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July 8, 2010

Vol 36 • No 44

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Health law gains acceptance in Arkansas

There's lot to like, including cash infusion for state.

Health Law: The Basics

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act tinkers in small and large ways with almost every facet of federal law that affects public health, health-care institutions and the workforce.

Lottery scholarship update

This morning the lottery commission heard from the state Department of Higher Education about the status of the Arkansas Academic Challenge scholarship, which will now be funded with lottery dollars.

Brian Frazier and friends record for WM3 fund

During a recent trip to Massachusetts for a wedding, local singer-songwriter Brian Frazier and friends left, in a nutshell, with a few crazy stories and a new song co-written by members of the wedding party.

Dustin McDaniel to give up car

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today that he wants to clear up any doubt about tax questions related to his use of a hybrid Chevy Tahoe provided by the state.

Boss watercolorists

I have a watercolor confession to make. I am not a fan of the accidental made intentional.

Halter's office on autogate

As I indicated, Attorney General McDaniel's decision to say something about state official car use guaranteed, if nothing else, a continuation of reporting on a subject that otherwise might have died.

Obamacare good for Arkansas

You can see it on the webpage, but I'd like to call still further attention to Ernest Dumas' in-depth assessment of what federal health care legislation means to Arkansas government and the people of Arkansas.

The Blue Dog won't hunt

A Republican tells me he's tired of these public/private "partnerships" that band together to lobby the federal government for more tax money.

Wednesday To-Do: "Sixteen Candles," 40 Oz. to Freedom, Sad Daddy

Spend some time with Samantha and the Donger (above) tonight at Movies in the Park.

Over the hump

The evening is yours.

Busy bar

Bar Louie is eclectic yet generic, unexceptional yet inoffensive.

This Modern World, July 8

To-Do List, July 9-13

Monica, Reel Big Fish, The Revelations, Joe Nichols, Living Sacrifice, Lightning Bolt, Delta Spirit.

Televisionist, July 8

The Week That Was, June 30-July 6, 2010

Good Week: State budget, Wacky legal theories, Mike Huckabee, Arkansas Association of Public Universities. Bad Week: Christian Charity, City of Little Rock, University of Arkansas.

Smart Talk, July 8

In a news release that reads a little like a State Department warning about travel to an unstable foreign country, the Arkansas affiliate of the ACLU has put out a warning about travel to Arizona on account of its "racial profiling" law.

What's Cookin', July 8

The Winthrop Rockefeller Institute hosts its third annual Bountiful Arkansas event Friday, July 16, and Saturday, July 17, on Petit Jean Mountain.

Words, July 8

Plural praise, teeth-bearing and mega.

Native sons

Chris Denny's former backing unit reemerges in new national act.

Sweet showdown

Sugar cane-flavored soft drinks make a comeback.

Death on the highway

A year later, a double slaying heads to the prosecutor.

Stop the violence

Randy Cox wrote me last week with good news. U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy of New York introduced legislation to end corporal punishment in schools by refusing federal money to schools that continue to whack kids.

Arkansas highways — what a mess

This is what happens when one of the nation's poorest states tries to maintain one of the nation's most expensive highway systems.

Our Afghan folly

Gen. Stanley McChrystal and Michael Steele have not had much in common except serial stupidity and now this: Each has struck a blow for ending the second most disastrous American foreign policy of the past 40 years, the Afghanistan war, and likely sacrificed his career for it.

The shadow government

A Freedom of Information Act request by lawyers for the Little Rock School District disgorged information from the University of Arkansas that shed light on the fight to expand open enrollment charter schools in Pulaski County.

Eye on Arkansas, July 8

In Brief, July 8

Nick Flora, Bleu Edmondson and Hector Faceplant.

Urban living

The White-Baucum House at 201 S. Izard, a once-grand Italianate house built in the 19th century and three blocks from City Hall, has been vacant for two years — but not without occupants.


There's a blog (a pretty good one, too) called 43 Ideas Per Minute. I do well to come up with 43 ideas per month. And just about all of those are pretty sorry excuses for ideas. They certainly aren't ideas on the scale of a Descartes or a Plato or a Bradley R. Gitz

Geography lesson

I am writing to correct the letter of Eric Francis published June 24, concerning the location of Mexico Chiquito restaurant and the origin of cheese dip.

