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April 19, 2007

Vol 5 • No 14

My way or the highway

STFU quote of the day in the Democrat-Gazette article about whether Gov. Mike Beebe could play a role in mending the divided in the Little Rock School District (doubtful): Board member Larry Berkley said the termination process for Superintendent Roy Brooks needs to stop.

Republican chair stepping down -- UPDATE

Sen. Gilbert Baker says he's stepping down as Arkansas Republican chairman and that an election for a new chairman will be held soon.

Cops in Conway operate a bingo hall

Bingo isn't yet legal in Arkansas. But somebody apparently didn't tell the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 41, which is running a bingo game up in Conway.

Lower drug prices?

Republicans in the Senate don't want them. Big pharma owns them.

In the mail

Wild stuff in NBC's mailbag from the Virginia Tech shooter.

This Modern World

Hit the road, Tim

Why won’t Tim Griffin leave? Why not give up the U.S. attorney’s office to someone better qualified and untainted by close association with Karl Rove? The Rove connection must have twisted Griffin’s values into something hateful and ugly. Or, he may have

Words

Brian J. Rezin of Russellville inquires about “the regional usage of the term ‘toboggan.’ ”

Thimk!

We had the warmest March on record, with what will surely turn out to be our most disagreeable April ever following. If you’ve been heeding your favorite televangelist, you’ll recognize that as another sign. A sign that the end times are upon us. That the

Smart Talk

This week: No countdown yet for Tim Griffin; presidential wagering; an unclaimed reward.

What's cooking, April 19

Las Casitas del Valle on Rebsamen Park Road, Hog Wild Cafe on McCain.

Surf's up

You can now check local marriage licenses on the web.

The week that was April 11-17

It was a good week for … BASEBALL. Nearly 8,000 fans turned out for the opening of Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock. After a spirited effort, the Travelers lost the game to the Frisco Roughriders, but the loss was scarcely noticed in all th

PoP goes the Lit Fest

What would the Arkansas Literary Festival be without the latest installment of Pub or Perish, the free bar reading sponsored by Arkansas Times? This year, PoP will go down smooth on Saturday, April 21, from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. A party hosted by the Oxford

The Observer

Thursday, April 12 — a day that will long live in radio infamy. Imus? No, this injustice hit decidedly closer to home. After 23 years, community radio station KABF (88.3 FM) pulled the plug on “Sunglasses After Dark,” the best (we think) and strange

Inherit the soil

Max Brantley is off this week. In his place, publisher Alan Leveritt provides another report from his North Pulaski pea patch.

Blues on the River

Mel Waiters and other big-name blues acts will highlight the annual Blues on the River festival on Saturday at the North Shore Riverwalk in North Little Rock.

Editorial cartoon

The doomed 'surge'

Two months into the surge, four things have happened in Iraq that illustrate both the certain doom and inhumanity of President Bush’s policy. More American but fewer Iraqi soldiers than before are dying, innocent Iraqi civilians are perishing in greater n

Orval

Neighbors go marching back to war

A reporter from National Public Radio named John McChesney came through Little Rock last week, drawn by reports that the Arkansas National Guard’s 39th Infantry Brigade would soon return to Iraq. It’s been 18 months since these 3,000 of our friends a

Lit festival authors

Who's who

Peace on Greers Ferry

It is sad that Greers Ferry Lake’s peaceful bald eagle habitat is about to be invaded by noisy offshore ocean racers and helicopters at the peak of nesting season.

A renewed baseball spirit

J.R. and Henry say Dickey-Stephens hits a home run.

Local and special acts still in jeopardy

More litigation challenging use of state funds for local projects is possible, according to Mike Wilson of Jacksonville, whose previous lawsuit led the Arkansas Supreme Court to require new procedures for spending state money on such projects.

It’s Earth Day

Buy something nice for the planet.

