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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.

Concern Over Water Bill Hike

To Mr Ron Powell:What was you thinking when you wanted board members to vote for a 15% rate hike in the water bill when a family of 2 is already paying 65 to 75.00 a month now. And to Mr H. Allen Benowitz what were you thinking with your comment in the readers forum that you agreed with him? Is Mr Wheeler and the rest of the board members the only level headed ones up there? Maybe the people that have to pay these high water bills don"t have pocketbooks like evidently you two do.

State Trash Pick Up

I live on a side road here in the county. Trash beside the road gets picked up a couple times through out the year which is great to have done. My issue is, if they are gonna take the time to have inmates bag it up the state should have enough common sense to make arrangements to have it picked up an hauled off. The past three times the trash has been bagged up its took over two weeks to get it hauled off. In the mean time possums, coon, crows, dogs, coyotes and other critters rip the bags and scatter it right back out. Why can't Dept of Transportation and Dept. of corrections get on the same page ? Kinda pointless to clean up a mess only to have the critters make another mess.

Mother Cat Killed

Being an animal lover it is very sad that the kittens have no mama, but I do not understand how people just let their animals run loose, and expect them not to get ran over, stolen etc. Doesn't make it right just because they aren't contained but people, do you let your children roam the streets unattended? No, so if you love your animals keep them supervised when they need to go out to use the bathroom or just need a second away from the wee ones. I'ts not that complicated.

To whoever run over and killed the small black and white cat at Hilltop Lane in Spruce Pine I wanted you to know her name was Biscuit and had just given birth to 5 beautiful kittens. All they want to know is when there mom will be back and thanks to you she never will.

In God We Trust

Way to go Mitchell Commissioners!! I hope and pray our Yancey county commissioners will do the same. Trust in God was the foundation of our nation and we should never forget it!

Confederate Flag

My great great grandfather fought for the South. I see nothing wrong with the Confederate flag. People who don't know history think the war was over slaves but it was not. Lincoln brought up the slave issue to make other countries think that so they wouldn't help the South. Th south wanted independence and that is what they fought for. My great great grandfather did not own any slaves neither did anyone around him. He wasn't racist , he wanted independence from Northern policies. The political correct people have taken a flag of Southern pride and assigned their own racist views to it. 

Mowing at Courthouse

It amazes me how soon some people forget, as far as the taxpayers paying family members It is always the same. many people maybe me or any number of people if in the same position with  the authority to hire people probably would do the same, after all many on the opposite side of the isle would not want to work for the ones 
on the other side of isle anyway because it would not look good in the eyes of the people on their side of the isle.  With all the other issues Yancey County has drugs,domestic violence,larceny just to name a few. I speaking for myself could care less who is mowing the courthouse lawn, or holding any other position as long as they are qualified and doing their job effectively. Be assured that when the one's on the other side of the isle are in charge that the taxpayers will be paying their family, that's just the way it works in Yancey as well as surrounding Counties.  This is just my opinion. 

driving thru town this afternoon, the courthouse was getting its lawn mowed. nothing unusual about that, I know, but at a second look it shocked me to see who was mowing.  how many more family members are we the taxpayers going to pay for a made up job?

Town Design Laws

Burnsville has all these "design" rules yet why don't they make the biggest mess of all be cleaned up? Empty bank buildings all grown up and falling down. BIG EYE SORE!!! It seems to me this would be the first thing that needs to be done.

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!

White House Rainbow

Political correctness is destroying our nation. People are afraid to speak out because they are afraid they will offend someone. But I am furious that our president used the people's house, the White House, as a political statement. The White House belongs to you and me, all of us not just for promotion of the gay agenda. It is not President Obama's house. He has a house, I presume in Chicago, that he can color any color he wants. Blue, purple or plaid, I don't care. But instead he hijacked America's house for a political point. Just like the gays have hijacked the rainbow, which to Christians is a symbol of God's promise. I refuse to let the gays have my rainbow and I refuse to say nothing while people destroy America's Christian values. Read the Bible and there is no doubt but that homosexuality is a sin in God's eyes. We are called to love everyone but that does not mean that we accept the wrongdoing. What are we teaching our children by acting like it's okay?

