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August 10, 2011

Vol 37 • No 50

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The gold standard

Raising goldfish by the numbers in Lonoke County.

Our slice of the fish pie

Aquaculture in Arkansas.

Tips from the pro

Hints on keeping your goldfish belly-down and happy.

How it works

The chain of events that brings a goldfish to your bowl.

Wimpy's Burgers and Fries expands

We'll keep an eye on it for ya.

Jeff Nichols lands Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey for Ark. film

Boom! This might be the point where Jeff Nichols moves from indie darling to mainstream auteur.

Early "retirement" for Schnedler

Jack Schnedler, long-time Democrat-Gazette staffer, will retire at the end of this week. He says in an email to colleagues that his retirement was forced.

It rained today!

A belated Tuesday night open line for you. Free soapboxes.

Chipotle receives GreeNWAy certification

Chipotle Mexican Grill, which is putting in a new location in Little Rock's Pleasant Ridge Towne Center, has some more crowing to share.

Charlie Robison, Casting Crowns and Billy Joe Shaver

Plus, Geoffrey Canada, Amasa Hines and Charity Vance.

Good week: heat

It was a good week for heat, Randy Wagner, Johnny Cash's legacy and Arkansas film. It was a bad week for financial markets, Kevin Lewis, Cargill and Mike Huckabee.

Westward, hospital

City growth driving hospital expansions.

Hometown Pride™

Is there a state that you can drive, border-to-border, and find more residents with the name emblazoned across their chests? Do people in Minnesota or Wyoming get the outlines of their state tattooed on their person?

Fatal attraction

Conservatives who claim to love the Constitution are forever wanting to change the Constitution. One might almost question the sincerity of their affection.

Eye on Arkansas, Aug. 10

A tale of two taxes

The organized campaigns for and against the tax proposals to be voted on Sept. 13 by a small subset of Little Rock kicked off this past week.

At home at Homer's

East Little Rock fixture is popular for good reason.

The Box to reopen soon

Also, Browning's Mexican Grill still only open for dinner.

Debtpocalypse deferred

Jeff Nichols courts big names for next film

Also, Delta Classic 4 Literacy Old Skool Concert and Gucci Mane coming to Little Rock.

Cash lives

Through the friends, family and fans who celebrated his legacy at the Johnny Cash Music Festival in Jonesboro.

Movie theaters guide

With the sweat-hammer of summer falling on our brows with exceptional fury (did it really get up to 114 in Little Rock this week?) this is the season when all warm-blooded mammals begin to seek out the cool and the dark.

Tea Party timber

Republican Reps. Rick Crawford, Tim Griffin and Steve Womack, and Republican. Sen. John Boozman toed a Tea-Party line during the recent Washington gridlock. Yet none of the four is on the membership list of the Tea Party Caucus, as of March 31.

Making a buck off 9-11

Just in time for the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Mike Huckabee is hawking a new "history" DVD on the terror attacks as part of his "Learn Our History" series.

Arkansas: Not a federal tax leech

While the South has long been seen as something of a fiscal parasite on the rest of the country, hogging more federal tax dollars than the Southern states collect, it turns out Arkansas did pretty well in that regard over the past two decades.

'Tell it to the Marines'

Plus, the origin of the term 'licklog.'

The Observer trails the Google Streetview car

Plus, The Observer gets a lesson in strength of materials at UALR.

Can Bachmann beat Cheney?

We are on the cusp of discovering whether Michele Bachmann's party can achieve what Dick Cheney's could not, which is to induce a depression.

These aren't French impressionists; these are Hogs

Henceforth, if you get a hankering to try to make money by putting out merchandise adorned with the phrase "we didn't come to paint," you will need to get permission from the University of Arkansas athletic department, which probably will turn you down.

Letters: Ringling Bros., race in crime reporting and more

"Too many journalists today arbitrarily decide what the public should know, instead of simply providing what the public wants to know. When I read a crime story in a paper I immediately want to know race."

