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September 4, 2008

Vol 6 • No 34

Hussman, Walton money fuel e-Stem

It’s taken nearly $8 million to open the doors to the three e-Stem charter schools, $1.495 million in outright grants and the rest in loans from the Walton Family Foundation and Walter Hussman

Hussman, Walton money fuel e-Stem

It’s taken nearly $8 million to open the doors to the three e-Stem charter schools, $1.495 million in outright grants and the rest in loans from the Walton Family Foundation and Walter Hussman

Strong roots for e-Stem

Three charter schools opened in July in the former Arkansas Gazette building at Third and Louisiana to challenge traditional public schools to produce better results, supporters say.

The real issues

Josh Marshall nails it. The Rovian leaders of the McCain campaign hope to generate a sympathy vote for Sarah Palin to cover for her manifest unsuitability to be vice president.

Palin: McCain's weakness

For further good commentary on John McCain's pick of an abysmally qualified running mate, I turn to Ernie Dumas' column this week.

Sen. Baker and UCA

Though the big news is over, there are still some things to sort through uncovered in the course of reviewing UCA paperwork during the controversy over President Lu Hardin's pay.

Better than TiVo

The Republican Convention media staff thoughtfully provides key excerpts of Mike Huckabee's speech tonight so you don't have to watch the whole darn thing.

Mormon bigotry

A new book by an LDS historian makes the case that anti-Mormon bigotry killed Mitt Romney's presidential campaign.

Open line

For convention comments. Or anything else.

Editorial cartoon, Sept. 4

Words, Sept. 4

He won’t get far without better transportation:

Orval, Sept. 4

Drilling away

I just returned from a trip to Wyoming where I heard presentations about the environmental destruction from natural gas well drilling in that wildlife rich state.

Spooky TV

If you were a kid during a certain era — post-Eisenhower, but pre-Clinton — chances are you’ve seen at least a version of it: cringe-bad horror films, introduced by a ghoulish, wisecracking host who presides over a set that looks like it was made from ch

Bob Dylan

Dressed like a gay Confederate general — pencil mustache, powder blue waist-coast, flat-brimmed hat, tight pants with racing stripes — Bob Dylan spent the first eighth of his show clearing his throat in song.

The ‘Echo’ heard ’round the world

Arkansas’s federal judges are “horrified” and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has become completely unhinged over events at the courthouse at Broadway and Capitol Avenue.

What's cooking, Sept. 4

Chef Donnie Ferneau reports that he’s ending lunch service at his upscale Hillcrest restaurant Ferneau and adding a late-night menu, which he’ll offer from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Ludo-cris

Proud (and slightly sentimental) pop-culture geeks, take note. An indie-pop band from St. Louis has your number. Named for a character in “Labyrinth,” Ludo specializes in the kind of bouncy, dramatic anthems of ironic angst on which bands like Weezer and

Smart talk, Sept. 4

Got a college you want accredited? You may not have to go far.

AETN pumps up the digital

Fans of AETN who have been bemoaning the channel’s low signal strength (or absence from the dial, depending on how far you are from their makeshift analog transmitter) since their tower fell back in January should have reason to smile by the time you read

Bobsolete

My theme song, “Poor Poor Pitiful Me” playing in the background, I was just sitting here on deadline feeling obsolete.

Palin: A problem

Sarah Palin, the former Alaska beauty queen who had been the governor for 20 months when John McCain tapped her as his running mate, is the living embodiment of McCain’s enduring weakness.

AUG. 27 — SEPT. 2, 2008

It was a GOOD week for … CRUELTY TO ANIMALS. A 16-year-old Wynne boy confessed to setting fire to a kitten. The kitten was euthanized, the boy was charged under Arkansas’s toothless animal-cruelty law. Special-interest groups like the Farm Bureau and the

An earlier, and quieter, integration

They were told to keep it quiet, and they did.

UCA backscratches

Another tidbit from the University of Central Arkansas.

