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.
Heritage Hog Roast previewApril 18, 2013
Vol 39 • No 33
They're hogs with history.
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.
As usual, the Arkansas Literary Festival has packed dozens of compelling authors and panels into its four-day event.
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.
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.
Former Congressman Mike Ross began his campaign for governor with an announcement in his hometown of Prescott this morning.
The Senate bill aimed at cutting off money to Planned Parenthood failed in a House committee this morning on a roll call vote.
The 2nd Annual Seersucker Social is Thursday at the Old Statehouse Museum.
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.
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.
Wovenhand performs at Downtown Music Hall Thursday night.
The House today SB 821 to place additional burdens on petition campaigns for ballot initiatives.
CNN reports: A letter to President Obama that was intercepted at an off-site facility has tested positive for ricin, the FBI says.
Don Nelms, a former Fayetteville auto dealer, political candidate, environmentalist and photographer, has taken up a roost near Jasper overlooking the Buffalo River.
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.
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."
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.
Food truck offers welcome new option.
The great mystery of Barack Obama remains the extent to which he has ever believed his own rhetoric about a transformative, post-partisan presidency.
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.
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.
Arkansas-born screenwriter scores writing credit on one big TV series, and pilot that could turn into another.
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 also a good week for a lawsuit. It was a bad week for Sen. Mark Pryor, ethics and Little Rock police officer Jeffrey Harris.
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.
Supporters of Medicaid expansion stand on the steps leading to the House chamber Tuesday. The House voted 77-23 to approve expansion.
'Trance' forgets plot, character development in all the flash.
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.
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.
Also, Adam Carroll at White Water Tavern.
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.
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
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.
At B.A. Framer in the Heights.
Ellis Marsalis will perform at Wildwood Park for the Arts Friday.
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.
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.
Performance to interpret Wendy Maruyama installation.
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.
The full music schedule for Riverfest was announced today.
The legislative vote to avail Arkansas of Obamacare Medicaid expansion money. Good or bad?
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 of the West Memphis Three has written a review of the new Sundance Channel show "Rectify."
The New Yorker's Andy Borowitz gigs Pryor for his votes against background checks on guns.
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' 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.
Sorry. I've been out of pocket for a funeral.
Nostalgia-inducing Mexican at a reasonable price.
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.
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.
DJ Muggs comes to Discovery Nightclub Saturday.
Grupo Fantasma performs at Juanita's Saturday.
Time for Food Feedback Friday. Your chance to give us your take on what's going on around the Arkansas food scene.
Don Haney performs at Cregeen's Irish Pub on Saturday.
GWAR plays at Revolution Sunday night.
SL Jones performs at Vino's Sunday night.
The unemployment rate in Arkansas in March held steady at 7.2 percent, while the workforce dropped slight.
The Boy Scouts leadership is preparing to consider a policy change that would allow gay youths to join Scouting, but still prohibit gay leaders.
"Southern Women Artists" show continues at Greg Thompson Fine Art.
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.
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.
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.
Harold Allen Smith, 47, of Greenbrier, pleaded guilty to transferring a false birth certificate via the United States mail.
Record Store Day is Saturday, April 20.
It's all over but the gold-counting for the Arkansas legislature's orgy of tax cuts for the rich and businesses.
Kevin Kerby plays at White Water Tavern Friday.
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.
Architectural photographer talks about his project in Alabama.
Pub or Perish is Saturday at Stickyz.
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.
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.
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.
I'm about done. The line is open.
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.
Long-time favorite doesn't live up to the hype.
More mail arrives on Nate Bell's use of the Boston bombing and police slayings to take a crack at liberals and gun control.
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.
Saturday night's all right for fighting isn't it. The open line commences with: * REPUBLICAN SCHISM: Well.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It's Monday. If we're lucky, we have only 36 more hours of extremist Republican lawmaking (Obamacare approval excepted) at the Arkansas Capitol.
Nobel laureate Leymah Gbowee will speak at the Clinton School Tuesday.
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.
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.
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" and help fund Global Kids Arkansas.
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.
The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis today upheld the 1996 murder conviction of white supremacist Chevie Kehoe.
Here's a good primer from the Washington Post Wonkblog on the legislation to make online merchants collect local sales taxes on purchases.
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.
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.
The line is open. The day is ending quietly.
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.
Russellville cake shop impresses with service and flavor.
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.
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.
Are you not yet following Inside Climate News, the Pulitzer Prize winning watchdog of the pipeline industry?
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.
Shelli Russell at mysaline.com, 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 and help bring Global Kids to Arkansas.
Ernie Dumas writes this week that the 2013 legislature's approval of Obamacare, against long odds, made up for a multitude of sins.
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.
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.
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 is open. What'll we do now that the legislature's done?
Emily Chase's award is $15,000.
Getting into the kitchen with some of Farm Girl Natural Food's products.