Too fast for Fayetteville.
Vol 37 • No 25
Basketball players too left segregated Arkansas to play college basketball in places where they were more welcome, but their departure wasn't noticed as much.
Roby Brock reports Graphics Packaging is closing a blag plant in Jacksonville, which will mean the loss of 150 jobs.
Federal Judge Gladys Kessler has issued a 64-page opinion upholding the federal health care reform law.It will be intersting to see how media treatmen and Fox/Koch/Drudge echo chamber coverage compares with the last ruling against the law.
The Observer recently caved at the parental negotiation table and agreed to buy Junior one of those fancy-schmantzy gaming consoles — the ones with all the bells and whistles that can link to the Internet, pinpoint your location from space, and presumably find and terminate Sarah Conner if we ever spring for the Legs-and-Machine-Gun Expansion Pack.
We don't need to be more civil in our discourse. We need to stop the discourse altogether.
The eccentric indie rockers join the finals lineup; Round Four this Thursday.
On over-praising actors.
So (un)happy together in 'Barney's Version.'
Fans of Arkansas politics were treated to an illustration this week of the core dishonesty of some conservatives.
Class warfare rages across America this month.
Womack sides with party over NWA trail advocates.
Whether one favors roads ought to depend on which roads.
To vote against a tax cut is supposed to be suicide for Republicans, and Democrats believe it too.
Mediocre means "commonplace; neither good nor bad." There are no degrees. Being "one of the most mediocre presidents" is the same as being "one of the least mediocre presidents."
Chef/owner Michael Ayers has moved his restaurant into a mobile kitchen in a converted RV.
This little restaurant specializes in South Indian street food (chat), exclusively vegetarian. The prices are low — the most expensive menu item is $6 — so we ordered four items.
Good week: earthquakes, North Little Rock. Bad week: Rep. Justin Harris, Rep. John Burris, the sick and poor, Arkansas Republican Party.
You decide if he deserves applause or a swift kick.
A racy episode of "Downton Abbey" was retooled for AETN's schedule.
The Center for Public Integrity is seeking applicants in all 50 states.
Hunka Pie expands its menu in new location.
A journey to the Holy Land too much for you, particularly with the Middle East unsettled?
Trouble in paradise, Saline County-style. Interesting report on Fox 16 last night about unhappy parents at a Bryant School Board meeting.
Rex Nelson talks about one of the many reasons why Chef Lee Richardson deserves some recognition over on his Southern-Fried Blog.
Rep. Allen Kerr's bill to curb double-dipping by state employees draws criticism for exemptions.
Frank Deford should stir a tsunami of comments with his ESPN commentary that, because sports fans are so desensitized to the National Anthem, that it should no longer be played as matter of routine at sporting events, but saved for special occasions.
Easy come, easy go. A friend just got the news of an increase in the cost of attending Hendrix College in Conway.
The bluesy, garage rock act from Austin returns to Little Rock.
The bill to prohibit state services — except life-saving — to people who can't prove their legal residency ran into tough questioning and extended debate today.
Best-selling novelist Nicholas Sparks, author of chick-flick fodder like "The Notebook," "Message in a Bottle," "A Walk to Remember," is coming to UCA's Reynolds Performance Hall at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 15.
Do you think just anybody can get through to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker for a 20-minute conversation on his union-busting activities?
I'm seeing some contradicting coverage on this. But it seems from this account that the Obama administration has concluded that one part of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriages as only between a man and woman, is unconstitutional.
Mother Jones finds a fine public official in Indiana. On Saturday night, when Mother Jones staffers tweeted a report that riot police might soon sweep demonstrators out of the Wisconsin capitol building—something that didn't end up happening—one Twitter user sent out a chilling public response: "Use live ammunition."
80s Philly soul diva Patti Labelle is coming to the Statehouse Convention Center on March 17.
With virtually no dissent, the House today passed another pointless tax break, on purchase of school clothing and supplies the first weekend in August.
Most of the heat occurred during some three hours of testimony this morning. But a House committee reconvened after the House adjourned this afternoon for almost another hour of testimony on Rep. Jon Hubbard's bill to deny any state "benefits" to undocumented people, except for emergency of life-threatening situations.
The Romany Rye, the California-based folk-rock quintet made up of mostly dudes from Little Rock and North Little Rock, will release a full-length this summer (the first featuring the Arkansas dudes).
You may recall that Sen. Cecile Bledsoe has attempted to pass legislation to prevent private insurance companies from providing insurance coverage for abortion to their private pay clients in new health exchanges set up under federal law.