Psychedelic ‘Hick-Hop’

If you’ve recently perused the show listings in our local weekly, your eyes might have fallen across a mind-twister of a band name: Blueground Undergrass, playing tonight (April 19) at Sticky Fingerz Rock ’n’ Roll Chicken Shack.

Not hooked by Joey’s

We expected Joey’s to be a tin-roofed dive with hot trays full of steaming catfish and hush puppies. Surprisingly, it turns out to be the chainiest of chain restaurants, right down to the extensive, spiral-bound menus and hokey fisherman decor.

Merry ‘Potter’

Though I tend to love blood, exploding stuff and skanky sex on film, it’s good to cleanse the palate every once in awhile with something more gentle. Which brings us to what turned out to be — surprisingly — one of my favorite films of the last year: “Mi

He’s got a secret

Every week for the past three years, around a thousand people whose names Frank Warren will never know have confessed their deepest, darkest secrets to him.

Literary Festival schedule

What and where

Maumelle Fest features music, more

Jimi Jamison, the lead singer of the 1980s hit-making band Survivor (“Eye of the Tiger”), will be the headliner at the Maumelle Family Fest on Saturday, April 21.

Ronstadt’s super with ASO

Linda Ronstadt sings tonight with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.

Mansion mercy

Gov. Mike Beebe says he'll give no preference to a killer recently recommended for clemency who works as a trusty at the Governor's Mansion.

Who's up, who's down?

Brummett assesses. Generally, Republicans aren't doing so hot, particularly Mike Huckabee with his "inexplicable" run for president.

Justice watch -- UPDATE III

Al "The Torturer" Gonzales is in the witness chair in Washington today. Readers are invited to keep track and report, particularly for Arkansas angles that might get overlooked in broader coverage.

Fat credit

Campaigning in New Hampshire, Mike Huckabee suggests giving a tax deduction for gym fees and weight loss programs.

A high-fructose kinda good time

Friday night, fledgling local label Thick Syrup takes a giant step for Arkansas music with the release of its "Arkansas Compilation," a 24-track collection of some of the state's most vibrant acts.

Turbotax extension

Arkansas is following the lead of other tax authorities and extending the state income tax deadline until midnight April 19 for people using Turbotax and related tax preparation software.

Giovanni still scheduled

A spokesman for the Arkansas Literary Festival says poet Nikki Giovanni is still expected to appear at the festival this weekend.

No stop loss for Guard -- yet

The Arkansas National Guard said today, contrary to some conflicting signals, that it is not barring the discharge of eligible soldiers in anticipation of further service in Iraq.

Carefully, we fess up -- UPDATE

Check AP for an interview with Maria Haley, the new chief of Arkansas Economic Development, who carefully allows that some parts of the state might have workforce problems.

Gunsmoke Mike

One of our Blog readers has already explained, in calm terms, why this is such a bad idea.

Fielder's choice

They call it the Green Moment: That first glimpse you get of a new or unfamiliar ballpark, when you come out of the tunnel or up the ramp or around the corner and all at once your entire field of vision is filled with a great expanse of emerald turf.

Get your Lit on!

Yes, bibliophiles and bookworms, it’s that time of year again: time for the fourth annual Arkansas Literary Festival.

Sunrise service

Amphitheater Easter service, boxing and the opening of Magic Springs coming up.

Helen Walton dies at 87

Morning News obit. For the record: The Arkansas legislature eliminated the estate tax here.

Helen Walton dies at 87

Morning News obit. For the record: The Arkansas legislature eliminated the estate tax here.

Beebe opposes Indian casino

Stephens Media followup to D-G story yesterday on Gov. Beebe's stance on a proposed Indian casino in Fort Smith.

One angry man

Sen. Mark Pryor's angry branding of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales as a liar figured in yesterday's congressional grilling of The Torturer.

Whitewater revisited

The New York Times returns (bad link fixed) to Whitewater, the failed real estate development that gave Clinton haters 10 years of empty scandal to chew on.

