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Rogers, Arkansas


tim2462

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I put a ? Behind it for Petes sake. And, yes, it's semantics. The whole push for vouchers is to enable private schools to receive public money. Charters were meant to bridge to political divide over time. It's why they are often fought as well.

I got that call as well.

My Niece and Nephew both are Shiloh grads. One has her Masters from the U of A after a bachelor's from JBU. The other is Dean's List OBU, with plans to get a Master's as well. Not going to knock their Christian based education one bit nor will I knock my other two Niece's educations they are getting from the Catholic system in Memphis, my 13 year Niece old just nailed a 27 on her first around on the ACT through a Duke program and went to camp at Vandy over the summer due to it.

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You wouldn't believe the waiting list for Haas Hall. A friend of ours said her son was #127 on the list....and that's just for 7th grade...just for the Bentonville location. Each grade at each location has its long list. Our boys got in (chosen by lottery), and we are extremely thankful for the opportunity. Still trying to convince our sons that uniforms with embroidered school logos are cool ;)

Edited by Julles
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  • 3 weeks later...

 

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.

 

The prep academy private school is going to happen.  There's an article in the DemGaz today about the Walton Family Foundation funding a new private school for JR and SR high students in Bentonville.  That's the one the WFF survey was referencing that TRB and I both received calls about.

 

The head of the school is going to be a Princeton "deputy dean".  Like with all things the WFF does, this sounds like it will be top-notch.

Edited by wmr
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Does anyone know what's going in next to Joann's?

I thought the same thing. Also they tore up some of the parking lot by Backyard Burger, it's looking like something is going to go in that spot. I've seen several developments in the area, but no announcements are ever made. Seems strange to me.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm hearing that a FEDEX shipping facility might be moving to a new location in Lowell just north of the NWA board of realtors.  A few months back the land was rezoned to light industrial,which would allow for the new facility.  At the time the Board of Realtors fought the rezoning but to no avail.  Maybe this is why they put up a fight.  Can anyone confirm this?

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I'm hearing that a FEDEX shipping facility might be moving to a new location in Lowell just north of the NWA board of realtors.  A few months back the land was rezoned to light industrial,which would allow for the new facility.  At the time the Board of Realtors fought the rezoning but to no avail.  Maybe this is why they put up a fight.  Can anyone confirm this?

hearing same. A lot of property in play at 264 and 49

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  • 1 month later...

Fort Smith seems a natural for manufacturing.  You can't overstate the importance of I-49 and how it holds Fort Smith back.  Without a direct route to the south, which mean Mexico and the gulf ports, Fort Smith will not become a major manufacturing center.

The workforce is there.  The infrastructure is there locally.  What is missing is the transportation infrastructure to the south.  Unfortunately, we have sent the types of folks to Washington who will not advocate for our fair share of road funding.  We are a federal tax donor state, which is absurd.  If an interstate had been completed to the south of Fort Smith 20 years ago, it might have become home to some auto manufacturers by now.  Arkansas should do anything it can to get that road built, even if it means making it a toll road.

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Fort Smith seems a natural for manufacturing.  You can't overstate the importance of I-49 and how it holds Fort Smith back.  Without a direct route to the south, which mean Mexico and the gulf ports, Fort Smith will not become a major manufacturing center.

The workforce is there.  The infrastructure is there locally.  What is missing is the transportation infrastructure to the south.  Unfortunately, we have sent the types of folks to Washington who will not advocate for our fair share of road funding.  We are a federal tax donor state, which is absurd.  If an interstate had been completed to the south of Fort Smith 20 years ago, it might have become home to some auto manufacturers by now.  Arkansas should do anything it can to get that road built, even if it means making it a toll road.

This.  Fort Smith will see amazing things happen if and when I-49 is finished.  So, too, NWA (with the "finished" including a finished Bella Vista Bypass).  But...the operative word is "if".  (And given what Texas and Louisiana are doing and all states north of Bella Vista have done, it's nothing short of abject foolishness not to dream of a completed I-49.)

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The drawback that FTSM has is that modern manufacturing processes require much higher skill levels than in the past. Most the workers that lost their jobs due to the Whirlpool departure don't have the skill sets to fill the positions that possible employers would have.  Too many people want a job that they can just walk in off the street with a high school diploma or even not that and make a middle class wage. The FTSM area is the center of a much larger job market that is very rural in nature and that is a major hindrance in moving forward. 

