← Back to issues

November 23, 2011

Vol 38 • No 13

Read the print version

The best pie in Arkansas

A statewide guide.

Love for the lowly fried pie

Playing possum with pie

There is no official "state pie," but one unique pie that came up again and again in our travels might deserve the distinction: the Possum Pie, an all-encompassing name for a variety of pie that includes a vanilla, sour cream or cream cheese filling that obscures another filling such as cherries, peaches, apples or chocolate.

The best pies in Arkansas

Public notice possible, but not done on LR night exercise

My FOI request this morning dislodged the agreement by which the city of Little Rock permitted an Army Special Operations aviation group to perform a training exercise over downtown Little Rock Friday night that alarmed many residents in the Governor's Mansion and other neighborhood.

Pies like you've never considered

This week's Times cover story details 100 of the state's best pies. Want to argue about it?

Easy answer wrong

For every complex human problem, H. L. Mencken said, there is always one easy answer that is neat, plausible and wrong.

Will museum take risks?

"Is Crystal Bridges Museum just going to cater to the tastes of Ms. Walton and the good Christian Republicans of Northwest Arkansas and exhibit only safe and supposedly spiritually uplifting work?"

The impossible dream

Stop fretting over the hypothetical, and savor the actual. There is no sense taxing the neurons over what might occur if Arkansas beats top-ranked LSU on Friday afternoon.

Unnecessarily unnecessary

Good week: covert military operations

It was a good week for covert military operations, the Arkansas Razorbacks and dreaming of social justice at UALR. It was a bad week for the Arkansas Razorbacks, Arkansans occupying and Mary Ann Gunn.

The smoke of yesteryear

It's been a good 15 years since The Observer indulged in The Sticky Icky, Mary Jane, pot, or whatever it is the kids are calling it these days.

Lex Porter, Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit and Frown Pow'r

Plus, The Young Maths, Arkansas vs. LSU, Mulehead and Eric Sommer

In brief: MarcRubben, Rodney Block, Joe Sundell

Plus, Gary Escoe, Weakness for Blondes, The Schwag and more

Turkey coma special

"Walking Dead" marathon,"A Very GaGa Christmas" and "Edward Scissorhands"

Meet Zoggie the zombie dog

Grace, 2011

Petit Bistro brings haute cuisine to Bentonville

Lessons from the farm

Living on a gravel road in a rural Arkansas county with more cows than people, I have much to be thankful for on my favorite American holiday.

Crowds flock to Cheddar's

For good, cheap grub.

Thanksgiving guide

Rather eat out than cook up a storm during the holidays? There are a number of places in Central Arkansas that will oblige you.

Opentable gives nod to Ashley's

Sexual harassment a myth

'Take Shelter' nets Gotham Awards nominations

Plus, details on the young Arkansas actor cast in Nichols' latest.

'Happy Feet Two' will warm your cold heart

Animated movie takes on climate change.

A holiday rock show survival primer

For Smoke Up Johnny and beyond.

Black ops in LR

Downtown residents were roused from sleep -- and not a few were made anxious -- by the persistent roar of helicopters from about 11 p.m. Friday to 1 a.m. Saturday.

Arkie occupier

A woman identified as a native of Mountain Home has become an icon of the Occupy movement thanks to a dramatic photo and video of her getting a full face of pepper spray in an Occupy Portland demonstration Nov. 17.

Show us the money

Back in July, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel stirred up some publicity by spending $6,000 to make a movie to play at a State Police luncheon.

The fluoride is coming

Even to places that don't want it.

Spending on sports

A partial summary of revenues and expenditures from the five public Division 1 universities in Arkansas. Data on athletic expenditures is reported annually by the state Department of Higher Education.

Forget 1957; talk about today

A task force of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce pitched a proposal last week to repeal a 1957 Little Rock City Board resolution that cheered Gov. Orval Faubus for fighting to preserve segregation at Central High School.

Peas in pod

Rick Perry may be unable to recite his own platform, but evidently he's clever enough to infiltrate an Occupy Little Rock encampment, which means he's more dangerous than we thought.

