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October 30, 2008

Vol 6 • No 42

It may be the year of the lottery

As of this writing, no president or chancellor of a public college or university in Arkansas has publicly endorsed a proposed state-lottery amendment that would create scholarships for students to attend those institutions.

Memo to Warren Stephens

Poor people do pay taxes. Arkansas is one of the worst when it comes to putting the bite on those below the poverty level.

McCain by 10 in Ark.

The Republican Party of Arkansas touts a new Rasmussen poll showing McCain over Obama 54-44 in Arkansas, quite close to the 54-45 margin Bush enjoyed in the state in 2004.

Snockered at Hooter's

John Daly gets time in a North Carolina drunk tank after a Hooter's binge.

Open line

Here you go. As you might have guessed, I was out most of the afternoon.

What's cooking, Oct. 30

Trio’s owners Brent Peterson and Capi Peck plan to open their new restaurant, Capi’s, in the Pleasant Ridge Shopping Center sometime before Thanksgiving.

Monsterfest!

Ah, sweet October. While most of the people we know love Christmas, it’s Halloweentime that gets this writer’s cauldron bubbling.

This modern world, Oct. 30

Orval, Oct. 30

The battle and the war

The look on Houston Nutt’s face when we recovered that onside kick makes everything worth it.

In brief, Oct. 30

Texas singer/songwriters Adam Carroll and Owen Temple each bring literate country-rock to White Water Tavern, 10 p.m.

When good bands combine

In the early ’90s, Trusty ignited Little Rock’s punk scene.

Behind the scenes

Six degrees of Kevin Bacon? In Arkansas, I’d guess that most people can complete a two-step association with just about anybody else in the state.

Bad endorsement

I have always been impressed with the Arkansas Times, the “Newspaper of Culture and Politics.”

Vote for the kids

When there is mischief to be done in the public realm, it is most apt to be done in the name of children.

Editorial cartoon, Oct. 30

Socialist? Moi?

Let’s muse a little on this tired old charge by idea-bankrupt John McCain that Barack Obama is a Luciferan socialist who is going to take your money and give it to those scruffy Acorn people.

Barakat back at it

In a fickle business that claims way more casualties than it creates successes, veteran restaurateur Jerry Barakat is still there. And there and there and there.

To-do list, Oct. 30

Quintron and Miss Pussycat, Ready the Jet, ACAC Halloween Cover-Up, Halloween with the Libras, Halloween at Discovery, Totally Michael and The Moving Front / The Good Fear / Grand Serenade, should make for an enjoyable costumed weekend.

The Observer, Oct. 30

Seen at a fire station, and we’re not saying which one: Two firefighters in front of a parked fire engine, smooching.

We recommend

Vote FOR Barack Obama for president. An inspirational candidate committed to change is opposed by a tired old politician who promises more Bushenanigans. As if we hadn’t had too many already.

A master’s pieces

We’ve all seen Andy Warhol’s work, his red-lipped Marilyn and Liz silkscreens, the Campbell’s Soup cans, reproduced on T-shirts, posters, coffee mugs. It is pop — popular art for the populace.

A & E news, Oct. 30

The Little Rock Film Commission is teaming with Market Street Cinema to launch an Arkansas Film Series at 7 p.m. Nov. 6 at Market Street.

What? No debate?

Recently, U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor was the featured guest at a Political Animals Club luncheon at the Governor’s Mansion, a pretty friendly environment these days for Democrats.

Campaign motifs

I don’t know how to keep from personalizing some of the themes and motifs of the presidential campaign.

Oct. 22-28, 2008

It was a GOOD week for … DAYDREAMING. Barack Obama led most presidential polls and signs also pointed to Democrats taking a majority of the Senate.

Underwhelming

“Pride and Glory” is only the latest in a long line of dirty cop movies, distinguished by one hell of a talented cast.

13 foster homes closed

The state has “designated for closure” 13 foster homes because of suspected abuse or neglect over the last two weeks, Department of Human Services spokesperson Julie Munsell confirmed Tuesday.

Jump in the pool

If you want a real-world example of how $4 a gallon gas began reweaving the fabric of what it is to be American — or at least what we’re willing to put up with — surf over to one of the numerous online carpool-partner-matching websites and type in “Little

Smart talk, Oct. 30

Ever the green warrior, County Judge Buddy Villines has yet another eco-friendly idea up his sleeve: a program that would teach county employees how to save gas through smarter driving techniques — what the hip kids call “hypermiling.”

Words, Oct. 30

Carlton Saffa received a letter from the Democratic Party of Arkansas:

Initiated Act 1

Initiated Act 1 would encode into state law the belief of the Arkansas Family Council that gay couples aren’t fit to be parents, and it would inhibit parenting by straight people, too.

