From the pragmatic to the visionary.
Vol 38 • No 14
Suggestions for making Arkansas a better place to live.
The new University of Arkansas System president's vision for online education.
A plan to put Arkansas's best graduates to work.
Mara Leveritt responds to one-sided defense of Arkansas Crime Lab presented in an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette article today. She focuses on changing story of medical examiner Frank Peretti.
Curry in a Hurry is a new restaurant that offers North Little Rock home-style Indian cuisine.
The Hillcrest Residents Association has received an indication from Easter Seals that the charity won't pursue further a proposal to sell its land lease, and a largely vacant former training center on Lee Avenue, to Little Rock businessman John Chandler for $240,000 for redevelopment for offices.
The Pulaski County Quorum Court recently voted a 4 percent pay bonus for all county employees including themselves.
With a presidential election in the offing, Americans are increasingly inclined to divide into rival tribes contemptuous of the "other." It often seems that the higher the stakes, the more foolish the national dialogue.
In response to Max Brantley's column "Forget 1957; talk about today" (Nov. 23) on the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce proposal to repeal a 1957 Little Rock City Board resolution that cheered Gov. Orval Faubus for fighting to preserve segregation at Central High School.
On 'Weed Wars,' 'Virgin Diaries,' 'The Layover.'
Also for Pulaski County Employees. It was a bad week for the Arkansas Razorbacks and geese.
Plus, Your Mama's reopens.
In a staging of 'A Christmas Carol, The Musical.'
Plus, 'Take Shelter' scores big at the Independent Spirit Awards.
The town's first black mayor receives threats.
You can now make it a political maxim. No Republican can be a serious candidate for the presidential nomination in 2012 without a record of apostasy on all the burning issues of the day.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has called the dogs off a high school student who'd spoken harshly of him. Some see this as admission that it's hard not to speak harshly of Sam Brownback, but more likely, the governor's uncharacteristic display of tolerance was prompted by all the criticism he was receiving from people who believed a governor should have better things to do than seek retribution on an 18-year-old girl, even a mouthy one.
River Market food truck serves up delicious fare.
Little Rock's Broadway Bridge, which opened in 1923, was supposed to be a cutting edge design and last for 1,000 years. The state Highway Transportation Department proposes to replace it 910 years early, in 2013, with $45 million in bridge construction money.
I like to think I'm a reasonable man. I've accomplished childhood goals. Traveled all over the world. Dined with heads of state. Yet here I am, pulling into the overflow parking area at 11:55 p.m. on Thanksgiving night for Target's Black Friday sale.
Kristi Malzahan, wife of Auburn assistant football coach Gus Malzahn, was among friends when she appeared Oct. 6 at The Summit luncheon series sponsored by Cross Church, the Springdale-based megachurch.
I don't know about you but I'm sick and tired of all the squabbling over whether it was the Knights of Columbus or the Minnesota Vikings who discovered America.
Kermit and co. still got it.
It took two whole months, but Arkansas's tank finally ran dry.
On a particularly groggy Thursday morning, rounding out a particularly spiteful week of misfires, The Observer bummed a ride from the Significant Other and canine friend because ye old jalopy (that really isn't so old) was having an expensive, two-mechanics-worthy temper tantrum.
he Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department plans to replace the Broadway Bridge in 2013 with a $45 million project. Local officials, including Mayors Mark Stodola of Little Rock and Pat Hays of North Little Rock and County Judge Buddy Villines, want an iconic structure that would likely cost more than $45 million. Metroplan has tried to inspire interest in such a bridge with an online survey and a design contest. See the best of the contest entries.
Plus, 'Fiddler on the Roof,' Wing Spur Wild Horses Benefit, Se7en Sharp, Slobberbone and Two Cow Garage, Alchemy Songwriting Contest, Kingsdown, Little Rock Wind Symphony, River City Men's Chorus.
Plus Mountain Sprout and more.
