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August 2, 2007

Vol 5 • No 29

Service interruption

An attempt to hack our server shut down our firewall this afternoon. Or so I'm told.

Let the school election begin

My usually reliable source is right again. We tried to run this down for publication this week, but the tip that the candidate was a state Foresty employee wasn't quite right.

The Observer, Aug. 2

Eureka Springs. What a town. When the Hells Angels and the Bandidos rumbled last week up there — and we're not talking about the sound their motorcycles make — they chose to do it in front of the Gingerbread House Antiques store. “I saw the Fiesta ware

Indie rock on Thursday, Rappers rep the Rock on Monday

On Thursday, Chicago indie rockers The Redwalls play Sticky Fingerz at 9:30 p.m. while Big Boots headline a show at Vino's. Little Rock rappers share the stage at Revolution for Tha Rock Underground Hip Hop Show on Monday night.

Chris Denny to release 'Age Old Hunger;' family festivals slated for fall

To do TONIGHT

The pick of the town Thursday, Aug. 2, is Ludo, a St. Louis-based power pop band, which is bringing its rambunctious act to Juanita’s. The touring group has established a strong fan base. Look for kids who call themselves ninjas. The band recently recorde

Orval

Smart talk

This week: Tax troubles: Hillary's coming; Dr. Nancy Snyderman gets ethics scrutiny.

The week that was, July 25-July 31

It was a good week for … The LITTLE ROCK SCHOOL BOARD. It won a lawsuit over its right to buy out the contract of Superintendent Roy Brooks. Now, let's move on.

Judging the judge

Probation program draws state scrutiny.

What’s Happening in August

Hate speech

In visiting your website I couldn’t help but notice the lead story July 19, “Hate thy neighbor.” I scrolled down to see disturbing and racist comments from viewers regarding the story. These types of comments are unacceptable to post and I would think you

Words

Random House says that a nickname is “a name added to or substituted for the proper name of a person, place, etc., as in affection, ridicule, or familiarity.” Philly is a nickname. Razorbacks and Indians are not. (But Hogs is a nickname for the Razorbacks

What's cooking, Aug. 2

A mighty Acorn

When Wade Rathke started organizing poor folks in east Little Rock and Fair Park neighborhoods to pester City Hall for a better shake 37 years ago, he could only have dreamed that his spawn, the poor people’s champion Acorn, would one day drive the White

Shankman reworks Broadway's 'Hairspray'

The latest version of the Broadway show "Hairspray" provides feel-good fun for all.

Follow the leader

Pine Bluff rapper Goines reps for the downtrodden. On his song “The Prejudgement,” he plants his flag for those “living every day so battered and scarred, feeling like they never mattered at all.” He’s the self-avowed Everyman, yet, at the same time, he’s

Cooking

The Capital Hotel kitchen has been certified for use by city inspectors and executive chef Lee Richardson has been on staff for a year preparing for the reopening of Ashley’s and the Capital Bar, each with its own kitchen. The new hotel will have three mo

For a stronger mayor

Under Little Rock’s form of city government, the mayor’s office is mostly ceremonial.

Giant Bear

Memphis-based orchestral funkabilly band pulled out all the stops - and instruments - at White Water Tavern on July 28.

Not just for die-hard fans

Groening and Co. deliver more than one-liners in the long-awaited “The Simpsons Movie.”

Guru at Rev Room on Friday, Riceboy Sleeps hits Hot Springs

On Friday evening, Sigur Rós' Jónsi Birgisson and Parachutes' Alex Somers will be in attendance at the opening of their Riceboy Sleeps exhibit at Hot Springs' Gallery 801. Brooklyn's Guru performs at Revolution.

About that cleavage

Brummett treads a middle path on the great debate about Hillary's neckline.

A new leaf

I’m herewith renouncing the previous thousands of columns that have appeared in this space, am asking presidential pardon for inadvertent crimes committed in them against good grammar or good sense, and am resolving, since apparently nobody ever turns ove

Book news, Aug. 2

Editorial

What’s Happening in August

Bonefish Grill is a keeper

Bonefish Grill, a Florida-based chain specializing in seafood, has landed in Little Rock.

