Letters to the Editor for April 20, 2017

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Protecting Mother Earth our number one priority

Earth Day officially began in the United States on April 22, 1970, and has since been celebrated by people around the world. We celebrate Earth Day through acts of gratitude and kindness toward our Mother Earth, recognizing that the earth supports us every day of the year.  We could not survive without air we breathe, healthy soil to grow our food, and energy to power our cities and cars, water to quench our thirst and the beauty that fills us with the wonder at the diversity and sacredness of life.

Protecting our Mother Earth needs to be our number one priority. This is the only home that we have.  Perhaps too often we take the earth, our Mother, and the resources it provides us for granted.  We act as if these resources were limitless. We create unbelievable amounts of “waste” that we bury in landfills.  In “nature” there is no waste; everything is recycled and reused over and over.  Only man has taken the view that the Earth is here to be exploited and dominated.

Maybe our goal this year could be that we celebrate and show gratitude in a small way everyday.  One of the best ways to show gratitude to the earth is to simply enjoy it by taking the time to be outside and take in the beauty and wonder of nature.  Taking a walk, hike, bike ride doesn’t require any energy, doesn’t pollute, and helps energize our bodies, helps clear our minds, and keeps our bodies healthy.

Children who exercise before taking a test do better.  As adults we have a responsibility to give children the gift of nature by letting them explore and take in the great outdoors which helps them develop a caring relationship with nature and encourages them to want to care for the earth.  Helping a child with a small garden teaches them how the earth nurtures them (and where their food comes from). Even a few small encounters at a young age can make a lifelong difference.

Being outside helps us to appreciate the seasons and the gifts they bring: flowers, a handful of ripe blackberries, cool breezes or a fresh snow.  But like anything else it takes planning and commitment to make time to enjoy the earth around us. Like anything else this means getting our feet moving (and unplugging from our devices).  Franklin has a wonderful greenway and I am always amazed that people of all ages come out to enjoy a walk, run or bike ride.  There are lots of people with dogs, though I’m not sure who is taking who for a walk.  They always seem glad when you take an interest in their dogs.  There are usually folks fishing along the banks just enjoying being outside whether they catch anything or not.  So maybe the thing we need to remember is that we don’t have to do anything at all to celebrate Earth Day other than be outside!

From a legal standpoint, our government has a unique responsibility under the Public Trust Doctrine, the long standing common law which establishes the government’s role in managing, administering, protecting and conserving the wildlife, water and resources for both present and future generations.  The Supreme Court in 1892 declared that our sovereign lands are held in trust by the “State” for present and future generations and cannot be sold for developments which are incompatible with uses covered by the Public Trust Doctrine.  Through many legal cases the original idea of protecting waterways and fisheries has expanded to include the management of all natural resources.  Current cases brought before the courts include the right of young people today to a stable climate by limiting greenhouse gases.  We need to make sure our government does not abdicate its responsibility to protect the earth and its resources.

And we need to do our “part” in limiting our “impacts” on our Mother Earth, every day, and many small and big ways.  But most important is nurturing our own connection to nature by enjoying the many benefits that our Mother Earth provides. Happy Earth Day to us and our “Mother.”

Paul Chew — Otto, N.C.

If you want change, say so

There is change in the air, even more than the dogwoods, bird songs, and a new president.

Right now our community library is conducting a survey, to get your opinions, about real local change. Some of the questions I feel are particularly pertinent are questions #5 and #8. Question #5 brings up the possibility of our own community maker space! I often hear young people say there is nothing positive to do in this small town. Now that’s surely an exaggeration, but a maker space can go a tremendous way in cultivating a new creative and positive atmosphere for our community. It’s hard to define a maker space, but basically it would have simple and highly advanced tools and equipment, and rich collaboration, including between young and old, to empower hands-on projects, in whatever your mind can dream up. This rich development of the mind is no longer an option; it’s seemingly a necessity in this day and age.

I’m a big proponent of wholeness, including of mind, body and spirit, and that brings me to question #8, which lists several possible groups, including healthy eating and physical activity. Finally, I believe true community improvement is not possible without God Almighty in the mix. Our community now has regular prayer events, including prayer against drugs, every first Friday of each month at 6 p.m. beside the courthouse. The future looks bright, if we say so.

The web address, https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CF5VXQP or fontanalib.org  should take you to the survey.

 

Jesse Urban — Franklin, N.C.

Macon will always be one of America’s Best

Just days remain in the America’s Best Communities competition; a $10 million prize competition supported by Frontier Communications, DISH Network, CoBank and The Weather Channel.  The goal was to create incentives for communities and towns to come together across rural America to support revitalization and improve lives and livelihoods. As we prepare to announce the three grand-prize winners, we’re reflecting on the impact of this campaign.

More than 350 communities entered the competition in 2014, and 50 were selected as quarterfinalists. Macon County was among this vibrant group of villages, towns and cities that earned its status as one of America’s Best Communities.

We cannot thank you enough for your hard work, dedication and tenacity.

You brought your community together — people from different walks of life, people who did not typically work in collaboration — and together, you rallied behind a vision for a more prosperous future and you set about bringing it to life.

