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Smart talk Feb. 3 

Prize park A project designed by University of Arkansas architects and scientists to fix a flood-prone park in Warren has won a national award from the American Institute of Architects. The Community Design Center team, whose 2005 Honor Award for Outstanding Regional and Urban Design was announced in Washington Jan. 7, drew up a stream and floodplain restoration plan that would create a half-mile-long park with raised mounds, a water walk around Warren’s YMCA and a plaza. The plan calls for rehabbing current structures as possible cafes, art galleries and a farmers market, and the erection of red fabric “sky domes” to symbolize the town’s identity as the home of the Pink Tomato Festival. The city of Warren is contracting with Mesa Landscape Architects of Little Rock to raise money and implement the design. Shoot me the juice, Bruce Gov. Mike Huckabee has a knack for turning colorful phrases, as when he responded to Sen. Jim Holt’s bill to restrict public services for undocumented immigrants by saying, in part, “I drink a different kind of Jesus juice.” The governor’s point — and we don’t disagree — was that Huckabee takes a more compassionate view of needy immigrants than Holt does. Huckabee did not coin the juicy term, we note. But a quick web search shows that, if you like the ring of it, the satirical Landover Baptist store (http://www.cafepress.com/landoverbaptist) sells Jesus Juice T-shirts, note cards, coffee mugs, baby bibs and thong underwear. On the other hand, a Vanity Fair article alleges that Michael Jackson plied children with what he called “Jesus Juice” (white wine) and “Jesus Blood” (red wine) in soda cans. First lady enters the workforce In case you missed it, the Arkansas Blog (www.arkansasblog.com) broke the news last week that the governor’s wife, Janet Huckabee, had gone to work for a guy who gets almost as much TV time as the governor — Kim Hanke, head of Hanke Brothers Siding and Windows. Mrs. Huckabee is in charge of marketing for Hanke Brothers. It’s her first employment — outside of speaking fees from the mobile home lobby, grateful for her use of a trailer as a temporary Mansion — since she worked as a clerk at a Texarkana hospital in pre-gubernatorial days. “I did not hire Janet because her last name is Huckabee,” Hanke told us. The deal scored the Huckabees some national attention. AP followed our story (but didn’t credit us, the ingrates). The headline written by The Commercial Appeal in Memphis for the web version of the story didn’t exactly scan like a plug for Arkansas higher education: “Arkansas first lady takes job selling siding; ‘perfect fit for my degree.’ ”
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