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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.

New Elementary School


No one has commented on the fact that Micaville elementary school is as old as the others they are closing. Don"t the children there need a new school also? Are they going to have to wait until the new school in the west end of the county is paid for?
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I agree the decision has been made. The new school WILL be built so stop complaining and accept it.
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 I understand people's frustration over the changes coming to Yancey County's schools. But please try to understand that the member's on the school board have worked long and hard to find the BEST solution for you and your children. Most members of the board are retired school teachers or school officials, and they understand the long history of these small elementary schools. This could not have been an easy decision for them. To say that they already had their minds made up, they took the easy way out, or to assume they didn't look at every option and angle is ludicrous. I have been following this story from afar (all the way across the state) through this website and the Yancey Times Journal. I have read the various impact studies, and although it may not be the most convenient for you and your family at this time, it does seem that a brand new facility would meet the needs of the MOST students in the MOST economical way possible. If you haven't been to one of these schools recently, visit Bald Creek or Clearmont after a heavy rain. Many classrooms have STANDING water that flood the kid's cubbies and desks. Teachers and custodians spend hours trying to remove the water, and clean up the debris so that the kids can have a safe environment. You will also feel the drafts of cold air coming through the old windows and cracks in the walls. You can look at the collapsing ceiling tiles hanging above their heads. It's sad that nostalgia seems to be more important to some than the health and well being of their children. 
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Look the schools that are mentioned in this article are old and dilapidated and I believe are located in a flood area and one of those schools has to be pumped every month because of the flood area. There is nothing that can be done about a flood area, once a flood area always a flood area. I can somewhat under stand your bus issues but it's for the better of the school system. Also the wiring in those schools are outdated and are fire hazards. Come on people your little community is changing it has to,thing don't last forever. Matter of fact the whole area needs changied and yes I live here and work here. 
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Couldn't  11.5 million dollars, divided between Bee Log, Clearmont, and Bald Creek upgrade these schools, preserve our community centers, and keep our small children off the buses which they will ride on dark, curvy roads for hours each day? Please, please, let's talk some more. 
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 In reference to the news article placed on the WKYK website this morning (9/20/16) - I understand the need for a new elementary school, but the distance between Clearmont, Bald Creek & Bee Log is so vast. I know a lady who has a child in kindergarten at Clearmont. She said her child has to get on the school bus at 5:50am and they only live 3 miles from Clearmont Elementary School. What time will the little children have to get on a bus that live in the Bee Log district to travel to the new school? I'm sure the persons in charge will want the new school to be close to the new four-lane, not in the Jack's Creek area that might be a central location. Has anyone thought about the length of time the children will have to be on the bus to travel to and from school? Not every parent can take their child to school and pick them up at the end of the day. Some of us do work for a living, you know...Couldn't about $300,000 be spent on each of the three current schools to fix any issues there are? $900,000 is a long way from $10 million. Please reconsider your decision...please.

Stage on square!


Please, please no stage on the square! We want our grandchildren and great grandchildren to enjoy what we have on the square. Benches are wonderful, the Rock and flowers are absolutely beautiful. We could not have a more beautiful place to enhance the beauty of our town. 
 

Dog Attacks


I was surprised to see the newspaper report that after a dog attacked Katie Callahan in English Woods "nothing could be done" and she would have to pay her own medical bills. They also said there were "several vicious dog attacks in the past month" Were any of these attacks by the same dog? The dog owner can be liable for "negligence" since the attack happened on a public road. There are lawyers that specialize in these cases and will work on contingency. I know that there is one dog owner that had two vicious dogs that went to a neighbors house and attacked their dog on their own front porch. Those dogs had attacked different dogs several times. I was walking with my dog (in front of the vicious dog house) and a woman came out of the house screaming that I couldn't walk on that road and could not stand in front of the house. You think they don't know these dogs are vicious? Because of who the person is and the "old boy system" nothing was done about him. If I am ever attacked by these idiots dogs I will definitely get the most aggressive lawyer I can find. It is always the same people who have aggressive dogs. They stake them out on a chain with no love, comfort or companionship. A better solution is to ban idiots from keeping dogs! I encourage Ms Callahan to find a really nasty lawyer.

