Commentary

So Long And Thanks For All The Fish

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What The …?!!: Aug. 18

I’m selling out.
I’ll be leaving the Free Weekly soon. I’ve enjoyed it, though I wish I’d done more and better.
I never expected my time would be so short, but I ain’t gettin’ any younger and I feel like I have to take an opportunity when I can get it.
So, thanks for reading during my time or looking at the pretty pictures or using it as bird cage liner or setting it on fire or whatever you did with it. I expect there’s more and better things for the Freekly on the horizon.
Here’s some moments you might remember from the past year:
▲ The appearance of Dan Savage’s sex advice column “Savage Love.” The column ran once and once only after it was clear many people in the community weren’t interested in some of Dan’s brutally frank language.
▲ The implementation of pay parking on Dickson Street. Only time will tell if the system is an important step forward in growing downtown Fayetteville or … something else.
▲ The opening and closing of the Whole Earth Organic Lounge in Fayetteville. Despite my meat-eating ways, the lounge was a wonderful place to hang out with the always wonderful Judy Paynesmith and the unbelievably energetic William Njager.
▲ The death of Bruce Walker, owner of Flying Possum Leather, in a fire at his shop. Bruce and his canine pal Bugsy were longtime fixtures on Dickson Street. Bruce was passionate about his work, including his patented leather guitar strap, and in the months prior to his death, a passionate opponent of pay parking on Dickson.
▲ The smoking ordinance revisited again. Smoking was once again the hot topic in Fayetteville over the summer.
Last time around, circa 2003, the debate centered on pulling smoking out of restaurant establishments in the city. After much debate, many long city council meetings and eventually a vote by residents, the smoking ordinance was passed.
I think you’d find relatively few people now who’d like to put smoking sections back in restaurants.
This year, the city council looked at extending the ban to standalone bars in Fayetteville. Because the ordinance went to a public vote, the proposal to change it needed six votes by city council members to pass.
The amendment could only muster five out of eight votes with aldermen Mark Kinion, Justin Tennant and Bobby Ferrell voting against it. Smoking remained in Fayetteville bars.

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