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December 8, 2005

Vol 3 • No 47

Orval Dec.8

Words Dec. 8

In baseball, the expression tools of ignorance refers to the catcher’s equipment: face mask, chest protector, shin guards, helmet (a fairly recent addition), mitt. The term suggests that catching is a grueling, painful job that a smart player would try to

The mercy rule

Watching the Class AAAAA state high school championship game at War Memorial Stadium last Saturday night, it was hard not to see stark metaphors in the competition. The Bulldogs of increasingly prosperous, mostly-white Springdale crushed the Blue Devi

A vote for the bonds

Next Tuesday Arkansans are to vote on two bond proposals, one about improving our interstate highways and the other to raise money to build more buildings at the state’s colleges to accommodate the increased enrollments. If they are passed, there will be

The week that was Nov. 23-29

IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR … JERMAIN TAYLOR. The Arkansas middleweight boxer defended his world title with a convincing victory over Bernard Hopkins in Las Vegas.

Vote 'no' on highway bonds

Financing government work with bonds is a mystifying process, and bond lawyers and underFrom now on, do you want all your federal and state taxes that are earmarked for repairing the interstate routes to be spent on the highways, or would you prefer to

This Modern World

Updated 12/08/2005

Smart Talk Dec. 8

Our topics: Car insurance rates; Wal-Mart polls its customers; the governor and his state plane.

Merry Xmas, everyone

It is the time of toys for tots and cookie recipes. Ned is monitoring the radar for the white stuff. But it’s not all holly and ivy and Xboxes.

Merit pay expansion?

We apparently haven’t heard the last of “merit pay,” or compensating school teachers based on performance measures, in the Little Rock School District.

The Observer Dec. 8

It’s duck season, yes, but there aren’t enough ducks out there to justify not changing back into your street clothes once in a while. Or at least that was The Observer’s reaction to the Cabot Star Herald’s announcement of the marriage of Richard Dwigh

The bond vote

Why would any government bypass national Election Day and hold a special bond election on Dec. 13? How many costly days of poll workers do we need on subjects not an emergency?

Editorial cartoon Dec. 8


It’s still hard to believe that in this modern world, so full of radar and up-to-the-second forecasts and technology so advanced that it can seem like magic at times, so many died when Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast in late August.

College bonds test liberals

Lots of us have a reflexive need to pull the lever for any proposition to either tax or borrow for education on the premise that even a little good in the pursuit of learning will trump a big potential for waste. What good liberal wants to carry the

Read, Nightflying celebrate silver anniversary with two big parties

Another year has rolled by for Nightflying publisher Peter Read and his subjects, but it’s hardly just any year: It’s Nightflying’s 25th anniversary as the statewide bible of music, and for Read his annual anniversary parties in Northwest and Central Arka

Bond issue dispute

The state Highway and Transportation Department disputes Ernest Dumas’ calculations in last week’s Arkansas Times that the 356 miles of interstates that are being repaired under the 1999 bond program could have been fixed almost as quickly without the bon

Beware of DoG

Back when I was a kid, my grandmother had a succession of tiny dogs — ugly, ill-tempered things given to wheezing and shivering — more rat than canine. They were all, as a rule, named “Diddibiteya” (as in: “What’s his name?” “Why, ‘Diddibiteya?’), which m

No cheese, all joy

Even with a small crowd and with Tony Award-winning tap dancer Savion Glover a no-show after missing his plane from New York, Lawrence Hamilton’s “Great Joy!” Christmas show on Friday was a fantastic two hours.

TV highlights Dec. 9-14

THE SOUP 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9 E! (Comcast Ch. 40) When you get down to it, other than a few moments of bitchiness and/or stupidity every week, reality shows are pretty boring.

‘The Nutcracker’

Ballet Arkansas’s holiday favorite, “The Nutcracker,” returns to the Robinson Center Music Hall’s stage Saturday and Sunday, as the group is joined by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra playing the classic music of Tchaikovsky.

Reno rises from split in Cornerstone

If this were 1895, Louis France and brothers Chris and Mike Kent might have wound up facing down each other at high noon when their partnership in the popular Cornerstone Deli and Pub fell apart earlier this year. As it is, though, the split looks mor


I am upbraided by Perplexed Reader for using an obscure term in the Thanksgiving column without offering a clue as to what it might mean. “I’ve heard Beavis and Butthead call someone they didn’t like an assmunch,” the complaining letter complains, “but wh

T-DROP and roll over

When Danny Knight, 60, resigns his job as superintendent in the Watson Chapel School District on Dec. 1, he plans on rolling over what could be hundreds of thousands of dollars in his T-DROP retirement plan into a tax-deferred, interest-bearing account.

Finger-style guitarist Anderson makes holiday return to Acoustic Sounds

In a show almost as traditional as Christmas itself, lauded finger-style guitarist Muriel Anderson will perform at Acoustic Sounds Cafe on Friday, Dec. 9.

Sports at finest on Saturday

First, the biggest crowd to see a high school football game in Arkansas — at least in modern times and as far as anyone can remember — turned out at War Memorial Stadium on Saturday night to witness Springdale’s convincing 54-20 win over West Memphis for

More picks Dec. 8-17

Grammy Award-winning contemporary Christian music artist Steven Curtis Chapman says that music has always played an important part of the Christmas season, hence his newest album and “The Christmas Tour” that brings him back to Alltel Arena on Wednesday,

What's cooking Dec. 8

Gusano’s Chicago-Style Pizza restaurant on President Clinton Avenue in the River Market district has jazzed up its weekday lunch offerings to feature a $6.49 buffet.

Sci-fi tries

You’ve gotta love movies about future utopias. It says something about us that even when we try to imagine the perfect future, we can’t. Just behind all the white towers and floating cars, there’s always some evil conspiracy, wicked dictator or sinister s

Perfect holiday gift

The Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s production of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” provides the perfect family outing this holiday season.

Art for the blind

Pepper Pepper, owner of Oval Gallery at 201 W. Capitol, used to bawl after every encounter with a blind person — even after buying a Christmas tree from the lot at the School for the Blind. He couldn’t help it.

Broken commitment — how bad?

Wes Clark was explaining why he spoke at a Democratic Party fund-raiser and extolled Mike Beebe for governor while Clark’s former aide, Bill Halter, who was formally exploring running against Beebe, stood in the audience.