Pike County Sheriff Preston Glenn's safety dramatization (secretly taking a sawed-off shotgun into a Quorum Court meeting, Insider Sept. 10) might have been an eye opener, but it was also stupid and very dangerous. Had the meeting been attended by one of Arkansas's many legally armed citizens one might have drawn a gun and shot the perp.
I noticed you all did an article about the Central Arkansas [Library] System. I've been a big fan of theirs ever since I was little and I visit one of their branches at least once a week. I now work for the Laman Library system which is a pretty good library system considering it's pretty much city-based. I noticed a lot of times the Central Arkansas Library System has a waiting list for a lot of the newer books or popular movies, sometimes 60-70 people long. Laman however might have a waiting list of 10. I remember looking at the “Revolution Road” DVD on the CALS card catalog and it has a waiting list of 70 people. Right now with Laman the list is about two people long. I figured your readers might want to know about this. All that is necessary for a Laman Library card is a proof of ID with your name and current address on it and something else with your name and address (say car insurance, utility bill, etc) and you can get a free library card as long as you live in Pulaski County. I look forward to some new faces gracing our library.
North Little Rock
Big bad government
Some neighbors of mine (Mr. and Mrs. X) had a fire at their house recently. After someone else in the neighborhood reported the fire, firefighters showed up and put the fire out.
My neighbors apparently forgot that they had almost lost their house entirely. They apparently forgot that the fire had started because their kids had been playing with matches and that they had been lax in their oversight of the X children's activities. Once the fire was out, we saw Mr. and Mrs. X out in the yard railing at the firefighters for getting their household furnishings wet, cussing the firefighters, and threatening to sue for damages. They consider themselves victims of “big government.”
Did I mention that Mr. and Mrs. X are conservative Republicans? They also believe the federal government should have left the country's financial system alone when said system was at the point of collapse.
Suicide is a national health problem that takes an enormous toll on families, friends, co-workers, schools and the entire community. Sadly, every minute of every day, someone attempts to take their own life and every 16 minutes someone dies by suicide.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is conducting one of its Out of the Darkness Community Walks here in Little Rock at Riverfront Park on Saturday, Nov. 7, to raise much-needed funds for prevention and education. Portion of the funds raised will support distribution of AFSP's new film “More Than Sad: Teen Depression” to area high schools. To learn more about the Out of the Darkness Community Walk visit www.outofthedarkness.org and for more information about the film visit www.morethansad.org.
To Arkansas members of Congress:
If you do not help in passing significant health care reform that adheres to the three principles, including a public option, as outlined by President Obama, you will have contributed to the continued unnecessary suffering of millions of Americans and to the premature deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans over the next several years.
And you will have contributed to the continuing wasteful spending on health care that is such a burden on the American economy and society.
Do you want this to be your legacy? Just to possibly increase your chances of re-election in an Arkansas that has been misinformed and manipulated by the right-wing hate groups and the greedy health insurance and pharmaceutical companies? Those groups do not represent the majority of Arkansans, though you seem to pander to them at town halls, agriculture field days and other places. It is also your duty to educate the public to the facts of the health care crisis and the need for reform, and not allow myths, distortions, and outright blatant lies by obstructionists to stand.
Please do what is obviously right and take the moral high ground.
Support strong health care reform, including a public option.
John and Judy Gibson
Homeless are legion
I would like to commend the Arkansas Times for the posting on its Arkansas Blog of the tragic story of Joe Farmer, a former Arkansas journalist who died homeless in Birmingham, Ala., in 2006. I have taken the liberty of forwarding it to others and the response to it has been overwhelming.
As our non-profit organization celebrates its 10th year of service to the homeless in the Little Rock area, we offer our heartfelt thanks for so eloquently helping to put a much-needed “face,” name and personal history on the specter of homelessness, both locally and nationally.
It may at times seem easy to characterize the homeless as invisible, a mass of inconvenient, unwashed, scary folks, and to tell ourselves that we could never end up where they are. Personally, I feel that the fear we all have of losing all and BECOMING them is greater than any fear that they are “dangerous” to us.
Alas, Joe's name is legion, and regrettably, his story is in no way atypical of the cases we see everyday. It is always a wake-up call to see homeless people that were once our classmates, neighbors, etc., who have succumbed to mental illness. If only the public at large could see what we see. The “system” is overwhelmed by the need, the restrictions of bureaucracy, funding and apathy.
Please remind your readers that apathy is the cancer of the soul. We challenge anyone who was born with a functioning heart to put aside whatever pre-conceived notions you might have about homelessness, and have the courage to look it in the face, and fail to be moved.
Patty Lindeman, director
I am disappointed about your decision to use the disgraceful letter by James Means, who called an honest man like U.S. Rep. Mike Ross a “whore” and referred to Americans as lazy, stupid and indifferent. Such indecency and ignorance is not a journalistic standard worthy of the Arkansas Times.