Good streets matter
Thank you to Tuesday's letter writer who pointed out how far out of whack the priorities of our city government have become. Also, thank you for publicly naming the board of directors. We live on Greenwood, and for the past 12 weeks, the section between Seventh and Third streets has been totally or partially closed. For almost three months, we have been diverted to side streets, some of which I hate to say, I don't feel comfortable in at night with our children. I have called numerous times, talked to numerous people in the street department, and the general procedure is to get passed on to different people with different excuses. As a military family, we have lived in numerous cities over the years, and I am sad to say Hot Springs has the worst street department and personnel I have ever encountered.
Finally, a couple of weeks ago, I contacted a member of the board of directors, one of those named in Tuesday's letter. I won't embarrass this board member by saying their name, but they told me Hot Springs street department paves a total of 4 miles of streets a year. That's it. The board member also told me there's really not a timetable or schedule as to when and what streets get repaired. My favorite, though, was when the board member said: "because of the recession a few years ago, we didn't do any streets for about six years, so we're a little behind." You can't make this up. So Hot Springs was in a recession and didn't do any street work for six years? Yet, as Tuesday's writer pointed out, we can build millions of dollars worth of baseball fields and bike trails.
Well-paved, well lit, well-marked, and well-drained streets aren't sexy. They aren't going to garner front-page stories or get politicians' names in the headlines. I get that. But we all use them. Every day. And those of us who live in the less affluent parts of town naturally drive older, smaller, less luxurious vehicles that take a beating on these streets every day. And we are the ones less economically stable to endure that. So I urge each of you as taxpayers to do the only thing we can do -- vote out the current city elected officials at every opportunity until the message gets through to the elite few in city government that us little people do matter.
Trump's no-good list
A little while ago, a reader wrote a letter to the editor praising Trump's good deeds. Many were a stretch on the word good, unless you are a rich Trump supporter/donor. It is much easier to list a few of the countless bad things he has done, so far.
He recently bragged he has installed 60% of our nation's judges as Republicans! The separation of powers act of our Constitution demands an unbiased judicial system, not another presidential department.
He stole money appropriated by Congress to build much needed military housing, using the money to help build "his wall." Congress is the only legal authority to appropriate moneys!
Trump stuck his face into direct military matters by circumventing military justice and protocol in demanding action against a convicted Navy SEAL be changed. Also, he bluntly belittled an honored, decorated American hero, Sen. John McCain!
He openly named a so-called whistleblower who gave information into the investigation of Trump, a direct flaunting of federal law and, he personally selected the company to build "his wall', a company that is a known large Trump campaign donor. The stated selection process was ignored.
He has cut money and staff at EPA, forcing fewer investigations of corporate pollution violations and vastly increasing the number of unfunded superfund site cleanups.
One of his biggest no-goods was to take the U.S. out of the international climate change program! We are losing our world at an alarming rate while he buys votes from big oil and coal.
Trump had his servants in Congress enact a new law to provide and fund retired coal miners with a new retirement program, a direct purchase of votes.
His blatant bigotry has emboldened hate groups, feeding into a huge increase in attacks on people and buildings of the Jewish faith.
This president abandoned and directly caused the deaths of hundreds of our close allies in Syria! He continues to make spontaneous, irrational decisions without knowing any facts or consulting his own experts on staff, if there are any left.
Just today, he cut the heart out of a great new law cracking down on e-cigarettes. He personally exempted the biggest selling flavors, benefiting vaping manufacturers and retailers. More kids will get hurt while Trump buys more votes!
Finally, sometime, please think about our nation's future. Are we to continue as a proud country of law-abiding citizens/leaders or packs of money-hungry individuals with a puppet "king" and his master in Russia?
Editorial on 01/08/2020