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October 6, 2005

Vol 3 • No 38

TV highlights

FOUR MINUTES 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6 ESPN (Comcast Ch. 6) It was a long-held belief in the medical and athletic community that running a mile in under four minutes was a physical impossibility — that the built-in limitations of the heart, blood, lung

The Insider Oct. 6 this week reported that two Republican governors — Jeb Bush of Florida and Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota — and Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico are giving up their SUVs in favor of more fuel-efficient vehicles. The article also note

Toward honest elections

Late last month a 20-member commission of Republicans and Democrats made 87 recommendations as to how the states could eliminate cheating at presidential elections. The Commission on Federal Election Reform was headed by former President Jimmy Carter, a

One heck of a 'Plan'

While it’s a mystery to this reviewer how Jodie Foster picks the films she’s in — since her superstar-making turn in 1991’s “Silence of the Lambs,” she’s played everything from an atheist cosmonaut (“Contact”) to a nun (“The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys”

Bruce James picks the Hogs

This game should not be anything but a good time for the good tailgating Arkansas fans at the stadium

Fred Tackett: Unknown gun goes large

Little Rock native Fred Tackett, who will be performing Friday, Oct. 7, at the Ozark Folk Festival in Eureka Springs, gained fame in the late 1980s as a member of reformed rockers Little Feat, but he has been recording for decades with countless acts. In

Round one: Asa!

The 2006 race for governor is well underway. I give the 2005 round to date to Republican Asa Hutchinson. Hutchinson has a built-in advantage. He’s not serving in public office. His likely opponent, Democrat Mike Beebe, is attorney general. That is a bi

'Target' staging is timely

The simple goal of Eve Ensler’s “Necessary Targets” is to address violence and women. Weekend Theater’s timely production, however, delves further into the issue by asking the question, “How can one effectively provide aid to those who have been victimize

Fully at the helm

Fully at the Helm Levon Helm The Peabody Oct. 1 Levon Helm, the Arkansas music icon who helped found The Band, brought his Delta upbringing to bear on the style of this iconic group of the ’60s and ’70s, and it influenced such Band favorites as “T

Words Oct. 6

“The enormity of the disaster became ever clearer in neighboring St. Bernard Parish, hit by a levee break that let loose a wall of water up to 20 feet high.” In his Dictionary of Modern American Usage, Bryan A. Garner discu

Editorial cartoon Oct. 6

More picks Oct. 6-12

What a week: There's the big blues festival in Helena; the Ozark Folk Festival in Eureka Springs; "Tales of the Crypt" at Mount Holly Cemetery, and plenty more.

Grand Funk still rolling

Please excuse my giddiness that may show through in my columns at various times when I’m able to interview Jefferson Airplane’s Paul Kantner or Jorma Kaukonen, or — in this case — Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad. Sure, these aging artists now are most

Waiting for Fulbright

There are plenty of similarities between the war in Iraq and the war in Vietnam, from the way our political leaders overrule the military commanders to the lack of a clear exit strategy.

What's cooking-Capsule reviews

What's cooking: Starving Artists Cafe; Aydelotte's. Capsule reviews: Flying Fish, 7th Street Cafe.

Smart Talk Oct. 6

The subjects are a new nature center in Little Rock, a lobby for small schools and legal developments in medical malpractice.

Adventures of a positive man

John Edwards had just returned from New Orleans, but was soon to head back. I hadn’t seen him, actually, since March, when he got back after a year spent north of Baghdad.


I thought I’d give you a progress report on my recent proposal to award Arkansas Traveler certificates to all 75,000 of those Hurricane Katrina refugees who have sojourned in our state.

Orval Oct 6

The week that was, Sept. 28-Oct. 4

IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR … PUBLIC SCHOOLS. Special masters said the 2005 legislature failed schools. A special session seems likely so lawmakers can try again.

