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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.

Traffic Laws

Why do people no longer obey traffic laws? No signals given. Speeding through school zones and through town. The speed limit changes to 45 right before the high school if you are heading into town from the west end and people just ignore it. They drive on either side of the highway, not realizing they need to stay on the right side unless they are passing a car or turning left. It irritates me that they think they drive on either side. What is the point of a 4-lane? There is only 1 sign that says "slower traffic keep right." More of these signs need to be up and they need a sign where the speed limit changes that shows your speed. Weaverville has one and it helps. The HP need to be out there in full force and give out tickets until people learn the traffic laws and don't get me started on the teenagers coming out of the high school when school lets out. They absolutely fly down the straight towards Riverside. Have you noticed all the black marks in front of the traffic lights where people have slid? People make u-turns right in front of a line of ongoing traffic traveling at 55 miles per hour. I feel lucky to get from point A to point B. People need to pay attention and obey the traffic laws and there would be a lot less wrecks.

Mousetrap Excellent Show

I urge anyone who hasn't seen the Parkway Playhouse's version of "The Mousetrap" to do so. It is funny and a mystery and very well done. All the actors and actresses were excellent. 

True Meaning of Being An American

ABSOLUTELY !!! Stand in respect or get off the field .... GO HOME !!

As the Vietnam War Memorial Wall passed through our county along hwy 19E, I just happened to be outside and noticed all the sirens. There was a NCSHP escort along with numerous motorcycles. On many of these motorcycles were a patriotic display of the American flag. The men who are working on the construction project on 19 E, stopped what they were doing and saluted the War Memorial and the American flags as they passed by their job site. What a true meaning of patriotism these construction workers displayed! The flag is about the men and women who sacrificed their lives for our freedom so that we can worship and work in the place of our choice. Perhaps the NFL players should take a lesson from these construction workers. Thank you to the workers who showed their loyalty and respect to our great nation.

Stop Stealing Spruce Pine Business Decorations

Shame on anyone who steals seasonal decorations from Spruce Pine businesses! Our town is making a wonderful effort to decorate for the seasons and to beautify Spruce Pine. Business owners are doing their best to attract customers and bring money into our city. Visitors, tourists, and shoppers are attracted to decorated shops. It's strange that someone has to come to Mitchell County from Newland and steal pumpkins, mums and gourds from an Oak Avenue decorative fall display. Surely Avery County has a few extra pumpkins, mums and gourds that residents could legally purchase there! If not, Mitchell Co. would be glad to sell you some.

Memorial Mission

Yes Mission has made a tremendous mess and it continues. They now have it set up that when you attempt to make an appointment at Blue Ridge Medical Yancey campus you are connected to someone in Asheville who takes information-who knows why or what for-and then connects you to the Burnsville office where you then repeat the information you just gave the person in Asheville. Remember the old phrase "cut off your nose to spite your face"? That is exactly what they have done with BCBSNC. Just because BCBSNC wouldn't give in to their greedy demands they decided to sever the contract. How much money do they now stand to lose when all of those customers find another place to get their medical care. If I were an employee of Mission I would not be feeling too secure in my career future. Just saying!!


Support Mitchell Co. Law Enforcement

Recently, Mitchell County Sheriff, Donald Street, talked about drug problems being the most critical legal problem that our County faces. Let's all show our support of both Mitchell County Sheriff's Department and the Spruce Pine Police Department as they work tirelessly to keep our citizens safe and enforce the drug laws. Turn off the T.V. Sit down and eat a meal with your kids. Talk to them seriously about how illegal drug use can destroy their lives. Another suggestion is for the elementary, middle schools and high school to start showing the students graphic educational films about real victims whose lives and health were destroyed by drugs. Excellent films are available for school counselors to order for each school. Education about illegal drug use does work. Prevention is the answer. 

Thank You

Thank you to whoever put the lights on the trail leading out of the Mtn Heritage football stadium. That helps a lot.

Road Construction from Micaville to Spruce Pine

Pavement patches are so badly repaired on this road construction that everyone's vehicles are being damaged. I am limiting my trips to shop in Spruce Pine(businesses are losing money). A road building company can and should do better.

