• LETTERS / Rep. Russell Supports Governor’s Budget Compromise

    July 10, 2019 Letters to the Editor. BY Rep. Ray Russell / Dear Editor, On Tuesday, Gov. Roy Cooper released his compromise state budget proposal. It includes healthcare coverage for nearly 500,000 working poor North Carolinians, a larger increase in teacher and state employee pay, more funding for school construction, additional spending for clean air and water, and restored funding for the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). This offer from Gov. Cooper is an investment in our people and our future. We must devote resources to education, healthcare, and protecting the environment. The proposal keeps the corporate and franchise taxes at their current low rate, and retains the General Assembly (GA) plan to increase the standard deduction on state taxes to help working families. The Governor’s plan includes $700 million for the Rainy Day Fund and $110 million for hurricane relief. Read more…



  • LETTERS / People Will Follow

    May 30, 2019 Letters to the Editor. BY CRAIG DUDLEY / Dear Editor, Fifty years ago there was a TV episode on ‘outer limits’ called “to serve man”. In it aliens, other planet types, landed and one of the first things they did was present world leaders a book, in their language. They provided earthlings free travel to their planet with extensive marketing about wonders to be found there. Earthlings lined up at the space ships to go. One radical, early on, decided to translate the book presented at the first landing. When most of the earthlings had already departed he discovered that “to serve man” was a cookbook. Read more…



  • LETTERS / Public Hearing on Proposed Rainey Lodge 40 Room Hotel & Restaurant in Downtown Blowing Rock Completed – Tipping Point

    May 20, 2019 Letters to the Editor. BY GEORGE WILCOX / Dear Editor, This public hearing was a tipping point for Blowing Rock creating division rather than unity to protect our shared concerns for the future of our community, especially our historic downtown that is our leading economic development asset.   The issues raised during the hearing are not whether the community would benefit from a new hotel, but the polarization created by the developer friendly CUP process which didn’t allow for a full consideration of how the developer, the community, and council could work together for the best outcomes. Read more…



  • LETTERS / Rumors FROM UNDER THE ROCK!

    May 12, 2019 Letters to the Editor. BY DAN PHILLIPS / Dear Editor, It’s always fascinating to see what kind of information will sneak out from under a rock.There is a Rumor circulating in Town concerning the Blowing Rock Civic Association. It is FAKE NEWS!The BRCA has not had its Computer Server, (located in George and Betsy’s Garage) hacked by the Russians. NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION!!! The thoughts I will share, come from Serving a 4-year sentence on the Town Council, as well as being a merchant and homeowner. Read more…



  • LETTERS / Very Important Decision on Downtown Blowing Rock Development Next Tuesday Night, May 14

    May 9, 2019 Letters to the Editor. BY WILLIAM H. CARTER / Dear Editor, A 40 room hotel with restaurant and bar has been proposed for downtown Blowing Rock by a Charlotte developer who previously has developed a Ramada Inn in Dickinson, North Dakota. The proposed hotel, if approved by Blowing Rock Council, will be located on a less than one acre property back of the Speckled Trout restaurant. This is a major decision for Blowing Rock. We urge all interested Blowing Rock citizens to attend next Tuesday’s important council meeting starting at 6:00 P.M. at Town Hall. A hearing on this major matter will resume at Tuesday’s meeting. Any citizen can speak at this hearing after which council will vote to approve or deny the request for a permit for this development. Read more…



  • LETTERS / Considerations on the Plans for the Hwy. 105 Improvements in Boone

    April 30, 2019 Letters to the Editor. BY MARK KIRKPATRICK / Dear Editor, Thank you all and  thank DOT for taking full consideration of local suggestions and input. We welcome DOTs visioning for the improvement of Hwy 105. We note that Locals drive these roads every day and have a good feel of Boone traffic flow.   The State and DOT absolutely does a good job. We acknowledge that a good deal of time and energy has gone into the planning done by DOT and the County and the Town for the planned improvements of Hwy 105. In my work I travel to Asheville, Morganton, Banner Elk, Beech Mountain, Linville, Mountain City, Blowing Rock and Jefferson. The roads have gotten and are getting better. Thank you DOT! We seek to provide input to the professionals involved. 1)  As a local and long term user of Poplar Grove South and Hwy 105.  2) As a professional that works and drives regularly the fantastic Hwy 421 to Wilkes; the 321 “on the ground” Super Street concept in Blowing Rock, and Hwy 105, (in much need of improvement) Read more…



