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August 3, 2006

Vol 4 • No 29

Score one for Darwin

Voters in Kansas have rejected right-wing Republican efforts to attack teaching of the Theory of Evolution in schools.Read this AP report on Yahoo News.

Pryor loyal to Lieberman

U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor is mentioned in this NYTimes article as among the few Democratic colleagues of U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman who are going to support the Connecticut senator regardless of whether he wins next week's Democratic primary.

Huckabee touts tax policies

Gov. Mike Huckabee yesterday issued a press release to tout his tax policies and offer advice to congressional leaders.

Hendrix heralded in new book

Hendrix College is among only 40 U.S. institutions included in the new edition of "Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges."

Downtown progress?

Those of you interested in Little Rock history and downtown development might enjoy this web page, which is part of the Mabelvale High School site.

Post-election conference scheduled for LR

The State Legislative Leaders Foundation today announced that it will hold a public conference at the Clinton School of Public Service in November to analyze the results of this year's mid-term elections.

Open line (pun intended)

We intentionally saved this item from today's edition of the Fort Smith daily newspaper until the late evening.

Keeping up with the Times

The new edition of the Arkansas Times is published at every Wednesday at 5 p.m., before the print copies hit newsstands.

Beebe’s choice cut

Among my spats with the Asa Hutchinson campaign has been the matter of what Mike Beebe says on abortion.

UFOs are not what you think

Not beings from outer space but beings from another dimension — fallen angels, in fact — are responsible for UFOs. And they’re up to no good.

Hedging their bets

Soon, unless the Arkansas Supreme Court has a different notion, casinos will be running wide open in Arkansas for the first time in nearly 40 years, since Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller’s troopers set fire to contraband slots at Hot Springs and the casinos tur

Friends like these

A Democratic senator in a Democratic state faces a backlash in next week’s Democratic primary over his support for President George W. Bush and his Iraq war policy. The senator is Joe Lieberman and the state is Connecticut, but you have to wonder if U.S.


A matter of trust

Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson writes in place of Max Brantley, who is on vacation.

Making teens criminals

Both the House and the Senate have passed another selfish and intrusive bill that would make a teen-ager a criminal for traveling to another state to get an abortion without telling Mama and Daddy.

TV Highlights Aug. 3-9

Director Maryann Byrd Furrell takes viewers on a trip through biscuit history, tracing the development and perfection of this staple of the Southern breakfast table. Drawing on chats with chefs and historians, it’s sure to give you a rise.

DJ Irene spins ’em

Dust off your glow-stick, hose down that oversized pacifier: DJ Irene comes to town on Friday, Aug. 4, to drop the needle for a hard-house dance party at the Revolution Room.

Help for immigrants

The University of Central Arkansas at Conway will consider the children of immigrants to be in-state students if the children graduated from an Arkansas high school.

You think this is hot?

While oh-so-rural Arkansas isn’t the first place you might think of when the phrase “Global Warming” enters a conversation, a new group says The Natural State will still have to face the impact of the coming crisis — and could reap significant benefits in

The buzz on new books

These are some new books that might be of special interest to Arkansas readers as the summer winds down. Perhaps most notable of them is “A Keeper of Bees: Notes on Hive and Home,” by Allison Wallace of Conway.

Smart Talk

This week: Hall of Famer comes to town; an Arkansas actor lands a big role; public television watches its mouth.

Defends Medical Board

I disagree with your report in the July 20 “Smart Talk” section that intimates that the Arkansas State Medical Board is not living up to its obligation to protect patients from doctors who are “not practicing medicine in the best manner and are….endangeri

Lancaster on vacation

Bob Lancaster is on vacation. His column will return on Aug. 24.

The Observer

The Observer, who recently began moonlighting as a librarian, likes the job. Really likes the job. Books have a lovely way of not talking back, and the rows upon rows of straight spines inspire us to ponder the amount of information contained within.

This Modern World

Moon giver

President Bush disparaged the media at a Republican fund-raiser the other night — rather ungrateful behavior for a man who has been so fawned over.

Picks, Aug. 4-10

No one in the state’s political and news-making realm is safe when the Pulaski County Bar Association brings out its Gridiron every two years. This season’s show, “In the Ring,” opens Wednesday, Aug. 9, with a special Premier Night Party. The comedy and m


Starting a few years back, every mention of the NEA in the media is followed by the phrase “a teachers union.” Knowing the anti-labor bias of the media, I assume this is not intended as a compliment.

