← Back to issues

March 5, 2009

Vol 7 • No 8

Reservoir of troubles

Reservoir Road is a rollercoaster.

Governor on the scene

Talking Points Memo notes that La. Gov. Bobby Jindal took most of his cabinet to northern Louisiana this week to show his intention to help workers and contract poultry growers in Louisiana and ARKANSAS now out of work because of the Pilgrim's Pride plant closures.

Cure for a sick system

Sen. Blanche Lincoln dropped Max a note today (what? you got one too?)

Here's looking at you

I'm going to be preoccupied through Sunday. I hope to check in periodically, but Leslie, Gerard, David, Lindsey and John will attempt to stoke the furnace.


Ariston Jacks and Susan Williams are African-American artists who have in common substantial talent.

In brief, March 5

Afterthought unveils its new “Jazz@Afterthought” series with the local duo Thurman and Nesbitt, who play guitar jazz in the tradition of Django Reinhardt, 8 p.m., $5.

Two teams benefit from celebration

Last Sunday wasn’t completely free of forced camaraderie and awkward moments.

Smart Talk, March 5

With a sad 5-and-7 record, the football Razorbacks didn’t earn any performance bonuses, and it’s virtually certain there’ll be no bonuses in basketball either.

Twittered out

There’s been a lot of talk around these parts lately about “new media.”

Get involved

I heard a brief report on the news here in Philadephia about Nigel Haskett and McDonald’s and their insurer refusing his claims.

Editorial cartoon, March 5

The 36th most liberal?

Here is the text of a television commercial you might expect to see next year:

Pizza for the people

With his new Patio Pizza and Beer Garden, Jerry Meyer has boldly gone where few restaurateurs have gone before him, until at least recently — the 3300 block of Fair Park Boulevard.

It’s not easy being green

Matt Reynolds had what most would call a successful career at the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton.

What’s past is what?

There’s a difference between remembering and knowing.

Back scratching

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel called me to talk about details of his coming run at improving Arkansas ethics laws a bit.

To-do list, March 5

'The Rat Pack is Back', Poncho Sanchez Latin Band, SEC Women's Basketball Tournament, American Princes / Smoke Up Johnny / the Subteens, Thriving Ivory, Little Rock Music Party and Black Sheep make for a few entertainment options this week.

Words, March 5

“Around here the authorities have taken to painting dotted lines on the road, showing the paste eaters where they should point their cars while turning a corner."

Orval, March 5

Here come the finals

With a big mess of dreadlocks wrapped in a bun and wearing jeans and a beat-up T-shirt, Jonathan Wilkins kicked off his round-five-winning set on Friday with his best song.

It’s not easy being green

Matt Reynolds had what most would call a successful career at the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton.

A & E news, March 5

Add Texas alt-rockers Flyleaf and ’80s rockers Heart to the list of confirmed acts for Riverfest.

The observer, March 5

Circling the track at a fitness center Sunday, I noticed ahead a red shirt with black lettering touting the Red Wolves.

Let the people rule

Hurricanes like Katrina don’t come every year, but they come often enough that potential victims are wise to plan for them.

Feb.25-March 3, 2009

It was a GOOD week for … U.S. SEN. MARK PRYOR. He’ll chair a subcommittee looking at improvement of the Federal Trade Commission, mostly a failure in protecting consumers during the Bush years.

What's cooking, March 5

Istanbul Mediterranean Cuisine is scheduled to open March 19 in the Pleasant Ridge Shopping Center.

Haskett update

More information on the case of Nigel Haskett, the former McDonald’s employee who wrestled away a man beating a woman in the restaurant where Haskett worked and who was then shot by the assailant.

Health care: It’s time

President Obama proved last week that he is shrewder than Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, two Republicans and two Democrats who were canny politicians but who in sunnier times couldn’t deliver universal health coverage.

Busting sod

If you’re old enough, you might remember how President Gerald Ford proposed to fix an ailing economy.

This modern world, March 5

What’s Happening in March

Unless otherwise indicated, event is a reading and/or book signing.

