Fort Smith - City of Fear? | Street Jazz

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Fort Smith - City of Fear?

Posted By on Thu, Feb 21, 2008 at 10:52 AM

The number of city officials who have resigned in the battle over Police Chief Kevin Lindsay’s job is now up to three.

The reason they are resigning? Threats against themselves and their families from “supporters” of Chief Lindsay, whose job was in jeopardy until this week.

It’s a pretty sorry situation when this is how a law enforcement official is kept in his position - by his supporters making death threats against elected officials.

If Kevin Lindsay doesn’t publicly repudiate the thugs who think it is their civic duty to threaten the lives of elected officials - and their families -  then the Fort Smith Board of Directors should send him packing.

One likes to think that one of the first things that Lindsay, should his job future be secure, would tackle are these death threats. But didn’t we see him on TV, expressing gratitude for all the public support?

Maybe this is a situation that needs some higher authority - Arkansas State Police, or maybe the FBI - to look things over?

******

The Party of Family Values? Yeah, right . . .

Pundits were on TV last night explaining yet again that the GOP was the party of “Family Values,” and that folks might be upset if McCain really had had been involved in an extramarital affair.

Given all the moral scandals that folks in the GOP have been involved in, you pretty much have to concede that the Family Values Train left the station a while back.

*****

Shiloh Museum vs Springdale City Council

The folks at the Shiloh Museum presented a proposal for roof replacement and new foam installation to the Springdale City Council this week, at a price tag of $269,000.

Oh, no, cried some aldermen, who claim that all the museum roof needs is foam installation and repainting, rather than replacement. Estimated cost is closer to $69,000, claims Alderman Jim Reed.

Quite a cost difference. Is Springdale perhaps being penny-wise and pound-foolish?

****

Courtroom 302

One of the staples of television around the world is the drama about lawyers and courtrooms. Whether it be from the point of view of prosecution or defense counsel, such programs are fascinating to watch.

They are also pretty unrealistic, as many have had occasion to learn over the years. For those who may think that "Twelve Angry Men" and Perry Mason are the height of reality programming, Steve Bogira's excellent "Courtroom 302: A Year Behind the Scenes in an American Criminal Courthouse" will prove to be an excellent dose of cold water.

Bogira, who has been a writer for the Chicago Reader since the 1980s, spent a year in one courtroom - 302 - in Chicago's Cook County Courthouse. For those who watch the antiseptic world of television courtroom dramas, this book is likely to be an eye opener.

***

This is almost too silly for words

Looking for a book yesterday, I glanced at the spine of one novel, and was assaulted (well, it felt that way) by the words:

Leisure Fiction

What in God’s Green Earth is that, and how do you approach it? The mind boggles with the image of the leisurely reader slipping into some comfortable clothes, putting some sappy New Age music on the old stereo, mixing a lovely fruit drink - no caffeine for a Leisure Reader - and hurling oneself upon the couch, clutching their Leisure Fiction.

Leisure Fiction. I suppose that is different from Fiction with Too Many Big Words In It, or Fiction For Airplane Travelers.

All books are now banned from my bathroom until the creative folk - using “creative” in its loosest term possible - come up with an adequate term for that sort of reading.

rsdrake@nwark.com

 

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