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July 22, 2010

Vol 36 • No 46

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Crafting Suds

Diamond Bear grows along with tastes for real beer.

Vilsack to review case of black USDA worker

It is pretty clear now that the news world, the NAACP and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was duped by another piece of dishonest "reporting" by right-wing blogger Andrew Breitbart and Fox News.

Service set for Nick Bacon

A memorial service for Medal of Honor recipient Nick Bacon, who died Saturday, will be at 11 a.m.

Graphic reporting on bomb trial

I started the morning musing about the absence of direct evidence implicating Dr. Randeep Mann in the bombing of State Medical Board Chairman Trent Pierce.

Bank robbery on S. University

Twitter reports say shots were fired in the robbery of a Bank of America branch at 3500 S. University

Go Fast to tape 'First Row' show at AETN

Go Fast to record an episode of "AETN Presents: On the Front Row" on Wed., July 28.

No charges in Bush attorney firings

A special prosecutor has concluded there are no prosecutable crimes in the Bush Administration firing of U.S. attorneys to install new prosecutors.

Your turn

The Wednesday line commences.

P.S. Arts Center responds to FOI

The Arkansas Arts Center released today a several-hundred-page audit today of expenses charged to the Arts Center by its former operations manager, Rocky Nickles.

48 Hour Film Festival raring up

48 Hour Film Festival

Orval, July 22

Butts off ground

Cigarette butts now have a place to go in the River Market area that's not on the sidewalks and streets: In containers mounted on 10 poles up and down the street.

This Modern World, July 22

To-Do List, July 22-July 27

Brantley Gilbert, Buddy Jewell, Velvet Kente, Benjamin Del Shreve, Dangerous Idiots, Ginsu Wives, Androids of Ex-Lovers, Saving Abel, We Are the Fallen, Dr. Temple Grandin.

The Televisionist, July 22

Comedian Louis C.K. is an acquired taste. His comedy, which focuses on the harsh realities of aging, family life and the everyday grind, can be off-putting.

The Week That Was, July 14-20, 2010

Good Week: Pulaski County school district, University of Arkansas, old school entertainment. Bad Week: Sen. Blanche Lincoln, free state cars, Washington County Sheriff Tim Helder, Little Rock city workers, Pierce Boyd.

What's Cookin', July 22

The local mobile food cart business goes beyond taco trucks (last week's cover feature in the Times), of course. For going on two months now, photographer Michael Juiliano has been serving up all-beef hot dogs all over town from his mobile stand.

Words, July 22

"He spent his formidable years in Paris in the 1920s." And then grew namby-pamby with age, I suppose. An all-too-familiar story.

Boozman coasts on a few dollars

Politicians who can't raise much money might be more admirable than those who can.

Mountain meal

River Rock Grill impresses, after a wait.

The Moreland School

Nothing seems more suitable than a Nazi running for governor in 2010, when our ordinarily docile little state is burning with xenophobia for the third or fourth time in its 175 years.


Caught with other constitutional officers in a small scandal about failure to pay taxes on use of state-owned vehicles, state Treasurer Martha Shoffner was irrationally defiant.

Eye on Arkansas, July 22

In Brief, July 22

Cloud 9, 'Hair,' 607, Magic Hassle and Mandy McBryde.

More pool time

Mayor Mark Stodola is set to announce Wednesday, just prior to when this issue of the Arkansas Times hits the streets, that the city will keep the War Memorial Pool open until Aug. 14, thanks to private commitments of money.


We were playing the wondering game at the House of Dominoes the other day.

Supporting the troops

For the life of me, I don't understand this mantra mouthed by so many that we must "support the troops." Don't we realize that the best and most appropriate way to support the men and women we so glibly send into mostly useless, mishandled and often illegal wars is to not send them in the first place?

Our sweetheart

Here's to our yodeling, voice-throwing Miss Arkansas.

Sweet Dreams

'Inception' the best of 2010 so far.

Rivers runs through it

A new unglossed documentary captures Joan Rivers' funny side.

Robert Plant and Band of Joy

July 15, Robinson Center Music Hall

The Observer, July 22

Having lunch last weekend at a cafe in Conway, The Observer was witness to the first get-together of the Culinary Historians of Conway. So far, there are only two of them; they seem to be struggling with an inefficient advertising department.

So much for campaign law

Of course Americans For Prosperity, the nonprofit political front established by the billionaire Koch family is in business to elect Republicans and strangle government, particularly programs for working people.

Where's the igloo now?

Good column by Tim Egan in the New York Times looking in this blistering summer for Sen. James Inhofe, who is, scarily, an indication of what kind of "science" will prevail should Republicans retake control.

Whose side are they on?

You know the Republicans are advocating continuation of tax cuts for the wealthy. Help for the iittle guys?

