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August 19, 2010

Vol 36 • No 50

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Fighting the leftist lean

UA prof calls for resistance to liberal domination on campus.

Stalking liberals the old way

"Publish or perish" is the cry in higher education today. For professors in Arkansas in the late 1950s, it was "Sign or perish." Even David Horowitz might have been shocked.

Differing values

Robert Maranto acknowledges that one reason universities hire more liberal professors than conservative professors is because there are more liberals to hire from.

New Irish Pub open on Rodney Parham

Hibernia, a new Irish restaurant and pub owned by two guys named Gerry with Irish pub experience in New York, opened last night at 9700 North Rodney Parham, the former location of Legends and scores of other restaurants and bars.

UAMS broadband grant announced

The feds have released a group of broadband development grants, including news leaked yesterday that UAMS would be receiving $102 million.

Hats off — again — to Ted Olson

I've had my negative opinions about Ted Olson, the conservative attorney. But, wow.

State chamber bashes 'Gasland'

The Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce has sent out a letter addressed "Dear Editor" (presumably to appear in Friday's edition of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette) to be signed by local chambers in the Fayetteville Shale region that criticizes the documentary Gasland and does some cheerleading for the natural gas industry.

Harding bags another big name

Jason Mraz visits Harding College this

Re: Chakaia Booker

Video about Chakaia Booker, the New York sculptor who has a piece in Philander's library.

Double-dipping: Neither gone nor forgotten

Retired members of the Public Employees Retirement System now have to leave office longer before they may return to work and claim both a retirement and pay check.

The Band - "Atlantic City"

The Band covers "Atlantic City."

Your future happiness ...

Happy Hour in the Heights tomorrow night at Stephano's.

Downtown YMCA sold

We have news in this week's Insider of the sale of the old downtown YMCA building at Sixth and Broadway.

Bill Stovall to be House chief of staff

Jason Tolbert has a scoop of interest to legislative junkies. The essential Bill Stovall, former House speaker and master of legislative detail, is slated to be House chief of staff.

Speak now

The slate is clean.

This land is Gasland

Filmmaker brings movie back to Arkansas.

Words, Aug. 19

A reader asks the origin of not all its cracked up to be, meaning "It's disappointing, it doesn't live up to its reputation," as in "Reality is not all it's cracked up to be."

What's Cookin, Aug. 19

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

The Week That Was, Aug. 19

Good week: Politicking, sweltering, City Director Michael Keck. Bad week: Debating, lottery scholarships, LRHA.

The Televisionist, Aug. 19

On "Kids in the Hall: Death Comes to Town," "The Great Food Truck Race" and "The Universe: Time Travel."

To-Do List, Aug. 19-25

"The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," "Gridiron: A View From the Bar," Deftones, Brooks & Dunn, Secondhand Serenade, Gordon Lightfoot, The Body

This Modern World, Aug. 19

Adventures in apostasy: Week one

Over the next three weeks, A Boy Named Sooie will commemorate the return of his weekly column (and exorcise his needling doubts about the upcoming season) by playing a little devil's advocate.

Social justice and Philander Smith

Philander Smith College got a big boost last week. The Kresge Foundation awarded it a $1.2 million grant to establish a center for social justice. Now it must raise $300,000 as part of a challenge grant for the program.

Orval, Aug. 19

The Observer, Aug. 19

The Observer's younger brother (we just mistyped "bother," but to paraphrase and vastly condense Freud, there are no typos) is an IT guy. He genuinely enjoys his job, but occasionally, it makes him slap his forehead so hard that he nearly blacks out.

AA Bondy

Aug. 12, Sticky Fingerz

'Scott Pilgrim' v. himself

A good concept gets undone by an unlikable protagonist.

Sex and the sightseer

Julia Roberts globe hops in 'Eat Pray Love.'

Elise Davis grows up

Little Rock's most prolific singer/songwriter celebrates her new CD release at Town Pump.

A&E News, July 19

"Voices for Justice," Arkansas Times Blues Bus, Eric Overmyer and more

They're grading the teachers in LA

Did you hear about the Los Angeles Times? And did you hear about the teachers' union?

Home style

Press 1 provides cozy atmosphere, great pizza.

Cafe 201

Judging from the rather light crowds the couple of times we were there, the lunch buffet at Cafe 201 isn't getting as much attention as it deserves.

