Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Democrat/Gazette December 21, 2009, editorial advocating saving sale-barn land for Fayetteville National Cemetery pleases majority of veterans and neighbors, but the problem is that saving Town Branch homeowners from flooding downhill from the cemetery is still being ignored: VA already at work preparing to dredge and fill wetland and pipe stormwater directly to Hill Avenue and thus to the 11th Street bridge on the Town Branch

Please click on individual photos to ENLARGE view of wetland area along the north edge of the Fayetteville National Cemetery being prepared for dredging and filling for grave sites. The depressional wetland developed over centuries because it is above a bedrock karst area where groundwater sinks into the underground caverns and aquifers and reduces surface-water flooding. When it is piped to the Town Branch it will further aggravate the flooding danger between Ellis and Van Buren avenues already created by the University of Arkansas' failure properly to manage stormwater on the campus and by paving and development along Martin Luther King Boulevard and on the Aspen Ridge/Hill Place project.


Save acres for vets

Now buy the land for the cemetery


Monday, December 21, 2009
LITTLE ROCK — LIKE WARM Arkansas Christmases, dry eyes after It’s a Wonderful Life, and little boys from the Natural State scribbling “LSU gear” on their annual wish lists, some things are just not meant to be. That’s the way it seems with the controversial student apartments that apparently won’t be built in south Fayetteville. You know, where Washington County’s historic livestock auction house operated until June.
A lawsuit that sought to override the city’s denial of a rezoning request seems to be kaput. Campus Crest developers of North Carolina wanted to buy the property from the auction house’s owner, Bill Joe Bartholomew, and build 500 apartments on the property. But the drawn-out legal ordeal surrounding this purchase became just too much to bear. Mr. Bartholomew now wants his suit dismissed.
The proposed sale to Campus Crest became a flashpoint for veterans and others last summer. They wanted to secure the site across Government Avenue from the city’s National Cemetery so they might preserve the sacred nature of that location. They basically argued that more student apartments in an overbuilt Fayetteville wasn’t an appropriate use of the land. They had a point. The former auction barn parcel does provide an ideally located space to enlarge this rapidly filling cemetery.
Fayetteville’s council denied Mr. Bartholomew’s request to rezone his property. The rezoning would have sealed the sale and enabled Campus Crest to purchase and develop the property. That’s when Mr. Bartholomew filed his suit against the city.


This latest development means the corporation that oversees the cemetery’s operation, Congress, the national office of Veteran’s Affairs, and veterans’ organizations need to find a way to purchase this property. The space needs to be preserved and protected as a final resting place for our veterans in the decades to come.

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.
TREEdebrisCont
TREEdebrisCont2
TREEdebrisCont3
TREEdebrisCont4

Friday, November 13, 2009

Red Oak Park plan would tear up the ground and displace mature trees and other significant vegetation but do nothing to protect the park from the huge upstream flow of water from the south, east and west

Red Oak Park Plan

MAYBE, this plan would help protect the property of the landowner downstream to the north toward Hamestring Creek. But it will totally miss the point of trying to protect the existing mature trees and will allow an incredible increase in erosion during construction and have only a minimal chance of improving the park in any credible way.

The only worthwhile and effective use of the money set aside for this plan would be KEEPING the water WATER WHERE IT FALLS: On the lots in the subdivisions to the south, east and west in raingardens created in the yards and in the treeless portion of the park at the southeast corner.

Helping people create raingardens using the natural soil remaining in the area and encouraging NOT to mow but to protect native vegetation there would decrease the dangerous runoff to a manageable level.

It is illogical to spend money doing some that won't meet the goals of the people who originally began complaining about the situation.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tour of Woolsey Wet Prairie and Fayetteville's westside sewage-treatment plant at 2 p.m. today precedes big evening for Illinois River Watershed Partnership

Illinois River Watershed Partnership
Annual Stakeholders Meeting
November 10, 2009
2:00 to 3:30 pm Tour of Fayetteville West Side Treatment Plant and Woolsey Wet Prairie
4:00 pm. Tour of Fayetteville Sam's Club
5:30 pm Hors d'oeuvres at Arvest Ballpark, Springdale
6:00 pm Sponsor Recognition and Golden Paddle Awards Reception
7:00 pm. Annual Membership and Board Meeting
Thank you for your dedicated efforts and support
to preserve, protect and restore the Illinois River Watershed.

To see evidence of the need for protection, please click on image to ENLARGE example of construction-site erosion in the Illinois River Watershed.
From Northwest Arkansas environment central

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.
09
09

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Green Groups Guild meeting Thursday

From: Green Groups Guild (ggg@listserv.uark.edu) on behalf of ggg (ggg@UARK.EDU)
Sent: Tue 10/13/09 2:31 PM
To: GGG@LISTSERV.UARK.EDU

Meeting 10/15/09 7:00 p.m.
209 Thompson Ave. Three Sisters Bldg on Dickson above Fez Hookah Lounge.
Patrick Kunnecke
GGG President
ASLA Vice President
4th Year Landscape Architecture Student
479-544-1906

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

Bill McArthur dead at 71: MYSTEERY of wife's murder lingers

The Morning News

Local News for Northwest Arkansas


Lawyer Suspected In Wife's 1982 Killing Dies

By Jon Gambrell
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
LITTLE ROCK — Bill McArthur, a Little Rock lawyer never charged but considered a suspect in the 1982 execution-style shooting of his oil heiress wife, died Sunday. He was 71.

