Your views: June 18, 2020

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America without law enforcement

There was a song by the Beatles called Imagine, where the world was a utopia and everyone got along and there was no war or crime. Unfortunately our world is not a utopia. Ever since Kane killed Abel there has been crime and it will continue to be here until Jesus returns.

After serving in law enforcement for 47 years I can assure you that there are thieves, robbers, murderers, rapist, drug dealers, child molesters, con artists and many other lawless activities in our world.

Just imagine no law enforcement, no laws, no courts and no jails. We would go back to the wild West. We will end up with the survival of the fittest.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know that our law enforcement system is not perfect. Law enforcement officers and judges are human and do make mistakes. A few even abuse their authority and those should be dealt with. 

I have tried to live by the rule treat others as you would expect to be treated in the same situation. It is not always easy to control your emotions when you are abused verbally or physically. Everyone is not suited to be in law enforcement, it requires a unique ability to control your anger and personal feeling.

I have heard anyone seriously say, “ We need to eliminate law enforcement” but now we have heard elected officials seriously say just that. That is the most dangerous and ridiculous statement I have ever heard. If you want anarchy and controlled chaos try a lawless society.

I wish we had a crime free utopia, but we don’t. As long as there are criminals there will be a need for laws and law enforcement.

If you consider how much crime we have with the presence of law enforcement, what in the world would it be without law enforcement. I think mayhem would be the best word to describe it.

Vic Davis, retired sheriff


The election is upon us and we are ready

We all have to remind ourselves of the runoff election to be held next Tuesday, June 23. In these trying times, this important activity could wind up on the back burner. However, that’s not the case for those Clay County residents who are part of the election process.

The Board of Elections and staff are hard at it. Our mandate is to be sure this election is planned and executed with the same rigor, safety, transparency and security that it deserves as always. We’ve all heard of situations in other areas that are being blamed on or tied to our current state of affairs, COVID-19, riots, etc. We have taken those scenarios to heart and assessed what we need to do here.

As we are truly blessed to be here in Clay County, our primary focus has been on COVID-19 to ensure all voters are confident in exercising their voting rights. The N.C. State Board of Elections has issued specific guidelines which we of course will be following. They have also provided supplies and additional funding for these impacts. We have made other changes to compliment those efforts here. Again, our mandate is to allow you, the voters, to vote with confidence in our election process as well as for your and our poll workers’ safety and security.

Since this runoff election was delayed for so long, we are holding a refresher training for all of our chief judges. This is certainly not because our judges need additional training, but as the laws and procedures to be followed are complex, we want them fresh in everyone’s mind for election day. All of our regular polling locations will be open on Election Day. As such, you’ll vote at the same place you normally do. Polls will open and close at the same time as always 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. The state is providing funds for professional cleaning and sanitizing every polling location just before the election and after. No activities will be held in those locations between sanitizing and the election. We have already arranged this for Clay County.

We have made layout changes for each polling location to insure social distance recommendations and all protocols for sanitary operations will be followed. Poll workers will be wearing masks and/or face shields during voting. Voters are not required to wear masks but if you need one please bring your own. If you do not have one we will have some available for your use, although perhaps not as stylish as your own. All touched surfaces/items will be sanitized regularly by poll staff.

One-stop voting remains open at the office 389-6812 weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Saturday, June 20 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. So, rest assured your Board of Elections has your safety, security and confidence in the forefront of our minds while planning and preparing for this important runoff election.

Paul Rohs, on behalf of the Clay County Board of Elections


Scattered thoughts from around our town

I have not written a letter to the newspaper for a long time, so here goes.

As many of you know, we sold our house in January but not all the property. I would like to thank Charlie Shelton for taking all our furniture and selling it at his auction house. Also, I want to thank Tammy Cody for all her great help. Cody was a lifesaver. Also, I heard that Rufus Donaldson is in need of prayer as he is very sick. He’s been a good friend to us.

I understand that there was a protest in town this past weekend. Protest for what? We have the best sheriff’s department and the best state troopers in the county. They are all there to keep the bad people off the road and to keep us safe.

