Sunday, January 27, 2008

Town Branch meeting reruns on CAT cable 18 Tuesday through Saturday

on CAT Channel 18 on Cox Cable in Fayetteville, Arkansas

Tuesday Jan. 29, 2008
6:45 am Ward 1/Town Branch-Neighborhood Meeting

Wednesday Jan. 30, 2008
7:30 am Ward 1/Town Branch-Neighborhood Meeting
9:00 pm Telecom Board Meeting: 1/17/08

Thursday Jan.31, 2008
12:45 am Ward 1/Town Branch-Neighborhood Meeting

Friday Feb. 1, 2008
7:00 am Water Conservation & Protection (LWV
1:35 pm Ward 1/Town Branch-Neighborhood Meeting

Saturday Feb. 2, 2008
2 a.m. Ward 1/Town Branch-Neighborhood Meeting
6:00 am Water Conservation & Protection (LWV)

Red Oak Park subject of Ward 4 meeting at 7 p.m. today

Ward 4 residents will meet tomorrow night (Monday) January 28 at 7:00 p.m in Room 111, City Hall, with Council members Shirley Lucas and Lioneld Jordan presiding.

Discussion will include;
City staff presentations regarding the design and rennovations of Red Oak Park, as well as other parks in Ward 4.
the Monthly Street Improvement Report,
Neighborhood Reports
All Wards Welcome!

Ward 4, Position 1

Name: Shirley Lucas --2139 Ora Dr. -- Fayetteville, AR 72701;

Phone (479) 442-4612

Ward 4, Position 2
Name: Lioneld Jordan -- 1600 Arrowhead St. -- Fayetteville, AR 72701 Phone: (479) 442-5415

Saturday, January 26, 2008

OMNI Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology focuses on the future


The annual meeting of the OMNI Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology attracts people of all ages and from all walks of life.
But the effort to create a peaceful and just society on a sustainable planet is about the youngest and the as-yet unborn. The young adults must persist at the work that the older people realize is more important than a liesurely retirement.

These pictures are meant by the photographer to suggest the commonality of all people and the oneness of generations in every individual.

Friday, January 25, 2008

OMNI Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology's annual dinner TONIGHT

2008 Annual
Omni Members Meeting

6-7 Join or Renew Membership
Visit “Pitch Pit” for volunteer opportunities
Enjoy Dinner!
7:00 Still on the Hill
7:15 Introductions
7:30 Workshops
8:30 Report Back from Workshops
Revisit “Pitch Pit”
Group Sing - We Shall Overcome

Sustainable Farming – the gentle way to feed the planet, one community at a time
A discussion of farming practices which can change the way food is grown, and how it can save our families, our communities, and our planet. Presented by noted sustainable food systems presenter Patrice Gros. Patrice has been a full time organic farmer for 10 years. He is the cofounder of 2 area Farmers Markets (Berryville & Eureka Springs, AR) and sits on the board of the Eureka Market. Patrice runs Foundation Farm and its associated Farm School. For more info visit SANCTUARY

Sensible Fayayetteville – A positive shift away from draconian drug laws
Ryan Denham talks about a suggested city code that places marijuana possession as the least important priority for law enforcement officials, (similar to the ordinance passed by Eureka Springs last year.) Federal drug laws have driven our prison system to crisis, and into the hands of private corporations. At the same time it has created class and human-rights dilemmas on a wide scale. A sensible step for Fayetteville is a major step for American human rights. Deep End

Nonviolence in the Face of Fascism
America appears to be moving toward a more fascist government, and many people are becoming anxious about it. People who believe in nonviolence need to know what powerful tools of nonviolence are available to them in tense and uncertain situations. Gladys Tiffany and Shelley Buonaiuto lead discussion on some remarkable and already-available options. There are more then you might think. Omni office

5th Anniversary of the Iraq War
Oh No! Not Again!
We hoped it would never come to this, but we’ve been a-honking for a long time now. Would you like to help Omni plan and organize a fitting remembrance for the national imbroglio? Kelly Mulhollan will organize this session to begin planning a commemoration for the month of March. upstairs chapel

Media Reform In Our Own Backyard
Big Media has taken over mainstream forums for discussion of public issues, and left dissenting opinion without a public voice. Omni Center is working with others to create forums where open discussion is encouraged. Some of those attempts are with our great, long-time Video Underground series, working with Fayetteville Cable Access TV (CAT) to develop Omni Month in Review, and creating Omni Free Radio - our own community radio station. This group also includes Rapid Responders – writer/researchers ready to counter the uninformed perspectives in the local letters to the editor pages. And we have a hankering to take up our own editorial-writing board. There may a place for you in the media corner of the Culture of Peace. Presented by four Omni Media Group members: Gerry Sloan for Video Underground, Claire Detels for Omni Month in Review, Joe Newman for Omni Free Radio, and Larry Woodall for Rapid Response Network. fire pit upstairs

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

2008 OMNI Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology meeting Friday

Greetings Omni folk...
The Omni Annual Meeting happens this Friday at United Campus Ministries, 902 W. Maple, at 6:00 pm. Omni members and friends are all invited. If you've been there before you know they're really interesting meetings where Omni people connect and issues get discussed. The evening starts with a delicious, free meal prepared by Omni volunteers. You'll have a chance to hear about other people's great programs, and join or renew your Omni membership. The program features workshops that try to address issues Omni members and friends find compelling. There's a really good lineup of presenters listed below. Check them out.

If the weather gets bad Friday evening, check your email again to see if we have to cancel. Right now the reports say "rain" after noon, so we're hopeful all will happen as planned. If you have questions, please reply.

Look forward to seeing you there,
Gladys and Melanie

Support wildlife habitat by enlarging CRP in farm bill

Please ask your Congressmen to keep habitat protection in farm bill

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fayetteville shale to be discussed Wednesday evening

Public Invited to Fayetteville Shale Play Forum on Jan. 23 at Law School
A forum entitled “Environmental Considerations on Gas Drilling in the Fayetteville Shale Formation” will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on Jan. 23 in the School of Law Courtroom on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville. This event, co-sponsored by Arkansas Chapter of Sierra Club and League of Women Voters of Washington County, is open to the public and free of charge.
Panelists will include James Bradbury, a Fort Worth Texas attorney with an Arkansas background who is working on the Bartlett Shale Play development; Amy Mall, Senior Policy Analyst with the Natural Resources Defense Council, who will be teleconferencing from Boulder, Colo.; state Rep. Betty Pickett, an Arkansas legislator representing an active gas drilling district near Conway; Eric Stagg, a landowner with two well operations near Clinton, Ark.; and Lawrence Bengal, Director of the Arkansas Oil & Gas Commission. Industry representatives also have been invited to attend.
The forum presents an opportunity to learn about the gas drilling bonanza in central Arkansas and its environmental and economic impact. Reference materials on the subject are available on the League of Women Voters of Washington County web page, For information, contact Joyce Hale of the League at 527-2777.

Many on this list are already aware of the League of Women Voters/Sierra Club co-sponsored forum to be held from 7-9 pm, Jan. 23rd at the University of Arkansas School of Law Courtroom concerning environmental and economic issues on gas drilling in the Fayetteville Shale Play. For you, who have it on your calendar, this is just a reminder. For others hearing about this for the first time, it is an encouragement to attend and pass the information on to any interested lists. While there has been a signifigant amount of coverage on the economic boom expected to come to Arkansas with this activity, less information has been available about the drilling process and long-term environmental consequences and costs.

With Governor Beebe even considering a special session of the legislature to evaluate the state's severance tax position as relates to gas drilling, it is critical that the public has a better sense of all the issues to have a voice in this bonanza. The organizers of this event have brought key people together who will provide information needed by those interested in environmental protection. It is important to understand that this is not a regional issue but rather a major state-wide issue even if we don't see drilling rigs in our backyard. The state's water resources and fair distribution of tax benefits affect all of us. I encourage your attendance at the forum as we all learn more about this issue. We hope to have DVD's available for interested groups who cannot attend. Please let me know if you would be interested in receiving one of these.
Joyce Hale
League of Women Voters of Washington County

Monday, January 21, 2008

Fran Alexander on the meaning of sustainability

A good discussion of the word "sustainability" as it is used by local and worldwide leaders is available in a
NWA TIMES column by Fran Alexander on sustainability
in the Jan 14 edition of the Fayetteville newspaper.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Town Branch neighborhood meeting with developers on Cox 16 at 9 a.m. and 7:30 or 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2008

Please read about the
Town Branch/Ward One Aspen Ridge meeting in The Northwest Arkansas Times and watch video of the meeting on Cox Cable channel 16 at 9 a.m. Tuesday and at about or slightly after 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2008, soon after the telecom board meeting that begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Please read about the
Town Branch/Ward One Aspen Ridge meeting in The Northwest Arkansas Times
for a reporter's view of the meeting.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Stephan Pollard comments on wind power in Arkansas

PLEASE click on image to enlarge photo of Stephan Pollard addressing a meeting in Fayetteville earlier in the week.

The Arkansas Democrat/Gazette's Jan. 18, 2008, Northwest edition included a story from a Fort Smith meeting on the
Potential of wind power in Arkansas
in its Business section. Among those quoted was Dr. Stephan Pollard of Fayetteville, whose first name was mispelled in the story, but whose message was clear.

"Stephen (Stephan) Pollard, an engineer with Environmental Dynamics in Fayetteville, said certain areas of Arkansas, including Northwest Arkansas, are in wind currents considered fair to good for operating wind turbines.
He’s counted only six wind turbines in or near Benton and Washington counties. One in Eureka Springs and two in West Fork are residential-size turbines. A larger, 75-foot tower turbine in Prairie Grove is operated more as a hobby than an energy source, he said.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has a 12-foot rotor diameter turbine on a light pole in the parking lot of its Pleasant Crossing store in south Rogers.
Crowder College in Neosho, Mo., is building a 125-foot tower to hold a turbine with a 54-foot-diameter rotor as a teaching tool, he said.
St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Springdale has ordered three small turbines it will install near Interstate 540 and within sight of the minor league baseball stadium now under construction. The church hopes to influence others to seek alternative energy sources, he said."

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Discussion of new plan for Aspen Ridge site interesting and diverse

Dabney Brannon (left) of Audubon Arkansas encourages men involved in planning the proposed student apartments on the defunct Aspen Ridge development site to build in keeping with best-management practices for low-impact development and to create a project that will complement Fayetteville's goals of becoming a center of sustainability. Brannon was among several conservationists who joined three Fayetteville aldermen and members of the Town Branch neighborhood at a meeting Jan. 12, 2008.

Monday, January 7, 2008

The future of our planet and humanity may depend on a unique view of science and religion

Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Fayetteville
901 W Cleveland St Fayetteville, AR 72701
Wednesday January 9, 2008
Connie at 6-6:45pm; Michael at 7-9pm

Fayetteville will have the honor of hosting these inspired speakers for a one-evening appearance on Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at the UUFF Sanctuary. Connie Barlow, who has a special interest in children's education, will speak and lead a sing-along that adults and children alike will enjoy from 6pm-6:45pm. Michael will speak at 7p.m. Childcare is provided. The entire community is invited to attend one or both presentations. Light refreshments will be provided. Dowd and Barlow will have books and DVDs available.


I already know about evolution. Why would I want to attend this?” you may be asking yourself....

