Monday, January 13, 2014

Maddening Monday

And there off! Another week news, views, smoking tidbits and hot links for your reading pleasure. Its all going down here at COP 24/7 and not a minute to soon after that Polar Vortex!! Grid your loins, touch pearls and prepare yourself for another rousing take on "what's really going on!"

Lt. Governor Darr Takes a Hike

It was revealed on last Friday evening that embattled Lieutenant Governor Mark Darr decided to bust a move and resign by February 1, 2014. Just in case you missed it, Darr admitted to receiving state
and campaign money for personal expenses, which isn't allowed by law.

He got some $12,000 in state money he must repay, according to a legislative audit, and he took $31,000 in campaign money for personal expenses. He was fined $11,000 for ethics law violations and the violations are being reviewed by the Pulaski prosecuting attorney to consider whether those violations may be prosecuted as criminal misdemeanors, as the law allows.

He has said his mistakes were made out of ignorance and poor record keeping, not improper intent.  Darr's resignation mea culpa was a last ditch attempt to make a case that "he been done wrong," while citing,  "politics can be a toxic business. I will no longer subject my family to its hard lessons. All my forgiveness to those who play the games and all my respect and appreciation to those who serve with class and humility."

As a refresher, let's not forget that this public servant was a Tea Party darling, favored, ironically, the state on-line "checkbook," which allows Internet access to details of state spending. It has, however, been little employed since its adoption. That's another story. Meanwhile, he also campaigned against Obamacare and intervened in a lawsuit challenging it among much of his other ceremonial work across the state according website. Ok Arkansas electorate, lets get it together to stop electing "zero's" and get some hero action going.

Gay Elders Promote Gen Silent

Arkansas LGBTQ Elders have announced the Little Rock premier of the acclaimed and compelling documentary “Gen Silent” on January 19, 2014, at 2:00 pm at the Darragh Center at the Main
Library. This documentary chronicles the problems and challenges of LGBTQ aging in a still sometimes hostile and indifferent world and their experience and search for ways to keep them from having to go back in the closet and aging in silence.

COP 24/7 posted commentary and video (1/9/2012) concerning this work produced and directed by Stu Maddox. This forum has been at the forefront of discussing the challenges and barriers around aging in the LGBTQ community.

Furthermore, this forum cited the film's importance  in lieu of the death of Dr. Robert Frank a retired Unitarian Minister who was ejected from a long term care facility here in North Little Rock after his HIV status was disclosed.

His case was taken by Lambda legal whom reached an out of court settlement concerning fair housing laws and basic human rights. Before Frank's death, he was able to share his story and highlight the issue of gay seniors and AIDS Stigma during a 2010 White House conference before his death in 2011.

According to a press item circulated by Dr. R.L. Hillard, the award winning documentary has been shown throughout the country and the Arkansas LGBTQ Elders group is excited to host the first public viewing in Little Rock.

The 70 minute documentary will be followed by a discussion of the  issues facing LGBTQ seniors in Little Rock and throughout the state. Three doctors  from UAMS who are interested in the problems of LGBTQ seniors, will present their interpretation of the film and the issues it raises, and answer questions. A meet and greet with refreshments will take place from 1:30 pm until 2:00 pm with the program concluding at 4:30 pm. Also visit Arkansas LGBTQ Elders on  The event is free but donations are welcome.

National Black HIV/ AIDS Awareness Day 2014

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is February 7. There are four specific focal points for the day: “Get Educated, Get Tested, Get Involved, and Get Treated.” The Delta AIDS Education Center will present a program February 12, Little Rock Main Library (100 Rock Street in the Rivermarket), 3rd floor Conference Room, 9:45 till 3pm

The program will undertake addressing the treatment cascade, linkages to care and additional challenges concerning those living affected with HIV and AIDS in Arkansas. Local experts will share their insights, updates as well as information on the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey . Stay tuned to this forum for additional announcements and updates.


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