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Opinion: Daddy Warbucks

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Aspen Ridge on again..well, maybe – maybe not!

Daddy W. wondered when the bank foreclosure paperwork
on the Aspen Ridge Town Home development in South
Fayetteville would catch fire. Apparently a week ago it did.
Hank Broyles, a local developer, stepped into the gap and bought the 28-acre development (just about halfway developed on infrastructure) for a reported $6.4 million dollar song. To Daddy Warbucks, old Hank should be warbling and chortling over this sweet deal. And Chambers Bank has stopped sweating bullets over this much ballyhooed, but less than successful venture. Town Creek Development, the folks who eventually abandoned the property, much to the chagrin of local property owners and the city, is off the hook – at least for now. But questions persist. Why did this project fail? Was it poor planning by the developer? Was it foot-dragging by the planning commission or over regulation? Or was it simply the wrong time for such a
bold development in a rather lack luster part of our fair city? A bigger question to ask is this: We all want all of our city to have nice homes, developments and progress, but did some elected, or nonelected folks along the way over look or look past potential problems in this area – in hopes of making something “good” happen for South Fayetteville? Well, we’ll see and have seen for the past two or three years that wishing something good can happen – often doesn’t make it happen.

Smelly Situation
The city says it’s in a budget crunch, but the hole may get even deeper if things don’t go the way the city wants in an upcoming court case. A woman on Trenton Street is suing the city for the world of problems she’s had with overflowing sewer lines that she alleges has filled her yard with toilet tissue, caused mold, killed trees and all other sorts of horrible unimaginables.  Judge Gunn even opted to hold the city’s water and wastewater director personally libel, so he’s included in the suit too, but he’s appealing that. The city says that it’s not a city problem—saying it’s a private sewer line, taking this stance after sending out crews to attempt to fix the problem. The homeowner, Ms. Romine, a blind, single mom, maintains it is the city’s problem and like most lawsuits, if you’re close enough to the stink, you may be sued too, which is the case since Romine is also suing the neighbors who the city pointed the finger at. Talk about a world of s_ _ _ _. Should be very interesting.

BIGGER WAC
Way back when, several folks, including members of the Walton family, told the great thinkers of the  area that the Walton Arts Center, in time, wouldn’t be big enough and sure enough, a recent study said it isn’t. Supposedly the 1,200 seats just can’t produce enough revenue for the “big time” shows that rich folks wanna see here. Daddy says there are some problems—like building an auditorium that big with no center aisle, sheesh. Let’s see what transpires next.

NO NEW TAXES
Springdale got right in lock-step with their conservative image. No raises, no new hires, is certain. And so is no raise in their millage. But let’s stick it to AT&T on a franchise tax hike, and, oh by the way, we got a new baseball ball park that’s gonna serve beer. Oh, well the saga continues in Chickendale.

BEER STOP
Sam’s is doing it, and now Tommy Atha of Elkins wants to sell some
liquid refreshments at his gas station complex near Elkins He’s applied for a permit so the Elkins Super Stop can sell beer. Daddy W’s. only question – is he gonna get someone older than 21 to  pass it over the
scanner?

NO NIX
The Pinnacle Country Club’s private club permit for drinking whiskey is expiring up in Benton County. Bet you a sawbuck that the Benton County Sheriff and Rogers Chief of Police won’t let out a peep of objection to this permit. Smooth sailing for the gated community’s liquor needs.

GOOD ACT
TheatreSquared will present its 2007 Premier Award to Helen and the late John Lewis at its annual gala on Friday. The award honors
individuals who have made outstanding contributions to
theatre and the arts in Northwest Arkansas.

GOODBYE GOODY’S
While many will bemoan the closing of Goody’s Family Clothing on Van Ashe Drive, let’s face the facts. The location of the clothing store did not close it. The overall company bankruptcy did. It is still amazing to Daddy W. that folks says the collection of stores and restaurants at the foot of the NWA Mall can’t make it because of the traffic. The No. 1 grossing restaurant (Olive Garden) sits there. So does the No. 1 retailer Wal-Mart. Location is important, but
so is the bottom line.

BRICK HOUSE COMING
Looks like David Lewis’ Brick House Kitchen at 1079 South School Avenue is about ready to open. Look for more about this upscale venture. Brick House Kitchen..woo hoo!

MO BEEF
Japan has suddenly announced it will import
25 percent more beef in 2008. Holy Cow, well, not
really, but 71,400 metric tons in 2008 is a good sign
for folks like Tyson Foods.

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