Letters to the Editor for June 23


Letters to the Editors

U.S. Constitution needs to be brought up to date 

People that want guns, say the Constitution says they have a right to bear arms, the constitution was signed September 17, 1787. That has been 229 years ago. This world has made a big change since then. They didn’t have the guns like they have today. Their rifle had one shot then had to reload it again. A semi automatic is strictly for killing, not for hunting and should be against the law to be sold. If everyone in the room has a gun supposably to defend themselves, the police come in how will they know which one they are after and try to kill, they gonna shoot everyone with a gun firing it. People no longer walk around with a musket rifle or a bow and arrow. Wake up folks, its time for the constitution to be brought up to date. We have to show identification to vote, but nothing to buy a gun. Living on thoughts and prayers just isn’t working.

Kathy Whitley — Franklin, N.C.

Spend time defending real American heroes 

Wow, I don’t know what’s going on in my world?

This past week Cassius Clay died, and Prince died a few weeks ago. It was all over the TV news again. That’s all we heard on TV. A few years ago, it was Michael Jackson, a druggie and suspected child molester. Oh, he could sing and dance too. Prince, a singer they say, a song writer, but died using drugs. Cassius Clay a good fighter but a draft dodger, afraid to step up and defend his country. And don’t tell me it was because of his religion. I served in Korea with men of his faith, it was about money. Come on. All they had was famous names. The TV and news people should spend time in VA hospitals writing about and doing shows with the real heroes of this country. To praise these people is an insult to the brave men who stood up for America and defended us during the Vietnam War, not hide behind their faith.

A very famous man stepped up and served his country, I remember. The man’s name was Elvis. I am sick of TV that makes a hero out of those people who take from our America and give nothing back but wasted lives. I now shut off TV, read a newspaper or better yet, take a walk.

WM. Trapani — Franklin, N.C.

Regulations protect homebuyers, environment 

This is in response to Bob Wilson’s letter to the editor published in the June 9 issue in regards to the “high cost of regulations.”

The writer takes liberties to make his point, which is that less regulations and lower taxes will increase the prosperity of the nation.

He claims that an average new home costs an additional $84,000 due to “regulatory requirements.” This number is likely derived from a recent report published by the National Association of Home Builders. This report, as admitted by the author in the paper,  was written to support the NAHB’s lobbyists efforts in Congress roll back regulations, to the benefit of the NAHB members.

So, what are these regulations that the NAHB would like to roll back? Here are some examples: Regulations that attempt to mitigate the damage to our water supply that wholesale housing development would otherwise create.  Regulations that attempt to protect the children of homeowners from poisons commonly found in unregulated building materials. Regulations that attempt to protect homebuyers from the potential fraudulent lending practices of unscrupulous home builders. Regulations which attempt to require homebuilders to build houses that are structurally safe, which helps to: reduce insurance costs, ensure the health and safety of the home occupants, and to limit the damage to a homeowner’s finances, as they will be protected from the need to repair shoddily built homes.

My examples are intended to illustrate how regulations protect our environment from pollution, ensure that homes built are safe to live in, and protect homebuyers from financial disaster. I do not argue that the cost of these regulations as passed on by the builder to the homebuyer are not high. What I will argue that without these regulations, homebuilders would have little incentive to build a safe, cost effective house without damaging the water supply and ecosystem.  I would also go so far as to speculate that this alleged 25% cost added to the cost of a new home is probably cheap, compared to cost of mitigating the damages to the health and finances of homebuyers, and to the safety of our community’s water supply and ecosystem.

John Barry — Franklin, N.C.

Teacher makes ‘rock stars’ out of students 

A few weeks ago I got lucky and received an email inviting me to teach a poetry class in the Macon County Schools. I graduated from those schools in 1958 and I gladly accepted the challenge.

When asked by the teacher how much I would charge and I said “zero,” she invited more classes than I ever imagined. It would be my first teaching experience.

For two days in May, I arose super early and, armed with a sitting stool, copied pages to hand out to the children, and my secret weapon: a small boombox with a little microphone attached. I promised the children to make them a “rock star.” On the copier pages I had printed a small perky “Ikea” bird and I had written’my little Haiku poem saying that, “Poetry is a bird that sings a song from the music in your heart.”

