Saturday, January 31, 2009

City removing debris from streets and needs residents to call about blocked streets

Substantial removal of debris from streets has been accomplished throughout the City. Staff has responded to all calls received through Saturday night. If any citizen needs additional assistance or knows of a blocked street, please call the City of Fayetteville Transportation Division at (479)575-8228. Calls between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. will be directed to Central Dispatch at (479)587-3560.
Brush removal from private property will be completed by City Personnel. So, help us keep the roadways clear by placing all brush behind the curb, not in the street. Please do not pile your brush around shrubbery, underneath trees that would restrict equipment operation, near mail boxes, or over gas and water meters.
The following dump sites are available from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., free of charge: 2430 Industrial and 5 S. 54th Industrial St. (at the corner of 54th and Sellers).

Discuss the disappearance of The Iconoclast on this thread

By popular demand: What is the situation with Jonah Tebbett's The Iconoclast?

Questions I have heard:
Did Jonah die?
Was Jonah murdered?
How many people who committed suicided this past week left a note saying they were despondent for lack of a Jonah fix?
Did Jonah go over to the dark side and sell out?
How much money would it take to turn Jonah's head?
How much would you give Jonah to get back to work?
What would you bet that the bad guys could outbid the rest of us?
Just a few questions. I can't recall all the comments and questions I have heard on the subject.

I still think someone accused Jonah of being unfair and got his blog pulled.
If that is the case, Google will investigate and exonerate Jonah. He always supplies documentation for his evaluations of public figures. Contact Google and demand to see The Iconoclast.
Make some bumper stickers: FREE JONAH!
Apologies to Archie!

City link below offers wide range of information to help cope with ice-storm problems

Fayetteville city Web site offers information on ice-storm related concerns, debris pickup, shelters, other services

OMNI Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology invites all to annual meeting dinner tonight

Please click on image to ENLARGE to read poster.

Mayor Jordan urges residents to work together

Working Together;
Meeting the Challenges
Mayor Lioneld Jordan
January 30, 2009

My central message today is this: No one in Fayetteville should have to suffer unduly from the effects of this ice storm. It doesn't matter whether you're poor or unemployed, a renter or homeless, a student or a corporate executive- you should be able to stay safe and warm, and the City is doing and will continue to do everything in its power to help you.

I want to recognize the outstanding work of our city employees in all divisions and departments. It is an honor for me to work with such dedicated people who are committed to serving our citizens at all times and under such difficult conditions. I also appreciate the work of the Red Cross to establish an emergency shelter and the ongoing efforts of the private utility companies –SWEPCO and Ozarks Electric Cooperative – to restore electrical power to our homes and businesses.

Our citizens have responded with compassion and concern. Many have called my office to report conditions and alert us to the needs of their neighbors, and the number offering to volunteer to help has been heartwarming. I thank you for everything you do for our community.

I am grateful that President Barack Obama has issued an emergency disaster declaration allowing us to avail ourselves of federal resources from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and funding, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act. Governor Mike Beebe has declared a state of emergency allowing state agencies to more easily coordinate with the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Adam Wallworth reports on life of out-of-town workers restoring NWA powerlines

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of AEP workers from Idabel, Oklahoma, at the intersection of Razorback Road and Fifteenth Street in Fayetteville, Arkansas, managing supplies for electrical contractors and out-of-town AEP employees trying to restore power to Northwest Arkansas.

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of AEP trucks from Texas passing Chic-fil-A headed west on Razorback Road after stocking up on supplies (such as a power pole) at the Razorback parking lot east of Baum Stadium next to the Pinnacle Foods Inc. plant.

Long days, risks just part of job for power crews
Posted on Friday, January 30, 2009
Adrenaline fuels linemen working to restore power for communities beginning to thaw.
"It isn't till the third week they start getting grumpy," said Travis Alsup, general foreman for AEP Southern Electric Power Co., based in Jackson, Miss.
Alsup's crew is part of the 1,000 or so employers and contractors working to restore power in Washington, Benton and Carroll counties.
In emergencies crews can work 18-hour days, Alsup said. American Electric Power Co., of which SWEPCO is a division, likes to keep it to 16-hour days, he said, so the men have six hours to sleep and time enough for meals.
The Democrat-Gazette reports on visiting electrical workers

Adam didn't mention in his story that at least one blogger was seen working online in Chick-fil-A during the power outage on Thursday. Several people from West Fork and other outlying towns were online there on Friday morning. One man said he has had nearly every meal this week there just to use the Internet hookup and be in a warm, well-lighted building for a while.

Julie McQuade reports that shelter available at Central United Methodist Church and volunteers are needed to help

The City is opening another emergency shelter today at noon at Central United Methodist Church on Dickson Street, to help those who are without power in their homes. This shelter will be open today at noon through the weekend.
Volunteers are needed to help with setting up cots, filling out forms, and generally assisting as needed.
The Shelter will be manned 24 hours a day. The need for help is especially great tonight.
The majority of people available to volunteer may be without power themselves; therefore, volunteers may bring there own blankets, pillows, and towels so they may sleep and bath at the center. They will also be serving meals on site, so volunteers can anticipate meals while they are there.
If you or your family or friends can free up some time to help those who are without power, please call Melanie Thomas at the Parks and Recreation Department 479-444-3488.

Walton Arts Center Opens Doors for Free Community Performances, Friday, January 30 at 11am and 3pm

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (January 29, 2009) — Kimberly Clark and Walton Arts Center invite you to fight cabin fever by enjoying two FREE performances of the family show Stellaluna. Shows begin at 11am and 3pm and are FREE and open to the public. No advance reservations required. Come out and get warm at Walton Arts Center with this heartwarming musical adaptation of the lovable children’s book by Janell Cannon. Stellaluna tells the story of a baby bat who falls out of her nest, right into a family of birds! Her world is literally turned upside down as she is required to act like a bird, not a bat. Anyone who has ever been asked to be something they are not will appreciate Stellaluna’s challenges and opportunities.
Stellaluna is best suited for ages 5-8, but audiences of all ages are welcome. Don’t let the icy weather get you down! Let Walton Arts Center raise your spirits with entertainment for the entire family. Concessions will be available in the lobby before and after the performances. Special thanks to Kimberly Clark for their support of this free community event. For more information, visit
Additional performance information:
Hot Club of San Francisco will play as planned on Friday, Jan. 30 at 7pm and 9:30pm in Starr Theater. The Jan. 31 performances of Stellaluna at 11am and Ira Glass at 8pm will also take place as planned.
The Colgate Classroom Series performances of Stellaluna at 9:30am and 11:30am on Friday, January 30 have been cancelled.
Stellaluna is supported by Mid-American Arts Alliance with generous underwriting by the National Endowment for the Arts. Stellaluna is a part of the Kleenex® Kids Series and media support is provided by Univision, The Morning News and Kid’s Directory of NWA. Walton Arts Center’s 2008-09 Season is sponsored by Wal-Mart/SAM’S CLUB.

Jeff Erf reports that athletic club open for free showers visits today

Fayetteville Athletic Club is open and offering free showers, steam, a game of hoops, etc.
Escape the cold and dark for a while!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Woodpeckers will have a field day in Fayetteville if people will keep the downed trees and trees that die later from the damage from the ice storm

Please click on images to ENLARGE view of woodpecker on World Peace Wetland Prairie at about sunset on January 29, 2009.

