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July 1, 2010

Vol 36 • No 43

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There's more biomass than you knew

Until a few years ago, most Arkansans had never heard of "biomass" and "bioenergy," but in a way, Arkansas has been in the game a long time.

Camden comeback slowed

Things have not gone well for Camden in recent years — for most of South Arkansas, really — but they seemed to be looking up last summer.

Fighting the good fight

Conway communal house La Lucha serves up food, music and social change.

Best breakfast list

Food Network Magazine names The Pancake Shop in Hot Springs our state's entry in its 50 Best Breakfasts in America, for its banana pancakes in the magazine's July/August issue on newsstands now.

Green Party certified for ballot UPDATE

Secretary of State Charlie Daniels says the Green Party has submitted sufficient signatures to qualify as a party for the November ballot.

City attorney in spotlight UPDATE

The Little Rock City Board of Directors will have a special meeting tonight for appointments to city boards and to have personnel reviews of City Attorney Tom Carpenter and City Manager Bruce Moore.

Filming the spill

Six students from Mountain Pine High School recently returned from a trip to the Gulf Coast to film the effects of the BP oil spill.

ACLU warns travelers about Arizona

The Arkansas ACLU has issued a warning to people considering travel to Arizona. It says that Arizona officers are already enforcing mandated checks of papers required by a new anti-immigrant law to take effect late in July.

Wooldridge loses lobby post UPDATE

Tim Wooldridge, the former legislator and congressional candidate, has been sacked as $150,000-a-year lobbyist for the Arkansas Association of Public Universities.

Tell them, update

If you have something you want to say to the Arkansas Arts Council, now's your chance.

Huckabee: The next Oprah?

The Murdoch machine is going to test Mike Huckabee's Fox News show, or a similar show, for syndication with showing in some Fox markets.

Dog days

Southwest Little Rock is all about immigrants these days, but not all of the noteworthy additions are Latinos. There's also the Chicago family that left Illinois behind 15 years ago and opened Lynn's, an outpost for Chicago specialties and other familiar fare.

Police shooting video released

Second judicial district prosecuting attorney Mike Walden has released video of the shooting of two West Memphis police officers and the police shooting of the two gunmen.

Farm to Table comes to Little Rock

Nine chefs and local producers will be paired to prepare produce for sampling during the special event at the Little Rock Farmers Market.

UCA combines philosophy-pornography

Interesting article on Huffington Post about an honors college class taught by Jacob Held, an assistant professor of philosophy and religion at UCA, on philosophy and pornography.

Be bountiful

Tomato tastings, demonstrations and classes with Arkansas botanical experts are all part of the festivities coming up at Bountiful Arkansas Weekend June 16-17.

True soul

It doesn't get more home-style than Mr. Bell's Soul Food.

Judicial activist

Judge Martin Feldman admits to being a personal friend of Justice Antonin Scalia, and he clearly belongs to the Scalia school of judging, another conservative activist swashbuckler, determined not to leave important decisions to elected officials, or the elected officials' appointees, or even the American people, if it comes to that.

Eye on Arkansas, July 1

What Weiner lacks

In Brief, July 1

Coast to Coast benefit, The Crumbs, Clayton Jones and more.

Wooldridge leaving AAPU

Tim Wooldridge, hired in 2007 to be the $150,000-a-year lobbyist for a new organization, the Association of Arkansas Public Universities, is apparently on his way out as executive director of the group.

Ick

Ex-Bro.-ex-Gov. Mike Huckabee, the Florida TV entertainer, was said last week to be icked out by some of the icky things that gay people do with their icky things.

The Hill

Thank you for the excellent article on "The Hill." When I looked at the picture of the Nyberg building, although I had not seen it in 50 years, that facade had a solid place within the memories of my childhood.

'E'-lohim

'Holy Rollers' goes nowhere.

