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August 21, 2008

Vol 6 • No 32

A money man at the top in Fayetteville

FAYETTEVILLE — Although his father was in the newspaper business, young David Gearhart never had much interest in a newspaper career himself, and such as he showed, the elder Gearhart snuffed out quickly.

Obama gets tough

His ads are now taking it to McCain. The NY Times calls these "attacks" and "negative."

Huckabee's convention slot

He'll be speaking Tuesday night, in advance of keynoter Rudy Giuliani. A "Sam's Club Republican," says The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder.

Hardin to meet faculty UPDATE

There will be news out of the University of Central Arkansas tomorrow. President Lu Hardin will address the Faculty Senate at the beginning of its 12:45 p.m. meeting.

Your turn

Wednesday thread. It was one of those thankfully rare days -- more than three hours of meetings.

Too much bull

Too much time, too much news, too little public memory, too much bull. Those are the big assets of Sen. John McCain.

‘Face the Music and Dance: Gridiron 2008’

If you didn’t know already that lawyers can sing and dance, the Gridiron set you straight.

Hateful things

Don’t you just hate smear politics, and the little slime weasels who plot it and execute it, and their contemptible media running buddies who promote it, and the beneficiary candidates who go along with it while pretending that it’s beneath them?

Famous last words

The fatal shooting of state Democratic Party Chair Bill Gwatney last week defies glib analysis.

Bill Gwatney’s moment

He’s vibrant, in the prime of life, very close to the top of the world. Then he’s dead.

Fancy food, comfortable place

Since it opened in 2003, Mike Selig’s Vermillion has joined the shining stars on Little Rock’s culinary map, and not just because the food is good.

A & E news, Aug. 21

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette editor Werner Trieschmann is helping pen a new web series for Strike TV, a soon-to-launch web channel conceived during the writer’s strike.

Smart talk, Aug. 21

Possibly you did not know that Arkansas is among 48 states that prohibit felons from voting while incarcerated, among 35 states that prohibit them from voting while on parole, and among 30 states that prohibit them from voting while on probation.

Gwatney’s killer

Our Arkansas Blog (www.arkansasblog.com) provided continuously updated coverage of the developing story last week about the shooting of Democratic Party Chair Bill Gwatney and background on the killer, Timothy Dale Johnson, 50, of Searcy, a stocker in a C

‘The Clone Wars’

George Lucas has done it again. And by “done it,” of course, I mean: “made a pale, bloodless and completely unnecessary sequel to a great film he made in his younger days, enriching himself by milking the original of its last ounce of magic.”

Slack for Lu Hardin?

After enumerating some of Lu Hardin’s apparent accomplishments and contributions to UCA, letter writer Mary Olivia Cornwell characterized him as “thinking outside the box,” and as a “creative problem solver.”

A money man at the top in Fayetteville

David Gearhart is not your father’s chancellor.

Fancy food, comfortable place

Since it opened in 2003, Mike Selig’s Vermillion has joined the shining stars on Little Rock’s culinary map, and not just because the food is good.

Deserving of respect

As of this writing, it’s still not known why Bill Gwatney was shot to death, and it may never be.

The D-G feels the pain

Though the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and other papers owned by Walter Hussman’s WEHCO Media have been relatively immune to the layoffs and budget cuts seen at other larger newspapers around the country, it’s looking as if their reprieve is coming to an en

What's cooking, Aug. 21

Sims BBQ has applied to the Capital Zoning District Commission for a conditional use permit for 2415 S. Broadway.

This modern world, Aug. 21

Shackled woman plans appeal

“I’m not saying I expected to be treated like a princess or a queen, but I really expected to be treated differently,” Shawanna recalls of her time in prison. What she did not expect was to be shackled to the delivery table with an 18-inch leg chain as sh

The Observer, Aug. 21

Along with the spinning-around-the-bat race, Frisbee-toss-through-the-hoop competition and slugging for beer cans, the Travelers’ entertainment on Sunday at Dickey-Stephens Park included the U.S. Border Patrol.

In brief, Aug. 21

From Houston, Sideshow Tramps draw from bluegrass, blues, Gypsy music, punk, old time and rock.