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

Town of Burnsville

you want to talk about roadways, lets change gears from the 4 lane to main street. all we hear is Burnsville cant survive without tourism, well if the road system inside of city limits gets any worse, all those tourist that we want to come to Burnsville are going to bypass this beautiful little town. its like driving on a mine field. Town better focus on the streets vs. the sidewalks. we need the streets to get us to those new sidewalks. POT HOLES are not good for those luxury vehicles that we want to bring those moneybag tourist to bring to Burnsville NC.

Road Construction

on my way home from work this afternoon, it occurred to me that maybe the paving crew could take paving 101 again, and see how not to patch a section of road they have removed. why can't they make the patches a bump vs. a dump?
our vehicles are not going to see the day that they can drive on a finished road at this rate.please fill in the dips mr contractor
So what's new about delays with the road construction? We've been dealing with this joke for 3 years or more now and NOT 1 SINGLE INCH OF IT IS FINISHED!! This is like children playing in a sand box. They scratch on the west end one day,on the east end the next and somewhere in the middle the next. The only thing I see them accomplishing is more holes for us to drive through. What is so hard about paving these places level?

Although this work has been a terrible inconvenience for the last year or more I can't understand the following: Why are they watering the dirt and allowing the muddy run off to cross the road. I think with a little thought since they are the professionals they could figure this out. If needed they could use some of the guys standing around and put a shovel in their hand to lower the grade and keep the water where it was intended. We had one good road from the South Toe area to town albeit 2 lanes which seemed to be enough for years. Now we have nothing but a mess with extended delays usually for nothing. We must be expecting big things to happen in Yancey County but what is it? Who is in charge of this work because evidently they are standing around with the road crew doing nothing! I would like to know so I can offer my assistance with using common sense! OK, I feel a little better now!

Gay Rights

 It's either right or wrong. No one gets to vote on it.

Why is it that 3.8% of the population get to tell the rest of us what's right and what's wrong? A lot of people go along to get along. But when it's shoved down our throats it's time to take a stand.

Old Burnsville Gym

We chose to lock the gym on weekends due to continued vandalism and disrespect to the property. Yancey Co. Rec. Dept.
Does anybody know why the old Burnsville gym is closed on the weekends? My children loved going to the gym on Saturday but it has been locked up for a while now on Saturday and Sunday...

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.

Connector Road

Everybody is complaining about the road construction and it is bad but at least we will have a nice road in the end. Nobody says anything about the terrible road that connects old 19 at Burnsville Elementary over to new 19 at East Yancey. That road is horrible and gets a lot of traffic. It now has a big hole in it. Something needs to be done about THAT road!

Rec Park

I saw where commissioners in their new budget have given more money for the Cane River Rec Park. I love the rec park. Only problem is it is 40 minutes away from my home which makes it too far to use on a regular basis like for walking. Nice for those people who live nearby.

Logs from 4-Lane Construction

Im sure the construction company will earn every dollar of the the millions of dollars it takes to build a road. Look at all the equipment and people it takes to run it. You do not see any of them standing around leaning on a shovel.The wood that was cut on my property the state bought I was allowed to cut.This is state property and does not belong to the construction company.This company is doing a good job, it is 7 pm and they are still working.

Though it sounds nice to just give the logs to people for firewood I am sure that the company would face liability and their insurer probably won't even let them do this. Just sayin'

It had been posted awhile back questioning why the timber that is being taken down on the 4 lane widening project, be given to the elderly or needy families for fire wood. Good question, and the answer is clear. Not only was the company that the contract was awarded to for millions upon millions of dollars, there is always more ways for them to make money at the expense of others. There is money, good money, to be made in timber sales. So there you go, the rich get richer and the needy get the shaft, just as it has always been in Yancey county. Such a wonderful place to live, if you are among the elite, that is.

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.