All the protest stuff that I have seen on TV is about police brutality and how black lives matter. Now there is no brutality anymore because of one of the guys retired. As for black lives matter, black lives have always mattered in Clay County. They are the sweetest people I have ever known. To name a few, the Lloyds and the late Mr. Corn.

Tom Thomas


Mainstream media not always in truth telling business

The overwhelming majority of black Americans are law abiding citizens. The police officer will be tried for having his knee on 6 foot, 7 inch career criminal George Floyd’s neck after resisting arrest and handcuffed.

Two weeks ago a writer said that 40 percent of all unarmed men killed by police are black. Statistics can be cherry-picked to support systemic racism. Last year, police killed nine unarmed blacks (six while attacking police). There are 44 million blacks, so that means approximately 1 out of 5 million unarmed blacks were killed by police. For every black person killed by police, 18 policeman were killed by black criminals. Black men are 6 percent of our population and commit about 45 percent of all murders in the United States every year. Most of the victims are other black men.

Our 75 largest cities have been virtually all run by Democrats for the past 50 years. Blacks comprise only 15 percent of these cities’ population, yet they committed 62 percent of robberies, 57 percent of murders and 45 percent of assaults according to police blotters.

Why is that? In 1965, Democrats passed the ‘Great Society’ legislation, creating the USA welfare state, ostensibly to wipe out poverty. This legislation provided a 14 year-old pregnant girl with her own free apartment, food, medical and discretionary spending money. The only requirement was that she not save more than $1,000, that is, she stay poor. When government legislation incentivizes irresponsibility, you get it. In 1965, 80 percent of black children had two parents living with them. Seven years later 70 percent of black children were being born out of wedlock, most without a father in their lives.

Recently, 60 cities in 40 states have been looted and burned by highly trained ANTIFA terrorists and opportunistic criminals, while peaceful protesters have unwittingly provided cover for the looting and destruction. The Marxist Black Lives Matter (read their website) and their accomplices in the mainstream media have feigned moral outrage, implying that the rioters are the noble ones.

Before COVID-19, most of these Democrat controlled cities were essentially bankrupt due to their corruption and mismanagement. Therefore they have allowed the rioters to destroy there cities so they can get a Federal taxpayer paid government bailout to cover for, and continue, their mismanagement.

It cost tens of millions of dollars to provide ANTIFA with the training, logistics, equipment and incendiary devices to carry out this destruction in 60 cities, virtually all at once. This is not about race, it is about taking down President Trump, the first president since JFK to take on the corrupt ruling establishment elite.

The evidence is clear for anyone not brainwashed by the media and with the intellectual honesty to look at the facts. First, was the Russian Hoax where Democrat Congressmen and their media continually stated they had hard evidence of Trump-Russia collusion. None was found. Then the Democrats impeached Trump without being able to identify a single violation of law. Once the CDC recommended COVID-19 economy destroying shutdown seemed to be waning, the riots started. See the thread?

James F. Davis


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Teach children to honor and respect our veteran ceremonies

As a member of the American Legion George Lee Post 532, Hayesville, I have been in or present during several events when the Unite States Flag, “Old Glory,” would be presented. I have noticed a trend that is becoming more disturbing for each event I attend. It is the rendering of proper respect for our nation’s flag.

The short of it is this: anyone in uniform, first responders or military, renders the military salute. All veterans or military retirees shall render the military salute. All civilians should face the flag, remove head covering and place their right hand over their heart. This applies when the flag passes during parades and/or during the playing of the “National Anthem.”

There are other times when respect and honor is shown to our nations colors and the men/women who have sacrificed so much. At 11 a.m. Friday, May 22, American Legion Post 532 and VFW Post 6812 held a remembrance ceremony on the Hayesville Town Square. There was no prior public announcement due to the coronavirous. During the ceremony, the two posts displayed respect and honor by  raising Old Glory, sharing the “National Anthem,” rifle salute and “Taps.” Then at 3 p.m. a lone bugler played “Taps” as part of the “Taps Across America.” At the end of “Taps,” the bugler heard someone yell “Thank you.” Turning around, he saw that a man had stopped his car, exited and was lowering his hand after rendering the military salute. Just down the sidewalk, sitting at an outside table were two couples enjoying each others company. They never moved.