The Drive-By Truckers

June 25, Revolution

The Observer, July 1

The Observer was headed down to Texarkana recently, rolling along Interstate 30, which isn't the most scenic stretch of highway (it beats the drive from Little Rock to Memphis, though).

Orval, July 1

Smart Talk, July 1

In what's turning out to be an extraordinarily hot summer, Little Rock is planning to close its swimming pools early as a cost-saving measure.

'Dracula'

Arkansas Shakespeare Festival, June 25, Reynolds Performance Hall, UCA

This Modern World, July 1

To-Do List, July 1-7

The Eagles, Whodini, Rooney, Ted Nugent, Pops on the River, Joseph Israel, Joe Nichols.

'Half Pint Brawlers'

Straight from Reality Show Hell — which, in recent years, has become more of a freak show than a documentary-style examination of anything approaching a normal person's "reality" — comes Spike's "Half Pint Brawlers."

The Week That Was, June 23-29, 2010

Good week: Clean air, Sen. Blanche Lincoln, War Memorial Stadium, open government, Mike Huckabee. Bad week: Willard Proctor, Saline River.

What's Cookin', July 1

Rock Town Distillery coming soon; Orange Leaf Yogurt opens.

Moving pictures

Twin cities' outdoor film series compared.

A&E News, July 1

Graham Gordy, the Little Rock screenwriter behind "War Eagle, Arkansas," is close to selling a TV show to AMC. The cable network bought the pilot and, according to Gordy, is near making a deal for the entire show.

Knocking K2 down

But there may be more mountains to climb.

Book Notes, July 1

On "Arkansas Curiosities," "Lyin' Like a Dog," Mark Christ, the UA Press' 30th anniversary and the library vote.

Words, July 1

Boozman, bullisome and OK versus okay.

Fighting the good fight

Conway communal house La Lucha serves up food, music and social change.

Talk is cheap

Republican Jim Keet's long-shot mission to beat popular Gov. Mike Beebe requires him to churn up an issue a week to grab some free media.

Into the GOP void — it's Huckabee

There always was a Good Mike and a Bad Mike — Huckabee, that is.

UA fudges charter school report

This one's for the public school/charter school wonks, but it's also an enlightening piece of information dug up by Little Rock School District lawyer Chris Heller on how the Walton-financed education "reformers" up at the University of Arkansas fudged the numbers in attempting to show the Little Rock School District isn't impacted by the state's unlimited approval of open enrollment charter schools in Pulaski County.

City turns down e-Stem traffic request

Louisiana Street between 4th and 5th streets will not be changed to a two-way street, as requested by e-Stem Charter High School.

Brummett: Lincoln will close gap

John Brummett writes today that he belives the nearly 30-point lead John Boozman shows over Sen. Blanche Lincoln in some polls, but believes the gap will narrow as voters consider the choices.

Lawsuit filed over Weiner school merger

Supporters of the Weiner School District, merged with Harrisburg because its enrollment fell below the 350 state minimum, say they have filed a federal lawsuit over the closure.

Eat, stay, play

Seven inns in Eureka Spring offer an August treat, a culinary tour involving copious amounts of mocktails and appetizers.

A day for eating

Argenta celebrates all things consumable with the third bi-annual event next to the Certified Arkansas Farmers Market.

Kushmaul at ACAC

John Kushmaul show opens Friday at ACAC

Arkansas home sales strong in May

The Arkansas Realtors Association reports strong Arkansas home sales in May, some of the activity likely tied to closings of home sale deals struck before May 1 to take advantage of a federal tax credit.

Thursday To-Do: The Eagles

THE EAGLES come to Verizon Arena tonight, 8 p.m., $not too much-a whole lot.

Thursday: Dash Rip Rock, oil spill benefit, "Summer Soulstice"

George's Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville takes part in a nationwide night of benefit shows to aid those directly impacted by the Gulf Coast oil spill.

Fred Brown of Corning to Game and Fish

Fred Brown of Corning was named to the state Game and Fish Commission tody by Gov. Mike Beebe.

Lincoln: Boozman courts Wall Street

OK, then. the Blanche Lincoln re-election campaign gets to the point.

Little Rock evicts squatters from historic house

The White-Baucum House at 201 S. Izard, a once-grand Italianate house built in the 19th century by the Arkansas secretary of state, has most recently been the home of several squatters.

Abduction, slaying and robbery in Crossett

Update from Bill Sadler of the State Police: A search by law enforcement authorities in Ashley County has located the 2003 Nissan Altima believed to have used by two suspects as a getaway vehicle following a bank robbery in North Crossett about 9:15 AM today (Friday, July 1, 2010).

Hillcrestian art event

Gallery 26, Amy Edgington, Byron Werner

Committee issues report on highway needs

The Blue Ribbon Committee on Highway Finance issued an interim report today. You can read it here.

Chicago hangs tough on handguns

Chicago may no longer be able to ban handguns, thanks to the activist 5-member majority on the U.S. Supreme Court, but the mayor isn't giving up on tough handgun control.

Over to you

The Thursday line.

The Eagles flew at Verizon

A shot from the Eagles at Verizon Arizona last night. A squib from Kelley Bass, who was there: Nearly 40 years into their collective careers, the Eagles haven't engaged auto-pilot or cruise control.

The news is good on health care

The Democrat-Gazette reported today that the Medicaid hit forecast by Gov. Mike Beebe when he said he would have voted against national health legislation isn't going to happen.

D-G publisher and Walton influence in charter reporting

More today from the Little Rock School District FOI request related to the University of Arkansas studies intended to show that open enrollment charter schools don't impact segregation in the public school districts in Pulaski County.

Drugs taken at airport security check

LRPD says a TSA worker at Little Rock National Airport has been arrested for drug theft for taking six Oxycontin pills from a woman's purse during a security check about 10 a.m.

State ends a bad year; June up

The state finished its fiscal year June 30 and it was the second year of declining revenues, a whopping 2.5 percent drop from the previous year.

Dallas burger... what you really want

Kat Robinson's trip to Dallas netted the discovery of another big burger, a great root beer float, and the best ketchup she's ever tried.

Board votes ban on K2

The state Board of Health this morning voted a temporary emergency ban on K2 and other so-called synthetic marijuana while it works on permanent regulations.

Weekend: Damn Bullets, "Rhythmic Fusion," Josephus and the George Jonestown Massacre

FRIDAY 7/2 Taut, traditional bluegrass outfit The Crumbs take to Town Pump for the night, 10 p.m., $3.

Girl gone wild

Just in, courtesy of the New York Post: Lady-loving "Girls Gone Wild" tycoon Joe Francis — who never met a teenage beauty he didn't want to get naked — is getting hitched.

Friday To-Do: Rooney

ROONEY9 p.m., Juanita's. $13 adv., $15 d.o.s. These guys are a Frankenstein of every genre you like from the last five decades.

Friday To-Do: Whodini

WHODINI8 p.m., Revolution. $25 adv., $30 d.o.s. If the jam-packed crowd at the Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick concert in April at Revolution is any indication, Central Arkansas is hungry for old school rap heroes.

Michael Steele steps in it again

Has GOP National Chairman Michael Steele finally run out of feet to sheet and hit himself in something more vital.

Lawsuit dismissed over 9 hours in plane

The 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals today upheld a ruling in federal court in Fayetteville that dismissed a lawsuit b ya woman who alleged false imprisonment by American Airlines in the nine hours she spent on a plane in Austin, Texas during a weather delay.

Two Arkansans to the Big Brother house

Britney Haynes, Kathy Hillis, Big Brother 12

Head to Hot Springs

If you haven't already, now would be the time to get an early start on the 4th of July weekend by driving to Hot Springs for the Spa City's monthly gallery walk.

A chain burger I can get into

Five Guys has a big reputation everywhere else. It was time to get between the buns and find out if there was any meat to that story.

Immigration petition makes deadline UPDATE

Secure Arkansas is saying it has gathered the 77, 468 signatures necessary to qualify its proposed constitutional amendment about immigrants on the November ballot.

Let the holiday begin

The line is open.

Damien Echols on 17 years of 'hell'

The Jonesboro Sun today begins a four-part series based on interviews with Damien Echols, under a death penalty for 17 years in the slayings of three West Memphis children.

Ark. senators block cap and trade

John Brummett endeavors to explain cap and trade legislation and the shaky ground on which Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor stand as likely impediments to passage.

Jim Guy Tucker's legacy: soda pop tax

An analysis in today's New York Times describes how the soft drink lobby beat a tax on soft drinks there.

Lincoln, Boozman: Friendly for now

Katherine Vasilos, the Ark. Republican Party's communications director, distributed this friendly photo of Senate opponents John Boozman and Blanche Lincoln when they crossed paths during traditional July 4 event political rounds.

Food celebration

The third Argenta Foodie Festival is the largest so far; and tomatoes seemed to be everywhere.

Saturday To-Do: Ted Nugent

TED NUGENT8 p.m., Timberwood Amphitheater. $29.99-$44.99 I wish all of America's nutcases were more like Ted Nugent: a ton of guitar feedback-loving, A.D.D. embracing, flaming-bow-and-arrow-shooting whackadoos.

Independence eve

The line is open. The charcoal will shortly be ready for chicken.

Joyce Ellliott a winner?

John Brummett, in a roundup of short takes, sounds a hopeful note for Joyce Elliott, the Democratic candidate for 2nd District Congress.

Holding state officials accountable

That was a mountain of reporting in today's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on a variety of issues related to state spending by and for elected officials.

Burning coal in Logan County?

This news release from a citizens group was a new one on me, but it seems, at best, in the idle talk stage at the moment.

Sleepy Sunday

Anything to add? Do it here.

Dealing with tough times

Paul Krugman explains how the "heartless, confused and clueless" (Republicans, generally) denied an extension of unemployment benefits.

Immigrants: The Christian thing to do

Somebody asked the other day if churches had taken a role in the Secure Arkansas campaign to put an immigrant-punishing constitutional amendment on the November ballot.

Paradise is in the details

Starting another week of breakfast coverage... with the blonde and doughy goodness of Russellville's Paradise Donuts.

Family Council targets immigrants, too

A tipster sends along an e-mail sent by the Family Council Action Committee to enlist help in the anti-immigrant petition drive.

City hall's broken promise

A petition drive is underway — most likely fruitless — to remind the Little Rock Board of Directors of officials' promises to rebuild the Adult Leisure Center on 12th Street with fire insurance proceeds.

Open line

A quiet day for me. You?

Fixing Arkansas highways

Our governance and financing of highway construction and repair are broken. A fix, John Brummett suggests, would begin with changing the Arkansas Constitution.

Bodacious biscuit

Ash Flat may seem a long way to drive for breakfast, but the massive biscuit by itself is good enough reason to drive that far to Meacham's.

Art market

Head to the River Market for arty stuff made by Mind Your Own Business Summer Camp kids.

State releases end-of-course scores

The state Education Department reports progress on end-of-course exams in algebra and geometry, but a drop in biology.

The fish that ate Arkansas

Today's good read: Sam Eifling, an occasional contributor to the Arkansas Times, has written a fine article for Miller-McCune about the state's battle against the northern snakehead, a fierce predator that can survive out of water and freaks out fishermen all over.

Mike Huckabee: King of tax increases

Jason Tolbert today pokes a little fun at Florida resident Mike Huckabee for telling a North Carolina religio-political gathering that he was the original teabagger.

No go for Jo-Bro show

Verizon Arena just announced that their Jonas Brothers concert, slated for September 30, has been canceled due to last minute schedule changes that take the creepy wholesome family rock trio to Latin America and Europe instead.

