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August 4, 2005

Vol 3 • No 29

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If we had a choice, we’d choose to renovate the existing Ray Winder Field where it sits in War Memorial Park. Despite its defects — including seats that seem to get smaller and harder every year — the old ball yard has a certain charm about it, and the lo

Can you say Madam President?

Can you possibly hope to get elected president if 48 percent of the electorate would never, ever vote for you and if a solid two-thirds of those opposing you were positively rabid in their resistance, either finding you frightful or viewing you with u

Pity the billionaires

President Bush and the Senate Republicans who are trying again to eliminate the estate tax forever have some wonderful grist in Forbes magazine’s latest list of the world’s billionaires.

Save the estate tax

Republican Sen. Bill Frist delayed a vote on repeal of the estate tax until September to increase the pressure on reluctant Democrats. This means Arkansas can expect a continued bombardment of dishonest advertising about how the estate tax can “bury your

For richer and for poorer

The transformation of Northwest Arkansas may be the state’s most significant development in the last 100 years. Once a desperately poor region populated by hardscrabble mountain-dwellers when agriculture was the big business in Arkansas, it is now one of

Letters Aug. 4

As a graduate, former employee and adamant apologist of the Arkansas Governor’s School, I am responding to Max Brantley’s July 14 column “Dumb and Dumber.” The piece addresses the Right’s ire over an assigned reading from Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America

More picks Aug. 4-10

Popular country artist Larry Gatlin will headline an acoustic concert on Friday, Aug. 5, at Robinson Center Music Hall. Showtime is 7 p.m. and tickets are $40, $35 and $30 from all Ticketmaster outlets (most Harvest Foods stores, 975-7575 or www.ticketmas

TV highlights

WEIRD U.S. 10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4 The History Channel (Comcast Ch. 70) While the highways and byways of Arkansas have their share of really weird stuff, there are roadside attractions in the American hinterland that make us look positively sane.

The latest Thing: Catfish City West

In Arkansas, every town has its “thing.” Hope has watermelons and a machine to clone overly-ambitious politicians. Bentonville has billionaire hillbillies. Pine Bluff has the constant threat of annihilation from a cloud of VX nerve gas.

D-G nips a smelly bud

According to the online arm of Editor and Publisher magazine, Little Rock’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette was one of only “10 to 12” newspapers nationwide to edit or pull recent installments of the Doonesbury comic strip which employed the phrase “Turd Blosso

This Modern World Aug. 4

The Observer Aug. 4

Over the weekend, with daytime highs dipping below 90 for the first time in recent memory, The Observer decided to load up the fam’bly and take a road trip to Memphis.

Editorial cartoon Aug. 4

What's cooking-Capsule reviews

What's cooking:Aydelotte's; Ice House Cafe. Capsule review: Cross-eyed Pig

Music scene now streaming

Here’s an invitation to join me every Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on’s newest streamed show, the Arkansas Times Entertainment 120. Our first show featured interviews with the Boondogs (they have a great new album, “Fever Dreams”) and Look

Top two Razorbacks an easy pick

Before the list of candidates arrived, Mike Conley and Corliss Williamson were a certain 1-2 or 2-1 on the ballot for the roles they played in Razorback sports on the national stage. Paring the list from 74 was the hard part and arranging the ballot me

Five Bolt brings metal to Juanita's

It was a surprise to many, including the members of the Louisville, Ky.-based aggressive metal band, when Flaw was dropped from the Republic label in 2004, considering that it sold almost a half million copies on that label of its albums “Through the Eyes

Orval Aug. 4

The Insider Aug. 4

The state Democratic Party is raising questions about a concert Friday featuring country singer Larry Gatlin that will benefit the campaign of Republican Andy Mayberry, who’s challenging U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder in 2006.

'Sweet Sounds' live on

Perhaps one of the first quality exhibits of Arkansas musicians — not to mention a rare official sanction of Arkansas pop culture — was the the Old State House Museum’s “Our Own Sweet Sounds” show in fall 1995. The University of Arkansas Press published

Divided we stand

Can the whole be less than the sum of its parts? Arkansas is a small state, but it is geographically divided into regions that have their own distinct economic and cultural characteristics. An improving highway network still does not easily connect u

Words Aug. 4

“Found lying under a tree, the severely beaten young man wore a distinctive brown uniform. When he regained consciousness, he said he was an escapee from the Hutchinson Youth.”

The week that was July 27-Aug. 2

IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR … WETLANDS. Thanks to the discovery of an ivory-billed woodpecker in the Big Woods, a plan is underway to pay farmers to convert farmland back to hardwood and wetland use to protect the bird’s habit

Smart Talk Aug. 4

Two Arkansas recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor have strong words about the war in Iraq.

The gun lobby

Last Friday, U.S. senators voted to exempt gun manufacturers, distributors and dealers from being sued if someone was killed with one of their guns, a sort of exception that no other business has in this country. The vote was done to please the National

‘Urban Legends’ at Cantrell

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette cartoonist John Deering and former colleague Matt Haney will open “Urban Legends,” a theme show featuring paintings that place fantasy figures in everyday environments, at Cantrell Gallery on Friday, Aug. 5. A reception from 6-8

Einstein Q's and A's

Q: I’ve seen reports of this person or that “running for governor.” What is the meaning of this term? Is it running like in a 100-meter race? Is it running like the engine of a car? And why would someone want to do it who didn’t have to?

"Stealth" bomb

Since even before we knew the first thing about building robots, we’ve been obsessed with robots run amok — Shelley’s Dr. Frankenstein putting together a biomechanical Golem from the boneyard parts bin, H.G. Wells raining down death and giant mechanical k

Music on three stages

Reviewers this week rate "1964," a Beatles tribute; "The Hip Hop Project" at The Rep, and "Little Shop of Horrors" at the Weekend Theater.

Mathis explores the matter of the soul

All you philosophy majors will surely forgive me if I’ve got my quote or quoted wrong — “Intro to Philosophy” was oh, so many years ago — but I believe it was Kierkegaard (see previous review) who said that man trying to figure out God was like a starfish

An Arkansas aria

Seventy-nine years have passed since a high moment in Arkansas’s cultural history. Jan. 26, 1926, in New York, hundreds of ticket-hungry fans stood in line for hours outside the Metropolitan Opera to purchase tickets to that evening’s performance of G

What's happening in August

Literary and other events at bookstores this month.

Books and records

How to read and hear more of opera star Mary Lewis.

What we're reading

Top sellers at Arkansas bookstores.

Country and more country

Get ready for some serious honky-tonk country when powerhouse duo Brooks & Dunn and their heirs apparent, Big & Rich, invade Alltel Arena on Sunday, Aug. 7, for the Deuces Wild Tour. They’ll be joined by special guests Warren Brothers and “hick-hop” count

Of despair and buffalo shepherds

Back in the Stone Age, when I came up against college, and lost, there was a sadistic literature professor who sentenced us unsuspecting farm boys just off the turnip truck to read a book by Mr. James Joyce titled “Finnegan’s Wake.” Some of us fought our

Drug-reform books not appreciated

You can give a drug book to a library, but you can’t make the library shelve it.

Slice the melon

Ace Cannon, the renowned saxophonist, and classic hitmaker “Jumpin’ ” Gene Simmons will make music to eat cold watermelon by when they perform Friday, Aug. 12, at the 29th annual Hope Watermelon Festival at Fair Park.

Texas guitar great Johnson in ‘Bloom’ at Juanita’s

Texas-style guitar wizard Eric Johnson returns to Little Rock for a concert at Juanita’s Cantina Ballroom on Tuesday, Aug. 16.