The soccer pushers

Local firm gets in on World Cup action.

Sucks so good

The newest installment of 'Twilight' is a blastfor all the wrong reasons.

The Eagles

July 1, Verizon Arena

The Observer, July 8

The Observer was relaxing in the Observatory, feeling somewhat smug that he resides in a metropolitan area so civilized that it has its own submarine and in which fully 25 percent of the waiters know what a straight-up gin martini is.

Orval, July 8

How dense are Ark. voters?

The wisdom of Arkansas voters would appear to be the question as John Brummett explains the underlying idiocy of Republican leader Mitch McConnell's recent visit to Arkansas to tout John Boozman as a replacement for Sen. Blanche Lincoln.

The opaque state lottery

I see the state lottery commission met in secret yesterday with internal auditor Michael Hyde, who's raised some questions about Ernie P.'s operation.

Something to waffle over

Stop four in our Breakfast in Arkansas Week: Morrilton, where hot waffles and eggs are breakfast at Mom & Pop's Waffles.

LR developer indicted

A federal grand jury in Little Rock Wednesday indicted real estate developer roger Roger Stephen Clary for wire and mail fraud.

Boozman could beat Beebe?

A polling outfit — looking at a race in West Virginia — mentions that it matched Gov. Mike Beebe against Rep. John Boozman in a hypothetical Senate race in February and found Beebe "trailing" (statistical dead heat is more like it) 44-43 despite a very high favorable rating.

Duck accident in Philly

There's been another accident involving a duck, the amphibious military vehicle that has become a familiar sightseeing feature around the country, including in Hot Springs.

How bad is the Gulf of Mexico?

Stumbled across this scary story in my hometown Louisiana newspaper. There are 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells in the Gulf of Mexico.

Thursday: Nick Flora, Charliehorse, Sad Daddy, Rex Bell Trio, more

Nashville-based, Arkadelphia-raised singer-songwriter Nick Flora (formerly known as Coin Laundry Loser) brings his take on power pop back to his home state for a show in Hot Springs at Maxine's Pub; he's joined by local, melancholic singer Jarred McCauley.

Suspects in custody in Crossett slaying

State Police have identified a Louisiana man as a suspect in the slaying of a Crossett woman and a subsequent bank robbery.

"Looking Down from Above"

2nd Friday Art Night, Christ Episcopal Church, Shirley Anderson, Ruth Byrn, S. Caruthers, Gertrude Casciano, Lois Davis, Marlene Gremillion, Sheliah Halderman, Mary Nancy Henry, Susan Hurst, Melanie Johnston, Sr. Maria Liebeck, Sue F. Lopez, Anne K. Lyon, Nancy Martin, Diana L. Shearon, Cathy Spann, Mary Ann Stafford, Debbie Strobel

The Chamber's front man, Bill Vickery

A reader sends a link to a good article about the evil-doing of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington Monthly.

Worst Band Ever to play Verizon

Nickelback. October 21.

Abortion: not a women's issue? So says Repub

Louisiana's whore-hopping U.S. senator, David Vitter, was ambushed by the press again today on the girlfriend-slashing aide he kept on staff until his past was outed.

Boozman plan serves the rich first

Sen. Blanche Lincoln's campaign has begun issuing a blizzard of words about the weaknesses in opponent John Boozman's plan to stabilize the economy.

Ark. Tech aims for doctoral program

The Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees today voted to take steps to begin the school's first doctoral program — a doctor of education in "executive leadership.

George Hamilton's perma-tan coming to TV Land

Famous tanner and Blytheville native George Hamilton is likely coming to TV Land (the network) in a reality shot, or "docu-soap" as The Hollywood Reporter bills it, about 70-year-old Hamilton, his son Ashley Hamilton, famous for partying and briefly marrying Brenda from 90210 and Angie Everhart, and Hamilton's 10-year-old son George Thomas all living together, picking up chicks and such.

McDaniel backs mandated religious observance

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel believes Congress is within its constitutional rights to force the president to declare a National Day of Prayer each year.

McLeod sendoff

Greg Thompson Fine Art is closing its exhibit of paintings by Matt McLeod with a bang — or at least a glass of wine — tonight.

Court strikes down gay marriage ban

A federal district judge in Massachusetts has ruled thati the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

The line is open

I think I'm going to take a breather.

