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October 14, 2010

Vol 37 • No 6

Read the print version

Toast of the Town results

Readers picks for the best in booze and bars in Central Arkansas and beyond.
German Shepherd standing guard at White Water Tavern

Wild days at White Water Tavern

All the stories fit to print (and some that probably aren't) about the legendary dive bar.

Capturing spirits

The (nearly) lost art of keg and barrel making in Hot Springs.

Tap happy

Little Rock's favorite happy hour hangouts.

Toast the town

It's the year of the dive bar in our annual survey of drinking culture.

Chip, dip and reviews

A couple more takes on the World Championship Cheese Dip Competition, including some good points and a video.

Joyce Elliott finds an edge

In a debate taped for showing tonight on AETN, Democratic candidate Joyce Elliott sharply criticized Republican 2nd Dsitrict opponent Tim Griffin for his political past and inclusion on a list of "crooked" political candidates.

Everything's deep fried!

What else can we deep fry at the Fair? Cheese, bacon, eggs — it's almost like breakfast on a stick. Oh, and did I mention chocolate?

AG joins foreclosure inquiry

Arkansas AG joins national inquiry into foreclosure irregularities.

Sneak sculpture peek

There will be tons of sculpture at the River Market this weekend.

Snyder to lose 'stache...

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30cBetter Know a District - Arkansas' 2nd - Vic Snyderwww.colbertnation.comColbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionMarch to Keep Fear Alive If Sen. Joyce Elliott can collect $50,000 from donors by 6:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Senate debates

I've been trapped in the office today, so I couldn't make it up to Conway for the AETN senate debates featuring Sen. Blanche Lincoln, Rep. John Boozman, Trevor Drown and John Gray.

Open line UPDATE

Take it away.

Film festival frenzy

Best bets at the 19th annual Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival.

Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival schedule

A guide to the films, workshops and parties this year has to offer.

Does the punishment fit the crime?

Hot Springs company files dozens of felonies over cable TV boxes.

Held in contempt

Among the important elections this year is a race for the Arkansas Supreme Court between Appeals Court Judge Karen Baker and Pulaski Circuit Judge Tim Fox.

Clinton's spin vs. fish tales

Clinton has a rare ability to articulate political differences in a concise and clear way that makes his side seem more righteous and can help to persuade the occasional independent voter.

Hang with the Bleu Monkey

A bit pricey, but artful and good.

Hjem Restaurant

Blinis, spekeskinke, tyttebaer applesauce, lefse crisps: it's the little things that put Norway into this Norwegian bistro on the square.

Having it both ways

The old proverb "you can't have it both ways" always had limited application in the political world, but in this year of the Tea Party, the opposite has become de rigueur.

General election recommendations

Early voting for the Nov. 2 general election begins Oct. 18. Here are more of the Times' recommendations.

In Brief, Oct. 14-16

Arkansas Festival Ballet at the Arkansas Academy of Dance Studio, Catskill Kids at Town Pump, "Chicago" at The Weekend Theater, Tim Fite and Mose Giganticus at ACAC, "Arkansas Puzzle Day" at the Clinton Presidential Center.

Special delivery

You've perhaps read that the legislature has already begun using expensive new hearing rooms in the Big MAC building. You may also remember Gov. Beebe put the kibosh on a plan to build a tunnel or skybridge to span the street between the Capitol and Big MAC.

Eye on Arkansas, Oct. 14

Hate list

A patio conversation fragment one night last week got me thinking other stuff I hate, and you know what happens when a compulsive list-maker has a thought like that.

Where's Black Oak?

In the interest of openness, let me say that I was the manager of Black Oak Arkansas from 1967-1979. Having said this, it is a gross oversight that they were not included in the Times' music poll list.

Hicks like you

This season is full of shallow, quick and meaningless television messages from any number of politicians--all predicated on the notion that you're so gullible, naive or stupid that you'll believe them.

Malaise lite

'Funny Story' a teen tale.

The Observer, Oct. 14

Take heart, longtime readers of the Times who might remember those good ol' wild days fondly. They're not dead. This weekend's trip to Helena was a beer-drenched, jump dancing throwback to our headier days.

Orval, Oct. 14, 2010

The billboards: Truth telling

I can see the BCS from here

With the Hogs one game removed from our most crushing loss since 1998, the SEC-West is as ill-defined as ever, and three opponents left on our schedule rank in the top 10 nationally.

