• LETTERS / COVID-19 is Straining Our Ailing Rural Health Systems

    May 19, 2020 Letters to the Editor. By ALAN MORGAN / The front lines of the war on COVID-19 have expanded and are now reaching into rural America. As infection rates begin to plateau nationally, and states begin to reopen, we, too, must expand our focus and our action to rural communities—areas with limited healthcare infrastructure and populations most at risk for contracting the virus. At this time, more than 90 percent of the nation’s rural counties have documented cases of COVID-19, with more than 70,000 confirmed cases and 3,000 deaths Read more…



  • LETTERS / Now is the Time for the Town of Boone to be Working With the County and Other Governmental Entities

    May 13, 2020 Letters to the Editor. By Pam J. Vines / On behalf of the 755 REALTORS comprising the High County Association of REALTORS®, we would encourage you to vote against the proposed indefinite extension of a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all visitors coming to the area. Your recent action to break away from the High Country’s unified response to the COVID-19 crisis is detrimental to both businesses and its citizens. While we fully understand the desire to address the current pandemic, the action should be based on science and facts. In that regard, the Watauga County Health Department, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services have prepared a reasonable and cautious response, which is based on the available resources and consideration of the needs of our community. The Boone Town Council’s decision to unilaterally impose an indefinite 14-day quarantine and restrict residential occupancy is beyond the recommendations of the Governor, the County Commissioners, and the Health Director. Read more…



  • LETTERS / Consider Each Masked Face You See as One Who is Working to Save Your Life

    May 11, 2020 Letters to the Editor. By Genevieve Austin / You are on my mind. Watching accurate updates about the Pandemic, you know, we are each vulnerable. It’s hard to stay cognizant of this fact. But it IS a fact. I find myself startled, saddened, stunned, angry and bewildered. Many of us are not acting like we possess the knowledge that we are each in danger. I see two options: I. Either “I” (or “You”) may be so unfortunate to die from COVID-19, and/or Option II. I(and/or You) will have a broken heart over losing one I/we love to COVID19. ALL of our hearts are vulnerable to breaking over the fact that someone we, I, YOU love, is going to be that unfortunate, vulnerable soul who dies from it. This is a pandemic and science isn’t negotiating. Read more…



  • LETTERS / Statement from Boone Area Chamber of Commerce Regarding Action Taken By Boone Town Council Thursday Night

    May 8, 2020 Letters to the Editor. By David Jackson / The Boone Area Chamber of Commerce strongly disagrees with the proposal to adopt additional emergency actions that impact the business owners and residents of the Town of Boone, as approved by a vote of the Boone Town Council Thursday night. The language outlining a proposed indefinite lengthening of a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all visitors coming to the area, as well residents traveling from and back to the area, represents an unrealistic enforcement issue and poses negative impacts on our tourism economy, small business community, incoming college students, and a large percentage of our workforce, who may work in Boone, but live in counties other than Watauga.  Read more…



  • LETTERS / Opening of Blowing Rock Memorial Park Restrooms

    May 8, 2020 Letters to the Editor. By Deborah McDowell / To Watauga County and Blowing Rock Town Commissioners: We need the restrooms open.  We also need open minds and hearts.   This is an unprecedented time of struggle.  Many are afraid of getting sick and or seeing their businesses die. You have no idea how many people we have turned away and had to explain to them that our commissioners, town and county are not allowing visitors to stay overnight. They do not understand why we are not on the same schedule as a lot of counties  and our  state.   As to second home owners, I believe I would be upset if I could not go to a home that I own and pay taxes on.  If not for their  generosity and love for our community  a number of our outreach programs would be lacking.  These are not dumb people, they do not want to get sick either.  Read more…



  • LETTERS / Boone Has Become Inhospitable Despite its Good Qualities

    May 1, 2020 Letters to the Editor. By Benjamin Loomis, WNC Renters Help / If anything good can be said about COVID-19, it is how our community has awoken to the hunger crisis at its core. On April 21st, 2020 the Boone Town Council adopted a motion to call on the North Carolina and federal government to impose a moratorium on rent and mortgage payments. Here are some comments from community members who pushed for this resolution to pass: Read more…



  • LETTERS / COVID 1984

    April 30, 2020 Letters to the Editor. BY CRAIG DUDLEY / Dear Editor, “The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.” Hermann Goering. Americans don’t need dictators to control us. We volunteered to become a nation of TV zombies. Liberty enabled ‘consumers’ to choose submission to illusion. Many ‘consumers’ believe all authority is good and everyone should be required to bend to it. The first casualty of this plandemic is critical thinking. Why wasn’t there a more thorough investigation into the virus before ‘consumers’ accepted it all? Read more…



  • LETTERS / Glad You Asked! Who Does the Blowing Rock Civic Association Represent?

