← Back to issues

April 25, 2013

Vol 39 • No 34

Read the print version

All-Star Finalists

These 10 students made the final round of judging for the 2013 Arkansas Times Academic All-Star Team.

The 2013 Arkansas Times Academic All-Star Team

The twenty best and brightest high school students in the state.

Raise your glass to the 2013 Food & Foam Fest

Food & Foam Fest to Dickey-Stephens Park on April 26th.

Morning notes: Clinton library, protection for Lake Maumelle

Some morning odds and ends: * BIPARTISANSHIP IN PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARIES: The Dallas Morning News includes an op-ed from Skip Rutherford on the cooperative nature of presidential library planning.

Report: Bloomberg looks to make 'example' of Mark Pryor

I talked with former Arkansas newsman Ron Fournier, now at the National Journal, about this story yesterday.

ICYMI: Challenge planned on Obamacare laws; surprise, open carry may be legal in Arkansas

Things you might have missed if you don't carefully peruse the open lines: * AND YOU SAY YOU THOUGHT THE LEGISLATURE DEFEATED OPEN CARRY: Thanks to Theodosius for pointing me to Act 746, by Rep. Denny Altes (a tipoff to craziness for sure) and others such as Bullet Bob Ballinger.

Thursday: Mansion on the Moon at Stickyz and more

Mansions on the Moon play at Stickyz Thursday.

How high the fence? Hearing set

Remember the fight over fence heights in the Governor's Mansion and Capitol neighborhoods, a dispute that produced unsuccessful legislation to abolish the Capitol Zoning District Commission.

Kat Wilson: Two shows to see in Fayetteville

Photographer Kat Wilson's work at Arsaga's, U of A

Download 607's 'Beyond Forgiveness' to benefit Global Kids Arkansas

Download 607's "Beyond Forgiveness" to help bring Global Kids to Arkansas.

Time to apply for Arts in Education Program

Performing, visual and literary artists sought.

Nancy Pelosi to visit Little Rock

Has anybody been more reviled by Arkansas Republicans, other than President Obama, than House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi?

Keith Haring sculpture debuts at Crystal Bridges

The graffiti artist's depiction of a two-headed creature is installed on the grounds.

Little Rock Film Festival unveils narrative line-up

The Little Rock Film Festival, scheduled for May 15-19, has almost finalized its lineup. After previously announcing line-ups for shorts and documentaries, it today unveiled its slate of narratives (though I'm told a few more may trickle in).

The kitchen heats up at the Governor's Culinary Challenge

The Governor’s Culinary Challenge is headed for the Capital Hotel April 29th.

Black Flag to Fayetteville!

Black Flag will play in Fayetteville June 22.

Wednesday night line

Sorry, folks. I've been working on a project and away from blogging duties.

The story of Hillcrest Artisan Meats

The latest in our regular food series — a collaboration between the Times and Camp Friday Films — takes on an Eat Arkansas favorite, Hillcrest Artisan Meats (H.A.M.). Check it out.

Room in the middle for Arkansas politicians?

Recent events recommend former U.S. Rep. Mike Ross' plan to emulate Gov. Mike Beebe as a middle-of-the-road Democrat. Moderation is appealing.

The Rep takes on 'Death of a Salesman'

It opens April 26.

Dumb Bell, etc.

Arkansans put feet in mouth, then fire.

The week in #fail

Thea brings festival to Argenta

Artosphere kicks off in Fayetteville.

Legislative power grab

While most of the headlines about the recently concluded Arkansas General Assembly have focused on expansion of access to health care, new limits on abortion and a flurry of tax cuts, perhaps the most dominant theme of the recently recessed legislative session was the legislature's efforts to limit the power of the executive and judicial branches of government in Arkansas and to expand its own power.

It was a good week for the end

It was also a good week for Sen. Jonathan Dismang, bridge lights, Planned Parenthood and a campaign kick-off. It was a bad week for Sen. Mark Pryor and Arkansas.

