← Back to issues

May 29, 2008

Vol 6 • No 20

Tim Griffin watch

Stephens Media's David Sanders also has the news that political hitman Tim Griffin is not going to work for the RNC or McCain campaign as had been reported last week -- yet, anyway.

A man of few words

Gov. Mike Beebe got it about right in responding to the unhinged Debbie Pelley's anti-immigrant screed posted here yesterday.

Lottery backers

Lt. Gov. Bill Halter's lottery campaign announces mayors and county judges who support the idea.

Fox 16 nabs bride interview

Fox 16 has a hospital room interview with the bride who got a head wound after a shooting broke out at her outdoor wedding Saturday along Piney Creek near Dover.

The day of the long knives

Scotty McClellan's little tell-all ("yes, I lied, but they made me do it") is stirring up the crud at the bottom of a White House pot of dishonesty.

Open line

It's Wednesday. We're heading downhill to the weekend.

Extinguish all smoking materials

Oh, here's one good for comment. There's a public hearing tonight on the idea to make all Little Rock parks smoke-free.

Mountain music

The Rep closes out its 2007-2008 season with the award-winning musical “Fire on the Mountain.”

To-do list, May 29

Blue Mountain, Summer Meltdown, Max Recordings Seventh Anniversary Show, Downtown Music Grand Opening, The Guess Who, Blues Patrol, Big Boots / Chris Denny, and 'E.T.' are happening this week.

May 21-27, 2008

It was a good week for … RIVERFEST. The annual party drew more than 250,000 and, apart from massive traffic jams at closing time, seems to have gone off with few hitches.

Editorial cartoon, May 29

RV park good idea

What a great idea. North Little Rock Mayor Pat Hays is spot on with his plans for the riverfront RV park.

Creeps at the Clinton School

Some of the best people believe that Billy Tauzin performs the antithesis of public service, and when they learned that he’d spoken, by invitation, at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service on May 19, they were roundly displeased.

In brief, May 29

Ace’s Wild headlines at Cajun’s, 9 p.m., $5, after Blue Carousel plays happy hour.

On the short list

I’ve been vetted for it before, and I surely made more short lists than the late Harold Stassen.

What's cooking, May 29

Green means more than beans and leafy things at several environmentally-conscious restaurants.

Smart Talk, May 29

From the April newsletter of FAIR, the media watchdog group: “The Big Surprise on Super Tuesday, according to corporate media, was Mike Huckabee’s strong showing in Southern states.

Blue Canoe, two

Where, oh where, have all the first-generation roots rockers gone? Uncle Tupelo? Long gone. Wilco? Surely you haven't been asleep that long. Jayhawks? Splitsville. For those still lamenting the end of No Depression — the magazine and the genre — a flicker

Riverfest round-up

It’s easy to malign Riverfest. The headliners aren’t often contemporarily relevant. It takes forever to get anywhere.

Heckuva job, guv

The most cautious man ever to be elected Arkansas’s governor last week ordered a college education to be put out of reach of thousands of poverty-stricken but academically qualified children.

Kansas City, Mexico

There’s this outfit calling itself Secure Arkansas.

Full (from the) Circle

Fat Boys, a hot-dog joint on Main Street North Little Rock, lasted less than a year after opening last summer, but it lives on — sort of — through the Circle, the restaurant that opened in the space in mid-April.

Movies in the Park kicks off tonight

Grab a blanket, ice up the cooler and head down to the River Market. With drive-ins in short supply in these parts, the annual “Movies in the Park” series in the Riverfest Amphitheatre is your best chance to commune with nature and catch a flick. Tonight: “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial.”

Orval, May 29

George Lucas, ruiner of movie franchises?

Back by unpopular demand, the Arkansas movie club. David Koon: You know, for the past couple of days, I've been sort of steeling myself up.

This modern world, May 29

No Manchurian candidates

The time has come for every columnist worth his or her salt to help John McCain and Barack Obama choose their vice presidential running mates, either by name or by identifying the factors that should guide their choices.

