Angered about vets 

Angered about vets

I have never written a letter to the editor before, but I am incensed at the recent article in the Arkansas Times ("Vets on Main," March 21). It suggests that the downtown neighborhood's stance against a proposed clinic on Main Street working with veterans psychiatric issues and addiction is tied to whether or not veterans get quality care.  Especially abhorrent is the reference to the 1957 school desegregation crisis as a comparison to the current issues with where the VA clinic is located by the current VA treatment center director, Estella Morris. To raise this as a racial issue is to suggest that only black veterans have problems with drugs, alcohol and post-traumatic stress disorder. The recent murder of 17 Afghanis certainly belies this and demonstrates why we would be concerned!

Secondly, to suggest that the hard-working people who have been willing to risk everything to restore this wonderful neighborhood are gentry? Are Jimmy Moses or Rett Tucker guilty of gentrification because they brought revitalization into the River Market District and ran out the homeless, black and white? Did the demand that "Our House" move from Main Street a few years ago so Main Street between Third and I-630 could begin redevelopment, be considered racist? Should the demand by the Pettaway Park neighborhood to not allow the City's Homeless Center in "our" neighborhood be considered a racial statement?

In an era of government reduction doesn't it make sense for government programs to work together? Why wouldn't the VA want to save money and work with the City in their new homeless day center?

Historically, the best way to defeat an issue is to confound and confuse. Wars have been won by confusion. The only defense for such blatant and outrageous claims is for educated people to stand up, just as our veterans have, for the truth. The truth is, the downtown area has been the moral conscience of Little Rock for over 30 years. With no real research, we have identified 18 social service facilities for people in need within a one mile radius of the Governor's Mansion. We in downtown refuse to continue to be the victim. Give our veterans the best care possible. But don't destroy a neighborhood going through rebirth while you're doing it. 

Sharon Welch-Blair

Little Rock

Distasteful doesn't equal illegal

I am glad that the Arkansas Supreme Court brought our antiquated views about sex into the 21st century. Though 38-year-old high school teacher David Paschal's sexual relationship with one of his students may have been distasteful and immoral it was nonetheless lawful, as it was consensual and the student, who was 18 when the relationship occurred, is an adult. This case clearly shows that not all distasteful things in life are illegal.

Kenneth L. Zimmerman

Huntington Beach, Calif.

Tuition hike

As a proud alumnus of UA, I was surprised with the speed with which the UA Board of Trustees just rubber-stamped another tuition increase. For the Fayetteville campus, where I will have two children next fall, the increase was 5.3 percent. With a 4.8 percent increase for the 2010-2011 year, that is more than a 10 percent increase in 2 years. Other than perhaps health care, in what other area has there been such inflation in the midst of such tough economic times?  My question to the administration and board is: please identify one expense you have cut in order to avoid such increases? The obvious answer, sadly, is "none." This confirms my suspicion that the only beneficiary of the lottery scholarships will be the UA System, not the students or their tuition-paying parents.

Michael J. Emerson

Little Rock

Kays House significant

Regarding the destruction of the Kays House, the idea shows a profound lack of vision and an amazing disregard for history. You can drive down any street in any city or town and see something ugly. To see a building that is architecturally lovely is a feast for the eyes and lifts the spirits. That it also has significance to the university's history should be enough to demand its preservation. You can't press "replay" and bring it back.



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