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The week that was, July 4-10, 2007

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It was a good week for …

PUBLIC SAFETY. A UALR task force made the case for better county financial controls and a sales tax increase to expand the capacity of the County Jail, among other measures to fight a growing crime problem in Pulaski County. Good timing: In the first six months of 2007, robberies were up 60 percent — 100 percent comparing May 2007 with May 2006.

It was a bad week for …

MIKE HUCKABEE. Call it brave. Call it dumb. But the Republican presidential candidate got a slot on national television and said he might consider sending even more troops — presuming the U.S. had any — to Iraq to fight an increasingly unpopular war.

LAKE MAUMELLE. Central Arkansas Water caved to a development deal with Rick Ferguson to build homes overlooking the city water supply. A massive ditch is supposed to protect the lake from runoff. But, by press time, the water utility still didn’t have a commitment from Ferguson on compliance with a proposed management plan for other acreage in the watershed.

The ARKANSAS SCHOOL FOR MATHEMATICS, SCIENCES AND THE ARTS. The Hot Springs residential school for scholars wants to create a second, duplicative campus in Little Rock to skim top students it now can’t lure from Pulaski County public schools. The program isn’t needed here and it likely will increase segregation. But Walton money is behind the plan, so ….

INNOCENT BYSTANDERS. Another Little Rock police chase of a runaway stolen vehicle resulted in another wreck in which innocent passengers of another vehicle were hurt.

The U.S. FOREST SERVICE. It punitively hassled the 6,000 hippies who gathered in the Ozarks for the annual Rainbow Gathering, handing out hundreds of tickets and arrests for minor infractions, many vehicle violations that never would have been written for local residents with, say, busted tail lights. But it didn’t deter the yearly gathering, which featured its annual July 4 rally for peace.

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