Subscribe to Editorials RSS feed

Editorials

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.

Starving the beast only made it hungrier

Some time in the 1970s, the Republican Party pledged allegiance to a strategy known as “starve the beast,” which said that the way to reduce the size of government was to reduce the taxes going into it. President Reagan in 1981 used another metaphor: reducing children’s allowance. Democrats, happy to increase government without paying for it, largely acquiesced.

Time to use animal cruelty laws

With the recent death of De’Trick Johnson, the people of Pine Bluff and Jefferson County are forced to recognize the flaws in our local culture of animal keeping. While county lawmakers have been largely mute on the twined issues of dangerous dogs and animal cruelty, the Pine Bluff City Council chose to address the problems with ineffectual and uninformed “breed specific” ordinances. These ordinances do little other than punish the dog for the crimes of the owner.

To walk fall and rise

Fifty years ago this week, Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev sent this congratulatory message to cosmonaut Alexei Leonov as he orbited the Earth: “We members of the Politburo are here sitting and watching what you are doing. We are proud of you. We wish you success. Take care. We await your safe arrival on Earth.”

Yet more uninformed public policy

We’re already in touch with the fact that the current raft of Arkansas legislators is dominated by individuals whose policy positions are misguided, so it was no real surprise when we read that a bill had advanced that would restrict registered sex offenders from living near churches.

Twined fortunes communal misfortune

Watching the fractious and often poison relationship between embattled Pine Bluff School District Superintendent Linda Watson and her school board is eerily familiar. It’s almost like watching Pine Bluff Mayor Debe Hollingsworth fight with certain members of the city council. It’s similar because both women recognize the need for deep systemic changes — necessary changes — and their respective governing bodies appear content to let their constituents slip into the abyss.

House bill 1681 is ‘poor option’

The House City, County and Local Affairs Committee of the Arkansas General Assembly is scheduled today to consider House Bill 1681 by Rep. Mickey Gates, R-Hot Springs, that will give governing bodies the “option” of placing their public notices in a newspaper or on their website.