The health lies

Here we are in the second battle of the health insurance war, where the enemies of reform reignite fears that the new federal law will close hospitals and small businesses, drive doctors from practice, ratchet up everyone's insurance premiums and generally reduce the country to ruin.

Blanche stays busy

A news release arrived this week headlined "Lincoln, Pryor, Snyder Announce $2.2M for Arkansas's National Cemeteries."

Eye on Arkansas, Aug. 19

Justice for juveniles

Lost in the daily reports on the use of state vehicles by elected officials and employees in the early days of August was some good news about Arkansas's long-plagued juvenile justice system.

In Brief, Aug. 19-21

Hotel California, Michael Burks, Cody Belew and more.

Downtown Y sold

The historic YMCA building at 6th and Broadway in Little Rock, purchased in 2005 by California-based real estate developer Tower Investments, has been sold to a yet-to-be-disclosed buyer.

Gloomy

Ah, man, I'm feeling gloomy this week. I don't know what it is. Maybe the heat. Maybe suffering by people I care about that I can't do anything to help.

Enraged and appalled

After reading "In the crosshairs" from the Aug. 5 edition I found myself at a loss.

The Tao of 'duh'

An advertising philosophy so meaningless it's brilliant?

Spreading the pain on roadwork

Stephens Media article this morning indicates the panel studying new money for highway construction may be leaning toward a temporary half-cent sales tax increase to pay for a bond issue.

The ultimate outsourcing

Here's a funny/scary/intriguing note from the Gannett Blog run by former Arkansas Gazette editor Jim Hopkins.

Escape to Mud Street Cafe

You need to eat your vegetables. Which is just another reason why you need to have breakfast at the Mud Street Cafe in Eureka Springs. Better than a V8.

Mr. Boozman, tear down that interchange

Sen. Blanche Lincoln announces money for a new I-40 interchange in Conway. Citizens of Conway rise up and show your displeasure by voting for the candidate who opposes wasteful federal spending.

Poll: Tim Griffin leads Joyce Elliott

A new Talk Business Quarterly poll gives Republican Tim Griffin a 17-point lead (52-35) over Democrat Joyce Elliott in the race for 2nd District Congress to succeed Rep. Vic Snyder.

Strange things amiss in Hillcrest

The Hillcrest Pug Strangler (sketched above); pagan rock formations in Allsopp Park; a group of beautiful women in a secret society led, possibly, by a spectral bearded wizard-looking dude; a vigilante band of 11 to 12 year-old boys (the Hillcrest Youth, natch)—strange things are happening in the heart of Little Rock.

Last chance to see ...

... Degrees of Density: Selections from the Flatfiles of the Kentler International Drawing Space."

Marty Stuart and Sam Bush coming to the Ozark Folk Center in September

Big names headed to the Ozark Folk Center's annual tribute to Granpa Jones, Sept. 3-4.

Triple shooting in SWLR

One man was fatally wounded and two more men are receiving treatment for gunshot wounds to the head in a shooting reported about 11:30 p.m. last night outside a motel off Geyer Srpings Road at 6100 Mitchell Drive.

X3mex at ASI

Mexican independence, wrought with a nod to graffiti.

Weekend To-Do: 'The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee'

The Weekend Theater debuts "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee"

Thursday: Tantric, Magic Hassle, Hotel California

Goings on about town for Thursday, August 19.

"Bigger, Better" for less

Join the Arts Center tonight at members' preview and get a discount.

Thursday To-Do: "Gridiron: A View From the Bar"

The Arkansas Bar Association's biannual comedy revue returns to the Rep.

Cry the beloved country

Check this out. One in four of all Americans and one in three conservative Republicans think our Christian president is a Muslim.

Following the dots on Fox-GOP tie

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10cNews Corp. Gives Money to Republicanswww.thedailyshow.comDaily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party Fox News' parent corporation gave $1 million to the Republican Governors Association.

McDaniel gets new chief of staff

Melissa Moody, who's been Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's chief of staff, is leaving the office to start a consulting place.

Hearing on lottery vending machines UPDATE

Gerard Matthews is covering the public hearing and Lottery Commission meeting today on adding vending machine to sales options for lottery tickets.

Vino's celebrates its 20th anniversary in the most awesome way possible

Vino's celebrates its 20th anniversary in September with a concert featuring Gino Delray, The Baileys, Big Boss Line, The Boondogs, Living Sacrifice, Ho-Hum and Ashtray Babyhead

Gloomy economic outlook for LR?

