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June 12, 2008

Vol 6 • No 22

Laura Bush: Trailer Air

 I thought this was interesting. When flying across Afghanistan to visit troops, the US president's wife was cocooned in her own private luxury trailer which had been towed on board the aircraft.

Dukes of Perry

A lawsuit has been filed alleging violations of the state's political practices act  in the course of Perry County Sheriff Scott Montgomery's successful primary election campaign.

Pot and kettle

Is anyone else a bit tired of the American media, the American president and his American wife tut-tutting about the Chinese and Myanmar regimes' slowness in responding to the typhoon and earthquake damage inflicted on their country a month ago?This finger-pointing is coming from the same goons who have long been silent on the destruction of New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast and our own government's smirking non-response to that particular disaster.Laura Bush tut-tuts from her Airborne Airstream about the Myanmar dictators' actions but sat like a stone monument while her husband and Dicked Cheney let the people along the Gulf Coast essentially shift for themselves for three years after Katrina devastated the area.

Thumbs down for Walgreens

That's the verdict from the Capital Zoning District Commission's design review committee, which held a meeting on the proposal to build a Walgreens drugstore at the northeast corner of 17th and Main streets.

Open mic

Your turn. Tomatoes, football, drugstores, sex, cross burning, airborne Airstreams, presidential politics, an insect-bedeviled TV reporter, Perry County intrigue, slumping home sales, immigration.

Moving on up

So far, it appears the Beebe administration was worth waiting for.

‘Sweeney Todd’

On opening night at the Weekend Theater, more than 30 actors performed the dark, carnival-like musical that is “Sweeney Todd.”

To-do list, June 12

The Drams/Glossary, The Chill, Cowboy Mouth, Mates of State, Alkaline Trio, Katt Williams and 'The Love Guru' are all happening this week.

A & E news, June 12

For the first time since his co-headlining concert with Willie Nelson at Ray Winder Field, Bob Dylan returns to Little Rock, this time at the Riverfest Amphitheatre on Aug. 26.

June 4-10, 2008

It was a good week for … BARACK OBAMA. The primary season completed, he claimed the Democratic Party’s nomination for president, the first black person to achieve a major party nomination

Petrino got slimed

Listen: I don’t care how Petrino got to Arkansas. People can preach loyalty all they want, but with millions of dollars on the line, all loyalty lands you is a career that’s beholden to the whims of others.

In brief, June 12

The Hot Springs Music Festival, a worldwide showcase of musicians from all over the world, continues through Saturday.

Bard season

Tis that time of the year again. For the second summer in a row, the Arkansas Shakespeare Festival takes the stage in Reynolds Performance Hall in Conway for two weeks of family entertainment.

The AUTHENTIC authentic

One of the coolest things about the influx of Latinos into Little Rock in recent decades has been the food they’ve brought with them.

What's Cooking, June 12

Acadia has a new seasonal menu, which includes items like New Zealand Green Shell Mussels and buttermilk fried chicken.

This Modern World

Political notebook

I can’t offer much by way of sustained thought this week. Instead, a notes roundup spanning the political spectrum from top to bottom:

Opposes Park Ave. plan

After concerns over the scaled-back Park Avenue mixed-use center at University and Markham, the Hillcrest Residents Association board voted Monday to oppose the plan “in its current incarnation,” HRA president Hank Bates says.

All the same under the suit

I guess if you like a politician, you have to like them all because underneath the layers of the $1,000 suits they are basically all the same.

The Observer, June 12

The cement truck behind the Arkansas Studies Institute on President Clinton Avenue on Monday was pouring the Arkansas River into the plaza under construction south of the building.

Smart Talk, June 12

State Sen. Sue Madison of Fayetteville joined those who oppose the University of Arkansas’s purchase of Fayetteville High School with a letter last week to the UA Board of Trustees. Why?

Change at central historic site

There’s a changing of the guard — and of accents — coming to the Central High National Historic Site this summer.

