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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.

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.

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.