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September 2, 2010

Vol 36 • No 52

Read the print version

About the cover

The Times this week presents four excerpts from a new book from the University of Arkansas Press, "The Un-Natural State" by Brock Thompson.

'The Unnatural State'

Justice Jim tried desperately to paint his rival Winthrop Rockefeller as a "big-city queer."

Sex on the highway

A bill to change the state's sodomy law failed; rest stop bust ensued.

Lesbian communities

Diana Rivers chose the Arkansas Ozarks for the beauty of the land.

A place for women

Feminists started the Fayetteville Women's Center.

Inventing for "Wheels"

"Wheels" auction to benefit bicycle safety programs for students.

Mara Leveritt responds

DOG columnist Linda Caillouet took a cheap shot at Mara Leveritt and the Times this morning by suggesting an ethical shortcoming in Mara's work to publicize last weekend's benefit concert for the West Memphis Three.

Keet: His Checkers speech? UPDATE

Jim Keet, the Republican candidate for governor, has scheduled a 2 p.m. news conference at which he'll read a statement and take questions.

Calling the ACLU

Interesting video. The real action starts just before the 6-minute mark.

Anita Huffington it is!

Candy fans, can anyone help out rfg55?

More time on scholarships

The state Higher Education Department announced this afternoon that applicants for Academic Challenge Scholarships who were denied money for incomplete applications have until Sept. 30 to submit required documents to qualify for fall awards.

Looking ahead

Exhibits of work by women artists will dominate galleries in a couple of weeks.

Falling down good

The wilds of West Tennessee offer up a dilapidated, boarded up building where some of the best hickory-smoked barbecue I've ever tried can be found.

Over the hump

Comments? File them here.

A homecoming shakedown

Little Rock's Ben Dickey and Sam Murphy bring their band Blood Feathers to White Water on Saturday.

Interest and energy

Issues combined in Amendment 2.

The artists' gritos

UALR show examines the Chicano life.

A night of firsts

Bonnie Montgomery tapes performance as part of "On the Front Row" series at AETN.

The Observer, Sept. 2, 2010

We were thinking about those poor sons of bitches who were sent to prison based on testimony by a certified whackjob who claimed to be an expert in Satanism.

Orval, Sept. 2, 2010

The Mama Grizzly look

It may only be coincidental, but former Miss Arkansas Beth Anne Rankin, the Republican candidate for Congress from the Fourth Congressional District, has a new look.

Adventures in apostasy

A Boy Named Sooie gives you everything you need to know about the Hogs and the SEC in his three-part season preview.

This Modern World, Sept. 2, 2010

The To-Do List, Sept. 2, 2010

Bane comes to Downtown Music; Brandon premieres its vodka and gin; Dignan from Texas, Hellzapoppin' and more.

The Week that Was, Aug. 25-31, 2010

Good week: West Memphis Three, Sims Barbecue. Bad week: Jim Keet, John Boozman, Little Rock School District, Baptism, Chivalry, Pulaski County School District.

What's Cookin', Sept. 2, 2010

Jim O'Brien and Joe Cates buy Juanita's.

Words, Sept. 2, 2010

"The long-running Hardy Boys Mystery Stories series ended in 2005 and was replaced with a reboot series." As a former fan of the Hardy Boys, I didn't like the sound of this even while I wasn't sure what it meant.

Football and race, fact and fiction

New books about race and sports at Central High and the musical Browns are here; a new John Grisham novel is on the horizon.

NLR's strong mayor

Pat Hays needs to answer the public's questions on the land swap before flexing his muscle on behalf of downtown.

Sounding out for the WM3

You can't beat good music. It can inspire. It can thrill. It can transport. But it can't beat a horrible jury.

Painting with many flavors

Palette mastering the art of to-go dining.

Istanbul Mediterranean Restaurant

If you can survive the traffic on death-defying Highway 10, there's no better place in town for a bulging, savory gyros sandwich than this Pleasant Ridge cafe.

