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February 21, 2013

Vol 39 • No 25

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Undocumented Arkansas students push for college access

Somewhere in the story of every undocumented student brought to this country as a child, there's a moment of horrible realization: the sudden, painful understanding of why the thought of being stopped by the police sends a shadow of fear skating across their parents' eyes.

'A human issue'

Sen. Joyce Elliott pushes (again) for a bill to extend in-state tuition to undocumented students.

Food Feedback Friday: Chickpeas, Chicken, and Charbroiled Burgers

We're dishing up all the juicy bits on the Arkansas food scene. Tell us what you're eating this week on Food Feedback Friday.

Morning report: A school candidate's drama and more

The morning roundup: * DOES THE LITTLE ROCK SCHOOL DISTRICT REALLY NEED THIS DRAMA?: I was too busy yesterday to get around to a tip on something the Democrat-Gazette reported this morning.

Will airport drop other shoe on parking fee increase?

The Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport is going to increase parking fees by 8.5 percent, thus adding the state and local sales tax to parking fees rather than absorbing the taxes in the rate.

Prediction: End near on limits on campaign contributions

A Forbes writer views with alarm (justifiable, I think) the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to hear a case challenging contributions the $123,200 limit on federal giving to a variety of federal causes (candidates, PACs, political parties) during a two-year cycle.

Curtis Coleman to announce for governor

I thought he'd already announced two or three times already. But in case you missed it, Curtis Coleman will announce for governor at 11:30 a.m.

City Director Doris Wright keeps busy

An anonymous correspondent mailed me this memo, ostensibly from City Director Doris Wright. It's a lengthy honey-do for virtually every part of city government related to the John Barrow neighborhood she represents.

Thursday To-Do: Yvette 'Babygirl' Preyer benefit

Revolution hosts a benefit for musician Yvette "Babygirl" Preyer Thursday night.

UPDATE: Open carry is latest on the gun nut agenda

Don't even begin to think the gun nuttery that's come from the legislature is at an end.

Thursday To-Do: Argenta Film Series: 'Undefeated'

"Undefeated" screens at Argenta Community Theater Thursday.

Alice Stewart to begin new local talk show

Alice Stewart, the former TV newswoman who went on to political stints with Mike Huckabee, Secretary of State Mark Martin, Rick Santorum and Michelle Bachmann and now does political consulting, is heading to local airwaves.

Ohio's Republican governor pushes Medicaid expansion

I thought the front page image from Ohio says it all. Republican governor "implores" a Republican-majorityb legislature to approve Medicaid expansion.

Little Rock School Board sics lawyer on Facebook page

Blog commenters have mentioned creation of a Facebook page to follow the search for a new school superintendent.

Arkansas and Oklahoma agree to Illinois River water study

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has announced an agreement between Arkansas and Oklahoma for a comprehensive study of phosphorous concentrations in the Illinois River watershed.

UPDATE: Guns and fetuses and vote suppression

Wednesday is typically a light day at the Capitol, but there are a few odds and ends of note: * GUNS: The bill to allow guns on college campuses, already passed in the House, came out of a Senate committee this morning.

For lovers of Yosemite and photography, at Gallery 360

Prints made from 1915 glass plates bought at auction by Tim O'Brien.

Thursday: Jim Mize, 'Towncraft' and more

Jim Mize plays White Water Tavern Thursday.

'Hot Springs Horror Film Festival' set for September

Look out behind you, Little Rock Horror Picture Show! Hot Springs will be shambling into the horror film festival mayhem this fall with the new Hot Springs Horror Film Festival.

The snowmageddon line is open

We're more than halfway done and the line is open. Finishing up: * MURDER MYSTERY: The murder of beauty queen Nona Dirksmeyer in Russellville gets renewed attention from NBC Dateline, a full hour during the show at 7 p.m.

Arts Council taking fellowship applications

Playwrights, craftsmen and film directors may apply.

Dillard's Inc. announces death of Alexa Dillard, 96

News release from Dillard's Inc.:It is with great sadness we announce the death of Alexa Latimer Dillard, beloved wife of our founder, the late William T. Dillard and loving mother of the Dillard family.

