Saturday, March 29, 2008

Developers whine story in The Morning News differs in choice of quotes used

Developers whine

Tying the environmental issues together

Please see

Severance tax, coal-fired power plant, all environmental issues related

See the Iconoclast for today's watershed commentary

I shall never see a ditch as lovely as a tree, by Jonah Tebbetts

After a few bursts of rain Saturday morning, March 29, 2008, the entry to Aspen Ridge (future Hill Place?) began filling with muddy water from the failed development site. Soon it was overflowing into an unfinished storm drain (top photo) and flowing from a storm sewer directly into the rising Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River on the upstream side of the Eleventh Street bridge (bottom photo, where a sewer pipe installed for the convenience of the Aspen Ridge developers blocks a high percentage of the flow and caused water to flow over the bridge only a few days earlier.)
Photos made in fall 2003 of Aspen Ridge developer walking riparian area and hearing of potential water-quality and flood risk on the Town Branch

Please click on images to ENLARGE.

I shall never see a ditch as lovely as a tree, by Jonah Tebbetts

Thursday, March 27, 2008

City Council, Planning Commission need interactive geographical tools when meeting

The aerial photo map linked below is available here to complement the discussion titled
Another lost opportunity by Jonah Tebbetts

on the Iconoclast Web log.
Please follow directions to ENLARGE and navigate. The enlarged version offers controls to zoom further and to hide or show labels and other features. Starting here, a person can navigate the globe, thanks to Google. Every member of the City Council and of the Planning Commission needs a laptop at his desk during meetings to get a true idea of land being considered for development. There is no way they can all visit every site, and this kind of resource can give them a reasonable idea of what they are dealing with. Developers seem to avoid bringing predevelopment photos to the public camera's eye.

View Larger Map

Most people speaking at meeting on future of Fayetteville High School say renovate current campus


Northwest Arkansas Times story on FHS meeting

Watershed meeting in Rogers CANCELED after early registration insufficient to cover cost of bringing in speakers


Monday, March 24, 2008

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Town Branch/Ward 1 meeting video at 9:30 tonight and twice on Monday on Cox Cable 16 in Fayetteville

6:30 p.m. Sunday March 23 City Council from March 18
9:30 p.m. (after council meeting show ends) TOWN BRANCH NEIGHBORHOOD Meeting from March 11

MONDAY, March 24
9:00 a.m. TOWN BRANCH NEIGHBORHOOD Meeting: March 11

5:30 p.m. MONDAY March 24 Planning Commission-LIVE
Telecommunications Board: March 20
Farmers Market Opens
Celebration Of Trees Is Coming

Click here for whole week's
Fayetteville Government Channel"

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The south and east sides of Fayetteville send water to Georgetown. Read all about it.

Georgetown in on a peninsula that becomes an island when the lower White River floods about 200 miles east of Fayetteville.

White River flood at Georgetown, Arkansas, in Demozette

I spent many wonderful days there hunting mallards in flooded woods nearby. I certainly hope my friends there are safe. People there don't need the benefits of protecting wetland explained to them. They have seen the results of clearing too much land and allowing it to erode away.

NWA Times reports public-comment session planned for FHS patrons

The Future of Fayetteville High School Select Committee 2's first public-comment session on the location of FHS at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Ramay Junior High cafeteria. News release from the district: "The purpose of the meeting is to allow district patrons to express their thoughts on the future location of (FHS )." The committee is charged by the Fayetteville Board of Education with studying whether to retain the current site or move the school. The school board is expected to hear the committee's recommendation at its April meeting. Another public meeting is scheduled for April 3, but the time and place have not been set.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Beebe calls special session on Severance Tax in The Morning News and NWA Times

For the complete story, please visit

Beebe calls special session on severance tax, by The Morning News
and see your morning newspaper.

