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October 2, 2008

Vol 6 • No 38

Raising shale

Natural gas exploration is changing the landscape of Arkansas — literally.

The great debate UPDATE

Setting up Thursday's big debate, the NY Times offers some video of the two vice presidential candidates in previous debate appearances.

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.

Hillary in for Obama

Hillary Clinton will be in Arkansas for an Obama rally around 5 p.m.. Friday, Oct. 10, near the Capitol.

Told you so UPDATE

Paul Krugman enjoys comeuppance of a conservative critic -- he could also have mentioned the repetitive sneers of the Democrat-Gazette editorial page -- who scoffed at his worries of a housing market collapse three years ago.

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.

Scooping with The Insider

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

Learned Hand, move over

Here's Sarah Palin on Supreme Court decisions she has known and disagreed with. Answer: none.

Thanks, Milton

The worst thing that can happen to an economist is for the politicians to come over to his side and actually implement his grand idea.

Betting on Arkansas

Gambling is in the news.

To-do list, Oct. 2

Randy Rogers Band, 'Cirque de la Symphonie,' The Subteens / Smoke Up Johnny, Buckcherry, Dean Agus, The Wet Party, Gordon Lightfoot and the Toadies highlight some of this week's good-time endeavors.

Noisome

A state agency makes a $92,000 grant to a church, which uses the money to provide a job for the son of the church pastor, who is also a state senator who votes on the agency’s budget, among other activities.

Sensory overload

Don’t let its uplifting previews lull you: Every moment of triumph and joy in “Blindness” has to be earned from a film that may rank among the darkest in cinema.

Bradford for Bowman

Word is that former state senator and former insurance executive Jay Bradford will be appointed state insurance commissioner in January, when the term of Commissioner Julie Benafield Bowman expires.

The Heartless Bastards

Here is where you will not find me on a Monday night: in a bar listening to a band — unless that band happens to be the Heartless Bastards.

What’s Happening in October

Readings and book-signings at Arkansas bookstores.

In brief, Oct. 2

From San Francisco, BLVD specializes in electro-funk jam at Sticky Fingerz.

Wrestle the Panda

There is an arc to your average buffet.

Defying Hitler

t is surely tempting for writers of young adult books to romanticize their subjects even more than those of us who write biographies for adults. In a digital world, the competition for a teen-ager’s attention is brutal.

The trouble with Georgia

Ozarks native and Georgetown professor Charles King has graduated to a more majestic landscape: the Caucasus Mountains and the Eurasian borderlands between Russia, Turkey, and Iran.

Come together

Have you lost your totem animal? Are your chakras unaligned? Been awhile since you unfolded in creative mysteries?

Sell you a bridge?

As a former resident of Ketchikan, Alaska, I become ever more distressed at references to the “Bridge to Nowhere,” even though I don’t support the construction of the bridge.

The Observer, Oct. 2

There is a lot about Northwest Arkansas that can rub a Central Arkansas person the wrong way.

A & E news, Oct. 2

Little Rock native and Lucero front man Ben Nichols will release “The Last Pale Light in the West,” a seven-song mini-album, in early 2009.

Delta dawns

Kendall Stallings, a Dallas painter whose work will be familiar to people who frequent River Market ArtSpace Gallery, won the Grand Award in the 51st annual Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center.

Geeks Unite!

It’s been a good couple of years to be a geek.

Bradford for Bowman

Word is that former state senator and former insurance executive Jay Bradford will be appointed state insurance commissioner in January, when the term of Commissioner Julie Benafield Bowman expires.

Bradford for Bowman

Word is that former state senator and former insurance executive Jay Bradford will be appointed state insurance commissioner in January, when the term of Commissioner Julie Benafield Bowman expires.

Orval, Oct. 2

Editorial cartoon, Oct. 2

Raising shale

Can the state handle boom’s water, waste and other woes?

McCain’s Cynicism Express

This is a little vignette about the cynicism of modern American politics. Necessarily, it’s mostly about John McCain.

Glen Campbell

There was a time in my life when I had exactly TWO heroes. For several years, Grover and Glenn Campbell were all I aspired to be.

The ass

It’s a sunny day in late September as this column gets underway, and the sky is falling.

Huck TV

Last weekend, I recorded the first episode of Mike Huckabee’s new Fox News show “Huckabee” on my Tivo.

