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Love and sex

Love and sex

February 8, 2018

Vol 44 • No 23

Read the print version

For lovers

We put our usual cynicism and grousing on hold as we genuflect in the direction of Aphrodite, with highly questionable sex and relationship advice from our staff, much sounder advice from an honest-to-God sex therapist and entertainment editor Stephanie Smittle's survey of two of the state's finer rubber schlong and porno emporiums.

The frontier of X-rated

Peddling porn in Johnson County.

Touch-a, touch-a, touch me

Make your marriage pretty, with sex.

Free advice

From the WebMD of Romance and Dr. Love.

RAO adapts

In the age of Reddit, it takes more than porn to keep the doors open.

Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase continues

And much more.

Rights at risk

Forty-five years ago this year, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed a fundamental truth: A woman's right to personal autonomy must include the ability to make the most deeply personal decision of all — the decision of when and whether to have a child.

FDA limits CBD advertising

A company recently sent the Arkansas Times a press release advertising its cannabidiol (CBD) products, claiming they help with "relief of chronic pain," "anti-inflammatory benefits," "anxiety relief," "sleep," and "Cancer, Parkinson's, and Diabetes fighting properties."

More guns than sense

Let's be honest: It's a tough time to be a gun safety advocate in Arkansas.

Reed Turchi returns to South on Main

And John Dee Graham comes to White Water Tavern.

Inconsequential News Quiz: Flupocalypse Edition!

Play at home while wearing a surgical mask, so as not to infect others!

The other

"Those are devil worshippers out there," a boy at church told us one night as we watched the fires in the rice fields near the old Bono Church of Christ.

Tucker enters congressional race

Also, Bart Hester does not approve of dance majors, Rapert critic gets arrested and more.

Can't get farther to the right

Police problems

Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner's surprise emergence as a candidate for a higher-paying job in a smaller city (Charleston, S.C.) is a commentary on the fraught relationship of police with the Little Rock community and a city government structure in need of change.

Building up the arts

Exhibition of acquisitions made possible by Windgate foundation opens Windgate Center at UALR.

Mixed feelings

Within (and about) 'Phantom Thread,' Paul Thomas Anderson's Oscar-bound period piece.

DYS to keep youth lockups

Will do further study before seeking private provider.


The Arkansas Times got a visit this week from some folks teaching a class for LifeQuest of Arkansas, an outfit that puts on continuing education courses for older folks.

Modern look, classic dishes at The Avenue

You'll find elevated comfort food there.

Not liking Mike

It pains me to scrawl this batch of Pearls, because like virtually everyone else who watched Mike Anderson "come home" in March 2011 amid fanfare and with a sense that a painful epoch of Razorback basketball was set to close for good, I wanted the beloved understudy to get his overdue, storybook reintroduction and then take flight.

Real reform

The majority of the prison population in Arkansas consists of returning parole violators, and, moreover, almost half of released prisoners return within three years.

Page and the Russians

Let's put it this way: If poor, abused Carter Page wasn't a Russian agent back when Donald Trump plucked him from obscurity to advise his 2016 campaign, he'd definitely done all he could to look like one.

Leslie Rutledge's priorities: A Kentucky T-shirt maker, but not low-wage Arkansans

Events Thursday sharply illustrated Republican Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's priorities — an anti-gay Kentucky T-shirt maker over low-wage workers in restaurants and other businesses that depend on tips.

Blowback continues for Sen. Bart Hester's slam of UALR dance major billboard

A post on the Arkansas Blog Monday about Sen. Bart Hester's slam of UALR for renting a billboard that promotes the school's dance major (the only one in Arkansas) has engendered a great deal of commentary and press coverage and little repentance from Hester.

State delays privatizing youth centers

Benji Hardy reports for the Arkansas Nonprofit News Network on a delay of at least a year in the state's intention to turn over youth lockups to private operators for at least a year.

Little Rock alters cop recruit bonus to require payback for those who quit

City Manager Bruce Moore has altered a $5,000 new recruit bonus for police officers that drew criticism when two recruits quit the force after drawing the bonus and working for only a few months.

