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BREWING Controversial frac sand mining comes to North Arkansas. BY CHEREE FRANCO PAGE 14

NEW 2013 : 0 Abarth 0 5 ® T IA ng line tuned F o l e c a a n r i , t s ed the late o-charg b ’s r t i u , t e e u h T of torq ny cost. t a f t b a l n 0 i w With 17 born to s r e c a r h of Abart

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VOLUME 39, NUMBER 21 ARKANSAS TIMES (ISSN 0164-6273) is published each week by Arkansas Times Limited Partnership, 201 East Markham Street, 200 Heritage Center West, P.O. Box 34010, Little Rock, Arkansas, 72203, phone (501) 375-2985. Periodical postage paid at Little Rock, Arkansas, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ARKANSAS TIMES, P.O. Box 34010, Little Rock, AR, 72203. Subscription prices are $42 for one year, $78 for two years. Subscriptions outside Arkansas are $49 for one year, $88 for two years. Foreign (including Canadian) subscriptions are $168 a year. For subscriber service call (501) 375-2985. Current single-copy price is 75¢, free in Pulaski County. Single issues are available by mail at $2.50 each, postage paid. Payment must accompany all single-copy orders. Reproduction or use in whole or in part of the contents without the written consent of the publishers is prohibited. Manuscripts and artwork will not be returned or acknowledged unless sufficient return postage and a self-addressed stamped envelope are included. All materials are handled with due care; however, the publisher assumes no responsibility for care and safe return of unsolicited materials. All letters sent to ARKANSAS TIMES will be treated as intended for publication and are subject to ARKANSAS TIMES’ unrestricted right to edit or to comment editorially.

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JANUARY 23, 2013



Kroger update needed Kroger stores in the black and minority communities of Little Rock look like they are in Soweto, South Africa, in the ’60s, particularly the one on East Roosevelt, compared to the designer stores on the fairer side of town, the more affluent side, with folks running up to customers with samples to eat. I protest with clinched fists and fierce words. I have been telling the store that it should improve size, services and appearance of the Kroger on East Roosevelt Road and possibly change its location, but obviously this customer and my fellow shoppers are not worthy of an upgrade of the kind I see in neighborhoods where we do not live in any measurable number. The store is ugly and looks like it did 52 years ago. Why? Because we are not Kroger shareholders and we cannot usually afford shares, but we buy groceries and that should matter. I will march with signs and sing songs against you Jim Crow and neo-apartheid types profiling against us while broadcasting your false accusations of community. And this isn’t all you are doing wrong that insults this community, but who’s asking or who within Kroger cares that this looks bad and is demeaning? This is the dirty south. It is segregated and so is its business community, but we all eat. Well anyway my father wouldn’t let it go and I do not intend to either. I will see Kroger officials soon and it won’t be in the funny papers. Gloria Springer Little Rock

Sue Scott was right Her Majesty Queen Michelle Obama’s mission is to stop kids and

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adults from eating fatty and sugary foods. Rep. Sue Scott is bold enough to speak up for Queen Michelle’s program yet you have the nerve to make fun of her (“Little Debbie in every stocking,” Dec. 26). How dare you! The federal government has responded to Queen Michelle’s entreaties by mandating more broccoli, cauliflower, etc., in school kids’ menus. But you and the Democrats belittle Rep. Scott because she suggests that people using food stamps shouldn’t be buying food equal to the Rockefeller fare. If putting the words “these” and “people” together gives one icy chills perhaps some Alka Seltzer Plus would do them good, or something available “free” under Obamacare Medicaid. And the state will make money if we give it away “free.” The next time a DHS functionary threatens to put 15,000 grannies on the street if spending isn’t increased they should be told, “We’ll put 15,000 of you bureaucrats on the street for lying to the legislature and trying to blackmail us.” Gerald Holland Bella Vista



Through a tumultuous year, Jeff Long kept hold of the reins. BY BEAU WILCOX PAGE 14


In response to Beau Wilcox’s cover story naming University of Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long Arkansan of the year: There is not a single position in this

article, humanitarian, charitable, educational, or otherwise that explains why Jeff Long should be Arkansan of the Year. He’s an athletic director. Read that again ... athletic ... director. Time to take a step back and get your priorities straight, Arkansas. Sandtrap Let me get this straight: If you fire two embarrassing head coaches (that you hired) and replace them with a third coach that hasn’t earned a single win for the program, you will be named “Arkansan of the Year” by the Arkansas Times? Breathtaking. ASUFanRules Gee, Western Kentucky can hire him, but we have to fire him? Long was short sighted. Censuring Petrino, cutting his pay, heaping shame and opprobrium on him was OK, but firing him was stupid. Long made a big mistake with this decision and does not deserve an accolade for it. Tortie_Tude In response to Max Brantley’s column, “Big week for school choice” (Jan. 16): Once again tyrants in black robes and left wing journalists are the greatest hindrance to maximizing the education students can achieve in this state and nation. They are also the reason the U.S. ranks at the bottom in educational attainment of the world’s developed nations. Social democrats and liberals who favor the use of state and federal funds only in public schools are depriving students of the wide variety of options available in today’s three-tiered system of school choice: Home schooling, private schools, public schools. It’s important there be a wide variety of

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choice because there is a wide variety of learning ability and level of discipline in students. There is advanced placement in public schools for the highest achievers but there is no mid-level placement. Intermediate learners are placed in the same classes as slow learners resulting in decreased educational challenge for these students. Slower learners are not being served by these policies either because of the alienation and discouragement they feel when they fall behind, resulting in a lack of interest in learning and a high drop-out rate. The greatest problem with many public school systems and the reason so many are irreparable is because they are being organized primarily for integration and only secondarily for education. Judges inclined to invalidate school choice systems should step back, take a look at the history of federal court intervention and they would see it has been a colossal failure and that they are not anymore able to improve the educational achievement of students than their predecessors. As I said, this preoccupation with integration instead of education is the reason so many students enter the job market lacking the education, social skills and unprepared to be a productive worker! It’s the Department of Education, not the Department of Integration! Thomas Pope

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JANUARY 23, 2013



Easy call

xpansion of Medicaid — that is, providing better health care for more poor people — is exactly the sort of thing that Winthrop Rockefeller espoused in the late 1960s, when he was Arkansas’s first Republican governor since Reconstruction. Today’s Republican majority in the state legislature is cool to such generosity if not coldly resistant. In the case of the Arkansas Republican Party, bigger is definitely not better. Probably the kindest thing one can say about the Republicans opposed to Medicaid expansion is that they are not just being cruel because they hate poor people. No, they hate the Democratic president who won passage of the Affordable Care Act too. And he’s not poor. Give them that. Gov. Mike Beebe is leading the effort to extend Medicaid to over 200,000 low-income Arkansans. He’ll need all his powers of persuasion, which are considerable. Expansion of Medicaid will, Beebe has pointed out, provide health care to people not covered elsewhere in the law, reduce uncompensated care, and protect hospitals that will experience cuts to Medicare reimbursement rates whether or not Arkansas chooses to expand Medicare. And all this will be accomplished with federal, not state, money. The federal government will pay 100 percent of the cost of new enrollees until 2017. Then the state’s share will gradually increase to 10 percent by 2020. Beebe told the legislature last week, “Without help, some of our hospitals in Arkansas, particularly rural hospitals, could be forced to close. This would be devastating to our small towns ... Expanding Medicaid will create additional private-sector jobs. We just have to say yes.” For well-intentioned legislators, that should not be difficult.

