Task force at work.
Vol 38 • No 10
It's that time of the year, when The Observer seeks out manufactured scares to get in the mood for Halloween. Like every American holiday, the night of Oct. 31 is surrounded by a certain amount of capitalistic tackiness; we wonder what it must have been like to live back when people were actually afraid of the dead returning to life.
President Obama's plan for Medicare would "balance the budget on the backs of seniors," Rep. Tim Griffin says in a mailing to residents of the Second Congressional District. He lies.
Everyone I talk to is tired. You ask anyone how they are and this seems to be the response. Tired from work, tired from kids, tired from one more episode, from one more game the night before.
For decades, music fans in Central Arkansas knew Barton Coliseum as THE place for big name concerts.
Humorist and public radio favorite David Sedaris will be stopping by WordsWorth Books Dec. 5 for a book signing.
First an artwork, then building material, now the goal of UALR restoration project.
Have a hankering for fresh, hot cornbread? Whether your preference is for traditional Arkansas unsweetened cornbread or the more Northern-friendly sweet version, or even if you're looking for jalapeno bread or johnnycakes, we have the best baker's dozen places in the state to get your cornbread fix.
North Little Rock votes on a sales tax increase next week and it seems only fair to give Mayor Pat Hays a little of the attention I gave Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola on his recent push for a penny increase.
With a frightening formula of throwback minimalism.
Do you seek an evening of heavy-metal-psych-rock-riff-o-rama? Look no further than White Water Tavern, which hosts Iron Tongue, Black-Eyed Vermillion and Whiskey Dick, 9 p.m., $5.
Dr. Walter Kimbrough, president of Philander Smith College, Tuesday was named new president of Dillard University in New Orleans.
Roby Brock's Talk Business website reported this week that Rep. Josh Johnston had announced for re-election in District 65 and that the Rose Bud Republican had no Democratic opposition.
Occupy Little Rock, the local offshoot of the worldwide protest movement that started in New York City with Occupy Wall Street, is getting a $1,000 donation last week from the Arkansas AFL-CIO.
The hot topic among the Mississippi flyway birds coming south during the fall migration continues to be the rapture of several thousands of their brethren near Beebe last winter.
Why does North Little Rock need a tax increase? A flier that was mailed to me stated that with Little Rock and Newport as well as Garland and Jefferson Counties increasing their tax rates, North Little Rock needs to increase its tax rate to stay competitive.
Ozark shines in the a.m., but shadows fall over dinner.
The professionals are consigning the Republican presidential nomination to Mitt Romney more than a month before the first Iowan casts a vote.
Better roads and more jobs is a combination that's hard to quarrel with, and we won't. The Arkansas Times supports the proposed $575 million bond program for interstate highway improvements.
You know all the lowlights by heart. Street to Peschel. The phantom pass interference against SMU. Atwater's missed pick in Miami. Stumble and Fumble. The Southern-Fried Misadventures of Reggie Fish.
On Oct. 26, the University of Arkansas's Diane D. Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society released its 13th annual Arkansas Poll.
It's time to dig your Nirvana t-shirt out of the closet and get that case of OK Soda you've had aging behind the water heater, because "Beavis and Butt-head" is back.
Plus the Ozark Folk Festival, RVIVR, 'Blaze Folely: Duct Tape Messiah', 'The Quality of Life', Dead Confederate, Dead Meadow, Eddie Miles
And H.A.M. puts off opening for a week.
"I see that google is now in the dictionary as a verb meaning 'to use the Google search engine to obtain information about (as a person) on the World Wide Web.' But where did the search engine get the name? Does it have anything to do with the old comic strip character Barney Google, he of the goo-goo-googley eyes?"
overning magazine named the governor one of its 2011 public officials of the year and the University of Arkansas's Arkansas Poll reported that he enjoys a stratospheric 72 percent favorable rating in the state.
If light family entertainment is your speed.
Now and then, George W. Bush told the unvarnished truth — most often in jest.
The Little Rock City Board last night, as expected, refused to reappoint Robert Webb to the board of the Little Rock Housing Authority, as the authority had requested.
Good for the Democrat-Gazette, which got some comment today from State Treasurer Martha Shoffner about her campaign finance reports.
The growing band of activists watching for abusive practices in shale gas exploration were buzzing last night about a complaint filed Monday in Cleburne County that alleges official connivance in the filing of improperly executed gas leases.
Michael Cook at Talk Business reports on the announcement of another Democratic candidate for 1st District Congress.
The state revenue report for October shows gross revenues for the month ahead of the same month last year and also ahead of forecast, though large income tax refunds pushed the net a bit below the forecast.
Gene Lyons, now available on-line in the Arkansas Times, takes apart this week something I'd mentioned earlier — a wildly misleading piece of analysis in the Washington Post (reprinted on Page one of the DOG) about Social Security, a piece that invented a crisis that doesn't exist in a way that seemed intended to support the Republican view that Social Security needs to be dismantled.
Split Lip Rayfield plays the Ozark Folk Festival in Eureka Springs.
RVIVR plays White Water Tavern Wednesday night.
More cartoon-quality legislating from U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin. He has legislation — going nowhere — to stop new government regulations.
There are several restaurants that fall within the sphere of typical middle-class restaurant. Cheddar's Casual Cafe manages to avoid this trap with decent, tasty food.
Given that they might face each other in a Senate bout in 2014, I think it's worth noting two approaches to job creation from U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin of Little Rock and U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor.
I wrote early this morning about divided Little Rock politics and the lack of trust engendered by city powers' disregard for the have-nots.
The Commitee for a Fair Severance Tax, the group pushing an increase in the severance tax on natural gas, has an informational Facebook page up.
Democrats on the so-called Super Committee are willing to damage their base by agreeing to major cuts and changes that could affect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
The IRS has worked out a deal with the city of Gould that could mean the city will be forgiven more than $250,000 in past taxes and penalties due.
Words fail. Caution: The video is violent and unsettling.
Randall Shreve and The Sideshow played Stickyz Friday night.
New paintings in show opening Friday.
Going down in 9 days
Contemporary craft in Bentonville
Subject of the documentary "All Me: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert," is the featured artist at Taylor's Contemporanea this month.
'Blaze Foley: Duct Tape Messiah' will screen Thursday night at Stickyz.
Sources tell me President Obama will nominate Kris Baker, a member of Little Rock's Quattlebeaum law firm, to a vacancy on the federal district court bench.
The line is open for your comments. Close-outs: * WHIRLPOOL IMPACT: The City Wire gets an analysis of the impact of the closure of the Whirlpool plant in Fort Smith.
On Tuesday, the Oxford American signed a five-year lease on the buildings at 1300 Main Street in Little Rock that formerly housed Juanita's.
John Oates plays the UARK Bowl in Fayetteville Thursday.
This weekend we'll find out who'll come out on top at the inaugural Arkansas Cornbread Festival cornbread competition. Find out what restaurant cornbread we like around the state — and check out a couple of recipe, too.
We probably did plenty on this yesterday, but I saw a fuller version of the Corpus Christi TV station interview with Judge William Adams of Rockport, Texas, a family court judge whose daughter filmed him beating her with a belt and cursing her throughout.
Another report illustrates the meaninglessness of corporate tax rates. They employ accounting dodges unavailable to wage slaves.
Somebody won the big Powerball draw last night — in Connecticut. But an Arkansas lottery player purchased a ticket worth $1 miillion at the Phillips 66 at 8629 Chicot Road.
The Clinton School has hosted Wayne LaPierre of the NRA, now it offers an opportunity to hear the other side — the case for stricter gun laws in the U.S. Dennis Henigan, acting president of the Brady Campaign and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, will speak at noon Friday at the Clinton School.
Gay people may now serve openly in the military, but the Defense of Marriage Act, among others, still denies them and their families equal treatment under the law.
You'll recall that U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin yesterday blamed government regulation for the tough economy.
A single ingredient can sometimes elevate a good burger to a great burger. That’s the case with the amazingly sweet yellow onions you’ll find on the signature burger at the El Dorado mainstay.
Little Rock police message reports yet another bank robbery — this one the Delta Bank and Trust at 2924 Kavanaugh.
'The Quality of Life' opens Friday night at The Weekend Theater.
40/20 reports today the arrest of a man for harassing communications for comments he made on a topix.com message board about Greenwood Alderman and firefighter Lance Terry.
Newport native Mary Steenburgen is headed to "30 Rock" for a guest spot in which she'll play Charlotte, the "highly spirited...uber-WASP" mother of Elizabeth Banks' Avery, EW reports.
Photographs at Justus Fine Art.
Why do voters let its politicians get away with this? Tuesday, the Senate approved a spending bill that would provide $60 million for the National Center for Toxicological Research at Pine Bluff.
The Arkansas Times has a standing webpage feature that offers legitimate half-off certificates on a range of good stuff — restaurants, retail, personal services, entertainment and lots more.
Jason Boland & The Stragglers play Revolution Friday night.
The Wisconsin Assembly has approved a rule allowing concealed weapons on the floor of that legislative body and the gallery.
Glen Campbell's latest video premiered Tuesday.
We've written before about state Rep. Justin Harris, the West Fork Republican who operates what he has called a "church preschool," Growing God's Kingdom.
Maze featuring Frankie Beverly plays Verizon Arena Nov. 20.
The Thursday line is open. Final thoughts: * PROTECTION FOR RELIGIOUS BIGOTS AND BULLIES: This is easily the saddest story I read today.
