The late early line | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The late early line

Posted By on Wed, May 18, 2011 at 10:51 PM

Or is it the early late line?

Anyway. I'm back in Little Rock. And just let me say that flying on a real American Airlines MD-80 from Dallas beats the commuter jets, particularly when you splurge by using some American Airlines credits to get an upgrade to the big seats up front. Pretzels! A free drink!

The San Francisco Airport's new terminal is stunning and arranged for short walks and easy use (with museum art displays en route, a stunning collection of sterling silver pieces in the American terminal). DFW looked like a ghetto by comparison. In SFO, the restaurants ranged from the sit-down restaurant of a Michelin-starred chef, to sushi, to rotisserie porchetta on artisanal bread, to flame-grilled burgers with twice-cooked crispy fries. Manchu Wok and Friday's were the headliners in Terminal C in DFW. Never mind LIT.

Some stuff I didn't want people to overlook:

* BRYANT AND WASILLAJay Barth, filling in for Ernie Dumas this month (Ernie is fine, but traveling), gives some good history on the Democratic stronghold that once was Saline County and the fortress of conservative Republicans it has become. He draws a comparison between Wasilla, Alaska and Bryant and Caribou Barbie, Sarah Palin, and Jill Republican Dabbs, the "nonpartisan" mayor of the burgeoning suburb. There is this, however: As a USA Today story noted today, minorities are moving to the suburbs and the increasing percentage of minority students in Bryant schools illustrates that. Yet to be determined, too, is how rising gas prices will affect people who moved to the 'burbs for cheaper homes, but find themselves hammered at the pump, particularly when filling those soccer-team-hauling SUVs.

* COURT TV: I'd like to call your attention to The Insider's continued reporting on the funny business in Northwest Arkansas, where Circuit Judge Mary Ann Gunn remains incommunicado on her plans to leave the bench in the next few weeks, apparently to transition from a public job to a touted reality TV series with her playing a drug court judge. The latest news is that she's been laying ground work to use her old courtroom in Washington County. You should be outraged by 1) the Department of Community Corrections unwillingness to talk about its specific commitments to enable and 2), particularly,spokeswoman Rhonda Sharp's comment that what Gunn plans is TV, "not court." Which is exactly the point. Is the state really going to put its might behind effectively encouraging people to join a nationwide commercial TV reality series — where drug defendants bare their problems before a national audience — to avoid harsher treatment by the justice system? It's just wrong. There's no proof that it's good rehab. A judicial ethics commission has explained in detail how this is a bad idea in a real court, but many of the arguments apply for a fake court, too. Drug courts are fine. Fake TV courts are not. The DCC's unwillingness to talk to me on this subject tells me all I need to know about how comfortable the system is about it. Gov. Beebe? Do you have anything to do with state government?

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