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April 15, 2010

Vol 8 • No 14

Street scene

I am currently in awe of the urban car scene in Little Rock -- the blinging rims; the SS Impalas with mile-deep paint; the sticker cars painted up like cereal boxes; the so-called donks with lifted suspensions and wheels so comically large they look like something out of a cartoon.

‘Not a soul in there’

Fogleman asked juries to sentence three teens to death. Now voters will judge his career.

‘Not a soul in there’

Fogleman asked juries to sentence three teens to death. Now voters will judge his career.


John Lyon at Arkansas News Buerau provides the best account so far of what can only be explained as a flurry of news releases from the Halter and Lincoln campaigns yesterday about an attack ad against Halter.

Leaving Arkansas

On the heels of yesterday's news that Janet Huckabee has changed her residency to the state of Florida, former Gov. Mike Huckabee has done the same, registering as a voterin the Sunshine State.

And with that...

... an open line. Knock yourselves out.

You’re voting for her?

Some group with a vested interest in a political race pretends to do an honest poll, switches the survey into outright direct advocacy for one candidate and harsh assault upon the other, then tries to “push” numbers in its favored direction by re-presenting the choice after it has had its incendiary say against the non-favored candidate.

Answering to Arkansas

You would have to rewrite history to prove that I opposed health insurance reform. President Obama wholeheartedly endorsed it and I voted for it last year. I have the battle scars to prove it.

Report card

OK, it’s time for a report card. This spring gets an A-minus. It would’ve got the full A except for the heavy pollen crop and a bad batch of early strawberries. Polish airplanes and Chinese paint both get Fs.

Turning it out

Chances are if you’ve done an Internet search for anything around Little Rock, or your home town wherever that happens to be, you’ve stumbled upon the Examiner. It looks like a news site, it walks like a news site and it quacks like a news site, but it’s not really a news site.

The Week That Was, April 7-13

IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR … UNION SCHOOLTEACHERS. A Pulaski circuit judge ruled invalid the Pulaski County School Board’s vote to discontinue recognition of the Pulaski Association of Classroom Teachers as the bargaining agent for the school district’s teachers.

Dwight David Honeycutt throws down

Dwight David Honeycutt knew his campaign was over before it really began. “I had big plans,” he said in a recent interview. “But I drink a little bit, and things got out of hand.”

The Observer, April 15

The Observer has had the Civil War on our minds, so our ears perked when back in the office we got an e-mail from the Old State House Museum asking for a contribution to conserve two Confederate flags it’s just acquired.

Answering to Arkansas

You would have to rewrite history to prove that I opposed health insurance reform. President Obama wholeheartedly endorsed it and I voted for it last year. I have the battle scars to prove it.

Plummer resigns

In what one observer characterized as a “perfect storm,” the Arkansas Arts Center’s expensive blockbuster “Pharaohs” exhibit turned bust.



This Modern World

The Televisionist, April 15

It says something about my love and admiration for the BBC series “Doctor Who” that I’m a little nervous about the debut of the series’ 11th Doctor.


With Thursday comes the answer to the eternal summer weekday question: “What do you want to do tonight?” Head to the Travs!

Smart Talk, April 15

The Department of Arkansas Heritage is arming schoolchildren with piggy banks shaped like houses and sending them forth to raise money to help pay for restoration of the 19th century First Ladies gowns at the Old State House Museum.

The To-Do List, April 15-21

Arkansas Travelers Home Opener, Youth Rock Orchestra/Mark Wood Experience, Webbie, Designer Drugs, 'Blooms!', MC Frontalot, Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars.

Economy wrecker

While you have been minding your business and paying your taxes, the AR One Tax has been shuffling silently toward the Capitol to be born.

Punk princesses

God bless the biopics. Even when they're bad, they're kind of good, most of them being an honest attempt to glimpse into a human being's tortured, infinitely complicated soul.

Appointment in Samarra

News that at least one Huckabee has moved to Florida arrived as we were pondering a study showing that residents of states without state income taxes, such as Florida, pay more in federal income taxes than do residents of states that have an income tax, such as Arkansas.

