The Week That Was, Oct. 27-Nov. 2. 

NOTE: This newspaper went to press before polls closed Tuesday for the Nov. 2 general election. Most commentary will have to wait until next week.

It was a good week for ...

VOTING. Early voting was robust in Arkansas. If polls hold true, the excitement came from the Republican end of the political spectrum.

HOMOPHOBIA. Clint McCance of Pleasant Plains, a Midland School Board member, posted a screed about "fags" on Facebook, including remarks brutally insensitive to suicides by bullied kids. Nationwide exposure prompted a belated apology and his resignation from the school board. The act had the positive benefit of demonstrating the obstacles that face gay kids in school.

STATE EDUCATION COMMISSIONER TOM KIMBRELL. He intervened in the McCance matter early in the controversy and suggested McCance's resignation was called for if schools are to be seen as safe environments for children.

A BRIDGE FOR THE 21st CENTURY. Six years after the Clinton Presidential Library opened, work finally began on conversion of an abandoned rail bridge at the front door to a pedestrian/bike link to North Little Rock.

DR. CHARLES WELCH. Only hours after the Henderson State University president applied, he was announced as one of three contenders for the presidency of Arkansas State University. Yet another college presidency where the political fix is in?

UTILITY BILLS. Gas bills should be down about 9 percent this winter because of lower cost of gas.

It was a bad week for ...

ARKANSAS SCHOOLS. As pass scores rise, more schools' test scores are failing to meet minimum achievement standards under the misbegotten No Child Left Behind legislation. Unless you think the U.S. is like the mythical Lake Woebegone, where every child is average (or better), the number seems likely to keep increasing.

The LITTLE ROCK BOARD OF DIRECTORS. Turns out it routinely ignores a conflict of interest law that requires board approval of city business with members of city boards and commissions. And the board has dithered over a fix, which, at a minimum, must include stronger financial disclosure rules.


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