What we’re reading

Here are the top 10 bestsellers from three local bookstores. Data is most recent available.

Tweet, tweet

Twittering yet? John Brummett is.  As I've written before, I've added a Twitter page to the Arkansas Blog services.

Heavy hangs the head

Obama's hair is turning gray.

Heavy hangs the head

Obama's hair is turning gray.

ASU President's Club

D-G reports today that Les Wyatt at Arkansas State also gave a trustee's kid improper scholarship help.

Home sales sink

Arkansas Realtors Association report comparing January 2009 to January 2008 shows home sales down a bone-rattling 27 percent in the top five markets in Arkansas.

Obama and the culture war

E.J. Dionne Jr. writes in this morning's Washington Post that progressive religious groups, like those that came out in support of President Obama's pick for secretary of health and human services Kathleen Sebelius, may provide a needed counter-weight to right wing fundamentalists.  We'll see.  It does seem that progressive groups, like Jim Wallis' Sojourners, are gaining traction as a political force by framing political issues in terms of social justice.  Dionne says Obama's success will depend on his ability to do the same.

Weekend To-Do: SEC Women's Basketball Tournament

SEC WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT12 p.m., Alltel Arena. $10-$90.For the first time in three years, the women's conference tourney returns to Alltel Arena.

Thursday To-Do: Poncho Sanchez Latin Band

PONCHO SANCHEZ LATIN BAND7:30 p.m., Reynolds Performance Hall, UCA, Conway. $30-$35.Rumor has it that at age 13, Poncho Sanchez' mother fled to the U.S. after hiding under the bed as revolutionary Pancho Villa stormed her village.

Arkies are everywhere

Seal and Mark Summerlin. Following on the heels of a mysteriously disappearing blog post about a certain Little Rock guitar player who may or may not be a new addition to a internationally adored rock band, Kyoto Boom drummer Duke Boyne points me to Mark Summerlin, his former band mate in Fayetteville's BE.Summerlin, who still lives in Fayetteville, is currently playing guitar with Seal and serving as the vocalist's musical director on tour.

Not fade away: Bill Hicks

  Part two of three.

Speaking of social justice

Religious leaders and child advocates held a press conference at the state capitol this morning to issue a "Call to Fairness" statement, putting pressure on legislators to support policies intended to fight poverty.  Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, along with Rev. Steve Copley, presented the signatures of over 130 religious leaders and people of faith in support of three particular policies: Sen. Elliot's SB 470, which would create a legislative task force to reduce poverty and promote economic opportunity; Rep. Maxwell's HB 1378, a bill designed to provide income relief for poorer households with two or more children; and the reduction of the grocery tax from three to two percent (which is backed by Gov. Beebe and expected to pass).  Maxwell's bill lists 80 co-sponsors in the House. 

Thursday: 'The Rat Pack Is Back,' Thurman and Nesbitt, the Gettys, Jeff Coleman and more

Jeff Coleman and the Feeders. Tonight's your last chance to see the Rat Pack revival at Robinson, 7:30 p.m., $17-$34.Afterthought unveils its new “Jazz@Afterthought” series with the local duo Thurman and Nesbitt, who play guitar jazz in the tradition of Django Reinhardt, 8 p.m., $5.

Today's action UPDATE

A House committee is expected to take up today the bill, prompted by a Blog post, to close records of the names of concealed carry permit holders in Arkansas.

Today's action UPDATE

A House committee is expected to take up today the bill, prompted by a Blog post, to close records of the names of concealed carry permit holders in Arkansas.

Meet the guest judge: Kelley Bass

Ark. Times Musicians Showcase Finals guest judge Kelley Bass. Who?

Still chasing

State Police just issued a news release saying they're still looking for a suspect who managed to evade them after a car chase last night.

Ethics bills on the way

A press release from Attorney General Dustin McDaniel says his two ethics bills will be filed on Monday.  Catch the press release on the jump, and be sure to check out Max's column on the proposed legislation in this week's Times.   

