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That's often something that gets overlooked by a lot of people.  People simply look at population figures and wonder why some markets have certain businesses and such and why we don't.  You can have a

New natural foods market coming to Rogers.   http://www.akins.com/retailer/store_templates/shell_id_1.asp?storeID=A59A6B1C10E44C9E9420A7A75B27460A

Its because Dave and Busters gives away things like game consoles and other prizes over(?) $500 dollars and the previous law didn't allow that 

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Forgive me being naive, but why does a law need to be passed to allow D&B to operate?  Are there actual casino-like elements to it?  I always thought of it as a grown-up Chuck E Cheese.  If so, does the state legislature get the final yes/no?  I seem to remember a state-wide vote that failed several years ago on whether to allow select casinos to begin in the state.  Can't remember if it was 2012 or 2008.

If it's just for D&B I really don't think it will go to a state vote.  But yes they do offer some higher dollar prizes.  I guess for some people maybe it's a little too close to 'gambling or games of chance'.  Initially I took it as a snub.  But maybe it's simply being written this way so no one can try to sneak in other things like this and get a certain segment of society all worked up.  I did have a friend check out the wording of it.  He did say it seemed to be written in a way so that it could be easily amended.  With the stipulations clearly separate.  So maybe if there was enough interest it could be amended again citing maybe just population requirements opening up to an NWA county.

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I am a years-long reader of the forum and never post, but I was rolling my eyes enough to register an account. 

 

I grew up in central Arkansas and lived in NWA for over a decade. I still wish I lived in NWA. I LOVE the area. 

 

That said, there are a lot of NWA backers that need to settle down, quit seeing ghosts, and realize that everything in Arkansas politics or business isn't a conspiracy to hold back NWA. Rather, in my experience, many of the leaders in central Arkansas welcome the success of NWA because it might actually give the urban-areas the votes at the capitol to shift dollars more towards LR and NWA as opposed to building 4 lane highways in the middle of nowhere. Sure, there are some old-heads that resent NWA, but that's far from pervasive. 

 

This thread about D&B is a perfect example of what I mean by "settling down." One-off bills like this to allow things like a D&B are all written this way to ensure there isn't a broader political fight over something that should be a quick vote. For example, whoever wrote the bill in LR didn't want some backwards small-town legislator raising hell and screaming that it would allow gambling in his county. Written this way, that small-town legislator can vote for it and it have zero effect on his hometown. To simplify it to allow a D&B in a specific area they are already trying to build in is much more simple than trying to change the law for the entire state. 

 

NWA legislators voted for this, so clearly it isn't some conspiracy. And I guarantee  you no one in LR thought twice about NWA when putting this bill together, and will vote for a similar bill for Rogers when the time comes. 

 

We are talking about a D&B, for god's sake, not some major economic development project. In my experience NWAers spend as much time bragging how they don't care about central Arkansas as those from central Arkansas spent talking about NWA in whole (outside of the Razorbacks, of course). 

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I am a years-long reader of the forum and never post, but I was rolling my eyes enough to register an account. 

 

I grew up in central Arkansas and lived in NWA for over a decade. I still wish I lived in NWA. I LOVE the area. 

 

That said, there are a lot of NWA backers that need to settle down, quit seeing ghosts, and realize that everything in Arkansas politics or business isn't a conspiracy to hold back NWA. Rather, in my experience, many of the leaders in central Arkansas welcome the success of NWA because it might actually give the urban-areas the votes at the capitol to shift dollars more towards LR and NWA as opposed to building 4 lane highways in the middle of nowhere. Sure, there are some old-heads that resent NWA, but that's far from pervasive. 

 

This thread about D&B is a perfect example of what I mean by "settling down." One-off bills like this to allow things like a D&B are all written this way to ensure there isn't a broader political fight over something that should be a quick vote. For example, whoever wrote the bill in LR didn't want some backwards small-town legislator raising hell and screaming that it would allow gambling in his county. Written this way, that small-town legislator can vote for it and it have zero effect on his hometown. To simplify it to allow a D&B in a specific area they are already trying to build in is much more simple than trying to change the law for the entire state. 

