Philanthropy 2014December 4, 2014
Vol 41 • No 13
Lucie's Place brings help and hope to LGBT homeless.
The Nature Conservancy at work in Clinton, other parts of Arkansas.
The following figures are based on tax form 990 information filed by the foundations. Audited numbers may be slightly different.
How an afterschool program changed the life of one kid from Wrightsville.
Major gifts of 2013.
With legal clinic.
It's never too late, new reader, 66, says.
Teach a man to read. Help a disabled kid enjoy life. Repair a river. Help the homeless. And more.
Better times, increased giving.
Whether on Fox News, CNN or MSNBC, marketing racial discord has become a profitable niche industry. There's a well-known cast of ex-prosecutors, defense attorneys and professors who appear to spend more time in TV studios than courthouses or campuses.
Through the eyes of Buddy the Elf.
The 2014 election cycle has left progressives in Arkansas — never in the majority but consistently holding a place at the table in the state's policymaking — scrambling to determine what comes next in Arkansas.
Fayetteville voters will decide Dec. 9 whether to repeal a civil rights ordinance that provides small penalties for discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodation based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, sex, veterans status, gender identity or sexual orientation.
Also, The Big Jingle Jubilee Holiday Parade.
From all the fear campaigns launched around the election season — Obamascare death panels, secret Benghazi plots, Islamic State crazies storming the Mexican border to cut American throats, an Obama-led Ebola epidemic, national bankruptcy and all the rest — it would be hard to pick the flimsiest.
By the time this is published, McDonald's workers from the Central Arkansas area will have started their 24-hour strike together with workers in hundreds of other cities across the nation.
Otherwise The Fold is well done.
Having risen like the proverbial phoenix with those grand shutouts, the football Hogs just couldn't have a true regular-season finale without officiating controversies and lightning-rod personnel issues.
I do not know why you felt the need to insult and basically bash Pinnacle Mountain State Park in your seemingly unrelated introduction. It sounds like you have hiked in only one small area of the park (on a busy Saturday, at that), and are unaware that Pinnacle Mountain State Park is much more than solely the mountain that gives it its namesake.
He also had a long career with the Arkansas Gazette.
Also, a "fundamental right," the Huckster having it both ways, bad Black Friday, Ferguson tremors in Little Rock and banking on the Duggars.
Pelicans diving for lunch on Lake Conway. Photo by Jon Nichols from the Eye On Arkansas Flickr page.
'Bosses' doesn't take advantage of talent.
Also, Aaron Carter at Juanita's, Arkansas Craft Guild Showcase at the Statehouse Convention Center, the Holiday Hangout at White Water Tavern, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra at Verizon, Royal Blood at Juanita's and Christmas at the Quarter in the Quapaw Quarter.
The Observer lost a friend and colleague over the Thanksgiving holiday: Doug Smith, the long-time Arkansas newsman and editorial writer, who retired from the Arkansas Times in 2013 and died on Nov. 26 after a long struggle with heart ailments. He was 74.
Play at home.
A federal appellate court has conclusively stomped a Florida law that required drug testing of all welfare recipients. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has pursued every appeal avenue despite clear court precedent that the testing amounted to unconstitutional searches. Arkansas legislators should take note
Torii Hunter, the Pine Bluff native and major league baseball star, called a reporter a prick four times during a news conference yesterday for asking about his endorsement of Asa Hutchinson for Arkansas governor and his opposition in that endorsement to same-sex marriage.
Commuters who use Broadway downtown and stop at the string of fast-food shops there be on the alert: Fast-food workers are scheduled to be staging a demonstration there again this morning. A previous demonstration briefly blocked traffic.
Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen writes again — on the occasion of the Eric Garner grand jury decision — of disparate treatment of black suspects by police, a situation that he says gives rise to some people seeing cops as "new agents of lynching."
The Arkansas Supreme Court didn't rule today in the challenge to the state ban on same-sex marriage. It heard oral arguments Nov. 20 and could rule at any time, but the case wasn't among decisions released today.
It's time to address downtown's hideous traffic problem by using techniques proven to work by other cities.
The Nativity scene that Mountain Home lawyer Rick Spencer has erected for years on the Baxter County Courthouse lawn as a tribute to his wife is back. No word if a humanist group will renew its objection to the Christian display on public property, but it has a disclaimer this year.
It would appear Lottery Director Bishop Woosley has a deal to present to the Lottery Commission today on a contract extension for Intralot, the Greek concern that makes about $11 million a year providing certain types of lottery games.
