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February 25, 2010

Vol 8 • No 7

Living witness

Abrams is herself a walking, talking history book and at age 78, retired from a career in education for 17 years, she's still very much on the scene.

Griffen announces for judge

Former Appeals Court Judge Wendell Griffen sends along his announcement for the circuit judgeship vacated by the removal of Willard Proctor.

... and they're off

You'd think Charlie Daniels, the secretary of state, had an entertainment background. He's bringing in Oaklawn's race announcer Terry Wallace to make the call for the start of the "political horse race season."

Breaking the color line: Stepping

One of the blog's far-flung cultural correspondents reports this news: A team from Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority at the University of Arkansas has won the Sprite Step-off, a national dance competition that apparently had never been won by a white group. The victory was worth $100,000.

Were you invited?

Scott Wallace, Republican candidate for 2nd District Congress, sends around an invite to a fund-raiser by opponent Tim Griffin tonight.

Hump day

Shoot. I still haven't caught up.

Educate, medicate, incarcerate, ingratiate

I’ve spent many words and much energy bellyaching about how state legislators are so small-minded that all they want to do with their state legislating careers is come home with money from this GIF when the state would be better off reserving these funds for legitimate statewide needs.

Political potourri

Where does U.S. Rep. John Boozman get off griping about stimulus money (and voting against the legislation) while his district rakes in money for the likes of work on the long-sought Bella Vista bypass?

The To-Do List, Feb. 25-March 3

'Strange Humors,' Marcy Playground, 'Lanterns!,' American Aquarium, ACH Dodgeball Tournament, Brazilian Mardi Gras, ASO Masterworks 5: 'Sibelius' Nordic Splendor,' The Rocketboys, Dawes, Vetiver

$$$ for Game and Fish

A judge thinks the state Game and Fish Commission should get to keep the millions it’s received in gas lease revenues, rather than share the bounty with the state.

The Observer, Feb. 25

The Observer went in search of the Mifflin Gibbs exhibit at the Arkansas Studies Institute last week, and with the help of a kind person there found our way to a hidden mezzanine gallery.

The Televisionist, Feb. 27

?In a world where global warming, terrorism both foreign and domestic, double-digit unemployment and congressional gridlock threaten to dissolve the fabric of American reality itself, who can the people turn to? Why 00bama, of course.� of places he’s been in Spain, France, Greece, India … and New Orleans.�t for the Rodolfo of the evening, Canadian-born tenor Edward Johnson (years later the Met’s general manager), or the veteran baritone Antonio Scotti. Instead, ticket-buyers were filing into the house to hear a new soprano, a success story whose own life was as improbable as an opera plot. Mary Lewis, born in poverty in Hot Springs in 1897, had reached the Met!� �their place.�Helm’s fine ensemble band, ranging from bluesman Little Sammy Davis to versatile session guitarist Jimmy Vivione, seemed to have a blast throughout. The 17-songs-or-so set was highlighted early by Al Green’s “Take Me to the River.” Helm then switched gears, moving from drums to mandolin, and the group went acoustic for some intimate, back-porch stylings. The finale was pure, straight-up rock ’n’ roll with soulful Amy closing it out with “Shake a Hand,” which felt like a big group hug. A nearly full ballroom in the Peabody loved every minute. — By Jim Harris �d go out on short tours. Always entertaining local rockers Loch Ness Monster open.� list, when the Waltons suddenly appeared in 12th place for gifts totaling $91.7 million, which included the $50 million gift that created the Sam Walton School of Business at the University of Arkansas. 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Extra pulp

“Shutter Island” doubles down on the trashy pulp, all swagger and light on emotional import; it's as if Scorsese feels obligated to make up, film by film, for the mushy Oscar-bait (“The Age of Innocence,” “Kundun,” “The Aviator”) that befuddled many fans.


Sarah gets her gun

Sarah Palin has another gun—a Henry Big Boy .44 Magnum, stamped with a unique serial number: PALIN-001. Engraved with the words, “Presented to Sarah Palin, February 16, 2010, Arkansas Republican Party,” the rifle was a gift to the former governor, who headlined a Republican Party fundraiser last week in North Little Rock.


Like I’ve said before, we call it the Musicians Showcase for a reason. If you’ve come out these four weeks, I hope you’d agree that Arkansas’s got talent. Perhaps in no week was the variety of that talent on display like it was last Thursday.

