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June 29, 2006

Vol 4 • No 24

Controversy in child abuse case

A judge in Bentonville stirs controversy by talking with a juror and then reducing a jury verdict in the case of a woman convicted of crippling her child by shaking her.

It's all bad

Second-hand smoke is a killer the surgeon general says. Proponents of the state smoking ban say "told ya so."

Arkie angle -- UPDATE

One is noted in this federal indictment out of Kansas City. UPDATE: Don Elkikns' blog tamps down the Republican chortling on this story.

Message: he cares -- UPDATE

Today, Mike Beebe believes in health care for Arkansas. Us, too, though there are a few details lacking from this plan, which otherwise is intended to feel very good.

The big story ...

and a story the press is mostly ignoring (an exception today being a lengthy report on NPR) is Bush's unprecedented use of "signing statements."  Dan Froomkin gives it a good loook in the Nieman Watchdog, a publication of the foundation that provides fellowships to top journalists.

The Huckabode: for sale UPDATE

Want to own a house once occupied by a future president of the United States?

This Modern World

The week that was June 21-27

IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR … INADEQUATE RURAL SCHOOLS. Supporters of rural Paron High School won an order stopping the closure of the school pending a study of their claim that being bused is worse than the superior courses and activities offered at Bryan

Soviets and the Fed

State Sen. Jim Holt of Springdale, the state Republican Party’s horrible mistake of a nominee for lieutenant governor, proclaimed the other day that early childhood development programs run by the government represent Soviet-styled socialism.

Planes and trains

Ben McCord is our youngest grandson and was 5 years old June 16. So my wife and I decided to attend the birthday party in his home town of Austin, Texas. Ben’s father (our son), Ben’s mother and our two daughters called several times insisting that we sho

Words

Shoe-fly pie: “Some of baseball’s most noteworthy achievements have been tainted by allegations of steroid use … [such as] Rafael Palmeiro’s virtual shoe-in Hall of Fame career.”

Orval June 29

Same-sex marriage

Robert McCord notes in his June 15 column that my very own neck of the woods, Randolph County, had the largest percentage of citizens (85 percent) against same-sex marriage in the 2004 state amendment voting.

The Observer

Hardly anything gets newspaper readers more upset than the paper’s dropping a comic strip they like. Especially older readers, and they seem to constitute most of the newspaper audience these days. When the strip includes a lovable animal, as “Overboard”

Hillcrest hubbub

About that long-running neighborhood squabble over a teardown and new residential project on I Street, in the heart of Hillcrest bordering Allsopp Park:

Latino-bashing

Asa Hutchinson was out rabble-rousing on the immigration question last week. Who says he and Jim Holt aren’t a match?

Smart Talk

This week: Springdale church goes Disney; Times cartoonist lands a movie role; a trucking woman from Arkansas.

Buffett's example

Warren E. Buffett never embraced the idea that a moral life is one lived content with small means, but it still would be hard to deliver a sterner moral rebuke to the greed and materialism of public life than how and when he chose to shed his stupendous r

Follow the money

Candidates in Arkansas are required to file financial reports, but it’s not easy to comb through those reports for information. Copies may be viewed on the web, through the secretary of state’s website. But the process is slow and cumbersome. Enter th

Stop the hate

Back in the 1980s, the model Kelly LeBrock appeared in a commercial for Pantene shampoo and said, “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.”

Editorial cartoon June 29

Redistricting for Dems

As we said yesterday, the decision on Texas redistricting offers opportunities for Democrats. The LA Times says the party could pick up five seats and make a number more competitive by redrawing lines in states it controls.

And you thought those Rolling Stone tix were pricey

At least Central Arkansans aren't having to fork out $1,800 a ticket for Barbra Streisand, as they are in New York.

Men and women of faith

Leading Democrats get down with evangelicals. Are Dean, Clinton and Obama onto something?

Website update

We've made some overdue changes to the Arkansas Times website. Now, when you read on article on our website, you'll find at the bottom of each article: 1) an easy print command 2) an easy way to e-mail a link to someone else 3) a place to comment on a specific article.

Website update

We've made some overdue changes to the Arkansas Times website. Now, when you read on article on our website, you'll find at the bottom of each article: 1) an easy print command 2) an easy way to e-mail a link to someone else 3) a place to comment on a specific article.

Who's supreme?

The Supreme Court has ruled that Bush has overstepped his authority with war crimes trials for foreigners held at Guantanamo.

Fun on the Fourth

The Clinton Library continues to try to make things happen on holidays. They've announced a family picnic on the grounds for July 4.