The Observer, May 29

A smidge in advance of Riverfest, a celebration of another sort rose up at the Historic Arkansas Museum.

Root Hog or Die

The doldrums of the off season have officially set in up here in Fayetteville, and I must admit that I've been straining for material.

Join the War on Cruelty

Getting rid of the sales tax on groceries, and raising the severance tax on natural gas, were ideas whose time had (finally) come.

A dog’s life

Geography is indeed destiny, as the saying goes — at least for stray animals in Pulaski County.

Coveted land

The 10 mostly wooded and highly coveted acres immediately behind the Arkansas School for the Blind are being looked at once more for development, this time for single-family homes.

Blown out again

One of the things I have learned since moving here is that Arkansans are passionate about their sports!

Wings over Fayetteville

You know, we’ve always said that if there’s one thing missing from Fayetteville (other than black people), it’s a really great alternative weekly newspaper.

Good – or Godly – relations

The career of Msgr. Scott Friend, the director of vocations for the Little Rock Diocese, has, in many respects, paralleled that of the bishop who will soon be his boss.

The liquor cartel UPDATE

Residents in nominally dry counties around Arkansas have often been unhappy as the state Alcoholic Beverage Control commission has merrily used a loophole added to state law to give what are essentially restaurant drink permits in the name of economic development.

Heavyweight bout in Faulkner County

Brummett chats with Religious Right Republican Sen. Gilbert Baker about his coming contest with Democrat Joe White in the fall.

An inconvenient truth

Noted: Clinton will win more pledged delegates in primary states. Obama's edge comes from caucus states.

An inconvenient truth

Noted: Clinton will win more pledged delegates in primary states. Obama's edge comes from caucus states.

NLR wheeling and dealing

Argenta News muses on some recent land purchases near the NLR Electric Department by the V3 investment group that has made a number of investments in the Argenta neighborhood (old downtown).

Lottery spin

We posted yesterday a news release from Lt. Gov. Bill Halter about mayors and county judges who backed his state lottery proposal.

Following the dots

I learned today that Central Arkansas Water had decided to change ad/PR representation. Heathcott Associates had been handling the work.

LRSD wins

The Arkansas Supreme Court has upheld Circuit Judge Tim Fox's finding that the Little Rock School Board had not misspent taxpayer money in buying out the contract of former Superintendent Roy Brooks.

LRSD wins

The Arkansas Supreme Court has upheld Circuit Judge Tim Fox's finding that the Little Rock School Board had not misspent taxpayer money in buying out the contract of former Superintendent Roy Brooks.

Joe Johnson Has a Very Large Carbon Footprint

You simply must head over to ArkansasSports360.com and check out Tre Baker's post about Joe Johnson's cute little ride, a six-door Ford F650 Super Truck XUV.

The real thing

Kat Robinson at Tie Dye Travels says this barbecue -- at Old Post Bar-BQ in Russellville, is how barbecue is supposed to taste.

Correction

Next Wed. for "E.T." Boy am I struggling today.

Those darn computers

It was even worse than previously described in Conway. Electronic machines tabulated votes for a race that did not appear on the electronic ballot.

Correction: E.T. kicks off Movies in the Park next week

Next Wed. for "E.T." I've got this below on Rock Candy, but just in case some of you don't venture that far down the page:The kick-off of the Movies in the Park series, seen earlier today in the top story slot on our website, is next Wed., not tonight.

Thursday To-Do: Summer Meltdown

Big Drew. SUMMER MELTDOWN10 p.m., Cornerstone Pub.

For sale: Fayetteville High UPDATE

The Fayetteville High School controversy is expected to climax tonight at a School Board meeting.

Coalition building

Somebody passed along to me today an e-mail from Tim Griffin, the infamous Republican political research man and former U.S. attorney.

Mormon children sent home

The Texas Supreme Court affirms that children of the polygamist sect must be sent home.

