What will it mean?
Paint it RedNovember 13, 2014
Vol 41 • No 10
Big business went to bed election night with dreamy benedictions for Arkansas voters, who had finally seen things its way and elected swarms of Republicans who did not think of government as protector of consumers and working stiffs.
Former state Treasurer Martha Shoffner's legal team had a plea deal worked out with federal prosecutors concering her use of campaign money for personal expenses; when Shoffner bungled the deal, Judge Leon Holmes ordered the case to trial.
Shooting for the stars.
The record keeper.
Also, voters confuse Mark Martin for the famous race car driver (surely), Fayetteville business leaders take a retrograde position on civil rights, Martha Shoffner bungles a plea deal again, Dennis Milligan didn't celebrate in Krispy Kreme and exit polls don't provide solace for Democrats.
There's been much cultural and economic change.
This too shall pass. In the bipolar gong show of Washington politics, it's the Republicans' turn. Count on them to opt for televised spectacle over governing. It's what they do.
Also, "The Hunting of the President" at Ron Robinson, the Celebrate 10 Concert at the Clinton Center, Adam Hambrick at Stickyz, Dope Body at JR's Lightbulb Club, Arkansas Rockers Revue at White Water Tavern and Captured! By Robots at Low Key Arts.
I didn't have many winners last Tuesday night.
Greetings from the sane democratic republic of Ecuador. I see where the insane citizen of Arkansas voted to allow the Republicans to finish the job of bankrupting the middle class that George Bush started. We did not emigrate to Ecuador to avoid this disaster, but we will not have to watch the Tom Cotton experience as he screws all the idiots that voted for him.
The Observer, being a longstanding hardcore lefty, was — to say the least — disappointed by the results of the election. Lots of hangdog faces in the office come the morn on Nov. 5. Lots of folks talking about the idea that there'd been a sea change in Arkansas politics, one that won't be reversed until we go over the cliff into Kochhead Feudalism, if even then.
Make as many derisive "Arkansas didn't lose this week!" jokes as you wish, but the Hogs actually gained something from the bye week.
Also, Noel Gourdin comes to Juanita's.
It's a Fayetteville favorite.
The National Weather Service put the overnight snow "fall" at Little Rock Adams Field at 0.1 inch. That was the first November snow since 2001 and the first measurable November snow since 1995.
SEC schools are experimenting with new pricing schemes and the fondness of big donors to fill seats and increase profits at football schools like Auburn and LSU.
A friend reports the death last night of William H. Bowen, a towering figure in Little Rock business and politics. He was 91.
A Utah newspaper reports this week about a convicted robber from Arkansas, housed in a Utah prison, bypassed again for a pardon after 33 years in prison for robbing a Fort Smith taco stand with a water pistol.
The false budget hearings continue, with legally required presentations on budgets and forecasts, all subject to change with the new political order in January.
U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, not yet a U.S. senator, gave one of the nomination speeches Thursday for Sen. Mitch McConnell's election as Senate majority leader.
Rep. John Burris, who's been campaigning for Sen.-elect Tom Cotton, dropped by this morning to pass along news of the next steps in his career. He'll continue contract work for Tom Cotton and work as a political consultant.
The Little Rock police announced today that they'll mobilize to enforce the traffic law on following too close from Nov. 22 to Nov. 28.
The Little Rock police said today that it would announce next week a transgender policy developed in cooperation with the Arkansas Trans Equality Coalition. It will be announced at 5 p.m. Nov. 19 at Philander Smith College as part of a Transgender Day of Remembrance. The release said, "the department is committed to treating everyone with fairness, dignity and respect.
Asa Hutchinson has updated his website with transition plans and a place to seek state employment. But he's saying little about specific budget plans, which could have some bearing on how many jobs remain and what they pay.
North Little Rock lawyer Tab Turner is one of the attorneys in a lawsuit filed in New York by families of more than 80 American soldiers killed or injured in Iraq between 2004 and 2011.
