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Why oppose veterans?
I rarely find my politics aligned with his on national matters, but I'm finding myself following Max Brantley's columns much more closely when it comes to local matters. I recently decided to begin writing various organizations and representatives both local and federal in order to determine why the veteran center is opposed. As a veteran and a proud Little Rock native/resident, I cannot fathom why this center is meeting resistance beyond the residents of the neighborhood. I am currently working overseas and have kept up with this issue through your publication since there have been few articles from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and even then it was beyond the pay wall. I appreciate your future coverage of this matter and any updates, and hopefully I'll receive more than a form letter back from the mayor and Congressman Griffin.
Wants in on bet
This morning I was catching up on my reading while getting old newspapers ready for recycling, and I came across Judge Billy Roy Wilson's letter in the Jan. 18 issue about the Democrat-Gazette's repeated misstatement that in 1957 Judge Ronald Davies ordered Gov. Faubus to remove the National Guard from Central High. Faubus removed the troops, leaving the students unprotected, but as Judge Wilson correctly states, Judge Davies did not order the troops removed but simply and correctly ordered Faubus to quit using the troops to block the entrance of the black students.
During the commemoration of the events of 1957 and after, I became so frustrated with that repeated inaccuracy that I obtained a copy of the order — not a transcription of the order but the order itself. I wrote a letter to the editor of the Democrat-Gazette in which I pointed out the inaccuracy. A woman on the op-ed staff was very helpful in getting the letter published. In fact, she offered suggestions for me to make some minor changes in the letter to make what I said unexceptionable.
I'm not offering to eat any hay — alfalfa or any other type — but I will take a drink of the Scotch (it sounds like good stuff) if the judge collects on his proposed bet.
Patrick J. Goss
Applauds Internet program
After serving for almost 24 years as a member of the board of directors of the Little Rock School District, I recently retired. During those years, I witnessed and supported many changes that took place in our schools. Many of them were progressive changes that had a positive impact on our students.
I read your column regarding Comcast's Internet Essentials (Media, Feb. 1), a program to provide Internet accessibility to many families (especially children from low-income families) in our community who could benefit from the service. Prior to this program, the Little Rock School District developed a program called "Computers for Kids." Computers are available to students who attend our schools and their families. These computers are collected from schools that were getting replacements and from other sources in our community. The businesses and citizens in the community paid a small price for the computers for the students. Additionally, the students in the Computer Repair and Maintenance Class at Metropolitan Vocational and Technical School (in the Little Rock School District) repaired the computers before students received them.
However, the students did not have access to the Internet for research and other academic activities. Parents did not have access to the Internet to go on Edline to maintain consistent communication with their students' teachers. Using Edline, they can review their children's records to determine their grades, assignments they did not submit, their performance on tests, their class attendance and behavior, and any other questions or concerns they may have. They can also make appointments for parent-teacher conferences.
Therefore, when I heard about the Internet Essentials Program sponsored by Comcast, I was excited because it solved a problem the school district was unable to address. I was attending a CUBE (Council of Urban Boards of Education) when I first learned of its sponsorship. When I arrived back home, I checked it out. It is working well in our school district because we give the students the computers, and the parents only have to pay $9.99 per month for the Internet service. There is an effort to make it more public, but many families in our district are aware of the service. I feel it is a small investment for parents to receive such a beneficial service.
I plan to appear before the board during citizens' comments and request that our school district make sure parents are informed about Internet Essentials. It is certainly an answer to the problem.
Katherine Phillips Mitchell
From the web
In response to the Feb. 1 article "The history of the sit-in movement in Little Rock":
Takes me back. From 1957 to 1961 my husband ran a five and dime in Poplar Bluff. It was the farthest South we had ever been, and on our initial visit with the pastor, Bill asked about racial relations. "It's nothing," Monsignor said. "They live on their side of town, we live on ours." Bill did not know how to respond and did not. Eventually sit-ins came. The newspaper called the office and asked if Newberry's would serve "negros." The head cashier answered, "No." The next day's headline shouted, "Woolworth's will. Newberry's won't."
Later, half the stools at the counter were filled by blacks. They were served. But the staff was not as accepting as the manager. They filed the unwashed dishes in the trash.
For us it was a major embarrassment, and a knock on Bill's management skills that cost us personally — his contract was based on profits. We were in our mid-20s and had four kids going on five. Our gross income was $6,000 a year.
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