Folks, the gentleman who stopped his car, now that is the proper respect for “Taps.” “Taps,” is the final respect rendered to fallen soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen or coast guard. Civilians should stand in silence with right hand over their heart. Anyone in uniform, first responders or military shall render a military salute. All veterans and retirees shall render a military salute.

Adults it’s time to do the right thing, even if it’s not cool. Veterans have committed their all to this nation for your safety and freedom. Old Glory represents past and future veterans and what they have gone through. Respect them and teach those coming behind the right way. If you’re not sure, ask a veteran. He/she will instruct you in the proper way to render respect and honor.

Mitchell Shields 

1st Vice-Commander/PIO

American Legion Post 532


Protecting pollinator habitats, boosting crop production

The next time you snack on almonds, add blueberries to your smoothie or eat pumpkin pie, thank a pollinator and thank farmers, ranchers and private forestland owners who work hard to create and maintain their habitat.

Pollinators, such as honeybees, bumblebees, butterflies, birds, bats, flies and many others, play a critical role in crop production. Without pollinators, we wouldn’t have many crops.

During the week of June 22-28, the nation will celebrate these iconic and crucial pollinators during National Pollinator Week. This year’s theme is “Pollinators, Plants, People and Planet.” Thirteen years ago, the U.S. Senate unanimously designated the third week in June as National Pollinator Week to increase awareness about the importance of pollinators and the challenges many of them face, including serious population declines and habitat losses, often due to land use changes and excessive or improper pesticide use. Nearly 200 species of pollinators are considered threatened or extinct.

Pollination occurs when pollen grains are moved between two flowers of the same species or within a single flower by wind or insects and animals. Successful pollination results in healthy fruit and fertile seeds, allowing the plants to reproduce.

The extensive and critical world of crop pollinators is a $20 billion a year industry. About 75 percent of crop plants are pollinated by billions of animals and insects every year

Many federal, state and local government agencies, non-government organizations and universities have launched extensive efforts to protect pollinators, especially honeybees and the Monarch butterfly. The U.S. Department of Agriculture works closely with farmers, forest landowners and other private landowners to increase pollinator habitat in targeted areas nationwide.

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program through USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, offers financial incentives to agricultural producers and private forest landowners who enhance pollinator habitat by voluntarily implementing conservation practices such as cover crops, wildflower and native plantings in buffers and areas not in production.

Conservation Reserve Program also can be used to enhance habitat to protect pollinators. Administered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency, CRP is a land conservation program in which enrolled landowners remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and plant species that will improve environmental health and quality.

As owners and stewards of the land, many farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners manage their natural resources to work to achieve their production goals, they are protecting the rich and diverse ecology on or near their operations.

When we protect pollinators, we protect our ability to grow food. We thank our farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners for a safe haven for pollinators and grow the products we enjoy.

Whether you are a large commodity producer, a small and diverse organic producer or even a suburban homeowner, you can have an important role in saving pollinators in North Carolina.

You can help protect pollinators by doing the following:

• Plant appropriate vegetation. Use conservation practices and create habitat that sustains and enhance pollinators on the farm, forest or the yard.

• Use pesticides, herbicides and insecticides carefully on and off the farm, ranch and private forests. Keep your operation pollinator friendly.

• Protect flowering plants and potential pollinator nesting sites such as areas of undisturbed ground and native vegetation.

Do your part to help protect pollinators. By taking action to diversify and beautify your operation or property, you could ensure that many fruits and vegetables are available and plentiful for future generations for many years to come.

For details about pollinators and what you can do in North Carolina, contact your local USDA service center.

Alice Scott STCchairwoman,

Tim Beard, USDA NRCS state conservationist,

Eddie Woodhouse, USDA FSA state executive director