When apes ruled the world

'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' is surprisingly subtle.

Ashley McBryde plays Dugan's

Plus, Red Octopus Project's improv comedy, Three Bad Jacks and Big Silver

Update in 'widow' story

The Times' Aug. 3 cover story about the conning of a man with dementia by a woman who posed as a widow and was later convicted of mail fraud, has an update.

Early 'retirement'

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Deputy Managing Editor for Features Jack Schnedler will retire on Aug. 12 along with his wife, HomeStyle Editor Marcia Schnedler. But in an e-mail to the Democrat-Gazette newsroom with the subject line "The Unvarnished Truth," Schnedler, 68, portrayed his departure as forced retirement.

Thanks for asking

Moron wants to know if it's hot enough fer me and I'm like yeah, yeah it is, it's sho nuff hot enough fer me, thanks for asking.

Firefighters' union: Yes to penny tax UPDATE

Richard Morehead, president of the Little Rock Firefighters Local 34, will launch the union's campaign in support of the city's proposed penny sales tax at a press conference at noon at the Central Fire Station.

Thursday To-Do: Geoffrey Canada

Geoffrey Canada, CEO of Harlem Children's Zone, will discuss his approach to education reform at The Statehouse Convention Center.

Gould City Council repeals unconstitutional ordinances

The Gould City Council met last night and repealed three unconstitutional ordinances.

We're No. 4! Watch it when you cross the street.

CNBC reports that Arkansas ranks as the fourth most dangerous city in the U.S. for vehicular deaths.

High school player collapses, dies during practice

Montel Williams, a 15 year old Gurdon High School football player, collapsed and died yesterday during practice.

Rep. Linda Collins-Smith switching parties

Rep. Linda Collins-Smith of Pocohontas is switching parties and becoming a Republican, according to an Associated Press report.

Thursday: Ashley McBryde, Bob Boyd Sounds, King Arthur

Ashley McBryde plays Dugan's Pub Thursday night.

Clouds over Capitol

Gov. Mike Beebe's staff photographer snaps a great shot at the State Capitol.

SOS committee holds first meeting

Mark Martin's Review and Implementation Committee met for the first time this morning.

Greg Dee moves to mornings at KARK

Greg Dee will move to mornings, from the weekend meteorologist shift at KARK.

Ride the Arkansas Times Blues Bus

The Arkansas Times will once again take busloads of blues lovers to the King Biscuit Blues Festival.

Two arrested for attack on Gould mayor

Two arrests made in connection with the attack on Gould Mayor Earnest Nash.

But before we go

Be sure to check out a couple of great things that came along with this week's issue.

An idea for Little Rock baristas!

Coffee cups as pixels.

Pie, pie, 100 times pie

100 different pies — cream pies, fruit pies, nut pies, icebox pies — in one showing. Who's crazy enough to make all those pies? Take a guess.

Pieday followup: Lemon pecan at E's Bistro

The pie originally sought on the trip to the North Little Rock eatery is discovered to be an extraordinary piece of work, guaranteed to surprise and delight.

Brad Paisley: a marked man

If my Facebook feed is any indication, country music superstar Brad Paisley has managed to piss off a good-sized number of folks out in the hinterlands of Arkansas by posting a video to Youtube in which he sets fire to an Arkansas Razorback door mat as a prank (see above).

Burger joint of the week: David's Butcher Boy Burgers

You’d think with such a quiet opening that the new David’s Butcher Boy Burgers at Markham and Bowman here in Little Rock wouldn’t be seeing much business yet. You'd be wrong.

Brummett takes on Martin

John Brummett takes a look at the Secretary of State's office, and the blunders of its leader.

More party switches to come?

Minority Leader John Burris says more politicians are likely to switch parties.

Friday To-Do: Charlie Robison

Charlie Robison plays Revolution Friday night.