What we’re reading

Top sellers from WordsWorth, That Bookstore at Mountbanq Place and That Bookstore at Blytheville

Words, Oct. 2

Jennifer Barnett Reed says “ptooie” to using task as a verb, as in I was tasked with rewriting the accounting software. And “double ptooie” to He gifted me with a box of chocolates.

Smart talk, Oct. 2

We occasionally like to pull out the calculator when public officials and media throw numbers around without much thought.

Turning around the Titanic

I’ll be the first to admit that my expectations for this season underestimated the difficulty of turning around a program in the all-powerful SEC — which must be somewhat akin to changing directions on an ocean liner, except there’s perhaps more to it tha

Sept. 24-30, 2008

It was a GOOD week for … ARKANSAS CONGRESSMEN. All four U.S. House members voted for the financial bailout. Too bad their rare unanimity was on the losing side.

This modern world, Oct. 2

What's cooking, Oct. 2

None have fixed opening dates, but three new eateries plan to open in the near future in the River Market.

Drilling to hell

Right now, Kevin and Trudy Vetter’s backyard near Searcy has been returned to some semblance of peace, but it’s not going to last.

Glasnost in Pope County

Brummett reports a friendly reception at a gathering of Republicans in Russellville, if not any changed minds.

Natural gas prices this winter...

should be about the same as last year, according to an AP report.  Industry experts expect gas inventories to be above the five-year average.  Unless you live in California.

About that drop in crime

Dropping crime rate or not, it didn't prevent the second appearance of stylish new groundpads for an auto parked on Country Club in the Heights.

Raising shale

Can the state handle boom’s water, waste and other woes?

The Bush legacy

Somebody call that woman from Russellville who sniffed at the Bush legacy bus and said she and the rest of the U.S. were better off after eight years of the Reign of Error.

Consider this your invitation ...

... to a fund-raiser for the Obama Victory Fund featuring Sen. Hillary Clinton at the Edgehill home of Kaki and Max Mehlburger.

Working the ref

An impartial observer notes the appearance of conflict between Gwen Ifill's coming book, which includes the Obama story, and moderating a debate that includes his running mate.

Thursday To-Do: Randy Rogers Band

RANDY ROGERS BAND8 p.m., Revolution. $15.Even though its last album eventually climbed to No. 8 in the Billboard country charts, and even though it records for Universal Records and recruited famed Nashville producer Radney Foster to help steer the course of its recently released eponymous album, the Randy Rogers Band seems to have a lot invested in existing (and flourishing) outside of the Nashville norm of contemporary country music.

The money rolls in

Arkansas remains curiously exempt from a catastrophic economic downturn, if the state monthly revenue report is an indicator.

Former priest arrested in LR

A group that works with victims of abuse by priests is publicizing the arrest in Little Rock last week of a former St. Louis priest wanted on a charge of molesting a St. Louis youth in 2000.

Route of the Rockets

U.S. Rep. Marion Berry says he's added to continuing authorization of Amtrak a provision requiring a feasibility study of a high-speed rail corridor from Little Rock to Memphis.

Route of the Rockets

U.S. Rep. Marion Berry says he's added to continuing authorization of Amtrak a provision requiring a feasibility study of a high-speed rail corridor from Little Rock to Memphis.

Stream your weekend

  Podcast13.mp3

Political 'attack'

Sen. Gilbert Baker has called a news conference at 3 p.m. today in Conway to respond to what he claims is "an illegal political attack" launched by his opponents.

Al Bell preaches

Al Bell gave a great lecture yesterday at the Darragh Center as part of the Butler Center's "Legacies and Lunch" program.

Michigan in the rear-view mirror

Says here that McCain has given up on Michigan. About two weeks ago, a Little Rock Republican whose political skills I value said Obama was in trouble in Michigan and that was a solid indication of his general weakness.

Chesapeake Subsidiary Sues Texas City

The view from inside a compressor station Texas Midstream, a subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy, has filed a lawsuit against the city of Grand Prairie, Texas.  At question is whether municipalities have the right to set ordinances that regulate, say, where a pipeline can and can't go, or in this case, a compressor station.  What's a compressor station?  According to naturalgas.org, "to ensure that the natural gas flowing through any one pipeline remains pressurized, compression of this natural gas is required periodically along the pipe.

