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Editor's Note: We made the decision not to require a name in this forum because in a small community such as ours, in certain situations, people involved can not give their opinion due to fear of repercussions (job loss, etc.). We believe the advantage of anonymous comments outweighs the problems. We will continue to review all comments before they are posted to this site. We retain the right to post or not post at our discretion. 
Opinion Forum: Remember these letters are peoples’ opinions; they may or may not be actual facts. This is not a news forum, it is an opinion column. We also urge you to take into account whether the letter is signed. We do not correct spelling or grammatical errors.

Tax Free Weekend


All of the parents who are school shopping should make a note of who our state lawmakers are. Thanks to them, if you want a tax-free weekend to shop you will have to travel to an adjoining state to find that benefit. I guess this is just another way they prove what their citizens mean to them. NOTHING! They are down there, with us paying them the big bucks, and they stab us in the back AGAIN.

Eddie the Weatherman


I really miss Eddie that gives the Mars Hill Weather @ noon. When's he gonna be back at it ?

Editor's Note: Eddie recently had surgery and is recovering at Brookside in Burnsville. He hopes to  be back home soon and back to reporting the weather. 

Texting While Driving


 its a shame a person can be stopped for texting and given a ticket today i past a highway patrol coming up mine fork there he was with phone on top of steering wheel texting away iguess its beyond them to cause a major wreck while texting

Ebola Outbreak


 I just read some scary stuff about this on AOL news. Doctor in Africa has been tested positive for ebola! He sent his family back to their home in boone! That's right nc! They had been there living with him. Please be safe! I'm praying for him and everyone since I myself have family that still lives in nc! God bless his family but I hope they didn't bring it back with them. This is just bad.

Too Many Cats


Seriously? You're willing to drive an hour out of your way to avoid having to see a house with so many cats that obviously aren't be cared for. You should have already contacted animal control or the animal shelter. We all have a responsibility to do something when we see animals that are being neglected and/or abused. You are their voice. Pick up the phone and do the right thing. What are you waiting for? Good grief..
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I'm about ready to go about an hour out of my way to take another route to work just so I don''t have to pass by the house with all the cat's in the yard. There are about 20+ cats and kittens and they are all mostly skinny and rangy looking but the worst part is nine out of ten times I drive by there is one dead in the road. The last straw was a little black and white kitten smashed in the road. Why do people do this I don't understand? First of all if you live right on a busy road keep your pets contained, second if you can't afford to feed them and spay or neuter them you have no right owning them! The only thing I can do is contact animal control and warn people if you drive on Prices Creek road right before it turns into Hortons creek please go very slow!

Chemical Spraying of Roads


I've had trouble with my car lately and now without one for 4 days. The mechanic said that the line that carried the transmission fluid had rusted due to chemicals that the state sprayed on the road every winter. If I had not been near a garage when the line started leaking, I could had locked up the transmission. Please take note and spray the undercarrage of your cars to clean these chemicals off. He stated that he has replaced more hard lines and repaired more damage this year due to this problem then ever before. I don't know if the state will stop spraying the roads but maybe if enough people will talk to them they might change the spray for snow removal. Thank you

I would also like to thank the gentleman who recommended the mechanic and for Lil Smokies for letting my grandaughter and me sit in their restraurant with our things until my daughter could pick us up. Thank you all so much for your kindness.

Spruce Pine Barbecue and Bluegrass Festival


I am writing this comment in regards to the Spruce Pine Barbecue and Bluegrass Festival.What a great line up of entertainment,vendors,and food.Sounded like great fun in the mountains!Shame that it was labeled a family event though.My family has opted out two years in a row because the festival is so alcohol friendly as well.We will be enjoying events like these at Dollywood where it is truly family friendly and quests aren't walking around with their cups of alcohol.Shame our money is going to the state of Tennessee.Just saying.And we know there are lots of other families in our area who feel the same.The Mount Mitchel Crafts Fair doesn't serve alcohol either,and we wouldn't miss it.Funny,they have had great success without alcohol.

