New Heifer head knows business, but is all about the mission.
Vol 37 • No 16
A down year, again, but fund-raisers hopeful for turnaround.
Hats off to Walton, Reynolds foundations.
What they're worth, what they've given.
I thought it was hard to find a place to eat on Thanksgiving… but I was wrong.
Wednesday brings caroling to the Capitol Hotel, Adam Faucett to Maxine's and a Frown Pow'r holiday bender to White Water Tavern.
Fox 16 reports a worker was killed last night by falling pipe at the Welspun factory on Frazier Pike.
Don't get on the lawns of John McCain or Lindsey Graham. They'll really be pissed now.
We experienced a server attack today that interrupted service. I think we're OK now.
An election year mystery lingers. Who is Arkansans for Common Sense?
I'm in a hurry to go home for the ceremonial playing of Charles Brown's enduring "Please Come Home for Christmas."
Good week: equality, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, Cliff Lee. Bad week: Little Rock Airport Commission, Sam Baggett, Rep. John Boozman.
A year of pop culture in Arkansas.
The Big Cats, Hornucopia 2010, Nightflying 30th Anniversary, Smoke Up Johnny, The Body.
It's made in Berryville.
Starting adjusting your internal calendars, readers. Beginning the second week of January, the Times will become a Wednesday paper.
'Toys Designed by Artists' a great go-before.
Nothing makes a greedy conservative madder than seeing a bus go by with only one or two people aboard. It is the nature of running a scheduled bus service. You must run buses on a regular schedule all day, lest people never ride them at all.
Republican pizza mogul Mark Darr got elected lieutenant governor by vowing to rise in the state's behalf against President Obama's liberal doings. That was tall talk from a candidate for a ceremonial part-time office that exists only because the governor might become incapacitated for some reason.
Unpretentious Riverfront Steakhouse keeps up quality.
Rockst*r Jones at Ernie Biggs, The Back Pockets at ACAC, The Young Maths and Androids of Ex-Lovers at Revolution, Cody Ives Band at Stickyz
The big Republican health-insurance victory in a Virginia federal court last week either brought the party home to its roots or illustrated its dual-personality disorder. Take your pick.
On a rare visit to Republican state headquarters last month, we saw a picture of Herbert Hoover on the wall but none of Abraham Lincoln. This is the sort of thing that scares you about Republicans.
After attempting to get better accounting from the Chamber, it refused to provide anything more than pro forma budgets of its economic development effort, which cost about $823,000 in 2009.
Achievement of the right to what were called civil rights by black Americans did not signal the end of the struggle.
It is The Observer's opinion that working women should get December off. Not to cast too wide a net here, it's not their menfolk who are sitting up until midnight needlepointing the stockings, knitting the scarves, sitting on a cold floor wrapping gifts.
U.S. Rep. John Boozman is continuing to take paid leave from his duties as a public servant but plans to start working again next year.
I'm reminded by a couple of things — the seasonal attention to Eb Scrooge, and the grousing over extending the Bush tax cuts for jillionaires — that we should be more appreciative of our rich people.
A Boy Named Sooie's gift roundup includes "Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend," "Forty Minutes of Hell: The Extraordinary Life of Nolan Richardson," "Free Darko Presents: The Undisputed Guide to Basketball History" and more.
Bejabbers and bejesus are interchangeable, it appears. As nouns, both mean "dickens, devil": The Chamber of Commerce wants to work the bejabbers/bejesus out of poor people, and cut off their health benefits too.
A new El Porton opened recently at 5507 Ranch Drive, off Cantrell Road. It's the third Central Arkansas location for the chain.
'Hornucopia 2010,' the annual instrument drive for Play It Again Arkansas, gears up for another installment at Juanita's, offering music from Shannon Boshears Band, Crisis and more.
The Big Cats annual holiday show returns for its 18th (or so) year tonight at White Water Tavern.
It will be a slow day, I'm guessing, so it's a good time to share a link to the Huffington Post where Lee Jefferson, a former Little Rock resident who now teaches religion at Centre College in Kentucky, has written a thoughtful essay on a decision in Kentucky to give state aid to a Bible-based theme park (with a religious employment test) that's the work of the same people who established the Creation Museum.