  • LETTERS / ‘Our’ Empire Has Been Almost Continually at War Since Plymouth Rock

    March 6, 2019 Letters to the Editor. BY CRAIG DUDLEY / Dear Editor, “Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don’t want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a parliament or a communist dictatorship. Read more…



  • LETTERS / Major Blowing Rock Code Changes Proposed to Promote Downtown Change – Public Hearing Set for February 12, 2019

    January 15, 2019 Letters to the Editor. BY WILLIAM H. CARTER / Dear Editor, The Blowing Rock Town Council has set a public hearing Tuesday February 12, 2019 at 6:00 P.M. at Town Hall for consideration of major changes in long standing town codes governing downtown development. Community surveys of residents, property owners and taxpayers have repeatedly listed their top priority to be as spelled out in the Town’s Comprehensive Plan  “…to ensure that the Town’s unique character and quality of life are not compromised.” The question is: How will the major proposed changes, if approved, impact this top resident priority? More information on the proposed code changes is available on our Blowing Rock Civic Association website www.brcivic.com. We urge all interested citizens to attend the February 12, 2019 public hearing and to express your important opinion on these proposed code changes. Read more…



  • LETTERS / Israel These Days

    January 2, 2019 Letters to the Editor. BY CRAIG DUDLEY / Dear Editor, Once, an anti-Semite was someone who hated Jews but today it’s pasted on anyone who speaks truth about Israel, especially its policies involving the Palestinians. Virtually nothing is left of Palestine except the Gaza ghetto, the modern equivalent of the Warsaw Ghetto: Moving anyone or anything in and out is controlled by Israel. In its effort to control the justification of their crimes, the Israel Lobby has made “anti-Semite” into an honorable position. We’re all potential Palestinians. ‘Consumers’ don’t know that Israel’s government confiscates entire Palestinian villages and demolishes Palestinian homes to build homes for Israelis. Stories are planted in your head by ‘our free press’ and schools that make no room for exploration of other possibilities filling you with that programming allowing no conflicting information access. Read more…



  • LETTERS / There Are Many Questions That This New Information Raises

    November 20, 2018 Letters to the Editor. BY FRANK PACKARD / Dear Editor, So, on 11/15/18 the HCP staff wrote a news article basically recapping the Boone Town Council meeting from October 18, 2018 in regards to the town’s water intake update. In what world is it news to report on a meeting nearly 30 days after the meeting actually took place?  More newsworthy reporting would have been to report on the town council meeting that took place on night of 11/15/18.  Did anyone from the HCP press attend that meeting or even watch the video of the meeting.  If you did,  then you know that the info reported from the 10/18 meeting was old news.  Read more…



  • LETTERS / On Possible Parking Solutions for ASU and Downtown Boone

    November 16, 2018 Letters to the Editor. BY KAREN CARTER / Dear Editor, Well, the decisions of the past are coming back to haunt Boone town residents and their civic and business organizations.   The decision to allow transient college students to vote in local elections and even run for local offices had some serious repercussions for longtime townspeople as well as rural communities.  Also, local people soon realized that college officials and professors would be vying to run the town, and also, try to influence the entire county, if not run the county, too. Read more…



  • LETTERS / Magic Moment as The Choir of St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church Performed at BRAHM

    November 9, 2018 Letters to the Editor. BY GEORGE WILCOX / Dear Editor, Last Sunday a truly magic moment was created in Blowing Rock by a special program presented by two world class organizations The Blowing Rock Art and History Museum and The Choir of St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church of Blowing Rock. The program of inspirational words and music with the theme Meditations on Mortality was uniquely touching. The St. Mary’s Choir very ably led by organist and choirmaster Dr. Jim Bumgardner gave a performance of a quality normally expected only in such exalted venues as St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, or King’s College Chapel, Cambridge. The museum with the leadership of Executive Director Lee Carol Giduz provided a beautiful site with great acoustics for an outstanding concert. Congratulations and thanks to all of those talented individuals in the choir and at the museum who do so much to make Blowing Rock such a wonderful town.  Read more…



