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January 23, 2014

Vol 40 • No 21

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Open data to-do list for Arkansas

The open data revolution is coming

Arkansas should embrace it for the sake of democracy, improving government services and sparking economic development.

Argenta Market announces closure

North Little Rock market announces final day.

Letters to UA Board on Chancellor Gearhart; trustee Hilburn says time to unite and move on

In response to my document request, University of Arkansas Board Chair Jane Rogers supplied copies of letters and e-mails she's received regarding the financial audit of the UA campus in Fayetteville and Chancellor David Gearhart's involvement.

Health history

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the state Health Department comes Dr. Sam Taggart's book, "The Public's Health: A Narrative History of Health and Disease in Arkansas," published by the Arkansas Times. Taggart will sign books at 3 p.m. Jan. 25 at WordsWorth and from 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m. at Dizzy's.

'Clybourne Park' at the Rep shows you can laugh about race in America

Pulitzer-winning drama opens Jan. 24.

Charter 'choice': creationism

It was a bad week for Tom Cotton

It was also a bad week for Andi Davis, Arkansas Democrats and the private option. It was a good week for vacations in the Big Apple and personal pork barreling.

Two decades later

A survey of the River Market hall.

Stirring the pot on Christie, Duck, Snowden

The barrel

At home in The Observer's bookshelf is a little wooden barrel: a bow-sided keg with brass rings around the top and bottom — maybe six inches high, dark with age.

Cotton's pets

Tom Cotton values unborn children more than the other kind. They're less trouble, he explains.

Party 'til 5

I never write to the editor, but I had to respond to the article about 5 a.m. clubs. I had to laugh as I felt outrage reading Joan Adcock say clubs staying open 'til 5 a.m. cut into "family time."

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra offers "Bohemian Rhapsody" at Robinson

Also, John Willis and Mandy McBryde at The Joint.


Usually in election years, well-meaning Arkansans are on the defensive, trying to resist the latest prejudicial proposals from Jerry Cox and his Family Council. This year, for a change, there may be issues on the ballot that Arkansans of good will can vote for.

Amasa Hines celebrates album release at White Water

Also, more at Ron Robinson Theater's opening week, "Let It Bleed: A Benefit for KABF" at White Water, Rwake at Revolution, Monster Jam at Verizon, Turquoise Jeep Records at Revolution, Mildriot at Town Pump and Destruction Unit at White Water.

Cloak, dull dagger

'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit' is skippable.

Winter seeds

A crepe myrtle branch is illuminated in fog by a street light.

So a saber is found in Little Rock

What else might have been?

Of against

We've talked before about there being no formal rules for choosing the correct preposition. Mostly, one learns through usage, by paying attention to what people say and write.

Past time to put death penalty down

It has been 43 years since Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller commuted the death sentences of all 15 men on Arkansas's death row and expressed the naive hope that other governors would follow his example and remove the stain on the national character that he thought executions to be.

Mike Anderson isn't working out

Long the champion of Michael Anderson, Sr., and that helter-skelter brand he has long studied and employed, the columnist wears the tarnished crown no longer.

Start-up challenge coming to Central Arkansas

Warrick Sabin to lead it.

The marrow of the matter

Perhaps bone marrow is not for everyone, but it’s something everyone should at least sample for themselves. I’ve heard it described as “gravy butter” before, and that’s a fairly decent description—meaty, fatty, and spreadable.

The morning report: Money and more

Late start for me. I'm in San Francisco at a conference of what we used to call alternative newsweeklies.

Tom Cotton : Words and deeds about veterans

Extremist Republican Rep Tom Cotton wrapped himself in the military to explain away his vote for a federal spending bill with huge sums of money for Arkansas, including military installations.

400 tutors lined up to help kids read

How about some good news?

Majority support for gay marriage in states without marriage equality

A poll of registered voters commissioned by the advocacy group Freedom to Marry found support for gay marriage in states that do not currently allow gay and lesbian couples to marry.

Oxford House closes; Harris house on CZD Commission agenda tonight

Drug, alcohol recovery home was opened despite protest of neighbors.

Enrollment by county in the Arkansas healthcare private option

The Arkansas Department of Human Services today released an updated county-by-county map on enrollees in the private option, the unique state plan to use Medicaid funds to purchase private health insurance plans for low-income Arkansans. 