Little Rock police Lt. Terry Hastings said a neighbor called police Sunday night after seeing McArthur collapsed at the door of his apartment. Hastings said an autopsy likely will be performed on McArthur, though investigators suspect natural causes in his death.

"There's no foul play suspected," Hastings said.

McArthur, a well-known criminal defense lawyer, became notorious in Arkansas on July 2, 1982, when police found Alice McArthur dead in a bedroom closet from a single gunshot wound to the head. A bouquet of flowers sat at her feet, with a card reading, "Have a nice day."

Two months earlier, a homemade explosive detonated under Alice McArthur's luxury car at their Little Rock home. She escaped with minor injuries.

Shortly before her death, Alice McArthur told friends she had come into "quite a bit of money," roughly $50,000 a month, from oil leases and royalties on property in Louisiana. She also discussed setting up a trust fund for her two children.

An anonymous telephone call led sheriff's deputies to arrest parolee Larry Darnell McClendon, 27, in Alice McArthur's death. They also arrested Eugene "Yankee" Hall and Mary Lee Orsini, a North Little Rock widow Bill McArthur defended against charges she shot her husband to death. The state Supreme Court overturned Orsini's conviction in that case.

Orsini received life in prison without parole for orchestrating McArthur's slaying; Hall got a life sentence and McClendon received a 20-year sentence.

Deputies later said Orsini gave a man a script to read for the anonymous phone call. Then Hall implicated Bill McArthur in his wife's slaying.

Bill McArthur also was part-owner of the state's largest country music night club, the Star Studded Honky Tonk.

Then-Pulaski County Sheriff Tommy Robinson, a flamboyant lawman who later went to Congress, arrested McArthur on suspicion of killing his wife. But prosecutors declined to charge McArthur in his wife's slaying, as did a later grand jury. Robinson later tried to have the lawyer charged with setting up a $500,000 contract killing targeting him.

McArthur later sued Robinson and another deputy, but the lawsuit was dismissed. However, the former sheriff has said he always harbored suspicions about McArthur's role in his wife's death.

"I think the truth will come out," Robinson said in a 2003 interview with The Associated Press. "Somebody somewhere sometime will finally come forward and tell the truth."

Robinson declined to comment Monday.

Though never charged, McArthur acknowledged his wife's death forever stained his reputation.

"During the year 1982 after Alice's death to the middle of 1983, I didn't do a great deal of practicing law. That was a great deal by choice, but not entirely," McArthur said in a 1986 interview. "I'm sure, at that time, no one would have been terribly interested in having me try a case. There was a cloud over me."

Just before her death in 2003, Orsini told sheriff's deputies in prison that she killed her husband. She also told investigators she had an affair with Bill McArthur, though the lawyer wasn't aware of her plans to have his wife killed. McArthur had denied he and Orsini had an affair.

In a 2003 interview with The Associated Press, McArthur said he hoped his now-adult children and elderly mother could find some closure with Orsini's confession.

"One thing I learned," McArthur said of Orsini, "was that I couldn't figure her out."

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
wstites@uark.edu
Tel: 479-871-7478
5K RACE
VETERANS MEMORIAL
Regional National Cemetery Improvement Corporation
P.O. Box 4221
Fayetteville, AR 72702
http://regncic.tripod.com
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.

MEDAL OF HONOR - $1000
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

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE - $500
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

SILVER STAR - $250
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

BRONZE STAR - $100
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

Friday, September 4, 2009

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

THE CITY OF FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS

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
happen."
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'
ArkansasNews.com. 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.
ArkansasBusiness.com will update this story.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A faithful response to global warming

RE: National Council of Churches Renewable Energy Meeting - A Faithful Response to Global Warming‏
From: Gladys tiffany (gladystiffany@yahoo.com)
Sent: Thu 7/23/09 10:40 AM
To: Aubrey Shepherd (aubreyshepherd@hotmail.com)
It's at St. Thomas Episcopal in Springdale beginning at 2:00. Here's the agenda:



A Faithful Response to Global Warming:
A National Energy Policy Based upon the Values of Justice and Sustainability




St. Thomas Episcopal Church
Springdale, AR
Thursday, July 23, 2009
2:00 PM to 5:00 PM

AGENDA

2:00 pm to 2:10 pm - Welcome - Ellen McNulty

2:10 pm to 2:45 pm - Defining the Problem – Robert McAfee, Repower Arkansas

2:45 pm to 3:05 pm – Energy Efficiency Legislation – Eddy Moore, Arkansas Aububon

3:05 pm to 3:25 pm - Developing A Community Wind Farm– Nathan Wilson and Benton Anderson, Winds of Change

3:25 pm to 3:30 pm - Break

3:30 pm to 3:55 pm - St. Thomas Wind Turbines – Stephan Pollard, Arkansas Alternative Energy Commissioner and Trem Well Energy LLC

3:55 pm to 4:10 pm - U of A Applied Sustainability Center – Michele Halsell

4:10 pm to 4:25 pm - Interfaith Power and Light: Starting a State Affiliate Chapter, Scharmel Roussel, Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church

4:25 pm to 4:40 pm- A Theological Response to Sustainable Energy – Rev. Pamela Morgan

4:40 pm to 5:00 pm - Wrap Up Session
Taking Action – Ellen McNulty and Linda Sherman
Closing Prayer – Reverend Pamela Morgan