  • LETTERS / The Recent Board Of Commissioners Candidates Forum

    Oct. 30 2018 Letters to the Editor. BY KAREN CARTER / Dear Editor, These BOC candidates are frankly all very disappointing, to put it mildly, and all cannot refuse entreaties, especially from politically correct groups centered in Boone and ASU. Billy Kennedy and Tim Hodges of the abused third district are virtually twins supposedly running against each other. Amazing. They are pursuing the same, grossly misnamed Smart Growth and Sustainable Development agenda, which is impractical and extremely costly. Wallin, Hodges, Sofield, and Blust are all products of ASU and are closely associated with that admittedly transforming university. All of them gladly support the rec center building, even Blust, who four years ago, in the Fall of 2014, in the dubious HCR group’s forum, which is on video, gingerly and reluctantly, agreed with the idea; however, just a couple weeks ago in the Blowing Rock forum, Blust was more outspoken and critical of the rec center’s construction and the rising costs; he quoted the YMCA’s conclusion from their in depth study of a few years ago re: the economic and operational impracticality of a rec center for this county. Read more…



  • LETTERS / Why Vote?  Why Bother?  Why Take The Time?

    October 29, 2018 Letters to the Editor. BY PAULA FINCK / Dear Editor, Why vote?  Why bother?  Why take the time? When my memory takes me back, I can still see my Mom and Dad with their citizenship papers. They had emigrated to America from post-Czarist Russia in 1922. They crossed two continents and an ocean to vote. On election day they dress up, join their neighbors and walk to the polls. If you are able to vote, remember all of those across the world – and here in our own country – who cannot. I’ll see you at the polls.  Read more…



  • LETTERS / Stand Up and Let Them Know What You Think of Them and Their System of Corruption

    October 29, 2018 Letters to the Editor. BY CRAIG DUDLEY / Dear Editor, We’re told we have a system where we can elect politicians to represent us and prevent corporate abuse but government obviously serves its corporate masters and not citizens. Our legal system is a wholly owned subsidiary of the corporate state, the freedom to dissent without government supervision is mostly gone and our basic civil liberties aren’t protected. What we ‘vote’ for and what we get are almost always two different things, locally and nationally, yet about half of Americans still participate in the ‘voting’ game. The corporate state has passed a series of oppressive laws and set up a vast security and surveillance machinery that obliterates our privacy, allows you to be snatched off the streets by the ‘authorities’ and held without due process in indefinite detention, criminalizing dissent. The corporate state holds in its hands the legal and physical tools to shut us down and has gradually been doing so. Read more…



  • LETTERS / Startups, Accelerators, Investment Funds…oh my!

    Oct. 26, 2018 Letters to the Editor. BY VICTORIA POTTER / Dear Editor,  We are beyond excited to announce the launch of Velocity Labs. Aimed at supercharging startups, this program that will help young companies in our area grow faster by building connections with investors and other founders, allocating time for education, personal leadership development and giving them access to mentors that have had seen success in their own right. But hold up…young companies? Investors? Founders? This all sounds like something that belongs down in Raleigh with the techies and hipsters – not in Boone. Economically, this region has been driven by tourism and let’s be real – it is not perceived as a hotbed of innovation. It is however, an area where starting a business is not unusual, it’s even a right of passage. But to scale and grow it beyond the craggy granite of Blowing Rock, or the more gentle slopes west of Boone, is not common. Read more…