Teen who spurred lockdown at Hall High charged as adult in Nov. robbery, shooting

The Little Rock Police Department announced today that they have charge 16 year old De

Construction worker struck, killed by car on 1-40 near Van Buren

A construction worker was struck and killed this morning on I-40 near exit

Flexible Mark Martin clears path for amendment votes

Not too surprising. Following advice from Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, Secretary of State Mark Martin has decided to supply the missing words the legislature was supposed to supply — popular names — for three constitutional amendments the legislature put on the 2014 ballot.

Jackson Hewitt study: without private option, state businesses could face $27-40 million yearly in additional penalties

The Arkansas Chamber of Commerce yesterday released a press release (copied after the jump) trumpeting a study by Jackson Hewitt Tax Service that finds that Arkansas businesses could face penalties between $27 to $40 million per year, starting in 2015, if the private option is defunded. 

Mike Huckabee steps in it on birth control; fits with Tom Cotton's anti-woman politics

Mike Huckabee lit up the blogosphere today with one of his carefully crafted provocative lines.

Left my heart in the open line

Max may check in later from San Francisco.  The line is open.

UAMS' Rahn: Obamacare is hospital's lifeline

Warns that without extension of private option, UAMS will have huge financial challenges.

Friday and Saturday To-Do: Amasa Hines Record Release

AMASA HINES RECORD RELEASE 10 p.m., White Water Tavern. This is a long time coming.

Friday To-Do: Rwake

RWAKE 8 p.m., Revolution. $8.

Friday-Saturday To-Do: Monster Jam

MONSTER JAM 6:30 p.m., Verizon Arena. $20 adults, $5 kids.

Saturday To-Do: Turquoise Jeep Records, Yip Deceiver

TURQUOISE JEEP RECORDS, YIP DECEIVER 9 p.m., Revolution. $12 adv.

Saturday To-Do: Mildriot

MILDRIOT 9 p.m., Town Pump. $3.When we last saw Michael Chavez, he was playing last year's Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase under the name Miles Rattz.

Weekend: Ozark Mountain Music Festival, ASO, Bonerama and more

FRIDAY 1/24 A handful of the state's finest roots-tinged acts will play at the Ozark Mountain Music Festival, held in Eureka Springs' Basin Park Hotel, Friday through Sunday.

Morning report: UA sets a tone for trustees meeting

Good morning. It's earlier where I am, so sorry for the delayed start.

UA Board unites behind Chancellor Gearhart: UPDATE

The University of Arkansas Board of Trustees this morning approved a resolution in support of Chancellor David Gearhart.

Monday To-Do: Destruction Unit

DESTRUCTION UNIT 9 p.m., White Water. Led by Ryan Rousseau, a former bandmate of the late Jay Reatard's, Destruction Unit is a low-end-heavy psychedelic rock band that claims to be from the Sonoran Desert, which probably means Phoenix, Arizona, but either way sounds impressively rustic and full of mystery.

UAMS chancellor updates staff on finances

Leslie Peacock wrote here yesterday about UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn's presentation to the UA Board of Trustees and the campus' need for greater revenue, else cutbacks be necessary.

Election commissioner wants to address Voter ID law problems

Chris Burks, a member of the Pulaski County Election Commission, said he's asked for a commission meeting to discuss the problems arising from implementation of the new Voter ID law pushed through the legislature by Republicans.

Utah will expand Medicaid, likely using Arkansas-style "private option"

Utah Governor Gary Herbert announced yesterday that his state will expand Medicaid, becoming the twenty-sixth state to do so.

Booksigning tomorrow: "The Public's Health"

Book looks at Arkansas's health issues over the past 200 years and the work of public health officials.

UAMS planning $9 million in cuts

The ACA and private option are crucial to UAMS' bottom line, Rahn repeats.

Friday night line

The line is open. A couple of notes:

"Say It With Snap!" at UALR

Posters were created to increase worker productivity.

Opening Saturday at Laman: "Evolving Universe"

To infinity and beyond, thanks to Smithsonian photographers.

Food Feedback Friday: crab, curry, and coconut

Go on, give us your feedback.

Let us pray: The Saturday morning line

Cool and crisp in SF. Here's what grabbed my attention this morning:

Little Rock's River Trail inches toward the Dillard's gap

I get a copy of the Little Rock City Board agenda each week and noticed this item:

Life and death in Texas: A 'pro-life' law in action

If you haven't read a detailed account of the brain-dead woman in Texas who's been kept on life-support machinery since November because she was then 14 weeks pregnant (with a fetus that is not viable), you should.

And now for something silly

From the guys on the show with no name, a song about the Arkansas Times.

The Saturday night line

I am at a conference with the people who manage our website but I still can't get the glitch in comment counts

Sunday report: Mayhem, Hillary Clinton and more

I'll be traveling today and so unless one of my colleagues can chip in, posting will be light.

An early open line

Full of dim sum from Yank Sing, I'm off to the airport. So I'll just open up a line.

AM report: Arrest in fatal stabbing, political announcement

Items that drifted in overnight: * HOMICIDE ARREST: The Pulaski sheriff's office arrest Melissa

Little Rock Foodcast launches today

New food-related podcast launches today.

Republican chair rebukes Huckabee for 'libido' remark (PS — This could be good for Hillary)

It's going to be a little hard for Mike Huckabee to blame the liberal media for misconscrewing his nutty remark on birth control now that Reince Pribus, the Republican national chairman, said he'd rebuked Huckabee for using language that

Burns Park rocket slide torched over the weekend

KTHV reports on a fire that heavily damaged a popular playground slide in North Little Rock's Burns Park.

Pulaski Election Commission to discuss absentee ballots

The Pulaski County Election Commission will meet at 2 p.m. Thursday at 501 West Markham Street to set polls for the March 11 special election on a property tax millage for Pulaski Tech.

'Teapot Party' proposes Willie Nelson Act to legalize marijuana

OK, this is a long shot, but still. Read here about the Arkansas Teapot Party, which proposes that the legislature use the fiscal session to pass a law legalizing 

Hillary Clinton hasn't driven a car since 1996

[embed-1] Hillary Clinton, in a speech to auto dealers, says she hasn't driven since 1996.

A state House race to watch in west Little Rock

Forget about the Hillary is Coming in 2016 theme that some Arkansans utter when considering the slide into Red State Republicanism.

New in Fayetteville: Stephanie Pierce and Cynthia Nourse Thompson

New to UA arts faculty.

Open line topics: The UA gravy train and the GOP war on women

The Monday line is open.

Tuesday night: Pritzker's Martha Thorne at Arts Center

An Architecture and Design Network presentation.

Funny money and the race for Arkansas governor

I was going to pass on this today, but I've rethought on account of John Lyon's story for Stephens Media about Asa Hutchinson's speech to Arkansas sheriffs.

Pete Seeger dies at 94

[embed-1] There was never any doubt which side Pete Seeger was on. The folk singer died this morning at 94, with his family at bedside at the hospital, singing.

Which side of the farm bill is Tom Cotton on?

Cue some Pete Seeger for Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, who faces a House vote tomorrow on what's been described as a bipartisan agreement on farm legislation.

Guns and children: ABC takes a discomfiting look

ABC News has been running a series of reports leading to a longer piece on one of its news magazine shows about the prevalence of guns in Ameirca

Parts of Arkansas get a snowfall

It's just cold here,but it's snowing up in Yell County and other places. Thanks to Mountain Girl for the photo coverage.

How Arkansas came to minority rule, which now puts sick working people on the chopping block

An early look at this week's column by Ernie Dumas, who provides a history lesson on how Arkansas came to be the only state in the union that allows a Arkansas is not the only state to fool around with minority rule, but killing health insurance for 150,000 or so citizens next month will push the state far into the vanguard of states that have experimented with it.

Arkansas unemployment rate dropped in December

The Arkansas unemployment rate in December was 7.4 percent, down from 7.5 percent the preceding month.

Search on for missing child

Authorities are looking for Tyrel Holloway, 9, who hasn't been seen since 5:40 p.m. Monday.

FBI agents at Rogers Photo Archive in North Little Rock — UPDATE

The buzz this morning is FBI presence at the Rogers Photo Archive in North Little Rock.

No meeting today on embattled LR sewer boss

The Little Rock Sanitary Sewer Committee has cancelled a special meeting that had been set this afternoon to discuss Chief Executive Officer Reggie Corbitt's employment.

FreedomWorks endorses Tommy Moll — Tommy Who?

Tommy Moll hopes to be the next Tom Cotton. Jet back to Arkansas after years away and use deep-pocketed conservative money to buy the 4th District congressional seat, now that the Club for Growth hopes to buy the U.S. Senate for current Extremist Republican Rep. Tom Cotton.

The Tuesday night line

The line is open. Final notes:

Lecture on works by James Volkert

At the Fort Smith RAM.

Sunday at the Arts Center: Music to view Rothko by

Haskell Small to play his composition inspired by Rothko chapel.

Performance artist Tim Youd at Piggott — maybe

"A Farewell to Arms" on a single page.