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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.

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Yes, President Donald Trump abandoned the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces in northern Syria in our war on terror. But let’s not forget that President Kennedy abandoned the Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front at the Bay of Pigs in our war on communism.

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In March the Watauga County Board Of Education entered into a contract to purchase 14.4 acres (the Hodges site) for $1.105 million 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. Thirteen of the 14.4 acres are des…

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On Sept. 3, the Watauga County Board Of Commissioners filed an Application for Text Amendment to the Valle Crucis Historic District Ordinance. The applicants have asked that all public schools be grouped with Bona Fide Farms in section 2.3 of the ordinance and that sections 2.4 and 2.5 not b…

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I heard the D.O.T. is bringing the new left turn arrangement at all intersection on U.S. 221 between Boone and West Jefferson to other intersections in Boone. To turn left, you have to first turn right, fight your way to the far left lane and make a U-turn to complete the left turn. What a n…

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Far too often, after another mass shooting of innocent people in our nation, our politicians and media reporters naturally demand action that “something must be done.” Some call for stronger purchasing restrictions and regulations for gun ownership or banning assault rifles, bump stocks and …

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I believe the recent letter to the editor about the “NO to HATE” signs (Aug. 7) around the area bears witness to the fact of the great divide in our country —everything is viewed as one side against the other. In fact, the signs came as an act to try to bring our community together against h…

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The recent debacle surrounding the renaming of a street in Boone to honor the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a perfect example of getting what you vote for.

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As one of thousands of year-round residents who welcome the second-plus home residents, students, tourists, the friends of friends or relatives of friends or the passers through and by who appreciate these beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, I write to give a local perspective.

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Considering the letter, “About those ‘Don’t Hate-Love God’ signs” (Aug. 7): I have to remember to be a nice person, as I was raised and baptized in faith and Belief of Jesus Christ. I am thankful I had wonderful loving parents who taught me to love and abide by God’s commandments

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I was deeply distressed to read the letter which expressed being offended by the ”Don’t Hate-Love God” signs (Aug. 7).

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I am 91 years old. As far as I know, I am the oldest of the residents of Valle Crucis who were actually born in Valle Crucis and have lived in Valle Crucis their entire life. I have read all 80 comments written by the signers of the petition to prevent moving the Valle Crucis Elementary Scho…

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This letter is in regard to the Aug. 7 letter, “About those ‘Don’t Hate-Love God’ signs.” The letter seems to be offended by signs placed by the High Country faith community earlier this spring. They are a renunciation of hate in response to the epidemic of senseless violence in our country.

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Recently, a Your View opinion piece, “Housing and poverty in Boone” (Aug. 7), suggested that the Boone economy offers an illusion of prosperity propped up by the toils of its workers. Although the importance of reducing poverty, expanding a stock of affordable housing and making more widely …

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A letter recently expressed discomfort, to the point of being disturbed, with the volume of faith-based signs located throughout our community (“About those ‘Don’t Hate-Love God’ signs,” Aug. 2).

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(1) Nurses today in the 21st century are also speaking up about healthcare policies that hinder or help our society. As an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse residing in Boone and a practicing Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist for the past 22 years, I am concerned about the affordabilit…

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I am one of thousands of folks who pour into these mountains for the summer, the same lovely blue ridges I grew up in as a child in Virginia. The worries back home and the destructive political banter that infects our lives now — all this disappears behind the mountains.

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Read a while, blackout of a word, phrase, line or paragraph. Read a while, blackout of a word, phrase, line or paragraph. It is enough to make one black out while reading it, but it is the Mueller Report published by the United States Department of Justice.

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In the executive and legislative branches of our national government there appears to be a dearth of real leaders. It has reached the point where it is fair to say we are desperate for real leaders who can find common ground, build a consensus and move forward with solutions, rather than the…

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“I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.” So says the Hippocratic Oath that I, along with all physicians, swore to uphold. It guides my practice as a pediatrician, and it guides my staunch support for expanding Medicaid.

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On Wednesday, June 26, a fire seriously damaged a local Blowing Rock business of a beloved shop owner. Citizens, town officials and the community stood in deep concern as Blowing Rock firefighters diligently worked to stop the blaze. Many were distressed, heartbroken and in tears for the bel…

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Regarding dogs on the Boone Greenway, it has been brought to my attention that one of our members, while waiting for hikers to assemble and the hike to begin, encountered two young people who stopped to chat with a pair of interesting unleashed dogs. Both dogs began to romp; they were largis…

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Some of you will know this and others won’t, but June is considered Pride Month for the LGBTQIA community. It’s a time where those of us who are lesbian, or gay are encouraged to come out and be visible to our family, friends, neighbors and enemies. It’s not that any of us want enemies, but …

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Isn’t it ironic that both President Donald Trump and National Security Advisor John Bolton, neither of whom have experienced military combat, are now, according to news reports, thinking about starting a war in the Persian Gulf?