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March 26, 2009

Vol 7 • No 11

Getting started

Must have: Helmet ($45+), shoes ($85) and clipless pedals ($65), flat tire repair kit ($50).

The state of biking.

About half-way through the ride I figured out how cold it really was. It was sunny and probably about 45 degrees but the driving wind made it feel like it was 30.

Sympathy for AIG

Worth a read: NYT op-ed today from one of those dastardly bonus recipients at AIG.

Move the primary?

I mentioned yesterday Senate committee approval of Sen. Steve Faris' bill, SB 253, to move the primary election to the first Tuesday in June, about two weeks later than the current May date.

Lobbying for Obama

Liberal groups have gone to bat for Obama's budget. They're trying to turn up the pressure on moderate Democrats to get on board.

Orval, March 26

NOVA: COMET STRIKE

One of these days — given the ticking-clock nature of the universe, it’s pretty much a when, not an if — every living thing on earth is gonna have a real bad day.

Shame, shame

If politics is truly to be noble, as Bill Clinton, Dale Bumpers and David Pryor told us the other night it still can be, then there must come a point at which you do the obviously right thing without regard for political viability.

The observer, March 26

After a few months of getting nagged by Junior, The Observer and his brother finally took some time on Saturday night to pack up the young’un and take him on that most Arkie of outings: a trip to see the Ghost Light of Gurdon.

Arkansas colleges endure the recession

It’s been a tough year for higher education.

First lottery winner

The new state lottery may be in operation before 2009 is out, but the Insider has already identified a potential winner.

Legislative perks

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette enlivened the Monday paper with a couple of stories on the fringe benefits of being a public official in Arkansas.

March 18-24, 2009

It was a GOOD week for … POLITICAL WAR STORIES. Three former governors — two of them also former senators and one a former president — gathered to tell tales in Little Rock last week.

What's cooking, March 26

Brown Sugar Bakeshop has opened in the River Market.

Meat puppet

What is up with Sen. Blanche Lincoln! She’s no Democrat.

The king of wings?

Until recently, it’s been rough going for Buffalo-wing lovers in Little Rock.

In brief, March 26

Christian hit maker Chris Tomlin performs in Alltel Arena’s theater configuration, with openers Israel Houghton and New Breed, 7 p.m., $28-$35.

Twisty

“Duplicity” comes at you fast with more bends and curves than a car commercial but only really takes off with a sequence that lurches by in extreme slow motion.

Words, March 26

When the Arkansas Times’ NCAA pool director informed participants that this year’s event would be conducted under Fibonacci rules, the response was “The hell you say!” and “What are you trying to pull?”

Runway redux

After last year’s inaugural event drew 1,000 people, the Designers Choice Fashion Preview returns on Saturday with more designers and new celebrity hosts.

Picking judges

The difference between Republicans and Democrats is that when Republicans have the opportunity to appoint high government officials they appoint mad-dog Republicans, and when Democrats have the opportunity to appoint high government officials, they appoint Republicans a little less mad.

A&E news, March 26

Better be busy whittlin’ or have that lathe spinning. The Rock Candy 500 pinewood derby is just around the corner.

To-do list, March 26

American Princes, Ozark Foothills Film Fest, Pickin' and Winnin,' Pat Green, Arkansas New Play Festival, Arkansas Twisters, National Symphony Orchestra and Yonder Mountain String Band are a handful of entertainment options this week.

Eye on Arkansas, March 26

This modern world, March 26

Smart talk, March 26

Debate continues on whether to close the Arkansas list of concealed weapon permit holders to public inspection, legislation prompted by the Arkansas Times’ web publication of the list.

The Indians live

The hawk-feather bustle worn by a Quapaw boy in fancy dance has a beaded leather center featuring the image of Mickey Mouse.

Look who hates unions

We all took a respite last week from the organized horror over the prospect that the economy will be overrun by unionized workers to indulge the great tide of populist rage over taxpayer-supplied bonuses to AIG executives who helped engineer the collapse of the global financial system.

A conspirator’s notes

At least three of the high ganders at Vulpine News were all a-honk last week at having turned over a vast left-wing conspiracy.

For the children UPDATE

Good timing. A Senate committee yesterday demonstrated wisdom and approved Sen. Joyce Elliott's bill to be sure that some Arkansas residents who are graduates of Arkansas high schools are not denied in-state tuition college on account of bigotry.

Quoting Sen. Pryor

From a New York Times article on President Obama's outreach to Democratic members of Congress, particularly flyover land reps, resistant to some of his program:

Barack Six-pack

President Obama gets out on the town -- eating chili dogs, going to school teacher conferences, drinking beer at pro basketball games.

Women and children first UPDATE

Thanks to Lance Turner at Arkansas Business for a tip to maritime disaster in North Little Rock.

Free master's degree

A question fired at me this morning about SB 858 by Sen. Shane Broadway, (link fixed) which zipped through Senate Education with nary a peep yesterday.

Weekend To-Do: Ozark Foothills Film Fest

From 'Woodpecker.' OZARK FOOTHILLS FILM FEST12 p.m., Independence Hall, University of Arkansas Community College, Batesville.

More newspaper woes UPDATE

Another word on my parochial obsession. I see that the mighty Atlanta Constitution and Journal (once nearly 500,000 Sunday circulation) is cutting its newsroom staff from 323 to 230 (a smaller number than the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and compared with 500 in 2006) and reducing circulation, already well reduced from statewide, to 20 Atlanta metro-area counties.

Thursday To-Do: American Princes

AMERICAN PRINCES9 p.m., Revolution. $10.Everyone's favorite possibly-soon-to-blow-up local rockers return to Little Rock for the second time in a month.

Kris Allen is totally making the top three

Another week, another smooth, solid performance from Conway's Kris Allen (AKA Tender Dawg) on "American Karaoke."

The greatest magazine of 2005*, dead in 2009

Blender, the music-focused sister pub of Maxim, is the latest magazine to die in The Year That All the Magazines Died.

Beebe: For open gun records

Gov. Mike Beebe said recently in an appearance on AETN and repeated again today that he favors keeping the list of concealed weapon permit holders open to public inspection, as it has been since the law was passed.

New trial sought for Damien Echols

The stepped-up legal and investigative effort on behalf of those convicted in the West Memphis Three case continues.

Lottery cleanup

1) Steve Harrelson's photo of the lottery celebration prompted some comment from an admirer of Lt. Gov. Bill Halter.

Thursday: Chris Tomlin, Jonathan Wilkins, Kevin Gordon, Greg Spradlin, Loch Ness Monster, more

Spradlin. Christian hit maker Chris Tomlin performs in Alltel Arena's theater configuration, with openers Israel Houghton and New Breed, 7 p.m., $28-$35.

Home school advocate

Sen. Gilbert Baker would never require a child to attend a public school. But he does propose to require public school districts to allow home schoolers to play sports and participate in extracurricular activities in the public school districts in which they live.

Home school advocate

Sen. Gilbert Baker would never require a child to attend a public school. But he does propose to require public school districts to allow home schoolers to play sports and participate in extracurricular activities in the public school districts in which they live.

'Rock Candy Presents: Live at the White Water' debuts

joshua. I'm really excited to unveil "Rock Candy Presents: Live at the White Water," a new Times video series.With some regularity, probably or weekly or bi-weekly, we're going to host high quality video of local musicians playing live.

From the SI Archives: 1985-86 Basketball Preview

Every Razorback fan over a certain age surely remembers Nolan Richardson's first season as head coach as being confusing (those polka-dot shirts), transitional (suddenly the players were running a lot more) and ultimately very dispiriting (that 12-16 final record after 11 years of success under Eddie Sutton was pretty shocking).

Legislative update

John Williams' notes from the legislature: * Rep. Mark Martin ran a bill today that would have the state pay for developmentally disabled children to be home-schooled.

KXUA, another reason Fayetteville rules

The Fayetteville Flyer today celebrates KXUA, the student run radio station at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

Hooky time

Over to you. I"ve got to get dinner cooking before I visit with the Stonewall Democrats.

Dessert Suggestion.

Looking for a well-caffeinated finale to the evening?  Check out the new Istanbul Mediterranean Cuisine in the Pleasant Ridge Town Center.  The eatery makes an excellent Turkish coffee for three bucks that's pleasantly spicy and syrupy.  Dessert selections include, of all things, chocolately profiteroles -- but I like the baklava, rich with honey and nuts.  Just a suggestion. 

An in with Sen. Lincoln

Wal-Mart Watch reports on Wal-Mart's hiring of Sen. Blanche Lincoln's former chief of staff, Kelly Bingel to lobby against the union card check legislation.

Dark humor

Some people are having too much fun at the expense of Admiral Hays. Go to Argenta News for a link to a new radio ad for the Salty Parrot -- "Arkansas's Only Swim-up Bar."

Talking turtle

Texas, Alabama and Mississippi are among the states that have restricted turtle harvesting. Declining populations and public health risks from eating meat contaminated by poisons in water are the reasons.

Today at the legislature

Friday is traditionally a slow day at the legislature, though busier as a session draws near an end.

Unrest at UALR

Thanks to my Twitter alert for Fox 16's report on breaking dissension at UALR. It seems the athletic department is preparing to junk the cheerleading squad in favor of an NBA-style dance team.

Unrest at UALR

Thanks to my Twitter alert for Fox 16's report on breaking dissension at UALR. It seems the athletic department is preparing to junk the cheerleading squad in favor of an NBA-style dance team.

Ethics watch

The House may vote today on HB 1968 to stiffen conflict-of-interest law concerning members of state boards and commissions.

Today's boondoggle

What Einstein came up with the idea to spend $650,000 to disrupt access to the new pedestrian Junction Bridge so that there could be a big construction project that won't show any more of the "little rock" than already could be seen?

Today's boondoggle

What Einstein came up with the idea to spend $650,000 to disrupt access to the new pedestrian Junction Bridge so that there could be a big construction project that won't show any more of the "little rock" than already could be seen?

More unemployed

The state unemployment rate rose to 6.6 percent in February, up from 6.4 percent the month before.

Sometimes I'm not a good liberal

I was reading about the "Arkansas Cradle to Prison Pipeline Summit," which will be held April 30.

Whose side are you on?

The Daily Howler goes on a tear against the "moderate" Senate Democrat faction -- Sens. Lincoln and Pryor on team -- that has essentially managed to give a voter-marginalized Republican Party power it shouldn't rightfully hold.

Whose side are you on?

The Daily Howler goes on a tear against the "moderate" Senate Democrat faction -- Sens. Lincoln and Pryor on team -- that has essentially managed to give a voter-marginalized Republican Party power it shouldn't rightfully hold.

Weekend To-Do: Arkansas New Play Festival

A Disfarmer photo. ARKANSAS NEW PLAY FESTIVAL6 p.m., Nadine Baum Studios, Walton Arts Center, Fayetteville.

Weekend To-Do: Pickin' and Winnin'

Susan Gibson. PICKIN' AND WINNIN'5 p.m., Arlington Hotel, Hot Springs.

Happy ending for Eureka

Republican Rep. Bryan King's bill to punish Eureka Springs by revoking its domestic partnership registry failed in committee this morning on a voice vote.

Friday To-Do: Pat Green

PAT GREEN9 p.m., Revolution. $30.Hailing from a family with nine siblings, Texan Pat Green began his country music career as a member of Texas Tech's FarmHouse fraternity, gigging at the house and local bars in Lubbock.

607 'Drops' it

At Harvard. After a week off (the middleman messed up, apparently), Lord Six returns with yet another bangin' remix.

Weekend Moviegoing

"Sunshine Cleaning," "Wendy and Lucy."  And this is fantastic.

Death Penalty Reform

The death penalty makes me nervous. It makes me nervous because there is always a chance the wrong person is being executed.

Schueck has left the building

Tom Schueck, see "Ethics Watch" post below, announced at the Pollution Control and Ecology Commission meeting this morning that he would not seek re-appointment to the commission.

Charlie Daniels goes green

Should you happen to notice the lights on the Capitol go dark tomorrow night, there's an explanation.

Charlie Daniels goes green

Should you happen to notice the lights on the Capitol go dark tomorrow night, there's an explanation.

Unname that bill, lawyer says

Have you been reading about the bill to ban sales of authentic-looking toy guns to children?

Sup. Crt. justice a liar

Yes, I believe so. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Friday that John Roberts misled the Senate during his confirmation hearings by pretending to be a moderate — and that the United States is now “stuck” with him as chief justice. 

The Weekend: Adam Faucett, Kevin Kerby, Big Silver, Venus Mission, more

FRIDAY 3/27At White Water, prolific local singer/songwriter Adam Faucett shares the bill with roots rock standout Big Silver and Kevin Kerby and Battery, who should be playing songs off their forthcoming album, 9 p.m., $5.

