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Opinion Letters

An article in the June 6 edition of The Franklin Press about the board of commissioners budget workshop credited me with a statement that I never made about Cowee Fire Department having the highest fire tax and an ISO rating of 9. This can be verified by logging onto http://thunderpigblogspot.com/2014/06/macon-county-commissioners and scrolling down to part Eight- Presentations by Volunteer Fire Depts. 1 to view the video.

In the June 27 edition of the same paper and after calling the reporter but never calling me, Cowee Fire Chief Dustin Pendergrass submitted a letter to the editor accusing me of making slanderous and erroneous statements without doing research, implying that I don’t support local fire departments and that I may be the next person needing emergency assistance.


As our Latin population grows and they gain more political clout, it becomes more difficult to come to a reasonable solution to the question of immigration from Latin America.

We have the humanitarians who don’t want the recent overwhelming influx of children crossing our borders to be returned to their home country citing the dangers these kids face in their home countries which is hypocritical because they ignore the other starving and dying children in the rest of the world.

I therefore must ask where does one draw the line? All told, there are probably 100 million or more suffering children at risk in places like Africa and the Middle East. Millions of kids starve to death in those countries annually.

We could probably pick up another 100 million kids from places like India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.


The Friends of the Scottish Tartans Museum thank Doug Morton for chairing the 17th Annual “Taste of Scotland and Celtic Festival” several weeks ago. Doug has a great positive attitude about the value of this event and was able to convince local merchants to help finance two days of regional Scottish entertainment. He also received financial support from the TDC and TDA for the second year with data showing that the Taste of Scotland is a “tourist destination.”

I listened to Doug talk about his experience as chair of Taste of Scotland while we worked our museum booth at the Grandfather Mountain Scottish Games last weekend. He reports that 3,000-4,000 attended the street fair on Saturday. Jim Geary collected five doublesheets of tablet paper with zip codes from outside Macon County.

The Scottish Dinner on Thursday served 82 at Tartan Hall. The Ceilidh Concert on Friday evening, with “The Three Kilts” and “Caledonia Swing,” drew 200.


Recently “SSI Surveys” popped up on my caller ID and in a moment of curiosity I answered my phone. I figured it was a political questionnaire and it was. What I didn’t anticipate was a veiled attempt by Jim Davis and/or his operatives to misrepresent Davis’s Senate voters while misquoting and selectively editing the positions of his State Senate opponent Jane Hipps.

For example, would I be more or less likely to vote for Jim Davis knowing he voted for an 11 percent raise for North Carolina’s school teachers? Left unsaid was this was a one time raise given at the expense of tenure and future raises and would cut teacher assistant jobs. I replied less likely. How about if you knew he “lowered your taxes?”

Truthfully, this “tax cut” benefits only the wealthiest 20 percent in our state. Poor and middle income citizens will see higher taxes with the repeal of the Earned Income Tax Credit and the movement to a flat tax system where 4 of 5 North Carolinians will pay more in taxes. I emphatically replied, less likely.


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