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May 11, 2011

Vol 37 • No 36

Read the print version

'Simple, unelaborate living'

Buddhists fit easily into a traditional Ozark lifestyle.

Teaching the arts of Tibet

UAF helps preserve a threatened culture.

Tax news — Springdale yes, Conway no

A Springdale school millage passed tonight, over Tea Party opposition, by a bare 44 votes.

Little Rock Government Payroll: Search Results

Spa City drama

'Marilyn' launches the inaugural season at Arkansas TheatreWorks.

Crystal Bridges is making it, with new $800 million

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is "the project of the decade," David Houston, the museum's director of curatorial and one of many imports who've left major museums to come to the wilds of Arkansas, told a reporter at last week's press tour of the grounds and buildings in Bentonville.

An outpouring of art

New venues swell 2nd Friday.

The UA's bumbling search

Former U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder has no hard feelings about being bypassed for the presidency of the University of Arknasas system, but criticism for the process.

Huckabee might run to stay on TV

He faces the prospect of maybe having to run again for president in order to re-up his brand for continued media/show biz viability.

Little Rock Government Payroll: Department Overview

See an overview of the maximum and median salaries and wages and number of employees for all 18 City of Little Rock departments.

Cue 1

Head west for a not-to-miss show at M2 Gallery

It's been two years since M2 Gallery brought the artwork of Tim West to the public, and now they're bringing it back in a big way with "Westland: The Life and Art of Tim West," which features artwork by Tim West and photography by Diana Michelle Hausam.

Mad for hats

Some are self-described "hat people," while others think they can't pull off the look. But here's a newsflash: With all the styles available now, anyone can (and should) wear hats!

Dem ribs, dem ribs, dem dry ribs

They're back in the Rock.

Kierre's Kountry Kitchen

If you're a fan of homestyle chow and happen to be in Maumelle, you could do a heck of a lot worse than Kierre's.

Solid for meanness

The on-line political journal The Onion exposes the weakness of mitt Romney.

Pouring out

Recent storms have kept waterfalls across Arkansas flowing, like Cedar Falls in Petit Jean State Park in Morrilton.

2014, here we come

With the exception of 2006, every governor's race in Arkansas since 1978 has included a sitting governor. We should be looking at 18 months of nonstop political action

Cue Hearsay

Buzz-B-Q brings 90 local barbecue teams to NLR

Also, Stickyz serves up NOLA brass funk from the Soul Rebels Brass Band this Saturday.

Vegetarian Dining Guide

With ever-increasing frequency, Arkansas eateries are making well-executed, delicious, meat-free dishes.

LIT's high flying pay

The Little Rock National Airport, rolling in dough from parking lot, retail and airline fees, awarded 139 employees raises ranging from 1 to 5 percent.

Packet House progress

Packet House, the historic vacant home on Carpetbagger Hill on Cantrell Road, may finally have a buyer.

Where it's due

The debate at the House of Dominoes the other day was over who should get the credit.

Grow up

"I am writing to let you know how disgusted I am about the cover of your May 4 issue. Are you trying to turn into a sleazy men's magazine?"

Tone deaf

'Something Borrowed' strikes a dull chord.

Forbidden Hillcrest to expand

New sister site to cover crime.

Professor Observer, Bin Laden and the Cinema of Revenge

We've thought about this business a lot this semester, which is why we found it so odd to walk into a classroom the day after Bin Laden was killed.

Orval, May 11, 2011

Storm silver lining: Cheap loans

Low interest federal loans for those with damaged homes or property in the 13 Arkansas counties declared federal disaster areas and all adjacent counties.


Our annual readers' choice poll for the Best of Arkansas in dozens of categories from retail to restaurants is live!

Live in Jonesboro at your own peril

According to analysis by Sperling's Best Places published recently in the New York Times, it's the second most likely metro area in the United States to experience a natural disaster.

This Modern World, May 11, 2011

There's more than one way to misuse an of.

We've written several times about the missing of, as in "Lend me a couple dollars."

Juanita's moving to the River Market

Also, The Underground (formerly Underground Pub) is closing.