Poet Laureate


Governor McCrory appointed someone who simply enjoys writing poetry to the position of North Carolina Poet Laureate.  This is like awarding a Medal of Honor to someone who just joined the Army.

Being Rude to Waitresses


It is a shame that some people cannot go out to eat at a restaurant and treat the waitresses with the respect. These young people are working hard to make a living and go to school to better themselves, not lay around and let the government keep them up. Most people do not even leave a tip anymore and that is the way they make their money. Waitresses do not cook your food, complain to the manager if you are not happy with the food Or else stay home and cook your own.

Road Construction


There is such a thing as working at night. Less traffic and no "heat". Just saying.
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 I normally don't read the "opinions of others" because THANK GOD we are not all alike but, this is one thing that gets my attention. The road repair. All of you that feel like driving thru a maze, on a bumpy road, and have a detour should look at standing in HEAT for hours to keep you from running into a harmful situation. I really feel bad for the ones who stand in 80 and 90 degree heat for long hours so the roads will be improved.

Energy Exploration


We as a community need to be concerned about Fracking. We shouldn't roll over and keep our heads in the sand. There are a lot of things that we know and much more that we don't. Let's be informed and not allow our Representatives to pull the wool over our eyes. Several towns have already had meetings to discuss what can be done by ordinances to prevent Fracking in their community. We need to do the same. It's not safe. Call your Representatives and let them know where you stand, more importantly VOTE when the time comes and show them where you stand!
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Representative Presnell is either "gullible" or "Ignorant" (meaning the absent of knowledge) is she believes everything she reads, especially information from individuals who are heavily paid by large corporations either politically or under the table. NC deserves better!!!!! Shame on you Ms. Presnell. You need to do your research. Protect our environment!!!!!!!
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Rep. Presnell claims "Problems would be widespread and obvious by now. Yet, they are not."  She is wrong, and just telling you what the industry is telling her to say. There is plenty of video documentation.  But people who rely on the lamestream media, such as commercial tv like Fox "news", are not going to hear about the problems because the lobbyists and PACs who own our government now also own the mainstream media. They will do or say anything to protect their profits.  It doesn't matter if you are a Christian or not, it doesn't matter if you are a conservative or a liberal, it doesn't matter if you are straight or gay - drinking chemicals from fracked water sources is going to hurt you.  If it was so safe, why would Rep. Presnell make it a crime for healthcare professionals to tell you what made you sick?

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Mining and Energy Commission Chair Jim Womack wrote these two letters in regards to North Carolina Environmental Partnership Ads and Political Ads on Fast Track Fracking.
Letter 1
Letter 2
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Ethylene glycol has many uses, including as antifreeze in cooling and heating systems, in hydraulic brake fluids, and as a solvent.  When humans consume ethylene glycol here are the health effects: throat and upper respiratory tract irritation, central nervous system (CNS) depression, followed by cardiopulmonary effects, and later renal damage.
Boric acid and its sodium borate salts are active ingredients in pesticide products used as insecticides, acaricides, algaecides, herbicides, fungicides and as wood preservatives. It causes testicular atrophy in males and developmental toxicity in pregnant females. It kills unborn children.
 
The regulations sited say companies cannot inject “waste” water containing these chemicals horizontally under land that is not under contract to the mining company. It does not say they cannot inject them during the initial mining process, and even if they break the law and dump into your land you have to prove it and they are only convicted of a misdemeanor, like a speeding ticket………….
 ……..small fine, no jail time, no compensation for your heart attacks, kidney failure, shriveled parts, and miscarriages.
The good news is it might not happen here! It will happen in the Piedmont! We may be able to send a few folks down there to frack them and make some money! Who cares if it’s not us …..right?
 
