Growth, planning never easy
While the national economy has slowed, the “growing pains” of Northwest Arkansas are still being felt. Over the past decade growth has caused a lot of the cities in the Northwest Arkansas corridor to face planning projects well into the future. Some of these strategic decisions have been easier than others. Currently, Fayetteville grapples with a historic school decision – will it be one or two high schools and where will it/they be? The local business community has been engaged, but is keeping a very low profile. Daddy W. thinks it is going to take the business community to get involved before this decision really moves in the community. Why? Money and tax issues. Of course, the kids and education are the key issues here. A town with a good school system flourishes.
Another struggle—the ambulance debate. All of Washington County needs quality emergency medical services. Let’s don’t draw boundaries of care. A good system is what taxpayers expect. They deserve cooperative agreements that work.
BIG QUESTION: What are the chances that your local public school accepts advertising from corporations that sell junk food? Answer at the end of this column.
Daddy hears the old Club West will open soon under new management. Lots of renovations seem to be taking place. Stay tuned.
A new franchise juice bar, Inta Juice, is set to open in a Sixth Street strip mall at the southern edge of the UA campus. It will serve juices, smoothies and other non-alcoholic drinks.
Daddy W. has it on good authority the Pickle Sickle craze is coming to NWA. The briny frozen treat is a real chiller Daddy W. has been told. The price is about that of other cold, frozen treat.
Whomever lifted the power tools from Washington County’s Habitat for Humanity not only robbed the erstwhile organization, they literally took away opportunities for poor folks to have a better life. This deed reminds us that even organizations that really do make a difference in the lives of others, can also fall victim to senseless crime. Somebody knows who did this. Turn them in to authorities!
AAFL NO GO
Well, the much ballyhooed professional grid match-ups of Arkansas vs. Texas, Arkansas vs. Alabama and Arkansas vs “others,” in the fledgling professional football franchise down in Little Rock won’t be played this year. Maybe 2009 some say. Daddy W. predicts nope.
The January numbers for the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) are up over the 2007 numbers. During January 2008, there were 41,921 boardings compared to 38,892 for the year before. At Fort Smith, (FSM) 2008 saw 6,635 boardings against 6,387 the year before. Strangely freight and mail shipped from XNA dropped from 6,943 pounds in 2007 to 3,986 in 2008.
Daddy W. always says watch the “other” companies to see what’s going on. Pilgrim’s Pride is laying off folks in North Carolina, Iowa, Florida, Tennessee and Ohio. Pilgrim’s Pride’s Arkansas plants in DeQueen, Batesville, El Dorado and Clinton, all look safe… for now.
CHICK GOES UP
The price of the bird has started to drift back into the year-high range and the poultry firms are happy about that. Recent beef recalls and the high cost of everything is making chicken the breakfast, lunch and dinner choice.
BIG ANSWER: Two out of every three U.S. schools take corporate money from snack companies.