Barakat goes American

Jerry Barakat is known for opening restaurants that are a little bit different from the rest in Little Rock. With Rockstons, his newest, his idea is to do what others are doing, but do it better. The full name says it all: Rockstons American Bar and Grill.

Up with Pettaway

The Pettaway neighborhood south of MacArthur Park will, within a matter of months, get a taste of Frank Lloyd Wright. A couple will get an affordable, energy-saving new house and University of Arkansas architecture students will see a year-long project come to fruition.

Smart Talk, Feb. 25

A liberal blog, Blue Arkansas, couldn’t help but notice First District congressional candidate Tim Wooldridge’s tout of his board membership in the Families First Foundation. It’s supported by Church of Christ congregations and crusades on a variety of social issues — abortion, gambling, alcohol and same-sex marriage.

The Week That Was, Feb. 17-23

It was a GOOD week for…BLACK FARMERS. The government has agreed to pay $1.25 billion to settle a long-running discrimination suit against the USDA.

Words, Feb. 25

“After spending five nights in jail, the Jaguars cut Jones on March 16.” The jail must have been crowded, with a whole football team in there.

LR Drivers

Over the past few years I have driven in several cities including New York, Atlanta, and Houston. I put Little Rock second on my list of unpleasant places to drive. It seems to me that on I-430 and I-630 NASCAR rules apply.

This Modern World

What's cookin', Feb. 25

Two Arkansas chefs are among the semi-finalists for the James Beard Awards, the Oscars of the restaurant world. Lee Richardson of Ashley’s and Miles James of James at the Mill are contending for top chef in the South.

I (heart) you, in tattoo

A few weeks back, Travis McElroy, the 36-year-old owner and operator of Thick Syrup Records, lay flat on a fully-reclined black leather chair, his snap button shirt halfway open. “Me and Andy’s got a bromance,” he said, letting loose a full body laugh. Which broke a central rule for sitting for a tattoo, according to Brooke Cook, of Anchor Tattoo and Piercing in Benton, who had to stop work on a large tattoo on McElroy’s chest of Andy Warr,

In Brief, Feb. 25-27

Local songsmith Adam Fawcett joins Chicagoan Nathan Xander at White Water Tavern for a night of literate, dusty folk, 9 p.m., $5. Vino’s gets brash with a night of hardcore punk as Little Rock’s Jungle Juice opens for a big name, New Jersey’s The Mongoloids, 8 p.m., $7.


Like I’ve said before, we call it the Musicians Showcase for a reason. If you’ve come out these four weeks, I hope you’d agree that Arkansas’s got talent. Perhaps in no week was the variety of that talent on display like it was last Thursday.

Let's talk deficits

Thanks nearly altogether to Republicans, the stars are aligned for the voters this year to get a treat they’ve never before enjoyed, a healthy ventilation of the issue of federal budget deficits.

A&E News, Feb. 25

Local promoters and men-about-town Erin Hurley and Mike Brown have partnered to develop what they call Little Rock’s first “rock ‘n’ roll grocery and bodega,” where they’ll sell staple groceries; tourist items; locally-produced clothing, art, and CDs; smoothies, tickets to local concerts and other sundries. “It’ll be a little store with a lot going on,” Hurley said.

Gats are back

A lot of concealed weapons were carried in Hot Springs National Park in the ’20s and ’30s when Hot Springs was a favorite vacation spot for big-time gangsters from Chicago. Now gats are back at the spa.

Fairness in Pennsylvania

A reader sends along a link to a change in legal precedent in Pennsylvania concerning whether a parent's sexual orientation can be a deciding factor in child custody.

Tim Griffin and Social Security UPDATED

Tim Griffin, Republican candidate for 2nd District, has a record to run from when it comes to Social Security.

Park controversy UPDATE

Coming soon: An outcry over the city of Little Rock's plans to reconfigure the War Memorial Golf Course and remove tennis courts as part of a plan to build a new "entrance" to the park.

Flat taxers plan legal action

The devastatingly bad flat tax amendment (replacing all state taxation with a monstrous sales tax) has been certified as to sufficiency of ballot title and the group backing it now plans to bring a friendly action before the Supreme Court to establish its legitimacy, City Wire in Fort Smith reports.

