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September 25, 2008

Vol 6 • No 37

Casinos and the constitution

More on the question of whether a simple vote of the legislature could allow casino gambling (as if the racinos at Oaklawn and Southland are not already casinos.)

For the LRSD record

Here's the list of general conditions presented to the Little Rock School Board Tuesday by attorney Chris Heller as part of a proposal to settle county desegregation legislation. The seven-year phaseout of state support will likely be too much for many legislators.

Palin lacks experience

So says Laura Bush. McCain shows he believes the same thing by refusing to allow her to answer simple questions.

McCain ploy on economy

John McCain is calling for a delay of Friday's debate. He wants a cessation of campaigning to work on the economy.

Open line

I'm going to Les Mis, a good excuse not to watch the Chimp. (You know, I'm sure, that Obama isn't biting on McCain's rope-a-dope to skip the debate.)

Sean McConnell and Wade Bowen

Rootsy singer-songwriter band rock was the order of the day as a nearly full house welcomed Wade Bowen and Sean McConnell to the Sticky Fingerz stage Friday night.

Encounter

Be careful out there that you aren’t drygulched by a bunch of fire ants. It happened to me last week.

This modern world, Sept. 25

The rest of the news

New briefs worth further comment:

Words, Sept. 25

“Thousands of striking South Korean autoworkers rallied Wednesday in Seoul to protest U.S. beef imports … The strike came a day after sales of American beef resumed at one store, whose owner said it was ‘selling like hot cakes.’ ”

Editorial cartoon, Sept. 25

One down, three to go

Maybe I’m spewing sunshine, but I certainly don’t feel like Rick Schaeffer.

Grab a seat at Galaxy

I have rhapsodized before in this space about my love for Galaxy Office Furniture in Argenta, and I’m about to do it again.

How high the hotel?

On Sept. 9, I attended the River Market Design Review Committee’s meeting regarding the variance request for a proposed seven-story hotel on the corner of President Clinton Avenue and Commerce Street.

Fists of funny

A low-budget comedy that pushes a good thing too far.

The Observer, Sept. 25

To get to the intersection of Woodlane and Capitol Avenue, where the fire trucks were parading in front of the Capitol, The Observer had to walk across the grounds from a parking place near Seventh Street.

Smart talk, Sept. 25

Confronted by a person of authority — a traffic cop, say — many among us have thought to ourselves “Give me the ticket or give me the lecture. Don’t give me both.”

The meats of Laredo

We went to Cantina Laredo in the recent downpour, our coif Gustav-ed to our head, our spouse in a ratty Red Cross Blood Donor T-shirt and our teen-ager, no modifier needed, expecting to hide our bedragglement among the blankets and sombreros and bullfight

Artsy Argenta

Pity the poor, solitary artist: Isolated from society, locked in a desperate struggle with his or her muse, staring down a blank canvas or unshaped stone and ...

Obama mortgage plan has been tried, defeated

As part of a plan to help financially troubled Americans, Barack Obama last week proposed legislation that would allow judges to adjust the mortgage terms of homeowners who are in bankruptcy, so they’d have a better chance of saving their homes from forec

Dan Penn and Bobby Emmons

That Dan Penn has written more than a handful of the greatest songs ever is almost canonical.

Off Target

Fallout from bad financial times: The Target store that was expected to anchor the Park Avenue development at Markham and University looks iffy.

Deregulation fails big-time

Thoughtful people have warned of approaching economic disaster for some time, and these thinkers included professional economists.

To-do list, Sept. 25

Chuck D, Kevin Gordon, 'The Pajama Game,' Dead Confederate / Wax Fang, Paul Thorn, 'The Pillowman,' Harvest Fest, Heartless Bastards and Gaslight Anthem round out some of this week's entertainment options.

In brief, Sept. 25

The new, largely instrumental act Eclipse Glasses joins experimental stalwarts the Western Meds to perform a benefit to restore the Dreamland Ballroom at the Flag and Banner Building.

Women’s work

It could have been only the sunlit brilliance of the days or the unusually careful tidying of the building and grounds for the occasion, but the Pike-Fletcher-Terry House on East Seventh Street seemed almost ebullient last week as if, given the privilege

Orval, Sept. 25

Sept. 17-23, 2008

It was a GOOD week for … HISTORY. A happy crowd gathered for the opening of the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, a state-run museum that remembers the once-thriving black business district that surrounded the property.

