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July 9, 2009

Vol 7 • No 26

The one that got away

Kenneth Wallis was a familiar face at the Capitol this legislative session, especially during hearings on immigration.

The big fizzle

It was the first week of the 2009 General Assembly, and the anti-illegal-immigration lobby — or the anti-immigrants-in-general lobby, depending on your perspective — had kicked off the session with a bang.

The whole world was watching

This memo went to UAMS workers yesterday: From: UAMS Information Technology Sent: Tuesday, July 07, 2009 1:17 PMSubject: Urgent Message about UAMS Internet Usage TO:                        UAMS EmployeesFROM:                  IT Network AdministrationSUBJECT:             Urgent Message about UAMS Internet Usage    While it is understandable that many of our employees want to watch the Michael Jackson Tribute, the overwhelming use of the UAMS Internet for viewing this tribute has caused serious problems, including cancellation of at least one class and interruptions to our Poison Center operations.  If you are using the internet for personal purposes, please stop immediately so we can resume normal access for those who have a business need.  The UAMS Internet is for business purposes only.  Thanks.

Screw clean air

  --Wikimedia I heard a news feature this morning by KUAR's Ron Breeding about compliance with the law prohibiting smoking in most public places.

Sympathy for Sarah

Here's a fresh take on Sarah Palin, in an editorial written by Ernest Dumas for the Arkansas Leader.

Plunge in

The Little Rock Zoo is showing off Voda, its four-month-old spotted neck otter, and that seems like as good a way as any to invite you to get in the swim of an open line.

Aesthetic malaise

“The beautiful is a promise of happiness.” After reading the June 18 Insider and article “UALR pares back,” Stendhal’s quote came to mind.

July 1-7, 2009

It was a GOOD week for … PARANOIA. A Democrat-Gazette article says gun sales continue to run well ahead of last year, apparently on account of fears that the Obama administration might impose some gun control measures.

Lottery funny business

Arkansas’s new state lottery is making big payouts to lucky winners even before the first ticket is sold.

Words, July 9

Canon to right of them, canon to left of them:

Public Enemies

Given America’s current financial difficulties, I’ve been thinking a lot recently about thieves.

The televisionist, July 9

In case you didn’t know it yet, the Universe has got it in for us.

This modern world, July 9

Understanding the lottery

The director of the Arkansas lottery soothed legislators who were beset with complaints about the high salaries given to lottery executives last week by advising them to ignore the fuss because ordinary people just don’t understand lotteries.

Editorial cartoon, July 9

The highway status quo

Government too often advances an embedded status quo.

Natural State Radio

The cover of a new mix CD by Little Rock crew the A-Team DJs shows a cartoon of Mr. T crushing the head of someone wearing a Hot 96.5 FM and Power 92 FM tag.

Total access

In late 2008, a series of crimes connected to Reservoir Road shocked the city.

The observer, July 9

Last Thursday evening, several friends and neighbors of The Observer gathered to shoot Roman candles.

What's cooking, July 9

Union Restaurant, a “global” tapas restaurant and bar, has opened in the space that once housed Lenny’s, at 3421 Old Cantrell Road in Riverdale.

Lottery jobs a jackpot

During his brief tenure as executive director of the state Lottery Commission, Ernie Passailaigue has been on the defensive.

New media, old GOP

The Arkansas Blog, the Times’ outlet for breaking news and commentary, played a role in development of a national political story last week that brought together new media and old school Southern strategy Republican politics.

Ending hunger

Cafe Heifer — a name that sounds logical to those of us who know all about Heifer International but may suggest a steak bistro to outsiders — is passing along Jacob Peck’s gift, a hearty menu with some out-of-the-ordinary choices.

Constant sorrow

A columnist for the local daily was moved last week to share some life-lessons she said she learned from having been a longtime fan of the singer Michael Jackson, who, for those of you who might have been marooned in the Delta Quadrant on the far side of the galaxy the last couple of weeks, died unexpectedly on June 25.

To-do list, July 9

Seinfeld, 'Rent,' Blacklist Royals, Lil Wyte, Bountiful Arkansas Day, Deer Tick , Sara Evans and Kinobe & Soul Beat Africa round out a few of this week's entertainment options.

In brief, July 9

Fiery indie-punk three-piece Magic Hassle (featuring two-fifths of the American Princes) share a bill at White Water with Santa Cruz, Calif.-based Tater Famine, who do cheeky agro folk, 9:30 p.m., $5.

Orval, July 9

Smart talk, July 9

Gov. Mike Beebe made another appointment to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission last week — Emon Mahony Jr. of El Dorado, an oil and gas man who also brought environmental credentials for his work opposing the SWEPCO power plant in Hempstead County.

Trauma bucks

If their start-up grants are approved, three out-of-state hospitals will receive up to $1.5 million in Arkansas trauma system funds, half the amount available to help hospitals meet the requirements of Level 1, the highest level of care.

LR school board oversight

Little Rock School Board member Melanie Fox has proposed a couple of board policies worth watching.

LR school board oversight

Little Rock School Board member Melanie Fox has proposed a couple of board policies worth watching.

What's that boom?

Did you notice that revenue from the increased gas severance tax fell almost 60 percent below forecast in fiscal 2009?

Bruno returns to Fort Smith

A heads-up from Brummett: Sacha Baron Cohen's new movie, "Bruno," opens Friday, including in Fort Smith.

Missing video

Maybe I've overlooked it. But I combed the KATV news webpage this morning without success for its own story on the donation of the station's unmatched video archive to the University of Arkansas.

Highway money discrimination

Remember that Northwest Arkansas is screaming that highway spending in Arkansas is historically unfair, weighted toward rural areas. Make it a national issue.

Highway money discrimination

Remember that Northwest Arkansas is screaming that highway spending in Arkansas is historically unfair, weighted toward rural areas. Make it a national issue.

Not So Po'.

There’s something about a Po’Boy that can’t quite be replicated outside of Louisiana. Some people have a problem with this.

Huck pens another

Checking out Mike Huckabee's revamped website, I noticed a plug for another Huckabee bookette. Huckabee's description of "A Simple Christmas: Twelve Stories That Celebrate the True Holiday Spirit:"

Follow the Wal-Mart lawyers' money

Federal Judge Bill Wilson put his signature yesterday on a previously announced $17.5 million settlement of a lawsuit against Wal-Mart alleging race discrimination in hiring of truck drivers.

The best new band in Arkansas

Not exactly NSFW, but you might get some funny looks.* It's the Ginsu Wives, according to the Boston Phoenix, who're trying to build a niche around 50 state music lists.

Housing report: Mixed

Here's the May report on home sales in Arkansas. Could be worse.

Pressly suspect fit for trial

Judge Chris Piazza ruled today that Curtis Lavelle Vance is competent to stand trial for the murder of KATV's Anne Pressly.

Famous Arkansans, saying sort of gross things

Helen Gurley Brown. "I think it's OK—do it!"87-year-old former Cosmo editor and Green Forrest native Helen Gurley Brown answering, "What do you think of hooking up?" a reader-submitted question in a longer Q&A that covered all the typical women's magazine relationship crap.

LEROY? . . .

I know you're reading this because we've talked about it in dim quarters over libations.The consensus at your wake at the Afterthought tonight was, "Best wake ever!"Everybody who was ever anybody in Arkansas was there, including Max!

The Arkie criminal mind

Q: If you'd spent Wednesday eluding most major police agencies in Arkansas. Burglarized a couple of homes.

Smoke 'em if you got 'em

If you want to go down to the Town Pump and smoke an "e-cig," even I can't complain -- legally.

Thursday: Magic Hassle, An Orangutan, Damn Bullets and more

Fiery indie-punk three-piece Magic Hassle (featuring two-fifths of the American Princes) share a bill at White Water with experimental indie rockers from Chicago Midstates and the Choir of Ghosts and Santa Cruz, Calif.-based Tater Famine, who do cheeky agro folk, 9:30 p.m., $5.

Music for heavy readers

Friend of the Times Charles Wyrick is making this mixtape-for-a-book project a semi-regular thing. After meticulously curating a mix of 80s jams featured in and inspired by "Sag Harbor," he's done the same for John Wray's critically praised "Lowboy."

