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Hate speech 

In visiting your website I couldn't help but notice the lead story July 19, “Hate thy neighbor.” After reading this story, I scrolled down to see disturbing and racist comments from viewers regarding the story. These types of comments are unacceptable to post and I would think you have some type of limits as far as what comments are posted on the web for world-wide viewing. It's unfortunate enough to read a story of such ignorance, however it's even more degrading to allow people to post their racist views and comments! Not only do these comments negatively affect your readership, but they also create a negative view of Arkansans. The comments are far worse than the story itself. I would hate for a child to be doing research or looking up news articles to stumble across the disrespectful thoughts of a few ignorant people.

Christina Williams

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Charter schools

Yesterday, I found a copy of the July 12 edition of the Arkansas Times on my desk with the note “Look on page 46” written on the front. I turned there and read Max Brantley's column on the Arkamsas School for Mathematics and Sciences' attempt to establish a “feeder junior high.” Thank you for your column for two reasons: 1) I graduated in the charter class of ASMS (before the “A” was added) in 1995 after arriving at the school from a very rural town in Northeast Arkansas and 2) I have seen the poster child for poorly-run charter schools as that town I'm from is Imboden.

ASMS provided me with an education opportunity I would have never received otherwise. I'm pretty sure the school's original mission was to provide those opportunities to all Arkansas students, but mainly for those in rural schools that couldn't provide the level of education we received.

I hope those who make these decisions read your column and decide the charter school is a bad idea. But, having been a nearly lifelong resident of Arkansas, I'm a little pessimistic.

Matthew H. Johnson

Russelville

Burger tax

If an additional penny “hamburger tax” (The Insider, July 19) is assessed, then I would hope a portion of this revenue would be dedicated to provide sustained funding to solve the homeless issue that has languished in our community for over three years, notwithstanding the numerous task force meetings and dialog on the subject. This is precisely the funding mechanism the state of Florida enacted, which Miami/Dade County then used as the genesis for their wonderful and successful Community Partnership for the Homeless, Inc., program located, incidentally, three blocks from their new multi-million dollar cultural arts center.

Larry Lichty

Little Rock

Lake Maumelle

I am disappointed that Central Arkansas Water is going for the gold and away from their high pure-water standards in approving a development above Lake Maumelle. All they talk about is protecting the water and the quality of life that it brings. Now that water protection is down the drain perhaps kayakers and canoes will be allowed to dip a paddle in the sacred waters of their reservoirs. After all, if trashing the water is good enough for developers it should be good enough for everyday environmental threats like us.

Ellanorah Wilson

Bigelow

West Memphis Three

With all the responses to your article July 19 on the West Memphis Three case, there has to be a way to help encourage media coverage, get politician responses, support, anything and everything. It's now time to stay on top of this before it dies down and the boys (now men) get forgotten once again.

I am from Australia and I have followed this case for so many years. I can NOT believe it's been so many years of waiting for these three men to have their innocence proven.

Please I beg you! Do not let this just be an article or a hot topic that fades away. Please do what ever it takes to help support these 3 men, give them back the freedom that's been so horribly and wrongly taken from them

Michelle Whitelaw

From the Internet

Mad as hell

Recently, my student intern, Chase De St. Felix, an honors 2007 graduate of Little Rock Catholic High School for Boys, wrote an impassioned letter to the editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Since his letter was — at least in part — provoked by my rebuke of his plaintive quest for understanding, I feel somewhat obliged to support his cry for help. For various reasons, including a heavy workload and respect for each other's possibly opposing views, my interns and I rarely discuss politics or religion. But on this particular occasion last week we were listening to the car radio while driving back from a task in West Little Rock.The commentator on “All Things Considered” was interviewing someone about President Bush commuting the sentence of Vice President Cheney's aide, Scooter Libby. At a stop light, my student intern turned to me and asked in an anguished plea, “When are the people going to overcome their apathy and do something about this government?” I am afraid that I responded a little too sharply, for I had been wondering the same thing myself for several years. “Well, where are the angry students?You young people are the traditional spark that arouses the rest of us.What about the Vietnam War protesters at Kent State and the young Chinese student facing off with the tank in Tiananmen Square? Maybe we are waiting on you.”My intern did not respond. The light changed and we went back to the office. No more was said. But the next day I got an e-mail copy of his plaintive letter to the editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. It was titled “No Peter Finch,” referring to the hero of the film “Network,” shouting at the world, “I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore.”It's a great letter. I certainly hope readers get a chance to read it.

Joel Taylor

Little Rock

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