Reader letters, March 29

Mar 28, 2017

Tribute to Lt. Price was fitting

On behalf of Lt.  Mike Price’s family and the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office, we would like to extend our deepest gratitude to fellow law enforcement agencies, fire departments, emergency medical services, the rescue squad, state fire service personnel, Mike’s many friends in the community, business owners, caring citizens that may have not met Mike personally but honored him in the funeral procession and members of the media.

Even if we have not formally met, it is important that we recognize the remarkable connection that brought us together in the last week, as we have mourned the loss of Mike.

Lt. Michael “Goon” Price, a man of incredible stature and strength in many ways, stood toe-to-toe with the biggest challenge of his life over the past year.

As the end of his painful battle with cancer drew near, he knew in his heart that he did not lose, as his 45 years on earth were incredibly well-spent, connecting with literally thousands of people that came away from an encounter with Mike a better person, and always with a smile on their face and a blessing in their heart.

Mike’s way of living his life with unapologetic love and compassion for his family and friends is not something that will fade as time passes. Instead, his example has compelled many of us to figure out how we can be better friends to each other-- how can we live our lives in such a way that we too might be considered people who “stand tall in our actions.”

Friends old and new, near and far, came to pay their respects at the receiving of friends, forming a continuous line for five straight hours at the funeral home.  What a testimony of the impact he had made on so many.

The next day, Senior Pastor David Reeves of the Cullowhee United Methodist Church, a speaker at Lt. Price’s funeral service, shared wonderful and uplifting stories about Goon’s ways of showing people love — no matter who was watching or how funny it may have looked.

After the service was over, as we began the procession to the gravesite, there was a seemingly endless line of first responder lights that led the way for his final ride through Haywood County. The line of flashing lights passing through town led many motorists to stop their vehicles, get out and stand in respect.  Others, either pedestrians or citizens living along the route, stopped their activities and for the length of time it took the funeral coach to pass, put their hand over their heart or saluted. It was as if everything stood still and was silent in our little corner of the world in reverence of our colleague and friend.

Later that evening as we drove home heavy hearted, messages honoring Mike and in support of the Price family dotted the roads on business marquees throughout Haywood County; and I must say as I have many times before, what an honor and privilege it is to live and work in a county that continues to prove over and over again why others move here daily.

Thank you to everyone that helped us pay tribute to a man that had given many years of dedicated service to the citizens of our county.  The sum of everything was nothing short of Providence.

In God We Trust,

Sheriff Greg Christopher


Health bill fate is no reason to gloat

To the editor:

The failure to repeal the ACA is good news––but it’s definitely not the final word.

That the GOP is in self-inflicted disarray is proof of their top-to-bottom ineptness and fragmented leadership. But be assured that the GOP will continue to obey the wishes of their favorite constituency. You know...the ones with the big, anonymous bucks.

However, this is not the time to confront Republicans with jeers and taunts. This is not the time for Democrats, Progressives, et al, to gloat.

It is the time to learn and understand that fractious and disparate goals are doomed to failure.

And it definitely is the time to communicate with and support each other, to identify mutual resources, to identify viable and competent candidates, and to develop common-sense strategies to win in 2018. We must stay calm, positive and strong.

Bill Lusto



Compromise would have been better

To the editor:

This is a letter I sent to Congressman Mark Meadows on March 24.

Dear Sir,

I voted for you in November: it took you only five months to betray my trust. You and the so-called “House Freedom Caucus” of which you are chair have relegated me to yet another unaffordable year, and quite likely many more, of ObamaCare.

Although I am unlikely to vote for a Democrat, I am even more unlikely ever again to vote for you.

“The perfect is the enemy of the good:” your “Caucus” has once again demonstrated the truth of that expression. We are all aware that the House healthcare bill was imperfect. We know that a better plan might have been created, given time and goodwill. Your “caucus” completely lacks goodwill, or any interest in the welfare of your constituents.

Thanks to your “caucus’s” refusal to support a compromise that, while imperfect, at least would have relieved Americans of some of the worst effects of the Affordable Care Act. Your constituents are now stuck with all of them.

If you and your “caucus” are unaware that compromise is essential to democracy, then you have no business sitting in Congress.

You are exactly the same sort of unregenerate ideologues as the unspeakable Congresswoman Pelosi, and you deserve exactly the same sort of scorn.

It is obvious to everyone except you and your “Caucus” that this was the best chance that is likely to come along to relieve your constituents of some of ObamaCare’s worse effects. Would you support it, however imperfect? No: you have mindlessly stood by unrealizable “principles,” in the process penalizing the people who voted for you.

You will not suffer from the Affordable Care Act: the Democrats made sure of that, and you are delighted to take advantage of the privileges for members of Congress and their staffs that they built into it. But thanks to you and your ineffable “Caucus,” the rest of us will continue to.

There is now little chance that we will be relieved of the worst consequences of the Affordable Care Act, and we have you and your absurd “House Freedom Caucus” to thank.

despise the ridiculous and self-regarding ideological “purity” that you have purchased at my expense.

You exploit the disdain of your constituents for the opposition party to keep you in an office that, since you are unwilling to work in their interests, you obviously do not deserve.

Dr. John B. Abbink