by Max Brantley
But I admire UCA professor Mark Spitzer for his study, affection and advocacy for this prehistoric beast. To that end, a letter from Spitzer:
Dear Friends of Alligator Gar,
Seems that there will be some sort of City planning zoning meeting Tuesday Jan 18 at 7 pm at the District Court in Conway (801 Parkway) regarding Conway Corp. putting a new sewage plant into a spawning ground of the largest known population of alligator gar in Arkansas. I learned about this from a resident of Lollie Bottoms who found a notice tacked up in a pasture. I couldn't get any information on this meeting from the District Court, the Circuit Court, Conway Corp, or City Hall. I did speak to the Mayor, though, and he got his secretary to look it up and confirm that it is a public hearing. If this is a public hearing, though, there's been no posting of it on the Internet or anywhere except maybe that sign in the field. Anyway, I'll be there to speak on behalf of gar and I'm inviting you experts to join me. Conway Corp never contacted Dr. Adams regarding the environmental study I advocated last summer (they said they would contact him) and they spent their 10-day public response-gathering period refuting my public awareness campaign without any facts whatsoever. My concerns are that constructing the plant might harm the next spawn and that water levels and water temperatures in Tupelo Bayou could be altered in such a way so as to make future spawns less effective. Conway Corp doesn't seem to be too interested in working with the community or UCA biologists to learn more about the impact of their project, and I'll give you 70 million reasons why (I got that figure from Judge Scroggins—I don't know if it's accurate, but that's what he told me).