Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Aubrey James Shepherd's fourth video short take on CAT 18 supporting Lioneld Jordan for mayor

The video works on this version. Click on the play arrow to view and hear the fourth video short take on Cable Access Television Cox channel 18 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

If you missed it on Government Channel the past few days, the Morning News reports that Fayetteville joins Eureka Springs and LOWELL with SHINE award

I watched a magnificent inhouse Government Channel production on Fayetteville's Shine Award at least three times already but didn't notice any information about Lowell and Eureka Springs getting the same award.
Someone check the Government Channel's mandate. Which counties is so-called CITY16 supposed to serve?
Mayor Dan Coody was a central figure in the shows but I can't remember his mentioning any other city receiving the award. Because we know that he had to have been responsible for their being honored along with Fayetteville, surely he would have known that they also SHINE!
I guess that Lowell will have to send someone to take the producer training and get the show on the CAT 18 public-access channel. They can easily do that by New Year's Eve.

http://www.nwaonline.net/articles/2008/10/26/news/102707rzshineaward.txt

The Morning News
Local News for Northwest Arkansas

Shine Award to Three NWA Cities
By The Morning News
Three Northwest Arkansas cities are winners of the first Arkansas Shine Awards.
http://www.nwaonline.net/articles/2008/10/26/news/102707rzshineaward.txt

Fayetteville, Lowell and Eureka Springs won the awards in their population categories. There are six awards in the state.
The Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission chose winners based on: “Reducing litter, encourage recycling and enhance natural beauty”; economic development; public-private partnerships; securing project funding; and enforcing city laws for property upkeep and litter, commission spokeswoman Julie Robbins said in an e-mail.
Fayetteville will have a reception and award ceremony today.
Lowell and Eureka Springs will have receptions and ceremonies Tuesday.

The Morning News forwards message from the stars: Love Hillary, vote for Obama

The Morning News
Local News for Northwest Arkansas

Love Hillary But Vote For Obama, Steenburgen Urges
By Doug Thompson
THE MORNING NEWS
http://www.nwaonline.net/articles/2008/10/28/news/102908azdemrlly.txt
FAYETTEVILLE -- Vote for Barack Obama however close you are to Hillary Clinton, actress Mary Steenburgen told Northwest Arkansas Democrats on Tuesday.
The Oscar-winning actress and her Emmy-winning husband, Ted Danson, spoke to more than 300 Democrats during a rally at the Arkansas Air Museum. Steenburgen has known the Clintons since former President Bill Clinton was Arkansas governor and Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., was first lady.
"I love them very much, and was close while she was making her decision to run for president," Steenburgen said of the Clintons. Clinton's loss in the Democratic primary "was the loss of a dream, not just for her but for many of us, for me as a woman and as the mother of three daughters," Steenburgen said. "I wanted to see that glass ceiling broken. I had to mourn for a little while."
Fayetteville in particular is a stronghold of state Democratic support for the Clintons. The Clintons lived in the city. They married there. Many of their strongest, longest personal friends live in the town. As recently as last week, the University of Arkansas' annual Arkansas Poll showed that strong loyalty to the Clintons throughout the state was an obstacle for Obama, who trails Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in polls here.
Steenburgen had "an internal journey" before she could support Obama, she said. She's now proud to represent him and is especially driven to campaign for him because of what she described as the deliberate stoking of groundless fears by GOP candidate John McCain and running-mate Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska.
"Life is hard, and we don't need somebody scaring us more," Steenburgen said. "He (McCain) doesn't even believe this stuff himself. Redistribute the wealth? Yeah, let's redistribute it from China and Russia and the oil companies. ... They call me a Hollywood liberal. Well, I learned to be a liberal in a little house in North Little Rock, Arkansas, where my father was a railroad engineer and a proud Democrat. If you want to call me a liberal, then guilty as charged."
Dennis Milligan, the chairman of the state Republican Party, sent out a statement before Tuesday's rally: "Mary Steenburgen may have Arkansas roots, but in no way is her ultra-liberal ideology representative of the Arkansas voters she and her husband, Ted Danson, are attempting to court this week. We have yet to see Senator Obama himself come to Arkansas to ask for support; instead, he continues to send surrogates who fall far short of their assignment.
"Arkansas is a conservative state. We care about protecting our country, our families, and our pocketbooks. Sen. McCain's policies of tax relief, strong support for small business, and protection of our family values are right for Arkansas, and right for America."
Danson told the crowd that his late father was an archeologist and a "Goldwater Republican, proud of the Republican Party's history of conservation" stretching back to the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. "He'd vote for Obama, because he'd be really, really angry at what this administration has done" to the environment, Danson said.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Aubrey James Shepherd's third video short take supporting Lioneld Jordan for mayor

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette editorial endorses Lioneld Jordan for mayor

For Lioneld Jordan

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Northwest Edition

Posted on Tuesday, October 28, 2008

URL: http://www.nwanews.com/adg/Editorial/241825

LIONELD JORDAN has a reputation for working hard. He’s the city alderman in Fayetteville who’s never missed a city council meeting in his nearly eight years in office. Alderman Jordan has brought the same dedication to the monthly meetings he’s held in his ward.
He’s also known for his thorough knowledge of city government, for his ability to understand complicated city business, and his just plain love of his hometown.
One of the candidates Lioneld Jordan is running against is the incumbent, Dan Coody. Mayor Coody is winding up his eighth year as mayor with a mixed record. He’s certainly done some good things for Fayetteville. Like establishing the current system of trails in the city. And he talks up environmental issues, even if he hasn’t always lived up to his own standards.
But the Coody administration has had some notable shortcomings, too. There’s the $ 60-million-plus cost overrun for the expansion of the city’s wastewater system. The project came in three years late and had to be bailed out with an increase in the city sales tax. Then there’s the stalled development the mayor backed on the site of the old Mountain Inn. Instead of a big hotel, the city got a big hole, which is now to become a big parking lot. That’ll be an improvement, but not much of one.
The mayor’s also presided over a takeover of the city’s Government Channel. The biggest result has been an end to its forums, where issues were discussed openly and fairly. A fear of fair and open discussion is not a good sign in a mayor, especially a mayor of a town as freespirited and open to argument as Fayetteville. What a shame.
Mayor Coody, maybe reflecting what he learned in the military, says a city’s chief executive is responsible for what happens during his administration. We agree. The wastewater project, the downtown hole in the ground, the canceling of issue forums... he must take responsibility for all of them along with the city’s accomplishments during his tenure.
As an alderman, Lioneld Jordan hasn’t always been right. But he’s consistently shown a willingness to dig into issues and take every side into account. As his supporters have noticed, when he disagrees with anybody, he tells them why. And his explanations tend to be well thought-out. (It’s hard to imagine him shutting down any public forums. )
His long service on important committees, such as the Street, Water-and-Sewer, and Equipment committees have given him a thorough understanding of how the city works. He does his homework. And he’s served as vice mayor, which would be good experience for the top job.
If it’s time for a change in Fayetteville, and it is, its name is Lioneld Jordan. That’s why we’re endorsing him today.

