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December 17, 2009

Vol 7 • No 49

Still waters

Because he is undoubtedly an artist — and because he also, from time to time, makes Civil War-grade artillery pieces — we’ll just say that The Colonel is a character.

Still illegal

While the law is a bit cloudy on whether it is legal to own a whiskey still as a display or object d’art – they can also be used to distill water, aromatic oils and alcohol for fuel, which makes things even more murky — the law on actually getting down to making some sippin’ whiskey is perfectly clear: Don’t even think about it.

Old fashioned

It’s 5:45 p.m. on a Thursday at the Capital Hotel Bar and Grill and Spencer Jansen is moving fast.

Wine pairing

To say that Clark Trim and Henrick Thostrup know a thing or two about wine would be an understatement.

Whorehouse to pour house

One might assume that by this point in human history, operating a true drinking establishment would be an almost foolproof endeavor.

Raise your glass

It came to us in one of those rare drink-abetted epiphanies that actually hold up the next morning: Why not create a companion poll to our established Readers Choice restaurant contest that celebrates that other culture of consumption?

Old times there ...

Yesterday, I linked Ernest Dumas' current column about Republican senatorial candidate Stanley Reed. It's mostly about the deficit hawk's $5 million (and counting) haul in federal farm subsidies.

VOTE: The best of 2009

AP names Tiger Woods the athlete of the decade. Go ahead, crack wise -- on and off the course.

He knows when you've been bad or good

The Arkansas Freethinkers Society is erecting its court-ordered winter solstice display on the Capitol grounds (Seventh Street side).

Can the UA do that?

This is wild. UPDATE: Or maybe not so.

I forgot to say ...

You're on.

Hogs struggle off the field

During what I tend to consider my lost years, I enrolled as a graduate student at the University of Arkansas.

Dec. 9-15, 2009

It was a GOOD week for: FREETHINKERS. The Arkansas Society of Freethinkers won a federal injunction allowing their winter solstice display on the Capitol grounds, where it will join a Nativity scene allowed by the secretary of state.

This Modern World, Dec. 17

Firing away at Huckabee

It occurred to me midway through Mike Huckabee’s remarks on his infamous commutation of the sentence of the eventual cop-killer.

Dorms at UALR

In reference to Leslie Newell Peacock’s article about UALR’s capital campaign: I believe Charles Hathaway was the incoming chancellor when the first UALR residence hall was built and opened in 1992.

In-kind contribution?

It was a shock to some in the media community when, one week ago, word came that Arkansas News Bureau columnist David Sanders would be going to work as campaign manager for Stanley Reed, the latest Republican challenger to Sen. Blanche Lincoln.

The Dutchess and the Duke

After two sets of understated coffeehouse-caliber strummers, it was a little difficult to keep my head up when Seattle’s The Dutchess and the Duke took the stage.

Message movie

What does an American audience really know about Nelson Mandela?

In Brief, Dec. 17

Three 6 Mafia protegee Lil Wyte (he’s a white guy; get it?) comes to Sticky Fingerz in support of his latest album, “The Bad Influence.”

Blues notes

Five 4-by-5 foot signs marking points on the new Arkansas Heritage Delta Music Trail:

A&E News, Dec. 17

There are two new videos of Little Rocker James Scott Cook and Julian Lennon’s new single, “Lucy” — a music video, shot in New York, and a live performance on CBS’ “The Early Show” from Tuesday.

Smart Talk, Dec. 17

Ben Sessions, a senior at Harvard, was named to the All-Ivy football team as an offensive lineman. Sessions is a 2006 graduate of Pulaski Academy and we take a little pride in his football performance because he was a star earlier in the pages of the Arkansas Times.

What's Cookin', Dec. 17

Diversion has opened at 2611 Kavanaugh Blvd. in the space formerly occupied by Lemon creperie.

Look whose hand is out

More this week on creeping socialism in the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The Observer, Dec. 17

If you’re a longtime reader of The Observer, you know about the one standing holiday tradition in our household: the ceremonial presentation of the Christmas spoon.

Spruce up on Beechwood

The Kroger grocery store at Beechwood and Kavanaugh in Hillcrest will close Jan. 30 for an estimated 36 weeks for a total remodel, store representatives reported at a Hillcrest Residents Association meeting this week.

