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Resilience shines in Haywood

To the editor:

It’s been over two months since the catastrophic flooding caused by the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred, and many in Haywood County are still working to get back to normal.

The storm caused nearly 20 feet of flooding in Canton, three feet higher than the floods of 2004, took the lives of six of our neighbors, and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. Just as we were beginning to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, another challenge was put in our way. But just as our county motto says, Haywood County stays strong.

The incredible resilience and strength from the people of Haywood and our sense of community have helped us get through these difficult times.

First responders put their own lives at risk to conduct water rescues throughout the storm. Paramedics, firefighters, doctors and nurses all worked to help those in need. Teachers even opened their homes to children stranded by the flood waters.

Organizations and leaders also stepped up to support our recovery in a big way. During the flooding, local government acted swiftly to deploy emergency services as fast as possible. WLOS raised money via “Hope for Haywood,” Mission Health and the HCA Healthcare Foundation donated to community groups like United Way of Haywood County and the Community Foundation of WNC Emergency Disaster & Relief Fund. Churches from all over Western NC also gave.

I came to Haywood County after growing up in the Charlotte area — a decision I’ve never regretted. The people of Haywood County came together during this recent crisis and will continue working hard to recover from anything else that comes our way. I’m grateful to be a part of this community.

Beth Davis

Waynesville

Ghost Town is only a carrot

To the editor:

Many are falling all over themselves to give Ghost Town investors everything they want. I have no dog in this hunt, don’t live in Maggie Valley and really haven’t kept up with it, but “Follow the Money” is pretty obvious, even for an outsider.

These investors come to town under the guise of re-opening an amusement park that closed many years ago. On the surface it sounds good, and who could possibly object to this, right? However, the real reason is very different.

The investors, and I prefer to call them Fast Buck Freddies, really want to re-zone everything they possibly can and build more stuff that very few Maggie Valley citizens want to drive by and be forced to see every day.

And what stuff is that? More travel trailer parks, mini-storage units and high-density developments, etc. These things are extremely profitable for the investors, but an eyesore for the folks in general. And who will foot the bill for the infrastructure, especially the roads which are already inadequate? I can tell you who won’t, as the investors will be long gone.

They cozy up to the powers that be, sell them a bill of goods or pie in the sky, that will never happen, build their profit centers and move on.

Let me be clear, I am a conservative capitalist and all about making a profit, but not at the cost of adding a bunch of stuff that will compromise the natural beauty of the area.

Maggie Valley already has enough empty buildings and eyesores that should be re-purposed, remodeled or demolished and cleaned up. If these investors want to do something nice for Maggie Valley, this might be a good place to start.

I have no idea if Ghost Town, or whatever they want to call it, will be successful. But I’m 100% sure that if the powers that be are naïve enough to buy what these investors are selling, Maggie Valley will be left holding the bag, and it won’t be pretty.

Here’s an idea. Open Ghost Town, and if it’s worthy, they will come.

Van Walker

Lake Junaluska

Let’s make a difference

To the editor:

We have the ability to solve our many problems, but we lack the will and commitment to do so.

The destruction of the environment, abortion, homelessness, bought-and-paid-for politicians, divisiveness, medical care and so on are consequences of our failure to be accountable for our actions. We can easily (and most often) blame “them” for our ills. But the fundamental problem is our lack of personal responsibility.

Not everybody, mind you, but it seems that more people either ignore the reality of the crises than actually work to improve things. After all, if you’re content with the way things are, why change? That, I think, is the primary reason things don’t improve.

All is not lost. What we must do is accept that the current situation is untenable and see where we can make improvements. Rather than point that finger of blame or throw up your hands, see what change(s) you can make.

Perhaps it’s sorting your recyclables more carefully; refraining from denigrating those we disagree with; making a good-faith effort to understand someone else’s predicament; telling your family that you love them; napping instead of cursing the rain. Even baby steps are progress.

Nothing will change or improve unless we understand our obligation to cooperate with each other. It’ll take patience, work, compromise and consensus. Else, we continue to be divided.

Bill Lusto

Waynesville

The Truth about Fauci research

To the editor:

The good doctor, author, is advising us to believe that although the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which Fauci directs, did allocate money for multiple studies (experiments) in both Tunisia (a fact) and Georgia (a fact) that exposed beagles to brutal treatment resulting in death, the specific “head in cages” experiment costs were paid with different money.

From his own referenced Snopes evidence of Fauci innocence: The claim is based on three studies made public … involving NIAID funding for tests … of therapeutics on beagles; it is true that obligated funds were issued by the NIAID for research conducted on beagle subjects.

However, it is unclear whether Dr. Anthony Fauci, (director of NIAID), personally approved the projects. The NIAID-funded tests were approved under federal regulations established to protect animal welfare.

Snopes … obtained copies of documents reportedly obtained via separate Freedom of Information Act requests. Claims of Fauci funding the “torture” of dogs circulated and recirculated in fall 2021 and are largely based on two studies funded by the NIAID that did, indeed, involve using beagles as test subjects.

If one reads his Snopes article fully and investigates other less biased resources, it is clear these claims are true. Same story as Fauci’s Wuhan COVID-19 studies (experiments); yes he approved the funding but no he was not responsible; nothing to see here.

The good doctor therefore concludes that Rep. Cawthorn’s objection to Fauci’s treatment of beagles is so ridiculous that it ranks second only to the claim a raped woman cannot get pregnant.

You tell me, who is ridiculous here?

Thomas Finnegan

Waynesville

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