Friday, November 30, 2007

Hubert Ferguson of Ponca and Tim Wargo of Big Island, Arkansas, in 1989 or '90


Ferguson was a member of the Big Island Hunting Club at that time and, like Wayne Hampton, was extremely fearful that the Corps of Engineers lock and dam near the mouth of the White River would destroy a great deal of wildlife habitat between the White and Arkansas and Mississippi rivers. Hampton had a big metal cabin boat that would take several people at once down to the island.

Time has proven they were correct. And the project is not really complete yet. But the federal money keeps rolling down the river!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Old friend gone but his concern for lower White River remains

PLEASE CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW photo of Wayne Hampton at Big Island and to read the column from 1990.

Articles recently in newspapers and magazines have reminded us of the disastrous Army Corps of Engineers projects that threaten the lower White River's habitat and the wooded wetland along its shores — land that offers some of the world's most important and rare wildlife habitat as well as an area that sequesters an enormous amount of CO2 in the mid-south region.

Congress continues to provide money for the lock and dam where the combined flow of the White and Arkansas rivers enters the MIssissippi River at Big Island, which is the subject of this 17-year-old column. For more about the lower White River and this project, get a copy of The Last River, which was published by the University of Arkansas Press.

A second project is abuilding upstream. It willl pump water from the lower White River to agricultural land.

Wayne Hampton was the second-generation owner of a 4,000-acre Grand Prairie farm. His father had begun building reservoirs on his own land to collect rainwater to irrigate his own crops. Wayne continued that effort and spoke valiantly of the need for every owner of large tracts of land in the Mississippi River Delta and especially on Arkansas' Grand Prairie to conserve water, to keep it where it fell, and use it rather than asking the government to bring water from the environmentally sensitive White River to meet the need for agricultural irrigation.
Even today, Rick Hampton maintains his father's tradition and uses water over and over, irrigating and then flooding a big stand of hardwood timber and selected fields for waterfowl and then pumping the water back to the storage ponds if winter and spring rain doesn't refill the on-farm reservoirs.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Dr. Jocelyn Elders to speak Wednesday Nov. 28

WEDNESDAY 28TH Planned Parenthood will celebrate 26 years of being in Northwest Arkansas. The event will be from 5:30 to 7 P.M. at the Unitarian Church at 901 Cleveland in Fayetteville. Dr. Jocelyn Elders will be their guest speaker.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Sept. 2, 2004, view of Pinnacle Prairie from 12th Street turnaround

Entry to Pinnacle Prairie from 12th Street on Sept. 2, 2004

Please click on photo for full view and then use the all-sizes magnifying tool above the photo to enlarge.
Please click on
Set of photos of Pinnacle Prairie
for more photos of the area or copy link below to address bar.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

House at 1135 Ellis falls down after months of preparation

See photo of neatly dropped affordable house at
Town Branch Neighborhood

Arkansas public service commission approves coal-fired generating plant

Texarkana coal-fired plant approved by Arkansas PSC

Please click on image to enlarge.

Would this plant have been in full flower on Nov. 21, 2007, on Pinnacle Prairie near World Peace Wetland Prairie in Fayetteville, Arkansas without the effect of global warming?

I would appreciate an honest answer with documentation of the plant's common or scientific name and its normal time to bloom. Of course, comments based on opinion are also welcome!

Pinnacle Prairie viewed from 15th Street on Nov. 21, 2007

Please click on image 1791 to enlarge and use the all-sizes magnifying tool above the photo to see Pinnacle Prairie in south Fayetteville, Arkansas. The truck-parking lot at left was built since the Nov. 2004 photo was made and a wide base for a new portion of Brooks Avenue was created from the now-cleared Aspen Ridge site in the background to its intersection with the westward extension of 12th St. The old 12th street turnaround is represented in the photo by the long-open gate and the turnaround was dug out, a large culvert was added across it and, on Nov. 20, 2007, red dirt was dumped and spread in the east end where the turnaround formerly connected to 12th St.
Image 1791 vu N pinn prairie

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pinnacle Prairie from the south on Nov. 18, 2004, with Ole Main in the background


PLEASE CLICK TO ENLARGE image 2061, oleMainFrSo, which shows Pinnacle Prairie from the south with Ole Main and the University of Arkansas campus in the background. The land to the right of the row of pines became known as World Peace Wetland Prairie on Earth Day 2005 and is a nature park of the city of Fayetteville, Arkansas. The land behind the row of pines in the center of the photo became known as phase two of Aspen Ridge. An old plat was still on record at the county archive, so Fayetteville was obliged to allow the developers of Aspen Ridge to dig out a route for an unbuilt platted portion of Brooks Avenue through the pines and southward past the small willows in the center of the photo. That street base was also dug out to the right to connect to 12th Street, represented in the photo by the fence posts at the center right of the photo. At the time the photo was made, Pinnacle Prairie had all been mowed down. Native plants were suppressed by the frequent mowing at that time.