Sponsors:
National Council of Churches,
St. Thomas Episcopal Church,
Repower Arkansas
Arkansas Climate Campaign Coalition



Gladys Tiffany
www.omnicenter.org
Omni Center for Peace, Justice & Ecology
Fayetteville, Arkansas USA
479-973-9049 -- gladystiffany@yahoo.com

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Fayetteville food drive and Washington County "stop the quarry" efforts touted on square on Saturday July 18, 2009

Please click on images to ENLARGE view of details. The finger points to the area where the red-dirt pit that owners want to convert to a limestone mine sits on the edge of Fayetteville. It is up to the Washington County Quorum Court to see that the proposal is not allowed. Residents of Fayetteville and the rest of Washington County must let their justices of the peace know their feelings about this project or it could become an even uglier disaster than shown on the poster. And the limestone pit is estimated to take 75 years to deplete!



Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Times' July 15 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
URL: http://www.nwanews.com/nwat/News/78148/
"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: webmaster@nwanews.com"

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 http://regncic.tripod.com
Regional National Cemetery Improvement Corporation's Web site

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Joe Neal's new book now for sale

Please click on images to ENLARGE


Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society has published a new book, BIRDS in northwestern Arkansas, an ecological perspective. This venture is part of the ongoing re-launch of NWAAS. It narrates and summarizes a mass of
bird data from 9 counties in the NW corner of the state -- Breeding Bird Surveys, Christmas Bird Counts, records in Arkansas Audubon Society bird records database by many observers, Forest Service landbird point counts, field research by graduate students, etc. The book is $12.95 and is available at Nightbird Books in Fayetteville (205 W. Dickson). It is also available by mail by contacting our immediate past president, Joan Reynolds (joanreynolds@gmail.com)-- cost, 12.95 plus 3.00 postage. The book will also be available while they last (small press run) at society
functions, including the upcoming July 12 field trip to Chesney Prairie Natural Area -- bring the correct amount (if by check, make it out to NWAAS). Finally, if we sell 5 or more copies in one transaction, the price is $10 each (so get together & save more; this price would not include
postage, if the books are to be mailed). This is a not-for-profit venture. Hopefully, this will widen understanding of bird occurrences in this part of Arkansas and stimulate more birding!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Butterfly gardens easy to grow all over, especially in the black, rich soil of the Town Branch valley in south Fayetteville, Arkansas

Please click on image to ENlarge view of obedient plant on Pinnacle Foods Inc. Prairie west of World Peace Wetland Prairie on June 19, 2009, a big non-native pink flower whose name I can't remember at the moment at the entry to the trail through Pinnacle Prairie and a butterfly milkweed near WPWP.