 

NWA legislators voted for this, so clearly it isn't some conspiracy. And I guarantee  you no one in LR thought twice about NWA when putting this bill together, and will vote for a similar bill for Rogers when the time comes. 

 

We are talking about a D&B, for god's sake, not some major economic development project. In my experience NWAers spend as much time bragging how they don't care about central Arkansas as those from central Arkansas spent talking about NWA in whole (outside of the Razorbacks, of course). 

I admit I got things rolling here.  When I initially read how it was worded I did take it as a snub.  Although I did come back later and say it did appear to be more about keeping someone else from slipping something else in.  That being said, I do think Little Rock gets lots of advantages at having the capitol there.  Maybe it's not as much as we in NWA might like to think.  But maybe we also tend to lump everything together when it's not actual central Arkansas politicians but politicians from other parts of the state that seem to sometimes hinder NWA.

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I admit I got things rolling here.  When I initially read how it was worded I did take it as a snub.  Although I did come back later and say it did appear to be more about keeping someone else from slipping something else in.  That being said, I do think Little Rock gets lots of advantages at having the capitol there.  Maybe it's not as much as we in NWA might like to think.  But maybe we also tend to lump everything together when it's not actual central Arkansas politicians but politicians from other parts of the state that seem to sometimes hinder NWA.

I agree that the divide isn't between Central and Northwest but rather between urban and rural Arkansas. There is much resentment of the growth of the urban areas in rural Arkansas. The school district consolidation process exposes that every year. The next census should help both urban areas gain power in the state legislature and by working together they will be able to benefit.

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I'm against stupidly written laws because they tend to stick.and stay stupid. I point to the nonsense that is the sale of alcohol laws. I think they had quickie marts strip mall shops putting in redemption games again that became a problem for a while.

There's been some real stinkers proposed for casinos, largerly for establishing monopolies or big money thrown against them to protect existing monopolies. All they while other states/tribes take big advantage of our willingness to let that money walk.

I love how the State of Kansas does it by establishing zones and permits only a certain amount in each zone. They chose proposals with the best development plans. That would make perfect sense for Arkansas with an exception for gaming rooms for projects that tie historical preservation in for buildings in downtown Hot Springs.

As for 4 lanes in the middle of no where, as long as they are part of a bigger picture, I don't mind it. They need to be built with eventual upgrade to interstate standards in mind with enough easement to facilitate that without cumbersomesome and expensive construction of frontage roads because too many driveway permits were issued.

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I am a years-long reader of the forum and never post, but I was rolling my eyes enough to register an account. 

 

I grew up in central Arkansas and lived in NWA for over a decade. I still wish I lived in NWA. I LOVE the area. 

 

That said, there are a lot of NWA backers that need to settle down, quit seeing ghosts, and realize that everything in Arkansas politics or business isn't a conspiracy to hold back NWA. Rather, in my experience, many of the leaders in central Arkansas welcome the success of NWA because it might actually give the urban-areas the votes at the capitol to shift dollars more towards LR and NWA as opposed to building 4 lane highways in the middle of nowhere. Sure, there are some old-heads that resent NWA, but that's far from pervasive. 

 

This thread about D&B is a perfect example of what I mean by "settling down." One-off bills like this to allow things like a D&B are all written this way to ensure there isn't a broader political fight over something that should be a quick vote.

 

............................

 

We are talking about a D&B, for god's sake, not some major economic development project. In my experience NWAers spend as much time bragging how they don't care about central Arkansas as those from central Arkansas spent talking about NWA in whole (outside of the Razorbacks, of course). 

 

You interpret a mention of how NWAers "don't actually care about central Arkansas" as "bragging".  I didn't intend it as a brag, because honestly, I don't really care much about what happens down there. I visit their forum from time to time, and have had nothing but positive thigns to say.  I've visited DFW probably 15 times in the past 7 years.  I haven't even driven through Little Rock once in that same time period.  