Eye on Arkansas, Nov. 23, 2011

SOPA spells Internet ignorance

SOPA is likely to stifle Web innovation in the name of fighting internet piracy.

More comments on Maumelle zoning rules

Too late for me last night, I received some promised comments from several who participated in the Pulaski County Planning Board's meeting on proposed land use rules for the Lake Maumelle watershed.

Another good year for some Pulaski County employees

The Pulaski County Quorum Court last night adopted what the Democrat-Gazette termed "one-time cost of living increases" up to 5 percent for county employees.

Saline radio station caters to Westboro group

No point in telling people the best way to handle the Westboro "Baptist Church" protesters from Topeka is to ignore them.

Hold your applause for Sandusky accuser's high school

The high school of one of the alleged rape victims of former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky has been praised for reporting concerns about him to authorities.

Texas judge who whipped daughter suspended

Here's some Thanksgiving-worthy news: The Texas Supreme Court has suspended the Aransas County family court judge, Willliam Adams, made infamous on YouTube for whipping the daylights out of his daughter with a belt and adding a profane tirade for good measure.

The price of hay in Perry County

I don't have Gene Lyons' column on the web yet this week, but it follows on the jump.

Cover for brutal cops in FOI law

Keith Hall, attorney for Chris Erwin, the man beaten repeatedly in the face by a Little Rock cop working security at Ferneau's recently, went to Circuit Court Tuesday to get personnel records of Lt. David Hudson.

Police shoot man in Newark, probe underway

The State Police says a Newark man was wounded by gunfire from State Police and Independence County deputies after pointing a rifle at them at the end of a chase that began when he allegedly rammed a State Police car.

Little Rock cops hailed in fire rescue

There IS good news about cops. Little Rock Police Lt. Terry Hastings says Officers Scott Dettmer and Robert Bell and Sgt. Michael Miller joined the Fire Department in rescuing Antione Perkins from a fire Monday at 1606 Commerce Street.

Saline clerk defends open records for prisoners

Saline County Circuit Clerk Dennis Milligan offered the Arkansas Times an op-ed today and I'm moving it right onto the web.

Wednesday To-Do: Lexington Porter

Lexington Porter plays Porter's Jazz Cafe Wednesday night.

Wednesday To-Do: The Young Maths

The Young Maths play Revolution Wednesday night.

Wednesday and Thursday: Sway, Deep, Ernie Biggs, Arkansas Queen

The Arkansas Queen hosts a Thanksgiving dinner cruise.

Will the DOG bark at Mitt Romney?

To date, the editorial page of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has been pretty warm to Mitt Romney.

Alchemy Songwriting Competition announces finalists

Kris Allen will be among the judges of the Alchemy Songwriting Competition.

The Thanksgiving table

I'm thankful for Pat Robertson. What would we do without the wacky televangelist?

The line is open

It's Thanksgiving eve. Got anything to say, here's your chance.

"Cast, Cut, Forged and Crushed," the Horn collection

I was talking to a friend earlier in the week who loves art — but can't quite get with the program on contemporary craft.

Talking turkey at the Butterball plant in Ozark

Fine story in the New York Times today about the Butterball plant in Ozark, which, with another plant in the state, produces about a third of the zillion turkeys to be eaten in the U.S. this week.

Oxford American focuses on 'Slammer,' a mugshot tabloid

The Oxford American is out with another of its Southword productions in conjunctions with NPR — film, words and radio reporting.

Puppy mill update

I got a note overnight from a Hot Springs woman who's followed closely the raid on what authorities called a puppy mill in Garland County.

Stodola sees culinary school as part of Main Street revival

Mayor Mark Stodola takes question about his proposal to the board of Pulaski Tech to move its booming culinary school from the Southwest Little Rock campus to a new building on Main Street.

Friday To-Do: Arkansas vs. LSU

The Razorbacks take on LSU Friday at 1:30 p.m.