The week that was July 26-Aug. 1

IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR … THE LITTLE ROCK SCHOOL DISTRICT. Teachers and administrators reached agreement on a new contract for the teachers, avoiding a delay in the start of classes, scheduled for Aug. 21.

Editorial cartoons

Franken puts Arkansas front and center

Al Franken’s latest visit to Little Rock was a smashing success. Hosted by the Rumba Room, Franken broadcast his three-hour radio show last Friday with local guests Congressman Vic Snyder, author Gene Lyons, Dean of the Clinton School of Public Policy Ski

Seeking exemption

Through July 27, these bars and restaurants in Pulaski County had applied for exemption from the new state smoking law, saying they won’t admit anyone under 21.

Rebate now, pay later

State tax revenues continue to run strong. The lame duck governor, with no responsibility for the years ahead, plays to the peanut gallery with continued tax rebate talk yesterday.

Oh. My. Gosh.

What in heaven's name happened to Dyan Cannon?Take a look.

Jim Lagrone's attention deficit

John Brummett says the Republican candidate for secretary of state, Jim Lagrone, just can't seem to get any traction against the Democratic incumbent, Charlie Daniels, despite recent election management problems.

Trading tax cuts for wage hikes (UPDATE)

Will U.S. Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor support a deal to limit the estate tax in exchange for an increase in the federal minimum wage?

Alltel's being sued. Get it?

The Wall Street Journal today shares details about Alltel's latest advertising campaign, an unconventional approach that involves a fake class-action lawsuit.

Nursing home protection racket

The latest issue of Consumer Reports focuses on the inspection records of nursing homes around the nation.

Jim Holt's numbers

Media Matters takes issue with Republican lieutenant governor candidate Jim Holt's contentions in a recent NPR story about the gay foster parent issue in Arkansas.

Iraq approaching 'civil war'

U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and senior military commanders testified before Congress about the conflict in Iraq.

Asa! calls for more charter schools

Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson today announced in a press release that Arkansas needs more charter schools.

Asa! calls for more charter schools

Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson today announced in a press release that Arkansas needs more charter schools.

Beebe hits Asa! on minimum wage

Mike Beebe's campaign today issued a press release criticizing Asa Hutchinson for his guest column in the new edition of the Arkansas Times.

Seinfeld returning to Little Rock on Sept. 7

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld is scheduled to appear at Robinson Center Music Hall on Sept. 7, we've just learned via Celebrity Attractions.

Conversations: The new movie "Miami Vice"

Blake Rutherford, who organizes the Movies in the Park weekly free movie series at Riverfest Amphitheatre and is a huge movie buff, discusses the new release "Miami Vice" with Arkansas Times movie critic David Koon.

Parisian changes hands

The Democrat-Gazette this morning reported Saks' sale of its Parisian stores to Belk, which will impact the new Pleasant Ridge Town Center mall under construction in West Little Rock, to be anchored by a Parisian.

Play ball!

A source close to the Arkansas Travelers organization tells us that the inaugural Opening Day for the brand-new Dickey-Stephens Field in North Little Rock will be April 12, 2007, and the Travs will face the Springfield Cardinals.

UCA extends in-state tuition to immigrants' children

The Insider column in the new edition of the Arkansas Times broke the news about UCA president Lu Hardin's decision to offer in-state tuition to the children of immigrants -- as long as they graduate from an Arkansas high school.

Ghouls among us

Several persons have complained the last two days about receiving unsolicited e-mails, some from people they don't even know, with photo attachments of the wrecked car of beloved sportscaster Paul Eells.It's hard to figure what sort of person would take the trouble to make multiple photos of such a thing then take the time and trouble to create e-mail images and send them to people they don't even know.

All yours

This open line is for you.

You say you want a Revolution ...

Several times during the Blues Traveler show last week at the Revolution Room, an acquaintance would lean over and say, “Little Rock has needed this for so long.” Yes, it has -– “this” being a indoor music venue with a capacity approaching 600 people. And

Kanpai can

If Yours Truly ever gets too dimes to rub together, one of the first plane tickets I buy will surely be to Japan. All the “Mysterious Orient” baloney aside, I’ve managed to convince myself that there’s something to be had there that you can’t quite get he

What's happening in August

On Paul Eells, film fest shakeup

Many Arkansans woke up Tuesday to the same kick in the gut I remember feeling on a early fall Friday morning in 1974, when I heard that the “Voice of the Razorbacks,” Bud Campbell, had been killed late the night before in a car accident. Monday night,

St. Joseph’s names McCutcheon Child Advocacy Center Director

St. Joseph’s Mercy Health Center recently named Janice McCutcheon, MSW, Director of the Cooper-Anthony Mercy Child Advocacy Center.

