Think of what we will leave our children


To the Editor:

I was raised up in the Savannah community in the ’50s, ’60s and ‘70s. Back then there were just three TV stations. We got one. So there were no computer games or such so we lived out in the country and we stayed outside and played.

We could get dressed for the cold and outside we would go. We would go to East Fork creek and in the shallow places the creek would be completely frozen over. Not where you could walk on it but we would take rocks and break the ice.

How often do you see creeks frozen over now? Never. Why? Because of climate change. Last year saw the warmest temperatures we’ve ever had. Just a coincidence? No. Climate change! A few years ago they held the Paris climate conference and almost every country in the world signed up for it except Trump’s U.S.A. Parents with young kids, grandparents with grandkids, do you want to hand down the worst climate change by voting for Trump?

We have 5 percent of the world’s population yet we have 25 percent of coronavirus cases. Why? Because Trump knew in January how contagious and deadly it was. He said he kept it hid so people wouldn’t panic. No, that wasn’t the reason. He didn’t want the economy and stock market to go downhill.

He was talking to a lady (and essentially said) if you don’t brag on him he will. He didn’t know he was talking to someone who had done her homework. She said if you’re such a great businessman why have you declared bankruptcy four times in your lifetime.

The former RNC chairman said he was going to vote for Biden. If you noticed I never referred to Trump as president because he’s not – he’s a dictator.

Dale Turpin, Dillsboro



Please vote for healthy role models


To the Editor:

I want to thank Herald reporter Beth Lawrence for her wonderful article on the issue of domestic violence. My father always taught me to respect women. He told me, at an early age, the one thing he would not tolerate was any kind of disrespect for women, verbal or physical. My father was a great role model and always treated my mother with love and respect. Since the beginning of this political campaign, nothing has been more distressing that the way our so-called leader has treated women.

I have been counseling women for most of my professional life and I have always made it clear to them that the men in their lives should be treating them with kindness, compassion and empathy. Unfortunately, that is not the modeling that we have seen exhibited by some of the men who are supposed to be representing us. It is shameful and actually tragic. A woman is the person who brings us all into the world and this government is attempting to control every aspect of the lives of women, often by threatening them and demeaning them.

The way that some women are described by our so-called leader is enough for me to know the candidate for whom I will be voting for the presidency. A real man does not have to insult or disrespect women to feel powerful. A strong woman is frequently very threatening to a weak and insecure man, and that man will react with ridicule and violence.

What good is it to be monetarily rich but empty inside? Vote carefully, as many male candidates (and some women, as well) have shown us who they really are. Please vote for the healthy role models who respect women and the people of the United States.

Michael Gonzalez, Sylva


We all know Biden isn’t a socialist


To the Editor:

It’s disturbing to read virtually identical Letters to the Editor, submitted under different names, so obviously lacking in logic and good faith, and so blindly committed to supporting the thoroughly discredited rantings of the current president. I expect better from the first vice chair of the Jackson County Republican Party who has a civic responsibility to help people of the region understand the issues at stake in this election.

Biden’s “socialism” is not an issue.

Biden isn’t a socialist. Everyone knows this. And when I say “everyone,” I’m not really exaggerating. Polling by the conservative think tank, the American Action Forum, shows that only 4 percent of voters in Ohio, for example, worry about Biden’s “leftist” leanings. The other 96 percent recognize that Biden is a moderate, centrist, even “sleepy” career Democrat — the opposite of radical. “Socialism” is not a label that is sticking to Joe because many Americans know what the term means.

They know that access to affordable education and compassionate health care are not the hallmarks of a radical leftist democratic cabal, but real issues that require conscientious consideration. More than 70 percent of Americans want public universities and colleges to provide free tuition. According to Kaiser Family Foundation polling, approximately 60 percent of Americans believe in some form of government provided or regulated healthcare; maintaining protections for people with pre-existing conditions garners even more bipartisan support. The majority of Americans support those scary “socialist” programs known as Social Security and Medicare.

Everyone is abandoning the criminal in the White House. And when I say “everyone,” I’m not really exaggerating. The list of prominent and responsible citizens and organizations endorsing Biden is long, will only get longer, and includes: Republicans (43 Alumni for Biden, The Lincoln Project, REPAIR, and Republican Voters Against Trump); Evangelical leaders and pro-life activists; 13 Nobel Prize-winning economists; respected scientific journals; 22 retired 4-star generals, and hundreds of national security professionals. They rightly fear four more years of a president distinguished only by his stunning immorality and incompetence, who has watched thousands of Americans die, shredded our economy, undermined our collective faith in science and facts, sabotaged our national security, and embarrassed us on the world stage.

Name calling after a mangled mis-scanning of a supposed manifesto seems intent only on promoting fear, a tactic that should be abandoned in the service of educating voters – as others in leadership positions have done.

