Tomato madness 

Re The Observer July 5: I, too, attended the recent Pink Tomato Festival that was held last month (actually took part in the ’mater eatin’ contest, too), but if I remember correctly (and if my mind is not completely clouded over just yet), it was held in the BRADLEY County community of Warren, not Monticello (Drew County).

I know they raise great tomatoes in Drew County, too, as they do all over Southeast Arkansas (actually, the best as far as I’m concerned come out of Ashley County), but the world famous Arkansas Pink Tomato Festival is held in Warren (Bradley County), Ark. It has been held there since it’s inception 51 years ago and it still goes on today. Sure hope that you weren’t “high” on all those wonderful tomatoes when you wrote that you attended the Pink Tomato Festival in Monticello.

Jimmy Jeffress

Arkansas State Senator

Ashley, Bradley, Chicot, Drew, Desha Counties

(The Observer pleads tomato intoxication. He knows full well that the Pink Tomato Festival is the pride of Warren. But ... He’d been gorging on a box of Bradley County pinks, a fruit that needs only the addition of salt to achieve Platonic status. The box was delivered by a friend from Monticello and that act of kindness imprinted on The Observer’s aging brain.)

Walking kudzu?

I just finished reading Jacqueline Froelich’s article about the elk herd in north Arkansas. I come away with the feeling that the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission thinks their elk are more important than people’s livelihood. Since it was the eastern elk that was native to the state and not the Rocky Mountain elk, doesn’t that make the imported elk an invasive species? Don’t we have laws about that? Is AGFC using the elk to destroy the property value of adjacent land so they can buy it up at fire-sale prices? The elk are beautiful animals for sure. But now they look like kudzu with antlers.

Gary Bortz

Little Rock

The skateboard incident

Shame shame shame. Thank goodness those children had video cameras on them. The treatment of the children skateboarding in downtown Hot Springs has forever left a black mark on the Spa City and the police department. The police department needs to issue a formal apology to those poor children who were brutalized at the hands of an officer whose creed is to protect, defend and serve.

Why wasn’t a warning issued to them instead of terrorizing them? Why wasn’t a ticket issued instead? Why didn’t the officer phone their parents? Some of them were, after all, MINORS. What in God’s name is wrong with people?

Every charge against those children needs to be dropped immediately, the police officer in question should be relieved of his duties without pay and should be sent for mental evaluation. The city needs to pay for trauma counseling for those kids and offer them compensation for punitive damages. I strongly urge the mayor and the police chief to do everything in their power to see to it those kids are cleared of wrongdoing and try to right this terrible wrong.

The city should change their ordinance so that the children and future leaders of Hot Springs have a safe place to skate and play and build those children a skate park while they are at it.



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