Road Name Change Debate Silly


Posted Jul 21, 2013


It is no longer the 1960’s or 1970’s but I am afraid Roy Ockert’s editorial suggesting that some other street be named Red Wolf Boulevard does not take that it into account.

In the pre-digital, paper-based epoch of humankind, changing a street name was an expensive and frustrating proposition. It could be many years before most of the public had corrected maps and directories. Mail and package deliveries could be a problem.

Today a change is a few keystrokes.

If you send bills to your customers with return envelopes with Zip+4 the postal service sorting system doesn’t even need a street name.

There is no real expense to a business owner changing the name of a street. Envelopes, stationary, and business card supplies do not need to be replaced until existing stocks run out. Changing websites, facebook, etc., changing is a few keystrokes. Mapping programs and GPS will recognize either address after being updated.

As to Ockert’s suggestion that there are labor costs involved? Please! The city of Jonesboro isn’t hiring temps and contract labor to perform the work. The labor costs involved are already budgeted unless the city is planning to use overtime to install the signs. The “cost” involved is some other project is delayed and I trust the city will forego a low priority, non-critical project to make the change. Mowing a right-of-way or routine maintenance will be delayed for a day or two.

I am afraid Mr. Ockert is straying into “againner” territory. I say this because he notes being on the losing (wrong) side of the mascot issue.

Long-time Tribalgrounds/Den readers will remember Lee Richardson advocating change and when a Federal judge cancelled the Washington Redskins trademark in 1999 (later reversed on appeal), I joined in calling for a wolf logo to pair with the Indians name because the eventual end of the Indians nickname was becoming apparent. North Dakota wasted in excess of a million dollars of taxpayer money to fight that futile battle.

Mr. Ockert is correct. Liberty Bank Stadium will have a name change. That isn’t relevant to this discussion but I can assure you Verizon Arena is just as healthy as Alltel Arena and our conference mates Troy have gone through multiple signage changes at their stadium.

If Mr. Ockert believes changing the name of a street on campus is the solution he doesn’t understand the issue.

The issue is about a community that reaps big rewards from Arkansas State University’s payroll, the spending of the students and the quality, affordable labor those students provide, and reaps the benefits of those of us who venture to Jonesboro renting hotel rooms, buying meals, filling gas tanks, and shopping because of the Red Wolves declaring its unity with this great economic engine.

Telling ASU to change a street name on campus is a slap at Arkansas State. It is a declaration you are NOT part of our community or at least not one worth a minimal effort of change. Go do your little Red Wolf thing on your own territory because Jonesboro and Arkansas State are not united.

There is nominal cost and hassle to the city and the businesses to sign on to make a declaration of support to Arkansas State. If you won’t pay that cost, fine those of us spending so much in Jonesboro because of the Red Wolves will take note.


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