Medicare? Be very afraid

Krugman explains how the Bush administration and the insurance industry are plundering Medicare. It never made sense that farming out Medicare to private insurers would save anybody any money.

Clear Channel TV properties sold

Clear Channel, whose TV properties include Fox 16 and a CW affiliate in Little Rock, has sold its TV division to a private equity group, Roby Brock reports.

Clear Channel TV properties sold

Clear Channel, whose TV properties include Fox 16 and a CW affiliate in Little Rock, has sold its TV division to a private equity group, Roby Brock reports.

Battling for tourism dollars

Interesting news release from Kentucky, on the jump, claiming Arkansas tourism officials have been bad-mouthing Lake Cumberland unfairly.

Stopping the charter school train

The new governor of Ohio wants to put the brakes on the state's expanding charter school and voucher programs.

Nailing the liar

It's a day late, but those interested in the Karl Rove political takeover of the Justice Department,  beginning with his henchman Tim Griffin in Little Rock, will enjoy this point-by-point recap, with transcript, of Sen. Chuck Schumer's evisceration of Alberto Gonzales on the plan to avoid Senate confirmation of Griffin.

More trash

The state Department of Environmental Quality (how's that for an ironic name?) has allowed an expansion of the controversial BFI landfill in SW Little Rock without public notice and the Coalition of Little Rock Neighborhoods isn't happy about it.

Teresa Prewett speaks

Followers of the Hog soap opera know Teresa Prewett as a Hog fan, friend of coach Houston Nutt and author of a put-down e-mail to Hog quarterback Mitch Mustain, who's departed Fayetteville for Southern California.

Broyles successor?

Rocky Mountain News mentions (I've substituted a link to a printer version, which seems to load more easily) Rockies president Keli McGregor, a former associate athletic director  at UA.

LR Film Festival Line-Up

The start-up Little Rock Film Festival (May 17-19) released an impressive line-up today. It appears festival organizers (which includes filmmaking brothers Craig and Brent Renaud) went to pretty great lengths to put together a diverse festival--not just in subject matter, but also in terms of mixing narrative and documentary and shorts together and pairing big budget releases with smaller indies.

New Boondogs CD coming May 8

Ran into Jason Weinhiemer and Indy Grotto at the Tuesday night Travs game -- we all had our young kids in tow, and they were enjoying running up and down the berm situated down the third-base line, just past the seats, and what a nice few of the action it offers too -- and learned that the new Boondogs CD is about to reach us shortly.

Improv at the Salty Parrot tonight

I don't know why, maybe it was the thought of the old Gators on the River that had me a little worried about what the Salty Parrot would turn out to be when I joined the media and LR/NLR city officials for a grand opening of the place yesterday.

Don't forget to 'pub of PERISH"

A-Times reporter David Koon is the organizer for the fourth "Pub or Perish," a great way to spend some time with some of the authors visiting our fair city this weekend for the Arkansas Literary Festival.

Huckapac

Remember Mike Huckabee's Hope for America PAC? This was the soft money PAC he set up in Virginia to do a little traveling to explore a race for presidency before he discovered that our counsel was correct -- you can't use such PACs to explore presidential candidacies.

Film fans take note

This is Arkansas Literary Festival weekend (don't forget the Arkansas Times' Pub or Perish reading at 7 p.m.

Women: second-class at UA

The pay gap between male and female professors at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville is widening rather than closing, a study by the Faculty Senate's financial advisory committee says.

Every vote counts

The vote to impose an impact fee for Fayetteville roads apparently will fail on a tie vote -- with a dispute over whether one overseas absentee ballot was properly cast.

Jimmie Wilson reprimanded

Former state Rep. Jimmie Wilson was reprimanded today following a public hearing before the Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct.

Open line

Enough's enough. I'm turning it over to the blog community.

Porky's II

The legislature will do some business when it returns at the end of April, reworking some pork legislation vetoed by Gov. Mike Beebe so as to attempt to make the spending pass constitutional muster.

