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June 3, 2010

Vol 36 • No 39

Read the print version

Holy fool

Doc on groundbreaking comic with LR connection is one of the best of the Fest.

Little Rock Film Festival Schedule

All films, panels, events and parties.

More to see

Like years past, when it previewed the likes of "Knocked Up" and "(500) Days of Summer," the LRFF has several bigger-budgeted films it'll screen outside of competition.

Ten to watch

Our must-sees for this year's Little Rock Film Festival.

Film feast

With more movies than ever before and a new $10,000 prize, the Little Rock Film Fest has a new clear direction.

Lottery commission approves revised budget

Lottery director Ernie Passailaigue spoke before the Arkansas Lottery Commission today to explain why projections for lottery revenues, and the amounts paid in scholarships, were reduced.

LRFF: 'Winter's Bone'

The lips-go-blue, mean, icy cold of an Ozark's winter that Daniel Woodrell so vividly describes in his fine, fine, really-go-read-the-damn-thing novel isn't strongly conveyed in Debra Granik's film adaptation.

LRFF: Terry House Mansion party

The iPhone camera sucks in low light, but I think this picture still conveys the feeling of the first LRFF after party: It was like your really rich friend's parents had gone away for the month and your friend had redecorated to throwdown.


Buffalo Wild Wings opens its first franchise in Little Rock; the masses flock.


UCA writing professor Robin Becker delves into the undead.

Trash in the mail

Something about an 8½x12-inch mailer, which is the preferred political communication this season, makes the spirit sink.


Our picks for the run-off election.

In Brief, June 2-4

Celebrated singer-songwriter and jam fest favorite Bob Schneider plays Juanita's with co-ed pop act Smile Smile, 10 p.m., $15 adv., $20 d.o.s.

Eye on Arkansas, June 3

Record crowds at Riverfest.

Not sure why

An alleged fragment of the original "little rock" was relocated then "dedicated" the other day in the hope that the publicity would lure some tourists.

Letters, June 3

Supreme Court and religion.

Same ol'

'Prince of Persia' is a typical video game adaptation.

Riverfest 2010

Did that just happen? Was this year's installation of Riverfest about as close to ideal as they come?

The Observer, June 3

Neither mad dog nor Englishman, The Observer will go out in the noonday sun, if it's absolutely necessary, but he won't go without his hat.

Fact-checking Charlie Daniels

Researcher finds a marred education project.

The Week That Was, May 26-June 1

Good for Riverfest, clean water and Entergy customers. Bad for Robbie Wills, yard parking, the University of Arkansas, Martin Luther King and Land Commissioner Mark Wilcox.

What's Cookin', June 3

Bravo! Cucina Italiana opens; Bar Louie soon to.

Words, June 3

Susurrus is onomatopoeic; the word sounds like the thing it refers to – "a soft murmuring or rustling sound, a whisper."

Mountain music

Wakarusa returns to Mulberry Mountain.

Lincoln's grace note

The runoff between Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Lt. Gov. Bill Halter for the Democratic Senate nomination has become a tiresome and bitter spectacle of competing caricatures.

Week Three of "How to... with Greg Curtis"

How-to gardening tips sponsored by the Good Earth Garden Center

Smart Talk, June 3

Endorsements, learning at UA and debate

To-Do List: June 3-9

Eureka Springs Blues Weekend, John Prine, Todd Snider, Guitar Shorty, Split Lip Rayfield, Woven Bones, Movies in the Park: 'Back to the Future.'

Jukebox redux

The Rep stages the popular Leiber-Stoller musical 'Smokey Joe's Cafe.'

Smelly politics

They're talking excrement in the Democratic runoff for Congress from the 1st District.

Welcome to excitement

Karl Rove's candidate

The anti-Nancy Pelosi ad theme that Tim Griffin is tirelessly -- and tiresomely -- employing comes straight from Bush's brain and Griffin's mentor and former boss, Karl Rove.

Oil conquers all

The analysis here is how the Gulf oil disaster threatens to hijack the Obama agenda, not an easy list in the best of times.

