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Letters Dec. 30

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Razing Hillcrest Hillcrest has long avoided the teardown of historic homes, a practice that has overtaken the neighboring Heights area and destroyed its historic ambiance. The planned Lagniappe development at 4400 I St. in the heart of the Historic Hillcrest District raised the opposition of over 800 Hillcrest residents. However, because the city of Little Rock has no ordinances in place to protect historic areas (with the exception of MacArthur Park), the developers will proceed with their plan to tear down a 4,000-square-foot home built in 1915. This house has sat on a one-acre lot overlooking a steep slope into Allsopp Park for nearly 100 years. It is among the oldest generation of homes in Hillcrest and with one of the largest plots of land. To tear it down and build four houses in its place is to disregard the history of the neighborhood. The one Hillcrest resident who spoke at the city Board of Directors meeting Dec. 7 in support of the Lagniappe project was Bill Rector. He stated that it was a good “infill” project to help prevent urban sprawl. How is urban sprawl going to be helped by tearing down one house that has been there 100 years in order to build four? You only gain three houses and crowd a historic, highly desirable neighborhood. How does this help anyone except the developers? The 14th anniversary of the Hillcrest Historic District’s placement on the National Register of Historic Places was Dec. 18. Thankfully there have been people in this city and this neighborhood who recognize what an asset Hillcrest is to Little Rock and Arkansas. There is no other place like it in our state. It is the largest Historic District in Arkansas. As I was preparing to write this letter, I discovered that 476 Ridgeway had just been razed (a 2,300-square-foot house built in 1913). Neither of these homes was in the condition that warranted being torn down. What makes MacArthur Park, Argenta and Eureka Springs more worthy than Hillcrest? I beg of the people of Hillcrest and the people in this city that care about preserving our historic places, protecting the charm, the small community ambiance, and all the things that we love about Hillcrest, please make your voices heard. Jena White Little Rock Here we stand Kudos to Jennifer Reed for “I want my faith back” — very timely, cogent and incisive. With apologies to Martin Luther, Reed’s treatise should be nailed to the doors of certain neo-Christian churches who spring their own little God-in-the-box on us at every opportunity. Let Reformation II begin! Howard Goggans Sherwood Priorities The article on the Central High School football team playing at Cabot annually to raise $2,500 for the football team was enlightening. I understand that Bentonville is spending millions on a new field. Springdale has an indoor practice facility, Astroturf and a jumbotron. There are some schools with as many as nine men’s coaches. We need to get our priorities in order. Jerry Donoho Little Rock I heard the news today I heard the news on the radio that the president was presenting medals to (“Slam Dunk”) George Tenet; to Paul Bremer, who disbanded the Iraqi Army; and to Tommy Franks, who let Donald Rumsfeld send our troops in, under-strength and under-armed, to the chaos that is Iraq. I opened my newspaper and read that two more Marines had been killed the day before, and seven the day before that, bringing the death toll to nearly 1,300 so far, well over a thousand killed and many times that maimed and crippled since Bush played “dress-up” on the aircraft carrier. No weapons of mass destruction. No ties to Al Qaida, only row after row of coffins hidden from American eyes. There is nothing more deadly or more threatening to our country than the combination of ignorance and arrogance that characterizes this administration and their political party. Add to that their willingness and ability to subvert the democratic process where ever they can, and we are well along the way to joining fascist Germany and communist Russia on the road to totalitarian control. So, fellow Americans, do your Christmas shopping, keep your mouths shut, and hope for the best. Jon Zimmer Fayetteville

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