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November 28, 2013

Vol 40 • No 13

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The holiday table, laden with specialties of Little Rock chefs and bakers

Here in Arkansas, the coming of autumn is almost a religious experience, given our hot summers. When the leaves start falling, the days grow shorter and the air gets that perfect note of crispness to it, minds turn to holidays, family — and food. There's nothing quite like settling down to a great meal of comfort food on a chilly day, especially when it's homemade. We wondered: What do local chefs and bakers cook for themselves this time of year? Here are their answers, which could inspire readers to fire up the stove and get cooking.

Little Greek is big on taste

New Little Greek location in the Pleasant Ridge Shopping Center is worth a try.

Alan Clark complains about raises to state agency directors that Alan Clark voted to authorize

Sen. Alan Clark (R-Hot Springs) sent out a press release yesterday complaining about "unauthorized raises for department heads."

Jeff Nichols, 'Mud' cast win Independent Spirit Altman Award

Jeff Nichols, casting director Francine Maisler and the cast of the Arkansas-shot "Mud" are the winners of the 2014 Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award.

See the proposed desegregation settlement online

A fairness hearing on the proposed settlement is scheduled for Jan. 13 and 14 at the federal courthouse in Little Rock.

Huckabee radio show to end

Say it ain't so. The year-and-a-half old "The Mike Huckabee Radio Show" will end Dec. 12.

Chamber, like some in GOP, favors immigration reform

Randy Zook, head of the state chamber, with the Markham Group, representing the Partnership for a New American Economy, held a telephone press conference today to announce that a national poll shows wide support for immigration reform.

Sweet potato casserole open line

Thanksgiving eve open line.

Roger Bost: children's champion

A less imposing man would be hard to find. Frail, short, bespectacled and bald at an early age, Roger Bost's mortal frame was outfitted with a voice so thin and reedy that he could barely be heard above the muted whispers in the legislative hearing rooms where he often spoke 40 years ago.

2013 Arkansas Times holiday gift guide

Give a little culture.

Pearls About Swine: Disastrous season for Hogs

Just end it already. (He writes, mournfully, as he did last November.)

Barth: Get rid of dry counties

On Election Day 2013, Arkansas, arguably still the most "dry" state in the country, took another tiny step towards alcohol friendliness with a vote within the Park Hill neighborhood of North Little Rock.

Swingin' Utters to White Water Tavern on Thanksgiving

Also, War(m) Chief at Stickyz, (hed) P.E. at Revolution Zoogma at Revolution, DJs from Mars at Discovery, Leopold and His Fiction at Stickyz and Rod Bryan at Stickyz.

Jeff Coleman and the Feeders play Afterthought

Also, "A Night at the Rep."

It was a good week for unmarried parents

It was also a good week for spending on holiday cheer and Big Brother. It was a bad week for the Arkansas Razorbacks and equality.

Birth of the boos

I can remember when fans didn't boo at Razorback games, or at college games generally. That's changed obviously, and it started me wondering about, among other things, where the word boo comes from.

UA needs sunlight

Any issue on which I find myself in complete agreement with Max Brantley justifies further comment. His recent column on the situation with the UA-Fayetteville administration (Nov. 14) was right on the money (no pun intended).

Upended, again

Arkansas lost its eighth straight football game Saturday in Little Rock. Mississippi State won 24-17.

Arcane rules

Fifty-two years ago, President John F. Kennedy and House Speaker Sam Rayburn overcame a small minority of obstructionists in Congress and changed the history of American politics.

Still hungry after 'Games'

Sequel is light fare.

Eyes in the sky in Little Rock

LRPD unveils 'crime camera' network, ACLU attorney sees encroaching 'Big Brother.'

Don't forget about Juanita's

Tex-Mex standard bearer still serves up good grub.

Learning to love Layla

Everywhere I go, people ask me less often about politics than about Layla. For readers who missed my earlier column about the abandoned Charolais calf I adopted at birth, Layla's early weeks consisted of one life-threatening crisis after another.

Gunning for votes

How do you know it's election season in Arkansas? By how the candidates dress. When they're in camouflage and hoisting guns, assuring voters of their 2nd Amendment support, their manly embrace of cold dawns and long underwear, you know they're ready to go in for the kill.

Thanksgiving line

Talk turkey.

Freckle Face Farm and one terrific turkey

The combination of a fantastic product, the perfect preparation, and great friends to share it with made this turkey one I will always remember. Is it worth going local? I certainly think so.

Second part of documentary short on Mayflower oil spill

Here's part two of "Shattered by Oil: Exxon Arkansas Spill and the People Left Behind," featuring Elizabeth McGowan, the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who covered the aftermath of the Pegasus pipeline rupture thanks to donors who contributed to a crowdfunding effort by the Times and InsideClimate News.

Food Feedback (Black) Friday

And so, once again, we ask for your cherished feedback…what you’re eating, where it’s happening, what you like, and what you despise. We want to hear it all. Go time.

Woo pig...kablooie

Open line.

