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Capital punishment 

I saw Max Brantley on TV regarding his lawsuit asking for public access to the entire execution process.

You can do that if you will also show the entire crime that the murderer has been convicted of. When Alvin Jackson is executed, I think the way he dies compared to the way my husband, Charles Colclasure, died at his hand will be much easier. If you could, show my husband was shot six times, run over by his own car three times, beaten with a rifle and then put into the trunk and thrown into the river. Show how he looked after all that and being in the river for 24 hours in nearly 100-degree heat on July 30. Show how Sgt. Scott Grimes died when Alvin Jackson stabbed him in the heart in November 1995. Then let us see how easy it is for him to be executed. I think that a cut and a few drugs would be an easy way to die in comparison. We should also show the eight girls who grew up without their fathers, two mothers left to raise their children alone, financially and emotionally.

It has been 11 years since he was sentenced for Sgt. Grimes' murder. He has had free room and board, free medical and free legal.

I think if you would put this all in the right perspective, you could see that Alvin Jackson is not being treated cruelly and it is finally justice for Charles and Sgt. Grimes.

Elaine Colclasure

Little Rock

The mayor's election

I received in the mail a card informing me that the mayor of Little Rock needs “more power” and that would be good for the city in a number of unspecified ways. In conversations with friends and neighbors there were inferences that such a move would make the job of mayor of Little Rock a full-time one and would entail a salary increase of around $110,000 to $120,000 a year as well as a “veto power.”

As this, at least to me, is a bolt out of the blue this is neither an endorsement nor a critique but rather a taxpayer's query as to how city officials came to the conclusion that such a (nebulous to say the least) power is of paramount need for Little Rock's municipal government to function effectively.

Was a commission or committee established to review and analyze recommendations for improving city operations or was a consultant hired to review operations and make recommendations? Would the power provided the mayor entail that the city manager's power become limited? With a full-time mayor would there still be a need for a full-time city manager?

Would the present mayor be amenable and capable to work full time? What specifically mandates the recommendation for a full-time mayor when for the past several years the position of mayor was ably done by a part-time mayor? Is this an instigation to eventually do away with a city manager type of municipality? In voting 7 to 4 to bring the matter before the voters did the present part-time mayor vote or not?

And lastly but not least what specifically is the present part-time mayor not able to do until he becomes a full-time mayor? Will the Arkansas Times do what it's known to do in political affairs — elucidate the public on what's going on in City Hall?

Armand De Laurell

Little Rock

Getting educated

From what I read in the daily newspaper about the Little Rock School District, I get the feeling that when minorities are in charge it is a “gang.” When the politicians, board chairmen, superintendents, bank presidents and judges make the rules, they are considered leaders, not a gang.

I am also being taught that there is little or no teaching going on, just tabulation of what students have learned.

The main teachers are parents, community groups or tutors, but these are found only in the most organized and developed families. Students that have been taught and nurtured at home and by the village are more confident about their worth. They are the ones that are chosen for the AP program. The students whose parents are unable to teach them are less confident and unruly. They are given computers and electronic toys to keep them busy. If they continue to cause trouble, they are sent to alternative schools.

But I know a high school teacher who says she never had a student who did not learn. Those having trouble were kept in at recess. They had to read the lesson two or three times, write the lessons and recite poems over and over before they passed. But they finished and have become productive parents, teachers and professionals. Today's system seems just to certify students rather than teach them.

When we are in charge, we cause students to achieve, parents to be responsible and organizations and institutions to be productive. It is leadership, not a gang, that causes this in schools.

Mistakes may have been made in the change of administration. However, there has only been one perfect person on this earth. Only people who do not do anything do not make mistakes. Let's get together and help all youth become AP students.

LaVerne W. Feaster

Little Rock

Hate crimes

Within the article “Hate thy neighbor” July 19 it was questioned whether an actual crime was committed. The letter mailed to a Maumelle family may not be defined as a hate crime. But it was definitely based on hate. There is a history of terrorism against blacks in America based on hate and terrorism is a crime.

Tracey Tell

Jacksonville

The Bush administration

During the era of Teddy Roosevelt, T.R.'s oft-uttered signature, “bully,” signified a questionable Republican method to an otherwise honorable end: social progress (particularly in the environment and industry). Today rogue Republicans flagrantly disregard authority (outing a CIA agent, subverting justice and disregarding the will of the electorate). These neocons beg the public trust as they strive to undo health care reform while attempting to sustain and execute a futile and fiscally impoverishing war — a conflict without clear provocation and dire, irreparable future consequences. I think it's time the public sent a message to the “party of regression”: The American public has judged the GOP, found their issues wanting and voted accordingly.

Kevin Laurens

Little Rock

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