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January 13, 2005

Vol 2 • No 52

It’s deer versus flowers in Eureka Springs

Add deer to the list of passions arousing Eureka Springs. For years, it was legal to shoot the animals inside the city limits, even in neighborhoods where some residents scattered corn to attract deer to their yards.

Field and stream – and backyard

Deer aren’t stupid. Given a choice, they prefer tender greens in their salad, a quiet home in the country, and a life that doesn’t include being shot at. In that, they’re much like humans. They’re like us in another way too. Deer are darn adaptive. They might dream of the forest primeval, but if they wake up one morning and see a mall where their woods used to be, the deer learn to adjust.

Smart Talk, Jan. 13

Some years ago, when Sam Walton was alive, he’d hold large meetings of Wal-Mart employees at Little Rock. Evidently a clean-living, religious sort himself, Sam would warn his “associates” not to succumb to the worldly temptations of the big city. “Stay out of these bars around here,” he’d say.

Blazing saddlebags

My wife has a great figure, but she sometimes wears clothes that would only look good on an underfed model. She has a red knit dress that’s supposed to be sexy, but instead makes her look like she has saddlebags and a potbelly (which she doesn’t).

'Keep It To Yourself'

The CD “Keep It To Yourself — Arkansas Blues Volume 1: Solo Performances” was released in late 2004. It’s a reissue of a 1983 LP on Rooster Blues Records of Chicago, which came about with the help of Helena’s Delta Cultural Center.

What's the big idea?

Politics in a democracy is always defined by the tension between the ideological and the practical. We vote for people with whom we agree on the broad issues of the day, but we also respect the officials who can make the trains run on time. Sometimes it’s a tricky balance. You can admire a principled leader, but you can’t ignore bad results. Or you can fundamentally oppose a politician’s philosophy while still acknowledging his or her management skills.

State of the state speech

Let us now analyze Gov. Mike Huckabee’s State of the State speech to the legislature. Our format will be to detail particulars, then destroy or extol them, or both, depending on what’s warranted.

Bigotry loses, for now

Alexander Hamilton seemed to be pretty close to the mark when he implied in The Federalist Papers that elected judges could not be counted on to safeguard the rights of minorities from “the occasional ill humors in the society.” Every so often even a Southern court proves him and all the other founding fathers wrong on that point.

The Observer, Jan. 13

The Observer’s friend’s son is precocious. Only 5 years old, he speaks like a character out of Shakespeare, if the story told about him is true.

Editorials, Jan. 13

Egged on by monied interests, the 2003 legislature perpetrated “tort reform” on the people of Arkansas, denying them the right to collect just compensation from corporate wrongdoers. So far as we know, the 2005 legislature, which convened this week, is not planning anything so pernicious. (Although the all-too-familiar woman-bashing of recent sessions has cropped up again with introduction of a bill to further restrict reproductive rights.)

Shining bright

Sami Lal, the owner of Star of India, estimates that he has experimented with more than 500 combinations of sauces and dishes before settling on what to include on his restaurant’s menu.

TV highlights, Jan. 13-19

THE WILD ONE (1953) 11:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 14 Turner Classic Movies (Comcast Ch. 30) Though Marlon Brando was a great actor, a lot of people forget that — back before his Jabba the Hutt days — he was one good-lookin’ sumbitch. No movie in his career illustrates that better than “The Wild One.”

UALR faculty show work

The galleries of the Fine Arts building at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock opened the new year with two major shows: the Faculty Biennial in Gallery I and sculpture by Michael Warrick in Gallery II.

What's cooking-Capsule reviews

What's cooking: Boscos, the microbrew pub and restaurant in the River Market district, will hold a special Brewmaster’s Dinner on Tuesday, Jan. 18. Capsules: Arkansas Burger Co. and Little Chef of Stuttgart.

Chow could have been with Razorbacks

So proficient at identifying assistants with potential when he was the head coach, Frank Broyles zeroed in on Norm Chow in 1996. If things had gone right, Chow could have been in Fayetteville for the 1997 season. Instead, he is at the University of Southern California, calling plays for the two-time national champion and reigning as the supreme swami.

A heart for glass

I first fell in love with beautiful glass pieces when a friend gave me a perfume bottle from Italy. It was made on the tiny island of Murano, just a few minutes’ boat ride from Venice, and is known for producing exquisite glasswork. The bottle features a delicate leaf-shaped stopper and the body looks like the colorful ribbon candy you see at Christmas. Since then, I’ve started collecting perfume bottles, and always have an eye out for that perfect piece.

