Letters to the Editor
Why the rush?
On Tuesday, the Hot Springs board of directors will consider spending $ 87,000 to repair windows at the central fire hall.
Why are the windows replaced? It turns out that they were installed upside down and the rainwater “seeps” behind the brick facade. Since “the problem” arose after the one-year warranty period provided by the builder, Hot Spring taxpayers are forced to foot the bill.
Just like we did when the city ordered buses they couldn’t use – selling them at a loss of $ 38,000. Much like we did when former city manager David Frasher spent $ 50,000 to redecorate his town hall office.
In each of these cases, city council was aware of these issues and did little more than shrug its shoulders.
On Tuesday, the city council will also examine the advisability of installing an outdoor amphitheater with 6,000 seats on the site of the former Hotel Majestic.
Plans call for 30 âmajorâ concerts per year. Even if smaller events are held on the site – say one each week during “the season” – the amphitheater will remain unused 300 days a year. If the amphitheater is only used 60 times a year, will the promised economic benefits for the city center really materialize?
The developer says parking won’t be a problem. For example, the developer claims there are 600 parking spaces at three nearby Whittington Avenue lots – at Math and Science School, Roanoke Baptist Church, and First Presbyterian Church. I spoke with the Presbyterian Church. They have not been approached for the use of their lots. The developer also states that 500 spaces are available at the Arkansas Alligator Farm. However, the owner of the alligator farm said, “We did not accept their proposal, so parking will not take place at our business.”
The developer’s study claims that traffic on Central Avenue peaks at 4 p.m. and “… volumes drop dramatically after 5 p.m.” The numbers say different. At 4 pm, there are approximately 1,500 vehicle trips per hour; for the next three hours (5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.), traffic counts hovered around 1350 per hour (a barely steep drop). And the study ignores the fact that adding some 2,200 additional vehicle trips as spectators either travel to neighboring grounds or are transported to the venue means that hourly traffic volumes will double, exceeding by away any other time of day.
The developer’s âaudio studyâ is simply marketing material (similar to a brochure) for a company that âconducts noise surveysâ and offers âmonitoring systemsâ. There is no acoustic analysis that considers the unique geography around the site. Experience shows that the surrounding mountains will channel sound towards Park Avenue, Central Avenue and Whittington Valley.
Is the proposed amphitheater the best option for the Majestic site? Who can say when no other developer is allowed to present their proposal. Previously, the city allowed multiple parties to come up with their ideas.
The future of the Majestic site is far too important for the city council to âshrug its shouldersâ and accept the first offer. Why the rush? The site remained unused for five years.
It is irresponsible to not solicit further proposals, like selling your house to the first person who knocks on your door.
Mark A. Toth
Excited by the amphitheater
My husband and I used to spend a few weekends a year at Hot Springs. We haven’t been there since 2016. We’re not gamers so we just got tired of the same old not much to do, especially downtown.
When I first heard about the amphitheater my husband and I were excited to go to Hot Springs again.
We’ll line up and buy our tickets to see a headlining artist, check in a hotel, eat at some of the newer restaurants, walk down Central Avenue, and have a good time at the amphitheater.
Hurry up and build it, we’re thrilled.
Jim and Jayne Jones
Fourth type of lie
Mark Twain joked that “there are three types of lies: lies, cursed lies and statistics”.
I would add a fourth type – obscuration by omission of facts. I think Jerry Davis’ July 11 letter to the editor, “Subsidizing the Rich”, probably falls into that category. I suspect he’s a Democrat whose strong political backing included Bill Clinton and now has tingles on Biden’s socialist agenda. While I do not dispute Mr. Davis’ litany of statistics on how the rich have prospered since Ronald Reagan, he conveniently omits some important facts.
Using historical data from the Census Bureau and other government sources, the richest 1% of households by income level paid 40% of federal income taxes in 2019 – at the height of the Trump presidency. The middle class, defined as all households earning between two-thirds and double the median American income, still paid 40% of federal income tax. The richest 5% of households paid 59% of federal taxes, meaning middle- and upper-income households paid almost all federal taxes. There were about 67 million middle-income households and 1.4 million in the top 1%.
What Mr. Davis failed to mention is the impact of NAFTA and the WTO on the middle class. Some 30 to 32 million well-paying jobs in manufacturing and businesses supported by the manufacturing sector have disappeared. And, despite all claims to the contrary, productivity has not eliminated the 7 million factory jobs that disappeared when 74,706 factory jobs closed between 1998 and 2010 after the full implementation of NAFTA. and the WTO. So who is to blame for this?
Well, a guy named Steve Ricchetti probably deserves the most blame. He was Bill Clinton’s deputy chief of staff for operations and the architect of PNTR, the ongoing normal trade relationship with China that paved the way for its entry into the WTO, which is directly responsible for at least 3 million US manufacturing jobs in China. And Ricchetti was Biden’s chief of staff during Obama’s presidency and was the key player in convincing Biden to run for president and served as Biden’s presidential campaign chairman. He now holds the post of adviser to the president.
Ninety-four billionaires or their spouses backed Biden, like Stephen Mandel Jr. of Lone Pine Capital, who donated $ 1 million to Biden’s campaign. Mandel’s SEC 13F Shareholder Report for the first quarter of 2020 ranked China’s Alibaba Group $ 1.232 billion as the number one.
Trade of demonstrators with Cuba
In Cuba, people are in the streets protesting against socialism and the communist regime. They are waving the American flag. Yeah, the same flag that’s shot down and burned here in the United States
I have the perfect answer. I am not of Cuban descent but enjoyed their food, music and dancing. The most perfect solution is to send all American citizens dissatisfied with the Constitution and the United States Bill of Rights to Cuba. So bring all the freedom loving Cubans here. They have proven themselves here as immigrants. Make them instant citizens like our current feed. Cuban immigrants worked hard in the United States in many areas, including all branches of the military. I met doctors from Cuba while on a medical mission in Central America in a war zone. The doctors in Cuba were very compassionate and impressed the other volunteers. Cuban musicians create the best dance music. I dare you not to dance!
On the news as I write these lines, Cuban demonstrators are singing the American anthem in the streets, in English! These freedom loving people should have a chance here before and before foreign criminals and anti-American terrorists. Cubans in the streets protesting for freedom do not and will not turn their backs on the American flag. At the risk of dying, they wave in the streets of Cuba. Yes! Our flag. Replace our hapless millionaire athletes with grateful patriots.
In Havana, freedom protesters risk their lives because their nation does not have a Bill of Rights like us. As they risk torture and death and are denied freedom, they are political refugees. If we exchange protesters with Cuba, everyone would be happy and where they belong, and under the type of government they prefer.
May God save the freedom-loving people.
Let us pray – while we still can.