Friday To-Do: Mulehead

Mulehead plays Stickyz Friday night with Brother Andy & His Big Damn Mouth.

Friday To-Do: Frown Pow'r

Frown Pow'r plays Maxine's Friday night with Bloodless Cooties and Ezra Lbs.

Weekend: Montgomery Trucking, Tim Anthony, Joe Sundell, The Schwag and more

The Schwag pays tribute to The Dead at Stickyz Saturday night.

Come ye thankful people come

Take this as an open line. I've got some things to cook, places to go and food to eat the rest of the day.

How Walmart is changing China

Care for some reading? Try Orville Schell's piece in The Atlantic on Walmart in China, both grappling with issues of environmental stewardship.

Black Friday: Not a day for the best deals

Prof in the New York Times suggests you should forget the theory that Black Friday is the day for the best shopping deals.

I don't know about you, but ...

Pieday: Peanut Butter at Three Sam's BBQ

Even if you have to get it to go, you need to try the peanut butter-y-est pie on the list of the Best Pies in Arkansas... found at this Mabelvale barbecue joint.

Saturday: Eric Sommer

Eric Sommer plays Midtown Saturday night.

Saturday: Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit play Revolution Saturday night.

Saturday: Charity Vance plays the Promenade at Chenal's holiday festivities

Charity Vance plays at The Promenade at Chenal Saturday.

Friday night line

Here it is.

NBA players, owners strike deal

Anybody watch the NBA? Looks like they'll play this season after all.

'Sam Brownback sucks'

The sentiment in the headline went out on a Kansas high school student's Twitter account.

Of Rick Perry and Hog-Aggie-Longhorn football

By its front-page coverage, the New York Times suggests Texas Gov. Rick Perry remains in the hunt for the Republican presidential nonmination, though his polling his dropped down to Huntsman level.

Trend: movement from suburbs back to urban cores

Food for thought in the New York Times, an article saying that the real estate bubble spurred suburban growth and its crash means that same vitality will never return to ring cities.

Saturday thread

Turkey sandwiches anyone? Other thoughts?

Football: It's all about the film study

OK, it's old news, but for two days running now the Democrat-Gazette has given only passing attention to Bobby Petrino's finger-pointing, epithet-mouthing unhappiness when LSU's Les Miles ran up the score on the Hogs in Baton Rouge.

Who's buying Arkansas lottery tickets?

John Lyon of Stephens Media compares county-by-county sales of lottery tickets with county-by-county scholarship recipients and comes up with an interesting anomaly.

Bill Clinton makes case for Obama's re-election

William Kristof in the New York Times makes the case that Barack Obama isn't as bad as all that.

Another reason to Occupy Wall Street

The New York Times offers the Occupy movement another reason for anger at the increasing concentration of wealth and disparity of income in the U.S. It's a lengthy examination of how billionaire Ronald Lauder avoids paying income taxes.

How to raise taxes

Paul Krugman offers two modest proposals on taming the budget with some strategic tax increases: * An increased bite on the super wealthy, a range he defines as making more than $2 million a year.

Judge Griffen: End at-large city elections

I wrote a column last week about the feel-good Chamber of Commerce-backed idea to repeal a 1957 pro-segregation resolution of the Little Rock city board.

Barney Frank to retire

Sad news — the surprise coming retirement of U.S. Rep. Barney Frank. Smart, funny, uncowed by bigots and other blusterers.

Davy Carter sets hearings on tax reform

Roby Brock's Talk Business has a good report on Republican Rep. Davy Carter's plan, as chair of the House Revenue and Tax Committee, to hold hearings next year on income tax reform in Arkansas.

Protest develops on Burns Park goose hunt UPDATE

Social media and e-mails are buzzing with an effort to build a protest of a North Little City Council ordinance to be considered tonight that would allow shooting Canada geese in Burns Park, where their excrement has become a nuisance on the golf course and soccer fields.

Great cookbooks for the holidays: P. Allen Smith's Seasonal Recipes from the Garden

The Arkansas-based garden and home guru has a cookbook that sorts simple recipes by season. Check out the recipe for his Buttermilk Pecan Pie.