Butterfly gardens can be grown throughout the
United States. There is a wide variety of both butterfly
attracting (nectar) plants and host (food) plants cover-
ing climates zones throughout the country.
Creating a Garden
Gardens can range in size from containers to sever-
al acres. Butterflies like sunny sites and areas sheltered
from high winds and predators. Warm, sheltered sites
are most needed in the spring and fall. Butterflies are
cold-blooded insects that can only fly well when their
body temperatures are above 70oF. They are often seen
resting on rocks, which reflect the heat of the sun help-
ing to raise their body temperatures, so be sure to
include some rocks in your garden. It’s also beneficial
to have partly shady areas, like trees or shrubs, so they
can hide when it’s cloudy or cool off if it’s very hot.
Plants that attract butterflies are usually classified
as those that areafood source,anectar source or both.
Butterflies require food plants for their larval stages and
nectar plants for the adult stage. Some larvae feed on
specifichost plants, while others will feed on a variety
of plants. If possible, include both larval host plants
and adult nectar plants in your butterfly garden.
Butterflies also like puddles. Males of several
species congregate at small rain pools, forming “puddle
clubs”. Permanent puddles are very easy to make by
buryingabucket to therim, filling it with gravel or
sand, and then pouring in liquids such as stale beer,
sweet drinks or water. Overripe fruit, allowed to sit for
afew days is a very attractive substance to butterflies
as well!
Life Cycle of A Butterfly
Butterflies go through a four-stage developmental
process known as metamorphosis (egg, larva or caterpil-
lar, pupa or chrysalis and adult). Understanding a but-
terfly’s life cycle can make butterfly watching more
enjoyable, andthis knowledge is an important asset to
those who want to understand the principles of attract-
ingbutterflies to their gardens.
Butterflies begin their life as an egg, laid either
singly or in clusters depending on the species. A very
tiny caterpillar emerges and, after consuming its egg
shell, begins feeding on its host plant. Caterpillars must
crawl out of their skin or molt, usually around five times,
before changing into a pupa. Finally, an adult butterfly
emerges, spreads its wings and flies away.
Butterflies typically lay their eggs in late spring and
hatch 3 to 6 days after they are laid. It takes 3 to 4
weeks for a caterpillar to pupate and 9 to 14 days to
emerge as an adult.
Host Plants
Adult female butterflies spend time searching for
food plants required by the immature caterpillar stage.
Most butterflies have specific host plants on which they
develop. For example, caterpillars of the monarch but-
terfly develop only on milkweed, while the black swal-
lowtail feeds only on parsley, dill and closely related
plants. Planting an adequate supply of the proper host
plants gives butterflies a place to lay their eggs, which
will successfully hatch and result in butterflies that will
continue to visit thegarden. Providing the necessary
food plants for the developing caterpillars also allows
production of a “native” population that can be
observed in all stages ofdevelopment.
To enjoy adult butterflies, you have to be willing to
allow their caterpillars to feed on foliage in your garden.
Food source plants that support caterpillars include the
annual marigold, snapdragon and violet; the perennial
butterfly milkweed, daisy and various herbs; the ash,
birch, cherry, dogwood, poplar and willow trees; lilac
shrubs; juniper evergreens and more.
The weediness of some host plants makes them less
than desirable for a space within your more attractive
garden beds, but they serve the same function if you
place them away in a corner of the yard. To keep them
from becoming invasive, remember to remove their
spentblooms before they go to seed.
Plants to Attract Butterflies
To attract the most butterflies, design a garden
that provides a long season of flowers (nectar plants).
The time of flowering, duration of bloom, flower color
and plant size are all important considerations when
selecting plants to attract butterflies. A wide variety of
food plants will give the greatest diversity of visitors.
Choose a mixture of annuals and perennials.
Annuals bloom all summer but must be replanted every
spring (after the last frost). Perennials bloom year after
year from the same roots but their blooming periods are
typically limited to a few weeks or months. To ensure
the availability of nectar sources throughout the sum-
mer, long-blooming annuals should be planted between
the perennials.
Try staggering wild and cultivated plants, as well as
blooming times of the day and year. Planting in mass
(several plants of the same kind) will usually attract
more butterflies, as there is more nectar available to
them at a single stop. Plants with clusters of flowers
are often better than plants with small, single flowers
because it is easier for butterflies to landon clustered
and/or larger flowers.
Many plants which attract butterflies, especially
trees and shrubs, may already be present in a specific
area. Shrubs include azalea, spirea, butterfly bush and
lilacs. Although weeds andsomenative plants are gen-
erally not welcomein a garden, allowingthem to grow
under supervision may be an option, as these plants
help attract butterflies. Try to avoid plants that readily
reseed and may take over and dominate garden sites.
Perennials, such as chives, dianthus, beebalm, but-
terfly weed, mints, black-eyed susan and purple cone-
flower offer a succession of blooms, other perennials
include coreopsis, lavender, phlox, sedum and yarrow.
Add annuals that flower all season, such as cosmos, lan-
tana, pentas,petunias, phlox, salvia and zinnias. Select
flowers with manysmall tubular flowers or florets like
liatris, goldenrod and verbena. Or chose those with sin-
gle flowers, such as marigold, daisy and sunflower.
Butterflies are attracted to flowers with strong
scents and bright colors, where they drink sweet energy-
rich nectar. Planting a variety of nectar sources will
encourage more butterflies to visit the garden.
For better butterfly viewing, plant the tallest
plants in the rear of the garden and work smaller or
shorter towardthefront.
Butterfly
Gardens
Creating, Growing and Enjoying
EARLMAYSEED&NURSERY
www.earlmay.com
SHENANDOAH, IOWA51603
Butterfly Host Plants(continued)
Trees Herbs
Ash Dill
Birch Parsley
Cherry Sweet Fennel
Dogwood
Linden
Poplar
Willow
Butterfly Attracting Plants
Annuals Perennials
Ageratum Aster
Cosmos Beebalm
Gomphrena Blanket Flower
Heliotrope Butterfly Milkweed
Lantana Coreopsis
Marigold Daisy
Nasturtium Dame’s Rocket
Nicotiana Daylily
Pentas Dianthus
Petunia Liatris
Phlox Phlox
Salvia Purple Coneflower
Snapdragon Rudbeckia
Statice Russian Sage
Sunflower Salvia
Sweet Alyssum Scabiosa
Verbena Sedum
Zinnia Veronica
Yarrow
Shrubs Herbs
Azalea Catnip
Butterfly Bush Chives
Lilacs Lavender
Mock Orange Mint
Potentilla
Viburnun
Cut Back on Insecticides
It’s difficult to have a successful butterfly garden
inalocation where insecticides are used. Pesticides,
specifically insecticides, kill not only the insects you
want to get rid of – they also kill the insects you want
tokeep, such as monarch caterpillars. Even biological
controls such as Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) will kill but-
terfly larvae. When treating for insect pests, always
consider non-chemical methods of pest control before
turning to pesticides.
Let Your Garden Grow
Most butterfly species over-winter nearby. This
means that their eggs, chrysalises, or larvae are likely to
be in or near your yard during the non-gardening
months. Some will even hibernate as adults. Do not
mow weed sites, cut down dead plants or dismantle
woodpiles which provide them safe shelter in the off-
season until the weather warms up.
Enjoying Your Butterfly Garden
Butterfly gardens are a great source of enjoyment
for everyone. Visiting butterflies include a variety of
different species and names, depending upon the region
of the country in which you live. To learn more about
which plants help in attracting butterflies get your copy
of National Wildlife Federation Attracting Birds,
Butterflies and Other Backyard Wildlife by David
Mizejewski or the Earl May Perennial Guideavailable at
your local Earl May Nursery & Garden Center.
Butterfly Host Plants
Annuals Perennials
Marigold Butterfly Milkweed
Snapdragon Daisy
Violet
Shrubs Evergreens
Lilacs Juniper
IBM# 912600 750 4/08
Copyright Earl May Seed & Nursery L.C. ©

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Northwest Arkansas Times says neighbors, veterans oppose apartments next to National Cemetery

