JANET JACKSON: Working out at Verizon.
When we returned from vacation Saturday night, the airport cab driver said he hoped we weren't heading downtown because it was full of people heading to a concert.
That would be, I presume, the Janet Jackson
appearance at Verizon Arena, photographed by Brian Chilson.
No Janet Jackson for us, just the usual quick sort of mail
and dirty clothes and sleep.
What did I miss? My quick daily news scans by sometimes balky computer connections suggested I didn't miss many major local news developments. Two things stand out in my mind from almost three weeks gone (apart from the Rolling Blunder tour in Washington, D.C.): The blatant corruption uncovered in a state audit of sweetheart dealing by and for a "retired" Community Corrections Department
official (and defense of same by the prison industrial powers that be) and the continued state- and Walton-sponsored assault on the Little Rock School District
. Unproven, unaccountable, privately operated, Walton-backed charter schools are presumed to be good by the state Board of Education and the Little Rock School District, despite solid contradictory evidence offered by Superintendent Michael Poore
, are presumed to be bad. I was
happy to see news of a group that intends to raise this uncomfortable issue while city image makers talk about "60 years of progress" since the 1957 school desegregation crisis.
I also liked Eric Besson's account in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette today
about a dispute over a now-silent low-power radio station financed by the city. The story appears to be that City Director Doris Wright
wants to control the programming for a station aimed at her ward and the ousted station manager had other ideas. One key dispute was the manager's cancellation of a pre-recorded program called the "Wrighteous Hour." Wright was not happy.
Benji Hardy did such a wonderful job of reporting and analysis in my absence that I told him I'd retire if he'd come back to the Times
full-time. But so far I can't persuade him.