The Eagles

The four Eagles may have bolted out of Alltel Arena into their separate, waiting limos hating each other the minute the show was done, but in front of 11,842 loud fans they were brothers in arms, appearing to relish every minute of their three hours on th

Tempest-tossed at UALR

Two artists from opposite sides of the country came together in Little Rock in July to reconstruct a tornado.

What's cooking, Sept. 25

Taziki’s, an upscale Greek restaurant, this week brings grilled meats, hummus, stuffed grape leaves, grilled fish and many other touchstones of Greek cuisine (including the yogurt dip from which the restaurant’s name derives) to an expensively remade slot

All in the family

Money from a controversial $91,909 state-funded, substance-abuse-prevention grant awarded to State Sen. Hank Wilkins IV's church has been used to hire his son as the program’s coordinator.

Little Feat

Little Feat has become the quasi-house band at Cindy and Chip Murphy’s, and the group was back in the oil-company do-gooders’ back yard for Chip’s birthday shindig Sept. 19.

Global warming on a honeymoon

So far Mike Beebe is in a tie with Dale Bumpers as the most effective governor in the state’s history.

Biker love story

I first fell in love with motorcycles when I was 5 years old. Back then, Sears sold motorcycles, and the bikes hypnotized me.

COCKTAILS & McCAIN IN CHENAL

 “In vino, veritas,” said Pliny the Elder. God did HE ever know what he was talking about.

Bingo baloney

Where to start on the raucous old coots who think bingo should be untaxed in Arkansas?

Brummett goes scattershooting

The lottery (up), Bobby Petrino (down), Obama (signs of life in Arkansas) draw the columnist's attention today.

The local angle

The Democrat-Gazette had an In the News item about this bit of campaign business from the wilds of Wyoming: Rachael Seidenschnur, press secretary to Republican U.S. House Candidate Cynthia Lummis, left the campaign after reports that she'd called into her opponent's news conference under a fake name.

The local angle

The Democrat-Gazette had an In the News item about this bit of campaign business from the wilds of Wyoming: Rachael Seidenschnur, press secretary to Republican U.S. House Candidate Cynthia Lummis, left the campaign after reports that she'd called into her opponent's news conference under a fake name.

Theater review: Stunning

The Arkansas Repertory Theatre's production of "Les Miserables" is the best work this fine group has ever done.

Whose side are they on?

Speaking of scraps of bread: Some Democrats are pushing for help in bankruptcy court for beleaguered homeowners to renegotiate terms of ruinous mortgages.

Heeeeere's Huck!

Thanks to the Arkansas Project, which sent me the news first: Mike Huckabee has landed his own show on Faux News.

Taziki's opens today

Taziki’s, an upscale Greek restaurant, today brings grilled meats, hummus, stuffed grape leaves, grilled fish and many other touchstones of Greek cuisine (including the yogurt dip from which the restaurant’s name derives) to an expensively remade slot in the strip center at 8200 Cantrell Road.The first franchise outlet of a Birmingham, Ala., restaurant, it’s overseen by restaurant veteran and former state legislator Jim Keet and his sons, Tommy and Jake.

Taziki's opens today

Taziki’s, an upscale Greek restaurant, today brings grilled meats, hummus, stuffed grape leaves, grilled fish and many other touchstones of Greek cuisine (including the yogurt dip from which the restaurant’s name derives) to an expensively remade slot in the strip center at 8200 Cantrell Road.The first franchise outlet of a Birmingham, Ala., restaurant, it’s overseen by restaurant veteran and former state legislator Jim Keet and his sons, Tommy and Jake.

Thursday To-Do: Paul Thorn

PAUL THORN8 p.m., Revolution. $15 adv., $18 d.o.s.Paul Thorn's bio is the stuff of PR flaks' dreams.

Thursday To-Do: Dead Confederate - Wax Fang

Dead Confederate. DEAD CONFEDERATE/ WAX FANG10 p.m., Sticky Fingerz.

Politics in the pulpit

Preachers in 21 states plan to go to their pulpits this Sunday to explicitly endorse political candidates.

Politics in the pulpit

Preachers in 21 states plan to go to their pulpits this Sunday to explicitly endorse political candidates.

Thursday To-Do: Kevin Gordon

Kevin Gordon. KEVIN GORDON10 p.m., White Water Tavern.

