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August 26, 2010

Vol 36 • No 51

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You want leadership?

Wait until after the election. Then, Mayor Stodola says, Little Rock will talk about what kind of city it will be. In other words, will it raise taxes?

Rolling Stone milks 'True Blood' for all it's worth

Which is to say, bloody nudity that hints at double penetration. Hide your kids!

RIP Luke Hunsicker

The Little Rock music community lost one of its most beloved figures earlier this week. Luke Hunsicker died early Monday morning after a long battle with brain cancer. He was 29.

Kroger plans in Little Rock

Kroger will open its first "marketplace" store Saturday on Chenal Parkway. It's an expanded operation that includes housewares, jewelry and other hard goods.

One dead in I-430 crash

One person died and at least two were injured in a three-vehicle crash on Interstate 430 between Cantrell and Rodney Parham Roads this morning.

Pulaski schools to return to old schedule

KARK reports that a circuit judge today ordered the Pulaski County Special School District to return to its old bell schedule by Sept. 13.

Sexting: Can we agree it's a bad idea?

Can anything good come from a woman sending nude photos of herself to a man who is not your husband?

Riblets without the pork

If you ask politely, listen closely and do your research, you can eat at Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous in Memphis, even if you have a pork allergy.

Half price eats

Our partner Half Off Depot has some great deals on now for 1620, Capi's, Trio's and Catfish City.

Over to you

The hump day line is open.

Beebe: Dems can overcome

Gov. Mike Beebe made an appearance at a ceremony this afternoon, celebrating the move of KATV's enormous video collection (over 24,000 hours of film) to the Arkansas State Library in Little Rock.

Thursday To-Do: 48 Hour Film Festival

48 HOUR FILM FESTIVAL7 p.m., 9 p.m.; Riverdale 10. $10.

RIP Luke Hunsicker

The Little Rock music community lost one of its most beloved figures earlier this week.

A&E News, Aug. 26

Vino's set to celebrate their upcoming 20th anniversary with reunited acts.


Ryan Mallett's scantron, Renee Gork's hat and the shape of blind fanaticism.

What's Cookin, Aug. 26

Gerald Lambert and Gerald West, veterans of the pub business in New York, have opened Hibernia, a new Irish restaurant and pub.

The To-Do List, Aug. 26-30

48 Hour Film Festival, Eli Young Band, Corb Lund, Titus Andronicus, The Original Wailers

This Modern World, Aug. 26

Mulehead rides again

One of Little Rock's favorites reunites for shows Friday and Saturday at White Water Tavern.

Adventures in apostasy: Week two

Most national analysts are assuming that the Hogs' defense will be at least somewhat better, basing that assumption on age and experience. That's nebulous reasoning, but fair.

Orval, Aug. 26

Brooks & Dunn

Aug. 21, Verizon Arena

Gordon Lightfoot

Aug. 23, Hot Springs Convention Center

In Brief, Aug. 26-28

Triple Cobra, Cool Shoes, Big Smith and more.

Good things in the Pantry

Czech's twist on mac and cheese and Stock Pot stand out.

Words, Aug. 26

"In the Words column Aug. 12, Ray White asks 'Don't linguists have a name for a phrase that is misunderstood and then the misunderstanding overtakes the original?' I think perhaps the term Mr. White is searching for is 'eggcorn.' "

B-movie bingo

There's something to love about a movie this self-consciously awful.

The Week That Was, Aug. 18-24, 2010

Good week: North Little Rock, lottery ticket sales, UALR. Bad week: Pulaski County school district, Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, Little Rock Police Department, Circuit Judge Mike Maggio

The Observer, Aug. 26

Jody Hardin's pigs have 72 hours to get out of Grady. Mayor's orders.

50-yard-line seats: Pricey

University of Arkansas Athletic Department recently announced that it was raising the price on required donations for preferred seating for Hog football games in Razorback and War Memorial Stadiums next year.

No solicitations

In other states, the super-rich pledge to give their wealth to charity. In Arkansas, we'd be happy if they just quit trying to tear down the public schools.

Eye on Arkansas, July 26

The summer of Democrats' discontent

We analysts of Arkansas politics all have our set talking points when asked why Democrats continue to succeed here in state and congressional elections even as Republicans win at the presidential level, a pattern that differentiates Arkansas from its Southern neighbors. A flurry of polling data and anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that after Nov. 2 that question may no longer exist.

Pellet sniper suspect

Little Rock Police Department spokesman Lt. Terry Hastings confirms that an arrest warrant has been issued in the Parris Towers pellet gun shootings.

Lies & Others

The old cauldron-tender we called Mimmy was given to outlandish allegations, but if you challenged her on any of them, she'd take offense: "Well, I guess I'm just a damn liar, then," she'd huff. And you'd best not agree with her about that — because then she'd really take offense.

City a pigsty

In case you haven't noticed, our city is a pigsty. Drive down Cantrell Hill, past Austin Brothers, past Junior Deputy to LaHarpe Blvd.

Free the WM3

Eddie Vedder and Natalie Maines help sound the rallying cry on Saturday at Robinson.

Does it take one to know one?

Since state Sen. Joyce Elliott called herself one, I went to the dictionary to see exactly what a "pinhead" was.

A high school in distress

Can a $1.97 million infusion help J.A. Fair?

Blasphemy by the ticket

Opponents of lottery machines cite Bible.

A 'Bigger, Better' show

Viola Frey's ceramics at the Arkansas Arts Center are the commonplace made monumental.

Painting Arkansas red

Lincoln lets Boozman off easy

Amusing story in the Democrat-Gazette this morning. It is unfair, Dr. No Boozman says, for Sen. Blanche Lincoln to run ads criticizing his support of a 23 percent national sales tax.

Ken Mehlman comes out

Ken Mehlman, the former Republican national chairman and George Bush's former campaign manager, says he is gay and an advocate of same-sex marriage.

Duncan comment on LR charter schools

We gave you early yesterday the remarks Education Secretary Arne Duncan delivered in Little Rock last night, including his support for more openness about performance of teachers' classes on standardized tests.

Democrat-Gazette buries the lead

An example in the Democrat-Gazette today of "burying the lead." The business section included a locally written article about the fairly new money-making venture by Little Rock-owned Stephens media properties.

Keet defends years in Florida

Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Keet says it's "silly" to focus on the five years-plus he spent in Florida.


How about those 60-degree temps? Great morning for a walk.

Thursday: Battery, Moment of Fierce Determination, Triple Cobra

Out at Denton's Trotline in Benton, Big John Miller belts out soul hits with support from his band, 8 p.m.

Last night: Iron Tongue-The Body @ Juanita's

Seven quick, quick items about last night's show: 1. Iron Tongue is still deceptively melodic.

High-end comfort foods in Memphis

Jonesboro native Felicia Suzanne Willett has created a masterful and wonderful place to enjoy reinterpretations of southern classics.

Bad eggs and Arkansas

The Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission has issued a statement on the investigation of salmonella carried by eggs.

Reminder: Bonnie Montgomery films "Front Row" tonight

Bonnie Montgomery and Montgomery Trucking film an episode of "AETN Presents: On the Front Row" tonight, debuting material from her hyper-anticipated opera, "Billy Blythe."

Pearl Jam pre-party and fundraiser set for Saturday

The Wish List Foundation, a Pearl Jam nonprofit fan club that hosts events before every one of the band's concerts and lead singer Eddie Vedder's solo shows, is doing a pre-party fundraiser/raffle/auction at Sticky Fingerz on Saturday before the "Voices for Justice Rally" at Robinson.

Change of ownership at Juanita's

A little less than two years after he purchased Juanita's, Johnny Weaver has sold the venerable Tex-Mex restaurant and venue to Jim O'Brien and Joe Cates.

Juanita's changes hands

Another venerable Tex-Mex restaurant, Juanita's, is in transition. Read all about it on Eat Arkansas.

Mama Grizzlies

Has Beth Anne Rankin remade herself to look like Sarah Palin?

Hog heaven

War Memorial Stadium officials held an open house today for the stadium's news press box and private suites.

Bradbury Gallery tonight

"True Grit" opens tonight at ASU.

Lottery discussion underway

Gerard Matthews is covering the legislature's Lottery Oversight Committee. The god squadders are out in force to decry lottery vending machines.

Normal Norman

The late Cantrell Gallery owner, in google eyes.

Why don't the heathens rage?

town hall meetings, Tea Party, anger

Hendrix scores Lydia Davis, Jonathan Safran Foer

Hendrix follows a public events calendar that last year included Art Spiegleman and Francine Prose with another pair of impressive authors this season.

The night is young

But I am old. Over to you.