More shut-ins


here are always Arkansas lawmakers who want more guns in circulation, and the Newtown, Conn., massacre only whetted their appetite for additional firepower. Elsewhere, this would seem counterintuitive, like asking for more flu. In Arkansas, though, tightly controlled by the National Rifle Association, it is all too predictable. Arkansas law currently bans guns from churches, a surprisingly rational public policy as well as acknowledgement of the Biblical decree that peacemakers are among the blessed. Sen. Bryan King, R-Green Forest, thinks blessings should be for sharpshooters too. His bill, SB 71, “The Church Protection Act,” would allow churches and other places of worship to decide for themselves who can pack during services. A similar bill cleared the Arkansas House of Representatives two years ago, but died in the Senate. With Republicans now holding a majority in both houses, SB 71 will likely pass. Expect a decline in church attendance.


JANUARY 23, 2013





WINTER WATERFALL: Clay Wells submitted this photo of Falls Creek Falls at Lake Catherine State Park to our Eye On Arkansas Flickr group.

Republican majority split


ith the Republican Party in the Arkansas legislative majority, intraparty squabbles now have higher stakes, not to mention opportunities for outsiders. A good example happened last week. Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson, a legislative veteran, filed a constitutional amendment on tort reform. It is aimed at addressing an Arkansas Supreme Court ruling that invalidated an overly restrictive statute about who could be an expert witness in a medical malpractice case. Ho hum. A Republican with lots of Republican co-sponsors in the House and Senate offers a defensefriendly tort reform measure, which also would allow damages for frivolous lawsuits. But wait. Hutchinson lined up liberal Democratic lights such as Sens. David Johnson and Joyce Elliott and Rep. Greg Leding as sponsors along with Republican conservatives like Jon Woods and Denny Altes. It was a crafty move by Hutchinson, who’s been associated in legal practice with David Goodson, the political powerhouse trial lawyer from Texarkana (and husband of Supreme Court Justice Courtney Goodson). He took an idea to the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association, which espouses the interests of plaintiff lawyers. Tort reform was coming. Every business lobby wants it. The legislature is majority Republican. Was there a way to make the certain dose of medicine go down more easily? Hutchinson’s idea was to enshrine new tort rules in the Constitution. This puts them out of reach of the legislature. The rules he’s proposed are modeled on tort reform legislation adopted in Republican-majority Tennessee. They are not liberal. But they provide a little more time to perfect a medical malpractice cases and a tiny bit of leeway on qualifying an expert medical witness. Most of all, the amendment sidesteps a worse alternative. The business lobby — led by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, Tyson Foods and the Walton family — will back a proposal to be sponsored by Sen. Eddie Joe Williams. It was still cooking last week in the Friday Law Firm. But a circulating draft indicated, along with some workers compensation

changes, the proposal would strip the Arkansas Supreme Court of its constitutional authority to set procedural rules in tort cases. It would hand that power to the legislature. MAX Legislative control is BRANTLEY a corporate lobbyist fullemployment act. Faced with a potentially ruinous lawsuit, a company could hire lobbyists to win a legislative rule change to cripple or kill the lawsuit. Think of how quickly, for example, potential damages could mount in a class action suit for farmers with food crops polluted by a chemical in fertilizer provided by chicken waste. The trial lawyers decided to go with Hutchinson against a far worse fate. They have helped assemble a broad coalition to outnumber the business lobby but also to guard against a weakening of Hutchinson’s proposal. Eddie Joe Williams admits he was “surprised” by Hutchinson turning up first with a proposal backed by a number of Republicans. Williams, the Republican leader in the Senate, thought that would be his prerogative. He insists reports of harsh words with Hutchinson last week are inaccurate. “I’m a gentleman,” he said. Williams is also reportedly thinking, as many Republicans in the Senate seem to be, of seeking a higher office in 2014, say lieutenant governor. The business lobby could be a powerful financial helper. The business lobby’s diversity — from doctors to retailers to poultry producers to industrialists — means it has a variety of specific wants beyond the general goal of tort reform. That might be why it’s taken them longer to get their proposal in order. It’s certainly why they prefer to have all those varied interests in the legislature’s hands, rather than those of the Arkansas Supreme Court. Of course, if this session goes wrong for the business lobby on tort reform (and even if they get their preferred amendment to the ballot, it could be beaten), there are always Supreme Court elections to correct any problems at the source. Business interests have enough money for that, too.



A solution in search of a problem


o much easier it is to legislate address the state’s based upon myth and agreeable big problems — fancy than upon hard reality. abortion, immiSimple, half-baked remedies serve the grants, too much former well, but they wreak havoc when voting and out-ofthey are introduced into the real world. control taxing and ERNEST If you are out of power, as Republicans spending by DemoDUMAS have been of late in Washington and Little cratic governments. Rock, and don’t have to implement it and Rep. Bruce Westerman, the new majorbear the fallout, the simple idea is always ity leader, offered the Republican solution the perfect solution. to runaway spending, one that met H. L. The most popular myth is that govern- Mencken’s prescription for solving comment spending is out of control and dras- plex problems — an idea that is neat, simple, tic steps must be taken to save the country and wrong. The legislature will enact a law and the states from ruin. It is proclaimed limiting spending growth on all functions so often that Democrats pay homage to it. in any year to 3 percent, or less if the gross In Washington, war and defense, homeland domestic product has been sluggish. The security and health care account for the party can claim that it ended the crisis and spending surge the last dozen years while tamed spending. Fiscal experts and the governor said the nearly all the rest of government has been relatively flat, but Republicans now demand GOP plan was unconstitutional and unworksimple remedies that touch none of those able. But the truth is that the law would be except Medicare. simply pointless. It could and probably But this is an old and tiresome show would lead to a temporary crisis fairly soon while the fresh entertainment is at Little — these formulaic solutions always do — but it Rock, where Republicans assumed con- would be short-lived. The legislature would trol of the legislature last week for the go into special session and undo the law by first time in 130 years vowing finally to a simple majority vote.

True believers


onceived in a dream of reason, what the Internet too often reveals is mass credulousness and fathomless irrationality. According to Salon’s Alex Seitz-Wald, a video depicting the Newtown, Conn., elementary school massacre as a government-sponsored hoax has drawn 8.5 million views on YouTube. No doubt many viewers were drawn by idle curiosity or sheer incredulity. What would “evidence” for so transparently preposterous an allegation consist of? Nevertheless, there appear to be thousands of True Believers. Try Googling “Emilie Parker alive,” to sample the crazy. Adepts claim that a photograph of a young girl sitting in President Obama’s lap reveals that 6-year-old Emilie Parker was not murdered along with 19 classmates at Sandy Hook elementary as reported. Supposedly, the photo reveals a telltale blunder. In reality, the child in the photograph is Emilie’s little sister, Madeline. But why go on? There’s plenty more in the same dogged, delusional vein. To anybody capable of imagining that staging the Sandy Hook tragedy would even be possible — requiring, as it would, the active cooperation of half the population of Connecticut — mere evidence and logic

are beside the point. Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. Apart from religion, more Americans appear GENE to be nuts on the LYONS subject of guns than all other topics. The National Rifle Association has raised and spent millions in recent years peddling scare stories about President Obama’s secret plan to abolish the Second Amendment, confiscate everybody’s deer rifles and set up a gun-free dictatorship. Newtown conspiracy theories are only incrementally madder spinoffs of the NRA’s master narrative. Yet its leaders are treated as VIPs in newsrooms and TV studios. Why? To Believers, guns have become fetish objects in American popular culture, having magical potency. Witness Bushmaster Firearms’ advertising its .223 caliber AR-15 — Newtown killer Adam Lanza’s weapon — with the slogan: “Consider your Man Card reissued.” Viagra ads are more subtle. Hence conversations with gun cultists tend to be conducted in the dualistic, allor-nothing terms of fundamentalist theology. Although polls have shown that large majorities of gun owners favor, for example,

