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LR Confidential 2013

LR Confidential 2013

July 4, 2013

Vol 39 • No 44

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Little Rock Confidential 2013

Trade secrets from a Hooter's waitress. What it's like to spend your life doing needle drugs. How a skin care specialist thinks about aging, and why a sound engineer spends so much time playing on his phone in the recording studio. The Arkansas Times asked people, what's your job (or the thing that keeps you from having a job) really like? Here are their answers.

Esse: Purse museum for Little Rock

I got a peek at Esse, Anita Davis' purse museum at 1510 S. Main St., and fell in love.

Improvements set for Riverfront Park's small amphitheater

Ground will be broken today on improvements to the west amphitheater in Riverfront Park, a small seating area directly north across LaHarpe Boulevard from the back of the Old State House.

The drunk sheriff open line

The Tuesday line is open. Final words: * BOOZE AND THE SALINE COUNTY SHERIFF: I spoke today with Benton Police Chief Kirk Lane about Saline Sheriff Bruce Pennington's statementthat he had not been arrested for public intoxication Saturday night at Denton's Trot Line, but public consumption.

Suit filed in Pulaski County to strike down Arkansas ban on same-sex marriage

A lawsuit was filed today in Pulaski Circuit Court by 10 couples that challenges Arkansas's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

"50 Works- 50 Weeks - 50 Years": "View of the Port of Bordeaux"

John Pagan's choice for the atrium exhibit celebrating the modern Arts Center's 50th anniversary.

The 3 Best: Burgers

These burgers might not surprise anyone—odds are, you've at least heard of them and probably dreamed of wrapping your lips around them. But nonetheless, it's important that we, once and for all, boldly declare the 3 best burgers in town.

Local couple vie for duct-tape-promwear prize

Their outfits took them 95 hours and 20 rolls to construct.

Hutchinson scrambles to explain taxpayer-financed GOP-Tea Party fireworks show

The Arkansas Project, a conservative group, was able to talk to some of the players in the taxpayer-financed July 4 Saline County fireworks show "sponsored," as a flyer prepared by the Saline County Republican Committee shows, by the Saline GOP, state Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson and the Saline County Tea Party.

Health impact of oil spills — a medical dilemma

Inside Climate News has new reporting today on potential health risks from exposure to chemicals put into the environment in oil spills such as the Canadian tar sands that exploded from the burst ExxonMobil pipeline in Mayflower.

Walton-funded group has early word on state Board of Education appointment

Arkansas Learns, an advocacy group for education "reform" that is financially supported by the Walton Family Foundation, tweeted last night that Diane Zook had been appointed by Gov. Mike Beebe to the state Board of Education.

Obamacare delay a political disaster

Andy Davis did a good job in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette this morning explaining the relatively small practical effects in Arkansas of the Obama administration's surprise one-year delay of new employer rules on health insurance coverage.

Frontier Fourth at HAM

A parade, living history, crafts and a reading of the Declaration of Independence from 2-4 p.m.

Water line break stops water in Prospect Terrace

A reader reports water service interruption in the Prospect Terrace neighborhood. Central Arkansas Water provides details: There was a spontaneous break on a eight inch cast iron water main.

UPDATE: Police shooting at Walmart near Malvern

Rockport police have fatally shot a suspected robber at a Walmart parking lot near Malvern.

New member on Tech Board

Kevin Zaffaroni is the University of Arkansas for Medical Science's representative.

Stone's Throw Brewing hoping to open by late July

Stone’s Throw Brewing, the microbrewery gearing up to open at 402 E. Ninth St. that we told you about back in April, expects to receive its beer permit today, co-owner Ian Beard said. The end of July is the current target for opening the brewery and taproom, which will have a bar and tables and chairs that’ll accommodate about 25.

Thursday To-Do: 'Pops on the River'

"Pops on the River" takes place Thursday starting at noon at Riverfront Park.

Thursday: Frontier Fourth of July, 'The Music Factory,' High Berry U.S. Blues Festival

The Historic Arkansas Museum's Frontier Fourth of July is Thursday afternoon.

Family advocates: Obama employer delay a minimal impact in Arkansas, mostly good

I'd said earlier that the Obama administration to delay the employer reporting requirement of the Affordable Care Act had limited meaning in Arkansas, but likely powerful meaning politically as Republicans rush to hyperbolize it.

Yonder Mountain Harvest Fest 2013: Tedeschi Trucks Band, Les Claypool, Justin Townes Earle, Railroad Earth and more

The Tedeschi Trucks Band headlines at this year's Harvest Music Festival.