Library closes at 5 p.m. today

Library Reopens After Winter Weather
The Fayetteville Public Library will stay open Thursday, January 29 until 5 p.m. to offer a warm place for those still without power.
The library’s wireless internet is available and family-friendly movies will be shown in the library’s Walker Community Room throughout the day. In addition, power strips for cell phone charging will be available throughout the building.
The library is operating with a skeleton staff. Patrons will be able to check out items but should be aware that staffing is limited throughout the day.
The library is scheduled to reopen on Friday, January 30 at 9 a.m., staffing and weather permitting.
Contact: Shawna Thorup, Operations Director
Sarah Terry, Communication Manager
479.856.7000 phone

Planning commission meet rescheduled

Planning Commission Meeting Rescheduled
Due to concerns with the lingering effects from the recent ice storm, the Planning Division has elected to reschedule the Planning Commission meeting from tonight to Monday, February 02, at 5.30 pm. This meeting will be held in Room 219 of City Hall.
Contact: Jeremy Pate,
Director of Current Planning

Check up on workers before hiring them to trim trees or repair homes and follow driving tips below

Certified Tree Pruners & From Fayetteville Police Department‏
From: Julie McQuade (
Sent: Thu 1/29/09 2:18 PM
City of Fayetteville Certified Tree Care Professionals

The City of Fayetteville requires the owner and each supervisor in the business that are Commercial Tree Pruners/Services providing service/work for hire within the city limits of Fayetteville obtain a City issued commercial tree pruner/service certification. This certification is being waived at this time as the City of Fayetteville has been declared a disaster area. Below are two links to the lists of businesses that are currently certified by the City of Fayetteville.


With the current weather situation and power outages, Fayetteville Police Chief Greg Tabor reminded motorists to prepare for driving in hazardous conditions and encourage driver’s to use caution in an effort to avoid potential crashes.

Chief Tabor said the Fayetteville Police Department investigates numerous crashes during times of inclement weather and many of these crashes are avoidable. Some of the contributing factors include speed too fast for conditions, following too closely, failure to yield and careless driving. There is also the added concern of the power outages and traffic signals not functioning. Currently the Fayetteville Police Department doesn’t have the resources to work every intersection. The Fayetteville Police Department offers the following safety reminders to motorist:

Allow a safe driving distance, at least five seconds of space between vehicles.
Slow down.
Make sure windshield wipers are in proper working order and if you are using your windshield wipers, Arkansas State Law requires you to turn on your headlights.
If you are at a traffic signal that isn’t functioning, treat it as a four-way stop
Give 100 percent attention to driving. Inattention is a common contributor to crashes.

Fayetteville Police Issue Warning About Fraudulent Repairs

Fayetteville Police Chief Greg Tabor announced today citizens should make informed decisions when choosing companies to make storm related repairs.

Fayetteville has been hit especially hard with storm damage in the past two days. Power lines and trees have fallen causing damage to homes, businesses, and vehicles. Storms of this magnitude often bring work crews to town, soliciting for work providing clean-up and repairs. Unfortunately, not all repairmen prove to be honest. Citizens should choose carefully when deciding to pay for repairs. The police department offers the following suggestions to consider when selecting a repairman or company:

Comparison shop. Don’t accept the first quote you are given, and try to avoid 'drive-by' offers from door-to-door solicitors.
Deal with reputable firms. Research the company. Can they be found in the phone book? How long has the company been in business?
Ask for references. Check the references.
Ask if the company is licensed, bonded and insured. Ask to see a certificate of insurance.
Put your agreement in writing. Be specific.
Ask for a guarantee or warranty; get it in writing.
Don’t pay in advance.

The police department suggests being watchful for the following warning signs you might observe from repairmen or companies:

When they contact you first come to your home uninvited or contact you by telephone.
When they tell you the repairs are needed immediately.
When they talk too fast to confuse you and pressure you to sign papers today.
When they tell you they are doing work in your neighborhood and claim they have extra materials left from another job.
When they offer to use your home as a display home or offer a discounted price or discounts for referrals, but only if you buy today!
When they tell you something too good to be true.
If you suspect being the victim of fraud, call your local police department. If you live in Fayetteville, you can call the Fayetteville Police Department at 479-587-3555.

Julie McQuade
Neighborhood Coordinator
City of Fayetteville
Planning Division
125 W. Mountain Street
Fayetteville AR 72701

Thousands of workers from as far away as North Carolina, Indiana and South Louisiana trying to restore electrical power to Northwest Arkansas

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of bucket-lift on tracked machine ready for rural electrical repair sitting near a rail spur in south Fayetteville, Arkansas, on Thursday, January 29, 2009.

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of contractor logo from Louisiana on January 29, 2009.

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of men from Louisiana and Mississippi at a staging area for contractors supporting the AEP SWEPCO crews.

Mallards maintain hole in ice to share with others on January 29, 2009, in Fayetteville, Arkansas

Mallards team up to keep small hole in ice open for drinking and snacking on January 29, 2009, in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Are TV trucks to supposed to be IN the news?

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of a television-station truck with a tree on top on the west side of Fayetteville, Arkansas' downtown square on January 28, 2009.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Morning News reports: He can run but he can't hide!

Northwest Arkansas Times
Monday, January 26, 2009
Fugitive towing-company owner nabbed in Van Buren
Northwest Arkansas Times
Posted on Monday, January 26, 2009
A local wrecker service owner accused of threatening to kill his 14-year-old son, then allegedly violating terms of his $7,500 bond by contacting his son after he was released from jail last week, is in custody again.
Terry Edward Hayes, 40, of 4010 S. Black Oak Road in Fayetteville was arrested by deputy U.S. marshals and other law enforcement authorities at about 1:30 p.m. Monday in Van Buren after a weekend investigation by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
He was wanted in Washington County on charges of aggravated assault on a family member, terroristic threatening, endangering the welfare of a minor and possession of a firearm. Hayes is also a registered sex offender.

Read tomorrow's Northwest Arkansas Times for all the details on this story!

Copyright © 2001-2009 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact Us

The Morning News reports that officials advise minimal travel and preparing to lose electrical power

The Morning News

Local News for Northwest Arkansas
Officials Advise Minimal Travel, Power Loss Preparation

As rain began freezing Monday, Northwest Arkansas residents struggled with icy roads and prepared for power outages predicted by the National Weather Service.

Arkansas State Police reported a fatal accident on U.S. 62 near Pea Ridge but no further details were immediately available.
Arkansas State Police and other area police agencies reported working more than 60 minor accidents between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Monday.
Workers with power companies and street departments were on standby late Monday, and schools and offices closed early.

The storm could produce 1 inch of ice accumulation from freezing rain through Tuesday along with sleet and subfreezing temperatures, according to the National Weather Service.

"There is the potential for some devastating effects," said Joe Sellers, a meteorologist with the service.

Any more than a quarter-inch of ice accumulation can cause significant damage to power lines and trees, and a smaller amount can make driving dangerous, according to the service's Web site.

"Only go out if absolutely necessary," Sellers said. "If you can stay inside and not travel, that would be highly recommended."

Local police departments advised residents to avoid driving.

The storm will have effects from south central Oklahoma to New England, but some of the most serious damage could be in Northwest Arkansas, said Brad McGavok, another weather service meteorologist.

A winter storm warning predicted prolonged power outages and hazardous driving conditions in Northwest Arkansas.

Power Outages

Peter Main, a spokesman for Southwestern Electric Power Co., said utility crews were preparing for heavy damage from the storm.

The predicted ice accumulation could pull down power lines and trees, further damaging the electric system, he said.

Main said local utility companies will work together to fix outages and might bring in outside crews if there is enough damage.

In storms with sustained freezing rain, workers no sooner fix one power outage than another one happens, he said.

Workers will respond to reported power outages and assess damage to the system, he said. Their initial efforts will focus on lines that serve the most customers, he said.

Anyone who finds a downed wire should stay away from it and report it immediately, he said. He also warned that people using generators should not plug them into their house's electric system, because it could be dangerous for utility workers.

The Ozarks Electric Cooperative had crews standing by and rotating shifts scheduled around the clock to deal with the storm, according to a news release. By this afternoon, the cooperative should have a good idea of the extent of the storm's damage and an estimate of how long power will be out, the news release stated.

The Red Cross of Northwest Arkansas had shelters on standby throughout its 19-county area on Monday, Executive Director Ruthanne Hill said. Once officials see where the storm hits, they'll activate shelters in the areas of greatest need, she said.

Mike Dixon, deputy director of Benton County Department of Emergency Management, advised people to say inside if possible.

Emergency Management is concerned about carbon monoxide poisoning for those using supplemental heat such as propane heaters, generators or a fireplace, Dixon said. He advised people to make sure their homes are ventilated. Those using generators should make sure they're away from the house and away from ventilation sources.

