MARCH 16-22, 2005

The CENTRAL ARKANSAS WATER COMMISSION. It will not consider a resolution to work out a compromise watershed development agreement with Deltic Timber. But the danger isn’t over. Deltic still intends to try to win a special exemption from the law for its development around Lake Maumelle.
GAMBLERS. The legislature allowed a huge expansion of slot machines at Oaklawn and Southland. Inexplicably, Gov. Mike Huckabee said he opposed the bill but wouldn’t veto it.
ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY. Its women’s basketball team beat the women of the University of Arkansas in a WNIT tournament game before an ecstatic Jonesboro crowd of more than 10,000. At least somebody at ASU got to play UA. But take a deep breath, Indians. It’s just women’s basketball, consolation variety.

PRIORITIES. Many in the legislature seem intent on stealing money from the education fund to pay for highway construction. Others want to steal school money to build malls in Jonesboro, Rogers and North Little Rock. Still others want local pork projects rather than to build school buildings. Senators, led by Greedhead Bob Johnson, refused decent health coverage for teachers. Pathetic.
ARKANSAS CONGRESSMEN. Every one of them fell in behind cynical Republicans in asserting federal jurisdiction in the right-to-die case of Terry Schiavo.
WAL-MART. It agreed to an $11 million fine, a record, for using illegal aliens as janitors. It was the contractors’ fault, of course. Never mind that $11 million is equivalent to a 5-cent fine for an individual making $100,000 a year, based on the retailer’s quarter-of-a-billion in annual revenues.
HISTORY. The historic Mosaic Templars building, under construction as museum of black history in Arkansas, burned to the ground. The state hopes to proceed with the museum on the site in a new building.