to what is happening in this moment? What does it “mean,” what does it “say?” The imagery itself is so fraught that it is all but impossible to view the photograph without experiencing waves of emotion, immediate and visceral, but also deeply embedded in a painful and resonant history.

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