Copyright © 2001-2008 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact: webmaster@nwanews.com

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mark Kinion the clear choice for Ward 2 seat on City Council. He has built a resume of actual service to this community.

Photo of Mark Kinion speaking in a recent candidate debate.

Mark Kinion
AGE: 51
EDUCATION: University of Arkansas, BS, food science and technology
OCCUPATION: Retired senior executive for GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals
LENGTH OF RESIDENCY IN THE AREA YOU WISH TO SERVE: About 20 years
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Fayetteville Housing Authority, board of commissioners, past vice-chairperson;
National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, member;
Partners for Better Housing, board of directors, founding board member;
Fayetteville Council of Neighborhoods, past chairman; Wilson Park Neighborhood Association, past coordinator;
Humane Society of the Ozarks, past president, past finance committee chairman, lifetime member;
Ozark StageWorks, board of directors, financial development chairman; Planned Parenthood of Arkansas/Eastern Oklahoma, advisory board;
University of Arkansas Alumni Association, lifetime member;
United Way of Pulaski County, former vice president of campaigns;
No. 1 issues: Transparent government, open communication, mutual respect and trust.

No citizen should feel disenfranchised from local political activity. All residents should feel they have an avenue to be heard and know their opinion is respected and valued.
I will have regular Ward 2 meetings to let people know relevant information in a timely manner regarding issues facing our city. Additionally, I will encourage open and mutually respectful dialog between the constituency, other members of the City Council, city officials and city administrative divisions.
Trust will be built by promising transparent and measurable actions in regard to economic, environmental and social impact of city projects.
By open dialogue, transparent action, and measurable benchmarks accountability can be established.
This open communication model will be applied to every issue and concern.
Click on image to ENLARGE view of Aubrey James Shepherd of Fayetteville with signs supporting Lioneld Jordan for mayor and Mark Kinion for Ward 2 alderman on October 25, 2008.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bisbee says what? See The Morning News for details

The Morning News

Local News for Northwest Arkansas


Bisbee Says Private Meetings OK

By Scarlet Sims
THE MORNING NEWS
BENTONVILLE -- Benton County judge candidate Sen. Dave Bisbee, R-Rogers, said county justices of the peace can meet one on one without violating the state Freedom of Information Act.

Bisbee said he would encourage justices of the peace to meet privately if he's elected county judge. Bisbee faces Democrat Bill Williams of Bella Vista in the general election Nov. 4.

Several attorneys and those well-versed in the law said intentional meetings between two justices of the peace where any county business is conducted violates state law.
Bisbee makes mockery of sunshine law

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My endorsement of Lioneld Jordan for mayor of Fayetteville, Arkansas, PART one

Please use control below to play video based on a recent short take on the cable-access channel of Fayetteville, Arkansas.

University of Arkansas group representing faculty and staff employees has endorsed Lioneld Jordan for mayor of Fayetteville

University workers’ union endorses Jordan for mayor’s seat
Special to the Times
Posted on Thursday, October 23, 2008
URL: http://www.nwanews.com/nwat/News/70353/
The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 965, representing faculty and staff employees at the University of Arkansas since 1962, endorsed Lioneld Jordan for mayor of Fayetteville in the Nov. 4 general election.

After reviewing the records of candidates and the responses to its candidate questionnaires, for the first time in the group’s 46-year history, it was unable to reach a unanimous decision on endorsements for City Council candidates: Don Conner, Brenda Thiel, Mark Kinion, Matthew Petty, Craig Honchell, Sarah Lewis and Bernard Sulliban.

Copyright © 2001-2008 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact: webmaster@nwanews.com

Geesepeace group visits Bella Vista

The Morning News

Local News for Northwest Arkansas


GeesePeace Visits Bella Vista

By Anna Fry
THE MORNING NEWS
BELLA VISTA -- Representatives of GeesePeace had good and bad news for Bella Vista residents concerned about the estimated goose population of 1,000.

"The bad news I guess for Bella Vista is you indeed do have a problem with Canada geese," said Holly Hazard, a cofounder of the Virginia-based nonprofit group that promotes nonlethal methods for goose control.

The good news is the problem is something GeesePeace has seen in other places and Hazard is confident Bella Vista can have a successful program, she said. Hazard and David Feld, national program director for GeesePeace, examined goose sites Tuesday and Wednesday before holding a public meeting Wednesday night.

The Bella Vista Property Owners Association planned a GeesePeace visit after some residents objected to a board decision to use a federal permit to shoot 100 geese. The board revisited the issue and decided to pursue peaceful methods.

Many residents say geese feces foul the community's lakes, parks and golf courses.

Feld said there's a misconception E. coli in goose feces threatens human health. If a goose does have E. coli in its system that is a human pathogen, that means the goose picked it up from its environment, he said.

The three prongs of GeesePeace's approach are population stabilization, site aversion and public education.

Population stabilization is achieved by oiling goose eggs from the end of March through early April. Eggs are dropped in water to test whether the embryos developed lungs. If the egg floats, the embryo has lungs and is left alone. If the egg sinks, the embryo has no lungs and the egg is coated with corn oil. Biological processes stop and the oiled eggs don't hatch, Feld said.

Site aversion means making areas inhospitable to geese between mid-May and July before they molt, which is when geese lose feathers and cannot fly. GeesePeace suggests using border collies to chase geese on land and in water. The collies are taken out in boats, then swim and chase geese in the water. The collies return and chase the geese on land until they feel the area isn't safe.

Other breeds of dogs may work successfully, but GeesePeace recommends border collies because they always work, Hazard said. Communities who have implemented GeesePeace's program usually purchase a trained border collie for $4,000 to $5,000 and have it live with a family.

Public education about not feeding geese is done through brochures and signs, Hazard said. Feeding geese bread is unhealthy and can cause a a wing deformity. The City Council passed an ordinance in May prohibiting feeding any migratory waterfowl.

Communities must start with an intensive program that can slack off in subsequent years, Hazard said.

"This is a maintenance activity," she said. "If you want to have a successful program, you've got to continue it year after year."

