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September 29, 2005

Vol 3 • No 37

John L. Handcox rolls on

John L. Handcox was born Feb. 5, 1904, in Brinkley, and became the voice of the sharecropper through his poems and songs for the Southern Tenant Farmers Union.

The week that was Sept. 21-27

UNIVERSITY AVENUE. A Dallas developer finally began moving dirt on Midtowne Little Rock, an open-air shopping center that could -- depending on the still unknown tenants -- give significant new life to University Avenue. Now

This Modern World Sept. 29

Anything for a buck

Last week’s revelation that the UALR provost was trying to extort financial contributions from professors is just the latest indication of the rising stakes in academia.

Embarrassed, mayor?

Rogers Mayor Steve Womack and developer Charles Reaves are discussing a reduction in the size of a tax increment finance district along Interstate 540, the Northwest edition of the Democrat-Gazette reported last Sunday.

Welcome to the neighborhood

Since we work downtown, we think there can’t be too many lunch spots around here. We get bored going to the same old places, and we’re too lazy to get in our car and drive to some other part of the city in the middle of the day.

More picks Sept. 29-Oct. 5

Looking for something to do? How abut "Necessary Targets" at the Weekend Theater; tribute bands at the Clear Channel Metroplex; Oktoberfests in Little Rock and Hot Springs, and a football-flavored lecture at the library.

Phil me in

Ah, Philip Martin. In many ways, too beautiful for this world. In others: much like that geek who was always blowing the curve for the normal people in high school. Phil Martin is one of the things readers — in my earshot, anyway — love to hate about the

Our pay-later culture

This was about as substantive as it gets on “Arkansas Week,” the weekly news review program on state public television. You had Warwick Sabin, transplanted New Yorker and hot-shot writer for the weekly Arkansas Times who was student body president at

Kids at risk

A longtime observer of George W. Bush noted the other day that under Bush, the government has moved away from basing policy on science, expertise and professionalism, in favor of policies based on ideology and religion.

The Insider

Bill Halter, the North Little Rock native who ran the Social Security Administration at the end of Bill Clinton’s presidency, seems to be moving closer to challenging Mike Beebe for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

TV highlights

JUSTIN WILSON COOKS: ETOUFEE 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 1 AETN (Comcast Ch. 3, Broadcast Ch. 2) We love Louisiana — especially south Louisiana and New Orleans. So, with monster twin hurricanes striking the Gulf Coast and wiping off the map a good porti

Smooth sailing for Public Theatre

The Public Theatre of Little Rock began its 2005-06 season with “Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill,” a voyage through the German composer’s musical catalog. And, while the remnants of Hurricane Rita rumbled through the city during the Saturday show, it w

What's cooking-capsule reviews

What's cooking: La Hacienda; Flying Burrito. Capsule reviews: Butcher Shop; Last Chance Lakeside Resort.

About that submarine ...

Every once in awhile I have criticized the Razorback submarine that the mayor of North Little Rock brought to his city. I wrote that there were many more important things that the city needed. And I have never seen or written a good word about the I


Taken from Laurie Taylor’s web site, these are excerpts from books she sought to have removed from Fayetteville school libraries or placed on restricted-access status:

Editorial cartoon Sept. 29

HAM shows nudes the door

Another chapter in the history of censorship in public institutions was written last week when, after complaints by volunteer staffers, the curator of the Historic Arkansas Museum decided to remove three paintings by Warren Criswell from a solo show of hi

Smart Talk Sept. 29

Watching Wal-Mart, building Main Street and selling Wolverton Mountain.

The Observer Sept. 29

It was a third date to remember. Razorback football, golf and getting chased by a bear on a section of the Ozark Highlands Trail.

'Violence' is more than an action film

Mortensen, Bello stand out; Burton is alive with ‘Corpse Bride.’

Pretty sinful display by Crue

Motley Crue embodied evil incarnate, and happily so. The “Carnival of Sins” show was presented by a company dubbed Evil Entertainment. Scantily clad girls writhed sleazily like snakes all over hobbled lead singer Vince Neil during the Crue’s opening numbe

Words Sept. 29

“Landlord found guilty of maintaining drug lab; Prosecutor calls LR apartments untenable.” Douglas E. Young asks “How about unlivable? Untenantable?” Either would be correct. But so is untenable. Although we usually think of

Gooding tidings at Cajun's Wharf

The world-music electronica act Gooding, led by the guitarist and vocalist of the same name, will bring a new show to Cajun’s Wharf Saturday, Oct. 1.

Big blind

The other day I came across a statistic buried in a Reuters news story on the web. I read right past it the first time, but went back, read it again, wooled it around briefly, mulled it over, then just sat staring, stupefied. Skin crawled. Neck hair s

An expensive free lunch

All government free lunches are equal. You pay for them later in spades. So it will be with the giant bond-refinancing program announced ceremoniously last week by Gov. Huckabee.

Letters Sept. 29

No one enters the teaching profession to make money. Maybe for the summer break but not money. However there is more than money to account for in the decision to use Little Rock School District funds to grant money to teachers at Meadowcliff who raise tes

Celebrating Dylan

Sixteen top regional music acts will gather at Juanita’s Cantina Ballroom on Thursday, Sept. 29, for “Tangled Up in Bob: A celebration of the music of Bob Dylan.” The show benefits the Play It Again, Arkansas program that brings music instruments to pub

Taking on Bill Cosby

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson says comedian Bill Cosby’s controversial remarks about the black poor were an unfair attack on people who — unlike Cosby — are not given a voice.

There's a confidentiality law, but ...

It evidently isn’t well known, except to school librarians, but Arkansas has a state law prohibiting libraries from revealing the names of those who check out books. The law applies to school libraries as well as public libraries, and it does not make


Levon Helm, who rose to rock fame as the drummer and singer of The Band, will bring his own band, which includes daughter Amy Helm, to the Peabody Hotel ballroom for a cabaret performance on Saturday, Oct. 1.

'Rope a dope'

The committee trying to build a wastewater treatment plant on 18 acres in West Little Rock is still fighting a game of “rope a dope,” as a member of the Sewer Committee put it.

Cleaning up the shelves

FAYETTEVILLE — “I’m not a bigot,” Laurie Taylor tells a crowd that seems to believe otherwise. “I’m not a homophobe. I’m a conscientious parent.”

This Modern World Oct. 6

Masters fault legislature on schools

Special masters have issued a finding on the legislature's compliance with the Lake View school equity case. The language by Masters Brad Jesson and David Newbern may be measured, but the con

Legislators fail the schools

The special masters documented as exhaustively just how the legislature, by ineptness, confusion or some exercise of collective will, had skirted the state Constitution’s absolute requirement that children in Arkansas be furnished an adequate education an

Play ball!

It’s hard to think of a better chain restaurant concept in these soccer-parent times than Beef O’Brady’s (although it’s probably not nearly as hard to think of a better name for said chain). The family-friendly sports bar has got the non-negotiable multip