Sen. John Boozman talked with Lou Dobbs today about U.S. efforts to combat the Ebola outbreak in Africa. He resisted Dobbs' effort to draw him into a general condemnation of U.S. spending abroad.
City officials held a public meeting today on restriping of Louisiana Street to produce a one-lane street for motor vehicles and a curbside bicycle lane. It's drawn fire from workers along Louisiana, particularly in the former Union Bank building at Capitol and Louisiana, which feeds office workers into the street at the evening rush hour from a parking deck.
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences hospital saw a 7 percent increase in revenues for the first quarter over last year's first quarter revenues, or $10.2 million.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission reports the killing of a mountain lion in Bradley County, the first mountain lion killed in the state since 1975.
An open line, news headlines and post-election recap.
This Friday's 2nd Friday Art Night, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and later at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, is going to require some fancy footwork to see all the work on display. Here, in alpha order, the galleries and what's up.
This afternoon's meeting of the legislative task force on resolving the public school employee (PSE) insurance crisis brought a positive development: The system will end the year with over $17 million in net assets. Yet as a survey presented by a teacher indicates, school employees are still suffering as much as always.
From Fox 16 comes a report from the Poyen School District in Grant County that a teacher has been bringing her infant to school on occasion and occasionally breastfeeding the child in the back of a classroom while students are present.
The Center for Public Integrity continues its investigative reporting project on the nursing home industry. This installment focuses on government subsidized loans provided to low-rated nursing homes.
KATV's Jason Pederson aired a report last night on the case of a man convicted of possession of a felony amount of marijuana who's tried, unsuccessfully so far, to be pardoned for his 2003 crime. The parallel with Gov. Mike Beebe's pardon plan for his son is striking.
Mike Huckabee's politically motivated trip to Poland and England includes a familiar — and odious — figure who's chronicling the trip — Citizens United political hit man Floyd Brown.
The Quapaw Tribe, headquartered in Oklahoma but buying land and moving to re-establish itself on ancestral land in Arkansas, emerged today as a supporter of the Clinton Library 10th birthday event.
OUR Walmart, an advocacy group supported by the UFCW, has announced nationwide protests on the day after Thanksgiving over pay of Walmart workers.
Sen. Bart Hester, a former Razorback baseball player from Cave Springs, isn't happy with his alma mater, apparently on account of Chancellor G. David Gearhart's objection to the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce's opposition to the new Fayetteville civil rights ordinance.
Debbie Pelley, the prolific ultraright-winger from Jonesboro (bike paths are tools of communism, etc.), has blasted her mailing list with a denunciation of Republicans who joined with Democrats to support the planned ascension of Sen. Jonathan Dismang to president pro tem of the Senate.
Former Clinton administration officials are talking about his administration in a series of panels today at the Clinton Library. They last until 3:30 p.m. and can be watched on the web. Also coming today is a release of 10-year-old interviews with key administration officials about their work.
KATV reports that a male Little Rock firefighter was arrested for prostitution after an undercover female cop said he engaged in "sexual contact" after she paid for a massage at Asian Massage on Bowman Road. Afterward, he allegedly offered to engage in sex with her for $40.
The House voted 252-161 today to direct the federal government to move forward on the Keystone XL pipeline to transport Canadian tar sands across the Great Plains en route to Texas refineries, which will make products to ship overseas. Since Arkansas congressman like the idea so much, why don't they move it over into Arkansas?
The Pulaski County School District announces a couple of board meetings Monday. At 5 p.m. at Jacksonville City Hall, an organizational meeting will be held for the first board of the new Jacksonville/North Pulaski School District, to be carved out of the Pulaski district after formal approval yesterday by the state Board of Education.
Dairy bar were "Sling Blade" was filmed is closing days. Pertaters available until about 7 p.m.
