Thursday, April 30, 2009

High tea in Fayetteville is rare. Don't miss it on May Day 2009

May Day High Tea
Feast of Common Food
Friday May 1 – 4:30 to 6:30 pm
$15 per plate (includes tax and gratuity)
Chicken Breast * Meat Pie * Poached Salmon
New Potatoes w/ Rosemary Vinaigrette * Parsley Rice * Sweet Potato
Mixed Greens * Turnips * Braised Asparagus * Peas
Fresh Scallions, Radishes & Baby Carrots * Pepper-Onion Saute
Rustic Bread * Cheeses
Rhubarb Cobbler * Chocolate Cake
Lemon Cream Cheese Pie w/ Saucy Cherry Topping
Pots of tea:
Darjeeling * Sencha * Peppermint
First Come, First Serve
In some countries with established tea traditions, the working class enjoys High Tea, which is an early supper of common food and strong tea.
Denele Campbell
Trailside Cafe & Tea Room
546 West Center, Unit A
Fayetteville AR 72701

Mothers and mothers to be gather to protest hospital policy at Northwest Medical Center

Greetings from
the Arkansas VBAC Coalition,
ICAN of NW Arkansas, and
BirthNetwork NWA !

Last week families from all over NW Arkansas gathered at Northwest Medical Center to protest the hospital's blanket ban on VBAC (Vaginal Birth after Cesarean). After our actions, we are hearing that the hospitals are feeling the pressure. Coverage from the latest protest was featured on 40/29.
It's time for a Picnic and a Protest!

We want to continue the momentum for a THIRD week! If you are a childbearing woman or if you have a wife, a mother, a sister, or a daughter, you may be faced with the difficult situation of a mandatory repeat cesarean section.

Please join us on
Friday, May 1st, 2009
from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Protest Northwest Medical Center -- Willow Creek's
at the Johnson City Park
Johnson, AR

A limited number of signs is available, or you can bring your own homemade sign. Parking is available on a first come, first served basis.
Don't forget your sunscreen/umbrellas and your picnic lunch.

If you missed last week's protest, please come and let's double the number of those present! The hospitals are just beginning to notice that we will not take this unethical practice anymore! You may just be helping your best friend, your sister, or yourself.

Wouldn't you feel great if the hospitals reversed their bans because you raised your voice?

Visit for more information on the local bans and research on VBAC safety. Or call Beth Day at 685-5232 or Aly Kirkpatrick at 251-8446 with your questions.

Aly Kirkpatrick
Chapter Leader, NW Arkansas ICAN

VBAC is "Vaginal Birth After Cesarean". This campaign is meant to give families the option of natural birth, even when a cesarean has been necessary for a past birth. Research has shown that in most cases this is safe and good for the mother and child. Birth Network welcomes your questions and support for their campaign.

Rediscover Hotmail®: Now available on your iPhone or BlackBerry Check it out.

Gladys Tiffany
Omni Center for Peace, Justice & Ecology
Fayetteville, Arkansas USA
479-973-9049 --

Got your attention? Rotate to read easier. This is a very timely subject for OMNI Center's annual Springfest in the Walton Arts Center Rose Garden

Download, rotate and read, PLEASE.

Farm House Fraternity catfish fry fund-raiser on University Avenue benefits Life Styles but ends at 8 P. M. Hurry!

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of Farm House Fraternity fish fry to benefit Life Styles in Fayetteville.

Beaver Water District honored for public-relations work

Beaver Water District Receives Award for Watershed Report

April 29, 2009

On April 29, Beaver Water District took home a 2009 APEX Award for Beaver Lake And Its Watershed 2008 from the Northwest Arkansas Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America in the printed material-publication category. The APEX awards recognize excellence in the public relations profession, particularly the use of exemplary communication practices in the general business community. Amy Wilson, Director of Public Affairs for Beaver Water District, attended the award luncheon and received the award on the District’s behalf.
Since 1947, the Public Relations Society of America has advanced the standards of the public-relations profession and provided members with professional-development opportunities through continuing education, information exchange, and research projects conducted on the national and local level. More than 20,000 members strong, organized in 114 chapters, PRSA is the world’s largest organization for public-relations professionals. The Northwest Arkansas PRSA chapter is one of the fastest-growing chapters in the nation: a dynamic assembly of seasoned veterans, spokespeople and communication specialists from major corporations, recent graduates new to careers, private consultants, agency representatives, researchers and nonprofit leaders. For more about PRSA, visit To download and read a copy of Beaver Lake And Its Watershed 2008, visit
Beaver Water District supplies drinking water to more than 250,000 people and industries in Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville and surrounding areas. These cities then resell the water to surrounding towns and communities. The District’s mission is to serve our customers in the Benton and Washington County area by providing high-quality drinking water that meets or exceeds all federal and state regulatory requirements in such quantities as meets their demands and is economically priced consistent with our quality standards.
Amy Wilson
Director of Public Affairs, Beaver Water District
P.O. Box 400, Lowell, AR 72745