Friday To-Do: Monica

As a 15-year-old, Monica immediately separated herself from the flurry of samey-same young performers of the mid-'90s with the release of "Don't Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days)," an instant R&B classic and a defining junior high dance-floor-filler if there ever was one.

Dustin: about sleeping dogs ...

I wrote two days ago that Attorney General Dustin McDaniel had, however correct his decision to give up his free state car, had blown additional life into a story that otherwise might have run its course.

The shameless John Boozman

The Republican talking point of the day is President Obama's recess appointment of a Medicare and Medicaid director.

MIA: The climate hoax crowd

You remember the massive snowstorms of winter don't you. Every armchair creationist, every Fox News blonde and every Democrat-Gazette letters page scientist thought they'd invented the wheel by saying the words "global warming" with a smirk.

Blame the rich for mortgage crisis

Speaking of Fox fanatics. Listen to them and you hear that the mortgage crisis is solely the work of Acorn and deadbeats who abused subprime mortgages.

Friday To-Do: Reel Big Fish

Third-generation ska act Reel Big Fish plays The Village, 8:30 p.m., $16.

Friday To-Do: The Revelations feat. 'Tre Williams

The Revelations feat. 'Tre Williams return to Juanita's, 10 p.m., $12 adv., $15 d.o.s.

Saturday To-Do: Living Sacrifice

Legendary Christian metal act (and Little Rock natives) Living Sacrifice come to The Village as part of their reunion tour, 8 p.m., $15.

Saturday To-Do: Joe Nichols

Rogers native Joe Nichols brings his hugely popular country act to Timberwood Amphitheater.

Weekend: Bleu Edmondson, Hector Faceplant, The Salty Dogs

FRIDAY 7/9 Boot-stomping Texan Bleu Edmondson plays Sticky Fingerz with local country singer-songwriter Mandy McBryde, 9 p.m., $12.

$$$$ for the arts

The Arkansas Arts Council has awarded $1.17 million in grants.

2nd Friday Art Night

Angela Davis paints edgy portraits and surreal figures down in Lambrook, in Phillips County; tonight she's at ASI.

Home run

Double the fun, Home Plate Diner's Cinnamon Roll French Toast is decadent yet hearty enough for a good, delicious breakfast.

KARK: Spoof video not a laughing matter

Arkansas Business reports that four KARK employees have been fired and several others suspended for participating in joke videos — posted for a time on YouTube — that used the Channel 4 newsroom as a setting.

UCA brings big names for 2010-2011 Public Appearances season

Wow. When UCA announced their 2010-2011 Public Appearances season as their "biggest season ever," they weren't lying.

Mike Huckabee: Pro-immigrant, pro-Griffin

Mike Huckabee, the Florida TV show host, yesterday announced that he'd endorsed Tim Griffin for 2nd District Congress after endorsing Griffin's unsuccessful GOP primary opponent Scott Wallace.

Police name slaying suspect

State Police have identified another suspect still at large in the recent slaying of a Crossett woman that was followed by a bank robbery.

Sayanora to Star Bar?

Union in Riverdale and Capitol View's Star Bar have both said in recent days that they're closing for a time for "remodeling."

Max releasing Jason White 7"

Next Tuesday, July 13 sees the first solo release from Jason White, locally renowned for his time in Chino Horde and Big Cats, amongst others.

Secure Arkansas petitions short of signatures

Secure Arkansas apparently has not qualified its constitutional amendment to target benefits for immigrants after all.

What's a Thune?

The Benton Courier reports that U.S. Sen. John Thune, a South Dakota Republican who's getting some mention as a presidential candidate in 2012, will be in Saline County in late August to aid the candidacy of Jeremy Hutchinson, the Republican candidate for the state Senate seat being vacated by term-limited Shane Broadway.

Bash Brother to box baseball boss

Jose Canseco, Gary Hogan, Arkansas Travelers

Cliff Lee heading closer to home

Benton's Cliff Lee, one of baseball's best pitchers in recent years, is headed to the Texas Rangers in a trade with the Seattle Mariner's, The NY Post reports.

Son of the AIC

Arkansas college leaders met in Russellville today with some officials from two Oklahoma colleges to discuss formation of a Division II athletic conference.

Let the weekend begin

You're up.