A race for no reason

This showcased state Senate race in Conway is odd.

District 38 House of Representatives

Two lawyers with experience in government jobs are seeking the District 38 seat in the state House of Representatives, which covers the northern boundary of Little Rock, with the Heights neighborhood on the east, west to Roland.

You be the judge

Four judicial races in May ended without a candidate receiving a majority of votes.

Water bonds, longer sessions, election officials

One forms an idea about Amendment 2’s chance of passage after calling a sponsor of the proposal and finding that even the sponsor is opposed to it.

Maumelle, crowded jail issues in judge’s race

This year’s race for Pulaski County judge has been one of the liveliest in recent memory, with incumbent Floyd “Buddy” Villines facing a well-funded campaign to unseat him waged by former Republican state legislator Phil Wyrick.

The choices on the Pulaski ballot

The big interest in the general election ballot in Pulaski County this year is the race for president.

Voting information

Early voting in Pulaski County will continue through 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 3.

Who you calling socialist?

Brummett delves today into John McCain's last-gasp smear effort -- making Barack Obama out to be a socialist or worse.

Re early voting

The automatic news story of the hour is the "surge" of early voting. Agreed: More will vote early than ever before, in part because more and more states are making it easy to vote early, a wonderful convenience.

Eying Game and Fish

You get the feeling that legislators aren't comfortable about the Game and Fish Commission's position that all its gas windfall is the commission's and the commission's alone.

Mount Fuji still at pinnacle

Kat Robinson at Tie Dye Travels paid a visit to Little Rock's first sushi emporium, Mount Fuji, and finds the quality remains high.

Foster children say: Vote AGAINST Act 1

Good report on KATV last night. The Arkansas Public Policy Panel has also sent the word to its members.

Chicken walking

The Famous San Diego Chicken, perhaps the best known muppet in baseball, will be the grand marshal in the World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade next March 17.

Thursday To-Do: Quintron and Miss Pussycat

Quintron and the drum buddy. QUINTRON AND MISS PUSSYCAT9 p.m., Low Key Arts Building, Hot Springs.

Thursday To-Do: Ready the Jet

READY THE JET9:30 p.m., Sticky Fingerz.With cited influences such as “beer, wine, nicotine, grass, bran muffins,” as well as a host of noteworthy bands, the Los Angeles trio Ready the Jet comes to town for the third gig of its four-show “Atmospheric Drag Low-Orbit Mini-Tour 2008.” Little Rock likely made the tour on account of bassist Jeremy Levy, son of Little Rock rabbi Eugene Levy.

Halloween Coundtown: 'Monsterfest!'

"Monsterfest!"Turner Classic MoviesBegins 4:45 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 30Ah, sweet October.

This Picture Was Taken Approximately Six Million Years Ago

Honestly, I'm pretty sick of the Nutt/Mustain/Malzahn love triangle at this point, but with Tulsa coming to town I just couldn't resist posting this photo.

Calling the Huck PAC

The Huck PAC's work to elect Republicans didn't keep one prominent Huckabite from straying from the fold.

Halloween podcast

Now less stiff! Podcast 10.30.mp3

Vote suppression update

A handy account here on Talking Points Memo of the efforts by Republicans to purge new voters and otherwise suppress votes in battleground states.

Again: Ledge v. Game and Fish

OK. I KNOW this a.g. opinion request stems from Game and Fish protectiveness of its gas riches.

Murder suspect arrested

Little Rock police have announced the arrest of John Wesley Jackson Jr., 33, charged with first-degree murder for the recently slaying of Sonya Ratliff, 32, in her home on Holly Springs.

The election and Lake Maumelle

Kate Althoff, the dogged Lake Maumelle watershed protector, asks for time on the issue and positions by the candidates for county judge.

Still they vote

By 11:30 a.m. today, the Pulaski County Election Commission announced that 52,000 voters had cast early ballots, breaking the previous early vote record of 51,621 in 2004.

Thursday: The Uglysuit, Adam Carroll, Ted Ludwig and more

The Uglysuit. With high harmonies and lush instrumentation, the Uglysuit come to On the Rocks in support of its debut self-titled album.

Chesapeake Well in the Black

Chesapeake Energy released their financial and operational results for the third quarter of 2008.  Net income was 3.3 billion.  Production was up 15% from third quarter results last year.  Go here for the tiringly long report.   

AG Opinions on Game and Fish Questions

Max has had a couple of good posts today about the Game and Fish Commission.  It turns out not everyone is as happy as they are that they got $35 million for the leases from Chesapeake Energy, but don't have to share it with anyone.  Check out the Arkansas Blog here and here for more info. 

