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Quick thinking

averts disaster

Who could have suspected that a leisurely day of fly fishing, on a calm river near Sylva, in a drift boat would ever result in a dramatic life-or-death event? Well, it happened last Friday.

Four of us were on a routine river fly fishing excursion with our guides, Jerry and Kenny, from One Fly Outfitters of Black Mountain. Toward the end of the fishing trip, one of our visiting guests, a 20-year-old N.C. State University student from Raleigh, for no apparent reason suddenly stiffened and fell head-first into the rocky river, slipping under the boat. The student was having an uncontrollable seizure attributable to a reaction of prescribed medication.

Jerry, who was rowing, immediately grabbed hold of the young man's clothing and managed with great difficulty to get him back into the boat and began administering first aid. Kenny, who was in another boat, was then able to assist in contacting emergency medical services near Sylva. They docked their boats and both of them carried the mostly unconscious student up a steep hill as the ambulance arrived.

The outcome could have easily been tragic. However, except for a bruised shoulder, our student guest and his family are returning to their Raleigh home today.

Our guests enjoyed their fly fishing experience, of course, but their appreciation of the genuine life-saving actions that Jerry and Kenny performed will stay with all of us. These quiet, heroic men are a tribute to our community. They should be highly commended for their life-saving efforts.

Allan and Starry Jones

Black Mountain

Questions Montreat board’s awarding

attorney fees

At the April 14 meeting of the Montreat town council, a leader of the recent successful political campaign to elect a new majority stood before the audience admonishing his hearers that it is wrong to speak ill of the newly elected members.

He said, “If you want to challenge the integrity and ethical strength of Kitty (Fouche) or Bill (Gilliland) or any of the members of this council, then I hope you know what you are talking about; because you find me two or three other people with the integrity that they have and we will have a wonderful world.”

At the recent meeting of the commission, the new majority announced that, instead of actually holding the civil trial about locating the town hall, a trial that had been delayed until after the election, they had instead negotiated with their political supporters, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The settlement agreement to the complaint states, “nothing in this consent order shall … constitute a judgment by the court that any party has violated any statue … or other legal obligation.”

With neither a judge nor an arbitrator determining either the merits of the case or an appropriate allocation of the costs, the new majority stipulated that the town of Montreat, a defendant in the complaint that was not judged to have “violated any statue,” should dip into the public treasury and pay off the legal costs of their political supporters the amount of $50,000.00.

How can elected officials who voluntarily pay off their campaign expenses out of the town’s tax money be considered to be showing “integrity and ethical strength”?

John R. Johnson

Montreat

A state that

forgets its past ...

I greatly appreciated Linda Tatsapaugh's guest commentary on HB2 (BMN May 19). Her commentary focuses well beyond the bathroom issue. She also clearly illustrates the state-regulated restrictions on local governments and the rights of employees.

When my wife and I moved to North Carolina about 20 years ago, the state had a mandate that no municipality could have a no-smoking policy more restrictive than the state-wide policy. Fortunately, this was removed and a broad statewide limit to smoking in public places was inaugurated. That gave us hope about our newly-adopted state, but the HB2 has set back those hopes. Evidently, our state doesn't seem to be learning much from its own history.

Bill Hubbard

Asheville

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