Poll: Beebe 50-40

Rasmussen, which has a persistent Republican bias, shows Mike Beebe up 50-40 over Republican Jim Keet in its latest samplle.

Thursday To-Do: Brantley Gilbert

BRANTLEY GILBERT9 p.m., Revolution. $10.

The gang that can't count straight

We mentioned in this week's edition that Secure Arkansas is still blowing smoke and dodging questions on how it came to represent that it had 78,000 signatures on its anti-immigrant petitions when it had 10,000 fewer.

Thursday Hawthorne Heights, "Plan 9 From Outer Space," Cloud 9

THURSDAY 7/22 Fort Smith blues rockers Cloud 9 pluck and harmonize for Electric Cowboy, 10 p.m., $5.

Stimulus money for wildlife centers

The Interior Department has announced $2.8 million in stimulus spending to build visitor stations and a maintenance building at wildlife refuges in Central Arkansas.

The Art Show, clarification

The $10 ticket admits folks for both nights of The Art Show, not just one.

Boozman to unemployed: Drop dead

The House completed action today on extension of unemployment benefits, a boon to some 16,000 Arkansans and their families.

Arts Center woes

When one of your employees doesn't turn in receipts for $27,000 plus, and spends more than $8,000 on things that appear to be personal — like luggage, you've got a problem with oversight.

Raising the bar

Competing promoters face off at the River Market.

Water, water, everywhere

Flooding, drainage woes in Dark Hollow.

Car service

Arkansas Autogate. It's this year's $750 toilet seat.

Filming soon: Arkansas's first 3-D movie

Looks like a few good Arkies are about to take a stab at 3-D filmmaking.

McDaniel on Google's case

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel says he's joined in other states in pressing Google for more information about whether it's Streetview feature gathered personal data about users that was disseminated without users' knowledge to others.

ACLU settles with NLR on prayer

The Arkansas chapter of the ACLU says it is satisfied with North Little Rock's response to a complaint about the sectarian prayers that have routinely opened City Council meetings.

Rounding up the 'Inception' theories

Delving into 'Inception' theories.

A Boy Named Sooie is hopin' and wishin' and prayin'...

A Boy Named Sooie guest posts on Arkansas Ex Pats today.

Another immigrant labor bust

Another guilty plea announced by the U.S. attorney in Fort Smith, this one from a Chinese restaurant operator in Mountain Home who employed 10 workers — Chinese and Mexican— who didn't have proper immigration documents.

The line is open

I have to leave early to see a man about a tree. Your turn.

Arts Center pluses

At the Arts Center today I got to look at the catalog for the upcoming exhibit of work by Viola Frey (pronounced Fry) that will go up Aug. 20.

Meet the press

OK. So I have an hour to kill while dinner cooks and nothing else to do.

Cat Brantley

Some cat lovers have inquired about my experience — as a cat loather — spending five nights with a cat.

The LR school watch

I was right when I wrote in the "meet the press" lined last night that Little Rock School District Superintendent Linda Watson didn't have the votes for a contract extension beyond next year, but that the situation could change.

UCA stonewalls

The University of Central Arkansas is essentially stonewalling efforts to get information about football coach Clint Conque's "inappropriate relationship(s)."

The things I'll eat for this blog...

Kat Robinson stopped in at the Ozark Cafe in Jasper for the Deep Fried Burger — but discovered Excaliburger instead, and lives to tell about it.

Mike Gauldin dies at 55

All is not lost in November — is it?

I like it. The Democratic Governors Association put together this little YouTube to fire up the faithful for November.

Friday To-Do: Buddy Jewell

BUDDY JEWELL8 p.m., Juanita's. $15.

Friday To-Do: Velvet Kente

VELVET KENTE10 p.m., White Water Tavern. $7.

Saturday To-Do: Benjamin del Shreve

Fayetteville man about town, Benjamin del Shreve, releases his sophomore album, "Sleeping Sweetly," Saturday, July 24, at Sticky Fingerz.

To-Do List: Dangerous Idiots-Ginsu Wives-Androids of Ex Lovers

Dangerous Idiots, Ginsu Wives and Androids of Ex-Lovers round out a terrific triple-bill of locals for Revolution's Saturday, June 24, show.

Sunday To-Do: Saving Abel-We Are the Fallen

Saving Abel, We Are the Fallen, American Bang and Red Sugar Drive hit The Village for a Sunday, July 25, show.

Weekend: Magic Hassle-607-Mandy McBryde, Dikki Du & the Zydeco Krewe, "Hair"

Little Rock's weekend is jam packed with music by Magic Hassle, 607, Mandy McBryde, The Gettys, The Crumbs and more.

