Monday, December 21, 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 200 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 Street 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.

Jim Buckner, a former military officer and a leader in the Arkansas division of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, fought valiantly to preserve this property for the cemetery and future fellow veterans. And while the corporation that manages operations for national cemeteries seems to favor expanding the graveyard in an entirely different direction, it needs to acquire these nine acres as well. Few will argue that every cemetery will only grow larger, especially as long as there are veterans.
Mr. Bartholomew, who’s left without a buyer, has earned a sale after everything he’s been through. He’s undoubtedly disappointed that he had to drop his legal challenge. But as everyone knows, any lawsuit can drag on and on with virtually no end in sight. And no potential buyer wants that much uncertainty.
No one can blame Mr. Bartholomew for wanting to sell his property. After all, it’s his property. Today, he shrugs and says he’s just going to “wait and see what happens.”
His bad luck in all this came solely because this sale barn that operated for 70 years happened to lie across the street from one of Arkansas’ three national cemeteries-and this one also happens to be running out of space. Those who both manage and patronize this cemetery now should work diligently to find a way to buy the property.
Editorial, Pages 14 on 12/21/2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Appeal of City Council denial of approval for apartments next to Fayetteville National Cemetery dropped by auction-barn owner

Landowner Drops Zoning Lawsuit

By Skip Descant

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

FAYETTEVILLE — An effort to build college student apartments on the site of the former Washington County Livestock Auction is likely further away than ever.

Billy Joe Bartholomew, the barn’s owner, said the prospect of lengthy litigation to acquire city permission to build on the site prompted Campus Crest, an apartment development company, to lose interest in the project.

“If I could have gotten them down to maybe six months, then maybe they would have stayed interested,” Bartholomew said Monday.

Bartholomew filed a motion to dismiss his lawsuit against the city Monday.

The former livestock barn plodded its way through a lengthy and controversial rezoning process, as neighbors and veterans groups came out against North Carolina-based Campus Crest’s plans to build some 200 apartments on the 9-acre site.

The veterans opposed development of student-focused apartments just across Government Street from the Fayetteville National Cemetery, saying the use was incompatible with the hallowed ground reserved for honoring those who served the nation in the military.

The Fayetteville City Council denied Bartholomew’s request to rezone the property from heavy commercial/light industrial to downtown general, a zoning that would have cleared the way for the Campus Crest project. Bartholomew responded by appealing the city’s decision in Washington County Circuit Court, a process that may have dragged out for months, if not beyond a year.

“If you don’t know how long it will take, it’s hard to ask people to wait that long,” Bartholomew said.

For now, Bartholomew isn’t sure what the future holds for the sale barn, which closed its doors in June after more than 70 years in operation. He does not currently have a buyer.

“I’m just going to wait and see what happens,” Bartholomew said.

Campus Crest officials could not be reached Monday afternoon for comment.

That’s terrific,” veteran Jim Buckner said when he learned Bartholomew had dropped the legal challenge. “I think it’s good news for the veterans. It really does clear some things up for us.”

Buckner is a former military officer and is senior vice-commander for the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Arkansas Division.

Although the Regional National Cemetery Improvement Corp. that formally oversees operation of the cemetery has said it wants to expand in another direction, Buckner said Monday he still wants to see the Bartholomews’ property used to expand the cemetery.

Bucker, who helped lead opposition to the student apartments, said he hopes Congress will authorize and fund the purchase of the former auction site through the Department of Veterans Affairs, or that local veterans can somehow raise enough money to buy it.

Ron Wood contributed to this report.

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.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Thanks to Walmart, the December 12, 2009, Wreath Day at the Fayetteville National Cemetery was wonderful, but daring to park in wetland where VA plans to expand cemetery was a bad choice for several people who attended the ceremony

Please click on still images to ENLARGE view of photos and click start arrow to view video and watch for spot to click to view full screen size.

Wreath Day mistake sinks tires in new wetland part of cemetery

Aubrey james | MySpace Video

The wetland (critical groundwater recharge area over a bedrock fault in Fayetteville's geological structure) shows why it is essential that the Washington County Livestock Auction (sale-barn land) become a part of the Fayetteville National Cemetery instead. Walmart's providing the trucks, equipment and volunteer employees to make wreath day possible shows that the corporation cares. Maybe Walmart could lead a coalition of corporate donors to buy the sale-barn property and donate it to the National Cemetery (Department of Veterans Affairs).

Please click on images to ENLARGE view of Walmart trucks in the Fayetteville National Cemetery for Wreath Day, December 12, 2009.


When a wrecker gets stuck, you know it wasn't a good place

Aubrey james | MySpace Video

This strip of land recently studied by the VA and its contractors is to be prepared for use by the cemetery. Obviously, it will have to be covered with several feet of additional soil so that graves will be above the flood level and will eliminate a significant part of the "critical groundwater recharge area" of the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River. Water that historically would have soaked in there will be forced to find new routes, and the amount of water forced to stay on the wooded wetland at right will be increased. Water running off that area already is piped to the Town Branch at the 11th Street bridge. The volume of water flowing south of that bridge toward 15th Street will be further increased and flash floods will be more dangerous to lives and property downstream.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Audubon Arkansas open house from 4 to 7 p.m. today; Environmental Action Committee at 5:30 p.m. in Room 326 of city hall

Audubon Arkansas open house from 4 to 7 p.m. today; Environmental Action Committee at 5:30 p.m. in Room 326 of city hall
The Holiday Season is a busy time so here's a little reminder about our Holiday Open House! If you have not yet RSVP'd don't forget to drop us a line and let us know your are coming! We are looking forward to seeing everyone there!

Please Join Us

Thursday, December 10, 2009
From 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at
34 East Center Street
Fayetteville, Arkansas

For the
Audubon Arkansas
Holiday Open House

The staff and board of Audubon Arkansas invite you to join us for food, refreshments, conversation and conservation. Spouses, children, and friends welcome.
Please RSVP to
Wishing You Happy Holidays!!!

Audubon Arkansas open house from 4 to 7 p.m. today; Environmental Action Committee at 5:30 p.m. in Room 326 of city hall

Audubon Arkansas open house from 4 to 7 p.m. today; Environmental Action Committee at 5:30 p.m. in Room 326 of city hall
The Holiday Season is a busy time so here's a little reminder about our Holiday Open House! If you have not yet RSVP'd don't forget to drop us a line and let us know your are coming! We are looking forward to seeing everyone there!

Please Join Us

Thursday, December 10, 2009
From 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at
34 East Center Street
Fayetteville, Arkansas

For the
Audubon Arkansas
Holiday Open House

The staff and board of Audubon Arkansas invite you to join us for food, refreshments, conversation and conservation. Spouses, children, and friends welcome.
Please RSVP to
Wishing You Happy Holidays!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Fayetteville in Bloom seeks sponsors for wild-flower seed project

Fayetteville in Bloom is a volunteer driven organization dedicated to beautifying Fayetteville and recognizing the efforts of others in the eight criteria including Heritage Preservation, Urban Forestry, Landscaping, Community Involvement, Floral Displays, Environmental Awareness, Tidiness and Turf/Groundcover. Fayetteville has won a number of national awards including Environmental Awareness this year.

Fayetteville in Bloom receives no funding from the city and raises all funds including the entry fee and arranging hotel and meals for the judges’ visit. The FIB Committee raises funds to produce the Fayetteville Almanac which describes many of the efforts of citizens, businesses and the City of Fayetteville.

Fayetteville in Bloom is looking for sponsors for two fall projects. FIB will be planting daffodils and other bulbs in the two new medians along College Avenue between Dickson and Lafayette. FIB is seeking donations to purchase these beautiful bulbs and a few tools.

FIB will continue to sow wildflower seeds along Scull Creek Trail and the new section of Lake Fayetteville trail. Mother Nature sows her seeds in late fall and early winter. The wildflowers not only provide beauty but habitat for birds, bees, butterflies and other creatures important to the ecosystem.

Please consider supporting the efforts of Fayetteville in Bloom by donating cash or in-kind services such as meals, printing, buying an ad in the Fayetteville Almanac or a Fayetteville in Bloom sign for your business or garden. For further information or to contribute, contact Cindi Cope.

Cindi Cope, Chair
Fayetteville in Bloom
2769 E Weston Pl
Fayetteville AR 72703

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Natural Resources Conservation Service contractors use Bobcat loader in the bed of the Town Branch without permission on day major watershed-protection news announced

Please click on image to go to Flickr site and enlarge and search for related photos and information.
What part of NO don't these guys understand?
The living things in a half mile of this urban tributary of the West Fork of the White River were displaced and their habitat damaged for four days in November 2009 with no apology.

On the day, these photos were taken, the NRCS announced a huge effort to improve water quality in many states, including Arkansas. How does treating the riparian zones of Fayetteville's tributaries of the White River and the Illinois River watersheds make sense when the agency's overall mission includes protecting and enhancing such areas?

Release No. 0586.09
Brad Fisher (202) 720-4024

Initiative Will Provide Approximately $320 Million in USDA Assistance In Basin Area

WASHINGTON, November 23, 2009 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that 41 watersheds in 12 states, known as Focus Areas, have been selected to participate in a new initiative to improve water quality and the overall health of the Mississippi River Basin. The selected watersheds cover over 42 million acres, or more than 5 percent of the Basin's land area.

"The USDA is committed to working cooperatively with agricultural producers, partner organizations and State and local agencies to improve water quality and the quality of life for the tens of millions of people who live in the Mississippi River Basin, the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative will help" Vilsack said. "Today's announcement is another step toward achieving this goal, and I encourage as many eligible participants as possible to join us in this major conservation effort."

The Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI), which was announced on September 24, 2009, will provide approximately $320 million in USDA financial assistance over the next four years for voluntary projects in priority watersheds in Arkansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin. MRBI will help producers implement conservation and management practices that prevent, control and trap nutrient runoff from agricultural land.

USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) manages the initiative. NRCS State Conservationists from the 12 watershed states selected the watersheds with guidance from State Technical Committees and state water quality agencies. Selections were based on the potential for managing nitrogen and phosphorus -- nutrients associated with water quality problems in the Basin -- while maintaining agricultural productivity and benefiting wildlife.
Next, smaller watershed projects will be selected through a competitive process under NRCS' Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI). NRCS assistance will be leveraged with contributions from partners, expanding the capacity available to improve water quality throughout the Basin.
Three requests for project proposals will be announced in the next several weeks, including one for CCPI. Funding for CCPI projects will come from NRCS' Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Conservation Stewardship Program and Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program.
Two other requests for proposals will fund projects through the Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program and Conservation Innovation Grants. For information about these programs, visit .
State(s) Watershed
Arkansas/Missouri - Cache
Arkansas - Lake Conway-Point Remove
Arkansas - L'Anguille
Arkansas/Missouri - Lower St. Francis
Illinois - Lower Illinois - Senachwine Lake
Illinois - Upper Illinois
Illinois - Vermilion (Upper Mississippi River sub-basin)
Illinois/Indiana - Vermilion (Upper Ohio River sub-basin)
Indiana - Eel
Indiana - Upper East Fork White
Indiana - Wildcat
Indiana/Ohio - Upper Wabash
Iowa - Boone
Iowa - Maquoketa
Iowa - North Raccoon
Iowa/Minnesota - Upper Cedar
Kentucky/Tennessee - Bayou De Chien-Mayfield
Kentucky - Licking
Kentucky - Lower Green
Louisiana - Mermentau
Louisiana/Arkansas - Bayou Macon
Louisiana/Arkansas - Boeuf River
Minnesota - Middle Minnesota
Minnesota - Root
Minnesota - Sauk
Mississippi - Big Sunflower
Mississippi/Louisiana/Arkansas - Deer-Steele
Mississippi - Upper Yazoo
Missouri/Iowa - Lower Grand
Missouri - North Fork Salt
Missouri - South Fork Salt
Missouri/Arkansas - Little River Ditches
Ohio/Indiana - Upper Great Miami
Ohio - Upper Scioto
Tennessee - Forked Deer
Tennessee/Kentucky - Obion
Tennessee - South Fork Obion
Tennessee/Kentucky - Red River
Wisconsin/Illinois - Sugar
Wisconsin/Illinois - Upper Rock
Wisconsin/Illinois - Pecatonica
For information about the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative, including eligibility requirements, please visit the MRBI web page at or your USDA Service Center. A map of the project area is available the MRBI Programs webpage.
Subscribe to NRCS news releases and get other agency information at or contact NRCS Public Affairs at 202-720-3210.
NRCS celebrates its 75th year of service in 2010.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272(voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).