A report released by the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) shows that premiums for a midgrade insurance policy purchased on the health insurance exchange will increase by a modest 2 percent before consumer subsidies are applied. In Arkansas, premiums will decline by 3 percent on average in 2015. Historically, double-digit hikes are the norm in the insurance world.
The Justice Department has found excessive use of force by Cleveland police and the agency will develop a court-enforced consent decree to improve practices, including use of an independent monitor to oversee reforms.
The Asa Hutchinson transition team announced today that the incoming governor would keep Candace Franks state bank commissioner. She's been with the State Bank Department for 35 years and commissioner since 2007.
A consultant hired by a legislative committee has issued a study harshly criticial of the Arkansas Lottery and recommended changes in marketing, governance and operation to make it more profitable.
The open line and video headline roundup. Plus, Colette Honorable of Arkansas seems headed for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Protesters at the "Fight for 15" demonstrations today in Little Rock and North Little Rock speak about why they're demanding better wages. It's a more coherent and energetic movement than many people realize.
A rule to limit future hog feeder operations in the Buffalo River watershed is up for review by legislative committees this morning. Environmentalists view the rule as vital to protection of the river.
Intralot, a major lottery vendor, defends Arkansas Lottery costs and suggests a new review by a legislative consultant unfairly compares costs in Arkansas and other states.
A state Medical Board meeting yesterday illustrated an unsettling development — the Arkansas legislature is now practicing medicine.
A long-awaited report on K-12 broadband recommends using an "aggregated statewide network for Internet access" in the long run — like ARE-ON. Its short term recommendation: Stop using the Department of Information Services.
2014 will be the best U.S. job creation year since Bill Clinton was president. Damn that Obama.
The launch of a new feature, Top 5 Friday — and as a starting bonus, we're giving you THREE top fives this week: delicious Arkansas products, a guide to ribs, and some sandwich talk. Did your favorite make the list?
The St. Francis County sheriff has filed animal cruelty charges against duck hunters who posted Facebook photos with their kill, including two dead cats.
Sen. Jimmy Hickey of Texarkana, who's driving the train that seems likely to produce a legislative takeover of the Arkansas Lottery, also has a plan afoot to alter lottery scholarships.
The National Fair Housing Alliance has complained to the federal Housing and Urban Development Department that the John Toland Company had refused to allow tenants with service dogs at their New Horizon apartments in North Little Rock. The company disputes the allegation.
A report from the scene indicates supporters of a rule to ban more medium and large concentrated hog feeding operations in the Buffalo River watershed faced a barrage of hositle questions from Farm Bureau advocates and the rule was headed to defeat.
Sylvia Inzarella, a self-taught artist from Lafayette, La., has been studying religious icon painting for 16 years. Tonight (Friday), an exhibition of her works, "Sacred Images: Icons of Sylvia Inzerella," opens with a reception from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Argenta Gallery, 413 Main St. in North Little Rock. Also: Craft Guild Annual Showcase is open and Art Group Arkansas is holding customer appreciation night tonight.
The city of Little Rock has scheduled two public meetings on the 2015 city budget, which includes no across-the-board raises for city employees (but does continue a $200,000 subsidy to the private Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, whose political activities include working against policies that benefit organized labor.)
Hot Springs wants a radio station, and they're asking for our help in raising their very specific goal of $9,790. KUHS 97.9 will be a community station and, incidentally, will be the only solar-powered radio station in the state. Station manager Zach Smith presents a familiar argument against corporate radio in the video above, complaining that the FCC helped turn music into "goo."
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has issued some advice to the new independent commission that is going to recommend pay for state elected officials, including judges and legislators (plus expenses for legislators). Advice on meeting in private is advice many other boards should take to heart.
Legislature's lottery oversight committee hears about declining revenue and also considers a consultant's report on ways the lottery could be changed. Additionally, a lottery consultant writes to blast the Sen. Jimmy Hickey's designs on the lottery and the consultant contract he's using to achieve his aims.
An anonymous telephone tip today says layoffs have begun at the statewide mental health organizations owned by Ted Suhl's Maxus Corp. The state confirms he's dropped the appeal of his suspension from Medicaid, without which it would be difficult if not impossible for his businesses to operate.
Rolling Stone has apologized for its blockbuster story about a gang rape at the University of Virginia. Discrepancies in the story have caused the magazine to conclude that trust in the source was "misplaced."
Gov. Mike Beebe announced today his intention to grant 12 pardons, including one he'd disclosed earlier for his son Kyle.
