Should we note that the Arkansas legislature got into the monkey regulation business this year?
A friend of animals comments:
It says they took two tries to tranquilize the monkey which could be because the animal was scared and had adrenaline running through its veins. That often happens in situations like this where the first tranquilization doesn’t take. That’s not great for the animal.
Also, the report says the animals crawled onto one of the officers. These officers had no idea the kind-of real danger they were in. Most people think pet monkeys are cute and fun and don’t understand that they are wild animals. Here this monkey is in a situation where it’s being circled and someone is trying to capture it and it’s stressed. It could easily turn on one of those officers and really do some damage by clawing and biting.
Also, the officer was told to go to the hospital but this report doesn’t say the officer was recommended to be tested for any type of zoonotic disease. He may have just gone to the hospital and said “a monkey bit me.” He should be tested for the B virus because almost every macaque monkey carries the B virus. Period. And there’s no telling whether-or-not these healthcare professionals knew he was bitten by a macaque.
Damn. From CNN:
James Gandolfini, 51, who won three Emmys for his portrayal of Tony Sprano on "The Sopranos", has died, according to HBO.
Keontay Walker, who was in the car with the victim, Bobby Moore Jr., and Jeremiah Johnson, just testified. Walker, 17, said that he had known Moore since 3rd grade. Walker said they'd been downtown the night of the shooting looking for a party before deciding to go "checking cars" at the Shadow Lake Apartments between 4 and 5 a.m. Walker he'd acted as the lookout.
Walker said he was the first to see a flashlight, then heard "It's Little Rock Police! Stop the car!" He said before he saw the officer's gun and badge, the Honda Civic Moore was driving and in which he and Walker were passengers was around 20 feet away from Hastings and traveling about 15 mph. He said he, Johnson and Moore started "negotiating" over whether to run. He said Moore began to slow and came to a complete stop 10 feet from Hastings. Walker said he dropped down under the dash, felt the car jerk into reverse, heard Hastings say, "Stop or I'll shoot", then heard the shots.
"I heard Lil' Bobby take a deep breath, and when I rose up, the car was rolling backwards," Walker said. The car then bonuced off a curb and hit an awning and a parked car.
On cross examination, Walker told defense attorney Bill James the three only broke into three cars at Shadow Lake that night, including a car that sounded a car alarm and a car in which they broke a window. Asked by James what they did during the hour they were at the complex ("Were y'all taking naps between cars?" James said), Walker said they were checking for unlocked cars, and had only gotten into three. He said it was the first time they ever broke a window while "checking cars"
James repeatedly called the passengers seat "shotgun" at one point during questioning, before Judge Wendell Griffen asked him to approach to approach the bench. After conferring with Griffen, James referred to Walker's position in the car as "the front seat."
Repeatedly, Walker insisted the car came to a stop and was in reverse at the time of the shooting, saying that the only time Moore sped was when he turned out of a parking spot in the lot.
Koon said further questioning from Walker is expected following a break.
UPDATE: Koon reports that there were no big developments after afternoon recess, though Griffen did have to admonish attorneys again to abide by his "kindergarten rule" and not speak over each other and witnesses. At one point, defense attorney James showed two diagrams, one drawn by LRPD detctives and the other drawn by Pulaski County prosecutors. Walker had drawn a circle on one and an x on the other to indicate where Hastings was as car approached him. James made the point that while one showed Hastings near a curb, the other showed Hastings in the middle of the street. In closing his questions, James asked Walker if he was upset and mad because his friend was killed. Walker answered "Yes, sir." James then asked Walker if he was mad at Hastings for killing his friend, and Walker answered "Yes, sir." Later on redirect, Prosecutor John Johnson asked Walker if he would lie to the jury to get Hastings convicted of a crime, and Walker said, "No sir."
An earlier version of this post misspelled Keontay Walker's name.
Well, I've been back in Little Rock for one full day. Here's my home-again open line, including:
* SPANKING WIVES FOR JESUS: I ignored the news that the wacky Pat Robertson had endorsed spanking disobedient wives (for one thing, who knows if this is only satire ?) This item cited the familiar evangelical view on wifely submission to their husbands. No telling what'll come out of his mouth, atrer all. Then, for another view of reality, along came this Daily Beast report about a purported movement in which wives willingly submit to corporal punishment from husbands, many out of religious belief. The anecdotal example on one wife beater:
First, he shapes his hands for “warm-up” slaps. Then comes a combination of tools based on the specific infraction. The wooden spoon is the least severe; for the worst ruple-breaking—like texting while driving (“It could kill me,” Chelsea admits) or moving money between accounts without his permission—she’ll be hit with something else: a hairbrush, a paddle, or a leather strap.