Vigil for Healthcare Saturday 9/30

On Saturday, September 30th, Blue Ridge Regional Hospital will officially close the Labor and Delivery department.  After Saturday women going into labor will need to go to Marion or Ashville to deliver their babies in a hospital facility.  At 7:30 that evening, five pastors from Mitchell and Yancey counties will lead a candlelight Vigil for Healthcare at Riverside Park in Spruce Pine.  The pastors participating in leading this vigil are Bill Whiteside (Vian's Valley Presbyterian),  Jeremy Troxler (Spruce Pine Methodist), Travis Wynkoop (Griffith Chapel), Tommy James (First Baptist, Burnsville), and Michael Lamm.   All who are concerned about the reduced availability of surgery and the closing of Labor & Delivery at Blue Ridge Regional Hospital are urged to attend this candlelight vigil.  We will gather at the amphitheater to reflect on our concerns as people of faith.  The Vigil for Healthcare is co-sponsored by SEARCH (www.searchwnc.org) and by the Yancey-Mitchell branch of the NAACP.   SEARCH (Sustaining Essential and Rural Community Healthcare) is a recently formed organization of concerned citizens that seeks to "empower greater involvement in decisions affecting the healthcare of our residents" and "to preserve, strengthen and expand access to essential medical services in our area."  The Yancey-Mitchell NAACP mission "is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons." 

Planters in Walk Way

 I'm not real sure what the town ordinance is for the walk way in front of the shops in Burnsville but it seems to me that you should have room to walk. A local business has took almost all of the room to walk in order to do a circle of planters with flowers. I think the flowers are a nice touch and I understand wanting to beautify in front of your store but I'm not sure why they think they are above doing like the other owners that put the planters close to their shops. Please leave room for people to walk! 

Pray No One Reads These Opinions

Our author complains of poorly-written opinions and their impact on potential business relocation. I don't think many businesses would look at this opinions page - or even know about it - to size-up the town's education level. BUT the author is spot-on about businesses seeking educated people. So the INTENT of their message shouldn't be lightly dismissed. In that same message, however, the author himself confuses the reader with his, "It's embarrassing and sad that so few who write their opinions sound so uneducated." I think the correct and intended connection is 'few' with 'educated' - or perhaps the author should have chosen 'many' with 'UNeducated.' One must be careful wielding the power of the pen, lest we become stained by the bitter-sweet ink of irony.

 It would be great to read others' opinions if they weren't so poorly written. The spelling, punctuation, capitalization and lack of sentence structure is usually below a 3rd grade level. Some of the opinions don't even make sense, because the words are just strung together without any meaning. Don't our people even know how to write a complete sentence? Pray that no one or no prospective businesses or employers considering locating here ever reads these. It's embarrassing and sad that so few who write their opinions sound so uneducated. The first thing that any company considers when locating to an area is how well educated the workforce is. This is meant to encourage, not discourage. 

Bad Pizza and Parking Lots Cost You Money

Instead of blaming the Burnsville people who were born and raised here about shopping elsewhere, you should send a letter to the county commissioners regarding what is brought to the town of Burnsville and the rise in taxes. Burnsville is the only place I have ever lived and I would love to be able to shop here. But please tell me where I can purchase a pair of Nike’s and a pair of Levi’s or dine on something other than fast food. Burnsville is a great town with greater people who deserve better than what we get.


On one level it looks petty of us in Burnsville to make such a fuss over bad pizza and parking lots; we must be blessed to be so fortunate in our complaints. Yet, dismissing or ignoring them is costing our schools - and you the taxpayer. It is a well known fact that despite professing to love their town, Burnsville people regularly leave it to eat and shop elsewhere. I'm guilty of it: I regularly goto Mars Hill for my groceries. And I know of at least 12 other people who do the same - and I don't know a lot of people. Spruce Pine people don't come here to eat or shop - but Burnsville people goto Spruce Pine and elsewhere to do just that. Burnsville seems to be the town that everybody says they love - but love to leave, whenever they're not in their beds. Wherever Pizza, Parking Lots, Steak places and Service is better than in Burnsville, our residents give the Sales Tax to other towns and their schools. Furthermore, that bad Pizza or cramped Parking Lot will raise YOUR taxes. The math is really quite simple: suppose a town needs $10 to pay for something. That $10 will come from Sales Taxes on local businesses and Property Taxes - on local residents. If a town is losing sales tax because its residents are going elsewhere to shop and eat, that means more and more of the $10 will be funded by YOUR property tax. And the only way to get more property tax is to assess and charge your property at a higher rate. So, Pizza and Parking Lots really do matter where it hurts the most - - - your WALLET. 

