Deltic’s senators 

There are places in America where people worry about protecting their water supply from terrorists. Here in Central Arkansas, we have to fight to protect our water from our own legislators. Twenty-two senators voted to weaken local government’s ability to safeguard Lake Maumelle from pollution. The lake provides drinking water for hundreds of thousands of Central Arkansans. The senators acted at the behest of Deltic Timber Corp., a big timber and land development company (and not bad at legislative development either) that wants to build a subdivision on the lake and has encountered opposition from Central Arkansas Water, a public utility. The corporate-friendly senators who put Deltic’s interests ahead of the public’s were Altes, Baker, Bisbee, Bookout, Broadway, Critcher, Faris, Hendren, Holt, Horn, G. Jeffress, J. Jeffress, B. Johnson, Laverty, T. Smith, Steele, Taylor, Trusty, Whitaker, Wilkinson, Womack and Wooldridge. That’s nearly two-thirds of the Senate. Uncommonly disgraceful. As of this writing, the Deltic bill (SB 230) is in committee in the House of Representatives, which seems less inclined to jeopardize a major water supply in order to put more money in Deltic’s already well-filled pockets. What is most encouraging is the outburst of public indignation since the Senate vote. Elected city officials from throughout the region have signed advertisements urging defeat of SB 230. Water-utility officials from other parts of the state have stood up in opposition, knowing that the bell could toll for them next time. The Arkansas Municipal League is lobbying against the bill and for local control of local affairs. Private citizens are mobilizing. An ad hoc coalition called Citizens Protecting Maumelle Watershed sponsored a rally at the Capitol posing the question “Who should have the responsibility of protecting drinking water — public officials or private commercial developers?” It’s not really a hard question, even if 22 senators missed it. The Sierra Club, Arkansas Audubon and the League of Women Voters are among the groups opposing SB 230. The Coalition of Little Rock Neighborhoods also came out in opposition to the bill, which the coalition’s president, Jim Lynch, called “the latest in a long line of decisions orchestrated by Deltic to get what it wants regardless of other city and public priorities.” Consumers of Lake Maumelle have enjoyed good-tasting, pollutant-free water for decades, Lynch said, and “we should not surrender this record to Deltic’s short-term objective to build 225 homes with a hilltop view of Lake Maumelle.” Deltic and its pack of senators were beginning to look surrounded at mid-week. Governor Huckabee needs to enlist on the side of the people too, announcing his opposition to SB 230 and vetoing it if it reaches his desk. He’s railed against “rats and roaches” in state government. Here’s a chance to put his veto where his mouth is.

From the ArkTimes store


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Annals of the Granite Mountain 'dumping ground'

    The Little Rock City Board is set to approve an expansion of mining closer to the Granite Mountain neighborhood, long treated as a dumping ground by the city.
    • Jul 22, 2017
  • Playground fire at Gibbs school

    Another Little Rock School District playground fire, this one about 5:45 p.m. Friday at Gibbs Elementary.
    • Jul 22, 2017
  • Another week done

    The Friday line is open. From the White House to the Ole Miss outhouse in the news roundup today.
    • Jul 21, 2017
  • More »

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Latest in Editorials

  • The end of an era

    We're sad to report that Doug Smith has decided to retire. Though he's been listed as an associate editor on our masthead for the last 22 years, he has in fact been the conscience of the Arkansas Times. He has written all but a handful of our unsigned editorials since we introduced an opinion page in 1992.
    • May 8, 2014
  • A stand for equality

    Last week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel became the first elected statewide official to express support for same-sex marriage. His announcement came days before Circuit Judge Chris Piazza is expected to rule on a challenge to the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Soon after, a federal challenge of the law is expected to move forward. McDaniel has pledged to "zealously" defend the Arkansas Constitution but said he wanted the public to know where he stood.
    • May 8, 2014
  • Same old, same old

    Remarking as we were on the dreariness of this year's election campaigns, we failed to pay sufficient tribute to the NRA, one of the most unsavory and, in its predictability, dullest of the biennial participants in the passing political parade.
    • May 1, 2014
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »


2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Another Jesus

    If you follow the logic of Jason Rapert and his supporters, God is very pleased so many have donated money to rebuild a giant stone slab with some rules on it. A few minutes on Rapert's Facebook page (if he hasn't blocked you yet) also shows his supporters believe that Jesus wants us to lock up more people in prison, close our borders to those in need and let poor Americans fend for themselves for food and health care.
  • Pay attention

    If anyone thinks that a crisis with the Power Ultra Lounge shooting, then he hasn't been paying attention to Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Another Jesus

    • I don't remember Jesus saying to the prince "Follow me and you get to keep…

    • on July 22, 2017
  • Re: Another Jesus

    • Bishop's first sentence might constitute the holy grail of sentence diagramming. Bishop, if you pass…

    • on July 22, 2017
  • Re: Another Jesus

    • The first commandment directly contradicts the first amendment.

    • on July 21, 2017

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