Earlier photos on this blogspot show recent photos of Pinnacle Prairie and the dug-out roadbed created by the developers of Aspen Ridge.

Fayetteville Council to consider budget & proposed cuts for coming year

City Council plans to discuss
Proposed city budget
at its regular meeting set to begin at 6 p.m. today in Room 219 of the Fayetteville City Administration Building.

Views of 12th Street on Nov. 1 and Nov. 20, 2007

The red dirt was filled in to make the end of the 12th Street safer, Hank Broyles said on Tuesay morning. It is unclear that city officials actually understood what was planned.

The leopard frogs, burrowing crayfish and birds and wildlife that had been using the water hole during the weeks without significant rain won't like it. However, maybe some people who worried about possible mosquitoes during summer and some who feared a car would run off the end of the street into the proposed street extension may feel safer. The red dirt in the street and runoff from the red dirt to the adjacent wetland and small branch that flows east to Town Branch, of course, is something we hope doesn't occur.

We understand that Hank is trying to do the right things to solve some of the problems that have affected the neighbors and the environment since 2005.

Who authorized this?

Red dirt being dumped at the west end of 12th Street just west of S. Duncan Avenue.

PLEASE CLICK ON PHOTO TO ENLARGE and see tracks of deer, raccoon and assorted birds and other wildlife
Red dirt being dumped into extension of 12th St. to fill road base. The culvert is being buried without having been approved by the city and the red dirt will erode into adjacent Pinnacle Prairie and flow down 12th St. to S. Duncan in case of significant rain.
Who authorized this? Workers said they are doing it at the behest of Appian builders, which is associated with Hank Broyles and John Nock in the planning of the proposed PZD on top of Rochier Heights.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Coody calls it quits, The Morning News reports


Northwest Arkansas Times

Morning News story:
Coody calls it quits

NWA TIMES report: Will not be a candidate for mayor next year,
Mayor Coody


NWA Times reports fire marshall issues red-flag fire warning

Washington County under "red flag" fire warning
Monday, November 19, 2007 | The Washington County Fire Marshal's office on Monday placed the county under a red flag fire warning, meaning the fire threat level is high. With high winds and dry conditions, fires will start and spread rapidly. All fires will be erratic, easy to spread and difficult to control. Outdoor burning should be avoided if at all possible, according to the fire marshal. From Northwest Arkansas Times

Why not just ban burning? Is there any possible reason for outdoor burning today other than to endanger people and other living things?

Dan Coody announces he will not run for Mayor next year

Will not be a candidate for mayor next year,
Mayor Coody


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Aspen Ridge plans outlined in Arkansas Democrat-Gazette story linked below

Phase two of the Aspen Ridge project is in the background (north) behind the row of pine trees.
Brooks Bayou is one of the few printable names applied by neighbors to the strip of land dug through the property of Pinnacle Foods (the current owners of the old Campbell Soup facility) for a new portion of Brooks Avenue to reach south to a new outlet to 12th Street and from there east to South Duncan Avenue.
Contractors stopped working on the extension of Brooks Avenue in July 2006. Erosion of dirt from the top of a storm sewer is visible along the right edge of the photo and native wetland plants have grown up in the street bed, which was holding water on Saturday Nov. 17, 2007, despite several weeks with no measurable precipitation.
The Pinnacle Prairie, a name lovingly applied to the wetland between World Peace Wetland Prairie about 200 feet to the east of the photo (out of photo to the right) and Rochier Hill to the northwest (far left in photo), is an extraordinarily rare wetland area with seep springs that support numerous species of native tall grass, Illinois bundle grass, button bushes such as seen in Lake Conway, milkweed that supports many species of pollinators but especially the caterpillars of the monarch butterfly as well as the fall generation of monarchs that migrate from New England and Canada all the way to Mexico, plus such striking plants as the rattlesnake master in years when the Pinnacle Prairie is not mowed frequently.
After two summers of not being mowed, the eastern 2 acres of Pinnacle Prairie, which shares a boundary with World Peace Wetland Prairie, has brought forth magnificent specimens of these and other important native wetland prairie plants.
The problem with the extension of Brooks as it is now configured is that water is prevented from flowing underground and on the surface from the west and northwest across Pinnacle Prairie to support native vegetation to the east. For the health of WPWP and of the portion of Pinnacle Prairie at right in the photo, a series of small culverts must be constructed across the street bed to allow the water to flow where it always did in the past and where it is still needed. No more water is needed to flow and potentially flood the outlet from Pinnacle Prairie to the Town Branch. Far too many pieces of property already are at risk of flooding downstream as a result of the filling of wetland upstream along the Town Branch.
The future

Aspen Ridge sale

still on city radar.