Boozman's unfair tax

Both Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Rep. John Boozman illustrated the wisdom of my advice.

Honor where due

Jim Keet has promised not to throw his wife under a bus, and that's about the kindest thing we've heard from a Republican politician this year.

Eye on Arkansas, Sept. 2

In Brief, Sept. 2, 2010

The Jungle Rockers, Pop Tart Monkeys, The Frontier Circus and more.

Picking a president


Conventional wisdom (followed in parentheses by geezer muttering of a kind that readers of this column have come to expect).

Liberal colleges

I don't find it at all unusual that the faculty of most universities is populated with "Liberals and Democrats."

Cap what?

The splintering of a local start-up.

The ol' switcheroo

'The American' ain't what you think.

Voices for Justice

Saturday's rally for the West Memphis Three was a success on every level.

Duvall returns to roots in 'Get Low'

From Boo Radley to Felix Bush.

Tax cheats in the news

Funny coincidence. You've been reading about Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Keet's improper claim of a homestead tax exemption on property in Arkansas while he was a resident of Florida.

Thursday To-Do: Dignan

Texan soundscapists Dignan return to Little Rock, headlining a four-bill show at Juanita's.

Thursday To-Do: Bane

Bane, hardcore legends, come to Downtown Music.

Thursday To-Do: Brandon's Vodka & Gin Premiere

Phil Brandon's Rock Town Distillery debuts their gin and vodka at the Arkansas Arts Center.

More popular than Obama

Bill Clinton's campaign schedule isn't limited to stops in Arkansas for peple like Blanche Lincoln, Chad Causey, Carolyn Staley (old friend running for state rep. in Little Rock) and others.

It's a busy night: Event No. 1

"Art of Jazz" opens tonight.

Brad Paisley, Hootie and Arkansas' Justin Moore to Verizon

Brad Paisley, pop-star-turned-country-crooner Darius Rucker and Poyen, Arkansas native Justin Moore are coming to Verizon on Nov. 19.

It's a busy night: Event No. 2

The invitation says it all.

Spoiling to shut down government

Right-wingers are salivating that congressional takeovers will alliow Republicans to shut down government if Democrats stand in the way of repeal of health care reform.

It's a busy night: Event No. 3

Fayetteville Underground opens three new exhibits.

Beebe: Things looking up UPDATE

Gov. Mike Beebe indicates the August state revenue numbers will continue to show improvement. If only that were a national phenomenon.

Drinking liberally

These ARE the times that could drive a liberal to drink. In that vein, I thought I'd drop a mention of Drinking Liberally, an informal social group, which, as its Facebook page says, gives left-leaning people a chance to get together over beer.

Oil rig explosion in Gulf

Dozens injured.

Nelson sues over Game and Fish

Here's a copy of a lawsuit by Sheffield Nelson over the new governance scheme at the state Game and Fish Commission.

Lottery pressure tactics

The religionist buillies of the Family Council have sent a letter to several retail chains (not including Walmart or Kroger) attempting to warn them off installing lottery vending machines.

Pulaski Schools: The stench increases

Lt. Carl Minden of the Pulaski sheriff's office said investigators have located Ricky Weathers, whose name appeared on a letter to the Pulaski County School Board that was released by Board member Charlie Wood.

Gunman no fan of Duggars

I had meant to note yesterday that the gunman slain in the Discovery Channel building yesterday was unhappy, among others, about programs featuring many children, such as "19 and Counting," featuring Arkansas's Duggar faimily.

Masala for breakfast

The New Delhi Cafe's Indian Omelette Wrap could be the most unusual flavored dish I've encountered in my breakfast trek. It's certainly delectable.

Famous band with Arkansas tie makes fun of an even more famous band with Arkansas ties

If you're good at the Internet, you've probably seen this music video by Ted Leo and the Pharmacists.

Justice comes to Jonesboro

The man arrested by Jonesboro police after he'd taken a video of them during a traffic stop and called them Nazis apparently won't be prosecuted on obstruction charges.