The innovative ideas you incorporated into your Community Revitalization Plan are now part of a bank of solutions that live at AmericasBestCommunities.com. The 50 plans developed with funding from the competition are accessible at each community’s page on the website.

It has become a resource for rural communities and small cities that are seeking effective ideas for economic growth and community development.

When Frontier Communications joined with our partners to sponsor this program, we were proud to provide incentives to inspire towns and cities to create revitalization strategies, and you should be proud of how your work is inspiring other communities to pursue their own revitalization programs. Your ideas will help others reimagine their future.

In recent months, the term Rural America has been used frequently in the national media. The focus tends to be on the challenges facing rural communities and small towns.

However, we believe it’s time to shift the conversation and focus on the vast potential of rural cities and regions across our country. We need to emphasize the grit and determination, the innovation and collaboration, the creativity and competitive spirit that epitomizes rural America.

No community is without its challenges, but your community continues to show what it means to be one of America’s Best Communities.

The best communities are the result of people working together to boost the local economy and enhance the safety, health and vibrancy of neighborhoods. These communities strive to improve lives and livelihoods and create new opportunities.

And that’s why Macon County will always be one of America’s Best Communities.

This campaign was never only about finding one “best” community. Rather, it was about finding new solutions and new strategies to spark economic revitalization and helping our nation understand what makes communities like yours America’s best.

Kathleen Abernathy is former Executive Vice President for External Affairs at Frontier Communications and Chair of the America’s Best Communities campaign.

Kathleen Abernathy —

Chair of America’s Best Communities campaign

Thanks to all who made Career Day possible

Dear students, faculty, staff, and community members:

I thank you for all that each of you did to make Career Day 2017 great on April 4.  It was fabulous and the feedback I received from students was that it was an exciting learning opportunity.

It takes all of us, our entire team, to accomplish these events.  There is no “I” in team.  It takes weeks and years to develop our resources and we do a great job with that.  Career Day is a lively community event which brings a pleasurable and memorable learning experience to each elementary student, FHS student, and participating adult.  Our faculty and the Franklin High School faculty prepared the students well.  Even though I go to each classroom there is more teaching, follow-up, and coaching left to do before the students enter, and each student entered with great expectation and preparedness.  I listened and watched as our students asked their favorite questions and they took it seriously and were taken seriously by presenters.

I want to thank each one of you that participated including those of you that invited participants that were your personal contacts. Thanks to each student that convinced their parent or grandparent to participate.  Thanks to central office staff for stopping by and for Jennifer Love coming in strong with the STEM careers.  Each business, health and public service person that represented careers and also offered tangible favors, I thank you.  For the afterschool faculty bunch that heard my call for card tables (Jeanne and Allison), we used them all.Thanks to each janitorial and maintenance staff for dealing with the heavy tables.  Thanks lunchroom staff for  chipping in with cookies, making the coffee, etc., adding more to your busy jobs.  Office personnel were great at directing participants.  PE teachers were indispensable and excellent at their teaching and coaching outside. Ms. Guynn thanks for your support and work.

Josh Brooks, thank you and to each of the FHS teachers that were eager to help and sent their students with smiling, honest faces that were here to teach and take our students inquiries seriously.  Our high school students’ manners were impeccable and they were great teachers and role models to our elementary students.  Faculty of some of the high school classes came to observe and assist. Some students even unpacked and set up again, when they saw the last group was not finished.

Our flexibility and teamwork paid off.  I asked a little second grade girl walking back to her class on Friday what her opinion was about the Career Day.  She said it was great! I said did it make you think? She said, “Think?” She made a fireworks “ka-boom” and finger display with her hands and arms, and said “Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts everywhere!”  Her facial language said even more.

Events like this help our core curriculum integrate even further with reality applications and make an emotional impression that lasts forever.  Our students’ school memories will be remarkably impressed by all of their positive experiences and their learned skills, which will combine with their “true grit” and hope to make many of their life goals (dreams) happen.

 

Rena Sutton – South Macon School counselor

God has always had two witnesses

Extra, extra, read all about it, is the cry of a paper boy on a street corner, when some special news is in print.

Unity bears witness of God. Concerning unity, the apocalypse give various symbolic meanings.

Revelations 11:3, 4, … two witnesses … These are the two olive trees and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.”

These two witnesses, being spiritual decendants of the upper-room gathering, have variable dennotations.

These two denote that God has always had two witnesses “… standing before the God of the earth.” Revelation 11:4

The first two were Adam and Eave. They gave witness to the image of God and to creation.

“So God created man in his own image.” Genesis 1:27

The two olive trees denote the eternal life message.

Olive trees indicate evergreen trees – eternal life.

The two candlesticks denote light and understanding.

The witnesses could be a Christian husband and wife ministering to their children and family. Of the “one” faith, having absolute agreement.

“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20

Concerning divisions, Jesus said: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.” Matthew 12:25

Christianity is the most divided religion in the world. Denominationism is the mother of divisions.

 

Floyd Cruse — Franklin, N.C.

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