Mark Martin opposes Capitol building plan

Posted by Max Brantley on Mon, Aug 29, 2011 at 2:44 PM


CONTESTED CORNER: Burkhalter would build here, 6th and Woodlane.

  • CONTESTED CORNER: Burkhalter would build here, 6th and Woodlane.


I hinted at this last week, in a report on how big business lobbyists were pressing Secretary of State Mark Martin to deliver the vote of his appointee to the Capitol Zoning District Commission in favor of John Burkhalter’s plan to build a five-story building across from the Capitol.

No dice.

If Martin’s vote counts — and some think it could be critical on the nine-member panel — he opposes the building plan. The matter was scheduled for a vote last Thursday, but the city of Little Rock intervened to beg for more time, allegedly for more study, but really to do a favor for Burkhalter, who knew he didn’t have the votes.

Burkhalter supported Democratic candidates in 2010, particularly Gov. Mike Beebe, who put him on the Highway Commission. Martin is a Republican. Chamber of Commerce (see the City Hall connection?) and construction industry lobbyists have been pushing Martin to go with Burkhalter. The response:


Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin announced today his opposition to amending the Capitol Master Plan for construction that would block views of the State Capitol.

The proposed five-story building would be located at 1417 West Sixth Street.

Martin said, “As Secretary of State, I am charged with preserving and maintaining the Arkansas State Capitol. That means I have to follow that viewpoint, as guardian of the building, rather than pursue a political or commercial view.”

“If the Commission amends the rule entirely, without limitations, the Capitol becomes subject to ever-encroaching construction,” he continued, “but changing the rule specifically for one individual would be special legislation, which is generally frowned up.”

He added, “The Capitol is currently visible from many points throughout Little Rock, and I don’t believe any of those vantage points should be blocked.”

Martin pointed out that the Capitol is on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of Arkansas’s most attractive public buildings, receiving thousands of visitors each year.

“Because of the Capitol’s aesthetic appeal and historic significance, I believe it should retain its current visibility. I recommend that the Commission take no action,” he concluded.

The Capitol Zoning District Commission consists of delegates from the Secretary of State’s office, Governor’s office, city of Little Rock, area property owners and at-large members.


The Times endorsed this position Aug. 17. We’d like to think we brought Mark Martin to this pass, but most likely we’ll just have to put it down to strange bedfellows.

PS — I still plan to take a look at various PAC contribution reports to see if Burkhalter has become a bipartisan giver this year.


No decision on Capitol building

Posted by Max Brantley on Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 9:49 PM

If I were to guess, I’d guess grassroots organizing has presented a stumbling block for a chamber of commerce/insider fat cat and the city of Little Rock is doing all it can to buy more time for the fat cat. But that’s just me.

The Capitol Zoning Commission was supposed to vote tonight on Mike Beebe pal John Burkhalter’s proposal to build a five-story building at Woodlane and Sixth, in excess of current height requirements meant to protect view of the Capitol. I thought this was wired with a commission larded with Beebe appointees. But everybody who has a stake in the issue (except Burkhalter) opposes it, and there was some sentiment the Commission was set to give Burkhalter a defeat tonight.

Not yet.

This from Josh Gillispie, the lawyer who successfully challenged the Commission’s effort to let Burkhalter build his building without first changing district height rules (the specific proposal on the agenda tonight).


There was no vote tonight. My understanding is that two hours before the meeting City Manager Bruce Moore called the commission and asked that the city be given another month to determine its position. Then Monte Moore, the city’s representative, made a motion to that effect and it passed unanimously. 

I can only speculate as to the city of Little Rock’s motivation in doing this. The city has never not been a part of all this. Monte Moore was at the public comment hearing last month. They have had just as much time and access to the relevant information as all other players. It’s a curious move on the part of the city. Surely there is no one who could stand to gain by pushing this vote to next month.

I can only hope the city will truly use this extra time to examine this issue with a critical and unbiased eye, and thereby come to the conclusion that this building, while great for John burkhalter, is bad for the city and bad for the state.


I’ll be looking for Burkhalter’s name on contriibutors to the city’s campaign to pass a sales tax campaign complete with slush fund controlled by chamber of commerce insiders like Burkhalter.

The Arkansas Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision handed down this morning, affirmed the Pulaski County Circuit Court’s decision ruling that Act 1 is unconstitutional as a violation of fundamental privacy rights under the Arkansas Constitution.

The following is a link to the Court’s Decision: DHS v Cole Opinion.

Act 1–also known as the Arkansas Adoption and Foster Care Act of 2008–was approved by Arkansas voters by a vote of 57% on November 4, 2008.  Act 1, which went into effect on January 1, 2009, prohibits an individual from adopting or serving as a foster parent if that individual is “cohabiting with a sexual partner outside of a marriage that is valid under the Arkansas Constitution and the laws of this state.” Ark. Code Ann. Section 9-8-304(b).  The prohibition on adoption and foster parenting “applies equally to cohabiting opposite-sex and same-sex individuals.” Ark. Code Ann. Section 9-8-304(b).