To-do list, Aug. 21

Kenny Loggins, The Effects, 'Southern Baptist Sissies,' Jack Oblivian & the Tennessee Tearjerkers, Marty Stuart, Pop! In The Park and Morris Day & the Time are entertainment options worth considering this week.

Seven predictions for 2008

Predictions are pure bollocks.

Editorial cartoon, Aug. 21

Words, Aug. 21

“While ‘Old Smokey,’ the electric chair used to put 125 criminals to death in Tennessee, is authentic, gangster Al Capone’s ‘Park Avenue’ jail cell from Eastern State Penitentiary is a re-creation.”

‘Tropic’ skewers Hollywood

If you’re like me, your reaction to the “Tropic Thunder” trailer was one of ambivalence — the ads outlined a movie that looked like it could be either really funny or a colossal waste of nine bucks.

Tangled up in Bob

On Tuesday, Bob Dylan returns to Arkansas to play the Riverfest Amphitheater.

Orval, Aug. 21

The other new guy

While politicians cry for change in Washington, change has already come to Fayetteville.

ABC to Benton: Cheers!

The dampening of Arkansas's dry counties, thanks to a little legislative legerdemain a few years back, continues apace.

Comparing tomcats

Whose cheating was worse -- Bill Clinton's or John Edwards'? Brummett, I think, is making the point that it's about a draw.

The rest of the shale story

While most in Arkansas worship the dollars that shale exploration will bring to Arkansas -- at least to a few -- and while Game and Fish fights on to keep every dollar it gets for trading wildlife refuges for mineral exploitation, other states are more advanced in getting the bigger picture.

Arkansas's image, again

Ha ha. A national TV show features an Arkansas principal who loves to paddle kids and the NY Times is all over it.

New Wine Bar: Just Help Yourself

A new wine bar, The Wine Cellar, is coming to Fayetteville this month. It will be located in the Metro District Building next to the Nadine Baum Studio.

Woo Pig!

The War Memorial Stadium Commission has announced a press conference Friday about Razorback football. My guess is that Stephens Media columnist Harry King has reported the news today: UA Athletic Director Jeff Long is NOT looking to desert Little Rock for UA games, at least not any time soon.

Thursday To-Do: The Effects

THE EFFECTS10 p.m., Sticky Fingerz, $3.The Effects have been praised as an “eight-legged groove machine of the highest order” by MTV's Buzzworthy.

Thursday To-Do: Kenny Loggins

  "Yacht Rock: Footloose" NSFW without headphones.

UA withdraws purchase offer UPDATE

The University of Arkansas has announced that it has withdrawn its $50 million offer for the Fayetteville High School campus.

Johnny Cash gets remixed

  Johnny Cash feat.

Spare the rod, save the child

I get worked up about corporal punishment in school because, well, read on. It teaches brutality as an approporiate response to misbehavior.

Chuck D to Clinton School

I think the Clinton School announced he was coming a while back, but now they've set a date: Chuck D will speak at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 25, at Robinson.

Business matters not so much

Between a little dip recently in NWA prosperity and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's own effort to control costs, it's probably not too surprising to learn from Arkansas Business that the D-G is killing its weekly NWA business publication, Northwest Arkansas Business Matters.

Business matters not so much

Between a little dip recently in NWA prosperity and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's own effort to control costs, it's probably not too surprising to learn from Arkansas Business that the D-G is killing its weekly NWA business publication, Northwest Arkansas Business Matters.

A 'no' on McCain

A Naval Academy and POW colleague of John McCain posts an interesting piece on the Republican presidential candidate.

Wal-Mart, Coughlin settle

Looks like Wal-Mart will pay thieving former executive Tom Coughlin some money to go away, but perhaps not as much as he claimed.

Dan Penn to Hendrix

Spooner Oldham and Dan Penn. "I like a good groove," Dan Penn told NPR in 2006.

Bill Gwatney's widow to step in

Rebecca Gwatney will replace her late husband Bill as delegate at the Democratic National Convention.

How do you like him now?

