Letters To The Freekly

Feedback and letters from readers


’Tis the season for giving, and the city has just received another gift that won’t stop giving. (”Cleaned and Greened,” Northwest Arkansas Times, Nov. 21, 2010). May I humbly suggest a better headline? “Out damn’d spot!” (with apologies to Shakespeare).
Despite the fact that our groundwater does not recognize private property or political boundaries (ask Oklahoma), we are told that it “will all go back to where it should be in a short period of time.” Since the site is ON the White River, which of course drains into Beaver Lake which just happens to be our drinking water supply, one has a hard time believing that $2.4 million encompasses all of the costs associated with the decades of pollution at this “abandoned” site. We were also told that “ADEQ did not intend to seek compensation for the cleanup.” Similar to the Cummins landfill “pollution bailout” at SouthPass, the prior owners have “moved on” with their taxpayer-funded subsidy in hand, so to speak. (The value of being well-connected? Priceless!)
A society that continues to fund such externalized costs with no consequences to the owners — issuing rewards instead of punishments — needs to come up with a better term than “green.” Perhaps “greenwash” will do. The government’s actions express the unspoken attitude that the Law continues to be primarily for “little people” (and I do not mean leprechauns or little green men). In related news, it will be interesting to see whether our new senator will be able to garner the over $20 million in Federal funds to er, “green” up the University’s nuclear waste site near Strickler. As Kermit the Frog famously said “It isn’t easy being green.”

Stephen Vallus

Parking Problems

I have used the pay parking twice now (I mostly bike, which avoids the issue).
My first experience was for a 15 minute visit on Dickson, which I had to pay for one hour, and the second is more the crux. We arrived 7 p.m. for dinner at 36 Club with credit card in hand, the second in line at the machine. The two in front were young women — 18-22 years old — with cash in hand. It was dark and they were bobbing up to see the screen and down about 16-18 inches looking where to put the money in and which buttons to press. You see there are no lights to illuminate the face of the unit, just the top screen.
They fumbled for about two minutes while a crowd of future users of the machine gathered: three other couples all waiting to attend to the meter system. It was then my turn, and I bobbed up and down with my bifocals (I am 53 years old) from the upper screen to the insert my credit card. My turn at the machine was one minute. The machine didn’t tell me where to get the receipt (all the way down on the bottom of the unit) or what to do with it. I asked the crowd, and one person said display it on your dash but the machine didn’t indicate anything.
I use cash machines often, and they are rather intuitive to use. This machine isn’t easy to use because of the vertical interaction distance of about two feet, poor instruction as indicated above, no lighting on the face. And this unit didn’t accept the prior two women’s dollar bills — only credit cards were accepted at that time.
If the other type of machines (25 cent parking meters) were considered, were they only from the point of view of the city versus the citizenry? All five couples could have been out of the car, put in eight quarters and been on their way in 30 seconds versus the last in line who must have waited five minutes.
I must agree with the general sentiment that I have heard. Fines are too steep, and usage is too complex to facilitate/encourage patronage of the area. My son indicated to me all the nonpay parking areas around the area that he has scoped out (he makes minimum wage and cannot afford the prices just to park). Please consider that this has been the biggest deterrent to come to Dickson Street since I first started coming when Dickson was rowdy and somewhat dangerous 35-38 years ago. Please consider a different method that is less of a deterrent.

Joseph Reagan

Refuge For The Refuge

Monday, Dec. 6, 2010, marked 50 years to the day since President Eisenhower established what would become one of America’s most beloved natural treasures: the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Big mammals, such as the iconic polar bear, and millions of the world’s birds come here each year, seeking refuge from a world of encroaching hazards to receive their most sacred needs: sustenance and safe harbor for bearing their young. The Arctic Refuge remains wild so the cycle of life continues. As Americans, we have a moral and civic duty to ensure that this cycle is not broken.
This anniversary presents a historic opportunity to finally protect this  last, vast American wilderness. I urge our representatives in Washington, D.C., to close the book on a debate settled by the American people long ago: America’s Arctic is more valuable for what lives upon the land than what lies under it.

Barbara Booth

Categories: Family Friendly
Tags: featured