From Texas country and Memphis rap to eccentric Canadian pop acts.
Vol 37 • No 27
'Review the Revue' continues at The Rep.
A look at the movie milestones in Batesville and Central Arkansas.
The 39 Steps,' 'Les Mis,' Shakespeare and more.
A preview of the coming season.
'Impressionists and their Influence' brings Monet, Renoir, Degas, more.
The best in music, film, theater and more throughout the state.
Significant news on House Bill 1895, the legislation by the American Electric Power Company and the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation to put a screeching halt to court review of the regulatory decisions that allowed construction to begin on the Turk coal-fired power plant in Hempstead County. Gov. Mike Beebe opposes the bill.
I tried to reach Garland County Republican committeeman Chuck Chatham to ask him about his offensive e-mail in which he cast the special House District 24 election today as a contest between a Christian Republican and a "pro-abortion Jewish lawyer."
Will Harding gay rights zine have a lasting impact?
No estimate given on cost to repair.
Government subsidies, corporate welfare, hypocrisy, AT&T and HB1525.
Northwest Arkansas used to send pretty fair legislators to the Capitol: Now they send Justin Harrises and Charles Collinses.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas broke federal law by failing to report $700,000 that his wife was paid by a think tank.
The former UCA head pleads to wire fraud and money laundering.
Oelke has been working of late in opposition to legislation that would collect the state sales tax on Internet sales.
Teresa Oelke, the Arkansas director of the Koch brothers' Americans for Prosperity organization, speaks out against, benefits from Obama's stimulus.
Rep. Ed Garner of Maumelle demonstrated a lack of respect for yet another law the other day. This time, involving squirrels.
Retired Circuit Judge Marion Humphrey, 61, said he's "taking a look" at running as a Democrat for Congress from the 2nd District in 2012.
"When did the Times last review a performance of classical music? Does the editorial staff think only Republicans enjoy classical music?"
The bistro changes menu with rich results.
Did Bambino hit the longest ball in the (then) history of baseball in Hot Springs? On St. Patrick's Day?
Arkansas football ranked second in a new list from Sports Illustrated and CBS which rands football programs in terms of players with criminal records.
Your tax dollars at work, in the form of a news release from the secretary of state.
Consider the not-so-humble cupcake. Could it be the perfect dessert?
Mike Huckabee may have set a record for the number of fibs told by a presidential aspirant in a single week.
"Wine does of a truth moisten the soul and lull our griefs to sleep."
Also, Damn Bullets at Stickyz, Royal Thunder at White Water Tavern and Sonny Burgess & the Pacers at Conway's Sunset Ballroom.
The story of Al, the first documented hamster in Arkansas.
The new cartoon is good enough to bug your eyes out.
It's the first time The Observer has ever received birthday cards from the dentist and the auto insurance agent.
As gas prices have gone up, so has ridership on the buses of Central Arkansas Transit Authority.
Also, Heypenny at White Water Tavern, Baths at Stickyz, The Small Ponds and Glossary at White Water Tavern, Wild Flag and Times New Viking at Stickyz, Damien Jurado and Viva Voce at White Water Tavern, The Body at Downtown Music Hall, Nicholas Sparks at UCA and Ryan Bingham & the Dead Horses at Revolution.
Legislators filed a torrent of unnecessary legislation at the filing deadline. It ranged from the silly to the pernicious.
Was that a group of Republican legislators gathered just by chance at Cajun's last night?
The Forrest City Times-Herald reports an arrest there Tuesday on an election law violation related to the November general election.
The exploration of the Fayetteville shale for natural gas has been expanded by a federal agency into the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests.
A Senate committee yesterday approved legislation for a two-year pilot program to allow state employee insurance coverage for weight-loss surgery — gastric bypass and lapband.
Riverfest has booked jam heroes Widespread Panic for Friday night at the Clinton Center stage and late '90s pop rockers Barenaked Ladies for Saturday night at the same stage.
Rep. Jon Woods of Springdale has filed legislation to move the museum to Little Rock.
A message from the Arkansas Times: It's our weekly reminder of the good deals available at our Half Off Depot page.
Sen. Missy Irvin's bill to add expense and time-wasting to Arkansas implementation of health care reform law (and add elements to interpose the state against implementation) is being debated in Senate committee this morning.
NPR CEO Vivian Schiller resigned today, effective immediately. It follows a gotcha video by a right-wing provocateur with a former NPR fund-raiser.
Republican Sen. Michael Lamoureux has introduced a bill to create a new judgeship in his part of the state.
As Arkansas and the rest of the country moves inexorably toward an educational system shaped by the philosophical outlook of Walton money, we'd do well to take note of news developments in a world where test scores are everything.
The Illinois governor signed the bill abolishing the death penalty today. We should, too.
"The Impressionists and Their Influence" exhibition coming April 1 to the Arkansas Arts Center.
Though the final legislation is still a work in progress, a House committee today speedily approved the SWEPCO/Arkansas Electric Co-op bill originally drafted to retroactively put a stop to judicial review of the Turk power plant in Hempstead County.
Rep. Denny Altes asked that his bill to encourage teaching of a Bible course in public schools be sent back to committee.
The House today passed, 69-16,.Rep. John Catlett's bill to allow people to take a gun onto their employers' parking lots if left in a locked car.
Media Matters points out another bit of dishonesty promoted by Mike Huckabee in his latest bookette.
The Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival is hosting an "open screening" on April 2.
The fourth season of "True Blood," scheduled to debut in June on HBO, draws, unsurprisingly, from Charlaine Harris' fourth Sookie Stockhouse novel, "Dead to the World." Creator Alan Ball and the cast of "True Blood" dished on what to expect recently
The lottery released the results of a demographic study and moved forward with plans to introduce a $20 ticket.
The midweek line commences. The loan shark bill advanced.
Want something more than just dinner? If you're interested in the top talent on the Arkansas culinary scene, think about the 2011 Chefs Ball.
OK. I give up. I can't resist.
I shared Hunka Pie with readers of Serious Eats this week... and for once, there's some real love going on.
Tonight offers up orchestral rock, buzzy indie and musical theater at The Rep.
The Fayetteville-formed, Nashville-transplanted pop trio swings into White Water Tavern
Of course the bill introduced by Rep. John Walker and discussed today in the Democrat-Gazette is aimed at requiring ward government for Little Rock.
Rep. Denny Altes can't help but show his true colors and they are reason to be afraid — very afraid — of his bill to encourage the teaching of the Bible in public schools.
President Obama's education secretary Arne Duncan spoke some simple truth yesterday. The United States is not Lake Wobegone.
Billy Bob's new Willie doc to screen at SXSW.
The City Wire in Fort Smith, followed by the Real Clear Arts blog by Judith Dobrzynski, reported on Don Bacigalupi's thematic description of the Crystal Bridges Art Museum collection that he gave businessmen at the Arkansas Governor's Tourism Conference on Tuesday.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel boasted in a Democrat-Gazette op-ed today about how his office's quiet negotiations with utilities had paid dividends for ratepayers.
The Arkansas unemployment rate in February was 7.8 percent, down from 7.9 the month before.
Del Monte is planning to offer single bananas individually wrapped in packaging designed to prolong the shelf life of the fruit.
Former Razorback Peyton Hillis and current apple of Cleveland's eye Peyton Hillis will sign autographs and pose for pictures from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 13.
The Central Arkansas POD of the Chili Appreciation Society International is holding an open chili cookoff this Saturday out at Pulaski Tech's South Campus.
Michael Tilley at the City Wire reports that the Golden Living nursing home chain (formerly Beverly Enterprises) is preparing to move its corporate headquarters from Fort Smith to Plano, Tex. Hard to recruit execs to Fort Smith.
DJ Discipline drops a new mixtape.