But this isn’t domestic abuse, Chelsea says. This is for Jesus.
Chelsea and her husband Clint, who asked that I use only their first names, belong to a small subculture of religious couples who practice “Christian Domestic Discipline,” a lifestyle that calls for a wife to be completely submissive to her husband. Referred to as CDD by its followers, the practice often includes spanking and other types corporal punishments administered by husbands—and ostensibly ordained by God. While the private nature of the discipline makes it difficult to estimate the number of adherents, activity in several online forums suggests a figure in the low thousands. Devotees call CDD an alternative lifestyle and enthusiastically sing its praises; for critics, it’s nothing but domestic abuse by another name.
When a wife breaks her husband’s rules—rolling her eyes, maybe, or just feeling “meh,” as one blogger put it—that can equal punishments which are often corporal but can also be “corner time”; writing lines (think “I will not disobey my master” 1,000 times); losing a privilege like internet access; or being “humbled” by some sort of nude humiliation. Some practice “maintenance spanking,” wherein good girls are slapped on a schedule to remind them who’s boss; some don’t.
In this vein of proper gender roles we have still more nuttiness from Republican U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia, a medical doctor of a sort. In a House speech, according to Talking Points Memo, he suggested that young boys and girls should be enrolled in classes to educate them on gender roles so that they can learn "what's important."
"Maybe part of the problem is we need to go back into the schools at a very early age, maybe at the grade school level, and have a class for the young girls and have a class for the young boys and say, you know, this is what's important," Gingrey said on the House floor, while defending the Defense of Marriage Act.
David Koon reports from the manslaughter trial of former Little Rock Police officer Josh Hastings:
The afternoon was largely dedicated to testimony of Jeremiah Johnson, a 14-year-old who was in backseat of the stolen Honda Civic that the victim, Bobby Moore Jr., was driving the night he was killed. Johnson said he'd known Moore since 5th grade.
Johnson testified that he, Moore and another teen-ager had been out taking turns driving the Honda since 8 p.m. the previous night. He said they went Shadow Lake Apartments to go "checking cars" — checking for unlocked cars and things to steal. They broke the window of one car, set off a car alarm in another, after which they went to a different part of the complex, he said. Under questioning by the prosecution, Johnson said they were "just cruising" while leaving the lot when they spotted a light that turned out to be Hastings' flashlight. He said Moore started driving slower when he saw the light, and heard Hastings ID himself as LRPD.
Johnson said they were 15 feet from Hastings when shots were fired. He said Moore wasn't at a complete stop, but was coming to a stop and looking over his shoulder to put the car in reverse. After the shooting and the car rolled back to crash, Johnson said he ran to nearby woods and hid until daybreak before catching a ride home.
On cross examination by defense attorney Bill James, Johnson said they'd broken into "about 15" cars that night. James repeatedly questioned Johnson on when he first realized the person with the light was a cop, and whether the car was moving forward or completely stopped when Hastings fired, with the judge at one point encouraging both James and Johnson not to talk over one another. Johnson repeatedly said he couldn't be sure the car was at full stop, but said he believed Moore was in process of putting it in reverse when shots fired. On recross, Deputy Prosecutor John Johnson asked Johnson: "Can I be walking forward and stopping at the same time?" To which Johnson said, "yes."
Johnson was excused as a witness just before an afternoon break.
Channel 4 reports early details on an oil spill of unknown source and size in Lake Hamilton, from which Hot Springs draws its drinking water. The city says the spill is six miles below the city water intake and will not affect the water supply.
Though the stuff floating on the surface appears to be oily, it's not certain what the substance is.
Said a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, which learned of the report at 10:18 a.m.:
We are communicating with local authorities. There's not a confirmation of an oil spill, but there is a sheen. The County's OEM is investigating, but the source is still unclear. The substance is breaking up as the wind hits.
Gene Pfeifer, the bike enthusiast and developer who donated land he owned on the north side of the Arkansas River to the Arkansas River Trail, has asked the Dillard family follow suit for the good of the community.