Stephano's Fine Art at 1813 N. Grant St. will kick off its holiday show of recycled, refurbished and found objects at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7. Donations to Out of the Woods Animal Shelter will get you a discount on purchases. The show runs through December.
TAC Air, a fixed-base operation at the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport, has reached a tentative agreement to purchase a part of Central Flying Service's operations.
Too late for last night's concert, but the Little Rock police announced the recovery today of a trailer full of Little Rock Wind Symphony instruments stolen earlier this week from the parking lot at Second Presbyterian Church.
I have just discovered, thanks to my 23-year-old daughter, the podcast Radiolab, where two guys offer up a stew of various topics — color, dinosaurs, language, medicine — with music as a principle ingredient. So a program on how we perceive color featured info about Newton sticking knife in his eye and other amazing scientific facts and was accompanied by a choir that sang the spectrum to illustrate perception.
Slide the City, a traveling water carnival that sets up events in which they unfurl a 1,000-foot-long, padded, dual-lane, side-bumpered mega-version of the old Slip'N Slide down the middle of a city street, is coming to Little Rock and Fayetteville soon. So says their website, anyway. No word yet on a date, but pages for both cities are currently open for pre-registration.
Arkansas Scholarship Lottery drama, the latest on hog farms in the Buffalo River watershed, a big court victory for marriage equality in the state, Fayetteville’s referendum on its civil rights ordinance, the Downtown Partnership’s really unpopular proposal for a design overlay district and race and justice in America — all covered on this week's podcast.
Here's an open line and a news roundup by video. Might be one more big court development today. Might not
U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton is expected to break from House Republican leadership and try to stir an insurrection against their spending plan. He thinks there's a way to stop spending on the president's plan to defer deportation of undocumented immigrants.
Capitol dwellers have been commenting on the expansive new Arkansas State University presence in office space across the street in the former National Old Line building. It's part of "increasing visibility" for the expanding ASU System.
Much has been written about the distribution of heavy military armament — from grenade launchers to armored personnel carriers — to local governments, from coroners to school districts.
Quitman High School scrapped all homecoming speeches by members of the homecoming court Friday after one student gave a practice speech in which she mentioned coming out as a lesbian to her parents.
Today's open line includes links to a story and photo essay on Dogpatch USA, the former theme park that is said to be due for restoration by a new owner.
Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen writes to defend his frequent expressions about bias in the criminal justice system and lack of understanding of the law. Should a judge speak so loudly? He says he can do no other,
Your attorney general was put into office by an oil industry-backed Republican association bent on beating environmental regulations.
A movement has begun to strip anti-atheist provisions from the Constitutions of seven states, including Arkansas, History indicates the movement won't get far in Arkansas.
The University of Arkansas administration has shut down graduate students' plan to run a shuttle bus to the Washington County courthouse for early voting in the special election to repeal the Fayettevill civil rights ordinance. The service was open to all. The administration has concluded that it was a partisan service.
The Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce has bought newspaper advertising that says it's good for business to allow legal discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations. I'm afraid voters are about to agree with the proposition.
A protest of police brutality and mistreatment of blacks was staged at Park Plaza Mall during a busy Christmas shopping day, with about 50 demonstrators staging a "die-in" in the food court.
A vote will be announced today on whether Dick Allen will become a member of the baseball Hall of Fame for a career that included a tumultuous beginning as an Arkansas Traveler.
Texas and Arkansas will play in a bowl game, which undoubtedly will stir sentiments about an old rivalry among old Hog fans, but perhaps not so much among Texans, now in good supply in Fayetteville themselves.
Gyronne Buckley, the first offender who received a life sentence for a $40 cocaine sale that was later found to be a wrongful conviction, has filed a federal civil suit arising from his arrest and conviction. This is the case in which a unanimous Claims Commission voted for a $460,000 payment to Buckley, but Attorney General Dustin McDaniel successfully argued to a legislative panel to give him nothing for spending 11 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit
Holiday programs from the Capitol will be streamed live on the secretary of state's Facebook page. There's even a hint that the secretary of state, Mark Martin, might turn up for the occasion at the Capitol.
Ponchito's Mexican Grill on Rodney Parham is home to some of the best tamales we've eaten in the city — and everything else is pretty good, too.
Boxer Jermain Taylor appeared before Circuit Judge Leon Johnson today to plead not guilty to battery and terroristic threatening charges in the Aug. 26 shooting of his cousin at his home . The case was set for a jury trial June 23-24, with a pre-trial hearing May 29.
Michael Laux, attorney for the family of the late Eugene Ellison, plans to discuss Ellison's 2010 shooting by Little Rock police at a news conference at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Allison Presbyterian Church.
Little Rock police are still withholding identification of a man found shot to death early Sunday on Howard Street, but multiple reports on social media are tying the death to that of a well-known figure on the local music scene, TC Edwards. The suspect in a criminal case brought over crimes against Edwards will likely be reviewed for potential involvement in his death.
The Clinton School put on a panel about the constitutional amendment that will give legislators a pay raise, allow them to serve longer in office and put some possible limits on direct spending on them by lobbyists. It wasn't exactly stacked with people likely to demand accountability from legislators.
Like most folks I know around here, I am really influenced by and enthusiastic about all sorts of music. From electro and house, to reggae and dub, golden age hip hop, 80's EBM, soul, any heavy metal that references the devil, gamelan music, equestrian jazz, hardcore whale songs, machinery noises, you name it, if it's good I'm into it.
Little Rock police report that a man driving a stolen Ford Mustang outran police in a chase across southwest Little Rock this morning at speeds over 120 miles per hour.
Sen. Mark Pryor, defeated for re-election by Tom Cotton Nov. 4, delivered a farewell address in the Senate today. He urged the Senate to put aside hyperpartisanship and red and blue team jerseys for the red, white and blue jerseys of "Team USA."
Today's open line, includes the retirement of Sharon Priest as director of the Downtown Little Rock Partnership.
Forty works by 29 artists were accepted into the 28th annual 2015 "Small Works on Paper" touring exhibition, the Arkansas Arts Council announced today. Purchase award winners were J.P. Bell of Fayetteville; Warren Criswell of Benton; Dennis McCann of Maumelle; Jennifer D. Perren of Mabelvale; Megan Snoddy of Jacksonville; Dan Snow of Springdale, and Jon Shannon Rogers and Byron Taylor of Little Rock.
Does a new constitutional amendment on term limits go farther than everybody who had anything to do with its adoption think? That's what the state's most powerful business lobbyist thinks. I think he's wrong.
A bad call in an Oklahoma high school football playoff is now the subject of a court fight, perhaps unprecedented.
Ethics amendment? What ethics amendment. Lobbyists are wining and dining legislators for free every day this week at breakfast, lunch and dinner under a loophole already being exploited to the hilt.
Entergy is buying a portion of the Union Power Station near El Dorado, a four-unit natural-gas fired generating plant.
What if you applied the Consumer Price Index to legislative salaries when they were last increased by voters in 1993 as a measure of what new salaries should be set by the new independent citizens commission? Big increases. But not shocking increases.
Asa Hutchinson will replace Artee Williams as the head of the state Workforce Services Department
Legislators in town this week for orientation need bring no money for drinks and eats — special interests are picking up the tab three meals a day. The business lobby runs the social calendar for the Arkansas legislature, ethics amendment or no ethics amendment.
The report on torture is as bad as all expected and feared. The brutality was bad and the CIA misled the White House and Congress about it. Waiting to see which side Arkansas's congressmen come down on.
Geoff Winningham, whose excellent book "Of the Soil: Photographs of Vernacular Architecture and Stories of Changing Times in Arkansas" was reviewed in the Arkansas Times in October, will give a talk tonight at 6 p.m. at the Arkansas Arts Center as part of the Architecture and Design Network speaker series. His talk is called "Working in the Eye of the Sun: Photographing the Vernacular Architecture of Arkansas."
Plaintiffs in the lawsuits challenging the Arkansas ban on same-sex marriage say they will deliver petitions to Attorney General Dustin McDaniel tomorrow asking to do do the "right thing" and drop an appeal of a federal judge's ruling invalidating the ban.
Four Southern states, including Arkansas, account for 41 of the 50 cities with the highest rate of use of drugs like Oxycontin, perhaps a side effect of poor general health, a study says.
An open line, video roundup and a place to report the results tonight of the referendum on Fayetteville's civil rights ordinance.
The independent citizens commission established by Issue 3 to recommend new pay for state officials will meet at 9:30 a.m. Beware of a former Common Cause activist bearing a gift of free legal advice, however.
Fayetteville voters repealed a city civil rights ordinance that included protection for gay people in a special election Tuesday night. The vote was 51.6-48.3 in favor of repeal.
At a press conference held Tuesday night at a Little Rock church, the sons of Eugene Ellison, a 67-year-old man shot to death by LRPD officers in 2010, marked the anniversary by having their attorney lay out troubling aspects of the shooting and the actions of the Little Rock Police Department in the immediate aftermath of Ellison's death. They say the Ellison shooting fits a pattern of excessive force and cover up seen in other high-profile shootings involving officers nationwide.
