Truth told on legal aid 

Truth told on legal aid

I have been practicing law for 41 years. Much of that time was spent in Pine Bluff and over my time I have represented thousands of defendants and tried cases from capital murder to public intox. Years ago, post Gideon, but prior to public defenders, private lawyers represented indigents by appointment. The fee ranged from a princely $75 for a negotiated plea to a max of $1,000 for a murder case trial. I handled many. I like to say the hardest $350 I ever earned was a full week trial by appointment on an aggravated robbery case.

Your article was not just good; it was excellent. Fair, unbiased reporting of a leaking ship waiting to sink. I regret with the Little Rock School District, ledge in town, and other events, it is perhaps not receiving the attention and, frankly, acknowledgment that it should. It is a well-written, true account of lawyers doing their best and poor defendants still suffering because the current climate is to build more prisons and lock them up instead of determining what is just and proper. I can assure you that for every $1,000 spent on the public defender system that a multiple amount would be saved on corrections.

Excellent writing, highest example of your profession.

Don Eilbott

Little Rock

Racing form

Concerned for the welfare of animals, Oaklawn Park will not allow dogs to be left in cars in its parking lots.

With no admission fee, it's now free to get in the stands of Oaklawn Park with the possibility of actually seeing horses killed on the track.

Look closely at the bottom when draining a beverage in the slot machine room to read the words, "It is not gambling when you just give us your money."

There will be no washroom attendant after the fourth race due to parole violations.

Patrons are warned to bring a sack lunch on 50-cent Corned Beef Sandwich Day because the lines for the concession stands are six furloughs long.

It is a faux pas to wear a bolo tie if also missing a shoelace.

On Arkansas Derby Day, ladies wearing those god-awful ugly big hats have to be at least 70 years old, and their big, ugly purses will contain spare body parts.

When doing this year's 15-minute interview with King Charles Cella, Wally Hall will be wearing skid-resistant knee pads.

Losing tickets swept up off the floor are recycled into Habitat for Humanity.

The day after racing season ends the tombstones are put back in the infield.

Carl Buchanan


From the web

In response to an Arkansas Blog item noting that 13 students at Central High — in a district supposedly so in need of improvement that the state took it over — were chosen for consideration in the annual United States Presidential Scholars program: While I would like to have seen other LRSD high schools represented, my rough calculations show that LRSD had more than five times the number chosen for the program than you would statistically expect from a district its size. I notice that the New Orleans "miracle" [charter schools] only produced eight nominees from a much larger school district. Even in Little Rock, Central had 1.5 times as many as the four private schools represented, which probably have about the same total number of students as Central (more if you include Mount Saint Mary with Catholic).

Whit E. Knight

What you fail to mention is that these kids would perform well regardless of where they go. So what's the race/ethnicity of this group of stars. Looks like they're dominated by Asians. Look at the parents. How many have advanced degrees. How many parents are UAMS/UALR professors? How many of the kids actually spent all 12 years in the LRSD?

Let's see some stats from the rest of the class. You've cherry-picked results from the top students. How well are the other Central High students doing who don't benefit from the special attention in the gifted program? How many in the bottom 100 can read at grade level? How many can do math at grade level? How many have to do remedial math/English if they go on to college? What percentage of Central High School students gets an adequate education?


On an Arkansas Blog post about a plan to build a new facility for the Arkansas Arts Center in North Little Rock:

For a while great things were happening when Little Rock, North Little Rock, Sherwood and Pulaski County quit squabbling and were getting together.

Alltel Arena (now Verizon), Big Dam Bridge, River Trail and River Trolley. I believe all that paved the way for the Clinton Library.

Then North Little Rock started raiding the surrounding cities and killed the unity.

NLR lured Best Buy and Walmart from Sherwood into NLR to reap the sales taxes.

NLR next teamed up with Stephens, got Stacy Hurst to sell off the War Memorial Park portion of Ray Winder Field and move the Arkansas Travelers over to NLR. For decades the team was the Arkansas Travelers, then NLR changed the name and logo to the "NLR Arkansas Travelers". (Now their mascot is a swamp possum — don't possums scavenge dead stuff and eat bugs?)

I guess NLR is envious of how the LR River Market took off and NLR Main Street/Argenta is limping along. Soon Argenta will start leasing to stores and restaurants on a weekly basis since few things last over there.

So now, instead of building something in NLR, they will just poach the Arkansas Arts Center from Little Rock.

So, now, instead of dog town, we can just refer to them as possum town.


Lots of folks prefer to do bidness in Dogtown. And there are plenty of progressive thinkers there. Maybe they're not to blame so much, Citizen. Maybe LR's power structure is stuck in a rut.




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