Sellers said people should go to a shelter if they do not have heat at their home.


Driving conditions deteriorated early Monday afternoon.

The Rogers Police Department responded to 14 accidents with three injuries between 1:15 p.m. and 5 p.m., said Angel Murphy Pearce, police spokeswoman.

She urged drivers to stay home.

"Our officers have studded tires, and it's still slick out there for us," she said.

Bentonville Police dispatcher Dru Blakeley roughly estimated police responded to between 15 and 20 accidents between 2 and 5 p.m. Monday.

Arkansas State Police Troop L in Springdale dealt with at least 30 weather-related accidents along state and federal highways as of about 5:30 p.m. Monday, said Sgt. Gabe Weaver.

Street department personnel were standing by for the storm. The Bentonville Street Department had all its equipment ready to go Monday afternoon, Street Manager Mike Button said.

The Bella Vista Property Owners Association's Street Department pretreated some hills with a sand and salt mixture Monday afternoon, Maintenance and Construction Director Mike Taggart said. The department has identified some steep areas as "hot spots" over time, he said.

"We're preparing for the worst and hoping for the best," he said.

The Benton County Road Department has its trucks, workers and chain saws ready in case the weather gets as bad as forecast, Eastside Supervisor Glen Scott said.

The Rogers Street Department put employees on notice that an ice storm will likely mean long hours.

And the same can be said for street departments in many cities in Benton County.

Lowell Street Department employees are planning to stay at the street department building Monday night in order to be on call at a moment's notice, said Mike Solomon, Lowell planning director.

The Pea Ridge Street Department was prepared for a long night, making sure all of their trucks were working, gassed, full of sand and ready to go, said Pea Ridge Mayor Jackie Crabtree.


Decatur schools will be closed today, Superintendent LeRoy Ortman said.

Gravette School District Superintendent Andrea Kelly said if weather predictions hold, students will be out today. That decision will be at 5 or 5:30 a.m., she said.

The Rogers School District will decide before 6 a.m. today whether to close, Superintendent Janie Darr said.

Bentonville School District Superintendent Gary Compton didn't return a phone call Monday afternoon.

Shelter Information

Northwest Arkansas American Red Cross

(479) 306-4688

Monday planning meeting results in setting date, time and format of forum

A TELECOMMUNICATIONS BOARD FORUM ON GOVERNANCE OF GOVERNMENT CHANNEL was set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 24, 2009, in the council chamber of city hall. The rerun of the Monday, February 23, 2009, planning commission meeting will be delayed until 8:30 p.m., when the Telecom meeting is expected to end. If everything is working, the meeting will also be streamed live on granicus, the official Fayetteville live-video provider at

1. To be televised live with room audience invited to speak and viewers invited to participate with live telephone call-in at 479-575-8299 and live email at
2. The Forum Planning Committee has requested that the program be web-streamed live.
3. The purpose of this forum is to answer a complaint lodged by Jim Bemis.
4. Proposed Forum moderator possibilities from the Mayor’s Transition Team include:
• Walt Eilers
• Michelle Halsell
• Ernestine Gibson
5. Forum participants to be invited and seated at the Council benches include:
• Angie Graves, Telecom Board member
• Fred Cusanelli, Telecom Board member
• Andy Mayes, Telecom Board member
• Marvin Hilton, Telecom Board member
• Aubrey Shepherd, Chairman, Telecom Board, who will open and close the official special board meeting.
• Jim Bemis, Complainant
• Mayor’s staff member to be appointed by the Mayor.
• Member of the Mayor’s Transition Team to be appointed by the Mayor.
6. The City attorney is to be requested to be present during the forum.
7. Questions to be discussed by the Forum:
a. Who will have the administrative responsibility for setting and implementing the Government Channel Policy and Procedure?
b. What is the relationship between the City Council, Telecommunication Board and the City Staff?
c. What is the definition of “policy” and what is the definition of “procedure.” And who sets each?
d. What are the reasons for having issue forums on the Government Channel that are requested by citizens?

Telecom subcommittee meeting at noon January 26, 2009

A subcommittee of Fayetteville's telecommunication board is to meet at noon today at the Peg Center across the street from the Fayetteville Police Station, to plan a forum and brain-storming session. Everyone is welcome to attend. The meeting will be recorded to be shown on Government Channel at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday and later.

Washington County Democrats to meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday

Washington County Democrats,

Due to the winter weather forecast for Washington County, our previously scheduled meeting for this evening has been moved to 6:30PM on THURSDAY, JANUARY 29TH AT THE FAYETTEVILLE HAMPTON INN.

Please help us spread the word! Thank you very much, and don't get caught in the freezing rain!


Tim Freeman

Phone: (479) 444-6006
Fax: (479) 442-9857

Do you believe in freedom of speech? Comment welcome

Someone who does not apparently complained about The Iconoclast and it is not available today.
That was the first thing I was told this morning. I would have known about it by now anyway, because I always click on Jonah's blog before I even check my email in the morning.
I hope the Google censors find Jonah innocent of whatever allegation was made against him and restore the site soon because there will be a lot of people grumpy on the streets of Northwest Arkansas today if they can't read The Iconoclast first thing!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Mayor Jordan and other city officials attend watershed-protection lecture during FNHA's annual meeting January 25, 2009

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of Martin Manor, director of watershed management for Central Arkansas Water, and Lioneld Jordan, mayor of Fayetteville, Arkansas, discussing the city's role in watershed management after Maner's presentation on the Lake Maumelle watershed-protection plan at the January 25, 2009, annual meeting of the Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association.

Useful homework reading to prepare to enjoy today's 2 p.m. water-quality meeting at the Fayetteville Public Library

Please scroll down right side of this page to the LINK LIST below the archive to find the link to Northwest Arkansas Environment Central to read a still important old report on the Wilson Spring and its population of Arkansas darters.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

January 25, 2009, annual meeting of FNHA features water-quality presentations

"Troubled Water: Preserving and Restoring Arkansas' Most Valuable Resource"

will be the program theme for FNHA’s annual meeting at 2:00 pm on January 25, 2009, in the Walker meeting room of the Fayetteville Public Library.
Two leading experts on water issues in Arkansas, Martin Maner and Marty Matlock, will discuss Arkansas’ persistent water concerns and will talk with us about what they are doing and what we, as citizens, can do to protect the quality of our water and to help restore water quality where it has deteriorated.
Martin Maner is Director of Watershed Management with Central Arkansas Water, a metropolitan system which traces its history to the springs and wells of the early 1800s and which currently provides water to nearly 400,000 users. Central Arkansas Water, which is publicly owned, emphasizes a regional approach to water needs and has won numerous EPA awards for its commitment to water quality. Before becoming Director of Watershed Management for the utility, Maner was chief of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality’s Water Division.
Marty Matlock is Associate Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at the University of Arkansas and has conducted research on a variety of ecological issues. One groundbreaking project which has drawn national attention combines urban stream ecological services restoration with outdoor classrooms, greenway trails and park development. Matlock's ecological engineering group collaborates closely with the University of Arkansas Community Design Center, in the School of Architecture, as well as with city and state officials to demonstrate more natural designs for stormwater systems. Among other activities, he will be working with the Springdale water utility in 2009 on the Clear Creek stream restoration project.
Please plan to join us the afternoon of January 25, and encourage your friends and neighbors to come along. Refreshments will be served. The annual business meeting will be brief, and there will be opportunities to learn more about an essential resource on which we and all living things depend.
Barbara Elaine Boland
Green Infrastructure Planning, Project Coordinator
Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association
148 E Spring Street
Fayetteville, AR 72701
(479) 521-2801 home
(479) 387-6724 cell

"Green Infrastructure is our nation's life support system - an interconnected network of waterways, wetlands, woodlands, wildlife habitats, and other natural areas; greenways, parks and other conservation lands; working farms, ranches and forests; and wilderness and other open spaces that support native species, maintain natural ecological processes, sustain air and water resources and contribute to the health and quality of life for America's communities and people." USDA Forest Service, Green Infrastructure Working Group's definition of Green Infrastructure.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mayor Lioneld Jordan's 2009 state-of-the-city address to the city council

Partners in Progress

Mayor Lioneld Jordan

State of the City
January 20, 2009

I am privileged to serve as Mayor of our wonderful city, and I am humbled by the
responsibility that the people have entrusted to me. I am honored to be your servant, and I
will work every day to make our community better for every citizen. That is my solemn
pledge to you.

