Thank you, Leslie Peacock, and thank you, Arkansas Times. Now we understand why Little Rock National Airport has to charge us an arm and a leg for parking: It's so that the big shots who run the airport can live high on the hog. We mere citizens should be more grateful for their selfless public service.
Thank you for the investigative work done on the Airport Commission. It appalled me to read of the abuse of power, greed and selfishness that some members and the mayor showed. Who is in charge? Who oversees that agency? It still is Arkansans' money. We helped build and sustain the airport. It is past time that the parking and rental costs were cut severely. Why should we — the users of the facility — pay for special vehicles, comfy plane seats and fine dining and luxury hotels?
This is a poor state, a Bible state and a natural state. Who lives by the Golden Rule should like others live. Perhaps a diet program would allow travel like the majority of Arkansans — tourist class. Even business travelers fly coach.
We have a major problem with several commissioners. Power went to their heads. I hope that justice will curb the expensive lifestyle of some commission members.
Anita C. Gatzke
Your coverage of the ill-advised advertising expenditure at Little Rock National Airport was excellent. That you broke the story wasn't a surprise and since you have no fair-haired boy on the commission, it wasn't incumbent on you to offer kudos to the directors because one wasn't asleep. Brilliant.
There was a time that the airport, as an employer, was safe ground for those seeking refuge from various local financial institution debacles.
So, whenever I hear the refrain from the Rolling Stones — gimme shelter — I think of the airport as a rehab venue and am tempted to create an ersatz limerick — lemme hunker.
Like many Americans, this average taxpayer spent an unusually large portion of my Black Friday sitting by demand, wondering why eating 3,000 calories at one meal made me feel any more thankful than all of the salads I endure the rest of the year and how long it would be before it could be said, this too shall pass.
Still, intertwined with my digestive discomfort, and guilt, is the reaction to my first read of your piece on the audacity and apparent gluttony of our leadership at the Little Rock National Airport and the city of Little Rock. I am appalled at how easily they seem to feed at the trough of overindulgence at the taxpayers' expense. After all, the airport is a monopoly, supplemented in a large part by public funds, and is not a center for profit, as is the private sector. While it could be argued that their management style and innovative knowledge of the industry have earned them these excesses, the point should be they are servants of our public trust, and if they forget or they fail to act like servants, then they should find jobs in the private sector so their indulgences are no longer a burden on the backs of those they profess to serve and we should instruct those who we vote into office to begin looking for a more diligent character to monitor the taxpayers' interest at the airport. If the new candidate's desire to make money is more important than the desire to do a great job, then they should be passed over as well. As I head back to yet another demand performance on my own throne on yet another Black Friday, I recall the words of a long dead but well remembered public servant to the masses, who was believed to have said, "Let them eat pumpkin pie."
Michael K. Miller Sr.
North Little Rock
Watching School Board
I'm surprised I haven't read this in the school news. At a recent meeting of the Little Rock School Board, Cathy Koehler of the Little Rock Education Association engaged in her best imitation of Congressman Joe Wilson of South Carolina, by shouting out "liar" when board member Michael Nellums was speaking.
During Board member comments, Nellums asked whether two patrons of the district were present, and proceeded to read a statement concerning taxpayer concerns about how school district employees' health insurance plans compared to regular citizens. At the conclusion of his statement, Little Rock Education Association President Cathy Koehler yelled out, "Liar." A new all-time low for the once very responsible leadership of the classroom teachers union.
The teachers union needs to reevaluate leadership that speaks and comments at public gatherings that are televised, over and over, and over and over again. If Koehler hasn't figured this out already, parents are seeking options from the public schools. When children leave, so do teaching positions. It is my hope that leadership at LREA doesn't condone this confrontational style of leadership and will take the necessary steps to rein this loose cannon in.
The public is watching ... "ON LIVE TV."
Get in the field
David Koon did a great job with his article on the concerns over the mining reclamation in Hot Springs, UMETCO/Union Carbide site. For decades the bleeder sludge sat in huge piles, leaching into the aquifers, draining into Wilson Bay/Lake Catherine and just blowing in the wind. Now that it is "buried", they want everyone to thank them for such a great job! UMETCO has been non-compliant since 2009. The "illegal" by-pass at Indian Springs has Sulfate at 1720, TDS at 2760 and Chloride at 279. ADEQ and PC&E have been aware of this for years, just check out the website. Arkansans are being treated like a third world country by Union Carbide/DOW Chemicals. It's time the governor steps in and tells ADEQ, PC&E and the Department of Health to do its job right. I'm glad I don't drink any of the water downstream!!!