Tonight: Stodola, Lynch face off

Actually, Mayor Stodola says tonight's "debate" before the Downtown Neighborhood Association (6 p.m., Pettaway Alert Center, 500 E. 21st St.) won't be anything of the kind.

Griffin's town hall tactics

A handout from a Tim Griffin town hall event is aimed at harassment and intimidation, an activist says.

Art volunteers to Wikipedia's rescue

This is a great story: Volunteers, including historians, gathered recently at the the Smithsonian Institution's Archives of American Art for an "edit-a-thon" to improve Wiki entries on the Armory Show.

Weekend: Red Octopus Theatre, Big Silver, PG-13

Red Octopus Theatre's "Caged Heat" opens Friday night.

Friday To-Do: Amasa Hines

Amasa Hines plays White Water Tavern Friday night.

Unemployment applications down

Unemployment benefit applications fell below 400,000 for the first time in four months.

Big Orange coming

John Beachboard confirms, the new burger concept restaurant from the guys behind Za Za will open August 22nd.

Urlacher at Boswell-Mourot

Figurative artist Hugo Urlacher of Argentina is showing oils on linen at Boswell-Mourot, 5815 Kavanaugh Blvd., today through Aug. 21.

Romney: "Corporations are people"

Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney told an Iowa crowd earlier today that the U.S. government shouldn't raise taxes because "corporations are people" too.

Free tickets to "Redemption Road"

The Little Rock Film Festival is giving away 100 tickets to see "Redemption Road," Mario Van Peebles' latest film.

Not breaking news

Rick Perry will announce a presidential run on Saturday.

IRS issues lottery $99,673.29 penalty

A $99,637 fine was issued to the Arkansas Lottery due to late payments of taxes withheld from lottery winners

Watermelon everywhere

The state's two competing watermelon festivals are underway. Which do you prefer, big Hope melons or sweet Cave City melons?

What a day

Could you believe those early morning temperatures? Enough about the weather, how about an open line?

Pieday: Blueberry at Shangri-La

Great homemade pies are just about enough to cause anyone to drive way out west for dessert.

Atheists win, sort of

Federal District Judge Susan Webber Wright ruled Thursday that Central Arkansas Transit Authority and its advertising agency, On the Move Advertising, had violated the free speech of a group of atheists by refusing to sell them advertising on CATA buses except under restrictions not imposed on other advertisers.

A taxing evening

You got to hand it to Mayor Stodola and Jim Lynch and the Downtown Neighborhood Association.

Political notes

A round-up of political news from across the state.

On the GOP debate

An open line for the GOP debate

Saturday To-Do: Casting Crowns

Casting Crowns plays Magic Springs' Timberwood Amphitheater Saturday night.

Saturday To-Do: Charity Vance

Charity Vance plays Wildwood Park for the Performing Arts Saturday night.

Knile Davis out for season

And all the Hog fans say: Noooooooooooooooooo! Knile Davis, last year's leading rusher in the SEC, is expected to miss the season with an ankle injury, according to the AP.

Villegas, Volkert, Burnham, McDonald at HAM

Tonight's 2nd Friday Art Night event at the Historic Arkansas Museum features two new exhibits.

The ArtGroup at the Marriott

The Maumelle collaborative artists' group brings their work to the Courtyard Marriott.

High school player's death due to heart condition

Initial autopsy reports indicate Montel Williams died of an undiagnosed heart condition.

Appeals court rules mandate unconstitutional

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the individual mandate portion of the health care reform law is unconstitutional.

JV preview

Volkert puts iconic art in a new context. Go see it.

Museum School students at Christ Church

Reception tonight 5-8 p.m.

New gallery: Taylor Bellott

In Hot Springs.

Podcast: The Internet killed the goldfish edition

This week, with special guest Gabe Gentry, who shot the video above for the Times, we talk more about Danny Pool, AKA the Goldfish King of Arkansas, and the highs and lows of goldfish farming.