Now Newsweek's on the "Blue Collar Brawlin' with Bruno" case

Someone from Fort Smith posted a link for this on the Arkansas Blog earlier as a sort of vindication.

Fayetteville judge to step down

Circuit Judge Mike Mashburn of Fayetteville announced today that he would step down Aug. 10 for health reasons.

McDaniel for the defense

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel Twitters that he'll be testifying in support of Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ensign pulverized

Oh my. It would appear U.S. Sen. John Ensign's parents sent almost $100,000 to his mistress.

Former Arkie directs 826 National

Former Arkie and Hendrix alum Lauren Hall is the latest featured in Bookslut's Indie Heartthrob Interview series.

Levon on Letterman

For those who caught Levon in Little Rock or Fayetteville, but didn't get a chance to hear him sing, he's on Letterman tonight.

Weekend To-Do: 'Rent'

‘RENT'7:30 p.m., Weekend Theater. $14-$18.It's one of the most acclaimed musicals in modern times.

Open line

Over to you. I'm going to try to get back to Leroy Donald's wake at the Afterthought.

Seal the Deal.

More permanent mergers and deals that have meant big business (to relationships, that is) at The Villa over the past 50+ years than you can count.

'Gridiron U,' starring ....

... none other than Houston Dale Nutt. Thanks to the Fayetteville Flyer for news that the former Hog coach, now at Ole Miss, will be the star of a new reality TV show about the coaching life.

Learning from the lottery

A lottery follower passes along minutes of a South Carolina lottery commission meeting earlier this year.

LR School Board's signal

I wrote two weeks ago that the Little Rock School Board would be giving Superintendent Linda Watson a needs-improvement annual evaluation.

Fugitive, pregnant hostage killed

BREAKING NEWS from Fox 16's David Goins on Twitter: Crime spree suspect Todd Bostian killed by Garland County deputies.

Fugitive, pregnant hostage killed

BREAKING NEWS from Fox 16's David Goins on Twitter: Crime spree suspect Todd Bostian killed by Garland County deputies.

Friday To-Do: Lil Wyte

LIL WYTE8 p.m., Revolution. $12 adv., $15 d.o.s.In his defense, he got into rapping with a partner, Lil Black.

Friday To-Do: Blacklist Royals

BLACKLIST ROYALS8:30 p.m., Vino's, $6.Warming up for a string of dates for its third outing on the Vans Warped Tour, Nashville's punk 'n' roll poster boys bring heavy, sing-along anthems to town on Friday.

Friday To-Do: Seinfeld

SEINFELD7 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $47-$77.Several years back, Comedy Central named Jerry Seinfeld the 12th greatest comedian of all time.

Green cleared for UA play

A big Hog fan says this is REALLY big news on Fox 16: That Pulaski Academy grad Broderick Green has been cleared to play football for the UA this year.

Ensign's religious intervention

U.S. Sen. John Ensign won't be president. Thank goodness.

Lottery numbers

Rep. Jonathan Dismang (R-Beebe) has asked the Bureau of Legislative Research to conduct a comprehensive comparison of lottery salaries, both in Arkansas and other lottery states, that takes into account the state's population, lottery revenues, director's pay, staff salaries, etc.  Dismang said he expects to see a finished report by the end of next week.  He says he asked for the comparison because his constituents are concerned.  "I think it's going to be good for everybody to have this information and be able to look at it comprehensively," he says.    As reported in this week's issue of the Times, criticism and concern are starting to mount over salaries awarded to lottery staff, especially in relation to comparable state jobs in other agencies.  Executive Director Ernie Passailaigue says higher salaries are warranted given the long hours the staff will work and because it takes a little extra to lure highly qualified employees to the state (i.e. two VP positions that will earn $225,000).  Lottery officials also maintain the games will be run more like a business than a typical state agency.

Union objects to TV ad

The Service Employees International Union has objected to the airing of this anti-union, anti-Free Choice Act on Arkansas TV stations.

Courier shot in robbery

Channel 4 reports: A courier making a bank delivery (but not cash) was shot twice in a robbery outside a Regions branch at Shackleford and Hermitage.

