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For the next election

It will have no effect on a certain segment of voters. In fact, I don't believe anything Trump says or does will affect their votes.

That said, Philip Martin's Sunday column last week should be required reading for everyone that intends to vote in the 2020 presidential election.


Hot Springs Village

Journalist inspired

This newspaper's reprints of pages from the Arkansas Gazette revive memories of one of the best writers who ever worked for any newspaper. His daily columns were devoured by Gazette readers and were the highlight of the morning for many.

Yet his name was practically unknown outside of his family, friends and Gazette staff.

He was Patrick Carithers. Pat was a veteran reporter before he became the Gazette's wire editor, a job that entailed gathering national and international news articles from the newspaper's wire services, editing them and putting them together in coherent reports.

In addition, Pat wrote the front-page "In the News" column for nearly three decades. He had an almost magical ability to write with an economy of words while preserving the scope of the reportage. His columns were a mix of political events, human-interest accounts and one or two funny, oddball items.

Those of us who subbed for Pat on weekends and holidays struggled to match his quality. Few, if any, ever did.

Pat made it look easy, but it was a tough gig. Readers who want to try their hand at it should do this: Choose any news article in today's paper, condense it to one sentence that must begin with a person's name, include the location where the event happened, and limit the sentence to fewer than 50 to 60 words.

Remember, it's one sentence, so no cheating with semicolons and multiple commas.

Pat died in 2017. He was a consummate journalist who never craved recognition or awards. His accurate, concise writing and editing will always be a inspiration for the people lucky enough to have worked with him.


Little Rock

Fetch smelling salts

Ms. Judith Jones recently wrote a letter to the editor to point out that Elizabeth Warren still uses the surname of her first husband even though she's long been married to a man with a different name. Senator Warren has publicly stated that she kept her first husband's name to make things easier for their children, as can be discovered by visiting her Wikipedia page and consulting a referenced news article.

I suspect that Ms. Jones felt an irresistible urge to get herself published in the paper insulting Mr. Mann (Warren's husband) by calling him a "wimp" and insulting Senator Warren with her quip, "Whoa there, Pocahontas!" Well, I can only say: Whoa there, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Sexism!

Does Ms. Jones believe that men should control their wives' every decision, including which name they use? I wonder if she knows that married women are allowed to take out loans without their husband's signature, and--get this--even vote for the candidate of their own choice without husband approval.

Seriously, though, for decades now, women have chosen to keep their birth surname or hyphenate with their spouse's name or even create a hybrid of the two names. A woman's last name is her own business. Now, please fetch the smelling salts before telling Ms. Jones that this is true whether the woman is married to a man or married to a woman.


Little Rock

Do more to aid vets

Sen. John Boozman met Wednesday with the PREVENTS Task Force to discuss the crisis of veteran suicide in the U.S., a tragedy that the senator cites as taking 20 lives every day. This is certainly a commendable effort on Senator Boozman's part, but it is not effective in addressing the problem head-on.

Every country in the world has veterans, and every country has citizens that struggle with mental health issues, but only the United States experiences these incredibly high rates of fatal self-inflicted gun deaths. What sets us apart from other nations is our incredibly easy access to firearms.

Because suicide attempts by firearm are far and away the most lethal, it is irresponsible to allow easy access to these weapons for people in crisis, as it robs them of the chance of survival. There is no simple solution to the gun-violence epidemic plaguing our nation and our veterans, but we must begin with the passage of gun-violence-prevention legislation. Universal background checks are the first step toward slowing the tide of preventable violence in our country. It is urgent that Senator Boozman lends his vocal support to SB42 for universal background checks.



Support solar power

I have long believed that solar power is the future for Arkansas--the sun has powered my home in Little Rock for more than 10 years. Many months, my utility bill was for fees and taxes only because I produced more electricity than I used. I am happy that it seems to finally be sinking in that solar power is the best way forward in this state.

My church in Little Rock just installed 81 solar panels plus two electrical vehicle (EV) charging stations. I am in the process of moving to Conway, and the church I plan to join there also is interested in a solar installation.

When I get to Conway, will I add a large TV or outdoor hot tub or swimming pool? No. The homeowners' association has already approved a solar panel addition. The president of the homeowners' association has solar panels.

Not only are solar panels becoming ubiquitous in Arkansas, solar installation is projected to be the fastest-growing U.S. job sector over the next decade. Next year, the expansion of solar is projected to add more than $30 billion to the U.S. economy.

On Nov. 2, the Public Service Commission will open its public comment period for a set of regulations that will decide the future of residential solar in Arkansas--join me in voicing your support for a continuation of the current solar policy that has already done so much good for Arkansans.


Little Rock

Editorial on 10/27/2019

Print Headline: Letters


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