Tak­ing a ‘C’ look at cy­cle speed

Westside Eagle-Observer - - OPINION - By Dodie Evans

Since this is go­ing to be a “C” col­umn, let’s get the al­ways avail­able “weather topic” out of the way. What’s that? A new reader wants to know what a “C” col­umn is. Nope, it doesn’t stand for ‘Cuff. It’s been sev­eral weeks since we’ve had a “Con­glom­er­a­tion” col­umn of top­ics, things of var­ied in­ter­est, and those which hap­pen to be jig­gling loose in my ev­er­churn­ing brain.

Please stop snick­er­ing; let’s get down to con­sider the con­fus­ing (note the “C”) weather pat­tern of this “cum­mer” “cea­son” (just bend­ing the spell-check a lit­tle). Mom Na­ture con­tin­ued through the cur­rent sea­son with a con­sis­tent amount of pre­cip­i­ta­tion needed to keep lawns and hay fields green. There has been an over­abun­dant growth for trees, shrubs and, yes, even some rag­weed plants reach half­way to the moon — Achoo.

The late-com­ing sum­mer drought which fol­lowed the green sum­mer turned lawns to a crunchy brown, caused fo­liage of some trees and shrubs to be­gin bit­ing the dust and, un­til the re­cent two-inch­plus rain Sun­day, it ap­peared it was time to clean up the mow­ers for a win­ter sleep and roll up hoses that were stretched out to try and save the stressed plants. At least the rag­weed pollen has been slowed.

It is a per­fect time to re­mind folks who live at in­ter­sec­tion cor­ner lots that trim­ming veg­e­ta­tion at in­ter­sec­tions will be ap­pre­ci­ated. This holds true also for ru­ral in­ter­sec­tions. A bit of prun­ing just might help re­duce the pos­si­bil­ity of a crash. “C” … just had to do that again.

It’s time to com­pli­ment the city of Gravette for main­tain­ing the newly com­pleted Main Street gar­dens with con­sis­tent weed­ing and wa­ter­ing. This com­pli­ment also ap­plies to other cities and towns who have been dili­gent in main­tain­ing such dis­plays.

In Gravette, flags which are now fly­ing on Main Street com­ple­ment the color­ful flow­ers and shrubs. This is in sharp con­trast to the hor­ri­ble sights where Amer­i­can flags are set afire dur­ing so-called protests. Make that ri­ots! Too many of those protests have evolved into chaotic dis­tur­bances that … well, you have seen the de­struc­tion on the boob tube re­ports: rock throw­ing, win­dow break­ing hood­lums, teens and youth bounc­ing on hoods of cars, most wear­ing masks to make sure the wear­ers can be iden­ti­fied as the thugs they are. If the truth were known, many of these gath­er­ings are planned by lead­ers who travel the coun­try try­ing to stir up usu­ally law-abid­ing cit­i­zens, who too of­ten lose con­trol and con­trib­ute to the chaos that results.

Let’s back off a bit and re­turn to the very at­trac­tive new look of Gravette’s Main Street, a nearly mil­lion-dol­lar project that has re­ceived lit­tle or no com­ment on the area television sta­tions, all of which al­ways plug that they cover the area in their news re­ports. Spend­ing that many dol­lars on a small town project is, in my fee­ble opin­ion, news. I wish each of the sta­tions, and I believe there are three, could take a few min­utes to give a lit­tle pos­i­tive pic­ture pub­lic­ity of this par­tic­u­lar project be­fore frost kills the flow­ers and shrubs lose their leaves.

Frankly, wouldn’t it be nice if each of the sta­tions, each month, or at least once in awhile, could or would give pos­i­tive re­ports of ac­tiv­i­ties in re­spec­tive towns? That would help bind our re­gion into a more co­he­sive com­mu­nity of cit­i­zens. Of course, the big boys de­serve the con­tin­ual cov­er­age but, re­ally, aren’t we all part of the halfmil­lion-per­son two-county area? Some pos­i­tives could give a lit­tle bal­ance to the cov­er­age of any dis­as­ters, crime or con­tro­ver­sial cov­er­age that man­ages to take the air­waves. Just a thought.

Let’s change gears: If the Fayetteville and area biker ac­tiv­i­ties of the past week were the success they usu­ally are, no doubt we have all wit­nessed a

large num­ber of cy­clists on roads in the area. This is a pos­i­tive project that does cause some con­fu­sion, but suc­cess­fully shows off our special at­trac­tions, in­clud­ing peo­ple, to a broad au­di­ence.

On a sim­i­lar (mo­tor­cy­cle) sub­ject, while rum­mag­ing through a stack of clip­pings that were in a box of such “stuff” (you know what I mean by stuff), I found a clip­ping in the then Gravette News Pa­per, dated June 11, 1909. The Gravette city coun­cil, led by Mayor J.R. Du­na­gin and E.R. Gravette, city clerk, passed an or­di­nance set­ting speed lim­its: “No per­sons shall run or drive any au­to­mo­bile, lo­co­mo­bile, mo­tor­cy­cle, bi­cy­cle or mo­tor tri­cy­cle upon the streets or al­leys of the city of Gravette, Ark., at a greater speed than six miles an hour….” The or­di­nance, No. 58, passed on June 8, con­tin­ued “…Any per­son or per­sons found guilty of such a mis­de­meanor shall be pun­ished by a fine of not less than one dol­lar nor more than one hun­dred dol­lars.” No­tice­ably, it didn’t ap­ply to per­sons walk­ing that fast.

Else­where on the clip­ping, it was re­ported the city coun­cil ap­proved pay­ing $41 to W.E. Rogers for drilling a 46-foot-deep well. The item doesn’t men­tion if this was for a new wa­ter sys­tem in town, but it was in that era that the old wa­ter tank that stood over the city for a cen­tury was erected. The coun­cil also paid Mar­shal Lang­ford $12.50 salary for killing dogs, etc. Ex­pen­di­tures for a cou­ple of other items brought the total city spend­ing for the month to $57. Them wuz the good-ole-days, weren’t they?

That’s enough “C” stuff ex­cept for this P.S.: Some­one re­minded me in the last ‘Cuff that I over­looked an­other state high­way that needs up­grad­ing with wider shoul­ders: High­way 279 south from Bella Vista through Gravette/ Hi­wasse and at least to Cen­ter­ton. Bik­ers in­di­cate they would re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate that as well as other up­grades in the county on less trav­eled paved roads. Wide shoul­ders. Lots of money. But, af­ter all, isn’t this the 21st cen­tury? Wouldn’t a 10 or 20 or ?? mil­lion dol­lar grant be nice?

Dodie Evans is the for­mer owner and long-time ed­i­tor of the Gravette News-Her­ald. Opin­ions ex­pressed are those of the au­thor.

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