The Weekend: Gringo Star, Ben Nichols, Damn Bullets, Rodney Block and more

Gringo Star. FRIDAY 7/10Atlanta's Gringo Star, which used to be called A Fir-Ju Well, has played Little Rock, semi-regularly, for years.

Friday: Second Friday Art Night

Little Rock artist Robert Bean will exhibit this acrylic-on-clayboard painting, “Three Dozen Voices Downward,” and other works at the Historic Arkansas Museum starting tonight.

Saturday To-Do: Sara Evans

SARA EVANS8 p.m., Timberwood Amphitheater, Magic Springs. $35.99-$45.99.Sara Evans, as they might say in the business, is the complete package.

Saturday To-Do: Bountiful Arkansas Day

BOUNTIFUL ARKANSAS DAY9 a.m., Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, Petit Jean Mountain. Free.Looking to grow your own fruits and vegetables, but don't know where to start?

Saturday To-Do: Deer Tick

DEER TICK9 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $8.Deer Tick — yet another terribly named band in indiedom — comes to town riding a wave off positive buzz.

Sunday To-Do: Kinobe and Soul Beat Africa

 KINOBE & SOUL BEAT AFRICA7 p.m., ACAC. $15-$20.Kinobe (pronounced “Chi-No-Bay”) Herbert, the 25-year-old leader of Uganda's Kinobe & Soul Beat Africa, does not take a parochial approach to music.

Revision in account of shooting

Authorities are now stepping back from their initial account that fugitive Todd Bostian. shot two hostages and then was killed by sniper fire.

Guilty plea in cross burning

A 21-year-old Donaldson, Ark., man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Hot Springs to burning a cross in a Donaldson woman's yard because she associated with black people.

School shooter's conviction upheld

Mitchell Johnson, 24, who spent seven years in juvenile custody for his role in the 1998 Westside school shootings, has lost his appeal of a conviction and four-year federal sentence on marijuana and weapons possession charges.

The hypocrite firefighter

You know the famous firefighter plaintiff Frank Ricci in the reverse discrimination case in New Haven that has some conservatives all hot and bothered about Judge Sonia Sotomayor?

Sex trafficker pleads

All crime all the time today. Latest: U.S. attorney in LR says Everett Cooney pleaded guilty to benefitting from commercial sex acts by a woman aged between 14 and 18.

Your comments here

Open line.

Look for the union marchers

Three national labor union leaders are in town today for a march from Central High, a historic symbol of civil rights, to the state Capitol for a rally in support of legislation to restore some balance to working men and women in the union negotiating process.

Washington Post's black eye

To the paper's credit, the Washington Post's ombudsman (and credit the paper for being one of a tiny handful that employ independent referees of newspaper work) has laid out internal details of the disastrous decision to sell high-priced seats to off-the-record salons for government officials, lobbyists and the paper's editorial staff at the publisher's mansion.

Random thought

Does any secular newspaper in the world provide as much coverage to Episcopalians -- schismatic, plain vanilla or gay -- as the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette?

Random thought

Does any secular newspaper in the world provide as much coverage to Episcopalians -- schismatic, plain vanilla or gay -- as the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette?

Rep. Carter: unimpressed

Did you notice the chamber of commerce ad praising Sen. Lincoln for opposing the "card check" legislation?

What's the matter with New Haven?

Remember Lani Guinier? Read her op-ed in the NY Times this morning and, if you have an open mind, prepare yourself to maybe take a new look at the infamous New Haven firefighters case that, to conservatives, was a matter of racial politics run amok.

On the march

The AFL-CIO said about 1,500 turned out for its march from Central High to a Capitol rally for the Employee Free Choice Act.

Dick!

The New York Times is reporting: Cheney Is Linked to C.I.A. Concealment of Terror Program

Same old song -- Audra Shay wins YR post

Fort Smith native Audra Shay, whose candidacy to lead the national Young Republicans organization became controversial over the racist and homophobic tone of her and supporters' remarks on a variety of Internet sites, has won the election.