Good week: Gamblers

Arkansas Racing Commission granted the Southland racino in West Memphis "emergency status" to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

On "Doctor Who"

And, on Netflix, "Marwencol."

Alejandro Escovedo comes to Juanita's

Also, the Jewish Food Festival returns to the River Market Pavilions.

Little Rock Government Payroll: Search

Senate Democrats target oil companies

Why not? Why should major oil companies awash in profits not give up their tax breaks?

Fresh-caught takes on new meaning at DeVito's

You can't get fresher than catching what you consume. DeVito's Restaurant in Harrison gives you the chance to hook your dinner.

Watch Dalai Lama on-line

Couldn't get a ticket to the Dalai Lama's appearances at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville today?

The Hot Springs mayor's sniper joke

Ruth Carney, the preacher's wife elected mayor in Hot Springs, gets ripped in her hometown newspaper today for an example of her ill-considered humor that we mentioned yesterday.

Water recedes, westbound I-40 is open again

The highway department said flood water receded sufficiently to reopen the westbound lanes of Interstate 40 between Hazen and Brinkley this morning.

Can anyone win Republican nomination?

Nate Silver has produced the be-all, end-all summary of polling and futures trading to date on the Republican presidential nominee for 2012.

House Republicans whine for Medicare armistice

After beating the living crap out of Democrats in 2010 on the spurious charge that they wanted to wreck Medicare (by curbing some of the abuses of private insurance companies in the alternative Medicare program), now House freshman Republicans are pleading for the Democrats to stop criticizing their plan to privatize Medicare (which will ultimately kill it) at the same time they are pushing for tax breaks for millionaires.

ACLU demands schools stop blocking gay websites

The Arkansas affiliate of the ACLU, as part of a national project, has written letters demanding that the Little Rock School District and the eStem Public Charter Schools stop blocking access on their computer systems to websites with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender content.

Thursday To-Do: 'Arkansas Flyer'

KUAR celebrates Arkansas Heritage Month with this year's installment of the music, comedy and storytelling revue.

Thursday To-Do: Malcolm Holcombe

MALCOLM HOLCOMBE10 p.m., White Water Tavern. $7 "He's the best singer/songwriter I ever threw out of my studio."

Thursday To-Do: Alejandro Escovedo

The celebrated Texan rocker returns to Juanita's. We're pumped.

Gov. Beebe talks about the shale

Roby Brock's did a live Internet-streamed interview today with Gov. Mike Beebe, the first in a planned series of Q&As with politicians, and it sounds like the governor got quite a few questions about environmental protection in Fayetteville shale exploration.

More on CBMAA

[slideshow-1]I've finally posted photographs from my tour of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and I draw your attention to this week's print edition article about the museum.

The Lazy Vegan

A new local food blog offers simple, tasty vegan recipes.

City: Ellen should stay in Little Rock

City Manager Bruce Moore has responded to an animal rights group's call for the city of Little Rock to send its surviving elephant, Ellen, to an elephant sanctuary now that her long-time companion Mary has died.

Hoop Jams three-on-three tourney coming, Joe Johnson to attend

The Clinton Presidential Center and Arkansas Baptist College backing a weekend-long basketball tournament.

UCA releases 2011-2012 Public Appearances season

19 performances are in line for UCA's successful cultural event series, once again bringing music, authors, theater and lecturers to the Reynolds Performance Hall.

Indian food truck Banana Leaf now open

The food truck explosion continues. Last Friday, Chan Pethaperumal and Poorni Muthaian opened Banana Leaf, a mobile kitchen that serves Indian food.

Huckabee's latest huckstering: History

For the sucker born every minute, Mike Huckabee has a get-rich scheme a minute. Thanks to a tipster for news of a new Huckabee enterprise.

2 FAN coming up

Judy Henderson's ceramic vase, "Happy Hour," seems an appropriate sign off as we look forward to Friday and tomorrow night's 2nd Friday Art Night.