  • LETTERS / Rejection of Historic Replicas in Blowing Rock

    Oct. 23, 2018 Letters to the Editor. BY RUTHELEN HARTLEY KLUTZ / Dear Editor,  I feel compelled to write this letter about the result of the October 9, 2018 meeting of the Blowing Rock Town Council, specifically concerning the very disappointing and frankly, disgusting outcome and “non-vote”on accepting the free gifts to the Town of Blowing Rock of the replicas of The Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution and The Bill of Rights from Morganton, N.C. based Foundation Forward group. The replicas of these special documents from our founding fathers are the very foundation our country was built on. Having lived in Blowing Rock my entire life, I have been at many town meetings over the years and have always kept up with anything concerning our town. I can say for sure that this “rejected” gift to our town is the most unbelievable and disgusting action that I have seen in my lifetime.I have thought about this issue every since the October 9th council meeting. How in this world could anyone that lives in this country, our United States of America, even consider turning down a gift such as this one, that is such an important part of our nation’s beginning. Read more…



  • LETTERS / Thank You For Making The 5th Annual Makoto’s Steak House Charity Golf Tournament A Success!

    Oct. 22, 2018 Letters to the Editor. BY TIM HARRIS / Dear Editor, Makoto’s Steak House and Japanese Sushi Bar hosted its 5th annual charity golf tournament on Tuesday, September 5, 2018, at Blowing Rock Country Club. The tournament benefitted Blowing Rock CARES, a supplemental food pantry, now housed at Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church. CARES’ mission is to provide nonperishable food to families experiencing food insecurity in Watauga County, especially those in Blowing Rock Elementary School attendance district. Families are helped in other ways as funds permit. The pantry also supports related efforts by other non-profits, such as WeCan, and other pantries in the county when food supplies run low, or main food sources are diverted to areas experiencing a disaster. CARES is very grateful to Gwen Dhing, owner of Makoto’s, for hosting and organizing the tournament, to the staff at Makoto’s and Gwen’s friends who helped make things happen before and during the tournament, and to Jackie Kirkland who kept the CARES board informed and involved. CARES also thanks Blowing Rock Country Club for making the course and facilities available. Read more…



  • LETTERS / Bipartisan Consensus Funds New Rec Center

    Sept. 21, 2018 Letters to the Editor. BY SCOTT ST. CLAIR / Dear Editor, On behalf of High Country Recreation, I would like to thank the county leadership for planning and funding a long needed community recreation center.  With a 5-0 vote, the Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the funding for this new facility. A community recreation center has been a need identified in our community for a long time.  It has been part of the long range Master Plans of both the town and county for decades. It will improve the health of our citizens by providing a place for people to be active all year long.  As a central gathering place, it will allow people from all over the county to strengthen the social bonds that build a strong community.. Read more…



  • LETTERS / The Rec Center New Figures $$

    Sept. 20 2018 Letters to the Editor. BY KAREN CARTER / Dear Editor, As to this recreation center’s new cost figure of $38 M +, in this spendthrift, special interests, ASU-controlled County government, what would one expect ?  There is no doubt the costs will increase further. This is just another tragic example, history is full of them, of an unrestrained mobocracy – a system of powerful minorities.  Some riot in the streets, looting, burning businesses, endangering lives, costing millions and billions in destruction in their ugly attempts to get something for nothing. Then there are others, whether as individuals or groups, who twist the arms, in many cases, literally, threaten weak and spendthrift officials who don’t have the guts or the balls to say “NO!”. Read more…



  • LETTERS / The ‘News’ Never Questions the Legal or Moral Right of the Empire to Attack Whatever Country Is Being Discussed

    August 29, 2018 Letters to the Editor. BY CRAIG DUDLEY / Dear Editor, American politicians and media talk of regime change in Iran as if it’s their divine right, and actively do so about countries worldwide. Most Americans think the 1979 seizure of the American Embassy in Tehran by Islamist revolutionaries was the start of the Empire-Iran conflict. ‘Consumers’ don’t know that those Iranians were reacting to seventy years of American/British interference in their country in which Iran’s oil resources and people were terribly exploited by the Empire and brutally oppressed by an American installed dictator some of that time. Read more…



  • LETTERS / Go, Granny D! Performance August 18; Story of 89 Year Old Woman Who Walked Across America to Protest Big Money in Politics