Another Republican governor backs Medicaid

Add Florida Gov. Rick Scott to the Republicans who are opting to join the federal Medicaid expansion plan.

Review: The Dirty Heads at Juanita's, Feb. 14

The Dirty Heads played at Juanita's on Valentine's Day.

...And more fetuses

In my earlier item on new and pending action on the Arkansas legislature's fetus obsession, I overlooked one new item.

Arkansas medical marijuana supporters are back

And they're ready to scrap with an old enemy.

Bang! Pow!

'A Good Day to Die Hard' little more than explosions.

A beautiful day in Fayetteville

Some weekends, even in the oft-tortured Ozarks, the sun shines just right on the ballfields and the energy is just right in the arenas.

It was a good week for the war on women

Also a good week for suppressing the vote, an ethics compromise and Leonard Cooper. It was a bad week for a resolution on the tech park and photo thieves.

#ARLegValentines and #ARLegBreakupLines

Last week, Twitter provided a welcome diversion from the God, guns and fetuses-obsessed Arkansas legislature. Prompted by AP reporter Andrew DeMillo, journalists, legislators and other Capitol observers spent a good bit of Valentine's Day coming up with puns that married love and the legislature.

Jim Mize at White Water Tavern

Vino's hosts "The Beat Party XI."

Fiery speech

Former Vice-president Al Gore gave a talk discussing his new book, "The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change," Monday 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 politicos in attendance.

Carry your own

State legislators are not the only Republican politicians who believe that firepower turneth away wrath. The Grand Old Party loves the Grand Old Pistol. Asa Hutchinson, already announced as a Republican candidate for governor, has been criticizing President Obama's plans for restrictions on guns, and has revealed his own purchase of a .45-caliber weapon with a magazine that holds 13 rounds.

CAW-proposed land deal with planner gets choppy reception

Lake Maumelle watershed landowners, angered by a possible conservation easement deal between Central Arkansas Water and the chairman of the Pulaski County Planning Board, lodged complaints about a perceived conflict of interest at a CAW meeting Feb. 14.

Yvette "Babygirl" Preyer benefit at Revolution

Also, 'Undefeated' at the Argenta Film Series, Samantha Crain at White Water, Lanterns! at Wildwood, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra at Robinson, North Mississippi Allstars at Revolution and Jennifer Egan at UCA.

Lancaster retires

Bob Lancaster, one of the Arkansas Times longest and most valued contributors, retired from writing his column last week. We’ll miss his his contributions mightily. Look out, in the weeks to come, for a look back at some of his greatest hits. In the meantime, here's a good place to start.

Lyons: 'Fleecing the yokels'

Political parties rarely vanish altogether, and hardly ever over a single election cycle. So the demise of the Republicans as a national organization is probably exaggerated.

Scallions does salads and sandwiches well

It's a tasty throwback.

Terminus takes Round 4

Fayetteville trio tears it up to make the finals.

Arm the fetus

The Arkansas legislature has decided that the solution to gun violence is to put more guns in more places — churches, college campuses, PTA meetings, book clubs, etc. But one area is yet unfortified in the legislation we've seen from the General Assembly, and that is the womb.

The Remove of Redbone's

A close reader, Richard W. Chapman was bothered by an item that appeared in Arkansas's foremost weekly journal of news, politics and entertainment: "Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken is coming to the River Market in the former space occupied by Redbone's Downtown."

Blue balloons

The Observer, taking the stairs to our second floor office as a sop toward our health, saw a large bouquet of blue balloons tied to the stair rail. "Congratulations!" they read.

A word about ethics

If the Arkansas legislature won't fix this small matter, it's not likely to do anything about public ethics at all.

Rapert's Oscar picks

The tree of liberty

Arkansans must suffer lest Obama succeed

The rabid partisanship in Washington and in many statehouses, ours among them, is so extreme that, according to polls, it sickens most voters. The public alarm over stalemate and partisan strife is about the only healthy sign in the body politic.

No need for weapons

In reference to Ernie Dumas' columns about weapons and Jesus of Nazareth, I would like to try to help Ernie in his study of the Gospel. Ernie is getting closer to the complete perspective.

