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September 30, 2010

Vol 37 • No 4

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Going locavore

Fayetteville's goal: to serve healthy food to students.

Same as it ever was

In the elementary school lunchroom.

Back to school, for lunch

Fayetteville Public Schools offer an almost overwhelming number of choices for lunch. Though the menu seems slanted towards processed meats such as hot dogs and chicken nuggets, they are baked, not fried, and use low-fat meats.

Cheap eats by the lake

JJ's Lakeside Cafe in Lake Village has cheap eats. For that, they're quite tasty and memorable. Just make sure you don't burn your tongue on the coffee.

This is fresh air?

The Blue Hog Report has taken an exhaustive look at Republican Rep. Mark Martin's lavish expense charges to the state of Arkansas.

Artistic habitat: Reminder

"Restore and After" event features transformed furniture.

Fake pimp punked

The conservative punk who burnedACORN with doctored video of a sting and who got convicted of a misdemeanor in a failed sting of Sen. Mary Landrieu has another black eye — he's been caught trying to sting a CNN correspondent working on a story about conservative filmmakers.

Wednesday: Ty Segall, Starfucker, Steven Curtis Chapman

Alright. Big night in Little Rock.

Jim Keet's pledge

The Republican gimmick this year is to pledge. The trick is to be as general and as apple pie ("honor our veterans") as possible, particularly in areas where specifics could be difficult.

Lawyers urge speed on usury challenge

Christopher Brockett and Gene Sayre dropped by not long ago to drop off copies of a circuit court filing aimed at speeding consideration of their challenge there of a proposed constitutional amendment if the state Supreme Court decides it doesn't have original jurisdiction to hear the case.

Missing Bill Clinton?

Bill Clinton is the most popular politician in America — 55 percent view him positively and 23 percent negatively in a Wall Street Journal/'NBC poll.

Ah, Facebook.

Did you know Eat Arkansas has a Facebook fan page? No? You do now. Get thee hence and "like" it.

We're over the hump

And you're in charge. Sundry items of interest: * Democrats have officially wimped out on a tax vote.

Obama nominates U.S. attorney

At long last. President Obama has nominated someone to be U.S. attorney for the western district of Arkansas.

'A milestone moment'

New music director Philip Mann debuts at the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.

Holding Sway

New downtown dance club aims high.

Who's your sugar daddy?

Waltons bankroll movement to get public money for church schools.

Leaving Wally behind

Tony Dow's sculpture coming to Stephano's.

Swaying school votes

Little Rock had a momentous school election last week when incumbent Micheal Daugherty was defeated in the race for Zone 2 on the Little Rock School Board by Michael Nellums, a principal at Mills High.

Boozman: superman or superficial?

John Boozman is hardly the first political candidate to advance breathtakingly superficial arguments in television advertising.

Momma's best

Momma Dean's, in Fayetteville, is good for the soul.

Mike's Place

The menu at this three-dining-room New Orleans-inspired bistro is enormous and the service excellent.

It's all about race

Arkansas Democrats are swimming against the tide this year and lots of them are preparing quietly for the new reality. Arkansas will join the rest of the South as a Republican state, not altogether this year but soon.

Inactivity is essential

Eye on Arkansas, Sept. 30

In Brief, Sept. 30-Oct. 2

Steven Curtis Chapman at the Church at Rock Creek, Jonathan Tyler and Northern Lights at Sticky Fingerz, F.A.C.T.S. at A.C.A.C., Rena Wren at Capi's, The Yipps at Town Pump and more.

No direct to Mex

The Mexican consulate in Little Rock was recently in discussions about the possibility of direct flights from Little Rock to Mexico City, but the deal fell through due to a lack of customs facilities at the airport.

What we need

The outlook is grim, the gate already nut-breached, and I've been collecting suggestions about what we might do to improve the prospect. But when you're up to your pits in mama bears and rodeo clowns, the gallows humor kicks in.

Sickened by polls

We need more, not fewer, Democrats to repair the damage done by 12 years of a Republican Congress and eight years of leadership by Bush and his co-ventriloquists Cheney and Rove.

Rapping for Keet

A campaign video goes viral.

How to win friends and influence others

David Fincher mines familiar territory, successfully, in Facebook flick.

The Hold Steady

Sept. 23, Revolution

The Observer, Sept. 30

A local business set off a grumble when it switched from time cards to a fingerprint scanner to monitor the comings and goings of employees.

Orval, Sept. 30, 2010

Get your hugs here

A jolly group of cosmetology students walked through downtown during the noon hour one day last week bearing signs proclaiming "Free Hugs," which they dispensed to anyone who wanted one.

