Monday, December 14, 2009

Town Hall meeting starts at 7 tonight Yvonne Richardson Center

Town Hall Meeting to be Held December 14, 2009

Mayor Lioneld Jordan will be holding the final Town Hall Meeting of the year at the Yvonne Richardson Community Center on Monday, December 14, from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Everyone is encouraged to come. The Yvonne Richardson Community Center is located at 240 East Rock Street.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Instructions that Natural Resources Conservation Service contractors are supposed to be following

Please click on image to go to Flickr site and ENLARGE for reading and find related documents and photos.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Golden paddle awards announced by Illinois River Partnership

Congratulations to the


Golden Paddle Awards recognize leaders in watershed stewardship

and natural resource conservation in the Illinois River Watershed.

Six awards are given annually to individuals or entities that

exemplify good stewardship in the protection,

preservation, and enhancement of the watershed.


Gene Pharr, Washington County Farm Bureau


Flint Creek Power Plant, Gentry

Eagle Watch Nature Trail


Ozark Ecological Restorations, Siloam Springs

Joe Woolbright


Stitt Energy Systems, Inc., Rogers

Orlo Stitt


City of Fayetteville, Mayor Lioneld Jordan

West Side Treatment Plant & Woolsey Wet Prairie


Susan Bolyard, US Geological Survey Hydrologist

Over 100 people joined the IRWP in honoring these

2009 recipients at Arvest Ballpark in Springdale at the annual IRWP Stakeholders Meeting, November 10.

To join 202 members of the IRWP today and go to

Thanks to our Sponsors, Members, and Volunteers

for your many contributions to preserve, protect and restore

the Illinois River Watershed.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Veterans Memorial 5K entry form for Saturday, November 7, 2009

Please click on image to move to Flicker site and ENLARGE.
5K Entry form 09
Please click on image to move to Flickr page and ENLARGE view.
Please click on image to ENLARGE view of a sample of items that will be in the goody bags of the first 300 runners who sign up for the Nov. 7, 2009, Veterans 5K.
Please click on image to go to Flickr page to Enlarge logos of first two major sponsors of the Veterans' 5K race set for November 7, 2009, in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Bank of Fayetteville ad 09
Condom Sense 09

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Where several Fayetteville city workers need to be tomorrow: Springdale city administration building

November 5 Streambank Restoration Workshop, Springdale 9 am. to 3 pm. Thursday at the Springdale city administration building.
To register for free riparian demonstration workshop, email
IRWP Streambank Restoration Workshop
The Workshop will be led by Bobby Hernandez, Region 6 USEPA Community Planner and Jon Fripp of Fort Worth,NRCS.
Workshop partners include the City of Springdale Tree City USA committee, the Arkansas Forestry Commission, the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts, the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANRC), Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS), and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
The workshop will cover several key areas of restoration including:
TECHNIQUES: Various streambank restoration techniques and successful technology and projects will be emphasized as well as unsuccessful restoration projects highlighted.
DEMONSTRATION: Demonstration of Jet Stinger technology will be used to plant willow cuttings along streambanks in the host city of Springdale, Arkansas.
IMPLEMENTATION: Implementation of low cost riparian and stormwater Best
Management Practices to improve water quality and reduce pollution in the Illinois River Watershed.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Senate and House Chairmen of joint-performance committee of the Arkansas General Assembly invite public to attend meeting in Rogers on Oct. 20-31, 2009, to hear Northwest Arkansas comments on watershed issues

Chairmen: Senator Denny Altes and Representative Lindsley Smith

invite you to a pair of legislative meetings in Rogers next week (Oct. 30 and 31) to study water quality and quantity issues.
Below is the agenda for Friday afternoon's Legislative Joint Performance Review Committee meeting and for Saturday's Joint Performance Review Committee meeting. We hope you will come, and please inform others about this important issue of water quality and quantity.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, beginning at 1:30 p.m. at the Embassy Suites, Rogers, 3303 Pinnacle Hills Parkway, Grand Ballroom 9-10
A. Call to Order.
B. Approval of Minutes—October 5, 2009

C. Disposal of water used during drilling in the Fayetteville Shale Gas and the possible impact on underground aquifers and wells.
1. Comments by Ms. Joyce Hale, League of Women Voters
2. Comments by Mr. Tim Snell, The Nature Conservancy
3. Comments by Ms. Debbie Doss, Arkansas Canoe Club
4. Comments by Mr. Larry Bengal, Director, Oil and Gas Commission
5. Comments by Ms. Teresa Marks, Director, ADEQ
6. Discussion by Committee Members

D. Discussion of the Illinois River Watershed and the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), also MS4 and stormwater regulations-Reg 2 changes.
1. Comments by Ms. Delia Haak
2. Comments by Mr. Randy Young, Executive Director, Arkansas Natural Resources Commission
3. Comments by Mr. Evan Teague, Arkansas Farm Bureau
4. Comments by Dr. Brian Haggard, Director, Arkansas Water Resources Center
5. Comments by Ms. Teresa Mark, Director, ADEQ
6. Discussion by Committee Members

E. Adjournment

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31, beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Center for Nonprofits at St. Marys--1200 West Walnut Street in Rogers.
A. Call to Order.

B. Discussion of the White River Watershed Protection Plan and sediment turbidity in Beaver Lake.
1. Comments by Mr. Alan Fortenberry, Beaver Water District
2. Comments by Mr. Mike Malone, Northwest Arkansas Council
3. Comments by Mr. Randy Young, Executive Director, Arkansas Natural Resources Commission
4. Comments by Ms. Teresa Marks, Director, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality
5. Discussion by Committee Members

C. Discussion of the Watershed Management Plan for the State of Arkansas
1. Comments by Mr. Tony Rimack, Arkansas Natural Resources Commission
2. Comment by Mr. Ken Smith, Executive Director, Audubon Arkansas
3. Comments by Ms. Joyce Hale, League of Women Voters
4. Discussion by Committee Members

D. Update on the 2010-2011 Biennium Plan of Work for the Arkansas Water, Waste Disposal and Pollution Abatement Facilities General Obligation Bond Program.
1. Comments by Mr. Randy Young, Executive Director, Arkansas Natural Resources Commission
2. Discussion by Committee Members

E. Adjournment

Guess having such meetings in Fayetteville isn't likely because there could be an angrier, larger crowd on hand and demanding to add comment.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Watershed workshop should be offered to city workers involved in several departments

If the city sent 20 supervisory employees to the meetings couldn't a reduced price be negotiated? Or should special sessions with those workers be planned at a group price that could truly make a big difference in both the Beaver Lake and Illinois River watersheds?
Who needs to attend?
Water and sewer officials, trail coordinator and top staff members, park planners and workers, transportation department leaders, urban forester's staff members, city planners, city planning commissioners, city council members: Basically anyone who makes decisions and anyone operates any machinery, including mowers.
If city workers all understand and use best-management decisions voluntarily, then there will be a chance that developers and residents will begin to do the same.

“WEPP Model Workshop for
Watershed Assessment and Planning Applications”

November 17 - 19, 2009, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution is the Nation's largest source of water quality problems with sediment being one of the most common pollutants, contributing to the impairment of many of our lakes and streams. Understanding erosion processes and sources of sediment associated with land-use practices is an important component of watershed assessment and aids in evaluating management practices to reduce sediment. The Water Erosion Prediction Project or WEPP model is a tool that can be used to predict soil erosion and sediment delivery to provide science-based information for watershed planning.

The WEPP hydrology and erosion model mathematically describes soil erosion and sediment delivery processes. For a single run, WEPP uses several decades of stochastically-generated daily weather to predict daily plant growth and decay, residue accumulation and decay and the soil water balance. For each day with precipitation WEPP predicts infiltration and runoff; and sediment detachment, transport, deposition and delivery along a hill slope and through a stream system. The WEPP model distributes soil loss spatially (at a given point on the hill or in the stream network) and temporally (on a daily, monthly, or annual basis).