I really hope we are better than this. Apparently our representatives are not.
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I have received quite a bit of feedback about energy exploration recently. I hope the information below will help address some concerns.
 
Energy exploration began in 1948. There are currently 38 states that are exploring for natural gas. More than a million projects have been undertaken in the United States, and 2.5 million worldwide.  Problems would be widespread and obvious by now. Yet, they are not.
 
We will not lift the moratorium on drilling until all the regulations created by the Mining and Energy Commission (MEC) are in place. Once the rule-making process is completed (which I’m told will be summer 2015), there will be 60-day waiting period. At that point, permits will be issued. The last time I saw the stack of papers, they were about an inch thick, and were filled with rules and regulations.  They are not finished yet. We will have the tightest set of rules in the nation.
 
The U.S. Geological survey says The Deep River Basin – a potential gas field – is mostly in Lee, Moore and Chatham Counties.
 
We are lagging behind in energy exploration in North Carolina.  On the issue of the chemicals, 
99.5% of the fluid is water and sand. The rest is common household items such as Sodium Chloride used in table salt, Ethylene Glycol used in household cleaners, Borate salts used in cosmetics, Sodium/Potassium Carbonate used in detergent, Guar Gum used in ice cream and Isopropanol, used in deodorant.
 
Per SB 786, we added this provision:

"§ 113-395.2. Subsurface injection of waste prohibited.
(a) Disposal of wastes produced in connection with oil and gas exploration,
development, and production, and use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing treatments
for that purpose by injection to subsurface or groundwaters of the State by means of wells is
prohibited in accordance with G.S. 143-214.2.
(b) Notwithstanding G.S. 143-214.2, a violation of subsection (a) of this section shall
constitute a Class 1 misdemeanor.
 
We prohibit injection and the MEC has draft rules dealing with recycling of fluids or onsite treatment.  For the water retained in the formation, these formations are below the water table (well below), so there is no risk of contamination (to wit, these rocks already are full of high salinity “formation water” that does not impact overlying potable aquifers).  MEC rules not only deal with water treatment, but they also deal with chemical disclosure and require the companies to post general chemical info on the national FracFocus registry.
 
I have heard from DENR that there will not be hydraulic fracturing anywhere in Western North Carolina. However, there is opportunity in WNC for job creators to help supply the industry.
 
I share your concerns and will do everything I can to keep our mountains safe.
 
Please email me back if you have any questions. And feel free to forward this to whoever would like more information.  
 
Thank you,
Michele (NC Representative Michele Presnell)
Further information about Hydraulic Fracking
 

Main Street Roads


 I really love the new sidewalks in town and they look great! Now if we just had some roads to go along with them. All of Main Street from where the Shell station was to the Rescue Squad building are terrible! It is like driving through an obstacle course trying to miss all the potholes, bumps, and missing pavement. The roads off of Main aren't any better...drive up to the park off the square, it will jar your teeth out! I understand not wanting to do repairs to the by-pass with the new road coming through but what is the excuse for Main Street?

Racing on Sunset Drive


Yes Racing At appx. 11:15 Monday night three cars WITH THEIR LIGHTS OFF made three trips up Cherry Lane and Then up Sunset Drive across the Blind Hill at a High Rate of Speed, Hope they had fun Bet it never entered either drivers mind What if there had been a vehicle coming up other side of the Blind hill with a Family in it with no way to know that three cars was racing toward them and you killed a dad,  mom, kids  maybe a whole family. Also there are several people some in small groups, some couples who walk up Sunset Drive and continue around the block. WHAT IF YOU who are running with your lights off Racing Run them down and kill them. What do you think if the lead car hits another vehicle the second car in line hits lead car then third car hits second car in line and so on. Also if lead car GOD FORBID does hit and kill or anybody guess what the rest of you whether in one of cars or driving one are all going to face charges.

Speeding Thru Town


As I read on the news page that Chief Buchanan reported that his department had thus far issued 216 citations and that speeding had decreased, I thought First of all I guess it matters where you live in Burnsville, as well as who you are Because I certainly Don't see no difference on the road where I reside on in town limits. Second I thought some people who have lived here all their lives along with past generations every since Yancey County And Burnsville became a County and Town some have pleaded with the Police Department to do something about the speeding, littering as well as destruction of property by spinning through a section of ones property With little results from police departments Third I read on news page that a couple of people had commented that the speeding problems were decreasing, amazing then I recalled how that some people and business owners come to town meeting complaining about the speeding problem as well as drivers not letting pedestrians cross, along with signs leading to public parking WOW did the mayor put things in motion quickly assigned an officer to walk the beat, It is my opinion that if this had been a group people that was Born Here as well as their descendants and paid taxes had brought these same problems before the board we would got the answer we will do our best but because of who these people are who have moved in and taking over they got the ball rolling quick. As for pedestrians crossing what are all the crosswalks for? The visitors think they can just step out in the road anywhere and expect drivers to stop on a dime they must think they are special. The citations that has been issued according to the chief I wonder were they town tickets if so there is no Database to keep up with citations, these tickets put no points on liscense or Insurance only a fine what does this teach anyone? Town police can also issue State Tickets" But Rarely do" that will put points on your license and Insurance that's money for the ticket, money for points on Insurance and something on one's driving record that would allow any law officer to see what they have been written up for in the past. In my opinion this would have more impact. I also wonder if it depends on who your parents are or relatives,  or whether you are a democrat or republican determines whether some have to pay town tickets or might  they hear I will take care of it Remember they have no database so only a select few know-" I don't know this goes on" however favoritism has shown it's head in our County and Town before. This is my  opinion  also anyone reading this has the right to agree or disagree.

Grand Ole Opry Tribute Show


The Grand Ole Opry Tribute show was great. I am so proud of all of our hometown people that put so much hard work in to organizing, promoting and performing this show. All of these people are AWESOME. Our little small town is starved for good entertainment and we have so much talent here in Yancey County. I would love to see more people that are so talented. We need more shows like this in a larger building that can safely accommodate a large crowd. As much as we appreciate Mountain Heritage High School. We do need a larger building. I would love to see a place that would be in the edge of town, or just outside of town with a huge parking area that would accommodate all kinds of community functions, everything from church functions to conventions. I know a lot of people would fear what it might bring, along with the success that it might bring to our county. The revenue would help us plus it might help bring a special talented persons dreams come true with the right exposure. Just thinking of the good it might bring. Love Yancey County and proud of you all.

19W Nascar Raceway


I didn't know 19 W has now become a Nascar Raceway! I didn't get the memo. Great, so now i too can drive 60 MPH like everyone else and pass on the double yellow line! What a relief ! I can now disregard the safety of other drivers, bicyclists , children, pets and wildlife i come across! Good , because i am constantly late to work and it's all about me getting where I need to go!

Roads in Burnsville


can someone, town or county or state, or whoever is responsible for the roads inside of city limits, please do something at the intersection of Holcombe Brothers and Flowers by Vance and Pensacola Rd, patch or dig up the rest of the asphalt down to the dirt to at least try to make a smooth section in the road. we claim to be wanting tourists to come to our beautiful town, but our roads are crappy. spend some of the money on the repairs of the roads in Burnsville, or are we going for the cobble stone street effect?

Should Cats Be in Library


For us and our children with cat allergies and who have suffered cat bites and scratches and fleas, the answer is no. Plus its unfair to the cats, they are bored and teased.

Patrols


I am so happy that I live in a crime free county! This has to be the case since there is nothing for the county deputies or town police to do at night other than sit along 19E to watch the Altec 2nd shift employees drive home from work. Most night there is 3 or 4 of them between Altec and Glen Raven.If they don't have anything more important to do I'm sure many of the taxpayers of this county would be glad to tell them where drug activity is going on in their communities and wait...and wait... and wait for them to do something about that. I work for a living so how about leaving me alone and do something about all the ILLEGAL employement in our county. I bet you wouldn't even have to leave the city limits!