Fun on the Fourth

The Clinton Library continues to try to make things happen on holidays. They've announced a family picnic on the grounds for July 4.

Head rolls

So what about the Democrat-Gazette's report on the  Huckabee sacking of state Department of Emergency Management director John Brackin?

Head rolls

So what about the Democrat-Gazette's report on the  Huckabee sacking of state Department of Emergency Management director John Brackin?

Gay foster parents upheld -- UPDATE

The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled unanimously today that gay people may be foster parents. It upheld a lower court ruling that the state prohibition was unconstitutional and driven by moral views about homosexuality.

Gay foster parents upheld -- UPDATE

The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled unanimously today that gay people may be foster parents. It upheld a lower court ruling that the state prohibition was unconstitutional and driven by moral views about homosexuality.

'Jesus is not a Republican'

Randall Balmer, an evangelical and professor of religious history, has written a new book, excerpted in the Chronicle of Higher Education under the title above. On a day when professed "values" candidates are trampling each other to be the first to marginalize Arkansas people on account of their sexual orientation, these words from "Thy Kingdom Come: How the Religious Right Distorts the Faith and Threatens America: An Evangelical's Lament" offer an antidote.

Ante up

We told you when the legislation was pending. We told you when it was approved.

Ante up

We told you when the legislation was pending. We told you when it was approved.

More fluff

Beebe had his health-care generalities yesterday, today Asa! has his banal pro-business platform, accompanied by the pre-arranged National Federation of Right-wing (er, Independent) Business endorsement.

What's cooking/Capsule reviews June 29

What's cooking: Michelangelo's in Conway, new Starbucks. Capsule reviews: Cheers on Broadway, Mack's Place.

Doubling up music at Magic Springs

The pre-holiday weekend means twice as much live music at Magic Springs and Crystal Falls Theme Park in Hot Springs, and it’s a mix of old and new, with Click Five on Saturday and The Spinners on Sunday.

Big bands and fireworks

The David Rosen Orchestra will bring some big band sound to the Fourth’s big bangs when it opens the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s Independence Day Pops on the River performance at Riverfest Amphitheatre on Tuesday.

The Horse rides again

If you’re a motorhead like me, you make at least a couple of trips a month to the bookstore, scanning the magazine racks for the new issues of car, truck and motorcycle-themed glossies. This month, among the chrome and burning rubber, I noticed the return

Daniel’s medical miracle

A bunch of Brazilians came from Porto Alegre to Little Rock in search of a miracle. While here, each and every one also pretended to have fun. Their main goal in the unfolding drama was to cheer up one of their group, Daniel. He was carrying a mortal

Brace for roughneck rockabilly at White Water Tavern

They’re hell on well-oiled 18 wheels, and for fans of bands such as Rev. Horton Heat or Devil Doll, Austin, Texas-based roughneck rockabilly trio Hotrod Hillbillies will be at the White Water Tavern on Saturday July 3.

Sandler clicks

To be honest, I didn’t have much hope for the new Adam Sandler vehicle, “Click.” Sometimes, however, it is good to be surprised. Though it ends a bit predictably, “Click” is still a warm and interesting little film, full of genuinely funny scenes and hear

Ear candy

Smooth-jazz saxophonist David Sanborn electrified a warm Friday night audience of 800 people at Little Rock’s first Jazz Festival.

TV highlights June 29-July 5

THE DEAD ZONE 9 p.m. Sunday, July 2 USA Network (Comcast Ch. 26) KOKOYAKYU: HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL 9 p.m. Tuesday, July 4 AETN (Comcast Ch. 3, Broadcast Ch. 2) BLADE: THE SERIES 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 5 Spike TV (Comcast Ch. 63)

On-the-air dirty talk gets expensive

The price of dirty talk on the air has just gone up drastically, motivating local TV stations to try even harder to keep their programming clean.

Bottoms up at Jerry B’s

We normally wouldn’t ask too much of the food at a place like Jerry B’s Bar and Grill, the newest project of Little Rock restaurateur Jerry Barakat. This is a place for drinking. Specifically, for drinking martinis — there are 53 varieties on the menu.

Musicians Showcase at your fingertips

To further our effort to bring local original music to the masses, the Arkansas Times has added an Arkansas Musicians Showcase link to our homepage at www.arktimes.com, and we’ll gradually continue to add mp3s from worthy acts. Already, Chris Henry and Ha

All eyes on the surplus

The highway department would like some of that surplus and maybe some of the state sales tax, chief Dan Flowers indicates.

Meanwhile, in Bush's world

This Guantanamo news greets readers at the top of the NY Times home page: The Defense Department said that a ruling against military tribunals did not prevent the government from holding suspects indefinitely and without charge.

