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Smart Talk, Nov. 26



Bike friendly


North Little Rock has been named a Bike Friendly Community by the League Of American Bicyclists. The award was presented at Monday's City Council meeting. Beforehand, dignitaries met at the River Trail Station, where bikes can be rented for use on the city's flat riverside trail. North Little Rock is the only Arkansas city to receive the award.

Little Rock, which got an honorable mention last year, might do better in 2010 if it really does start work on completing the pedestrian/bike link on the railroad bridge in front of the Clinton Library. And if the mayor could talk either the Dillard or Stephens families into finding a solution for the one bad gap on the Little Rock river trail, the stretch along a sidewalk on busy Cantrell Road where it passes Dillard's headquarters and the Episcopal Cathedral School, a pet project of the Stephens family.


Drinks at the stadium


An eagle-eyed friend of the Times recently noticed something interesting in the tiny-print legal ads in the back of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette classified section: a permit application to serve alcoholic beverages at War Memorial Stadium. Sensing there might be beer involved, we gave the stadium a call. According to assistant stadium manager Jerry Cohen, the application is a way of getting out of some paperwork. In the past when the stadium has held private events where organizers wanted to serve alcohol, Cohen said, the stadium office has applied for what's known as a “picnic permit” with the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Rather than keep filing for temporary permits every few months, the decision was made to apply for a permanent permit, thus eliminating some red tape. Cohen said the ABC will consider the request at its December meeting. We'll drink to that. Don't go looking for a cold one at football games, however.


Politics of patriotism


State Rep. Ed Garner, a Maumelle Republican, stirred up a little criticism with remarks delivered on Veterans Day at the Maumelle Veterans Memorial.

In paying tribute to veterans, Garner launched into a diatribe about all the things he doesn't like about the Democratic administration and urged a peaceful revolution against them. Garner, who'll stand for re-election next year, brought along a film crew to record his remarks and quickly posted them on his Facebook page.

The Maumelle Monitor took offense editorially at politicization of the veterans ceremony. “It doesn't matter that many there agreed with most of what he had to say.

When he brought his own video crew with him and cranked up the political rhetoric, we could see veterans all over the memorial cringing.

“His call for a revolution against higher taxes and a federal health care plan may or may not be right on the mark — but he was way off base to make that pitch on Veterans Day at the memorial.”

It's always amusing to hear Garner complain about taxes, given his past record as occasional deadbeat on remittance of taxes by his bakery and catering business.

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