New Jim Mize 7"

Conway's Jim Mize, AKA Arkansas's greatest living songwriter, has a new 7".

Nashville's burning

Louie, where are you? Out covering this fire on Main Street in Nasvhille this afternoon, I'd guess.

Fistful of Mercy, the new Ben Harper, Joseph Arthur, Dhani Harrison 'supergroup' playing WM3 rally

The brand spanking new super-group of sorts Fistful of Mercy will make its second ever live performance Saturday at "Voices for Justice," the rally for the WM3 at Robinson Center.

Violent New Orleans

New investigations and reporting are painting a terrible picture of New Orleans post-Katrina. There was random violence, yes, but the outside world had a skewed idea of perpetrators and victims.Today, a clearer picture is emerging, and it is an equally ugly one, including white vigilante violence, police killings, official cover-ups and a suffering population far more brutalized than many were willing to believe.

Coming to your public building: Religious displays

An interesting essay by Linda Greenhouse on pending U.S. Supreme Court cases in which the Roberts court may well expand the ability of governments to post the Ten Commandments and other religious documents.

Questions for Jim Keet

The Democrat-Gazette today ran through a litany of tax problems for Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Keet — claiming a homestead tax credit to which he wasn't entitled; non-payment of property taxes on a plane kept in Arkansas; late payment of property and restaurant taxes.

Friday To-Do: Eli Young Band

ELI YOUNG BAND9 p.m., Revolution. $15.

Weekend To-Do: Mulehead

Mulehead reunites for shows Friday and Saturday at White Water Tavern.

The Weekend: Cool Shoes, Ouachita, Boom Kinetic, Big Smith, "25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee"

FRIDAY 8/27 Cool Shoes returns for their monthly dance party; this time around, Cool Shoes regulars DJ Wolf-E-Wolf and Sleek man the decks at the Downtown Music Hall stage, 10 p.m., $5 over 21, $8 under 21.

Saturday To-Do: 'Voices for Justice'

Eddie Vedder and Natalie Maines help sound the rallying cry on Saturday at Robinson.

That other reunion: Il Libertina

Lost somewhat in the hoopla surrounding the Mulehead reunion this weekend: Il Libertina, another local favorite from that era (circa 1999 to 2003) is getting back together tonight at White Water.

Washington gridlock

Who's to blame for Washington gridlock? How about a political party whose every answer is no? That would be the same party that is spoiling to begin anew the perpetual investigation machine it wielded in the Clinton era.

Hot checks in hot race

More controversy in the race for prosecuting attoney in the district based in Conway. A circuit court order Thursday appointed a special prosecutor to handle the case of three hot checks allegedly written on a joint First Security Bank account in the names of J. Cody and Jana Hiland.

Chicano "Cry," at UALR

"El Grito (A Cry for Independence)" is a moving show of work by Mexican-American artists.

I am New Orleans

Vince Vance's Katrina fifth anniversary video should touch anyone with fond New Orleans memories.

ACAC is moving

The non-profit visual and performing arts space is moving to Main Street.

Arrest made in kidnapping

The Little Rock police say a woman has been arrested in the kidnapping of a two-year-old child found abandoned early this morning in the bed of a pickup truck on Gaines Street.

Last night: Bonnie Montgomery at AETN

Arkansas is lucky Bonnie Montgomery decided to come home. Few artists have the range of talent coupled with such dedication to their home state as she does — and this unique combo was on full display at her performance last night for AETN’s "On the Front Row" series.

Art benefit tonight

The poster says it all.

Jail suicide still under review

The Pulaski County sheriff's office has confirmed that the jail inmate found dead Tuesday of an apparent suicide at the Pulaski County Regional Detention Center was the victim in a high-profile rape allegation that got a Pulaski County deputy fired in January.

Let the eagles soar

It's Friday night.

Reporter Vic Snyder

U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder wrote a letter to the editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, published today, that chastises the newspaper for finding space to report that one of his staff members made a list of good-looking congressional aides but blowing off an independent group's naming of Tim Griffin, Republican candidate for Second District Congresss, as one of its "crooked candidates" for 2010.

Questions for Mayor Pat Hays

North Little Rock businessman Frank Fletcher, who owns the Wyndham hotel in downtown NLR, has some questions about Mayor Pat Hays' hazy land swap to encourage development of a new hotel downtown with a parking deck financed by taxpayers and the public schools.

Tea Party: Victims?