Bald Creek Child Development Center

maybe the so called concerned citizen, should check out how many parents bring their children to the bald creek daycare, and then return to their homes for a day without their children. They are using the bald creek daycare as a baby sitter, while they don't have a job to go to. We are talking about parents that have figured out how to work the system to their advantage. the number of children that are enrolled in the daycare system, and the cost is being funded by DSS or welfare or some other form of financial assistance by the government. our tax dollars are paying for the children's daycare along with paying for the parents to not worry about getting a job. 

I think it is very sad that the county manager has decided to start charging such a high rent that the Bald Creek Child Development Center is having to close down. The community needs this child care center. Working families need childcare. This will only leave one childcare center in the county that accepts children under the age of one. That center is full and cannot accept any more children at this time. I asked you, what are families supposed to do? If more families have to quit work before they cannot find childcare.... this will increase people on public assistance. This will decrease the amount of revenue that comes into the county. I asked you what are people supposed to do? A concerned citizen.

Kid Mountain

Why can we not have sign displayed in a prominent place at KID MOUNTAIN saying that adults are only allowed in the park play area if they are there to monitor THEIR children? While a birthday party was going on June 6th a young man-who later told the police he was from Thailand and could not speak English-was in the play area talking (in English) to our children and taking pictures of them. Later 3 adult women were playing on the slides and taking pictures of each other. This is TOTALLY unexceptable and should not be allowed to continue. Our children should be able to go to our taxpayer supplied play area without being accosted in any way. Thank you to the policemen who came to check this out but they were lied to by the young man about his ability to understand what they were trying to tell him. Who knows what he did with the photos of these children before they were deleted from his phone. And before you answer that we should have been there with them-we were but you can't observe (and shouldn't have to ) them every minute. They should have been safe in this area in our small town. Too bad once again the "tourist" take precedence over our own kids!

Thank You from Parkway Playhouse

On behalf of Parkway Playhouse, THANK YOU to the community!  We so grateful for the support shown the talented kids who appeared on stage for Disney's Cinderella, KIDS and Annie, Jr.  We are also thankful to the many members of the community who contributed quilt blocks for the patchwork quilt that was made in conjunction with the play "The Quiltmaker." We were was happy to draw the winners for the Quilt Raffle: Loretta Silvers won the queen sized quilt, Jennifer Wilson won the baby quilt, and Steve North won the throw pillows.  Special thanks to Sherry Bohres, Becky Gillespie, Carol and Stinson McCrosky, and Anita Dowd at Fabrics in the Fray. More than $1,000 was raised for Parkway Playhouse Junior and Parkway Playhouse.
      We are pleased to be a part of community that comes together to support each other. So, when you come to a play, take the time to notice the advertisers and sponsors in our playbill...We wouldn't be successful without them!
      In light of the subject matter of "The Quiltmaker," we'd also like to thank our own Substance AbuseTask Force for working to make our community a safer place, and the Sheriff's Department for their work and for the excellent costumes.
Britt Kaufmann
on behalf of the Parkway Playhouse Staff and Board

Illegally Parked Vehicles

Some people may abuse them but you should not be so quick to judge. I look healthy but that's because you can't see my  feet and the painful places on them. Err on the side of being kind.

Just one comment on the handicap parking issue. While I am certain that abuse and misuse occurs, we cannot always judge who is handicapped by their ability to walk a short distance. Obviously the first question would be, do they possess a handicap sign. While that doesn't guarantee the need, it does put them in compliance with the law. When my father, at a relatively young age, had serious surgery, he was able to walk only short distances during his healing process. One of his first outings was to visit a store in The Asheville Mall. He had a handicap sticker. I dropped him off at the door, and parked in a regular parking space. When I came to pick him up, I parked in a handicap space near the store an went inside to carry his purchases. As he was walking toward the car (appearing quite healthy and fit) a car circled and started yelling unkind remarks at him for taking up a handicap space. I still remember the hurt look on his face. Let's don't be so quick to judge, and try give people the benefit of the doubt. 

as i watched ch 13 news this morning they were saying troopers were ticketing illegally parked vehicles my question is why has the shrieffs office not ben doing this for years why put up handjcapp signs if your not going ticket the person walking out of a store that you can see walking fine 

Burnsville Bar

 i bothers me that a man can't have chickens at his house, but a bar can play loud music until 10:00 every Wednesday night. I have to work in the morning turn that junk down. 