New Sidewalks

I recently walked on the new sidewalks, by the way is a great place to walk, but to my surprise they were littered with trash and sure was not kept well mowed. I thought these sidewalks would have been kept up since people do enjoy walking or jogging and this is a great place to do this. To me this should be any embarrassment to our town and county since tourism seems to be the theme of our county and town.

America Day

Really a local school is worried America day is offensive and takes it out of homecoming week. What has mitchell county and America came to. This is America and we should be proud of it. Everyone needs to wear red,white and blue to homecoming. As much as I love the purple, white and black we need to show our support for our country and the ones who have fought for it and served this great nation first.

Road to Spruce Pine

We appreciate the road but again this falls on state inspectors all the cut outs with all the rough patching that is destroying our vehicles . Come on make the grading or paving out fit fix this mess level that's all we ask tired of jumping the grand canyon 15 times n a roll !!!

Mtn Hertage Football Stadium

I agree a simple rail would go a long way toward making that much safer.
Another year has begun of that horrendous trek into the Mtn Heritage football stadium. Something needs to be done to address the longstanding problem of that narrow little bumpy uneven road that everyone must go down into the stadium. It is difficult to walk on and when it becomes dark, it is treacherous.  At the least it needs to be lit. Also it is hard to believe that it is legal not to have some sort of railing along it.One could easily step off the step incline. I saw lots of older adults at the ballgames and we should make it safe for them to attend. It is time our school board, principal etc address these issues. 

Football Rules

 As to the 9th and 10th graders. If you can play you will play. If you can't, then chances are you won't. As to the road getting to the field, leave earlier. We are Heritage!!! Stop bickering and complaining and start being supportive of the people who take their time to teach your kids life lessons other than just sports. 

I'm reading a lot of Monday Morning Quarterbacking, sounds like all these opinions would be more useful on the field as a volunteer instead of next day bashing. Perhaps Coaches would value your input if there were more involvement besides how to do their underpaid, underappreciated job. Don't tell someone how to do their job unless you've done it yourself.

In response to your comment about school sports lets go back 60s. When it came down to who got to play it is the same today. It is who you are. When your child came home crying because he did not make the team and his team mates said I do not know why when you are as good as the one that made the team so you tell me big shot. The kids that made the team should have made it with talent instead of who their parents were or how much they were worth. By the way you have been a Kennedy you would have been a better person than what you are today. 

In response to the previous writer, at this stage in the football game I think all that counts is size, not name. Boys that are called up are talented but they also have size to play with the larger boys. I hope the previous writer did not pass on her bad attitude to her son. Life is what you make it. Not everyone is born a Kennedy but they can still become President. 

Well glad to know you think winning is more important then kids health. Everyone in yancey county can look at names and see why these kids are playing on two nights its not talent. But like I told my son who has moved on from high school now and the mental abuse of football. Karma will fine you for what you do to these kids. So glad mine is out of it.

I don't think we're going anywhere "again". Coaches don't ask kids what grade they're in during pre-season tryouts. Their empahasis is on who can get the job done best where it's needed and a backup in case of an injury. The high school level is way above participation trophies. It is essential to have a winning program to attract colleges to players worthy of scholarships. Last year, I think three players were picked up with scholarships. It is also expected, by the fans, that winning utilizing the best talent on the field, is what our team deserves. Albeit, the fans want wins, the coach is not responsible to you, me, the fans or players parents. The head coach and specialty coaches are responsible to the players. Not winning when you have players that can, no matter the age or grade level, is something a quality coach won't be a part of. He (she) is not a baby sitter. Concussions are not a matter of age. Generally they are accidental or poor form in making contact by the player. Coaches teach proper posture for contact. Any player that makes the team is capable and we will always encounter those more capable. Our program is sound and successful.

