Take A Stand On Sprawl

Dear Editor,

 How often the process of construction starts with destruction.

One type of development pattern that has received increasing attention by researchers and policy makers interested in fostering sustainable communities is called sprawl.

 Sprawl is generally typified as low-density, haphazard development spiraling outward from urban centers.  For years, scientists have argued that sprawling into rural areas is creating negative impacts including habitat fragmentation, water and air pollution, increased infrastructure costs that are passed on to every taxpayer.

This is what Blue Ridge Development and David Couch has been planning for years as he purchased more land, and with each purchase installed the foundation and infrastructure to support his plans for rural sprawl within Summerfield.  We all saw this happening slowly, but didn’t quite understand or grasp what he was doing until now.

Although some argue that rural sprawl has its benefits, such as creating local economic growth, rural sprawl has many negative consequences for residents and the environment, such as higher water pollution, air pollution resulting from automobile dependency, increased traffic fatalities and jams, loss of agricultural capacity, serious disruption of environmentally sensitive areas, destruction of critical natural habitats (e.g. wildlife corridors), a serious reduction of open green space, increase in flood risks, and will overall deliver a very concerning reduction in quality of life.

We need and rely on Summerfield Town Council to take a stand and to not change the planning and policies that allow concentrated growth within targeted areas.  These restrictions on low-density housing should remain in place and we should continue to restrain development from sprawling uncontrollably into rural settings and to help protect our region’s natural resource base.

Summerfield local decision makers can select to restrict this type of sprawl within our community.  The policies that have been in place for years up until this moment in time have been in place to reduce this in our rural community of Summerfield.  This has been proven a success for Summerfield and has been done for years without compromising the needed development to enrich this area

The end result of Summerfield’s policies has been the retention of cleaner air and water, the protection of our natural systems, lower infrastructure costs, and maintaining our quality of life.

Many of us believe, without any doubt, that the Summerfield Village concept by Blue Ridge Development/David Couch is more about human greed and will cause irreparable damage to the environment of Summerfield and violate the “carrying capacity” of our shared ecology.

We must demand that Summerfield Town Council take a step back and reduce some of its social and cultural emphasis on what benefits humans and their wallets, and move in a direction that, without a doubt, will be doing what is in the best interest of Summerfield as a community. 

Diana Morrison



Vote By The Numbers

Dear Editor,

Let’s look at the state of our nation by the numbers:

  • A $3.1 trillion budget deficit in the just completed fiscal year that amounts to 15 percent of our economy;
  • A $6.7 billion trade deficit, the largest in 14 years;
  • Over 215,000 (and counting) deaths in this country from COVID-19, a number that exceeds those killed in World War I and Vietnam combined

If the above numbers suit you, vote to reelect Donald Trump to “make America great again.”

Bob Kollar



Don’t Change Summerfield

Dear Editor,

David Couch is an affable Wake Forest alumni with a rural disposition and a master of deception. In combination with his Blue Ridge Development group, they form a quiet but very effective juggernaut whose sole purpose is “return on investment” and expanding their revenue stream. Behind a “social justice” facade of providing affordable housing, shepherding children into being able to stay close to their parents and serving all demographics with multifarious housing styles he is doing his best to win the “hearts and minds” of the Summerfield community. But when you distill down his long game its about tip toeing around or changing the regulatory environment, building a new narrative around Summerfield’s Long Term Community development guidance and upending the social fabric, ecology and pastoral beauty of an historical town. We don’t want to be slowly converted to some smaller version of Cary, NC, with all its bustling retail, burgeoning taxes, noise, pollution, crime and condensed population. I moved here in 1974 to escape that very thing.

If this misguided project is allowed to advance the whole community will become on large road damaging on going construction project. And for what? Our cherished wildlife will be displaced. The city of Greensboro will connect its sewer/water umbilical cord and all the attendant problems to us. Our status of being an independent town will slowly disintegrate and the quiet fabric of our life will be torn apart.

I’ve been on the receiving end of his false promises and course changes as the owner of The Shrimp Connection (2011-2017), which was the first viable business at his “eco-tourism” site: Summerfield Farms. It showed his true colors when we were told we had to move out of the market building, pay back rent and refused, on two separate occasions, to meet for contract discussions. In my book this was unethical business conduct and not to be tolerated. We moved after we finally secured a meeting with a member of Blue Ridge Development. No David Couch in site. He was busy at his multimillion dollar western mansion in Montana. No adjacent apartments or condos in his neighborhood just wild bighorn sheep, grizzlies, mule deer and lynx to name a few.

It’s quiet there with beautiful unspoiled vistas and a vast sky filled with unspoiled air.

Let’s keep it that way here. Minus the grizzlies!

Guy Morrison



It’s In The Middle

Dear Editor,

Propaganda, defined by the Oxford dictionary: Information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view. Synonyms: information, promotion, advertising, publicity, spin, disinformation, counter-information, agitprop, info, hype, plugging, puff piece, the big lie.

News, defined by the Oxford dictionary: Newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent events.

What word is missing from those definitions?

Facts, defined by the Oxford dictionary: A thing that is known or proved to be true. Information used as evidence or as part of a report or news article. The truth about events as opposed to interpretation.

Based on those definitions, can you honestly say that all news media are giving you the facts about most everything going on in the world? Maybe we should redefine names. ABC, CBS, NBC Propaganda, Cable Propaganda Network (CPN), Fox Propaganda. To understand my point, look at the last definition of the word “facts”.

As an example of how lazy the overwhelming number of people are, if you were to read the above paragraph to them verbatim they would say something like “so all news organizations lie about everything.” In fact, what I said was “most everything.” There is a difference between my statement and theirs.

Words have definitions, but most of society either doesn’t know or ignores that fact. Take the phrase “You can’t do that” when applied to a particular act or action. Most people use that phrase to apply to something you are not allowed to do, what they actually mean is “you aren’t allowed to do that.” Being able to do it and being allowed to do it are two different things.

News outlets (try to) avoid (outright) lying. If they didn’t they wouldn’t last long. But they will alter, maybe by omission, or interpret, maybe by using incorrect definitions, facts in order to put across what they want you to think and believe. Why do you think media outlets are the first thing seized in a takeover?

Don’t be lazy. Do your own research. To get as close to the truth as possible look at all media sources and extract the common items. There are almost always nuggets of truth in each. That’s where you will find things you can fairly rely on. Remember the old saying “The truth lies somewhere in the middle”.

Read, research, compare, reason, think for yourself.

Alan Marshall