Letters to the Editor


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. Email lettters to: maconcountynews@gmail.com.

Many came together to make a successful event Franklin families, neighbors, businesses and visitors,

Please let me take a minute to thank all of our vendors, nonprofits and merchants for setting up booths.  Thank you to our Musicians, the singing was awesome, we are truly blessed here in Franklin.  Thank you to Prentiss Church for allowing us to use their Red Back Hymnals and First Christian Church of Franklin for the use of their Sound System,  Thank you Donald Holland for letting us use your trailer and David for bringing it and setting it up.  We could not provide a stage for the music without you guys.  Thank you to Sterling Passmore  for playing under the Gazebo all day. We would like to thank the Macon County TDA and TDC for their funding support, the Town of Franklin for all of their support, the Franklin Police Department Chief Harrell for sending out Devin Holland and his Squad before sunrise blocking the roads and Tony Ashe and his Squad unblocking them. A big thank you to the Franklin Fire Department for the Old Fire Truck on display and the water tower for the kids and adults that cooled off under the mist.  The guys for the Antique Cars and Muscle Cars are always welcome to come to any of our events and show off their beautiful cars, thank you.

Thank you to The Streets of Franklin Heritage Association merchants for all their help in planning this event for months. A special thank you to our Board Members, Brooke Reale, Martha Holbrook, Brenda Wooten and including our planning committee, Roland Mock, Rob Reale, Matt Taylor, Betsy Gooder and Allen Pruitt.  A special thanks to Allen for all his hard work for getting the musicians together and Betsey Gooder who got our Car Clubs to come out.  Thank you to all our media folks who went above and beyond for advertising this event.

If I have forgotten anyone, please forgive me. We thank you.

We are looking forward to our next event Hometown Fall on Main Sept. 4 … more to come

Again thank you all for your support and supporting me.  

 Gwen Taylor, President

The Streets of Franklin Heritage Association


Library ‘pride’ display educational and inclusive

I have been a member of the Macon County community for over 20 years. I have lived, volunteered, grown up, and worked in Macon County since I was four years old. This community has supported, nurtured, cared for me. While my family are transplants, I have always felt that this community has been an extension of my own family. But today, I was dismayed by the public comment period during the Macon County Commissioners meeting. 

As a teen in Macon County, I grew up with several friends in the LGBTQ community. I watched them struggle for acceptance, love, or even just kindness. Rural, Appalachia is not the best place to grow up if you are queer. I watched my friends struggle with thoughts (and often attempt) of suicide, depression, abuse. I watched as their church communities rejected them, and left them without a support system. I also watched friends lose their families. All because they had the courage to tell the world who they really were, who God made them to be. Growing up, I was blessed to feel loved by this community, but my LGBTQ peers were not afforded the same luxury. Some of those individuals are no longer here because of the kind of homophobia that was on display tonight. 

Some members of the Macon County community issued complaints to the commissioners regarding an LGBTQ display during the month of June (Pride Month) in the children’s section of the Macon County Library. The display included 20 children’s books that discuss LGBTQ issues. These members of the public asked of the commissioners to not only to limit the library’s ability to display books on LGBTQ+ issues but their ability to purchase these books in general. These citizens implored to the commissioners to reject “the transgender agenda” and “uncritical” looks at LGBTQ issues. 

These individuals are asking the commissioners to reject the obligation to provide a safe environment for free and critical thought on all topics, difficult and light. They are asking to take away a temporary display that celebrates diversity and inclusion, They are asking to take away the ability for critical and free thought. What they are asking is wrong. What they are asking is homophobic. What they are asking is not acceptable. 

I am a proud and outspoken supporter of the LGBTQ community. I am also a proud Macon County citizen. I ask the commissioners to think of the request that has been made to limit children’s access to age appropriate books on what some members have deemed inappropriate, but rather is educational, informative, and inclusive. While it cannot make a difference in the lives of those who are no longer with us, it can show those that are that they are not alone, and there is in fact a place where they will be accepted in Macon County, even if they can’t find it outside of those walls.  

Emily Ritter – Franklin, N.C.

