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Opinion-Daddy Warbucks

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The Wing and Wang of Business continues

Sam’s Club’s opening last week in Fayetteville was indeed the biggest retail/business opening in the City of Seven Hills in quite some time. Some folks—the Chamber of Commerce and our Mayor – seemed well in character about the development.

Fayetteville’s city coffers are down from the loss of sales tax revenue to what some attribute to the new Pinnacle retail centers in Benton County. Now Fayetteville city fathers are welcoming the boost that the new Sam’s Club will bring in its move from Springdale.

Folks in the Hub of All Things Chicken, however, will be bemoaning the loss and blame some of it on their former state Senator “Jesus Jim” Holt, as many smugly call the fundamentalist Christian who works as a self-imposed regulator of all things sinful including Sam’s Club desire to of sell bottled spirits in Chickendale. The new Sam’s Club is being touted as a “greener” business in terms of energy savings. The Mayor of the City of 7 Hills was beside himself, even comparing the Sam’s Club opening to the opening of the city’s state of the art library. OK.

As Fayetteville business types were puffing out their
chests over the new Sam’s Club’s, Fuddrucker’s, near the NWA Mall suddenly closed. Fuddrucker’s and Chamber folks seemed quick to point out that traffic easements to reach the restaurant were difficult. Too bad that argument does not hold water since just less than a stone’s throw from Fuddrucker’s now empty building sits at least three of the top 10 performing restaurants in ALL of Fayetteville—Olive Garden, Noodle’s and Logan’s Roadhouse can easily be seen from Fuddrucker’s parking lot. On the other hand, the folks at Restaurant on the Corner have got to be happy about having a new Sam’s Club just down the block. That rambling one-story building has survived for decades now, serving as many different restaurants.

Well so much for excuses. The money should be rolling in in the next few weeks thanks to the back-to-back home football games with Kentucky and North Texas, and Bikes, Blues and BBQ all staring us right in the economic pocketbook.  Ah, fall in Fayetteville. Don’t you love it?

CELL FLAGPOLE
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no, it’s a cell flagpole. Well get ready, one of the new looks for those giant cell towers is to emulate a large flagpole. But will the flagpole cell tower have a flag? Why don’t  all cell towers just look like old water towers? Or a giant birdhouse? We’ve seen the looks-like-a pine/fir/evergreen tree concept for a cell
Tower, which looks, well, as fake as every other thing masquerading as a cell tower.

PICKIN’ TIME
The Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission is massing proposals for its next big contracts for promotion. The Sells Clark
firm, with office in Fayetteville and Little Rock, now have the deal and are making the pitch to continue. Local firms in the mix are The C3Group, The Butterfield Group, and Taylor Mack. Where are all the
bigger groups? Maybe the Fayetteville budget isn’t that big after all?

BANKING ON BASEBALL
Daddy W. had to ponder the other day about Arvest playing ball with the
Springdale city folks and the new minor league baseball club, is ARVest the bank of baseball? What happened to all those new aggressive banks and bankers in Springdale? How did they get thrown out at homeplate by the Bentonville based bank? And does Arvest have the baseball club’s banking? What about city hall? Is Arvest their bank of choice now?

I-MILLION
Yup, it didn’t take long, but the new $600 I-phones have sales that reached that magical number – 1 million. And while the competition is scrambling to develop another nifty device to compete with the I-phone, more and more and more American’s are plunking down the big bucks for this cute, little new gadget.

CURE PRICES
Way back yonder, within the last year, Daddy W. predicted $80 oil. Some laughed. Well last week those who hold their conferences in Vienna to
escape the desert heat were laughing all the way to the bank while American’s pay $3 a gallon for gas. Crude oil, once a stable of East Texas wealth at $25 a barrel, topped $80 a barrel. Corn growers unite,
something has to stop this meteoric ride toward $90 a barrel. Daddy says prices will reach that plateau within two years.

GET OUT
A notable vigil will be at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 7 on the steps of the Fayetteville Town Center. The vigil will draw attention to the lack of awareness about mental illness in our community. Come out and get informed on about this cause. You might be surprised to learn just how much these often treatable conditions are affecting the workplace and economic well being of NWA.

LAWSUIT LOOMING?
The proposal of a Tax Increment Financing District in Johnson has lawsuit written all over it. Which school district is going to be willing to let a TIF appear in Johnson – none – that’s the answer. The Fayetteville School District has already been duped by the TIF on the EMPTY HOLE in downtown and Springdale Schools are facing a tax shortfall for the next few years. This Johnson TIF has to be a dead duck. Surely smarter heads will prevail.

SMART KIDS
Did anyone notice that out of the 148 National Merit Semifinalists in our state – many reside in NWA. Little Rock Central High had the most in the state at 17, just one more than Fayetteville High in the number two spot. Other NWA numbers: Har-Ber High, four; Bentonville, four; Rogers three; Farmington, two; and HAAS Hall, the Charter School, one.

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