Nate Silver does some analysis of new Census numbers and impact on allotment of electoral votes.
Readers yesterday raised questions about safety practices at Welspun, the tube factory near the Little Rock Port whose arrival in Little Rock has been a jewel in the crown of local industrial development.
The New York Times has a weekly feature comparing homes for sale around the country at the same price point.
The most recent Pulaski forecast includes the possibility of sleet and light snow after midnight Christmas Eve, but no snow accumulation.
Keep an eye on Hot Springs and Garland County, where a potent (some might say toxic) mix of Tea Party and Religious Right Republican politics now controls many of the the levers of local government.
Nothing says it’s time for a burger like sitting in a 60s style dive listening to Elvis and The Four Tops.
Making my last-minute shopping rounds today I gather the sports world is abuzz over the decision to allow Ohio State players to participate in the Sugar Bowl against Arkansas despite having sold some gifts and uniforms. Let them play.
Vampires were so 2009. For better or worse, America's flirtation with zombies has burst into a full-blown obsession with the reanimated dead.
This year had more great concerts than our amp-addled heads can recall.
Maybe "X-rated" only if you run with the Family Council. Instead, we'll suggest "titillating" to describe the Pretty Things Peep Show, which came to Revolution twice in 2010.
The year's biggest concert wasn't billed as a concert at all. Instead, "Voices for Justice" was a rally to support the West Memphis 3.
We try not to give in to the picture of the small-town hayseed, slack-jawing at the big-city others strolling into town, but this year tested our steel.
Keef remembers Fordyce
As Times contributor Werner Trieschmann pointed out in his review of "Wicked," this year, "the idea that Arkansans can only see great shows by hopping on a plane to New York City ... took a big hit."
A close second for our local song of the year, this effervescent single from Greers Ferry is the only song the new yacht-rock-geared local super group (featuring members of Big Silver, The Easys, The Good Fear and The Salty Dogs) released this year.
Little Rock bands can be a fickle bunch, disbanding and reuniting at string-shredding speed, but 2010 saw two of our town's most beloved bands reform.
Ubiquitous last year, Arkansas's most famous pop stars continued to give amazing quotes to the national press.
It was a big year for a novelist who hasn't put out a book in 20 years.
The opera world focused its attention on Central Arkansas when Bonnie Montgomery and Britt Barber staged a well-received workshop debut of their long-anticipated folk opera, "Billy Blythe," this November.
Wherein, we stick odds and ends.
Yes, pageants are tired and vapid. But let's forget that next year. Because Fort Smith native Alyse Eady, crowned Miss Arkansas last July, is surely the best contender our state's sent to the Miss America Pageant since, well, ever.
It's hard to think of a more beloved figure in the Little Rock arts world than Luke Hunsicker, who passed away this year at age 29, after a long battle with brain cancer.
The Biscuit's back, y'all.
Even seven years after his death, Dyess' favorite son is still making headlines, with his induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame; the release of his final collaboration with Rick Rubin in February to unsurprisingly near-universal acclaim; Grammy recognition for the crowd-sourced, eerily animated video for "Ain't No Grave" (available at thejohnnycashproject.com), and with the famous jumpsuit he wore while recording "Live at San Quentin" auctioned off for $50,000 — over 10 times its original projected price.
Alexander stood out this year when "See Thru Me," a soft-spoken album he released in 2007 to fervent acclaim in small circles, landed in our Greatest Arkansas Albums poll, sitting right alongside Louis Jordan and Al Green as a contemporary spoiler of the highest degree.
This year, Hendrix might've been Central Arkansas's hippest venue.
RIP Lisa Blount, Herb Ellis, Dale Hawkins, Luke Hunsicker, Calvin Leavy, Charles B. Pierce
Arkansas is on the ascent as an unexpected, Southern mecca for movie appreciation.
"Trouble," the highlight of Elise Davis' new album, "The Same Vein," is our favorite song to come out of Little Rock all year.
