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On shining examples

On Thanksgiving the annual Go!bbler family fun run was held at the old brick-and-mortar location of Go! Running in the Heights area of Little Rock. Many runners, dogs, strollers, and walkers showed up for a fun run through the Heights and Hillcrest area. The entry fee? Canned goods and non-perishable food items for the Arkansas Foodbank.

The gathering has occurred for over 10 years. The 2020 version was virtual and still managed to raise over 12,000 meals in food and cash donations.

I first met Gary and Erin Taylor when I got serious about running in 2015. Not only did they create a great store, but a great running culture prevailed in Little Rock. We had Thursday night runs, the Go! Mile annual race, and the Thanksgiving run. The physical store is no longer, but the coaching, the passion for running, the volunteerism, and the camaraderie remain. The Taylors are shining examples of truly giving back to your community and giving thanks.


Little Rock

Confusion on climate

Many people question the scientific consensus on climate change and human involvement with that change. Once again it seems that the culture wars became a big part of that, and when Al Gore became closely tied to the issue, many conservatives’ kneejerk reaction was to take the opposite stand. Unfortunately for this country and the world, climate change, like pandemics, doesn’t care about political leanings. Not long ago, one letter in this forum questioned why only “liberal” sources believed in climate change or human involvement. While this is not the case, unfortunately, it is the perception.

Recently the U.S. House held hearings with the CEOs of Big Oil, and let’s hope it is the beginning of the end of climate denial. It did not get the publicity it should have. Below is the transcript of a small portion of that hearing. Chair Carolyn Maloney of New York made it easy for anyone. You can see if for yourself at about the 4:45 mark of the video at www.pbs.org.

Maloney: Mr. Woods, CEO of Exxon, do you agree that climate change is real?

Darren Woods: Yes.

Maloney: Thank you. Mr. Lawler, CEO of BP America, do you agree that climate change is caused by human activities?

David Lawler: Yes.

Maloney: Mr. Wirth, CEO of Chevron, do you agree that burning fossil fuels is a significant cause of climate change?

Michael Wirth: Chairwoman, we’ve been clear on where we stand, and we accept the current scientific consensus that the use of fossil fuels contributes to climate change.

The oil companies funded junk- science groups that denied and/or muddled the debate for years to protect their profits, they refused to commit to stopping this in the hearing also. Their own websites now tell a different story on climate change, but they fund junk science that helps confuse people. Don’t be confused!



Keeping people safe

Little Rock is not safe, and the mayor isn’t doing enough to fix it.

While the number of murders in Arkansas during 2020 grew by an astounding 34 percent from the prior year–over 15 percent greater than the national increase of 29 percent–Little Rock’s rate of increase in homicides surpassed the state’s already high tally (to which Little Rock significantly contributed, of course), with a 36 percent increase for the same period. And that increase is layered on top of the upward jump from the prior year.

This year is even worse than last. Little Rock is now in the middle of the absolute deadliest year it has seen in almost three decades. And digging deeper only reveals cause for greater concern.

In 2021, 301 were people shot, stabbed, or seriously hurt in Little Rock, and, of course, the year isn’t even over. That’s three times the total seen in 2015. And just last week, a carload of thugs sought to carjack a couple in the tony Heights neighborhood, firing some 30 bullets at the victims. The mayor’s disappointing response to one of the victims was to tell her that he’s praying for her.

That’s insufficient. We need our politicians actually working for us. To too many politicians, listing tangible items on a door hanger, like increasing the number of giraffes at the zoo, is more important than the seemingly more ephemeral quality-of-life issues that affect everyone’s daily lives–safety and security first among them. The single most important function of government is to keep the people who elect them safe.

The mayor has lost sight of the fact that he works for, and is responsible to, the electorate–his bloated distance-creating security detail notwithstanding. The mayor is failing at his primary task of keeping the peace. Public safety isn’t a right or left issue. It’s a right or wrong issue. And, so far, the mayor is coming up wrong.


Little Rock

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