The Morning News
http://www.nwaonline.net/articles/2009/06/16/news/061709fzcouncil.txt
Local News for Northwest Arkansas
New Water Tank Gets Approval; neighbors, veterans disapprove powerfully of sale-barn rezoning next to National Cemetery
By Skip Descant
THE MORNING NEWS
FAYETTEVILLE — It took a week, but a decision among the city and residents has been reached to locate a half-million-gallon water tank on the hilltop neighborhood of Hyland Park.
A 143-foot water tank will be built on a .66-acre secluded site on Lovers Lane. The site is one of the four sites originally explored, but it was generally viewed as too expensive, in terms of land cost and needed infrastructure. This site will add about $220,000 to the cost of the project, said Dave Jurgens, Fayetteville utility director.
However, city officials have negotiated a deal with Hyland Park resident Jim Waselues for him to pay the city $75,000 for the original lot intended for the tank — known as Lot 22. In turn, Gary Combs, owner of the Lovers Lane site will donate his site to the city.
"Although I'm not crazy about spending $200,000 more, I think it shows that the city is willing to be flexible and work with people," said Bobby Ferrell a council member.
"Maybe everyone's not totally satisfied, but this is probably the best solution," said Adella Gray a council member from Ward 1.
The project was opposed by the Hyland Park Homeowner's Association that did not want a water tank in their backyards, saying it will negatively impact views, property value and the general aesthetic nature of the neighborhood.
What did not move forward was any decision regarding rezoning the old Washington County Sale Barn site. The barn intends to hold its last sale June 25, said Steve Bartholemew, one of the sale barn's owners.
A 192-unit student housing apartment development is proposed for the nine-acre site. Some 50 people showed up for the council meeting Tuesday to oppose not only the rezoning, but more largely, the development.
It wasn't just residents from the area petitioning the council to deny the downtown general rezoning, but numerous veterans from across Northwest Arkansas. A national military cemetery — the final resting place for 7,963 deceased veterans — sits adjacent to the site. Veterans would like to expand the cemetery into the sale barn site. However, no deal has been reached say veterans and Bartholemew.
"If we can just stave off this rezoning at this time, it will give us that time," said Jim Buckner, a retired lieutenant colonel and a representative of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
"There are private resources," Buckner added, and who said student housing would be "a terrible neighbor."
"In fact it would only be a beer can throw away from our veterans buried there," he continued.
"There has been no contact with us on a dollar amount," said Bartholomew. "I do know that they have talked, but there has never been a dollar amount."
Wanda Peterson, who's lived in the neighborhood since 1938 and has family buried in the cemetery, was passionate in her plea to stop the rezoning.
"I just can't bear an apartment building shadowing those graves," Peterson told the council.
Others reminded the council the current zoning is light industrial and a number of undesirable land uses could move in without the rezoning.
"The rezoning tonight is a downzoing from industrial to a downtown general," said Dustin Bartholomew, grandson to Billy Joe Bartholomew, co-owner of the Washington County Sale Barn.
"The things that could be built there at this time could be a lot more damaging than what's being proposed," Dustin Bartholomew said.

What Comes Next?
Washington County Sale Barn Rezoning
• The ordinance was left on its first reading.
• It will be considered again at the next council meeting.

For government channel schedule of reruns of the council meeting on City 16 on Cox Cable, please see
http://fayettevillearkgovernmentchannel.blogspot.com
The first rebroadcast of the June 16 city council meeting begins at 1:30 p.m. today and the second is at 7:30 p.m. today.
Rebroadcasts of the June 8 meeting of the Town Branch neighbors with the developers who want the sale barn rezoned for student apartments are set for CAT 18 on cox cable at 11 a.m. Wednesday, 3 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday.
I am uncertain how this affects the short takes normally run at those times. Some weeks, few short takes are recorded. In fact, the one I recorded for those time slots is mostly about the same issue! I apologize to anyone who did a short take and is bumped by this very timely production.
When all equipment is running properly, the shows run on CAT 18 are run simultaneously on the Internet from the CAT Web site for those with access to the Web but no cable television.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Peace-garden tour photos from Saturday June 13, 2009

Please click on images to ENLARGE view of Marie Riley's Julia Ward Howe Peace Garden with OMNI sign, great spangled fritillary at Ed Laningham's Glendale Garden and Amanda Bancroft at World Peace Wetland Prairie.



The great spangled fritillary, formally known as Speryeria cybele, was sighted at all six garden sites on Saturday. While the great spangled frit nectars on many species of flower, its caterpillers must have violets as host plants in order to mature.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Arkansas officials say 'Don't Do Fescue'

Arkansas “Don't Do Fescue" is theme of AGFC public campaign
JONESBORO - Tall fescue is a widely used forage crop. It is insect resistant, tolerates poor soil and climatic conditions well and has a long growing season. Unfortunately, tall fescue also has a downside.

With approximately four million acres of pasturelands planted in tall fescue, Arkansas has a great deal of this crop. According to David Long, agricultural liaison with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, the agency is working diligently to help the public understand the shortcomings of this type of grass.

"The AGFC has developed a new tool in its effort to educate landowners about the toxic and negative effects of Kentucky 31 Tall Fescue to farm wildlife. A new bumper sticker entitled 'Don't Do Fescue' is now being distributed to agency employees and others interested in spreading the word," Long said. Tall fescue is a common forage grass that has been planted across Arkansas for over 40 years.

