Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ruskin Heights continues to irritate, inconvenience neighbors

Please click on image to ENLARGE and read letter responding to an article in a local newspaper.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sarah Lewis announces run for Ward Four seat on Fayetteville City Council

Please click on image to ENLARGE photo of Sarah Lewis' announcement of her candidacy for a Ward Four seat on the Fayetteville City Council on Friday afternoon on Fayetteville's downtown square.

Sondra Smith announces candidacy for second term as Fayetteville's city clerk

The Morning News
Local News for Northwest Arkansas

Sondra Smith Seeks Second Term
By Skip Descant
The Morning News

The Morning News on Sondra Smith's bid for reelection as city clerk of Fayetteville, Arkansas

FAYETTEVILLE - To many, government may seem built on paperwork. But Sondra Smith, Fayetteville's city clerk wants to use her next four-year term as a time to wean the city off its paper binge.
"One of the major changes I would like to implement is to move away from paper agendas," said Smith Friday in her announcement to run for re-election. "This is a huge cost to the city every year."
"It would be cost effective to purchase laptops for the city council and provide them with electronic agendas," said Smith, who is running for her second term. "There will be a learning curve for the council but well worth it."
"During the past three years we have changed from microfilming documents to a document imaging system. This new system has helped with the archive of records," she added.
The job of the city clerk is largely administrative. The position follows public meetings, records minutes and manages the vast flow of documents coming into and out of city hall.
Before becoming Fayetteville's city clerk, Smith worked for five years at Operations Management International as an administrative specialist.
"I have an extensive background in accounting and office management," she said.
"To prepare for the city clerk position I read as much as possible about the state law that governs cities of the first class and the Arkansas City Clerk Recorder Treasurers Association handbook for clerks," Smith explained. "The Arkansas Municipal League meetings have also been a wealth of information for me as well as the Municipal Clerks Institute."
In addition to continuing to bring more technology and less paper to city hall, Smith notes making the place personable and accessible will remain high on her list.
"Customer service has been a priority for me as well as easy access to city information," Smith said.


Sondra E. Smith
Age: 54
Employment: Operations Management International
Political Experience: One term as Fayetteville City Clerk
Husband: Neil
Children: Angie and Schara
Source: Staff Report

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Letters supporting grants to build trails in Arkansas needed NOW!

From: Terry Eastin
Date: July 23, 2008 7:43:08 PM CDT

Subject: Arkansas Trail Fund - last request for letters

Everyone -

Thank you so much for your support of the trail legislation initiative! We are 87 letters strong as of today, July 23rd. A significant number of the mayors of Arkansas' largest cities and many smaller towns have sent well-crafted letters indicating their support for economic, health, and conservation reasons. Many organizations, including those one might not expect (economic and health arenas), have also given this initiative their support. Even more of you individually took the time to share your thoughts and send your letters.

This is the last post I will send requesting letters. The deadline was extended to August 1st last week, but, if letters come in shortly after the deadline, they will be accepted until the packet is finalized. I am expecting the count to extend 100 letters.

Once the project is completed, I send a report to all who helped.

Thank you very much, and please forward this last message. Again, if you have questions, please feel free to contact me at, or by phone at 479-236-0938.

Terry Eastin
Co-Chair, 2008 National Trails Symposium


Please distribute the letter below and both attachments to every organization news outlet, email network, agency, mayor, city council, county judge, and trail enthusiast you know. If trail enthusiasts want to see an Arkansas Trails Fund established in the 2009 legislative season, NOW is the time to act! The response date has been extended to August 1, so, please help move this project forward with your letters to me either by email or regular mail. If you have questions, please feel free to contact. We are over half way to our goal of 100+ letters.

Attached is a letter from me explaining the project, a report prepared for the Legislative Committee on Agriculture, Economics, and Forestry, as well as, an Arkansas trail funding summary that illustrates the strong demand for our current minimal trail grant resources.

Even if you have already sent a letter yourself, please forward this request to other trail friends and enthusiasts. Your voices will be heard.

