IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR …
LITTLE ROCK. Downtown was swarmed with taekwondo competitors, hip-hop music fans and tennis players, with the huge LULUAC convention following behind.
The LITTLE ROCK SCHOOL DISTRICT. It has an advisory committee willing to put its money where its mouth is on school health issues — more spending on P.E. teachers and a gradual removal of all but nutritious items from school vending machines. The School Board decides Thursday whether to do it or not.
CENTRAL ARKANAS WATER. It made a $3.8 million offer for 700 of the 1,200 acres Deltic Timber wants to develop in a critical part of the Lake Maumelle watershed. Deltic doesn’t want to sell. But it’s best to get this process rolling toward a condemnation proceeding before Deltic can bludgeon the utility politically and move ahead with development that could endanger the purity of the water supply.
POLITICS. Mike Beebe announced for governor as a Democrat; Republican candidates Asa Hutchinson and Win Rockefeller are already squabbling; there are more lieutenant governor candidates than you’d want to count. And the primary is 11 months away.
IT WAS A BAD WEEK FOR …
ABORTION RIGHTS. The Democrat-Gazette reported that the state has made it so hard for poor women impregnated by rapists to get Medicaid funding for abortion that they’ve just about stopped trying. The state has turned down all 27 requests it’s gotten for abortion payment since 1990, though the federal law requires Medicaid coverage in certain cases. At least 23 were for women impregnated by rape or incest.
CENTERPOINT ENERGY. The big gas utility’s rate increase was ripped by the Public Service Commission staff for inadequate accounting and questions about service.
Former Sen. Ben Allen died of cancer at 80. Without his sponsorship, Arkansas would not have a Freedom of Information Act. Later in life, he burnished his record as a champion of individual liberties and government ethics.
Donald Trump Friday night signed an executive order directing government to scale back Obamacare to the extent possible. Though the signing was mostly symbolic, it likely has implications for Arkansas.
They've had a forum in Fayetteville today on Rep. Charlie Collins' fervent desire to force more pistol-packing people onto the campus at the University of Arkansas (and every other college in Arkansas.) He got an earful from opponents.
"Why do you guys not care about your community? You’re tearing it down, not building it up, especially in the black community … It’s just a simple question — do you care?" one mother asked the superintendent. "Ma’am, I do care deeply about this district, and I do believe wholeheartedly we are making a better district every day," Poore replied.
When President-elect Trump announced he would, in a few days, force Congress to enact comprehensive health insurance for everyone, poor or rich, that would provide better and cheaper care than they've ever gotten, you had to wonder whether this guy is a miracle worker or a fool.