It came as no surprise when Talk Business mentioned this morning that Grant Tennille, director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, had said Asa Hutchinson had informed him he'd be replaced at AEDC. Continue a Beebe loyalist (and, incidentally, an outspoken defender of same-sex marriage) in the agency on which Hutchinson focused so much of his campaign? Wasn't going to happen.
Sen. Jonathan Dismang was elected the next Senate president pro tempore today as the Senate organized for the 2015 legislative session with committee selections and other housekeeping.
Former President Bill Clinton is speaking now, beginning at 3:19 p.m., at the 10th Clinton Center birthday symposium.
Here's the open line and video headline roundup. Also:
Little Rock financier Warren Stephens made news recently in Carmel, Calif.., with his apparent purchase of a $31 million home from the estate of billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife. The Carmel Pine Cone newspaper said Stephens apparently could afford it.
I recommend getting away for a while. Me and the missus are out here eating Walmart produce in the country and it is all right. The German came to visit us this week and showed us a fine new way to cook pasta. The German – we met him on our honeymoon trip to Europe and on his direction had swallowed some mind-benders and spent twelve hours in a nightclub in East Berlin, where we had decided, mid-dancing, to move to Little Rock, Arkansas.
The split among Arkansas Republicans between the establishment wing and Tea Partiers, opposition to the Fayetteville’s civil rights ordinance, Mike Huckabee's presidential preparations, Martha Shoffner’s terrible time in court part two and Gov. Mike Beebe and pardons — all covered on this week's podcast.
You knew Bill Clinton was in town for his library's 10th birthday. But you might have missed the news that George W. Bush is paying a call to Arkansas, too.
The Little Rock City Board seems likely to have lots to talk about at its meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday — Uber, health insurance and pot-bellied pigs.
Open enrollment begins today for another year of subsidized health insurance sold through the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace, an element of the federal Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Enrollment lasts through Feb. 15.
Barbecue, blues and Barbra Streisand were part of the agenda Friday night as hundreds gathered to celebrate the 10th birthday of the Clinton Presidential Center.
An open line that features new Congressman French HIll's antipathy in the Catholic newspaper to Obamacare as a "giveaway" to drug companies and hospitals. A Catholic nurse points out that children and other people in need are the real beneficiaries of this giveaway, along with Catholic hospitals.
Brian Chilson was on hand for last night's concert at the Clinton Center and you can check out dozens of party pix, including Bill and Hillary Clinton, Kevin Spacey, Nick Jonas, Amos Lee, the Court Yard Hounds and Kool and the Gang.
A Greek company that currently makes more than $10 million a year as a key Arkansas Lottery vendor is playing hardball in the state's effort to lower costs. This while the legislature is using another lottery company to review the current operations.
University of Arkansas at Little Rock gallery director Brad Cushman and gallery assistant Nathan Larson have posted their two bits about "State of the Art: Discovering American Art," and so have I.
An open line with chilling news and I don't mean coming snow — Little Rock has risen to No. 1 on the list of cities below 200,000 population for its violent crime rate.
CNN has a report that exposes apparent sharing of campaign polling information between outside groups and candidate campaigns by means of coded posts on Twitter.
Snow bypasses Little Rock today, but check out what happened on this day in 1880.
Mississippi offers a lesson for Arkansas legislators pushing to privatize Arkansas prisons — lawsuits, indictments and poor treatment of prisoners.
The Center for Public Integrity has released the third part of its analysis of nursing home data and the latest suggests lower staffing at nursing homes populated by racial minorities.
Talking Points Memo talks to a former Hillary Clinton strategist about a potential path to victory for her as a 2016 presidential candidate. It's based on the Barack Obama map and adds some states as potential winners, including Arkansas. Really?
I'm honestly not the best w/ playlists. I tend to to start building them, stop, claim I'm gonna round them out to perfection, and then never do. As a result, I stay playing the same 5 songs over and over when it's questionable if they are even the best fit.