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The drawback that FTSM has is that modern manufacturing processes require much higher skill levels than in the past. Most the workers that lost their jobs due to the Whirlpool departure don't have the skill sets to fill the positions that possible employers would have.  Too many people want a job that they can just walk in off the street with a high school diploma or even not that and make a middle class wage. The FTSM area is the center of a much larger job market that is very rural in nature and that is a major hindrance in moving forward. 

Look at some of the places in Alabama and Mississippi where auto manufacturing plants have located, and tell me those areas have more skilled labor pools than Fort Smith.  The primary difference, aside from aggressive tax incentives, is 4-lane highway access to the south.  Raw materials/auto parts into the ports, assembled vehicles out.

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Look at some of the places in Alabama and Mississippi where auto manufacturing plants have located, and tell me those areas have more skilled labor pools than Fort Smith.  The primary difference, aside from aggressive tax incentives, is 4-lane highway access to the south.  Raw materials/auto parts into the ports, assembled vehicles out.

I'm going to give a wink and nod to WMR on the labor force theory . All I can say is Tupelo Mississippi and Jackson Mississippi. It has way more to do with the incentive package and/or marketing angle.

First it was the Toyota truck plant, Marion lost out to San Antonio. Why, a whole lot of wanting to market a "Texas" truck. Second, a SUV plant to Tupelo, a little on the incentive side but MS. Threw in a whole nature preserve in honor of Toyota at the last minute. Marion makes the axles for both plants. Guess the labor is skilled enough to make the axles there. How about suspension components for Telsas in Heber Springs. 

 

Ft. Smith lost it's Whirlpool plant to Nafta and Mexico along with a decrease in demand for side by sides with the French door revolution along with past union lissues.

 

I've been to Mobile Alabama, I'm not going to trash Ft. Smith saying it's inferior cause it's not. Yet, Mobile got an Airbus plant. It was to be for a contract for a new airforce tanker but politics ruined that but Bama's Washington crew saved it and landed production of A320s. I'm sure it helped that it's a port and some parts are from all over the world. But...job force being better? Nope, they advertised some technical positions in Arkansas and across the US. 

Job force is all too easy an excuse tossed about by both sides to explain away things. Most these plants have three and four year lead times from announcementioned to going live. That's plenty of time for the state and the local community colleges to put training courses in place.

Just watch, Tennessee has development a massive industrial park in the middle of no where between Memphis and Jackson. They are finishing up the infrastructure as will speak. Tennessee is finally pushing this site hard(in the mean time Memphis landed an Electrolux plant and a Mitsubishi Heavy industrial generator plant) this site is big enough for multiple super projects and watch it over the next 15 years compared to Arkansas'state wide efforts.  

This State has to find a way to get 49 and 69 expedited and built and it needs better connectivity east of the Mississippi River. There needs to be a north of Memphis proper bridge  and south of Memphis proper bridge pronto.   Compare the number of bridges and lanes of roads LR has across the Arkansas to East Arkansas and Memphis. That has curbed industrial opportunities and residential growth opportunities of our beleaguered Delta.

Oh, a viable 4 lane divided across North Arkansas would do wonders as well. How about this concept. An extension of I 22 from Memphis that uses a new bridge north of Memphis to.US63 and use it and US412 across Arkansas and even over to Stillwater Oklahoma/I-35. 

We have got to find a way to shed miles fron two lane money pits in the system and focus on roads that will benefit the entire state and build the right roads.

 

 

 

 

Edited by TRB
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I agree. Arkansas as usual is behind all other states in infrastructure, education, etc. We are a poor state because we have never believed in investing for the future. we don't believe in increasing revenue for the common good via taxation thus we don't get the higher paying jobs that increase the future tax base that leads to yet more growth. Even today we are falling further and further behind because of a selfish mentality of 'I got mine and you aren't touching it' And we all suffer in the long run. Now let's hear the anti-tax side of this debate.

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Yeah, we need more taxes, like the ones Fayetteville and Bentonville just passed without a vote of the people. I lived in a Dallas suburb for 6 years in this decade and the rates there were less than here. How does that work?