Of course. The Burns Park Canada goose flock, scheduled for a mass slaughter Dec. 20-22 in a "hunt" approved by the North Little Rock City Council, now have a Facebook page.
KFSM reports on the TV career of Mary Ann Gunn, the former circuit judge who now stars in "Last Shot with Judge Gunn," a "reality" TV show in which she plays the role of a judge and people in drug rehab play the roles of people arrested for drug crimes.
Twitter headlines report that cops are rousting Occupy demonstrations in both Los Angeles and Philadelphia this morning.
I grant you his nomination risks election and the thought of a Newt Gingrich presidency is appalling.
This is by no means the first report with similar findings, but it never hurts to attempt to penetrate Arkansas legislative skulls with facts that challenge their wishful thinking: From researchers at the University of Georgia: States that prescribe abstinence-only sex education programs in public schools have significantly higher teenage pregnancy and birth rates than states with more comprehensive sex education programs, researchers from the University of Georgia have determined.
The New York Times reports today on a class action lawsuit against the NCAA alleging negligence toward the risk of concussions in college sports.
Stickyz introduces pumpkin chicken fingers.
Police say a 56-year-old man died of knife wounds in a residence at 9200 Tedburn Circle, near the Cloverdale shopping center, shortly before 4 a.m. today.
The Minnesota-based chain serves up decent amounts of edible food, but somehow the place lacks soul.
Maylon Rice, a former newspaperman who's now director of the Boston Mountain Solid Waste District, has announced he'll run for the legislature as a Democrat for House District 85.
Argenta Community Theater hosts a benefit for Wing Spur Wild Horses Thursday night.
An appeals court rules Fisk University can spend the $30 million Alice Walton has offered for a half share in the Stieglitz collection on school support.
A bankruptcy trustee is auctioning assets of the failed Yarnell's Ice Cream company in Searcy today.
Memphis artist Jeanne Seagle is showing her paintings of the Delta.
A reader asked where to begin in city government with complaints about lack enforcement of traffic laws protecting pedestrians as they cross city streets.
2000 recipes, complete with explanations about how, why and what goes into every one make this tome from Cook's Illustrated a must-have for your cookbook shelf.
The Oxford American's latest southern music issue is out tomorrow.
The Philander Smith College Choir performs its holiday concert at the Kendall Center Atrium on campus at 7:30 p.m.
Ace Hood plays Clear Channel Metroplex Friday, Dec. 2.
It's come to this. Gov. Mike Beebe has gone to issuing guidance on the monthly state revenue report, in the fashion of major corporations and quarterly financial statements.
News roundup: Little Rock School Board candidate, new hire at Little Rock National Airport, the public gets a crack at Alotian Golf Course, Newt takes off, Postal Service considers consolidation of facilities in Arkansas.
NY Times today writes about one very solid accomplisment of the Occupy movement in just a couple of months: Whatever the long-term effects of the Occupy movement, protesters have succeeded in implanting “We are the 99 percent,” referring to the vast majority of Americans (and its implied opposite, “You are the one percent” referring to the tiny proportion of Americans with a vastly disproportionate share of wealth), into the cultural and political lexicon.
To call The Root Café a burger joint kinda cuts it short. The idea of a “joint” for burgers conjures up the idea of quickly smashed patties on a grill and a certain quantity of grease and gumption. The Root has gumption, but not the grease.
FRIDAY 12/2Do you have an affliction that can only be cured by drinking and carrying on and listening to a bunch of rowdy-ass hillbillies tear it up?
Two Cow Garage plays White Water Tavern with Slobberbone and Glossary this weekend.
Se7en Sharp headlines a benefit show for The Boys & Girls Clubs Friday night.
The Jonesboro Sun reports that the parents of Michael Moore, one of the children killed in the 1993 "West Memphis Three" murder case, have asked that a documentary about the case, "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory," not be considered for an Academy Award.
