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Letters Dec. 16


Old and nu days Okay, maybe it’s just that the older you get, the sillier the fashion world looks. But your cover story featuring “The Nu girl in town” promises to share a local success story about a Little Rock magazine, in which the attractive blonde on your cover, wearing the fashionable, if rather silly, pointy-toed boots has, presumably, played a major role. I’ve never read the magazine but am guessing I’m not in the demographic. Speaking of successful magazines, I was around for the premiere of Ms. magazine back in the ’60s. What a time for women! The editors introduced a refreshingly new and rather shocking message for women about an Equal Rights Amendment, equal pay for equal work and, imagine this, women having the right to make choices about their lives! It was a time of confusion, enlightenment, excitement and struggle for women. We opened many of the doors that today’s young women breeze through without a second thought. I’ve thought hard about this, but I can’t for the life of me remember Gloria or Bella or any of my female role models of the ’60s appearing on the cover of a magazine or a local newspaper wearing flowers in their hair, bell bottoms, shag haircuts, or any of the stupid stuff we were doing back then. These were women who wanted to be taken seriously! These were most definitely not Nu “girls” — Nu women, maybe! Some of you may remember that there was a popular movement going around the country at the time that encouraged women to get to know their own bodies better. (Anybody remember the meetings with the mirrors?) While most of us had much to learn about our (unmentionable) female anatomy, we did know some things for sure, even then. Except for the Wicked Witch of the West, we knew that women’s feet were not naturally long and pointy. It was the ’60s and we faced a long, rough road into the new world. Our boots were made for walking. Carilyn Jones Sherwood Hooray Hooray for your Dec. 2 editorial on the 3 percent income tax surcharge. Even ultra-conservative, no-income-tax Texas requires its corporations to ante up for the public good through the franchise tax. Likewise California, New York and Massachusetts all levy fair taxes on corporations. There appears to be no rush to exit any of those places. In fact, those states host many more Fortune 500 corporations than Arkansas. Maybe just once, when the lobbyists’ heads are turned, we could try some trickle-down tax fairness for longer than two years. If Arkansas is a good enough place to earn your profits then it’s a good enough place to support. But then, that would end our “banana republic” classification. Larry Woodall Springdale, Way to go, Mike Congratulations to Insurance Commissioner Mike Pickens, whose sojourn in Iraq paid off. The GOP hierarchy has allowed you to eat at the children’s table with that directorship on the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Board. Don’t worry, you’ll get something in D.C. eventually. Incidentally, I know those Iraqi motorists appreciate your efforts to make sure they have uninsured motorist coverage. Joe Wood North Little Rock Delighted It was such a delight to read about and share your 30th anniversary. And then you shared with readers the unique creation of Mark Leichliter, “Encircling the Future,” at the Little Rock National Airport. Beautiful items. Jean O. Whitehead Little Rock Church and state In Letters under the headline “Religion and Politics,” one writer states that it’s wrong for the government to do the church’s work of caring for the poor. As a former church secretary, I can tell you it is a rare church that does not have problems paying its bills. Where are the churches going to get the money to take care of all these other duties? Another writer got confused. It is the Republicans who are trying to ram their religious agenda down the people’s throats, not the Democrats. Keep up the good work. You are the only liberal paper I get each week. Dolores J. Adams Gentry Thanks, Warwick As a person who does not always agree with your left-of-center views, I was certainly taken aback by Warwick Sabin’s recent article describing the agricultural outlook. Thank you for pointing out what many take for granted. One wonders if people were told that we were no longer going to produce our own military equipment, and that we were going to rely on the Chinese and other international powers to provide us with this equipment, if people would sit idly by and allow this to happen. The American farmer mortgages everything he owns, spends the entire summer in a cash-strapped, overworked position, and worries every day if his crop will produce. The American farmer provides us with food at a reasonable price and in ample supply. The plight of the industrial employees or those in the telecom industry has been well publicized, but no one thinks of the farmer. I only hope positions such as Sabin’s will become the norm, and that it will not take $20 loaves of bread to illustrate his point. Michael-John Gray Augusta I read with much interest Warwick Sabin’s column about Social Security. As a mother nearing the end of life who will leave behind children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, I am very worried about the future of Social Security and their future. It would be helpful if every adult could read the article. It contains important information. My husband died at the age of 6l and though he had paid SS all of his working life, he never received any part of it. I’ve never before read an article that mentioned where that money goes. Thank you. Swann Kohler Little Rock Pearl Harbor day Some thoughts on the Pearl Harbor Day celebration Dec. 7 at the Capitol. I remember not so many years ago when the celebration was on the Capitol steps with lots of people. This year the celebration was inside and the attendance was modest. Secretary of State Charlie Daniels did his best to welcome the visitors and recognize the guests of honor, the remaining survivors. Instead of senators and congressman, we had representatives of some. The highest rank in attendance was Lt. Gov. Win Rockefeller. One of the presenters always reads a poem, laced with humor, as a reminder of all we owe to those who serve in the armed forces. When the time came for the survivors to stand and be recognized, the ranks were pretty thin. A speaker noted that the survivors are leaving us at the rate of two or three per month. So, there it is, there will only be a few more Dec. 7 celebrations with these heroes. Next time Dec. 7 rolls around, you can come and say thanks. J.B. Cross Jr. Little Rock Sewer plant opponent I have been recreating in Pinnacle Valley since I moved to Little Rock 10 years ago. Hiking up the mountain and using the base trails for nature walks are some of my favorite activities that will be ruined if there is a wastewater treatment facility in Pinnacle Valley. Surely there is a better place. Elizabeth Carroll Little Rock Nothing to do Teen-agers in northern Arkansas have nothing. I come from an area in northern Arkansas where there are more “older people” than younger people. This means they have the say in what goes on up here. It seems when something new comes in, which is rare, it is geared more for adults than teen-agers. Teen-agers also have no place to hang out after dark. Everywhere we go we’re either run off by the cops or by the “older people.” I really feel that people should be aware of how little teen-agers have to do these days. Philip A. Murray Yellville Fat kids While I am a great fan of Bob McCord’s, I have to comment on his article about obesity. Sure our kids are fat and the schools are in need of repair — the Guv has been ranting about this ever since he lost all that weight. But there lurks a more serious problem for many of our kids: health problems caused by air pollution — asthma, cancer, heart disease, allergic reactions, etc. I have been writing about this and sending reports to the Times editor for a couple of years. It looks like he keeps such reports to himself, maybe for the same reason the Guv does. He would have to attack his own lifestyle to do something about it — attack sprawl, drive hybrid, build a small solar house, stop industrial growth and call for increased taxes to relocate kids in schools next to busy streets and highways. A lottery won’t cut it. It is a regressive tax and has addictive qualities the state should not encourage. That’s another reason the editor and the Guv don’t like to talk about it — the need to tax the rich folks like Warren Stephens to raise the bucks necessary. Ralph Desmarais Little Rock Marriage vote On behalf of myself, my friends and my associates in New York City, I would like to thank everyone who voted in favor of a gay-marriage ban in Arkansas. Your vote assures the continued flow of high-quality professionals, thinkers and builders into our fair city. Not just gays and lesbians, but anyone else who feels outside your mainstream culture will now ponder the promise of liberty that is the very life and breath of New York City. As long as you continue to reject the American ideal of liberty and justice for all, your best and most creative citizens will endure the noise and the dirt and the crowding and remain with us in New York City. Their ideas and industry will buoy us in hard times and exalt us in good ones. Once again, my most sincere and heartfelt thanks. Steve Ebinger Astoria, N.Y.

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