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