New Traffic Lights


AMEN for requesting a light at Bill Allen Branch! Who decides red light locations?
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The traffic light at Micaville is great. It is much easier to get on highway 19 on the west side of the Micaville Loop. My main question is WHY DO WE NOT HAVE A TRAFFIC LIGHT AT BILL ALLEN BRANCH? The Burnsville school traffic is a nightmare. I think traffic would move much better with the traffic light. 
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The traffic light at the intersection of East Yancey and Burnsville Elementary needs to stay green for the side roads a WHOLE lot longer. It takes forever to change and when it finally does, it literally only stays green for like 5 seconds. There are dozens of cars coming out of both sides from parents dropping off their kids at school and they don't have any time to get out on the road before it turns red again. And since nobody can be bothered to turn a signal light on, the people on the other side don't know which way they're going so nobody knows who gets to go first. Everybody sits still for a second and then they all go at once. And sometimes the traffic on the main road gets backed up and there are a bunch of cars stopped right in the middle of the intersection so nobody can go regardless. At one point this morning everybody on the Burnsville Elementary side had to sit through the light being red,turning green, and then back to red without a single car getting to go because everybody on the East Yancey side zoomed out at once. And when it turned green the second time, only two cars got to go before it turned red again. It's a hazard not only by causing extreme traffic build up, but also because people are getting mad and just pulling out no matter what. Somebody is gonna get hit. It needs to be like the light in spruce pine where each side turns green individually but if they can't do that, it should at least stay green long enough for a reasonable amount of cars to get pulled out. And since we tore up and repaved every other road in yancey county,why didn't they finish that little road that leads to Burnsville school where the bridge is? It's been done up toward the intersection but the rest of it looks awful. It would cause too much trouble with school going on to do it now but it could've been done earlier. The traffic light is the main problem though. Something really needs to be done. 

French Broad Smart Meters


I have contacted this power company several times over the past few years as to why they are getting a higher KWH reading than what the smart meter on my home is reading.I have documented this reading every day since it was installed.On the day they read-it is different.I asked if it is read by WiFi or RF-there should be no discrepany in the reading.It should be the same at my home as it is in Marshall or where they read it.I have asked to come over to Marshall several times and got excuse after excuse and they don't want me seeing this-one excuse was how much gas does it cost to come over?I guess he thought it would be cheaper to charge me for killowatts that I did not use than the gas to come to see how they are getting this different reading.Bet the smart meter on their home is accurate.My opinion is if they are charging 39,000 more or less people for more killowatts than what they use-this adds up to a lot of money each month.My opinion is there needs to be an independent auditor chosen by the people to check these killowatts.The reason I did not mention members is because I have asked if I was a member and they have not answered-I have been on this power company for many years.In the paper that is sent with your bill-many references are made about purchasing power from Duke Power-my opinion is sell it to Duke Power or deregulate so we have a choice as to who we purchase from just like our telephones,gas and oil,etc.Since they have Smart Meters now this can possibly be done.We're paying $17.00 plus tax for facility charge so we at least ought to get a meter that reads accurately.Would like to get an honest answer about this.

Town Beautification


Not only is the old gas station and the old falling down car wash an eyesore, it is dangerous! The old car wash harbors rats and other vermin and has walls that are not stable should anyone, for any reason, attempt to walk by there. The gas station looks horrible and has become a place for people to hang out and more than likely conduct business. And not the kind of business we want. If the owner refuses to sell to any one, as we have all heard, can we not at least get the town officials to force him to clean it up so it is safe and doesn't look like a disaster area?
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The Town Board talks about beautification and signs and all but why don't they do something about the trashy buildings on the bypass. When the new road gets done it will look great until you pass the overgrown old bank buildings and gas station. Can't the Town Board do something about that eyesore?

Town Square


Though it is a nice looking structure and is not gong to cost taxpayers anything I still don't think there should be a permanent stage on the town square. The square is beautiful as it is with the pretty trees and grass. A structure would ruin the way it looks. 