The Alchemy Songwriting Competition is a benefit for Blackbird Academy of the Arts.
Keith Hall, attorney for Chris Erwin, has taken a new legal approach to getting documents about previous use of force by Little Rock Police Lt. David Hudson.
Anne Milligan, a Little Rock lawyer, advises that a hearing is scheduled Dec. 9 on her motion for certification of class action lawsuit by strippers against local strip clubs over employment practices.
A collection of recipes from TV's The Beekman Boys comes in a cookbook with a great layout, including pockets for recipe cards and places for notes. A book to build on.
Supreme Court Justice Courtney Henry was married recently in Texarkana and now appears on court decisions as Justice Courtney Hudson Goodson.
University of Arkansas hosted the world premiere of Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock, a well-researched documentary that presents a frank portrait of a complex activist.
Chicago-based Shulze and Birch Biscuit Co. plans to reopen the plant and relaunch Yarnell's ice cream.
The Chicago cookie company that bought major assets of the former Yarnell's ice cream plant in Searcy has plans to make ice cream there again.
John DiPippa sent a message today that he'll be stepping down as dean of the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law June 30 to return to teaching in the fall.
Friends and family of Stanley Reed, the Marianna farmer, lawyer and UA trustee who died in July, are creating an endowed chair in emergency medicine at UAMS.
U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor won Senate approval today of a measure that will allow a $100,000 death benefit for the family of Samson Luke, who was on weekend National Guard duty at Fort Chaffee in 2010 but died while spending the night in his home nearby in Greenwood, as he'd been authorized to do.
Good guess here yesterday. Little Rock National Airport Executive Director Ron Mathieu announced today that he'd hired Shane Carter as the airport's new director of public affairs and government relations.
Thursday wrapup, includes on-line gambling, Little Rock police brutality, UCA frat boys in trouble, the Turk Power Plant.
Buzz from multiple points today is that Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Josephine Linker Hart of Mountain View is considering a run next year for an open state Supreme Court seat from which Jim Gunter is retiring.
The Zac Brown Band and The Red Hot Chili Peppers both play Verizon Arena in March.
To hear the Arkansas legislative shale caucus tell it, gas drillers in the Fayetteville shale would never dream of mistreating the Arkansas environment and nearly always treat landowners fairly.
It is far too soon to get optimistic. But news this week has been mostly positive, including today's national unemployment figures.
Senate Republicans, including Sen. John "Dr. No" Boozman, defeated the payroll tax break for working Americans.
Amusing takedown by a writer for Der Spiegel on the Republican presidential field. Or it would be funny if so much of it wasn't based on actual utterances and actions.
Bob Somerby repeats a favorite fact, how U.S. compares in health care spending with major developed countries.
Creamy and old-fashioned, just like most of the food served up at this Sherwood lunchroom.
It's official. The federal government will run Arkansas health insurance exchanges established under the health care reform.
Kingsdown headlines a benefit for Toys for Tots Saturday night at Revolution.
Soprano Laura Storm performs at Little Rock Wind Symphony's "A Christmas Extravaganza."
UPDATE ON AN ITEM LAST NIGHT: I now have five different people telling me that they expect Court of Appeals Judge Jo Hart to run for a vacancy on the Arkansas Supreme Court next year and that she's made arrangements with campaign consultants for the race.
The city of West Memphis has developed plans to revitalize the depressed Arkansas delta by building its own 6,000 square foot kitchen incubator.
Forty paintings of "dreaming piglets" and other animals.
The "Winners Show" goes up today.
You heard the early word from Gov. Mike Beebe yesterday: the November report on state tax collections was flatter than a pancake, even a little deflated.
CALS offers Food for Fines from Dec. 5-11.
A bankruptcy trustee outlined this morning terms of the sale of assets of Yarnell ice cream to a Chicago snack maker, Schulze and Burch.
The River City Men's Chorus performs its Christmas concert Sunday.
