Opinion Posting Guidelines:
  1. Comments should be related to general interests of the public.
  2. You may comment on elected officials, public offices, government bodies, public figures. You can comment on the actions public officials take in relation to their jobs but not make personal attacks.
  3. You can not comment about privately owned businesses. You can comment about businesses that are privately owned but are public in nature, such as newspaper/hospital/electric company/phone companies/radio station etc. with a signature.
  4. No comments on candidates for public office or political issues, within 30 days of an election (primary or general). If a political candidate is named in your comments, a signature is required.
  5. For comments that include a signature the name must be verifiable.
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.

Road Work

you know it would be nice if both road companys thats cutting down all these trees would cut it up and give it to people who need it especally the eldery instead of just letting it lay there

I know the road work is a thorn in the flesh but, I want to know if anybody tells the ones working WHERE THE LINES ARE THAT SUPPLY PHONE AND CABLE . If they have been informed then why do they keep cutting them ??? If they have not been informed then, who dropped the ball ???

Is it just us, or does it seem like the widening of the road through town has been totally abandoned? Part of the hold up originally was the moving of utilities, which have had to be redone on more than one occasion, but we have had beautiful weather here recently, and there is absolutely nothing happening.  We are relegated to ride on "washboard" roads that are detrimental to our cars and bodies. The road to Spruce Pine has been started, and they are making more progress than has ever been made here in our wonderful little town. There has been absolutely no activity on the road in town with all this beautiful weather.

Hats off to the new construction crew working on the Micaville to Spruce Pine section of the four lane. They are really working hard six days a week. To bad they can not clean up the mess on the bypass it is a disgrace.

This National Work Zone Awareness Week, please everyone no matter how upset you get when delayed in work zones, be careful and watch out for all the construction workers. I have heard many complaints about the stopped traffic, leave a little early and take your time. It may save a life and that life could be yours.

I just wanted to take the time to say how happy I am that the company, not to mention a name, got the bid for the Micaville to Spruce Pine section, you guys rock. you have only been on the job for a month, and you have made more progress that the other, not to mention a name, has done in years. at this rate this section will be done way before the middle section.

Yancey School System

I also agree but it does not happen in all the schools. I removed my child from South Toe Elem because my child was constantly made fun of and belittled and bullied by the kids with the right last names and by the teachers too. This should not happen in our schools. I placed my child in Bald Creek school and never had one problem because this this behavior would not be tolerated there. He loved this school as did my other child. I have heard the same thing happens at Burnsville Elem. Rich or poor should not matter when it comes to the education of our children.

if the kids of low income families are not being looked down on their being talked about ive picked my child up SEVERAL TIMES and they would be saying not so nice things and things that were not of their buseness to begin with this is common at burnsville ele.

Agree 100%. I take my son to MHHS every morning and watch as the ones with the "right clothes" and "right last names" are greeted by the staff with smiles, waves, and "Good Morning". My son walks by them and they simply turn their heads! Good thing my son gets all the love and support he needs at home because he sure doesn't get it at school!

Is it me or does anyone else think this school system is made up of teachers and principles who look down on kids that don't have the best clothes the ones who don't have the right last name lots of money make the best grades play sports not all the teachers are like this  no one has no right to judge anyone only God can do that so if all you people in the school system that thinks they are better than everyone else that shows up to be seen or thinks it makes you look big working in a school system would do their job and help students learn you would not believe how far kids would go in life a last name has nothing to do with it

Safe Speed

To the person that commented about safe speed. I agree. I am amazed at how many people try to push you down the road. It does not matter if the weather is bad or not. The worst place I can think of is the Micaville Loop. The speed limit there is 25 mph. All the time any time of day or night period. On weekends or any time there is no school people seem to think its ok to go 40 or 45 mph and will get angry and try to push you thru. There is a post office, shops and private driveways all in that area that people need to be aware of. Its very important to keep our school traffic safe. But what about other times of day. Anyway you look at it, its important that we all stay safe all the time.

This is the first place that I've ever seen that doesn't have a reduced speed throughout the road work. Usually the speed is lowered in a work zone. The drivers out there act like they are in a rat race to get some where. These truck drivers and other drivers come flying upon you pushing you when you are trying to be a safe driver. Everybody just needs to slow down a bit. You're not getting anywhere any faster than the person in front of you.