Thanks to the vision of Mayor Dan Coody, the dedicated effort of our fine Aldermen, the
hard work of our outstanding city employees, and the contributions of many individual
residents who share our civic concerns, I am pleased to report to the City Council and to
my fellow citizens that the State of our City is sound.

We begin the year with a balanced city budget, solid progress on improving our
infrastructure, dedicated police officers and fire fighters who assure our safety, and a
commitment to institutional and individual partnerships to nurture and sustain the things
we love about this great community.

We also begin the year facing many new challenges and we must be prepared to face
those together with resolve. We are not immune from the problems of a faltering national
economy, and we must anticipate and be prepared for the consequences of any revenue
shortfall. We must be responsible stewards of our tax dollars, and we must maintain
essential city services for our citizens. Toward that end, I have already begun to identify
potential cost savings and have implemented a more effective management structure to
improve efficiency and control costs. Our staff already has offered many good solutions,
and we will institute an ongoing, frequent, consistent review of cost/benefit analysis of
operations and projects to assure the services and quality of life that our citizens expect
and deserve.

I believe in leadership by example, and I have proposed to cut the mayor’s salary and roll
it back to last year’s level. I have signed an affidavit that I will not avail myself of the
special lifetime retirement plan funded from general revenues. I have asked to return the
$5,000 annual car allowance formerly paid to the mayor and instead, to use a vehicle
from the city fleet when necessary to travel on city business. We have already achieved
some savings in the salaries of top staff, and I will continue to look for savings in all
areas of city operations. My staff and I are partners in this effort.

Even in uncertain economic times, we must be bold in our efforts to develop and
implement a strategic economic development plan for our city. Not only can this lead to
increased revenues without a tax increase, but more importantly, it can help assure green
jobs, good jobs that pay a living wage, allowing individuals and working families to have
the basic necessities and a better life. We already know that we need greater efficiency in
the development approval process, a workforce trained for the jobs of the future, and
better methods to accurately measure the results of our efforts. We can draw on the
suggestions of recent studies and the work of my outstanding Transition Team to craft a
plan that is consistent with Governor Mike Beebe’s long-term strategic plan to help
achieve economic improvement for our state through collaboration and cooperation.

To that end, know that I am serious, and within six weeks I will host a Community
Summit on the Future of Fayetteville that will be open to every citizen and I will consider
all views in forging our own economic and community development strategy. We must
have the participation of the business community and advocates for working families,
students and retirees, public institutions and private citizens, as partners in our shared
progress. We will have, within 90 days, an economic and community development
strategy that considers support for existing small businesses as well as nurturing new
opportunities, and together we will work to make it a reality. A slow national economy is
no excuse for inaction but an opportunity for us to move quickly and prepare now for our
shared future.

My first and immediate goal will be to do everything possible to secure and support the
establishment of a Satellite Campus of the University of Arkansas Medical School and a
Regional Trauma Center in Fayetteville. In the longer view, we should also develop a
close relationship with Arkansas Children’s Hospital and seek a regional presence for that
institution. This commitment clearly illustrates the close connection between economic
development and our quality of life.

The University of Arkansas is a priceless resource, and it is one that helps define
Fayetteville. We must be active partners in progress with the University, drawing on the
vast local resources of knowledge and expertise as we grow together and achieve our
mutual goals. From the development of knowledge-based industry, to community design
plans, to solving social service needs, to collaborating on support for a vibrant arts
culture, the possibilities are limitless. I will actively reach out and pursue this partnership.

The economic, environmental, and cultural aspects of Fayetteville’s advancement are
deeply interconnected. For example, any consideration of transportation policy must
consider getting to work, moving goods, access to cultural resources, and environmental
impact, requiring an integrated and connected system of streets, mass transit, multi-use
trails, bike lanes, sidewalks, and parking, along with a revised transportation impact fee
to help growth pay for itself. We will pursue the development of each of these elements,
and we will urge the Regional Mobility Authority to support a feasibility study and
planning for a future light rail system.

As we consider infrastructure development, we must seize the same opportunities. My
administration will go beyond the current recycling program to implementation of a
comprehensive waste minimization program for our entire community. We are pursuing
the idea of solar greenhouses to kill pathogens and reduce the volume of bio-solids now
going to landfills. We are investigating an effective Hillside Development Ordinance and
a storm water utility to better control the primary transmitter of pollutants into our water
supply, and we will implement and enforce a better plan for the protection of riparian
zones. We will be active partners with the “Green Infrastructure” project being developed
with the help of the Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association, Arkansas Forestry
Commission, the city’s Urban Forestry program, the Tree and Landscape Committee, and
citizen volunteers. Our ongoing city sustainability efforts can also be expanded and
shared to benefit the entire community, evidenced by our new initiative to provide and
exchange CFL light bulbs in the apartments at Hillcrest Towers. In each instance, we will
be partners in progress.

One major change that will be implemented is a reorganization of our Parks and
Recreation Department. While much attention in the past has been focused on sports
playing fields, we know that our outdoor public spaces can serve other essential
functions. I will propose a new division, to be implemented without additional costs, that
emphasizes our community heritage and citizen participation. Examples to be considered
will be increasing the number of way-finding signs and local historical markers, planting
of native trees and grasses in portions of the parks, establishing a community garden
program in appropriate neighborhood parks, opening a convenient dog park, and
partnering with the University, the County, the Fayetteville School District, the
Washington County Historical Society, and private citizens to identify, preserve, and
promote our historic buildings and other cultural resources. In conjunction with these
changes, I will appoint a volunteer citizen task force on Festivals and Community Events
to seek a closer partnership with the Convention and Visitors Bureau to identify needs
and opportunities, and we will promote the “creative economy” in Fayetteville by
developing a comprehensive Cultural Plan, in partnership with the Fayetteville Arts
Council, the University, local artists, entertainment businesses, and concerned local

Finally, I want to reiterate and make clear my unwavering commitment to Open
Government. This administration is dedicated to access, transparency, inclusion, timely
responses, personal recognition, and exceptional customer service for our citizens, and
we will be held accountable to those we serve. From Town Hall Meetings to an improved
interactive city website to information on civic literacy to empowered Neighborhood
Associations, we are preparing to implement real changes to better provide information to
our citizens and, more importantly, to seek and consider ways for citizens to
communicate their ideas, arguments, suggestions, and problems to their city government.
My Transition Team has listened to your ideas and has made a series of steps we will be
implementing to assure an effective community conversation. We must be partners in the
progress of our community, and every citizen must have a voice and be treated with the
respect and dignity that they deserve. You have heard my ideas, I now ask our City
Council to help me work toward these goals and I look forward to hearing their input and
the input of citizens, especially how I can be a better mayor and do a better job for our

Thank you for your patience in listening as I share my plans and thank you for the
opportunity to serve you and our city.

Cedar waxwings and robins share small water hole with other species on January 22, 2009, after a week or so of mostly subfreezing days and nights

Plrase click on images to Enlarge view of robins and cedar waxwings enjoying open water on January 22, 2009, after several days of sub-freezing temperatures in south Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Please use control bars at bottom and right side of enlarged photos to navigate to see birds up close.

The Morning News reports that professionals burn forest while residents warned not to burn

The Morning News
Local News for Northwest Arkansas

Forest Service: Controlled Burns Underway
By Dan Craft
FAYETTEVILLE -- When conditions are right for fires to spread, local officials warn residents against burning.
The U.S. Forest Service, on the other hand, lights up.
Benton and Washington counties are under Red Flag burn warnings, one step short of an outright burn ban. That's mostly because of dry vegetation, said John Jenkins, Washington County Fire Marshal.
That same dryness, though, makes for great conditions for prescribed burns in the Ozark-St. Francis and Ouachita national forests, said Glen Fortenberry, fire team manager for the U.S. Forest Service.
"January's not all that productive normally, but it's been dryer this year than most, and conditions are right for the kind of controlled fire we want," Fortenberry said. "We've stepped up our burning because of that, but they're calling for rain over the next week, so that could end for the month."
The Forest Service plans to burn between 60,000 and 70,000 acres in the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest this year, and another 100,000 to 140,000 acres in the Ouachita National Forest, Fortenberry said. The burns are part of the Forest Service's management plan for the forests.
The Forest Service plans to burn 18,893 acres this year in the Boston Mountain Ranger District, which includes Crawford, Franklin, Johnson, Madison and Washington counties.
The Arkansas Forestry Commission, which also lights prescribed fires, did not return calls for comment Wednesday.
The Forest Service would be lighting more fires right now if they had additional helicopters available, Fortenberry said. Many larger burns are lit by dropping incendiary balls from above.
"We didn't have any choppers under contract because we didn't anticipate conditions being this good," Fortenberry said. "Until the private contracts come up in late February, we've only got one regional helicopter available."
What the Forest Service considers good burning conditions, Jenkins considers dangerous for residents.
"The contradiction is that they start burning just as we're telling people not to burn anything," Jenkins said. "Those guys are trained professionals. We strongly advise others not to burn until we get some moisture."
Both Benton and Washington counties could be under a burn ban by early next week unless there is significant rainfall, said Jenkins and Will Hanna, the Benton County fire marshal.
Madison and Carroll counties are not under burn bans, but all the counties surrounding Northwest Arkansas have prohibited outdoor burning.


Fire Terms
• Red Flag Warning: Discourages outdoor burning. A Red Flag issue is only good for a 24-hour period and must be renewed on a day-by-day basis contingent upon conditions.
• Burn Ban: A burn ban is a prohibition of any kind of outside burning for a period of 60 days from the day the ban is issued or until lifted by the county judge. Open burning during a ban is considered extremely dangerous to people, buildings, trees and grasslands and violations are punishable by fines and/or imprisonment.


Fire Information
Information about prescribed burns planned or underway is available on the Web.
U.S. Forest Service fires,
Arkansas Forestry Commission burns
County Burn bBans

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Don't burn anything outdoors, please: Fire Marshal announces Red Flag warning

Dry, windy conditions prompt fire marshal to discourage burning
BY KATE WARD Northwest Arkansas Times
Posted on Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Fire Marshal discourages open burning with Red Flag alert
The Washington County Fire Marshal's Office issued a red flag fire alert Tuesday because of dry, windy conditions.
"Outside burning should be avoided if at all possible," Washington County Fire Marshal John Jenkins said. "We've had numerous grass and brush fires throughout the county in the past several days."
A red flag alert is not a burn ban, but residents are urged to use extreme caution. The alert indicates that the fire marshal believes fires will start and spread rapidly and that every fire has the potential to become large and difficult to control.
Residents should expect extreme and erratic fire behavior. Outside burning during this period should be avoided.
Fayetteville is 1.26 inches below the normal amount of rainfall for the month of January.
"The lack of moisture in the air combined with high winds has created a lot of dead, dry vegetation," Jenkins said. "While outside burning has not been prohibited yet, we are strongly discouraging it."
Copyright © 2001-2009 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact:

President Carter pardoned all who evaded draft during Vietnam War on his first day in office

Carter orders full pardons for Vietnam draft evaders

Wetland educator workshop February 19, 2009, on Crooked Creek at Yellville, Arkansas

Early bird deadline Friday, January 23. Sounds like a great opportunity for teachers and volunteers. It would be nice if people who create such beautiful promos would omit the two needless pluralizations of nouns of mass such as "wetland" and "wonder" in the headlines, however.

Please click on image to ENLARGE to read.

Jordan's state-of-the-city speech covers many concerns of Fayetteville residents

The Morning News

Local News for Northwest Arkansas

Mayor Lays Out Goals In State Of The City Address

By Skip Descant
FAYETTEVILLE -- Calling for ideas as far-reaching as expanding the role of the of Parks and Recreation Department to details as small as organizing a program to exchange light bulbs, Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan reiterated the "state of our city is sound."

The Tuesday night address was the new mayor's first official citywide briefing to hint at what would rank as priorities in the Jordan administration.

Some goals are distinctly immediate, such as his call for a "community summit on the future of Fayetteville" in the next six weeks. Jordan maintains his administration will put forward an economic and community vision plan for the city within his first 90 days.

"A slow national economy is no excuse for inaction, but an opportunity for us to move quickly and prepare now for our shared future," Jordan said, reading from prepared remarks.

Other plans were broader and more long-term. Jordan called for a changing idea of the role of the city's parks program. He wants it to expand beyond providing just playing fields, but community gardens, neighborhood parks and a dog park.

"I will propose a new division, to be implemented without additional costs, that emphasizes our community heritage and citizen participation," Jordan said. "Examples to be considered will be increasing the number of way-finding signs and local historical markers."

Many of the proposals Jordan spoke of were the kinds of ideas recently put forward by his transition team. Others were ideas he offered during the campaign. It was his idea to find a way to put more energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs in homes, saving energy costs for families. In his speech Tuesday, Jordan suggested starting bulb exchange program in the high-rise Hillcrest Tower, a public housing building.

Though Jordan did put a firm timeline on any of the proposals, the point he stressed, was to act, and act fast.

"I'm going to start right now," Jordan said after the speech. "And if we finish it in six months, then we do. Or it may take us two years. But the point is we're going to start."

And by a vote of 4-3, the City Council voted down a road construction cost-share project with Park West LLC for the upgrade and future relocation of Arkansas 112. Most of the council was of the opinion that the project raised too many questions regarding its clear cost estimates and environmental concerns.

More young Democrats celebrate Obama's swearing in as President of the United States

Please click on image to ENLARGE.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Young Democrats celebrate inauguration of Barack Obama

City advertising its quarterly e-newsletter by poster!

Please click on image to Enlarge view of poster touting the Fayetteville, Arkansas, quarter electronic newsletter.

Barack Obama has been sworn in as president of the United States of America

At noon eastern time, Barack Obama became president of the United States with swearing in to come in moments

Biden has sworn in as vice president

Cheney is history!

Inauguration beginning!

Biden to swear in first.

Local Inauguration gatherings

Go & Do
By THE MORNING NEWS - January 20, 2009

Barack Obama's Inauguration

Several events are scheduled today in Northwest Arkansas to mark the inauguration of
President-elect Barack Obama.


What: Inauguration Day Watch Party
Where: Fayetteville Public Library
When: 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

What: Live telecast of the inauguration
When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: University of Arkansas Union Connections Lounge

What: Inaugural Bash
Where: U.S. Pizza, 202 W. Dickson St.
When: 7 p.m.
Who: Sponsored by and AFSCME Local 965

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Lindsley Smith reports from the Arkansas legislature

Date: January 18, 2007

From State Representative Lindsley Smith

87th General Assembly convenes, prepares to answer state’s challenges

LITTLE ROCK – With the state and nation facing tough economic times, the 87th General Assembly has convened in regular session in Little Rock amid the challenges of continuing, and improving, vital services counted on by Arkansans.

All 100 members of the House and 35 members of the Senate were sworn into office on the session’s opening day, January 12. A short time later, the House confirmed Rep. Robbie Wills of Conway as the new speaker.

Having grown up in, and working at, his grandfather’s tourist attraction, Pickles Gap, north of Conway, Wills in his speaker’s address recalled the old wooden-block ‘Do-Nothing’ contraption. He implored his colleagues to not sit around and do nothing, but to work hard, to be a “Do-Something” and give their best in the few years available to them to serve in the House.

Wills said he supported a proposed tax increase on cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to pay for a statewide trauma network, a second medical school, and other health projects. Referring to voters’ approval last fall of a state lottery with proceeds to pay for college scholarships, Wills said he will encourage his colleagues to establish an independent commission to operate the lottery and be accountable to the public and to make sure scholarships are amply funded and widely available to any Arkansan who wants to go to college and meets eligibility requirements, also to be determined this session.

