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August 5, 2010

Vol 36 • No 48

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A 'whole new day' in psychiatry

If you can think it, Kilts says, he can image it.

'Because people are scared'

A Little Rock couple support psychiatry with money — and their names.

Photo shows opens tonight

Canvas Community show opens tonight.

New Orleans pictured

New Orleans photographer, writer to talk about book project.

Whither the Walton, cont.

The Walton Arts Center has made public 25 expansion proposals.

The Mulehead reunion round-up

It's really happening this time. Mulehead, Little Rock's favorite act in the late 90s and early aughts, IS reuniting for a two-night stand in White Water on August 28-29.

Sooie and D-Mac on Twitter

Good stuff from both: A Boy Named Sooie and Darren McFadden. Bet you can't guess who's who?

New student pass for Hog tickets

Rumors of a new ticket deal for University of Arkansas students who want to go to football and basketball games became reality today.

Arguments over coal plant continue

Lawyers for Audubon Arkansas and the Sierra Club are making arguments today before federal Judge Bill Wilson that construction should be halted on American Electric Power's coal-powered generating station in Hempstead County.

Write-in candidate deadline today UPDATE

Write-in candidates aren't of much moment. Except in extraordinary circumstances, they rarely get any meaningful votes.

Bombing trial conclusion

David Koon is on hand for closing arguments in the trial of Dr. Randeep Mann on charges that he plotted the bombing of state Medical Board chairman Trent Pierce of West Memphis.

Gay marriage ban unconstitutional

A federal district court ruling will be released this afternoon on the lawsuit challenging the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.


The sauce is bubbling away, and the crowds are making their way out to one of Arkansas' oldest food-related festivals, the 112th Annual Tontitown Grape Festival.

The line is open

Take it away. Noted in passing: Channel 11 reports on a woman ordered out of a courtroom in Crawford County because she was breastfeeding.

Words, Aug. 5

Wading in to "o-Beebe-besity."

What's Cookin', Aug. 5

Browning's is closed and Argenta Restaurant Week is ongoing.

The Week That Was, July 28-August 3, 2010

Good week: sweltering, a wedding, clean air, nostalgia. Bad week: gas industry cheerleaders, Pulaski County school board, Governor Mike Beebe, Rick Crawford.

The Televisionist, Aug. 5

'Jersey Shore' and 'The Real Housewives of D.C."

To-Do List, Aug. 5-11

The Crystal Method, Lamanpalooza, Strongest Man National Championship, The Reds, Top of the Rock, The Rocketboys, Built to Spill, AA Bondy.

This Modern World, Aug. 5

A deficit hawk's deficits

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported last week that Rick Crawford, the Republican candidate for First District Congress, had declared bankruptcy in 1994 to discharge more than $12,000 in personal debt, including credit card charges and medical bills.

Orval, Aug. 5

The Observer, Aug. 5

The Observer's Rich Uncle Alan, also known as El Jefe around the Arkansas Times, plants a big ol' garden every spring — a virtual Eden, chock full of heirloom tomatoes, peppers and other goodies. We're kind enough to take some of that off his hands every year, just so it doesn't go to waste, of course.

Love and parentage

'Kids' tells an old story in a new context.

KABF in trouble

Public station could be forced off air.

Assigned reading

It has not been my honor to drop you a few words in many moons and Graham Gordy has inspired these.

Slow train stops

For those of you Seeing Arkansas First this summer, here are some of the don't-miss attractions, with notes.

Union strife

A vigorous race is developing for a seat on the Little Rock School Board between incumbent Micheal Daugherty and Michael Nellums, who ran unsuccessfully for the seat three years ago.

In Brief, Aug. 5-7

'Posh,' Boys Like Girls, Mammoth Grinder and more.

Eye on Arkansas, Aug. 5

Good work

We've always thought of Dr. William F. Harrison as the Gary Cooper of Northwest Arkansas, but unlike Cooper, whose townspeople wouldn't come to his aid in "High Noon," Harrison had friends and patients standing with him against the villains.

Advice for Lincoln

Sen. Blanche Lincoln needs fresh political advice in the worst way, better advice in fact than she can get here, but there is little chance that she will get it or take it.