This Modern World, Oct. 14, 2010

The To-Do List, Oct. 14-18

Harvest Music Festival, Arkansas State Fair, Blitzen Trapper, "Harvest," Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Jeffrey Lewis, Leslie Jorda

The Televisionist, Oct. 14

On "Ghoul Brittania," "Law and Order: UK" and "The Walking Dead."

The Week That Was, Oct. 6-12, 2010

Good week: Joyce Elliott, cheese dip. Bad week: Arkansas Department of Correction, Arkansas Minority Health Commission, higher education officials.

What's Cookin, Oct. 14

The Saltillo Plate lives! But this might be a Pyrrhic victory for the faithful: The new Browning's, scheduled to open in 60 days, is decidedly not going to be the old Browning's.

Words, Oct. 14

Red Sludge writes: "Here we go again! When are you newspaper people going to learn that evacuate has to do with bowel movements, not moving people from one area to another?"

More details on Cheney shooting accident

A very interesting read in the Washington Post this morning about Harry Whittington, the man accidentally shot by then Vice President Dick Cheney while hunting in 2006.

The big Mo

At this point, this passes for good Democratic news. Against a backdrop of continuinig signs of a utter implosion of the Democratic majority in the House, Nate Silver says odds are looking better that Democrats will retain control of the Senate.

Thursday: Catskill Kids, Arkansas Festival Ballet, Jeff Coleman and Co.

Buzz-y newcomers Catskill Kids take to Town Pump alongside Conway's This Holy House, 10 p.m., $3.

Thursday To-Do: Arkansas State Fair continues

Just four more days to gorge yourself on funnel cakes and dangerous looking rides at the fer!

Thursday To-Do: Harvest Music Festival

Slowly but surely, the Harvest Music Festival has evolved into the fall edition of Wakarusa. Maybe the flavor's a little folkier in the fall, but the gist is the same: mountain camping, music, hippies.

A chip off the old Huck

Mike Huckabee's daughter Sarah, currently running the Boozman for Senate campaign, makes Time magazine's 40 under 40 list.

Poll bias benefits GOP

As luck would have it, we were just kicking this question around the newsroom yesterday, then The Huffington Post writes about it: In an age when up to one in four American households has dumped their landline phone in favor of a cell phone-only lifestyle, are we reaching a tipping point when it comes to the validity and accuracy of largely landline-based phone polling?

Tale of two restaurants

There's a lot of difference in the clientele between Burge's in the Heights and Burge's in Lewisville. But the menu and those great smoked meats are the same. Thank goodness.

Here's to revolution

Arts Center Contemporaries celebrate art, beer, Mexican independence.

Here's to wine

Three day show and sale kicks off tonight at The Art Group gallery and studio in Maumelle.

Bradbury Gallery tonight

A reminder on the "Este Caballo/Esta Familia" exhibit that opens tonight at ASU. Shelley Gipson and Kimberly Boyd Vickrey, associate professors of art at ASU will show prints using both intaglio and digital techniques, in book and print form.

"Speak & Spell" Fundraiser tonight at WWT

"Speak and Spell" fundraiser for Joyce Elliott's campaign comes to White Water tonight.

Thursday: Arkansas State Fair

Country fans, heads up: Easton Corbin, the star-in-training, opens tonight's music at the Wendy's Main Stage.

Causey in the green

First congressional district Democratic candidate Chad Causey — half the focus of a fund-raising sweep through Arkansas yesterday by Arkansas's favorite homeboy Bill Clinton — isn't doing so bad for himself on his own when it comes to fund raising.

Madea's Big Fat Cancellation

Tyler Perry cancels his two-night NLR stand.

'Jersey Shore' Angelina coming to NLR

Angelina of "Jersey Shore" is hosting a party next week at Fox and Hound, Arkansas Times writer/super-fan especially pumped.

UCA, ASU to face off next season

David McCollum of the Log Cabin has the details. The game will be a boon for UCA and likely be a big draw for the September 14 game at ASU.

Big drug indictments announced in Conway

Representatives of Homeland Security, the U.S. Attorney's office, the DEA and numerous other agencies were on hand today in Conway to announce indictments and arrests of "numerous individuals" in two big drug trafficking cases out of Conway and Jonesboro, known as Operation Pied Piper and Operation Ice Princess respectively.

Clinton campaigns for Elliott

Bill Clinton was in town today to stump for Joyce Elliott. The former president was joined by Rep. Vic Snyder and former senator David Pryor.

Rogers man sentenced on child porn charges

Richard Bain, 49, of Rogers, was sentenced today to 720 months in prison and fined $25,000 in the U.S. District Court for Western Arkansas after Bain pleaded guilty to producing child pornography.

