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October 22, 2009

Vol 7 • No 41

What are you willing to lose?”

The second track on Lucero’s new record pretty much sums up the last 10 years of Ben Nichols’ life. In the last verse of the song “What are you willing to lose?”

Free wireless for bus riders

Central Arkansas Transit now provides free wireless service at the Travel Center downtown, the major change point for bus routes.

Obama targets bailout bonuses

This should be well received. Responding to the growing furor over the paychecks of executives at companies that received billions of dollars in federal bailouts, the Obama administration will order the companies that received the most aid to deeply slash the compensation to their highest paid executives, an official involved in the decision said on Wednesday.

Over the hump

Now you take over.

Sluice this

I’ve been writing newspaper columns for 44 years, and it was recently pointed out to me that the word “sluice” has never appeared in a single one of them.

What's cooking, Oct. 22

Conway's Oak Street Bistro moving; Root Cafe and Earth Institute sponsor event.

The To-Do List, Oct. 22

Hot Springs Documentary Film Fest continues; Folk Reunion in Conway; Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart at Prost, and more.

We wuz jobbed

To a certain extent, we got jobbed. The players weren’t allowed to decide the game for themselves. Having to withstand a chorus of valid complaints about the officiating on Saturday only sharpens the pangs.

Real people

I’m optimistic – uncharacteristically – that something good might come of the great debate on health care legislation. If it does, it will because the people will rule.

Bad taste

You will remember, perhaps, that Lt. Gov. Bill Halter spent $9,000 of your money this summer to print and mail 18,000 copies of a full-color promotional newsletter.

In brief, Oct. 22

Columbus duo Lollipop Factory layers cheeky pop harmonies over aggressive rock at Vino's, and other weekend doings.

iPhone farming

Social media tools are making it easier for farmers to sell their produce.


After the second of two shows on the first weekend of the Ballet Arkansas Professional Dance Co.’s first performances as a company, new artistic director Arleen Sugano professed an emotion somewhere between triumph and relief.

Soleil shines in Eureka

Cafe Soleil is a bright spot on Eureka Springs’ already sunny dining scene, combining good food with easy access, a precious commodity in the mountain town. The food’s so good, though, that you’d find a place to park, even if it meant leaving the car in Berryville and thumbing a ride.

Harvest time

Wildwood’s Harvest Festival Saturday and Sunday looks to use the whole of the park — the natural setting as well as the indoor stage — for a very lively mixture of food, music and fun.

Druggist for public option

Mike Clark guest writes for Ernie Dumas this week.

Smart Talk, Oct. 22

Just in time for Halloween, the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism has launched a new web page dedicated to fostering what’s known as “Paranormal Tourism” in the state.


Bearing the Market

Why does it cost $1.3 million to run the River Market? “That was my question,” Mayor Mark Stodola said.

The Insider, Oct. 22

The Arkansas ACLU is putting out a guide for schools on how to protect the religious liberty of their students, and not a minute too soon.

The Observer, Oct. 22

More from the Arkansas Lottery beat: The Observer hears from another person who’s tried her hand at hitting it big. Who says she can see the appeal of the lottery: A shortcut to Easy Street. Swimming pools. Movie stars.

Words, Oct. 22

I’ve heard of boola, boola but not doula, doula.

Childhood distilled

In the beautifully understated opening sentence of Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are,” we learn that the young protagonist, Max, “makes mischief of one kind and another.”

The Week That Was, Oct. 22

It was a good week for BELT-TIGHTENING. A continuing drop in state revenue forced a $100 million budget cut for the remainder of this year.

The Televisionist

"Flashforward," "King of the Crown," "Stargate Universe"

Letters, Oct. 22

On the lottery, public-private football, double dipping and the broken health care system.

This Modern World

Enough of spite?ookin'lowersining jewel director of Imaging Servicesning of the Arteries tive

We're cutting off our nose to spite our face by keeping immigrants from getting state rate on college tuition.


Oh say can you see . . .

Dry Benton County gets wetter

Dry Benton County got its 115th restaurant with a booze permit yesterday. The state ABC decided that a small menu and late hours for a Mediterranean eatery, Petit Bistro, didn't make it just a bar, as the police chief argued in fighting the permit.

Halter mailing: Legal but smelly

John Brummett indicates the Ethics Commission made the right call in dismissing an ethics complaint that Lt. Gov. Bill Halter had violated law by sending out a public relations brochure for his office.

