Community News

October 31, 2009

Saturday in West Fork

Sunny, clear and cool.  What a day to be alive in the Ozarks.


Tami Sheehan and Mr. Pumpkin


Centennial Ave and Dye Creek Rd.


The dam at Riverside Park.







West Fork Martial Arts School Volunteers at the Recycle Center.





New Construction at the Recycle Center.





Community News

October 29, 2009

Common Space

Teambuilding2The West Fork Zephyr is for and about the people of West Fork.  If your group needs to announce something to the community, just tell us.  If you have an opinion on something, tell us.  Write us an email or use the comment box at the end of each post.  If you or your group wants to keep a log of your activities (blog) on this website, just let us know.  We can give you your own Page in the Zephyr.The following example is from a Page called  The Buell Bulletin.  Mr. Buell is a science teacher at West Fork Middle School and also sponsors a music club.   You can click on his Page in the Pages column on the right side of the screen. 


 Science Club news:
My 7th grade members were able to meet at the Riverside Park with Dave Evans on Oct. 5th but the 8th graders were rained out on Oct. 12.  We rescheduled the 8th grade for Monday, Nov. 9.
We participated in the Haunted Hayride and Hike at Devils Den on Oct. 24 and it was a huge success.  Very tiring but fun.  I appreciate all of the students and parents that helped to make that a success and I apologize for the long hours.  We were suppose to end at 9:30 but worked until 11:00 pm.  Another community service accomplished.  Good Job Science Club!

 The Math and Science Family Night has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 1 and the theme is Astronomy.  I’m going to try and get a guest speaker from the U of A.  My Science Club is planning on constructing a small planetarium for participants to enjoy if all goes well.  If the night is clear we will also set up telescopes for participants to view the heavens.

 WFMS Music Club:
“The Inspiring Musicians” will have their first performance Saturday, Nov. 7 at the Winslow Mercantile located in beautiful downtown Winslow.  The performance will begin at 10:30 am.  The Mercantile is a coffee shop that offers a laid back atmosphere perfect for our first gig.  Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy the talent that these students want to share.  The Inspiring Musicians are planning on working up some Christmas songs if anybody is interested.  We are looking for other venues to perform at, so if anyone has suggestions please contact Larry Buell at WFMS 479-839-3342.

 Having a Page in the Zephyr is an inexpensive way for your group to stay in touch with each other and with the community.  

 This website gets about 2000 visits  each month.  Talk to’em.  

Community News

October 27, 2009

Local Teens Receive Bob Evan’s Award

 The band “Out Of The Sticks” received the Bob Evan’s Award at the regional youth talent competition at the Arkansas State Fair in Little Rock.  The award is given for the best overall act that was not selected as one of the six category winners.  The band consists of Caleb Garrett on

W.F. bob Evans winners

Out of the Sticks

lead guitar and vocals, Shelby Dutton on mandolin, Joshua Garrett on rhythm guitar and vocals, Miranda Baker on violin and vocals and Ali Baker on bass and vocals.  The Garretts and the Bakers are from West Fork and are home schooled and Shelby Dutton lives in Greenland and attends Haas Hall.  They performed the song Route 66 for the competition.  They have also performed at the Springdale Senior Center and other local venues.  All the band members are students of local teacher and musician Frances Harderson.

Community News

October 27, 2009

Garden Market Trench Award Given

trench award

David Bartel and Frances Hime

David Bartel was awarded the coveted Trench Award Friday evening at the semi-annual meeting of the West Fork Garden Market Organization.  Frances Hime, Garden Market President, presented him with a plaque decorated with a golden shovel and the words “In appreciation for your outstanding commitment during good times and rough times.”  Mr. Bartel had a 98% show rate, rain or shine.  He showed up for 32 of 36 market days, even raising his canopy on a morning when all he had to sell was two bunches of radishes. 

The meeting was held at grower Mark Findahl’s country home and was attended by board members, growers, and a few party crashers just looking for some good food.  They weren’t disappointed in the fare, thick, hearty vegetable and beef soup, a huge pan of The Soprano’s baked ziti (badda bing), clabber corn bread, apple crisp, apple cake, raspberry cookies, pumpkin walnut scones and coconut cake.

The group discussed ways to promote the market in West Fork and decided to offer t shirts and calendars next season.  The Ambassador Award was given to Mark and Avery Findahl and the Anything Can Happen Award was given to David Bullard.  Mark Findahl and Warren James received Life Memberships for their commitment to the future of the Market and its mission.

submitted by Patty Baker


October 26, 2009

Right Place at the Right Time

You only have to step outside to see that the foliage this year is more vibrant than it’s been in at least three years.  According to the Arkansas state website, foliage at Devil’s Den was reported to be 50% this weekend with peak foliage expected to be about midweek.  It’s easy to take for granted the spectacular beauty we see in our own backyards or our daily drive to work or school.  Television news anchors are encouraging “city folk” to drive out to our area to view the foliage; a drive along Highway 71 or a trip to Devil’s Den. The drive out 156 to Hogeye is also a pretty one.  Take in the sights this week as though you’re from “out of town” and share your prettiest foliage pictures with us at and we’ll post them for all to see.  Happy leaf peeping!

