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Easter baskets made possible by these people

On March 20, 40 Easter baskets were delivered to Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministries for distribution to children in this community. These baskets, containing age-appropriate educational toys and books from Discovery Toys, along with special Easter treats, were made possible through the generous donations of area individuals and businesses.

I am tremendously grateful to my wonderful Black Mountain friends and neighbors (you know who you are!), to Carol Patchett who volunteered to gather donations from her friends and neighbors, and to the following community-minded businesses who gave so generously to this project: Black Mountain Savings Bank, Greybeard Realty, Symmetry Financial Group, Penland's Furniture, Sassafras on Sutton and Traditions Bakery.

I have been so impressed by the generosity of this very special community that is our part-time home!

Junith Koon

Black Mountain and Atlanta

Candid comments shed light on interchange project

It is always refreshing to hear decision-makers making candid, honest statements, and on that account I offer grateful praise for our town manager and our planning board chair for their comments at the April board of alderman meeting.

Thanks to town manager Matt Settlemyer for stating that night that the Blue Ridge Road-Interstate 40 interchange will not funnel large trucks away from downtown Black Mountain. Since that is the public’s general perception, I appreciate Mr. Settlemyer attempting to set the record straight and keep our citizen’s expectations realistic.

I took notes at the meeting, and I heard him say that night, “You can’t restrict trucks from downtown, because it is a state road.”

Appreciation also goes to planning board chair Lisa Milton, who spoke that night to raise the question, “who are the stakeholders?” in the Blue Ridge Road-Interstate 40 interchange project. Milton noted that she specifically asked NC DOT officials whether residents of Blue Ridge Road area are considered stakeholders in the planning of the highway interchange, and the answer she got was, “No.”

Sheridan Hill

Black Mountain

Seniors can ill afford another Duke rate increase

Duke Carolinas has requested a 13.4 percent increase in residential rates. This will increase the basic customer charge from $11.13 to $19.50!

When so many of us seniors got a Social Security cost-of-living adjustment of just 2 percent in 2017, and zero in 2016, this is going to hit seniors especially hard. Duke can find other sources of revenue, such as their CEO compensation or some of the federal tax cut windfalls.

We should all be working to conserve our electricity use, yet the monthly electric bill gets paid before we ever turn on a light. The North Carolina Utilities Commission should reject their proposal, which is one we cannot afford.

Margie Sigman

Black Mountain

AARP NC Volunteer

Hate speech on campus highlighted in film

Aware of increasing hate speech by the far left and far right, I thought your readers would like to know about hate speech on campuses. The film “Hate Spaces-Intolerance on Campus” will be shown for free on Monday, April 9, at 7:30 p.m. at Ferguson Auditorium on AB Tech’s Asheville campus.

The loss of protection of freedom of speech and freedom of religion relates to the years in Germany leading up to World War II and is important to teach to following generations. We must learn from history, and this is a real-life way to do that.

This brief film is shown in conjunction with Holocaust Remembrance Day and followed by a short talk with a daughter of Holocaust survivors. Christians, Jews, students would be interested.

Janet Burhoe-Jones

Swannanoa

Happy to put up with construction at Highland Farms

We’re here ‘til we “flutter up” (BMN Letters to the Editor March 29). Our homes here at Givens Highland Farms purchased in good faith will not be destroyed, and no one is our cluster homes has to move!

And soon Givens Highland Farms will be offering even more beautiful accommodations for folks who want to live independently, and their children can relax and breathe sighs of relief.

We have a beautiful campus, and after the construction it will be even more beautiful. We have to be patient and realize change is necessary if Givens Highland Farms is to remain solvent. If not, we definitely will have to move.

I believe most of us here wake up every morning with a prayer of thanksgiving for having the privilege to be living here on the farm. I know I do!

Carol Cauthen

Black Mountain

She’s sorry to see Bi-Lo go

I have been blessed to have called Black Mountain my home for the past 20 years. Bi-Lo has been my grocery store. They have been like a trusted friend.

I know many of the cashiers by name. The expressions on their faces since the announcement was made of their pending closing says it all.

One of the reasons I moved to Black Mountain was because of the small town feel it offered. Bi-Lo represented that.

I must say, and I know that I speak for others, that I will miss not being able to pop in there and grab something and see and speak to those folks that I have gotten to know over the years. Bi-Lo will be missed. I am so sorry to see them go.

Hallie Saunders

Black Mountain

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