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We’ve been here before

The recent United States Supreme Court decision overturning several states’ bans on gay marriage is likely to be one of the most contentious and difficult findings in our nation’s history. This ruling’s potential to fracture the American people owes to the fact that both sides in the debate believe they are morally correct. When framed in such terms, there is little room for reasoned discussion. If “you” don’t believe like “we” do then you’re probably going straight to hell. That’s not how great nations think or act.

40 year apology

Even his sternest critics agreed it was one of Mike Huckabee’s finest moments. To the surprise of many in the crowd of thousands, Huckabee’s oratory, in style and substance, quite surpassed that of another speaker, a president of the United States, for whom the issue was known to run deep — down where the spirit meets the bone, to borrow a phrase.

One State’s creative, chaotic conservatism

If I were to tell you that a state legislature this year passed a six-cent gas tax increase. abolished the death penalty, and voted to let young illegal immigrants brought by their parents to America obtain a driver’s license, what state would you guess that would be? California? Massachusetts? Maybe Colorado?

When only seconds matter

You probably haven’t noticed, but the Earth rotates at a slightly irregular pace. This owes to things like earthquakes and the gravitational pull on the Earth’s oceans. It’s OK that you may not have noticed, because scientists have; and last night they did something about it. They added one second to the end of June 30.

Getting charged up about the Volta

Last week The Commercial reported a meeting between faculty of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences and a delegation of representatives from the Republic of Ghana. The groups came together to discuss ways in which the west African nation and UAPB might join forces for mutual benefit. We think these kinds of partnerships are an excellent idea and important to the long-term success of the university and our city.

Warren experiences growth and football

In 1789, Benjamin Franklin penned the now famous quip about nothing being certain except “death and taxes.” We’d like to add one other certainty: change. Few communities know this better than Warren in Southeast Arkansas. Over the past few years, Warren has made some big and interesting changes.

Warren experiences growth and football

In 1789, Benjamin Franklin penned the now-famous quip about nothing being certain except “death and taxes.” We’d like to add one other certainty: change. Few communities know this better than Warren in Southeast Arkansas. Over the past few years, Warren has made some big and interesting changes.

University Drive upgrade complete

The University Drive Highway 79B resurfacing project has been completed, and what a major boost for the University Park Neighborhood. The Interested Citizens for Voter Registration Inc. would like to thank former Sens. Mark Pryor and Blanche L. Lincoln, as well as former Congressman Mike Ross for helping ICVR Inc. with this project. However, this project almost didn’t happen because it was deemed “dead on arrival” when there was no funding available for the project.

Finally, a positive ranking

A very interesting city ranking was just published that includes Pine Bluff. Just that phrase “city ranking” is usually enough to cause our political leaders and many residents to cringe as though they were about to get a big shot of penicillin. (Many of us still remember our dead-last ranking in Places Rated Almanac years ago.)

Graybar hotel is all booked

As recently reported in The Commercial, the inmate population held at the W.C. “Dub” Brassell Adult Detention Center (DBDC) is well over capacity. At every level of government — all over the United States — this is a common complaint. It’s a serious matter. It often leads to ill-advised “fixes,” and it imperils the communities served.

Cooling winds help community

The Area Agency on Aging of Southeast Arkansas is once again staging its annual “Beat the Heat” fan drive began June 8 and goes through Aug. 7. Betty Bradshaw, president and CEO of the Area Agency on Aging of Southeast Arkansas, praised Carolyn Ferguson for taking the lead in running the fan drive.

Clawing at rigged opportunity

The purists call them “skill cranes.” You more likely know them as “claw machines” or just “claws.” Stationed at the entrance to many big box stores, their brightly lit cases bulging with fabulous prizes — all yours for the taking — if your hand is steady.

Immeasurable PAY-off at camp

As recently reported in The Commercial, the Pine Bluff Police Department is once again staging its annual Police And Youth (“PAY”) Camp. This year, more than 300 children from the area are in attendance for the six-week program. While there are the immediately tangible benefits of giving the children something to fill their summer days, perhaps the greater return will come in the relationships formed.

Letting fear dictate reality

For many of us, the Pine Bluff we love is a place that hasn’t existed in long time. A big part of our erstwhile home resides in a certain quiescence and safety. We like to think of ourselves as living in a quaint small town where people sit on porches and know their neighbors. Sometimes we’re jolted into recognizing that place is just a memory — not an impossibility — but still a memory.

Privatized corrections public nightmares

At a recent meeting of the Jefferson County Quorum Court Finance Committee Justices of the Peace discussed privatization of the juvenile detention center as response to address budget shortfalls. Of all the ideas to shore up governmental finances, privatization of correctional facilities is among the very worst.

More than media object to comment

We do not mean to enter into the fray that is presidential election politics nearly a year and a half before the election, but we must take strong exception to former governor and presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee’s claim that no one but the media cares about a crude comment and cheap joke he made earlier this year.

Correction past, present and future

As we recently reported, staff from the Arkansas Department of Community Correction spoke to members of the Pine Bluff Rotary Club at their meeting earlier this week. The DCC was represented by Lashronda Brown, whose duties include being a probation officer and instructor, and Oneika Freeman, who is involved in career planning and placement. The pair told Rotary members about their agency’s strategies and programs to help probationers and parolees better integrate into the workforce.