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- published 8/21 (Larry) old link: http://www1.cfnc.org/applications/NC_Community_College/apply.html?application_id=1527

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Opinion Letters

In the spirit of Thanksgiving and with the Christmas Season upon us, Macon TRACS would like to express our sincere appreciation to our community for their support. The support this community gave to Macon TRACS blessed us with a successful 2014 serving our community.

Thank you to all our volunteers. Your help, time, energy and talents are priceless gifts. You are the fuel that brings it all together and makes it work. Thank you to all our supporters, both individuals and local businesses, who have contributed. You provided the means (goods, services and money) to make it happen. Thank you to the Macon County Fair Board for their loyal and consistent support. You provided the place for meetings, events and lessons. Thank you to all those who attended our events. Spending your time and monies with us helped support the cause.

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I know many are high on the recent Senate victory but sooner or later you're going to come back down to earth and realize that politics are king. This group is no different than the last group, nor the group before them. Yes, there may be a few changes, just for window dressing if you will, but real change? Nope, I doubt we'll see any of that.

Let's see this group limit the executive power of the president and install term limits on Congress. End the spying on American citizens and reign in spending and the ever increasing size of the federal government. Bring an end to insider trading practices that Congress enjoys but we would go to jail for. Bring an end to QE before it completely devalues our dollar and subsequently wipes out our life savings and enslaves our children. Or how about ending the practice of exempting themselves from the laws that they pass but require us to abide by?

Same old story, just a different group.

Jim Eliason — Franklin, N.C.

With the passing of Dr. Fred Berger in October and after attending his memorial service, I think often about what he meant to me, our family, his friends, and the Macon County community. Collected below are some of these thoughts.

I loved Fred like a brother. As college roommates for three years, we shared more funny moments than can possibly be recounted. Though we were the original “odd couple,” we made it all the way together through Duke. Fred was the more subdued of the two of us, and was the voice of reason. We admired one another’s special talents — his included guitar, a mellow singing voice, and excellent study habits, and mine was the ability to ace a term paper thrown together in a frantic 48 hours. Fred never watched much TV while at Duke. I guess I put in enough “tube time” for both of us.

I always envied Fred’s having grown up with the same guys all the way through high school. He was an exceptional, lifelong friend to his buddies from Clayton, Mo. I got to know Rupert, Abe, Rock, and Kenny decades before meeting them. After all, they were the main characters in stories Fred told — often punctuated with impressions of their speech and mannerisms. And though Fred never sought to be the central figure who drew them together, I feel he probably was.

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I support your public effort to urge the United States Forest Service to reevaluate its plan for the Nantahala National Forest and to work with the Macon County Board of Commissioners to support the inclusion of wilderness areas within the USFS plan.

I agree with the principles that you have stated, namely, the promotion of an environment that will attract and be enjoyable for the public. Your stated principles are economic. They are realistic given the scope and responsibilities of your office.

I urge you and the public to consider another reason to support wilderness. I call this the “Bartram Mercy Principle.” I’ll explain.

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