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October 3, 2013

Vol 40 • No 5

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Football is back on campus at Hendrix College

For the first time in 53 years, it's football season at Hendrix College.

Surprises abound at Bullock's Superstop

A surprising spot that boasts some of the best smoked meats in Central Arkansas.

Let there be light: Lewin installations in Conway

Colored discs, a laser chandelier at UCA and Simon Park are part of ArtsFest.

OK, it's official: Bruno's will open Thursday

Dinner hours are 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Sign switch brings brief amnesty on tickets for new paid parking in River Market

The new pay-and-display machines to purchase tickets for parking in the River Market neighborhood are in place, but new signs are not in place and that has prompted the city to put off writing tickets with fines  for overtime parking until Oct. 14.

Arkansas Republican: Praises Obamacare, going to save him $13,000

Get a load of this article from Think Progress: It reports on Butch Matthews, 61, described as a small businessman and Republican from Little Rock.

Ride with the Times to see O'Keeffe, Stieglitz, Renoir and more

We're heading up Nov. 16 to see the works in Crystal Bridges' shared collection with Fisk University.

Tweaking Tao at Cafe 5501

Cafe 5501 is a more affordable and often more familiar menu compared to RJ Tao. Truthfully though, aside from the new sign on the door, you won’t see too many signs of change within. I stopped in recently for lunch to get a feel for the menu changes and to see if there had been some significant improvements.

Thursday To-Do: Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Unknown Mortal Orchestra performs at Stickyz Thursday.

Thursday: Festival of Wines at Dickey-Stephens and more

The 2013 Festival of Wines is Thursday at Dickey-Stephens Park.

Main Street Food Festival trucks redux

Festival returns to Main Street.

On duty

As we write, the budget mess in Washington has shut down or curtailed many important programs and agencies, but be assured it's all hands on deck at the Arkansas Times.

Graveyard stories

Melody Garrett of Parkview High School takes part in the 18th annual "Tales of the Crypt" on Tuesday at Mount Holly Cemetery in Little Rock. She is portraying Anne Warren.


"Mary Torious — businessman and widow of N.O. Torious Trucking Line's founder — moved 38 spots higher on the list released Monday."

Poverty funding not the answer for insurance gap

Something has to be done to plug the immediate $58 million hole in funding for teacher health insurance and a long-term solution has to be found. But right now, there is no consensus on what to do. Some solutions have been proposed, one of which involves taking money from school poverty funding, more commonly known as "NSLA funding."

Leveritt: Life on the farm

In late afternoon, looking over the pasture from my mother's hillside grave, our farm may be the most beautiful place on earth.

The Festival of Wines at Dickey-Stephens

Also, the DennyWest Music Festival at Wildwood.

An update on Little Rock's Creative Corridor

ASO moves opening to April.

Nullification lives

I participated in a University of Arkansas Law School panel last week reflecting on Cooper v. Aaron, the important U.S. Supreme Court decision that said a state official (Orval Faubus) couldn't impose his state's wishes against a federal court decision (school desegregation).

Doctor's story

I'm Lonnie Joseph Parker, a physician who spent more than four years in federal prison after being convicted of possession of child pornography under conditions which the average citizen would not believe could possibly happen.

It was a good week for health care in Arkansas

It was also a good week for Josh Hastings, smart kids in Arkansas and Mike Ross. It was a bad week for spreading the word about Obamacare and the country.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra at Stickyz

Also, Kylesa at Downtown Music, 'Nora' at the Weekend Theater, Arkansas Festival Ballet, Hot Water Hills Festival in Hot Springs, Magic Mouth at White Water Tavern, 'Tales of the Crypt' at Mount Holly Cemetery, Billy Joe Shaver at White Water Tavern and Shooter Jennings at Revolution.

Voucher sins

An interim committee of the Arkansas legislature will study the subject of school vouchers before the next regular legislative session convenes in January 2015. We recommend the lawmakers take a look at Georgia, among others.

Ask the Times: Obamacare edition II

Obamacare is here. Enrollment in the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace began 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!

Fun times ahead for Hogs

'm aware that the common American finds it laughable when lowly scribes like myself try to make overblown connections between things like, say, philosophy and sport. So, in an effort to keep things on the level, permit me to cite no less of a thinker than Dalton from "Road House" as a sort of rudimentary polestar for the state of the 2013 Razorbacks as we move toward midseason.

