Letters, July 24

Jul 23, 2013

Let’s do more to recycle

To the editor:

I realize that we need to recycle as many items as possible here in Haywood County— for the good of the environment and to save space in our expensive landfill.

I recycle plastic, paper, cardboard, glass, and metal cans taking them to the Mauney Cove site most often. On a busy Monday, July 22, the tailgate of the paper trailer was locked.

When I asked the attendant what I should do with my papers and flattened cardboard, he did not offer to unlock the trailer or be of help in any way. Instead, he simply told me to toss it over the gate.

Other people had left bags of papers and stacks of cereal boxes on the steps of the trailer.

Is this anyway for our county to recycle?

Ms. B. G. Johnson

Maggie Valley


Town does great job stopping ugly signs

To the editor:

On Friday, July 19, an article appeared on the front page of the Mountaineer about how a sign fine ired a Frog Level business owner.  In my opinion, the writer of the article made Byron Hickox, who was attempting to enforce the signage code, sound as if he was “picking on” Frog Pond Auctions.  That is entirely inaccurate and gives the wrong impression to readers.

For eight years, I served on the Waynesville Community Appearance Commission and one of the main town problems was the proliferation of ugly signs.  It seemed that everybody and his brother who had something to sell or get rid of put out homemade signs on public streets and on telephone poles.  These signs were ugly and caused excessive litter.

Byron Hickox, whose task it was to control this, did a super job! At no time did he single anyone or any business out as the auction business in Frog Level accused him of doing.  He is a fair, honest and conscientious man attempting to do a good job.  Unfortunately, some people feel that if they complain loudly enough or long enough, they will get excused from having to abide by rules everyone else has to heed.

If a business feels it’s not getting enough public exposure, it can move the business to a more public place with more foot traffic.  But, for heaven’s sake,  stop whining.

JoAnna Swanson


Lake, town merger may destroy Christian community

Thank you for your recent “Take the long view in Lake Junaluska future’ editorial. I affirm your perspective. Perhaps you and your readers are unaware of who owns the Lake and what could happen if the owner decides to sell the property.

Without it’s residents as a result of the proposed annexation, the Lake would look like a desirable piece of real estate for a variety of groups and businesses.

That is one major reason for opposing the proposed annexation of Lake Junaluska into the town of Waynesville. Annexation will be a major contribution to the declining nature of the Lake Junaluska Assembly as a Christian community providing a place for conferences and retreats.

Eliminating Lake property owners suggests the destruction of what we have been celebrating on the center’s 100th anniversary. There will be no one living at Lake Junaluska.

The Assembly grew up the way it is over the years.  It has had a century of struggles and victories. There is a love that exists beyond enjoying the lake and the mountains.

Divorcing a happy relationship between residents and visitors is taking a very serious risk that the Lake Assembly may not survive.

Most new property owners at the Lake have little or no interest in the community and, in many cases, are not even aware of what the Assembly is all about.

They skipped participation in the 100th birthday celebration. They are not members of any community organizations. They haven’t even noticed the unique community where they live.

“Annexation” is really not the issue. I am not aware of anything wrong with Waynesville and it’s apparent willingness to accept the Lake. The question does arise about why Waynesville wants to inherit the problems and issues of the Lake Junaluska church property.

What business do we have mixing church and state any more than necessary? As a 13th generation descendant of Roger Williams, I am troubled by the state of North Carolina legislature determining a major dimension of the future of the Lake Junaluska Assembly.

What is even more disturbing is the fact that our own Lake administration asked for their involvement. Lake Junaluska is the property of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church.

Some Lake residents would rather pay an assessment to the Jurisdiction to solve infrastructure problems than pay taxes to Waynesville to repair those problems.

One way or another the property owners will pay the bills. I am not aware that the Lake municipal study committee even considered that the Jurisdiction could and should solve it’s own problems.

As you commented, the Lake has faced much more serious crises in its history. There is no question but the jurisdictional structure of Methodism will be eliminated soon in light of its worldwide nature. The General Conference in 2016 or 2020 may take this action.

There are five jurisdictions in the United States that would all be removed. In the restructuring of The United Methodist Church, it is difficult to see any other part of its organization willing and able to assume the operation of the Assembly, even with the elimination of any responsibility for the 800+ private homes,

What becomes even more troubling is the possibility that the Jurisdiction will sell the Lake Assembly even before the General Conference restructures.

The Jurisdiction is using its Lake property less and less with lower attendance at events. The Jurisdiction has eliminated any financial support (except for debt reduction) of the Lake facilities and programs.

It has already withdrawn its support apart from meeting here once every four years. It appoints a board of directors to operate the Assembly, apparently with authority to make the decision to seek annexation to Waynesville.

Why should the Jurisdiction keep the property and maintain it if it is not being used for the mission and program of The United Methodist Church? Who has the answer?

The long view of the future of Lake Junaluska is hazy and uncertain. I hope that the members of the board of directors live long enough to regret their decision to seek annexation. I would love to live long enough to discover I am wrong about the long view of our future.

Yes, last week was a great celebration for those who shared in it. Unfortunately it was primarily faithful residents and the few families who have held on to their Lake property for more than one generation who attended.

We are told the majority of property owners are summer residents only. I am not aware that the Lake centennial is being celebrated anywhere else in the Jurisdiction.

The rain and storms of recent days have suggested to me that the long view of the future of Lake Junaluska Assembly is very uncertain.

The centennial week was almost a “wake” (deathwatch) of the Lake, as we have known it. There were tears, my tears, maybe some others.

And I remain very concerned about who will stay “awake” and provide the leadership for the renewal of a community where Christian hospitality is provided for the renewal of spirit, mind, and body.

It is difficult to envision the opening of the time capsule in 2063. It would be good to hear from folks about how they think the Lake can maintain what they are celebrating this year. Can the United Methodist Church keep what it has at Lake Junaluska? Does it want to? Let’s hear from your readers, the Haywood County community, the United Methodist Church leadership, and certainly the owners of property they are about to lose in Lake Junaluska.


Arthur Swarthout

Lake Junaluska