Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Contact legislators early Wednesday morning to make some good things happen

Tomorrow morning the energy bills will come up before the House Insurance/Commerce Committee. Jon Woods of Springdale (479-200-3100) is a critical vote. PLEASE contact him phone before 10:00 am tomorrow, when the committee will meet. You could email him, but I don't have that to share with you. Oh boy does he need to hear from you now.

The bills and talking points are listed below. Thanks to Citizens First for staying on this so doggedly.

If you can, please let me know if you get a response... positive or negative.

Thanks Omni Folks,
Gladys


Bill Kopsky at Arkansas Public Policy Panel wrote:
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2009 15:03:13 -0500
To: gwleaders@ARPanel.org
From: Bill Kopsky at Arkansas Public Policy Panel
Subject: Fwd: energy showdown - save money, create jobs, help the
environment
CC: staff@arpanel.org,board@arpanel.org,steeringcommittee@ARPanel.org

The key votes are now: Maloch (Magnolia) , Hoyt (Morrilton ), Wells (Paris), Dunn (Forrest City), Lovell (Marked Tree), Ingram (West Memphis), Cooper (Melbourne), and Woods (Springdale).

Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2009 14:56:34 -0500
To: environment@ARPanel.org
From: Bill Kopsky at Arkansas Public Policy Panel
Subject: energy showdown - save money, create jobs, help the environment


Friends,

Wednesday morning at 10am in the House Insurance and Commerce Committee (map here), Room 171 of the State Capitol, two key energy bills will come up for testimony and a vote.

We are currently plus or minus 1 or 2 votes on both bills and every bit of effort you can put into contacting your legislators on the committee and coming to the hearing will be a huge help. The vote will go either way -- we are getting heavy industry opposition.

Please do everything you can to call your lawmakers and attend the hearing.

HB1903 by Rep. Cash will provide consumers and Arkansas businesses with rebates and incentives to increase their energy efficiency through weatherizing your home, putting in new windows, buying more efficient appliances, etc.

HB1851 by Rep. Webb will lower barriers to using renewable energy in Arkansas and help consumers and businesses upgrade to renewable energy.

Very few bills will come up where there is clearer choice between serving the public good and serving narrow big special interests.

HB1903 has the support of the Governor, the Attorney General and the Chair of the Public Service Commission. It saves consumers $700 million over the next ten years, creates local jobs in construction and renovation that can't be outsourced, and will reduce our global warming impact significantly. What is not to like?

The utilities, the State Chamber of Commerce and big industrial users are attacking the bills with half-information. They point out that HB1903 will cost consumers money ($27 million by their estimate), BUT THEY'RE NOT SAYING IS IT WILL SAVE CONSUMERS UP TO $700 MILLION over the next ten years. That is a return on investment of over 20:1. Even if the savings were half of our estimate, they would still be a return on investment of over 10:1.

Please call your members of the House Insurance and Commerce Committee (map here) and ask any of your family and friends who live in these districts to also contact their legislators to support HB1903 and HB1851.

The Citizens First Congress is a grassroots coalition of over 40 community groups from across Arkansas that works on progressive reform at the Arkansas Legislature.

Our Ten Priorities for a Better Arkansas for the 2009 Arkansas Legislature are
Increased resources for rural and small business economic development.
Enact the recommendations of the HIV/AIDS Task Force.
Progressive tax reform to provide low and middle income tax relief while generating sufficient state revenue.
Enact the recommendations of the Global Warming Commission.
Create an Arkansas Civil Rights Commission.
Close the education achievement gap.
Enact the Dream Act to make sure every student graduating from an Arkansas school has the opportunity to pay in-state college tuition.
Create a Task Force on Arkansas Water Resources.
Increase penalties for and enforcement of wage theft.
Expand state incentives for land conservation.

Gladys Tiffany
Omni Center for Peace, Justice & Ecology
Fayetteville, Arkansas USA
479-973-9049 -- gladystiffany@yahoo.com

Public invited to view plan for widening portions of Huntsville Road and Fifteenth Street from 4 to 7 p.m. today

People interested in protecting Northwest Arkansas' two major watersheds, in this case, the watershed of the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River and Beaver Lake, need to turn out and make sure that the planners are taking into account the potential affect of this project on water quality and the need for stormwater retention to avoid increasing the flooding and erosion threat downstream.

View Larger Map
Please use controls and cursor to move the image, zoom in or out and trace the whole route to be discussed this afternoon.

Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department officials will reveal the first phase of design for widening a 2.7-mile stretch of Arkansas 16 between S. College Avenue and Stonebridge Road to four lanes and installing a traffic light at the Stonebridge intersection, east of Crossover Road from 4 to 7 p.m. in the activity center of Fayetteville First Assembly of God at 550 E. 15th St. There won't be a presentation; residents can look at displays, ask questions and give feedback verbally or on survey forms, The Northwest Arkansas Times reported in its March 31, 2009, edition.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Doug Timmons still leading the charge to protect Beaver Lake in Benton County

Doug Timmons is a former president of Association for Beaver Lake Environment.
Thank you, Doug. We in Washington County are also very interested in maintaining the highest quality of water entering the White River and Beaver Lake.
People in our county (including this member of ABLE and participant in two of the focus groups of the Beaver Lake Policy Group) are still shaking their heads over a conditional-use permit issued by Washington County Quorum Court to allow a red-dirt farm to become a limestone quarry expected to last 70 years in a barely rural neighborhood, despite the outcry of the neighbors. The JPS actually voted down some of the weak restrictions recommended by its planning officials.
Don't expect county government to help fight pollution of our watershed much at this point.
But plenty of people here agree exactly with what you wrote. We are making progress under our new mayor. So Fayetteville likely will do its part.
Aubrey James Shepherd

Doug Timmons wrote on March 29, 2009:
To my fellow ABLE members,

Many of you might not be aware that the Northwest Arkansas Council (the good ole boys) has hired Tetra Tech to study the Beaver Lake watershed and to facilitate the development of a Beaver Lake Watershed Management Plan. They formed a Beaver Lake Watershed Policy Advisory Group (PAG) that is made up of different stakeholders. Acting ABLE President Tony Miltich has been participating on this PAG since I had resigned from the ABLE board but I have been monitoring this PAG and have continued to receive reference materials that Tetra Tech has been developing.

I was suspicious of this PAG from the beginning because many of the stakeholders on the PAG have not proven to be interested in protecting Beaver Lake in the past, and some have worked against protecting the lake (such as the NW Arkansas Property Rights group). I had communicated this suspicion with the ABLE board on several occasions but we wanted to participate to make sure that the goals of the PAG were truly to protect the lake. Representation includes Tyson, lake area JP Frank Winscott (who hasn’t been a friend of Beaver Lake), the Beaver Water District (BWD), a developer or two, the head of the Bentonville Chamber (who supported Grandview Heights condos), the NW Arkansas Property Rights group (who fight any type of local regulation), etc. I think you get my drift here, that many of these people haven’t proven to be Beaver Lake friendly in the past.

My fears and suspicions have recently been confirmed. I attended a recent PAG meeting on March 25th as an observer. Tony was there as the official ABLE representative. The problem starts with the goals that were developed by the PAG. The goals are as follows:
Maintain high quality water supply (no argument with this one)
Restore quality of impaired streams (no argument with this one)
Minimize additional costs (I have a problem with this one)
Minimize additional regulations (I have a bigger problem with this one)
Cost Effectiveness (more in a moment)
Risk of future impairment to streams (no problem with this one)

Now, when the main goal is supposed to be protecting Beaver Lake from further water quality degradation, number 3 & 4 above shouldn’t receive much weight. The major goal should have been stated as… “What actions are required and by who, and how much will it cost stakeholders to protect Beaver Lake from further water quality degradation”?

