Letters to the Editor for March 23, 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. 

Support for Trump will spread hate across America

“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” Those are wise words from Romans 12:19, King James Version of the Bible. Do you take the Bible literally or figuratively? Either way, ponder the wisdom of the words.

And then! Consider the latest rant of Donald Trump labeling himself as the “retribution candidate” for President in 2024. If you want his anger spread across America, support him! If you want any semblance of law and order along with adherence to the Constitution of the United States then you must pick a candidate who is not filled with hate.

Legendary singer/songwriter John Prine wrote, “For a heart stained in anger grows weak and grows bitter. You become your own prisoner as you watch yourself sit there wrapped up in a trap of your very own sorrow.”

You can believe the Bible. You can believe John Prine. You can believe both. You can believe neither. 

Still, it is easy to see that Donald Trump is filled with a dangerous level of rage. Our Constitution must contain him. 

Trump is not a victim of our democracy. Our democracy has been victimized by Trump.


Dave Waldrop – Webster, N.C.

Library board promoting radical social agenda

In an appalling move, the Fontana Regional Library (FRL) Board  censored concerned patrons by banning public comment at their March 14, 2023, meeting in Highlands, further proving that the FRL desires to silence the ever growing number of community members who desire to protect children.  I have been to and spoken at numerous FRL meetings in the past year. At meeting after meeting, we were listened to silently, but nothing we spoke about was ever discussed openly, only deliberated upon in secret. After months of inaction, the board moved against patrons in January 2023 with the new Collection Development Policy and a restrictive public comment policy. I thank Ed Trask, the lone FRL Board member who had the courage to vote against the Collection Development Policy and stand up for children and taxpayers. 

This board has decided they will not protect children, will not represent WNC values, and will proceed with a leftist agenda that is promoted by the corrupt American Library Association (ALA).  It is hypocritical of the FRL to say obscene children’s books are protected by free speech while at the same time refusing free speech to the very people who pay for the library to function. 

Essentially, the board’s elimination of public comment and the new collection development policy are all about circling the wagons, strengthening the board’s bureaucracy against any attempts at reform, and telling concerned parents to pound sand. This shameful stunt shows the silent contempt most of the board must have felt toward the public’s attempts at cordial and respectful dialogue over the last year. It tells this community they do not want to hear from the public. No one likes to hear criticisms of themselves or their institutions, but it’s part of serving the public. Maybe some of them should resign as board members if they have so little regard for this community.

The Fontana Regional Library Board is functioning as a rubber-stamp for a radical social agenda through the ALA.  Libraries do not hold memberships with the ALA; however, the former director, current director, and other administrators are members of the ALA.  Did you know the ALA maintains a database on community members who challenge books or library policies for any reason or request protections for children? What do they do with their public enemies list? Are you aware The ALA partners directly with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and other LGBTQ advocacy groups and media organizations in order to coordinate media hit pieces against citizens like me who challenge library policies, materials, or agendas?  

The Fontana Collection Development Policy plainly states that library staff have a responsibility to “engage in open, continuous two-way communication with library patrons and recognize that individuals have different ways of expressing their needs.” We expect no less from Fontana Board members. Clearly, after their shenanigans, it’s more obvious than ever that Macon County should pull out of the Fontana System and become an independent county library that respects the local community. 

Leah Gaston – Franklin, N.C.

Be a part of an amazing volunteer experience

This letter is in praise of the amazing volunteers and staff at the Macon County Animal Shelter. I have walked shelter dogs since 2004 and this is my favorite volunteer experience by far. These faithful folks walk dogs, play with kitties, clean kennels and litter boxes, wash dishes and clothes and numerous other tasks. We also sit with and love these animals and help them to regain their trust in the human race.

These outstanding people also reach deep into their own pockets and along with generous donors supplement the animal’s diet, provide yummy treats and help with medical care. I stand in awe of these wonderful people and their willingness to give so much to these innocent creatures who only want to love us and be part of our family.

To those who feel they can’t volunteer because they “would want to take them all home,” I am pretty sure that every volunteer and staff feel the exact same way but we know we can’t. My heartstrings are tugged every time I walk dogs, but it is so rewarding to know that I am making a difference in these animals’ lives. I promise your heart will be at peace much more than it is in pieces, if you choose to volunteer. If you would like to have the most awesome volunteer “job,” please contact Debbie, volunteer coordinator extraordinaire, at the shelter (828)349-2106.

And finally, please spay and neuter the pups and kitties in your care. Thank you.  


Pauleah Tomlinson – Franklin, N.C.

Government entities fighting what is being encouraged

During a short trip to Arlington, Texas, I had a chance to stop and talk to one of the librarians. It was stated that libraries broad demographics take into account the young and old and materials of both local and world involvement, but in doing so is to respect this broad range of interaction and the placement of these materials. 

