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Midtown development 

Midtown development

I have been reading with great interest and dismay the discussion and proposed ideas for the new Park Avenue development on the former site of the University Mall.

I favor a mixed-use development for this property and believe it offers a great opportunity if done with true vision. However, I have problems with the plan as proposed. It is the same old way of doing things — just another sea of asphalt and boxy and probably uninspired buildings.

I can see no sense of place or compelling reason for people to want to live here. The architectural landmark, I speculate, will be nothing more than another clock tower or similar such “icon.” This could be a fun and exciting development, but it appears to me to be rather mediocre.

Wouldn't it be nice to see a little more green and open pedestrian space? The interior parking in the retail corridor could be developed into a people-friendly space instead of more parking. Why not reduce the parking footprint by half or more and create more parking structure and allow for more permeable space? This is needed to reduce storm-water runoff and increased green space will help reduce the heat island effect created by so much paving. Vehicular circulation does not flow well with too many bottlenecks. The primary ingress and egress appear to flow right through the center of the retail corridor. This is not a pedestrian friendly environment. What about bike amenities?

If this is supposed to be an economic stimulus for redevelopment of the midtown area of town I am truly disappointed. If no more thought has gone into the planning solution what can we expect from the development when it is built?

I understand that the mayor supports this “improved version” and foresees a “happy marriage” potentially in the making. Our Planning Commission has already endorsed it to no surprise. However, I believe the plan is still lacking. I would strongly urge the rejection of this proposal and ask the planners and developers “stretch” themselves and create a plan they (the developers) might actually want to live in and be a part of their neighborhoods.

As a community that implies it is interested in becoming a Sustainable City this is a great opportunity to move forward and establish a vision that leads us into the future.

Mark A. Robertson, ASLA

MESA Landscape Architects

Little Rock

Juneteenth

Kudos to these impressive young men, Darrell Scott and Julian Walker, for their refreshingly Afrocentric wisdom! As a veteran radio producer and host and a transplant from Chicago, I have been truly disgusted with Power 92 since 1998.

From the juvenile and annoyingly nasal antics of Broadway Joe, to the incessant gay-bashing of his broadcast peers, to the anti-intellectual irrelevancies of the Power People Poll, to the moronic and mediocre rap music fare, Power 92s format is routinely repulsive.

Power 92s' annual bastardization of Juneteenth is simply in keeping with its overall capitalist drivel.

How wonderful it is to know that I am not alone in my deep disgust!

Alicia Banks

Little Rock

Orval angers

The June 19 edition of “Orval” was deeply offensive and disrespectful to several readers including myself both as an Arkansan and as an African-American. Reading it, I felt both disappointed and surprised that your organization would distribute such a shameful cartoon. I realize that racism still exists on several levels in society, but I feel as though your paper was out of line in entertaining and very much so making light of the very attitude that has for so long been the shame of this nation. 

DeMarquis Loyd

Little Rock

 

This cartoon is the biggest bunch of redneck racist crap I have ever seen. You people should be ashamed. It is 2008 and you hillbillies in Arkansas find this type of crap funny. I cannot believe the Clintons are really from a state like this.

David Easley II

Bedford, Texas

Recycling woes

I agree with James R. Fisher, who described recycling in Little Rock as pathetic. If city officials were truly committed to turning Little Rock green they would reverse their recycling service and the “huge mini dumpster,” as Fisher calls it, would be the recycling container and the bin would be for trash.

Residential recycling is the only recycling service the city of Little Rock provides at this time. Apartment complexes, office buildings, and commercial establishments are not part of the city's recycling program.  The very places where the most people are and where the most recyclable material is generated are not part of the cities recycling program.

The cities current recycling contract expires in May 2010. City officials could expand the cities recycling program to at least include apartment complexes in the next contract — that would be a wee start. 

Jan Baker

Little Rock

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