Blueprints: 'Women are Stronger' by Duvall opens at Arts & Science Center

Margo Duvall, associate professor of photography at Henderson State University, imprints cyanotype images on fabric for her installation "The Women Are Stronger," which opens today at the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas in Pine Bluff.

Barkus on Main: A Mardi Gras parade for the dogs

Barkus on Main is a free and family friendly event that will take place Sunday, February 11th on Main Street, along the Creative Corridor in downtown Little Rock.

John Newman retrospective, at Art Ventures

For folks in Fayetteville, a trip to Art Ventures (nee Fayetteville Underground, 101 Mountain St.) is in order to see the gallery's retrospective of works by University of Arkansas emeritus art professor John Newman. It's a rare opportunity to see Newman's work, which has been exhibited in Little Rock and numerous other places but which you won't find on the internet.

Lawsuit over Anne Pressly's medical records remains alive

The Arkansas Supreme Court today kept alive a damage suit filed by the mother of slain KATV anchor Anne Pressly over unauthorized sharing of her medical records when she was hospitalized after she was raped and beaten in her home in October 2008. She died of the injuries.

North Little Rock School District investigating guard's shoving of student

The North Little Rock School District is investigating the  handling of a student by a district security officer, Superintendent Kelly Rodgers says.

Stolen chickens no longer block run for office

A change in state law has opened the door for public service by people with past criminal records that previously disqualified them.

Thursday: An open line and the headline roundup

The open line and the daily roundup of news and comment.

Narcan administered in suspected overdose at Central High

KARK reports help from a fellow student and emergency workers for helping a 16-year-old suspected of overdosing Monday at Central High School.

#MeToo hasn't gotten the job done yet. See White House and Rob Porter

A powerful piece by Dahlia Lithwick in Slate demonstrates, with the case of White House aide Rob Porter, why women have a long way to go before they achieve parity with men.

Attorney general will investigate pharmacists' complaints about reimbursements

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge says she will review Arkansas pharmacists' complaints about insufficient reimbursements for drugs set by CVS Caremark, a pharmacy benefit manager.

Supreme Court bills show higher charges for out-of-state lawyers in Griffen case

The Arkansa Supreme Court has paid out almost $25,000, has $135,000 in pending bills stacked up and expects more to come in defending a suit against it by Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen. Out-of-state law firms representing some individual justices have run up the biggest bills so far.

State dodges sovereign immunity question in Burger King case

The news at the Arkansas Supreme Court yesterday was what did NOT get argued in a challenge of a state department's ruling on a tax issue.

Early morning budget votes end brief federal shutdown

The early morning vote to approve a federal budget was marked by Rand Paul's hyporisy, Paul Ryan's failed leadership and unanswered questions about immigration policy.

Early warning: Religious Right again is targeting Arkansas Governor's School

Many details to come, but there are multiple indications that the Religious Right has targeted Arkansas Governor's School.

Study says Arkansas lags in accountability for corporate welfare

The Pew Charitable Trusts have compiled an evaluation of the states for how well they monitor industrial development incentives, or corporate welfare payments of tax money to attract business. Arkansas scores poorly.

Honeymoon appears over for Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Baghdad Barbie of Trump White House

The reviews aren't kind for Sarah Huckabee Sanders' honesty as White House press secretary

Little Rock airport announces nonstop to Austin

Clinton National Airport has announced that Via Airlines will begin offering nonstop air service between Little Rock and Austin, Texas beginning April 29.

From Texas, with steak: Saltgrass in Little Rock

In time for Valentine’s Day, Saltgrass Steak House, a Texas chain owned by Landry’s Inc., opened its first Arkansas outlet Feb. 1 at 10 Anglers Way off Interstate 30, near the Bass Pro Shop and Outlets of Little Rock.

Tacos 4 Life coming 2 NLR

Tacos 4 Life, an Arkansas chain that supports the Minnesota-based nonprofit Feed My Starving Children, will open a restaurant in Dillard’s parking lot at McCain Mall in North Little Rock this summer.

