Voices

BITS & PIECES: Another Brick in The Wall

By JOEL PHELPS | The Arkadelphian

It’s nearing 2 a.m. on a Sunday. We should be in bed, but there’s a lot that has fallen in our lap lately.

If we’re being completely honest — and that’s how we like to roll here — it’s getting to be a bit difficult to share our opinion with a growing audience. We’ve seen how folks react to Facebook posts and questions, and we’re willing to wager that anyone who’s been able to grow an audience of strangers would be a tad on the apprehensive side to share his or her thoughts on recent events lest he or she be accused of leaning one way or the other. It’s also imperative that each i be dotted, each t be crossed before clicking “Publish” on each article. Not a bad prerogative, as it means we’re being taken more and more seriously.

Where have the Bits & Pieces gone? The Arkadelphian‘s founder has been named managing editor of an upcoming magazine and has spent a fair bit of time working on that project, which our fair city’s newcomers will appreciate once it’s distributed in 2023.

We’ve gotten messages and phone calls recently from both Democrats and Republicans (just typing one word before the other is dangerous!) complaining about the recent actions of the other party. The Democrats are upset over the alleged theft of a pair of bricks from their former headquarters, which sold for $1,000 at the Republican Committee’s Lincoln Day Dinner. The Dems are also upset — and rightfully so, we agree — over the removal of political signs by city officials from the 26th Street area in front of the Arkadelphia Recreation Center, where people vote. One Democrat told us the signs were removed at the behest of city officials, that political signs have long been erected there for many years. If our memory serves us correctly, Jason Watson’s signs lined this particular area when he was running for sheriff, and Matt Johnson’s signs did, as well, when he was seeking a position on the Arkadelphia School Board earlier this year. We beg that candidates follow the state’s guidelines on political signage. For comparison, consider the political activity in front of a voting center/church in Bismarck, where recently it appeared that candidates or their minions sat on the otherwise empty tailgates of pickup trucks, waving large banners that beg for votes. The same should be allowed in Arkadelphia — and everywhere else in the free world — so long as the law is followed. If signs won’t be allowed now where they once were, we sure expect this apparently new policy to continue in future election cycles. If Bob can’t have his sign on city property, then nor can Bill. That’s that.

As for the pair of bricks …

Reportedly “stolen” from the previous Democratic Committee’s headquarters at the old Chamber of Commerce office, we say the local Democrats are being petty. Certainly, the Republicans might have snatched them from your old HQ and gained $1,000 from a live auction — a prank so tacky and unprofessional yet, dare we say it, a humorous one. But if two bricks concern the party more than, say, abortion rights, the Dems need to rethink their, um, foundation. Let it go, and concentrate on the real issues. Now, if this saga continues and the local Dems file an ethics complaint with the state, we’ll treat this issue as a news item, and a larger portion of our readers will see the divisiveness between our two local political parties. We should be Clark Countians first, and we hope this comes to a peaceful conclusion.

The Arkadelphian has recently welcomed a new team member, Kelly Stiles, as its Advertising Manager. A graduate of Henderson State University with experience leading The Oracle’s newsroom, Stiles will be the go-to source for your business’ advertising needs. Email her at ads@arkadelphian.com for information on how to get your company’s message to thousands of readers each week. This website operates solely from advertising and donations, so the business community’s support is required in order for us to continue providing local news and information.

Did we mention we’re on the brink of reaching 1 million page views in 2022? Might give Kelly a call sooner than later (just throwing that out there).

We spent Saturday evening in attendance at the annual fundraiser gala for Group Living Inc. We were so fortunate to be seated at the same table as “Paul” and wish we could have met them all. Roughly 100 folks attended this event, which has outgrown the Honeycomb restaurant for a larger venue. It was a special treat to watch these adults with developmental disabilities shine on their special night. To see them smiling and dancing before a room of guests is moving to the soul. We should all be so lucky to be so free-spirited, to dance before a crowd without fear of judgment but rather encouragement. The empowerment bestowed upon these Arkadelphians is soul-moving.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Group Living’s Yukiko Taylor: Free Hope Child

Tuesday will be a fun one for us. Among our favorite tasks in this profession is election coverage, and with so many local spots up for grabs this Tuesday we’re looking forward to reporting which local positions will have a new face come January 2023. We plan to livestream some coverage on Facebook. The announcement of the results is only a portion of the coverage we plan to provide, so please check the website throughout that evening and into Wednesday morning.

Joel Phelps is publisher and editor of The Arkadelphian. Like it or love it — there is no hating it — email Phelps at editor@arkadelphian.com or call him at 501-304-2134.

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  1. As far as the bricks go, I believe the offense to be more of a “they used the stolen bricks as a childish, mean spirited bragging opportunity”. I understand their frustration. It is unfair of you to say they can’t be offended by it because they should be worrying about abortion rights. People are capable of multi-tasking. They can be offended by the slight AND care about abortion rights. Both things can be important.
    It was juvenile, and tacky, of the Republicans to brag about the their opponents’ building being torn down and to hold an auction for the debris.
    We’re supposed to be adults, correct? Adults shouldn’t steal things from their opponents and sell them in a crowing, hateful, bragging way. It was tasteless.
    You’re forgetting that young people emulate their elders. This behavior should not become the norm. Both Democrats and Republicans can, and should, do better in terms of civility and fairness in elections.
    People have forgotten that elections don’t have to be nasty. People over party. The best person should win. Things to remember.

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