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johnnydr87

Top 5-10 Things You Like and Dislike About AR

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I've got some news from the Ark Dem-Gaz. Not sure if it fits in here directly but wasn't sure if it was worth starting another topic. Arkansas is having problems keeping prison personnel. We have one of the highest rates of turnover in the nation at over 38%. The next highest neighboring state was Mississippi at 25%. Oklahoma has one of the best rates in the nation at 12%. Arkansas loses an average of 950 correctional workers a year. So where is all this going? It happens to cost the state $10,000 to train each one. So Arkansas spends almost $1 mil a year simply to retrain people. Arkansas is already one of the poorer states in the first place. So how is Oklahoma's rate so low? Five years ago Oklahoma started a program and has taken steps to deal with the problem. Unfortunately this seems to be a trend that happens a lot in Arkansas. We seem to always be playing catch-up with everyone else. Although sometimes I guess it just seems like the state is doing what it can just try to not too far behind most other states. I'm not sure if it's because we have gotten so far behind all we can manage to do is try to catch up. Or is it because we simply don't have enough insight to try to take of things before they become problems. Arkansas is now trying to take some of the same steps Oklahoma took. Unfortunately it's five years and $4-$5 mil later.

Here are the figures for Arkansas and out neighboring states.

Arkansas 38.3%

Mississippi 25.0%

Louisiana 24.0%

Tennessee 23.0%

Texas 21.0%

Missouri 19.4%

Oklahoma 12.0%

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I've got some news from the Ark Dem-Gaz.  Not sure if it fits in here directly but wasn't sure if it was worth starting another topic.  Arkansas is having problems keeping prison personnel.  We have one of the highest rates of turnover in the nation at over 38%.  The next highest neighboring state was Mississippi at 25%.  Oklahoma has one of the best rates in the nation at 12%.  Arkansas loses an average of 950 correctional workers a year.  So where is all this going?  It happens to cost the state $10,000  to train each one.  So Arkansas spends almost $1 mil a year simply to retrain people.  Arkansas is already one of the poorer states in the first place.  So how is Oklahoma's rate so low?  Five years ago Oklahoma started a program and has taken steps to deal with the problem.  Unfortunately this seems to be a trend that happens a lot in Arkansas.  We seem to always be playing catch-up with everyone else.  Although sometimes I guess it just seems like the state is doing what it can just try to not too far behind most other states.  I'm not sure if it's because we have gotten so far behind all we can manage to do is try to catch up.  Or is it because we simply don't have enough insight to try to take of things before they become problems.  Arkansas is now trying to take some of the same steps Oklahoma took.  Unfortunately it's five years and $4-$5 mil later.

Here are the figures for Arkansas and out neighboring states.

Arkansas    38.3%

Mississippi    25.0%

Louisiana    24.0%

Tennessee  23.0%

Texas          21.0%

Missouri      19.4%

Oklahoma    12.0%

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hopefully future leaders will have enough foresight.

I think the leaders we have today are a dying breed....too many still have a rural, small town mentality.

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And it would be so much harder for us to improve an area like this than say, California...because we don't have the industries to produce the money to fund such programs. We need to develop a money-making industry.

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And it would be so much harder for us to improve an area like this than say, California...because we don't have the industries to produce the money to fund such programs.  We need to develop a money-making industry.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yeah I know, it would just be nice if we didn't wait till everyone else did something.

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johnnydr87  Posted Yesterday, 03:46 PM

 

QUOTE(Mith242 @ Jun 20 2005, 01:34 PM)

I've got some news from the Ark Dem-Gaz.  Not sure if it fits in here directly but wasn't sure if it was worth starting another topic.  Arkansas is having problems keeping prison personnel.  We have one of the highest rates of turnover in the nation at over 38%.  The next highest neighboring state was Mississippi at 25%.  Oklahoma has one of the best rates in the nation at 12%.  Arkansas loses an average of 950 correctional workers a year.  So where is all this going?  It happens to cost the state $10,000  to train each one.  So Arkansas spends almost $1 mil a year simply to retrain people.  Arkansas is already one of the poorer states in the first place.  So how is Oklahoma's rate so low?  Five years ago Oklahoma started a program and has taken steps to deal with the problem.  Unfortunately this seems to be a trend that happens a lot in Arkansas.  We seem to always be playing catch-up with everyone else.  Although sometimes I guess it just seems like the state is doing what it can just try to not too far behind most other states.  I'm not sure if it's because we have gotten so far behind all we can manage to do is try to catch up.  Or is it because we simply don't have enough insight to try to take of things before they become problems.  Arkansas is now trying to take some of the same steps Oklahoma took.  Unfortunately it's five years and $4-$5 mil later.

Here are the figures for Arkansas and out neighboring states.

Arkansas    38.3%

Mississippi    25.0%

Louisiana    24.0%

Tennessee  23.0%

Texas          21.0%

Missouri      19.4%

Oklahoma    12.0%

*

Hopefully future leaders will have enough foresight.

I think the leaders we have today are a dying breed....too many still have a rural, small town mentality.

Wait, how does having a rural mentality factor into the number of prison guards leaving the state?

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Wait, how does having a rural mentality factor into the number of prison guards leaving the state?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I was very vague. A lot of our leaders in the state today still have the mentality that "Arkansas is just fine the way it is" and take rankings such as these with a grain of salt.

Like with the issue of school consolidation, many leaders in the state legislature would rather be able to root for their home team regardless of the fact that students at smaller schools are most likely to get a worse education (very small course selection, not enough real competition among students, doesn't attract best teachers, and most of all, it's not very economically feasible!)

This issue may not be as important as education, but it's still very wasteful of state funds, and certainly adds another antagonism to the state's image (which of course is not good for attracting industries and all that jazz).

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I was very vague. A lot of our leaders in the state today still have the mentality that "Arkansas is just fine the way it is" and take rankings such as these with a grain of salt.

Like with the issue of school consolidation, many leaders in the state legislature would rather be able to root for their home team regardless of the fact that students at smaller schools are most likely to get a worse education (very small course selection, not enough real competition among students, doesn't attract best teachers, and most of all, it's not very economically feasible!)

This issue may not be as important as education, but it's still very wasteful of state funds, and certainly adds another antagonism to the state's image (which of course is not good for attracting industries and all that jazz).

I agree somewhat with what you're saying, but purely on the issue of the huge rate of prison workers leaving the biz, I can't really say that I believe legislative action would be the right way to go in this situation. There comes a point in which government intervention no longer becomes helpful but begins to complicate matters (this is where my conservatism kicks in). The article in the paper said the prison workers were going around and working on building a stronger reputation and a better image with children so that they could be viewed much like policemen and firemen, and I feel that this is the right course of action.

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Likes (in no particular order):

1. For its size, Arkansas has an amazingly good track record with big businesses. It is home to 5 Fortune 500 Companies (Wal-Mart, Alltel, Dillards, Tyson Foods, and Murphy Oil), more than Louisiana (2), Mississippi (0), and Oklahoma (4). Also, there are more Fortune 500 Companies per capita headquartered in Arkansas than California.

2. Beautiful. The Ozarks and Ouachita mountains, lauded and publicized, deserve every bit of hype they recieve. They are absolutely stunning. Low population and well-placed government regulations have kept the Ozarks in particular pristine and practically heaven. Should be kept the way they are.

3. Wal-Mart. Its downsides are, in my opinion, greatly overshadowed by its upsides. Even the vast majority of Wal-Mart critics shop there. In fact, I once got into a debate with a woman ranting about how horrific Wal-Mart was to Americans (here's the kicker- SHE WAS SHOPPING IN WAL-MART AT THE MOMENT!). It has helped so very much to higher education in Arkansas ($250 million to the U of A) and, by the very fact that it allows each and every shopper to save more money, returns much more money to the American economy than its critics would have you believe.

4. The Little Rock landscape competition. Thinking about it gives me goosebumps.

5. Newton County. The poorest county in the state, the county with one of the worst marijuana problems in the nation, is also the county that I would love to live in when I'm older. Extremely low population, thousands of caves, right in the heart of the Ozarks, the Buffalo cuts through it, and I'm absolutely fascinated with the remoteness of it. I still can't believe Deer, AR (pop. 150) has a school, but I love it.

