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Pink mania 

A medical professional recently interviewed on a local radio station said that, this year in Arkansas, more men would die of prostate cancer than women of breast cancer. He also noted that nationally breast cancer research receives approximately nine times the funding of prostate cancer. Both realities are startling, and are primary reasons that retirement villages and nursing homes are so overwhelmingly populated by women. Simple cause and effect. The men died long ago.

I'm not trying to make light of the serious nature of breast cancer. My family has been touched by it just as yours has. Yet, as we are now in the midst of the "pink mania" surrounding the Race for the Cure, our yearly celebration of female cancer survivors, it's hard to deny that the fight against breast cancer has become fashionable, trendy — popular if you will. It's little more than a Madison Avenue-inspired effort to siphon medical research dollars away from other worthy causes, essentially placing a higher value on women than men.

Real healthcare reform in the U.S. must address the current research-funding imbalance between male- and female-centric cancers. Anything less will continue to fuel the much higher mortality rate among older men, and doom an ever-increasing number of women to spend their sunset years in decent health — and alone.

R. A. Rogers

Conway

School elections

Does anyone really care about local school board elections? Are they worth the cost, financially and time wise?

You won't think so based on the election results of the Tuesday, Sept. 21, vote in two local board races for the Pulaski County Special School District.

A pitiful 2,330 residents bothered to vote. Out of 30,000 residents in Sherwood, only 1,418 voters made the effort to be involved. Turnout was even worse — 882 — in the board zone that includes parts of Jacksonville and suburban north Pulaski County.

Critics of really long election ballots complain that the average voter doesn't keep up with all the races. And, that's true to a degree. But special interests can dominate special elections. Plus apathy strikes many voters in elections without several contested races.

So what's the solution?

How about the state and nation having set quarterly election dates? Voters would then know when local and regional elections are to be held each quarter of every year.

One, in late July or early August, would be primary or nonpartisan elections for mayor and city council, county quorum courts, local school boards, district judges, city judges, any local issues, and runoffs for any races from the April primary date.

There would be no need for low-turnout runoff elections with quarterly election dates.

Keith Weber

Jacksonville

The Arkansas Music Poll

We at HTS Recordings are inspired by the Arkansas Music Poll results to blow our own horns a bit. The ballots show that every record HTS ever released (except one by an out-of-state act) was in at least one judge's top 10 list. Congratulations Gleaners, Go Fast, ho-hum, Magic Cropdusters, and Mulehead.

As far as I can tell, HTS is the only label that released more than one of the top 10 Arkansas albums (ho-hum's "Sanduleak" and Mulehead's "Gospel Accordion II"). Barry Poynter, our engineer/producer of choice, recorded both of those and was, I believe, the only engineer to have more than one title in the top 10. Congratulations, Barry, and thanks for everything. Speaking of multiple credits, the incomparable Kevin Kerby performed on both "Gospel" and "Sanduleak," and you'll hear Brent LaBeau's great big bass on both "Gospel" and Gunbunnies "Paw Paw Patch," another top 10 pick. Way to go, guys.

Finally, music lovers, please remember Paul Lovett, HTS's founder, whose fingerprints are on three of the top ten albums (the HTS titles and "Paw Paw Patch"). Paul made tremendous contributions to Arkansas music and we miss him every day.

Congratulations to everyone recognized in the Poll, and thanks to the Arkansas Times, John Tarpley, all who pitched in at HTS, and especially all the judges.

Matt Barker

Little Rock

Co-owner, HTS Recordings

First, I love the Arkansas Times Magazine!

Second, just read the list of top 10 all time Arkansas acts and cannot believe Black Oak Arkansas wasn't on the list. Did they get accidentally skipped?

Mark Donaldson

From the Internet

Watch the Chinese

It is high time that we start examining practices that are employed by the Chinese government. On Sept.23, 2009, the United Steelworkers and several paper companies filed an unfair trade case with the Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission alleging that Indonesia and China were subsidizing and selling their paper products at less than fair value in the U.S. Not only is this considered cheating, it is also damaging to the U.S. economy and our jobs. No matter how advanced the technology or how productive our workers are, we cannot compete with imports being sold below the cost of production. Rules against this kind of activity were agreed to and set forth by members of the World Trade Organization and it is vital that our government enforce the rules. I am urging everyone to contact Senator Lincoln and Senator Pryor and to also contact your representative and urge them to do all that they can to support the trade case on coated paper. It was the paper industry this time, but next time it may by yours.

Trey Huffy

Pine Bluff

Problems with Obama

Max Brantley's column about Arkansas trending red was interesting. I didn't vote for Obama for a number of reasons. I didn't like what he was telling me he was going to do. It wasn't a BLACK thing. I've got black friends and have heard other black men that were articulate and educated that I'd have voted for in a heart beat.

Obama can tell you he's Christian but when his actions are the opposite then that is a big red flag.

For example, concerning his birth place: Why on earth wouldn't he come clean about that? By the way, how did he get through college? Who paid for that?

How can someone come from nowhere to the White House in a flash? I'd never heard of the guy before his running. Seems a lot of other people hadn't either. 

Why would he immediately run to Europe and tell the world how terrible America is? Only a traitor would do that. Why would our enemies (Bin Laden and Chavez) congratulate Obama for being elected to the office? It's because he's one of THEM!

He wants to spread the wealth —- just like ACORN, parasites. They want to TAKE and not work.

I was raised one of 7 kids in a 2-bedroom frame house with a tin roof north of Solgohachia. We worked our butts off and only one time in our lives had to take food stamps — because our crops failed. As soon as the next crop came back in we got off of it and were proud to be off it. My dad made $35 a week. I'll never forget that pay stub I found.

So race has nothing to do with this. I'm not a Yellow Dog nor am I a Republican. I'm an independent.

I've voted for Lincoln, Clinton and Beebe. This time Lincoln is gone! So are all the other big liberals.

Gail Carr

Mabelvale

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