Monday, February 12, 2018
More pressing needs
It was a very informative article in last Sunday's paper on the Clarendon bridge controversy. I can see that the river bridge would be a money pit, but why spend money removing the old highway bed and its concrete bridges?
They could serve access to people who aren't outdoorsmen to see this amazing forest we all own, and maybe help out the town to boot. Please don't tell me the concrete bridges are unsafe because here on Highway 70, hundreds of Interstate 40's overcrowded big trucks use the same antique bridges every time there's a problem. And any flooding problems are a joke; it's a flood zone and the only reason the timber is still there. Remember when Rex Hancock stopped them from draining the Cache.
Don't let the highway department give millions to an out-of-state company to remove this. Please contact the governor and Congressman Crawford, and our senators too. We hired them to stop wasteful spending; make them earn their money. There are many more pressing needs in eastern Arkansas.
On looking forward
Preston Brown, in his fine letter in the Feb. 4 issue, mentioned Dr. Viktor Frankl, a Jewish psychotherapist who spent years in concentration camps during the Nazi regime. He lost his mother, father, brother, and wife while there.
His logotherapy was designed to break through the neuroses of his patients, a defense device which served to conceal their life's mission, which is different for all people. He believed the main drive of folks was a search for meaning in their lives going forward, as opposed to Freud's emphasis on individuals' past history.
Testing was irrelevant
Regarding the U.S. FDA ending a nicotine study at an Arkansas lab after four monkeys died, it is ludicrous to still torture animals in this age to study nicotine effects. To all the writers defending the torture/experiments, notice I said nicotine.
Taxpayers shouldn't be forced to pay over $15 billion every year for experiments--on dogs, cats, monkeys, and other animals--that are irrelevant.
Renowned primate researcher Jane Goodall wrote to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb after the death of four adolescent monkeys in nicotine experiments, saying the treatment of the monkeys was tantamount to taxpayer-funded torture. "I was disturbed--and quite honestly shocked--to learn that the U.S. FDA is still, in 2017, performing cruel and unnecessary nicotine addiction experiments on monkeys," she wrote. Devices were placed in young squirrel monkeys to deliver nicotine directly into their bloodstreams, then they were put in restraint devices and trained to press levers to receive doses of nicotine. Each monkey is locked alone in a cage for nearly three years. Goodall concluded: "To continue performing nicotine experiments on monkeys when the results of smoking are well-known in humans--whose smoking habits can still be studied directly--is shameful."
Need offshore energy
Re "A drilling reprieve": Nations from Canada to Brazil are exploring for energy in the Atlantic, while U.S. oil and gas in the same ocean is locked away. It doesn't make sense--especially since the U.S. is a world leader in safety standards.
Offshore drilling is safer than ever. Through joint efforts from industry experts and government regulators, more than 100 industry safety and environmental standards have been created or strengthened, and the industry launched the Center for Offshore Safety to ensure continual safety improvements.
Offshore production has been providing more than 1 million barrels of oil per day to the U.S. economy for the last 20 years, and today production in the Gulf of Mexico is near all-time highs--while co-existing safely alongside military operations, tourism and fishing. But to maintain U.S. production and grow the economy, we need to expand.
It might seem that landlocked states like ours don't have a stake in offshore energy exploration. But all Americans have an interest in future energy security. Strong natural gas and oil production has helped make energy more affordable for families and businesses, spurring manufacturing growth. And U.S. energy leadership has enhanced our security, reducing reliance on overseas energy and diminishing the influence of nations that use their energy wealth as a weapon.
Offshore energy represents an opportunity to keep those benefits going well into the future, while creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. The U.S. should not stay on the sidelines while other nations move forward.
J. KELLY ROBBINS
North Little Rock
J. Kelly Robbins is executive director of the Arkansas Petroleum Council.
An important issue plaguing Arkansas is that of puppy mills. While this phrase sounds oh-so-cute, it is a living nightmare right here in the Natural State. Puppy mills breed dogs in inadequate conditions, causing defects, illness, and malnutrition. These puppy mills mass-breed animals at a low cost and sell the dogs for profit to pet stores.
Arkansas is among the top 10 states for puppy mills in the country, with an estimated 700 to 1,000 mills around the state. There is no legislation to prevent this atrocity, no excuse for our reprehensible actions.
The most well-rounded and effective solution would be to launch a three-pronged approach from all sides: a social media campaign to raise awareness and gain a following, a call to action from Arkansas to enable legislative change, and finally, promotion of adoption from animal shelters instead of buying from stores supplied by puppy mills. This would enact both preventative measures as well as reactionary consequences for offenders. With this, puppy mills could be a rarity rather than a regularity.
This is the moment to start. This is the moment we collectively decide to look at these statistics and say it's too much. This is the moment Arkansas becomes a better place for all those who call it home, whether they have hands or paws. So, I plead to readers: Take to social media, contact your representatives, visit your local animal shelter--choose to effect real change today.
Editorial on 02/12/2018
ArkansasOnline.com for only
$0.99 for the first month.