You know that any live music season that starts with Diarrhea Planet and ends with Smoke Up Johnny is going to be a very special one, and so it is with the 2013 fall slate of live music in Arkansas.
Vol 40 • No 3
This year's Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, Oct. 11-20, features surely the festival's best lineup ever. Multiple award winners from the likes of Sundance and Hot Docs are on the bill. A biographical look at Arkansas-born football legend Bear Bryant called "Mama Called" will make its world premiere.
Also, at Crystal Bridges: Fisk collection.
Plus, TheatreSquared's '4,000 Miles,' 'Red' at The Rep and more
Music, theater and events.
The Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, Rothko at the Arts Center and previews of the coming concert and theater slates.
The Walton Family Foundation, which is spending tens of millions to promote charter schools, school vouchers and destruction of teacher unions and conventional public school districts that have them, is adding a high-profile New Yorker to its bureaucracy.
The state Ethics Commission released today its investigative file on the case that led to multiple findings of ethics violations by former Sen. Paul Bookout of Jonesboro in handling of money in his last unopposed campaign for state Senate.
University of Arkansas releases Bret Bielema contract: $3.2 million a year plus many benefits and a $12.8 million buyout
The University of Arkansas Athletic Department today released the school's contract with head football coach Bret Bielema.
I'll hear from David Koon before long, but I note a KATV Tweet that says 12 jurors have been seated for the retrial of Josh Hastings, a former Little Rock cop, on a manslaughter charge in the death of Bobby Moore, 15.
Both the Wall Street Journal editorial page and now the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have urged teabagging House Republicans to give up on the notion of shutting down government rather than allowing the law of the land — the Affordable Care Act — to take effect.
David Koon reports that the state has completed its case in the trial of Kathy Griffin, a former Mount St. Mary Academy counselor, for failure to report sexual abuse of a student by her live-in partner and fellow Mount St. Mary teacher Kelly O'Rourke.
If you like sampling a wide variety of delicious craft brews, you'll want to jump on getting your ticket for the Second Annual Arkansas Times Craft Beer Festival. Tickets sold out last year, and, with 60 percent more brewers participating, we're sure to sell out again.
The Wednesday night line is open. Final words:
Downtown eatery closes after only ten months.
Frank Deford speaks at Little Rock's Embassy Suites Thursday.
"Searching for Sugar Man" screens Thursday at Argenta Community Theater.
Joe Buck Yourself plays White Water Tavern Thursday.
The crowd at last Saturday's Latino Food and Music Festival in Argenta dances to music by Cuban band CruzWay.
Just in a bigger, better space.
Obamacare is coming. Enrollment in the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace begins Oct. 1, with coverage set to start in January. But with the law gearing up, many still have questions about what the new coverage options mean for them. And we have answers!
The company turns out 14 to 15 million pounds of rubber bands a year.
The University of Arkansas just can't quit its bad habits.
I was unfamiliar with cop the way the reviewer used it in a British newspaper. A dictionary of British slang says that cop can mean "worth, value." I gather it's most often used in negative constructions, as the reviewer did.
If there is a good side to tragedies like the massacre of children at the Sandy Hook school, it is that they stir laudable impulses to fix things so that it never happens here.
Tom Cotton continues his mad rampage through Washington. How long will it be before security takes him into custody? Confinement of the congressman would actually be best for him, and even better for the rest of us.
The fatal shooting of a 107-year-old man at Pine Bluff brought much attention to Arkansas, and, it's rumored, could earn an "oldest victim" award from the NRA. But the state gunners are not resting on their oars.
Before you make the mistake of taking President Obama's most strident critics regarding the Syrian deal too seriously, ponder this: With few exceptions, those calling the Russian-American agreement to eliminate Bashar al Assad's nerve gas arsenal a capitulation, a sellout, and a shameful retreat also think bombing Damascus wouldn't have been nearly enough.
Also, Ana Sia at Revolution.
A recent blog post by Max Brantley wishes to express a variety of negative conclusions about a University of Arkansas study of the educational effect of school field trips to Crystal Bridges.