A wintry morning report OBITUARY UPDATE

The roundup:' * BABY IT'S COLD OUTSIDE: Spitting rain here. Little Rock City Hall is delaying its start time until 10 a.m.

Polling: Guns, fetuses and Medicaid

Comes word of some polling last night. I hope the robopoll drew from a good sample and I hope the results will be released.

Friday To-Do: Samantha Crain

Samantha Crain plays at White Water Tavern Friday.

Senator acts for real estate industry on tax foreclosure sales

I guess you should credit Sen. Jonathan Dismang, who reportedly announced he had a conflict of interesting in jamming a couple of bills through committee yesterday.

Smoked brisket sandwich from The Southern Gourmasian

A mighty fine brisket from a mighty fine truck. Barbecue so fine, you won't even miss the pork.

Fayetteville loses another tax increment district challenge

The Arkansas Supreme Court today upheld a lower court ruling that said the city of Fayetteville could not take part of a Fayetteville School District property tax increase for high school construction and use it in an existing tax increment finance district.

Committee endorses bill to allow scalping of concert tickets

I missed most of the debate, but caught the roll call by which the House Judiciary Committee gave an endorsement to Republican Rep. Doug House's bill to exempt musical performances from the anti-ticket scalping law.

Friday: The Beat Party XI, Brother Andy, (HED)p.e. and more

The Beat Party XI, featuring Ferocious, is Friday at Vino's.

Beebe will allow gun permit secrecy to become law without his signature

Given the absence of significant legislative opposition and an absence of constitutional problems, Gov. Mike Beebe said he'd allow the bill to make concealed gun permits secret.

Friday-Sunday To-Do: Lanterns! Festival

Willdwood Park for the Arts hosts the Lanterns! Festival this weekend.

2013 AT Showcase Round 5: Knox Hamilton

Knox Hamilton plays Round 5 of the Showcase, Thursday at Stickyz.

2013 AT Showcase Round 5: The Sound of the Mountain

The Sound of the Mountain plays Round 5 of the Showcase, Thursday at Stickyz.

Fetuses, fetuses and more fetuses: Anti-abortion bills win Arkansas legislative approval

The House calendar this afternoon is loaded with the Stepford Republican Caucus' grand obsession: * 20TH-WEEK ABORTION BAN: Rep. Andy Mayberry's bill to ban several dozen late-term abortions in Arkansas every year by making them illegal after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with no consideration for a mother's health or the grave fetal problems that prompt these abortions.

2013 AT Showcase Round 5: Bartin Memberg

Bartin Memberg plays Round 5 of the Showcase, Thursday at Stickyz.

Thursday: Love and Theft at Juanita's — show canceled

Love and Theft plays at Juanita's Thursday.

Memorial service announced for Celebrity Attractions President Larry Payton

Larry Payton passed away Monday.

2013 AT Showcase Round 5: Collin vs. Adam

Collin vs. Adam plays Round 5 of the Showcase, Thursday at Stickyz.

2013 AT Showcase Round 5: The Midnight Thrills

The Midnight Thrills play Round 5 of the Showcase, Thursday at Stickyz.

Thursday night line

We're done. Closing out: * THE RACE FOR GOVERNOR: Curtis Coleman did announce again as a Republican candidate.

Billie Tsien at Arts Center March 5

"HEART/HAND" lecture is March 7.

2013 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase: Round 5 is tonight!

Round 5 of the Showcase is tonight at Stickyz.

Gov. Mike Beebe asking feds for flexibility on Medcaid expansion

Gov. Mike Beebe is set to meet tomorrow afternoon with U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and other HHS officials to discuss possible flexibility regarding the state’s Medicaid expansion.

A great night in North Little Rock

Wow. i saw the Oscar-winning documentary "Undefeated" in the Argenta Film Series tonight and what a treat.

Mike Ross for governor: Rumors mount

Two correspondents say Mike Ross told people at a South Arkansas gathering tonight that he was likely to run for governor now that he had his wife's blessing.

A note in passing on the great Bob Lancaster

Readers here have already noted with sadness the small note in this week's edition that Bob Lancaster has ended his 21-year run as an Arkansas Times columnist.

Saturday: Arkansas PFLAG Conference, Amy Lavere and more

Amy Lavere plays White Water Tavern Saturday.

Saturday and Sunday To-Do: Arkansas Symphony Orchestra's 'Truth & Triumph'

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra will perform Jennifer Higdon's "Concerto for Orchestra" Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday To-Do: North Mississippi Allstars

The North Mississippi Allstars play at Revolution Saturday.

Morning legislative notes: ambivalence about guns on campus, no word on Beebe vetoes until next week

News and notes at the ledge.

Food Feedback Friday: Curry, cabeza, and cupcakes

Share with us all your deepest foodie secrets on Food Feedback Friday. We love hearing all the juicy details.

The Great Gammel Giveaway

The playful artist is giving art to people who do good deeds through is Facebook page.

The Sound of the Mountain wins Round 5 of the Times Showcase

The Sound of the Mountain won Round 5 of the Showcase semifinals.

Carter: Florida's sunset provision for Medicaid expansion "makes a lot of sense"

Speaker of the House Davy Carter continues to strike a relatively open note on Medicaid expansion, telling reporters today that he would take a leadership role on the issue and giving a thumbs up to the idea of a sunset provision, included in Florida Gov. Rick Scott's surprise endorsement of expansion earlier this week.

Mike Huckabee said something stupid again

On his radio show today on this George Washington's birthday, Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich spent some time comparing President Obama and our first president.

High-speed chase ends with overturned car, three arrested

A high-speed chase between police and a stolen Kia that began near Maple and Asher this morning ended when the car hit a truck and overturned at 12th and Dennison.

Envision Little Rock, why don't you?

StudioMain sponsors a contest to give downtown an entry point.

Couple robbed in NLR while responding to Craigslist ad

A couple told N. Little Rock Police they were robbed at gunpoint last night after driving from Oklahoma hoping to buy a car they saw advertised on Craigslist.

Simmons Bank in the Heights robbed

KLRT 16 reports that Simmons Bank at 1818 N. Taylor Street in the Heights was robbed this afternoon just after 1 p.m.

Playing catch up: Can Beebe stop the Expand-o-meter's plummet?

Today’s chances of passing expansion: 37%Last week’s chances: 35%See here for previous entries on the Expand-o-Meter Despite some giving up all hope that Republicans will ever really consider Medicaid expansion, the Expand-o-meter soldiers on!

The weekend line

Have at it

Jason Rapert for president

Jason Rapert won't rest until the country is back on track.

The greatest robo-poll ever

Who's behind it?

Michelle Obama is awesome

She and Jimmy Fallon offer "The Evolution of Mom Dancing."

Psst, Speaker Carter: the CBO says ACA reduces debt

House Speaker Davy Carter has been staking a position for himself over the last week that sounds a little like Republicans in other states who’ve come out in favor of Medicaid expansion (Carter hasn’t gone there yet).

Open Line

*DOES DAVY CARTER LIKE GUNS ENOUGH? We noted yesterday that Carter's got a CHAIN in the back of his TRUCK, Lee County style.

Social Media Morning Line

*BEST TWEET OF THE SESSION: From John Burris: "@DavyCarter is such a one-upper. I've only got a bungee cord in my Impala."

Grandstanding Darr

Lt. Gov. Mark Darr, who Friday took advantage of the governor's absence to go to D.C. and signed a bill that would have been law anyway on Monday, saying he felt legislators "deserved that respect to have the signature on it and for it to go into effect immediately,” [subscription required] said his move was not political, though he made sure to have his picture made with the sponsors.

Oscar open line

Talk, talk

Manic Monday Open Line

*SEQUESTRATION NUMBERS: The White House released state-by-state impacts of sequestration yesterday. Here is what would be coming in Arkansas.

The clean water kiss off for Lake Maumelle

Kate Althoff, who has worked to keep Lake Maumelle from being polluted by those who care more about money than the quality of our drinking water, has issued this midnight hour plea for people to contact Central Arkansas Water before the Pulaski County Quorum Court votes tomorrow night on the lousy watershed zoning code that authorities have caved to.

