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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 Traffic Lights


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. 

Legislature Money


Isn't it interesting how the legislature "finds" money to fund some things, such as FFA, when it's close to an election?

Road Construction


So while waiting in traffic today in Burnsville, I thought to myself...."Hmmm with these warm, rain less nights we have been having, why aren't the road crews setting up lights and working at night also?" I mean there could be much more work done, and it would be much cooler for the crew. All the larger cities surrounding us does it. Just a thought though.
 

Recruiting


They been recruiting sence last year. Plus coachs kids and nephews and friends get the play time playing offence and defence both. which cause more injury to players. While the rest team sit on bench. Not fair at all.
 

Dogs at Park


Please adhere to the " Dogs Must Be On Leash At All Times" sign at the Cane River Park. It pertains to ALL dogs , especially small, confrontational ones.

Traffic Lights


Does anyone have the number for the people who control our traffic lights in town? Would you please post it again? Thank you
 

Yancey County Drug Arrests June 30


On June 30, 2016, 13 indiviudals were arrested for a total of 26 felonies and 16 misdemeanor charges. This group was operating from one of the over 55 apartment communities in Burnsville. What a shame, the residents saw the comings and goings and were suspicious and afraid. Thank goodness this is over. 

Rude People at Fireworks


We really enjoyed the fireworks in Burnsville this year. I just wish there was some way of totally blocking off the traffic around the square as some people are so rude as to leave in the middle of them. When you do this you headlight all the people sitting around the square, which causes them to miss seeing the very thing they came to see. Just one car, maybe no big deal but when you have numerous cars doing this you end up missing a lot of fireworks. Besides it is just plain rude to leave interrupting others' event. The entire fireworks was only 15 to 20 minutes. You can't wait that long to keep from bothering all the other people? If it's not an emergency then don't leave, try thinking of the people who came to enjoy the event. The band was good. Thank you to all who were responsible!

Fireworks on the 4th


Well you obviously don't have to get up on Tuesday morning & go to work. Having the fireworks on Saturday is a great idea. More people will probably be cooking out that day than on Monday & watching the fireworks will just cap off the day. I hope they DON"T cancel.
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I have heard, and I do understand that the Town of Burnsville does not have alot of money and must save whenever possible. But, REALLY, IF WE CANT HAVE THE FIREWORKS ON THE 4TH, PLEASE CANCEL THEM. This is pathetic and sad?>?????????!!!

Phone Scam


There is a scammer calling and saying that you are being sued by the IRS. THIS IS A SCAM. 

Prisoners at the Recycling Center


What is the reasoning for having the Yancey County prisoners just standing around at the recycling center smoking cigarettes? They don't even attempt to help you get your garbage out of the vehicle and just stand there and stare at you, especially if you are a woman. If they are not going to help out, perhaps they would be better used elsewhere in the county. 

Hillary and Benghazi


There is no point in replying to someone who believes that Hillary didn't lie. Have you heard of 13 Hours? No, I guess you believe it is all a vast right wing conspiracy, 4 men dying everything all set up to try and get Hillary. The same vast right wing conspiracy that she claimed was out to get her with Monica. Please.
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This was only a lie stated by the right wing nut job media. The Benghazi hearings took place and found that there were NO evidence that Hillary lied. I am voting for Hillary Clinton. She has helped people and families over decades. I will never vote for a Republican for President. Our nation has done this three times in the past 4 decades and it has been a disaster each time. The Republicans set things back for decades, maybe centuries. Donald Trump will do the same. A man who believes America was at its last greatness in the 1920's and 1930's. Right now, America is the greatest country in the world. We definitely don't need a President who doesn't think that we are great. That is an insult to each and every one of us. He also has insulted our military by saying that they are weak. He has insulted almost every culture and race except his white supremacists own kind. He has the support of the white supremacists all over the nation. The United States has become a more diverse nation and have overcame obstacles since the 1960's. Donald Trump is trying to tear down these bridges and build walls. This isn't the right thing to do. We are not the only people in this world. If I were from another country, I would also want to come to America where people can prosper and have rights unlike other countries. The Republicans try to take away those rights and set America back. Our ancestors came here and took the land from the Native Americans. If that hadn't happened, most of us would still be in Europe. I don't see what it hurts for people to come to America to make a better life for themselves and their families. Our ancestors did. The Republicans try to cut and demolish programs like Social Security and Medicare that elderly people depend on to live. The Democrats try to save these programs. Yes, I will vote for Hillary. I believe in her and other Democrats.
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Can someone explain to me how you can support and trust Hillary Clinton when she stood over four coffins of dead Americans and told their families and the entire nation a known lie?  Just answer this one simple question about Benghazi.Just answer the question instead of changing the subject and never acknowledging this fact. 

Feeling Unsafe


Lived in fairground apt for a while starting to feel unsafe living here now have a lot of people live here that shouldn't be here in d - section too many cars parked here to much company feel like people are doing and selling drugs here 

Animal Cruelty Hotline


North Carolinians now can report animal cruelty to the state attorney general's Animal Welfare Hotline. Under state law, acts of animal cruelty include wounding, injuring, tormenting or killing an animal, depriving an animal of nourishment or causing any of those to occur. Witnesses to animal cruelty can file reports online, over the phone or through written complaints in the mail. The General Assembly created the hotline during the 2015 session and placed it in the Attorney General's Office effective March 1. The office will review animal welfare complaints submitted through the hotline,855-290-6915, and refer them to the appropriate authority.