Crime farce 'The Family' works, improbably.
It was also a good week for anti-abortion state legislators and spreading woo pig sooie fever. It was a bad week for the University of Arkansas.
Also, Frank Deford at Embassy Suites, Harvestfest in Hillcrest, the Arkansas Times Festival of Ideas, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra at Robinson Auditorium, Vampire Weekend at the Arkansas Music Pavilion and Destruction Unit at Vino's.
What impeccable timing for Pearls to laud the heady guidance of Brandon Allen last week. The SI Cover Jinx ain't got nothin' on me.
University of Arkansas at Little Rock music professor Bob Boury met The Observer at the front door to his home in the Heights neighborhood with a compliment: "What a musical name you have," he said.
The Waltons' hiring of an unpopular (among parents, if not billionaires) New York school official to continue their assault on conventional public schools put me in touch briefly yesterday with Diane Ravitch, the apostate school reformer who's become a one-woman truth squad against the immense bank accounts of the Billionaire Boys Club.
Praise first for U.S. Rep. Steve Womack and Sen. John Boozman. Alone among the Arkansas delegation they reject taking government hostage — whether through refusal to approve a budget or refusal to raise the government borrowing limit — to overturn the law of the land, the Affordable Care Act.
Since Rock Candy hasn't rolled out of bed yet, allow me to pass along the news that the Jimmy Buffett tour will reach North Little Rock Dec. 7.Channel 4 has details. Tickets, $48.50 to $159, go on sale Sept. 27.
All That Remains performs at Juanita's Friday.
Arkansas Supreme Court today issued two orders related to the controversial 2011 murder case in Phillips County against Tony Bernard Smith.
In writing yesterday about release of the Ethics Commission investigative file on former Sen. Paul Bookout's illegal spending of campaign contributions, I mentioned discussions underway at the legislature to stiffen ethics laws.
Last time I wrote something nice about the new pope many of my fellow travelers thought soft words were misplaced.
Magazine focuses on artists all over the state.
Jury selection in the retrial of former LRPD officer Josh Hastings resumes at 9:30 a.m. this morning.
8th Circuit: No constitutional right for Maumelle student to play basketball, but transfer deserved more study
The 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals today turned gave a partial victory to Teresa Bloodman, who complained because her child had made the basketball team at Maumelle High School, but then was removed from the team after another round of tryouts.
The city of Little Rock parking enforcement division has begun installing these Duncan Pay and Display Units in the River Market neighborhood.
[embed-1]Behold the worst advertisement ever created. Starting in October, enrollment begins for the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace, the new regulated market for private health insurance created by Obamacare.
I'll leave the public safety explanation to the gun fetishists over in Fort Smith, if they can spare time from planning another defiant strap-on march..
The plans that will be offered on the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace, including premium prices, should be released on Monday, Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford testified today before the Joint Public Health committee.
The Marketplace is one of several events starting Sept. 27 in Conway.
Clear your calendar for the Festival of Ideas, Digital Members Party, Blues Bus and Craft Beer Festival.
Winning works for 2013 are unveiled.
When you are at Big Orange you eat burgers. Or at least that was my general attitude about the place until only recently. I ventured out and braved the perilous poultry.
A quick look at the culinary equivalent of beige.
You know the drill. Leave us some feedback.
KAIT reports here on a $21,000 fine assessed by the state Securities Department against Republican state Senate candidate Chad Niell, who's apparently spending a considerable personal sum to win the nomination to succeed Paul Bookout.
I note today that lawyers for former state Treasurer Martha Shoffner have filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against Legislative Audit for working papers of an audit of Shoffner's office.
A reader notes the rear window decal that adorns the Ouachita County sheriff's fleet. I'm aware of a long-simmering movement to plaster the national motto (itself a 1950s response to godless communism) on public buildings), but this is my first occasion to see it on moving public property.
Ana Sia comes to Revolution Saturday night.
