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November 25, 2010

Vol 37 • No 12

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Best breakfast in Arkansas: Central Arkansas

From Ashley's to Stoby's, all the best spots in the middle of the state.

Best breakfast in Arkansas: Northwest Arkansas

From Common Grounds in Fayetteville to The Cliff House Inn in Jasper, all the best breakfast spots Northwest Arkansas has to offer.

Best breakfast in Arkansas: Northeast

From the Front Page Cafe in Jonesboro to Penny's Place in Weiner, the best breakfast places Northeast Arkansas has to offer.

Best breakfast in Arkansas: South Arkansas

The South Fork Restaurant and Truckstop in Gurdon, Johnny B's Grill in El Dorado and JJ's Lakeside Cafe in Lake Village serve the best breakfast you'll find in South Arkansas.

Eat Arkansas, for breakfast

A survey of the best the state has to offer.

Best pastries

The other side of breakfast

Pack up those travel myths

Thanks to Scott Faldon for this. Today is the busiest air travel day of the year, right?

Tullis lost mayoral runoff

Bobby Tullis, who lost a Green Party race for state treasurer, lost his runoff for mayor of Mineral Springs this week.

Family Research Council labeled 'hate group'

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which caused a little embarrassment to House Speaker Robbie Wills earlier today, is getting far broader attention for its labeling of the Family Research Council a hate group for its anti-gay speech.

Sheriff's wife robbed in West Memphis

Catch this headline going by on our newswire? The wife of Crittenden County Sheriff Dick Busby, shot six months ago in the shootout with men who killed West Memphis police officers, was robbed Friday outside Pancho's restaurant in West Memphis.

High-flying Little Rock National

Leslie Newell Peacock continues her reporting on Little Rock National Airport this week. There's a mountain of stuff to be reviewed at a $27 million operation.

Thanksgiving eve line

Your thoughts welcome here. In closing: * OK, maybe Thanksgiving morning isn't the best roll-out date for the best breakfasts in Arkansas.

Eat Arkansas for Breakfast: Diner Central

Fort Smith supports three locally owned 24 hour breakfast joints — more than anywhere else in the state. But why?

Starlite's second act

North Little Rock's beloved dining car returns.

Tax work, not wealth

The hoary theory that taxing the wealth of people with lots of it is the root of all problems is going to get a new test in Washington, Little Rock and a few other state capitals.

Hard to keep a good clown down

A visit with the Arkansas Juggalo Family.

Prayer pal

Lt. Gov.-elect Mark Darr said Tuesday that he'll offer a daily prayer for Gov. Mike Beebe, adding that he wants to get along with Beebe. Can't hurt, though this may require a little heavier praying on Mr. Darr's part.

Eye on Arkansas, Nov. 25

In Brief, Nov. 25-27

Better late...

A tipster informed us that Michael Langley, director of state Alcoholic Beverage Control, had turned up in early November on the list of attorneys suspended for failure to complete the required annual 12 hours of continuing legal education.

Grace, 2010

Thanks for the new driver's license photo which might lead one to think that the organ donations it authorizes have already been made. Thanks for how healthy gravy is.

Condom lock box

If Kroger locks away condoms for moral reasons, it is an absolute public health outrage. If they are locked away because of theft, is there not a nonprofit organization that will reimburse Kroger for lost condom sales?

KABF moves forward, slowly

Recent changes too little, too late?

The best 'Potter' yet

'Deathly Hallows' raises the stakes.

The high flying Little Rock National Airport

High executive pay, foreign travel and $272,000 in credit card charges per year.

La belle vie

Jetting to Paris on the airport's tab.

Drop by drop

Concerns over mining site in Hot Springs.

As the schools turn

Still paying attention to the Little Rock School District? If so, and if you've been confused about recent events, maybe I can help.

My pal the opportunist

This is the kind of thing that can happen when you take a newspaper opinion columnist and elect him to responsible public office. You wind up arguing about what the state's nickname ought to be.