I see Stephens Media has a report following up the story I broke earlier today about the request by Americans United for Separation of Church and State to have state agencies that fund state Rep. Justin Harris' daycare be investigated for impersmissible entanglement in religion.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee hasn't given up on regaining House seats and has targeted 25 Republicans with ads on their poor voting records and ethical shortcomings.
Details mount. Witnesses say Herman Cain hit on a woman in a boozy night in a bar and that she felt hostility at work later for rebuffing him.
The New York Times reports that the formula used to count the number in poverty is to be reworked and it will make the poverty count in the U.S. look not quite so dire, comparatively.
The Magazine Antiques magazine writer Laura Beach falls hard for Crystal Bridges.
The Fayetteville School District has sued Washington County officials to stop them from raking a portion of a new school millage into the black hole of dowtown Fayetteville's failed tax increment finance district.
The Pulaski sheriff's office says an elderly couple was bound and robbed about 8 p.m.
The Cornbread Festival is Saturday at Bernice Garden.
The big event at the Historic Arkansas Museum with famed cookbook author Crescent Dragonwagon scheduled for noon today is sold out.
Today is the perfect sort of day for a hot apple pie — fresh out of the oven, flaky and buttery.
U.S. Rep. Steve Womack will continue to condescend to potential Democratic opponent Ken Aden of Russellville, but he'll do himself no favors by continuing to demean Aden's service as an enlisted man under Womack's command in the National Guard.
Talk Business shares results from U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin's own polls that show him with better favorable opinion among voters than an independent and a Democratic-commissioned poll showed (53 percent) and showed him with a wide lead in a potential matchup with either former Lt. Gov. Bill Halter (50-29) or Democratic Party chair and former legislator Will Bond (49-29).
Fire up your DVRs, Architecture geeks! On Monday, Nov. 14 at 9 p.m., a new AETN documentary takes a tour of Arkansas's scattered crop of Mid-Century Modern architecture, a building style of the 1950s and 60s characterized by clean lines, function over form, and a rejection of the over-ornamented design of a generation before.
Dead Meadow plays Juanita's Sunday night.
Channel 11 has details on the arrest of Nickarlos Banks in yesterday's Delta Bank robbery on Kavanaugh (cameras caught sharp photos of the robber.)
U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford has written state legislative leaders to say it appears mistakes were made in mapping the new congressional districts.
Why is Scooby-doo banned from Justin Harris pre-school? And other matters of religion and public money in West Fork.
Layoffs expected at Hawker Beechcraft. Attorney general okays fluoridation in Fort Smith.
State. Rep. Justin's Harris' state-funded church preschool, an arrest in Greenwood for "harassing communications" directed at an alderman on an online forum, the $575 million highway bond election and Tracy Steele's entrance into the North Little Rock sales tax talk are all discussed on this week's edition.
Vote in our annual restaurants poll.
Republicans will continue to make hay of this regardless, but the problem raised by U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Jonesboro) over the new congressional district maps is NOT a problem of the map.
I'm sorry to say that Republican state Rep. Justin Harris has cut off my access to his Facebook page (after I asked him there about his animus to Scooby-Doo) and he won't return calls or e-mail messages.
As planned, a good crowd marched around the hall in which the Koch brothers' front group, Americans for Prosperity, held a gala to celebrate their campaign for the 1 percent to take over America.
I wrote earlier this week about the arrest last week in Greenwood of part-time newspaper reporter Dennis McCaslin for "harassing communications," specifically threats posted in August on an Internet community chat site against Greenwood Alderman Lance Terry, who's also a local fireman.
I'm opening it up early, because pizza making and football are about to occupy most of my time.
With CBS' Martha Teichner.
Helena-West Helena blogger Andrew Blogger turns up another story of cultural interest: A radio station owner whose stations broadcast games in Helena and Pine Bluff is threatening to stop broadcasting Pine Bluff Zebra games because of the sexually suggestive nature of dance team/band performances.
Main Street was swarmed with cornbread lovers for hours today. There were lines of folks ready to pay their $5 to get in at 11 a.m. and there was a sea of people from one end of the festival to the other, listening to great music and consuming mass quantities of cornbread and all sorts of other things.
Alabama's draconian new anti-immigrant law is bad enough. Now that state's attorney general is imitating George Wallace in demanding proof that the U.S. government has a legal right to investigate civil rights abuses there.
I was surprised by the Democrat-Gazette's brief treatment of given the explosive Penn State sex abuse scandal that broke yesterday.
A NE Arkansawyer sends a link to Business Insider, which puts Jonesboro atop a list of 20 "micropolitan" areas in the U.S. with potential to be the next Silicon Valley.
After Ole Miss' 12th consecutive SEC loss yesterday, Houston Nutt's future as head coach became topic A on Ole Miss blogs. One blog has report the decision has been made to fire him.