The next day, in his State of the State address, Gov. Mike Beebe made similar pleas, specifically calling for an increase of 56 cents per pack of cigarettes and a still-unspecified tax increase on smokeless tobacco. Together they’d raise $88 million a year, in addition to some $90 million in federal matches for certain projects. Beebe said the state’s share alone is enough to create a statewide trauma system that would improve emergency rooms in hospitals across the state ($25 million), establish a satellite campus of UAMS in Northwest Arkansas ($3 million), and increase funding for 59 community health centers ($15 million), home-based health ($5 million), and the ArKids First insurance program for children ($3.6 million).

Passing the tax increase on tobacco isn’t a given in either chamber, in part because approval requires a three-fourths majority. Nor is the governor’s call for a further 1-cent reduction on the state sales tax on groceries, currently at 3 cents. Some lawmakers wonder if the state can afford the resulting $30 million reduction in general revenue, and others say their constituents don’t believe they’ve seen much benefit from the 3-cent cut in grocery taxes two years ago. The governor said not taxing groceries is more of a moral obligation than a tax-relief goal.

A budget surplus of $300 million is expected by June 30, the last day of this fiscal year – a far cry from the $843 million surplus of two years ago that resulted in the biggest tax cuts in Arkansas history. That cushion isn’t available this year, but the governor said it’s still enough to replenish the quick-action closing account to land industry and boost school funding by $234 per student.

Ceremonial duties and organizational tasks take up every legislative session’s first few days, and calendars on the House and Senate floors are light until bills start flowing through committees. Both chambers also recessed for Martin Luther King Jr./Robert E. Lee Day and for the inauguration of President Barack Obama because so many lawmakers and state officials had made plans to attend.

As for this week, I wanted you to know that this coming Wednesday (Jan. 21) Fayetteville resident Jack Makins will be testifying before the Aging, Children, Youth, Legislative, and Military Affairs Committee at 10 am for Arkansas to recognize Thomas Paine Day. If the committee passes this bill, it will come before the full House on Thursday afternoon. As you recall, despite his religion and religious beliefs not being the reason for this day of recognition, but his major contributions to the founding of our nation and securing rights and freedom, this bill failed passage in the last session when Paine's religious beliefs and his writing "Age of Reason", which advocated the right of every person to have freedom of conscious and religious liberty, were called into question. Such issues have come up this session as well. Unlike what has been alleged even today in Arkansas, Paine was not atheist, and it should not matter if he was. I leave you with words of Paine in "The American Crisis, Number 1", Dec. 19, 1776, that General George Washington had his officers read to the troops to inspire them during the Revolutionary War:

"THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but "to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER" and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God." (paragraph one)

Summer color to brighten a winter day

Please click on images to enlarge the yellow-flowered gum plant or Grindelia squarrosa on August 24, 2008, on Hollywood Prairie in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Morning News' Skip Descant reports final meeting of Mayor Lioneld Jordan's transition team

Please click on imageS to ENLARGE view of Lioneld Jordan and some members of his transition team on January 16, 2009.

The Morning News
Transition Team Reports Hint At Jordan's Philosophy

By Skip Descant
FAYETTEVILLE -- Through broad-reaching plans to reach out to residents for their participation in city government, or lining up a diverse collaboration of economic and cultural interests, to budgetary spending that stays in line with nearly flat revenue, Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan's Transition Team offered thoughtful proposals consistent with "the culture of the Jordan administration."
"I've been fortunate to be in a room full of geniuses," Jordan told the team Friday evening during the final meeting, where sub-groups presented synopsis of what they had learned during more than a month of research, interviews and strategy building.
The economic development team urged Jordan to begin meeting with key stakeholders at the local and state levels to get a closer understanding of concern not just for Northwest Arkansas, but what economic development wheels are spinning at the state level.
The team also wants Jordan to take a look at the "appreciative inquiry" philosophy when putting together his economic summit in the coming weeks. The idea, said Cathy Foraker, a team member who has worked with this model, is to use a facilitator to bring diverse groups together. And then establish what they can all do well by working together.
"If you encompass all these diverse groups, you tend to get a very positive outcome," Foraker said after the meeting. The sticking point could be the use of the word "facilitator." Jordan and his supporters have been sharply critical of former Fayetteville Mayor Dan Coody's use of what they termed "outside consultants." The most recent example is the contract the city went into with Eva Klein and Associates, an economic development consulting firm in Virginia.
The transition team was quick to distinguish between "outside consultant" and facilitator. Namely, that a facilitator is cheaper.
"How about free," Jordan offered, mostly in jest.
"I think we'll want to evaluate the cost-side before we go forward with that option," piped in Don Marr, Jordan's newly named chief of staff, and head of the transition team.
"What you want is a trained facilitator in this process, I think that's the key," Foraker said.
But nearly all the recommendations put forward seemed to have the mayor's attention and approval.
After listening to scores of residents, the communication sub-group outlined quick-fix ideas such as putting phone numbers and e-mail addresses on the city's Web site. And in a sense, making the electronic face of City Hall more user-friendly.
"So the idea is that the (city) staff are gatekeepers, rather than problem solvers," Walt Eilers told the transition team. "And that's not our idea of open government."
In a nutshell, the Web site needs a modern overhaul, said transition team member Michele Halsell, where it becomes a portal for interacting with City Hall, as well as being a marketing tool.
The city budget sub-group warned about a softening economy and growth that may not reach the city's conservative estimate of 2 percent. Because of the downturn, the city budget may need to be scaled back, even mid-year.
"We need to be thinking before we reach that point," transition team member Suzanne Clark told the new mayor, who was attentive and nodding in agreement.
This "worse case scenario" could mean scaling back on capital improvement projects or even salary reductions and reductions in force. The team was careful to point out they that they were presenting options, much of which edged into policy discussions that would need to be conducted by the mayor and full council.
Many of the recommendations presented by the transition team will likely make their way into Jordan's administration throughout the next four years -- some before others. Regardless, the idea of soliciting input, will likely remain a key foundation of Jordan's thought process before moving forward.
"You learn -- as I said during the campaign -- it's not an 'I' government," Jordan remarked at the end of the meeting. "It's an 'us' government. It's all of us coming together to move Fayetteville forward."

Final meeting of mayor's transition team set for 5:30 p.m. today in Room 326 of City Hall

The Mayor’s Transition Team will hold it’s final meeting today, January 16 starting at 5:30 p.m. in Room 326, City Hall. The Transition Team will present their final reports to Mayor Lioneld Jordan for consideration as he begins his administration.

January 15 meeting of Fayetteville's telecommunication board includes report on live streaming by CAT 18 and coming television access from AT&T

For the complete story, please see
The NWAT reports on Jan. 15, 2009, Telecom Board meeting

Jim Barnes, formerly of Fayetteville, Arkansas, named Oklahoma's State Poet Laureate for 2009 through 2010 by the Oklahoma Humanities Council

Jim Barnes, who started his teaching career in the 1960s at Northeastern State College in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and with whom I shared an office at Northeastern State, is now poet laureate of the state of Oklahoma. Jim and I were also graduate students in the English Department of the University of Arkansas in the 1960s and 1970s. Barnes earned both his Master of Arts and Ph.D. at the university with a major in comparative literature.
His Web site on the list of sites on the right side of this page is Choctaw Poet and offers access to many examples of his work. Barnes was already an accomplished, published poet when I first met him in 1965.