Thanks to Under the Dome I learn that Toby Keith is backing Obama. (David Koon actually commented sharply on this yesterday on our own Rock Candy.

Olympics, what are you thinking?

Okay, I'm a bit obsessive about the Olympics, I mean it's only every 4 years and you get to see all these insane athletes that never see the light of day otherwise.

Tyson Gay falters again

What an Olympian disaster for former Razorback sprinter Tyson Gay. Didn't qualify for both sprints.

UCA to study Hardin situation UPDATE

The UCA Faculty Senate met today. No major decisions, but more controversy.

Thursday: Sideshow Tramps, Ted Ludwig, Football 101 and more

Sideshow Tramps. From Houston, Sideshow Tramps draw from bluegrass, blues, Gypsy music, punk, old time and rock.

Piracy on the high seas

This is too rich. I've written sarcastically about NLR Admiral Pat Hays' designs on adding another derelict naval craft, the USS Orleck, the rusting destroyer pictured above, to the Dogtown Fleet Ready Reserve on the Arkansas River.

Weekend To-Do: 'Southern Baptist Sissies'

‘SOUTHERN BAPTIST SISSIES'7:30 p.m., Weekend Theater. $10-$14.Never one to shy away from controversy, the Weekend Theater takes aim at the Huck and them — that is, Southern Baptist fundamentalists, particularly of the fire-and-brimstone variety.

LRSD school numbers drop UPDATE

An unofficial count of Little Rock School District enrollment on Aug. 20 shows a drop of almost 700 students from the enrollment count on Aug. 22 last year -- from 25,827 to 25,131.

LRSD school numbers drop UPDATE

An unofficial count of Little Rock School District enrollment on Aug. 20 shows a drop of almost 700 students from the enrollment count on Aug. 22 last year -- from 25,827 to 25,131.

Hunters: Spin your decoys

I'm kindly surprised, just based on casual glances at outdoors coverage. The Game and Fish Commission today approved used of the spinning-wing duck decoys.

Coughlin gets $6.75 million

Talk Business has the score on the secret Wal-Mart settlement with the thieving Tom Coughlin.

Time out

I'm outta here. Open line.

Sometimes Six Minutes is All You Need

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I met my friends.  My best friend will tell you that I stopped by her dorm room looking for her roommate, whom I sort of knew and was hoping to befriend.  But Anna wasn’t there, so I introduced myself to Christi.  Only, it turns out, we’d met before.  Oops!  When I was working a summer camp, a guy introduced himself to the group with this ice breaker: “My name is Christopher, and I had my first taste of synthetic maple syrup last night.”  I immediately thought: “I want to meet that guy.”  He turned out to be totally awesome.  Autumn used to be my boss.  When I first met her, she was wearing some wild blue eye shadow, and I thought, “I don’t know about this chick.”  But now, I adore her and her dramatic eye makeup.

Olympic disappointment

The New York Times features Wallace Spearmon, the former Razorback, who lost an Olympic medal in the 200 meters for straying outside his lane.

Hunters favor McCain UPDATE

Or so the survey says. These same guys probably said they'd prefer to hunt with Dick Cheney, too.

Boone Pickens' scheme

Only the most naive would believe the media blitz merely was about an alternative energy source.

Friday: Jack Oblivian and the Tennesse Tearjerkers

JACK OBLIVIAN AND THE TENNESSEE TEARJERKERS9 p.m., White Water Tavern. $5.

Last Night: Sideshow Tramps

Photo by Aaron Sarlo. Six-inch stage?

Warning: We're under attack

I check in periodically on Mike Huckabee's PAC and today grazed through his endorsements of various Republicans running for Arkansas legislature.

Bloom off college rankings

U.S. News and World Report would probably be defunct by now had it not invented a gold mine in its annual college rankings.

The Weekend: 10 Years, Cool Shoes, Sean West and more

10 Years. FRIDAY 8/22Knoxville alt-metal up-and-comers 10 Years headline the second “Music in the Park” event, with Ashes Divide, 3rd Degree and Monoxide Project, 6:30 p.m.

