by Max Brantley
The comments line is open. My close-out:
* LR SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE: Melanie Fox has already said she won't be seeking another term on the Little Rock School Board next year, a great loss. (Yes, I know. I supported her opponent in her first campaign. I was wrong about Fox.) I hear a promising candidate may be in the offing for that seat (and redistricting remains a complicating issue on school elections). She's Leslie Plowman Fisken, 41, a lawyer not currently practicing, mother of three at Forest Park Elementary and graduate of Central High.
* JASON BALDWIN WELCOMED IN HOLLAND: Add the Netherlands to the list of countries that have welcomed visits by a member of the West Memphis Three. If your browser will translate, you'll note this Dutch account says Baldwin was allowed to visit — his first foreign country — despite a guilty plea to "triple satanic infanticide." He's not viewed as a risk, in other words.
* NEED A GOOD IDEA? Here's one. Read this week's fascinating Arkansas Times cover story, Big Ideas for Arkansas. What a range of concepts, both big and small: A performing arts center; legal nudism; end of public employee buyouts. For me the standout was new UA President Donald Bobbitt's break-the-pattern ideas on what higher education can and needs to be. He's a thinker. Good stuff.
* LITTLE ROCK AIRPORT HIRE: I'm hearing Ron Mathieu, director of the Little Rock National Airport, may be close to a choice in picking a new government affairs and public relations spokesman for the airport. I wrote earlier about his choice of four finalists who were to be interviewed this week. No announcement today, I'm told. A cautious investor might wager a dollar on Shane Carter of Paragould, a former TV reporter who heads PR for the Arkansas Methodist Medical Center.
* GO, NEWT, GO: Republican primary voters are certifiably bat**** crazy. In Florida, Newt's numbers are taking off and Mitt's are cratering.
* THE MAIL MUST GO THROUGH: The Postal Service has scheduled a hearing later this month on closing its Fayetteville mail processing facility,and maybe Fort Smith, too, and moving their work to Little Rock. Republican Rep. Steve Womack has been insisting on spending cuts for the Postal Service. What do you bet he doesn't like this idea, which could cost his district 250 jobs? Mail road time could delay deliveries, but inevitably cost-cutting is going to mean later mail and perhaps an end to Saturday delivery, as well as fewer postoffices. Republicans like Womack prefer something for nothing and to bitch when they don't get it.
* YOU SAY YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO SEE ALOTIAN? Alotian, Warren Stephens' swank private Augusta National-style golf course overlooking Lake Maumelle, will be open to the general public for the first time in 2013 when the prestigious Western Amateur golf tournament is held there in July. The public will be able to watch the play. Jim Harris at Arkansas Sports 360 tells you all about it. (I'm guessing tickets won't include access to the clubhouse.)