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Sunday’s Letters to the editor

OPINION November 13, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.

Message to GOP

Dear editor:

Dear Arkansas GOP,

You were given a responsibility to Arkansans, not a mandate from them.

When using our new broadband money, focus on every rural Arkansan, not over-the-top business deals for your supporters.

When further cutting taxes, let's leave the income tax in place, and cut the grocery tax, the used car sales tax, and the gas tax ya'll increased a couple of years ago.

Let's safeguard our low registration fees and keep our property tax from getting out of hand. And let's fund the things we need to, like teacher raises, ASAP.

Let's make sure there is accountability with our new road funds, too. Some of these private contractors are really messing up the job, and citizens have no way to hold them accountable.

Let's reject privatized prisons, no one should get wealthy from sending more people to jail.

Let's fix Arkansas's status as the No. 2 state in per capita rapes, and fund the state crime lab.

Let's make an exception for rape in the abortion ban -- because it's unconscionable not to have it.

And let's keep Arkansas the Natural State, by dealing with waste and increasing recycling.

Quit attacking the LGBTQ+ community. We are all Arkansans and deserve to be treated fairly. And let's do what we can to make it easier to register and to vote. Because government is better when we are all part of it.

Yours truly,

Cortney Warwick McKee

Hot Springs

Identity politics

Dear editor:

There was no red wave. Why? Many voters still find that involvement by Donald Trump is negative. While he did many great things for the U.S. economy -- jobs, energy, etc. -- more people cast ballots against his personality by casting a ballot for Biden. Two years later, the stain marred the midterm elections. Although many folks believe Trump is the head of the Republican Party, he is not re-electable. The liberals will cut him to shreds with character assassinations and innuendoes. Simply put, his personality and his inability to speak are abrasive. I believe he affected the midterm elections negatively.

In Hot Springs, the challenger for mayor, Eric Andrea Capaci, used identity politics and almost won -- the usual liberal strategy. He pitted what he called "the hood, the streets, the grassroots" against the "establishment" that couldn't get anything done. As if by magic, he claimed he could solve a housing shortage crisis, lower water rates, hire police officers and reorganize the police department to better represent certain districts. Single-handedly, he was going to develop the old Majestic Hotel site, stimulate the local economy, and make things better for those in "the hood, the streets, the grassroots." He never said how.

To me, Capaci took the (defunct) Boys Club property and turned it into something that did not include what the youths from "the hood, the streets, and the grassroots" needed -- a place to play AAU basketball and a place for kids of all ages and walks of life to use as a haven after school and during the summer.

During the election process, Capaci seemed to have unlimited cash to spend on large hideous signs and mailouts in his attempt to win a job that paid nothing. It was an ego trip for a Baptist preacher who perhaps vicariously owns a church, a school, and the former Boys Club property.

I wonder why the city of Hot Springs got into the real estate development business on the Majestic Hotel site when private developers had no viable solutions? Also, how would Capaci fix his perceived housing shortage crisis when developers and real estate professionals would love to create more commerce in this market and can't? How would he address the issue of the city charging $20 per household for garbage pickup when they subcontract the job for only $10? How would he force the city to resurface the city streets and rid them of the many potholes?

I am glad the opportunistic Baptist entrepreneur-preacher lost his election bid and I sure hope that Trump fails to represent conservatives in the election of 2024. In the next two years, we will witness more identity politics and character assassinations than ever before.

John Grillo

Hot Springs

Caregivers Month

Dear editor:

One million people in the U.S. live with Parkinson's disease, the second-most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's. No two people with PD experience the same symptoms, responses to treatment or progression, and care partner experiences are equally unique.

While caregiving comes with its own rewards, stress and burnout are common when caring for someone with a chronic illness.

November is National Family Caregivers Month, and I, along with Rock Steady Boxing Hot Springs, invite everyone in the Hot Springs area to join our community as we honor the care partners in our lives this month. Help us amplify Parkinson's disease awareness and those who care for people living with PD.

Rock Steady Boxing Hot Springs offers a support group for caregivers on Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:15-3:15 p.m. We invite care partners in the community to find support by visiting Parkinson.org/CaregiversMonth where they can access our Top 10 Essential Caregiver Resources and register for The Parkinson's Foundation Care Partner Program, a free series of self-paced online courses designed with care partners in mind.

Together, we can make life better for people with PD and their care partners. Learn more through the Foundation Helpline at 800-4PD-INFO (473-4636) or at Parkinson.org/CaregiversMonth. Contact Rock Steady Boxing Hot Springs Director, Amy Johnson at 501-623-9999 for more information on local caregiver support group and classes for Parkinson's.

Amy Johnson

Hot Springs

Needy to the greedy

Dear editor:

One of the biggest lies told by the Republican Party is that no social program is affordable, including Medicare and SS nor even the ACA, or how they declare that democrats are "reckless" with spending never mentioning that the "spending aka investment" is paid for and the debt has decreased under President Biden.

They campaign on how much it costs, yet it's a paltry sum when compared to what we spend on defense and other perks for corporations. Even as we pull out of wars, there is never an objection to increased spending on defense to buy things the military didn't ask for nor do they need, but to fatten the coffers of the defense contractors who seem to control members of both major parties by having some parts made in every state.

For the average working person earning $50,000, the tax consequence of most social programs, excluding Social Security and Medicare, which are independently funded, is about $36 a year for food stamps and about $6 for other social programs. Compare that to $870 a year that goes to corporate subsidies, $1,600 to offset corporate tax loopholes, $1,231 to offset corporate offshore tax havens.

And then Republicans say we can't afford it, when they are the ones costing you more in taxes to offset the cuts they granted corporations and the wealthy. That means that only about $42 out of a $50,000 annual income goes toward social programs while $3,701 goes to cover GOP tax cuts and tax laws to help corporations, and does not even include what the tax is for defense spending, and that's just for those earning $50,000.

It would be more for higher earners and less of course to low-income people, but generally, the middle-income people in this country have been lied to by the Republican Party, whose ideology essentially is "from the needy to the greedy."

Judith Zitko

Hot Springs Village

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