McDaniel pledges to fight

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is quoted as saying his office will mount a vigorous defense if legal challenges are raised to initiatives for a state lottery and to ban adoptions and foster parents in homes with unmarried couples.

Saturday To-Dos: Marty Stuart, Pop! in the Park and Morris Day

MARTY STUART8 p.m., Old State House. $35.Marty Stuart is a stylistic vulture, scooping up bits of bluegrass, rockabilly, rock 'n' roll and traditional honky-tonk and selling them to Nashville as country music.

War Memorial announcement

As Harry King wrote yesterday, War Memorial Stadium is giving up two years with a third UA game at the stadium in return for two more years of two-game appearances.

Coming soon: Taziki's Greek Fare

Longtime restaurateur and former state Rep. Jim Keet, in partnership with his sons Tommy and Jake, hopes to open Taziki's Greek Fare mid-September in the Cantrell Heights Shopping Center.

Update: Aisha's

AISHA'S We made two wrong assumptions about this new location in North Little Rock. First, we thought the restaurant had closed the Little Rock location and moved north of the river.

Last Night: The Log!

Imagine this, but cloudy. Movies have been good to Kenny Loggins.

Chet Edwards?

The veepstakes enters the silly season. I say draft Dale Bumpers.

The smoking affidavit

Mara Leveritt's website explains the potential bombshell under wraps in circuit court in Jonesboro -- a lawyer who has sworn he was contacted by the jury foreman during one of the West Memphis Three murder trials to talk about the case.

The smoking affidavit

Mara Leveritt's website explains the potential bombshell under wraps in circuit court in Jonesboro -- a lawyer who has sworn he was contacted by the jury foreman during one of the West Memphis Three murder trials to talk about the case.

Good questions

The League of Women Voters thinks it's time to ask some financial questions of the Little Rock School District.

Good questions

The League of Women Voters thinks it's time to ask some financial questions of the Little Rock School District.

Who Says That!?!?

Growing up I lived with my mother and two sisters. My father was a participant, as well; however, he lived out of town so it was typically my mother who initially met and “approved” those I dated.  My mom was also an avid Razorback basketball fan.

Open line

Sorry, Jazzy. Sometimes life interferes with blogging.

No dancing

To cap off the run of his memorabilia collection, "Sparkle and Twang," stylistic vulture Marty Stuart performs at the Old State House on Saturday. You'll have to rein in your desire to get down. There's no dancing allowed in the historic building.

Ark. colleges spurn rankings

Stephens Media follows up, as news releases pour in, on a mention here yesterday that Hendrix College and Philander Smith College are among the growing number nationally that don't participate in the U.S. News annual college rankings.More will join them in future years.

Ronald Reagan remembered

Brummett prepares a tribute to Ronald Reagan. Better than the last eight years.

So it's Biden

Well?

Run it like a bidness

Just asking: Does anyone find it unseemly that a state would carry its economic recruitment program so far that it proclaims itself to be a "business partner" of one particular foreign car manufacturer?That's what the State of Mississippi proclaims in a TV commercial that it runs on PBS.

TV comings and goings

Word is that Friday, September 5, will be Jason Harper's last day on Channel 7's "Daybreak" and "Good Morning Arkansas" morning lineup.He'll take a full-time job with ESPN's outdoors division, sources say.

True fat cats

The New York Times today has a thorough analysis of the booze empire that funds John McCain's 10-house lifestyle.

Name That Obscure Hog

Senator Obama's text message was only the second-most anticipated communiqué of the weekend. The first, of course, was our text message informing Americans from sea to shining sea that it's time for another installment of the game they've found more addictive than black-tar heroin.

Open up

Right now, Max has a lobster-stained bib on. Here's an official open line for the rest of us.

Shackled woman plans appeal

“I'm not saying I expected to be treated like a princess, but I really expected to be treated differently,” Shawanna Nelson recalls. What she did not expect was to be shackled to the delivery table with an 18-inch leg chain as she gave birth to her son, with nothing but Tylenol for her labor pains.

Making friends, influencing people

John Brummett explains how his name, along with Republican Sen. Gilbert Baker's, turned up on the records of Lu Hardin's $70,000-a-year expense account at UCA.