Sunday open line here.
A blog on the Carroll County news site reports that workers in local food banks got a cool reception from U.S. Rep. Steve Womack when they visited him in Washington plead a case for support for feeding those in need.
John Lyon of Stephens Media advances the story about religious instruction in state-financed pre-schools with news that Republican state Sen. Johnny Key of Mountain Home also provides religious instruction in his pre-school, which receives almost $200,000 a year in tax dollars.
A chilling story in NY Times about an evangelical preacher, Michael Pearl, and his popular book exhorting use of "corporal punishment" from age six months to properly rear children.
The Penn State athletic director went on leave and a university vice president will retire it was announced after an emergency Penn State Board of Trustees meeting over the the school's failure to report allegations of an assistant football coach sexually abusing children.
Just noticed a thread in the morning posts: * Preacher's book offers Bible-based support for whipping children as young as six months old.
The driver of a stolen truck tractor disabled two Pulaski County sheriff's cruisers in a chase that began on Dixon Road about 4 a.m. this morning.
The ASPCA announced this morning that it was working with the Garland County sheriff's office to care for more than 100 dogs removed today from what it described as a Hot Springs puppy mill.
Eddie Miles plays Murry's Dinner Playhouse Tuesday night.
A video shows an off-duty Little Rock police lieutenant repeatedly hitting a man outside of Ferneau Restaurant.
Good reporting in The Guardian on the Koch billionaires' financing of a vast database to organize their political base for the takeover of state and federal government.
That's right — time to tell us what you think about restaurants in Arkansas. Who has the best in each category, and what are the best restaurants in Arkansas?
The mayor took his own Car Free Challenge this a.m., riding his Orbea bike to a Heights bus stop, getting on (and racking the bike) and riding to Louisiana and Third streets with several CAT regulars, a few on board because of the mayor's challenge and some City Hall staff.
CNN reports: A jury has found Dr. Conrad Murray guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson.
A gift from the Stella Boyle Smith Trust.
The Bureau of Legislative Research says in a statement issued through the House speaker's office that the congressional redistricting maps were drawn correctly.
Line is open. You're on.
The Billionaire Boys Club has sold the credulous on the notion that if you hang a charter school label on a school it follows that it MUST be better than a conventional public school.
I've been reporting sporadically on the latest effort by Easter Seals to sell its derelict building on the eastern end of Lee Avenue, on state land across a ravine from the owner, the state schools for the blind and deaf.
The state spends $100 million a year to subsidize preschool programs in some 300 places around the state, but despite the specific requirements of a state law, has never done the required auditing that the money not support religious instruction.
In light of the pummeling a Little Rock cop gave a bar patron who disrespected him the other night — caught in unflattering fullness on video — you can understand the rising resistance around the country by cops to use of recording devices on their actions.
Ernie Dumas this week recalls his idyllic youth in Union County, bobbing a cork for panfish, but taking care to avoid the oil-industry polluted waters in the days before government environmental regulation cleaned them up.
People magazine reports that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are expecting their 20th child this spring.
The world will watch today as Mississippi votes on a "personhood" amendment that begins protection at fertilization.
Clear Channel recently laid off dozens of DJs at stations around the country.
There he goes again. Sen. John "Dr. No" Boozman had a staffer on hand in Jonesboro for a recent meeting on the federal program to provide money to help people insulate their homes and lower energy bills.
The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has upheld Obamacare. Opinion written by Judge Laurence Silberman, a Reagan appointee if you're counting.
The sculptor from Winslow was one of 500 special guests at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art's American Spirit gala Saturday night.
The sheriff's office has identified Kylaus Demareya Williams, 22, of Little Rock as the man found shot to death by a driveway in the 6900 block of Highway 161 (the Jacksonville Highway) near the Rixey community.
NPR began a series this week on Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities. Though the U.S. has made strides in cleaning up poisonous air, problems persist.
The New York Times is reporting that Penn State will soon be exiting the scene as the school's football coach.
Mara Leveritt, the crusading former Arkansas Times journalist, filed a federal lawsuit today challenging the constitutionality of a rule of the state Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct that prohibits those who complain about lawyers from discussing their complaints publicly.
The Arkansas Republican Party has filed an ethics complaint against state Rep. Barry Hyde, who plans to run for state Senate next year.
A new deal has been proposed to settle the North Little Rock School District's lawsuit against the city over the illegally drawn midnight tax increment finance district, approved in the waning minutes of 2008.
Here's some small comfort for the women who've accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment and now find themselves being run through the right-wing politics-of-personal-destruction mill.
The line is open. Final thoughts: * WE GET QUESTIONS: Caller notes a truck pulled up to state Rep. Allen Kerr's Farmers Group insurance agency on Merrill Drive the other day and hauled boxes of records away.