Reader letters, Jan. 11

Jan 10, 2017

Please avoid hate letters

To the editor:

I would like to thank-you for being our community newspaper.  It is our source of news for our local government, happenings, and the good and bad in our county.

You mentioned recently you liked to be positive.  I found the letter to the editor “Consider this Option” from a regular letter writer to be full of racism and hate.

To make statements like we need to send Mexicans back because they cause a drop in property values of 50 percent, or that wives and daughters are going to be raped and killed by radical extremist Muslims sounds like rhetoric from a white supremacist.

Productive conversations from alternative points of view are one thing, but talk peppered with intolerance, hate, racism, and white supremacy kills any further discussions or understandings.

Janet Clark



Thanks for the headlines

To the editor:

Thank you so much for keeping us up to date on news and the storm and road clearing during the snowstorm, especially the detail on Haywood County roads.  We flatlanders aren’t used to this, so we really appreciate the emails keeping us informed.

Denise Seay



(Editor’s note: Those who subscribe to The Mountaineer can get email headlines each morning and emails about breaking news. To learn more, call 452-0661.)



Congratulations on successful rescue

To the editor:

An open letter to all those who took part in the very successful search and rescue operation in the Shining Rock Wilderness Area one Jan. 5 and 6, 2017.

First of all, let me say congratulations for a job well done.

I, along with two other gentlemen, Doug Hix and Dave Wetmore, taught a course in winter backpacking, survival, and search and rescue in the mountains of Western North Carolina and East Tennessee during the month of January through part of the 1960s, all the 1970s, and part of the 1980s.

As a result I know just how brutal and dangerous these mountains can be in winter and how difficult it is to find someone even when you have a good idea of where they are, let alone when you have no idea of their location, and how difficult it is to evacuate them even when they have been found.

I know that without hours and hours of training in order to obtain the necessary skills, and careful attention to every detail of logistics and preparation, such a search and rescue operation as you have just performed would be impossible.

It is therefore with the utmost respect and admiration that I express to you my deepest, heart-felt thanks for the wonderful service you have performed, and it is as a citizen of Haywood County, living near the Shining Rock Wilderness that I express to you the pride and confidence I have in your expert ability to extend the safety of your knowledge and skill to those who venture into these mountains.

Again, let me say “thank you” for your commitment, dedication, long hours of training, hard, hard work, and your willingness to set aside your own comfort and safety to search out and, I feel sure, snatch from the jaws of death, these two very fortunate young hikers who were lost and have been found due to your very dedicated and selfless service.

William W. Rolland


Haywood County Schools excel

m excels

To the editor:

The Mountaineer is to be commended for choosing the Haywood County Schools as the number 1 story of the year.  When one sees that Haywood County schools moved from 40th in the state 13 years ago to 11th in 2016 is a remarkable feat requiring foresight and involvement of parents, the school community, civic clubs, professional organizations and individuals.

There has been transparency of successes and conflict as reported by The Mountaineer, which has kept the county informed.  Searches for better ways and new ideas have been introduced to meet problems the school faces.  Our children have benefited.  Haywood County should be thankful for our school leadership and each of us seek ways we can be successfully involved.

I look for a higher place on state ranking for 2017.

Doris B. Hammett, MD



Are constituent calls screened?

To the editor:

It’s the little things that get us in the end. My attempts to communicate with my N.C. and U.S. representatives has been bumpy lately, and I’m suspecting that there might be some screening that rejects certain people when trying to communicated electronically by email and phone.

Today began as I tried to send a message to Sen. Burr’s email connection, the entry screen requires a title and it’s prefilled with Mr., presuming that a Mr. is contacting him.

As a Ms., who prefers no title at all, I resent that little slight even before I’ve written my message.  As a Ms. my reaction is that he has little or no respect for women, is automatic and one I have to overcome to remain polite as I communicate with my senator.

Then, my attempt to reach Sen. Burr about the deliberations on President-Elect Trump’s nominees, I followed the suggested link to make my comments  — - and the link went to a 404 Error message, “Sorry, but nothing exists here.”

Today I’ve learned that if I want to communicate with a N.C. U.S. Congressman by email, I must be from the representative’s district.  This news has followed several repeated rejections of my emails to my local state representatives (getting “no such address” return messages) when using the links from the addresses published on site.

Also, I recently tried to reach Richard Burr’s and Thom Tillis’ offices in D.C. by phone and got a busy signal over a two-day period at different times of the day. These experiences and the stack of responses to my successfully communicated concerns about legislation telling me that my concerns have been noted but (in coded language, will not be considered) tell me, a citizen they represent, I’m not of the right kind and will be ignored.

These experiences, coupled with the recent rules changes and legislative amendments, are designed to prevent the electorate (us) from finding out what is happening in the U.S and N.C. legislatures give me the willies.  Why on earth does the U.S. House need to prevent the Congressional Budget Office from doing its job as they redo the Affordable Care Act?

If there are consequences to their actions, we have the right to know.  What is the benefit of hiding the truth?  The blatant moves in N.C. legislation to undermine the will of the people, demonstrated by their votes, is both wrong and unethical.

I sit here in Waynesville, growing less and less confident that we the people will get a fair shake by either the U.S. Congress or the N.C. General Assembly.  I will not accept the excuse, “they did it so it’s only fair that we return the bad behavior.”  And I will be writing to them often even if they think I’m not worthy of their notice. I hope others in our community will do so as well.  The more of us they hear from the less they will have an excuse to ignore our needs.

Penny Wallace