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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.

Beer Cans

To the person who dumped their empty beer cans on my road, i doubt you will even read this. I know everyone that lives on my road and they are not the " sit in my car on a back road , knock a few back , throw the empties on someone else's property, then drink and drive " kind of people. You committed 2 crimes, littering and drinking and driving. I can assure you we will be watching more closely. Don't do it again and don"t come back.

Middle School Birth Control

I do not know if the schools had an open session for the parents about what was to be launched. The health person in charge is following the letter of the law.
I am deeply troubled and sorry that there are parents out there that could care less that birth control can be handed out as freely as candy without the parents even knowing about it. Just whose kids are they, the state's, or the parent's? It's obvious that some people want a total control-freak state which totally controls your every move and thought. Sounds like some people need to go to North Korea so that they can be happy living under a Hitler or Stalin or Mal authoritarian communistic socialist regime. Anthony Robinson

Parents are offered what seems to be a very convenient service for them, the middle school health center. The health center can provide certain medical care, thus eliminating our need to take time off work, and preventing our children from missing a lot of school. When a parent signs their child up, I, for one, did not realize the ramifications of doing so, and I suspect that a lot of parents don’t know. My 6th grade daughter came home on Wednesday April 9 and told me she had been called in to the health center. A survey is given to all children upon enrollment in the health center. Here are a few of the 50 questions: Have you ever had sex (gone all the way) or felt pressured to have sex? Who do you live with? Is there a gun, rifle, or other firearm where you live? Etc… A response she had made concerning pressure about having sex, which I think is a typical concern of most middle school kids, prompted the visit. The nurse practitioner told her if she decided to have sex that “you can get birth control and your parents don’t have to even know about it.” This upset me tremendously and I called the school the next day. I spoke with the health center receptionist who told me that the health department can give out birth control to a sixth grader without parental knowledge, but not the health center. The health center at the middle schools is under the umbrella of the health department and some of the same practitioners work at both places. I received a call from the director of the Health Centers shortly after. She shared with me the survey, and the NC law that states that minors may receive certain medical services without parental consent. But is there a law that this must be highlighted, promoted and suggested to our children in our middle school health center? The NC law says: § 90-21.5. Minor's consent sufficient for certain medical health services. (a) Any minor may give effective consent to a physician licensed to practice medicine in North Carolina for medical health services for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of (i) venereal disease and other diseases reportable under G.S. 130A-135, (ii) pregnancy, (iii) abuse of controlled substances or alcohol, and (iv) emotional disturbance. This section does not authorize the inducing of an abortion, performance of a sterilization operation, or admission to a 24-hour facility licensed under Article 2 of Chapter 122C of the General Statutes except as provided in G.S. 122C-223... I feel our families have been deceived into signing our children up for this program. We are giving away our rights. Would you be okay with your 12 year old child having a conversation such as mine had without your knowledge, much less your child being encouraged to get birth control without your knowledge? In the name of providing a useful service to working parents, our work of teaching our values to our children is being undermined in our school health center. Namely, that adolescent sex is okay outside of marriage, and you should keep secrets from your parents. I take full responsibility for not thinking through my decision to utilize the health center enough. I am compelled to share what happened in our situation in case other families are not aware. We have jeopardized our family values for the convenience of having a health center in the middle schools. Traditional family values are constantly being threatened by the entertainment industry, various media, certain public school curricula, and now the health center. I can’t fix it all, but I can speak up so others can be aware. It’s time to wake up and become aware of what’s going on. While we are busy trying to make a living for our family, there are other agendas at work to destroy our family. Needless to say, I have withdrawn my daughter from the middle school health center program.
Lisa B. Robinson 

I found out that the school health center does not actually distribute birth control, the health department does, and yes, the health department would provide this birth control without parental knowledge or consent to a 12 year old girl. I am still highly upset that this issue was discussed at the school health clinic with my 6th grade daughter, and that the nurse encouraged her to get birth control without her parents knowledge or consent.

When reading the comment that 6th grade girls can get birth control without the parents being notified has really upset me. I don't have any daughters, but this is a issue that needs to be addressed upfront and now! If I did have a daughter and she were given birth control without my consent, I would be one very upset mom! How do they have the right to do this? These are minor children, the parents/guardians should have some say in what a nurse can give their child especially if it's birth control. I would like to know more about this. Thank you!
Did you know that a school nurse, yes, here in Yancey county, can arrange for your sixth grade daughter to get birth control and you don't even have to be notified about it? This does not make me happy....it shouldn't make you happy either....

East Yancey Wireless

I think it is a good thing to remove the wireless net work. Actually I wished they wouldn't allow cell phones at all. When I was growing up my parents knew were I was and when to pick me up after sports,parents take responsibility for you kids. Cell phones are a distraction in a school.