Explanations needed on petitions

We still have no explanation on how Secure Arkansas claimed to have 10,000 signatures more than they submitted for its constitutional amendment to place burdens on immigrants in Arkansas.

John Boozman: Nice guy?

John Brummett thinks Republican senatorial candidate John Boozman is a nice guy. I don't think nice guys deny disaster relief to farmers.

In case you missed it ...

I thought I'd mention a few things from the Times website: 1) A reader last night suggested competitor intrigue as a factor in the firing of KARK employees this week for videos mocking the TV news biz.

Still getting breakfasts right

Breakfast hasn't changed over the years at the Old South in Russellville. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Jonesboro: The new Mumbai

Thanks to elwood for a link to a CNN article about companies finding a way to outsource cheap work to rural America, than Indian or Chinese sources.

Mobbed up in NLR: The wiretap chronicles

Recent filings in federal court shed more light on the federal indictment against former North Little Rock Alderman Cary Gaines, accused of conspiring with George Thompson of Cabot, a reputed bookie and member of an eastern crime family, to funnel city business Thompson's way to help pay off Gaines' gambling debts.

Saturday follies

The line is open.

Secure Arkansas battles on

Jeannie Burlsworth, leader of Secure Arkansas, has posted this notice on the group's website about their anti-immigrant petition drive's failure.

Speaking of bigots

I had vowed to give the minimum attention possible to Billy Roper, the white supremacist from Russellville who's a write-in candidate for governor.

McDaniel, Halter and the free state cars

Meredith Oakley today (sorry, can't link) and now John Brummett put Attorney General Dustin McDaniel on the losing end politicaly.

Police, fire agree to postpone pay increase

The Little Rock police and fire unions announced have voted to defer a 4 percent pay raise they were due in January because of the city's financial difficulties.

Open line

Over to you. I'm unexpectedly called away.

Monday To-Do: Lightning Bolt

LIGHTNING BOLT8 p.m., ACAC. $10 adv., $12 d.o.s. Far and away, Lightning Bolt has put on one of the single greatest shows I've ever seen.

Good morning

Until Max and Gerard return, things are going to be quiet on the blog. That doesn't mean you have to be quiet.

Ross: Arizona in the right

Rep. Mike Ross blue dogs it today with his announcement that Arizona has done the right thing by passing its illegals law and the Obama administration the wrong thing by challenging it.

Reader review: Ashley's brunch

Derrick Rose shares breakfast at Ashley's at the Capitol Hotel at Eat Arkansas.

3rd Crossett murder suspect in custody

Kendell Clifton Nickelson, 26, the third suspect in the July kidnapping and murder if a Crossett woman and a subsequent bank robbery, surrendered today to police in Richmond, Texas, a spokesman for the Arkansas State Police has announced.

Get happy

Put this on your calendar for Thursday: Stephano's Fine Art Gallery will be open 5-8 p.m.

Crystal Bridges digging

AB writer Jan Cottingham has new information on Crystal Bridges Museum.

Bonnie Montgomery's Clinton opera gets national coverage

Nice plug for Bonnie Montgomery's forthcoming opera, "Billy Blythe," which we first told you about last March, on the US News website today.

Wheels deal has legs

The issue on the use of state cars rolls on. Not suprisingly, Republican gubernatorial Jim Keet is now entering the vehicular fray, posing this question today: Did Gov. Beebe supplement his salary by using a state car for his personal use when he was attorney general?

True Blood: STFU

Only on "True Blood." After two seasons of Bill and Sookie making googly eyes at each other, they are no more.

Jeff Nichols wraps new film

After a two week shoot, Jeff Nichols has finished filming his follow-up to "Shotgun Stories."

Scan ban

FOCAL bans scans by rare book fans.

Mann jury seated

A report from David Koon from the federal courthouse: A jury has been seated and opening statements have wrapped up in the federal trial of the Dr. Randeep Mann and his wife, Sangeeta "Sue" Mann.

No Hope

Hope Academy charter school in Pine Bluff, which opened in 2007 and ended its fiscal year $4,093 in the red, lost its charter today.

Can this be true?

This story is not from the Onion, but the Commercial Appeal in Memphis: Former Gov.

Light lunch

So here I am in New York city, sitting with a sick relative in the NYU Medical Center.