Freedom for Christmas

Republicans of the Religious Right — which is most Republicans these days — are feeling the sting of ingratitude.

Still alive

A taxonomy of the neighborhood bar, still hanging on.

Fixing Christmas

I like Christmas but there are some problems with it that we need to address.

Words, Dec.17

I had occasion recently to look for information on a former Louisiana congressman. The Yahoo search engine suggested several sources. This was one of the listings:

’Tis the season

Like most professional musicians, Luke Hunsicker doesn’t have health insurance.

Argenta Artwalk

Coming Friday: Sock monkeys and more.

To-Do List, Dec. 17

Cedell Davis, Elise Davis, DAUGHTRY, Holiday Pops, Trans-Siberian Orchesta, Dikki Du and the Zydeco Krewe and Hornucopia are this week's top picks.

Masala mixes it up

Pakistani food differs from Indian food, Masala Grill and Teahouse proprietor Amman Abbasi told us, by favoring grilled meats over rich stews and using fewer spices.

Orval, Dec. 17

Eye On Arkansas, Dec. 17

‘The Nutcracker’

A distinct bonhomie permeated the annual production of “The Nutcracker,” that Little Rock holiday staple for Ballet Arkansas, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and parents hoping to expose their kids to culture that Disney doesn’t control.

LR woman hits Daily Show

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c Obama's Socialist Christmas Ornament Program

Christmas shopping: Arkie angle

Just for fun: A NY Times home and garden feature today is about Kein Cross, a flamboyant New York designer who's turned his Greenwich Village home into a Christmas shopping bazaar.

Life after death for estate tax?

Reports here this morning indicated the estate tax was headed to a one-year suspension next year.

Kill the health bill

Matthew Dowd of Washington Post thinks defeat of the bill would be good politically for Democrats, bad for Republicans.

Thursday To-Do: Luke Hunsicker benefit

Luke's on the far right. Fundraiser for Luke!8:30 p.m., Revolution.

Rx: Toke up

Here's a nice coinicidence to go with our story this week about a legislator's openness to legalizing medical use of marijuana.

Tell us your secrets

Mmmmmm...golden goodness from Georgetown. It's survey time, Arkansas eaters.

Warm Idea.

Nothing makes the season merrier and brighter than the gift of homemade.  Nao over at GreenAR By The Day extolls the virtues of making jam from summer saved strawberries and such for gifting.  That's an idea I can really get behind.  Let's hear it for green giving.

The best Xmas rap ever*

The Dat Heat crew just dropped a free holiday mixtape. Like most mixtapes, it's fairly uneven, but essential downloading if only to get Bware and X2C's "Gift Rapping 2."It's the perfect addition to your Christmas mix.

Bah, humbug. No Festivus pole

Blogger Jason Tolbert got approval from the secretary of state's office to erect a Festivus pole (Seinfeld fans will get it) on the Capitol grounds.

Library tax collection overturned CORRECTION

The Arkansas Supreme Court today overturned Pulaski County's hurried-up collection of a new property tax on Little Rock residents for the Central Arkansas Library System.

True grit -- Blanche Lincoln

Forget Mattie Ross. Former President Bill Clinton, in an e-mail titled "Charm and Grit," implores people on U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln's mailing list to send her money.

Thursday: Lil Wyte, Attractive and Popular, Rookie of the Year, 'The Holiday Harold' and more

Guess who? Three 6 Mafia protegee Lil Wyte (he's a white guy; get it?)

Plug: Art Notes on War Memorial

Playground sex? I'm overdue in pointing towards Leslie Peacock's sharp takedown of the planned War Memorial sculpture garden.

Watch: Kris Allen and his Christmas sweater on 'Letterman'

Not digging the lead guitar arrangement.

Mafia tentacles in Arkansas

Holy ravioli. George Thompson of Cabot -- accused of bookmaking, drug dealing, immigration violations and illegal gun dealing in federal indictments that also implicated North Little Rock aldermen Cary Gaines and Sam Baggett -- moves in really fast company.

Be there in spirit

If you can't be at the big Hunsicker fundraiser tonight, but want to donate. Here's a link to a still active PayPal account.

Open line -- and secret eats

Gotta go. It's the neighborhood Christmas lights bus tour tonight and I have to roast some pecans first.