    August 15, 2018 Letters to the Editor. BY PAULA FINCK / I am writing to encourage your readers to attend “Go Granny D,” a unique one-woman performance by noted actress Barbara Bates Smith at the Watuagua County Public Library thisSaturday, August 18, at 3:00 p.m. “Go Granny D” tells the story of the Doris “Granny D” Haddock, the woman who sparked a national conversation about big money and politics in 1999 by embarking on a 3,200 mile protest walk — at the age of 89 — from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C.  This all-but-forgotten woman is credited with stirring up a wave of outrage leading to the McCain-Feingold Act, national legislation against “soft” campaign contributions by big donors. Read more…



  • LETTERS / NC Court of Appeals Decision: re The Maymead Case

    August 10, 2018 Letters to the Editor. BY DAVID SENGEL / On August 7,  A NC Court of Appeals three judge panel ruled that Randall and Carolyn Henion do not have standing to pursue the Maymead/Hampton asphalt plant case.  That means the court did not even bother to look at the substantial legal issues involved.  The issue of standing was addressed in a way that one  attorney described as “all politics aside, one of the worst written findings I have ever read”.  There was no “bald assertion” claiming damages by the Henions, but there was solid evidence ignored by Judge Berger. Read more…



  • LETTERS / America’s Entire History is Endless Violence

    June 27, 2018 Letters to the Editor. BY CRAIG DUDLEY / Dear Editor, America’s entire history is endless violence, plunder, hypocrisy, exploitation, imperialism, oppression: endless wars of aggression. Every single American military operation since WWII has resulted in a disaster on the humanitarian, political or military level: often all of them combined. America asks the local elites, but never the ‘colored’ common folk, if they want the Empire to ‘save’ them revealing the truth behind their ‘democratic systems’. Read more…



  • LETTERS / The County Budget Hearing

    May 16, 2018 Letters to the Editor. BY KAREN CARTER / Dear Watauga Commissioners, It’s apparent, once again, that you are just going through the formalities, and the huge recreation center decision has already been made, even years ago. County officials are admitting there is a big sum of taxpayer money accumulated for this particular project, which is one of the reasons you are very reluctant to disclose to citizens the ample fund balances in any category. However, as before, it is unfortunate that most citizens, the taxpayers themselves, are unaware of such ‘accumulated’ funds for this totally unnecessary, costly, and predetermined, special interest project. Read more…



  • LETTERS / We’ve Racked Up a Huge Karma Bill and It’s Past Due

    April 27, 2018 Letters to the Editor. BY CRAIG DUDLEY / Dear Editor, Delusional ‘consumers’ believe America is THE City on a Hill, Leader of the Free World, Defender of Freedom but we’ve forfeited our moral standing in the world. You should pray God forgives us for our greed, blood thirsty policies and our willingness to accept lies rather than confront uncomfortable, hard truths. We’ve racked up a huge karma bill and its past due. Read more…



  • LETTERS / Do Parents and Grandparents Really Love Their Children and Grandchildren?

    Feb. 28, 2018 Letters to the Editor. BY KAREN CARTER / Dear Watauga Commissioners, You and your fellow big spender commissars certainly have a way with words in explaining your new means to finance the re-defined county ‘needs’ for schools and the recreation center.  It is also striking how you place the massive recreation center for some as a ‘need’ directly on the same level with capital improvements for county schools.  Orwell could not have done better.. Read more…



  • LETTERS / You Support American Crimes With Silence and Taxes

    Feb. 28, 2018 Letters to the Editor. BY CRAIG DUDLEY / Dear Editor, American ‘consumers’ don’t learn about the world or from America’s constant meddling. This is partially due to their indoctrination called education. The victors write the history books but that important detail gets lost when you’re in school, leaving students, if they even pay attention, a partial understanding of the world. You take the officials word for truth in the face of their continual proven lies. Read more…



  • LETTERS / We Are Finally Realizing That We Need Common-Sense Gun Control in the United States

