Regulations can serve noble and necessary purposes


To the Editor:


Laissez-faire capitalists and many conservatives seem to think that the only purpose of regulations is to increase costs and paperwork. The original purpose of regulations was to protect people’s health and welfare as well as the environment; many times these efforts overlapped.

Growing up in the 1960s it was easy to see why the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act were adopted by a bi-partisan Congress and signed by a Republican president. If we went swimming in our local river we inevitably got ear infections or stomach disorders. The fish we caught had grotesque lesions on their eyes and skin and you couldn’t eat local clams or oysters raw. Nationally the Cuyahoga River in Ohio caught on fire and Los Angelinos couldn’t safely breath the air. There has been real and lasting progress in correcting many of these problems nationwide.

Climate change is a profound planet-wide impact which we are only beginning to witness. Climate scientists have concluded that exacerbated floods, droughts, storms, fires and sea level rise are consequences of climate changes which are only going to get worse. These changes are having profound impacts on agriculture worldwide.

The federal government refused to seriously address the problem, while many communities are already feeling the problems of sea level rise and flooding (think Outer Banks, Mississippi River Delta, Miami Beach, and Newport News, Virginia). Clearly, even our beloved mountains are not immune to these problems (more on this topic to come).

We can talk about specific impacts associated with recent regulatory changes. As reported by the New York Times, the EPA’s plan to replace the Clean Power Plan (CPP) is euphemistically called the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) proposal. The CPP’s goal was to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent compared to 2005 levels by 2030, while the ACE would reduce emissions between 0.7 and 1.5 percent in the same time frame, which is significant retraction from earlier goals. This will allow older coal-burning plants to hang on longer with fewer emission controls. On the health side of the equations the EPA estimates that the ACE will cause an additional 1,400 premature deaths and 48,000 new cases of asthma every year.

I haven’t even talked about financial and labor regulations which were put in place to protect consumers and workers. These obviously curtail Wall Street and many businesses given their efforts to roll them back to increase profits.

When you start thinking about voting in November, think hard about whether these regulations which protect your finances, your health, your environment and even your life are worth scrapping to help corporations, their executives and shareholders make ever more profits.

Eric Myers,




Can we skip the ride to Greenville?


To the Editor:

One of the first things I did when I moved to Whittier was to subscribe to the Sylva Herald. It’s great to find out what’s going on in the area and what events might be coming up. Local news is good news.

It took the July 2 edition five days to get to my mailbox. I realize there was a holiday during that time. Delivery has slowed down to I might not get the paper until Friday, or Saturday, sometimes even Monday. Not much time to plan on attending any of the events because by then they’ve already happened.

I understand the papers headed to Whittier have to take a detour to Greenville, South Carolina on their way to Whittier. Please, Sylva Herald, find a way to take our newspapers directly to the Whittier post office and skip the ride to Greenville.

Dennis Corvin-Blackburn,




A survivor says to wear a mask


To the Editor:

Recently my wife Wanda and I contracted COVID-19 at basically the same time. Fortunately, she was able to recover at home within four or five days. Her symptoms were fever, loss of energy and strength, and a loss of taste.

On the other hand, my bout with COVID-19 included pneumonia in both lungs. It is a special pneumonia associated with COVID-19 that is immune to the pneumonia vaccination that many senior citizens and others take to avoid that illness. I spent a total of nine days at Harris Regional Hospital with seven of them in ICU where I received an array of medications, fluids, oxygen, etc.

At the end of nine days I was released from the hospital connected to portable oxygen and have been at home since that time to complete recovery. The main challenge before me now is the healing of my lungs. Hopefully, it will only take a few weeks for my lungs to regain their former functionality. However, I have read that this could take as much as three months to a year.

This has been at the very least a most disconcerting time for Wanda and me. However, we feel very blessed and thankful to have survived this terrible virus. We are especially appreciative of the wonderful physicians, nurses and other medical professionals who have provided care to us during this time while at the same time putting themselves at risk.

I know that those who took care of me in the hospital did so with the highest level of professionalism, dedication and compassion. I was not able to see the faces of most of them because of the masks they wore, but I know that behind each of those masks was the face of an angel. God bless each of you and keep you safe from this disease and the many others you face daily as you tend to your patients’ medical needs. Thank you, too, Harris Regional Hospital for what you do for the health of the people in our communities.

I would be remiss if I did not express my thanks to the many people in the community, my business, and our family who have helped and encouraged Wanda and me during this difficult time. Thank you!

Finally, to all of you I say take this COVID-19 disease seriously and do your part to prevent its spread. Follow the social distance guidelines, wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, and wear masks. Do it for yourself and for others.

Charles Wolfe,





Let’s hear the recovery numbers


To the Editor:

When reporting the COVID-19 pandemic numbers for Jackson County, more important the number of those who have recovered should also be stated.

Since collecting the data began, currently to date July 7, there have been 157 cases and one death. Without the number of those who have recovered, it panics people to think the numbers are growing. In the 2019 census Jackson County population was 43,938. This is for a county of 495 square miles. All information should be made public.

Victoria Stickle,




Sylva Sam... whose side is our town on?


To the Editor:

Hey Sylva Sam, you good ole Confederate soldier; thank you for reminding us of the racism in our heritage. Thank you for standing tall all these years reminding people of color that us white folks are still supreme. Did you see how good our police and town take care of you?

Saturday I was trying to get to Bridge Park to protest your place in our town along with racial injustice in our community. But Sylva’s finest and our fire department blocked every entrance to Bridge Park. I had to circle around time and again to finally find parking in a nearby neighborhood. People straggled in after finding parking outside the area. Their program began much later as a result.

But good news Sylva Sam, you ole symbol of racism you: Our town provided easy access for your supporters to the Jackson County library. I witnessed hundreds of folks driving into the parking area before waving their flags of hate.

You can rest easy! With that support and a county commissioner who expressed the sentiment “both sides have good people,” you are in good stead. One of the commissioner’s good racist people explained to me why it is acceptable to shoot black people in the back when running from police. “They have long legs and can run fast,” he said.

As a community organizer and business developer I have seen much in my time. It saddens me to see that even this week those of white privilege still enable racism to take hold and grow in our communities. There seem to be no will for changing the status quo even to help the community. I know you hear comments such as, “Don’t rock the boat,” “Just get over it,” “We elected a black president, isn’t that enough?” Isn’t it time for white folks to “just get over it” and start making positive change?

You may be around for another hundred years!

Ron Robinson,