Thursday To-Do: Chuck D

CHUCK D6 p.m., M.L. Harris Auditorium, Philander Smith. Free.When he speaks to what is sure to be a standing-room only crowd at Philander Smith's M.L. Harris Auditorium, Chuck D won't lack for material.

Thursday: Western Meds, Eclipse Glasses, Kyoto Boom, the Gettys and more

Dreamland Ballroom. THURSDAY 9/25The new, largely instrumental act Eclipse Glasses joins experimental stalwarts the Western Meds to perform a benefit to restore the Dreamland Ballroom at the Flag and Banner Building.

Bailout in works

McCain said it couldn't be done, but reports currently are that an agreement is near on the financial rescue.

Annals of Maumelle stalking

On the jump, a weird story from the Maumelle Monitor about a man arrested for harassing women at retail stores -- sometimes after leaving his own young child in a car.

Saying no to coal

Just in is this report from Glen Hooks of the Sierra Club on action by the Governor's Commission on Global Warming (the commission is only advisory, but add more voices to the anti-coal pile):

The To-Do List Podcast

CORRECTION: The fashion show at Hillcrest Harvest Fest starts at 7 p.m. Kyoto Boom starts at 8 p.m.

What's wrong with this picture?

Photo above came on an e-mail soliciting subscriptions to the officially sanctioned RazorVision service for Hog athletic news.

What's wrong with this picture?

Photo above came on an e-mail soliciting subscriptions to the officially sanctioned RazorVision service for Hog athletic news.

Sen. Wilkins responds

If you missed it, the print edition of the Times this week had an interesting report by Gerard Matthews on the controversial substance abuse prevent grant that went to Sen. Henry Wilkins' Pine Bluff Church even though two applicants had been graded higher in the initial application process.

I can't breathe...

The Natural Resource Defense Council, along with the Wild Earth Guardians, have released a fact sheet on air pollution related to natural gas exploration in the Rocky Mountain region.

Blogging the RV rally

Where are the LR bloggers in Chenal, the Heights, Hillcrest, SWLR, the East End, etc., to match the Dogtown blogging corps?

Blogging the RV rally

Where are the LR bloggers in Chenal, the Heights, Hillcrest, SWLR, the East End, etc., to match the Dogtown blogging corps?

Palin watching Russia

Palin with Couric on Russia. I think you'll see in this video why McCain has been talking about postponing the v.p. debate too.

The Razorback e-mail case

Though all the key players have departed, it grinds on.

Serial killer?

Faulkner County officials indicated at a news conference today that as many as 15 killings could be under investigation in a case related to discovery of human remains near Jacksonville.

McCAIN STARTED IT . . .

So how is he gonna fix it? Answer: He isn't.

Energy news

Entergy seeks a new nuke plant in Louisiana. In Arkansas, the PSC opens dockets on electricity transmission and innovative approaches to utility regulation.

Open line

Take it away. (Can we all agree Mike Huckabee is right on this one -- McCain made a "huge mistake" by trying to back out of the debate?)

Tony Alamo busted

The FBI announces the arrest of Tony Alamo. Not child pornography.

Pump shock

It’s a familiar cycle by now: In the wake of some cataclysmic event like Hurricane Katrina, Gustav or Ike or 9/11 — or sometimes apparently just for the hell of it — oil industry experts get on TV and start preparing us for a fast and hard rise in gas pri

Chicken litter and you

A government report -- sniffed at by U.S. Rep. John Boozman, who masquerades in private life as a man of science -- suggests that their could be pollution problems in concentrated animal feeding operations.

Fun with numbers -- RV edition

We'll stipulate that the RV convention in NLR has an economic impact. Downtown restaurants were busy with RVers at lunch yesterday.

The Huckabees do NYC -- UPDATE

A former aide to Rudy Giuliani who's also a convicted felon has begun blogging on his days with Rudy G., the New York Times reports.

Always with the Clintons

National media remain obsessed with Clintons. Today, the NY Times picks up a refrain of Obama's most ardent supporters that Bill Clinton hasn't been sufficiently enthusiastic about Obama's candidacy.

Go Joe

Fund-raiser last night in Little Rock, home of Richard and Sheila Bronfman,  for Joe White, the Democrat challenging Republican Sen. Gilbert Baker of Conway.

Go Joe

Fund-raiser last night in Little Rock, home of Richard and Sheila Bronfman,  for Joe White, the Democrat challenging Republican Sen. Gilbert Baker of Conway.

British humor

Fed Up to Here forwards a piece from the BBC on British physician slang. Some funny stuff.