What is the point of such a law if Republicans are now in control of the appropriation process? They control state spending down to the last dime when they pass appropriation bills for every state agency and adopt a revenue stabilization law that distributes taxes among those agencies at any level they like. It’s worked that way since 1947. Gov. Beebe can complain and he can veto an appropriation he thinks is too small or too big, but the Republicans can scorn his feelings and override his vetoes. Someone needs to tell them that when it comes to spending, they get to govern. But is that reckless taxing and spending dogma actually true? Spending has risen over the years but across most of government at rates that are generally in line with the cost of living. But some spending has gone up sharply; everyone knew about it and generally approved. The big spending rampages occurred under Gov. Mike Huckabee — remember him, the Republican? — with his blessings and often upon his pleading. Remember when he called a special session and begged the legislators to pass any tax increase they could think of? Pick a year. I have handy the year-end spending report for Bill Clinton’s nextto-last year as governor, 1991, and that for last year. In the intervening 21 years nearly all of government has increased spending modestly, in line with inflation

but sometimes even less. The biggest exception is corrections, where spending on prisons to meet the huge increase in prisoners under more criminal statutes and tougher sentences increased sixfold. And then there was health and human services, primarily Medicaid, where state spending grew fourfold over 21 years, owing to Huckabee’s big expansion of Medicaid to cover all children whose families earned under twice the poverty line, growth in the indigent nursing home population and soaring inflation in health care. Skyrocketing taxes? Yes, Republican Huckabee raised a lot of sales taxes for education and recreation. But there were big tax reductions, too — for example, Mike Beebe’s slashing of sales taxes on groceries from 6 to 1.5 percent. The state’s tax on rich estates brought in $400 million over the 10 years before 2003, when the legislature abolished it. It would have produced double that in the following 10 years. Income taxes investment profits were slashed in 2001. The Democratic legislature passed Gov. Jim Guy Tucker’s income tax cuts for working families in 1997, after he left office. Industrial exemptions from sales and use taxes and targeted income-tax favors have come at almost every legislative session. Reality is so complicated. Let’s stick with popular fancy.

improved background checks to make it harder for criminals and severely mentally ill people to acquire deadly weapons, cultists see all such legislation in apocalyptic terms. All regulation amounts to total confiscation. Hollywood’s equally to blame. About half the emails I get on this topic invoke the “Red Dawn” fantasy, although it’s not foreign communists people imagine taking to the hills to fight, but tyrannical U.S. government SWAT teams intent upon seizing their personal arsenals and making them eat arugula. I’m always tempted to warn these jokers that I’ve forwarded their messages to the Obama White House for inclusion on Big Brother’s Hellfire drone strike list, but I’m afraid most wouldn’t get the joke. Tanks, helicopter gunships and drones have pretty much put an end to the adolescent fantasy of plucky survivalists taking on the U.S. Marines. Everywhere except in movies and at certain kinds of gun shows, that is. Then there are the Lethal Weapon/ Die Hard revenge comedies I’m partial to myself: the Clint Eastwood, Mel Gibson, Bruce Willis vehicles where a wisecracking hero and his plucky sidekick shoot their way through legions of wicked, heavilyarmed villains with universally poor marksmanship. Let’s put it this way: Ever seen a headline like this? “LAPD Detective Kills 17

Gangsters in Nightclub Shootout” (Lethal Weapon) Or this? “Vacationing Cop Foils Xmas Plot; 34 Terrorists Slain.” (Die Hard) Of course not. Because the working part of your brain understands that these films bear approximately the same relationship to reality as a Roadrunner cartoon. However, deep in many of our lizard brains lurks the Dirty Harry fantasy lurks nevertheless. NRA president Wayne LaPierre invoked it during his notorious Newtown press conference. You know, the bit about a good guy with a gun shooting it out with a bad guy with a gun — inside a firstgrade classroom. That’s why the single most useful piece of journalism since Newtown may be Amanda Ripley’s “Your Brain in a Shootout: Guns, Fear and Flawed Instincts.” Writing for Time, Ripley interviewed highly trained, experienced cops and soldiers who talked to her bluntly about the crazy, jagged chaos of armed combat. “[R]esearch on actual gunfights, the kind that happen not in a politician’s head but in fluorescent-lit stairwells and stripmall restaurants around America, reveals [that]…Winning a gunfight without shooting innocent people typically requires realistic, expensive training and a special kind of person.” And normally not the kind of person, oddly enough, that makes an excellent kindergarten teacher.

JANUARY 23, 2013



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et’s just lay it out there at the start: this isn’t Mike Anderson’s fault. The halcyon days of Arkansas basketball are so far behind us now that the discussion has morphed completely. We no longer wonder when Nolan Richardson’s trusted consigliere will have the team back on a pedestal, but instead we muse about all the things that the championship teams did well and just sigh. For crying out loud, the 1994 national championship team had a doughy 6’9” guy who was a better three-point shooter than anybody on this team! Anderson’s middling results so far — 29 wins, 20 losses, and no real signature moments to date — are a testament not to his inability to coach, but rather an indictment of John Pelphrey’s nose for talent. Make no mistake, when Pelphrey got the team its first NCAA tournament victory in a decade and started wearing red jackets and playing with the team in practice, it had the feel of being the right hire. The man’s pedigree as a hard-nosed overachiever with basketball in his blood made him seem so appealing. But we are still seeing how badly Pelphrey mismanaged the program over a four-year period. Anderson is overseeing what appears to be a more disciplined squad, on and off the court, but the recruiting misfires are substantial. This isn’t a space where picking on individual athletes should occur, but anyone who watched the Hogs struggle to put away another flaccid Auburn team in a double-overtime mid-week tilt knows where the weaknesses lie. This isn’t meant to impeach Pelphrey or his staff’s judgment on every single signee, because there is talent on this squad, but Anderson’s reconstruction has to be more thorough than previously thought. Arkansas is in the midst of a dreadful and inexplicable stretch where something so seemingly mundane as beating Ole Miss has become a chore. Since 1996-97, the Razorbacks are 9-24 against the Rebels, and they haven’t won at the colloquially named “Tad Pad,” more commonly described as the Division I arena most fit for condemnation, since Pelphrey’s woeful 2009-10 crew eked out a victory there. Take note that Ole Miss has not been a terribly accomplished team during this stretch: Andy Kennedy, now in his seventh season, still hasn’t guided the Rebels into the NCAA tournament. At this point, though, Razorback fans


1/14/13 3:03 PM

would be comforted to have an NIT-bound team — as has long been the argument about the virtues BEAU of even lesser WILCOX football bowls, the extra practice time even for modest reward is worth it. What remains so puzzling about the Anderson experience thus far is how uncomfortable the Hogs seem to get when they seem to seize control of a game. Against Auburn, Arkansas assembled a masterful first-half run that flipped a 12-6 deficit into a 25-14 lead almost in an instant. Even during the leaner final years of Richardson’s long tenure, this was still the sort of game-altering run that used to generate a thrill as the Hogs coasted to a blowout. Auburn basically has adopted the same template of every bad but bothersome team that has populated the SEC, and thereby given the Hogs fits, for years. The Tigers have a bunch of nondescript supporting players, one bulky and profoundly graceless enforcer in the paint (in this case, the fittingly named Rob Chubb) and a high-level scorer that, as fate would have it, gets way too many unchallenged opportunities at all the worst possible times. That guy, Frankie Sullivan, poured in 26 on Wednesday, which gave him his seventh career double-digit scoring effort against the Hogs. Ole Miss is more well-rounded than that, so when the Rebels ceded all of a 13-point second-half lead, it was no great shakes for Kennedy to calmly reconnoiter and send his guys back onto the floor for the final minutes and stretch the lead right back to 13 in short order. The Hogs lost 76-64 and never threatened to close in the final five minutes because, once again, nobody other than B.J. Young or Marshawn Powell seemed all that interested in putting up a fierce attack. From a pure talent standpoint, nary a gulf exists between Arkansas and Ole Miss. There is a subtle but important disparity in team cohesion, though. Ole Miss was utterly unfazed by the Hogs’ second-half burst and its composure was built upon a commitment to finding sharpshooter Marshall Henderson even though he had been way off the mark for the first 30-plus minutes. Arkansas, given the chance to exchange blows till the end, simply looked lost and confused, a dark harbinger for the last two months.


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I thought it odd to see this item in the daily paper: “Because the stock markets were closed Tuesday for New Year’s Day, there is no business section in today’s edition.” Odd not because the markets were closed — they do that from time to time — but because a newspaper referred to “today’s edition.” Laymen may use edition and issue interchangeably, but as Garner’s Modern American Usage says, “In the newspaper business, the two terms are distinguished. At The New York Times, ‘[an] issue means all the copies printed on a given day. There may be several editions of one issue.’ ” The newspaper I used to work for published three editions every day. The aptly named first edition had the earliest deadline and was distributed to the far corners of the state. The deadline for the second edition was a couple of hours later. That edition went to areas closer to Little Rock. Finally, there was the city edition, containing the latest news. If a Fort Smith legislator got caught in a late-night altercation at a Little Rock strip club — a not uncommon occurrence — the report probably would make only the city edition, which was a break for the lawmaker since Fort Smith was firstedition territory. All three editions of the paper constituted that day’s issue. Only newspaper people can fully

appreciate this headline from The Onion, a satirical online newspaper: “4 copy editors killed in ongoing AP Style, DOUG Chicago Manual SMITH gang violence.” Both the Associated Press Stylebook and the Chicago Manual of Style, published by the University of Chicago Press, advise on matters of grammar and usage. Some copy editors prefer one, some the other. These preferences can be strongly held. Bill Lewis writes of a recent trip to the hospital: “While there, I noticed in two places — the ER waiting room fountain and a room devoted to waiting families just off the ER — that the facilities were ‘gifted’ by such and such individual or organization. For some reason, it sounded pompous and pretentious and it annoyed the hell out of me. I came home and looked in vain for some authority to substitute ‘gifted’ for ‘given’ or ‘donated.’ There is none in any definition I found under ‘gift,’ although there is an appropriate usage in referring to people possessed of unusual talents or intelligence.” Hospital, heal thyself.


It was a good week for… DAWNE VANDIVER. Gov. Mike Beebe named Vandiver, executive director of the Democratic Party, to a seat on the Arkansas Parole Board, a position that pays $84,000 a year. She replaces Carolyn Robinson of Brinkley, who succeeded her husband, former Pulaski County Sheriff Tommy Robinson, in a term that runs through 2020. ROBERT MOORE. The former Alcohol Beverage Control director and former House speaker was named to the powerful Arkansas Highway Commission. CHARTER SCHOOLS. Federal Judge D. Price Marshall held that the state’s approval of open enrollment charter schools in Pulaski County didn’t constitute a breach of its 1989 promise to not contribute to segregation in the county. Marshall also denied the state’s motion to be dismissed from all obligations under the 1989 settlement of the Pulaski County school desegregation case. Meanwhile, Rep. Mark Biviano (R-Searcy), with a gangload of co-sponsors, introduced a bill that would strip oversight of charter schools from the state Board of Education in favor of a newly created charter school commission. ETHICS. Sen. Bruce Maloch (D-Magnolia) and Rep. Warwick Sabin (D-Little Rock) have


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co-sponsored an amendment that would end the spending of campaign money on other political campaigns, by terming expenditures on tickets to campaign fund-raisers a prohibited personal expenditure. U.S. REP. STEVE WOMACK. He was appointed to the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees defense spending, a coveted position for which he had openly jockeyed for months. The appointment means he’s not likely to seek the Republican nomination for Arkansas governor in 2014.

It was a bad week for… EQUITY IN PUBLIC EDUCATION. Unsurprisingly, the Arkansas Supreme Court denied a rehearing in the split-decision, hotly debated school funding case that allows some lucky school districts to keep funds in excess of the 25-mill property tax rate the state requires school districts to levy in order to adequately fund public education. The legislature could rebalance the funding inequity, but isn’t likely to. MIKE HESTERLY. The Ouachita County judge was charged with one count of bribery and one count of conspiracy to defraud an agency of the United States — federal charges — in a tornado cleanup scheme. Hesterly has entered a not guilty plea.


Cranky are us WITH THE MASTER OF POIGNANT OBSERVERS off in Washington, D.C., this Observer grabs the mike to get cranky. Here’s our demand: The autotuned video of Julia Child on AETN, coming right before “Downton Abbey,” has got to go. Watching the “artist” Bob Ross is painful enough, but to hear him autotune “Happy Little Clouds” is enough to make you heave every cookie in the jar, and AETN makes you watch him before Masterpiece Theater too. And Mr. Rogers as well! Please. Not only are these videos awful, they go on forever, making the wait for “Downton Abbey” a nightmare. Hear our prayer, AETN. Take these abominations — insulting Julia Child, making the already sickeningly saccharine Ross even more ghastly and creating a head-scratching Mr. Rogers — and commit them to the sinkhole of hideous ideas. We’ll try to forget about the horrible moments spent watching them. And another thing: There’s something hilarious about the daily paper’s longwinded editorialist criticizing the president’s inaugural address. Not everyone can put words together like Mr. Editorialist, no sir. Thank God. Guess we should be grateful he doesn’t refer to the first lady as “Miss Michelle.” MEANWHILE, THIS OBSERVER has no truck with either the local daily’s editorials or “Masterpiece Theater,” finding both to be overwrought, self-important anachronisms that are best disregarded with prejudice. Well maybe that’s a bit of a stretch. While we do find “Downton Abbey” to be a bit soap-opera-y and stuffy, it is nowhere near as repellent as the D-G’s right-wing op-ed demagoguery, which is so often dressed up as patronizing, quasi-homespun aphorism. “Dear misguided young person, It was wholly a pleasure to read your letter supporting the idea that homosexuals are human beings who deserve equal protection under the law and the same rights as normal folks. However, as one of the Upholders of Civilization, duty compels me to disabuse you of such airy notions and blah blah blah…” Ugh. Moving on… LAST WEEKEND THE OBSERVER traveled up to The Hill — also known as Fayetteville, or Fedvul — to visit the in-laws.

