Smart talk, July 2 

Firecrackers — then and now


The story about South Carolina Republican Gov. Mark Sanford's sexcapade in Buenos Aires — he had a long-running affair with an Argentine woman — recalled for pundits nationwide another “Argentine Firecracker.” She was Washington stripper Fanne Foxe, whose affair with U.S. Rep. Wilbur D. Mills of Arkansas, the powerful Ways and Means Committee chairman, exploded into the headlines in 1974 after she jumped into the Tidal Basin during an inebriated ride across town with the congressman. He survived an election challenge that year despite the scandal and later received treatment for alcoholism. Foxe, whose real name was Annabella Battistella, changed her professional name to the “Tidal Basin Bombshell,” wrote a quickie book and disappeared. As best as can be known, she lives in Argentina today. She'd be about 73. The photo from her heyday is from the Encyclopedia of Arkansas's collection.


State background checks


Q. The state of Arkansas posts job openings on its website. Many of these advertisements say “No background check.” What's the deal? Are they trying to encourage people with criminal records to apply for state jobs?

A. No, they say. All the advertisements include the question “Background check required?” and an answer “Yes” or “No.” (Jobs that involve law enforcement or handling money all require background checks, for example.) Don Lucas of the state Office of Personnel Management said that the website was designed to make it easy for state agencies to post their job openings. A standard format is used, including the question about a background check, and the agency clicks “yes” or “no.” To remove the question from some advertisements would require modification of the site, Lucas said.


New media R us


It occurs to us that some readers of the paper version of the Arkansas Times might also be computer literate.

With that in mind, we thought an update was in order on our on-line offerings, in addition to the arktimes.com website, where you'll find a number of house and community blogs on everything from politics to entertainment to food to relationships.

We now have a Facebook fan page. Search for Arkansas Times to see regular updates. The Arkansas Blog, Rock Candy (rockcandies), Eat Arkansas, Leslie Newell Peacock (lnpeacock), David Koon (darkansas) and Gerard Matthews have Twitter feeds. Go to arkansasartnotes.tumblr.com for Leslie's art blog.  Finally, search also for the Arkansas Times YouTube channel.

But by all means, keep reading the paper.



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