Swain County is better off with the s...

Swain County is better off with the settlement money

There are 21 comments on the Asheville Citizen-Times story from Oct 17, 2007, titled Swain County is better off with the settlement money. In it, Asheville Citizen-Times reports that:

And now our work begins. After years of public debate about the North Shore Road in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, we approach the final stage in advocating for a monetary settlement for the citizens of ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Asheville Citizen-Times.

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James Clampitt

Princeton Junction, NJ

#1 Oct 18, 2007
Just an observation from an ol’ country farm boy, that did go to the city once and did get a diploma:

The people whom oppose the building of the road, North Shore Road in Swain County, say the costs are too high, you need to think here a bit. There is no real substance to the EIS study to say there is any detrimental impact to the region other than positive economics, accessibility to a region rich in history, archaeological sites (most of which have not been recorded), many structures still standing (after 60+ years), family burial grounds (which according to the Native American Burial Grounds Act) is required to have an adequate access. And that the bottom line is the contract is 64 years old and that in itself qualifies that it is “out of date” and does not have to be honored.

All this to say: Has everyone forgot the year the words were penned to the Declaration of Independence? It seems so, for me the date of July 4, 1776 comes to mind, and I believe that July 4, 1976, which was in my lifetime, there was a grand nationwide celebration of this county’s birth was held. Today, in 2007 the document for “Freedom” is 231 years old. The Federal government back then also saw the need to protect its people from the dictators of the past. So, The New United States of America adopted the Bill of Rights, December 15, 1791. By my math that is 216 years ago. Can you name any “one” of these rights. If you cannot, your life is in a void, no doubt. Our Supreme Court has its checks and balances, which are all controlled by the “Bill of Rights”. All the rights and privileges that are wrought to you are from the “Bill of Rights”. I’ll just give you one to think on; Amendment IV,“The right of the people to secure in their person, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized”. For those individuals that held on to what little they had at that time, had their property “seized” and literally left their habitat with the water encroaching on their doorstep and the clothes on their back. To say the contract is “old and outdated”, the “Bill of Rights” is a contract by our Federal Government to its people, and yes it is still in effect today, 216 years later. I will not say that our Federal Government is flawless or has no shortcomings, but, that is why we have “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” and I for one, believe that the written “Memorandum of Agreement of July 30, 1943” is a legal and binding contract just as much so as the “Bill of Rights” passage, December 15, 1791 is a written legal binding contract of the Federal Government to its people then, as well as today in the year of our Lord 2007.

Hometown, gown, reared and back home again.
Mike Clampitt, Bryson City, N.C. 28713
Mike Clampitt

Princeton Junction, NJ

#2 Oct 18, 2007
Concerning Mr. Shuler and his allegiance to the people of Western North Carolina, it is apparent that he is of the belief that portion of the state lies within the boundaries of Eastern Tennessee. This became very clear to me with
a recent visit to D.C. and meeting with Mr. Shuler about the Swain Co. "Road To Nowhere", I and others made a plea to the Rep. to join with Senator Burr in getting a "consensus" of what the people of Swain Co. would like to see happen about this. The Federal Government honor it's word and commitment to build the road or not. In order to achieve this goal, it was requested of Mr. Shuler that, "the public deserves to have their voice heard", by putting it on the 2008 ballot in Swain Co. I believe the response that came back from the conversation had something to do with "a fairy tale". It seems that the Rep. has a belief that the peoples voice is "a fairy tale".
John Herrin Swain County

Bardstown, KY

#3 Oct 18, 2007
I find it alarming that Mr. Kidd arbitrarily would decide the matter is now settled. While the EIS is completed it shows little detrimental effect to the park as a whole and surely no more than the already established roadways throughout the present Great Smokey Mountain Park system. It is well understood that the Park itself is charged with conserving the assets it has regardless of whether it's a road or an additional parking area and for that they have my gratitude. The Park's stance over preferring a monetary settlement was certain before it started. However the contract is there for the road along the North Shore, which was formulated and executed by the Federal Government and others which in turn is the overseer of the Park and takes precedence over the Park's position.
This area, culture, heritage has been literally wiped from the face of the Earth to be forgotten and is a human tragedy at the expense of the people the Park is hear to serve as well as others. To trivialize it with a price tag only denigrates the issue even further. I reference the following link for those who might not know or understand the nature of the culture which has been extinguished, http://aam.wcu.edu/grant/Photographs.html
Was this heritage worth something? Absolutely, and those people who gave their "all" asked for access to their past by way of a road along the North Shore. This was agreed by all parties including the Federal Government. Does it have monetary worth? I'm not sure how to consider this. Just exactly what is the price we should place on a culture or a heritage? Should we even try while we are now in the process of extinguishing even the memories of this moment in time. A shameless tragedy.
Hazelcreek

United States

#4 Oct 18, 2007
Your work is done, you have stopped the road and now its time to stop, stonewall, delay,or otherwise keep any cash settlement out of the coffers of the clique that has strangeled Swain County for so long.