‘Re-Store’ your house

If you’ve ever gotten the urge to wreak a little “Trading Spaces” havoc on your living room, then blanched at the price of make-over supplies, read on. The Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, at Pike and Pershing in North Little Rock, is paradise for budge

Comedy winner ‘Priest’ deserves hallelujahs

Every two years the Arkansas Repertory Theatre sponsors the Kaufman and Hart Prize for New American Comedy, the honor named for the pre-eminent comedic team from Broadway’s Golden Age. The two runners-up and the winning play are produced as read-throu

Summer sizzlers

In recent years, Michael Mann has emerged as one of this reviewer’s favorite directors. In flicks like “Collateral” and “Heat,” Mann’s penchant for showing the gritty side of the world’s flashiest cities — accentuated by his trademark handheld style, whic

What we're reading, Aug. 3.

The most recent top 10 bestsellers from three local bookstores.

DOH Confirming 3rd Arkansas Death from Heat Disorder

Hot temperatures and high humidity are a dangerous mix that contributes to illness and death. The Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Health (DOH), is confirming the third heat related death in the state this year.

LBJ, slightly condensed

Too often Lyndon Baines Johnson is reduced to caricature. He was the larger-than-life personality — from Texas, of course — whose in-credible ambition took him all the way to White House. His crude manners and political calculations concealed a true commi

NO SMOKING, new law says

The new Clean Indoor Air Act essentially bans smoking in the workplace, including bars and restaurants, traditional havens for smokers. But it provides a way for bars and restaurants to get around the prohibition.

Talent and personality

She’s got the big pipes and he’s got the big personality. Together, country pop’s reigning power couple, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, are the ideal mix. In front of a nearly sold-out crowd of 13,301 on Friday night, the duo did not disappoint.

What's cookin'

Lewis Curtis is the new executive chef at Lulav, and Heather Keeton has returned to the restaurant she left in January to serve as sous chef to Curtis. Also, the modern eatery is now know as the V Lounge at Lulav, but eventually will be known just as the

Estate tax-min. wage bill fails

The legislation that tied a federal minimum wage hike to an estate tax cut failed in the U.S. Senate last night by four votes.

Latinos in the South (UPDATED)

UPDATE (9:15 a.m.): New federal census statistics released this morning show Hispanics represent 4.7 percent of Arkansans, and the Hispanic population is growing much faster than the state's general population.

Huckabee to S.C.: Ban gay marriage

Gov. Mike Huckabee yesterday urged South Carolina to pass a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage.

NW Ark. economic picture mixed

The top economic researcher at UofA's Walton College of Business, Jeff Collins, talks cautiously about the Northwest Arkansas economy.

Walker sues LRSD for discrimination (UPDATE: LR mayoral candidate involved?)

Little Rock attorney John Walker Wednesday filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the Little Rock School District Board of Education, District Superintendent Roy Brooks and Central High School Principal Nancy Rousseau.

Sufficient Grounds owners are selling

Sufficient Grounds in Hillcrest is being sold. Adam Frith and John Newbern, who created the concept 10 years ago, along with newer partner Merritt Maham, are selling their interest in the coffee house and restaurant to Dr. Rebecca Esch, who has been a regular customer there.

Eells memorial service today

The public memorial service for Paul Eells begins today at 2 p.m. at Robinson Auditorium in Little Rock.

Hillary to Rumsfeld: Resign (UPDATE)

U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton thinks President George W. Bush should accept the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Recommended higher ed. funding approved

The Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board today approved the Dept. of Higher Education’s 2007-09 biennial funding recommendations for public colleges and universities.

Rod Bryan in The Economist

Independent gubernatorial candidate Rod Bryan scores a profile (and an international audience) in the pages of The Economist magazine.

NASA joins woodpecker search

Reuters reports that NASA is using sophisticated equipment to help scientists locate the rare Ivory-Billed Woodpecker in the Eastern Arkansas delta.

LR indie music doc set for release

A documentary film about the independent music scene in Little Rock, titled "Towncraft," is scheduled for release in January.

A celebration of Paul Eells' life

As these type of things go, today's funeral/memorial service for Paul Eells at Robinson Center in downtown Little Rock was something none of us who were there are likely to forget.

J.R. and Henry's Sports Column: Paul Eells

What Dreams May Come: In Memory of Paul Eells It's difficult to fathom a season of Razorback football without Paul Eells.

Pat Robertson believes!

Well, God bless. Conservative Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson said on Thursday the wave of scorching temperatures across the United States has converted him into a believer in global warming.