Clarifying how the NC Education Lottery Funds work


By: Dr. Tony Tipton, Superintendent of Yancey County Schools
 
A few weeks ago, a press release from the North Carolina Education Lottery was
published both in the Yancey County Common Times Journal and on the WKYK
website. As a result, the Yancey County Schools received questions about lottery
funding. I would like to answer some of these questions and clarify how the funds from
the lottery are used in our county.
 
The January 27th North Carolina Education Lottery press release stated that last year
Yancey County Schools received $837,921 in lottery funds. It further indicated the funds
were used for teacher positions, teacher assistants, and building needs. Most of
these funds do not come directly to Yancey County but are allocated by the NC
Legislature as part of North Carolina’s total education budget.
 
Because the press release claimed the awarding of scholarships for students, I called the main office of the NC Education Lottery and requested a list of students from Yancey County who received college scholarships last year; they could not provide a list.  I then asked for a list of teacher assistants that were paid out of the lottery; again they could not. They could not because these lists do not exist.
 
A formula determines the funds allotted to specified items.  A portion of the money
allotted to Yancey County Schools goes into a pot of money shared with the other 99 counties across North Carolina to be used for prekindergarten, college scholarships, and financial aid for students going to college.  In past years, money funded teacher’s salaries. In 2015 –16, lottery allocations have been reallocated from teacher positions to support staff such as teacher assistants.
 
The NC Education Lottery website states that over the life of the lottery, which began in
March 2006, Yancey County has received more than $5,840,188. It also states that last
year Yancey County received a total of $837,921. It is important to understand that most of these funds never made it to Yancey County Schools but were set aside in Raleigh to fund public schools across the state, including Yancey County.
 
Last year Yancey County Schools were allocated $164,918.00. While this is a large sum of money, it is not the $837,921 reported in the press release. The state requires that the funds that actually come to Yancey County Schools be spent on building improvements, remodeling, or new construction.  Over the past 10 years a total of $1,764,002.00 in lottery funds have been sent directly to Yancey County Schools.
 
Since four of our schools constructed in the 1930’s remain in use, facility issues are anticipated. Consequently, Yancey County Board of Education has reserved  $1,068,272 of lottery money to handle structural issues as needed. 
 
How have lottery funds sent directly to Yancey County Schools been used?  Some have been used to reroof three schools, Cane River, East Yancey, and Burnsville Elementary. A few years ago, Yancey County Schools received a grant to build two new health centers, one at each of our middle schools. Since the grant did not cover the entire cost, some of the lottery funds assisted in completing the additions. Lottery funds were also used to replace the visitor bleachers at the E.L. Briggs Stadium at Mountain Heritage High School after it was determined the existing bleachers were no longer structurally safe.
 
I appreciate the opportunity to respond to the NC Lottery press release and to clarify some of the questions raised.
 
 

Merry Christmas


I just want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. With all the problems there are in the world today there is still so much to be thankful for. Think about the many blessings in your personal life plus the blessing of living in our wonderful area and in the greatest, most generous country in the world. 

County Salaries in NC


below is  link to the entire state of NC counties 2015 salaries.
please post so anyone citizen can see who makes what in every county of NC.

In God We Trust


THANK YOU COMMISSIONERS FOR YOUR VOTE!! I pray our whole nation will wake up and remember that our trust in GOD is what brought us to the status of #1 in the world. Our loss of that trust and faith is what will continue to bring us down. WAKE UP AMERICA!!

Old Glory


How long before someone or some group decides that they are offended by the United States of America Flag. How long before some politician issues the order to lower Old Glory from her place above our great nation? Our nation was founded on the motto of "In God We Trust" and not on the political agendas of millionaires. We need to wake up and take a look around, our freedoms are disappearing at an alarming rate!

Banning Confederate Flag


As I have watched and listened to media reports concerning taking down The Confederate Flag in South Carolina It brings me great concern that just because some think it only symbolizes racism when it in reality is a part of American History, as well as civil war monuments. If the confederate flag has to come down because some believe it only represents racism and it offends them, then the rainbow flag representing the homosexuals for example should not be allowed either as well as many others because of what they represent that offends some. Many people according to reports by media outlets. Also as reported by media lawmakers want to stop the confederate flag from being on license plates if this happens then all other depictions of any symbol representing anything should not be allowed how silly but serious the thought of this is, for example that picture of a bear offends me because years ago a bear attacked a member of my family, silly right? I am not a racist but I believe there are some racist people, but the government or no group or individual has the right to label me as a racist because I believe the confederate flag to be a part of the History Of The United States of America. Whats Next? Stop recognizing Gettysburg and other historical battle fields as well as the valiant generals and soldiers who lead fought and the thousands who gave their life on both sides. This Is My Opinion on this Issue. I also believe that it should be of great interest to the people that this is only the beginning of the FREEDOMS we have today being taken away IT'S TIME TO TAKE A STAND!

Parking at Fairground


when is the parking issue in fairground st d section going to get better 2 parking spaces for each family have family's parking and taking up 4 and 5 spaces cars are going to be towed the cops need to address this when you leave no place to park

Cats on McKinney Gap


To those of you who stopped to offer assistance or words of encouragement, I finally got the last of the kitties on McKinney Gap (till next time). It's amazing, the people i did talk to have all found dumped animals up there. It is such a problem. Wish there was more money in the budget for animal control.

Yancey County


chickens, roosters, road construction, taxes, bars, parkway play house, illegally parked vehicle's, etc.....  I  have something to say. Who cares? the same families that run Yancey county will always run Yancey county. we will never have any more than what we already have here, which is a BIG FAT NOTHING.