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Smart talk, July 16



Happy Sunday


The 2009 legislature did drinkers a favor — and goosed alcohol tax revenues, too — but passing a law that instantly allowed any drinking establishments with a Monday-Saturday permit to also open on Sunday from 10 a.m. to midnight. Previously, Sunday drinking was allowed only by local option in a handful of cities and only in full-scale restaurants with a majority of sales tied to food, not drink.

This came as an unpleasant surprise in some places. Green Forest passed a local ordinance to prohibit Sunday sales. But booze-sodden Little Rock took the news in stride and with gusto. There's no official tally of how many places once closed on Sunday are now open, but the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board said 138 businesses qualified.

One is the Flying Saucer, the beer emporium in the River Market, which didn't sell enough food to qualify for Sunday opening before. It's now open and business is great, said general manager Matt Hogue.

“We love it,” he said. “I think it's really helped the Convention Center too. I think they were losing a lot of conventions because conventions run from Friday to Sunday. It's let them get better ones in here.”


The whole world was watching


This memo went to UAMS workers July 7, the day of Michael Jackson's funeral.

TO: UAMS Employees

FROM: IT Network Administration

SUBJECT: Urgent Message about UAMS Internet Usage 

While it is understandable that many of our employees want to watch the Michael Jackson Tribute, the overwhelming use of the UAMS Internet for viewing this tribute has caused serious problems, including cancellation of at least one class and interruptions to our Poison Center operations. If you are using the internet for personal purposes, please stop immediately so we can resume normal access for those who have a business need. The UAMS Internet is for business purposes only. Thanks.


Backgrounding a background check


Q. The state of Arkansas posts job openings on its website. Many of these advertisements say “No background check.” What's the deal? Are they trying to encourage people with criminal records to apply for state jobs?

A. No, they say. All the advertisements include the question “Background check required?” and an answer “Yes” or “No.” (Jobs that involve law enforcement or handling money all require background checks, for example.) Don Lucas of the state Office of Personnel Management said that the website was designed to make it easy for state agencies to post their job openings. A standard format is used, including the question about a background check, and the agency clicks “yes” or “no.” To remove the question from some advertisements would require modification of the site, Lucas said.


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