WM3 addenda

An item about the West Memphis Three proceedings the other day was prompted by the note on the jump from Brent Peterson, one of those in the advocacy group working for a new trial for the three men convicted in the slayings years ago.

The GOP talk machine

Overnight I received a statement from Arkansas Republican Chair Dennis "What we need is another 9/11" Milligan re Joe Biden's selection:

God and man in Flippin

A Flippin parent was a little surprised -- we should be, but this being Arkansas ... -- at the religious questions put to public schools kids on a career orientation survey for 8th graders.

Democratic Convention blogging

We frequently mention state Rep. Steve Harrelson's Under the Dome blog for its news on state politics. Here's a report on his Democratic National Convention blogging plans as the designated blogger for the Arkansas delegation.

Open line

My connectivity is glacial. So, just let me say, greetings from Bar Harbor.

Dirksmeyer, Part II

You may have heard by now that a new suspect has been arrested in the murder of Nona Dirksmeyer, the former Miss Arkansas contestant and Arkansas Tech student who was found bludgeoned to death in her Russellville apartment in 2005.

Maine gawking UPDATE

Above was tonight's dinner at the Down East Lobster Pound near Bar Harbor. This is old hat to people familiar with Maine, but I'm a first-time visitor.

God and men at Saddleback

Brummett joins others in giving John McCain the advantage in his meeting with Barack Obama at the Saddleback Church.

Shale situationer

The NY Times has an interesting front-page article on the national development of shale reserves for natural gas.

The cost of buying tourists UPDATE

An interesting account in the Democrat-Gazette today of the amount North Little Rock has spent to establish a maritime museum on the Arkansas River, its main attraction so far a World War II submarine.

Kennedy in Denver

Sen. Edward Kennedy will attend the Democratic National Convention tonight and may speak if he's up to it, party officials say.

It's lunchtime!

Weightwatchers.com has a Q&A with UCA Executive Chef Robert Hall (seen above), who was part of the small army of chefs who traveled to Beijing to help prepare meals for Team America during the Olympic Games.

Chemicals

Here's a report from Michigan's Bay City Times on that state's efforts to ban the use of  polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDE.

Chemicals

Here's a report from Michigan's Bay City Times on that state's efforts to ban the use of  polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDE.

The strange, strange world of the internet troll

If you read enough blogs, you will quickly realize that there are some people out there who delight in posting the most provocative, insulting, and insensitive comments they can imagine for the sheer purpose of causing emotional pain.

Speaking of Bass Pro ...

Bass Pro Shops has reached a $100 million deal with the city of Memphis to redevelop the vacant Pyramid with a 150,235-square-foot retail store, a hotel, restaurants, an aviary and a museum, the Memphis Commercial Appeal is reporting.

Foster vote makes ballot

KTHV reports that an initiative to ban unmarried couples from acting as foster  or adoptive parents has been approved for the Nov. 4 ballot.

Jacksonville shooting

KARK, Channel 4, is reporting that Jacksonville High School is on lockdown because of a possible shootout nearby.

Convention comments?

Here's an open line to accommodate your words of wisdom.

The Weekend in review: Oblivian, Stuart and fingertips

Similarly outfitted, but less rockin'. Ideally, this kind of thing would come early in the day, but today's been full with paper-related duties, so better late than never:Damn fine: Friday, I caught the tail end of the Thomas Jones Duo at White Water.

Assassination plot?

Both the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News are reporting that police believe they may have averted an assassination attempt on Barack Obama.

Tangled up in Bob

On Tuesday, Bob Dylan returns to Arkansas to play the Riverfest Amphitheater. It's his first show in Little Rock since he and Willie Nelson played a sweaty, jubilant show at Ray Winder Field in 2005. Here's hoping for similarly great things.

Morning madness

The morning newspapers haven't arrived here and I can't reach an NPR signal, so I'm stuck with morning TV for a change.

Brummett: Lu Hardin should step down

He says it sympathetically, but he says: It's simple: UCA can no longer be well-served by his leadership, so damaged are his credibility and effectiveness.

