← Back to issues
Heritage Hog Roast preview

Heritage Hog Roast preview

April 18, 2013

Vol 39 • No 33

Read the print version

Arkansas Times Heritage Hog Roast preview

Here's the recipe for the Arkansas Times' latest special event: Hundreds of pounds of slow-cooked, smoky, melt-in-your-mouth tender pork, cooked by a who's who of culinary experts from around Central Arkansas (and even one from Memphis). Craft beer and wine. And a veritable raft of great bands, including 2013 Times Musicians Showcase winners The Sound of the Mountain and the Grammy-nominated Cajun party-starters in Lost Bayou Ramblers.

Falling Sky raises Berkshire-Red Wattles in the woods

They're hogs with history.

Cold drinks

Adult beverage will be flowing at the Heritage Hog Roast, courtesy of Golden Eagle of Arkansas and Moon Distributors. On tap are some delicious brews from Schlafly Beer, wines from Sean Minor winery and Island Squeeze frozen cocktails in several tropical-type flavors.

The Arkansas Literary Festival is in its 10th year

As usual, the Arkansas Literary Festival has packed dozens of compelling authors and panels into its four-day event.

Who'll be big winners in tax cut spree?

If the Republican-majority Senate follows the Republican-majority House in expanding the Obamacare financed expansion of Medicaid today (I think they will), doors open on tax cuts for the well-to-do.

Guns and more guns: Pryor says no to background checks

The U.S. Senate today begins a series of votes on gun safety legislation, including a bipartisan but controversial effort to expand gun purchase background checks to gun shows.

Mike Ross pitches for moderate vote in announcing for governor

Former Congressman Mike Ross began his campaign for governor with an announcement in his hometown of Prescott this morning.

House committee defeats Planned Parenthood punishment bill

The Senate bill aimed at cutting off money to Planned Parenthood failed in a House committee this morning on a roll call vote.

Thursday To-Do: 2nd Annual Seersucker Social

The 2nd Annual Seersucker Social is Thursday at the Old Statehouse Museum.

Dear Green Cart Deli...

An open letter to Green Cart Deli, who won my heart with their fabulous dogs and terrific service. Don't be a stranger, Green Cart.

Dustin McDaniel reports misuse of campaign money

I don't have all the details yet, but my attention was pointed to the recent campaign finance report filed by the now-defunct gubernatorial campaign of Attorney General Dustin McDaniel.

Thursday: Wovenhand, Chris Alan Craig Band and more

Wovenhand performs at Downtown Music Hall Thursday night.

House approves bill with new petition restrictions

The House today SB 821 to place additional burdens on petition campaigns for ballot initiatives.

UPDATE: Arrest 'imminent' in Boston bombings; or maybe not

CNN reports: A letter to President Obama that was intercepted at an off-site facility has tested positive for ricin, the FBI says.

Photo essay: A hog farm for the Buffalo River watershed

Don Nelms, a former Fayetteville auto dealer, political candidate, environmentalist and photographer, has taken up a roost near Jasper overlooking the Buffalo River.

Woeful Wednesday

The midweek line commences. Final words: * PISTOL PACKIN' PRYOR: Of course Sen. Mark Pryor voted with the NRA and against the Senate measure to broaden gun background checks, a measure supported by liberals like John McCain and Joe Manchin.

Oxford American's South on Main books first event — Nathaniel Rich reading

The Oxford American's new venue, South on Main, has announced its first event, and if this is the sign of things to come — color us excited. On May 16, the OA will host novelist Nathaniel Rich, who's promoting his second, widely praised novel "Odd Against Tomorrow."

'Private option' Medicaid expansion bill passes Arkansas Senate, on to governor

The Arkansas Senate is expected to take up the appropriation for the "private option" bill this morning, with a super-majority needed to accept the federal money to enact the plan.

Santa Lucia: real Neapolitan pizza — from a truck

Food truck offers welcome new option.

Obama negotiates with himself again

The great mystery of Barack Obama remains the extent to which he has ever believed his own rhetoric about a transformative, post-partisan presidency.

Let sleeping dogs ...

New York may never sleep, as the song says, but some writers and editors there do. Bick Satterfield submits evidence from The New Yorker: "Laying there on the ground, next to the sheet, was a banana peel." No, the banana peel was lying there on the ground. Satterfield says that many people, too many actually, still don't understand the uses of lie and lay. He's right.

Obamacare rules

At press time, a Senate vote was still up in the air, but the thinking was that senators would join the House in its momentous approval Tuesday of Medicaid expansion by a 77-23 vote.

Graham Gordy's dirty South

Arkansas-born screenwriter scores writing credit on one big TV series, and pilot that could turn into another. 

Richard Ford on growing up in Little Rock's Marion Hotel

Richard Ford is a long way from Little Rock these days. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his 1996 novel "Independence Day," the Mississippi-born Ford has taken his seat at the table of great American authors, and it looks like he'll be staying awhile.

It was a good week for health care

It was also a good week for a lawsuit. It was a bad week for Sen. Mark Pryor, ethics and Little Rock police officer Jeffrey Harris.

Class marshals, a bold new concept

Mr. Rogers' neighborhood

It was bound to happen sooner or later, somewhere. There are just too many explosives out there. Too many sticks of dynamite sleeping in dark boxes. Too many bricks of plastic explosive gone AWOL from military bases. Too many cans of black powder stacked in neat rows on store shelves.

Moment of truth

The ayes have it

Supporters of Medicaid expansion stand on the steps leading to the House chamber Tuesday. The House voted 77-23 to approve expansion.

Not so entrancing

'Trance' forgets plot, character development in all the flash.

Ellis Marsalis at Wildwood

Also, the Seersucker Social at the Old Statehouse, DJ Muggs at Discovery, Grupo Fantasma at Juanita's, Gwar at Revolution, SL Jones at Vino's and Leymah Gbowee at the Clinton School for Public Service.

An open letter to Sen. Mark Pryor

As an Arkansan who happens to live in Newtown, Conn., and whose parents and sisters and brothers-in -law and nieces and nephews all still live in Arkansas, I am extremely disappointed in your vote today in favor of filibuster on the background check bill. My wife is a teacher at Sandy Hook; she huddled against a wall with her students about 50 feet away from that mass murder, listening to the whimpers and pleas and cries of the victims.

Wovenhand at Downtown Music

Also, Adam Carroll at White Water Tavern.

Bush blocked debt's end

Since marking red-letter days such as anniversaries of U.S. invasions and assassinations with post-mortems is all the rage, here is another that so far has passed unnoticed: 2013 is the year that the U.S. public debt is supposed to be retired, at least if you were a disciple of Bill Clinton.

Shameful: Pryor and Boozman on gun control

One would have to travel back to the 1950s, to a time when schools and water fountains were racially segregated, and Southern politicians fought to keep them so, to find Arkansas's two senators joined together in a more shameful vote than that of Mark Pryor and John Boozman on gun control

AM report: A visit to Exxon County, Ark.; 11th hour legislative funny business

Top of the morning. These items pop up: * VISIT TO MAYFLOWER CAN BE HAZARDOUS: On the jump (also here on Facebook), I invite you to read an account by Rod Bryan of Little Rock of his visit to the Mayflower neighborhood inundated by thousands of barrels of Canadian tar sand crude after the ExxonMobil Pegasus pipeline ruptured.

Stephano's II opens Saturday

At B.A. Framer in the Heights.

Friday To-Do: Wildwood Jazz Series: Ellis Marsalis

Ellis Marsalis will perform at Wildwood Park for the Arts Friday.

The Arkansas Food Blogger Bake Sale: a sweet way to help stamp out child hunger

Support the No Kid Hungry organization while enjoying some sweet treats at the 2013 Arkansas Food Blogger Bake Sale. It all goes down May 4th.

Legislature today — come the tax cuts

The predicted tax cuts are flowing. Despite testimony against it, the Senate Revenue and Tax Committee endorsed, with only Sen. David Johnson in the negative, House Speaker Davy Carter's bill to EXEMPT all capital gains above $5 million from the income.

Takei came, Purple Moon coming to Arts Center

Performance to interpret Wendy Maruyama installation.