We expect you to cooperate

So say House Republicans (and Democrat Mike Ross of Arkansas) in approving a resolution condemning the press for reporting on King George's surveillance of American citizens.

Good opinion of Wal-Mart

Morning News reports on a survey that finds high public approval of Wal-Mart and among its employees, too.

Beaver Lake condos

NWA news special: Circuit Judge Xollie Duncan today dismissed the lawsuit attempting to block construction of high-rise condos on Beaver Lake.

Huckabee: not GQ enough?

The latest edition of GQ magazine has an article about the potential 2008 presidential candidates.

Huckabee: not GQ enough?

The latest edition of GQ magazine has an article about the potential 2008 presidential candidates.

J.R. and Henry on the NBA Draft

J.R. and Henry: NBA Draft Recap   Before we get started with our extensive and thought-provoking recap and analysis of the NBA Draft, we should offer the following disclaimer.

Swift-boat him not

A Republican chickenhawk (George Allen) promoted as a presidential candidate made the mistake of impugning the patriotism of his Senate opponent over the flag-burning amendment. His Democratic opponent, Jim Webb, won the Navy Cross in Vietnam and a Webb spokesman let Allen have it.

Swift-boat him not

A Republican chickenhawk (George Allen) promoted as a presidential candidate made the mistake of impugning the patriotism of his Senate opponent over the flag-burning amendment. His Democratic opponent, Jim Webb, won the Navy Cross in Vietnam and a Webb spokesman let Allen have it.

'Dam Bridge' to open Sept. 30

They're calling it the "Big Dam Bridge," and it will officially open on Sept. 30, Pulaski County officials announced today.

'Dam Bridge' to open Sept. 30

They're calling it the "Big Dam Bridge," and it will officially open on Sept. 30, Pulaski County officials announced today.

New man at Emergency Management

Gov. Huckabee has elevated David Maxwell to head the state Department of Emergency Management to succeed John Brackin.

Paron Daylight Time

Circuit Judge Jay Moody has issued his written order in the Paron school case. He's decreed that the school remain open, pending a" full and fair hearing" by the state Board of Education, rather than subsumed into Bryant High..

Paron Daylight Time

Circuit Judge Jay Moody has issued his written order in the Paron school case. He's decreed that the school remain open, pending a" full and fair hearing" by the state Board of Education, rather than subsumed into Bryant High..

Check out this music video

Click right here. It's from Sean Rock's new album, "Somewhere From Now," and it was put together (the works, from filming it to getting it on youtube) by the Times' own Roland Gladden, who in his "spare" time is a bassist extraordinaire.

Huckagoguing

The only surprise is that it took the governor a full 24 hours to join the gay-bashing chorus on the Supreme Court ruling on foster parents yesterday.

Huckagoguing

The only surprise is that it took the governor a full 24 hours to join the gay-bashing chorus on the Supreme Court ruling on foster parents yesterday.

Stick it to students

The Campaign for America's Future says that a huge jump in interest rates in  college loan programs will really stick it to those borrowing to go to college.

Stick it to students

The Campaign for America's Future says that a huge jump in interest rates in  college loan programs will really stick it to those borrowing to go to college.

Document dump: Pulaski schools

Friday afternoon of an already-begun long holiday weekend is the perfect time to drop a giant report, isn't it?

Document dump: Pulaski schools

Friday afternoon of an already-begun long holiday weekend is the perfect time to drop a giant report, isn't it?

The theocrats weigh in

I don't think much commentary is necessary when the Southern Baptist Convention weighs in, disapprovingly, on a Supreme Court decision related to our handling of prisoners at Guantanamo.

Viva Memphis

Don't know about you. But I gotta admit the Japanese prime minister's visit to Graceland -- pilgrimage is more like it -- was a hoot.

And just because ..

... why not an open line? We had a neighborhood party tonight, welcoming, among others, a new UAMS intern who helped respirate dying patients with a hand pump at the VA hospital in New Orleans almost a year ago during a week in which he was stranded in Katrina's waters.

And just because ..

... why not an open line? We had a neighborhood party tonight, welcoming, among others, a new UAMS intern who helped respirate dying patients with a hand pump at the VA hospital in New Orleans almost a year ago during a week in which he was stranded in Katrina's waters.

Arkansas State Medical Board to Meet

Dr. Randeep Singh Mann of Russellville will go before the Arkansas State Medical Board Thursday through Saturday, July 6-9, on an emergency order of suspension.