Gambling on economics

I think I mentioned this last year because I was amused by the notion of holding a lottery to raise money for better economics education in Arkansas.

Angry white men

They're tired of having higher pay and more managerial jobs. They're tired of black people lording it over them.

Hendrix does it again

Art-rockers Deerhunter slated to play Hendrix College on August 28.

Lawyers urged to investigate cars

Christopher Brockett, one of the lawyers who've filed a taxpayers suit over what they allege is illegal use of state cars for personal purposes.

And take Texas with you

U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, a Republican who hopes to be governor of Tennessee, indicates he'd favor secession rather than implementing near universal federal health coverage in his state.

UCA computer policy

Can UCA really slam the door on access to football coach Clint Conque's computer, even if it contains information on whether its use violated school policy and reflects on his workplace interaction with employees?

The $400,000 adjustment

That's the amount the Arkansas Arts Center has had to add to its negative bottom line for the fiscal year ended June 30, thanks to some irregular bookkeeping, and perhaps spending, by its former financial manager.

Friday night lights

The line is open. A blog reader, who liked the movie discussion on last Friday night's open line, suggests a forum on favorite rock songs.

Clinton wedding: Ins and outs

Chelsea Clinton's wedding next weekend, apparently in New York state, continues to fascinate the big city press.

VA smiles on marijuana

The Department of Veterans Affairs is moving to allow medicinal marijuana in its facilities in 14 states where it's legal.

Straw man watch

Various people are sending Twitter feeds from the Republican State Convention this morning. You've heard it all before.

Different strokes

Journalist Daniel Schorr died Friday after a career spanning seven decades. The New York Times deemed it worthy of page one.

Corn and corny-ness

Politics and food converge at Arkansas festivals like Ding Dong Days in Dumas.

Open line, etc.

Here's a fresh one. Meanwhile, I'm stilll awaiting word on the Green Party nominating convention this morning at Juanita's.

How hot is it?

It's so hot that it might make it difficult for Llloyd Bright to grown champion watermelons down near Hope this summer.

What the great ate

To start a slow Sunday, a book note. I got an e-mail yesterday from Mark Jacob, a former newspaper colleague who's now deputy metro editor of the Chicago Tribune.

Counting cars

Bill Simmons, political editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, in today's paper dug into the accounting morass that is the question of how many state employees are provided cars and how many of them use them for other than official purposes.

Message to Obama: Man up

John Brummett's bottom line on the Shirley Sherrod case: Here’s what the Obama administration needs to do, from the White House down to the tiniest agency: Turn off Fox.

Sunday scribbles

Here's an open line. A reader asks: What about state cell phones?

Our warming world

Ross Douthat is a conservative columnist for the New York Times. He happens to be quotable this morning.

Sales tax holidays

The movement for sales tax holidays hasn't gained much ground in Arkansas, but I've always been skeptical about it, particularly arguments that we must fall in line lest we lose business to neighboring states.

The cars — and the plane

Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Keet is going to repeat himself at a press conference today about presumed abuse of the state vehicle fleet.

Door to the past

V.L. Cox is announcing an upcoming show at the Thea Foundation in which she'll be showing her screen door portraits exclusively.

More details emerge on Graham Gordy's 'The Wreck'

Michael Fuller, Graham Gordy, AMC, "The Wreck"

Hot on the farm

A fine dining experience, despite the heat, at P. Allen Smith's Moss Mountain Farm exposes the author to heirloom tomatos and heritage poultry.

Ain't no sunshine for Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee moves to Florida and all he gets is a damn tax break. Poll shows him a bad fourth in Republican presidential polling there, behind Romney, Palin and Gingrich.

Al Green to Statehouse Convention Center

Al Green

Pity the poor white man

TPM says a key Republican election strategy has come into focus. It is discrimination by the Obama administration against the beleaguered white folks.

A better way to Walmart

Moonwalking through Walmart.

The price of Hogs

Chris Bahn has an interesting report in Arkansas Sports 360 about the Razorback Athletics Annual Report.

True Blood: Love hurts

Love's never hurt quite like it did last night in TV land. Don Draper's a submissive — as in, the one who gets smacked in a dominant-submissive relationship — who, judging from the cut and hair color of his call girl, might have designs on letting Joan wallop him a bit. Meanwhile, on "True Blood" that familiar S&M formula for love is all out of whack.

Tea Party watch

Blue Arkansas blog notes that white supremacist Billy Roper has been bragging about he and some cohorts have been participating in Tea Party events in Arkansas.

Justice Corbin has heart attack

The Arkansas Supreme Court announced today that Justice Donald Corbin had a heart attack more than a week ago, has had emergency bypass surgery and is expected to return to work.

Monday, Monday

Sorry. I've been discombobulated today.