An open line for you

Post your thoughts here.

Friday To-Do: Hot Springs Film Festival 2010

The Hot Springs Film Festival returns for its 19th year.

Shale, rattle and roll

Another earthquake — a 4.4 — near Guy this morning. I'm happy to report the earth isn't moving in San Francisco.

Fulbright College adopts UA core

The faculty of the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences yesterday voted in secret ballot Thursday to adopt the new core curriculum previously adopted for the rest of the University of Arkansas.

Weekend: Tim Fite, "Race For the Cure," Arkansas Puzzle Day

FRIDAY 10/15 ACAC hosts an art show with original works from a number of local artists and music from country/hip-hop mad scientist Tim Fite, keytar rockers Mose Giganticus, freak-funkers Ginsu Wives and heavy duo Androids of Ex-Lovers, 9 p.m., $6.

Friday To-Do: Blitzen Trapper

Blitzen Trapper, the Portland, Ore., indie eclectica act, comes to Revolution.

Col. Reb not going quietly

Since it's spurred such robust conversation, previously, I thought I'd mention that Ole Miss students and community have voted to have a "Rebel black bear" replace Col. Reb as the mascot for sports teams.

Saturday To-Do: 'Harvest' 2010

Wildwood's annual autumnal festival returns this weekend with all its usual hallmarks: hayrides, crafts and activities for kids, food, music and beer. But, of course, the highlight for all events at Wildwood, at least for us grown folks, remains Wildwood itself.

Saturday To-Do: ASO's 'Halloween Spookfest'

Two weeks ago, Philip Mann debuted as the music director for the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra to great acclaim.

Sunday To-Do: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Part of the "hey, guys, rock music is back, you guys!' class of 2001, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club may not be as supernova-successful as the year's valedictorians in The Strokes or the salutatorians of The Hives, but the leather-clad Californians have always been a hair more interesting than their garage-rock revivalist classmates.

Sunday To-Do: Jeffrey Lewis

JEFFREY LEWIS8:30 p.m., ACAC. $5 Becoming famous in the weird, reclusive world of anti-folk is no small feat.

Exotic meats off the Midway

Shredded rabbit barbecue on a bun, sliced goat in a tortilla — unusual and potentially healthier than anything else you'll find at the Arkansas State Fair. Find out where to find The Feed Trough.

Argenta ArtWalk: Paints and pastels

George Dombek, Barry Thomas, Arkansas Pastel Society and more.

THIS WEEK IN ARKTUBE: Getting Stone'd at the OSH, shootin' ramen and surfin' rice.

Greetings, wageslaves! I have been instructed by the High Command to inform you that it is time for the weekly respite from your soul-draining worklife known as Arktube, Rock Candy Blog's Friday salute to the best, most interesting and most earth-shatteringly dumb Arkansas-related videos posted to Youtube over the previous seven days.

The Clinton effect

In their final round of polling, Talk Business and Hendrix College gauge the value of having Bill Clinton campaign for candidates in Arkansas this year.

THIS WEEK IN ARKTUBE: Shootin' ramen and surfin' rice.

Over on our Rock Candy entertainment blog, we've thrown the switch on the latest installment of Arktube, our weekly salute to the best, most interesting and most soul-searingly dumb Arkansas-related videos posted to in the past seven days.

Stirring the pot

After a round of rather uneventful debates this week, sparks flew between candidates for Secretary of State.

David Gordon Green now exclusively making movies about stoners

Updates on David Gordon Green's three upcoming projects.

Where's Wally? Stephano's

Tony Dow's sculpture show opens tonight.

Where's Bix? M2Gallery

M2Gallery opening tonight for Bix Smith retrospective.

Get your civic duty on

The Coalition of Little Rock Neighborhood's city board candidate forum will be broadcast twice a day, pending LRTV confirmation, every day between now and the Nov. 2 election.

Friday news roundup

A roundup of news notes: lesbian student suspended in Fort Smith; $10 million jury award in Prairie County; $15 million for bike trail in Northwest Arkansas; an accounting sought of state double-dippers.

The armies of the candidates

A blog reader is unhappy with the amount of Tim Griffin political advertising and social media that feature him in his military reserve uniform.

Brummett goes green

John Brummett ticks off all the marvelous things said in the AETN debate by Green Party senatorial nominee John Gray.

The tsunami this time

Nate Silver says the consensus calls for a 50-seat Republican gain in the House — three of four in Arkansas — but if everything broke right it could be 70 or 80.

'Superman's' villain

The New York Times today profiles Randi Weingarten, the union leader depicted as the devil in "Waiting for Superman," this year's IT documentary on students hoping to gain admission to several high-achieving charter schools.

Wasting school money

I read in the Democrat-Gazette that the Pulaski County Special School District spent about $350,000 in the first nine months of this year trying to bust a legal contract with teachers.

Budget lock-up

Just now reading Rob Moritz's story on the Arkansas Department of Correction's need for $1.1 million for 300 new beds.

Pink tide

Times photog Brian Chilson sent is this shot from the Komen kickoff. This year's tally.

Local brew

Anyone tried anything from Refined Ale? I'm thinking about making a pre-game beer run and was thinking of giving it a try.

Chili Fights in the Heights

They've just started cooking it up in the Heights, on Kavanaugh between N. Grant and N. Taylor.

The early open line

It's a travel day for me so I'm opening the Saturday night line early. News: * LOCAL GAL MAKES NOT SO GOOD: Sen. Blanche Lincoln's "lonely uphill climb" gets Sunday page one treatment in the New York Times.

The push for black voters

It's an old story. The Democratic Party's hope to turn back a congressional Republican tide, particularly in the South (and Arkansas is mentioned), is a strong black vote.

The red tide in Arkansas

The Washington Post covers the shifting political landscape in Arkansas today. The story follows a Little Rock Democratic Party activist, John Joyce, as he goes door to door and relates the cool reception (and pit bulls) he sometimes encounters.

Ready on the right?

Ready on the left? Ready on the firing line?

Huckabee's clemency revisited

Maurice Clemmons, the former Arkansas prison inmate who gunned down four police officers in Washington is back in the news, and it's not the kind of news good for potential presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

Latest on congressional races

The Talk Business/Hendrix College polling effort is releasing its last batch of pre-election numbers. Today it's the soundings in congressional races.

There Dr. Elders goes again

Dr. Joycelyn Elders, the former surgeon general, continues to be unafraid to utter truth, no matter whom it might offend.

Monday To-Do: Leslie Jordan

"Will & Grace" fans remember Leslie Jordan for his scene-stealing (and Emmy-winning) recurring role as Karen's nemesis, Beverly Leslie, an effete Southerner with a wicked knack for insults. Jordan's also appeared on "Ally McBeal," "Monk" and the stage, film and TV versions of Del Shores' cult hit "Sordid Lives." Within the gay community, he's an icon, known for his one-man stage testimonials about life as a tiny gay man (he's 4' 11") growing up in a conservative family in Chattanooga.

Watch a new trailer for 'Slow Southern Steel'

Hank III does an acoustic version of his grandfather's "Alone and Forsaken," with a metal montage in the background in the second trailer for "Slow Southern Steel," the underground metal documentary Rwake's CT has been working on for a couple years now.

What's your big idea?

We're gearing up again for our annual Big Ideas issue, and we want to hear from you. This year we're expanding our scope from Central Arkansas to all of the state.

Rick Crawford has it both ways

Ernie Dumas wrote this week about Republican candidates this year having it both ways, sometimes supporting mutually exclusive positions on an issue.

CBS greenlights Charlaine Harris series

Well, this was probably inevitable in the wake of "True Blood's" massive success: CBS has greenlit an adaptation of Magnolia author Charlaine Harris' "Harper Connelly" book series. Ridley and Tony Scott will executive produce.

Clark Duke guests in Kid Cudi video

Cudi enlists Glenwood's Clark Duke and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin) in a "Spinal Tap" meets the Jimi Hendrix Experience gag for his video for "Erase Me." Kanye features, too, but he's not playing along.

Lincoln: Who's the liar?

Rep. John Boozman turned to an increasingly popular tactic among Republicans this year when confronted with a critical Sen. Blanche Lincoln news release on his votes on legislatiion of value to active duty military and veterans.

Death in school parking lot

A 27-year-old Sherwood woman, Amber Hutcherson, was run over by a car and killed this morning in the parking lot of Clinton Elementary School in Sherwood.

Cultivating art

White Wagon Farm/Sage House Gallery features "Farm-to-Table" show.

When life gives you earthquakes ...

You might as well make art.

We wuz robbed

The University of Arkansas athletic director and head football coach respond — with "appropriate decorum" — about the officiating in the Hogs' loss to Auburn Saturday.