Speaking of manure in the Buffalo River watershed

Protectors of the Buffalo National River are up in arms about approval of a permit for a factory hog feeding operation along Big Creek, a major tributary of the Buffalo.

Here's the complete music lineup for Riverfest

The full music schedule for Riverfest was announced today.

Medicaid expansion: Two views

The legislative vote to avail Arkansas of Obamacare Medicaid expansion money. Good or bad?

Legislative pay raise amendment comes out of committee

David Couch, a lawyer active in the Regnat Populus ethics reform movement, e-mails me to say that HJR 1009, given up for dead at the first of the week, has been reborn.

Damien Echols reviews 'Rectify' for HuffPost

Damien Echols of the West Memphis Three has written a review of the new Sundance Channel show "Rectify."

Pryor stands up to the American people

The New Yorker's Andy Borowitz gigs Pryor for his votes against background checks on guns.

Reminder: "EXPRESSIONS" art fund-raiser tonight

The clients of Birch Tree Communities, which cares for people with serious mental illness, will be the beneficiaries tonight at the annual "EXPRESSIONS Art Show and Sale," 6 p.m. at Temple B'Nai Israel, 3700 Rodney Parham.

Mike Ross evolves on women's issues; pays price

Mike Ross' entry into the Democratic primary race for governor, with a full-throated cry for women's rights against the Republican legislature, naturally invited an examination of his voting record.

The raw milk open line

Sorry. I've been out of pocket for a funeral.

Food nostalgia and La Casa Real

Nostalgia-inducing Mexican at a reasonable price.

One suspect dead, one sought in Boston bombings

Violent night in Boston with death of a police officer, death of a suspect and lockdown in neighborhood where another bombing suspect is being fought.

Morning report: Won't you go home Arkansas legislature?

The Friday morning warmup: * THE RUSH TO ADJOURN: "Deliberative" is not a word that applies to the death rattle of the Arkansas legislature — not when the Senate rushes out, with virtually no debate, $150 million or so in tax cuts on everything from baling wire purchases to multi-million-dollar windfalls on unearned income for corporate capitalists.

Saturday To-Do: DJ Muggs

DJ Muggs comes to Discovery Nightclub Saturday.

Saturday To-Do: Grupo Fantasma

Grupo Fantasma performs at Juanita's Saturday.

Food Feedback Friday: sausage, sashimi, and Santa Lucia

Time for Food Feedback Friday. Your chance to give us your take on what's going on around the Arkansas food scene.

Saturday: Don Haney & The Prime Rib Special, Tyrannosaurus Chicken and more

Don Haney performs at Cregeen's Irish Pub on Saturday.

Sunday To-Do: GWAR

GWAR plays at Revolution Sunday night.

Sunday To-Do: SL Jones

SL Jones performs at Vino's Sunday night.

Arkansas unemployment rate holds steady

The unemployment rate in Arkansas in March held steady at 7.2 percent, while the workforce dropped slight.

A half-measure from the Boy Scouts

The Boy Scouts leadership is preparing to consider a policy change that would allow gay youths to join Scouting, but still prohibit gay leaders.

Student art, McLeod piece for TAF

"Southern Women Artists" show continues at Greg Thompson Fine Art.

What, me worry? Beebe to sign tax cuts

Gov. Mike Beebe said today that he'd sign a raft of tax cut bills — heavily tilted toward the wealthy — that could reduce state income by $140 million or more in three years.

Saturday: Lenny Williams at Blues on the River

Lenny Williams performs at Blues on the River, Saturday at the Clinton Presidential Center.

UPDATE: Nate Bell shoots from lip on Boston violence; Speaker Carter apologizes for him; Bell apologizes for 'timing'

(For readers new to this site: Nate Bell is a Republican state representative from Mena.

'In the name of God, go'

360 years ago tomorrow, on April 20, 1653, Oliver Cromwell spoke words to parliament that seem ever so pertinent more than three centuries later in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Former GOP sheriff candidate pleads to federal charge over political dirty trick

Harold Allen Smith, 47, of Greenbrier, pleaded guilty to transferring a false birth certificate via the United States mail.

Saturday is Record Store Day

Record Store Day is Saturday, April 20.

