Letters Dec. 2 

Religion and politics Ernest Dumas’ suggestion to incorporate Jesus’ social teachings from the Sermon on the Mount into a 2008 platform is an excellent idea! Many of us that some would label right-wing, conservative Christians believe just as strongly in our social obligations as our more enlightened friends on the left. We just differ on the institution that should be responsible for those obligations. Consider the historical text you reference. Jesus was speaking specifically to his followers. Many of us just simply believe it’s the responsibility of the church, not government, to meet those social obligations. One might go as far as to say for government to provide such services, as many on the left advocate, is to impose faith-based responsibilities on all citizens, including those of different or no faith. Now isn’t that an ironic twist? Andy Bloxom Benton I’ve read quite a few ignorant ramblings from writers of your columns, but Ernest Dumas’ “Bible-based government” is, without a doubt, the prize-winner. Not only did Dumas show his lack of knowledge of the Bible, he showed a total disrespect for God and His teachings. Apparently the author is a master at taking things out of context, knows nothing about what is spiritually binding on us today, and has never read the book of Romans (as to exactly what God promises to do in regard to homosexuality). Democrats have the freedom to express their opinions regarding the war, taxes and the Republican Party, but when it comes to misusing the Bible to ram their agenda down everyone’s throats, enough is enough. I also have the right to never again waste my time on such trivial drivel as is displayed in the Arkansas Times. Alan Caudle Maumelle The Cantrell road work So, the excavations on the south side of Cantrell are not part of an overall widening, just a series of entry and exit points for streets turning south from Cantrell. How do all of the south side residents from River Ridge to Reservoir feel, sans Jennings Osborne? Not to mention Little Rock, which lost some land in front of Reservoir Park for widening for the north turning into Ridgeview. Seems like the news this summer was that all of this work WAS part of a general widening of the Cantrell corridor from I-430 to Mississippi, to help reduce the accident rate. Guess the state didn’t want to have to face off with Jennings and The Wall. Just don’t know why they couldn’t be upfront with it. Earl Wilde Little Rock Corn syrup A story in your Oct. 14 edition unfortunately misinforms the public about high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a natural, home-grown sweetener from Midwest corn fields. The article’s statement that “animal studies are finding that the cheap and pervasive sweetener eats away at the body’s ability to lower blood sugar and creates a craving for more sweets” needs clarification. The author implies that HFCS uniquely reduces the ability of the body to produce insulin, which is largely responsible for the uptake of glucose into cells and the lowering of blood sugar. But all caloric sweeteners trigger an insulin response to a greater or lesser extent. The author’s claim that HFCS “creates a craving for more sweets” is evidently based on the poorly supported theory that the body does not account for calories obtained from beverages as it does calories obtained from solid foods. A recent study by Drewnowski and associates provided evidence further undermining this theory, by showing that equivalent calories from a carbonated beverage or fruit cookie produce that same feeling of fullness among human test subjects. According to the American Dietetic Association (ADA): “Consumers can safely enjoy a range of nutritive and nonnutritive sweeteners when consumed in a diet that is guided by current federal nutrition recommendations … as well as individual health goals.” Audrae Erickson President Corn Refiners Association Washington, D.C. Hillcrest development Friends and family had forwarded your article to me on the controversial development of the property at 4400 I Street. My siblings and I inherited our family home and as fierce preservationists, we held out long and hard to find a buyer who we hoped could renovate it with regard for the house, neighbors, neighborhood and natural setting. So, one can imagine how appalled we were, on many levels, to discover that we had inadvertently entered into a contract with a developer who intends to raze the house and construct four new homes on the property. I feel compelled to share what it was like to grow up on this lovely acre of Hillcrest abutting Allsopp Park ... tire swings, gardens, lots of feral pets, tree houses, leaf piles, vine climbing and swinging, campouts, sledding, hide and seek, tree climbing, secret hideouts, chases through the woods, biking the paths long before it was popular. From being built in 1915 and being 80 percent original, one can imagine its interesting features, including original glass windows, a wall of stained glass windows ornamenting and illuminating the stairwell, and