This Modern World, Sept. 30, 2010

The To-Do List, Sept. 30-Oct. 5

Nappy Roots, The Romany Rye, Velvet Kente, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Hank Williams Jr., Harvestfest 2010, Jesse Malin

The Televisionist, Sept. 30

On 'Fringe'

The Week That Was, Sept. 22-28, 2010

Good week: lawsuits; bad week: football, Ron Pierce, Smokey Campbell, ACH, school board incumbents, Little Rock Board of Directors

What's Cooking, Sept. 30

Gigi Gabriel, the pastry chef at Maddie's, plans to open her own custom cake bakery in Sherwood on Oct. 16.

Words, Sept. 30

Give me that old-time conjugation.

Lincoln: Keep working

Noted: Sen. Blanche Lincoln was in the minority that voted against congressional adjournment yesterday in favor of continued work.

How do you define rich?

Interesting analysis here of what constitutes rich in terms of tax rates. Does a taxable income of $200,000 for an individual and $250,000 for a family lift one out of the middle class?

Obamacare: Keep it

The Republican echo chamber has certainly convinced itself. And it's convinced weenies like Mike Ross, too.

Another poll for Beebe

Talk Business polling shows Gov. Mike Beebe's edge over Republican Jim Keet widening to 13.5 percent.

Thoughts on education reform

A couple of good articles on education "reform": * Diane Ravitch, herself a former reformer, has nothing but contempt for those who think you can take student standardized test scores as a precise measure of teacher achievement.

Thursday To-Do: Nappy Roots

NAPPY ROOTS9 p.m., Revolution. $15.

Thursday To-Do: The Romany Rye-Velvet Kente

THE ROMANY RYE/VELVET KENTE10 p.m., White Water Tavern. Does it buzz any harder than this?

Echols hearing underway UPDATE

The hearing to decide whether Damien Echols, one of the men known as the West Memphis Three, will get a new trial is underway.

O'Brien goes after Martin

The secretary of state's race is another indication of Arkansas politics taking on the scorched-earth tenor of national elections with the rise of Republicanism here.

Autogate: Was suit a good idea?

An elected Republican official tells me he/she was not consulted nor were many other Republicans in his/her circle before the Republican Party sued yesterday over the state cars provided constitutional officers and the House speaker.

Last night: Ty Segall

With Ty Segall there are a few inevitable Cobain throwbacks, so let's get that out of the way.

Jay Jennings tonight at Clinton School

Local journalist Jay Jennings is at the Clinton School tonight talking about his much-recommended new book, "Carry the Rock: Race, Football and the Soul of an American City."

Thursday: Nick Charles, Steven Curtis Chapman, Jonathan Tyler and Northern Lights

In Hot Springs, Maxine's offers up acoustic roots and blues from Australia's Nick Charles, 9 p.m., free.

It's race

Your reading for today: Ernest Dumas When time comes to explain Republican gains in Arkansas:The academics won't have to dig deeply.

The Kroger watch UPDATE

The great Hillcrest Kroger watch is nearing a climax, though a planned Oct. 2 opening of the rebuilt store at Kavanaugh and Beechwood has apparently been pushed back a week, perhaps because of some utility difficulties.

Sweet show

Photography at sUgAr Gallery.

If it smells like a lobbyist

Joyce Elliott, the Democratic candidate for 2nd District Congress, led the Pulaski Association of Classroom Teachers when it struck over a contract dispute in 1988 when the average teacher made less than $22,000.

Supreme Court speeds amendment challenge

The Arkansas Supreme Court today granted a taxpayer's motion to expedite a hearing on a challenge to the three-part constitutional amendment that includes a proposal to jack up the interest limit on retail lending.

Interviews set for ASU candidates

The committee searching for a new president for Arkansas State University has begun review of the 13 applicants so far and has now set interviews with two of them, a Troy University administrator and an LSU chancellor.

Ernie P. tries to douse comp time fire

The Arkansas Lottery Commission met today and director Ernie Passailaigue tried to put out the fire raging over the massive comp time doled out to employees during the lottery startup, including hundreds of hours credited to Passailiague himself and two top aides, Ernestine Middleton and David Barden, though they make $225,000 and Ernie P. makes $324,000.

Boozman goes to Tea Party

Rep. John Boozman joins a Tea Party rally Sunday in Mountain Home, perhaps preparatory to a Tea Party endorsement of his candidacy.

Shots fired at NLR High

Multiple reports of shots fired on the campus of North Little Rock High School East Campus.

Tonight, tonight

The line is open. EARLY READ: Posted on NY Times site for tomorrow's paper is a piece on the expected surge of the Arkansas Republican brand in the November election.

Friday To-Do: Michael Franti & Spearhead

MICHAEL FRANTI AND SPEARHEAD9 p.m., The Village. $25 adv., $28 d.o.s. For years, Michael Franti has been a figure supreme in the world of jam-fusion.

Friday To-Do: Dirty Dozen Brass Band

DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND7 p.m., Simon Park, Conway. Free.

Saturday To-Do: Hank Williams Jr.

HANK WILLIAMS JR7 p.m., Verizon Arena. $35-$150 Bocephus is back around, bringing his "Rowdy Friends Tour" to town as part of the first annual American Freedom Festival-Arkansas, a tribute to members of the armed forces and fund-raiser to benefit Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A. and the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum.

Saturday To-Do: Harvestfest 2010

HARVESTFEST 201011 a.m., Kavanaugh between Spruce and Walnut. Free.

Weekend: Arkansas Blues Contest, F.A.C.T.S., Rodney Block & Co.

FRIDAY 10/1 The new A.C.A.C. space at 608 Main St. (across from The Rep) hosts electro act Mad Happy, glitch skronk from Truckula and left-field experimental hip-hop from F.A.C.T.S.

Don't tell the Tea Party

From the NY Times: Even as voters rage and candidates put up ads against government bailouts, the reviled mother of them all — the $700 billion lifeline to banks, insurance and auto companies — will expire after Sunday at a fraction of that cost, and could conceivably earn taxpayers a profit.

Free froyo

Meet the guy who founded TCBY and score some free frozen yogurt today.

This Week in Arktube: horse smushery and trucker showers

It's Friday, which means it's time to whittle away a little more of your precious, precious life with Arktube, our roundup of the best and/or dumbest Arkansas-related videos posted to in the past week.

Real pub fare

Lots of talk about Hibernia lately. The Irish pub on Rodney Parham's drawing a lot of attention and a lot of return customers, too. Could be the food.

Opening today, partying tomorrow

Arkansas Pastel Society's first juried exhibit at the Thea Foundation Center for the Arts.

Coppola in Little Rock

Diners at North Little Rock's Capeo restaurant were a bit surprised last night to find themselves dining in the same rare air as five-time Oscar-winning director Francis Ford Coppola.

Watch the teaser for 'Seven Souls'

The trailer for "Seven Souls" is here. It's the latest short from some of the folks who brought you "Bloodstone Diaries" and 48 Hour Film Fest winners "Fortunate" and "Meeting U"


It's Friday, which means that over on the Rock Candy blog, it's time for Arktube, our new weekly roundup of the dumbest and/or best Arkansas-themed videos posted to in the past week.

A plus for Beth Anne Rankin

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has endorsed Mike Ross. It's part of the Fox-Republican political machinery.

Awesome job news

Awesome Products, which makes detergent and other household cleaning products, has announced a new facility in Marked Tree and an expansion in West Memphis that together will create 240 jobs.

Tullis targets Shoffner

Bobby Tullis, Green Party candidate for treasurer, says he'll start airing these ads on commercial TV this weekend.

More criticism of GOP lawsuit

More Republicans are grumbling about Republican chair Doyle Webb's headline-grabbing lawsuit over state constitutional officer automobiles.

On the trail of Mark Martin

Blue Hog Report continues on the trail of Mark Martin, the Republican candidate for secretary of state, who has left a long trail of evidence suggesting his home, business and campaign share addresses and phones and who is charging taxpayers $1,350 a month to rent space from himself at his supposed business office in Springdale.

Kris Allen returns to Conway

Kris Allen will perform at UCA's Reynolds Performance Hall at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27. Tickets went on-sale today via the Reynolds Box Office at UCA.

Clinton opera preview details

Here's your first chance to check out "Billy Blythe," Bonnie Montgomery's much, much-anticipated opera about Bill Clinton's young life in Hot Spring: Montgomery will stage what she's calling a "workshop performance" of three scenes at the Women's City Club at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19. An after party at White Water will follow.

More details on police shooting

Police have identified the man shot by police after he allegedly hit another officer with a car at North Little Rock High School East yesterday.

Ear Candy: Justin Carr & Ghost Company - "The Great Disaster, Circa 1929" (live at Sticky Fingerz)

Ear Candy suggests Justin Carr & Ghost Company's "The Great Disaster, Circa 1929" for your weekend soundtrack.