Caregiver Organization Says Thank You

Dear Editor,
On behalf of the High Country Caregiver Foundation I would like to thank everyone who participated in and /or supported the first annual HCCF Mitchel - Yancey Trivia Challenge.  Your commitment to helping unpaid family caregivers in Mitchel and Yancey counties is sincerely appreciated.
Each year the High Country Caregiver Foundation continues to advance its mission of supporting family caregivers in the High Country and through our programs we have seen many lives changed for the better.
In particular the Respite Voucher Program has enjoyed great success in the past  several years, with recent expansion to all seven counties of the Region D service area.  Since our inception in March 2007 the High Country Caregiver Foundation has awarded five hundred and ten $500 vouchers to local  family caregivers, affording them an opportunity to receive temporary relief from their caregiving duties. 
Our goal is to continue to make a difference in the lives of unpaid family caregivers and those they care for.  With the help of donations, sponsorships and grants from  supporters such as the Bakersville Clinic, Hospice & Palliative Care of the Blue Ridge, Medi Home Health & Hospice, Pruitt Health, Brian Center of Spruce Pine, Meridian Senior Living, Mitchell Lions Club, Mitchell Senior Center, Life Care of Banner Elk, Roan Highlands Nursing Center, the ladies of  “Hot Orange Jello” and first place winners-“ Leap of Faith”- we will continue to see improvements in available services for family caregivers.  A very special thanks to our wonderful host, Bruce Ikard and scorekeepers, JoRhetta Gardner, Cindy Woody and Ruby Greene.
Thanks again for your generous support of our efforts to assist family caregivers in Mitchell and Yancey counties.
Brenda B. Reece, BSW
Executive Director
High Country Caregiver Foundation


Can anyone tell me how 19 W and Bald Mountain Road got so trashy? It's disheartening to drive home every evening and see our community roads littered. We have a beautiful and special place out here and we should strive to keep it that way. Surely the people that live out here aren't the ones throwing garbage out of their vehicles because they are selfish and lazy to keep it in their cars till they get home or find a trash can. Anyone want to come together and have a community pick up?

Spring Almost Here, Watch Out for Road Workers

With spring nearly here all of those hard working guys out in the weather trying to make our travels quicker and safer will get a break. Be on the lookout for stopped traffic while they expand the travel lanes. It won't be too long before we have four lane all the way to Spruce Pine.

Alcohol Sales in Burnsville

It is amazing to me that Burnsville with all its beer and alcohol tax money cannot pave their main passway. What a joke. We still do not have our new swimming pool we were promised. The clock on the courthouse still does not work. No, there are no streets of gold. It must have been a scam. I continue to see young men go into Ingles and purchase beer and wine and sell it to even younger men in the parking lot. The sheriff has been told. So much for putting the bootleggers out of business. Are we better off or worse off. I think it is time for the whole county to vote on the alcohol issue. What do you think?

Request for Contact

Kayla Buchanan is from Avery County and is the mother of 3 children.  She is 31 years old,and has been serving time in Federal prisons for a few  years with a few years left to serve.  She is currently incarcerated in Aliceville, Alabama and has lost touch with almost everyone who meant so much to her in her life. She is a Christian, is intelligent, hard-working, loving and kind.  She is finishing her electrical course this month and she has earned her GED.  She would like Christian fellowship through the mail and it would be a blessing to her to hear from you.  And she is a blessing to all as I can attest to from my getting to know her through my Prison Ministry Jesus for Prisoners.
Submitted by Harrietta Turner,   flyinhi@bellsouth.net
    KAYLA BUCHANAN #43151074
Federal Correctional Institution Aliceville
PO Box 4000
Aliceville, Alabama  35442

Trees removed at the Parkway Playhouse

All of the subjects that you've mentioned are great, don't get me wrong it's just that the trees were cut down to save the "future" of these history landmarks for our county and it's been blew into a huge issue. The trees are gone, their not coming back and there's nothing that I nor you can do to change that. Focus on more important things and enjoy the beautiful view from the Parkway Playhouse now. None of this was possible until the trees came down. I myself think the county has done a great job and proud to say so. Thank you!

Why is it that every time someone cares about something whether it is animal abuse or saving a tree someone has to talk about how doesn't matter because someone else is hungry etc. Are we not capable of caring about more than one issue? Yes I care about people needing food, heat, medications and about abortion too but I also care and would like to be able to express it about animal abuse and the environment. As far as the trees at the Playhouse I don't know if they were dangerous or not but I just wish people would let people say how they feel about issues without always being ridiculed for caring about others things besides starvation.

Here we go again, worrying about a tree!!! The tress are beautiful, that's no lie, but when they become so big and a danger to the people around them on a daily basis, it needs to be addressed. Also, there is more room to park for people to use the Mtn. Heritage Ctr. and the Parkway Playhouse too. This is far more important then worrying about trees being cut down. We have people in the county whom are hungry, need heat and help with their meds. And there's more worry on a tree then actually helping out someone. Focus your life in these causes and let's see how that goes. If you want to see trees, might I add you can cruise the Parkway when they are in bloom!!

The cars and the buildings are all insured and repairable; the trees are lost forever. How did this destruction happen without some input from the public? Burnsville needs a tree ordinance and public officials with an ethic of historic preservation. I often read comments on this venue how "outsiders" are changing the town, but it seems that the locals don't want to protect it.

The huge trees at the Parkway Playhouse and the Mtn. Heritage Center needed to come down. There's no parking hardly, safety is the biggest issue. Tree limbs have fell down in the past and landed on cars there. Someone could have gotten hurt as well. The trees have damaged the building by stopping up the gutters and were over the building to. Yes, they were beautiful trees, but, the buildings are more important because lots of money has went into the buildings to make them look great! Lots of time and love have went into both of these county landmarks and I'm glad their down so that many people in the future can enjoy the buildings and stay safe. Thank you!

