RV park good idea 

RV park good idea

What a great idea. North Little Rock Mayor Pat Hays is spot on with his plans for the riverfront RV park. I own an RV and plan to park there from time to time so my family can enjoy the riverfront area in both cities. With the location so near the interstates, visitors will stream in daily. A billboard advertising the park would be a good idea. RVers are an easy-going group of folks who will enjoy taking a day or two off the road to spend money in both cities. Mayor Hays is making a good call here.

Eric Herget

Little Rock

To end the war

If the Democrats would refuse to not borrow money for the war and demand that it come from the existing Pentagon budget or a tax surcharge on salaries above $200,000 (so Congress' salary is free!) and business incomes above a threshold but NOT from existing social programs, it would stop the war in six months. It is easy to back a war if you aren't having to explain to your constituents why they are having to pay for it.

Richard Boosey

Mount Vernon

Huck's gaffe

I find it inexcusable that Mike Huckabee could/would even make an off-handed comment like the one he made regarding a gun being aimed at Senator Obama. What has happened to the GOP? Is the party falling apart? Is the party so desperate that astute men like Mr. Huckabee relinquish their own values in an attempt to save the party? Shame on you! Shame on us! McCain just lost my vote! And so did the party. I am truly disgusted!

Michael Lightbourne

Portland, Ore.

Time to buy

Don't kid yourself. Now is the best time to buy a home in Arkansas. If you listen to the national media, you'd think there's no mortgage money to lend, foreclosure rates are skyrocketing and home values are in a free-fall with no bottom in sight. That's highly misleading. Sure, certain pockets of the country underwent significant corrections like Las Vegas and Miami that were grossly overbuilt. Other areas, like Detroit, never recovered from their last recession only to see massive job cuts and migration from the state. But thankfully, Arkansas has been relatively insulated.

Nationally, 32 percent of all single-family homes are fully owned and free of debt. That's $11 trillion in equity. Arkansans post even more impressive numbers with 37 percent of us owning our homes free and clear. Nationally, 9 percent financed their homes with a sub-prime loan, but sadly comprise 54 percent of foreclosures. Compare this to only 5 percent of Arkansans with sub-primes that comprise 37 percent of state foreclosures and you'll see, as a whole, our people's pragmatism pays off.

What about home value? The year-to-date average home price in Pulaski County was up almost 2 percent compared to the same period last year. And Saline posted nearly a 7 percent increase. That's a far cry from the upside-down mortgages you hear about in national news. Even today, housing still remains the safest and most reliable way to build wealth.

With interest rates low and a wider section of homes on the market, you are missing the best time to buy a home.

Bob Porto

Little Rock

Porto is in the homebuilding business.

Shameful period

Mara Leveritt's Aug. 16 article (“Bloody Awful”) on the Arkansas prison blood scandal was well-written and insightful. As someone who has investigated this subject for several years, I would nevertheless like to point out some important facts not covered.

The prison plasma program did not end in 1991 as the article states. Alpha Therapeutics ended its contract with Pine Bluff Biologics in 1990 and another company, PFE Inc. out of California, discontinued its contract with PBBP the following year, but CTM Industries out of New York took over the plasma harvesting operation at the Arkansas Department of Correction in 1991 for the next three years until the doors shut for good in the spring of 1994.

Bobby Roberts asserts in the article that prison plasma was as safe as plasma from the outside world. It's an absurd notion. Several studies, prior to Roberts' placement on the board, demonstrated that blood from prisoners was not safe. As early as the 1960s the CDC recognized that prisoners were a “high-risk group of plasma donors” for spreading hepatitis and other diseases.

No matter how Roberts would like to spin it, the Arkansas Department of Correction's plasma program with all its known problems, should never have been allowed to reopen after the severe FDA violations, failed international recalls of tainted blood, and the revocation of the center's license. Dying victims say that the Department of Correction, the former members of the Board of Correction and ex-Gov. Bill Clinton all have blood on their hands.

Kelly Duda

Director of Factor 8: The Arkansas Prison Blood Scandal

Little Rock





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