Lyell Thompson, retired UA professor and member of the Washington County Quorum Court, in Old Main after Roy Reed lecture on the Arkansas Gazette

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of Lyell Thompson in Old Main on April 29, 2009.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Poster promotes Roy Reed's lecture on history of the Arkansas Gazette

Please click on image to ENLARGE and read poster touting Roy Reed's April 29, 2009, lecture based on his book outlining the history of the Arkansas Gazette.

Roy Reed to speak on history of the Arkansas Gazette today

Item as found on Face Book, one of the social communication devices recently much discussed in Fayettenam.

Fayetteville History Author and journalist Roy Reed will talk about his new book, "Looking Back at the Arkansas Gazette," at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 29, in Giffels Auditorium in Old Main. The book is compiled from oral history interviews with former Gazette staff.

Events at the Libraries-University of Arkansas Libraries
Renowned reporter, writer and teacher Roy Reed will speak on the history of the Arkansas Gazette on April 29 at Giffels Auditorium in Old Main at the University of Arkansas. The program, titled "The Life ...

Yesterday at 8:56am · Comment · Unlike · Share
You and 3 others like this.

Mignonne Scarbrough at 11:31am April 28
Mr. Reed was one of the most interesting professors I ever had.

Aubrey James Shepherd at 3:51pm April 28
I hope to attend. He has done is homework and has lived a great part of what he writes about. Don't miss it.

Aubrey James Shepherd at 3:52pm April 28
EDIT: his not is

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The struggle for the solar future subject of program Saturday afternoon at Nightbird Books on Dickson Street.

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of poster.

Solar Power Struggle
Professor Richard Hutchinson of Louisiana Tech University in Ruston will speak on "The Struggle for the Solar Future" at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 2, at Nightbird Books on Dickson Street in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
An inquiry into environmental change and the obstacles and opportunities in the path of the renewable energy transition.
Sponsored by OMNI Center for Peace, Justice, and Ecology.

ADEQ's response to gas-drilling polluters too weak

ADEQ Study: Drilling Fluid Disposal Done Improperly by Many
By Arkansas Business Staff - 4/20/2009 4:21:00 PM
The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality Monday announced that a recent study it conducted determined that fluids used in natural gas drilling have been "improperly applied by landfarms operating in the state, thus endangering the environment."
Drilling fluids are used in the fracturing process that breaks apart shale, allowing trapped natural gas to seep out. The practice is used in the Fayetteville Shale Play in north-central Arkansas.
Of 11 sites studied, all had improperly discharged the fluids, according to a department release. The department has taken actions against the 11 sites and has sought to revoke permits for two sites. The discharges resulted in improper runoff and chloride concentrations in soil that were abnormally high. The department began the study in November, after halting consideration for new landfarm permits.
"With the increase in the number of landfarms and applications for landfarms due to expanded drilling activity in the state, concerns about the resulting environmental impact warranted a closer look at these operations," Marks said.
The study supports new enforcement standards, including that routine soil and water sampling be conducted in front of an ADEQ inspector and fencing be erected around all on-site ponds.
Scientists in the department's environmental preservation and water divisions prepared the report and visited the 11 landfarms between November and January.
During several visits, inspectors discovered chloride concentrations downstream and other contaminants in higher concentration downstream than were present upstream. Four facilities also had chloride levels in fluids above the acceptable limit - 3,000 milligrams per liter.
Copyright © 2009, Arkansas Business Limited Partnership. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Face Book asks only what's on your mind. I will confess just this once what was on my mind this afternoon.
Casey Jones earns first win in Western Athletic Conference baseball action
with more than seven solid innings pitched for Louisiana Tech.