Landowners continue complaints against Lake Maumelle Watershed zoning

As noted in the previous post, environmentalists are concerned that the land-use ordinance set for vote tomorrow at the Pulaski County Quorum Court doesn't go far enough in protecting the Lake Maumelle Watershed.

Tuesday To-Do: Jennifer Egan

Jennifer Egan will read and sign books Tuesday at UCA.

Ark. stunt pioneer Hal Needham gets honorary Oscar

If you were paying attention while watching the Oscars last night, you might have heard that Arkansas-raised stuntman Hal Needham was one of those who received an honorary Academy Award this year.

LRSD hosts meet n' greets with superintendent short list candidates

Little Rock School District, Superintendent, superintendent search

Unloaded gun at Hall High

Little Rock School District spokesman Pamela Smith says an unloaded gun and a loaded magazine were found during a random scan at Hall High School.

2013 AT Showcase Round 5 roundup: Bartin Memberg

Bartin Memberg played Round 5 of the Showcase.

2013 AT Showcase Round 5 roundup: Knox Hamilton

Knox Hamilton played Round 5 of the Showcase.

Harding University wins 'best road trip destination'

Let's say you're wanting to take a little road trip, have a little fun. And let's say you're a big-time college basketball fan, so you want to pick somewhere you can catch some great college hoops.

2013 AT Showcase Round 5 roundup: The Midnight Thrills

The Midnight Thrills played Round 5 of the Showcase.

2013 AT Showcase Round 5 roundup: Collin vs. Adam

Collin vs. Adam played Round 5 of the Showcase.

New menu at Revolution

Check out the new Revolution menu.

Staff leaving the Peabody

Peabody Hotel Executive Chef Andre Poirot and "a small number" of other managers will be out of a job Wednesday as the changeover in the leaseholder occurs, hotel spokesman Bruce Skidmore confirmed today.

2013 AT Showcase Round 5 roundup: The Sound of the Mountain

The Sound of the Mountain won Round 5 of the Showcase.

Laurence Alexander nominated as UAPB chancellor

Concluding a nationwide search, University of Arkansas System President Donald Bobbitt will nominate Laurence Alexander, an associate dean at the University of Florida, to be chancellor at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

Arkansas Business publishes concealed carry list

The list of concealed-carry permit holders is now secret, exempted from the state Freedom of Information Act.

Say goodbye to another historic house

The 1891 Bruner House at 1415 Cantrell Road, which is on the National Register of Historic Properties, will be torn down in the coming weeks.

Open Line

*SEQUESTRATION: Here's a great interactive map of state by state impact of sequestration. Arkansas mostly in the middle in terms of feeling the pain.

The ups and downs of Ozark Country Kitchen

Omelets and pancakes make the Ozark Country Kitchen breakfast shine.

Tuesday Morning Line

Tell us something good...

Classically cool eats at Asher Dairy Bar

A place that has some evident wear and tear, but what they're serving is classic fare. Prices enough to make your grandparents proud, burgers greasy enough to make your doctor blush.

House Speaker pushes tax cuts, prioritizing Medicaid decision

In an unusual move this morning, House Speaker Davy Carter visited three House committees this morning, suggesting agenda priorities and gently nudging members to pick up the pace.

Gov. Mike Beebe slams Darr, will decide on abortion bill this afternoon

Gov. Mike Beebe had harsh words for Lt. Gov. Mark Darr, who signed legislation exempting the concealed-carry permit list from the state Freedom of Information Act as acting governor while Beebe was out of town.

Open Carry fails in committee

The measure got 9 votes on a roll call vote. More soon...

QQA statement on Cantrell tear-downs

The Quapaw Quarter Association has issued a press release on its unsuccessful efforts to stave off the demolition of the Bruner House at 1415 Cantrell Road and the house next door, at 1407 Cantrell, including two letters it wrote the Episcopal Collegiate School and Stephens Inc.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie endorses Medicaid expansion

Chris Christie, Medicaid expansion

UPDATE Beebe vetoes 20-week abortion ban

The governor, showing both legal sense, fiscal wisdom and backbone, has vetoed state Rep. Andy Mayberry's bill to ban abortions at 20-weeks gestation.