Upon completing this course: 1) participants will have a better understanding of erosion processes; 2) they will be able to predict erosion from roads and disturbed hill slopes using online interfaces; 3) they will know how to modify files in WEPP Windows to analyze forests and farmland hillsides and to support GeoWEPP watershed analyses; 4) they will have completed two sets of GeoWEPP exercises, one for identifying critical areas of erosion within a watershed following a wildfire and one for setting up GeoWEPP to complete a Cumulative Watershed Effects analysis including forest and farmlands; and 5) they will gain experience in collecting road and hill slope data in the field and use it to run the WEPP model. A detailed course agenda is attached.

Key topics that will be covered include:
· Overview of science in the WEPP hydrology and erosion model using local climate, soil and topographic details.
· WEPP on-line training with web-based interfaces for forest and farm applications
o Best Management Practices for reducing sediment loss from roads
o Evaluating disturbed sites in forest, farm and urban areas
o Data collection in the field for roads and hillside sites
· Fundamental features of the WEPP Windows and GeoWEPP GIS interfaces as applied to disturbed hillsides and Cumulative Watershed Effects analyses
· Watershed management applications and hands-on sessions
· Case studies in which the WEPP is used to model sediment from forests and farm land at a watershed scale and as a watershed management tool.
· Opportunities to network with other area watershed management specialist.

Who should attend this training: This workshop is designed for professionals who work in the areas of natural resource management, water quality protection, watershed management, and/or nonpoint source pollution. Specialists who will benefit from this training are likely to be employees of federal, state, county, and local agencies, watershed practitioners, scientists, engineers and consultants. You do not have to be a modeler to attend this training. The current WEPP model is easy to learn and is user friendly. The principles and practices presented through this workshop are beneficial to professionals at all levels including managers.

Training approach, instructor, and presenters: The workshop will be taught through interactive lectures, hands-on modeling sessions, and case studies. The workshop will use data collected during a field session to make the WEPP model runs.

Dr. William John Elliot, P.E. is the main instructor for the training. He is a leading international expert on the WEPP model and its applications. Dr. Elliot assisted with the development of the WEPP model and has spent more than 20 years expanding and improving its capabilities. He has over 40 years experience in the area of soil erosion - process and prediction and has taught WEPP workshops throughout the United States, Uganda, and Brazil. Dr. Elliot is currently a research engineer for the Air Water and Aquatic Environments Science Program, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station in Moscow, Idaho.

Other experts will share their experience in utilizing the WEPP model for watershed assessment and planning. Course presenters include: Ethan Inlander, The Nature Conservancy; Alan Clingenpeel, USDA, Forest Service, Ouachita National Forest; and Matthew Van Eps, P.E. & Sandi J. Formica, Watershed Conservation Resource Center.

Host and partners: The Mid-South Watershed Training Program was developed by the Watershed Conservation Resource Center (WCRC) through a US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) grant to provide watershed management training and technical tools needed by environmental professionals, watershed coordinators, conservation districts, and other watershed stakeholders to conserve, restore, and protect our natural resources. Through this program, the WCRC has partnered with the US EPA, USDA Forest Service and The Nature Conservancy to design, organize, and conduct the workshop.

Agenda and Travel Information: The course schedule, content, and speakers can be found in the agenda. Also detailed travel information including location, lodging directions, and parking can be found at the WCRC website,

Registration: Space is limited, so please register early. To register, complete the attached registration form. If you have questions concerning registration, please contact Lori Linn at or at (479) 444-1916. The course tuition is $550 and includes course materials, three continental breakfasts, two lunches, one dinner, and break refreshments.

to protect, conserve, and restore natural resources using a watershed approach

Matthew A. Van Eps
Associate Director
Watershed Conservation Resource Center
380 W. Rock St.
Fayetteville, AR 72701

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ducks Unlimited Banquet October 29, 2009, in Fayetteville, Arkansas

Please click on images to move to Flickr site and use magnifying tool above photo to ENLARGE for easy reading.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Morning News reports that Mayor Jordan says green-job training program coming to NWACC sites in Fayetteville and Bentonville

The Morning News
Local News for Northwest Arkansas
Green Job Training Center Coming To Fayetteville
By Skip Descant
FAYETTEVILLE — Fayetteville will be a site for a green collar job training center, the mayor announced Tuesday.
"This is a huge thing for us, to be able to train workers for these green jobs," Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan said.
Two training centers will be located in the state, as part of a U.S. Department of Energy grant. One will be administered by NorthWest Arkansas Community College. The other will be run by Pulaski Technical College in Little Rock.
The programs will train energy auditors, energy raters and weatherization professionals.
"We were fortunate that federal stimulus dollars are available for these types of things," said Karen Minkel, director of strategic planning and internal consulting for the city of Fayetteville, speaking at a summer meeting of the Fayetteville Forward Economic Accountability Council, Green Economy Group. At the time, the group was charged with brainstorming a range of green job creation options. The training center idea was still in its infancy.
The $1.3 million grant going to the community college is not intended for bricks and mortar facilities, but is intended to develop curriculum, officials said.
Some courses will be offered at the Bentonville campus, but a majority will likely be taught at a Fayetteville location, Jordan said.
"Though we don't know where just yet," Jordan said. "That's part of the negotiations that still have to happen."
Numerous details are yet to be worked out about the center.
Fayetteville hopes that being a recipient of the energy grant positions it to also receive a $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to pay tuition costs.
"You see, that's real important. If you're unemployed in south Fayetteville, there's a good chance you can't afford these types of things, and this labor grant could help," Jordan said.
The project is a months-long coordinated effort among Fayetteville, NWACC, the University of Arkansas and the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce. It represents a central theme to the kinds of jobs Jordan wants to see formed in Northwest Arkansas.
"I truly believe that we would not have it in Fayetteville if he had not pulled everyone together," said Don Marr, Jordan's chief of staff.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Runners and Sponsors sought for Nov. 7, 2009, 5K veterans' memorial race to benefit Fayetteville National Cemetery

Please click on image to move to Flickr site and ENLARGE for easy reading. The Regional National Cemetery Improvement Corporation meets at 10:30 a.m. Saturday October 10 and needs to add sponsor names to the file for the race T shirts and the brochures so that printing can begin. Already, Tyson Foods has donated at the Medal of Honor level and has challenged others to join them at the top of the list, thanks to the effort of RNCIC Secretary Peggy McClain.
RNCIC 5K sponsorship levels 09

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Veterans' Memorial 5K race set for November 7, 2009, in Town Branch neighborhood: Sponsorship information below