Crapped out

Who knew that casinos prosecuted people who deadbeat them on markers for gambling debts? Not me. But then, I've never been a high-flying developer like NWA's Brandon Barber, who had to settle a $16,000 Vegas debt before he could be released from jail in Fayetteville after a DWI arrest.

Who's greedy

A Republican reader comments disparagingly about Mike Huckabee's newfound role as the scourge of greedheads.

Fayetteville High stays put

We've written a fair amount on the topic, so I need to link to The Iconoclast's happy post about the Fayetteville School Board's decision to build a new high school on the existing site.

Andy Pearson, live!

Former TV anchor Andy Pearson is getting back into broadcasting. He'll be joining Bob Steel on KARN's First News from 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. weekdays.

McCain will debate

He'd have looked stupid otherwise.

DID McCAIN’S RESCUE WORK?

No, it didn’t. He WILL show up tonight (8 p.m. CDT), for his scheduled Ole Miss debate with Obama.

Pathological Palin

Another day, another lie. Even wackjob Kathleen Parker says she should get out of the race.

How stupid are some Americans?

Fox News reports that 26 percent of American voters still approve of George Bush. At least somebody really likes him.

Arrest in slaying

Jacksonville police have arrested 33-year-old George Allen Smith as a suspect in the death of a woman whose remains were found in the city this week.

Friday To-Do: 'The Pillowman'

‘THE PILLOWMAN'7:30 p.m., Weekend Theater. $10-$14.A terrifically dark fable, Martin McDonagh's Tony and Drama Critics Circle award-winning play focuses on surely the most universally abhorred member of modern society — the child predator.

The Weekend: Worldfest, David Kimbrough Jr., the Derailers and more

The Derailers. FRIDAY 9/26Earlier this morn, the two-day Worldfest started celebrating global diversity through food, music, dance, art, crafts, culture and education on the grounds of the Clinton Library, 9 a.m., free.

The bus has left

Cosmopolitan Tours, a major bus-tour company in Little Rock, has closed and advised customers who’d paid for coming tours that it can’t refund their money.

Voters salute multi-tasking

A round of tracking polls suggests McCain's debate stunt didn't help him much with voters.

Democratic tide?

Talking Points Memo reports that new voter registration by Democrats far exceeds that by Republicans in battleground states.

Get a cell ready

Tony Alamo should be back in Arkansas shortly.

Tonight's the night

I'm taking an early checkout. Start the night's activities here.

Mailbag update

After leaving the office early, some mail piled up. One piece: An article from the Cabot Star Herald that says Lonoke Prosecutor Lona McCastlain, who's prosecuted some big cases, will resign at the end of the year because her husband, an Air Guard colonel, has a new assignment in Europe.

DEMOCRACY AT ITS TRASHIEST BEST!

Welcome to the Presidential Debate! We’re blessed to be a role-model for the world, and to live in a land where freedom of speech, thought and action blah-blah-blah.

Alaska's Huckster

Too rich. Since Sarah Palin became Arkansas Alaska governor, she's been cashing in on gifts. Many thousands worth including trips for hubby and kids.

Debate verdict? UPDATE

My view: A functional tie, until I see what the polls show happened with truly undecided voters.

Everybody reads the Arkansas Blog

Just got this e-mail. Readers will remember the item about a RazorVision promotion that erroneously mentioned "Arkansas State."

Huck in 2012

Right on the Wall Street greedheads. A better vice presidential candidate than Palin.

Return of trickle-down

It's impossible to say where the matter will end, but it's dismaying outrageous to read some of the things that conservative House Republicans think should be elements in a financial bailout: 1) investment tax cuts, which primarily benefit the rich; 2) tax credits for the wealthy; 3) more financial deregulation; 4) no relief on mortgage rates for homeowners facing bankruptcy.

Farewell to one cool hand

Paul Newman is dead at 83.

McCAIN - PALIN TICKET IN TROUBLE?

That’s what we hear. Rumors are flying all over the internet that Palin’s poor performance in her two TV interviews have Republicans scrambling.

Who won the debate, Part II?

After a day of spinning, I think it's safe to say that it's about a tossup.

All politics is local

And it doesn't get more local than clean water. On the jump, a long message from Lake Maumelle protector Kate Althoff on the race for county judge.

Open line

Take it away. And for your consideration: Judge Wendell Griffen on Sarah Palin.