    April 29, 2020 Letters to the Editor. By Tim Gupton / The Civic Association strives to be a unifying voice for all homeowners in Blowing Rock. We consider all homeowners as residents whether full-time or part-time as all are taxpayers. Our membership reflects the demographics of our unique resort village. The makeup of our homeowners is actually hard to define because there are so many variations, but basically 20% are full-time and 80% are seasonal. Read more…



  • LETTERS / Who Does the Blowing Rock Civic Association Represent?

    April 27, 2020 Letters to the Editor. By Joe Amoroso / So the Blowing Rock Civic Association has asked the Watauga County Commission to cancel the quarantine order for seasonal homeowners who want to return to Blowing Rock without having to endure the 14-day quarantine. Who does the BRCA represent, the seasonal homeowners or the residents of Blowing Rock? As far as I know, the “residents” have been doing an excellent job of staying home, putting on masks when shopping, keeping a safe distance, and generally doing whatever possible to avoid catching or passing on this disease to others. Furthermore, none of our friends who are seasonal residents have expressed concern about having to quarantine once they get back. Read more…



  • LETTERS / To Members of Watauga County Commission; Cancel the Quarantine Order for Homeowners Concurrent with Commencement of Phase 1 of the Governor’s Restrictions

    April 25, 2020 Letters to the Editor. By Tim Gupton / I am writing on behalf of the board of directors of the Blowing Rock Civic Association to recommend that you cancel the Quarantine Order for homeowners concurrent with commencement of Phase 1 of the Governor’s data-driven decision to begin lifting restrictions. We understood the initial need for a 14 days quarantine to reduce the risk of importing the virus and to assure the adequacy of regional healthcare resources to treat virus patients. We now believe the time has come for lifting the restrictions on all homeowners and begin welcoming back our seasonal residents. Read more…



  • LETTERS / The Deadline for Closing on the Property for the Proposed Valle Crucis School is Later This Month

    April 13, 2020 Letters to the Editor. By Lyle Schoenfeldtr / Just over one year ago, March 2019, it was announced that the Watauga Board of Education had approved the purchase of the Hodges property in Historic Valle Crucis for a new Valle Crucis School. This action was taken in closed session and is was not disclosed in the agenda or minutes of the meeting. There was no public discussion and thus the plan for new Valle Crucis School was a surprise to all. While the idea of a new Valle Crucis School was initially welcomed, we have learned a great deal in the intervening year. Read more…



  • LETTERS / Announcing the “Rock United Relief Fund” to Help Small Businesses

    April 3, 2020 Letters to the Editor. By Charlie Sellers – Mayor, Blowing Rock / As difficult and frightening as the COVID-19 virus is to all of us as individuals, it is even more so to the restaurants, hotels, retailers and other small businesses at the heart and core of Blowing Rock. The future and vibrancy of our wonderful Village is dependent upon the continued success and ongoing operation of these small businesses, especially those in the travel and leisure business. Hopefully we as individuals will survive this crisis, but the survival of our small businesses is increasingly at risk as the COVID-19 economic shutdown continues. As a community, there is a growing realization that we must do something to help our small businesses through this unprecedented and difficult time. To this end, I am pleased to announce the creation by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce of the “Rock United Relief Fund”, dedicated solely to helping our small businesses survive. Read more…



  • LETTERS / Avery County Manager’s Request to Part-Time Residents

    March 31, 2020 Letters to the Editor. By Phillip Barrier, Jr. – Avery County Manager / To our valuable Avery County Resort Communities: Avery County Government takes great pride in providing the best governmental services to all its citizens. However, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose a threat to the Health and Safety of our citizens. This week we watched North Carolina’s infected numbers go from 123 to 636 and all bordering counties now report cases. At this time, Avery County Government, Emergency Management, the Avery County Health Department, and Cannon Hospital suggest that it may be in the best interest of our part-time residents to stay at their current permanent residence so that the resources in the County are not strained. It is not required, but we hope that the part-time residents who need to come to their homes self-quarantine for a period of fourteen (14) days. Read more…



