"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.
At the end of each SpeakOut, we invite you to email us your thoughts.
After our editorial on the smoking ban -- we said we were all for it -- many of you responded.
"I sincerely hope that a ban on smoking in all public places in NC passes in the near future! And this should include bars in all restaurants.
"I am in FAVOR of the smoking ban. Being a non-smoker and I do a lot of traveling across the USA... and when I come back to NC and go out for dinner it is strange to hear someone say "smoking or non smoking section".
"I think that it is not right for smokers to have to smoke outside at a restaurant... We pay taxes just like everyone else."
One man emailed after an editorial on the stimulus package.
He was disappointed we didn't say more.
"I know that the amount of time you have is limited, but you are doing the public a severe injustice. The stimulus package is a joke! There are dozens and dozens of pages that you must not have read."
Another woman wrote a long letter to government officials:
"Since you are the law makers, who is watching the law makers, make the law?"
Then there was James, who wrote us from Avery County.
"It makes me sick to know that my hard earned tax money is going to banks and other financial institutions. I ask that you stay on this topic as much as you can."
We plan on it, James. We think the economy is the most important issue in our community. And please keep YOUR comments coming because in the challenging times we live in, we need to speak out like never before.