For jocks only -- and Tiger addicts

One of Tiger Woods' latest problems is having his name linked with a doctor suspected of dispensing performance-enhancing drugs.

Marijuana for medicine

State Sen. Randy Laverty of Jasper says that after the news media reported last month on his proposal to legalize medical marijuana, he got more response than on any issue he’d been associated with in his 15 years as a legislator — telephone calls, e-mails and personal contact.

Living legend

Life hasn't been easy for CeDell Davis. But Arkansas's greatest living blues man abides.

Holiday blend

Take equal parts arena rock and classical, fuse with Christmas carols and serve rock opera style. Then sprinkle with violins, 14 vocalists, two narrators, state-of-the-art pyro and lasers and you've about got it.

Kenneth Starr revisited

Ken Gormley, a Pittsburgh law professor, has been laboring for years on a book about Kenneth Starr's Javert-like pursuit of then-President Bill Clinton.

Estate tax: Not dead yet

The New York Times today examines further whether Congress will act to retroactively revive the estate tax in 2010, when it currently will expire.

Crank up Der Bingle

10-day forecast says snow showers in LR Christmas Eve. Not likely to amount to much, though, with a high of 42 Christmas day.

Employment improving

Arkansas's unemployment rate improved from October to November, from 7.6 to 7.4 percent. Still a good bit higher than the percentage a year earlier, 5.5.

Pulaski school boss' defense

Pulaski County School Board President Tim Clark has distributed a letter to district parents defending the effort he led to end recognition of the Pulaski Association of Classroom Teachers and to criticize the union for going to court against the school district.

Weekend To-Do: Holiday Pops

Ted Ludwig. HOLIDAY POPS8 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall.

Friday To-Do: CeDell Davis

CEDELL DAVIS9:30 p.m., White Water Tavern. $10.Life hasn't been easy for CeDell Davis.

Legislature spits on free speech

The Freethinkers' display went up on Wednesday No, of course the Arkansas legislature doesn't get it.

Friday To-Do: Elise Davis

Photo by JM Liles. ELISE DAVIS10 p.m., Juanita's.

Friday To-Do: Daughtry

DAUGHTRY7:30 p.m., Verizon Arena. $31.25-$41.25.Just in case there's any confusion, Daughtry is not just the last name of “American Idol” season five vet Chris Daughtry, it's also the name of Daughtry's band.

Stanley Reed exits Senate race

Stanley Reed, who announced his candidacy just eight days ago, has announced he is withdrawing from the U.S. Senate race against Blanche Lincoln.  Health reasons, a press release says.  His departure narrows the Republican field down to about 19 (well, OK, seven have announced and an eighth, Jim Holt, is making a lot of noise).  One question is what Reed's campaign manager, former Arkansas News Bureau columnist David Sanders will do now.  Sanders resigned from ANB on Dec. 10.  Before I could even post this entry, Sanders replies by email and says simply, "We'll see."

Family Dining.

Have you ever driven an hour or so for a good meal? I'm not talking about for a night away somewhere or even just stopping by a favorite spot when in a certain town.

Family Dining.

Have you ever driven an hour or so for a good meal? I'm not talking about for a night away somewhere or even just stopping by a favorite spot when in a certain town.

Union steps up for Halter

A new post on Daily Kos says the Service Employees International Union is prepared to help Lt. Gov. Bill Halter pay off debt remaining (mostly personal debt) from his 2006 race for his current office.

The Weekend: Cool Shoes, Bonnie Montgomery and Mandy McBryde, Bear Colony, Whale Fire, Big Smith, Nik and Sam and more

FRIDAY 12/18Cool Shoes co-founder TJ Deeter (left) bids the dance party farewell at Downtown Music.

Saturday To-Do: Dikki Du and the Zydeco Krewe

DIKKI DU AND THE ZYDECO KREWE9:30 p.m., White Water Tavern. $7.How's this for high praise?

Saturday To-Do: Trans-Siberian Orchestra

TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA3 p.m. and 8 p.m., Verizon Arena. $25-$62.75.I swear, one day, ethnomusicologists will have a field day looking back at Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

The Age of Reason

Liberals aren't happy with President Obama (not to mention many members of Congress). So count blessings where we can.

Early departure

You all will have to take over. The company Christmas party is tonight and setup has begun.