President Does What He Wants


I wound like to express my opinion, as well as bring facts to the public interest. This is not concerning one being a democrat or republican, it is another example of President Obama demonstrating his Disregarding the Constitution, as well as Disregarding an order that no prisoner could be transferred before thirty days from git-mo. President Obama once again used his Presidential powers to DO WHAT HE WANTED. "which is  becoming a common thing" The very Idea That The President Of The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Sworn to uphold the Constitution Of This COUNTRY. Would make the decision to trade five seasoned Taliban fighters which has had the life mission to bring harm, death to all Americans for one Soldier who was a prisoner of war which goes against The Law of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. "that we as a nation "DO NOT NEGOTIATE WITH TERRORIST" IT was reported that the reason for the trade was the decline of the Soldier's health, I do not know what the extent of the Soldiers health problems are but if you have been able to watch the video of the exchange the Soldier was able to walk under his own power to  the Helicopter. Then it gets more sickening to me when it was reported that the five Taliban gave their word that would stay where they were advised to and other things.( I SAY HOGWASH) Myself I would not believe none of the Taliban if their tongues came notarized. President Obama has used his executive powers to much I believe "my opinion in which each one has the right to agree or disagree" It appears that the President is bound to make THIS GREAT NATION A SOCIALIST ONE. He wants to take away OUR RIGHTS, OUR Right to Bear Arms, Force us into Obama Care, make it legal for two men or two women to berecognized as a couple as well as the murder of little innocent Babies and force all the rest of us to accept it." Personally I NEVER WILL" their are many other things I would like to address but almost out of space. May I Also Give My Opinion that Some Democrats and Republicans have the same agenda's that's not favorable or for the best interest of the AMERICAN PEOPLE .It  Is Time To Wake Up And Stand And Fight This Kind Of Government. Our Nation Is one of Democracy NOT One of Dictatorship The AMERICAN PEOPLE ELECTS PRESIDENT'S. CERTAINLY WE DON'T WANT A KING. 

Medicaid Denied, Help with Meds?


You might try contacting North Carolina Health Choice for insurance for your child. The contact information follows: North Carolina Health Choice Childrens Health Insurance Program PO Box 30111 Durham, NC 27702-3111 1-800- 422- 4658 http://www.healthinsurancefinders.com/healthinsurance/north-carolina/schip.html ...quote from site, "There are two plan options available. The family income will determine in which plan you are enrolled. Health Check is the Medicaid program for the lowest income families and Health Choice is available to families that are not eligible for Medicaid but meet the NCHC income guidelines". Might be worth a try. Also, the Health Insurance Marketplace might be able to help you find a policy that qualifies for incentives: http://www.healthcare.gov or 1-800-318-2596 I wish you the best.
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I know how you feel . We make enough that we don't qualify for help but even with the new health insurance it still costs more than we can afford because of medical bills from not having insurance and now we will have to pay a penalty too.  It is upsetting your child needs help..
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My husband and work 30+ every week...both have insurance.. And my son who was on medicad now is not eligible because they say we make too much a month...but yet we are barely making ends meet. My son has ADHD and has to have his meds daily.. We can't afford to put him on our insurance, or get private insurance for him. So is there anyone out there that could tell me what I need to do to get my son the meds that he needs with some assistance?

Road Construction


I am aggravated because the state comes along and digs up a section of road then leaves it for months without repaving. Even going over the bad place slow every day is hard on the car. Why leave a place in the road with no pavement? 
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is anyone else getting as aggravated with the progress of the road widening project as I am? they have cut the road up so badly that the pot holes have pot holes. I don't know if my vehicle will survive the construction or not. I don't know about you all, but my vehicle has to last me for several years and at the rate the construction is going it is going to be a very short life for a lot of taxpayers vehicles. why have they not changed the traffic pattern to get us on the new sections that they have completed?