Let's talk about sex

'Don Jon' delves into porn addiction.

In memory of James Street

I was 11 years old, and watching on the TV in our house on Cleveland Street, in Little Rock, when James Street achieved immortality. It was Dec. 6, 1969, and Arkansans of a certain age, like me, still feel the pain of the dagger that Street, the elusive Texas quarterback, shoved in our guts that day.

A constitutional coup

Chances are that when the GOP inevitably capitulates, the vote to end the government shutdown will be surprisingly one-sided.

Mike's Vietnamese shows promise, but needs spice

When a green awning advertising "Mike's Vietnamese" went up outside a long-vacant restaurant on Asher Avenue last winter, we could barely contain our excitement.

Tom Cotton and Co.'s power trip

This Huffington Post article is getting heavy traffic for the money quote from one of the Republican hostage takers.

Hobby Lobby: No room for Hanukkah

A Jewish blogger has set off national attention to the absence of Jewish-related items in Hobby Lobby, the craft chain owned by an ardent Christian who's sued to avoid providing contraceptive coverage under his company health insurance plan.

Obamacare: Meet some satisfied customers

[embed-1] Americans United for Change, a progressive advocacy group, distributed the video of people who signed up for health insurance coverage Oct. 1 at the Clinton School. Tom Cotton and Tim Griffin are leading the Republican hostage crisis to take it away from them.

Correction: old news from Cabot

I didn't read carefully enough this morning when passing along a link included in a reader's note related to an investigation in Cabot involving the mayor, his former campaign manager and others.

UA, state get $32 million federal grant to help education for disabled teens

The University of Arkansas and the state Education Department have won a $32 million federal grant to develop a way to improve education and independent living ability of low-income teens with disabilities.

Friday: ZZ Top, War Chief and more

ZZ Top performs at Arkansas Music Pavilion Friday.

Reporter calls Tom Cotton on his Obamacare lie

No amount of correction will stop Rep. Tom Cotton (Club for Growth, Washington, D.C.) from lying about a special benefit to congressional staff under Obamacare.

Bailin, in living color, at ATU

For "Dreams and Disasters" exhibition.

Walmart moving thousands of part-time workers to full-time status

A Forbes columnist, Rick Ungar, analyzes the announcement this week by Walmart that it would be moving 35,000 part-time workers to full-time status.

Government by popularity contest: The new hostage-takers strategy to kill Obamacare

Republicans keep looking for a message that will resonate and drive down the national numbers that solidly blame them for the government shutdown.

Oct. 12 rally at Capitol to press for school employee insurance fix

Expect a massive turnout Oct. 12 for a "pep rally" at the state Capitol over the skyrocketing health premiums that public school employees are facing at the end of the year.

Shots fired near U.S. Capitol

Many reports but mostly confusion so far on gunshots fired near the U.S. Capitol today.

Tim Griffin going viral for tweet during Capitol Hill shooting confusion

You might have noticed I'm not a huge fan of Tiny Tim Griffin, the Karl Rove-trained political hatchet man who now represents the 2nd District in Congress (if by represent you mean cater to the extremist fringe voter, to the exclusion of majority wishes of the district's largest county).

Bike trail from Little Rock to Hot Springs in first gear

County Judge Buddy Villines and cohorts in Saline and Garland counties and mayors between Hot Springs and Little Rock want to get rolling on Southwest Trail.

Shane Broadway recommended to head Arkansas Higher Education Department. Duh.

Shane Broadway will continue to lead the Arkansas Department of Higher Education. But he'll be able to do so in the future without "interim" in front of his title.

Open late: Gallery 26, with Henry, Emil, Chanslor

It's First Thursday Shop 'n' Sip tonight in the Hillcrest neighborhood.

Interstate 30 bridge closed briefly after barge hit

Details are sketchy, but count on a messy afternoon commute. The Interstate 30 bridge has been closed by the Coast Guard after it was struck by a river vessel.

The line is open

You're on. Has Tim Griffin blamed the I-30 bridge closure on Obama yet?

Bill Carter talks Kennedy and Arkansas

The latest in our video series collaboration with Greg Spradlin and Camp Friday Films is an interview with Bill Carter, the Rector native who's semi-famous for being witness to a hell of a lot of history. Carter talks about his involvement in organizing John F. Kennedy's visit to Heber Springs 50 years ago today.

