Letter to the Editor

Citizen Forum

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

HDC? Why bother?


The Department of the Interior website states, "Local legislation is one of the best ways to protect the historic character of buildings, streetscapes, neighborhoods and special landmarks from inappropriate alterations, new construction and other poorly conceived work . . ."

Eureka Springs allegedly has that local legislation in place. The HDC has developed, written, adopted and published design guidelines/standards. The local design standard states, "New construction of primary buildings shall maintain, not disrupt, the existing pattern of surrounding historic buildings along the street..."

HDC used houses on Owen and Eureka Streets as comparables to justify their failure to follow 12 of 14 applicable Guidelines for New Construction. They approved construction of a hideous, modern monstrosity (50 ft. wide) rental duplex for Al Larson at 53 Mountain Street.

Residents of Mountain Street read these guidelines aloud and challenged each one. Seven letters opposing this structure were read aloud, but were systematically labeled by the Chair as within 100 ft. or more than 100 ft. away from 53 Mountain. Even if you lived on Mountain Street, you had no voice if you were outside the 100 ft. line.

Commissioner Melissa Greene apparently based her decision on demographics she read aloud. Demographics?

Marty Cogan seemingly hadn't heard of Penn Castle (which directly faces the new construction) and asked if it was a "tour home." When told that it was not, Marty said, "If it's not a tour home, it doesn't count." No one at the table corrected that misconception.

Doug Breitling accused us of "cherry picking" the guidelines we were challenging. Excuse me, who was picking those cherries?

Richard Grinnell pointed out that three guidelines were met: 1) scale 2) shape 3) roof shape and pitch. Charles Templeton told his friend, Al, he didn't like nor would he build that design, but...

The only commissioner who chose not to bastardize Mountain Street with an inconsistent, incompatible structure was Greg Moon.

The State of Arkansas gives the HDC binding authority. That's a lot of power in the hands of people who refuse to follow their own published guidelines and are unable to say "No" to bad ideas that obliterate the historic integrity of our town.

Debbie Frisbie

Healing water to be poisoned


I apologize in advance to the wonderful Eureka restaurants that I won't be frequenting once Carroll-Boone starts dumping toxic poisonous waste in our drinking water, since those restaurants will be using that "water" to cook with.

It is a shame that Eureka has to add government mandated toxic industrial waste to the water that once could be advertised as "healing."

I will not drink, cook with or shower in water that is intentionally poisoned by our own government, and in light of recent studies (link is below) that indicate fluoride may be instrumental in hardening of the arteries. neither should the rest of you.


Mike Sutton

Fluoride a health risk


Have you noticed that over the last 50 or so years there has been an increase in a number of debilitating conditions?

These include: Osteoporosis; arthritis; hip fractures; cancer; thyroid disorder; infertility; Alzheimer's disease. They are all linked to a single underlying factor: Fluoride.

Scientists at the EPA in Washington declared that the increasing numbers of people with carpal-tunnel syndrome and arthritis-like pains are due to mass fluoridation of drinking water.

Drinking fluoridated water doubles the number of hip fractures for both older men and women. According to the union representing all scientists at the EPA there have been five studies done since 1990, in three different countries, all showing a higher increase in hip fractures in fluoridated communities.

The National Cancer Institute Toxicological Program found fluoride to be a carcinogen. Further studies by the New Jersey Department of Health confirmed a 6.9 fold increase in bone cancer in young males.

In Russia, Bachinskii (1985) found a lowering of thyroid function, among otherwise healthy people, at 2.3 ppm fluoride in water.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) scientists reported a close correlation between decreasing total fertility rates in women between the ages of 10 and 49, and increasing fluoride levels.

Several studies show that the bioavailability of aluminum is increased in the presence of fluorides, causing aluminum in the brain to double in treated animals and producing dementia characteristics.

What do you think about fluoridating our water supply now?

Ira Goodman

Will stay for great concerts


My wife and I decided to stop off in Eureka Springs before Christmas after spending some time in Branson with our grandchildren. We'd much rather visit Eureka Springs, by the way, but we haven't felt all that needed or wanted in recent years.

We used to come for all those great concerts in the historic city auditorium, a few of which I will cite here: Randy Newman, Charles Brown, Townes Van Zandt, Jesse Winchester, Dar Williams, Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris.

We came to see the Brick Fields Band play at the New Delhi Cafe, a tiny place that was filled with festive folks and great music by Larry and Rachel.

There used to be fun times at the twin festivals devoted to blues and folk, but we lost interest in the blues gathering when it seemed to turn into an excuse for the owners of muffler-less motorcycles to gather to see who could create the most noise to echo through the otherwise peaceful town.