UA's marijuana policy

Remember the item earlier this week about whether the University of Arkansas had or had not made campus punishment for marijuana the same as that for alcohol violations?

Thursday: The Jungle Rockers, Sound Tribe Sector 9, Jeff Coleman

Austin comes to Sticky Fingerz when The Jungle Rockers bring their psycho-garage-abilly racket to town, 9 p.m., $5.

Oaklawn hosts Spa City Poker Open

Over the course of 10 weeks, Oaklawn is looking for qualifiers for the first Spa City Poker Open.

Clinton works for Elliott

Add Joyce Elliott, the Democratic nominee for 2nd District Congress, to the list of candidates Bill Clinton will help with a swing through the state next week.

Take it away

Tonight's line.

More Verizon job news

I received another note about relocations of higher-level Verizon employees in Little Rock. This one reports ordered transfers of four employees to Texas, Illinois or New Jersey by mid-October.

New student testing

Arkansas was among several dozen states chosen to participate in federally backed projects to reshape student testing.

Where are the jobs?

The national unemployment rate has risen slightly, to 9.6 percent. Where are the jobs?

Ethics panel rips TV drug court

Circuit Judge Mary Ann Gunn of Fayetteville recently asked the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee for its opinion of national broadcasting of her drug court by "commercial media" from California. It doesn't like the idea or her current local broadcasting either.

Friday To-Do: Andy Warr & His Big Damn Mouth

Sticky Fingerz premieres the Andy Warr and His Big Damn Mouth-inspired drink tonight.

Weekend: The Frontier Circus, Eric Somner, Tea Leaf Green

FRIDAY 9/3 Goof-rockers Pop Tart Monkeys begin their three-night, Labor Day weekend stint at West End Smokehouse and Tavern, 10 p.m., $5.

Boozman's aim on Social Security

The Arkansas Republican Party is trumpeting the news that the respected Politifact news service has found only "barely true" Sen. Blanche Lincoln's claim that opponent John Boozman wants to privatize Social Security.

Saturday To-Do: Keith Sweat

KEITH SWEAT7:30 p.m., Riverfest Amphitheatre. $35-$75 Riverfest Amphitheatre hosts a triptych of '90s R&B stars on Saturday, the latest course served up to satiate Little Rock's bottomless appetite for throwback bump 'n' grind acts.

A homecoming shakedown with Blood Feathers

Here's betting that you'll be bragging to your friends in the not-too-distant future about how you once saw the Blood Feathers in concert at the intimate White Water Tavern.

Saturday To-Do: Hellzapoppin'

Hellzapoppin' sideshow comes to town.

Gallery walking, in Hot Springs

Art is Central tonight in Hot Springs

The 'birth tourism' myth

Not that the facts will get in the way of a good Republican story.

Sunday To-Do: Bootfest 2010

BOOTFEST 20104 p.m., War Memorial Stadium. $10.

Light bulb moment — and a Beebe party

No wonder it's so slow. Somebody just reminded me it's Labor Day weekend.

Game and Fish responds to Nelson suit

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission says it will vigorously defend against the lawsuit filed yesterday by Sheffield Nelson, a former commission chairman, over the commission's committee system.

Grand jury probing Hardin days at UCA

We reported way back in May that a serious federal probe was proceeding on fianncial matters arising during Lu Hardin's tenure as president of the University of Central Arkansas. It has now reached the federal Grand Jury.

A picture from Katherine Strause

This just in.

"Smoker's Club" Tour to Little Rock

This just through the wires: Rapper Curren$y is booked to return to Little Rock on Sunday, October 17 for the "Smoker's Club" Tour.

Let the weekend begin

The line really is open now. Want 5 minutes of amusement?

The legislature's revolving door

The Democrat-Gazette had a short item this morning saying that term-limited state Rep. Bill Abernathy of Mena was heading to the lobbying ranks in January.