New Road


Does anyone know if the patch job on Pensacola Road is ever going to be repaved? Where the new road meets the old road there is a gap where the road was dug up and the new pavement doesn't reach that far. It is tearing up vehicles and when you cross it at any speed with a trailer behind your vehicle it sounds like an explosion! I just assumed when they paved the first part of Pensacola they would lay the pavement down as far as they tore it up, but obviously not.
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I have read all the comments on the new road, and I have to agree with those who find it unnecessary and some of the traffic lights pointless. To those who think this is a godsend, you are obviously not from Burnsville, and have moved here from a big city and wanted to make it like the city you came from. This new road isn't going to make Burnsville a tourist attraction, it's going to direct people straight through it. When people came to visit Burnsville, it was because it was like escaping to another time, a town only people could see while watching Andy Griffith, it was the small town, everyone knows everyone and waves charm that we had that brought people in. With this road, we have destroyed and threw away what Burnsville was. Why do you think people came on upper street and on the square? It was to see and explore all the hidden secrets of our sweet little, untouched town. The town that had the Hilltop Diner, the town that I am sure baffled people that we were a dry county and still could function, the town that was simple. If people want to get a big city feel, I can guarantee they won't be coming to Burnsville, this was a town for raising families, and if people don't like that then they can move to a place where it suits their desires. Now this grand new "needed" road is going to shuttle people and their business straight through our town, instead of getting them to stop. And this is coming from a 26 year old woman, who thought she would leave this little own town, but when I did, I came back because I soon realized that this town is the most wonderful place on Earth to live, without all the fancy and latest innovations and trafficking patterns. Let's not give our town to outsiders, who moved here because of it's beauty, only to try and make it like it is where they left. 
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Yes the new road is a disaster.And apparently you haven't had to drive over it for the last several years when it should have been done three or four years ago.Who is going to pay all of us that have been beating our automobiles to death because they couldn't even lay down a level patch that when you hit them your head goes threw the roof.My neighbors kids could have had it finished before now.With there pail and shovel.
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Yes, the road construction is an inconvenience. But change sometimes is inconvenient. What I wonder is: What are all you people going to have to complain about once this section of the road is complete? 

New Traffic Lights


I have read the negative talk about all the new traffic patterns and I have come to one conclusion. If the dot engineers who studied the traffic patterns and designed the road listened to the public this four lane would never had been built because everybody has a different idea and opinion on how it should be designed, usually for their personal preferences and convenience. I for one am glad to see at least there will be some kind of organized system now that even a kindergartner could follow instead of everybody driving as they please. now there are designated rules of the road we must learn to follow. Be patient, Pay attention and use common sense if you go the speed limit or less, PLEASE dive on the right lane!again, the dot engineers have done a remarkable job designing a road that will ensure a good traffic flow.
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I have noticed several questions of what is going on with the new traffic lights, and I am also curious about the one right in front of United Community Bank.....when your going into town there is a left lane with a light, where the heck are people going to go? Into the guard rail? Surely it isn't going to be a U-turn, because there couldn't be a need to make a U-turn that badly in Burnsville. Just another useless way to spend tax dollars I guess. I also hope that some of the old businesses that the road took, that it obviously didn't need to take will fill come back.

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Would someone please explain to me why-at midnight-I have to stop at 5 or 6 traffic lights when there is no traffic from the side streets? Why can these lights not be put on blinking caution like the new one at Micaville loop-at least after 10 or 11pm? I am just trying to get home from work as many others are and this is so unnecessary! This isn't Pigeon Forge just yet so there's no traffic at this time of the night except working folks! Oh well I guess we don't matter-what was I thinking? I don't own a shop on Main Street!

New Red Lights


To expand on what has been said about the new traffic patters, the construction in general, and the near accidents, the new red-lights. In one day, on Sunday, July 31, I saw two different vehicles run the light next to the Shell station. They were both turning left on to 19E from Main St, I was driving toward UCB on 19E and my direction had the green light. This happened at two different occasions on Sunday. Where were the law enforcement monitoring the new lights??? That is just 1 scenario of many I have seen. 

Accident on US 19E @ St Rd 197 N


My husband saw an apparent accident (which was reported on Channel 13 News that evening) but has never been in local paper. I believe it late Tuesdayafternoon, possibly Monday. There were several wreckers at the site. We have witnessed several 'near accidents' since the new traffic pattern started. It is taking some getting used to for all of us. Please stress that we need to be careful of where we are supposed to be now. They seemed to have it marked pretty good yesterday (Thursday) but still saw some going head-on into traffic!