Brad Paisley

Verizon Arena, Nov. 19

The Observer, Nov. 25

The Observer isn't a Harry Potter superfan; but we are a fan of the written word, and we are a fan of folks getting excited enough about a book that they'll do crazy things in celebration of it.

Orval, Nov. 25, 2010

Sen. Faris: Another deadbeat

Miracles meet luck at War Memorial Stadium

The Hogs did about everything they could do to lose Saturday's game. They also did everything they had to do to win. Focus on whatever side of that coin you want, but I'll chalk it all up to road woes and look ahead to the Battle for the Boot.

'Billy Blythe'

Nov. 19, Women's City Club

This Modern World, Nov. 25, 2010

The To-Do List, Nov. 26-30

Arkansas Razorbacks v. Alabama-Birmingham Blazers, Big Silver's Thanksgiving Special, Hinder, Battle of the Boot, Mannheim Steamroller, "Sin Sunday," Blood on the Dance Floor/Roxy Cottontail

The Televisionist, Nov. 25

On Thanksgiving Day cable marathons.

What's Cookin', Nov. 25

Flying Burrito Co., 300 President Clinton Ave., is scheduled to close on Tuesday, November 30, according to a post on its Facebook page.

Words, Nov. 25

I wish I had a quarter for every time I've had to explain something to a lawyer. Here's another one at work.

City budget hearings

Little Rock has announced public hearings on the budget beginning next week. Since we'll be deficit spending again (based on regular revenue, not one-time money), I'd suggest saving the $200,000 subsidy Mayor Mark Stodola continues to insist on giving to his traveling buddies/political supporters at the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce — at a minimum until they comply with the FOI provision in the sham city "services contract."

Brummett takes stock

Even the up arrows are mostly damning with faint praise in Brummett's Thanksgiving day assessment of state political figures (and one football coach, who's kind of a political figure in our context.)

Bring on the marshmallows

For Thanksgiving, the New York Times features the ascendancy of the sweet potato. It's become a staple in healthy diets, a feature in some fancy restaurants and so ubiquitous now in fried form that it is almost becoming a cliche.

Thankful that ...

* Sarah Palin isn't — yet — in the line of succession. Stand with our "North Korea" allies?

Early out

I'm off to a Thanksgiving dinner. And I'm thinking I may not be back.

Weekend: Dikki Du and the Zydeco Krewe, "Friday Night Blackout," The Frontier Circus

Thanksgiving weekend is slammed with shows from Dikki Du and the Zydeco Krewe, Grim Musik, The Frontier Circus, The Casey Donahew Band, The Venus Mission and more.

Friday To-Do: Arkansas Razorbacks Men's Basketball v. University of Alabama-Birmingham Blazers

Make room for the Hogs, Central Arkansas. And not just on Saturday. Friday, the men's basketball team makes its annual visit to Verizon to face off against the University of Alabama-Birmingham Blazers.

Friday To-Do: Big Silver's Thanksgiving Special

This Thanksgiving's big show finds dizzyingly prolific Isaac Alexander bringing his least prolific band back to the stage for the first time in so long he couldn't remember when Big Silver last played when asked early this week.

Friday To-Do: Hinder

Hinder, the Oklahoma hard rock five-piece, comes to Little Rock days before releasing its third album, "All American Nightmare."

Saturday To-Do: Arkansas Razorbacks v. LSU Tigers

The game may be sold out, but a War Memorial tailgate is never full. And this year, with a potential Sugar Bowl berth at stake (go Auburn!), Hog fans are likely to bring their game faces to the drunken revelry.

Saturday To-Do: Mannheim Steamroller

Mannheim Steamroller, the awesomely cheesy prog-rockers who have been synthesizing the holidays for years, returns to Little Rock for their annual holiday show.

Sunday To-Do: "Sin Sunday"

Local promoter, DJ and owner of GreenGrass Rock 'n' Roll Bodega Mike Brown's new weekly shindig debuts this weekend at Ernie Biggs with a broad array of local music and breakbeat from the UK.