Ban burning today!

Area needs
Burn ban


Why wait until something really bad happens?

There is no excuse for 99 percent of the outdoor burning people do.

Beaver Lake could be like Lake Lanier in coming dry years

Northwest Arkansas continues to bring more and more homes onto the Beaver Lake watersupply. But the next big drought could be here instead of in the Georgia area. With wells and springs being capped or paved over and pollution of the underground water and siltation of the streams, how would we cope with the problem? Beaver Lake could suffer the same fate as
Lake Lanier

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Presidential candidates speak on global warming at 4:10 p.m. TODAY, Nov. 17, 2007

Click on

Candidates speak

to hear what candidates for president have to say about global warming.

This Saturday, November 17, presidential candidates will gather in Los Angeles for the first ever Presidential Forum on Global Warming and America's Energy Future. The event will be a critical opportunity to hear from the candidates on their positions and to spotlight the climate crisis as one of the most important leadership challenges facing the next president.
> Thanks to you and thousands of other activists, energy and global warming are taking center stage in the 2008 campaign. This forum is an opportunity for you to hear from the candidates directly about where they stand on these issues you care so much about.
> More than a thousand people will fill the theater to watch the event, and due to overwhelming interest, we are giving everyone the chance to tune in!
> You can watch the live webcast at
> The event, which is sponsored by Grist and Living on Earth, will start this Saturday at 5:10 EST (2:10 PST) with remarks from Laurie David and a welcome address from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Each of the candidates will then get 30 minutes on stage to talk about their vision for solving our energy problems and answer questions on their policies.
> Here's the schedule on Saturday, November 17:
Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Senator Hillary Clinton
Senator John Edwards
> League of Conservation Voters' Education Fund has been a key partner in helping pull this important event together and we wanted to make sure that all of you had the opportunity to tune in!
> Be sure to visit this Saturday to watch the presidential forum on energy and global warming, and please forward this to your friends and family so they can see where the candidates stand on the most critical challenges facing our nation and the world today.
> Sincerely,
> Gene Karpinski
> President
> League of Conservation Voters Education Fund

Friday, November 16, 2007

Swallowtail butterfly on Verbesina virginica on Sept. 10, 2007

PLEASE click on photos to enlarge.

Verbesina virginica is called white crownbeard and frost weed

Verbesina virginica L.
Frost Weed, Virginia Crownbeard, White crownbeard
Asteraceae (Aster Family)
USDA Symbol: VEVI3
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.

As recently as Oct. 16, the flowers of Verbesina virginca were past their best blooming season but this native plant was providing nectar for migrating monarch butterflies. On Nov. 16, the blooms were going to seed and the monarchs were far to the southwest, but the plant showed its special winter beauty as the freezing air brought moisture from its stem to show why it is among the several plants known as frost weed. The photographer got out too late for the best of the show because the sun was already getting high.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Just see Jonah's analysis and public comments there!

Link is at right down the page on this blogspot. I don't have time to fix direct links right now.

It's too bad that commercial stations don't all compete to provide the best coverage of EVERY city meeting.

Our government, education and CAT provide something every city should have and we must see that these services are not reduced in any way.

And we need somehow to see that far more people watch those channels.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hoodenpyles' driveway today

Don Hoodenpyle's driveway before Aspen Ridge clearing was complete

The view is north from the intersection of S. Duncan Avenue and Eleventh Street. The driveway also was considered part of S. Duncan but had reportedly never been dedicated to the city as agreed sometime earlier. The large city mower is turning onto Duncan from the extension of Eleventh Street that led west into the now-gone trailer park.
The photo was made June 3, 2005, and most of the 30-acre Aspen Ridge site already had been cleared. Within a couple of months the clearing had been completed to this point, including the line of timber at left (west side) shading the street/driveway.

Red-dirt dam across Aspen Bayou entry

Last week, workers built a dam of red dirt across the south-central entry to the portion of Aspen Ridge that is dug out for a street for access to the intersection of Eleventh Street and South Duncan Avenue. The dam is supposed to protect Don Hoodenpyle's makeshift driveway that comes from the north in the old Duncan Avenue right of way. It also needs to protect the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River from stormwater runoff.

Unfortunately, the red dirt itself is already being tracked onto the streets as vehicles exit the Aspen Ridge site. Additionally, the red mud will wash off the top of the dam and into the tributary of Beaver Lake when even minor amounts of rain fall.

One solution might be to cover the red dirt with gravel and pack it down into the red dirt well enough to reduce the erosion. However, there is no simple and easy way to guarantee that serious erosion resulting in further pollution and siltation of the Town Branch will not occur when the next heavy rain comes.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The newly downed trees won't be colorful next fall. Will the ones in the background or those in the lower photo be there?

