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Sunday’s Letters to the editor

OPINION September 18, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.

Sorry state of the streets

Dear editor:

I think Nancy Lee Long nailed it with her letter to the editor of Sept. 11. I see roads from the differing perspective of those of us who live south of town in one of the Spa City's "suburbs."

Trying to figure out the how and the why, let's look at the roads coming out of Hot Springs. Several years ago, the state did a great job on U.S. 70 to the east, while U.S. 70 the west, also known as Airport Road, is in pretty good shape. U.S. 270 east, also known as Malvern Road, is also in pretty good shape. U.S. 270 west, also known as Albert Pike Road is a mixed bag. Work on the road is underway in the vicinity of Thornton Ferry Road and the road to Mountain Pine, National Park College, etc.

However, there are many teeth-rattling potholes and worn-out areas east of that area, on both sides of the Atrium, which some of us visit often, as we have loved ones living there.

Notice all those roads have U.S. in their names. When it comes to state highways, the ones with AR on their signs, things are not so promising, although work is going on in both directions, north and south. Going toward Hot Springs Village, there is work going on, and going south, past Lake Hamilton and on toward those of us in Bismarck, there is similar work in progress.

Here's the thing: look at AR 7, also known as Central Avenue, in its downtown area and that's when you have your doubts about Hot Springs being taken seriously as a valid tourist destination. If you need convincing, take Central Avenue from, oh, let's say the Bathhouse Row area going south toward Oaklawn Racetrack. As you approach Central's intersection with Grand Avenue, it's a sad piece of concrete or asphalt. Even right outside Oaklawn itself, the pavement is awful, and one would think the track owners could convince the city or the state to get busy.

Does the state tell the city to fix it? Does the city tell the state to fix it? Who knows? Why couldn't the two entities work together as they apparently did on the as-yet-not-opened part of the bypass that go from the bypass toward the intersection of AR 7 and 5 north of town.

If eclipse tourists are going to descend on the city, I would not expect many of them to ever return.

Jack W. Hill


Fly Old Glory correctly

Dear editor:

Coming back from visiting my son, my wife and I drove through Hot Springs. On 9/11 we noticed the many American flags along the street. Some businesses, some private homes, and only three of the dozens of American flags were lowered. Attention to detail is part of flying Old Glory. Flying the flag is a great thing to do, but don't forget the obligation and the honor that goes with it. The people that died for that flag and what it stands for are oh-so-important in this current time.

Butch Roberts

Hot Springs Village

National pride

Dear editor:

In 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and killed 2,403 Americans. On 9/11/01, the World Trade Centers were destroyed and more than 3,000 Americans died -- about 600 more than at Pearl Harbor. In 1941, just about every American boy over the age of 14 enlisted to "go kill a Jap." We were enraged. After New York was attacked and more Americans were killed than at Pearl Harbor, Americans seemed to have no real animosity toward the culprits and many thought that "we brought it upon ourselves." The culture of the United States had changed.

The enemy in 1941 was a country (Japan) that harbored an enthusiasm for physical expansion at the expense of others.

The enemy today, 61 years after Pearl Harbor, is a movement in several countries that harbors an enthusiasm for religious expansion at the expense of Westerners and Christians.

In the process of defeating Japan, the United States lost fewer than 200,000 people (in the Asian theater) while nearly 3,000,000 Japanese (soldiers and civilians) died in a war they started. To defeat Japan, the United States dropped not one but two atomic bombs on Japan to achieve victory and to establish that the United States should not be/would not be messed with. We were ruthless in our efforts to quash a rogue nation.

While we had compassion for civilians, we understood that they allowed the aggressive culture to develop. From 1945 until 1952, the United States occupied Japan to ensure that they would be unable to be aggressive toward others. We taught Japan freedom and capitalism. Then we got out. We are friends now.

In the past 21 years, since the destruction of the World Trade Centers on American soil, the United States has done very little to destroy the culture that attacked us. As a nation, we have not become so "affronted" that we have demanded the destruction of those who have harmed us or want to harm us. We know that several countries have allowed militants or mercenaries to thrive and train to attack the United States. We are unwilling to attack and destroy those who seek to attack and destroy us. We are unwilling to attack and destroy those countries which have allowed that culture to flourish. We are not insulted.

We are afraid of the "collateral damage" of bringing death and destruction to civilians who have allowed the culture to grow and prosper. Harry Truman would not have been afraid. Harry Truman would have turned several of those areas of the world into gravel parking lots. They would be warned to leave us alone. I suspect that Ronald Reagan might have done the same thing.

Our culture has changed. Today, we just want to discuss Friday Night Lights, senior proms, and where we went on our last cruise. We have softened. There is no doubt that someday our children and grandchildren will pay dearly for the lack of national pride we have today.

John Grillo

Hot Springs

JazzFest 'thanks'

Dear editor:

The Hot Springs Jazz Society would like to thank the community for making the 29th annual Hot Springs JazzFest a success!

JazzFest has traditionally been held under the skybridge on Broadway Street. This year's event was moved to the Central Theatre, on Saturday, Sept. 3.

Central Theatre owner Chris Rix and his outstanding staff worked tirelessly to provide any and all things that were needed to hold the event.

Chris created a fabulous Jazz Brunch as patrons enjoyed tasty morsels while listening to the dynamic set of the popular duo of John Jordan and Gary Meggs during the 12 o'clock time slot.

The remainder of the daytime lineup included a brilliant performance by The Josh Lawrence Trio, University of Arkansas at Monticello Jazz 1 Ensemble presented some top-notch jazz. Rounding out the afternoon's festivities was Marquis Hunt, whose smooth jazz and velvet voice mesmerized our audience.

The Big Dam Horns headlined the evening.

Their concert was electrifying.

Thank you to The Sentinel-Record, Visit Hot Springs and The Springs magazine for promoting our event. To our donors, specifically The Arkansas Arts Council and the Elisabeth D Wagner Foundation, please accept our gratitude!

Thank you to these volunteers who provided immeasurable help throughout the day and evening: Christine Allen, Linda Womack, Cindy Hibler, Lorri and Don Agee, Judi Lewis, Zane Williams and Frank Janaskie! Thank you!

This year's JazzFest committee did an outstanding job putting this year's festival together. The committee included board members Melanie Williams, Ron McHone, co-chairs and Lynn Janaskie. Kudos! You guys are the best!

Shirley Chauvin, Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame, and Hot Springs' own Jazz Queen, worked to get out news releases and email blasts to membership and to the general public. Emcees Jim Kelly and Bob Kellam were entertaining and informative with their introductions. A big thank you to all board members of the HSJS for your unwavering support.

Finally, thank you to the glue that holds the Jazz Society together, business manager Gretchen Miller. She is an unparalleled asset.

The Jazz Society, in collaboration with the Garland County Library, presents America's Art Form concerts on the second Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m.

HSJS, in partnership with Central Theatre, will present JazzNights on the first and third Tuesdays of each month. The Goat Band will kick off the inaugural show on Oct. 4 at 7 p.m.

There are some impressive groups coming to both of these programs in the next few months.

The Jazz Society continues to hold Block Parties in the fall and spring outside the homes of our gracious hosts. Please contact Valerie Tobin if you are interested in hosting a Block Party at [email protected]

Thank you Hot Springs!

Valerie Tobin

Hot Springs Jazz Society

President 2022

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