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August 7, 2008

Vol 6 • No 30

Common ground

WASHINGTON — For someone so politically impregnable he faces no major party opposition for re-election, it’s surprisingly easy to find negative comments on the Internet about Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor.

Lyons on the hoof UPDATE

Columnist Gene Lyons, now a Perry County country squire, writes in the Democrat-Gazette today about his adoption of a deserted Charolais calf he's named Layla.

UALR is going smoke-free

Chancellor Joel Anderson announced the decision today. Effective 2009.

Obama's Arkie outreach

There's no budget and no campaign office here yet. But there is a YouTube from Pat O'Brien.

UCA: Climax today UPDATE

The University of Central Arkansas situation may come to a head today. The Board of Trustees will meet at 4 p.m.

Wednesday words

Right here. Otherwise, I'll post something from UCA when I hear from John Williams.

UCA's political dimension UPDATE

Had to happen. Democrat Joe White, challenging Sen. Gilbert Baker, Republican, comments on the controversy at UCA, first chastising him for silence on larger issues on campus but also commenting on our story about unusual housing practices at the college.

The long way home

Two years ago, April Mills appeared to be the state’s great young hope to break into the national rap market.

Brown is the new black

When the Department of Higher Education announced after examining the Social Security numbers of every college student in Arkansas that there were very few children of unauthorized immigrants attending college, I wasn’t sure how to take it.

Editorial cartoon, Aug. 7

High-grade comedy

There’s little doubt that “Pineapple Express,” the latest two-hour slice of hilarity from the Judd Apatow/Seth Rogen brain trust, will be the breakout comedy of the summer.

This modern world, Aug. 7

July 30-Aug. 5, 2008

It was a good week for … LES WYATT. The president of Arkansas State University was revealed by a Higher Education Department survey to be the best-compensated college administrator in Arkansas with pay and perks worth $540,610 a year. None of the rest was

At UCA, housing perks for the well-connected

Want special housing at the University of Central Arkansas? It doesn’t hurt to know the president, Lu Hardin.

Chinese stake in Ark.?

Last week, on the same day the Game and Fish Commission announced a lease of 11,500 acres of wildlife refuge land to Chesapeake Energy, Reuters reported that Chesapeake might sell a stake in its Arkansas mineral holdings to the Chinese National Petroleum

A night in the tank, a week in the papers

I’ve only been to jail once — in Starkville, Miss., just like Johnny Cash.

The Observer, Aug. 7

We’ll put it bluntly: The Observer is used to cussing a blue streak at the office whenever we feel like it.

Gas games

If you’re a regular local TV viewer, chances are you’ve happened across the 30-minute “Citizens of the Shale” infomercial which began running on Little Rock’s four major stations in mid-July and will run through September.

Smart Talk, Aug. 1

We learned recently, from cruel experience, that it’s almost impossible to reach the main library of the Central Arkansas Library System if all you have is a telephone, an AT&T telephone directory for Little Rock-North Little Rock, and directory assistanc

Unpopular

Of all the people upset with UCA President Lu Hardin — taxpayers, faculty, journalistic scolds — his fellow university presidents and chancellors may be the most resentful.

In brief, Aug. 7

The Gettys, who recently won the Times’ readers’ poll for best band, headline at Cajun’s Wharf, 9 p.m., $5.

Words, Aug. 7

“Kentucky limits toe grabs.” Seeing this headline on the sports page, I thought, “It’s about time. Some wrestler will be seriously injured unless the refs get the toe-grabbing under control.”

The drill rig’s blight

Few of us there are, particularly in the poor hills of Arkansas, who would not trade away the divine harmony of nature for the financial security of drilling rigs and pipelines, but you would think that a government agency dedicated to natural preservatio

Down-home update

“Fresh from the South.” That’s the slogan for Odell’s Uptown, positioned prominently in a flowery font on its menus and sitting brightly under a cityscape in the logo.

Too hot for this

It’s too hot to putter in the garden if there’s an excess of okra fuzz lurking.

‘The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor’

“The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor” will almost certainly be regarded in the press as its predecessors have been: A bigger, more fantastic, second-tier rehash of the Indiana Jones movies.

Halve the conservation tax

It appears that the state Game and Fish Commission may no longer need its near-half of that one-eighth-of-a-cent state sales tax for conservation.

Lollapalooza

The first words I exchanged with a stranger inside Lollapalooza, a refugee camp for free-spending music fans that now convenes each summer in Chicago’s downtown Grant Park, were with a shirtless buffoon who stepped out of a portable john diagonally.

To-do list, Aug. 7

'Front Row With The Salty Dogs,' Apocalyptica, The Moving Front/Kyoto Boom, 2nd Friday Art Night, Loch Ness Monster, Jon McLaughlin, Candlebox and Tantric are among choices for the fun-seeker.

What's Cooking, Aug. 7

Last weekend, Lee Richardson, the executive chef at the Capital Hotel, presented the North Little Rock based Certified Arkansas Farmers’ Market a check for $2,555, which the non-profit market says will go towards installing a wireless EBT and debit/credit

Cut Lu some slack

I’m requesting more positive ink please in regard to UCA President Lu Hardin.

A & E News, Aug. 7

Rogers native Hunter Mack took a novel approach in securing the latest release on his limited edition vinyl label, Gold Robot Records.

Pryor’s ‘Family’ affair

One of the provocative speculations about Sen. Mark Pryor on the Internet is that he belongs to a loosely knit religious-political organization known as “The Family” that has connections to the highest levels of the U.S. government.

The camera doesn't lie

Know a legislator or, better yet, a member of the Arkansas Farm Bureau? Send this column by John Brummett about a videotaped episode of animal cruelty and ask them again how they can oppose making animal cruelty a felony.

LR lawyer on Hamdan conviction

John W. Hall, a Little Rock lawyer, is president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

UCA Board: Class is in session UPDATE

The UCA Board of Trustees keeps vowing to do better and it keeps falling short.

Meet Your Waiter

Meet your waiter. Obviously, if you are reading this blog, you love food.

Thursday To-Do: 'Front Row with the Salty Dogs'

‘FRONT ROW WITH THE SALTY DOGS'6:30 p.m., AETN Studios, Conway. Free.

Thursday To-Do: Apocalyptica

Wow. APOCALYPTICA8 p.m., the Village.

Thursday To-Do: Moving Front and Kyoto Boom

Moving Front, back in the day. Photo by Matthew Martin.

Decatur school leader

Leroy Ortman, a former Gravette superintendent, will lead the troubled Decatur School District on an interim basis, the state has announced.

Where is John Edwards?

And will he speak at Dem. National Convention?

Southern strategy

Good story yesterday in Wall Street Journal about Democratic Party gains in the South. The story is shaped around a strong Democrat with a good shot of taking a Republican congressional seat in Alabama.

Thursday: The Gettys, Ted Ludwig and more

The Gettys. The Gettys, who recently won the Times' readers' poll for best band, headline at Cajun's Wharf, 9 p.m., $5.

Last Night: Filter

FilterAug. 6, Revoultion.  The menacing wall of sound directly inside the entrance to Revolution should have been a keen indicator of what was in store for the hordes of people who showed up for a healthy dose of staggering industrial jams, delivered by among the most highly regarded veterans of the post-grunge, hard rock/metal genre.

A note on merit pay

The Walton-endowed professor of teacher union busting up at Walton U. in Fayetteville pronounced Little Rock's merit pay experiment a success in a study released back in January.

Water commission finalists

The Central Arkansas Water Commission went through 17 applications for the seat being vacated by lawyer Jane Dickey and chose three to interview.

A Rove frog march?

Keep hope alive. Murray Waas is reporting on the Huffington Post that the Justice Department is investigating whether high White House officials provided false information to Congress about the matter of that controversial U.S. attorney appointment in Little Rock, when Bud Cummins was shoved aside for former White House political operative Tim Griffin.

Helena crime wave

Oh, man. First it was the dog pound. Now Helena-West Helena Mayor James Valley has more or less imposed wartime conditions on a portion of the city.

Researchers banned

Three doctors were barred from research at the Little Rock veterans hospital as a result of testing deficiences reported this week in procedures for conducting human research.

Do his constituents know?

.... that state Rep. Jon Woods, the Springdale Republican and scourge of immigrants, gays, women seeking abortions, etc., plays in a pop-punk rock band?

Thursday thread

It's open.

The long way home

After a stunted try for national fame, April Mills is mounting a comeback that starts tonight with a big show at Downtown Music.

Booze patrol

Did you know state Alcoholic Beverage Control has a federal grant to hire teens to attempt to illegally purchase alcohol?

Booze patrol

Did you know state Alcoholic Beverage Control has a federal grant to hire teens to attempt to illegally purchase alcohol?

Obama doesn't love America

The unpatriotic label that Republicans are working to pin on Barack Obama is, naturally, parroted ceaselessly on its house organ, Fox News.

The party of stupid

Yes, I think Krugman nails it, taking off from the Republican Party's current Big Lie of the Day -- "drill here, drill now."

Pub grub -- Dive in!!!

This discussion began on an ad hoc basis in another thread, but I thought it was a worthy topic for an open forum -- bar food, greasy dives, righteous diners and other earthly delights.