The Regional National Cemetery Improvement Corporation (RNCIC) is organizing a Veteran’s Memorial 5K race on Saturday, November 7th at the National Cemetery in Fayetteville. The purpose of this 5K race is to raise funds for purchase and clearing of land to expand the Cemetery and, even more importantly, to raise the awareness of the Cemetery and the ongoing threat of closure.
We write to ask that you consider sponsoring the event.
The sole mission of the nonprofit RNCIC is to secure and clear land adjacent to the Fayetteville National Cemetery to ensure that the cemetery can continue to receive veterans for burial. Established immediately after the Civil War, the Fayetteville National Cemetery is an important part of the history of this region and the country. Veterans living in Northwest Arkansas, as well as many veterans from here but now living outside our region, have planned their final resting place here. But that may not be possible in the near future.
The Veteran’s Administration maintains the Cemetery, but the purchase of new land to expand
existing National Cemeteries has not occurred in decades.
When the RNCIC was organized only seven unfilled grave sites remained at Fayetteville National
Cemetery and the Cemetery was soon to be permanently closed to new interments. We have kept the Cemetery open and increased its size by over 120 percent in the ensuing 25 years, but with the passing of the World War II generation of veterans, the Cemetery will be full in a few years and closed to new burials.
Unless, of course, we act now to prevent that.
The recent controversy over the possible rezoning and development of the adjoining property has regularly been on the front page of local newspapers this summer. The massive turnout of veterans and non-veterans alike to public hearings demonstrates the deep emotional currents that surround the National Cemetery. We are grateful for past commitments to support veterans made by this community. We plan to make the race an annual event and, in this inaugural year, we are happy to give you the opportunity to associate yourself with keeping an important part of this region’s and nation’s heritage alive and to honor those who guarded us. We hope that you will see your way clear to sponsor this event. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.
Respectfully submitted,
Wesley Stites, Race Organizer
Tel: 479-871-7478
Regional National Cemetery Improvement Corporation
P.O. Box 4221
Fayetteville, AR 72702
Veterans' 5 K race November 7, 2009, in Fayetteville, Arkansas: Sponsorship details below
2009 Veteran’s Memorial 5K Race Sponsorship Levels
We thank you for considering sponsorship of this fundraising event. As you may know, all
proceeds of the race go to purchase and clear land for the expansion of Fayetteville National
Cemetery. The Regional National Cemetery Improvement Corporation is a registered nonprofit
with a 25-year history. Through the efforts of this group and, even more importantly, the
generosity of past donors, land has been purchased, cleared, and donated to the Veterans Administration increasing the size of the National Cemetery by 120% and keeping it open for
burial of veterans. However, without additional purchases of land, the cemetery will be closed in 14 years or less.

Business name and logo prominently on front and back of race shirt
Business name and logo on all race materials and race website
Sponsorship noted in all press releases
Business name and logo on finish line banner
Business recognized at award ceremony
Distribution of marketing materials and/or product samples in race goodie bags
10 complimentary entries and/or race shirts

Business name and logo prominently on back of race shirt
Business name and logo on race website
Business name and logo on finish line banner
Business recognized at award ceremony
Distribution of marketing materials and/or product samples in race goodie bags
5 complimentary entries and/or race shirts

Business name and logo on back of race shirt
Business name and logo on race website
Business recognized at award ceremony
Distribution of marketing materials and/or product samples in race goodie bags
3 complimentary entries and/or race shirts

Business name and logo on back of race shirt if room allows
Business name and logo on race website
Business recognized at award ceremony
Distribution of product samples in race goodie bags
1 complimentary entry and/or race shirt
CONTACT Information:
Wesley Stites 479-871-7478
All checks should be payable to Regional National Cemetery Improvement Corporation or to R.N.C.I.C.
Regional National Cemetery Improvement Corporation
P.O. Box 4221
Fayetteville, AR 72702

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fred Cusanelli photographs Fayetteville Homecoming Parade on October 2, 2009

Please click on image to go to Flickr site and enlarge view of Fred Cusanelli on the Fayetteville square.
Fred Cusanelli photographs Fayetteville High School Homecoming 2009. DSCN8633
Fred Cusanelli photographs Fayetteville High School homecoming. DSCN8632

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Lib Horn writes in support of the changes at the Fayetteville Animal Shelter

The mayor's office, I understand, is being bombarded by letters complaining about the City letting Jill go.
This is not good. Real changes are being made at the shelter, changes for the good both in the physical structure and in staff management. The dog kennels are being painted, concrete floors sealed, lighting improved, etc. These were all in this year's budget but nothing had been done toward achieving these improvements. Other big changes are being made, such as staff counseling, that will benefit the animals.

Jill Hatfield is a likeable person and people in the City like her. Her discharge has nothing to do with likeability but rather failure to perform management duties. And when the management fails, the animals do not get all that they should from us.

The investigation uncovered no animal abuse. It uncovered substantial evidence of failure to perform assigned duties.

We must not let the followers of a previous administration label this a political act. The shelter is not political. This is about proper management which performs required duties. It is not about personality. It is about animals.

Please, if you will, call or write the mayor's office and support the things being done so that the animals at the shelter will be in the best environment we can provide and so that the staff will have the support and care that they need and deserve. Also, please encourage folks that you know who care about the shelter to call or write the mayor in support of his efforts to improve the shelter.

We must not allow these changes to become a political issue. They are not.
Thank you for caring about the shelter and the staff.
Lib Horn

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fayetteville City Council votes down rezoning proposal that would have allowed building apartments next to National Shrine

Sale barn rezoning fails
Alderman Rhoads leaves council room before vote
By Robin Mero
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
FAYETTEVILLE — A request to rezone the Washington County Livestock Auction property failed the Fayetteville City Council by a 3-4 vote on Tuesday.
The four aldermen who were opposed expressed concern about compatibility of the request, which was to downzone nine acres from Industrial to Downtown General. Dozens of neighbors and military veterans spoke against the rezone because apartments for college students are proposed and the property is immediately across Government Avenue from the Fayetteville National Cemetery.
One alderman who left the meeting may have changed the outcome.
Alderman Robert Rhoads left the meeting during public comment and was outside the council room immediately following the vote.
“I had to leave for a personal matter,” Rhoads told a reporter, who asked where he went. When asked how he would have voted, Rhoads said, “In favor.”
In a tie, Mayor Lioneld Jordan would cast a deciding vote.
City Clerk Sondra Smith said Rhoads told her before the meeting he would be leaving early and would return.
When Rhoads was asked if he considered requesting the council wait for his return before voting, he said, “[Alderman] Bobby [Ferrell] was trying to slow things down.”
When the mayor was asked if he considered moving to another agenda item or taking a break until Rhoads returned, he said no.
Alex Eyssen, regional development partner for developer Campus Crest LLC, said his group will be considering options during the next several days.
“We are obviously disappointed. We feel we made a good faith effort to present a development consistent with the longterm goals of Fayetteville. We still are very interested in coming to Fayetteville and feel the city and university have a need for luxury student housing,” Eyssen said.
In explaining their decisions, aldermen who voted against said the zoning request didn’t seem compatible with the neighborhood.
“I really feel this is not compatible with the adjacent neighborhood. ... I am a supporter of modest neighborhoods. ... It’s a nice little neighborhood,” Alderman Shirley Lucas said.
Alderman Kyle Cook said he’s often preached the importance of density during his seven years on the council.
“I’ve gone back and forth on this one. While I am very supportive of Downtown General, I don’t think it’s right for this piece of land,” Cook said.
Aldermen Sarah Lewis and Brenda Thiel also didn’t like Downtown General for the property.
“There have been a lot of good points on both sides of this issue, but I don’t think this project does well in this location. I’d rather see some type of mixed use,” Thiel said.
The developers insisted the rezoning met all city goals under its 2025 Plan, including infill, revitalization and encouraging a traditional town form of development. The planning commission voted 6-1 to recommend approval of the project, and the city’s planning staff supported the rezone.
The project would have had an $8.6 million impact for the city during the first year and $1.6 million per year thereafter, developers said.
Alderman Matthew Petty voted in support of the rezoning.
“It would be easy to vote no; it would be the politically convenient thing to do,” Petty said. “This is on the edge of the neighborhood. It fits the very definition of what Downtown General should be. ... We don’t have too many apartments in Fayetteville; we have too many apartments in the wrong places.”
Aldermen Adella Gray and Robert Ferrell also voted in favor of rezoning.
The council also tabled a vote on proposed ordinances to regulate activities of rock quarry and red dirt mining facilities within a one-mile radius of city limits, to prevent annoyances and injury. They heard a great deal of public comment about the issue but want to refine language of the ordinances before moving forward.

News, Pages 1, 5 on 09/16/2009

Copyright © 2009, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc.
All rights reserved.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Tree and Landscape Committee to meet at 4 p.m. Wednesday


Tree & Landscape Advisory Committee

Wade Colwell, Business
John Crone, University Representative
Chris Wilson, Environmental
Vacant, Utility Representative
Paula Larson, Community/Citizen-at-Large
J.P. Peters, Community/Citizen-at-Large
Gayle Howard, Service Organization
David Reynolds, Land Development
Cynthia Cope, Forestry, Landscaping, or Horticulture (Chair)
Greg Howe, Urban Forester

MEETING AGENDA – Wednesday, September 9, 2009
4:00pm Room 216 City Administration Building (City Hall)

Call to Order

Accept or Revise the August 18th meeting minutes.

New Business
1) Celebration of Trees – Fall Update
2) Review a proposed change to the Landscape Manual
3) Tree Escrow Planting – Clabber Creek PH II Update
4) Discussion on permanent meeting day and time

Open Forum
1) Member’s discussions on other areas of concern, ideas or suggestions outside of agenda.

2) Guests and visitors opportunity to address the committee on non-agenda items.

Meeting adjourns

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bad news for fans of excellence in reporting; end of competition could mean no chance of thorough coverage of news

UPDATED: Democrat-Gazette, Stephens Media Plan Joint Venture in Northwest Arkansas

By Lance Turner - 9/3/2009 11:05:54 AM

After suffering "significant financial losses during the current economic recession," the
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and Stephens Media plan a joint venture in northwest Arkansas,
the news organizations announced Thursday.
The joint venture would move forward if Stephens can't find a buyer for its flagship
newspaper, The Morning News. But Democrat-Gazette Publisher Walter Hussman says he doesn't
believe a buyer will be found.
"If someone comes along and buys it, then we’ll continue to compete with The Morning News
and this merger won’t be consummated," Hussman, CEO of Wehco Media Inc., which owns the
Democrat-Gazette, said in his newspaper's coverage of the deal. "We suspect that won’t
Both companies have asked the U.S. Department of Justice to evaluate the deal. The Justice
Department had requested that Stephens put The Morning News up for sale, the companies said.
In absence of a sale, the two firms plan to establish a joint venture, called
NorthwestArkansas Newspapers LLC, according to a news release available on Stephens' The organization will be "equally owned by the parties."
"The parties will contribute the assets of their Northwest Arkansas daily newspapers
(Benton County Daily Record, the Morning News, Rogers and Springdale, the Northwest
Arkansas Times, and the Northwest Edition of the Democrat-Gazette) and weekly newspapers,
real property, plants, and equipment to the new LLC. Stephens Media will be responsible
for editorial control of the local newspapers in northwest Arkansas. Arkansas
Democrat-Gazette Inc. will control advertising, business, production and circulation
functions of the new LLC, and will be in charge of the editorial functions of the
Northwest Arkansas Edition of the Democrat-Gazette."
Jeff Jeffus, publisher for the Democrat-Gazette's northwest Arkansas operations, will be
president of the new LLC, the companies said.
In announcing the deal to employees in northwest Arkansas on Thursday, Hussman said
newspaper jobs would be cut.
If the deal goes through, it would end more than 20 years of competition in the region
between two of the state's biggest media companies and wealthiest Arkansans, Hussman and
financier Warren Stephens, who owns Stephens Media.
In northwest Arkansas, the Democrat-Gazette owns the Northwest Arkansas Times and the
Benton County Daily Record. It also publishes a zoned edition of the Democrat-Gazette for
12 counties in the region.
Stephens Media owns The Morning News and several other newspapers in the region. It also
owns several papers in central Arkansas, including the Times of North Little Rock, the
Cabot Star-Herald, Carlisle Independent, Lonoke Democrat and Sherwood Voice and the
Jacksonville Patriot. will update this story.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Prairie trail gets red fill dirt rather than prairie soil adjacent to it

Please click on images of Pinnacle Prairie trail with red dirt and gravel along the right of way and the trail edge cut by truck tires dumping dirt along the edges.
The top photo (view east to 12th Street) shows a pile of silty soil moved from the grading off of the new park land. The contractors insist that the city requires the use of this soil regardless of where a project is done. No one has explained where the tan, sifted dirt comes from or who sells it to the city and the contractors. It may be useful in some parts of town but is WRONG on black-dirt prairie land.

The second and third photos (view south) show damaged blacktop trail edge where truck drove off the trail to unload or load dirt.

The fourth photo shows red dirt packed right over the edge of the Soup Branch, which routes water east under the trail from the western, eastern and northwestern portion of Pinnacle Prairie.

The fifth photo shows a view south.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Campus Crest's draft of a concept drawing/tentative plan for apartments the company wants permission to build

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of a draft of a concept plan for a proposed student-apartment complex along the east border of the Fayetteville National Cemetery as it was shared by a representative of the developer on August 11, 2009.

Should rezoning to Downtown General be approved by the Fayetteville City Council to allow apartments or other large-scale projects next to the National Cemetery, the plan would be modified in later meetings with the planning department and planning commission. But rezoning to Downtown General would basically eliminate future council input into what kind of project might go on the land.
Veterans, members of the Town Branch Neighborhood Association and hundreds of others have expressed opposition to the rezoning. And finding someone who believes apartments would be appropriate on that site is difficult.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Why infill must be planned carefully and approved only when truly feasible

Please click on images to see lot where two houses are being built under Neighborhood Conservation rules where one had stood before.
Questions: Where is the silt fence? Where will stormwater be retained? Who will pay to dig the silt out of the Spout Spring Branch less than a block downhill to the south? Are any of the few remaining trees on the lot expected to be saved? Will any of them survive having their roots being cut and buried? Can neighbors downstream sue if their homes are flooded for the first time after this project is completed? How will this project affect the "property value" of downstream riparian zone existing houses? If the city ever develops and passes an ordinance to protect our stream corridors, will such intense development be outlawed so close to a stream's riparian zone?
Did city staff members discuss these or other potential problems with the sloping lot before approving the project?
Just asking. I didn't follow the approval process for this raze, removal, grading and construction plan.
As a use by right in the Neighborhood Conservation zone, it didn't get much public scrutiny.
Large or small, conditions of approval for every development site must be fully thought out and the inspected daily before such problems can develop.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Times' July headline two weeks premature; it may be accurate if published on July 22, 2009

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of a couple from West Palm Beach, Florida, at the Fayetteville National Cemetery on July 14, 2009. They were on a self-guided tour of Civil War battlefields and National Cemeteries and such. Many people choose to vacation in cities that have significant historic sites.

The July 15 headline below may be accurate if published again on July 22.
"Rezoning of sale barn property postponed
BY ROBIN MERO Northwest Arkansas Times
Posted on Wednesday, July 15, 2009
"Consideration of a rezoning request for the Washington County Livestock Auction property will wait until the Aug. 4 meeting of the Fayetteville City Council.
"Developer Campus Crest LLC wants two more weeks to develop a bill of assurance for the request, which will be presented to the council with the aim of making the zoning request more palatable.
"The developer is asking that nine acres be rezoned to downtown general from heavy commercial/light industrial and seeks to build apartments for University of Arkansas students."

The headline and the two graphs above were written after an agenda-setting meeting of the Fayetteville City Council. It may turn out to be accurate if the council tables the issue during the July 21 meeting. No action is taken at agenda sessions beyond setting the agenda for the official council meeting. If the developers actually do ask that it be tabled at the July 21 meeting, then the a member of the council could make a motion to table and, if that were seconded, then they could vote to table or not. If the council approves tabling, then it might not be further discussed.
If the tabling fails, then a motion could be made to vote on the issue of rezoning, which would require allowing developers to present and the public to speak. So there is no guarantee that the issue will not come to a vote at this meeting, but it does appear likely that it will be delayed until the first August meeting.
It would be an embarrassment to the city if apartments were allowed next to the national cemetery. This isn't about property rights. The lack of need for apartments for university students at this time has been well-documented. The obvious need in Fayetteville is for affordable housing such as the single-family homes in the neighborhood nearest the former sale barn and the National Cemetery.