An open letter

Dear Major Label Record Executive: The next big thing in hip-hop lives in Little Rock, and his name is 607.

Editorial cartoon, June 12

Juneteenth jitters

It’s June, which means it’ll soon be time again for Power 92’s massive, traffic-halting Juneteenth concert, which draws upwards of 12,000 rap and hip-hop fans annually to the Riverfest Amphitheatre.

Orval, June 12

Funk

Maybe it’s the heat, the abnormally early onset of sticky summertime lassitude; anyhow a vast indifference has settled impenetrably over the ol’ moi sphere exactly like the high-pressure ridge that for a torpid fortnight has held the region against the en

Seldom so few

MINNEAPOLIS — Some 3,500 stout hearts attended the National Conference for Media Reform last week, and if that seems few for such a big job, note that their numbers are growing.

The one they didn’t want

Once again Arkansas Democratic politicians find themselves burdened with a presidential nominee they’d prefer not come near them.

Kung Fu to the IMAX

Bit of a switch this week, as we’ve got a two-tiered review for you.

Words, June 12

It is generally agreed that the recently deceased Bo Diddley was not born with that name. Where he got it is a subject of conjecture.

How Obama can win

Barack Obama has two chances to win the presidency, one more farfetched than the other.

Bodies and bowls

The human body often figures in art.

Without Clinton, Democrats face challenge in Arkansas

Though Democrats control the Arkansas statehouse, both the state’s U.S. Senate seats, and three of four seats in the U.S. House, the party likely will be hard-pressed to win the state in November’s general election.

Obama: same old same old

Brummett notes the announcement by an Oklahoma Democratic congressman that he won't endorse Barack Obama and says it illustrates the candidate's problem in Arkansas and the region.

NOW they talk about women

Now that they've beaten the bitch .... David Broder is making nice about Hillary and women....Nick Kristof is making nice about women...this blog notes others (Howard Dean, Slate, Obama, etc.) making nice about women....John McCain (and Obama again) making nice about women.

Obama's vice president

Carville suggests Al Gore. What about John Kerry?

The Constitution lives at Gitmo

Justice Anthony Kennedy isn't ready to junk the Constitution, even if Roberts, Alito, Scalia and Thomas are.

Bard season

Tis that time of the year again. For the second summer in a row, the Arkansas Shakespeare Festival takes the stage in Reynolds Performance Hall in Conway for two weeks of family entertainment.

Dylan: Positively Pres. Clinton street

Bob Dylan will play the Riverfest Amphitheatre at 8 p.m. Aug. 26.

Hi, I'm Mark Sanford

I've mentioned this previously, but there's surely still time to get a ticket: South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford will be in LR Friday evening to speak to the Republican Party of Arkansas's "Hi, I'm Frank White" awards dinner.

Sen. Crumbly retains seat

The Arkansas Senate voted 19-12 today to affirm a committee's recommendation not to overturn the results of Sen. Jack Crumbly's 2006 election.

Thursday: John West, Randy Kohrs, Eli Young Band and more

John West. Acoustic soul man John West dips down South (he's from L.A.) for a mini-tour that brings him to Crush Wine Bar, 8 p.m., $5.

Fox hires a Huckatator

Howard Kurtz has the scoop that Fox News is about to announce a one-year deal with former Ark. Gov. Mike Huckabee to provide political commentary.

Park Ave.: New plans CORRECTED

Our Insider this week reported the Hillcrest Neighborhood Association's opposition to the announced plans for the Park Avenue shopping center planned to replace University Mall.

Beebe: MLK appointments suspended

Can't quarrel with this announcement by Gov. Mike Beebe: "It is becoming increasingly clear that Arkansas legislators plan to review the structure and composition of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission during the 2009 session, an effort that I support.  Until that review occurs, I will not make any new appointments to the Commission.  This group has a great purpose and can be a conduit for Dr. King's noble tenets, but it appears increasingly difficult for the Commission to do so in its current form."