New lottery commissioners ready to work

The Arkansas Lottery Commisson met today. New commissioners Bruce Engstrom and Steve Faris showed they were ready to get to work.

We're over the hump

The Wednesday night line is open.

Vote for the Best of Arkansas

Our annual readers' choice poll for the Best of Arkansas in dozens of categories from retail to restaurants is live now.

Prostitution: A career choice

News from the University of Arkansas includes a report on a study by an economics researcher at the UA on prostitution.Contrary to assumptions that women enter the prostitution market only because they are desperate — that they need money to pay bills or buy drugs — the study indicates that many women, especially educated, affluent women, are making a rational decision to enter certain segments of the prostitution market.

Griffin votes to continue military discrimination

Yes, U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin is on the House Armed Services Committee and yes he joined the Republican majority that voted to delay implementation of legal service of gay people in the military.

Need help? Call a teabagger

John Brummett today is entirely too calm and rational in trying to explain the role of government.

Cities look to nonprofits for help

I haven't seen signs of this in Arkansas yet, but it's worth thinking about. The New York Times reports on efforts of cash-strapped cities to extract payments in lieu of taxes from exempt non-profits.

Who needs college?

Blog reader JRB points me to an interesting New York magazine article about the notion that college is a waste of time and money.

Burger joint of the week: Starlite Diner

It’s changed hands, it’s battled with whether or not it’ll be 24 hours… but one thing’s for sure: its burgers typify the American Classic style.

Ear Fear, behind the scenes

607 and Bobby are working on a new Ear Fear album.

Louis Jordan meets Primo

The Arkansas R&B pioneer gets the remix treatment from DJ Premier.

My favorite fried pies are returning

After a year of absence, Ms. Lena's famed fried pies will soon be available once more.

Coal cares

A mock website pokes fun at a Missouri-based coal company, plus an update on the John W. Turk power plant in Hempstead County.

No records on vehicles, says SOS office

Blue Hog Report does some digging and finds that no records are being kept on state-owned vehicles in the Secretary of State office's fleet.

Arkansas farmer featured on "Here and Now"

Arkansas farmers have been hit hard by rain so far this year. One farmer tells his story on NPR's Here and Now.

Mid-afternoon roundup

I'm back. A good funeral, almost 94 years well-remembered plus a rare gathering of extended family.

All Aboard now open

All Aboard Restaurant and Grill, which might win our lifetime achievement award for Most Ambitious/Weirdest/Most Unnecessarily-Complicated Restaurant Concept Ever, is now open at 6813 Cantrell Road next to Stein Mart.

Alison Krauss & Union Station coming to Harding

The esteemed newgrass outfit comes to Searcy this September.

An Evening of Art starts now!

Thirteen artists present acrylics, oils, pastels, watercolors, ceramics and jewelry tonight at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 1818 Reservoir Road.

More on Internet filtering at LR schools

I've continued to exchange notes with John Bacon, who heads the eStem Public Charter School, over the ACLU complaint that eStem and the Little Rock School District had placed filters on school computer networks that blocked access to legitimate, educational websites about homosexuality — support groups for gay kids, for example.

2FAN coming up: HAM

"Mid-Southern Watercolorists' Annual Exhibition" and live music at the museum.

All shook up? Write it down here UPDATE

The Thursday night line is open. Meanwhile:

It's all the Buzz (B-Que)

More than 90 teams will grill off and compete on the Arkansas River North shore at the North Little Rock RV Park for cash, prizes and fun Saturday.

Friday To-Do: Smoking Popes

Stickyz hosts the pop-punk godfathers who mixed rock and '50s crooning to huge success in the '90s.

Weekend To-Do: Keith Sykes Weekend

The Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs hosts two days of shop talk, Bloody Marys and giggin'.

Friday To-Do: Keller Williams

The one-man jam-band returns to Revolution with his wild bag full of tricks. And loop pedals.

Friday To-Do: Sir Threadius Mongus

Tulsa's left-field jazz sextet returns to The Afterthought to bend a few brains.

Thank God for the First Amendment

We reported here last week that Arkansas Times senior editor Mara Leveritt had filed a professional conduct complaint against Attorney General Dustin McDaniel for refusing to be moved by evidence of juror misconduct in the West Memphis Threee case and continuing to fight to kill a defendant unjustly convicted.

Morris Holmes to lead Little Rock schools

Thanks to several night owls for adding to the open line last night the Little Rock School Board's selection of Morris Holmes, currently interim superintendent, to lead the district through the 2012-13 school year.

Hot Springs film institute woes

Hope you noticed Lindsey Millar's news report last night on a new round of financial problems for the Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute.

The Republican tax on seniors

Paul Krugman today pokes the House Republicans, including Rep. Tim Griffin, who are crying crocodile tears about being called out for their proposal to kill Medicare and cut taxes on the rich.

Pieday: Pecan Cream Cheese at Red Rooster Bistro

Anyone would be hard pressed to determine the best pie offered at the popular Alma pie stop. But this pie's better than the strawberry, German chocolate or anything else we've tried (yet).

That Oaklawn-Lottery combine

The reporting in the Democrat-Gazette yesterday and today on Lottery Commission Chairman Dianne Lamberth instilled little confidence in lottery operations.

Let's talk 2FAN again: Arkansas Pastel Society

OK, I'm parceling out the 2nd Friday Night venues, because there's so much going on it seems unfair to lump it.

2FAN: Lafayette group (update)

Lots of art in the Lafayette lobby from 5-8 p.m.

Don't miss: M2 Gallery's Tim West, Diana Hausam

A reclusive artist, a photographer, a film.

TV judge Gunn resigns from bench to peddle show

Circuit Judge Mary Ann Gunn of Fayetteville, who’s made headlines because of some controversy over televising her drug court, submitted her resignation today to Gov. Mike Beebe.

Mike Huckabee: The excitement builds

Mike Huckabee is promising a major announcement Saturday. Another Alaskan cruise?

Abramson to announce for Supreme Court

We've reported his candidacy previously, but Court of Appeals Judge Raymond Abramson of Holly Grove will formally announce his candidacy for an open state Supreme Court seat Monday at news conferences at Clarendon and Little Rock.

Weekend To-Do: 'Buzz B-Q,' Ben Rector, Tyrannosaurus Chicken

This weekend offers tons of barbecue, psychedelta, pop-folk and more.

The elephant debate continues UPDATE

In Defense of Animals, an animals right group, has responded to City Manager Bruce Moore's defense of the Little Rock Zoo's decision to keep its one elephant, Ellen, and continue to try to find a companion for her, rather than shipping the aging animal to a sanctuary.

Economy bad for Medicare, Social Security

Figures are expected today on income and payouts of Social Security. You might find the media backgrounder on the numbers interesting, when the spinning begins.

The stench from Northwest Arkansas drug court UPDATE

Circuit Judge Mary Ann Gunn has not returned my call. But questions only grow about where she'll get the "cast" for her reality TV show when she leaves the bench June 11 to begin producing a drug court show.


Virmarie DePoyster has decided to leave her landscapes at the Guachoya Art Museum.

2FAN: HeART works

Quapaw Quarter United Methodist is another special 2nd Friday Art Night venue: Check out work by Sharla Chalfant, Charles Henry James, Lisa Claas-James, Hamid Ebrahimifar, David Warren, Kathy Nugent, Dominique Simmons, Tim Ellison and Lyuba Bogan between 5 and 8 p.m. tonight.

Last night: Malcolm Holcombe

Malcolm Holcombe rocked the White Water Tavern last night.

UPDATE: Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute plagued by debt

The Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute is in debt.

Ben Nichols featured on "Here and Now"

Lucero frontman Ben Nichols was featured on Here and Now today.

Blank — another 2FAN show

What does "Blank" mean? Find out tonight at the Cox Creative Center, where UALR printmaking students have hung a show of their interpretation of the term.

The Friday night line

It's open for you. Closing items: * BONKERS IN BRYANT: The Saline County Republicans have slated one of the biggest wackjobs in Congress, Louie Gohmert of Texas, to be their Lincoln Day speaker May 21 at Bryant.

Podcast: The Disco Sucks Edition

This week: Mike Huckabee's "big decision," Circuit Judge Mary Gunn's burgeoning reality TV career, ethical lapses at the lottery commission and the Little Rock School Board's selection of Morris Holmes to lead the district through the 2012-2013 school year.

Little Rock government payroll

Find the annual base salaries of more than 700 Little Rock government employees and the hourly wages of nearly 2,000 more.

This train has left the station

A railroad themed restaurant sounds interesting and refreshing. I just wish the food was as interesting.

Calling Norma Bates

Overheard at the Afterthought: Norma Bates has been engaged for a makeover of Janet Huckabee.

Mike Huckabee's big day: A full reveal?

The trend of commentary on Mike Huckabee's publicity stunt today is still that he'll say on his Fox News show tonight that he's NOT running for president.

Bake sale raises money for Share Our Strength

The National Food Blogger Bake Sale event in Argenta raises $843 for the charity.

Race, rape, a killer and the Delta

John Brummett talks today with Bill Lewellen, a lawyer and former state senator, about a question David Koon explored for us at some length after a Marianna jury ignored bullet-proof DNA evidence and refused to convict Anne Pressly's killer, Curtis Vance, of raping a white Marianna school teacher.

Treme renewed: Cheers or jeers?

I'm going to indulge a personal interest here. I love New Orleans.

A crowd for Ray Winder seats

Thanks to Diogenes for a 7 a.m. shot of the crowd assembled outside Ray Winder Field this morning for the giveaway of stadium seats at the former ball park.

Grab a seat

The great Ray Winder Field seat grab drew a massive crowd this morning, stretching from the gate of the ball park, looping around by the freeway, and up the shoulder of Monroe Street.

Live, it's Mike Huckabee

The line is open. The readers take over.

A living wage in Little Rock

Good timing, with our recent posting of the first comprehensive listing of pay for city of Little Rock workers.

Judge Gunn and her TV court

Correspondents keep urging me to dig further into exactly what Circuit Judge Mary Gunn is planning after she leaves the bench next month with intentions to work more drug courts.

Sunday greetings

I'm heading out of town for a few days, so posting today is certain to be light.

The line is open

Your Sunday thoughts are welcome here. Sounds quiet in Arkansas, from all I can tell from a quick look around.

Hearing on Turk coal ash landfill tonight

ADEQ will hold a public hearing on a proposed coal ash landfill at the site of the Turk power plant in Hempstead County

Busy robber

LRPD says it's seeking a man who robbed four businesses within about an hour Saturday: Kitchen Express 4600 Asher at 2:25 p.m.; Family Dollar 1100 E Roosevelt at 2:54 p.m.; KFC 500 W Roosevelt at 3:09 p.m., and Church’s Chicken, 1401 MLK, at 3:26 p.m.

TNR looks at Huck-less GOP field

The New Republic looks at the GOP field without Mike Huckabee

Farewell to Huckabee

He's gone, but not forgotten. I thought Ross Douthat, the New York Times' Republican-friendly columnist, was worth a read on the Mike Huckabee decision to end a 2012 candidacy.

Don Lemon is gay. Does it matter?

CNN anchor Don Lemon reveals he is gay. Does it matter?

Music video explains fracking

Pro Publica and Studio 20 at New York University created a video to explain hydraulic fracturing.

The perils of meth

Meth isn't only a dangerous to those who use it, it's also more than a little hazardous to the health of those who make the stuff, as seen in this morning's report from the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office of an apparent meth lab explosion at 4424 Lena Lane near Jacksonville last night around 6:30 p.m.

The latest on big time stage director Jason Moore

Fayetteville's Jason Moore got tossed aside on "Book of Mormon," is helming Maupin adaptation in San Francisco.

Jeff Nichols working with 'Memento' producer, possibly Chris Pine, on next movie

Jeff Nichols next movie is called "Mud" and set on the Mississippi River.

Baking up a storm of support

The National Food Blogger Bake Sale for Share Our Strength went well.

Restaurant notes

Tokyo House opens today; David's Burgers now hiring.

Tuition hikes on the way for UA

University of Arkansas System institutions will present budget proposals to the board of trustees on Friday. Those proposals will include tuition in creases.

Trump won't run, America sighs in relief

Donald Trump will not run for president.

Buildings collapse in Morrilton

Buildings collapse in Morrilton

HBO releases "Game Change" photos

HBO releases photos from the upcoming adaptation of Game Change

School districts in distress

The State Board of Education is meeting today to determine whether three school districts - the North Little Rock School District, Pulaski County Special School District, and Earle School District - should remain classified as "in fiscal distress."

Nelson still going after Game and Fish UPDATE

Sheffield Nelson filed an amended motion for summary judgement in his suit against the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Movies in the Park schedule announced

Movies in the Park announced the 2011 lineup for their very popular — and free!

Arkansas man first convicted under hate crime law

An Arkansas man pleaded guilty to committing, and conspiring to commit, a federal hate crime. Sean Popejoy, 19, from Green Forest, was the first conviction for a violation of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which was enacted in October 2009

Kenneth Starr and me

So I'm in San Francisco. On an elevator, alone, riding down to the lobby of the St. Francis Hotel.

Michael Peterson: Evolution-Revolution

From the Northwest, wood sculpture.

Starry Night

Can't top Max's post on Kenneth Starr. But I can give you an open line.

Stewart vs. O'Reilly

For those who missed it and/or refuse to cloud your thought patterns with Fox News, Jon Stewart of "The Daily Show" was on Bill O'Reilly last night to debate the faux-controversy over the rapper Common visiting the White House.

Walmart's global strategy

Walmart quarterly results showed increasing earnings, but the profits driven by international sales, up more than 11 percent.

Georgia court upends charter schools

I don't think there's direct applicability to Arkansas, except spiritually, but the Georgia Supreme Court has struck down a state law there that allows the state to approve charter schools when local school districts object.

Schwarzenegger's love child

Oh, why not. The LA Times breaks the cable story of the day, the revelation that Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a child by a member of his household staff more than 10 years ago.

State won't fight jury misconduct evidence in WM3 case

An advocacy group seeking to overturn the convictions of the West Memphis Three says the attorney general's office has said it won't fight introduction of evidence about juror misconduct in one of the trials, though it is not agreeing that this is ground for a new trial.

UPDATE: June 9 (or 8) last day for PCSSD

June 9 will be the last day of class for PCSSD students.

Newt not conservative enough

Newt Gingrich might not be conservative enough, say some conservatives.

Gourmet food gifts galore

Ever wonder where you might find those unique finishing touches for dinner, like specialty olive oil, finishing salts and the like? You can find them at The Savory Pantry.

Rez Road-area robberies

A pair of armed robberies last night in the Reservoir Road area: two Latino men robbed by assailants who forced their way into the mens' apartment at the notoriously dicey Barrington Hills complex on Reservoir Road, and a robbery by a masked man armed with a handgun just before 2 a.m. at the Burger King at 11410 N. Rodney Parham.

Get discounted tickets to see The Foo Fighters and Motorhead

Special for Times readers only: Today, from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. or until supplies last, get $10 off the top priced tickets or the lowest priced ticket for $10 flat for the Foo Fighters with special guests Motorhead and Biffy Clyro Wednesday at Verizon Arena.

LRPD: Arrest in 2004 homicide

Little Rock Police arrested a former North Little Rock resident yesterday on a charge of capital murder that goes back to 2004.

Baggett sentenced to 23 months

Sam Baggett has been sentenced to 23 months in prison.

Fayetteville shooting caught on phone

A shooting in Fayetteville was captured by a neighbor's cell phone.

We're done

What are you up to? Consider this an open line.

Hats: A brief reflection

I am a life-long hat wearer—in babyhood I donned a puffy bonnet worthy of the Victorians; in adolescence I experimented (unsuccessfully) with a beret worn at a jaunty angle.

Fayetteville Government Payroll: Search Results