What's cooking, Sept. 4

Chef Donnie Ferneau reports that he’s ending lunch service at his upscale Hillcrest restaurant Ferneau and adding a late-night menu, which he’ll offer from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.

What's cooking, Sept. 4

Chef Donnie Ferneau reports that he’s ending lunch service at his upscale Hillcrest restaurant Ferneau and adding a late-night menu, which he’ll offer from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.

The Observer, Sept. 4

The Observer has always loved our gadgets, but we’ve never quite had the courage to dive headlong into the shiny, complicated innards of modern digital goodies — all those plugs and wires and circuit boards.

Bait and switch

In the first scene of “Traitor,” the title character, Samir Horn, is a young boy in Sudan playing chess and praying with his evidently Muslim father.

In brief, Sept. 4

New York punks Love or Parish perform at White Water with local garage-rock band the Weisenheimers, 9 p.m., $5.

Female Agnew? Female Quayle?

History says Democrats ought to worry whenever they find themselves blessed with an able U.S. senator on the ticket and get word of a Republican vice presidential nominee they’ve never heard of and whose selection seems an affront to responsible governing

The forgotten ones

My vacation was a busy news week, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t devote this small space to a story that all but the Arkansas Times seemed inclined to ignore.

This modern world, Sept. 4

Chosen lady

So the Religious Right wing of the Republican Party won’t accept a woman in the pulpit but will accept a woman in the White House.

A legend lives on

Under new ownership since the first of the year, Browning’s Mexican Grill has kept the dishes that made it one of Little Rock’s most popular restaurants for, roughly, ages.

Maybe you saw a different game

Gulp down your sense of dread, Hog fans. Guard your spirits!

Huckabee's speech

Homestate coverage lauded his "trademark zingers." But, sorry. Our very own former Bro.

Huckabee's speech

Homestate coverage lauded his "trademark zingers." But, sorry. Our very own former Bro.

Perspective on Lu Hardin

Brummett writes about the different ways people might look at Lu Hardin's $1 million buyout at UCA -- some with sympathy, some of the less well situated perhaps not getting it.

Thursday To-Do: Ludo

LUDO8 p.m., the Village. $10 adv., $12 d.o.s.Proud (and slightly sentimental) pop-culture geeks, take note.

Thursday To-Do: J. Roddy Walston and the Business

J. Roddy Walston and Zach Westphal (sporting "the Shalit") J. RODDY WALSTON AND THE BUSINESS9 p.m., Sticky Fingerz.Hirsute and hyper, J. Roddy Walston and the Business bring their long manes and Muppet mustaches to Sticky Fingerz for their first show in Little Rock since May. Which is a long time for the Baltmore-based rawkers, who've become one of the scene's most beloved acts in the last several years.

Thursday: Love or Perish, Ted Ludwig, the Boondogs and more

The Boondogs New York punks Love or Perish perform at White Water with local garage-rock band the Weisenheimers, 9 p.m., $5.

What? No Carlo Rossi?

The Democrat-Gazette's new rich folks party magazine, Arkansas Life, hit mailboxes yesterday. The database contractor they hired to assemble the upscale mailing list for this assault on the customers of Soiree, Inviting Arkansas, At Home Arkansas, AY, etc., screwed up.

Friday To-Do: Genine Perez

GENINE PEREZ9 p.m., the Afterthought. $7.

Sluggo update

My apologies to readers who'd been seeking an update on the condition of Sluggo, the crippled bulldog who had the good fortune to be dumped on some loving animal rescuers in Jacksonville.

Political talking points

The Democratic Party had rapid response to Sarah Palin's speech last night and other Republican talking points.

Who's an elitist?

It was funny hearing speaker after speaker at the convention of the fat cats talk about elitist Democrats.

Who's an elitist?

It was funny hearing speaker after speaker at the convention of the fat cats talk about elitist Democrats.

Motions in Death Row case denied

The state Supreme Court today denied an expedited review sought by the attorney general's office in the case of Death Row inmate Frank Williams Jr. A circuit judge has ruled that new execution procedures can't be used because they weren't properly adopted.