Here we go again 9-10 grade football players playing on Thursday and then again on Friday night while 11-12 sit on bench. This increases concussions and injury to players and we wondering why our high school boy are dying on the field should be a rule against this.

Response to Representative Presnell Statement

It's disgraceful to watch people vandalize confederate monuments first of all anyone caught should be punished to the  fullest extent of the law these monuments don't represent slavery if these people would check history the slavery issue didn't start the civil war but was brought about later. also there were many slave owners were in the north, and if anyone wants to check history the first slaves sold to americans were not black but white. In my opinion there are just some people who want to play the race card when some event happens for an excuse to burn businesses, automobiles, break into businesses and steal, commit murder along with a long list of crimes. A very big player in causing tensions to build to a point of no return is some media outlets. I am no racist or bigot but someone help me understand why when something happens to a white person that has happened to a black person that a mob of white people don't gather and burn,rob and break numerous laws. and why is it that our current president makes a statement that when two groups of people engage in a fight that  both sides share in blame. but if people remember former president obama invited members of black lives matter to come to white house? I don't remember the media reporting it for days or white people marching the streets in protest. Back to the monuments some people say that any monument from the civil war should come down because it offends them, if all the monuments were taken down do you think these people would be happy in my opinion no they would just move to the next thing on their list note: their are blacks whites and others that fall in this category. Also none of us was alive during the civil war just because some peoples ancestors were slaves or slave owners fought for the north or south has nothing to do with us, Think about this in everyones family there are some of our kin who did something that offends us or someone but should i or anyone be held accountable in any  way for the choices they made NO! I believe that anyone that treats blacks,whites differently are wrong however what my great-great grandpappy or any other of my relatives did wrong they are the ones who have to pay for their sins not me, only my own. Some people are holding on to what happened during a dark time of civil war 1861-1865 what about what happened on 9/11 the government said we the American people didn't need to see those planes flying into the world trade centers or pentagon or the footage of the fallen buildings,rescue attempts not even the cleanup and the media stopped showing it or anyone speaking about the one's responsible if the media would stop flocking to every rally of any kind it would go a long way in defusing the violence but will this happen in my opinion NO for the simple reason there are some who work very hard to keep racism alive. 

As a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant my ancestors were tied to stakes and burned alive for their religious beliefs which forced them to leave their homeland in England and come to a strange land where they could worship God the way they wanted to. With this knowledge I have no desire to go deface the local Catholic church or demand that statues of Catholic Popes who caused this persecution to be taken down. I'm grateful for what my ancestors endured...without their pain and what it led their families to do as a result, I would not live in America today. I would not enjoy the freedom to speak my mind without fear of a firing squad or being burned at the stake. As a nation it's important for us to realize the importance of history. Every story, both good and bad, is a building block in who we are today. There is an adage that says "Those who forget the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them". No one believes slavery was a good thing. It was a terrible, horrific institution that should never have been in existence. But the fact that it happened allowed the descendants of those slaves to live in a free America and enjoy all the benefits we enjoy today in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. Instead of taking down monuments of famous people from the past, we should learn from their mistakes and focus on leaving a legacy for future generations worthy of our own monuments.

As a minority female, I'm thankful my family never brought it to my attention that I was a different color and play the race card to get my way. These statues have never crossed my mind nor limited me from improving my life. Those who feel it's bigotry and racism appear to be racist themselves. It's bigotry to play the equality card unless it's an event benefiting the "Lives" agenda. If these statues offend you, please NEVER NEVER visit Europe or any other country where they do discriminate and there is NOTHING you can do about it. 

We all are aware that what happened during civil war times were cruel. I do not condone the things that were done on plantations and other farms. But I for one am so tired of being branded bigot, racist, hater!! We in this generation had nothing to do with what happened then, they all have stood before a righteous God and give account for what they did. Where does all this stop? I wonder if I was offended at my neighbor's grandfather's gravestone that depicted him to be an outstanding pillar of the community, knowing well that he was a crook, swindle r, gambler, drunk, wife beater, I wonder if I could put him in the same category as hater, bigot, liar, that would give me the right to remove that headstone because I was offended about the stories i "heard"of him though I did not know him? Where does it end? By the way I doubt most folks who use those words really know what they mean since we no longer teach American history, I wonder how they know what the civil war w was about anyway 

