Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Aubrey James Shepherd's fourth video short take on CAT 18 supporting Lioneld Jordan for mayor

The video works on this version. Click on the play arrow to view and hear the fourth video short take on Cable Access Television Cox channel 18 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Energy companies advocate state rules to keep pollution legal

The Morning News

Local News for Northwest Arkansas

Group to advocate for energy, environment policies

By Jason Wiest
LITTLE ROCK -- A new group comprised largely of energy companies announced Tuesday it will advocate for energy, environmental and economic development policies in the state, some of which could be contrary to those of the state's global warming panel.
Bob Lamb, chairman of the newly formed group Progress Arkansas, said recommendations made by the Governor's Commission on Global Warming would provide fodder for analysis and that the group will lobby its positions on the recommendations.
"I would think there would probably be some issues that would come out of this report that this group will support. There may be other issues that they may not support," Lamb said, declining to be more specific.
While the group has not yet discussed the commission's recent report to be submitted to the governor and Legislature, it is not likely to take a position on Southwestern Electric Power Co.'s proposed $1.5 billion coal-fired power plant in Hempstead County, Lamb said.
By an 11-10 vote, the commission recommended a moratorium on coal-fired plants until technology to capture and store carbon emissions is fully developed.
"This group does not have any position on the SWEPCO coal plant at all, and I would not think they would take one," Lamb said. "They've already gone through a lot of process. This group's just getting started. We're not in a position to join the discussion."
Lamb formerly served as executive vice president of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce-Associated Industries of Arkansas, as well as an officer, director and vice president of community development for the Arkansas Western Gas Co. He also is a former lobbyist for Southwestern Energy Co. and its subsidiaries. Southwestern is the largest natural gas developer in the Fayetteville Shale play.
Lamb said Tuesday he is not currently acting as a lobbyist for Progress Arkansas but that he may serve in that capacity as the group lobbies the Arkansas Legislature and the U.S. Congress.
He said the group likely will advocate its position on a number of recently opened dockets at the state Public Service Commission regarding rule-making, rate-making and energy efficiency.
"Perhaps out of those dockets we'll develop some legislative initiatives that we might could support," he said.
The group will also work to create jobs in Arkansas, specifically service and manufacturing jobs to replace recent losses in those areas, he said.
Scooter Hardin, spokesman for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, said the group would provide welcome assistance.
"As a state agency, we're certainly supportive of organizations such as Progress Arkansas and the goal that this organization is working toward," he said. "We'll cooperate and work with Progress Arkansas."
Lamb said that while the group will seek to assist economic growth and increase the quality of life in Arkansas, there are also many challenges in the energy field.
"We want to be supportive of ensuring that Arkansas continues to have a reliable source of energy, both electricity and natural gas at the retail level," he said.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Aubrey James Shepherd's third video supporting Lioneld Jordan for mayor

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette editorial endorses Lioneld Jordan for mayor

For Lioneld Jordan

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Northwest Edition

Posted on Tuesday, October 28, 2008


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:

Monday, October 27, 2008

Environmental workgroup meeting at 7 p.m. November 5 in room 2267 of the Bell Engineering Building of the University of Arkansas

We have a new location for Wed. Nov. 5 Environmental Working Group meeting.
instructions to the classroom below)
Thank you, Bob!

Thanks to all the sub-committees for your intervening work prior to our
getting together again.
Please be sure and let Barbara Boland know if your sub-group needs any maps
for our meeting to be most productive.
See you all next Wed. Nov. 5 at 7 pm.
Delia Haak, working group chairman

Stormwater management a local issue that requires local effort

American Rivers organization offers basic information on managing stormwater

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.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Global Warming Commission approves revision of report

The Morning News

Local News for Northwest Arkansas

Global Warming Commission approves final revisions to report

By John Lyon
LITTLE ROCK -- The Arkansas Governor's Commission on Global Warming on Thursday approved final revisions to its report containing 54 recommendations for reducing the state's contributions to climate change.

The 21-member commission was created by an act of the Legislature last year and is required to present its final report to Gov. Mike Beebe and legislators no later than Nov. 1.

The commission's report recommends that Arkansas adopt goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions below 2000 levels by 20 percent by 2020, 35 percent by 2025 and 50 percent by 2035.

The commission includes representatives of several fields, including conservation, industry, government and academia. The panel approved some recommendations unanimously, but it was divided on some votes, including an 11-10 decision to recommend a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants in the state until technology to capture and store carbon emissions becomes available.

The committee approved a final set of revisions to the report during a meeting Thursday held by conference call. Committee Chairman Rep. Kathy Webb, D-Little Rock, thanked the members for their work.

"I know people have very strong opinions about all of these issues," Webb said. "We did a really fine job. Thank you all for all the time that you've given in the last year on this."

In a period allowed for public comments, Ken Smith, executive director of Arkansas Audubon, told the commission, "Congratulations, all of you, for a great job."

Among the revisions the commission approved Thursday was a slight change to an assertion in the report that peer-reviewed literature is "unanimous" in concluding that human activity is causing climate change. The commission changed "unanimous" to "virtually unanimous."

Steve Cousins, vice president of refining for Lion Oil, said although no vote was taken on whether global warming has a human cause, he knew of "at least three commissioners that are agnostic" on the issue.

The report states that Arkansas' greenhouse gas emissions are rising faster than those of the nation as a whole, according to research conducted for the commission by the nonprofit Center for Climate Strategies. From 1990 to 2005, gross emissions in the state increased by 30 percent while national gross emissions rose by 16 percent.

On a per-capita basis, the state's emissions increased by about 10 percent between 1990 and 2005, while national per-capita emissions decreased by 2 percent.

The report notes that Arkansas has large forests which negate some of its greenhouse gas emissions. In 2005, the state's gross emissions accounted for 1.2 percent of national gross emissions, while its net emissions accounted for 1 percent of national net emissions.

Electricity consumption and transportation were the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Arkansas in 2005, accounting for 32 percent and 26 percent, respectively, of the state's gross emissions.

The direct use of fuels such as natural gas, oil products, coal and wood in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors accounted for 18 percent of emissions. The agricultural and forest wildfire sectors together accounted for 14 percent of emissions.

Other sources of emissions included industrial processes, landfills and wastewater management facilities.

The commission analyzed the costs to implement 29 of its recommendations and estimated a net cost of $3.7 billion between 2009 and 2025.

Among other things, the commission recommends new nuclear power plants; a carbon tax program; a consortium to develop renewable energy production facilities and market renewable energy to consumers; and numerous measures to improve energy efficiency.

Web Watch

Governor's Commission On Global Warming

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Nick Brown Clarifies relation of man and natural world

Guest writer : Conserve and protect
Posted on Saturday, October 18, 2008
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a unique, diverse collection of ecological systems and the home to caribou, muskoxen, sheep, foxes, moose, wolves, black bears, brown bears, polar bears, and over two dozen other species of mammals. It’s one of the largest, most ecologically intact wildlife refuges in the world.

Recently, columnist Bradley R. Gitz described ANWR as an “uninhabited, pestilence-ridden wasteland.” This thoroughly anthropocentric view of the world—that there are no important existing values if they are not of immediate economic benefit to humans—is the very kind of thinking that has led us to a wide range of environmental problems. As Albert Einstein said, we cannot solve our problems with the same type of thinking that created them.

Our planet, whether you think of it as the Creation, Gaia or simply the third rock, is driven by ecological processes that may or may not be observed and valued by our industrial culture. To assume that an ecosystem is “wasteland” just because there’s no perceived economic value is human arrogance of a very dangerous sort. Political and economic decisions should be made with a biocentric view, which serves human interests and conserves ecological values over a long term.

All ecological systems have values that relate to the continuing healthy existence of the planet, whether we understand the importance of those values or not. This is a general statement that may be discomforting to economists and industrial developers, but it’s just a paraphrase of the well-known and well-understood axiom, everything’s connected to everything else. Ecology, which is the study of interactions among species and between species and their environments, inescapably leads us to this conclusion, though as a science it is silent on its meaning and importance.

Ecological thinking dictates that we assume that there are connections of which we are oblivious and that we accordingly manage ecosystems with precaution. It embodies respect for nature.

ANWR’s selection as a location for a wildlife refuge isn’t accidental. It’s a unique and biodiverse boreal region. One hundred ninety-five species of birds, 36 species of fish and 36 species of land mammals are found in six ecological regions of ANWR.

Section 1002 of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act provides for the possibility that 1. 5 million acres of ANWR could be opened for oil production, and that area is, therefore, known as the 1002 Area. A study of the 1002 Area reveals 16 land-cover classes or types of ecological systems. Grasses, sedges, shrubs, willows and other vegetation of riparian zones each offers critical ecological values to porcupine caribou, arctic caribou, muskoxen, grizzly bears, wolves, golden eagles, polar bears and snow geese that use the 1002 Area.

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service has written that the 1002 Area contains “an unusually diverse assemblage of large animals and smaller, less appreciated life forms tied to their physical environments and to each other by natural, undisturbed ecological and evolutionary processes.” Let’s not consider the home of wolves, grizzly bears, polar bears and golden eagles a wasteland.