The Dr. Maxwell Sniffingwell Independence Day Edition

Jeremy Hutchinson’s latest ethical lapse, a lawsuit challenging Arkansas’s ban on same-sex marriage, a delay in a crucial part of Obamacare, the state’s budget surplus, the retirement of the head of the Community Corrections Department and a new judicial political action committee — all covered on this early edition of the podcast.

Hillary Rodham Clinton Children's Library to be dedicated Monday, with her on hand

It's done. The new children's branch of the Central Arkansas Library System will be named in honor of Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former secretary of state, tireless worker in the cause of children and former first lady of the United States, at 1:30 p.m.

Boozy milkshakes at White Water, Southern Gourmasian at Little Rock Urban Farming and more

Tasty events coming up at White Water Tavern, Little Rock Urban Farming's G Street Farm and The Ridge at Chenal.

City demands security measures at Forest Place apartments

Channel 4 reports that City Manager Bruce Moore has demanded security measures at the Forest Place apartments on North University after at least the eighth fire at the big complext in recent months.

The gun-free campus open line

The 4th of July open line begins. Closing out: * ROAR LYON ROAR: Lyon College is, my correspondent says, the 45th Arkansas college to decline the opportunity to allow staff members to carry concealed weapons on campus.

Dee Brown would not approve

In the new "Lone Ranger" movie, according to New York magazine's David Edelstein.

Crackpots prevail: Feds rescind White River Blueway designation

It was inevitable. But AP is reporting that it's official: The federal Interior Department has rescinded the designation of the White River watershed as a "blueway," part of a voluntary federal conservation program.

8Ball & MJG at Discovery

Also, Pops on the River at Riverfront Park, Minsk at Downtown Music, Lynyrd Skynyrd in Magic Springs, La Luz at White Water Tavern and Chad Griffin at the Clinton School for Public Service.

Passing up Blueway would be loss to all Arkansans

The National Blueway designation for the White River would bring the state resources for conservation efforts that would give landowners, hunting and fishing enthusiasts, and anyone who enjoys the outdoors a cleaner and more beautiful place to enjoy.

Back to the future

The Observer doesn't make a whole lot of endorsements in this space. We figure you get enough of that in the rest of the world, chock-full as it is with advertisements for diet shakes, warshing powders, syrupy sodas, Liquid Plumber, wang enhancers, loud toys, sticky rollers to pick up dog hair, collector plates and the very last, premium, complete, all-encompassing documentary set about Dubya-Dubya Two that you will ever need to buy, ever.

Republican justice

The Arkansas Republican Party, in its first year as the majority party in the Arkansas legislature, now has its eyes on the judicial branch.

A hot mess of a character

Melissa McCarthy steals the show in buddy comedy 'The Heat.'

Spurious SCOTUS

So fears have come to pass. After the Citizens United court comes the anti-equality court, rejection of DOMA not withstanding. Married partners of every stripe still may have hurdle after hurdle to voting thrown up in their faces.

Frontier Fourth of July at Historic Arkansas Museum

Also, The OD Upscale at Revolution.

Where in Arkansas? for July

Know where this slice of life in Arkansas is?

Facts versus melodrama in Zimmerman trial

In my experience, whenever criminal cases turn into symbolic melodramas, reason goes out the door. Almost needless to say, I'm referring to the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin murder trial currently dominating cable TV news channels.

Same-sex rights in Arkansas's future

Although they are guaranteed in the Constitution, actually granting basic liberties to broad swaths of people, whom we may call the socially unappreciated, has been a long and tortuous process.

Farm incubator at St. Joseph's

Jody Hardin brings the idea to board hoping to rescue orphanage property.

Catching up with Bonnie Montgomery

The singer/songerwriter celebrates EP release on Saturday. By Robert Bell

High on Mellow Mushroom

Chain's specialty pizzas explain success.

No way to Blueway, agency heads say

Won't fight the current to stop White River designation.

Gay marriage: 1st person

Max Brantley gives his space today to an Arkansas Blog contributor who uses the pen name Mrs. Sistertoldja. She's a Little Rock woman who was married in a state where same-sex marriage is legal

Racked up

"It can be nerve-racking at times, thinking in your head 'I've got to perform at my highest level, this is my one chance.' "...

Racked up

"It can be nerve-racking at times, thinking in your head 'I've got to perform at my highest level, this is my one chance.' "...

The Super-Villains of Evil

It was a good week for the kooks

It was also a good week for W.P. Sooie, a move towards equality and a merger. It was a bad week for Maynard Mayor Gary Hart and residents of Forest Place Apartments.

