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REX NELSON: The stagnant city

By Rex Nelson

This article was published May 9, 2018 at 2:30 a.m.

A week ago, I asked a question in this column: Do talented young people across the state still want to move to Little Rock? Having grown up and attended college in Arkadelphia, I couldn't wait to move to Little Rock at age 22 in 1981.

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BigA says... May 9, 2018 at 8:55 a.m.

My grandchildren aren't in school today... they told their parents, their teachers said "nothing is going on at school today". So, their Mom and Dad aren't making them go to school today... There are no Bibles in the rooms in the Holiday Inn West hotel; the hotel located near Arkansas Baptist Hospital, the Arkansas Heart Hospital, a Behavioral Health Clinic, an Abortion Clinic, and the Little Rock Funeral Home. Remove the expectation of personal growth, learning and hope from a city. What do you expect to happen now and the future? The reason for stagnation and apathy is us.

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doggod says... May 9, 2018 at 9:25 a.m.

Big A. What do bibles in a hotel have to do with personal growth or the state of Little Rock? Also, many of us who live in the city are not stagnant or apathetic at all! We are working on ways to help LR thrive and to help outsiders see the city for what it is now, not 20 years ago. Check out SOMA, River Market, Hillcrest, etc. There is a LOT going on. I hope we can save the REP and finally finish up the endless construction on Main Street because good things are coming. One more thing: no offence, but I do not believe your grandkids' teachers said any such thing. I know far too many actual teachers to believe such nonsense. And if they are not in school, there is something profoundly wrong with the parents.

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HenryP says... May 9, 2018 at 9:45 a.m.

What's needed? New leadership will help.....

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TravisBickle says... May 9, 2018 at 9:52 a.m.

Being the fourth most dangerous city in the nation doesn't help.

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Dontsufferfools says... May 9, 2018 at 10:03 a.m.

I thought Rex was the traveling barbecue joint reviewer for the state, why is he raging at Little Rock with this city is too violent, the schools can't teach, and the good folks are scared and moving to Cabot screed. Heard it before, Rex, you're late to the party. You want to break the poverty cycle that that's feeding the gangs, petty crime and sapping the schools, it's going to take an effort that Rex and his GOP cronies aren't really interested in. The governor, which the newspaper just endorsed, is more interested in $100 million tax cuts than starting a difference-making policy revolution.

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GeneralMac says... May 9, 2018 at 10:04 a.m.

Many people, young and old, will want to learn a little about a city they are considering moving to.

Many will type in.........Little Rock Arkansas..detailed profile.
Here is what they will discover....

median household income. LR..........$45,605
median household income ar.....$44,334

median price of home LR.........$161,000
median price of home AR.........$123,000

% of Blacks.........42%

crime rate.........United States ..281
crime rate........Little Rock......748

If young people can choose anywhere to move to, will those statistics impress them or disappoint them ?

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GeneralMac says... May 9, 2018 at 10:09 a.m.

Little Rock has a lot of similarity to Birmingham Alabama and Jackson MS.

All 3 are in the south, similar in population have lots of crime, and a DEMOCRAT as mayor.

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PopMom says... May 9, 2018 at 11:25 a.m.

Young single people may care more about bike paths and cool looking bars and restaurants. Once they get married and have kids, they are looking at crime levels and quality of schools. Bloomberg knew that those were the two most important factors in fixing New York. Improve the schools and crack down on crime. Make the kids go to school and stop and frisk them and throw them into jail if they don't.

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BigA says... May 9, 2018 at 11:49 a.m.

Doggod. For a self-proclaimed poet, I can’t believe you can’t read between the lines… You asked, “What do bibles in a hotel have to do with personal growth or the state of Little Rock?” My answer: The Bible is all about personal growth; it is the instructions for living well… a gift from God. Removing them from rooms are the acts of people whose goal is to remove hope and the ideas that promote working for something bigger and more important than ourselves.
You want to save the REP; start in the lobby. The last time I was there I found “art” so vulgar and offensive I never went back and never took my children there… although they have visited many other theaters, some, unfortunately, just as bad. If the REP thinks it’s audience is impressed by vulgar and offensive language, then that is the audience they should expect their support from… The REP is located in a large city in the BIBLE belt… my experience and education is all about business and leadership. If I were lining up shows, the shows would cater to the folks, with money, that live here. They would be shows that these same people could unapologetically tell their friends about; especially in church.
There is no offence taken… I know how my kids were raised and I know the teachers did not say anything like what was reported to me… I have a wife that is a teacher… some of my kids are public school teachers. The problem isn’t with the kids. It is the expectation the kids have about school. The expectation that “what they can learn EACH DAY is important” is broken. It is the responsibility of the parents and the teachers to change our school policies and attitudes that do not enhance the expectation of learning each day, in every grade and every classroom for every child. Hence the problem is us.

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drs01 says... May 9, 2018 at 12:20 p.m.

Now you want young folks to choose Little Rock as their place to live. You cite our revitalized downtown as the magnet to attract them. But you ignore the major reason we ARE a stagnant city. Our school system has done more to drive people OUT of this city and will keep them from coming back. Our school system is the reason we have no private industry growth. There has to be more to a city than bars, bike trails, restaurants. For over twenty years our so-called city leadership of retread politicians have ignored the problems at the LRSD and watched them waste away over $1 billion.
Fix the schools and you fix crime, attract private businesses and remove that stagnant label we have so richly earned over the years.

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