Boozman, McConnell stick hands out

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell is in Little Rock today to help Rep. John Boozman raise money to unseat Sen. Blanche Lincoln.

Southern staple

Yankees think we have them with every meal. Restaurants sometimes ruin them, or believe they're meant to be served year-round. But a good fried green tomato is a thing of delight.

Intersecting lives: The W. Memphis police shootings

West Memphis police shootings, Brandon Paudert, Bill Evans, Jerry Kane, Joe Kane.

Fun with numbers: eStem charter v. LRSD

The dedication ceremony for the eStem charter school's new high school at Third and Louisiana was held today we hear.

Eric Michael Morris offers a coda to the bro-love tattoo movement

Remember the deal I told you about several months back about the local musicians who, in a grand display of not-gay-at-all man love, were tattooing each others' names and faces and logos on themselves?

Building Latino leadership

While Secure Arkansas and its friends at the Family Council are decrying the rise in Hispanic population in Arkansas and doing all they can to encourage it, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation is considering in the spirit of its namesake and spending money to improve Latino leadership in Arkansas.

It's never too early to start thinking about Halloween

That is, if you're a local musician interested in playing in the ACAC's annual Great Halloween Cover-Up, wherein local bands impersonate their favorite nationally known act.

DOJ sues over Arizona law

The Justice Department today sued over Arizona's immigrant shakedown law.http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0710/39413.html

Tuesday: Sweet Eagle, Ivoryline, Steele Jessup

Sticky Fingers gets a great night of local music with cock rock supergroup Sweet Eagle, the literate Southern Gothic songs of Adam Faucett and the Tall Grass and the new, femme-fronted act of Spero, Vanhoose, Dodson & Quin, 9 p.m., $4.

On-line gallery going

I decided to cruise through the Arkansas Artists Registry recently looking for artists whose work doesn't show up regularly in Little Rock and discovered the registry has grown by leaps and bounds.

Obama may be bad, but ...

A pollster's analysis of a tight race for U.S. Senate in Ohio gives Democrats their campaign slogan: Our president may be bad, but at least he's not a Republican.

Over to y'all

Tuesday line is open.

Science: Bobby Jindal doesn't need it

A letter writer in the D-G the other day proposed some sure-fire method for plugging the rampaging BP oil well the other day.

Unique omelet

One-of-a-kind omelet, you say? We know of no other place in Arkansas that packs an omelet with gyros meat than Leo's Greek Castle.

Wednesday To-Do: Joe Nichols

JOE NICHOLS7 p.m., Next door to the East End Baptist Church, East End. Donations.

Wednesday To-Do: Joseph Israel

Bob Dylan, several years back, channeling Charley Patton, dressed like a gay Confederate general. That's the last time I can remember a whiter display of black face than what Joseph Israel, the Fayetteville-based Rasta man, promises to bring on Wednesday, when he comes to Rev, swingin' red dreads and singing about "Jah" in patois.

One dead in kidnapping, beating

Little Rock police said two men were kidnapped and beaten, one of them fatally, yesterday afternoon in Southwest Little Rock.

Mrs. Justice Thomas

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' wife Ginni, despite a claim that she intended to distance herself from politics, has actually become more immersed in them, with a Tea Party-friendly nonprofit organization backed by secret donors.

607 sees fireworks

607 keeps the video-a-week schedule alive. This time with the song "Field Trip." Is it me or are these looking better each week? Particularly the second half, where he sympathizes with Avon Barksdale and rhymes "Bedford-Stuyvesant" with "Allen Iverson."

Nekkid came the jailer

Good lede on AOL's account of the Washington County jailer who posed for a Playboy pictorial:Jessie Lunderby says she'd take it all off all over again.

Snark and double-snark: The U.S. Senate race

First came a Twitter from Sarah Huckabee, Rep. John Boozman's campaign manager: 18 months & $787 billion later all @blanche4senate has 2 show 4 her stimulus bill n Lake Village is a new cop car?
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