State tax dollars at work promoting Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette today followed (but didn't credit) the Arkansas Blog disclosure that $5,000 in state General Improvement Fund money would pay for a July 4 fireworks show tonight at the Saline County Fairgrounds in Benton.

Political Animals Club set to discuss 2014 elections

Rex Nelson asks that I plug the coming Political Animals Club meeting at the Governor's Mansion at noon Wednesday, July 17.

Foreclosure completed on portion of Valley Heights apartments

News on another troubled Little Rock apartment complex, in addition to Forest Place, where the city has moved to guard against future fires.

Boston paper reports on bicycle accident near McCrory

Reporting in Massachusetts on the cycling accident in Arkansas in which seven riders were injured, one criticallly, when a driver ran into the back of a group riding cross country.

Fried pies and the return to De Vall's Bluff

Take a detour through De Vall's next time you're on the road—it should be an Arkansan rite of passage. Check out Ms. Lena's Fried Pies for one of the most blissful sweets in the state.

Friday To-Do: Minsk

Minsk performs at Downtown Music Hall Friday.

Friday: The OD Upscale at Revolution and more

Big Piph performs at The OD Upscale Friday at Revolution

The Independence Day all-day open line

I'm not saying I'm done. But I'm not saying I'm not.

Coming: Music at Stephano's, Heber Springs Art Walk

On Friday, July 5: Stephano's II (at B.A. Framer, 1813 N. Grant St.) will host Cuban group CruzWay starting at 7:30 p.m.

Reimer, Ricci, Richard and more

Fireworks over but still plenty to see in Hot Springs galleries.

Hillcrest Artisan Meats wins national award, big leg of ham

Hillcrest Artisan Meats destroys the competition in La Quercia Ham contest.

Bicyclist dies from McCrory wreck injuries

Update from David Goins of Fox 16 on the accident in which a car plowed into a pack of cross-country bicyclists near McCrory this week: McCRORY, AR - Arkansas State Police confirm one of the seven cyclists injured in an accident Tuesday in Woodruff County has died.

Too much medicine at too high a cost

A random observation: A Little Rock doctor stopped me on my morning walk yesterday to say that a worthy newspaper project would be unnecessary medical procedures.

Saturday To-Do: Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd performs at Magic Springs Saturday.

Saturday: Streetlight Manifesto, Stella Luss, The Bow Tie Haberdasher launch party

Streetlight Manifesto performs at Revolution Saturday.

Saturday To-Do: 8Ball & MJG

8ball & MJG perform at Discovery Nightclub Saturday.

Religion and the Founding Fathers

A day late, but still timeless is the ad that ran in several national newspapers yesterday courtesy of the Freedom from Religion Foundation.

Gay rights leader and Arkansas native Chad Griffin schedules two events in Little Rock

I've mentioned before that Arkansas native Chad Griffin, head of the Human Rights Campaign, the country's leading gay rights organization, will speak at the Clinton school at noon Monday.

Lamoureux names Julie Baldridge to the state Lottery Commission

Sen. Michael Lamoureux, president pro tem of the Senate, Tweets tgat he'll replace Steve Faris on the Arkansas Lottery Commission with Julie Baldridge.

Conway cops go after under-age alcohol sales

This Fox 16 article interested me, if for no other reason, because it illustrated how thoroughly Conway has been dampened by "private club" alcohol permits.

Food Feedback Friday: pancreas and pulled pork

You know what to do. Leave us your testimony of the best food you've eaten this week.

More Q&A on a pay raise for Mayor Mark Stodola

City Attorney Tom Carpenter continues to answer questions from the city board related to the proposal to raise Mayor Mark Stodola's $160,000 annual pay by 12 percent so it'll match the pay given City Manager Bruce Moore.

Pulaski sheriff busy thanks to July 4 fireworks calls

Lt. Carl Minden of the Pulaski sheriff's office reports: Calls from the afternoon on July 3rd through 0700 this morning (July 5th): Fireworks calls — 49Grass Fires — 30Fire/Residential structures — 3Fire/Other structures — 1 I asked if the fires were all related to fireworks or coincidental.

Wanted: Arkansas blackberries

I bought a quart of Arkansas blackberries at the Hillcrest Farmers Market last Saturday. Maybe the sweetest blackberries ever.

Sunday To-Do: La Luz

La Luz plays at White Water Tavern Sunday night.

The long weekend line is open

Looked kind of quiet downtown today. Public offices were open, but a lot of people used some time to extend the weekend.

Metropolitan National Bank bought by Texas investor

Lots more to be known in the days aheads, but here's the news release from Metropolitan National Bank on the purchase of the Little Rock institution, which has been struggling to regain its footing in recent years.

