Alice in Wonderland

To the editor:

Remember Alice in Wonderland? Up is down, down is up; truth is a lie and lies are truth. President Trump has us there, with thousands of examples — starting with the size of his inauguration crowd. Fast forward to this week when Trump says you can go to work with coronavirus if you feel okay. Really? Listing just 1% of this administration’s falsehoods would fill this page.

He’s squandered his credibility; can we believe anything he says? It would be comical if not so serious. In 2019 Trump declared a national emergency as an excuse to build his wall, taking $3,600,000,000 from military bases — money largely meant to improve lives of military families.

Trump argued that Latino hoards were carrying disease into the US. Now that we have a real pandemic, can we believe his claims of being on top of it?

Apparently without serious forethought, in 2018 Trump disbanded the White House team responsible for pandemic response and terminated its representation on the National Security Council.

Their expertise was sorely missed as the Chinese government delayed admitting the outbreak, which delayed our response. Then, the CDC chose to develop their own kits rather than use those from the World Health Organization.

The CDC kits were inadequately tested before distribution; many of them were faulty. Critical weeks were lost. By March 4, only 1,500 people in the US have been tested vs. about 1,000,000 in southeast Asia.

Our leader against coronavirus is Mike Pence who, as Indiana governor, bungled response to an AIDS outbreak, killing scores; the same Mike Pence who said, “Smoking doesn’t kill.” Competence should matter; but apparently fealty, intentional ignorance, and complacency now rule.

Because 44,000,000 people don’t have healthcare, many of them — without governmental help — won’t see a doctor with their coronavirus symptoms, spreading the disease. Their lack of healthcare is suddenly your problem.

Our performance in controlling this pandemic has been abysmal. Why? Poor prior preparation; confusing reporting; and vastly inadequate testing. Typically, Trump sets the tone—embracing chaos, failing to plan, ignoring facts, and spreading disinformation for political purposes.

Everett Baucom


People should not be compared to dogs

To the editor:

I’m writing in response to Mr. Mark Pless remarks about the homeless of Haywood County, comparing them to dogs.

Mrs. Parris is right. They’re not dogs, and only people like you can make them out to be. The homeless are not homeless because they choose to be. I’m sure most never saw it coming.

Did you know that Jesus was homeless? Matthew 8:20 and Luke 9:59

Your remarks do offend me. I have a brother who was homeless on the streets of Waynesville for over 20 years. This was before the soup kitchen and Pathways, he lived a very hard life.

He ate out of dumpsters, and if it wasn’t for people trying to help him, he would still be out there.

The people who did help him were elected town officials, jailers, sheriffs and others. They didn’t have to. They had good jobs, nice homes and families. They had one thing you haven’t got and that’s compassion.

No matter what happens with the homeless in Haywood County, Mr. Pless, you don’t need to be any part of it with the vision you have about homeless people.

How can you serve the people of Haywood County fairly when you’re not trying to serve all the people?

I hope you have a change of heart about the way you see the homeless in Haywood County.

Oh by the way, my brother’s name is Glen Cagle. He just retired from the county with 29 years behind him. He was the jail cook and he was given an award for saving money at the jail. He wrote a cook book and gave the proceeds to charity.

Don’t ever call people, so called dogs, because one day that ‘dog’ could be your brother.

Macky Cagle

Haywood County

Open Door needs changesTo the editor:

I read your long article in March 4 edition regrading the Open Door controversy.

I know the churches and organizations of disadvantaged and homeless mean well. However, I feel firmly after working for several of those organizations that most have no clue when they are being used and become the main enabler.

I noticed the same people “work” every avenue and resource to receive free food, clothing, money and “poor pitiful me” help talk.

My house has been broken into and robbed of precious family belongings along with verbally threatened and possible physical harm.

The Pathways facility seems to be able to address this issue with their clients and resolve to give a helping hand with a viable outcome for a self sustaining individual.

I understand why the merchants and patrons of Frog Level have grave concerns. Enough is enough. If Open Door continues to operate in the area, the situation in Frog Level becomes a large dirty stain for our town, county and community.

Our tourist populating the area have told me, that they hesitate to invest or visit the area due to threat.

As I see it- it is the responsibility of the Open Door charity to clean up their policy of give all without question or consequence of such.

Abbe Sorensteen


Prime election issue

To the editor:

We have one major issue that will be front and center in the coming election: Healthcare costs.

