The Little Rock Airport Commission will soon take up the issue of whether to censor the airport's wireless Internet system. Installed in June 2006, the airport's Wi-Fi system allows free Internet access anywhere in the terminal for travelers with a laptop computer and a wireless card.
“We just recently got the capability where we too could do the filtering and the blocking,” said the airport's T.J. Williams. “But before that's presented to the commission for their consideration, we have to create some sort of policy.”
Wi-Fi filtering has had mixed results at other airports. At Denver International Airport, where filters to block “provocative content” were put in place in November 2007, travelers have complained that the system has blocked underwear advertisements, articles from online medical journals, and websites for popular magazines like Vanity Fair.
The hand that feeds
Former state legislator and Public Service commissioner Robert Johnston is one of Little Rock's most vigorous advocates for better services for the homeless. It is not always easy.
Police say Johnston was serving breakfast to homeless people in a trailer in Riverfront Park last Thursday when one of the homeless, a 45-year-old woman who appeared to be intoxicated, began yelling and cursing at him. When Johnston tried to escort her out of the trailer, she bit him on the right hand severely enough to draw blood. Outside the trailer, the woman hurled beer bottles at Johnston and threatened him with a length of metal pipe. Police arrested the woman for public intoxication and assault.
Pimpin' ain't easy
The mea culpa by New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer for frequenting $5,000-a-night call girls got us thinking about the state of the Oldest Profession in Little Rock.
Sgt. Jennifer Bartsch, LRPD vice cop, said that while a visit to your average streetwalker would set you back about $20 (or, often, the equivalent amount in crack, meth or alcohol), a businessman looking for a high-class call girl from one of the numerous escort agencies can expect to pay $200 to $300 to get her through the door, with prices going up for further services.
Bartsch said the Little Rock vice squad makes 10 to 15 prostitution arrests a month. However, because prostitution is only a misdemeanor, the women revolve through cop shop doors frequently.
Technology has added a new wrinkle to prostitution. Bartsch said the vice squad has seen a growing trend of touring hookers who advertise via the Internet, peddle wares locally for two or three days, then move on before cops move in.