"It matters what we think about evolution. Indeed, for many issues - personal, political, and planetary - nothing matters more. Until we take into our lives insights born of evolutionary psychology and brain science, for example, we’ll fail to appreciate why we and our loved ones have such a hard time breaking free from habits and behaviors that don’t serve us, whether we’re religious or not, and why our intimate relationships can be so challenging.

Until we recognize billions - not just thousands - of years of grace and guidance, we’ll remain stuck with abstract and trivial notions of God and unnatural and competitive understandings of religion.

And until we learn to see through what I call “sacred deep-time eyes”, atheists and fundamentalists will continue to blame each other for the world’s ills, liberals and conservatives will keep trashing one another, believers will keep trying to convert or kill those of differing belief, and, collectively, we will fail to see that enormous global challenges are calling us to greatness."
--Michael Dowd (on talking about his work in 30 seconds or less...)


Most writers would be thrilled to have a Nobel laureate endorse their new book. For author Michael Dowd, no less than five Nobel laureates — most in the sciences — have written glowing reviews of praise for Dowd's unique take on evolution. But add in the fact that Reverend Michael Dowd was once a conservative evangelical who protested the teaching of evolution and things get interesting!

Dowd and Barlow have spoken in more than 500 churches, convents, monasteries and spiritual centers, to groups of Roman Catholics, Protestants, Evangelicals, Unitarians, Quakers, Mennonites, Buddhists, and more. Visiting a new town every week or two, the husband-and-wife team are frequently invited to present the discoveries of science in inspiring ways in secular settings, such as public schools, colleges, universities, libraries, nature centers, and even an occasional zoo. Their websites are overflowing with praise from literally hundreds of community leaders, from every shade of the religious and secular rainbow.

This event is cosponsored by the UUFF Social Justice Committee, The Omni Center for Peace, Justice & Ecology’s Environmental Committee and Limbertwig Press of Fayetteville.
A personal invitation from Leigh:

In my years of being fascinated with the natural world, I have never seen teachers illuminate the beauty of evolution and the natural world like Barlow and Dowd. For Dowd personally, it all is a celebration of what he calls God, for Barlow a celebration of what she calls the Universe. What is remarkable, and truly unique, is that their ideas CELEBRATE the diversity of beliefs (one of which would be a lack of any particular belief) as having the capacity to make our society more healthy, the way a healthy ecosystem is characterized by a diversity of life.

Being exposed to Dowd and Barlow helped me recognize some of my own narrow-mindedness -- I believed for the world to change, more people would have to think as I do. After years spent in progressive, liberal and creative circles I am amazed that one of the most diversity-celebrating worldviews I’ve ever come across is from a former evangelical Christian minister -- a worldview that does not merely tolerate differences in thought, cultures and beliefs but sees those differences as gifts we’ll need to move into a culture that truly embodies peace, justice and ecology.

I see Dowd and Barlow as doing tremendously important work. Dowd’s brand new book (and website) Thank God for Evolution! (Council Oak Books) is angled as exploration of a science-based worldview to American religious community in a way that is unifying rather than divisive; in a way that unites all in the common goal of a livable planet. Not to mention that a science-based understanding of the planet’s systems is absolute prerequisite to action to reduce disastrous climate change.

More than 85% of the world’s population count themselves as religious ( Given those numbers, any worldview that enhances cooperation toward environmental sustainability is one worth seriously examining. A worldview such as Dowd’s and Barlow’s could go a long way in creating a culture of peace, promoting social justice, and preserving the earth as a viable ecosystem for us and our fellow creatures. I support their work because I love and work on behalf of the natural world.

I heartily invite you to come out on a winter night to a presentation that will be lively, thought provoking, and above all, truly inspiring for those who are working for peace, justice and ecology.