One needs to remember that the wireless access at East Yancey Middle School - and all the schools - is for the EDUCATION OF OUR CHILDREN - not for the convenience of parents or visitors/guests. I am sure that every effort is given to try and accommodate adults in the building, however, that should not be the priority. This is not a Barnes & Noble. You want free wireless? Try McDonalds.

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?

Free Dogs on Swap Shop

To all those advertising free dogs on the Swap Shop page. Please be careful who you give your dogs too. Often people look for free dogs than they use them as a bait dog to be attacked and killed by other helpless dogs used in fighting. Either sell your dog or take it to the Humane Society. Most people who have ill intent will not pay for a dog. If your worried about the dog being put down at the shelter, at least it will be done humanely if at all. Brother Wolf in Asheville is a no kill shelter. Maybe one day our own local shelter will be a no kill as well. But a painless death is better than what some people may do to your dog. And please don't reply to my opinion about how you think there are more important things in this world to be worried about. Of course there are, but that's not what were discussing here. Thank you.

Empty Buildings

What is wrong with a Pool Hall? For all we know it will be an establishment open to all ages. It could be a place for teenagers to go, instead of messing around on the square.

While I tend to agree with the post I wish there was a way to sanction what can and can not go in certain areas. I've heard there is a pool hall going into the Old David's Limited space. We already have a bar on Main St. I just wish more appropriate business's could maintain those sites and keep Main St. for the merchants.

 Why do some buildings in Burnsville sit vacant year after year after year? Such abandoned commercial structures detract from the city's appearance, drive down property values and drain the city’s resources and add nothing to the downtown economy. Some of the owners of these building apparently are so wealthy they don’t need the revenue from these empty spaces. They don’t realize or more likely don’t care how it affects our community and economic development. I am a small town entrepreneur and I care. 
   When the local people start their own businesses and prosper, they help their town to prosper, too. I know somewhere in this town and county is a person who is looking to locate in one of those buildings. Somewhere there is a kid just out of college who wants to move home and live and work here. Somewhere there is a person with a desire to be an entrepreneur.
   It is extremely frustrating to me to see these empty store fronts while walking down Main St. With the new road coming through I feel it is imperative to make Burnsville look and feel like a place you would want to visit. 
   I have read where other cities have instituted charging registration fees and fines. One city sends a special tax to owners of long-term abandoned properties indicating they were being assessed five to 10 times the amount in taxes that would have been charged if the building had been in full productive use.
   Some of these buildings are for sale and the owners won’t put any money into it for that fact and they are deteriorating as I write. Why not rent those spaces out for a nominal fee just to have someone in their to maintain it? Stop being so greedy and take some pride in our town!

Sharing A Love of Cooking

Editorial By: Allyson Grindstaff, Community Kitchen Manager
My grandmother was a food service manager for the area high school and had a love for cooking. One thing you could always count on when you visited was having a belly full of home cooked food made with a big helping of love. I remember spending the summers at their house growing up and have fond memories of helping her prepare the food. She would make all kinds of casseroles, pies, cookies, and candies to take to picnics or other social gatherings. I also have her love of cooking and particularly enjoy baking cakes, breads, and sweets.  I attended Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina where I received my Associates degree in Culinary Arts. I also have worked in the restaurant industry for almost 15 years (including Biltmore Estate).
A few years ago I was approached about making cakes, cookies, and other items for a coffee shop. I was excited to say the least and began dreaming big. When I started investigating about making things in my home to sell in the coffee shop I began to see a mountain of rules and regulations before me. It seemed impossible and I didn’t have the money to purchase commercial space to make them at either. This is the same problem most businesses just starting out run into. They have a great product but end up getting so frustrated with trying to navigate through all of the regulations to properly prepare and sell their product that they end up giving up.
I may not have been able to make it “big” showcasing Grandma’s love in the coffee shop but today I get to in a much larger way. As the manager the new Community Kitchen located on Mayland Community College’s Mitchell Campus in Spruce Pine, I am able to help others make their dream a reality.
We rent commercial kitchen space on an hourly basis so that small businesses and individuals have a sanitation-graded facility with the equipment needed to help them cross over that mountain of regulations and rules. The facility can be used to prepare food for retail sale, catering functions, personal use, or other specialized uses. We also offer classes on financial, business development and marketing geared towards small businesses to help them along the way.
The goal of the Community Kitchen is to help stimulate growth within our local economy through small businesses and individuals and assist them in accomplishing their dreams of getting their food product out to the public. The Community Kitchen was made possible through financial support from the NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission and Women for Women, a giving circle of The Community Foundation of Western NC. Local Chambers of Commence also gave support.
My dream of sharing Grandma’s cooking may have come about differently by helping you find the avenue to put your cooking specialty before the public. If you have questions about our Community Kitchen and how I can help you or would like to setup an appointment to meet with me, please contact me at (828) 766-1247.

