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December 28, 2006

Vol 4 • No 50

Eddie Sutton at 70

A good feature in today's NY Times on former Hog basketball coach Eddie Sutton and his struggle with alcoholism.

New reading

Make this an open line. But note that this week's Arkansas Times is now on the web and you can click to any of the features I'll mention on the left rail.

It's all good, man

We must maintain perspective, for times such as these are indeed rare. Our centrist governor-elect, Mike Beebe, carries long alliances with special business interests. Our center-right incoming speaker of the House of Representatives, Benny Petrus of

This Modern World


‘Rocky Balboa’ not quite a knockout

The subject of regret permeates Sylvester Stallone’s new film “Rocky Balboa.”

CD reviews, Dec. 28

"Forever, For Always, For Luther" (various artists); "A Soulful Christmas" (Brian Culbertson)

The Observer

You had to get up mighty early to get a Wii for Christmas.

Swami sez

It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future, Yogi Berra said. It is tough, but I’ve got some for 2007. First from the ’hood — • In what he hopes will kickstart a sputtering presidential campaign, former Gov. Mike Huckabee wil

The Arkansas Delta

The must-see but must-not-necessarily-like Delta exhibit, which has sometimes said more about the judges than the state of art in Arkansas and its contiguous states, shows promise this year.

What's cooking/Capsule review, Dec. 28

What's cooking: Bonefish Grill. Capsule review: Van Lang Cuisine Restaurant.

The week that was Dec. 20-26

It was a good week for … Incoming HOUSE SPEAKER BENNY PETRUS. He spoke up for income tax relief targeting low-income workers. It’s a legitimate alternative to reducing the grocery tax. The danger is only that nothing is done.

McCain’s blog-be-gone

Those Internet blogs and message boards many of us rely on for up-to-the second news, juicy local gossip, or as a reliable vent for our frustrations may soon be a memory if a misguided bit of new legislation manages to slip through the next Congress.

Should ballpark be taxed?

North Little Rock and Pulaski County officials expecting the new Dickey-Stephens ballpark in North Little Rock to be tax-exempt may have another think coming. In an Arkansas Supreme Court decision involving similar circumstances, the court held that the f

Mostly hypocrisy

It’s never safe to assume that George W. Bush knows what’s going on in his administration. Famously uninterested in details and current events, the president may actually not have noticed that what he’s been saying about bipartisanship is very different f

In review

December marked my 15th anniversary at the Arkansas Times. Many high school students today weren’t born when I came here after the demise of the Arkansas Gazette. The perspective is useful. People, events and places that once seemed of all-consuming

Ruling party

On Thursday, the boys are back in town: American Princes and The Moving Front are together at Sticky Fingerz, along with Big Boots (9:30 p.m., $5) in a show featuring some of Central Arkansas’s best musicians.

Good work

Re Max Brantley’s column “Why does Walker sue?” and Ernest Dumas’ “The court needs a report”: You guys are crazy, just like me! Do you really think they will let you get away with saying the right thing? Do you not realize that you will be unpopular?

AETN preemption bites Trout Fishing

AETN drops Trout Fishing in America show; no notice given.

Winter wonderland

There are many layers within a TSO show, thanks to the array of world-class rock and jazz musicians, several whom come together just for this three-month tour.

Editorial cartoon


Dibs lives.

New house rules

Don Bingham, who, with his wife Nancy, ran the Governor’s Mansion for Gov. Mike Huckabee won’t stay on to manage the house for Mike and Ginger Beebe.

Where's the compassion?

The New York Times reports a national trend that has been in scant evidence in Arkansas: Christian conservatives rereading Jesus and taking a more compassionate view of prisoners. The religious impulse is reinforced, according to the Times, by alarm at th

TV highlights, Dec. 28-Jan. 10


Smart Talk

This week: Loose slots; a complaining governor; speed traps.