I usually don't respond to opinion statements because that is all they are. One persons opinion. But my mother was a school teacher and she always taught us that the words people used were what they were. You have used the word racism and bigotry so much that I can only conclude that this is really what you are. Through pushing these words and causing more trouble and hate the next person that is hurt or killed will the blood be on your hands. You mentioned religion, but how many of God's laws have you just broken. More Americans were killed during the Civil War than other wars put together. Destroy all history of the South, the flag or any memorials and pretend it never existed, then who or what will people have to to blame their failings on. What will people tell their grandchildren about their roots when this time in history no longer existed. But as I said earlier "this is only my opinion"

Mrs. Presnell. These confederate monuments represent hate, racism and bigotry to many people. They should come down. You say these monuments are preserving the past and heritage of Americans. To some it is their past and heritage where racism, hate and bigotry still abides in their hearts and minds. Racism, hate and bigotry needs to be erased forever. The taking down of these monuments is a good start. You have got to learn what these monuments stand for. It wasn't about the rights of states but about racism, hate and bigotry. Many people see it that way even the people you are standing up for. They have these cruel and evil ideologies in their hearts and minds. Mrs. Presnell, you are promoting and advocating for racism, hate and bigotry when you stand against taking these monuments down. Governor Cooper is right when he says these monuments should come down. The times of the Civil War is a painful part of history for African Americans and people who advocate against racism and bigotry. I know there are many racists and closet racists in the south who don't want to admit that they are racists and bigots. Promoting and advocating for monuments that stand for racism and bigotry does not help the education of these people but makes them more uneducated. Many people who go to some churches are indoctrinated with conservatism rather than religion. It appears that part of conservatism is bigotry. Many people have been deceived and brainwashed by conservatism. Conservatism is a cruel ideology that opposes the teachings of Jesus. These people can't seem to contrast the difference between conservatism and religion. Keep them monuments coming down. Keep racism, hate and bigotry out of our country. It is un-American and not anywhere near what America stands for.

Statement from NC House Representative Presnell on Monument Removal

The destruction of monuments and other objects of remembrance throughout history did not erase the history they represented. In 1944, Nazi Germany destroyed numerous buildings, castles and parks in Poland. From 1959 to 1964, Nikita Khrushchev closed and/or destroyed more than 10,000 mostly-rural churches as part of his anti-religious campaign in the Soviet Union. In 2001, the Taliban (more)

Solar Eclipse

So, let me get this right, Yancey County schools are going to close for the upcoming eclipse because, and I quote, " of the exceptional education opportunity". In others words, for your kids to learn something special, we need to shut down so they can. I've got another idea. How about the teachers and the school system use it to ENHANCE the experience with additional information. You should be well rested after your 3-month vacation to be able to come up with something. Maybe a "viewing festival" with parents invited. A guest speaker. Serve Sunny D and MoonPies, my treat. At the very least you could make sure everyone views the eclipse safely. The possibilities are endless. But I guess it would be too much trouble and effort. It's selfish of our kids to expect a little work from our public servants that are paid to teach them. But I guarantee you we'll hear the cry for pay raises before Labor Day. 

Press Release from BRRH Medical Staff

The medical staff of Blue Ridge Regional Hospital gathered for a special meeting on July 31, 2017 to discuss the discontinuation of Labor and Delivery Services at BRRH. The following is the statement agreed upon by majority vote: We, the medical providers of Blue Ridge Regional Hospital, want the public to know that we believe labor and delivery and surgical services are (more)

Fairground Apartments

To the person who wrote about fairground apt I agree lived here a good while it has gone down hill no places to park trash everywhere people who don't work nothing wrong with them noisy neighbors loud motorcycles going fast through the neighborhood magement don't seem to care 

 Live in fairground apt a while starting to go down hill no parking trash everywhere people that don't work nothing wrong with them drugs selling drugs Tenn tags living here over 6 months noisy here people driving fast on motorcycles bad place to live now 


Why???can we not have a notice when town water SP has a water boil ?? Not everyone has time to go on computer or listen to wtoe?? Dont you know what a robo call is??