The debased culture

Brummett, inspired by a Kansas City columnist, reaches beyond Imus to consider a culture debased by the way people refer to each other.

Wal-Mart snooping

The retailer says it has not done the snooping into stockholders and others a former employee had said the company has done.

Big mistake

I waited too late to go to the garden store. Approximately half the population of Little Rock was already there.

Infant death

Not a cheery topic. NY Times reports  that the infant mortality rate has shown an uptick in Southern states, particularly in Delta regions, and the article questions whethere cuts in Medicaid and welfare assistance may be part of the reason.

The Virginia Tech saga

Check the NY Times for some deep, retrospective coverage of the disaster. A close look at the shooter and a description of what happened in the classrooms. (Links corrected, I think.

Federal Judge George Howard dies

The judge, who was 82, died early Saturday at a hospital in Pine Bluff, his home.

Federal Judge George Howard dies

The judge, who was 82, died early Saturday at a hospital in Pine Bluff, his home.

Republicans in trouble

Brummett talks to Sen. Gil Baker about his departure as state Republican chairman and strategies for building a party currently on the ropes everywhere except the Third District.

Republicans in trouble

Brummett talks to Sen. Gil Baker about his departure as state Republican chairman and strategies for building a party currently on the ropes everywhere except the Third District.

The web name game

Interesting item from Stephens Media's Washington bureau: Mike Huckabee has paid $1,700 to buy back internet domain names from a Conway man.

What's a prize worth

Great story in the Dallas Morning News suggests that a journalism prize competition in Texas -- the Katie Awards -- may have been the rigged product of a "journalist" with a very active imagination and a criminal record.

Union wins nurse vote

Roby Brock's Talk Business has the scoop on the results of the vote among St. Vincent Infirmary registered nurses on continued union representation.

Huckabee's a hit

A local supporter of Mike Huckabee dropped by the Republican County convention in Spartanburg, S.C., Saturday and says the former governor blew away the competition with his speech-making.

Huckabee's a hit

A local supporter of Mike Huckabee dropped by the Republican County convention in Spartanburg, S.C., Saturday and says the former governor blew away the competition with his speech-making.

Back from Vacation With Shameless Boasting

I'm working on a post about our week on Greers Ferry Lake and the Little Red River, but in the meantime, indulge me in a bit of giddy pride.  For only the second time, a photo of mine has made "EXPLORE" on flickr.com.  It's one of the ones from last week at the lake, of one of our dogs, Delta: Ah, to be one of 500, out of a million.  Sweet!Update--I apparently don't know how to search Explore photos efficiently.

What's on your mind?

I'm hoping for an improvement in The Sopranos and lookiing forward to Entourage. Plus a bowl of navy beans, cole slaw and cornbread.

Back to what I really love

Where was I, the sports lover, the guy who couldn’t wait for Dickey-Stephens to open, a few of you may ask? I was checking out one of my other loves: a local, original music show at Juanita’s that the University of Central Arkansas Honors College had pull

The most powerful man in the U.S.

That would be Justice Anthony Kennedy, Brummett writes, because he's the powerful Supreme Court swing vote, as he was on the later-term abortion ruling.

Mexican consulate opens

A Mexican consulate opens Wednesday in Little Rock with great ceremony, including expected wackjob protests, Stephens Media notes.

Mexican consulate opens

A Mexican consulate opens Wednesday in Little Rock with great ceremony, including expected wackjob protests, Stephens Media notes.

Vermont is one thing

But when the governor of New York proposes a bill to legalize gay marriage, then the issue is REALLY joined.

The underlying crime -- UPDATE

Don't let the Beltway pundits convince you that U.S. Attorneygate is a tempest in a bureaucratic teapot.

It's not just UA

Lower pay for women seems to be the norm in the U.S. workforce. Just not as qualified as men, I guess.

Foodie alert

A news release (on the jump) informs us that the Fresh Market, a gourmet grocery chain, will be opening May 16 in Pleasant Ridge, the new shopping center on Cantrell Road just west of Interstate 430.

Dickey-Stephens gets a good writeup in Ballparks.com

Read all about Dickey-Stephens Park from folks who know ballparks. Where else but Ballparks.com.

K-k-k-katie

Brummett's blog has a funny item about the now-dubious Katie Awards of the Dallas Press Club.

Where hearts are young and gay

A few weeks back, the Insider reported on Eureka Springs' consideration of a domestic partnership registry.

Shut him up -- UPDATE

The state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission released today a formal recitation of the charges it had earlier decided to bring against Court of Appeals Judge Wendell Griffen.

Shut him up -- UPDATE

The state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission released today a formal recitation of the charges it had earlier decided to bring against Court of Appeals Judge Wendell Griffen.

Paying the bills

With a $200,000 debt (to himself) still hanging from his expensive campaign, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel will use seven former attorneys general to headline a May 4 fund-raiser at the Military Museum.

Paying the bills

With a $200,000 debt (to himself) still hanging from his expensive campaign, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel will use seven former attorneys general to headline a May 4 fund-raiser at the Military Museum.

Joining the parade

A number of Republicans have been quoted lately as saying it's time for Alberto "the Torturer" Gonzales to go.

After the turkey

From the UA: FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - For the 12th-consecutive season, Arkansas and LSU will meet in the Battle of the GoldenBoot on the Friday (Nov. 23) following Thanksgiving in a game televised by CBS Sports.

Looking ahead

Two events for Tuesday: * The River Market Farmer's Market opens Tuesday. It's not prime time, of course.

Not so lethal injections

I'm fairly on the fence when it comes to executions here in the US. I guess if a jury went by my moral code, there probably would only be the death penalty for those who confessed in court or who were caught on video, where guilt was not questioned.

Susan of Arkansas

Here's Variety's report on the Susan McDougal biopic, with a few more details, but no deal yet on the leading role.

The Huckabee challenge

Mike Huckabee grabbed quite a few headlines yesterday with criticism of Alberto Gonazales. Here, Stephens Media reports on his boasting that he did more for education reform in Arkansas than the Clintons did.

None of the above

Brummett writes that all the presidential candidates seem to living down to the very low bar set by the current president.

LRSD turmoil

Little Rock School Superintendent Roy Brooks should be getting a bill of particulars soon, perhaps today, on the School Board majority's belief that he should be fired.

LRSD turmoil

Little Rock School Superintendent Roy Brooks should be getting a bill of particulars soon, perhaps today, on the School Board majority's belief that he should be fired.

Where's Jason? -- UPDATE

Blake Rutherford's blog says former Mike Huckabee right-hand-man Jason Brady has really left the presidential campaign this time.

Where's Jason? -- UPDATE

Blake Rutherford's blog says former Mike Huckabee right-hand-man Jason Brady has really left the presidential campaign this time.

Road warrior

Former Arkansas tackle Tony Ugoh is the focus of a good feature in today's NY Times about his traveling the country to visit potential pro employers who want to assess him before this weekend's draft.

Well, at least Tim Griffin will buy tickets -- UPDATE

The Washington County Republicans are having none other than Turdblossom, Karl Rove, as the speaker for their Lincoln Day Dinner May 12.

Personal groceries

Brummett's blog reports that Gov. Mike Beebe has figured out a way to do the bookkeeping and henceforth will be buying his own groceries for personal use at the Governor's Mansion.

Pryor waits by the phone

Sen. Mark Pryor still thinks Alberto The Torturer lied to him and he still hasn't heard from Gonzales, despite Al bu's remark at his disastrous congressional appearance that he would get with Pryor.

A momentous day

I knew April 24 was important, my wedding anniversary (31, thanks very much.) But I didn't know it was Equal Pay Day.

Changing Times

Several people have inquired about this lately and I've mentioned some of it in a blog post and in an interview with Arkansas Business, but, for the record: The Times' lifestyle editor, Jim Harris, is departing May 1 after eight years here.

Phil Mickelson wows the crowd at Alotian

Warren Stephens brought in Phil Mickelson today for the second Jack Stephens Charitable Golf Tournament at Alotian Golf Club.

Toyota and us

Bill Lawson, a veteran media guy, now writes a weekly column for the Marion Salute, a weekly over in lust-for-Toyota land.

UAMS study on bed rest, muscles in JAMA

Extended bed rest accelerates muscle deterioration in older adults,

Vice chancellor for UAMS northwest named.

With 34 years of administrative experience in academic health care, Peter O. Kohler, M.D, has been named by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences as vice chancellor for the Northwest Arkansas Region and will lead efforts to open a UAMS campus in

E-mail saga continues

Report here says a Montgomery County man has sued UA President Alan Sugg and UAF Chancellor John White for failing to adequately investigate coaching staff involvement in the unflattering e-mails Hog fan Teresa Prewett sent to then-Hog quarterback Mitch Mustain.

He would say that

The day before the grand opening of a Mexican consulate in Little Rock that he helped recruit, Mike Huckabee says at a NW Ark. fund-raiser that immigration isn't the big issue in the Republican primary.

Republicans hit bottom?

David Sanders says so, judging by lack of interest by bigger names in the job of state GOP chairman.

Worst. Administration. Ever.

The latest in a series of regular reports on how the Cheney-Rove administration has corrupted, compromised or simply ruined the American government.

Your assignment tonight -- CORRECTION

Fox News last night seemed to be spending the evening ignoring the coverup in the Pat Tillman death; ignoring the investigation of Karl Rove; ignoring the carnage in Iraq, etc. But we caught O'Reilly focusing on something very important -- what a bad guy Bill Moyers is. This was in preparation for the airing tonight of what everybody says is a blockbuster, the "Bill Moyers Journal"  that illustrates how the media went in the tank for George W. Bush's dishonest march to the disastrous war in Iraq.

Big brother

You hate it when you hear the government is building a giant data bank on American citizens for supposed "security" purposes.

Another calendar note

In addition to Bill Moyers on TV tonight, you can pencil in some up-close contact with another important figure in Little Rock this week.

A 70 percenter

Readers were way ahead of me on this yesterday, but anyone who missed it should read George McGovern's op-ed on Dick Cheney and the war.

Arkansas opinion

An inveterate newspaper reader calls our attention to two editorials of note in today's Arkansas press.

Arkansas opinion

An inveterate newspaper reader calls our attention to two editorials of note in today's Arkansas press.

CORRECTION

For those of you who might not scroll back: The correct starting time for Bill Moyers' special on AETN tonight is 8 p.m., not 8:30.

War is hell

Thanks to the Huffington Post for this, with film -- Laura Bush on NBC today: Laura Bush appeared on the Today Show this morning in a one-on-one interview with Ann Curry.

Happy 50th

I hear a New York Times reporter, Adam Nossiter, has been working on a story about the current Little Rock School District turmoil.  Fifty years after the crisis and the community is still split along racial lines.

Uh huh -- ginger ale

From NY Times: CBS Sports is refusing to show a commercial for Maxfli, the golf ball maker, in which John Daly, whose fondness for alcohol is well known, drives a golf cart on a municipal course while carrying what appears to be beer.

Like a wreck on the side of the highway, I just can't help but look

I say this every time I mention his name, but to be clear, I'm pro-Houston Nutt.

Burned up by daylight saving

We beat them to the punch, but Snopes, the invaluable Internet myth-debunker, has gone where our Insider column had already gone this week in letting the world in on this secret: Connie Meskimen, a Hot Springs lawyer, was funning when he complained in a letter to the editor of the D-G about a liberal Congress moving up Daylight Saving Time and thus doing all sorts of damage wth that extra hour of daylight.

ISOO4U

There are some rich and powerful people who love to use their lawyers to scare poor and powerless people into submission.
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