All the college dudes love Malzhan's sweater vest, visor combo

On Malzahn, the G.I. Joe with the kung-fu grip and Wally Hall's politics.

Harrison 'anti-white' billboard rewritten by grafitti

A Harrison billboard along the U.S. 62/65 bypass that's stirred much controversy was vandalized early Friday morning.

Stuffed on leftovers open line

This and that to chew on: today's New York Times reports on the recent decision by the University of Arkansas to go drop down to one game per year in Little Rock, and the broader trend against home away from home games in college football; Ezra Klein has a great roundup of what the administration's self-imposed Obamacare deadline tomorrow means; 

Split between states on gay marriage raises question of right to divorce

Interesting story out of Mississippi, where Lauren Beth Czekala-Chatham, who traveled from her home in a small town in northern Mississippi to get married to her lesbian partner, Dana Ann Melancon, in San Francisco in 2008.

Feds release progress report on Obamacare website

It's Vast Majority Sunday! Today is the Obama administration's self-imposed deadline that, the federally run website used by 36 states for the new marketplaces created by Obamacare, will work smoothly for the "vast majority" of consumers. 

Sunday night open line

I'm on the road today, heading back from Thanksgiving at the in-laws. They'd find themselves on the right-wing end of the Arkansas legislature.

A frank discussion on Hot Dog Mike

Hot Dog Mike is a name that people recognize all over Arkansas. And although his new space is small and a little bleak, it’s got potential to be something great. It’s well branded, clean, and just the kind of place you can imagine young food adventurers lining up for, the people stretching down 3rd street, all to get a sample of the “next big thing” in hot dogs. With the right product, it could happen at Hot Dog Mike—he's got the followers. But unfortunately, that day is not today.

Johnson & Johnson's appeal to the Arkansas Supreme Court over $1.2 billion fine for drug Risperdal

Good roundup from John Lynch in this morning's D-G on the $1.2 billion fine imposed by Circuit Judge Tim Fox in April of 2012 after a jury found Johnson & Johnson liable for Medicaid fraud over the marketing of the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal.

Tommyknocker Brewing is more than just beer

Non-drinkers can still enjoy these sodas from Tommyknocker Brewery.

Obamacare enrollment up in November

Bloomberg News reports that around 100,000 people signed up for health insurance through the troubled federal portal in November, around four times as many as in October.

Police: J'boro used car dealer butt-dialed target of a hit while allegedly plotting his murder

From the weird files: Police in Jonesboro say that a used car dealer who was allegedly talking to a hit man about murdering a former employee let the target in on the plot after acci

Coming Thursday: Art Connection benefit

Artists to donate partial proceeds from sales to program for high school students.

Coming Tuesday: Local Colour holiday show

"Holiday Dazzle" features work by 28 artists.

DF&A revises fiscal year 2014 budget forecast downwards

The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration released a memo yesterday downgrading its revenue forecast for fiscal year 2014.

Delta Regional Authority awards grant to Innovation Hub

The Delta Regional Authority, which works to create jobs in the Mississippi Delta in seven states and in Alabama, has awarded the Arkansas Innovation Hub in North Little Rock a grant of $251,105, bringing to $1 million, or half, the amount needed to construct the Hub in the building housing Art Connection at 204 E. Fourth St. in Argenta.

Same-sex marriages begin in Hawaii

Six same-sex couples tied the knot just after midnight in Hawaii, with the new Marriage Equality Act taking effect today after the governor signed the law in November.

Video: comedians on going to a 'Huckabee' taping while stoned

[embed-1] What happens when two comedians eat "pot cookies," put on suits, and then go to a taping of the Mike Huckabee Show on Fox News?

ACLU sues Conference of Bishops over hospital rules

ACLU sues the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops over directives that caused a woman pain and suffering at a Michigan hospital.

Arkansas GOP sues Gov. Mike Beebe over Freedom of Information request

Attorneys for Megan Tollett,executive director of the Republican Party of Arkansas, filed a lawsuit in Pulaski County today over a request for records under the Freedom of Information Act.

Heavy traffic on the Obamacare website

HHS says 80% of back-end problems with data to insurers came from one bug, which has been fixed.

Brock Thompson to appear on Jeopardy

Conway native Brock Thompson, author of "The Un-Natural State: Arkansas and the Queer South," will appear on Jeopardy this Wednesday. 

Why does the United States economy grow more under Democratic presidents?

Since World War II, the United States economy has done significantly better when a Democrat has occupied the White House.

Happy Holidays open line

Don't miss Josh Barro on the politics of exclusion. We wish good cheer to all, whatever you celebrate (or don't).

Arkansas Republican Party correct on Beebe lawsuit

Max here, with a brief check-in from a ship steaming toward Jamaica. My quick persual of the Arkansas Blog this morning brought an occasion to agree wholeheartedly with the Arkansas Republican Party and I didn't want to let the opportunity for harmony pass.

Mark Pryor-Tom Cotton Senate race takes center stage

The race for Senate between incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor and challenger U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton has national implications for the makeup of the Senate, as Republicans believe Arkansas is one of their best shots at picking up a new seat. 

