A DIFFERENT VIEW — Van Walker is shown in this photo taken during a poverty simulation exercise held last month. Walker believes the county’s drug and poverty issue should be addressed through personal responsibility and hard work, not handouts.

Let’s upgrade alternative energy quickly

To the editor:

When North Carolina gets hit by storms, we tend to get hit hard. Over the years we’ve seen storms that can take out power for days — especially up here in the mountains.

Winds can snap trees and branches bringing down power lines. Preventative maintenance such as trimming back the branches has helped a lot, and we do not experience nearly as many brownouts as we did years ago.

However, the power outages seem to be increasing taking our power out for an entire day. As a business owner, this creates even greater challenges.

Getting us all reconnected to the electric grid quickly comes with a price tag. It doesn’t take much imagination to consider all of the extra hours linemen are putting in, repairing poles and replacing damaged equipment. Big storms are expensive and very unpredictable, which is why it’s hard to manage those costs.

Owning two homes and a business is also expensive. Our utility costs during the cold winter months have increased around $300 over that last few years.

Alternative options are out there, and we need to be looking at those.

Upgrading our energy infrastructure and investing in alternative forms of energy will be essential for North Carolina moving forward.

Two bills — one under consideration in the N.C. House (HB 624) and the other that already passed in the Senate (SB 559) — would provide the North Carolina Utilities Commission with the flexibility to adopt alternatives such as multiyear rate plans and approving storm securitization costs.

This will lead to more savings for customers and allow for clean energy solutions, all with the full regulatory oversight that we expect. It will promote investments in energy while also keeping costs reasonable.

Consumers benefit by having a level of certainty when it comes to their bills, and utilities benefit by knowing that they’ll be able to recover costs associated with big events.

It’s smart policy that allows for forward planning, which is why I’m supporting this important legislation.

Serena Dossenko Waynesville

Don’t exclude the LGBTQ from eternal salvation

To the editor:

Recently it was announced that some churches would be welcoming LGBTQ members.

Since the Bible makes it clear that all people are welcome to come to Christ; it seems strange for a church to be announcing it will welcome a particular group of people.

The real message being presented by these churches is that LGBTQ people will be welcomed, not as repentant sinners, but as righteous people who do not need to come as others do.

It is indeed sad that a Christian church would try to make us think they are the ones taking the high road by seeking to portray themselves as loving, kind and accepting, while at the same time, seeking to portray anyone calling for repentance and faith in new converts as unjust, oppressive and discriminating.

People who refuse to admit they have sinned exclude themselves from the salvation offered by Jesus Christ.

Any church teaching that unrepentant sinners can be received by Christ has denied individuals the salvation offered by the Lord Jesus.

Churches who require repentance and faith of all who seek to be a part of the body of Christ are the ones who are showing true love toward the LGBTQ community.

It is not that homosexuality is being singled out as an awful sin. It is that we all must come to God as repentant sinners. God welcomes everyone who will come to Him. Come LGBTQ community. Repent and come to Christ. You are welcome.

But what if someone says that he or she does not believe that homosexuality is a sin. No problem. Forget about your homosexuality. Repentance is still required. Come to Christ with a sincere, repenting, believing heart and you will be accepted.

Do that first, then you can go to the Scriptures and see if you can square your homosexuality with what the Scriptures say.

Adele Newman is a beautiful example of how the transforming power of Christ can work deliverance in a confused heart and mind. In her book, she asks, “Is it possible to be gay and be at peace with God?”

You can find this book, “Adele’s Journey” on Amazon or contact Adele for a free copy at

Joseph Arrington Waynesville

Do we really need the post office?

Question? When you hear “snail mail,” it’s a shame that anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock immediately thinks of the U.S. Post Office.

After approximately 240 years they can’t, or simply refuse, to get it even remotely, right. How long will we continue to subsidize the post office before demanding an end to this government welfare for union workers’ program?

It’s another example of the government fleecing the tax payer. And, since the government has plenty of bad programs, I doubt the post office would be missed.

If the post office was a business, they’d have gone out of business decades ago.

The phrase snail mail was bestowed upon the post office for good reason, which is something most thinking people will agree.

They continue to lose money year after year, with no end in sight. Not to mention the lost mail, mail delivered incorrectly and/or mail delivered long after it should have delivered.

And, I’ll bet you haven’t heard this story, because the bums in the liberal media won’t report it, as they love more and more government.

In 2010, the American Postal Workers Union representing 200,000 workers had to extend their elections for national officers, because thousands of ballots were lost, you guessed it, in the mail. The post office is a national joke. But, sadly the joke’s on the taxpayer.

Go to and read an article titled, The Postal Service Can’t afford the Unions, dated Oct. 12, 2010.

My son was married two weeks ago and 6 percent of their invitations were lost.

It’s a shame we have to deal with the post office and less and less folks are going through the hassle.

We only use it when there are no alternatives. Virtually everything can be done online, and almost everything we receive are catalogs and junk mail, none of which would be missed.

FedEx and UPS would love to take over for the post office, and they are efficient. FedEx currently provides air transportation for domestic, first-class, priority and priority express mail.

And another big plus . . . FedEx and UPS would make a profit and pay taxes, as opposed to screwing the taxpayer, and the “good postal workers” could apply for a job with UPS and FedEx.

I’ll bet you have no idea how cheap it is to send out bulk mail, the junk we all receive and few want. And, the folks using regular mail, are paying the way for all the junk mail.

Think about it, the Post Office has lost $65 billion since 2007, and guess who’s picking up the tab?

And there are folks who think the government should run our healthcare system. My mistake, the folks who want government healthcare aren’t capable of thinking, at least rationally.

If the government can’t get the post office right, how will they ever get healthcare right. Are you willing to take a chance? You have to be at the top of your “idiot class” if you believe the government can or will deliver the quality healthcare Americans deserve?

Example; few if any government run VA hospitals are on par with a mediocre public hospital, so I doubt the general public really wants more average hospitals. I’m a veteran, and a team of horses couldn’t drag me to a VA hospital.

Illegals and welfare leaches have access to better health care than our veterans and, America owes its freedom to our veterans.

Some government is a necessary evil, but the less government we have, the more efficiently everything runs.

Van Walker Lake Junaluska

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