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I was pleased to see Ernest Dumas' inspiring profile of Dr. Joycelyn Elders in the Feb. 5 issue. I became familiar with Dr. Elders' work when I was editor of The Tiger, Central High's student newspaper, during the 2004 school year. During my efforts to investigate the funding sources and services of Central's Wellness Center, Dr. Elders was one of the few sources who spoke candidly about the need for sex education within the school. I will never forget the passion with which she spoke the following words: “The vows of abstinence will break a lot quicker than a latex condom.” It's a lesson her detractors should not forget.

Eliza Borne

Wellesley, Mass.


I truly enjoyed Ernest Dumas' article on Dr. Joycelyn Elders. She made such a big impact on me in her leadership role during the Clinton administration. I enjoyed the pictures and learning what matters most to her as well as the driving force behind her tenacity in public health.

Shanara Young



Thanks for the article about Dr. Elders. It is a lesson for all of us. I hope today's youth get the point. I hope the world sees that athletes, movie stars and crooks are not the only ones that make the news.

LaVerne W. Feaster

Little Rock


Great article! I thought the story about Joycelyn Elders was very inspiring. Whether or not you share her beliefs, one cannot ignore the enormous life struggles she has overcome to accomplish so much both personally and professionally. I have always had a great admiration for her and your article helped me to understand why.

Dr. John P. Shock

Director, Jones Eye Institute

Little Rock


The usual rhetoric of Black History Month tends to be met with apathy. Dr. Elders is such an inspiration. I insisted my teen-age daughter read the entire article. I wish we could see other members of our community exalted with real-life scenarios of how to break the cycles that bind.

At an early age, Dr. Elders recognized the benefit of an education, hard work and determination. She provided a voice to rescue children who did not have the means to do so themselves. She often makes us squirm in our own skin, but it is hard to argue with a person who has the ability to back up opinions with cold, hard facts.


North Little Rock

Guns in church

Regarding Rep. Beverly Pyle's bill to allow guns in churches where mentally unstable people could open fire on a congregation (like shooting fish in a barrel):

Ms. Pyle: You want to bring weapons designed to kill into God's houses. In my Bible, Jesus is the Prince of Peace. And his Heavenly Father, God, says plainly: THOU SHALT NOT KILL. Apparently, this bill is from hell.

Arkansas legislators, do the right thing and the only thing you can do and vote NO to this insanity before people are seriously put at risk or killed.

I can only imagine what's ahead for Arkansans if the legislature is allowed to meet yearly at this rate.

Lisa Burks


Obama's people

I've been reading the various critical comments in the daily newspaper about President Obama's nominees who've been delinquent on taxes.

I have a question or two for the lot of them. Would they support a law requiring all elected folks to submit their tax records for the last seven years, regardless of party affiliation? That way we'd know who the hypocrites are among them. I'll wager there's a good collection of delinquents.

If their incomes ranged into the millions of dollars and they had their taxes calculated by someone else, would they have personal knowledge that all had been correctly done and were the legal amounts owed? If they are experts on taxes and don't make errors, why are they hiring it done?

The Republicans are howling for tax cuts, their answer to any financial problem. Their “Bush tax cuts” that were to be invested in jobs were invested in jobs. Problem is the jobs were in Mexico, China and other slave wage areas. Why should we expect them to change old habits now?

Get the pigs out of the public trough and put the hypocrites' feet to the fire. Sounding off like a jackass in a tin barn is not curative of our problems. Identifying the source of trouble then addressing it would seem the prudent course.

Karl Hansen


On media

Forgive me, I know I am picking on the news media, BUT …. Is there a special course given for young women on TV in Arkansas called the “four Gs” – “Gooey, gummy, giggly girls”? Just a thought.

Beverly Clary

Little Rock

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