I'm sick of the crying by mismanaged governments. Don't even get me started on the length of time it takes to build roads. Even with money we won't see 49 finished for 50 years at best. Politicians and construction companies are getting rich off the public's dime.

I love this state but hate how it is governed.

 

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Yeah, we need more taxes, like the ones Fayetteville and Bentonville just passed without a vote of the people. I lived in a Dallas suburb for 6 years in this decade and the rates there were less than here. How does that work?

I'm sick of the crying by mismanaged governments. Don't even get me started on the length of time it takes to build roads. Even with money we won't see 49 finished for 50 years at best.

 

Well, to be fair, a lot of the taxes paid in Texas are in the form of property taxes.  You might notice a lower sales tax rate in DFW and no state income tax, but the property tax rates in Texas are among the highest in the nation.  Great place to live if you are working, not a great place to own property.

 

  http://interactive.taxfoundation.org/propertytax/09HV.gif

 

I share your frustration with the political process in Arkansas, though.  NWA has had to fight many uphill battles with regard to tax funding for infrastructure.  For a long time, it didn't have the representation to counter Little Rock and the rest of the state in any real way.  There almost seems to be an anti-NWA alliance between Little Rock and the more rural areas of the state sometimes.  That seems to be changing.  We just got our first governor from Northwest Arkansas, as far as I know.  We finally have the population and representatives to throw some weight around down at the capitol.  

 

I-49 not being funded is definitely partly due to being a small state.  We only send FOUR delegates to the House of Representatives.  DFW sends more than that on its own.  Texas sends NINE TIMES as many representatives to the House than Arkansas does.  Our reps could definitely do a better job getting things done to benefit us, but part of it is just the reality of being a small state with small representation.

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Well, to be fair, a lot of the taxes paid in Texas are in the form of property taxes.  You might notice a lower sales tax rate in DFW and no state income tax, but the property tax rates in Texas are among the highest in the nation.  Great place to live if you are working, not a great place to own property.

 

  http://interactive.taxfoundation.org/propertytax/09HV.gif

 

I share your frustration with the political process in Arkansas, though.  NWA has had to fight many uphill battles with regard to tax funding for infrastructure.  For a long time, it didn't have the representation to counter Little Rock and the rest of the state in any real way.  There almost seems to be an anti-NWA alliance between Little Rock and the more rural areas of the state sometimes.  That seems to be changing.  We just got our first governor from Northwest Arkansas, as far as I know.  We finally have the population and representatives to throw some weight around down at the capitol.  

 

I-49 not being funded is definitely partly due to being a small state.  We only send FOUR delegates to the House of Representatives.  DFW sends more than that on its own.  Texas sends NINE TIMES as many representatives to the House than Arkansas does.  Our reps could definitely do a better job getting things done to benefit us, but part of it is just the reality of being a small state with small representation.

part of the problem is how the road funds are allocated. There's a stretch of four lane divided high from Forrest City toward Helena. Been there for almost twenty years. The kicker is that it doesn't actually go.all the way to.Helena which kinda defeats the entire purpose. Now, someone familiar with the area would think why that wasn't built going north instead to Searcy instead of alternating 3 lane considering it's a busier stretch and consider it as part of a 4 lane divided to Jonesboro. But... think about that for a moment. That was built before the stretch of 412 between Tontitown and Siloam, and 412 still isn't a 4 lane divide all the way to Harrison, which should be a priority. Why? we in NWA are  losing money by allowing it to flow up to Springfield way instead.

 

I went to Tulsa yet again and don't think twice about coughing up 5 bucks for a toll. We have got to use Turnpikes and get some roads done.

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I hope Ft Smith doesn't hang its hopes on I49 being built to Texarkana. I bet it will be decades before that happens if ever. The committee that is studying highway funding seems have a lack of good ideas and the federal government can only eek out short term bills for highway funding. I agree that toll roads need to be strongly considered but there is such a backlash against any new revenue sources in the state that they don't seem likely.

Didn't really mean to bash FTSM but I know from anecdotal evidence that there are former Whirlpool/ supplier employees that have given up on finding full time employment. They see training for a new line of work as a waste of time. Its a sad but true situation for some.

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