  • LETTERS / That is Not Funny at ANY Age

    March 31, 2020 Letters to the Editor. BY JOSEPHINE BEALL / Dear Editor, I was at Food Lion in Blowing Rock on Sunday March 29 and parked beside a car, where  three young people, in their twenties, were talking.  As I got out of my car I heard them laughing and mocking people that are so scared of a cough or a sneeze. They were having a good time mimicking them and were very dramatic about it, with much hilarity. I said to them “when you get to be my age, that is not funny anymore.” I should have said, that is not funny at ANY age. They gave quick apologies and we all proceeded to go into the store.  Read more…



  • LETTERS / The Need to Support Small Biz During Coronavirus

    March 27, 2020 Letters to the Editor. BY GREGG THOMPSON / Dear Readers, Social distancing is taking its toll on North Carolina’s small businesses. We don’t have state-specific numbers, but a new survey by the National Federation of Independent Business says 76% of the nation’s small business owners say they’ve been affected in some way by the COVID-19 outbreak. Over half say sales are down, while 23% say the coronavirus has affected their supply chain. One in five owners surveyed by NFIB said the outbreak hasn’t affected them, but most think it will eventually. As NFIB’s state director, this troubles me, because small business is the heart and soul of North Carolina’s economy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses account for 99.6% of all employers in the state, and they employ about 44% of the state’s workforce.  Read more…



  • LETTERS / Compassion is the Key

    March 23, 2020 Letters to the Editor. BY DAVID JACKSON / Dear Readers, I’m not sure if there are enough words in our language to accurately describe what we have experienced as a community over these past days. A month ago, we were locked into a familiar pattern that saw Thursday’s snow lead to Saturday’s skiers. Our hotels and restaurants were filled with visitors and we were optimistic that a strong fall and winter was going to keep early 2020 moving in a positive economic direction. Fast forward to today and the surroundings and circumstances we knew as the bedrocks of our community became covered in uncertainty. Every day has birthed a new challenge to overcome. As the days pass, these challenges manifest into conversations we never thought we’d have with our families, friends, and co-workers. While some communities have the economic diversity to absorb a major blow to certain sectors, our area depends on so many of the things that have been ripped from us under these circumstances. The displacement of our students, visitors, and unfortunately, too many faces of a workforce that serve as they backbone to our unique, thriving businesses, has left a void.  Read more…



  • LETTERS / Ensemble Stage Looks to Their 2020 Season With a Message of Hope

    March 20, 2020 Letters to the Editor. BY GARY SMITH / Dear Editor, First let’s talk about that great big elephant in the room. Actually, I’ll start by not referring to it as an elephant. Elephants are awesome and one of the world’s most intelligent and majestic creatures. Therefore, I won’t disparage them by creating any association between them and what we all are now facing. However, something I want everyone to keep in mind, there is nothing stronger than the human spirit, there is nothing stronger than our will to persevere, and there is nothing stronger than the insanely creative power of our imagination. Even Einstein realized that when he said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”. Read more…



  • LETTERS / Biggest Smoking Gun of 911

    March 10, 2020 Letters to the Editor. BY CRAIG DUDLEY / Dear Editor, I once was part of the flock. I believed what the TV and schools told me and regarded those who opposed those ‘official truths’ as madmen, performing my assigned function as a ‘consumer’. Then I stumbled across minor bits of evidence that grew into larger pieces indicating that many of those official truths were false. A curious thing about people is how they get an idea fixed in their mind and seem willing to fight to defend what ‘information’ they were given by another, as if they’re defending a castle. It’s the red pill vs the blue. Read more…



  • LETTERS / Making Sure Rural Gets Counted: Census 2020

    February 20, 2020 Letters to the Editor. BY COLIN WILLIAMS / At the Rural Center, we’ve had the privilege to work in communities all across rural North Carolina, and we’ve seen firsthand that it’s not the size or location of a town that makes it a great place to live and raise a family, it’s the people who make it a community. However, people are only one essential ingredient for thriving rural communities. The other part? Well, that’s a more complicated question, but it boils down to a combination of resources and representation. The 2020 Census will be a defining moment for our state, but especially for the people who call the 80 rural counties in North Carolina home. Why? Read more…