“Report and Deport1866-DHS-2 ICE”

Since: Feb 07

Location hidden

#5 Oct 18, 2007
John Herrin Swain County wrote:
I find it alarming that Mr. Kidd arbitrarily would decide the matter is now settled. While the EIS is completed it shows little detrimental effect to the park as a whole and surely no more than the already established roadways throughout the present Great Smokey Mountain Park system. It is well understood that the Park itself is charged with conserving the assets it has regardless of whether it's a road or an additional parking area and for that they have my gratitude. The Park's stance over preferring a monetary settlement was certain before it started. However the contract is there for the road along the North Shore, which was formulated and executed by the Federal Government and others which in turn is the overseer of the Park and takes precedence over the Park's position.
This area, culture, heritage has been literally wiped from the face of the Earth to be forgotten and is a human tragedy at the expense of the people the Park is hear to serve as well as others. To trivialize it with a price tag only denigrates the issue even further. I reference the following link for those who might not know or understand the nature of the culture which has been extinguished, http://aam.wcu.edu/grant/Photographs.html
Was this heritage worth something? Absolutely, and those people who gave their "all" asked for access to their past by way of a road along the North Shore. This was agreed by all parties including the Federal Government. Does it have monetary worth? I'm not sure how to consider this. Just exactly what is the price we should place on a culture or a heritage? Should we even try while we are now in the process of extinguishing even the memories of this moment in time. A shameless tragedy.
Amen!!! you cannot put a $$ sign for the peoples' homes and little towns that were 'condemned' by TVA and forced to move. The folks who did finally sell got something like $47 an acre...the rest got nothing. They DID have a promise of a small road and even that has been stolen from them. Rep. Schuler sold out the people of Swain County. Remember that come election time. Send him packing.
smokies

Waynesville, NC

#6 Oct 18, 2007
What the people of Swain County need to understand is that the decision concerning the road will be made by people who can't even find Hazel Creek on a map.

These elitists know what is best.
swain native

United States

#7 Oct 18, 2007
Mr Kidd talks as if its all over.The park service has made its" RECOMMENDATION" for a cash settlement.Thats nothing new.The Government decided not to honor the agreement so they BURNED our families homes after they left.we will NEVER give up fighting for our heritage.!We don't want another"PROMISE" of any kind from the Federal Government.I haven't heard there was 52 million appropriated for swain county or even offered. IT at least should be voted upon by the "PEOPLE OF SWAIN" who suffered & sacrificed everything !We've been denied that right in the past but we are still asking for the right to "have our voice heard ".ITS NOT OVER !!!!
Buddy

United States

#8 Oct 18, 2007
This is what happens when you rely on government to keep its promises. They never do. Those families that gave up their homesteads in exchange for a pack of empty lies are the ones who suffered and continue to suffer. There is no monetary amount that can fix that. Building the road would be a first chapter towards fixing it, and is the right thing to do. Keep your promise, the Promise your predecessors made, Mr Shuler.

“No More Settlement”

Since: Feb 07

Location hidden

#9 Oct 18, 2007
Buddy wrote:
This is what happens when you rely on government to keep its promises. They never do. Those families that gave up their homesteads in exchange for a pack of empty lies are the ones who suffered and continue to suffer. There is no monetary amount that can fix that. Building the road would be a first chapter towards fixing it, and is the right thing to do. Keep your promise, the Promise your predecessors made, Mr Shuler.
The problem is Mr Shuler has more prudent pay backs to uphold for the financing of his election and now reelection.
Buddy

United States

#10 Oct 18, 2007
Lord forbid someone in Gov't just do something RIGHT for once, instead of what is best for their pocketbook.
Henry Chambers GA

Athens, GA

#11 Oct 18, 2007
First, this issue effects a lot more than the people of Swain County, NC. My gggg-grandfather settled at the mouth of Chambers Creek. His descendants cleared the land and toiled hard to make a home and a living there. A lot of folks do not realize what they went through. Most do not even realize when the National Park Servie bought parts of the land in 1928, some of these former landowners put their money in the banks while they searched for new homes. A lot of them lost both their land and their money after the banks failed in 1929.
And when TVA entered the picture, those left were told it was their patriotic duty to sell and move on. A lot of the deeds were questionable and had to be done a second time. This isn't to count all of the broken promises.
I want the right to visit relatives buried along the north shore of Fontana Lake. Fortunately, I have a boat and I'm able to walk; but I have a lot of friends and relatives who don't have a boat and who can't walk the distances to the cemeteries.
Where is patriotic duty now? Who is representing these families? And who is representing the interest of those who had to move outside of Swain County?
There is a lot more a stake than the interests of Swain County.
Mrs Hathaway

Maxton, NC

#12 Oct 18, 2007
James Clampitt wrote:

