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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.

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.

Outside voice provides confirmation

Recent remarks made before the Pine Bluff School Board by William Robinson, executive director at the University of Virginia Partnership for Leaders in Education, should come as little surprise. Moreover, his concerns about the future of the district mirror sentiments we’ve expressed many times. Perhaps having an informed outside voice will prompt district officials to make a few changes.

Fears still founded today

Seventy-five years ago today, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his famed “Four Freedoms” speech before the U.S. Congress. In his January 6, 1941 State of the Union address, Roosevelt enumerated four universal freedoms that are the common, rightful expectation of all people: the freedom of speech; the freedom of worship; the freedom from want; and the freedom from fear.

2016 – A new Brenda

I spoke with my crazy friend Deb on New Year’s Eve morning and she asked if I’d made resolutions yet. I said I’d thought about a few and shared them. She gave a few of her own and, by the time our conversation ended, we had gotten down-right silly. As usual. So, the following is a collaboration with my friend as we discussed the resolutions we INTENDED to make before giving serious thought to the outcome…

Dirty business of litter

One of the most inviting parts of our city is Lake Saracen. With its large pavilion, accessible walkways and scenic piers, it’s a great place to host an outdoor event or just spend a little time. If you visited the lakefront this past weekend you would notice how high the water is. Small waves lapped at the base of the wooden pier. The typical sloping bank was covered almost to the sidewalk.

The greening of Cuba

Fifty-five years ago today, January 3, 1961, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower closed the American embassy in Havana, Cuba, severing diplomatic relations with the island nation. The severance was emblematic of the deteriorated state of affairs between Eisenhower and the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro.

Walesa rises, old foes fall

Twenty-five years ago today, the one-time dissident leader, Lech Walesa, became the first noncommunist president of Poland since World War II. Walesa, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, had been an ardent critic of Soviet hegemony in his position as a labor movement leader. At the time, many saw Walesa’s ascension for what it was: a harbinger of changes yet to come.