Barking Dogs

 I live in town - and would like to mention that right near downtown, (within earshot of the police station,) we have a few dogs that bark constantly ...all night long. I mean - all the long night long! Same dogs, especially one in particular. These are 'not' strays. These are not dogs just howling at each other in the night. No, they actually belong to someone. A keeper of dogs! Well, ...there's no excusing that kind of irresponsibility toward your neighbors - and toward your pets. As a dog owner and a cat owner, I am so - sorry - that you are so 'inconsiderate' of all of the neighbors within a mile of you.

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.

How To Create A Socialist State

Saul David Alinsky got his start in Rochester, NY with the help of some serious $$$ from some management people at Xerox. If this doesn't scare you, you might think of living in another country. Recall that Hillary did her college thesis on his writings and Obama writes about him in his books.........Saul David Alinsky,  was an American community organizer and writer. He is generally considered to be the founder of the modern community organizing movement. He is most noted for his book Rules for Radicals. How to create a socialist state by Saul Alinsky:
There are eight levels of control that must be obtained before you are able to create a socialist state. The first is the most important.
1) Healthcare– Control healthcare and you control the people
2) Poverty – Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.
3) Debt – Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.
4) Gun Control– Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.
5) Welfare – Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income)
6) Education – Take control of what people read and listen to – take control of what children learn in school.
7) Religion – Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools
8) Class Warfare – Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Alinsky merely simplified Vladimir Lenin's original scheme for world conquest by communism, under Russian rule. Stalin described his converts as "Useful Idiots."  The Useful Idiots have destroyed every nation in which they have seized power and control. It is presently happening at an alarming rate in the U.S.

Blue and Pink Headlights

I have to say I don't care for the colored headlights either as they do kind of "blind" oncoming cars, but to the person "Hello beautiful community".., why is it not okay to voice one's concern without being called a Moron. This person who posted is one of the rudest people I've seen. We may need an Ophthalmologist but you need either a Psychologist or to at least check in with your church since you ended with "God Bless".
No, blue and pink headlights do not bother me, but thoughtless people that won't dim their lights do. Just because you have the brightest lights dont mean you shine.

Hello to the beautiful community of Burnsville. Glad to see the weather finally starting to warm up. Lets not get off topic though, the real reason I am here is because of the "individual" who posted the blog/comment about the blue/pink headlights on the road. I have this to say to you: GROW UP. If you are really having to go to "ourlocalcommunityonline.com" to complain about color headlights during the day......you are a moron. If you really are having a problem with select color headlights, the real issue you would have with driving is during night. During the day, you only notice lights of cars when you purposefully are looking and try to distinguish what color it is. If your eyes are truly that sensitive to a 35w bulb, then I suggest you stop complaining and go see an Ophthalmologist......which in case you didn't know what that means, is an eye doctor. If the problem then still continues, I suggest you pull off the side and cover your eyes with your hands because the rays off a pink 35w bulb may be too much for you to handle. ;) Lets not bother the community for unimportant issues next time! Have a wonderful day. God Bless!

Does it bother anyone else when you see a blue headlights coming towards you? It drives me nuts, it is distracting and it hurts my eyes. Especially in the early morning hours when I have to be on the road. Now I have seen some Pink ones. What next?

Pot Holes

Just wanted to say thanks to who filled  the Giant pot hole on west main in front of french broad electric.

I realize the D.O.T. as well as the town maintenance workers have been very busy and i appreciate their hard work, However one of the places the town had to dig up in front of Holcombe Brothers needs attention, And among the many as you travel from one end of town to the other there are two which are two that is destroying vehicles one on east main and the one i have forgot an hit near french broad that has to be close to a foot deep, they inform the public they are going to patch when weather breaks, My Question is how hard or expensive to bring a pickup load of gravel and fill the worse ones through town before the damage multiple vehicles or worse an accident from somebody trying to avoid these worst ones at the last second. The state has a responsibility to keep roads in as good a shape as possible. So I ask how hard could it be to put some gravel in these holes it's better than holes that rattle your teeth and do hundreds of dollars to your vehicle. I feel that this is a matter of public interest. Keep in mind this is my personal opinion. 

Funeral Procession

I just want to say that I am very hurt at the way people are so disrepectful in this day and time. We were driving to bury my grandfather last week, and as we were driving i noticed very few cars pulled over to show their respects. To the ones that did stop, thank you so much. I was amazed and hurt at the other cars who would go around the pulled over cars. How hard is it to wait a few minutes to let the people of the funeral go by? I was always taught to pull over for funerals,turn down my music, and always show respect. I mean how would you like it if someone was speeding by your loved one in the herse?? Where has the manners gone in this small little town? Speaking of manners, i do not appreciate a certain person who as we were at the funeral home making all the arrangements, stopped by my grandpa's house to ask "who died?" and then leave without saying sorry or anything!! I feel sorry for you that you have no life, and the only thing that you have to do is just snoop around to be nosey. All i am saying is show a little respect out there, because everyone has a number, and you never know when your number may be up.

County Website

Just wondering why the website for Yancey County has not posted the minutes of their meetings since October 2013.

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!