My address is

858 N. Jackson Drive
Fayetteville, AR 72701

Best Regards,
Terry Eastin

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Victory Commons to be considered by plat-review committee on July 28

Fayetteville, AR 72701
Telephone: (479) 575-8267

MONDAY, JULY 28, 2008 AT 9:00 a.m.
Engineering Conference Room
WEDNESDAY, JULY 30, 2008 AT 9:00 a.m.
Room 326, City Administration Building


1. LSD 08-3037: (VICTORY COMMONS, 560): Submitted by BATES & ASSOCIATES for property located at RAZORBACK ROAD, 500 ft S OF THE INTERSECTION WITH 6TH STREET. The property is zoned I-1, HEAVY COMMERCIAL/LIGHT INDUST and contains approximately 1.29 acres. The request is for a commercial development with 8,500 s.f. of residential space and 8,806 s.f. of commercial and restaurant space with associated parking. Planner: Jesse Fulcher


2. C- PZD 08-3062: (WESTSIDE STORAGE, 400): Submitted by STEVE CLARK for property located at 1192 N. RUPPLE ROAD. The property is zoned C-2, THOROUGHFARE COMMERCIAL and contains approximately 5.05 acres. The request is for an additional climate controlled storage building, a new entrance from Wedington Drive with new management buildings at that entrance. Planner: Jesse Fulcher

3. PLA 08-3060: (ICE HOUSE & THE DEPOT, 484): Submitted by MEL MILHOLLAND for property located at 339 N. WEST AVENUE. The property is zoned MSC, MAIN STREET CENTER and contains approximately 2.30 acres. The request is to adjust the property lines from 0.75 and 1.60 to reflect two tracts of 0.714 and 1.545 respectively. Planner: Andrew Garner

4. PLA 08-3061: (RANKIN / VAN HOOSE & HONDO, 651): Submitted by GARY H. RANKIN for property located at 2240 VAN HOOSE DRIVE & 6491 E. HONDO LANE. The property is in the Planning Area and contains approximately 4.42 acres. The request is to adjust the property lines from 3.42 and 1.00 acres to reflect two tracts of 2.46 and 1.96 acres respectively. Planner: Dara Sanders

5. CUP 08-3063: (PHYSICIAN'S SPECIALTY HOSPITAL, 175): Submitted by CEI ENGINEERING ASSOCIATES, INC. for property located at 3873 NORTH PARKVIEW DRIVE. The property is zoned R-O, RESIDENTIAL OFFICE and contains approximately 0.53 acres. The request is for a modification to the previously approved Conditional Use Permit, CUP 07-2539, to allow expansion of the hospital use (Use Unit 4) in the R-O, Zoning District and for reduced parking. Planner: Dara Sanders

6. CUP 08-3064: (WHEELER, 213): Submitted by JOAN M. WHEELER for property located at LOT 5 OF MAPLECREST ADDITION, N OF HAROLD ST AND W OF LEE. The property is zoned RSF-4, SINGLE FAMILY - 4 UNITS/ACRE and contains approximately 0.27 acres. The request is to increase the number of cars approved conditionally in an unpaved lot as overflow parking for an auto dealer. Planner: Jesse Fulcher

7. RZN 08-3065: (HEDGE, 481): Submitted by RICHARD HEDGE for property located at 1201 E. HUNTSVILLE. The property is zoned RSF-4, SINGLE FAMILY - 4 UNITS/ACRE and contains approximately 1.0 acre. The request is to rezone the subject property to NC, Neighborhood Conservation. Planner: Andrew Garner

All interested parties may appear and be heard at the public hearings. A copy of the proposed amendments and other pertinent data are open and available for inspection in the office of City Planning (575-8267), 125 West Mountain Street, Fayetteville, Arkansas. All interested parties are invited to review the petitions. Interpreters or TDD for hearing impaired are available for all public hearings; 72 hour notice is required. For further information or to request an interpreter, please call 575-8330.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Victory Commons should be named Defeat Commons

Please click link at left below image to enlarge and use cursor or navigation tools to magnify, widen view area or move about the area near Razorback Road and the state Revenue office. For photos, scroll down and read comments about proposed commercial site on a small remnant of native wetland that formerly was the main feature of the area. This area is a natural protector of the environment and the people who live downstream in the watershed of the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River.

View Larger Map
Click on images to Enlarge July 9, 2008, photos of wetland along Razorback Road. A significant amount of this wetland will be damaged, dredged and filled as the Corps of Engineers would say, to provide space for a mixed-use commercial development.
Most of the area has been developed and this is the only publicly accessible part of the extensive prairie and wooded wetland where the Revenue Office, Baum baseball field and adjacent parking lots, and the Razorback Road itself have been built in recent decades.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Technical plat-review committee to consider projects at 9 a.m. Monday

Fayetteville, AR 72701
Telephone: (479) 575-8267

MONDAY, JULY 14, 2008 AT 9:00 a.m.
Engineering Conference Room
WEDNESDAY, JULY 16, 2008 AT 9:00 a.m.
Room 326, City Administration Building