Hidden gem

Tucked away in a nondescript hotel, Vesuvio delivers perhaps Little Rock's best Italian food.

3, 2, 1...Polo!

Bike polo catches on in Little Rock.

In the crosshairs

Pellet sniper at Parris Towers.

The petition mystery

Anti-immigrant group still mum on signature shortage.

Fame and food and new noir

North Little Rock natives Mark and Matt Jacobs have written a new book of food-related factoids that looks promising.

The third-party threat

Democratic U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln faces an uphill re-election fight against Republican challenger John Boozman, but it's made tougher still by the presence of Green Party candidate John Gray.

Speak freely and hide behind a big stick

I happen to have been in a rare position to witness up close the new political environment under this recently epic U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

Bill Halter: No political plans yet

A Q&A on his Senate race and his future.

The case for Martha Shoffner

John Brummett says Green Party nominee Bobby Tullis manages to make incumbent Treasurer Shoffner look good.

Beebe: Count the cars

Gov. Mike Beebe has ordered a complete inventory of state vehicles, including an accounting of those favored with commuting use of state cars.

Little Rock School District: What a waste

I'm reminded again of the outrage in the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce's declaration that the Little Rock School District is a waste of money.

'The Martha Stewart of the South'

That powerful headline appears on a New York Times feature today on P. Allen Smith.

In this week's Times

Some recommendations if you haven't browsed through our links yet: * Our editorial this week pays tribute to Dr. William Harrison of Fayeteville, the oby/gyn retiring at 74 in ill health.

Thursday: "Night of the Living Dead," Brother Andy, Matt Stell and the Crashers

A wrap-up of events for Thursday, August 5.

Thursday To-Do: The Crystal Method

West coast techno duo, The Crystal Method, comes to The Village with a whole tribe of local DJs.

Grisham film adaptation drought near an end?

Our long national nightmare might be nearing an end. Director Tony Scott ("Top Gun," "Days of Thunder") is considering directing "The Associate," a 2009 legal thriller adapted by William Monahan ("The Departed") that Shia LaBeouf has long been attached to, according to the LA Times.


The Grapevine Restaurant in Paris has a lot to offer — with an eight page menu full of pasta, Mexican dishes and steaks. The speed of service is really amazing.

Two dead in Pleasant Valley

Police say an elderly couple who live on El Dorado Drive in Pleasant Valley were found dead in their home this morning.

Big day for Chad Griffin

I forgot to look for this yesterday. Arkansas native Chad Griffin, a California PR executive, has been a driving force in the movement to preserve equal rights for gay people and to oppose California's ban on same-sex marriage.

What 2 see at ACAC

ACAC puts Collin Miles in front.

Lichty out of Board race UPDATE

Former City Director Larry Lichty told me earlier this week that he was committed to filing for the Ward 3 seat on the Little Rock City Board currently held by Stacy Hurst.

Ranking college sports on academics

The NCAA has begun a system of ranking individual college head coaches on the academic success of their athletes, beginning this year with football, men's and women's basketball, baseball and women's indoor and outdoor track.

Kagan confirmed

The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Hypocrite of the day: Family Council

It is to laugh. Martha Adcock, lawyer for the hateful Family Council, is crying crocodile tears because a federal judge in California ruled that the U.S. Constitution means what is says.

Return of the (Oklahoma) Native

At the Sequoyah Center: Native American Art of the 1920s and '30s.

Lincoln feeds the kids

Sen. Blanche Lincoln — office and campaign — is generating a tsunami of news releases on passage today of a child nutrition bill.

The AAC needs you

The Arkansas Arts Center is looking for docents.

Passing the torch UPDATE

To you. Noted: The Mann jury has not reached a verdict.

Car wars

As the noise about the state vehicle fleet continues, I asked Gov. Mike Beebe's spokesman, Matt DeCample, if we could expect the full accounting that has been promised to be posted on-line in a readily searchable format.

'The audacity of dopes'

Clip and save. Paul Krugman tears a new one in Rep. Paul Ryan, who's enjoying warm media coverage for his supposedly outside-the-box thinking as ranking Republican for budget matters.