Summer jams

  The best spooky, late-night summer jam ever.  Rock Candy homie Corporal Bubonic is returning to the airwaves tonight after a three week hiatus.

The American Princes play tour-guide

The American Princes' two front dudes contribute a round-up of their favorite spots in Little Rock for Aquarium Drunkard's recurring Off the Record feature.

Medicaid irregularities probed

The state has moved to terminate Medicaid payments to Gilead Family Resource Center, a provider of mental health services in McGehee, because of multiple irregularities, particularly in programs for kids.

Thursday's thread

Right here.

Can dice be far behind?

I'm not persuaded that the keno approved for use in Arkansas racinos today by the state Racing Commision is any more a game of skill than dice, where you also may increase your bet if you like the point that comes up after an initial throw.

Wesley Clark won't cross picket

Add retired Gen.Wesley Clark to a list including Bill Clinton refusing to cross picket lines of UCLA employees locked in a dispute with the college administration.

New Orleans rock on the RiverTop

They might not draw the biggest crowd — that feat almost surely will be accomplished by '80s cover band Venus Mission — but the Peabody doesn't have a bigger name on the schedule for this year's RiverTop Party concert series.

Give me that new-time religion

Thanks to JP for a link to a Wall Street Journal article on the packaging and branding of independent megachurches in the style of Starbucks and McDonald's for worldwide growth, with income streams to match.

Salmonella outbreak: Thank conservatives

Paul Krugman finds political roots in salmonella outbreaks, mad cow and more. Such hard-core opponents of regulation [as Grover Norquist and Milton Friedman] were once part of the political fringe, but with the rise of modern movement conservatism they moved into the corridors of power.

Was the media sexist?

The NY Times examines complaints of sexism in media coverage of Hillary Clinton and seems to conclude, on balance, that it wasn't sexist.

Was the media sexist?

The NY Times examines complaints of sexism in media coverage of Hillary Clinton and seems to conclude, on balance, that it wasn't sexist.

Petrino: other things to do

I see in the D-G today that Hog coach Bobby Petrino, after being touted for weeks in advertising as a speaker at a coming motivational conference in NLR, has found other things to do.

A dog's life in Helena-West Helena

Is the mayor of Helena-West Helena: a) insensitive b) cruel c) a dumbass d) all of the above?

A dog's life in Helena-West Helena

Is the mayor of Helena-West Helena: a) insensitive b) cruel c) a dumbass d) all of the above?

Friday To-Do: The Drams - Glossary

The Drams. THE DRAMS/GLOSSARY9 p.m., White Water Tavern.

Friday To-Do: The Chill

Slow flow. THE CHILL9 p.m., Revolution.

Huck v. Blanche Lincoln?

Daniel Nasaw in The Guardian tosses out that potential senatorial matchup in 2010 in commenting on Mike Huckabee's new Fox News commentator role.

New Arkansas stamp

Here's the new Arkansas stamp in the Flags of Our Nation series from the Postal Service.

Scott Ford's big gift to Ark. Baptist

I had lunch with someone who attended the fund-raiser at UALR last night for Arkansas Baptist College.

Judge Griffen's plans

I heard today from Court of Appeals Judge Wendell Griffen, in a letter about his reaction to yesterday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of detainees at Guantanamo.

Charlie Jones, sportscaster, dies at 77

A family friend informs me that Charlie Jones, 77, the Fort Smith native and Emmy-winning sportscaster for ABC and NBC, died unexpectedly yesterday at his La Jolla, Calif., home of an apparent heart attack.

Tim Russert, dead at 58

According to a bulletin from the New York Times. Heart attack.

The Weekend: Silverton, Hey Penny, Chris Denny

Silverton. FRIDAY It's Second Friday Art Night, 5-8 p.m.

Saturday To-Do: Alkaline Trio

ALKALINE TRIO8 p.m., the Village. $17 adv., $20 d.o.s. Alkaline Trio fans are getting anxious.