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.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

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, October 14, 2009

NewsPress reports: Stillwater, Oklahoma, City Council turns down same student-apartment development group that recently was turned down in Fayetteville

Council says no to Campus Crest

Monique Headley
October 13, 2009 05:12 pm

— Stillwater City Council denied the request of Campus Crest developers to build local luxury student housing in a four-to-one vote Monday.
Mayor Nathan Bates cast the only vote in favor of Campus Crest.
Councilors determined the proposed site to be incompatible with the Stillwater comprehensive plan. The planned development of multifamily commercial property was considered excessively dense for the single-family residential area.
Developers said the future may yield another construction bid elsewhere in the city.
Councilors said if certain issues were resolved or alternate location selected, a subsequent Campus Crest request could prove successful.
Campus Crest had asked to rezone property located at 717 E. Hall of Fame Ave. and 1000, 1118, 1120 and 1202 E. Virginia Ave. The company planned to build a clubhouse and eight multifamily, four-story dwellings that would be 50 feet tall.
The hearing room overflowed with about 90 people for and against the planned unit development called The Grove.
Residents said that, if approved, the development would plunge property values, not allow sufficient transition space between the structures and increase traffic and the potential for crime.
Several strongly suggested councilors heed the wishes of residents or risk election retribution.
Regardless of such veiled threats, which Vice Mayor Tom Dugger said he found offensive, “we take resident concerns seriously.”
With the dismissal of developers, resident Glenda Roe said, “I am very glad about the decision. I just really trusted councilors to represent the citizens all over town.”
Development opponent Kevin Campbell was excited about the decision.
“I feel like we followed the rules, listened and communicated. I am pleased with the council vote,” he said.
Campus Crest also brought seven to 10 residents of a Grove property in Wichita, Kan., to the meeting. According to Chief Marketing Officer Shannon King, the company gave them only a free bus ride and lunch in exchange for their presence at the meeting.
None of the imported cadre addressed councilors. Several, like Cameron Bedel and Donnie Chauncey, privately expressed support for the Grove as a great place to live.
Recently, 700 signatures in support of development were collected and provided to the council, Crest staffer Alex Eyssen said.
“I am sad and disappointed that the city did not see the benefit the development would provide to residents and university students,” King said.
Further consideration would be given to another site location in Stillwater, she said.
“I am not surprised by resident reactions. I am surprised by the City Council,” she said.
According to King, all planned unit development and city requirements were met.
Councilors did not feel likewise.
“When you look at the comprehensive plan, people do have a right to be concerned. It did not offer transition,” Councilor Chuck Hopkins said.
If alternate solutions had been presented prior to a vote, sub-issues like drainage and necessary roadwork to accommodate additional density could have been resolved.
Bates said, “I believe there is support in the community for Campus Crest. We have to try to find the right location.”
Additional areas with proximity to Oklahoma State University have been provided by council to developers, he said. Stillwater remains in favor of development and additional housing, he added..
Nearby Hampton Inn and Suites owner Joe Martin concurred.
Martin said the area should allow for future commercial development and a no vote would significantly impact neighboring businesses.
“The growth of Stillwater and OSU is important to me,” he said.
Several councilors commended Campus Crest staffers on their professionalism.

Copyright © 1999-2008 cnhi, inc.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Green Groups Guild meeting Thursday

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

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

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

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mike Odom asks for donations to help him qualify to ride in Tour de Cure fund-raising ride

A message from Michael Odom

I recently accepted the challenge of cycling in the American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure fund-raising event. The Tour de Cure is a series of cycling events held in over 80 cities nationwide. The Tour is a ride, not a race; it features different route lengths from a family-friendly 10-mile course to a challenging 100-mile journey. I have joined thousands of others to pedal in support of the Association's mission: to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

I am asking you to help by supporting my fund-raising efforts with a donation. Your tax-deductible gift will make a difference in the lives of more than 23 million Americans who suffer from diabetes and over 57 million people in the United States with pre-diabetes.

It's fast and easy to support this great cause - you can make your donation online by selecting the "Click to Support Me" link below.

Any amount, great or small, helps in the fight against this deadly disease. I greatly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on my progress. If you want to do even more to help, please consider joining me in this great event. Our efforts will help set the pace in the fight against diabetes.

