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The Week That Was, Nov. 29

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Nov. 21-27, 2007

It was a good week for …

The UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS. Whether you were a Houston Nutt hugger or hater, it was time for the controversial Hog football coach to find a new place (Ole Miss) to hang his Panama hat. He got more than $3.5 million in traveling money.

The HOGS. Coaching soap opera aside, or maybe even because of it, the Razorbacks' 50-48 overtime victory over No. 1-ranked LSU ranked as one of the great moments in UA football.

SELF-INTEREST. The libertarian Reason Foundation reported that Arkansas ranks in the top five among the states by requiring licenses to work in more than 100 occupations. The foundation argues that the licensing agencies are more about protecting businesses from competition than consumer protection. Duh.

UAMS MED SCHOOL DEAN DEBRA FISER. She said it was time for the legislature to end geographic quotas for med students. She said the quotas depress the quality of med school classes without appreciably helping the number of doctors that practice in rural areas.

It was a bad week for …

The ENVIRONMENT. Given an opportunity to be a leader, the Arkansas Public Service Commission wimped out. In a 2-1 decision, it approved coal-fired SWEPCO generating plant in Hempstead County. Dissenter David Newbern said, in words to remember, that the environmental risks were unacceptable and it was time for the state to “turn the corner” and seek cleaner, more efficient alternatives for energy.

POKER PLAYERS. Little Rock cops busted the supposedly just-for-fun poker games of the National Poker Challenge. If you want to play poker you'll just have to do it at Oaklawn or Southland. Or at any one of a number of clubs around the state that believe they've found a way to hold card games without violating gambling statutes.

MEN. According to the Democrat-Gazette, women now outnumber men in Arkansas colleges 3-2. Academically, that's not encouraging. Some might have reason to like the odds, however.

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