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.
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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