AP exam results

Nearly half the students who took Advanced Placement exams this year scored between a 3 and a 5, the state Department of Education announced today.

AP exam results

Nearly half the students who took Advanced Placement exams this year scored between a 3 and a 5, the state Department of Education announced today.

Mountain rescue

No matter how bad your Monday was, it could have been worse. For example, you could have had the day experienced by 51-year old John Jenkins of Dardenelle, who had to be plucked from the slopes of Petit Jean Mountain by a National Guard helicopter crew after his hang-glider caught a bad gust that left him dangling 40 feet up in a tree. 

Counting Down to Saturday

With everything that's happened since that epic, season-closing win over LSU (note: it is official Expats policy not to recognize or discuss certain bowl games that the red-clad Hogs played after that), it feels like's been about a million years since the Razorbacks actually played a meaningful down of football.

How To Get Surplus State of Arkansas Property

You want a great deal on lost of items ?   Go to the DFA Auction Web Page - get your fill of old chairs, desks, computers, and even cars.

Denny and the Old Soles at the convention

I've got a little ways to go in Photoshop. The Arkansas delegation to the Democratic National Convention will be treated to the singular warble of North Little Rock's own Chris Denny and his crack backing band, the Old Soles, tonight in Denver.

Thar she blows

Meet Siphon, a humpback whale who lurks about 20 miles off Bar Harbor. The headline is perhaps a suitable pun for an open line on tonight's DNC action.

The harder we work, the behinder we get

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families provides the sobering bottom line on new Census data: Arkansans earn less today, on average, than they did at the beginning of the decade, after incomes are adjusted for inflation.

Say what?

The forum is now open.

Wal-Mart in the Wilderness

Picture this: A Wal-Mart next to a significant Civil War battlefield. The American way?

Lipstick Vandals

The Smoking Gun reports an Arkansas burglary in Fort Smith.......

Police beat

The LRPD sends around several news releases this morning from the mean streets -- one about the shooting of a McDonald's employee who tried to intervene to protect a woman in a domestic dispute.

Judging public art

UPDATE: Here it is, Max. No link is currently available, but I see the hubbub continues in the Democrat-Gazette over the sculpture installed in front of the new federal courthouse on Capitol Avenue.

Sim's moving?

Update: A man working behind the counter of the 33rd location confirmed that the restaurant was planning to move into a "nicer place" nearby, likely before Thanksgiving.Sims BBQ has applied to the Capital Zoning District Commission for a conditional use permit for 2415 S. Broadway.

The restaurant business is hard

A Hillcrest tipsters reports that following a staff meeting last night, the coffee house and restaurant Laughing Moon shut down this morning.After previously shuttering its dine-in operation, Bennett’s Market and Catering has closed its Rock Creek Square storefront to focus exclusively on contract catering.

If you happen through Crawfordsville...

A back room mural at Uncle John's. ...stop in at Uncle John's.

FYI

I got hassled last night on my way into the Dylan concert, and then again in the comment box below, for not plugging the show on Rock Candy.

Prediction Time: Dusting Off Our Crystal Ball

From the moment the 2008 football schedule was released, the Expats organization has employed a team of PhD statisticians working overtime to develop a mathematically precise prediction of how the season would unfold.

Last Night: Dylan

Earlier flamboyance. Anyone secret a picture from last night?

Baptist buys SW

Baptist Health has bought the former Southwest Medical Center in SWLR.

Revolutionized

Wolf Parade. Downtown venue Revolution has updated its website to add an impressively diverse upcoming slate.

The big wind

Here we go again: emergency planners say that the evacuation of New Orleans could begin as early as Friday morning as Tropical Storm Gustav -- likely to strengthen to hurricane force soon, after killing 22 in Haiti and the Dominican Republic -- takes aim at the city.

Runway gossip

Have you seen this man? Word around the Little Rock fashion community is that Tim Gunn was in town earlier this week to check on Korto Momolu, leading to speculation that she's made the final  cut on "Project Runway," which airs on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on Bravo.

Cancelled

Eddie Griffin, scheduled to do stand-up at Robinson on Saturday, has canceled. There's no indication of a make-up date.

Fun Picture Trick

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