Summer’s almost here. How do we know, beyond that old thing called the calendar? The other day we picked up our sunglasses off the dash and the darn things nearly burned our fingers, they were so hot. But rest assured, our thumbs were not so injured that they can’t be used for today’s short bursts of editorializing.
It is likely going to be easy for voters to let Tuesday’s local school board elections slip their minds. It’s May, after all, and school board elections for a long time have happened in September (not that very many people paid enough attention back then either). Now, thanks (not really) to Act 910 of the 2017 session of the Arkansas General Assembly, school districts must have their elections either in May or November. Most school districts picked May, and next Tuesday is the auspicious occasion. Early voting is already underway. In Benton and Washington counties, nine school board races will be decided, from Fayetteville and Rogers to Siloam Springs and West Fork, among others. We think people ought to care about who’s making decisions about local schools. It’s your tax dollars, after all, even if you don’t have a kid in the classroom. If in doubt about whether you’re in an area with a contested race, give your county clerk a call.
It was thrilling news last year when word came down that Northwest Arkansas would be the location for HBO’s third season of its series True Detective. During the months that the cast and crew were in our neck of the woods, it was fun to catch glimpses of the actors and crew at different sites filming the scenes that eventually came together to tell the story of a murder in West Finger (mama always told us to use our Fork, but apparently the show’s writers had a good reason to use finger, instead). Now, the show is done (although still available for streaming) and Northwest Arkansas residents will have to wait for the next cinematic event in the region to engage in the hobby of spotting familiar backgrounds. In recent weeks, though, we’ve seen one more way the production impacted Northwest Arkansas: The crew gathered up all sorts of props and clothing — most of it found by shopping thrift and other stores around these parts — and donated nine truckloads to the Salvation Army for resale once the shows had aired. It was a generous gesture, giving the nonprofit organization an opportunity to make bank on the many items and their momentary brush with celebrity. We’re glad the producers are into re-use instead of wastefulness. If you’re interested in helping out the Salvation Army, their next sale is slated for Saturday.
It’s great news that Spring-dale city leaders are plunging ahead with replacement video cameras for their police cars, even at the hefty cost of $447,815. In this day and age, a city Springdale’s size can’t go wrong by making sure officers have the technological tools to better protect their officers and the public.
Speaking of safety, again we’ll rally an upturned digit for Springdale’s added capacity to send emergency alerts to cellphones within specific geographic areas. This capacity has great potential to deliver critical information at the right times, such as if there’s a chemical spill. Information works wonders in times of crisis, and Springdale’s system will make sure people get up-to-date information.
TV star Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty the other day in the massive academic scandal in which wealthy people used their money to get their kids into elite schools their children would not have otherwise been admitted to. Talk about a lack of academic integrity or any other kind. Sure, we all want what is best for our kids, but is cheating part of that? Not in our book.
Finally, finally, the decision of the people of Arkansas to legalize medicinal marijuana has reached the point at which the formerly illicit drug is being sold at a couple of locations. People in recent days have traveled hours to get their first dose of legal marijuana as a form of treatment to ease the effects of various diseases or disorders. It’s a shame it took more than two years from the election for the state to get things rolling. We weren’t supportive of the change when it was on the ballot, but once the people spoke, the state should have moved with deliberate speed. It was slow, but the will of Arkansans is now being carried out. Our bet is the legalization of recreational marijuana won’t be far behind. We won’t care for that, but medical marijuana will turn out to be the gateway to broader legalization.
GIVE ’EM A THUMB
Want to give some brief feedback on news? Someone who deserves a pat on the back? An idea that needs a dose of common sense? Submit your “Thursday thumb” by calling Greg Harton at (479) 872-5026 or by
email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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