Polling and pot

Interesting report from Nate Silver's website. Six polls done in California — three by automated methods, three by human poll-takers.

Rush hour car fire

Channel 7 reports a truck hauling cars caught fire on University Avenue beneath the I-630 overpass about 7:30 a.m. today and it is causing traffic problems.

Chemical spill in Mississippi River

The Coast Guard says a barge accident on the Mississippi River last night has caused the closure of seven miles of the river and sent three towboat crew members to a Memphis hospital.

Tuesday To-Do: Temple Grandin

DR. TEMPLE GRANDIN 7 p.m., University of Arkansas. Free.

Craighead County likes nepotism

Here's a Jonesboro Sun story to inspire faith in local elected officials. The Craighead County Quorum Court rejected a proposed anti-nepotism rule in county hiring despite the fact that many similiarly-sized counties have them.

Wooldridge gets golden parachute

Tim Wooldridge, the former legislator and unsuccessful congressional candidate who was sacked recently as the $150,000 lobbyist for the Arkansas Association of Public Universities, got a severance deal worth at least $180,000 over the next year if he's unable to find new work.

Arkansas strikes out on education money

Arkansas won't be among the 10 to 15 states receiving federal Race to the Top funding.

Tuesday: Green Jelly, Sad Daddy, Travs

Green Jelly returns to Little Rock with electrified girl rockers The Fabulous Miss Wendy and long-tenured, goofy-ass locals Flameing Daeth Fearies, 9 p.m., $8.

LR housecleaning doesn't take

What a difference four weeks make — not. On July 1, after repeated complaints by neighbors, code enforcement officers cleaned the yard and interior of the historic White-Baucum House at 201 Izard of several truckloads of trash left by vagrants living there.

Open government is for chumps

Because it takes 60 votes to vote on anything in the Senate and the Party of No won't allow it, legislation to correct the Supreme Court's damaging ruling on corporate political spending will fail.

Hand it to Thea

The Thea Foundation announced today that an anonymous gift of $109,000 to its Thea's Closet program has made it possible for the foundation to supply 66 public schools in Sebastian and Crawford Counties with a year's worth of art supplies.

Expert testimony: Gay parenting

New study shows no negative impact on child development from being raised in homes with gay or lesbian couples.

Going through the motions

Walton Arts Center, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Alice Walton, Walton Family Foundation

Death reported at prison

From Channel 4: An accident has claimed the life of an Arkansas Department of Correction officer on prison grounds in Jefferson County.

Huckabee TV show: Soft opening

The opening day of Mike Huckabee's new test of a syndicated show, a la Oprah, was a slow start.

The line is open

Post away

Keo's pride and joy

Charlotte's Eats and Sweets gets a lot of good press. There's a reason for that, and it's not just concerning its coconut pie.

The advantages of secrecy UPDATE

Please note Rep. John Boozman's criticism of Senate legislation — filibustered by Republicans yesterday — to require transparency for the Supreme Court-ordered forced liberalization of corporate campaign spending.

Money shifts to fighting fat

Interesting. The New York Times documents a big shift in spending from fighting tobacco to fighting obesity.

Set your a-c at 68, roast a Yankee

As we swelter through day after day of triple-digit heat index readings, it's been slightly entertaining to see the heat prostration on national TV networks and newspapers over the East's heat wave.

Six buck Hutt's

Cheap eats in El Paso, and pretty decent ones, too.

Technical difficulties

Well, our internet service is out again. The new iPhone works, but its blogging use is limited.

Arizona immigration law hits roadblock

A federal judge has temporarily blocked the most controversial parts of Arizona's law cracking down on undocumented immigrants and anybody who looks like they might be one.

Browning's bites the dust

Browning's, a Heights Tex-Mex institutiion for 60-plus years, has closed. This time it may be for good.

Light in the Ozarks

A $4.2 million painting in Crystal Bridges Museum is revealed today.

Wednesday: This is Hell, Andrew Belle, 'The Wizard of Oz'

Downtown Music Hall brings in a thick metal show with Long Island's This is Hell, SoCal hardcore from The Love Below, the un-Googleable Judas, Boston punks Product of Waste, Conway hardcore act Dead Beat and locals Jungle Juice, 7 p.m., $7.

Eric Overmyer to speak at Clinton School

Hey, fanboys! Co-creator, writer, executive producer of HBO's "Treme," (and one of the brains behind the brilliant fourth season of "The Wire"*) Eric Overmyer is scheduled to speak about post-Katrina New Orleans at the Clinton School of Public Service.

Democracy, who needs it?

You perhaps remember the Stone County sheriff's race, which ended in a tie. Gov. Mike Beebe has set a special primary next week to try to get a Democratic nominee.

Civil rights, Republican style

The U.S. Civil Rights Commission. It's now all about helping white folks.