Dillard's headquarters backs up the Arkansas River on the south side. The company has so far turned down requests by the city of Little Rock for access to build a trail on the property that would connect the downtown portion of the trial with Riverfront Drive. (Because of development and private property, the Little Rock portion of the River Trail is not the smooth, unimpeded path that it is on the north side.)
The city has drawn up plans to build a bridge-like trail on the bluff below the Dillard's property, but it would be a hugely expensive undertaking — as much as $12 million — requiring a build-as-you go engineering strategy rather than ground-up construction.
Pfeifer's letter to Bill Dillard II opens:
Please allow the Arkansas River Trail to be completed along your headquarters property and contribute to economic development, enhanced tourism and the quality of life in your home town. Linda and I were privileged to be able to donate 1 ¼ miles for the trail in North Little Rock and not a day goes by that we aren’t richly rewarded thereby. The trail provides recreation, fitness, quality of life, and helps fight obesity. Being on the trail occasionally and seeing how it provides our community with a sense of “place” is joyous for us. Please donate the easement and reap this marvelous reward.
In case his appeal to the company to do something for the good of the community, Pfeifer includes another tack: Appeal to the pocketbook. He suggests that Dillard's could use the trail to enhance sales by creating a private label, "Dillard's Trail," for use on fitness attire and camping items, etc. Here's the full letter.
The speed with which Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and U.S. Attorney Chris Thyer filed a lawsuit against ExxonMobil is unusual, according to pipeline experts InsideClimate News rounded up. No state or federal lawsuits have been filed as a result of the 2010 EnBridge spill in Michigan that sent more than a million gallons of tar sands oil into the Kalamazoo River.
Philadelphia attorney Andy Levine, a former senior assistant regional counsel for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, described the legal strategy being pursued in Arkansas as "a head scratcher."
"It makes you wonder what was happening behind the scenes that caused this to ramp up so quickly to full-blown litigation," Levine said.
Levine, the former EPA attorney, said a number of interim steps are usually taken before a lawsuit of this nature is filed.
The first step is asking for voluntary compliance, Levine said. The company and the regulators agree on what remediation is needed and what additional safeguards need to be put into place.
"Then there would be a period of time—longer than three months—where the company would act and regulators would monitor the progress," he said.
If a more formal plan is needed, Levine said regulators usually devise a consent order spelling out what the company needs to do. It is signed by both the regulator and company officials and can be enforced in court, if necessary.
A more aggressive form of compulsory compliance would be a consent decree, Levine said. Here a judgment confirms a voluntary agreement between parties to a lawsuit in return for withdrawal of the case.
Typically, consent decrees are orchestrated ahead of the litigation, Levine said, so by the time the case gets to court both parties have agreed to the terms.
It's usually only after these interim steps fail that regulators resort to litigation, he said.
"Environmental regulators have a wide variety of tools to gain compliance," Levine said. "In this instance regulators have chosen the most aggressive course of action from the beginning."
Politics is surely at least part of the answer. That ExxonMobil ignored regulators calls for it to move improperly stored contaminants from fracking tanks might reflect the company's cavalier treatment of state and federal officials. The lawsuit might be a play to get ExxonMobil to take the state and feds more seriously. It's also, of course, been a rehabilitative issue for McDaniel in the wake of him admitting to an extramarital relationship and withdrawing from the governor's race. He's sure to be eager to keep scoring points by standing up to a rich, multinational corporation many see as a bully.
Arkansas GOP Chairman Doyle Webb has released the following statement on the celebration of Juneteenth:
“Today we celebrate Juneteenth, marking the final abolition of slavery in Texas and the nation in 1865. The freedom and emancipation that this day represents is cause for great celebration among all Arkansans. The abolition of slavery marked an important milestone in the process of forming a more perfect union, and this anniversary is a great opportunity for all of us to renew our commitment to standing for justice and equality.”
Justice and equality. Are they embodied in opposition to affirmative action? Opposition to immigration reform? Opposition to women's medical rights? Opposition to equal treatment of gay people in the workplace? Opposition to universal health care? Opposition to equal access to state contracts for all legitimate nonprofit agencies?
