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It seems as though the Yancey paper has an axe to grind regarding gun control. I'd like to take a moment to respond to some of the things said by Chris Fitzsimon and Dr. Haaga:
Regarding the CCW class and access to guns: I have a very hard time personally taking the word of the person quoted at face value. Regardless, in my opinion, there are only two places a gun ought to be kept - either locked away, or under your direct control, worn on your person. A gun stored the way the liability lawyers recommend (locked, unloaded, with ammo locked elsewhere) is useless for defensive purposes.
I find the "75% of kids know where the gun(s) in the house are kept" VERY disingenuous. I, like most of you, probably know where the money is kept in our local banks, right? There is quite a difference between knowing WHERE it is, and being able to walk in and TAKE it, correct? Also keep in mind that the ideal storage place for guns not on your person is a safe, and the best ones are large enough to have room for other valuables and also insulation against fire. In other words, too big to hide away somewhere easily, hence most people living in the house would naturally have a good idea where the guns were if such a safe were used.
Five percent of high school students report carrying a gun in the past 30 days? The horror! Oh wait...I guess if one is doing a lawful activity with a gun - like hunting or target shooting - that one would be carrying a gun then, correct?
And to Dr. Haaga - exactly what kind of "history of mental illness" would be the threshold to remove the right to keep and bear arms, I wonder? Seeing a therapist for mild depression issues? Taking an antidepressant or anti-anxiety medicine? I've seen how some of the more zealous gun-haters think, they would love nothing more than to strip the 2A rights of someone who once had to take a few Valium before a particularly rough dental procedure! Also, one wonders where his "ideal" threshold is for doing it to those who abuse alcohol or drugs?
Lack of treatment for addicts and the mentally ill contributes to problems in our nation. I would state that blanket statements such as those made by the Doctor make the problem worse by making some people more hesitant to seek what treatment is available, for fear of losing their rights. Even those who don't care about guns one way or the other might be worried that such a thing can follow you around, showing up on employer background checks and the like.
Incidentally, as an NRA member, I don't appreciate having words put into my mouth over what kind of gun laws I would and would not object to. Much like when Obama lied and claimed that 90% of America as well as most of the NRA was in favor of "universal background checks."
And regarding those background checks, once again a law is proposed as a solution that will only affect and inconvenience those who are law-abiding in the FIRST place. If ever I have a need to sell a gun to someone I do not personally know well enough to be sure he's trustworthy to own it, I'll WANT to go and do it through a dealer who can do a check. If on the other hand I'm a shady character, and I know the buyer is...what, pray tell, is stopping us from doing the transaction there anyway, law or no law?
I leave you with two quotes from two very different Presidents - my, how things have changed!
"Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom."
-John F. Kennedy
"Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems; some of these same voices also doing their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices.
The picture in the newspaper of the girls' volleyball team shows that the choice in uniforms shows no respect for these girls or those who would like to watch them play. Surely parents have taken issue with the revealing costume! Dads?! Should a male teacher or coach have to see his students in this sexualized outfit? Doesn't the uniform violates the dress code of the school? I am appalled at the disrespect shown these students and question the judgment and morality of the decision to allow them to be exploited.
After being diagnosed with lung cancer and in addition to having COPD and several other ailments, I moved into an assisted living facility in Yancey County. My daughter worked there and my family came to my aid, putting things in place to help me anyway that they could. That’s when I was introduced to Yancey Hospice. One of my goals from the very beginning was to return to my home. There was an intermittent stay with another daughter in Madison County for approximately five months. Yancey Hospice came to Mars Hill and provided the same expert care they provided for me in the assisted living facility in Yancey County.
I was then able to return home. This could not have happened without hospice. They work diligently to ensure that I have the medications and assistance that I need. They watch for any signs that I might be getting sick and act immediately before things get out of hand. This allows me to stay at home and out of the hospital. I now have a CAP worker that comes four hours a day and some folks from Community Action Opportunities did home repairs on my trailer so that I am warm and feel more secure. Yancey Hospice assisted in helping me access these resources.
I believe the excellent care I have received from Yancey Hospice has helped me to maintain some of my independence and to be able to be at home instead of having to possibly go to a long term care facility. I am grateful for their support, the care they have provided and the love and respect that they have shown to me and my family. November is National Hospice Month and I, for one, want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you each and everyone for the smiles and the laughter, and for the care that you provide….and especially for spirit in which it is delivered. God Bless.