Also known as "bro-tats," this local tattoo phenomenon picked up steam in 2010 as more and more local musicians got tattooed variations of Thick Syrup Records head honcho Travis McElroy's bearded silhouette.
This year, when it came to contemporary country, you'd think we were Nashville for the concerts we got.
"You'll know him when you see him." In some Little Rock music circles, it's a bit of a joke about Andy Warr, the giant, neckbearded young rocker who toes that line between backwoods Syd Barrett and a "foretold" musical Moses for the Little Rock Sound.
Local filmmaker Daniel Campbell, 29, proved Arkansas-made film is in good hands with his deadpan, quirk-fueled "Antiquities."
Televangelist Pat Robertson says it's time to legalize marijuana. Swear.
On the off chance you don't scroll on down the page on a regular basis, I'd encourage you scroll on down to Rock Candy, where John Tarpley and Lindsey Millar have reviewed the Arkansas year in culture from A to Z. The back-to-back photos of Charles Portis (under P) and Beth Ditto (under Q for her quotability) are a study in Arkansas cultural contrasts for sure.
Comments welcome. Calls to make, so I'm off.
The history of chocolate and candy in the state of Arkansas really starts with one man — Martin L. Greer.
The Welspun pipe factory in Little Rock, where a worker was killed and another was injured this week, has been the subject of controversy before.
The Democrats didn't win all the final rounds of congressional action. The Republicans declared an embargo on judicial nominations until the new Congress, no matter how non-controversial the nominee was.
If you watch Fox News or similar, you probably believe government employment has been exploding.
A reader sends another news article from Kentucky about developers of the creationism theme park— truly a Six Flags Over Jesus concept — seeking still more government support in Kentucky, this time for a freeway interchange.
Christmas Eve afternoon nears, a wonderful time when the world — and typewriers and keyboards — falls silent and families gather.
The customary call to the Christmas Eve open line is a reference to my favorite Christmas book.
I can't recall what I asked the Muller's Department Store Santa for back in 1953 or so, a wagon maybe.
The fresh blood new Republican majority in the House will come to office just like hacks of old — with hands out for cash.
The news of a slow post-Christmas Day has to be the New York Times report on revival of end-of-life medical planning by the Obama administration — through regulation rather than legislation.
How rich is it that oil heir Madison Murphy, a long-time leader of the starve-government movement, finds as a state highway commissioner that the state Highway and Transportation Department doesn't have A SINGLE STATE CAR too many for its administrative staff and office workers.
The e-mail today brings a link to a cautionary tale from the state of Washington.
Arrived home from lunch today at Little Rock's finest taco truck (Taqueria Samantha No. 2 — recommend the burrito pastor with everything) to find four deer grazing across the street from our house in Hillcrest.
Hunka Pie begins serving its regular winter menu come Tuesday. Likely inspired by the location (the former location of The Hop on Cantrell Road), Hunka Pie will serve up burgers and onion rings... but don't worry, the Naanwich will be back.
Did Jon Stewart's advocacy break the Republican filibuster against the legislation to help 9/11 responders?
Higher taxes, tough anti-smoking ads and a tougher ban on indoor cigarette smoking (no bar exceptions, for example) have produced results in California, where the smoking rate is far lower than that in the rest of the country.
AP's Andrew DeMillo wrote a column this week featuring Sheffield Nelson's fight with the Game and Fish Commission and his advocacy for a higher gas severance tax (Ernie Dumas has a cover story on this subject for us Jan. 13).
Rosalia’s Family Bakery is now open next door to sister-restaurant Cafe Bossa Nova in a space that formerly housed Movie Gallery.
Masala Grill and Teahouse plans to reopen with regular hours in mid-January.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today upheld a lower court's injunction that prevented Fayetteville from regulating the Rogers Group's limestone quarry near the city limits.
Jim Hopkins, a former Arkansas Gazette business editor and former USA Today business reporter, now runs a blog that keeps up with the (plummeting) fortunes of the Gannett Corporation.
So says the Arkansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty. Even Texas killed fewer people in 2010.
Ernest Dumas has written several times on Republican hypocrisy on the individual mandate in the Obama administration health legislation.