My favorite breakfasts #10: Stoby's

The Northerner, the Ole Omelet and Colossal cinnamon rolls are among the breakfast gems - whether you're in Russellville or Conway.

Our warming globe

A convergence of events this morning: * A Twitter feed from a prominent Arkansas wingnut sneered at global warming because the temperature dropped below freezing last night.

The Israel airport security model

Mike Huckabee, among others, has snapped his fingers over the airport security hubbub and pronounced it solved: Follow Israel's model.Dana Milbank explains why that is no solution.

Ashley's: Tradition with a twist

I was a little skeptical about TWO turkey courses. But they were entirely different dishes.

In review: Thanksgiving dinner

With family and friends absent, we let Lee Richardson at Ashley's doing the cooking for us Thanksgiving.

M2, Greg Thompson in spirit

Galleries discounting art today.

Got any tickets?

Been having fun watching the eBay action on UA-LSU tickets. Looks like a pair of 50-yard-line seats just went for $230 or so each.

The line is open

Slow day for me. * Not so slow for President Obama. It took 12 stiitches to close a split lip suffered in a pickup basketball game.

Enough with blue ribbon commissions

John Brummett is down on blue ribbon commissions. Take the one on highways.

Class war is over; rich won

Bob Herbert again underscores the question — where's all the prosperity that tax cuts for the rich and low tax rates on dividends and capital gains were supposed to rain down on everyone else?

Beware judicial activism

A sense seems to be developing that one or another of those terrible unelected federal judges is about to undo the work of the democratically elected Congress and, by judicial fiat, cripple the health care law.

Good day for a party

I'm guessing somebody has already lit up a smoker on the parking lots and golf courses surrounding War Memorial Stadium, where the Hogs and LSU will meet at mid-afternoon.

My favorite breakfasts #9: Front Page Cafe

I’m not a big fan of having rolls thrown at my head. Fortunately, there are no thrown rolls (or biscuits or even eggs for that matter) at the Front Page Café in Jonesboro during breakfast hours.

Like I said earlier ...

The line is open

In the event you're not watching football ... No harm in adding a Brian Chilson photo of Cobi Hamilton's first scoring reception.

Boot Passailaigue

John Brummett joins the chorus calling for the Arkansas Lottery Commission to send the South Carolina carpetbagger Ernie Passailaigue home.

Profile in courage

The courageous one would be Brian Muller, a gay Arkansas native, discharged from duties disarming bombs in Afghanistan after his sexual orientation was revealed, as reported in today's Democrat-Gazette.

The Sunday line

It's yours. I'm ready for the long weekend to end.

The House: Lunch is over

Citing lackluster midday sales, The House drops weekday lunches.

Merry solstice

The Arkansas Society of Freethinkers announces it will again have its winter solstice display on the south end of the Capitol grounds, with a lighting ceremony planned after the Little Rock Christmas parade Dec. 4.

There Pryor goes again

Another day, more misinformation from Sen. Mark Pryor. Yesterday, it was gay bigotry.

Deficit reduction: Liberal alternatives

There is a way to reduce the deficit that isn't built on the backs of the middle class.

Tim Griffin's political stunt

The stunt-of-the-season for incoming congressional freshmen apparently is to make it widely known that they'll be sleeping in their offices.

Kid Rock to Verizon

Kid Rock returns to Verizon Arena early next year on his "Born Free Tour." He'll be in town at 7 p.m.

Obama to announce pay freeze

CNN says President Obama will announce a federal pay freeze today.

How to fight poverty

A legislative task force today released results of its year-long study on fighting poverty. You can get a full rundown from Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families.

Monday: EOTO, "Monday Night Jazz," Christmas in Burns Park

Monday night is highlighted by EOTO, a dubstep electro-jam duo known for their wild, improvised sets.

Saunders resignation in

State Rep. Rick Saunders has officially told Gov. Mike Beebe he'll resign his District 24 seat Jan. 1, the end of his term, rather than hold over as law allows because of the death of Keith Crass, elected to succeed him.