Good news?

Ask and you shall receive. They announced Truman Scholars this week -- 60 college juniors chosen for awards of up to $30,000 for graduate study.

Saturday To-Do: Arkansas Twisters

ARKANSAS TWISTERS7:05, Alltel Arena. $11-$28.Even though the Arena Football League cancelled its season this year (the economy, natch), its spin-off league AF2 soldiers on.

Diamond mystery

I'm late to this one, but here's an interesting story from Smithsonian.com about diamond mining at the state's park at Murfreesboro.

Friday follies

Are open.

Friday follies

Are open.

For Those of You Who Wanted Billy Gillispie in Fayetteville Two Years Ago

It seems that he's now available. So, who's going to replace him?

Maybe the Guy with the Mysterious Scratches and No Alibi Did It

I just finished an online class, so I've been giving my brain a much needed break.  I picked up a stack of mysteries from work, and I've been making my way through those.  When I want something light, I read "cozy mysteries," which are mysteries that frequently feature some sort of theme (coffee mysteries, Sudoku mysteries, gardening mysteries.  One day we'll talk about the absurd number of hobbies and professions that have been the basis for a mystery series) and usually have titles that are puns on the chosen theme.  In these books, somehow the dead people are almost never the point.  Murder is mostly a puzzle to solve.  I also only read mysteries written by women.  I’ve made a few exceptions, but the last one I read is a pretty good example of why I tend to avoid the male authors.

Help for Juan

John Brummett digs further into the question of whether the law allows Arkansas to extend in-state college tuition to Arkansas high school graduates who happen to be undocumented immigrants.

Help for Juan

John Brummett digs further into the question of whether the law allows Arkansas to extend in-state college tuition to Arkansas high school graduates who happen to be undocumented immigrants.

Domestic dispute

The bigots are fuming over yesterday's defeat of the bill to tell Eureka Springs what it can and cannot do in welcoming unmarried couples to town.

Nolan's legacy

Nice column on Missouri coach and former Hog assistant Mike Anderson, now riding high in the NCAA tournament.

Judicial kickback scheme

Here's a detailed account of the extraordinarily corrupt Pennsylvania judges who took kickbacks to send juveniles to a private detention facility.

Digging up dirt

Jason Pederson at KATV sends along a note pertinent to yesterday's post about a Smithsonian.com story about possible fakery by a purported diamond finder at the Crater of Diamonds State Park.

Open line

Take it away. Food for thought might be Andrew DeMillo's analysis of how Arkansas politicians, including lottery opponents, have hit political paydirt now that it has been created.

Odd man out

Stephens Media checks in with Rep. John Boozman, the state's only Republican member of Congress.

The end of Alltel

Roby Brock talks with Verizon's top official in Little Rock. The Alltel signs should be coming down by the third quarter of this year.

Legislative ethics

Jumbo shrimp. Military intelligence.

Lower prices every day

Wonder if this is happening on Arkansas public projects? NY Times reports price cuts as the depressed construction industry makes bids on stimulus-funded work.

Old times not forgotten

The Democrat-Gazette today took note of legislation to finance a Civil War commemmoration beginning in 2011 and running for four more years.

CEO Obama

I was about to put up just an open line, but I see the Obama administration has apparently forced the resignation of the head of General Motors in return for more government help.

The lying liars

I think this link has been posted by readers, but it's worth a look. The Family Council's story changes to suit the circumstances.

Cultural notes from all over

Hey, check out the current offering at Murry's Dinner Playhouse -- "Little Shop of Horrors."

Union inroads

Brummett reports further on his talk with an AFL-CIO rep. pushing the Employee Free Choice Act and the chance of compromise on the legislation.

Is Blanche Lincoln in trouble?

Politico poses the question. Their answer: Maybe.

Is Blanche Lincoln in trouble?

Politico poses the question. Their answer: Maybe.

Speaking of Senate politics

To date, former Bush White House political operator Tim Griffin, now living in Little Rock, has been noisiest about an interest in running against Sen. Blanche Lincoln in 2010.

Rock Candy 500 give-away extended

We've extended our give-away for the Rock Candy 500. Register now, at the Times office, and get a free pinewood derby kit (while supplies last).

