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March 17, 2005

Vol 3 • No 9

All that (new) jazz

People who occasionally read this column know that I like to hear jazz and sometimes write about it. With a group whose age and taste are like mine, I drove to Fayetteville last week to hear a small band with two of the finest jazz players — Herbie Hanc

Democrats in Arkansas down to one

As recently as two decades ago, Democratic primaries remained tantamount to election in Arkansas, pretty much. As recently as one decade ago, Democratic primaries drew all the competition while Republicans anointed their nominees pre-emptively.

Words March 17

Is you is or is you ain’t my wampus baby? Every so often, I hear from someone who’s fascinated by the name of the Conway High School athletic teams. This time it’s C. H. Ware:

Kids before tax breaks

It turns out that doubletalk is only the province of Chairman Alan Greenspan and that the Federal Reserve banking system is capable of clear and unambiguous wisdom. The evidence is a now widely circulated paper by a couple of economic analysts for th

Editorial cartoon March 17

Get out your green

Several area nightspots have St. Patrick’s Day (Thursday, March 17) revelry scheduled.

Feel the Vapors

If George Wendt (a.k.a. Norm Peterson from “Cheers”), a pub crawl and green fireworks lighting the sky above downtown isn’t enough to get you to Hot Springs on Thursday, there’s music aplenty at Maxine’s Puzzle Bar, too, and it lasts through Saturday.

Letters March 17

Thank you so much for your article on the gay “family” in Arkansas. Just like all gay people, I feel that sometimes people can lose sight of the fact that we are really no different from anyone else.

Sorry Lancaster fans

There will be no new Bob Lancaster column on the web this week. Check back next week.

Avoiding radar

I was in the crush when the House Rules Committee endorsed a gambling expansion at Oaklawn and Southland race tracks.

The Insider March 17

Several states have compiled figures on the numbers of Wal-Mart workers who receive public assistance. Critics of Wal-Mart say the figures illustrate how the public subsidizes Wal-Mart’s low wages, particularly through Medicaid coverage. Add Arkansas t

Powerhouse ‘Palace’

Part of the reason war is so damned terrible is — of course — the kids they send off to war. While diplomacy and politics are the prerogative of the old, it’s always up to the young folks to fight when the politicians can’t resolve their differences. The

Editorials March 17

It’s often been said that Arkansas resembles a Third World country, in that a small but wealthy family and corporate elite at the top preys voraciously on the masses below. At this very moment, the predators are on the prowl.

Picasso comes to PHE event

Pulaski Heights Picassos has got the 7-year itch — the itch to once again auction art to benefit PH Elementary School’s art program. This year’s show will feature a real Picasso — as well as a Miro and a Dali — so take along a lot of scratch to the 7th an

Orval March 17

More picks March 17-23

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra celebrates the Broadway musical with two performances of “Broadway a la Carte” in its Pops, Live series on Friday and Saturday, March 18-19, at Robinson Center Music Hall.

Bobby’s is doing well out west

Once a Southwest Little Rock staple on 65th Street, Bobby’s Country Cookin’ is now a West Little Rock favorite for some of the best down home-cooking around.

The week that was March 9-15, 2005

IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR … CORPORATE GREED. The business lobby has lined up at the legislative trough for tax breaks for the timber industry, the telephone industry, the chemical industry, the real estate development busine

The Observer March 17

A daffodil-seeker en route to the sea of yellow and green at Wye Mountain last weekend got an eyeful of naked hillsides along the way — and a picture of what folks out Highway 113 past Maumelle think of Deltic Timber.

For his own good

Someone needs to run against Mike Beebe in the Democratic primary for governor.

Smart Talk March 17

A committee of the Arkansas State University faculty senate, which has been at odds with the ASU administration, recently asked the faculty to evaluate ASU President Les Wyatt and vice chancellor for academic affairs Susan Allen. Most of those who respond

'Tennessee Stud'

“Tennessee Stud” has become a folk and country classic. Author Jimmie Driftwood was born James Corbett Morris on June 20, 1907, at the foot of Fredonia Hill in Stone County’s West Richwoods.


A bill filed March 7 in the state legislature by El Dorado Rep. Jodie Mahony would “prohibit state-supported institutions of higher education from advertising on commercial media.”

What's cooking/capsule reviews

What's cooking: Rolando's, McClard's, Lolita's. Capsule reviews: China King, Kibb's.

This Modern World March 17

Great news! Layoffs

If the Little Rock School District were a Fortune 500 company, its stockholders would be pretty happy right now. Cutting one-third of the managerial staff? Great news. The work will still get done — it always does.

Rep’s ‘Miracle’

Broadway and regional theater actors again dot the Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s cast as the Rep presents “The Miracle Worker,” the story of Helen Keller, opening Friday, March 18.

It ain’t La Scala

At first blush, it’s a little hard to take Tim Ray all that seriously as a singer. When Jazzper, the trio he fronts, takes the stage at the Ozark Cafe in Jasper not long after 7:30 on a February Saturday night, Ray’s wearing an orange plaid shirt, blac

Fayetteville center angles for big names

With such names as David Sedaris, Herbie Hancock, the Chieftains and Dianne Reeves on the program for the first third of 2005 alone, the Walton Arts Center will offer Fayetteville an array of entertainment that one might expect to find in a much larger m

Farrar revs up Son Volt

The talent stream to Austin’s South-by-Southwest showcase and music conference runs at least partly through Little Rock, and that will bring alt-country superstar Jay Farrar and Son Volt here for a show at Sticky Fingerz on Friday, March 18.

Unto these hills

Heber Springs is becoming more involved this year in the Ozark Foothills Filmfest, and Searcy is also joining in the screenings as the festival, which originated in Batesville in 2001, prepares for its fifth season April 1-17.

Bright lights, big city

Natalie Cole, the Grammy Award winning vocalist, returns to Little Rock on Sunday, April 3, as the guest of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in its annual SuperPops Concert.

Spring arts calendar

Music, drama and more all over Arkansas.

Alison and the boys

It’s hip to like the rootsy country sound of bluegrass these days, and the leaders of that movement are multi-Grammy Award winning Alison Krauss and Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas.

The hills are alive with music

Riverfest is always tuneful. But it could have been argued last year, on the Memorial Day festival’s second night, that the best concert in Arkansas was some two hours away, up in the hills of North Arkansas. Just a little ways outside picturesque Moun

A rabble-rouser is born.

Luke Skrable can tell you exactly when and where his life as a community activist began: August 2002, the day he looked out his window and spied the down-on-its-heels recliner on the curb across from his house. He looked at it every day for the next four

Poignant and poetic

Hightone Records recording artist Chris Smither is a singer-songwriter who fulfills the promise of the songwriting craft as few people can. His show last Friday was nothing less than a celebration of good songs.

Water resolution withdrawn

The Central Arkansas Water Commission has scrapped a special meeting Monday to consider what opponents had described as a compromise with Deltic Timber on development in the Lake Maumelle watershed.

Deltic bill fails

A bill that would remove Central Arkansas Water's condemnation powers in the Lake Maumelle watershed today failed in a House committee.