The week is downhill from here. Final words:More here.
* SO YOU WANT TO START A TECH PARK? Check out Chicago, where private interests are reimagining existing vacant commercial space such as the Merchandise Mart and attracting tech companies with that and such things as parking, bike racks, commuter rail and fun nearby neighborhoods. We have lots of empty buildings that could be repurposed and some budding neighborhoods friendly to young techies downtown. But that's not the Little Rock way. Better to tear down a low-income residential neighborhood, pour tax money into brand new construction, hope people will drive their cars from place to place and pray somebody will show up to rent some space, besides publicly financed universities.
* PREPARING FOR SCHOOL ELECTION RUNOFF: The Pulaski County Election Commission will meet at noon Friday to certify recent school election results and prepare for a runoff in the Zone 7 election. Had Dianne Curry gotten one of the votes that went to her two rivals, she'd have won without a runoff, but instead faces Tanya Dixon, who trailed Curry 217-193. Friday is the deadline for return of overseas ballots. Thirteen were mailed in the Zone 7 race, but none has been returned so far. Curry would need to get two of those, with none for the other candidates, to avoid a runoff. No one seems to expect any late ballots.
UPDATE on the absentees from election coordinator Melinda Allen:
We received one ballot today from zone 7, but it does not have a postmark. §7-5-411(a)(1)(A)(ii) states that it must be executed no later than the date of the election. In the past when we have received these, but it didn’t make a difference on the outcome of an election. I have emailed County Attorney Karla Hutchens to obtain her legal advice on this. This happens quite often with Military Absentees and I am not sure why, but it sure complicates things.
UPDATE II from Melinda Allen:
I have talked to Karla, and as long as everything is filled out correctly when we process the outstanding military and overseas on Friday morning, the zone seven ballot will be counted. If there is anything out of the ordinary on the absentee ballots, we will wait to process the ballots until the commissioners meeting Friday at noon.
* WHY ARKANSAS? Why not Arkansas? The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation released its annual report today, which touts the investment of "time, talent and treasure" in Arkansas. It explains:
The web-based report, “Why Arkansas: The Case for Change,” shows that positive returns on those investments are supported by progressive policy, an increasingly involved citizenry, and a strong network of supportive community-based services. In a series of engaging films, Why Arkansas: The Case for Change documents why we live in a great state where opportunities to make a difference abound.
“For years the country has overlooked our assets. Now, we are changing the question from ‘Why Arkansas?’ to ‘Why NOT Arkansas?’” said Dr. Sherece West-Scantlebury, president and CEO of the Foundation. “We have a history of progressive policymaking plus people, places, and advocates that are unmatched in this country. Arkansas has been making progress for years on issues like early childhood, health care, and family friendly tax policy that the rest of the country is just beginning to recognize.”
No snark is intended, but "progressive" is a word viewed with the same affection as "liberal" by a strong and growing portion of elected officials in Arkansas. Historic changes could be in the making. WWWRD about today's Republican Party?
* BILL CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE? zut alors.
* TORTURED TIMES: Care for a look at America in world where corporate Koch-heads call the shots? Giving allowance for the environmentalist posture here, it still sounds like Texas cops went overboard on peaceful protesters of the Keystone pipeline. Choke holds, Tasering, torture? Nasty allegations. But cops doing the bidding of corporate overlords is believable, whether in Texas or the Fayetteville Shale.