But there don't seem to be any great shows there anymore for reasons not clear to those of us who live elsewhere. We're aware of the petty politics you folks have to deal with, but it would seem everyone would be able to agree to cooperate on what would draw in visitors who would -- wait for it -- rent rooms, eat meals, buy things and so forth? It isn't rocket surgery or brain science, is it?

Those folks in West Memphis can't get those greyhounds to run around the dog track without some sort of fake rabbit to motivate them, and it's the same with us tourists: We need an excuse to come to your lovely town. Great concerts would bring some of us flocking again.

Why not put someone in charge who knows the value of money changing hands? Is someone in charge of the auditorium now who is a dedicated believer in it remaining a quiet center of zen-like contemplation or what exactly is going on?

Jack W. Hill

HIPC a public entity


What were they thinking? When I read the recent news article describing action taken by the Holiday Island Planning Commission (HIPC) to bar the press from covering and completely reporting on permitting actions, I was both surprised and disappointed.

Reading that alarming statement in a newspaper article also reinforces my belief that press coverage of local meetings is essential to keeping citizens informed about the actions which impact their lives and property. I must also ask how can an entity not be subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requirements when it:

1) meets under the name, Holiday Island Planning Commission

2) incorporates state and federal building codes into its own rules and regulations

3) uses those codes and standards in its permitting, review and inspection processes

It also appears to me that, if the HIPC serves any public purpose that regulates Holiday Island property owners, then HIPC must be acting as a public entity.

As a Holiday Island property owner, it is my opinion that the HIPC should operate with the transparency and public scrutiny which all Holiday Island property owners expect from every other regulatory body.

Finally, having read Mr. Dunn's excellent letter, I plan to join him at the next HIPC meeting to urge the HIPC to rescind their action barring the press. I hope to hear in the near future that HIPC has heard our voices and has taken affirmative steps to bring itself back within the public fold.

David Blackford

A little help from my friends


I thank the great people of Eureka Springs for making the benefit show Chelsea's put together for me a wonderful success. I am humbled by and forever grateful to all of you that helped in any way, but especially Sticks, Lisa, Tommy, SxRex, Mountain Sprout, Tinkerlincoln, Springbilly, Eureka Taxi and everyone that donated to the silent auction. Thank you.

I moved to Eureka Springs a little more than three years ago, not knowing a soul. I was more than a little apprehensive, but that feeling didn't last long. The people I met in those first few months have become some of my dearest friends and loved ones. The whole town welcomed me with open arms and made Eureka Springs feel like home in no time at all.

No matter where I am in the coming years, I will always fondly think of Eureka Springs and will do my best to steer others toward this unique little gem. If their experience here is even half as fantastic as mine, they won't ever want to leave.

Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I look forward to becoming good friends with many more of you.

Chris Gray

So, are corporations male or female?


Friday, Jan. 20, 15 of us from Eureka Springs traveled to Fayetteville to participate in the Occupy the Courts event held in hundreds of cities. I have never been in better company than this gathering of about 250 people demonstrating about the disastrous direction of our government, which has been taken over by the one percent/corporate business interests.

The event, held in conjunction with www.movetoamend.org, is an effort to "End Corporate Personhood." It marked the second anniversary of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision that gave corporations the right to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence campaigns.

Corporate campaign funding has usurped the Congress (90 percent of the time, the candidate who has the most money wins) and the courts. Corporations should not be given the same rights as citizens when corporations don't have the same responsibilities. For example, you can't execute a corporation or put it in jail for murdering someone, destroying a mountain or polluting someone's drinking water.

More than 50 cities across the country including the two largest -- New York and Los Angeles -- have passed resolutions to End Corporate Personhood. If you agree with this effort, please contact your Eureka Springs council members and ask them to adopt a similar resolution. You can also go to the website www.movetoamend.org to sign the online petition.

This effort alone won't solve all of our problems, but it is a step in the right direction. Two other main priorities are public financing of elections, and reinstatement of Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 that protected our banking system for decades before being dismantled, which was a big factor in the meltdown in our economy that we are still suffering from.

Becky Gillette

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  • Ira, I am so sorry to say-the 99% are more worried about finding a part time job that pays $30.00 an hour with benefits of course, than the outrageous assault from our government forcing us to put this poisonous substance in our drinking water. I am truly sorry and I do appreciate your concern. Are you not glad that WE have well water??

    -- Posted by rockpilefarmer on Thu, Jan 26, 2012, at 2:33 PM
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