It is sad that Greers Ferry Lake’s peaceful bald eagle habitat is about to be invaded by noisy offshore ocean racers and helicopters at the peak of nesting season. Anyone concerned should call the Corps of Engineers or Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to ask why they are promoting this endangerment. Game and Fish will provide a fleet of boats to protect the offshore racers, but will only monitor eagle protection after an eagle is harmed. The Corps may do an environmental impact study after the offshore boats have caused harmful effects on the lake, wildlife and human environment. The Corps dismisses any possibility that 1,000-horsepower, 200-mile-per-hour gas guzzlers can cause harm.
The races come at considerable cost to local residents and taxpayers — $30,000 from the Community Club (no member vote); $8,000 in tax funds from Arkansas Parks and Tourism, and the tax-provided services of law, health and safety groups.
Corps of Engineers’ restrictions and federal regulations for special permits state that the permittee will make necessary provisions that the activity will not pre-empt the public use of the project’s recreational resources. Nonetheless, the Corps has indicated that a large area of the lake, marinas, parking lots, beaches, boat ramps and all of Sugar Loaf Island will be denied public access. East-west lake travel will be blocked.
In response to some 1,300 people (petition signers) who do not want to see Greers Ferry Lake turned into a race course for “me too” offshore race groups, call the Corps of Engineers (501-362-2416), the Van Buren County sheriff (501-745-2112), Arkansas Game and Fish (800-482-9262) and your legislators. The peaceful enjoyment of the lake environment should be protected.
Mother knows best
Alan Leveritt had me in stitches over his column about gardening. He is like my deceased husband was — “bigger has got to be better.” Now my younger son has the “bigger is better” syndrome. I warned him. I was raised on a farm and know lots of good things. I told him, wait until after Easter to garden. We always have a cold snap during that time. Does he listen to Mom? No, he tilled up a truck patch, put out plants and, bingo, it’s going to frost, perhaps even a few snow flurries. Plants are expensive to replace and he will learn one day that mother knows best.
Thanks to Mr. Leveritt. I enjoyed his writing so much. Please do it again.
Central Arkansas Water caved in when it didn’t follow through on condemning Deltic Timber’s Lake Maumelle acreage and instead bought it for more than $8 million. Deltic has been paying less than 50 cents an acre in school and county taxes every year on the property ($89.57 was the total recent bill) while average Arkansas homeowners pay about $1.20 per square foot. Then they demand tens of thousands of dollars per acre when it is condemned. The water utility should have used this case to challenge Amendment 59, which set up a system of taxation that favors landowners like Deltic over others. It is unequal treatment.
From the web
Here are some of the comments posted to our website by readers on recent articles in the Times.
The cover story on federal Judge Bill Wilson:
• Judge Bill Wilson is a good man and a fair judge. Having the experience of arguing against him in criminal cases as a Little Rock police officer, I can attest that he is smart and honest. — Jim Aulwes.
Max Brantley’s column criticizing Gov. Mike Beebe’s desire for a new $4 million airplane:
• I agree with you, Max.
• The last thing we need is Huckabee attitude.
Bob Lancaster’s listing of people who would have made a better or worse president than George W. Bush:
• Eddie Haskell worse than Junior? Eddie could think on his feet. Eddie could THINK. Eddie Could TALK.
The electoral college
Support for democracy suffered a setback when the legislature failed to approve a proposal aimed at allowing the people of the United States to elect the president. [If enough states approved, the measure would have allowed the state’s electoral college members to cast their votes for the candidate who received the most popular votes.]
Sen. Gilbert Baker expressed his distrust of the majority on the east and west coasts. Baker wished to discriminate against the majority based upon regional location.
Unfortunately, the struggle between democracy and party dominance is over. One decade from now, democratic decisions will be made by software engineers and those who control on-line information transfer. Democracy will be reduced to a virtual reality program, with virtual results.
No need to bother the 86th General Assembly, democracy is finished in the U.S. Who trusts the majority, anyway?
The new communists
During the Cold War the politically correct were not against the communists. They were against those of us who were against the communists. They were anti-anti-communists.
Today, they are not against the disgusting practice of homosexuality. They are just against those of us who do not approve of placing our most vulnerable charges in the hands of perverts.
The Grand Canyon
I am a native American and want to protest that eyesore at the Grand Canyon. Why did a national park allow it? Was Junior Bush paid off? Why didn’t the Hualapais find a less obtrusive way to suck in the tourists. Perhaps it will fall into the canyon some night when fewer tourists would be killed. Conservation values should trump greed.