Thanks for the memories

The Iconoclast observes the John McCain fund-raiser in Republicanville today by remembering when McCain wanted a federal investigation of the millions shipped into "freeloaders" like Wal-Mart and Tyson to build XNA, the airport his jet will use today.

Friday To-Do: 2nd Friday Art Night

Art by John Kushmaul. 2nd FRIDAY ART NIGHT5 p.m., Downtown Little Rock.

Friday To-Do: Loch Ness Monster

Sulac. LOCH NESS MONSTER9 p.m., White Water Tavern.

Duck and cover

They're going to let Cheney speak at National Republican Convention. 3 a.m. would be a good time, I think.

More Qs and As with Nina James AKA Xxzotic AKA April Mills

Grrrr. Tonight, at Downtown Music, 10 p.m., $10, Nina James, the NLR rapper formerly known as XXzotic, makes her return to the stage.

Trailer gazing: 'Sex Drive'

  Yep, "Sex Drive."

Family values, Missouri-style

Thanks, Chris, for this one. A Republican stooge wonders why the attention here and not to, say, a Democratic philanderer.

The Eagles extend the biblical metaphor, play Little Rock

Lite rock favorites the Eagles are bringing their "Long Road Out of Eden Tour" to Alltel on Tuesday, Sept. 16.

White Knights

Back in June, circa 1998, I flew to Chicago for the first time with my aunt Liz.

Labor Day restored

Tyson Foods has settled a controversy at a Tennessee plant where it had dropped Labor Day in favor of a Muslim holiday on account of a heavily Muslim workforce.

The Weekend: Kevin Fowler, the Damn Bullets and more

Kevin Fowler. FRIDAY 8/8 Popular Austin country singer Kevin Fowler returns to Sticky Fingerz, 9 p.m, $10.

Saturday To-Do: Jon McLaughlin

JON MCLAUGHLIN9 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $10.

Edwards fesses up UPDATE

Yes, he had an affair. The National Enquirer nails another one.

Hit the road: the Hold Steady and the Big Chitlin' Cook-Off and Blues Fest

The Hold Steady. The world's greatest bar band this side of Smoke Up Johnny is at Proud Larry's in Oxford, Miss. tonight.

On your dime

A reader earlier today mentioned some unpleasant e-mail originating from a state e-mail account. I have copies now of the racist stuff, which was sent under the e-mail address of a staff member in the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Division.

On your dime

A reader earlier today mentioned some unpleasant e-mail originating from a state e-mail account. I have copies now of the racist stuff, which was sent under the e-mail address of a staff member in the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Division.

We'll See You Courtside

The news out of Fayetteville today is that AD Jeff Long is leading a $3 million project to upgrade Bud Walton Arena.

Flex your Arkansas pop culture knowledge

The Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame has announced its 2008 inductees. There's eight (the brothers above count for one each).

ASU's rising tide

The tide that liftedArkansas State University President Les Wyatt's compensation over $500,000, to the very top rank among Arkansas college administrators, doesn't seem to have lifted the little boats down below.

ACLU warns Mayor Valley

We told you yesterday about Helena-West Helena Mayor James Valley institution of an "emergency curfew" in a crime-ridden portion of his fair city.

Free Candy: Esau Mwamwaya and other people you've never heard of

The African Phil Collins. Esau Mwamwaya feat.

Friday fun

Have some.

BREAKING: Basketball anyone?

Patrick Beverley won't play roundball for the Hogs next year, Morning News reports.

Conway Senate race heats up

The Democrat-Gazette chose to ignore it, but the Log Cabin Democrat has plunged into the debate emerging in the state Senate race between Republican incumbent Gilbert Baker (pictured) and Democrat Joe White.

Conway Senate race heats up

The Democrat-Gazette chose to ignore it, but the Log Cabin Democrat has plunged into the debate emerging in the state Senate race between Republican incumbent Gilbert Baker (pictured) and Democrat Joe White.

Flex your Arkansas pop culture muscles

The Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame has announced its 2008 inductees. That's them on the left, plus one person who, criminally, hasn't made the cut yet. Can you guess 'em?

The question about Lu Hardin

Brummett's laser gets to the point today. The question is not whether Lu Hardin CAN survive as president as UCA.

Bedtime for Bonzo

Who am I? Why am I here?

This Kinda Sucks

I think we were all prepared for the upcoming Razorback basketball season to be something of a rebuilding year.

It's Good To Be The President

Looks more fun than horseshoes......

Hey, what about us?

Mike Huckabee will be in the front ranks of a group of evangelicals planning a news conference next week to try to bring the presidential campaign back to the important issues.

