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White Hall millage round 2

The city of White Hall has done a lot of growing over the past couple of decades. From traffic lights to businesses and all manner of residential developments, White Hall is growing up. One thing that hasn’t kept pace with all this growth: The White Hall High School. If you were a student there in 1981 the core amenities would look pretty familiar.

Tired approach awakens resources

It is so refreshing to see government working as it should. Last week The Commercial published a report detailing innovations in the Jefferson County recycling program. In specific, the article highlighted a process in which the county produces and sells fuel made from discarded tires.

Prisons, diamond clad and breaded

Since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its nominees for the upcoming awards presentation, there’s been a bit of a furor over the demonstrable lack of diversity among the current cohort. While those nominated certainly reflect the demographic character of those in charge of nominations, they aren’t very reflective of the U.S. population. In specific, the nominees in most of the major categories are all white.

Landmark slips slowly away

A few days ago The Commercial reported a recent act of vandalism at the historic Saenger Theatre located in downtown Pine Bluff. While thieves destroyed property and took things that weren’t theirs to take, the real damage is found in what they have exposed. They have cast a harsh light on Pine Bluff’s darkest secret: nobody cares.

In baseball a metaphor

While plans had been underway for more than a year, on this day in 1936, the U.S. Baseball Hall of Fame elected its first members. At the Cooperstown, New York ceremony a cohort of early baseball legends, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Matthewson and Walter Johnson were inducted into the newly formed pantheon. While the facility itself would not be dedicated for another three years, the event set in place a time honored baseball tradition.

Lesson apparently not learned

Seventy-five years ago today, the shine wore thin on one of America’s greatest living heroes. On this day in 1941, famed aviator, Charles Lindbergh, testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. During his testimony, Lindbergh argued against Pres. Roosevelt’s proposed Lend-Lease policy. He also urged Congress to negotiate a neutrality pact with Hitler.

White Hall solicits controversy

It’s no secret that civic leaders in White Hall seek to actively manage their city’s reputation. It’s equally apparent that many of their peers in Pine Bluff have largely abdicated this responsibility. While a bit of reputational tailoring is a good and necessary thing, a recent report in the Commercial shows how too much can be just as damaging as not enough.

Is ISIS an Islamic State?

CNN.com just published a thought provoking piece on the ways the Islamic State (ISIS) builds revenue. The core of ISIS funding comes from four main streams: an intricate network of taxation; oil production; looting of banks; and ransoms from kidnapping.

Indian history provides contrast

While most of us probably don’t spend much time considering the verities of Indian politics, this week marks an anniversary on the Sub-continent worth remembering. It’s the 50th anniversary of Indira Gandhi’s ascension to the office of prime minister of India. Following the death of her predecessor, Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, under arguably suspicious circumstances, Gandhi became head of the Congress Party and thus, prime minister of India.

Finding a servant’s heart

It took Congressman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) 15 years of diligent effort to see the commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday as a national holiday. Conyers introduced the first bill advocating a King holiday just fours days after MLK’s 1968 assassination. There would be 17 more bills before President Ronald Reagan finally signed the measure into law on November 2, 1983.

Housing proposal merits strong consideration

One of the greatest issues facing Pine Bluff is neighborhood instability. This issue is prevalent all across our city. Single family homes once occupied by hard working middle class families have become mere stopping points for those embroiled in the broken culture of perpetual renter nomadism. Of all our communal ills, this problem is among the most damaging. It not only affects those whose choices keep them always on the move, but those whose long-term neighborhoods are poisoned by the cycle.

Life, death and pocket change

It didn’t take the villains of Pine Bluff long to claim their first victim in 2016. Lenon Buie, a local storekeeper and pillar of the Packingtown community, was shot dead Friday morning. He had operated Buie’s Grocery on Port Road for over 65 years.

Parole efforts find better path

As recently reported by Arkansas News Bureau, the state prison system has reduced the overflow of inmates temporarily housed in county jails. This is a very positive move; and one upon which the Arkansas Department of Correction should capitalize.

Parole efforts find better path

As recently reported by Arkansas News Bureau, the state prison system has reduced the overflow of inmates temporarily housed in county jails. This is a very positive move; and one upon which the Arkansas Department of Correction should capitalize.

With gun control a powder keg

With President Barack Obama’s recent announcement of new gun control measures, the predictable fusillade of criticism and doom-saying has erupted. Whether one is in favor of the looming changes, an immutable fact remains: The government — which is to say, the people of the United States — have a reasonable expectation that the sale of firearms be sufficiently regulated so as to prevent certain persons from acquiring them. Loopholes for gun shows and private sales undermine this expectation.