In the case of healthcare costs, I believe there are two things that could, need and should be done immediately.

One of which politically is a third rail (due to the large political contributions from the trial lawyers association) is to pass legislation to limit the size of malpractice judgements.

Runaway juries have made it imperative that medical professionals do two things: first they must carry enormous amounts of insurance to protect against catastrophic judgements. Ohio, for example limits awards to $500,000.

Another thing is the fact that doctors have to practice defensive medicine to spread their exposure. These multiple tests and referrals add dramatically to the costs.

The next component is the costs of medications. I have to wonder how many hands and markups a drug passes through before it ends up impacting your wallet.

Insulin products are some the worst in terms of costs to the diabetic. Over 10% of the American public is diabetic and is forced to incur the ever increasing cost of insulin. I would propose that iInsulin products and tier 4 and 5 drugs be available to be purchased directly from the manufacturer.

A seemingly constant in the cost of medical cost is fraud. Stiffer penalties including permanent loss of license for practitioners who are caught abusing the Medicare/Medicaid system need to be enacted.

Bruce Gardner



Bebe will long be remembered

To the editor:

I was so sad to learn of the death of Miss Bebe Abel and I’d like to share some treasured memories of her. I was one of Bebe’s “theatre kids.”

From elementary school through high school, Bebe was our theatrical “Pied Piper.” Not only did she patiently and joyfully direct us in countless productions, she was also a dear, sweet friend to us all.

There’s an old saying in the theatre, there are no small parts, only small players. That wasn’t a cliche. Bebe really believed it. No child was ever turned away from participating in one of her productions.

She taught us that we all had gifts to offer — on stage and behind the scenes. She encouraged team work, respect and most of all, she wanted us to have fun.

Her kindness was legendary. She never held an unkind thought in her heart. And she never stopped working. Bebe used her endless charm and cheerfulness to secure precious resources and donations to put on our productions.

I was amazed at how much building materials she could fit into her little Chevy hatchback. Bebe did all this and more and never asked for a penny for herself. It was always for us kids.

I will miss her smile, her laughter, her energy and enthusiasm. When she clapped her hands and yelled, “PEOPLE!!” to get our attention, she did it with a broad smile and with so much love. She was a such a gift to this community. I hope she knew how much she was cherished.

Rest easy, Bebe and break a leg.

Libby Enloe


With corona virus looming, it’s time to demand Medicaid expansion

To the editor:

In our states effort to “cut taxes,” our North Carolina Legislature had consistently refused to accept the Medicaid expansion money from the federal government, which would amount to about $8.3 billion dollars.

This has not cut our taxes as North Carolinians are paying this $8.3 billion to the federal government and then letting them give it to 32 other states. If you pay taxes, you are already paying for Medicaid expansion, but we are not getting this money back into the state.

Hospitals are closing and severely distressed at taking care of people who do not have coverage that otherwise would be available if our legislature would simply accept the money.

I have no idea how many jobs and how much health care can be delivered to us in our great state, but $8.3 billion would pay for a lot. Much of this would be for primary care to help prevent expensive ER visits after chronic conditions get out of control and are much more expensive to treat. Hospitals are stuck with the bill and this is what’s stressing and closing hospitals.

Now on the verge of pandemic corona virus, North Carolina needs this money now to prepare hospitals for the influx of patients that is going to happen.

I suspect that realization will come to the community and the legislature after the wave of illness has hit and then the damage will be done. The circular finger-pointing will begin, especially as the election season heats up.

This is not a Republican vs. Democrat thing. This is quite serious and about to (probably) get very much worse. I don’t want to be alarmist and certainly don’t want to panic people, but isn’t it better to be prepared?

Shouldn’t we get our money back? Why won’t the legislature simply accept the expansion money? Oh, our state would have to fund a small percentage — darn, we would have to have a small bit of skin in the game, but compared to hospitals closing (fortunately, for now, our Haywood Hospital is in good shape, but others around the state are in trouble or closing), now is the time to ask for our money back.

We all feel like we can’t do anything, but in this case every single phone call will count.

So, what can you do? Find the phone number to call your representatives Michelle Presnelle 828-208-3874 and Joe Sam Queen 828-452-1688 and your state senator: Jim Davis, 919-733-5874, and implore them to “Get our money back” by agreeing to accept the federal Medicaid expansion funds ASAP. Everyone will be better for this change.

Alan Zacher

Lake Junaluska

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