This Modern World

What we’re reading, Aug. 2

When Johnny comes home

Some 12,000 veterans used the Central Arkansas Healthcare System for its mental health care services in the past 12 months. Now, the VA is doing a new outreach program at armories around the state that helps both families and vets.

Back to Baghdad, virtually

From a room at the VA's Towbin Healthcare Center in North Little Rock, it is possible to go on foot patrol in Baghdad. To see a child pick up an I.E.D. hidden in a Coca-Cola can and the ensuing explosion. To see a soldier on the ground covered in blood. T

‘Benchwarmer’ will kick-start Hog fans

A helping ARM

Dr. Suzanne Klimberg’s office is alive with “ideaphoria.” That’s what a colleague calls it, a creative bubbling up of ideas, in Klimberg’s case for new ways to make breast cancer surgery less painful, less complicated and with fewer side effects.

Going up

The Arkansas Cancer Research Center is known internationally for its multiple myeloma research and treatment and its oncologists are no strangers to public accolades and grant awards. But that’s not enough for Peter Emanuel.

What we’re reading

What’s Happening in August

Neuropathy, gastric bypass linked

Sami Harik did not think it was an accident that he was seeing neurological problems in patients who had had gastric bypass surgery.

Rest up

Gregory Krulin's decision to become a sleep doctor makes sense: He studied hibernation as a UA graduate student. Now, he helps patients get healthy sleep, controling apnea and other problems.

Book News

ASU touched by probe

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has been investigating a major provider of student loans for allegedly paying kickbacks to colleges that steered business their way.

About that cleavage

Brummett treads a middle path on the great debate about Hillary's neckline.

School Board candidate Q&A

I mentioned last night that I’d sent a few questions to Anna Swaim, a candidate for Little Rock School Board Zone 2 against incumbent Michael Daugherty.

Huck's shadow

The Club for Growth is dead serious about making political life difficult for Mike Huckabee.

The new tax year

Here's the state revenue report for July, the first month of a new fiscal year.

The new tax year

Here's the state revenue report for July, the first month of a new fiscal year.

Tonight

  Ninjas, listen up: St. Louis power-pop band Ludo makes a stop in Little Rock at Juanita's tonight.

Unfiltered: Another candidate Q&A

I submitted a round of questions to Little Rock School Board member Michael Daugherty, who faces opposition for re-election from Anna Swaim and, if he gets his filing worked out by Monday, Drew Pritt.

Unfiltered: Another candidate Q&A

I submitted a round of questions to Little Rock School Board member Michael Daugherty, who faces opposition for re-election from Anna Swaim and, if he gets his filing worked out by Monday, Drew Pritt.

Let freedom ring -- UPDATED

Circuit Judge Mary McGowan has reconsidered Ron Quillin's steamy e-mails (the beaver trapper turned county comptroller is pictured at left) and ordered most of the accused embezzler's mash notes to his paramour released.

Let freedom ring -- UPDATED

Circuit Judge Mary McGowan has reconsidered Ron Quillin's steamy e-mails (the beaver trapper turned county comptroller is pictured at left) and ordered most of the accused embezzler's mash notes to his paramour released.

The blogger that ate Chicago

Ninja Poodles went to a blogger conference in Chicago and brought back a food report.

Duggar doings

No. 17 arrived today. Richard Drake over at Street Jazz reports on the political implications of the fertile Duggars.

Easy money

Here's what happens when you make a lot of money. Gossip columnists like to make you look stupid spending it.

Bridge hysteria

I give in. Maybe there is something to hysteria about the Minnesota bridge collapse.

Slim pickings and a look ahead

Arkansas's best doctors 2007

Who are the best doctors in Arkansas? They're at your side and in the laboratory.

Hey, do Friday

It's party time and there are lots of fun Friday choices. Guru hip-hops at Revolution at 9 p.m. Riceboy Sleeps, an art and music project, goes on display for its only U.S. showing at Gallery 801 in Hot Springs. Touring acts are on tap at Juanita'

About those bridges

If you followed earlier links, you know Arkansas officials say you're safe on our bridges because they are inspected regularly, etc. For the record:

Leadership wanted

From Kathy Wells, the multi-hatted civic activist/observer: Heard from a member of the Greater Little Rock Chamber of Commerce that BFI officials asked for, and received, endorsement of the proposed expansion on its landfill on Mabelvale Pike (pictured), on the ground this saves 150 jobs.

