June 23-29, 2010
It was a good week for ...
CLEAN AIR. The Arkansas Supreme Court refused to reconsider its decision overturning Public Service Commission approval of a coal-burning power plant in Hempstead County. SWEPCO said it will try to build the plant anyway to sell wholesale power and not depend on Arkansas retail customers, but a number of obstacles remain before that can be achieved.
SEN. BLANCHE LINCOLN. Negotiators included a watered-down version of her effort to regulative derivatives trading in financial reform legislation. This allowed her to proclaim a victory over Wall Street. But the death of Sen. Robert Byrd days later put the Democrats' ability to pass the legislation in peril.
WAR MEMORIAL STADIUM. Its commissioners struck a 10-year $1.8 million advertising deal with AT&T. The commissioners and the sponsor also agreed within 24 hours to release terms of the deal after a press outcry over the original plan for secrecy.
OPEN GOVERNMENT. The U.S. Supreme Court said there was no constitutional violation in releasing names of people who sign ballot petitions. It's vital to guard against fraud in such petitions. Backers of anti-gay measures don't like to be outed, as they were in Arkansas in the case of the anti-gay adoption law (a disclosure that brought none of the ill consequences alleged in the Supreme Court case).
MIKE HUCKABEE. The former Arkansas resident (now a legal resident of Florida, apparently to avoid state income taxes), was the subject of a warm profile in The New Yorker and that produced an avalanche of publicity about the idea that he was the leading Republican contender for president in 2012. See John Brummett's column.
It was a bad week for ...
WILLARD PROCTOR. His last-ditch appeal of his removal as circuit judge for ethics violations was turned down by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The SALINE RIVER. The Health Department said a popular swimming spot near the Highway 5 bridge was unsafe for swimmers because of high bacteria counts.