Side Roads


I understand that they have to make some changes to the side roads now that intersections to the "bypass" (that doesn't bypass anything) has been made. However, there was a lack of planning obviously. Take Westover Drive for example- the road is not really wide enough for two cars, yet new lines are painted on it. The northbound lane is not wide enough for a 4wheeler, let alone a car. It is about 3 feet wide near the intersection of Pineola St. Are residents going to get ticketed for driving left of center when their vehicles wont fit on that side of the road? Or better yet, who will pay for the damages when they have to drive through the ditch?

Roaming Dogs in Yancey County


What the public needs to understand is that, until or unless there are leash laws outside the town limits, the Sheriff's Department nor the Humane Society can pick up dogs just because someone thinks its a stray. That dog might live just up the road and since there is no law, you would be in essence, stealing someone's dog. If the dog looks sick or hurt or is a threat to someone physically then you can call the Sheriff's Department and describe the situation and if it meets the criteria they will help you. Or you can pick up the dog yourself and take it to the shelter. But not if you know it is your neighbor's dog. If you truly don't know who the dog belongs to, take it to the shelter and they will try to reunite it with it's owner. The Humane Society cannot pick up animals under any circumstances. Their role is to care for them after they are picked up and brought in. They have no legal authority to pick up animals at large. 
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Regarding roaming dogs....Yancey Humane Society is hard at work with the Sherrif's Department to create some animal ordinances. We have wanted to do this for many years, but this time we have a dialogue going, and positive attitudes on both sides. Keep your fingers crossed that we will actually accomplish something with this effort. YHS is dedicated to making life better for the unloved, abused, and discarded cats and dogs of Yancey County. 

New Traffic Pattern


08-01-16 expect new traffic pattern. yeah right, no change in traffic today. can we expect the same on day 2?

Dogs Roaming at Large


I want to address the topic of dogs roaming at large and the fact that there are no leash laws or laws pertaining to people keeping dogs on their property. Since the beginning of July , I and others have tried to help 2 dogs spotted around Swiss Loop and Scronce Creek. These dogs have nearly gotten hit and are sometimes laying in the road. I was told by a passerby that they belonged to someone in the area, but no names were given. A deputy who stopped to help said that with the county having no leash laws that there is nothing they can do. ( the sheriff's office is responsible for Animal Control). So I have personally fed them , though they won't let me get close to them, I leave them food when I see them. It is hard for to believe that dogs roaming at large is ok. They could get hit, cause an accident, kill livestock, get attacked by other dogs, get attacked by a rabid animal and contract rabies. They have no tags on , so there is NO proof of Rabies vaccinations. Seems like it would be in the best interest of our citizens AND dogs to instate some sort of leash laws or laws stating dogs must be on owners property. I realize dogs run off because of storms, door being left open, hunting dogs go missing, this doesn't seem to be one of those cases. 

Slower Traffic Keep Right


Slower traffic keep right may not be the law but The regulatory signs include Slower Traffic Keep Right,Stop signs,Speed Limit,Handicap Parking,etc.Why enforce speed limit that a ticket is given for,running a Stop sign,etc-why enforce one and not the other?I have seen people go to court for speeding ticket,not stopping at a Stop sign,etc.Go to the DMV and get the regulatory signs.I did find Slower Traffic Keep Right signs on Highway 181 in Burke County.Why post them if they are not to be enforced?It looks to me like all regulatory signs can be ticketed if you don't obey them.
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This is NOT a law in NC and therefore cannot be enforced. Please go tohttp://jalopnik.com/5501615/left-lane-passing-laws-a-state-by-state-map 
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When we took the drivers test slower traffic should move over to the right lane on these four lane roads.When the four lane from Burnsville is finished I hope that this law is enforced.We were in McDowell County from Woodlawn to Marion and there was a tractor trailer running in the passing lane and would not move over blocking up the traffic and we saw a vehicle go into the turn off lane and passed the tractor trailer on the left in the center lane.Also we have seen passenger cars,trucks doing the same thing.Slower drivers also block off the passing lane on 226 up the mountain (Coxes Creek)to Spruce Pine.If they continue to drive in the passing lane over a half a mile they should be ticketed for this.This law needs to be enforced because it creates a hazard on our highways.Signs need to be posted on these roads -SLOWER TRAFFIC KEEP RIGHT.