Max Brantley

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Newspaper transformation

Forty-six years ago this week I visited Little Rock in hopes of getting a job at the Arkansas Gazette. Then-Managing Editor Robert Douglas was friendly, but said (with good reason) that I was a little green.

Hope and change LR

While I was away, Frank Scott Jr. won a historic victory in a runoff with Baker Kurrus to succeed Mark Stodola as Little Rock mayor.

A real mayor

Baker Kurrus is trying to brand himself as an agent for change as mayor of Little Rock, but labors under a handicap.

How red are we?

Election results in Arkansas were discouraging for Democrats and progressive voters.
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For the teachers and for Kurrus

Events in the Little Rock School District prompt me to say more about the Little Rock mayor's race in favor of Baker Kurrus.

Time to vote

Early voting has begun and most of the choices are easy on my ballot.

In the news. Or not.

Some recent news, not all fit for immediate print in the state's largest newspaper.

Talking ethics

A state Senate committee this week began firming up new ethics rules to govern members. Call me wary.
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The private prison swamp

State Sen. Joyce Elliott (D-Little Rock) last week exposed a plan to begin privatizing Arkansas prisons without going through the legislature. Smells like a swamp to me.

Outrage roundup

So many provocations, so little space.

Moving deck chairs

Governor Hutchinson has promised to soon reveal his ideas for "transforming government" — a reorganization aimed at reducing the number of departments that report to the governor.

Throw the bums in the legislature out

Jon Woods, the former state senator, got a whopping 18-year federal prison sentence last week from Judge Timothy Brooks, who described Woods' criminality as "grotesque" and "depraved."
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Armed teachers

The Arkansas School Safety Commission heard belatedly last week about ideas to make schools safer that don't put more guns at the top of the list of solutions.

Tax cuts for the rich

Governor Hutchinson signaled his preferred approach to state taxation and services last week — keep pinching services to provide a tax cut for the rich.

The wage divide

An initiated act to raise the state minimum wage qualified for the November ballot last week and instantly became a defining political issue.

Targeting teachers

The Hutchinson administration has riled the teachers union in the Little Rock School District.

People vs. corporations

Signature counting and legal challenges aren't done, but the November ballot is shaping up as a rich opportunity to side with your choice of people or corporations.

Imagine if we had LeBron

Basketball star LeBron James, in partnership with the Akron public school district, opened an I Promise school for third and fourth graders this week to serve at-risk kids such as he once was.

School grades flunk

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's veteran education reporter, Cynthia Howell, wrote this week about the third-year use of a new standardized test, ACT Aspire, for judging public school students. A key factor was missing in the discussion about Little Rock schools.

The Malvern connection

If you read the daily newspaper or the Arkansas Blog you might have seen reporting on activities of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System.
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