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Stereotypical junkie 

Stereotypical junkie

Thank you for your story entitled, "Heroin Addict" (July 4). I really appreciated the way it avoided negative stereotypes and presented such a factual picture of addicts and addiction. Oh, it was wonderful. The photo was a great start. A guy with three or four days of stubble, dressed in black, kicked back like he's just done a big shot, holding a syringe with a needle so big I wouldn't use it on my dog. Yeah, that photo is representative of all addicts. I mean, for 22 years I wore the same black clothes (they got pretty ragged), wouldn't shave, wouldn't shower, wouldn't brush my teeth, do a big shot and kick back and wait on my granny's social security check to come in so I could steal it and get more dope. Sure I did.

I also appreciated, as I'm sure the people working for the legalization of medicinal marijuana appreciated, the implication that this guy started using cocaine and heroin because of his marijuana use. Yeah, that'll make everyone in Arkansas rush out and vote for medical marijuana. Seriously, though, there is nothing in the pharmacology of marijuana that increases a person's desire to try other drugs. Oh, then again, how stupid of me. I forgot that marijuana (endocannabinoid) receptors are concentrated in the "I want other drugs" area of the brain.

Of course, just like in the story, all junkies prostitute their wives for dope. Yeah, and all female addicts are prostitutes. And, trust me, the earth really is flat.

Nineteen rehabs! How old is this guy? Between his years in prison and his rehabs I wonder how he found time to be a junkie. Again, how old is this guy? And, of course, all addicts are habitual offenders with the Big Bitch following them around. Oh, come on.

The continued use of a drug of abuse causes structural and functional changes in the brain of the user. These changes produce addiction. Thus, addiction is a disorder of the brain. Unlike what the Arkansas Times seems to believe, therefore, addicts are not worthless losers. Addicts are people. They are people dealing with a brain disorder that they do not control. Faced with a choice between providing facts about addiction or sensationalizing it, it's good to know the Arkansas Times will bite the bullet and uphold the finest traditions of yellow journalism.

Where did ya'll come up with this guy, anyway? At "The biggest loser/addict I can find.com?"

Samuel H. Snodgrass

Little Rock

Friends of White River against SWEPCO power line

We represent a group of affected landowners, Friends of the White River, which is trying to stop the plans of the Southwest Electric Power Company — SWEPCO — to construct a high-voltage power line along the White River Valley in northwest Arkansas. The proposed Route 62/86, segments AO and AN, follow the unique undammed part of the White River Valley where residents and tourists enjoy amazing scenic vistas in the Inspiration Point area. It contains extraordinary wildlife habitat, including nesting bald eagles, and recreational resources that need to be protected from deforestation of adjoining steep karst terrain. We are concerned with the overwhelming visual impact the giant power line would have on the local tourism industry. The river is a hub for swimming, trout and bass fishing, canoe and kayak rentals, hiking and sight-seeing. Thus we oppose the transmission line because it will have a large negative impact on our local tourist and recreational economy, and on the environment.

To stop the power line, with great sacrifice of time and legal costs, we have become active interveners ("Sims Group") with the PSC in Docket 13-041-U. Our testimony can be accessed by links on our website and the PSC website. Our expert studies show substantial geohazard and environmental risks SWEPCO failed to recognize, particularly regarding the flood plain, karst and landslides. Deforestation of the 150 foot Right of Way and erection of 150-foot tall transmission towers are in exactly the wrong place by any reasonable judgment. Adding it all up, the White River Valley between Beaver Dam via Inspiration Point east to Wolf Ridge, which is one of the most scenic river valleys in Arkansas, is endangered, as are its preserved lands, forests and waters, and tourist economy. The proposed power line routing is risky to construct and presents environmental risks to the steep and unstable karst environment. And the SWEPCO application is significantly flawed. We ask everyone with a desire to preserve our natural heritage to support this citizens' fight.

Please investigate this misconceived and unnecessary proposed huge 345 kV transmission line. Look at the website friendsofthewhiteriver.org. There you can quickly see the panorama from Wolf Ridge and the graphic: WHAT WILL THE LINE LOOK LIKE? Travelers making the scenic trip from Crystal Bridges to Eureka Springs may no longer wish to stay in the White River valley. Please study our testimony and that of other interveners.

Wanda Kertzman, Patricia Helwig, Glen Sims, Carla Short and Lynn Mckenzie

Eureka Springs

Submit letters to the Editor, Arkansas Times, P.O. Box 34010, Little Rock, AR 72203. We also accept letters via e-mail. The address is arktimes@arktimes.com. Please include name and hometown.

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