Losing Fayetteville 

Many thanks to Doug Smith for getting the word out about what’s happening to Fayetteville. Anyone with fond memories of seeing Old Main as you approach the town and the U of A needs to come back soon before you have to drive to campus, park (HA!), walk up to the building and look up to see it.

Unless enough Arkies protest such an assault, what was a great place to visit and live will be swallowed up in big buildings destroying the view of the very thing that has made this place successful. These tall buildings will also dwarf the friendly feel of Dickson Street.

Because Northwest Arkansas is growing at a horrific pace, even airspace is valuable and the area of town in front of the campus is filling up and up. Please help those of us here who are struggling to get developers to understand that they are killing the goose that is laying their golden eggs. Make noise (letters to state and hometown papers as well as calls to politicians, etc.) about this rapidly charging bull-headed change coming to one of Arkansas’s favorite towns.

Like saving Old Main from destruction almost two decades ago, the state needs to know what is happening here and help us save it again ... for everyone in the state. Thank you,
Frances Deane Alexander
Via the internet

Solving the organ shortage
RE: “A liver let him live” (April 20).

Greg Gilliland was very lucky to get a liver transplant. Over half of the 91,000 Americans on the national waiting list will die before they get a transplant. Most of these deaths are needless. Americans donate only about half of the organs that could save lives and relieve suffering. They bury or cremate about 20,000 transplantable organs every year. Over 6,000 of their neighbors die every year as a result.

There is a simple solution to the organ shortage — give organs first to people who have agreed to donate their own organs when they die.

Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. About 60 percent of the organs transplanted in the United States go to people who haven’t agreed to donate their own organs when they die.

Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a non-profit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. They do this through a form of directed donation that is legal in all 50 states and under federal law. Anyone can join for free at www.lifesharers.org or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88. LifeSharers has 4,190 members, including 20 members in Arkansas. Over 400 of our members are minor children enrolled by their parents.
David J. Undis
Executive Director
Nashville, Tenn.

Remembering Jim Pledger
We want to commend John Brummett for his wonderful article in the April 6 Times regarding Jim Pledger. The article aptly captured the true essence of Jim and was a fine tribute to a fine man. We had known Jim all of his life and he was always the same, quietly in the background but confident, dependable and a true friend. Jim was so kind and utterly pleasant you instinctively felt good in his presence. He was a Southern gentleman and always will be missed.
Milas and Shirley Hale

All I have to say to Mr. Plotkin’s letter March 30, “Dream on, Hillary,” is this: Do the math. Hillary has 44 percent negative ratings. That means she has 56 percent not negative, positive or no opinion.

I heard today that Condi Rice says thousands of tactical mistakes were made in Iraq. Republican consultant Rich Lowery says the Bush people are brain dead and consultant Ed Rollins says they haven’t done anything right and can’t get along with Congress.

The vicious snake Karl Rove is a big part of Bush’s problems. In his earlier days, Rove bugged his own office and called gullible Texas reporters in and showed them the bug, implying that his candidate’s opponents did it. His candidate won. He slimed Senators McCain, Cleland and Kerry in campaigns.

If it’s true that you reap what you sow, the Bush people are learning that lesson.
Steve Wheeler
North Little Rock

A lottery
To legalize a lottery here in Arkansas in order to put more money into education is little more than spinning one’s wheels in the mud. We would be going nowhere fast.
Sarah E. Lodge
Little Rock

Tax policy
Ernest Dumas is confusing tax fairness with cutting taxes to stimulate the economy. They are essentially two separate issues. Tax fairness is in the mind of the beholder, whereas tax cuts to stimulate the economy is a science and can be measured. The demand side and supply tax cuts passed in the Reagan era gave us an extended, low inflation recovery and contributed to a strong economy in the 1990s. The 2001 lowering of capital gains and dividend taxes and marginal tax rates on all incomes has had a similar effect and reduced the unemployment rate below 5 percent.

Dumas is right, however, to lament the federal budget deficit. Lowering taxes increases revenue but not enough to close the gap and Congress has refused to reduce spending once the economy has recovered. Overspending is the problem but we would have to wait too long for a recovery to begin if we relied solely on middle class tax cuts or government spending. America’s tremendous national debt will eventually lead to another depression but blaming any one person for the $9 trillion debt is more politics than truth.

The flat tax offers a superb solution. A 15 percent to 17 percent tax on all income, capital gains and dividends with a standard deduction to exclude most working people from taxation would raise enough revenue to close the deficit and stimulate the economy as well. The same tax rate for all incomes may not seem fair to some beholders but corporations and top wage earners would still be paying the highest taxes. The flat tax may not be a panacea for all that ails the U.S. but it will address the greatest economic problem we have: How to balance the budget and grow the economy at the same time.
Thomas Pope
Little Rock


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