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Review covered

In your March 18 edition, your writer, John Tarpley, wrote a nice article about the Valley of the Vapors Music Festival held last week here in Hot Springs. We look forward to this event and thank Bill Solledor and Shea Childs for the wonderful offerings of original music from around the world that the festival brings.

I have to wonder why Tarpley felt he must begin his article by describing the Hot Springs music scene as “hackneyed musical offerings of cover bands and worn out country singers.” Why must he denigrate to elevate? I assume that by “worn out country singers” he means Willie Nelson, who recently appeared at the arena to a packed crowd. By “local cover bands” he means me.

I have made a living performing music in Hot Springs for almost 30 years. I play cover music because that's what the buyers want. People in bars and restaurants want to hear music that they know. Original music won't pay the bills in Hot Springs. Sorry, John, but that's the fact. Hot Springs musicians write some fantastic original music. Dean Agus, Dayton Waters, Larry Womack, Clay Franklin, Mike Stanley, David Ball, Lee Langdon, Bobby Rogers, Tommy Rock, me... we all write. We all try to slip in an original song or two every time we play. But it won't pay the bills. So we play cover music in bars. Kind of like you can't sell a novel that people will buy so you write filler for a weekly rag that pretends to be a newspaper. (See how that feels, John?)

On behalf of Hot Springs hackneyed cover bands and Willie Nelson, I'd like to invite John to kiss our collective ass.

Mike Tripp
Crystal Springs


Thanks

I wish to thank President Obama and the Democrats for passing the health care bill. I don't know who the pollsters contact, but we silent majority know we have what we voted for. He is doing right by us in Washington.

Walt Brown
Cherokee Village


Ross: pro and con

You remarked on-line that U.S. Rep. Mike Ross will ignore our opinions in his health legislation vote. I am losing respect for your publication. I support fair and impartial reporting from the press not irresponsible and immature name calling.

Negative campaigning on the part of candidates is bad enough, but when it comes from the press it is completely out of line.
Congressman Ross issued a statement that said he was voting against the bill as a result of the feedback he received from his constituents on a recent town hall tour. The people of the 4th District do not want this bill and Congressman Ross is doing the right thing — voting for the wishes of the people who sent him to Washington. Isn't that why we send our congressman to Washington? The Arkansas Times should respect any politician who stands for the wishes of the people, even if they are not your wishes.

Craig Griffin
El Dorado


In a contradiction for the ages, Congressman Mike Ross may very well go down as being one of the worst elected officials in Arkansas history, but one of the best politicians we've ever produced, right up there with Clinton and Huckabee.

Despite rubber stamping everything the Obama and Bush administrations ever wanted, Ross drew his “line in the sand” last Sunday with his vote on health care reform, loudly announcing in local papers that it was what his constituents wanted and that he “doesn't work for Nancy Pelosi.”

How convenient for Mike to finally listen to his constituents on the eve of an election year in which the vast majority of incumbents look to be ousted.

Ross promised a “Pay as we go” resolution a year ago, a pledge he's continually ignored and broken. The final straw(s) for this voter were his votes to extend unemployment benefits again and to allow the debt ceiling to be raised.
He's a phony career politician whose time has come to be voted out of office.

Roy Fuchs
Glenwood



Quality control

Is it just me, or has anyone else run into quality problems with almost everything made in China? The straw that broke the camel's back happened this past week, when my Mr. Coffee died. He was a good guy and had been on my kitchen counter for several years.

I was gifted with a new Rival coffee maker, which was proudly labeled Made in China. Isn't everything? The Sunbeam company, of which Rival is a part, made me hope. I've had a Sunbeam percolator in use for 25 or 30 years. It came to my rescue when I could not remove the part that holds the basket for the coffee filter in my new coffee maker. I had to call in my son to get the thing out. The people who made the pot did not deburr the part that slides out. Two burrs were holding it in place. I worked in a plastics factory back in the olden days. We inspected and deburred parts or it was rejected.

I have also gotten bitten on an expensive heater, a phone and a clock. The list goes on. I may have to do without a lot of things, but if it says made in China, I won't order it.

Peggy Wolfe
Heber Springs

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