Wild and woolly Eureka

Ginger Shiras of the Harrison Daily Times had an interesting lead on a big murder trial developing in her neck of the woods:

Thursday To-Do: Marcy Playground

MARCY PLAYGROUND8 p.m., The Village. $10 adv., $15 d.o.s.The mid-'90s were halcyon days for alternative singles thanks mostly to the one-hit wonders that made them: Primitive Radio Gods, Deep Blue Something, Dishwalla and, maybe most notably, Marcy Playground.

Thursday: Henry Rollins, Adam Faucett, CJ Boyd Sexxxtet, more

Fierce. Talk show host, actor, author, radio personality, activist, borderline sociopath and punk rock god Henry Rollins brings his popular spoken word act to Juanita's with "An Evening With Henry Rollins" 8 p.m., $18 adv., $20 d.o.s. Local songsmith Adam Fawcett Faucett joins Chicagoan Nathan Xander at White Water Tavern for a night of literate, dusty folk, 9 p.m., $5.

Downtown lunch

If you work in downtown Little Rock, it's pretty easy to get burned on the limited, but still reasonably diverse, restaurant selection.

Ark. Times Musicians Showcase: Wildcard Round Preview

New wrinkle tonight. It's the Showcase debut of the wildcard round.

Debate streaming

The health care summit is being streamed live on the White House webiste.  It's very interesting viewing (follow tweets about the debate at #hcrsummit).

Marion Berry disses Bill Halter UPDATE

U.S. Rep. Marion Berry doesn't think much of Bill Halter, particularly in the context of a potential race against Sen. Blanche Lincoln.

The fiscal session UPDATE

The legislature is in recess. They should adjourn next week.  A shortage of money didn't hurt in depressing shenanigans, though leaders entered the first fiscal session intent on keeping it as routine as possible.

Court stays murder case order

The state Supreme Court today stayed Circut Judge Herb Wright's order that the Arkansas Public Defenders Commission had to contribute money to a help a private lawyer defend Abdulhakim Muhammad on a murder charge.

Economic development UPDATE

The governor will join many others at the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce tomorrow morning for what's described as a "significant" job creation announcement.

Where the rubber meets the road

There's been a lot of talk these past few weeks about the federal stimulus plan, particularly about how its detractors, including GOPers like Rep. John Boozman who decry the wasteful spending one minute and show up to ribbon cuttings for projects funded by stimulus dollars the next.

Yes, that was Tom Brokaw

Thought you saw Tom Brokaw in town today? You did.

Soup's on at Sai Gon

While we've become big fans of the Thai and Vietnamese food at Sai Gon Cuisine on Cantrell Road, their great daily lunch specials -- big entree, steamed or fried rice, egg roll and a small bowl of soup, all for $5.99 --  have turned us into the John the Baptist of their soups.

Soup's on at Sai Gon

While we've become big fans of the Thai and Vietnamese food at Sai Gon Cuisine on Cantrell Road, their great daily lunch specials -- big entree, steamed or fried rice, egg roll and a small bowl of soup, all for $5.99 --  have turned us into the John the Baptist of their soups.

Stick With The Recipe...

And you might have something.  The Ozark Fried Chicken at Myrtie Mae's in Eureka Springs is made from the same recipe that Myrtie Mae herself used back in the 1930s.  Still a very reasonably priced and tasty dinner at the family restaurant at Best Western Inn of the Ozarks.  More from Tie Dye Travels at Lonely Planet. 

2 Live Crew 2 come 2 Eureka Springs

(1/)2 Live Crew Brother Marquis and Fresh Kid Ice, a toothless (read: Luke-less) version of hedonist rap godfathers 2 Live Crew, will play the Lumberyard Saloon in Eureka Springs this Saturday, March 6 for what will surely be one of the strangest shows of the year.I'll be back soon to comment further as soon as I gather up my freshly blown brain.

Daily Digest: Saul Hudson, Klosterman-Malkmus, R.I.P. Chilly B, Codeorgan

SM: Probably thinks your ROTO scoring system is BS. A letter written by a 14-year old Slash to his girlfriend.

News for gym rats

My bellyaching about War Memorial Park had at least one positive response. The city is apparently thinking about reopening the fitness center on Sunday.

Campaign notes

Here's the invite, with blue ribbon list of backers, to what Gov. Mike Beebe is calling his campaign kickoff March 11, though he already has $1 million in the bank.

