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The Week That Was, May 5-11




RATE RELIEF. Thanks to a drop in natural gas prices, Entergy says that residential electric rates this summer will drop by more than 15 percent. The news came as parties in a PSC case announced an agreement that would reduce a coming Entergy base rate in-crease to about a third of what the company originally sought.

TUITION INCREASES. Both UCA and ASU approved tuition increases for next year, joining others in what is the beginning of the inexorable erosion of any benefit that might attach to the new lottery scholarships. The state is NOT picking up the slack on rising costs — better to let poor lottery ticket buyers tote the note.

The DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED. The federal Justice Department sued over the state's preference for keeping the disabled in large institutions rather than integrating them into communities. Already, the feds' move has forced the state to begin bulking up the understaffed and sometimes poorly managed institutions.

At press time, a record crowd of 10,000 was expected at the Arkansas Travelers' home field to watch the University of Arkansas men's baseball team play Louisiana Tech.


The STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION. It approved moving the site of the new Urban Collegiate Charter School, supposedly targeting poor black males from needy Little Rock neighborhoods, from a poor neighborhood to a middle-class white neighborhood five miles away amid a cluster of Little Rock schools whose test scores indicate they are adequately serving both white and black students. What's the point of the state encouraging achieving students of any race to leave achieving schools (except to advance the millionaires' pro-charter agenda)?

The LITTLE ROCK ZOO. Its Board majority, including a tobacco company lobbyist, simply refuses to ban smoking at the zoo. It might – MIGHT – reduce the areas in which smoking is allowed. But that means a health hazard, foul smell and cigarette butts will remain in what should be a pleasant family venue.

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