UCA's common predicament

John Brummett this morning sympathizes a bit with the blundering Board of Trustees of the University of Central Arkansas, led astray by former president Lu Hardin and not always as well-versed as it needed to be on campus operations and the not-so-intricate workings of the Freedom of Information Act.

Let freedom (for people like us) ring

As opposition to mosques spreads across the United States, hundreds of miles from ground zero, opponents are running up against more than the nominal protection afforded religion in the Constitution.

Speaking of the First Amendment — and Hogs

It's a lovely day for football and the Hog message boards are lit up with excitement about the promising season. Just be warned: The University of Arkansas doesn't want political signs at Hog tailgate parties.

Wary of the shale

All aren't ready to blindly salute the shale exploration flagpole. Thanks to Roby Brock for noticing an effort underway in Van Buren County, the very heart of the Fayetteville shale, to form a county committee to "monitor" shale gas drilling.

Open for business

The Saturday line is open. But a few things: 1) A reader gave Ark. Blog readers the early jump on this last night, but it's probably worth a mainpage link to the Craigslist decision to close its "adult services" section after complaints from a baker's dozen of smut-busting a.g.'s, including Dustin McDaniel.

Measuring the lottery's profits

Religionist bully Jerry Cox shouldered his way on to the front page of the Democrat-Gazette today with the claim that, essentially, the Arkansas lottery doesn't take enough from gamblers.

The mighty governor

And speaking of getting political talking points planted in the newspaper: Does anybody really believe the governor of a state can have any influence, except on the margins, of the economy?

Keet drops the cake

When Jim Keet, the Republican nominee for governor, dropped a cake intended for his wife Doody at a news conference last week, it was a metaphor for his campaign to tempting for columnist John Brummett to pass up.

More on grading teachers

For those interested, here's more from the Times magazine today on assessing teachers by the value they add to students by applying test score progress to a statistical formula.

Fayetteville drunk tank count

I see one of the stepchild newspapers in Northwest Arkansas did a study of public drunk arrests the last several years in Fayetteville.

The Sunday line

Let's grill.

Congressional payola

Good story in the New York Times about charitable organizations established by some two dozen members of Congress that rake in contributions from corporate sources with issues before Congress.

Money's thicker than politics

Righthaven, the outfit with which Stephens Media and Walter Hussman newspapers have partnered to sue websites over unauthorized reprint of newspaper articles (including, notably, a poor little cat blogger) has finally sued Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle in Nevada over her use of articles from the Stephens-owned newspaper in Las Vegas.

Little Rock Nine's Jefferson Thomas dies

Jefferson Thomas, a member of the Little Rock Nine, died Sunday in Columbus, Ohio at age 68. President Obama was among those remembering his heroic contribution to the cause of civil rights.

Lincoln gets tough

Boozman sycophants are howling about this latest Blanche Lincoln ad. Such an attack.

Weeklong To-Do: Razorrock 2010

RAZORROCK 2010Various locations. With a No. 17 AP ranking, Big Tex Mallett readying to tack a truck-load of Ws to our long-suffering record, and Coach "BMFP" refusing to end another season as a mere SEC spoiler, Razorback fans have plenty to be excited about for this, the most promising year for Arkansas football in recent memory.

Labor Day To-Do: Grim Musik

GRIM MUZIK8 p.m., Cornerstone Pub. $5-$10.


Nationally televised high school football game from Dallas: Trinity Euless 80 Shiloh Christian 26

'War Eagle, Arkansas' screens tonight for free at Dickey-Stephens

As part of RazorRock week. Starts at 7:45 p.m.

Labor on

You're on. You do know that charcoal and pork are statutory requirements for activities today?

Vote Republican — Vote Green

No, the headline doesn't refer to a certain race on the ballot in Arkansas. It refers to a New York Times report on a concerted effort by a Republican in Arizona to field Green Party candidates (homeless and drfiters may apply).

Soros puts his money to work

On the one hand you have the Koch boys bankrolling activities aimed at protecting their polluting industries and cutting their tax bills.

