19 hours ago

Axios Northwest Arkansas

Howdy! It's Monday.

🐗 52 years ago today, President Richard Nixon was in Fayetteville to watch the game between Arkansas and Texas.

  • As you know, Texas won, 15–14.

☀️ It'll be much cooler today, a high of about 46. But the sun will shine.

Today's newsletter is 793 words — a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: Fayetteville tests commuter scooter

Nue Villanueva tries out Veo's seated scooter on the Razorback Regional Greenway in Fayetteville on Saturday. Photo: Worth Sparkman/Axios

There may be even more electric scooter traffic soon on Fayetteville's section of the Razorback Regional Greenway.

What's happening: E-scooter service provider Veo hosted free test rides on its new Cosmo seated e-scooter for three hours Saturday and will again from 4–6pm Tuesday.

  • Anyone 16 or older can try them at the intersection of Dickson Street and the Razorback Greenway.

Why it matters: Micromobility programs like e-scooters and bike shares have the potential to reduce car trips, traffic, parking needs and carbon emissions.

  • Fayetteville has a fleet of about 500 scooters between two vendors, and each scooter averages one ride per day.

Yes, but: Standup scooters aren't totally practical for commuting and can be both scary and dangerous to riders who don't have savvy scooter skills.

Details: The seated scooter has a more stable ride and is more familiar to anyone who's ever ridden a bike.

  • A Veo spokesperson tells Axios that in other markets, the seated scooters are used for much longer rentals than the standup versions. This leads the company to believe they're being used more often for commuting than for quick trips or sightseeing.

What to watch: Veo is collecting survey information from anyone who takes a test ride.

  • The company will use the data to work with the city's Sustainability and Resilience department to determine if the seated scooters are an option for Fayetteville and the size of a potential fleet.
2. U of A catches smallmouth bass grant

Two unidentified varieties of smallmouth bass. Photo courtesty of the University of Arkansas

Anglers seeking smallmouth bass may soon be able to identify where to locate specific species.

What's happening: The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will provide University of Arkansas researchers $300,000 over four years to track varieties of smallmouth bass.

Why it matters: There are two native varieties, the Neosho and Ouachita, which are threatened by another variety introduced to the region, the Northern smallmouth bass.

  • Breeding has caused hybridization, which could result in extinctions.
  • Information collected will help AGFC decide where to focus its wildlife management efforts to conserve the native species.

Context: Fishing is one of Arkansas' top outdoor tourism attractions.

  • AGFC estimates more than 113,000 anglers travel to Arkansas every year, and each spends an average of $222 per day while in the Natural State.

Details: Researchers will track hybridization by examining specimens collected before the 1950s, from 1950 to 2005, and live specimens collected in the field.

  • After using DNA to help identify specific physical characteristics of each variety, researchers will create a digital database. It will be used much like facial recognition programs to make tracking native and hybrid varieties of smallmouth bass easier.
3. 🚰 Kitchen Sink: News on tap

JD Notae of the Arkansas Razorbacks steals the ball from Isaiah Palermo of the Little Rock Trojans Saturday. Photo: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

 🏀 The Arkansas men's basketball team defeated Little Rock in Fayetteville on Saturday, 93–78. (Associated Press)

🚵‍♀️ Springdale's city council will review a bid of $2.6 million for the construction of a cycling tunnel under East Robinson Avenue. (Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

🏢 Out-of-market investors now see NWA as a good bet, buying $66 million worth of commercial properties in October. (Talk Business & Politics)

🎸 A slew of 80s rockers — REO Speedwagon, Styx and Loverboy — will make stops in NWA during the 2022 season. (Fayetteville Flyer)

🏈 The Fayetteville Purple Dogs boys football team gave it their all but lost 42–38 in the 7A state title game against the Bryant Hornets. (KFSM-TV)

4. 1 bite thing: Hidden Mediterranean

The lamb kebab platter. Photo: Worth Sparkman/Axios

🍽 Worth here. I was looking for something different — and maybe a little healthy — and ended up at K-fash Mediterranean Cuisine in Fayetteville.

If you haven't heard of K-fash, don't be surprised. It's an out-of-the-way spot — what one might call a hole-in-the-wall — adjacent to an international grocery shop.

The setup: The dining room is small, but there was no crowd on a recent Friday afternoon.

  • I ordered a chicken kebab platter only to be told they were out of chicken. I was politely directed to lamb, which sounded good, too.
  • The dish is made up of ground lamb with spices around a skewer chargrilled over lava rocks. It's served with rice, tabouli, salad and hummus.

The verdict: This was a delightful change from ordinary fare available in Fayetteville's more commercial areas.

  • My Americanized palate craved more salt, but sometimes less is more.
  • For about $10, there's more than enough food on the platter. I can't wait to go back and try the falafel.

If you go: K-fash is located at 1220 N. Lindell Ave. Call ahead since the hours vary by day of the week.

5. Pics du jour: Art sale

Shoppers check out local art at The Holiday Art Sale. Photo: Worth Sparkman/Axios

Shoppers showed up this weekend to buy from local artists at The Holiday Art Sale and the Wampus Wonderland holiday craft show.

  • Fayetteville artist Susan Idlet tells Axios that traffic and sales were better than expected.

There's still an opportunity to buy from local artists directly and at the Community Creative Center holiday market held in the Walton Arts Center's Nadine Baum Studios, open through Dec. 18.

Fayetteville artist Susan Idlet had a booth at The Holiday Art Sale and the Wampus Wonderland sale. Photo: Worth Sparkman/Axios

⛷ Alex is taking some time off. (Worth imagines she's skiing down the Swiss Alps with the Go-Go's cranked to the max).

🦠 Worth is reading about which states have reported cases of the Omicron variant.