Friday, October 19, 2012

The morning report

Posted By on Fri, Oct 19, 2012 at 6:28 AM

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I'm loose in NWA today. So posting could be erratic. Some morning loose ends:

* OBAMA ON THE DAILY SHOW: Worth a look. Good questions on debate, Libya.

* TECH PARK TANGO: I was remiss not to pass along news that the Fair Park neighborhood association had indicated that it might after all be open to having their neighborhood condemned for the Little Rock Technology Park if they got federal reimbursement rates for purchase and relocation. I was underwhelmed by this news when it was mentioned at a recent Tech Authority meeting for a number of reasons: 1) The neighborhood association doesn't represent all residents. Plaintiffs are lined up to sue to challenge condemnation of their property for use by private businesses. 2) the city can't afford federal government reimbursement levels with the $22 million it has set aside; 3) The resolution covers two Fair Park neighborhoods that are not the primary targets of Tech Park Board members Mary Good and Dickson Flake, who've long lusted after the Forest Hills neighborhood along I-630. It also covers a neighborhood including the politically significant Arkansas Methodist Children's Home property, which opposes losing the land. 4) A number of city officials, from the mayor to the unreliable Joan Adcock, insist the neighborhood is dead as a site. If they go wobbly after the election on neighborhood protection, they are going to look both dishonest and stupid. Still, it ain't over until it's over. And that's why legal work continues in the event a double-cross goes forward. I continue to hear that strong support for the residential neighborhood site continues from at least two Tech Park board members.

UPDATE: Here's a copy of the letter and a comment from one involved:

I do want to stress that the neighborhood “…is opposed to the Little Rock Technology Park Authority selecting the two sites in our neighborhood identified in the original site selection map.”

We did say that if the Tech Park adopted into their bylaws the HUD relocation standards the neighborhood “…will consider withdrawing our opposition and supporting site selection within our neighborhood.”

Will Consider are the key words, there would have to be a huge shift in how the Tech Park board operates and acts. The level of trust that they would have to build with the neighborhood is a task that we believe that they will never reach. You and I both know that Dickson and Jay will never adopt the HUD standards.

* LITTLE ROCK FILM FESTIVAL UPDATE: I posted a drawing last night of the new Arcade Building in the River Market neighborhood, a library/Moses Tucker project that is going to include theater space. An e-mail this morning from the Little Rock Film Festival follows a report yesterday by Leslie Newell Peacock on Rock Candy on the LRFF's role in the new theater. The email says the building is going to be the "flagship" facility for the festival and promises the 325-seat theater will be a state-of-the-art venue for year-round film programs. Here's lookin' at you, kid.

* A MAN'S LIFE IN THE BALANCE: Mara Leveritt continues her reporting on the dispute over legal representation for Death Row inmate Tim Howard, whose effort to add a private lawyer to his legal team prompted the federal public defender's office to drop its representation.

* FORT SMITH NEWSPAPER ENDORSE DEMOCRAT PENNARTZ: The Fort Smith newspaper happens to be owned by a state finance chairman for Mitt Romney. So, it's worth a smalll note that the Times-Record has endorsed state Rep. Tracy Pennartz of Fort Smith over the law-enforcement dodging law violator, Sen. Bruce "Fireball" Holland. The newspaper delves not into Holland's sketchy record but Pennartz solid record as a productive and capable lawmaker. There might be little need for that in the reimagined Koch/ALEC Automaton Legislature, but the sentment is nice all the same.

The tale of the upcoming legislature, as always, will be written in dollars and cents. Pennartz has demonstrated her understanding of the budget. But she also demonstrates a sense of responsibility to her constituents and a commitment to bettering western Arkansas. Folks on this side of the state often complain our voices are not heard in Little Rock. We believe putting Rep. Pennartz in the Senate will continue to turn up our volume.

Please vote for Tracy Pennartz on Nov. 6.

* MITT ROMNEY AND THE WORKING MAN: Coercion will be the order of the day in a Mitt Romney White House. His rude, bullying and contemptuous treatment of President Obama and moderator Candy Crowley was evidence enough. The AFL-CIO's Rich Trumka comments, too, on Romney/business campaign tactics:

Though we did not need another example of how Mitt Romney isn’t on the side of working people, we got it. In These Times reported recently that Mitt Romney asked the members of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) to “make it very clear to [their] employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and therefore their job and their future in the upcoming elections.” This amounts to calling for employers to bully working people in their workplace.

Apparently, Mitt Romney doesn’t believe in workplace democracy. And as more and more reports of employer coercion of workers’ political rights emerge, it is clear that Romney’s disdain for workplace rights is not unique. In fact, the employer communications to workers that we are seeing include both direct and implicit threats and scare tactics to make employees fear for their jobs if President Obama wins. These are the same tactics that employers use against workers trying to organize a union. The Supreme Court has long recognized that even what appears on its face to be mere persuasion becomes inherently coercive when it’s an employer urging its employees to take particular actions.

* POLICE CHASE: Heckuva chase of a shooting suspect in Pulaski County last night. From the sheriff's office:

At about 1630 hours today, the Sheriff's Office responded to 2109 Batesville Pike Road in reference to a shooting. The victim, Tony Kiehl, was shot in the upper chest and arm. The suspect, Gabriel Jaquez, was armed with a shotgun and left the scene in a red Honda Civic. The Civic was later determined to have been stolen from a residence on Antler Way.

Responding Deputies observed the Civic leaving the area and attempted to make a traffic stop on the vehicle. The vehicle refused to stop and a pursuit was initiated. The Arkansas State Police were requested to assist in the pursuit. As the pursuit traveled through North Little Rock and into the county on HWY 70, the State Police vehicle terminated the pursuit by performing a PIT maneuver on the suspect vehicle. The suspect vehicle spun into a chain link fence and then traveled into an adjacent used car lot (business) where it came to rest after striking a parked vehicle.

The suspect, Gabriel Jaquez, was taken into custody at that point. A shotgun was recovered from the vehicle. Jaquez was transported by MEMS to Springhill Baptist in North Little Rock. Kiehl was transported by MEMS to UAMS in Little Rock. The exact charges for Jaquez are pending at this point pending the completion of the investigation.


The victim and suspect did know each other. The motive is still under investigation. Both the victim and the suspect remain hospitalized as of this e-mail. I have no further information regarding their condition.

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Speaking of...

  • I repeat, more coffee for downtown: Blue Sail

    January 19, 2017
    Blue Sail Coffee Roasters of Conway will open a coffee shop in the Little Rock Technology Park in mid-March, owner Kyle Tabor said Thursday. The park's first building, at 417 Main St., is to open Feb. 24, but Tabor said he was reluctant to open before construction, on the first floor of building, is complete. /more/
  • Little Rock Tech Park announces first tenants

    December 6, 2016
    The Little Rock Tech Park announced its first tenants at a press conference at the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce this morning /more/
  • 'Comfortable' with interest in Tech Park leases, board chair says

    August 10, 2016
    Interest in leasing space in the Little Rock Technology Park under construction in the 400 block of Main Street is a "comfortable amount" for this stage in the project, Authority board chair Kevin Zaffaroni said today at the board's monthly meeting. He declined to say how many floors of the first building to open, at 417 Main St., that comfortable amount might include, since no leases are final. /more/
  • Another yes for the Wide Misery. UPDATE: Make that two ayes

    April 27, 2016
    The Little Rock Technology Park board today endorsed the Arkansas Highway Department's split-diamond C/D design for Interstate 30 contingent on a change in the design of Capitol. /more/
  • Stephens maintains rights to Metrocentre asset

    April 21, 2016
    Now that the Stephens properties on Main Street and Fifth have been sold to The Little Rock Technology Park, what is Stephens' share in the Metrocentre Improvement District assets, I wondered as I wrote yesterday's item on the potential sale of  Henry Moore's "Large Standing Figure: Knife Edge." /more/
  • Tech Park chair Mary Good to step down

    February 11, 2016
    Dr. Mary Good, who has been the chair of the Little Rock Technology Park Authority board since its formation as a nonprofit in 2011, informed UALR Chancellor Joel Anderson in a letter Jan. 20 that she will step down March 15, it was announced at Wednesday's tech park board meeting. She said she would stay longer, if needed, until her replacement is named. /more/
  • Tech park to buy first property on Friday

    February 3, 2016
    The Little Rock Technology Park plans to close Friday on its first purchases of real estate: 5 Main Place at Fifth and Main streets, the Annex Building at 417 Main, the Mays Building at 415 Main St., the parking lot between the Mays Building and the KATV-Ch. 7 building (referred to as the Center Theater lot, because that is where the theater stood before Stephens interests had it demolished), the parking lot on the west side of Main between Fourth and Fifth, the old Stephens Inc. offices on Fifth Street, and the Keith parking at Scott and Fifth Street. /more/
  • The show will go on for horror and sci-fi spin-off of LR Film Festival

    December 29, 2015
    Former organizers of the Little Rock Film Festival, which ended this year after a nine year run, have confirmed that the Little Rock Picture Show, the horror, fantasy and sci-fi focused spin-off that was part of the LRFF family of film festivals, would continue in conjunction with the River City Comic Expo in June. /more/
  • Tech park construction start estimate: March 8

    December 9, 2015
    Chad Young, an architect with Wittenberg Deloney and Davidson, presented the firm's preliminary drawings for the first phase of the Little Rock Tech Park construction: renovation of 42,000 square feet in buildings at 415 and 417 Main St. The presentation included a timeline that should a construction start date of March 8. /more/
  • Illustrating the governor's message

    December 3, 2015
    Our prisons burst with disparities. Eliminating them will take courage. Let's see if the Arkansas Parole Board can heed the governor's message with one matter currently before it. /more/
  • More »

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