The digital chain gang

If you’re worried about identity theft, the last place you’d probably want your birth date, Social Security number, and name to wind up might be a prison. However, a new report by the Social Security Administration finds Arkansas prisoners have access to personal information throughwork programs.

In Brief, April 16-18

At Juanita’s, tight, clever local rockers Falcon Scott play their melodic brand of alongside Southern soul man Sean Michel, who has the best beard in a town full of great ones, 9 p.m., $8.

Words, April 15

“Re: What to call people who live in Little Rock [March 25]. While living in England in the ’50s, my husband and I had a Scottish friend who called us Little Rochians (soft c). That has been my favorite moniker since. I am a native Little Rochian. — Susan May”

Still in the pink

We forget about our institutions. In that spirit, after several recent visits to The Faded Rose, we’re happy to say that Little Rock’s standard-bearer for Cajun cooking since 1982 is the same as it ever was — reliably solid.

What's Cookin', April 15

Green Grass Rock ’n’ Roll Grocery and Bodega is open at 301 President Clinton Ave. A plan to make smoothies has been discarded, but he hopes to sell beer as soon as he’s approved by the ABC, which could be as soon as 30 days, the co-owner says.

Nuclear threat

President Obama is making strides toward the nuclear weapons disarmament. Just this week he has announced that he is changing the specifics of the United States nuclear protocols. These may be baby steps, but they are necessary.

First down

Benton is just not known for its sports bars. This I can say with some confidence.

Something you should know about that poll UPDATE

Talk Business' Roby Brock says his new poll shows the Lincoln-Halter race is "far from over."

Quite a lasso for the Muleriders

SAU announces it's received $2 million from Therral and Jan Story of Magnolia -- the largest gift from an individual the university has ever received -- and it will put the money toward a 125,000-square-foot, $3.5 million rodeo arena going up near the Mulerider Stables.

Thursday To-Do: Youth Rock Orchestra-Mark Wood Experience

YOUTH ROCK ORCHESTRA / MARK WOOD EXPERIENCE 7:30 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $25.

Thursday To-Do: Arkansas Travelers Home Opener

ARKANSAS TRAVELERS HOME OPENER 7:10 p.m., Dickey Stephens Park. $6-$10.

Thursday To-Do: Webbie

WEBBIE 8 p.m., On the Rocks. $10 early admission.

Juanita's makes an unprecedented move in the Tex-Mex world

For a month now, the 24-year-old Tex-Mex staple has been charging for its chips and salsa.

Thursday: Falcon Scott, Flash LaRue, Interstate Buffalo

Falcon Scott At Juanita's, tight, clever local rockers Falcon Scott play their melodic brand of alongside Southern soul man Sean Michel, who has the best beard in a town full of great ones, 9 p.m., $8.

Rock Candy 500!

Photo by Patrick Jones. It's mere weeks a way: On Thursday, May 6, the second annual Rock Candy 500 pinewood derby returns to the River Market Pavilion.


The farmer's market in Argenta is now open for business. Our very own ever-present photographer, Brian Chilson, was on hand to take these photos.

In these Times

Blogging's been light today as we work on other things, so I thought I'd take a second to point out some of the highlights in this week's issue.

Long awaited opening

The wait is over. It took nearly a year from conception to reality, but the Argenta Market is now open on Main Street in North Little Rock.

Double do('h)wn

This.  This Double Down sandwich is what I love about America. (It's what frustrates me, too, but right now, for the purposes of this post, it's what I love.)

Save a trip to the station

The Little Rock Police Department is now making traffic accident reports -- you need them for your insurance claim -- available on-line.

Speaking of traffic accidents

Cows that wandered onto Interstate 30 early Tuesday morning outside Prescott caused five crashes, Bill Sadler of the Arkansas State Police informs us.

Cilantro hating, explained

Fascinating piece in the New York Times today that looks to explain the vocal minority of eaters who can't stand cilantro.

Don't you just hate tax cuts?

Says Republican Steve Womack, Rogers mayor and congressional candidate, in his campaign material pushed out today: Today, April 15, millions of Americans went to the post office to mail in taxes they see as burdensome.

What about Max?

You think YOU'RE ready for Max to return -- what about us? Times staffers are beating their breasts and chewing their fingernails in fear that the volcanic ash cloud that's shutting down airports across Europe might spread to Barcelona on the 19th.