Robbie Wills: New load of slime

Another dishonest, even more alarmist mailer (thanks to Roby Brock for link) from Robbie Wills.

Breakfast Week part 4: Downtown dining

Fourth stop on our Breakfast Week tour takes us to Dave and Ray’s Downtown Diner in Little Rock.

Weekend To-Do: Eureka Springs Blues Festival

EUREKA SPRINGS BLUES WEEKEND 7 p.m., The Auditorium (and other locations), Eureka Springs. $15-$199.

Thursday: Saliva, "In Too Deep," Hillcrest Shop and Sip

Memphis nu-metal outfit Saliva (above) makes up a canceled Little Rock gig at Revolution; local acts Iron Tongue and Afternoon Delight open, 7:30 p.m., $15 adv., $20 d.o.s. Cajun's Wharf gets Some Guy Named Robb for the happy hour detail, 6 p.m., and Eoff Brothers for the later crowd, 9:30 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m.

Bimbo eruption, S.C. style

A second Republican gentleman steps forward in South Carolina with a kiss-and-tell tale about the leading candidate for governor.

Thursday To-See: "Waking Sleeping Beauty"

“WAKING SLEEPING BEAUTY” Dir.: Don Hahn, 86 min. It's a well-documented fact that Disney went through a bit of a slump in quality in the late '80s.

Thursday To-See: "Alamar"

“ALAMAR” Dir.: Pedro Gonzales-Rubio, 70 min. Having already garnered a number of awards in, amongst others, the Rotterdam International and Miami Film Festivals, this minimalist piece of cinema verite is the topic of much cineaste chatter for the way it delicately treads the line between fiction and non-fiction.

Thursday To-See: "How to Fold a Flag"

“HOW TO FOLD A FLAG” Dir.: Petra Epperlein, Michael Tucker, 85 min. The fourth and final of their series of acclaimed documentaries about the second Gulf War, Epperlein and Tucker's “How to Fold a Flag” follows four disparate soldiers returning home to find a wrecked veterans system and a country whose idea of appreciation barely extends past yellow ribbon bumper stickers.

Thursday To-See: "Passenger Pigeons"

“PASSENGER PIGEONS” Dir.: Martha Stephens, 106 min. Poignant in the shadow of the recent West Virginia coal mine deaths, “Passenger Pigeons” interweaves four different stories surrounding an accidental death of a young man in an Appalachian mine: his brother, driving cross-country for the burial; two coal company executives, sent to inspect the mine, who end up camping in the woods; a young, concerned couple on vacation during the closure, and activists from Washington, D.C., in town to protest a mountaintop removal.

Thursday To-See: "American: The Bill Hicks Story"

Be not deceived. Prophets still walk among us.

Court OKs school closure

The Arkansas Supreme Court today turned back the effort to prevent closure of the  isolated Fourche Valley School. School patrons had argued that lengthy bus rides should have prevented the decision by the Twin Rivers School District.

Riverside gardens planned

The city of Little Rock announces a program to plant community gardens on stretches of the river trail.

Wooldridge: The big lie

When you're caught, you can explain. Or you can lie.

Bledsoe claims the insiders

Cecile Bledsoe, in the Republic runoff for 3rd District Congress behind Rogers Mayor Steve Womack, today claimed the backing of just about every establishment Republican in the region.

LRFF reaction: "Waking Sleeping Beauty"

(l-r) Peter Schneider, Roy Disney and Jeffery Katzenberg Films often need not look past their own studio gates for drama: "Sweet Smell of Success," Truffaut's "Day For Night," Altman's "The Natural," the list goes on.

The big to-do

Tuesday night's the night. Chef Daniel Capello from the Chenal Country Club will compete against Chef Jason Knapp, chef and manager at the Pulaski Technical College Big Rock Bistro for the title of Diamond Chef 2010.

Q&A: Daniel Campbell, director of 'Antiquities'

Local filmmaker Daniel Campbell chatted with me a bit about his new short, "Antiquities," a quirky crush story set in an antiques mall that elicited more than a few LOLs from yours truly last night.