Same old song -- Audra Shay wins YR post

Fort Smith native Audra Shay, whose candidacy to lead the national Young Republicans organization became controversial over the racist and homophobic tone of her and supporters' remarks on a variety of Internet sites, has won the election.

The line is open

You're up.

Something's Brewing at Pickles Gap.

The signs have changed, and so have the offerings at the familiar red restaurant at Pickles Gap.  Before you ask -- yes, the fudge is still there.  But Memphis BBQ outlet Gridley's is out, and Something's Brewing is in.  The longtime Conway coffee hotspot has opened its second location in the three story red building next to Highway 65 in the Pickles Gap compound, complete with full menu and lots of sweets.  Don't worry -- the downtown location is still open -- and both are offering free wi-fi in addition to sweets, sandwiches, coffees, and sundaes. 

Bounty a-Plenty.

Just got back in from the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute on Petit Jean Mountain, where hundreds showed up today to enjoy Bountiful Arkansas Day.  Lots of spectacular stuff to talk about (and yes, I definately will in my next entry) but I just had to share these photos from the tomato tasting today.  It was something else -- like grapes and cheese, different varieties of tomatoes have very different tastes -- from meaty and rich to pulpy and light to stringent and sweet.  Horticulture workshops abounded during the day at the Heritage Farmstead, and several vendors were selling plants and Arkansas-native fruits and vegetables.  I peeked in on one of the Second Saturday Chef Series workshops (which smelled wonderful!)

Candidates of the future

Brummett continues his comparisons of Lt. Gov. Bill Halter and Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, likely gubernatorial candidates some day.

Bedside view of health care plan

The New York Times turns to physician members of Congress for views on the health care debate.

No more free D-G access

The Democrat-Gazette today announced it was ending free access (for non-print subscribers) to the Northwest Arkansas edition of its website effective Aug. 5.

No more free D-G access

The Democrat-Gazette today announced it was ending free access (for non-print subscribers) to the Northwest Arkansas edition of its website effective Aug. 5.

President Huckabee

Andrew DeMillo analyzes the political fortunes of Mike Huckabee amid the cratering of careers of some other top Republicans (Ensign, Sanford).

Today's horror story

Commentary fails.

Sunday's mic is open

You're up. (On an unrelated topic: Surely it's just a temporary outage at Kroger.

The Rest of the Story.

As promised... more of my visit to the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute on Petit Jean Mountain, the site of this weekend's Bountiful Arkansas Day, with a plethora of vendors and a visit to the Heritage Farmstead, a peek into River Rock Grill, and a snippet of the Second Saturday Chefs Series -- all at Tie Dye Travels.  Enjoy. 

ASU football player shot

Circumstances not promising.

Palinography

Haven't had enough Sarah Palin yet? There's a big replay in the NY Times today, with some new information about the events, including a sympathetic but unsuccessful political intervention, that led to her resignation announcement.

The battle for the court

As the Sotomayor confirmation hearings begin, give a read to E.J. Dionne. He explains how the Republican noise is just a "framing" exercise to establish that a mainstream moderate like Sotomayor is the limits Republicans will accept on the court.

Eponymous Dip.

The above picture can only be described one way in Arkansas. That thar is Stoby’s Cheese Dip.

Pressly's house a teardown

-- Brian Chilson photos   Following a release of pink balloons by friends and co-workers from KATV at 8 a.m. this morning, the house in which KATV anchor Anne Pressly was fatally attacked in October was demolished and cleared from the lot at 4910 Club Road.

"No Boundaries" to climb mountains, weather hurricanes no longer

Due to tepid audience response, the NY Post reports that Kris Allen has dropped that terrible song you've been hearing on the radio for the last two months from the "American Idol" live show.

At the bear feeder

Thanks to Carol McCluskey for a report and Stephen Wait for a photo of excitement Saturday in western Little Rock.

School scores looking up

The state Education Department today reported improvement across the range of standardized tests of public school students.

Saturday: Deer Tick

Providence's Deer Tick crawled into Little Rock Saturday on the sixth night of a national tour in support of their second album, "Born of Flag Day."

O'Brien reports money haul

Pulaski Clerk Pat O'Brien's quarterly report says he has raised about $122,000 for his Democratic race for secretary of state.

