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Opinion Letters

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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Last week’s copy of The Macon News finally did it. The articles on the need for a sidewalk for the restaurant The Bowery, and the article about the ban on street banners. Ever since moving to Macon County, I have heard nothing but negativity about the officials for the Town of Franklin. Comments like the “Good Old Boys” want nothing to change, they are against development, and they are totally incompetent. I love living in the mountains of Macon County, so close to everything I feel important but thank God I did not move into the actual city of Franklin.

Take a short trip to Sylva, Clayton or Waynesville, which I do often, and notice that activity, the busy streets and the number of people shopping these areas. The merchants there tell me that they receive great support and cooperation from their municipal councils.

Last week’s issue of The Macon News, really points out the lack of cooperation and support Franklin’s town council offers the merchants of this town. In this week’s issue of The Macon News, my thoughts and opinion are certainly born out in the many letters regarding these same issues.

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Vic Drummond requires concrete proof of the success of the Affordable Care Act. Those truly interested in facts need to research the impact of expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act in the Republican dominated states of Arkansas, Arizona and Kentucky, as well as its impact in Washington State.

All of these states have experienced a dramatic decrease in the number of uninsured people, vast economic benefits to their health care systems and economic growth. North Carolina has 500,000 uninsured citizens and each day this state returns $4.9 million to the federal government. It is unproductive to speculate about future outcomes since no one of us can predict the future. What is the current status of North Carolina's health care system resulting from the state's rejection of the Affordable Care Act?

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I can’t tell you how many small towns I’ve driven though in recent years that have storefronts looking dark, empty and sad. When “The Bowery” came into Franklin, I was delighted to see that storefront space come to life again. Even better, I saw business coming from them to local businesses. Also, we have some new jobs in town. How wonderful, I thought, that we have a new employer in our little town and a beautiful restaurant that we could be proud of. In my opinion, we needed one that was a bit more “fine dining.” My husband and I are retired and don’t eat out a lot, but isn’t it wonderful to have a great place to go especially on special occasions.

Then ... “Sidewalk dispute could spell end to The Bowery” hit my eyes! Are you kidding me? I was shocked when I saw that article in Thursday’s issue of The Macon County News. As I read further into the article and saw where Alderman Curtis called the owners of The Bowery “thieves” I was even more shocked! I don’t know about you, but I would never call someone a thief who just invested untold amounts of money and effort into my town!

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