Great reporting in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette today on how Rep. Andy Mayberry and his wife, Julie, who hopes to succeed him in the legislature, conspired with other Republican legislators from Saline County and nearby to direct spending $120,000 in state money to build a park for handicapped children including the Mayberry's daughter on land currently owned by the Mayberry family.
HARVESTFEST IN HILLCREST 11 a.m. Hillcrest.
More good publicity for the Land of Opportunity, courtesy of Talking Points Memo: Michael Wayne Cummins of Fort Smith has been indicted by a federal grand jury for threatening to assault Democratic U.S. Rep. Ron Barber of Arizona and telling a staff member:
Central Arkansas Water has filed a notice of intent to file a citizen lawsuit against ExxonMobil.
The Legislative Council will put off until the end of its long agenda today the debate on whether to approve the spending of almost $4 million for advertising to encourage people to sign up in the new health insurance exchanges provided under the Affordable Care Act.
It's Argenta ArtWalk night tonight in downtown North Little Rock.
From yesterday's Joint Public Health Meeting: "You have a team working hard to deal not on hypotheticals but on reality."
Write these names down. Remember them kindly:
Valient Thorr plays at Downtown Music Hall Monday.
Eric Schlosser will speak at the Clinton School of Public Service Monday.
The Friday night line is open: * ARKANSAS TIMES FESTIVAL OF IDEAS: Tomorrow is the day for our second Festival of Ideas.
Government shutdown, Obamacare, college leaders for immigration reform, the latest on Democratic congressional challengers, the Exxon oil spill, movement on ethics reform and the UA’s disastrous appearance in front of Legislative Joint Auditing all covered.
The museum celebrates its 5th anniversary with music and exhibit "Shades of Greatness: Art Inspired by Negro Leagues Baseball."
The hypothesis: Crystal Bridges was redemptive.
Legislature gets Westerman's $220,000 welfare study. It's a doozy, with cuts of hundreds of millions from Medicaid to nursing homes
A report inspired by state Rep. Bruce Westerman on state welfare programs finally was released to the public today.
Little Rock lawyer Thomas Thrash provides an update on pending class action legislation aimed at winning damages from Phillip Morris for alleged deceptive marketing of Marlboro Light cigarettes as safer and healthier than "regular" cigarettes.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette editorial page today lamented, as it often does, the low turnout in school board elections.
Prospects continue to improve for a special session to address teacher health insurance sticker shock.
One last reminder of the Arkansas Times Festival of Ideas, which starts at 11 a.m. this morning and runs through 5 p.m.
[embed-1] It's a glorious Saturday. Hillcrest Harvest Fest continues as the Arkansas Times wraps up its Festival of Ideas.
John Lyon of Stephens Media today replays the incoming battle cry of new Arkansas Democratic Chair Vince Insalaco's when he took the job last week — a call to fight the Republicans from again nationalizing state elections.
A story since it's a slow morning: I went to dinner at the relocated Vesuvio at Breckenridge and Rodney Parham last night.
Money walks — the flight to suburbs and more prosperous regions. Is it tax policy? Or something else?
Here's something fun to noodle with if you have a time. A Jefferson County native was fascinated with this website, How Money Walks, and I agree there's some interesting stuff here.
The Sunday line is open. Quiet on the home front as best I can tell.
KAIT-TV reports on the search of a probationer's home in Jonesboro that turned up drugs and bomb-making materials.
David Ramsey will be working later today on the expected release of insurance costs on the new health exchanges under the expansion of coverage provided by the Affordable Care Act.
George Haley will speak at the Reel Civil Rights Film Festival Commemoration Reception Tuesday at Philander Smith College.
Those talks on ethical issues took on more concrete form this morning. The House Democratic Caucus floated its ideas for strengthening ethics laws and invited Republicans to join the movement.
Mountain Man, a slow-talking repairman on the popular "Duck Dynasty" reality show, will be the "starter" of Hot Springs' 11th Annual World's Shortest St. Patrirck's Day Parade on March 17.
The Arkansas Insurance Department today released the plans that will be available on the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace, the regulated marketplace where consumers will buy private health insurance, with enrollment beginning next month.
