Viewpoints

Rail service left behind

Dear editor: Well hallelujah, U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) arrived by rail for a meeting with Donald Trump (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Nov. 19, 2016). Could this be a sign that at least one Arkansas officeholder will soon support commuter rail? Could we soon see funds revert from highway to rail spending? Could Arkansas commuters finally get a break? Well, no, no, and well, no would be my guess.

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GGGG responds

Dear editor: During the Nov. 22 city board meeting, the incoming chamber chairman made totally inaccurate statements that need correcting. He stated, "Everything they have supported has been defeated soundly time and time again." Factually, there are no such defeats. Corrections follow: GGGG sponsored successful referendum petition allowing public to vote on taxes for new City Hall.

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'Thanks' for lights

Dear editor: Once again, Kenneth Edwards has outdone himself on the Christmas lights in downtown Hot Springs. Every year it gets better and better. Not only is he a fantastic man, but also a wonderful talent. If you haven't been downtown yet to see the magic he has created, do yourself a favor and do so.

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A one-party state

Dear editor: Sometimes it takes a rich man to drain a swamp. Virtually since it became a state, Arkansas was run by one party, the Democrats. I know we have all heard the saying about how absolute power corrupts and it certainly was true not only for this state, but for a time our local government.

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Seniors need to act

Dear editor: I urge all seniors to contact your representatives, regardless how you voted about the following matters: Medicare and Social Security: House Speaker Paul Ryan has on his desk a bill that has passed both Republican Senate and House that voucherizes Medicare and reduces Social Security. Experts are predicting that these two items will be passed early in Trump's presidency. Forget Trump's promise to save these two programs as is. But to get last minute support, Trump evidently promised to throw grandma off the cliff. It's the old bait and switch that Republicans have been using for three decades to destroy these programs, not because they don't work, but because it proves that government can work for the middle class.

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Thumbs column

Hot Springs is aglow with the sparking lights of Christmas 2016 and familiar songs and favorite carols fill the air, even in early December.

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Mental health suits await decision on combination

JACKSON, Miss. -- If Mississippi gets its way, a long-running case challenging the state's mental health care for children could be rolled up with the more recent suit by the federal government over how the state provides mental health care for adults.

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Arkansas Dems adjust to role after ranks shrink

LITTLE ROCK -- Arkansas solidified its transformation from a Democratic stronghold in the South to a solidly Republican state in the November election, with the GOP expanding its hold on the Legislature and easily handing its six electoral votes to President-elect Donald Trump. The first big test for the Democrats' path forward comes in a little more than a month, when lawmakers return to the Capitol for the 2017 legislative session.

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Reply to 'unknown writer'

Dear editor: I recently received at my home an unsigned letter with no return address. The letter was a reply to my "letter to the editor" that appeared in The Sentinel-Record on Thanksgiving Day. My letter was entitled "A metaphor for today." In my letter to the editor I quoted a poem attributed to Abraham Lincoln entitled "The Suicide's Soliloquy," which I presented as a metaphor for the situation that we now face with the election of the president-elect and what will probably lie ahead for us. The "unknown writer" of the letter I received at home said, "It is well known that Abraham Lincoln suffered from depression." Even if that is true, Mr. Lincoln's mental condition has nothing to do with his poem being a metaphor for the situation we now find ourselves in. The First Amendment to the Constitution, affords me the right to voice my opinions in print or otherwise.

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An ill-advised rule

Last month, a federal judge granted an injunction against the Department of Labor's Overtime Rule which was scheduled to go into effect Dec. 1.

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Coordination crucial

Dear editor: The similarities between Gatlinburg and Hot Springs are striking. Both are tourist towns, both have major highways through their middle, both have public forests that are at the edge of the city. Like Gatlinburg now, Hot Springs will be subjected to drought conditions. One can visit the Hot Springs Fire Department to see photographs of large fires (and floods!) that devastated the city of Hot Springs. We will soon see the same from Gatlinburg.

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