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Thank you for the news

As I was sitting here this morning reading my copy of the Mountaineer, and the column about setting goals in 2022, I was reminded I hadn’t done something at the end of this past year.

In the week between Christmas and New Year’s, I always try to think about what I was thankful for that happened during the year. This was a somewhat complex year to construct that list.

But I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you how thankful I am for The Mountaineer and all the work that you and your team do. I know that it is a Herculean task and you all accomplish it with such skill and insight.

So thank you. I am very grateful for you.

Lorna Sterling

Waynesville

Let’s dial back violent speech

Karl Rove wrote an opinion piece condemning the violence on Jan. 6 in the Wall Street Journal that struck me as meaningful because it highlights a viewable difference in political parties. It’s meaningful because of what I’ve witnessed.

This past apple festival I chose to hang around the tents set up for the Democratic party and Lieutenant Governor’s tent to observe what might go on.

At both tents sharp disagreements were exchanged with passersby, but at the Democrats tent what many of those persons did has me concerned.

Several adult men told those Democrats (and me) that they were better off dead. Adult men and women pretended they would hang those at the tent and several tried to damage those cardboard cutouts of party leaders.

One man walked over and thrusted his hips in a way that can only be know as sexually violent while shouting that Democrats were pedophiles and perverts. At the same time he held the hand of his young son.

The people who disagreed with the Lieutenant Governor’s tent did none of these acts and that is my point in writing this letter.

It is worth considering the Republican party is no longer a viable group that will protect our liberties over their emotions. This is probably why the WSJ opinion above struck me as worth sharing to the rest of the county.

The apple festival is not the first time I’ve heard about near violence towards supposed “liberals” and “leftists.” The first Maggie Valley black lives protest, the man who wanted Moe Davis to come fight him at the Waynesville Library on Election Day in 2020, the Democratic HQ American Flag being stolen. There are passionate left-leaners as well. None in Haywood County have started acting violently. I’ve witnessed now with my own eyes people who have and who’ve declared themselves conservative.

I don’t know how to calm these passions and remind our residents that both conservative and liberal persons have real and tangible concerns that can be addressed. I don’t know if I would be listened to if I tried. Maybe Rove’s words, a long time Republican leader, will do better than mine.

Jesse Ross

Saunook

Appreciates The Mountaineer

You are a powerful blessing for this Haywood county community. I simply cannot believe how much you accomplish. Every time I open the paper your byline is everywhere. In the swirling madness that is today’s information environment you and your tireless team put together a balanced product that lets all voices be heard without letting the extremists take over.

You somehow get your journalists where they’re needed fast to capture the stories that matter most in a timely fashion. Your paper honors the history of these proud mountain communities, teaching newcomers and celebrating long-timers here. All the while you’re keeping an eye on our future, inviting participation in the rough and tumble democratic process of charting the way ahead.

Hooah! Vicki. Well done! After 30 years in the Army, Wendy and I had to pick a spot for the “the rest of our lives”. We bought here in 2012 and moved in August 1, 2020. Thank you for telling us the stories of Waynesville and Haywood County and for helping us all feel at home where straight, balanced news and just a little harmless Americana can still survive.

Martin Downie

Colonel, U.S. Army, Happily Retired

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