knox snooze

Succotash my Balzac, dipshiitake.

"The Road To Nowhere" is in the news again. I'm not sure how this qualifies as a news story, but Mike Easley, the NC Governor, is recommending the federal government pay $52 million to Swain County. This is the number that Swain County itself came up with and ratified about 6 months ago. The crux of the matter is that the federal government, namely TVA, promised the people of Swain County, NC that there would eventually be an access road to those areas cutoff by the Fontana Dam. This was, of course 60 years ago, and the road has never been built.
What I've never understood about this is why a cash settlement somehow solves the problem. The Park Service has done the research and says that building the road would be an environmental disaster. But the people of Swain County say not having the road is a huge problem; about $55 million huge. If it's that big of a problem not having the road, and if you won't be able to build a road with the money, then how in the hell did they come up with that number?
Yes, TVA screwed them. Welcome to the Smokies. But that $55 million isn't really going to fix anything, and it isn't going to repair the damaged lifestyle of the people who actually lived there in 1943. That money has to come from somewhere, doesn't it? Come on, Swain County, why can't you just be pissed off like the rest of us and learn to live with it? Get a blog, it's therapeutic.
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