period plumbing. It is a sad comment on progress that such an unusual property is valued not for its natural beauty, its uniqueness, or even for its antique home but instead for the financial opportunity of a business. Mary Bowling Keating Winchester, Mass. Roger Smith, who wrote a recent letter, seems to think that I will somehow “benefit greatly” from the Lagniappe development on I Street and that I control the Planning Commission. I am at a loss to figure out how my wife and I can derive any great benefit from the development of the vacant property next door to our house. And I hope that my fellow commissioners are not too insulted by the inference that I control their votes. Some considerations of which the public might not be aware: The Arkansas Supreme Court has held that the city MUST approve a proposed subdivision that meets all of the requirements of the subdivision ordinance. The planning staff has indicated that a 4- and probably a 5-lot subdivision with a hammerhead turnaround at the north end of a minor residential street running down the west side of the Lagniappe property would meet all of these requirements. Second, all city officials get a lot of heat about urban sprawl. The alternative to sprawl is infill development. If we had our choice, nothing would happen next door to us. However, given my experience on the commission, I knew that “nothing” was not a viable alternative. Therefore, I set out to negotiate the best development possible. It has been submitted as a planned residential development with fewer houses than could be allowed by right. Each house, with a 32-foot height limit, will have spaces for four cars and developers have exhibited a great concern for preservation of trees. The plan buffers two landowners most affected, including me, by selling us land that we agree not to develop. All lots will be accessed from a single common drive so there is no increase in curb cuts. Sally and I would like to live next door to undeveloped woods. However, given the knowledge that something will indeed be built on our west border, we support the Lagniappe proposal as a high-quality project. William F. Rector Little Rock Covering Conway I was extremely pleased to see your Nov. 18 cover story on my hometown of Conway, which is undergoing a renaissance similar to Little Rock’s. In addition to highlighting many of the encouraging changes taking place, you also pointed out several of our exciting cultural offerings. I do have to point out one rather important oversight: Conway is also home to a first-class regional orchestra, the Conway Symphony Orchestra. Many of our members are professional musicians; most of our principals are also members of the Arkansas Symphony. Our musicians reflect international as well as local talent: Quite a few have come to Conway to study in the University of Central Arkansas’ top-flight music program. Besides our upcoming “A Conway Christmas” concert on Nov. 30, we have a particularly exciting Kinderconcert coming up Feb. 19, with guest artists Das Puppenspiel Puppet Troupe presenting Prokofiev’s classic “Peter and the Wolf” through gorgeous life-sized puppets. We also have a world premiere “Marimba Concerto” scheduled for our spring classical concert, “Love is in the Air,” on April 22. I thank you again for highlighting the great changes happening in Conway, and appreciate your interest in my hometown. Kelly Haggard Manager, Conway Symphony Orchestra Blog fan Thank God for the Arkansas Daily Blog! [Link to it from www.arktimes.com] Without it I would have had to rely on the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s sorry excuse for coverage of the Arkansas Globecoming, which was capped off Sunday by their horrible recap of the week. So, thank you Arkansas Times for providing terrific coverage of the week on the Daily Blog. Tony Taylor Ward The sewer plant I have no tolerance for the way that the Little Rock Wastewater Utility members think that we would embrace a sewer plant in our neighborhood. Within a one-mile radius of my home there are three public parks: Pinnacle Mountain State Park; Maumelle Park, a federal park; and Twin Rivers Park, a city and county park. There are two marinas, public boat ramps and two private soccer fields. We are talking people, thousands upon thousands of people. We embrace all these people that come and enjoy our natural resource, Pinnacle Valley. It is the only valley with river access that Little Rock has, there is no other. We the people will not let you put in a sewer plant in our only valley. Please look at all of your options. Expand your existing plants, spend a little money on pipe and pump stations. Go regional and merge with North Little Rock. Find a place further west or southwest where no one has built up the area. Put on a moratorium and see if the builders donate a few acres for the plant, so they can continue to build. The growth of one community cannot be, and will not be, to the detriment of another. Louis L. Bianco Little Rock


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