Frothing at the... Festival.

Celebrate Arkansas' microbrewed and homebrewed bounty at LittleRocktoberfest, Saturday 6-10pm at Dickey-Stephens Park.  Fine examples of ales, stouts, porters and more from Bosto's, Vino's, and local heavyweight Diamond Bear will be offered, along with new beer varietals by New Belgian and  Boulevard.  Homebrewers will also be sharing.  Enjoy bratwurst and hot dogs and all the accoutrements, along with live music.  Tickets are $25 and are available at Fermentables or at the door.  Call (501) 758-6261 or check out the website.

Obama v. Fox News

Liz Cheney, the rapidly emerging national spokesman for the Republican Party, accuses Obama White House of abuse of power in its treatment of Fox News.

Govt. press subsidies: No

Suddenly everyone's talking about government subsidies of the press. It's nuts.

Pumpkin, Pumpkin Everywhere.

For those seeking the solace of an autumnal flavor, a handy guide to places where pumpkin is the perfect selection... from ravioli to pie to mousse to latte... including these scrumptuous Maple Pumpkin cupcakes from Brown Sugar Bakeshop.  Check it out at Tie Dye Travels. 

Supreme Court to review SWEPCO plant

The Arkansas Supreme Court said today it would review the Court of Appeals decision overturning Public Service Commission approval of the proposed American Electric Power subsidiary's coal-fired power plant in Hempstead County.

Up or down vote on public option?

Talking Point Memo indicates Olympia Snowe, de facto health legislation czar, won't vote for a public option health insurance plan and that she might join a filibuster to prevent a vote.

FCC approves 'net neutrality'

Score one for equal access to the Internet. The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to approve proposed new rules aimed at blocking Internet service providers, like Comcast, and wireless phone companies such as Verizon and AT&T, from intentionally halting or slowing Web traffic.

Thursday To-Do: Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart

STACEY EARLE AND MARK STUART7:30 p.m., Prost. Free.This gig was originally scheduled for Studio Joe, but something got in the way.

Thursday To-Do: The Folk Reunion

THE FOLK REUNION7:30 p.m., Reynolds Performance Hall, UCA, Conway. $30-$32.Nostalgia knows no bounds.

Halter for U.S. Senate -- and more gossip

Might Lt. Gov. Bill Halter drop his bid for re-election to challenge U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln in the Democratic primary?

Thursday: Lollipop Factory, Dangerous Idiots, Little Rock Wind Symphony, 'Twelfth Night,' more

The Dangerous Idiots. At Vino’s, Columbus duo Lollipop Factory layers cheeky pop harmonies over aggressive rock; irreverent local rockers the Dangerous Idiots share the bill along with local punk stalwarts the Thing That Always Explodes, 9 p.m., $7.

Weekend To-Do: Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival

HOT SPRINGS DOCUMENTARY FILM FEST10 a.m., Malco Theatre. $5-$150.You've only got four more days to gorge yourself on documentaries in Hot Springs, but that's more than enough time.

Upgrade Stanley Reed rumor to fact

Stanley Reed, the Marianna farmer and former Farm Bureau president, is indeed considering a run for U.S. Senate as a Republican against U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln.

In these Times

Ben Nichols and Roy Berry during a soundcheck in Fayetteville, Ark. Just taking to the opportunity to remind those of you who don't normally pick up the print edition that we do have one and there is some really good stuff in there.  For example, this week's cover story about Little Rock native Ben Nichols and his band Lucero.  After toiling on the road for years the band has a major label record deal and a great new album.

John Glasgow: On 'Most Wanted'

If not pre-empted by sports programming, an edition of "America's Most Wanted" this weekend will feature the case of missing construction company executive John Glasgow who disappeared without a subsequent trace in January 2008.

Hate crimes bill passes Senate

President Obama will be able to give supporters of gay rights a small victory. He will soon sign legislation that would place harsh penalties on hate crimes that include those based on sexual orientation or gender.

Open line

Post bills if you want.

KUAR begathon time

I almost forgot. Rosi Smith and I ask for public radio contributions on KUAR Friday morning between 6:30 a.m. and 9 a.m.

Spa City blues

You've only got three more days to gorge yourself on documentaries in Hot Springs, but that's more than enough time. Plus, tonight, Bobby Rush and Cedell Davis play a rare show at Maxine's.

Is Stanley Reed a RINO?

A RINO, if you didn't know, is a Republican In Name Only. It is a serious charge among Republicans, just as DINO is not a compliment when uttered by a Yellow Dog.

The man without a cell phone

Finally, I'm the subject of a New York Times trend story -- here, the 15 percent of adults in the U.S. without a cell phone.

KUAR report: thanks

Rosi Smith and I raised more than $15,000 for KUAR/KLRE during our on-air stint this morning.

Nearby and neighborly bank robber

Little Rock police have arrested a man who lived close by in Hillcrest for the robbery of two nearby branch banks, one in August on Kavanaugh and one Thursday on West Markham.

No delay for Pressly murder trial

Fox 16's David Goins says Judge Chris Piazza has denied a motion to delay the trial of Curtis Vance for the murder of KATV's Anne Pressly.

The Clinton Library: Five years after

Time flies. It's been almost five years since the Clinton Library was dedicated on a raw, rainy day in November.

Is that another Hog opera I hear?

The soap opera hasn't begun, but could this be the sound of instruments tuning up for the theme music?

The fight for equal rights in Maine

An 86-year-old Republican, World War II veteran of the Army's march across Europe and a loving father tells a Maine crowd why he opposes the effort to overturn that state's  law that allows same-sex marriage.

Fox 'reporter' tours Ark. for lobby

I've mentioned previously that Fox "reporter" John Stossel will be fronting the Koch-financed lobby group, Americans for Prosperity, when it starts an anti-health legislation barnstorming tour in Arkansas.

Friday To-Do: Five Finger Death Punch

FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH8 p.m., Village. $20 adv., $25 d.o.s.On the road supporting the album “War Is the Answer,” Five Finger Death Punch has made quite a name for itself in a relatively short amount of time.

Friday To-Do: Murder Junkies

MURDER JUNKIES9 p.m., Juanita's. $10.In the mid-1990s, local barroom heavyweights Big Boss sold T-shirts bearing the motto “Legalize Heroin and Murder.” It sounds like a slogan for the survivors of G.G. Allin's Murder Junkies (this is the third incarnation), a band that pays tribute to all that is decadent and depraved.

The Weekend: Eli Young Band, James Leary, Poptart Monkeys, Cool Shoes and more

Poptart Monkeys. FRIDAY 10/23Pulitzer Prize-winner Douglas Blackmon talks about his book, “Slavery by Another Name” at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, 5:30 p.m., free.

Saturday To-Do: Rollin' on the River

Jonathan Wilkins. Photo by Brian Chilson.

Saturday To-Do: Miley Cyrus

MILEY CYRUS7 p.m., Verizon Arena. $42-$82.Two years after her “Best of Both Worlds” wreaked havoc on arenas around the continent (scalping complaints pushed Attorney General Dustin McDaniel into the mix), Miley Cyrus is back.

Saturday To-Do: Drive-By Truckers

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS8:30 p.m., Revolution. $25.What a coup for Chris King at Revolution.

Review: Lonesome Shack

At some other tavern. Lonesome ShackWhite Water Tavern, Oct. 21*Wednesday night at White Water, Seattle’s Lonesome Shack wooed the scant audience with anachronistic spooky blues.

G-P to idle Fordyce mill; 300 layoffs

Coincidence. I wrote a little while ago about Americans for Prosperity, the special interest group to be fronted by Fox stooge John Stossel when it brings its campaign against universal health care to Little Rock next week.

Snowe remains health bill czar

Crazy. If this account is right, the White House is deferring to Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe on health care legislation not as strong as a version that may be nearing enough approval for passage in the Senate.

Art cars and skate-punk limos

Throughout the final weekend of the Hot Springs Documentary Festival, filmmaker Harrod Blank, whose awesome looking "Automorphosis" screens tonight at 7:45 p.m. and then again Saturday at 2:55, will be collaborating on an art car with famed street artist Ron English, whose "Abraham Obama" is playing on Sunday.

Lincoln sets session with Farm Bureau

With a potential former Farm Bureau president, Stanley Reed, talking about running against Sen. Blanche Lincoln, it's a good time for her to make nice with the farm lobby/insurance company.

Duct tape architecture of the Ark. Delta

--Monticello Live Arkansas Blog state editor Donald Tuohey has been busy clipping Arkansas blogs for potential stories.

It's Miley

Two years after her “Best of Both Worlds” wreaked havoc on arenas around the continent (scalping complaints pushed Attorney General Dustin McDaniel into the mix), Miley Cyrus is back for another go-round at Verizon Arena tonight.

