← Back to issues

July 3, 2008

Vol 6 • No 25

Big stink

Cost overruns, rising rates and discord roil LR sewage treatment waters.

A black eye for UCA UPDATE

The Democrat-Gazette's underappreciated and hard-working Conway bureau reporter, Debra Hale-Shelton, had a fine story in this morning's paper.

Secret court in Benton County

This is outrageous and The Iconoclast says it better than I. Benton County Circuit Judge Xollie Duncan has taken what I believe to be an unprecedented action -- she has sealed the entire record of a case in her court, or so the linked news article indicates.

We're in the money

The state revenue report for June shows that the state tax stream hasn't disintegrated just yet.

Wednesday thread

Have at it.

Festivals and fireworks galore

We've got the lowdown on all the Fourth of July doings: Family Fest at the Clinton Library, Pops on the River, the Battle of Helena Re-enactment, Fun on the Fourth at Pinnacle and more below.

This modern world, July 3

Orval, June 3

What's Cooking, July 3

Look for two new-to-town chain restaurants set to open later this summer at the Promenade at Chenal shopping center.

Hope for the unarmed

Pleased by the U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of guns, the president of the Arkansas Rifle and Pistol Association told newspaper reporters that the ruling would make it harder for legislators to introduce limits on gun ownership.

Needed: more college graduates

According to Census Bureau statistics, Arkansas ranks 50th among the states in the percentage of residents older than 25 with a bachelor’s degree.

Your government at work

Examples: After the Times and then the Democrat-Gazette reported that some old real estate records newly online occasionally contained Social Security records, it took Attorney General Dustin McDaniel barely 48 hours to threaten to sue Pulaski County Cler

June 25-July 1, 2008

It was a good week for … The UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS-FAYETTEVILLE. John White served his last day as chancellor and David Gearhart assumed the office. That means the departure of the last of the major figures who played key roles in the athletic soap opera

Words, July 3

Yes, it are: “President Bush made headlines while in Germany for praising the country’s asparagus after a dinner with Chancellor Angela Merkel. ‘The German asparagus are fabulous,’ Bush said.”

Warming the globe, protecting the economy

Environmental protection offers little to no political premium in Arkansas.

To-do list, July 3

Family Festival and Free Admission Day (Clinton Presidential Center), Eric Sardinas, Dean Agus Band, Pops on the River, Battle of Helena Re-enactment, Fun on the Fourth, Frontier Fourth of July, Venus Mission, Sean Kingston and 'Willy Wonka and the Chocol

Freedoms

There aren’t just 10 commandments in the Pentateuch.

‘WALL-E’ is a delight

There are kid flicks, and then there are Pixar movies.

Cheers! No, make that Salut!

Salut! at Prospect Place is becoming the toast of the Heights, if business at mid-week lunch and dinner is any indication.

Green Party offers green candidate in District 39

Though Arkansas House races aren’t usually a cause for excitement, this year’s election in District 39 (North Little Rock) will draw some attention.

Finally, two good ones

Well, it’s not terribly often that I’m surprised. Especially when we’re talking summer movies.

Editorial cartoon, July 3

In brief, July 3

Blue-eyed soulman Big John Miller plays Cajun’s, 9 p.m., $5.

What’s Happening in May

Unless otherwise indicated, event is a reading and/or book signing.

Instant response

The Insider reported last week that a recent feature on “Power Women” in the society magazine Soiree was a paid feature and that, among the payees, was the city of Little Rock, which paid $1,770 for Vice Mayor Stacy Hurst’s profile and photograph.

Orval OK

One of my coworkers recently showed me the Orval comic about racial references on Fox News.

The Televisionist, July 3

When in the mood to surf the Internet, one of our go-to stops has long been thesmokinggun.com.

The Observer, July 3

Jahari, the Little Rock Zoo’s black rhinoceros, is finally going to get some satisfaction.

Raising an audio Lazarus

Behold the humble 8-track, a sandwich-sized plastic portal to the days before compact met disc.

Keep your shoes on

NOOOO, I don’t know when DSW is going to open.