    Feb. 23, 2018. Letters to the Editor. BY CRAIG FISCHER / Dear Editor, After the seventeen deaths at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida, and after the heroic advocacy of the Parkland students in the wake of that tragedy, we are finally realizing that we need common-sense gun control in the United States. We need to outlaw bump stocks. We need a renewal of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban that was in effect between 1994 and 2004. We need stronger background checks of prospective gun buyers. We should also talk about other ways to prevent school shootings and murders, and translate those ideas into constructive action. We also must hear from our North Carolina elected officials. Too many of our politicians have received huge windfalls of money from the National Rifle Association in the form of donations and support for election campaigns.   / Read more…



  • LETTERS / The Blame Is On Us For Not Recognizing Gun Violence as a Public Health Crisis

    Feb. 22, 2018. Letters to the Editor. BY BILL MOORE / Dear Editor, There is a long and disturbing history of school shootings in the US dating back to the 19th century and continuing nearly every decade since then. So, what’s different now? We can blame the lack of gun control,  inability to deal with mental illness, the NRA, congress, and the wholesale marketing of fear but we’d be misdirected. The blame lies in our inability to look beyond these exogenous factors and look inward to what we’ve become as a society. The blame is on us for not recognizing gun violence as a public health crisis and not taking steps to treat it as such. America has normalized school shootings and congress is impotent to offer anything other than “thoughts and prayers.”   / Read more…



  • LETTERS / Condominium Project Proposed for Downtown Blowing Rock Behind the Speckled Trout Restaurant

    Feb. 6, 2018. Letters to the Editor. BY B.R.C.A Development Evaluation Committee / Dear Editor, Despite rejection of the subject development by the Blowing Rock Planning Board at its December 2017 meeting the developer will present the project to the Blowing Rock Council for approval at their Tuesday February 13, 2018 meeting that begins at 5:30 P.M. at Town Hall.  Our committee has concluded that if approved and built this development will have a major impact on downtown Blowing Rock.  The following are concerns and facts about this project that we think should be carefully considered by the council and residents:   / Read more…



  • LETTERS / Across the Country Universities Are Facing An Epidemic of Student Housing and Food Insecurity

    Jan. 12, 2018. Letters to the Editor. BY CHRIS GENTRY / Dear Editor, Appalachian State University has a history of being a rural teacher’s college designed to educate the rural, often less economically privileged, mountain communities. The recent changes in Appalachian State’s housing approach are a shift away from that history. Across the country universities are facing an epidemic of student housing and food insecurity. The effective privatization of the Appalachian State housing system is only going to fuel further student instability and threatens every value that the university claims to hold.   / Read more…



  • LETTERS / Conspiracies Are All Done By Those Bad Guys. We Don’t Do Them: Except When We Do

    Jan. 5, 2018 Letters to the Editor. BY CRAIG DUDLEY / Dear Editor, Government is continuous conspiracy. ‘Our’ government recently released some classified files on JFK’s murder but there’s nothing much in them. Why would the CIA provide evidence of their coup? It’s an intentional distraction proving nothing. The ‘official’ self-righteous insistence that conspiracy theories don’t happen here denies historical evidence: watch the Zapruder film. We’re told that Conspiracy Theories are dangerous, as we’re told Russians hacked ‘our’ presidential election to get their Manchurian candidate elected. Russian Madness assumes that Putin is a genius able to decide the American election with pocket change spent at FB and simultaneously incompetent.. Read more…



  • LETTERS / County Officials Have Yielded to Unseemly and Undue Influence From Powerful Urban Groups

    Dec. 7, 2017. Letters to the Editor. Karen Carter / Dear Editor, At this time, when I am forced to pay this higher property tax bill, as we all know, this despicable, corrupt County has increased our property taxes significantly, even doubling some, in order to pay for these special interests projects that cost the taxpayers more and more for the exclusive benefit of some at the expense of all others.   / Read more…



  • LETTERS / Thank You

    Nov. 14, 2017. Letters to the Editor. Charlie Sellers / Dear Editor, I want to thank my fellow residents of Blowing Rock for honoring me with your vote last week. I am deeply moved by the expression of confidence from the Blowing Rock voters, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. / Read more…



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