 

There is a negativity towards NWA on the part of some central Arkansans and some power brokers down there.  The people who were quoted talking about the possible new riverfront art museum specifically mentioned Crystal Bridges as the impetus for the discussion.  And hey, I'm all for Little Rock having a better art museum.  It affects me none.  But you won't find "responses" like that one by NWA toward Little Rock.  NWA is its own place, doing its own thing.

 

The bill in question was written very specifically for Pulaski County.  That is undeniable.  There is only one other metro in the state where a D&B would consider going.  When the bill is written to exclude every other part of the state, including specifics like 300k county population and "navigable river", then surely you can understand why it is interpreted as being a Little Rock specific exclusion.  Why not write the bill to include "counties over 200k"?  That language would fit the "urban vs rural" dichotomy you claim is the real culprit here.  Why didn't they write it that way?

 

I frankly don't care if there's a D&B anywhere near me, because it really isn't a place I'd go.  I've been to a D&B once when I lived in Dallas and I don't understand the appeal.  

 

Welcome to the forum.

Edited by wmr
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I agree that the divide isn't between Central and Northwest but rather between urban and rural Arkansas. There is much resentment of the growth of the urban areas in rural Arkansas. The school district consolidation process exposes that every year. The next census should help both urban areas gain power in the state legislature and by working together they will be able to benefit.

I think there's also a lot of resentment because eastern Arkansas used to play such a huge role in the state and it's economy, and now NWA has that role.  Central Arkansas has and still will have it's significant role.  But fortunes between east Arkansas and NWA have shifted dramatically in the past 50 years.

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You interpret a mention of how NWAers "don't actually care about central Arkansas" as "bragging".  I didn't intend it as a brag, because honestly, I don't really care much about what happens down there. I visit their forum from time to time, and have had nothing but positive thigns to say.  I've visited DFW probably 15 times in the past 7 years.  I haven't even driven through Little Rock once in that same time period.  

 

There is a negativity towards NWA on the part of some central Arkansans and some power brokers down there.  The people who were quoted talking about the possible new riverfront art museum specifically mentioned Crystal Bridges as the impetus for the discussion.  And hey, I'm all for Little Rock having a better art museum.  It affects me none.  But you won't find "responses" like that one by NWA toward Little Rock.  NWA is its own place, doing its own thing.

 

The bill in question was written very specifically for Pulaski County.  That is undeniable.  There is only one other metro in the state where a D&B would consider going.  When the bill is written to exclude every other part of the state, including specifics like 300k county population and "navigable river", then surely you can understand why it is interpreted as being a Little Rock specific exclusion.  Why not write the bill to include "counties over 200k"?  That language would fit the "urban vs rural" dichotomy you claim is the real culprit here.  Why didn't they write it that way?

 

I frankly don't care if there's a D&B anywhere near me, because it really isn't a place I'd go.  I've been to a D&B once when I lived in Dallas and I don't understand the appeal.  

 

Welcome to the forum.

I agree on that's what got me and some others going on this was the specific wording that made it seem very exclusionary.  But looking at it in an unbiased perspective I think I do do see what they're trying to do.  At the moment the focus is Little Rock possibly getting a D&B.  Maybe at some point NWA could be of interest.  But for right now it's only Little Rock.  I think for right now the bill was written to make it exclusive to just that area until there's some potential interest for NWA.  But I think it was worded that way so that people who might see D&B a little too close to gambling don't get worked up in NWA, when at the moment there's not really anything on the table at the moment.  To be honest I don't even know if D&B would personally have much interest for me.  But I wouldn't mind having one here so that I have that option if I choose.

As far as the whole viewpoint towards Little Rock, I also agree.  I think NWA tends to look towards other cities like Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Kansas City.  I don't think most people in NWA hate Little Rock or anything.  Tulsa is just as close and the other two are further away but obviously bigger and have more to offer.  I think Little Rock being centrally located has helped people there to look more to much of the state.  But other areas of the state on the edges tend to look outside the state.  I don't think this is just an NWA thing.  I think a lot of people in northeast Arkansas tend to look to Memphis more as well.  I have relatives in Monticello and they're just as likely to go to Louisiana for retail or entertainment as they would for Little Rock.  

