Monday, February 28, 2011

Ward 4 on Monday Feb. 28, 2011

Banjos, NOT Bombs Wednesday night on Dickson Street

This is just a reminder for Banjos Not Bombs this Wednesday. This event is shaping up to be a real happening! The banjo finale is going to be a hoot. We know of at least 20 folks who have fashioned their own banjos out of all sorts of odds and ends. You can too!
The final lineup, besides our featured act, Roy Zimmerman includes, Emily Kaitz, Still on the Hill, Trout Fishing in America, Guy Ames, Robin Rues, Doug Shields, and Dave Malm. All satire all night. Anyone with a banjo (or banjo like object) will get in for just $5!

Here are the details one more time. Bring a cushion if you want to sit on the floor. Don't miss this event!!!!
Thanks, Kelly and Donna

Banjos Not Bombs - Sit In/ Concert/ Happening
'A Night of Political Satire'
Featuring Roy Zimmerman, America's greatest living political satirist,
along with local favorites including Emily Kaitz, Still on the Hill, Trout Fishing in America, Guy Ames, Robin Rues, Doug Shields, and Dave Malm.
Wednesday, March 2nd at the Uark Ballroom, 7:00 PM

Bring your banjo!
Banjo players of ANY SKILL LEVEL are invited to join us in our attempt to set the
world records for 'Most Banjos on stage at once playing a protest song'
Chairs will be available for those who don't prefer the floor.
Tickets at the door - $10/ Students with ID or anyone with a banjo - $5
Presented by the Omni Center for Peace, Justice, and Ecology
For more information call 582 2291

Fayetteville High School expansion site photos now featured as bottom half of Flickr site linked below

Set of photos includes many from Fayetteville High School expansion site made Feb. 27, 2011.

Use link to Flickr site to view still photos from Sunday's kickoff workday at Walker Park Commmunity Garden

Community Garden site on Flickr. Photos from Sunday at Walker Park Garden may be run as slide show.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mayor Lioneld Jordan and Vice Mayor Brenda Thiel cut the ribbon to open the Walker Park Community Garden

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of Senior sign in front of the Walker Park Community Garden on February 27, 2011.

Community Gardening season kick off is at 1 p.m. today

Public education on conservation of natural resources never seems to be adequate

Fayetteville's proposed streamside ordinance has been modified to accommodate so many minor concerns that anyone who actually reads it and hears the staff and city attorney's explanation would wonder what Joe Alexander was talking about in his letter to the editor of the local newspapers yesterday.
However, his points bring up many problems.
A basic problem is that talking about owning water that flows by one's property or across one's property or under one's property is about as logical as talking about owning the wind that blows across one's property or the sun that shines upon us.
Every living thing depends on air and water and soil. We consume water and air directly and everything we eat comes from soil and water. Without our perfect distance and relationship with the sun there could be no life on this planet.
This ordinance is an attempt to protect those basics of life for all.
Some critics of the ordinance say that the city should try education first. That comes from people who have ignored the vast amount of information on conservation of natural resources that is available and has been widely available for a long time.
At age 70, I feel like I have been trying to educate people on such matters for a century.
One friend and neighbor of mine actually advocates turning the stream behind his house into a paved ditch. Only yesterday he referred to the paved ditches in Springdale and Rogers as examples of how those cities effectively manage their stormwater. I pointed out that both of those cities have been trying to restore some of those streams for several years.
The man's house is among the three in the neighborhood most threatened by flooding, something not mentioned by the proposed ordinance even though flood reduction is a major benefit provided by streamside buffers. But my friend never spoke at public meetings when we were fighting the developers who have increased the threat immensely in recent years. He didn't speak up against the high-school expansion plan that is eliminating even more absorbent soil upstream with only a big concrete structure underground that will have minimal capacity to slow runoff that will continue to threaten his property. Developers and growth-at-any-cost enthusiasts have been taking away his property rights for decades and his response even now is to write letters to city council members to protest implementation of an ordinance that he should have been begging for starting the day he bought the house.
But Joe Alexander rightly mentions pesticides, herbicides and fertilizer. Obviously, they should not be used near a stream. But where should they be used? I don't use them at all!!
Most such substances should NOT be manufactured at all.
But our monoculture agricultural practices depend on such. Our wildlife, from the bottom of the food chain up, and our descendants will suffer from their use.
A few years ago, I asked professor Doug James to name the greatest problem on earth. He replied, "overpopulation." I asked "what about global climate change."
He replied, "That is a symptom of overpopulation."
I read Malthus' treatise on population when I was in elementary school in the  1940s! I imagine that Dr. James read it before that. But our city is discussing a plan for growth through the year 2030 without mentioning overpopulation. The idea that sustainable growth is possible is unrealistic, but it allows those who would profit in the short term to pretend to be benefactors of mankind.
It is sad that the majority of people simply don't realize that almost everything we have today is not a necessity.
The rest of God's "creatures" live within their inherent limits, while we fight nature and fight one another and squander our resources.
The streamside ordinance is a way to make up for our past failures in a very small, inexpensive way.

