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Smart Talks Nov. 4


Blacks, Latinos still behind Blacks and Latinos in Little Rock continue to be denied home loans more often than whites with comparable incomes, according to a study released by ACORN. ACORN said that in 2003, upper-income blacks were 2.7 times more likely to be denied a loan than upper-income whites. Upper-income Latinos were 2.6 times more likely to be denied than upper-income whites. In addition, homebuyers in minority neighborhoods were 1.8 times more likely to be denied a loan than homebuyers in predominantly white neighborhoods. ACORN has announced its opposition to a proposed regulation by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation that ACORN says would weaken the federal Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and thus mean even less money available for loans to minorities and to low- and moderate-income borrowers. The CRA requires a certain level of community reinvestment by banks. The proposed regulation would change the requirements for compliance with the CRA in a way that would make it easier for banks to avoid the kind of loans that are most needed by low- and moderate-income communities, ACORN says. Party time Serious party animals will have to do their reveling outside the grounds of the Clinton Presidential Center when it is dedicated Nov. 18. Tickets make it clear that no coolers will be allowed on the premises. Weapons, either. A crowd of some 27,000 is expected. However, traffic won’t be allowed into the River Market area. TV screens will be set up to monitor the dedication and arts and crafts booth and souvenir stands will be open for business. The event starts at 10 a.m., a little early for hard partying anyway. Rural blues While rural Arkansas remains “a wonderful place to raise children and to experience close family life,” rural residents tend to be older, sicker and poorer than non-rural residents, according to a report from Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. The Advocates defined a rural county as one with fewer than 20,000 residents living in cities and towns. More than one-third of Arkansans (35.1 percent) live in these counties. Some of the findings in the report: • People living in rural areas are disproportionately poor. This is true across all age groups and family types. Nine of the 10 poorest counties in Arkansas are rural. • Unemployment is substantially higher than in the rest of the state. • A disproportionately high percentage (41.6 percent) of the population in rural areas is over 65. • The rate of disabilities for seniors (over 65) and adults (21-64) is higher. • The death rates for cancer and heart disease are higher. For cancer, the rate is 273 deaths per 1,000 residents in rural areas, 203 per 1,000 in non-rural areas. The rate for heart disease is 396 deaths per 1,000 residents in rural areas, 261 per 1,000 in non-rural areas. • There is one physician for every 1,058 residents in rural areas. The ratio is much lower in non-rural areas. Collect them all n The Postal Service will issue a series of commemorative stamps next year remembering 10 milestones in the civil rights struggle. Arkansas angle? Of course. One stamp recognizes the Little Rock Nine, the black students who desegregated Central High School with the help of federal courts and troops. The Montgomery bus boycott, freedom riders and the march on Washington are among other subjects.

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