But why look a gift horse in the mouth. The Republican Party's opposition to slavery is nonetheless welcome, given some of the people Webb and the party have promoted for public office as recently as the last election. Gone, but not forgotten:
"If slavery were so God-awful, why didn’t Jesus or Paul condemn it, why was it in the Constitution and why wasn’t there a war before 1861?" — former Republican Rep. Loy Mauch.
“Wouldn’t life for blacks in America today be more enjoyable and successful if they would only learn to appreciate the value of a good education?” — former Republican state Rep. Jon Hubbard.
But speaking of Juneteenth, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center has a Juneteenth observation at 6 p.m. Thursday at the center, which chronicles the black experience in Arkansas. The 2nd Infantry Regiment of United States Colored Troops Re-enactment Unit — including men, women and children in civil war era dress — will "guide visitors on a journey back in time."
And here's something I KNOW Doyle Webb will want to attend. At 7 p.m. Thursday at the center, Denver sculptor Ed Dwight will be talking about his "Inauguration of Hope," life-sized bronze statues inspired by the 2008 inauguration of Barack Obama. If Doyle can't make the talk, he can get by the center through June 30 to admire the sculptures.
PS — Isn't today also the day hearings were held to impose voter ID rules that will make it harder for many poor people — and thus many minorities — to vote. This type of legislation has been found constitutionally suspect elsewhere, but Arkansas Republicans had it as No. 1 agenda item in 2013 because they want to hold down black voter participation with something that amounts to a back-door poll tax.
The University of Arkansas news bureau covered a breaking news story on Twitter and even Storify today, complete with photos. A construction crew apparently hit a gas line on Dickson Street, prompting a temporary evacuation of several buildings until the gas was shut off and buildings cleared for a return to classes.
Details from release:
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — A construction crew ruptured a 1.5 inch gas line under Dickson Street, near the Hillside Auditorium, at about 10:50 a.m. An area south of Dickson Street, west of Harmon Avenue, north of Fairview St. and east of Garland Avenue was evacuated as a precaution. Buildings evacuated included Brough Commons, Yocum Hall, Humphries Hall, Kimpel Hall, Walton College, the Reynolds Center, Walker Hall, Hunt Hall, Hillside Auditorium, the Heating Plant and Mechanical Engineering.
A SourceGas emergency crew successfully stopped the leak at about 12:10 p.m., the air quality in the area was tested and found safe, and an all-clear was issued, ending the evacuations.
Crews are now working to restore gas service to many of the buildings on campus.
Deputy Prosecutor John Johnson said Moore and his companions were committing crimes, but Hastings had acted recklessly and not in self-defense.
Defense attorney Bill James countered that Hastings believed he was about to be run over and that investigators had overlooked physicial evidence damaging to the state's case. He said Hastings was doing his job that night; the others involved were committing crimes.
More details from David follow:
UPDATE: More below.
From the Central Arkansas Library System:
The Central Arkansas Library System's Board of Trustees is considering recognizing the Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton for her services to children by naming the new children's Library in her honor. We specifically wish to acknowledge the work she did as a citizen of Arkansas, including service for the Children's Defense Fund, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, Arkansas Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youth, Arkansas Children's Hospital, Arkansas Educational System Task Force, Rural Healthy Advisory Committee, and many others, including her ground-breaking work as co-chair of Arkansas's Educational Standards Committee. We also wish to recognize her continued work at the national and international levels to improve the lives of all the world's children.
Please submit your comments by email to email@example.com, or by letter to Board of Trustees, Central Arkansas Library System, 100 Rock Street, Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201. The Board of Trustees will take up this matter at its monthly meeting at the Children's Library on June 27, beginning at noon. Persons wishing to speak on this issue are encouraged to attend.
I asked Library Director Bobby Roberts about the comment relative to a 2013 state law meant to prohibit the naming of public buildings for most living people. He replied:
That law has no emergency clause so it does not take effect until mid-August I believe. I actually got permission from the trustees to pursue this back in December 2012 so this was under way before the session even started. I don't think that bill was even introduced until maybe March.
Perhaps Rep. John Burris, who sponsored the new law, will call Roberts and demand that the library not do it. Or else. That's how it works now, right?
I bring them up because the partners were two women who had first made the decision to open their home to provide foster care to the eldest child in 2007. Years later — and after a deployment abroad with the Alaska National Guard for one of them — they embraced the joy and sacrifice of four adopted children living under the same roof, with smiles, laughter, movie nights, parent-teacher conferences and runny noses.
