Letters for March 19, 2020


The Macon County News letters page is a public forum open to a wide variety of  opinions. Letters are neither accepted nor rejected on the basis of the opinions expressed. Writers are asked to refrain from personal attacks against individuals or businesses. Letters are not necessarily reflective of the opinions of the publisher, editor or staff of The Macon County News. 

HCA’s for-profit policies a problem on fixed income

I have read all your articles concerning the terrible services provided by HCA. Their quest seems to be money and not the citizens of Western [North] Carolina. But there is one important problem that is affecting those of us who live on Social Security. I will use my situation as an example.

I moved to Franklin about six months ago from Cabo San Lucas and brought three months of blood pressure medicine with me. As I started to get low on medicine, I went to Mission Health Center to get a refill. I saw the doctor; she checked my pulse and blood pressure and wrote me a prescription. She did change one to something she said was better and said she could only give me a single refill. She asked me to come back in a week and take my blood pressure. I paid my $134 for the five-minute visit and left. During that week I had a bad reaction to the new medicine. So, I quit taking it and went back. When I got to my  appointment, they told me my doctor had quit, but gave me a prescription for my old medicine, and to make another appointment with a new doctor to get back on track. Which I did. The new doctor prescribed a new medicine and gave me a 30-day prescription and to come back in a week to see how it worked. Another three minutes. I paid $138 and left. 

I went back, everything was great. She said to call in for a refill when I ran out. The good thing is the medicine is only $18 for both. When I started to get low on medicine, I called back. They said doctor Crystal had quit, so I asked for the two nurses that worked with me over the two months and I was told one had quit but the other one was with a client and she would call be back. A half hour later the hospital called and said that they forgot that Beverly my nurse had quit, too, 10 days ago, but if I paid $180, Dr. Hunley would call the pharmacy for my refill. I told them my doctor Crystal told me she would call in my refill for free. She said, every time there is a new doctor, you must pay $180. 

I have had three doctors in three months and the cost for an $18 prescription is costing me $200 a month and I have a six-year-old to care for and a wife that can’t work and I only get $825 per month Social Security. I asked why the doctors quit after two or three weeks. Tracy from the hospital said they quit because they dislike Franklin so much, they just walk out. She also said they have the right to change my doctor every month and make me pay $180 because they are a for-profit business and if I don’t like it don’t come to Mission Health and that there is a lot of other people that are paying without complaining. This is a scam by HCA and should be illegal that I have to pay $180 every month for them to call in an $18 prescription. I told Tracy I need this medicine to stay alive; she said NOT HER PROBLEM. This should be illegal. 


James Keams – Franklin, N.C.

Vote your conscience, not political party

Good people of Franklin, please think and pray long and hard before you vote. Forget parties. You should vote your faith, values and conscience. Platforms and issues are very telling. Right now there is such a diversity among American citizens that if we are to remain free we must face facts. Abortions, Socialism, no Constitution, rioters, bullying opposition because of the hats or shirts that are worn – that sounds like a third world country.

And the past three years of disrespecting our own president because he was not your personal choice. OK, he can be uncouth and brash. However, he was elected and it was mainly because he is not a politician, he cannot be bought off, and he does love this country. Despite all the harassment he has endured, he has accomplished a great deal for Americans.

Christians vote “God’s will.” We are against killing babies, total governmental rule, freedom suppression, one world religions, and the erasure of our Constitutional rights. If you are just loyal to a political party, disregarding what they believe in and have in mind to do to our country, then you are among those who are ignorant to reality. Your loyalty is to those who are dictators in the making, and you are voting for human atrocities that belie your faith in Christ Jesus. You say you don’t support those things, but you vote for them!

We know from the word of God that the Anti-Christ is going to be a suave, sophisticated man of great  pursuasive abilities. Smooth talking, charismatic and elegant in stature. Everyone will love and follow him. So for all you who had chosen our president for that position, I am sorry to disappoint you. Now, for all of you who are not familiar with biblical history, God chose the most unlikely men to sit on the thrones of kingdoms. His purposes and choices were much higher than mankind’s. A candidate’s values and his party’s destination for the long term welfare of Americans, must be carefully evaluated. Promises of free this and that is fool’s folly. Nothing is ever free. Intelligent people understand that. Someone has to pay the price, and you can be sure it won’t be the government.

