Sunday, June 29, 2008

Fayetteville Animal Shelter, Reopening Celebration

The Fayetteville Animal Shelter celebrated it's grand reopening after the renovation of the building. There was plenty of goodies for the dogs and people. I snagged a hot dog and a cute little bracelet.

Some of the renovation like the plumbing and lighting came from renovations pulled from the police department, said Captain Casey Brown. The renovation in the dog pens made the place look cleaner and brighter. Still, a cage isn't a home for the dogs. This little guy really, really would like a home.

The most noticeable change was in the cat area. Instead of those wired cages, they were in plastic cubicles with plenty of pillows and blanket. Yet, cats aren't suppose to be in little boxes. This sweet heart is really lovable and has the most amazing green eyes.

The shelter has a whole bunch of kittens which kinda overflowed into the hallway. As you passed through, you just had to play with them. I caught Captain Casey Brown playing with a couple. The renovations couldn't happen without a lot of people volunteering. The Shelter had special gifts for the people who volunteered and were asking for more people to join the special group of people who care for the animals.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I'm Sorry!

It's been nearly 3 weeks since I had that accident with the dogs. My foot is still swollen such that I can't get a shoe on it. I have a boot that I'm able to do limited walking but it sure is taking a long time to heal.

More dogs at Friday Ark. and canine carnival

Fayetteville, Losing the Fireworks

Fayetteville is not the only city to cancel it's fireworks. Other cities are having to cut out their fireworks show. I understand the worry about firework displays being held in people's backyards. There is probably going to an increase in accidents. I just hope nothing serious. I'm not sure that Fayetteville will be able to put the fireworks back into the budget with the high gas and energy prices. I think that if Fayetteville got together with Springdale to share the costs there could be still be a big firework show in the area. A good suggestion for Parks and Recreation.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Yoo-hoo! Still Looking for Scapegoats!

Come out, come out, where ever you are! Congress is still looking for some one to blame for the high gas prices. Man, these guy haven't just buried their heads in the sand but they've poured in the cement. For the past 40 years Congress has cripple efforts to make sure America produced enough energy for the future. I am surprised that we've not had this crisis sooner, although we've had plenty of warnings. Heck, while we're screaming to Drill Here, Drill Now environmental activists are doing everything they can to shut down energy production.
Coal is cheap, but it has no friends. Anticoal activists brag that 59 coal-fired plants were canceled in 2007. Nearly 50 more in 29 states are being contested. Recall how the private equity buyers of Texas utility txu agreed last year to cancel eight power plants to defuse environmental opposition. It takes years to plan and at least six years to build a large power plant.

We'll just have to keep yelling at Congress. Even now, 4 Arkansas State Republican Representatives issued a statement demanding that Congress take real steps to solving the energy problem.
We're approaching a scenario where $4.00 a gallon is a cheap price for gas. And when liberals in Congress propose burdening our energy industry with increased taxes and wasteful mandates, they are ignoring the laws of supply and demand by kicking our economy when it's already down. The only way to lower the price of energy is to lower production barriers and inefficient mandates and thereby increase the number of energy suppliers....In short, these are much more palatable, serious, and productive solutions than the failed ideas currently on the table in Congress: higher taxes on energy companies, socializing energy production, and unsuccessfully begging Saudi Arabia to pump another half-million barrels of oil every day. We would be much better off increasing our own domestic production capacity, and we urge the federal government to take action on this front immediately.

I think it's time we stand up and give the members of Congress who are butt kissing the environmentalists a big kick in the rear. Sign the petition, DRILL HERE, DRILL NOW, PAY LESS!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Agility Fix

My sprained ankled is not going to let me do agility training with Casey for at least 3 or 4 weeks. I've decided that I'd get my fix by putting Eli through a couple of obstacles.

More cats in action at Friday Ark

Fayetteville, State Plan for Garland Avenue

I stopped by this evening to see the plans for Garland Avenue. I managed to talk with Lioneld Jordan for a few minutes on my views about the State's plan. I am not really happy about the continuous center line and the 10 foot multiuse path. Garland Avenue passes through mostly residential areas and a fair number of students live in this area. I see no need to put in a continuous lane. It would be better to leave that out and put in well place turning lanes. Garland should be more bike friendly and follow Fayetteville's Alternative Transportation Plan. The multiuse path on the west side, designed for both bikes and pedestrians, is not the safest way for bikes to travel. There should be dedicated bikes lanes on both sides. I think a better plan for Garland Avenue is sidewalks, dedicated bike lanes, turning lanes as needed and dump the continuous central lane.