New director of Fayetteville National Cemetery appreciates the people and historic beauty of city

Please click on images to Enlarge views east and west from Fayetteville National Cemetery.

Gloria Bailey, director of national cemetery, shares
her enthusiasm for Fayetteville and the setting of her new workplace with readers of the Northwest Arkansas Times.
Robin Mero wrote in today's Northwest Arkansas Times: Growing up on her grand parents' farm, she learned to appreciate the rural lifestyle and said she enjoys hearing the cows on Thursdays (sale days) at the sale barn, which is adjacent to the national cemetery in Fayetteville.
She said her grandfather grew tobacco, corn, wheat - you name it - and raised livestock in South Carolina. She recalled picking fresh fruit and vegetables.
"Being in the country is my way of living," she said. "I feel like I've come home."

Welcome to the Town Branch neighborhood, Gloria!
Unfortunately, something you couldn't have known when you took the job is that a developer has made an offer to buy the sale -barn property contingent on a plan being approved to build a 500-bed student-apartment complex next to the National Cemetery. This project with 3- or 4-story buildings would eliminate the rural setting of the cemetery and the view to the east and northeast and prevent early morning sunlight from reaching the cemetery. The Fayetteville planning commission soon is expected to hear a request to rezone the land for apartments rather than the existing light industrial.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Frou makes government channel worth watching

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of Frou Gallagher taking a break from recording video of the Lake Fayetteville outdoor festival on April 25, 2009.

Watch government channel in coming weeks for Frou's production on the Outdoor Festival at Lake Fayetteville.

Lake Fayetteville boat-dock rules now available in Spanish

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of Lake Fayetteville Outdoor Festival.

Boating opportunity draws many to Lake Fayetteville outdoor festival

Please click on images to ENLARGE view of activities at the Outdoor Festival at Lake Fayetteville on Saturday, April 25, 2009.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Lake Faytteville Outdoor Festival draws huge crowd to north Fayetteville reservoir

Please click on images to ENLARGE views from Lake Fayetteville Outdoor Festival.

Scenes from Lake Fayetteville Outdoor Festival on April 25, 2009

Please click on images to ENLARGE view of scenes from Lake Fayetteville on April 25, 2009.

More scenes from Lake Fayetteville Outdoor Festival on April 25, 2009

Please click on images to ENLARGE views from Lake Fayetteville on April 25, 2009.

Lake Fayetteville Outdoor Festival

Please click on image to ENLARGE.

Robin and squirrel among thousands of species active on World Peace Wetland Prairie during Earth Week 2009

Please click on images to ENLARGE view of squirrel feeding in maple tree on April 21, 2009, and view of robin on her nest in Callery pear tree on April 23, 2009, at World Peace Wetland Prairie.

Lake Fayetteville Outdoor Festival begins at 10 a.m. today. Organizers plan to make it an annual event

The first Lake Fayetteville Outdoor Festival will be from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. today. Hosts are the Fayetteville park and recreation division, the University of Arkansas’ department of intramural and recreational sports, and Lewis & Clark Outfitters.
Activities will include guided bike rides and hikes, free kayaking, fishing demonstrations, horseshoes, group exercise classes, children’s inflatable activities, kid safety with Fayetteville Police and Fire Departments, disc golf, ultimate Frisbee, and much more. Bring your bike and join us for a ride. Bring your boat and join us on the lake. Don’t have your own? No worry: kayaks will be provided!
Live music will be provided by Cletus Got Shot, Sarah Hughes, and Bent Grass Green. Food will be provided by Penguin Ed’s, Eureka Pizza, Smiling Jacks, Inta-Juice, and Maggie Moo’s. In case of inclement weather the event will be from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sunday. Please call 443-PARK on the morning of April 25 in case of inclement weather.
Contact: Chase R Gipson
Recreation Superintendent
Fayetteville Parks and Recreation
(479) 444-3471