Christians, let God and his commandments be your guide. Non-Christians, consider all the consequences of your decision in terms of your future. Hate and anger are not reliable decision makers. Those are destructive to your mind, body, spirit and soul. We are all occupants of America’s soil and should believe in our forefathers’ gifts of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. What does your conscience and loyalty demand of you?

May God bless you as you go to vote in November. Christians, let the Lord guide you. Non-Christians, think long and hard about the kind of world you want to be a part of. May God be with you also, even it you don’t believe. He believes in you!


Sandi Dotherow – Franklin, N.C.

Marine Corps detachment dissolves local unit

On April 1, 2020, the local Detachment of the Marine Corps League will cease to exist. It was founded 23 years as a Marine Corps Veterans Service Organization dedicated to fostering the spirit of Semper Fidelis and camaraderie with our fellow Marines, former Marines, and Naval brethren. There is no such thing as an ex-Marine.

What will it mean to the community? No longer will local patriotic parades be led by precise and correct Marine Color Guard. The Run/Walk for Life will no longer have a militarily correct opening ceremony honoring America. The Franklin Panthers will no longer have the precise movements of a Marine Color Guard opening their home games. Local churches who frequently called upon the League to provide patriotic ceremonies to honor their veterans, will not have those services. Fraternal organizations who called upon the Detachment to render nation honors will no longer have that available to them No longer will the Marine Corps League render final formal honors to a deceased Marine veteran.

As all organizations have internal rifts, the Detachment had  its fair share coupled with some leadership ego difficulties that severed a lot of the membership. With that loss of that membership, the majority plainly lost interest. With deep regrets,


D. C. Lanson, CWO-4 USMC(Ret) – Franklin, N.C.

You want my vote? I want my broadband!

This is not a red or blue issue. This is a public safety and welfare issue. This is an issue of whether our kids have access to the same quality of education as kids 80 miles from here. This is an issue of whether our children can live here and succeed in an increasingly work-at-home oriented economy. This is an issue of my tax dollars are my investments in a better community here and not just communities surrounding Raleigh or Washington, DC or Atlanta, Ga.

My wife and I have school-age grandchildren who all live in Cobb County, Georgia, a massive bedroom community to Atlanta and the home of Dobbins Air Force Base. The county school district closed K-12 schools and the state university system closed community colleges and Kennesaw University. Students and faculty are directed to stay in their homes except for essential travel. (And, since all the toilet paper and anti-bacterial cleansing products have evaporated from store shelves, there is really no reason not to.)

The same or similar is happening here in Macon County. So, what’s the difference there and here? No, not test kits. We have three in the county, what more would you want? The correct answer would be broadband access. Our oldest daughter, who is an up and coming Realtor, has three children in K-12; one in high-school, one in middle-school and one finishing elementary school. Her husband is a sales rep for a national company and travels a good bit or, at least, he used to. His company has prohibited travel and even use of the local offices so he is at home for two weeks or more. Our son’s child is in the same situation as the other kids and our son holds a critical position with a local data center services company which requires him to have tactile contact with the apparatus in that facility as well as supporting other units around the world. His wife already operates a profitable broadband dependent enterprise from home.

This is that time of year when schools are prepping for annual tests and a lot rides on the outcomes … and, we all know that the retention of scholastic material for most kids in this age bracket is roughly equivalent to the shelf-life of milk left on the counter. But, my grandchildren all have access to online classes and assignments from their teachers as well as the ability to complete work requiring research and submitting that work for review, etc., etc. I will admit this may leave my grandchildren less than joyful at their opportunity for continued productivity versus the usual get-out-of-school pass. Their parents are well equipped and capable of doing their jobs from home with little more that a laptop and a printer. These families do not have to go out for groceries, even. They order from Amazon or more locally, Instacart and shopping services like these where their grocery lists are shopped and the food brought to the home with no need to even open the door to greet the transporter