Geese don't respect boundaries so communities need to jointly address the issue, Hazard said. Bella Vista will see limited success if it doesn't coordinate goose control efforts at Lake Bella Vista with Bentonville, Feld said.

A storm temporarily knocked out power, but the sparsely attended meeting continued by flashlight.

George DeGroot, a member of the association's board, questioned what makes the geese stay away.

"What I see happening here is that the geese move from one place to another and then come back," he said.

Feld said geese's primary sanctuary during nesting is water. Once that security is taken away, they'll find another place. The geese don't need to be on golf courses, he said.

"What we're doing is putting the geese in a place where nobody cares," he said.

The Bella Vista Patriots have commitments from 27 farmers interested in adopting some of Bella Vista's geese, Chairman Jim Parsons said. Feld said geese can fly hundreds of miles and will return because they return to where they nest. He didn't know the answer to Parsons' question of whether the farmers may clip the geese's wings.

The administration will meet again with Feld and Hazard to come up with a plan, General Manager Tommy Bailey said. It's up to communities GeesePeace helps to implement their own control methods.

Web Watch

http://www.geesepeace.org/

The Web site of GeesePeace

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Should such trees and houses on College Avenue in Faytteville, Arkansas, be destroyed for Washington County parking lots?

Please click on image to ENLARGE photos of house and trees on College Avenue in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Praying mantis preys on tiny insect and snacks at World Peace Wetland Prairie

Please click on image to ENLARGE photo.


To get an idea of the potential of the Praying mantis when PREYING upon prey, please use the following link:
http://humanelement.blogspot.com/2007/04/praying-mantis-vs-mouse-and-then-its.html

After early voting began, this information became available? Get serious! Street work also irritating to voters


Was this revelation timed to help the County Judge get the Quorum Court to allow him to confiscate private property for his pie-in-the-sky project?

Does discouraging people from voting early help particular candidates or hurt certain candidates? This October surprise is strangely similar to Coody's array of meetings and conferences.

The Morning News

Local News for Northwest Arkansas


Parking Deck Should Be Rebuilt, Judge Says

By Christopher Spencer
THE MORNING NEWS
FAYETTEVILLE -- It's time to rebuild the county's parking deck because patching it wouldn't be a prudent use of taxpayers' money, said Washington County Judge Jerry Hunton.

The 200-space parking deck's top level remains closed after Hunton ordered it blocked off Monday evening. He acted after receiving a letter written by an engineer questioning the deck's structural integrity.

Visitors to the courthouse, including many early voters, were able to use a score of parking spots on the east side of the deck or ride a free shuttle provided by Ozark Regional Transit from the parking deck of the Central United Methodist Church about two blocks away.

The shuttle began at 8 a.m. and made 28 trips by early afternoon, carrying 94 people back and forth.

Father and son, Larry and Eric West, found a parking space Tuesday near the courthouse and walked from there. The two came to the courthouse to early vote. Larry West said it was his first time voting early and he enjoyed "beating the rush."

It took the Wests "10 minutes max" to vote, he said.

"I'll be happy if there isn't a ticket on the car though," said Larry West, adding a humorous note of concern about the legality of their parking spot, as they both walked briskly toward their car. Many courthouse visitors found parking on either side of Washington Avenue north of the courthouse.

Washington County Clerk Karen Combs Pritchard said early voting went smoothly again Tuesday, though about 100 less people voted Tuesday compared to Monday's record-breaking 1,400 votes. That contrasts with the typical trend of early voting increasing each day up until the election, she said.

The new off-site voting location, the Springdale Rodeo Community Center at 1323 E. Emma Ave., saw about 300 voters Tuesday, up 100 votes from a day earlier. That site is open from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. It is closed to voters on Nov. 3.

Combs Pritchard attended an emergency meeting Tuesday of the Washington County Election Commission. The commission considered moving early voting because of the parking deck woes, but Combs Pritchard recommended against that and the commission agreed.

"I think it would be a mistake at this point and time to move it. It would create confusion," she told the commission.

Commission chairman John Logan Burrows said a situation where people could not vote warrants moving early voting from the courthouse, but pointed out that residents where able to vote at the courthouse Tuesday despite the parking deck problems.

"This just doesn't rise to the level of an emergency that the statute is talking about," Burrow said, referring to special allowances made possible in the case of an emergency for changing the early voting venue after public notice has been made.

Hunton said his fear isn't that a passing vehicle will fall through the weakened concrete to the floor below, but that more concrete would be dislodged by overhead traffic, dropping masonry on a car parked below or an unsuspecting passerby.

The deck was built 23 years ago by the First South Bank that originally built the courthouse building. Voters approved spending $3.3 million in 1989 for the county to purchase the building. County officials added additional parking space to the deck around 1993, but those areas are not under the same suspicion of collapse as the original deck structure.

Engineer Brad Hammond of McGoodwin, Williams and Yates wrote in a letter to Hunton that it appeared certain reinforcing elements were not present in at least some parts of the structure, but the letter made no indication as to why.

Hammond said later the firm is still doing analysis of the structure but wanted to "err on the side of caution" when they recommended the deck be closed.

Hunton estimated it would cost $20,000 per parking space, or $4 million to rebuild the deck. The county could spend about $8 million to build a 400-space parking deck that would do much to solve the county's parking shortage.

A special meeting of the Quorum Court is expected next week to tackle the parking deck problem.

Meeting Information

Special Meeting About The Parking Deck

What: Washington County Quorum Court Special Meeting

When: 4:45 p.m. Monday

Where: Washington County Courthouse, 280 N. College Ave.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Millage rate remains to be determined by Fayetteville City Council

Your lead may be misleading, Skip.
I think the council will vote for an increase if they can't cut enough fat out of the budget to balance it and provide raises. Coody has had plenty of time to work with the staff of all departments to identify that fat. Will he present a balanced budget this afternoon to the special budget meeting? I doubt it. I hope he surprises me.
The council will have to bring in a lot of department heads and demand specifics. The budget hasn't yet been made public, even to the council, according to councilmember Shirley Lucas.
Aubrey



The Morning News

Local News for Northwest Arkansas


Millage Rate Still Not Set, Talks Continue

By Skip Descant
THE MORNING NEWS
FAYETTEVILLE -- Initial talks around the city budget do not appear to be leaning toward a tax increase for the 2009 Fayetteville city budget.

"If you look at the increases that the residents have had in water and sewer and the total economy, all of that needs to be factored in when you're thinking about this," said Bobby Ferrell, a member of the Fayetteville City Council during Tuesday night's meeting.

