Wednesday, March 31, 2010

John Bame and Fayetteville High School student look at old rail trestle and discarded rail ties blocking construction of city trail through old tunnel under existing Arkansas & Missouri Railroad

I might not have discovered this for some time had not John Bame brought some FHS students to World Peace Wetland Prairie and then taken them on a walk of the Pinnacle Prairie Trail and the part of Tsa-La-Gi Trail as yet uncompleted from the Hill Place Apartments through the old rail tunnel to the west to Razorback Road and beyond. Thanks to the environmentally aware students for caring and wanting to learn more about the delicate geography and geology of our city.
Please click on image to enlarge view of railroad ties over mouth of tunnel and then watch video below the photo to learn reaction of workers when they learned that the ties should not be dumped there.

Rail ties being dumped in mouth of tunnel in Fayetteville AR

Aubrey james | MySpace Video

The Fayetteville city trail administrator telephoned the railroad manager in Springdale an hour later and the railroad official confirmed that the ties were not to be dumped there but were to be dumped at Cato Springs Road. Rail ties are creosoted and very dangerous to human beings and other living things when the chemicals leach into the watershed.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Canada geese fly low over 11th Street in March 2009 as construction of entry to Hill Place project muddies intersection with S. Duncan Avenue

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of intersection of 11th Street, S. Duncan Ave. and the entry to Hill Place apartment complex, which now has a Bacardi Avenue sign.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ask Congress to restore Clean Water Act now

Please double-click "view as webpage" link near top right to see full post.
RiverAlert Header
March 22, 2010
keep our nation's waters are protected under the Clean Water Act
Take Action 
Dear Aubrey,
If you think the Clean Water Act protects your drinking water from pollution, think again. Please take action today to ensure fundamental safeguards for clean water in our streams, rivers, and lakes.
A confusing 2006 Supreme Court decision on the Clean Water Act has left the fate of 60 percent of the nation’s stream miles -– that provide drinking water for 117 million Americans –- in legal limbo. As a result, as reported in The New York Times, polluters are now claiming complete exemptions from reporting what they dump into local streams.
Congress can resolve this problem by passing legislation to restore full federal protection for all our waters. Help us ensure that all of our nation’s waters are protected under the Clean Water Act. Urge your representative to support introducing and passing the Clean Water Restoration Act today.
Thank you for your support.
Sincerely, Katherine Baer Signature Katherine Baer Senior Director, Clean Water Program
AR7 Donate ButtonTo contact American Rivers, email us at outreach@AmericanRivers.org. To update your profile or change your preferences click hereTo unsubscribe click here
American Rivers ©2010
I would like to express grave concern over the loss of protection for many of our small streams that provide clean drinking water for 117 million Americans in communities across the country. Supreme Court decisions in the Rapanos and Carabell cases have made it confusing and burdensome for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to protect small streams and wetlands under the Clean Water Act. As a result, enforcement actions against polluters have declined sharply the EPA estimates that over 1,000 cases have been shelved or dropped altogether. More recently it has become clear that some polluters are using the decisions as a justification to avoid any permitting and reporting requirements for discharging pollutants into our waters. For the Clean Water Act to fulfill its goal of restoring the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation's waters, all waters must receive protection corresponding with Congress' original intent when passing this landmark law. Upstream waters must be protected from pollution and destruction if we expect downstream waters to be fit for swimming, drinking, and fish and wildlife, and downstream communities to be safe from flooding. I urge you to act in the interest of preserving clean water for healthy communities and wildlife. Please support introduction and passage of the Clean Water Restoration Act, which would clarify the definition of waters to eliminate uncertainty and ensure clean water in accordance with the goals of the Clean Water Act. Thank you for your consideration.

South Duncan Avenue under deep blanket of snow on March 21, 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

City map finally shows World Peace Wetland Prairie with correct name

Please click on image to ENLARGE 2009 view of World Peace Wetland Prairie
Please click on image to ENLARGE view of WPWP in 2009. The right of way down the left side of the photo shows where the paved city trail now runs through a portion of Pinnacle Prairie.

Friday, March 12, 2010

World Peace Wetland Prairie spider milkweed, false indigo bush, dogbane, blue-eyed grass and cottontail rabbit photographed on May 21, 2009

Please click on individual images to ENLARGE view of a sample of what you won't see on Earthday at World Peace Wetland Prairie but may see again if you visit in May. Native wildflowers and tall grass emerge later than the typical nonnative species found in many gardens in Arkansas.
Photo above reveals view northwest with Amorpha fructicosa bush in bloom. Also known as false indigo or indigo bush on May 21, 2009, at World Peace Wetland Prairie. Cottontail rabbit reluctant to leave his grazing area and hoping photographer will back away on May 21, 2009, at World Peace Wetland Prairie.
In photo above, the tiny blue-eyed grass is seen growing near a tall dogbane or Indian Hemp plant.
Above, Asclepias viridis, also known as spider milkweed or antelope horns, is nearing full bloom. Viridis is the earliest of the milkweeds to bloom in Northwest Arkansas. Above is an instance of a tall dogbane or Indian hemp plant with a shorter spider milkweed at right. Dogbane seems always to pop out of the ground before the milkweed and the leaves of the two are similar. Both are plentiful at World Peace Wetland Prairie. For more photos of wildflowers at WPWP, please see WPWP wildflowers

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Margaret Ruth Christie, a longtime resident of the neighborhood, died Sunday, March 7, 2010: Services are tomorrow

Margaret Ruth Christie
(August 4, 1919 - March 7, 2010) 

Send Private Condolences
Send Flowers
MARGARET RUTH CHRISTIEMargaret Ruth Christie, 90, longtime resident of Fayetteville died Sunday, March 7, 2010, at her home.
Margaret was born August 4, 1919 in Prairie Grove, Arkansas. She was the third of four children born to Henry Burgess Collier and Lottie Mae Moore Collier.
She graduated from Prairie Grove High School and Fayetteville Business College and worked for Arkansas Western Gas Company for several years.
She married Arnold Ripley Christie on November 5, 1942 at Providence, RI.
Margaret was a longtime member of Central United Methodist Church in Fayetteville and enjoyed gardening, cooking, flowers, bird-watching, reading, and time with her family. She was preceded in death by her parents; one sister, Helen Grace Collier Coddington and two brothers, Harry Belmont Collier and Felix Russell Collier.
Margaret is survived by her husband, Arnold Christie of the home Two sons: David Christie and wife Jill of Fayetteville, GA Peter Christie and wife Patsy of Springdale One daughter: Cynthia Christie Peven and husband Michael of Fayetteville Seven grandchildren: Jennifer Christie Siemens and husband Kevin Wesley Christie and wife Amber Laura Christie Johnson and husband Josh Joseph Christie Peven Jonathan Christie Peven Melissa Christie Kimberley Christie Four great-grandchildren: Kate, Anna, and Olivia Siemens Jacob Johnson
Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 10, at the Wesley Chapel at Central United Methodist Church, 6 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. Pastor Clefton Vaughan will officiate. Burial will be at Son’s Chapel Cemetery in Fayetteville, under the direction of Moore’s Chapel. Visitation with the family will be from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 9, at Moore’s Chapel.
Memorials may be made to: Alzheimer’s Association 2300 S.E. 28th Bentonville, AR 72712

Monday, March 8, 2010

Cell Tower proposal at Hill Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard first item on agenda for tonight's Planning Commission meeting

Planning Commission

Planning Commissioners



Sean Trumbo, Chair

Craig Honchell

Jeremy Kennedy

Audy Lack, Vice-Chair

Christine Myres

Porter Winston

Matthew Cabe, Secretary

Jim Zant

Final Agenda
City of Fayetteville, Arkansas
Planning Commission Meeting
March 8, 2010

A meeting of the Fayetteville Planning Commission will be held on March 8, 2010 at 5:30 PM in Room 219 of the City Administration Building located at 113 West Mountain Street, Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Call to Order

Roll Call

Agenda Session Presentations, Reports and Discussion Items:
No items.


