Right as Rahn 

Right as Rahn

If you can keep your head while all about you are losing theirs, you'll be as worthy as Bill Rahn of the Little Rock Parks and Recreation Commission. While the commission deliberated over a proposed new policy on when, and if, the city should sell off its park land, someone suggested that the policy be amended to include rules for acquiring park land, too. Rahn put the matter in perspective. Acquisition of park land should be easy, he said. Disposal should be difficult. The commission decided to hold the acquisition rules while it grapples with disposal.

There's no emergency about acquisition. The crisis is over the proposed sale of a piece of War Memorial Park, a transaction that would likely lead to the elimination of the whole park eventually. Some in the community, developers and city directors among them, advocate sale of the park property without further study, which is to say with hardly any study at all. The daily paper has been in a frenzy: Sell! Sell now!! Sell for the love of selling!!!

The sale proposal popped up unexpected by most people — though not by the city administration — and was on a fast track to approval without Parks Commission input until residents raised objections. Then the Board of Directors asked the Parks Commission's advice, as should have been done in the first place, or why have a Parks Commission? The commission continues its work this week, attentive, surely, to the forceful rule laid down by Vice Chairman Rahn, a rule appropriate to all consideration of this subject: Disposal of park land should be difficult. Let's hope those madcaps on the Board of Directors will heed it.


If the Arkansas House of Representatives were in session, would it pass a resolution honoring Scott Roeder? It appears that Mr. Roeder is strongly anti-abortion, and he carries a gun in church; a majority of the House has declared itself in favor of both those positions. (Though Roeder has not yet been convicted in the murder of Dr. George Tiller, evidence suggests that he is the perpetrator. And when it comes to being anti-abortion and pro-gun, the House does not wait on technicalities.)

Earlier this year, the House approved yet another anti-abortion bill — it approves at least one every session, sometimes more — as well as a bill to allow concealed handguns in church. The Senate went along with the abortion bill — what's one more? — but found the wisdom and fortitude to stop the bill arming the faithful. It'll likely be back. Anyone who thinks that a slight thing like murder in church would discourage the House is someone who doesn't know the House.    


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