Our better half had ventured up the day before with Junior in tow, and Junior and our mother-in-law (grandma codename: Giggy) had a big ol’ time on Friday, playing and going on a walk and having snacks and watching a little “Monsters Inc.” and all that good stuff. Now, 15-month-old Junior is obviously the cutest, sweetest, most charming and preternaturally gifted child who ever donned a onesie, at least as far as your Observer and his kinfolk are concerned. But we must confess that in addition to those fine qualities, he also is a tiny, highly efficient mobile germ factory. Being exposed as he is at daycare to all those other adorable little petri dishes means that he too brings home every contagious, malady-inducing microbe making the rounds. When he first started daycare last year, your Observer was sick for what seemed like an eternity with a merry-go-round of assorted illnesses. But since then, his parents’ immune systems have mostly kept pace with all the fun stuff he brings home. Not so for the grandparents, though. By Saturday morning, poor Giggy had been laid low. She spent the entire day in bed and when Sunday morning came down and she was still worse off than ol’ Kris Kristofferson sang about feeling, she went to the doc-in-a-box for the inevitable flu diagnosis. Meanwhile, Junior and Mr. and Mrs. Observer still felt fine, but in the interests of playing it safe, the doc prescribed Tamiflu for all parties. The Observer is old enough (and from a town small enough) to remember those quaint, bygone days when pretty much every business except for the churches was closed on Sunday. Heck, when we were a wee childe, even Wally World was closed on the Lord’s Day. Imagine that! It was nice back then, to drive around on Sunday with everything shuttered, the whole town taking a brief respite from the relentless churn of capitalism. But when illness strikes, it sure is nice that those seemingly ubiquitous docs-in-the-box and 24-7 mega-pharmacies are open for business, ready to fix you up with a scrip and some canned soup and liquids. We suppose we’ll trade these modern conveniences for the slower pace of the old days. Might as well, it’s not like we have a choice.

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JANUARY 23, 2013


Arkansas Reporter



An interesting controversy is brewing in Conway Public Schools, periodically a scene of discord as more liberal constituents object to the heavy dose of religion that powerful local churches have tried to inject into the schools, particularly in sex education short on science and long on abstinence. For many years, a number of church-related youth organizations have made a practice of sending representatives to school at lunchtime to eat and chat with their members. Recently, some parents complained about the practice, particularly about some religious groups, such as K-Life, an evangelical organization, that visit at a middle school. The complaint, to the Freedom from Religion Foundation, produced a letter of inquiry and warning from the foundation. It said in part: “It is inappropriate and unconstitutional for Conway Public Schools to offer Christian ministers unique access to befriend and proselytize students during the school day on school property. This practice is especially concerning if it occurs on a regular basis. No outside adults should be provided carte blanche access to minors in a public school. This predatory conduct is inappropriate and should raise many red flags.” As a result of the letter, Superintendent Greg Murry suspended all campus visits by religious groups until he could assess the situation and report to the board. Or so he told the Arkansas Times last Thursday. The suspension caused a stir at several churches that’ve sent representatives to Conway schools, though officials of K-Life, one of the main groups mentioned, said it was comfortable with Murry taking a careful look. It insisted its representatives didn’t proselytize others, but merely visited with existing members. But Friday, Murry suddenly changed course. He turned the matter over to the Liberty Institute, a conservative Christian group founded by a Texas lawyer, that provides free lawyering to groups hoping to advance religion in the public square. It succeeded in a recent case in getting a cross restored to a spot in the Mojave Desert. Murry turned over all public comment on the matter to the Liberty Institute. Parents who’d complained about the religious visitors — and who insisted the proselytizing WAS part of the program of some churchrelated visitors — were crestfallen about Murry’s decision. They took CONTINUED ON PAGE 13 12

JANUARY 23, 2013


Loudspeakers Jason Baldwin seeks to bring attention to wrongful convictions with ‘Proclaim Justice.’ BY DAVID KOON


ason Baldwin, whose freedom from the 17-year prison term he served as one of the West Memphis Three was brought about by public scrutiny and press about the case, has joined with a Little Rock man to create “Proclaim Justice,” a nonprofit that will seek to shine new light on old cases where the defendant might have been wrongfully convicted. Baldwin and John Hardin launched the new group, which is funded through private donations, during Baldwin’s midDecember trip to Little Rock. They’ve created a website,, on which is posted their mission and cases they’ve chosen to spotlight so far: That of Arkansas Death Row inmate Tim Howard and the case of Daniel Risher, who was convicted of helping murder his girlfriend’s mother in Magnolia in 1991. Hardin, who’s serving as executive director for Proclaim Justice, is a former spokesman for the group Arkansas Take Action, which rallied support for the West Memphis Three. A former campaign manager for Arkansas Congressman Vic Snyder who has also worked in the private sector, Hardin and his family visited Baldwin in Seattle, where Baldwin now lives. Conversations they had during that visit about the importance of public relations in wrongful conviction cases led to the creation of Proclaim Justice. One of the things Proclaim Justice will do, Hardin said, is “help defense attorneys who are representing clients understand how they can better shape their messages for public consumption ... . Attorneys often get going on legal jargon that most people just can’t understand, so we try to help them cut through the weeds of that.” Hardin said that during trials with a high level of public interest, defendants are often prejudged as guilty by the public because prosecutors and police have “a bully pulpit and a public microphone” they can use to get the message of a defendant’s guilt into the press whenever they want, something that most defense attorneys are either unprepared or unwilling to counter. Post-conviction, Hardin said, many defendants lack the representation and


Church goes to school in Conway

BALDWIN: Not helpless.

resources to have their cases re-examined, which is why public interest and scrutiny of questionable cases is important. “Most of the folks who find themselves in the situation that Jason and Damien [Echols] and Jessie [Misskelley Jr.] did, they’re indigent,” he said. “They have nobody on their side. They don’t have Eddie Vedder, Johnny Depp, Natalie Maines, Peter Jackson. They don’t have those people. So just having that voice from people who understand what it is to organize messages and organize people and media campaigns can be the difference.” Hardin said the group carefully selects which cases to spotlight. The process starts with a series of standard questions which must be answered by way of a letter from the inmate. Once the letters come in, Hardin reviews them. If he thinks “there might be something there,” Hardin sends the letter on to a volunteer case manager, usually a person with experience in law enforcement, investigation or the legal field. The case manager digs into the case and starts a correspondence with the inmate. If the case manager decides the conviction is questionable, the case is brought before the Proclaim Justice board of directors. If the board agrees with the case manager, a synopsis of the case and

scanned police and court documents that will allow the public to drill down into paperwork and draw their own conclusions will be posted on the website. Journalist and author Mara Leveritt, who has reported extensively on both the West Memphis case and the case of death row inmate Tim Howard, appeared with Baldwin during the Little Rock event in which he announced the formation of Proclaim Justice. She said that while no one wants “mob reactions” to alter the course of courtroom justice, there is value in bringing public pressure to bear in questionable cases. “The public has got to serve as a check and balance on the courts,” Leveritt said. “We don’t want that kind of influence — public hysteria and mass, violent reaction — to effect justice. On the other hand, though, our courts aren’t perfect and we know that. When something can reach the public so that the public responds to it and says, ‘wait a minute,’ that can have an important effect, as we’ve seen in many cases.” Hardin said the group has already received letters from inmates from several states who are seeking help with their cases. While Proclaim Justice is a small group, Hardin said, it hopes to work on cases all over the country with the help of volunteers and an active web presence. The group is seeking volunteers with investigative backgrounds to serve as case managers, and others to do day-today tasks like corresponding with inmates. “Obviously there are some cases that are easier than others,” Hardin said. “Whenever you’ve got DNA evidence coming back that doesn’t indicate the convicted, that’s a fairly easy sell. If that’s not the case, then you just have to take a long, complicated case history and boil it down to 10 or 12 talking points and make folks understand this is an injustice that they are currently unaware of, but are essentially participating in by not speaking out.” On his Facebook page on Jan. 14, Jason Baldwin wrote that though injustice can never be eradicated, “we are not helpless.” Calling Proclaim Justice “a calling to help others as I have been helped,” Baldwin wrote: “With Proclaim Justice and the dedicated, knowledgeable, hard-working core of people who make up the heart of this organization, I believe we can make a very real difference in the lives of the condemned innocent, their families and communities, and the countless others who are affected when innocence seems lost.”





TERRIBLE BILLS One week into the 89th General Assembly and already there has been more harmful legislation proposed than we can count on two hands. Below, the worst of the worst. Because Republicans control the state House and Senate all of these are likely to pass. Keep up with our running list at CHANGE THE FUNCTION OF THE LEGISLATURE. A pernicious anti-government bill filed by Majority Leader Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Hot Springs) that caps state spending increases by 3 percent a year, or, if the three-year spending average has been less than 3 percent, that lower figure. It’s unnecessary; the legislature already controls spending. But it could hamper future legislatures in times of economic prosperity. There’d be no room for the likes of economic development, raises for public employees or fulfilling funding requests from higher education.



THIS WEEK’S CHANCE OF PASSING MEDICAID EXPANSION: 51 PERCENT Introducing the Expand-o-meter, our guesstimate of the state of the debate, which we’ll update frequently as new developments come along at When the Republicans took the majority in November, it seemed to spell doom for the prospects of expanding Medicaid. After all, many Republicans had centered their campaign on anti-Obamacare rhetoric. House Majority Leader Rep. Bruce Westerman said in a House Republican address, “As the states now have protection from being forced to expand the program, our view is that supporting Medicaid expansion is really embracing President Obama’s law.” Yikes. But events of the last two months have mostly been good news for proponents of expansion. • Relatively moderate Rep. Davy Carter was elected Speaker of the House with Democratic support and a small group of Republicans. He and Senate President Pro Tem Michael Lamoureux have been striking a cautiously open tone, in stark contrast to the campaign rhetoric of their caucus. • The RAND Corp. released a study this month projecting that the state would add thousands of jobs, save thousands of lives, and add a half-billion dollars annually in economic stimulus to the state GDP. • On the other hand, the feds announced that states must expand all the way up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level if they want the Affordable Care Act’s generous matching rates — not a surprise but a setback for moderate Republicans who had pushed the partial expansion idea. Carter and Lamoureux both said the all-or-nothing verdict made passing expansion significantly more difficult. The feds did give the OK to co-pays, another idea dear to Republican hearts, and while it’s unlikely the feds will budge on partial expansion, you never know.

DRUG TESTS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS. Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson (R-Little Rock), in the news lately for using campaign money to pay a mistress, started his image rehabilitation tour with this bill, which requires drug testing of all unemployment compensation applicants and random drug testing thereafter of beneficiaries. This is right-wing cookie-cutter legislation that’s been demonstrated elsewhere to be ineffective and costly. A Little Rock attorney has already promised to sue the state on Fourth Amendment grounds of the bill passes. GUNS IN CHURCH. Sen. Bryan King (R-Green Forest) is back again with a bill that would allow concealed handguns in churches. Like all private property owners, churches would be allowed to prohibit guns, though, of course, they’d be doing so at their own peril. A church without an arsenal is a target, don’t you know? MORE CHARTER SCHOOLS. Republicans abhor government bureaucracy unless it serves their purposes. This bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Mark Biviano (R-Searcy) and Sen. Bruce Holland (R-Greenwood), strips the state Board of Education its oversight of charter schools in favor of a newly created five-member charter school commission. The Board of Education has been generally fair and receptive to the establishment and continuation of charter schools; the Billionaire Boys Club — rich charter school advocates from the Walton, Murphy, Stephens and Hussman families — clearly doesn’t think it has done enough. 20-WEEK ABORTION BAN. This proposal, sponsored by Rep. Andy Mayberry and Sen. Bart Hester with 56 co-sponsors, is yet another move by Republicans to control women’s bodies. Billed as the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” the bill would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks, a time when a fetus can begin to feel pain, according to the authors of the bill. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists says that doesn’t happen until at least 24 weeks. Legal consensus holds that restricting abortions before viability — defined by medical experts as 23 or 24 weeks — is unconstitutional. Nonetheless, a number of states have recently passed similar measures. A challenge to an Arizona 20-week ban is currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. It’s expected to overturn the law. VOTER ID. Sen. Bryan King has proposed two voter ID bills — one that would require voters to show government-issued photo identification at the polls and another that would refer a constitutional amendment, which would enshrine voter ID law into the state constitution, to voters. According to a database of alleged election fraud compiled by News21, there have only been six cases of alleged election fraud in Arkansas since 2000, and none of the alleged fraud would’ve been prevented by King’s proposed law. There’s no evidence that in-person voter fraud exists by any real measure anywhere (impersonating someone at the polls isn’t a very efficient way to steal an election after all). There is, however, plenty of evidence that voter ID laws suppress votes, especially minorities, the poor and the elderly.

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INSIDER, CONT. it to mean he’ll eventually restore the religious programs and that they’ll continue as overtly evangelical outreaches. The Liberty Institute said in a news release that it, not Murry, will conduct an investigation “regarding equal access for visitors to the school and make a report and recommendation to the district on or before Feb. 12, 2013.” A news release distributed about the decision quotes Murry as saying, “The district respects the religious liberty of all students and citizens and will work diligently to follow the Constitution and take the appropriate steps necessary to investigate this issue further and follow the law.” It will be interesting to see if equal access includes friendly visits by atheists, humanists, Buddhists and the ACLU.

Where was Andi? When the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals heard arguments last week on the important case over the Arkansas school transfer law, news accounts noted that parents seeking the ability to transfer from Malvern to the whiter Magnet Cove School District were represented primarily by Jess Askew of the Williams and Anderson law firm in Little Rock. Not present in St. Louis was Andi Davis of Hot Springs, the original attorney in the lawsuit, which led to invalidation of the school transfer statute by federal Judge Robert Dawson on account of the law’s prohibition of transfers that have segregative effects. Davis’ absence was noted in news accounts because Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, whose office is defending the law, had recently confessed an affair with Davis in 2011. Her presence on the opposite side of the case gave rise to questions, though he’s insisted no conflict existed and they never discussed the case. Where was Davis? She told the Times she no longer represents the Malvern parents in the case. In an e-mail, she said: “I sat down with Mr. Askew as well as my clients and we decided it would be best that I withdraw and that I not attend any of the oral arguments. It is difficult because I love this case and I have fought for 4 years to get where we are now. But, the case and clients are more important than my desire to be a part of it so I think it’s better that the issue not become lost in my drama.” The federal court record of the case does not currently reflect a formal withdrawal motion, however, though her attorney also said he understood her plans were to withdraw.

JANUARY 23, 2013



UNIMIN: Belgian company runs frac sand operation in Guion.

