In the early morning rain | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

In the early morning rain

Posted By on Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 6:09 AM

Catching up on odds and ends:

* D-G reports 15 proposals responding to State Fair's search for a new site (or improving the existing LR location). Lacking: Any idea where money would come from for buildings, roads, etc., much less purchase of the land offered for sale. I include in that omission the Little Rock proposal which would only seem to require $45 million for a freeway interchange through wetlands, acquisition of more property, condemnation of neighborhood homes, relocation of a housing project, millions for building improvements. Talk is, indeed, cheap.

* Speaking of tall talk: George Hopkins' noble effort to make the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System follow the law (something honored only sporadically under the previous leadership) has run into political realities. Making illegally paid double-dippers pay back money they weren't entitled to receive (particularly since it runs into the millions) has apparently run into opposition not only from the double-dippers but from legislators. It's sounding like Hopkins will yield to pressure and forgive these sins. Sad, if true. Try that on the IRS sometime. "Well, I know I wasn't entitled to that refund, but since you didn't catch me, you can't ask for it now." The double-dippers in question retired as public school employees then went to work for colleges and universities at often fat pay. The law for years required that retirement benefits be reduced by new earnings from agencies that were members of the system, as colleges are. That wasn't done, though it's clear the system and many of the retirees knew the rules.

* I forgot to pass along yesterday Appeals Court Judge Karen Baker's expected switch from one Supreme Court race next year into another, the race to succeed Justice Annabelle Imber. She announced the switch from the race for Tom Glaze's seat, which now has two candidates, after Circuit Judge Tim Fox announced his candidacy for Imber's seat.

* Thanks to Norma Bates for an impassioned review of last night's chamber music performance at the Clinton School. Check it out in comments on last night's open line.

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