OPINION | LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Child care important | Internet connectivity | Blames wrong leader

Child care important

I am writing to express my sincere thanks to the Arkansas Women's Commission and Gov. Asa Hutchinson for highlighting affordable, high-quality child care as a key concern for the future of our state. As the police chief of Mountain View, I am especially conscious of how this important issue affects public safety.

Research by the group Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, of which I am a member, has shown the positive impact of high-quality child care on boosting long-term public safety. Evidence shows that high-quality child care can lead to better school preparation, as well as fewer behavioral problems when they reach their teenage years, greater likelihood of graduating from college, and better salaries as adults.

High-quality child care helps to provide our youngest Arkansans with nurturing, supportive environments at a time of irreplaceable brain development. These environments promote learning and social-emotional development for infants and toddlers. This development, in turn, helps these young people grow to have a better chance at positive educational outcomes and avoiding brushes with crime.

I am hopeful that Arkansas will make a meaningful commitment to making child care less scarce, more affordable, and of higher quality throughout the state. This commitment will help create better lives for our children, and a safer, more secure future for all of us.


Mountain View

George Bethell is police chief of the Mountain View Police Department.

Internet connectivity

We felt sympathy with Karen Martin's recent Sunday column about her sister's struggles in post-Ian Florida without electricity and Internet for weeks/months.

Her amazement about discovering on her cell phone a personal hot-spot setting to get on Internet was heartwarming. That is the only way my Hot Spring County household (11 miles southeast of Malvern on Country Club Road) has ever been able to connect to Internet through AT&T. Connectivity is too slow to stream, and we read our newspaper fast on a laptop or we overuse our monthly allowance and are slowed to a spinning wheel of death that downloads nothing until the next month.

We have been told Internet at high speeds may become available even to those of us in rural lower Arkansas in 2023 or 2024 or 2025 unless something holds up the covid recovery funds sent to Arkansas for this purpose by the federal government. Imagine how we felt to read that 14 counties' projects were approved and our county request was one of six sent back to committee. The southeast and northeast rural parts of Hot Spring County are inordinately harmed by this, and my current state representative lives in Sheridan; my new one after redistricting lives in Arkadelphia, and my state senator who lives in Garland County has been disciplined for ethics violation and stripped of power.

Thank you for allowing me "to feel heard."



Blames wrong leader

Tom Cotton is criticizing President Biden for not getting Paul Whelan out of the Russian prison. He's wrong for that, because President Biden wasn't in the Oval Office in 2018. The one that Tom Cotton should have criticized was the one who was in the Oval Office in 2018.

Or is Cotton too biased to accept the real truth?


Little Rock

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