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February 3, 2005

Vol 3 • No 3

Getting better while getting blacker

Once, in a seminar on race, a black man told about the time a columnist wrote that the Little Rock School District’s black student population had shot past 60 percent and was “getting worse.” The black man asked what was bad about black kids going to Li

Breaking the concert color line

Jim Porter and I have been friends for a long time mostly because we like jazz and can’t stand rock, rap, hip-hop, gangsta, etc., which is what you hear these days on the radio.

Steve Davison takes flight

Instrumental guitarist Steve Davison joked with the crowd in Conway on Saturday night before his turn in the Arkansas Acoustic Showdown that he’d worn a hat to hide his bald head and maybe change his luck.

Party politics -- ho v. hum

The state’s Democrats will vote Saturday on whether to replace their chairman of four years, Ron Oliver, with his young challenger, Jason Willett. Some people have encouraged me to comment on the matter, which has generated heat among dozens. So, here g

I can't believe I innate the whole thing

I got irritated reading your advice to “More To Love,” the wife who went from size 3 to size 14. Your contention: She needed to lose weight because her husband couldn’t change what he was attracted to. My view?

Orval Feb. 3

‘Postcards’ returned to sender

As Popeye once said, just before he downed his spinach and started layin’ suckas out: That’s all I can stands, and I can’t stands no more.

'A Soldier's Play' and 'Angels in America'

There is plenty to enjoy and much to think about with the Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s new production, the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning “A Soldier’s Play.”

‘Philosopher of Soul’

Johnnie Taylor reportedly was born May 3, 1934, in Crawfordsville (Crittenden County), although he always claimed to be four years younger. He was raised in West Memphis by his grandmother. Like Lee County native Al Green and Sam Cooke, who was called Tay

More picks Feb. 3-9

Michael Chabon, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, will be in Conway.

The Insider Feb. 3

There’s a potential Little Rock School District angle in the dispute over where to put a new sewage treatment plant for western Little Rock.

Editorial cartoon Feb. 3

Capsule reviews

Kitchen Express and T.G.I. Friday's

Little Italy, big wait

We’ve decided, after eating at Bruno’s Little Italy, that every neighborhood needs an Italian restaurant. Not your Northern Italian fancy-pants place, but a family place with red sauce and spaghetti and hot bread and checkered tablecloths and music from t

Editorials Feb. 3

No amount of increased financial aid for the schools, no upgrading of facilities, could offset the harm that would be done by letting the legislature dictate curriculum. It was not too many years ago that legislators wanted to put “creation science” in th

Smart talk Feb. 3

A project designed by University of Arkansas architects and scientists to fix a flood-prone park in Warren has won a national award from the American Institute of Architects.

The week that was Jan. 26-Feb. 1, 2005

IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR … SEWAGE. They care, they really care, where a new sewage treatment plant goes in western Little Rock. Angry neighbors care so much, in fact, that the Sewer Committee put off a decision until Apri

The Observer Feb. 3

The Observer reported Jan. 20 having seen a “rakish jet-black Cadillac” which bore a license plate reading BDABING, and wondered — was there a Soprano at the wheel? Now, from the horse head’s mouth, we get this message:

The power of one

A discerning historian of modern Arkansas has for some years reckoned that the day had passed when a single powerful economic interest could have its way in the legislature when its goal clashed with a significant public interest.

Taking on the little guys

There is one issue being overlooked in all of the comment surrounding the anti-immigration legislation recently introduced in the Arkansas legislature. The most controversial bill, Senate Bill 206, is sponsored by Sen. Jim Holt and is intended to pre

The best jobs

I’ve just been looking over a stupid list of what are said to be the 25 best jobs in America. Techies and numbers shufflers. Moviemakers and their cattle, which is what Alfred Hitchcock called actors. They have the Best Jobs now. People who sweat a

This Modern World Feb. 3

Words Feb. 3

In the Arkansas Times, of all places, a pundit wrote about “the final part of the Supreme Court’s order that lays unaddressed.” Charles Clapp called to express disappointment in both the columnist (“He’s usually pretty relia

Letters Feb. 3

Your Smart Talk Jan. 20 really takes the cake. Just how far off the deep end have you folks on the left gone? But hey, it really isn’t you guys’ fault. You are just up against superior forces who are able to fool the nation, steal Ohio, (by convincin

TV highlights

MONEY FOR COLLEGE AETN (Comcast Ch. 3, Broadcast Ch. 2) 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 3 With tuition rising every year, it’s getting to the point that you have to actually own the restaurant in order to work your way through college there.

Dikki Du plays Cajun's carnival

Feb. 8 is Fat Tuesday, but there’s no need to head south to find a party. Dikki Du and the Zydeco Crew, playing at Cajun’s Wharf, are a sure-fire way to celebrate in a New Orleans sort of way.

What's cooking

Rock Town becomes Erba. Caracalla gets drinks.

‘Baby’ is a knockout

While I can pretty much take or leave sports of all stripes, from pole-vaulting to pro football, some people find it funny that I’m such a nut about movies that fit into the “sports film” genre. I suppose that’s because sports films usually have about as

Make ’em pay

A little media criticism: TV coverage of the state’s effort to make the Wild River Country water park in North Little Rock pay its taxes often seemed to focus more on whether people would have a place to splash next summer. This story was about money

Blues wins in Showcase's first week

Charlotte Taylor and her band Gypsy Rain were the first-week winners in the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase, held at Juanita’s Cantina Ballroom Jan. 27.

In the middle

Lamar Davis has spent most of his life in Central Arkansas, and he knows that, when it comes to the black community there, the line between isolation and immersion is very fine.

The white place

ROGERS — Dana Ammons was better prepared to live in Rogers than many other black people. He grew up in Omaha and his familiarity with heartland culture didn’t hurt in a part of Arkansas that many believe is more Midwestern than Southern.

Look who’s moving in

For Black History Month, we visit three families in very different parts of Arkansas for their view of the black experience in Arkansas. Sharon and Dion Wilson are successful by any standard, but in the Arkansas Delta city where they live, the

Wood works at the Cox Center

There is something intoxicating about well-worked wood. Not the two-by-fours they sell to the weekend warriors out at Homely Depot, but the wood people cherish. Warm cherry; dark, eddying walnut; riotous bird’s-eye maple. Looking at wood like that, worked

Meet the Springers

If kudzu could talk, a conversation with it would be something like asking Dr. Worthie Springer about his family history. Seventy-three years old, one of Little Rock’s leading black physicians — one who still works can to can’t most weekdays — Springer’s

New Democratic chair

Jason Willett has ousted Ron Oliver as chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party.

Getting better while getting blacker

Once, in a seminar on race, a black man told about the time a columnist wrote that the Little Rock School District’s black student population had shot past 60 percent and was “getting worse.” The black man asked what was bad about black kids going to Li