So, again, what’s the difference? Simply stated, it is one of inequality. While our local school system is steeped in digital curriculum and North Carolina has its own version of online educational programs, most children in Macon County leave school for digitally dark homes and communities. “Hotspots” are no good because they require the congregation of people which is highly ill-advised given the obvious circumstances. So, assuming the school closings are just 14 calendar days which is the presumptive incubation period for this malicious virus, at the end, our grandchildren and those like them in the more advantaged areas will be well along with their studies. Their mothers and fathers remain productively employed and less at risk for contracting the pandemic disease that now plagues us all. Why do I say that? It is simply because human nature being what it is; people who cannot get or do what they need while sequestered at home, will ultimately go outside for it regardless the risk.

The real tragedy here is that this is not the way it has to be for our rural communities. The consequences we are experiencing due to the harsh lack of 20th century technology services is not an act of nature nor can it be blamed on a “bug” that has a disproportional impact to its size. And, just to remind; this is the 21st century we live in now … well, sort of.

What we have here is a failure to … govern equitably (sorry Luke). It is a failing of a governmental body that willfully refuses to meet the needs of its constituents by simply allowing them to solve a basic problem using their own tax dollars and local resources. It should not be so hard to bring broadband access to any community today. The problem is not technology nor is it the availability of critical skills. Even money is not the real problem. It is simply that we are not allowed to apply these resources to remedying this particular problem. The heart of our consternation lies with a state government that will not allow local communities to provide their citizens what is, in fact, a very basic utility. So, you want to prevent this from happening again, write your state representative. Let him or her know in no uncertain terms that you matter every bit as much if not more than AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Comcast, et al and all the money they unload annually into state house campaign coffers. And, by all means, let your county government know it, too. “Lead, follow or get out of the way,” needs to be declared loudly and persistently to those who already know who they are … but I’m not sure they know who we are. The good news is that most of them can be reached at a common street address.

I know it is a bit trite, but, yes, rural lives do matter. Rural quality of life matters, also. To those in the way, I say: you want my vote? I want my broadband! (Somebody ought to create a T-shirt).

  Tony Deakins – Franklin, N.C.

Honor our Southern heritage

If you’ve been following our social media pages or the news in general, then you’ve seen the disparaging headlines. Local Virginia governments may soon circumvent the state law and remove Confederate monuments.  The real question is how will this directly affect other war memorials, Vietnam, etc.? By now we fully understand Confederate statues and street signs aren’t the only items on the menu for these snakes.  This is just a part in their systematic destruction of all that stands in their leftist progressive way.  A recent example is Charlottesville’s refusal to celebrate Thomas Jefferson’s birthday – You know, the “evil racist guy” who was our third president; author of the Declaration of Independence; founder of the University of Virginia; and the reason why Charlottesville’s even on the map! OK, We are not Virginia residents, but I assure you that these Communistic tactics will spread to many home states to include North Carolina. May God help us!

Presently, our adversaries seek removal of all things Confederate from public venue, annulment of the Constitution’s Second Amendment, (as well as the entire document) and the denigration of Godly Confederate men: Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee. Thomas J. Jackson and J.E.B. Stuart who were exemplary Christian men who abhorred evil. Anyone who is able to find and read truthful history cannot but confirm this truth.  But that, to the Marxist Progressive, is a threat to the advancement of their narrative. Sadly, this pogrom is much farther advanced than most realize.

What many today cannot comprehend is that the Yankee Godless Marxist-Progressive views lies as just another link to advance their ideology, as they obviously are absent of any moral compass.  As gatekeepers they must forbid and repel any and all truthful advances upon their narrative.  We presently see this attitude when topics such as racism, climate change or immigration are broached for civilized discussion, insisting they are right; tantrums and name-calling result when truthful evidence is revealed.  They are not interested in truthful solutions, but only their sick agenda. This also occurs when mention is made of the obvious criminality of their most revered leaders  (Schumer, Hillary).  More often than not they will seek the weight of government to enforce their claims, and as they occupy much of government, their efforts are too often successful.

Be aware that Vladimir Lenin said, “The goal of Socialism is Communism.”  We know Bernie agrees!


Robert Johnston – Clayton, Ga.