Huckabee! UPDATE

Anybody else watch the ex-gov's new Fox show? He opened with a public policy sermonette.

Read Frank Rich

He has McCain's number. He'd ruin the country to be president.

Web TV

Have you checked out our new video player? We've got short features on the Hillcrest Harvest Fest chili cook-off, the RV rally in North Little Rock, "Les Mis" at the Rep and the new "Art of the Chopper" exhibit at the Clinton Library. Scroll below.

HIGH-ROLLER! THE NIGHT I SCREWED JOHN McCAIN!

A Magic Moment. One among many in my fabulous yet ongoing life.

Gambling blues

Brummett sounds as tired of bingo operators' whining as I am. Take a look sometime at how much of their take goes to charity.

Gambling blues

Brummett sounds as tired of bingo operators' whining as I am. Take a look sometime at how much of their take goes to charity.

Couric and Palin

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Saving Wall Street

The emerging details on the bailout agreement reflect little comfort for the little guy. While we're at it, here's a Washington Post account of McCain's bumbling week.

Mark Pryor and creation

Sen. Mark Pryor's cameo in Bill Maher's new movie "Religulous" (a rip on organized religion) has been mentioned previously.

UALR crime report

An alert sent out by UALR this morning suggests a moral: If you have talking to do, best take it inside rather than in a parking lot along Fair Park at 1:50 a.m.

Anybody home?

Sometimes, other obligations call. An open line for a beautiful Sunday (if you can put current events out of your mind).

BMI: good news and bad news

Remember Act 1220, the state act that declared war on childhood obesity through Body Mass Index (BMI) reports to parents and healthier eating at school?

Billy v. Bullies

A federal lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Billy Wolfe, the Fayetteville student who says that school administrators there did nothing to protect him from bullies.  Earler this year, Wolfe and his parents sued the bullies themselves.

'Brazen cynicism'

That's the descriptive Brummett gives John McCain for his actions in the financial bailout. It fits in just about everything else he's done.

Dumond champion retires

The NY Times today features the retirement of Murdoch tabloid columnist Steve Dunleavy. The article mentions Dunleavy's championing of the release of rapist/killer Wayne Dumond, though it omits Dunleavy's partnership with current Fox employee Mike Huckabee in the effort.

Church politics

I can find no indication yet that Arkansas churches participated in Sunday's protest of the law that prohibits tax deductions for money given to churches that engage in personal politics.

Banned Books Week

This week is Banned Books Week, so it’s an excellent time to read something forbidden.  Is there a better advertisement for any book than to ban it?  I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance because I heard there was some controversy about it, and all I remember now is that there was a lot of ado about the true meaning of “quality” and some mechanical tips.  I don't recall anything scandalous, and at the time, I felt like I'd been tricked into reading a fairly boring book.  I’m fascinated by the reasons sometimes cited for censorship.  Maybe it is a sign that I am a disturbed and deviant individual, but people can get upset over things I would never have anticipated.

When I'm 111

The oldest Arkansan has a round of birthday activities this week that would tire someone nearly half her age.

US attorneygate

For your reading pleasure: Here's the full report -- so far -- on the scandal surrounding removal of U.S. attorneys, including Bud Cummins of the Eastern District of Arkansas.

Alaska cheesecake

Sure. Sarah Palin's swimsuit strut as a 1984 Miss Alaska competitor had to surface eventually.

BREAKING: Josh Lucas probably hit in the head with a cellphone by Mary Tyler Moore

Monday To-Do: Gaslight Anthem

  The Gaslight Anthem- 59 Sound GASLIGHT ANTHEM6:30 p.m., Vino's.

Monday To-Do: The Heartless Bastards

HEARTLESS BASTARDS9 p.m., Sticky Fingerz.Her voice has been compared to Janis Joplin's and PJ Harvey's, neither of which sound right to these ears, though each vocalist summons deep bursts of feeling by swinging between quiet and howling.

Watching the bailout

Citigroup is taking over Wachovia; the markets are nervous, and the bailout vote is expected to be close.

Sluggo gets his wheels

Sluggo, the rescue bulldog who's benefitted from Arkansas Blog readers' charity, now has the expensive cart that we hope will enable him to move around without crawling on his front legs.

House rejects bailout

The vote was 228-205. All four members of the Arkansas House delegation supported the bailout.

Shale Summit at UCA on Friday

Mark your calendars.  This Friday, the University of Central Arkansas' Strategic Growth Institute is hosting a seminar at the Brewer-Hegeman Conference Center where a panel will discuss the "economic significance of the Fayetteville Shale drilling operations."  Panel members include state senators, representatives, and representatives of the business community including Nabholz Construction and SEECO, Inc. Admission is free.  AGENDA 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. - Continental Breakfast 9:00 a.m. - Fayetteville Shale: Operations and Impact 10:15 a.m. - Break 10:30 a.m. - Fayetteville Shale: Impact on Communities 11:30 a.m. - Higher Education Sub-Committee 12:00 p.m. - Adjourn In order to help plan for food and such, UCA is asking for an RSVP here.

Natural gas prices fall in shaky market

Bloomberg reports that gas prices are down due to market fears resulting from the bailout failure, and, you guessed it, the weather.  Chesapeake, who has leased land from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission for natural gas exploration, saw just over a five-point loss today.   

Gas leak causes McDonald's shut-down

And it wasn't the kind you think.  The San Jose Mercury News reports that a natural gas pipeline in San Jose was severed after a utility station was struck by an SUV.  Luckily, nothing exploded and residents were soon able to return to their homes and the Mickey-D's re-opened for bisness.   

Harvest Fest in review

  Korto's head is a globe of light.

Anything else?

In the event anything other than the economic demise of the U.S. is on your mind -- or if you simply want to start afresh -- here's your chance.

Budget cutting time

Pulaski County department heads got the word today that they've asked for $1 million more in expenditures than is expected in revenues.

Pain at the pump

High gas prices have made SUVs unsellable and driven people to bikes, scooters and buses. For now? Or forever?

Remembering Reagan

Preparing for a speech to Republicans, Brummett tries to come up with some good things to say about the GOP.

Worse than Quayle

The good news for Sarah Palin, sequestered in Arizona for three days of debate prep, is thatshe need only chew gum and walk on stage to exceed expectations.

Can you spare a dime?

Various city groups will roll out at a press conference this morning the program to set up contribution boxes as an alternative to giving money to panhandlers.

Read a banned book

Over at A Chick Called Mick, our community blogger Ashley McKelvy, a librarian in real life, notes Banned Books Week.

Vilonia Family Struggles Against Chesapeake Subsidiary

The Log Cabin reports that Arkansas Midstream Gas Services, a subisidiary of Chesapeake Energy, is suing a Vilonia family, citing iminent domain for the use of the family's land for a gas pipeline. 

Crime rate dropping

The LRPD today released crime stats for the year through August and they show a drop in most categories of crime, with violent crimes down 27 percent and property crimes, which are far more numerous, down 5.9 percent.

Woo pig! Cabernet!

So this is interesting. Razorback Wine Works “Hog Red” Cabernet Sauvignon has hit the shelves just in time football season.

UPDATE: Ahead of demand

Last week, Chesapeake announced a reduction in their budget for drilling operations.  Here's a good piece with a little bit of background on why.

'Gotcha'

Couric gets a sit-down with both McCain and Palin. Now we learn that, when a voter asks a question and a candidate (Palin) gives an inartful answer, this is "gotcha journalism."

Now the cleanup

I'm reminded of days of yore in the Arkansas legislature, before the ascendancy of the Death Star, when the grownups in the Senate would fix the mess caused by the hotheads in the House.

More mush from the wimp on DHS

I just noticed Andrew DeMillo's weekend column on the possibility that careful handling of the Tony Alamo case by the Arkansas Department of Human Services could provide some redemption for the agency, battered this year by poor handling of child abuse cases. Gov. Mike Beebe, again, assures us of his abiding interest and the good intentions of DHS workers.

The Palin Pipeline Problem

(Not in Alaska) We've been running a lot of items on Alaskan governor Sarah Palin here at the Times.  Max has given a pretty good run down of her lies out on the stump.  This story came out before the blog, but I think it's important to reiterate the point.  Palin's record is a lot thinner than her talking points indicate.  Take the gas pipeline.  Palin says that Alaska, under her tenure, "began a nearly $40 billion natural gas pipeline to help lead America to energy independence."  That sounds great, but once again, that pesky reality thing gets in the way.  The International Herald Tribune reports:

Deseg travails

The legislative committee working toward resolution of Pulaski County desegregation litigation met this morning. We were stretched too thin on publication day to get anyone there, but heard there was some interesting testimony.