Lil Wayne to celebrate New Year in NLR

Yep. After canceling a scheduled March gig at Verizon due to "scheduling conflicts," Lil Wayne's back on the books at Verizon.

Holiday blend

take equal parts arena rock and classical, fuse with Christmas carols and serve rock opera style. Then sprinkle with violins, 14 vocalists, two narrators, state-of-the-art pyro and lasers and you've about got the essence of Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Arkansas Baptist gets gift

My early departure yesterday meant I missed some news worth noting. Among the items was a $500,000 gift to Arkansas Baptist College, Fitz Hill's miracle on ML King Drive, from an anonymous Little Rock businessman.

Another e-mail lesson NIMROD UPDATE

The state Ethics Commission yesterday properly dismissed a complaint against a public radio newsman at ASU who'd mistakenly sent an e-mail intended for someone else to the campaign of Conrad Reynolds.

Arkie of the decade

Inspired by some recent national lists, John Brummett sets out to identify the Top 10 Arkies of the Decade.

Do you know what it means?

Do you love New Orleans? Even if they're not your team, can you imagine the joy the undefeated Saints are bringing to a rebuilding city that still has many miles to go?

Hold the phone

Sen. Blanche Lincoln sent out a news alert last week about problems with Senate phone lines that seemed to be interfering with call reception.

Health bill has 60 votes

Payola and an abortion amendment for Sen. Ben Nelson apparently have provided the crucial vote for passsage of a Senate health bill.

Need a blank slate?

Here you go. NOTED: Among other topics, some of us old heads are talking about UA and Fayetteville and Dickson Street memories from days of yore.

Need a blank slate?

Here you go. NOTED: Among other topics, some of us old heads are talking about UA and Fayetteville and Dickson Street memories from days of yore.

Masala mixes it up

The menu of the new Pakistani fusion restaurant off Rodney Parham has broad appeal.

Arkansas idols: Blanche?

The New York Times today warmly mentions a debut album by Arkansas country singer Justin Moore. This reminds me: When we invited votes on the Arkansan of the Year last week, among the 225 or so votes was one for Moore.

And speaking of false idols

Frank Rich tabs Tiger Woods as the man of the decade for his embodiment of so many other cons and sucker plays -- Enron, reality TV, Bernie Madoff, weapons of mass destruction, etc. His kicker is worth considering:

Narrowing the teacher pay gap: addenda

An article in the Democrat-Gazette today (sub. reqd.)

Mike Huckabee will say anything

Have demagoguic tongue, will travel. Mike Huckabee jetted into Omaha today to whip up a small crowd furious that Sen. Ben Nelson has provided the super-majority necessary to pass a tentative start at health care reform.

Open line

Here's another.

Baking Down to the Deadline.

As you might suspect, I've been in the kitchen again, making Banana Nut Bread. This year I'll bake up three dozen loaves of the family favorite, along with carrot bread and apple bread and whatever else I end up getting a wild hair to make.

Still waters

A whiskey still maker talks copper, spirits and the law.

Health bill moves forward

The Senate passed the first procedural vote on the health bill early this morning, 60-40.

Huckabee in the spotlight

Mike Huckabee, Fox and radio show host, gets a friendly feature today from Howard Kurtz in the Washington Post.

Merry solstice

It's winter solstice today. And the Arkansas Freethinkers Society has a celebration planned by its new Capitol display at 9:30 p.m. today.

Turn the channel on Obama

I don't know Drew Westen, an Emory U. prof. who writes for Huffington Post, but I agree with Norma Bates that his scathing putdown of President Obama -- on leadership, his alienation of voters on the left and in the middle, his failure to deliver, his sellout to pro-lifers and insurance companies, etc. -- is a primal scream.

Bud Canada dies at 84

Retired Sen. Bud Canada of Hot Springs, a former Garland County sheriff and Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame member for his Razorback days, died this morning at 84.

A day of reckoning for lying Repubs?

When it turns out there are no death panels, when there is no bureaucrat between you and your doctor, when the ways your health care changes seem like a good deal to you, and a pretty smart idea, when the American public sees the discrepancy between what really is, and what they were told by the Republicans, there will be a reckoning.

Review: DAUGHTRY

DAUGHTRYDec. 18, Verizon ArenaChris Daughtry has been a much bigger winner than almost all of the real winners of “American Idol.” The fourth-place finisher in the show’s 2006 season – Taylor Hicks?