Sunday Editoral

October 25, 2009

Regarding comments about our Oct. 22  post about the city budget meeting:

Zephyr budget analyst

Zephyr budget analyst

Our story was about the budget committee meeting held on October 21. It was about that particular meeting and not intended to be a comprehensive review of the city budget.   But, we’ll try to clarify some budget details for our readers.  We said, “The following is the amount (rounded up) allocated to departments for the next year.”  We could have said, “The following is the proposed amount of money (rounded up) that each department needs to operate for the next year”. The word “allocate” is used in the city budget proposal handout to refer to “Sales Tax Allocation” which is the amount the committee gives a department with more expenses than income.  Here is our attempt to clarify.

All departments have income and expenses.  The income flows form a variety of sources, some comes from other governmental bodies in the form of tax turn-backs or earmarks and some is generated by the operation of the department.    Parks income, for example, is derived from the park 1% tax, concessions, summer programs and “sales tax.” The 17 item expenses column includes such items as salaries, bond payment, utilities and umpires, etc.  The total income is $164,122.50; the total expenses are $164,016.00. The parks Department has a balanced budget. 

All departments operate similarly.  As the annual budget process progresses it may become evident that a department’s income (from a variety of sources) is less than their expenses, in which case two things need to happen in order to produce a balanced budget. One is to reduce expenses; the other is to increase income.   Most of a department’s income and expenses are already determined and allow for little adjustment.  However the City is authorized to distribute sales tax turn back funds at its discretion.  This is referred on the “Proposed Budget” as “Sales Tax Allocation.” 

On the information we received the “Sales Tax Allocation” amount is not totaled but appears separately for each department.  The amount of “Sales Tax Allocation” by department is Police:$85,000, Library: $14,000, Fire:$25,000,Court: $39,000, Parks: $13,000, Streets: $200,000(Street Department and Water Departments have accounting practices that are beyond our level of understanding).

The amounts we listed are drawn from the information provided by the city at that meeting. There are certainly details of the city budget that are beyond the scope of our report of the committee meeting but the information we provided was correct.

The committee cut $185,000 in operating expenses from earlier drafts, divvied up their discretionary funds (“Sales Tax Allocation) to make the million dollar budget show a net income of $18,338.00. The budget is balanced.  The committee should be congratulated for their oversight and service to the city.

They will present the unanimously approved budget to the City Council at the Nov. 10th meeting.  Perhaps at that time they can clarify their decision to allocate $10,000 of that $18,338 of city income to purchase certificates of deposit for two city employees.

The “Budget Balanced: Big cuts in operation expenses” article did, in fact, contain a factual error.  Dunce_CapWe reported that, “Mayor Throgmorton said employees will receive a letter in a few months reminding them that next year the city will no longer be including families in employees’ [insurance] policy.”  Removing employees’ families from the coverage has been discussed in public meetings but the mayor informed us that the decision is not yet official.  We will change that sentence to say “employees will receive a letter in a few months reminding them that there will be a change in their insurance coverage.”   Sorry for the error.

Regarding our Oct. 23 post about Finn the Border Collie, we are sticking with the accuracy of that story no matter what.


small town news

October 23, 2009

Reporters Notebook:

The call came in to the news flash hotline from Joan the Librarian on a drizzly weekday afternoon. She is one of scores of attentive citizens who alert the local press to breaking news.  Snatching up the camera and notebook this reporter went dashing downtown to investigate the “dog at library” tip.                         finn chin

There he was.  Finn the Border Collie behind the counter, chin on the floor, looking alternately content and confused.  Finn, who lives down the street had jumped the fence and two catssauntered over to the library.  This wasn’t his first over-the -fence offense, according to people familiar with his history, who asked for anonymity when discussing a sensitive matter. Several witnesses mentioned two orange cats, but it wasn’t immediately clear what their involvement was. 

vicky and finnFinn was invited in and given a cracker while efforts were made to contact his owner who works in a nearby town.  Meanwhile, Finn relaxed. At one point he indicated to the staff his need to be outside.  A leash was improvised using a computer mouse cord and he was lead to a nearby stump.  At closing time his owner was still unaccounted for, so he was left tethered to the gate at his house. 

The following day a note thanking the staff for their rescue effort arrived at the library.  Everything went well.  No one was injured, insulted or arrested.   The event began rather uneventfully and tapered off from there.

Read the West Fork Zephyr; where no news is still news.