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of representatives of the VA and contractors on July 14, 2009, discussing plans to prepare property to be added to the Fayetteville National Cemetery.

On Tuesday, federal officials and engineers and others with experience in cemetery design walked the cemetery and some adjacent land to the west that already has been bought by the Regional National Cemetery Improvement Corporation and donated to the VA for cemetery expansion. That land will be prepared after careful study of that land to become part of the burial ground. But it will not meet the projected need for more space for much more than a decade.
The sale-barn ground also would require careful planning and much work if it is added later. But the people on hand yesterday are well-trained and able to do it properly. It will be needed and is in the natural spot to be added to the existing cemetery that was created in 1867, soon after the civil war ended.
Maybe some people would not see the inappropriateness of putting apartments there unless it were allowed and then they actually experienced what it would be like.
Just imagine.

Quoting the NWAT article further: "The council by law is to consider only whether the zoning requested is compatible with the neighborhood.
"Alderman Sarah Lewis asked how the developer can present information about the project when the council is not to consider a specific project.
" 'I don't understand; we're not allowed to talk about the project, but they're allowed to bring a bill of assurance," Lewis said.
"City Attorney Kit Williams said a bill of assurance doesn't describe a project, only limits the range of a zoning.
A bill of assurance places voluntary restrictions on a developer."
"Copyright © 2001-2009 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact:"

Regardless of the outcome of the effort to stop this rezoning, the Regional National Cemetery Improvement Corporation will continue its fund-raising effort. There is no guarantee at this point that federal money will be provided to help expand the cemetery even though Senator Blanche Lincoln told me in person that she will work toward that end and even though Congressman John Boozeman told me and several other people recently that he will work to earmark a bill in the House of Representatives to provide money through the Department of Veterans Affairs to purchase the sale-barn property to add to protect the future cemetery and the thousands of veterans are eligible for burial there already.
Please make donations payable to the Regional National Cemetery Improvement Corporation and mail to P.O. Box 4221, Fayetteville, AR 72702.
For more information, please go to the RNCIC's Web site at
Regional National Cemetery Improvement Corporation's Web site

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Green-infrastructure and Land-Use Committee to meet at 7 p.m. today in Fayetteville City Hall


THURSDAY---JULY 9-----7 PM-----ROOM 111 ------ CITY HALL

GOAL SETTING: This meeting will briefly review the "What We Have" and "What We Need" of each category and determine short term goals in order to take our information and needs to the next level. Committees have been formed and objectives outlined:
Define and Identify: Land Use Planning and Green Infrastructure
Develop: Policy-- To make Land Use and Green Infrastructure Plan
Describe: Economic Impacts with or without LU & GI Planning

The Committee will review discussion at the June 4 meeting summarized below::
Bob Caulk of the Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association presented a power point program outlining the organizations work to date including maps of green areas within and surrounding Fayetteville. He also described the group’s ongoing effort to present infrastructure planning into the small towns on Fayetteville’s borders -- Johnson, Greenland, Farmington, and the Lake Wedington area---as well as plans to bring their project to Fayetteville.
Three poster boards were available for recording WHAT WE HAVE and WHAT WE NEED in each of the three categories for attendees to suggest where the community should be putting green infrastructure/land use planning into the working policies of our community and area.

What We Have---
--Maps/work/contacts generated by Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association
--School grounds, parks, trails, green spaces –private and public
--Botanical Garden of the Ozarks

What We Need----
--Geologic map of city
--Inventory of old growth forest remnants
--Outreach to neighborhoods, individuals, businesses, and other communities to explain and garner support for green infrastructure

What we have----
Stormwater Issues & Actions
--Developing Stormwater Feasability Study—by Council Directive
--Stormwater infrastructure
--Planning Ordinances & Policies
--Field staff for storm water maintenance
--Nutrient Reduction Plan

Trees---Tree Preservation Ordinance and Landscape Manual
Green Teams---in schools

What we need-----
Storm Water--Complete Storm Water Feasibility Study
--Develop way to move forward—
--Identify ordinances, structure, philosophy, changes

Trees & Habitat
--Conduct Ecological analysis to see if Tree Ordinance working
--Establish a Wildlife Habitat Preservation Ordinance as part of Green Infrastructure
--Conduct a UFORE study to establish data on what trees contribute from an economic point of view
--Encourage use of native plant species
--Establish a Riparian Zone Ordinance
--Improve/strengthen the Hillside Ordinance
--Transfer Development Rights---get state enabling legislation passed
--Underground Utility policy for public construction projects
--Habitat or conservation zoning
--Education about structural designs that support roof gardens, etc.
--Bees throughout city –attention to insects and pollination needs they provide as well as the ecological system links between insects and bird and bat populations
--Educate children and adults

What we have----
--Websites & Links
* Robert Costanza/ Gund Institute Website:
“The Gund Institute for Ecological Economics (GIEE) is an environmental institute housed at The Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont. Its primary mission is the study of the relationships between ecological and economic systems through the collaborative work of experts, educators, students, and others from around the world and across a wide variety of academic and environmental disciplines related to ecological economics."

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Issac Caudle, prisoner of war in Germany during WWII, wants cemetery expanded across sale-barn property

Veterans seek one year to raise funds
BY ROBIN MERO Northwest Arkansas Times
Posted on Thursday, June 25, 2009
State Sen. Sue Madison joined military veterans Wednesday at the Fayetteville National Cemetery to implore the public to attend a July 7 City Council meeting and object to nearby property being rezoned for apartment development.
"Anyone who has been to a service here was deeply moved by the sanctity of the place. This is a quiet, tranquil part of town, and I think that atmosphere needs to be preserved. A multistory apartment complex would be very incompatible - and tragic. We have enough apartments in Fayetteville already," Madison said. Her father is a retired lieutenant colonel from the U.S. Army, she said.
Madison said she spoke to the veterans affairs liaison for U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln about finding stimulus funds for the purchase.
"He was very receptive to the idea," she said.
Veterans said they need one year to raise at least $2 million - preferably $4 million - to purchase the 9 acres that comprise the old Washington County Sale Barn property. After more than 70 years selling livestock, the barn's final sale is today, and owner Billy Joe Bartholomew said he will close the business. He has a contract with Campus Crest LLC of North Carolina to buy the land and build apartments geared toward university students.
The argument of neighbors and veterans is twofold: The land is needed for cemetery expansion, and apartments are a bad idea.
"Students are the worst kind of neighbor you can have," said Jim Buckner, senior vice commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart in Arkansas. "In 2023, this cemetery will be filled, and the only way we can expand enough to take us up to the end of this century is to acquire this property."
Buckner said he's guessing at the sale price being around $2 million, since neither Bartholomew or Campus Crest have revealed the contract price.
Veterans have raised $2,475 in private donations toward the purchase, Ron Butler of the Regional National Cemetery Improvement Corporation said. The RNCIC has nonprofit status to collect and hold the funds.
The morning press conference was held outside cemetery property to avoid the appearance of cemetery officials taking a position, and Cemetery Director Gloria Bailey was not present.
The city's Planning Commission recommended the rezoning be approved. The City Council tabled the request June 16, and it was moved to the July 7 agenda. The rezoning request, Downtown General, is a downzoning from the current heavy commercial/light industrial zoning. The land is located south of Martin Luther King Boulevard and west of School Avenue, directly across Government Avenue from the cemetery.
Andy Aldridge, Campus Crest representative, said Wednesday that the company made an offer to the Bartholomew family to purchase the sale barn property, which is now a binding contract between a buyer and a seller contingent upon approval of the rezoning.
"Campus Crest does not enter lightly into a contract such as this and fully plans to honor its commitment to the Bartholomew family and the community of Fayetteville," Aldridge said. "Throughout this process, Campus Crest has worked very hard to listen and understand the concerns of the neighbors in the area. And, we plan to continue the same level of community involvement and awareness."
Bartholomew has said veterans never approached him about buying the land until after the contract was entered. He said wishes he could afford to give the land to the cemetery but he needs to sell, he told the Planning Commission in May.
The July 7 City Council meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the City Administration Building, Room 219, 113 W. Mountain St.
Copyright © 2001-2009 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact:

