Even in the face of seeming despair of high gas prices, a looming debt crisis and the ongoing Great Recession, a good number of young folks in Arkansas are just as motivated and positive as ever about the future.
Vol 37 • No 46
It's open. Final thoughts: * GOVERNMENT BY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: Please note an update on my earlier post about Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce control of Little Rock government.
Rick Crawford, whose personal financial disrepair was an issue in his election as Republican congressman from the 1st District, is a professed spending hawk. But according to a new report by the transparency website Legistorm, Rep. Crawford's words don't match his actions.
As golden jubilees go, the gathering of the '60s Freedom Riders and lunch-counter demonstrators over the weekend was unexceptional: the usual hugs, mutual compliments, nostalgia and jokes about the ravages of age.
What has happened over the past four of five days in Washington is instructive. What has happened over the last three or four days in Little Rock has been unsettling.
Avoid Bryant, where deadly Sydney Funnel Web spiders have been reported.
Evidence mounts that the business community has sold the public on socialism.
It won't end the criticism for his recent unsympathetic remarks to a gay political organization, but Gov. Mike Beebe has at least declined to attend or endorse Texas Gov. Rick Perry's gay-bashing extravaganza, scheduled for Houston next month.
New director to tackle debt, identity crisis at Arts Center.
'Horrible Bosses' doesn't dig deep, but that's OK
The Observer took Junior to the first day of his summer program last Monday: UALR's Summer Laureate University for Youth — SLUFY — now in its 31st year.
Matt Campbell and Jeff Woodmansee, creators and coauthors of the progressive blog Blue Hog Report, were making waves. Big ones. That's exactly why the state Republican Party tried to shut them down.
After years of unprincipled money-grubbing, of banishing truth from his media outlets, of turning good newspapers into bad ones and making bad ones worse, what could Rupert Murdoch do that would lower him even further in the estimation of his fellow man? Now we know.
Plus Jack's Mannequin, Velvet Kente, Fat Tire Festival and "The Night of the Hunter"
If GLBT people do not stand for their rights who will stand for them? The governor who was elected to lead this state? I think not.
Plus The Wealthy West, Runaway Planet and the Miss Arkansas Finals.
After some three years in the works, Jack and Corri Bristow Sundell's Root Cafe is finally open. It was worth the wait.
Plus, a new location for Sushi Cafe.
The Get Motivated! Business Seminar, featuring Laura Bush, Bill Cosby, Rudy Giuliani, Lou Holtz, Colin Powell and other muckety-mucks is coming to Verizon Arena on Aug. 30, and it's only $1.95 per person or $9.95 for an entire office. That's a steal, right?
Although the federal courthouse at Little Rock has been expanded and renovated in recent years, at considerable expense, Judge Morris S. Arnold of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals continues to rent space in a private office building. Public money pays the rent.
A new report on the amount of revenue the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery will be able to pass on to Arkansas college students this year finds the final tally is near $4 million dollars less than the revenue projection made by lottery director Ernie Passailaigue in late June on the day of the end of the lottery's fiscal year.
The former Harvest Foods building in the Riverdale shopping center will be branded as a Walmart Neighborhood Market, but will be more than 50 percent larger than the usual 40,000-square-foot model. It will have some 20,000 square feet of general merchandise, sort of a mini-Supercenter.
Ronnie Brewer hosts a birthday party, Pretty Lights comes to Verizon Arena and the Ozark Foothills FilmFest is accepting submissions.
It was a good week for: the state budget, the University of Arkansas System, bikers and hikers, the UA Athletic Department and Joe Black. It was a bad week for transparency in the Arkansas Legislature.
In the wake of Yarnell's abrupt closure, questions about the state's role in propping the ice cream maker up
The public courses of Central Arkansas may be the greenest place to be this summer, and they welcome all kinds of players.
More details in our Insider this week on Walmart's plans to put a larger-than-normal Neighborhood Market in the former Harvest Foods store in the Riverdale shopping center.