By popular demand: God's candidate

OK, just to show the depth of nuttiness out there, I bow to many readers who call for a link to wackjob World Net Daily Bible-thumper Janet Porter who writes today: "You cannot be a Christian and vote for Obama."

Standing by their man

Independent Dillard's directors, including Little Rock's Warren Stephens, have issued a statement in support of William Dillard II, CEO of the department store chain.

Obama's turn on Daily Show

Here you go. Obama on the Daily Show last night.

Pressly remembered at service

Some 800 people gathered today for KATV morning anchnor Anne Pressly's funeral. Here's her station's coverage.

Media layoff watch

I mentioned the other day that the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the largest property of Stephens Media, an arm of the Little Rock-based financial empire, was trimming dozens of workers because of the economic downturn.

Open line

Your turn. CONFIDENTIAL TO SOMEONE WHO ASKED: Tomorrow on that medical-related tip you passed along.

Open line

Your turn. CONFIDENTIAL TO SOMEONE WHO ASKED: Tomorrow on that medical-related tip you passed along.

Currying Favor

The latest entry in the Indian restaurant market, Amruth, is open where Kebab and Curry withered out in the Market Street Shopping Center.

An albatross named Sarah Palin

New poll: 59 percent say Caribou Barbie is unqualified. A third say she'll be a factor in their presidential vote, to McCain's detriment.

SEC Power Poll: Week 9

We're sorry to say that we got so caught up in other things last week that we never posted our SEC Power Poll ballot here (don't worry...we still voted in the poll itself).

At issue: the issues

Pulaski County election officials expect a robust turnout Nov. 4 thanks to the presidential election battle between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain.

Where are the scholars

An interesting angle developed in yesterday's budget hearing for the Higher Education Department. The state has been reporting big surpluses in its college scholarship account -- more money than students.

Who will vote?

Here's an analysis of the latest NYT poll numbers, favorable to Obama, that gets down to the question I raised yesterday about the early vote.

Bloviating Baptists

The Arkansas Baptist State Convention this week urged Baptists to cast their ballots in accordance with "Christian principles and our nation's Christian heritage."

Bloviating Baptists

The Arkansas Baptist State Convention this week urged Baptists to cast their ballots in accordance with "Christian principles and our nation's Christian heritage."

Yes we can

I'm expecting Barack Obama to win on Tuesday, but it's not a sure thing by any means.

Halloween To-Do: Discovery

Last year. HALLOWEEN AT DISCOVERY10 p.m., Discovery.

Words matter, even prepositions

Apparently, if you are "in" a building, it is impossible to shoot "at" the building.

Halloween To-Do: Libras

The Libras, sans Alexander and Wyrick, plus Dickinson. HALLOWEEN WITH THE LIBRAS10 p.m., White Water Tavern.

Election party?

I'm superstitious about elections and this sort of thing gives me the willies, but ....

Is this news any more?

Another leading Republican says Sarah Palin is a joke.

It shoulda been Huck

David Yepsen of the Des Moines Register says John McCain made the wrong choice for running mate.

Halloween To-Do: Totally Michael

TOTALLY MICHAEL1 a.m., Lazer Puzzy. $5.Totally Michael is a one-man band out of Bloomington, but originally from Cabot, who specializes in syrupy sweet dance-anthems about cheerleaders and prom and Winona Ryder.

Halloween To-Do: ACAC Cover-Up

About to get serious: Das Gift. ACAC HALLOWEEN COVER-UP8 p.m., Vino's.

Halloween Weekend: Everything

Benjamin Del Shreve. FRIDAY 10/31With Halloween falling on a weekend, there are an almost overwhelming number of things happening.

Opposition Research: Tulsa

It's time now for a report on the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, courtesy of Biggs Barker.

Schools need improvement

Pretty much as expected, the number of schools on the school improvement list is growing.

Layoffs hit Arkansas

More on the continuing saga of job loss in the media world. The Stephens Media layoffs,which began with news of payroll cutbacks at the company's Las Vegas newspaper, include Arkansas jobs.

Layoffs hit Arkansas

More on the continuing saga of job loss in the media world. The Stephens Media layoffs,which began with news of payroll cutbacks at the company's Las Vegas newspaper, include Arkansas jobs.

Halloween mixes

Stream: Download:Rock Candy Halloween.mp3Rock Candy Halloween, Vol 2.mp3 Tracklists below.

And we were hoping for a stimulus check ...

Gov. Beebe says the state should save SOME of its $259.5 million surplus for a rainy day, rather than letting the legislators dole out presents.