Why do Repubs hate working people? UPDATE

This morning, a long-time grassroots organizer dropped me a note. He wondered whether I'd be interested in doing a story about the life of a community organizer.

Why do Repubs hate working people? UPDATE

This morning, a long-time grassroots organizer dropped me a note. He wondered whether I'd be interested in doing a story about the life of a community organizer.

Karl Rove sez ....

An Arkie blogger catches Karl Rove in St. Paul. Turdblossom predicts a five-point post-convention bounce for McCain and, thus, a dead heat going into the final weeks.

The Daily Show does it again

Republicans speaking from both sides of mouth. Rich stuff.

Hate that dirty water UPDATE

It's not your imagination. A lot of the water in Little Rock looks dirty.

Gilding the "Lily"

  You read it here first, in June 2007: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has acquired the 1887 painting "The Indian and the Lily" by George deForest Brush.

I feel his pain

Everybody's a critic. And you get in public life and nothing is off limits.

Open line

Take it away -- convention comment and anything else. Been booted from Carly's aerie yet, Norma?

Who knew?

I was talking to a friend this week about how, when I taught, a lot of my students didn’t have a concept of what the world was like before they were in it.  I did a lot of pop culture and media studies in my classes, and they wanted to write papers about how The Backstreet Boys were the first boy band or whatever.  As a teacher, I couldn’t just let that slide, so I confessed to being a New Kids on the Block fan years before The Backstreet Boys even existed.  Once a kid named Max made an interesting point about Janis Joplin, and one of his classmates actually got irritated that he was brining up some person she’d never heard of.

Saving War Memorial

The dwindling number of fans of the little golf course in War Memorial Park best be prepared for some difficult conditions in the weeks ahead.

Saving War Memorial

The dwindling number of fans of the little golf course in War Memorial Park best be prepared for some difficult conditions in the weeks ahead.

Give me liberty or give me desk

With help from the New York Times and James Fallows of Atlantic, I've already worked over Mike Huckabee for trotting out again before a national TV audience last night a teacher's head-scratching metaphor about how veterans somehow "earned" desks for the kiddies at Joe T. school.

Give me liberty or give me desk

With help from the New York Times and James Fallows of Atlantic, I've already worked over Mike Huckabee for trotting out again before a national TV audience last night a teacher's head-scratching metaphor about how veterans somehow "earned" desks for the kiddies at Joe T. school.

Thursday Evening Hodge Podge

* Wondering what a 4 point win over a Division I-AA team looks like (since it wasn't shown on TV)?

Regal rappers

Memphis' Lord T & Eloise have spent the last year honing a new genre: aristo-crunk. Combining heavy low-end with samples of tympani and gothic choirs and lyrical references to the upper crust (the social pages, Sperry topsiders, stock market fluctuations)

High on McCain-Palin

Arkansas Republicans leave St. Paul buoyant about the party's chances to carry Arkansas in November.

River Market hotel

Click image to enlarge A reader added this in comments to an open line last night, but it bears more attention.

River Market hotel

Click image to enlarge A reader added this in comments to an open line last night, but it bears more attention.

Both sides now

John McCain's campaign chief has reached out to gay Republicans, who generally were accorded more respect at this year's Republican National Convention.

The Arkansas Supreme Court Weighs In On Voiding Marriages

Can a circuit court void a couple's marriage because the court thinks that it was contrary to a juvenile's best interest?

Friday To-Do: Lord T & Eloise and Al Kapone

Al Kapone. LORD T & ELOISE AND AL KAPONE9 p.m., Revolution.Regular visitors to Sticky Fingerz and Revolution, Memphis' Lord T & Eloise have spent the last year honing a new genre: aristo-crunk.

Heckuva job, Chertie

How about that FEMA? They did a heckuva job moving sick folks out of harm's way in advance of Hurricane Gustav.

New Democratic chair -- UPDATE

Says here that Gov. Mike Beebe's pick to succeed the late Bill Gwatney as Democratic Party chair could be announced today.

