Letters to the editor

Animals belong with their families

With all due respect to Deedee Honeycutt and Terri David [letters, April 1], I picked up Mountain Xpress because of the article on animals [“Hear Spot Talk,” March 18].

Over the years, dogs and cats have just shown up at our home. Several have adopted us and lived here the rest of their lives.

Some have been reunited with their lost people. I do not know if their homes were better than ours, but you could see the love! These animals belonged with their families!

If we interfere, we want to be sure we do so wisely. The boys and their dog [mentioned in the story] should be kept together somehow (rescued together).

The Anna Marie Goodman Foundation helps poor, homeless people keep their animals.

We cannot help all the hurting children and animals in the world. We must do what we can, as wisely as possible.

— Carol Pond
Weaverville

Be forewarned of oil scarcity

The mainstream media is totally preoccupied with whether or not Bill did it to Monica, while Americans are about to be blind-sided by a global nightmare that will change their lives forever.

Around the year 2005, a unique event will occur: We will enter a new era of permanent resource scarcity, as global oil production “peaks” and begins its inevitable and permanent decline.

Oil prices could quickly triple, sending shocks blasting through the global economy. Oil is used directly or indirectly in the manufacture of everything, so prices for all manufactured goods and food products will leap, and American families will be flattened!

In many ways, the next 100 years will look like a movie played backwards. As oil production declines, societies will “un-develop,” with muscle replacing machinery and bicycles replacing autos. Obviously, American standards-of-living will go into free-fall — permanently.

Although we have the best politicians that money can buy, it’s far too late to begin their education now. There is really nothing we can do to protect our families, except to realize what’s coming at us and, then, do our best to survive.

See www.dieoff.org for a peek at your future. Then become close friends with your neighbors — because there’s a limit to how far you can ride your bicycle.

— Jay Hanson
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Local poll says military is over-funded

Over 156 Asheville citizens participated in a Tax Day Penny Poll held in downtown Asheville on April 15. Participants were each given 10 pennies, representing the total federal tax revenue for the year. Penny Poll participants were asked to step into the role of budget director for a moment and cast their vote into five broad categories of government spending.

Asheville citizens allocated funds much differently than the U.S. Budget.

The actual 1999 U.S. federal budget is divided into five broad categories: current military, 23 percent; past military, 26 percent; physical resources, 6 percent; general government, 15 percent; and human resources, 30 percent. These figures are taken from a line-by-line analysis of the Analytical Perspectives Book of the Budget of the United States government, fiscal year 1999.

The most significant difference between U.S. government allocations and the choices of Asheville citizens was the reversal of priorities from military spending to funding of human resources.

Asheville poll results are: current military, 7 percent; past military, 8 percent; physical resources, 21 percent; general government, 12 percent; human resources, 49 percent. An additional category, “none of the above” received 3 percent.

Poll watchers included members of the Asheville-based Taxes for Life! Alternative Fund, an affiliate group of the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee.

— Clare Hanrahan
Asheville

Readers seeking more information may contact Hanrahan at 285-0010

Feel excluded? Then leave

In reference to Eileen Duignan-Woods’ letter about feeling unwelcomed as a newcomer [April 8, entitled “Asheville: Outsiders need not apply”] :

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

P.S. You should just love Charlotte.

— Matt Olofson
Asheville native

Touche and away!

Bob Zimmerman’s response [letters, April 8] to my own letter [March 25] caught my attention. His comments — regarding the status of wealth vs. the status of recreation facilities existing in “North Asheville” — were timely, humorous and informative.

Let’s be clear together about the real concerns that exist in our community on the topic of recreation facilities. It really should have nothing to do with wealth or other status conditions, even though I myself fell prey to the specter of status issues when I wrote recently decrying City Council’s continued view to sell Memorial Stadium, presumably in order to gather funds to build other fields at Richmond Hill. What a travesty! The issue should never have existed in such a fashion that “neighborhoods” would be forced to go to bat against each other to protect their interests.