Masters deliver

A few days ago, a small-school champion who opposes further consolidation told us that every legislator she’d talked to expected the Arkansas Supreme Court to find the legislature’s efforts at school reform inadequate, and to order further improvement

Letters Oct. 6

I love original music. I’ve been lucky enough to live in several large cities where on many a night there’s a “show of a lifetime” opportunity. It opened my ears considerably. So, I try to be diligent about getting out to see good shows when they come to

Bidding resumes

The University of Central Arkansas’s 10-year-old Baum Gallery is auctioning online, at, paintings, pottery and 3-D art from its “10x10x10 for the Baum” show to raise funds for its exhibition program.

Put down the wool

Fall can be a pain in the butt in Arkansas. The calendar’s telling you it’s time to put away all things strappy and dust off the tall boots, but we can hardly be expected to take seriously those seasonal fashion deadlines — surely created by some malnou

October book events

Book signings, talks and other literary happenings in Arkansas this month.

Woodpecker woods open up

Birders are back in the “hot zone,” or what the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge calls the “Managed Access Area,” that offered multiple views of an ivory-billed woodpecker in the past couple of years.

The power behind Power

If the Little Rock rap scene was a Dr. Seuss book, many local rappers would be quick to cast Joe “Broadway” Booker in the role of the Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

‘A Collision’ of rock styles at Metroplex

Whether you’re a Christian or not overly religious, there’s something for everybody Monday, Oct. 10, at the Clear Channel Metroplex when the headliner for “A Collision Tour” will be the David Crowder Band. The group is big among college-aged followers of

Flying high at LRAFB

For one rare Saturday in the fall, the Razorback football game at War Memorial Stadium may not be the largest gathering of Arkansans in one place. That’s more likely at the Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville, which celebrates its 50th anniversary

Best-selling books

Arkansas bookstores report their top sellers.

Straight outta Heber

By the time you get to Heber Springs, you’re just far enough from Little Rock that the big rap stations are starting to get hazy on the radio. Not that it matters. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Cleburne County is 98.2 percent white. This is Toby

Spinning ol’ Hank again

Hank Williams was a country-music singer who died more than 50 years ago, and it’s rare you’ll come across somebody under 60 who’s ever even heard of him. They’ve maybe heard of his son, Hank Jr., from his outlaw Country Boy and Family Tradition anthem

Our State Fair is a great one

Free concerts, food, livestock displays, professional rodeo, a Monster Truck event, the huge midway and more are rolled into 10 days of the Arkansas State Fair, which opens Friday, Oct. 7.

A-state hustlin'

It says something about Little Rock that I only learned about the concert by rapper Young Jeezy (and the slew of Arkansas-bred rappers who would open for him) a few hours before it started.

Tongues wag over the Gossip

It’s well known around the Arkansas music scene that two members of the Portland, Ore.-based garage-punk and soul trio the Gossip are from Searcy: Beth Ditto, a soulful Yoko Ono- or Koko Taylor-inspired vocalist, and Brace Paine, a guitarist.

Back from war

BRIDGEHAMPTON, N.Y. — At the end of a pebbled driveway shielded by the kind of tall hedgerows that are so common here, two brothers from Little Rock are editing the next seven episodes of their documentary series about the Arkansas National Guard division

Uncontradicted? Say what?

Legislators can read, possibly excepting one or two, and it was a sentence on page 72 of the masters' report that got their attention.

The aristocrats

Never mind that President Bush’s popularity and moral authority are sinking to historic levels, his campaign to remake the United States in the image of Louis XIV’s France is continuing right on pace.

Wal-Mart on film

Though Wal-Mart might be the cheapest place in town to buy toothpaste and socks, critics — environmentalists, labor unions, advocates of small-town America — have long said there is a social price to be paid for the mega-retailer’s discounts. Now, a new documentary that purports to expose the human impact of the company’s practices has Wal-Mart on the offensive, with the filmmaker and his movie the subject of an all-out PR blitz.