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Opinion Letters

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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This Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, the 40-day period before Easter, when many Christians abstain from animal foods in remembrance of Jesus’ 40 days of fasting in the desert before launching his ministry.

But meat-free Lent is much more than a symbol of religious devotion to Christ. It helps reduce the risk of chronic disease, environmental degradation, and animal abuse. Dozens of medical reports have linked consumption of animal products with elevated risk of heart failure, stroke, cancer, and other killer diseases. A 2007 U.N. report named meat production as the largest source of greenhouse gases and water pollution. Undercover investigations have documented farm animals being beaten, caged, crowded, deprived, mutilated, and shocked.

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According to the letter by Vic Drummond (MCN Feb. 12) he took one on the chin from another letter writer (Ed Morris) for his views regarding the expansion of Medicaid in North Carolina. I read Vic Drummond's original letter in The Franklin Press so let me just say this ... Mr. Drummond is far more right than wrong in his beliefs.

Drummond is precisely accurate, for example, "that every dollar government spends has been taken out of a taxpayer's pocket, or added to the national debt, and has a negative economic impact when taken." Our enormous national debt (what is it, $18 trillion?), that's a lot of zeroes, clearly symbolizes our nation’s economic wrongheadedness.

Granted, it's awfully difficult these days to separate facts from opinion so I will leave it to your readers to decide what they want to believe is fact or fiction. I retired from the Navy in 1980, went to college, earned a couple of degrees, and spent the better part of the next 20 years as a child and family therapist laboring in mental health and education.

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I have always had a great respect for our local fire departments but until this week had never depended on them; this week our neighborhood had to depend on every fire department in the county, including the towns of Franklin and Highlands and the capable folks at the Forest Service.

When the forest fire started on our mountain, our entire neighborhood was at risk. The high winds, low humidity and cold temps created a worst case scenario. For a couple hours it looked like many of us could have our homes destroyed by the fire. Thankfully, that did not happen! Because of the close coordination and cooperation between the Forest Service and all of the fire departments from Macon County, we did not lose a single home. I cannot begin to name all the fire departments, but I would like to let them know we appreciate their hard work on our behalf and thank them for our entire community.

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