Pancakes are awesome, so let's talk about pancakes. Because the only thing better than talking about pancakes is shoving them by the forkful into our face-holes.
Little Rock police warn about thieves looking for unattended cars left running to warm up to melt ice.
Don Bacigalupi, president and first director of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, is leaving to become founding president of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art to be built in Chicago.
A spill of an oily substance made driving hazardous on a northbound lane of University Avenue from Interstate 630 to Markham Street and then on a stretch of Markham by St. Vincent Infirmary. Wrecks were reported. The cause isn't immediately know.
The Little Rock City Board was scheduled to consider a resolution Tuesday night approving a tax increase for property owners in the Metrocentre Improvement District, but the proposal has been withdrawn because of late-emerging opposition.
Benji Hardy reports from a legislation Education Committee meeting today that a group of parents and students appeared today and give members boxes of crayons as part of their presentation. Did that run afoul of Issue 3?
The University of Arkansas will be fined $25,000 by the SEC because Hog fans stormed the football field after Saturday's victory over LSU snapped a long SEC losing streak. It was a second offense by the UA of the conference's "access to competition area" policy.
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art President Don Bacigalupi, whose vision widened the contemporary collection of the Bentonville museum, has been chosen by "Star Wars" filmmaker George Lucas to be the founding director of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, slated to open in 2018 in Chicago. Bacigalupi will leave Crystal Bridges Jan. 14, 2015.
Here's Monday's open line, plus today's video news roundup.
Bill filing for the 2015 and measures on tort reform and ethics — both with specifics yet to be determined — were the first in the hopper.
The Joint Education committee of the legislature this afternoon reviewed an interim study of Arkansas's early childhood education programs. They need $14 million to hold steady. But as testimony from Oklahoma and Alabama lawmakers indicated, this is an issue where Republicans and Dems should be able to find common cause.
Jean Gordon, who's worked a half-century in just about every social justice and peace movement you can name, will receive the Arkansas Community Institute's 2014 Community Truth Teller Award at a program at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the library's Darragh Center
Linda Bloodworth-Thomason ("Designing Women" and others) has written the book on a musical comedy based on the 1996 film "First Wives Club." It opens soon in Chicago and her husband Harry Thomason talked about it during recent Clinton Library birthday events.
More noteworthy reporting today from Chad Day of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on misuse of restraint devices in detention facilities for juvenile offenders.
A Mississippi newspaper reports that a company has filed for permits to build a $1.2 billion steel mill near Columbus, Miss., but the CEO is also quoted as saying Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama and Tennessee sites could be in the running.
As Uber prepares to finally get legal in Little Rock with its car service, news come of an Uber executive talking about doing oppo research on critics.
At Park Island Cafe, the food is as delicious as it is healthy, providing a nice change of pace in the Spa City.
New bosses are going to sweep into five of seven statewide offices in January — Republicans replacing Democrats in four of five cases and a new Republican for lieutenant governor. Inevitably, many existing employees will be replaced. In the treasurer's office, all employees are being asked to submit resignation letters if they want to be considered for continued employment.
U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton is being credited with being the first federal candidate to circulate a fund-raising solicitation after the Nov. 4 election, with an invite Nov. 5 to an event at Johnny's Half Shell in Washington last Thursday.
A civil lawsuit in Faulkner County could open to scrutiny political machinations in judicial races and the question of whether they influenced a decision by Judge Mike Maggio in a Faulkner County nursing home lawsuit.
There is more artwork at the sale than you can throw an paintbrush at — paintings, photography, ceramics, etchings, jewelry, woodwork, stationery, drawings, printmaking, glass, fiber art — at the Arkansas Arts Center's Museum School Sale, Friday and Saturday at the Clear Channel Metroplex.
Federal regulators have issued an advisory saying reversing the flow in oil and gas pipelines — as was done in the case of the ruptured Exxon/Mobil Pegasus line in Arkansas — can present safety concerns.
