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OPINION | DRIVETIME MAHATMA: Kanis work soon to get day in sun

by Frank Fellone | April 24, 2021 at 8:51 a.m.

Dear Mahatma: Any idea why so many nice days pass by with no work being done on Kanis Road construction project? Some days, it's like the whole thing has been abandoned. -- Patient Citizen

Dear Citizen: We have no idea. Let's ask Little Rock Public Works, of which Jon Honeywell is the director.

He reports that wet ground conditions and utility relocation work have hindered progress on Kanis Road construction in recent weeks. But recent reports are favorable as gas line, electric service and fiber optic relocations are now complete or nearly completed.

Summer's coming, Honeywell adds, and residents should see increased progress on the work in the coming months.

"We appreciate the public's patience with these projects as the contractor works under difficult and constrained conditions."

Dear Mahatma: Several years ago our Neanderthal legislature passed a law imposing a $100 annual surcharge on hybrid vehicles. How much ill-gotten gain has the state received from this backwards-looking punishment on those of us who are trying to reduce our carbon footprint? -- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Dear Unpunished: In politics, Neanderthal-ism is in the eye of the beholder. Surely there are Arkansans who support the legislative logic behind the surcharge. At the least, they supported the legislators who came to Little Rock and passed that law.

The logic? Electric and hybrid vehicles either don't pay, or pay comparatively little, gasoline or diesel fuel tax. Yet they use the state's highways and byways in the same way gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles do.

The surcharge, concludes the General Assembly's collective wisdom, balances out this disparity.

Scott Hardin of the Department of Finance & Administration reports that the hybrid/electric fee generated $2.3 million in calendar year 2020. March 2021 was the largest month for collections with more than $269,000.

Dear Mahatma: I will enlighten you as to why there are bumps at the ends of driveways. Bumps are there to help control water outflow when it rains. Much as levees do in a large scale these little bumps help to keep rainwater in the street once it flows. -- Robert

Dear Robert: Thank you for answering a cosmic question previously posed in this space. That is, why do some driveways have a one- or two-inch drop to the street, and others do not? Now we know.


Are personal notes allowed in newspaper columns? If so, here is such a note to thank readers of this newspaper for the feedback that keeps this going.

Turns out, based on our memory and by using our toes to count, that we started writing this thing in the month of April, 16 years ago.

T.S. Eliot wrote that April is the cruelest month. We prefer a quote from a more upbeat poet, W. Shakespeare, who wrote:

"April hath put a spirit of youth in everything."

Vanity plate on a Tesla: GASX


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