Opinion: Republican judicial PAC shows 'dangerous mindset'

For the slow weekend, an opinion piece by David Stewart on the recent news that Arkansas Republicans, as revealed at a recent state GOP committee meeting, intend to establish a political action committee to support the right sorts of judicial candidates.

Dumb and dumber: Conway teens hire prostitute, get robbed

I have to agree with one of the victims of this crime: It sounds like a movie plot.

Old times in South not forgotten: vote suppression jump-started by Supreme Court

When the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, Chief Justice John Roberts sanctimoniously and dishonestly assured the country that the bad old days were behind us.

Metropolitan Bank sale documents from bankruptcy filing

I passed along last night the news release on the sale of Metropolitan National Bank to a Texas private equity fund for $16 million and a promise of recapitalization.

Andrea Lea's foggy memory: Republican cronyism at the state Capitol

That new Republican broom turns up to be just another version of the corrupt cronyism broom that the Republicans used to say was the sole province of the Democratic Party.

Monday To-Do: Chad Griffin

Chad Griffin speaks at the Clinton School of Public Service Monday.

The Saturday open line

I'm busy cooking, so i'll close out early with an open line. Photo, according to the message, was taken by a passenger who was on the Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 that crash-landed at the San Francisco International Airport.

About that home for pregnant teens ....

A mass group home for pregnant teens? Never made much sense in this day and time.

Beat the Heat: Nom Noms in Hot Springs

Homemade ice cream makes this Hot Springs restaurant a delicious oasis in the Arkansas summer.

Sunday evening open line

To quote the immortal — and perhaps apocryphal — Arkansas Gazette sportswriter sent to New Orleans for a non-Ark., Sugar Bowl.

A 2nd proposed amendment for marriage equality in Arkansas

We reported recently on the submission of a proposed constitutional amendment to repeal Amendment 83, which denies marriage equality in Arkansas by preventing people of the same sex from marrying or enjoying any of the similar legal benefits through alternative means, such as a civil union.

Blogger outlines chance for contested Democratic primary for attorney general

Jeff Woodmansee, a faculty member at the UALR Bowen School of Law and an ardent politico with a blog, the Woodmansee Project, rounds up some election scuttlebutt on the Democratic side of the ledger today, chiefly this: He says that Rep. Nate Steel of Nashville is expected to announce his Democratic bid for attorney general this week, most likely Wednesday.

ExxonMobil exec talks about pipeline break, says oil still being found

Three months after the ExxonMobil Pegasus pipeline break that gushed Canadian tar sands on a Mayflower subdivision, an executive of the pipeline operator, Karen Tyrone, has given an extensive interview to a reporter for the local newspaper, Courtney Spradlin of The Log Cabin Democrat.

The Kochs never sleep: million-dollar campaign against Obamacare

The New York Times reports on a million-dollar ad campaign by the Koch-financed Americans for Prosperity to continue to sow doubts, confusion and resistance against implementation of Obamacare.

2014 should be banner year for Arkansas TV stations

The New York Times has a story today with a decided Arkansas angle, though the state isn't specifically mentioned.

Again: Does Mayor Mark Stodola deserve a pay raise?

The Little Rock City Board will eventually vote, maybe this week, on City Director Brad Cazort's proposal to increase Mayor Mark Stodola's $160,000 pay by $18,000 so it will be "comparable" (equal) to that paid City Manager Bruce Moore.Reporting in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette today by Claudia Lauer notes that Stodola already makes more (sometimes significantly more) than mayors in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Austin, Baton Rouge, Richmond, Jackson, Boise, Providence, Tallahassee and Des Moines.

Monday: Justin Moore at Juanita's

Justin Moore performs at Juanita's Monday.

School choice: A problem in Missouri on black-to-white district transfers

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has an interesting editorial page commentary on a school choice experiment in St. Louis.

Coming poll with Arkansas views on gay equality

I'll update a 10 a.m. news conference on what's described as a bipartisan poll of Arkansas attitudes on equality for gay people in the aftermath of the historic U.S. Supreme Court rulings on marriage.

LR 48 Hour Film Project early registration now open!

All you would-be Fellinis, Kubricks and Spielbergs got your ears on? Time is drawing nigh for the Little Rock leg of the 48 Hour Film Project, the contest in which local teams conceive, write, shoot and edit a short film in just 48 hours.

More expensive legal help for Secretary of State Mark Martin

Matt Campbell, who's sued Secretary of State Mark Martin for failure to fully comply with the Freedom of Information Act in supplying information about outside lawyers' work for the office, says Martin's office has hired the Quattlebaum law firm to defend him in the suit.