Lincoln v. the liberals

Blanche Lincoln's dying gasp will be caterwauling about the liberal interest groups backing Bill Halter.

Over to you

I'm off to the Film Festival.

Late-breaking grizzly news

Sarah Palin has endorsed Cecile Bledsoe as a Mama Grizzly. That's all I need to know.

The virtual charter school racket

NY Times takes a look at booming "virtual charter schools." Low overhead, low accountability, same amount of funding as regular schools with gyms, libraries, labs, etc. An expert is quoted as saying, "It doesn't add up."

New website coming today

We are planning a change to a rebuilt website at 1 p.m. this afternoon. The look will be much the same, though there will be lots of new features.

LRFF reaction: "American: The Bill Hicks Story"

It's a shame when the legacy of Bill Hicks gets mired in an imposed iconography of cigarettes and dick jokes; beyond his patchy beard and professor glasses was one of the great existentialists, one of the great moralists of the last century—and you don't have to dig terribly deep in his humor to find it.

Clinton in Lincoln ad pitch

Pretty good ad.

Walmart to buy more shares

Walmart shareholders, meeting today in Fayetteville, learned that the company board had authorized another $15 billion in share repurchases.

LRFF reaction: "How to Fold a Flag"

Patriotism is a strange virtue. It seems people either go all the way with it, with flags and t-shirts and bumper stickers and extravagant Memorial Day parades, or, for one reason or another, they just sort of leave it alone.

Weekend: Bob Schneider, Pat Green, "Point Blank"

FRIDAY 6/4 Celebrated singer-songwriter and jam fest favorite Bob Schneider plays Juanita's with co-ed pop act Smile Smile, 10 p.m., $15 adv., $20 d.o.s. Conway's Soundstage gets a great metal lineup with local favorites Pallbearer, prog-dosed Still Reign and Vilonia thrash act The Curse Follows supporting for the kickoff show for Fire to Reason's summer tour, 8 p.m., $6.

South Carolina: Worst state?

A "political pub" night at the Flying Saucer in Columbia, S.C., produced some fireworks this week thanks to a visit by Republican Sen. Jake Knotts, who hurled insults at Nikki Haley, the leading Republican candidate for governor.

Friday To-See: "Racing Dreams"

“RACING DREAMS”Dir.: Marshall Curry, 94 mins. Think of it as “Spellbound” with nitrous oxide.

Beebe announces prison study

Good timing. I wrote the other day that something was wrong with a state justice system where emergency powers had been routinely invoked for 12 years to allow early release of state prison inmates, not to mention the chronic backup of state offenders in county jails.

Friday To-See: "Restrepo"

“RESTREPO”Dir.: Tim Hetherington, Sebastian Junger, 70 min. If there's one film about America's ongoing Afghani war that will be shown in classrooms decades from now, it's hard to imagine this Sundance Grand Jury winner not being it.

Friday To-See: "Tiny Furniture"

“TINY FURNITURE”Dir.: Lena Dunham, 98 min. Is this the one?

Friday To-See: "Passenger Pigeons"

“PASSENGER PIGEONS”Dir.: Martha Stephens, 106 min. Poignant in the shadow of the recent West Virginia coal mine deaths, “Passenger Pigeons” interweaves four different stories surrounding an accidental death of a young man in an Appalachian mine: his brother, driving cross-country for the burial; two coal company executives, sent to inspect the mine, who end up camping in the woods; a young, concerned couple on vacation during the closure, and activists from Washington, D.C., in town to protest a mountaintop removal.

Friday To-See: "Arcadia Lost"

“ARCADIA LOST”Dir.: Phedon Papamichel, 93 min. The latest directorial effort from celebrated cinematographer and director of photography Phedon Papamichel (“Sideways,” “Walk the Line,” “W.”) takes him back to his native country to show the story of two teenage stepsiblings, a guarded, sarcastic young photographer and his dour but newly sexually empowered stepsister.

Search for two missing on river

Channel 4 reports a search is underway for two men after an empty inflatable kayak and oars were found along the Arkansas River near Burns Park.

Poll: Halter up by 4

A new Research 2000 poll for Daily Kos puts Bill Halter up 49-45 over Sen. Blanche Lincoln.

Friday To-Do: Todd Snider

TODD SNIDER8:30 p.m., Revolution. $15 adv., $20 d.o.s.Without even listening to the music, here's one way to tell the difference between a real country singer worth a damn and a cougar charmer who sings snake-oil jingles with a twang and calls it country: Go to the singer's Wikipedia page, look at his discography.

Ask Gov. Barbour

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is coming to town June 14 to help raise money for Jim Keet, the Republican nominee for governor.

Friday To-Do: John Prine

JOHN PRINE8 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $48-$60.

We're live!

We've turned on our new website. Drive around and kick the tires.

Breakfast Week part 5: The sweet of things.

Most of the breakfasts covered this week have been hot breakfasts, usually served up by waitresses who will come by and offer you a warm-up on your coffee.


Everything seems to be now working smooth enough for me to go home. But if problems arise for you, shoot me an email at lindsey @, and I'll see what I can do.

LRFF reaction: 'Racing Dreams'

Kids in race cars? What fun!

Open line

Wow. Old friends are piling into the new site.

Will you stilll love me tomorrow?

It's almost sad. Do you embrace President Obama?

Wanted: An unabashed liberal

John Brummett today is further explaining his defense of Robbie Wills' dishonest campaign mailers that attack Joyce Elliott as a dangerous extremist.

Blanche Lincoln's problem

In a survey of coming election contests, columnist Gail Collins inserts a throwaway line on Arkansas's Democratic runoff for U.S. Senate.

Men catch up

NY Times columnist Charles Blow passes along surprising polling data. For the first time, Gallup finds a majority believe gay and lesbian relations are morally acceptable.

A splendid Saturday

They say it's going to be a hot one today. Perfect for whiling away the hours in a cold, air conditioned move theater.

Breakfast week part 6: Market days

Argenta Market’s received a lot of press for its local and organic produce and such, but not a lot about its breakfasts — which is a shame.

Last Night: Todd Snider

“If things go particularly well,” Todd Snider told his audience, “we can all expect a 90-minute distraction from our impending doom.” After his set at the Rev Room on Friday, it’s fair to say that far from the ironic gloom of this sentiment, he’s actually the semi-stoner folk-rocker doing his best to lead us out of hell, not into it.

Poll problems in Hot Springs

The Bill Halter campaign complained yesterday that Garland County had decided to open only two polls, rather than 40, for runoff voting there to save money.

Mayor Stodola's car stolen

A reader last night broke the news first of the theft of Mayor Mark Stodola's Ford Explorer from outside Copper Grill, where he was dining.

The line is open

Saturday night live.

The final hours

I had one canvasser Saturday — pro-Halter — and another box full of mailers. No mail today, at least.

Sunday To-Do: Guitar Shorty

GUITAR SHORTY8:30 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $10.

LRFF reaction: 'Arcadia Lost'

One vice of beauty is that it is very often boring. This is the case with "Arcadia Lost."

Breakfast week part 7: Weekend brunch

The Purple Cow isn’t just a place to grab ice cream and a burger — on the weekends, the local chain also offers a very family-friendly brunch menu during the morning hours.

Rockstons closes

A call confirms this morning's Facebook post from Rockston's American Bar and Grill; the restaurant is closing tonight.

News and notes

Sorry. I was at the LR Film Festival most of the afternoon, including during a hiatus when 12 empty posts magically appeared on the new website under the Arkansas Blog.

School reform

The LR Film Festival program today included a documentary tribute to charter schools and Skip Rutherford reports a big crowd.

Sunday thread

Here's a fresh one.

'Slumberland' crew debuts new trailer

Last year's winners of the Charles B. Pierce Award for Arkansas Film at the Little Rock Film Festival are back with a nine-minute (!)

LRFF 2010 winners

OA Best of the South Award: "American: The Bill Hicks Story" Golden Rock for Narrative Feature: "Winter's Bone" Golden Rock for Narrative Doc: "Restrepo" More later.

Monday To-Do: Split Lip Rayfield

Like a lot of thrash-grass bands, these guys are an affair straight from Dr. Frankenstein's jam room.

Halter: Closet conservative?

The New York Times profiles Bill Halter today and a familiar portrait emerges of an ambitious, disciplined politician who hasn't left a trail of personal admirers.

Illiteracy is no defense

I read the story this morning about Benton County Judge David Bisbee's defense against ethics charges that included disclosure of his apparent inability to read well.

Double standard in Middle East

You've maybe heard by now about how 89-year-old columnist Helen Thomas put her foot, ankle, knee, etc. in her mouth with a statement about Israel.

New name in the 'hood

The three blocks of Commerce Street between President Clinton Avenue and Capitol Avenue will be renamed River Market Avenue in a ceremony this morning.

Caution: new website at work

For occasional readers who might not have seen the news last week: The Arkansas Times has new website architecture.

Woman found slain, boyfriend arrested

Little Rock police say a 35-year-old woman was found slain in her home early this morning and her eight-month-old son was found, unharmed, stuffed behind a mattress nearby.

Breakfast observations

While our state has a whole lot of restaurants, we’re lacking on locally owned places that serve breakfast, which leaves us with the IHOPs and Waffle Houses of the world.

Pay traffic tickets on-line

You can now, for the first time, pay traffic tickets on-line in three Arkansas jurisdictions — Carlisle, Faulkner County and Hot Spring County district courts.

Bow down for Ear Fear

The brothers Tillman are back with not one, but two albums. One 607 calls "aggressive" and another "calm."

Needed: Clearer standards for firing teachers

The Center for American Progress has analyzed the law in all 50 states and concludes: Districts recognize that an inability to dismiss poor-performing teachers undermines efforts to ensure that every student is taught by a highly effective instructor.

Clint Black, Charlie Daniels and lots of hot air balloons headed to Spa City

The country stars will headline Hot Springs annual Legends Balloon Rally, Sept. 24-25 at Hot Springs Memorial Field on Highway 70 West.

Man dies from gunshot wound in leg

Garland County sheriff reports the death of a man Sunday from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound to the leg.

O'Brien plan to avoid vote fiasco

Pat O'Brien, in the Democratic primary runoff for secretary of state, steps forward with some sound legislative proposals to avoid future fiascos such as has occurred in Garland County.

NLR School board to hear TIF settlement

Mayor Pat Hays' henchman, City Attorney Jason Carter, will explain Tuesday his figleaf settlement idea for the North Little Rock School Board's lawsuit against the city.

Changes out there

More restaurant news from here and there - including a new Chinese buffet and the long-awaited opening of a pub in Jonesboro.

RIP Calvin Leavy

Bluesman Calvin Leavy, known—but not broadly enough—for his blistering cut "Cummins Prison Farm," has died while in the Arkansas state prison system.

John Waters wants to take Beth Ditto on a USO tour

*“I want to do a USO tour. I want Beth Ditto to be my Marilyn Monroe, and have Iggy Pop wrestle with Bin Laden look-alikes.

Monday: Emery, Memphis May Fire, Dave Rogers Trio

The Village brings the "Are You Listening?" tour to town with melodic screamo kings Emery atop the bill.

LRFF Reaction: "happythankyoumoreplease"

You’ve probably already seen "happythankyoumoreplease," if you’ve seen any romantic comedy of the last ten years that takes place in New York City, or if you’re at all familiar with Judd Apatow’s oeuvre.

People (Halter) vs. PACs (Lincoln)

Sen. Blanche Lincoln's final campaign has been almost solely devoted to old-fashined union bashing. She complains that labor goons are trying to buy this election for Bill Halter.

Ray Abramson to Court of Appeals

Gov. Mike Beebe has appointed Raymond Abramson of Holly Grove to the Arkansas Court of Appeals to fill the seat vacated by Price Marshall, now a federal judge.

Casting call

If the Little Rock Film Fest gave you the acting bug, assistant LRFF programmer Levi Agee and his crew want to see you this Saturday, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., at an open casting call for a Southern comedy called "Cotton County Boys" at the Public Theater.

Lincoln: Halter a hypocrite

Blanche Lincoln's campaign unloads on Bill Halter for telling the Democrat-Gazette that he would voted for the final version of President Bill Clinton's 1993 budget, which included some tax increases that helped balance the budget.

Early voting about half first vote

The secretary of state said early voting through today has been about 68,000. That figure doesn't cover all counties.

Your turn

The line is open. Two more things about our new website: 1) If you had RSS feeds previously, you'll need to sign up for new ones.

Tuesday To-Do: Woven Bones

Austin's new blog-darling returns to Little Rock, summoning the snotty, garage waggle of The Cramps through layers upon layers of vertigo-inducing reverb.

Waltons back 'arts' hotel UPDATE

The Wall Street Journal, naturally, has the jump on news of a new hotel the Walton family plans for Bentonville to complement the coming Crystal Bridges museum.

Election day in Arkansas

Today the primaries end. Nationally, California is drawing more attention than Arkansas.

Diversity on federal bench

A Politico story notes that President Obama has appointed an unprecedented number of women and minorities to the federal bench.

Heifer Foundation names new CEO

Heifer International, the hunger and poverty relief organization based in Little Rock, has a new chief executive.

Walking the Carolina trail

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10cThank You, South Carolina - The Race to Replace Disgracewww.thedailyshow.comDaily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea PartySlow day, waiting for election returns.

Measles scare at Walmart meeting

Wal-Mart shareholders have been treated to quite a show over the past week including performances by Jamie Foxx, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Josh Groban and others.

Progressives toil for Halter details how members of the progressive political group responded to the campaign to get behind Bill Halter in the race for U.S. Senate.

Columnist: UA a 'drag' on SEC

OK, he's just one Alabama sports columnist and a notoriously sour one at that. But Paul Finebaum writes: In the mad dash for the Southeastern Conference to expand, it might be worth looking back 20 years to the last time the league went down this long and winding road.

Garland County cluster#@%*

The mess that Garland County Election Commission made has come to full flower. A voting rights activists reports long lines and parking problems at the two — count 'em, two — polling places that the Commission decided to open for runoff voting.

Tuesday: The Twilight Sad-Mono, Disco Night @ the Pump, Carl Mouton

Revolution scored one heck of a coup with two beloved co-headliners in Scotland's The Twliight Sad, heart-on-sleeve guitar soundscapists, and Japan's Mono, an instrumental act full of gooey reverb, 8:30 p.m., $10.

Word from the Third

I'm interested in predictions on the runoff for Third District Congress, where Steve Womack and Cecile Bledsoe are battling for the Republican nomination to succeed Rep. John Boozman.

'Movies in the Park' gets a NLR rival

It's called "River Flicks" and it's being held near the Broadway Bridge, behind Dickey-Stephens Park, at the North Shore Riverwalk amphitheater pad.

Tax us and they will come

It might not surprise you to learn that a lobby group financed by the highway construction industry has issued a report that says Arkansas needs a massive amount of highway repair and bridge reconstruction.

Driver shot by police officer dies

Terse note from Lt. Terry Hastings of LRPD: The driver of the vehicle that attempted to run over our officer on 15500 La Marche on 6/2/2010, died this morning around 10:00 am.

Does this mean we're flunking math?

The Arkansas Lottery announces that the state is No. 5 nationally in lottery sales per capita.

North Lookout closed 3 weeks

North Lookout has been closed to through traffic between Kavanaugh Boulevard and Cantrell Road for three weeks, the city has announced.

Election eve open line

I'm giving it a rest. I'm supposed to be on The Ed Show at 5, live from Riverfront Park.

Lincoln carries Pulaski

The Pulaski County Election Commission has posted returns from early voting. Blanche Lincoln carried the early box big - 5268 to 3679.

Blanche Lincoln's early lead

With 4 big early vote boxes counted, Blanche Lincoln is leading Bill Halter 54-46, according to Channel 7.