Judicial rumor mill

A usually reliable source says Susan Hickey of El Dorado, who's a law clerk to retiring federal Judge Harry Barnes, has been interviewed recently by Justice Department officials.

Fresh thread

The line is open.

John Walker for House

Civil rights lawyer John Walker (does he need an introduction?) is going to try again for a seat in the state legislature.

Have Repubs found their cannon fodder?

Says here that Republican restaurateur Jim Keet, a former state senator, is 90 percent sure he'll run for governor.

Wildwood shoots for the moon

As if Wildwood wasn't picturesque enough to begin with, all weekend the park's celebrating the first full moon of the lunar year by turning the grounds into a nighttime Epcot.

Flash LaRue, headed through

Despite a day-before time-slot switch and a plague of technical problems during its set tonight, Flash LaRue got enough love from the crowd tonight at Sticky Fingerz to advance to the finals of the Musicians Showcase next Friday.

Score change in 'step' contest

The team from the UA Zeta Tau Alpha sorority that made history by being the first white group to win the Sprite Stepoff, a dance competition historically rooted in black Greek organizations, will have to share the top honor with a black sorority.

Slice Shots.

Colter McCorkindale's pair of pizza pieces has popped up on the Eye on Arkansas Flickr Sharing site.  Two of our more popular pie places, Damgoode Pies (above) and Vino's Brewpub (below) are featured in the photos he's shared.

The greening of Wal-Mart

NY Times gives extensive coverage to Wal-Mart's announced initiative to remove significant amounts of greenhouse gases from its supply chain.

More Soup.

Soup Sunday may have already passed in Little Rock, but it's on in Springdale this weekend.  The NWA Soup Sunday event will be held Sunday starting at 4:30 p.m. at the Northwest Arkansas Convention Center.  Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for kids 5-12.  Once again, proceeds go to Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families.  For more information, including a list of soups, check out the website or call (479) 927-9800.


Weiner School District supporters have continued a full-court press behind the scenes (lobbying members of the state Board of Education, for example) to avoid the consolidation with another district mandated by its size of fewer than 350 students.

Who needs an election?

One Republican senatorial candidate, Gilbert Baker, wants it known he is for God and guns (presumably the others aren't as sufficiently committed as Gilbo.)

Power pool announcement

News release says the new Southwest Power Pool building in LR, word of which leaked yesterday, could mean 200 new jobs.

Send the Kresses to Italy

Little Rock artist Kevin Kresse and family are planning to pull up stakes and move to Italy for a year, where the Little Rock artist will either teach at an arts B and B north of Luca (yes, Little Rock artist Pepper Pepper’s B and B) or work in Rome at the American Academy if he receives the Rome Prize.

Friday To-Do: 'Lanterns!'

‘LANTERNS!'5:30 p.m., Wildwood Park for the Arts. $5-$10.As if Wildwood wasn't picturesque enough to begin with, all weekend the park's celebrating the first full moon of the lunar year by turning the grounds into a nighttime Epcot.

Friday To-Do: American Aquarium-Jonathan Wilkins and the Reparations


Saturday To-Do: ACH Dodgeball Tournament

ACH DODGEBALL TOURNAMENT 2 p.m., ACH East Campus Fitness Center. $5.

Saturday To-Do: Brazilian Mardi Gras

BRAZILIAN MARDI GRAS 7:30 p.m., Revolution. $10 adv., $15 d.o.s. Carnaval's over in Brazil — a parade featuring a disturbingly true-to-form Michael Jackson impersonator won the coveted top prize of the festival — but it rolls on in Little Rock with “Cultura Brasileira 101,” a survey of Brazilian culture at its flashiest.

Saturday To-Do: ASO's Masterworks 5: 'Sibelius' Nordic Splendor'

Grammy-nominated guest violinist Philippe Quint MASTERWORKS 5: “SIBELIUS' NORDIC SPLENDOR.” 8 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall, $35-$58.

Sunday To-Do: The Rocketboys

THE ROCKETBOYS 7:30 p.m., Sticky Fingerz, $7. For such a young band, The Rocketboys (formerly Homer Hiccolm and the Rocketboys) have wasted no time getting established.

If you knew sushi ...

A devoted reader writes Eat Arkansas to inquire why a favorite sushi place of his isn't shown the love.

Repubs for Beebe

Some Republicans are shaking their head at Jim Keet's  decision to run for governor and many kind words about Beebe in the process of semi-announcing.