The impact in Bentonville

Little Rock’s leadership has been positively allergic to impact fees as anti-development.

What’s Happening in May

Unless otherwise indicated, event is a reading and/or book signing.

Book Notes

Folks familiar with Fayetteville’s entertainment district — an eclectic group of businesses, bars, clubs and restaurants a stone’s throw from the downtown square and the University of Arkansas — will delight in the new 404-page volume “Once Upon Dickson:

What we’re reading

Here are the top 10 bestsellers from three local bookstores. Data is most recent available.

Fried Green Tomatoes: Hello, Summer!

The National Blog Posting Month theme for July is "food," so this seemed like a good cause to kick back into gear for summer:  Fried Green Tomatoes.  This is a dish that has as many variations as it does people who cook it, and I'd love to hear yours.This recipe almost doesn't need words, but I'll use a FEW.

High profile for Heifer

Another Heifer International success story is detailed in Nicholas Kristof's column in today's New York Times. It's about a Ugandan girl, a recent graduate of Connecticut College, whose life was changed dramatically by help that began with a gift of a Heifer project goat to her struggling family.

"The Power of Love" made weedy

Like I told you pre-Riverfest, Huey Lewis is responsible for the theme song for what's sure to be the funniest comedy of the summer, LR native David Gordon Green's "Pineapple Express."

Denny, Daytrotting

More catch-up: Just came across the live Daytrotter session Chris Denny and the Old Soles recorded several months back.

A word from the sponsor

Take a mid-morning open thread if you will. I have at least one interesting story working.

Behind UCA's closed doors

News this week about some secret financial dealing by the University of Central Arkansas Board of Trustees had a ripple effect.

Plug: Nathan Brown's 8-track obsession

Here's an extra bump for Sam Eifling's feature in this week's paper about Nathan Brown, known to local showgoers as Browningham, the blue-eyed crooner/one-man band who sounds an awful lot like Michael McDonald.

Lobbyists get letters

This one went out recently: I am R. Dwayne Dobbins and a candidate for State Representative District 39.There are many challenges facing the state of Arkansas.

Thursday: Lil Boosie and Young Buck, Molten Lava, Big John Miller and more

Lil Boosie "Zoom" Two absolute beasts in Southern rap, Lil Boosie and Young Buck, come to the Statehouse Convention center tonight.

Stories the classifieds tell

In today's e-mailbox: We can all take a pretty good guess at the story behind this classified ad in today's paper: BRIDAL GOWN Found between Alcoa & Bryant exits westbound.

Music videos aren't dead, they just moved to the web: Perspective!

  Lil Wayne- A Milli I got nostalgic for MTV the other day.

Life begins at 80; will end in prison

80-year-old pusher, on bail while appealing a 70-year sentence, busted against in Alma for dealing dope.

Wasn't that a terrible time?

Here's just one reason why B.C. got a little hacked when the disciples were throwing down on the Clinton years:

Wasn't that a terrible time?

Here's just one reason why B.C. got a little hacked when the disciples were throwing down on the Clinton years:

Intolerance report

The group hoping to punish gay people -- and punish everyone else in the process -- by making it harder to adopt or be a foster parent in Arkansas will have a news conference Monday to announce they have the required number of signatures, almost 62,000, to put the measure on the ballot.

Creating Future Foodies

Anyone who has children can tell you that one of the biggest challenges of parenting is figuring out how and what to feed those picky little creatures.

R.I.P. Localist

TJ Deeter, the founder, publisher and sometimes editor of Localistmagazine.com, is retiring the local pub after a five year run.In his farewell blog post, he wrote...

The mighty eight-ninety

I hear KATV is going to be giving KUAR-KLRE a spot on its new Shinall  Mountain tower, a charitable contribution that should help Little Rock public radio's signal.

Holiday even open line

Pop off now.

Holiday even open line

Pop off now.

Hang in there!!!

Sometimes I pretend I’m a badass.  Last night, I went to a rock climbing gym believing that I was a tough chick and left barely able to pick up my keys.  Which is not to say that I had a bad time.  I’ve only been climbing a few times before, but I like the challenge of it.  Of course, I could have gone with my friend Paul a few weeks ago, but we opted for having beer and plates of fried things instead.  That was enjoyable in its own way, but kind of the opposite of the original plan.

One more bite of the Central High 50th

If only “An Epitaph for Little Rock” would be the last look back at the Little Rock school crisis for a good while.

All stopped up

The stock market’s down and gasoline is up and it’s pay, pay, pay, more, more, more, from the grocery store to the hardware store.

Happy Fourth

It's one of my favorite holidays. Barbecue is generally involved.

Airport VIPs

We've been down this road before. But it's July 4.

Another dishonest Bushie

It would appear that the lawyer who helped guide the Supreme Court nominations of Justices Roberts and Alito is a plagiarist, but Sen. Arlen Specter and the president still want him on the federal bench.

Following the UCA money UPDATE

The Democrat-Gazette continues to pursue the fine print of the early payment of $300,000 to UCA President Lu Hardin as a result of a secret vote by the Board of Trustees.

Following the UCA money UPDATE

The Democrat-Gazette continues to pursue the fine print of the early payment of $300,000 to UCA President Lu Hardin as a result of a secret vote by the Board of Trustees.

Tax-free bonds

In my mail box today -- copy of a letter from the Friday Firm to the Little Rock School District notifying the district that the Little Rock City Board will vote July 15 on issuing tax-free revenue bonds to build a Sage Foods plant at the Little Rock Port.

Perhaps I should watch more Food Network

I’ve got a couple of ideas about 4th of July plans, but I know this: I will not be grilling.

McCain: Rove's third term?

Good column by Paul Krugman today on McCain's use of the POW card. Al Gore never claimed that he invented the Internet.

Jesse Helms

You need not judge him to remember him.

Jesse Helms

You need not judge him to remember him.

A word to the wise

Say you're staying in an Arkansas motel. Say men come to the door and say they are undercover cops.

Friday fireworks

It's here.

Foodie alert

Been to our Eat Arkansas food blog lately? New contributor Jessica Kokinos-Havel is excited about Lemon, a creperie set to open next week in Hillcrest.

Who's up? Who's down?

Brummett assesses the swings of political fortune. Let's focus on the positive -- Beebe, Obama, Halter, McDaniel, Snyder, Huckabee all draw positive reports.

Gas price fallout

An Arkansas angle pops up in a New York Times story on the impact of high gas prices on services for old folks.

Accounting needed

The Log Cabin Democrat has added a bit more detail to reports about the special UCA Board of Trustees fund -- taken mostly from bookstore and on-campus food sales -- that was used to make a $300,000 incentive payment to President Lu Hardin.

Accounting needed

The Log Cabin Democrat has added a bit more detail to reports about the special UCA Board of Trustees fund -- taken mostly from bookstore and on-campus food sales -- that was used to make a $300,000 incentive payment to President Lu Hardin.

LR's unitary executive

Speaking of unilateral exercise of authority: The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette today did further reporting on a subject it has mentioned previously -- City Manager Bruce Moore's granting of waivers from building permit and street closure fees for downtown construction projects  -- $130,000 worth for Moses Tucker Real Estate's River Market Tower.

Corporal punishment

In a day when the U.S. is torturing people and in a state where the ability to beat kids is stoutly defended, this probably isn't news, but ....

R.I.P.: The Briefing Notebook

Charles Durnett, also known in some web circles as The Raven, died yesterday. He picked up the pieces of a pioneering local e-mail news and gossip publication known as Bullwhiz and made it The Briefing Notebook, an erratically published compendium of anonymous comment, news and gossip.

Quarter-billion surplus: it ain't chump change

Andrew DeMillo surveys the possibilities for some quarter-billion in surplus state revenues with a legislative session approaching.

Saturday thread

It's open.

To do this week

The week's calendar includes a couple of events of interest to those politically inclined: * Eleanor Clift, the Newsweek writer and TV political commentator, will speak at the Clinton School of Public Service at 8:30 a.m.