On 'rainy days' and lottery

On the jump, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families applauds the idea Mike Beebe mentioned on the radio today -- that he supports creation of a state "rainy day fund" to guard against economic downturns.

OK, let's party

It's on. The first ever official Arkansas Blog Election Watch Party will commence at 6 p.m.

Hearse Love

Not seasonally appropriate, but you get the idea. In case you missed it earlier in the week, here's a nice, Halloweeny piece from Ron Breeding at KUAR on Ace Spade and his "Sleds of Dread" hearse club.Not mentioned: Ace's vanity plate says "Necro."

Because the ad world is just like Mad Men

Click the pic, by Drew Harris, to enlarge. For all you would-be Don and Bettys out there, here's your yardstick.

Adios, Acxiom

Jeffrey Ubben, who once led a $3 billion buyout of Acxiom and wound up with a seat on the company's Board and a huge paper loss in his stock for his troubles, has resigned from the LR-based company's board, Arkansas Business reports.

Klosterman coming to UCA

Writer and God-to-hipsters Chuck Klosterman will be at UCA Nov. 18-19 to lecture on his "published works" and teach two master classes.

Passion of the Crust

My best friend was in Arkansas for a month, and as Christi was getting ready to leave, we decided to get some Indian food and watch horror movies.  We knew we wanted to watch at least one classic horror film, and at least one really cheesy B-movie.  We got a lot of options, and I was particularly thrilled to find a movie about an evil gingerbread man, running wild through a bakery.  I talked that one up--it's called GingerDEAD Man, by the way--but sadly it didn't come in from Netflix in time.  So, we substituted Plan 9 From Outer Space.  We have a perverse love for really terrible movies, so the fact that it won awards for Worst Movie and Worst Director, as well as the fact that after Bela Lugosi died, he was doubled by someone's chiropracter seemed really promising.  We watched Halloween for our classic horror, but we didn't actually find it scary.  First of all, we couldn't figure out the geography of what was happening.  Maybe we weren't paying attention, but we couldn't keep track of who was next door, who was down the street, and who was three blocks away.  Second, a girl spent half her screen time running around in nothing but a man's shirt and tube socks.  I was just not raised to go outside without any pants on.  And finally, why, oh, why Jamie Lee Curtis did you keep leaving the knife behind?  Leaving it, in fact, right next to the body of guy who was trying to kill you?  Really?  I never knew I was such a stickler for continuity and logic, but I found all of those things really distracting.

Barack'n'roll

"Don't Lie to Me," pollsters. The American Princes have donated a long time staple of their live shows, a cover of Big Star’s “Don’t Lie to Me,” to Barack Rock, a website aimed at raising awareness and funds for Obama.

Caution: Idiot at work

Too rich. Sarah Palin says her First Amendment rights have been abridged by press criticism.

Let's open the line

Take it away all. PS TO B: Medical story won't happen today.

Show us the money

I had an informal chat with Attorney General Dustin McDaniel today. He mentioned to men what he had mentioned at an earlier public appearance.

In review: Huck and Hughley

The NY Times Alessandra Stanley reviews Mike Huckabee's new show on Fox and D.J. Hughley's on CNN, both generally light-hearted efforts to capitalize on current interest in politics.

UCA trustee draws support

Interesting. The UCA faculty and staff have called for Gov. Beebe to reappoint Michael Stanton to the UCA Board.

UCA trustee draws support

Interesting. The UCA faculty and staff have called for Gov. Beebe to reappoint Michael Stanton to the UCA Board.

Benton County for Obama

John Brummett delves into the interesting news mentioned several times by readers that the Benton County Daily Record -- a wraparound local newspaper for the Democrat-Gazette's Northwest Arkansas edition -- had endorsed Barack Obama.

Rumbles in Razorbackland

Arkansas Sports 360 reported last night that Chuck Dicus was out as head of the Razorback Foundation.

Rumbles in Razorbackland

Arkansas Sports 360 reported last night that Chuck Dicus was out as head of the Razorback Foundation.

Ark. schools: In black and white

This topic may be incendiary, though that's not the idea. I intend it to illustrate the deep and enduring problem that has eluded a solution on any broad scale anywhere in the U.S. It's the difference in education achievement levels between black and white students, as measured by standardized tests.

Rallying the 18 percenters

Dick Cheney left his bunker for a bit today to endorse John McCain. Needless to say, Obama is all over it.

On the picket line

UCA students join Sen. Gilbert Baker with election signage. Theirs isn't aimed at his re-election obviously, but aimed at reminding voters of the special favors Baker enjoyed when buddyship, such as special housing for his kid, was in style at UCA.