FIRST GAS, NOW SAND Mining companies buying land in North Arkansas.


ive years into the exploration for natural gas in the Fayetteville Shale, most Arkansans know about the hydraulic fracturing process and its links to environmental havoc, including poisoned wells and radioactive wastewater in various parts of the United States and increased earthquakes here in Arkansas. Now, a mushrooming side industry is beginning to attract national attention to farming communities in Wisconsin and Minnesota. This industry drains waterways and creates hundred-acre gashes where there once was forest, hills and pasture, and it can pollute the air and water with invisible toxic particles. It’s called frac sand mining, and on a quieter scale, it’s also happening — and on the verge of expanding — in North Arkansas. The process, which environmentalists have compared to mountain-top removal coal mining, involves scraping or blasting a hole about 50 to


JANUARY 23, 2013


100 feet in width and depth to access high-purity silica. During the fracking process, the silica is added to a mixture of water and chemicals and pumped, at high pressure, into natural gas mines to open cracks in shale plates. This type of silica is only found in a few states. Wisconsin and Minnesota have larger deposits than Arkansas, but Minnesota’s regulatory system is complex enough to deter many corporations. Neither state has Arkansas’s home field advantage, since frac sand from the Ozarks only has to travel about 100 miles to reach the Fayetteville Shale. Thomas Woletz, with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, estimates that there are more than 75 active frac sand mines in his state, and there could be as many as 100. Fewer than three years ago, there were only five, and some of those were decades old. There have been a couple of large sand and water spills in Wisconsin, and a Chippewa Falls group, Chip-


pewa Concerned Citizens, sued the city in an attempt to stop a frac sand processing plant that was eventually constructed inside city limits. Frac sand mining in Arkansas looks nothing like it does in Wisconsin. Only one company, Guion’s Unimin, is actively mining frac sand. But in the past three years, despite low natural gas prices, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality has issued frac sand mining permits to 10 companies, largely concentrated in Izard and Independence counties. Locals say there are other companies that have yet to apply for permits. Last year, the Batesville City Council approved plans for a Florida-based company, American Silica, to lay railroad track for a $15 million frac sand processing plant at the north end of a public park. About 15 residents from the Spring Valley neighborhood, near the proposed plant, showed up at the council meeting to oppose the decision. In a setup similar to that

ing her Calico Rock community about frac sand mining. In January 2008, she and her neighbors began to hear industrial noise coming from Mill Creek, a tributary of the White River. “We asked the people living next to Mill Creek, and they said ‘They’re digging right into the creek.’ And we knew that was going to be a problem because that’s just not something you do. It’s very sandy, and all that comes down the creek,” she said. As it turned out, a group called B&H Resources was clearing land to build a frac sand mine. Carlson alerted the advocacy group Friends of the North Fork and White Rivers, and the Friends alerted ADEQ. B&H didn’t have a permit for the thousands of feet of creek bank it cleared, which caused sediment to wash into Mill Creek and threaten the bass population. ADEQ issued a cease and desist order and asked B&H to re-vegetate the bank — a process that B&H had not begun in October 2009,

erode and wash downstream … you get used to it after awhile, but it’s not like it was,” she said.  It is five days before Christmas, and the storefronts in Calico Rock are dark. The night before, a windstorm took out electrical lines, and now only the hardware store stirs, as people pay for propane they’ve loaded on pick-ups out back. Carlson is walking this reporter through Peppersauce Valley, the only ghost town in America located within city limits. She points out an old cotton gin, mentioned in a couple of John Grisham novels. The conversation turns to Evergreen. At that Music Hall meeting three years ago, a company representative said that the mine would employ about 30 people for roughly 25 years. There have been two more public hearings, in early 2010 and 2011, to discuss revised plans. In



of Chippewa Falls, the plant would handle sand mined 14 miles away in Cave City. Because of oversupply, natural gas prices began to drop in 2008, hitting the lowest point of $1.91 per 1,000 cubic square feet (mcf) in April 2012. But by early January, prices had already risen to $3.46 per mcf. According to Bill Holland, an editor with Platts, which publishes energy news for McGraw Hill, recovering prices don’t always translate into increased fracking. In documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Southwestern Energy, the largest presence in the Fayetteville Shale, announced plans to cut spending in Arkansas by 19 percent in 2013. But as Sheffield Nelson, a former gas executive who spearheaded Arkansas’s natural gas severance tax drive, has reiterated in press conferences, fracking operations represent billions in investment dollars. Huge corporations are looking to ride the waves rather than get out, to the point that they’re often willing to drill new wells even when they’re not fracking, in order to maintain active leases, he said. This may explain why U.S. Silica, which owns 13 mines, including a frac sand mine in Sparta, Wis., recently purchased 477 acres in Izard County. The company has an active permit on file at ADEQ, but according to company spokesperson Michael Lawson, there are no specific plans to begin mining. “I would say that we are holding the property for future development,” he wrote in an email. In April 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy gave the green light to a Louisiana plant to transform natural gas to liquid, paving the way to pipe U.S. surplus to Europe and Asia. It’s a process that’s likely several years off, according to Holland. But Nelson thinks it’s a crucial first step in stabilizing the industry long-term. “What we’re seeing now is just a dead period, something that the business understands. They have peaks and valleys. And it looks to me like … we won’t see things even out until liquefied natural gas plants are functional,” Nelson said.

CALICO ROCK: Lacks industry.

 In Arkansas, the purest sandstone lies in the White River watershed — a swath of Ozark foothills, tourist communities and stagnant rural towns. Calico Rock is among the second. It’s growing, albeit more slowly than official figures suggest, since the last census included a prison annex. Historic Main Street includes an artist co-op, an antique shop and a dry goods store with an old-fashioned soda shop. According to Steve Vinson, who has lived in Calico Rock for seven years and run Calico Rock Realty for four, most of the growth is from an influx of retirees. “There’s not a lot of property moving between folks already in the county … [for younger people] we’re not a very strong attractant. We don’t have the industries that are creating jobs right now,” he said. Barbara Carlson, a retired software engineer from Chicago, has been instrumental in educat-

when James Hardy, the “H” in B&H, appeared at a town meeting that Carlson helped organize at the Calico Rock Music Hall. The meeting was to discuss mining permit applications filed by Hardy’s new company, Evergreen Processing. About 130 people turned out, and a number of them mentioned the unfinished re-vegetation. The general sentiment was summed up by one commenter, who said, “I think it’s reasonable to require this company to rehabilitate the Mill Creek site before issuing another permit.” An attending Evergreen representative mentioned a re-vegetation plan that was awaiting ADEQ approval. According to ADEQ, B&H did eventually revegetate the creek bank, but not long after, an arsonist torched the new trees. Carlson is surprised that ADEQ considers the Mill Creek matter resolved. “It’s heartbreaking, because when this area floods, the cleared part continues to

early 2012, local media reported that Evergreen had begun clearing land. Then things stalled. David Williamson, geologist for Evergreen, told the Arkansas Times that for the past year, the company has been developing a customer base, securing financing and negotiating sales agreements. “I don’t have a firm schedule, but I think it’ll be within the next year. Just to construct a plant and get things ready, that’s a matter of four to six months,” he said. He expects the processing plant and access roads to cover about 320 acres, and the quarry itself to cover between 50 to 100 acres (likely widening as it’s mined) on Twin Mountain. Once the quarry is dry, the company plans to fill the hole with pine vegetation saved from the clearing. Jerry Weber, a Friends of the North Fork and White Rivers board member, said Arkansas needs stronger laws to ensure that these quarries are CONTINUED ON PAGE 16

JANUARY 23, 2013



reclaimed. “With Arkansas law the way it is, as long as they say they have an intent to continue mining in the future, they don’t ever have to resurface over the thing … . In fact, one of the restoration options they have, if they did want to close the mine, would be to leave a huge open pit and taper the sides of it, like a mini-lake. So they’re not putting that ground back on there,” he said. Under the Arkansas Open-Cut Land Reclamation Act, non-depleted mines can avoid reclamation by perpetually renewing permits. A lack of mining activity, even stretching into decades, is not a valid reason for ADEQ to deny those permits. Quarry regulations are even looser, allowing companies to request temporary closure that lasts for an indefinite period. This means that even without active permits, the companies don’t have to begin reclamation. On the other hand, Weber counts his dealings with Evergreen as successful, thus far. Originally Evergreen planned to use 390,000 gallons of water a day, drawn from 2,000-foot wells. It was a potential threat to the water table and nearby family wells. But the Friends convinced the company to construct a holding pond and reuse much of its water. Evergreen will still draw spring water to make up for water lost in processing, and its permit does allow the release of wastewater to “a tributary of Piney Creek … thence to the White River,” with the caveat that no discharge may contain chemicals or solids, and discharges should be sampled and monitored. Carlson remains skeptical. “I do think that Evergreen has made a lot of changes in their plans in order to be more conscious of the concerns of the people in town. But I hope that the sand mining never starts here,” she says as we cross the footbridge back to Main Street, trading a celebrated ghost town for one trying to stay alive.

