Great coverage of folk festival history

To the editor:

I want to thank you for writing the article about Haywood County’s “50 Years of Folk.”

This is the most accurate article I have ever seen about the Smoky Mountain Folk Festival and its origin. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it while eating this morning’s breakfast.

Also, I was pleased you mentioned the assistance of other people like Ernest and Darlene Hodges, Joe Turner, Tom Posey, Ron Huelster, the square dance teams led by Red Ivester and Flossy King, plus the many numerous musicians.

Robert Brannon


Beware of evil scammers

To the editor:

Many of us have most likely received phone calls from “evil” scam people threatening us with consequences if we do not comply with their demands.

Recently my 98-year-old mother received such a call. They claimed to be representatives from the Social Security Administration saying that there were numerous allegations against my mother’s Social Security payments. They needed her SS#, date of birth, bank account information and also money to straighten things out. If she did not comply, she would lose her monthly Social Security check and an agent would come to arrest her.

When I arrived home, I found my mother extremely upset, frightened and in tears.

I would suggest that all your readers report these types of scams to the newspaper and that periodically a list be printed in the newspaper. This would alert our citizens to such calls. It would also be helpful to list ways to respond to dos and don’ts regarding the questions these people ask. This would be a tremendous service to our community.

Diana Little


Fire all prison staff in Epstein case

To the editor:

Unfortunately, the vast majority of the citizens of the United States have no way of really communicating with the machines of government.

I can write the president and some staffer sends me a thank you. I can write my representatives — both federal and state — and some staffer sends me a thank you. This is very unfortunate since I know better than all of them put together how to deal with the “suicide” of J. Epstein.

They should immediately and summarily fire every person in that chain of command, starting with the slug that was in charge of that jail facility. Then they should fire every guard that had any contact with Epstein at all, even the slug that handed him lunch. I am sure there were many unions involved and they will yell like mashed cats.

But, one of those incompetents who has been counting the days to his cushy retirement will take the necessary step to protect that “cushy retirement” by telling what really happened.

For the rest of that totally incompetent gang, suck it up, you failed miserably. You’re fired, to quote my number one hero.

I know the “official” report says it was suicide, but how can our federal government be so totally, completely and abjectly incompetent. Surely they are not that abysmally inept, unskilled, unprofessional, bungling, blundering, inadequate, inferior, deficient and .... or maybe they can.

Sam Morgan Jr.


Great article

To the editor:

Kyle Perrotti hit another “home run” on his coverage of her “first days” on the job with the Chief Ranger Lisa Hendy story. I thoroughly enjoyed this in depth story. Keep up the good work.

Bob Sherman


When the well dries up

To the editor:

When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.

Benjamin Franklin

On a planet where two-thirds of its surface is water, it is ironic that right now we are at the cusp of a desperate battle for the ultimate commodity — potable water.

We tend to focus on the pollution of the oceans and the air we breathe, not a good scenario, but we can exist with all this at current levels, but not without drinkable water. Without it we die. It is an extinction level scenario and nations are already sensing trouble.

Recently, the New York Times reported that 17 countries are running out of water, apparently a quarter of the world’s population. Already a third of major population centers of the world are under high or extreme water stress and the statistics only get worse. Day Zero is just around the corner—this is were the reservoirs dry up for them.

Climate change is a part of the challenge. Evaporation rates increase as we get hotter. This stresses ground water so vital to many urban areas. The ground water around the world also is diminishing. It’s a potentially fatal cycle. Coupled with the rise in sea levels, coastal populations will be forced inland, and where drinkable water is low or drying up, those populations will go where the water is, borders be damned.

I call this the “Noah Effect” where the world’s populace begins to shift and move toward places where there is water for survival. These stressed populations will not be stopped. They will be in most cases desperate, impoverished, thirsty, angry, afraid, and determined. These shifting peoples will add greater problems as they seek life elsewhere in places that do not want them nor are not capable of assisting them.

All this undermines international peace and security. Fundamental principles espoused by various human rights treaties and protocols will begin to be questioned as desperate member states of the United Nations take measures contrary to international law to preserve their national existence.

All this affects our global sense of balance and impacts the global economy, trade, finance, and the rule of law. Desperation brings with it a darkness that creates uncertain futures. Will there be a future?

Water will replace oil as the ultimate source of power and wealth. If you have it, you will live. If you do not, you will be willing to pay for it or face extinction. Think about it.

The tables will turn on whole regions of the world who have become wealthy on oil. It will be a double blow as the world steps away from hydrocarbons to alternate sources of energy and these mainly arid regions will have no water.

No money, no water and no place to go. How this plays out is uncertain, but it augers poorly for these areas.

Conflict will be a most certain result to be sure. Flash-points over the control of water, lakes, and rivers will also stress the UN paradigm of settling disputes peacefully. The entire system will be challenged.

These scenarios regarding a diminished capacity of peoples to access potable water are endless and none end well. It is all kaleidoscopic, if one thing changes it all changes. The last scenario of Day Zero and a “Mad Max Thunder-dome” existence afterward seems unlikely, but possible. That crazy movie sure takes on a different meaning today.

The words of CS Lewis ring true, “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

David Crane

Maggie Valley

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