Meet you at the polls

Today, they look good for Obama. But they've been as volatile as the stock market.

Hearing in PA on Water Use

Part of the goal of this blog is to keep Arkansans informed on what's going on in other states.  Natural gas exploration is going on across the country including states like Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Wyoming, New York and Pennsylvania, just to name a few.  There are lessons to be learned from other state governments and citizen groups about how to handle the shale boom.    There is a hearing tonight in Harrisburg, PA where Representative Camille George is trying to pass a bill tightening regulations on drilling activity.  Tonight's hearing focuses on the water use issue:

Follow the bouncing ball

The Dow Jones Industrial Average reclaimed about 62 percent of yesterday's record point drop, but if you think that means our troubles are over, read on.

The common Bush thread

Gene Robinson of the Washington Post wrote today about yesterday's overlooked story on how White House politics took over U.S. attorney selections, including the sacking of Bud Cummins in Little Rock so Karl Rove could create a job for Tim Griffin.

This is not Tina Fey

And with a one-in-four chance McCain wouldn't last two full terms, best pay her some mind.

Tuesday: American Aquarium.

American Aquarium. Tonight, Raleigh-based alt-country act American Aquarium returns to White Water Tavern.

David Gordon Green gets animated

Even if his career, until recently, said otherwise, LR native David Gordon Green's never been all that invested in indie cinema.

Beebe for bonds

Gov. Mike Beebe today reiterated his support for the ballot measure to allow issuance of $300 million in water bonds.

Beebe for bonds

Gov. Mike Beebe today reiterated his support for the ballot measure to allow issuance of $300 million in water bonds.

Ben Nichols solo

Gravel-throated singer/songwriter Ben Nichols will release “The Last Pale Light in the West,” a seven-song mini-album, in early 2009.

Nerrrrdds!

MC Frontalot. We're still a couple days away from the release of the line-up for this year's Hot Springs Documentary Film Fest (Oct. 17-26), but I have tidbits.

Vote 'No' on Act 1

A news conference is set tomorrow to announce a "major development" in the campaign to defeat initiated Act 1, which will put up more barriers to adoption and foster parenting for the abundance of kids in need.

I Know Why They Don't Want the Caged Bird to Sing

A good excuse to revisit a classic. Maybe it'll make for a handy excuse to throw a book banning question to Palin tomorrow.

Take it away

Or better yet, sit outside and have a drink. It's fall at last.

Enter the Senate

They'll vote Wednesday on a financial bailout package. It will include some business taxbreaks as a sop to some House members.

The college arms race

At a hearing yesterday, colleges objected to a Higher Education Department suggestion to cap spending on merit scholarships.

A vote for casinos

Speaking of Ernest Dumas, he also offers in the Arkansas Leader an explanation for why a vote for a state lottery is a vote for legal casinos.

Perpetual care UPDATE

I have one thing to say about the hubbub about the bankrupt Haven of Rest Cemetery on 12th Street.

Perpetual care UPDATE

I have one thing to say about the hubbub about the bankrupt Haven of Rest Cemetery on 12th Street.

Co-starring Mark Pryor

The senator gets noted, again, in a new review of Bill Maher's movie "Religulous." When Mr. Maher asks Senator Mark Pryor, an Arkansas Democrat and fervent evangelical Christian, why faith is good, he stumbles for an answer.

UCA: Center of writing

The University of Central Arkansas has added another well-thought-of publication to its range of attractions.

Hear me roar

I've contributed a mite to the Women's Foundation of Arkansas since its inception because I believe in its purpose of helping move women into leadership positions in Arkansas. I remember that one motivation of one of the founders, publisher Olivia Farrell, was the scarcity of women on the boards of Arkansas companies.

Wanted: investigative blogger

I've received multiple credible reports that a local church van is in use by a campaign sign crew working for a Little Rock political candidate -- a judicial candidate at that.

Sprawl debate

There's a rip-roaring debate underway on The Iconoclast over a proposed development that will send Fayetteville sprawling to the south, including with a new park built over a former landfill of dubious safety.

Have lunch with Al Bell

Al Bell, one of the true music legends from Arkansas, speaks today in the Butler Center at the Main Library from noon to one p.m. as part of the "Legacies and Lunch" lecture series.

I wish, but ....

Polls say Obama up by 8 to 15 in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania? Meanwhile, a union leader who supports Obama issues a word or two of caution.