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I agree on that's what got me and some others going on this was the specific wording that made it seem very exclusionary.  But looking at it in an unbiased perspective I think I do do see what they're trying to do.  At the moment the focus is Little Rock possibly getting a D&B.  Maybe at some point NWA could be of interest.  But for right now it's only Little Rock.  I think for right now the bill was written to make it exclusive to just that area until there's some potential interest for NWA.  But I think it was worded that way so that people who might see D&B a little too close to gambling don't get worked up in NWA, when at the moment there's not really anything on the table at the moment.  To be honest I don't even know if D&B would personally have much interest for me.  But I wouldn't mind having one here so that I have that option if I choose.

As far as the whole viewpoint towards Little Rock, I also agree.  I think NWA tends to look towards other cities like Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Kansas City.  I don't think most people in NWA hate Little Rock or anything.  Tulsa is just as close and the other two are further away but obviously bigger and have more to offer.  I think Little Rock being centrally located has helped people there to look more to much of the state.  But other areas of the state on the edges tend to look outside the state.  I don't think this is just an NWA thing.  I think a lot of people in northeast Arkansas tend to look to Memphis more as well.  I have relatives in Monticello and they're just as likely to go to Louisiana for retail or entertainment as they would for Little Rock.  

 

Yes.  The point isn't to downgrade Little Rock or to insult Little Rock.  I think about news and weather, for example, Little Rock's news will sometimes cover NWA happenings, just because it has always served as the news center for the entire state.  NWA news and weather doesn't go east of Ozark, generally.  If there is a news story of national interest, or a hugely damaging weather event somewhere in Central Arkansas, we hear about it in NWA.  Otherwise, day to day news, we don't get much perspective on Little Rock.  We're more likely to hear about something in eastern Oklahoma.

 

I think Little Rock is a nice city and I keep meaning to make a trip down there to see what's new and visit their downtown area.  But it would be a special trip.  It isn't on my usual route of places to go.

 

Also, imagine the uproar if a new business wanted to locate in Arkansas, and a law accommodating that business was written to include "must be in a county of 200,000 population, sharing a border with Oklahoma or Missouri".  

Edited by wmr
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well said wmr.

In my opinion, If NWA was a closer proximity to LR, then little animosity would exist.  You don't see Tulsa and Broken Arrow bashing about Trader Joes...

NWA has no magnet city, and has become its own.

Lawmakers follow cash, so I bet once a desire to put a D&B in NWA exists, there will be something addressed.

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The Walton kids were the buyers of the Lane Hotel in downtown Rogers.  This could be something great.  All of the region's downtowns are looking up.

 

http://www.thecitywire.com/node/38066#.VZnu5vlViko

 

"My orders say I'm not supposed to know where I'm taking this boat, so I don't! But one look at you, and I know it's gonna be hot!" - Chief Quartermaster Phillips in "Apocalypse now"

One look at who's buying this school house-looking old hotel and I know it's going to be "hot" some day...

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An open-enrollment charter school gets its money from the state. A private school does not.

 

How are those the same things again?

 

Well in his defense, Haas Hall is better than most private schools.  They are the highest ranked school in the state.  Its easy to forget they are actually an open-enrollment charter.

 

I got a call from a survey company asking questions about my interest in a proposed tuition-based "prep academy" for the Northwest Arkansas region.  This was about a year ago.  It was obvious from the questions asked that the survey was being conducted on behalf of the Walton Family Foundation and maybe a few other big philanthropic players in the region.  

 

If they wish to put their $$$ behind Haas Hall for now, that's great.

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I'm well aware of the Waltons' love for charter schools. And there are plenty of charter schools in the country that have received financial help from private organizations. But there is a difference between the two types of schools.

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