Friday thread

Starts now. My Friday night?

I Never Did Like Bed Times

About twice a year, I get really busy and try to use caffeine as a substitute for sleep.  At the point when I feel like my blood has been replaced with coffee, I try to start going to bed earlier.  This was one of those weeks.  The goal:  Be in bed by 10:30 and get 7-8 hours of sleep a night.  Let’s see how that worked out.

Mates of State, tonight

Have you forsaken indie rock? Tired of the blog hype? Use the word “twee” with disdain? Too many bad band names and mewing, weepy white boys? Consider an antidote: the buoyant — but never cloying — pop of Mates of State, who're at Revolution tonight.

We already have a lottery

So writes John Brummett about the state Racing Commission's laughable approval of keno at state racinos as a "game of skill."

We already have a lottery

So writes John Brummett about the state Racing Commission's laughable approval of keno at state racinos as a "game of skill."

The gun nut factor

Could the NRA be a victim of its own past successes? Since nobody dares talk much about gun control any longer, is it harder to rally troops against a candidate on the gun nut platform?

Crumbly vote: a measure of Senate

Andrew DeMillo's weekly column assesses the significance of the split Senate vote to keep Sen. Jack Crumbly as a member despite election fraud -- none put squarely at his feet -- in 2006.

Dickering in the Maumelle watershed

Why this news release -- about a possible effort by Central Arkansas Water and state agencies to work out a purchase of Jay DeHaven property in the Lake Maumelle watershed -- turned up on a Saturday, I have no idea.

VIP parking in NLR

You perhaps remember when Argenta News, the scrappy chronicler of news and events in downtown NLR, turned the spotlight on the expropriation of public right of way by Valentine's Restaurant at Dickey-Stephens Park for its customers.

My feminist soapbox

I"ve enjoyed watching the NCAA track and field championships this afternoon. CBS did a nice tribute to retiring Hog coach John McDonnell.

Slow Saturday

It's dead. Maybe you can do better.

Without Clinton, Democrats face challenge in Arkansas

Though Democrats control the Arkansas statehouse, both the state's U.S. Senate seats, and three of four seats in the U.S. House, the party likely will be hard-pressed to win the state in November's general election.

Park Avenue: looking up

A long-time city planning official is quoted by a colleague as saying that the Strode Development plan to build a Target, other retail and apartments on the site of the razed University Mall has now been improved sufficiently to be approved by the Little Rock Planning Commission this coming Thursday, June 19.

McCain and the female vote

John McCain has been cozying up to Clinton female voters, but Frank Rich writes 1) that his record should drive away the semi-sentient and 2) there's ample evidence already that it's not working.

MacArthur Park plans

The city will hold a public hearing on MacArthur Park redevelopment from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Needed: more county jail space

Kathy Wells, vice president of the Coalition of Little Rock Neighborhoods, reports to the CLRN on a meeting with Sheriff Doc Holladay about the ongoing dispute with the city of Little Rock over the pressing need for more lockup space at the County Jail.

Obama v. McCain in Ark.

A reader mentioned this earlier, but here's the rundown on the latest Rasmussen poll which puts McCain's lead over Obama in Arkansas at 48-39.

Hey, Tony, come to my house

A friend gave me The Sopranos cookbook, a hoked-up takeoff on the HBO series that happens to have a solid collection of some of the best old-school Italian recipes anywhere.

Sunday thread

Your turn. If you want to see my supper and a small tribute to my dad, motor over to Eat Arkansas.

The day of the generals

Men with military backgrounds now lead the speculation about Obama running mates, Brummett writes today.

Save Lake Maumelle today

Kate Althoff, a tireless advocate for protecting the safety of the Lake Maumelle water supply, notes that today is the deadline for public comments on a proposal before the state Pollution Control and Ecology Commission that would provide protection in the watershed from sewage discharges.

New Park Ave. plans

(Click on drawing for enlarged image.) This is the new plan for Strode Development's proposed Park Avenue center, which will be considered by the Little Rock Planning Commision this week.

The weekend in review: Chill and Mates

  So I spent most of the weekend torturing my wife and friends with my new Flip camera.

GOP HQ burgled

A burglary was discovered late Friday night at Arkansas Republican Party headquarters at 1201 W. 6th Street.

Monday Hodge Podge

Who's Got Your Back? We here at RazorbackExpats are no strangers to bar fights; if it's Saturday night, chances are that we're in a scrap at the local watering hole.

Whatever, Whatevers!

You know what?  Guess?  Do it!  You're wrong.  I'm perturbed, yeah, and I'm mad, well, disappointed, oh I don't know, but I'm not in a good mood.  What the hell is going on lately?  Everyone I know is like attacking me with junk, like you have to come do this, and you have to let me do this with you and I need you to help me with this and it's like, hey!

Swingtown: How I learned to respect CBS again

Ummm, so in the Times and other places I'm hearing about people furiously writing their CBS affiliates over Swingtown, CBS, 9PM CDT on Thursdays.  Basic premise, it's 1976, there's three couples, and the show revolves around their lives during that time.

Derek Fisher does good

A nice feature today in the New York Times about former UALR basketball star Derek Fisher, now playing for the LA Lakers, whose televised remarks about treatment of his young daughter's cancer, turned attention to a rare cancer and new technique for treating it.

Major announcement set in Conway

I knew I shouldn't have sat on this. Others are now reporting what a Conway insider told me Friday.

Technical difficulties

AT&T has poleaxed our phone and e-mail today. So if you've tried to call, or written and gotten no response, please know that we have been in a state of suspended animation since about 8:30 a.m. this morning.

KATV gets tower clearance

FCC today issued a construction permit for KATV to construct a new transmission tower -- of 1,150 feet -- on Shinall Mountain.

UCA reducing retirement benefits

Because new federal accounting rules are requiring public employers to record future retirement benefits as balance sheet liabilities -- even though they are not guaranteed -- at current costs, many agencies are reviewing their benefits.

Metropolitan Bank cited on loans

The e-mail has suddenly disgorged. I now have eight hours of built-up traffic.

Nix on mayoral pay raise

Does Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola automatically get a pay raise if the City Board gives City Manager Bruce Moore a pay raise?

Monday musings

Post up.

Huckabee: can't lose

Mike Huckabee's new role as a paid commentator on Fox News is a win-win, Brummett writes.

Fit for crime

The New York Times today is reporting on a University of Arkansas at Little Rock professor's study that found a high degree of physical fitness among state prison inmates.

John McCain's tap-dancing

A Washington Post columnist notes John McCain's latest rounds of flip-flopping. It's about triangulation to reach the important middle, while also stirring up a not-so-enthusiastic Republican base.

Financing the ballot initiatives

The Bailey family -- Little Rock real estate investors -- continue to account for most of the financial support of the drive to put a state lottery on the ballot this fall.

Financing the ballot initiatives

The Bailey family -- Little Rock real estate investors -- continue to account for most of the financial support of the drive to put a state lottery on the ballot this fall.

Big oil no demon in El Dorado

CBS News did an extensive and laudatory report on the El Dorado Promise last night.

Big oil no demon in El Dorado

CBS News did an extensive and laudatory report on the El Dorado Promise last night.

Schools get fit

Rather than mush this in with the item about how convicts tend to be fit, I think it best to devote a separate item to a UAMS news release about progress made by Arkansas public schools under the measures intended to encourage healthier kids -- weight monitoring, reduction of availability of sugary drinks and junk food in schools, etc. Though the figure may represent a big improvement, I still don't understand -- outside of the lure of the easy money -- why 4 in 10 Arkansas school districts still peddle junk food.

Criminals hit the bait

The LRPD has been putting "bait" cars around town to lure thieves and last night, the lure worked.