That unemployment debt

It's too complicated to fully explain here, but I learned today that negotiations between labor and management for a solution to the state's burgeoning debt (approaching $400 million) to the federal government on unemployment benefit payments are officially at a standstill.

Billy Bob back behind the lens

Here's some damn good news, especially for those who have watched with horror as Billy Bob Thornton made the long, slow slide from Indie genius ("Sling Blade") through life as Mr. Jolie, to bit part craphood in dreck like "Armageddon" and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's "Faster": Thornton says that he's finished a new script with old writing partner Tom Epperson called "Jayne Mansfield's Car" and plans to direct, probably this spring.

More from Hogs' win over LSU

See a slideshow from Arkansas' win over LSU on Saturday.

Winning football pays UPDATE

Good story by Chris Bahn for Arkansas Business about UA Athletic Director Jeff Long's contract.

Stop the presses

Stephens Media has bought a group of newspapers in Iowa. In this day of plunging ad revenue and circulation, it would seem to be good news that anybody still wants to buy a newspaper.

Clerk O'Brien goes to court

As he had promised, Pulaski Clerk Pat O'Brien has asked the state Supreme Court to overturn order by all 17 Pulaski circuit judges that he stop shredding paper copies of lawsuits until they're satisfied the computerized filing system is fully working.

My favorite breakfasts #8: The English Muffin

Light omelets, a great view and fantastic English muffins are the draw for this Hot Springs cafe.

Appeal filed on amendment challenge

The lawyers in a suit that challenged Issue 2, the constitutional amendment approved by voters to lift the ceiling on consumer debt, lift the interest limit on government bonds and allow bond financing of energy-saving projects, filed notice of appeal today with the Arkansas Supreme Court.

Bank robbery on University

Little Rock police say this man, carrying a note that said he was armed, robbed the Centennial Bank at 2900 S. University about 12:40 p.m. today.

In honor of Saturday's Razorback win

Porcine art.

NAACP addresses resegregation

The NAACP plans a conference on resegregation of public schools. It will be named in honor of the late Arkansas NAACP official, Daisy Bates, a key figure in the desegregation of Central High.

Mayor eyes homeless center site

If Mayor Mark Stodola has made a public announcement of this, I'm not aware of it, but an e-mail has begun circulating from the mayor about a potential site for a day center for homeless services, a matter of some controversy in recent months.

Over to you

Line is open. Noted: * The appearance Tuesday by Adam Richman (Man v. Food) has drawn so much interest it has been moved from the Clinton School to the Robinson Center Music Hall.

Tuesday To-Do: Blood on the Dance Floor-Roxy Cottontail

The Village raves out another night when Blood on the Dance Floor joins NYC heavy Roxy Cottontail for an electronic evening of blips, bloops and bips.

Sarah Palin: No press

Blogger Jason Tolbert says it's time for Sarah Palin to be more like Mike Huckabee and engage with the press at book appearances.

The reddening of Mark Pryor

John Brummett comments further today on Sen. Mark Pryor's emergence as a vigorous voice of right-wing Republicanism in the case of gays in the military and immigrant children.Pryor, who got cancer and fundamentalist religion along the way, always has leaned to the considerable right of his father and to the more-distant right of his mother.

Combating trolls

A product design manager for Facebook wrote an op-ed for today's New York Times on trolls and the tendency for anonymity to encourage uncivil behaviors.

Baldor Corp. sold to Swiss group ABB

Baldor Corp. the electric motor manufacturer based in Fort Smith, has been sold to ABB, a Swiss group for $3.1 billion plus another $1.1 billion in debt.

Clinton School gets $750,000 grant

The Center on Community Philanthropy at the Clinton School of Public Service has received $750,000 from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to study and promote giving that builds equitable communities.

Troops fine with gay service UPDATE

A Pentagon study to be released this afternoon is expected to find no serious obstacles to ending the ban on military service by acknowledged gay people.

Let the earmarks continue

Needing 67 votes, Republicans got only 39 in the Senate on a mostly symbolic proposal to ban earmarks.

Huck sees Hezbollah threat from Mexico

Though evidence remains in short supply, Mike Huckabee apparently is an agreement with a Republican U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick that Hezbollah, the militant Lebanese grup, is infiltrating the U.S. disguised as clandestine Mexican border crossers with the help of Mexican drug cartels.

Three scalpers arrested at UA-LSU game

Little Rock police vice squad officers made three ticket scalping arrests at Saturday's UA-LSU game: Edgar Caves, 50, of Duncanville, Texas; Lloyd Blasingame, 28, of Little Rock, and Houston Spencer, 56, of Memphis.

Kitty Harvill's macaws

A video shows how she paints the birds.

Pulaski sets 'emergency' school board meet

An "emergency" Pulaski County School Board meeting has been set for 5:30 p.m. tonight. Subject: "Discussion of future role of superintendent."

Shop for art at UALR

Last year I bought a wire rabbit that was wonderful.

Waiting for Palin Two young men from Mountain Home were first in line at 5 a.m. this morning at the Little Rock Sam's Club for Sarah Palin's book signing tonight.

Tuesday: Adam Richman, Lee Brice, "A Night at the Rep"

Tuesday night offers "Man vs. Food" host Adam Richman, country singer Lee Brice and the annual "A Night at the Rep" event.

LR Board to meet on supt. contract

The Little Rock School Board has scheduled a meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday "to consider taking action with respect to the superintendent's employment contract."

Tour the homeless shelter

Today comes an invitation to the world at large to tour the site Mayor Mark Stodola has identified as a potential resource center for the homeless, deep in the industrial East End on Ninth Street.

The line is open

You're on. An item worth reading: * Nate Silver's analysis of public opinion polling on gay military service.

Koto no more

The new restaurant opening in the Chenal Parkway spot formerly occupied by Koto (and before it, Vermillion Bistro) will be called Papa Sushi.

Sarah Palin at Sam's Club

Brian Chilson's photo op yesterday. Jason Tolbert reports that those allowed in were counseled not to ask her question or "she will get mad."

Grocery store blues

The free state of Hillcrest is happy to have its Kroger back after the rebuilding.

Ethics watch

State Rep. Eddie Cheatham of Crossett has filed legislation for a two-year moratorium on legislator-lobbyist conversions, up from a one-year cooling off period defeated in the 2009 legislature.

UCA in the skybox business

The UCA Board of Trustees will meet today and business includes naming of a new $18 million dormitory.

Astroturfing goes rogue

You might have noticed a story in the morning paper on forged letters sent to a federal agency about proposed rules changes for commodity derivatives trading.The New York Times Deal Book blog says it's gotten to the bottom of the letters.

Mike Huckabee: Death to wiki leaker

Mike Huckabee is famous for overstatement. Today, though, is a new high/low.

Go Gulf!

Several area restaurants offer dishes featuring the fruit of the sea tonight as part of America's Night Out For Gulf Seafood.

Response to O'Brien on document shredding

The attorney general's office has responded for the Pulaski circuit judges in outgoing Clerk Pat O'Brien's effort to shred paper copies of court filings once he's entered them into an electronic filing system.

Democrat announces for House race

Bill Wisely, a Hot Springs lawyer, says he'll be a Democratic candidate for the special election for the vacant House District 24 seat.

Cam Newton can play

Since it's been such a hot topic among blog regulars, behold the news on Auburn's quarterback.

Tax fraud indictment

The U.S. attorney's office announced today the indictment of Lisa Lynn Kirkpatrick, 46, of Pulaski County on multiple tax fraud charges for preparing and filing bogus income tax returns to claim refunds ranging up to almost $6,000.

Republicans: Still saying no

They lie. They do not bargain in good faith.

True Grit: True hit

The reviews have begun of the Coen brothers' remake of "True Grit" and they are gushing so far.

Weekend To-Do: "The Controversy of Valladolid"

The Weekend Theater debuts their latest production, "The Controversy of Valladolid," a theological chamber piece thriller about an infamous, sixteenth century debate inside the Catholic Church.