Leigh Wilkerson -- Poet, Activist and Gardener (

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Everyone welcome to Jan. 12 Town Branch neighborhood meeting

Town Branch neighborhood from Google Earth

View Larger Map

This is a live interactive link to Google Earth. Simply put cursor on page and move in any direction to tour the planet! The starting point is the Town Branch neighborhood in south Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Destruction of wildlife habitat and farmland main effect of using biofuel

Burning Biofuels May Be Worse Than Coal and Oil, Say Experts
By Alok Jha
The Guardian UK

Friday 04 January 2008
Scientists point to cost in biodiversity and farmland. Razing tropical forests "will increase carbon."

Using biofuels made from corn, sugar cane and soy could have a greater environmental impact than burning fossil fuel, according to experts. Although the fuel itself emits less greenhouse gas, it has higher costs in terms of biodiversity loss and destruction of farmland.

The problems of climate change and the rising cost of oil have led to a race to develop environmentally-friendly biofuels, such as palm oil or ethanol derived from corn and sugar cane. The EU has proposed that 10% of all fuel used in transport should come from biofuels by 2020 and the emerging global market is expected to be worth billions of dollars a year.
But the new fuels have attracted controversy. "Regardless of how effective sugar cane is for producing ethanol, its benefits quickly diminish if carbon-rich tropical forests are being razed to make the sugar cane fields, thereby causing vast greenhouse-gas emission increases," Jörn Scharlemann and William Laurance, of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, write in Science today.
"Such comparisons become even more lopsided if the full environmental benefits of tropical forests - for example, for biodiversity conservation, hydrological functioning, and soil protection - are included."
Efforts to work out which crops are most environmentally friendly have, until now, focused only on the amount of greenhouse gases a fuel emits when it is burned. Scharlemann and Laurance highlighted a more comprehensive method, developed by Rainer Zah of the Empa Research Institute in Switzerland, that can take total environmental impacts - such as loss of forests and farmland and effects on biodiversity - into account.
In a study of 26 biofuels the Swiss method showed that 21 fuels reduced greenhouse-gas emissions by more than 30% compared with gasoline when burned. But almost half of the biofuels, a total of 12, had greater total environmental impacts than fossil fuels. These included economically-significant fuels such as US corn ethanol, Brazilian sugar cane ethanol and soy diesel, and Malaysian palm-oil diesel. Biofuels that fared best were those produced from waste products such as recycled cooking oil, as well as ethanol from grass or wood.
Scharlemann and Laurance also pointed to "perverse" government initiatives that had resulted in unintended environmental impacts. In the US, for example, farmers have been offered incentives to shift from growing soy to growing corn for biofuels. "This is helping to drive up global soy prices, which in turn amplifies economic incentives to destroy Amazonian forests and Brazilian tropical savannas for soy production."
They added: "The findings highlight the enormous differences in costs and benefits among different biofuels. There is a clear need to consider more than just energy and greenhouse gas emissions when evaluating different biofuels and to pursue new biofuel crops and technologies."
Andy Tait, campaign manager at Greenpeace, said: "We're already bought into mandatory targets for the use of biofuels with very little thought of what the environmental impacts will be. This study further confirms that there are serious risks associated with first generation biofuels, particularly from corn, soya and palm oil."
He said that the biofuel technology had been oversold by industry and politicians. "It's clear that what government and industry are trying to do is find a neat, drop-in solution that allows people to continue business as usual.
"If you're looking at the emissions from the transport sector, the first thing you need to look at is fuel efficiency and massively increasing it. That needs to come before you even get to the point of discussing which biofuels might be good or bad."

Posted by aubunique at 1/05/2008 08:33:00 AM

Friday, January 4, 2008

Verbesina virginica (white crownbeard or frost weed) has a good week

Please click on photo to enlarge the "frost flower" formed by moisture around the stem of Vebesina virginica. Several sub-freezing nights in the first week of January 2008 produced great formations on the frost weed for people who don't cut the plants down after the bloom fades and turns to seed.

Read more about
Verbesina virginica on a Texas Web site or a Missouri Web site:

Verbesina virginica in Missouri