Tuesday, November 9, 2010

aubunique: Please fill out online survey of opinion of perfor...

aubunique: Please fill out online survey of opinion of perfor...: "Greetings Everyone! CAT Performance Survey 2010 As we reach the end of 2010, Community Access Television (CAT) requests the favor of yo..."

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cox Cable pulls surprise on city of Fayetteville, Arkansas, with plan to move public-access, government channel and educational channel to EXPENSIVE digital tier of channels: So much for open government when thousands of people will not be able to afford access to the public channels

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of Cox Cable advertisement in recent issue of The Northwest Arkansas Times.
For several years I have been able to turn away phone and online salesmen wanting me to take the satellite systems and later the Uverse TV system of AT&T. But now Cox has set up a situation that will require me to drop their service and take the Uverse, which will automatically cut my cost because I have AT&T phone service already. Cox has one thing the others don't have: The local public stations at minimal cost. This is the time for the city administration to begin negotiating with COX. This is a draconian measure that will hurt COX in the long run.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

aubunique: Insect Festival coming up

aubunique: Insect Festival coming up: "Please use live links on site to navigate and read more detail. Bumpers College Home Entomology Home O..."

aubunique: Tree and Landscape Committee sets annual city tree...

aubunique: Tree and Landscape Committee sets annual city tree...: "12th Annual Celebration of TreesSaturday October 9, 2010 7:00 am Town Center entrance on the Fayetteville SquareEvery year the Tree and Lan..."

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Two such wetland plants growing together are a strong indicator of wetland

Please click on image to ENLARGE and widen view of Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed) and Verbena hastata (swamp vervain) growing together on south Fayetteville wetland.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

NCAT announces that Arkansas among 3 states chosen to launch National Energy Corps program

Arkansas Chosen as One of 3 States to Launch National Energy Corps Program



The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service to launch the National Energy Corps AmeriCorps program.

By forming collaborations with local non-profit organizations, community action agencies, local governments and energy service organizations, the National Energy Corps initiative will foster community sustainability by addressing the core challenges of clean energy:

*  Hands-on Energy Assistance
*  Energy Education and Outreach
*  Community Energy Planning and Organizing
*  Green Jobs Training and Skills Development

The National Energy Corps program is an AmeriCorps initiative of the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) in cooperation with The Corporation for National and Community Service that was created to address unmet community energy needs by promoting sustainable energy consumption and
education, fostering community sustainability and helping to mitigate the effects of global climate change.

The National Energy Corps initiative builds on the success of the Montana Energy Corps pilot, a program funded by the Montana Governor’s Office of Community Service. Since October of 2009, Energy Corps members in Montana have been busy assisting with weatherization services for low-incomes areas,
developing clean energy awareness campaigns for communities and performing community building energy audits on reservations.

“We see a need for sustainable energy services across the country,” says Energy Corps Program Director Holly Hill. “The Energy Corps program has been a great success in Montana and we hope we can replicate that success on a larger scale.”

As a product of the successful Montana Energy Corps program, the National Energy Corps initiative will launch this fall in three additional states, Pennsylvania, Iowa and Arkansas. The Arkansas Energy Corps program will be managed by the NCAT Southeast Regional Office, located in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
NCAT Southeast Regional Office Director Margo Hale says, “The Southeast Regional office is thrilled to be one of three states to launch the National Energy Corps initiative. This is a great opportunity for our region and our state.”

Arkansas will have approximately 15 National Energy Corps positions available, beginning in September 2010. Energy Corps members will serve an 11 month term of service and receive the same benefits as an AmeriCorps member, which include a monthly living stipend, an education award, health insurance
and a experience of a lifetime providing direct services to their community. National Energy Corps members will be placed with host organizations in communities throughout the state of Arkansas to implement solutions for sustainable energy.

NCAT is currently accepting applications from non-profit organizations interested in hosting an Energy Corps member. Host organizations will be required to provide a detailed description of how an Energy Corps member working for their program will facilitate clean energy-related services.

Applications for host organizations must be submitted by the close of business by July 20, 2010. More detailed information regarding this partnership opportunity is available by reviewing the full application instructions attached or by contacting Holly Hill at 406-494-8652/hollyh@ncat.org or Melissa Terry at 479.575.1382/melissat@ncat.org.


###




The National Center for Appropriate Technology is a nonprofit organization founded in 1976. NCAT’s innovative and diverse projects in the fields of
sustainable energy, sustainable agriculture and rural community development are supported by foundations, government/private sector grants and contracts, as well as through individual contributions and memberships.




--
AR Energy Corps Coordinator
National Center for Appropriate Technology
SE Field Office
207 W. Center
Fayetteville, AR  72701
www.ncat.org
479.575.1385

Friday, April 16, 2010

Earth Day Festival began Friday night with Caring for Creation at Mount Sequoyah; Earth Day at World Peace Wetland Prairie from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 18, 2010, offers eduction and fun for all ages

Please click on image to ENLARGE for closer view of sample photos from WPWP.
PLEASE double-click the image to ENLARGE view and ENLARGE further with your computer's tools to read small type. For more about World Peace Wetland Prairie please see www.flickr.com/photos/7295307@N02/collections/ www.flickr.com/photos/7295307@N02/collections/   
PLEASE double-click the image to ENLARGE view and ENLARGE further with your computer's tools to read small type.

MANY REASONS TO PROTECT LAND SUCH AS WORLD PEACE WETLAND AND PINNACLE PRAIRIE FOREVER:
World Peace Wetland Prairie is the riparian zone of a small stream that historically was fed by seep springs and rainwater from three directions when the first westward immigrants settled Fayetteville, Arkansas. World Peace Wetland Prairie has the deepest layer of dark, rich soil in its subwatershed because leaves and other vegetative matter accumulated as the flowing water slowed and soaked into the absorbent soil and enriched that soil. Pinnacle Foods Inc.'s mounded wet prairie to the west is the main source of clean water flowing to World Peace Wetland Prairie at this time. Before the railroad was built, water flowed off Rochier Hill to the northwest and from the prairie and savannah to the north of WPWP that has been replaced by fill dirt and paving for apartments. Water from the east and north slopes of the high land where Pinnacle Foods Inc. now sits flowed to WPWP along with all the water from the high ground near 15th Street, which moved north to WPWP before flowing east to the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River. Such remnants of prairie help keep the water where it falls and recharge the groundwater. Like the many similar remnants of such prairie in our diverse geographical area, WPWP and Pinnacle Prairie are the surface manifestation of a significant bedrock fault. Such sunken wetland is a characteristic feature that appears above geological faults worldwide. The Karst map of Washington County Arkansas shows the WPWP watershed in red, meaning that it is a critical groundwater recharge area. Preserving such depressional wetland in our city is the least expensive way to reduce downstream flooding and siltation of our water supply. Hundreds of native plants grow. Many birds and other wildlife prosper on healthy wetland vegetation. And prairie vegetation sequesters carbon dioxide and cleans the ground water.

KEEP the WATER where it FALLS!

Fracturing for fuel ought to be outlawed, many say: Will it happen?


Item from environmental email list.
Names omitted to protect those guilty of actually thinking about the situation and commenting:

In yesterday's Dem/Gazette, a front-page article said that Exxon is seriously concerned that Congress might outlaw hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, or pass regulations that make the practice too expensive to use.  Such a law would, of course, be wonderful for the immediate environment such as water resources near the natural gas sites, and is also essential for eventually solving global warming because we're doomed if we go ahead and exploit all these "unconventional" fossil fuel resources.  What do you know about efforts to pass such a federal law?  How can we help pass such a law?  

A related thought:  Either a carbon tax, or a cap & trade system, would increase the cost of producing natural gas and might make fracturing unprofitable compared with other energy sources.  

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Gas-well work damages environment in several ways


Folks,

I agree 100% with Art. We need to transition from fossil fuels, and we 
need to start it in a serious way, NOW. Not just dribs and drabs here and 
there, the way we are doing it today. Whether the human race is capable 
of such wisdom, is of course, less than certain.

Unfortunately, our treatment of groundwater exhibits our shortcomings. 
Our almost universal depletion of aquifers and pollution of them is a 
really bad idea. Yet it goes on, with almost no effort to turn things 
around.

-- Malcolm

Malcolm K. Cleaveland, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Geography
Tree-Ring Laboratory TEL: 479-575-3159
Dept. of Geosciences, Division of Geography FAX: 479-575-3469
Ozark Hall 113
University of Arkansas - Fayetteville
Fayetteville, AR 72701 U.S.A. INTERNET: mcleavel@uark.edu

On Tue, 13 Apr 2010, Art Hobson wrote:

> Hi Dina -
>
> Thanks for this note. I wonder what indirect effects these small quakes are 
> having, on groundwater, on buried gas lines, and other things. It might be 
> worth asking Mr. Al-Shukri if he is aware of any such effects.
>
> In my opinion, the big gorilla in these unconventional gas operations (i.e. 
> any gas operation other than simple drilling and release of gas) is global 
> warming. It's been clear for decades, and James Hansen makes it very clear 
> in his recent book "Storms of My Grandchildren," that humankind must not 
> exploit these unconventional fossil resources: shale oil, shale gas, tar 
> sands, deep offshore oil, conversion of coal to liquid and gaseous fuels, 
> etc. Atmospheric CO2 is already up to 390 parts per million, and Hansen 
> shows that this level is already unsustainable and will probably melt much of 
> Greenland and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. This melting has already begun, 
> but at a slow pace. The pace will increase, and the rate of global sea level 
> rise will eventually reach several meters (yards) per century. According to 
> Hansen, "For the moment the best estimate I can make of when a large sea 
> level change will begin is during the lifetime of my grandchildren--or 
> perhaps your children." Hansen is the head of NASA's Goddard Institute for 
> Space Studies and arguably the world's leading climate scientist.
>
> We must stop the insane exploitation of all these difficult-to-recover 
> unconventional fossil resources. There's far too much carbon in them for the 
> planet to handle without shifting to an entirely new climate regime, one that 
> humans won't be well suited for. The sensible way to do this is to put an 
> economic price on carbon emissions, using a carbon tax & rebate 
> (preferred--see Hansen's book) or a cap & trade system. We haven't really 
> begun to do this yet. We'd better get busy.
>
> - Art
>
>
> On Apr 12, 2010, at 4:47 PM, Dina Nash wrote:
>
>> Wonder how the folks who live "in the middle of nowhere" feel about being 
>> dismissed as unimportant? This is the area where my grandparents taught 
>> school, where more and more people are moving to (Greenbriar and in all 
>> directions out from it). What's happening to their sense of security and 
>> to their livestock, their water wells, and the foundations of their old 
>> barns and homes? At least, there's now the recognition that the drilling 
>> is causing the earthquakes. Wonder how many small ones will happen before 
>> larger ones are triggered? How many does it take for permanent changes in 
>> the water table to happen?
>> 
>> If you have information about people being affected, will you please 
>> contact me and I'll pass the information on to the Sierra Club folks who 
>> are trying to organize measured responses to the shale drilling issue.
>> 
>> Dina Nash, Pulaski County League of Women Voters, Environmental Co-chair
>> Little Rock
>> 501-554-2200 (c)
>> 
>> ----- Forwarded Message ----
>> From: Barry Haas 
>> Sent: Sun, April 11, 2010 11:28:17 PM
>> Subject: April 10, 2010 Arkansas DemGaz article: Scientist blames quakes 
>> on drilling
>> 
>> Scientist blames quakes on drilling
>> By Kenneth Heard
>> LITTLE ROCK — A series of temblors near Greenbrier in central Arkansas, 
>> including one Thursday evening, were more likely caused by gas and oil 
>> drilling than an active fault, geologists said Friday.
>> The U.S. Geological Survey reported an earthquake measuring 1.6 in 
>> magnitude about 5 miles northwest of Greenbrier at 5:01 p.m. Thursday.
>> There were no reports of damage.
>> Several other quakes hit the area over the past several months, said 
>> Haydar Al-Shukri, director of the Arkansas Earthquake Center at the 
>> University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
>> Because the earthquakes have occurred infrequently, Al-Shukri believes 
>> they are caused by workers drilling for oil and gas in Faulkner County. He 
>> expects more, minor ones to rattle the area as drilling continues.
>> “If it were a fault zone, we’d see constant activity,” Al-Shukri said. 
>> “These are occurring sporadically in areas close to drilling and 
>> injecting.”
>> He said drilling and injecting the holes with fluid create pressure 
>> underground and cause shifting of tectonic plates.
>> An area about 8 miles east of Hector in Pope County also has seen an 
>> increase in rumblings, he said. The U.S. Geological Survey reported seven 
>> quakes measuring 1.8 in magnitude or greater in the past three weeks.
>> The epicenters of the quakes were at different depths - another indication 
>> that they are not fault-based and instead are caused by the drilling, 
>> Al-Shukri said.
>> “When someone extracts oil or injects a lot of fluid into the subsurface, 
>> it causes a tip in the balance,” he said. “These quakes are the result of 
>> that imbalance.”
>> Al-Shukri doesn’t expect the earthquakes to be greater than 3.5 in 
>> magnitude.
>> Quakes measuring 4.0 in magnitude can cause minor structural damage.
>> “We don’t anticipate any problems,” he said. “They are small and most are 
>> happening in the middle of nowhere where the drilling is going on.”
>> This article was published April 10, 2010 at 5:24 a.m.
>> 
>> 
>
> Art Hobson, Physics, U Arkansas, Fayetteville.
> See my liberal-arts physics textbook and other stuff at 
> http://physics.uark.edu/hobson/.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

