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Editorials

Spiting Obama proves lethal

‘If we can’t defeat it, we’ll at least make it very hard to enroll’ appears to be the logic behind Arkansas’ Republican legislators’ approval of a 2014 amendment to the state’s so-called private option Medicaid marketplace. The cynical tactic appears to have worked.

Repurposed signs inspire hope

With a regular slate of depressing things to report, it was heartening to read a recent article in The Commercial detailing Ron Jefferson’s efforts to improve Pine Bluff. Jefferson, who returned to Pine Bluff after living decades in Detroit, now supervises individuals who have been convicted of petty crimes and sentenced to perform community service. As such, Jefferson clearly understands the wages of negativity. He’s also engaged in a program tailored to thwart some of those detracting forces.

Seeking jets for peace

In a recent editorial we noted the anniversary of U.S. astronaut Alan Shepard’s flight into space. His brief foray into the outer atmosphere was propelled as much by fear of Soviet technological advances as it was the enormous rocket underneath his Freedom 7 capsule.

Mall trajectory perhaps inevitable

The last thing the beleaguered Pines mall needs is one more controversy. Even so, that’s what it’s facing. As recently reported by The Commercial, at least two former employees of a “new” restaurant in the mall have filed complaints with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging that they were not paid for time they had worked there.

Cleanup reflects systematic thinking

In a recent report published in The Commercial, local efforts to clean up the central part of the city were highlighted. A large group, including students from Watson Chapel High School, police officers, firefighters, a city bus and representatives of Waste Management, was led by Pine Bluff Mayor Debe Hollingsworth.

America pushes outer limits

Today marks an auspicious anniversary in American technological achievement. Fifty-five years ago today Alan Bartlett Shepard blasted off from a launchpad at Cape Canaveral, Florida, to become the first U.S. astronaut to travel into space. Shepard’s flight lasted a mere 15 minutes, but it was enough to give the nation a great collective sigh of relief.

Being Bullish on Automobiles

It’s a pretty safe bet that most of us have never even seen a Lamborghini automobile in person. With its entry-level model, the Huracan, checking in around $200,000; and its big brother, the Aventador, demanding a cool half million dollars, sightings are understandably rare.

Plans to reduce coal’s toll

As recently reported by Arkansas News Bureau, the Sierra Club has proposed a program aimed at reducing the pollutants generated by sources such as Entergy Arkansas’ two coal fired electrical plants. The group’s plan would help Entergy comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Regional Haze Rule, which seeks to improve visibility at national parks and wildlife areas by reducing power plant emissions.

Promising tide awaits county

As was recently reported in The Commercial, Energy Security Partners, LLC, a Little Rock-based company is slated to build a gas-to-liquid conversion plant in Jefferson County near NCTR. The Economic Development Alliance for Jefferson County predicts an investment in excess of $3 billion to bring the plant to life, with an additional 225 plant jobs at an average of $40 an hour each and another 2,500 jobs during construction. If all goes according to plan, this will represent one of the largest development projects in state history.

Graven idols disguised as piety

One of the best things about the United States is our freedom of religious expression. We can worship whatever god we choose, in pretty much whatever way we choose. We can also choose not to worship anything. This is a luxury many nations do not afford their citizens.

War, peace and the next president

When President Woodrow Wilson ran for re-election in 1916, as Europeans slaughtered each other on an unprecedented scale, his slogan was, “He kept us out of war.” If Barack Obama were allowed to run for re-election, he could use this slogan: “He kept us out of Syria.”

Mayor’s race: One clear choice

With early voting having started this week, we note the importance of several local races. None could be more critical than the contest to be mayor of Pine Bluff. After careful consideration of the five individuals vying for the seat, we conclude there is only one logical choice.

Red flags mark mayoral candidate

As recently reported in The Commercial, candidates for political office are required to submit financial interest disclosure reports as part of the election process. Candidates for mayor of Pine Bluff recently filed their reports with the City Clerk’s Office. Those reports reflect a number of interesting facts about some of the people running for that office.