Tree giveaway was early this morning. Hope you got there and got a tree to plant

Re-LEAF Fayetteville ~ Celebration of Trees
Saturday, April 25, 2009 the City of Fayetteville, the Tree and Landscape Advisory Committee and the Parks and Recreation Department will be holding their annual Arbor Day Celebration. This year’s event has the theme “Re-LEAF Fayetteville” as our community plants the next generation of trees to replace those lost in the January ice storm.
The event will begin at 7:00 a.m. in front of the Town Center on the Fayetteville Square. The ! Mayor will read a short Arbor Day proclamation and then will assist in distributing 900 trees. Please bring proof of Fayetteville residency such as your City utility bill and your driver’s license to receive your 1 FREE one gallon containerized tree. Only one tree per resident will be allowed. The species to choose from this year include; Shumard Oak, Northern Red Oak and October Glory Maple.
The Tree and Landscape Committee and Parks and Recreation Department stress “Right Tree, Right Place.” Trees can take many years to reach their mature height and spread. It is important for a homeowner to take all surroundings into consideration when picking the location for their new tree. Trees should never be planted directly under power lines or so close that at maturity the tree will be need heavy pruning or removal.
Contact: Greg Howe
Urban Forester

Friday, April 24, 2009

Special Iris gets today's attention at World Peace Wetland Prairie

Please click on images to Enlarge view of Lauren Hawkins and truly special iris on World Peace Wetland Prairie on April 25, 2009.

Blue-gray Gnat-catchers active at WPWP on April 23, 2009

Please click on images to ENLARGE and please hit comment button below and identify the Polioptila caerulea on World Peace Wetland Prairie on April 23, 2009. Several were spotted flitting about. Thanks to Joe Neal for identifying the bird.

South Dakota Birds and Birding
Devoted to birds, birding, and photography

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Polioptila caerulea
Length: 4.5 inches Wingspan: 6 inches Seasonality: Summer
ID Keys: Blue-gray upperparts, white underparts, bold white eyering, white outer tail feathers
While still an uncommon sight in most of South Dakota, the range of the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher has been steadily expanding throughout the 20th century. Very small birds normally found in woodlands, they can sometimes be difficult to observe as they flit about the tree tops.
Habitat: Varies by region, preferring deciduous forests in the East, pine forests with a deciduous understory in the South, and shrubby habitat in the West.
Diet: Feeds almost exclusively on insects and spiders.
Behavior: Extremely active, foraging actively among trees and shrubs in search of insects. Will take prey while perched, hovering, or by flycatching and catching insects in mid-air.
Nesting: May and June
Breeding Map: Breeding Bird Survey map
Song: Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Song
Migration: Summers throughout much of the United States except for the Pacific Northwest and the northern tier of states. Winters in the extreme southern United States and southward.
Similar Species: Similar to the other Gnatcatchers, but these other species (Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, California Gnatcatcher, Black-capped Gnatcatcher) all have normal ranges well to the south of South Dakota and have never been seen in this state.
Status: They have expanded in numbers and in range in the 20th century, an expansion that probably is still continuing.
South Dakota "Hotspot": Most common in the extreme southeastern part of the state, I've had very good luck finding them at both Newton Hills State Park, and the Big Sioux Recreation Area.
Further Information: 1) Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
2) Cornell University's "All About Birds - Blue-gray Gnatcatcher"
3) Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Photo Information: July 1st, 2006 - Big Sioux Recreation Area near Brandon - Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or text links below for additional, higher-resolution Blue-gray Gnatcatcher photos.

South Dakota Status: Uncommon summer breeder in the extreme southeastern part of the state. Casual breeder and visitor in the Black Hills.

Additional Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Photos

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 2
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 3
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 4

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 5 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 6 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 7 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 8

ALL PHOTOS COPYRIGHTED. Click below if you have interest in any of these photos for:
Commercial Use Fine Art Print Personal Usage


Please mail all comments/suggestions/gripes/complaints to: Terry L. Sohl
Click here for other references used to compile this page

Milkweed beginning to sprout on area prairies and in some gardens

Please click on images to ENLARGE view of milkweed sprouting from roots of last season's plants in a pot to move about when in bloom.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Beaver Water District postpones plan to raise water rates