1. ADM 08-3053: (BELLAFONT IIA PARKING MODIFICATIONS): Submitted by H2 ENGINEERING, INC. for property located at the SW corner of Vantage Drive and Stearns Street. The request is for a modification to the parking lots. Planner: Andrew Garner

2. LSP 08-3046: (HOKE / JOHN GARRISON RD., 278): Submitted by BLEW & ASSOCIATES for property located at 7625 JOHN GARRISON ROAD. The property is in the Planning Area and contains approximately 20.46 acres. The request is to divide the subject property into 4 tracts of 5.12, 5.34, 5.0, and 5.0 acres. Planner: Dara Sanders

3. CCP 08-3051: (GRAND VALLEY ESTATES, 104): Submitted by H2 ENGINEERING, INC. for property located at GUY TERRY ROAD. The property is in the Planning Area and contains approximately 76.28 acres. The request is to re-plat the approved Final Plat with an additional 16 single family lots for a total of 40 single family lots. Planner: Dara Sanders

4. LSD 08-3037: (VICTORY COMMONS, 560): Submitted by BATES & ASSOCIATES for property located at RAZORBACK ROAD, 500 ft S OF THE INTERSECTION WITH 6TH STREET. The property is zoned I-1, HEAVY COMMERCIAL/LIGHT INDUST and contains approximately 1.29 acres. The request is for a commercial development with 8,500 s.f. of residential space and 8,806 s.f. of commercial and restaurant space with associated parking. Planner: Jesse Fulcher

5. SIP 08-3047: (CENTER FOR PSYCHOLOGY & COUNSELING, 251): Submitted by JORGENSEN & ASSOCIATES for property located at 118 E. SUNBRIDGE DRIVE. The property is zoned R-O, RESIDENTIAL AGRICULTURAL, and contains approximately 1.24 acres. The request is for a parking lot expansion. Planner: Dara Sanders

6. SIP 08-3048: (TACO BUENO ON 6TH STREET, 521): Submitted by U.S. BEEF CORPORATION for property located at THE NW CORNER OF 6TH STREET AND EASTERN AVENUE. The property is zoned C-2, THOROUGHFARE COMMERCIAL AND R-O, RESIDENTIAL OFFICE, and contains approximately 1.96 acres. The request is for a site plan review for a restaurant with associated parking and a drive-thru. Planner: Andrew Garner

Thursday, July 10, 2008

American basket flower (Centaurea Americana) blooming on World Peace Wetland Prairie and other unmowed places throughout northwest Arkansas

Please click on image to ENLARGE photo of American basketflower made on July 10, 2008.

American basketflower photos and description˜

Coody tells Northwest Times that he will run for reelection as mayor

Fayetteville Mayor Dan Coody said Thursday he will run for a third term as mayor.

He said he has had time to reassess the decision he made last fall not to run.

Coody said he wants to continue the direction and momentum the city has taken since he took office in 2001.

“I am so energized and fired up to continue this trend, I just can’t stand it,” said Coody.

Read tomorrow's Northwest Arkansas Times for all the details of this story!
Copyright © 2001-2008 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Government protection of wetland pathetic

