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Smart Talk March 17

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Rope in Academe A committee of the Arkansas State University faculty senate, which has been at odds with the ASU administration, recently asked the faculty to evaluate ASU President Les Wyatt and vice chancellor for academic affairs Susan Allen. Most of those who responded to the mail survey — anonymously, it should be said — were critical of the two. Respondent No. 143 was particularly forceful: “Les Wyatt: Worst, by a very wide margin, President we ever had. The words to truly describe how bad he has been probably don’t exist. “Susan Allen: A terrible hiring mistake by ASU administrators. She needs to gather up all her little laser toys and go the HELL BACK where she came from. A total and complete DISASTER administrating, with a personality to match. … What we really need for Wyatt and Allen would include 4 items: Tar, Feathers, a Rail and Some Rope. These Two are the poorest excuses for administrators in the history of Civilization.” Dinner for the homeless Arkansas Times readers’ favorite barber, Jerry Hood, is a fervent supporter of the Little Rock Compassion Center, a gospel-centered mission for the homeless on Roosevelt Road. Lucky for the center, which serves some 400 meals a day to people in need. Before long, everyone who visits Jerry’s Barber Shop on Kavanaugh learns about the Compassion Center. Many of them spread the word, such as the son-in-law of one well-known Arkansan. That connection explains how the Compassion Center landed a big-time speaker for its annual banquet — trucking magnate J.B. Hunt. The event is at 7 p.m. Monday, May 16, at Sherwood Forest. It’s free, but there’ll be a collection of donations and pledges after the program, which will include testimonials from people helped by the program, the Compassion Center Choir and the First Baptist Church Orchestra. More information is available at the center, 296-9114. Kids and drugs We are indebted again to award-winning high school journalist Eliza Borné, editor of the Central High Tiger, for passing along her newspaper’s reports on drug use among Central students. Surveys were distributed to about 10 percent of the high schools’ students. Based on those that were completed, the Tiger found the following percentages of drug use: Drug Tried Regularly use Alcohol 82.8% 22.6% Marijuana 48.4 14.4 Cocaine 3.1 1.3 Tobacco 41.3 11.9 The survey found that 4.5 percent of those who responded had been arrested on a drug-related offense. Noted: The newspaper editorialized against drug use and provided information for drug recovery programs. Good nose New to the Little Rock market is Catfish Cuvee, white and red quaffing wines from the Central Coast of California. The winemaker is seeking to appeal to hometown pride with wines labeled after local icons. What better than the catfish for Arkansas? (See our Observer logo.) Winemaker Mat Garretson, whose Paso Robles, Calif., winery is producing the vino says, “wines in this series are crafted to maximize drinking pleasure without sacrificing balance or complexity.” OK, then. But is it good with hush puppies?

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