E-mailgate put to rest

The state Supreme Court today refused to breathe new life in the lawsuit over the alleged lack of action by UA officials over e-mails sent during the Nutty days of Mustain-White-etc. The court also refused to overturn a contempt citation against the lawyer who brought the suit, now moot because of departure of key players.

Vote 'No' on Initiated Act 1

The ACLU is seeking other voices willing to speak up against the initiated act that will add roadblocks to adoption and foster parents for kids in need of good homes.

Debate party bingo tonight!

Big night tonight -- Miss Caribou v. Joltin' Joe. Click twice on the image above and get a better look at a model of a Palin Bingo card.

For more foster parents

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families and the Arkansas Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers prompted a hearing today at the Department of Human Services to speak against a DHS policy that bans “cohabitating adults” from becoming foster parents.

DIRECT FROM ST. LOUIS!

I’m guesting at the home of my dear friends, Ryan and Iris Snavely, who’ve restored a magnificent historic place in Lafayette Square.

Take her away ....

... if you get my drift. Ms. Bates is live from St. Louis for those who want to blog while they watch.

The verdict

Palin did reasonably well. She sounded programmed; Biden sounded informed.

Foster parent bias

A woman certified by the state to do respite foster care has gotten no placements since she declined to sign a pledge that she wasn’t homosexual.

Bradford for Bowman

Word is that former state senator and former insurance executive Jay Bradford will be appointed state insurance commissioner in January, when the term of Commissioner Julie Benafield Bowman expires. Bowman was appointed by former Gov. Mike Huckabee. Bra

Obviously

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said yesterday that he disagrees with Lt. Gov. Bill Halter's attorneys, who've argued that only statute, not the Constitution, prohibits casinos in Arkansas.

Pryor v. Maher

Now that Bill Maher's "Religulous" has been released, U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor will come in for more attention for his on-screen appearance in a film that attacks organized religion.

The morning after

A quick scan post-debate makes it a win for Sarah Palin in terms of restoring her convention personna as the perky outsider from the frontier.

Special handling in NLR

Argenta News is fired up by a story broken this week by The Times of North Little Rock (how about quicker posting of your website, guys?)

Special handling in NLR

Argenta News is fired up by a story broken this week by The Times of North Little Rock (how about quicker posting of your website, guys?)

Change vs. more of the same UPDATE

The fundamentals -- if you mean jobs -- are not sound at all. Why would we continue the philosophy that got us here?

Friday To-Do: The Wet Party

Sparks: More than meets the eye. THE WET PARTY10 p.m., Juanita's.

Friday To-Do: Dean Agus' Etch-a-Sketch Art

DEAN AGUS5 p.m., Gallery @ 404B, Hot Springs. Donations.Six months ago, Hot Springs musician Dean Agus picked up an Etch-A-Sketch and started doodling.

Villines feels the heat -- UPDATE

County Judge Buddy Villines apparently believes Republican opponent Phil Wyrick is making headway by his unqualified support for a Lake Maumelle watershed management plan.

Villines feels the heat -- UPDATE

County Judge Buddy Villines apparently believes Republican opponent Phil Wyrick is making headway by his unqualified support for a Lake Maumelle watershed management plan.

Friday To-Do: Buckcherry

Buckcherry's Josh Todd. BUCKCHERRY7 p.m., Clear Channel Metroplex, $25.Some say Los Angeles rockers Buckcherry, originally called Sparrow, came up with their name by rearranging the first letters of Chuck Berry's name.

Friday To-Do: Cirque de la Symphonie

‘CIRQUE DE LA SYMPHONIE'8 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $17-$66.For all the symphony lovers out there with friends who can't quite grasp the magic of a live orchestra, here's their chance to win them over.

Friday To-Do: The Subteens - Smoke Up Johnny

Smoke Up Johnny. Photo by Matthew Martin.

Bailout passes

The House approved a financial bailout package today on the second try, 263-171. According to Jonathan Martin and Mike Allen, two Politico writers who spoke during the noon hour at the Clinton School, this will be good news for John McCain.

Freeway route approved

The Federal Highway Administration has approved a route for the proposed North Belt Freeway in Pulaski County.

Change gonna come? UPDATE

UPDATE: Big news today, as I predicted this morning, in state policy on foster parenting.

The Weekend: Musicfest, School Boy Humor,

In El Dorado, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Reckless Kelly and 607 are some of the big acts at Musicfest, a two-day concert in the city's downtown, 5 p.m., $15-$20.

Dispatches from the Kangaroo Court

Friday morning, the Strategic Growth Institute at the University of Central Arkansas held a panel discussion (The Shale Summit at UCA) to talk about the economic impact of natural gas exploration in the Fayetteville Shale.

Sunday To-Do: Gordon Lightfoot

GORDON LIGHTFOOT7 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $42-$52.Six years ago, Gordon Lightfoot suffered a ruptured aortic aneurysm.

More Palintology

Remember that Sarah Palin closing quote from Ronald Reagan (delivered in a sing-song, badly off theatric delivery)?

PALIN - A GOOD WITCH

by Madelyne Rogers   (AP) - Giddy from her perceived success in St. Louis, Sarah Palin looks forward to Halloween.

Oops.

I forgot. Here's that Friday line.

Beebe on coal

When Gov. Mike Beebe urges the state's pollution control agency to resist outside pressure in deciding whether to green-light a poison-spewing coal-fired generating plant in Southwest Arkansas, does he mean both pressure from the coal burner and self-interested businessmen and environmentalists?

What's the big deal?

Biden won. Palin is mediocre.

What's the big deal?

Biden won. Palin is mediocre.

Brave new church

A friend notes that obituaries in today's Democrat-Gazette include the announcement of a funeral that will be webcast.

Comfort food

Kat Robinson at Tie Dye Travels visits one of my old haunts, the New Green Mill out on Markham Street in WLR.

Citizens of Fayetteville, arise

The Iconoclast is scooping the media world in NWA on Fayetteville Mayor Dan Cody's bodacious under-the-radar proposal for the city to pay $26 million or more of the cost of streets and sewers for a big developers' wet dream south of town.

Ho hum: O.J. to the slammer

The interesting angle of the trial and conviction, noted by NY Times, is that nobody much seems to care. Cable TV, where careers were built on the back of the thug's murder trial, gave it a leaving alone.

Pity the working man

The Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, lobbyist-owned legislators and a succession of weak-willed governors have created a Workers Compensation Commission so slanted to employers that few attorneys bother to practice workers comp law any longer.

Vote 'No' on Initiated Act 1

Andrew DeMillo's weekly analysis focuses on how a hearing this week -- and Gov. Mike Beebe's supportive remarks -- have served to illustrate how the proposed Initiated Act 1 will make it harder to find foster and adoptive homes for the children who need them.

I love leads like this

Washington Post: Republican strategists closely monitoring the race for the Senate and the House are increasingly worried that they may be headed for large losses in November due to the increased focus on the economy over the last few weeks.

Honeymoon's over

Rogers woman, 75, charged with fatally shooting her 74-year-old husband.

And now, it's your turn

Silver thread for golden needles.

And now, it's your turn

Silver thread for golden needles.

Credit crunch casualty?

Argenta News wonders if tight credit has slowed the progress on the proposed Rockwater Village redevelopment along the Arkansas River that is North Little Rock's first approved Tax Increment Finance project.

History buffs

You know James P. Clarke don't you? Sure you do.

Casinos? Not to worry

Brummett todays dispenses with the vexing legal argument that Lt. Gov. Bill Halter's lottery amendment could open a box full of gambling pandoras.

Church campaigners

David Sanders provides eyewitness testimony to a report I heard from a couple of places last week -- a van from St. Marks Baptist Church, the predominantly black powerhouse in midtown LR headed by Steven Arnold had been seen in use of crew putting up campaign signs for Little Rock judicial candidate Mark Leverett.

Palintology Today

Maureen Dowd, primarily by adroit use direct quotes, illustrates why anyone who thinks Sarah Palin "won" is equally devoid of intellect.

Road to empowerment

I'm proud to say that a Little Rock native -- a Central High grad, current senior at Wellesley College, contributor to the Arkansas Times -- has an article in the Boston Globe's Sunday magazine special on higher education.

LIFE’S NOT A CABARET, OLD CHUM

Mark Karlin, a dear friend but indifferent dresser, is Editor and Publisher of BuzzFlash.com. He’s the ONLY editor in America, so far, to actually discuss the elephant in the living room.