Eatery cobbles up a good sandwich

Cobblestone Deli, with its friendly, bistro feel, a selection of frozen and take-home items, and a big menu of panini sandwiches, salads, cheeses, quiches, breads and desserts, is a nice place to stop off for a bite.

To the moon

The real hope for Arkansas lies in self-sufficiency, which is derived from conservation, fresh thinking and making the most of what you have.

Party on to 2007

The annual KKPT, 94.1 “The Point”-sponsored party at the Embassy Suites will again feature the Rockets; Venus Mission will perform covers in the Peabody Ballroom, and more.

A bridge too expensive?

The Big Dam Bridge over the Murray Lock and Dam that forms the western link in the River Trail loop has been such a smash hit that bikers and hikers are eager to see the loop completed on the eastern end. They’re wondering when the Clinton Foundation will

The dogs' life

Sounds pretty soft at the Brummett household.  

Impact fees

They look dead in Rogers. The mayor, Steve Womack, says they could hardly do more work than they're doing now if they were assessing fees on new development.

Lobby watch

A late-night phone message says the hunt for a new poultry lobbyist to replace Morril Harriman isn't over.

Party time

If you're hanging around the house today -- and judging by the traffic downtown, lots of people are -- you can tune into Channel 7's Good Morning Arkansas between 9:30 and 10 a.m. this morning to catch our Jim Harris running down some hot spots for New Year's Eve celebrating.

Blog watch

Here's another 2008-oriented blog arching an eyebrow at Gov. Mike Huckabee's (latest) rules-skirting financial activities. This blog includes a link to USA Today's politics blog, which also notes The Huckster's fast-and-loose play with presidential exploratory guidelines.

Talking with Beebe

Roby Brock gets an interview with incoming Gov. Mike Beebe. The lead: grocery tax reduction is non-negotiable.

News on DVD plant

Arkansas Business reports that a German buyer has been found for the DVD manufacturing plant in North Little Rock.

Cinema Mania

is the subject of today's photo essay on  UNITED STATES—Children in a movie theater, 1958.

Essentially Woody

A retrospective of the best of Woody Allen at the Film Forum in New York.  Why isn't Little Rock doing things like this?Here's more from The Reeler. 

Mid-afternoon report

Checking in for e-mail between vacation day rounds I find: 1) LR ZOO -- It issues a reminder that admission fees are going up, from $6 to $8 for adults and $4 to $6 for children.

2006: A Novel Year in Movies

On NPR. 

Chicago Film Critics: 'The Departed'

BEST PICTURE The Departed BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM Letters From Iwo Jima BEST DIRECTOR Martin Scorsese for The Departed BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Peter Morgan, The Queen BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY William Monahan, The Departed BEST ACTOR Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland BEST ACTRESS Helen Mirren for The Queen BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR Jackie Earle Haley for Little Children BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS Rinko Kikuchi for Babel BEST ORIGINAL SCORE Clint Mansell, The Fountain BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY Emmanuel Lubezki, Children of Men BEST DOCUMENTARY An Inconvenient Truth MOST PROMISING PERFORMER Sacha Baron Cohen for Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby MOST PROMISING DIRECTOR Rian Johnson for Brick

Oklahoma Film Critics: 'United 93'

Best Film United 93 Dir. Paul Greengrass Best Director Martin Scorsese The Departed Best First Film Little Miss Sunshine Dir.

AFI Moments of Significance

Clint Eastwood, Robert Altman, The Documentary and more . . .

