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Opinion Letters

Abraham Lincoln said “It is true that you may fool all of the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” In the 2010 election voters were fooled into electing a candidate whose campaign was largely financed with corporate money coming from outside this district. This money financed an attack campaign to smear his opponent, misrepresenting his record. Are local voters going to be fooled again in 2012? Will they vote for candidates whose campaigns outspend their opponents with money coming from outsiders? Will experienced candidates devoted to serving our community be defeated by big money again in this election cycle?

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The controversy over the building of a K-4 school in the Iotla Valley near the airport has so far omitted hashing over the safety hazard of locating a school in that area. Why would parents want their children to be schooled in close proximity to the landing pattern of an airport? Why would teachers want to deal with the noise of takeoffs and landings whilie trying to keep students’ attention on schoolwork?

Perhaps now the amount of such activity at the airport is minimal and not seen as a problem. However if that area experiences the commercial expansion the county commissioners hope for we could expect a subsequent increase in air traffic.

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In the Thursday, March 15, 2012 edition of the Asheville Citizen-Times, Jon Ostendorff takes issue with Hayden Rogers who is running for the Congressional seat vacated by Heath Shuler.

It appears that Mr. Rogers had made a commitment to the Macon County Democratic Women’s Club to attend their annual “Potato Supper” which is set for March 22, 2012, the same date as the later announced Democratic debate at Brevard College. Mr. Rogers could attend the debate only if he broke his promise to the Democratic Women’s Club in Franklin, which he chose not to do, and sent his regrets to the committee staging the debate.

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The original planners who chose and pursued Iotla Valley as a location for an airport made a bad decision. Perhaps back then they did not foresee more than local crop-dusting planes utilizing the little country airport. The recent long fight over the expansion of the airport runway and negative impacts it would have on Macon citizens proved to be a "railroad job" by special interests and big money rather than the democratic will of the public. The public can rarely fight and win against the stacked cards of local politicians, government agencies and partnering corporations. The issues of public safety, public interest, and the compatibility of an elementary school 1,300 feet away from the runway were tossed into “File 13,” the waste basket.

No doubt the ill-placed and ever-growing airport will continue to be promoted by short-sighted and irresponsible special interests at the jeopardy of the surrounding homes and children in the new school. The airport was a safety issue then and a proven threat today.

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published: 10/18/2013
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