The 10th Annual Town Square Scamper 5K was held last Saturday morning. Minnie and I were very happy to be among the participants and sponsors of this race. The support of the volunteers, Burnsville Fire Department, Burnsville Police Department, School Foundation Board Members, Yancey County Schools personnel, Mountain Heritage Drum Circle, Girls on the Run, and the staff of the State Employees Credit Union sure made this race a lot of fun and enjoyable for all of the runners.
Why are only 6th graders subject to the rules set forth in the 6th Grade Action Plan for East Yancey Middle School? This is supposed to pertain to bullying, but humiliation is a far cry from helping to set an example. (i.e. - see rule #3) The rules are: 1. No Talking at breakfast, hallways (including bathrooms), lunch and classrooms unless given permission. 2. Teacher escort to and from every class. 3. Head down when an adult enters the room. 4. No getting out of seat without permission. 5. Lunchroom seating - Alphabetical Order. 6. No Friday walking. 7. No Fantastic Friday. 8. No Panther Pride. 9. No Dance. 10. No Halloween Celebration. Consequences: 3 tallies in one day - Lunch Detention. 3 Lunch Detentions - ISS 9 tallies in one week - ISS According to the rules brought home by EYMS 6th graders, the action is strict because the school cares enough to help the children be successful in the classroom and in life. The above privileges can be earned back with good behavior. The rules were signed 'Love, East Yancey Middle School'. Why are these rules not school wide? Why are 7th and 8th graders not subject to the same rules? Are Cane River 6th graders subject to the same set of rules through this 'action plan'? I'm sure many parents will have lots of questions for EYMS teachers and the school board.
This is to respond to some of the things being said regarding the Yancey County Humane Society. Yes, I still am calling it Yancey COUNTY Humane Society, but I have no qualm that the name is shortened to Yancey Humane Society. It is much better than “shelter” or “pound”. If it is called Yancey Humane Society, and had The Tarver Foundation contributions been accepted, it would be more fitting, as more animals could be helped.
First, I have been in the facility many times and have always been well treated. Every time I have been there, the facility has been clean, no odors, with well kept holding areas for potential adoptees, one of the finest, cleanest shelters I have ever visited.
I respect and admire the devoted employees who clean up after God’s beloved, yet homeless, creatures, the staff that performs the tasks of clean up and feeding. This is quite a job for minimum wage, requiring someone be in attendance there 365 days per year. It takes someone who truly loves animals to perform these duties.
I am expressing my appreciation for the laborers who work their scheduled hours on a daily basis. I have spoken with Tim Tipton on numerous occasions and he has always been pleasant to me. My problem is with conflicting statements he has made.
Tim told me personally that there were no paid positions other than the shelter employees and himself, the Executive Director. Recently, an assistant to the Executive Director was hired. The person filling that position is none other than Tim’s wife. It is my understanding that Tim was recently granted a raise and is now earning approximately $38,000 per year, and his wife’s earnings are approximately $20,000 per year, both of these on salary. Every institution needs a leader, and the leader often needs an assistant. Working on salary as a leader can be understood, as there are often meetings and special events that require more time. However, most of us are aware that salaried workers often work fewer hours overall than hourly workers. Did any of the laborers receive a raise? Where did the money come from for this new position?
I understand that the bell was a donation from an artist, Rita Tata. I have worked with many artists and most of them are animal lovers, so it is no surprise that this artist was generous with her time, cost, and talent to install this for YCHS. But where did the money for the 60” flat panel TV screen come from? Who donated that? Why have statements been made that the TV was for educational purposes, when it has actually been referred to by staff as “the babysitter” for the Tipton children after school?
What were the criteria for the Petsmart grant? This information has not been released, and it was quite shocking to Petsmart that a needed donation was refused. I don’t expect they shall ever offer again.
It was stated in an editorial that The Tarver Foundation would not have a veterinarian on staff at all times to perform spays and neuters and in house care. No veterinarian, or any other worker, is available at all times. That is why all workplaces use a schedule. Dr. Tarver performs his services at no fee whatsoever and does not have any monetary motive for his contributions. The salary for an assistant to Dr. Tarver, in the event he didn’t bring his own, could have been covered by the salary of the assistant to the executive director. So why not proceed with a center to do this necessary work? If you build it, they will come. Or, is there an agenda that we are unaware of that keeps YCHS driving into Asheville every month to have the work done at The Humane Alliance? Could it be having students practicing spaying and neutering of our animals provides some unknown financial benefit to YCHS? I don’t expect Dr. Tarver to offer his services any longer, which will probably cause an increase in price for the low cost rabies vaccinations.