Way to step up Little Rock

What are the folks that run "The Rave," "Breckenridge" and "Riverdale 10" thinking?  Respectfully, this is pitiful.  This weekend, nothing opens.  NOTHING!  That means 2006 will end without Little Rock (an area with a metropolitan population of almost 1 million) showing "Little Children," "Letters from Iwo Jima," "The Last King of Scotland," "Volver," "Pan's Labyrinth," "The Lives of Others," "Army of Darkness," "Notes on a Scandal," "The Painted Veil," "Deliver Us from Evil," "Iraq in Fragments," "The War Tapes," "Children of Men," "Inland Empire," "Three Times," "The Death of Mr. Lazarescu" "Venus," and many more of the year's critically acclaimed films.Matt Smith at Market Street Cinema should be applauded.  He brought some of the year's best to the big screen and will eventually bring many of these listed above.  But his theatre is small and doesn't generate the attendance numbers the biggers cinema houses (like those listed above) generate.  They could get many of these movies if they tried hard enough.  They don't.But hey, I'm thrilled that "Black Christmas," "Eragon," "The Nativity Story,"and "Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause" are being held over.  These are just a few of the worst movies of the year that have hung around Little Rock theatres. 

Some 'We Are Marshall' history

From a dedicated reader . . .The screen writer (and co producer) is a 26 year old Florida State Univesity graduate (the student who won the best student documentary at the film festival at the opening of the Clinton Library was a Florida State graduate student--must be a good program).....learned about Marshall when he was a 20 year old college student; fascinated with the Bobby Bowden/West Virigina/Florida State connection after researching the story  He is now working on the script (for an already commited movie) about an Olympic skier who had an accident and lost his memory.

For the Awards junkie

(Thanks to Sam)January 2007 4 - Screen Actors Guild Nominations Announced4 - Producers Guild of America Nominations Announced8 - Visual Effects Society Nominations8 - American Society of Cinematographers Nominations8 - New York Film Critics Circle Awards Presentation9 - Directors Guild of America Nominations Announced9 - National Board of Review Awards Ceremony11 - Writers Guild of America Nominations Announced12 - American Cinema Editors - Eddie Nominations12 - British Academy of Film and Television Nominations12 - Broadcast Film Critics Awards Announced13 - Oscar Nomination polls close 5 p.m.

The city board meets UPDATED

Live from the city board special meeting on the city's lately controversial convention and visitors bureau: 1) Mayor Dailey opened with prepared statement.

Care and feeding

Ever wonder why Gov. Mike Huckabee gets such sweet treatment in U.S. News' Washington whispers?

Going away presents -- UPDATE

Gov. Mike Huckabee today released $1 million in general improvement funds toward a new cancer research center at UAMS that will be named in honor of the late Win Rockefeller and $1 million to diabetes and obesity research to the UAMS doctor, Dr. Philip Kern, who helped Huckabee in his weight loss.

NLR freebies -- UPDATE

The fine folks that bring you Matilda's good blog in NLR bring a report on the latest corporate welfare handout to a millionaire today.

End around

J. Timothy Griffin was sworn in as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas on Dec. 20, less than a week after his appointment prompted unusual public expressions of outrage from both of the state’s U.S. senators. The outrage stems from the

Trout Fishing in America’s ‘Best Day’

Live recording "My Best Day" is Trout Fishing's third Grammy nomination.

The best and worst of 2006

The election returns last month were encouraging, but the 21st century so far has not been kind to sane people who let themselves get their hopes up. So in our annual review of the Bests and Worsts of Arkansas for 2006, we’ve taken our cue from Fox News b

The Republican revolution

A shrunken efficient government? Hah.

Highway program?

It's not high on Gov. Beebe's agenda, Stephens Media says.

Minority majority leader

Sen. Tracy Steele has been elected majority leader for Democrats in the state Senate, the first black to hold the role.

Is Alltel in play?

Today's Wall Street Journal suggests the LR-based communications company might be: Private-equity firms are beginning to circle Alltel Corp., making the nation's fifth-largest wireless operator another potential target amid a string of huge leveraged buyouts this year.

A worthy debate

I'll post my Top 10 of 2006 as well as some thoughts on movies in general on New Year's Eve, but I'll go ahead and disclose that there were many movies I did not get to see this year.  It's unfortunate, as I noted yesterday, that Little Rock does not do more to get these films.  I shouldn't have to schedule a trip to New York each December to see all the great films Little Rock cinema house managers are too scared to screen.  That said, I will.

