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Daddy Warbucks

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Daddy Warbucks
Even in a bad year, Halloween is a retailers dream

Did you see that gleam in the retailer’s eye these past few weeks? Tomorrow night is Halloween, a Friday night Halloween, so that puts alittle more ring in the cash registers.
Already the world’s largest retailer has declared Halloween to be a cash cow, unlike Thanksgiving. In fact Halloween items were in stores more than a month ago.
In Fayetteville, there is now a second full service, temporary Halloween costume business in addition to the one that has operated for the last four or five years on a seasonal basis. So there must be a need and demand, even in these challenging times, for two costume stores. Apparently so.
The sales in candy and sweets, while declining, has been replaced by holiday costumes, make-up and other assorted lawn toys to scare the bee-Jesus out of little kids.
It seems more and more adults have picked up on the frivolity of Halloween and have decided to revert back to the childhood.
Daddy W. knew all about Iron Man as an eight-year-old, but to even imagine an adult sized costume back then was bizarre. And now there are Batman, Superman, Spiderman and even old Green Hulk from infant size on up to one for Old Uncle Fester in an adult XXX large. And, my oh, my, the number of Naughty Nurses and French Maids get-ups out there this holiday season. Oh-la-la.
Happy Halloweens faithful readers.

BIG QUESTION
In this age of obesity statistics, just what percentage of America’s dogs are overweight? (Answer at the end).

CAMPAIGN SPENDING
Daddy W. has noticed an upswing in the cable TV ads and some print ads for various candidates running for public office. Voting is already underway. And Tuesday is the General Election.

NEW PROCESS
Four guys at Tyson have found a new way to wrestle a chicken–during processing that is. The quartet, Kevins Lasse of Springdale, Charley Reed of Tontitown, Tim Reddell or Bentonville and James Ruff of Farmington are all employees of the world’s largest protein producer. Their process was a patent assigned to Tyson Foods. U.S. Patent 7,435,167 B2.

UN STAFFING QUIETLY
Daddy W. has heard that WRMC is quietly, very quietly undergoing a hiring freeze on non-patient contact positions. The freeze, hospital workers, tell Daddy W., is having a negative impact. By reducing staff, one told Daddy W., that it’s like a restaurant that’s had a 20 percent dip in customers, so they fire the dishwasher and then wonder why the dishes aren’t clean.

SMALL TOWN ROOTS
Walmart is going back to its small town roots – in China. Yes, the world’s largest retailer is making B-I-G inroads in rural China. Banking on the same theory that won over America: put the Walmarts outside the big cities and watch them grow. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to see why this would work in China, now did it?

GAS DOWN
Daddy W’s been asked why the price of gasoline has dropped so dramatically. Here’s what one expert said: Because of the weakening demand, and the deflated world economy. Crude oil peaked at $145 a barrel in July and is now at $64. Speculators have fled the market, and have had to exit their positions to raise cash. It was a speculative bubble. There is also a general price deflation. Corn, wheat and all commodities have crashed. Although the supermarket prices have held, they ought to be much lower, too. We are in a period of low interest rates, and the next shoe to drop will be unemployment. Cash will be king. Houses may be cheaper in six months, along with gas and food.

NEW TASK
CPC Hospitality has been selected to manage The Cosmopolitan Hotel. The St. Louis firm will manage the facility and its employees while overseeing the hotel’s repositioning in the market. Mimi Minton is new Director of Marketing and Sales. She was most recently led the sales efforts at The Peabody in Little Rock. No ducks here please.

FORECLOSURES UP
Yes, even here in Northwest Arkansas’ sheltered housing economy, the number of foreclosures for the last month were up and up substantially over a year ago. In Arkansas the rate has jumped almost 40 percent. Wow! There seems to be no end in site on the mess until after the election.

IN MAGAZINE
UA architecture professor Marlon Blackwell has a pair of his latest works in “Architectural Record’s” October issue. Featured are the Gentry Library, which transformed a century old hardware store and a new, hopefully storm resistant structure, called the Porchdog House along the Gulf Coast. Good job. Great publicity.

BIG ANSWER: Approximately 40 percent of all dogs in the United States are obese by veterinary standards.

Who Will Be Fayetteville’s next mayor
Daddy W. has pondered this question after listening to the six mayoral candidates spouting their opinions at forum after forum after forum.
Lioneld Jordan stands out well above the mix.
Current Mayor Dan Coody, who said he would not seek reelection, decided to get back into the race, albeit a little late for most of the other candidates’ liking, some of whom he initially backed. Going back on one’s word means a lot in business and politics, something Dan Coody has never understood.
Some things really stand out as red flags during Mayor Coody’s eight years. The delayed—and as a result—way over budget sewer project, the big gaping hole in the center of downtown that the mayor helped push through as a hurry up deal with developers, the promise made almost eight years ago about sidewalk improvement on North College Avenue, that got underway about the time the mayor decided to leap back into the race.
But back to our choice. Lioneld Jordan, while not a stem-wider or slick politician (and there are some professionals of both stem-widerness and slickiness candidates in this race) is an even-keeled kind of guy, your next-door neighbor kind of guy. As an alderman, we’ve seen him listen to his constituents, study all sides of an issue, then make good choices.
Several groups including our Fayetteville police and firefighters have chosen Jordan as their man. This says a lot about what’s going on at city hall. The local chapter of the Sierra Club has also endorsed Jordan.
Unfortunately in this race there will likely be a run off. Jordan might not lead the ticket in the first go-around, but he will, Daddy W. predicts emerge as the winner and a good choice for Fayetteville’s future.

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