Yet despite signing up and volunteering to give themselves fully to these four adorable children, our government does not meet this family halfway and allow them to be legally recognized as spouses. After their years of sleepless nights, after-school pickups and birthday cakes, if one of them gets sick or injured and needs critical care, the other would not be allowed to visit them in the emergency room — and the children could possibly be taken away from the healthy partner. They do not get considered for household health care benefit coverage like spouses nationwide. This first-class Alaskan family still lives a second-class existence.
Copy to U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor. No, not to Dr. No. Why waste the pixels?
If David Sanders may declare Planned Parenthood off-limits for state contract work, who will he come for next? Baptists? Jews? The NAACP? Liberal newspapers?
I erupt again this morning at another bit of evidence of the disdain with which such ideological zealots view three-branch government in which a representative assembly is but one part. (And in a three-branch government, the legislative, it should go without saying, should only be able to act by majority vote of its members, not through backroom pressure and demagoguery from self-appointed dictators such as Sanders and Burris.)
I saw this Twitter post this morning by Republican Rep. Justin Harris. And if you can't believe this God-fearing young man, I don't know who you can believe:
State Constitution?Ouch!“@vnbien: 2night @kenyangAR said as State Auditor he would refuse 2 sign a check if he disagreed w law passed.”
Might Justin Harris actually be suggesting that Republican auditor candidate Ken Yang has gone too far? It would be a nice switch for Harris, who doesn't recognize the U.S. constitutional prohibition against state establishment of religion in publicly funded activities such as his pre-school.
But my real interest is the report that a candidate for statewide office has been quoted as saying he'd decide which legal obligations of the state he would pay based on his personal approval of the law. A court would quickly set him right on this, of course, at great expense to the state. Then what? Maybe he'd defy the court? That's for another day and Yang isn't likely to prevail in even the Republican primary.
Maybe Yang has been misquoted. But there's very little difference in the reported remark and what Sanders and Burris propose on deciding who does and doesn't get state Obamacare money. Only those with their seal of approval need apply. Applaud these bullies if you will, but don't call it constitutional.
Gov. Mike Beebe seems to indicate a somewhat nuanced picture is emerging as facts are being gathered on how an Arkansas parolee, now a murder suspect, failed to be held behind bars despite repeat criminal charges and failure to appear for parole meetings. The Democrat-Gazette reports here on Beebe's efforts in the matter of Darrell Dennis, accused in the slaying of Forrest Abrams.
Fox 16 also has a report that might indicate where the Department of Community Corrections aims to take the review of its actions — blaming the Pulaski County sheriff's office, specifically the jail, for releasing him. It claims it removed a hold on Dennis at the request of the jail.
Sheriff Holladay says Dennis was able to go free because D.C.C. faxed the jail a "speed letter" asking for his release.
"If they didn't want him released, they shouldn't have sent us this order to release him," Holladay said, pounding his finger down on the document.
We've been down this muddled road before — remember the probationer who killed police officers in Washington state.
So far, this case is repeating that one in a significant aspect. Apart from limited responses from departmental spokeswoman Rhonda Sharp, the probation and parole agency will NOT send its top officials out to talk to the press. I can't think of another state agency that so successfully resists accountability. Beebe says blame will be laid when the process is completed. If that doesn't include a public accountability session for the leaders of the agency, that won't be good enough. Trust Beebe though the public might, that isn't sufficient verification.
Finally, I've been meaning to add this to the discussion.
Parolees commit crimes. Sad but true. Each act of recidivism is not proof of the failure of the parole system. Nor is it justification for throw-away-the-key sentencing. I fear that the important process of reviewing parole procedures for failings might lead to knee-jerk reactions — such as a return to the thinking that the best way to deal with the pathology of drug use and addiction is longer prison sentences for criminals driven by drugs.
Speaking of escaped monkeys, former Governor Mike Huckabee, who for some reason fled to a…
OK, goof but try to make it a little quick. Max can give you contact…
A&E Feature / To-Do List / In Brief / Movie Reviews / Music Reviews / Theater Reviews / A&E News / Art Notes / Graham Gordy / Books / Media / Dining Reviews / Dining Guide / What's Cookin' / Calendar / The Televisionist / Movie Listings / Gallery Listings