For the children

Both the House and Senate have passed bills to expand health insurance coverage for children in low-income families.

Power plant fight

Nothing like having a hunting club with deep pockets on your side in an environmental scrap.

Stop the presses

Master Jess Askew's weird political polemic attempting to intervene in the Little Rock school desegregation case has been denied by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Calling all sports fans

Arkansas Business is mighty proud of its new monthly sports magazine, seen here. It'll be distributed free statewide, with seasonally changing focuses.

I guess they would rather die than be killed

In California at least - a death row inmate is more likely to die of suicide than be executed.

Dissing Dillard's

Talk Business: A Dillard's investor, unhappy with the department store's performance, is also unhappy with getting shunted off to a corporate flack in its efforts to talk with management. Hey, take it from us.

Loyalty oaths for political parties

Kansas Republicans will demand loyalty oathBy MIKE HENDRICKSOver the weekend, Kansas Republican leaders formed what they’re calling a “loyalty committee,” a move that’s ticking off moderates and conservatives alike.It is never a sign of strength when your group, country or otherwise starts imposing loyalty oaths, or so I told Kansas Republican Party Chairman Kris Kobach over the phone on Tuesday.“That’s probably a fair criticism,” he said.Yet, beginning next January, the state GOP will begin purging its leadership — all the way down to the precinct level — of any party official who actively supports non-Republicans for office.“One weakness we’ve had is that on game day, a few of our leaders have gone out and supported the other team,” Kobach said.

Riceboy Sleeps in the Spa City

Jón “Jónsi” Birgisson, singer-guitarist for Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós, and Alex Somers of Parachutes will promote their art/music side project Riceboy Sleeps at Gallery 801 in Hot Springs tonight at 5 p.m.

But you can watch on TV

If you missed your chance to buy a ticket to the sold-out Little Rock Nine Foundation Gala Sept. 25, there's still a chance to take part close by.

Huckabee gets clubbed

We've told you before about the Club for Growth ads in Iowa clobbering Mike Huckabee as a tax-and-spender.

Huckabee gets clubbed

We've told you before about the Club for Growth ads in Iowa clobbering Mike Huckabee as a tax-and-spender.

Take it away ...

For the family

Jerry Cox of the Family Council in his latest broadside against the "radical homosexual lobby" and the gamblers, etc. It sounds like, at the moment, their plan for fighting queers in 2008 will be an effort to prevent cohabitating unmarried couples -- gay or straight -- from being foster parents or adopting children.

On the trail

Terry Eastland of the conservative Weekly Standard writes a long and generally glowing profile on candidate Mike Huckabee.

On second thought

Arkansas is going to do a little more bridge inspecting after all.

More mush from the lobbyists' friend

Gov. Mike Beebe also disclosed yesterday that state officials had been meeting with the gas industry about whether they might, pretty please, pay a little bit -- temporarily you understand -- for the huge damage they are doing to roads during exploration work.

False choice

Brummett writes about an emerging media theme that resurfaced in the Michael Vick case: that people who abhor animal cruelty somehow are insensitive to tragedies that befall poor black children.

Huck's high road

To the editor of the Democrat-Gazette: Your editorialist today wrote -- and wrote -- about the classy way in which Mike Huckabee responded to an anti-Catholic slur issued by one of his supporters against Sam Brownback and Brownback's call for a personal apology from Huckabee.

Somebody's getting traction

If the Club for Growth ads critical of Mike Huckabee mean, to him, that he must be getting traction, then his squealing about those ads suggest THEY are getting traction.

Somebody's getting traction

If the Club for Growth ads critical of Mike Huckabee mean, to him, that he must be getting traction, then his squealing about those ads suggest THEY are getting traction.

Open line Saturday.

It's on.

How sexy is a first lady allowed to be?

