Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The River Rolls

Chuck Connors

The river rolls, the river rolls, all the way to the big wide sea
But who could really understand when you and I can’t see?

The river rolls, the river rolls, laughing across the rocks
It chuckles softly “come along,” you can play without your socks.

The river rolls, the river rolls, two lovers once loved along its banks
Years later when they were old and gray they came back and gave their thanks.

The river rolls, the river rolls, so deep and far and wide
It travels winding ways to the ocean and the tide.

The river rolls, the river rolls, it seems forever to me
One day I must follow it to find my destiny.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Jackson County

by Chuck Connors

By and large our county manager, Mr. Ken Westmoreland, has done a good job with our county’s proposed 2008 – 2009 fiscal budget. I do have some questions and comments relating to the budget and to the g
eneral state of Jackson County.

Why do we need an Economic Development Commission (EDC)?

Whatever happened to the $568,000.00 the EDC loaned the Jackson Development Commission (JDC)?

When are we going to have the audit that was promised over two years ago? Audits were not done in 2006 and 2007.

I understand this loan was supposed to be paid back in one year. That was six years ago!

Now, that loan would be worth (with interest) approximately $620,000.00. Where is the money?

If the EDC has not forgiven that loan and the JDC is now defunct, do the taxpayers have to pay the EDC that loan of $620,000.00 as is being rumored?

Some people have said we don’t really need a full time EDC director because in a small county like ours there isn’t enough interest or need.

An ad hoc committee, activated from time to time, could work more effectively and be more responsive to the taxpayers.

The EDC doesn’t need another county employee working for it. We already have some financial accountability with the county’s financial director also acting as the treasurer of the group.

On other issues:

Why is the county allowing the Army Corps of Engineers to deny due process to the citizens of Jackson County in the coming environmental disaster of the elitist compounds of “Webster Ridge” and “Riverrock (Legasus)?”

Does the Balsam Mountain ‘Preserve’ (Chaffin/Light) really believe that folks are taken in with the public relations stunt of a has-been golf professional brazenly opening one of his trout-killing courses on the anniversary (June 7, 2007) of the Scott’s Creek disaster? To paraphrase Charlie Daniels, “the eagle is flying low,” isn’t it?

This whole sad state of affairs has become a “Jacksongate” where the taxpayers get their pockets picked one more time by free-booting loose cannons. If the citizens of Jackson County aren’t getting the shaft from a herd of greedy developers, they’re getting it from our elected and appointed officials! I would strongly urge you, the Jackson County Commissioners, to take action now on the EDC/JDC fiasco, take a strong stand against re-building the dam on the BMP golf course and take immediate legal action to force the Army Corps of Engineers to hold a public hearing/public comment on the “Webster Ridge” debacle. These and other incidents have been “white elephants” on the taxpayers for too long. All we’re getting is a huge mess costing us hundreds of thousands of dollars (perhaps millions) and destroying our county with no end in sight. Is anyone else waiting for positive leadership on these issues? Cut to the chase gentlemen and do it now.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Frat Boys on Spring Break

by Chuck Connors

There’s a pattern happening here. A pattern insidious, hateful, destructive, and it’s aimed at you and me. In just the last few years Jackson County has taken on a tone, a dreadful resemblance similar to the destruction of the state of Florida. Build, build, build and the land and the public be damned.

For too long developers in Jackson County and the rest of Western North Carolina have been running hog wild like frat boys on spring break in Panama City. Our county has been their golden goose with dollar signs for eyes and guess who’s paying through the nose? It may turn out that the land development/steep slope ordinances need to be ‘tweaked’ and made more effective in stopping the developers in their race to destroy what little we have left—especially when there’s ‘cheaters’ such as the Balsam Mountain ‘Preserve’ neatly halving the just fine that was imposed upon them for the illegal dam which caused the Scott’s Creek disaster. The public relations flim flam of a bought and paid for eagle imported from Tennessee won’t fly either. Nobody’s fooled.

Don’t forget Legasus and their Riverrock water pollution fiasco in-the-making on Cullowhee Mountain. If you think that Legasus hasn’t been doing everything they can to subvert the decision of the Army Corps of Engineers relating to all the streams that Legasus is going to bury in a pipe, you were born yesterday.

Two of the candidates running for county commissioner are obvious ‘plants’ by the developers. One candidate is the Eastern Band’s attempt to subvert the rest of Jackson County and another candidate is a sex offender.

The incumbents may not be perfect, but they see what is going on and are doing something right to preserve the old Jackson County for the future. They don’t want their grandchildren and yours to be forced out of Jackson County by sky-high land prices and elitist gated communities with signs reading, “Locals Keep Out.” Will you stand on your two legs and fight for what is right or will you be a slave on your knees? I know who and what I’m going to vote for May 6. Do you?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Balsam Mountain Eagle a 'No Fly'

by Chuck Connors

Some of ya’ll might remember from a few weeks back all the hoopla in the papers and on the television about the eagle over there at the Balsam Mountain ‘Preserve.’ Now being a bit ignorant when it comes to worldly things I figured to ask my Uncle Curtis what he thought about all these goings on. For those of you that don’t know my Uncle Curtis, he’s lived in these mountains for quite a spell; besides, he’s done a bit of traveling also.
“Uncle Curtis, did you hear about that eagle they got up there at that Chaffin/Light development?”
“Yea boy I heard about it,” he replied.
Now if you know my Uncle Curtis, he may not say much but what he says means a whole lot. “Well what exactly do you think about that eagle, ‘Spirit Augustus’, they got penned up there,” I asked.
“Boy, when you goin’ to learn that there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. None of them big corporation people is going to give you or me the time of day unless they figure they can get somethin’ out of our pockets.”
“But Uncle Curtis, don’t you think it’s all good to be bringing back eagles to the mountains?”
“Shoot boy, all them corporate ‘charla-tans’ are trying to do is pull a sack over your pea-brained head. Didn’t you ever stop to think what that eagle’s name means? The Latin of spirit is spiritus which can mean either a ghost or liquor. All them Chaffin/Light money boys are trying to do is sell you a ghost. And if you ever heard about anybody seeing a ghost all they thought they saw was smoke. And anytime that any of your cousins said they saw a ghost they was all liquored up anyways. When somebody don’t want you to look someplace they’ll do some sorta neat trick to get you to look somewhere else. In the magician business they call it ‘smoke and mirrors’.”
When I got to thinking about it I figured that Uncle Curtis just might be right. What has the Balsam Mountain ‘Preserve’ ever really done for me. Shoot, you can’t go in up there at Sugar Loaf anymore to do any hunting or fishing. They might as well have a sign that reads, “Locals Keep Out.” Remember that dam they had that burst? Chaffin/Light’s been trying to get out of payin’ for that disaster from the get go. Do ya’ll think that the Balsam Mountain ‘Preserve’ really gives a hoot about our mountains and our ways? Like Uncle Curtis told me, “you can’t get something for nothing and them corporate bean counters want somethin’.”