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Illinois River Watershed Partnership's appreciation Day set for Saturday June 6, 2009, at Lake Fayetteville

This Saturday, June 6, in appreciation of our IRWP sponsors, members, volunteer corps and StreamTeam members...
Illinois River Watershed Appreciation Day, Lake Fayetteville Veteran's Memorial Park
2:00 to 4:00 pm
Canoe races --- canoes and life vests provided by Lake Fayetteville Environmental Study Center
Geocaching treasure hunts --- GPS units and treasure hunt guides provided by USGS
Make your own Water-cycle beaded bracelets, enjoy Disney's Nemo and Ariel face paintings by local artists
Recycling bean bag toss, fishing and kid's games courtesy of Washington County Environmental Affairs and Benton County Extension Service
Sand volleyball with UA's Dr. Dirk Philipp!
4:30 to 7:00 pm
Scrumptious barbecue brisket and hot-dogs with the trimmings
Country western concert by local artist Marshall T. Mitchell
All Activities, Food, and Music are FREE! Come, bring your family and friends, join us for a beautiful day in the Illinois River Watershed! Park entrance located just east of Lowe's on Zion Road.
Arkansas Urban Forestry Council names the IRWP as it's Outstanding Organization of the Year "in recognition of the effort, dedication and outstanding contribution in the promotion and development of the urban forest." Thank you to our friends at AUFC and this honor in recognition of the work of our sponsors, members and volunteer corps! We truly believe "Trees make better water!" and look forward to working with you in the future, combining our efforts in fulfilling our common missions through education, outreach and partnerships.
Watershed Challenge Winners: May Online Challenge to Arkansas Science and Technology Teachers and Students
1st Place: Hector Elementary School, Hector, AR. Teacher Kathy Brunetti.
Prize: Watershed Model Enviroscape - $800 value
2nd Place: R.E. Baker Elementary School, Bentonville, AR. Teacher Phyllis Abraham.
Prize: Magellan Triton 300 GPS unit - $150 value
3rd Place: Fayetteville High School, Fayetteville, AR. Teacher Robin Buff.
Prize: "Make Your Own Watershed" Model - $50 value
4th Place: Greenland High School, Greenland, AR. Teacher John Diesel.
Prize: Watershed Eco-Puzzle - $30 value
Congratulations to the IRWP Online Watershed Challenge May 2009 Winners!
Dr. Delia Haak
Executive Director
Illinois River Watershed Partnership
PO Box 8506
Fayetteville, AR 72703

Thursday, May 28, 2009

5 p.m. Friday deadline to apply for appointment to vacancies on Fayetteville, Arkansas, boards and commissions

Apply before 5 p.m. tomorrow at the Fayetteville city clerk's office in city hall.
One Veterinarian Term Ending (Date TBD)
One Business Term Ending (Date TBD)
One Washington County Representative Term Ending (Date TBD)
One Finance Term Ending (Date TBD)
Two Nonprofit Animal Interest Groups Terms Ending (Date TBD)
Three Citizen-at-Large Terms Ending (Date TBD)

One Unexpired Term Ending 03/31/11

One Term Ending 03/31/14
Two Alternate Member Terms Ending 03/31/10

One Community Citizen-at-Large Term Ending 06/30/12
One Unexpired Community Citizen-at-Large Term Ending 12/31/10

One Working Artist Term Ending 06/30/12
Two Arts and Cultural/Citizen-at-Large Terms Ending 06/30/12

Three Terms Ending 06/30/12

One Unexpired Term Ending 12/31/09

One Unexpired Term Ending 06/30/10
Three Terms Ending 06/30/13

One Unexpired Utility Representative Term Ending 12/31/10

One Term Ending 06/30/12

One Term Ending 06/30/12


All applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on May 29, 2009, at the city clerk's office.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Thousands visit Fayetteville National Cemetery on Memorial Day 2009; new cemetery administrator speaks of concern about apartments coming next door

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of National Cemetery celebration of Memorial Day 2009 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. At right is the Washington County Livestock Auction Barn, which would be replaced by a 500-bedroom student-apartment complex if allowed by Fayetteville City officials. The Planning Commission is to hear the North Carolina developer's proposal during its 5:30 p.m. Tuesday meeting in Fayetteville City Hall. The commission will hear public opinion on the proposed project before whether to vote yes or no on allowing rezoning the land for student apartments.

Please click on start arrow to acivate the short video recorded at Fayetteville National Cemetery on May 25, 2009.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Quick quiz: Guess where this silt originates

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of Ditch Witch rented by the state highway department being used to dredge silt out of the concrete box culvert that allows the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River to flow southeastward under Fifteenth Street in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on May 18, 2009.

Ditch Witch rented by Highway Department dredges silt out from under Town Branch Bridge at 15th Street

Silt removal an expensive side effect of construction in Northwest Arkansas

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of southside of 15th Street as a highway-department worker used a Ditch Witch to scrap silt from one of the three box culverts through which the Town Branch of the West Fork flows from the northwest. The silt was scooped up by machine sitting on the edge of the bridge and loaded into dump trucks and hauled away. Silt from construction sites is the major pollutant in urban streams in Northwest Arkansas.

Some places silt originates

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of Don Hoodenpyle's big bed of irises as seen from my driveway!

The mud and silt in the forground contrasts with Hoodenpyle's yard.
Please click on image to ENLARGE view of silt just waiting for rain to wash it into the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River.

The photo above shows silt on the edge of the Eleventh Street bridge over the Town Branch.
The photo below shows a landscaping crew actually spreading some mix of nonorganic and organic soil on the UA entry area near Garland Avenue and Martin King Jr. Boulevard on May 21, 2009. Why gardeners would add some an unnatural substance on top of the original rich, black soil is unexplainable. Even if the soil there already had been replaced, that tan substance will run off to the Town Branch if there is heavy rain this weekend.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mayor Lioneld Jordan attends Fayetteville High School public meeting on plans for new campus on old site

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of Mayor Lioneld Jordan at the Fayetteville High School cafeteria on May 11, 2009.

