Winter is the perfect time to explore the natural stone shelters where native Arkansans once lived
IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR …
STAN HEATH. Three wins in a row over three real teams put the UA Hog basketball team in the hunt for an NCAA tournament bid, surely a job-saver for the embattled coach.
GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE. His chairmanship of the National Governors Association earned him prominent mentions in national press coverage of the NGA convention, a couple of nights at the White House and private dinners with people useful to a 2008 presidential run. (Note: the State Police plane stayed in the hangar for this one.)
The IVORY-BILLED WOODPECKER. The Interior Department is asking for $2.1 million from Congress to aid in efforts to find and protect the bird, once thought extinct.
IT WAS A BAD WEEK FOR …
SCHOOL DISTRICTS. They need remedial math. We judge by the reports they submitted on athletic spending, still far below an accurate accounting of the (over)emphasis placed on sports. For staff, Bentonville’s million-dollar assembly couldn’t be beat.
The HUCKABEE RESUME. The feds have declared that the state improperly diverted $18 million in Medicaid money from services for poor people to the governor’s misbegotten accounting system. It is one of many misappropriations on the Huckster’s watch. He runs government like a business, all right — Enron.
LITTLE ROCK SCHOOL TEACHERS. The Little Rock School Board approved an untested, poorly designed bonus pay plan tied to a standardized test of grade schoolers. Teachers, who weren’t consulted on the plan, can’t win. Their vote to go forward with the plan will lead the district down the path intended by the underwriters and cheerleaders, notably the wealthy Waltons and Democrat-Gazette publisher Walter Hussman. They hope bonus pay will lead, ultimately, to lower pay overall for teachers, something more in keeping with pay practices of the average Wal-Mart store. If teachers fail to ratify it, they’ll be depicted as enemies of education.