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Watauga elected officials listened to many voices regarding lifting coronavirus restrictions, except one — the voter’s voice. While measures to limit the influx of visitors makes sense, the 14-day quarantine restriction for returning residents from even a one night stay out of the county is …

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This morning, I made my fourth weekly trip to Walmart for groceries during COVID-19 pandemic. I don’t like getting older, and I don’t like this grocery process either. It feels sort of like being herded up like old sheep, but it’s nice to know they are trying to protect us.

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In North Carolina, more than 788,000 people older than the age of 50 live alone and are at higher risk of social isolation. That includes many of the 31,700 seniors living in Ashe and Watauga counties. That isolation is now magnified by social distancing requirements.

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Just over one year ago, March 2019, it was announced that the Watauga County 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 was not disclosed on the agenda or minutes of t…

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Regarding the many kudos given the small business safety net provided by the SBA Paychecks Program, the proof is in the execution. As documented in many personal interviews with small business owners on local, regional and national media, only those applying to the largest money center banks…

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The last few days have been difficult, to say the least, for business owners and employees all across these United States. This battle taking place with our health care workers on the front line waging hand-to-hand combat with Covid 19 continues, fighting valiantly each day for any victory t…

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The United States is now officially the stupidest country in the world, with the highest rate of Coronavirus infections of any developed country in the world and with no letup in sight.

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As a field organizer working for NextGen North Carolina, I’m working to register young people to vote and mobilize them to get to the the polls in November. If there’s one thing I know from my peers, it is that we are fed up with politicians who seek to concentrate their power at the expense…

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I feel obligated to introduce a countervailing voice to some of the recent opinion pieces published here that have been critical of contemporary progressive politics. It is not my intention to direct any insults at individuals or to demean another’s beliefs. I do feel that I must point out t…

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I think back from time to time to my own two college commencement ceremonies as I am sure many in the Mountaineer community have done as well. I remember that exciting feeling of donning my cap and gown; thewaiting to march into an arena with classmates, some familiar and some not; the feeli…

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What a week this has been! 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 restau…

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In response to your article on Connor Hoy’s initiative to make Watauga County a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary, (“Student starts Watauga effort for ‘Second Amendment sanctuary,” March 8), I want to address this from the perspective of someone who came here for college and decided to stay and work h…

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My Mountaineer roots run deep. I came to App State as a freshman in 1973, graduated with a B.A. in 1977, an M.A. in 1979. After earning a Ph.D., I became a member of the History Department in 1984. I’m a long-time member of the Yosef Club and count our victory over Michigan as one of the thr…

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King Solomon and President Donald Trump: Solomon had a father who paved the way for success in his reign as king of Israel. Trump had a father who paved the way for him to have success in the business world. Solomon attained great riches during his reign. Trump has attained great riches in t…

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After reading the “Locals, Representatives React to Trump’s Acquittal” article in the Feb. 6 Watauga Democrat, I wanted to respond.

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I read with amusement today that President Donald Trump accused Sen. Mitt Romney of “posing as a Republican” because he is the sole Republican to break from his party and find the president guilty of abuse of power.

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In 1992, I had the opportunity to to travel to Moscow and St. Petersburg with a group led by Josh McDowell to distribute copies of his powerful evangelistic book “More Than A Carpenter,” translated into Russian. After the recent fall of the Soviet Union, we found that people were eager to re…

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Once upon a time in a time removed from today … there was little thought to staffing public schools in rural districts with school resource officers.

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My letter is in response to the column “Greta’s weekly climate strikes ask for return to Sabbath” (Nov. 20).

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The Senate Democrats say that they are standing up for the Constitution and the Republicans say that the Democrats only hate President Donald Trump and have wanted to impeach him from the start.

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People should not be disadvantaged, mistreated, blamed or otherwise treated as less than fully human due to mental illness. When I say that there is stigma associated with mental illness, (“Ending stigma: High Country group bringing mental health awareness to churches,” Jan. 21, https://tiny…

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My name is Elicka Sparks, and I’m a professor at Appalachian State University. I’ve been at ASU for 17 years teaching criminal justice. I’ve always loved my job. I love my students and my research, which does some good in the world.

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I am a 65-year-old receiving my earned Social Security benefits. I am also a 24/7/365 caregiver for my wife who is an 18 year brain cancer survivor. My personal benefit is lower than most because of my inability to work and care for my wife at the same time.

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In 2016, I was one of the estimated 18% of conservative evangelical Christians who did not vote for Trump. Nor did I vote for Clinton. Since then, I have engaged in discussions with many Trump supporters and found their arguments inadequate. Here are five arguments evangelical Trump supporte…

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One thing that we can all agree upon is that we live in divisive times, with Democrats and Republicans claiming that their side is right, the other side is wrong, and that there is little, if any, common ground.

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As a new Boone resident, and peer-reviewed, published scientist, I was very disappointed in your recent op-ed by Walter Williams (“Scientists: Dishonest or afraid?” Nov. 24) who essentially reiterated the climate denialist, Tony Heller (a pseudonym, by the way).

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Most are aware of the Sabbath (which means “to rest” in Hebrew), where Moses taught that we should rest every seven days to glorify “The Creator,” thus giving us the week that we still use today. Fewer, however, are aware that the Sabbath also teaches that we should leave fields fallow every…

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“Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to ‘tell it like it is.’ On the basis of this obligation, we declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that Earth is facing a climate emerge…

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In my 66 years I have witnessed American history: Vietnam, the Nixon and Clinton impeachments, Iran Contra, Benghazi, and the 9/11 wars, just to name a few. These events were traumatic and in some cases very divisive. But despite this, thanks to our democracy, our country has remained as str…

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Here they are again, those inviting snowflakes on our lamp posts in Boone. Thank you for going back to the warmer lights after a couple years of the colder LED ones.

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On Oct. 15, I attended a meeting of the Watauga County Commissioners to discuss the Application for Text Amendment to The Valle Crucis Historic District Ordinance. In preparation to build a new school in Valle Crucis, county commissioners are seeking a change which would render schools to be…

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Pam Williamson is the de facto head of the Watauga County Democratic Party. Prominent among her many activities is writing “Pam’s Picks” every election season. Her website offers her views on all of the races on the ballot, and near the polling stations you’ll always find a replica of her sa…

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A letter in the Watauga Democrat Oct. 23 (“Democracy not well”) scolded me for weighing in on candidates running for seats on the Boone Town Council.

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Regarding the current municipal election in the Town of Boone, the Watauga County Democratic party did not recruit candidates, has not endorsed candidates and has not expended any Party resources to benefit any candidate.

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Under the mantra “Make America Great Again.” the present administration in Washington has redefined greatness.