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Letters: Unicoi gets unfair reputation

Johnson City Press • May 9, 2018 at 6:00 AM

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Unicoi gets unfair reputation

Over the past several months, there have been a series of articles in the paper that have displayed the town of Unicoi and its leaders in a bad light, as constantly bickering and even of questionable integrity.

As a longtime resident of the town, this kind of reporting is disappointing because it does not fairly or accurately portray the goals of the town’s leaders and the positive things they are working to achieve.

A majority of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen are committed to pursuing a vision of the town’s future that capitalizes on the natural beauty of our surroundings by encouraging ecotourism-related projects that will increase the quality of life and create jobs through the service industry economy that tourism brings. They have made great progress toward realizing this vision with projects such as the visitors center, the Mountain Harvest Kitchen food business incubator, the Pinnacle Tower Trail, the historic Bogart-Bowman Cabin, an expanded farmers market with a planned new pavilion and now a proposed amphitheater.

Many of these projects have been funded in large part with state and federal grants. The construction of the amphitheater will be completely funded by the state, if the proposal is successful. For a town with a population of 3,500, this is impressive progress toward a realistic vision.

As someone who loves the town and approves of the direction that it is going, I appreciate the hard work of its leaders to make that vision a reality.

ED STEAD
Unicoi

Kitchen to help Unicoi’s dough rise

As a member of the Unicoi Mountain Harvest Kitchen Board for the past three years, I have watched it finally come together after nearly 10 years of planning and work by the Unicoi community. It has been an amazing process to see as the town of Unicoi's visionary mayor, Johnny Lynch, brought together local and regional support. These diverse partners have provided expertise, consultation and assistance in grant funding to bring online the only certified commercial kitchen in the region.

Some have questioned the ability of the kitchen to generate revenue. A good comparison would be the building of baseball or soccer fields. Would these generate revenue? Or would they bring real value in the form of the enjoyment by the community in their use, spin off revenue generated for local business in the form of food, fuel and supply sales? The kitchen provides that same type of value to the town of Unicoi.

People need reasons to come to Unicoi, and the Mountain Harvest Kitchen is just one of the attractions we offer. Others include the Bogart-Bowman Cabin, which hosts Monday and Wednesday night bluegrass music, Heritage Days, Veterans Day and Christmas events. The Tanasi Art Gallery and Visitor Center offer meeting and gathering spaces available to anyone, the surrounding Cherokee National Forest and the Pinnacle Mountain Trail and fire tower are great outdoor recreation opportunities.

Our attractions here in Unicoi are a source of pride in our Appalachian culture and heritage as well as resources for our local community. So come visit the Mountain Harvest Kitchen. Take a class (some of which are free). Learn something new or start a new business you have always dreamed of. Be part of our culinary culture and growing innovation center here in Unicoi.

CLAUDIA LANGLEY
Unicoi

Stings of comedy

In the Press of May 6, Star Parker, to nobody's surprise, bewailed Michelle Wolf's mistreatment of the president, D.J. Trump.

"What pretended to be humor was politicized vulgarity driven by animosity and hate."

Leaving aside the question of how she might distinguish between “animosity” and “hate,” I would like to point out that she might well be describing the campaign tactics of her hero, the pugnacity of his nasty style that resulted in his (minority) election.

JOEL SHIMBERG
Johnson City

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