Death said 'not suspicious'

But when a 21-year-old Little Rock transgendered woman dies in what's described as a "voodoo cleansing ritual" in New Jersey, I think you could say it was unusual.

Death said 'not suspicious'

But when a 21-year-old Little Rock transgendered woman dies in what's described as a "voodoo cleansing ritual" in New Jersey, I think you could say it was unusual.

High on the Hornets

Roby Brock says Bryant is the only city in Arkansas (at No. 86) to make a CNN/Money list of the best 100 small towns in the U.S. No snark here.

River Market loses retailer

The River Market neighborhood is a hopping after-dark destination. But it's struggled for a mix of commerce, particularly retail.

Sotomayor by the minute

I found USA Today's blog, with bite-sized updates all day on the Sotomayor hearings, fairly useful.

Monday line

It's open.

The Dumbest Words Ever Uttered... (a tribute)

“Sentimental music has this great way of taking you back somewhere at the same time it takes you forward, so you feel nostalgic and hopeful at the same time.” Nick Hornby (High Fidelity)   Thursday evening, June 25th, I joined my friend Kelly (and two others who shall remain nameless to protect their reputation) at a local pub for dinner and a beer.

Humble Cheese.

Others may think it's common and unsuitable for fine restaurant fare, but there's something about pimento cheese that's always made me happy.  Finding it on the menu at a local establishment in those rare instances usually brings about a round of curiosity in me, followed oft-times by disappointment when it's delivered and turns out to be of the pasteurized processed consumer foods variety.  Imagine my joy to discover it at Taziki's, the local Greek fare eatery that specializes in all those things we consider "Greek Eats."  One of just two places I know of that do it up anywhere close to right.  Read more about both places at Tie Dye Travels. 

The House health roadblock

Brummett endeavors to explain how Blue Dogs such as Rep. Mike Ross and Marion Berry, who represent some of the neediest parts of the United States, have come to be obstacles to the president's desire to craft a universal health care plan.

Another Ark. lottery jackpot

State Lottery Director Ernie Passailaigue said yesterday that he'd hired a security director. He'll pay about $115,000 for Lance Huey, who had been making about $46,000 as sheriff of Grant County.

Pundit Palin

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is now an opinion columnist, writing in the Washington Post about cap-and-trade legislation. Amazing she found time to research and write this while dealing with the hounding that drove her from office.

Philander's outreach to black men

Here's a good and extensive article in Inside Higher Education about the effort by Dr. Walter Kimbrough, the dynamic president of historically black Philander Smith College in Little Rock, to improve the school's graduation rate, particularly among black men.

Gaming numbers dip

NEW FACILITY: An Oaklawn Park photo of its new Vegas-style center for electronic games. Is Arkansas ready to be a break-out lottery state, with ticket sales beyond most expectations?

UAMS awarded $20 million

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a grant of almost $20 million to UAMS, its largest research grant ever, to help it join a group aimed at speeding research discoveries to patients.

Speaking of gambling machines

Lottery Director Ernie Passailaigue has talked of selling lottery tickets by electronic kiosks. You could swipe a driver's license to establish proof of age and then plug in money for as many tickets as you wanted.

Gripe, Please (An Open Line).

This blog tends to celebrate good food, but as we all know just about everyone has had a bad restaurant experience.  One of mine had to do with the salad in the photo above... the restaurant itself wasn't bad, but the salad sure was -- whoever thought of mixing Catalina dressing, cranberries, pine nuts, cheese, strawberries, wilty greens, and black olives together was certainly exercizing poor judgement.

Gripe, Please (An Open Line).

This blog tends to celebrate good food, but as we all know just about everyone has had a bad restaurant experience.  One of mine had to do with the salad in the photo above... the restaurant itself wasn't bad, but the salad sure was -- whoever thought of mixing Catalina dressing, cranberries, pine nuts, cheese, strawberries, wilty greens, and black olives together was certainly exercizing poor judgement.

Artful stimulus

The Arkansas Repertory Theatre has received $50,000 in federal stimulus money to preserve jobs at the theater during the current theater season.

