More Bell bashing
I am a resident of Massachusetts and the aunt of Lauren Rousseau. You might recognize her name; her body was blown apart by some of the 154 shots of the Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle that Adam Lanza used in his massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. There were 20 innocent children and 5 other adults also murdered that day.
Rep. Nate Bell's Twitter regarding the need for "AR-15s to stay safe" during the search for the Tsarnaev brothers is reprehensible. His comments later of "I regret the poor choice of timing" were not, in fact ill-timed. He used them in exactly the kind of situation that might bring vigilante-style forces out of the safety of their homes to get revenge on perpetrators. Our trained servicemen and women are experts at protecting citizens in these situations, not angry mobs.
I know that his comments do not represent the views of most of his constituents. It is their duty, then, to demand his resignation. I ask you to vote in a representative who can honor all citizens, along with the Constitution, with good sense and dignity.
In response to Arkansas State Rep. Nate Bell's tweet wondering, "How many Boston liberals spent the night cowering in their homes wishing they had an AR-15 with a hi-capacity magazine?" Perhaps some liberals did. I cannot speak for all, but I believe I speak for most when I say we weren't cowering, we were standing proud. Proud of the first responders, among them police, firefighters, EMTs and military personnel along with the volunteers and bystanders who ran into the blast site instead of away from it. Proud of our medical professionals who spent countless hours working to put torn bodies back together. The actions of all of these people are the reason there weren't more deaths. Proud that I live in a city where people think of others first before themselves. Proud of the citizens of Boston who opened their doors to runners who could not return to hotel rooms. Proud of our governor, our mayor, our police commissioner and law enforcement from Boston and so many surrounding towns who put their life on the line tracking the two suspects to protect the public from further danger. Make no mistake Mr. Bell, the Boston liberals were not cowering. We were standing tall and proud. While it was a horrific week in Boston, I have never been more proud of this city and the "Boston liberals" who reside here.
Your apology falls on deaf ears. Yes, your timing was certainly off, but make no mistake, so were your words. I would think the people of Arkansas deserve better than to be represented by you. And certainly the people of Boston deserved better.
I am writing in regard to Gene Lyons' column on Rep. Nate Bell ("Nate Bell doesn't know Boston," April 25). Our Gannett-owned newspaper, the Hattiesburg American, seems to love Mr. Lyons' columns. I disagree with their choice of columnists, but he is always good for making very clear the hypocrisy of liberals like Mr. Lyons.
The hypocrisy of Mr. Lyons and his so-called friends is when confronted with what they viewed as an "insensitive" remark, they immediately resort to calling names and stereotyping people in Arkansas and the South. Mr. Lyons then resorts to what I am sure was meant as a compliment on shipping Mr. Bell to Mississippi! Shame, Shame! Of course, we all know, all of us from the South, that ANY remark or opinion (in opposition of liberals, that is) is not allowed!
I would submit that the timing of Mr. Bell's comments was bad, but I wonder what those people in the area where the terrorists were hiding felt? I am sure Mr. Lyons knows what Mr. Bell was suggesting. It is too bad that Mr. Lyons and his friends can't stomach any opposing comments without going immediately to stereotyping.
No more single-story schools
There are seldom multilevel schools. School administrators regularly plunk down these large, single, at the most two-story buildings in neighborhoods according to population demands. Each building must have its own workers and, in Little Rock, that means around 50 separate staffs.
Instead, we should focus on education parks. Visit any of the multi-grade private schools or the local universities to get a sense of what could be. Or visit Children's Hospital and observe a campus in the process of expanding. One of the best aspects of a campus is controlled entrances and exits. Besides housing, many levels on one campus promote a dual use. That means the local governments and school districts share many facilities and costs. Why should libraries, cafeterias, auditoriums, athletic and recreational facilities be used just during school and only by students? Moreover, why should all of these expensive facilities only be open for nine months?
In a dual-use space, the public becomes involved in the park. Involvement translates into care and concern for the park. Are the leaders of this community disposed to do like school officials and ignore the idea of building education parks? On the other hand, is there someone ready to provide a forum to possibly birth a unique vision of a vibrant public school? Readers of this little paper are the visionary types, so perhaps this letter might generate some action. Otherwise, we will continue doing what we do best — the same old, same old coupled with inaction.
Do a couple of new single-story schools change anything? Yes, but only for a few hundred kids attending a new school. There will be no impact upon the city as a whole. The new schools will be built as cheaply as possible except for something flashy to draw positive attention. They will not be the memorable structures like those of the past when a school represented community pride instead of a warehouse for children. Is there any group or person willing to flesh out the vision of education parks before it goes to the grave and is forever forgotten?
Congressman Tom Cotton must be running a race with Sen. Ted Cruz for the biggest idiot or sickest member of Congress.
To say that President Obama was supposed to have prevented the underwear bomber from blowing up his pants and the nut at Fort Hood from killing fellow soldiers is preposterous.
North Little Rock
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