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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.

Council makes right decision

At its most recent meeting, members of the Pine Bluff City Council voted to reject council member Thelma Walker’s proposed ordinance to increase the tax on hotel stays. While opposition was motivated by different reasons, the council arrived at the correct decision. Whether a general rejection of new taxes or a vote against an ill-conceived measure, this was a step in the right direction.

Republican tax fantasies

The Republican presidential candidates have not rallied behind Ben Carson in his clash with the news media, but they should be grateful to him. His misrepresentation of reality on matters concerning his past has distracted attention from his rivals’ misrepresentations of reality on a matter concerning the nation’s future: tax policy.

Opening the Great Wall

Often likened to an immense dragon flowing across the mountains, deserts and grasslands of northern China, the Great Wall is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. On this day in 1970, the Chinese government finally opened the Wall to tourists. Previously only the Badaling section near Beijing had been accessible.

Warren’s Lifeline to the vulnerable

As has been widely reported, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D, Mass.) has proposed legislation that would give every senior citizen and disabled veteran in America a check for $580. Warren bases her proposal, the Seniors and Veterans Emergency Benefits Act, on a couple of twined ideas — ideas that have merit and are worthy of support.

Davis: Same tired tricks

Sometimes the mirror can be the harshest critic. Unfortunately, the mirror in front of local political operator, Ted Davis, appears to be rather cloudy. While the people of Pine Bluff and Jefferson County are largely inured of his dubious machinations — both as former Mayor Carl Redus Jr.’s right hand man and as a member of the Jefferson County Board of Election Commissioners — Davis has found a third office in which to stir controversy: chairman of the Jefferson County Democratic Central Committee.

Ryan: great promise but problems

Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R – Wisconsin) was elected the 54th Speaker of the House this past Thursday. Ryan took the gavel from Speaker John A. Boehner (R- Ohio), who had been pressured to resign the post by the ultra-conservatives in the party.

Old wine in old bottles

One hundred twenty-five years ago today the city of Oakland, California, passed its first anti-drug laws. Coming under regulation were opium, morphine and cocaine. Before the passage of this act, these drugs had been freely and openly available both for recreational and medicinal uses. With the new laws, these drugs had to be obtained through a licensed doctor.

Walker proposes expensive horseplay

Pine Bluff City Council member Thelma Walker has just announced her intention to run for the office of mayor. In a recent fumble with regard to proposed Parks and Recreation Department funding she’s also given us a glimpse as to what a Walker administration might look like. The preview isn’t good.