Who they representing?

I mentioned this morning the paradox in U.S. Reps. Mike Ross and Marion Berry becoming major stumbling blocks to universal health care because they represent some of the country's neediest people.

Rex Nelson joins the blogosphere

www.tamaletrail.com The well-traveled Rex Nelson has cranked up his Rex Nelson's Southern Fried blog with a reminiscence of what got him to this point in his life.

Better late than never

Bill Clinton supports same-sex marriage.

Tuesday: Awesome Color, Colin Gilmore and more

Awesome Color. Get thee to Spa City: Riotous Michigan-based pysch-rockers Awesome Color are playing a free show at Maxine's.

Boss sez: Move these kittens

It's a tough economy. There's no profit in making the boss mad.

Boss sez: Move these kittens

It's a tough economy. There's no profit in making the boss mad.

Melissa Gilbert and Arkansas' own Toto highlight Celebrity Attractions 2009/2010 season

Melissa Gilbert. This is my favorite promo line of the day: "The storytelling magic of ABBA's timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship, and every night everyone's having the time of their lives!"It comes in Celebrity Attractions' 2009/2010 season announcement.

There he goes again

Sen. Kim Hendren (R-Archie Bunkerville)

The line is open

You're up.

Another new media lesson

I got a tip today -- and confirmed it -- that I thought I'd save for the print edition of the Times and the Insider column, which goes on-line tomorrow afternoon.

Those nasty Young Repubs

Glad I checked in. I came across another dandy report on Daily Beast by John Avlon, a Giuliani Republican, on the fight to lead the national organization of Young Republicans.

A little less license

If there's one drawback to the new teen driver law that goes into effect July 31, Bernard Allbright says, it's that it will put more teens on the road. But the good done by Act 394 — which restricts passenger numbers and imposes a curfew — will far outweigh that fact, the Little Rock driving instructor says.

Letter from Tucker Max

Mara Leveritt has forwarded to me a letter from Jason Baldwin (pictured in Correction Department photo), one of three teens convicted in the so-called West Memphis Three slayings 16 years ago.

LR: Not so mean to homeless

The National Center on Homelessness and Poverty has released another report on the meanest cities in the U.S. for dealing with homeless people.

Technical difficulties

Our home page is working again. But I'm sure some of you have noticed that, for the moment, the continuation of Arkansas Blog posts is out of synch.

The Democratic wing of the party

So the Democratic Party is buying ads targeting nominal Democrats -- i.e. Sens. Lincoln and Pryor -- to build support for the Obama administration's healthcare initiative.

Beebe speaks on lottery pay

Gov. Mike Beebe gets it, I'd say. Gov. Mike Beebe said Wednesday he believes the high salaries going to lottery employees may be undermining public confidence in the lottery.

Wal-Mart goes green

Wal-Mart apparently is developing a "sustainability index" -- a way to measure the environmental impact of everything it sells.

The lapdog 'press'

Bigger news -- Sotomayor, health care, etc. -- has deservedly received more attention. But the vigorous Talking Points Memo has been providing some excellent analysis this week of some embarrassing stuff on on the media unearthed by The State, the South Carolina newspaper that continues to mine Gov. Mark Sanford's hike on the Argentinean trail.

Review: "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince"

Imagine the scene after the first midnight showing of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” the sixth cinematic installment of J.K. Rowling’s magical bildungsroman.

Lottery commission hears the howls

Capsearch is Twittering the lottery commission meeting in Beebe today. Flash.

Wednesday: Greg Spradlin Outfit, Jim Jolly benefit, Michael Inscoe's chapbook release, more

Spradlin. Local guitar whiz Greg Spradlin leads his bluesy rock 'n' roll band at White Water, 9 p.m., $5.

Rename Third St.

The Downtown Little Rock Partnership has proposed that the city rename a portion of Third Street, from Main Street east to Heifer International, River Market Avenue.

Tony Alamo is a perv ....

... witness says. But you probably suspected this sort of thing already.

The first roundup

Rep. Steve Harrelson's Under the Dome Blog rounds up deadline day campaign contribution filing for state office next year.
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