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Opinion Letters

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.


This is a follow-up to my comments in the letters column printed the week of June 26th in which I pointed out that we were doing quite well when it comes to poverty.

The poverty level in 1972 was $4,137 and the poverty level for 2013 was $23,550.

Wow! Big difference. But, let’s take a moment and connect the dots to see what we have.


I would like to offer some empathy to Gary Puckett of Franklin (MCN 7-3) although I have to say he has somewhat burst my bubble. I have long thought Jackson County harbored the most reckless and inconsiderate drivers on the planet, with one possible exception (Italy). In Italy they drive with one foot on the gas, one foot on the brake, both hands on the horn.

I will also state (perhaps this will comfort Mr. Puckett some), driving in Sylva and Dillsboro these past 14 years has made me a better driver, and most certainly a more cautious one.

It is common knowledge that you drive in accord with road conditions and the circumstances are (in Jackson County at least) that if you drive you are going to be tailgated and if you're on a road with curves you must assume the next car you see coming at you will be speeding and on your side of the road.


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