Happy Birthday, Johnny Cash

It's Johnny Cash's birthday today, so here's the Man in Black and Co. singing "Ring of Fire" live at Cummins Penitentiary in 1969.

UPDATE Medicaid game-changer

Gov. Mike Beebe met with about twenty lawmakers this afternoon to announce the results of his meeting with Sec.

The game-changing open line

Tell us something good.

School board members question selection of Milton

Emails exchanged last week between members of the Little Rock School Board and the consultants it hired to find a superintendent, McPherson and Jacobson, indicate that at least a couple of board members were unhappy that the search firm had suggested Dr. Walter Milton.

Gov. Beebe likely to veto Sen. Rapert's abortion bill

Gov. Mike Beebe told reporters today that Sen. Jason Rapert's bill banning abortion after 14 weeks was "even more problematic" than Rep. Andy Mayberry's bill, which Beebe announced today that he would veto.

Programming note

We usually post our most recent issue online Tuesday night. Even though cost considerations recently forced us to change printers, which moved the date the print edition hits the street from Wednesday to Thursday, we're planning to keep our web schedule the same.

Quorum Court amends Lake Maumelle watershed land-use ordinance

Back to the drawing board. The debate about a proposed zoning ordinance for the Lake Maumelle watershed has raged for years, and the ordinance was finally set for a vote this evening by the Pulaski County Quorum Court.

Planned Parenthood praises governor

The regional Planned Parenthood office that includes Arkansas, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, has issued praise for Gov. Beebe for his decision yesterday to veto the 20-week abortion ban approved by the legislature, saying, "We thank him for his leadership and supporting women’s health care in the face of such harsh attacks from the Arkansas Legislature."

The $75,000 morning line

Tell us something good.

Unloaded BB guns at Dunbar

Last Friday, a fake gun was reported by students at Hall High to the administration.

More kids and guns

A felony arrest warrant has been issued for Matthew Williamson, the University of Arkansas student who brought a gun to campus and then accidentally shot his own hand with it, Channel 5 KFSM is reporting.

More on Milton and the LRSD

Parent receives message from Milton wanting to talk.

Mark your calendars for "The Countdown to Parmageddon" at Whole Foods Market

Come be a part of history as Whole Foods cracks open their shipment of finely aged Parmigiano Reggiano on Saturday, March 9th. They're looking to break world records, but we'll be there just to enjoy some fine cheese.

Tonight: guitarist Laurence Juber at Juanita's

Laurence Juber plays at Juanita's tonight.

Voter ID in House committee

Sen. Bryan King's voter ID surpression bill is being discussed.

Time story on health care overcharges: must read

Steven Brill was interviewed on NPR this morning about his extensive Time magazine cover story on what our real focus on American health care should be: The $750 billion in excessive charges by pharmaceutical companies and hospitals.

Mark Darr: no regrets, Gov. Beebe is 'not my boss'

I caught up with Lt. Gov. Mark Darr just now and he told me that he had not embarrassed himself "at all" by signing a bill while the governor was out of town, an action that drew the ire of Gov. Mike Beebe.

Hunt Slonem paintings at ASU

It takes forever to get from Little Rock to Jonesboro, so here's a heads up on an exhibition that goes up March 7 at Arkansas State University: “Hunt Slonem: Painted Life,” paintings recently donated to the university's permanent collection.

SoMa Second Thursdays are back in March

Food trucks return to Bernice Garden March 14.

Arkansas House overrides Beebe veto

As expected, the Arkansas House today voted to override Gov. Mike Beebe's veto of Rep. Andy Mayberry's unconstitutional bill to ban most abortions after 20 weeks.

It's getting closer: Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival

The Valley of the Vapors is March 15-19 in Hot Springs.

Club for Growth wants primary challenger to Crawford

The Club for Growth today launched a website urging for primary challengers to nine Republican members of Congress, including Rep. Rick Crawford.

Missy Irvin pushes nanny state attack on tattoo parlors

The Senate Public Health committee will need to consider the new Medicaid deal but they spent some time this morning to pass Sen. Irvin's Act to Limit Body Art Procedures, which bans scarification and dermal implants.

The humpday open line

What's the word?
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