More information on the American Diabetes Association, its programs and diabetes in general can be found at the Association's Web site:

For more information on Tour de Cure, please visit

Click here to visit my personal page.
If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address:

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Wolf spiders thin out beetles and bugs and such in gardens

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of Wolf spider eating beetle on September 5, 2009, in the Town Branch neighborhood. Good spider to have in your garden!
Wolf spider eating a bug near World Peace Wetland PrairieDSCN9481

Housing Spiders in the Classroom
Wolf spiders are relatively easy to keep if you keep in mind some basic requirements. For classroom study, it works well to collect some spiders, hold them for several days and then release them where they were originally found.

All spiders and especially small ones, require a constant source of moisture. The largest (and quickest) source of mortality for spiders in the lab is dessication. The best means of providing moisture is to have something that will hold moisture for at least a week so if you forget to check it everyday, the spiders will still be okay. You can do this by giving the spider a cotton ball (or a piece of sponge) that is damp; or a wick of cotton or cheese cloth that extends into a small pool of water.

If you are trying to keep spiderlings or baby spiders remember that the surface tension of water is stronger than they are! With baby spiders it is important to not have freestanding drops of water.

Wolf spiders have a fairly flexible abdomen that helps them to be able to eat a lot of food when it is present. They also can do fairly well without much food for a week or longer as they are able to decrease their metabolism when food is absent.

Wolf spiders will eat a large number of different kinds of prey. They can take a prey item their own size or smaller and do best with flies, crickets and other spiders. The exoskeleton on many beetles is too tough. In addition to taking live prey, wolf spiders will scavenge and get nourishment from carcasses. You can sometimes see a spider pick up a leg or a wing from a cricket. Different species may show different prey preferences or abilities to subdue prey. Also, species may differ in how much they are willing to scavenge. Some insects may have some defenses against spiders.

Potential prey items for wolf spiders include house flies and mosquitos, crickets, beetle larvae (meal worms) and other spiders. Wolf spiders often will capture a prey item by grabbing the prey and then the spider will flip over onto its back while holding the prey item in its fangs. This may be particularly useful when grabbing a cricket as the strong jumping legs of the cricket could puncture the spiders abdomen.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Liatris aspera a showy Arkansas native prairie plant

Please click on images of blazing star to go to Flickr and use magnifying tool above pictures to enlarge one or two sizes!

DSCN7074blazing star EXC

DSCN7032liatris aspera EXC

DSCN7033blazing star

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Video from the Fayetteville National Cemetery with Washington County Livestock Auction barn in the background

Please go to
to see some of today's photos online. My picasa gigabite is full!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Karst map of NW Arkansas significant tool for identifying green infrastructure deserving of protection

Please click on images to ENLARGE to read and see detail.

The Town Branch Neighborhood is the smallest rectangle on that map. Enlarge the chart to read it.
Our neighborhood is a small hotspot for groundwater recharge and you can see how the wetland with springs and depressed land coincides with the karst coloring when you click and blow up the map.
Although the Nature Conservancy guys who created it admit that more ontheground investigation (and underground) to confirm a stricter scientific map is needed, it matches what I have believed about our neighborhood for some time. You can see the national cemetery circle with the karst just to the north along the old alley between Gov ave and Hill ave and pinnacle and wpwp are bright as is my own yard!
Please note one particular error. Cato Springs Branch, a northeast-flowing tributary of the Town Branch, is mistakenly called the Town Branch on the map. The oldest available government maps mark the portion of the Town Branch that flows from the UA and through our neighborhood as the Town Branch.
This is a significant tool for working on green-infrastructure plans and the FNHA already has it but in PDFs, which I can't post on the blogs.
Aubrey James Shepherd

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Skip Descant of The Morning News reports on delay of vote on sale-barn issue

The Morning News

Local News for Northwest Arkansas

Sale Barn Zoning Delayed A Month

By Skip Descant
FAYETTEVILLE — Even though veterans and community groups wanted to see the Fayetteville City Council move forward on a zoning request, the city stalled.

The council Tuesday evening ceded to a delay request by developers wanting to build apartments on the 9-acre Washington County Livestock and Sale Barn site.

The council is now to decide the sale barn rezoning Sept. 15.

What irked groups was the continued delay at making a decision.