How religious are we?

It's Arkansas, a place where a judge's ruling that a freethinkers' display must be allowed alongside a Nativity scene at the Capitol sparked an instant legislative protest.

Kings of karaoke

It sounds like The Buzz had some fun Saturday night with their Christmas karaoke before a packed house at Wildwood Park. They're planning to sell a disc of the night's entertainment for Youth Home and I'm still hoping for a few clips to share.

Told you so

As expected, the Republicans, while moaning about the cost of health care reform,  ALSO are blasting Blanche Lincoln for failing to put some more pork in the bill for Arkansas.

Inmates, take over

It's that happy time. Kid No. 1 arrives at the airport shortly.  No. 2 coming Wednesday.

Marijuana for medicine

State Sen. Randy Laverty of Jasper says that after the news media reported last month on his proposal to legalize medical marijuana, he got more response than on any issue he'd been associated with in his 15 years as a legislator. “And it was all positive. That never happens.”

Blanche Lincoln: survivor?

John Brummett advances the theme suggested here yesterday -- that Sen. Blanche Lincoln comes out of the health care debate with a record of moderation and some achievement, perhaps sufficient to help her survive an election challenge next year.

Correction: A dagger for Huckabee

An item yesterday said incorrectly that an asterisk indicated there'd been bulk buying of Mike Huckabee's latest, a volume of Christmas memories.

Now it's abortion

All predict abortion could be the most difficult obstacle in final approval of health care reform legislation.

My vote: J. Fred Muggs

The Little Rozk Zoo's baby chimp has been named Kendi, said to be a word in an African dialect for "loved one."

Crying over spilled milk

New national poll: A majority doesn't like the health care bill. Majorities DO like 1) a public option 2) Medicare buy-in.

The Clinton hit list

Crime news out of Baxter County yesterday is worth repeating because of a relationship to the Clinton Chronicles, Clinton death lists and other fanciful right-wing efforts back in the day to bring down President Bill Clinton with any lie at hand, no matter how bodacious.

607, Piph, others kill it in the cypher

Really promising new series. Make sure you stick around in this first one for 607 at the end.

New chair at Cranford

David Martin, CEO of the Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods, has also been named chairman of the ad/pr firm's board of directors and chair of its executive committee.

Good riddance

Freshman U.S. Rep. Parker Griffith, a DINO from Alabama, is jumping to his natural home in the Republican Party.

Central's new coach UPDATE

The search for a Central High football coach to succeed Bernie Cox is over. After talking to a current assistant and a coach at Helena-West Helena, among others, Little Rock school oficials settled on Ellis "Scooter" Register,  head coach at Little Rock Catholic, for the coaching job.

Central's new coach UPDATE

The search for a Central High football coach to succeed Bernie Cox is over. After talking to a current assistant and a coach at Helena-West Helena, among others, Little Rock school oficials settled on Ellis "Scooter" Register,  head coach at Little Rock Catholic, for the coaching job.

Q: What's good about the health bill?

A: Plenty, though between the wackjobs on the right and the perfectionists on the left you don't hear much about it.

New division chief at DHS -- UPDATE

The former head of Iowa's Medicaid program has been hired to head Arkansas's Division of Medical Services in DHS.

To-Do: Tuesday

Jonathan Wilkins makes an appearance at White Water Tavern, playing with his band, the Reparations.  Magic Hassle open.

Mallett looks at NFL

As expected, Razorback quarterback Ryan Mallett is going to get a read on how he might fare should he decide to enter the NFL draft.

Fire at ROTC

Given the enthusiasm for our Dickson Street thread the other night, I probabnly should mention news about a former Dickson mainstay now relocated.

Still Cooking... Cookies.

Just a few days until Christmas, and what do you know... still no icicles and still no snow.  But the relations are coming home and friends keep dropping by.  A pretty good time to give cookies a try.

Open line

Over to you. But let me first add another in a periodic series of rants about Little Rock's eternally disappointing garbage pickup service.

MERRY CHRISTMAS RAZORBABIES!

  Though not a virgin, I play one in this year’s Nativity pageant at my niece’s school.