Well, Tetra Tech presented four different strategies that were made up of various types of best management practices (BMP’s) and actions needed to achieve a percentage of sediment and phosphorous reduction needed to protect the lake. Of the four strategies, the first two relied mostly on voluntary measures and education, and completely ignored any regulation for developers, both during construction and post construction. Not surprisingly, those two strategies were not effective in protecting the lake, option 1 achieved only 30%, and option 2 achieved only 50% of the targets for reducing sedimentation and phosphorous. That means if those two options are adopted, the lake will continue to get dirtier and more polluted. I asked a question of Tetra Tech to confirm that fact and to make sure everyone understood that and Tetra Tech confirmed it in front of everyone. However, Tetra Tech tried to steer the group to option 2 because it was supposedly the most cost effective and didn’t include any regulations. Tony Miltich, myself, and one or two others spoke up forcefully against any strategy that doesn’t “hold the line” on current water quality. Others in the room didn’t seem so anxious to support option 2 (except the NW Arkansas Property Rights Group) because it didn’t really do the job of protecting the water. It seemed obvious to me that Tetra Tech was producing exactly the kind of options that would allow the good ole boys in the NWA Council to pat themselves on the back and say they are taking action to protect the lake. Lake area JP Frank Winscott spoke up and didn’t even think the Quorum Court would support option 2 because of the cost and certainly was against options 3 & 4 (even though they were the only options that would “hold the line” on current water quality. Option 3 achieved 75% of sedimentation reduction and 95% of phosphorous reduction. Option 4 achieved 95% sedimentation reduction and 121% phosphorous reduction!

The bottom line here is that it will cost money to “hold the line” on water quality. The Tetra Tech study estimated that it will cost about $40 million per year for option 3 and $59 million per year for option 4. I will stick to option 4 which is the best option to protect the lake. This $59 million included about $14 million that property owners would be responsible to maintain post-construction BMP’s on new development. This is not single family, single owner home construction we are talking about but new commercial development such as subdivisions, commercial development etc. The property owners could be businesses, POA’s of new subdivisions, etc. Farmers would only have a very small responsibility of about $1 million that would be for BMP’s such as pasture maintenance. Developers would have a large burden because the new development is what will cause a large percentage of the sedimentation and additional phosphorous in the future. They would have a responsibility for $26 million, which was estimated at $7,700 per 1 acre. Those costs would pay for construction BMP’s like dry retention ponds, or low impact development practices. That cost would be expected to be passed through to purchasers of the property, which in my opinion, is how it should be. Very similar to an impact fee. Local water suppliers like BWD would be responsible for $4 million for BMP’s. Local government’s costs would be $10 million for unpaved road improvements, storm-water program administration, and BMP’s. State government could provide grants estimated to $1 million and Federal government grants could provide an estimated $6 million. Now, if you really dig into these numbers, you would eliminate the grant monies because local people would not be on the hook for those monies, and you could eliminate the developer’s costs because those would be absorbed by new property owners. So, that leaves a total annual cost estimate of $26 million. There are 300,000 current water users in this region so if you do the math, that cost equates to $86 per year for each water user, or $7 a month added to a monthly water bill. Option 3 would cost less but doesn’t provide as much protection as option 4. Keep in mind that these “per user” costs would actually go down over time because the area population is expected to grow.

Is $7 a month too much to protect Beaver Lake? I don’t think so. If you think so, consider that a dirty and polluted Beaver Lake will reduce your property values, as tourists quit coming to the area, which means fewer people looking to relocate to this region. Cost will always be an excuse for not taking appropriate action unless the people make their voices heard. JP Winscott doesn’t think the QC will support this cost because he only hears from a few loud property rights people on a regular basis. All he hears from them is NO to anything the county tries to do. The silent majority needs to become more involved so that we have more say in our futures.

If option 3 or 4 is not adopted by the PAG, you can expect dirtier water in the future, that is beyond dispute now that the science is documented. The study stated that the water quality is good, has gotten worse over the previous years, and will continue to steadily degrade over time unless option 4 is adopted. I view this whole exercise as flawed because they are presenting false choices to the PAG to protect the lake, and calling option two the most “cost effective” option. I reject that because there is nothing effective about a plan that will only do half of what you need it to do. I also do not understand the goal #4 being included, because there are no local regulations that protect Beaver Lake. Voluntary measures are great, but won’t do the job, and some storm-water regulations are badly needed. Of course people want the cheapest possible way to achieve a goal, but if the goal is to protect the lake, to “hold the line” on water quality, then the only options discussed should be those options that actually “hold the line”. Any discussion about cost can occur after the needed actions are defined.

Please contact your JP, especially JP Frank Winscott, and let them know that you expect them to do what is necessary to protect the lake, to “hold the line” on water quality. Let them know it is not acceptable to allow Beaver Lake to become any more polluted. Letter to the editor are very good at communicating public opinion and I would encourage you all to do that. I will attach the copies of the reports that Tetra Tech distributed to the PAG. The reports contain some tremendous information you will find interesting.

Thank you for your support in protecting Beaver Lake!

Doug Timmons
Former ABLE President and current ABLE member

Bees and butterflies among the pollinators working World Peace Wetland Prairie on March 29, 2009

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of white-sulphur butterfly on China honeysuckle bush.

Please click on image below to ENLARGE view of a honeybee on a redbud tree.

Wild plum trees on World Peace Wetland Prairie blooming on March 29, 2009

Please click on image to Enlarge:

Five months ago on World Peace Wetland Prairie

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_4JC_ocVfdes/SO-24bUBLCI/AAAAAAAAEF4/tVO6pkZdad8/s1600-h/IMG_2583Painted+lady.JPG
The frustration of spring eased by looking back at the joy of autumn:
Painted Lady butterfly on Oct. 10, 2008
Every season of the year offers joy in the moment and sadness of the moment but the expectation of the next season modifies each emotion. Every day must be seen as the perfect day and its special beauty recognized.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Caring for Creation Conference a great success

United Methodist Church not the only denomination concerned about the environment. For examples, see a brief online Bibliography of Christian Environmentalism
Please click on images to enlarge of some of the tenets of the United Methodist Church in relation to global climate change.


Please click on image to ENLARGE view of one of the slides in the presentation with a quote from the one whose commands mean the most:

Turn off your lights at 8:30 tonight and save energy for an EARTH HOUR

http://www.google.com/#max7

Event aiming to turn spotlight on climate by turning off lights
BY KRISTIN NETTERSTROM
Posted on Saturday, March 28, 2009
URL: http://www.nwanews.com/adg/News/255910/
Organizations and residents across the state are flipping the switch tonight, turning their lights and other electrical gadgets off for an hour to raise awareness about climate change as part of the 2009 global Earth Hour effort.

Nearly 200 U.S. cities are expected to participate, with the lights going out at hundreds of McDonald's restaurants across the Midwest and at popular tourist attractions, such as Broadway marquees in New York and the spotlights that shine on Chicago's Sears Tower's twin spires. Cities in 84 countries are expected to participate at 8:30 p.m., their local times, The Associated Press reported.

"Obviously turning the lights off for an hour is more about making a statement than it is about having any real effect on saving energy," said Clinton resident Don Richardson, an Arkansas representative of Pew Environment Group and director of Arkansas Climate Awareness Project. He helped coordinate Earth Hour recognition in Arkansas.

Little Rock's downtown will be a little darker than usual, with exterior lights going dark at the Capitol, the Governor's Mansion, Heifer International and various Clinton Presidential Center buildings. Lights at the Clinton presidential library, however, will stay on because of a previously scheduled event.

World Wildlife Fund hopes 1 billion people will turn off their lights tonight as part of a "global vote" ahead of the Dec. 7 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, where world leaders will discuss and determine policies regarding global warming, which many scientists link to human activity.

"This is an important year and we need to raise awareness about this so it's on people's minds that this country really needs to step up and take some leadership on the global warming issue," Richardson said of the United States.

Along with movie stars and businesses, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has promoted Earth Hour participation in a
Earth Hour 2009 video on Youtube posted this month on the event's YouTube channel, according to The Associated Press.

Several Web sites have popped up urging people to keep their lights on as a counterprotest to Earth Hour.

In Little Rock, lights, copy machines and computers will be turned off at the Clinton School of Public Service and at the Clinton Museum Store on President Clinton Avenue in the River Market District.

"This is a great thing to participate in, and we hope we can help do our part to encourage energy conservation," said Clinton Foundation spokesman Jordan Johnson.

Turning out the interior lights at Heifer's headquarters won't be much of a hassle because the building uses motion detectors to turn off lights when no one is in a room, spokesman Dale Ingram said Friday.

"In a way, Heifer is already recognizing Earth Hour around the clock, every hour of every day of every year, and we appreciate more attention being raised to the issue of energy efficiency," Ingram said.

Earth Hour started in Sydney, Australia, in 2007, with an estimated 2.2 million homes and businesses turning out their lights for an hour. Last year, the environmental advocacy effort grew to 50 million and included landmarks such as San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, the Coca-Cola billboard in New York City's Times Square and the Sydney Opera House in Australia.