Kimberly Kaye Wilson, a visual art teacher in Monticello, is the Arkansas Teacher of the Year.
For reasons unclear, Facebook took down the original page established to organize opposition to a mass slaughter of the sitting geese in Burns Park.
The Arkansas Arts Center's 43rd "Collectors Show and Sale" opens today
You'll be shocked, I'm sure, to learn that the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission went with pollution and against ecology again today in approving a wastewater permit for SWEPCO's Turk Plant, nearing completion in Hempstead County despite pending challenges by the Sierra Club.
Kris Allen and friends have a dubstep Christmas.
As expected, the city of Little Rock today asked the Court of Appeals to stay Judge Wendell Griffen's order opening Little Rock police records on use of force by Lt. David Hudson.
What is it with folks taking virginity to extremes? I'm not talking about "I'm 17 and I've never gone all the way with a boy." I'm talking: "I'm 32 and have been engaged for three years, but I'm saving not only my naughty bits but my first kiss for my wedding night."
I don't know about you, but I found this quite interesting. It's a report, by college campus, on students who received Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarships in the 2010-2011 school year.
I'm checking out. And I'm leaving it to the public, without another word.
The official end of any chance for Arkansas to set up its own health exchange, the legal battle between the city of Little Rock and a local attorney over use of force records, the push for Pulaski Tech to build a culinary school downtown and the coming North Little Rock Canada geese "hunt" are this week's topics.
The New York Times has a lengthy interview — on video — with Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State coach accused of raping children.
From the outer reaches of wing nuttery (World Net Daily), comes a report on TV commercials that even Fox News won't broadcast.
Missing in reports this morning on the strong opposition among House Republicans to continuation of a payroll tax deduction for working Americans are statements from the Republican delegation (including one DINO) from Arkansas.
Not much here. However: * OCCUPY LR: Several of them marched in the Christmas parade.
Pulaski County Special School District employees have received a letter notifying them of a potential breach in security of personal information and given them tips on guarding against problems with identity theft.
Tim McKuin, whose MoveArkansas blog tries to encourage a more progressive view of city life in cycling, transiit planning and design, finds little to cheer in recent work by the secretary of state's office on the west side of the Capitol groundss Dozens of trees have been felled to create more parking spaces and the work has just about removed the last green space in the sea of asphalt serving state buildings.
I know from experience the blog has many readers who'll chime in on the topic of the big difference in quality of internet access, particularly between rural and urban customers.
Arkansas State football coach Hugh Freeze is heading to Ole Miss to succeed HDN. The Hog football team is heading to the Cotton Bowl to play Kansas State.
For those yearning for specifics from occupiers, Occupy Little Rock has something for you. On its blog, it announces its intention to Occupy the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.
A public relations firm last night began distribution of a news release about a new documentary film, "West of Memphis," on the West Memphis Three case, this one a combined effort of the formerly condemned Damien Echols, his wife Lorri Davis and filmmakers Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh.
A reader says that Secretary of State Mark "Treeslayer" Martin has made another aesthetic change at the Capitol she doesn't approve of.
The University of Arkansas basketball team got exposure to a new ritual during its visit to Connecticut over the weekend.
Media are taking notice of implementation of an important part of health care reform legislation — the part that requires the spending of 80 percent of the money paid in insurance premiums on medical care.
Nah, not the good kind of leaks. Rep. John Burris reports that trash cans have been placed on desks in the House chamber to catch leaks.
Wackiness is stacking up like cord wood. A mid-morning roundup: 1) HOG CENSORSHIP: UA Athletic Director Jeff Long says he complained to the SEC — COMPLAINED TO THE SEC!
Consistently excellent Stuttgart rapper Arkansas Bo has a new album out today, "Natural State of Mind."
Update on an item here Sunday in which the MoveArkansas blog was quoted as complaining about tree removal and walkway removal on a parking lot north and west of the Big MACbuilding on the Capitol grounds.