Garland County to court

The state Supreme Court docket reflects a lawsuit has been filed against the Garland County Election Commission, presumably over the total screwup of elections there: 1) reducing runoff polling places from 42 to 2; 2) agreeing to open polls on Saturday for early voting, then not

Totals rise and Lincoln still on top

I do believe my early smell of a trend mayprove correct. With 5 percent of the precincts counted (but more than 25 percent of the total vote), Blanche Lincoln enjoys a 53-47 lead over Bill Halter with 62,000 votes counted.

But wait: Here comes LA

If Bill Halter is to overcome Blanche Lincoln, he'll have to do it in Lower Arkansas, where the angry anti-incumbent sentiment carried Bill Halter to victory after victory in the preferential primary.

How low can Repubs go?

Republican operatives are already smearing Pat O'Brien, the Democratic nominee for secretary of state, for having led the Obama campaign in Arkansas in 2006.

Choose your poison

Then there is the matter of election reporting and not being sure what system is being used and who's most reliable.

Diamond Chef 2010: Battle Octopus

Chef Daniel Capello managed to best Chef Jason Knapp at this year's Diamond Chef competition at the Statehouse Convention Center.

Blanche Lincoln wins!

You heard my feelings here first, about 8:07 p.m., that Blanche Lincoln was going to survive this runoff for the Democratic nomination to hold onto her U.S. Senate seat.

The message for November

Blanche Lincoln's victory over the organized labor attack was tailor-made for a narrative for November.

Joyce Elliott wins in 2nd District

Just heard a happy speech from Joyce Elliott, who believes herself a winner over Robbie Wills for the 2nd District Democratic congressional nomination.

Still up in the air UPDATE

Chad Causey seems headed to a narrow victory over Tim Wooldridge in the Democratic runoff for the 1st District nomination.

The morning after

In the mailbag post-election: * The secretly funded independent group that beat up on any candidate that didn't oppose union card check legislation crowed about the defeat of Bill Halter and victories by those like Blanche Lincoln, Mike Ross and Chad Causey who knuckled under to corporate pressure.

What others are saying

Sen. Blanche Lincoln's victory spurs much analysis, dominated by horse laughs at organized labor for the failure of its mobilization and expenditures.

The 2nd District race begins

Tim Griffin, Republican nominee for Congress in the 2nd District, issued a brief statement of congratulations to Democratic nominee Joyce Elliott Tuesday night and said he looked forward to an issue-based campaign.

Ear Fear drops 'The Ignit Truth'

After a taste of the new songs on Monday, Ear Fear was on the cusp of dropping their twin albums, "The Ignit Truth" and "Altar Call," 607's 33rd and 34th albums, respectfully.

Bar Louie open in Pleasant Ridge

Bar Louie, the national chain that describes itself as a "neighborhood restaurant and bar that specializes in oversized signature sandwiches and handcrafted specialty cocktails," is open in the Pleasant Ridge Town Center.

Wednesday To-Do: Movies in the Park - "Back to the Future"

Sundown, Riverfront Park. Free.

If a tree falls in Arkansas ...

Frank Wallis, a Mountain Home newspaperman, sent around a comment on's effort to make lemonade out of Bill Halter's defeat with a statement that said, among others, that the lieutenant governor "was virtually unknown three months ago."

Wednesday: Travs, Ted Ludwig Trio, "Prayers for Maddie" Benefit Show

The Arkansas Travelers (21-33) take to Dickey-Stephens for a make-up game from May 1 against the current TEX North division leaders, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (32-23), 5 p.m., $6-$12.

Did'ja know?: Wonderful Smith

The old janitor that tried (and failed) to get Spinal Tap on stage in one of the most famous scenes of any comedy ever is an Arkadelphian?

Besser talks Hogs, Jurado does "Arkansas," WATF tackles U2

Upright Citizen, Arkansan and rabid Hogs fan, Matt Besser (above), talks—optimistically—to Arkansas Expats about Bobby "BMFP" Patrino, our gang of wide receivers and that hilarious Ryan Mallett mug shot.

Last night: Woven Bones @ WWT

Last night was a bit divisive, so here are two takes on the anticipated show: Having been a fan of Woven Bones for almost a year now, I looked forward to tonight's show at White Water as a rare highlight of my week.