In today’s opinion, the Arkansas Supreme Court announced its holding concerning the constitutionality of Act 1 as follows:

We hold that a fundamental right to privacy is at issue in this case and that, under the Arkansas Consitution, sexual cohabitors have the right to engage in private, consensual, noncommercial intimacy in the privacy of their homes.  We further hold that this right is jeopardized by Act 1 which precludes all sexual cohabitors, without exception, from eligibility for parenthood, whether by means of adoption or foster care.

What should you do if you have not been charged with any offense, but the police have called and told you they want you to come to the station so they can talk with you?  This is a common question we get from many clients each year.  It is important to remember that you do not have to go to the police station.  You have the right to tell the officer you do not wish to speak with him, and that you will not do so.  This is your right to remain silent and you should tell the officer you are invoking your right to remain silent. 

Often, the officer will tell you that they just need to get “your side of the story,” or that they will help you or make it easier for you if you come in to talk with them.  These are techniques the police are taught to try to get you to let your guard down and waive your rights.  Sometimes they will place an arbitrary deadline on you in order to intimidate you–“I need you to come in tomorrow by 9:00 or else I will have to send the file to the prosecutor.”  Don’t fall for these tactics.  Simply tell the officer you are invoking your right to remain silent and to have an attorney, and that you will not be giving a statement.  Also, tell him that since you have invoked your right to counsel, he should not call you again regarding this matter.  It can be tough to stand your ground, but remember–you have the constitutional right to tell the officer no. 

It is important to invoke your rights and speak with an attorney even if you are not guilty.  If the officer is trying to get you in to the station to give a statement, then he has probably decided you are a suspect and likely guilty.  It will be very difficult, if not impossible for you to convince him otherwise.  Remember, the officer or detective has received extensive training on how to interview people, how to get them to lower their guard, and how to use deceit to gather the information he wants.  That’s right–the officer is allowed by law to lie to you during his interview.  You will not know what all information the officer has in his file–this puts you at an extreme disadvanted.  Even if you are not guilty, if he tricks you into saying something inconsistent with his version of the truth you will be in trouble.  These are some of the reasons you should always consult with an attorney before answering any questions from the police. 

Our constitutional rights are one of the most precious freedoms and protections in our country; however, it is up to you to enforce those rights by telling the police that you will not give a statement without a lawyer.  Feel free to contact us at 501-244-0700 if you have any questions, or if we can be of help in any way.

Read the full story here:

(NaturalNews) Admitted to a hospital for a routine staph infection treatment, the newborn twins of movie star Dennis Quaid were almost killed when hospital workers gave them two massive overdoses of a blood-thinning drug.

In addition to antibiotics, Quaid’s children were supposed to be given the blood thinning medication Hep-lock, in order to prevent blood clots and flush their IV lines. Instead, they were given the adult medicine Heparin, which is 1,000 times stronger.

“We all have this inherent thing that we trust doctors andnurses, that they know what they’re doing,” Quaid said. “But this mistake occurred right under our noses; thenursedidn’t bother to look at the dosage on the bottle. It was ten units that our kids are supposed to get. They got 10,000. And what it did is it basically turned theirbloodto the consistency of water.”

Nurses became aware of the problem when blood began oozing from every small wound and band-aid on the infants’ bodies. Thechildrenwere given an antidote and their condition stabilized after 41 hours. They were released after 12 days in thehospital.

It was not the first high-profile dosing error withHeparin; a year earlier, three children in an Indianapolis hospital died after being given Heparin instead of Hep-lock.

“What we see with Heparin is that it is almost always in the list of top ten drugs that are reported formedicationerrors, and almost always in the top ten that are harmful,” said Diane Cousins, president of the nonprofit U.S. Pharmacopeia, which monitorsdrugerrors.

Croft said that the labels of Heparin and Hep-lock are very similar, contributing to the frequency of errors. Other medications prone to confusion include Lidocaine, a pediatric anesthetic, and a lithium oral solution used to treat bipolar disorder.

The manufacturer of the Heparin that caused the bleeding in the Quaid children has since changed the label, but did not recall bottles already distributed with the old ones.

Learn more:

The Arkansas Court of Appeals ruled that a blood test in a negligent homicide case was invalid because there was no evidence that the blood was drawn by a person acting under the supervision of a physician.  The blood was tested for alcohol and used at trial to convict the defendant.  Even though the court ruled that the test was invalid, it upheld the conviciton because there was other evidence of intoxication.  You can read the case here: