The Crafton Tull engineering firm has submitted its review of the three sites being considered for the Little Rock Technology Park — east of Interstate 30 near the Clinton Library; on the west side of John Barrow Road and at Asher and University.
The report, with site maps, estimates structure acquisition and demolition costs and notes potential development impediments — truck traffic near the Sixth and Collins site downtown; some flood zone property on the Asher site; site limitations that will require taller buildings on the Barrow site, for example. The report mentions environmental concerns downtown and at Asher and University, but said they'd have to be addressed by others.
The Tech Park board is to meet Wednesday. Consultant Charles Dilks, who's been consistently negative about the three finalists, will comment on the engineers' findings. No vote is officially scheduled, but participants think a vote may be near.
Tom Butler, vice chancellor for administration and governmental affairs at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, a park sponsor, is replacing Dr. Michael Douglas, retiring director of UAMS Bioventures, on the tech park board.
Dr. Mary Good, chairman of the board, said the board would not hear from entrepreneurs in biotech research at the meeting, which was requested at the last meeting of the board. She said that would happen at a later date, though it was suggested last month it should be an important factor in site selection. She said "people have forgotten" that the park's "clients" are UAMS and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Arkansas Children's Hospital, a not-so-oblique reference to a recent push from business interests that the downtown site would be the most attractive to tech start-ups looking to locate here.
UPDATE: Now we have a Feb. 6 letter from Charles Dilks, the consultant hired and guided from the inception of this project by Dickson Flake, a developer who favors using the neighborhood south of UAMS. As he says — speaks for itself:
Brent Birch, the director of the Little Rock Technology Park, will address the City Board of Directors soon after the meeting starts at 4 p.m. today. If you are interested in a summary of what the Tech Park Authority has been doing of late and the timeline for development of the park, you can watch at the link on the littlerock.org home page. /more/
Now that the chorus of politicians invoking religious liberty against the president and local governments includes nearly every Republican presidential candidate, it is time to ask whether those who espouse religious liberty the most loudly believe in it least.
Brooke Arnold, writing in Salon, provides a personal look at life according to the teachings of a religious organization that has been influential with the Duggar family. She argues it cultivates a culture where women are more vulnerable to rape and sexual abuse.
The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported over the weekend, though the Little Rock edition did not, that it had interviewed an unnamed church elder about Jim Bob and Josh Duggar's meeting with then-State Trooper Joseph Hutchens to report Josh Duggar's improper contact with girls in the Duggar household.