The LA Times examines this important story, focusing particularly on some steamy photos of the latest Mrs. Giuliani and her high-testosterone husband.

Black sabbath

Looking for entertainment?

The black metal Lamb of God plays at Clear Channel Metroplex at 6 p.m. Sunday. Details here.<

History

Are you confused about the debate on teaching Arkansas history in public schools? Brummett has a good explanation.

Can this presidency be saved?

A new Clinton biography is reviewed in NY Times today. It recalls when the headline on this item appeared on a cover story in the Arkansas Times.

In Iowa: Enthusiasm lacking

A Washington Post poll of Iowa Republican voters shows a race to the bottom. Romney leads with a whopping 26 percent.

Clark: Politics has no place in military

This one's a project, but if you have time, David Koon recommends following this link to a video from the Daily Kos bloggers' conference.

Openings limited for Huck in Iowa debate

Don't ask me why. It was an appetite spoiler.

Teaching the Bible

Sure you can legally teach the Bible in public schools -- as literature, as an aid to history, as a means of understanding all manner of things, as a means of understanding one of the world's religions.

Enough!

The Enough! protests continue at President Clinton and Cumberland.

Burger Fix

It occured to me that although my first post on this blog was about a cheeseburger from Hall and Son's Produce on Wright Ave., there was actually no picture of the burger.

Burger Fix

It occured to me that although my first post on this blog was about a cheeseburger from Hall and Son's Produce on Wright Ave., there was actually no picture of the burger.

Republican debate

Mike Huckabee enjoyed no breakout moments in the Republican presidential debate Sunday morning on ABC. Read on for notes on the candidate from Arkansas.

Revolving door

An Arkansas utility regulator is taking a job with a utility and Arkansas Blog readers have plenty to say about it.

Monday, Monday

There are things to do:
CHRIS DAUGHTRY -- The "American Idol" rocker plays Robinson Center at 8. $29.50
RED OCTOPUS -- The comedy troupe's "Pagans Summer Love-in" is at 8. Easy Street. $10

They liked Mike -- UPDATE

A Fox News focus group of Republican voters assembled for yesterday's Republican debate really liked Mike Huckabee, the Politico reports.

Obama's misstep

Brummett writes today on a topic that drew heavy fire from Republican candidates yesterday -- Barack Obama's blundering on foreign policy questions.

Wal-Mart to India

Talk about growth potential.

Special guests

Former President Bill Clinton will be making a speech at his library tomorrow night, but there's an invitation-only guest list.

Special guests

Former President Bill Clinton will be making a speech at his library tomorrow night, but there's an invitation-only guest list.

Political junkies only

Some inside baseball on the Iowa straw poll. Insiders say Romney will lead.

Greatest game on dirt

The Arkansas Travelers take on the Wichita Wrangers tonight at 7:10 p.m. at Dickey-Stephens Park in downtown North Little Rock.

School board wrinkle

Hmmm. A new wrinkle in the race for Zone 2 on the Little Rock School Board.

School board wrinkle

Hmmm. A new wrinkle in the race for Zone 2 on the Little Rock School Board.

Daughtry

Daughtry performs at Robinson Music Hall at 8 p.m. tonight. Tickets are $29.50 through Ticketmaster.

And speaking of wrinkles -- UPDATED

It looks like mediation of the Little Rock school desegregation case is off, maybe for good. John Martin, settlement director for the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, has told lawyers in the case he had decided to cancel Thursday's scheduled session.

Fish from the Market

Feeling like some fried catfish, my favorite food group, I decided to head on over to Peter's Fish Market at 4505 West 12th Street.   Three very large (see below) and meaty fish fillets, cole slaw, hush puppies, french fries, and a slice of bread was $7.50.  A two piece runs $5.99, but hey, I was all in baby.

Fish from the Market

Feeling like some fried catfish, my favorite food group, I decided to head on over to Peter's Fish Market at 4505 West 12th Street.   Three very large (see below) and meaty fish fillets, cole slaw, hush puppies, french fries, and a slice of bread was $7.50.  A two piece runs $5.99, but hey, I was all in baby.

How is this different than fascism ?