More trouble for embattled Razorback basketball coach John Pelphrey. He was photographed with basketball recruits, a contact that CBS says, because of the date the picture was taken, is a violation of NCAA "contact" rules
Channel surfing the legislature this morning: * The House Transportation Committee discussed and then recommended the 5-cent diesel tax increase to pay for $1 billion in highway construction.
Cheesesteaks at Gino's Pizzaria & Philly Steak don’t match those deliciously greasy and gooey delights at Rocky’s Pub, but they’re not bad.
Meredith Oakley, columnist and associate editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, is leaving the newspaper after almost 35 years there.
Factually challenged though he and his book are, Mike Huckabee's new bookette will be at No. 2 on one of the New York Times' best-seller lists this Sunday.
The L.A./L.R. folk act gets a spotlight from Paste Magazine.
The Commercial Appeal reports the FBI is investigating the death of a Forrest City transgender person as a potential hate crime.
Drawings and pen and inks by Delta artist Norwood Creech will be featured in the Mezzanine Gallery of the Arkansas Studies Institute starting March 11.
Friend of the Times Nelson Chenault was on hand last night for the opening of Christopher Janney's permanent sound and light installation in the new underpasses at Hendrix College in Conway.
Check out a new slideshow from "Review the Revue"
Education caucus. Environmental caucus.
A Gilligan's Island themed bar and grill serves up several burger creations alongside other kitchy and cutely named appetizers and meals.
Emily Woods, Kelly Campbell Phelps at SAAC.
Few things get my ire up more than my home state being lumped in with the "flyover states" in the Union.
More news from the Arkansas-filmed Hank Williams biopic.
Hope you have something to contribute. Seems like I've been in meetings all day.
The weekend offers local metal, a rockabilly legend and a couple of strummin', singin' sisters.
The Civil War play, written by Little Rock's Phillip McMath, opens at The Weekend Theater on Friday.
If you don't follow TV much, you might turn it on. The video coming from Japan, as readers noted on the open line overnight, is frightening stuff.
Mike Huckabee's mouth now draws criticism from Rotary International, the civic organization. The letter comes in response to a statement made by Huckabee in a March 2 radio interview that most Americans "grew up in communities filled with Rotary clubs, not madrassas (Islamic seminaries)," during a critical assessment of President Barack Obama's "world view."
UALR invites all to a pep rally. Chancellor Joel E. Anderson invites all students, faculty, staff, and the community for a Celebration Pep Rally at 12:15 p.m.
The one-man glitch-pop wunderkind comes to Stickyz.
Rep. Jim Nickels failed, as expected, yesterday with his bill to require combined corporate tax filling by multistate corporations.
Two sterling alt-country acts with big-time pedigrees come to White Water Tavern.
The new Republican mayor of Bryant, Jill Dabbs, and Republican city clerk, Heather Kizer, aren't happy about a city policy that pegs their pay to education and experience in elected office. They are thus making a bit less than predecessors and they want their money.
A pecan pie with nuts not just on top but all the way through to the sandy bottom. Just another great example of fine comfort food to be had at Your Mama's.
It's Friday. Why not a laugh?
The Highway Department estimates almost a half-billion in damage to 800 miles of roads from gas drilling, against $35 million in revenue from the severance tax.
The House this morning voted 67-24 to pass HB 1902 to call an election on a five-cent increase in the diesel tax to raise money to repair U.S. and interstate highways.
Cantrell Gallery opens "Brazil: An Endangered Beauty," pastels and watercolors of rainforest wildlife by Kitty Harvill, tonight.
More art goings-on tonight, from the Marriott Courtyard to Mediums Art Lounge.
Auburn University has dismissed four football players after their arrests on robbery charges. Those arrested include tight end Dakota Mosley, a former star at Little Rock Christian.
U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, as promised, has officially declined a congressional pension.