Arkansas attitudes improving on gay equality; state leader speaks up

House speaker completes all-white, mostly male Health Marketplace Board

House Speaker Davy Carter has named his three representatives on the state Health Insurance Marketplace Board, which will oversee implementation of a key part of the Obamacare medical coverage expansion in Arkansas.

Green Party official joins Republicans

The Arkansas Republican Party brought out the heavy artillery — if U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford counts — to trumpet a party jumper in Craighead County.

Hillary Clinton reads as children's library dedicated in her honor

Hillary Rodham Clinton was front and center to read a children's book when the new children's branch of the Central Arkansas Library System was dedicated in her honor today.

Police abuse complaints in the news

Coincidentally, I have received word today of two promised court actions related to alleged police abuse.

Hewlett-Packard to lay off 500 at Conway call center

The Log Cabin Democrat in Conway is reporting that Hewlett-Packard will lay off 500 people at its Conway call center.

Chad Griffin, Kathy Webb talk future of marriage equality in Arkansas

Human Rights Campaign director Chad Griffin followed up a press conference at the Capitol with a Q and A session with former state Rep. Kathy Webb at the Clinton School of Public Service on the importance of passing marriage equality laws in every state.

The line is open

Where'd the day go? The line is open.

Attorney general disputes theory that legislature passed open carry gun law by inference

The gun zealots will be disappointed. And one of them will now have to force an arrest to test a now-disputed theory in court.

Oscar night at Clinton Library: Family honors designer de la Renta

Who's the corporate pick for Arkansas Supreme Court? Rhonda Wood, that's who

Judicial elections are more than 10 months away. The filing period doesn't begin until March.

Spencer has two moms — and more chronicles of the battle for equality in Arkansas

It was a remarkable day in Arkansas yesterday for equality. Grant Tennille, the director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, called for an end to Arkansas law that discriminates against gay people.

Wednesday: Color Club, 'Hold My Beer and Watch This'

Color Club plays at White Water Tavern Wednesday.

House Speaker Davy Carter named regional bank president

Beats running for governor. Centennial Bank news release about House Speaker Davy Carter: Centennial Bank, wholly-owned subsidiary of Home BancShares, Inc.

Warren Stephens talks about golf, business, Obamacare

Interested in the thoughts of Warren Stephens, the Little Rock investments tycoon? Roby Brock has an extensive interview in his latest edition of Talk Business Arkansas.

UPDATE: Sen. Bryan King fights on against Obamacare

Sen. Bryan King unleashes a screed through the taxpayer-supported Senate information office calling for a special seassion to repeal the Obamacare expansioni approved by 75 percent of the legislature, including more than half of his Republican colleagues.

Pryor scoring with lobbyists this year

Paul Barton with the Gannett Washington Bureau reports that U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor ranks No. 3 so far this year in campaign contributions from lobbyists, with more than $85,000.

ACLU files suit over police brutality case in Dover

The ACLU of Arkansas filed suit in federal court today on behalf of a mother and son from Dover who say they were brutalized by police officers while out walking their dog in Sept. 2011.

Hot air: Temperatures and Tim Griffin votes on climate issues

This is nifty. It's an interactive map provided by U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman that allows you to look at every congressional district in the country, with the photo above showing results for the 2nd District of Arkansas, represented by Tiny Tim Griffin of Mayflower, the oil and coal companies' defender.

8th Circuit affirms lower court on non-judicial foreclosures by out-of-state banks

For the legal/financial gnomes: The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals today affirmed a lower court ruling that a national banking association (J.P. Morgan Chase) not registered to do business in Arkansas may still use non-judicial foreclosure procedures in Arkansas.

Clintons' night out open line

The line is open. Famous last words:

Repubs blast Tennille's remarks on equal treatment of gay people

Count me surprised that it took the Arkansas Republican Party more than 30 hours to officially demagogue remarks in support of marriage equality and employment non-discrimination by Grant Tennille, director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.

OA inaugural show: "Crossing Borders"

Dear Leslie, I am pleased to announce the upcoming community-engaging art show, to be staged at the Oxford American Annex from August 1-10: Six artists (two British artists and four American) present pieces that address the theme, 'Crossing Borders'.

Meet and eat with Geek Eats

One need look no further than our magnificent farmer’s markets to experience just how fruitful the Arkansas food scene has become. Fresh ideas and exciting new flavors are making weekly appearances at these venues. One of Little Rock’s latest arrivals is the husband and wife team behind Geek Eats.

Let city government discussion begin

The Little Rock City Board discussion of a pay raise for Mayor Mark Stodola devolved last night into a tangential debate on the cumbersome current form of city government.