Little Rock Nine remembered

The New York Times and the Washington Post both had detailed obituaries on Jefferson Thomas, the Little Rock Nine member who died Sunday.

Jocks for Beebe

Talk Business passes along another Mike Beebe campaign invite. Lead host is NBA star Joe Johnson.

Big gift for Southern Arkansas U.

Southern Arkansas University has announced a $1.9 milllion gift from the estate of 1966 alum Cinda Hallman.

Forrest City jury OKs porn sales

The Forrest City Times-Herald reports (sub. required) that a jury there Friday night acquitted two men and a corporation of obscenity charges for selling adult videos.

Florida comes to town; check tax records

The Arkansas Republican Party is bringing in a Florida resident for a GOP campaign fund-raiser Sept. 19.

What the heck is that?

Breakfast at Calico County in Fort Smith is always a good bet. But there's a new item on the lunch and dinner menu that deserves a second look — and some questions, too.

Boozman plays Hog card

Funny. Republican John Boozman hits the air with a commercial filmed in Razorback stadium and replete with Hog-logoed stuff and a photo from his Hog playing days.

Lulav's executive chef vs. Gordon Ramsey

Lulav executive chef, Curtis Lewis, competes in the upcoming season of "Hell's Kitchen."

'Bloodstone Diaries' in last-minute tiebreaker

No doubt, we've written extensively about the locally-made web series "The Bloodstone Diaries." For weeks now, the show has been in the running for the "NexTV Entertainment Competition," a national television contest that offers the winners the chance to screen their pilot for producers from Disney, Fox, "Weeds," "The Office" and more.

'Retro' goes forward at Laman

The Laman Library gallery opens its new exhibit, "Small Works on Paper: Retro Works," work selected for the Arkansas Arts Council's annual show between 1989 and 1997, today.

Waiting for 'Superman'

Slow day. Want something deep to read.

I swear I didn't know

... about the Huffington Post's "Eye Candy."

Feds win $48 million false claims settlement

The Justice Department today announced settlement of another whistleblower lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of Arkansas.

About those Hog uniforms ...

Who knew that UA Athletic Director Jeff Long was a Twitterer? Not me. Last night, he tweeted up a storm about the "ugly" uniforms worn by Boise State and Virginia Tech.

Name that Arkansas artist

Let's do it again.

Store on the side of the road

Out in the middle of nowhere there's a little bakery and deli that's serving up some of the best pastries you can find in the Ozarks. Have you been to Hankins Country Store?

Let's talk Justice

The UALR Law School and the Clinton School of Public Service will have a panel discussion, "The Ousted U.S. Attorneys," at noon Sept. 20 at the law school featuring former U.S. attorneys, including Bud Cummins, who were ousted in the 2006 Bush administration politicized shakeup of the Justice Department.

Take it away

The Tuesday line is open. It is Tuesday, isn't it?

A Razorback can survive

Harry King at Stephens Media backgrounds a Facebook/YouTube Razorback song hit.

Thank you, sir, may I have another?

Republicans apparently will go for broke (and I do mean broke) in response to President Obama's tax plan, including continuation of business development incentives but a return of higher rates for rich people, with a freeze on tax rates and spending cuts.

The face of intolerance

I'm conflicted. Should a nut "Christian" pastor with a flock of 30 be commanding the attention he's receiving?

Republican manners

John Boozman's recent advertising reminds me of a little something from the Bush years. Boozman talks of fighting "Obama" and "Pelosi."

Booze the target in WLR smash

Another smash-and-dash burglary, but this time the van driver hit the Grapevine, a west Little Rock liquor store, and made off with some booze, not cigarettes as in some recent similar crimes.

Bargain groceries

A word from our sponsors: Argenta Market has been added to the Half-off Depot lineup.

On "black" artists

Kerry James Marshall talks about identity and expression.

Human Development Center on trial

Opening arguments were today in the Justice Department lawsuit over the Conway Human Development Center.