Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette editorial endorses Lioneld Jordan for mayor

For Lioneld Jordan

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Northwest Edition

Posted on Tuesday, October 28, 2008

URL: http://www.nwanews.com/adg/Editorial/241825

LIONELD JORDAN has a reputation for working hard. He’s the city alderman in Fayetteville who’s never missed a city council meeting in his nearly eight years in office. Alderman Jordan has brought the same dedication to the monthly meetings he’s held in his ward.
He’s also known for his thorough knowledge of city government, for his ability to understand complicated city business, and his just plain love of his hometown.
One of the candidates Lioneld Jordan is running against is the incumbent, Dan Coody. Mayor Coody is winding up his eighth year as mayor with a mixed record. He’s certainly done some good things for Fayetteville. Like establishing the current system of trails in the city. And he talks up environmental issues, even if he hasn’t always lived up to his own standards.
But the Coody administration has had some notable shortcomings, too. There’s the $ 60-million-plus cost overrun for the expansion of the city’s wastewater system. The project came in three years late and had to be bailed out with an increase in the city sales tax. Then there’s the stalled development the mayor backed on the site of the old Mountain Inn. Instead of a big hotel, the city got a big hole, which is now to become a big parking lot. That’ll be an improvement, but not much of one.
The mayor’s also presided over a takeover of the city’s Government Channel. The biggest result has been an end to its forums, where issues were discussed openly and fairly. A fear of fair and open discussion is not a good sign in a mayor, especially a mayor of a town as freespirited and open to argument as Fayetteville. What a shame.
Mayor Coody, maybe reflecting what he learned in the military, says a city’s chief executive is responsible for what happens during his administration. We agree. The wastewater project, the downtown hole in the ground, the canceling of issue forums... he must take responsibility for all of them along with the city’s accomplishments during his tenure.
As an alderman, Lioneld Jordan hasn’t always been right. But he’s consistently shown a willingness to dig into issues and take every side into account. As his supporters have noticed, when he disagrees with anybody, he tells them why. And his explanations tend to be well thought-out. (It’s hard to imagine him shutting down any public forums. )
His long service on important committees, such as the Street, Water-and-Sewer, and Equipment committees have given him a thorough understanding of how the city works. He does his homework. And he’s served as vice mayor, which would be good experience for the top job.
If it’s time for a change in Fayetteville, and it is, its name is Lioneld Jordan. That’s why we’re endorsing him today.

Copyright © 2001-2008 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact: webmaster@nwanews.com

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mark Kinion the clear choice for Ward 2 seat on City Council. He has built a resume of actual service to this community.

Mark Kinion
AGE: 51
EDUCATION: University of Arkansas, BS, food science and technology
OCCUPATION: Retired senior executive for GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Fayetteville Housing Authority, board of commissioners, past vice-chairperson;
National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, member;
Partners for Better Housing, board of directors, founding board member;
Fayetteville Council of Neighborhoods, past chairman; Wilson Park Neighborhood Association, past coordinator;
Humane Society of the Ozarks, past president, past finance committee chairman, lifetime member;
Ozark StageWorks, board of directors, financial development chairman; Planned Parenthood of Arkansas/Eastern Oklahoma, advisory board;
University of Arkansas Alumni Association, lifetime member;
United Way of Pulaski County, former vice president of campaigns;
No. 1 issues: Transparent government, open communication, mutual respect and trust.

No citizen should feel disenfranchised from local political activity. All residents should feel they have an avenue to be heard and know their opinion is respected and valued.
I will have regular Ward 2 meetings to let people know relevant information in a timely manner regarding issues facing our city. Additionally, I will encourage open and mutually respectful dialog between the constituency, other members of the City Council, city officials and city administrative divisions.
Trust will be built by promising transparent and measurable actions in regard to economic, environmental and social impact of city projects.
By open dialogue, transparent action, and measurable benchmarks accountability can be established.
This open communication model will be applied to every issue and concern.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fayetteville police and firefighters urging people to vote for Lioneld Jordan for mayor

Please click on image to ENLARGE Firefighters and Police officers' endorsement of Lioneld Jordan for mayor.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fayetteville police organization endorses Lioneld Jordan for mayor

Please click on image to ENLARGE for easy reading of the Fayetteville, Arkansas, chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police's endorsement of Lioneld Jordan for mayor.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Scouts realize value of walnut trees

The Morning News

Local News for Northwest Arkansas

Walnut Street Site Of Boy Scout Walnut Drive

ROGERS -- Boy Scout Troop 122 is collecting black walnuts for cash to help fund troop activities and buy camping equipment.

A black walnut drive is scheduled from 8 a.m. to noon Oct. 25 at the corner of Walnut and Third streets in Rogers.

Scouts will pick up previously collected nuts that same morning. Call Mark Love at 366-7238 to arrange pickup. Walnuts should be in a bag, box or bucket.

Troop 122, with 40 Scouts, is sponsored by the First United Methodist Church at the walnut drive collection corner.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Good idea only if using waste material from agriculture and timber production and without decreasing wildlife habitat. Clearing land pollutes air

Summit promotes growing high-energy plants
Posted on Saturday, October 11, 2008
URL: http://www.nwanews.com/nwat/News/69979/
Northwest Arkansas Times Fayetteville’s first ever Sustainability Summit brought more than 300 people to the city’s center to talk about ways organizations can become more environmentally friendly. One way discussed was a switch from conventional diesel fuel to the use of bioenergybased fuel. Jim Wimberly with BioEnergy System LLC in Fayetteville talked about the energy-efficient idea at a small breakout session during the summit. “ Agriculture and energy are so intertwined, ” Wimberly said.
He said the idea is to start promoting the growth of high-energy yielding plants that can be processed and manufactured into a full spectrum of energy projects, including fuel for automobiles.
“ In essence, plants are batteries, ” he said. “ They store energy through photosynthesis. ”
Arkansas provides a large amount of natural resources to make bioenergy manufacturing a reality, Wimberly said, and if the state takes an active interest in the concept, it could cut in half its yearly 1 billion gallons of petroleum used each year.
“ It would take just under a million acres of herbaceous energy crops (crops high in energy ) to displace half of that diesel used, ” he said.
Wimberly said a lot of research is being done on soybeans to create biodiesel, and that it’s a good fuel. However, he said fuel users need to broaden their horizons.
“ We need to quit being worried about planting a future around traditional approaches to biofuel, ” he said.
The state has the forest and farmland to support biofuel operations, which makes it already an attractive location to bioenergy companies, Wimberly said, but Arkansas and its cities need to work towards sealing the deal with the green fuel producers.
“ We are in competition with neighboring states, ” Wimberly said.
Financial incentives as well as getting state landowners and far mers on board with the idea could be the key, Wimberly said.
“ It’s not going to happen unless (farmers ) can make at least as much money as they do growing traditional crops, ” he said.
Copyright © 2001-2008 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact: webmaster@nwanews.com

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Preview of citizen comments on Southpass plan discussion tonight at Fayetteville City Council meeting

Southpass comments: City Council, Oct. 6, 2008 Barbara Moorman

The city staff says in its recommendation for Southpass approval: .[the project] does not contribute to sprawl. Urban or suburban sprawl is “the spreading of a city and its suburbs over rural land at the fringe of an urban area”. It’s “elimination of rural land by urban development”.

What is the city calling this project if not sprawl? “Greenfield development.” Greenfield development is “urban fabric” replacing rural land on the outskirts of a city. ... In other words, sprawl. The houses may be packed together, but it’s still development taking over rural land and it still means people driving to it and driving from it. It’s not next to downtown, medical facilities, mall, court house, city hall, library, etc.

Even though the 2025 plan was written after the Southpass contract was signed, the 2025 plan claims not to approve of sprawl. So to resolve the contradiction, the city tries to redefine sprawl. Whatever name they put on it, this project will spread urban development over rural land on the outside edge of a city.

What’s wrong with sprawl? It’s not good for the community economically, socially, or environmentally. As for this project in particular....

1) It’s not economically sustainable especially in today’s chaos and uncertainty. It relies on speculation and on mortgage subsidies and lending . Sprawl is always expensive to the taxpayers . ... road costs, costs of police, fire, trash pickup, sewer, water, dealing with more car wrecks because more driving, illness from more pollution haze and more emotional pressure, etc. Do we know year by year or in 5 year increments, how much Southpass and the ballfields will cost? Do we know what each element will cost? Can we know cost estimates are accurate and based on reality? If they’re accurate, are they higher than the city can afford? Are there unforeseen economic problems that ought to be considered? There is no adequate, detailed economic study of the proposal.

2 It’s not environmentally sustainable. How many animals and birds will be driven into smaller and smaller habitats? How many plant communities will slowly disappear because of changes in the bluff and forest ecology? The people doing this project don’t have any notion what lives on those bluffs or in the woods. Animal life isn’t considered but there are many hundreds of species that live there now. How much more air pollution haze will this add (remember it’s a regional tournament venue plus 11,000 new inhabitants)? What temperature rise will result from more pavement. This land should not be zoned for dense development because of springs, shallow ground water, and creeks, and because of the environmental importance of the higher elevations. This is a massive project and will have massive impact but the city isn’t giving us a study of the impact. It should be our right to know.

3. It’s not socially sustainable. Will this subdivision make the city a healthier, tighter-knit community?
Will it further divide the wrong side of the tracks from the parts of town where people are probably breathing a sigh of relief that this thing isn’t going in near them? Whatever your answer is, it can’t be based on a study because there is no study. It can only be based on speculation. Is there a requirement for public transportation adequate to really reduce car traffic? Where’s the mandate for nearby medical facilities? Does the ordinance include demand for school, hospital, city hall and library annexes? There’s talk of police, fire, etc. but no promises, no requirements, no penalties if hopes aren’t fulfilled. How will a dog park, paved trails, and a noisy amphitheater help the stability and quality of life of this part of town ? Aren’t these features to visit but not to live near? How practical is this scheme really? The plan is for a huge athletic complex and a lot of other things that might be considered nuisances if they were on Mount Sequoyah. The “findings” by the staff claim that we rural residents will be adversely impacted by noise, pollution, lights, etc. Absolutely. But so will the 11,000 people they think will move in. Who on earth would move there in the first place or stay long enough to create a real community?

It’s too bad it’s gone this far, but I hope you’ll exercise your right to re-examine this plan now.