At this writing, my son and I are fortunate to be spending a few days in the hills of Western North Carolina. It's a welcome break. But as I took this photo an hour ago from a serene hilltop overlooking the Smokies, I thought of the days I've experienced a sense of solace and tranquility -- looking East in the mornings or West in the evenings -- from our Celery Fields sanctuary and the vantage of its marvelous hill.
It was a community effort that saved this place. Without you, James Gabbert's 16-acre waste facility would be pulverizing construction debris every day next to our nesting wetlands, to the thunder of large trucks pounding Palmer Blvd.
Personally I can't in good faith ignore the fact that Mike Moran, now seeking reelection in District 1, voted to approve Gabbert's project. It was the overwhelming work of all of you that saved this place. Now, backed by developer money and anonymous PAC funding, Mr. Moran wants our vote to exercise power for four more years.
Fortunately he faces opposition from a Republican who cares about the environment -- Mike Hutchinson. And Mark Pienkos, a Democrat, is ready to face the winner of the August 18 Primary on Nov. 3.
It's perhaps not surprising that Mr. Moran has declined to appear in person to share his views -- the virus is a reasonable excuse. But he has also refused invitations to appear online and face his opponents; he has refused to talk with a reporter doing an article about the District 1 race, and he has bombarded us with photos of himself holding a gun -- as if this somehow assured us that he'll do right by our neighborhoods, our environment, and our quality of life.
What's even more surprising than this candidate's refusal to discuss his record with both constituents and the Press is that the Press - at least so far - is giving him a free pass. Instead of calling him out and noting that he's avoiding the most basic responsibilities of a candidate for public office, our mainstream Media see Mr. Moran's desire to duck public scrutiny of his record and are looking the other way.
Because that's the case, I ask that you join me in signing a Petition to demand that our Media engage our candidates -- all of them. No one deserves special treatment, especially a candidate who's proven he can listen to an entire community's pleas for the Celery Fields and ignore every one of us for the sake of one rich man's dump.
Here's a link to the petition:
Your signature will challenge our local Media to challenge Mike Moran and all our candidates to face the people's issues and questions -- openly, honestly, and without gun in hand.
Peace -- and thanks,