Chesapeake Backing Out of Lease Offers in PA

Yesterday I told you about the hearing held in Pennsylvania to try to increase some of the regulations on drilling companies in the area.  I'll have more on the hearing later today.  In other PA news, Chesapeake has sent, through a consulting firm, letters to landowners rescinding offers for gas leases. 

Vote 'No' on Initiated Act 1

Arkansas Families First, formed to oppose Initiated Act 1, and Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families held a press conference this morning to publicize a hearing tomorrow at the Department of Human Services to contest the DHS policy banning “cohabitating adults” from becoming foster parents.  The groups claim that the policy was never open for public comment, and has been invalidated by a 2006 Supreme Court ruling which declared a slightly different rule explicitly banning gay foster parents unconstitutional.          Ed Ochoa, speaking on behalf of the Arkansas Chapter of the American Society of Pediatrics, said a blanket rule that would take qualified parents out of the foster care system, without scientific evidence to back it up, is wrong for children who need stable, loving homes.

Chesapeake's pipeline deal

Chesapeake Energy has announced a 10-year deal to ship Fayetteville shale gas through a new 187-mile pipeline from Conway County, Ark., to Mississippi.

Petrohawk to Cut Spending, Realocate Funds to Fayetteville Shale

Last week, Chesapeake Energy announced a cut-back in spending on natural gas operations by 17 percent.  Now, Petrohawk Energy Co. of Houston, TX, has announced they will cut their capital budget by one third (half a billion dollars) and reallocate funds to the Fayetteville and Haynesville shale areas.  Natural gas has dropped below $8 per million cubic feet.  Accoding to gas producers, gas has to stay at that level for the Fayetteville Shale operations to remain profitable.

Shale watch

I'm reminded by an item I just added about a Chesapeake Energy gas pipeline agreement that our Shale Watch blog is well underway.

Juanita's: New owner

NOT GOING ANYWHERE: Juanita's favorites to remain, with additions. Juanita's, for 22 years a South Main Street mainstay for Tex-Mex food and live music, has new owners.

Juanita's: New owner

NOT GOING ANYWHERE: Juanita's favorites to remain, with additions. Juanita's, for 22 years a South Main Street mainstay for Tex-Mex food and live music, has new owners.

As promised...

An update on the hearing held last night in Harrisburg.  The state's top environmental official is calling for an increase in gas drilling permit fees in order to get some more funding for inspectors.  The Philadelphia Inquirer reports,

LR to state: Hold off on charter schools

You can read here a letter the Little Rock School District sent to the state Education Department asking it to withhold approval of further open-enrollment charter schools in Pulaski County until impact on school desegregation has been evaluated.

LR to state: Hold off on charter schools

You can read here a letter the Little Rock School District sent to the state Education Department asking it to withhold approval of further open-enrollment charter schools in Pulaski County until impact on school desegregation has been evaluated.

UPDATE: Supersonics Blog Joins in Chesapeake Talk

Seattle Supersonics bloggers took a break from posts on Shawn Kemp's whereabouts and little-known facts about Spencer Haywood to join the discussion on Chesapeake Energy.  In what looks to be a three part series, Sonics fans can read about Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon's background, and recent stock woes. 

Natural Gas Plant Fined in Michigan

Air pollution due to natural gas production is one by-product that is probably not discussed as often as it should be.  I posted something last week on air pollution concerns from the Natural Resource Defense Council and I've received a couple of your horror stories concerning air quality around operations in Arkansas.  Well, it turns out there is some justice in the world for companies that release pollutants like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides into the air.  ("Sulfur dioxide can impair breathing and cause acid rain.

Spradlin and Campbell

  "Southern Nights" Updating an item from a couple weeks back, here's footage of local guitar hero Greg Spradlin playing along with Glen Campbell at the Americana Music Awards.

Wednesday: Pete Best Band

Perhaps the most famous footnote in rock history is in town tonight. Pete Best, the original drummer of the Beatles, leads the Pete Best Band to Sticky Fingerz tonight.

Thursday: BLVD, Deas Vail and more

BLVD. From San Francisco, BLVD specializes in electro-funk jam at Sticky Fingerz. “Conscious wordsmith” MC Souleye opens, 10 p.m., $5.

North to Alaska for gold

Talking Points Memo puts together a Sarah Palin highlights reel. And another afternoon delight: CNN polling shows Obama surges in battleground states, too.

Scooping with The Insider

The new Times is on the web and there are some tasty tidbits in this week's Insider column.
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