Here we are again. When the pandemic became real, I resumed writing “Moore on Maumelle” again and wrote 25 weekly columns just to pass the time and try to capture this distressing time in history while attempting to maintain my sanity.
I quit writing several weeks ago because the election and pandemic combined made me lose my juice. I just didn’t care. And when I quit writing, it didn’t seem many others cared either.
But now we have www.ArkansasNewsroom.com. I am excited to be part of this new endeavor headed by Jeremy Peppas, my former editor at the Maumelle Monitor and the North Little Rock Times. There are several writers with much better credentials than mine on board.
Hopefully, Maumelle residents will support us as we collectively try to offer local coverage to our rapidly growing community. None of us is being paid at this time. That will depend on how many readers subscribe. Trust me, I’ve never done this for the money.
Now we face the precipice of Christmas 2020, fraught with the challenge of staying safe while trying to stay in touch with each other. So many of us continue to ignore the guidance of health officials to keep our distance, keep our masks on and not participate in large gatherings. I fear we will pay the price for this behavior around mid-January.
But we are all encouraged by the prospect of a vaccine that they say will be available to all by June 2021. Be smart. Be safe. You know the drill. The numbers are still going the wrong way.
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Don’t worry, I’m not going to explore national politics. You can get all of that you want and more elsewhere. Let’s talk about the local election, which will result in the Maumelle City Council gaining two new members. The numbers and a few comments:
City Council, Ward 1, Position 1
Christine Gronwald 1,283Steve Mosley* 1,445A surprisingly close race, although Gronwald did seem to work harder. I didn’t get any mailers or visits from either candidate. (I live in this ward.) I suspect you haven’t heard the last of Gronwold. City Council, Ward 2, Position 1
Rick Anderson 1,163R. J. Mazzoni 1,722Mazzoni obviously worked hard to win this after losing two years ago to Chad Gardner. He told me walked his entire Ward. I didn’t see a lot from Anderson and he was unable to participate in the online debate. City Council, Ward 4, Position 1Doug Shinn 954John Vaprezsan* 827This was the surprise of the election in Maumelle. From what I hear, Ward 4 was covered with yard signs for both candidates. It seemed neither candidate took advantage of social media and I know one of the hot topics was the “pit bull” ban, with Shinn advocating lifting the ban.
State House - District 39
GOP Mark Lowery* 7,838
DEM Kayla Applegate 6,966
A much closer race than I thought, although I saw nothing from Applegate in Maumelle. Maybe she conceded the area to Lowery. Lowery had stated before the election, this would be his final term. But I feel confident he won’t be leaving politics. Rumors are pointing to a popular Maumellian to run for this seat.
State Senate - District 34
GOP Jane English* 21,364
DEM Alisa Dixon 18,375
Considering English probably outspent Dixon 5 to 1 or more, this was a good showing for Dixon. Maybe this will be the next race for Mark Lowery.
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The Maumelle food scene has changed quite a bit since the plague hit. Oddly enough, we’ve had four new eateries open and two go away.
I haven’t been inside a restaurant since March with the exception of trying out The Hangout. I ate there only because I could sit near a window and there were very few other diners at lunch. I enjoyed the food and service and from what I hear and see, they have been a popular stop especially for sports viewing. They are also offering music on weekends.
Also recently opened was El Charro Mexican and the Overtime Lounge located next door to the recently closed Beef O’ Brady’s. Also apparently closed forever is the Asian Buffet. Rumors are that something is about to locate inside the old IHOP.
The newest entry to Maumelle is Captain Express Hawaiian BBQ & Sushi, located next to the former Domino’s Pizza location. The menu features Hawaiian-style barbecue chicken, beef, pork, shrimp and fish, noodle dishes, rice bowls and sushi rolls. They are open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday. The phone number is 501-734-8220; the website. It is primarily a take-out joint, but it has been getting rave reviews from zealous Facebook posters. They need to work on their Facebook page and website. Very difficult to use the website and read the menu.
NOTE TO RESTAURANTS: Your Facebook page and/or website is your lifeblood! Make sure it helps you put your best foot (or food) forward!
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See you on the Boulevard.
Loving seeing you back, AND having local news again!!
Thank you Neal!
Neal, over the years you provided Maumelle with local news that is important to us, and we thank you for taking the time and interest to do so. Now that you and Jeremy at Arkansas News Room have coupled up, I know we can expect to be kept informed of the many events, business and political events within our community.
Congratulations on the start up and keep the presses rolling.
Stay safe and well. Happy holidays.