Rob Moritz at Stephens Media has rounded up some of the events that will be part of the Arkansas observation of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
How the pillar was painted.
I guess I didn't get the memo that today was functionally another holiday. Not much happening in our corner of the world.
The barroom rock royalty of Smoke Up Johnny hangs up their hat for the last time tonight at White Water Tavern.
Florida tax fugitive Mike Huckabee is at it again. He's the pitchman on a TV ad for a putative campaign to repeal health care reform.
So what if Congress ends earmarks.? There are still lettermarks and phonemarks, among the many ways members of Congress — including the outspoken Tea Party types — work to send lard home to their constituents.
Environmentalist Shawn Porter contends that the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission rule on disclosure of chemicals used in fracking to tap gas deposits in the Fayetteville shale isn't sufficiently transparent.
Add columnist John Brummett to those skeptical of Highway Commission Chairman Madison Murphy's assertion that every single one of the Highway Department's state car fleet for administrators is a necessity.
Todd Rudisill has started a blog called Luv Me Tenders - a food review blog dedicated to chicken tenders and French fries — and that's all.
Answer to the question: No, if the deficits are caused by tax cuts. New rules in the works for the Republican majority in the House would ban new spending that increases the deficit but not new tax cuts that increase the deficit.
After an influence-peddling scandal involving bingo operators, the Alabama legislature adopted a number of pieces of ethics legislation.
The Aerospace Education Center is closing effective Jan. 1. A news release explains how the loss of a key tenant, lack of public support and other financial reasons dictated the decision.
I reached Dick Holbert at Central Flying about news of the Aerospace Center’s demise. Holbert was a driving force in creation of the center and still a member of the board of the Arkansas Aviation Historical Society that operates the center.
A group that advocates legalizing medical marijuana will bring exhibits and advocates to the state Capitol Jan. 12-13 to educate legislators and others on the cause.
Jason Tolbert reports a fire at Shorty Small's in WLR and Fire Department on the scene.
Mountain Home-born poet C.D. Wright's new book, "One with Others" gets the feature review spot in this week's New Yorker (you have to be a subscriber to read the whole thing).
The right-wingers are working on a new script — President Obama wants to give the US of A back to the Indians.
Fayetteville Underground to open new shows.
Another slow one here. * You might check out Leslie Peacock's Eye Candy, where she's posted video on a public art project painted on the old suspension bridge foundation deep in Allsopp Park.
The Arkansas Lottery says a Mega Millions ticket sold at the Superstop on Crystal Hill Road was a $1 million winner in last night's drawing.
Blog regular Elwood leads the letters page in the Democrat-Gazette today with a modest little idea on prisons — assess a local charge for the cost of every prisoner sent to state prison.
For a slow day, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette delved into Census findings that seven Arkansas counties are made up of a majority of people not born in Arkansas — Benton, Carroll, Marion, Baxter, Fulton, Little River and Miller.
A couple of Twitters this morning make it sound like members of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System still haven't gotten the news about retiring and going back to work for another agency covered by the ATRS system.
You might have noticed a squib in today's paper about the female Dallas preacher arrested after being seen leaving the home of a member of her congregation with a couple of fur coats and a laptop.
You may have read that Little Rock City Director Erma Hendrix wants a raise in directors' $12,000 annual pay.
In January, one of our cover stories will be our annual Arkansan of the Year feature.
Fox and Republicans (but I repeat myself) are indeed churning up the death panel talk as expected, along with "rationing."
Ohio blues-rocking Patrick Sweaney raves on at White Water Tavern this Thursday night.
Thursday night brings Americana from Cindy Woolf, garage rock from Magic Hassle and an unexpected, cool collaboration between Brian Frazier and Androids of Ex-Lovers.
Local emcee Osyrus Bolly hosts a muscled line-up of local hip-hop from EarFear, Goines, Epiphany, Southwest Boaz, Velvet Kente and more at Mediums Art Lounge.
Brother Andy Warr pulls triple-time during "S.I.N. Sundays" at Ernie Biggs when he plays with three of his bands: Sweet Eagle, Iron Tongue and Brother Andy and His Big Damn Mouth