Whew!

You can exhale now. What a crazy finish.

VIP: Former Arkie

Mark Halperin's Time blog today lists former Arkansas Republican chief Clint Reed as one of the five most important people in the country not running for president.

Rallying the 50 percenters

My daughter sent some phone pix from Daytona Beach. She flew down to work on the Obama rally team.

Open line etc.

The Saturday thread commences. We all cheer the Hogs' win over Tulsa, I presume.

Those zany Canadians

A Canadian satire show caught Huckabee in an interview about the National Igloo some time back.

Give and take with the columnist

Brummett recounts correspondence with readers on presidential politics. Yes, it's my experience, too, that angry McCainiacs are more likely to take pen or keyboard in hand.

Election '08 -- two views

The morning mail brings a couple of graphic viewpoints on Tuesday's election. Photo above is from my daughter Martha, who's among the volunteers preparing for a Biden rally in Florida.

Today's sports

Orville Henry would have told us by now what's going on at the Razorback Foundation.

Today's sermon: Faith and politics

If you believe the polls, Barack Obama will win the presidency despite overwhelming support for John McCain among regular white churchgoers.

Pressly organ donation

An Oregon A Texas transplant recipient receives lungs from KATV morning anchor Anne Pressly.

Sunny Sunday

Don't know about you, but I had a fine day. Lots to read in the New York Times.

Sunny Sunday

Don't know about you, but I had a fine day. Lots to read in the New York Times.

Clark County will stay dry

Just noticed this news on KTHV on the drinking front: a petition drive to have a vote on alcohol sales in Clark County, home of OBU, has been foiled by a court challenge of petition signatures.

Electoral vote prediction

Add John Brummett's symbolic entry to our contest for the person who can come closest to predicting the winner and electoral vote Tuesday.

The once and future Hillary

The NY Times ponders Hillary Clinton's future. It's bright, if uncertain as to specifics, despite the disappointment of her primary loss.

Political Animal predictions

Skip Rutherford, dean of the Clinton School and the founder 25 years ago of the Political Animals Club, shares his election night predictions.

Ark Blog: A-twittering

Slowly, I'm being dragged into the advancing communications world. This is old hat to many of you, but I've created a Twitter account and hope to use it, at a minimum, for another way to send notification of Arkansas Blog items of interest.

Early voting UPDATE

IN LINE MONDAY: Along Broadway. Photo by Brian Chilson Remember, early voting ends today with voting ONLY at the county building at Markham and Broadway.

Pressly parents on 'Today'

The report mentions that police have gathered DNA evidence that could point to a suspect.

Sex in the red states

Great article in the latest New Yorker on sex in red states and blue states.

Give Dan's regards to Dogtown

The Iconoclast rarely lets a day pass without razzing Fayetteville Mayor Dan Coody, often for his penchant for traveling to exotic destinations on the taxpayers.

Give Dan's regards to Dogtown

The Iconoclast rarely lets a day pass without razzing Fayetteville Mayor Dan Coody, often for his penchant for traveling to exotic destinations on the taxpayers.

Alas, the axolotl

Only Blog readers old enough to recall the early days of MAD Magazine (and perhaps Doug Smith) will feel the pang in the announcement that Mexico's famous axolotl is pushed to the brink of extinction."Axolotl" was but one of a batch of fun-to-say words (potrezebie was another) that the MAD editors sprinkled randomly and totally without context throughout the pages of the nascent monthly compendium of the crazy.What is an axolotl?

Nine Games in to the Petrino Era: Taking Stock

The Bobby Petrino era is now nine games old...how are things looking? I know this a cliche, but it truly is amazing the difference a few plays here and there can make.

Zoo gorilla dies

RIP: JJ the LR Zoo's gorilla. Sad news.

The aloft Hotel battle

COMMERCE ST. VIEW: Library's Cox Center at left. At this link, you'll find the full application pending before the Little Rock Planning Commission to support a proposed $20 million, seven-story Aloft Hotel at Clinton and Commerce across from the River Market.

Gwatney investigation

An e-mail from LRPD indicates they are nearing release of the investigative file on the slaying of Bill Gwatney, the car dealer and Democratic Party chair, by a Searcy man shot to death by police after a car chase.

A flaw in fall

Until the gingko turns golden, this showy tree is the best in my neighborhood. This year, alas, it has an obvious flaw.

Republican Crooks

He will be forgotten in weeks, but the country's longest serving Republican senator, Ted Stevens, was convicted of filing fraudulent financial disclosure forms last week.

What, politicians actually keep their promises ?