A fine night for wine

10th Annual Festival of Wines at Dickey-Stephens serves up the vino with style.

Friday To-Do: Kylesa, Pinkish Black

Kylesa plays at Downtown Music Hall Friday.

Friday and Saturday To-Do: 'Nora'

Chris Elsworth and Rachel Bland star in The Weekend Theater's production of "Nora."

Friday and Saturday To-Do: Hot Water Hills

The Memphis Dawls play at the Hot Water Hills Music and Arts Festival Friday night.

Wendy Davis for Texas

Cue the soundtrack to Man of La Mancha. Or make it Woman of La Mancha.

State Police investigating police shooting in Paragould

Another police shooting this one from Paragould. KAIT reports an investigation of the fatal shooting by Paragould police of a man armed with a knife.

Republican anarchy and the road to U.S. ruin

Ezra Klein calls this the scariest paragraph he's read. If you have a scarier one about the consequences of failing to   lift the debt ceiling let me know.

Little Rock Pride Parade set Saturday

Here's something worth doing tomorrow. 25 organizations, including churches and businesses, have signed up to participate in the Little Rock Pride Parade.

Tim Griffin: 'Coarsening' the language since at least 2000

U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, to use his own phrase, unleashed hell on himself yesterday by intemperately Tweeting a suggestion that President Obama and Nancy Pelosi were somehow to blame for a shooting incident unfolding outside the Capitol while Griffin sheltered in the House cloakroom.

Saturday To-Do: Magic Mouth

Magic Mouth performs at White Water Tavern Saturday.

The flavors of fall in Little Rock

It’s that time of year where, once again, we begin to see the flavors of fall infiltrating Little Rock restaurants’ menus, spicing up cakes and pies, and warming hearts like almost nothing else can.

Saturday: DennyWest Music Festival, Little Rock Pride Parade and more

The Mulligan Brothers perform at Wildwood Park Saturday.

Legislators draft possible solutions to school health insurance rate increase

Legislative committees have produced possible options to address a huge rate increase otherwise coming next year for participants in the public school employees health insurance plan.

The Truman Show Delusion and yesterday's death in Washington

This isn't a professional diagnosis by any stretch, but I can't help but note the concidence.

Woman arrested for scaling fence during Hot Springs tower shutdown

Call out the Republican congressional shock troops. Another worthy citizen has been denied admission to a national park attraction closed because of the GOP budget hijacking.

'Chicken' nuggets under the microscope

While we're generally very Arkancentric here on the Arkansas Times blogs, this story was just too disturbing not to share.

Neil deGrasse Tyson, now to be simulcast

UCA figures way around sold-out appearance.

House Democrats seek a 'clean' budget vote

The news today is that House Democrats think they may have found a procedural maneuver that could force an up or down vote in the House on a temporary spending bill from the Senate.

Insurance Department outreach campaign for Obamacare in limbo

Despite an outpouring of interest and questions as many of the key components of Obamacare launched this week, federal grant money to continue an outreach campaign in Arkansas remains in limbo.

The Friday night line

The line is open. * THOUGHT ABOUT THIS CASE TODAY: Mistakes happen.

The Last Ditch Anti-Obamacare Maneuvers Edition

The latest on the shutdown, the rollout of Obamacare at home and around the country, the Arkansas Legislative Council's vote against advertising healthcare expansion and a new Freedom of Information web page from the Little Rock School District that has little to do with open data.

Food Feedback Friday: trucks, waffles, and field trips

And yes, it’s Food Feedback Friday. You know the drill. Let us know what you are eating and what you think about it.

John Burkhalter resigns from Highway Commission to focus on lieutenant governor race

A news release just arrived from the John Burkhalter campaign. He's the North Litttle Rock businessman seeking the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor, so far without announced opposition.

Tom Cotton questioned on campaigning from the Capitol

Did U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton solicit campaign support Monday night from inside the Capitol, which ethical rules don't allow?

McClellan handed a double loss in Jacksonville

Little Rock McClellan lost a 31-6 high school football game in Jacksonville Friday night. That's not all Liions lost

How big philanthropy undermines democracy

Your serious reading assignment for the day comes from the quarterly Dissent, "Plutocrats at Work: How Big Philanthropy Undermines Democracy>"

The good news in the Republicans' government-held-hostage crisis

Republican extremists who have shut down government to attempt to nullify the Affordable Care Act have done proponents of the law a favor.