As far as Tim’s statement that no owners of cats or dogs over 40 pounds had not had to pay for spaying and neutering in over three years, this is absolutely not true. I paid full price to have two cats fixed less than two years ago, got the paperwork to prove it. I had them scheduled to take the van to Asheville at the proper time and age but was called the week prior and told that there weren’t enough passengers to make the trip that month, they would put me on the list for the next month. When my babies were finally fixed, I was scolded because the female was beginning her first heat. I had her scheduled, I didn’t change the schedule, so don’t scold me. I’m grateful that she was taken just in time before she was impregnated.
If a large breed dog has reached over 40 pounds, it still needs to be fixed, albeit probably a bit later than it should. What about the small breed dogs that will never reach 40 pounds? This policy exempts them from any low cost spaying or neutering.
I know persons on both sides of the Flea Fiasco. Witnesses (plural) tell the same story regarding the breaking of rules and the escalation of tempers that resulted in the police being called. YCHS told the volunteers to run it in the best manner they agreed upon, then employees of the shelter wanted to break the agreement. Many of these volunteers will not be back next year. The Flea took in over $50,000 last year and was expected to hit $60,000 this year, but did not, due partially to the fact that YCHS created a situation that caused the folks who put this event together to walk away.
I write this with respect to all parties involved and also to say that not everything being put out by YCHS is true, having personally experienced some of these situations as a taxpaying resident of Yancey County.
Thank you for the opportunity to give my opinion.
Concerning the letters and statements made against Yancey Humane Society, Jane Mummert and Tim Tipton printed in the Times Journal Newspaper, we assure members, donors and anyone with concerns the letters in question are filled with falsehoods and misinformation. We want to ask all of you to question the intent of these letters. Please share this post to help us get the truth out.
You only need ask yourself, why would we do the things stated in these letters? We wouldn't. Many of the complaints are just not true and others are misleadingly presented in a way to draw the reader to a "certain" conclusion. These allegations do not represent the good stewardship displayed by the board of directors of YHS and its management. We feel these issues must be addressed as our image and our ability to raise the funds necessary to help homeless and unwanted pets in Yancey County has been negatively impacted.
Statements about using donated funds to pay for frivolous items are false, and statements saying we arrogantly turned down $70,000 to build a surgery suite are false.
1. No shelter funds were used to purchase Flat Panel TV's, the memorial bell, benches or the memorial park. The TV's were paid for by restricted grant funds approved by the granter for that purpose. The memorial park and the remembrance bell were completely paid for by funds specifically donated for those purposes by private donors. The bell was only possible because its creator, artist Raven Tata donated her time and talents with the donor covering the cost of materials.
2. The surgical suite was given full consideration by the board of directors. The Tarver Foundation was willing to provide some money to help build the surgical suite itself but would not provide any funding for the ongoing annual expenses that would have been incurred by its creation. We did not meet the criteria to qualify for the Petsmart grant. The “in-house” surgeries would have been more expensive due to the required salaries, medical equipment, medicines and other overhead costs associated with doing the surgeries at the shelter. YHS had and has an existing spay/neuter program with the Humane Alliance of WNC that covers this service. We also have grants that pay for most public pets to be spayed/neutered for free or very low cost. Therefore, we could not in good faith accept the Tarver Foundation funds.
We invite anyone with concerns to drop by the shelter to find out the facts for themselves. Take a tour of the shelter, meet our adorable pets and see for yourself all the wonderful programs and services we offer our community. The shelter is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Fridays from noon - 5pm and Saturdays from noon - 4pm. The shelter telephone number is 682-9510 and is only answered during business hours.
Tim Tipton, Executive Director and Yancey Humane Society Board of Directors
Personally i feel horses are an integral part of the Christmas parade an a part of the heritage an culture of this area as well as other areas. It is also infringing on peoples rights. I don't know what the issue is but whatever it is people need to deal with it. I guarantee you if there are no horses you will also lose many spectators. If its horse poop then have a cleanup crew with a wheelbarrow and shovel, if its injury then work with it. You can fall off a ladder,get hit by a car or what have you.
