Friday, July 25, 2008

Sarah Lewis announces run for Ward Four seat on Fayetteville City Council

Please click on image to ENLARGE photo of Sarah Lewis' announcement of her candidacy for a Ward Four seat on the Fayetteville City Council on Friday afternoon on Fayetteville's downtown square.


Sondra Smith announces candidacy for second term as Fayetteville's city clerk

The Morning News
Local News for Northwest Arkansas

Sondra Smith Seeks Second Term
By Skip Descant
The Morning News


The Morning News on Sondra Smith's bid for reelection as city clerk of Fayetteville, Arkansas

FAYETTEVILLE - To many, government may seem built on paperwork. But Sondra Smith, Fayetteville's city clerk wants to use her next four-year term as a time to wean the city off its paper binge.
"One of the major changes I would like to implement is to move away from paper agendas," said Smith Friday in her announcement to run for re-election. "This is a huge cost to the city every year."
"It would be cost effective to purchase laptops for the city council and provide them with electronic agendas," said Smith, who is running for her second term. "There will be a learning curve for the council but well worth it."
"During the past three years we have changed from microfilming documents to a document imaging system. This new system has helped with the archive of records," she added.
The job of the city clerk is largely administrative. The position follows public meetings, records minutes and manages the vast flow of documents coming into and out of city hall.
Before becoming Fayetteville's city clerk, Smith worked for five years at Operations Management International as an administrative specialist.
"I have an extensive background in accounting and office management," she said.
"To prepare for the city clerk position I read as much as possible about the state law that governs cities of the first class and the Arkansas City Clerk Recorder Treasurers Association handbook for clerks," Smith explained. "The Arkansas Municipal League meetings have also been a wealth of information for me as well as the Municipal Clerks Institute."
In addition to continuing to bring more technology and less paper to city hall, Smith notes making the place personable and accessible will remain high on her list.
"Customer service has been a priority for me as well as easy access to city information," Smith said.

AT A GLANCE

Sondra E. Smith
Age: 54
Employment: Operations Management International
Political Experience: One term as Fayetteville City Clerk
Husband: Neil
Children: Angie and Schara
Source: Staff Report

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Build a rain barrel, help reduce erosion in Red Oak Park

Beaver Water District To Conduct Rain Barrel Building
Workshops July 26th at Fayetteville Farmers Market

For immediate release: July 15, 2008
Beaver Water District will conduct three rain barrel building workshops at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 26th, at the Fayetteville Farmer's Market on the downtown square in Fayetteville. Those participating will learn how to build a rain barrel and leave with step-by-step instructions. Additionally, barrels built that day will be given away in a drawing to those who attend. Rain barrels are a water conservation tool. Positioned under a gutter of a home, a rain barrel will capture runoff during rain events. Water may then be used to water the lawn and flowers. For more information, e-mail Amy Wilson, Director of Public Affairs for Beaver Water District at awilson@bwdh2o.org.
Audubon Arkansas also will be on the Fayetteville Square that day with a stream table conducting demonstrations showing how erosion occurs in a watershed setting and how this impacts the watershed and receiving streams and lakes. Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Beaver Water District’ s mission is to serve our customers in the Benton and Washington County area by providing high quality drinking water that meets or exceeds all federal and state regulatory requirements in such quantities as meets their demands and is economically priced consistent with our quality standards. For more information, visit www.bwdh2o.org.


Amy L. Wilson, Director of Public Affairs
Beaver Water District, P.O. Box 400, Lowell, AR 72745
awilson@bwdh2o.org; 479-756-3651

“Anyone who can solve the problems of water will be worthy of two Nobel prizes – one for peace and one for science.” -- John F. Kennedy

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Letters supporting grants to build trails in Arkansas needed NOW!

From: Terry Eastin teastin@lynks.com
Date: July 23, 2008 7:43:08 PM CDT

Subject: Arkansas Trail Fund - last request for letters

Everyone -

Thank you so much for your support of the trail legislation initiative! We are 87 letters strong as of today, July 23rd. A significant number of the mayors of Arkansas' largest cities and many smaller towns have sent well-crafted letters indicating their support for economic, health, and conservation reasons. Many organizations, including those one might not expect (economic and health arenas), have also given this initiative their support. Even more of you individually took the time to share your thoughts and send your letters.

This is the last post I will send requesting letters. The deadline was extended to August 1st last week, but, if letters come in shortly after the deadline, they will be accepted until the packet is finalized. I am expecting the count to extend 100 letters.

Once the project is completed, I send a report to all who helped.

Thank you very much, and please forward this last message. Again, if you have questions, please feel free to contact me at teastin@lynks.com, or by phone at 479-236-0938.
Regards,

Terry Eastin
Co-Chair, 2008 National Trails Symposium

All,

Please distribute the letter below and both attachments to every organization news outlet, email network, agency, mayor, city council, county judge, and trail enthusiast you know. If trail enthusiasts want to see an Arkansas Trails Fund established in the 2009 legislative season, NOW is the time to act! The response date has been extended to August 1, so, please help move this project forward with your letters to me either by email or regular mail. If you have questions, please feel free to contact. We are over half way to our goal of 100+ letters.

Attached is a letter from me explaining the project, a report prepared for the Legislative Committee on Agriculture, Economics, and Forestry, as well as, an Arkansas trail funding summary that illustrates the strong demand for our current minimal trail grant resources.

Even if you have already sent a letter yourself, please forward this request to other trail friends and enthusiasts. Your voices will be heard.

My address is

858 N. Jackson Drive
Fayetteville, AR 72701
teastin@lynks.com
terry@mississippirivertrail.org

Best Regards,
Terry Eastin

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Government protection of wetland pathetic

EPA Enforcement Is Faulted
Agency Official Cites Narrow Reading of Clean Water Act
By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 8, 2008; A06
An official administration guidance document on wetland policy is undermining enforcement of the Clean Water Act, said a March 4 memo written by the Environmental Protection Agency's chief enforcement officer.
The memo by Granta Y. Nakayama, EPA's assistant administrator for enforcement and compliance assurance, was obtained by the advocacy group Greenpeace and released yesterday by two House Democratic committee chairmen. It highlights the confusion that has afflicted federal wetland protections since a 2006 Supreme Court decision.
That 5 to 4 decision, known as Rapanos v. United States, held that the Army Corps of Engineers had exceeded its authority when it denied two Michigan developers permits to build on wetland, but the court split on where the Corps should have drawn the line on what areas deserve protection.
A plurality made of up Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. proposed an across-the-board reduction in the Corps' regulatory role, but Justice Anthony M. Kennedy -- who cast the deciding vote -- called for a case-by-case approach in deciding how the government should proceed. That left the ruling open to interpretation.
In his memo to Benjamin Grumbles, EPA's assistant administrator for water, Nakayama wrote that the document the agency issued in June 2007 to guide regulators' decisions under the Rapanos decision is having "a significant impact on enforcement." Nakayama and his staff concluded that between July 2006 and December 2007, EPA's regional offices had decided not to pursue potential Clean Water Act violations in 304 cases "because of jurisdictional uncertainty."
Much of the controversy centers on what sort of waterway and accompanying wetland should qualify for protection. The administration's guidance instructs federal officials to focus on the "relevant reach" of a tributary, which translates into a single segment of a stream. In the memo, Nakayama argued that this definition "isolates the small tributary" and "ignores longstanding scientific ecosystem and watershed protection principles critical to meeting the goals" of the Clean Water Act.
Chairmen Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) of the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee and James L. Oberstar (D-Minn.) of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee sent a letter yesterday to EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson saying they have "grave concerns" about the way the agency is implementing the Clean Water Act.
The two noted that Nakayama concluded that in all, the Supreme Court decision and the subsequent guidance document "negatively affected approximately 500 enforcement cases" in nine months. They also questioned why EPA's Grumbles did not raise the issue when he testified before Oberstar's panel less than three months ago.
"This sudden reduction in enforcement activity will undermine the implementation of the Clean Water Act and adversely affect EPA's responsibility to protect the nation's waters," the congressmen wrote. "Yet instead of sounding the alarm about EPA's enforcement problems, the agency's public statements have minimized the impact of the Rapanos decision."
In response to a question about the congressional inquiry, EPA spokesman Jonathan Shradar said in an e-mail: "We will be reviewing the new request and will work with the chairmen to provide information on our enforcement program."
Eric Schaeffer, who used to head EPA's civil enforcement division and now heads the Environmental Integrity Project, an advocacy group, called Nakayama's memo "very significant. It lays out very clearly why you can't enforce one of the most important parts of the Clean Water Act."
EPA officials are not the only ones growing frustrated with the confusing legal interpretations of the Rapanos decision. Robert B. Propst, a senior judge on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Southern Division, wrote in a Nov. 7, 2007, decision that he was reassigning a wetland case "to another judge for trial. At least one of the reasons is that I am so perplexed by the way the law applicable to this case has developed that it would be inappropriate for me to try it again."
© 2008 The Washington Post Company
Stormwater Management
Total Stormwater Management Service Design, Repair & Maintenance
www.apexcos.com