Legislature's 'wrong-headed' approach to tax cuts

It's all over but the gold-counting for the Arkansas legislature's orgy of tax cuts for the rich and businesses.

Friday: Kevin Kerby, Little Big Town and more

Kevin Kerby plays at White Water Tavern Friday.

Also overlooked: Partisan takeover of elections

Speaking of overlooked legislative items. Here's another topic lost day to day in the welter of stuff being generated by a new Republican majority anxious to rewrite every element of Arkansas government more in its image.

So Lost finds Tim Hursley's silo again

Architectural photographer talks about his project in Alabama.

Saturday: Arkansas Times' Pub or Perish at Stickyz

Pub or Perish is Saturday at Stickyz.

Levon Helm doc headlines Little Rock Film Festival line-up

The Little Rock Film Festival just announced easily its strongest documentary line-up yet. It includes multiple SXSW and Sundance winners and films — about civil rights and music and Branson — that're sure to have special appeal to a local audience.

'Short Term 12' to open Little Rock Film Festival

Director Destin Daniel Cretton's "Short Term 12," which won the Grand Jury Prize at this year's SXSW, will open this year's Little Rock Film Festival with screenings on both sides of the river.

They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway (Bridge)

Just in this announcement: Entergy to Announce Major Community Enhancement ProjectHosted by the cities of Little Rock & North Little RockMonday, April 22, at 9:00 a.m.

Open line: Nate Bell's Boston comments earn criticism from colleagues and web and calls to resign

I'm about done. The line is open.

The Nate Bell's Itchy Twitter Fingers Edition

The passage of Medicaid expansion and the final days of the Arkansas General Assembly, Nate Bell on Twitter, Mike Ross’s moderate message and Mark Pryor’s gun votes — all covered on this week's edition.

A swing and a miss from Loca Luna

Long-time favorite doesn't live up to the hype.

Nate Bell's shot at Boston heard 'round the world

More mail arrives on Nate Bell's use of the Boston bombing and police slayings to take a crack at liberals and gun control.

'The spineless gun vote': Why?

Joe Nocera writes this morning about the vote to block legislation to expand gun purchase background checks and his pursuit of an answer to why from the four Democrats, including Sen. Mark Pryor, who stood in the way of a vote.

The gun-waving open line: Benton County and Nate Bell

Saturday night's all right for fighting isn't it. The open line commences with: * REPUBLICAN SCHISM: Well.

Help sought for memorial to victims in West Memphis 3 case

May 5 will mark the 20th anniversary of the slayings of three Arkansas children in what would come to be known internationally as the West Memphis Three case.

Selling Little Rock: Its new 'Southern accent'

Now the Kochs target newspapers

The billionaire Koch brothers have a massive imprint, from energy to forest products to multi-tentacled political front groups including the likes of Americans for Prosperity, important in the Republican takeover of the Arkansas legislature.

Republican extremism means never having to say you're sorry

First it was Republican Rep. Nate Bell, with his non-apology apology for slurring Bostonians while trying to score a pro-gun political point in the midst of a manhunt for police killers noticeably undeterred by firepower.

May more Sundays be the same

Nice ays wasn't it? Quiet, except for the CYA noise from up in Faulkner County where Rep. Tim "Pipeline" Griffin is busy 'splainin' how that oil-spewing pipeline isn't like the other pipeline he wants to build carrying the same dangerous stuff.

Monday morning nut watch

It's Monday. If we're lucky, we have only 36 more hours of extremist Republican lawmaking (Obamacare approval excepted) at the Arkansas Capitol.

Tuesday To-Do: Leymah Gbowee

Nobel laureate Leymah Gbowee will speak at the Clinton School Tuesday.

Nichols' 'Mud' getting lots of attention

Sunday's New York Times included a long feature on Little Rock filmmaker Jeff Nichols, whose latest film, the Arkansas-shot "Mud," opens on Friday.

Planned Parenthood plans to press Mike Ross on record

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross made encouraging sounds about looking out for women's medical services and the ability to choose abortion when he announced last week.

Entergy unveils bridge lighting plan

Former Justice Bob Brown to associate with Friday firm

Talk Business reports that retired Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Robert Brown is taking an "of counsel" role with the powerful Friday Law Firm.

Download Adam Faucett's 'The Way You See It' to benefit Global Kids Arkansas

Download Adam Faucett's "The Way You See It" and help fund Global Kids Arkansas.

Now the legislature cuts up the swag

If no detours develop, the Arkansas legislature should finish tomorrow and go home. Today and tomorrow will be primarily devoted to passage of the revenue stabilization act, which guides overall state spending, and — much more important to individual members — approval of expenditures from the General Improvement Fund, a surprlus account.

8th Circuit upholds Chevie Keho's 1996 murder conviction

The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis today upheld the 1996 murder conviction of white supremacist Chevie Kehoe.

Internet sales tax nears Senate vote

Here's a good primer from the Washington Post Wonkblog on the legislation to make online merchants collect local sales taxes on purchases.

Question raised on oil in Lake Conway

The Sierra Club has distributed a news release that says new information indicates oil of the type spilled in the ExxonMobil pipeline break in Mayflower has been found in Lake Conway.

State Police: No criminal probe in social media comments

A slow weekend was enlivened by 1) a Benton County Republican's advocacy, in a letter posted on Facebook, of using guns to make a point with legislators who voted for Obamacare and 2) a comment on Twitter by someone else about a desire to shoot House Speaker Davy Carter.

Monday, Monday

The line is open. The day is ending quietly.

New state historian chosen

Dr. Lisa Speer, an Arkansas native who has been director of special collections at Southeast Missouri State University, has even named the new state historian.

The Cake Place: You'll want seconds

Russellville cake shop impresses with service and flavor.

Time to support KUAR

The semi-annual fund drive for KUAR/KLRE, Little Rock's public radio stations is underway. Advance begging alert: Rosi Smith of Arkansas Children's Hospital and I will be asking for money THURSDAY morning, from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., rather than in our normal Friday morning time slot.

Managing Medicaid: A cautionary tale

It's an appealing notion, managing government-financed health care programs like Medicaid to encourage less expensive types of care and turning it over to the ever-so-efficient private sector to get the job done.

ExxonMobil oil spill in Arkansas falls to agency with industry tie

Are you not yet following Inside Climate News, the Pulitzer Prize winning watchdog of the pipeline industry?

Guns, fetuses, God and Obamacare: The legislature wraps it up

At 9:17 a.m., the House adjourned until a formal close May 17. The Senate should follow in short order, if it hasn't already.

MySaline scoop: Rocker Neil Young tours Mayflower oil spill neighborhood

Shelli Russell at, a website that focuses on Saline County, decided to go up to Mayflower for a look around the oil spill neighborhood.

Download 'City Lights' by Brown Soul Shoes to benefit Global Kids Arkansas

Download "City Lights" by Brown Soul Shoes and help bring Global Kids to Arkansas.

Dumas: Obamacare covered a sorry legislative record

Ernie Dumas writes this week that the 2013 legislature's approval of Obamacare, against long odds, made up for a multitude of sins.

Arkansas Children's Hospital gets gift for burn treatment

Dr. Charles and Cindy Fuller, whose daughter Rachel was fatally injured in the 1999 crash of American Airlines flight 1420 at Little Rock National Airport, have made a gift that will allow Arkansas Children's Hospital to create an endowed chair in burn . Their gift, with a match from the hospital foundation, will provide $1 million for Burn Center equipment, program support and education activities.

UPDATE: Beebe vetoes partisan election oversight bills

Gov. Mike Beebe cleared his desk of pending legislation today, signing all but thyree bills by Sen. Bryan King to put more power over election oversight in the office of secretary of state, now held by Republican Mark Martin.

Exxon, state still insist no oil found in Lake Conway

A Sierra Club release yesterday, based on independent findings of a maker of oil spill cleanup material, suggested oil from the ExxonMobil pipeline break could have found its way into the main body of Lake Conway.

The line's open; first let's talk Arkansas governor 2014

The line is open. What'll we do now that the legislature's done?

UA student wins Windgate Fellowship

Emily Chase's award is $15,000.

Farm Girl's meats make eating an experience

Getting into the kitchen with some of Farm Girl Natural Food's products.