Let the teabaggers roar on the Capitol mall today. Nice day for a rally.

I do, I do, I do

Yep, Arkies believe in marriage. And if at first they don't succeed, they try and try again.

Saturday line

Here's a thread. I hope the Arkansas Blog or Rock Candy will have something later about tonight's rallly and concert for the West Memphis Three.

Free the WM3

Arkansas Take Action held a press conference this afternoon to talk about tonight's much-anticipated event, but also, and more importantly, to talk about the West Memphis Three, new developments in the case and supporters' efforts to raise awareness.

Sunday To-Do: Corb Lund

CORB LUND8 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $10.This celebrated Albertan singer, like the Eli Young Band above, maintains hordes of dedicated fans without tapping into the mainstream pipe.

Johnny Depp in Little Rock

Gerard Matthews wrote on Rock Candy last night about the rally for the West Memphis Three that included a news conference on the coming appeal in the murder case and a benefit concert featuring Eddie Vedder, Natalie Maines, Patty Smith and more.

Browning's: Life after death?

Browning's, the Tex-Mex institution in the Heights, may not be permanently dead after all.

Save the garfish

Mark Spitzer, a UCA professor who's an authority on the unlovely but important alligator gar fish, wants our help in publicizing a plan that could imperil the gar.

Jim Keet's legal problems

The Democrat-Gazette today ran through the Jim Keet residency issue, which I first wrote about some weeks ago.

Race and the River Market

Noted: the story in the D-G this morning ( reg. required) about a Little Rock cop fired for being filmed on this video using the word "jigaboo" to a group filming in the River Market.

Last night: Voices for Justice

You just had to be there. Last night's benefit for the West Memphis Three was a success on every level.

Silver threads

Start them right here. And if you haven't yet, take a look back at Rock Candy, with more from Gerard Matthews, including video, of the sold-out benefit for the legal cause of the West Memphis Three.

John Pugh provides soundtrack to '127 Hours' trailer

Little Rock native John Pugh's band Free Blood provides the soundtrack to the trailer for James Franco's new film.

Baptism: Armed and dangerous

40/29 reports that guns were fired and one guest reported a pistol whipping during a family baptism celebration at the Progressive Men's Club in Fort Smith.

Poll: Mike Ross in lead

Talk Business poll shows U.S. Rep. Mike Ross with a 49-31 lead over Republican challenger Beth Anne Rankin.

The real Glenn Beck

In an interview post-rally, Glenn Beck gets back to his — and many Republicans' — dominant theme.

Little Rock schools in discrimination suit

Late Friday, John W. Walker filed a race discrimination lawsuit on behalf of 19 plaintiffs against the Little Rock School District over practices in the maintenance and operations department.

Monday To-Do: Titus Andronicus

TITUS ANDRONICUS8 p.m., Revolution. $10 What a much-needed alternative to the navel-gazing "me, me, me" pasture of indie bands.

Country breakfast buffet

Hungry for breakfast? Forrest City's a good place to stop on the I-40 trip to Memphis. That's where you'll find The Ole Sawmill Cafe.

Boozman dodges Lincoln

Sen. Blanche Lincoln's campaign is making much of Rep. John Bozoman's varying excuses for limiting his shared appearances (debates and forums) with Lincoln.

Upbeat about Main Street

The Downtown Little Rock Partnership has released its survey of opinions on Main Street and downtown development issues.

As promised ...

Posting 'El Grito' catalog.

'Voices for Justice' video round-up

Video round up from the "Voices for Justice" rally at Robinson featuring Eddie Vedder, Johnny Depp, Natalie Maines, Patti Smith, Fistful of Mercy, Damien Echols and more.

Fun with arithmetic

UALR and Gov. Mike Beebe today are touting the "astounding" improvement of Advanced Placement test scores by students in a UALR-based effort to improve scores in math, science and English.

Harry Shearer's Katrina doc plays tonight at Rave for one night only

Part time New Orleanian Harry Shearer ( unveils his new documentary "The Big Uneasy" tonight at the Rave.

Huckabee showcases cheaters website

Blogger Jason Tolbert, a one-time Mike Huckabee supporter, says the Huckster has sunk to a new depth by giving warm and extended exposure on his TV show to Ashley Madison, a website that puts adulterers together.

School spending increase? Maybe not

A legislative panel is backing off an earlier finding that the state needed to increase school spending next year by 2.5 percent and 2.9 percent more the year after that to support a constitutionally adequate education.

