Endangered species

Some of you may have heard about the “Endangered Species Recovery Act.” It is essentially the undoing of a 1973 law. This new proposal has several very scary provisions that will gut the Endangered Species Act of any possible effectiveness by denying, among other things, the ability to protect key habitat.

Losing an endangered species is not the death of a few animals. An entire element of this planet ceases to exist. All members of an ecosystem, including humans, are connected in ways we are only beginning to understand.

On an international scale, this is an irresponsible piece of legislation. We demand that other nations meet our standards for protecting lions, tigers, elephants, snow leopards, rainforests, etc., but in passing this bill, we clearly have no respect for our own wildlife.

I have to confess that I feel utterly betrayed by both political parties’ complete disregard of all topics environmental. I ask my fellow Americans to contact their U.S. senators because the bill has already passed the House. Do not let our elected officials be ruled by those holding the checkbooks.
Jennifer Martin
North Little Rock

Sports legacies
On a visit to Little Rock this week, former Razorback basketball coach Eddie Sutton told local media that his son, Sean, would be taking over the head coaching job at Oklahoma State when the elder Sutton retires. Bob Knight too has already contracted with Texas Tech for his own son, Pat, to succeed him there. The transfer of these publicly-funded positions by blood inheritance is all the more noteworthy given that coaches like Sutton, Knight and Lou Holtz are often idolized (by sportscasters, sportsWhile the legacy system is acceptable in certain circumstances — pledging collegiate Greek-letter societies, electing presidents, filling Massachusetts’ congressional seats, etc. — it could actually present a danger if allowed to flourish in sports: Fans — many of whom have never been legacies in any arena — might not want to be part of the audience if it becomes evident that there are no longer any level playing fields in our economy, not even in sports.
Richard DeLaurell
Little Rock

The Duggars
There was an article in a Los Angeles newspaper about the Jim Bob Duggar family and the birth of Mr. and Mrs. Duggar’s 16th child. The article said that Jim Bob Duggar is planning on running for the state Senate next year.

I know that since I don’t live in Arkansas, my opinion of what goes on in your state doesn’t count for much, but I can’t be the only one who feels that someone as egotistical and selfish as Duggar — who has brought 16 children into this chaotic and unpredictable world, a world where children are suffering due to the lack of food, a home and family — belongs in the Senate.

If the Duggars “love children,” and “consider each a blessing from the Lord,” as the article stated, and they have the resources for a large family, why don’t they adopt some children who face existence in this world without the basics all children need?

Or, does Duggar believe only his seed and his wife’s womb are adequate to bring new life into the world?
Marilyn Dalrymple
Lancaster, Calif.

Storm terms
I have noted some concern regarding the use of “refugee” vs. “evacuee.” When Katrina was on its way, our daughter called from her home in Kenner, La., to say she was coming home. Several weeks later, her company temporarily relocated her to Houston. Along came Rita. Our phone rang...

We now refer to her as our re-vacuee.
Mary Waters
Little Rock

As a 35-year dweller in Little Rock, I read with growing apprehension the letter of Andy Branton a couple of weeks ago. I was not aware that developers were about to subdivide War Memorial Park (the golf course). I admit to a sense of unease about Little Rock and its slow-motion decline as one strip development replaces another about every 25 years.

I was a victim of this, as I sold a home near UALR for about half of what it should have been worth because the city services have abandoned that area and the merchants quickly followed suit.

The Times, as Mr. Branton also pointed out, skillfully avoids taking issue with this planned decrepitude and decay. The editorialists prefer to lambaste Iraq policies or assail an Ohio senator for his aide’s indiscretions. That’s easier than an honest and probing examination of Little Rock.

Max Brantley only frightened me more by commenting favorably about the amount of public and private money spent to keep Chattanooga vibrant. I plan to retire in Chattanooga for that very reason and I didn’t want it to become too popular.

I do admire Alan Leveritt for his persistence in finding a niche in Arkansas publishing, but I fear it has been at the expense of his most loyal constituency. Let’s see an article on the Latin rebirth of Southwest Little Rock. The failure of UALR to revitalize its environs into a model area for an urban university and why it has failed. What is the obsession with Fayetteville-Springdale-Bentonville when you are really a Central Arkansas publication? We used to call it Afghanistanism, but I guess that wouldn’t be appropriate nowadays.
Richard Merritt
Little Rock

Wusses and pussycats
You seldom let an issue go by without bruiting about gratuitously that abusing animals is standard operating procedure, which helps further inculcate that dastardly idea in the public mind. Much as all people of good will and good sense will nevertheless not be swayed, it’s scarcely cute of you.

Item: A cafe update in your Oct. 6 issue referred to “glasses of sweet tea you could drown a cat in.”

None of you need wonder why I’m putting you all down as a bunch of wusses. And you, Mr. Publisher, as head wuss.
Bill Steinkamp



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