Gov. candidates get substantive

John Brummett steps back for a moment and realizes ... there has been substance in the governor's race.

Dem sweep in November?

Political analyst Charlie Cook thinks the Democrats will win a majority in the U.S. House in November, and maybe take control of the U.S. Senate, too.

Hillary avoids Iraq consequences

The New York Times takes note of the fact that while U.S. Sens. Hillary Clinton and Joe Lieberman had similar positions on the Iraq war, he is having difficulty in his re-election effort this year and she is not.

Props to Conway

Last night I attended a taping of "AETN Presents" featuring my friend Rodney Block and his Rodney Block Jazz Project.

Weekend open line

President Bush is on vacation in Crawford, and we're taking a break to let you have this open line.

To do Sunday: Buckcherry at Juanita's

Buckcherry will be rocking Juanita's Cantina Ballroom tonight, with Black Stone Cherry opening at 6 p.m.

The Mind of Matt: Movies and metal

Market Street Cinemas' Matt Smith opines on the latest movies and heavy rock: MOVIES "A Scanner Darkly" opened this weekend.

Escape by canoe

Yes, we took a one-day break from the blog. (Even God rested on the seventh day ....)

Sunday commentary

David Sanders offers his snapshot of the campaign landscape as it currently stands. John Brummett rolls his eyes at the latest dust-up in the attorney general's race.

Asa: GOP good, Dems bad

Looks like Asa Hutchinson took off the gloves yesterday at the state Republican convention: Asa Hutchinson, the Republican candidate for governor, urged more than 350 Republicans on Saturday to remind voters how having a Republican instead of a Democrat as governor has helped Arkansas.

Don't count those chickens

Those who optimistically foresee major Democratic congressional gains in the upcoming November elections might pause a moment to consider this report from The Associated Press.

Yes there is a free lunch

Sigh. Max, briefly, in an internet stop in Riga, Latvia.

Long day's journey into Arkansas

Little Rock native Michael Hibblen writes in the San Jose Mercury News about the impracticality of long-distance train travel in the U.S.

Paying their fair share

Prompted by recent reports about the extent to which the wealthy avoid paying taxes, John Brummett proposes "a progressive national sales tax, based on ability to pay."

Acxiom inks deal with ValueAct Capital

Acxiom and ValueAct Capital today jointly announced they reached a deal through which ValueAct managing partner Jeffrey Ubben will have a seat on the Acxiom board of directors.

Huckabee invited behind curtain

Gov. Mike Huckabee is mentioned in a new Time magazine article about an influential evangelical political group that prefers to operate under the radar.

Beebe criticizes Homeland Security spending

Today's visit to the Pine Bluff Arsenal by a federal Homeland Security official prompts Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Beebe to criticize the department's spending priorities.

Berry endorsed by NRA

U.S. Rep. Marion Berry today announced that he received the endorsement of the National Rifle Association for his re-election campaign.

Dependency = vulnerability

How volatile (read: fragile) is the global oil market? All it takes is one little pipeline problem ....

To do Monday: Great guitar, great trumpet

It's rare that Monday in Little Rock offers this much talent at the clubs, but two shows are definitely worth checking out tonight: Guitar sensation Eric Johnson is at Juanita's in an 8 p.m. show ($17 tickets), while local trumpeter Rodney Block is worth checking out along with the Monday Jazz Project backing ensemble at the Afterthought ($5, 8 p.m.).

Fiser named UAMS dean

It's official. As the Arkansas Times earlier reported, Debra Fiser today was named dean of the UAMS College of Medicine.

Looks like Mike Nail will replace Paul on the football games

That's the dependable scuttlebutt I'm hearing from the people around the Hogs athletic department. Mike Nail has been the Razorback basketball play-by-play man for going on two decades.

Looks like Mike Nail will replace Paul on the football games

That's the dependable scuttlebutt I'm hearing from the people around the Hogs athletic department. Mike Nail has been the Razorback basketball play-by-play man for going on two decades.

Angels extends Travs affiliation

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim -- yes, that's their real name now -- today announced a two-year extension of their affiliation with the AA-minor-league Arkansas Travelers.

Mike Nail to replace Paul Eells?

Over at his Little Rocking blog, Jim Harris of the Arkansas Times says he hears that Razorback basketball play-by-play announcer Mike Nail will probably replace the recently deceased Paul Eells to do the play-by-play for Razorback football (otherwise known as the Voice of the Razorbacks).

New comments policy

We've been aware for some time that our open comments policy invited abuse. Fortunately, that abuse was only occasional and manageable.