‘Irony’ is the eyes of the beholder

John Barry brings up an interesting point on irony in a recent letter.  Surely, we are living in some confusing times, but I find it “ironic” that the same people who claim there was no election fraud in 2020 were totally sure there was Russian collusion in the 2016 election even though facts state otherwise.  They wanted election integrity then, but now?  In Arizona alone (not counting the many obvious discrepancies in other swing states), an independent nonpartisan audit group found: 1.) 70k more ballots received than requested; 2.) 10k voters were added to the rolls AFTER election day that cast a ballot in 2020; 3.) remote access was indeed available to the election server that was supposed to be so secure; 4.) all access logs were wiped in March 2021; 5.) the number of votes certified does not match the number of ballots sent to the audit;  6.) 25k duplicate ballots were found by the audit, and no serial numbers on them (how many times they were scanned we will never know?); 7.) 74k absentee mail-in ballots are missing!  Meanwhile election workers across the country by the hundreds have filed affidavits under penalty of perjury that they witnessed cheating.

Let’s remember that Trump supposedly lost Arizona by only 11k total votes, so it is “ironic” that folks will completely ignore facts to justify their point of view even though deep down they have to know their opinion is wrong.   Again, most sources will simply omit the truth or spin the truth however their agenda may dictate in order to get their party or their guy in office.  Without an understanding of what is government’s proper role in a free society, the America Empire will be doomed to repeating history.

Finally, Socialist Democrats in the recent New York mayor primary election counted over 130k extra ballots that were not valid.  130k!!  In one city!?  This has led to Democrats suing other Democrats over election integrity and fair process while Democrats continue vehemently denying we need election integrity elsewhere.  No consistency whatsoever.  That is what we call truly “ironic.”   

This letter is certainly not a plug for Donald Trump or the corrupted GOP.  Today’s problems will never be fixed by politicians of any stripe; only citizens taking responsibility to educate themselves and demanding true freedom with a return to limited, constitutional government can do that by God’s grace.  

Jim Gaston – Franklin, N.C.

Love and unity at the heart of universal language

We all rely on the basic essentials which sustains life. We all rely on water, food and air to breathe. We cannot survive but a few minutes, to a few days without one or more of these life-giving elements. Yet there is something else all humanity shares in, it may not be life sustaining, but yet maybe is in its own way.  It’s universal that all mankind has been part of and shares in. It unites many in common thought and it views our world in most every way possible. It crisscrosses cultures, nations and either  drives us closer or drives us apart.  

Music has been known as our universal language and is known by every part of humanity.  Music, as in all the arts, shares all aspects of life – heartaches, war, pain, you name it and there’s a song or melody that tells and reflects what we experience in the lives we live. But mostly it’s the search for meaning and purpose within a deeper love we all seem to want and seek. Through music we connect with each other the desires within the depths of our hearts and being,  it seems to go beyond the barriers of language and cultures. 

Love and unity has always been at the heart of this universal language and it’s a common thread throughout all time. It seems as though this is instilled within the heart of mankind, or written within the human spirit. The need for connection with someone beyond ourselves seems in desperation, finding this harder in never finding a final destiny to be shared in a unified love throughout our life time. This feeling has been felt many times before, as in the ’60s song “For what it’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield, singing “There’s battle lines being drawn; nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong; young people speaking their minds getting so much resistance from behind.” It’s a warning to take a step back and question where confusion and lack of unity leads us. Or as in the famous song, “Sara” by Stevie Nicks asking, “Wait a minute baby, stay with me awhile, said you’d give me light but you never told me about the fire, Drowning in the sea of love, where everyone would love to drown.” 

This need for love touches each of us, if it can be found?

We all feel the uneasiness when our lives do not blend well with each other, not that we cannot disagree, but when we are divided with such bitterness and getting even, we ourselves become less likable because of our own disappointments.  Many are in hopes of being unified in family, community and beyond,  people with a common goal of caring, loving, and helping each other, but this cannot be by force or legislation. This must come from the heart of each of us. It’s the beautiful poetry within every soul which desires love and acceptance from anyone who would accept it, even the unlovable and discarded. And this poetry and desire within us is satisfied with a completed happiness when it finds its resting place of acceptance. 

Kim Phue better known as the “Napalm Girl,” suffered from the horrors of Napalm bombing in the Vietnam War. She had gone through such pain and suffering physically with 17 surgeries to repair all the burns she suffered, and along with this the internal anguish of hate and bitterness towards those who had done this, feeling suicide was the only way out. Kim’s deep bitterness and feeling less than human found restoration and forgiveness towards those who did this to her, even towards the pilot who dropped the bombs. It was in the love of Christ that she found the restoration and acceptance that we all look for. This is, in part, the music and poetry within all our hearts, to find this love of acceptance and forgiveness among all of us seeking out unity with not only us, but more so with a personal relationship of permanence with the Creator Himself. He came for this. Finding this brings us all in closer love and unity. “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity. (Romans 15:5)( LAB) 


 Deni Shepard – nds13@frontier.com

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