Text The Times.
Responding to the text in Wednesday’s edition concerning Lorenzo Parker. I Don’t know what upset that subscriber but it may have something to do with Mr. Parker being a full time Bail Bondsman. While also drawing a full time check and benefits I’m sure for running the parks and recreation department part time. It’s hard to be in court or at the jail 20 to 30 hours a week during the same hours he’s being paid by the city. Might be something to look into. [Editor’s Note: I’ve known Mr. Parker for as long as I’ve been at the paper (10 years in August), and I know he’s always had a lot of irons in the fire, serving in several positions, both appointed and elected, all while finishing law school. And he’s done a lot for this community. So, I day this knowing that he has been an asset to West Memphis and Crittenden County… it might be time for him to step down at the Parks Department. As someone who sees the value of keeping up our parks (a little selfishly of me, as I and my daughter both use the ball fields), I can tell he’s not really giving it his all in that arena any more]
*** (the one about Fire Lorenzo Parker) Sorry this is the second part (I hit send to soon). Saturday was a nice day to take the kids to Tilden Park and feed the ducks. There were only 3 ducks there (I know he can’t do anything about the ducks, that is not my complaint). Good thing I am from West Memphis because I would say “What a nice park, but someone has not been doing their job.” I was embarrassed by the way the park looked. It is such a wonderful ideal place to walk, fish, have birthday parties, and family gatherings, but it looks beyond awful. It needs a lot of attention and this did not start this year. What does the Park Director do. If he gets a pay check, it should be stopped. There are always kids there and there is NOT a playground for them. [Editor’s Note: Just to continue my thoughts from above, Tilden Rodgers Park is an amazing facility, and while this doesn’t fall 100 percent on Parker’s shoulders, there should be tournaments there every weekend from March to October. The fields are there, but they need attention. I’ve included here a photo I took Thursday at the softball fields. That’s a pice of corrugated tin that serves as the roof of one of the dugouts. What you can’t see is that the wind was whipping through there and threatening to pull it right off. It was one of several that were in that condition, and that’s not something that attracts tournaments to you park. Again, nothing personal against Mr. Parker, it’s just that he might have moved on to a phase in his life where he should leave the Parks Department to someone else less committed to other things]
*** The Early Edition of The Evening Times on Monday started with a headline “Weekend violence leaves 3 dead in West Memphis” where a party at a special events club on East Broadway ended with three shot, 2 deaths. “Family has had enough of WM crime” is right under that and is followed on the very same page “West Memphis leaders pushing for alcohol sales at special events”. Really! What is it that people do not understand that these are things that arise when you serve alcohol at events such as those being mentioned in the article. As crime increases as it has recently in the city, I would think that they would want to keep this certainly at a minimum instead of having more venues serving alcohol that only ask for additional trouble of this nature. Why would any of our city council members or our mayor be in favor of more of these sort of issues unless there were very strict requirements on the times they could be held, restrictions on what could be served, age restrictions, such as in reputable nightclubs, etc. Drive around and look at the number of houses on the market due to people moving to get away from what people are now seeing in our once reputable and beloved city. It is heartbreaking, especially for those who have dedicated their life to making it a better place for families.
[Editor’s Note: You know, it wasn’t until we were proofreading the front page that morning that we realized that very thing. Now, I don’t have any information that suggests that either the shooters or the victims had been drinking at that event, but the risk of alcohol- induced violence is something the city’s leaders will have to consider before moving forward on this particular proposal]
Here’s what everyone is talking about this week: