ROGERS — The city is at the beginning of a long-term cultural planning process that will help shape its presence in Northwest Arkansas. Women live longer than men because women go to the doctor. Sure there is more to it than that, but it’s also true that if a woman sees a mole or something, she’s calling the
ROGERS — The city is at the beginning of a long-term cultural planning process that will help shape its presence in Northwest Arkansas.
The planning will assist the city as it transitions from a small town to a big city, said John McCurdy, city director of community development.
“If we do it right, it could be really great,” McCurdy said.
Rogers has grown by about 22% from 2010 to 2019, with its estimated population increasing from 56,109 to 68,669, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The cultural planning process will result in the creation of a master arts and culture plan that identifies key challenges and recommendations for how to address them, said Anna Watson, city arts and culture coordinator.
“It really builds upon a strong foundation and a strong culture that already exists in Rogers,” Watson said. “It’s about celebrating what’s possible, where we’re going and building on places that need more support in the community.”
Creative spaces such as museums, music venues, restaurants and shops in the city grew 193% from 2014-2018, according to a 14-month study by Minneapolis-based nonprofit arts developer Artspace that concluded in January 2019. The growth was the most among the studied cities of Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers and Springdale.
“We want to really understand the challenges and the local culture that exists and how we can complement it,” Watson said. “It’s very heavily focused on research, community input and Public Art Commission input.”
The ultimate goal is to attract and retain talented people to allow the city to continue to thrive and grow with a diversified economy, while allowing Rogers to maintain its character within the region, McCurdy said.
“A lot of things happen as a result of a more vibrant arts and culture program within a city,” he said. “Each of the cities in Northwest Arkansas has its own identity, and we don’t want to lose that.”
The city took a significant step in the cultural planning process by hiring Watson as its first arts and culture coordinator in April. She said she immediately began researching and examining cultural planning case studies in cities such as Austin, Texas, and Washington.
“That was used to inform how we would approach the guiding framework with the Public Art Commission,” Watson said. “That data collection is ongoing.”
The commission will look at the models and resources for other cities to help Rogers’ efforts, said Kelli Roberts, Public Art Commission chair.
The commission is in the early stages of the process, Roberts said, but has experienced a lot of emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion.
“We’re all really invested in getting this right and laying a cultural foundation that really has actionable items and vision,” Roberts said. “We want the most vibrant, thriving cultural environment and scene in Rogers, and we take that seriously.”
The city will collect data from the community through surveys, town halls and geographic information system mapping in early 2021, she said.
Information will be incorporated into a cultural plan that Watson said she anticipates bringing to the City Council for approval in May.
The city isn’t waiting for a completed plan prior to taking steps forward, however, and approved its first arts and culture budget of $430,000 on Dec. 8, Watson said. The budget funds include $100,000 for initial work on the city’s Alleyway Revitalization Project, $150,000 for music contracts for downtown concerts and $80,000 to enter into a consulting relationship with Creative Arkansas Community Hub and Exchange, or CACHE.
The additional $100,000 of the budget will be used to support events such as Frisco Fest, Christmas parades, farmers markets and other legacy events for the city, she said.
CACHE is a regional arts service organization formed in 2019 by the Northwest Arkansas Council to act as the central regional agency committed to connecting, supporting and developing the region’s arts and culture community.
Rogers approving an arts and culture budget is particularly noteworthy, said Allyson Esposito, CACHE executive director.
The Alleyway Revitalization Project will take place between First and Second streets from Cherry to Maple streets, McCurdy said.
The design for the project is anticipated to be done by New York-based WXY Architecture and Urban Design by September, he said.
Work on the alleyway has to be done to maintain water and sewer infrastructure in the downtown area, McCurdy said, which also serves as a cultural development opportunity for the city.
“We have an opportunity to resurface the alleyway in a better way and to relocate some of the trash and everything else,” he said. “The idea there being to relocate dumpsters and resurface the alleyway, add lighting and amenities with artwork so that the alleyways become a comfortable place for pedestrians.”
The overall cost of the project is unknown at this time, McCurdy said, but the city has received a Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence Program grant for the project from the Walton Family Foundation.
The $336,250 grant was approved by the City Council in July, said Kathryn Heller, Walton Family Foundation home region communications officer.
“The downtown Rogers alleyway project will create a unique destination that enlivens the neighborhood and connects a thriving historic district,” said Meredith Bergstrom, program officer with the Walton Family Foundation. “It will also provide opportunities to work with the creative community and celebrate local culture in a way that engages the entire region.”
The $150,000 slated for music programming was the biggest desire expressed by the community through the Artspace study, McCurdy said.
“That’s the first time that they have ever seen live music be the No. 1 unmet demand in one of their market analyses,” he said. “Whatever we do, we’re confident live music will be a big part of it.”
The city’s relationship with CACHE could be particularly influential on the city’s arts and cultural planning, McCurdy said.
“We provide the leadership and process expertise of cultural planning,” said Kelsey Howard, CACHE program director.
Howard said CACHE is in a position to foster a cohesive vision in the region and has access to regional and national resources and expertise that cities may not.
“We are uniquely positioned to be that unifier and that encourager for cities to recognize the importance of cultural planning, to build that vision that’s unique to each city, but also to reinforce that this is what’s happening regionwide and there is unique strength in that,” she said.
The $80,000 budgeted to allow CACHE to act as a consultant for the city’s arts and cultural development is a move Fayetteville is also examining, said Susan Norton, Fayetteville chief of staff.
“It is my intention that the city of Fayetteville will become partners with CACHE as regional consultants,” Norton said.
Terms for that partnership will be forthcoming when the city hires a cultural planning director, she said.
“I see this unique position as a complement to many of our long-range planning goals that support a growth strategy for creating an inclusive and culturally vibrant community,” Norton said. “Fayetteville’s director of cultural planning will provide leadership and collaboration to identify and celebrate our many cultural assets, particularly those that have the potential to provide a sense of belonging for current residents and newcomers to our community and region.”
The City Council has not yet approved funds to hire the director, but Norton said she anticipates being able to bring the proposed position before the council for approval in the second quarter of 2021.
Inquiries about hiring a cultural planner for Springdale went unanswered by the city, and Shelli Kerr, Bentonville Comprehensive planning manager, said Bentonville has no plan to hire a cultural planner at this time.
Howard said CACHE is focusing on two cities at a time through its cultural planning efforts.
“We fully anticipate after Rogers, we’ll really focus on Fayetteville,” she said. “After Fayetteville, we’ll see.”
The organization continues to look at the region as a whole and anticipates long-term impacts for Northwest Arkansas from Rogers’ cultural planning efforts, Howard said.
“The arts and culture of a city is what makes people have place attachment. It’s what makes people contribute to their communities and stay. It’s what makes the quality of life increase. It’s what helps to uplift and to bring greater focus to underrepresented voices from historically repressed communities,” she said. “This is what brings our communities together.”
Get the details
Information on Rogers’ current development plans, standards and ordinances is available online at https://www.rogersar.gov/1165/Plans-Manuals-Ordinances.
Mary Jordan can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @NWAMaryJ.
Author: Mary Jordan
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Blood Work for Men
Women live longer than men because women go to the doctor. Sure there is more to it than that, but it’s also true that if a woman sees a mole or something, she’s calling the dermatologist. Men accept “aches and pains” as sign they are growing old and never see a doctor until it’s too late.
Part of taking care of yourself is getting regular blood work done (at least once a year) and knowing how to read your own blood work. The most important tests for men health are testosterone levels, cholesterol levels, fasting glucose levels, and Vitamin D.
Yes, you have to learn how to read your own labs because most doctors won’t order the full male anti-aging lab work you need (insurance companies often won’t cover a full panel), and if when doctors do order full labs, they only look to see if you’re with “range.”
Take testosterone levels for example. My own recent blood works shows I am within range, and even have a healthy overall testosterone level. But I’m at the bottom 20% percentile for free testosterone. (Isn’t it funny that people often accuse me of having ‘roid rage. I’m actually low T!)
Let’s go into my own blood work.
Here is what the lab work looks like. Does it sound confusing? Fret not.
This testosterone lab result shows my testosterone levels are 538.8 ng/dL.
500 ng/DL is considered a healthy level by most general physicians who tell you to eat according to the Food Pyramid. It’s also the magic number to get TRT.
Even though my testosterone is within the average range, but the biological marker that matters is free testosterone.
The range for free testosterone is 6.8-21.5 pg/mL. A level of 9.5 pg/mL is in the low range of testosterone.
Of course if you go to the doctor and get labs ordered, it’s unlikely he or she will even order a test for free testosterone.
And unless you ask for your results, the doctor is only going to look to see if you’re within range.
You can have low testosterone or have other issues even if you’re within range.
The scientific consensus on cholesterol levels and heart attack risk is a mess. First they said high cholesterol would lead to a heart attack. Then they said your HDL (high density lipoprotein) levels should be used to offset your overall levels. Now…. They don’t know.
Here is the latest on cholesterol and heart attack risk according to the Mayo Clinic:
For predicting your risk of heart disease, many doctors now believe that determining your non-HDL cholesterol level may be more useful than calculating your cholesterol ratio.
And either option appears to be a better risk predictor than your total cholesterol level or even your low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol level. Non-HDL cholesterol, as its name implies, simply subtracts your high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good”) cholesterol number from your total cholesterol number. So it contains all the “bad” types of cholesterol.
An optimal level of non-HDL cholesterol is less than 130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 3.37 millimoles per liter (mmol/L). Higher numbers mean a higher risk of heart disease.
To calculate your cholesterol ratio, divide your total cholesterol number by your HDL cholesterol number. So if your total cholesterol is 200 mg/dL (5.2 mmol/L) and your HDL is 50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L), your ratio would be 4-to-1. Higher ratios mean a higher risk of heart disease.
My HDL level is 65 and my total cholesterol level is 199.
According to available consensus, I have a less than half the risk of a heart attack:
The Framingham Heart Study states that the following cholesterol ratios roughly signal different degrees of heart disease risk:
5.0 = average risk
3.4 = half the average risk
9.6 = twice the average risk
Because I have had my labs measured for years, I see that my LDL levels increased.
2013 cholesterol levels:
Because I’ve tracked my blood work since 2013, I see that my LDL went up, spiking my total cholesterol level. Basically because I’ve eaten like a fat ass all year while still exercising.
HDL levels go up when you exercise aggressively.
Fasting glucose levels (measured in two ways) are more important that cholesterol levels. Your fasting glucose levels on a blood test will show you your risk for diabetes.
89 is good, especially as my levels in 2013 were 84.
According to the Mayo Clinic:
I also had my Hemoglobin A1c labs done:
That’s a freaking good number according to Mayo:
I’ve still cut the carbs down largely because my diet is a disaster as anyone who follows my Instagram knows.
Vitamin D levels should be in the 50 ng/mL range.
My result was 40.1 ng/mL range.
No big deal, I’ll start taking 5,000 iu’s of Vitamin D a day for a month or two and also make sure to get some more sunshine.
Each person is different and your blood will tell the tale.
A full lab shows more than just tesosterone levels, and looks like this:
CBC With Differential/Platelet WBC 5.6 NORMAL 3.4-10.8 x10E3/uL 01 RBC 4.60 NORMAL 4.14-5.80 x10E6/uL 01
Hemoglobin 14.1 NORMAL 13.0-17.7 g/dL 01
Hematocrit 42.4 NORMAL 37.5-51.0 % 01
MCV 92 NORMAL 79-97 fL 01 MCH 30.7 NORMAL 26.6-33.0 pg 01
MCHC 33.3 NORMAL 31.5-35.7 g/dL 01 RDW 13.2 NORMAL 12.3-15.4 % 01
Platelets 286 NORMAL 150-450 x10E3/uL 01 Neutrophils 38 NORMAL Not Estab. % 01
Lymphs 44 NORMAL Not Estab. % 01
Monocytes 14 NORMAL Not Estab. % 01 Eos 3 NORMAL Not Estab. % 01 Basos 0 NORMAL Not Estab. % 01
Neutrophils (Absolute) 2.1 NORMAL 1.4-7.0 x10E3/uL 01
Lymphs (Absolute) 2.5 NORMAL 0.7-3.1 x10E3/uL 01
Monocytes(Absolute) 0.8 NORMAL 0.1-0.9 x10E3/uL 01 Eos (Absolute) 0.2 NORMAL 0.0-0.4 x10E3/uL 01
Baso (Absolute) 0.0 NORMAL 0.0-0.2 x10E3/uL 01
Immature Granulocytes 1 NORMAL Not Estab. % 01
Immature Grans (Abs) 0.0 NORMAL 0.0-0.1 x10E3/uL 01
I get the Male Anti-Aging Panel from Private MD Labs here.
Past experiences with doctors have shown that they won’t order the full labs, and when they do, they often won’t send you the full records.
I also like that I can log into a dashboard and get all of my blood work for over half a decade.