Factory Girl: UPDATE

The Andy Warhol, Edie Sedgwick bio-pic was rumored to be released in 2006.  Looks like that won't happen, although here's a review from Hollywood Reporter from a screening of a cut of the film.  Appears that the rumors are true: Guy Pearce and Sienna Miller are fantastic.

TIF tiff

I'm pleased to hear that formal legal opposition is developing to the vast Tax Increment Finance giveaway Mayor Pat Hays has engineered in North Little Rock for developer Bruce Burrow and (to a lesser extent) a neighborhood redevelopment plan in Baring Cross.

Not scary

Gov. Mike Huckabee pronounces himself a conservative that even Democrats could love. Would this be before or after reading his remarks about wacko, tree-hugging environmentalists?

Death in the family

A 16-year-old motorcyclist was killed Thursday in Baxter County when he collided head-on with a truck driven by his father.

Breaking news

CNN says they'll execute Saddam tonight at 9 p.m. our time. The question for the evening: Will this lead the Arkansas Democrat-Gazete Page 1A tomorrow?

What a wonderful life

I've mentioned before how wonderful the holidays have been in part because my far-flung children have been home.

Financial funny business

Gov. Mike Huckabee has done it again. He has played fast and loose with the law.

Ford tough

John Brummett today admires the straight talk and wisdom of Gerald Ford, revealed after his death, in interviews about the war in Iraq and the gang of blunderers who got us there.

Booze news

An effort is underway in Benton County to push legislation lowering the petition requirements -- now 38 percent of registered voters -- to get an alcohol sales measure on the ballot.

Sharper Image

Richard Thalheimer, the Little Rock native who founded the Sharper Image gadget retailer but who's been removed as CEO, has reached a settlement worth $6 million to walk away from the company without further legal dispute.

It's all yours

Fire away.

The Bubba Awards

Brummett reviews the year in Arkansas politics, good and bad, and even includes a kind  mention of the Arkansas Blog.

The gentlemen from Grubbs and Slovak

Doug Thompson of Stephens Media contributes  profiles of Senate and House leaders Jack Critcher and Benny Petrus, now big-city boys from Batesville and Stuttgart, but both with smaller town backgrounds on their resumes.

On 2006: The Year in Movies

As we close the books on this year and look forward to prosperous, happy and safe 2007, here is my list of the Ten Best Films of 2006.  Happy New Year from the Moviegoer.  Joy and Peace.

Slouching toward 2007

I've been dogging it today, in part to do some cooking. U.S. military deaths have reached 3,000 in Ira (Iraqi deaths are in the tens of thousands).

Slouching toward 2007

I've been dogging it today, in part to do some cooking. U.S. military deaths have reached 3,000 in Ira (Iraqi deaths are in the tens of thousands).

Legislative agendas

Stephens Media offers a couple today. Mike Beebe here.

An appreciation of Gerald Ford

Brummett says the Republicans could have used a little more Ford and a little less Gingrich over the years.

In memoriam

The NY Times has now posted a feature in which you can see a photo and a thumbnail of information for each American military person killed in Iraq.

When hell freezes over

This welcome trend of tougher ethics regulation -- being reported in many states as well as Congress -- will arrive in Arkansas concurrent with the next July blizzard.

Downtown drinking

Here's a cautionary tale for Little Rock from booming Madison, Wisc., where a downtown revival includes lots of new condos and apartments and a hot -- some say too hot -- entertainment district.

I do solemnly swear ...

-- Brian Chilson photo ... Mark Stodola gets a job, LR mayor, that carries few powers but symbolic responsibility for some large pressing issues -- an inadequate jail, a tempest over the city's promotion arm, the tug of sprawl against a promising but not fully realized core city redevelopment, etc.

Open mic

Well, the New Year got off to a bad start for Hog fans. That and other topics welcome here.

