In praise of clean roadsides


To the Editor:

Wow! That is the word that burst into my mind a few weeks ago. Returning from Asheville I noticed how clean our roadsides are. Who is seeing that this important job gets done? There has been much talk for years with only moderate success. But, this time we are seeing clean roadsides regularly throughout Jackson County.

I know Mike and Norma Clayton have a passion for this project. Gayle Woody, Julie, Kelly and the whole gang at the Chamber of Commerce must have played a big part. Throw in the publicity provided by the Sylva Herald. With this type of coordination maybe we will stay on track toward keeping the county clean this year and in the future. 

Sorry if I failed to mention other individual and group efforts. Thanks to you for the resounding results of your work, especially those people who are picking up litter on a daily/weekly maintenance schedule. 

Dave Waldrop,



Don’t turn a blind eye to conditions at the border

To the Editor:

On the Statue of Liberty, it reads, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

We used to live up to these words. Not anymore.

Migrant children are being taken from their families and made to sleep on concrete floors in freezing and overcrowded cells with no access to soap or toothbrushes or showers. According to NBC, at least seven migrant children have died since last year after being apprehended by federal authorities – four of them while being held by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

In May, a 16-year-old Guatemalan boy named Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez died in immigration custody in south Texas after being diagnosed with the flu a day before. Last month, immigrant advocates found that CBP was holding a 17-year-old mother from Guatemala in a Texas facility with her prematurely born baby, who advocates believe should have been receiving care in a neonatal unit at a hospital, according to The New York Times. Recently, reports surfaced detailing decrepit and dangerous conditions at a Border Patrol facility in Clint, Texas, where a group of visiting lawyers were horrified to discover a lack of basic necessities available to detainees, including toothbrushes, soap, towels and even showers.

These people are coming here to escape life threatening conditions and/or devastated economies in their own country. They are coming here to survive and to actually live a life, and we are treating them worse than animals. If you think this is unacceptable for America, please, write to your representatives in Congress. There are also many organizations trying to help that you can donate to, such as Immigrant Families Together, RAICES and the American Civil Liberties Union. It is unacceptable for us to sit by and do nothing while families are being torn apart, children traumatized and humans living in such horrible conditions on American soil.

Rachel Smith, 



Appreciative of NCDOT response


To the Editor:

We of the Blackwood Road Association would like to take this opportunity to thank Engineer Nathan Tanner of NCDOT for his and his team’s help and support on a few safety issues that we raised concerning the Blackwood Road entrance off of N.C. 107 in East LaPorte.

Some Blackwood Road residents met with Tanner and his group on June 24 at 10 a.m., and within 24 hours two of the three safety issues were completed and the third issue, faded yellow lines, will be repainted within the next 10 days.

The work on 107 has been long and slow due to delays and revisions. It has been a long two years, and we understand the work will continue for another two years. However, we appreciate the part that has been finished.

Again, we thank Tanner and the NCDOT for their help on our safety issues.

Bill Gross, Gladys Cauley, Kathryn Forbes, 

Eli Jackson and Hank Queen

Blackwood Road Association, East LaPorte