The Morning News

Local News for Northwest Arkansas
Questions Still Arise About High School Project
By Rose Ann Pearce
FAYETTEVILLE — A timeline for the construction of a new Fayetteville High School hasn't been developed but planners hope to keep interruption at a minimum, residents were told Monday.
About 50 parents, parents and some school employees attended a community meeting to discuss a campus master plan, developed by a New Orleans planning firm, and two variations put together by central office administrators.
After a brief review of the plan's development and contents, questions arose from the audience about construction, closing Stone Street, parking and the renovation of one portion of the existing high school, built in 1991, to be incorporated in the new construction.
James McGinty, a former school board candidate, said local residents still want more information about the new high school project.
"Parents are concerned about the facilities for their children. We need more discussion," McGinty said. "It's ridiculous to have such a small turnout. We need more information."
When pressed by Jeff Hebert, the Concordia LLC project manager, McGinty noted he wanted to see what student, teachers and district administrators have said they want to see in the new school.
"Sharing the information so everyone can see," McGinty suggested. Hebert said Concordia would consider that suggestion for its Web site.
Fayetteville School Board member Jim Halsell said he doesn't have sufficient information yet to make a decision on the high school project.
Several school board members attended the meeting as did Vicki Thomas, the district's new superintendent who takes over July 1 when Superintendent Bobby New retires.
Halsell predicted more information may be forthcoming on Wednesday when the board holds a workshop to talk about the money side of the project. The meeting is from 5 to 7 p.m.
He also suggested patrons will have "opportunity for input all summer."
One patron suggested the planning firm assemble a three-dimensional model of the campus master plan to help patrons better understand the new high school project. Concordia representatives said the planning process hasn't progressed far enough to build such a model now but consideration would be given down the road.
He agreed attendance was low Monday.
Halsell said attendance may have been impacted by the weather and concerts and other year-end activities going on at the schools.
Bobbie Hill, also an associate of Concordia LLC, said a construction timeline is also too early to develop but noted that the school will be built in phases with "minimal interruptions."
Students will move into new facilities as they are completed, she said.
Still, Hebert noted, "It won't be a bed of roses," adding that this type of phased construction goes on across the country when building new schools.


Cost Of New High School

• The master plan recommended by Concordia LLC is projected to cost $124 million.

• Variation 2 is projected to cost $110.6 million.

• Variation 3 is projected to cost $101.8 million.

Source: Staff Report

The Morning News' Skip Descant reports on meeting of the Fayetteville telecommunication board's Internet committee

The Morning News
Local News for Northwest Arkansas
Officials Consider Policy For City's Use Of Online Tools
By Skip Descant
FAYETTEVILLE — The Fayetteville Telecom board wants to exercise caution before clicking onto common social media tools like Facebook and Twitter. The board is considering a city policy regarding how City Hall can use these "Web 2.0" tools to distribute information.
"Don't we give up some degree of control of that information, by the public," said Andrew Mayes, who chairs the Telecom Board (actually chairman of the board's Internet subcommittee, appointed by Telecom Board chairman Aubrey Shepherd in February).
The board wondered about what legal and ease-of-management considerations must be weighed before moving too quickly down the Web 2.0 road.
"If you use some of the Google tools like Gmail or Google Maps, and Google comes in and makes changes, well that's a consideration that constantly comes up with those tools," Mayes elaborated after the meeting.
The measure was brought forward by City Council member Matthew Petty, who wants the city to explore areas to engage the public on a larger range of platforms. But he went on to stress that he is not advocating any abandonment of the standard modes of communication like postings on the Web site, advertisements in local newspapers or e-mail.
"We need to make sure we don't make the mistake that these social media tools are the only way to access city information," Petty said Petty.
Petty has constantly stressed that since so many Fayetteville residents are regular consumers of social media, the city should explore added ways to engage them along these platforms.
"I don't want to you to think that I'm anti-Web 2.0," Mayes, a software engineer and the "technology architect" for the Fayetteville School District, told Petty. "It's far from the truth."
The board also explored how it should manage a city-sponsored free Wi-Fi signal. One currently — or at least, intermittently — beams across the downtown square.
The signal is joint project among local businesses and City Hall. The agreement was that Fayetteville would pick up the cost of equipment if the private sector maintained the signal.
"We haven't paid for anything yet, because we're not paying for anything until it works right," said Don Marr, Fayetteville chief of staff.
But regardless, the idea of an open access wireless signal is enough to make the public-policy oversight bodies like the Telecom Board at least a little nervous, particularly when considering issues like cyber-crime.
"You could find out the hard way," Mayes said.
Petty maintained that the system should not be viewed through the same prism as an Internet signal for children, and the city should not be in the business of policing it.
"I'm a net-neutrality guy," Petty said. "If someone is sitting on the square watching dirty movies, let the police bust him."
Free community Wi-Fi signals are not new, and Fayetteville should take a look at what cities have already done, said Marvin Hilton, a member of the Telecom Board.
Web Watch
Social Media Already Accessed Via Fayetteville's Web Site

Monday, May 11, 2009

Internet committee of the telecommunication board to meet at noon today and all are welcome

Telecommunication Board's Internet Subcommittee to meet at noon today in the PEG Center studio across Rock Street from the Fayetteville Municipal Court and police station.

Meeting Agenda
May 11, 2009
12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

1) Call to order and introductions

2) Use of Internet technologies by city boards and commissions for FOIA complaint communications.

3) Proposed use of Web 2.0/Social Networking media by city entities

4) City WiFi

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Thiel stands alone against wood-chipping plan in West Fork of White River watershed

Almost clear: Old race track property to be wood chipping site
BY ROBIN MERO Northwest Arkansas Times
Posted on Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Fayetteville's ice storm debris problem was neatly solved — almost.

The city has nearly finished collecting tons of branches and limbs from yards and properties following the Jan. 27 storm. A contractor was found to grind the wood into mulch for use in gardening or as bedding in chicken houses.

Bedding materials are desperately needed by poultry producers, as saw mills across the region have closed due to a stagnant housing construction industry, the Fayetteville City Council heard Tuesday night.

The city will be reimbursed for more than 80 percent of the $5 million-plus cost.

There is only a single hitch — one that caused Ward 1 Alderman Brenda Thiel to vote against five fellow aldermen Tuesday.

The contractor will haul the 150,000 cubic yards of partially chopped wood to a 15.2-acre property south of Willoughby Road and east of U.S. 71B. That is the same property where the Thunder Valley Race Track once operated.

The contractor will spend three months grinding that wood, seven days a week and up to 10 hours a day, as a dozen tractor-trailers continuously cycle through — for loading and hauling the product to Huntsville. There will be about 1,500 trailer loads, predicted Gary Easterling of International Equipment Distributors, which won the $439,500 contract for disposal.

Thiel is concerned about noise, and that water runoff will be contaminated and flow into the West Fork of the White River.

"I understand the urgency, but I cannot support this," Thiel told the council. "This is in a valley and, as we know, the noise reverberates. This is surrounded by a residential neighborhood and will disrupt the area. I'm very sympathetic, as this population dealt with an issue for several years."

Mayor Lioneld Jordan said he also finds the solution imperfect, but he emphasized time constraints. The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality gave Fayetteville a May 27 deadline to remove the chips from three locations in the city, due to concerns about spontaneous combustion and leaching.

"The easiest thing to do would have been burn this wood, like Springdale did," Jordan said. "I thought we were a more environmentally friendly city than that, so I offered to chip it."
Thiel stands alone in defending her neighborhood and Beaver Lake watershed
Aldermen were asked Tuesday to rezone the 15.2 acres temporarily from RA (residential agricultural) to I-2 (general industrial). This will allow the work to be done, and give city staff the authority to control dust, noise and erosion. The property will be rezoned back to R-A after work is complete.

The ADEQ must still approve a storm-water prevention plan before the chipping and hauling can begin. Water flowing through the chips can create tannic acid, which has a very low pH and can cause environmental harm.

The city is currently capturing water at sites where the wood chips are stored and pumping it straight into the sewer systems, David Jurgens, water and wastewater director, said. Preventative measures for the new site may include plugging drains to prevent runoff and the use of plastic to catch water.

The land, owned by Sam Mathias, is easily accessed by tractor-trailers, and the potential of them getting stuck is minimized by the grass surface and concrete paths, city staff said.

Easterling said he looked at about 10 possible locations for relocating the chips for grinding, but they were either too small or inaccessible by trucks.

About 75 percent of the material will be sold as poultry bedding, Easterling said.

"It's really in demand because of the sawmill shutdowns, and right now is when it's needed," he said. "The only other options are rice hulls, which aren't good, and pine shavings — which are expensive."

