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Letters April 28 

Read it In your April 21 issue, your description of Act 1176 of the 2005 legislative session, sponsored by Sen. Tim Wooldridge and myself, was inaccurate and misleading. Act 1176 allows doctors and nurses to contact the state Department of Human Services when they discover that a newborn infant is born with a medical condition caused by the mother’s illegal drug use or is born addicted to illegal drugs. This legislation also allows DHS to provide court-ordered services to mother, father, and child, including counseling services. You were mistaken when you wrote that Act 1176 “allows the state to pursue criminal proceedings against mothers whose babies are born with illegal drugs in their system [sic].” Act 1176 does not provide for criminal proceedings against mothers or anyone else. Perhaps before you comment on legislation you should read it first. State Rep. Robert Thompson Paragould Act 1176 actually says reports on drug- using mothers should be made to “the Arkansas State Police Child Abuse Hotline,” which “is a 24-hour toll-free service that triggers the initiation of an investigation of child maltreatment.” Thompson acknowledges this, but says it prompts a civil, not criminal, investigation. — Editor Farm Bureau and farmers I read with interest Robert McCord’s column in the April 7 Arkansas Times regarding Farm Bureau’s position on the proposed state Department of Agriculture. While I appreciate his deep understanding of the state’s political environment, I respectfully suggest that he is completely wrong in his assertion that Arkansas Farm Bureau is more interested in “selling insurance than selling crops.” Farm Bureau’s position in opposition to a Department of Agriculture was defined by its membership through a grassroots process that begins in each of the county Farm Bureaus before moving on for discussion, debate and ratification at the annual convention. We staunchly defend these policies because we know how they reflect the wishes of our members. Arkansas Farm Bureau was founded to provide a collective voice for agriculture and rural Arkansas and that ideal remains firmly in place today... I find it interesting that McCord uses the U.S.’s policy on trade with Cuba as an example where a Department of Agriculture would have proven helpful to Arkansas’s farmers. Arkansas Farm Bureau led a group to Cuba in 2000 that included U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln and U.S. Rep. Marion Berry. The trip was designed expressly to discuss trade opportunities involving Arkansas agricultural products. I am sure this trip was not mentioned to McCord by those who mistakenly led him to believe that Arkansas Farm Bureau does not have agriculture as its prime objective... Stanley E. Reed President, Arkansas Farm Bureau Suggestion I read with amusement your April 14 issue. It seems that each of your columnists, including Brantley, Brummett, Dumas and McCord, was again disappointed by the state legislature. I do not vote party lines. I voted for Mr. Huckabee and Mr. Rockefeller in the last election. I also voted for Mr. Beebe and Ms. Lincoln. So I come from a central point of view. If each of these gentlemen is disappointed, perhaps they should look at their party. Democrats control both houses. In fact, they have every year of my life. And, guess what, we are still 49th in nearly everything. Personally, I do not think a General Assembly of Republicans would do much better. A consensus is what is needed and you cannot get that when one or the other is in total control. Woody Jackson Little Rock Work together Pope John Paul II went to heaven and left us a legacy of peace, love and friendship. The whole world turned to prayer and peace to honor the pope. Pope John Paul II taught this message to everyone regardless of race, creed or religion — he loved mankind. Why can’t we work together and teach the world peace, love, compassion and freedom for today, tomorrow and eons to come? Santo D. Formica Sherwood Proud liberal I completely agree with Warwick Sabin’s April 14 column “How you say it.” My question is why will the national party not listen to us voters and local leaders? We rank-and-file Democrats have tried through the last two elections to tell the national party and candidates that we want to hear our candidates stand up for the principles that the Democratic Party has stood for over the years. I am waiting to hear just one candidate from the Democratic Party stand up and say, “I am a liberal and proud of it!” The Democratic leadership is running with its tail between its legs. They are convinced that everyone wants conservative, narrow-minded representatives. The candidates and party are not giving voters a clear choice between them and the Republicans. Dolores J. Adams Gentry Wounded Each year that I pay my income taxes, the never-healing wound of inequality is gouged open. As my tax check hits the mail box I am reminded of how I and other lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Arkansans and Americans are forced to support prejudice with our tax dollars while still not receiving the same rights as our fellow countrymen. Forcing the LGBT community to pay the same taxes without the same rights as their fellow citizens is nothing less than discrimination and hypocrisy of the very worst kind by the state of Arkansas and the United States! Despite paying the same taxes, LGBT community members in Arkansas and in the majority of the rest of the country can lose their jobs, housing, custody of their children and be refused public accommodations based solely on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Same-sex couples are currently denied 1,348 rights under federal law based on marital status. America often forcibly throws its version of democracy at other countries that haven’t asked for it, while holding fast to the baggage of bigotry in how it treats its LGBT citizens. How can this administration continue to send Americans to die on foreign soil for a belief system that is not employed right here in our own country? Randi M. Romo Executive Director Center for Artistic Revolution North Little Rock Hospital privileges It was revealed recently that Baptist Health has now denied hospital staff privileges to Dr. Janet Cathey, an oby/gyn who has a separate practice from her husband, Dr. Steven Cathey, a neurosurgeon, for his purchase into the new hospital to open in Maumelle. She says that nearly all of her patients are admitted to Baptist Medical Center. Although they are married to each other, they have separate practices, not even in the same building. It is a well known fact that Baptist had already denied staff privileges to all of the other physicians who bought into the new hospital. She has now joined the already ongoing class action suit against BMC. Here is a case where a doctor’s spouse is being punished for something her spouse had done. It just seems to me to be a gross injustice and BMC needs to have this issue shoved right back in its face. James W. Lane Sherwood German cooking Read your article on the German food at the Brau Haus in Hot Springs. As a former Arkie and now resident of Wiesbaden, Germany, let me tell you about the real thing. Of course being married to a German lady also helps, but the three restaurants here in the little village I live in would put that place to shame. Here, you start with a small salad that comes prepared by the staff with whatever dressing is available, usually a yogurt-based mix, that will have lettuce, carrot, cabbage, onion, etc., all tastefully arranged to look good as well as taste good. Then a schnitzel, swine of course — the Germans do know pig — breaded and fried, accompanied by the best home fries you’ve ever tasted and, depending on your choice, mushrooms in a brown sauce ladled partially on the side. Finally, a couple of huge Pilsner or dark beers to wash it all down with. Forget the dessert. Walk home and admire all the svelte persons hiking, running, biking, or just taking the air. You’ll also find few heart attacks and cholesterol problems, and this in a society of heavy smokers (well it all can’t be good), so eat your heart out. Larry Rogers Wiesbaden, Germany Brains Has anyone ever just come out and suggested the obvious: that IF college faculties HAVE experienced “a great shift to the left over the past 20 years,” it MAY be because THEY ARE SMARTER THAN THE AVERAGE BEAR? Just wondering up here in the woods, where no one has ever been nominated for the Academic All-Star Team or Governor’s School??? Socialism, you know… A brain being an awful thing to waste. Larry Williams Morganton
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