Anybody home?

If so ....

BAILOUT? REALLY?

You tell me.   “How ya votin’, Hogs!”

What about hometown policing?

The shift of federal funds from community policing to homeland security has police departments across the country complaining. What about hometown security?

Clinton's sound advice

Democrats can debate Bill Clinton's enthusiasm level for Barack Obama all they wish. Just know that it's non-productive.

The end days

Desperate candidates do desperate things. Thus, McCain, sending Sarah Palin on the attack against Obama over casual connections to a 60s-era radical, William Ayers.

The end days

Desperate candidates do desperate things. Thus, McCain, sending Sarah Palin on the attack against Obama over casual connections to a 60s-era radical, William Ayers.

Financial meltdown UPDATE

Bailout or no bailouts, the world markets are in deep distress today. The economy, like the energy market, is global.

Just another day at the office

LRPD has released this surveillance camera photo of a suspect in a bank robbery calmly strolling from the Metropolitan Bank branch robbed last Friday.

'Castle doctrine' at work

Morning News has details about the 75-year-old Rogers woman charged with killing her husband. Police information makes it clear that she used a pistol stored in a nightstand (home protection, right?)

Spending burger taxes UPDATE

Can Advertising and Promotion Commissions spend their tax revenue on advertising that strictly promotes a private enterprise?

North to Alaska

Alaska blog chronicles competing weekend rallies for Obama and McCain's attack moose, the Alaskan governor.

Vote 'No' on Initiated Act 1

I mentioned further news developments in the campaign to beat the initiated act that would make it harder to adopt and find foster parents, proposed Initiated Act 1.

Ring any bells?

For those of you who watch even a little bit of TV, certainly you've seen the Chesapeake ads and infomercials about how great natural gas drilling is for the environment.  Our own David Koon had this to offer bout the ad-fo-mercials

Oil and Gas at Your Door?

The Oil and Gas Accountability Project has published a book called "Oil and Gas at Your Door?"  It's a reference guide for landowners faced with new oil and gas exploration.  You can download the entire book, or individual chapters here. 

New broom at DHS

Pat Page, director of the Division of Children and Family Services, announced her retirement, effective immediately, today.

Fall fare

Maggie Smith writes (and provides photo): While I'm a little forlorn about the waning supply of berries and tomatoes, I love the fall produce.

What it's all about

I should have said this earlier. There's no sharper illustration of the importance of this presidential election than news last week that federal Judges Bill Wilson and Jim Moody are retiring.

Ease off the throttle

Speed trap alert: LRPD rounding up lots of speed demons on University Avenue, the big hill running down from Cantrell Road.

Economic Boom Good For Strippers, Steakhouses

In Wyoming, another state experiencing a gas boom, rig workers have found some pretty constructive ways to spend their fat paychecks.  Wyoming's enormous natural gas resources are second only to Texas.  The NYT reports that strip joints and steakhouses in Rock Springs have been doing quite well now that the locals have a little extra money in their pockets. 

Fire in the hole

An explosion at a gas well in Conway County has sent one person to the hospital with burns Channel 11 reports.

UPDATE: Well Explosion in Conway County

There are reports coming in of an explosion at a gas well in Conway County.  Conway County Sheriff Mike Smith said no one was injured, however one person was taken to the hospital.  Apparently the explosion happened as workers were trying to relieve pressure in the well through a controlled burn.  I'll post more on this as it comes in.     UPDATE: Channel 11 has more.

Recommended reading

Astute readers have already mentioned this piece, but Munford Miller recommends it for marquee attention.

Holy s***!

McCain would pay for his (pitifully ineffective) health care plan by cuts in Medicare and Medicaid.

Defending the lottery

The pro-lottery campaign has intervened in the lawsuit attempting to remove the amendment from the ballot.

Spiritual gift

Hendrix College will get $1 million tomorrow to finance a center to encourage students' spiritual development.

Clinton: Enthusiastic enough? UPDATE

An Irish journalist interviewed me Friday on the topic of Bill Clinton's enthusiasm vis a vis Barack Obama.

Open line

Right here.

Open line

Right here.

Homes or homeland security?

The North Little Rock Police Department that Chief Danny Bradley returned to in 2001 was dramatically different from the one he’d left six years earlier.