Approximately two years ago, on April 17, 2007, Beaver Water District board members approved a long-range financial plan that proposed increases of 2¢/1000 gallons for 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 3¢/1000 gallons in 2012. But that was before the global economic downturn that has impacted Northwest Arkansas as well. At the meeting today, Board members decided to defer the planned 2-cent increase for 2010.
“During these difficult times, the Board feels it is necessary to be sensitive to our customer cities. Deferring this increase is the right thing to do,” said David Short, President of the Board.
“Our intent with the original 5-year plan of increases was to minimize the impact while also bearing in mind the increased costs the District would be incurring with rising chemical costs and capital improvement needs. But right now, it’s important that all of us tighten our belts and look for ways to economize. We’re doing that at the District and the cities are doing it, too. It’s a team effort to keep the water flowing and do so at a price that everyone can afford.”
Alan D. Fortenberry P.E., CEO of the District, said staff developed the long-range financial plan at the direction of the Board two years ago, and plans are never set in stone. Adjustments can always be made to meet current needs.
“The idea was to give the Board a long-range financial plan that would minimize rate increases and avoid large rate increases in any one year while providing financial resources to ensure the District has the capacity to meet future demands of its customer cities. The plan called for the board to revisit and approve the increase each year. Management suggested the increase be deferred this year, in light of the economic downturn.”
Chris Weiser, a member of the District’s Board who also sits on the Springdale Water & Sewer Commission, agreed with Fortenberry’s statement.
“The goal of the plan was to establish future long term financial needs to meet operational, debt service and capital requirements of the District and to spread out proposed rate increases over several years so that the District’s customers would have multiple small increases in lieu of a single large increase. Right now, we are simply putting this plan on hold for a year and holding to the $1.20 per 1000 gallons that we approved last year. As a member of the Springdale Water & Sewer Commission, I can say this delay is in line with what we need right now. Springdale, like our sister cities in Northwest Arkansas, is doing everything it can to operate efficiently in the face of lowered revenues.”
Tyson Foods also responded positively to the news.
“Like others in the business community, we extend our appreciation to the board for holding the line on costs during these challenging economic times,” said Archie Schaffer, senior vice president of External Relations for Tyson Foods. “Water is a vital resource to everyone in northwest Arkansas, including food processors like Tyson. Keeping it affordable is important to all us.”
Tom McAlister, Superintendent of Rogers Water Utility, said no rate increase for 2010 is great news, especially right now. “It’s a positive for us, obviously,” he said.
Beaver Water District supplies drinking water to more than 250,000 people and industries in Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville and surrounding areas. These cities then resell the water to surrounding towns and communities. The District’s mission is to serve our customers in the Benton and Washington County area by providing high quality drinking water that meets or exceeds all federal and state regulatory requirements in such quantities as meets their demands and is economically priced consistent with our quality standards. For more information, visit

One source stories can distort significance of events

The author of the Fayettevillage Voice reads the Northwest Arkansas Times early mornings and
Lessie again knocks the ball out of the park
with commentary that highlights a
One-source story on Coody that is not typical of Robin Mero's reporting

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day a great day for cleaning up urban streams

Please click on images to ENLARGE views of the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River south of Martin Luther King Boulevard on Aril 22, 2009. Lew Meyers led the charge up the stream in these photos.

Cleanup of campus tributary of the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River successful

Please click on images to ENLARGE view of UA stream cleanup.

An environmentally aware group of members of the University of Arkansas student body and staff met Wednesday afternoon to clean up the portions of the campus tributaries of the Town Branch and did a wonderful job in a short time, bagging up and disposing of bags full of debris of many kinds.
And the two senior participants went across Martin Luther King Boulevard and collected plenty of debris where it concentrates, south of campus between Paris Avenue and the railroad, where the water flows through a rocklined tunnel far greater than 100 years old. If more volunteers appear next time, the cleanup may be expanded downstrean to Fifteenth Street.

UA-sponsored cleanup of Town Branch begins at 4 p.m. today at the parking lot formerly the site of Carlson Terrace on the UA campus

Everyone invited to participate in cleaning up the Town Branch (known on campus as Mullins Creek and on Markham Hill as College Branch) from 15th Street back up to the campus.
Please gather at 4 at the parking lot on the east side of Razorback Road to get instructions and bags to carry debris. Fun ends about 6 pm.

