I agree with Waylon Harris on redecorating the ancient, dilapidated, falling apart Faulkner County Courthouse. It has served its purpose and deserves an implosive retirement for safety reasons, if for no other reason.
If this Historic Preservation of Arkansas is so hell-bent on preserving the old courthouse, let them buy it from the county, raise the desired (not needed) funds from private sources. The county could take the funds from the sale of the ancient, dilapidated, falling-apart building and use it on the new building.
I am not in favor of using county funds to refurbish, rebuild or redecorate the present building. If, because the high price of land in Conway gets to be a problem, buy land out in the county, after all, it is the Faulkner County Courthouse.
As I observe the Kris Allen mania, I applaud those, including the Log Cabin Democrat, for their enthusiastic support for a hometown "hero."
However, it is most disturbing that the same support and recognition is not given those who are making and have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and their community. I encourage all of those who are caught up in the Kris Allen mania, including children, to attend a Memorial Day service in recognition of those who gave their life in defense of this country, allowing us to have such extravaganza as "American Idol."
At a Memorial Day service last year at the Faulkner County Courthouse, at most 25 people attended. I realize that thousands will not attend this years events, however, it would be good if the audience could be described as a crowd.
Arguing that torture is effective, so it should be a viable tool for obtaining information, is akin to suggesting that because robbing a bank can be profitable, that is a viable alternative to finding a job and earning the money.
Both torture and the robbing of banks are illegal. Whether torture works or not is completely irrelevant.
Dick Cheney, George W Bush and Condoleezza Rice, along with the bottom-feeding attorneys who penned the memos authorizing the use of enhanced interrogation techniques (is that not right out of a George Orwell book?), have all admitted their part in authorization and resultant use of torture. There are pictures. In a country that boasts of equality and claims to have blind justice regardless of social stature, why is it these people, along with the CIA operatives who carried out these heinous, immoral and most importantly, illegal, crimes against humanity are not lining up for a perp walk?
Barack Obama has said that prosecution of these crimes would serve no purpose and would be divisive to this country. What he means is that if he prosecutes these people for the crimes they committed while in office, what will prevent the prosecution of him and his cronies for crimes, real or imagined, when he leaves office, (hopefully in four years if the first 100 or so days of his presidency is any indication of what is to come)? This gutless disregard for the law when it comes to prosecuting those in positions of power was one of my biggest problems with Baby Bush. The fact that Barack Obama now seems to be following down the same path sickens me. Combine this with fact that Obama flip-flopped on releasing the torture pictures and then did an about-face and decided that Bush-style military tribunals would be implemented at Guantanamo Bay, Cuaba, and it is readily apparent that the change Barack talked about on the campaign trail was more along the lines of the more things change, the more they stay the same variety. Considering holding terrorist suspects indefinitely on U.S. soil, as Obama has suggested, is also repugnant. Even Boy George had more sense than to try that.
I bought into the Obama change thing hook, line and sinker. Barack talks a good game, and eight years of George Bush can make you crazy for any change. Well, so far the only change I have after electing Obama is the change that is left in my 401K plan. I still would not for John McCain, but for all the good a voting for a Democrat does in Arkansas, Ralph Nader might have been the best or at least most moral, choice to make. You live and learn.
I just wanted to express my appreciation to the Conway Chamber of Commerce and anyone else who worked to make the Kris Allen homecoming a big success.
I, as well as most of my friends and family members, could not believe how the committee was able to put this event into motion on such short notice. My family and I attended the parade and concert, and we were so impressed. The turnout was fantastic, and the ticker tape was amazing. I love the photo of Kris in People Magazine where he is reaching upward, watching the confetti fall. His expression was that of a child opening presents on Christmas morning. I watched the hometown coverage on "Idol," and Kris's homecoming was by far the biggest and best, (an opinion shared by many of my out of state friends, so I am not just being prejudiced). What a great state, town and people we are.
I am pleased to see a vibrant discussion concerning the future of the Faulkner County Courthouse. For too long, the future of this building has lain in limbo. The time has arrived for the community to meet the challenge and work to preserve its historic heritage. Conway seeks designation as a Preserve America Community. There is an irony not to be missed. The city seeks this heritage status while one of its most historically significant and prominent buildings awaits the proverbial knife.
We as a community, and a county, can help Conway take its rightful place as a leader in progressive development and secure its position as a preservation leader by re-examining this significant structure. Community theater groups need an affordable and adequate place to mount productions. Visual artists, musicians and dancers all need a place to display, practice, learn and perform. Community groups have an interest in the future of the courthouse. Genealogists eye potential archival space; bicyclists see potential workshop space; and sustainability folks dream about urban and organic gardening.
As someone keenly interested in heritage preservation and tourism, I would urge county residents to please explore the options for this structure. Do it before the fact, not after. How tragic, to see a decision made that would turn Conway into another soulless Stepford suburb with no sense of history or value for community? We've lost our precious train station and the Old Conway Theater; let's not lose the historic courthouse.
For those of us who are acutely aware of the bottom line, no one is asking the citizens of Faulkner County to exclusively foot the bill. We hope in time, to raise enough money through grants, endowments and gifts, to render the courthouse as self-sustaining venture from which all citizens, donors and non-donors alike, will benefit.
Faulkner County Museum