The discussion was of the American Library Association (ALA) and other library associations that libraries can be involved in. She said that they all have a role into the direction and function of how they operate. This is also in conjunction with local governments and citizen boards. In other words, it’s a reflection of the community at large. It has become obvious that the forces or powers of the ALA or that of our local library board seem to pay little attention with what our community’s concerns are. I see absolutely no reason why any government system be involved in any sexual identity education or open display; and why they themselves have given themselves the sole right to do so, and take that right away from what should only involve the parent or guardian of the child. What boundaries do you have that protects the most innocent among us? Does everything become allowed?  Is bestiality, incest, anything the human mind can invent acceptable?  If the display of LGBTQ materials are OK and of easy access, what within your ethical standards is something not allowed, where is there a line drawn that says “We cannot go down this road?” Or we must respect and honor the ethics of our community and their concerns. 

If the display of sexual explicit materials or lifestyles is openly allowed you will find yourselves as a government entity in conflict with another part of government. I have had several conversations with our local law enforcement. They have several officers that their sole responsibility is within sexual communications and this involvement with minors and/or adults with minors. They get information from federal, state, and local, of internet connections, phone conversations or materials that place our young at risk of being exploited. So while talking to the officer it was quickly identified that there’s a war of sorts that on one hand our governing system allows or encourages, as in our schools or library; then on the other hand, as in our law enforcement, we fight the very thing that seems it encourages, so if you say you have a ethical standard, where is it you derive this meandering type of standard, and how is it we can follow and make sense of these standards?  

I have nothing against the LGBTQ community, they can do as they please with themselves. But the forcing or display of their lifestyle  upon our children and those who oppose such a lifestyle, just because you feel they have a right to do so, then I see no need of any library board, for everything becomes acceptable because you have anything as fair-game-type ethical standards, so the board renders itself of little value because there’s no value within the ethics the board says it has.  

  Deni Shepard – Franklin, N.C.

Meeting illustrates need for independent library

The vile and harmful propaganda meant to indoctrinate young children into the depraved world of sexually ambiguous morality has finally come to our region. Librarians and library boards have historically been terrified that any restriction of content, no matter how far from community standards the material strays, will turn into a book burning mob storming the doors of the local library with flashlights blazing.

They need not fear. The Fontana Regional board meeting illustrates clearly the necessity for better funded and independent local libraries that do not have to allow the filth and degeneracy evident in the flood of books (I refuse to call such garbage “literature”) that are so shocking and twisted that it is not allowed to be quoted in public!

No wonder public comments were not allowed. It is beyond question that the vast majority of local residents object strongly to such inappropriate and immoral advertising for the far left anti-religious enemies of decency and truth. Unless measures are taken to put a fast halt to this dangerous and improper influence on our children, we should take measures to ensure that no children be exposed to such degeneracy, such as checking out the offending books, destroying them and paying for the  loss. At least that would interrupt the onslaught of lies and immoral influence for a while. I would contribute to a fund for removing the sewage from our children’s path. Accepting these pornographic books is not an option.

 Richard Moore – Sylva, N.C.

Monitoring children’s reading is parents’ responsibility

As a Macon county resident, I am troubled by the movement to remove the library from the Fontana system over concerns about its collection. A library is a valuable public resource, and the broader and more diverse its collection, the more valuable it is to all its patrons. Responsibility to monitor what children and teens read lies with the parents, not with the library. If a parent objects to a specific book, they are welcome to not allow their child to read it. They can bring it to the librarian’s attention if it has genuinely been miscategorized, or bring up their grievances to the publisher. (After all, the librarians aren’t deciding what categories books fit in on their own, they are shelving books in the category the publisher designates). Parents have the right to decide what is and isn’t appropriate for their individual children. What they do not have, however, is the right to decide that their opinion overrules other parents’ opinions on what may or may not be considered appropriate for others. LGBTQ+ books exist for children and teens because those children and teens also exist, and deserve to be shown they aren’t alone by authors who can share  their experiences with honesty. And yes, some young adult books deal with sexuality because many teens are dealing with sexuality, both consensually and in abusive situations, and they also deserve books that help them navigate that. Not wanting a thing to be true doesn’t make it any less true. Not finding value in something doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value to someone else. To paraphrase literary researcher Rudine Sims Bishop, books are mirrors and windows. While parents can make decisions for their own families, by objecting to the very existence of such books in the library, they are creating barriers to resources from those who need to see their experiences mirrored, and removing the choice from other parents who may want their families to have access to diverse reading material and compassionate windows into other experiences. I hope the community comes together to support our library, and that those who object to materials in the collection will accept their individual responsibility to monitor their children’s reading, while allowing the library to fulfil their responsibility to the community by providing a diverse and timely collection that allows patrons to choose what they wish to read.

Kate Havas – Franklin, N.C.

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