Oklahoma City, Okla. — The Oklahoma Humanities Council announced today that Governor Brad Henry has appointed distinguished author Jim Weaver McKown Barnes as State Poet Laureate for 2009 through 2010. The Humanities Council facilitates the poet laureate selection committee, which reviews statewide nominations on behalf of the governor, and coordinates the activities and appearances of the poet laureate throughout his/her term.
“It was my privilege to name Jim Barnes as Oklahoma’s Poet Laureate,” said Governor Henry. “His unique artistic vision, considerable creativity, and deeply moving works made him a natural choice. Jim Barnes is an accomplished poet and teacher who has done much to expand the cultural horizons of Oklahomans and all Americans.”
Jim Barnes, of Choctaw and Welsh ancestry, grew up in Summerfield, Oklahoma. His non-fiction prose book, On Native Ground: Memoirs and Impressions, reflects Oklahoma and Native cultures and won the American Book Award in 1998. He has authored several volumes of poetry, including The Sawdust War: Poems, which won the Oklahoma Book Award in 1993; Paris: Poems; On a Wing of the Sun: Three Volumes of Poetry; and his most recent work, Visiting Picasso (University of Illinois Press, 2007).
On learning of his appointment, Barnes remarked: “I am indeed honored and delighted to accept the Poet Laureateship of Oklahoma. I am honored to serve my home state in the cause of literacy and literature, and I am delighted to think, with the appointment as Poet Laureate, that perhaps all my years of living in the realm of poetry have not been outside the boundaries of understanding. No art is more important to me than poetry, for poetry makes everything happen.”
Barnes received his master’s and doctoral degrees in Comparative Literature from the University of Arkansas. He served as professor and writer-in-residence at Truman State University for 33 years. He then served as Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing at Brigham Young University. He was the founding editor of the Chariton Review Press and is currently poetry editor for Truman State University Press and editor of the international journal The Chariton Review.
OHC Executive Director Ann Thompson said that the Council is eager to re-introduce Oklahoma citizens to Jim Barnes and his work. “Jim’s talent, teaching experience, and ability to engage with the public make him an enormous asset to our state,” said Thompson. “We have no doubt that he will further the governor’s and the Council’s efforts to engage people with poetry.” Thompson also noted that the Council will post some of Barnes’ published poetry on its website:
“As Oklahoma’s Poet Laureate, Jim Barnes has the task of broadening understanding and appreciation of poetry,” said Governor Henry. “His work is a testament to the strong cultural fabric of Oklahoma and an inspiration for others to follow.”
January 15, 2009
Contact: Carla Walker, Director of Communications
Oklahoma Humanities Council
(405) 235-0280 •

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Crowd gathers for unveiling of signs officially renaming Sixth Street as Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard despite temperature of 14 degrees

Please click on images to ENLARGE view of unveiling of Martin Luther King Boulevard Signs at Razorback Road and the former Sixth Street

Fayetteville City Attorney Kit Williams rode up in a lift bucket to remove the cover from the newly installed signs, giving the change his full legal blessing.
In the crowd photo, Ernestine Gibson, president of the Northwest Arkansas Martin Luther King Jr. planning committee is speaking to the group.

Matt Mihalevich's ingenious designs get trail users safely under Fulbright Expressway

Please click on images to ENLARGE January 14, 2009, photos of portion of Scull Creek and Scull Creek Trail from the northside of Fulbright Expressway in north Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Please see Northwest Arkansas Times article on Fayetteville sidewalk and trail committee meeting plus comment by Jonah Tebbetts at the following link:
The Iconoclast comments on trail planning for 2009

CAT 18 producer reminds the public to attend or view tonight's Telecom Board meeting on City 16

The Fayetteville Telecommunication Board meeting today will be carried on the Goverment Channel (Cox Ch 16 ) and on the City web site. It is the first board meeting since the resignations of two previous chairmen and the city policy and Information adviser. Discussion is scheduled to include the introduction of the new AT&T U-Verse televsion, which is due to be available soon.

Jim Bemis
CAT producer

In fairness to the oil, gas, nuclear and coal industries we need to recognize that in the past other materials have created disasters

Molasses explosion kills 30

How did this molasses relate to the ratification of the amendment outlawing liquor in the U.S.? A report on prohibition may also be found on the same page from 1919.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Please ask your legislators to support the Equal Rights Amendment in Arkansas

Message from a Fayetteville woman to share:

I’m forwarding this message re. the passage of the ERA in Arkansas. I support it and I hope you will too.


Susan Young

Please contact your state senator and representative and ask them to support passage of the Equal Rights Amendment Bill.
Here are two hyperlinks to all senators and representatives:

When you email put in the subject line: Please support the Equal Rights Amendment Bill. Many of the legislators only read the subject line. Keep your email short and positive.
Encourage all of your family members, friends and any organizations that you belong to, to also email, call and support!
Many thanks!

Come to the OMNI membership meeting to talk about the story below or any other issue related to peace, justice, ecology and even equality

Please click on image to ENLARGE to read poster.

The Morning News
Local News for Northwest Arkansas
Member Criticizes Global Warming Commission
By John Lyon
LITTLE ROCK -- A member of the state Governor's Commission on Global Warming told lawmakers Wednesday they should be skeptical of the panel's recommendations for combating climate change.
Richard Ford, a professor of economics at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, spoke at an informal meeting requested by Sen. Percy Malone, D-Arkadelphia, former Senate chairman of the Joint Committee on Energy.
"I don't think we followed the law as given," Ford said.
Ford said the 2007 law that created the commission directed the body to "study the scientific data, literature and research on global warming to determine whether global warming is an immediate threat to the citizens in the state of Arkansas." He said that never happened.
"It was implicitly assumed that global warming is a pending catastrophe, that it had to be addressed, basically by limiting (carbon) emissions," he said.
The commission presented to the governor late last year a report containing 54 recommendations for reducing the state's contributions to climate change, including a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants until pollution-control technology improves.
"I would ask you to be skeptical of many of the recommendations -- most of them," Ford said. "Be skeptical of the cost numbers. I several times pointed out that they were estimates on the low side because they just flat did not include everything."
The commission's report includes analysis of the costs to implement 29 of its recommendations. It estimates the net cost at $3.7 billion between 2009 and 2025.
Lawmakers also heard presentations by others with skeptical views of global warming.
Art Hobson, professor emeritus of physics at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and also a commission member, said in an interview Wednesday he believed the commission did follow the law.
Hobson noted the title of the legislation creating the commission states in part that its purpose is "to establish a global warming pollution reduction goal and comprehensive strategic plan."
"It didn't seem to me that we were really directed to study the underlying science," Hobson said, though he said as a scientist he would have been happy to discuss the scientific evidence of global warming.
Hobson also said he disagreed with Ford's assertion that the commission's cost estimates were inadequate.
"A lot of these policy options that we recommended would save money for Arkansas, and some would cost money. Those were very carefully worked out by CCS (the Center for Climate Strategies)," he said.
CCS, a nonprofit group based in Harrisburg, Pa., provided consulting services to the commission while it was preparing its report. Hobson said he has heard complaints that the group "roped Arkansas into doing this and into hiring CCS," but he said in fact it was the other way around.
"The commission was appointed, and then we looked around at each other and said, 'Well, what do we do now? How are we going to develop these ideas?' Then some of the people who were supporting the idea of the commission looked around and found CCS," he said.
Malone said he had hoped Ford and the other speakers could address an official meeting of the Joint Committee on Energy, but the scheduling of Wednesday's meeting conflicted with committee rules, so an informal meeting was held instead.
Malone encouraged people with other points of view to contact the committee's new Senate chairman, Sen. Kim Hendren, R-Gravette, and ask to make a presentation.

Birds on Scull Creek Trail won't let a person get close enough for clear photos

Please click on images to ENLARGE view of song birds in Scull Creek riparian understory vegetation. The top photo shows two goldfinches in non-breeding winter plumage. The second photo shows a bluebird only a few feet away eating the berries of the nonnative China honeysuckle, which provides nesting, roosting and winter food for many species. A robin was feeding on the ground almost directly below the goldfinches and bluebird on Wednesday, Jan, 14, 2009.

Disgusting waste of money on pie-in-the-sky ends in foreclosure sale after environmental damage done

If only Benton County officials had stood up to developers, a big chunk of watershed would still be healthy. Please scroll down the right side of this page to the the link to the Association for Beaver Lake Environment's Web site for photos and maps and more information.
Many wise people spoke against this project at the beginning. They were ignored and an economic and environmental disaster resulted. Let this lesson not be forgotten by any governmental body in Northwest Arkansas.
No punishment of any villain in this situation is even mentioned. Those who planned profit will never miss a meal because of it.
People who would be enjoying the wooded hills and the clean lake see what they have lost and all the wildlife displaced and destroyed in the massive site preparation are gone forever.
Public officials must learn that the true highest and best use of land is not always what the profiteers dream up.

