I got a note from City Council Member Steve Mosley telling me that he had asked Mayor Mike Watson to address a series of questions to update the Council on the progress of the third entrance. According to Mosley, the last update was in July 2016. The questions he sent to the mayor:
1) How are funding components that were discussed last year coming together?
2) Is there still some possibility of refinancing in regard to the 6.6 mills that we used for the recent bond projects to address any shortfall in the City’s share of cost?
3) When is scheduled completion of Counts Massie extension?
4) How is the 22-month design phase coming along?
5) What are the political considerations in getting construction started on the interchange after design is complete and funding lined up?
6) Are we still on course to begin construction in 2018?
7) Could you provide an updated version of the approximately 80-step checklist of the process that you’ve provided at various points in the past?
8) How are the political changes in Washington affecting the process?
9) Any other developments we need to be aware of?
The mayor responded to Mosley telling him that he will “attempt” to put a report together at one of the August Council meetings.
These are all valid questions and we all should be watching the snail’s-pace — admittedly complicated — progress on the third entrance. We’ll be watching for Mosley’s report in August.
Archer places No. 2 in the world
Bailey Mason represented in Orlando! According to her coach and various Facebook posts, she came in second place overall for elementary girls at the National Archery in the Schools (NASP) World Archery competition. Her score was 285 out of a possible 300. The winner came in at 290.
Here’s how the scoring works. A bullseye scores a 10, so Bailey had to get an astounding 19 bullseyes to finish second. And that’s shooting from 10 meters and 15 meters. Overall, she ranked second out of 473 elementary girls, second out of 295 fifth grade girls and 58th out of 1,653. IN THE WORLD!
Bailey is a fifth grader at Pine Forest Elementary and plans to continue archery competition for years to come. According to her coach, Tonya Raborn, much of the expenses for their trip were covered by a Go Fund Me effort and other fundraisers.
Kudos to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission for providing equipment and resources to make this happen in Arkansas.
CONGRATULATIONS TO BULLSEYE BAILEY!!
Riverfest lost touch with its audience
My Riverfest experience goes back to the very first event, which wasn’t even called Riverfest. It was called The Summer Arts Festival and was held in Murray Park and grew to the point that organizers moved it downtown and renamed it. A lot of speculation and blame have been tossed around since the announcement that the annual event was shutting down. Among the surmised reasons:
• Having two festivals. The organization decided to have a family festival in April, leaving the main festival focus on musical acts.
• Moving the festival away from Memorial Day weekend. I believe this was a strategic mistake. Everyone had just had a three-day weekend and weren’t going to gear up for another big weekend, especially without a Monday to recuperate.
• Booking music acts to attract younger audiences. I had never heard of 95 percent of the acts that they had this year, but I’m not the target audience. Quite frankly, it wouldn’t matter who they brought in, I wouldn’t go. I can only attribute it to old and cranky.
• Charging $50. I don’t see that as a factor. Fifty bucks is a bargain to see several somewhat big-time acts. Tickets for Paul McCartney were as high as $200, and $100-plus tickets are common for arena bands.
I hope some sort of music festival will emerge from the ashes. Maybe it should be smaller, possibly feature just a few “big” acts, more local music and lots of festival food.
Bits and Pieces
Gigi’s opening this Friday: The new sign has gone up at Gigi’s Soul Café and Lounge (formerly Nashville Rockin’ Grill). The owner told me they will have a ribbon cutting ceremony at 1:30 p.m. this Friday, July 28th and then open immediately with limited menu lunch and dinner service. According to the Facebook page, their entertainment begins Friday and Saturday starting at 9:30 p.m. with a $10 cover charge.
Coyotes on the loose: We are still getting reports that coyotes are in Maumelle. One person reported that their pug was killed the other night by coyotes or some other wild animals in the Riverwood area along the river.
Greetings and solicitations: We are getting a lot of reports (as we do every year) of more and more solicitations from security system companies and others. Note: all solicitors should have a permit from the city.
Here’s a sign you could post:
We are too broke to buy anything.
We know who we are voting for.
We have found Jesus.
We have a great security system.
We don’t need any magazines.
Seriously, unless you are giving away beer,
PLEASE GO AWAY!
See you on the Boulevard. Stop the violence.
Neal Moore is a public relations and advertising consultant and freelance writer. If you have a community concern, Maumelle news tip or if you’re just irritated about something, contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter, @kneelmore.