Fried green tomatoes at the Root Cafe

Jack Sundell of the Root Cafe talks tomatoes, local ingredients, and Dwight Yoakam.

50 50 50: Neil Welliver

"Study No. 2 for Trout and Reflections" on exhibit in the atrium.

Early voting on Robinson starts today

Vote would dedicate hamburger tax to $68 million renovation project.

French Hill to speak at chamber annual meeting

Banker, congressional primary candidate to give year in review.

National Football League nixes Super Bowl ad for gun-seller

[embed-1] The National Football League will not air the ad above, from Daniel Defense, a Georgia gun-selling company, citing league rules regulating advertisements of firearms.

Weather Service issues Winter Storm Watch for Thursday night, Friday morning

The National Weather Service in Little Rock has issued a Winter Storm Watch for most of the counties in Arkansas for Thursday night and Friday morning. 

Obama administration considered platinum coin option during the debt ceiling fight

Even as Congress teetered dangerously close to breaching the debt ceiling earlier this year, the Obama administration was adamant that none of the creative solutions economists had proposed as emergency measures — such as minting a large-denomination platinum coin using an obscure 1996 law — were on the table. 

Mike Beebe then and now on public-records transparancy

A local Republican politico e-mailed to point out that then newly elected Gov. Mike Beebe said this in 2007 after releasing the papers of Larry Zeno, a Parole Board member who had jokes and photos of a racial and sexual nature on his state computer: 

Clay Guild sale starts today: Update

Christmas shopping opportunity.

Ex-'Jeopardy!' champ from LR wins 'fan favorite' berth, will compete in 'Battle of the Decades' tourney in 2014

Little Rock radiologist Shane Whitlock, who won the 1996 Jeopardy! college championship, has won a ret

Photos released from afternoon bank robbery on Rodney Parham

The Little Rock Police Department has released photos of a man they say robbed a U.S. Bank branch on Rodney Parham Rd. this afternoon around 12:35 p.m.

Tie one on — an apron — for Our House

Aprons by dozens of contributing artists.

Arkansas nabs top recruit, Danish defensive end Hjalte Froholdt

Hjalte Froholdt, the #42 ranked high-school junior by ESPN, has committed to play for football for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks.

Paragould police: Radio Shack whizzer said he needed to 'pee bad.'

Just another beautiful day in Paragould, where police arrested a man for allegedly pissing on a 32" TV, two Bluetooth sound bars, a mic

Police: triple murder, suicide near Alma UPDATE

Stations in Northwest Arkansas are reporting a double homicide at a home north of Alma this afternoon, with the killer than apparently turning the gun on himself.

DF&A: November tax revenues below forecast

November tax revenues came in 2.3 percent ($8.4 million) below forecast, the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration reported in a  [pdf-1].

The eagle has landed open line

Via KAIT-TV, check out this video of a sea eagle in Australia who took off with a video camera and flew 68 miles before setting the camera down, recording the flight (and, as CNN noted, stopped to pose for a selfie).

Fogged in at airport; no flights Tuesday night, or early Wednesday morning in Little Rock

Dense fog means cancelations at LR airport through the evening.

Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer visits Mayflower

Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer was in Little Rock and Mayflower on Tuesday for meetings on the Mayflower oil spill. He sees the disaster as a way to confront the Keystone XL question on a personal level.

The Bible stars in Mark Pryor's new television ad

[embed-1] The advertisement above, titled "North Star," begins airing statewide today as Sen. Mark Pryor tries to hold off a tough challenge from Rep. Tom Cotton. 

LR creator of 'Doritos Locos Taco' dead at age 41

Todd Mills, who came up with the idea for Taco Bell's wildly-popular Doritos Locos Taco — which went on to become one of the biggest product launches in American history — has died.

Senate Democrats considering vote on minimum wage increase this year?

The New York Times reports that in a speech focused on the healthcare law today, President Barack Obama will also touch on economic issues, including a call to raise the federal minimum wage.

Obamacare enrollment surging

We noted the other day that traffic to has been extremely heavy in the wake of improved performance after the Obama administration's self-imposed deadline that the site would work smoothly for the "vast majority" of users by December 1.

Race and politics in the age of Obama

Jonathan Chait has an essay up this morning at New York magazine reflecting on differing ideas about racism in a time when the nation has elected a black president and blatant expressions of overt racism have (mostly) been relegated to the political margins. 

Riverdale 10 Cinema and Cafe draws the curtain

Riverdale 10 Cinema and Cafe at 2600 Cantrell Road in the Riverdale Shopping Center has announced they will close.

911 dust, preserved

William F. Laman Library gallery coordinator Debra Wood was packing up the library's exhibit, "Recovery" The World Trade Center Recovery Operation," which closed Dec. 1, yesterday when she discovered something precious: A boot print made from the dust of the World Trade Center.

Q&A: Rep. Joe Farrer on the "private option" for Medicaid expansion

AT: I know you had some frustration about how the “private option” legislation happened. JF: We were given the bill in a real short time.