Hard to argue with the lead of this story: Economists call a budget that covers soaring medical costs and pays for the world’s largest military with some of the world’s lowest taxes a free lunch.
Fans of Louisiana politics should appreciate this Times-Picayune article about former Gov. Edwin Edwards' first public appearance since completing his federal racketeering sentence.
The press release from the University of Arkansas on the Our Town grant for a creative community in downtown Little Rock adds a bit more information.
The criminal activities of Rupert Murdoch's newspaper employees has scuttled its bid to take over a British broadcasting company.
I'd heard recently about civic turmoil in Gould, to most people a blur on the highway between Pine Bluff and Dumas in Lincoln County.
A group called Conservative Arkansas announces a new website delving into a worthy subject — the practice of nearly all state legislators to enhance their pay by nakedly unconstitutional payments masked (poorly) as expense reimbursements.
Eddie Griffin is coming to Robinson Center Music Hall.
The American Princes final EP is out now on Reynolds Records.
Jack's Mannequin plays at Revolution tonight.
The B-52s play the Arkansas Music Pavilion Thursday night.
At this morning's meeting of the Arkansas Lottery Commission, Ernie Passailaigue said the news that the lottery would only be able to pass on $94.2 million — instead of his earlier projection of $98 million — to the Arkansas Department of Higher Education came as a surprise to him, even though he'd publicly quoted the $98 million figure as late as June 30 (which is the last day of the Lottery's fiscal year).
Given the blizzard of Republican Party and aligned media noise about this race, you can understand the Democratic Party's desire to gloat a bit with the statement on the jump on Hudson Halllum's victory in the special state House race from Crittenden County.
The Wealthy West and David Ramirez play a free show at Maxine's Thursday night.
Little Rock Police Lt. Terry Hastings announces what he calls a "new low" in crime — theft of a tip jar from Starbucks about noontoday.
Michael Cook, the Democratic political operative now blogging at the Talk Business website, comments on a recent fund-raiser featuring U.S. Rep. Steve Womack.
The University of Arkansas Board of Trustees will interview two candidates today for president of the UA System — John Churchill, who heads the Phi Beta Kappa Society, and Donald Bobbitt, provost of the University of Texas at Arlington.
It's Wednesday. The line is open.
Thanks to a tipster for a newly released Legislative Audit report on the Highway and Transportation Department.In brief: The auditors will refer to the Pulaski prosecuting attorney their finding that employees in the department's legal division, headed by Robert Wilson, have been improperly getting a half-day off, with pay, every three weeks, and an additional two hours paid time off (it's not clear if this is every three weeks or more or less frequently) for doctors appointments and "personal errands."
Stephens Media reports that Gov. Mike Beebe submitted a proposal for redrawing state Senate districts today.
People get the idea that him and me are coarse, so they replace them with he and I even when him and me are correct.
Gov. Mike Beebe put out a state Senate map yesterday and the deeper analysis by the Democrat-Gazette shows about what you'd expect.
Amazon is cranking up an initiative campaign in California to prevent application of sales taxes to any portion of Internet commerce.
The Buzz's Tommy Smith is back on the air after a stint in rehab following his arrest on a variety of driving charges and illegal possession of a prescription drug.
How often do you get cracked up by a restaurant? I mean, seriously laughing hard for a good reason or two? I have to say, I was more amused by Herman’s Ribhouse in Fayetteville than I have been by any restaurant in a long time. The fact they put out a damn good burger just enhances the restaurant’s esteem with me.
There are actually three of them this year — two preliminaries and the big show in Little Rock — for the World Cheese Dip Championship.
"Charles Harrington: A Sense of Place" opens at Greg Thompson Gallery, 429 Main St., for the 5-8 p.m.
An appeal hearing is underway today at the Arkansas State Police Commission for Andrew Rhew, the state trooper who was fired (twice) as a result of the fatal crash in which his patrol car collided in Manila with a car driven by Vickie Freemyer, a Blytheville teacher, while he was rushing to a call in Osceola.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis today gave opponents of the SWEPCO coal-fired power plant in Hempstead County at least a small victory.