The week that was Jan. 5-11

IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR … POLITICAL RHET-ORIC. The legislative session opened Monday. All hands, led by the governor, promised to help our health, higher education, highways, schools, pets, prisons and psoriasis. But nobody would say precisely how much they hoped to invest in each of these worthy items or where all the money would come from.

New day

It’s one of those thoughts that, once you’ve thought it, you look around sheepishly hoping that nobody has noticed that you’re probably the last person on earth with half sense who’s thought that particular thought. Everybody else thought it back when they were teen-agers, or before that.

Trying hard for No. 2

I’ve never quite understood, beyond the stepping-stone potential, why anyone would run for lieutenant governor. But in the last month, I’ve lunched with a couple of interesting Republicans who are dead serious about making the race in 2006.

Editorial cartoon Jan. 13

More picks, Jan. 13-19

The lovable character Opal Kronkie returns in “Opal’s Husband,” the comic sequel to “Everybody Loves Opal” and Murry’s Dinner Playhouse’s newest production. The musical opened Jan. 11 and will run through Feb. 6 with shows Tuesday through Sunday.

Smokin' bluegrass and more

Area clubs are kicking it this weekend, especially Juanita’s Cantina Ballroom, which has an awesome lineup over four consecutive days. Here’s a peek:

Orval Jan. 13

A good Yankee

Occasionally a Yankee moves to Arkansas who is smart and brave enough to work hard to improve our state. One of them was Dr. Dave Luck, who died at age 79 last week. A physician, he recognized the state’s greatest needs – education and fairness – and worked for them in his hometown of Arkadelphia and statewide.

This Modern World Jan. 13

Letters, Jan. 13

Thank you so much for the article “I want my faith back.” It takes real courage in today’s climate for writers such as Jennifer Barnett Reed and those leaders of faith quoted to speak out from their hearts about their convictions.

Putting out call for original bands

It’s the last call for original music bands to submit entries to the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase. It finally dawned on the organizers (mainly me) that, having not printed a regular edition last week and with musicians perhaps just now reading about the Showcase and Jan. 13 being their deadline, that might be too tight a window for the stragglers. So, we’ll take late entries up until 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 17. That will still allow us to announce the 16-band semifinal field next Thursday and plan the week-to-week competition, set to begin Thursday, Jan. 27.

'Lightning' strikes right chord

A smoky juke joint somewhere in the backwoods of Mississippi, the building bursting with music from a shoddy three-piece on the day before Sunday, maybe an intense craps game going on in back, people guzzling corn whiskey as they get down. Or: A black man sits on a chair at the side of a feed shop, lemon-pudding eyes half open from sips of home brew, sliding a piece of broken bottle neck on his beat-up guitar as he sings about women, drink or the devil.

The Insider, Jan. 13

If you read the Arkansas Blog, you already know this. But for our print-only readers: The nuanced political observer recognized a fairly important statement at last week’s Gillett Coon Supper, an annual gathering that always draws a big crowd of politicos.

Words Jan. 13

Jim Argue writes that his daughter, Sarah, teaching school out of state, didn’t get enough time off to come home for Thanksgiving, so she and her friends decided to make their own Thanksgiving dinner. Argue’s wife, Elise, provided old family recipes. A few days later, his wife out of pocket, Argue fielded a phone call from Sarah, who was having trouble deciphering a recipe. “What does this mean, one-half stick of oh-LAY-oh?”

Parental-consent abortion bill is back

The 2005 legislative session will see a resumption of a 2003 fight between anti-abortionists and abortion-rights advocates over a bill requiring parental consent before an abortion can be performed on a minor. The bill actually passed both houses in 2003, but the Senate amended it slightly, and the legislators adjourned before the House could concur in the amendment.

ASO welcomes violin virtuoso

Guest violinist Elmar Oliveira, a two-time Grammy Award nominee, will join the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Dmitry Shostakovich’s “Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor” in two ASO concerts this weekend at Robinson Center Music Hall.

Doctors, heal your brothers

A “blue-ribbon” panel of physicians, including psychiatrists, at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences is developing a proactive system to identify signs of stress or mental disturbance in doctors and other medical personnel.

Riverdance

The dance, music and song of Ireland are put on full display with the renowned Riverdance, which will be performed on the Robinson Center Music Hall stage Monday through Wednesday, Jan. 17-19.

January Book Calendar

Literary and bookstore events in the area this month.

Best-selling books

Top sellers at local bookstores.

Hard to cotton to ‘Big Cotton’

The 19th century was about cotton as much as the 20th century was about oil. Cotton had already brought forth the industrial revolution in England in the 18th century, and after Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin in 1791, it became the commodity that shaped the erstwhile colonies into a great and powerful nation. The South grew it, the North milled it, and together they wove it into an economy that would ultimately conquer the world.
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