The mayor and the park

Click on image twice to enlarge to max size. Mayor Mark Stodola.

The Weekend: Nicky Parish, Freeverse and more

Freeverse. FRIDAY 9/5Soul standout Nicky Parish headlines at Cajun's Wharf, 9 p.m., $5.

Weekend To-Dos: Hogs and Black Top Boogie

SATURDAY 9/6ARKANSAS VS. LOUISIANA-MONROE6 p.m., War Memorial Stadium. $45.

Hit the road: Mose Allison, Second City

It's a quiet, non-football weekend in Fayetteville with two big arts events at the Walton Arts Center.

Opposition Research: Louisiana-Monroe

Last week we introduced a new feature called Opposition Research, in which the notorious privacy invader and dirty trickster Biggs Barker brings you some interesting tidbits about the Hogs' upcoming opponent.

Girl fight

Can the national media ever get enough of Clintonizing their political coverage? Apparently not.

Girl fight

Can the national media ever get enough of Clintonizing their political coverage? Apparently not.

Hot enough for you?

A reader still without electricity in Little Rock is steamed, figuratively and literally. She wonders if others have encountered similar difficulties, including a snippy Arkansas PSC staff.

Knifing in a courthouse

Wild story. A man in court in Scott County for unpaid fines stabbed himself in the throat today.

Wu-Maxx

Local rapper Maxx (AKA Max Farrell), who've I've written about herein a lot, is in his freshman year at Grinell College in Iowa.

UCA's money woes

In addition to its other problems involving Lu Hardin, who resigned as president under fire last month, the University of Central Arkansas has been forced to cut operating expenditures, particularly on scholarships, under pressure from the state Department of Higher Education.

Open line

Better late than never.

Woo pig

The Bobby Petrino era is underway. And after last Saturday's nail-biter against Division I-AA Western Illinois, we've learned a few things.

A Sarah Palin interview

John Brummett imagines John McCain's vetting of Sarah Palin, ending with his realization that she's a perfect choice -- a pander to the "church nuts" that could tongue-tie the "feminazis."

The schools' future

The League of Women Voters has scheduled a program at 5:30 p.m. Monday at the Unitarian church on Reservoir Road on the subject of local public schools.

That River Market hotel

The Downtown Little Rock Partnership is supporting the aloft hotel proposed for the River Market neighborhood.

One nation, under desks ...

I know. I'm obsessed on the subject, but still fascinated about how such a rhetoric expert as Mike Huckabee could fall so in love with such a nonsensical story that he would trot it out again, at length, for the Republican National Convention. Now comes, again, James Fallows of The Atlantic to dig deeper into the mystifying Mike Huckabee desk parable.

Sex education

Speaking of Sarah Palin: There's a fine op-ed in the New York Times today about the need for comprehensive sex education in the U.S. Be sure to look at the accompanying graphic.

Correction

An item in this week's paper had an error on the time of a talk Monday night by Dr. Robert Johnston on Russian-Georgia relations.

Woo pig

A lovely day for football. In honor of it, I'm going to cook some four-cheese pizza from the Greens cookbook and check in on the radio now and then.

Send in the water boy

Andrew DeMillo's weekly political column is about how the Arkansas Republican Party (Dennis "What we need is another 9'11" Milligan, prop.)

Pizza time

All it takes is a hint of fall to get my baking yen stoked. So tonight, I made what's become the favorite family pizza, from Greens vegetarian cookbook, the four-cheese model.

Counting my blessings

A friend sends a shot at dusk today from River Ridge McMillen Trial, where electric crews spent a second day trying, unsuccessfully at that point, to restore power to the people in a stretch of homes dark since the storm hit.

Black Top Boogie

An annual country concert sponsored by KSSN 96 FM, this year's Black Top Boogie comes courtesy of your local natural gas driller, Chesapeake Energy (always eager to engender goodwill) and features a number of country up-and-comers.

Family values

A St. Petersburg columnist, Robyn Blummer, considers the "family values" bloc: I find so-called "values voters" to be completely inscrutable.