The University of Arkansas Board of Trustees had a private interview session this morning with the third of four candidates for System president to succeed the retiring Alan Sugg.
The 14th annual Eureka Springs Fat Tire Festival takes pla
At Ketz Gallery.
As I suggested the other day, a lot of people though Attorney General Dustin McDaniel had big-footed the State Police awards lunch the other day — some nonentity named Mike Beebe was the speaker — by insisting on airing a video of McDaniel, then in Hawaii, announcing that he was directing $700,000 from settlement of a lawsuit with drug companies to build a State Police classroom building at its shooting range in Wrightsville.
Velvet Kente and The Evelyns play aboard the Arkansas Queen Friday night.
Community Theater of Little Rock kicks off its production of "The Great American Trailer Park Musical" at The Public Theatre.
Jason Tolbert reports that the Sebastian prosecutor has filed a misdemeanor charge against State Police employee Chris Anderson for improperly accessing Arkansas Crime Information Center records on Tom Fite, a Republican candidate for state legislature.
The Faulkner County Library will screen "The Night of the Hunter" and "Cape Fear" Saturday evening.
Kat shows how to make them. It's pretty darn simple.
V.L. Cox offers a new take on the flag in her show at Thea, open for Argenta Artwalk on Friday evening.
I've been in and out all day, unable to get people on the phone, but here's a response from Randy Ort of the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department responding to written questions about the new state audit that found abuse of time off policies in the legal division of the highway department.
Attack Attack! plays Juanita's September 25. Tickets are $13 in advance or $15 at the door.
The line is open. Final notes: * FEDERAL JUDGESHIP: No word yet from Sen. Mark Pryor's office, but he's said to be close to sending new names to the White House for an open federal judgeship.
was chosen late Thursday afternoon as president of the University of Arkansas System to succeed the retiring Alan Sugg.
More good news on the Murdoch front. Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of Murdoch's News International, has been forced to resign.
Krugman writes about Republican craziness on the debt ceiling, but wonders why anyone should be surprised.
Secretary of State Mark Martin (R-Pluto) is a continuing source of amusement, consternation or something.
Sometimes you just luck into something fantastic — even when the folks who make it don’t realize how fantastic it is. That’s exactly the case that happened to me at Mud Street Café in Eureka Springs.
U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin is no Vic Snyder. Griffin's predecessor didn't engage in year-round fund-raising as Griffin and most others do.
The ACACs board voted recently to dissolve the nonprofit.
I mentioned yesterday that Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's office had spent roughly $6,000 on a brief video by which he announced at a State Police awards ceremony his decision to take $700,000 won in a lawsuit against drug companies to a classroom building at the State Police shooting range.
Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches is coming to Seventh and Broadway.
It's appropriate that Grav Weldon, whose food photos have appeared on our Eat Arkansas blog, will be the featured artist at Starving Artist.
The Lemonheads are scheduled to play in Little Rock Sept. 30.
Fine example being set by Arkansas Republican legislators. They got caught holding an illegal fund-raiser — using U.S. Rep. Steve Womack as a host to raise corporate money.
3 Doors Down plays at Magic Springs' Timberwood Amphitheater Saturday night.
Stanley Reed, the Marianna farmer and lawyer who'd been a top contender yesterday for the job of University of Arkansas System president, died this morning in a one-vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 64 east of Augusta, about a mile east of Highway 33.
John Paul Keith & The One Four Fives play White Water Tavern Saturday night.
Surveying the most compelling talents and platforms at this year's Miss Arkansas pageant.
The Defense Department has announced plans to name the next freedom-class littoral combat ship (LCS) as the USS Little Rock.
Sen. Paul Bookout (D-Jonesboro), who's been a funeral director, is going to work for St. Bernards Healthcare in Jonesoboro as administrative director for system relations and government/public affairs at St. Bernards.