Of course Mike Huckabee was ready with a shoot-from-the-lip response to President Obama's decision to stop defending the indefensible Defense of Marriage Act.
The Safe and Sounds play the fourth round of the Musicians Showcase this Thursday night.
Ginsu Wives play the fourth round of the Musicians Showcase this Thursday night.
* Log Cabin Democrat says UCA will spend $200,000 on heat-and-air and window replacement at the president's home.
Mandy McBryde and the Unholy Ghost plays the fourth round of the Musicians Showcase this Thursday night.
The state Education Department continues to indicate, after almost a decade, it's getting serious about regulation of charter schools.
Thunder Thieves play the fourth round of the Musicians Showcase this Thursday night. Even though we have no clue who in the hell they really are.
A friend in New York reminds me that, if you're taking the D-G just to get Gene Lyons, there's no need.
The Chamber Music Society of Little Rock hosts the acclaimed, world-renowned pianist
Roby Brock interviews Will Bond, the new state Democratic Party chairman, about congressional redistricting. Bond says it's not possible to draw a majority black congressional district.
John Brummett today reveals he'd asked the Highway Department about comparative costs on repairing the Broadway Bridge versus replacing it.
The operator of the Little Rock Urban Collegiate Public Charter School for Young Men has always been hard for the Arkansas Times to reach, probably because we've been somewhat more skeptical of the representations and prospects of the operation than others, including state school officials who approved the project last year.
President Obama's decision to stop defending the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act will have political implications in 2012, a New York Times writer says.
Mike Huckabee made it clear to reporters yesterday that he'll delay a decision on a 2012 presidential run so he can continue to pile up money from lucrative media activities.
Big thick third-of-a-pound burgers, nicely spiced and served up on a fabulous fresh Boulevard Bread Co. bun. What more could you ask for?
Frank and Jane Lyon have given $1.5 million to the UAMS Institute on Aging for an expansion project.
A student brought a World War II-era grenade to Conway High East this morning, prompting an evacuation of the building.
Interesting item from Roby Brock on new data that shows only one metro area in Arkansas experienced GDP growth in 2008-09.
Sounding like today could be a climactic day in the Libyan struggle, with fighting on the outskirts of Tripoli.
Back when the gun lobby took away home rule on gun laws, they did leave the ability for a local government, by a two-thirds vote, to enact gun prohibitions during a state of emergency declared by a governor.
Gov. Mike Beebe announced that former Sen. Shane Broadway, who recently joined the Department of Higher Education as deputy director, will be its interim director while the state searches for a replacement for Jim Purcell, who's taking a similar job in Louisiana.
More work for Kat... involving burgers.
House Speaker Robert Moore rolled out the highway tax plan today. A 5-cent-a-gallon increase in the diesel tax and a half-cent sales tax increase.
Keep on eye on the doppler and post your thoughts here. Thanks to the correspondent in SW Ark. who sent me the U.S. Chamber of Commerce letter urging a letter-writing campaign to Congress pleading for rejection of tax increases proposed by the Obama administration, plus rejection of its budget proposal.
The electrified country and western quartet advance to next week's final round.
Thursday night offers up another round of the Musicians Showcase, Serbian guitarist Nemanja Bogunovic and Ol' Puddin'haid
The Little Rock Kickball Association returns to Dickey-Stephens Park for its annual "Chili With a Kick" kickball tournament and chili cook-off competition to benefit Youth Home Inc., $10.
One of the state's best songwriters releases his third album, "More Like a Temple," this Friday at White Water Tavern.
The Mardi Gras Indian funk band comes to Dreamland Ballroom to wrap up its three-day, pre-Mardi Gras tour of the state.
Right off of a Grammy win for their album "Joined at the Hip," two blues icons come to Stickyz for what could be the best blues show in the entire world that night.
Wildwood plays an unlikely home to a night of MMA bouts from UFC fighter Roli Delgado, LRPD officer Josh Black and more.
Columnist Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post explains how Mike Huckabee unwittingly made an argument FOR gay marriage the other day in blasting President Obama's decision that it is unconstitutional for the federal government to discriminate against same-sex couples who have been married in states that have legalized such unions.
The Wisconsin Assembly early today approved union-busting legislation. The Senate, with its missing Democrats, is next.A rally is scheduled at noon Saturday in Little Rock at the Capitol steps to show support for Wisconsin workers.
Arkansas residents were warned that amending the Constitution last year would NOT set the interest rate limit at 17 percent for all time.
Pies don't have to be dolled up with whipped cream or ice cream or sprinkles to be good. Sometimes it's best to be humble.