Sports spending in Arkansas

The state Board of Education will meet Monday and topics include a discussion of athletic spending in public schools.

Hot Springs Gallery Walk

Central Avenue galleries open tonight.

Weekend: Monte Montgomery, Mammoth Grinder, Boys Like Girls

This weekend in Little Rock

Friday To-Do: Lamanpalooza

Laman Library celebrates the end of the summer with "Lamanpalooza," an evening of family activities and music from Trout Fishing in America.

A spirited survey

Our annual Toast of the Town readers poll is now live. That's the one, in case you forgot last year's inaugural edition, where you cast votes for categories like the best bar, the best bartender, the best martini, the coldest beer and the best local brewery.

Booze ballot

Our annual Toast of the Town readers poll is now live. That's the one, in case you forgot last year's inaugural edition, where you cast votes for categories like the best bar, the best bartender, the best martini, the coldest beer and the best local brewery.

Friday To-Do: Strongest Man National Championship

The country's buffest come to Hot Springs this weekend to compete in the final qualifier for the America's Strongest Man national championships at Summit Arena.

Here's looking at you

Click over to Rock Candy, where Lindsey Millar has details and links to the opening of voting in the second installment of our Toast of the Town reader survey on favorite drinks, watering holes and related categories.

Saturday To-Do: Top of the Rock Chorus

Little Rock's long-running women's choral group, the Top of the Rock Chorus, performs "Hot August Night" at Pulaski Academy.

Saturday To-Do: The Reds

Local trio The Reds mark the release of their final album, "Welcome to Stifft Station," with a rare live show. They'll be at White Water Tavern with fellow Max Recordings trio, Dragoon.

Sunday To-Do: The Rocketboys

Austin collective The Rocketboys round out their tour with Death on Two Wheels this Sunday at Juanita's.

Who's packing in New York?

New York media are sifting through concealed weapon permit records (available under the state's open records law) for iwell-known gun toters in New York.

Following the Walton Arts Center

I happened on a good post by The Iconoclast on the question of where the Walton Arts Center expansion will be built.

Vote 'Bloodstone Diaries'

I'm late pushing this. Surely, y'all've seen the ads, right?

Art party tonight

"Canvas and Color" opens tonight at Cantrell Gallery.

Gay Republicans present ...

... a gathering of gay conservatives, Homocon, headlined by Ann Coulter. TPM reports and provides copy of the flyer.

An issue for the secretary of state's race?

Rep. Mark Martin (R-Twilight Zone) is his party's candidate for secretary of state. He used an appearance today before the Association of Arkansas Counties to lay out a campaign platform.

A vacation for the Thompsons

Greg Thompson Fine Art will close for a week.


Kind of hard to believe. It really did rain.

Bill Halter: Looking back and forward

Lt. Gov. Bill Halter has finally begun sitting down for interviews about his Democratic primary loss to Sen. Blanche Lincoln and what the future holds after he leaves office in early 2011.

The eagle flies

It's Friday night. But you knew that.

Dept. of You-couldn't-make-this-stuff-up

Secure Arkansas, stymied for the moment in beating up immigrants, has turned its attention to a proposal to build a community complex in Saline County.

Pulaski teachers in court over schedule

The Parents for the PCSSD blog, a vigorous watchdog over the feuding in the district between teachers and a one-vote majority intent on booting the teachers union, reports a new legal development.

Food for retirees' thoughts

Actuarial shortfalls in public employee pension plans have become a trillion-dollar issue nationwide. The move to require larger contributions by employees or to curb benefits, require later retirement ages and reduce annual COLAS among other steps to close the gap hasn't surfaced to a great degree in Arkansas yet.

Conway prosecutor cleared

The state Ethics Commission has cleared Prosecuting Attorney Marcus Vaden of Conway of an allegation that he'd committed an ethics violation by the county's rental of a building in which he once had an ownership.

The revenge of the dittoheads

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette today carried another in a series of letters to the editor asserting that columnist Gene Lyons had erred in writing about Glenn Beck's promotion of the smear of Shirley Sherrod.

Live ... it's Saturday night

When life gives you peaches, make cobbler, right? Otherwise, the line is yours.