The family and I braved the dead of night last night to attend one of the midnight showings of the final Harry Potter flick: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2."
Porter's Jazz Cafe is set to open Aug. 3 with an sponsors-only performance from jazz pianist Alex Bugnon.
This week we're talking about the new UA System president, the latest in the legal battle over the SWEPCO coal fired plant, shortfalls at the Arkansas Lottery, the twice-fired State Trooper reinstated by the Arkansas State Police Commission, Dustin McDaniel's costly video blunder, state redistricting and, with A&E editor Robert Bell, the much-hyped US release of Spotify and the emerging landscape of digital music streaming.
The line is open. Final note: * MORE HARD TIME: Federal Judge Bill Wilson today gave Cabot bookie George Wylie Thompson 103 months in prison for charges connected to gambling, a sham marriage and illegal firearms purchases.
Conservative blogger/daughter of a famous person Meghan McCain and liberal comedian and actor Michael Ian Black are in Little Rock as part of their "Stupid for American" book project.
I know nothing beyond the name on the current list of candidates who've filed for local school board seats, but a candidate — Norma Jean Johnson — has filed for the Zone 1 seat on the Little Rock School Board held by long-time member Katherine Mitchell.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has at least three people on staff charged with handling press inquiries and developing media strategy and otherwise burnishing his image.
John Brummett washes his hands of every single member of the six-man Arkansas congressional delegation for their total default on solutions for the country's financial ills.
The Wall Street Journal was once a great newspaper — emphasis on "news," not the right-wing editorial page.
Not mad yet? The first paragraph of James Stewart's Page One analysis in the NY Times today should do it: The economy is still suffering from the worst financial crisis since the Depression, and widespread anger persists that financial institutions that caused it received bailouts of billions of taxpayer dollars and haven’t been held accountable for any wrongdoing.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette is reporting that a Little Rock police officer shot a man pointing a gun at him about 2 a.m. this morning at Markham and Scott Streets.
The Saturday line is over.
Oh yes, Rebekah Brooks, former head of Rupert Murdoch's News International, has been arrested for allegedly conspiring to intercept communications.
Republican senators Fireball Holland and Death Star II Rapert lead the list of complaints in this Stephens Media article about the Senate districts proposed by Gov. Mike Beebe and Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, the Democratic majority on the state Board of Apportionment.
John Brummett reviews the latest hiccups at the Arkansas Lottery Commission and seems to conclude, on balance, that director Ernie Passailaigue is doing a pretty good job, though better on the startup than ongoing management and likely to depart before too long.
Here's a story from Channel 4 that deserves more attention. It's a report of illegal dumping of fracking sludge in White County.
Funeral arrangements have been announced for Stanley Reed of Marianna. The 59-year-old former president of the Arkansas Farm Bureau died in an auto accident Friday near Augusta as he returned to his farm.
Line is open. I loved the British Open as usual for the scenes of people bundled up against the chill, rainy wind.
A Karl Rove choreographed Republican attack fund has U.S. Rep. Mike Ross on its list of 10 congressmen targeted with attack ads the next two weeks.
Don't let the Wall Street Journal (a shameful Murdoch tool now) or any of the Fox Nation blowhards fool you.
Teacher merit pay — a cherished tool of the schol "reformers" before they began focusing like a laser on charter schools, particularly in urban districts — is being dropped in New York City.
Let us pray for the U.S., John Brummett writes, so long as Rep. Michele Bachmann can credibly run for president.
Austin's Heartless Bastards play Juanita's Tuesday night.
The Little Rock Zoo announces that some recent newborns are now old enough to be on display at the zoo — four particularly lovely naked mole rats and five bush dogs.
I'm advised of a schedule change for the funeral Wednesday for Stanley Reed, the former Farm Bureau president, who died Friday.
A bag of doughnuts, three dipping sauces and thou... what a way to start a weekend morning.
The Tea Party is an important force in Republican politics, but perhaps a negative one in national politics.
