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Disgraceful swap on commission

At its most recent meeting, the Pine Bluff City Council voted 6-1 to remove Bill Brumett from the Advertising and Promotion Commission amid accusations of impropriety. Brumett cast the lone dissenting vote. Alderman Charles Boyd had left the meeting prior to the discussion.

No parking space for reason

It’s such a sorry state of affairs when a person can read through Pine Bluff City Council and Jefferson County Quorum Court proposals and instantly sense the negative influences of well-established malcontents. As election season creeps toward us, both bodies are considering the proper boundaries of campaign activities relative to public facilities.

Herbie: No love just bugs

As many readers are doubtless aware, the automaker, Volkswagen, has come under fire for allegedly including a software switch that allowed heavily polluting vehicles to circumvent emissions inspections. Not only was this an outright fraud, it also meant that buyers were getting neither the promised fuel economy, environmental protection nor performance they were promised. I wished this surprised me. It doesn’t.

October is Domestic Abuse Awareness Month

Nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men in the United States have suffered severe physical violence by an intimate partner. Victims are deprived of their autonomy, liberty, and security, and face tremendous threats to their health and safety. During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we reaffirm our dedication to forging an America where no one suffers the hurt and hardship that domestic violence causes — and we recommit to doing everything in our power to uphold the basic human right to be free from violence and abuse.

Papal visits a half century apart

Fifty years ago today New York City was host to another Papal visit. In 1965 it was Pope Paul VI; and while his visit was seen by a million live spectators and another 100 million on television, it provides an interesting contrast to the visit concluded by Pope Francis last week. Both men faced a time of change in the Catholic Church; and both understood the importance of connecting with the faithful in the United States.

Dollarway on the perennial precipice

While we were heartened to hear that the Dollarway School District has approved a budget for the 2015-2016 school year, we remain very concerned about a number of other critical issues. Even as the school board passed the budget submitted by Superintendent Patsy Hughey, a reminder of old demons immediately descended into the proceedings.

Confusion about code enforcement

In 1945, the British author, George Orwell, published his allegorical novel, Animal Farm. It is from that work that we get the famous political contradiction, “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.” In Pine Bluff today, we have ample evidence that this kind of thinking isn’t reserved for fictional pigs and chickens.

When the backbeat began

This week in 1955, Richard Wayne Penniman of Macon, Georgia, made musical history. Better known to the world as “Little Richard,” Penniman walked into a New Orleans recording studio and laid down the early rock and roll hit, “Tutti Frutti.” What most don’t know, the song Little Richard presented to legendary producer, Bumps Blackwell, and the one that was finally recorded were very different.

Why We Should Take More Syrian Refugees

In the months before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Secretary of State Colin Powell sometimes invoked what he referred to as the Pottery Barn Rule: “You break it, you own it.” The obligations of ownership are now coming due, in the form of millions of refugees desperate to escape the strife of the Middle East.

Saving our public schools

Across the U.S. our public elementary and secondary schools are under siege from financial, ideological, political and demographic crosscurrents that threaten their survival. We are all quite familiar with these crosscurrents since they have been well documented and have been evident for more than 50 years. First came the push for racial integration during the early 1960s through late ’70s, which led, in places outside of the south, to white flight to the suburbs.

Coco and white pants

Labor Day marked the symbolic end of summer. While astronomical fall doesn’t begin until Sept. 23, the mood has already begun to shift from crisp white to autumnal orange. This segue can also be seen in another seasonal shift: the custom of putting away one’s white clothing until Easter, next spring.