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Supports Griffen 

I am writing to express my complete support of Judge Wendell Griffen regarding the closed door probable cause hearing for alleged violations of judicial canons. Judge Griffen is an honorable and excellent judge on the Arkansas Appeals Court, and has done an outstanding job in that capacity.

I cannot express how displeased I am to learn that Judge Griffen has been targeted for exercising his constitutional right to free speech. I was outraged to learn that the commission will not allow the hearing to be open. My question is, why not? Why would the commission not allow the truth to be told and the truth to be heard in the open and light of day?

I strongly urge Director James Badami and the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission to do the right thing, and to have Judge Wendell Griffen’s probable cause hearing cancelled due to lack of a good reason. Furthermore, I strongly urge the commission to drop the entire issue against Judge Griffen and let the man do his job.

Exercising our fundamental right to free speech is something we are guaranteed in this country. That applies to Judge Griffen as well. Frankly, Badami and the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission should be fully aware of that.

If you agree that freedom of speech is fundamental, give the judicial commission a call and express yourself and your support of Judge Wendell Griffen. The Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission’s email address and phone: jddc@arkansas.gov. 501-682-1050.

Lisa Burks

Conway

Letter to lawmakers

Well I guess you legislators must be positively giddy with the prospects of getting your hands on all that budget surplus money, especially now that one of your own Good Ole Boys is the governor.

Can’t wait to spend someone else’s tax money on your own private pork projects? That’s what we expect you to try to do. Let me repeat that. That is what EVERY person in the state expects you to do. So, prove us wrong. That surplus money came from everyone and should be used to benefit everyone.

You want to tackle obesity? Build bike and walking paths EVERYWHERE. Hire a thousand college nutrition students for one summer to go door to door educating people how to make better food choices within their budget. Pay people $5 for every pound they lose once a month. You want to tackle crime? The answer is not more police and jails. Address poverty and hopelessness. You want more companies to locate here? Who wants to move their company here if they perceive the workforce as uneducated? Don’t give them a free tax ticket. Build a more educated workforce. Can’t get our best to teach in the Delta and very rural areas? Let the market decide what the teacher salary should be for each area. Pay more where no one wants to go. Trust me, people will follow the money. A better educated workforce attracts more and better paying companies which mean better salaries and more taxes being paid which means more for your pet pork projects.

If this is how you have to see it, then fine. But please, it’s time to step up to the plate, now, and do the right thing. Ladies and gentlemen, swatting alligators has gotten us where we are today. It’s time to drain the swamp. And $800 million will buy a pretty big pump.

Gary Bortz

Little Rock

Easy on goldenrod

While I very much enjoyed Bob Lancaster’s coverage of the Worst and Best in Arkansas, I have one small quibble to make.

Under the heading, BEST YELLOW, you mentioned the goldenrod and implied that these are a problem to the allergy prone. They are not. Goldenrod does not have airborne pollen. They are insect pollinated, which is one reason for their showy yellow color, to attract the insects’ attention. A very real villain in the allergy wars is ragweed. This happens to bloom at the very same time as the goldenrod. The ragweed is a blah-green color and for the most part goes unnoticed by most of the non-botanical populace. Most people see the bright yellow blooms and come to the wrong conclusion. It is the ragweed and its dastardly spiked pollen grains that are the problem. (You should see them magnified under a microscope sometime!)

Thank you for your time, attention, and patience in this matter.

John Helmkamp

Little Rock

Happy

I’m so glad to have a dignified governor. Mike Beebe is a class act. I didn’t hear any stupid “happy cow” jokes in his inaugural speech.

Flo Cato

Little Rock

A week that was

First came the national bereavement for the death of President Ford, whose courage and sagacity had for too long been so misunderstood and underappreciated. Nothing in his life so became him as the nation’s belated tribute to this truly all-American, unstinting, unselfish life of gracious service to his country. The eulogies to his greatness helped wash away the partisan muck we have been mired in for several years.

And then, hard on the heels of this national purging of our collective soul, came America’s new sweetheart.

For those of us who love the lines of a Ferrari, a Lamborghini, Gina Lollobrigida, Sophia Loren, a Michelangelo statue, a Gucci purse or shoes; for those of us who love the culinary art of cannelloni, ravioli, tortellini Alfredo, and for those of us who loved Don Vito Corleone’s soft spoken but indisputably overwhelming power to get things done, the crowning of a new Godmother, House speaker Nancy Pelosi, was like a breath of fresh air. Nobody with any sense of drama and history watching House Speaker Pelosi smile sweetly and wave gracefully to the assembly could deny she was saying in effect, “Now you children gonna behave, you hear!”

And just think, she’s only one numbskull away from the presidency.

Hillary, maybe you better reconsider the advantages of your day job.

Joel Taylor

Little Rock

Act on wage

Who can live on the current minimum wage? Let’s get real. Urge Congress to address this inequality. Act now.

Brenda Ball Tirrell

Hot Springs Village

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