A dozen-plus Muslim Arkansans gathered today at the site of the New Africa development, on a no longer vacant block at 40th and Potter in the John Barrow neighborhood, to celebrate the completion of three houses and the construction of a fourth.
Not much to leave you with for the open line, except these items hot off the rumor mill: * UAMS faces a budget pinch.
Tune in to the latest "Week in Review" podcast.
The free enterprise crowd — such as the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce — have a new scheme to tax poor people to put money in the pockets of big business.
Grim news from Japan on earthquake-damaged nuclear power stations.
I wrote yesterday about efforts by Republican Jill Dabs and Republican Heather Kizer, the newly elected mayor and clerk, respectively, in Bryant, to be paid more than allowed by city ordinance.
Sounds like a regime change is in the works for Razorback basketball. 40/29 asks Hog coach John Pelphrey about a report that his time is up as UA basketball coach: 40/29: "Will you be back next season?"
I'm opening it up early. I have things to do.
You may have noticed the work on the long abandoned Hardee's location on Highway 65 on the north side of Conway. Wimpy's will open in the building at some point this week — serving up burgers, fries, shakes, fried pickles and a Philly.
The amazing, experimental doom metal duo returns to Downtown Music Hall.
A huge, Merge Records double bill comes to Stickyz.
The celebrated singer/songwriter comes to White Water Tavern.
John Brummett has a prediction of what likely will happen if religionist Rep. Denny Altes succeeds in legislating Bible courses in Arkansas schools.The very real concern is that little Johnny the preacher’s kid is apt to run home and tattle if the teacher suggests, for example, that the story of Adam and Eve is an allegorical variation on common mythology and lore and that maybe the fruit was not really fruit and that maybe the serpent was not really a serpent, but that they represent temptation and sin.
Nicholas Kristof isn't breaking new ground here, but it's worth repeating as the Tea Party and the school reform crowd promote the story line that teachers are overpaid, underworked and in need of mass firings.
Little Rock's Wesley Clark, writing in the Washington Post, says the U.S. should consider the checkered history of short-term military interventions before jumping into Libya.
There are a lot of blogs out there concerning Arkansas food. These dogged individuals are bringing you all sorts of different angles on everything from growing to consuming to pairing to... well, you get the general idea.
It's official. The University of Arkansas has announced the firing of Razorback men's basketball coach John Pelphrey.
It's open. Guess what, it's chicken grilling season.
The pizzaria has closed its West Little Rock location and changed prices at the store on West Third. More changes on the way.
Surprise. The disaster in Japan has many rethinking the notion of a vastly expanded nuclear power energy as part of the solution to U.S. power needs.
Arkansas is not the first or only state where legislation has been introduced to force on-line retailers to collect the sales tax owed on Internet purchases.
The AARP has announced its opposition to legislation to remove the constitutional 17 percent interest limit on small loans.
J.W. and Emily McAllister, alumni of the University of Arkansas, have given $1 million to the UA for the project to make the college an "All-Steinway School," or equipped with the famous pianos.
Dave Grohl and co. are coming to Verizon Arena on May 18 with special guests Motorhead (!).
What a surprise. Conservative political hit man James O'Keefe presented his hit video on an NPR fund-raiser in a misleading way.
The local singer/songwriter is attempting to raise $25,000 to record in Nashville's legendary Ocean Way Studios.
Charter schools dominated discussion at the state Board of Education today. First up was a petition to expand the eStem Charter School elementary school in downtown Little Rock.
A potential tenant in the Promenade at Chenal told us last week that he'd been informed an Apple store would be opening there by fall.
Boy, I'm about to start an argument — over which of the state's piemakers has the best pie. My top choices are out, but I could always change my mind.
The band formerly known as Pilot Whale release the "Ride the Whale E.P." on Bandcamp.
The Little Rock Urban Collegiate Charter School's defense of its charter is before the state Education Department.
John Corbett talks about serving as grand marshal for Hot Springs' Worlds Shortest St. Patrick's Day parade,l life as a rock 'n' roller, having two passionate fan bases who may know nothing about the other and the potential for "Sex in the City 3."
The line is open. Notes: * To several who have inquired: I will not play the count-the-Duggars game.
As late as noon today, Sen. Mary Anne Salmon of North Little Rock was reportedly resisting Republican Sen. Gilbert Baker's pressure to vote for his bill to effectively take the cap off open enrollment charter schools in Arkansas.
The best-selling author of "The Notebook" visits UCA as part of the school's "Distinguished Lecture" series.
The Oscar-winning singer/songwriter moseys up to Revolution.
James Lee Witt, FEMA director under President Clinton, speaks to the Little Rock Rotary Club at 12:30 p.m. today at the Clinton Library.
Rep. Denny Altes' bill to allow school districts to teach Bible in an academic fashion could be up for consideration in amended form in House committee today.
John Brummett this morning enumerates the ways in which legislators — mouthing small-governmnent platitutdes — govern like big government corporate enablers.
Amber Lea won the Grand Prize in the 2011 annual Student Competitive Art Exhibition at the University of Central Arkansas with her ceramic piece, "Deductive."
High interest over the weekend in two posts — the last one here — on red hot politics in Bryant, the booming suburban bedroom community that recently elected Republican Jill Dabbs as mayor.
Work by UALR graduate LaToya Hobbs has been added to the latest exhibit at Hearne Fine Art, "Synergy," featuring the work of noted artists Elizabeth Catlett and Samella Lewis.
The YAA show opens today at the Arkansas Arts Center, in the Atrium, Strauss and Smith galleries.
I've been distracted this morning. From the Capitol: * CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS: Roby Brock reports that a Senate committee has sent just two amendments to the joint committee that will recommend three constitutional amendments.
An exhibit of work by mixed media artists Lisa Renz and Evan Pardue and ceramicist Winston Taylor opened Saturday at Boswell-Mourot Fine Art, 5815 Kavanaugh Blvd. You would have read about it here Friday had we hit the "publish" button.
Sen. Michael Lamoureux has pulled his bill to allow the legislature to set the interest limit for small loans — and thus open the door to the loan sharking installment loan industry.
The Sierra Club reports on oral arguments today before the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals on SWEPCO's appeal of a partial injunction against construction of the coal-fired power plant in Hempstead County.
The Gas Lobby Legislative Caucus (they call themselves the Shale Caucus) has taken credit for shouting down efforts to make gas drillers pay for the damage they do to county roads with their rigs.
The Central Arkansas Library System is beginning work to enlist public support to refinance bonds to allow library construction projects.
I mentioned Friday talk of a "third-way" tax cut plan to break the House-Senate stalemate on competing tax cut ideas.
Footage of the songwriter performing an unplugged version of "Arkansas" with help from the crowd.
I still don't know how the Billionaire Boys Club yesterday turned Sen. Mary Anne Salmon into the pivotal vote for the bill to take the cap off charter schools.
I think Mike Huckabee is going to run for president, but I think he's going to finesse the decision as long as possible to hang onto the money he makes as a non-candidate with his radio show (now on 560 stations) and his show on Fox News, which recently booted two commentators who've made not much more presidential noise than Huckabee.
Interesting story in today's Forrest City Times-Herald, which is, unfortunately, behind a pay wall. The Forrest School Board learned last night that the superintendent plans to fire at least 75 people to save $2.6 mllion in the 2011-2012 school year and avoid a state fiscal distress finding.
It's hardly surprising, but it's another good example of a tall-talking Republican who's all about cutting government unless it's his pet interest.
The attorney general's office announced today it had approved the form of the proposal being pushed by Sheffield Nelson to increase the severance tax.
The line is open. Noted: * Tea Party Republicans continue to throw up obstacles to routine appropriation bills.
I just don't have time to check. But I'll pass along an interesting tip that suggests funny business will be underway tomorrow in the special language subcommittee of Joint Budget.