"Now, is not a good time to raise taxes," said Adella Gray, a Fayetteville City Council member.

But council members continued to study what cost-of-living raises for the city's workers would cost the city.

If the city granted a cost-of-living raise for this year and made up for the lack of a raise last year, the increase would be 7.85 percent, said Paul Becker, the city's finance director. This increase translates to about $2.1 million, or a 1.8-mill increase in the budget. A 1-mill increase would raise the annual property taxes on the average $150,000 home in Fayetteville by about $30 (PER MONTH), added Becker. If the city went with only a 4-percent cost of living raise, the budget adjustment would be $1.1 million.

The aldermen were slow to encourage this route, but seemed to lean toward exploring other issues during Fayetteville's budget meeting at 4:30 p.m. today.

"I have a struggle with raising taxes when we have $7.9 million reserved in a shop fund," said council member Shirley Lucas, referring to one of the city's enterprise funds.

In truthfulness, said Becker, the shop fund has $5.7 million.

"Oh, 5.7 now," quipped Lucas.

"I better hurry, or it'll be gone," she added.

"I asked him and he looked it up for me, and we just don't have all of the information that they have," said Lucas later, and who noted she did not believe Becker was trying to mislead her.

And, in the current economic climate, not everyone believed the discussion should have been around raises.

"There are a whole lot of us, including me, that are not going to get COLAs," said Steve Frankernberger, a resident. "When times are bad we need to take care of each other."

The proposed 2009 budget offered by the mayor's office dips into reserve funds by $535,000. Increases next year must cover increases in fuel, city contracts and merit pay raises, Becker said.

The $535,000 could be covered with an increase in property taxes by about a half-mill, said Becker, who noted this would amount to about $15 a year (or month?) on the average home.

I voted early. Did you?

The Morning News

Local News for Northwest Arkansas


Turnout heavy on first day of early voting

By John Lyon
THE MORNING NEWS
Turnout in Arkansas was heavy on the first day of early voting for the Nov. 4 general election, with long lines forming at some polling places. Just more than 3,400 people in Washington and Benton counties voted early, the county clerks said.

By 5 p.m. Monday, 21,560 people had voted at early voting locations around the state and 9,689 had returned absentee ballots, said Natasha Naragon, spokeswoman for the secretary of state's office.

"Turnout definitely was very brisk today and very steady, and also fortunately very smooth in terms of voters having no problems at the polls other than a short wait," Naragon said.

Secretary of State Charlie Daniels has predicted that between 65 percent and 70 percent of the state's 1.68 million registered voters will cast a ballot in the election -- or more than 1.1 million people.

Washington County Clerk Karen Combs Pritchard said she's spent many sleepless nights planning for early voting to ensure voters have a smooth experience.

"We have been incredibly busy. I'm not surprised though," she said. "We've got great people working. Things have gone smoothly."

The 1,412 who cast early votes in Washington County represent about 1.4 percent of the county's 100,000 registered voters. About 300 of those early votes were cast at the county's first off-site voting location, the Springdale Rodeo Community Center.

Benton County Clerk Mary Lou Slinkard said turnout was a little higher than usual Monday at the county's four early voting locations. Roughly 2,005 voters cast ballots, with the highest traffic of 887 voters in the clerk's office in Bentonville, said Christine Southard, election administrator with the clerk's office.

Slinkard said she couldn't compare the turnout with early voting in the 2004 presidential election because the county used a different computer system then.

Combs Pritchard said about 760 people voted on the first day of early voting in 2004. During that election, the number of voters grew each weekday until the election. Combs Pritchard said she expects the same trend this season.

In addition to the presidential race, high-profile items on the ballot include a proposed constitutional amendment to create a state-run lottery to fund college scholarships for Arkansas students and a proposed ballot initiative to ban unmarried couples living together from adopting or serving as foster parents.

In Pulaski County, some voters waited 1 1/2 hours or even two hours to vote, said Susan Inman, director of elections for the Pulaski County Election Commission. About 5,000 people had voted early by 6 p.m., said Melinda Allen, assistant election commission director.

"That's huge. That's unprecedented," Inman said.

More than 1,200 people had voted early at the Sebastian County courthouses in Fort Smith and Greenwood by late afternoon, said Deputy County Clerk Angie Hatwig.

"That is really high for a first day," she said.

If Daniels' turnout prediction comes true, that would make turnout the highest since 1992, when then-Gov. Bill Clinton's race for the White House helped drive more than 72 percent of Arkansas voters to the polls. In 2004, 63 percent of the voters cast ballots in the presidential election.

The Morning News' Anna Fry and Christopher Spencer and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Coody's failure to trim the fat out of the budget as the council asked and his suggestion to use reserved money forces millage-increase talk

Tax hike? : Aldermen put property tax increase back on the table
BY DUSTIN TRACY Northwest Arkansas Times
Posted on Monday, October 20, 2008
URL: http://www.nwanews.com/nwat/News/70260/
At its Sept. 16 meeting the Fayetteville City Council didn’t even bat an eye as it flew through three readings of the city’s 2008 millage proposal without changing the rate, but a month later aldermen voted to give the issue another look.

The council will meet at 6 p. m. Tuesday in the Fayetteville City Administration Building to discuss the issue.

Wa rd 2 Alderman Kyle Cook made the suggestion at the Oct. 7 meeting that the group reconsider the millage issue. The group voted to repeal the Sept. 16 vote and push the ordinance through two readings before halting on the third, giving the council time to think about any changes it wants to make to property tax in Fayetteville.

Ward 1 Alderman Brenda Thiel said the talk is that the council might consider raising the millage by about 1. 5 mills to cover a cost of living salary increase for city employees. But she said there’s been no official statement of how much the increase would be or what exactly it would be for.

Cook said he only brought it up because the council really didn’t debate or talk about the issue the first time it came up in September.

“ I’m not saying I necessarily support a millage increase, ” Cook said.

He said he merely thought it was worth discussing since the council had been presented with a budget by Mayor Dan Coody that required a $ 535, 000 dip in the city’s reserves.

“ It’s a tough economic time, and we certainly don’t want to put more burden on Fayetteville but I honestly think the budget is at its thinnest, ” Cook said.

Cook said that when the council examined the budget last year and voted down a millage increase, opting to cut the budget instead, he stated then that if things didn’t get better, Fayetteville might need a millage increase, something he’s more in favor of than dipping into the reserve funds.

Cook stated that reserve funds eventually run out and that the city still has five mills available that it can legally levy under state statute.