I came to the school in the misty mountain morning and was greeted with a spotless entrance and a friendly sheriffs department person, along with four respectful, nearing teen boys to help me with my stuff. Entering the large classroom, I flung open the blinds to admit the mountain views that surrounded the school. I wanted to admit the wonderful natural world that was speaking to them if they would pause and notice. I arranged my stack of papers and turned on the speaker box.

They came in, these beautiful mountain children and sat themselves down in a large semicircle on the cool clean floor. They were admonished by the teacher to not sit with anyone who would bring them trouble. I really liked that idea.

I told them that I was “Miss Shirley” and “they were  my world,” to copy a technique I have come to admire. I told them that poetry was one of the highest art forms of our language because it comes from our inner selves. I declared that “I Dwell In Possibilities” and that thought was made clear to me by a most famous American Poet, Emily Dickinson. Miss Dickinson lived in another century, but her thoughts are still powerful today. She gave up a world of society and frivolity to use the language in a most revealing way … especially of the natural world. Because she dwelled in possibilities, she wrote some seventeen hundred poems for the benefit of mankind and is revered even today.

I urged them to dwell in possibilities as they are standing on the precipice of their lives. It is their time to-live and thrive upon the earth, but they must watch out for the robbers who would take away their possibilities. Those robbers are smoking, drinking and using drugs.

How would I ever get these classes of 200-plus children to write and say their poetry? …. Ta Da!

I had scissored many little Ikea birds from plastic Ikea place mats and promised each child a colorful little “poetry bird” if they would write a little poem as the Japanese do, to express a little picture of their observations of their world called Haiku. They would then get to speak their poem over the Open Mike to become a rock star,

The temptation was too great. Many wanted the little bird so they wrote and publicly spoke their poem to their classmate’s applause and congratulations.

It was my life’s greatest accomplishment. To hear 200- plus mountain children writing and speaking their poetry.

To this day I have never heard from that teacher again.

Shirley Cruse Cole, Wordsmiths of Macon

Thank you for emergency quick response 

To Clarks Chapel Fire and Rescue Department, Angel Hospital and all EMS personnel and those who helped:

On Friday, May 27, our dad and our mom’s husband, James A. Hall, suffered a cardiac arrest. Mom was with him when he collapsed and immediately called 911. First responders arrived within a very short amount of time and were able to revive him and get him to Memorial Mission in Asheville.

We want to express our deepest heartfelt appreciation for everything you did to help him. Without your quick response and great care he would not have survived. Thank you for allowing God to use you and for the time you give to our community. Minutes matter and the time you gave has given us more time with our dad and mom more time with her husband. Andrew is now recovering at home.

Again, thanks to all involved who took care of him

Andi Ledie & family — Franklin, N.C.

This year’s was a successful fundraiser for the Scottish Tartans Museum. 

It was amazing to see the number of out of town visitors enjoying our downtown and making the annual Braveheart 5K & Rob Roy FUN! Run/Walk (10 years old and under) a new tradition in their lives. Many of the first timers and annual racers have already made plans to return for next year’s fundraiser (June 17, 2017). Individuals interested in next year’s race can register online through Active.com Please visit finishwelltiming.com to see the race results from the fundraiser hosted on June 18, 2016.

To host a successful fundraiser you need the support of local individuals and businesses who believe in the cause. I would like to say “Thank you” to those individuals  and businesses who each year give their support to this fundraiser for the Scottish Tartans Museum.

Cattails of WNC, Inc

Gooder Grafix

In Memory Of Chef Bob Crowers

The Suminski Family

Rathskeller Coffee Haus & Pub

Edwards Jones-Chris Brouwer

The Moberg Group

Bringing It To Life! Productions

Franklin Artist Laurie Beegle

WNC SportsZone

Black Bear Services Kitchen Design & Installation Specialist

Finish Well Timing

P.A. Merritt Custom Furniture

April’s Flowers On Main

D&L Body Shop

Mountain Valley Health Foods

New Vision Gymnastics

American Computer Sales

American Computerized Accounting

John Hamlin State Farm Insurance

Aaron’s Store #c0312

Smoky Mountain Bicycles

Thank you again to all of the volunteers, racers and especially the various local businesses and individual sponsors of Macon County!

Dave Linn, Braveheart 5K coordinator

Ban the psycho, not the gun 

The rush to pass a law that will take away the AR-15 is a useless jesture and will not prevent these mass shootings. The AR-15 is only one style of semi-automatic rifle, there are many others that will do the same thing.  What we really needed in this mass shooting of 100 people was someone who would shoot back, and take out the killer.   It’s a shame that nobody in this crowd was an off duty police officer or a citizen with a gun permit. These psycho terrorist shooters know this, they don’t want anyone shooting back. That’s why they pick gun free places: schools, military bases and events where nobody is permitted to carry a gun.