  • LETTERS / A Valentine to Afterschool

    February 14, 2020 Letters to the Editor. BY BECKY WEATHERS / This Valentine’s Day, I am writing this letter to tell you how Community Kids Afterschool has been a blessing to me. My granddaughter came to live with me nine months ago. I had to start over, so I needed all the help I could get!  The Afterschool staff at Riverside Elementary helped her with her homework, as well as offer many other activities and projects. She loves it and all the teachers are great. I don’t have to worry! I know where she is and that she is safe. When I pick her up from afterschool, I know her homework is always done. All I have to do is fix her supper and make sure she is bathed, ready for the next day.  I can’t put it all down in words what Afterschool means to me. It is a great program for working parents and grandparents! This Valentine’s Day, I can honestly say that I love my granddaughter’s afterschool program. It’s great! Read more…



  • LETTERS / Earth Fare Closing Down

    February 4, 2020 Letters to the Editor. BY CHERYL WHEELER / To whom it may concern, I spent two hours just walking around Earth Fare yesterday in the mountains of Boone, N.C., and just listening to all of the many voices, from the customers to the employees, talk about the closing of their beloved Health Food Store. They had just gotten word at 8 a.m. that morning that the doors would be closing, and not just to their store alone, but all Earth Fare stores everywhere. There was a sense of shock, loss, and deep sadness in the atmosphere. It reminded me of a movie in a way. You may have seen it, “You’ve Got Mail,” when the city of New York experienced the closing of a very tiny but lovely little family-owned bookstore called “The Shop Around the Corner.” It was special. It meant something to a whole lot of people, as does our Earth Fare that we have all come to love and appreciate. This isn’t just a grocery store. It is a family of people feeling connected to each other, learning to eat well, and feed their families well, and feel alive. It meant something and “It is personal!” Read more…



  • LETTERS / The Question is Whose Conspiracy?

    January 3, 2020 Letters to the Editor. BY CRAIG DUDLEY / Dear Editor, The vast majority of polls I’ve seen indicate ‘consumers’ have no trust in the media or the government. Some statistics put that level of trust somewhere around ten percent. It’s easy to know why that is: experience. Those entities have repeatedly proven themselves to be liars or fools. The thing that amazes me is why, when they have no trust in those bodies, they still act and speak as though what ‘official sources’ tell them is true: they show no evidence of questioning the things the TV and schools present. 9/11 was a result of a conspiracy, whether you believe the ‘official story’ or have joined the large number of American’s who see more holes in that official explanation than would be found in a cheese grater. The question is whose conspiracy? Read more…



  • LETTERS / Operation Christmas Kindness – A Local Story

    December 23, 2019 Letters to the Editor. BY The Maynard Family / Dear Editor, My name is McKenzie. I am the mother of a wonderful, kind, and giving 4-year-old-boy named Koen. I know every parent thinks that about their child but continue to read on and I’ll explain why I feel this way about my little boy. In the last two years, Koen has told me and his father that he wanted to be Santa Claus so he can do good and help people find Christmas cheer. The last few times he has told us this, we have thought it was cute and went on with the holiday season, but this year was different. Koen has been persistent in his request for a Santa outfit and when we ask him why his answer is always the same. He wants to spread Christmas cheer and help people that need food, clothes, and toys for Christmas. Realizing that this is not some cute fluke and that he was seriously wanting to do this, his father and I felt inspired by this and decided that we would help him in his request to spread Christmas cheer while raising money for families in need.  Read more…



  • LETTERS / Support LOCAL Businesses Nov. 30 on Small Business Saturday

    November 19, 2019 Letters to the Editor. BY GREGG THOMPSON / Dear Editor, I’m no Scrooge, but I usually don’t like Christmas shopping. I love buying things for people, but I don’t like the crowds or the lines or the generic merchandise they stock at the chain stores. That’s why I like Small Business Saturday. Small Business Saturday, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, is the opposite of Black Friday. Black Friday, of course, is the unofficial start of the holiday season, although it seems like the Black Friday sales started the second the last trick-or-treater left the porch. Black Friday is all about moving merchandise. Stores open early and close late. People fight crowds and stand in line to save a few bucks on slow cookers and smart TVs. Black Friday is noisy and stressful. Small Business Saturday, on the other hand, is about supporting your friends and neighbors. It’s about buying gifts and enjoying meals who can’t get from one of the national chains.  Read more…



  • LETTERS / Why You’ll Lose at the Hemp Game – An Opinion Piece for Small Farmers in NC

    October 29, 2019 Letters to the Editor. BY SERA DEVA / Dear Editor, This is a plea for my friends and neighbors who are small-scale farmers — the people who I feel are doing the most important job on the planet. Please don’t fall for the hemp game! You’ll lose. Here’s why. I fell in love with small-scale agriculture eleven years ago as a result of my involvement with the marijuana industry in Oregon and California. “The industry” was how many of us farming and food students out West made our real (albeit, seasonal) money and lived our lives as fluidly as we did. There were generations that this was true for; mine was probably the last. I want to preface the body of this work by saying that I know that hemp (grown for cannabidiol or CBD flower in this context, a non-intoxicating substance that is known for its medicinal properties) and marijuana (grown for tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the compound that causes intoxication in medical and recreational cannabis) are two different crops entirely, with different legal statuses and histories that vary across state lines.   Read more…



  • LETTERS / Watauga Riverkeeper Response to “Valle Crucis in Jeopardy” October 11, 2019

    October 11, 2019 Letters to the Editor. BY ANDY HILL / Dear Editor, In a recent letter to the editor (“Valle Crucis in Jeopardy”, October 11, 2019), Bill Pressly, stated that the Watauga County Board of Education does not have the support of the Watauga Riverkeeper for the construction of an elementary school at the Hodges site in Valle Crucis. I think it is important to clarify for your readers that it is not the role of the Watauga Riverkeeper and its host organization, MountainTrue, to take a position for or against the Hodges site.  Our job is to ensure that any project built in the Watauga watershed adheres to Watauga County water standards and all applicable environmental regulations. If the project does move forward, the Watauga Riverkeeper will review the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) to assess stormwater control measures and design, riparian buffer, wastewater treatment plans and more to ensure that any construction does not negatively impact water quality.   Read more…



  • LETTERS / Valle Crucis in Jeopardy

    October 11, 2019 Letters to the Editor. BY BILL PRESSLY / Dear Editor, In March the Watauga County Board Of Education (BOE) entered into a contract to purchase 14.4 acres (the Hodges site) for 1.105 million dollars as a possible site for a new Valle Crucis School grades 1-8. They are offering to pay 2-3 times the market value of that land. 13 of the 14.4 acres are designated Special Hazard Flood Area and thus requires mitigation in order to build. Much of the reason that a new school is needed is due to flooding of the current school. It makes no sense to spend 35 million dollars to build a new school on a property with a high potential of flooding. The Board of Education has disregarded the State recommendation that calls for a school of that size to be built on a minimum of 25 acres.  Read more…



  • LETTERS / We See Growth at Any Cost Without Regard to What We Call Infrastructure

    October 11, 2019 Letters to the Editor. BY CRAIG DUDLEY / Dear Editor, In the opinions I’ve sent to the local ‘news’ outlets over the years, I’ve avoided speaking of ‘local’ politics having learned in West Virginia how convoluted that topic can be, but some things are so obvious that even Ray Charles could see them. They paved paradise and put up a parking lot, is how the song goes, and when you look around Boone, you can see the song’s message clearly displayed in the last twenty years. Frequently Boone is a parking lot, and occasionally a flood zone, all of which has been shaped by those who tell us they work for us. Every day you see more large building projects with no place to put the rising numbers of vehicles. Your daily pursuit of happiness is markedly slowed for the profit of a few, enabled by ‘our’ government. Read more…



  • LETTERS / The Current Proposed Building Site for Valle Crucis School Needs to be Reexamined

    October 1, 2019 Letters to the Editor. By Sally Pressly Ballmer / Dear Editor, I am writing in protest of the proposed new school construction site in Valle Crucis, NC on the Hodges Farm property on Broadstone Road. My parents moved to Valle Crucis in 1984 and purchased a dilapidated homestead that they then restored to historic and architectural preservation guidelines and opened the Mast Farm Inn in 1985.  Serving hundreds of dining and lodging guests each year, the Mast Farm Inn, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, became known as a place of refuge and nostalgia for a simpler time, when food prepared was grown in the garden and air conditioning was a cool breeze through an open window.On October 1 at 6:00pm at the Methodist Church in Valle Crucis, the Valle Crucis Historic District Commission will meet to discuss the changing of commission guidelines, unprecedented by any other construction. The meeting is open to the public. Read more…



  • LETTERS / Before People had an Easy Way to See Video Footage of Police Murders

    October 1, 2019 Letters to the Editor. BY CRAIG DUDLEY / Dear Editor, “We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated, governments in the civilized world—no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and the duress of small groups of dominant men.”   Woodrow Wilson We’re secretly one of the most peaceful cultures on the planet. We voted for Bush, because he promised us a non-interventionist foreign policy. Obama promised to bring the troops home from the Bush wars. Trump promised to end foreign adventures. We’ve been voting for peace for years, and all we get is war. American democracy doesn’t care what you want and is never accountable. The state always gets its way. So when ‘our’ government wants a war, it will happen. ‘Our’ government works to reduce support for citizens at home so it can war on foreign citizens. Read more…



  • LETTERS / Some of the Issues to Consider Regarding the Proposed Valle Crucis School Site

    September 23, 2019 Letters to the Editor. BY BILL PRESSLY / Dear Editor, I’ve lived in Valle Crucis on property adjacent to the Proposed Hodges site for 35 years. As a long term resident I have numerous concerns about the the proposed site for a new Valle Crucis School. Of primary concern is increased impervious surface area due to construction of the building, parking lots and driveways, and paved playgrounds . Rainwater can no longer be absorbed into the soil. This will lead to greater runoff at higher velocity, and flood potential on surrounding property and properties downstream, most notably the Valle Crucis Park. Runoff may also carry more pollutants to the small trout stream that bisects the property and also the Watauga River. There is also potential impact on the groundwater table and well water quality. Also of great concern is a new sewer system and water treatment facilities required to service 425 + people and the effluent being released into the flood zone and watershed. There is already a system in place on the current site. Read more…



  • LETTERS / It’s Our Money, Isn’t It? Flawed Appraisal of Hodges School Site

    September 23, 2019 Letters to the Editor. BY LYLE SCHOENFELDT / Dear Editor, Respondents to ValleCrucis.net indicate a strong preference for the proposed Valle Crucis School to be in Valle Crucis but have serious concern for the $1.1 million tax payer dollars being offered for the Hodges property as the proposed site. This was also a concern mentioned in the public hearing on Sept 3. The more than $78,000/acre for undeveloped land, 90% of which is in the flood plain, is an eye opener for those familiar with land values in the Valle. The appraisal for this land was equal to the $1.1 million offered for purchase but close examination of the appraisal shows serious flaws. Suffice it to say with more reasonable comparables a generous valuation of the Hodges property would have been $400,000, about 36% of the $1.1 million offered. Read more…



  • LETTERS / Last Year I Was Assaulted by a Patient While Working in the Hospital

    September 23, 2019 Letters to the Editor. BY BILL MOORE / Dear Editor, I am an Emergency Department Registered Nurse and NC certified Paramedic. In October of 2018, while at work in the ED, I was violently and viciously attacked and physically assaulted by an Emergency Department patient who repeatedly tried to punch me in the face. You may say to yourself “that’s terrible but it doesn’t really affect me.” You may think that being attacked by patients is “just part of the job.” Or you probably think this “doesn’t happen often enough to be of any significant consequence.” You would be gravely mistaken on all three counts!. Read more…



  • LETTERS / Rep. Russell’s Statement on State Budget Veto Override Vote on Sept. 11

    September 12, 2019 Letters to the Editor. BY REP. RAY RUSSELL / Dear Editor, House Republican Leaders intentionally deceived House Democrats, the press, and the public about a session held at 8:30 am, September 11, 2019, and rammed a vote on the State Budget through the House. At the end of a non-voting session Tuesday night, the House Rules Committee Chairman David Lewis, who presided over the session, told Minority Leader Darren Jackson that no votes would be taken in the 8:30 am session Wednesday. The Minority Leader communicated this information to House Democrats via email. Also, Rep. Lewis texted reporters that there would be no votes in the 8:30 am session Wednesday. (Copies of the text have circulated widely in news reports and social media.) I presume the purpose was to keep reporters from being on the floor to cover what would happen. To add context, the House has scheduled scores of “No Vote Sessions” since January. This is normal operating procedure to dispense with parliamentary procedures that do not require the presence of members. Read more…



  • LETTERS / ValleCrucis.net Respondents Speak Loud and Clear

    September 23, 2019 Letters to the Editor. BY LYLE SCHOENFELDT / Dear Editor, Respondents to ValleCrucis.net indicate a strong preference for the proposed Valle Crucis School to be in Valle Crucis but have serious concern for the $1.1 million tax payer dollars being offered for the Hodges property as the proposed site. This was also a concern mentioned in the public hearing on Sept 3. The more than $78,000/acre for undeveloped land, 90% of which is in the flood plain, is an eye opener for those familiar with land values in the Valle. The appraisal for this land was equal to the $1.1 million offered for purchase but close examination of the appraisal shows serious flaws. Suffice it to say with more reasonable comparables a generous valuation of the Hodges property would have been $400,000, about 36% of the $1.1 million offered. Read more…



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