Focus, Razorbacks, focus

John Brummett thinks Arkansas's quirks, including an inferiority complex-influenced obsessiveness about Razorback athletic matters, can be damaging.

Clinton and the press

For a slow day, you could do worse than read Joan Walsh in Salon on Taylor Branch's "Clinton Tapes."

Better than football

Photographer Brian Chilson got down and dirty with participants in the Mud Run at Two Rivers Park today.

NWA newspaper merger near?

Chris Spencer at Ozarks Unbound notes a corporate filing that he suspects means the end is near for competing daily newspapers in Washington and Benton Counties.

Open line

I got nothing? You?

Soleil shines in Eureka

Cafe Soleil is a bright spot on Eureka Springs' already sunny dining scene, combining good food with easy access, a precious commodity in the mountain town.

State budget cut: Small change

John Brummett explains why the recent $100 million state budget cut isn't such a big deal.

Revival duty for NLR buses

-- Brian Chilson Big crowd downtown Saturday (and likely again today) for City Fest, a two-day Christian revival led by evangelist Luis Palau.

The Catholic Church and women

Maureen Dowd for once dispenses with silliness and writes straight and hard about a tough topic -- the Catholic Church's treatment of nuns, and by extension women generally, as second-class citizens.

The line is open

Nothing much to report here.  Have at it. But if you're interested in the Bernie Madoff swindle, note the death of Jeffry Picower, a philanthropist/investor who managed to clear $7 billion or so -- all legitimately he claimed -- before the Ponzi scheme imploded.

Lincoln OK on discrimination against gays

I'd missed this, but apparently Sen. Blanche Lincoln is indicating to constituents that she opposes legislation to bar discrimination in employment practices on account of sexual orientation and gender identity.

What are you willing to lose?

Ben Nichols and Lucero see sacrifices pay off.

Obama's no Nixon

It does take the cake, as John Brummett suggests, to have Republicans compare President Obama's push back against Fox News and other partisan message carriers as Nixonian.

Hope on health reform

Paul Krugman writes that experience in Massachusetts offers some hope that health legislation, even if less than ideal, will be an important step forward.

Interracial football

The NY Times has an interesting feature this morning on the 40th anniversary (only 40 years have passed) since what was described as the first interracial collegiate football game in the South.

A message from your power company

A lobby group promoting the interests of utility companies (Progress Arkansas) has released a new study that claims high energy use in Arkansas but below-average residential electric rates.

Anything for football

Joe Burgess at Monticello Live, who I linked last week for his coverage of the use of duct tape to shore up a crumbling downtown building, has some more good stuff from the hills of Southeast Arkansas.

Lottery mania wanes

New polling by Roby Brock'sTalk Business Quarterly indicates a solid majority of Arkansans -- 57 percent -- don't plan to buy a lottery in the next 12 months . Also, the favorable/unfavorable opinions on the lottery split 45/43.

County officials ready for retirement fight

The Association of Arkansas Counties has alerted members that state Rep. Allen Kerr of Little Rock has filed a batch of proposals affecting the county lobby's constituency.

Health options coming; Lincoln filibuster?

Talking Points Memo says Sen. Harry Reid soon will unveil health legislation with a public option insurance  component, but an opt-out provision for states.

Gory days for newspapers

I said gory. Daily newspaper circulation dropped, on average, more than 10 percent in the six months ending Sept. 30, taking total circulation to pre-World War II lows.

Kiss-Off winners

Congratulations to Glen Hooks and David Doty, each of whom won a pair of tickets  to see Kiss play Verizon Arena Thursday night.

Big Rock Opening.

Amazing, the number of people who turned out for the opening of Big Rock Bistro at Pulaski Technical College's Main Campus in North Little Rock.

Strong Energy Policies to Help Economy, Study Shows

Today, Arkansas Business Leaders for a Clean Energy Economy released a report that shows strong federal clean energy and climate legislation would create jobs, increase incomes and boost the economy in Arkansas.  According to the report, moving further toward energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and away from carbon pollution would create 25,000 jobs, boost the average Arkansan's income by $1,230 and grow the state's GDP by $1.2 billion.

Probation in Pressly records case

Three health care workers who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor violations of federal health confidentiality law for looking at the St. Vincent Infirmary medical records of Anne Pressly, received probationary sentences today.

Pilots lost in digital clouds

Those pilots who overflew Minneapolis by 150 miles claim they were absorbed in the intricacies of pilot scheduling on their laptops.

The line is open

Over to you.

NW Ark. newspaper war over

An e-mail bulletin from the Democrat-Gazette says the merger of the D-G Northwest Arkansas editions and the Morning News has been approved by the Justice Department and the merger will be accomplished Sunday.

NW Ark. investigative reporting

Well, daily newspaper competition is dead in NW Ark. But new media has already been helping to fill the void.

Fox Republican News

John Stossel's serving as front man for the Koch family's Americans for Prosperity tour is evidence enough of where Fox News "journalism" comes from.

Huckabee sneers at Obama

Mike Huckabee puts together one long sarcastic sneer at President Obama, but I wonder if this isn't a future talking point (the infidel suspected Muslim doesn't even go to church) from his end of the political pew:

Slavery and its after-effects

Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Douglas Blackmon, a former Arkansan, was in Little Rock for a talk Friday at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.

The South's religions: Prayer, football

The NY Times visits Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., where the school board decided that proselytizing banners waved at football games by public school cheerleaders probably were a religious incursion too far into separation of church and state.

Damon and Brolin get 'Grit'

Variety reports that Matt Damon and Josh Brolin are in talks to join the Coen brothers' adaptation of Charles Portis' "True Grit."

Nicotine and new lace

Robbers made off with menthol cigarettes and lingerie in a couple of Little Rock robberies reported this morning.

Clinton's legacy: Golden

Today's installation of Roby Brock's Talk Business Quarterly polling measures how Arkansans feel about the Clinton presidency and the impact of the Clinton Library.

The deadly Afghan quagmire

CNN reports that eight U.S. service members have been killed today by roadside bombs in Afghanistan.

Do you have broadband?

A private, nonprofit group has received about $2 million in federal money to map the availability of broadband Internet access in Arkansas.

Lincoln distrusts government UPDATE

Sen. Blanche Lincoln told the Farm Bureau she's cool toward a government option on health insurance.

Special prosecutor asked in rape case

The Hog message boards were ahead of the story again. As whispered last week, John Bass, the attorney for the father of the freshman UA student who says she was sexually assaulted by Razorback basketball players, has petitioned Circuit Court for appointment of a special prosecutor in the case.

Tuesday: The Revelations featuring Tre' Williams, Justin Jones and the Driving Rain

Tre' Williams. From Brooklyn, the Revelations featuring Tre' Williams specialize in throwback soul, Juanita's, 9 p.m., $12.From the D.C. area, Justin Jones and the Driving Rain do a kind of soulful, folk-pop at White Water, 9:30 p.m., donations.As usual, Carl Mouton jams at the Afterthought, 8 p.m., free, and J-One hosts an open-mic at Crush, 8:30 p.m., free (ladies)-$5 (dudes).

Here comes Powerball

A statewide promotional tour worthy of P.T. Barnum -- giant bouncing balls will substitute for elephants and tigers -- will precede the ceremonial opening of Powerball multistate lottery ticket sales in Arkansas at 10:15 p.m.

Here comes Powerball

A statewide promotional tour worthy of P.T. Barnum -- giant bouncing balls will substitute for elephants and tigers -- will precede the ceremonial opening of Powerball multistate lottery ticket sales in Arkansas at 10:15 p.m.

Out today: Chris Michael's debut

Long time local sideman and current Boondog Chris Michaels, who's played with everyone from Beanland to Buddy Flett, Kevin Gordon to Greg Spradlin, Cab Calloway to—well, you get the idea, has a new record out today.

Chris Denny and the Natives make Paste list, match wits with Ben Nichols

The music magazine put them in its list of "The 10 Best Bands We Discovered at CMJ 2009."

It ain't tiddly winks

Little Rock restaurant owner and former talk radio rhetorical bomb thrower Scott Wallace formally announced today his already announced Republican candidacy for Second District Congress.

It's time to pick sides, veterans of the White County music scene

The Screaming Mimes. Recognize anybody?

Open mic

Speak now.

Company towns

The author of a new book on the impact of Wal-Mart on Bentonville claims she had offers for two appearances at libraries in Northwest Arkansas rescinded after library trustees expressed concern over how the book portrays Wal-Mart.

Top of the morning

A morning paper review leaves me with two questions: * Is there any way to put the so-called city of Alexander out of existence?

A dare for Blanche Lincoln

Firedoglake blogger Jane Hamsher last night on MSNBC dared U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln to join a filibuster against Democratic health legislation.

John Stossel's Ark. payday

The New York Times gets into the visit by Fox News' John Stossel to Arkansas this week to join lobbying against health reform by a conservative advocacy group funded by the wealthy Koch family.

Today it's Pakistan

A car bomb killed scores in Peshawar three hours after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in nearby Islamabad.

Counting newspaper casualties UPDATE

I detect a general lack of interest in the travails of the newspaper industry among the blog readership.

Counting newspaper casualties UPDATE

I detect a general lack of interest in the travails of the newspaper industry among the blog readership.

Trickin' Treats: An Open Line.

On the suggestion of a reader, an open line talking about something pretty urbane... Halloween treat offerings.  The ghouls and goblins (and undoubtably the Scream masked and Hannah-Montana garbed) will be hitting the streets Saturday night looking for goodies to fill their bags.  Here at our place, we hand out individual bags of microwave popcorn and Playdoh; the neighbors tend to look at us as eccentrics, but that goes far beyond October 31st.

Trickin' Treats: An Open Line.

On the suggestion of a reader, an open line talking about something pretty urbane... Halloween treat offerings.  The ghouls and goblins (and undoubtably the Scream masked and Hannah-Montana garbed) will be hitting the streets Saturday night looking for goodies to fill their bags.  Here at our place, we hand out individual bags of microwave popcorn and Playdoh; the neighbors tend to look at us as eccentrics, but that goes far beyond October 31st.

Pssst. Wanna buy some Kotex?

Fox 16 reports a half-million-dollar theft of Kimberly Clark products from a Conway distribution center. Thieves broke into Exel Logistics in Conway by cutting the lock on a gate.

Big cancer research grant for UAMS

The multiple myeloma program at UAMS and its director, Dr. Bart Barlogie, will receive almost $20 million in grants to continue research on treatment of cancer of plasma cells.

Hard times at UA

A reader passes along a memo University of Arkansas Chancellor David Gearhart has sent to university employees.

Wednesday: Columbus Short, Lucious Spiller, not much else

UPDATE: Illness is everywhere. Because of it, Short had to postpone until 7 p.m., Nov. 5.

Good news for space challenged

I heard at ticket counter today that American Airlines soon will be adding four MD-80 flights to Dallas every day.

Beating H1N1

The Arkansas Department of Health will hold a series of mass vaccination clinics throughout the state starting tomorrow.  There will be three in Pulaski county on Thursday: at the Jacksonville Community Center in Jacksonville (8 a.m. - 6 p.m.), the Church at Rock Creek in Little Rock (9 a.m. - 7 p.m.) and at Dickey-Stephens Ball Park in North Little Rock (8 a.m. - 5 p.m.).  Vaccinations will be free but are in limited supply.  According to a press release from the ADH, the supply is so small that only "priority groups" will be given the vaccine.  Those at most risk are pregnant women, children from 6 months to 4 years and children 5 to 18 with underlying medical conditions.  Seasonal flu vaccines will also be available.  Check here for a complete listing of clinics throughout the state.  To learn more about fighting the flu, check out the health department's website.   


The University of Arkansas Board of Trustees approved a request by UALR for a $30 million bond issue to generate funds for two capital projects: the construction of an honors housing complex and an outdoor recreation center.  UALR could probably use the space.  According to a press release, the existing dorms have been full for the past three years and students have been placed on waiting lists.  The news comes on the heels of last month's announcement of a $34 million bond issue to construct a Nanotechnology Sciences Center, along with other construction projects.       

The F bomb

Well, he didn't come right out and say it, but California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger definitely sent a message to San Francisco assemblyman Tom Ammiano, who recently made headlines when he told the governor to "kiss my gay ass."  Schwarzenegger sent a letter to Ammiano explaining why he was vetoing a Port of San Francisco financing bill proposed by the assemblyman.  At first glance it doesn't look like much, but if you take notice of the first letter of each line in the body of the letter, you get the idea pretty quickly.  The San Francisco Chronicle has all the details.  Click here for more analysis and scanned images of the letter.   

Chesapeake out

Chesapeake Energy, the natural gas drilling company with holdings in the Fayetteville Shale announced today they will not drill inside the upstate New York watershed, responding to public pressure and environemtnal concerns.