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OPINION | LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Memories of Barton | State embarrassment | Our rights in danger

May 2, 2021 at 8:20 a.m.

Memories of Barton

Re "Play It Loud" exhibit article on Barton Coliseum: I really enjoyed this article in Tuesday's issue. The writing brought back two fond memories.

In 1957 my father brought me to Little Rock for the Gene Autry/Gail Davis concert, and I stayed at the Marion Hotel, as did Autry and Davis. We were in the lobby when Autry came off the elevator. I wish I still had the autograph he gave me. At the end of the show, the stars rode their horses slowly around the arena so we kiddos could reach out and slap hands.

The other memory is of a Neil Diamond concert in the round at Barton which my wife and I attended. A fabulous event which ended with Diamond singing "Coming to America." Talk about goosebumps ...

Thanks for the memories.

SAM HIGHSMITH

Little Rock

State embarrassment

In a state with so much beauty and so many wonderful people, we're saddened to see our image besmirched by likely the worst legislative session in Arkansas history.

And in the wake of this embarrassment, we face the gruesome prospect of choosing between Sarah Sanders and Leslie Rutledge for governor next year. When and how is our state going to right itself and achieve its real potential?

FRANK LEEMING

Hot Springs Village

Our rights in danger

There is one very worrisome problem we have in the United States, and that is truth or lack thereof. A recent letter claimed that the lies in the current federal administration are as bad as the lies of the last four years. I have been on this planet for over 80 years and, during my adult lifetime, I cannot recall lying at the level it occurred over the last four years.

What I see are people who have achieved power and are depriving those they represent of their rights by the lies and so-called laws they are trying to establish. I am not a party follower, but rather an independent, because I felt that if I was expected to follow the platform of either party, my rights would be impaired.

What some members of Congress are guilty of is following a platform that deprives every one of us, whether we belong to the party in power or not. We see state legislatures, like the one in Arkansas, coming up with bills that restrict freedom and in at least one case, are illegal due to inability to comply with the U.S. Constitution.

Gerrymandering and voting laws that steal voting rights and other such power grabs need to be renounced, but people, through fear, have been lied to and somewhat convinced that all is well. Freedom, to some, has become license, such as the insurrection that occurred at the U.S. Capitol. If you don't wish to have your freedom taken from you, then you need to resist the fearmongers and power-grabbers in government by voting them out of office. We need more debate and compromise to remove the power aspect of government.

Each of us has rights, and we need to insist from our representatives that these rights, as defined by the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence, be honored and enforced.

GEORGE WILKEN

Little Rock

Virtually frustrating

I would like to express my thoughts about all the children going to school virtually during this past year. My child goes to the Pulaski County Special School District, and he uses a platform called Schoology and is taking AP classes this year; being virtual, he has failed every semester. His teachers aren't getting his homework, which they put more emphasis on. Now he is in a program so he could pass the first semester that he failed, but if he fails a second semester, he will have to go to summer school. Just to do the homework he has to jump through hoops and go to third-party websites which, if I was his age, I would have a hard time negotiating just to turn my homework in.

I have heard many parents complain about this program, and a lot of their children are failing that have never failed before. On top of that, now they have a recovery program called Edgenuity that would allow your student to pass without having to go to summer school, but that program has a lot of flaws too. The video instructions are too long, and there's too many quizzes to take, plus you still have to do your homework at night from your regular daytime class.

I have called the school and talked to people at the district office, but to no avail. I am just wondering how many other parents out there are fed up with this Schoology program. Now my plans for a summer vacation, which we weren't able to take last year, are ruined because of summer school.

This has been a hard enough year for everybody, especially the children. I can only hope next year will be better for the students.

DAVID MAHER

Sherwood

For better health care

On April 12, Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed Senate Bill 152, an important bill that Arkansans should know about as it made much-needed improvements to how state health-care teams work together.

During this time, medical-care providers who have been at the front lines of covid-19 are experiencing burnout, while Arkansas continues to see a rise in covid cases. Now is the time to ensure all health-care providers are working at the top of their education, training, and experience. Patients in our state are counting on lawmakers and health-care providers to come together to seek solutions that will improve and expand health care in our state.

That is why, as a PA (physician assistant), I want to thank Governor Hutchinson as well as the lead bill sponsors Sen. Kim Hammer and Rep. Joy Springer for working together to see this bipartisan legislation across the finish line.

On behalf of our patients, the Arkansas Academy of Physician Assistants will continue to work with lawmakers to offer up solutions to the health-care challenges in our state. The swift passage and signing of SB152 gives us assurance that leaders in our state are listening.

CHRISTOPHER DAVIS

Roland

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