Here's the Tuesday open line and news roundup.
Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas struggled, as did other Republicans, when asked to define what they meant by "amnesty," a word often used in Republican comments on immigration.
The Little Rock City Board tonight dealt with health insurance, pot-bellied pigs and Uber. Check out what happened.
Terry Turnage, the Memphis man we mentioned recently for fathering 26 children by as many as 20 women in two states, was charged Tuesday in Forrest City for failure to pay support for an Arkansas child.
Walmart scores highest among Arkansas-based major corporations in treatment of LGBT employees, according to the annual report of the Human Rights Campaign.
A state employee looks askance at the detailed personal survey that state job applicants are being asked to fill out by the incoming Asa Hutchinson administration.
Two men were wounded during an attempted robbery by a man who'd arranged to meet them about a car for sale on craigslist.
Uber is continuing to provide free rides in Little Rock after the Little Rock Board of Directors approved an ordinance to permit its operation but failed to adopt an emergency clause for it to take effect immediately.
Somebody has apparently gone quackers at Des Arc High School.
There are a lot of exciting things happening in our Arkansas beer community right now, so many it's almost hard to keep up.
Here's a song from "Good Enough," the recent debut record from Fayetteville's The Brothel Sprouts, who make imaginative indie rock that's loose and wild and kind of manic.
Don't wait, don't hesitate. There's pie at Terry's, and you need to eat some of it.
Asa Hutchinson said he'll retain at least three current state agency heads when he takes office as governor — Jay Winters, director of the Arkansas Crime Information Center; Kermit Channell, director of the Arkansas State Crime Lab, and Arthur Boutiette, director of disability determination.
It used to be, “Let’s go to The Hop.” Now, the Hop is closing, and new song will be, “Let’s meet At the Corner,” when Kamiya Merrick opens up her “modernized” diner at 201 E. Markham St. the first of January. The Hop will close Nov. 26.
Gov. Mike Beebe defended his plans to pardon his son Kyle on a marijuana conviction during an appearance last night on AETN.
The panel of Arkansas Education Department officials that reviews charter school applications gave its approval today for the Rockbridge Montessori School in Little Rock but disapproved another try by organizers of a charter school in Redfield.
Supporters of marriage equality fought hate with love today at the Capitol, demonstrating in support of marriage equality while several hundred gathered to encourage the Supreme Court to uphold discrimination.
We had a good crowd at the second film in our monthly series last week at Ron Robinson Theater, “Who is Dayani Cristal?” Big thanks as well to our partners in showing the documentary — the Little Rock Film Festival, El Zócalo and our two guests from Arkansas's immigrant community.
Lee Rosenbaum, who blogs as CultureGrrl, reveals an interview she had with former Crystal Bridges Museum of Art curator Kevin Murphy, in which he said he regretted what he saw as a desire to put on popular, contemporary shows rather than delve deeper into the early American collection, his area of expertise.
Both the Associated Student Government and the faculty Senate at the University of Arkansas have passed resolutions opposing the loan of $1.5 million from campus money to finance the startup of eVersity, University of Arkansas President Donald Bobbitt's online education initiative.
Here's the open line and today's video report. Also: An iPad burglary at Hall High School.
If you don't check Rock Candy do. Today, arts writer Leslie Peacock delves into executive changes at the Walton-financed Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, drawing heavily from another blogger's interview with former curator Kevin Murphy.
The chief of the Quapaw tribe confirms that a casino is among the possible uses of 160 acres of land the Oklahoma-based tribe recently purchased in Little Rock. The land also has immense ancestral significance.
Heights Taco & Tamale Company, the new Tex-Mex restaurant from Yellow Rocket Concepts, the restaurant group behind Big Orange, Local Lime, Lost Fort Brewing and ZAZA, is planning to open February 2015. The restaurant is located at 5805 Kavanaugh Boulevard in the former home of Browning’s.