On burying hatchets

John Brummett today considers Bill Halter's endorsement of Blanche Lincoln in light of her ugly campaign against him in the Democratic primary and Robbie Wills' endorsement of Joyce Elliott in light of his overwrought campaign against her in the Democratic primary for 2nd District Congress If I read correctly, Brummett believes all these candidates' pronouncements are to be taken less seriously on account of these political accommodations.

George Bush is over

George W. Bush was a disaster. Elaboration not needed.

Food for kids — at whose expense?

Sen. Blanche Lincoln has been trying to get a little political traction this week with her work in passing an increase in federal support for child nutrition programs.


How about that rain? Over to you.

This is crime fighting?

It's a slow morning, so I'd like to highlight for those of you who might have missed it David Koon's story on the Little Rock man whose home, car and dog have been under fire by a pellet gun sniper repeatedly taking aim from the Parris Towers housing project of the Little Rock Housing Authority.

Center for Social Justice at Philander

The details will be announced Thursday, but Philander Smith College says it is to receive a "major" grant from the Kresge Foundation to establish a Center for Social Justice at Philander.

Woman named UA athletics rep

Is it remarkable anymore when another "first woman" is announced? Perhaps it is at the University of Arkansas, given the ill will that former Athletic Director Frank Broyles long harbored toward Title IX and what he saw as the damage expanding women's athletics had done to real sports (men's, particularly football).

Tobacco thief strikes again

The LRPD says a man using a van has, for the second time in two weeks, smashed into a tobacco store at 9501 Rodney Parham and made off with cigarettes, cigars and lighters.

Guilty verdicts in bombing case UPDATE

Fox 16 reports a verdict has been reached in the trial of Randeep Mann and his wife on charges stemming from the bombing of Trent Pierce of West Memphis, chairman of the state Medical Board.

Dumas digs

Simple, reasonably priced food can be found at Trevor's Cafe in Dumas. It just helps when some guy doesn't run off with all the biscuits.

Lights out in NLR

Power's out across a huge swath of North Little Rock, apparently on account of a substation problem.

Gone fishing

Mayor Mark Stodola and Vice Mayor Gene Fortson took off an Alaskan fishing trip last Wednesday, shortly after Stodola announced for re-election.

True Blood: XXX

"True Blood's" three-episode survey of Kinky Sex, reached, surely, it's taboo flaunting pinnacle last night.

Another view on charter schools

To hear Arkansas billionaires tell it, charter schools are THE solution to what ails public education.

This Week: Arkansas Underground Film Festival, free admission at the Clinton Library, Tinsely Ellis and more

Tuesday, Aug. 10 *Built to Spill at the Village, $20 adv., $25 d.o.s. Finn Riggins and Underclaire open.

Sneak peek at 'Arkansas Traveler'

In its new online edition, the Oxford American interviews Sean Bridgers ("Deadwood," the dog handler on "True Blood" two Sundays ago) and others behind the Civil War film work-in-progress "Arkansas Traveler" that we told you about back in April.

Eddie Vedder, Natalie Maines headed to Little Rock for West Memphis Three benefit

Two of the pop music world's biggest names are headlining a benefit for the West Memphis Three at the end of the month in Little Rock.

New York reviews Mike Huckabee

New York magazine's daily blog reviews the Mike Huckabee syndicated TV show and concludes it's a better vehicle for making some dough than running for president.

Here we go again

The Monday open line.

Go tell Ms. Rhoda

Rhoda's Famous Hot Tamales are legendary. Are they really that good? Wanna bet? The story of a drop-in through Lake Village.

The Republican tide

Depressed enough yet about the coming election season? This won't help.

To pork or not to pork

John Brummett notes the strange development in the U.S. Senate race — the candidate more effective (more willing, too) to bring home money for Arkies isn't doing so hot.

B.R.M.C. to Revolution

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club coming to Revolution in September.

Tuesday To-Do: Built to Spill

Built to Spill return to Little Rock for a show at The Village

West Memphis 3 benefit set

Just in case you don't scroll down the page: Rock Candy yesterday broke news of a benefit concert for the West Memphis Three Aug. 28 at Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church.

