The Friday night line is open. Winding up:
* DON’T FORGET THE ARKANSAS TIMES FESTIVAL IDEAS: One more plug for our first Festival. There’s a gala at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the Old State House — cocktails, food and a chance to talk with most of the 50 Arkansans were honored for their influence on the state in a recent issue. It costs $25, a benefit for the Old State House.
But also: The main event is Saturday, starting at 11 a.m., at Old State House, Historic Arkansas Museum, Downtown Library and the Clinton School. Speakers will cook, show off crafts, demonstrate a car powered by algae (the work of a UA chemistry professor) and talk politics, literature and more.
Here’s the full schedule. More than 300 have signed up for the sessions, which start on the hour, but which will finish up in 45 minutes or so to give everyone time to move from session to session. Reservations are not required to attend, but those with reservations are guaranteed seats. The venues are big enough that we should be able to accommodate everyone.
That photograph at right? The branded paper dress was done for us by a friend. But it’s a reminder that designer Korto Momolu is among those on the festival program tomorrow.
* LET THERE BE DEBATES: I was at AETN in Conway today to film Arkansas Week (8 p.m. tonight). I learned that U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford of Jonesboro is the only congressional candidate in Arkansas ducking the network’s televised debates in late October. Yes, Tim Griffin, the Republican incumbent in the 2nd District, will appear against Democrat Herb Rule and Green and Libertarian candidates.
* HATE GAYS? CHICK-FIL-A IS STILL YOUR KIND OF PLACE: Mike Huckabee proudly announces that he’s cleared up that bit of confusion about Chick-fil-A. Its owners still are unshaken in their oppositon to equal rights for gay people.
* CHILD MOLESTATION ARREST: Sherwood police said they had issued an arrest warrant today charging Joel West, 40, of Sherwood with second-degree sexual assault. According to a police report, a 12-year-old Sherwood girl said West had put his hands down her pants and fondled her genitals when she was visiting a friend at West’s house last April.The investigation began July 31, when a friend of the girl’s family told her parents she’d disclosed inappropriate touching by a friend’s father. The suspect was a PE teacher at Catholic High. He is now on administrative leave.
* MOVEMENT ON ETHICS: The state Ethics Commission moved ahead formally today to attempt to close a loophole in state ethics laws that has allowed committees for ballot questions to avoid disclosure of specifics of campaign expenditures by reporting only money paid to consulting firms that in turn spend the money. Some uncharitable types — even in the media — hooted at my unhappiness at my efforts to press this issue. Nice to have a little support.