Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview

Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview
Overview of Fayetteville, AR

Sunday, February 27, 2011

University of Arkansas Earns Highest Ranking from Carnegie Foundation

Good News! U of A has just announced that the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has upgraded the university’s status to the highest possible rating for research. Prior to the latest announcement, U of A was ranked in the next-highest classification.

For many years, Carnegie Foundation’s rankings have been broadly recognized as the standard categorization of accredited U.S. universities and colleges. Thus, this ranking further enhances U of A’s status and reputation throughout our state, our country and beyond.

The Carnegie Foundation based the classification on data from 2008-2010 in such areas as research expenditures and results, staffing, and doctoral conferrals. After examining 4,633 institutes of higher learning, Carnegie placed U of A in the top group which includes only 108 universities. Within the 108, the Foundation does not rank any one school as better than any other.

A ranking such as this helps in numerous ways – directly and indirectly. It will provide an important boost to recruitment of more top-notch researchers and superior students. As the quantity and quality of U of A’s research projects become increasingly recognized, more research grants will be received. And that means big benefits to NW Arkansas’ economy. Higher salaries equates to greater spending power in all categories from housing to restaurants, to shopping malls and groceries, houses of worship, ad infinitum.

It’s just a circle of good no matter how one looks at it.

I’ve known for some time that U of A programs and courses of study are top notch. I have a master’s in political science from U of A and I’m now taking classes in the Journalism department. The locals have known all along about U of A’s status. It’s a pleasure for me to help spread the good news. At last—it’s not a matter of “thank goodness for Mississippi” any more.

For more information, check the U of A announcement.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Census Results for Northwest Arkansas

The results are in and it’s good news for Northwest Arkansas.

Fayetteville now has 73,580 people, a growth of 26.8% since the 2000 Census.

Springdale grew to 69,797 residents, an increase of 52.4%.

Bentonville’s growth of 78.9% topped all the cities in Arkansas. Its population is now 35,301.

Rogers experienced a 44.1% increase to bring its population to 55,964.

Little Bella Vista isn’t so little any more. It now boasts 26,461 people, an increase of 59.6%.

These are huge increases in a short ten-year span. To put them in perspective, total population in all of Arkansas increased by 9.1%. Little Rock, the state capitol located in Pulaski County, increased 5.7 percent, from 183,133 in 2000 to 193,524 in 2010.

Pulaski County itself grew 5.9%.

Benton County, which includes Bentonville and Rogers, is now home to 221,339 people. That’s a 44.3% increase.

Washington County, which includes Fayetteville and Springdale, now has 203,065 people, a growth rate of 28.8%.

It would appear Benton and Washington Counties are the driving force for growth in Arkansas.

As required by law, legislative districts must be redrawn after each ten-year census. The state must ensure that population in each of the districts is equal within 1% variation.

The result is that the geographical area of Congressional District #3 will shrink. It now includes Benton, Boone, Carroll, Crawford, Franklin, Johnson, Madison, Marion, Newton, Pope, Sebastian, and Washington Counties.

Arkansas has usually kept counties intact when drawing districts. Looks like that practice will have to be replaced with some counties being split for the first time.

So, change happens. All in all, the growth is good news for NW Arkansas. As our population grows, so does our influence and clout.

Let’s face it. No one wants to move to a declining area.

For more information: Census Bureau Website

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What’s Happening to the Mortgage Interest Deduction for Homeowners?

The Obama administration is trying, once again, to limit the amount of interest taxpayers can deduct when itemizing deductions on their federal income tax returns. One option would exclude citizens from deducting interest payments on second residences, home equity loans or mortgages over $500,000.

Similar proposals have been made in the past two years but Congress did not approve the cuts.

Home ownership has been the American dream since long before I was born. The income tax deduction for mortgage interest is what makes ownership possible for many people.

Perhaps not in Arkansas as much as, let’s say, California or several other states, a $500,000 home is not a mansion. Indeed, it is more the norm for average families.

Everyone knows our country is deeply in debt. We must find sensible ways to cut spending and increase income. I just don’t believe homing in on average people trying to live a decent life in America is the way to do it.

Our government spent billions of dollars in “bailout” funds to big businesses, large banks, and other large firms which were deemed “too important to fail.” It continues to spend billions on unpopular wars. Does that somehow equate to letting American families fail?

Usually I prefer to not get too political here in my blog, but I must speak out. Yes, the current proposal to limit interest deductions is for mostly high-income people with high dollar homes, but where will it stop? It is one of the few deductions that “normal” middle class people have. The deduction has been around since 1913. That’s 98 years of helping families to stop paying endless rent and instead own their own homes.

The National Association of Realtors has indicated that the interest deduction is one factor bringing stability to the housing market. Limiting it at this time will create serious problems for consumers and worsen the entire real estate market. The trickle-down effect could be catastrophic.

For more information:

Realty Times
Fox News