I personally think it is a disgrace to ban horses from something that they have been involved in for years. Maybe they should ban everything from the parade that has exhaust emissions. At least the emissions from horses aren't harmful to you people that don't like them. If you don't like a beautiful creature than don't look at them. Just because your not happy with your life, it doesn't mean you have to ruin everyone else's happiness. God Bless and Have a Nice Day
There will be no horse in this years Christmas parade, I say Thank Goodness! Maybe I will attend this year.
I just recently heard that there are not going to be any horses allowed to be ridden in the Christmas parade! I just personally feel like this is insane. We live in a place where horses are part of our everyday life. Sure there could be accidents, but there could be accidents with anything in the parade including the floats! I think its just because people like to complain about the horse poop....BIG DEAL! Having personally ridden in the parade, I feel like this is just nonsense!
The Shelter was closed on that Saturday because most of the shelter staff ended up having to work the Flea Market when the volunteers quit. There were only 2 kennel staff left to feed, clean and take care of the dogs and no one to run the front office. There was no time to get that announcement out in the paper, so a sign was placed on the door explaining why we were closed.
I just read where you said that shelter employees are allowed to shop at the flea market prior to the doors opening because they are too busy at the shelter to come during regular hours. I wonder why no one answered the phone when I called twice on that Saturday. Their hours are listed as 12-5 on Saturdays. I called once at 12:25 and again at 12:32 and let it rings for 60 seconds each time. No answer=No business!
In the Yancey Journal for October, 9, 2013 there was a letter to the editor from the "Flea Market Committee" wanting to set the record straight. This was the first year that a committee was in charge of this monumental fundraising task. In previous years, one chairperson and possibly a co-chair organized and directed all of the hardworking volunteers. It is a exhausting job and I know this from first hand experience as I was co-chair for several years. The committee was formed so that the overseeing of the fundraiser would be spread out...seemed like a good idea at the onset. This most important fundraiser is now an expected tradition in this county...the Shelter raises much needed funds and the people of Yancey County have a great opportunity to shop for bargains. It is a "Win - Win"! The letter in the paper detailed the yelling and screaming, Police arriving, and the eventual "Mutiny" of the committee. In my opinion this did not have to end this way. Shelter employees have always been allowed to "shop" prior as they are at the Shelter taking care of the critters during the sale. I support the decision of Laurie Bohn and Jane Mummert in overriding the Committee's decision not to allow this tradition. These folks on this "committee" need to remember the bottom line and should not have revolted the way that they did. This was a three month long endeavor and all parties were extremely tired so maybe a little deep breathing and stepping back might have been in order. Anger was not a solution...See you next year! Barkley and Miss Kitty
On behalf of our sponsors - the Town of Burnsville, the Graham Children's Health Services, the Yancey County Chamber of Commerce, and the Mitchell-Yancey Substance Abuse Task Force, I want to thank all of the folks that came to our 1st Annual Movie Night on the Square. The weather was perfect, the snacks were delicious, and it was just great fun to enjoy an outdoor movie with your family and friends. Hope to see you next year.
Ron Powell, Town Councilor and Board Member of Graham Children's Health Services
On behalf of Clearmont Elementary School, I would like to express my sincerest appreciation for the outpouring of support for our kindergarten student, Morgan Warren, and her family. As you may recall, Morgan won our Holiday Essay contest before the Winter Break, which articulated her wish for her little brother to have a tomb rock (tombstone).
On Thursday, December 20th, the story appeared on the WKYK website, and the phone began ringing at Clearmont, with members of the school community calling to see how they could help with the purchase of the tombstone. Beginning the next day, we began our break early due to snow, but that didn’t stop the outpouring of kindness. The story ran in The Yancey County Times Journal and The Yancey County News in the following days, and the faculty, staff, and I received numerous calls from people all over the county, some that didn’t even know the family, but were touched by the story and wanted to help.
I spoke with Dawn Warren, Morgan’s mother, and she said, “You just don’t know what this means to us. I can’t begin to tell you have much we appreciate the caring people in Yancey County.” Dennis Wilson, owner of Yancey Memorials, is to be commended for setting up the tombstone fund and taking the time to speak with all of the people that were interested in donating. According to Dennis, as of today, the family has chosen the tombstone, and it has been completely paid for by the compassionate, generous members of our county.
Angie Anglin, Principal
Clearmont Elementary School
I have noticed at the town square,that most people don't use turn signals to let oncoming traffic know you are continuing on main street.How hard would it be to signal people waiting to come onto the square that you are turning?