Bobby Speaks

The SEC Spring Meetings in beautiful, sunny Destin, Fla., have produced a flurry of Bobby Petrino stories.

Belatedly ...

... an open line. Sorry.

Belatedly ...

... an open line. Sorry.

Alien immersion

The AP is bulldogging the story it created about the enrollment of students without citizenship or student visa papers in Arkansas colleges at in-state tuition rates.

Alien immersion

The AP is bulldogging the story it created about the enrollment of students without citizenship or student visa papers in Arkansas colleges at in-state tuition rates.

The bilingual bishop

Rev. Anthony Taylor, the Oklahoma priest who next week will be ordained the seventh bishop of Arkansas, will tell you he's “a calm person.”

Max celebrates itself, others

Pop the champagne (or PBR), Max Recordings is seven. Long the standard- bearer for smart, local music, always packaged exceedingly well, Max isn't just celebrating itself, it's celebrating the release of new albums by the Good Fear and Isaac Alexander. Bo

Huckabee: fire from the right

Mike Huckabee governed as a big government Republican (and that's not criticism.) But it continues to rankle committed movement conservatives who hate "activist government."

The gender issue

Here's a male columnist, E.J. Dionne, not ready to write off the idea that Hillary Clinton has endured criticism of a sort a male wouldn't have encountered.

End of an error

I can't take credit for the headline, it was suggested by a motorist who tipped me to the following development: A crane was at work on Jennings Osborne's Cantrell Road spread yesterday as workers disassembled the giant light display on his yard.

Hot story UPDATE

Blog reader CS alerts me to an out-of-the-ordinary house fire story on Channel 4. A house at 43 Chenal Circle burned last night.

Supreme Court lauded

The Arkansas Supreme Court has been ranked second-best in the country among state supreme courts in a University of Chicago Law School study that gave numerical grades on productivity, independence and opinion quality.

Supreme Court lauded

The Arkansas Supreme Court has been ranked second-best in the country among state supreme courts in a University of Chicago Law School study that gave numerical grades on productivity, independence and opinion quality.

Friday To-Do: Downtown Music Grand Opening

DOWNTOWN MUSIC GRAND OPENING8 p.m., Downtown Music. $6.The local metal hub for more than half a decade now, Downtown Music celebrates its sixth anniversary with the grand opening of its new space.

David Gordon Green sticks with comedy

Erstwhile indie hero and LR native David Gordon Green continues (fingers-crossed) making subversive studio comedies.

Houston of the Ozarks

Hmmmm. From the Memphis paper.

Ask the Blog UPDATE

Another edition of Ask the Blog, for a reader who requested more information about Central Arkansas Water's contract with a new ad/PR adviser, Advantage Communications, and, for policy work, with Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods.

Ask the Blog UPDATE

Another edition of Ask the Blog, for a reader who requested more information about Central Arkansas Water's contract with a new ad/PR adviser, Advantage Communications, and, for policy work, with Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods.

Friday To-Do: Max turns 7

The Good Fear. MAX RECORDINGS SEVENTH ANNIVERSARY SHOW9 p.m., White Water Tavern.

Linkage: Da Rulah, Root Hog or Die, three-ways and more diversions

  Thank you Ashley Alexandra Dupre.

Fire victim: 'I laid there scared to death.'

Aaron Jones, the lawyer and real estate developer who says he was bound by armed intruders in his Chenal Circle home early this morning and managed to escape the fire intruders set, said he can think of no one with a reason to do him harm.

R-E-P-R-E-S-E-N-T

Samia Nawaz, a Little Rock native, has made it to the final round of the Scripps  National Spelling Bee.

The sweet spell of success

Samia Nawaz, a student at Little Rock's Anthony School, has reached the finals of the National Spelling Bee.

Take it away

You're up.

Blues reunion

Blues Patrol tore up local stages in the '80s with their fiery brand of blues. Now, the wildly popular act is reuniting tonight at Cornerstone Pub to celebrate the release of “We Walked the Streets Like Giants,” a DVD that pairs contemporary footage of BP

Whither the farm vote

Come November, Brummett writes, the East Arkansas farm vote will ponder change (Obama) versus fear (McCain) and, given race and culture, Obama faces an uphill climb.

Bush moves to cement 'legacy'

Check it out. Another finagle by the Bush administration, an early deadline for rules changes that will make it harder for the next administration to disturb rules Bush has put in place.

Mike Beebe's parsing

Another good weekly column by Andrew DeMillo, this one on Gov. Mike Beebe's triangulation of the hot-button question (for some hotheads anyway) of giving in-state tuition to Arkansas high school graduates and residents who might lack a Social Security number.

Back to you

I may check in. But maybe not.

Back to you

I may check in. But maybe not.

Za! Za!

Za Za, the pizza-salad-gelato creation of Scott McGehee and John Beachboard on the back side of the Heights Theater shops, is an early smash -- and a bit of a victim of its somewhat hard-to-cipher self-serve setup.

Let's eat

New food porn on Eat Arkansas. I forgot to mention -- ice cold Moretti beer in frozen mugs, on draft, and rosso di montalcino by the glass at absurdly fair markups.

Creeps at the Clinton School

Some of the best people believe that Billy Tauzin performs the antithesis of public service, and when they learned that he'd spoken, by invitation, at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service on May 19, they were roundly displeased.

Arkies firm for Hillary

For the record: 11 of Arkansas's 12 super delegates are standing firmly committed to Hillary Clinton.

Another bashing of Scott McClellan

Here it's John Brummett, for his cash-in book.

How are you spending your rebate check?

New York Times: The federal government is showering households with tax rebates to spur spending and invigorate a troubled economy.

The maturing of state lotteries

More food for thought on state lotteries. California was a pioneer.

AWOL

Planted some flowers before the storm. Did some minor home repair (changing light bulbs, etc.).

Chenal fire followup

KTHV scores an interview with Aaron Jones, the Saline County real estate developer, who says he was bound by intruders at his Chenal Circle home while his house was set afire last week.

Obama's running mate

Brummett reviews the list of potential vice president candidates for Barack Obama and concludes that Hillary Clinton seems stronger than all, save one -- Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland.

Riverfest in a rut

Argenta News laments damage done to North Little Rock's riverfront park by its use as a primary Riverfest festival area and suggests a relocation to paved space a bit down river.

A hint of what is to come

Obama oratory fails to completely impress Bill Kristol on the occasion of his graduation speech at elite Wesleyan in Connecticut.

GOP victory team

The Republican National Committee has announced a number of state directors for the party's campaign for president.

New head for UA-Hope

University of Arkansas President Alan Sugg announced today that he will recommend Prosecuting Attorney Chris Thomason of Hope to be next chancellor of the UA Community College at Hope.

Bill Clinton v. Vanity Fair

The current Vanity Fair carries an unflattering article about Bill Clinton. The Clinton office responds with more than 2,000 words (thus feeding the rebroadcasting on dozens if not jillions of websites.)

Get those shower radios now

Arkansas Business reports that Sharper Imagine, founded by Little Rock native Richard Thalheimer (forever "Dickie" to his Hall High mates), is closing all its retail stores, including the one in western Little Rock.

SOLD OUT Enjoy the Rep -- free!

An Arkansas Blog special: The Arkansas Times invites 50 Arkansas Blog readers to see The Rep's performance of "Fire on the Mountain" this Friday, June 6.  It’s on us!

Hot enough for you?

Joel DiPippa thinks summer's the time for lighter fare, like fish, specifically broiled tilapia with sauce vierge

Gil Baker's money machine

Republican Sen. Gilbert Baker, facing a strong re-eelction challenge from Joe White, has already raised more than a quarter-million-dollars and his supporters say he'll raise $30,000 more at a fund-raiser scheduled Thursday in Conway with former Gov. Mike Huckabee as the marquee host.