High-Rise Condo Land Sold At Auction

By Robin Mero
BENTONVILLE -- Land being developed for the high-rise condominium project Grandview Heights at Beaver Lake was sold at auction Tuesday on the steps of the Benton County Courthouse.
A judge in December ordered the sale against Beaver Lake Properties, Eliyahu Spitzer and Michael Steinberg.
Helen Hawkins and her son, Herb Hawkins, were the sole bidders at $250,000 to repurchase land that's been in their family 35 years.
New York investors Mendel Group bought their former tracts of land for $925,000, but are owed $4.8 million, according to attorney Ed McClure.
The foreclosure sale marks the end of what nearby landowners called the most ambitious construction project in Northwest Arkansas.
"Conceptually, condos at the lake are not such an outlandish idea," said Lane Gurel, one of several adjacent landowners who had sued the Benton County Planning Board, objecting to permits granted for the project. "But such a high-density project takes a lot of infrastructure, which we believed would create enormous costs for taxpayers, not developers."
New York developer E&S Development and Properties announced plans in June 2005 for seven 25-story condominium buildings on about 177 acres near Coose Hollow at Beaver Lake.
They later reduced the project to three to five 100-unit towers.
Hawkins, who sold land that would be used for a sewage plant, said developers were not to begin work until they paid in full.
"This was to be something elegant and beautiful, it looked like a big-city hotel with lots of glass," Helen Hawkins said Tuesday.
Gurel said there was never enough demand for the property, but developers wouldn't listen.
"The project was based on pre-selling of units," he said. "I was leery of developers coming in who didn't have the financing."
Some dirt and road work was completed, but work began slowing early in 2008. Hawkins said that the bank began returning checks she received for interest payments about a year ago.
"They kept coming back and offering us $100,000 off a condo; they did that three times," she said. "We had picked one that cost $750,000."
The Mendel Group filed a foreclosure action in Benton County Circuit Court in May, asking for $3.8 million in principal payments due on loans. The Hawkins filed suit seeking $2 million.
In December, Beaver Lake Properties, Spitzer and Steinberg agreed to settle the suits and pay $5.8 million.
Helen Hawkins said she considers her debt paid.
The Mendel Group is still owed several million dollars and will ask for a deficiency hearing, said McClure. He didn't know whether his clients would seek to sell or develop their property.
Developers also owe $7,882 in delinquent taxes to the Benton County Tax Collector, which must be paid first, according to the settlement agreement.
Northstar Engineering and Jones Excavation have valid liens for work done on the property, and Greenfield Capital Development has an interest, but those liens and interest are subordinate and should be foreclosed, according to the settlement agreement. Jones Excavation dug the parking garage and foundation hole, according to court documents.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

MLK sign on Interstate 540 exit to U.S. 62

Please click on image to ENLARGE.

Signs marking Martin Luther King Boulevard (formerly known as Sixth Street) to be unveiled at 3 p.m. Thursday in front of Chick-Fil-A

On January 15, 2008, the Fayetteville City Council passed a resolution making Martin Luther King Boulevard the official, permanent name of Fayetteville's Sixth Street to become official on January 15, 2009. First authorized five years ago, the official change was delayed to allow time for businesses on MLK to adapt their mailing addresses and make other necessary changes without an undue financial burden.

Tabor remains acting chief and deputy chief

The Morning News
Local News for Northwest Arkansas
Tabor Remains 'Acting Police Chief'
FAYETTEVILLE -- Greg Tabor, Fayetteville's deputy police chief and "acting chief of police," did not get the employment contractual agreement he'd worked out with former Fayetteville Mayor Dan Coody.
Instead, Tabor and Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan worked out a different plan where Tabor will officially hold the title of "deputy chief," while holding the responsibility and salary of police chief.
"I wanted to continue as chief, and he (Mayor Jordan) wanted me to continue, and this was a compromise on both our sides," Tabor said Monday.
Tabor stepped down on New Year's Eve as police chief because he and incoming Mayor Jordan had not been able to settle on a contract agreement where his retirement would be protected should the city ask him to leave. As police chief, the leading law enforcement officer in Fayetteville serves at the will of the mayor.
Tabor has some 25 years with the city -- roughly three years to go before he's fully vested in the state police and fire retirement fund. The contract was a way of protecting that retirement.
Jordan always maintained he was fully satisfied with Tabor's job performance, but was resistant to setting a precedent where city employees were given particular employment contracts.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Don Marr selected to serve as Mayor Jordan's chief of staff

Mayor Jordan announces Chief of Staff selection

Fayetteville, AR– Mayor Lioneld Jordan has announced his selection
of Don Marr as his new Chief of Staff. Mayor Jordan stated that after
reviewing the applications, many of which were impressive, he selected
Marr based on qualifications and experience.

Marr holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management
with a minor in Organizational Development. He is the President/CEO of
HR Factor, Inc. and BOSS, Inc., companies involved in Executive
Recruitment, Human Resources advising, and employee staffing. As a
longtime citizen of Fayetteville, Marr has approximately eighteen years
of experience serving the City in one capacity or another. He served on
the Fayetteville Planning Commission from 1996 – 2001. Marr has also
served as an Alderman on the Fayetteville City Council from 2001 –
2006, serving on various City committees in the process. In addition,
he has served on the Fayetteville City Library Board of Trustees from
2006 through the present. He more recently did volunteer work as Mayor
Jordan’s campaign manager, along with Steve Smith, during the 2008
Mayoral race.

In addition to serving the City of Fayetteville, Marr has
served in several leadership positions in professional organizations
over the years, such as State Director for the Society of Human Resource
Management (2004 – 2006) and President of NOARK (1998 – 2000).

City of Fayetteville
City Clerk's Office
113 W. Mountain
Fayetteville, AR 72701

Senate to consider the Omnibus Land Bill. Kirby Sanders asks all to urge Senators to vote for it

Kirby Sanders reports that the Senate on Sunday voted cloture to consider Senate Bill 22 (S-22), the Omnibus Lands Bill. Among other things, this Bill makees additions to the Trail of Tears National Trail system and recognizes the Butterfield Stagecoach Route 1856-1861 as a National Trail. Both of these trails have definite potential impact for economic development and tourism development in Northwest Arkansas. The Butterfield also has potential benefit for central Arkansas from Memphis to Fort Smith.

Pryor and Lincoln both voted yes to the cloture vote -- let's make sure they vote YES on the bill -- vote scheduled for Wednesday.

Please!!! Call Senators Lincoln and Pryor and urge a YES vote on S-22; the Omnibus Lands Bill.


Public meeting on testing in public schools begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, the same time as a public meeting of a mayoral transition team

Below is information on our monthly school board “round table” meeting to be held tomorrow night. As a reminder, these Districtwide meetings were developed to allow an informal interchange between patrons and board members. Each meeting has a central topic or two for discussion. The remainder of the meeting is for any comments or discussion from the floor. These meetings are styled after the “Zone” meetings started a couple of years ago following the City Ward 4 meeting format.

The topic of “testing” for this meeting arose from a patron at a previous meeting who asked: “Why does it seem that my children are always taking tests? What are they used for?”

If you are interested in this topic, or have any other comments for board members, please feel free to stop in on this informal session.

Tim Kring
Board of Education
Zone 3
The Fayetteville School Board will hold its next Round Table meeting on Tuesday, January
13 at 6 pm* in the Woodland Jr. High Library. The primary topic for the meeting will be
testing in the district, why it's done, and how the data is used.
There will also be a discussion on whether or not to suspend the round table meetings, due
to the number of special and public meetings set for the spring semester.
For details, please call Alan T. Wilbourn at 479.973.8654

The transition-team meeting is to begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the council chamber at Fayetteville City Hall. This meeting will be shown LIVE on City 16 of Cox Cable.