Letters for May 4, 2023


The Macon County News letters page is a public forum open to a wide variety of opinions as a right guaranteed in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Letters are neither accepted nor rejected based on content. Letters must be signed and contact information provided. Views expressed are not necessarily reflective of the opinions of publisher, editor or staff. Writers are asked to refrain from personal attacks against individuals or businesses. 

Highlands Pre-K project needs to more forward

I attended the April 24th Macon County School Board meeting at Highlands School and was pleased to hear the Highlands School Project remains a priority for the School Board.  Specifically, behind the $118 million new Franklin High School, Highlands School & Pre-K Project is the number one project that has a funding need which is estimated to be less than $5 million. The School Board pointed out two emergency repair projects that have to be funded immediately but there should be more than adequate funding to cover those needs with a $40 million fund balance.

The residents, businesses and the families that call Macon County home need the Highlands School Project to move forward as quickly as possible. The Pre-K is a key component of this project and the Highlands community currently has 53 children on a waiting list to receive childcare. Freeing up the childcare space with Pre-K space will provide more opportunities for our children and their families. I am hopeful the Franklin School Project will continue to progress and we receive a grant from the state to help pay for the new Franklin School. 

Moving forward, we need the Macon County Board of Commissioners to reinstate the initial funding for the Highlands School Project. We cannot afford to wait for another budget cycle or two, because every moment that is wasted potentially places another child behind in their education progress. I urge the commissioners to put the Highlands School Project on the May agenda and give us an up or down vote, taking into consideration the School Board’s priority list and the Highlands School Project placement on that list.    


Jerry Moore – Highlands, N.C.

You can’t strengthen the weak by weakening the strong

It should be a surprise to no one – the United States has been “outed.” I tried (Oh, how I tried – for the better part of 50 years) to warn Americans this was bound to happen but it took a 21-year-old low level U.S. Airman trying to impress his fellow dweebs in an online chat room revealing classified information to humiliate and expose our nation (former leader of the free world) in outright disarray, inept, weak, off course and unreliable.

The documents revealed included vital present-day military intelligence European leaders (our allies) understandably didn’t want shared. It was reported in LaRepubblica (Italy) the breach “poses a potential danger to Ukraine.”

Annett Meiritz in Handelsblatt (Germany) called it a “clown show,” and followed up with, “the gigantic security apparatus of the United States is apparently being protected amateurishly.” Having served in the Naval Security Group 20 years, that cuts deep, but, she was actually being kind, the U.S. is awash in amateurishness and bush-league professionalism.

U.S. politicians (once hailed as “statesmen” and “trustees of the people”) will likely use this grave violation of national security as a campaign dig at opposing parties and adversaries.   We may rest assured; however, our real adversaries (and our allies) are assessing the damage and the breakdown for exactly what it is, gross incompetence and negligence and a crystal-clear sign the United States cannot be trusted.

You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong any more than you can create a lean mean fighting military machine by eliminating time-tested standards of readiness without incurring severe losses and making huge sacrifices. It has been tried time and time again – it never works. If it did it would be the coolest thing since sliced bread and we all know there’s nothing cooler than sliced bread.

Of course such was not always the case. When sliced bread made its debut in 1928 (95 years ago) it received less than rave reviews. Baker and inventor Otto Frederick Rohwedder had spent 15 years perfecting his bread slicer (finally settling on one that wrapped the sliced bread to hold it together as opposed to the hat pins he’d tried earlier), but consumers weren’t quick to convert.

People found sliced bread strange and senseless. It wasn’t until the advent of Wonder Bread, and the collective realization that sliced bread worked better in the toaster, that Rohwedder’s invention really took off. By WWII, the military was using sliced bread to serve peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches as part of soldiers’ rations. Previously uncommon, PB&J gained a loyal following among servicemen, who kept making the sandwich after they came back to the home front. I served on one ship early in my career, slept in canvas hammocks, and enjoyed PB&J sandwiches frequently.

I also consider myself most fortunate to have lived and served in a time (albeit a time long past) when the Armed Services promoted high standards and we were expected to do our level best to live up to those standards, ethical values and principles. It was a time when truth mattered and when lies and questionable behavior resulted in sometimes dire consequences.  


David Snell – Franklin, N.C.

Kids know what information they need to learn

I am wondering whether Mr. McGaha has been around teens of the 14-17 ages or has parented teenage boys. From the quotes he cited in one of the books in the young adult section of the library, I wonder if he realizes most teenage boys would find that dialogue hilarious. If the book he quoted was in the young adult section (14-14) then I would say our librarians knew exactly what teen boys would like and the book was in the right place.  

At what point do we stop “protecting” our kids – when they are 18? Do we just throw them into the sea of adults and say “swim?” I hope not. We need to gradually relax the reins and let them make their own choices about their reading material. They know what information they need to learn, and they will be more prepared to enter the adult world if they have that information to make their own choices.  


Barbara Bonsack – Franklin, N.C.

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