The highway department held a “public hearing” on July 12 at the Wyndham Hotel in North Little Rock about revised plans for Interstate 30 expansion. The options were called “action alternatives.”

There were many colorful posters about these action alternatives and eager representatives standing near them to answer questions. Paper and pens were provided to people so they could comment. Comments can be submitted online to ARDOT by July 27.


But having an “open house” (those were ARDOT’s own words) without a formal presentation was a strange way to present important information at a key stage in the “30 Crossing” project. No ARDOT or Metroplan board members were introduced.

A timeline on one poster indicated that actual construction is slated to begin sometime next year.


Eye-catching charts and maps with technical jargon notwithstanding, the “presentation” came down to guesstimates about what things might be like if a lane is widened, curved or whatnot.

Except for a poster here and there, there was no detailed information about cost. The number $631 million is bandied around, but it comes without detail. Three companies that are candidates for contracts were listed on another poster.

But a light rail system was not offered as one of the action alternatives.

Although a meeting notice was posted on the ARDOT website, why was the event given minimal publicity?


The main attraction of the meeting was a long-awaited Environmental Assessment prepared by the Federal Highway Administration in cooperation with ARDOT. The report followed federal regulatory guidelines.

An announcement came out early last month about the 45-day period for members of the public to examine the report at the Main Library. A copy was also available at the meeting for inspection — all three volumes of it, with a 123-page summary and 18 appendices running to hundreds of pages. (I didn’t have the time to count how many.)

Why are we being given such a short time to study such a big (and important) document?

Of course, upgrades to public roads are essential. However, a suspicious person might come away with the notion that things are being hurried along in order to do something at public expense that most people in Central Arkansas oppose in the first place — that is, those who’ve been made aware of what’s going on.

It seems only a handful of special interests have anything to gain from I-30 expansion.

Anthony Newkirk

North Little Rock

From the web

In response to the July 12 cover story “The Greatest Dog: Rufus von Schmufus”:


I know Charles and Rufus. To see them work together is heartwarming. I’m so glad he won!

Mary Machen Boyce

From the web

In response to the July 12 article “Rescue, rehab, repeat” about the Humane Society of Pulaski County:

I have had the privilege of fostering two of these special babies. Both were blind to one degree or another, and older. They both were adopted into wonderful homes, albeit sadly in Chicago. It seems that people in our lovely South just want perfect pets. I can’t think of any other stupid reason as to why so many buy their dogs from breeders, when if they educated themselves just a little bit they would realize that this is the worst thing that they could do. Breeders, especially in Arkansas, are, at best, bad. And the worst? Arkansas is one of the all-time favorite states for puppy mills. Please adopt and save a life! And for God’s sake, at least spay and neuter your pets!

Randa Rives Fergus

In response to the July 14 Arkansas Blog item “NRA used shell company to funnel millions to elect Tom Cotton, others”:

There’s a reason for the Rotten Cotton tag.

wannabee conservative

Your tag may be wannabee but not mainstream. What has this man done to deserve your tag other than serve his country (two combat tours) and get elected? I understand snowflakes cannot tolerate those with other views or tell it like it is having seen problems up close and personal, but everyone is entitled to their opinion without being belittled for expressing it. The NRA may have thrown money at his campaign, but ultimately it was the voters who elected him. So far he has not expressed any views that I disagree with and I strongly agree with many others. Maybe one borderline.


A big, unreported story is why folks like DullRazor, who claim to be patriotic Americans, have thrown in with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. I mean, we know Putin has something on @DraftDodgerDonald and @DDT has become Putin’s poodle/lapdog. But why would those who have claimed to be anti-communist like DullRazor suddenly switch sides? Blind allegiance to Putin’s poodle @DDT? Comrade DullRazor, can you explain that to us?

P.S. Rotten Tommy Cotton is the NRA’s lapdog.

Sound Policy

Mr. blade: What has traitor Tom Cotton done? Absolutely nothing that can be praised. He is more of a bottom feeder than an Arkansas River catfish. If he did anything on the two tours besides push a pencil, got a political bronze star, how about publishing his DD 214? A shame on Yell County, the state and nation.

You have been brainwashed.

Going for the record

Record, you clearly don’t have a clue about Cotton’s accomplishments. Or perhaps because of your background you don’t comprehend the significance of his military service.

1. As a law school graduate he could have gone into the JAG Corps, probably starting as a captain. Instead he choose the infantry as a 2nd lieutenant.

2. He volunteered for the U.S. Army Rangers and graduated the Ranger Course. Earning a Ranger Tab is no easy task.

3. He served a tour in Iraq as a platoon leader with the 101st Airborne Division, leading a 41-man air assault infantry platoon in the 506th Infantry Regiment. Soldiers are not awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge for “pushing a pencil.” He also earned the Air Assault Badge.

4. Cotton served as platoon leader for the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment at Arlington National Cemetery.

5. He then deployed to eastern Afghanistan and was assigned at a forward operating base as the operations officer of a provincial reconstruction team, where he planned daily counter-insurgency and reconstruction operations. In both Iraq and Afghanistan, he served “outside the wire.”

6. His awards include the Bronze Star Medal.


Adolf Hitler served on the western front during WWI, was wounded in an artillery attack, was gassed by the British and won the Iron Cross, Second and First Class. So what’s the point?


I have a lot of respect for Tom Cotton serving in the military.

I have no respect for Cotton serving as a member of Congress!

I have no respect for Cotton lying on behalf of President Trump regarding whether Trump used shithole or shithouse.



Last week’s cover story, The Greatest Dog in Arkansas, omitted photo credits for the cover and an inside photograph of the winner, Rufus von Schmufus, running. Both were taken by Charles Zook.