The war in Georgia

As it escalates, it seems likely to become a crucial test for our presidential candidates.

Once more with the tent

As I run across various versions of the Democrat-Gazette's followup to our story on Sen. Gilbert Baker's use of a UCA tent and UCA employees for a campaign fund-raiser at UCA trustee Michael Stanton's house, one simple question keeps emerging.

Open line

You're on.

Common ground

For someone so politically impregnable he faces no major party opposition for re-election, it's surprisingly easy to find negative comments on the Internet about Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor.

Journalists for hire

Brummett reacts sharply to the cynical view of Chesapeake Energy about the media. It was reported here earlier.  One of its higher ups said in an interview that they figure they have us purchased already with conventional advertising and that it's just a touch more efficient to hire former news readers like Anne Jansen to directly funnel propaganda to the public in informercials and other forms of faux news.

The best Arkansas athlete

Who do you think it was? The New York Times asked the question of baseball star Torii Hunter.

The money quote

Citizen Huck It's from Kane Webb's interview with former Gov. Mike Huckabee in today's Democrat-Gazette:

Walmart sells electric bikes, who knew ?

I was thinking of ways to cut down my gas usage - and looked up electric bikes.   While not so ideal in the summer - this fall I might think about it.     Walmart sells one for under $400.00.  Anyone ever tried one out?

Fresh air in Eureka

Of all the places in Arkansas you wouldn't expect to see a kid barred from a basketball team because of his long hair it was Eureka Springs.

Thinking ahead in Pa.

Pennsylvania is expecting a shale gas drilling boom. But landowners there aren't waiting to see if state regulators protect them.

So much for trickle-down

Ben Stein writes a smart weekly business column for the New York Times. He's a Republican A conservative.

Open line

Your turn.

Is Bill Clinton a racist?

No, of course not, says John Brummett. But he did get out-politicked on race by Barack Obama.

Loving Little Rock

A group from Jackson, Miss., took a look at Little Rock's downtown development recently and that visit produced a glowing report in Sunday's Clarion-Ledger.

South of the border criminals?

Washington Post says the FBI is investigating whether a ring of South American criminals is behind recent jewelry salesman robberies in Arkansas and other Southern cities.

Monday To-Do: Candlebox

CANDLEBOX8 p.m., Revolution. $20 adv., $25 d.o.s. Candlebox originally was named Uncle Duke, perhaps a nod to Gary Trudeau's Doonesbury character of the same name, who was blatantly cloned from Hunter S. Thompson.

RIP Isaac Hayes

The greatest outfit in soul music history. At Wattstax.

Smoking: Declining in Arkansas

State officials claim a drop of some 84,000 smokers since the state began campaigning to curb the habit.

Streetview

Ah, technology. By now, you've probably seen (and maybe been a little creeped out by) the Google Streetview maps of central Arkansas, which allow the viewer to take a digital walk down virtually every street in the area.

Streetview

Ah, technology. By now, you've probably seen (and maybe been a little creeped out by) the Google Streetview maps of central Arkansas, which allow the viewer to take a digital walk down virtually every street in the area.

Coal plant comments

A second public hearing is scheduled on the coal-burning power plant proposed  for Hempstead County.

Score one for haircuts

The kid in Eureka we mentioned yesterday may be able to let his hair grow now and still play basketball, but no such luck for Michael Fegans, an Arkanas prison inmate.

Random Musings About Patrick Beverley

Warning: this post contains enough rampant speculation and uninformed commentary to make Buzz Bissinger's head explode.

Garbage goes green

A landfill that produces energy and serves as a nature preserve. Or so the news release says.

Sunday will never be the same

Maybe those waiting periods for handgun purchases make a small amount of sense. Consider the Springfield woman who bought a handgun at a Bass Pro Shops in Springfield Sunday morning (Sunday morning!

Monday open line

It's here. But I thought I'd mention in passing: The Republican Party is throwing a campaign fund-raiser tonight styled as a "Welcome Home Mike Huckabee Party."

Monday open line

It's here. But I thought I'd mention in passing: The Republican Party is throwing a campaign fund-raiser tonight styled as a "Welcome Home Mike Huckabee Party."

867-5309 (An apology)

To the person who has my old Florida cell phone number, I'd like to say: I'm sorry about the calls you've been getting.

No IQ test required

Thanks to The Arkansas Project, a new blog, for pointing me to a clip of U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor talking to Bill Maher about matters religious.

The John Edwards story

What's the big deal, Brummett writes. It's news that a man has committed adultery?

You are being monitored

You do understand, don't you, that outfits like Google and others are tracking your use of the Internet?