School on Memorial Day

I am glad that I am not the only one that was upset because there was school on Memorial Day! Very disrespectful of our school system!

My name is Joe Gibbs and I learned that Yancey County School District did not recognize Memorial Day as a Federal, State, or local holiday. Instead, the students of Yancey County had to attend school, not allowing them the opportunity to observe and honor the holiday with their family. As a result, I plan to be involved in the future Yancey County School Board oEducation proceedings as it pertains to establishing Memorial Day as a holiday for Yancey County students. In order for me to keep a record/documentation, I encourage Yancey County parents with school age children to provide feedback in the form of a telephonecall at 828-682-6752         (or)
Respectfully Submitted,
Joe Gibbs
Burnsville, N.C.

Complaint About Chicken Ordinance

Dear Editor, Burnsville Town Council Members & Mayor Coletta,
                My wife, Kristan, after being diagnosed with breast cancer in January of 2011, began chemotherapy. During the time of her chemotherapy, everything she ate made her sick. A close friend suggested she try some “home raised chicken eggs” and provided her with a dozen of her own. After finding out that a natural egg was easier on her stomach and one of the few things she could consume without nausea and vomiting, I began speaking with Ronnie Tipton to find out the Town of Burnsville’s policy on “backyard chickens”.
                After speaking with Ronnie Tipton in April 2011, I found there was no specific “ordinance” regarding chickens in town. Ronnie and I further spoke and reached a “gentlemen’s agreement” that provided the animals were taken care of and no complaints were made, I could begin preparations for housing chickens on MY property. I spoke with my neighbors and asked would they have any issues with my building her a coop, there were no objections (and to date; over 4 years later, I have not been made aware of any). I spent several weeks; digging by hand an area (behind the hedge that surrounded my property that would both physically hide the coop and provide for a sound buffer as well) to use to build my wife a chicken coop. I spent many hours on the web researching chicken coops, size requirements, space requirements, ways to build outside nesting boxes, and how to keep predators from gaining access. I then spent several thousand dollars on building supplies and one of my neighbors was even helpful in the attachment of the roof.
                That was well over 4 years ago. Since then, Mr. Tipton has been to our property on 3 occasions; once over a complaint that there were chickens (NOT HERS)loose in the area (to which he found that Kristan’s chickens were all in their place, well housed, well kept, well fed, and well taken care of), once over a complaint that we were “burning chicken manure” (to which he found we had spread a small amount of manure, compost, and lime over flower beds; to which he replied it was a great way to recycle; and told us AGAIN that there was NO ISSUE with the chickens). Mr. Tipton has always commended my wife’s set up, cleanliness, humaneness, and the fact that unless you walk into our backyard “you don’t even know there are chickens here”. That all changed on May 7th, on his official visit to inform me of the town’s decision to “legalize and restrict” backyard chickens and we would have to come into compliance “as soon as possible”.
                There are now 5 coops (all still behind the hedge) and a breeding coop. We have roughly $12,000 invested in building materials, and the value of her flock is somewhere in the range of another $8,000. My wife’s flock of approximately 100 includes about 40 different breeds of chickens from the size of just hatched to full grown (some of which were quite expensive to obtain). We have given countless hundreds of dozens of eggs to families with a loved one who is going through chemotherapy. We have given eggs to nearly all of our neighbors. Yes, we have also sold eggs to a few folks; including Mayor Coletta; however, the price of our eggs is lower than what the genetically altered ones cost in the grocery store, and significantly lower than the “organic eggs” sold at the “farmer’s market” in the town square. We do not make a profit; nor is it our intent to do so. My wife has also been recycling the droppings with local farmers who use it for their gardens in a win/win cooperative exchange.
