Beware of tar sands oil exposure 

Beware of tar sands oil exposure

Thank you so much for your work to publicize the horrific situation in Mayflower. Your articles are the only coverage being given to this terrible tragedy.

I live in Alberta, Canada, six hours south of the tar sands. In 1980, I got my first teaching contract in Fort McMurray, the center for the tar sands. Back then no one knew anything about the dangers. At the end of the first month after breathing the heavy pollution and seeing my daughter's health affected, I left. I would love it if you could write about the effects of these toxic bitumen-diluting chemicals such as benzene and PAHs [polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons] so that the residents can be aware of the dangers to themselves and to their future children. This stuff alters DNA and the effects are passed down through generations. I've done my utmost to warn the residents through the Mayflower Facebook pages, but articles by you would help convince people they simply cannot stay in the area. I know their reluctance, I endured several years of poverty due to having left that teaching job but nothing is worth more than the health of the residents.

Julia Lewis

Alberta, Canada

Access to UA board

I continue to read about the internal chaos in the University of Arkansas System. Recently the university fired John Diamond, who was in charge of university relations and apparently was very concerned about the University's lack of openness, accountability and freedom of information. All this follows on the heels of some stunning mismanagement in the financial fundraising office of advancement.

A small, but possibly relevant, hint as to the apparent insensitivity of many university administrators and trustee board members to public accountability and accessibility is on the web pages of these universities. For example, on the website of the University of Arkansas System Office there are wonderful photos of the board members and a paragraph about the background of each, but there is no prominent phone number or even a direct email address by which the public or employees may contact them directly without the filter of the university officials they are charged to oversee. This is also the case with a number of other universities in the state.

One would think that public institutions of higher learning would provide clear, multiple, and protected access for the public to the key decision and policy makers. Board of trustee members are at the top of that food chain.

William L. Russell

Maumelle

Offended by Rapert characterization

I read and appreciate your perspective and journalism for the Arkansas Times. Reading Max Brantley's online posting about Sen. Jason Rapert (Arkansas Blog, "Jason Rapert: Serves God before his constituents," Aug. 29) prompts this direct response to you.

First, in my opinion, Sen. Rapert has his priorities right, in line with his faith. His faith is not only a private matter, but since he is an elected official, it is public as well. Agree or disagree, he has the right to proclaim and live by his faith. As do you and I.

Secondly, I appreciate the post on the Arkansas Times online page. I would not have known otherwise, and informing the public is a core tenet of journalism in America.

However, I am offended and disappointed in the tone and inference of the "editorial remarks" in the post. Specifically, "Sen. Jason Rapert of Conway/Bigelow presumably won't anger the good Christians of his Senate district with a declaration that he serves God before them. Because, hey, he has a direct pipeline right? From God's lips to Jason's ears. Do what Jason says and you are marching for the Lord."

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Most Shared

  • How the South became dead red

    Good piece in Politico from Stanford sociology professor Doug McAdam on the roots of our modern partisan divide. McAdam tells the familiar story of how the South flipped, as yellow dog Democrats in the old Confederacy abandoned the party in the wake of the Civil Rights movement.
  • Fact-checkers unaninmous: Tom Cotton is a liar

    Tom Cotton has hit the fact-checking trifecta: All three major fact-checking operations says his ad blaming his vote against the farm bill on President Obama is dishonest.
  • Bill Clinton sounds caution on charter schools

    A singular voice, former president Bill Clinton, sounded a note of caution about charter schools in a speech in New York yesterday and thank goodness.
  • Fayetteville City Clerk's office certifies signatures — civil rights ordinance will go to a public vote

    The Fayetteville City Clerk's office has certified that enough signatures were gathered to trigger a special election on Fayetteville's new civil rights ordinance, the Fayetteville Flyer reports. The effort to force a popular vote on the ordinance, led by a Repeal 119, a church-led group, gathered 5,714 signatures. Petitioners needed 4,905; the City Clerk's office began certifying the signatures last week and stopped at the end of the day Friday once enough signatures had been validated. The ordinance to discourage discrimination in housing and employment passed in the City Council 6-2 last month. The vote came after 10 hours of discussion, with many conservatives furious because the classes of people protected included gay and transgender people.
  • Tom Cotton's evasive maneuvering on the Farm Bill

    Rep. Tom Cotton continues to take a ribbing for his recent ad attempting cover on his vote against the Farm Bill (Cotton, you'll remember, claimed that Obama "hijacked" it and turned it into a food stamp bill; factcheckers pounced). Cotton is trying to have his row crops and eat them too, claiming he supports farm subsidies while voting against them.

Latest in Letters

  • Suggs at Parkview

    Recently, Dr. Dexter Suggs, Little Rock School District superintendent, made a very bizarre appearance at Parkview High School. All Parkview seniors, including myself, were instructed to go to the auditorium where the superintendent led an assembly that quickly spiraled out of control.
    • Sep 25, 2014
  • Another dubious little war

    Have you been hearing a hollow clanging in the middle of the night? Faint, but growing louder in that gathering twilight before the fitful dreams of midnight's slumber?
    • Sep 18, 2014
  • Left out

    I was disappointed to see I was not included in the "Visionary" issue [Aug. 28]. I think I should have gotten in on the merit of my idea for Little Rock to sponsor the first-ever Cold War Re-enactment.
    • Sep 11, 2014
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

September

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30  
 

© 2014 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation