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June 17, 2010

Vol 36 • No 41

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'Every day was a Tuesday'

A visit to the Arkansas State Tuberculosis Sanatorium, a place built on The White Plague.

Gimme some paper towels!

Why must restaurants, especially of the barbecue and greasy-spoon varieties, inflict tissue-thin napkins upon us?

Wednesday To-Do: Movies in the Park - 'The Blind Side'

MOVIES IN THE PARK: 'THE BLIND SIDE'9 p.m., Riverside Park. Free.

Wednesday: Boris Paillard, Kristy Kruger, Steele Jessup

Kristy Keuger (above), a folk-dusted, lounge-ready jazzbird, comes back to White Water, 9:30 p.m., $5.

Democrats, Griffin differ on BP demands

Strange bedfellows. A Tim Griffin news release today cites an Arkansas Blog post in defense of the 2nd District Republican's position on BP'd obligations in the Gulf oil disaster.

Jim Keet runs for president

It's the Republican strategy. Every election at every level — even dogcatcher, presumably, if it was a partisan office — is about Barack Obama, particularly in the former slave states where he is held in low regard.

Over the hump

Got anything to say about it?

Life Size Pizza gets all 'Queer'

The guys from Life Size Pizza recently biffed up this gem of an e-flyer that's too good not to share.

A&E News, June 16

New owner at Downtown Music; "Jersey Shore" producers look to Arkansas for talent; Ear Fear returns; new from The Good Fear and Matt Besser talks about the Hogs.

Race and politics in the Second District

Black candidate of 1984 sees less division today.

An Arkansas surprise

With the clarity of hindsight, I see now that Halter's main theme — he was not Blanche Lincoln — might not have been sufficient for voters more sophisticated than Washington pundits often think.

Lincoln tells truth on herself

U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln stands accused on health care of flip-flopping, waffling and lying, none of which strikes me as exactly right.

Tres magnifique!

Terry's new French bistro gets it right.

South Carolina and us

Arkansas followed South Carolina out of the union 150 years ago in a fit of sympathy over the attack at Fort Sumter and we have been yoked to the Palmetto State ever since. After South Carolina's political behavior the past year, especially in the primaries that we shared with the state last week, it is time that Arkansas re-examined the relationship.

Unconventional wisdom

Not until the national pundits told us, after the election, did we know that the conventional wisdom had been that Sen. Blanche Lincoln would lose to Bill Halter, what with him having all that labor support.

Eye on Arkansas, June 17

Blanche Lincoln celebrates her runoff win.

In Brief, June 17

The Insider, June 17

Mark Webre, deputy Little Rock parks director, said that a sculpture of a crouching Labrador retriever, poised to spring into water in pursuit of waterfowl, had been moved farther from the rear of the Peabody Hotel.

Booting booties

If President Obama is still unsure whose ass he needs to be kicking, I've got some nominations.

A for explosions

'A-Team' is big, dumb fun.

The Observer, June 17

The Observer is not a poet, and certainly not a philosopher, but we do have a tender spot for such lines as "I think that I shall never see/A poem lovely as a tree."

Orval, June 17

Smart Talk, June 17

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was among the first to pile on long-time White House correspondent and columnist Helen Thomas, 89, who was widely criticized and ultimately retired for saying Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine."

This Modern World, June 17

To-Do List, June 17-24

Including Juneteenth, Opera in the Ozarks, The Iguanas, mewithoutyou, David Bazan, Celebrate!, Junior Brown, 'The Wizard of Oz,' Jason Isbell.

Televisionist, June 17

On 'Memphis Beat' and the World Cup.

The Week That Was, June 8-15, 2010

Good: Blanche Lincoln, Sen. Joyce Elliott. Bad: Flooding, Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, city of Little Rock, Little Rock Zoo, Southwest Airlines, Osage Baptist Church.

What's Cookin', June 17

Sweet! opens in the River Market and the cheese dip discussion.

Words, June 17

E.T., baring all and commonality.

Bard bash

The Arkansas Shakespeare Festival returns to UCA.

The Gospel according to David Bazan

Former Christian rock hero captures in song a rocky fall from faith.

Who pays for highway work?

The commission studying new sources of highway money is talking, among others, about a tax increase (not politically likely in today's climate) or slowly stealing a portion of existing sales taxes that now support the rest of state government.

Final arguments in gay marriage case

The New York Times offers a full report on closing arguments in the trial of the lawsuit challenging the California ban on same-sex marriage, potentially the beginning of a landmark case.

A call for bike lanes

Bicycle believer Ken Gould has written Mayor Mark Stodola and other city officials about improving a stretch of road for bicyclists inthe missing-link portion of the riverfront bike trai from Riverdale east.

A turning tide on Obamacare?

I figured there was a reason Karl Rove has gone bonkers about the imagined ills of health care reform legislation.

Let the Boozman-Lincoln polling continue

The Republican campaign machine is touting a new Rasmussen poll with a huge lead by Rep. John Boozman over Sen. Blanche Lincoln.

Televisionist: World Cup

WORLD CUPESPN and ABC, daily 6 a.m.-3 p.m.-ish. I know little about soccer, but love watching.

Thursday-Saturday To-Do: Juneteenth

JUNETEENTH7 p.m., Thu., UALR University Theatre. Free.10 a.m., Sat., Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.

Supreme Court OKs 'dog sniff' search

The state Supreme Court ruled today in a precedent-setting case that a "positive" alert by a reliable drug dog is sufficient ground for the search of a lawfully stopped vehicle.

Thursday: R.E.O. Speedwagon, "Smokey Joe's Cafe," Michael Burks

Classic rock radio staples and masters of the power ballad, R.E.O. Speedwagon, play Magic Springs' Timberwood Amphitheater, $22.99-$44.99.

Bring on the BP defenders

Republicans, led by party chief Rush Limbaugh, are rallying to the side of BP and against the idea of a damage fund to compensate people harmed by the Gulf oil disaster.

Bean's talk

Be a part of art tomorrow night by ArtWalking over to the Thea Foundation and influencing storytelling painter Robert Bean.

Follow the money in Congress

Here's a website just chock full of good information. You have to register, but it's free and easy.

Jim Keet: Pure Arkie

I mentioned yesterday that I'd asked Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Keet about the fact that his name didn't turn up as a presidential primary voter in 2008.

The politics of flood insurance

Sen. Mark Pryor and Rep. Marion Berry have been raising hell about new FEMA flood zone maps that could require more people in the Delta to have flood insurance.

Hot sticky fun

Yes, there will be peaches at this year's Johnson County Peach Festival - lots of the juicy, sticky fruit and plenty of things to do with them all weekend long.

Thursday thoughts?

The line is open.

Boxes of heads remain in limbo

The shipment of 45 human heads that surprised a Southwest Airlines freight handler at the Little Rock National Airport has now come to the attention of the New York Times.

Krugman: Stimulus needed

Paul Krugman has a timely column as Republicans continue to block extension of unemployment benefits.

School test numbers game

There was an extensive report today in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette of Little Rock School District test scores (only LRSD, not NLR and Pulaski County) against state averages and local charter school averages.

Weekend To-Do: Opera in the Ozarks

Opera in the Ozarks is back again to fill the hills and cobblestones of Eureka Springs with soaring, gymnastic vocals from up-and-coming singers from around the country.

Friday To-Do: The Iguanas

A polycultural mish-mash of Latin and Caribbean instrumentation and New Orleans soul and R&B, The Iguanas are a decades-old NOLA staple and one heck of an odd party band.

Unemployment rate improves

Arkansas's unemployment rate dropped from 7.8 to 7.7 percent in May, the Department of Workforce Services says.

New House Democratic leadership

The House Democratic Caucus elected new leaders today and outoging Majority Leader Steve Harrelson provides the info.

Feelin' groovy

Preview the posters and handbills advertising the Fugs, Moby Grape, Procol Harem (take you back?)

Snoop and Sookie, sittin' in a tree

This is getting out of hand. "T, R, U, E, B, L, double O dizza-dee" gets a pretty thorough Snoop down.

Luke Bryan, Eric Church headed to Amphitheater

Young country stars Luke Bryan and Eric Church are coming to the Riverfest Amphitheater for a co-headlining gig on Friday, July 30.

Griffin at Political Animals

Tim Griffin, Karl Rove's nominee for Congress from the Second District, speaks to the Political Animals Club today.

Weekend: Cybertribe present "Wicked," Chris Tomlin, Underclaire

FRIDAY, 6/18 Those missing the glory days of raves, direct your attention to The Village.

Breakfast from Vino's? Yes, please.

This morning, the crew over at Vino's opened up early for a World Cup watch party sponsored by the Arkansas Times.

Saturday To-Do: MewithoutYou-David Bazan

MEWITHOUTYOU/ DAVID BAZAN9 p.m., Juanita's. $13 adv., $15 d.o.s. "Can't you see you're not making Christianity any better?

Sunday To-Do: '¡Celebrate!'

If you've fallen into a Father's Day rut of skipping church with your dad to go fishing/golfing/all-you-can-eat-buffeting, how 'bout a little international music and culture to change the pace.

The wreck of the old Mary Woods

Kat Robinson, stellar mainstay of our Eat Arkansas blog, also has her own blog, Tie Dye Travels, that chronicles her many travels around Arkansas.

Blanche Lincoln propaganda

Steve Patterson, Blanche Lincoln's campaign manager, serves up a steaming dish of spin on how the senator defied conventional wisdom in the primary and will do so again in the fall election.

E.T., go home

James Carville, whose political minstrel show grows more tiresome by the day, is proudly touted as the headliner of the Arkansas Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson dinner July 17 at Verizon Arena.

Whodini to Revolution

After bringing old school kings Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh to Revolution this April, local promoter Chris Bowen just announced he's booked hip-hop godfathers Whodini to play Revolution on Friday, July 2.

Checking out VITAL

There’s no exhibit banner out front, the iron gate is tough to work and you’ll be the only one there, but if you want to see some art by and about black Arkansans, head to the Terry Mansion at 7th and Rock Streets.

Don't forget ...

That Third Friday ArtWalk in Argenta kicks off at 5 p.m. Check out "Fireflies" by Matt McLeod at Greg Thompson Fine Art, 429 Main St., while you're out and about.

You can't go home again

Arkansas isn't exactly known for its celebrity output, so we take what we can get. In this case, Nigel the Cairn terrier.

Stone County race ends in tie

Tyler Henderson promises a fuller report, but the Stone County Election Commission today declared that the race for the Democratic nomination for sheriff between incumbent Tyler Hudspeth and Lance Bonds ended in a tie.

Kindly slow today

Maybe an open line will spice things up

ZaZa starts construction on Conway location

Earlier this week, ZaZa started construction on its second location, a 4,000 square foot space in new mixed-use development The Village at Hendrix.

Jim Keet v. Barack Obama

John Brummett gives Jim Keet a chance today to explain how he can nationalize the race for governor (presuming, of course, that he's eligible to run).

Addicted to oil

Why aren't more members of Congress taking up the consumer cause more vigorously against BP?

Your turn

After you've been to the Farmer's Market this morning, put the groceries in the car and drop in on the Historic Arkansas Museum to see “You Fit into Me: Works by David Carpenter and Lindsey Maestri,” contemporary sculpture by a couple of Arkansans currently studying in Louisiana.

Happy Juneteenth

Republican congressional candidate Tim Griffin, who worked mightily to reduce the turnout of black voters in Florida in behalf of George W. Bush, commemorates Juneteenth today.

BP's recidivism

Joe Nocera's column today on BP's history as an environmental scofflaw should be required reading for anyone inclined to feel a pang of sympathy for limiting damages on this abuser of the sea.

Hot line

It's open.

Another call for Obama action

Frank Rich adds another voice to the call for more action, fewer words, from President Obama.

Fighting for the State Fair

Slow day here, so I thought I'd mention things bubbling on the eternal push by the State Fair to move from its current Little Rock site in a poor neighborhood to different territory with ready freeway access.

Father's Day

I remember: football games ... the backyard barbecue ... "calling on" relatives ... how much he loved reading newspapers.

Caution: Huckster humor at work

I think I mentioned a while back that Ariel Levy, a writer for the New Yorker, was in town working on a profile on former governor and Florida tax shelter Mike Huckabee, the rising media star.

The line is open

Take it away.

The full Huckabee

Here's that major New Yorker profile of Mike Huckabee I mentioned yesterday, now on-line. It's friendly, headlined: "Prodigal Son/ Is the wayward Republican Mike Huckabee now his party’s best hope?"

The bad gaslands

Here's a TV alert tonight from David Koon about a documentary topic with high relevance in Arkansas: On Monday at 9 p.m. on HBO is the TV debut of the documentary "Gasland" which won at Sundance.

Shelling time

The humble PurpleHull pea is celebrate this weekend in Emerson with cook-offs, a big PurpleHull pea dinner and of course, tiller races.

Monday To-Do: 'The Wizard of Oz'

'THE WIZARD OF OZ'7:30 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $27-$52.

Monday, Monday

The Arkansas Arts Center, normally closed on Mondays, will admit visitors to the "World of the Pharaohs" exhibit today from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and ticket price is discounted to $14.

Charges pending in bike death

The LRPD today distributed the full report on the bicyclist killed at Cantrell and River Mountain Road yesterday by a driver who reportedly ran a red light.

Pitchfork gives Dragoon a 7.6

Not shabby! The bitchariffic arbiters of cool over at Pitchfork Media slapped Dragoon's "The Offending Party"—Max Recordings' newest release—with an impressive 7.6/10.

Drugmaker loses hormone drug appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected an appeal by drugmaker Pfizer over a retrial of punitive damage claims in the case of an Arkansas woman who developed breast cancer after taking a hormone replacement drug.

MovieMaker names Little Rock Film Fest among its 25 festivals worth the entry fee

To get the whys of the LRFF's inclusion, you'll have to check on MovieMaker on newsstands.

Mary Steenburgen bags 'Outlaw Country' pilot

Deadline Hollywood just reported that Little Rock native Mary Steenburgen is slated to star (and sing) in "Outlaw Country," a new FX pilot drama placed in the precarious world of Nashville music and Southern crime.

Football coaches go clubbing

It took a lawsuit, but the Paragould Daily News finally got the details on the Greene County Tech football coaches who did a little nightclubbing in Monticello when they should have been back at the motel with the team, resting for a playoff game with Monticello.

Arkansas: Another low ranking

A Ball State University national report card on manufacturing and logistics generally puts Arkansas toward the bottom.

Final call for artists

It's a little late to be mentioning it (the announcement came while I was on vacation) but tomorrow is the deadline for artists who'd like to sell their work to UAMS for inclusion in the new Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute to submit slides.

True Blood: Get on with it

Tedium, thy name is the first two episodes of this season of "True Blood." Sure, some things have happened.

Arkansas Shakespeare Fest: 'Comedy of Errors'

There are a lot of things to like about Shakespeare, not least of which is the flexibility of his plays.

D. C. Morrison: Some Democrat

I'm reluctant to give crackpot D.C. Morrison much attention, he's doing well enough on his own.

About those 'excited' voters

You keep hearing about teabagger enthusiasm, rage on the right, Republican resurgence, etc. The excitement gap is supposed to spell doom for Democrats this fall.

Jeff Nichols filming new movie in northeastern Ohio

Jeff Nichols, the Little Rock native who wrote and directed "Shotgun Stories," is currently at work on a follow-up in northern Ohio.

Opera in the Ozarks: 'Tosca'

Eureka Springs' Opera in the Ozarks opened its 60th season with Puccini's "Tosca" last Friday.

Madea to Verizon

Tyler Perry's bringing the latest iteration of his cash cow "Madea" series, "Madea's Big Happy Family," to Verizon on November 10-11 for two shows.

Rand to jobless: Quit whining

I think you have to credit Rand Paul, the Republican Senate candidate, for speaking what he believes, however shocking.

Sookie forever

No big shocker here: HBO has renewed "True Blood" for a fourth season. *Little Big Town (one-quarter Arkansan) has announced Aug. 24 for the release of its new album, "The Reason Why."

The Tea Party giveth ...

Funny story developing in Florida where Republicans don'tlike the looks of a bunch of Tea Party legislative candidates.

The Monday line

It's now open.

Rural schools — again

Republican gubernatorial nominee Jim Keet has scheduled a news conference Tuesday morning with Republican legislators to "show support" for rural schools.

Bread and circuses

A blog reader points me to a trove of information on a favorite topic — spending on athletics in colleges versus spending on academics.

Farmers market trouble

Farmers selling produce in West Little Rock at Pulaski Academy are sent packing over parking lot produce.

K2 madness

K2 madness is sweeping Arkansas, with ad hoc ordinances and hyperventilating legislators pushing for instant rules banning the herb mixture described as a synthetic marijuana.

Tim Griffin: loves Ark.'s low wages UPDATE

You want differences between political candidates? John Brummett illustrates a sharp one in the race for 2nd District Congress, following Republican Tim Griffin's remark that Arkansas has a wonderful climate for economic development thanks to our anti-union law and "low labor costs."

McChrystal on the carpet

Looks like the story of the day will be Afghanistan commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal's trip to the White House woodshed for his and aide's impolitic remarks about President Obama and the administration.

