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Smart talk, Feb. 5



Not so high on Hog field


The House last week routinely approved, 92-2 an appropriation of more than $5 million for staff and construction at War Memorial Stadium, which is best known as the home of a couple of University of Arkansas football games each year. It also hosts high school games, band competition and other events. House Majority Leader Steve Harrelson of Texarkana was one of two “no” votes. He explained on his blog Under the Dome:

“If we're against wasteful spending in government, nothing is more wasteful than spending $5,000,000+ in taxpayer money to play two football games annually in a dilapidated stadium (and one is normally against some double directional non-conference gimme).”

Well. How about if we give up the $5 million, Texarkana gives up its income tax exemption?


Support for the Zoo


Little Rock Zoo fans have begun a grassroots effort to persuade the Little Rock City Board to turn over the city's portion of the vacant Ray Winder Field to the zoo for an expansion plan. An independent city committee last week said it preferred the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences plan to buy the property for $1.1 million for future use. In the short-term, UAMS would raze the old minor league baseball stadium to build a surface parking lot.

Zoo fans have begun an on-line petition drive to urge the City Board to reject the committee's recommendation.


GREEN MANSIONS: The green design for this Habitat for Humanity Neighborhood in Fayetteville, being engineered with a $464,000 grant from the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, won an American Institute of Architects honor award for regional and urban design earlier this month. The University of Arkansas joint project of the School of Architecture and the Division of Agriculture will include 43 units on Huntsville Road with curbless streets that soak up water, rubber sidewalks, a wet meadow and rainwater gardens. Washington County's Habitat for Humanity will begin its campaign to raise $2.2 million to build the neighborhood this spring.


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