Favorite

Smart Talk June 30 

Just so you’ll know The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that it was legal for a city in Connecticut to condemn private residences to lease the land to a private hotel and office development. It was ground-breaking because it means economic development can be used to justify the taking of private property for another private purpose. Some media coverage noted that Arkansas was one of several states that allowed for taking of property for redevelopment, but also said the power was restricted to “blighted” property. That’s misleading. The Arkansas law that enables Tax Increment Financing districts in Arkansas says local governments may condemn property not only to combat blight but also to increase development. Furthermore, blight is defined, among other ways, as undeveloped land “in an area that is prominently developed” — timber acreage on the fringe of western Little Rock development, for example. The Arkansas law specifically allows creation of TIF districts to “construct capital improvements to be leased or sold to private entities in connection with the goals of the redevelopment project.” Neither of two TIFs underway in Arkansas have required condemnations. Defenders of the concept say city councils will look after the interests of citizens and private property owners and not abuse this law. Believe that at your own risk. Adios LR Last week’s media column by David Koon reported on the list Michael Frazier sent to co-workers on his Top 10 reasons for leaving the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for a job with Newsday in New York. Frazier was one of just two black reporters at the D-G. Space prevented running his full list. Here it is: 10. The subway 9. Free parking at work 8. New Yorkers are more concerned about crime bosses than methamphetamine 7. Reporters don’t have to punch a time clock 6. The Tribune Co. pays more than 26 cents a mile, because Long Island is just that — Long 5. The ocean 4. The pay and the union 3. There are no police radios 2. They welcome aggressive reporters 1. Frazier is no longer an oddity on the city desk; At Newsday, there are reporters who are black, Hispanic, Indian, Asian and, yes, even shrewd funny talking women from New Jersey. But there are no Maine natives, though. Stupidity must die KDJE-FM radio disc jockeys Corey Dietz and Jay Hamilton got a slap on the wrist last week for posting a cartoon on their website depicting an ivory-billed woodpecker being strangled and the slogan “The Woodpecker Must Die.” Clear Channel Communications suspended the 100.3’s Corey and Jay Show for a day and a spokesman assured the world they would never urge destruction of an endangered species. Perhaps more telling about the boy’s hearts was the fact that they continued to market “Corey and Jay Show” caps, shirts, mugs, etc., on cafepress.com, with the same image and slogan that had been removed from the station website. On the web, Dietz and Hamilton were unrepentant. “We still believe in what we said. We’re simply accepting the consequences of our political stance on how the state should spend our tax dollars and on what.” What Dietz and Hamilton apparently don’t get is that no state tax dollars are being spent on the woodpecker — unless the state Game and Fish Commission has to spend its money to rebuild the Bayou DeView bridge, a bird-viewing platform torched by arson. Who knows? Maybe it was burned by people like Dietz and Hamilton, wildly uninformed about taxes, woodpeckers and who knows what else. But what do you expect from a pair of guys whose mascot is Crampy the dancing Tampon?
Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The Russian White House

    Washington Post's latest: Jared Kushner may have attempted to arrange secret back channel communications with Russians. He, the attorney general and Mike Flynn all have failed to disclose their Russian contacts.
    • May 26, 2017
  • The weekend's long read: Post-election Hillary

    Rebecca Traister has done a profile for New York on Hillary Clinton's life since the election, included extended interviews, and it is great stuff.
    • May 26, 2017
  • A Memorial Day open line

    Here's the open line. Also, news and comment.
    • May 26, 2017
  • More »

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

  • Conspiracy theorists

    Back in 2000, I interviewed Rev. Jerry Falwell on camera in connection with a documentary film of "The Hunting of the President," which Joe Conason and I wrote.
  • The health of a hospital

    The Medicaid expansion helped Baxter County Regional Medical Center survive and thrive, but a federal repeal bill threatens to imperil it and its patients.
  • Virgil, quick come see

    There goes the Robert E. Lee. But the sentiment that built the monument? It's far from gone.
  • Real reform

    Arkansas voters, once perversely skeptical of complicated ballot issues like constitutional amendments, have become almost comical Pollyannas, ratifying the most shocking laws.
  • That modern mercantile: The bARn

    The bARn Mercantile — "the general store for the not so general," its slogan says — will open in the space formerly occupied by Ten Thousand Villages at 301A President Clinton Ave.

Latest in Smart Talk

  • Better than Texas

    Arkansas's tax system is slightly more friendly to the poorest people, but only slightly.
    • Aug 24, 2011
  • Small-school champions

    Two Arkansas congressmen are among the 14 sponsors of a bill that would "correct" a provision of the federal school-funding formula they say favors large school districts over small districts.
    • Aug 24, 2011
  • Bipartisan race

    The rise of Republicanism in Arkansas has brought a rare two-party race to the state Senate in Southeast Arkansas, traditionally a Democratic stronghold.
    • Aug 24, 2011
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Underutilized waterway is a hidden gem in urban Little Rock

Event Calendar

« »

May

S M T W T F S
  1 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

  • Court feud

    Jerry Jones and ethics, low employment and more.
  • Abuse again at Arkansas juvenile lockup

    A guard was fired after choking a child at the Alexander Juvenile Assessment and Treatment Center. It’s the latest in a long history of mistreatment at the facility.
  • The health of a hospital

    The Medicaid expansion helped Baxter County Regional Medical Center survive and thrive, but a federal repeal bill threatens to imperil it and its patients.

Most Recent Comments

 

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