Somebody didn't get the memo that's been going around about how Little Rock is a shining star in the country's economic doldrums.

The Hour draws nigh

That's Happy Hour in the Heights at Stephano's.

Thursday thoughts

Put 'em here.

Ho-Hum - "Ordinary People" (live at Vino's)

Ho-Hum - "Ordinary People" (live at Vino's)

Pay now or pay later

Two articles in the morning Democrat-Gazette are related, it seems to me. * On page one is elaboration on the old news that the Little Rock police headquarters is unsafe because of a persistently leaky roof.

Who's got the money? GOP, that's who

Politico rounds up the Republican edge in money this election cycle, particularly among so-called independent spenders.

The coming GOP storm

It's Rasmussen, which leans heavily Republican, but still.... Boozman 65 Lincoln 27.

Weekend: Jimbo Mathus, Michael Burks, Charlie Robison

Goings on this weekend, August 20-21, in and around Little Rock.

Friday To-Do: Deftones

Deftones, the Radiohead of nu-metal, and Baroness, the celebrated metal young guns, come to Robinson Center Music Hall.

Friday To-Do: Elise Davis Band releases "The Same Vein"

Little Rock's most prolific singer/songwriter celebrates her new CD release at Town Pump.

Saturday To-Do: Secondhand Serenade

Tattooed, acoustic feelie, Secondhand Serenade comes to Juanita's.

Saturday To-Do: Brooks & Dunn

BROOKS & DUNN7:30 p.m. Verizon Arena.

Unemployment rate drops

The rate in Arkansas in July dropped a tenth of a point, to 7.4 percent.

Marty Stuart, Pat Green among those playing El Dorado's Musicfest

Another impressive line-up for El Dorado Musicfest, scheduled for October 1 and 2. Marty Stuart, Pat Green, Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights, Uncle Kracker, Aranda and more.

Keet works the immigrant issue

You betcha. Fear of the brown hordes is a winner this election year.

Mayor gets DWI in city car

Another offshoot of the onging Autogate saga on official use and misuse of taxpayer-purchased automobiles: KAIT in Jonesboro reports on the DWI arrest of the mayor of Harrisburg, Buzzy Faulkner.

Franken pays LR a visit

Sen. Al Franken is going to be in Little Rock Sunday morning for a fund-raising brunch at the Edgehill Road home of Chip and Cindy Murphy.

Walking in Argenta

It's Third Friday Artnight tonight from 5-8 p.m. along Main Street in North Little Rock.

Wow in Fayetteville: Update

High art at Fayetteville Underground.

Pulaski Schools: the chaos continues

Dawn Jackson, a blogger who's following the ongoing division, union fight, corruption and general chaos in the Pulaski County School District, says rumors are circulating of yet another "emergency" school board meeting tonight (not announced yet, if so) to discuss the new bell schedule.

More lottery money

Since several people asked: The governor's office, relying on the Higher Education Department, said notices are supposed to go out tonight to the additional 1,400 "non-traditional" students who are to receive lottery scholarship money after the discovery of an additional $5.9 million in money for the program.

Walton loses in Nashville

Tennessee judge says Fisk can't sell share of collection to Crystal Bridges.

Alice Walton can't get O'Keeffe paintings

Leslie Peacock's Eye Candy blog has a report on a Tennessee judge's ruling against billionaire Alice Walton in the effort to work out a deal to get access to Fisk University's collection of Georgia O'Keeffe paintings for the Crystal Bridges Museum under construction in Bentonville.

School improvement grants

The state announced $9 million in school improvement grants today, including three in the Little Rock School District badly in need Cloverdale Middle School and Hall and J.A. Fair High Schools.

Orthopedic surgeon sentenced

Dr. Robert Tomlinson, a Fayetteville and Rogers orthopedic surgeon, received a 10-month sentence today for health care fraud.

Friday forum

It begins.

Pulaski school turmoil

As a Little Rock School District resident, I can only say, "Thank God for the Pulaski County School District's Gang of Four."

Parris Towers sniper identified?

Kathy Wells, secretary of the Downtown Neighborhood Association, sent a note to members last night that indicates police may have cracked the case of the Parris Towers pellet gun sniper who's been using the Little Rock Housing Authority high-rise at 18th and Broadway to target a neighbor, his car and dog with persistent gunfire.