Most legislators support call for special session on severance tax, by The NWA Times

For information on the environmental damage of drilling for and production of natural gas, please click on the following link:

Severance Tax information

Earth Day Celebration at World Peace Wetland Prairie Set for Sunday afternoon April 20, 2008

Frequent updates of World Peace Wetland Prairie Earth Day on April 20, 2008

Please click on March 21, 2008, photo of Dorothy "Dot" Neely to enlarge and read the mission statement of the World Peace Wetland Prairie.

The Fourth Earth Day Celebration since the Founding of World Peace Wetland Prairie, a city-owned nature park and natural rain garden in Fayetteville, Arkansas, is planned for Sunday afternoon, April 20, 2008.
Nature walks are to be led by local biologists and nature enthusiasts highlighting Arkansas native plants and describing the value of wetland and its function in an urban environment. The 2007 Earth Day nature walks were marred by a late freeze that destroyed the flowers on many trees and native plants that bloomed prematurely after an unusually warm February. A colder February in 2008 slowed the initial growth; and the number and variety of flowers to be seen on Earth Day 2008 may well be much greater.
Information from founding organizations and area environmental groups will be offered as well as an opportunity to participate in the removal of Japanese honeysuckle, fescue and other non-native invasive species. Musicians are invited to perform with acoustic instruments; and environmentally friendly songs are welcome.
Bird-watchers are encouraged to come at dawn or stay until dark.
The theme for 2008 is "Keep the Water Where it Falls, Maintain the Habitat."

1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday April 20, 2008

Government Channel to show Town Branch neighbors and developers of Aspen Ridge/Hill Place plan twice on Sunday and twice on Monday

Click here for whole week's
Fayetteville Government Channel"


SUNDAY, March 23
Midnight to 9 a.m. Message Board
9:00 a.m. City Council from March 18
Animals That Need Homes Now!

9:30 p.m. City Council from March 18

MONDAY, March 24
9:00 a.m. TOWN BRANCH NEIGHBORHOOD Meeting: March 11

5:30 p.m. MONDAY March 24 Planning Commission-LIVE
Telecommunications Board: March 20
Farmers Market Opens
Celebration Of Trees Is Coming

Click here for whole week's
Fayetteville Government Channel"

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Lioneld Jordan announcement speech to be on CAT Channel 18 four more times this week

Cox Cable channel 18 in Fayetteville, Arkansas
Thursday 3/20/08 @ 7:30 PM
Friday, 3/21/08 @ 2:30 AM
Friday, 3/21/08 @ 7:30 PM
Sat, 3/22/08 @ 9:30 AM

Town Branch flows over 11th Street between S. Hill Ave. and S. Duncan Ave. on Monday

Please click on image to enlarge.

I spent so much time taking flooding photos and failed silt fences and natural rain gardens on Monday that I didn't have time to post any!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Aspen Ridge/Hill Place detention pond attracts mallards that nest at Baum Stadium detention pond in summer

Please click on images to enlarge. These photos were taken on the old Aspen Ridge site on Monday, March 10, 2008, while on a walk with the new design team for the area, which is to be called Hill Place. The Aspen Ridge developers removed the mobilehome park, all the trees and all the absorbent topsoil from the area in 2003, 2004, and mostly in 2005. They abandoned the site in summer 2006 and left it covered with rocky, yellow soil used to fill the wetland and a bunch of filled areas raised above the former elevation of the seep-spring hillside and native prairie/Savanna. Additionally, several stormwater-detention ponds and dredged out areas for streets were left with stormwater drains unfinished.
Nature starts restoring land as soon as it is destroyed. The presence of the mallards in March 2008 and the late-blooming asters that nourished the southwest-migrating monarch butterflies in October 2007 are a tribute to the adaptability of wild things to decreases in native habitat and their will to survive.
The top photo isn't a prize-winner; but, by clicking to enlarge it, one may see a pair of mallards flying from Baum Stadium's detention pond to a large detention pond on Aspen Ridge/Hill Place.

