Text The Times.
This is one of the panhandlers at their favorite spot in West Memphis. I cannot believe something can’t be done about this! [Editor’s Note: This was the very subject of our podcast this week, available on the Evening Times Facebook page, iTunes, and the Google Play app, as well as our own website, www.theeveningtimes. com. It has just become a ridiculous mess, with beggars fighting over prime spots, camping under the overpass, anti- panhandling signs being put up (and torn down) and litter being left on the side of the road. It’s a bad look for the community and unless something is done, it’s going to get worse this summer]
*** Just want to give a public thank you to the sanitation dept. of the City of Marion. Working hard, in almost any weather, doing what most of us wouldn’t.. for us. Sitting more than one City Council meeting, I’ve heard the reports of these gentleman coming in after a holiday weekend, and having trash pickup caught up and back on a normal schedule often within a day or two at most. How many city’s can claim that? My personal thanks to the Sanitation and Water Depts.
[ Editor’s Note: Thanks for sending this in. I can attest that having lived in Marion forever, the city crews always do seem to get the job done]
*** Oh now come on. What a tacky sign. It points to all of us as stupid! Do they actually think we did not know that you do not have to give to panhandlers.
The sign is huge and it is my understanding that Rose could not be a police officer because of his poor back. He must have recovered.
[Editor’s Note: A couple of things to unpack here… The “tacky” sign isn’t any more tacky than the city’s busiest corridor crawling with panhandlers. I’m not a fan of the sign but I’m definitely not a fan of the beggars camping out at the intersections either. And hey, the whole argument for allowing the beggars to do their thing is that it’s free speech. And you know what else is free speech? Putting up signs with a message you want to convey! Now, as for the last part of your text, since we’re talking about “tacky”… I don’t know Mr.
Rose, but what in the world does his “poor back” have to do with hanging an anti-panhandling sign? I mean, what in your inspired wisdom thought that had anything to do with anything? I mean, is someone with a physical handicap unworthy of expressing an opinion? Sort of ruins your credibility…]
*** After reading the text the Times today about our new Mayor. Last week my husband “fell out”. He got up from napping on the couch, he stood up and color left his face, he was profusely sweating and his eyes were glazed over. I manage to roll him over and saw he was breathing and he had a carotid pulse. 911 was called. The firemen came, three firemen in the fire truck. I was still bending over talking and trying to figure out what was going on. My husband has a hx of blood pressure problems. One fireman tried to get a blood pressure and just starting spitting out numbers. I grabbed the stethoscope and took it myself 90/40. I asked them to start an IV. They had none. Ok let just get him to the hospital. The response was “we can’t take him in the fire truck and all the ambulances are tied up.
You need to put him in the car and take him to the hospital.” My husband is drifting in and out. I can’t write what I said. Luckily within 15 minutes the ambulance came. They started an IV and we took him to our local hospital. I must say the ER did a wonderful job. The ambulance driver told me that we had a shortage of paramedics.
I would hope our Mayor (no matter what color he is) would spend taxpayers money to pay the First Responders a decent salary to get them to stay in West Memphis. Someone is going to die a senseless death. I would not have written this if I had not read the paper today!! [ Editor’s Note: There’s a trend all around the country toward the privatization of ambulance services. West Memphis is becoming somewhat of a rarity in that the city still operates its own ambulance service. I did a little research and is appears that this trend started getting real notice around 2007 or 2008, likely sparked as cities looked to save money in the face of the Great Recession. There are conflicting opinions as to whether private ambulance services improve or lower the speed and quality of service, but they definitely save money. As long as they still save lives, I’m fine with it. But it shouldn’t be one or the other. Glad everything turned out OK with your husband]
*** I see the Mayor of West Memphis is interested in buying land for hosting events for the city. On top of all the other new and expensive ideas he’s proposed. I’m all for creating new things to attract people to our community but let’s worry with what’s important. Fighting crime.
Updating City Buildings, Increasing Salaries to keep trained employees. We are losing record amounts of Policemen and Fireman who have years of experience to other City’s. Not so much because of Pay but because of leadership.
These men and women are leaving because they don’t believe in the idea that’s being proposed because so far only a select few of the Mayors circle have benefited. Why stay and work for a City and give your heart and soul to have no chance of advancement unless your in the inner circle. And where is this money coming from to do these great ideas? Because Southland isn’t here to hand out Money. They will pay their fare share and that’s it. We have empty buildings all over this city.
Houses going up for sale.
Maybe we should focus on keeping people here, living and working here. The Mayor is 5 months in and let me ask you, what has he done positive that he promised himself? Not what was already in process. Voters should remember these issues come Election time.
And I pray West Memphis can move in the right direction but I’m afraid its to late. [ Editor’s Note: When Mayor McClendon was elected, there were basically two camps: Those who were elated to see him win and those who thought it was the end of the world.
Once he took office, there were basically two camps: Those who were willing to give him a chance and those who were just waiting to see him fail. Well, the wheels of progress turn slow, so I don’t think you can point your finger one way or the other just yet.
Now, you say it’s good to have these things that will increase city revenue but then you say money needs to be spent on infrastructure first. Well, I suppose that would be ideal, but I think the plan would be to bring in the money first and then spend it on the things that need spending.
Just to use your examples (fighting crime, updating city buildings, increasing salaries to keep trained employees), none of those things are free and none of them produce revenue for the city. You yourself asked, “Where is this money coming from?” Where is the money for all these things you are talking about coming from? There needs to be new revenue sources, and whether McClendon’s ideas will pan out or not, I can’t say, but he is trying to put money in city coffers]
*** Joyce Gray is already causing trouble with WM City Council & city officials.
[Editor’s Note: Go on…]
Here’s what everyone is talking about this week: