It took protests and the court to make the Capitol follow law.
Vol 39 • No 24
State Rep. John Walker of Little Rock made a couple of appearances at the Capitol this week, at both a Black Caucus meeting and a Judiciary Committee meeting, after losing a couple of weeks to hospital treatment.
The Conway School Board tonight adopted a policy crafted by a conservative religious organization meant to continue to facilitate regular lunchtime visits to schools by youth ministers.
The Walton billions are now being used by the Walton Family Foundation to gauge the mood in Northwest Arkansas.
It occurred to me in the middle of the night what the game may be on Sen. Jason Rapert's unconstitutional bill to ban abortions from 12 weeks of a pregnancy on.
The Arkansas Business Publishing Group has announced that Mitch Bettis, a regional publisher for Gatehouse Media in Arkansas and Louisiana, will be the general manager of the publishing group and publisher of Arkansas Business.
Like wine, coffee, or tea, olive oil varies in flavor. You can now find your perfect fit.
USA Today reports: Former Arkansas football coach John L. Smith has been accused of using his employment contracts with the Razorbacks to defraud several of his creditors, according to two complaints filed this week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
Oxford American Editor Roger Hodge was on The Colbert Report last night.
Climate change hasn't come up at the Guns and Fetuses Session of the Arkansas legislature.
How best to improve schools? The Billionaire Boys Club way, by tearing down real public schools and creating dozens or even hundreds of individual school districts in the form of charter schools, virtual schools and private schools powered by public vouchers?
Well, sure. Without football, the University of Arkansas couldn't raise any money.
The Guns and Fetuses session of the Arkansas legislature continues today. Word is that Rep. Andy Mayberry will amend his abortion ban beginning with the 20th week of pregnancy to allow for abortions in cases of rape and incest.
Regnat Populus, the organization pushing a ballot initiative for stronger ethics laws in Arkansas, says a "comprehensive" ethics reform bill is expected to be filed today.
Winston Family Orchestra plays at White Water Tavern Thursday.
The Dirty Heads play at Juanita's Thursday night.
The midweek line commences. Finishing up: * MARCO RUBIO AND THE BIG GULP: Forget the water, Rubio's message was the same old claptrap, writes Talking Points Memo.
Leslie Newell Peacock is covering the meeting of the Little Rock Technology Park Authority. Kelly Dudzik of Fox 16 supplied the photo above via Twitter of a good crowd gathered as the board discusses finalists for a site, all of them unsuitable in the eyes of a hired-gun consultant operating under the sway of tech park godfather Dickson Flake.
Republican Sen. Bryan King told Roby Brock he'll seek approval Thursday of his bill to suppress the vote of elderly, minority and other Democratic friendly constituencies in Arkansas.
Little Rock Technology Park Authority's board chair Mary Good opened today's meeting with a statement she'd told the Times on Monday: "There is still a misunderstanding," she said, "of the vision of the park."
Also, "Project 1927: The Lynching of John Carter" at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.
The Republican Party, newly in charge of the Arkansas legislature, isn't wearing the crown easily.
Community leaders in Northwest Arkansas are quite conscious that, despite its growing economic power and population, the region has yet to elect one of its own as governor in the contemporary era.
I am writing this with a heavy vagina, in response to the "War on Women" (Feb. 6) article.
The cover story of this issue of the Arkansas Times reminds us of another day when zealots tried to hold themselves above the law. Then it was the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that they didn't want to comply with, and the practice of racial discrimination that they sought to defend.
At some point during or after the telecast of Arkansas's listless, unspeakably awful performance Saturday at Vanderbilt, one of the commentators who had to make smirking reference to the production as the "SEC Game of the Week" unleashed this tidbit: The Razorbacks have won 12 SEC road games in the last 10 years.
Jon Nichols posted this photo of a robin landing on sumac to our Eye On Arkansas Flickr group. Last week's Where in Arkansas winner was Jacob Brock, who correctly guessed our photo was taken at the grotto at Petit Jean State Park on the Seven Hollows Trail.
If you're going to devote an entire month to appreciating the history of a color, it might as well be the color black.
Sitting on my front porch a while back, I was watching two bald eagles perched on a cypress limb overlooking the bayou while hummingbirds swooped and buzzed around my ears — an everyday event around here in summer. Struck by simultaneous sightings of the largest and smallest birds in North America, I wondered if I was in danger of becoming a Bird Nut.
'Identity Thief' steals McCarthy's comedic talent.
Ten months ago my wife and I learned that she was pregnant, and we couldn't have been more excited. We made a baby budget, bought parenting books and paid careful attention to everything she ate.
Demonize is the hot verb in political discourse these days.
It was also a good week for delaying and a tort reform battle. It was a bad week for secrecy and bookbag snatchers.
Little Rock quintet wins on showmanship, hard rockin' riffs.
An old friend who worked harder and smarter than I did in my fecund years and has much more to show for it treated me to lunch and upbraided me in what I thought was an unusually gentlemanly way for having thrown my lot with the utopian socialist Barack Obama.
It's a trek, but well worth it.
Also, Winston Family Orchestra at White Water, the 18th Annual Custom Knife Show at Robinson Center Exhibition Hall, Suzanne Vega at Juanita's, Lacuna Coil and Sevendust at Revolution, Mushroomhead at Juanita's and Old 97's at Revolution
Study panel wants landlords to fix properties, end retaliatory eviction.
And then there was Irvin, the senator from Mountain View whose air of entitlement has begun to rankle even some of her Republican colleagues.
Morning notes from the mail and more: * THE GUNS AND FETUSES LEGISLATURE: The City Wire notes how Republican campaign season rhetoric that focused on the economy, jobs, taxes and such has been supplanted in the first month of the legislature with a laser-like focus on the womb and guns.
Jimbo Mathus & The Tri-State Coalition play at White Water Tavern Friday.
A new report out from Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. It's a familiar story for anyone who's followed desegregation lawsuits in Pulaski County, the reports by advocates for ending corporal punishment in schools and just about any statistical measure you can find (not every district is the same, a key finding in this report): Black students in Arkansas schools are more likely to be suspended and receive corporal punishment than their white counterparts, according to a new report from Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF).
Now comes extremist Republican (but I repeat myself) Rep. Randy Alexander with constitutionally flawed legislation to protect legislators like Rep. Justin Harris who want to promote religion in their state-funded daycare programs.
Chocolate salame you say? What is this seemingly unnatural creation? It's actually one of the best things you can stuff in your mouth this Valentine's Day.
The House Public Health Committee (John Burris, prop.) today rejected Rep. Jim Nickels' modest bill to add a week, from 25 to 26, to unemployment benefit payments.If he'd testified that there were a number of Republican doctors on unemployment, he might have done better.
Miles Rattz plays Round 4 of the Showcase, Thursday at Stickyz.
Peckerwolf plays Round 4 of the Showcase, Thursday at Stickyz.
Terminus plays Round 4 of the Showcase, Thursday at Stickyz.
Tom and Hebron play Round 4 of the Showcase, Thursday at Stickyz.
This Holy House plays Round 4 of the Showcase, Thursday at Stickyz.
This train has left the station en route to passage, but gubernatorial candidate Bill Halter, who led creation of the Arkansas Lottery, says legislation to alter scholarship amounts will inevitably reduce the number going to college, the opposite of the lottery's aim.
Round 4 of the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase is Thursday night at Stickyz.
The Big John Miller Band plays at The Afterthought Friday.
Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Courtney Hudson Goodson's recent disclosure that she received a gift of a $50,000 trip to Italy last year from Fayetteville lawyer W.H. Taylor continues to stir talk that prompted me to pose a series of questions to various parties.
It's the latest from our web video series collaboration with Camp Friday Films on food and music.
The state Ethics Commission has found probable cause that freshman Republican Rep. John Hutchison of Harrisburg violated campaign finance laws in some of the money he drew from campaign funds to pay for personal expenses during the campaign.
Almost two months after the winter storm that left piles of tree debris mounded on city streets, the city has signed a contract to begin the cleanup.
The line is open. Closing out: * EQUAL RIGHTS?
A possible conservation easement deal with the chairman of the Pulaski County Planning Board has angered a group of Lake Maumelle Watershed landowners, who lodged complaints about a perceived conflict of interest this afternoon at the Central Arkansas Water board meeting.