Easterling also ground storm debris for Berryville and Huntsville, but those were much smaller propositions, he said.

A second Ward 1 alderman, Adella Gray, was absent from Tuesday's meeting.

Thiel cast the only oppositional vote in the 5-1 decision to rezone the property. The issue was not on the regular agenda but had been mentioned publicly at the end of a special council meeting Thursday.

"I cannot express enough how disappointed I am the public has not had the opportunity to comment, particularly with the trouble we went to change the use of that part of the property," Thiel said.

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

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Silent Auction to support Meals on Wheels tonight

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of poster touting upcoming silent auction to benefit Meals on Wheels.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sale barn or 500-student apartment complex next to National Cemetery?

Ward One meeting held a week ago in the Town Branch Neighborhood is to be shown on Cox cable channel 16 at 11 a.m today and again at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.
City16 Government Channel schedule available online.

Apartment-builders' plan for the sale-barn property is presented during that meeting and several people who live in the neighborhood comment on the idea and even suggest alternatives.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Earth Day celebration on April 19, 2009, at World Peace Wetland Prairie

Please click on image to ENLARGE to read details of the poster.

Bird-watchers welcome every day from dawn to dusk!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Zoom lens shows proximity of proposed and newly built multifamily housing in Town Branch neighborhood

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of the Washington County Sale Barn from the west balcony of the Fayetteville Senior Center on South College Avenue in Walker Park.

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of the top of the Washington County Sale Barn and, a few blocks further west, the top of newly built student apartments west of Hill Avenue and, beyond that across the railroad, the east slope of Rochier Hill, which also is slated for multifamily residential development. The white roof in the foreground is that of a business on South School Avenue.

Fritz Gisler joins city administration as Government Channel manager

Monday, April 6, 2009

Would student apartments be more appropriate than a livestock auction barn next to National Cemetery for veterans? Not likely

Everyone is welcom at today's 5:30 p.m. meeting of Ward One residents and the Town Branch Neighborhood at the S. Hill Avenue Church of Christ near the intersection of 11th Street and S. Hill Avenue to hear and discuss a proposal to rezone the Washington County Livestock Auction Barn for student apartments. The area is shown on Google Maps below.

View Larger Map

The sale barn in the view below is at right and the national cemetery is at left. WOULD STUDENT APARTMENTS be any more appropriate next to the National Cemetery than a sale barn? The cemetery was created in 1867 and the sale barn in 1937.

View Larger Map

Please share information about the 5:30 p.m. April 5 (TODAY) meeting of Ward One residents at the Church of Christ on South Hill Avenue in Fayetteville.
Attorney Bob Estes is to present a proposal to have the Washington County Sale Barn rezoned so that student apartments may be built on the land in the Town Branch Neighborhood. If the rezoning is accepted, then a North Carolina company will buy the land and build the apartments.
The cattle-auction facility was constructed in 1937 by the grandfather of the current owner.
Cattle are brought in early each week and auctioned on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday. There is no permanent housing of a large group of animals.
Because of the north slope's being well vegetated, stormwater runoff to streams in each direction is relatively clean, much cleaner than the runoff from the Hill Place Apartment complex being constructed three blocks to the west.
Closing the sale barn in south Fayetteville would greatly inconvenience ranchers and farmers in south Washington County. In fact, having to travel to Springdale to buy and sell cattle could be final factor in some landowners deciding to sell out and stop farming.
All this would come at a time when encouraging local production of food and protecting the rich soil on the prairies in the river valleys is high on the agenda of many people and many conservation organizations.
Closing the sale barn could affect the local farm economy and several other businesses in south Fayetteville that rely on local farming. It would encourage more unneeded housing to be built in rural areas while allowing more unneeded apartments to be built in a city where empty apartments and condominiums are plentiful.
Anything that damages the agricultural economy of Northwest Arkansas will reduce the effectiveness of such ongoing efforts as the FNHA's green-infrastructure project, the Beaver Lake and Illinois River watershed-protection efforts and the efforts of OMNI Center, the Sierra Club, Audubon Arkansas, the League of Women voters, the Ozark Society, the Arkansas Wildlife Federation, Ducks Unlimited and many other conservation organizations to protect and improve our environment and counter the threat of global climate change.

Town Branch Neighborhood Association meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday April 6, 2009

Ward One City Council members, members of the Town Branch neighborhood association and the public will hear a presentation from a developer seeking to rezone the Washington County Sale Barn property to allow construction of student apartments. Everyone is welcome to the meeting in the church at 1136 S Ellis Avenue south of the intersection of S. Hill Avenue and Eleventh Street at 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 6.
For details, please call 479-444-6072 or visit

Friday, April 3, 2009

Ward One council members, residents of south Fayetteville to meet to discuss proposal to build student apartments on Washington County Sale Barn land

Town Branch Neighborhood Association meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday April 6, 2009

Ward One City Council members, members of the Town Branch neighborhood association and the public will hear a presentation from a developer seeking to rezone the Washington County Sale Barn property to allow construction of student apartments. Everyone is welcome to the meeting in the church at 1136 S Ellis Avenue south of the intersection of S. Hill Avenue and Eleventh Street at 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 6.
For details, please call 479-444-6072 or visit

Earth Day at World Peace Wetland Prairie from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday April 19, 2009

Members of the Town Branch neighborhood association and the OMNI Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology present the fifth-annual Earth Day celebration with activities for kids and adults. Wildflowers will be planted in the butterfly garden and peace-circle garden on the east portion of the city-owned nature park by children and adult volunteers. Ice-storm damaged limbs will be removed by those who wish to help. Volunteers may dig out fescue grass or remove Japanese honeysuckle that is suppressing native plants in parts of the western 2 acres.
Musicians and poets will be invited to play, sing or read in a pleasant outdoor setting.
Still on the Hill and Emily Kaitz are the headliners.
Several activities for youngsters will be provided by volunteers.
Parking is free from 1 to 5 p.m. at the the Hill Avenue Church of Christ south of the intersection of S. Hill Avenue and Eleventh Street, and street parking is legal in much of the neighborhood.
Everyone is welcome. For details, call 444-6072
or visit
World Peace Wetland Prairie is at 1121 South Duncan Avenue in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Reagan family farm north of Arkansas 16 exemplifies the kind of land that must be protected in the cities of Northwest Arkansas to save Beaver Lake

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of Bill Reagan pointing to the line of trees along the fence on the south edge of his family farm along the north edge of East Fifteenth Street.

The Reagan family has owned the land for many years and Bill said that he has bought it from his mother and will keep it in the family. The farm is prairie that has been used for cattle grazing and other agriculture over the decades. It is an example of a heritage farm of the sort identified in the Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association's Green Infrastructure plan. Its rich soil captures water where falls and does not cause flooding downstream with its limited stormwater runoff entering the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River without causing siltation or pollution. See Google map with view of Fifteenth Street area in a preceding post on this subject.
Democrat-Gazette on widening of Arkansas 16

View Larger Map
Please use controls and cursor to move the image, zoom in or out and trace the whole route discussed at the meeting yesterday. The Reagan property is near the middle left part of the image above.
If you use your cursor to travel north of the open Reagan property between Washington Avenue and Wood Avenue from 11th Street up to near 9th Street you can see the 7 wooded wetland acres that the Partners for Better housing board is trying to buy to dredge and fill for a low-income housing development. Water drains from north of Jefferson School, all the way from north of MLK Boulevard (former 6th St.) down to 15th St. and into the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River and is slowed and purified by the moist-soil area where the tiny branch overflows.
This portion of the Beaver Lake watershed is under extreme threat. Thanks to the Reagan family and others for keeping a bit of green infrastructure intact and allowing a small part of the rainwater to stay it falls.