Estimates are that about 70 percent-95 percent or 4 million acres of the pasturelands planted with tall fescue in Arkansas are infected with an endophyte fungus. The fungus causes declines in bobwhite quail, cottontail rabbits, grassland songbirds and also limited other game populations such as white-tailed deer and wild turkey.

"The fact that the plant is actually toxic to both domestic livestock and farm wildlife species is accepted by agriculture extension specialists and wildlife biologists alike," Long said. "The plant produces chemicals causing the fescue to have very toxic qualities. The alkaloids are found throughout the plant, but are especially concentrated in the seeds and leaves," he explained.

In cattle, the fungus causes excessive body temperatures, elevated respiratory rates, loss of appetite, body weight loss, lowered fertility rates and abortion of fetuses. Dairy cows often show sharp declines in milk production. Horses are affected also with more aborted fetuses, foaling problems, weak foals and reduced or no milk production. The CES estimates that this endopytic toxin cost American beef producers up to $1 billion a year in lost profits.

"It's very important for private landowners who desire viable wildlife populations on their property to know the effects of planting fescue," Long noted. "Many species of wildlife would directly suffer these same negative effects if they were confined to the pasturelands as are livestock. However, since they are free ranging, they simply avoid the fungus infected fescue pastures, but nevertheless, this results in loss of farm wildlife habitat on these acres. You may have deer and turkey travel through tall-fescue pastures, but they rarely find food sources available they can utilize, since the aggressiveness of the fescue usually results in solid stands of the plant," Long concluded.

The grass is a sod-forming turf with thick matted growth that also limits movement of young bobwhite quail, turkey and cottontail rabbits, provides no nesting habitat for wild turkey or quail, and is extremely poor habitat for many declining grassland species of songbirds. "Bottom line, fungus infected tall-fescue pastures offer little food, cover or nesting habitat to a broad range of farm wildlife," he said.

"Tall fescue has been planted in an estimated 4 million acres of the 5.4 million acres of pasture scattered over the state and for all practical purposes is of no value to farm wildlife. With the widespread establishment of tall fescue pastures, a great loss of wildlife habitat for deer, turkey, quail, cottontails and grassland songbirds has occurred.

Many landowners now recognize this problem and are interested in eliminating tall-fescue on some or all of their acreage. However, many landowners continue to plant tall-fescue, not knowing the detrimental effects it will have to wildlife. (There is an endophyte-free variety of tall fescue available for planting but it is less viable and hardy, and still provides very limited habitat for wildlife.)

We want to educate all landowners regarding this fact because there are other planting options to providing livestock forage and wildlife habitat on their farms," Long explained.

Please help spread the word to landowners "Don't Do Fescue!" by requesting a bumper sticker to place on your vehicle. Especially if they have an interest in managing for wildlife on their farm. For more information contact David Long at 877-972-5438 or dlong@agfc.state.ar.us.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

OMNI Book Forum on Democracy at 6 p.m. Friday at Nightbird Books, which now is at 205 W. Dickson Street

Please click on image to ENLARGE announcement of OMNI's book forum at Night Bird Books.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Annual War Eagle celebration Saturday near Huntsville

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of Audubon Arkansas invitation to the third annual War Eagle celebration tomorrow at Withrow Springs State Park.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Person infects pigs with flu!

This link below is an interactive map where you can move the mouse to the round spots and get info. Looks like Ark is clear so I'm letting myself out of lock down tomorrow to return to my wild social life! In the article, however, it points to the great injustice done to our fellow pigs with transfer of the virus from humans to pigsb(scroll down to sentence in red)! Typical humans--point fingers to deflect blame.
F.
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/04/27/us/20090427-flu-update-graphic.html

May 3, 2009
No Signs of Sustained Global Spread of Swine Flu
By DENISE GRADY and LIZ ROBBINS
The World Health Organization announced an increase in the number of confirmed cases of swine flu on Saturday, but said there was no evidence of sustained spread in communities outside North America, which would fit the definition of a pandemic.

Health officials say the continuing outbreak must be closely monitored.

“At the present time, I would still propose that a pandemic is imminent because we are seeing transmission to other countries,” Dr. Michael J. Ryan, the director of the World Health Organization global alert and response team, said in a teleconference from Geneva. “We have to expect that Phase 6 will be reached. We have to hope that it is not.”

Phase 6, the highest level in the organization’s alert system, is a pandemic. But Dr. Ryan emphasized that the term describes the geographic spread of a disease, not its severity. There can be a pandemic of a mild disease. The current level, Phase 5, means that the disease is spreading in communities — not just within households or in returning travelers — in two countries in one of the World Health Organization’s six regions, in this case the United States and Mexico.

Phase 5 also means a pandemic is imminent. To move up to Phase 6, community spread would have to occur in at least one other country in another region.

On Saturday, Canadian health officials said that the virus had been found in sick pigs on one farm in Alberta, the first report of the swine flu’s actually being found in swine. Previously, there had been heated debate about whether the virus could infect pigs, even though its genetic makeup clearly points to its having originated in swine at some point.

But people were infecting each other, and until Saturday, no pigs had been found with the virus — a fact that the pork industry used to bolster its argument that the virus should not even be named for swine. But researchers, busy with human cases, were not really looking for the disease in pigs.

The news from Canada changes things. But it has a somewhat unexpected twist: a person appears to have spread the disease to the pigs, and not the other way around. A worker at the farm had traveled to Mexico, fallen ill there and unknowingly brought the disease back to Canada last month. The worker has recovered.