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Yeah I also love Newton County. I think it would be interesting if they ever added more land to the Buffalo Natl River and made it an outright Natl Park. But the same things that make it a great place in those aspects also hinder it. The rugged terrain hinders it from much development and also keeps the population low. I always wondered what people did in Newton County for a living, there isn't even much land for agriculture. If they ever did do something like make a Natl Park that would help. I think it would attract more people to visit the area. But I'm also a bit torn on much of the Ozarks. I'd hate to see a lot of it overdeveloped like much of the eastern US. I have heard the Ozark/Ouchita region as one of the few 'wild' places still left in the eastern US.

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Likes (in no particular order):

3.    Wal-Mart.  Its downsides are, in my opinion, greatly overshadowed by its upsides.  Even the vast majority of Wal-Mart critics shop there.  In fact, I once got into a debate with a woman ranting about how horrific Wal-Mart was to Americans (here's the kicker- SHE WAS SHOPPING IN WAL-MART AT THE MOMENT!).  It has helped so very much to higher education in Arkansas ($250 million to the U of A) and, by the very fact that it allows each and every shopper to save more money, returns much more money to the American economy than its critics would have you believe.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I guess I am somewhat in the middle on my stance with Wal-mart. I'm not overly gung-ho about them but I'm not overly critical of them either. There are some negative aspects to them, I'm not trying to say there isn't, but there are also positives which many people seem to overlook. I believe there was an article recently in the Ark Dem_Gaz mentioning they are having a rather positive influence in China. And no I'm not talking about because they import all their stuff from them. They do require conditions in the factories they buy merchandize from. There are many factories in China that pay extremely low wages, have outrageous overtime hours and bad working conditions. Factories that Wal-mart deals with better working conditions, bettwer pay and more reasonable hours. Now I'm sure there is much more that can be done but it's still better than what some others are doing. Like I said, since everyone always wants to focus on the negative aspects, I thought it only fair to also mention some positive aspects. Even here in the US, I believe Greenspan mentioned that Wal-mart played a large factor in keeping inflation low. Anyway at least there are also some positive aspects about them.

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Speaking about education the U of A reached it's $1 Bil goal for the 21st century today. It was mentioned in Arkansas Business. I don't know what all the money is being spent on, but hopefully the U of A will develop more into a higher level facility. Now I also know why part of Maple St was closed of today when I was driving by earlier, the had a 300 people attend an event in front of University House.

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Newton County-

I'm not really mixed on this issue at all. I feel that there should be little to no development in what Mith242 correctly called "one of the few 'wild' places left in the eastern US."

Keep in mind that, though this website is UrbanPlanet.org, becoming Urban is not always, if not usually, a good thing. There is a reason why there is still a large number of Americans living in rural settings.

Newton County just about thrives on one (legal) economic aspect: tourism. Too much growth could quite possibly ruin the magic that is the remote beauty of the county and lower tourism revenues.

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Newton County-

I'm not really mixed on this issue at all.  I feel that there should be little to no development in what Mith242 correctly called "one of the few 'wild' places left in the eastern US."

Keep in mind that, though this website is UrbanPlanet.org, becoming Urban is not always, if not usually, a good thing.  There is a reason why there is still a large number of Americans living in rural settings.

Newton County just about thrives on one (legal) economic aspect: tourism.  Too much growth could quite possibly ruin the magic that is the remote beauty of the county and lower tourism revenues.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You have good points there. It should be a national park, much like Mith said.

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I'd like to see it a Natl Park, but I think that status would also attract more visitors and tourism. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but in today's world that often means a step towards development. Which means Newton County losing it's wilderness. It's one of those weird things where you almost wish it stayed the way it is even though it's one of the poorest counties in Arkansas.

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Sorry to keep off the topic, but if you guys tell me you're lefthanded too I'm going to really freak out.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'm left-handed! And a small part German- I'm not Lutheran, though. I was raised Baptist but I have not attended church since I was about 15/16.

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I'm left-handed! And a small part German- I'm not Lutheran, though. I was raised Baptist but I have not attended church since I was about 15/16.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

There's a lot of left handers here in northwest Arkansas. It's sorta weird, I'd like to know what percentage there is up here. It's certainly well above the average 10%. Seeing people with German heritage I guess shouldn't be too surprising. I think there are actually more people with German ancestry than any other even English. Partially in part to the Germans in the midwest with their large farm families.

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