The line is open

Anything to add? NEWS NOTE: The secretary of state said that, as of 4 p.m. today and with 56 of 75 counties reporting, almost 15,000 people voted today on the first day of early voting.

Lincoln's truthiness

Politifact, the lauded political ad fact-checking operation, labels Sen. Blanche Lincoln's latest ad on John Boozman's advocacy of a 30 percent national sales tax as a half-truth because it doesn't mention the sales tax would replace the income tax.

Ch. 4 cage match with Tim Griffin

KARK's Melissa Simas aired an extensive report on the 6 p.m. newscast examining Republican congressional candidate Tim Griffin's involvement in Republican Party efforts to strip Florida voter rolls of people inclined to vote Democratic (race being a key determinant.)

Karl Rove does Arkansas

Faulkner County and Union County both have reports of mass mailings urging voters to apply for absentee ballots based on negative feelings about President Obama and Sen. Blanche Lincoln.

Beebe, Boozman lead poll

Some senatorial lead shrinkage noted in the final Talk Business/Hendrix College polling on the races for governor and U.S. Senate.

More on school drive death UPDATE

Bill Lawson of Stephens Media provides a few more details on the woman killed Monday morning in the drive of Clinton Elementary in Sherwood.

The GOP Southern strategy

The GOP's 60s-era-conceived Southern strategy isn't over yet. From today's New York Times: JONESBORO, Ark. — The Southern white Democrat, long on the endangered list, is at risk of being pushed one step closer to extinction.

What if you cut taxes ...

... and nobody knew about it?That happens to be the case today. The Obama stimulus package cut taxes for 95 percent of working families.

Tea Party hypocrites — and dopes

The non-profit Center for Public Integrity has been doing some good reporting on Tea Party and conservative Republican and Democratic members of Congress who've criticized federal stimulus funding and then privately sought the money for their own states.

Cammack targets car phoning

Those looking to talk or text via cell phone in Cammack Village better take heed.

The candidate from Florida

Jim Keet's several years of residency in Florida has come up a time or three in the Republican's challenge of Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe.

Lincoln maps Boozman

This is a pretty nifty use of the Google map function. The Blanche Lincoln campaign has flagged stops planned by John Boozman on a current Arkansas bus tour with information at each spot on federal money delivered for local community projects that Boozman opposed as hated earmarks.

What next on city conflicts?

The city of Little Rock has only just begun grappling with conflict-of-interest questions that arose from questions raised about business dealings at the Little Rock National Airport.

Military door open to gays

CNN reports that the Pentagon has announced it will accept openly gay recruits. That doesn't mean, however, that the policy couldn't change if the military can get a reprieve or reversal of a court ruling say the ban on gay service members was unconstitutional.

Tuesday: The Soft Pack, Whale Fire, Dave Barry and more

Popular San Diego-based indie rockers The Soft Pack play Juanita's, 10 p.m., $12. Open to all ages.

More details on hazing at U of A

This will be old news by the time our print edition hits the stands, so here you go.

Take it away

The line is open: Early voting continues. And, while I don't want to make too much of it, Republican political consultant Clint Reed's analysis of the numbers show the Democratic turnout in Arkansas not looking so unenthusiastic.

Preview new Browning's menu

Ceviche at Browning's? What'll they say?

Mrs. Clarence Thomas "reaches out"

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' wife made a phone call "reaching out" to Anita Hill, trashed by both Thomas and the missus in the years following Hill's adverse testimony against Thomas in his confirmation hearing.

GOP talk is cheap

You've heard it here before, but no harm in another news article pointing out the obvious fact:Republican candidates in Arkansas and everywhere are getting a lot of traction talking relentlessly about how they're going to cut federal spending.

The dupes of the Tea Party

Dana Milbank has a column worth considering today, pegged to a populist outpouring of Glenn Beck-inspired contributions to that bastion of populism, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Crossett mill upgrade

Georgia-Pacific announced today a $250 million upgrade at its Crossett mill. The work will create short-term construction jobs, naturally.

Re Tim Griffin, vote cager

The morning e-mail brings a note from Greg Palast, who reported for BBC on Tim Griffin's connection to voter caging in Florida — a method of using direct mail tactics to target people for removal from voter rolls.

Pumpkins at the retreat

Dinner on the grounds at Moss Mountain Farm celebrates the flavors of autumn.

Health care for small businesses

The White House is working to tout some of the many benefits of health care reform legislation.

Huckabee heads to Iowa

The political press thinks it's looking more certain that Mike Huckabee will run for president again in 2012.