Light in April

Last weekend during the Arkansas Literary Festival, The Observer served as emcee for the Arkansas Times' "Pub or Perish" readings event once again, our 10th year. Yours Truly was looking back at some photos from that first year recently, and felt again — for the umpteenth moment in our life — like a time traveler who blinked and woke up here.


At one point in the legislative session, it appeared that the lawmakers would not only reject federal money to provide health care to the poor, they might fine the poor for getting sick. Better judgment prevailed at last and the legislature approved a plan for accepting federal dollars to extend health care to the underprivileged.

Better thing

One can easily sympathize with the members of the state House of Representatives who'd like to eject Nate Bell from the chamber.


'Oblivion' steals, successfully, from sci-fi greats.

Against all odds, Obamacare prevailed in Arkansas

So backward-looking was the Arkansas legislature all winter that you wanted to search the rest of the paper every day for the latest news on the hookworm epidemic and yesterday's lynchings, but then it did something truly progressive.

Looking ahead after Arkansas Red-White game

Putting suitable stock in a spring scrimmage is difficult, but if Arkansas's annual Red-White game has evidentiary value months from now, there are roughly three areas where the program's new image will be manifest.

Open letters to Nate Bell

I read your comments about Boston yesterday. YOU ARE A MORON. I'm a gun owning conservative. That did not spare me when the bombs went off in Copley Square. I wasn't home cowering when I read your comments. I was in a hospital bed at Mass General.

An evening with John Legend in Fayetteville

Also, Chelsea Clinton and Ballet Arkansas.

J. Roddy Walston & the Business at Stickyz

Also, 'American Idiot' at Walton Arts, 'Rodeo in the Rock' at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds, Jenna Jameson's 39th Birthday Bash at Juanita's, The 3rd Annual Indie Arts & Music Festival at the Shoppes on Woodlawn, Global Kinds fundraisers and Bill Callahan at White Water Tavern.

Lyons: Nate Bell doesn't know Boston

For what it's worth, almost everybody in Arkansas who can find Massachusetts on a road map was appalled by state Rep. Nate Bell's grotesquely inappropriate Twitter post.

At home at Ciao Baci

Chef takes Hillcrest staple to new heights.

Arkansas profiles in courage

(Nate) Bell rung

In the wake of reporting Rep. Nate Bell's doltish Tweet last week, the Arkansas Times was flooded with comments on our Arkansas Blog, posts on our Facebook page and letters to the editor castigating the state representative from Mena. The photo contains a sampling.

Illegal motion

"Opponents complained that most of the critical testimony was silenced when a member of the committee motioned for immediate consideration, a nondebatable procedural maneuver that brought public input on the bill to a halt."

Finally, biscuits and gravy to believe in...

If it’s been too long since you’ve had really wonderful biscuits and gravy, you really owe it to yourself to get down to The Root and see what they’ve got cooking. We deserve better than pre-packaged mixtures. We should know better. Thankfully, The Root shines as a beacon in a sea of bad gravy.

Top of the morning: Call KUAR and make a pledge

I'm going to be out of pocket a big chunk of today, this morning and later for our annual recognition for our Arkansas Times Academic All-Star Team, the subject of this week's cover story.

UPDAT: 'Officer-involved shooting' on University

University and H streets were closed this morning following what Little Rock Police Department Sergeant Cassandra Davis called an "officer-involved shooting." Police were responding to reports of car break-ins. They apprehended one suspect. Davis said the other suspect is down.

Friday-Sunday To-Do: 'American Idiot'

"American Idiot" is at the Walton Arts Center this weekend.

Friday To-Do: J. Roddy Walston & The Business

J. Roddy Walston & The Business play at Stickyz Friday.

Friday: Collin Raye, Ed Crunk, Ballet Arkansas and more

Collin Raye performs at Juanita's Friday night.