Legal technicality

Brummett explains -- not that it'll matter to those inclined to outrage -- the narrow legal ground by which the Supreme Court decided the case on gay foster parents.

Could it happen in Arkansas?

LA Times: SACRAMENTO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office in charge of protecting California against terrorism has tracked demonstrations staged by political and antiwar groups, a practice that senior law enforcement officials say is an abuse of civil liberties.The Times obtained reports prepared for the state Office of Homeland Security in recent months that contain details on the whereabouts and purpose of a number of political demonstrations throughout California.

Open up the death chamber

Betsey Wright, the former aide to Bill Clinton who now devotes much of her time to work against the death penalty, has written an open letter to Gov. Huckabee on behalf of Death Row inmate Don Davis, who wants to lift the veil that the state Correction Department throws over the process.

The subject is blogs

I'm running behind on my promise to select new community bloggers. I have a dozen or so applicants.

Dangerous candidate

A Democratic blog thinks the Huckster's statement on the foster parent ruling fits the M.O. for a candidate well-positioned to feed the conservative Republican base, unlike McCain and Giuliani.

Peke-a-boo

We offered to share dog photos and they've begun streaming in. We'll be fair and go first-come, beginning with PJ's pups above and dolly-chomping Daisy, who J.R. Few of Yellville says is so gentle that hens lay eggs in her doghouse (photographic proof was supplied).

Money talks

The Sunday New York Times reports on a new government trend that contributes to the exploding lobbyist corps in Washington.

Gun battle

Fox 16 reports one dead and another wounded in a shootout on the parking lot at McCain Mall in North Little Rock. We think we heard the end of a Channel 7 report saying a third person was wounded, too, but they have nothing posted yet.

Cutting the grocery tax

Doug Thompson of Stephens Media reports on legislation in the works to reduce -- note I didn't say eliminate -- the sales tax on groceries.

Tribute to Mark Pryor

Brummett gives a well-deserved round of applause to Mark Pryor for brave and important votes on critical issues, from flag burning to the estate tax, where he's working to craft a compromise worthy of passage.

Last chance to see Rep's 'A Chorus Line'

The Arkansas Repertory Theatre's "A Chorus Line" concludes its run today with shows at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Eureka: the perpetual squabble

I just took a look at the D-G's NW website and found a good story on the perennial fight in Eureka Springs over marketing and the recent decline in tourism income, as measured by the sales tax.

Putting it to bed

Emmaline's nap is probably a good place to put dog photos to rest for the time being.

Putting it to bed

Emmaline's nap is probably a good place to put dog photos to rest for the time being.

And here's the open line ...

I forgot to provide last night.

And here's the open line ...

I forgot to provide last night.

Back from Hot Springs

Funny thing about yesterday afternoon, around Magic Springs it didn't seem as hot as the evening news later said it was.

'The most dangerous man in America'

That quote is how religio-fascist James Dobson views Justice Anthony Kennedy. A searching analysis in the Washington Post by Dahlia Lithwick might persuade you that, if not dangerous, Kennedy is the most important player on the legal stage today.

Found: a wedge issue

The VFW doesn't like the smoking ban. Will Arkansas politicians stand up to them?

Found: a wedge issue

The VFW doesn't like the smoking ban. Will Arkansas politicians stand up to them?

Papa Duck passes

Rollie Remmel, who'd maintained his upbeat, always-engaged personality through a long fight with cancer, has died.

Papa Duck passes

Rollie Remmel, who'd maintained his upbeat, always-engaged personality through a long fight with cancer, has died.

Flag-waving

Just in time for the Fourth, Brummett offers thoughts on the flag desecration amendment vote.

Earth moving

On the Bentonville planning commission agenda this week -- a new subdivision with almost 1,200 homes, projected for build out in four to five years.

Phone rates: coming down

A report on cost-cutting in conventional telephone service because of competition from Internet calling services.

Farm subsidies

The Washington Post unwraps a giant examination of farm subsidy payments. The lead piece today explains how farmers are reaping billions in subsidies intended to guard against low prices even when the market isn't so bad.

Measuring happiness

Today's offbeat entry from the morning papers:  LA Times reports on economists' search for a happiness index.

Coulter: busted for copying

The New York Post uses the words copy cat rather than plagiarism, but we think you'll see a certain similarity in this report on on analysis of the work of Ann Coulter.

'Superman' is soaring above all others

"The Devil Wears Prada" wasn't going to do blockbuster box office numbers this weekend, and the box office chart is left for "Superman Returns" to run away with the big numbers, with weekend estimates at $52 million and overall estimates of $84 million since its June 28 opening, according to the chart from Box Office Mojo.

