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The Week that Was, July 2-8

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It was a good week for …

 

ARKANSAS. The state will be spared a divisive and hateful campaign for a measure to severely restrict aid to immigrants. A petition drive to pass such a law fell short.

 

JULY 4. Temperature in the low 70s before sundown? If global warming means cooler summers in the torrid zone, we might be for it. A little bit.

 

BUDGETARY BREATHING ROOM. Arkansas ended its fiscal year June 30 with a surplus of about a quarter of a billion dollars. If money continues to come in ahead of forecast, there might be a chance to end the sales tax on groceries. Or to come up with some money for any number of worthy educational causes.

 

MUSIC. The National Symphony Orchestra announced it would take up residence at the University of Central Arkansas for a week in March and give 150 educational programs, including a series of concerts statewide.

 

It was a bad week for …

 

The UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS. The booming campus got a black eye — from secrecy about a $300,000 bonus for President Lu Hardin and for officials first saying the money came from private sources, rather than profits from the campus bookstore and food service.

 

The CITY OF LITTLE ROCK. The Democrat-Gazette reported that City Manager Bruce Moore had waived $130,000 in fees for a downtown construction project in the name of encouraging redevelopment. It would have been more defensible if the City Board, not a city administrator, had decided to waive the requirement of a city ordinance — and if it had been done before construction began.

 

TOLERANCE. Homophobes masquerading as Christians cooked up enough signatures — though many of them were bogus for petition purposes — to get more time to qualify an initiative for the ballot to make it impossible for unmarried couples to adopt or be foster parents. This will punish, first children, then both gay and straight people, too.

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