Reader letters, June 25

Jun 24, 2014

Fire devastating, responders dedicated

To the editor:

On May 21, my home was a candle flame in the sky above Waynesville. Many people who were awake early that day watched in horror as firefighters and police from two counties rushed to the difficult location in an attempt to save a life and a home.

My husband re-entered the house after calling the fire department and lost his life from smoke inhalation. My life was saved because of his efforts. Except for Shawn Messer, there are many faces without names recorded in my memory of that morning. Shawn sat with Buddy, my dog, and me, sharing in my amazement as my whole life incinerated.

I sincerely want to express my gratitude for the compassion and comfort the police and firefighters wrapped around me and my elderly dog as we all watched the flames and smoke.

Their tender concern for me was heartwarming in the most devastating hours of my life. So many wonderful people worked hard to save something for me in an extremely challenging situation.

The wind blew in their favor and my guest house remains unharmed thanks to the tireless labors of the dedicated men and women involved.

In addition I want to thank the Taylors and Taylor Ford Motor Company, Blythe Gabriel and Image Services, my friends, and my family for the love and support surrounding me on that day and every day since.

I could not have survived so well without them. I feel very fortunate to live in Haywood County where loving people reached out to help me at a time when I needed everything.

Linda Twomey


Bear shooter should have been charged

To the editor:

Why was the man who shot the bear near Maggie Valley not charged to any extent of the law for willful illegal bear killing?

He tried to get rid of the carcass. He never called the authorities regarding the illegal killing, but had no trouble calling up to whine about bear coming in his yard to eat his bait — birdseed.

According to nearby resident Shannon Woody, he was the only community member who’d reported bear visiting. He was informed last year to take in his birdfeeders at night to stop attracting bear to his yard. He still refuses to do this. The shooter should have to repay the N.C. taxpayers for every penny that goes towards the care of the surviving cubs he orphaned.

He thinks his taxes should pay for a personal property bear sitter. I think he should be responsible for the financial cost of his stupid decision.

It’s not right or fair to saddle this state or county with the cost of the care bill. The rest of us wouldn’t make such a hotheaded, idiot decision. Human/bear coexistence information is out there, readily available to anyone who can read a booklet or web page.

Google Whistler/Canada/Bear. It’s that easy. And it’s written by the experts. If I could locate this information, so could anyone else.  The shooter should become a full time resident of the over paved city in Florida you came from.

I feel so sorry for those cubs. How would you have felt if some thoughtless dude shot your mother down right in front of you while she was desperately trying to protect you from a man with a shotgun?

You live a charmed life. That fine that you should have to pay in full would have gone maybe a little towards paying for the care of those babies you so cruelly orphaned. The blood of the third one is on your hands, just like his mother’s blood is. Why wasn’t he charged at all?

Bethany Matthews

Maggie Valley


Bingo for KARE a success

To the editor:

KARE would like to thank everyone that came out recently to play Bingo at the Waynesville Armory. KARE’s mission is to end child abuse and neglect through advocacy, education, and support.

In order for KARE to continue providing a variety of FREE parenting programs and victim services we need support from our community.

We especially thank our sponsors for the event. Due to our sponsors and the community’s continued support, this event was a success. If you would like to make a donation to KARE, remember all contributions are tax deductible and we will gladly send you a receipt.

Your contributions will directly benefit KARE’s programs and help us continue to serve children and families of Haywood County.

Our caller was humorous Tuscola senior, Austin Cowen, who kept us all laughing with his “Bingo humor.” Austin volunteered his time to call Bingo as well as emcee for our 5KARE in April. We are happy to have him as part of our volunteer team.

KARE will have more opportunities for the community to show their support, “Like” us on Facebook or go to our website to stay informed.

The next fundraising opportunity is a bike race that starts at Lake Logan on Aug. 2. We will need more than 40 volunteers over the age of 17 to help guide riders throughout the route. Call, email, or come by KARE to sign up. 828-456-8995

Stephanie Deisher

Parent Education Coordinator-KARE


What’s real  progress?

To the editor:

Recently, progress seems to have become synonomous with “bigger” and “more.” But why? What is better about bigger and more?

Our roads are being widened to accommodate more traffic.  But why do we want more traffic?  People are planning to build huge housing developments; but what is better about that?  Has everyone forgotten that the whole charm and allure of Waynesville to tourists (and, by the way, to locals) is that it’s small, not too crowded, friendly up to now and has an historic Main Street and beautiful mountains?

Tourists do NOT come here to shop at Walmarts nor to fight their way through traffic snarls.  Practically every county in  America has a Walmarts and all the big towns have traffic snarls.  Tourists come here because Waynesville offers them relative peace, quaintness, friendliness, beautiful scenery and far less hustle and bustle than the places where they, the tourists, come from.

I see those greedy for money slowly destroying our way of life by pushing “bigger” and “more.”  They use specious arguments that this will benefit our merchants, restaurants, services, etc.  This is simply not true.  Our merchants, restaurants and other services will benefit most by keeping Waynesville manageably small and charming.  Really, does anyone think Miami is “charming?” Hardly.

If you agree with this, then please take an active position in calling and writing town and county officials to stop falling for the line that bigger and more mean better.

JoAnna Swanson


Comments (2)
Posted by: Scott Lilly | Jun 24, 2014 17:21

Ms. Swanson, your point on "bigger is not always better" is a sentiment I share.  I'm not sure anyone has put together a competent identity or marketing plan for this area.  But I would love to see at least Waynesville embrace "quality over quantity" as there are some really rich things here that money can't buy -- but sure could ruin if exploited.  Those mountain street dances -- those are great.  But Bele Chere was once like that and in its growth lost what made it adorable.  Having a town government that answers calls and processes citizen concerns effectively is light years away from larger towns with automated call processing systems.  And having a local paper where the folks that work there know just about everyone that matters -- well, priceless.  For those that live here full time and maybe for all of their life, I'm telling you -- don't change a thing!  (Except maybe improve quality.)  I do work in cities all over -- most of them larger.  It's a pace of life and a way of life that is just unpleasant -- even if lucrative.  When I think Waynesville, I think "quaint".

Posted by: Ron Rookstool | Jun 25, 2014 10:18

I agree with Bethany Matthews' OPED.  I googled this website: .

Our community needs to learn to co-exist with wildlife, such as bears.  People need to remember  to avoid approaching bears and too also not leave food out that attracts the bears. Common sense would be to not bait your property to attract bears, simply take bird feeders, trash, etc in at night. Bears attracted to food left out will remember where they found it and will return. This man is asking for bears to return because he is too lazy or obstinate to take his bird feeders in at night. Another bear will return and now he believes it is his right to shoot them because they trespass on his property. He got away with his first killing, will he also get away with his second killing whenever that happens?

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