“ The hard decisions have got to be made at some point, ” Cook said.

And the hard decision must come quickly. Fayetteville City Attorney Kit Williams said the Washington County Quorum Court likes all millage ordinances in their possession by Nov. 1, though he doesn’t believe it’s an absolute deadline.

Thiel said she doesn’t mind discussing an increase but she really wishes the discussion didn’t happen so late in the game.

“ I wish we had discussed it whenever the public would have had more time to give their input, ” she said. “ This is a bad time to be talking about millage with the economy the way it is. ”

Thiel said that she wouldn’t really consider an increase if all it was for was to pull the budget out of the reserves, she said she might consider it if it was to give city employees a cost of living adjustment.

“ I would want to get a better idea of how close our city employees are being paid compared to other neighboring cities, ” she said. “ I don’t want to see us in a situation where we’re laying people off. My minds definitely not made up. ”

This all goes back to last year's failure of the Coody administration to present a balanced budget. While the mayor was in Europe, the council dug in and found a way to avoid the millage increase and balance the budget.
Now, Coody says he wants to dip into the city's important reserved fund to operate, which is another way to put the onus on the council to find a way to balance the budget.
Using the reserve may sound easy and painless, but suppose revenue doesn't increase and the city can't replenish the reserve before more of it is needed. What then?
Fayetteville can't stop paying employees or providing services. Without the reserve, a desperate situation could arise.

Asking people on a fixed income to pay more of any tax is a tough thing. But the people with the lowest income already know how to sacrifice to survive. It is the top earners who complain the most about being taxed.

We'll see some tough negotiating on the budget regardless of whether a millage increase is authorized. It would be best if Mayor Coody got his staff to find the obvious places to trim. But he spends his time telling voters that his job is to present a budget he believes is best for the city.

His idea of what is best for the city simply doesn't include what is best for people or other living things.

Today's Northwest Arkansas Times story on the millage issue being on Tuesday's council agenda is below:

Some city officials are not even considering a raise in property taxes.

“ The people of Fayetteville are overtaxed, ” Ward 3 Alderman Bobby Ferrell said.

Ferrell explained that during the tightened economy the last thing the citizens need is more taxes and he definitely won’t cast a ‘ yes’ vote for an increase come Tuesday. He added that he’s only voted for one tax or impact fee increase — a street tax he thought the city needed — during his time in office.

Whether it be for a salary adjustment or a budget supplement Ferrell said it’s not enough to warrant an increase. He said if he were in charge of the budget he’d be looking for more places to cut spending and not dipping into the city’s savings or making citizens pay more taxes.

Coody agreed with Ferrell.

“ I think now is the worst time since 1929 to ask for a tax increase, ” Coody said. “ I just think now is the time for all of us to pull together. ”

Copyright © 2001-2008 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact: webmaster@nwanews.com

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Please click on image to ENLARGE photo of Daniel Gold and Lioneld Jordan at the crossing-safety day on Martin Luther King Boulevard in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Good points on Southpass plan

The City Council agenda for Tuesday includes ramifications of a resolution they passed in 2004. That resolution (138-04) might be misleading because it only states that the mayor can contract with Southpass developers "to accept 200 acres of park land, a 10 acre water tank site, one million dollars for park land development and other consideration for the city's acceptance of ownership of a 33 acre landfill." That's it. Nothing about a new city center pop. 11,000, or schools or amphitheaters or jobs, etc. Nothing about regional tournaments. It's just a deal whereby someone gives compensation ($1 million and 200 acres) for private owners not having to risk liability for the 33 acre landfill.

I've no idea why the resolution didn't summarize all of what's in the separate agreement that the mayor was authorized to make with Southpass. It's in the public record. It's just one layer removed from the resolution itself. This agreement was (still is) in the form: if you do this, I'll do that, etc., and it isn't binding till the to-do list is done. In other words this contract is not a done deal, Southpass is not a done deal, even though the resolution that made it thinkable was passed 4 years ago.
The project as it's being described today goes far beyond anything the resolution would have led us to expect and even beyond what the "contract" suggests.
But the important point for the moment is that the contract's requirements haven't been met. Tuesday night the Council could leave this contract where it stands, minus its essentials and so leave it non-binding. Or it could commit the City to some key elements of the contract: annexation, rezoning, sharing expenses. If the Council agrees to these ordinances, advocates for economic and environmental sustainability will have a much tougher fight. There will be only a few loose ends left before the contract becomes enforceable.

Another writer on another list offers this good advice: "Real fiscal responsibility would suggest that setting Southpass in motion should be delayed until after the election and until we see see how the big economic picture is going to shake out." Let's hope that the Council will not approve this huge project without getting defensible answers for questions about economic and environmental problems that will be with us for a very long time.

Barbara Moorman

Dragonfly visits at World Peace Wetland Prairie on October 19, 2008

Please click on image to see dragon fly upclose on World Peace Wetland Prairie on October 19, 2008.

Denial dangerous when facing environmental change

Listening to the October 8, 2008, meeting of the Fayetteville airport board on government channel for the second time this morning, I was reminded how disappointed I was the first time the meeting was aired on City 16.
Two or three people at the meeting were unwilling to accept the judgment of the Federal Emergency Management Agency on the amount of Drake Field land in the flood plain of the West Fork of the White River.
Someone even suggested that a lawsuit might be in order involving all residents of Northwest Arkansas to force FEMA to recant the updated estimates of the the expanse of the floodplain.
Suing FEMA would not be appropriate over the requirement of flood insurance in areas where it was not formerly available.
Suing the people who have cleared land and paved and roofed over areas where water used to remain to soak in upstream would, however, make sense.
FEMA did not expand the floodplain. FEMA just FINALLY acknowledged what residents knew. Damage to the watershed expanded the floodplain.
Denial is more than a river in Egypt. It is a potentially deadly mistake when dealing with watershed issues.

See link below for government channel today through Saturday

Government Channel program schedule for Sunday, October 19, through the coming Saturday

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday's grand opening of nearly complete Scull Creek Trail

Please click on image to ENLARGE photos from grand opening of far-from-complete Scull Creek Trail.




Please click on image to ENLARGE photos from the grand opening of incomplete Scull Creek Trail in northern Fayetteville, Arkansas, at Gordon Long Park.

Environmental damage from trails could be prevented by building farther from streams and meandering to miss sensitive areas






Please click on image to ENLARGE view of Bobcat loader crossing trail walking bridge over Scull Creek on October 17, 2008.



