Tech park board gets an earful | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tech park board gets an earful

Posted By on Thu, Mar 15, 2012 at 8:33 PM

The Forest Hills Neighborhood Association gave the Little Rock Technology Park Authority board a piece of their minds tonight in a meeting at the Willie Hinton resource center. Speaker after speaker addressed the board, a one-way. emotional conversation for nearly 45 minutes, in which residents wearing "Not for Sale" stickers expressed fear and anger over the board's right of eminent domain to take their homes to make way for the park and at which at times grew heated. One woman said the plan to take about 30 acres of a residential area for development of the park was part of a racist "pattern of our experience when the opportunity for wealth arises" — a pattern of making the poor suffer for the goals of the upper class. Residents described their homes, their gardens, their years in the neighborhood.

State Sen. Joyce Elliott Williams, speaking to both the board and the neighborhood association, said that the market value of a home threatened with a taking by eminent domain "should be a minimum" price in negotiations and that pain and suffering caused by moving should be taken into account. Dr. Anika Whitfield, who lives near the Forest Hills neighborhood, told the board that instead of leveling a neighborhood "we should be talking about another location," including the War Memorial Golf Course.

A low point of the evening came when Authority board member Bob Johnson, the former representative and senator, told the crowd of mostly black, lower middle class residents that he had been in their shoes in the 1990s when a utility "was abusing eminent domain" and he fought to protect his Pawpaw's land. Please. The residents of Forest Hills are the equivalent to Deltic Timber, which sought to take Central Arkansas Water's right of eminent domain away so it could make big bucks developing big homes in the watershed of the city's water supply? Johnson bragged about writing "the most restrictive eminent domain law" in history and getting the Senate to pass it, though it failed in the House. If you have forgotten the details of what sparked years of fighting to protect our drinking water, read here.

Joan Adcock was the final speaker, noting the commitment the city got from UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn and UALR Chancellor Joel Anderson that they would act in a fair manner to develop the park. Can't post the letter from home; will in the a.m. at work.

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • Tech Park 2.0: Architects present for next phase

    The three finalists in the Little Rock Technology Park's search for an architect to design the next phase of park development — a six-story, 100,000-square-foot building on the empty lot between the park, at 417 Main St., and the KATV, Channel 7, building at 401 Main — presented to the board this afternoon.
    • Dec 13, 2017
  • Trump withdraws judge nomination of Alabaman Brett Talley

    An update to criticism of President Trump's terrible judicial appointments: Even Trump's team realized what a poor choice Alabama lawyer Brett Talley was for the federal bench in Alabama. His nomination has been withdrawn, NPR has reported:
    • Dec 13, 2017
  • Windgate Foundation's $40 million to create UA art and design district

    The University of Arkansas announced today a gift of $40 million from the Windgate Charitable Foundation of Siloam Springs to expand the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences Hill Avenue Sculpture Complex as the Windgate Art and Design District.
    • Dec 13, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • LR speakers blast state board for double standard

    A series of speakers, beginning with Sen. Joyce Elliott, denounced what they saw as a hidden agenda favoring charter schools at the state Department of Education and asked the state Board of Education for return of local control.
    • May 12, 2016
  • Civil War over in Fort Smith; lawyer strikes his Rebel mascot battle tent

    KSFM reports that Joey McCutchen, the lawyer who's been trying to restart the Civil War in Fort Smith over the School Board's decision to drop the Rebel mascot and related trappingsfor Southside High School, is dropping his School Board takeover campaign.
    • May 27, 2016
  • The long and winding road: No exception yet for 30 Crossing

    The Arkansas highway department's representative on the Metroplan board of directors told the board today that the department is requesting an exception to the planning agency's cap on six lanes for its 30 Crossing project to widen Interstate 30 from six to 10 (and more) lanes.
    • Jun 29, 2016

Most Shared

  • Industrial hemp pilot program coming soon to Arkansas

    One of the booths at this week's Ark-La-Tex Medical Cannabis Expo was hosted by the Arkansas Hemp Association, a trade group founded to promote and expand non-intoxicating industrial hemp as an agricultural crop in the state. AHA Vice President Jeremy Fisher said the first licenses to grow experimental plots of hemp in the state should be issued by the Arkansas State Plant Board next spring.
  • The prayers of Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert is keeping a close eye on the Alabama Senate race.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Today in Tom Cotton's clothes

    • Asked how I would dress Cotton. Like you dress a deer after the hunt.

    • on December 13, 2017
  • Re: Walmart to let workers take wages before payday

    • This creates a 'Day Labor' situation. In reality this plan will not promote financial responsibility…

    • on December 13, 2017
  • Re: Open line

    • Hope you feel better soon, MG. Have you seen a doctor? I understand they have…

    • on December 13, 2017



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation