Friday, July 31, 2009

White bug on basketflower

For some closeup still photos of the critter after I pulled it off the basketflower, please see

Do it wrong once. Do over wrong again. What will they do next time?

Please click on July 31 image to ENLARGE view of mulch being spread on top of planting boxes from which dirt washed away during July 20, 2009, rain. For some reason the landscapers don't understand or are paid not to care that this material will also wash off and pollute the rich, black soil of World Peace Wetland Prairie.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

July 29, 2009, views of landscaping on Hill Place student-apartment construction site before and after rainstorm erodes dirt onto World Peace Wetland

After the rain on Thursday afternoon July 30, 2009. Click on image to ENLARGE view of eroded planting bed with edging strip uncovered and red-dirt chunks exposed on the north edge of World Peace Wetland Prairie.

Before the rain just before lunch time for the landscaping workers. Click on image to ENLARGE view of landscaping strip in place to retain soil and the nonnative tan soil piled high and even most of red-dirt chunks covered.

Please scroll down to previous post to view photos from Thursday July 29, 2009.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Greenish, gray substance spread on top of loose, nonnative topsoil and red dirt poised to erode onto the northern edge of nature area on July 29, 2009

Please click on image to ENLARGE July 29, 2009, view of some grayish-green paint-like substance spread thinly over the red dirt and tan "topsoil" spread on the slope from the Hill Place student-apartment parking lot down to the edge of World Peace Wetland Prairie and Pinnacle Foods Inc.'s wet prarie. I didn't find a label for that, so I can't guess its content. But what are the chances that it is something one would choose to have run off onto a public nature area's rich, dark organic prairie soil? Does it contain any chemical fertilizer or nonnative seed or what? We are still waiting for the promise of all the spill off that wall being dug out and hauled away to be kept.

Please click on image below for larger view of some unidentified shrubs planted on Hill Place complex. Each plant apparently has its own miniature water line. Is that a sustainable practice? People at Town Branch Neighborhood Association meetings in 2007-08 with the developers asked for native plantings and never suggested wasteful watering. Will more such ridiculous landscaping be allowed on future construction projects in "Green" Fayetteville? Our city has so many invasive, nonnative plants now that the struggle to remove it seems overwhelming, just on acreage where people are trying. Planting sod, decorative shrubs and even trees in shallow soil with a rocky or red-dirt base is NOT creating greenspace. Real greenspace has deep natural soil and collects enough rainwater to keep plants alive and growing. Ideally, spots selected to be identified as greenspace on a construction site in the bottomland or prairie portions of Fayetteville should NOT be graded or changed but protected from the beginning so that water can percolate down to it if if the planting beds and median areas are surrounded by filled areas. Street water should be allowed to flow into such beds for watering when rain occurs. Plants should be native species without mulch between them. If the soil is covered with anything but living vegetation it isn't truly greenspace. It is just a bit of green veneer.

Fescue fungus and cattle symptoms discovered in 1977. But city still allows it to be planted on public land

Please click on image to ENLARGE and read Hill Place student-apartment vendor's statement of analysis of the seed spread on the as-yet-not-not-graded-down-to-original-level new park land. The statement is unclear which of these cultivars of tall fescue actually is being spread. None, of course, would qualify as native grass. Will this keep happening in FayetteGreenNam?

The Iconoclast posts online for the first time since May 17. It took a big lie to stir Johah to get back to work!

The Iconoclast
"A true man will speak, not in humble whispers, lest he offend potentates and powers, but in clarion tones, swerving neither to the right nor to the left, till at last his words of fire burn through dull understandings and into cold hearts."
SUNDAY, JULY 26, 2009
Duplicitous and Divisive

It was like a bad acid flashback last week. Dan Coody and his camp followers showed up at a Ward Two meeting called by Alderman Matthew Petty to discuss the plans for improvements to Garland Avenue from North Street to Janice Street. Dan Coody lives on Mt. Sequoyah in Ward One, and his wingman Rob Sharp lives in Ward Four, but they both had plenty to complain about regarding the proposed plans.

Back in 2006, the Coody-backed street bond plan called for a five lane swath including a continuous 12' center turn lane, and that was the plan that Coody proposed to the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department in June, 2008. Then Coody got beat in November 2008, and on March 31, 2009, the new City Council Street Committee unanimously approved a revised plan that included a continuous tree-lined median and 5' bike lanes on either side.

On April 30, 2009, AHTD responded that it would not recommend the continuous raised median and instead said the 5-lane slab was "most appropriate." The City began trying to negotiate with the AHTD, which had pledged $1.5 million toward the project and has considerable control over state highways, which Garland Avenue is as a segment of Arkansas Highway 112, to get approval for as much of a tree-lined median as possible and for two separate bicycle lanes. It appears that they were having some success, because now the state is saying it didn't outright veto the median proposal, and Mayor Jordan is planning on meeting again with state highway officials in Little Rock.

So, now comes Coody to the ward meeting on July 16 and starts saying that the City was selling us out and should demand the plan with the median or nothing at all, the false dilemma proposed by retired Physics Professor Art Hobson who regularly complains about the car culture. Rob Sharp, architectural drawer of the John Nock Renaissance Marriott Hotel, said any compromise was just plain foolish. Marie Riley, a UA Computer Services employee, and Mike Johnson, a UA Associate Vice Chancellor over the Physical Plant, both of whom live in the eastern Washington-Willow area near Mission Boulevard, chimed in on cue calling anything except a continuous raised median "a sell-out."

Dan Coody and his little band of supporters staged a big show at Alderman Petty's meeting. I agree with them that the raised median is the best proposal for Garland Avenue, but I am appalled by their total lack of honesty. When Dan Coody was in office, he proposed that the section be five lanes of asphalt with a suicide turn lane, much like the one that his administration had backed for the sterile string of strip malls and fast food franchies on Martin Luther King Boulevard back when it was still Sixth Street. That was the Dan Coody plan for Garland, too, and the good thing is that he fiddleflopped around for two entire years from 2006-2008 without accomplishing anything.

Had Dan Coody originally supported a raised median and bike lanes back in 2006, we would now be in the construction phase instead of the obstruction phase. Coody's change to support the new administration's plans for the tree-lined median came only after resistance from the state, because he saw a chance for some media attention by trying to create a controversy to complicate the City's efforts to carefully work through the bureaucratic roadblocks.

Divisive Dan needs to come clean and admit that he was the one that proposed the treeless five-lane disaster. He had a good opportunity to do so at the meeting when he told the crowd that the section of Garland was destined to become a commercial strip, but he couldn't reach deep enough to confess the errors of his past. Instead, as always, he tried to find someone else to blame for the problem that he created.

Duplicitous and divisive, Dan Coody will continue to create controversy in hope for the media attention which he craves. Can nothing rid us of this turbulent politician?
Posted by Jonah at 11:56 PM

Schedule of programs on CITY 16, government channel on Cox Cable in Fayetteville, through coming Saturday

Natural-gas drillers ignore consequences of drilling and production and tout 'cleanness' of natural gas

To link to this article from your blog, copy and paste the url below into your blog or homepage. Using this link will ensure access to the article, even after it becomes part of the NYT archive.

Walking the Land Where the Drilling Rigs Will Go
Published: July 28, 2009
The estimates of the energy trapped in the Catskills’ Marcellus Shale are staggering. But to get that energy, we will have to give up a good share of the biological integrity of the land that lies above it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Loose tan topsoil from someplace spread over red dirt that buried the silt fences protecting World Peace Wetland Prairie. Rain was forecast on July 28

Please click on images to ENLARGE view of the north edge of World Peace Wetland Prairie where a parking lot has been built on several feet of fill dirt. Landscapers spread loose non-local topsoil on top of red dirt with nothing to stabilize it on July 28, 2009.

The Spanish-speaking men going the landscaping work are very nice people, but they clearly have not been trained to prevent erosion and do not understand that protecting the rich, black soil in the World Peace Wetland Prairie city-owned nature park should be their priority. I was promised a week or so ago by someone on site that the red dirt off the edge of the parking lot wall would be dug out and removed. Instead, it has been covered with loose dirt that will spread across the flow area of World Peace Wetland Prairie when rain comes. That could be tonight and a high chance of rain is predicted for several days this week. Protecting the rich, black dirt is, of course, the main priority of those who care about WPWP and wet prairies in general.

Please click on image below to ENLARGE and see silt fence buried under red dirt and hauled-in loose dirt ready to wash onto World Peace Wetland Prairie.

America's Wildlife Heritage Act needs support of outdoor-sport enthusiasts NOW

Speak up for America's Wildlife Heritage Act‏
From: Julia Marden, National Wildlife Federation (
Sent: Tue 7/28/09 12:37 PM

Dear Aubrey,
We shouldn't make the mule deer wait.
The mule deer (whose large ears can actually wiggle independently of each other), is iconic to the Rocky Mountain West. And unfortunately, it is facing threats of global warming and habitat loss much like every other wildlife species.
But ironically--despite the threats they face--mule deer populations are still too strong to be monitored and protected like endangered species are.
Ask your representative to support a law that safeguards wildlife species and their habitats before they become critically endangered.
Right now, Congress is considering legislation called America's Wildlife Heritage Act. This bill will help federal land management agencies safeguard species like the mule deer and require scientific objectives and monitoring to make sure wildlife populations remain at healthy levels.
Current federal law doesn't do much to protect America's wildlife, until it's almost too late. Instead, oil, gas and other interests have received priority on public lands over wildlife and the health of their habitats.
Here's a big chance to put wildlife conservation back on the agenda.
Just one bill could make all the difference.
Encourage your representative to be a leader in wildlife conservation by supporting America's Wildlife Heritage Act today.
Julia Marden
Online Grassroots Coordinator
National Wildlife Federation

Was a grading permit required for this ditch work that cut the roots of a pair of trees and resulted in the removal of several more, which were burnt?

Please click on image for closer view of ditch between two houses on S. Van Buren Avenue on a day when thunderstorms are predicted for the rest of the week! The rich soil was set up for instant erosion!

Why didn't fire truck put out this untended fire on S. Van Buren Avenue today?

Please click on image for larger view of untended fire damaging riparian-zone trees along the Town Branch of the West Fork of White River between South Van Buren Avenue and South Ellis Ave. A neighbor who lives across the stream on Ellis Avenue called to report the fire two days in a row. One would assume that the firefighters would have explained when the permit was issued that the fire must not be left burning with no one attending and should be allowed burn under the canopy of riparian trees,

Health care in Arkansas, a report from state representative Lindsley Smith

Interim Update‏
Sent: Mon 7/27/09 7:20 PM
A health care package of more than 20 items – the most expansive such program in state history – will be funded by a combination of tobacco taxes and a 3-to-1 match in federal funds.
Last week’s column addressed the centerpiece of the package, the creation of a statewide trauma network that would upgrade hospitals across the state in order to get trauma victims to the best care possible as quickly as possible. This week, we’ll look at the other programs benefiting children, the working poor, and the elderly.
Lawmakers raised the state tax on a pack of cigarettes by 56 cents, and by a more complicated amount, on smokeless tobacco. State finance officials estimate the tax increase will generate $70 million a year.
For the first time ever, the state is providing money to community health centers. They previously had gotten only federal funding. Fifty-nine centers will receive a total of $15 million this fiscal year to help in the care they provided to more than 500,000 Arkansans, many of whom are employed but lack health insurance. Thousands of others have recently lost their jobs and will need basic health care.
Home-and community-based services of the Department of Human Services will receive $5 million to hike the pay of personal-care workers, many of whom make the minimum wage.
The ArKids First insurance program will be expanded, so that 20,000 more children of low-income families can receive coverage. Some 70,000 Arkansas children have no health insurance. The income eligibility limit has been raised to 250 percent of the federal poverty level for a family of four, or $55,125. That will cost about $3.8 million.
The state has long face a shortage of doctors, nurses and other medical providers – and a shortage of teachers at our medical school. Lawmakers this year approved $3 million in operating funds for a second branch of UAMS. The new branch is Fayetteville is already operating.
DHS also will receive $5 million for substance abuse treatment for children and pregnant women, serving about 3,000 people, including 2,200 children.
Public schools will receive $3 million for school nurses, and another $1.2 million will be available for immunizations in schools.
The ARHealthNet program, which was created in 2007 to help small businesses provide insurance to their employees, will receive $2 million.
Food banks in the state will receive a total of $1 million to help in their mission of providing food to a growing number of hungry Arkansans. Treatment of autism will receive $1.5 million.
The elderly will be able to receive much-needed dental care, through a $2.7 million grant to the Department of Human Services, and more free screenings for breast, cervical, lung and other cancers will be available through the department.
A healthier Arkansas leads to a wealthier Arkansas, not just in financial terms but in quality of life. These programs will be of benefit for decades to come.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Neighbors' worst fear: Incorrect trail-head sign as bad as incorrect headline in a newspaper

Residents of West 12th Street were starting to believe my assertions that a city trail was being built west from 12th into Pinnacle Prairie and then north to Hill Place construction site until Friday evening when the contractor for the Hill Place student-apartment complex put up this sign before leaving for the night. I don't dare walk there right now! Homeowners on that short portion of West 12th were promised decades ago that the street would never be opened to the west. The Aspen Ridge town-house developers got city permission to build on a decades-old platted street right of way and dug it out full width. However, the developers who later took over the already-cleared 30-acre site for student apartments asked to build a street bridge across the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River where Aspen Ridge workers had installed a walking bridge, obviating the need for the entrance for vehicles from 12th Street. So the Town Branch Neighborhood Association negotiated to have a trail built in that right of way, which is finally happening. It will provide pedestrians and bicyclists access to a wonderful portion of Pinnacle Foods Inc.'s wet prairie, just west of World Peace Wetland Prairie, a city nature park. But, until it is all done, the residents of the area will not stop worrying about the threat of motorized traffic and talking about the long-forgotten promise.

Suddenly, surprise lilies everywhere on July 25, 2009, scattered through the yard

Please click on images to ENLARGE view of surprise lilies in bloom on July 25, 2009, on South Duncan Avenue in a private peace garden in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Please visit for many more flower photos from July 25, 2009.

Steve Christman sums up surprise lilies
886 Lycoris squamigera
Common Names: surprise lily, magic lily, resurrection lily, naked lily
Family: Amaryllidaceae (amaryllis Family)
Get link to this Profile or click for data record #886 ShareThis
Surprise lilies are surprisingly easy to grow in the garden or in containers. Description
Surprise lily grows from a bulb about 2 in (5 cm) in diameter. In mid to late summer, usually after the fourth of July, it lives up to its name by erupting from the ground with inch-thick stems, 2 ft (0.6 m) tall, each topped with a cluster of 6-8 slightly nodding lilac pink flowers. The flowers are fragrant and striking in detail - like small amaryllis lilies with rose pink petals flushed with lavender highlights. They are funnel shaped with six lobes to the corolla, about 3 in (7.6 cm) long and an inch or two across. The whole surprise, from first emergence to full anthesis (bloom), takes only 4-5 days. The grayish straplike leaves do not appear until the following spring. They are about 1 ft (0.3 m) long and an inch wide, radiating out and flopping over from the base. The leaves are lush and attractive at first, but by early summer they look terrible as they wither away for another year. Hurricane lily (L. radiata), is similar in many respects, but it has red flowers and long stamens that extend way past the corolla.
Surprise lily comes from Japan or China. It is believed to be a hybrid between L. straminea and L/ incarnata, both native to the Orient.
Surprise lily thrives in both sandy and clayey soils, with acidic to alkaline reactions.
Light: Full sun to partial shade. Surprise lily flowers best in full sun.
Moisture: Surprise lily does fine with ordinary garden watering. It goes dormant in summer, after the foliage has died back and before the flowers emerge. During this period it needs virtually no water at all.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 - 10. This is the most cold hardy of the Lycoris species in cultivation.
Propagation: The hybrid surprise lily is a triploid (has three instead of the normal two sets of chromosomes), and, like a mule, is sterile. Surprise lily produces large bulbs that multiply quickly. These can be divided every 3-5 years. Plant bulbs with their tops just an inch or two beneath the ground surface, deeper in colder regions. They will do just fine under a sodded lawn.
The large pink blossoms of the surprise lily resemble those of its cousin the amaryllis (Hippeastrum spp.). Usage
A cluster of surprise lilies makes a striking accent anywhere. You may want to use these in the semishaded woodland garden or along its edge where the messy withering foliage in early summer won't distract. But we like to see the flowers right out in the lawn! Damn the wilting leaves and damn the mowers! When the surprise lilies and hurricane lilies pop up, we mow around them. Many gardeners like to interplant surprise lilies, and other bulbs that flower before their leaves emerge, amongst perennials or at the back of a border. Like other members of the amaryllis family, this one is often grown as a potted plant.
Surprise lily is a robust and vigorous plant that requires no care at all. This is an old time southern garden favorite, a member of a group of summer and fall flowering bulbs that are sometimes referred to as "Guernsey lilies." It's hard to imagine a more beautiful flower that is so easy to grow. There are several species of summer or fall flowering Lycoris, and the unrelated autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale), is yet another bulb that sends up a naked stem topped with showy flowers.
Steve Christman 12/12/00; updated 8/17/03

