Smart talk, July 9 

The old boys club


Gov. Mike Beebe made another appointment to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission last week — Emon Mahony Jr. of El Dorado, an oil and gas man who also brought environmental credentials for his work opposing the SWEPCO power plant in Hempstead County. He fears the damage it will do, not incidentally to the nearby hunting club of which he's a member that includes some pristine bottomland and rich wildlife. His brother, the late Michael Mahony, served on the commission in the 1970s.

Beebe continued a well-established pattern in appointing a white man (typically wealthy) with political connections to the commission. Of the 82 people appointed by governors to serve since Amendment 35 created the commission in 1948, 79 were white men. Only one was a woman. Pat Peacock of Stuttgart was appointed to serve for one year of an unexpired term by Gov. Jim Guy Tucker in 1994. Earlier, Gov. Bill Clinton appointed two blacks to serve on the commission, Tommy Sproles of Sherwood in 1983 and Dr. James E. Moore of Little Rock in 1990 when Sproles' term ended.  Reliable sources indicate that women and black people also hunt and fish and appreciate wildlife, despite what commission membership might indicate.


Life in a company town


Remember Julie Roehm, the marketing expert who was brought into Wal-Mart to upgrade the discounter's image to something more like Target, but was fired in 2006 for taking a fancy meal from a company vendor? The dispute turned into a court battle that featured allegations Roehm had been involved with a co-worker before it was settled.

Roehm emerged last week in a lengthy and provocative profile in Fast Company magazine (www.fastcompany.com). It turns out she and her husband still live in Bentonville, unable to sell her $850,000 house, beset with legal bills and still struggling to restart her career. It's not easy being on the outside in Bentonville and not just because of pervasive Wal-Mart influence. The city was described in the article as a dry county where, Roehm says, “the second question people ask you when they meet you is ‘What church do you belong to?' And trust me, there's a wrong answer.”


New look for Old Main


On July 1, the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville began using a new logo for the campus, though it may take some time to achieve a full switch on all business cards, stationery, etc.

The old, with name superimposed on an image of Old Main, and the new are depicted here. A university news release said, “The new logo separates the words ‘University of Arkansas' as a wordmark from the symbol, giving designers more flexibility in using the logo and name of the institution in more diverse ways.”





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