For a couple of years now, Forty Two, the restaurant housed inside the Clinton Presidential Center, has hosted Around the World Thursday on the third Thursday of each month, showcasing food and entertainment from various countries.
Gov. Mike Beebe announced today that the state had received $13.1 million in federal money to loan or guarantee business loans.
Great desserts from around the country, including a recipe for the famed Black Bottom Pie that we're sharing with you right here on Eat Arkansas.
Adam Hambrick of Conway won the first ever Alchemy Songwriting Competition Saturday night.
Democrats apparently plan to reduce the amount sought in a payroll tax holiday and will seek a smaller and sunsetted millionaire surtax to pay for most of it.
The west Arkansas city will see eight new restaurants open in the coming months, including Dunkin' Donuts, Maid-Rite, Bob Evans and Buffalo Wild Wings. The Egg and I is already open.
A Chronicle of Higher Education article serves as a reminder that football coaches aren't the only college employees making seven-figure pay.
It's not the on-line wagering I mentioned a few days ago, but Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs as ready to roll out smart phone wagering.
I mentioned earlier that Occupy Little Rock planned an Occupy the Chamber of Commerce event tomorrow to protest a Lake Maumelle watershed zoning plan as insufficiently stringent.
I love this story in the Washington Post. It's about a school board member, unidentified, but apparently a successful businessperson with well-educated kids, who took a standardized achievement test.
The Joe Pitts Band and The Seth Freeman Band play a memorial fundraiser for Steve Scallion, musician and longtime artist for Nightflying.
Mindy McCready, the country star whose album "10,000 Angels" sold two million copies in 1996 (video of her big hit "Guys Do It all The Time" seen above), was found hiding in the closet of a vacant summer home in Heber Springs over the weekend with her five-year-old son.
You're on. Closing out: * ARKANSAS HOME SALES: The realtors say home prices and sales in October up a tiny bit over the same month a year ago.
The state Alcoholic Beverage Control Division went too far even for some legislators with new rules and were forced yesterday by a legislative committee to pull back from writing some laws on its own.
Public retirement systems are much in the news. U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin wants to end public pensions for federal employees (not counting the military).
Ernest Dumas weighs in, again, with a useful lesson in American political history. If only it could be widely read and absorbed.
Thanks to light snow, 40/29 reports nearly 100 accidents on highways in Northwest Arkansas, particularly highways from Fayetteville to Bella Vista.
The popular downtown eatery is back in a new location, now with big hearty breakfasts and delicious cinnamon rolls.
Hubert Sumlin died Sunday at the age of 80.
This afternoon in the Quapaw Quarter.
Landscapes and still lifes by local artist.
Good for Secretary of State Mark Martin. He's going to be grand marshal of the Mardi Gras parade Feb. 18 in Eureka Springs.
As promised, Occupy Little Rock participants assembled outside the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce today to object to the zoning rules proposed for the Lake Maumelle watershed.
The Shewmaker family makes a gift to CBMAA.
Yukon Blonde plays Juanita's tonight.
A prayer vigil is scheduled outside U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin's office at 1501 N. University at 4 p.m.
Readers of the Magnola Banner-News are riled after reading underlying facts of the case of the rodeo horses stolen from Southern Arkansas University.
Interim Arkansas Lottery Director Julie Baldridge told legislators today that proceeds for lottery scholarships seem likely to be $5 million less in the current fiscal year, ending June 30, than last year.
Football news today: * KFSM now reporting as legit talk that has filled chat boards all day — that Hog defensive coordinator Willy Robinson is getting the boot.
Over to you. Close-outs: * ELIJAH MEETS CANDIDATE: 'Ms. Bachmann: My mommy is gay and she doesn't need any fixing.'
Argenta Community Theater will produce "Cabaret" next summer.
How would Arkansas fare in a 16-team college football playoff. An expert offers a bracket.