There is no real substance to the EIS study to say there is any detrimental impact to the region other than positive economics, accessibility to a region rich in history, archaeological sites (most of which have not been recorded), many structures still standing (after 60+ years), family burial grounds (which according to the Native American Burial Grounds Act) is required to have an adequate access.
Nothing personal, but the section of the EIS that deals with the so-called "positive economics" has some very serious flaws in it. I wouldn't stake my argument on it.
Mike Clampitt

United States

#13 Oct 20, 2007
Mrs Hathaway wrote:
<quoted text>
Nothing personal, but the section of the EIS that deals with the so-called "positive economics" has some very serious flaws in it. I wouldn't stake my argument on it.
WELL, excuse me. It is apparent that "EIS" document is what the FEDS and the opposition to the Road thought would help it be defeated, at a cost of $10 million. I'm using their own words against them. If you want to be personal, all sides of my family were part of the relocation and removal from their land, and MY heritage of family members have been lost forever. There are over 1,100 veterans, familys, and relatives still interred above the high water mark of the lake, 600 miles exist in the "Park" area. In the corridor from Fontana to Bryson City, there were at the height of population of 6,000 people living in communitys,(1900-1940)attendin g school, businesses, community theaters, churches, had homes and farms, lumber mills, gold and copper mines. It is more than just having a physical road, it is the willingness of a generous people willing to share their heitage, history and beauty of their lands the Federal Government says belongs to all.
Mrs Hathaway

Maxton, NC

#14 Oct 20, 2007
Mike Clampitt wrote:
<quoted text>WELL, excuse me. It is apparent that "EIS" document is what the FEDS and the opposition to the Road thought would help it be defeated, at a cost of $10 million. I'm using their own words against them. If you want to be personal, all sides of my family were part of the relocation and removal from their land, and MY heritage of family members have been lost forever. There are over 1,100 veterans, familys, and relatives still interred above the high water mark of the lake, 600 miles exist in the "Park" area. In the corridor from Fontana to Bryson City, there were at the height of population of 6,000 people living in communitys,(1900-1940)attendin g school, businesses, community theaters, churches, had homes and farms, lumber mills, gold and copper mines. It is more than just having a physical road, it is the willingness of a generous people willing to share their heitage, history and beauty of their lands the Federal Government says belongs to all.
As I said, it was nothing personal directed to you. As someone who knows the EIS document and its methodology, I'm just telling you that the method used to calculate economic benefits to Swain County of the new road is very suspect. I didn't say you didn't have an otherwise good argument on all other counts.

“No More Settlement”

Since: Feb 07

Location hidden

#15 Oct 23, 2007
Mrs Hathaway wrote:
<quoted text>
As I said, it was nothing personal directed to you. As someone who knows the EIS document and its methodology, I'm just telling you that the method used to calculate economic benefits to Swain County of the new road is very suspect. I didn't say you didn't have an otherwise good argument on all other counts.
Its not suspect to those who would like for the road to be finished. I think the estimated cost of construction is suspect.
Russell Breedlove

United States

#16 Oct 23, 2007
You road supporters just don't get it, do you? It doesn't matter what should have been, or how badly the people of the North Shore were treated. THE ROAD WILL NEVER BE BUILT. Your only choices now are:

1) Accept the settlement and help give your kids and grandkids hope for a better life.

2) Sabotage the settlement and get nothing at all for all your decades of hard work. And screw your kids and grandkids out of hope for a better life.

Now which will you choose?

“No More Settlement”

Since: Feb 07

Location hidden

#17 Oct 23, 2007
Well then sabotage the settlement!! This will keep millions out of the hands of the Swain Crooks who have strangled progress for their own power and gain.

“ BRING BACK PUBLIC HANGINGS!!!”

Since: Feb 07

PARTS UNKNOWN

#18 Oct 23, 2007
TAKE THE MONEY!!!!!!!!!!
Nate-tive

Glennville, GA

#19 Oct 23, 2007
Accept the settlement and revamp Bryson City.

If the Cherokee haven't received the money they were promised by the government before the removal, you have very little chances of having your road built.

Take the money, invest it and work on downtown Bryson City.
Henry Chambers

Macon, GA

#20 Oct 23, 2007
I am not necessarily a road supporter. I am a supporter for giving ample access to those who have relatives buried on the North Shore. Go to the NPS website and read how many 'millions' have been spent restoring a cemetery in downtown New York City. Talk to those who went on the last NPS sponsored cemetery trip and find out just how many got left behind......... I don't care how access is provided. I think my families and friends deserve the access they were promised; whether by helicopter, boat, or road, I don't care. And assistance needs to be provided for those who are physically unable to walk to the cemeteries.

And while you're researching, try going to the courthouse and looking how many deeds were done twice.....after you know the truth, your views might change.
Russell Breedlove wrote:
You road supporters just don't get it, do you? It doesn't matter what should have been, or how badly the people of the North Shore were treated. THE ROAD WILL NEVER BE BUILT. Your only choices now are:
1) Accept the settlement and help give your kids and grandkids hope for a better life.
2) Sabotage the settlement and get nothing at all for all your decades of hard work. And screw your kids and grandkids out of hope for a better life.
Now which will you choose?

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