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Originally published: 2013-04-08 10:10:48
Last modified: 2013-04-08 10:10:48

Our View: Words, debt: A drag on our community

Thumbs-down: to the use of all derogatory labels, especially when applied to our friends and neighbors. Thumbs-up to the ASU chapter of Special Olympics in its effort to raise awareness that one of those terms, "retard," is particularly harmful and has no place in our language as a reference to a human being.

Thumbs-down: to an escalating amount of household debt, as reported by the U.S. Census. Although the number of American households holding some kind of debt decreased 5 percent between 2000 and 2011, the median household debt lunged from about $51,000 to $70,000. The news for younger Americans is worse: Those people between the ages of 35 and 44 now live in a household holding almost $110,000 worth of debt, and much of that is unsecured.

Thumbs-up: to a pair of new feathered additions to the Grandfather Mountain Animal Habitats. Two bald eagles deemed unfit for release because of an inability to hunt will reside on the mountain in a new habitat under construction. A naming contest will involve the community in their installation. Visit http://www.grandfather.com for more information.

Thumbs-down: Forty-five years ago this week, Martin Luther King Jr. was killed by James Earl Ray in Memphis, Tenn. The High Country, the South and our nation lost a leader who advocated nonviolence in the advancement of civil rights. Both King's struggle and his dream continue.

Thumbs-down: to the loss of a piece of Boone history. We are encouraged that Boone Drug is maintaining its other locations, but the shuttering of its King Street store takes with it a lifetime of memories for many.