And that’s all I have to say about it. For now.
* MAIN STREET NEWS: I interrupt this open line to pass along a city news release on a Main Street project that has been on simmer for several years now, but is said to be getting seriously underway:
On Thursday July, 25, 2013 Reed Realty Advisors will announce that the firm has started construction on the K Lofts, LLC project at 315 Main St. Developer Scott Reed will be joined by Mayor Mark Stodola and other officials from the City of Little Rock, Pulaski County, and the Pulaski County Brownfield program. Press time is set for 10:30am.
The K Lofts, LLC project will be comprised of 32 lofts spanning the 4 floors above Montego Café. The 32 lofts will average 700 sq. ft. and will include amenities like hard wood floors, granite counter tops, gas ranges and stainless steel appliances. They are scheduled to open in the winter of 2013. The firm will start pre-leasing in September 2013. This will be the first of two mixed use developments Reed Realty plans to deliver to downtown Little Rock by the end of 2013.
Reed Realty Advisors would like to thank the City of Little Rock, Pulaski County Brownfields, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Downtown Little Rock Partnership, and Iberia Bank. Their help has made this development possible. A special thanks to Jameson Architects and Fleming Structural for providing their skills for this project.
* DEATH PENALTY: HOW BRUTAL CAN WE GET? Attorney General Dustin McDaniel took his death penalty conversation to the legislature today. Not much developed. Except Sen. Jeremy “Gatorbait’ Hutchinson plugged a return to the electric chair. He thinks the statutes would allow it. Given Hutchinson’s record as a lawyer, I wouldn’t be so sure. But the re-election desperate Hutchinson fails if he thinks he’s the toughest fry cook on the block. Back in the 1970s, a legislator proposed drawing and quartering condemned inmates at War Memorial Stadium. Holy Spectacle, Batman!
* CRIME AND PUNISHMENT II: Legislators held yet another meeting today to complain about the parole system. They want teeth. The state is soft on crime. And so on. It’s put up or shut up time. If you want to throw away the key, throw away the key, but bring a checkbook to pay for the guards. It was left to Sen. Stephanie Flowers to inject a note of common sense, as reported by Stephens Media:
“We can sit here and say we need to lock everybody up, but I think we need to think carefully about what we are saying,” said Flowers, whose hometown is home to the state Department of Correction and to one of the largest populations of parolees in the state. “Everybody who commits a crime is not sentenced to life.”
She said one of the systemic problems she has noticed is how many parolees have not had any assistance in planning for life outside prison. Many of those on parole or probation need programs to improve their literacy or help find a job and housing, while others are in dire need of mental health services and have no idea how to find them, she added.
“You’ve got homeless parolees,” Flowers said. “We’re letting people (out of prison who) don’t have a clue in terms of how to support themselves.”
She said that under Act 570 of 2011, the Department of Community Correction was charged with improving such services.
“I haven’t seen enough of that,” said Flowers, a lawyer who said she is often in court with parole and probation violators who have been re-arrested.
I predict the legislature is not in the mood to beef up expenditures and services aimed at easing transition of prisoners to the outside world. Or, for that matter, to pay for more prisons. Much easier to pontificate and demagogue the inevitable parole failures. And cut taxes.
* HUCKSTERING: Do Mike Huckabee’s political endorsements correlate to candidates’ hiring of the political consulting firm that employs his son-in-law? That’s the suggestion here. Mike Huckabee do something for money? Say it ain’t so.