Little Rock late-night club owners, working with the Arkansas Licensed Beverage Association, have launched an effort to dissuade the Little Rock Board of Directors from passing an ordinance to require Little Rock clubs to close at 2 a.m. rather than 5 a.m. as their state private club alcohol permit currently allows. They've launched a website, a Facebook page and they sent the release that follows. The board is expected to consider an ordinance sometime early next year.
The association is seeking to make the Little Rock directors and the city aware of the potential impact of the closing of these venues at 2:00am rather than at 5:00am as being proposed. In a time of city budget cutting, the limiting of the hours of operation will have a major impact on tax revenues being remitted to the city of Little Rock. It will of course impact money paid to the state of Arkansas as well. The current 5:00am clubs generate approximately 70% and often more of their business between 2:00am and 5:00am. Not only will the business and the revenues collected for the city be lost but also the businesses affected will be forced to layoff well over 60% to 75% of their employees. These people have children, car and house payments. If the ordinance is passed the businesses affected may be forced to evaluate continuing their operations altogether. While there is some talk of economic fairness in an across the board closing there seems to be little that is fair about firms being forced to layoff hard-working individuals who have families and potentially close their businesses. The late night businesses that are allowed to operate until 5:00am provide food, entertainment and adult beverages to many individuals who work the late and evening shifts at hospitals, hotels, restaurants and the service industries in and around Little Rock. Most major first class cities across the nation provide its citizens with some type of late night entertainment as well as food and drink. Our city has numerous concerts, a presidential library, and a demographically and socially diverse population that deserves the opportunity to seek a late night venue.
From Shane Carter, the spokesperson for the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport:
Four airlines serving Clinton National Airport have begun canceling flights for this evening and tomorrow morning in preparation of the expected winter storm. There have been six cancellations for tonight and seven for early tomorrow morning. At this time, cancellations primarily affect American, Delta, Southwest and United customers. Please check with your air carrier on the status of a flight before arriving to the airport.
You didn't want to drive to the airport anyway, did you?
SEN. JASON RAPERT (file photo): Hanging with Ted Cruz in D.C.
As winter weather starts to grind all productivity to a halt in Arkansas, a handful of state legislators are staying busy. They're rubbing elbows with the likes of Paul Ryan and Ted Cruz and attending workshops with titles like "Expanding
Medicaid: Compassionate or Corrosive?" and "The Solution: A Convention Of States To Restrain the Power, Scope, and Jurisdiction of The Federal Government."
This week, Sens. Jane English, Michael Lamoureux, Jason Rapert and Jonathan Dismang and Reps. Justin Harris and David Meeks have all been in Washington at the annual American Legislative Exchange Council States & Nation Policy Summit. (A Senate spokesperson confirmed its attendees. The House said it couldn't confirm who attended until after they returned and submitted reimbursement. Harris and Meeks have been talking about it on Twitter.)
Harris, on Twitter, also mentions that former state Rep. Dan Greenberg did a presentation on health care.
Another topic likely to be discussed: Ways to fight clean energy initiatives. ALEC legislative analyst Daniel Eck told the Guardian it was interested in how homeowners with solar panels get rewarded for feeding surplus electricity back into the grid.
"This is an issue we are going to be exploring," Eick said. He said Alec wanted to lower the rate electricity companies pay homeowners for direct power generation – and maybe even charge homeowners for feeding power into the grid.
"As it stands now, those direct generation customers are essentially freeriders on the system. They are not paying for the infrastructure they are using. In effect, all the other non direct generation customers are being penalised," he said.
Eick dismissed the suggestion that individuals who buy and install home-based solar panels had made such investments. "How are they going to get that electricity from their solar panel to somebody else's house?" he said. "They should be paying to distribute the surplus electricity."
This reporting from the Guardian follows an earlier story about ALEC's funding crisis. A number of corporate donors abandoned the organization in the wake of Trayvon Martin shooting and the controversy over stand-your-ground laws ALEC promoted.
Over the first six months of this year, the network suffered a shortfall on its projected budget of $547,500 in sponsorship of its thrice-yearly national conferences, and a further shortfall of $440,792 on its general support from memberships.
By 30 June this year it had developed a hole in its income of $1.4m on expected dues of $3.9m.
KNWA in Fayetteville reports that a baby taken from an apartment this morning by a man described by a witness as "rambling incoherently" has been recovered this afternoon and is safe.
Police say Kelly T. Jendeski, 31, came to the apartment of his neighbor in the 1100 block of West End Street this morning around 4:30 a.m., apparently incoherent. The neighbor, possibly believing him to be suicidal, called an ambulance, which transported him to Washington Regional Medical Center.
He was released a few hours later, returned home, then reportedly went back to the woman's apartment. After being allowed in to lie down, the woman told police, Jendeski asked the woman for cigarettes. After going in the pocket of her coat where she also kept her car keys, police say he took her one-year old son, then fled the scene in the woman's Jeep.
Jendeski was arrested this afternoon in Fayetteville, driving the woman's car. The child was found in the passenger's seat, and appears to be unharmed. Jendeski has been booked into the Washington Co. Jail, on charges of kidnapping, endangering the welfare of a minor, and theft.
Detectives with the Little Rock Police Department have arrested a man in connection with the Nov. 26 robbery of the U.S. Bank Branch at 6320 W. Markham, near Park Plaza Mall.
Around 2 p.m. today, investigators served a warrant on Michael Jackson, Jr., 30, at a residence at 1604 Geyer Street in Little Rock. Jackson is currently being held without bond on one count of aggravated robbery and one count of theft of property, both felonies. The arrest report says that Jackson also has a hold order in federal court due to a failed drug test.
Another U.S. Bank branch, this one on Rodney Parham, was robbed on Dec. 3. Police do not believe the crimes are connected.
Three real estate companies have responded to the Little Rock Technology Park Authority's RFQ for "site investigation and negotiation services" on properties downtown, where the park board voted last month by a squeaky 4-3 to locate.
Moses Tucker Real Estate (see proposal here) , Jeff Yates with Ark Commercial and Investment Real Estate(proposal here) and Flake and Kelley Commercial (proposal here) have submitted proposals in response to the Authority board's request for qualifications. (The Flake of Flake and Kelley is not board member Dickson Flake, but John Flake, Dickson Flake's brother. The proposal by the firm says the work will be managed by Hank Kelley, Jim Dailey and Bill Pendergrist.)
The company chosen will work with Charles Dilks, the board's consultant. Dilks does not favor downtown, so it may be a contentious partnership.
The board also released apacket of emails congratulating it on its decision to locate downtown. Included are emails from John Bacon, principal at eStem schools, saying the location will benefit students; Doug and Sheree Meyer, owners of Bennett's Military Supplies at Third and Main streets, calling the decision "courageous"; Jimmy Moses of Moses Tucker, congratulating chair Mary Good on the board's "foresight" in its selection (which Good opposed), and others.
The board will discuss the proposals at its meeting at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11, which will be held on the mezzanine of the Capital Hotel. Valet parking will be free. Casual dress acceptable.
Like dominoes, they fall: UALR, North Little Rock School District, Pulaski Technical College, Pulaski County Special School District and the Little Rock School District have announced that they will be closed tomorrow.
Night classes at UALR and Pulaski Tech for tonight have also been cancelled. Pulaski Tech will also be closed Saturday.LRSD's Facebook page says that sporting events scheduled for tonight (Thurs. Dec. 5) will go on.
Due to the forecast of sleet and freezing rain over most of the state, the Arkansas Activities Association issued a release yesterday cancelling all high school football games in the state scheduled for Friday and Saturday. The decision will extend the football season in the state by one week, and will change the dates for the many of the finals games.
“This decision was based on a safety issue,” director Lance Taylor writes in the release. “We wanted to make sure everyone could travel to Little Rock or the other semifinal locations without hazardous driving conditions. We talked with several of our member schools involved in the playoffs, and we checked with the (War Memorial) stadium. This appears to be the best route to take by extending the season one week."
Hit the jump for the full release and details on the schedule change.
Nearly 30 of the nation's largest corporations, many of which have close ties to the Republican Party, have incorporated the expectation that they will be forced to pay a tax on the carbon pollution as a means of controlling climate change, reports the New York Times.
“Ultimately, we think the government will take action through a myriad of policies that will raise the prices and reduce demand” of carbon-polluting fossil fuels, said Alan Jeffers, an ExxonMobil spokesman.
Internally, ExxonMobil now plans its financial future with the expectation that eventually carbon pollution will be priced at about $60 a ton, which Mr. Jeffers acknowledged was at odds with some of the company’s Republican friends.
“We’re going to say and do what’s in the best interest of our shareholders,” he said. “We won’t always be on the same page.”
It remains unlikely that any climate policy will move in today’s deadlocked Congress, but if Congress does take up climate change legislation in the future, Mr. Jeffers said ExxonMobil would support a carbon tax if it was paired with an equal cut elsewhere in the tax code — the same policy that Mr. Gore has endorsed. “ExxonMobil and many other large companies understand that climate change poses a direct economic threat to their businesses,” said Dan Weiss, director for climate policy at the Center for American Progress, a liberal research group with close ties to the Obama administration. “They need to convince their political allies to act before it’s too late.”
Wednesday, after Sen. Mark Pryor's campaign put out a campaign ad featuring Pryor holding a Bible and talking about it his faith, the National Republican Senatorial Committee sent out the sort of email response that's typically ignored by everyone but party loyalists. But this one made such a reach that Tom Cotton's camp was forced to rebuke it.
NRSC communications director Brad Dayspring suggested in an email to reporters that the Pryor ad contradicted an earlier comment he'd made about the Bible.
In the 30 second ad, Pryor speaks directly to the camera about his faith in the Bible. The ad is a substantial purchase for the campaign and will run statewide. "I'm not ashamed to say that I believe in God, and I believe in His word. The Bible teaches us no one has all the answers. Only God does. And neither political party is always right," Pryor says in the ad. "This is my compass. My North Star. It gives me comfort and guidance to do what's best for Arkansas."
Interesting ad, considering the same Mark Pryor was quoted below just last year cautioning that the Bible is "not a rule book for political issues."
So is the Bible Mark Pryor's compass, providing the "comfort and guidance to do what's best for Arkansas? " Or is it really not a good rule book for political issues and decisions made in the Senate? Guess it depends on which Mark Pryor that you ask.
“That is an incredibly bizarre and offensive email from the NRSC’s press secretary. We should all agree that America is better off when all our public officials in both parties have the humility to seek guidance from God,” said Cotton campaign spokesman David Ray in response, according to The Hill.
That was obviously the correct response as far as decorum goes, but was the NRSC right about the underlying politics? I'm deeply skeptical that swing voters see the ad and think Pryor's not religious enough, but a Democratic blogger with Washington Monthly argues otherwise.
The standard Christian Right take on the Bible’s relevance to politics is that it removes all doubt and ambiguity about what the believer should do. As Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), a Senate candidate himself, put it in a 2012 speech, the Bible is “manufacturer’s handbook for how to run all of public policy and everything in society.” Now this attitude defies many centuries of scriptural interpretation, and is about as spiritual in nature as a medieval crusader killing a heretic or “heathen,” but it’s a pervasive if self-consciously hammer-headed approach among Culture Warriors these days.
Pryor’s basically saying the Bible teaches some humility and reserves wisdom and final judgment to God Almighty, not to his self-appointed representatives on earth, clerical or especially political. It’s a message that would have been instantly understood by God-fearing southerners in the not-too-distant past, but unfortunately, it’s a risky gambit today...
Juanita's, the venerable Tex-Mex restaurant and music venue, is leaving the South Main Street location it's called home since 1986 for the River Market and the former home of Bill St., 614 President Clinton Ave.