EPA to throw cold water on natural-gas industry pollution


EPA To Throw Cold Water on Natural Gas Industry

Ever since a documentary filmmaker's drinking watercaught fire as a result of contamination from a nearby natural gas extraction operation — in which millions of gallons of water, sand and top-secret chemicals are injected deep into deposits of shale to free the natural gas trapped within — the industry behind this innovation has had a PR problem.
And well it should: While the industry loves to cite a 2004 study conducted by the EPA that declared hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" for short, safe for drinking water supplies, the EPA now says that study was wholly inadequate to address the orgy of fracking now occurring in the United States. Fracking involves pumping water and chemicals deep into the earth — and potentially into watersheds — to force natural gas to flow into shafts to be excavated. The EPA has announced that it will conduct a new study to re-evaluate the safety of the practice. But you can imagine how that's going over in an industry that has literally exploded in the past ten years, spewing so much natural gas into U.S. supplies that it has, all by itself, chopped the price of natural gas in half.
But if you thought the debate over the health care bill was dirty, you haven't begun to conceive of the fights between water, energy and the environment that will play out in the 21st century, as supplies of conventional oil dwindle and reserves of conventional natural gas (Canada is currently our largest supplier) continue to shrink. Fracking has the potential to become the U.S.'s tar sands.
Aside from the fact that exploiting remote stores of natural gas means a whole new reserve of carbon for us to send into the atmosphere, there are other parallels with the climate policy debate: Waxman and Markey are involved, and fracking has friends on the Hill, just like countless other carbon-intensive, fossil fuel-centric industries.
The bottom line is that as oil becomes scarce, and funding for our domestic renewable energy industry continues to languish for lack of a strong and consistent signal from Washington, the U.S. is left with a lousy choice: burn more coal or burn more natural gas. Fracking gets us more of the latter, which is easier on the climate, BTU for BTU, but could destroy our dwindling supplies of fresh water in the process. The debate is already getting personal for citizens of America's most populous city: New York's water comes from natural reservoirs within protected watersheds, upstate, which is precisely where oil and gas companies propose to launch yet another bacchanal of fracking.
The gas isn't going away, and neither is our need for cheap energy. Whether that will beat out our desire to have uncontaminated wells is precisely what the upcoming EPA study is designed to address. Yet, if things play out as they have in the climate arena, the science will matter only to the defenders of the environment, while industry and its cronies act to preserve their own short-term interests.
Photo credit: Todbaker
Tlaspycbrvjulpn-30x30-croppedChristopher Mims is a Florida-based journalist whose work has appeared in Scientific American, Wired, Popular Science, Technology Review, Discover magazine and others.

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

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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.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Democracy Now video below shows hidden cost of hydraulic fracturing in search for fossil fuel

The morning of February 23, 2010, on Democracy Now (every weekday morning 7am CAT Ch. 18) Amy interviewed Josh Fox, the director of the new film, "Gasland."
He traveled about 10 states and discovered widespread pollution of groundwater by hydraulic fracturing. The or a connection to CCTF is the harm caused by the reckless search for additional fossil fuels. There are hidden costs in fracturing; the public needs to know the true costs in this and all energy sources. Also the corruption involved (another cost):

The 2005 Energy Bill exempted the natural-gas industry from the Safe Drinking Water Act especially to give free rein to fracking. Imagine the amount of money spent on campaign contributions and lobbying to produce that special corporate-interest legislature.

--
Dick Bennett
jbennet@uark.edu