Ecumenical dislike

NY Times columnist Charles Blow writes about a growing movement of Jewish voters toward the Republican Party, encouraged by President Obama's hard line toward Israel and outreach to Muslim.

Blanche's dance card goes unchecked

A union correspondent writes this morning to say the Arkansas State AFL-CIO decided today not to make an endorsement in the race for U. S. Senate.

None dare call it Dogtown

"North Little Rock Finds Its Cool" That's the headline on a New York Times slideshow that accompanies a travel section feature on the Argenta Arts District, with specific mentions of Galaxy furniture, Greg Thompson's art gallery, the Starving Artist restaurant and Crush Wine Bar.No one knows for sure whether the name Dogtown, for the area of North Little Rock, Ark., now known as the Argenta Arts District, originally came from the abandoned animals that once roamed its streets.

Big turnout for Gasland

Josh Fox brought his documentary Gasland to Little Rock last night with a screening at the Clinton School of Public Service.

Better numbers for Mike Beebe

Some recent polling on both sides of the political fence turned up some slightly scary numbers for Gov. Mike Beebe — a lead over Jim Keet but a number for Beebe under 50 percent.

Saturday thread

Spin some gold.

Tinkering with the lottery

Some Arkansas legislators, having heard the howls of unhappy parents, are set on tinkering with new Arkansas lottery scholarship rules, particularly to make more "non-traditional" students eligible.

Do judges need a stinkin' badge?

The Log Cabin Democrat has a story up on Circuit Judge Mike Maggio's display of some sort of badge when stopped for speeding by an Arkansas state trooper earlier this summer.

Sunday slacking

Sorry. I took off early today for Stuttgart and just got back.

Better late than never

Delayed reactions to the Hope Watermelon Festival.

Fortunately, they still have elections

Talk Business poll shows Republican Ron Crawford up 16 points over Democrat Chad Causey for 1st District Congress.

Comforting the rich

Paul Krugman happens this morning to confront head-on the comfort-the-rich policy espoused in a D-G interview this morning by 2nd District Republican candidate Tim Griffin: We need to pinch pennies these days.

Living off your house

Many moments too late comes this economic analysis: Housing will eventually recover from its great swoon.

Who's jerking your chain?

Tea Party. Americans for Prosperity.

The stupid tax

Just because lottery sales in Arkansas seem to correlate to education levels — counties with low education levels have high lottery sales — doesn't mean the uneducated are more likely to be lottery players.

Monday To-Do: Gordon Lightfoot

In the realm of folk music, few tracks are larger than the ones left by Gordon Lightfoot and his 12-string guitar.

Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie coming to Verizon

Shock rock king Alice Cooper and metal movie maker Rob Zombie for the "Monster Ball," October 21 at Verizon.

The Moving Front set a release date for new record

The Moving Front will release its second recorded album, "Everyday Dissonance," at the Whitewater Tavern on September 25th.

The de-Stalinization of RazorRock

Verizon is out, AT&T is in as sponsor of RazorRock.

Blue blooded barbecue

Thirty years and a true Southern style pit adds up to extraordinarily good barbecue in Eureka Springs. The cheeseburger is also a thing of beauty.

Wills and Elliott together

House Speaker Robbie Wills will join 2nd Congressional District Democratic candidate Joyce Elliott at a Conway news conference tomorrow.

The lying liars

You have to give Republicans credit. When you think they couldn't possibly top themselves with dishonest sleaze, they invent another talking point that many voters will undoubtedly swallow whole.

Today in Cashploitation

Johnny Cash was a notorious coffee-hound. Legend has it that the great one carried around a Ziploc bag of Sanka that he's spoon into the coffee he ordered at restaurants.

True Blood: Revelations

Shock of shocks, the "True Blood" scribes did not, as I predicted last time, stretch the Sookie reveal over three episodes. Nope, they spit it out immediately, starting with Sookie's reaction, which came in that charming manner that she and almost no one else usually greets ridiculous supernatural revelations

Tiger Woods divorce: $750 million?

The world now knows that Tiger Wood's divorce became final today. Surprise.

LR beer sellers have buzz on

The retail alcoholic beverage sales industry in Little Rock is hopping made about a draft city ordinance going around that would 1) prohibit sale of individual bottles of beer, wine and spirits smaller than certain sizes and 2) dramatically cut back on the legal hours for alcohol sales in Little Rock.

An honor for Lindquist

SAGA to honor printmaker Evan Lindquist.

