Letter to the Editor

Citizen Forum

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Welcome to Eureka?

Mr. Mayor,

I would like to congratulate you on the efficiency of your city employees during our recent stay in Eureka Springs. In the five minutes it took me to take our luggage from our car and check in to the Palace Hotel, I received the enclosed parking ticket. Despite the hotel’s instructions to park in front of the hotel to check in, with instructions on where to find the hotel’s reserved parking after dropping our luggage off (you may be aware that the hotel has parking on Cushing Street far downhill from the front entrance), your vigilant parking enforcement officer saw to it to provide a wonderful welcome to your city. I actually saw the officer on the street as we drove by, looking for the hotel, and the manager reported (after I collected the ticket) that he had been lurking on the street that entire afternoon. I’m sure he actually saw me drive up to the hotel and remove our luggage. Well played, parking enforcement officer!

The front of the Palace Hotel has yellow marking along the curb, and “Loading Zone” is clearly marked on the sidewalk, but the curb at the hotel is about 2 feet high, and there is no similar writing facing the street and nothing readily visible from the street from the driver’s seat. Not seeing the “Loading Zone” marking, I parked just past the zone’s marking and don’t think that I was even actually in the parking space (my car is small).

I have enclosed copies of receipts from the money spent on our visit. This was my wife’s and my anniversary vacation, the first we have had since the last of our children have left the home. Your officer’s “welcome” gives us pause to think twice before returning to spend our Arkansas tourism dollars in Eureka Springs, and we are certainly not going to follow up on our idea to invite other couples in our supper club to spend a weekend with you as the holiday season approaches. Consider the $1,000 we spent and multiply that by three (and more) and ask yourself whether or not this officer served your city well.

I have sent my fine to your police. Maybe you can put it to use painting the “Loading Zone” on the street-side of the curb in front of the hotel.

– Dr. A.J. Zolten

Support Good Shepherd

Dear Editor

I keep forgetting that old adage “if it bleeds, it leads” regarding the news media and social networks.  As a result, I often feel despair over the suffering and hate in our country.  I lose sight of all the quiet acts of courage and kindness that also abound.  Today, however, I could see (and hear!) such kindness in action at our local Equity Bank’s “Wags and Whiskers Contest” in support of Good Shepherd Humane Society! It was hard to tell who was having more fun, the dogs or the humans! The bake sale treats for the pets looked as delicious as the ones for the humans.  Way to go bank staff!!! 

Both the Eureka and Berryville branches are  sponsoring all sorts of creative fundraisers and adoption events. During August and September, if one opens a new account, a $25 donation goes to the Good Shepherd shelter (and you get a pet gift, too). Hope everyone can stop by and soak up some goodness.

Sincerely,

– Nan Johnson

Halloween candy bank rides again

Dear Editor,

The town is already talking about Halloween plans, and the CAPC has doled out funds for promotion of events for the entire month that declare us to be “Halloween City.” This is a friendly reminder to your paper and any other public entities that the candy giveaway on the upper loop is not a city-funded event in need of additional promotion. Last year when residents of the upper loop saw print and website material promoting our neighborhood as the place to go for trick-or-treat fun, we knew we had a potential problem on our hands in the sheer numbers of goblins we would be feeding from our own pockets. We handled the situation with the White Street Candy Bank.  Donations poured in from all over town and were happily dispersed down to the last gumdrop.

The candy giveaway is something we always enjoy — and we want to keep it that way. So if you can help us spread the word to anyone adding Oct. 31 to their calendar of public events as a day to bring the family to the Upper Loop for candy, we remind them we are private citizens spending our own money to please a crowd that has reached critical mass. Last year we counted 1,200 trick-or-treaters, and noticed we became somewhat of a candy-passing machine, losing time to chat with kids and admire their creative efforts. Many neighbors agree that if crowds get any larger we will need to consider things like traffic safety measures and public restrooms.

There are ways to keep this event fun. I have suggested to the CAPC that if they plan to include the giveaway in event calendars the neighborly thing to do would be to help us by: a) providing shuttles and encouraging visitors to park at the Community Center to control the crowd and keep the streets flowing, b) making large donations to the Candy Bank, and c) sponsoring a carnival at the end of the line to keep the crowd moving as well as reward the neighborhood for the work we do. It could even be a fundraiser for the Community Center.

Please do not think we are unhappy or unwilling to participate. It’s just grown to the point where it should not depend completely on private citizens to pull this off well. Also please understand I am speaking for myself and a small group of neighbors, and these thoughts may not represent an entire district. We will contact you again in October to announce details about the candy bank and our plans for a fun and safe neighborhood Halloween. Thank you.

— Mark Eastburn