According to an academic study, politicians actually keep their promises for the most part. Of course, it is the goal of some politicians make their promises as vague as possible.

Ready to go Aloft?

Even as a proposed downtown Aloft Hotel occupies city planners and political players, another Aloft Hotel is on LR's horizon.

Are you ready to rumba?

A reminder that we'll hold the Arkansas Blog Election Watch Party tomorrow night at Rumba (above, at Clinton and Cumberland) starting at 6 p.m. and going until ...

More regs? Inspectors???

(Reserve Pit Near Greenwood, AR) Teresa Marks, Executive Director of ADEQ, said reserve pits containing natural gas drilling waste will now be randomly inspected.  It looks like all the pressure from the Times and from other concerned citizens might be paying off.  As it stands, there aren't enough inspectors to randomly inspect every site.  Maybe with some help from the legislature, that will change.  Be sure to call your representatives and tell them you want more stringent guidelines for drilling waste, and more protections for our water.   

Enough with the polls. Let's vote!

Voters will go to the polls just after midnight tonight in New Hampshire to begin the end of the longest campaign.

Which news source best predicts the political future?

Apparently, the award for most accurate political forecast goes to: The Onion. Days before the January 2001 inauguration of President Bush, the Onion ran a story headlined: "Bush: 'Our Long National Nightmare of Peace and Prosperity Is Finally Over.'

School closing?

A tipster told me that LR School Superintendent Linda Watson had a special meeting with Woodruff Elementary faculty today.

Monday, Monday

The last election post probably could serve as an open line, but here's a fresh thread all the same.

Monday Evening Hodge Podge

J. Hawg 3 here, licking my wounds from another week of being WRONG!

Obama!

After a historic night, the Arkansas Blog is your source for all things post-election. Read on below.

First

Obama wins by a landslide -- 15 to 6 --  in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, the tiny town which has been logging their vote tally just after midnight on election day since 1960.  The town has gone for the Democratic candidate only one other time since then; a 1968 win by Hubert H. Humphrey.

Better late than never

The state Board of Education yesterday applied the standards of the charter school law in denying the application for another LISA Academy in Fayetteville.

Fear v. Fear

Both sides play on fear of the other as the presidential election rolls to its conclusion today, Brummett writes.

Fear in the Heights

The Heights neighborhood e-mail group provides a regular barometer on criminal activities and neighborhood feelings about same.

Little Rock election watch

Was it really 16 years ago? There's never likely to be another night in Little Rock like Election Night 1992.

No downturn in Ark. yet

The state revenue report doesn't yet reflect a downturn in state tax take, despite the iffy economic climate.

The Hogs and the Presidents

It's Election Day. Get out and vote.

UCA names finance chief

Conway banker Bunny Adcock will be UCA's chief financial officer on an interim basis as a result of the retirement of Paul McLendon.

Election images

Workers at one county office were greeted with the themed treats above this morning. The photo below is from my daughter Martha, doing GOTV work in Pennsylvania after a weekend advancing a rally in Florida.

What this election is about

The Times must go to press before polls close today. So that left columnists reaching for election themes not necessarily tied to outcomes.

I can smell the change in the air..

Sweet, sweet, sweet hell!  My original post just got deleted thanks to my SUPER SWEET internet setup at work, which is the worst.  I don't have tabbed browsing if that tells you what we're working with.  Not to mention the "brain trust" I'm surrounded by...

Watch this

As the returns start coming in tonight, you might want to watch who the voters in Logan and Van Buren Counties pick for president.  That's because, according the the online Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections, Van Buren and Logan have picked the eventual winner in every presidential election since 1960.

Lil JJ becomes a man just in time

Lil’ JJ, the Little Rock-born comedian and star of Nickelodeon’s “Just Jordan,” spent the last several months following the presidential campaign as part of the network’s coverage.

Charter school OK

The state Board of Education today approved, on a 5-3 vote, another charter school for Little Rock -- the Little Rock Preparatory Academy -- and denied an application for Little Rock Urban Prep for Young Men.

Beebe: No on lottery

Gov. Mike Beebe voted against the state lottery today (and had to wait in line in Searcy).

Party time

Drink specials tonight at Rumba for the Arkansas Blog Election Watch Party (don't have price yet) The Maverick Martini -- "very sour."

Joe the Plumber: Deadbeat

Hey, Warren Stephens is right. Some people don't pay taxes -- people like Joe the Plumber.

Election glitches

Susan Inman, who directs the Pulaski County Election Commission, says there have been isolated problems today, since corrected, of a handful of optical scan voting machines not scanning ballots.

Who you callin' conservative?

