Smart Talk, July 24 

LR: White males rule


Little Rock City Hall has compiled a racial and gender breakdown of the 304 seats on 32 city boards and commissions (279 were filled at the time the survey was taken).

The overall makeup was at sharp variance from the city as a whole. Women, who make up slightly more than 50 percent of Little Rock's population, accounted for about 35 percent of board and commission seats. Blacks, who account for about 40 percent of the city's population, held about 16 percent of city board and commission seats.

Blacks held the majority of seats on only one commission — the Racial and Cultural Diversity Commission, where membership was nine black, four white and four “other.” Women outnumbered men on only one commission — City Beautiful, by a 5-3 margin.

The whitest and most masculine commission was the MacArthur Military Museum Commission, where two of the 22 members were black and four were women. On the Arkansas Arts Center Board of Trustees, whites outnumbered blacks 24-3, but men held a bare edge of 14-13. The Arts and Culture Commission numbered 10 whites and one black; seven men and four women.




Shellee Holyoak Kuykendall of Cabot landed a big one: $100,000 playing fantasy fishing.

FLW Fantasy Fishing — the FLW stands for Forrest L. Woods, the founder of Ranger Boats — announced last week that Kuykendall won with a fantasy team of 10 pro bass fishermen who participated in the recent Chevy Open on the Detroit River.

Kuykendall, an artist, told FLW she's never gone bass fishing herself.

Though the odds would seem to be against it, Kuykendall is the second person from Arkansas to win the big cash award this summer. Joe Collins of Rogers won a couple of months ago.

Kuykendall moved to Arkansas from Utah last year with her husband, Kurtis, and two sons, Kamden and Konlin. She did illustrations for the book “13 Tales.”


Baseball: It belongs to all of us


The Dogtown Wire (www.dogtown.net), a North Little Rock online newspaper, raised questions last week about why no property tax was assessed on Dickey-Stephens Park, a public facility leased by the Arkansas Travelers for its baseball games. Several Arkansas court cases have held that public property leased for private enterprise was subject to the property tax. In North Little Rock, that could means hundreds of thousands of dollars for schools, government, pension funds and Arkansas Children's Hospital.

Not going to happen. North Little Rock City Attorney Jason Carter told Dogtown Wire that he construed baseball as a “public purpose,” and thus beyond the reach of the tax man. As evidence, he noted taxpayers' approval of a sales tax to pay for the stadium. “In other words, the fact that Dickey-Stephens Stadium exists is a testament to its public nature,” he told Dogtown Wire.



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