Favorite

Writing the president 

Sometimes it takes a young person to speak truth to power. Such was the case June 25, when 50 members of the 141-member class of 2007 Presidential Scholars delivered a hand-written note decrying America’s treatment of terrorism suspects to President George W. Bush during a ceremony at the White House.

The letter read, in part: “We do not want America to represent torture. We urge you to do all in your power to stop violations of the human rights of detainees... .” According to published reports, Bush’s only reaction was an unhappy, “America doesn’t torture people.”

Though Arkansas Presidential Scholar Stuart Shirrell of Little Rock’s Central High School wasn’t able to attend the White House meeting (he was doing missionary work in Rwanda at the time), he supports the actions of his fellow scholars.

“I thought it was commendable,” Shirrell said. “I think it certainly showed the political nature of the scholars, but it also showed that they were willing to exercise their freedom to petition the government.”

Lana Hazel, Arkansas’s female Presidential Scholar for 2007, who attended Conway High School West, was present at the White House when the letter was delivered. She said she turned down an opportunity to sign the letter because she didn’t think the ceremony was the time or place to make such a statement. “It’s not that I didn’t necessarily agree with the letter,” Hazel said.

Hazel said her general feeling was that most of the scholars who refused to sign the letter did so for the same reason. After their meeting with the president, Hazel said, an advisor to the Presidential Scholars program told them that the letter would probably mean that President Bush won’t meet with the group next year.

Tax talk

Somewhat to our surprise we’ve confirmed a tip from an independent source that there are discussions underway in the city of Little Rock about adding a third penny to the hamburger tax — assessed on restaurant meals and hotel rooms.

Add a penny tax while the Little Rock Advertising and Promotion Commission is still digging its way out of a publicity nightmare over past management malpractice?

Yes. But the idea seems to be to use another penny not to swell the coffers of the A&P Commission, but to inject money into Little Rock’s lagging park system, as North Little Rock does with its money. Don’t expect to hear anything official at least until after the special election on mayoral powers next month.

Arkansas traveler

U.S. Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana has been struggling with press reports that he patronized houses of prostitution in both Washington and New Orleans.

There’s an Arkansas angle. Wendy Cortez, a Louisiana prostitute who told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that she had entertained Vitter, has spent time in the Natural State. (Heh, heh.) According to the newspaper, Cortez has lived in several states, including Arkansas, under the names Yow, Cortez, Williams, Shackleford, Ellis, Scavone and Bruhn. Her legal record, the newspaper said, includes a 1995 extradition to Arkansas on unspecified charges.

Know her?

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The Clintons

    I wasn't particularly excited about the 25th anniversary celebration of Bill Clinton's election. Life goes on.
    • Nov 23, 2017
  • Trolling for questions for our weekly podcast

    Lindsey Millar and I will record the Arkansas Times' weekly podcast this afternoon and post it shortly after it's done. This week, we're soliciting questions from readers/listeners.
    • Nov 22, 2017
  • UA chancellor hits Senate tax proposal for impact on graduate students

    Joseph Steinmetz, chancellor of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, has issued a statement emphasizing the "devasting" effect of pending Senate tax legislation on graduate students.
    • Nov 22, 2017
  • More »

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

Latest in The Insider

  • All in the family

    Old habits die hard. We may have a new Republican majority in the legislature, but like the old Democratic majority, it still doesn't hurt to have a lawmaker spouse to land a part-time job during the legislative session.
    • Jan 30, 2013
  • 'Circuit breaker' legal

    When we first asked Gov. Mike Beebe about the "circuit breaker" idea out of Arizona (automatically opting out of Medicaid expansion if the feds reduce the matching rates in the future), he said it was fine but noted that states can already opt out at any time, an assurance he got in writing from the feds.
    • Jan 30, 2013
  • Church goes to school in Conway

    An interesting controversy is brewing in Conway Public Schools, periodically a scene of discord as more liberal constituents object to the heavy dose of religion that powerful local churches have tried to inject into the schools, particularly in sex education short on science and long on abstinence.
    • Jan 23, 2013
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

November

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  

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Year one

    • ANOTHER YEAR/DAY CLOSER UNTIL TRUMP IS DEAD AND GONE!!!

    • on November 21, 2017
  • Re: Heart of the city

    • This is all really about the lack of justice. The topic of "justice" of course…

    • on November 20, 2017
  • Re: Heart of the city

    • ARTimes should take the time and conduct a proper interview with The Observer. This could…

    • on November 20, 2017
 

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