Riverdale traffic 

One possibility that ought to be considered to help alleviate the pending traffic problems of an expanding Alltel corporation is a ground rail system using the existing railroad that runs along the river past Murray Park and into the Riverdale area. Think of all the east-west traffic that could be accommodated by such a system. Perhaps even those traveling into the downtown area could somehow be accommodated by connecting the existing railroad track that currently runs into Union Station with one that runs a little further east, maybe as far east as the new Heifer headquarters or even the Little Rock Airport. And friendly to the recreational corridor along the river and past Murray Park, such a line would well serve those wanting to take advantage of the area.

If such drastic measures as bulldozing through Hillcrest and Allsopp Park are already being talked about, surely something as simple as utilizing an existing railroad corridor to move people instead of empty box cars would be seriously considered as well.
Phil Hooper
Little Rock

Lost Cherokee
I am writing this to help clear up a few things about having a state recognized tribe, The Lost Cherokee of Arkansas.

The Lost Cherokee of Arkansas was established to form a congregation of descendants from the pre-Trail of Tears Cherokees. Our ancestors settled in Arkansas and Missouri in the early 1700s. In the late 1820s they were forced to vacate the Arkansas reservation by the U.S. government and move to Indian Territory (later Oklahoma). Around 1828, the tribe split, with only about 8,000 of the 50,000 Cherokees from Arkansas moving to Indian Territory, and over the years that followed after the removal many moved back into Arkansas. The Cherokees that defied the treaty (1828) and stayed on the old reservation lands (located between the Arkansas and White Rivers) have lobbied the government since the early 1900s to be recognized as a Cherokee tribe.

It has been misunderstood by many that if the state recognized a tribe this would open the door for gaming and tobacco shops. This is far from the truth. Only a federally recognized tribe with restricted tribal land status from the U.S. government can do this, and a compact with the state in which the tribe lives has to be made. We are not federally recognized and we have no restricted tribal land status nor do we have a compact with the state.

We are not about gambling or smoke shops, we are about helping all the people of Arkansas. As a state recognized tribe we would be able to help in education, health, economic development, culture and language, through federal funds that will not come to the state except through a tribe.
Dub Maxwell, headman

Wrong on Alito
While Bob McCord’s frustrations with the Democratic opposition to Samuel Alito’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court is understandable, his analysis of the situation is inexcusable. He points out that Democrats should be focusing on any number of other important issues that face the nation. Could the Republicans get at least one thing right, perhaps Democrats wouldn’t have to spread themselves so thin.

McCord is flat out wrong that Alito is a fine candidate for the Supreme Court, though. If Alito were so moderate, this administration would not have nominated him. It would too inflame their base of supporters if Alito actually intended to protect homosexuals and not overturn Roe v. Wade. Fact is, Alito is unexceptional and indistinguishable from any other conservative judge in a lot of ways. Why has he been nominated? His views on executive power. Alito believes strongly that the president has a constitutional right to be king during a time of war.

Of course, McCord throws in at the end of his column that he doesn’t care if the president spies on people without easily obtainable and legal warrants because 9/11 happened. No wonder he also has no problem with Alito and his belief in unrestrained executive power. Those of us who still hold the Constitution dear will continue to fight the Republicans on all fronts, especially one so important as this Supreme Court nomination, which has ties to the president’s grab at unlimited and unchecked power.
Evan Rogers
Little Rock

Where’s the USA?
I was watching the G8 Summit on Africa and pondering how we, as one of the most influential and wealthy nations, will attempt to help tackle the humanitarian crisis that exists on that ever-exploited continent. Or will we bother? Tony Blair has donated in the range of $85 million to help with the malaria epidemic, as has Bill Gates. Former President Clinton is steadfast in his commitment to alleviating the AIDS pandemic. Where is the USA?

We’re in Iraq helping free people who want nothing more than for us to leave them alone — to the tune of around $200 billion before it is all said and done. We are killing upwards of 100,000 Iraqi civilians. We were “reactive” to the terrorist threat. For all we know, the next great killer resides somewhere in Africa, in the form of disease. Let us be “proactive” towards this threat.
Brooks Browning
Little Rock



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