Daddy Warbucks

Daddy Warbucks
Just 90 Days Until Christmas! Are U Ready?
Well, the end of the year and the holiday season are staring us in the face, so here is Daddy W.’s annual “What I Know and What I Don’t Know List.”
I know there is still a big ugly hole in downtown and the developers who own it, need it for a parking lot for all their surrounding properties. What I don’t know is if there will be a beautiful hotel there by September 2010, as promised.
I know the battleship gray paint sprayed all over the back buildings facing the site is suppose to soothe the ruffled feathers over the ugly eyesore. I don’t know if it’s not just a big, blank canvass that’s calling to all urban spray paint artists to ply their handiwork.
I know that the developers John Nock and Richard Alexander will be “second guessed” on every project they propose to the city until that big ugly hole transforms into a luxury hotel. I don’t know if our city leadership can wean itself from the promises offered by this duo.
I know that they also own the only other hotel in downtown Fayetteville, but I don’t know when they’ll open all the closed floors of that one.
I know that any parking deck built on the west side of College Avenue near the Washington County Courthouse, is going to cause a debate. What I don’t know is why the county doesn’t construct a multi-level parking garage behind the courthouse on the site of the existing parking deck.
I know there will be a runoff for Fayetteville Mayor. I don’t know that the vote leader in the first go-round will actually win.
I know there will be some new faces along Dickson Street this time next year. I don’t know how any of them will afford the high rents.
I know Mayor Coody would like to have one more ribbon cutting on the sewer plant, which was behind schedule and accrued a $63 million cost over run. What I don’t know is why there have been two ribbon cuttings already? Do you?
I know that the more the Fed talks about lower interest rates, the slower the housing market is to respond. I don’t know that the price of oil has hit a high yet or that we have seen the last of $4 a gallon gas.
I know that the Razorbacks will play more close scoring games this year. I don’t know if they will be going to a bowl game.
I know that Bikes, Blues & Barbecue will have a record crowd despite high gas prices and a national recession. I don’t know if that will translate into more real money for local non-profits.
I know that at least one of Fayetteville’s future high schools will be located on Stone Street. I don’t know if there will be another high school by 2012 or not.
I know that UA Chancellor David Gearhart will enjoy an extended honeymoon after the exodus of the former chancellor. I don’t know that the student undergrad population will zoom in these times.
I know that Bill Underwood is set to show all these would-be condo developers what he can do with Underwood Plaza. I don’t know if after the dust settles on Barber’s Legacy condo lawsuit, if Dickson Street will see more condo construction.
I know that the developers working on the project on Sixth Street near the railroad trestle have their hands full. I don’t know if it will be completed by the end of 2010.
I know that the Walton Arts Center is safe for at least another year. I don’t know if Benton Countians will pony up the cash to build their own theater up there, but it sure looks like they may be thinking about a plan.
I do know that new UA athletic director Jeff Long will rent out the UA facilities for high dollar music concerts and events. I don’t know if anyone really goes to those big-time, high dollar arena concerts anymore.
I know that the “newness shine” has worn off our beloved XNA. I don’t know if all the details about the public/private money owed to build and expand the airport will ever be known.
I do know that the North Arkansas Symphony is hanging on by its fingernails financially. I don’t know why and don’t know where their funding went.
I do know all this international business that Walmart and Tyson has been courting sure sounds good in the press. I don’t know how long or how stable these ventures will be in the long run.
I do know that Fayetteville sales taxes are rebounding while some other communities are flat or stagnant. I don’t know if the city fathers really appreciate this.
I do know that lists like this are often criticized as being shallow and mean. I don’t know that gentle reader really appreciates the thought that it makes one think.

Categories: Features