Letter to the Editor

Citizen Forum

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Supporting local resistance

I read in the newspapers about local Arkansas constituents getting arrested at Sen. Boozman’s DC office and applaud their actions!

Here’s what I just emailed the Senator: 

Why do you continue to avoid your own constituents? You refuse to hold Town Halls and when Arkansas citizens make the effort to come to your Washington DC office, you can’t be bothered. Tom Cotton made time to see a group but you did not. What are we supposed to think of a man who lives off the tax payers yet refuses to meet with them? Instead, you have them arrested. Winning the election for your office makes you more answerable to us, you work for us. 

You say that town halls are not productive??? Seems to me that they are one of the hallmarks of our democratic process. Most of us know how to behave in public too! I cannot recall a time in my life (I am 89) when folks had to be arrested to get their life and death concerns over decent healthcare (Trumpcare proposal is horrendous) heard by members of Congress...

Sincerely,

– Marge J. Sullivan

Raising a family in Eureka Springs

Dear editor,

I am a homeowner in Eureka Springs and I have been disturbed for some time but nothing really disturbed me more than me moving back here from Minnesota and my family and I trying to just get back into a clinic. I was told here locally and even in Rogers and surrounding cities there is a waiting list for any doctors. We were all patients previously at Washington Family Medical and now that we moved and came back there is no room for us. I pay $1,117 in property taxes, we all pay 12 percent in taxes at restaurants, $5 to pay for parking downtown and not to mention pretty much everywhere the local discounts are a thing of the past!

We pay expensive water that you can’t even trust to drink, $60 in Cox Cable just for local channels, and just noticed that Lake Leatherwood has got more funding now which is a very nice place but we need to spend more money on the city and more doctors with improving that hospital. You pay premiums for healthcare and yet a lot of people including my family can’t even get into a doctor facility! You are forced to go to the ER and if you have Medicaid or others you get denied because it wasn’t an emergency.

What do you do when you need help for a simple thing and you can’t get a local doctor to see for preventative care or a simple cold or flu? I was denied to even get a wellness visit for my child because they couldn’t fit him in a clinic.

What I am trying to say is I hope that the state, government, medical facilities, and all others that have control of this matter have a heart and something changes soon. If you’re paying for healthcare or if you’re not because you are low income, you should be able to make a doctor’s appointment to be seen for issues. Then we learn that schools are cutting funding for the school meals programs! Where does it end? There has to be a solution to a long growing problem. We are scared to ever get sick due to not enough care and someone needs to start having a discussion and come up with a solution. I thank you for your time for reading this and posting this but I hope the discussion will not end here!

— Anthony Harris

End political divisiveness

Yesterday, July 6, 2017, there were two political demonstrations in Northwest Arkansas and I was fortunate to be able to participate in both. The first at the Bentonville Senior Citizens Center where our State Attorney General’s Mobile Office staff was giving a talk on identity theft, took place at 10 a.m. This was to include a half hour prior for people to ask questions for, or express concerns to the Attorney General, Leslie Rutledge’s representative. Her website states the following, “Attorney General Rutledge created the mobile office initiative to make the office accessible to everyone, particularly to those who live outside the capital city. She believes no issue is too small for her staff to have a face-to-face conversation.” Because of the AG’s desire to end the state’s involvement in the DACA program(Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), a program that has allowed thousands of Arkansas children of immigrants to better themselves and their families, several people wished to express their concerns about the adverse effects this would have on thousands of Arkansas families. Her public statements affirm that she will honor the DACA certifications that are already in place but does not intend to allow any new applications or renewals. Children who are in the program must re-apply every two years.

There were police present in the parking lot when we arrived and they were explaining to us that the center, which we were told was private property, would not allow us to protest on the property which we respected. The Bentonville Police were glad that we were not there to disrupt and were very professional and treated us like fellow human beings. We were allowed to enter the center and register as guests. After leaving briefly and re-entering the building the police and another gentleman who seemed to have some sort of authority, although he would not say who he was or what his position was, informed us that we would not be allowed back in even to speak to the AG’s staff before her talk. We assured them that we would not disrupt anything and would not interfere with her meeting. After some discussions between the officers and with the AG’s staff, we were given permission to get in line for the pre-meeting and several did. The representative listened but took no notes. Hopefully she has a photographic memory and will convey these messages to her boss. The many concerned citizens gathered across the street, showed signs, raised voices and did interviews with local media, to demonstrate their support of our friends and neighbors.

The focus then turned to Sen. Cotton’s Springdale office to share with his staff and passersby our feelings and personal experiences with the healthcare before and after the ACA and what an incredibly destructive bill the Republicans in Congress are trying to force on the nation in the name of purging all things Obama. At both events the people passing in their vehicles expressed their freedom of speech in the form of horn honks, thumbs up and the occasional middle finger. It is all good.

My reasons for taking part in events like these are not fully personal. After all, I am not a minority, I am not poor, I have no gender identity issues and I am not physically or mentally disabled, but my wife and I know the difference between right and wrong. We know that if hungry strangers come to your door you welcome them in and you set more plates and slice the bread thinner so everyone gets a slice. I don’t know if America can be great, but Americans can be, people everywhere can be. It is not we or them, it is us.

— Mark Eastburn

Call for democracy

Cheatolini, our dishonest “president,” displayed for all the world to see how inept he is, how chauvinistic and how disdainful he can be about cooperation with our allies at the G-20 Summit. Everyone is talking about how America is no longer “first,” but has disintegrated. He has brought on the world’s contempt, ridicule and disrespect. America is no longer a beacon for people, but a bully who is irrelevant to peace, the environment and democracy.

He cannot even talk with any coherence. His boss and financier Putin has won. Putin bought our election and the Republicans sold it to him. Why can’t the so-called “right-wing Christians” wake up to this disaster? They are so busy misinterpreting their Bible, damning the LGBTQ community, and protecting their pocketbooks that they remain in a daze, doing nothing constructive, “praying” while our country is dying.

America needs allies. We cannot deal with Isis, climate change, North Korea, etc., without cooperation and he is not only not interested in cooperation, he is ignorant and egotistic, so much so, our country has become a White House of buffoons.

How I miss the Obamas: Michelle Obama, who was smart, articulate, compassionate and delightful. Mrs. Cheatolini models beautifully and that’s about it. She shows off expensive clothes, dark glasses and lackadaisical waving. So representative of nothingness, just like her rich husband.

Our July 4th parade displayed hope. The Democrats’ kicking donkey was a delight. We indeed need to do some butt kicking if we are going to survive this budding Fascism and develop a true democracy!

— Trella Laughlin