Monday To-Do: Yonder Mountain String Band

YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND8:30 p.m., Revolution. $20.Talk about pickin' and grinnin'.

Bush legacy on pensions

The federal pension guaranty agency, acting at the direction of a Bush appointee with a Wall Street background, moved a chunk of its assets from bonds in stocks just in time for the market collapse.

Election. What election?

Repubs are vowing to keep the contest of Al Franken's election to the Senate from Minnesota tied up in court for years.

Democratic elections

The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the movement -- a bill is currently before the Arkansas legislature -- to do an end-run around the Electoral College without going the more arduous route of a constitutional amendment.

Rick Loves John

Rick Pitino went on quite the rant when asked about the UK coaching vacancy over the weekend.

CEO Bailout for Chesapeake

From Gretchen Morgenson at the New York Times comes another story of corporate bonuses in a time of woe and want.  This one's not about AIG, but about the $75 million bonus received by Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon.

Saturday: Designer's Choice Preview

All photos by Brian Chilson. This year’s Designer’s Choice Preview, at the Metroplex, proved to be a strong follow-up to last year’s hit inaugural event.

Drug store stimulus plan

If you went to school in Fayetteville, you're familiar with Collier Drugs. Its owner has come up with a local economic stimulus plan.

State of the city

Mayor Stodola gave his annual review today. More to come, I'm sure.

Irresponsive Government

Gas rig in Van Buren County If there is one thing that is painfully obvious to me now that I've been dealing with Arkansans and their battles with gas exploration here in the state for some time now, it's that if you are one person, a single landowner who is having some sort of problem, there's almost nothing that can be done for you.  Local officials don't want to step on the gas industry's toes and state representatives and senators have sided with the big gas companies on just about every single bill that comes up in the legislature.  Here's the latest, detailed in a report by Anita Tucker of the Van Buren County Democrat.

Arkansas: It's a man's world

Blake's Think Tank rounds up (link fixed) some recent media talk about Arkansas Business' 25th anniversary issue, a compilation of lists of notable people and events in Arkansas.

Mad Something

Well, Jim Cramer has been completely wrong about a lot of things, so who knows?  Gas prices could go up.

As others see us

Thanks to Kevin Crass, LR lawyer and member of the Kennedy Center Board, for a link to a blog being maintained by members of the National Symphony Orchestra about the group's visit to Arkansas.

As others see us

Thanks to Kevin Crass, LR lawyer and member of the Kennedy Center Board, for a link to a blog being maintained by members of the National Symphony Orchestra about the group's visit to Arkansas.

Gun bill fails

You ban the sale of toy guns, then what? Not to worry.

Report: Mike Newell Will Not Be Named UK Coach

Neither, apparently, will Herb Hilgeman. According to a USA Today.com report, Kentucky officials have inexplicably passed over those two coaching legends and are about to nab a guy who's merely led his team to the Sweet 16 four years in a row, made it to last year's championship game and has compiled an insanely good recruiting class for next year, members of which could very well decide to join him in Lexington.

Fort Smith hospital sold

Unlike newspapers, hospitals still can find buyers. City Wire has the dope on purchase of Sparks Health System in Fort Smith by a Georgia company.

Honoring Cal Ledbetter

UALR had a ceremony today to rename an assembly hall at its Donaghey Student Center for Cal Ledbetter, the professor emeritus, UALR founder and benefactor and former legislator.

In-state tuition bill fails

It's up for debate in the Senate. Fox 16's David Goins is twittering the blow-by-blow.

Another run at ethics

The Citizens First Congress tells me that last week's word on the death of a proposed ethics bill was no longer operative.

Here's to you

An open line.

The cowardly lion

Propitiously timed, John Brummett continues his rage against the forces of darkness that yesterday defeated Sen. Joyce Elliott's bill to allow children of immigrants the same college tuition as that paid by similarly situated "real" Arkansans with state high school diplomas and long years of residence here.

UCA's new math

Readers here have long cast doubts on the program. But audits reported this morning in the Democrat-Gazette are now confirming that concurrent enrollment -- colleges counting high school students in special classes -- cost UCA money.

UCA's new math

Readers here have long cast doubts on the program. But audits reported this morning in the Democrat-Gazette are now confirming that concurrent enrollment -- colleges counting high school students in special classes -- cost UCA money.

Close, but it doesn't float

In an article about a mysterious fireball in the skies above the U.S. East Coast that is believed to have been caused by parts of a Russian Soyuz rocket, an official was quoted: Chester said that U.S. Space Surveillance Network had not yet confirmed that this was the case, but said that he was "99 and four one-hundredths [percent] convinced that this is what it is." Chester was probably too young to recall that his slightly impure estimate derives from an old 1940s Ivory Soap radio commercial that said Ivory is "99 and 44 one hundredths percent pure — it floats."

The greening of Arkansas

Don't hold your breath. The environment is a low priority in a state where the controlling powers are bent on killing us with more coal-fired power plants.

Casino initiative

A Texas man who's submitted multiple ballot issue proposals to allow casino gambling in Arkansas has had his latest idea certified as to form by the attorney general.

The best show on TV survives

Sweet. Thanks to a cost-sharing plan with DirecTV, the critically acclaimed and criminally under-viewed NBC show "Friday Night Lights" has been renewed for two seasons.

Moon blows up USAT, repeats LR exit

Craig Moon, the Gannettoid "publisher" sent in to preside over the death of the Arkansas Gazette (when not out jogging with female employees), has presided over the decline of the chain's flagship, USA Today, and now wants to leave.Jim Hopkins' Gannett Blog reports: I have been informed of an extraordinary power shift at the nation's top-circulation newspaper: Publisher Craig Moon has just announced his retirement, in a memo sent to employees moments ago.

USA Today departure

Craig Moon, the publisher of USA Today, is leaving to pursue other opportunities at age 59.

Hard times, part umpteen

Word travels fast. Before there'd been a formal announcement in-house here, calls came in about budget cutting underway at the Arkansas Times.

Hard times, part umpteen

Word travels fast. Before there'd been a formal announcement in-house here, calls came in about budget cutting underway at the Arkansas Times.

Gun beat surprise

The bill to close the records of concealed weapon permit holders in Arkansas? It hit a speed bump in Senate committee today.

No more coal

Sierra Club reports on new government study: Washington, DC: The government found no need for scores of new coal plants currently on the drawing board, according to the Annual Energy Outlook report issued by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) today.

Grading the schools

Arkansas public school report cards are going out. They include a new measure intended to show how each public school does in advancing students' knowledge from one year to the next.

Conflict of interest R Us

Rep. Kathy Webb got her vote today on the modest bill to discourage state board members (through fines) from voting on matters on which they KNOW they or family or employer have a financial conflict of interest.

Conflict of interest R Us

Rep. Kathy Webb got her vote today on the modest bill to discourage state board members (through fines) from voting on matters on which they KNOW they or family or employer have a financial conflict of interest.

Tuesday: Mark Jungers, We Follow the Moon and more

Mark Jungers. For those looking for something to do that'll keep them up until after midnight, when they can play April Fools pranks on the unsuspecting, White Water hosts Austin, Texas singer/songwriter Mark Jungers and Gordee Tentrees, from Canada.

Spend a lot, save a little

I'm a skeptic about sales tax holidays as economic stimulus. Maybe they have some marginal benefit in border towns (as if Texarkana needs more tax breaks) with major retail centers nearby that have well-publicized existing sales tax holidays.

Done Deal: The Dribble Drive is Coming to Lexington

Perhaps the state of Kentucky and the city of Memphis can begin the process of recovering from their collective nervous breakdowns.

Go green

On the jump, some details on key committee meetings tomorrow on energy legislation still alive -- one to provide weatherization rebates, the other a much broader initiative aimed at system-wide conservation.

All we have to fear ...

UALR Chancellor Joel Anderson sent a note around to the campus about a recent robbery.

All we have to fear ...

UALR Chancellor Joel Anderson sent a note around to the campus about a recent robbery.

Louis Jordan in space

Just stumbled across this: Last Saturday morning, on the last of a 13-day mission, the crew of the Shuttle Discovery woke up to Louis Jordan's "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens."That's a long way from Brinkley.

The 45 turns 60

Today marks the 60th anniversary of the 45 rpm record. RCA/Victor put out the first one, Eddy Arnold's "Texarkana Baby" (She's my Texarkana baby/ Do I love here?

The line is open

And I'm heading home.

Amendment handicapping

Roby Brock at Talk Business handicaps tomorrow's committee session that could choose three constitutional amendments for the ballot.

Street fight, round two

It's extra innings for a battle between the residents of a West Little Rock neighborhood and real estate developer Deltic Timber.

In brief, April 2

At Revolution, Sony Records’ Nova blends prog-rock and post-grunge.

Follow the UCA money UPDATE

Yawn. Another day, another piece of revelatory reporting on UCA financial shortcomings by the Democrat-Gazette's Debra Hale-Shelton.

Crime in the street

Police report two men found shot to death early this morning in a car at 22nd and Valentine.

Hatred never sleeps

Republican Rep. Bryan King and the usual homophobes apparently are going to make another run this week at winning commitee approval of a state law that will tell Eureka Springs what it can and cannot do in the name of tourism.

Hatred never sleeps

Republican Rep. Bryan King and the usual homophobes apparently are going to make another run this week at winning commitee approval of a state law that will tell Eureka Springs what it can and cannot do in the name of tourism.

Also on the agenda UPDATE

The ACLU is calling on early morning calls to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to encourage votes against the bill to allow the Correction Department total control over release of information about the execution process.

Tax cut 'statement'

All those tax cuts approved yesterday by a House committee? Roby Brock reports that they were statements of displeasure with Gov. Mike Beebe for saying tax cuts would be limited to a grocery tax cut and a tax break on manufacturers' electricity.

A win for Obama

Republicans are glum and Democrats are happy about that special congressional election in upstate New York last night, even though a recount and several thousand absentee ballots will yet determine the outcome.

Today in Ark. history

Just noticed The Encyclopedia of Arkansas's day in history feature. The Office of Possumology, which oversaw the Possum of Tomorrow Program, was established to sponsor research into the best means of raising native opossums and to promote opossum breeding and consumption.

Interposition -- again

Shades of Orval Faubus. A House committee today -- or, specifically, the Republicans and Reps. Butch Wilkins and Uvalde Lindsey -- gave a do-pass today to the resolution asserting state sovereignty and directing the federal government to cease and desist "mandates."

State housing market -- ugh

The February report on home sales in Arkansas shows whopping declines year to year in number of sales, sale prices and average prices.

The speaker's commissioners

House Speaker Robbie Wills announced his choices for the state lottery commission today. * Joe White, a Conway businessman and former UCA trustee.

Not an April Fool's joke

A Louisiana legislator has filed a bill calling for a state sales tax holiday one weekend a year on firearm purchases to commemorate the Second Amendment.

No help for teachers

The Joint Budget Committee today gave short shrift to school teachers, who face the same rising costs of health insurance as everyone else but get far less help from the state than other public employees on premium costs, observers report.

Souffle Today?

S. Hawkins of Marble Falls sent in a great souffle to try out, a great Lenten dish that doesn't require the use of any cow product at all.  Now, I'm not the greatest souffle maker, but this Shmoo and Sweet Potato Souffle seems just like the sort of thing I could manage.  Can't wait to try it out when my supplies arrive.  Recipe on the jump.

Souffle Today?

S. Hawkins of Marble Falls sent in a great souffle to try out, a great Lenten dish that doesn't require the use of any cow product at all.  Now, I'm not the greatest souffle maker, but this Shmoo and Sweet Potato Souffle seems just like the sort of thing I could manage.  Can't wait to try it out when my supplies arrive.  Recipe on the jump.

Tender Dawg wins

I was busy burning furniture in the yard and missed "American Idol" last night, but based on the clip above, Internet chatter and our resident "Idol" expert, Conway's Kris Allen served up not just the best performance of the night, but his best of the competition.

Cool Kids coming

It's an inadvertently super-secret show*: Hendrix College's campus radio station, KHDX, is bringing Chicago's the Cool Kids, famous for rapping about BMX bikes and biting Rick Rubin, to the brick pit on campus, for an outdoor concert this Friday.Unlike past shows at Hendrix — Spoon, Girl Talk, Of Montreal — this one is partially open to the public.

The Lobby vs. The Citizens: Part Umpteen

There was a great piece in this morning's Arkansas Leader about a bill by Joan Cash, D-Jonesboro, that would set energy efficiency savings goals for public electric and natural gas utilities.

In other Capitol news

The House voted to water down enrollment standards by which districts may be consolidated. Will Senate do the cleanup?

Royal audience

Everybody on the web seems to be getting a kick out of press pool photos of the Obamas visit with British royalty.
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