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Mid-century memory

His real name may have been Andy or Anda Goad. I could not find out for sure, but everyone called him Mutt. He and his wife ran a small hamburger joint on the east side of Highway 67 in Bradford, Ark. He was known for two things: his 10-cent hamburgers and for being a Republican when Republicans in White County in the mid-1900s were as rare as albino rattlesnakes and about as popular.

He always trimmed his hamburger buns, using the bread crumbs to stretch his hamburger meat, but they were still delicious. He also sold chili burgers (a ladle of chili between two shaved buns) for 5 cents. I hated it when I had to buy the cheaper chili burger due to a lack of funds.

Hanging on the wall of his cafe was a framed copy of a page from the Kansas City Star showing Mutt pulling a man in a little red wagon. Mutt had bet John Calhoun that Republican Alf Landon would defeat Franklin Roosevelt in the 1936 presidential election. It was agreed that the loser would pull the winner in a little red wagon from Bradford to Newport (about 18 miles distance) on Highway 67, which was then all gravel. I'll warrant that the winner (the rider) got the worst of that deal.

The structure that housed Mutt's little joint is long gone, as is Mutt himself. If I had a time-travel machine, I do believe the first place I would go would be back to the 1950s to get one of Mutt Goad's 10-cent hamburgers.

JOHN McPHERSON

Searcy

Feeling a bit peckish

Having a lifelong interest in the outdoors, I am delighted to find that there are still many things to learn about wildlife from reading the Democrat-Gazette. For instance, in a story regarding dead beavers and coyotes being dumped on private land, I learned: "Since a coyote is considered a game animal, it is illegal to discard, or allow to go to waste, any edible portion. Edible portions include the front quarters, hindquarters, loins and tenderloins."

All this time, I've heard the North Koreans disparaged for eating dogs, only to find that here in the Natural State eating wild dogs is apparently required by law.

I have searched in vain for recipes for coyote. Perhaps you could provide some in your food section. The possibilities are nearly endless: coyote kebabs, coyote cacciatore or maybe even lobo lasagna. Maybe the coyote could be roasted whole like a suckling pig, and instead of an apple in its mouth, a chicken or a cat could be substituted.

Ah, if only Julia Child was still around. The thought of her raising her hands above a whole roasted coyote with her signature "Bon appetit" positively makes my mouth water.

CONNIE M. MESKIMEN

Hot Springs

Wood pellets not risky

I believe Luis Contreras' guest column leaves the erroneous impression that our private forests in Arkansas are in danger from the European hunger for biomass energy in the form of wood pellets, leading to the loss of trees, wildlife, recreation opportunities and jobs across Arkansas.

Nothing could be further from the truth. As a manager of some 150,000 acres of privately owned timberland, most of which is in Arkansas, I've represented clients who have managed their forestlands for sustainability and long-term growth. The more markets for timber, the better they can manage their land for their families and the next generation.

In recent years, however, my clients have been hampered by a lack of markets for Arkansas wood. As a result, these forests grow too thick, crowding out wildlife and becoming less welcoming for recreation. Not only that, this overcrowding greatly increases the chances of forest fires, along with massive outbreaks of pests, pathogens, bugs and fungus. Private landowners are at the forefront of forest management and healthy markets, including biomass, and sustain our ability to own and manage land.

Lack of markets--not the demand for too much product--would force forest landowners to convert land to other uses. The European demand for biomass energy in the form of harvested wood pellets is an important part of the market. Without strong market opportunities, our private forests in Arkansas will be at the highest risk.

The wood-pellet market is a welcome development for the state of Arkansas. Contrary to Dr. Contreras' suggestions, demand for pellets increases jobs, improves recreational opportunities, and helps sustain our wonderful forest assets in Arkansas for generations to come.

SCOTT ROWLAND

Magnolia

Disrespect was shown

I believe for President Barack Obama to not attend Justice Antonin Scalia's funeral is deplorable. It shows his arrogance and petty partisan politics. He not only disrespected the Scalia family but also the entire Supreme Court. For Obama to even mention others being partisan is so hypocritical.

Would he have attended the funeral of one of the liberal justices if they had died? You bet!

BONNIE HOLMES

Little Rock

Certification an asset

The recent decision to continue annual bonuses to National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) was made with the interest of Arkansas students at heart. Research continuously shows that the No. 1 factor in student achievement is the teacher.

One piece of current Arkansas research is my dissertation that examined the perception of 550 NBCTs in high- and low-income districts. The conclusions from the study showed that regardless of certification level or years of experience, Arkansas NBCTs credit the certification process with enhancing their professional growth, increasing student achievement, enhancing skills necessary to better differentiate instruction, increasing the ability to analyze and utilize assessment data to make instructional decisions, developing the skills necessary to better know their students, and increasing parental involvement. Furthermore, participants agreed that the certification process increased teacher reflection and overall content knowledge--skills necessary for effective teaching.