Marching for gay rights in Little Rock while Mississippi burns in spotlight on intolerance

The first Little Rock Pride march starts at 2 p.m. today at 600 East Capitol and winds through the River Market neighborhood to the Clinton Presidential Park.

The Saturday line

Over to you. I am watching a heckuva football game at UCA.

Retired Justice Brown to be honored at Sewanee

Why not a scrap of positive news amid the gloomy political stuff? Retired Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Robert Brown will be honored with an honorary doctor of civil laws degree Oct. 11 at his undergraduate alma mater, the University of the South (Sewanee).

Hundreds march in Little Rock Pride parade

Hundreds turned out Saturday despite threatening weather for Little Rock's first Pride Parade, an emblem and encouragement to greater acceptance of equality for LGBT people. 

Officers kill man with gun in Garland County disturbance

Law officers killed a Garland County man who reportedly pointed a gun at them during a disturbance late Saturday night in Garland County.

Government shutdown: There really IS a vast right-wing conspiracy

Be sure to read the New York Times backgrounder on how a consortium of conservative groups — Kochs, Club for Growth and more — have been conspiring and spending huge sums to lead us to the use of a government shutdown to kill the federal health care law.

Monday: Valerie June at Juanita's

Valerie June performs at Juanita's Monday.

Journalist Cathy Frye found after becoming lost on hike in Texas

Had been missing in Big Bend National Park.

The Sunday night line

It's a beautiful day. Beyond that, I leave it to you. UPDATE: Fox 16 reports two dead and a suspect in custody in Saline County, near Chicot and Hogue Roads.

Two brothers killed while ATV riding in Saline County

Fox 16 identifies the two victims of a double shooting Sunday afternoon near Sardis as Donald Williams, 49, and his brother Michael Wiliams, 46.

Mike Huckabee blasts Republicans for shutdown

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee continues to blast the strategy of Republicans who forced the government shutdown as a last-ditch effort to scuttle the federal Affordable Care Act.

The Republican strategy: White, Southern, resist

Ari Berman, writing in The Nation, has a good summary of the racial divide that accompanies the solidification of the Republican Party as the party of Southern massive resistance.

FBI reports three attacks on power grid in Lonoke County

The FBI has announced a $25,000 reward leading to arrests in what it calls three attacks on the power grid in Lonoke County.

Tuesday: Silversun Pickups at Juanita's

Silversun Pickups perform Tuesday at Juanita's.

Tuesday To-Do: 'Tales of the Crypt'

"Tales of the Crypt" is Tuesday afternoon at Mount Holly Cemetery.

Democrats press Asa Hutchinson on private option position

Arkansas Democrats are going to own Obamacare one way or another. And Republicans are doing their best to hang it on them.

Talking 'nose to tail' cooking with Travis McConnell

Chef Travis McConnell of Butcher and Public talks with us about what "nose to tail" cooking is all about and shares a recipe indicative of his style.

John Daly on sex and Miley Cyrus


Got plenty of teabags? Rand Paul coming to Hot Springs

The Arkansas Republican Party has clearly gone all in with wackjob control of the national party, which should make the Republican architects of the Arkansas Obamacare Private Option Medicaid expansion feel a little unloved.

Laman Library 2014 Writers Fellowship deadline looms

The Laman Library fellowship grants $10,000 each year to an Arkansas writer.

Secretary of State Mark Martin claims sovereign immunity

Matt Campbell of the Blue Hog Report continues to wrangle with the secretary of state's office over office records, including pertaining to its use of outside legal counsel without attorney general approvall (a practice Campbell successfully stopped).

LM Wind Power adding jobs in Little Rock; toy company adding jobs in Rogers

Arkansas Business reports an improvement of business for LM Wind Power will mean an expansion of its Little Rock workforce to about 400, recovering most of jobs lost in a slowdown 

Mayflower oil spill victim coming down

Courtney Spradlin of the Log Cabin Democrat in Conway has posted on Twitter this photo of a house coming down in the Mayflower subdivision fouled by the burst ExxonMobil pipeline carrying Canadian tar sands.

What is: vote to get a 90's Jeopardy! champ back on the show?

[embed-1] Little Rock radiologist and former Jeopardy!