Protecting the watershed

Kate Althoff speaks at today's rally Citizens Protecting Maumelle Watershed, the Sierra Club and other environmental groups and activists held a rally today outside the Pulaski County administration building demanding the county adopt stricter regulations to protect the Lake Maumelle watershed.  Pulaski County officials have been in negotiations with Central Arkansas Water to amend the county's subdivision regulations to, among other things, prevent the surface discharge of wastewater in the watershed.  Kate Althoff of the Sierra Club spoke at the event.  She says the county needs to do more to regulate development in the area and protect a source of drinking water for nearly 400,000 people in Pulaski County alone.  Althoff says the county needs to restrict development to one house per five acres to maintain water quality and meet the goals laid out in the watershed management plan, developed by the consulting firm Tetra Tech.  Currently, there are no such limits in the subdivision rules.  Developers can build as densely as they like as long as they use man-made controls to limit impact on the water.  Althoff says relying on the good will of developers is not enough.  Press release on the jump.

Holtz and Hannity

Missed this the other day, but former Arkansas football head coach Lou Holtz was named, along with Sean Hannity, as the Worst Person in the World by MSNBC host Keith Olbermann after the two joked about the non-existence of global warming.  "You're talking global warming with Lou Holtz?"


A former Democrat staffer and Clarksville native is the media's premier steroids watchdog, according to this Talk of the Town piece in this week's New Yorker.She's Teri Thompson, an editor at the NY Daily News, who presides over the paper's sports investigative unit.

Movies in the Park schedule announced

Coming June 10. Daylight savings time kicks in Saturday night.

My Dinner with Nolan

OK - so maybe that headline is a tad misleading. Along with approximately 500 other people, I was fortunate enough to attend last Saturday's dinner honoring the 1994 national championship team.

Where's the bottom?

I don't want to find out. Today's miserable news from Wall Street: Losses fueled by GM's possible bankruptcy.

Ark. Times Musicians Showcase Finals: The Chicklettes

Sophondra Mayhem of the Chicklettes. Photo by Brian Chilson.

Ark. Times Musicians Showcase Finals: Nik and Sam

Sam and Nik. Photo by Brian Chilson.

Lottery bill ETA: next week

House Speaker Robbie Wills says the final draft of the lottery bill will not be filed this week, but probably early next week.  The task at hand is to combine the draft of the structure of the lottery business with the draft concerning the specific scholarship programs into one bill.  Wills says legislators are addressing concerns of non-traditional students and two-year colleges.  Get all the specifics at Wills' blog.

Ark. Times Musicians Showcase Finals: Velvet Kente

Velvet Kente. Photo by Brian Chilson.

Ark. Times Musicians Showcase Finals: The See

Joe Yoder of the See. The See grabbed round three by playing a sturdy, infectious brand of indie rock.

Ark. Times Musicians Showcase Finals: Jonathan Wilkins

Jonathan Wilkins. Photo by Brian Chilson.

Dillard's: More bad news

Arkansas Business reports on more gloomy reports from Dillard Department Stores, including plans to close more stores this year.

Robin Williams postponed

He's having aortic valve replacement surgery. His tour is supposed to pick back up in the fall.

If you're gonna be down Austin way


Sympathy for trial lawyers

Are unwanted solicitations annoying? Sure.

Sympathy for trial lawyers

Are unwanted solicitations annoying? Sure.

Bringing films to Arkansas

Rep. Rick Saunders filed a bill today that would give film production companies a 15 percent rebate, through the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, on all production costs made in connection with an approved film being made here in the state.

Long day...

Any thoughts? Here's a PS for art lovers: Arkansas Business reports the Crystal Bridges museum in Bentonville, once expected to open in 2010, may not open until 2011.

Check mate?

Times contributor Paul Barton sends this piece from Washington, D.C. WASHINGTON – The offices of Arkansas Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, both Democrats, issued statements Thursday afternoon denying Wednesday morning Internet chatter - apparently generated by some labor sources - that they had agreed to support controversial, union-backed “card-check” legislation.