Proctor's last stand

No decision yet from the federal judge appointed to hear former Judge Willard Proctor's request for an injunction allowing him to seek re-election this May even though the state Supreme Court has removed him from the bench for life for multiple ethics violations.

Beebe: One decision remaining

Gov. Mike Beebe today signed all pending legislation from the fiscal session except SB 130, which taps the central services fund to pay for the cost of redistricting work next year.  Beebe had wanted to use legislative pork money to pay that cost, not the central fund.

The Weekend: Cool Shoes, Invisible Children Benefit, Show Your Shorts, CeDell Davis, Velvet Kente

joshua of Velvet Kente. FRIDAY 2/26The monthly dance party Cool Shoes brings DJs Wolf-E-Wolf, Cameron Holifield and Risky Biz to Downtown Music for its February installment, 10 p.m., $5.

Hinkle in 'True Grit'

Veteran Little Rock actress Candyce Hinkle has landed a role in the Coen Brothers' remaking of the movie "True Grit."

How now brown cow?

Nothing like a cow-on-the-loose story to attract attention in Texas. The Dallas Morning News featured the plight of a Murfreesboro woman whose home was reduced to shambles by three uninvited cow guests on Monday.

Friday night flight

That's me, buzzing out of here.


Least I can do is give you: * The official news release on the Republican candidate for governor, Jim Keet.

Pulaski has a school boss

How screwed up is the Pulaski County Special School District? I leave it to you and the federal court to decide.

São Paulo style

Carnaval's over in Brazil, but it rolls on in Little Rock with “Cultura Brasileira 101,” a survey of Brazilian culture at its flashiest tonight at Revolution.

Considering Keet

John Brummett talks to the new Republican candidate for governor, Jim Keet, and he reiterates he'll run a positive campaign with an emphasis on changes in state tax policy.

Yellow stripes and dead armadillos

A new study of congressional voting (link fixed) by the National Journal finds U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln, along with Joe Lieberman, closest to the middle of the road in the Senate.

Massive quake hits Chile

Today's major news: 8.8-magnitude quake in Chile, massive destruction, tsunami warnings.

Our Pizza.

Slice, a piece of the Serious Eats puzzle, features several of our different pizza favorites here in the Natural State.  The writer, Lauren, contacted me earlier this week to ask about some of our favorites.  Hope I hit the high spots.  As I've noticed on my Facebook account, there are some who think I'm dead on and some who think I'm way off.

Our Pizza.

Slice, a piece of the Serious Eats puzzle, features several of our different pizza favorites here in the Natural State.  The writer, Lauren, contacted me earlier this week to ask about some of our favorites.  Hope I hit the high spots.  As I've noticed on my Facebook account, there are some who think I'm dead on and some who think I'm way off.

Fixing Hall High

For those interested in recent reports about discipline and other problems at Hall High School, here's a memo about the school and steps being taken in response from Superintendent Linda Watson.

Let's you and him fight

I'd say this is a good takeoff for tonight's open line: Survey says  Political, religious and sexual behaviors may be reflections of intelligence, a new study finds.

Al Gore and climate change

No, a cold winter and the wackjobs haven't deterred him. What is important is that the overwhelming consensus on global warming remains unchanged.

Living witness

When it comes to Arkansas black history, Annie Abrams has just about seen it all.

Sarah gets her gun

Sarah Palin has another gun--a Henry Big Boy .44 Magnum lever-action rifle, stamped with a unique serial number: PALIN-001. The rifle was a gift to the former Alaska governor, who headlined a Republican Party fundraiser last week at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock.

The Halter watch

John Brummett examines all the reasons Lt. Gov. Bill Halter should or should not bypass a certain re-election and run for U.S. Senate of 2nd District Congress.

The axis of the deranged

Frank Rich comments on the reaction to the terrorist attack on the IRS building in Austin, Texas.

Corporate cash

The U.S. Supreme Court's legislating of unlimited campaign spending by corporations is even worse than most people already realize.

Annals of gun nuttery

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Fiscal session

Ho-hum. That seems the universal takeaway on the first "fiscal session" of the legislature.

Snap This.

Melissa did. Found this morning on our Eye on Arkansas Flickr sharing account:

Ross will duck teabags

U.S. Rep. Mike Ross will draw at least one Republican opponent, a Tea Partyer from Hot Springs.