The subsequent photos show the mallards on the water. This pair will be found nesting on the pond south of the Razorback baseball field later in spring and summer as they did in 2007. Photos from months ago — and way down the archives of this Web log — show them with their young as the nestlings became mobile ducklings and finally fully fledged ducks capable of going out into the country side and possibly joining a migrating flock of their kind. The pair of mallards persist in their effort to repopulate the area with their kind!

Warm February brought blooms too early as shown in photos made on March 13, 2007

Large and small daffies were further along a year ago. But they didn't appear to suffer much by being early. Many trees that bloomed early in 2007 were hit hard by the "Easter Freeze of 2007" and the result was loss of foliage and poor production of nuts, fruit and berries for the rest of the year. Many homeowners thought the trees were dead and removed them. Most other such trees, however, recovered and eventually produced new leaves but didn't provide much food for birds and other wildlife. If no more hard freezes occur late in March or April this year, things may be normal again.


Many other plants were too far ahead one year ago today

Many environmental concerns of a year ago today remain unresolved

An abandoned fuel tank on March 13, 2007, remained a threat for potential fire and pollution of the south end of the by-then long-defunct Aspen Ridge townhouse development site at the intersection of South Duncan Avenue and Eleventh Street. The tank was removed a few months later and the site remains a tiny pond mostly benefiting beautiful leopard frogs!

Leopard frog

Frog eggs in pond on March 13, 2008, where tank was a year ago today.
Frogs of Arkansas"

PLEASE click on image below to enlarge duplex photo from March 13, 2007.

This duplex at the intersection of Ella Street (could as well be named Fourteenth Street) and South College Avenue had been built without prior resolution of potential problems for neighbors to the south. A lawsuit ended in fall 2007 in favor of the owner of a home immediately to the south when the court ordered the builder to replace a fence on the south property line to its historical position. However, filling of the ditch on the Ella Street (north, left) side of the property and the filling of much of the lot with less absorbent soil than had been there created an increased threat of flooding for neighbors to the south. That issue remains unresolved.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

ENERGY SHIFT concert in Little Rock on Saturday to speak out against coal-powered power plants


Please mark your calendar for what’s shaping up to be a great night of music and activism. Join us on Saturday, March 15th, for the first Sierra Club “ENERGY SHIFT” concert in Little Rock. It’s an all-ages show, full of great music and great opportunities to make YOUR voice heard against dirty coal-fired power plants. Four of the acts were semifinalists in this year’s Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase, and one will be in the finals next weekend.
Come hear some of Little Rock’s hottest rock and hip-hop acts, while you learn more about the dangers of the coal-fired power plants being proposed for Arkansas and what YOU can do to stop them.
Glen Hooks, Regional Representative
Sierra Club
1308 West 2nd Street
Little Rock, AR 72201
(501) 301-8280
(501) 744-2674 (cell)
Tune into SIERRA CLUB RADIO Tuesday mornings at 9 a.m.
88.3 FM in Central Arkansas, or listen live online at

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Austin Rowser of the design team for the Hill Place development gets attention for bringing water to World Peace Wetland Prairie and downstream

Water from top of Rochier Hill to be rerouted to keep wetland wet and reduce flooding of the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River north of 11th Street.

Please click on image to enlarge.

For more photos from the meeting, please find and click on Town Branch Neighborhood blogspot on list at right.

Ward 1 Alderman Gray missed Town Branch meeting because of committee meeting, but Ward 2 Alderman Allen joined Ward 1 Alderman Thiel at the meeting

Video is available from the Fayetteville Government Channel for people who may not have received notice of the meeting soon enough to make plans to attend. We will announce the times the meetings will run when that information is available. A list of shows on Government Channel 16 and CAT channel 18 on Cox Cable is published inside the feature section of the Northwest Arkansas Times each Sunday.

Please click on image to enlarge.

John Williams hoping to see even more changes in the Hill Place plans

Don Hoodenpyle watches closely for pleasing changes in Hill Place plan

Jennifer Creel studies sustainable-element chart provided by the Appian Design Center for the proposed Hill Place Development to replace Aspen Ridge

Please click on image to enlarge and read chart.

