by Max Brantley
Over to you. Final words:
* OH, YEAH, IT'S HOT: 104 at 2 p.m. in Little Rock according to National Weather Service and, according to Fox 16, 107 a little later, with heat index higher still. That would beat the 101 record for the day easily. Weather Service says June has actually been slightly cooler than normal on average thanks to lower overnight lows on account of low humidity. Drought, in other words. ALSO: 109 in Russellville.
* MR. CLINTON PREDICTS: He tells Daily Beast consequences of the Supreme Court's expected invalidation of the federal health care law:
"Clinton predicted that if the law is declared unconstitutional, Republicans will suffer a backlash when millions of Americans calculate what they have lost. Before the Affordable Care Act passed, two thirds of all the applications for bankruptcy were because of health-care emergencies, a consequence likely to return if health care inflation again rises precipitously."
* TROUBLE IN THE FIELDS: Mother Jones reports on the ills caused farm laborers by pesticides. The lead anecdote is about a Mexican migrant worker who got sick in Arkansas blackberry fields and had difficulty finding out about the potentially hazardous fungicide used in the field she worked.
* SEVERANCE TAX DIP: Severance tax revenue in Arkansas down for the first five months of 2012, state officials report in this full rundown on gas production from Talk Business and City Wire.
* WIN? WHAT WIN, DIRECTOR ADCOCK? I was skeptical when City Director Joan Adcock told Forest Hills neighbors they had "won" their battle prevent bulldozing of their homes for the Technology Park. With good reason. The Technology Park has made no such promise. Today I got a copy of a letter from rental landlord Jason Bolden to the city board imploring them to buy his six parcels in the neighborhood. It would be transformative, he said. I think the city plan has never changed. Try to shut the neighborhood up until the city passes a property tax increase, then bulldoze the neighborhood, taking homes by negotiation where possible, by condemnation when not. If you can find a city director who swears he or she won't spend taxpayer money on a condemnation — other than Directors Richardson and Hendrix — let me know. Also, if you can find a Technology Park Authority Board member who says unequivocally no home will be taken against an owner's wishes, get it in writing.
Bolden has been scooping up his property in the last year, perhaps sensing the Tech Park backers' desire to target this neighborhood might present a profit opportunity. The coalition fighting the decimation of the neighborhood found Bolden has acquired since last June 4419 Maryland, 4421 Maryland, 1020 Madison, 918 Washington and 4323 10th.
Bolden also owns other property in the neighborhood and has been quoted as saying he represents landlords owning perhaps 40 more parcels. Is that enough clout to bulldoze everyone else? That's what neighbors fear.