Memphis promoter planning return of Riverfest on Memorial Day weekend

A group calling itself the RiverFest Organization has scheduled a news conference Monday at the First Security Amphitheatre for the announcement of rebirth of a Riverfest music festival on the river Memorial Day weekend.

Mardi Gras all weekend: People and dog parades, beard contest, food, beer, etc.

The 2018 SoMardigras, which includes a Main Street parade at noon Saturday, Feb. 10, and The Root Cafe Beard and Mustache Contest in the Bernice Garden afterward, has a food and drink lineup that includes beer, King Cake, King Cake and more King Cake.

Couch Jackets win round two of the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase

Your groovy winner of Round 2 of the 2018 Arkansas Times Musician's Showcase is Couch Jackets.

No Small Talk Ep. 5: Dazz and Brie talk Musicians Showcase

No Small Talk is continuing Musicians Showcase coverage this week. We're talking with current judges and previous winners Dazz and Brie.

Another week done

Here's the open line. Also the daily news roundup.

Supreme Court legal fees in Griffen case run up to $975 an hour

The Arkansas Supreme Court has released the hourly rates charged by lawyers representing justices in the federal lawsuit by Judge Wendell Griffen. They top out at $975 an hour for a lawyer representing Justice Courtney Hudson Goodson.

The Dancin' with Bart Hester Edition

A new lawsuit challenging the state’s photo ID law, Bart Hester vs. the humanities, signs of a threat to governors school, big bills for the state Supreme Court and Clarke Tucker making a run for Congress — all covered on this week's podcast.

The Babe Bracket gets political; Asa backs off an endorsement, Democrat calls him down

The Babe Bracket, a beauty contest for women journalists, has become an issue in the governor's race after Asa Hutchinson gave it an on-air endorsement and then later backed away. The Democratic candidate Jared Henderson said he'd set a better example for the state.

UA-Little Rock attraction coming to River Market this year

An important artwork, in storage for 27 years, could soon be on display downtown in a new facility UA-Little Rock plans on Clinton Avenue.

City taxpayer handout to chamber of commerce on agenda. A word on their deeds

The agenda meeting for the Little Rock City Board this week includes a resolution for the city to pay the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce $300,000 again this year for  "economic development consulting services." It's sham to subsidize corporate lobbyists.

Attorney general says public facilities that serve alcohol can ban guns

Who knew Attorney General Leslie Rutledge would say there ARE circumstances in which the right to bear arms may be infringed? Such as at public facilities that serve alcohol.

Another Saturday night

Open line time.

Hank Wilkins won't run again for Jefferson County judge

The Pine Bluff Commercial reports today that Henry Wilkins IV, a former state representative, has announced he won't seek another term as Jefferson County judge, the top county elected office.

Remington Arms seeking financing for potential bankruptcy filing

Reuters reports that Remington Arms, one of the country's largest gunmakers, has been seeking financing to allow it to file for bankruotcy. Some investors are apparently reluctant to back the gun industry

Griffen speaks out against bias against LGBTQ in mission work

Wendell Griffen, the circuit judge and Baptist preacher whose penchant for free speech regularly gets in trouble with legislators, is taking on a church establishment now, though the topic likely would rile the same lawmakers who don't like him speaking out on capital punishment.

The Trump base: Wife beaters?

Donald Trump is said to have gone "off script" yesterday by expressing sympathy for men accused of abusing women while showing no concern for the victims.

The more things change — corporate welfare edition

A rueful blast from the past in today’s “Other Days” column I the D-G. Feb. 11, 1968 • The Central Arkansas Labor Council says it will go to court if necessary to stop cities from paying dues to chambers of commerce.

The what-the? open line

The Sunday open line.

A mayor stands up against freeway widening. No. Not in Little Rock.

Another booming city, Indianapolis, fights ever wider urban freeways. Meanwhile, back in Little Rock .....

Legislative budget session begins today: health care in the balance

The legislature meets. The big question: How cheap will the state choose to be in helping working poor get health coverage? Also on the agenda: Supreme Court legal bills.