So, this is 30? It's not bad.

I turned 30 in March, and I was a little worried about it to be honest.  I decided the best way to deal with it was to spend my birthday hanging out with as many friends as possible.  I spent the year before living in Austin, where I knew a lot of fabulous people so I headed south.  I stayed with my friend Regina, and she was in charge of making arrangements for a laid back birthday celebration.  I told her that I would be fine so long as no one tried to make me feel bad (no black balloons, please) and no one tried to cheer me up (“Thirty is the new Twenty!” or “Don’t worry!  There’s still plenty of time to meet a nice man!”)  Sometimes nothing can make you feel worse than someone trying a little too hard to make you feel better.

Toadies tonight

“There's a certain uneasiness to the Toadies,” says Vaden Todd Lewis, succinctly describing his band the Toadies At its core, the Fort Worth-based group is a raw, commanding rock outfit. Tonight, the band returns to Revolution.

Baker v. White

Brummett takes a look at the big race for Senate in Conway. He won't let incumbent Republican Sen. Gilbert Baker get away with acting as if only the Joe White side plays bare-knuckle politics.

Pet peeve: baby talk

Editor's choice: A NY Times article today about the ill consequences of the grating practice of health care workers and others to talk to older people as if they were children.

Pet peeve: baby talk

Editor's choice: A NY Times article today about the ill consequences of the grating practice of health care workers and others to talk to older people as if they were children.

Let's vote today

A new poll shows Obama up 6 in Ohio. Man. But the poll also shows many voters remain movable.

Family getaway

Steve Arrison, the P.T. Barnum of Hot Springs promotion, has come up with another good gimmick.

Faces in the crowd

Color from a Palin rally: McCain had said that racially explosive attacks related to Obama's former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, are off limits.

For the lottery

Campus newspapers at both Arkansas State University, the Herald, and the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, the Traveler, have endorsed the state lottery amendment.

Lincoln and 2010 UPDATE

The Arkansas Project stirred up a little action the other day by mentioning Tim Griffin's opinion that at least two strong candidates were in waiting to oppose Sen. Blanche Lincoln in 2010.

No increase in fat jokes

UAMS announces results of a study that show the state's effort to measure the body mass index of public school kids has not led to an increase in taunting of fat kids.

Sarah Palin, tax cheat

Another glowing resume entry for Miss Caribou. Republican distaste for the law runs deeper than tax fiddling.

A Hierarchy of Resources

One of these days the natural gas is going to run out too.  You know what we'll still need at that point?...

Heating costs will be higher this winter

There's been a lot of speculation about what natural gas, and heating, prices will be this winter.  Earlier we had received word that the supply of natural gas was such that costs would not be affected that much.  Other states have warned of higher prices.  Today, we have this report that, according to the Deparment of Energy, heating prices this winter will be higher than last year, no matter what. 

Colorado Nurse Becomes Ill After Treating Gas Worker

This is old news, but I'm still trying to catch everyone up.  A nurse in Colorado suffered from liver, heart and lung failure after treating a gas worker who showed up at the hospital soaked in unkown chemicals.   The worker was probably soaked in frac fluid, which contains numerous unkown substances.  Gas drilling companies do not have to disclose those chemicals because they aren't regulated by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.  Doing so would affect their ability to compete in the marketplace.  The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, at the time of this incident, were condidering making companies disclose what chemicals were used in their drilling fluids.  Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission director Lawrence Bengal said there were no attempts in this state to get gas companies to disclose what chemicals they used.        The case of the Colorado nurse shows one negative consequence of the gas companies' secrecy.  Had they known which chemicals soaked the worker, or were inhaled by the nurse, their injuries would have been easier to treat.  Halliburton officials said if they were forced to disclose their frac components they would leave the state.  GrassrootsOzark has the story from the Durango Herald.  Kos has a related item.

Closing in on the record

GW Bush's approval rating, according to Gallup, now stands at 25, a mere one point higher than Tricky Dick's and only three more than the lowest presidential approval rating in poll records (Truman's in 1952).

God, guns and gays

The Republican formula embodied in the headline is going to get a workout in the final days of the campaign, if the message on Mike Huckabee's PAC website is any indication.

Hatred never sleeps

On the jump, a call to arms from the Family Council for opposition to the state lottery and support for Initiated Act 1, to throw up  hurdles to adoption and foster parenting.

Arkansas album

Mara Leveritt sends the snap from Grady, where a merchant is getting out front of the times.

Debate party is at Norma's

Yes, Norma Bates will don something comfortable and preside over another rousing night of live debate blogging tonight from her palazzo in Chenal.

Another day ...

... another 500-point drop in the Dow.

Bware is not joking

Impressive local rapper Bware's debut album, “No Jokes No Games,” is officially out now. It’s available via iTunes, MySpace or cdbaby.com.

The Frank Stanford Literary Festival

Make plans, literati. The Frank Stanford Literary Festival runs from Oct. 17 through Oct. 19 in Fayetteville.

DEBATE! DIRECT FROM NASHVILLE! NOT!

Yes, we Americans once again get to compare McCain and Obama and I couldn’t BE more ecstatic!

Cash to buy

It’s shaping up to be the season of Cash. In addition to that “Johnny Cash Remixed” album I told you about a while back, three more Cash-related releases have already been released or will shortly.

Tuesday To-Do: Toadies

Front Toadie Lewis. TOADIES8 p.m., Revolution, $15 adv., $18 d.o.s.“There's a certain uneasiness to the Toadies,” says Vaden Todd Lewis, succinctly describing his band.

Tax scam busted

U.S. Attorney Bob Balfe in Fort Smith has naiiled another one of those schemers who purported to invent a way around income taxes.

NY, Nostalgia, Home, and Indecision.

I am a sentimental girl and I save far too much. I save old pictures, love letters, clothes I’ll never wear again (because they remind me of a specific event,) and dried flower petals.

Gotta love those Young Repubs

The Young Dems are full of hope about changing the world. The Young Repubs are playing golf.

Open line UPDATE

I'm leaving it with you. Norma Bates will be debate blogging here.

Homes or homeland security?

A switch of emphasis from community policing to homeland security means fewer cops on patrol.

Elliott: Help Ark. kids

Sen. Joyce Elliott will try again to push legislation to provide in-state tuition for graduates of Arkansas high schools and Arkansas residents who may not qualify as legal U.S. citizens.

Slime watch

Is the McCain campaign dropping the "terrorist" chant (whether because it's slimy, dishonest or simply not working)?

Slime watch

Is the McCain campaign dropping the "terrorist" chant (whether because it's slimy, dishonest or simply not working)?

Shale Comes Up in Budget Talks

Budget hearings began Monday, and the governor and other legislators are proceeding with caution.  Beebe delayed a decision on whether or not to restore some of the money that was cut from this year's budget.  There has been a lot of talk about the economic impacts of the Fayetteville Shale play.  Most seem to think that the economic benefits are shielding Arkansas fromt the national economic crisis, but some are raising questions. 

John Dean to UCA, Hendrix

Watergate figure John Dean -- one of the most acute commentators on cable TV these days -- will be speaking Monday at UCA.

Huckabee in 2012

Many days left. Voters are fickle.

County judge race: Democracy at work

A strong challenger, Republican Phil Wyrick, and an issue that apparently has legs -- watershed protection, plus development controls to ensure it -- have had an effect on the race for county judge.

NY Residents Don't Buy the PR

Oil and gas reps in NY held a meeting last night, telling citizens their operations are safe and very well-regulated.  The public's not buying it. 

Chesapeake Permit Rejected

The Fort Worth City Council decided last night to reject Chesapeake Energy's request for a drilling permit.  This marks the first time such a request was rejected by the council.  Local neighborhood associations opposed the permit. 

Rethuglicans at work

For the second time -- both on a debate night -- sign thieves swept through the Free State of Hillcrest (Beechwood and cross streets) last night stealing Obama signs.

Matt Jones sidesteps clink

I see on Arkansas Business that Matt Jones' cocaine bust will be diverted to drug court.

DHS at work

It's tiresome, I know, to keep hearing about child welfare issues. But it's important.

Hotel opens

The new Hampton Inn and Suites at 4th and Commerce in the River Market District opens Friday, news release says.

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Bitter Harvest

Our Insider this week had the jump on news of some interest to those who commute along the Cantrell Road corridor.

Bitter Harvest

Our Insider this week had the jump on news of some interest to those who commute along the Cantrell Road corridor.
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