So. Who's working?

Pretty vacant downtown, as we expected. Full crews at the Capitol, courthouses and city halls?

The 'Patriot Tour'

That's what the state Democratic Party is calling a round of appearances July 4 by the entire slate of statewide candidates -- Beebe, Halter, Daniels, McDaniel, Shoffner, Wilcox, Wood.

The 'Patriot Tour'

That's what the state Democratic Party is calling a round of appearances July 4 by the entire slate of statewide candidates -- Beebe, Halter, Daniels, McDaniel, Shoffner, Wilcox, Wood.

Another form of tribute

While Democrats have crafted a "Patriots Tour" for the 4th, the Republican Party of Arkansas is making plans for a tribute this week to their gubernatorial candidate, A$a Hutchinson.

The 'nothing' city

We just fielded a call from one of the five people we know are working today (outside of our own editorial staff, and most of them have left too).

Miracle in Arkansas

We understand that all the major media have reports coming on Terry Wallis, the Stone County man (shown in this Brian Chilson photo with his daughter Amber) who regained consciousness after 19 years in a coma.

Crime watch

A bank robbery today and a weird kidnapping earlier -- the kidnapper abudcted a woman from a WLR apartment complex, made her drive out Stagecoach Road, to Otter Creek and back to her apartment (part of the time in the trunk of her car) before releasing her unharmed -- turned out to the work of the same criminal.

Traitorous Times? That’s yesterday’s news

Karl Rove essentially accused the New York Times of treason when he popped into Arkansas four months ago.

Turn down the heat

Wesley Brown at Stephens reports regional indicators that the economy is slowing.

The traitor gambit

The Rove administration's attack on the NY Times as a cover for its mistakes is old news, Brummett writes today.

Straight talk

For once, a cop didn't hear the old line, "just one or two beers," after he stopped a man driving his pickup truck on railroad tracks in Springdale.

A message for the Fourth

E.J. Dionne writes that patriotism is also about dissent: Have you ever noticed a certain hesitant quality to the expressions of patriotism by progressives or left-wingers?

Road trip

I'm going to be driving around Arkansas today and away from the computer. Here's an open line.

LR memories

Here's some fun for old-timers on a slow day. Thanks to Steve Stephens for a link to a website dedicated to the old Mabelvale High School.

On a more sober note ... UPDATE

North Korea has test-fired a batch of missiles, including a long-range weapon. Your move, Mr. President.

Huckster Blog

An anonymous blogger -- perhaps from Buffalo, perhaps not -- has been touting The Huckster's campaign for president for some time now.

Huckster Blog

An anonymous blogger -- perhaps from Buffalo, perhaps not -- has been touting The Huckster's campaign for president for some time now.

A new Huckabode

Gov. Mike Huckabee and his wife, Janet, have bought a house in the upscale Shady Valley neighborhood of North Little Rock.

Patriotic puff

With the president giving us media types a hard time of it last week for our high treason, I thought I’d devote the Fourth of July holiday period to becoming more patriotic.

Teen drivers

An interesting editorial in USA Today notes a decline in youth traffic deaths in states with so-called graduated licensing laws, which prevent full driving privileges until the age of 17.

Teen drivers

An interesting editorial in USA Today notes a decline in youth traffic deaths in states with so-called graduated licensing laws, which prevent full driving privileges until the age of 17.

Lynch mob alert

Pat Lynch's talk show goes back on LR airwaves today, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on KDXE, 1380 AM.

Mountain Home murder --- UPDATE

Mountain Home cops have a 2 p.m. news conference today on the stabbing death of a local urologist, Dr. David Millstein.

Mountain Home murder --- UPDATE

Mountain Home cops have a 2 p.m. news conference today on the stabbing death of a local urologist, Dr. David Millstein.

Don't ever say it's your "final" tour

The Rolling Stones never do it. People just assume it, but they keep coming.

Anybody see any good fireworks displays this week?

We saw a great one at Heber Springs on Monday night. It ran about 20 minutes, from Sandy Beach, while we watched from the marina at Eden Isle.

No Movie in the Park tonight

Organizers called off tonight's free Movies in the Park showing of "Grease," scheduled for Riverfest Amphitheatre, because of earlier rain and the threat of more coming.

Sports Column: J.R. and Henry skip work, watch Wimbledon

J.R. and Henry: Are the better days behind us?   What happened to American tennis? We’re well into the second week of Wimbledon and the Americans in both the women’s and men’s draws have long since exited. In fact, in the three grand slams thus far, no American has yet to make it past the quarterfinals. What’s up with that?
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