Smart talk, Oct. 30 



Ever the green warrior, County Judge Buddy Villines has yet another eco-friendly idea up his sleeve: a program that would teach county employees how to save gas through smarter driving techniques — what the hip kids call “hypermiling.” Common tactics include avoiding the urge to over-rev the engine when coming away from a stop sign or light, keeping tires properly inflated, coasting on hills, and staying at or below the speed limit. The county program will likely avoid the ever-more-extreme hypermiling techniques that sprang up when gas hit $4 per gallon: Some particularly anal-retentive devotees claim they can increase gas mileage by more than 20 percent through questionable practices like turning off the engine while rolling in traffic, tailgating large trucks to decrease wind resistance, and avoiding braking on curves unless absolutely necessary.

Villines said that he got the idea for the program because the county-owned hybrid he drives has a display on the dash that shows real-time mileage information. He said that he found that by using gas-saving techniques, he could easily raise the mileage of a four-cylinder hybrid from four to five miles per gallon.

The program is still in the early planning stages, but Villines said that after it is introduced, completion of the course will be mandatory for anyone who drives a county-owned vehicle.


Y in the road


Rumors have been circulating lately about the status of the Westside YMCA at 4701 Sam Peck Road. Metropolitan YMCA of Little Rock CEO Ted Maxfield denied suggestions that the association has discussed closing the Westside Y, but added that, “Frankly the whole association has been in a little bit of a slow decline” and that its facilities were in “less than optimal shape.” Maxfield said association is about to do “long-range planning” to see how it can better serve the community. He said he'd “rule nothing in or out at this point.”

Three YMCAs operate in Pulaski County: the Westside Y Family Center and the G.W. Carver Family Branch in Little Rock and the Susan and Johnny Heflin YMCA Family Center in North Little Rock.  Maxfield added that “it would be silly for us not to serve West Little Rock.” Noted:  The association also owns property at Denny Road, several miles south of the Westside location, that ir has never developed.


Freep on-line


Dotty Oliver, publisher of the Arkansas Free Press, explained to us the other day why her free weekly hasn't been in boxes around town lately. Oliver said that, “like many small business owners,” she's having problems getting credit. Her printer refused to extend a line  of credit to get the latest issue printed, and wouldn't accept credit  cards. Oliver said she's going to run the paper's  copy on their website for the time being, but added that she hopes to  return to printing a paper-and-ink edition in the near future. She said she's also taking some time to complete a book she's writing on her involvement with the Free Press, including a lawsuit filed against the paper some years back by then-Gov. Mike Huckabee.




From the ArkTimes store


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

  • Guest Playlist: Flap Jones of "Not Necessarily Nashville" schools us on real country music

    "Not Necessarily Nashville," which airs on KUAR-FM 89.1 every Saturday, 7 p.m.-9 p.m., celebrates three decades of the "best of the rest of country music" Saturday, October 21 at the White Water Tavern with Brad Williams of The Salty Dogs & The Creek Rocks, and we asked host Flap Jones to curate a playlist for us ahead of that anniversary celebration.
  • Discussion: State killing of the mentally ill

    The Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and others will have a forum on mental illness and the death penalty at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Bowen School of Law's Friday Courtroom.

Latest in Smart Talk

  • Better than Texas

    Arkansas's tax system is slightly more friendly to the poorest people, but only slightly.
    • Aug 24, 2011
  • Small-school champions

    Two Arkansas congressmen are among the 14 sponsors of a bill that would "correct" a provision of the federal school-funding formula they say favors large school districts over small districts.
    • Aug 24, 2011
  • Bipartisan race

    The rise of Republicanism in Arkansas has brought a rare two-party race to the state Senate in Southeast Arkansas, traditionally a Democratic stronghold.
    • Aug 24, 2011
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »


1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31  

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: 'Every day was a Tuesday'

    • Perceptions of being affected by Tuberculosis (TB) Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by the…

    • on October 22, 2017
  • Re: 2017 Arkansas Times Craft Beer Festival preview

    • Yusssss!!!!!

    • on October 20, 2017
  • Re: Last

    • Such a great Observer column, but then they are all pretty damned good. It's the…

    • on October 19, 2017

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation