New video board fails to deliver


To the Editor:

There was an article published in the Jan. 2 Sylva Herald that described the new video board coming to the Ramsey Center. We arrived in Cullowhee in time for the 1966-67 basketball season.  And yes, we did see Henry Logan play in Reid Gym for two years and he was the best small player we have ever seen and we have been basketball fans of Western Carolina ever since.

A four-sided video board sounded great. Imagine my disappointment when I attended the WCU vs. Mercer game on Jan. 11. Mind you, I sit about the 10th row up from the floor and about opposite the top of the three-point line. Much of the information on the video board is in such small letters/numbers that I cannot read the info.

I don’t need to watch the game on the video board when I can see it on the floor. Have you noticed those who show up for WCU games when the students don’t? Probably well over 50 percent, based on the gray hair in the crowd, are well over 50.

Why would anyone design a video board like that when so many in the audience can’t read it? I checked with others whose vision is better than mine and they had the same issue. Sorry to be so critical, but maybe input from a cross section of the attending population would have been prudent. I’m certain we’ll have to live with this video board for some time. Guess I’ll just have to bring some binoculars so I won’t have to keep asking my husband who made that foul and what is the score.

Marcia Woosley,



Second Amendment issues in context


To the Editor:

Firearm legislation proposed in Virginia would ban assault weapons, bump stocks, high-capacity magazines, require background checks on all gun sales (91 percent of Virginians support this), limit handgun purchases to one a month, increase the penalty for leaving unsecured firearms near children, require that a lost or stolen firearm be reported in 24 hours and allow courts to temporarily prohibit access to firearms by someone found to pose a danger to themselves or others.

In light of the gun violence in the U.S., don’t most of these ideas seem like common sense? A fabricated quote is circulating stating that “the Virginia governor says he intends to raid your house and kill you when you don’t give him what he wants.” The governor didn’t say that! This is fearmongering, as is “they want to abolish the Second Amendment” and “the government’s gonna get your guns.”

Really? How could that happen with the millions of privately owned firearms in the country? In early colonial days firearms were used for hunting and fighting native Americans. Prior to the Revolution, all colonies except Pennsylvania required most able-bodied men to own firearms, to be called for training and to defend their communities from attack.

These were the earliest U.S. militia. The Sons of Liberty included Samuel Adams, John Hancock and Paul Revere. They were grassroots instigators who used civil disobedience, threats and some violence to intimidate those loyalists and to push moderate colonial leaders to confront England.

The Boston Massacre was in 1770 when more than 2,000 British troops occupied Boston to enforce tax laws. The confrontation resulted in five dead colonists and six wounded. The Boston Tea Party of 1774 was followed by the birth of the Minutemen – reorganized militia who were trained so they could “turn out” at a minute’s notice. When George Washington arrived near Boston following the Battle of Bunker Hill (June 17, 1775) he developed the militia he found there into a regular army. The Continental Army, under Washington, was established by Congress that same year.

The Second Amendment was adopted in 1787. James Madison, father of our Constitution, wrote in 1789 that “a well regulated-militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country.” He went on to explain that well-regulated means trained. How many who own military-style firearms are well trained in their use? Do they use them for hunting? The purpose of bearing arms and having a militia was defending the country The country, not individuals! The colonists were fighting against foreign domination. Prior to 1775 there was no Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard. Please check facts and understand context. Like the folks in Richmond on MLK Day, if we disagree let us disagree agreeably without violence.

Last year there were more than 400 mass shootings. North Carolina ranks 21st in gun deaths That is our current context.

Gene Tunnell,



Performance of SPD draws praise


To the Editor:

I would like to start by thanking everyone who attended the Sylva Women’s March on Jan. 18 despite the cold and wet weather. We had a great lineup of speakers that warmed our hearts despite the cold outside.

I also would like to highlight the work of Chris Hatton, our new Sylva Police chief, and the police department. The department has been professional and a real pleasure to work with.

Their hard work has shown us what community policing should look like. Community policing requires the police department to build ties and work closely with members of the community. Chief Hatton and his department did just that. He attended a planning meeting prior to our march to discuss safety and the best march route. On the day of the event he and his staff were available and close by and patrolled the area in the rain with a smile.

We are lucky to live in a town where the residents have a good relationship with their police department and where we citizens can approach the chief without any trepidation. They have been true to their vision that is “to inspire trust from our community to protect all of those we serve” and their mission “to serve the community with the highest level of police services with integrity, professionalism, respect and transparency.”

Thank you Chief Hatton and your dedicated staff for a job well done.

Nilofer Couture,