Elizabeth Heffelinger, Sylva

An investment in our future


To the Editor:

This election year we have a chance to add a great addition to our community, an indoor swimming pool complex. On the ballot is a bond vote for an indoor swimming pool complex in Jackson County. When voted in, this bond would be a tax increase of $22 per year per $100,000 of property value. This breaks down to $1.84 a month, 42 cents a week or 7 cents a day.

An indoor swimming pool offers many things to a wide variety of people. It offers fun, exercise, competition, social interaction and the learning of a lifelong lifesaving skill. Swimming pools offer a means of social interaction for all ages, relaxation and stress relief. They give participants an opportunity to participate in aerobic, yet low impact exercise. Swimming pools increase safety in a community greatly. Swimming is not just exercise, it is a lifesaving skill! Having a therapeutic or ADA approved pool helps people in the community who have special needs. Water based exercise can help with chronic diseases such as arthritis, as it improves use of affected joints without worsening the condition. Many other diseases or injuries can see positive impacts from regular water exercise or swimming.

Our community is growing fast, and the demands created by this growth will only increase. A benefit of this growth is added tax revenue, and what better timing than now to do this. A vote “yes” towards an indoor pool complex will have a tremendous impact on the lives of Jackson County residents for many years to come. What a great investment for just $1.84 a month. Please take time to consider a “yes” vote for the indoor swimming complex.

Jeff Carpenter, Sylva


Queen has worked tirelessly for WNC


To the Editor:

If you’ve ever hiked or camped in the majestic woodlands of Panthertown Valley, then you can thank Joe Sam Queen, who, as a state legislator, helped to purchase this region from Duke Energy and establish it as a nature preserve so that thousands of North Carolinians and tourists alike could enjoy it for years to come.

Maybe the great outdoors isn’t your thing; you enjoy dressing up and attending a professional production in a resplendent theatre. Again, thank Joe Sam Queen, the chief architect who designed the HART Theatre in Waynesville. Since its opening, Western North Carolinians have been treated to Shakespeare’s plays, modern and contemporary drama, and musicals. Or, if your cultural bent is a bit folksy, thank Mr. Joe Sam, who was one of the sponsors of the Smokey Mountain Folk Festival and who still calls street dances on Waynesville’s Main Street in the summer.

If education is your passion and you’re angry about the GOP’s cuts to teachers and schools, then Joe Sam Queen shares your concerns. His mother was an educator, as were all four of his grandparents. With such role models, Joe Sam has been a proponent of education and has been a sponsor of increased funding for the acceleration and expansion of broadband infrastructure in the state. Access to broadband is essential, especially since the pandemic means more of today’s schooling is done virtually.

Maybe you’re a health-conscious person who likes to shop at the local farmers’ market and work out at a nearby gym. Again, you guessed it, thank Joe Sam Queen, who was instrumental in securing grants for farmers’ markets in WNC (which sell organic, exotic fare such as purple half-runner green beans and cushaw squash) and who was the architect for the HRMC Fitness Center. As chair of its fundraising committee, Joe Sam helped raise more than $3 million.

If you’ve ever nearly fallen asleep at the wheel after attending a show at the HART Theatre or working out at the HRMC Fitness Center or pondering the many tasks of our underpaid teachers, and then suddenly been awakened by a grinding thud of your tires hitting an uneven surface, thank Joe Sam Queen for those newly installed rumble strips on the highway. Patrol officers are particularly grateful since there are fewer accidents.

Speaking of law enforcement, Joe Sam enjoys a good working relationship with local sheriffs and has secured funding for equipment so that officers can effectively do their jobs – unlike Joe Sam’s opponent, who, in his two-year term in office, defunded law enforcement by $10 million, refused to fund rape kits and voted to underfund rural hospitals.

Joe Sam Queen has worked tirelessly for Western North Carolinians. So, if you think local candidates are not important and do not work for you, think again. A vote for Joe Sam is a vote for you.

Cynthia Faircloth-Smith, Sylva

Breaks silence after seeing ad


To the Editor:

I have a tendency to speak my mind. I have intentionally not done so during this election as I believe that there are enough opinions flying around. I have held my tongue and kept my peace. But after seeing the advertisement taken out by the Jackson County Republican Party in The Sylva Herald, I can no longer be silent.

The Jackson County Republican Party states that Republicans are not only voting for Trump but are voting for the Second Amendment. The inference is that those who don’t agree with them are against that amendment. Many gun owners believe there should be some reasonable restrictions placed on gun ownership. I am one of them. They state that they are voting for the next Supreme Court Justice. That is fine, but the Supreme Court should be split between justices with liberal and conservative leanings so that decisions are made on the basis of law rather than ideology. The current administration is packing the court with ideologues. They say they are voting for “the Republic we live in.” We all live in this republic and are voting for what we believe to be the best course for governance. They mention that they are “voting for the military, and the veterans who fought and died for this country.” What about the veterans who may disagree with their politics? They seem to believe that others do not respect veterans. We should remember that we never can repay them and we never should forget. They say they are voting for the right to speak their opinions and not be censored. I fail to see where anyone is being censored considering that their advertisement was placed and published in the paper. The JCRP states that they vote for the right to praise their God without fear. I see no churches burning or ministers arrested and imprisoned. I have seen mosques bombed, temples burned, Muslims, Jews, Sikhs harassed because of their religion. The only Christian churches that I can remember having been bombed happened decades ago, but then they all had predominately Black congregations. The JCRP accuses the Democrats of murder, imply they are not true patriots, and are evil because Republicans are voting “for good against evil.” And they state that they are “voting for freedom and the American Dream.” I am voting that way too. I am free to choose how I will vote, but my vision of the American Dream is far different from theirs.