Who is the Tea Party?

Good column in Newsweek on the media's failure to ask Tea Party followers some more probing questions beyond the rote mad-at-government stuff.

Ear Fear does not abide by you swerving into its lane

Here's "In the Lane," the latest "no-budget" video from Ear Fear as part of the promo for the duo's two new releases, "The Ignit Truth" and "Altar Call."

Hot dogging rural schools

I mentioned yesterday that Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Keet would be at a news conference this morning in defense of small schools.

Census numbers show LR growth

City population estimates for 2009 from the U.S. Census are in. (These are not numbers from the current census, which will be released in December and used to reapportion Congress and the legislature.)

Titus Andronicus to Revolution on Aug. 30

Revolution just scored yet another coup, booking New Jersey lit-punks Titus Andronicus for a show on Devil's Night.

Brandon Barber booked on Nevada charge

Brandon Barber, the once high-flying Northwest Arkansas developer whose business imploded in a $47 million bankrtupcy, was booked into the Washington County Jail last night on a hold from Clark County, Nevada, Arkansas Business reports.

Drill, baby, drill

A federal judge in Louisiana has temporarily blocked the Obama administration's effort to impose a temporary moratorium on deepwater oil drilling.

'Wizard of Oz' stays true to classic film

“People come and go so quickly here!” exclaims Kansas ex-pat Dorothy Gale after her fist whirlwind minutes in a strange new land spent talking to munchkins and witches good and bad.

Tuesday: Taproot, Josh the Devil & the Sinners, Echo Canyon

Post-grunge outfit Taproot (above) plays The Village tonight with Warped Tourers Ice Kills Nine, metal act Destrophy, and local acts Sychosis and The Last Shade, 8 p.m., $17.

Stanley McChrystal is out? UPDATE

He resigns. Right call.

Arts Center board split on budget

The Board of the Arkansas Arts Center is still struggling with its budget in the aftermath of an Egyptian exhibit that didn't meet financial expectations.

Mother-daughter show

Pastel artist Lois Davis and her daughter, Susan Harris, a painter, have teamed up for "Summer Reflections," currently on exhibit in the gallery at Christ Episcopal Church.

Fayetteville lawyer charged

Raymond Bornhoft, a Fayetteville tax laywer, has pleaded guilty in federal court to mail and wire fraud for taking almost $250,000 from a family trust.

The line is open UPDATE

Your turn.

Tim Wooldridge: Dirtbag

Politico scores the not-really-news that Tim Wooldridge doesn't seem likely to endorse Democratic primary winner Chad Causey in the race for 1st District Congress.

Vino's hosts World Cup watch party again

With the same breakfast pizza Gerard Matthews raved about on Eat Arkansas last week. USA takes on Argentina at 9 a.m.

Drill, Griffin, drill

The Blue Arkansas blog notes among Republican Tim Griffin's campaign contributions $1,000 from Rep. Joe Barton, the oil industry puppet from Texas who wants the U.S. to apologize to BP, despoiler of the Gulf of Mexico.

Passing of a legal giant

Gerald Heaney, a retired federal judge from Minnesota, had a huge impact on Arkansas from his 8th Circuit Court seat.

Beebe stands tall

More here from Gov. Mike Beebe on Republican opponent Jim Keet's alliance with residents of the soon-to-be-merged Weiner School District, an alliance that prompted Keet yesterday to say Arkansas should reconsider the landmark legislation that set a 350-student floor on school districts and also enabled other measures that moved Arkansas schools to constitutionality.

Lincoln goes to bat for Waltons

You'd think working tirelessly for a multi-billion-dollar estate tax exemption for the Walton family would be work enough for Sen. Blanche Lincoln.

McChrystal gets the boot

First off, heading to a meeting with the president, the Afghanistan commander said he had NOT offered to resign.

Man dead after police chase

The State Police have released details of a 50-year-old man who died of a gunshot wound at the end of a three-county police chase that began early this morning after report of a shooting in Southwest Little Rock.

New Rockst*r Jones: "Now You Know"

Yoinks! Rockst*r Jones just leaked a new track from his upcoming debut, "Better Than Good."

Wednesday To-Do: Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit

JASON ISBELL & THE 400 UNIT9 p.m., Revolution. $25 adv., $30 d.o.s. What a week to be a Drive-By Truckers fan, huh?