Thanks for Labor Day tribute

To the editor:

Thank you and The Mountaineer staff for the pictorial essay on “people who work.” It was a fitting tribute to the people who make this county a fine place to live.

You helped show the important meaning of Labor Day.

Ms. Beth G. Johnson

Maggie Valley

Gun control and human behavior

To the editor:

Mass shootings and out of control disrespect and confrontations with law enforcement have gotten far too numerous. Freedom of speech and the right of assembly now have politicians competing with each other to try to look more able to solve the loss of control of the situation then the opposing party. As a result, nothing changes. I wonder if we have the stomach to take the action that would help. Gun control and or confiscation would not keep guns away from those that would use them.

Much of human behavior gets filtered through a risk/reward ratio for a persons actions. If we‘re going to change the behavior of the people that are causing and participating in demonstrations that turn violent or destroy private property , we will have to change the risk/reward ratio. While it would infuriate the ACLU and be perceived as politically incorrect, people that participate in this behavior should be identified from video tape and those persons and their families should lose any and all public assistance including student loans.

People wearing masks must be arrested and identified.

This action would greatly increase the risks and reduce the rewards. For unlawful activity. This action would have a much greater impact on crime than any gun laws. Family pressure might be one thing that hits them where they live.

Why should the taxpayers be forced to underwrite the food and housing costs of people that disrespect our country and refuse to obey our laws?

Bruce Gardner

Waynesville

Consider this street repair option

To the editor:

I certainly enjoyed reading the letter concerning the street problems in Waynesville. Possibly you have shined a light on problems that have existed for years. We are summer residents and have been enjoying coming here for years.

We live in a small town in Georgia similar in size to Waynesville. It seems that Waynesville’s street problems are very similar to the problems that we encountered.

We seemed to have been afflicted with street problems such as sunken manhole covers, large potholes and sunken asphalt repair patches from street utility work.

In desperation we hired an engineering firm to help us with our numerous street problems. Their report was eye-op-ening in that we should have been paying more attention to rather simple procedures.

First the engineering firm recommended that we endeavor to change the culture of the street department. This ended up with us implementing a zero defect plan. It was very important that the people that are closest to the work have ownership in its outcome.

Next, it seemed that the most bumpy roads were caused by sunken manhole covers. This happens when a road is paved but the manhole covers are not raised up to meet the new pavement.

This problem exists all over Waynesville. Pigeon Street is a good example of this.

The engineer showed us a steel ring that can be placed over the manhole itself to raise the lid up to the level with the new pavement.

The next problem was the large holes that were excavated in the streets in order to repair utility lines such as water and electrical.

The previous way to fix the large hole was to put the uncompacted dirt back in the hole and every one stomped around on it until the new asphalt arrived to be spread in the hole.

Then after vehicles drove over it, it became a rather large pothole. Our engineer recommended that we do not backfill the hole with dirt but instead use small-size crushed stone. This type of stone is 100 percent compacted as the hole fills up.

The byproduct of this is that the stone fills around the repaired pipe to protect it from future dirt movement. The asphalt cap will not sink down to create a large pothole. Yes, this costs a little more, but it creates zero defects.

The hardest thing that we had to overcome was to change the culture in our street department people. They were afflicted with “this is the way we have always done it” syndrome. However, with good leadership and patience, zero defect can be achieved.

Jack Flyn

Waynesville

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