Chamber tax grab
Little Rock voters last September approved $6 million of new city sales taxes to be stockpiled in a cash fund for future "economic development" purposes. No further specifics were ever offered by Mayor Stodola for the use of this $6 million.
Similar to the chamber's management of the tax campaign, I think there is little doubt about the chamber's hand working its will on this $6 million of taxpayer cash.
When does "enough" become "enough?" Apparently never when it comes to the chamber's appetite for Other Peoples Money.
While we squeezed-to-death citizens count pennies and hoard coupons to afford our groceries, the chamber appears to take umbrage at any attempt to determine accountability for their actions and expenses. Their smugness insults the people they profess to "represent and enhance."
As an intense lover of Little Rock, and a believer in her potential to be a GREAT destination, I urge you to keep your laser on this issue. And, while you are sleuthing, help us lowly citizens understand the alleged value-added objectives of our recently voted tax increase. We still don't know on what, and where, these newly minted dollars will be spent. It's every citizen's job to be vigilant about the constructive use of our taxes.
Cuts all around
Most of the Republican candidates propose various voodoo economic schemes involving reducing government revenue by taxing the rich less. Only one Republican candidate seems to be serious about reducing spending significantly (about $1 trillion per year, he says) and he doesn't have a serious chance of being nominated or winning the election. The rest, no better than the Democrats with their 10 to 20 year plans to go far deeper in debt before balancing the budget, are just kicking the can down the road in the hope that we will be able to continue kicking it or that they won't be around to account for our national failure.
Seems to me that the only real answer to our dilemma is to cut almost everything, some expenditures entirely including welfare for the rich, some slightly such as welfare for the poor and the vast American military empire spread around the world. Clearly, Social Security and Medicare too must be cut although most of that has to be imposed on future beneficiaries. Everyone seems to insist that his own sacred cow be spared but we are in far too deep already for anyone to completely escape what must be done. If Americans are unwilling to make sacrifices to rebuild our economy, we will have no national security. Our funding of China's military build-up will continue at an accelerating rate, at our expense instead of theirs, and we will eventually have to pay them for protection and do as they require.
The bottom line here seems to be that all Americans have to step up to make a significant shared sacrifice. America's "Greatest Generation" has to be ours. There's no avoiding the fact that "Sacred cows make the best burgers."
Al Garrett Jr.
My wife and I will be visiting Little Rock in mid April and I have thoroughly enjoyed learning about your city via your Dining and Entertainment guides, as well as the several unique features about your neighborhoods like Riverdale, The Heights, and Hillcrest. I feel we're getting a true local's perspective and we're excited about being guests in your city and exploring local merchants and restaurants.
Of particular value was the recent feature on living downtown, written by Kelley Bass. We're staying at one of the historic hotels downtown, so it was quite enjoyable (and valuable) to learn about downtown Little Rock from someone who lives there.
I hope the merchants and restaurants you list in the various guides recognize the value you're providing to visitors. To be frank, I learned significantly more by spending a couple of hours on the Arkansas Times site than I did on the LittleRock.com tourism site.
Thank you for helping me plan our visit, and we look forward to visiting your city.
From the web
In response to a post on the Arkansas Blog about the Northwest Arkansas Times' refusal to publish the wedding announcement of a gay Arkansas couple marrying in another state. Though we don't have a regular marriage feature, the Arkansas Times is happy to publish news of same-sex marriages as a counterweight to discrimination the couples experience elsewhere.
My blessings are many for I am a gay Canadian. I can get married, have my spouse make medical decisions for me, visit me in hospital, adopt children to love, and of course, get married and announce it in the paper. I don't however rest on these rights I have as a recognized legal human being. My feeling is that we all share the planet and therefore human rights should be something as simple as any indelible right. I wish American gays could have the freedom I have. The fact that you will publish same-gender wedding announcements, especially in the Southwest, makes me see that perhaps this dream for my American brothers and sisters will come true. Thank you for encouraging these loving couples to share their love with their communities as any one else would. It helps to show we are no different in that we love, we cherish and we want to share. If I lived down your way I would be a regular subscriber to your newspaper. I think it's only right to support those who act on the side of good.
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