Support Streamside Protection! 
See it through to the end!  The Council still needs to hear from you.
Protecting streams makes economic sense!
Here is your chance to make a difference!
What is a riparian zone?
The Streamside Protection Ordinance establishes a list of land uses that help to establish riparian buffer zones.  A riparian buffer zone is an area of trees, shrubs, and other vegetation adjoining and upgradient of streams and other surface water bodies. It intercepts surface runoff, subsurface flow, and deeper ground water flows and thereby buffers the effects of nutrients, sediment, organic matter, pesticides or other pollutants before they enter a stream (Welsch, 1991).
Actions you (and your friends) can take to make this succeed:
Attend: 6:00pm on March 1st at City Hall on Mountain Street in Fayetteville, AR.  This will be the third reading!
Email the City Council members. Use and ask that your message be forwarded to the Council members and to Mayor Jordan.  The mayor supports this and is a sponsor. 
Call the Council Members. A list of email and phone numbers is at;
Reasons to act:
Creates a vegetative buffer along streams which holds soil in place and reduces pollutants.
Less expensive than mechanically stabilizing banks.
It protects our drinking water and our recreational areas.
Our vegetated streams are beautiful and preferable to cemented ditches that can result from not protecting streambanks with vegetation.
Other communities around the country are doing this, as well, because they see the economic (social, environmental, and financial) value of protecting riparian zones. 
  • Estimated increased property values as a result of riparian buffer vegetation on a property was $1,400 to $1,625 per property (Qui et al., 2006).
  • It costs $250/linear foot to restore streams and their banks (City of Fayetteville cost history).
  • Riparian areas can reduce the nitrogen concentration in water runoff and floodwater by up to 90 percent and reduce the phosphorous concentration by as much as 50 percent (NSF, 2006).
There is opposition to this.  The Council needs to hear your voices louder and clearer.  This protects property.  It limits activities in areas along streams in order to prevent pollution and erosion that we all pay for eventually.
This citizen-driven initiative is before us for the third time.  We need to see it through to the finish!  We've worked very hard together.  Please help it succeed.  If you have already contacted the Council it is acceptable and even ENCOURAGED to write, call, or come speak up again

Thank you. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Larry Woodall shared this important link today. It didn't appear in our local papers, however

Scientists Are Cleared of Misuse of Data
Published: February 24, 2011

"An inquiry by a federal watchdog agency found no evidence that scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmos
pheric Administration manipulated climate data to buttress the evidence in support of global warming, officials said on Thursday."

Were there any justice the headline should have read:
'Scientists Cleared of Media Accusations of Misuse of Data'

Stop sign finally put up to replace one stolen weeks ago from the intersection of South Duncan Avenue and 11th Street where Bacardi Avenue exits the Hill Place student-apartment complex

Please click on individual images to ENLARGE view east on 11th Street toward Hill Avenue with South Duncan Avenue at right in top photo and northwest on Bacardi Avenue in the second photo. The post standing in the median had a Bacardi Avenue sign for part of 2009 and 2010, but it was stolen many months ago. The sign company, assuming it was the  same contractor that put up the stop sign in 2009, should have replaced the street-name sign as well. But the neighbors expected the privately built street through the development to be named Duncan all the way up to MLK Jr. Boulevard but the entry from MLK (formerly 6th  Street) was named Royal Oak Drive in honor of the ancient oak in the median at MLK but removed because it died once its roots were damaged by the street construction, so no one has complained about the Bacardi sign being gone, apparently. The intersection remains dangerous and confusing to motorists. The third photo is from 2003, when S. Duncan Ave. led into Don Hoodenpyle's driveway entry where it offered a left turn into an offset extension of 11th Street into a mobile-home park from which the residents were being forced out in favor of the later-to-fail Aspen Ridge project. The fourth, bottom, photo shows same view today. Residents of the Town Branch Neighborhood objected to allowing the developers to build the streets in the Hill Place project to less-than-city standard and to remain private property. But the plan went ahead, which makes enforcing traffic rules inside the 28-acre site difficult for the police.

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Council of Neighborhoods elects officers and discusses topics of interest for 2011 monthly meetings

Please click on individual images to ENLARGE view of all but two neighborhood representatives who attended on Thursday night, February 24, 2011. Many more neighborhoods in our city have never organized an association, but many have but do not send a representative except when they feel a threat. It is good to be there and speak up a bit and LISTEN to other representatives of neighborhoods with problems or exciting events to report or promote.

February 14, 2011, nature video on Cox Cable 218 included photos of Council of Neighborhoods meeting from 2007 that included representatives of about a dozen Fayetteville neighborhoods

Monday, February 21, 2011

Wetland between state revenue office and Baum Baseball field filled for apartment complex in 2004

Please click on individual images to enlarge view of project in progress on Aug. 20, 2004, and rest showing how complex looks after willow-shaded stream routed through buried pipe under pavement for roadway on February 21, 2011. Parts of the stream are surrounded by privacy fence. U.S. Corps of Engineers required protection of that remnant of the "swampy" stream corridor. Water collected from the apartment roofs and parking lots flows south through the pipe under the Baum Stadium parking lot and under ball field to a detention pond visible but now fenced off from 15th Street and Razorback Road. The flow from the detention pond south and is again a stream whose reparian area has been narrowed as a hotel and restaurants were constructed on the stream's west side south of 15th Street. At the northwest end of the apartment complex, a portion of the stream is protected west and north of the Revenue office next to the east-west rail spur. A small part of the original wetland complex is visible on the west side of Razorback Road immediately north of the railroad. Water there comes from around MLK Jr. Boulevard and a portion of the land to its north.
Water that formerly was soaked up by the prairie and savanna vegetation in that area now rushes downstream to join the west arm of the Town Branch that mostly comes from near the Walmart and portions of the I-540 corridor and it all joins Cato Springs Branch at Great House Park. That combined water joins the main Town Branch flowing from the UA football and basketball complex and Markham Hill a couple of hundred yards west of S. School Street. The combined Town Branch blasts its way to the West Fork of White River during heavy rain and is a major urban source of pollutants entering Beaver Lake.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Contact your congressman about wildlife values, now, please

Take Action   
Dear Aubrey,

Piping Plover Chick © Sidney Maddock
Birds like the endangered Piping Plover need habitat and strong federal programs to survive. Don't let Congress roll back habitat programs like the Land and Water Conservation Fund or cripple the EPA.
Radical attacks on birds, wildlife and habitat are taking place in the U.S. House of Representatives as they debate the Continuing Resolution (HR 1), a bill to extend government funding for the rest of the year. From the devastating cuts to the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a program we have fought for year after year, to plans that cripple the Environmental Protection Agency and its ability to protect our families, the proposed cuts in federal conservation programs are truly alarming.
Take ActionVotes will be taking place over the next few days and possibly into the weekend on this irresponsible bill. But our message is simple: keep environmental programs strong, don’t cut them; oppose HR 1.
Devilish Details
Here are just a few of the critical conservation programs that are under attack in the House. All of them impact the conservation values we stand for.
  • The Land and Water Conservation Fund is cut by 90 percent. This funding provides protection for lands and wildlife habitat in our National Wildlife Refuges, Parks, Forests and other public lands. Each day, 6,000 acres of open space are lost in the U.S. to habitat fragmentation and destruction. Once these lands are lost, they can never be recovered.
  • The North American Wetlands Conservation Fund is cut to zero. This program is fundamental to preserving wetlands throughout the country.
  • State Wildlife Grants are cut to zero. A zero budget will eliminate wildlife grant programs in your state.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency is facing a $3 billion dollar cut to its budget — the largest cut in 30 years. Such draconian cuts would jeopardize its ability to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and protect our families and the environment.
Take ActionNow is the time let the House know you strongly oppose these attacks on environmental programs that benefit birds, wildlife and habitat, and public health. Please send an email today and urge your House member to oppose HR 1.

HawkRescue aub vicki carl

City Council meeting lasts more than 5 hours, thanks to large number of people commenting on proposed streamside ordinance

City Council meeting of February 15, 2011, archived video.
Story in Northwest Arkansas Times online
Please click on image to ENLARGE.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A set of 2008 photos made within the first two hours after a flashflood hit south Fayetteville illustrates what Fayetteville's proposed streamside ordinance is designed to prevent

Please click on image to ENLARGE a sample photo from the set on Flickr.
Where streams meet between S. School and S. College avenues in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Speak up tonight to support the proposed ordinance to protect our streams and our watersupply from degradation

Tuesday, Feb 15, 6:00 pm City Council Meeting
Fayetteville Streamside Protection Ordinance
       Second reading

City Council is feeling vulnerable to the loud and uninformed voices - several from out of town -  that the media focused on at the first reading of this important ordinance.  They need to hear from responsible Fayetteville residents that we're willing to embrace this ordinance.  It's essentially a careful and reasonable set of rules, and city employees continue to try to refine it to work with property owners who are affected.  

Thank you Michelle Halsell for this post ...

... Please speak up for our local waterways!
Michele Halsell, Arkansas Power & Light  

Please consider showing your support for the Streamside Protection Ordinance!  

The proposed ordinance will be heard February 15 (2nd reading) and March 1 (3rd reading), 2011 at 6:00pm at the City Council meeting at City Hall in Fayetteville.  We want to provide ample time for citizens to provide comment and to learn about this very important initiative. 

You can read about the ordinance at;

You can also email the City Council members at and ask that your message be forwarded to the Council members.  The phone numbers of the Council members can also be accessed on the City's website,  

Thank you for continuing to be an integral part of this community.  This project needs you.  It needs your support and the Council Members need to hear from you.  You understand the economic benefits to protecting ecosystems and the services they provide. 

"It is less expensive to prevent pollution from entering a system than it is to remove the pollutants after they have entered the system." (EPA)  Please help tell this story to Fayetteville's City Council members, as well as to the rest of the community. 

For photos of streamsides have been damaged and riparian zones denuded and people studying the problem and attempting to reduce the problem,  please see Flickr photos.
 Or karst and wetland.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Congressional committee considering cutting funding for wetland and waterfowl conservation

The Ducks Need Your Voice Today to Protect Conservation Funding for Waterfowl!
Click here to take action for waterfowl conservation
U.S. House Appropriations Committee targets crucial conservation funding
Take Action for the Ducks!Dear Ducks Unlimited Supporter,
The U.S. House of Representatives is proposing deep cuts to vital funding for waterfowl habitat conservation programs and is taking other actions that would directly impact waterfowl populations and your hunting heritage.
These proposed cuts would significantly undermine the ability of state agencies, organizations like Ducks Unlimited, and individual farmers, ranchers and other landowners, to partner with the federal government to accomplish crucial conservation objectives. Just a few of the waterfowl habitat conservation programs and efforts that would be affected include:
  • North American Wetlands Conservation Act grants – Currently funded at $47.6 million – Proposed - $0. A program that has conserved more than 20 million acres of waterfowl habitat.

  • Clean Water Act protections – Proposed budget actions would prevent discussions from taking place that could restore protection to prairie potholes in key waterfowl breeding areas and millions of acres of other wetlands across the nation.

  • Funds for USFWS land acquisitions in the Prairie Pothole Region, also known as “The Duck Factory” – Proposed 81 percent budget cut.

  • State wildlife grants – Currently $90 million used by states to promote and assess the health of a state’s wildlife habitat, including managing lands that provide hunting opportunities.
    Proposed budget - $0.
If these cuts and actions take place, waterfowl, waterfowl hunters and wetlands conservation would lose in a big way. In short, these actions would adversely affect all of us who care about, and have funded, wetlands and waterfowl conservation. What’s being proposed by the House Appropriations Committee will cripple conservation efforts as we know them. Elimination of NAWCA, an 86 percent reduction of acquisition for refuges and seriously reducing many other programs so vital to our mission is something DU strongly opposes.
DU fully supports efforts to bring a greater balance to the U.S. budget, but these actions would be detrimental for future sportsmen and women. By cutting these programs, we are limiting the opportunities for future generations to enjoy the wonders of wildlife.
Let your elected officials know the importance of waterfowl habitat to you and your family.
H. Dale Hall
Dale Hall
Ducks Unlimited
Chief Executive Officer

Wet prairie flow-area snow melting fast

Please click on individual images to ENLARGE view of Pinnacle prairie flow area on February 13, 2011.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Pinnacle Wet Prairie Trail invaded by 4WD enthusiasts who drove around the posts protecting the paved trail from the north-end entrance from apartment complex

Please click on individual images to ENLARGE view of truck-tire tracks in snow and mud on and along the Fayetteville city trail through Pinnacle Foods Inc.'s wet prairie south of the Hill Place Apartment Complex. Have to wonder whether it was the same driver who made tracks in the snow last week on the city park land on the north side of World Peace Wetland Prairie. The trail is only a couple of hundred feet west of WPWP.