The Monday night line | Arkansas Blog

The Monday night line


Another week begins and the Monday line is open. Final words:

* IN PASSING: HARRY HRONAS: I note the passing of a friend to many who, like me, have put in a lot of years working downtown. Harry Hronas, 61, who worked 19 years in his family's Wallace Grill on Main Street before it closed, died Oct. 24. A visitation and prayer service will be held Friday evening at Griffin Leggett Healey and Roth, where he worked as a funeral director for 10 years after the grill closed following a change of ownership of the Wallace Building. Harry was a friendly, voluble character. I always thought he functioned as something akin to maitre d' or emcee of the grill. It was a warm, family place with a classic breakfast, great catfish and other diner standards, including real milk shakes. He was also a mainstay in the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church's annual food festival. His full obituary is here.

* SEGREGATION LINGERS IN U.S. SCHOOLS: Nearly six decades after Brown v. Board of Education , American schools remain deeply segregated and changing dynamics have made it even harder to keep up. Gary Orfield, director of the civil rights project at UCLA, made that assessment in a speech reported by Education Week. (Orfield has testified as an expert over the years in the Little Rock desegregation case.)

"In the 1960s we were 90 percent white, 10 percent black, less than 5 percent Latino, and ... Asians were an asterisk in our data tables," he said. "We have policies developed for a two-race country, mostly in the South, and we now have a four-race country or more, with west of the Mississippi a totally different picture."

"We need to think about what segregation means in our society now; it's not just isolation from whites," he said, but isolation racially, economically, and in some cases linguistically. Moreover, schools with no white students often still deal with racial and cultural tensions from black, Latino, and Asian students, but these issues, he said, often are not taken into account when discussing school race issues.

Orfield said magnet schools and charters may hold promise for creating more integrated schools, but only if the choice plans are constructed to prevent racial or economic stratification. 

Economic stratification is precisely what has occurred in several cases in Little Rock charter schools and is likely to happen again if a largely white effort to create a charter middle school in predominantly white upscale West Little Rock is successful.

* BODY IDENTIFIED: The LRPD says it has identified a female body found in a ditch along Kanis Road two days ago as that of Dawntea Arthur, 40. Cause of death was trauma, but police have little else at the moment. Her body was discovered by a group of volunteers picking up litter.

* ANOTHER VIEW OF ALICE WALTON: The website Crooks and Liars responds to NBC's fawning feature on Alice Walton and her fine Crystal Bridges art museum with a report on the Waltons' tax avoidance, spending on conservative causes, massive wealth accumulation off the sweat of poor people and other matters not mentioned by NBC.

* BASS PRO SHOPS OPENING IN LR NOV. 13: Bass Pro Shops will open its Little Rock store near I-430/I-30 with a ribbon cutting at 6 p.m. Nov. 13. It will employ 250 and undoubtedly prove a "destination" retailer for outdoor sports enthusiasts. Art and period photography and stuffed animals are among the trappings that make the stores popular. The photo below, distributed with the news release, is an example.


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