Ark. jobless fund low

Stateline.org, which follows state government issues, reports that more than a dozen states, including Arkansas, because of reduced unemployment funds, would be hard-pressed to provide unemployment benefits if the country slips into a full recession and more people are laid off.

The end is nigh

From the campaign trail today: ABC News' Sarah Amos Reports: Speaking to a crowd in Milbank, SD former President Bill Clinton admitted that today could be the last time he has such an active role in presidential politics.

Another reason to hate (or love) Wal-Mart

Small-town newspapers tend to hate Wal-Mart because the stores killed off local merchants that bought advertising.

Tax shortfall: Check's in the mail

Recent news about unexpected dips in local sales tax collections might not be entirely a reflection of a sharp downturn in the economy.

CAT bus wreck downtown

A Central Arkansas Transit bus, eastbound on Twenty-first Street, was in a wreck shortly before 4 p.m. this afternoon.

Testing: public v. private schools

A new "longitudinal study" says public schools do as well as private schools in improving students' math scores over a period of years.

Frontier justice on gas

A Rudy man shot someone he says he saw stealing gasoline from a parked car Sunday night.

Nobody said it was fair

Brummett for the last day of the primary season. Hillary and her people can give you many compelling reasons she should be considered the winner of the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The heat: planetary and political

Had Bush avoided the calamitous war, I think this kind of thing would still be going on.

Welcome home, soldiers

A sad story in today's Washington Post: Iraq vets suffering from post-traumatic stress are being housed alongside firing ranges.

Naked come the rats

"Arkansas's Favorite Nudist Colony Returns!" That was the come-on in Little Rock Zoo publicist Susan Altrui's news release about opening of a new exhibit for the zoo's naked mole rats.

Clinton's concession

For the record, it's coming. Also here. Except, says the Clinton camp, NOT tonight.

State revenues dipping

The state's May revenue report shows a dip against the same month last year, and not so much because of the cut in the sales tax on food.

Meet your NWA clergyman

From the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report: Arnold Murray, a reclusive 81-year-old pastor with ties to white supremacy and the Christian Identity movement, has quietly built himself an empire via his Shepherd's Chapel in tiny Gravette, including weekly (and often anti-Semitic) sermons broadcast on 225 stations, and an annual gathering in Branson, Mo. that draws over 4,000 devotees.

The Rep's building program

As I'd mentioned yesterday, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre announced today a $6 million capital campaign to renovate its home at 601 Main; provide off-site space for storage and set construction, and renovate its apartments for guest actors on Sixth Street.

Dickinsonian

Following Jim Dickinson’s triumphant performance in Riverfest’s Arkansas Tent, there comes word that three of the musicians who played in support at that gig (Dickinson dubbed them the Rackensackers, an early synonym for Arkansans) are at work on a documentary on the famed producer, session man, singer/songwriter and Little Rock native.* Their roles, at this point, remain somewhat ill-defined, but the principals include Greg Spradlin (guitar), Dylan Turner (drums) and Jason Weinheimer (bass).

Elton and Betty White "The Best Love-Maker in the World"

More good news for fans of criminally unknown Arkansas musicians: musician and artist Jerry Colburn is teaming with Donavan Suitt, one half of RURAL WAR ROOM, the local radio show, record label and “cyber band,” to put out an album of unreleased material from cult favorites Elton and Betty White.

Huckabee: the price of fame

Being familiar means never being anonymous. A Texas blogger catches Mike Huckabee in the act of visiting Austin to make a paid speech to a group that included "eight purveyors of fare such as donuts, chicken wings and fried chicken fillets."

Most scorned in America

Out of the blue today I got an op-ed piece from a Kansas professor who heads the American Geographical Society.

XXzotic is back!

XXzotic, before coming back. Yes!

Better late ...

Sorry. I've been occupied.