Asa Hutchinson, the governor-elect, stood out in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's roundup of Arkansas reaction to the Senate Intelligence Committee's report detailing the use of torture by the CIA and its ineffectiveness. He credited it with credibility other Republicans from Arkansas in Congress weren't ready to grant.
Where are the official events today at which legislators will eat and drink free despite the new so-called ethics amendment? Freebies today are courtesy of hospital, insurance, telephone and independent lobbyists. The Big Swill is tonight at Doe's, Noble Strategies picking up tab.
Little Rock food delivery service brings excellent pub grub from the bar to your door — and life may never be the same.
Oaklawn Park has answered the question about whether legislators will continue to get hundreds of dollars worth of free passes to thoroughbred races after adoption of Issue 3, which bans most gifts of value by lobbyists. It's not going to charge admission to anyone this year. Now what about Razorback football tickets?
A friend in Fayetteville takes the long and optimistic view of human rights despite the disappointing defeat in Fayetteville of a civil rights ordinance that extended protection to LGBT people.
An advocate for legalizing medical use of marijuana in Arkansas takes heart from news that Congress seems likely to approve a spending bill that prohibits the Justice Department from spending money to undermine state medical marijuana laws. Now if only Arkansas had such a law. An effort continues to get one.
A new federal grant will provide $15 million each of the next four years to expand the Arkansas Better Chance program, aimed at providing quality pre-K schooling for children. The money will allow an expansion of the program to 2,241 more kids, but the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families and the Invest Early Coalition said in a statement it's "not near enough to fix our early education financial crisis."
Details have been announced for ceremonies Jan. 12-13 related to the inauguration of Asa Hutchinson as governor. The inaugural address is at noon Tuesday, Jan. 13, on the Capitol steps.
The Champions Cup tennis series will come to Little Rock April 17 with matches played by Jim Courier, John McEnroe, Mark Philippousis and Andy Roddick.
A public relations firm distributed a news release today that said Attorney General Dustin McDaniel would be starting a Little Rock-based law firm with two office assistants when he leaves office in January.
As announced yesterday, plaintiffs in the state case challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage presented a petition to Attorney General Dustin McDaniel today urging him to drop an appeal of a federal district judge's decision striking down the ban. It brings up hot speculation about the course of the appeal in the facing of changing judicial players.
Surely everybody has one craft beer lover on their list to buy for this year?
Wynton Marsalis visited Pine Bluff yesterday to pay a visit to the 93-year-old jazz legend Clark Terry, currently in the hospital (and accepting donations for his medical care). Terry, born in St. Louis and mentored by Louis Armstrong, played in bands with icons like Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Quincy Jones, and was a stated influence on trumpeters like Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie (who considered Terry the greatest jazz trumpeter in the world).
Sen. Scott Flippo and Sen.-elect Linda Collins-Smith are off in Florida, according to a Collins-Smith tweet, getting used by the Foundation for Government Accountability, yet another one of the right-wing advocacy groups that plies willing state legislators with cookie-cutter bills to advance its right-wing agenda.
Southern Gourmasian, the much beloved local food truck (often raved about on this blog and elsewhere in the Arkansas Times), is amid a crowdfunding campaign to raise $15,000 to cover the cost of building out and furnishing the dining room of a brick-and-mortar restaurant of the same name.
Lost Forty Brewing, the new brewery from the folks who brought you Big Orange, Local Lime and ZaZa, is debuting its beers at a series of events this week and next week.
Another brewery entered the booming Little Rock craft beer scene over weekend as Blue Canoe Brewing, next to Andina's at 425 E. Third Street in the River Market area, opened it's doors on Saturday.
The University of Arkansas isn't ready to say that an amendment ending lobbyist freebies to legislators means an end to cut-rate football tickets and free parking for legislators at Razorback football games. The immediate question: What about the Texas Bowl?
The Wednesday line is open and here's our video news roundup.
It was just a year and a month ago when the Little Rock Technology Park Authority board voted to locate the taxpayer-funded enterprise on Main Street downtown. I say just a year because of the two-year circuitous route the board took — through midtown, down to the river, back south and out west — to get to the location vote. But things are moving far more quickly now, with nine (not named) companies, one especially eager, and the Arkansas Venture Center seeking Tech Park real estate.
Rose Eater is a Little Rock indie rock band who seem very new and very young. Their Facebook page says they're about to record their first album, but this is from an EP called "Leech" they released on Friday.