"This whole issue is beginning to sound like a good-news, bad-news joke," said Sam Sansom, president of the Northwest Arkansas Military Officers Group. "And bad news doesn't get any better."

The tabling request came from Campus Crest, the North Carolina student housing developer set to purchase the site if the zoning request goes through. Developers are still working through the "bills of assurance." Those are guarantees by the developer the project will have certain limitations regarding issues such as density or height.

"There's a lot of moving parts. It's a timing thing, and we'd like some more time to reach out and make some plans," Alex Eyssen, an attorney representing Campus Crest, told the City Council last night.

Veterans groups oppose the zoning change because they would like to buy some of the land as an area to expand the Fayetteville National Cemetery. But they also oppose the idea of college students living next door to the cemetery.

The City Council voted 7-1 to table the request. Robert Rhoads voted against. But other council members also expressed discomfort with the delay.

"I really don't want to table it, myself," said Shirley Lucas, a council member from Ward 4. "It bothers me that the people asking for the extension are not the ones who own the property."

Monday, August 17, 2009

Do we need another Hill Place-type development in our neighborhood? Next to our National Shrine??

John Lennon video singing Imagine
Please click on images to ENLARGE view of Dunn Avenue along the east edge of the Fayetteville National Cemetery as it would appear if student apartments were allowed to be built on the site of the former Washington County Livestock Auction.


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.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Senator Pryor pledges support to buy sale-barn property

Please click on images to read August 12, 2009, Northwest Arkansas Times stories on Senator Mark Pryor supporting acquisition of sale-barn property for addition to the Fayetteville National Cemetery and story about possible delay in vote on sale-barn property until first council meeting in September.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Town Branch neighborhood shows up on the map of karst features in northwest Arkansas.
Please click on the images to ENLARGE view. Town Branch neighborhood is at the center of the third photo, near the left in the middle photo. One of the brightest areas marked as a high-priority karst ground-water recharge area on the map is the World Peace Wetland Prairie and adjacent Pinnacle Foods Inc. wet-prairie land. Another is along Indian Trail Street from Razorback Road east to the Railroad. A smaller but equally important karst wetland recharge area is north of the Fayetteville National Cemetery and the Washington County Livestock Auction property. The Hill Place (former Aspen Ridge) student-apartment project was built on fill dirt atop some of the neighborhood's karst wetland recharge area.

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
"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

Monday, July 6, 2009

Lauren Hawkins asks City Council to protect neighborhood and Fayetteville National Cemetery

Dear members of the Fayetteville City Council:

I am a homeowner on the south side of Fayetteville — a field away from Pinnacle Foods, the train track, a neighborhood vest-pocket park and with the sale barn.

The blocks that separate me from the sale barn are mostly in the Fayetteville National Cemetery. The cemetery is one of only a few hundred across the country. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and now recognized as a National Shrine.
Many homes in this neighborhood were here when the sale barn was built. The cemetery was. My house was. Two close neighbor's houses were, though one was moved about 200 feet east by mules about the time sale barn was built. A house or two up the road were here to see the Butterfield stagecoach deliver mail. The rest of the neighborhood has grown up with the sale barn as its neighbor.

It is a quiet single-family neighborhood primarily, with a mix of light-industrial, agricultural, a few duplexes and a 12-unit single-story apartment building. The population includes a mix of young families, middle-aged and older folks living here.

This unique neighborhood is one that deserves to be preserved, as we see new developments attempt to emulate much of what we have.

The sale barn has met a few battles as Fayetteville grew up around it, I gather. Established use and preservation of a way of life have won its favor many a time.

The only thing that makes a bit of sense is to rezone the whole area to neighborhood conservation. Period.

The proposal to rezone the parcel to allow such things as rent-by-the-room student apartments is simply incompatible with the surroundings. We owe our veterans' final resting place as much.

Present estimates of the Fayetteville National Cemetery are for capacity to meet demand for the next decade. Will we have our troops out of harm's way by then?

I urge the Fayetteville City Council to be good stewards and take the opportunity to rezone to neighborhood conservation and nothing less.

Lauren Hawkins

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Honeybee on butterfly milkweed on June 30, 2009

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of honeybee on milkweed on June 30, 2009, at World Peace Wetland Prairie.

Thursday, June 25, 2009