In Which I Run Afoul of the Law for the Sake of Blogging

Hi!  Look, I can post again!  And comment!  You're all thrilled beyond belief!  Trust me, you're thrilled.  I'm glad we got that out of the way.  Now settle down, so I can tell you how I narrowly avoided a Homeland Security shakedown in the Jacksonville Wal-Mart parking lot.Ever since starting this blog about a year and a half ago, I have been more and more compelled to document incidental things I run across, or that happen to me, in my day-to-day life.  Sometimes these things are interesting ONLY to me, but hey, it's my blog, right?  Anyway, more and more I find myself with a little digital camera in my purse or car almost all the time.  This allows for quick capture of things that I find interesting, odd, funny, outrageous, etc.   My husband, bless his heart, has even taken to snapping things that he thinks I would appreciate with his cell-phone camera and emailing them to me.I have documented all manner of things in my life, including my coupon-derived grocery savings, my first astronomically high electric bill (they got even higher later), the horror of my abdominal surgery and recovery, the time the co-op beheaded a dozen of my beautiful ornamental trees, the trimming of my Christmas tree, INNUMERABLE pictures and stories of the escapades of my daughter, and even the process of pouring warm water through my head and out my nose cleansing my sinuses with a neti pot...and let's not forget my favorite fried pickles.  I take pictures of, and write about, my family.  My pets.  My church.  My friends.  Things in my yard.  Things in my house.  Things on my television.  Things I read.  Things around town.  Just...random things.  You get the idea.Just a couple of recent examples, both captured on The Husband's cell-phone camera, would be the morning, just a couple weeks ago, when it was apparently unseasonably warm in Jacksonville:And this very appealing food-product, which had us both reeling in the frozen-food aisle at the Cabot branch of Kroger:And so it was that, on a pleasant enough overcast day the week before Christmas, I was leaving the Jacksonville Wal-Mart, just casually glancing around the parking lot on the way to my car, when I spotted this sticker on the rear window of a pickup truck.That's "Hot & Nasty," if you can't make it out.  I'm desperately hoping that this is a slogan, if an ill-advised one, for...well, something.  Because if it isn't, then what is it?  A pickup (no pun intended) line?  Who responds to that?Now, "Hot & Nasty" was not enough, in itself, to make me reach for a camera.  Besides, I didn't have a camera on me at the moment, though there was one in my car.  But as I walked on, I noticed that the vehicle next to that one was also sporting signage, as well as the one next to that, and so on, until and including my own vehicle.  For some unknown reason, this fascinated me, and I decided I needed to snap some pictures on the fly on my way out.  So I circled around to that aisle, began with "Hot & Nasty," and just snapped a shot out through my rolled down passenger window as I coasted on out of the lot, which explains some of the blurriness of the photos here.  I was holding the camera up high, and the auto-flash was engaged.The photos which follow honestly depict every vehicle on the same aisle as mine, one after another, ending with my own.This being Jacksonville, there were, as you'd expect, many proud expressions of patriotism and support for our armed forces, including my own little "peace dove" magnets, one of which is pictured last here:

The social agenda

It wouldn't be a legislative session without proposals targeting gay people, abortions, etc. Here's a preview.

The year in preview

Brummett takes a stab at signature events of 2007. Taxes, pork, Central High and football are among the topics, along with Gov. Huckabeebe.

Consider the light bulb -- UPDATE

Wal-Mart throws its weight behind sales of environmentally friendly flourescent light bulbs. Sales of the more expensive bulbs have languished.

Happy New Year

More critics groups to announce this week.   Richard Roeper, Dana Stevens and Joel Siegel weighed in with their Top 10's.  "Dreamgirls" continued to thrive at the box office.  What's in store for 2007 at the movies?  Here are some suggestions.  If this is any indication, 2007 will be a good year at the movies.  Also, Kris Tapley of weighs in on his most anticipated films of 2007. 

Utah Film Critics: 'United 93'

BEST FILMUnited 93 BEST DIRECTOR Alfonso Cuaron, Children of Men BEST SCREENPLAY (tie)Rian Johnson, BrickBEST ACTOR Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat BEST ACTRESSHelen Mirren, The Queen BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR Michael Sheen, The Queen BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESSRinku Kikuchi, Babel BEST DOCUMENTARY An Inconvenient Truth

Where are movies heading?

asks David Denby in The New Yorker. 