If we have to be scared that if we read certain articles - the FBI will come knocking--- what good is freedom of speech?

Education day UPDATE

In keeping with today's education theme: A good blog on the Huffington Post by a $39,000-a-year teacher in the Bronx (you have any idea how little that will buy in NYC?)

Huck-a-bus update

I got another reminder of the Young Republicans' Huck-a-bus trip to Ames, Iowa for the big Republican straw poll.

Huckstering on health, war, etc.

Mike Huckabee is getting some favorable notices on his Iowa debate appearance, thanks particularly to the Frank Luntz focus group in which 29 Iowa Republicans responded favorably to statements Huckabee made.

Speaking of elections

Former state Rep. Jim Lendall responds to our editorial this week endorsing the mayoral power changes on the Little Rock ballot next week.

Christian soldiers

Brummett invokes the hymn -- with these particular Christian soldiers marching off to Ames, Iowa -- to describe the Huckabee-Brownback sniping in Iowa.

Tougher ethics rules -- UPDATE

Wouldn't you love to read a story like this about the arrival of stricter rules on lobbying freebies and disclosure in Arkansas?

Traveling Arkansas

We get letters. This one from Bruce Peterson, an "eating expert," touting a restaurant near Hot Springs Village.

Bingo booming

The Arkansas Leader reports that seven bingo halls have opened in their north Pulaski territory and four more will be rolling by next month.

Radio Free America

It's widely expected that Rupert Murdoch will end subscription-only web access to the Wall Street Journal.

Only in Arkansas -- UPDATE

Read this letter distributed today and weep for ethics in Arkansas: Counsel, The purpose of this email is to inform you that I have recently accepted an offer of employment from the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC).  My resignation from the Arkansas Public Service Commission and assumption of my duties at AECC will be effective sometime during the fall of this year.  The exact date, yet to be determined, will be announced later.

Ghosts and magic

Tonight at the Tavern: an Americana act with an all-star line-up performs. Ghosts I’ve Met, a Seattle five-piece led by singer-guitarist Sam Watts, came together in 2005 after all of its members, all multi-instrumentalists, had served as session players for other bands including Modest Mouse, Sparklehorse, Cat Power, Built to Spill, Belle & Sebastian, Portastatic, Sleater Kinney and The Actual Tigers.

Business as usual

Promise the city anything to get your strip shopping center developed. You can break the rules later and the developer-friendly City Board will bail you out, or so my friend on the Cantrell corridor complains It's hardly news, but, for the record, the Little Rock Board of Directors voted last night to give extended hours to Jim's Razorback Pizza in a Highway 10 shopping center where closing hours were supposed to be 8 p.m.

Business as usual

Promise the city anything to get your strip shopping center developed. You can break the rules later and the developer-friendly City Board will bail you out, or so my friend on the Cantrell corridor complains It's hardly news, but, for the record, the Little Rock Board of Directors voted last night to give extended hours to Jim's Razorback Pizza in a Highway 10 shopping center where closing hours were supposed to be 8 p.m.

Education appointment

Gov. Mike Beebe today made an appointment to the state Board of Education -- former state Sen. Brenda Gullett of Pine Bluff, who now lives in Fayetteville.

Education appointment

Gov. Mike Beebe today made an appointment to the state Board of Education -- former state Sen. Brenda Gullett of Pine Bluff, who now lives in Fayetteville.

What do you mean ? I can't use my work computer to have an affair ?

I have written here previously about the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act and consider myself a strong supporter of the FOIA.

Does Huckabee Think George Bush Is A Failure?

What does Huck really mean when he says "people don't want another Washington person because Washington has failed" ? Who is he even talking about?   Romney?  Not from Washington.

Clinton's lead widens

Up 22 over Obama, CNN poll finds.

Keep on suing

The losers of the lawsuit to stop the buyout of LR School Supt. Roy Brooks' contract want the judge to alter his ruling in a way that they say will make it easier to appeal.

Into the breach

Retired Supreme Court Justice David Newbern -- he of the special school master service -- will step in to finish Public Service Commissioner Sandra Hochstetter's job in hearing environmental issues on the proposed SWEPCO coal-burning power plant in Hempstead County.