EPA Enforcement Is Faulted
Agency Official Cites Narrow Reading of Clean Water Act
By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 8, 2008; A06
An official administration guidance document on wetland policy is undermining enforcement of the Clean Water Act, said a March 4 memo written by the Environmental Protection Agency's chief enforcement officer.
The memo by Granta Y. Nakayama, EPA's assistant administrator for enforcement and compliance assurance, was obtained by the advocacy group Greenpeace and released yesterday by two House Democratic committee chairmen. It highlights the confusion that has afflicted federal wetland protections since a 2006 Supreme Court decision.
That 5 to 4 decision, known as Rapanos v. United States, held that the Army Corps of Engineers had exceeded its authority when it denied two Michigan developers permits to build on wetland, but the court split on where the Corps should have drawn the line on what areas deserve protection.
A plurality made of up Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. proposed an across-the-board reduction in the Corps' regulatory role, but Justice Anthony M. Kennedy -- who cast the deciding vote -- called for a case-by-case approach in deciding how the government should proceed. That left the ruling open to interpretation.
In his memo to Benjamin Grumbles, EPA's assistant administrator for water, Nakayama wrote that the document the agency issued in June 2007 to guide regulators' decisions under the Rapanos decision is having "a significant impact on enforcement." Nakayama and his staff concluded that between July 2006 and December 2007, EPA's regional offices had decided not to pursue potential Clean Water Act violations in 304 cases "because of jurisdictional uncertainty."
Much of the controversy centers on what sort of waterway and accompanying wetland should qualify for protection. The administration's guidance instructs federal officials to focus on the "relevant reach" of a tributary, which translates into a single segment of a stream. In the memo, Nakayama argued that this definition "isolates the small tributary" and "ignores longstanding scientific ecosystem and watershed protection principles critical to meeting the goals" of the Clean Water Act.
Chairmen Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) of the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee and James L. Oberstar (D-Minn.) of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee sent a letter yesterday to EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson saying they have "grave concerns" about the way the agency is implementing the Clean Water Act.
The two noted that Nakayama concluded that in all, the Supreme Court decision and the subsequent guidance document "negatively affected approximately 500 enforcement cases" in nine months. They also questioned why EPA's Grumbles did not raise the issue when he testified before Oberstar's panel less than three months ago.
"This sudden reduction in enforcement activity will undermine the implementation of the Clean Water Act and adversely affect EPA's responsibility to protect the nation's waters," the congressmen wrote. "Yet instead of sounding the alarm about EPA's enforcement problems, the agency's public statements have minimized the impact of the Rapanos decision."
In response to a question about the congressional inquiry, EPA spokesman Jonathan Shradar said in an e-mail: "We will be reviewing the new request and will work with the chairmen to provide information on our enforcement program."
Eric Schaeffer, who used to head EPA's civil enforcement division and now heads the Environmental Integrity Project, an advocacy group, called Nakayama's memo "very significant. It lays out very clearly why you can't enforce one of the most important parts of the Clean Water Act."
EPA officials are not the only ones growing frustrated with the confusing legal interpretations of the Rapanos decision. Robert B. Propst, a senior judge on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Southern Division, wrote in a Nov. 7, 2007, decision that he was reassigning a wetland case "to another judge for trial. At least one of the reasons is that I am so perplexed by the way the law applicable to this case has developed that it would be inappropriate for me to try it again."
© 2008 The Washington Post Company
Stormwater Management
Total Stormwater Management Service Design, Repair & Maintenance

Friday, July 4, 2008

Downtown General zone? Why not Neighborhood Conservation?

Please click on image of native-stone house and giant catalpa trees uphill from Spout Spring Branch in south Fayetteville, Arkansas. This lot and adjacent blocks in the area would be zoned Downtown General rather than Neighborhood Conservation if the Walker Park Neighborhood Master Plan is not revised.

When I advocated closer study of geography and existing homes in the Walker Park neighborhood before the rezoning plan is approved, I was thinking of many places.
Here is the intersection at the far northeast corner of the Walker Park master plan and it is in blue on the concept plan as "downtown general." I was wrong about that being Mary Carr's house, which is a block north on Huntsville.
Riparian zone of Spout Spring Branch starts part way down this lot this corner lot or it certainly starts in the adjoining lot. Any disruption of soil or anything else on this property would be within what should be the no-build zone to protect the Beaver Lake Watershed and would imperial the quality of the stream.

GIANT catalpa trees are pretty common in this part of town but are being taken down regularly. Here here are examples worth saving.

Native stone houses are disappearing rapidly in this part of town and here is an example worth saving. I know, it isn't of as high quality as the one removed from the land of the late Ray Adams on S. School Ave. to make way for Advance Auto, but it is a wonderful dwelling and of historic value.

Mill Ave., of course, is the extension of E. South Street leading northeastward from the narrow block that was discussed by Tony Wappel in the council meeting this past Tuesday.

Enjoy the holiday!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Nancy Allen: Woman of integrity

Please click on image to ENLARGE PHOTO OF CITY COUNCIL MEMBER NANCY ALLEN at the June 30 meeting of Ward Four residents.

Allen says no to another run for Fayetteville City Council

Northwest Arkansas Times

Posted on Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Alderman Nancy Allen announced Wednesday that she will not seek another term on the Fayetteville City Council.
The filing period for aldermen is Aug. 6-26, but Allen's decision already makes it clear that two of four city council seats on the ballot in November will change hands. Lioneld Jordan, who represents Ward 4, is running for mayor and will vacate his seat in January no matter what the outcome of that race.
Allen represents Ward 2 alongside Alderman Kyle Cook.
In an emailed announcement to supporters and media Wednesday, Allen said she had gone through "months of soul searching," but wanted to spend time on "other things I care about and enjoy."
"The council has been the most interesting job I have ever had. It has also been disillusioning," she wrote. "I have discovered that I am not a politician, but I regret none of it and am proud that I did not deviate from the things I said I would do, stood up for my principles, asked hard questions, and have not been intimidated."
Allen became a candidate for the City Council in 2006 when Alderman Don Marr resigned to pursue business interests. She was elected to finish out Marr's term, which comes up on the November general election ballot. As recently as April, she had said she was leaning toward running for a full term.
Matthew Petty, who describes himself as a social entrepreneur and a sustainability proponent, announced in April that he would seek Allen's Ward 2 post.

