I applaud Max Brantley’s recent column entitled “Schools — by the numbers.” I couldn’t agree with him more. My wife and I moved to Little Rock in order to start our kids in kindergarten in the Little Rock School District. This year, our daughter graduates from Central, and our son will be a freshman at Central next school year. In addition, we’ve had three exchange students attend Central. We couldn’t be happier with their education, we’re proud of our kids, and we’re pleased with the many opportunities the LRSD provides.
I don’t know what motivates people to denigrate the LRSD when they have little or no first-hand experience with it. Our experience has been first-rate, and we know many families who feel the same way.
Help for hunger
As the executive director of the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, I was happy to see your staff devote your Jan. 19 issue to hunger in Arkansas. I would like a moment to tell you and your readers about our new statewide organization, the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance.
The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance is dedicated to fighting hunger in Arkansas, ranked third highest in the country for acute hunger. Launched in November 2005, the Alliance is the first statewide association of food banks and food rescue organizations. Six organizations formed this partnership to maximize capacity and do a better job at providing food to the more than 400,000 individuals who can’t afford enough to eat.
Our mission is quite simple: to make sure that no Arkansan goes to bed hungry.
We are not just another anti-hunger organization, but instead work collectively with our partners around the state to provide a more efficient and effective transportation system; be a strong voice and resource to our legislators; provide valuable research data and information related to hunger and the issues that impact it; and create programs and services that benefit our members and their local agencies.
We encourage everyone to learn more about hunger and the long-term impact it has on the lives of our neighbors and get involved to help; please visit our website at www.arhra.org, or phone us at 501-399-9999.
Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance
As a fellow history buff/writer, and a huge fan of Will Rogers, I wanted to say how much I enjoyed your pieces on the 1931 food riots. I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that Will Rogers’ common sense, common decency and uncommon action probably saved the day — literally for the starving but also by keeping them from taking up arms against the United States.
Terri Jo Ryan
Please pass on my thanks to Dale Ingram for writing about the England food riot. This is an important part of Arkansas history and should never be allowed to fade into obscurity. While some of your readers were “reminded” of the England food riot, I’m sure many were made aware of it for the first time. It is refreshing to see a major newspaper devote so much space to this event.
Director of Archives
University of Central Arkansas
Park Service responds
I would like to clarify a number of statements made by former National Park Service employee Don Castleberry in your Jan. 16 article, “Park protector.”
Since the last National Park Service policies were revised five years ago, laws have changed, regulations have changed, and times have changed. NPS has increased responsibilities for homeland security. Also, there is rapid population growth around parks, improved technology that provides new ways to enjoy parks and reduces adverse impacts on resources, and a new focus on civic engagement and cooperative conservation. These changes, combined with requests from Congress, prompted us to review and enhance guidance to park superintendents in ensuring resources are conserved while providing enjoyment to visitors.
The revised draft management policies, which were written with the extensive participation of professional NPS employees, do not increase the likelihood of more motorized equipment, off-road vehicles, commercial activities, reduced air quality, noise, cell towers, or other activities currently governed by law or regulation in the national parks.
There is strong language throughout the draft policies, stating that: “… when there are concerns as to whether an activity or action will cause an impairment, the Service will protect the resources.” We couldn’t be more clear.
The document is still a draft, however, and we are listening to public input. To provide opportunity for constructive and open dialogue, we have extended the public comment to 120 days — until Feb. 18th. We are also hosting listening sessions and public forums in each region.
Fran P. Mainella, director
National Park Service