Fayetteville, Arkansas Health Dept Evacuation

Boy, we had some excitement very close to work today. We heard all the sirens blast through just after 9 AM. With so many going off we'd figure something serious was going on. I got my first look at lunchtime. At that time they had just a few state department vehicles blocking the Health Dept's entrances.

By the time I left work, they had blocked the whole street and it appears that they had a large number of people from hazardous materials present. I came back later tonight to take care of something at work and when I left at 7 PM the road was still closed down. The good news is that no one seems to be seriously hurt.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Voting for Melanin, and Not Character

I guess the desire for a black president is so compelling, that some black Republicans are considering voting for Obama. If you are a bona fide Republican, you'd be giving up a lot of your principles to vote for a left-wing whacko like Obama. Black Republicans already get a lot of grief because they struggle against the slavery traps of the Democrat Party. They are already classed as traitors to their race because they refuse to accept the chains of socialism. Black Republicans have already suffered enough abuse so why weakly surrender to a plainly inferior presidential candidate like Obama, just because he's black? Obama will not be the last black man to run for President. There will be another that you can proudly support because you agree with his principles and admire his character.
This is the time to stand on your principles and not on your emotions. Black Republicans have come through so much it would be a shame to just throw it all away on some one like Obama. "You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?" Galatians 5:7. We are voting for the President of the United States not the President of the Black American Dream.
For most of my adult life I took an oath to a simple document, the US Constitution, to support and defend it against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and to bear true faith and allegiance to the same. My allegiance is to America, its people, and their rights as put forth in that superb document. I shall not discard my principles and commitment to my God and Country, just because. I applaud Senator Obama for his accomplishment, however, there is no way I will vote for someone that is so contrary to my beliefs in lower taxes, limited government, individual rights and freedoms, individual responsibility and accountability, not collective prosperity sharing.

I grew up in inner city Atlanta Georgia, and my elementary school, Our Lady of Lourdes, is across the street from Ebenezer Baptist Church. Dr King's seminal ideal of "content of character vs color of skin" resonates with me. Regardless of the probable ensuing vitriolic name calling, my ideology and principles are not in concert with those of Senator Obama. I wish him well, but I dont wish him to be President of THESE United States of America".

Lieutenant Colonel Allen B West (US Army, Ret)
Republican Candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives
Florida District 22

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Eli, Newspaper War

The best time of the week is Saturday morning. You can sit back and relax with a cup of coffee and fight with the cat over control of the newspaper.

More animals at Friday Ark

Fayetteville, War on the Water Bottle

I really don't think Mayor Coody has drank the city water. The taste isn't all that great and at times really nasty.
Coody said the water that comes straight from the tap is just as good and not nearly as expensive.

While I'm not one of those who waste their money buying bottled water, I do filter it. That seems to take out the nasty taste.
Consumers are choosing bottled water because they think it's safer or purer than tap water, when in reality regulations on municipal water are more stringent, Coody said.

Then there are the consumers who think the city water tastes crappy and prefer to drink something that tastes good.
Coody's announcement comes during a national movement to reduce the consumption of bottled water.

I want to know why is Coody picking on water bottles? Why isn't he trying to reduce the consumption of beer and cola bottles. They have the same environmental impact as the water bottle. Why this unfair persecution of water? Water is healthier to drink than beer and cola, so why not go after them instead?

She's Going to Blow!

I am in a really filthy mood! It's been a very long day and I'm frustrated and in pain. Yeah, I took a pain pill. It hasn't kicked in yet. I'm losing my patience trying to get things done while in crutches. Boy, you just take two whole, working legs for granted. I spent 2 hours in the Orthopedics's office this afternoon. The doctor decided to put me in one of those big, heavy, hot walking boots. Three or four weeks, Arrgh!
What am I going to wear? My slacks aren't going to fit over the boot. I've been wearing shorts. Should I just buy some more and wear those? They've been working well but I'd have to make sure I keep my legs shaved. I have some sweats that might fit over the boot for those days that I didn't get to the shaving. Hmmm, I just have to ask the fashion guru's at work.

Corn, The New Gold

The flooding in the Midwest is a really good example of why it's not a good idea to use a food crop as fuel.
Corn prices climbed further into record territory Thursday after more rain doused the Midwest, leaving flooded corn crops deeper underwater and threatening livestock owners who depend on the grain to feed their herds.

There will be bigger increases in the price of food, which is going to hurt more people. The poor around the world have already been the hurt by the ethanol hoax. The current weather disaster is just going to make things worse for them and it might start hitting those in the middle class. What are the food banks going to do? They have had a hard time buying food plus they been dealing with more people utilizing their services. Is this going to be enough to make Congress repeal their stupid ethanol mandate? Is Congress going to listen to the cries of the poor and hungry or the environmentalist lobby?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Nominating Committee and the Telecom Board

I agree with Kyle that it's a bit odd that Marvin Hilton who was just fired as the cable administrator was applying to be on the Telecom Board. The Nominating Committee's decision not to recommend him for the Board position might be a start for the City Council to take care of the problems surrounding the Telecom Board. While Hilton's knowledge about telecommunications makes him well qualified for the position, there are other things to consider as well.
Lucas said if Hilton had a better relationship with the board, possibly "things could have moved along better."
"I've certainly watched a few meetings where he got in it with them," Cook concurred.

I wonder if the Nominating Committee is going to be able to get some one for the open position. I imagine that most people aren't going to be willing to deal with the issues surrounding the Telecom Board.

Crashing into Dogs

Sunday morning I got run over by 2 dogs, and I lost. I was doing agility training with Casey when another dog decided to play with Casey. They both ran into the path I was running and splat, I was on the ground clutching the grass in agony. We had to call the first responders because I couldn't walk. They splinted my ankle and carried me to my truck. Those rural responders were really terrific! I was able to drive myself to the hospital after dropping Casey off at home. Fortunately, I didn't break any bones, but I really tore up the ligaments. I have an appointment with Ortho later this week to see how badly they're torn. So, my foot is really swollen, a nice purple color and really, really hurts. I've just been working in the mornings because the pain gets worse as the day progresses. I am rolling around the office on my chair and having everyone wait on me. I'd better milk it for all it's worth. At home, I'm mostly sitting/sleeping in the recliner with my ankle elevated. This would be a really good time to catch up on my reading except the pain medication makes me sleepy. So, I've been catching up on my sleep.

Fayetteville's Telecom Board

Greg Harton had a very insightful article on the problems occurring on the Telecom Board.
The Government Channel has made its own news lately as Mayor Dan Coody's public information and policy advisor, Susan Thomas, took on the role of enforcing Government Channel policies after she fired longtime city employee Marvin Hilton. Hilton had served as a proverbial punching bag for some members of the Telecommunication Board, and he took it. Thomas, who is no shrinking violet, required only a few weeks before she'd had enough and started pressing for clarity of authority and policy when it came to Government Channel policies and procedures and the role of the Telecom Board. It apparently got nasty enough that Thomas asked to be relieved of her role of interaction with the Telecom Board until clear lines of authority and policy were established.

While blame is being scattered among the Telecom Board, the Administration and a few aggressive public members, the final authority is the City Council. It's their responsibility to make sure that the Telecom Board members are fulfilling their responsibilities and are following the policies and procedures of the Telecom Board. The City Council has the authority to remove any member who isn't compliant. That may be seen by some of the more activist people as limiting free speech but the Council has a duty to the public to make sure that the Telecom Board is working. I agree with Greg that the Board is an ongoing disappointment and I think it's time for the Council to get some balls and deal with it.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

West Fayetteville, Neighborhood Market

Finally, the west side of Fayetteville is going to get a Neighborhood Market. Boy, I have been waiting 10 years to get one off of Wedington. I was really worried about having another big development put in on Wedington. The traffic is bad and other development would make it worse. We've got Lioneld Jordan to thank for making it happen. He worked with the developers and got them to complete Salem Road all the way to Persimmon Street during Phase I.
One of the conditions of approval is that the applicant construct Salem Road as a collector street from Wedington Drive to Persimmon Street in the first phase of the development.

This will take some of the traffic off of Wedington. I'm glad the developers worked with the city to make it happen.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Another Reason Not to Vote For Obama

Well, this is an interesting take on why one shouldn't vote for Obama.
Editor, the Tribune: I voted for Barack Obama in the Missouri presidential primary. I now regret that vote after discovering that he is addicted to cigarettes. I believe this is a defining issue of character and judgment. I believe that smoking is indefensible in terms of health and family impact, and therefore anyone who smokes has exhibited very poor judgment. My opinion is that any person who is incapable of exerting enough self-discipline to quit smoking should be void from holding the most powerful position in our country. Self-discipline and good judgment are necessary for great leadership.

Socialist, racist, America hater - OK; Smoker - Eew Gross, How Evil!

