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Articles by Suzi Parker

Suzi Parker is a freelance journalist whose work focuses on politics and Southern culture. She lives in Little Rock, Ark., and is the author of Sex in the South: Unbuckling the Bible Belt.

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Dead vegetation in Lake Conway

Tar Sands BlockadeDead vegetation in Lake Conway, which flows into the Arkansas River, a tributary of the Mississippi.

Rocker Neil Young wanted to see for himself the damage from ExxonMobil’s ruptured Pegasus oil pipeline, which recently spewed reeking, black goo into small-town Mayflower, Ark. So Young, a stalwart environmentalist, drove his revamped, super fuel-efficient hybrid 1959 Lincoln Continental into Mayflower on Monday, unannounced.

A few people snapped pictures with Young (local blogger Shelli Russell bumped into a telephone pole while chasing him down). But regardless of how cool his car is, it’s unlikely the famous singer got into the Northwoods neighborhood, where the pipeline ruptured. Round-the-clock security patrolmen still have the place tightly guarded for ExxonMobil, as they have from the beginning of the spill when it seemed the town was under martial law.

On his brief journey, Young undoubtedly saw crews without respirators working in an area locals call the Cove. They are hard to miss. The Cove — along with nearby Lake Conway, a popular fishing and boating spot — ... Read more

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