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I rarely miss reading an issue of the Times, but I was out of town when the March 2nd issue came out. I was proud to have attended the silent protest in Pleasant Plains regarding comments about the gay community by Mr. McCance of the Midland School Board. Unfortunately I was misquoted as saying: " 'When Mr. McCance put his comments on Facebook, he made it a worldwide matter,' Hendrick said. 'Maybe he isn't intelligent enough to know that what he did can influence many people.' "

What I did comment on was how much we had in common with Mr. McCance's supporters who showed up that day. Many of the gay people present, myself and my partner included, are Christian parents. In fact, our daughter is an alum of Little Rock Christian Academy.

Pam Hendrick Little Rock

EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to a transcription error, The Arkansas Times mistakenly attributed the following quote to Pam Hendrick in our March 2 cover story. The quote was actually spoken by Ms. Hendrick's partner, Rita Jernigan: "When Mr. McCance put his comments on Facebook, he made it a worldwide matter... Maybe he isn't intelligent enough to know that what he did can influence many people." We regret this error.

Thank yous

Thank you Arkansas Times for allowing all opinions. As a loyal Democrat, I had to give up reading the Demozette. As a news watcher, I cringe as U.S. House leaders blame President Obama if he does (or if he doesn't) agree with them.

No matter how vicious the verbal attacks, our president responds with wisdom, dignity and class. Some Republicans need lessons in those qualities, don't they?

Ellen West

I'm new to Arkansas and I did not realize it was a Republican stronghold. I am so very thankful that your publication is here to tell it like it is in articles like "GOP attacks Medicare" by Ernest Dumas, and the editorial "Congressional death panel." Keep up the good work. I for one need to know what I can do to help change things.

Sharon Roberts
North Little Rock

The elephants

Mary, the Little Rock Zoo elephant that died recently, was ripped from her home and family as a baby and for six decades was exploited by the circus and zoo until the day she died. If she had been reportedly "retired" to Ringling Bros. Circus's compound, how and why did she end up at the zoo?

It's heartbreaking that Mary couldn't have spent her final years off display in surroundings far more comfortable and interesting than the Little Rock Zoo. Ellen, the remaining Little Rock Zoo elephant, should not suffer the same fate and should be retired to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. There she could explore hundreds of acres of grassy woodlands, play in mud holes and swim in cooling ponds. Most importantly, she would enjoy the company and companionship of other elephants, something critical to elephants' health and well being.

 Ellen deserves a real retirement and people who care about her should appeal to the zoo and city officials to do right by her.

Jennifer O'Connor
PETA Foundation
Norfolk, Va.

The cure all

Congratulations to all those involved (and there are apparently plenty taking credit but none more than Barack Obama) for the killing of Bin Laden.

Now, according to the television nitwits and pundits on both sides of the aisle, peace and stability should reign in the Middle East and spread throughout the world, gas prices will go down, the stock market will rise, and heck, even unemployment should take a drastic dip. Who knew shooting an 80-year-old unarmed man on dialysis in the face could do all that?

You know what, I for one have to think that the death of Osama also may halt the melting of the polar ice caps and reverse global warming. Why not, if you believe what you hear?

All kidding aside, is the world a better place without him? Yes. But there's just something tacky and un-American when I see people cheering the death of anyone in the streets hours afterwards. Isn't this something we were furious about with radical Muslims shortly after 9/11? Aren't we supposed to be a little better than that?

James Chitwood
Hot Springs

Thanks to public employees

The tradition of public service runs deep in American history. Starting with our founding fathers to public servants today, people with a passion to serve and make this nation's people lives better work tirelessly to build the great American infrastructure we enjoy today. We hear about the budget and current economic uncertainty in the news every day.  

Now let us think about the public servants that work daily to make America a better place for everyone, and how they affect our daily lives. Most of the year, we send our children (i.e., our future) to public servants, teachers. We entrust them to instill the information and skills to our children so that they can be the next great generation.  

If you are ready to retire, or unfortunately become disabled, gotten married and changed your name or many other services, you have most likely encountered a Social Security employees helping you in your time of joy or need. The ever more complex and large tax code can be better understood and easier to file with the help of IRS agents who specialize in helping the public with their taxes.  Safety is the primary concern of TSA, making sure that nothing that should not be is on the planes on which we travel. State and local government employees also play huge roles in making our day-to-day lives better by helping to implement local initiatives.   Last but certainly not least, military personnel keep our country safe every day so that we can enjoy our day-to-day lives. They embody the adage that freedom is not free! This is just a small part of the list of people that help make life easier for everyone day to day. To thank all public servants, May 1–7 was set aside as Public Service Recognition Week. Please join me in thanking the public servants that you come into contact with.

Jason Middlebrooks
Little Rock

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