Hewlett-Packard pays $55 million in kickback case

The Justice Department today announced Hewlett-Packard had agreed to pay $55 million to settle a lawsuit over kickbacks HP paid to influence federal purchases.

The line is open

You're up.

Three dead in helicopter crash

The State Police reports three people have died in the crash of a medical helicopter.

The Pulaski school debacle

The latest in the rolling disaster area that is the Pulaski County School District is an allegation that suggests a purported sidewalk contractor paid a $100 bribe to school board member Gwen Williams.

Capgate in a new light

I thought the UA overreacted in pressuring a radio station to discipline a sports show announcer who attended a Hog scrimmage wearing a Florida Gator cap, to Coach Bobby Petrino's apparent displeasure.

Murder charges announced UPDATE

The State Police have scheduled a 10 a.m. news conference to announce charges in "multiple" murders that occurred in 2009.

Mike Huckabee: Saying and doing

Under a headline, "Is Mike Huckabee Nuts?", a Huffington Post writer says: Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee wants to turn the United States back over to God and Jesus.

Mayor Stodola's glass: Half full

I gather Mayor Mark Stodola thinks our report on his first term as "strong mayor" wasn't sufficiently worshipful.

So much for the health care bounce

The unrelenting, high-dollar organized opposition plays a part, of course. But I thought the advent of the valuable aspects of health care reform would slowly increase positive feelings about health legislation.

Tuesday: Cory Branan-Drag the River, Magic Hassle-Mandy McBryde

Cory Branan and Drag the River are bringing their "Budget Helicopter Tour" to White Water tonight.

Legislature punts on school funding

It's official. A joint legislative committee isn't ready to put a price tag on which educational adequacy will cost in fiscal 2011-12.

Pot and booze at the UA CORRECTION

Interesting. Penalties for misdemeanor possession of marijuana and alcohol have been equalized at the University of Arkansas.

Team Arkansas Times leads the way with 48 Hour Film Fest nominations

Team Arkansas Times, last year's winner of the best film, best actor, best actress and the audience award in the 48 Hour Film Fest, could be on the verge of a dynasty.

J.B. Hunt gives $5 million to Children's

J.B. Hunt Transport Services' $5 million gift for a new wing at Arkansas Children's Hospital was officially announced by the company today.

Jail escapee on the loose

Quite a bit of excitement at the noon hour today as cops and police dogs ranged through the River Market neighbor seeking Bryan Jones, 22, who broke away from officers during a court appearance.

Name that Arkansas artist

Today I begin the first of what will be sporadic postings of artwork by Arkansans.

The Tuesday line

Open for business.

Wednesday To-Do: The Original Wailers

THE ORIGINAL WAILERS9 p.m., Revolution. $15.

Verizon job losses in Little Rock

We've been trying without success to reach Verizon officials about persistent reports that the company is reducing its workforce in Little Rock, particularly among some higher-paid employees.

Lies, damn lies, statistics

So-called value added evaluations of teachers are the flavor of the day. Test scores can provide an absolute measure of the effectiveness of teachers, the supporters say.

Again, the homeless

The city seems poised for one of its periodic bouts of hand-wringing about the homeless.

Larry King talks WM3 tonight

With Lorri Davis, Eddie Vedder, Natalie Maines and attorney Dennis Riordan. Tonight at 8 p.m.

Sarah Palin for president?

Not on your life, say Republican Alaska voters. Can we stop calling her a king maker?

Baked goodness

The venerable Klappenbach Bakery is back open after last year's fire. Kat Robinson goes to Fordyce to check and make sure the quality of the baked goods is still up to par.

Gasland director wins Lennon grant

Josh Fox, director of the documentary film Gasland, which was shown at the Clinton School not long ago and caused some considerable hubbub, is one of four to receive the Lennon Ono Grant for Peace, an award created to honor John Lennon's commitment to peace and human rights.

Clinton to campaign for Lincoln

Sen. Blanche Lincoln's campaign says former President Bill Clinton will come to Little Rock Sept. 8 for a campaign event — nominally to observe her one-year (only year?)

Paste Magazine is dead

According to Gawker. Frankly, I can't believe it lasted this long.

Escapee captured

Bryan Jones, an accused kidnapper who escaped on foot from a probation office at the courthouse yesterday and spurred an extensive manhunt downtown, was taken into custody today.