Changes in the LR movie market

Dickinson Theatres, which recently opened the Chenal 9 IMAX Theatres in western Little Rock, is taking over the Lakewood 8 in North Little Rock as of June 27. It promises lobby and restroom improvements and stadium seating in some of the theaters.

Who let the dogs out?

The entire blogosphere is learning about Helena-West Helena Mayor James Valley (pictured). Today's report on Wonkette:

A Walton's green legacy

Time magazine, writing about the rising hopes for solar power, notes a $250 million investment by the late John Walton in a solar company that is now showing great promise thanks to "thin-film" solar panels.

Tuesday: Ace Spade, the Weisenheimers, Frantic and more

Ace Spade (hearts) you. It's Arkansas Rockers night at White Water.

Little Rock traffic: Congested

Little Rock/North Little Rock is parked at number 59 on this year's National Traffic Scorecard, an annual ranking of the nation's 100 most traffic-congested cities.

Let the weddings begin

Hundreds of same-sex couples wed in California today and the New York Times chose the photograph above as the most prominent to illustrate the news on its website.

The First Cookie

Following is our first Eat Arkansas entry from Jessica Kokinos-Havel, a culinary institute graduate who's done food blogging for New York magazine and who's now making her home in Little Rock.

Get your bags out

OK, I had one critical point wrong. John McCain isn't coming to Arkansas soon to raise money with the president.

Tuesday thread

You're on.

The next Richard Pryor?

Katt Williams often gets billed as the “king of underground comedy.” That's probably about to change. You sell out enough arenas and auditoriums (at press time only the balcony at Robinson remained open), do enough music video cameos, HBO specials and mov

Mike Huckabee: I'd accept

Reuters interviews Mike Huckabee on a trip, for an unexplained reason, to Japan. He's no Ted Strickland.

Energy companies' ill effects

It should come as no surprise that the power companies have undue power in Arkansas.

Get on board: Downtown dining

Starting June 18 (today!) Chow Downtown, a 10-day event sponsored by the Little Rock Downtown Partnership, will begin.

'Full metal McCain'

You thought Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone was rough on Mike Huckabee, his "favorite right-wing nut job"?

By jove, Bush has done it

The latest Harris poll has Bush favorables at 24 percent, below Richard Nixon's worst and just about in reach of Jimmy Carter's 22 percent.

World tour

In what’s becoming a world tour of cuisine, Little Rock restaurateur Jerry Barakat has yet another concept for the Village at Rahling Road.

Update: Chip's Barbecue

CHIP'S BARBECUE This place has been operating since 1961. This was our first trip ever, even after living in Central Arkansas all our life.

Wednesday To-Do: 'Love Guru' sneak-peek

‘THE LOVE GURU'7 p.m., Breckenridge 12. Free-$25.

No Muslims need apply

Yes, when you promise to be a uniter, as Barack Obama has done so successfully, you can expect the attention his campaign is getting for giving the bum's rush to Muslim women when it came to spots for them in high-profile photo locations.

The molester will win

Looks like the Green Party, the last resort, has failed to come up with a candidate to oppose convicted sex offender Dwayne Dobbins, apparently headed back to the Arkansas legislature after leaving office in a plea bargain several years ago.

The molester will win

Looks like the Green Party, the last resort, has failed to come up with a candidate to oppose convicted sex offender Dwayne Dobbins, apparently headed back to the Arkansas legislature after leaving office in a plea bargain several years ago.

Tune in: 'Arkansas' gets parsed

Tonight, at 6:30 p.m., AETN Presents "On the Same Page," a book discussion show hosted by Tommy Sanders, who'll sit down with novelist John Brandon and talk about his debut novel, "Arkansas."

Gas is expensive. Duh.

The federal Transportation Department reports that American motorists are driving less, public transit ridership is up and SUV sales are in the dumper.

Huckabee aide finds work

Huckabee campaign manager Chip Saltsman is off to Alabama to run Tim James' 2010 campaign for governor there.
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