Blog readers have commented on occasion on the political bent of Lyon College in Batesville, sometimes identifying it as conservative based on the column writing of faculty member Bradley Gitz in the D-G.

FCC approves Verizon-Alltel deal

Arkansas Business has details. Talk Business also reporting.

Get the icing ready

Death by Inches, who vows to be at Rumba tonight if the Fort Smith bus runs on time, sends a photo of a cake his daughter made for a high school classmate who turned 18 today and is about to cast his first vote, a historic one.

Voting Time

These past few weeks, drivers traveling in the vicinity of Shackleford and Kanis have seen the visages of John McCain and Barack Obama gracing the southeast corner, working the vote -- the burger vote.  The signs remain outside Burger Mama's, but the figures have been moved within.  Doesn't matter -- you can still purchase your choice of an Obama Burger or a McCain Burger.  The Obama burger, seen above, is hand patted ground beef with Cheddar cheese, ketchup, relish, and grilled onions, served with onion rings and a slice of pineapple.  The McCain burger is also hand patted ground beef, but with Swiss cheese, honey mustard, lettuce and tomato with seasoned fries and an orange slice.

Goldmine

Music geeks, rejoice. The dude behind the epic mix of post-punk released in 1981 (nearly 350 artists spread across nearly 400 tracks) has started an mp3 blog, Musicophilia, and it looks like he'll be posting all of eight or nine individual mixes that make up the set.

Just Off Turner

In the summer of 2007, John Mayer (my future husband,) wrote a glowing review of a band by the name of Just Off Turner.  Upon listening, I fell instantly and wholly in love.

Wal-Mart to strike death blow to already dying music industry

Following a precipitous drop in CD sales in the first month of the fourth quarter, Wal-Mart is planning to "rapidly downsize" shelf space for CDs, according to a report in Home Media magazine.

Dirty tricks

Thanks to JB for a pointer to the El Dorado News-Time blog which reports robocalling in Arkansas telling Democrats that they are not supposed to vote until Wednesday.

Live at Rumba!

WE WANT YOU: That's publisher Alan Leverett as Uncle Sam, with pollsters Ernie and Zoe Oakleaf.

Live at Rumba!

WE WANT YOU: That's publisher Alan Leverett as Uncle Sam, with pollsters Ernie and Zoe Oakleaf.

Election images

Workers at one county office were greeted with the themed treats above this morning. The photo below is from my daughter Martha, doing GOTV work in Pennsylvania after a weekend advancing a rally in Florida.

Pop the corks

They've called Ohio for Obama.

Pulaski vote

The Election Commission finally has early votes up. Remember that it may account for 40 percent of the vote so the early totals may be determinative.

Ark. returns

The early results in Arkansas were unsettling and don't seem to be improving. The trend seems strong toward approval of ALL FIVE ballot measures -- a change in constitutional wording, annual sessions of the legislature, a state lottery, a prohibition on adoption by unmarried couples and authorization of $300 million in water bonds.

Ark. returns

The early results in Arkansas were unsettling and don't seem to be improving. The trend seems strong toward approval of ALL FIVE ballot measures -- a change in constitutional wording, annual sessions of the legislature, a state lottery, a prohibition on adoption by unmarried couples and authorization of $300 million in water bonds.

Oh what a night

YES WE DID: Ark. Dems celebrate at Sticky Fingerz. (Brian Chilson photo) The Obama landslide dwarfs all of course.

Awestruck!

I'm only just now, as President-Elect Barack Obama prepares to make his victory speech, beginning to relax emotionally, and realizing how very beaten-down and pessimistic I have felt for the last eight years, particularly the last four.

McCAIN TANKED, BUT NOT YOU!

Now that America’s Presidential voting has ended, YOUR voting has just begun!   Of course, we’re talking about your voting on bloggers’ “Caption This” entries for this suitable-for-framing portrait.

Norma Bates calling

Our Damsel in Distress has been diverted from her usual busy schedule by deaths in her extended family, but she still invites entries in her photo caption contest. (Link fixed.)

Calling the Hogs

Before I return to political news, I'd like to take note of Harry King's update on matters at the Razorback Foundation, the secretive, influence-peddling, coach- and A.D.-backscratching financial giant that answers to know one.

National election tidbits

Turnout was 64 percent of registered voters, the highest in generations. Sen. Ted Stevens, the newly minted felon, will be re-elected in Alaska.

Charged in murder

Police have announced the charging of Willis Tucker, 32, in the fatal beating of Shymeccah Williams, 32, in her apartment on Mara Lynn Oct. 30.

Patronage marches on

We now know a Democratic president and Congress will control judicial appointments for the next four years.

Breaking down the Ark. vote

An upstanding member of the Blog's Loyal Opposition sends a useful link to CNN's exit polling for the state.

The Onion nails it

Headline: "Nation finally shitty enough to make social progress" Excerpts: Although polls going into the final weeks of October showed Sen. Obama in the lead, it remained unclear whether the failing economy, dilapidated housing market, crumbling national infrastructure, health care crisis, energy crisis, and five-year-long disastrous war in Iraq had made the nation crappy enough to rise above 300 years of racial prejudice and make lasting change.

Life with Layla

I've written before about Layla, the foundling Charolais calf that columnist Gene Lyons, now a Perry County gentleman rancher, took in and nursed by hand.

Seventh Street shake-up

Big doings along the Seventh Street corridor downtown: Norman Jones, the owner of Backstreet and Discovery, is taking over Easy St. Piano Bar, 307 W. Seventh St., pending approval of beer and wine permits by the ABC.

Pressly benefit

Local promoter Butch Stone has organized a benefit in the memory of Anne Pressly. All proceeds will be donated according to the wishes of Pressly’s parents.

Hold that Bass Pro Shop

It's going to be awhile before Commodore Hays and the Bass Pro Shops boys start pouring concrete to fill the Dark Hollow wetlands for a taxpayer-subsidized, competition-killing sporting good store.

Moviemaking

  Inching ever closer to creating a sustainable film community, Little Rock now boasts its first ever dedicated film and gear rental outlet.

Review: Loch Ness Monster "Eleven Traditional Songs"

Loch Ness Monster “Eleven Traditional Songs” (Max Recordings)In my experience, the albums I end up loving the most usually are not albums I like on first listen.

'Christmas on Mars' in Hot Springs

The Flaming Lips years-in-the-making, weirdo space epic is screening at the Malco next Saturday at 8 p.m.

UPDATE: Obama party crackdown in Jonesboro

Eight people, all Arkansas State University students, were arrested late last night after Jonesboro Police responded to a disturbance call at an apartment complex near the ASU campus. Police reports indicate 25 police units responded to a fight that broke out at an Obama victory party made up of about 200 students.

Gorgeous George and his lovely ladies

From this week's books section. George Hamilton’s acting career doesn’t quite cry out for a memoir.

Pulaski election update

The Pulaski County Election Commission has completed counting absentee ballots. The new tallies in a couple of close races: House District 38: John Edwards (D), 7,044; Kelley Eichler (R), 6,970 Justice of the Peace, District 3: Kathy Lewison (D), 5,786; Sid Rosenbaum (R) 5,701.

Pulaski election update

The Pulaski County Election Commission has completed counting absentee ballots. The new tallies in a couple of close races: House District 38: John Edwards (D), 7,044; Kelley Eichler (R), 6,970 Justice of the Peace, District 3: Kathy Lewison (D), 5,786; Sid Rosenbaum (R) 5,701.

The return of the Hop

The Hop on Cantrell is back. A new ownership group, made up of Keith Holland of Satellite and realtors Gene Eberle and Steve Hendrix, has revived the venerable dairy bar, though without affiliation to the original Hop, now called the Hop Diner and located downtown.According to manager Natalie Fullerton, a longtime original Hop employee, the offerings remain, essentially, the same.

Celebrating Herbs

On Saturday, Nov. 8, at the Arkansas Governor's Mansion, the Arkansas Unit Herb Society of America celebrates its 42nd anniversary with the release of a new cookbook, “Celebrating Herbs: Forty Plus Years in the Herbary,” and cooking demonstrations by Boulevard Bread's Scott McGehee and Jason Knapp, executive chef of the mansion.

'I was a stranger'

Bishop Anthony Taylor, the new head of the Catholic Diocese of Little Rock, has issued a pastoral letter on the human rights of immigrants and he'll talk about it at a news conference tomorrow.

Crime takes no holiday

The U.S. attorney's office had a busy day. It announced a couple of indictments: CREDIT CARD FRAUD: Three men were indicted, including one who had once received executive clemency from Gov. Mike Huckabee, for using a device to skim credit card information off cards used to pay  bills at a Little Rock restaurant.

Tasting Time in Eureka Springs

Starting tomorrow and rolling through Sunday, Eureka Springs celebrates the art of palate-pleasing with the Eureka Springs Food and Wine Festival.  The annual event at ten area establishments pairs up fantastic foods and winsome wines for an epicurean experience.  One wonders what sort of wine will accompany selections like Cafe Soleil's Pumpkin Ravioli with Maple Sage Sauce (pictured above with housemade olive bread).  Tickets aren't necessary.  Pairings and other information are available at the festival website, or by calling (866) 363-9976.
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