Cancer Support Home Tennis Classic Set for September

The fourth annual Cancer Support Home Tennis Classic is scheduled for September 15-17 at Fayetteville High School and Wilson Park in Fayetteville.

Swan song for Lieberman?

Will U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman survive today's Democratic primary in Connecticut? It's going to be close.

Daniels under ethics probe

The state Ethics Commission yesterday announced an investigation into whether a voter guide produced by the secretary of state's office is a taxpayer-financed campaign material supporting the re-election of Charlie Daniels.

Consistently inconsistent?

John Brummett says there is rhyme and reason to the schizophrenic way U.S. Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor alternate in their loyalty to national Democratic Party priorities.

Politics, over-easy

A press release issued yesterday by the New England Council and the New Hampshire Political Library announced that Gov. Mike Huckabee will speak at the "Politics and Eggs" forum this Friday in Bedford, New Hampshire.

Already more LR murders this year than last

With two more homicides recorded today, Little Rock this year already has exceeded the number of homicides that occurred during the entirety of 2005.

Beebe cites 'urgent' need for jobs

Citing recent employment and economic statistics, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Beebe today said in a press release that Arkansas urgently needs a plan to create more jobs.

Layover in Houston, en route to Bentonville

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, which will open in Bentonville in 2009, today announced it is loaning its most prized painting -- Gilbert Stuart's Constable-Hamilton portrait of George Washington -- to Houston's Museum of Fine Arts for the next year.

Whoops, there goes another hillside

If you haven't driven north on I-430 near South Shackleford Road in the last 10 days you're in for a surprise.Massive excavation and tree removal are zooming forward on the site of what was to have been the Summit Mall about a half mile south of Arkansas Heart Hospital.

DeLay in 'last throes'

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is fighting an uphill battle to keep his congressional seat from going to a Democrat in November.

Tonight: It's Clunker Car Night

Clunker Car Night at Ray Winder Field, how can anyone pass on that? A extremely used car will be given away every inning during tonight's Travelers game with Frisco, which starts at 7:30 p.m.

Curran Hall task force named

Little Rock Mayor Jim Dailey today named the members of a task force that will study the long-term use of Curran Hall, which currently houses a visitors center operated by the city's Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Which Ark. governors were best on jobs?

Roby Brock at his Talk Business blog shares details from a new Arkansas Policy Foundation study focusing on annual job growth rates under Arkansas governors since World War II.

The Mind of Matt: Movies, food, more

Matt Smith lets loose with whatever's on his mind, and this week it's movies. But check out that picture of Matt with Van Halen and Sammy Hagar bassist Michael Anthony.

Halter supports gay foster parent ban

The Associated Press reports that Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Bill Halter supports banning homosexuals from serving as foster parents.

Buckcherry was deafening, and pretty good

This hot August run of good music shows at the clubs and major venues around town got off to a great start on Sunday when Buckcherry filled Juanita’s with fans of their loud rock.

Lieberman loses

Ned Lamont defeated incumbent U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut Democratic primary by an approximate margin of 52 to 48 percent.

Digital fingerprints

One more example of how easy your anonymity can be pierced on the web, if, for example, search engine companies release your searching history to the public, the government or whoever, even if only by number.

Pulaski Bank purchased by IberiaBank

Word on the street this morning is that IberiaBank of Louisiana has purchased privately-held Pulaski Bank of Little Rock.

Whither the Bradley Pink, et al.

There's a couple that will drive from a place north of Dallas to Warren, Arkansas, to lay their hands on a back seat full of the genuine Bradley Pink tomatoes that once ruled the earth as the greatest exemplar of good summertime eating.

Huckabee frustrated with feds

At last week's National Governors Association meeting in Charleston, Gov. Mike Huckabee apparently channeled his fellow governors' pent-up frustrations with the federal government, according to

To do Wednesday: Gridiron, Movies in the Park

Gridiron, the biennial musical spoof of Arkansas politicians and personalities staged by the Pulaski County Bar Association and friends, opens its run with a benefit performance at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre tonight.

Helicopter crashes in NW Arkansas

The Arkansas National Guard today announced that one of its helicopters crashed this morning while conducting an anti-narcotics operation in conjunction with the Arkansas State Police.

The Nuge is coming to the Metroplex Monday

Damn, if we listened to 105 more, we'd know this by now, but Ted Nugent is coming to the Clear Channel Metroplex on Monday, Aug. 14.

Washington Regional Donates to Kids For Health

Washington Regional donates to fund upgraded health education materials for over 18,000 children in Washington County Schools.