Thiel stands alone against wood-chipping plan in West Fork of White River watershed

The contract between the City of Fayetteville and a company that will gather storm-downed wood from three sites in the city and pile it on a former stock-car racing track in south Fayetteville was a bit of a surprise to some members of the Fayetteville City Council on Tuesday, April 21, 2009.
It includes a few provisions that neighbors of proposed construction sites don't usually expect; but, in this case, the hours of operation were listed: Up to 10 hours a day, seven days a week.
These are the days and hours that have been worked since the Hill Place student-apartment site was approved for work last year. We mentioned this several times in public meetings and most recently in a Ward One/Town Branch neighborhood meeting on April 6, 2009, that focused on a developer's plan to build four-story apartment buildings to house 500 college students adjacent to the Fayetteville National Cemetery on the Washington County auction barn site in the eastern part of the Town Branch Neighborhood.
During that meeting, Alderman Brenda Thiel had been reminded of how that sort of persistent noise and traffic and dust can affect residents of an area and people who travel through the area. So she spoke up against the wood-chipping plan for Willoughby Road.
According to Wednesday's report on the meeting in the Northwest Arkansas Times, Thiel cast the only opposing vote in the 5-1 decision to rezone the property. The issue was not on the regular agenda but had been mentioned publicly at the end of a special council meeting Thursday, the Times reported.
"I cannot express enough how disappointed I am the public has not had the opportunity to comment, particularly with the trouble we went to change the use of that part of the property," Thiel said, the Times reported.
But, because of the necessity of getting the wood moved from its current three storage areas, the rest of the council members voted for the contract.
No other neighbors of the site attended the meeting, so there was no public comment. But I am confident that a majority would have spoken against it had they been on hand just as a majority of people who live near the National Cemetery and the sale barn spoke against the student-apartment plan on April 6.
I didn't know the plan was coming up for consideration and didn't know it existed. I stayed home after a busy day and only watched on television.
Sorry. I had looked at the agenda and saw nothing that would affect my immediate neighbors or constitute more than a normal environmental disaster to be expected from construction plans. I was as surprised as Alderman Thiel.

Almost clear: Old race track property to be wood chipping site
BY ROBIN MERO Northwest Arkansas Times
Posted on Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Fayetteville's ice storm debris problem was neatly solved — almost.
The city has nearly finished collecting tons of branches and limbs from yards and properties following the Jan. 27 storm. A contractor was found to grind the wood into mulch for use in gardening or as bedding in chicken houses.
Bedding materials are desperately needed by poultry producers, as saw mills across the region have closed due to a stagnant housing construction industry, the Fayetteville City Council heard Tuesday night.
The city will be reimbursed for more than 80 percent of the $5 million-plus cost.
There is only a single hitch — one that caused Ward 1 Alderman Brenda Thiel to vote against five fellow aldermen Tuesday.
The contractor will haul the 150,000 cubic yards of partially chopped wood to a 15.2-acre property south of Willoughby Road and east of U.S. 71B. That is the same property where the Thunder Valley Race Track once operated.
The contractor will spend three months grinding that wood, seven days a week and up to 10 hours a day, as a dozen tractor-trailers continuously cycle through — for loading and hauling the product to Huntsville. There will be about 1,500 trailer loads, predicted Gary Easterling of International Equipment Distributors, which won the $439,500 contract for disposal.
Thiel is concerned about noise, and that water runoff will be contaminated and flow into the West Fork of the White River.
"I understand the urgency, but I cannot support this," Thiel told the council. "This is in a valley and, as we know, the noise reverberates. This is surrounded by a residential neighborhood and will disrupt the area. I'm very sympathetic, as this population dealt with an issue for several years."
Mayor Lioneld Jordan said he also finds the solution imperfect, but he emphasized time constraints. The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality gave Fayetteville a May 27 deadline to remove the chips from three locations in the city, due to concerns about spontaneous combustion and leaching.
"The easiest thing to do would have been burn this wood, like Springdale did," Jordan said. "I thought we were a more environmentally friendly city than that, so I offered to chip it."
For the rest of the story, please click on the following link:
Thiel stands alone in defending her neighborhood and Beaver Lake watershed

Benton County officials may have written a good plan but don't expect compliance

Please click on images of typical Benton County stormwater protection efforts along the Osage Creek in the Illinois River watershed on Oct. 15, 2007.

The Morning News

Local News for Northwest Arkansas

Stormwater violations so common in Benton County that this headline sounds like a really bad joke. The lead sentence is misleading.