Monday, June 02, 2008

ArkGeo 2008 Annual Social

Yeah, I was out having fun this weekend. The Arkansas Geocachers Assoc held their annual meeting at Lake Catherine. It was my first time to meet these people you only know by their caching name. There was plenty of food, caching and prizes to be won. Yup, I picked up a couple of prizes!

This is the educational table. You could compare your GPS features with others. Find out what programs people were using to store or organize their caches. I found out the clue to solving the We Forgot! mystery caches in Rogers. Sneaky, very, very sneaky!
There was also showing off your geocoins. "CacheMates" definitely has a nice collection. Unfortunately, I didn't stay for the hotdog and marshmallow roast. I missed out on a very special event.
The "Wake" for "Uncle Elwin" and the scattering of some of his ashes was a new experience but now he can call Arkansas home. You had to have been there.

I'm really looking forward to the next years Ark-Geo Event somewhere in Arkansas!

More pictures here!

Scull Creek Trail Bridges, Installation

Matt Mihalevich,Trails Coordinator sent out this announcement.
This Thursday, June 5th, Kinco Contractors will install 3 of the 6 trail bridges for Scull Creek Trail. Should be an exciting day if anyone wants to stop by. I have attached a map of the bridge locations. They will begin at 7:00 a.m. and they expect to install a bridge every 2 hours.

It should be an interesting sight!

Fayetteville, The Government Channel's Role

I read City Attorney, Kit William's memo about the 2 concerns he had about the way the Government Channel was being used.
Allowing forums, roundtable discussions, talk shows etc., on the Government channel rather than on the Public Access Channel would eventually mean that the primary purpose of the Government Channel to show the citizens their government at work could be drowned out by special interest groups debating or discussing their views while taxpayer paid city employees had to plan, film, produce and cablecast the show

In a time when the city's finances are not doing well we shouldn't have citizens start ordering the city employees to spend money on their projects.
However, he went on to say that in recent years the Government Channel has "wandered"into Public Access Channel domain by producing and cablecasting public interest forums. Williams argued that trying to limit the content of forums to "governmentapproved subjects"is difficult and may not be constitutional under the First Amendment of the U. S. Constitution.

There will be some one who feels that their project belongs on Government Channel and would sue the city if it was reject. Having previously accepted public interest forums, the city is likely to lose such a lawsuit. I think Kit's concerns are reasonable and deserve to be investigated. That's why I was so shocked to read about a full blown conspiracy in which Susan Thomas,Public Information Officer, was trying to censor and/or outright kill all free of speech. How did the newspaper editor put it?
The term for it is power grab.

Ah, yes, and this conspiracy also involves the "administration" (Mayor Coody).
The bigger concern is that the administration’s latest intrusions open the door to further meddling in programming on the Government Channel. Some future administration might be inclined to tamper with the policies even more. The programming could become just what it was designed not to be: a tool to put the current administration in the most favorable light.

Yeah, the tin-foil hat conspiracy brigade is in full force. I was reading this and this and I just wondered what in the heck were they smoking. Fortunately, there is some one that has been acting like a sane, rational adult. Nancy Allen. Her comments at the May 22nd meeting were right one. Way to go Nancy! She is quite right that the City Council needs to review the policy of the Government Channel and also the responsibilities of the Telecom Board.
So, the issues brought up by Kit Williams has created more friction between the Telecom Board and the City Administration and has led Susan Thomas to say she didn't wish to appear before the Board. Richard Drake, Chair of the Telecom Board has vented his feelings about the whole situation and wondered if he should resign. Based on what I saw from the meeting, I would have said no, don't resign. However, he decided to blog about the whole situation and probably made the whole thing worse.
So, in essence, I was publicly Slimed by a member of city staff.
Which is fine, as far as it goes. I’m a big boy. But there is a larger issue at stake here, and that is one of fairness, and equal treatment before the city.
I didn’t mention the fact that the person who chose to Slime me before the city council was highly-paid for no particular reason, but to make a point. In the grand balance, is the word of a staffer to be taken over the word of a citizen-volunteer - who makes zilch - automatically by the city council, without even hearing from the individual involved?

Yes, now I think you should at least resign from the chairmanship. It is so wrong for a member of a city board, particularly the chair, to write this about a city employee. I don't even care if Richard is in the right. Richard should have taken any beef he had to the Mayor or any City Council member. His blog was the wrong place to do it. There is a rule in blogging that says you should never write about your boss. There should be another rule and that is to never blog about a city employee when you're a member of a city board.