About 10 percent of the 2,200 pigs on the farm got sick. According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, all recovered without treatment in five days.

The entire herd remains under quarantine as a precaution.

“One of the reasons for watching this very closely is the potential for the virus passing back from the pigs to human beings,” David Butler-Jones, the chief public health officer of Canada, said at a news conference in Ottawa.

He emphasized that the infection of the pigs by the human virus does not pose any increased threat to human health or the food supply.

“The eating of pork is absolutely not a problem,” Dr. Butler-Jones said.

Despite assurances from the Public Health Agency of Canada and Canadian agriculture officials, some countries banned imports of pork and pork products from Canada even before Saturday’s announcement. Brian Evans, the executive vice president of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, said that the Canadian government had informed the United States about the finding in Alberta. American officials, he added, indicated that they did not plan to ban Canadian products.

On Saturday the W.H.O reported that there were 658 confirmed cases of the illness, officially known as Influenza A(H1N1) , in 16 countries. Dr. Ryan said that the health organization was sending 2.4 million doses of antiviral drugs to 72 countries, including many poor countries that do not have supplies of their own.

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Saturday that there were 160 cases confirmed by laboratory tests in 21 states. (The agency posts the case count once a day; states sometimes report new cases later the same day, but they are not added to the official total until the next day.) Thirteen people have been hospitalized.

“It’s important to remember that with seasonal flu, we get 200,000 hospitalizations each year, mostly the very old or very young or those with other problems that put them at high risk,” Dr. Anne Schuchat, head of respiratory disease at the disease centers, said at a news conference.

Some businesses are already trying to cash in on the outbreak, and the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission have begun advising consumers to watch out for Internet scams selling useless drugs and ineffective masks to treat or prevent swine flu.

In Mexico, health authorities expressed cautious optimism about what they called a “stabilizing” situation. For the second day in a row, Mexico City, with most of the confirmed cases, did not record any deaths attributable to the virus.

As of Saturday morning, Mexico had confirmed 473 cases of H1N1, out of the 1,303 suspected cases that had been tested, indicating that the outbreak may be much smaller than it initially seemed. The death toll was raised Saturday night to 19.

Mexico had 159 deaths thought to be caused by swine flu. But many had other causes: 66 have now been attributed to other illnesses. Other cases have yet to be tested.

Dr. Schuchat of the C.D.C. took a cautious view of the optimistic reports from Mexico.

“I’m encouraged by what I’ve heard out of Mexico, but it’s important that we remain vigilant,” she said. “We’ve seen times when things appeared to be getting better and then got worse. For example, in Canada’s outbreak of SARS, things were said to be getting better, then there was a second wave in nursing homes. I suspect that in Mexico we’ll be holding our breath for some time.”

One source of concern and puzzlement in Mexico is the breakdown of deaths by gender. Of the 16 whose causes of death had been confirmed on Friday, 12 were women, including one who was pregnant. Mexico’s health secretary, José Ángel Córdova, confirmed that the flu seems to have struck harder at women than men in Mexico, but he could not explain why.

Like many of the new or emerging infections that have taken the world by surprise — SARS and avian flu are examples — this one seems to have arisen at what scientists call the “animal-human interface.”

“I think this is a phenomenon we’ve been observing over the last few decades,” Dr. Ryan said. He noted that some major threats to human health were of animal origin, including viruses that can wreak havoc when they jump from one species to another.

“We have seen in the past that disease can spread from pigs to humans,” Dr. Ryan said. “It usually dead ends with one or two cases.”

But in this case, he said, the disease is now spreading from person to person, with no evidence that pigs were transmitting it to people.

Still, he said, “the animal-human interface needs to be watched carefully.”

Infectious disease experts say it will be important to watch what this virus does over the coming weeks and months, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere, which will soon confront its winter flu season. If H1N1 takes hold there, that will be a red flag to scientists.

“What could indeed happen is that this virus could dampen here during the summer per usual, and go to the Southern Hemisphere and pick up steam there and come back to bite us in our winter season next January and February, and it might come back in a more virulent form,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a public health and infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University. “It’s an influenza virus, and you just can’t predict what those critters are going to do.”

Particularly worrisome is that a seasonal flu strain, common in the Southern Hemisphere and elsewhere, is resistant to Tamiflu, and could in theory pass that resistance to the new virus.

Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg, president of the Institute of Medicine, also said the new virus could head south, and should be tracked closely.

“It will presumably give some insight into how this virus is evolving both in transmissibility and in virulence,” Dr. Fineberg said.

Meanwhile, as officials in the United States and elsewhere make plans for vaccine production, Dr. Schaffner said, “All that activity is very prudent.”

Donald G. McNeil Jr. contributed reporting from New York, Ian Austen from Ottawa and Larry Rohter from Mexico City.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

FarmToTable theme of today's program in the Rose Garden of the Walton Art Center with renewable-energy lecture at Night Bird bookstore at 2 p.m.

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of OMNI Springfest poster.

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of poster.

Solar Power Struggle
Professor Richard Hutchinson of Louisiana Tech University in Ruston will speak on "The Struggle for the Solar Future" at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 2, at Nightbird Books on Dickson Street in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
An inquiry into environmental change and the obstacles and opportunities in the path of the renewable energy transition.
Sponsored by OMNI Center for Peace, Justice, and Ecology.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Louisiana Tech professor to discuss the struggle for the solar future Saturday afternoon at Nightbird Books on Dickson Street in Fayetteville

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of poster.

