We need to rethink plans for N.C. 107


To the Editor:

After another summer of smooth flowing traffic through Sylva, Western Carolina University started the fall semester this past week and once again Friday afternoon traffic was backed up from Bogarts to Ingles.

Judging by how many WCU parking passes I could see hanging from rear view mirrors as I headed home to Webster, I’m thinking it was several thousands of students along with faculty and staff all leaving town for the weekend. I’m so tired of talking and thinking about this N.C. 107 (and I’m sugar coating this) terrible road project. Seriously think about it, the plan is to destroy half the town, by building a four-lane road to go where the current four-lane road exists. Where is the part where we get cars off the road? Alternate routes, bypasses, that is the way to fix traffic issues, get cars that don’t want/need to be on that road onto another route. We all know that building Cullowhee an access to U.S. 74 is what needs to be done.

Last I time I checked, Jackson County is still within the United States; which makes me have to ask where is democracy, where is majority rule? There are a few elected officials, some people at the Southwestern Commission, and a couple engineers at the DOT who are trying to push this horrible road project on us; but that’s about 12 people, give or take a few. Jackson County has about 40,000 residents almost all of whom are against this road. Where’s democracy? Forty-thousand to 12! That’s not even close, it’s done, it’s over, it’s time to cut your losses on this road project.

It’s unfortunate that the DOT and some people have spent almost 10 years on this road plan, but like a bad stock, it’s “cut your losses time.” We need to get it right. I go to Speedy’s every day to make the BEST pizza, or the best food and dining experience I can possibly provide. The DOT and the people working on this road plan need to do the same, go to work everyday to do the BEST job, not just a job. I understand that this means scrapping 10 years of work, and could be another 10 years until something gets built, but it’s so obvious and logical as to what needs to be done to better this community. Build a highway 74 access to Cullowhee. Odds are Sylva and 107 won’t even have traffic issues if we can get this done.

Let’s be intelligent, let’s be logical, and despite how long it may take, let’s do the right thing for Sylva.

Charles Schmidt,


Schmidt is Owner/GM, Speedy’s Pizza.


North Carolinians deserve 

Medicaid expansion


To the Editor:

My name is Beth Pressley-Hussaini. I’m from Cullowhee, and I have lived in Western North Carolina most of my life. For nearly 16 years I was a public school teacher, during which time I was able to provide for my family and could carry them on my insurance plan.

In 2013, I went on disability. At the time I had enough years in with the state that I was able to take early retirement as well. I had insurance available through Medicare for my disability and through my state retirement plan, but I no longer had the option of carrying my family on my insurance plan.

I have two children. My daughter Holly lives with me. Holly just graduated from Jackson County Early College, and she’s enrolled at Western Carolina University. Holly is a hard worker, and always has a job besides going to school.

When I started receiving my disability, Holly became eligible for NC Health Choice, which was NC’s Medicaid program for children. Holly is turning 18, so she is no longer qualified for Medicaid. She is losing her insurance, which is not an issue for kids whose parents can carry them on their insurance plans until the age of 26.

The way Holly’s situation is now, a big portion of the money she has been awarded for school will go to pay for health insurance and healthcare. Having Medicaid Expansion in North Carolina would change that. Holly would no longer fall into the gap, and her insurance could continue.

I would like to ask my neighbors in WNC to contact Sen. Jim Davis (R-Macon) at 919-733-5875, and ask him to work on a budget that includes Medicaid expansion for my daughter and other hard-working North Carolinians just like her.

Beth Pressley-Hussaini,