A Democrat-Gazette article on the loan shark bill being pushed by House Speaker-turned-lobbyist Robbie Wills and Republican lawmakers (with some corporately owned Democrats thrown in for good measure) quoted a spokesman for Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, who'd been a foe of payday lending, saying the bill was "not anything alarming."
The 3rd annual Delta Visual Arts Show takes over Newport tomorrow, with work by 70 artists at three venues, workshops and receptions.
Performance artist Dr. Charles Garoian, former director of Penn State's School of Visual Arts and an author, will perform "Drawing Blinds" at 7 p.m.
Both Jason Tolbert and Roby Brock are gnawing on the question of who'll be the next House speaker.
Walton Arts recently announced a trio of shows at the Arkansas Music Pavilion, the Fayetteville amphitheater it recently acquired.
The Ohio Club has a new owner and a new menu.
An attendee at a session with Republican Rep. Paul Broun brought the crazy to the public meeting.
Footage of last night's Showcase semi-finalists, courtesy of Brian Chilson.
Another believe-it-or-not moment from Fox News, thanks to Talking Points Memo: Fox News' Shepherd Smith broke down the Wisconsin protests for Juan Williams this week, declaring that it's all about politics and union busting, and "to pretend that this is about a fiscal crisis in the state of Wisconsin is malarkey."
Photos from last night's showcase.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has issued a news release in response to the rising price of gasoline.
Filing closed today for the April 12 primaries to choose nominees for House District 54 in Crittenden County, a suit vacated by Fred Smith after a felony conviction.
Just saw a Twitter with a link to this photo from Fox 16: Missing NLR K-9 Officer: Norris is a Belgin Malinois last seen around 5:30 am near Country Club and Calva Rds.
Arkansas week in review: Episode 2 of the Arkansas Times weekly podcast.
Over to you, blog fans.
Kat Robinson, the power behind our Eat Arkansas blog and increasingly otherwiise putting her brand on the Arkansas eating scene, also does a good bit of Travel Arkansas reporting, such as today with her sneak peak at the new penguin exhibit at the Little Rock Zoo.
New York Times columnist Gail Collins reviews Mike Huckabee's literary output today. It is not always a pretty sight.
Brummett says he can see no reason to oppose a nickel tax on diesel to rebuild the trucker-destroyed interstates, but has some concerns — though not about putting on the ballot — on a regressive sales tax for a four-lane plan to nowhere.
Public employees are a cosseted, overpaid bunch and well-deserving of whatever smackdown people like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker lay on them.
Talk about a waste of government time and paper, not to mention outrageous. Rep. Justin Harris, the West Fork Republican and heir apparent to Mark Martin in that strange political corner of Arkansas, has already made headlines for his government-financed church school (which might offer to service to undocumented children) as he inveighs against government spending and illegal immigrants.
A nice quiet day for me. Worth noting: * Judge eats Mike Huckabee alive as he tries to explain how same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.
Jamie, where are you? Need the standard Conway Chamber of Commerce defense of the squeaky clean, road-protecting, bonanza-producing gas drillers.
Sen. Jason Rapert thinks the loan shark bill is humanitarian. Really.
Thanks to several who sent notes last night about the death of Jon Fitch, the former state senator who was director of the state Livestock and Poultry Commission.
Interesting column by Maureen Dowd this morning on her visit to Ford Motors to see its new inventions to load car dashboards with the means to run iPods, handle texts and emails and more.
Sunday line is open. Storm watch in effect.
Director Josh Fox returns to Central Arkansas to screen his Oscar-nominated documentary, "Gasland."
Slow morning, so why not pass along the handsome shot of a former hunting lodge near Stuttgart that has been purchased by Matt Mosler as a retreat center for the Channel 4 morning show host's Sherwood-based Christian ministry.
Paul Krugman raises the question in the headline and answers it: Children. Sure.
The big fight is probably still several days or weeks ahead, but Roby Brock, with delves into the issue at some length today, is certainly correct that the debate over congressional redistricting will be a partisan tussle.
Bob Seger returns to Verizon.
Art experts are speculating that Alice Walton paid $40 million recently for the Asher B. Durand painting, "Progress."
That quake late last night in Faulkner county, said to be a 4.7, was felt all over the place.
Willie Nelson's Country Throwdown and Willie's Picnic is coming to the Osage Creek Amphitheater, a new venue west of Springdale and, a month earlier, to the North Shore Park in NLR.
Arkansas native and Academy Award winner Lisa Blount was left out of last night's Oscar "In Memoriam" montage.
Arkansas Baptist College is rolling out a new effort today to encourage minority entrepreneurs. The Scott Ford Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Development will be housed in a new building at 16th and M.L. King.