Belated obituary

A friend reminds us of our failure to note the NY Times obituary Friday for David Edwards, a former Arkansas investment banker and FOB who was instrumental in arranging the Saudi gift that established a Middle Eastern studies program at the University of Arkansas.

A&P: The mayor's role -- UPDATED

In reporting a profile on new LR Mayor Mark Stodola, the Times' David Koon asked him about whether he'd take a seat on the Advertising and Promotion Commission, as the law allows, or appoint someone else to serve as the mayor's representative.

Your tax dollars at work

Gov. Mike Huckabee's press office, winding down operations, has its priorities in order -- help the Huck make some bucks.

Expert assistance in the speaker's office

New House Speaker Benny Petrus is full of surprises. His progressive outlook on taxation -- even if it did happen to reflect the Farm Bureau's long love affair with the sales tax on groceries -- was a hopeful sign.

Expert assistance in the speaker's office

New House Speaker Benny Petrus is full of surprises. His progressive outlook on taxation -- even if it did happen to reflect the Farm Bureau's long love affair with the sales tax on groceries -- was a hopeful sign.

NW Ark. Mall part of $400 million deal

Doyle Rogers of Batesville, John Flake of Little Rock and Sam Mathias of Springdale have announced their purchase of three shopping malls in three states for $400 million.


It's here, which means that a entirely new crop of films will be released this year.  There are some exciting projects, which should make for an interesting year.  I've been surfing around and here's a list of 21 films that interest me the most.  "Reservation Road," starring Joaquin Phoenix, Jennifer Connelly, Mark Ruffalo and Mira Sorvino.  Directed by Terry George ("Hotel Rwanda")."3:10 to Yuma," starring Russell Crowe, Christian Bale and Peter Fonda.  Directed by James Mangold ("Walk the Line")."Eastern Promises," starring Viggo Mortensen and Naomi Watts.  Directed by David Cronenberg ("A History of Violence")."The Golden Age," starring Cate Blanchett, Clive Owen and Geoffrey Rush.  Directed by Shekar Kapur ("Elizabeth")."My Blueberry Nights," starring Norah Jones, Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, David Strathairn and Natalie Portman.  Directed by Wong Kar Wai ("2046")."Love in the Time of Cholera," starring Javier Bardem, Benjamin Bratt, Catalina Sandino Moreno and John Leguizamo.  Directed by Mike Newell ("Four Weddings and a Funeral")."American Gangster," starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.  Directed by Ridley Scott ("Gladiator")."The Kite Runner," starring Wali Razaqi and Said Taghmaoui.  Directed by Marc Forster ("Finding Neverland")."There Will Be Blood," starring Daniel Day Lewis.  Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson ("Magnolia")."Lions for Lambs," starring Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep and Robert Redford.  Directed by Robert Redford ("Ordinary People")."Charlie Wilson's War," starring Tom Hanks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julia Roberts and Amy Adams.  Directed by Mike Nichols ("Closer")."Rendition," starring Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Meryl Streep and Alan Arkin.  Directed by Gavin Hood ("Tsotsi")."In the Valley of Elah," starring Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron, Susan Sarandon and James Franco.  Directed by Paul Haggis ("Crash")."No Country for Old Men," starring Tommy Lee Jones, Woody Harrelson, and Javier Bardem.  Directed by Ethan Coen ("O Brother Where Art Thou")."Sicko," starring Michael Moore.  Directed by Michael Moore ("Farenheit 9-11")."Michael Clayton," starring George Clooney, Sydney Pollack, Tom Wilkinson and Tilda Swinton.  Directed by Tony Gilroy (debut)."Sweeney Todd," starring Johnny Depp, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter.  Directed by Tim Burton ("Charlie and the Chocolate Factory")."I'm Not There," starring Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Richard Gere and Julianne Moore.  Directed by Todd Haynes ("Far From Heaven")."Atonement," starring Kiera Knightly, James McAvoy, Vanessa Redgrave and Brenda Blethyn.  Directed by Joe Wright ("Pride and Prejudice")."Reign Over Me," starring Don Cheadle and Adam Sandler.  Directed by Mike Binder ("The Upside of Anger")."Margot at the Wedding," starring Nicole Kidman, Jack Black, Jennifer Jason Leigh, John Turturro and Ashlie Atkinson.  Directed by Noah Baumbach ("The Squid and the Whale").And there's  also "Sin City 2"; "Shrek the Third"; "Spiderman 3"; and "Transformers".