Quiet competence

Brummett praises same in Gov. Mike Beebe, an example being his appointment of Elana Wills to a Supreme Court vacancy, rather than a political pal.

Quiet competence

Brummett praises same in Gov. Mike Beebe, an example being his appointment of Elana Wills to a Supreme Court vacancy, rather than a political pal.

What if ...

The Democrat-Gazette today wrote stories on coming school elections, since early voting begins next week.

What if ...

The Democrat-Gazette today wrote stories on coming school elections, since early voting begins next week.

Meet Your Waiter

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

Battle for the Heights

Absent any statewide political races -- save those on ballot issues -- attention may turn this year to some down-ballot contests.

Battle for the Heights

Absent any statewide political races -- save those on ballot issues -- attention may turn this year to some down-ballot contests.

Chips ahoy

You know how it goes. When a new chain restaurant hits Little Rock, it doesn't take long for a tsunami of customers to engulf the hostess station madly clamoring for electronic flashers to wait for a table.

Notes from the Field: KevinHog's Game Report

With our fleet of corporate jets undergoing some much-needed maintenance work, we were unable to attend last night's hair-raising, blood-pressure-spiking win over mighty Louisiana-Monroe.

Food for thought

An open line for you. For me, in fond memory of my dad, Sunday evening blueberry pancakes.

Strong roots for e-Stem

Three charter schools opened in July in the former Arkansas Gazette building at Third and Louisiana to challenge traditional public schools to produce better results, supporters say.

Peggy Noonan and Sarah Palin

Noonan gets it wrong -- on and off the record -- on Palin, who's at best a wash for the ticket, Brummett writes.

Mark your calendar

Famed paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey, who led a team that made groundbreaking discoveries in Africa, will speak at the UALR University Theatre at 4:30 p.m.

Fayetteville's glory holes

You think LR is too kind to developers? Consider Fayetteville, where a good fight is brewing.

The deadly coverup

It turns out I'm not the only person who thinks Gov. Mike Beebe has been derelict in his duties by abetting the state Human Services Department throwing a cloak of secrecy over four foster child deaths and state complicity in a recent near-fatality.

The deadly coverup

It turns out I'm not the only person who thinks Gov. Mike Beebe has been derelict in his duties by abetting the state Human Services Department throwing a cloak of secrecy over four foster child deaths and state complicity in a recent near-fatality.

Arkansas Prison Libraries

The Associated Press has this nice write-up of Arkansas' prison librarian.

The media massage UPDATE

It's an old Republican trick and it's working again. Shoot the messenger.

The media massage UPDATE

It's an old Republican trick and it's working again. Shoot the messenger.

Books in stir

The Canadian Press takes a look at libraries in Arkansas prisons. Underfunded, naturally.

Hotel design UPDATE

Here are the drawings for the aloft hotel proposed for the parking lot on the opposite side of Clinton Ave. from the River Market.

Shale summit

UCA announces one. Details on the jump.

Shale summit

UCA announces one. Details on the jump.

Fact-checking the liars

It's a small point, but it was a big applause line and another one of the lies John McCain told about Sarah Palin.

Fact-checking the liars

It's a small point, but it was a big applause line and another one of the lies John McCain told about Sarah Palin.

Assailant arrested

LRPD say they arrested Miranda Stewart today for running down police officer Megan Jones outside the Dillard's in Park Plaza last Friday.

You're on

Open thread. NEWS FLASH: I just made a run to Kroger in Hillcrest.

You're on

Open thread. NEWS FLASH: I just made a run to Kroger in Hillcrest.

The Sistine Chapel is completed

News flash from Hillcrest, Monday, Sept. 8: I just encountered some young fellows rolling a cart full of pizza makings at Kavanaugh and Beechwood.

Education in LR

John A. Arkansawyer did yeoman duty tonight by live blogging the League of Women Voters forum on Little Rock public education.

Pig-lickin' good

Kat Robinson at Tie Dye Travels has the scoop on a new snack item to be sold at the State Fair next month -- pig lickers, or chocolate dipped bacon.