Regnat Populus plans lawsuit over petition restrictions

Regnat Populus, the grassroots group that succeeded in putting its ethics initiative in a legislatively proposed constitutional amendment heading to the ballot in 2014, has circulated a statement touting its achievement and defending some of the items grafted onto that amendment to achieve legislative approval, particularly an extension of term limits and a mechanism to raise legislative pay.

George Takei writes about dedication of Rohwer museum for HuffPost

George Takei wrote on the Huffington Post about the dedication of a new museum in South Arkansas dedicated to the Japanese internment camps that were there.

LaToya Hobbs "Uprising" at Hearne

Woodcuts and linoleum-block prints about the beauty of African American women.

Bill Clinton tweets pic from Bush Library opening

Bill Clinton. Heard of him?

Download 'Born Tired' by Whale Fire to benefit Global Kids Arkansas

Download "Born Tired" by Whale Fire and help bring Global Kids to Arkansas.

Saturday and Sunday To-Do: "Rodeo in the Rock"

"Rodeo in the Rock" is this weekend at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds.

Supreme Court orders new sentencing for juvenile sentenced to life without parole

The Arkansas Supreme Court today did as a U.S. Supreme Court ruling required and ordered a new sentencing hearing in Mississippi county for Kuntrell Jackson, sentenced to life in prison without parole when he was 14 as an accomplice to a cousin who killed a store attendant.

Oxford American's SoLost receives NEA grant

Oxford American's National Magazine Award-winning video series, SoLost, has received a $75,000 grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, the magazine announced today. Above, check out the latest from the series, featuring famed Little Rock architecture photograph Tim Hursley rhapsodizing about a broken-down silo in Hale County, Ala.

Career Education whistleblower's judgment affirmed by Supreme Court

The Blog reported last year on the case of Bob Means, who sued over his firing from counseling work at the Hot Springs Rehabilitation Center on the order of state Career Education Department Director Bill Walker, communicated though Robert Trevino, then head of state Rehabilitation Services.

The flown-the-coop line

The Thursday line is open. My apologies again for a long absence today.

SWEPCO power line proposal draws fire

Folks in the Ozarks are upset by a proposal by SWEPCO to build a 48-mile power line

The future-is-bright open line

Just back from the UALR reception for members of the Academic All-Stars Team. 19 of the 20 were there, lacking only a Fayetteville student at Princeton today.

Are state agencies prepared to monitor Mayflower oil spill?

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Inside Climate News continues to lead reporting on the ExxoMobil pipeline rupture that spewed heavy Canadian crude on a Mayflower subdivision and into a nearby wetlands.

Tom Cotton's 'odd' argument on terrorism fight

U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton of the Club for Growth was right proud the other day of his rush to make political hay of the Boston bombing by lumping it with some other incidents that he said represented failure of counter-terrorism efforts of the Obama administration.

LISA Academy 'blind-sided' by city?

Claudia Lauer continues her reporting in the Democrat-Gazette today on Lisa Academy's expansion from 600 to 790 students without required city approval.

Sunday: 'No Place in Particular' at White Water Tavern

White Water Tavern hosts "No Place in Particular" Sunday.

Saturday To-Do: Jenna Jameson's 39th Birthday Bash

Jenna Jameson's 39th Birthday Bash is Saturday at Juanita's.

Saturday To-Do: 3rd Annual Indie Arts & Music Festival

The 3rd Annual Indie Arts & Music Festival is Saturday at the Shoppes on Woodlawn.

Saturday and Sunday To-Do: Global Kids Arkansas fundraisers

There are several fundraisers this weekend for Global Kids Arkansas

Saturday: Flameing Daeth Fearies, Eric Sommer, Matt Stell and more

The Flameing Daeth Fearies play at Vino's Saturday.

Police arrest third man in car burglary that led to shooting

The Little Rock police have arrested Gary Coleman, 21, of North Little Rock, in Thursday's fatal shooting of a burglary suspect by a police officer.

Food Feedback Friday: the popping out of Pulaski edition

For this week’s Food Feedback Friday, we’d like you to sound off on some of your favorite restaurants around the state that lie outside Pulaski Country. For today, let’s leave our comfortable confines and explore a bit more of what’s around the state. So tell us about your favorites.

Get tickets now for Heritage Hog Roast May 4

Time's running out to get advance tickets for the Arkansas Times Heritage Hog Roast on May 4.

Saturday: Mulehead and Jonathan Wilkins at White Water Tavern

Mulehead plays at White Water Tavern Saturday.

The Thea Arts Festival is tomorrow in Argenta.

Forty-eight artists, 12 musical groups, ballet, kids activities, street food ...

Reminder: Arkansas Times Heritage Hog Roast is coming up

The Times Heritage Hog Roast is May 4 in Argenta.

There goes Barack Obama, agreeing with Mike Ross again

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross has said he would have opposed the recent legislative effort to strip funding from Planned Parenthood for sex education and other health programs (not abortion).

Download Sean Fresh's track "Throw Up" to benefit Global Kids Arkansas

Download the track "Throw Up" by Sean Fresh and help bring Global Kids to Arkansas.

Prairie Grove fires cop in bar scuffle

I see from Northwest Arkansas Online that the Prairie Grove police department has fired a detective fired in a fight in a Fayetteville pool hall.

Monday To-Do: Bill Callahan

Bill Callahan will perform at White Water Tavern Monday.

Congress votes to end air traffic furloughs

The House today voted 361-41 for a measure approved unanimously in the Senate to end air traffic controller furloughs that have caused flight delays.

Tabriz auction opens online

Bid on "Thursday Night (May 2) Auction" (a.k.a. the cheap night) items.

Monday: John Legend at the University of Arkansas

John Legend speaks at the University of Arkansas Monday.

Friday night lines

The line is open. Closing out: * EXECUTION LAW CHALLENGED: A new state law specifying drugs to be used in executions still doesn't meet constitutional muster, inmates have argued in a new federal lawsuit.

The Extremism Edition

A Republican even crazier than Nate Bell, the last vetoes of the session, the latest outrage from Tom Cotton and Bloomberg versus Pryor — all covered on this week's podcast.

NY Times: 'runaway train' of black farm discrimination payments

I meant to mention this earlier. It's a must read.

Head Start budget cuts announced

A roundup to start this rainy Saturday morning:'* BECAUSE NO CONGRESSMAN USES A HEAD START CENTER: Administrators of Head Start agencies received word yesterday that budgets for the remainder of this fiscal year would be reduced 5.27 percent and that agencies could expect a similar cut in the 2014 budget barring action by Congress.

Mark Pryor: Stooge of the Night on Letterman show

As several have noted, David Letterman made Mark Pryor his stooge of the night last night for his vote with the NRA to defeat legislation to expand gun purchase background checks to gun shows.

Maneet Chauhan shows off book, skills in Arkansas

Chef and Food Network star Maneet Chauhan brings her brand of fusion to Vesuvio Bistro.

Saturday night live

Over to you. I have a pot of Madras curry made with spices actually blended in Madras (Chennai), red leaf lettuce from the Hillcrest Farmers Market, Barnhill farm strawberries and some great naan from the frozen food case at Asian Grocery.

Bloodworth Thomason has a documentary winner

It's a quiet Sunday morning, but here's a winning note of someone with an Arkansas connection.

Spring has sprung open line

Doesn't get much better than today does it? Spring planting is done.

Morning report: Taxes, oily birds, power lines

A slow start this morning. A couple of things popped up:

Celebrate in style at the 15th Annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta

This coming Saturday, May 4th, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the Clinton Foundation are bringing us a celebration worth busting out your maracas for. The 15th Annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta will be held from noon to 8 p.m. at the Clinton Presidential Center Park. The event is free to the public.

Tuesday: Brit Floyd at Verizon, Jackyl at Juanita's

Brit Floyd plays at Verizon Arena Tuesday.

U.S. Supreme Court refuses Alabama appeal on immigration law

Federal law rules on immigration enforcement. That's the effect of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling today not to hear an Alabama appeal of the decison striking down parts of its anti-immigration law, including making it a crime to harbor people in the country illegally.

NBA player Jason Collins comes out

The decision by NBA journeyman Jason Collins to announce he is gay is making headlines all over today.

The Mayflower oil spill continues to make headlines

* Then there's the latest from the Mayflower Unified Command, in theory a cooperative effort of authorities and Exxon, but, for PR purposes, Exxon-run.

Win a pair of tickets to see Brit Floyd at Verizon Arena

The Times is giving away two tickets to see Brit Floyd, Tuesday at Verizon Arena.

Eat some mudbugs, drink some beer and tour a spooky former orphanage at Preservation Crustaceans

The Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas hosts its annual crawfish boil fundraiser, Preservation Crustaceans, on May 2 at the historic St. Joseph’s Center, 6800 Camp Robinson Road in North Little Rock.

Local food network, Matt Bell to team up for event

At South on Main.

Nuclear One unit back on line

Entergy announced this afternoon that Unit 2 of the Arkansas Nuclear One generating station near Russellville was reconnectec to the grid at 3 p.m.

Tonight: Governor's Culinary Challenge

Still time to get tickets to event benefiting the Thea Foundation.

Monday night line

The comment line is open. Final words: * TOM COTTON STATEMENT ON OBAMA: 'MOSTLY FALSE': Politifact has reviewed U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton's overhyped statement on the House floor on terrorism during the administration of President Obama versus what he claimed were zero events under George W. Bush (not counting that little 9/11 thing).

Morning report: Ethics, gambling

Of interest this morning: * YOU WANT ETHICS? TIM JACOBS WILL GIVE YOU SOME ETHICS: I wrote an item not long ago when Tim Jacob, a native Arkansan and national figure in the term limits movement, filed a proposed constitutional amendment to attempt to scare the legislature out of adopting a so-called ethics amendment that included weakening of term limits and a mechanism to raise legislative pay.

Tom Cotton burnishes his warhawk image

"Media sweetheart" is how this piece in Politico puts it and they should know, having been pumping U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Club for Growth) since forever.

Wednesday: Aaron Hartzler, The Lonely Wild, Randy Rogers Band

Author Aaron Hartzler will read and sign copies of his book at WordsWorth Books & Co. Wednesday.

Obamacare application simplified

The Washington Post's Wonkblog reports that the feds have developed a simpler application for health coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.

The last waddle for Peabody LR ducks

The Peabody Hotel ducks took their last swim today in the lobby of the Little Rock hotel, which makes the changeover to a Marriott hotel tomorrow.

Hot Dog Mike fundraising for new brick-and-mortar dog shop

Hot Dog Mike — AKA Michael Juiliano — has started a fundraising campaign online to help pay for a new downtown storefront where he'll sell favorites from his mobile hot dog cart plus "featured specials that are hard to do on the cart."

Mother's Day Strawberry Festival

At the Bernice Garden.

The Tuesday night line

The line is open. Final words: *WALTON ANNOUNCES NEW MONEY IN WAR ON EDUCATION: The Walton Foundation announced today an $8 million infusion into the school "reform" lobbying outfit headed by the controversial Michelle Rhee.

Wednesday report: Fraud, race for governor

Top of the morning to you. Another slow day at the outset.

Talking about hog feeder operations in the Buffalo watershed

Interested in the debate over a commercial hog feeding operation on Big Creek in the Buffalo National River watershed?

KATV owner pondering sale of TV properties

Local angle on this item in Politico. It quotes Robert Allbritton, CEO of Allbritton Communications, as saying he's considering the sale of his TV stations, but hanging onto Politico no matter what.

Firearm safety report

From Kentucky comes the story of a two-year-old killed accidentally by a rifle fired by her five-year-old brother.

Friday To-Do: Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac plays at Verizon Arena Friday.