April 15-21, 2009
It was a GOOD week for …
The ARKANSAS LITERARY FESTIVAL. Good authors. Good crowds. And, yes, another full house for our Pub or Perish reading. Way to go, David Koon.
SEN. BLANCHE LINCOLN. Republican state Sen. Kim Hendren announced he'd oppose the incumbent Lincoln in 2010. He can't beat her. But he might make it difficult for a stronger Republican to win his party's nomination, given his residence in the GOP stronghold of Northwest Arkansas.
GAMBLING. The state's new lottery now has both a commission and a legislative oversight committee. The commission will now set up the lottery, beginning with a meeting in early May.
ZELMA GRAVES. The 98-year-old woman will be allowed to live out her life in her East Little Rock home, rather than be evicted. Little Rock National Airport has bought the house in a noise mitigation program, but has decided to give her a life estate there.
CONFESSION. Christopher Dismuke, accused in a string of 11 burglaries, thefts and robberies, apologized to police detectives and said he hoped rehabilitation for crack addiction would be part of the sentence for the crimes.
TEA PARTIES. Some noisy cranks — estimates ran up to about 2,000 total statewide, equivalent to a small-town high school football crowd — gathered at multiple sites in Arkansas on tax deadline day to demonstrate their unhappiness with Barack Obama, taxes and assorted other gripes. The national stunt was stirred by conservative lobbies and Fox News. Local TV stations bit with endless coverage.
It was a BAD week for …
The ENVIRONMENT. A state report found that every single facility set up to handle liquid drilling waste from the Fayetteville shale gas play had violated environmental rules. The state, belatedly, says it intends to get serious about environmental protection.
GREEN FOREST. The city council enacted a local ordinance to override a new state law allowing beer sales in taverns on Sunday.