Perplexing Pulaski School District

In its entirety, a news release from a Pulaski County School Board member this afternoon.

The line is open

Your thoughts?

Living witness

When it comes to Arkansas black history, Annie Abrams has just about seen it all.

Bill Halter WILL run

Lt. Gov. Bill Halter WILL run for U.S. Senate in the Democratic primary  against Blanche Lincoln.


      The Arkansas-Democrat’s Sunday (Feb. 28) Guest Column, “Don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t serve,” by George Schroeder, M.D., begins with a dream, ends with a lie and begs the question, “Why?”   The dreamer, Dr. Schroeder (“I dreamed . . .)

Speaking of Blanche Lincoln

Paul Barton has an interesting report on how Sen. Lincoln is mining Texas for campaign cash.

Halter reaction UPDATE

UPDATE: Statement from U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln reiterates her talking point about her centrism (not much help so far, given polls):

I think she's wrong

Blanche Lincoln says her willingness to oppose the Democratic Party leadership will help her in the Democratic primary in Arkansas.

There she is ...

... another Republican opponent for Rep. Mike Ross. The candidate, last seen warbling "God Bless America" at the Sarah Palin fund-raiser, is Beth Anne Rankin, former Huckster staffer and 1994 Miss Arkansas.

Cyclists: it's dangerous out there

Arkansas motorists seem to have an attitude ranging from disinterest to anger at bicycle riders.

Now they like Buffet

Tim Griffin and other Republicans are madly retweeting, etc., Warren Buffet's opinion that President Obama should start over on health care.

Nesting: Jonathan Brilliant's coffee stir-stick sculpture

Leslie Peacock's got the lowdown on a massive sculpture project about to happen at Ouachita Baptist.

Halter: first 'recruit'

The liberal bloggers at Accountability Now cheer Bill Halter's entry into the Senate race and describe him as their first "recruit."

Lincoln: live

OFF TO FILE: Sen. Lincoln greets supporter before march to Capitol. Gerard Matthews photo.

Filing has begun

I'll not attempt any sort of running report on candidate filing. Too many of them to track coherently in this format.

West Memphis Three calling

Supporters of the West Memphis Three gathered Saturday night for the CBS "48 Hours" episode on the case. I watched at home.

Beebe vetoes

Gov. Mike Beebe has vetoed SB 130, which proposed to tap the state central services fund for $1.6 million to pay for reapportionment costs.

David Gordon Green to remake 'Adventures in Babysitting'

With Jonah Hill starring. Well, pretty much, according to this Hollywood Reporter story.

No report yet on Pulaski school boss

Pulaski School Board member Charlie Wood says, on advice of the district's attorney, it's not releasing lawyer Jack Lassiter's report that reportedly exonerates acting superintendent Rob McGill on a charge of making "racially motivated statements."

Imagine for a moment ...

.,, if a Democratic filibuster had deprived working people of jobs and unemployment benefits and forced a 21 percent cut in Medicare reimbursements to doctors.

And the winner is: GOP

Nate Silver at is a good liberal, but also a great numbers cruncher and he lets the numbers do most of his talking.

Early out

I'm heading out early to spend a few minutes talking to Ed Schultz on The Ed Show on MSNBC.

Party party

Now is the time for all good people to head to the Oyster Bar on Markham and drink to the opening of the Fifth Season -- the Election Season.

Country-dusted California pop

Recently I've noticed that Dawes elicits a contagious evangelism in a huge number of people with a certain, similarly sunny disposition.

Pulaski school woes

I was right about one thing. Division on the Pulaski County School Board is certain to continue.

Speaking of school woes

Another day, another editorial smear of the Little Rock School District in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Gone, gone.

So sad to report that Pia's Italian Restaurant in Conway went out.  The nice little Front Street joint just didn't survive.

Speaking of charter schools, etc.

Interesting interview on NPR this morning with Diane Ravitch, a conservative Bush-era education official who's rethinking No Child Left Behind and the conservative orthodoxy about free  market competition in education and the need for high-stakes tests.

Another (Thin) Slice.

The piece on Slice a few days ago got me to thinking about other Arkansas pizzas I adore.

Tuesday To-Do: Dawes

DAWES8:30 p.m., Sticky Fingerz, $10.Recently I've noticed that Dawes elicits a contagious evangelism in a huge number of people with a certain, similarly sunny disposition.

