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Opinion Letters

Maybe it’s a bit early to start thinking about who we would vote for in 2016 but on the other hand we have time to consider all possibilities. As an Independent, I’m free to vote for the best person for the job. During the next two years I plan to listen carefully to what all the candidates have to say and work hard to look past the political hot air.

We all know the promises of socialism have never panned out and all too often the only people who are successful and become rich are the ruling politicians.

Scandinavian people are held up as a great example of socialism but the truth is that life in those countries is stifling where even the slightest bit of ambition is considered evil. Taxes punish those who are creative.

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I’m writing to thank the residents of Franklin and Macon County for their generosity in helping needy children worldwide this Christmas season. Together we were able to collect 5,949 in Macon County and 17,972 shoeboxes in Western North Carolina – which includes Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties — filled with toys, school supplies and hygiene items — for Operation Christmas Child, the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind. We also want to share our U.S. total of almost eight million and worldwide total of over 10.4 million. For many children, these shoeboxes will be the first gifts they have ever received.

Although our local drop-off locations here in Macon County are closed until November 2015, shoebox gifts can be packed any time. Operation Christmas Child is a project of the international Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse, and gifts are received year-round at its North Carolina headquarters (801 Bamboo Road, Boone, North Carolina, 28607).

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Vic Drummond in a recent letter suggested he does not believe in economic projections. He may not realize "estimates" of future economic outcomes is a vital part of planning that any organization whether private businesses or governments would have to do to make wise decisions. Or it may just be that he is not happy that overwhelming data support the basic tenant that any state that expands Medicaid under the present Affordable Care Act is going to reap huge economic benefits for the citizens of that state.

Not only do both of the studies that he wrote about (REMI and George Washington University study) show huge economic benefits for N.C., but there have been 32 other studies in 26 states that have analyzed the anticipated impact of the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion on state and local economies. These studies used at least six different economic impact models all of which have been examined by experts in the field for accuracy.

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Would you like to learn about Scottish influence in the mountains? Would you like to try some Scottish dances, food, trivia? How about researching your own Scottish heritage and finding your clan’s or district’s tartan? Franklin, North Carolina has the only Scottish Tartans museum dedicated to Highland wear and history in the United States.

I invite you to join the Friends of the Scottish Tartans Museum. The museum serves as an educational resource for all those interested in the continuing tradition of Scottish Highland dress and Scottish heritage in the U.S. Some Friends members attend the Highland games in Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The purpose is to promote the museum and help with family history research. Two members work in the gift shop. Many Friends members participate in community events like Burns Night, Tartan Day, Taste of Scotland and the nights of Winter Wonderland. We also have fundraisers.

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