Benton County Meets Stormwater Requirements

Benton County has met all state and federal stormwater requirements, said Aaron Sadler, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality spokesman.
The agency sent County Judge Dave Bisbee a letter April 13 that shows the county's 2008 annual report has been reviewed and is compliant. The county is required to submit a stormwater plan report annually but had not done so since 2006, according to state records. Sadler said the plan submitted this year appears to be complete.
The county adopted an "enforcement mechanism" as part of its stormwater plan Jan. 30, according to county reports. Bisbee signed a court order just before the Feb. 1 state deadline.
The stormwater regulations are meant to curb sediment runoff from construction sites in the county's designated area. That area is 3 square miles of the most densely populated unincorporated areas, including Monte Ne and Prairie Creek. Federal regulations already apply to all construction sites disturbing 1 acre or more, and those that are smaller and part of a larger development, stormwater officials have said. However, the county must enforce regulations in the designated area.
The stormwater regulations mostly affect builders.

Monday, April 20, 2009

ADEQ shows signs of life in effort to reduce massive pollution by natural-gas production sites over Fayetteville Shale

A study conducted by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) found that fluids used in natural gas production have been improperly applied by landfarms operating in the state, thus endangering the environment.
The study findings were released in a report Monday. The report indicated that existing practices had, in many cases, caused environmental harm. Particularly, all 11 sites that land applied fluids at some point had improperly discharged the fluids so as to cause runoff into the waters of the state. Also, chloride concentrations in soil used for land application were abnormally high.
ADEQ Director Teresa Marks ordered the department’s study in November 2008 because of repeated permit violations at some of the sites. At that time, Marks also halted consideration of any new landfarm permit applications until the study was completed.
“With the increase in the number of landfarms and applications for landfarms due to expanded drilling activity in the state, concerns about the resulting environmental impact warranted a closer look at these operations,” Marks said.
ADEQ has taken enforcement actions against all 11 landfarms studied and has sought to revoke permits at two of the sites. Additional enforcement actions are pending and other revocations could be forthcoming.
The study supports changes to all existing or new landfarm permits. The changes include requirements that routine soil and water sampling be conducted at specified locations in the presence of an ADEQ inspector and that fencing be erected around all on-site ponds.
“The results of the study have caused us to put additional measures in place to ensure that these facilities are complying with the terms of their permits and are not causing harm to the soils and waters of the state,” Marks said. “We recognize that there is a waste stream created by the drilling practices that must be dealt with, but we want to make sure it is dealt with in a way that will not cause harm to the environment.”
Scientists in ADEQ’s environmental preservation and water divisions prepared the report. ADEQ employees visited the 11 landfarms between November and January.
On many site visits, the department discovered downstream concentrations of chlorides and total dissolved solids that were higher than those taken upstream.
While landfarm permits prohibit land application of any fluid with chloride levels higher than 3,000 milligrams-per-liter, four facilities held fluids with levels over the permitted maximum.
Soil at eight of the sites contained chloride amounts that exceeded permitted limitations.
The study found that the high chloride content at some sites might irrevocably damage the soils there.
In addition, the study found at nine sites concentrations of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) in amounts that suggested that application of oil-based drilling fluids had taken place. ADEQ permits strictly prohibit such application.
The full report is available on the department’s Web site, A link to the report is located in the “Hot Topics” section on ADEQ’s home page.


Gerard Matthews at Arkansas Times has more plus an aerial photo of a polluted holding pond. Click here

For a video which graphically shows the untold damages by Rod Bryan and Ark. Conservation Alliance back in 2008 click here.

Disappearing-highway video highlights mistakes of highway planners who underestimate the power of stormwater runoff into streams

Mayor Lioneld Jordan attends Earth Day at World Peace Wetland Prairie on Sunday

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of Mayor Lioneld Jordan with the big hackberry lying across a part of World Peace Wetland Prairie in the background.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Volunteers tireless at World Peace Wetland Prairie's celebration of Earth Day

Please click on images to ENLARGE a couple of the volunteers who worked to the end Sunday during Earth Day on World Peace Wetland Prairie. Karen Takemoto pauses while trimming honeysuckle in the top photo and Dan Millican pauses while cutting limbs off a giant ice-storm downed hackberry tree on World Peace Wetland Prairie on Sunday. The hackberry is the one that was nicknamed the habitat tree back in 2002 or 2003 by the Fayetteville city tree-ordinance administrator and urban forester.

Flow area of wpwp accumulating silt from muddy flow from the north

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of silty water flowing across World Peace Wetland Prairie from adjacent development site.