Copyright © 2001-2009 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact: webmaster@nwanews.com

Friday, March 27, 2009

Will you please go to CAT's Community Media Summit Web pages for schedule of events today and Saturday

Community Media Summit
Greetings from Community Access Television. We are pleased to announce
CAT Fayetteville is hosting the Create~Connect~Community Media Summit at the Cosmopolitan Hotel on the historic Fayetteville downtown square March 27-28.

The idea is to bring together community media makers, artists, activists, and advocates beginning a dialogue about how community media will thrive and continue to be a rich source of news, ideas, and inspiration. We are reaching out regionally in areas of community radio and TV, print media, visual arts, music, theatre, and entities using the internet. Our goal is to create a networking and educational event involving community media and anyone who values free speech, localism, inclusion, diversity, creativity, and media literacy.

*Events include:
Luncheon Workshop with Paper Tiger TV, Media & Democracy: The Next
Frontier
Opening Session Speaker, Mr. Charles Benton of the Benton Foundation
Workshops/Panels on Outreach & Diversity, New Media 2.0, Future Media
Policy
Show Your Stuff Trade Show with local and national vendors
Video Reception on Friday night - submit Your video today!
Alliance for Community Media Regional Meeting
Freedom Stage - Your chance to Speak or Perform publicly
FAT CAT Awards Banquet

There are a variety of ways you can participate:
We invite you to set up a table at our Show Your Stuff Trade Show (rates
on registration form).
We are also having a Show Your Stuff Video Reception which is free to
attend and only $10 to enter your video
(10 min. or less) to play on the big screen.
The Freedom Stage will be set up throughout the day on Saturday and
provide an opportunity to speak or perform for 5 minutes. This is similar
to our Short Takes at CAT which we offer free twice weekly.
The workshops/panels that are planned are on three main subjects:
Outreach - how you as an artist, non-profit, or local business owner can reach the public with emphasis on inclusion and diversity. Media 2.0 -
how you can use the new digital tools and social networking sites to enhance your message. Policy - how local and national legislators affect policy on media and how to keep media open and accessible to the People.
The FAT CAT Awards Banquet will be the grand finale of the Summit and will celebrate our C.A.T. Producers who aired shows in 2008. This is our red carpet catered event with 10 categories for producers to enter. If you would like to be a judge for this event, please contact us at: 479-444-3433 or email heather@catfayetteville.org
Please check out the official website at: summit.catfayetteville.org Community Media Summit for details. See flyer and registration form attached.
In Community,
Jori Costello, CAT Fayetteville Outreach Specialist
Community Access Television
101 W. Rock Street
Fayetteville, AR 72701
watch online at: www.catfayetteville.org

Schedule
Friday, March 27, 2009
noon-6:30pm - Registration - top of stairs
4-6pm - (FULBRIGHT ROOM) ACM SW Regional Meeting
6-9pm - (PIKE ROOM)Video Reception -
FREE and open to the public $10 to show your video - 10 minutes or less

Saturday, March 28, 2009
8am-4:00pm - Registration - top of stairs
8am-5pm (GARLAND ROOM) Trade Show
8-9am - (GARLAND ROOM) Opening Session Speaker with Contintental Breakfast - Webinar with Mr. Charles Benton of the Benton Foundation
9-10:30am - (GARLAND ROOM) Outreach Workshop/Panel - "Diversity Discussion"
9-10:30am - (McILROY ROOM) Raising Funds for Your Independent Film
9:30-10:30 - (PEG CENTER) PEG Center Tour
10:30-11am - (GARLAND ROOM)Entertainment - Everyone Can Sing Community Choir
11-12:30pm - (GARLAND ROOM) LUNCH with Keynote Speaker - PaPeR TiGeR TeLeViSioN -"Media Democracy:
The New Frontier"
12:30-1pm (GARLAND ROOM) Entertainment - Mashburn Scholarship Recipients present "Love or Money"
1-5pm (GARLAND ROOM) Freedom Stage
1-2:30pm - (McILROY ROOM) Media 2.0 Workshop/Panel - "New Media and YOU"
1-1:30pm - (UATV) UATV Tour
2-3pm - (UA LEMKE SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM) Free Speech Lecture Dr. Steve Sheppard
3-4:30pm - (McILORY ROOM) Policy Workshop/Panel - "The State of Community Media Today and Tomorrow"
6-9pm (CAT STUDIO) FAT CAT Awards Banquet
Community Media Summit

Severed limb budding at end. Birds and squirrels and rabbits may eat them



Here is the caption with the photo of limbs burning in Benton County:
Up in smoke:
Benton County employee Harvey Johnson watched a fire at 10791 Stoney Point Road near Lowell on Thursday. The county is burning limbs and trees broken by this winter’s ice storm. Other burn sites are at 9900 Marchant Road in Elm Springs, 21447 Waukesha Road in Siloam Springs and 19941 Bettis Hill Road near War Eagle. Washington County is also burning ice-storm debris on North 40th Street in Springdale. DAVID FRANK DEMPSEY / Benton County Daily Record

If no one in either county had a fireplace or a wood stove, this might seem slightly less ridiculous.
I hope a lot of people who can use firewood or who would collect it and sell it will be at those sites before more is burned and load it up and take it away.
This wood would save people money, reduce air pollution now and save the carbon in these limbs for actual home heating and reduce global climate change (because people with wood stoves and fire places will be buying wood next fall and reducing the tree cover even more in Northwest Arkansas).
Additionally, birds and squirrels are eating buds on those limbs where they are lying. In fact, many large limbs or trunks lying separated from the main trunk for nearly two months are budding right now! So wildlife are having to search a bit more for food, which may be tough for birds facing nesting season.
Burning material with this much value is WRONG.
It is even worse than chipping it all. This is incredibly wasteful and inconsiderate of people and other living things. I am proud to live in Fayetteville where an effort is being made to separate potential firewood for sharing and where the rest is being chipped rather than burned.
This is an example of the need for cross-training and keeping all environmental enforcement under one big umbrella. Apparently, it would be the responsibility of the EPA to see that FEMA's requirements for subsidizing "cleanup" efforts meet environmental guidelines. But I would bet that the EPA has had no input in the cleanup efforts. Otherwise, they would have required sound environmental use of the downed trees and limbs.
And, if there were any budgetary control of FEMA, their pet contractors would be required to compact and compress the loads of loose limbs in their trailers and trucks before claiming a load is full and counting it on the basis of cubic yards.
If you take waste metal to a steel yard or aluminum-recycling facility, you will have your vehicle weighed and then weighed again after the workers pull off what can be recycled. They don't pay more for half-empty truckloads or uncrushed cans that fill a big bag. The scales tell the story.
Should the taxpayers support a system that rewards only selected contractors and ignores the value of the material being destroyed in the pretense of "cleaning up" after a disaster? And requires the hiring of "inspectors" or whatever from different pet companies to make sure the trucks aren't overfilled?
My questions aren't original. I have heard these questions from residents of Fayetteville who are offended by the appearance of poor management and waste.
The city can't ask these questions because the EPA MIGHT look into the problem and FEMA MIGHT delay reimbursement of the city for the work that took a big chunk out of the city's reserve fund.
But somebody has to ask why they don't just weigh the loads and pay and reimburse on the results. My neighbors have asked.

Please go to CAT's Community Media Summit Web pages for schedule of events today and Saturday

Community Media Summit
Greetings from Community Access Television. We are pleased to announce
CAT Fayetteville is hosting the Create~Connect~Community Media Summit at the Cosmopolitan Hotel on the historic Fayetteville downtown square March 27-28.

The idea is to bring together community media makers, artists, activists, and advocates beginning a dialogue about how community media will thrive and continue to be a rich source of news, ideas, and inspiration. We are reaching out regionally in areas of community radio and TV, print media, visual arts, music, theatre, and entities using the internet. Our goal is to create a networking and educational event involving community media and anyone who values free speech, localism, inclusion, diversity, creativity, and media literacy.

*Events include:
Luncheon Workshop with Paper Tiger TV, Media & Democracy: The Next
Frontier
Opening Session Speaker, Mr. Charles Benton of the Benton Foundation
Workshops/Panels on Outreach & Diversity, New Media 2.0, Future Media
Policy
Show Your Stuff Trade Show with local and national vendors
Video Reception on Friday night - submit Your video today!
Alliance for Community Media Regional Meeting
Freedom Stage - Your chance to Speak or Perform publicly
FAT CAT Awards Banquet

There are a variety of ways you can participate:
We invite you to set up a table at our Show Your Stuff Trade Show (rates
on registration form).
We are also having a Show Your Stuff Video Reception which is free to
attend and only $10 to enter your video
(10 min. or less) to play on the big screen.
The Freedom Stage will be set up throughout the day on Saturday and
provide an opportunity to speak or perform for 5 minutes. This is similar
to our Short Takes at CAT which we offer free twice weekly.
The workshops/panels that are planned are on three main subjects:
Outreach - how you as an artist, non-profit, or local business owner can reach the public with emphasis on inclusion and diversity. Media 2.0 -
how you can use the new digital tools and social networking sites to enhance your message. Policy - how local and national legislators affect policy on media and how to keep media open and accessible to the People.
The FAT CAT Awards Banquet will be the grand finale of the Summit and will celebrate our C.A.T. Producers who aired shows in 2008. This is our red carpet catered event with 10 categories for producers to enter. If you would like to be a judge for this event, please contact us at: 479-444-3433 or email heather@catfayetteville.org
Please check out the official website at: summit.catfayetteville.org Community Media Summit for details. See flyer and registration form attached.
In Community,
Jori Costello, CAT Fayetteville Outreach Specialist
Community Access Television
101 W. Rock Street
Fayetteville, AR 72701
watch online at: www.catfayetteville.org

Schedule
Friday, March 27, 2009
noon-6:30pm - Registration - top of stairs
4-6pm - (FULBRIGHT ROOM) ACM SW Regional Meeting
6-9pm - (PIKE ROOM)Video Reception -
FREE and open to the public $10 to show your video - 10 minutes or less

Saturday, March 28, 2009
8am-4:00pm - Registration - top of stairs
8am-5pm (GARLAND ROOM) Trade Show
8-9am - (GARLAND ROOM) Opening Session Speaker with Contintental Breakfast - Webinar with Mr. Charles Benton of the Benton Foundation
9-10:30am - (GARLAND ROOM) Outreach Workshop/Panel - "Diversity Discussion"
9-10:30am - (McILROY ROOM) Raising Funds for Your Independent Film
9:30-10:30 - (PEG CENTER) PEG Center Tour
10:30-11am - (GARLAND ROOM)Entertainment - Everyone Can Sing Community Choir
11-12:30pm - (GARLAND ROOM) LUNCH with Keynote Speaker - PaPeR TiGeR TeLeViSioN -"Media Democracy:
The New Frontier"
12:30-1pm (GARLAND ROOM) Entertainment - Mashburn Scholarship Recipients present "Love or Money"
1-5pm (GARLAND ROOM) Freedom Stage
1-2:30pm - (McILROY ROOM) Media 2.0 Workshop/Panel - "New Media and YOU"
1-1:30pm - (UATV) UATV Tour
2-3pm - (UA LEMKE SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM) Free Speech Lecture Dr. Steve Sheppard
3-4:30pm - (McILORY ROOM) Policy Workshop/Panel - "The State of Community Media Today and Tomorrow"
6-9pm (CAT STUDIO) FAT CAT Awards Banquet
Community Media Summit

Game and Fish Commission sued over use of gas-leasing money

The lust of legislators to get back power over the Game and Fish Commission continues to play out. The commission has stood between politics and the states' fish and wildlife for generations. Its actions aren't always right, but overall no agency in the state has done as much for environmental protection.

Game, fish agency says plaintiff lacks standing in lawsuit
BY L. LAMOR WILLIAMS
Posted on Friday, March 27, 2009
URL: http://www.nwanews.com/adg/News/255822/
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is arguing that a lawsuit filed by a Little Rock man who says money from natural gas leases held by the agency should go to the state's general fund should be dismissed because the plaintiff hasn't suffered any harm.

The commission said in a response to James Dockery's lawsuit that, among other things, Dockery has no claim to the mineral leases and does not belong to any class of persons who claim to be hurt by the lease agreement.

Dockery's attorney, Q. Byrum Hurst Jr. of Hurst, Morrissey & Hurst in Hot Springs, said he disagreed.

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In July 2008, the commission reached a $29.5 million agreement with Chesapeake Energy for the lease of 11,500 acres in the Gulf Mountain and Petit Jean River wildlife management areas.
The Gulf Mountain site in Van Buren County is situated over the Fayetteville Shale, a geologic formation primarily in north-central Arkansas that's proved to be rich in natural gas. The lease is for $28.3 million for 4,000 acres.
The Petit Jean River Wildlife Management Area lease totals $1.2 million. That land is considered part of the Arkoma basin, where Chesapeake Energy has natural gas operations in nonshale formations.
Both leases are for five years and carry a 20 percent royalty payment - well above the 12.5 percent minimum royalty mandated by state law. If the company produces gas on the land, it can automatically renew the leases.


Drilling in the Fayetteville Shale is projected to have a $22 billion effect on the state's economy between 2005 and 2012, according to a study by the University of Arkansas that was partially funded by Chesapeake Energy.
Gov. Mike Beebe had called on the constitutionally independent Game and Fish Commission to share its revenue from leasing wildlife management land, saying the money belonged to "all 2.8 million Arkansans."
However, Goodhart raised concerns that spending the money on nonwildlife causes would risk the Game and Fish Commission's eligibility to receive future federal grants, which total about $20 million a year. The agency submitted a $95.4 million budget for the 2008-09 biennium.
In September 2008, Loren Hitchcock, deputy director of the Game and Fish Commission, reported that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had given the green light for the agency to share the funds with the state's Oil and Gas Commission and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, which is set to get $3.5 million of the lease revenue.
When Beebe was attorney general, he issued an opinion on the issue in 2006, which reads in part:
"In my opinion the funds may not be redirected to purposes other than those listed in Amendment 35. As noted above, the funds may only be expended for 'the control, management, restoration, conservation and regulation of the birds, fish and wildlife resources of the State' and for 'no other purposes.'"
Amendment 35 to the Arkansas Constitution established the commission as a nearly independent state agency.
For the rest of the story, please use the following link:
Game and Fish Commission sued over natural-gas money
Copyright © 2001-2009 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact: webmaster@nwanews.com

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Quorum Court approves red-dirt pit becoming a limestone quarry

9-3 one abstention.

Disregard for human beings and other living things prevails.

One has to believe that people in Washington County will quit voting for the majority of the people on the Quorum Court. Only Justices of the Peace Steve Zega, Candy Clark and Mary Ann Spears voted against the quarry. Justice of the Peace Ann Harbison abstained because of a potential conflict of interest.
Many who voted for the conditional-use permit to allow a red-dirt pit to become a limestone quarry acknowledged that they wouldn't want it next to their property but thought the need for more local sources of limestone for building roads justified making an exception for county rules to allow it next to other residents' property. At least some expressed mixed emotions on the subject.
This votes violates everything that is logical. This will violate stormwater regulations, air-quality regulations, health regulations, noise regulations, and the basic ethical position of DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO TO YOU.

Some normally clear-thinking members of the Quorum Court rolled over for this environmentally insentive madness and actually spouted totally out-of-character rationalizations for their "yes" vote.
I guess I am spoiled from living in the city. City residents expect fire, ambulance and police service in three minutes. Those JPs living out in the country must figure someone can burn them out way before help can arrive. They don't fear the people who speak out against such conditional uses. But they seem to fear someone.
Thanks to the naysayers in this instance. Their reelection is assured.
I can imagine breakfast meetings in farm houses all over the county will focus on drafting a candidate for JP who will care about the people in their district. They know how one neighborhood in the county was treated and they fear their JP will support the bad guys against them when the time comes.
The limestone quarry was a conditional-use permit, not a development by right. Quashing it was a slam dunk. No court would have upheld a challenge of a vote to follow the rules and do the right thing.
Can you spell KARST geology?

The Morning News
The Morning News reports on quorum court debacle
Local News for Northwest Arkansas

Washington County Allows Quarry

By Christopher Spencer
THE MORNING NEWS
FAYETTEVILLE -- The Big Red Dirt Farm can become a quarry.
Washington County's Quorum Court overturned the planning board's September decision to not allow a red dirt pit on Hamstring Road near west Fayetteville to become a quarry. The Friday vote was 9-3.
Justices of the Peace Steve Zega, Candy Clark and Mary Ann Spears voted against the quarry. Justice of the Peace Ann Harbison abstained because of a potential conflict of interest.
Opponents called it a blasted moonscape and a strip mine that would explode with dynamite, damage well water and blow dangerous dust into the air that will line the lungs of neighbors. Big Red Dirt Farm has operated since 2004.
Other quarries are nearby. County planners considered that when they recommended the quarry be allowed. The quarry is a compatible use with the area as long as certain conditions are met, such as a 100-foot buffer area and fencing, said planning director Juliet Richey.
(Actually, Richey recommended 150 feet but that was amended out of the ordinance.)
Blasting must also be limited to 24 times a year, according to the conditional use permit.
Lanny Samples spoke on behalf of the West Fayetteville Citizens for Environmental Quality, a group opposing the quarry. He said that, just because other quarries are in the area, doesn't mean another one should be allowed.
"If you have one sex offender in a neighborhood, are you going to put all the sex offenders in that neighborhood," Samples said.
Several opponents said the red dirt in the pit is almost exhausted.
Dirt Farm owners said there is enough limestone in the quarry to last between 50 and 75 years. There is also enough red dirt to last for several more years, they said.
Chuck Nestrud is an attorney for the owners. Nestrud said the operation was inspected by regulatory agencies 18 times and was never found in violation.
Billy Sweetser is a co-owner of the Big Red Dirt Farm. He said the owners have always tried to be good neighbors.
"Please approve us without anymore strings attached," Sweetser said.
Several justices of the peace said allowing the quarry boils down to providing building material close to where it is needed.
"There's not a lot of places in Washington County to put these things," Justice of the Peace Butch Pond said.
Big Red Dirt Farm's owners filed a lawsuit in Circuit Judge Mark Lindsay's court. A group of property owners who opposed the
quarry joined the lawsuit. Lindsay was set to hear the case last month, but decided the Quorum Court should hear the appeal.
County Attorney George Butler said the decision will likely return to Lindsay's court because the neighbors might continue their suit.

Lindsley Smith reports from the Arkansas General Assembly for March 26, 2009

Date: March 17, 2009
Due to the session moving so fast over the past two weeks, this update spans acouple of weeks of review of legislation.Expanding the state’s health insurance program for children capped the Arkansas House of Representatives’ ninth week of work, and lawmakers are nearing a vote on bills establishing the structure of the state lottery and the scholarship program that will be funded by lottery revenues.
The expansion of the ArKids First insurance program will bring coverage to 8,000 more children from low-income families. Some 70,000 Arkansas children have no insurance. House Bill 1700, by Rep. Robert S. Moore Jr. of Arkansas City, increases the income eligibility limit from the current 200 percent of the federal poverty level for a family of four ($44,100) to 250 percent ($55,125) of that poverty level. (The median family income in Arkansas for a family of four is just over $52,000).
The recent tax increase on tobacco will pay for the expansion. Subject to federal approval, the program also will be eligible for a 3-to-1 match in federal funds, official say. The bill goes to the Senate.
The House and Senate, meanwhile, have identical bills setting up the lottery and scholarships, and passage in both chambers will happen quickly. Leaders have been working on the legislation almost since voters approved a lottery last November. The bills are HB 1002, by Speaker of the House Robbie Wills of Conway, and Senate Bill 26, by Sen. Terry Smith of Hot Springs. Wills said lottery tickets could be on sale before the end of the year and the first scholarships will be awarded in the fall of 2010.
The House approved HB1576, by Rep. Lindsley Smith of Fayetteville, which is a bill to adjust for inflation the amount in controversy regarding wage disputes heard and decided by the Director of the Department of Labor. This law is important in allowing the Dept. of Labor to handle and settle labor disputes and is a law that was enacted in the 1930s. The amount in controversy has not been adjusted for inflation since 1973, and this bill will do much for helping employees get their due payment for work performed that was not compensated by the employer.
The House approved legislation restricting “Toughman” contests and similar fights in Arkansas, such as requiring adequate medical staff and setting up class-and-weight divisions for fighters. The bill stems from the death a couple of years ago of a “Toughman” contestant following a bout in Texarkana. Rep. Steve Harrelson of Texarkana, who sponsored the bill, said he worked with organizers of the bouts in drawing up the legislation and offered it as an alternative to banning the fights altogether, as some states have done. The bill goes to the Senate.
The House also approved HB 1326, by Rep. Lindsley Smith of Fayetteville, allowing citizens to have their attorneys’ fees paid in successful lawsuits against a government body in the most egregious violations of the state Freedom of Information Act.
Also during the week:
The governor signed into law a package of bills, now Acts 321 and 323, requiring more transparency and accountability at the state’s public colleges and universities on the salaries and benefits paid to top administrators and setting a cap on merit scholarships awarded to students solely at the discretion of college presidents. Rep. Bill Abernathy of Mena presented those bills in the House. A related bill, HB 1589, by Rep. Johnnie Roebuck of Arkadelphia, says all reports required of colleges and universities by the Department of Higher Education shall be posted online by the department, easily accessible by citizens. That bill has cleared both chambers and is now with the governor.
Final preparations are being made for votes on two significant tax cuts. One would lop off another 1 percent in the state sales tax on groceries, from the current 3 percent to 2 percent. The other cuts the state sales tax on energy consumed by manufacturers by three-fourths of a percent. The energy cut is aimed at saving jobs. Lawmakers two years ago cut the tax from 6 percent to the current 4 percent. State finance officials say the tax cut for manufacturers will reduce state general revenue by $9.6 million a year. The tax cut on groceries will cost about $30 million in state general revenues.
The House approved HB 1846 and HB 1847, both by Arkansas City’s Moore, to use revenue received by the state Game and Fish Commission for natural gas leases for a pilot program and grants for the development of wildlife observation trails and wildlife recreation facilities. The maximum for a single grant would be $100,000. The Game and Fish Commission recently signed leases with natural gas companies operating in the Fayetteville shale. The bills go to the Senate.
The House approved HB 1837, by Rep. J R Rogers of Walnut Ridge, to name a stretch of U.S. 67 – from Newport to Walnut Ridge – “Rock ‘n’ Roll Highway 67,” in tribute to the area’s place in history during the early days of rock ‘n roll when Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and other legends-to-be frequented clubs along the highway. The bill is aimed at boosting economic development and tourism as much as recognizing history. The bill goes to the Senate.
The deadline to file bills has passed. The House and Senate this year filed a combined 2,285 bills. Members filed 2,816 in 2007 and 3,176 in 2005, according to the Bureau of Legislative Research.
A ban on the sale of “novelty” lighters is now Act 329 of 2009. Many of those lighters are built to resemble cartoon characters, animals and even fire trucks and attract the attention of children. The legislation was prompted by a fatal house fire started by children playing with novelty lighters. Rep. George Overbey Jr. of Lamar presented the bill in the House
The House honored the life and contributions and mourned the passing of Jim Jackson and Nick Masullo in Resolutions sponsored by Rep. Lindsley Smith.
The House approved HB 1939, by Rep. R.D. “Rick” Saunders of Hot Springs, to give film production companies a 15-percent rebate on production and post-production costs for films made in the state. Companies also would get a 10-percent rebate for hiring “below-the-line” employees (including casting assistants, costume designers, gaffers, grips, production assistants, set construction and design staff) who are full-time Arkansas residents. Movie makers would have to spend more than $50,000 within six months to qualify. If the bill is approved in the Senate and signed into law, it would leave Delaware as the only state in the union without an incentive package for film production companies.
The House approved HB 1806, by Rep. Larry Cowling of Foreman, to make the pecan the state’s official nut and HB 2193, by Rep. Beverly Pyle of Cedarville, to make the Cynthiana grape the state’s official grape.
Date: March 22, 2009
In closing out the 10th week of the session, the House gave final approval to House Bill 1111, by Rep. Tracy Pennartz of Fort Smith, to cut the 1-cent-per-card tax on bingo games operated by charity to three-tenths of a cent. The original bill sought to eliminate the tax, but the amendment for the three-tenths of a cent will retain enough revenue to pay the expenses of the state Department of Finance and Administration in regulating the games. The bill goes to the governor.
On the lottery front, the House is one step from approving the Senate’s bill, and the Senate is one step from approving the House’s bill, filed by Speaker Robbie Wills of Conway. Passage is certain for both, as is the governor’s signature. The sale of lottery tickets could begin before the end of the year, and the first scholarship could be awarded for the fall semester of 2010.
In the meantime, a nine-member lottery commission will be established, with the governor, the Speaker of the House, and the Senate president pro tempore each selecting three members. That commission will hire a lottery director. Together, they’ll decide what sort of games the Arkansas lottery will consist of, including multi-state games such as Powerball. A legislative oversight committee also will be formed.
The size of the scholarships will be determined by how much revenue is generated by the lottery. Those estimates range from $55 million a year to more than $100 million. As we stand now, the scholarships will range from $2,500 a year to $6,000 a year to attend a four-year university. For two-year schools, the scholarship range will be from $1,250 a year to $3,000. Eligibility requirements include a 2.5 grade point average to get – and then retain – a scholarship. They also will be made available to nontraditional students.
The legislation also sets a two-year ban on former lottery commissioners from becoming lobbyists for the lottery industry and sets an ethics code for commissioners and employees. Voters approved the lottery in November, and lawmakers have been working on lottery legislation ever since

The House passed four bills by Rep. Lindsley Smith of Fayetteville. HB1475 and HB1476 establish funding for the homeless, victims of domestic violence, and other indigent and at-risk individuals who are in need of birth certificates and legal identification to establish themselves in housing, school, or work. These bills will help thousands of poor individuals with a jump-start to integrate themselves back into society after a traumatic or other event that caused them, and very likely their children, to lose their necessary items of identification.
Rep. Lindsley Smith also passed HB1552 out of the House. HB1552 provides that employers are to allow breastfeeding mothers the opportunity for taking a sanitary unpaid break in order to pump breastmilk to save for their babies for when they get off of work. In Arkansas, a large number of nursing mothers stop three months after giving birth because they have to go back to work to earn an income and the difficulties of pumping at work require mothers to stop nursing their babies. This legislation helps mothers be able to go back to work to earn money for the family without having to give up nursing their babies
Rep. Smith also passed HB2009 out of the House and it heads to the Senate. This bill establishes the Arkansas Heritage Trails System.
The House gave final approval to Senate Bill 875 to reduce the sales tax on energy consumed by manufacturers by three-fourths of a cent. Rep. Mike Burris of Malvern presented the bill in the House as a way to save Arkansans jobs. It now goes to the governor. The identical HB 1624, by Rep. David Dunn of Forrest City, has cleared the House but remains in the Senate. The bill will save manufacturers up to $9 million a year.
All 100 members of the House were co-sponsors of the bill to cut the state sales tax on groceries from 3 percent to 2 percent, leaving no suspense on the outcome of the vote on SB 88. Rep. R.D. “Rick” Saunders of Hot Springs presented the bill in the House. Now signed into law, the cut takes effect July 1 and reduces state general revenue by about $30 million a year. Lawmakers two years ago cut the tax from 6 percent to 3 percent as part of the largest tax cut in Arkansas history.

Also during the week, the House:
Approved HB 2007, by Rep. Barry Hyde of North Little Rock, to require state colleges and universities to go smoke-free by August 1, 2010. About half of the taxpayer-supported schools have already gone smoke-free, and the others have no objections and wanted the legislature’s stamp of approval, according to supporters.

· Approved SB 38 to raise from 14 years old to 16 the minimum age for operating a personal watercraft, maybe better known as jet-skis. Rep. Steve Harrelson of Texarkana presented the bill in the House. It goes to the governor
Approved HB 1256, by Rep. Dan Greenberg of Little Rock, to make it a misdemeanor to be an active and intentional spectator at illegal street races. Those who “promote and assist” the race could face Class B misdemeanor charges, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. The bill had been amended so that an “accidental” observer isn’t punished. The bill goes to the Senate.
Approved HB 1578, by Rep. Dawn Creekmore, setting restrictions on sex offenders whose crimes involved computers. The bill allows judges to restrict or even forbid computer usage by those offenders and limits those offenders to one e-mail address or one screen name. There’s an exception for computer usage required at work, and if the computer is provided by the employer.
pproved HB 1473, also by Creekmore, requiring the collection of a DNA sample from those who are arrested or charged with capital murder, first-degree murder, kidnapping or first- and second-degree assault. Current law requires a DNA sample only after a person is convicted of a felony.
Approved SB 312 to provide defibrillators to public schools, for the resuscitation of heart attack victims. The bill is in honor of a Little Rock youth who collapsed and died during a high school basketball game. The devices will be paid for by the recent increase in tobacco taxes. The bill goes to the governor.
Approved HB 1978, by Robert S. Moore Jr. of Arkansas City, to provide a tax rebate for rehabilitating historic structures in Arkansas. The rebate amounts to 25 percent of a project’s cost up to the first $500,000 on income-producing property and up to the first $100,000 on non-income-producing property. There’s a cap of $4 million on total rebates awarded in a fiscal year. The bill goes to the Senate.
Lawmakers on the House and Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs committees also have begun their study of proposed constitutional amendments. Up to three proposed amendments on general topics can be referred to a vote of the people each general election. The next general election is in November 2010.

Squirrel digs in wetland soil under oaks with glee

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of squirrel on March 26, 2009.

Doug Timmons shares his view of the planning for the protection of Beaver Lake

Hello to All,
Most of you probably don't know me because I wasn't able to participate with this group as was originally planned. I am a lake property owner and very interested in preserving Beaver Lake, which means I do not want to see the water quality further degraded. The Tetra Tech study is good, good data identifying needed target measures regarding sedimentation, phosphorous and nitrogen.
When the Beaver Lake Watershed Policy Advisory Group (PAG) was first formed, my fear was that the PAG would develop a strategy that would allow further degradation of the water quality. Since the creation of Beaver Lake, our local leaders have not had the foresight to take any actions to protect the lake so I was suspicious that this would be a sham that would allow this PAG and our local leaders to pat themselves on the back claiming they are leading in the effort to protect Beaver Lake.
If you look at page 9 of the Phase 2 cost analysis, Tetra Tech clearly points to Strategy 2 because of the lower cost and lower regulations associated with that approach. Never mind that it only achieves about 50% of the recommended protection targets!!! The Strategy is supposed to be protecting the lake, but it is obvious that keeping the costs as low as possible is more important than truly protecting the lake, and heaven forbid we have to enact any regulations/ordinances! Strategies 1 and 2 will not protect the lake as needed, and will allow further degradation to the water quality. That should not be acceptible to anyone!
I have no idea why a goal of a group developing a lake protection plan includes minimizing additional regulations as a goal (especially considering there are not many existing regulations). That should have never been entered as a goal, maybe a desire, but certainly not a goal. It is not realistic to think voluntary measures alone will achieve the goal of protecting Beaver Lake. While cost is obviously important, when you are developing a lake protection strategy, the emphasis should first be on protecting the lake, not the cost. This study seems to be putting the emphasis on cost and ideology against regulation.

If the PAG is truly interested in protecting Beaver Lake, I would strongly encourage you to recommend strategy 3 or preferably strategy 4 because those are the only strategies that truly protect the lake. The public is going to know the results of this study and will know what the PAG decides so I trust the PAG will do the right thing. I hope I am wrong and worried about nothing, because I know some of you have put a lot of effort into this PAG. Protecting Beaver Lake should be a top priority for this entire region, and taking half measures that won't protect the lake should not be tolerated by anyone. I hope you all feel the same way and will fight for strategies 3&4.
Doug Timmons

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports on the Beaver Lake Policy Group's activities

Democrat-Gazette story on Beaver Lake
watershed planning

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

For report on Beaver Lake watershed meeting please use link below

More photos to come and more comments likely.

Beaver Lake
watershed

My new favorite fast-food takeout shop in Springdale

Thanks to the Beaver Lake Watershed meeting at the Jones Center, I was at the right place at 5:30 p.m. to find another wonderful source of fresh and unique burritos and such. Had it been on a busy street in Fayetteville, it likely would have not been noticeable. There is no way they could have decorated the place THEIR way unless they were a national chain coming to Fayetteville. Such small businesses coming to Northwest Arkansas expect to rent or buy an existing building and change nothing but the signs and maybe add a few special decorations. A lot less intrusive than rebuilding to some corporate design scheme and getting past the sign ordinance because "corporate has to have it this way or we can't come here." And a burrito weighing a pound of more from one of these places is a lot more nourishing and has fewer waste calories of fat and sugar and salt than any chain's same food at the same price. As good as the national-chain fast-food place on the northwest corner of the Town Branch neighborhood is, I confess to getting a burrito from the Salvadoran semi-chain fast-food place at the southeast corner of the neighborhood twice as often. Now, if the Salvadoran place can just put in free wi-fi I might go there for breakfast or coffee some mornings instead of going to Ricks. Ricks of course is a mainstay of the central edge of neighborhood, the anchor on South School, sort of like Brenda's Bigger Burger, the mainstay of the northern edge of the neighborhood, the anchor at MLK and S. HIll Avenue.
By the way, my burrito pollo was excellent with a pepper I had to pass along because I can't eat such hot things and onions cooked to rare perfection on the side. Please click on image to ENLARGE.

A plan for management of the Beaver Lake watershed progressing

Mike Malone wrote:
This is a reminder about the Wednesday, March 25, focus group meeting with Tetratech to discuss the status of the Beaver Lake Watershed Management Plan that they have been helping facilitate. This follow-up focus group meeting with conservation and recreational representatives will take place on Wednesday, March 25 at 3 pm in the Chicago Room (room 220) of the Jones Center for Families in Springdale. They want to gather feedback on some of the management options that they have been developing for the watershed.
Mike Malone
387-5590

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Jonquil before the March 24, 2008, thunderstorm

Please click on image of jonquil to enlarge.

Stormy morning at World Peace Wetland Prairie

Please click on images to ENLARGE. Plants are beginning to bloom with the park's Earth Day celebration only 27 days away on Sunday afternoon, April 19. For a short video of some of the flowers that bloom at WPWP in summer, please turn on Channel 18 on Cox Cable at 11 a.m. during the short takes.

The photo above is a view west on Tuesday, March 24, 2009.
The photo below shows a redbud that welcomes birds to nest and people who appreciate nature's sculpture.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Arkansas Business.com lists 100-year-old businesses but doesn't mention old farms and plantations or orchards or sale barns

Please click on images to Enlarge view of some remnants of Fayetteville history and agricultural heritage that many believe must be maintained if local food production is to continue. The sale barn was built by the current owner's grandfather, I believe, more than 70 years ago.
The top photo shows a promotional handout from the Sale Barn Cafe, which is open from 11 a..m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and from 6 a.m. until activity at the sale barn wanes in the evening.

The second photo shows the view of the sale barn from the adjacent Fayetteville Naional Cemetery. To the northeast (left side of photo) the southwest slope of Mount Sequoyah is visible.

The third photo (below) shows the view from the cemetery to the northeast with down Fayetteville in the background and the Farmer's Co-Op a few blocks away.

Arkansas
Business reports on Arkansas' century-old businesses

Arkansas Business lists Arkansas' oldest companies

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Nice things around World Peace Wetland Prairie on March 22, 2009

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of frog facing a silt fence and maybe wondering why he can't get back to the pond from which he originated last fall.

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of daffodil. Daffies are winding down for this year but many other flowers are beginning to bloom.

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of wild plum flowers.

Thinking of getting rid of your wild-plum trees? You might consider going into business selling the flowers instead. See the link below for information from people who do that.

A site to order locally grown natural products

Wildcrops

The people who make it happen

The Government Channel, City 16, lost its audio feed for the Housing Authority Board and Partners for Better Housing. Add your own sound

Saturday silent showings at 9:00 p.m. HOUSING AUTHORITY BOARD, MARCH 19
and 11:00 p.m. PARTNERS FOR BETTER HOUSING, MARCH 19

Here is today's schedule. Tune in and enjoy the Sound of Silence.
Or maybe have a party and let everyone speak what they think is appropriate when the different participants appear to speak up.
Or use this link for appropriate music: A later video of the Sound of Silence
SUNDAY, MARCH 22
1:00 a.m. Community Events Calendar
5:00 a.m. Road to Recovery
6:00 a.m. U of A Historical Preservation Master Plan Presentation
7:30 a.m. Animals That Need Homes Now!
Fayetteville Forward Stories
8:00 a.m. FPL: Adult Winter Read
SIFE/City Partner on LIGHTS
8:30 a.m. Community Events Calendar
9:00 a.m. HOUSING AUTHORITY BOARD, MARCH 19 RAN without sound
9:45 a.m. Fayetteville Forward Stories
10:00 a.m. PARTNERS FOR BETTER HOUSING BOARD, MARCH 19 RAN without sound
10:45 a.m. Animals That Need Homes Now!
1:00 p.m. AIRPORT BOARD MEETING, MARCH 18
2:30 p.m. Light Rail Transit System: Success & Failure Stories
3:30 p.m. Speeding: What You Need To Know
4:00 p.m. Community Events Calendar
4:30 p.m. SUBDIVISION COMMITTEE MEETING, MARCH 12
5:30 p.m. ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS MEETING, MARCH 12
6:30 p.m. CITY COUNCIL MEETING, MARCH 17
7:45 p.m. Tony Furtado And The American Gypsies Gulley Park Concert
9:45 p.m. Fayetteville Forward Stories
10:00 p.m. Fayetteville Community Garden Coalition #1
11:00 p.m. Gulley Park Summer Concert Series 2000: Jason D. Williams

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Thornless rose beautiful but unidentified

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of tiny pink thornless rosel

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of tiny pink rose.

Focus group to discuss plan for Beaver Lake

On Wednesday, March 25th, you are invited to a focus group meeting with Tetratech to discuss the status of the Beaver Lake Watershed Management Plan that they have been helping facilitate. This follow-up focus group meeting with conservation and environmental representatives will take place on Wednesday, March 25th at 3pm in the Chicago Room (room #220) at the Jones Center for Families in Springdale. They want to gather your feedback on some of the management options that they have been developing for the watershed.
I believe each of you participated in the first focus group meeting Tetratech convened a few months back. If you have suggestions for other folks who should be included in this focus group, please let me know or pass this invitation along to them.
Tetratech has put together a series of newsletters to update you and other focus group members on the status of the project. I will distribute some of the newsletters attached to this message and others attached to another message early next week.
Please let me know if you have any questions and whether you will be able to attend the meeting on Wednesday, March 25th at 3pm.
Thank you!
Mike Malone
387-5590 (cell)

Omni's peace-leadership forum at 6 p.m. today

Cultural Competence – and you thought it was boring?
Peace Leadership Forum Saturday, March 21 – 6:00 pm United Campus Ministries Deep End “Food With A Story Potluck”
Program: Cultural Competence with Val Gonzalez, Human EQ
Some of America woke up to how interesting cultural competence was as we watched jumbo jets smash through the World Trade Center. The wiser of us have taken note of how diverse our world has become, and realize that the citizen of the future needs to understand his neighbors. For peace leaders this is a critical issue at a critical time. Please join us as we begin a new journey of understanding. Gladys Tiffany, Omni Center for Peace, Justice & Ecology
Fayetteville, Arkansas USA 479-973-9049 gladystiffany@yahoo.com

How do we improve journalism as newspaper advertising and circulation dry up?

Clay Shirky's
Web log focuses on history and future of newspapers realistically

Shirky provides a lot of detail but no solution. However, my reading of some of his essays suggests a partial solution, an action that people who understand the value of trained, dedicated journalists to gather and share facts can take:
People who depend on the Internet for information must pay newspapers in order to support the journalists. Maybe every payment to a newspaper from an online addict should include a note to its publisher something to this effect:
I will buy your paper on condition that you maintain your professional staff of journalists and faze out your printing of your paper only as universal access to its content online comes closer to reality. Because I can use the Internet to read your paper, I will not ask you to deliver a copy to me. But, until everyone has access to your information online, please keep up the effort to print and distribute your paper to those who remain reliant on or addicted to the printed version.
A democratic society and just about everything that is better in our world now than it was 500 years ago is the result of literacy and worldwide access to information.
Volunteer investigators, researchers, reporters, photographers and editors cannot replace the work of trained people paid to do that important work. And the uninformed opinion so happily shared by millions of people online will never become any more valid or useful without an increase in the amount and the quality of professional journalism.
After you read Shirky's blog, visit his main Web site, where endless Internet information, some of it technical, is offered.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Do this for our wives, girlfriends, mates, mothers, aunts, nieces, cousins and daughters

The time is NOW! Four items are needed NOW! KEEP READING FOR GREAT NEWS!!!!!
Passage of the ERA could occur this week. We need four things to insure that action.

1. Governor needs 1000 emails this weekend at mike.beebe@governor.arkansas.gov or jenny.boshears@governor.arkansas.gov not to sway him but for his use, if desired. The emails should thank him for his expressed support and then ask him to ask senate to pull ERA resolution from committee and then ratify resolution on floor. eg: "Dear Governor Beebe; I greatly appreciate the support you have give to ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. I ask for your continued support in urging Senator Faris and the total senate to pull the ERA resolution from committee and to vote YES for ratification".
This will be a proud day for Arkansas. Thanks! Berta Seitz.
2. Senator Steve Faris, chairman of the Senate State Agencies Committee needs 100s of calls (as he does not use email) asking him to support pulling the ERA resolution from committee. His home phone is 501-337-7307 or senate line 501-682-2902.
3. Rep. Butch Wilkins at bl-wilkins46@hotmail.com from Bono near Jonesboro and Larry Cowling at cowlingl@arkleg.state.ar.us need 10, but all of Arkansas and all of the Democrats on the State Agencies Committee. 73% of Arkansans support men and women having equal rights and think that women should be included in the U.S. Constitution. Wilkins has 4 daughters who need the legal protections given in the constitution that do not presently apply to them. He is a Baptist but needs to know that supporting equality of all of God's children is a very Christian thing to do. Cowling only has one son and is Episcopal. The ERA does not support abortion or gay marriage. It simply includes women in the constitution. Use any of the above or your own reasons for supporting the ERA. They must support in committee.
4. Be ready to go to LR next week for history. We expect the vote on the senate floor to be either Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon. I hopefully will know later today. I will email as quickly as I know. Then we will immediately take it to House committee on Wednesday or Friday so you need to come prepared to work the House.
Folks we can do this but we must send the emails and make the phone calls. There are over 10,000 members of the ERArkansas Coalition. We just need to act this weekend!
Thanks in advance!
Berta L. Seitz
ERArkansas Coalition Coordinator



Gladys Tiffany
Omni Center for Peace, Justice & Ecology
Fayetteville, Arkansas USA
479-973-9049 -- gladystiffany@yahoo.com

Swimming in a Sea of Ideology available in print and online

To read about or to read click on

Coralie Koonce's book, Swimming in a Sea of Ideology now in print and online
to visit her Website.

One of the most important Amendments of the Arkansas Constitution threatened by politicians

This isn't a good idea. Political control of wildlife and fishery management in Arkansas was a disaster when the amendment was passed and it would be again if the amendment were repealed.

Panel Recommends Ending Game & Fish Autonomy

By John Lyon
THE MORNING NEWS
LITTLE ROCK -- A Senate panel on Thursday endorsed six proposed constitutional amendments, including measures putting the Game & Fish Commission under the control of the Legislature and bring back biennial legislative sessions.

Among the proposals recommended by the Senate Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs was Senate Joint Resolution 11 by Sen. Terry Smith, D-Hot Springs. If referred to the ballot and approved by voters, the amendment would give the Legislature control over the Game & Fish Commission, which is an autonomous agency under Amendment 35.

"I just think it's time that this agency be put back under the executive and the legislative portion of government," Smith told the committee. "I think they're not in tune with Arkansans."
For more of the legislative report from The MorninG News
http://www.nwaonline.net/articles/2009/03/20/legislature/032009lrlegamend.txt

Follow the link below to read
amendment 35.

Constitution Of The State Of Arkansas Of 1874.
http://www.sos.arkansas.gov/ar-constitution/arcamend35/arcamend35.htm
Amend. 35. Wild Life - Conservation - Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission.

§ 1. Commission created - Members - Powers.

§ 2. Qualifications and appointment of members - Terms of office of first commission.

§ 3. Term of office of members.

§ 4. Oath of office - Members serve without compensation - Expenses - Payment.

§ 5. Removal of members - Hearing - Review and appeal.

§ 6. Vacancies - Filling - Chairman of commission.

§ 7. Executive secretary and other personnel - Selection - Salaries and expenditures.

§ 8. Nepotism prohibited - Powers of arrest - Funds - Use - Purposes - Game Protection Fund - Audit of accounts - Resident hunting and fishing licenses - Powers of commission.

Publisher's Notes. This amendment was proposed by initiative petition and approved at the general election on Nov. 7, 1944, by a vote of 115,214 for and 72,797 against. See Acts 1945, p. 770.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Where have all the hen ducks gone? Long time passing

Please Enlarge view of the lonely drakes in the stream that flows downhill from N. Duncan Avenue and through the Beverly Manor apartment pond.
Joan Baez performs when will they ever learn, where have all the flowers gone
Mary Travers and the Kingston Trio perform WHERE have all the flowers gone

Mary Travers, Pete Seegers and the Kingston Trio perform WHERE have all the flowers gone
Pete Seeger sings with grandson

Community food gardens are also storm gardens or rain gardens with an extra value

Something that hasn't been mentioned in the discussion of the proposed system of community gardens in any of the meetings I have watched on Government Channel since January is the natural stormwater control that community gardens provide. Basically, a well-managed community garden projected to raise food has all the potential value to cleanse water and reduce stormwater runoff that the widely touted rain gardens provide.
The only difference is what is planted. Rain gardens with native plants can also contain what we think of normal food plants. In fact, World Peace Wetland Prairie has had a few tomatoes, okra and other edibles growing out front. And the blooms of many food plants, especially okra, are dramatically beautiful.
Admittedly, gardens aren't easy to develop on some of our steep slopes, but the flatter areas of Fayetteville that haven't been paved or filled with red dirt for construction offer some of the best soil for gardening that can be found!

Tree contractors begin second round of picking up limbs and trimming hanging limbs

Northwest Arkansas Times reports tree contractors begin second round of limb pickup

Windy, dry weather causes Fayetteville to stop issuing permits for outdoor burning

"The wind was picking up, so we decided to cut them off for the rest of the day," said Fire Captain Scott Jones of the Fayetteville Fire Department.

Northwest Arkansas Times reports Brush fires flare up in county Tuesday and Fayetteville officials stopped issuing permits for outdoor burning at noon.

March 14 Morning News confirms what blogger who lives in Beverly Manor reported after March 11 fire

Northwest Arkansas Times reports official's view that gas line was broken by excavator and gas built up inside the Beverly Manor Apartments
Jenn explains that University was trying to restore pond
The Morning News confirms item on graduate student's blog

Please click on image above to ENLARGE view of the Alpha drake of the flock of ducks at Beverly manor inspecting a backhoe that had been used in an attempt to free a large trackhoe from the ducks' pond on Friday March 13, 2009..

Please click on image above to ENLARGE view of the track excavator stuck in the remains of the silted-in pond on March 13, 2009..

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of the excavator after its removal from the pond later on March 13, 2009.
The Morning News confirms item on graduate student's blog

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Governor signs House Bill 1577 on March 16, 2009, with Northwest Arkansas sponsor and supporters on hand

House Bill 1577
Please click on images to ENLARGE view of Governor signing HB 1577 in lower photo and Bob Caulk (from left) of the Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association, Delia Haak of the Illinois River Partnership, Joyce Hale of the Sierra Club holding a copy of the bill, and legislator Uvalde Lindsey, the chief sponsor of the bill, after the signing.
Hale, a northwest Arkansas environmental activist associated with the Sierra Club, League of Women voters, OMNI Center for Peace Justice and Ecology, the Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association and many other conservation groups, was a leading proponent of the effort to get legislative backing for the measure to encourage protection of riparian zones, wetland and other important elements of Arkansas' waterways.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Storm drain built in June 2006 for Aspen Ridge getting close to completion for Hill Place

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of 11th street from intersection with Duncan on June 7, 2006. Storm drain at left, Hill Avenue in background. Street destroyed and blocked off. Blacktop overlay applied in 2007. New round of dump trucks damaging the new surface.

Please click on image to ENLARGE view same storm drain on June 7, 2006, when it first was created for the Aspen Ridge project.

Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River a major conduit of silt from urban development sites to Beaver Lake

Please click on images of the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River on the upstream (north) side of the bridge at Eleventh Street where the water from the storm drain shown in the preceding posts enters the branch. The brief, heavy rain had stopped and the flow had decreased. And muddy water had not yet begun to flow from sources upstream, so there was a marked contrast in the silt-load of the flow from the storm drain and the flow of the main branch. Had I chosen to risk destroying my camera in the rain, I would have shown how large the muddy flow had been only a few minutes earlier.

Storm drain top added but source of the muddy runoff remains

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of storm drain at the intersection of Eleventh Street and South Duncan Avenue. The top photo shows the newly poured concrete top on March 11, 2009. The other two are from the afternoon of March 10, 2009, after a short period of heavy rain brought muddy runoff down the unpaved street on the construction project to the northwest.