In response to Anna Rector’s letter, “Tearing Away Childhood, and Much More” [Aug. 8], I have total empathy. I left Greensboro, N.C., in 1995 to move here because developers were not tearing up this land like they did there. My new husband and I eventually bought an old home in West Asheville, surrounded by trees. We had seven wonderful years here, and then the bulldozers came to destroy the wooded hill across our street. This developer clear-cut all of it for row homes. When an arsonist burned one down, it was even more traumatic.
Having lived my childhood there, West Virginia is just as hard to bear. That was a beautiful state, and the mountaintops are now being blown up for coal. It breaks my heart every time we visit. They left a strand of trees on the interstate so no one can see the truth. We are grateful for the downtown [Asheville] protesters against Bank of America, which supported the largest coal company in that state.
Our entire country is controlled by greed, and the destruction is going on everywhere. The average person loves to shop and live in new, fancy homes. Enough is enough! As long as this growing population depends on materialism and comfort for happiness, our land will be compromised to fulfill their pleasures. Meanwhile, the retired baby boomers moving here have money. They would rather live in new homes—with a view—than donate to help preserve these mountains. Forget living in an older home, [which could be found] for sale all over the place. We cannot blame developers for supplying what the people moving here want.
I don’t understand why retired people support destruction, when many have grandkids. I suppose they don’t care what the next generation will endure.
— Susan Hamilton