The morning grump | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The morning grump

Posted By on Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 6:11 AM

NO FREE SPEECH: Until Arkansas Community Organizations got a lawyer, rules prohibited leafleting at CATAs bus terminal downtown.
  • NO FREE SPEECH: Until Arkansas Community Organizations got a lawyer, rules prohibited leafleting at CATA's bus terminal downtown.

Headlines in review:

* WHY DOES THE BUS COMPANY HATE THE FIRST AMENDMENT? The same day the Central Arkansas Transit Authority agreed to pay $15,000 to settle a lawsuit over its attempt to discriminate against atheists in advertising content, we learned that a community organizer had to engage an attorney to be able to distribute material at the bus depot downtown. There's still a quarrel over how much access people attempting to engage in free speech will be allowed at that facility. Perhaps the continuing prohibition on leafleting at a central bus platform has a legitimate safety interest. (I don't think so, judging from photo of island above.) But the original rule against free speech leafleting at the whole facility certainly did not. You don't think this stifling of free speech had anything to do with the organization's recent opposition to the city sales tax increase do you?

BROKEN PROMISE: LR Board reneges on non-support vow for Parkway.
  • BROKEN PROMISE: LR Board reneges on non-support vow for Parkway.
* THE LR CITY BOARD'S WORD IS DIRT: The Little Rock City Board of Directors last night repealed a 1994 city resolution not to put any more money into improving Chenal Parkway for the benefit of developers. Since when does a solemn policy promise become outdated? Remember this if you trust the board to honor promises on spending the recent half-billion-dollar tax increase. Situational ethics will prevail. Care to make a bet on how many months will elapse before a proposal is made to spend money on the parkway, despite assurances that there are no such plans?

* QUORUM COURT KICKS THE CAN DOWN THE ROAD: The Pulaski Quorum Court tabled the Lake Maumelle land use proposals last night until completion of a new study of the watershed by the U.S. Geological Survey. It was clear Judge Buddy Villines had lined up votes to remove improvements to the proposals added by the Coalition of Greater Little Rock Neighborhoods. The Coalition Protecting Maumelle Watershed enjoyed added support from Occupy Little Rock last night in its doughty effort to restore truly meaningful development controls to the proposals. I'm afraid, however, that delay helps opponents of any regulation of the watershed more than it helps those in favor of stronger regulation. The Kochs can pay to send their lobbyist down from Rogers for every single meeting. The Deltic Timber lobbyist — excuse me, the Deltic Timber lobbyist hired here to represent Perry County opponents to clean water for Little Rock — is paid to turn up at every meeting. And the Kochs and Deltic spend money to elect the politicians who make the decisions and hire the people who draw up the county regulations. The only possible good news is a tip I got the other day that the mighty Stephens financial interests might be joining the fray on the side of watershed protection — on account of the views of that magnificent watershed afforded their private Alotian golf course. Any clubhouse in a storm, I say.

* MISSING THE FOREST FOR TREES: Can we stipulate that Gov. Mike Beebe squelched discussion of Forestry Commission money woes in 2010 for political reasons? Can we stipulate that the agency misspent federal grant money? Can we stipulate that the books must be righted? I say yes. OK, we've cleared the political underbrush. Now let's talk the tougher substantive issues. If the severance tax is to continue to be the Commission's major source of support, will legislators raise it? If not, will legislators support fees on the private timber industry sufficient to pay for the services provided by the Forestry Commission in fire fighting and tree nurseries? If fees and taxes are out of the question, will legislators shut up about layoffs? I'm looking at you, Republican caucus.

Tags: , , , , , ,


Favorite

Comments (14)

Showing 1-14 of 14

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-14 of 14

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Kavanaugh reporting recovers prep school memories; brings credibility into focus

    The Brett Kavanaugh nomination is producing reporting on the culture of Washington prep school life in his day — a time of heavy drinking long before Me, Too. Example: The Washington Post today. But it also spurred accounts of Kavanaugh's lack of truthfulness on other matters.
    • Sep 20, 2018
  • Clarke Tucker punches an absent French Hill in TV 'debate'

    Democratic state Rep. Clarke Tucker took full advantage of Republican incumbent Rep. French Hill's refusal to participate in a TV debate on Channel 7 last night with a series of jabs at Hill on policy issues and for avoiding debate.
    • Sep 20, 2018
  • Moving deck chairs

    Governor Hutchinson has promised to soon reveal his ideas for "transforming government" — a reorganization aimed at reducing the number of departments that report to the governor.
    • Sep 20, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Your daily dose of Jason Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert really, really didn't like it when a KATV reporter asked him about the hypocrisy of his political arguments.
    • Feb 4, 2017
  • The LR chamber does the public's business. Is it accountable? Blue Hog on the case.

    Matt Campbell, lawyer and Blue Hog Report blogger, has sent a Freedom of Information Act request to Jay Chessir, director of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Mayor Mark Stodola related to the publicity stunt yesterday  built around withdrawing from the mayor's rash pronouncement that the city would seek an Amazon HQ2 project even though the city  didn't meet the company's criteria.
    • Oct 20, 2017
  • Tom Cotton's influence on Trump's new security chief

    U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton is getting credit for pushing President Donald Trump to select Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser, Politico reports.
    • Feb 21, 2017

Slideshows

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation