Good times start rolling Friday.
RiverfestMay 23, 2013
Vol 39 • No 38
Riverfest 2013 three-day discounted tickets will be available at select Walgreen's locations around the state. These tickets will be sold for $17.50 (while supplies last). Admission at the gates is $35 for a three-day pass, cash only. Online tickets can be purchased for $30.
The Riverfest calendar.
We're one day into the official campaign period for judicial offices (the election is May 20, 2014) and we already have a race for circuit judge of the 13th division, covering Pulaski and Perry counties.
Steele Stephens, the securities salesman whose large share of state Treasurer Martha Shoffner's state bond investments triggered a federal investigation that led to a criminal charge against her, yesterday submitted a resignation by fax to his employer, St. Bernard Financial Services, based in Russellville.
Walmart has announced the hiring of Dan Bartlett as executive vice president for corporate affairs.
Flowing on the River is Thursday at River Market Pavilions.
Mack Hinson, 36, of Sherwood was charged Monday with negligent homicide in a fatal accident last Oct. 25 on Cantrell Road The State Police said at the time that Hinson apparently hit a curb eastbound in the 12900 block of Cantrell (Highway 10) and then hit another eastbound car, which then crossed the center line and collided with a westbound car driven by Narjis Meti, 60.
The Boy Scouts of America may decide tomorrow to lift its ban on gay scouts (though not gay scout leaders).
Murry's Dinner Playhouse just opened its production of the touching yet funny "Steel Magnolias," which runs 6 p.m.Tue.-Sat., 11 a.m.
The Arkansas Court of Appeals today affirmed a circuit court ruling upholding a zoning variance given for The Fold, a new restaurant at 3501 Old Cantrell Road, just a few yards from Loca Luna.
I heard yesterday that the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce is expected to decide in June whether to mount a petition campaign to put a "tort reform" constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2014.
A replacement for resigned Treasurer Martha Shoffner? In the "next several days," Gov. Mike Beebe told reporters today.
There's a sign on the door of the much, much-anticipated River Market branch of the fried chicken mini-chain that says the restaurant will be serving tonight at 5 p.m.
The line is open. Leslie Newell Peacock hopes to follow directly with a little something about a meeting today of Little Rock, Central Arkansas Water, ExxonMobil and other people over the Pegasus pipeline that runs through 18 miles of CAW's watershed, including along the shore of Lake Maumelle, the region's water supply.
Photographs, architectural plans, furniture and a talk by design experts.
Gus's in the River Market brings incredible chicken to Little Rock.
Sorry. We've had administrative computer problems tonight.
Arkansas-born Slim Chickens does wings and tenders fresh and fast.
From "Kearny's March: The Epic Creation of the American West, 1846-1847" by Winston Groom.
And the May Festival of Arts in Eureka.
My overriding emotion about the fate of state Treasurer Martha Shoffner is sadness.
Also a good week for adjournment sine die, the Republican Party, attention to a hog farm permit in the Buffalo River Watershed. It was a bad week for Treasurer Martha Shoffner.
Also, Flowing on the River at the River Market Pavilions, Mad Nomad at White Water Tavern, 7th Street Underground Festival, Collective Soul at the Timberwood Amphitheater and 'Clockwork Orange' at Vino's.
The Observer was coming out of a department store in North Little Rock last Saturday when we saw him. The guy, who had exited the store just before us, had purchased a can of bug spray, and as The Observer and Spouse walked past in the parking lot, he proceeded to uncap said bug spray and then douse himself in the stuff, writhing around in a dense cloud of chemicals, trying to hose down every square inch of his body while looking as if he was doing an interpretive dance.
I just received an email survey from Tim Griffin a couple of days ago wanting my opinion concerning the handling of the Benghazi attack by the Obama administration. The survey comes complete with a video in case I'm not already "appalled" with the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton. I'm quite frankly sick of Tim Griffin's attempt at acting like he is working in the best interest of Americans.
It's kind of piling on, admittedly, but we feel compelled to join the call for state Treasurer Martha Shoffner to resign. Awkwardly compelled, that is. She has not yet been convicted of the criminal charges filed against her, and that's an important point. The presumption of innocence has not been repealed.
There's embarrassment in the young gubernatorial campaign of state Rep. Debra Hobbs of Rogers. Announcing her candidacy last week, Representative Hobbs said "I feel like this is what God wants me to do." But sources close to God say that He gave her no encouragement and was at most indifferent to her campaign.
After a couple of years of local and rising national acts playing in the Stickyz Music Tent underneath the Broadway Bridge, the venue-within-a-venue will make a move east this year from the tent to an outdoor stage near the Clinton Presidential Center.
Firefighters battle a blaze that broke out not long after midnight last Thursday at the Forest Place apartments on North University Avenue. A cause has still not been determined.
Nearly every first-year Clinton School for Public Service student will spend this summer working on an International Public Service Project.
Last February, the Arkansas Public Policy Panel and Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation released a report I authored titled "Ripe for Reform: Arkansas as a Model for Social Change."
Americans are instinctively wiser than their leaders when it comes to foreign policy, at least until their emotions are manipulated to support mindless war.
Bonnie Lou Faubus Salcido publicly called out her brother for blocking the integration of Central High.
Students work with former child soldier Okello Sam at his school and community outreach project Hope North.
New 'Star Trek' needs more space travel, but is otherwise a blast.
Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when every jackleg news organization in Washington — that is, virtually all of them — was feeding out of Kenneth Starr's soft little hand like a Shetland pony.
If anyone was skeptical of the Little Rock Film Festival's move away from a cineplex in Riverdale to downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock, surely their doubts were assuaged after this year's fest.
Thanks to Clinton vet Ben Mays, a former member of the state Board of Education and a long-time critic of Arkansas school districts that spend execessively on athletics, for this nugget.
Several people sent links this morning to yet another odd performance by U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, already distinguished by his opposition to replenishing to country's disaster aid money unless it can be taken out of some other recipient's hide.
From the State Police: Arkansas State Troopers assigned to the Executive Protection detail arrested an individual on the grounds of the Arkansas Governor’s residence this morning.
A gruesome report from Channel 4 about resident complaints concerning the Plaza Towers apartment building on West Markham Street (next door to the Chick-fil-A across from Park Plaza.)
Mad Nomad plays at White Water Tavern Friday.
As a result of what Dr. Joycelyn Elders once memorably called a "love affair with the fetus," Mississippi has embarked on a path to prosecute some women in cases of stillbirth or miscarriage.
The time commitment required to park yourself at the feet of Baja Grill, it will be well worth your effort. Take a seat on their ample outdoor seating while the weather is still permissive, and bask in the glow of burrito brilliance.
The federal sequestration spending cuts that took effect March 1 will cost Arkansas $18.5 million in 2013, says a release from Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families.
Wes Jeans plays at Denton's Trotline Friday night.
If you can't truth the American Legislative Exchange Council, who can you trust, particularly when the subject is what's good for business?
ZZ Top will play at the Arkansas Music Pavilion Oct. 4.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is going after expected Republican Senate candidate Tom Cotton over his wacky idea to automatically punish relatives of people who violate sanctions on Iran.
The Little Rock metropolitan area (which includes Conway, Sen. Rapert) is a place with a rich and deep religious tradition.
Would you like to spend 2:22 listening to Republican Rep. Doug House of North Little Rock?
More from the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees meeting, courtesy of Fox 16's David Goins on Twitter: The trustees split sharply, but voted 5-4 for the slate of tuition increases for UA campuses as reduced earlier by a board committee.
Fort Smith residents have filed a lawsuit over chemical contamination of the groundwater in the neighborhood of Whirlpool's now-closed refrigerator factory in Fort Smith.
Do-it-yourself crafting studio, gifts and more.
The Arkansas Supreme Court today reversed a lower court and said Searcy County Sheriff and Collector Kenny Cassell's 1979 conviction on a federal misdemeanor theft charge for stealing Cornish hens from a Tyson's interstate shipment made him ineligible to hold office.
Flash from David Goins at Fox 16: The University of Arkansas Board of Trustees voted to opt out of Republican Rep. Charlie Collins' new law to allow college and university staff to carry concealed weapons on campus.
It's time for the Historic Preservation Alliance's annual list of historic structures in danger of being lost.
The line is open. Final words: * TIM 'TAR SANDS PIPELINE' GRIFFIN: It's no surprise that Republican Rep. Tiny Tim Griffin of Alberta, Canada, voted again last night to hurry up the Keystone XL pipeline.
From the New York Times: The Boy Scouts of America on Thursday ended its longstanding policy of forbidding openly gay youths to participate in its activities, a step its chief executive called “compassionate, caring and kind.” 60 percent of 1,400 participating Scout leaders approved the change.
So you want to be in pictures? Here's an opportunity.
It's plugged at the top of the page, but don't fail to read Roy Reed's obituary for Orval Faubus' sister, Bonnie Lou Salcido, and the story it tells about Faubus family opposition to his stance that created the constitutional crisis in Little Rock.
The House and Senate Public Health committees met today to hear updates on the “private option” plan for expanding healthcare coverage.
This is really important, since the Republican-majority legislature in Arkansas just joined the "vote fraud" brigade with Voter ID legislation designed to depress turnout among traditional Democratic constituencies.
Here's a valuable piece of writing for Science Progress from the classrooms of the University of Arkansas by Dr. Lisa Corrigan, co-chair of the gender studies program of the Fulbright College.
The Pettaway Neighborhood Association is organizing opposition for a proposal before the Little Rock Planning Commission May 30 to convert the abandoned Job Corps Center building at 20th and Vance along I-30 to a home for pregnant teens.
Time to feedback on what you've been eating this week. Let us know what's got you drooling.
Collective Soul plays at Magic Springs Saturday.
At the joint committee hearing on the "private option" plan for healthcare expansion, Rep. David Meeks asked about Plan B. "Are we anticipating what we would do if something happens and we don’t get the private option?"
Jab Jab Suckerpunch plays the 7th Street Underground Festival Saturday.
Trout Fishing in America performs Saturday at The Auditorium in Eureka Springs.
That headline is straight from Huffington Post. Top that, Duncan Baird.
When I went to Conway this morning to film a segment of "Arkansas Week," I asked Matt DeCample of the governor's office whether a decision was coming today on Gov. Mike Beebe's appointment of someone to serve out Martha Shoffner's term as treasurer.
Speaking of former Treasurer Martha Shoffner, accused of taking kickbacks for steering huge sums of state bond business to the broker making the payments: Here's another former state treasurer ensnared in a public corruption case, Tim Cahill of Massachusetts.
I heard this on NPR this morning and wondered if Jason Rapert would trade fracking for seven or eight of the world's biggest breweries.
Here's the latest in our music video series collaboration with Greg Spradlin and Camp Friday Films. It features Buddy Flett, the legendary Louisiana guitarist, live at White Water Tavern.
Politico reports that the gun control group backed by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is following through with plans to buy TV time — $350,000 worth — criticizing U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor for helping defeat some modest gun measures recently, particularly universal background checks.
Channel 11 is reporting that three people were killed in an accident today in Scott when a vehicle ran off Old River Road and into a tree.
Interesting story brewing in Northwest Arkansas, where Fayetteville apparently faces the loss of another part of the Walton Arts Center operation.
The arrest of State Treasurer Martha Shoffner, Bloomberg versus Pryor, Cotton's wackiest turn yet, stealing Cornish hens and big-time football at the fiscally distressed Mineral Springs School District — all covered on this week's podcast.
Rodney Block will perform at the opening night of Jazz in the Park.
Good news on the Medicaid cost front: in a joint Public Health committee meeting today, Department of Human Services officials testified that for the third straight quarter, cost growth of the program has slowed.
Riverfest. Memorial Day.
Here's a great vintage video of The Cate Brothers performing on the BBC's "Old Grey Whistle Test."
The LRPD's Sgt. Cassandra Davis is up early on Saturday: At 2:51 officers were called to 10800 Legion Hut Road to a disturbance.
David Ramsey illustrated this point yesterday. If Arkansas's adoption of Obamacare through the so-called private option falls apart, the poorest of the state's poor would be left with no health coverage, while some subsidies would be provided for people with higher income.
The line is open. I close with, at top, Brian Chilson's photo from a rally at the Capitol today by a coalition pressing Sens. Mark Pryor and John Boozman to vote for pending immigration legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for millions, including many Arkansas residents.
I was happy to get this Facebook note today from Bryant Huddleston, the Imboden native and California TV producer, whose tentative invitation to speak at the Sloan-Hendrix High School graduation fell apart because a couple of School Board members (and many in the community apparently) didn't think it right to have a gay man speak to high school graduates, who included his sister.
The Democrat-Gazette today focused on Arkansas figures of a trend found in the 2010 Census and much discussed since — the rising poverty in suburbs, previously seen as the land of milk and honey versus ills of urban areas.
This sounds worth looking for: Clinton School Dean Skip Rutherford notes a September lecture visit by jjournalist Eric Schlosser ("Fast Food Nation") who'll publish in September a new book, "Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety," centered on a famous Arkansas happening.
The line is open. It is almost un-American judging by the racks of ribs I saw in shopping carts today, but I am still cooking shrimp.
Stephens Media's John Lyon gathered some good quotes in the course of an article on the future for those seeking General Equivalency Diplomas.
The IRS imbroglio looks like a winner for the Republican Party. The agency, under the Obama administration, was, at least, disorganized and incompetent in reviewing applications for non-profit status by groups with obvious political orientation.
The New York Times wrote about this earlier and now Daily Kos has expanded on the theme.
Vino's screens "A Clockwork Orange" Tuesday.
Another update today, this one from Stephens Media, on the Arkansas Chamber of Commerce's obsession with closing the doors of the courthouse to damage suits, or at least to meaningful damage awards (thus effectively discouraging all lawsuits.)
The New York Times has unearthed testimony in past lawsuits that shows just how little gunmakers care about anything but the bottom line.
Remember the failed effort by French investors to recreate a medieval castle in the Ozarks near Lead Hill, a replication of a French tourist attraction.
Another good column by Ernie Dumas this week, this based on the lightly reported finding at a weather station in Hawaii of the highest atmospheric readings of carbon dioxide in three million years.
Given an attendance of a quarter-million over three days and beer consumption commensurate with such a crowd, Little Rock police incident reports on the run of Riverfest seem pretty light.
This decision is worthy of note because the same elements in the Arkansas legislature that won't to end a woman's right to choose abortion also want to strip public funding — including that not related to abortion — from Planned Parenthood.
Gov. Mike Beebe will makes some news Wednesday morning. 1) For one thing, he'll appoint someone to serve as state treasurer through 2014.
The latest Arkansas Times-sponsored celebration of food, fun and music is set from 6 to 9 p.m.
Not everyone is happy about the purchase of newspaper photo archives and resale of those images by John Rogers of North Little Rock.
"Stirring the Soul of History, Vol. 1" opens Thursday with reception.
The Little Rock Board of Directors will discuss at an agenda meeting today the proposed ordinance to increase Mayor Mark Stodola's pay from $160,000, where it has been fixed since 2008,l to $179,208.
Glass balls, flowers, mushrooms, vines.
The New Republic has written at some length on the thinking behind the Michael Bloomberg gun control group, highly visible currently in Arkansas with ads pounding Sen. Mark Pryor for preventing a vote on a very modest piece of legislation on gun background checks, as the NRA demanded.
Talk Business reports that Arkansas Poultry Federation lobbyist Marvin Childers, a former Republican legislator from Blytheville, is considering a race for attorney general.
Calling all oenophiles, grape nuts and wine lovers. You’ll want to mark Friday, June 7, down in your calendar. That’s when the Arkansas Times Celebrate the Grape is happening in downtown North Little Rock, in the Argenta Farmer’s Market space, at Sixth and Main streets. There’ll be more than 200 wines representing all the major categories and varieties, from buttery chardonnays from Napa to rustic Malbecs from Argentina. Think of it like a liquid buffet — a chance to sample a good slice of what’s on the market for the price of one nice bottle of wine.
The line is open. Final thoughts: * MORE MONEY FOR OBAMACARE: A legislative committee voted 23-9 today to continue accepting federal money to plan for implementation of federal health care expansion.
The Walton Arts Center will move its Arkansas Music Pavilion from Fayetteville to Rogers.