                The town council’s decision and Mr. Tipton’s arrival on my front porch yesterday could have not been any more upsetting than it was, except for it’s purely IMPECCABLE TIMING.  While Mr. Tipton was stepping onto my porch, Kristan was undergoing a biopsy on a new “spot” at Hope Cancer Center. For the last 4 years, other than the time spent with our children, these chickens have provided her with a place of solace, her type of meditation, and her way of dealing with all the PURE HELL her mind and body have gone through as a result of: losing her breasts, 26 rounds of chemotherapy, 2 bouts with MRSA, and the countless looks she receives in public over her “less than normal” appearance. Now not only do we have the fear that she will again be put through all this torture, but we are going to have to find a way during this time to destroy her piece of “Heaven on Earth” and go out and purchase eggs from others.
Your “ordinance” only allows for 5 hens, which would only average about 20 eggs per week. If she has to endure chemo again, 20 eggs a week isn’t very much to work with and to be honest really isn’t worth jumping through all the red tape you have created with your “ordinance”.  We would no longer be able to help others nor would we be able to euthanize sick/suffering birds, which is one of the most inhumane points of your “ordinance”.
Over the span of FOUR YEARS, I had been told numerous times by Ronnie Tipton “Operations Manager/Code Enforcement” for the town of Burnsville that there were NO ISSUES with Kristan’s chickens. I have spent THOUSANDS of dollars on this man’s word and a “gentlemen’s agreement”. I was told there was no need for any permits and there were NO COMPLAINTS about how we had decided to use OUR PROPERTY.
  In closing, I would like to congratulate the town council on their decision to “legislate” chickens. In this day and age of: terrorism, cop-killers for sport, murder, child molesters, child porn, rampant drug abuse, racism, worldwide hunger, unemployment, high crime rates, and roads through the town that are like 4 wheel drive courses; they chose to take on the tough one: a law abiding, tax paying, working class, CANCER FIGHTING wife and mother of 2 with chickens. Kristan has decided to empty her flock rather than jump through all your hoops of red tape. (Most likely this is what you hoped for when you made your ordinance so ridiculous in the first place!) We will lose all the money we have invested, as well as, her place of solace. I hope you are all very proud of yourselves and sleep well at night.        
I apologize for the delay in getting this letter of (un)appreciation out to all of you. Since the day Mr. Tipton stepped onto my porch to hand deliver the town’s new ordinance on chickens, our family has received the news that Kristan’s breast cancer has metastasized in her neck, spine, and there are a total of 6 spots on her liver. She is currently preparing to battle for her life. Forgive us, if “getting the application in to you in a timely manner” hasn’t been our priority, our family has more important issues to deal with than a group of politicians trying to show their might.
For the general public reading this, YES we informed Mr. Tipton and Mayor Coletta of Kristan’s diagnosis. Their reply was just as I have written, “make sure you get your application turned in as soon as possible.” So remember that the next time you greet them as they walk into your house of worship, and remind them just how PROUD you are of their actions and how they represent the people of this fine town. 
                                                                                Grady Brooks
                                                                                205 Robertson St
                                                                                Burnsville NC 28714

Yancey County Taxes

I don't know if everyone is aware of it or not, but I have come across the most interesting link on the Yancey County website. It is a link that you can look up yours or anyone's tax status, if paid, if not paid, past taxes paid or not paid. Anyone that is a taxpayer and is concerned how and where your tax dollars fund the services Yancey county provides, this is the site to look at. I've paid my taxes as I am sure many of you all have. I made mine in payments, but they are still paid and I am ready for the 2015 tax bills to be delivered.
what really amazed me is how much taxes are still owed to the county, and by whom. I know you can't name names on here, but this site is allows you to just type a name and it is shows you if their are doing their part for the county or not. One taxpayer alone owes almost $ 50,000.00. we have so many upstanding citizens that pay their fair share to the county, why does so many others not want to pay their share. Anyway I think everyone should take a look at this site to see who is contributing to Yancey County and who is not, which means if the county can't get what is owed, the tax rates will have to be raised just to be able to keep the lights on, so to speak.