Like 10 percent of North Carolinians, I have a concealed carry pistol permit, and I am a former police officer, but when I go out for a drink I cannot carry my pistol. That makes me vulnerable to a mass shooter, with no way to stop the shooter.  I agree that guns and alcohol are a dangerous mix.  On the other hand, I know that people who obtain permits to carry a pistol are very responsible people. I have been teaching the N.C. Concealed Carry Pistol classes for six years and have had over 700 students. The typical student is 50 to 70 years old and is a responsible member of the community. They value their permit and don’t want to lose it. I estimate that over 90 percent of permit holders actually never carry a pistol.  The only time they carry is when they are travelling, or camping, or are out in the woods hiking. Some business owners who are vulnerable to a holdup will also carry most of the time. When I go out for a drink I never have more than one or two drinks. I never get drunk. There are three police departments here and I have never seen so many police cars. Invariably they follow me from any bar I go to. One time, after I left the American Legion bar, I was followed for several miles, and was finally pulled over because one of my stoplights wasn’t working.  The officer was more interested in checking my eyes and my speech for signs of drinking and just issued a warning.   Apparently, they are rewarded for making DUI arrests.   In this area it’s a good idea to have a designated driver!  Getting back to the AR-15, it is probably the most used gun to protect a home. It’s singled out because it looks bad! It looks military! Sadly, it is useless to ban it.   Taking away guns from the good guys because a bad guy used one is not the answer.  Congress should pass a law declaring war on the Islamic terrorists which would allow for more active law enforcement. North Carolina should allow our responsible concealed carry permit holders to carry everywhere they go, with no restrictions.   Hopefully, some day, someone will be able to shoot back!

Jim Sottile

NC and NRA Pistol Instructor

Tolerance may be killing us

There’s mounting pressures within our culture for the removing of boundaries or foundations that once defined us as a people. These foundations identified who and what we were allowing our unity to work within our diversities of our great nation. Boundaries and a strong foundation are critical for any nation if it’s to be healthy and thriving. Our downward trend, with the help of media, government and special interest groups, set the stage for disobedience and disruption of society that is fractured  more than at any point in history.  Foundations that were in place yesterday, are dissolved today, or are under doubt or question because we as a people have nothing to anchor or hold fast to. Some things, as in the value of life would seemingly be ingrained deeply within our hearts; but is not.

We all are appalled at ISIS or others that kill and maim the innocent and defenseless. Past memories of the Holocaust, where at one time, Germany was known to be the most highly educated, intellectual, and brightest of nations, our thoughts were, how could a people be so hollow and depraved? This growing hollowness shows itself evident within our own culture, it’s like the frog in the pan scenario, of slowly heating water, just to discover an un-detected but slow death. This magnified itself while reading a recent article, of a  professor  teaching ethics in class, and was looking for a topic which would arouse  some discuss and uneasiness. The professor displayed a picture of a disfigured teenage Afghan girl named Bibi Aisha, whe had been forced into marriage at age 14 for a payment of her family’s obligation to a Taliban fighter. But after severe abuse she ran away only to be found and left for dead after brutally cutting her nose and ears off as punishment.  As bad as this seems, the class didn’t want to seem critical or judgmental, because different cultures do things differently, even to our detriment, tolerance reigns for the day.  This is not only within our colleges, but  finds itself creeping  effortlessly into the fabric of society, from our government, families and even our places of worship.  We are moving ever closer  to the point that we’re calling evil good and good evil. (Isaiah 5:20) It’s amazing  in one generation our foundation has eroded away for tolerance and acceptability, so we in progressive living feel we get a pass and are above the fray, because we seem non-judgmental and all things are acceptable from whatever point of view you take. It’s all relative and you own your own piece of truth whatever form it takes. Evil can look good, and good more deviant.

A foundation’s strength only exists if protected and given value. Life with all its heartaches and disappointments are shown in what I call life’s manual, the Bible. Joy, even in darkness can also be found within this, it’s a foundation that needs serious consideration for living and can be realized both deeply from within as well as externally. Reading “Proverbs” maybe be a good starting point for a foundation for us all.


Deni Shepard — Franklin, N.C.

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