Movies in the Park kicks off tonight

Grab a blanket, ice up the cooler and head down to the River Market. The annual “Movies in the Park” series in the Riverfest Amphitheatre, which runs every Wednesday through July 23, kicks off tonight with Steven Spielberg's “E.T.”

On the laps of others

Besides failing to acknowledge that he has built his work on the backs of other authors, the author of "On the Laps of the Gods" also makes claims that gravely distort the historical record.

How Arkansas nearly lost a 'living press'

The 10th anniversary of the near closure of the University of Arkansas Press passed with only casual notice this spring. And that, in itself, is a shame.

What we're reading, June 5

The top 10 books selling at Arkansas bookstores.

What's happening in June

Book signings and other events.

There's a word for this

Stephens Media follows up on our item about two Democratic senators -- Bob Johnson and Jerry Taylor -- hosting a fund-raiser for Republican Sen. Gilbert Baker.

The second Walton front

Scott Smith, who's been a lawyer at the state Education Department, will head the new Walton-funded public school agitprop agency at the University of Central Arkansas.

The second Walton front

Scott Smith, who's been a lawyer at the state Education Department, will head the new Walton-funded public school agitprop agency at the University of Central Arkansas.

'True Blood'

Alan Ball's adaptation of Magnolia author Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire Series is coming to HBO in September.

Wes Bentley to star in another movie you won't see

Jonesboro native Wes Bentley seems set to continue his streak of starring in morbid films seen by few.The Hollywood Reporter says that Bentley will star, with American Idol alum Katherine McPhee, in "The Storyteller."

The senator, UA and Fayetteville High

Courtesy of the Fayetteville Trucker, we have a copy of a letter from state Sen. Sue Madison of Fayetteville to the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees concerning the proposal to sell the existing Fayetteville High School to UA for $59 million.

Sneak preview of "The Love Guru"

Oh la la, Jessica Alba. The Little Rock Film Festival, the Little Rock Film Commission and the Arkansas Film Commission will present an advance screening of the new Mike Myers comedy "The Love Guru" on Wed., June 18 at Breckenridge.

Mid-Week Hodge Podge

* A Sad Chapter in a Sad Life. Few Razorbacks basketball players have seemed as troubled as Ron Huery.

The Case of the Missing Post

Tuesday evening, we stumbled upon a wickedly hilarious ArkansasSports360.com post about a recent Wally Hall column in which The Old Graybeard boo-hoo-hooed about how tough life as a sportswriter is.

Joe White has friends, too

Since Sen. Gilbert Baker is having a big fund-raiser tomorrow in Conway, his Democratic opponent Joe White thought he ought to get out word on his own significant financial backers -- including Bill Clinton, who's given him $4,000.

Alltel sale rumors

Talk Business passes along -- as hard to believe -- a CNBC report that Verizon Wireless may buy Alltel.

Football influences lawsuit

Going around the Internet is this ruling from a judge in Texas on a request by Wal-Mart to have an executive deposed in Bentonville rather than San Antonio.

A day late...

What with the political goings-on, we completely forgot to mark the anniversary of one of the most tragic events in Arkansas letters: Thirty years ago yesterday, the Arkansas poet Frank Stanford committed suicide by shooting himself three times in the heart with a .22 caliber pistol.

Soon you will be paying more and driving farther to see movies

The new Chenal 9 IMAX movie theater opens on Friday* at the Promenade at Chenal shopping center (corner of Rahling and Chenal Pkwy.).

Ark. Boys State report

For a decade or so, I've been appearing as the token liberal at the American Legion's civics experiment, Boys State.

Re Hillary: Duh

Yeah, she gets it. Looks like Friday Saturday for concession day.

Moving 'Farther Along'

The writing of Fayetteville author Donald Harington ranks among Arkansas’s most precious natural resources. His classic novel, “The Architecture of the Arkansas Ozarks,” is required reading for any clear-thinking Arkie, and each successive novel has given
Advertisement