Wreck on the Mills Freeway

At 4:30 p.m., KATV reports a 10-car wreck on I-630 at Marshall Street. Rush hour is going to be a mess.

Thanks for nothing, Dr. No

Sen. Blanche Lincoln welcomes a John Boozman visit to Lonoke County with a healthy list of federal payments to worthy projects in the district that Boozman opposed.

Let the weekend begin

Over to you, Arkansas Blog readers. NEWS NOTE: Any of you fans of Rick Sanchez?

It's not too late ...

... to get to Hot Springs for this evening's Gallery Walk.

The Tea Party reading list

The New York Times today outlines some of the texts inspiring Tea Party politicians. It has resurrected once-obscure texts by dead writers — in some cases elevating them to best-seller status — to form a kind of Tea Party canon.

Speaking of merit pay

How about merit pay for doctors based on patient outcomes? Heh.

Clown hall

John Brummett infers that neither the Lincoln nor the Boozman campaigns want a town hall debate format and all talk to the contrary is just posturing.

A great day to be outside

Here's tonight's open line. A suggestion: You could do worse this crisp evening than to join the crowd on Kavanaugh Boulevard for music at the annual Hillcrest Harvest Fest Above you can some of the Arkansas Times crew there earlier today.

Another proud Belford U. doctor

Careful readers may have noted an interesting sidelight that turned up in comments yesterday on Dr. Johnny Rhoda of Clinton, the Republican executive committee member, preacher and financial adviser who GOP chairman Doyle Webb enlisted to be plaintiff in the lawsuit over free state cars for constitutional officers.

White Water Tavern lands buzz-y Seattle chef

Words you never thought you'd see together: "White Water Tavern" and "chef." But the Seventh Street dive bar's vibe and small kitchen is just the sort of place Nick Castleberry feels comfortable in.

Tea Party: tools of the elite

Interesting thesis from Frank Rich: Christine O'Donnell, the wacky Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Delaware, is good for the Republican Party.

The windfall from foreclosures

The Democrat-Gazette today reported on potential legislation to cap personal fees that some county clerks are reaping from holding sales of foreclosed property.

European travel alert

The State Department has issued a warning alerting U.S. travelers to Europe to be vigilant about potential terror attacks.

Sunday line — UPDATE

Anything to say? Now's the time.

Truck food

It was inevitable. With gourmet, Twitter-happy food trucks popping up all over the place in bigger, hipper cities across the country, it was just a matter of time before someone tried it here. And that's just what Jason Rogers, his brother Tyler Rogers and chef Jeffrey Palsa are doing with TheFoodTruck, which began serving last week.

Hank Jr. and all his rowdy friends

Bocephus was in town with his "Rowdy Friends" tour on Saturday night at Verizon and Brian Chilson was there.

Outfitted in Little Rock

Our Rock Candy blog reported Friday morning on filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola's appearance in Little Rock Thursday to pick up his private jet — a Falcon 7X — completed at the Falcon finishing facility here.

Tools of the Tea Party, etc.

A grassroots revolution in the land? Not hardly.

A hopeful poll on election

It's only one poll and it's an outlier as to results. But let's take scant comfort where possible.

The year of the man

Alice Stewart, formerly Gov. Mike Huckabee's press aide, now handles publicity for the state Republican Party.

Rasmussen: Boozman leads

Latest from Rasmussen, the Republican-tilting robopoll: Boozman 55 Lincoln 37 Better than an earlier sounding of 65-27.

State revenue still up

The state's report on September tax revenue shows income above the same month a year ago for the fifth consecutive month.

New leadership at CJRW

Wayne Woods has been named CEO of Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods, the ad and PR agency, whichhas also expanded its board.

Silence on change at St. Mark UPDATE

No luck so far in a detailed followup on the surprise resignation Sunday of Bishop Steven Arnold from the leadership of St. Mark Baptist Church on 12th Street.

Ralphie May: accidentally hilarious

The "Last Comic Standing" winner and Clarksville native was busted in a Guam airport for drug possession in the most hilarious way imaginable.

Arne Duncan needs remediation

Education Secretary Arne Duncan decided to draw on Little Rock to make a point Saturday to the American Bar Association.Duncan, keynoting the American Bar Association litigation section’s fall leadership meeting, said one cure for the entrenched segregation is creating more quality schools everywhere, available to all races.

Beebe goes to work

Blogger Jason Tolbert tweets that Gov. Mike Beebe is beginning to spread his political capital around as evidenced by holding a fund-raiser for Rep. Dawn Creekmore.

College enrollment rising

College enrollment in Arkansas is up this fall over last year by more than 5 percent.