Our politics has devolved into an “us against them” attitude. Whatever happened to the concept of “We the People?” The advertisement placed in The Sylva Herald by the Jackson County Republican Party is the most blatant and disgusting example of this divisiveness that I have observed in this election period. Their last statement in the advertisement is that they are “voting for the future of my country.”

Well, so am I, and my vision of my country includes all of the people, not just those with whom I agree.

Luther Jones, Sylva


Biden hidden in his basement


To the Editor:

How insulting Joe Biden is to the American public…us the voters, the ones who deserve to know what our candidates think, how they speak, what they look like and who they are.

But, not so with presidential candidate Joe Biden. Biden puts a daily lid on his appearances on the campaign trail and slips out for a few campaign stops here and there. When asked if he would pack the Supreme Court he denied that voters have a right to know his thoughts before casting their ballots.

On the other hand, presidential candidate Donald Trump is not only in the candidate scene every day, he stops to take press questions whenever he steps out of the White House. We have no question about what Trump thinks or where he is going with his policies. He challenges media misinformation and explains where the distortions are wrong. There are press conferences, cameras and media at Oval Office and committee meetings. There is unprecedented transparency in the Trump administration and campaign. The kind of candidate and president we deserve and expect is like Donald Trump not daily basement hiders and lid refuge retreaters like we see in Joe Biden.

Thinks about the voters. Choose a transparent President Donald Trump or we will get a presidential administration like Joe Biden that is hidden away, cloaked in secrecy and probably unseen in public except for a few national events.

Joanne Lindquist, Glenville

To those who are undecided


To the Editor:

If you believe:

Permanent one-party rule is desirable;

Big cities should always determine who becomes president;

The judiciary should be stacked to ensure the “correct” ruling;

There is no need to be concerned about election irregularities involving “privileged” candidates;

It is good for giant corporations to restrict and control the flow of information rather than allowing a free exchange of ideas; (Bernie bros, where are you on this?)

Government corruption is no problem and the less looked into the better;

People’s convenience outweighs a child’s life;

Violence, bullying and intimidation are legitimate forms of political discourse;

Billionaires should buy elections;

Open borders are good;

Foreign influence in government is nothing to be concerned about;

Vote Democrat.

If you believe:

Hatred and envy will never build a good and just society;

Racism is still racism regardless of the color or lack thereof;

The goal of education is education and free inquiry, not indoctrination and groupthink;

A person is innocent until proven guilty;

People without accountability are prone to corruption;

The mainstream press has been derelict in its duty;

Tech giants should not be allowed to run the government;

Religious convictions are not bigotry but anti-religious animus is;

We should not encourage organized crime by having open borders;

Peace is preferable to war if there is a way to avoid it;

Our leaders should not be in a position to be blackmailed;

Vote Republican.

David Parker, Sylva


Let’s put the Trump trauma to an end


To the Editor:

All of us who have lived through these four years of Trump trauma at last can see that perhaps it’s all been worth it. The division of the country and the assault on democracy and decency is at last up for a vote.

If this had been a traditional Republican presidency with a normal person it may have passed as yet another lackluster election. But the country is witnessing a rise in white supremacy and domestic terrorism fueled by the president. His penchant for dictatorship is obvious by his demand for loyalty to him. Think of all those who have been fired or quit because they failed to please him?

The pandemic has become the rallying cry to replace Trump with someone who can actually lead and address this life-threatening reality. Denying and lying about the pandemic is not preventing deaths. Blaming China is not preventing deaths. Blatantly admitting that no effort is being made to control the pandemic is certainly not preventing deaths. Caring about saving lives must be more important than self-interest or saving money. This administration does not care about the American public health.

Joe Biden does care. He is a normal human being who can see beyond himself and has served the American people for decades. He possesses empathy and compassion. He spent eight years as vice president and was not a bootlicker to the president but a partner in leadership.

This election is an opportunity to manage this pandemic.

This election is an opportunity to restore civility and stability among ourselves.

This election is about restoring our dignity as a nation in the world.

This election is about voting Democratic all the way so our goals can be achieved.

This election is about you believing our country is good and worth saving.

Please vote Biden/Harris.

Let’s end this Donald Drama and return to regular living.

Dottie Hoche, Sylva