It shoulda been Huck

A writer who's followed the Religious Right examines why Republicans passed over Mike Huckabee, far better known and liked among religious conservatives, for Sarah Palin.

It shoulda been Huck

A writer who's followed the Religious Right examines why Republicans passed over Mike Huckabee, far better known and liked among religious conservatives, for Sarah Palin.

Palin to Arkansas

Polish up your shotguns and sharpen your hooks. Sarah Palin is coming to Arkansas to hunt -- for money.

Palin to Arkansas

Polish up your shotguns and sharpen your hooks. Sarah Palin is coming to Arkansas to hunt -- for money.

Duggar doings

Thanks to Roby Brock for snaring this news release about the 19-and-growing Jim Bob Duggar clan.

In search of a bike owner

Found in the bushes by our building this morning: A bicycle seat with an unzipped and empty bike bag attached.

Seeking park land

Mayor Mark Stodola has asked Central Arkansas Water to give the city land east of the Lake Maumelle dam on Highway 300 for athletic fields.

College Republican Resigns Over Racist Remarks

I'll give them credit, the Republicans have been disciplined about avoiding racial slurs or even code words so far in the presidential race.

Convenience Stores' Trade Group Supports Lottery

The lottery amendment is interesting to me because it's supporters and detractors are not groups you would typcially find working together on certain issues.

A split on hotel plan UPDATE

The River Market Design Review Committee split 2-2 this morning on a height variance request by developers of the aloft hotel proposed for Clinton Avenue, meaning the committee will not recommend the variance to the city Board of Adjustment.

A split on hotel plan UPDATE

The River Market Design Review Committee split 2-2 this morning on a height variance request by developers of the aloft hotel proposed for Clinton Avenue, meaning the committee will not recommend the variance to the city Board of Adjustment.

Tuesday To-Do: Jump Back Jake

JUMP BACK JAKE10 p.m., White Water Tavern. $5.

Nathan Gordon dies at 92

The former lieutenant governor and war hero died Monday.

'True Blood' reviewed

  The best part.

LR Board to vote on contract

Just got a note about a special meeting of the LR School Board following the regular meeting tonight Thursday night to vote on the superintendent's contract, which has been up in the air on account of a disagreement on an annual annuity.

Harvard Employing God?

So, if you'll read this entry about a Harvard Med. School scientist who is creating a new form of life, (from Wired.com) you will understand the title of this post.

Obama Campaign To Open Headquarters Saturday

For anyone interested, Obama's HQ will open Sat. at 112 W.7th Str.

Tuesday: Travs, Isaac Alexander on 'The CLEANER' and John Barry

UPDATE: Song didn't play, but there still seems to be a chance that it will down the road.

Q&A: James Rouse, pt1

Many of our favorite Razorback memories involve Ken Hatfield's wonderful back-to-back Cotton Bowl teams of the late 1980s.

Huckabee's standup routine

Says here that Mike Huckabee will be competing against Bob Barr, Grover Norquist and others at a charity event Wednesday night in Washington known as the Funniest Celebrity in Washington.

Better late than never

The Obama campaign will open an Arkansas campaign office at noon Saturday at 112 W. 7th St., North Little Rock.

Anybody been to Woody's?

Good enough for books. The Waldenburg restaurant recently landed in David Gelin's "BBQ Joints: Stories and Secret Recipes from the Barbecue Belt," along, presumably with some other Arkie favorites.

Whole Foods opens, finally

After a power outage set it back last week, Whole Foods will celebrate its grand opening Wednesday, Sept. 9, at 7:45 a.m. through Sunday.

A theocrat is a theocrat

From Salon: What's the difference between Sarah Palin and Muslim fundamentalists? Lipstick.

You too can make giant puppets

Like three-headed devils. This came in too late to get in this week's issue, so a plug here for a workshop the Arkansas Community Arts Cooperative is hosting this Sat.

It's open

What's your line?

It's open

What's your line?