Solution to environmental damage is to keep trails outside the riparian zone of all streams in the city. A wide buffer of trees or other existing vegetation should be maintained between streams and trails. Red dirt should be allowed only BENEATH the area to be paved and not a single stone or red particle should be allowed outside that limit. No fill material or soil removed from the site or any vegetation removed from the area to be paved should be moved toward the tree.
Decreasing tree canopy over the streams increases summer water temperature and decreases native life in the streams. Simultaneously, the removal of any vegetation increases potential global warming, especially the kind felt by living things (including human beings) in the immediate area. Environmental damage in stream corridors DECREASES the city's credibility as a "center of sustainability" and makes the city's attempts to enforce stormwater regulations and tree-protection rules on developers appear to be hypocritical.
No heavy machinery ( Bobcat machines make destroying the environment too easy )
should be involved in trail construction when more traditional even if more labor-intensive methods can do the job.
Stream corridors are the only wildlife corridors in many parts of our city. Stream riparian zones are the only places native plants can be readily found in parts of our city. Stream corridors should be respected for their many environmental and aesthetic values. The scene in the photo above was totally different a few months ago. The scene would have been a solid line of trees along a beautiful stream. It was a spot where nature ruled unfettered. Now it has been tamed by men and machines and may never be as valuable again. Its destruction was unnecessary.
Trails are built with much more respect for soil, water, air and wildlife in many cities.
The quick way seldom is the best way. To paraphrase something Lioneld Jordan has said, "Do the job right the first time and you have to do it only once."
Links to bids received by city of Fayetteville for bridges for city trail system appear below:


http://www.accessfayetteville.org/government/purchasing/documents/bid_tabulations/Bid_Tab_08-15,_Scull_Creek_Trail_Bridges_-_Equipme.pdf

Cost of Fayetteville creek bridges reasonable for trail construction

Friday, October 17, 2008

Stormwater-management, tree-preservation violations along Scull Creek Trail in 2007

Please click on images to ENLARGE view of stormwater-management and tree-preservation violations while Scull Creek Trail was being built on December 27, 2007.

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of riparian zone of Scull Creek where the Scull Creek Trail was being built on Dec. 27, 2007.
Isn't the silt fence supposed to be outside the riparian zone?

Kinion and Petty contrasted in article by The Morning News

The Morning News
Local News for Northwest Arkansas

In Ward 2, It's Green Going Against the Familiar
By Skip Descant
THE MORNING NEWS
http://www.nwaonline.net/articles/2008/10/16/news/101708fzelnward2.txt

FAYETTEVILLE -- Mark Kinion rattles off the names of neighborhoods and streets in Ward 2 like they were the names of his children.
Matthew Petty can wax for hours on ideas and programs he'd like to nurture -- or already has -- to grow what he describes as the "green economy" and society.
Both Petty and Kinion are seeking the Ward 2 alderman seat being vacated by Nancy Allen.
And, if on the surface, both candidates seem closely aligned on key issues facing Ward 2 or the city, their differences lie in the more hard to measure areas of community involvement, experience and commitment to change.
"I definitely don't have a lifetime of experience," reflects Petty, 24. But what he brings to the table, he says, is a proven commitment to research issues thoroughly, fresh ideas for the city council and leadership skills he's been building since he was a teenager.
"I spend upwards of 30 hours a week researching what other communities are doing and how that might work for Fayetteville," Petty explains. He founded the Social Sustenance Organization, a nonprofit which aims to organize the green movement at the local level. The organization is registered with the Arkansas Secretary of State's office as the corporate nonprofit Northwest Arkansas Sustainability Center. Its 501(c)3 federal tax exemption status is pending, Petty says.
This is the kind of organization and philosophy he wants to bring to the city council.
"The council has been a reactionary council," Petty says. "We don't have council members out there researching and coming up with policy."
Kinion, 51, grew up in Fayetteville, graduated from the University or Arkansas and has served on numerous local boards and commissions. He looks to his long history of activity in the community as his resume for preparing him to serve on the council.
"We have a very strong sense of community here," Kinion says. "And we should nurture it and use it to our benefit."
Kinion's big-picture goal is to make Fayetteville a destination -- both for visitors and people choosing to live here. And that means preserving its sense of place and community.
"You can't buy history. You can't buy the connection we have with the university. You can't buy the views we have of the Boston Mountains to our south," he says.
A large part of keeping Fayetteville's sense of place lies in preservation, he adds. Kinion discusses what he calls "the second wave of baby-boomers," or people closer to his age who want to return to their college towns.
"And they want to move back to the college towns that they remember," Kinion says.
It might be easy to brand him as a candidate averse to change.
"I'm not resistant to change," Kinion stresses. "I want to encourage protecting what's unique while we change."
Ideologies aside, several issues have arisen this election season. City finances and budget concerns are a challenge for any city council. Mayor Dan Coody's proposed budget would have the city dipping into reserve funds at the tune of about $500,000.
Both Kinion and Petty eyed this move with caution.
Petty --like Coody -- is not in favor of a tax increase, given the state of the economy. But he would only go into reserves for the areas of the budget that are more discretionary and could be expected to bring money into Fayetteville through tourism promotion or other means.
"If we've already paid for all the essential stuff with the budget, with the general fund, which is what we should do, then I think funding something like the Arts Festival or continuing meeting our goals on the trails, that's a smart use of the reserves because it results in a positive cash-flow and puts us in a better situation," Petty says.
Kinion says because of the shaky economic picture, the city ought to show more caution when it comes to using reserve funding. And Fayetteville should think about how to grow its tax base.
"I would like to see our technical park be as attractive as the Research Triangle Park," Kinion says, referencing the high tech research triangle in the area of Raleigh and Chapel Hill, N.C.
A key element in Petty's platform is looking for ways to grow the green economy. He'd like to do this through job training or working with developers to encourage more environmentally sensitive development.
As an example, Petty said the city should look at possible incentives offered to developers to make homes more energy efficient.
Growing a more sustainable economy requires a broad approach, Kinion says. He prefers to talk about growing attainable housing and some of the traditional blue collar jobs like machinists, mechanics, or even dental hygienists as a way to expand Fayetteville's diversity and fulfill what he calls social sustainability.
"These are technical skills that are always going to be of use, green collar, or not," Kinion says.