Christopher Janney's permanent art/sound installation is soon to open at Hendrix College.
UAMS will announced tomorrow a "seven-figure" grant to increase the number of primary care physicians in the state.
The secretary of state invites comments on the redistricting process. This website is the place to go for information and to comment.
Randeep Mann, the Russellville doctor convicted in a bomb plot that seriously injured Trent Pierce of West Memphis, the chairman of the state Medical Board, was given a life sentence today in federal court in Little Rock.
The Arkansas Republican Party says freshman Rep. Jon Hubbard of Jonesboro was hospitalized over the weekend for a mild heart attack.
Lt. Gov. Bill Halter invented the Arkansas lottery. The new lieutenant governor, Mark Darr, didn't invent electricity, but he loves to see it generated by the coal-burning power plant in Hempstead County.
Will Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker ever go too far for even the most devoted union-haters?
The U.S. attorney's office announced today that a superseding indictment had been issued in the case of Mark Krause, the Carroll County artist charged with placing an improvised explosive in a soda can at a polling place at Osage.
It is open. Note: * LOCAL BOY MAKES GOOD: Mike Haridopolos, described as a Florida teacher with a master's from the University of Arkansas and also a Republican with a yen to run for U.S. Senate, cooked up a deal to make more than $150,000 from a book on Florida politics that had a press run of exactly one book.
Another devastating review of Mike Huckabee's simple-minded "Simple Government," his little book that's mostly a demagoguic attack on elites.
Freshman U.S. Rep. Steve Womack gets a mention in a New York Times article on the commitment of entering Republicans to cut federal spending or perhaps shut down the government if they don't get what they want.As Republican lawmakers returned this week to Washington after a week in their districts, they had perhaps even more determination than when they left.
Polling is mixed. (Here, for example, is a poll showing majority support for collective bargaining and against the idea of balancing budgets solely on the backs of organized workers.)
Fort Smith — known for its healthy smattering of Vietnamese and Thai restaurants and for the indomitable Calico County — has its own couple of Indian joints that have recently opened. This one is awesome.
The Tax Foundation (which, just so you'll know, is not a progressive organization) has released its annual state-by-state ranking on various tax measures.
The White House has released what it calls the first comprehensive federal report on the status of women in 50 years.
Keynote address is Thursday night.
Interesting item from the Washington Post: A group of House Democrats is calling on Republican leaders to investigate a prominent Washington law firm and three federal technology contractors, who have been shown in hacked e-mails discussing a "disinformation campaign" against foes of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the giver of $1 million to UAMS to establish scholarships to train primary care physicians.
Jeff Nichols got good press on NYTimes.com this weekend for his new film, "Take Shelter."
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is nowhere to be found on the immense electric rate and environmental questions surrounding coal-burning power plants, once a popular playpen for pols.
The anti-flouride crowd is out in force to oppose a flouridation bill in House committee today.
Remember that fearsome lightning strike that hit the Capitol dome. Secretary of State Mark Martin's office reports it didn't damage the building.
Sheffield Nelson has called in reporters today to pass around a copy of an updated version of his proposal to increase the severance tax on gas.
The giant bill to overhaul prison law — primarily to reduce the expensive population by diversion of non-violent offenders, such as drug users, to better probation and parole systems — might be introduced today.
I happened to notice Channel 4's post on the Arkansas State University football schedule. The Red Wolves' four openers: Illinois, Memphis, Virgina Tech, University of Central Arkansas.
A legislative subcommittee is discussing the Arkansas Lottery this afternoon — specifically whether revenue can sustain the existing scholarships of $5,000 for students at four-year schools and $2,500 at two-year schools.
A contraband sweep at the Arkansas Department of Corrections' Varner Unit early Saturday morning led to the seizure of several cell phones and an incident in which up to 20 inmates "jumped" four prison guards, sending them to the hospital and injuring one seriously enough that he was kept overnight and will require surgery to his face.
The federal government will stay open at least two more weeks through a temporary spending plan passed in the House today.
I have some calls out, but many House Republicans mounted something of a concerted effort today to stop some spending bills.
Toad Suck Review, the new incarnation of the UCA Department of Writing-based Exquisite Corpse Annual, will celebrate its release on Friday, March 4, with the Toad Suck Review Launchapalooza on the rooftop of Michelangelo’s, 1117 W. Oak St., Conway.
Brilliant as I am, I don't always put every new exhibit on my blog. And I rarely post calls for artists to enter work in exhibits across the state.
Mike Huckabee sticks foot in mouth — again. Republicans complain about health care reform — again. Little Rock School District looking for superintendent — again.