Pulco Board nullified

Once again, a vote by the Pulaski County School Board to withdraw recognition from the Pulaski County Association of Classroom Teachers has been nullified by Circuit Judge Tim Fox.

You want an open line?

You got it.

Q&A: Robert Plant

Thursday, in one of the season’s most anticipated concerts, Robert Plant, the iconic voice of Led Zeppelin, comes to Robinson Center Music Hall. In advance of the concert, we interview him on shifting styles, Townes Van Zandt, Helena and more.

Annals of gun nuttery

Now that the NRA has made guns off-limits politically, the lobby is moving to expand its agenda.

McDaniel cleans up after himself

So I see Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has taken the only sensible path remaining on the free car imbroglio.

Teen alcohol death in Fort Smith

Here's a terribly sad story about an alcohol death of a 15-year-old Fort Smith and an ensuing police investigation.

Ketz Gallery tonight

Ketz Gallery is celebrating the opening of "View from the Road," paintings by Tim Jacob, with a reception tonight, in advance of Friday's Argenta ArtWalk.

Tuesday To-Do: Delta Spirit

The new, buzzy harmonics of the west coast's Delta Spirit fill Juanita's tonight alongside the romany Rye and David Vandervelde.

607 makes out with girls draped with snakes


210 new jobs in LR

Gov. Beebe is announcing this morning that Windstream Communications, which is headquartered in Little Rock,will create 210 new jobs here and retain 300 jobs that might otherwise have been moved.

Colleges plan new sports conference

Nine colleges in Arkansas and Oklahoma have firmed up plans to begin creating a new Division II athletics conference.

The Hold Steady to Revolution

Hold Steady, the Brooklyn bar-band megastars, slated to return to Little Rock on September 23.

Daugherty decides

Little Rock School Board member Michael Daugherty has finally decided to run for re-election.

Arkansas artists in spotlight

The San Francisco blog "Art is Moving" is interviewing artists across the country and two of those interviews — with Eureka Springs artist Rebecca J. Becker and UALR artist and gallery director Brad Cushman — have been posted, along with images of their work.

Petition asks to unseat board

Pulaski County School District teachers, patrons and students are circulating a petition calling for the immediate resignation of four members of the Pulaski County School Board.

No old boys for Webb

Republican Party head Doyle Webb today said the Grand Old Party is standing up for ethics.

Tuesday: Spirit Family Reunion, Tequila Tuesday, Carl Mouton

Ramble on! Brooklyn folkies Spirit Family Reunion return to Little Rock for a night of Woody Guthrie-influenced hoedown pop, 10 p.m., donations.

Reform scorecard

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is letting the sun shine in on U.S. Rep. John Boozman and other Republican senatorial candidates opposed to the Wall Street reform bill pending in Congress.

Kidnapped, beaten

The Log Cabin Democrat and other news outlets are reporting the kidnapping and beating of a Sherwood woman who says her own daughter left her for dead on a road near Wye Mountain.


Police are searching for a man whose wet clothing was found by the Taylor Creek Loop Bridge out Highway 10.

LR Board paring budget

The Little Rock Board of Directors approved an ordinance this afternoon that helps balance its budget with cuts in special projects and transfers from the Street Fund.

Levy diner

Housed in a building that time forgot, Belwood Diner is still serving up plate lunches to a hungry constituency.

Opponents seek halt to power plant work

A filing today in federal court seeks a tenporary restraining order for SWEPCO to stop construction on the coal-fired power plant it has been building in Hempstead County.

And now

The line is open.

Morning drive time

A little vehicular maintenance was required this a.m., so the blog is off to a late-ish start.

Alotian Injury

A rich person has apparently been injured at Warren Stephens' ultra-exclusive Alotian golf course in far west Little Rock.

Bonnie Montgomery's opera makes 'Jimmy Fallon'

It's at 1:14. Pretty groan worthy: "You can tell the opera's about Clinton because it's not over til the fat lady moans."

Job picture

Pulaski County's weekly wage average of $863 puts the county at 169th nationally in counties with more than 75,000 workers, and is less than Little River County's average of $928, data released by the Southwest office of the Bureau of U.S. Labor Statistics show.

Wednesday: Shaman's Harvest, "Over the Hedge," Ted Ludwig Trio

Shaman's Harvest, The Vail, Girl in a Coma, Stella's Old Soul, Little Rock Fashion Week, Movies in the Park