AUG 5 - 11, 2009
It was a GOOD week for …
POLLUTION. A landfill operator won a lawsuit that Little Rock couldn't pass an ordinance banning the deposit of smelly gas drilling waste in a landfill in the middle of Southwest Little Rock.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL. An effort to cut dominant private schools out of state football championships failed to win approval from members of the Arkansas Activities Association. But the vote was close and the controversy lingers, as evidenced by unhappy public schools that are cutting powerful Shiloh Christian out of junior high competition in Northwest Arkansas.
The STATE MARTIN LUTHER KING COMMISSION. Gov. Mike Beebe named his picks to the reconstituted commission and they seem likely to be moderating forces on an agency that has been trouble-plagued. His lead pick was white attorney Phil Kaplan, whose civil rights resume and even temper made him an inspired choice, though it might rile some people in the black establishment.
It was a bad week for …
REV. BRADLEY BARBER. The married Catholic priest was removed from a Fayetteville pastorate because of his alleged sexual advances toward an adult man. Barber quit the Episcopalian church because of his professed disapproval of its softness on same-sex marriage and gay priests.
U.S. REP. MIKE ROSS. The self-proclaimed “fiscal conservative” was outed by the Wall Street Journal for a taxpayer-financed New Year's expedition, with his wife, to Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and Antarctica on a luxuriously outfitted Air Force jet. It wasn't his first exposure for quality junketing. This one was worse because it was supposed to educate the congressman on climate change. In Ross' case, it didn't work.
The SHERWOOD POLICE DEPARTMENT. A woman cop complained that she was fired for complaining about sexual remarks by a fellow officer. Her lawyer said no such punishment was allotted for a cop who had sex with a Waffle House waitress in a patrol car or for the chief, who played a deer intercourse video for a roomful of male officers and the female detective.