The murder trial of Abdulhakim Muhammad is underway in Circuit Judge Herb Wright's court. He's repeated his desire to fire his lawyers, but the judge won't allow it.
The Illuminatour makes a stop at Juanita's tonight.
The rumor mill is buzzing that the new Two Rivers Bridge for pedestrians and bikers might land on property the county and city don't own.
Bill Callahan is playing a last-minute show at White Water Tavern tonight.
Scoop from 40/29: Arrest of Razorback football coach Bobby Petrino's 23-year-old son Dominic in Indiana.
A Little Rock police officer shot a man who pulled a gun on him after a traffic stop in Southwest Little Rock about 1 p.m. today.
A shooting early Saturday in the River Market neighborhood has prompted plans for increased police activity in the area this coming weekend, Lt. Terry Hastings said.
The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality today announced an agreed settlement of multiple pollution violations by Poseidon Energy Services, a company headed by former ADEQ Director Marcus Devine.
A court filing today provides information on new DNA testing on evidence in the West Memphis Three murder cases.
It's Monday. Report.
Or maybe better headline phrase in this context: " ... tu madre, Juan." Attorney General Dustin McDaniel seems to unerringly choose a bad political direction from my point of view as he draws closer to a gubernatorial race in 2014.
Don't be confused by Secretary of State Mark Martin's proposal to create more majority black districts when the state is redistricted for population shifts.
Get your popcorn. Or doughnuts. Rupert Murdoch on the hot seat, live, getting the tabloid treatment.
A study from Texas raises questions about tough school discipline policies. New York Times reports: Raising new questions about the effectiveness of school discipline, a report scheduled for release on Tuesday found that 31 percent of Texas students were suspended off campus or expelled at least once during their years in middle and high school — at an average of almost four times apiece.
The Senate confirmed President Obama's nomination of Paul Oetken to a federal judgeship, the first openly gay man to be confirmed, though not the first gay federal judge.
Mei Li Cuisine has brought great Asian food to Eureka Springs... at prices that would be hard to beat anywhere in the state.
The state Education Department said today that 2011 benchmark test scores (math and literacy, grades 3-8; science grades 5 and 7) showed overall improvement.
I walked around the 1897 Arkansas building at 6th and Main last night with Scott Reed, who plans to put artists studios on the first floor there.
You can check the state Board of Apportionment today for final redistricting maps from Gov. Mike Beebe, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and Secretary of State Mark Martin.
Did anybody really believe developers of a proposed NASCAR track had any interest in Arkansas except to leverage approval of their track in Missouri?
Isn't health of a presidential contender a legitimate issue? This report on Michelle Bachmann's migraine episodes is worth a read.
What did we do before Twitter: * Rupert Murdoch pied in the halls of parliament, after which his wife reportedly bitch slapped the pieman.
Three people involved in a prostitution bust last year in Cabot have filed suit against Lonoke County and their sheriff's department for malicious prosecution, unlawful arrest and defamation, among other things.
The town of Gould's adoption of an ordinance to prohibit formation of organizations without Council approval — aimed at shutting down a citizens group that has vexed some council members — has drawn feature attention in the New York Times.
A night of brutal metal awaits you at Downtown Music Hall.
President Obama says he sees promise in an emerging Senate fiscal plan. It would include: 1) spending cuts; 2) revenue increases, and 3) changes in Medicare and Social Security.
Gov. Mike Beebe has released his legislative redistricting maps. Here's the House.
It's open. In conclusion: * MAIN STREET REVIVAL: Good interview by Leslie Newell Peacock on her Eye Candy blog with the young man with a plan — and money already behind it — to revitalize Little Rock's Main Street with projects aimed at luring artistic residents.
The Three Mouseketeers of Arkansas — U.S. Reps. Tim Griffin, Rick Crawford and Steve Womack — voted to wreck America tonight by endorsing a gimmicky bill that, credible economists say, would drive America into a deep recession.
C.J. Ramone plays Downtown Music Hall Wednesday night."
Sevendust plays Juanita's Wednesday night.