Stop Fracking in NC, Property Rights Threatened


Hydraulic fracturing involves injecting a witch’s brew of water laced with a range of toxic chemicals, including known carcinogens, and sand, which is injected down a well, under high pressure, to fracture rock. This process generates contaminated wastewater that is often pumped underground in order to get rid of it. Geologist and the journal Geophysical Research Letters have linked earthquakes in Ohio, Texas and Oklahoma to fracking. New research from the National Academy of Science leaves little doubt that drinking water near fracking sites are contaminated with toxic chemicals. Please do your own research about the dangers. The only ones saying this is safe are scientist working for gas companies. State representatives are willing to risk North Carolina's water, its land and the health of its people, by allowing hydraulic fracking for gas. All for just a 12 day national supply of gas ( the U.S. Geological Survey estimate of natural gas in N.C) . The job projections are laughable because no one knows. Those like you are saying thousands of jobs yet the the DENR report projected drilling activities in the 59,000-acre Sanford sub-basin would sustain an annual average of 387 jobs over seven years, peaking with 858 jobs in year six. Commerce chiefs noted the drilling jobs are temporary, and the demand will dry up once the maximum number of wells has been drilled. Most jobs are highly skilled and will likely be given to people from out of state. One very important fact that many people are not aware of is " Compulsory/Forced pooling". This a process whereby the Oil & Gas industry takes the property rights of citizens that refuse to sign a lease, by force of law. If your neighbors who own land leases that land to the industry and you refuse to lease your land to them, the industry takes over your property against your will. the present law in N.C. SB820, part 5, section 4a, paragraph b & b1 on page 18, states that a driller who does not have surface rights to a property can give the property owner a 30 day notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, after which time the driller can send crews to the property to survey, cut timber, put in roads, pipelines , storage tanks even locate a well on your property all against your will. To add insult to injury, paragraph b1 makes YOU responsible for the workers safety while they are on your land. The Legislature is not addressing property rights during the short session because they are afraid that they will be voted out of office if citizens realize that they are giving the Oil & Gas industry the property rights of the citizens of N.C. Compulsory/Forced Pooling is unnecessary, unwanted and un-American !! So for 12 days of gas, under 400 jobs the GOP lead state house is willing to destroy our water, risk our land and throw land owners rights out the door. Makes you wonder who the Koch Brothers got to doesn't I hear many of you complain about the rights that our national government are taking away. I say you better be just as concerned about you state GOP reps. TELL THEN NO FRACKING IN NC.

East Yancey Unfair to Parents and Visitors


East Yancey is the only school in the county to deny guest wireless access to parents and guest speakers/presenters. That's not 'community-friendly' and only limits the school's ability to provide education from outside sources and speakers. It's rude to both us parents and professional guests visiting the school. It may be our county's 'School To Watch' - but it's not a school that makes you feel welcome.

Alcohol in Burnsville


When Burnsville held the election to get alcohol in Burnsville there was talk of how if we got the alcohol in that there would be more restaurants come into the area. Now that we have the alcohol in and have had it in for awhile now, where is the bigger and better restaurants at?

Response on "Cold Dog"


"OH by the way dog's were made by God to live outside" Ummm, so were we. And your other comment "However the Babies killed by abortion and the children as well as adults are far more important to me than Animals." Than do something about it instead of jumping in on other peoples opinions/comments about totally different topics and slamming them for not voicing your own concerns. We have ours and you have yours, would you like it if somebody slammed your opinion/comment because it wasn't what they thought was important. Its all important, so start your own topic voicing your concerns and leave others alone.

Thanks D.O.T.


I'd like to say thanks to the DOT workers during all this snow. They got out in really bad cold weather to keep our roads as clear as possible. Thank you!