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RIP, Michael Storey

Has there ever been a more perfect obituary than Tuesday's account of the well-lived life and untimely death of the talented Democrat-Gazette writer Michael Storey? His fans could well believe that it was dictated by Otus (the Head Cat, of course). The editorial was also most fitting. And while I was sad to hear of his death, it was a relief to know that their son was with Celia when she discovered her loss.

Michael arrived at the Democrat several years after my stint in the Women's Department, so I knew him only through his always-entertaining work. For his family and his co-workers, I send my sympathy. For his fans, we will all miss him.


Little Rock

Working for nothing

I recently retired after 40-plus years of service as a legal secretary/assistant to personal injury lawyers in Little Rock. I must take exception to the ads urging Arkansans to vote for Issue 1.

Unlike defense attorneys who charge insurance companies at least 80 hours per week, personal injury attorneys are dependent upon winning a case to get a fee and to recover their out-of-pocket expenses. If they fail, they have simply worked for nothing.

Years ago, a trial resulted in a verdict that has become the expert-witness standard where claims against doctors are concerned. Before a plaintiff can bring a claim against a doctor, they must find another doctor who is familiar with the type of medicine/hospital involved and who will say that the Arkansas doctor was negligent and their treatment contrary to the standard of care in the community. Such an expert charges several hundred dollars just to review the patient's history. The expert, who usually lives in another state, charges thousands to come to Arkansas to testify. Defense attorneys then attempt to make the jury see the expert as a "hired gun" who does nothing but testify against other doctors.

Once suit is filed, the defense begins a barrage of paperwork against the attorney for plaintiff. This is time-consuming for both the plaintiff's attorney and the plaintiff. Finally, getting a plaintiff's verdict that will repay the plaintiff for all they have undergone is virtually impossible.

Vote no on Issue 1.



Provided joy to many

On the occasion of an anniversary of the founding of a hiking club here in Little Rock, we were joined by Celia and Michael Storey for a celebratory hike. Celia went to walk with the leaders, and Michael stayed in the rear with the sweep.

I have had a lot of memorable hikes over the years, but this one stands out over the others. Michael was a delight: witty, self-deprecating and a true reporter--showing interest in all our activities. There followed a great story about a group of women hikers who love being in the woods of Arkansas. Members of our group clipped his Happy Trails columns, hiked many of the locations and bought the book--and hiked some more.

Thank you, Michael, for all the joy you have provided to so many.


Little Rock

A toast to biting wit

The leisurely reading of the morning paper is one of the little pleasures of my life. Saturday is especially good, what with Car Talk, the tough New York Times crossword, and Otus. I read with great sadness of Michael's passing, and regretted never telling him how much I enjoyed his satire, biting wit, and hilarious names.

So to Michael Storey I propose a toast: Here's to the piranha, here's to the pod, here's to the stench in the nostrils of God.



College sex assaults

In just seconds, someone's whole world can be turned upside down. Sexual assaults happen too often across the U.S. to college students. Betsy DeVos wants to limit colleges to only take cases that happen on campus or school events. But what about the many students who live off campus? Shouldn't they have the same protection? Colleges need to do better in prevention and punishment for sexual assaults for every single student.

According to the United States Department of Justice, up to 25 percent of women and 15 percent of men are victims of forced sex before they graduate. Over 90 percent of sexual assaults that happen on college campuses go unreported, and only 25 percent of reported assaults end with an arrest. Some people put the blame on the victim, dismissing the assault with many excuses, from blaming the clothes the victim was wearing to saying the victim "encouraged" the attacker.

Sexual assault alters someone's life forever. Victims often develop depression and/or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many sexual-assault victims are scared of their attackers or too ashamed about the act to report their attacks. A lot of sexual-assault victims are attacked by someone they know, so they feel as if they reported their attacker, no one would believe them.

Colleges need to make every student feel safe and protected. I would love to see mandatory seminars about consent at every campus. Colleges need to recognize sexual assault does happen and make it a topic students are comfortable to speak about.



Country above party

I am a longtime independent with no use for either party. I am a moderate who believes negotiation and compromise are necessary to success. What we are experiencing at the hands of these parties is appalling.

Recently, we watched two families be destroyed in front of our nation by partisanship. Both sides used these families to gain political advantage, and then bragged about how their behavior had fired up their bases. Apparently these politicians can't do math or they would realize neither of their ever-shrinking, rabid bases constitute a majority. It is we, the moderates, who will determine elections and candidates should realize that.

I have seen major defections from both parties from longtime members, citing the fact that their parties have abandoned them to the extremists. These parties are ruled by outdated, aging demagogues who don't have the grace to know when to step aside. Their primary goal is not the good of the country; it is getting re-elected, even if they have to destroy us in the process. Is it any wonder young people aren't interested in them?

If you are tired of the constant din from the shrieking fringes, if you are tired of people so entrenched they can't move, or if you are just plain tired, come join us. The air is free of venom here, logic rules and a path forward is clear. There are no people here blinded by fealty to party. Here, we put country above party. Do you?


Van Buren

Editorial on 10/11/2018

Print Headline: Letters

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