Tis the season

'Tis the season for old school local rockers to dust off their instruments for a good cause. Hornucopia returns on Christmas Eve Eve to raise money for Play It Again, Arkansas, a non-profit established to provide instruments to students whose families can't afford them.

For your amusement

The Christmas slowdown has begun. So, for diversion, an extensive Washington Post article on the White House gatecrashers.

New at the Times

Since routines will likely be disrupted this week by Christmas, we've posted the Dec. 24 issue of the Times early.

New at the Times

Since routines will likely be disrupted this week by Christmas, we've posted the Dec. 24 issue of the Times early.

Brooksie bronzed

Little Rock native Brooks Robinson, the Hall of Fame third baseman, is going to be memorialized at Baltimore's Camden Yards ballpark by a $500,000 larger-than-life-sized bronze statue.

Jim Holt for Senate

Jim Holt's Facebook page now clearly says his scheduled Dec. 29 fund-raisers are for a race for U.S. Senate.

Turrell police chief charged

Prosecuting Attorney Mike Walden of Jonesboro confirms that one of his deputies issued an aggravated assault warrant Tuesday against Turrell Police chief Greg Martin.

Toys for Tots for local jams

Who can't use another Xmas mix in the rotation? That and a last-minute drive to raise money for Toys for Tots inspired this mostly local collection of folks to contribute tracks to this mix.

2009 Rewind: Z for Zii-D

ZII It’s his spot to lose. Last year, we celebrated the sometimes-Little Rock-based rapper pretty much just for being awesome.

2009 Rewind: Y for Yearlies

The Rock Candy 500. Photo by Patrick Jones.

NLR has a candidate

Bill Yeates, who owns My Friend's Place tavern in North Little Rock and has worked to build a vets memorial there, has sent an e-mail announcing he's filed paperwork to be considered for appointemnt to the Ward 3 alderman left vacant by the resignation of the indicted Cary Gaines.

Huckabee angle in party switch

There's a good Mike Huckabee angle in the story about U.S. Rep. Parker Griffith, who announced this week that he was leaving the Democratic Party for his natural home among Alabama Republicans.

2009 Rewind: X for Xmas

XMAS The Dat Heat crew dropped a free holiday mixtape two weeks before Christmas. It’s essential downloading if only to get Bware and X2C's "Gift Rapping 2" — a perfect addition to any Christmas mix.

2009 Rewind: W for Wakarusa

WAKARUSA After five years outside of Lawrence, Kan., the annual music and camping festival Wakarusa decamped for Mulberry Mountain, just north of Ozark, in June.

2009 Rewind: V for Velvet Kente

VELVET KENTE The local quartet infused the scene with a welcome burst of something-completely-different on its way to winning the 2009 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase.

Dustin?

Seven Republican attorney generals are probing whether the sweetheart deal with Sen. Ben Nelson to fully fund Medicaid expansion in Nebraska is constitutional.

2009 Rewind: U for Unlikely Combos

UNLIKELY COMBOS Note to local musicians: Playing guitar in the Moving Front might be the ticket to the next level.

2009 Rewind: T for 'True Blood'

Witchy woman. “TRUE BLOOD” Last year, we stuck with the HBO series out of habit.

I vote hoax, but ....

I've finally found a clip on the C-SPAN caller who seemed to begin sobbing because he feared that his teabagger prayer group's appeals that Sen. Robert Byrd would die or otherwise be too ill to vote on health legislation might have accidentally felled Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma instead.

2009 Rewind: S for Six-O-Seven

SIX-O-SEVEN In 2009, Little Rock’s greatest rapper ripped it on a half a dozen remixes of songs by blog-approved acts like Crookers and Royksopp; appeared on a panel with music industry bigwigs at Harvard Law School's Black Law Student Association's spring conference; guest-starred in a Russian rap video (in Russia); taught himself how to play the cello and released a new album (in a collaboration with his brother, under the name Ear Fear).

2009 Rewind: R for RIP

Jim Dickinson. RIP Gone but not forgotten: Little Rock native and famed musician and producer Jim Dickinson, known for his work with everyone from Aretha Franklin to the Replacements to the Rolling Stones.

2009 Rewind: Q for Quotes

Insane Clown Posse. QUOTES A few favorites from the year: “I am a Juggalette And a Nurse..

2009 Rewind: P for Podcasts

PODCASTS So what if podcasts get less attention these days in the wake of Twitter and Tumblr and videocasts?