Solar Power Struggle
Professor Richard Hutchinson of Louisiana Tech University in Ruston will speak on "The Struggle for the Solar Future" at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 2, at Nightbird Books on Dickson Street in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
An inquiry into environmental change and the obstacles and opportunities in the path of the renewable energy transition.
Sponsored by OMNI Center for Peace, Justice, and Ecology.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Brown thrashers among the many species to be seen on World Peace Wetland Prairie during Sunday's Earth Day celebration

Please click on image to Enlarge view of one of the many species of birds feeding and picking nesting sites on World Peace Wetland Prairie on April 17, 2009. The elusive brown thrasher is often able to slip into the thickets before a camera can capture its image. But the attraction of scattered brush piles and the excitement of mating season can make them a bit careless.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Honeybees and all pollinators threatened by pesticides

Please click on images to ENLARGE view in top photo of honeybee on redbud and bumblebee in second photo on redbud in a chemical-free area around World Peace Wetland Prairie on April 8, 2009.



Honeybees in Danger
Sunday 12 April 2009
by: Evaggelos Vallianatos, t r u t h o u t | Perspective
When I was teaching at Humboldt State University in northern California 20 years ago, I invited a beekeeper to talk to my students. He said that each time he took his bees to southern California to pollinate other farmers' crops, he would lose a third of his bees to sprays. In 2009, the loss ranges all the way to 60 percent.
Honeybees have been in terrible straits.
A little history explains this tragedy.
For millennia, honeybees lived in symbiotic relationship with societies all over the world.
The Greeks loved them. In the eighth century BCE, the epic poet Hesiod considered them gifts of the gods to just farmers. And in the fourth century of our era, the Greek mathematician Pappos admired their hexagonal cells, crediting them with "geometrical forethought."\
However, industrialized agriculture is not friendly to honeybees.
In 1974, the US Environmental Protection Agency licensed the nerve gas parathion trapped into nylon bubbles the size of pollen particles.
What makes this microencapsulated formulation more dangerous to bees than the technical material is the very technology of the "time release" microcapsule.\
This acutely toxic insecticide, born of chemical warfare, would be on the surface of the flower for several days. The foraging bee, if alive after its visit to the beautiful white flowers of almonds, for example, laden with invisible spheres of asphyxiating gas, would be bringing back to its home pollen and nectar mixed with parathion.
It is possible that the nectar, which the bee makes into honey, and the pollen, might end up in some food store to be bought and eaten by human beings.
Beekeepers are well aware of what is happening to their bees, including the potential that their honey may not be fit for humans.
Moreover, many beekeepers do not throw away the honey, pollen and wax of colonies destroyed by encapsulated parathion or other poisons. They melt the wax for new combs: And they sell both honey and pollen to the public.
Government "regulators" know about this danger.
An academic expert, Carl Johansen, professor of entomology at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, called the microencapsulated methyl parathion "the most destructive bee poisoning insecticide ever developed."
In 1976, the US Department of Agriculture published a report by one of its former employees, S. E. McGregor, a honeybee expert who documented that about a third of what we eat benefits from honeybee pollination. This includes vegetables, oilseeds and domesticated animals eating bee-pollinated hay.
In 2007, the value of food dependent on honeybees was $15 billion in the United States.
McGregor also pointed out that insect-pollinated legumes collect nitrogen from the air, storing it in their roots and enriching the soil. In addition, insect pollination makes the crops more wholesome and abundant. He advised the farmer he should never forget that "no cultural practice will cause fruit or seed to set if its pollination is neglected."\
In addition, McGregor blamed the chemical industry for seducing the farmers to its potent toxins. He said:
"[P]esticides are like dope drugs. The more they are used the more powerful the next one must be to give satisfaction" and therein develops the spiraling effect, the pesticide treadmill. The chemical salesman, in pressuring the grower to use his product, practically assumes the role of the "dope pusher." Once the victim, the grower, is "hooked," he becomes a steady and an ever-increasing user.
No government agency listened to McGregor.
The result of America's pesticide treadmill is that now, in 2009, honeybees and other pollinators are moving towards extinction.
In October 2006, the US National Research Council warned of the" "demonstrably downward" trends in the populations of pollinators. For the first time since 1922, American farmers are renting imported bees for their crops. They are even buying bees from Australia.
Honeybees, the National Academies report said, pollinate more than 90 crops in America, but have declined by 30 percent in the last 20 years alone. The scientists who wrote the report expressed alarm at the precipitous decline of the pollinators. Unfortunately, this made no difference to EPA, which failed to ban the microencapsulated parathion that is so deadly to honeybees.
Bee experts know that insecticides cause brain damage to the bees, disorienting them, making it often impossible for them to find their way home.
This is a consequence of decades of agribusiness warfare against nature and, in time, honeybees. In addition, beekeepers truck billions of bees all over the country for pollination, depriving them of good food, stressing them enormously, and, very possibly, injuring their health.

-------

Evaggelos Vallianatos, former EPA analyst, is the author of "This Land Is Their Land" and "The Passion of the Greeks.

Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association's green-infrastructure project report online

Green-infrastructure report from Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association project

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!

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 http://townbranchneighborhood.blogspot.com

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 http://townbranchneighborhood.blogspot.com

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 http://worldpeacewetlandprairie.blogspot.com
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.