'Four-wheeler riot' at country rap show in Garland County

Country rap music. Four-wheelers. Alcohol. Arkansas. What could go wrong?

Arkansas State to sue Miami over lost football game income

KAIT-TV in Jonesboro just tweeted that Arkansas State University intends to sue the University of Miami for $650,000 because Miami cancelled a September game with ASU in Jonesboro on account of Hurricane Irma.

Hutchinson replaces controversial dental board appointee

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced today that he'd appointed Dr. Matthew McDonough of Jonesboro to the state Board of Dental Examiners, replacing Dr. Richard L. Smith of North Little Rock for a term ending Sept. 1, 2022. Smith had just been appointed last fall and that appointment had engendered controversy in the profession.

Complaint brings Bible quotes down from Searcy High choral room

The Freedom from Religion Foundation says Searcy High School has taken down Bible and religious quotes from a choral room in response to the foundation's complaint.

Hutchinson opens legislative session with a pat on his own back

Gov. Asa Hutchinson opened the legislature's budget system with an endorsement of his record since his first joint session talk three years ago — a tax cut, strong employment and other positives. "The state of our state is stronger than ever before."

Mike Lee enters West Little Rock legislative race

Mike Lee, a semi-retired engineer and lawyer, said today that he'll make a Democratic challenge to Republican Rep. Andy Davis for House District 31 in western Little Rock.

Fun with numbers: Asa's mythical tax cut

Gov. Asa Hutchinson's  legislative opening speech had little to offer with one exception: His "free beer tomorrow" gambit in the form of a far-off income tax cut for the rich.

RiverFest reborn: expect country music and kiddie rides

Welcome the new RiverFest — now headed by Universal Fairs of Memphis and the Riverfest Organization. You can expect country music, kiddie rides at the "large Ford Family Fun Zone," and a return to Memorial Day Weekend.

Monday: An open line and news roundup

Here's the open line. Also, the roundup of headlines and comment.

Eddie Cooper, former legislator, pleads guilty to kickback conspiracy

Eddie Wayne Cooper, 51, who served three terms as a Democratic state representative from Melbourne, has pleaded guilty in Springfield, Mo., to participating in a conspiracy to embezzle more than $4 million from a nonprofit health care agency.

Stuttgart lottery dispute settled

A lawsuit over rights to a $300,000 lottery ticket has been resolved on undisclosed terms.

Family advocates fault governor on spending, tax cut for upper income

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families has posted its assessment of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's legislative session-opening remarks. Bottom line: It fell short on adequate funding of existing services and promised greater inequality in taxes in years ahead.

Jan Morgan strikes a populist note, goes after Asa's millionaire supporters

Gov. Asa Hutchinson's proposal to deliver a tax cut worth roughly a 14 percent reduction in state income taxes for the wealthy in 2019 is a good place to check in with his Republican primary challenger, Jan Morgan.

Trump's bait and switch on budget, infrastructure

The Trump budget and infrastructure plan? Losers!

LR City Board candidate presses tax question on police car use

Russ Racop, the blogger who's running for City Board of Directors, has added a new question to those he's been peppering the city with about the police department. Is free car use reported as a taxable benefit for officers who enjoy it.

Government in the shadows; the Arkansas Senate likes it that way

Will the Arkansas Senate ever allow the public to watch it work on the web? The House does, to its credit. The Senate likes to make it difficult to hold them accountable.

Watching the money flow in kickback scheme using Arkansas surplus

Here's the full federal charge alleging former legislator Eddie Cooper's participation in a kickback and illegal campaign contribution scheme run by officials of a giant health care nonprofit. The details make references to unnamed other legislators and lobbyists. It might make fun, or uncomfortable, reading for Capitol insiders.

The man behind 'Boy Erased,' an Arkansas experience coming to the screen soon

Ernest Dumas writes this week about Garrard Conley, an Arkansas native whose biography about being the son of a Baptist preacher forced into a church-supported gay conversion program is the basis for the coming movie "Boy Erased" starring Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman.

The Trump food boxes: His meanest idea yet

The Trump administration idea to replace a big part of the SNAP (food stamp) program with boxes of non-perishable food items is, I think the LA Times writer gets correctly, his meanest idea yet.