Mark Kinion

Age: 51
Residence: Ward 2 resident for 20 years
Occupation: Retired as a senior executive manager from GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals
Education: Bachelor's in food science technology, University of Arkansas
Family: Single
Political Experience: Served on Fayetteville Council of Neighborhoods, Wilson Park Neighborhood Association, Partners for Better Housing


Matthew Petty

Age: 24
Residence: Ward 2 resident for a year
Occupation: Self-employed community organizer; founder, nonprofit Social Sustenance Organization
Education: Graduate, Arkansas High School for Math, Science and the Arts; attended University of Arkansas
Family: Single
Political Experience: None

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Northwest Arkansas Times promotes noon Saturday opening of Scull Creek trail

Please click on the top photo to Enlarge view of a couple of people walking the railroad with the new Scull Creek Trail immediately uphill east of the railroad and about 100 yards south of Maple Street.

Please click on images below to ENLARGE photos of the western edge of Scull Creek Trail with the stream in the background on September 7, 2008, about 200 yards north of Cleveland Street in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The trail team has done a great deal of work in the past six weeks to get the area ready for the grand opening.


 
Music, food, prizes to celebrate opening of Scull Creek Trail on Saturday
Special to the Times
Posted on Thursday, October 16, 2008
URL: http://www.nwanews.com/nwat/News/70133

The city of Fayetteville will hold the grand opening of the 4. 4-mile long Scull Creek Trail from 11 a. m. to 2 p. m. Saturday at Gordon Long Park.
The event will include live music by Bent Grass Green, grilled hot dogs and veggie burgers, and door prizes including a New Belgium cruiser bike. The door prizes and ribbon-cutting ceremony will start at noon with guided walking and biking tours of the new trail to follow.
The Fayetteville Alternative Transportation and Trails Master Plan identifies Scull Creek Trail as the “ backbone” of the 129-mile planned trail system. Scull Creek Trail will connect to the existing 1. 9-mile long Mud Creek Trail — creating a continuous 6. 3-mile trail.
Scull Creek Trail was constructed by the city of Fayetteville’s in-house trails construction crew. The nine-member construction crew works exclusively on constructing trails under the design guidance of the city’s trails coordinator.
The 2006 voter-approved trails bond program has provided much of the funding for Scull Creek Trail. Since the creation of the trails construction crew in late 2005, more than 12 miles of multiuse trails have been built in Fayetteville.
Copyright © 2001-2008 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact: webmaster@nwanews.com

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fayetteville police organization endorses Lioneld Jordan for mayor

Please click on image to ENLARGE.

Waste disposal the reason growth not healthful in Northwest Arkansas

 Until waste-disposal problems are solved, Northwest Arkansas will NOT be suitable for further growth.
Local officials long ago learned that solid waste of any kind could not safely be stored underground in the area. Disposal of biosolid waste is incredibly important. Using it to increase soil fertility is a logical way to recycle and reuse it. But methodology remains a question.
The best suggestion for discussion at the economic-development summit Tuesday night at the Town Center was about recruiting people with Internet-based businesses that can be operated from their homes. But none of the ideas for growth can ever really be successful in this area until reduction of the amount of all kinds of waste material is managed well.
The consultant's disappoval of adding more industries that manufacture products, however, is short-sighted. If things are going to be used here, creating them here is the least expensive way to do it. And that applies to agricultural products as well.
Protecting our soil and water and air will forever be the basic key to survival everywhere on earth.

City turns to consultants for biosolid disposal alternatives
BY DUSTIN TRACY Northwest Arkansas Times
Posted on Wednesday, October 15, 2008
URL: http://www.nwanews.com/nwat/News/70106

Fayetteville has hired Camp, Dresser and McKee consultants to come up with a long-term alternative solution for the disposal of the city’s biosolids.
At Tuesday’s committee meeting Dave Jurgens, Fayetteville’s water and wastewater director, said the $ 19, 900 paid to the firm came out of extra money left in the Water and Sewer Improvement Project.
On Aug. 26 Ju rgens received a call from American Environmental Corp. ’s landfill near Sand Springs, Okla. The operator used to be in charge of disposing of the city’s biosolids. Jurgens said he was told the landfill would no longer be taking biosolids from any of its five contracted cities.
As a result the city started sending its biosolids to a Waste Management landfill near Russellville at the price of $ 38 per wet ton. The city was only paying $ 10 per wet ton at the American Environmental landfill. The hope was that the Oklahoma landfill would eventually reopen after an investigation by the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality.
Jurgens said that he was told Tuesday that the American Environmental landfill would not be reopening anytime soon, even though the city still managed to send about two truckloads a day to the facility for the past two months.
“ It sounds unlikely that we will be able to use the Sand Springs landfill, ” Jurgens said.
So the city is back where it started in August. Jurgens said he’s hoping the consultants will come up with a viable alternative for the city to dispose of the biosolids. One of the ideas already explored by the city was the concept of drying out the waste and processing it so it could be used as fertilizer.
Jurgens said the consultants would have a list of alternatives to present to the city by December.
The committee also decided to table a decision on how the city should cost share with the SouthPass development in terms of water and sewer infrastructure. Aldermen Kyle Cook and Lioneld Jordan said they didn’t feel comfortable approving an agreement on an issue that hasn’t passed the full City Council.
The council will once again look at the SouthPass planned zoning development at its Tuesday meeting.
Copyright © 2001-2008 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact: webmaster@nwanews.com

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Another out-of-town consultant notices the sucker sign on the map right over Fayetteville, Arkansas, and rushes in to feed at the trough

Please click on images to ENLARGE photos from Tuesday night's economic summit in Fayetteville, Arkansas.



The Morning News
Local News for Northwest Arkansas

Fayetteville Launches Economic Development Workshop
By Skip Descant
THE MORNING NEWS
http://www.nwaonline.net/articles/2008/10/14/news/101508fzeconwkshp.txt
FAYETTEVILLE -- A great site, reliable electricity, access to transportation and cheap labor used to be the recipe for economic development. Some places still try to use that mixture, experts say.
But in today's "knowledge-based" economy, the ingredients for job growth -- and indeed, the growth of a region -- are the people.
"It's not so much about creating jobs, it's about creating human capital," Eva Klein, an economic development consultant who specializes in working with university communities, told business, civic and community members Tuesday night.
Because in the delicate matrix of economic development, the variables today are people, place and promotion, Klein said in her introductory meeting with the Fayetteville community. The city spends the rest of the week meeting with focus groups to establish what sort of economic-growth strategy it wants to take.
Growing smart quality workers is important, Klein said. But an economic development strategy must consider place and how to create a place that attracts people.
"When you have knowledge and you have mobility, it means people have choice," she said. "Smart people will go to where smart people want to be."
And when thinking about growing a region, promoting the region is part of the picture.
"And I don't think you can promote small cities or counties," Klein said. "You have to promote regions."
"It matters now to be visible on a global scale," Klein told the Fayetteville City Council earlier in the day.
"People on the East Coast or Europe don't know the county lines in Northern California," she added. "But they know Northern California."
A successful strategy for Fayetteville must look beyond city and county lines and take in all of Northwest Arkansas.
"What we need is to have the competency on the one hand, and the sense of place on another (and make sure they're both) noticeable," Klein said. "And with a city of 70,000, that's tough."
During the evening session Tuesday night, residents wanted to stress some of their own concerns as well as ideas.
Larry Long, who's lived in Fayetteville since the early 1990s and operates a software development business out of his home, reminded Klein to not forget about the hundreds or even thousands of home-offices in the area. And maybe growing this sector should be part of the strategy, too.
"I have never heard of a city or area to have a strategy go after those people," said Klein -- herself a home-office worker -- and clearly marveling at the idea. "What a strategy for Fayetteville."
Another possible strategy often mentioned in relation to tomorrow's knowledge-based jobs is the so-called sustainability sector, where communities grow high-tech products and services in areas like alternative energy. But in this high-speed world, Klein said, don't dawdle.
"You have to hurry up, because I believe all my clients are on to that," Klein said.