Bond talk

Article anticipates a coming campaign to authorize millions more in bonding authority for the so-called Arkansas Natural Resources Commission.

Huck: Fire-tested

Brummett chats with Mike Huckabee about how full-contact Arkansas politics prepared him for national campaigning.

LR fan mail

A letter to the editor in today's NY Times, from a batch about U.S. road trips:

Eat watermelon, love longer

Where's Pod Rogers, the Hope watermelon booster, now that we need him? And, quick, call in somebody to reshape the melons on those Hope Watermelon Festival T-shirts.

Meet Your Waiter

Obviously, if you're reading this blog, you love food. You think about it, you read about it, you probably even dream about it.

Duuude!

A few months back, to track down art for our interview with Eugene Nash, we flipped through a copy of the 1981-82 Razorback basketball media guide.

A brief history of Bullwhiz

Chuck Durnett's passing -- and the uncertain future of The Briefing Notebook newsletter he produced -- prompts a reminiscence from Paul Johnson, the PR man and former Gazette colleague, who started the whole thing by creating Bullwhiz.

Sunday thread

It's here. NOTED: A detailed comment in the thread about the Little Rock City Board's coming vote Tuesday on whether to ratify the reappointment of Rose Law Firm lawyer Jane Dickey to seven more years on the Central Arkansas Water Commission.

Smart Talk July 3

Best of the blog

Raising an audio Lazarus

Behold the humble 8-track, a sandwich-sized plastic portal to the days before compact met disc. This cartridge was the first truly portable version of tape, the masterstroke that 40 years ago shrank reel-to-reel to a size that would fit in your dash.

Wesley Clark: truth teller

Brummett defends Wesley Clark's remark that John McCain's military service is not necessarily a qualification for the presidency.

Beebe talks development

Roby Brock's Talk Business has an interview with Gov. Mike Beebe on economic issues -- the positive fallout from the Hewlett-Packard announcement; the value of tax incentives; the need to rework the so-far-unsed super project amendment.

Programs v. building projects

Heifer International revenue continues to grow, thanks particularly to a Gates Foundation grant, but giving for planned buildings in Little Rock is lagging significantly, Arkansas Business reports.

Bush damage tour

Arkansas among the states affected.

Obama and abortion

Parsing again? Or just being careful?

Monday Hodge Podge

Links to get your week started right: * A Kentucky fan rates the home court advantage afforded by the various SEC basketball arenas.

Things got buckwild at the Young Buck - Lil Boosie concert

Smile-ier, pre-pepper spray times with Lil Boosie. Young Buck / Lil BoosieJuly 3, Statehouse Convention CenterIt’s not everyday that a national recording act comes to Little Rock, let alone two well-known rappers.

Petition day -- UPDATED

Today's the deadline (at close of business) for ballot petitions. The lottery petitions are already in.

Petition day -- UPDATED

Today's the deadline (at close of business) for ballot petitions. The lottery petitions are already in.

Policing extended stay motels

City Hall has decided that crime and other safety issues accompany the de facto conversion of motels to extended-stay facilities.

Arkansan dies in Iraq

The Arkansas National Guard today announced the death in Iraq of Sgt. Anthony Lynn Woodham, 37, of Rogers.

Ace Spade and the Whores of Babylon make the greatest music video in the history of Little Rock music videos

  Ace Spade and the Whores of Babylon "Ice Crystals" This, fair readers, is storytelling!

Conflict of Interest or Just Conflicting Opinion UPDATED

Looks like they deferred considering the CAW appointment until this Tuesday ( July 8 at 4:00 P.M.)  Therefore it's still not too late to write your representatives on this issue.

Has Borat struck in Arkansas?

Sounds like Texarkana and Fort Smith may have been stages for a new Borat movie.

Child Abuse Sentencing Dilemmas

I heard a great interview with State Rep. Dawn Creekmore on the Dave Elswick show this afternoon.

Sprint and Verizon Banish Usegroup Alt Sites

None dare call it censorshipNew York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has located at least 88 sites in the Alt usenet hierarchy of the internet containing child pornography.