County Judge Buddy Villines won't seek re-election in 2014

County Judge Buddy Villines is sending out the word that he won't seek re-election next year, leaving office after 24 years as Pulaski County's chief administrative officer.

Rembrandt total: 18,376

Todd Herman reports to the board.

The bad Huckabee; like father like daughter on gay marriage

I've just written a column for this week's

The Monday night pants-on-fire line

Another week, another open line. Finishing up:

Another lawsuit filed on ExxonMobil pipeline break

Conway lawyer Tom Mickel sends a copy of another lawsuit against ExxonMobil over the pipeline break that spewed Canadian tar sands in a Mayflower subdivision and leaked into wetlands and a cove of Lake Maumelle. 

The benefits of birth control

Courtesy of the Washington Post, here's an important bit of scholarly research on a half-century worth of evidence of the benefits of sound family planning.

Reps. Griffin and Cotton, open this library

From the Arkansas Democratic Party: On Tuesday, October 8th at 2:00p.m.

Wednesday To-Do: Shooter Jennings, Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band

Shooter Jennings performs at Revolution Wednesday.

Wednesday To-Do: Billy Joe Shaver

Billy Joe Shaver performs at White Water Tavern Wednesday.

CNN: Enough votes in House to reopen government if Boehner would allow a vote

From CNN: There appears to be enough votes in the House to approve legislation to reopen the federal government, according to a CNN survey of House members, but this doesn't mean a vote will happen soon, because Republicans have not indicated a willingness to try to force Speaker John Boehner to bring a continuing resolution to the floor for a vote.

Arkansas Big Bend hikers featured on CBS Morning News

[embed-1]CBS Morning News today features the story of the Arkansans lost for days in the rugged wilderness of Big Bend Ranch State Park in west Texas.

50 50 50: Cheryl Cohen

Photograph of the Jungle Hutt, 1976, on display in atrium.

McDaniel tells Griffin government shutdown hurting oil spill investigation

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has written U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin to urge him to get the government reopened.

The Arts Council wants YOU

To join the Arts on Tour roster.

Sold at Sotheby's: "Lobsterman (Walt Anderson)"

Wondering whether Walton whisked up.

Tuesday night line: Could 2014 be year of political apocalypse in Arkansas?

The nightly line is open. Finishing up:

Election night: State Senate, Little Rock School Board

I'll try to stick around for election results, but feel free to post what you know if I don't.On the agenda:

Legislator floats ethics legislation

I've reported previously on interest from both Republican and Democratic legislators in strengthening public ethics laws, perhaps even in a special session on teachers insurance or the fiscal session if a consensus could be reached.

Little Rock records 25th homicide of 2013

Little Rock police say an officer called to 15th and Harrison just before 9:30 p.m. last night because of multiple gunshots found the body of a black man inside a vehicle at that location.

A first look at Luna Maya Burritos on Cantrell Rd.

As the late Home Fresh Burgers closed its door to the public in recent months, we’ve already seen the space re-open with the establishment of a casual, take-out-only burrito joint, Luna Maya Burritos.

Lawyer asks prosecutor to charge Mark Martin for law violation

Matt Campbell, a Little Rock lawyer and author of the Blue Hog Report, has asked Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley whether he intends to enforce a state statute that Secretary of State Mark Martin violated when he hired outside legal counsel to represent the office without first seeking clearance from the attorney general's office.

Regal Cinema to appeal denial of alcohol sale request

A report here from Stephens Media on plans by the Regal Cinema McCain Mall Stadium 12 to appeal the state Alcoholic Beverage Control director's denial of an alcohol sales 

Wednesday: Electric Six at Stickyz

Electric Six plays at Stickyz Wednesday.

Kresse chosen for Fort Smith sculpture

Bronze will honor Gen. William O. Darby.

ASU Museum to open exhibit on the horse in Mexican folk art

Exhibits USA show will feature ceramics, metalwork, paintings, paper art and sculpture.

Opening Saturday at M2: Kathy Lindsey

Photographs in "Metamorphosis." It's a website sure to grow

The campaign to re-elect Mark Pryor to U.S. Senate is touting a new website creation —

Arkansas Republicans' nonsense arguments on Obamacare outreach grant

There are two big reasons that Republican lawmakers would want to pick a fight over a $4.5 million federal grant to do outreach to educate the public on new insurance options under the federal health care law.