Daddy Warbucks

Price of rice is not so nice
What’s up? The farmers say no shortage

The gouging on the grossly inflated price of rice is being felt by patrons of restaurants all over the world. While Arkansas farmers, who produce more than one-half of the nation’s rice supply say there is no shortage – and that’s true – it is the opportunists who are driving up the price of the grain.

In most other nations, especially poorer nations, rice is a vital staple. It is necessary for survival. The unique grain feeds not only the poorest of the poor, but it also finds its way into some of the most expensive restaurants in the world. Every continent, with the possible exception of Antarctica, consumes rice. And most every continent grows some form of rice.

Many do not know this, but the University of Arkansas is a world leader in the breeding of rice varieties at an experiment farm satellite campus in Arkansas County.

But let’s get back to the panic of the news teams, about a rice shortage when one simply does not exist. The speculative price gouging and price inflation even here in one of the globe’s richest nations, is, well, shameful.

Daddy W., and you too, must wonder if the same thing is happening with the price of oil? Is the same grossly inflated price for a barrel of oil causing the
gasoline manufacturers in the nation and world to bump up the price of gas?

Many will say the over-inflation price of rice is shameful. And it is. But local restaurants aren’t bumping up the prices of their entrees featuring the wholesome grain, because there is a limit. The silos and granaries of Arkansas (and much of the world) are overflowing with theses kernels.

Yes, it is true. Sam’s Club and even some smaller supermarkets are limiting the number of bags of rice to each customer. While higher prices are coming, hording rice, flour, meal and other staples is NOT a good idea

A compromise, of sorts, has been worked. Those working on where and if to build a new high school are recommending an 80 acre site on Morning Side Drive in southeast Fayetteville, as will be the home of one of the two future Fayetteville High Schools. This latter statement may alarm some – just watch two high schools are in the future.

Yes, the Donald, as Daddy W. hinted last week, is coming to NWA for a visit. The real estate developer and reality show star will speak in Rogers on May 8 at a fundraiser for Economics Arkansas, a nonprofit that promotes economic literacy. Tickets are $100 each. The event is set for noon at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center. Comb-overs are welcome.

Carl Smith, a landscape architecture professor at the UA School of Architecture says in a new book that the classic suburban lawn is an ecological disaster. Whoa! Smith says grooming that expanse of velvety green grass typically involves pesticides, herbicides and plenty of water through summer’s hottest months, not to mention the oil and gasoline needed to fuel the lawn mower. Smith is one of the authors of the new book “Residential Landscape Sustainability: A Checklist Tool.” Check it out. Speaking of lawns, there’s an oddity in the historic district—a robotic lawn mower. If your timing is right, you can drive down the street and see it just working away.

Daddy W. just can’t see it, at least not yet. The North Little Rock Angels (formerly the Little Rock Travelers who played at Ray Winder
Field) and the NWA Naturals are not a rivalry. The Naturals box-office folks would do better to pick a snit with the Springfield bunch to draw crowds to the Springdale ballfield.

Yes, Bud Walton fans, those old worn out seats in the basketball arena are soon to be gone. The University of Arkansas has put out a bid proposal for
new seating and bleachers for the basketball house. You can bet they will be
red. Stay tuned.

KUAF 91.3 FM the National Public Radio affiliate on the University of Arkansas campus has put out a proposal for the new design of itts future home at 9 South School St., across the street from the Fayetteville Public Library.

The new round-table chitchat for KNWA is not going so well, Daddy
W. hears. While one of the morning hosts seems to like the new set up, the weather guy, obviously doesn’t. Tweaking the two-person early morning news team to now include a third live person (not to mention the taped sports person) is a little too much. Too much like KNWA’s Edgy 9 p.m. newscast. While gaining in the news numbers, KNWA isn’t gaining points for this set up.

It’s finally happened. The Arby’s corporation has bought out the Wendy’s conglomerate. So will the square, never-frozen, hot and juicy and the little freckled face red-haired girl soon fade from the American fast-food nation?

Observers up on the Hill say in whispers to watch for at least one or two more retirements in the Athletic Departments as the men’s and women’s programs are joined this summer.

Categories: Features