New bank leader

Bill Scholl is the new president and CEO of First Security Bank of Little Rock, replacing Jeff Hildebrand, departed to "pursue other business interests."

News you can use

Thanks to Cato for this link to a site that tracks speed traps nationwide. Do tell that the LR cops sit by the viaduct near the Capitol and nab speeders midday.

The boy is back in town

  Bill Clinton opened the Kumpuris family lecture series in Little Rock tonight -- private -- at his libray.

Movies and more

Wednesday night fun includes "Airplane," to close out Movies in the Park, and Queens of the Stone Age at the Village. And more.

What a gas!

Gov. Mike Beebe pressures a PSC commissioner to resign and tal

The ethanol craze

It's fueling a surge in the price of farm acreage. But that's not necessarily good news for small farmers and young farmers seeking to establish a toehold in agriculture.

Benton County justice

A judge up there thinks it's OK to hold criminal proceedings in secret. Stephens Media, good for them, is objecting.

More movie screens

News release here on a new movie multiplex, including one IMAX screen, going in that new Chenal Valley shopping center.

Further investigation -- UPDATE

After reviewing the Legislative Audit report on Circuit Judge Willard Proctor's Cycle Breakers probation program -- a program that the audit found rife with disregard for Constitution, statute and other rules -- Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley has forwarded the report to the State Police for further investigation.

Poll analysis

Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post really loves Mike Huckabee. He's found hope for Huck in Washington Post polling, even where the numbers don't seem promising.

Flying through airport security

LR National Airport later this month will be adding a commercial service that allows members quicker passage through airport security -- a VIP security check, if you will.

Pied beauty

Hunka Pie, the pie stand in the River Market, now has more on offer than a stellar lineup of pies -- fruit, cream and quiche.

Damn the historians ...

Full speed ahead this year with the reviled new "frameworks" for teaching Arkansas history in public schools, Gov. Mike Beebe has decreed.

West Memphis 3 investigation

Mara Leveritt reports learning from a reliable source that Prosecuting Attorney Brent Davis of Jonesboro has agreed to a proposal from defense atorneys to test knives and other items supplied by Pam Davis, mother of one of the three children slain in 1993.

UPDATE II: Hochstetter steps down

It's official. State Public Service Commissioner Sandra Hochstetter resigned today in a brief letter to Gov. Mike Beebe.

Holy leadership, Beebeman

Is it regulated industry day or what here in the natural state? John Brummett has the scoop that Gov. Mike Beebe is telling the gas industry that he wants to see the severance tax increased and is willing to lead an initiated act campaign to do it.

Holy leadership, Beebeman

Is it regulated industry day or what here in the natural state? John Brummett has the scoop that Gov. Mike Beebe is telling the gas industry that he wants to see the severance tax increased and is willing to lead an initiated act campaign to do it.

Queens still reign supreme

There are few touring bands around who can do no-frills, balls-to-the-wall rock 'n' roll like Queens of the Stone Age.

Judicial discipline

Speaking of judicial discipline. I don't have all the details yet, but a reliable source says a couple of Arkansas circuit judges -- Circuit Judge Rhonda Wood and District Judge Jerry Patterson -- were on the verge of  sending each other to jail for contempt in a dispute today at the Searcy County Courthouse in Marshall.

Judicial discipline

Speaking of judicial discipline. I don't have all the details yet, but a reliable source says a couple of Arkansas circuit judges -- Circuit Judge Rhonda Wood and District Judge Jerry Patterson -- were on the verge of  sending each other to jail for contempt in a dispute today at the Searcy County Courthouse in Marshall.

Cocktail Hour

Tasty & Cold Shrimp Cocktail from Mariscos de Sinaloa on Baseline near Geyer Springs.  Huge Shrimp with tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, onions, citrus juice, etc....   Six bucks or so and hits the spot on a hot day.    Especially with a cold cerveza.

Wendell Griffen cleared UPDATE

A three-member panel of the state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission is meeting at 3:30 p.m. today.

General Hogspittle

You thought the Hog Opera was over? That it was time to win 10-plus and forget the scandals surrounding Text King Houston Dale?
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