A lesson on public money

Brummett discovers that he didn't get the whole story last week about the $300,000 bonus paid UCA President Lu Hardin.

Quorum Court hijinks

Look in on the Pulaski County Quorum Court any given week and you can expect to find stupidity, particularly when matters include legal advice from County Attorney Karla Burnett.

Obama loses halo

When Bob Herbert starts criticizing Barack Obama ... Only an idiot would think or hope that a politician going through the crucible of a presidential campaign could hold fast to every position, steer clear of the stumbling blocks of nuance and never make a mistake.

Thank God for Arkansas

Texas may be getting a new state park courtesy of a huge land donation by Arkansas heiress Alice Walton.

Huckabee: Obama should be like Helms

They are rolling tape on Mike Huckabee as a Fox commentator and, already, he's building a trove of trash talk.

When they say "Life" they really mean it

I was looking for some inmates in the Arkansas Department of Correction  ( not Corrections, for some reason) and did some random searches based on age.   I'm not sure if this guy is actually alive - but according to their data base Walter Williams was born in 1903, committed murder in 1941, and has been in prison ever since on a life sentence.

LR: affirmative action report

Will web wonders never cease. A reader shipped along to me a city of Little Rock spreadsheet compiling the racial and sexual composition of city boards and commissions.

A victory for free information

Pulaski County Clerk Pat O'Brien sends along a note on Quorum Court action (inaction, actually) today on the nutty idea by JPs Alan Kerr and Steve Goss to charge an outrageous 25 cents a page to view public information on the Internet.

A loss for free speech

Mark Elrod, the Harding University poli sci prof, is taking his good blog private. He writes:

Blue Collar Brawlin' with Bruno

In case you don't read the Arkansas Blog or somehow missed this item yesterday and have not yet read about it on websites like Vulture and the Smoking Gun, it seems likely that Sacha Baron Cohen, under the guise of his Bruno character, was in Fort Smith and Texarkana last month covertly shooting segments for his forthcoming film, reportedly called "Brüno: Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable in the Presence of a Gay Foreigner in a Mesh T-Shirt."Promises of $1 beer, hot chicks and blood-sport lured locals to "Blue Collar Brawlin'" in Fort Smith and "Red, White and Blood Cage Fighting" in Texarkana.

The Conway Corp. giveth ...

... and it also taketh away. In this case, it took away flouride treatment of city water, unbeknownst to residents with now at-risk teeth.

Must be a bit demoralizing

RHINOS FIND NEW HOME IN JACKSONVILLE The Arkansas Rhinos have moved next-door from North Little Rock to Jacksonville where they will be playing their games at Red Devil Stadium, Jacksonville Middle School.

Jail expansion

County Judge Buddy Villines released a memo today saying he thought it was financially feasible to move ahead with the second phase of Sheriff Doc Holladay's plan to increase county jail space.

Dickey withdraws UPDATE

The Little Rock City Board will meet at 4 p.m. today to consider the reappointment of Rose Firm lawyer Jane Dickey to the Central Arkansas Water Commission.

Dickey withdraws UPDATE

The Little Rock City Board will meet at 4 p.m. today to consider the reappointment of Rose Firm lawyer Jane Dickey to the Central Arkansas Water Commission.

TCB embezzlement

I got a tip from a reader this afternoon that Twin City Bank would be meeting tomorrow with employees to pass word of a $2 million-plus embezzlement and that officials hoped  to get word out before the media did.

Dealing with panhandlers

The panhandlers downtown (illustration is from California) are a dilemma not likely to ever be solved.

Tuesday talk

It's yours. NEWS UPDATE: LR Airport spokesman says an American Airline plane en route to Dallas made an emergency stop in LR this afternoon because of smoke in the cockpit.

Wings, wings, and more wings.

If you are a man, or if you are married to one, or if you just so happen to live with one, chances are, you are familiar with “wings”.

Oompa loompa doom-pa-dee-do

Gene Wilder and a host of small, orange-face-painted men star in the original "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," screening tonight for free at Movies in the Park.

