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Opinion

Planning puts smart brake on sale

As recently reported in The Commercial, the Pine Bluff City Council Development and Planning Committee recommended the full council consider a measure imposing a moratorium on the city sales of property zoned for commercial use until more detailed guidelines are developed.

Promises and visions

When I was a pre-teen, I recalled a biblical message delivered by our church minister, the late Reverend T.J. Taylor of the Pine Hill Baptist Church here in town. Unlike Donald Trump, I will not fake a knowledge of biblical verse and attempt to quote scripture and verse. However, I do remember the essence of that message was that people without a vision will perish. As we approach the election season here in town with all of the promises of elected officials who profess to have a vision that will move Pine Bluff forward, I suggest we take time to reflect.

Old grudge new fodder

Last week The Commercial reported on yet another kerfuffle between mayoral candidate Theodis “Ted” Davis and his former associate on the Jefferson County Board of Election Commissioners, Stu Soffer. Like the swallows returning to San Capistrano, these individuals never disappoint in their political theatrics.

Economic growth is missing ingredient

This year’s Republican presidential race has generated an unusual number of unusually bad ideas — Donald Trump on Muslims, Ted Cruz on carpet bombing, Marco Rubio on male footwear. It has also has produced one of the best: Jeb Bush’s 4 percent plan.

Finding a servant’s heart

It took Congressman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) 15 years of diligent effort to see the commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday as a national holiday. Conyers introduced the first bill advocating a King holiday just fours days after MLK’s 1968 assassination. There would be 17 more bills before President Ronald Reagan finally signed the measure into law on November 2, 1983.

Housing proposal merits strong consideration

One of the greatest issues facing Pine Bluff is neighborhood instability. This issue is prevalent all across our city. Single family homes once occupied by hard working middle class families have become mere stopping points for those embroiled in the broken culture of perpetual renter nomadism. Of all our communal ills, this problem is among the most damaging. It not only affects those whose choices keep them always on the move, but those whose long-term neighborhoods are poisoned by the cycle.

El Chapo Got Caught. So What?

All across America last weekend, panicked drug users rushed to their dealers to stock up on marijuana, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine for fear of running out. The arrest of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, head of the biggest drug cartel in Mexico, was sure to cause a sudden shortage of illegal substances in this country.

Dividing the divisive King-Lee holiday

Gov. Asa Hutchinson is still at the point in his young administration where legislators tend to give him much of what he wants, so it will be interesting to see if he gets this: separating the state’s commemorations — this year on Jan. 18 — of the birthdays of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

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.