Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sequoyah Center Event

The University District Senior Network and AARP is sponsoring a preview of the new exhibit at the Sequoyah Center.

The Exhibit is entitled:  Toy Tipis and Totem Poles: Native American Stereotypes in the Lives of Children

Saturday, September 6

10 to 11:30 a.m.

Sequoyah National Research Center, University Shopping Center

RSVP by calling 501.217.1628

Refreshments included.

Please plan to attend and also invite your friends and neighbors. 


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Alert from LRPD

Please READ the following safety tips...


Monday, August 25th, 2014

Watch your purses!

VOW Residents: Below is a message from Lt Scott Timmons with LRPD.  Please read and take appropriate precautions.  As Lt Timmons says, please contact LRPD if you see anything suspicious.  I would also encourage people to sign up for account and let fellow VOW residents know if you (after contacting police) to keep your neighbors on alert.  The more people we have communicating the safer our neighborhood will be. Thanks!

               We are seeing some indications that a group we call the “Florida Felony Lane Gang” is back in town. This group (originating in Florida) travels across the country breaking into cars to steal women’s purses. They then use the checks and ID in the purses to drain a bank account through the use of wigs and disguises to make one member look like the account holder (usually based on Driver’s License pictures). They then go to a bank, using the farthest drive up lane away from the teller (known to bankers as the felony lane), pretend to be the account holder and cash large checks.
               This group is very prolific and comes through Central Arkansas 2-3 times a year. We have arrested a number of their members, but they seem to readily replenish their ranks. They generally target cars at shopping centers, gyms or fitness centers, parks, etc. We have seen multiple cases where they target joggers at the Big Dam Bridge and Two Rivers Park.

               They generally use upscale rental cars from out of state, particularly Mercedes Benz Sport Utility Vehicles with extremely dark window tint.

               We think they are back in the area, so please follow a couple of guidelines:
1.       Don’t leave your purse in your car. Not in the passenger compartment and not in the rear cargo area. These folks watch women park their cars and then hit the car after the owner is inside and out of sight. If they see a woman put her purse in the rear cargo area, they will go there.
2.       Unlike most car burglars, these folks are not afraid to break windows as they are generally out of the area within seconds of the break-in. Just locking your car doesn’t stop them.
3.       Take your purse with you and keep it close, don’t leave it in the shopping cart while you are two aisles over looking at merchandise.
4.       If your purse is stolen, call 911 immediately and then notify your bank. These thieves will hit in 20 or 30 minutes sometimes after stealing a purse.
If we get some pictures of these people’s vehicles, I’ll get that out to you.
As always, if you see someone acting suspiciously, please call the police.
Lt. Scott Timmons
LRPD NW Division



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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Mayor Casts Deciding Vote for Gas Station Against Neighborhoods

Report by Fair Park Residents Association president on last night's vote by city board against the interests of our area:


While the turnout at City Hall tonight in opposition to the proposed Murphy gas station at 12th and University was impressive (it was a packed room, of which we made up more than half), it came down to a 5-5 vote on the proposal to allow it to proceed.  Mayor Stodola broke the tie by voting in favor of the gas station.  The city voted to allow it to be built in direct opposition to the advice of the city's planning commission, which was opposed to it.  It was also voted for in direct opposition to the overwhelming concerns from representatives of the neighborhoods that will be negatively impacted by its presence.  This, after just voting against the construction of a Mapco gas station downtown close to their offices.

To say I'm disappointed in our city leadership tonight is an understatement.  But, I was encouraged to see how many people came out to voice their concerns and other thoughts, even proposing alternatives to this particular development.  Though I detected a whiff of animus toward us from the mayor, we still stood strong and told truth to power.  Unfortunately, that power favored the business interests of just a few over the quality-of-life interests of many.  I guess that's just how it goes sometimes, especially in an election year where votes tend to follow trails to campaign contributions.

Joe Busby and several others from our partner neighborhoods within the University District gave great speeches, and the fact that we lost against corporate bulldozers does not in any way reflect a lack of passion and leadership Joe and the others demonstrated tonight.  I was and am proud to be a resident not just of Fair Park, but of the University District.

We still have a possible hotel to contend with, so even though we're now going to have yet another gas station and all the issues that come with them (just look at Kum & Go at Asher and University with the numerous police cars that have to reside in their parking lot with lights flashing on a regular basis), we might still be able to keep the old Brandon House site from being used for nothing but businesses that are terrible for our neighborhood.  I hope you'll join us again when that battle comes down the pipes.

-Larry Rhodes