Do research before planting


To the Editor:

Butterfly bush, burning bush, Japanese barberry, nandina, privet, English ivy. What do all of these have in common?

Number one, they are exotic, highly invasive species that are encroaching into our native ecosystems here in the mountains and displacing native plants and animals. Number two, they can all be purchased locally.

Yes, butterflies and moths love to visit butterfly bush for its nectar, but they like plenty of native alternatives just as much or even more. Not only that, while butterfly bush provides nectar, it doesn’t provide a food source for butterfly larvae (i.e. caterpillars), like milkweed, spicebush, and pawpaw trees do (among many others). At the same time, it is taking the place of the plants that do provide food for caterpillars and habitat for many other important insects. The same goes for all of the other plants previously mentioned.

These plants are destroying the incredible biodiversity we are lucky to have here in Western North Carolina. So please, research before you buy new plants and try to remove the exotic invasive species you probably already have on your property.

Rachel Smith,



Can it get worse?


To the Editor:

I don’t know where to even start. Maybe to say I am sick, so very sick of what happened in Greenville at East Carolina University. And what we learned the same day.

First of all why in the world would any place in our state allow a white nationalist and racist message to be communicated and then say nothing about it afterward? Yes, I am talking about Donald Trump and his blatant message of hate and racism.

Additionally we saw video of Trump with cheerleaders… fondling and manhandling them while his casinos went bankrupt. He has shown disregard for the rule of law to the point he and his friend Epstein should both be thrown under the jail. Lock him up, lock him up.

I learned that Mark Meadows serves as an advisor to Trump and considers him a friend. Has Meadows voiced a word of condemnation for these actions? What about Thom Tillis and Richard Burr? They have said nothing.

Trump speaks of socialism. Please understand we do not have a problem in our country with socialism. Our challenge and national risk is fascism. Fascists typically use the word “socialism” to scare us in an attempt to gain control. Fascist messaging fans the flames of racism and flaunts the laws of our country. That describes Adolf Hitler.

It also describes the current occupant of the White House. Both have several things in common including “Make Germany/America Great Again!” and selling hate of minority groups as hope for struggling citizens. According to an ex-wife, Trump kept a copy of Hitler’s sequel to Mein Kampf by his bed.

We can no longer remain silent to hatred and name calling.

Ron Robinson,



Speed limits need to be taken seriously


To the Editor:

I have been a resident of Jackson for a decade. I have a lot of experience with traffic congestion at problem areas on East Main Street/N.C. 107.

The 35 mph speed limit is completely ignored. At the juncture where traffic emerging from Exit 85 and merges into N/S traffic on 107 (aka “THE problem area”!) cars and even heavily laden large transport and dump trucks speed at far above that sign limit.

Some states allow cameras to catch this type of reckless driver, and the penalty for not paying a ticket is can be cancellation of the driver’s license. No police force has to interfere with traffic flow that is already congested beyond imagining.

In our estimation, after nearly being creamed on a few occasions, enforcement of a 25 mph zone as cars approach the light at that intersection would greatly add to the safety of everyone. Recently, a big transport truck, heavily laden, was doing 50-55 mph as it passed everyone and was trying to beat the light. There is no way it could have stopped had there been the necessity to do so – no thought or concern for safety of other vehicles was on that driver’s mind.

Enforced speed zones using technology could, in the long run, save lives. We do not need to wait two or three years to solve the N.C. 107 dilemma.

Carol McCrite,