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Opinion Letters

The U.S. Advisory Panel on Dietary Guidelines has finally mustered the courage to recommend that Americans eat less meat and dairy products.

And not just to lower our risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and obesity, but also because it slows the rate of climate changes, with its own devastating consequences.

The 572-page report released on Thursday notes that half of all Americans have preventable diet-related chronic diseases and that two-thirds of adults and one-third of children are overweight. It concludes that a dietary pattern higher in plant-based foods and lower in animal-based foods is more health promoting and associated with lesser environmental impact than the current U.S. diet.


On Feb. 12, Macon County had another close call with wildfire and the loss of structures. I am a retired wildland firefighter/ manager with many years of wildfire experience. When I retired I thought I might develop a business to help homeowners avert the disaster of losing their homes. There are some things that can be done to make homes or structures more likely to remain intact. I went to a local business class for entrepreneurs to see if I could get something started. The idea would be to minimize the chance for a structure to ignite when encroached on by a wildfire from forested/ brushy land. What I found out was that in at least one case even if money was provided to the homeowners by a government grant, almost all homeowners declined to get any help for improvements to their homes or landscapes to make them more fire resistant. Needless to say this concerns me.


The North Carolina General Assembly is currently poised to approve the proposed rules related to large scale horizontal gas extraction, or fracking. Once this is done, fracking will start in a few months. While fracking may potentially harvest large amounts of fossil fuels, the risks involved in this relatively new technology are staggering to say the least. Extremely high levels of toxic chemicals are used in this process as well as large amounts of our most precious asset, water. In the process of fracking one well between two to eight million gallons of water are used.

As a landowner in Cherokee County, I am concerned about such large scale mineral extractions and threats to my water and environment.


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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