As we reported earlier today, there will be 71 plans available on the Health Insurance Marketplace (HIM).
Preliminary numbers from the state Higher Education Department indicate that the number of people enrolled in state public colleges and universities this fall is down 2 percent from last fall, thanks to a 6 percent drop in two-year-college enrollment.
[embed-1] Tim Guraedy, known only as "Mountain Man" (see the video above if you don't know who the hell that is) on TLC's big hixplotation hit "Duck Dynasty," will be the official starter of the 2014 Hot Springs' World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade on March 17, 2014, organizers announced today.
The Monday night line is open. Final items:
Chef Travis McConnell announces fundraising drive for a new temple of carnivorous delights downtown.
Cher will perform at Verizon Arena March 28.
The New Republic, available only to subscribers, has a new report about the activities of Doug Band, a former key adviser to Bill Clinton's philanthropic activites post-presidency.
Persistent threats of a Tea Party Republican primary challenge to U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford appeared to have had the desired effect.
My thanks to the Baptist Joint Committee, a venerable and unyielding defender of the notion that church and state should be separated, for news of a pending U.S. Supreme Court argument that could have some impact in Arkansas, depending.
Vampire Weekend plays at the Arkansas Music Pavilion Wednesday.
Destruction Unit plays at Vino's Wednesday.
The Justice Department says a Benton, Ark., man has pleaded guilty to playing a role in a multi-million-dollar fraud scheme involving straw purchases of overdeveloped New Jersey condos. [pdf-1]
Naughty Betty takes center stage in the atrium.
I've heard from a Pulaski circuit judge about a scam targeting people on circuit court jury panels.
From an analysis of last-gasp hysterics by Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo: But the real fear among Republican strategists is that reform will work and in so doing become an ideological and political defeat of immense proportions for the Conservative movement.
[embed-1] The Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau today began in earnest its push for a bond issue to expand the WPA-eara Robinson Center.
A jury of 7 women and 5 men, two of them black, has begun hearing testimony in the retrial of former Little Rock cop Josh Hastings in the slaying of Bobby Moore, 15, as Moore was driving from a west Little Rock parking lot.
It's 4:36 p.m. and Bill Clinton and President Obama are talking Obamacare at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting.
The line is open. Final notes:
Another day, another federal judge sending a class-action suit against Exxon back to Faulkner County
More than 50 plaintiffs whose suit against ExxonMobil had been removed to federal court will get to present their case to a Faulkner County jury after U.S. District Judge Brian Miller remanded Finton et al v. ExxonMobil Pipeline Co. back to the home county where Exxon's Pegasus pipeline broke open on March 29.
Stephens Media reports damage to the basketball court in Walton Arena at the University of Arkansas on account of "infiltration" of water during heavy rains.
Allow me to introduce Ann Potter Baking. Check them out if you're in need of some stunning themed treats.
A New York Times reporter visited Yellow Dog Republican Bentonville to sample the mood on Obamacare and the possibility of a government shutdown y Republicans who won't accept the law of the land.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports on a couple of continuing and depressingly familiar themes this morning:
The Alash Ensemble will perform tonight at Pulaski Tech.
Queens of the Stone Age canceled its concert at the Arkansas Music Pavilion.
Word comes from White County of another Baptist church that will end its sponsorship of a Boy Scout group — in this case a Cub Scout pack — because of the new national Boy Scout policy that, effective Jan. 1, "No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone."
CNN reports the Postal Service plans a three-cent increase in the cost of a first-class stamp, to 49 cents.
Credit where due to Sen. John "Dr. No" Boozman. This report from Politico on his dealings with wackjob Canadian Sen. Ted Cruz's antics to shut down government rather than accept the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land.
We’ve already seen that when it comes to Obamacare, Americans for Prosperity has offered up misleading arguments (not to mention bizarre ads).
David Koon reports from the County Courthouse that defense attorney Bill James rested without putting on any new testimony in the retrial of former Little Rock cop Josh Hastings on a manslaughter charge in the fatal shooting of Bobby Moore III, 15, in August 2012.
New building to be open for 2015 fall semester.