Bernard Sulliban, a Fayetteville substitute teacher who ran against Allen for the seat in 2006, is also campaigning for the position.

Former science teacher and Fayetteville Council of Neighborhoods chairman Sarah Lewis is campaigning for Jordan's seat.
Read tomorrow's Northwest Arkansas Times for all the details on this story!
Copyright © 2001-2008 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact Us

I hope Nancy's friends in Ward 2 will let her know how much they appreciate her service. And maybe suggest she change her decision before the day comes for official registration as a candidate.
Nancy resigned from the Council of Neighborhoods and announced her candidacy for the council position after Don Marr resigned from the council less than half-way through his second term. That was right after the council was stampeded into voting to approve the Divinity Hotel across Dickson Street from Collier's Drug store and the U.S. Post Office. Thanks to a couple of long-time Fayetteville residents who filed suit against the city for passing the project it was never built and the developer got invited to bankruptcy court for some of his previous mistakes. Meanwhile, Nancy led the effort to limit building height on Dickson Street, something those who loved Fayetteville back when Fayetteville was cool could appreciate.
Her announcement was the start of what I expected to be a serious change for the good on the council. Women just seem to understand the needs of people more than a lot of men. At that time I thought we were headed toward a truly "kinder, gentler, more thoughtful council."
This announcement diminishes my hope for such a change. But maybe another highly principled woman will step up and campaign for the seat. Fayetteville needs men and women who care what the people think and care about. And Nancy's example should certainly inspire someone else, man or woman, with integrity to make the sacrifice to seek the position and take the responsibility.
Posted by aubunique

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

July is buttonbush month in Northwest Arkansas wetland areas and along streams and ditches

PLEASE CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE PHOTO of Buttonbush inflorescence on World Peace Wetland Prairie on June 2, 2008.

I have been asked why I discourage people from using radical clearing methods on wetland prairies, especially small parcels and urban parcels such as World Peace Wetland Prairie.
One of the main reasons is that some prairie and wetland native species need to grow tall and strong and not be cut bank or burned off if they are to reach their full potential.
The buttonbush is among the easiest to identify in this category at this time of year. The buttonbush is a sure marker of wetland when found growing in the wild. Its value to many species of wildlife is well-documented. And it is among the better native species for protecting riparian zones of streams from eroding.

Read what Texas A&M's Aquaplant Website has to say about the amazing buttonbush.

Plant Identification


Description Management Options Other Photos

Cephalanthus occidentalis
Buttonbush is a woody shrub (3-10 feet tall) that occasionally grows into a small tree and can be found above water or in water up to 4 feet deep. It has shiny dark-green spear-or egg-shaped pointed leaves 3 to 6 inches long. The leaves are opposite or whorled in 3's or 4's along the stem. Flowers of buttonbush are easily identified by their greenish-white tube flowers in dense ball-shaped clusters about 1 inch in diameter. Seed heads are brown.
Submerged portions of all aquatic plants provide habitats for many micro and macro invertebrates. These invertebrates in turn are used as food by fish and other wildlife species (e.g. amphibians, reptiles, ducks, etc. ). After aquatic plants die, their decomposition by bacteria and fungi provides food (called "detritus") for many aquatic invertebrates. Buttonbush seeds are occasionally eaten by ducks but the bush itself is used for nesting by many bird species.

Emergent Plant Index
Alligator Weed
American Lotus
Banana Lily (Floating Heart)
Blue Flag
Bull Tongue
Common Reed
Cow Lily (Spatterdock)
Dollar Bonnet (Water Shield)
Floating Heart (Banana Lily)
Fragrant Water Lily (White Water Lily)
Giant Reed
Lizard's Tail
Mexican Water Lily (Yellow Water Lily) Pickerelweed
Smartweed (Water Pepper)
Soft Rush
Southern Watergrass
Spatterdock (Cow Lily)
Spike Rush
Water Pennywort
Water Pepper (Smartweed)
Water Primrose
Water Shield (Dollar Bonnet)
White Water Lily (Fragrant Water Lily)
Yellow Water Lily (Mexican Water Lily)
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