Race is meaningless
I enjoyed and was somewhat amused by Mara Leveritt's article “From Octoroon to Other.” She hit the nail on the head when she said the term “race” when applied to humans is meaningless. For example, one would think I am just a plain old WAS (that's WASP without the P), but the term Anglo-Saxon itself implies a mixture of Angle and Saxon genes not to mention Celt, Pict, Scot, Briton, Gaelic and who knows what else.
My first wife was of Malaysian, Indonesian and Spanish heritage and while our first son remains single our second married a woman whose family hails from Mexico. She identifies herself as Hispanic, but then again that is also an ambiguous term. Some who identify themselves as Hispanic don't even speak Spanish. Hispanics can be light-skinned and blue-eyed with straight blond hair, dark skinned and black-eyed with curly black hair, or anything in between. Oddly enough, my grandson has blond hair, blue eyes and will sunburn after 20 minutes outside on a summery day.
I am now married to a woman who is from Native American (Kuna tribe) and Spanish ancestry. Our daughter is married to a man whose mother hails from Guadalajara, Mexico, and whose father is a black American. My wife has two other sons, one of whom is married to a woman from the Philippines. They have a daughter. Her son is married to a woman who is of Hispanic/Caucasian ancestry. They have five children.
See where this is leading? I used to get a headache just trying to keep all of this straight in my head but then one day it dawned on me that it is all irrelevant. The relationships I have with people have nothing to do with the color of their skin, color of eyes, height, color and texture of their hair or their sexual preferences. It has to do with the type of person they are.
Oliver T. Driver
Regretfully, the Arkansas Times did not contact the City of Conway's Planning and Development Department when writing [“Light at Night,” Dec. 18, on light pollution]. Had the author contacted us, he would have been informed that under our Development Review standards (passed in 2007), we have codified some of the most stringent outdoor lighting restrictions in the state of Arkansas. For example, our review standards require that all outdoor fixtures must be “fully cut-off and/or fully shielded in design so that no light is visible above the lowest part of the fixture.” Further, “light levels at the property line shall not exceed 0.5 footcandles when adjacent to other non-residential areas, and 0.1 footcandles when adjacent to any residential area, as measured 5 feet above the ground.” We review each development to insure that these requirements — as well as all those outlined in our 76-page Pattern Book — are followed. Conway's mayor, City Council, and administrative departments take the safety and welfare of our citizens and passersby quite seriously. We are working diligently to make our city a better place to live, work, and play. I hope other cities in Central Arkansas will follow our lead.
It is time for everyone to become aware of all of the adverse effects of light pollution. Learn more at www.britelitesout.com, then do your part to make changes.
From the Internet
On Nov. 4, the children of Arkansas suffered a tremendous blow with the passage of Act 1. At any given time, there are 450 to 500 Arkansas children who need adoptive homes. Act 1 will only reduce the number of homes available. A “suitable” home should never be defined by the marital status of foster parents. We can still rally and resist the harmful effects of Act 1. Let your legislators know about your opposition to this measure.
I am appalled to think that I live in a day and time where children who need loving homes are being put in a position of not being placed because of the narrow-mindedness of adult voters. How will we ever dry the tears of those kids who will grow up never having experienced a loving family life?
More children will wind up in group homes because of Act 1. Did anyone consider what might happen to their own children if both parents are killed in an accident? Did they realize that their children, too, could be in a situation where there are no appropriate married relatives to care for them?
I work as a teacher for Ozark Guidance Center. I have taught many children who need foster or adoptive families. Many have been abused or neglected. Some are handicapped. They need loving homes.
We need to allow the state Department of Human Services to do their job and trust that they do it properly. Arkansas voters made a terrible mistake when they limited DHS from finding good homes that are desperately needed for children.
Coming from an unconventional household, I would have only dreamed of having people take me in that would have shown love and affection I so desired. It breaks my heart to think that with the passing of Act 1 you limit the able and willing numbers of available foster parents. Please help us change this.
The good earth
While we may be on the downside of our economy (as well as the rest of the world) we may be on the upside of understanding why. The simple truth may be that we have used up our present home — this planet earth — and need to give diligent thought to other places to live.
We humans have overpopulated the resources of the planet. Nothing can heal the agonies caused by this except reducing the birth rate to reduce consumption.
Movement of populace from place to place in search of essential sustenance cannot bring solution, only multiply misery. The recent directive of the Catholic Church bishop to embrace immigration serves the church's agenda of increasing membership and thereby increasing monetary support but creates a ballooning problem for the country.
Doesn't history relate that Spain and the Catholic Church's conquistadors plundered and destroyed the great civilizations of the Maya, Aztec and others, proclaiming all for the glory of the church and Spain?
Americans, reach out
In 1962-64 I was in Tanzania as a Peace Corps nurse. I saw masses of people die like flies. No medicines, no supplies. It still breaks my heart at my 70 years. The absolute best I could do was never enough.
I learned more about myself in two years than I could ever have given to the Tanzanians. They taught me so much about life.
No preaching intended. If we as Americans could reach into our souls, get out of our own cocoons and put their shoes on our feet, walk a mile with them, guess what, it might change this old world of ours.
Oh, yes, when I got off the plane at JFK in 1964, I got down on my hands and knees and kissed the ground. I know how lucky and blessed I was to be an American.
Beverly A. Clary