Friday line

An open line for you to do with as you please. But before I go, I would like to say a couple of words about Lake Maumelle.

Extremism is no vice for Ark. GOP

Making one last e-mail check before heading to the airport, I found this link to a conservative blog that says two Arkanarsas Republican legislators are backing away from runs for Mike Ross' 4th District seat because they fear their support for some sensible tax measures (giving the people a vote on highway improvement taxes) might poison their primary candidacies.

London, land of contrasts

Clinton library is free!

Happy birthday, Mr. President.

Let's talk

It's been a day of exercise and catching up on work for me. The big news of the day is old news really: Rick Perry's officially thrown his name into the ring.

Tim Pawlenty quits presidential race

That was quick. The Iowa straw poll, dominated as always by right-wing evangelicals, made quick work of Tim Pawlenty.

Arkansan Shannon Beebe dies in crash

This may have been noted elsewhere already, but a reader alerts me to a news article in the Washington Post on Shannon Beebe, who grew up in Arkansas and died recently in a Virginia small plane crash.

Mail pours in on Capitol office building

Kathy Wells forwarded to me the summary of written comments on developer John Burkhalter's push to change rules in the Capitol Zoning District so he can build a six-story office building at Sixth and Woodlane across from the Capitol.

Michele Bachmann's Arky muscle

Thanks to Michael Cook for noting Alice Stewart's role in applying some sharp elbows to a CNN reporter pressing for comment from her boss Michele Bachmann at the Iowa straw poll.

Monday To-Do: Billy Joe Shaver

Billy Joe Shaver plays Revolution Monday night.

The line is open

Sorry. Jet lag jumped me. Not much appears to have happened today.

GOP lawmakers buck trend on prison sentences

Republican Party messaging is so rigid it's probably worth a note whenever one or another of the Stepford legislators strays from the party line.

Back to school: A teacher's view

To mark the state of another school year, I offer some links to a blog, the Lolly Diaries, by Laura Cartwright Hardy, former newspaper writer and school teacher, who has significant first-hand experience with classroom life, particularly in the era of No Child Left Behind.

Warren Buffett: Stop coddling the rich

Billionaire Warren Buffett laments, again, in a New York Times op-ed how the rich don't share the sacrifices made by others in the U.S..

Two phone stores hit by burglars

The Little Rock police report burglaries at two AT&T phone stores last night. Some $15,000 worth of goods (smart phones, Blackberries, Bluetooth headsets and a stereo) were stolen from a store at 11520 Financial Center Parkway.

Tonight: Civil War medicine, historic windows, 'murder metal', Travelers

The Arkansas Travelers take on the San Antonio Missions tonight at 7:10 p.m.

Police report suicide by train

From the Little Rock police: On August 13, 2011, at approximately 2028 hours, Officers responded to a Pedestrian Accident involving a train at the 7600 block of Mann Road.

Give them tax money and they will come? Nope.

Chamber of commerce shills (see Arkansas Business publisher Jeff Hankins) are busily deriding those skeptical about putting a $38 million economic development slush fund in the Little Rock $500 million sales tax proposal.

Former newsman dies in cycle wreck

The Magnolia Reporter brings news of the death of former newspaper editor Randy Kemp in a motorcycle crash Sunday night in Van Buren County.

Tuesday: "Signs of a King"

Pop artist Peter Mars presents "Signs of the King" Tuesday at the Clinton Center's Sturgis Hall.

The Fox News Johnny Cash double-standard

The Village Voice picks some low-hanging fruit in a column today by pointing out that Fox News and the war it's waging with rappers and hip-hop culture is ill-informed and racist (duh).

Today at UALR: "ROUX"

Exhibit by African-American women printmakers pays homage to their forebears.

