Not sure about it? Let Fayetteville do it first . . . | Street Jazz

Not sure about it? Let Fayetteville do it first . . .

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I wonder if Fayetteville alderman Bobby Ferrell isn't a throwback to the days when Fred Hanna sat as mayor of Fayetteville. His stance on bike lanes may be just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak, in terms of his opposition to policies that many voters may consider progressive.

Not that Fayetteville has an overabundance of progressives (liberals?) on the city council to begin with. Most observers count three - Nancy Allen, Kyle Cook and Lioneld Jordan - as being the hard core of progressive thought and action on the city council. Still, it's more than most cities can boast of Northwest Arkansas.

Fayetteville is sort of like the Wild Child of Northwest Arkansas, the butt of many jokes.

But though they won't admit to it, other cities also watch Fayetteville, to see what works, and what doesn't work. When Fayetteville falls flat on its face, it often does so in a spectacular fashion. But we learn from our mistakes - usually.

And occasionally, another city might think, hmm, this might just work here.

Despite the overbuilding, and the feeling that the town may be growing more conservative by the day, Fayetteville is still a more interesting place to live in than other cities in Northwest Arkansas, if only for the fact that our battles are so public.

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Anyone  interested in the views of those who see politics from a more extreme view, might be interested in an interview I did with members of the Constitution Party, which will be shown on Fayetteville's Community Access Television on the following dates:

Monday, July 9 (7pm)

Tuesday, July 10 (noon)

Saturday, July 14 (6pm)

The guests are Tom Mayfield, an Elkins resident who is state chair, and Gary Odom, National Field Director. The interview is an intriguing look at folks who'd essentially like to strip the federal government down to its bare bones - and beyond.

Isn't it time your community had public access television?

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The chemo treatments sometimes knock Tracy for a loop, and she goes to bed early. Before I go to bed I either watch TV or read. An excellent book I have been reading is "The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf," by Mohja Kahf, a professor at the UA in Fayetteville.

It's a fascinating look at the world of a young woman growing up in a very devout, very tightly knit Muslim family in Indiana in the 1970s. Take this book on vacation with you.

rsdrake@nwark.com

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