AT A GLANCE

Economic Development Assets and Weaknesses
The Fayetteville City Council identified the following strengths and problem areas:
Assets
• Climate
• Natural beauty
• Library
• University of Arkansas
Weaknesses
• Low tax base
• Infrastructure not keeping up with growth
• Perception that Fayetteville is not business-friendly
Source: Staff Report

Discuss economic future of our city from 6 to 8 p.m. today at the Town Center, west of the Fayetteville square

CITY AND UNIVERSITY ANNOUNCE PUBLIC MEETING FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - The University of Arkansas and the City of Fayetteville invite the public to participate in a discussion about the economic future of Fayetteville. On Tuesday October 14th, Eva Klein of Eva Klein & Associates (www.evakleinassociates.com) will make a presentation titled Economic Development 101. The presentation will be followed by a question & answer session during which participants can ask questions and offer their opinions, observations, comments and suggestions about economic development planning and the economic future of Fayetteville. The public event will serve to “kick-off” a week-long economic development strategic planning process.

The public meeting will be October 14th from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Town Center. This event is free and open to the public.

Firefighters endorse Lioneld Jordan for mayor of Fayetteville

Fayetteville Fire Fighters Association endorses Jordan
Northwest Arkansas Times
Posted on Tuesday, October 14, 2008
URL: http://www.nwanews.com/nwat/News/70088

The Fayetteville Fire Fighters Association IAFF Local 2866 has endorsed Lioneld Jordan for mayor of Fayetteville in the Nov. 4 general election.
Other endorsements by the association:
• Don Conner — Ward 1, Position 2
• Mark Kinion — Ward 2, Position 2
• Craig Honchell — Ward 4, Position 2
Copyright © 2001-2008 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact: webmaster@nwanews.com

Everyone needs to learn what firefighters, police officers are thinking

Fayetteville firefighters Web site
Fayetteville fraternal order of police Web site important to all

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fayetteville Schools hold round-table meeting. All welcome

The Fayetteville School Board will hold another in a series of Round Table Meetings on Tuesday, October 14 at 6 pm at Woodland Jr. High School. School board secretary Susan Heil will moderate the meeting, which will feature presentations by assistant superintendent Dick Johnson on opportunities for student involvement and special assistant Linda Auman on curriculum and assessment issues. All district patrons are invited to attend!

Alan T. Wilbourn
Public Information Officer
Fayetteville Public Schools
1000 W. Stone St.
Fayetteville, AR 72701
479.973.8654

Dragonfly visits peace circle at World Peace Wetland Prairie on October 13, 2008

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of big dragonfly resting in the peace circle of World Peace Wetland Prairie on October 13, 2008.

CAT 18 schedule for the week online

Try this link or dig out your copy of the living section of Sunday's Northwest Arkansas Times for the original on page seven:
http://catchannel-aubunique.blogspot.com

CAT 18, public-access television schedule through October 18, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Faces from the square on October 11, 2008





Please click on image to ENLARGE photo of congressional candidate Abel Tomlinson and a fellow UA graduate student, Ryan. Before Abel shaved beard a few weeks ago, these two Fayetteville men would have passed for brothers!

Good idea only if using waste material from agriculture and timber production and without decreasing wildlife habitat. Clearing land pollutes air

Summit promotes growing high-energy plants
BY DUSTIN TRACY
Posted on Saturday, October 11, 2008
URL: http://www.nwanews.com/nwat/News/69979/
Northwest Arkansas Times Fayetteville’s first ever Sustainability Summit brought more than 300 people to the city’s center to talk about ways organizations can become more environmentally friendly. One way discussed was a switch from conventional diesel fuel to the use of bioenergybased fuel. Jim Wimberly with BioEnergy System LLC in Fayetteville talked about the energy-efficient idea at a small breakout session during the summit. “ Agriculture and energy are so intertwined, ” Wimberly said.
He said the idea is to start promoting the growth of high-energy yielding plants that can be processed and manufactured into a full spectrum of energy projects, including fuel for automobiles.
“ In essence, plants are batteries, ” he said. “ They store energy through photosynthesis. ”
Arkansas provides a large amount of natural resources to make bioenergy manufacturing a reality, Wimberly said, and if the state takes an active interest in the concept, it could cut in half its yearly 1 billion gallons of petroleum used each year.
“ It would take just under a million acres of herbaceous energy crops (crops high in energy ) to displace half of that diesel used, ” he said.
Wimberly said a lot of research is being done on soybeans to create biodiesel, and that it’s a good fuel. However, he said fuel users need to broaden their horizons.
“ We need to quit being worried about planting a future around traditional approaches to biofuel, ” he said.
The state has the forest and farmland to support biofuel operations, which makes it already an attractive location to bioenergy companies, Wimberly said, but Arkansas and its cities need to work towards sealing the deal with the green fuel producers.
“ We are in competition with neighboring states, ” Wimberly said.
Financial incentives as well as getting state landowners and far mers on board with the idea could be the key, Wimberly said.
“ It’s not going to happen unless (farmers ) can make at least as much money as they do growing traditional crops, ” he said.
Copyright © 2001-2008 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact: webmaster@nwanews.com

Friday, October 10, 2008

World Peace Wetland Prairie painted-lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui)

Please click on image to ENLARGE photo of Vanessa cardui.

Please click on image to ENLARGE October 10, 2008, photo of a painted-lady butterfly on World Peace Wetland Prairie.