James Tisdale: "Thoughts from China"

James Tisdale's terra cotta figures go on exhibit today in Gallery II of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Lottery commission hires tax help

Gerard Matthews will be back with more details later, but he reports that the Lottery Commission has voted to hire a tax attorney to try to straighten out its federal tax troubles — that big penalty for failing for the second year in a row to remit taxes owed on time.

Judge strikes down more of Arkansas execution law

Circuit Judge Tim Fox ruled from the bench after a hearing today that Arkansas law giving the Arkansas Correction Department leeway to use drugs other than sodium thiopental was unconstitutional.

Bela Fleck, Todd Snider, Railroad Earth and more to Yonder Mountain String Band's Harvest Fest

The line-up for the Harvest Music Festival, the annual music and camping festival on Mulberry Mountain near Ozark, has been announced.

Watershed meeting

On the whole, a very civil meeting at the Arkansas Studies Institute this afternoon to discuss the draft land use plan for the Lake Maumelle watershed.

A 'yes' from Dr. No Boozman to Internet sales taxes

Walmart is headquartered in Bentonville, after all. So it's not too surprising that U.S. Sen. John Boozman came out strongly today in a Talk Politics interview in favor of a law that would allow states to collect sales taxes on Internet sales.

The line is open

Another Monday done. And that's all I have to say about it.

Chipotle opens today

The much awaited Chipotle Mexican Grill opens today in Little Rock at the Pleasant Ridge Towne Center.

Airport hires Mark Raines for PR job UPDATE

I'm led to believe Little Rock National Airport will have an announcement today on a selection of a director of public affairs and government relations, a job that could pay up to $135,000.

Rick Perry's 'Texas miracle'

Worth reading: A New York Times analysis of Gov. Rick Perry's responsibility for Texas' relatively prosperous economic condition (though its unemployment rate is higher than Arkansas's, it's beggaring education because of state spending cuts and the poor can expect less of a safety net there than in most other states.)

State ordered to produce school records

Judge Price Marshall, newly in charge of the Pulaski County school desegregation case, made a bundle of rulings yesterday, mostly maintaining the status quo while the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals considers whether the previous presiding judge, Brian Miiller, went too far in summarily calling an end to state desegregation payments.

The noose tightens on Fox Nation

The hacking scandal that imperils the Rupert Murdoch media conglomerate just won't go away. The News of the World reporter who went to jail in the now-shuttered paper’s hacking scandal wrote in a 2007 letter that the illegal practice was “widely discussed” at editorial meetings and he conducted his hacking with “full knowledge and support” of his bosses, according to a bombshell report in the Guardian Tuesday.

A Bento idea

I sometimes come up with some really off-the-track thoughts, but this one might have a little merit.

A victory for Obamacare

A recent split appellate court decision was described in media as a big loss from President Obama's health care legislation.

House hunting in Fayetteville?

Here's a new $14 million listing in Fayetteville, a little dear even for a football coach.

Dumpster hits Regions skywalk

A Waste Management garbage truck driver got a careless driving ticket and police reported some $10,000 in damage when the truck, carrying an uplifted dumpster, struck the skywalk over Spring Street from Regions Bank on Capitol Avenue.

Beebe announces technical education project

Gov. Mike Beebe rolled out today a pilot project aimed at turning out more students prepared in science, technology, engineering and math.

Michael '5000' Watts is bringing 'trill-step' to Revolution

Swishahouse CEO/co-founder and and chopped-and-screwed legend Michael "5000" Watts is coming to Revolution next week with Badbwoy BMC, a Houston DJ with whom Watts has created something they're calling "trill-step," which is, best I can tell, Houston rap remixed dub-step-style or, as Steady Bloggin' suggests "remixed with Transformer noises."

Bobby releases 'Its Jus Bobby'

Bobby, AKA as one half of the local duo Ear Fear with his brother 607, has a new release available.

'The Cautionary Tales of Jack & Justin' does the Kickstarter pitch right

The video above is a trailer of sorts for a web TV series called "The Cautionary Tales of Jack and Justin."