Grittier 'True Grit' trailer debuts

The full-length 'True Grit' trailer has been released.

Stealth money goes local

Talk Business reports an independent expenditure committee has filed papers to spend money to elect conservative candidates (read mostly Republican) at the local level.

Boozman gets a chuckle

Rep. John Boozman was caught lying down with some Tea Party dogs yesterday and he couldn't avoid getting up with tea leaves.

The line is open

The readers take over. Coming soon to TV near you: Jim Keet, bankrupt on meaningful ideas, goes straight after Gov. Mike Beebe for being nice to Barack Obama in 2008.

Tuesday To-Do: Jesse Malin

JESSE MALIN8 p.m., Vino's. $10 adv., $12 d.o.s. After spending years in the '80s and '90s sporting a greasy mop of biker hair and reappropriating duck-lipped NYC leather punk, Jesse Malin soon found himself, like so many do, dusting off the old acoustic and rubbing a bit of Neil Young into his sonic palette.

The latest outrage from assessor

Great story in Democrat-Gazette today by Charlie Frago. In reviewing Pulaski County property tax exemptions, he found Assessor Janet Ward Troutman had created a property tax exemption found nowhere in law or constitution for houses personally owned by preachers.

FOR: medical marijuana

The Arkansas Times has long endorsed legalization of marijuana for medicinal use (and polls show a majority of Arkansans are similarly inclined.)

Stop the trains

The New York Times today notes the growing opposition from Republican candidates for governor in several key states to Obama administration stimulus money for high-speed rail projects.

Learned hands on Supeme Court

A couple of things today reminded me of the pending election betweenAppeals Court Judge Karen Baker and Judge Tim Fox.

Car wars UPDATE

We hope to have live video of Gov. Mike Beebe's news conference at 11 a.m. this morning on the report on state vehicle use, now subject to a taxpayer lawsuit.

Beth Ditto walks the runway for Jean Paul Gaultier

Judsonia native and all-around badass Beth Ditto opened and closed fashion icon Jean Paul Gaultier’s spring/summer 2011 show in Paris over the weekend.

"Small Works" on exhibit

Arts Council show travels to UALR today.

Gotta love Warren Buffett

Billionaire Warren Buffett says the U.S. should cut taxes on everyone but the wealthy. The cuts going to most people will help the economy.

Republicans respond on car order

Jim Keet led the Republican response this afternoon to Gov. Mike Beebe's report on the state vehicle fleet and his executive order to classify and oversee assignment of state vehicles to state employees.

Preachers will pay taxes after all

Pulaski County Tax Assessor Janet Troutman Ward, exposed this morning for granting legally questionable real property tax exemptions to the personally owned homes of nine preachers, has reversed course in light of the news article.

Life sentence in child porn case

Federal authorities announced that a 39-year-old Booneville man received a sentence of life plus 20 years in a federal court in Fort Smith for child pornography and other charges, including making a video of a 14-year-old boy having sex with a 20-year-old woman.

Eggin' at the Fair

What can you find at the Arkansas State Fair that you can find nowhere else? Well, there's an egg, and some chocolate, and... well, just go ahead and click on through for this preview.

The night is young

But I am old. I'd heading for the door.

Randy Newman coming to Fayetteville

Randy Newman, just a Tony away from an EGOT, is coming to Walton Arts in Fayetteville Saturday, January 22.

Get on the blues bus

There are only a few seats remaining on the Arkansas Times Blues Bus.

Komen items removed at Harding

It's not posted yet, but we'll have an item in this week's paper about a Harding University administrative decision to remove items related to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure from the campus bookstore.

Obama addresses enthusiasm gap

It is hard for me to believe a liberal wouldn't be sufficiently engaged by the electoral prospect lying before us to vote this November.

Bomb wounds LR man

This is all I know at the moment from an LRPD release:On Oct. 5 at approximately 1549 hours, Officers received a call to UAMS Emergency Room in reference to a subject being treated for injuries caused by an explosion.

Regards from Broadway

Shane Broadway, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, goes feel-good with his TV — schools, jobs.

Clinton goes to bat for Lincoln

What he said.

Herding donkeys

Ari Berman, a write for The Nation, will speak at the Clinton School at noon Friday and talk about his book, "Herding Donkeys: The Fight to Rebuild the Democratic Party and Reshape American Politics."

Wednesday: Honky, Black Veil Brides, Cattle Decapitation

Southern metal band Honky (above) plays Juanita's with Little Rock supergroup Sweet Eagle, Saline County trio Badhand and Memphis garage rockers The Dirty Streets.