Cut the Chamber subsidy 

Cut the Chamber subsidy

A hearty second to Robert Johnston's suggestion to end the city of Little Rock's subsidy of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce. Though it's hard to think of anything more important for a municipality's economic well-being than an adequate supply of clean, fresh water for domestic, commercial, and industrial use, we have yet to hear so much as a peep out of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce about protecting the quality of the water in Lake Maumelle. Evidently the reason for the Chamber's silence is that influential members of the Chamber are making a killing on real estate in the Lake Maumelle watershed and would prefer cold, hard, cash in their personal bank accounts to safe drinking water for our city at reasonable cost. So much for the Chamber's effectiveness at achieving even what it claims to do.

Bill Shepherd

Little Rock

Pass the grouper

It seems to me that a thoughtful, enlightened newsmag like the Arkansas Times should strive for responsibility in every aspect of its publication, including its restaurant reviews. Regardless of his contributions to the local culinary options, Mark Abernathy should be ashamed for letting grouper become the best-selling entree at his restaurant, as your review reported Dec. 3. Frankly, I am appalled each time I open a menu and see something like swordfish or grouper offered. These species — along with red snapper, Atlantic flounder, Chilean sea bass and notable others — are either severely threatened by overfishing or their methods of harvest (for instance, bottom trawling) take an intolerable toll on other species.

Once we deplete fish species to the point of extinction, we not only lose the chance to ever taste them again; we also lose a key link in the rapidly collapsing web of the ocean ecosystem — a system on which each and every one of us depends for oxygen, carbon sequestration, sustainable nutrition, and tolerable weather. You can find recommendations about responsible (and healthy) seafood choices at www.edf.org. They make it easy with a color-coded wallet card to help those of us who would have trouble memorizing the full list of threatened species. Passing up the Red Door's pan-seared grouper is not only a vote for environmentalism — it might just be a step away from the extinction of our own landlubber species!

Steve Barger


Fire the teachers

Each and every one of the teachers in the Pulaski County school district who staged the walkout/no-show last week should have been summarily dismissed that very day, the day after the school board voted to give them a raise and bump in health care benefits.

How disgraceful. In a time in which unemployment is at record highs, Arkansans are struggling, their action is inexcusable, and shame on the board for not having any backbone. At the very least, they should have held an emergency meeting and rescinded the raises.

Teachers are off every weekend, almost another four months out of the year, and enjoy benefits that surpass pretty much anyone in Arkansas not working for state or federal government. What a bunch of crybabies.

Mike Ferguson

Hot Springs

For corporate disclosure

Who cares that Wall Streeters or celebrities like Tiger Woods make millions in bonuses, endorsements and salaries? Well, we all should because we are paying for them whether directly or indirectly.

Companies and corporations add whatever costs they incur advertising to bolster the bottom line. So we consumers pay for the mansions, trophy wives, mistresses, exotic cars, yachts etc. by shelling out extra on higher credit card and loan interest, more expensive six-packs, and even costlier foods.



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