Odds and ends: * CHILDREN'S LIBRARY TO OPEN: I've marveled at the beautiful building as it rose along Jonesboro Drive on the south side of Interstate 630 across the freeway from the Little Rock Zoo and now comes word that the Central Arkansas Library System's Children's Library will open Saturday, March 16.
The 18th Annual Arkansas Custom Knife Show is this weekend at Robinson Center Exhibition Hall.
U.S. Rep. Tiny Tim Griffin of Traskwood built his 2012 re-election campaign around advocacy of construction of the Keystone Pipeline, a potential environmental disaster that's about moving Canadian energy to Gulf Coast refineries for shipment of finished products overseas.
The Hogosphere has been buzzing with the news, first reported in the UA newspaper, that searches will be conducted on all bags and coolers taken to baseball games at the Baum Stadium on the UA campus in Fayetteville.
The appointee WAS from Texarkana as I predicted. And he is a well-to-do white guy.
Food Feedback Friday, people! I'm sure you've been waiting all week for this. Your time has come.
This just in from Hendrix College: CONWAY, Ark. (February 15, 2013) — Dr. J. Timothy Cloyd today is stepping down as President of Hendrix College after 12 years in that position.
The House this morning approved 70-11, with one abstention, the bill by Republican Rep. Charlie Collins of Fayetteville to allow guns on college campuses.
Republican Rep. Bruce Westerman's HB 1041, to put an arbitary 3 percent cap on annual state spending increases was at the top of the House agenda this morning but passed over.
Suzanne Vega plays at Juanita's Sunday night.
Terminus won Round 4 of the Times Musicians Showcase.
Lacuna Coil plays at Revolution Sunday night.
Dr. Paul Halverson, director of the Arkansas Department of Health since May 2005, will leave the state this spring to be founding dean of the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis.
Galleries open 5-8 p.m. tonight.
The Central Arkansas Library System announced today that patrons will be able to download up to three free songs per week through the music download site Freegal.
Gossip released the video for "Get a Job" today.
The latest on the reduction in the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery rewards to students, voter ID, the abortion bans, the grand ethics bargain, the professor carry bill, the hiccup for the spending cap legislation, Justice Courtney Hudson Goodson's high-flying disclosures and the tech park — all covered on this week's edition.
The line is open. Finishing up: * ETHICS COMMISSION FINES REPUBLICAN LAWMAKER: Freshman Republican State Rep. John Hutchison of Harrisburg failed to convince the state Ethics Commission Friday that he'd broken a bright letter rule against use of campaign money to pay for rent and utilities in a family members's house.
Miles Rattz played Round 4 of the Showcase.
This Holy House played Round 4 of the Showcase.
The full name of the exhibition of shoe polish and ink artwork by self-taught artist Frank Frazier at Hearne Fine Art is: "This &*!?@$# Struggle: History Unfolds."
The U.S. attorney's office late this evening announced guilty pleas from two men who stole archival photos worth millions and used them to sells tens of thousands of dollars worth of prints.
Legislative skulduggery is afoot that should enrage the Tea Party if a number 'baggers (aka Republicans) weren't in on the scam.
Some morning mail musings: * THE UNIVERSITY OF MONEY: The University of Arkansas yesterday folded on fighting release of documents about multi-million-dollar overspending in its Advancement Division.
Quick: Somebody call out the Stepford Arkansas Republican Caucus to seize all copies of the New York Times and burn the, like a bunch of frat boys angry over a campus newspaper expose.
Post it here.
Here's a Monday lunch break movie worth checking out: At noon Monday at the Friday Courtroom of the UALR Bowen Law School by MacArthur Park, the Black Law Students Association and the Arkansas Journal of Social Change and Public Service will screen "The Memphis 13: the Story of the Civil Rights Movement’s Smallest Pioneers."
The Little Rock School Board meets Monday afternoon to narrow applicants for the school superintendent's job to to finalists.
Lovely day until I went to "Lincoln". It was a bit slow but the downer was the scene about call to postpone the vote on sending the 13th amendment to the states.
Peckerwolf played Round 4 of the Showcase.
Tom and Hebron played Round 4 of the Showcase.
Terminus won Round 4 of the Times Musicians Showcase.
Mindy McCready, the country singer, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at her home near Heber Springs Sunday afternoon.
Last week was something. The Arkansas Republican legislative majority made progress on putting the Bible in public school, guns in church and the government smack in the middle of women's wombs.
The Arkansas minimum wage is $6.25 an hour. A full-time worker can gross $250 a week ($13,000 a year with no vacations) at that rate.
Mushroomhead plays at Juanita's Tuesday.
Jimmy Bryant, director of the archives at the University of Central Arkansas, sent me a recent addition to his growing collection.
The Dangerous Idiots play at White Water Tavern Tuesday.
On the Stepford Republican Caucus' legislative schedule is a bill seemingly meant to enhance the difficulties on use of eminent domain to take private property for other private uses.
Mara Leveritt writes with a word of warning about another one of the ways that Comcast plans to extract money from the unwitting cable TV customer: Watch out for a new Comcast charge.
Here's another one to watch. The "drys" thought they'd preserved their no-alcohol zones through Lu Hardin's effort to put a ridiculously high requirement to petition for alcohol sales election.
Everybody's talking about House Speaker Davy Carter's chat with Roby Brock. On the one hand, it's unremarkable.
Rep. Bruce Westerman tried unsuccessfully to amend his government-strangngling HB 1041 to place an arbitrary cap on state spending growth.
Filmaker gets first place in the 15th International Krappy Kamera competition.
Here's folk/rock singer-songwriter Shawn James of Fayetteville and his band The Shapeshifters doing a barn-burning cover of John Legend's "Who Did That to You" from the "Django Unchained" soundtrack during a recent appearance at UA's KUAF.
Hey, that was a good line about George Washington's picture in the British outhouse in "Lincoln."
Shark's Chicken and Fish gets friendly with the salt shaker, but not much else.
Utopia Restaurant and Lounge, a new American-style eatery, opened today at 521 Center Street. You can check out their Facebook page here.
KTHV reports that Dr. Timothy Cloyd, who announced last Friday he would resigning and going on sabbatical immediately, faced down an intruder at his home last December.
A reader keeping watch tells me four finalists have been chosen to interview to be the next Little Rock school superintendent.
Former Vice-president Al Gore gave a talk discussing his new book this evening at an invitation-only event at the Clinton Presidential Library, with students of the Clinton School of Public Service and a who’s who of local politcos in attendance, including David Pryor, Dale Bumpers, and Mack McLarty.
Rounding up the overnight notes: * PINE BLUFF: COULD BE WORSE: Fox 16 reports on a British newspaper report that calls Pine Bluff the most crime-ridden little town in the U.S. Crime data puts its crime rate behind only Detroit, thanks to 18 homicides in the city of 49,000 in 2012.
I mentioned yesterday the topic explored by Stephens Media at more length here in which Republican legislators, led by Majority Leader Bruce Westerman plan to hire a consultant to evaluate Medicaid and Medicaid expansion.
The Old 97's play at Revolution Wednesday.
Our list of some of the finest sausages, brats, and dogs around central Arkansas. Get em' while their hot.
Ernie Dumas this week provides a little historical perspective on the rigid partisanship that defines debate in Washington and Little Rock.
A small point on the article in the Democrat-Gazette this morning on the monthly Arkansas lottery revenue report.
Riverfest is offering $10 tickets for a limited time.
A discussion is planned in North Little Rock on the city's Big Rock Quarry property, a parcel briefly targeted last year for an apartment development.
I said this morning and still believe that all the talk about Medicaid is a waste because Republicans won't go for it.
From The Washington Post's Wonkblog: “Well, we just had one of those weeks here at Walmart U.S. Where are all the customers?
I got a tip the other day that Jeff Long, University of Arkansas athletic director, wants the Razorback Foundation to buy a new jet.
Tandra Watkins is up for a James Beard Award.
The Arkansas Democratic Party ripped U.S. Reps. Rick Crawford, Tom Cotton and Tiny Tim Griffin for leaving Washington — for a "personal spring break" — rather than deal with the cuts coming through the budget sequester.
The vote was 84-3 in the House today to close the records of concealed carry permit holders from the state Freedom of Information Act.
David Goins reports that Sen. Jason Rapert's unconstitutional bill to ban most abortions at the 12th week of pregnancy was approved in the House Public Health Committee today on a voice vote.
The state's judges may get a pay raise after all. An effort to increase judicial pay was included in session-opening legislation, then removed for discussion later.
Another day done. The line is open.