1. Approval of the minutes from the Monday, February 22, 2010 meeting.

Old Business:

2. CUP 10-3512: Conditional Use Permit (CELL TOWER/HILL & MLK, JR.BLVD, 522): Submitted by SMITH TWO-WAY RADIO for property located SOUTHEAST OF THE INTERSECTION OF HILL AVENUE AND THE RAILROAD TRACKS. The property is zoned C-2, THOROUGHFARE COMMERCIAL and contains approximately 0.12 acres.  The request is for a 150 ft. 'flag pole type' cellular tower on the subject property.                                                                                                   Planner: Dara Sanders

New Business:

3. ADM 10-3533: Administrative Item (AARON WATSON, 323): Submitted by AARON WATSON for property located at the NORTHEAST CORNER OF MOUNT COMFORT AND SALEM ROADS. The request is for a variance of Fayetteville Unified Development Code Section 166.08 to permit a curb cut on Mount Comfort Road, a Minor Arterial, when there is an existing curb cut onto Salem Road, a Collector.                                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                        Planner: Andrew Garner

4. LSD 09-3372: Large Scale Development (LIFE STYLES, INC., 363): Submitted by BATES & ASSOCIATES for property located at THE CORNER OF W. SYCAMORE STREET AND SADDLEHORN AVENUE.  The property is zoned P-1, INSTITUTIONAL and contains approximately 1.27 acres.  The request is for a 14,165 s.f. educational facility with associated parking and infrastructure.                                                                                                                                                              Planner: Dara Sanders

5. CUP 10-3520: Conditional Use Permit (DICKSON ST. DEVELOPMENT CO., LLC/OUTDOOR MUSIC, 484): Submitted by DICKSON STREET DEVELOPMENT CO., LLC for property located at 301/303/307 W. DICKSON.  The property is zoned MSC, MAIN STREET CENTER and contains approximately 0.13 acres.  The request is for a conditional use permit for outdoor music.                               Planner: Dara Sanders 

6. CUP 10-3525: Conditional Use Permit (JOANNE OLSZEWSKI/345 ST.CHARLES, 518): Submitted by JOANNE OLSZEWSKI for property located at 345 ST. CHARLES.  The property is zoned NC, NEIGHBORHOOD CONSERVATION and contains approximately 0.07 acres.  The request is for a conditional use permit for a change in an existing nonconforming use for professional office, chiropractic/massage therapy office, and a beauty salon.                                             Planner: Andrew Garner

The following item has been approved administratively by City staff:

1. FPL 10-3521: Final Plat (CREEKSIDE S/D Ph. II/ MT. COMFORT ROAD, 360): Submitted by H2 ENGINEERING, INC. for property located at 4225-4427 MT. COMFORT ROAD.  The property is zoned RSF-4, SINGLE FAMILY - 4 UNITS/ACRE and contains approximately 10.94 acres.  The request is for Final Plat approval of Phase II of the Creekside residential subdivision with 13 single family lots. 
        Planner: Andrew Garner


All interested parties may appear and be heard at the public hearings.  If you wish to address the Planning Commission on an agenda item please queue behind the podium when the Chair asks for public comment. Once the Chair recognizes you, go to the podium and give your name and address. Address your comments to the Chair, who is the presiding officer. The Chair will direct your comments to the appropriate appointed official, staff, or others for response.  Please keep your comments brief, to the point, and relevant to the agenda item being considered so that everyone has a chance to speak.

As a courtesy please turn off all cell phones and pagers.

A copy of the Planning Commission agenda and other pertinent data are open and available for inspection in the office of City Planning (575-8267), 125 West Mountain Street, Fayetteville, Arkansas.  All interested parties are invited to review the petitions.

Interpreters or TDD, Telecommunication Device for the Deaf, are available for all public hearings; 72 hour notice is required.  For further information or to request an interpreter, please call 575-8330.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River neighborhood on Google Map

View Larger Map

Northwest Arkansas Times reports on March 6, 2010, streamside public session

Officials Seek Stream Ordinance Input

Sunday, March 7, 2010
Ecologist Sarah Lewis, a member of the Fayetteville City Council, collects organisms Saturday in College Branch on the University of Arkansas campus, while conducting a portion of a streamside protection and education workshop ahead of an effort to adopt a stream-side protection ordinance in Fayetteville.
Ecologist Sarah Lewis, a member of the Fayetteville City Council, collects organisms Saturday in College Branch on the University of Arkansas campus, while conducting a portion of a streamside protection and education workshop ahead of an effort to adopt a stream-side protection ordinance in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
 — Fayetteville residents learned how their activities affect watersheds Saturday during the first of two public education sessions at the City Administration Building.
“Everything that happens in a watershed impacts water quality,” said John Pennington, agriculture and water quality agent for the Washington County Extension Office. “We don’t have control over our watersheds, but we can make good streamside practices.”
According to Karen Minkel, the city’s planning and internal consulting director, Fayetteville’s nutrient reduction plan recommends development and implementation of a streamside protection ordinance. The plan was completed in April as part of an agreement with the Beaver Water District and Fayetteville. The ordinance is part of a series of recommendations aimed at reducing pollution in local waterways, which will improve the health of streams and reduce the costs of treating drinking water.
“The city is doing this because ‘do nothing’ is no longer an option,” Minkel said. “We’ve done some preliminary research, but right now we’re in the early stage of crafting the ordinance.”
In addition to the agreement with the Beaver Water District, the Environmental Protection Agency requires Fayetteville to reduce its phosphorous levels from 1 part per million to 0.1 part per million. The city’s phosphorous level is at 0.4 parts per million.
“In Fayetteville, the most common source of phosphorous in urban and suburban areas is pet waste,” Minkel said. “Nearly, 14,000 pounds of phosphorous could be put in our water annually from pet waste. We can reduce that load by paying attention to what happens up stream so don’t have to spend millions of tax dollars on water treatment.”
According to Pennington, a riparian buffer is a strip of vegetation established next to waterways in managed landscapes designed to capture storm water runoff, nutrients and sediment. The buffers improve habitat for aquatic organisms by lessening the impact of land management practices on waterways.
“A watershed is a common point where all the water in an area drains,” he said. “When water runs across the surface, it drags things with it into streams.”
Pennington said activities and structures near watersheds can have both a positive and a negative impact on water quality.
“Sediment is the number one contaminant of surface water in the U.S.,” he said. “Healthy riparian areas filter many pollutants from runoff water before the pollutants can be connected directly to a stream. Unhealthy riparian areas lead to property loss and accelerated erosion. This can happen due to watershed changes anyway, but does anyone want to bring this upon themselves?”
In addition to educating people about the benefit of healthy watersheds, Minkel said Saturday’s workshop aimed at gaining public input to help shape the streamside ordinance.
Afterward, participants took a short field trip to College Branch, a local stream located at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Razorback Avenue. The site visit, led by Ward 4 Councilwoman Sarah Lewis, aimed at showing participants stream banks and how buffers are measured.
“You’re input will help us decided how many and how big the buffers will be, as well as how they’ll will be measured,” she said. “The size will vary for different streams. People who can’t make it to the public input sessions will have about a month to post additional input online. We don’t anticipate bringing it before an elected or appointed body before July.”
Participants were asked to fill out a form, identifying which streams should be protected and which activities they think should be allowed or prohibited in protected areas. Their input, along with information provided during the workshop will eventually be posted on the city’s Web site, wwww.accessfayetteville.org.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hawk surveys Pinnacle Wet Prairie for prey on sunny day

Walking Pinnacle Prairie Trail at the end of Twelveth Street southwest of World Peace Prairie offers wildlife views. Please click on images to ENLARGE view of hawk on March 4, 2010,