Brownback student critic heading to Arkansas

Emma Sullivan, the Kansas high school student who made a disparaging remark about Gov. Sam Brownback, is not backing down.

Judge orders release of police documents

Judge Wendell Griffen today ordered the Little Rock police department to turn over "use of force" documents concerning Lt. David Hudson.

Report: Herman Cain had 13-year girlfriend

Somewhere, Jon Stewart is rubbing his hands together. Atlanta TV station today airing interview with a woman who's said she's had a 13-year affair with Herman Cain.

Monday night line

The line is open. Finishing up: * SOLAR POWER: An array of public officials cut a ribbon today on new solar panels at the L'Oreal cosmetics plant in North Little Rock that are said to be able to provide 20,000 kilowatt hours of electricty per year.

Great cookbooks for the holidays: Arkansas cookbooks

What can you get for the cook in your family this Christmas? Cookbooks, of course! Some Arkansas cookbooks you'll want to check out.

Advances in gay rights

Encouraging news on equality under the law on account of sexual orientation. * MARINES: Marine Gen. James Amos, who spoke against open service of homosexuals in the military, now says the transition has been a non-event.

Republicans loved Obamacare — once upon a time

It's doomed to be forgotten or ignored, but thanks to Ernie Dumas for reminding us that Newt Gingrich — like Mitt Romney, Orrin Hatch, the Heritage Foundation, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon and most other leading Republicans — was FOR health care mandates before he was AGAINST them.

Yolanda Diaz is the new chef at Ciao Baci

The menu created by Ciao Baci's new executive chef, Yolanda Diaz, reads like a travel diary from her time living and working in France and the surrounding countries.

To-Do: 'Fiddler on the Roof'

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF7:30 p.m. Robinson Center Music Hall.

Morning Wake-Up: Anne's Country Cafe

Breakfast at Anne’s is about the best way I can imagine starting out a road trip heading southeast. The Pine Bluff diner offers big filling meals cheap.

Protestor chains self to Capitol steps

We got a call that an Occupy Little Rock follower had handcuffed himself to a Capitol steps handrail and gotten rid of the key.

McDaniel endorses Hall for Congress

It remains to be seen if this is an important strategic alignment or a sign that other political heavyweights aren't expected to enter the Democratic primary race for 1st District Congress to face incumbent Republican Rep. Rick Crawford.

Great cookbooks for the holidays: Serious Eats

Take a culinary trip from coast to coast with Serious Eats: A Comprehensive Guide to Making and Eating Delicious Food Wherever You Are, one of this year's holiday cookbook recommendations.

Soul legend Al Bell back on the airwaves

Music legend Al Bell returns to the airwaves with "Al Bell Presents American Soul Music."

Them lying newspapers

They're still relevant, I'd argue, if Ohio Gov. John Kasich's unhappiness is a measure. “I don’t read newspapers in the state of Ohio,” Kasich said Monday at a college in Columbus.

Secrecy in campaign spending

As you may know, the Arkansas Ethics Commission is weighing my complaint that the backers of the Little Rock sales tax campaign did not comply with campaign disclsoure law in reporting of campaign expenditures.

'Take Shelter' nabs more awards nominations

"Take Shelter," starring Michael Shannon, was nominated for five Independent Spirit Awards.

Today in tough concert decisions

Why does this seem to happen so often? Two good, somewhat similar bands play different venues on the same night, and concertgoers are forced to make tough choices.

Pulaski Tech downtown move could $6 million more UPDATE

I got a brief telephone report from Pulaski Tech trustee Mary Jane Rebick on a board meeting today to discuss a proposal from Little Rock officials that the two-year college build its new culinary and hotel management school on a vacant lot at Sixth and Main rather than, as planned, on property at the south campus on Interstate 30.

Tuesday night topics

The line is open. Final notes: * FAREWELL TO DICK HARDIE: Richard B. Hardie, the retired pastor of Westover Hills Presbyterian Church, died today and I owe him a mention.