AEDC director adds first-class travel costs to ethics form

Mike Preston, director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission filed an amended financial disclosure form this week after we asked about his omission of travel expenses paid for him by the private Arkansas Economic Development Foundation.

Tuesday's open line

Here's the open line. Also plenty of Trump talk on the daily video.

Boys on the Tracks

A former wrestler offers the latest take on what REALLY happened when two boys were run over by a train in Saline County in 1987.

A choice, not an echo, in GOP Senate runoff

A special election to fill the Senate seat held by the late Greg Standridge in the Russellville area has produced a runoff in the Republican primary between starkly different candidates, Bob Bailey and Breanne Davis.

NRA lying has begun on gun legislation

If the subject is gun legislation, you can count on the NRA to oppose common sense and lie about it in the process.

A Democratic convert aims at Northwest Arkansas legislative seat

Add Springdale native Gary Morris to the list of Democrats not ready to give up Northwest Arkansas legislative seats without a fight.

Even Leslie Rutledge joins campaign against forced arbitration of work sex harassment claims

Every attorney general in the U.S. has joined a coalition asking Congress to end secret, forced arbitration of workplace claims of sexual harassment.Yes, even Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.

Will pharmacists wreck the governor's budget over reimbursement dispute?

An insurrection by pharmacists over drug payments for those covered by Arkansas Works has grown to the point that it's threatening Gov. Asa Hutchinson's entire budget.

NLR police report murder-suicide at cosmetics plant

KARK's Isabella Moller says North Little Rock police have reported two gun deaths at the L'Oreal cosmetics factory on the city's east side were a murder-suicide — a 19-year-old woman was shot by a 32-year-old man who then shot himself.

Plant Board's hemp regulations delayed by questions from governor, visit from DEA

After the inaugural meeting of the Industrial Hemp Committee in late January, the regulatory system for hemp in Arkansas seemed near completion — draft regulations were sent along to Governor Hutchinson as part of the final steps for approval of the program's bureaucracy.

Locked up and forgotten. State struggles to manage youth lockups

Take a trip into the world of an Arkansas juvenile lockup — unsafe and unsanitary where such basics as soap are in short supply.

Donald Trump: Making the judiciary white male again

Donald Trump, in seeking ultraconservative federal judges, is making the judiciary white male again.

Crystal Bridges: Waking up Arkansas

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art's multicultural bent — including its decision to rehang its galleries to include works by Native American artists — has the Washington Post asking if it is the "most woke museum in America?"

Valentine's Day open line

The open line and the day's roundup of news and comment.

A smokin' River Market district: The Shack, Hickory Joe's in works

River Market district promoters have always hoped for a Beale Street feel, and it looks like they’re going to get one, when Gusano’s Pizzeria at 313 President Clinton Ave. morphs into The Shack, that beloved barbecue joint of yore, and brings in the blues, perhaps sometime in March.

Raduno brings on the barbecue for birthday bash, celebrating cyclists, too

Raduno Brick Oven & Barroom pizza restaurant at 1318 S. Main St. has a couple of big events coming up: A birthday bash and a benefit for cyclists in the 2018 AIDS/LifeCycle Ride.

60th Delta exhibition gets a jury of three: Christensen, Hembrey, Young

A distinguished threesome — Les Christensen, Shea Hembrey and Brian Young — have been tapped by the Arkansas Arts Center to judge the 60th "Delta Exhibition" to run May 25 through Aug. 26.

Democratic candidate shifts to race for lt. governor

Anthony Bland, who'd previously announced as a Democratic candidate for secretary of state, announced in a release today that he'll run instead for lieutenant governor, a seat for which incumbent Republican Tim Griffin is seeking re-election.

17 dead in Florida high school after ex-student's rampage with AR-15

Here's a write-through on the latest gun massacre in a U.S. school — with 17 dead apparently killed by a former student at the Broward County, Fla., high school with an AR-15. He's now in custody. It's not too soon to talk gun politics. If not now, when?