View Larger Map

Please use the link at the bottom of the interactive Google map to enlarge. Use the tools at top right to switch to labeled view and view of terrain.

PLEASE CLICK ON photo to enlarge.

A patch of timber disappeared from Greenview Drive on Friday.

For winter view and an aerial photo click the link for
Ruskin Heights

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Quorum Court passes countywide zoning

JPs voted 7-6 to create a countywide zoning ordinance at a meeting Thursday at the Washington County Courthouse in Fayetteville.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

City Council supports developer's appeal of planning commission denial of Township project

The threat of lawsuit hung over the City Council chamber Tuesday night, forcing the council to support a project that met requirements the staff is directed to set in the planning process. That threat made it appear impossible for the council to act in accordance with the concerns of existing neighborhoods.
Changing a great many rules is the only way to prevent this sort of thing from continuing to happen in our wonderful city.

If people such as those who spoke against the project Tuesday night would commit themselves to an effort to understand the larger problem and to bring pressure to force city government's policies to become existing-resident-friendly, then fewer such fiascos would occur.

Yesterday's post before editing follows:
Buried at the bottom of the agenda is the developer's appeal of a planning commission decision to deny approval of an inappropriate infill off Township Street.

One would hope that a lot of people are there, because the staff recommended the project but the neighbors and anyone who uses that narrow road realizes it is the wrong place to add more traffic.

Additionally, the city does not have sufficient staff to inspect such delicate sites daily to insure that construction does not violate the spirit or letter of rules on tree protection and watershed protection.

Biology class works on World Peace Wetland Prairie

Dr. Kim G. Smith, chairman of the University of Arkansas department of biological sciences, and a group of his students dug out fescue grass and some of the roots of small native fruit trees and some unidentified plants on World Peace Wetland Prairie on Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 6, 2007.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Dustin Scott among major winners at DU banquet


Dustin Scott has to thank his father for allowing him to participate in Ducks Unlimited fund-raising in a big way Friday night at the Washington County fairground DU banquet. The young man went home with many wonderful items to outfit him for outdoor and indoor activities for some time to come.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Bounty Grant's Aubunique, aka Egg, retrieves mallard drake

Without Ducks Unlimited and related conservation activities, Egg might never have had a chance to do what generations of his ancestors had been bred to do.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Northwest Arkansas Ducks Unlimited Chapter banquet Friday on Washington County Fairground

Spring-born mallard ducklings show hint of wing color on June 15, 2007. Can anyone tell us which are hens and which are drakes?

Northwest Arkansas Ducks Unlimited Chapter Presents the 2007 Ducks Unlimited Banquet

Ducks Unlimited got its start in 1937 during the Dust Bowl when North America’s drought-plagued waterfowl populations had plunged to unprecedented lows.
Determined not to sit idly by as the continents’ waterfowl dwindled beyond recovery, a small group of sportsmen joined to form an organization that became known as Ducks Unlimited. Ducks Unlimited is a grassroots, volunteer-based organization. Its members are conservationists and lovers of the outdoors.
Ducks Unlimited's most important sources of revenue are fund-raising events such as member and sponsor banquets. Because event dollars are typically unrestricted, DU is able to spend them in our highest-priority areas and use them to leverage additional funds from other sources. Recently, DU leveraged an average of six additional dollars for every net unrestricted dollar raised.
Waterfowl are not the only beneficiaries of DU’s habitat work.
Wetland improves the overall health of our environment by recharging and purifying groundwater, moderating floods and reducing soil erosion.
Wetland is nature’s most productive ecosystem, providing critical habitat to more than 900 wildlife species and invaluable recreational opportunities for people.

With much help from new and old local volunteers serving as committee members for the Northwest Arkansas Chapter we are ready to have our annual 2007 members' banquet. There have been many changes in the past six months with this chapter that included many new faces serving on the committee. We have also moved the banquet to the Washington County Fair Grounds. With items for raffle and auction such as a Polaris four-wheeler, flat-screen TV, and an Arkansas Life-Time Hunting & Fishing license, we expect this year's banquet to be a great success.

Information on Banquet:
Ticket Prices: $35 single, $60 couple.
Sponsorships: $250 individual sponsor (2 tickets), $500 sponsor (4 tickets), and $1,000 corporate sponsor (10 tickets). All sponsorship levels include a 2007 sponsor's package.
Where: Washington County Fair Grounds
When: 11/2/2007 at 6:00p.m.
Refreshments & Registration 6:00-7:15 p.m.; Dinner 7:15 – 8:15; Auction & Raffle 8:25 p.m.

Machinery shows up to replace silt fences on Aspen Ridge