Freethinkers, state settle lawsuit

The Arkansas Society of Freethinkers and Secretary of State Charlie Daniels today filed a proposed settlement of the society's lawsuit over the state's initial refusal to allow it to erect a winter solstice display along with the Christmas decorations at the Capitol.

Pharaoh Sanders - "Thembi" (live on "Night Moves")

Pharaoh Sanders - "Thembi" (live on "Night Moves")

The line is open

Take it away. In answer to questions from several reads: Though I'll believe just about anything about The Huckster and money, this thing just sounded dubious to me.

Apology to breast-feeding mom

The Crawford County sheriff's office has apologized to the mother ordered out of a Crawford County courtroom by a bailiff because she was breast feeding.

Arrest in newspaper box thefts

I was kind of hoping there was something more interesting at the root of this Little Rock police report on the theft of several dozen Arkansas Democrat-Gazette boxes.

Last night: Gordon Lightfoot

Gordon Lightfoot still has work to do, and it seems that he lives to keep working. For him, singing is his work, and he takes it seriously. He proved that Monday night at the Hot Springs Civic and Convention Center, before a decent crowd with more energy than one might have expected on a hot August night.

Charges after dog thrown from car

Saddest local news story of the day yesterday came from KTHV. It reported on the arrest of a Little Rock man in Greenbrier Friday after he reportedly threw his boxer dog from his car on a busy stretch of highway.

Housing sales plummet

Housing sales plummeted in July to the lowest level in 15 years, another indicator that the country is far from turn-around.

Johnny Depp and Patti Smith confirmed for WM3 rally

From a source close to the "Voices for Justice," the rumors are true: Johnny Depp and punk icon Patti Smith will join Eddie Vedder and Natalie Maines Saturday at Robinson.

OutFoxed by Jon Stewart

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10cThe Parent Company Trapwww.thedailyshow.comDaily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Supporting the troops

Every news release Republican congressional candidate Tim Griffin distributes mentions his reserve military service. He's run TV ads about his reverence for military service. But his record includes disservice to troops.

Election filing closes UPDATE

Filing for Little Rock city offices ended today. Mayor Mark Stodola ended up with an opponent of a sort, occasional candidate and gadfly Glen Schwarz, probably best known for his long work reform marijuana laws.

Arkansas misses education money

Another round of special federal grants for education were announced today and Arkansas again wasn't among the recipients.

Attorney generals target Craigslist

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has thrown in with some colleagues around the country into trying to pressure Craigslist to drop its adult services section.

AFL-CIO endorsements

The Arkansas AFL-CIO has announced endorsements made at its convention Saturday in Hot Springs. As I wrote earlier, the group gave no recommendation in the U.S. Senate.

(Not small) Frey: Big treat

Monumental ceramics by the California artist liven up the Arts Center.

Get caught up on 'True Blood' in 60 seconds

Watch a parody of "True Blood" that encapsulates the show in 60 seconds.

Looking ahead on school spending

Can the state afford a 2.5 percent increase in school spending next year and 2.9 percent the year after that, or more than 5 percent over two years?

Slow day here

Maybe the community can liven things up.

Lincoln open on taxes

Republicans are going bonkers. They're trying to portray as a flipflop Sen. Blanche Lincoln's remarks today that while she leans toward extending the Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class, that she thinks the super wealthy can pay more.

Little Rock's case on charter schools

An entry for the late-night reading pleasure of education wonks and, particularly, wonks of the debate over charter schools.

Jim Keet's Florida roots

I've written before about Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Keet's Florida roots. He spent the better part of the last decade in the restaurant business in Florida and voted there.

Farmer Blanche

Sen. Blanche Lincoln's efforts to increase farm subsidies for "wealthy farmers in Arkansas" gets ripped in a Washington Post blog posting today.

Obama school chief to make news in LR

Education Secretary Arne Duncan will speak at 6 p.m. tonight at the Statehouse Convention Center as part of the Frank and Kula Kumpuris Distinguished Lecture series.

Wednesday To-Do: The Body

THE BODY9 p.m., Juanita's. $5.

YMCA building buyer identified

The buyers of the old YMCA building downtown have stepped forward. Shellie Barnett, president of Jonesboro-based Deseo, LLC, said the company plans to restore the building and turn it into office space, including an insurance agency and a financial planning office on the first floor.

Walton-Fisk nuances

Can Alice Walton still buy the Stieglitz collection?
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