This is what the dashboard looks like. I have all of my data in one place, and they don’t charge you an annual fee to keep it stored here, unlike many of the new “health apps.”
The Male Anti-Aging Panel is comprehensive and covers every test I mentioned above and a lot more.
I get the Male Anti-Aging Panel done once every 12-18 months, because it’s expensive (your health is worth it), and I get a smaller test done more frequently as needed.
HEALTHY12 usually works as a 12% off coupon code. I used it on my last test and it worked.
Go see a doctor who specializes in male hormone optimization. Don’t waste your time with a General Practitioner unless you have a good relationship with him and her and they won’t give you any static.
TRT is around $80 a month.
Now there’s a lot of disinformation about TRT, and my answer is that I don’t care if you go see a doctor about TRT.
The Complete Guide to Fasting for Fat Loss, Increased Focus, and Spirituality
I don’t have all day to hand hold cry babies who believe the lies.
Get your labs done, take care of your health, and talk to a doctor.
And listen to this podcast:
The Complete Guide to Fasting for Fat Loss, Increased Focus, and Spirituality
However also know that most of what you read online about how to “naturally raise testosterone levels” is bullshit as are those over-the-counter “testosterone boosters.”
If you enjoyed this article about men’s health, read Gorilla Mindset, which covers mindset and physical health.
Get Gorilla Mindset here.
Vasodilators are medications that open (dilate) blood vessels. They affect the muscles in the walls of your arteries and veins, preventing the muscles from tightening and the walls from narrowing. As a result, blood flows more easily through your vessels. Your heart doesn’t have to pump as hard, reducing your blood pressure.
As the great Dr. Brett Osborn is fond of saying, “You’re only as old as your blood vessels.”
Vasodilators open up your blood vessels, leading to improved circulation. (But you have to see a doctor because you may have bleeding issues and a vasodilator could be harmful!)
Vasodilators also improve blood flow to other parts of the body if you know what I mean.
Vasky Is from MTS Nutrition and you can get it here.
Sardines are loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids, which are good for your heart.
Other people take fish oil, although some evidence suggests the body doesn’t absorb the Omega 3’s from fish oil as well as it does from whole fish. (Some idiot is going to scare monger about mercury and just go away because that’s disinformation and we don’t have time for that here.)
Heart conditions. CoQ10 has been shown to improve symptoms of congestive heart failure. Although findings are mixed, CoQ10 might help reduce blood pressure. Some research also suggests that when combined with other nutrients, CoQ10 might aid recovery in people who’ve had bypass and heart valve surgeries. Parkinson’s disease. Early research suggests that high doses of CoQ10 might be beneficial for people in the early stages of this progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement.
DHEA is less important than testosterone, but it’s still an important male hormone. Some evidence suggests that DHEA is good for bone health.
Magnesium is the most important supplement men (and women) can take.
Read the full fact sheet here:
Magnesium, an abundant mineral in the body, is naturally present in many foods, added to other food products, available as a dietary supplement, and present in some medicines (such as antacids and laxatives). Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. Magnesium is required for energy production, oxidative phosphorylation, and glycolysis. It contributes to the structural development of bone and is required for the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and the antioxidant glutathione. Magnesium also plays a role in the active transport of calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes, a process that is important to nerve impulse conduction, muscle contraction, and normal heart rhythm.
Vitamin D is also a must-have supplement. Read the full fact sheet here:
Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the gut and maintains adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentrations to enable normal mineralization of bone and to prevent hypocalcemic tetany. It is also needed for bone growth and bone remodeling by osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Without sufficient vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle, or misshapen. Vitamin D sufficiency prevents rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Together with calcium, vitamin D also helps protect older adults from osteoporosis.
Gorilla Mind Smooth is a stimulant-free focusing agent.
I take it most days, and sometimes stack it with Rush (as when I need to get a lot of writing done). Get it here.
I only recommend two, because they are the best.
Get Serious by Dr. Brett Obsorn is the best general book on health and fitness for men.
The Testosterone Optimization Therapy Bible by Jay Campbell is the best book on testosterone and other specialized subjects.
Gorilla Mindset by Mike Cernovich is the best overall book on mindset + good living.
This article is probably a lot of reading, and yet it’s only part of the knowledge you need to live a full and complete life.
If you have any questions, post them below!
P.S. If you made it this far, you deserve a reward. Use GM10 at checkout to save 10% on your full order at Gorilla Mind here.
Author: Written by Mike Cernovich