Lincoln and the Waltons in the headlines | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Lincoln and the Waltons in the headlines

Posted By on Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 7:34 AM

Sen. Blanche Lincoln is holding firm on her legislation to remove derivatives business from banks. However cynical her calculation, it has succeeded in giving her a purchase on the title scourge of Wall Street. How valuable this is in Arkansas is a question I can't answer.

This did occur to me: I guess the Walton family doesn't plan to get into the derivatives business any time soon through their bank. Otherwise, this legislation would evaporate in Lincoln's continuing effort to serve the interests of the Billionaires of Bentonville.

But maybe I'm wrong. Other news headlines today talk of the Waltons' aggressive move into retail banking, a move community banks hope to deter in financial reform legislation. Maybe Lincoln will line up with the community banks on that. Think?

SECOND CITY: Would Fayetteville center become second-string if expansion takes place in Bentonville?
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  • SECOND CITY: Would Fayetteville center become second-string if expansion takes place in Bentonville?

The Billionaires of Bentonville are all over the papers today, in fact. They've sent word, as long expected, that there's only one place for a bigger fine arts center in Northwest Arkansas if the backers expect major Walton financial support. That would be Bentonville, where it would complement the Waltons' coming Crystal Bridges art museum. The Fayetteville arts center would remain, but as a smaller player.

Someday, it will be interesting to see what is generally recognized as the first city of Northwest Arkansas. Will it still be Fayetteville, home of the University of Arkansas (unless the Waltons pay to move it to Bentonville —don't laugh), or will it be the booming Bentonville, with its growing roster of Walton-funded amenities, along with the job-rich headquarters of their Walmart store chain?

UPDATE: Here's the letter from the Walton Family Foundation indicating it would give major support only to a Bentonville expansion. The Walton Arts Center response is on the jump.

RELEASE FROM WALTON ARTS CENTER

June 24, 2010 - Over the past 4 months, Walton Arts Center has been engaged in a site selection process to determine the best location for an additional theater complex to work in complement with our current facilities. As part of this process, we have sought site proposals from interested parties around the region.

Due to the Walton Family Foundation’s significant relationship with Walton Arts Center, the Foundation provided input to the site selection process through the attached letter. We are pleased that they have thoughtfully considered our expansion plans and shared their perspective.

We appreciate that the Foundation plans to continue its financial support of Walton Arts Center’s programs and facilities in Fayetteville. We are also pleased that the Family may consider lead support for an expansion —- if it is located in the City of Bentonville. We will continue to evaluate whether such a location is appropriate for Walton Arts Center.

As previously announced, Walton Arts Center will continue to accept site proposals through August 2. At that time, the Walton Arts Center facilities committee will evaluate all of the proposals that have been submitted. The committee has worked hard to create a site selection process that is open and objective, and the information we have received from the Foundation will be included into our deliberations.

We are excited for what's to come as we work to bring the highest level of arts programming to Northwest Arkansas

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