Although some research exists that refutes that certification makes a difference, one must look at the preponderance of research regarding the effects of NBCTs within public schools before making decisions that ultimately impact the education of all Arkansas students. My study and many others are overwhelmingly conclusive that NBCTs make the difference.

Those who have the best interest of Arkansas students in mind want the most effective teachers in all classrooms. Considering current research, I believe increasing the number of board-certified teachers in every school would be a step in the right direction.

JAMIE BURRIS

Atkins

Fighting over the kill

It seems Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's recent death brought out the greed, ignorance and lack of compassion of our U.S. senators and our so-called representatives in the House. I don't know if he made it to the funeral parlor before they started fighting over who had the right to pick a replacement.

In my mind, I was picturing a bunch of jackals hovering over an animal carcass.

ROGER ALSAKER

Mountain Home

Editorial on 02/26/2016

Print Headline: Letters

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Archived Comments

  • LContreras
    February 26, 2016 at 1:45 p.m.

    The high risk of wood pellets (1 of 2)

    I would like to respond to Scott Rowland’s letter. We urgently need a conversation to decide what is best for Arkansas and our future. Please ask the Editor for my contact info.

    Phantom demand. Pellet mills seem like a blessing for Arkansas foresters, something too good to be true. The Drax demand for wood pellets is phantom based on an intentional carbon accounting error. The European Accounting Error That's Warming the Planet,” by Climate Central, is a three-part special series on burning wood pellets for electricity, October 20, 2015

    This is the core question: how many years do we have before our planet becomes inhabitable? If we fail to reduce the carbon dioxide concentration and continue burning trees and fossil fuels as in the past, by 2050 the human race and most species would be extinct.

    Here are the facts: last year was the warmest year on record, an increase of 16 tenths of one degree Celsius. This a huge temperature increase, when you consider the 2015 United Nations Climate Change agreement to keep global temperatures below 1.5 C and no higher than 2 C over pre-industrial times. We have already used up 1.16 C degrees, and global warming is driven mainly by carbon dioxide and methane emissions.

    Arkansas foresters have succeeded growing and caring for the forests; they need to be fully compensated for keeping the trees and the forest soil doing what they do best: removing carbon dioxide, releasing oxygen, storing carbon in the soil, providing fresh water, and dealing with severe storms and flooding. Coal-fired power plants would benefit paying forest owners for carbon credits to offset greenhouse emissions, to meet EPA air quality standards. Paying to keep our forests and reducing carbon dioxide is a win-win alternative to deforestation.

    Wood pellets are the wrong solution to climate change. Pellet mills are very high energy and water intensive, one of the largest industrial air, water, and land polluters. The U.K. does not want pellet mills, only pellets. But burning wood pellets is much worse than burning coal: over 50 percent more carbon dioxide pollution and deadly wood smoke particulate matter emissions per unit of energy.

    UK ratepayers are furious: “The UK's £1billion carbon-belcher raping US forests ...that YOU pay for: How world's biggest green power plant is actually INCREASING greenhouse gas emissions and Britain's energy bill,” the wood pellet scam has been subsidized by the UK, using taxes working people pay. There is no free lunch. Daily Mail, June 6, 2015.

    (continued)

  • LContreras
    February 26, 2016 at 1:47 p.m.

    The high risk of wood pellets (2 of 2)

    When you look at the whole picture, from harvesting the trees, 400 logging trucks delivering trees to pellet mills, processing pellets and shipping them 4,000 miles to the U.K., you can see why the Drax wood pellet sham has been called “The bonfire of insanity: Woodland is shipped 3,800 miles and burned in Drax power station. It belches out more CO2 than coal at a huge cost YOU pay for... and all for a cleaner, greener Britain!” Daily Mail, March 16, 2014.

    The European demand for wood pellets is an international scandal. The Drax U.K. claim wood pellets are carbon-neutral is a sham: burning today, trees planted 50 years ago 4,000 miles away, with the promise to pay back the carbon debt sometime in the future, is deceptive and flawed logic. “Nothing green about burning wood for electricity,” said Jeremy Wates, the Secretary General of the European Environment Bureau in Brussels, in a letter to Britain’s The Independent newspaper. January 7, 2016.

    For the latest scientific findings, please read the Biomass Monitor report: “Climate consequences from logging forests for bioenergy,” February 9, 2016.

    Quoted references are available online. Links are not allowed herein.

    Thank you very much.

    Luis Contreras

  • DontDrinkDatKoolAid
    February 26, 2016 at 4:10 p.m.

    When trees rot, they also emit their gases.

  • FreeSpiritMan
    February 26, 2016 at 4:31 p.m.

    BONNIE HOLMES.......... funerals are dull, boring, depressing, who in the hell would want to go to one anyway? Oh, by the way I know I would have to hire pallbearers, so I will just be cremated and my ashes spread with a wolf pack in Yellowstone and be happy for all eternity.

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