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Opinion Letters

By this means I thank N.C. Sen. Jim Davis for recently presenting the Fracking Forum in Macon County to afford his constituents the opportunity to at least attend a meeting where Senate Bill 786, the Energy Modernization Act, was discussed.

The Energy Modernization Act is the overreaching bill that lifts the moratorium on issuing State permits for hydraulic fracturing for gas, or fracking. The law allows companies to start the processes that will lead to fracking with much protection for those who will profit most, little concern for the health and safety of the people who will someday, somehow be impacted, and a callous disregard for the Earth that sustains all of us. Sen. Davis is proud to have been one of the bill's sponsors. His constituents were not heard before the law passed. Now the local governments that more directly represent us are rendered powerless in protecting our land and our lives. Our Franklin Board of Aldermen and our Macon County Commission, as well as all other local government units in the State, are prohibited from passing any ordinances “that in any manner are in conflict or inconsistent with the provisions” of SB786.

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The Town of Franklin ought not to abdicate its responsibility to maintain and care for the Nikwasi Mound for the people of Macon County as written in the deed.

The deed to the Nikwasi Mound states that, “the mound shall be preserved for the citizens of Macon County and for posterity, and the same shall be kept as it now stands and shall not be excavated, explored, altered, or impaired in any way or used for any commercial purpose, and shall be kept as a monument to the early history of Macon County ...”

Furthermore, “any deed, lease or other contract which in any way may interfere with the objects and purposes of this instrument as above set forth shall be null and void, and should the Town of Franklin at any time fail to carry out the provisions of this instrument, then any citizen of Macon County shall have the right to apply to the Court for injunctive relief and to prosecute said action in their own behalf and in behalf of all other citizens of Macon County.”

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It seems as of late, we have been hearing of many dire consequences of low state spending for education in N.C.

Here are some facts you might want to check out.

According to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 3,198 public state-funded education jobs have been added this year. Since the Republicans have held the majority, 7,811 total teaching jobs have been added!

Also, some TV ads are saying education funding is being severely cut by half a billion dollars. Nope, wrong again.

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Franklin North Carolina, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful places in the southeast. Folks come from all over the place to enjoy the outdoor activities that our area has to offer. Activities such as hiking, camping, running, fishing, zip-lining, and, yes, even bicycling. In fact, that's the main reason my wife, Pam and I moved to Franklin over 12 years ago. While our passion at the time was mountain biking, we quickly became road cyclists. Franklin has some of the best road biking that I've experienced. Heck, it's no wonder people from all over the country come here to ride our roads!

Before I got into cycling I was like most Americans, I didn't get much exercise. I was part of that "less than one percent" of us who didn't achieve 30 minutes of physical activity on any given day. Really? Less than one percent?! When I used to see someone my age biking, I'd be like, what's that guy doing?! Why is he on the road? Is he crazy or something? I didn't realize until later that I was right. Cyclists are crazy, they're crazy about biking. Some are even a bit obsessed with it.

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