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Flowers attract women to the Farmer's Market on the downtown square in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on July 25, 2009

Please click on images to ENLARGE view of women and flowers on the Fayetteville square on July 25, 2009.

Youngsters, World War II vet and consistent vendor at Fayetteville Farmer's Market on July 25, 2009

Please click on images to ENLARGE photos from Farmer's Market in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on July 25, 2009. From top to bottom, the pictures feature boys learning to appreciate flowers, a veteran of two wars who signed a petition against allowing multi-story apartments to be built next to the Fayetteville National Cemetery and one of the market's long-time vendors.

Still more people at the Farmer's market on Saturday July 25, 2009

Please click on images to ENLARGE view of people on the square relaxing and smiling and sending messages to Justices of the Peace in protest of threatened limestone quarry on outskirts of west Fayetteville and even getting a professional massage while others shop and visit on July 25, 2009.

More people on Fayetteville square and a butterfly on tall clover at World Peace Wetland Prairie

Please click on images to ENLARGE views from Fayetteville square and a yellow sulphur butterfly on World Peace Wetland Prairie tall clover on Saturday July 25, 2009.

Farmer's market attract diverse crowd, even family in a rickshaw-style touring cycle

Please click on images to ENLARGE view of scenes from Dickson Street and the Fayetteville square on Saturday, July 25, 2009.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Life is still worthwhile if you'll just smile

Gotta enjoy the smiles!

Please click on image to ENLARGE July 24, 2009, photo.

Change That Works offers healthcare canvass from 1-4 Saturday and Monday meeting at 6:30 p.m.

Please click on images to ENLARGE directions to Change That Works office.

I wanted to invite you to our healthcare canvas on Saturday from 1-4 and to our Monday night meeting at 6:30 p.m. at our office. I'm including some info to help you find the office.

Here is a map of the location of the Change That Works office. I'm also including the google street view of our office. You can't see our office from this view (it's obscured by shrubbery,) but the building in the back of the photo is our office. The sign in front says "The Chiropractic Store" and above that it says "We Sell Health!" If you have any trouble finding it, just call me and I'll get you there! Our meeting on Monday starts at 6:30 and we'll have plenty to eat (burgers and pie) and it will be fun. Hope you can make it.
Amy Harper
(727) 667-1072

Hairy wild petunia one of hundreds of native species that will be visible from Pinnacle Prairie Trail, which must be completed within three weeks

Please click on July 24, 2009, images to ENLARGE view of machines working on base of new Pinnacle Prairie nature trail for bicyclists and pedestrians to enjoy. The trail is being constructed only about 200 feet west of World Peace Wetland Prairie.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Diana Smith speaks about threat to her life, limb and property from Hill Place development traffic, but who listens?

Smith home and yard will be threatened by vehicles leaving Hill Place student-apartment complex

Please click on images to view new traffic lane facing home of Diana and Larry Smith at the intersection of South Duncan Avenue and West Hill Avenue. The traffic will be coming from what is to be called Royal Oak Drive. Hill Place is supposed to be complete on August 15 and neither a tall fence to keep the headlights from shining into their home nor a big boulder to keep speeding cars from crashing into the house has been discussed with the Smiths by the developer's contractors. A lot of promises were made starting in 2003. Few have been kept. Coming next: A few words from Diana on video.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Owning land doesn't mean you control the mineral rights! Don't buy one without the other!

Item from Facebook on Wednesday morning: Matt Petty said he needed a break but probably didn't mean a break in his leg

Twitter on Facebook from Matthew Petty: Want to see a picture of my broken leg? Warning: it may make you queasy...
about an hour ago · Comment · Like
View all 8 comments

Robin MeroOuch
5 minutes ago

Jason LuscierOH - MY - GOD!! That's intense!! I hope you have a speedy recovery!!
2 minutes ago

Aubrey James Shepherd: Matt, I still don't know how this occurred, but I just saw another replay of the May 14 City Council agenda session on City 16. Your response to Mayor Jordan's asking at the end of the meeting if anyone wanted a council tour before the July 21 meeting was "I need a break."
Surely, this isn't the break you wanted. The big guy is the sky surely misunderstood.
I'm glad it was clean and you were able to avoid surgery. Be carefull what you wish for!

DISCUSSION of rezoning of sale-barn property next to Fayetteville National Cemetery tabled until August 18 rather than Aug. 4 as developers' requested

Please click on image to ENLARGE 2009 aerial view of Fayetteville National Cemetery, the sale-barn on its eastern edge and wetland areas to the north and west toward South Hill Avenue.

By Skip Descant

The Morning News reports that consideration of proposed rezoning of sale-barn property tabled until August 18, 2009

FAYETTEVILLE — Rezoning the 9-acre Washington County Livestock and Sale Barn was left on the third reading Tuesday night. The council tabled the measure for four weeks, at the request of the developers. Campus Crest, a student housing developer wants to build apartments on the site. The move is opposed by a number of surrounding neighbors and veterans groups representing the nearby Fayetteville National Cemetery.
At the last city council meeting, Dan Normand, a representative for Campus Crest, said the company is willing to issue assurances that it will keep its word on certain developmental amenities such as a 25-foot vegetative buffer.
The developers are asking the property be rezoned from light industrial to downtown general. Bills of assurance attached to rezoning tend to better spell out what sort of development can happen, say planners. For example, the developer may make assurances regarding general development concepts such as density or building height, said Kit Williams, city attorney.
Alderman Update
Ward 2 Alderman Matthew Petty was not at Tuesday's meeting as he recovers from a broken leg he suffered while on Center Street in Fayetteville on Monday. He was on his way to Giraldi's restaurant.
No vehicles were involved.
He says surgery will not be needed.
Source: Staff Report

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Report on the big hole-tel in downtown Fayetteville, Arkansas, on July 19, 2009

Please click on images to ENLARGE view of the Big HOLE-TEL, aka macadam parking lot with no free parking just west of South College Avenue and a block from the Fayetteville Farmer's Market on the city square.

Shouldn't the taxpayers in the TIF district get free parking if for some strange reason they should need to park there?

Coneflowers in full glory and an American basketflower trying to bloom under drought conditions on WPWP on July 19, 2009

Please click on images to ENLARGE flowers on World Peace Wetland Prairie on July 18, 2009.

On the coneflower below, a Japanese beetle does his best to reduce the quality of the crop of wildflowers on WPWP in summer 2009.

Tiny pollinators make a big difference in the future of flowers on World Peace Wetland Prairie on

Please click on images to ENLARGE pollinators nectaring and spreading pollen on World Peace Wetland Prairie on July 17. 2009.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A floor above Fayetteville Underground

Fiddler UNDER the roof

Fayetteville food drive and Washington County "stop the quarry" efforts touted on square on Saturday July 18, 2009

Please click on images to ENLARGE view of details. The finger points to the area where the red-dirt pit that owners want to convert to a limestone mine sits on the edge of Fayetteville. It is up to the Washington County Quorum Court to see that the proposal is not allowed. Residents of Fayetteville and the rest of Washington County must let their justices of the peace know their feelings about this project or it could become an even uglier disaster than shown on the poster. And the limestone pit is estimated to take 75 years to deplete!