Book notes

Parkhurst Brothers, the new publishing venture by Ted Parkhurst, has a new title in bookstores now. Roger Armbrust’s “The Aesthetic Astronaut” ($14.95, paperback) is a collection of 122 sonnets.

It's down to five

The final round of the Ark. Times Musicians Showcase is tonight at Revolution at 8 p.m. The door is only $5, and it's open to all ages. Jonathan Wilkins, the See, Velvet Kente, Nik and Sam and the Chicklettes will be battling it out. Get more lowdown here.

Hard times

The U.S. unemployment rate in February rose to 8.1 percent, worst in 26 years.

Explosives charge

A Russellville doctor was arrested Wednesday night for possessing an unregistered grenade. The arrest was unrelated to the recent bombing of the chairman of the Arkansas Medical Board, but the article notes that the doctor, Randeep Mann, has a record with that Board.

The sleazier chamber UPDATE

It was mentioned yesterday, but Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's House reception for his ethics legislation is worth noting.  Speaker Robbie Wills didn't get where he is without considering his members.

Obama dithers

Paul Krugman offers a tough assessment of the president's work on fixing the banking system.

Legend's Tribute

Doug Krile pays tribute to Mike Maynard, the man behind Shaka Smoke Lodge, on the Examiner blog.  Two years gone, and Maynard's absence is still felt in the River Market.

Friday To-Do: American Princes - Smoke Up Johnny - The Subteens

AMERICAN PRINCES/ SMOKE UP JOHNNY/THE SUBTEENS10 p.m., White Water.Wow. Dig this bill.

Everything you need to know about tonight's Ark. Times Musicians Showcase Finals

Most importantly, it's tonight, at Revolution, beginning at 8 p.m. (really) and the door is $5.

Off the docket

Southwestern Electric Power Company has filed a motion to dismiss the case being brought against them by the Hempstead County Hunting Club.  The hunting club wants to stop the proposed coal-fired power plant being built near Texarkana.  The case was originally set for March 12, but will now be postponed pending the ruling on the motion to dismiss.  According to Glen Hooks at the Sierra Club, this is standard operating procedure. 

Bang-up job UPDATE

KUAR's Kelly MacNeil filed this report on yesterday's legislative committee hearing on HB1623, which would keep private the identities of concealed carry permit holders in Arkansas.  For discussion on yesterday's happenings, click here.  Times publisher Alan Leveritt was the only person to speak against the bill yesterday.  State representatives said posting a link to public information was "deplorable."  Be sure to listen to the story for Leveritt's comments.   John Williams has an extended analysis of the hearing here.   

More on Mann

A doctor arrested Tuesday on an explosives charge was interviewed by ATF agents and the State Police on Feb. 4, the day the head of the Medical Board was critically injured by a bomb in his driveway, according to a complaint filed in federal court.

Other goings on

John Williams sends a brief note on other happenings around the capitol today.  The House State Agencies committee passed Rep. Steve Harrelson's bill to regulate Toughman boxing and mixed martial arts fighting.

Trauma drama

SB 315, the bill to amend the state's trauma system act passed in the House today (89 to 4) and now goes to the Senate.   Four Republicans voted against.  They were Carter, J. Burris, Lea and Malone.  Apparently funding was an issue.  The trauma system would be funded by an increase in the cigarette tax, which was passed in both houses wth super-majorities.  Politically, I don't see how voting against this was wise.  Maybe the aginners can explain?          

The Weekend: g-force, Big John Miller, Randy Rogers Band and more

The Randy Rogers Band. FRIDAY 3/6In case we haven't caught your attention elsewhere, it's the end of the road: Friday is the FINAL ROUND of the ARKANSAS TIMES MUSICIANS SHOWCASE.Unlike previous weeks, it's at Revolution and it starts at 8 p.m. and it's open to all ages.

Saturday To-Do: Little Rock Music Party

LITTLE ROCK MUSIC PARTY7:30 p.m., Studio Joe. $8.Mark Taylor knows that a lot of grown folks need some prodding for them to step out for a concert.

Saturday To-Do: Thriving Ivory

THRIVING IVORY7 p.m., Juanita's, $12.50 adv., $15 d.o.s.This Bay Area quintet made quite a name for itself before and certainly after the release of its self-titled debut album in June 2008.

Can I interest you in a film starring Levon Helm as a dead Confederate general?

Sadly, Levon's nowhere to be seen. It can be yours today.

Madoff plea in works?

Swindler Bernie Madoff may be about to enter a plea.

Stem cell rule change

As expected, President Obama will reverse the restrictions on federal support of  stem cell research. Announcement coming Monday.

“Can we all get along?”

  Jeez.   Four days in the Bahamas for pre-summer reparative bikini tan-line therapy, hunky dark-skinned steel-drums and umbrella cocktails . . .

Now is not the time

State Rep. Debra Hobbs, Republican of Paragould, failed to get her colleagues in the legislature to go along with her resolution telling the federal government to quit telling Arkansas what to do.

UCA Board cleans up

UCA Board President Rush Harding called a special board of trustees meeting to discuss two issues that have drawn criticism in UCA's tumultuous recent history.  The items on today's agenda were tuition breaks for children of trustees and the doling out of presidential discretionary scholarships.  Two practices the board voted to do away with by the end of the current semester.  The board also met in an executive session and made what Harding called "another great step in moving forward at UCA."

UCA Board cleans up

UCA Board President Rush Harding called a special board of trustees meeting to discuss two issues that have drawn criticism in UCA's tumultuous recent history.  The items on today's agenda were tuition breaks for children of trustees and the doling out of presidential discretionary scholarships.  Two practices the board voted to do away with by the end of the current semester.  The board also met in an executive session and made what Harding called "another great step in moving forward at UCA."

Open says me

But Max will probably be blogging later.

Velvet Kente claims the Ark. Times Musicians Showcase

Photo by Brian Chilson. Give it up for the Afro-beat, funk-soul rockers.

Wills for the defense

Speaker Robbie Wills responds to 1) criticism about his influence in the fate of Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's ethics legislation and 2) about having self-interested people participate in the oversight of investment of taxpayer money in private enterprise.

Why Blanche waffles

John Brummett explains Sen. Blanche Lincoln's elusiveness on labor's card check legislation. He predicts she'll ultimately oppose it.

Light day

It's a travel day for me, Las Vegas back to Little Rock, so unless one of my colleagues weighs in, it will be a light day for updates, depending on when I can get computer access.

Spring forward ... oops

I'm safely back in LR, house still standing, with nothing more than a few more unpleasant messages on my phone from the law-abiding gun cadre.

Life outside LR

Brummett finds some in Clarendon.

Water: Case in point

A hardy band continues on several fronts to agitate for meaningful regulation and protection of the Lake Maumelle watershed, a matter of importance to water users in a big chunk of Central Arkansas.

Is justice fair?

Sen. Joyce Elliott wants a study of possible inequities in the judicial system, particularly in death penalty cases.

Wally Watch: March 8, 2009

Wally Watch: Where we read Wally Hall so you don't have to. March 8, 2009: Angst building, but Pelphrey needs more time.

All Bad Things Must Come to an End

And thankfully, this mind-numbing regular season (or, to be exact, this mind-numbing conference season) is over.

Guns in church

Pastor slain in Illinois church. (link repaired) Will it blow new life into the Arkansas bill?

Open line

For Jazzy. And a word of explanation.

How About Them Apples?

Curiosity got the better of me this week.  I finally broke down and stopped to check out the Arkansas Black Apple stand on US 65 south of Leslie.  And you know something?  They were pretty good.  More about the stand at Tie Dye Travels.


Today is my birthday.  Every year when my friends and family ask what I want for my birthday, I always think what I'd like is for someone who is not me to plan something and tell me when to show up.  That's what happened last year, and it was AWESOME!  I'm never quite prepared for my birthday, but his year I have an excuse.  I got a bad case of food poisoning that's kept me out of it since Monday.  By the time I felt better, I didn't have time to plan anything.  Since I've done nothing since I got back from vacation except sleep and catch up on "General Hospital," I spent a lot of my birthday washing laundry and cleaning my apartment.  Still, it was a beautiful day, so I did a little run outside.  All of my friends contacted me to wish me a happy birthday.  I'm going for coffee later and may buy myself a little something cake-like to celebrate.  Come to think of it, the fact that I can hold down solid foods seems like a pretty fantastic gift considering the way the week started off.

More of the same

Brummett joins the criticism of President Obama for going along with another earmark-laden spending bill on the ground that it was holdover legislation.

School dollars to come

Here's a report on Obama administration guidance to school officials on spending coming stimulus money quickly and wisely.

'Our State Bird Is An Asshole'

Photo illustration by Jeremy Brasher. I think I woke up every hour last night.

The return of science

President Obama's announcement today lifting the ban on federal funding of stem cell research has much broader importance: It's part of a memorandum vowing that political ideology won't trump science in his administration.

About those pay raises

A new opinion from the attorney general says that Arkansas elected officials may NOT choose to relinquish recently adopted pay increases.

About those pay raises

A new opinion from the attorney general says that Arkansas elected officials may NOT choose to relinquish recently adopted pay increases.

McDaniel v. Wills

Brummett blogs about some interplay between Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and House Speaker Robbie Wills.

Woo Pig, Pryor

That UA Board of Trustee appointment is due out today. I'm still betting David Pryor of Fayetteville.

Stand by for Huck

ABC Radio adds a third daily show for the Huckabee Report.

Bye bye Bush era

Another welcome dose of news from the Obama administration: He's questioned the legitimacy of all of Bush's signing statements, by which the former president routinely thumbed his nose at acts of Congress.

Sunshine superwoman

Rep. Lindsley Smith got a very good vote -- 98 to non-votes Clemmer and Lowery -- for passage of her bill allowing claims for attorney fees in successful Freedom of Information lawsuits.

Fighting for clean water

Lake Maumelle protectionists soldier on. Today, they got an important legal opinion from the attorney general that says a county need not get into zoning to put a minimum lot-size on developments.

Fire chief finalists

LR's search for a new fire chief has been narrowed by City Manager Bruce Moore to four candidates -- two from within the department.

At the Capitol

I don't know much. The flurry of last-day bill filings must have plugged up the legislative website.

It's called leverage

Sen. Terry Smith introduced legislation today to cut fishing and hunting licenses from $10.50 to $1.50.

Follow the bouncing stimulus

The governor's office annoounces that the website to track federal stimulus spending in Arkansas is now up and running.

The Finals rundown

Photo by Brian Chilson. In the sixth week, we found a winner.

Gun beat

The list of Arkansas concealed weapon permit holders includes a Randeep Mann of London, Ark.

Gun beat

The list of Arkansas concealed weapon permit holders includes a Randeep Mann of London, Ark.

Open line

Take it away.

Open line

Take it away.

Blog reader says...

Matt Jones fans should check the Washington County Jail intake records for March 9 (today).

The Rice State

My friend Nao Ueda over at GreenAR by the Day recently contacted me to see if I was interested in participating in a bulk purchase of Arkansas rice.

Gay bashing UPDATE

OK. Jason Tolbert encourages me to link his post that says last-minute bill filings include a going-nowhere piece of gay bashing legislation intended to kill the economic stimulus that has come from Eureka Springs being a welcoming place to gay people.

Reservoir of troubles

The fortunes of the neighborhoods near Reservoir Road have risen and fallen precipitously in recent years. Even as the cost of single-family homes there rose with the rest of the housing market in the last decade, the area slowly emerged as a hotspot of crime.


Rep. Mark Martin issues a news release touting his bill to allow open carrying of handguns.

UCA moves forward

John Brummett says UCA's Board of Trustees made a clean break with the Lu Hardin era in a round of actions last week.

Obama's education plan

It's coming today. Merit pay.

All in the family

Roby Brock at Talk Business notes that, despite mounting losses at Dillard Department Stores, the Dillard family continues to reap big cash payments on its stock holdings.

Targeting Lincoln

Roll Call is the latest to pump the Republican Party's hope to stir up formidable opposition to Sen. Blanche Lincoln next year.

Gun beat

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c The Word - Locked and Loathed Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor Rap BattleJoke of the Day

Good government

I was miffed last night when I learned Attorney General Dustin McDaniel had sandbagged me about one piece of his so-called ethics "reform" package.

Main Street strip show

Click to enlarge. A reader sends a photo of work to remove the facade from the former Kempner's building on Main Street.

Main Street strip show

Click to enlarge. A reader sends a photo of work to remove the facade from the former Kempner's building on Main Street.

Bingo compromise

The Senate will not go along with a total tax exemption and  deregulation of so-called charity bingo.

Kris Allen is too dreamy to lose tonight

From this week's Entertainment Weekly. So clearly Entertainment Weekly is right, Kris Allen has too much support from nimble-fingered tween girls who text, moms who can't get over his doe-eyes and don't mind hitting redial over and over and gay men who aren't mad at his sartorial choices or haircut.

Doc remains in custody

Fox 16's David Goins Twitters that a federal magistrate has ruled Dr. Randeep Mann, accused of possessing unregistered grenades, must remain in custody.

Beth Ditto takes Paris

I don't think this is from Paris, but it's amazing. Following a post Max has on his blog, Beth Ditto is by far the most exciting thing happening at Paris fashion week, according to this great piece in the New York Times.Yesterday, she was the meat in a Macca/Thandie Newton sandwich.

The pride of Judsonia

Beth Ditto, lead singer of the Gossip and Arkansas's current leading contribution to the music world (I originally put her origins in the wrong Ark. town), makes the scene at the Paris fashion show, an occasion for a New York Times feature. It comes with a photo of the outsized punk singer showcasing her mama tattoo during her appearance for Fendi.

Madoff to plead

Should produce life sentence, Times says. I wonder if the deal preserves any loot for his family?

Wake me when it's over

Yes, the Dow rose 379 points. Do that 20 more times and we'll be back where the fall started, more or less.

Low wages every day

Add Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo to the list of people who believe Sens. Lincoln and Pryor will, ultimately, do Wal-Mart's bidding by voting to stop union card check legislation.

Teen driver crackdown

That bill to prohibit most late-night driving by 16- and 17-year-olds and to limit the number of other teen passengers won final approval in the Senate today.

A new license plate

Available beginning tomorrow: A decal to place on vehicle license plates in memory of Martin Luther King.

Classroom discipline

Fox 16 continues as the local leader in original TV news reporting, particularly in terms of regular web updates.

Memphis in May goes pop

Katy Perry. The line-up for the Memphis and May is out, and it looks better than usual, or at least more contemporary.The biggest names are Snoop Dogg, Katy Perry, Fall Out Boy, Al Green, James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, Three Six Mafia, Korn, Ben Harper, Elvis Costello, Jerry Lee Lewis and the Roots.Al Green and the Roots are on the same day.

Whataburger video

We've got a new Eat Arkansas video on the player on the home page. It's on Feltner's Whataburger.

Phoenix Theater essentially borrows Rep production, saves local economy

Well, not quite, but...The Rep's artistic director Bob Hupp is back in town after around a month in Phoenix, where he directed "Les Mis" for the Phoenix Theatre Company.

The D oh double g to the Village

May 4, I hear.Yes!UPDATE: Tickets are $40 and go on sale soon. I'll let you know.

Even Louisiana ...

... is rethinking the wisdom of putting more poison-emitting power plants on line. The chairman of the Louisiana PSC wants Entergy, in light of declining natural gas prices, among other factors, to reconsider converting an old gas-burning generating station into one burning petroleum coke.

Open line

Just for you.

Water ways

A watershed management plan was developed for Lake Maumelle and adopted by Central Arkansas Water in February 2007. Now there's a battle going on to determine just how that plan will be implemented.

10 dead

A slow morning in these parts. But headlined violence jumps out.

10 dead

A slow morning in these parts. But headlined violence jumps out.


On the flip side of the morning's bloodshed, there is the U.S. Supreme Court reference to the world peace prayer fountain in Fayetteville during arguments on what type of speech is protected on public property.

Funny guys

A committee yesterday approved a bill, by Rep. Linda Tyler, to require violators of protective orders in domestic violence cases to wear electronic tracking devices.

So much for primaries

A reader -- a Democratic Party regular -- sent me a thoughtful letter yesterday. It's about the power of incumbency.

Wednesday To-Do: Black Sheep

BLACK SHEEP9 p.m., the Village. $8 adv., $10 d.o.s.You don't have to be an old hip-hop head to remember Black Sheep, a duo from Queens who rode the tail end of the Natives Tongues' wave (A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Jungle Brothers) of '90s hip-hop domination.

Unemployment rises

The latest Arkansas employment report shows the unemployment rate in the state rose to 6.4 percent in January.

That Time of Year

It's the slowest for movies. "Watchmen," the much anticipated film adapted from, arguably, the greatest graphic novel of all time, has stirred the emotions of critics.

Judges call Kris Allen "adorable-sexy," "Jason Mraz-y" and "clumsy"

  I can't believe this is the best video I could find.

Dorothy Allison to Pub or Perish

Mark your calendar. Dorothy Allison, the author of books like "Bastard Out of Carolina" (a National Book Award finalist) and "Cavedweller" (New York Times Notable Book), will headline the Times annual "Pub or Perish" reading series during the Arkansas Literary Festival.The event will be held on Saturday, April 18, from 6:30 until 9:15, at Sticky Fingerz.

The taxman cometh

Federal prosecutors in Oklahoma may have finally found the key to getting Fort Smith lawyer Oscar Stilley out of the public eye for good.


One of my favorite authors, Wally Lamb, wrote a beautiful forward in his latest novel (his first in 10 years,) “The Hour I First Believed.” Written in the dedication, for his mother, now deceased, Lamb makes several references to her refrigerator. He states, “ …it was the outside of Ma’s fridge that best spoke of who she was.

Film incentive moving

A House committee swiftly approved the bill to reinstitute an incentive for film making in Arkansas -- a 15 percent rebate on Arkansas expenditures.

The Limpublican Party

Survey shows the vast majority of people don't think much of Rush Limbaugh's views. Republican base?

Socialism: Good medicine

Ernest Dumas in the Arkansas Leader lauds House passage -- opposed by the usual Republicans -- of an expansion of the program to provide health insurance for children of  lower income working families.

Speaking of Limpublicans

Another quality speaker in town tonight courtesy of the Clinton School. He's author Thomas Frank ("What's the Matter with Kansas" and, more recently, "The Wrecking Crew.") The new book describes the "misrule" of conservatives in America.

Presidential speech

Former President Bush, the better one, will give a free public speech at 8 p.m.

The bingo racket

It's too late to stop this train, but anybody who's been following the effort by bingo operators to end taxation and regulation of the game would do well to look at a report the state Finance and Administration Department prepared last fall.

The bingo racket

It's too late to stop this train, but anybody who's been following the effort by bingo operators to end taxation and regulation of the game would do well to look at a report the state Finance and Administration Department prepared last fall.

Rod Bryan talks about a new local music-for-pay model, being an Eco-Pyscho and making music with Gilbert Baker

Former gubenatorial candidate/record store owner/Ho-Hum bassist* Rod Bryan keeps busy these days lobbying, on behalf of the Arkansas Conservation Alliance, during the legislative session.

Slipping away

-- Courtesy NLR Times. Click on photo to enlarge Times are tough.

High times

TV 40/29 has an interesting report. Bella Vista police found a 43-year-old man dead in his home this week.

Coming soon: Shooter's Live

Pending approval by the ABC, look out for a new 10,000 square-foot sports bar coming soon to Southwest Little Rock.

Blogging Vs. Twittering Vs. Homicide

        I’m not going to go all 2009 on you now and rave about Twittering because I’m still not sold on the idea.