Stolen sign invited people to meeting at 6 p.m. tonight to see developer's new plan for Aspen Ridge site. Everyone is welcome!

This sign disappeared between midnight Monday and 9 a.m. Tuesday from the intersection of 11th Street and S. Hill Avenue in the Town Branch neighborhood. The meeting is at 6 p.m. today at the South Hill Church of Christ, less than 100 yards from where the sign was posted. So I decided to post the photo for those who missed it this morning.

Meeting was announced by email from the "development team" too late to invite everyone interested in the revised plan for the old Aspen Ridge twonhouse site. The plan is for a project called Hill Place, a student-apartment development. The plans have been revised since the Jan. 24 meeting at the same place.

Plenty of seats will be available in the church, and late-comers and everyone is welcome.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Lioneld Jordan announcement speech to be on CAT Channel 18 at 4:30 PM Thursday March 13 and at 2:25 a.m. Fri, March 14.

For those who missed Lioneld Jordan's speech on the square Sunday, it will run again on Cable Access Television on Channel 18 from Cox Cable at 4:30 PM Thursday March 13 and at 2:25 a.m. Fri, March 14.
So tune to the CAT and listen, watch and gather information beyond what you read in a newspaper or on one of the blogs.
Let your friends know it will be running and let them develop their own opinions.

Nationally acclaimed poet Miller Williams expressed approval after hearing Lioneld Jordan speak Sunday. Click on image to zoom.

Lioneld Jordan's announcement in Northwest Arkansas Times"

Jordan fans gather near Urban Table

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Urban Table gets new sidewalk. Crowd expected to see it Sunday afternoon


OMNI demonstrators will have to bundle up Saturday, but Mike Shirkey and Lioneld Jordan were lucky to pick Sunday for their events

Weather feels rough Thursday night and getting colder. Saturday may still be rough for people on College Avenue demanding peace, but Lioneld Jordan's mayoral speech at 2 p.m. Sunday and Mike Shirkey's Good Folk show at 7 p.m. Sunday are expected to occur in a window of gentler weather.

Mike Shirkey's Good Folk Concerts

Celeste and Sally at Good Folk on Sunday

Lioneld Jordan to announce candidacy for mayor of Fayetteville on the town square Sunday afternoon

Everyone is invited to attend Lioneld Jordan's announcement of his candidacy for Mayor of Fayetteville at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 9th, 2008, at the Fayetteville Downtown Square.

Parking is free on the weekend at the Parking Lots across from City Hall, metered spots near the square and the Town Center Parking Deck.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Five-years-too-many march Saturday in Fayetteville, Arkansas

OMNI Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology

SATURDAY, MARCH 8th, 12:30-3pm
The OMNI Center for Peace Justice and Ecology Presents
Five Years too Many
Bring the Troops Home Now!
Join the Street Demonstration protesting the 5th anniversary of the Iraq War

SATURDAY, MARCH 8th, 12:30-3pm
Evelyn Hills Shopping Center Parking Lot
in Fayetteville, 1554 N. College

Show your opposition to the War in Iraq by participating in a street demonstration Saturday, March 8, 2008.
Be one of the hundreds of people who will be standing on both sides of N. College — from Dickson to Township — calling for an end to the War in Iraq.
We will meet in the parking lot at Evelyn Hills Shopping Center, 1554 N. College in Fayetteville at 12:30pm. Signs and banners will be provided to take to your designated positions along N. College.
The OMNI street demonstration joins hundreds of Peace and Justice groups across the country who will be demonstrating against the Iraq War throughout the month of March.
For details, go to
OMNI Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology

National Wildlife Federation

Green Drinks every first Wednesday at Smiling Jacks behind Dickson Street Bookstore

Wednesday, March 5, 2008
5:30 pm to 7:00 pm
will be at
Smiling Jack's Fresh Foods
Offering all natural, organic, and locally grown foods, wine, and beer in a cozy college-town restaurant atmosphere.