Obstacles on the Verizon

Yesterday was the deadline to file comments on Verizon's acquisition of Alltel. Talk Business notes that objections were filed.

It's never too late to learn

The University of Arkansas sent around a news release today about free tuition in credit courses for people 60 and older.

It's never too late to learn

The University of Arkansas sent around a news release today about free tuition in credit courses for people 60 and older.

Mike Huckabee forms think tank

What do you think? I think, however much thinking is done, that it has some commercial possibilities for the Huck clan if the Gingrich, etc., models are any guide.

Uncle Gaylord passes

"Uncle" Gaylord Willis, the Fayetteville restaurateur and raconteur, died Saturday and he's remembered on The Iconoclast, who also links the local obit.

Uncle Gaylord passes

"Uncle" Gaylord Willis, the Fayetteville restaurateur and raconteur, died Saturday and he's remembered on The Iconoclast, who also links the local obit.

Crime summit

Group announces a "black-on-black crime summit" this week in Little Rock.

Tuesday To-Do: Tantric

TANTRIC9 p.m., Juanita's. $10 adv., $12 d.o.s. Hailing from Louisville, Ky., the city that spawned 20th-century freethinking renegades such as Johnny Depp, Hunter S. Thompson and Muhammed Ali, the quartet Tantric is composed of vocalist Hugo Ferreira, drummer Matt Taul, bassist Jesse Vest and guitarist Todd Whitener.

Bush's corrupt Justice Dept.

Yeah, they did wrong, but, no, they won't be prosecuted. Surprise.

Hold that pilot

From Kane Webb's interview last Sunday with Mike Huckabee: The week after our interview, Huckabee was scheduled to fly to New York to shoot a pilot for his new TV show this fall on FOX.

Helena's crime wave

The Helena-West Helena Council has adopted a "plan of action" to deal with a crime-ridden neighborhood.

Parting shot

If I read Under the Dome correctly, outgoing Sen. Jim Argue is sounding the alarm about the quality of the work the legislature is doing on establishing the cost of an adequate education.

Water Commission nominee

Tireless neighborhood activist Kathy Wells reports that the Central Arkansas Water Commission has tapped Adrienne Bradley, a state Public Service Commission economist, to succeed Jane Dickey in a seat on the commission.

Arrest in child maltreatment case

On Monday in Chicot County, State state Police made an arrest in one of the child maltreatment cases that we reported on previously.

Tuesday talk

The line is open. A link for sports fans and followers of the super wealthy: Scottie Pippen, the basketball star, has brought Hamburg its first golf course, Pippen Meadows.

Tuesday talk

The line is open. A link for sports fans and followers of the super wealthy: Scottie Pippen, the basketball star, has brought Hamburg its first golf course, Pippen Meadows.

Slimy worm

That would be Joe Lieberman. Describing the choice between John McCain and Barack Obama.

Slimy worm

That would be Joe Lieberman. Describing the choice between John McCain and Barack Obama.

Glaze retiring from Supreme Court

We'd already written that candidates were maneuvering to run for Associate Supreme Court Justice Tom Glaze's seat in 2010, after his expected retirement at the end of this term, but the opening will come sooner than expected.

D-G tightens belt UPDATE

I got a tip late Tuesday that the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the state's dominant medium, may not be immune to what's currently ailing daily newspapers nationwide.

Democratic party chairman killed

Arkansas State Democratic Party Chair Bill Gwatney was fatally wounded at State Democratic Party Headquarters on Capitol Avenue about 11:50 a.m. on Wednesday. The Ar

Booze brother bust

Remember the teen hired by the ABC to look for alcohol permit holders who'd sell to teens?

Remember Mitch Mustain?

Harry King has an update (link fixed) on the quarterbacking young man, who may start in USC's season opener.

Fruit of the vine

It's grape harvest time in the Arkansas River Valley and Kat Robinson's Tie Dye Travels has a report from the Post Familie operation on St. Mary's Mountain.

Housing sales down

The monthly MLS report on housing sales in major Arkansas markets shows a sharp drop in the number of sales versus a year ago, but prices generally seemed to be holding -- up a bit in most places except for another dip in Benton County.

Touchdown club speakers

They announced a star-studded lineup of speakers for the LR Touchdown Club this year. They include Gus Malzahn.

Welcome to LR

We hear the Mexican consulate in Little Rock is adding a second shift. That means they can accommodate 300 people seeking identity cards and other services as opposed to 160 a day.

Wednesday Hodge Podge

* The murderer's row of SEC coaches this year is pretty historic, and the media is duly fascinated...coaching power rankings have been all the rage this off-season.
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