Boss Hays battles the blogs UPDATE

It's chump change in the sweep of official skulduggery, but the saga of expropriation of public right of way for private use in North Little Rock continues to interest me, in part because it illustrates the power of blogs.

Why we not have?

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette leads the front page with a belated report on bookkeeping questions at a local college when they could have run this?  I admit it.

Throwing hot liquid rocks

Molten Lava, the popular ’80s-flavored pop band out of Fayetteville, is no longer Molten Lava.

Allman Bros coming to Fayetteville

Mark your calendar: The Allman Brothers have been confirmed as the headliner for Fayetteville’s Bikes, Blues and BBQ event.

Backyardigans

Parents of young tykes, take note. “The Backyardigans,” those lovable, puffy knights and dragons from Nickelodeon, are bringing the “Tale of the Mighty Knights” to Robinson Center Music Hall Aug. 5-6 for three performances.

City board scuttlebutt

Mucking about in the aftermath of yesterday's Little Rock City Board agenda meeting, I heard these whispers: 1) Despite strong lobbying that began this week, the movement to preserve a seat for Jane Dickey on the Central Arkansas Water Commission mustered, at best, four votes among the 11 board members.

Add Another One to the "Embarrassing Arkansas Moments" File

This is only tangentially related to sports, but is too hilarious to let pass without comment: it seems that Sacha Baron Cohen (of "Borat" fame) has struck again, and this time his victims are the good people of Texarkana and Fort Smith.

50-state race?

The latest Zogby polling (it hasn't been so hot this year, but .... ) has Obama ahead of McCain in Arkansas, 41-39 and 4 for Bob Barr.

50-state race?

The latest Zogby polling (it hasn't been so hot this year, but .... ) has Obama ahead of McCain in Arkansas, 41-39 and 4 for Bob Barr.

A chance for fame!

Little Rock native and cycle 6 winner Danielle Evans modeling...spring funeral wear? Hey ladies!

Anticipate: New Jazz Assasins reunion, expansion

The best flyer in a looong time. dsfg

Great. More speed traps.

The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals today gave the Mulberry cops free rein to arrest and search speeders on Interstate 40, even though Arkansas State Police had been unwilling to give the local cops power to patrol highways outside town.

Great. More speed traps.

The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals today gave the Mulberry cops free rein to arrest and search speeders on Interstate 40, even though Arkansas State Police had been unwilling to give the local cops power to patrol highways outside town.

Test scores: positive results

The state Education Department today released results on end-of-course tests in geometry, algebra and grade 11 literacy.

Tonight: Dale Beavers!

Arkansas native Dale Beavers, who was big on the local scene a decade or two ago, returns to his old stomping grounds tonight to play some juke-style blues-rock.

De-Huckabeeization

This week's Arkansas Times is now on the web. The new material includes an Insider item about the stripping of Janet Huckabee's name from the Grand Hall at the Governor's Mansion.

Wednesday To-Do: 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory'

UPDATE: Organizer Blake Rutherford says despite the clouds, the show goes on. 'WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY'Sundown, Riverfest Amphitheatre.

Looking good enough to eat

Former Times colleague Janie Ginocchio, now an editor at The Courier in Russellville, sends along a fine photo of some catering fare produced by her husband Billy.

ACORN scandal

You know Acorn. You know the grassroots organization, now a national power, got its start here, led by Wade Rathke (pictured), who spent the group's formative years wheeling and dealing in Little Rock before moving to New Orleans.

Viral 'Blood'

Viral sites for HBO's adaptation of Magnolia native Charlaine Harris' "Southern Vampire" series are popping up on the net.The latest is for Tru Blood, a "synthetic blood nourishment beverage."The show premieres on Sept. 7.

Blogrolling

A Rock Candy homie, who lives in a small town in Arkansas and is soon to be start teaching at a local university, is making extra scratch this summer delivering pizzas.

Who let the blogs out?

Boss Hays' Riverside Mobile Home Acres appears to have run into another spot of trouble.
Advertisement