2009 Rewind: O for Odds and Ends

ODDS AND ENDS Because 24 letters isn’t enough. Guitar hero Bill Frisell released an album inspired by the photos of Heber Springs’ Mike Disfarmer.

2009 Rewind: N for Nate Powell

NATE POWELL Last year, in this rundown, I sang the praises of Nate Powell’s luminous graphic novel “Swallow Me Whole.” This year, everyone else did.

2009 Rewind: M for Moonlight Cruises

MOONLIGHT CRUISES The best new venue of the year in Central Arkansas floats. Thanks to the initiative of young Capt. Justin Edge, the Arkansas Queen hosted a fantastic series of nighttime riverboat cruises in late summer and early fall.

2009 Rewind: L for Lucero

LUCERO The Memphis band, which just about makes Little Rock its second home, released its major label debut, a horn-fueled ode to Memphis traditions that sounds as rowdy as usual, and launched a large tour.

Arkie buys newspaper archive

John Rogers, the North Little Rock sports memorabilia dealer, has made another big purchase. Chicago Tribune reports that he's purchased the Chicago Sun-Times photo archives for "several million in cash and services."

2009 Rewind: K for Kris Allen

KRIS ALLEN You’d be hard pressed to name anyone else in the country to rival Kris Allen’s precipitous rise in 2009.

2009 Rewind: J for Jukebox Musicals

Jessica Welch starred at the Rep. JUKEBOX MUSICALS The Rep’s “Looking Over the President’s Shoulder,” a one-man show starring Lawrence Hamilton, starred in my year at the theater.

2009 Rewind: I for Inspired Booking

INSPIRED BOOKING In a great year for live music in Central Arkansas, Chris King, co-owner of Revolution and Sticky Fingerz, gets the blue ribbon.

2009 Rewind: H for Hot Springs Film Cutlure

HOT SPRINGS FILM CULTURE Long the documentary capital of the South (and maybe beyond), Hot Springs broadened its rep even further this year, thanks in large part to new Documentary Film Institute Program Director Dan Anderson.

2009 Rewind: G for Gossip

Lagerfeld and Ditto. GOSSIP Speaking of fashion, Judsonia’s Beth Ditto, who’s barely 5 feet tall and weighs more than 200 pounds, was an unlikely It girl, sporting couture all over the world, designing a clothing line for the British retailer Evans and mugging with Karl Lagerfeld at the Paris Fashion Week.

2009 Rewind: F for Fashion

FASHION We’re on our way to a show for every season. The Designers Choice Preview returned in March for a second year at the Metroplex.

2009 Rewind: E for Egypt

EGYPT The much anticipated “World of the Pharaohs: Treasures of Egypt,” which cost nearly $2 million dollars and spans 3,000 years, lived up to its hype at the Arts Center.

Simes' judicial seat filled

Gov. Mike Beebe today appointed retired Judge Harvey Yates of Helena-West Helena to serve in place of Circuit Judge L.T. Simes, who was suspended from the bench by the state Supreme Court for an ethics violation -- practicing law while a judge.

2009 Rewind: D for Dance Music

DANCE MUSIC You can’t say that Little Rock’s been a wasteland for those looking to get down — local promoters and DJ crews have kept the rave kids sated for years and Discovery, the Saturday late-night dance spot, turned 30 (!)

2009 Rewind: C for Comedy

COMEDY Four of comedy’s biggest names made stops in Central Arkansas this year. Age and experience hadn’t changed Jerry Seinfeld and Robin Williams, who came to Robinson and Verizon, respectively.

2009 Rewind: B for Billys

BILLYS Big, mostly bad, year for Billys — especially Billys with compound first names — in or from Arkansas.

2009 Rewind: A for Arkansas Music

ARKANSAS MUSIC It was a banner year for Arkansas music, as a number of these entries will hopefully demonstrate.

Verizon fails to block hire

Federal Judge Jim Moody today refused to issue a temporary restraining order to prevent a former Alltel exec, Lewis Langston, from going to work for the new Allied Wireless operation in Little Rock.

A Secret No More.

Tis the season... for pointing out some of our great local food bloggers. Such as Sunshine over at Make Life Delicious - not just a fantastic food blog full of recipes, but also a neat person to follow on Twitter.
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