The Maumelle Monitor took matters into its own hands last week by publishing the first half of the list of scofflaws who have ignored the city fees. As I am sure you did, I noticed several names I knew including an elected official. Amazingly, some of the amounts are almost $2,000! That would mean that those people have ignored their collection notices for over two and a half years.
The rest of the list is published in today’s paper, and hopefully will be published regularly [Editor’s note: It will] until the City Council takes action to stop this ridiculous flaw in our system. This nonsense has been going on for seven years, with almost a million dollars in revenue going uncollected simply because no one was willing to take action or come up with a plan.
I have seen two television reports, and at least one mayoral candidate was featured in one of them. As I said last week, write your alderman until this is resolved. What an embarrassment.
The ice bucket challenge
Unless you’ve been out of the country, you’ve noticed the "ice bucket challenge" where good-hearted folks dump a bucket of ice water on their heads to help raise money for ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. I’m not sure what fascination we get out of watching people have cold water dumped on their heads. I guess the same thrill we used to get when we would try to dunk someone in a dunking booth.
I think every local and national TV and radio personality has done it, including head coaches, politicians and even Ethel Kennedy, Bill Gates and our own Mayor Mike Watson. I believe the way it works is you get dumped and challenge four others to do the same and/or donate $100 to ALS or get dunked and give $10.
I have lost two friends to ALS through the years. The disease has no cure and the process of dying is painful and certain.
According to the ALS Association, between July 29 and August 12, the association and its 38 chapters have received an astonishing $4 million in donations compared to $1.1 million during the same time period last year. That’s a two-week period!
So, if you know someone who gets dumped on or would just like to donate to the cause go to alsa.org. According to one source, the challenges have brought in an astonishing $95 million and raised the awareness of ALS to an all-time high.
Losing Robin Williams
Anytime you lose someone who’s bigger than life, it’s a shock. In my lifetime, there are a handful of deaths that had an impact on me: President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, John Lennon’s shocking murder, Elvis, Princess Diana and a few others dominated our minds and the media. Now, there’s Robin Williams.
He was bigger than life with over 104 TV and movie roles, according to the IMDB. We all met him on Mork and Mindy and he made us laugh and cry in Good Will Hunting, Jumanji, Mrs. Doubtfire and on and on.
His talent was immeasurable and his death is devastating. I only regret what the media is doing to his passing. A Hollywood death leaves no stone unturned and no family secret private.
I found this quote attributed to Williams: "No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world."
Goodbye Robin. You were like a family friend and we will miss you.
I attended a Political Animals meeting featuring attorney general candidate Nate Steel, who, by the way, I was impressed with but more on that later.
If you don’t think the world is watching Arkansas politics, you’re wrong. I sat next to a reporter from Norway who was in town particularly to report on the Cotton/Pryor race and on Hillary’s run for president in 2016.
Slates complete for Maumelle races
It appears that all of the Maumelle political races have been set. Latest filings include:
• Alderman Ward, 2: Rick Anderson and Michael J. O’Leary.
• Alderman, Ward 3: Marion Scott and "Timmons".
• Alderman, Ward 4, Jessie B Holt. (Incumbent Ward 4, Position 2 Alderman Jan Hogue will not run for reelection.)
I am assuming the name listed as "Timmons" (on the county clerk’s site) is Teresa or T.K. Simmons, the "event director" for Maumelle-owned Park on the River. Hmmmm.
See you on the Boulevard.
Neal Moore is COE (Chief of Everything) at Neal Moore Creative, a PR, advertising and marketing consultancy. If you have a community concern or if you’re just irritated about something contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter, @kneelmore.