by Max Brantley
* FELON CANDIDATE: I mentioned earlier that the Democratic Party had rejected the filing of Fred Smith, a convicted felon, to run for state representative. I also mentioned that the Democratic Party believed the secretary of state was misreading the statutes — which give the party sole responsibility over certifying its own candidates — and was insisting on putting Smith on the ballot. Mark Martin's office originally denied that. But that's what they're now saying. They believe if somebody files, they must be put on the ballot, no matter what the party they filed to run with says. Martin contends only Smith can withdraw his candidacy. I think they're wrong. But, thanks to Mark Martin, a felon is, for the moment, headed to the ballot and the state and sundry others will be out a lot of money to produce the ultimate outcome: Smith can't run.
* THE DUMPSTER DEBACLE: I mentioned earlier that Little Rock residents seemed confused by this week's mass rollout of the new green recycling dumpsters that will give us fewer pickups for more money and another humongo dumper to wrangle out of tight spaces. (We will get single-stream recycling; but good luck for the weak among you if you can't cut up your cardboard boxes into suitably petite pieces for the discerning drivers of Waste Management.)
Yes, there was a letter and a news conference, but no particulars came with the dumpster itself on when pickups begin (April 2, for the most part, though that could vary to as late as April 9 depending on where you fall in the schedule.)
Somehow, this confusion reached Mayor Stodola. He didn't have time to tell the public today not to waste time coming to the city board meeting tonight to talk about his effort to throw the vets into the boondocks (issue postponed), but he did have time to write this letter on recycling, which points out ever so politely how obtuse you were for not seeing the city's earlier mail on the subject:
Dear Little Rock Citizen,
I noticed today several citizens putting out their new recycling carts for pick-up. As the recent letter you received points out, the new service by Waste Management will not start until April 2nd. They are still delivering carts around the city.
If your new recycling bin has been dropped off at your house, do not use it yet. Instead, use your old recycling container until the new program starts during the week of April 2 (some streets will not start until the week of April 9). In late March, you will receive a tri-fold mailer from Waste Management which will include a route map and a 2012 collection schedule. Please be on the lookout for this.
Remember that once this program starts, you will receive reward points based on how much your street recycles. These points can be redeemed at Recyclebank.com for coupons, gifts and discounts.
Please pass this along and please advise your neighbors of the start-up date if you see them putting out their new bins.
Thank you so much,