Take me out to the crowd

The Travs play their first home game tonight. Brian Chilson took a look at Dickey Stephens this afternoon while grounds crews readied the field.

Two readings of Pulaski school decision

Since they disagree on everything else, it’s not surprising that Pulaski County teachers and Pulaski County school board members disagree on the meaning of a circuit court decision last week.

Dwight David Honeycutt's 'Sweet Tea Party'

Friend to babies, lover of bald eagles and web phenom Dwight David Honeycutt hosts a rally at Juanita's tonight that features the likes of 607, Brother Andy and Frown Pow'r.

Supreme Court looks at Turk

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday over whether or not the permit issued to build the John W. Turk coal-fired power plant in Hempstead County was issued properly.

In the money: John Boozman

Rep. John Boozman raised $683,000 during the first quarter and has $563,000 cash on hand.

In the jailhouse now

Paul Schlesselman, 19, of Helena-West Helena was sentenced to 10 years in prison for plotting to kill then-presidential candidate Barack Obama and others.

Dwight David Honeycutt drops jewels on Facebook

In honor of tonight's "Dwight David Honeycutt's Sweet Tea Party," which we preview here, we countdown the one time Conway school board candidate's wisest words.

Guess who's not coming to dinner

We've mentioned here, a couple of times, the dust-up over some comments former Gov. Mike Huckabee made to college journalists about homosexuality - comparing it to drug use, incest and polygamy.

Shooting at ASU

 A shooting on the Arkansas State University campus just after midnight last night has sent a senior to a Memphis hospital, where he is in critical condition.

Friday To-Do: Designer Drugs

DESIGNER DRUGS 9 p.m., Revolution, $10 early admission. This DJ duo, as they should, oozes “privilege” and “hedonism.” Their press photos reinforce the image, too.

Lightning strikes twice

William J. Newberry of Green Forest has won his second $10,000 Powerball jackpot prize. That's right.

Lincoln drifts left

Bill Halter still trails Sen. Blanche Lincoln heading into May's Democratic primary, but his candidacy might already be making waves in Washington D.C.  John Maggs with National Journal suggests Lincoln's recent left turn on derivatives reform may well be her reaction to an ad by Halter that paints her as pro-Wall Street.

Unemployment up, barely

Arkansas Business reports that unemployment went up a tenth of a percent in March. It now stands at 7.8 percent, still well below the national average of 9.7.

The Weekend: 'Jesus Christ Superstar,' Dave Raymond, Cowboy Mouth, 'The Truth', more

Ted Neely stars in "Jesus Christ Superstar." FRIDAY, APRIL 17A one-night engagement of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's infamous rock opera, comes to UCA's Reynolds Auditorium with Ted Neely reprising the titular role that scored him a Golden Globe in Norman Jewison's 1973 adaptation, 7:30 p.m., $10-$50.

A 'Theatrical Prizefight'

That's the name of an event the Times is co-hosting with the Rep next Wednesday and Thursday.

Weekend To-Do: 'Blooms!' Festival

‘BLOOMS!' 10 a.m.

DeLay: "All that is wrong with politics"

Gunner "civil disobedience" DeLay sent out a press release this afternoon calling fellow third district candidate Steve Womack "all that is wrong with politics."

Tuition rising

The University of Arkansas Board of Trustees voted 9-1 today to approve a tuition and fee increase across all UA institutions.

UPDATE: Act 1 unconstitutional

Circuit Judge Chris Piazza ruled today that Act 1, an initiated act approved by voters in 2008 that bans any unmarried person living with a partner from serving as an adoptive parent, is unconstitutional, and amounts to an unwarranted invasion of privacy.

Sunday To-Do: 'Timeless'

UPDATE: This is cancelled. Organizers plan to reschedule.

Travelin' for pie

I will be the first person to admit that I have a weakness for pie.  So when I tell you there's a pie I'll travel three hours for, I'm not kidding.  I just wish someone closer to home could duplicate the sweet-but-not-too-sweet goodness of Strawn's Eat Shop's fresh strawberry pie.  If there is, won't you let me know?


On our way out the door, we leave you with this story from the Wall Street Journal about the implementation in Mabelvale, Ark., of a VA program to create foster homes for disabled vets.

Two readings of the Pulaski school decision

Since they disagree on everything else, it's not surprising that Pulaski County teachers and Pulaski County school board members disagree on the meaning of a circuit court decision last week.

Weary of the Blanche-Bill act

Here's what Brummett says about the Halter-Lincoln race: "These clowns average about four lies or absurdities a day, fairly evenly divided."

A REAL Aggie joke

This morning's Sentinel-Record in Hot Springs has a photo of a gun-waving Rick Perry illustrating an article that the animal-science grad of Texas A&M and current secessionist governor of Texas is considering a run for president in 2012.

The state ain't big enough ...

... for me and Huck. Max here -- briefly -- on a boat in the Mediterranean about 9 hours from Barcelona.

Still in the pink

After several recent visits to The Faded Rose, we're happy to say that Little Rock's standard-bearer for Cajun cooking since 1982 is the same as it ever was -- reliably solid.

Through the ash, darkly

This is primarily a note to all those holding down home, work, etc. for the traveling Brantleys.

Tenor of the times

From afar, as I run through a pile of vacation e-mail, I continue to be struck by the tone of incumbent Sen. Blanche Lincoln's campaign communications.

The Sunday line

It's open. Take it away.

Lincoln and her money

Despite her representations to the contrary, Sen. Blanche Lincoln just can't quit the tainted handouts of Wall Street pirateers Goldman Sachs.

Street scene

Donks, sticker cars and Chevys, oh my -- a survey of Central Arkansas's urban car culture.

Holding up

Max mentioned earlier the negative tenor struck by both the Halter and Lincoln campaigns for the U.S. Senate seat.

KTHV cleans up

Sam Eifling at Arkansas Business has the low-down on the regional Edward R. Murrow Awards.

Thick and thin

  Let me start out by saying… Damgoode Pies just might have the best morning-after pizza around.

Thick and thin

  Let me start out by saying… Damgoode Pies just might have the best morning-after pizza around.

The Johnny Cash Project

Here's a time killer for you: The Johnny Cash Project is a crowdsourced video for the song "Ain't No Grave" that's constantly evolving.

Be sure to register

If you're not already registered to vote, you've got to be by the end of the day if you want to vote in the May 18 preferential primary and nonpartisan judicial elections.

Pure rancor

A new Pew study finds that people are, for lack of a better phrase, pissed of at the gubmint.

15 years ago today

Today marks the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. President Obama declared today a National Day of Service and Remembrance for Victims and Survivors of Terrorism.

Monday: Sass Dragons, UALR Guitar Ensemble, Overseer

Potty-mouthed Chicagoans Sass Dragons (above) hit the ACAC with the newly re-rigged lineup of The Weinheimers Weisenheimers beside much-loved local rockabilly goofballs Josh the Devil and the Sinners.

A bad ash

Regarding the ash that has hampered Max's return from Europe and prompted airlines to bellyache about too much governmental interference in their schemes to rob travelers, an international aviation official said on network evening news yesterday: It's better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than to be in the air wishing you were on the ground.

Bryan Frazier shoots the moon

Here's a new video from Bryan Frazier, "Angelene and the Alpha Ray." I'm pretty sure it's about a girl, who, while Frazier is wooing her, surreptitiously builds a rocket and then uses it to blast off into space on her scooter.

UPDATE: AG to appeal Act 1 ruling

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said in a statement today that his office would appeal Friday's Circuit Court ruling, knocking down initiated Act 1 as unconstitutional, to the Arkansas Supreme Court.

Meth map

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality has introduced "Meth Viewer" to its Geographic Information System.

Fact check

Andrew Demillo takes a look at some of the mud flying between the Halter and Lincoln campaigns and tries to sort out what's true and what's not.

Here we go

Another day, another dollar. Let's open up the line.


It's Big Boi by way of “Big Bang Theory”: Nerdcore torchbearer MC Frontalot plays Sticky Fingerz tonight.

Untangling health care

Governor Beebe does not seem to be the kind who loses sleep over a policy dispute, even one as prickly as the new federal health law, but he acted a little spooked over Congress’ passage of the landmark bill.

Friendly skies

Our luck held. Our plane from Barcelona to New York took off on time Monday and some 20 hours later we were bouncing onto the runway at Little Rock National.

Lincoln key in money fight

More inspection here from the New York Times of Sen. Blanche Lincoln's key role in debates on regulating Wall Street's use of derivative investments.

LR's dog grooming champ

FLOWER POWER: LR dog groomer Angela Kumpe devised this poodle 'do for a 2009 show.

Republican street fight

Kristal Kuykendall of the Benton Courier delves deeply into the feisty Republican primary race for the nomination for term-limited Sen. Shane Broadway's seat.

Space shuttle a boomer

That window-rattling boom I heard this morning wasn't the result of rough handling of the Sonic's dumpster down the hill.

The view from the board rooms UPDATE

Randy Zook of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce has distributed findings of an online survey of chamber membership on primary election sentiment.

Repubs to debate

The Young Republicans at the UALR Law School invite all to a debate between 2nd District Republican congressional challengers Scott Wallace and Tim Griffin.

Home intrusion robbery

Details from the LRPD follow on a reported home intrusion robbery in the Broadmoor subdivision last night by three men posing as police officers.

Tuesday: The Fox Hunt, Trippers of the Sane, Andy's Frown Pizza

West Virginia's The Fox Hunt (above) hit up White Water Tavern for a night on rambling bluegrass, 10 p.m.Juanita's "420 Bash" highlights metal acts Tripper of the Sane, Land of Mines and Sychosis, 9 p.m.Carl Mouton hosts Afterthought's weekly Tuesday night jam session, possibly featuring jam circles and a theremin tonight, 8 p.m., free.The piano bar at Sonny Williams' features Jim Dickinson tonight, 7 p.m.Town Pump brings either "Brother Frown Pizza," "Life Size Big Frown Mouth," or "Andy Size Pow'r," depending on your perspective on things, 10 p.m., $3. 

Tuesday To-Not-Do: MC Frontalot

This guy... Nope: Geeks go elsewhere.

Lincoln will keep Goldman gold

Sen. Blanche Lincoln was asked today if she'd refund thousands in campaign contributions from Goldman Sachs, now under indictment for fraud.

LR-state talk deseg settlement

Chris Heller, attorney for the Little Rock School District, has told School Board members that talks today by attorneys for Pulaski school districts and others  with the state attorney general's office over a settlement of remaining issues in the desegregation case were "positive and productive but preliminary."

Dems set 2nd District debates

Plans are firming up for three debates by Democratic candidates for Congress from the 2nd District, the first April 27 at Philander Smith.

Pat O'Brien's air game

So what do you make of Pat O'Brien's TV?

'Dwight David Honeycutt's Sweet Tea Party" in review

DDH exposed. Demographically, the crowd at last Friday night's "Dwight David Honeycutt's Sweet Tea Party" was fairly hard to peg.

Appointees to pollution panel

Gov. Mike Beebe today announced the reappointment of Lynn Sickel of DeValls Bluff to another term on the state Pollution Control and Ecology Commission.

Now the day is over

Night is drawing nigh. The readers take over.

Carrie Underwood coming to Verizon forever from now

Fresh off Carrie Undrewood's second Academy of Country Music entertainer of the year award, Verizon announces that it'll host the country-pop queen Tuesday, October 12.If you want to go, you'll have to be a big planner.


A group of musicians fled from Sierra Leone's horrifically violent civil war, found each other in a hovel of a West African refugee camp and, in the face of such abject adversity and loss, started writing and performing some of the happiest, most optimistic music ever made.

Weak ass

I will not give "Kick-Ass" the benefit of controversy. A film this lifeless hasn't earned it, no matter how gory and profane. It boasts not a single original idea, imaginative sequence, or unpredictable outcome.

Kurrus dissents on school idea

Little Rock School Board member Baker Kurrus has circulated a memo sharply criticizing a proposal put forward by the School District yesterday to settle desegregation issues, particularly a dispute over open enrollment charter schools in Pulaski County.

Health reform cometh

It's refreshing to see a state insurance regulator talk in calm terms about implementing federal health reform in Arkansas, particularly insurance pools for people who've had difficulty getting coverage.

Lincoln in the limelight UPDATE

I'll believe it when I see it -- Republican support for Wall Street reform legislation. We've been through this dance with Olympia Snowe before.

Wednesday To-Do: Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars

SIERRA LEONE'S REFUGEE ALL-STARS 9 p.m., Revolution. $15.


You know, I've heard of barbecue that falls off the bone... and I've encountered some pretty well smoked and tender meats in my time.  But until recently I'd never been able to suck the meat right off without chewing.  Found a place like that, and wish it were closer to home.  The Shed BBQ and Blues Joint down in Mobile has, I kid you not, these things called Chicken Wangs - chicken wings that are smoked and sauced and literally fall apart on contact. The pork ribs are the same way, barely maintaining viability on the bone until arrival in the mouth.  The sauce?  Think the flavor of Sim's sauce with the thickness of Corky's.  Good stuff.

Begin the buffet

I guess I’m in a bit of a pizza mood as of late. And after the discussion about Damgoode Pies, I wanted to check out Larry’s. Now, I remember Larry’s down in Southwest Little Rock years ago.

Debate time change

There's been a time change in the first of a series of debates by 2nd District Democratic candidates.

Halter's finances

Sen. Blanche Lincoln's campaign has been whining for days about opponent Bill Halter's required financial disclosure form.

TCBY of the future coming to Pleasant Ridge

So mod. Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt, a national self-serve chain that bills itself as the “fastest growing frozen yogurt chain” in the US, plans to open its first Arkansas franchise in the Pleasant Ridge Town Center, off Cantrell Road, in about six weeks, according to Pleasant Ridge Town Center developer Lou Schickel.

Fire in Chenal

Fire officials are estimating damage at $700,000 in a fire last night at 7 Falata Court in Chenal Valley.

Arkansas Bo gets NPR love

Arkansas Bo's "Arkansas Sound," a song we've been blasting for about five years, is NPR's "Song of the Day" today.

Q&A: The See

The See (from L-R), Eric Morris, Dylan Yelenich, Joe Yoder, Tyler Nance It’s just about inarguable: The See are the kings of Little Rock’s current landscape of bands.

What's that spell?

Try some Gilbert Baker TV on. PS -- Baker camp says above -- now no longer available to general public (but still available here thanks to Jason Tolbert) -- was just YouTube channel video.

Wednesday: Chase Pagan, Gooding, Sapphire

Union has Wynne-born multi-instrumentalist Chase Pagan, who returns to Little Rock for what seems like the first time in a straight up minute, 10 p.m., donation.Darril 'Harp' Edwards works on his steel drum for the crowd at Afterthought, 8 p.m., $5.

NAACP flunks delegation

FIVE Fs: Click to enlarge. Dale Charles, president of the Arkansas NAACP, has compiled a report card on Arkansas members of Congress.

Kent's staying open late in the River Market

Beginning on Tuesday, April 27 -- the day the River Market Farmer’s Market celebrates its grand opening -- Kent’s Downtown plans to debut evening hours that’ll find it serving food from its River Market space out of a window that opens to President Clinton Avenue.

The Hop Drive-In is back in biz

It has been for a couple months now, but that was news to me until owner Destin Clark gave a call the other day.

The Hop Drive-In is back in biz

It has been for a couple months now, but that was news to me until owner Destin Clark gave a call the other day.

Roy Brooks: deja vu all over again

Thanks to Stand News for an article noting a black community in Georgia unhappy with the hiring of Roy Brooks, the deposed Little Rock and eStem charter school leader, as a superintendent.

'Big Love' has nothing on Jason Moore and 'South Park' dudes

More with 'Avenue Q's' Christy Carlson Romano. Fayetteville native Jason Moore ("Avenue Q" and "Shrek: The Musical") is headed back to Broadway.

Off early

I'm out early. I may check the 2nd District Repubs meeting at UALR.

Book Bisbee, Dan-o

Benton County Judge Dave Bisbee, the former state senator, has been charged with a misdemeanor for using his company to do some ice storm cleanup work for the county.

At the debate

I sat in at UALR Law School this afternoon for most of the debate between 2nd Congressional District Republican candidates Scott Wallace and Tim Griffin.