Witness assault in bombing case

The U.S. attorney's office today released news of an indictment of a Pulaski County Jail inmate for assaulting a witness in the trial of Dr. Randeep Mann, convicted yesterday of plotting the bombing of a state Medical Board official who'd ruled against him in a disciplinary matter.

Parris Towers sniper update

The Little Rock Housing Authority has been heard from regarding incidents in which David Jones, a neighbor of the high-rise, LRHA-run Parris Towers at 18th and Broadway, had his car, pets and even himself sniped at by someone in the building with a high-powered pellet gun.

Beebe plays the Florida card

Well, well. Gov. Mike Beebe shakes a little hot sauce on the race for governor, so far a tedious overhyping of planes, trains and automobiles by Republican Jim Keet.

McDaniel sues payday lender

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has sued several defendants for doing payday lending over the Internet, at annual interest rates as high as 782 percent.

Mike Ross does it again: Sticks with rich

Jason Tolbert notes that U.S. Rep. Mike Ross told a town hall crowd that he supported continuing the Bush tax cuts, for the wealthy and all.

Easy money for Asa

A special judge says Asa Hutchinson and associates should get more than $50,000 for representing Benton County Judge David Bisbee, mostly successfully, on misdemeanor charges of self-dealing in county contracting.

Tuesday: Troubadour, Free Moral Agents, "Shane"

Local songman Justin Carr returns to stage after a years-long absence with his new band, Troubadour.

Dr. No: Screw workers and the poor

In the continuing reality show of what Dr. No Boozman would mean in the U.S. Senate, we have today the vote in the House for money to shore up Medicaid (health care for the elderly and poor) and public sector jobs for people like teachers, police and firefighters.

On the other hand: Bash Bush

Here's a pollster who joins my coolness on the Democratic Party's blame Bush strategy, but nonetheless finds polling support for the idea.

Time for truth

Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Keet held a press conference early this afternoon to accuse Gov. Mike Beebe of misleading the public on a host of issues including the economy and education.

Parting thought

The line is open; the warm-up topic is city finances.

Whew — close call in Saline County

I don't know about you, but I'm breathing easier this morning now that Saline County voters have thrashed a tax increase proposal to build a fair complex in Benton.

The unfriendly skies

I'm way late to this, but it's a slow day and I'm still fascinated by the story of the Jet Blue flight attendant, Steven Slater.

Dip it

Most folks go to The Cowpen in Lake Village for steak. We found other things on the menu we liked, including a fabulous deal involving cheese dip.

Arkansas: Economy expanding?

I've noted in recent state revenue reports the growth in sales tax revenue, a pretty good measure of economic activity, or at least retail sales.

LR crime watch

The LRPD's Terry Hastings sends along the highlights of overnight crime activity: a shooting, a smash-and-grab with police chase and a home intrusion robbery.

Wednesday To-Do: AA Bondy

AA Bondy plays Sticky Fingerz tonight.

Kentler drawings at AAC

"Degrees of Density" brings Kentler drawings to the Arkansas Arts Center.

Boulevard headed to South Main

Boulevard Bread is moving its baked and catering productions from its Heights flagship to a new location on South Main Street.

Wednesday: Eric Overmyer, Sick Puppies, Eux Autres

Eric Overmyer, the celebrated writer/producer behind the fourth—and greatest—season of "The Wire" and co-creator of "Treme" visits the Clinton School to speak about post-Katrina New Orleans, 6 p.m., free.

Hearing ordered for condemned inmate

Alvin Bernal Jackson, under a death sentence for fatally stabbing Arkansas prison guard Scott Grimes in 1995 while serving a life sentence for the murder of Charles Colclasure, is entitled to a hearing on whether he should not be executed because he is mentally retarded, the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled today.

Time to eat

River Cities Restaurant Week features price fixe menus, lots of specials and donations to the Arkansas Hospice cause. It's a good time to try new places out in Little Rock and North Little Rock, too.

Rap for cash at the A-State Showcase is back again with its rap version of our Musicians Showcase. On September 25 at the Village, the local hip-hop website promises to crown the best rapper in the A-state.