SEC Power Poll: Week 2

It's time for another edition of our SEC Power Poll ballot, in which we do our best to seem objective while secretly wishing we could rate the Hogs towards the top of the rankings (unfortunately, current events mean us that doing so would probably cast serious doubt as to our sanity).

The Observer, Sept. 11

He knew a lot of things, did Titanic Thompson, and he learned a lot of them in Arkansas, his home state. How proud we should be of him is a question for debate.

An earlier, and quieter, integration

The nuns of St. Scholastica Academy in Fort Smith recall admitting black students in 1952.

In his own words

AETN's oral history project on World War II includes this interview with Nathan Gordon, a war hero and former lieutenant governor who died Monday at 92.

Borrow now, pay later

The naysayers who years ago said it wasn't necessarily sound fiscal policy to borrow against future federal highway money for road work can take some grim satisfaction today from the evidence they had a point.

Big gulp

An association of convenience stores has come out in favor of a state lottery. (I meant to say in the original post -- duh!)

Big gulp

An association of convenience stores has come out in favor of a state lottery. (I meant to say in the original post -- duh!)

Gay adoption ban struck down

A Florida judge has ruled that the state's ban on adoption by gay people is unconstitutional.

Palin's connection in Rodney, Ark.

A retired Arkansas teacher recounts coaching Sarah Palin in junior high.

Blog alert

I'm about to leave for a long weekend in New York to celebrate a milestone birthday for Ellen with our kids, both New Yorkers now.

UPDATE: Mi Ranchito

MI RANCHITO We were surprised to see how this old restaurant spot has been transformed into a spacious, colorful and comfortable new Mexican establishment.

Rooftop dining

Mike Selig’s Vermillion is now offering cocktail parties, receptions and private dinners on rooftop of the Capital Commerce Center.

Next up at the River Market cooking club

So Restaurant-Bar’s Chef Marshall Smith leads the River Market Cooking Club on Saturday, Sept. 13.

Wild times at Interior

Will any agency of the federal government survive the Bush years without scandal? The New York Times reports today that employees at the Department of the Interior have accepted gifts from oil companies, finagled financial deals, used drugs and granted a few sexual favors as well.

Lucero sign to Universal-Republic

Lucero and Little Rock's Ben Nichols. After releasing its last two albums via a distribution deal with Warner Bros., but on its own Liberty & Lament imprint, Lucero's now gone all in with the majors, signing a four album deal with Universal/Republic.

More trouble for ACORN

Further reporting from the New York Times (link fixed) today about wrongdoing at ACORN, the community activist group with deep Little Rock ties.

Q&A: James Rouse, pt2

Many of our favorite Razorback memories involve Ken Hatfield's wonderful back-to-back Cotton Bowl teams of the late 1980s.

Borat Not Guilty !

Maybe "not guilty" is the wrong term. Remember Borat- where Sasha Cohen pretended to be an eastern European reporter.

Late night at Ferneau and downtown pizza

Forgot to add this last week: Chef Donnie Ferneau reports that he's ending lunch service at his upscale Hillcrest restaurant Ferneau and adding a late-night menu, which he'll offer from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Best Story Subject Title: The World Hasn't Ended!

If you haven't noticed the Large Hadron Collider project. didin't cause the end of the world, as some kooks had feared.

Drill, baby, drill!

The right-wing slogan for solving the energy crisis takes on added meaning after today's inspector general's report that Bush's corrupt Interior Department representatives charged with policing drilling on government lands were — literally — in bed with representatives of Big Oil.In addition to sex in the hot tub, they also accepted lots of other free boodle from the Oil Industry.

WM3 ruling

Big surprise. The activists working for a new trial for the West Memphis Three say Judge David  Burnett  in Jonesboro has denied a request for a new trial in Damien Echols' case and has declined to hold hearings on new DNA evidence dug up by the defense team (primarily an absence of DNA evidence implicating the three people convicted in the death, but DNA from others connected to the three dead children.)

Open line

Have at it. I'm going to a movie, "A Secret."

Editorial

This Modern World, Sept. 11

Orval, Sept. 11

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