What if?

Might Dillard’s buy Parisian, the 38-unit department store chain that parent Saks Inc. said early this year it might sell? It would be a fit in many ways for Dillard’s, not the least in Arkansas, where a Parisian is due to open Oct. 18 in Pleasant Ridge Town Center and where a Parisian is due at Pleasant Crossing in Rogers in 2007. Such a merger would keep Dillard’s a monopoly player at the high end of the department store business in two important Arkansas locations, plus give Dillard’s, quickly, the western Little Rock store that it’s been working without success to establish for a number of years. Why do we bring this up? No good reason, except for idle musing about the possibility of head-to-head competition for Dillard’s in its Little Rock hometown as we watch the Parisian construction continue on Highway 10.

Bad docs unpunished

Arkansas’s state Medical Board ranks poorly in regard to taking serious disciplinary action against errant doctors, according to the Public Citizen Health Research Group, which studies the subject and issues annual reports.

In the latest study, Arkansas was among what the research group called “the worst 15” of states in the number of serious disciplinary actions per 1,000 physicians in the period 2003 through 2005. Specifically, Arkansas ranked 38th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Mississippi was at the very bottom, but Arkansas was also ahead of states like Minnesota (49th) and Wisconsin (48th). Kentucky was number one. “Most states are not living up to their obligations to protect patients from doctors who are not practicing medicine in the best manner and are thus endangering the lives and health of residents,” the report said.

Public Citizen is a public interest/consumer group founded by Ralph Nader, who is no longer associated with the organization.

Strange bedfellows

Bruce Bartlett, a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist, probably wouldn’t have been an op-ed regular on the old Arkansas Gazette in the days of Patterson family ownership. He’s a supply-sider and former Reagan administration official.

Nonetheless, he’s going to give the J.N. Heiskell Distinguished Lecture at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 17 at the library’s Darragh Center. The lecture is named in honor of the Gazette’s long-time editer, who died in 1972.

We think Bartlett might find favor with the old Gazette’s editorial outlook with at least part of his lecture topic: “Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy.” That’s the title of his current book, which has made waves because of his Republican credentials.

To reserve a seat call 918-3032 or e-mail mmurray@cals.lib.ar.us or contact the Political Animals Club, a co-sponsor, by calling Kathy Boyte, 570-2266 or email kboyte@aecc.com.



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