By Daddy Warbucks

Two projects important to city’s future

Daddy W. says there simply cannot be enough written on the future of the Walton Arts Center and the future of Fayetteville High School.
Both of these projects will impact the future of business and civic development for years to come.
Does Fayetteville need to keep the WAC here? Yes. Does there need to be more parking? Of course.
How to do all this is a real logistics and land nightmare. How to keep Benton County from “moving the WAC?” That’s a whole other kettle of fish.
And remember, when the WAC was but a dream on a little used plot of land on Dickson Street, no one, not even the Walton family, realized that by the time it was built it was too small.
And, how can FHS grow and still maintain the status of a top-rate high school? That is something we are seeing played out right in front of our eyes. The cities that have gone to two high schools — Rogers and Springdale — like it or not, are having some growing pains. It is not all about athletics and when the test figures are in, a growing disparity is going to show in both communities. Just watch and see. So is Fayetteville correct to redo the existing campus and expand its footprint?
All of this will come down to the vision that WAC and school district leadership can sell to the taxpayers. Right now, if the WAC were to go for a tax hike, forget it. Fayetteville High? It might be close.
Neither has asked the taxpayers to go to the polls and unless a turn around in the economy comes quicker than expected, it might be a while.
So let’s all be happy, very happy. Growing pains in arts and education is something most cities in our state would like to be worrying about as opposed to some of the problems they’re having that we don’t have. Don’t you think?

Co-Op Changes
Did anyone notice all the nice cosmetic changes at the local Farmers Co-Operative on South School Street? The Co-Op is to indeed be congratulated. There is a new south entrance that’s much safer than turning off of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and there are porch railings along the old loading dock and other nice inducements. Check it out.

Barber Mess
Looks like it is going to take more than a court order to get the old financials on former and current members of the Barber House of Cards, which is about to implode, if it hasn’t already. The banks holding notes are trying to get financial statements on various kinfolks and note holders. Good luck. Unlike Las Vegas, local bankers may have trouble collecting on bad debts.

Joe And The Grads
Good thing the Joe Martin Stage Race and the UA commencement exercises fell on the same weekend this year, one hotelier and restaurant owner said. Looked like the numbers for each would be down, but when they both came to town on the same weekend, it made folks thankful for each of the unique events, which brings tax dollars to Fayetteville and all of Northwest Arkansas.

Arsaga’s Sells
Now hold on, s-o-m-e of the Arsaga’s locations have been sold by Carey and Cindy Arsaga. The outlets that were sold were sold to longtime manager Andrea Allen and her husband. The two shops that sold were the Gregg Avenue and Crossover Road shops. The Arsagas still own the outlets at the Fayetteville Public Library, the UA Law School and WRMC and they will continue to roast for the Gregg and Crossover shops. All the shops will keep the Arsaga’s name.

Good Award
Fayetteville School District went back to the Governor’s Work-Life Awards this year and again came away a winner. Remember last year the district won the Spotlight Award for opening a fitness center for its staff. Although one local gym owner bad-mouthed the project, it was a good deal for district staff and its loyal employees.

Air Branson
There is much chest thumping going on just across the Missouri state line about the new, investor-built Branson Private Airport. Good for them. Yes, charter flights might wing in there for some of those shop-worn Branson acts. But it is not a threat to XNA or Springfield or Tulsa, or St. Louis … well, you get the point.

Gas Up
What gives? Gas is above $2 a gallon … again. Congress, distracted by all the financial bailout hoopla, has taken their eyes and their lips (always moving) off the gasoline prices. And the price of oil per barrel is in the low $60 range, if it holds by the time these words see print.

Free Is Good
More than 1,600 folks who needed free dental care got it last week at the Northwest Arkansas Convention Center. The services were offered by dentists and others from all across Arkansas. Next year, the roving event will go to Monticello. While the services were rather limited, it worked and worked well for those who needed the care. So, the question is, why don’t doctors and pharmaceutical firms do this more often?

Forbes Bad List
The Central Arkansas area (aka Little Rock) made a Forbes magazine list that the Chamber of Commerce would rather the cap city had stayed off. Forbes put the Little Rock area at number seven for crime. Uh oh.

A&P Arrears
Looks like the economy, at least in the A&P sector in Fayetteville, is not getting better. Yikes.
Overdue A&P taxes in April reached $26,141. In January it was only $8,825, then $7,052 in February.
A better month on collection in March, only $3,834 in arrears. But all in all the year to date totals $45,852. Not good.

Radio Losses
Some of the region’s best radio stations (owned by a corporate giant) showed some losses for 2009. The 11 stations in the state owned by CC Media Holdings formerly Clear Channel Communications, were down some 23 percent for the year. The stations include: KIGL (The Eagle) 98.3; KMXF (Hot Mix 101.9); KKYX (KIX 104); and KEZA 107.9.

Categories: Features