It is not as though no petroleum exploration is allowed in Alaska under current rules. Twenty-three million acres of Alaskan land are currently in production in the National Petroleum Reserve there, which is located west of ANWR on the North Slope and Arctic Coastal Plain. Current production is about 750, 000 barrels of oil per day from about 300 gas and oil leases.

The most optimistic estimate of oil production from the 1002 Area is 900, 000 barrels per day, about 4 percent of our national demand and 1 percent of global demand. By comparison, we could save a million barrels per day if the efficiency of our national fleet improved by five miles per gallon or 2 million barrels per day if we all simply drove five miles per hour slower on our highways. The Energy Information Administration of the U. S. Department of Energy estimates that addition of ANWR’s oil to existing supplies would reduce the price of oil by 50 cents per barrel. It’s five to 10 years from flowing through pipelines if we started work tomorrow. The extent to which additional oil drilling is a necessary part of our bridge to a sustainable energy future can be debated. But it is clear that ANWR’s boreal ecosystems contain unique ecological values that we should conserve and protect.

—–––––•–––––—Nicholas R. Brown, a native of Helena, is the executive assistant for sustainability at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

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

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fayetteville police and firefighters join Sierra Club in 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.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Firefighters endorse Lioneld Jordan for mayor

Fayetteville Fire Fighters Association endorses Jordan
Northwest Arkansas Times
Posted on Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Fayetteville Fire Fighters Association IAFF Local 2866 has endorsed Lioneld Jordan for mayor of Fayetteville in the Nov. 4 general election.
Other endorsements by the association:
• Don Conner — Ward 1, Position 2
• Mark Kinion — Ward 2, Position 2
• Craig Honchell — Ward 4, Position 2
Copyright © 2001-2008 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact:

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
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:

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.

NOBODY has suggested turning the Government Channel into a community-access station. Read the policy document created by the Telecom policy committee

Policy document prepared during a series of meetings in July, August and September 2008 by the Telecom Board's policy committee
The Morning News

Local News for Northwest Arkansas
Televised Forums Spark Debate
By Skip Descant
The Morning News
FAYETTEVILLE - It's still not clear if issue and candidate forums will make their way to the Fayetteville Government Channel's prime time.
But after months of study, the topic is expected to be hotly debated at tonight's Fayetteville City Council meeting. The item was briskly yanked from last week's council consent agenda session, when practically every council member pushed the issue to open debate.
Moderated public forums involving candidates and ballot issues would be recorded and broadcast by the government channel, according to the proposed new policy. The moderator must be a nonpartisan group such as the League of Women Voters, "and will be overseen by a public forum committee, responsible for considering the issue representation with regard to participants, content and format."
Nancy Allen, a council member from Ward 2 who is not seeking re-election, raised the question of having the government channel record and broadcast a Ward 2 candidate forum. The request came from a citizen group, Allen said.
The request was denied because the group did not fall under the umbrella of city government. Allen asked last week how this topic differed from some of the more innocuous programming she's seen on the channel.
In the past, Allen has requested that issue forums about the future of Fayetteville High School or the Walton Arts Center be broadcast. Those requests were denied by the city because the discussion was not directly related to the workings of the city.
"How does that differ from showing animals in need of adoption?" Allen said. "Anyone could make an argument that walking around looking at flowers, shaking hands, that's not 'government.'"
Without directly naming him, Allen was referencing news conferences and other events called by Fayetteville Mayor Dan Coody, who has received much criticism alleging he's used the government channel as his own personal publicity agency.
"I see much more reason to debate those issues - Fayetteville High School and Walton Arts Center - than to show video of the mayor walking around the square," wrote Allen in an e-mail. "That borders on propaganda in my view."
Susan Thomas, public information officer for the city, and one of the architects of the proposed policy, has maintained that the channel can only be used by government and for government-related programming.
Thomas said a Fayetteville Council of Neighborhoods mayoral debate aired because the council is comprised of city-appointed members, meets at city hall and has city staff assigned to the group, therefore, it operates under the umbrella of the city.
"Any other organization, they don't get city staff, and they're not covered on a regular basis," Thomas told the council.
Citizen groups like the one Allen mentioned would be better served by Community Access Television, say officials. Allen admitted she had not contacted CAT.
The mayor has said repeatedly that the city council has the discretion to create the government channel in nearly any image it wishes. It only needs to write the appropriate policy and carry it out.
"If you want to turn the government channel into a community access television station, then just do that," Coody told the board last week.
Policy document prepared during a series of meetings in July, August and September 2008 by the Telecom Board's policy committee

Fayetteville City Council

When: 6 p.m. today

Where: Room 219, City Hall, 113 W. Mountain St.

Also on the agenda: Urban Design Associates, the Pittsburgh design firm responsible for the conceptual plan for SouthPass, will give a presentation.