For Beebe 

Normally I take political ads with a grain of salt. However, one recent ad labeling Mike Beebe as “outrageously liberal” is outrageously false. I learned later that this and other false and misleading ads were paid for by the Coalition for Arkansas’ Future, a right-wing group funded by the Republican Party.

For 20 years, Beebe represented one of the most genuinely conservative districts in the Arkansas Senate. His home district includes Searcy in White County as well as famously conservative Harding University. No outrageous liberals there. In none of his five races for the Senate or his 2002 race for attorney general did Beebe have a single opponent — liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican. That speaks extremely well of his acceptance by the voters of Arkansas. This is hardly the political resume of an outrageous liberal.

The truth is that Mike Beebe is a progressive/populist Democrat in Arkansas’s best political tradition, as well as being a solid fiscal conservative. Beebe will fight for the little guy, but won’t tax and spend us into the poorhouse. Beebe has the temperament, qualifications and experience to be an extremely effective and successful governor for all Arkansans.

On the other hand, Asa Hutchinson offers instead his resume as a former congressman, high-ranking federal bureaucrat and Washington insider and lobbyist. In effect, Asa is saying, “I’m from the federal government and I’m here to help you.” Given the current sad and sorry state of affairs in Congress and the federal government, the choice between Beebe and Hutchinson should be obvious and very easy for Arkansas voters.

Mike Beebe has spent his professional and political career working hard for and serving the people of Arkansas. He is the most qualified candidate for governor in my lifetime.

Louis “Bucky” Jones Jr.

River Market drinking
In April of 2005, I wrote a letter you kindly published in the Times regarding the proposed entertainment district bill (Senate Bill 1174) that would allow entertainment districts in the state, thereby allowing public drinking/open containers in designated areas. As the owner of one of the only remaining retail businesses in the River Market District, I had enormous concerns about the bill’s passage and its potential affect on the area, should city leaders have allowed the River Market to become such a district.

As you know, the bill passed and was vetoed by the governor. The Senate then voted to override his veto, but the House did not vote on the override. Yesterday there was a meeting of the River Market District Neighborhood Association. While I was not able to attend the meeting, I was later given notes or “talking points” outlining reasons for bringing this idea to the legislature again.

I am deeply saddened to know that anyone would allow such a law and potentially devastate an area that residents, business leaders, city leaders, and a host of others have worked so hard to rehabilitate over the last 10 years. In the talking points presented at the meeting, it was mentioned that “public safety would not be compromised” and this bill “is important to Arkansas tourism and convention business.” For those believing this nonsense, I would invite them to spend a few days with me at my gallery, dealing with the problems that exist here. I can’t think of any other high-profile business areas in Little Rock where retailers must have police cell numbers on speed dial to curb potential problems before they can happen. Today, without the bill, beer cans, bottles, and trash are already a constant problem, and people getting sick outside storefronts is already quite common. Most recently, my neighbors at Ten Thousand Villages opened their doors on a Sunday afternoon to the remains of a fight that had taken place outside their door the night before. Employees spent business time cleaning up blood and trash from their doors, windows, and entryway, so they could open for business. These problems never existed when the area was on the rise to be a retail district. Is this really what we want people to see when they come to Little Rock for the first time? The people attracted to Little Rock are not coming here to visit another Beale Street or Bourbon Street. These folks are scholars, business leaders, presidential historians, and students. What sense does it make to turn the River Market into an open container entertainment district? Absolutely none.

As for the quote taken from the talking points saying the bill is important to Arkansas tourism and convention business, I am appalled to think that after living in Washington, D.C., for 10 years and moving back to Little Rock and watching the area blossom into a mecca that could one day rival Atlanta after its explosion in redevelopment following Jimmy Carter’s presidency, city leaders believe that public alcohol consumption is needed to lure people to our beautiful state. What about using the things that we’ve invested our hearts and souls into for the last 10 years — the Clinton Presidential Library, Heifer International, the River Market/Farmer’s Market, the Central Arkansas Library System, Historic Arkansas Museum, and 2nd Friday Art Night, a venue my gallery proudly participates in, among others. Instead of bringing people to the River Market with the enticement of a beer so they can sit in the middle of the street and drink, why not attract them here with our wonderful galleries and cultural opportunities that I and many others have worked tirelessly to provide for the residents and visitors to Little Rock?

Daily, I hear the complaints from visitors to Little Rock who are not privy to the public relations campaigns that paint a rosy picture of the River Market. They want to know where they can shop, where they can see more art galleries and museums, and where they can go to learn more about our state and its people. They didn’t come here to drink, they came here to experience the great things our city and state have to offer. I perceive the local support for the entertainment district bill as a lack of appropriate vision for the River Market District. For visitors coming here to see our city, the River Market is, realistically, the snapshot image they will see of Little Rock. To take that small segment and turn it into a bar-hopping entertainment district is, in my opinion, a travesty for the River Market and for Little Rock. We can be so much better than that, and I believe we owe it to these people to show them the best we have to offer, not the worst. If an entertainment district bill passes, I hope city leaders will take a stand and say no to the River Market becoming such a district.

Debra S. Wood, owner
River Market ArtSpace


From the ArkTimes store


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Readers also liked…

  • Outsourcing state government

    As a citizen, I don't get to choose not to pay taxes because I don't like what the Arkansas state government is spending state and federal money on, such as paying a Chinese company, Sun Paper, approximately $1 billion to build a paper mill in Clark County.
    • Sep 22, 2016
  • Radical Zinn

    Re: the bill to remove Howard Zinn books from school libraries: When "alternative" books are removed from school libraries and class curriculums, it is the beginning of broader suppression of education and civilian participation in politics, not the end of it.
    • Mar 9, 2017

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Latest in Letters

  • Repulsed

    Regardless of the spectrum of your religious beliefs or lack of, does alluding to any religious icon or symbol of any religion [when writing of] the joys of double-finger penetration inspire any of your readers to any form of greatness?
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • The 2018 mayoral race

    • Jul 13, 2017
  • Open letter to AG Leslie Rutledge

    This letter is in response to your decision to join Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and nine other state legal officials in calling for President Trump to cancel the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
    • Jul 6, 2017
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »


2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Ruth Coker Burks, the cemetery angel

    • Go Fund Me Page. https://www.gofundme.com/RuthCokerBurks

    • on July 22, 2017
  • Re: The ballad of Fred and Yoko

    • I grew up in Charleston and attended the College of Charleston, right around the corner…

    • on July 21, 2017
  • Re: A week at Midtown

    • Beautifully & perfectly written. Maggie & Mistown are definitely unique & awesome!!

    • on July 21, 2017

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation