Monday, April 23, 2012

Scull Cleanup 4-8 p.m. April 23, 2012. Detail below

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Scull Creek/Habitat Cleanup TODAY 4-8pm.  In case you did not  receive the original announcement from me with a link to the Cleanup flyer,  it is below Mike's note.  It should be a gorgeous day for a work  detail.  Sara
From Mike Adelman-
Gloves, trash    bags, trail maps and bottled water will be available for volunteers at  the parking lot (north end) at Appleby and Gregg Street, starting at 4:00 p.m.     Look for Mike Adelman.
Please be sure to sign in and record your commitment to    improving the environment of our communities.

Mike Adelman

-----Original Message-----
From: sara caulk  <>
Sent: Mon, Apr 16, 2012 9:35 pm
Subject:  Do-Gooding Opportunity on Monday, April 23rd

It's time to  spruce up our Adopt-a-Trail section of the Scull Creek Trail  again.  
John Pennington has done the lion's  share of the organizing for this event again (THANKS, John!) which includes  the entire Scull Creek Trail corridor.
FNHA will clean our section of  trail which is the section that starts at Appleby Road and heads north  to where the trail intersects with the Mud Creek Trail.  The Environmental Action Committee Habitat  Project Team   has joined FNHA to  organize work parties for this section of the  trail.  
Please wear appropriate attire (long  pants and sleeves, water shoes/boots) for grabbing the treasures and  artifacts from the streambanks, water, and bushes along the trail, and  DON"T FORGET... There are bugs out there looking for blood donors so  slather yourselves with your preferred repellent if you're so inclined!
The flyer provided by  John Pennington has more details and a nifty map to show you where to park  and get your marching orders.  Please follow this link to the flyer on the  FNHA  websitewhere it has been  uploaded to our calendar. 
Thanks for your support, and we would  love to see you there!
Sara Caulk

Sarah E. Lewis

Friday, April 20, 2012

Kitty Creek destruction and native plants featured in Aubrey James Shepherd's Fayetteville Public Television shortake segment April 22-27, 2012

Good topic!
I have photos of many fires such as David describes and have ranted fruitlessly on the subject for decades. Everything from Aspen Ridge developers having thousands of trees (including a 90-foot-tall, 7 stemmed willow growing in a year-round wetland area) in 2005 to farmers, ranchers, and home-owners who simply don't know any reason not to burn any and all objects rather than put them in recycling bins or garbage cans.
As I recall, the state legislature actually outlawed all outdoor burning (excluding barbecue pits and such) decades ago but a later legislature weakened the law to allow burning of 'construction waste' and land-clearing waste for any purpose after complaints from the greedy or uninformed few. Most people don't burn needlessly because they rightfully fear wildfire that often occurs after intentionally set fires.
The waste of wood of great potential is illogical, of course. If it must be cut, it should be used effectively, which means heating a building or cooking food or warming while camped out in a designated area or any of the ways human beings have used wood for countless centuries.

Even controlled burning with firefighters available for prairie restoration isn't necessarily a carbon-neutral undertaking.
A few years ago, a Ph.D. candidate at the UA presented findings of his several years of study including a wide search of available literature confirming that the fast regeneration of native prairie plants after restoration-purposed burning resulted in carbon sequestration that appeared to offset the carbon released during the burn but stated that, after the first three or four years of regrowth, the level of carbon sequestration dissipated to a level that suggested that such burning actually ended up having a negative air-quality effect. And, of course, burning large trees and the big brush piles where thickets formerly stood results in even greater air pollution.

Convincing city officials that what scientists at state and federal agencies such as ADEQ, EPA and Corps of Engineers have consistently told me and others about environmental regulation for decades is correct seems difficult. When asked, the federal bureaucrats holding titles that suggest they can protect and must protect the environment, tend to say that their mandate is only to do certain things (witness ADEQ officials being unable to protect UNDERGROUND water, thus allowing fracking and related pumping of waste chemicals into the ground to go unchecked) But they end up saying "Your city can pass and ENFORCE stronger regulations to protect your residents and natural resources." The scientists working for most such agencies KNOW what is right but can't say "DEMAND YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS pass rules that let us do the right thing. But most will share facts that help people who care take their activism to a new level of effectiveness with a new level of confidence. Did you really listen to the ADEQ speakers at the water-quality meeting a few months back in Fayetteville? Just watching their faces one could see that they WANT effective legislation to allow them to do what their training has made them know is right.
Maybe because whatever rules are enforced offend a few, some local politicians are more comfortable saying ''we are only following a state or federal mandate.' But the most progressive, effective environmental laws in the U.S. are those in major cities where in some cases pollution and related problems long ago got so bad they were dangerous to the health of the majority of residents or in cities where the educational level of the residents seems to allow public pressure to push past the politics of "please the greedy" and reach a new level of protecting air, water, soil, public health and quality of life.
Thanks for sharing and caring,
Aubrey James Shepherd

Case in point: The dredging and widening and pouring of limestone gravel base material to be followed by concreting the former stream bed of Kitty Creek, a tributary of Mud Creek, itself a tributary of Clear Creek, itself a tributary of the Illinois River, itself a tributary of the Arkansas River, itself a tributary of the Mississippi River and during high water a tributary of the Atchafalaya River (both silt and sewage conduits to the Louisiana Gulf Coast. For photos of what was occurring Thursday and will be continuing Monday at where Kitty Creek flows under Joyce Avenue (aka Joyce Boulevard) please use the following links to the bottom portion of the Illinois River watershed set on Flickr and related videos on You Tube.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Joe Neal's bird list after nature walk celebrating Earth Day at World Peace Wetland Prairie 2012


 EARTH DAY 2012 photos on Flickr.
Earth Day celebrants have, in a manner of speaking, been partying around Fayetteville for at least a week. Yesterday it was earth’s turn at World Peace Wetland Prairie (WPWP) in south Fayetteville, starting at 1 PM. However, the earth got ahead. At noon a huge thunder-boomer rolled in, with plenty of rain the earth really needed. Rained on the parade, so to speak, but didn’t stop it.

I got to WPWP around 2 PM, umbrella-time. Several of us paraded along a wet path through a couple of acres, taking advantage of a sudden rain gap, with those remarkable sun rays called angel slides. Northern Cardinals and an Eastern Towhee obliged with singing. We had unexpected views of an Orange-crowned and a Palm Warbler, a singing Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and quite a few Yellow-rumped Warblers festivally-attired in yellows, blacks, grays, and whites of their upcoming nesting season. White-throated Sparrows -- many now with reddish wings, brilliant white head stripes and throat, gold accents in front of their eyes -- were singing and chasing everywhere. Then rain returned.

Of course rain with umbrellas is no impediment to flower-admiring. With and without umbrellas we enjoyed native red honeysuckle, an indigo bush just ready to bloom, a strange flowering sedge and bunches of yucca-like leaves of rattlesnake master at both WPWP and adjoining Pinnacle Prairie. The Silphium called cup plant won’t bloom until later, but its huge coarsely-toothed leaves were emerged from adjoining greens, full of promise, just right for Earth Day 2012.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tiff District killed in Washington County Circuit Court reports Arkansas Times blog: Monstrous abuse of taxpayers should never even been proposed, and how much less would it have cost to remodel the building torn down to create one pathetic little parking lot?

Larry Woodall forwarded this welcome information: Here is Woodall's introductory note:
5 or 6 years ago we had conversations about tax increment financing (TIF). It was new and little understood. Coody and his developer gang pushed it through in Fayetteville with disasterous results in downtown development and a big hit to the finances of Fay Public Schools. 

Read the comments at the end of this Ark Times article to get the gist of what TIF does to a community. It has rarely been used in Ark to create worthwhile development in blighted neighborhoods as the intended purpose of the law stated. As we saw in Fayetteville it was used to funnel school money into pockets of the downtown elites. 
click here for article 

Fayetteville schools win fight against TIF tax grab

Posted by Max Brantley on Tue, Apr 10, 2012 at 10:10 AM

The Fayetteville School District has won a lawsuit challenging the city of Fayetteville's effort to capture some of the money from a voter-approved tax increase to build a new high school and give it to the misbegotten downtown tax increment finance (TIF) districtThe judge ruled that because the millage was pledged to debt, taxes collected within the TIF district under that new millage could not be diverted to the district's use.


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Should be able to get the TIF law thrown out.

Dustin McDaniel has already delivered massive amounts of tax money from schools to his sugar daddy developer campaign donator friend so I bet old Dustin McDaniel would just let it die.

The TIF law is the epitome of poor tax policy.

One tax entity gets to give away another taxing entity's revenue.

When has spending other people's money resulted in frugal and justifyable spending?
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Posted by Citizen1 on April 10, 2012 at 12:05 PM

"The TIF law is the epitome of poor tax policy."

Amen to that, Citizen1.
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Posted by Sound Policy on April 10, 2012 at 12:21 PM

TIF is a textbook example of what has happened to our government in general.

The wealthy control the legislature and use it to lower their costs and increase their revenues.

This redistribution of wealth comes at the expense of the tools those in poverty need to improve themselves, like schools.

Thus creating a cycle of concentration of wealth and the division of society into an upper class that runs on inherited wealth and a lower class that has no chance of escaping poverty.

The ironic part is that they call it economic development -- when in fact it actually cripples economic development.
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Posted by ChildeRolandReturneth on April 10, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Can this same logic be applied to the NLR TIF case?
Posted by couldn't be better on April 10, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Maybe Fayetteville will use that TIF money to clean up Block St. I was up there last weekend. It's an obstacle course. Oh wait......they just DID spend a bundle on that street.
Posted by Jack on April 10, 2012 at 5:06 PM
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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mayor Lioneld Jordan reads proclamation of 40 days and 40 nights of Earthday-related events in Fayetteville, Arkansas

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Lioneld Jordan has attended Earth Day at World Peace Wetland Prairie regularly since the 2005 Earth Day dedication of the nature park and voted to accept it as a Fayetteville Nature Park when he was on the City Council representing WARD 4.

David Whitaker, candidate for Arkansas State Representative and former assistant city attorney of Fayetteville  and veteran of 6 years in the U.S. Air Force, has been involved in working for a better Fayetteville for more than a decade. 

Mayor Lioneld Jordan to announce the official opening of 40 days of Earth Day events at 6 p.m. today in front of the Town Center on the south side of the Downtown Square

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Tiny long-horn grasshopper nymph on flower on west side of World Peace Wetland Prairie on April 5, 2012

Pale pink, tiny wildflowers on Pinnacle Foods Inc. wet  prairie west of World Peace Wetland Prairie in Fayetteville on April 5, 2012.
Please acquire an ECO-Passport while there!

Monday, April 2, 2012

President Obama will create new national monuments of significance if he gets support from the public. Do it NOW!

Sierra Club - Explore, enjoy and protect the planet

Dear Aubrey,
Fort OrdTake Action
What do the awe-inspiring wonder of the Grand Canyon, the ancient beauty of California's Big Sequoia Forests, and the smoldering giant Mount St. Helens all have in common?
These national treasures were all permanently protected as national monuments by a sitting President, and that's why we are able to enjoy them without fear that they will be ruined by mining, drilling or clear-cutting.
Fort Ord, on the California Coast, is an excellent place for President Obama to lead the way. The site of a former army post, it's one of the last wild places on the stunning Monterey Peninsula: home to mountain lions, golden eagles and red-tailed hawks, and prized for hiking and cycling.
President Obama has already taken a step in the right direction by making Fort Monroe in Virginia a national monument – but there's more to do. In an era of partisan gridlock, when it's nearly impossible to get anything done in Congress for our wild places, this is one way President Obama can still make his mark as a President who will stand up for public lands. In 1995, during another time of partisan rancor, and in the middle of a tough re-election campaign, Bill Clinton established the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in the Utah desert.
National monuments aren't only good for wildlife – they’re good for people, too. They give us places to camp, hike and picnic. And they're a boon to local economies, providing good jobs and a source of local pride.
With Big Oil and Coal companies pushing to open more lands to be destroyed by drilling and mining, now's the time for President Obama to step up and establish a legacy that cherishes and protects our most special places.
There's no doubt that it's hard to get good things done in Washington these days.But President Obama can lead the way, benefitting millions of Americans for generations to come, by permanently protecting some of our most special places. 
Thanks for all you do for our environment,

Michael Brune
Executive Director 
P.S. We want to make sure President Obama knows that Americans want more national monuments. Forward this alert to your friends and family, or share it on Facebook and Twitter:
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