This behavior just started in the past few days with CS5.
When I am trying to select an item with the pointer tool in the main workspace, it will NOT select the item. The previously selected item stays active.
I can select it in the layers pane, but that is not very convenient for working.
Please help? Is this a preference that can be set?
Did you tried resetting preferences? Check the link on how to do it http://helpx.adobe.com/fireworks/kb/restore-preferences-fireworks-cs5.html
What Operating System do you get the issue on?
Do you remember making any H/w or S/w changes on the computer having issues?
Are you using a mouse or a Pen Tablet? Did you tried updating their drivers?
Make sure you did not locked any of the layer mistakenly.