By the way, where does “North Asheville” start and the “rest of us” stop?

I think the real issue is how [we arrange for] everybody to get good places to play ball. Giving up a good place to play ball is not a good way to do this.

I am upset with myself to a point for slurring the good name of the “wealthy” of “North Asheville” in such a way as to upset Mr. Zimmerman. My intent was to cast stones at whoever dreamed up the idea of trading valuable recreation space in one part of town for needed space in another. There is no way to equitably make such a deal.

However, the dialogue this controversy has spurred might prove fruitful for everyone in the long run. For that I am grateful.

— Briggs Sherwood, director of development
Asheville-Buncombe Youth Soccer Association

To be welcomed, be nice

I had to respond to Eileen Duignan-Woods’ vitriolic letter about newcomers not being welcome in the Asheville area [April 8]. My husband and I moved to the area less than a year ago to the warmest, most gracious “welcome!” we’ve ever experienced. You say civic clubs and churches aren’t welcoming newcomers? Please! If the in-your-face tone of your letter reflects your personality, I bet I can guess why you’ve bumped into so many closed doors. As to your plans to move to Charlotte ASAP — need help packing?

— Nancy Tanker
Penrose

Add a wholistic zoning designation

Note: The following letter was sent to Mayor Leni Sitnick and each member of the Asheville City Council.

We request that you create a new zoning category which will accommodate an evolving type of organization that will become very central to Asheville’s economic growth within the next year or two. This category could be termed a “Wholistic Community Center,” [combining] classes, healing programs, and mind/body/spirit approaches to healthy living.

This type of facility requires a quiet, pastoral setting — yet in the city so that it can serve our population. It contains the same elements as other such community-based services that are zoned residential — schools, churches, residences, community centers, recreational uses. It is a low-impact, low-traffic, home-like atmosphere to help small numbers of people learn healthy living skills. It is best housed in an environment such as a large Victorian house, surrounded by flowers and gardens.

A zoning board member suggested that, to protect a neighborhood, there might be special requirements as to the size of such property in proportion to use. …

Asheville already has a reputation, supported by national television coverage, of being a haven of wholistic approaches — despite the lack of government support for those who have served this community for so long. As you are no doubt aware, Asheville is home to an estimated 400 or more wholistic health-care practitioners. Many of these professionals, in fields such as chiropractic, psychology, nursing, massage, acupuncture, faith healing, mind-body medicine, etc., have offered their services for the past 20 to 30 years, often without benefit of insurance, for those people who could afford to pay out-of-pocket — and often for low fees, or for free — because of a strong belief in the importance of natural and non-invasive approaches to healthcare. …

[W]e request your support for our large community of alternative and complementary practitioners [with the creation of] a legal structure that will foster small, healing groups, working together in the development of a new paradigm and model in health care that could have repercussions nationwide. … This new industry will support our local economy in an ecology-friendly, non-invasive manner by simultaneously expanding our health-care, tourist, convention and (emerging) spa industries. …

[Alternative practitioners] have flourished because, as statistics indicate, our services have helped people heal. Yet, we cannot continue to huddle in the Flat Iron Building! We need more nurturing facilities — with gardens to grow herbs, with kitchens to teach healthy cooking, with light and fresh air — offices and settings for small classes in town, where people can reach us, yet in environments that facilitate the healing of body, mind, emotions, and the spirit. …

[Such] facilities … do not take the place of critical care in hospitals, but [they do] … offer … health education, self-care and natural healing … without harm to our infrastructure or ecology.

— Carolyn Ball, president
Center for Wholistic Health
Asheville

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One thought on “Letters to the editor

  1. Eileen Duignan-Woods

    How long are you going to maintain my “Letter to the Editor”, written over 15 years ago. The letter was not sent by e-mail, but by now you know that what you did by publishing it on the Web goes on in perpetuity. It’s hurtdul and wrong.
    I made a mistake in even trusting you with some privacy. Once would have been more than sufficient , but 15-20 years years?????

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