More on McGehee


How interesting it is that you question whether the female student at McGehee High school was denied her honor of valedictorian this past year because she is black. (Arkansas Reporter, Sept. 7) The question in the subtitle is “Was it racial?”.


Your reporter writes how school administrators had notified her of the honor, then made her share it with a white student. The principal told her of the change with the superintendent of the district upholding the decision. The angle throughout the whole article was that the white administrators conspired to deny her the sole ownership of the honor because of race. When in fact, the superintendent of the district is African-American himself, a detail that might reflect that the case is a bit more complex than presented on the surface of this simplistic article.

Maybe a bit more homework on the part of the reporter was needed or a bit more transparency in his agenda was warranted.


Tyler Thompson
Little Rock

The end of Democrats


It is over. The political war in Arkansas has ended. Republicans won. The last Democratic U.S. congressman has resigned, and the remaining Democratic U.S. senator is likely packing his golden parachute right now. The Democratic governor is term-limited, and Arkansas’s Republican wave will soon wax into office a Republican Governor. Democrats think they have lost the battle, but Democrats have lost the war.

As soon as Republicans and corporations take over Arkansas, the Democratic will of the Arkansas masses will no longer be important. At the polls, Arkansans will wonder which corporate Republicans own the election software. Electronic voting is easily manipulated. Arkansans are quickly losing democracy, liberty and security. Democrats are quickly disappearing, and are no longer positioned to help and protect Arkansans.

It has been a long time coming, but Red State Arkansans finally got what they wanted. Face it, Red State Arkansans do not identify with the masses that live in big cities and crowded states. Democracy is the rule of the masses, and this ideal is just too socialistic for Republican-minded Arkansans. Neo-conservative Arkansans actually cheer when corporations wrest Democratic rights from the hands of the masses.

Simply stated, Arkansans have elected to relinquish their Democratic rights to Republicans and corporations forever. There is way too much power at stake, and there will be no refund.

Democracy worked well in Arkansas, but all good things must end.

Gene Mason

Fed up with delegation

I got my third letter (and last) from Sen. Mark Pryor recently. It began “I too share your concerns about our fiscal and financial responsibilities … ” The funny thing was, the next three paragraphs went on and were the exact same as the responses to the previous two letters I had sent. They were on completely different subjects. What a joke. Talk about a cut and paste senator. Pryor isn’t half the man his father was, and it may be 2014, but he’s done as far as I’m concerned.

As to Tim Griffin, he won’t be getting my vote in 2012. Despite his rhetoric with Bill Vickery on the “Sunday Buzz” radio show, he apparently forgot to pack his spine when he left for Washington. His debt-ceiling vote was the final straw for me. Call Vickery, Timmy, and see if he needs a Sunday morning sidekick. You were sent to rein in spending, and you’ve done nothing but become a different district’s Mike Ross.

Debby Gravano
Hot Springs Village

Employees deserve COLA

I’m writing to encourage your readers to contact the Arkansas General Assembly to right injustice with the extra money that is growing in the state Treasury. Governor Beebe’s budget may be ultra-conservative, but political leaders must take care of their employees, which wasn’t done during this last legislative session. I’m talking about state employees and teachers! Your support is urgently needed.

First, how could the Legislature and the governor deny state employees a cost of living raise this year? The economy may be down the drain but state employees deserve to be able to live. With gas prices sky-high, some employees are barely surviving.

But don’t give people a percentage cost of living. That just gives higher paid supervisors more money than their employees. Just decide how much you can afford to pay everyone, be it $100, $200, $300 or more extra a month. Teachers get about $1,000 for every extra year of experience they gain plus the cost of living raise, so why not career employees?

Second, isn’t it time to fix the injustice that resulted from the governor and his cabinet screwing up the state employee classification system a couple of years ago? They raised the starting salary of new employees by about $5,000 and raised everyone below the new minimums to that new level.

But career employees got the shaft! Some people only got raises of 10 cents per hour! Now experienced workers don’t make much more than trainees who don’t know they are doing. In addition to the COLA, the legislature needs to give everyone who didn’t get the big raise the same increase.

They came up with a chart showing mid-career salaries for positions and years of experience. But it was never put into use. The legislature needs to demand the governor implement the chart and raise salaries to the appropriate level. You could save money by rolling back the starting salaries for management and lower level employees so that experienced workers are paid more than trainees and don’t look for better paying jobs outside of state government.

Keith Weber

Submit letters to the Editor, Arkansas Times, P.O. Box 34010, Little Rock, AR 72203. We also accept letters via e-mail. The address is

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