Recovery? What recovery

The February state revenue report is another tale of woe. Gross revenue for the month and year to date are again down against corresponding periods last year.

Halter files, hits TV

Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, who announced yesterday by news release but avoided questions until today, filed for U.S. Senate today.  I tried to get an advance commitment from spokesman Bud Jackson on 1) card check 2) cap-and-trade 3) health care reform 4) specific controls on Wall Street 5) Halter's preferred committee assignments.

Pulaski schools confidential

Here's the report by lawyer Jack Lassiter on the investigation of whether Acting Pulaski County School Superintendent Rob McGill made a racially insensitive remark following a state Board of Education meeting.

The Dardanelle trainwreck

The love for John Daly is hard to find. The NY Times hates his new reality show (and doesn't like the Arkansas golfer much himself).

Keet files; misfires

Jim Keet filed as the Republican candidate for governor today. Red-hot Repubs (are there any other kind?)

Halter money

More from Paul Barton in Washington on the $4.75 million in money committed to Bill Halter by and organized labor.

D.C. gets same-sex marriage

I'm surprised. Chief Justice John Roberts declined to prevent Washington D.C.'s gay marriage law from taking effect tomorrow.

Open for business

The night's line.

Open for business

The night's line.

Sultans of swat

This link can be fully read only by subscribers. But the first paragraph is enough to make you cry. Most of the civilized world, overwhelmingly, understands that violence against children in the form of "corporal punishment" is a bad idea. Effective discipline is possible -- better --through vigorous application of the brain, not a blunt instrument.  I know: "My daddy whipped the crap out of me and look how good I turned out."

Proctor case dismissed

Federal Judge James Rosenbaum ruled today that he did not have subject matter jurisdiction to hear former Judge Willard Proctor's request that the federal court enjoin his removal from the bench and allow him to file to seek another term.

Ol' Blanche Lincoln had a farm

And on that farm she had some government handouts -- ee yi ee yi OH.

Let The Battle Begin.

The Peabody Hotel will be a hot place for epicureans to be Wednesday afternoon. The 2010 Diamond Chef preliminary rounds begin at 12:30 in the Peabody lobby.

Folk, cheap

What did Little Rock do to deserve such luck? The snow has melted, 60-degree temperatures are right around the corner, and we get to greet the springtime with a cheap show from Vetiver.

Conservative education fads

More today in NY Times on Diane Ravitch, formerly a leader of the conservative education reform movement, who now concludes the ideas are fads harmful to public education.

Lincoln attacks Halter

I missed this yesterday, but I think it's worth a read. It's the Blanche Lincoln campaign's response to Bill Halter's opening day.

Hard cash for soft drinks

UALR announced today that it has sold "pouring rights" for all campus locations and activities to Pepsi for $1.9 million for the next seven years.

Wednesday To-Do: Vetiver

VETIVER9 p.m., Juanita's. $2.What did Little Rock do to deserve such luck?

It's On.

Chef Daniel Capello ties a ribeye with string right after the announcement of the items in the third heat of the Diamond Chef 2010 preliminaries at the Peabody Hotel.  Chef Diana Bratton peered into the box and started hauling out the items: beef ribeye, chayotes, mandarin quats, Brie, red wine and cornflakes.

Get 'er done

President Obama begins his push for a vote on a scaled-down health package. A vote.

Plant a tree

Nice to get a piece of good news on a slow day. For years, I've been dropping notes in the Times about a small but particularly worthy volunteer effort to improve the quality of life in Little Rock.

Sierra Club hammers away at Lincoln

Looks like another one of those "extreme special interests" is getting involved in the senate race between Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Lt. Gov. Bill Halter.

This week's Times

The new Arkansas Times is on the web. Some items of interest: * David Koon's sad account of the short life of Hannah Grace Dowdie -- abused child, loved foster child, crime victim.

GOP plays everyone for chumps

Politico surprises with an inside look at the cynical workings of the Republican Party. The Republican National Committee plans to raise money this election cycle through an aggressive campaign capitalizing on “fear” of President Barack Obama and a promise to "save the country from trending toward socialism."

Over the hump

The line is open.

Quarterfinal Time

Chef Jason Godwin starts prepping the items in the quarterfinal heat of the 2010 Diamond Chef preliminary competitions going on over at the Peabody Hotel right now.