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

July is buttonbush month in Northwest Arkansas wetland areas and along streams and ditches

PLEASE CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE PHOTO of Buttonbush inflorescence on World Peace Wetland Prairie on June 2, 2008.


I have been asked why I discourage people from using radical clearing methods on wetland prairies, especially small parcels and urban parcels such as World Peace Wetland Prairie.
One of the main reasons is that some prairie and wetland native species need to grow tall and strong and not be cut bank or burned off if they are to reach their full potential.
The buttonbush is among the easiest to identify in this category at this time of year. The buttonbush is a sure marker of wetland when found growing in the wild. Its value to many species of wildlife is well-documented. And it is among the better native species for protecting riparian zones of streams from eroding.

Read what Texas A&M's Aquaplant Website has to say about the amazing buttonbush.
http://aquaplant.tamu.edu/database/emergent_plants/buttonbush.htm

WWW AQUAPLANT
Plant Identification

Bulrush
Cattail
Buttonbush

Description Management Options Other Photos


Cephalanthus occidentalis
Buttonbush is a woody shrub (3-10 feet tall) that occasionally grows into a small tree and can be found above water or in water up to 4 feet deep. It has shiny dark-green spear-or egg-shaped pointed leaves 3 to 6 inches long. The leaves are opposite or whorled in 3's or 4's along the stem. Flowers of buttonbush are easily identified by their greenish-white tube flowers in dense ball-shaped clusters about 1 inch in diameter. Seed heads are brown.
Submerged portions of all aquatic plants provide habitats for many micro and macro invertebrates. These invertebrates in turn are used as food by fish and other wildlife species (e.g. amphibians, reptiles, ducks, etc. ). After aquatic plants die, their decomposition by bacteria and fungi provides food (called "detritus") for many aquatic invertebrates. Buttonbush seeds are occasionally eaten by ducks but the bush itself is used for nesting by many bird species.

Emergent Plant Index
Alligator Weed
American Lotus
Arrowhead
Banana Lily (Floating Heart)
Blue Flag
Bulrush
Bull Tongue
Buttonbush
Cattail
Common Reed
Cow Lily (Spatterdock)
Dollar Bonnet (Water Shield)
Floating Heart (Banana Lily)
Fragrant Water Lily (White Water Lily)
Frog's-bit
Giant Reed
Horsetail
Lizard's Tail
Maidencane
Mexican Water Lily (Yellow Water Lily) Pickerelweed
Sedges
Smartweed (Water Pepper)
Soft Rush
Southern Watergrass
Spatterdock (Cow Lily)
Spike Rush
Three-Square
Torpedograss
Waterleaf
Water Pennywort
Water Pepper (Smartweed)
Water Primrose
Water Shield (Dollar Bonnet)
White Water Lily (Fragrant Water Lily)
Willow
Yellow Water Lily (Mexican Water Lily)
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