The pipes are calling ...

Bob Steel, he of the booming pipes, back to radio work. Wally Hall had this first, but we just got a note from the former KATV news director that said:

After the legislature

No, term-limited Rep. Phil Jackson of Berryville is not hitting the revolving door to the lobbying ranks.

You heard it here first

Outgoing Rep. Marvin Childers has indeed hit the revolving door to the lobbyist ranks. As we indicated earlier, he's the new president of the Arkansas Poultry Federation, succeeding Morril Harriman, now the incoming governor's chief of staff.

The governor's staff

Matt DeCample, Attorney General Mike Beebe's media man, called us today to report that the a.g.'s office had filed its response to the Supreme Court's request for a status report on the Lake View school case.

The highway lobby

The highway lobby imperative is to build roads, so it's no surprise that it hasn't given up searching for a way to annex general revenues for highway building.

Cluck, cluck

We couldn't help but notice this quote in Stephens Media's report on Marvin Childers becoming the new chief poultry lobbyist.

Sprawl tool

Fayetteville is talking about a law that could curb sprawl by allowing people with open land to sell "development rights" to more intensive uses of property elsewhere in a city and thus preserve the open space.

Wal-Mart: The hidden costs

From today's Wall Street Journal, a reminder that low prices every day have a cost somewhere in the supply chain:

Fresh air

Sorry I missed the Little Rock Board of Directors last night at which the leadership of new Mayor Mark Stodola was credited with correcting the board's bad idea of doing an in-house review of the Advertising and Promotion Commission and its Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Kansas City Film Critics: 'United 93'

Best Film-UNITED 93Robert Altman Award for Best Director-Paul Greengrass, United 93Best Actor-Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland Best Actress-Helen Mirren, The Queen Best Supporting Actor-Michael Sheen, The Queen Best Supporting Actress-Catherine O'Hara, For Your Consideration Best Original Screenplay-Michael Arndt, Little Miss Sunshine Best Adapted Screenplay-William Monahan, The Departed Best Animated Film-Over The Hedge Best Foreign Language Film-Letters From Iwo Jima Best Documentary-An Inconvenient Truth The Vince Koehler Award for Outstanding Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror Film-Pan's Labyrinth

Slate Movie Club

Whew, I really was worried that this wonderful exchange would die when David Edelstein left to become the film critic at New York Magazine.  But it did not.  Dana Stevens, Slate's new critic has continued the Movie Club, this year with Carina Chocano (LA Times), Wesley Morris (Boston Globe) and Keith Phipps (The A.V. Club).  This is always worth following.  (And it's a great idea for an online feature for the Times!)

Responding to comments: UPDATE

The Citizens Journal asks, Can you help me out with this one ? The God who wasn't there BSR: From what I can gather on the web, it's a documentary that was released in 2005 and directed by Brian Flemming.

Crime stats

Prosecutor Larry Jegley distributed a graph this morning showing the homicide count in Pulaski County over a 20-year period.

Crime stats

Prosecutor Larry Jegley distributed a graph this morning showing the homicide count in Pulaski County over a 20-year period.

Comes the money slowdown?

For months, state revenue officials have said a slowdown in tax receipts was inevitable. It arrived in December.

Warrant issued -- UPDATE

UPDATE: An arrest was made today in Los Angeles in the killing of a bank teller in Little Rock Dec. 23.

Warrant issued -- UPDATE

UPDATE: An arrest was made today in Los Angeles in the killing of a bank teller in Little Rock Dec. 23.

SAG, PGA tomorrow

The Screen Actor's Guild and the Producer's Guild announce their nominations tomorrow. My guess is that the SAG nominates: "The Departed," "Dreamgirls," "The Queen," "Little Miss Sunshine," and "Babel."  The sleepers are "Little Children," "United 93," "Letters from Iwo Jima" and "Bobby."  The Producers will have more of a commercial flare: "Cars" could sneak in as could "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," or perhaps "The Devil Wears Prada."  Emily Blunt's Golden Globe nomination for that film has several predictors up in arms about the viability of this film.  I think you'll see a couple of deviations.  "The Departed" and "Dreamgirls" will make both lists.  After that, it's anyone's guess.

Austin Film Critics: 'United 93'

Best Film: “United 93”Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, “Children of Men” Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Departed” Best Actress: Ellen Page, “Hard Candy” Best Supporting Actor: Jack Nicholson, “The Departed” Best Supporting Actress: Rinko Kikuchi, “Babel” Best Original Screenplay: Guillermo del Toro, “Pan’s Labyrinth” Best Adapted Screenplay: Alfonso Cuarón, “Children of Men” Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, “Children of Men” Best Foreign Film: “Pan’s Labyrinth” (“El Laberinto del Fauno;” Mexico) Best Documentary: “This Film Is Not Yet Rated” Best Animated Film: “Cars” Best First Film: Rian Johnson, “Brick” Breakthrough Artist: Jennifer Hudson, “Dreamgirls” Austin Film Award: Richard Linklater, “A Scanner Darkly” Top Ten: 1.

JR and Henry: A Pitiful Finish

A pitiful finish. So much for a strong finish to this football season.


When the senator from New York goes out to dinner to talk New Hampshire politics, the NY Times takes pains to report, at length.  Bottom line: Everyone agrees she's moving deliberately toward the presidential race, though she'd prefer to start in earnest in the fall of 2007, more in keeping with the timetable her husband followed.

We're looking for Musicians Showcase entries

We know everybody is going to wait until the last week to start sending in their entries, if not calling to find out had to get an entry form.

2007 - Jump Start!

Well, the long the hiatus is over, I'm back, by unpopular demand!   Here's a bunch of little stuff I've missed over the break:   - I was totally sick for all my time off, it was awful.

New blogger on the block

I can't be sure that the author -- Jimmie Higgins/Delphi -- is one and the same with our blog's periodic contributor with those monikers, but the content of his/her new blog, the People's Tribune, suggests that it is. The Tribune is just up and running and promising lots of legislative oversight.

BREAKING: Suspected killer in custody -- UPDATED

Prosecutor Larry Jegley says Los Angeles authorities took into custody during a traffic stop today a suspect in the Dec. 23 slaying of Metropolitan National Bank teller James Garison.

BREAKING: Suspected killer in custody -- UPDATED

Prosecutor Larry Jegley says Los Angeles authorities took into custody during a traffic stop today a suspect in the Dec. 23 slaying of Metropolitan National Bank teller James Garison.

Judicial Discipline change

KUAR reports that James Badami has formally announced his long-planned intentions to retire this summer as head of the agency that investigates and disciplines state judges.

Producer's Guild Nominations

Best Feature Film BabelThe DepartedDreamgirlsLittle Miss SunshineThe Queen Best Animated Film CarsFlushed AwayHappy FeetIce Age: The MeltdownMonster House

Catching up with "The Treatment"

Elvis Mitchell's excellent radio program in Los Angeles which airs on Saturday mornings at 10:30 a.m. on KUAR.  Guillermo del Toro, director of "Pan's Labyrinth" is on the show this week.  Steven Soderberg was on the show last week.  He's the director of the upcoming "The Good German."  Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, director of "Babel" is on the show next week.