It's heartbreaking to see the magnificent healthy oak trees at the Playhouse and the Heritage Center removed. That area will never look the same in our lifetime. This is a huge loss to the community of Burnsville. The shame is on all of us for not protecting our heritage and our town.


Thank you so much for the info.that's great they are doing that. Thanks again.

This is in response to what the digging is about in Newdale near the bridge.They are searching for indian artifacts.That area used to be an Indian Camp area during the warm summer months,this would have been a few hundred years ago.I can remember when I was a child I lived near this field and every year when they plowed to plant gardens,there were many indian pieces found there in the freshly turned dirt,even after a heavy rain you could walk thru and find arrowheads and shards of pottery,I assume that the landowners want to recover all they can before the new bridge construction and 4 lane buries it all forever.
Does anyone know what they are doing at the bridge on 19e near North 80.They are near the river on the land that was maybe a tree nursery at one time, but, it looks like they are digging in certain areas and sifting the dirt. I was just wondering, thanks for the info if anyone knows.


Heck people this day and age you can't tell if someone is talking about their children or their dogs. DO YOU LET THOSE DOGS LICK YOU IN THE FACE AFTER THEY LICK EACH OTHER'S BUTTHOLE. OR EAT POOP. THEY ARE DOGS PEOPLE. And if you ride around with them in your vehicle and YOU LOVE THEM AS MUCH AS YOU SAY YOU DO THEN PUT A SEAT BELT ON THEM, AFTER ALL YOU DO TREAT THEM LIKE FAMILY. RIGHT. Now while we are at it. Everyone let's not forget about the horses, donkey and goats and sheep and cows and all the other animals that have been outside for what since the beginning of time. Let's go ahead and bring them on in to the house. And how many people are homeless in Asheville, North Carolina, United States. Or how many children are going hungry right this second on yourstreet have you ever thought about that.

Red Lights Throughout the County

From what I understand the signal lights through the part of 19 that is being worked on are on timers because of the work that Young & McQueen is doing. They have torn out the things in the roadway that detect traffic so they have to place the lights on a timer for them to work at all. Hopefully they will get some of the intersections finished so that they can place the detectors back in the road. I agree about wanting the signal lights to blink at night. Especially the ones at the schools, as their is not a traffic issue at them late at night.

Why don't they set the re lights to flash caution lights during the light night and very early morning hours when the traffic volume is low. . Seems to be that would be easy and solve a lot of issues.

Does anyone know who to contact about the red lights being on timers instead of on a counting system ? I work night shift and every night I get stopped and held for no reason. Never a car waiting or one even in sight through the whole light cycle. This is crazy especially when the road is in a bad condition. Last night, for instance, I get to the lights both at Bolens Creek intersection and at Glen Raven/Green Mountain. It changes for no reason with the roads a bsll of ice. Im going 10 mph, hit my brakes and I slide all the way through the light. This is crazy ! Why not put them on a counting system like others do and keep the bypass and 19E open to flow unless cars are needing out of the side roads. Also this angers drivers and make them do stupid things. In the past 2 weeks I have been passed on double yellow lines, in curves and red lights, once while a tractor trailer was coming in the opposite direction. I obey the speed limit due to I can not afford a ticket and have too much to live for. This would also help emergency personnel also, both volunteer and paid. I have witnessed several times volunteers with the fire departments and Rescue Squad sit and wait, with emergency lights and red lights flashing, for the lights to cycle through to get to a call. Anyone with information who to contact about this would be greatly appreciated.


I think Westover is a Town of Burnsville Street. The Town is responsible for maintaining it. I am sure they have a hard time repaving all of the roads. If everyone wanted that then their taxes would have to go up. Have you priced paving a driveway lately? It is outrageous!

I've noticed that the road that seems to be forgotten is one of the most used intersections in Burnsville, Westover, right beside the Verizon store. This road is constantly torn up, the intersection is the only one that's not been touched in over six months. I hate driving across that gap. I take pity on the people who live up there and have to drive it all the time. And since it snowed I believe its the worst road in town. Do they not scrape all of the roads? I was interested in how bad it was all the way up- that entire neighborhood has been neglected. What has melted off shows a patched pavement with holes all in it. It's a solid sheet of ice. Who is left to take care of this road? The parking lots in town are better than these roads. It's pathetic. I'm sorry to those who live on Westover and surrounding streets. You are not forgotten.

Better Parking

need better fairgrounnd apt live in d -section 2 parking spaces for each have people with four cars parking in everyones parking spots also have cars with tenn plates that have lived here a year

Wonderful Christmas Play

Higgins FWB church on Cane River put on a wonderful Christmas playon Sunday night. It is wonderful to see a church with so many children, teenagers and young adults who give of their time to practice and perform these plays every year. Thanks to the adult who guide them through it and teach them the true meaning of CHRISTmas all through the year. GOD BLESS YOU ALL! Merry Christmas.