Crossing the threshold of the White Moon café in downtown Sylva, one is immediately drawn in by the scent of culinary delights and unique beverages. But, against the back wall is a nondescript door. There’s no sign on it, nor is there any indication that the entryway serves any more of a purpose than a broom closet.
After years of planning, public meetings and emotionally charged back-and-forth, right-of-way acquisition for the N.C. 107 project in Sylva was set to begin in February, with construction starting in early 2023.
With nearly six weeks now elapsed since Jackson County Commissioners voted to cover up the Confederate flag on the base of the controversial statue overlooking Sylva, town commissioners are asking the county to either make the fix quick or put a temporary covering over the image.
Pandemic-induced public health rules are severely impacting bottom lines for restaurants nationwide, but members of the Sylva Town Board hope that an effort to expand outdoor seating opportunities downtown will help ease the pain on Main Street. The town has passed two ordinance changes this summer to pave the way for increasing the outdoor table space available to downtown eateries.
After a July 23 Town of Sylva meeting was cut short following a barrage of racial slurs and other offensive disruptions from some attendees, the Sylva Police Department was quick to issue a press release stating that it was investigating the incident with the goal of identifying and charging the people responsible.
A final decision is likely on the fate of the Confederate statue looking out over downtown Sylva after the town board voted 3-2 July 27 to approve a resolution officially asking Jackson County Commissioners to remove it from town limits.
The Smoky Mountain News remains committed to its mission of producing free, in-depth, independent reporting for Western North Carolina. Your contributions help us pay the reporters, designers, marketing representatives, and others — your neighbors — who make up our dedicated team.