GUION: Declining population.

“They knocked down a whole row of houses to build that frac sand plant. The mine built that town, and now it’s strangling it.”  Thirty-six miles south, Guion looks nothing like picturesque Calico Rock, despite the fact that both cities are built on bluffs overlooking the White River. At various times the city has supported a steamboat landing, a newspaper and a golf club manufacturing plant, but now there’s nothing but a shoebox-sized post office, churches and sand processing plants. Guion’s century-old sand mine was purchased

by Belgian-owned Unimin Corp. in 1970. “When houses are up for sale, Unimin buys them,” said a 49-year-old public servant, who grew up in a house 500 feet from Unimin’s plants and who wished to remain unidentified. “They knocked down a whole row of houses to build that frac sand plant. The mine built that town, and now it’s strangling it.” He remembers choking when the wind blew and blasts that rained rocks on cars and houses. He said his par-

ents’ cars stayed covered in sand so thick you could write sentences in it. From 1980 to 1990, Guion’s population shrank by half, from 177 to 93, and by 2010 the population had dwindled to 86, with median household income just under $26,000. In the past four years, the mine has expanded three times, including the construction of a 2012 resin coating plant. The public servant appreciates the 108 jobs Unimin provides (52 of which are directly related to frac sand), but the mine cost

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DAM AT ROCKY BAYOU: Also known as Guion Creek.

“When Unimin dammed up the creek, it reduced the flow to a trickle and the swimming hole dried up. So we want them to take the water from the White River, but the company seems incredibly reluctant to do this,” said the public servant. Online comments echo those made at the meeting: “Such a terrible shame the kids there can’t enjoy it like we used to,” Carol Waters Hutchins posted, under a black and white picture of more than a dozen grinning kids, bunched together on a sandy shore in late-’60s swimwear. The public servant and his family are planning to move to Batesville. They live in Mount Pleasant, sandwiched between frac sand-mining operation Bluebird Sand and the property now owned by U.S. Silica. “That’s going to be another frac sand mine. I bet it’ll be as big as Unimin, and no one around here knows anything about it,” he said. A neighboring landowner told the public servant that U.S. Silica had contacted him about purchasing his property. “They’re telling him to sell, that there’s definitely going to be a sand mine, and he won’t like living next to it.



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his grandmother two husbands. Her first husband died of silicosis from mining dust, and his grandfather died in a sand tunnel, bludgeoned by a boulder. In his living room, he pulls up a Facebook page entitled “If you lived in Guion Arkansas or know someone in Guion.” The group has 313 members, dozens of vintage photographs and a single event listing — a March 2012 meeting about a petition to remove the dam on Rocky Bayou, an offshoot of White River known to locals as Guion Creek. This dam spurred the public servant to join the Friends, but his lifelong connection to the mine that still employs his friends and relatives encourages him to keep his membership secret. ADEQ documents are unclear, but Unimin apparently dammed Guion Creek in 1970 and raised the height of the dam in 1990 to supply water to the plant. The ADEQ has investigated multiple complaints about scum and odors from the now stagnant creek. In 2007, 2008 and 2012, Unimin was cited for permit violations, including unapproved discharges into Rocky Bayou, unprotected storm drains, valves left open and lapsed record-keeping.


JANUARY 23, 2013



january 24

9pm: Annalisa Nutt

10pm: Trey Hawkins Band

11pm: Collin vs Adam

Midnight: Damn Arkansan

upcoming rounds ROUND 2, Jan 31 Tom & Hebron Flint Eastwood Stephen Neeper Band The Bad Years

ROUND 3, Feb 7 Freedom Bureau Gwendlyn Kay The Revolutioners Mothwind

ROUND 4, Feb 14 Miles Rattz This Holy House Peckerwolf Terminus

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a single day. ADEQ sued the company, which temporarily halted operations and paid a $125,000 fine. The mine closed again a year later, after being cited by the ADEQ for operating a sand dryer without an air permit. Both times, Bluebird’s 41 employees were laid off without severance, and both times, the Friends tipped the ADEQ. Around that time, the Friends drafted an ordinance creating a position for a county inspector who could close mines that operate outside regulations. They presented it at a meeting of the quorum court, arguing that ADEQ doesn’t have enough inspectors to keep up with the entire state. (ADEQ has one mine inspector and 20 regional water inspectors). “ADEQ has done a good job helping us deal with these issues, but the only way they become aware of problems is when a person calls them. It’s not a proactive thing, it’s a reactive thing. The damage can happen so quickly, and then how do you fix it?” said Carlson. / 501.375.2985


It’s sell or sue, and he could lose all his money trying to stop them,” the public servant said. The company would not confirm an attempt to purchase land: Land acquisition is “not something U.S. Silica would disclose based on competitive considerations,” Silica spokesperson Lawson said. Bluebird Sand, which is locally owned, is a touchier topic. In the Calico Rock hardware store, a woman behind the counter who declined to give her name told this reporter, “We don’t know anything about the frac sand mines. We just stay out of it.” When pressed she acknowledged that, “One of our son-in-laws owns a mine, so we just don’t say anything about it.” That son-in-law is Blaine Johnson, one of the developers behind Bluebird. Bluebird began mining at some point in 2010, without air and water discharge permits. In November and again in December, a retention pond malfunctioned, spilling sludge into East Lafferty Creek and burying a portion of it in silt. At least 59 fish were killed in


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The ordinance never made it past discussion. “The quorum court won’t do anything in this area because of the same problem that I’ve got,” said the public servant. “They know these people and live with them. It would take something major to happen, for them to pass an ordinance.” But Carlson thinks the division is as much about culture as it is about jobs. “There weren’t a lot of rules here until very recently, so there’s a certain resistance from people who have been here for generations. Having the government tell you what to do, even if it’s for your own protection, they don’t like that,” she said. The breakdown is fairly predictable. Those of working age, or who have relatives of working age, often want the mines. Those who retired to a pastoral refuge want it to remain as such. “The general consensus is, we’re proud they’re there,” said Izard County Judge David Sherrell. “If everything’s going smooth, we try not to be involved with the mines unless they need something from us.” In 2009, the quorum court unanimously endorsed economic incentives for Unimin to expand into frac sand mining. Williamson said that Evergreen has already taken several dozen calls from job seekers, despite the fact that the company hasn’t even broken ground. Sherrell acknowledges some complaints, primarily from people living directly beside mining sites. Vinson thinks frac sand may revitalize entrepreneurship in the area and even drive up property values, especially for properties suspected of containing frac sand. “Because of the lakes and the White River itself, we’re still going to attract retirees, because compared to many other states, land is cheap here. Until we have a real uptick in the mining, raising the price of land, there’s going to be an attractant … until there’s any particular indication from the mining process that would give some idea that maybe it would be unsafe for them,” he said. He has been contacted about land for another frac sand project, but he can’t disclose any details.  Ed Alexander, a former Arkansas State University music professor who retired to Izard County, views mining as an economic shortcut. “The real growth is through people like myself buying vacation homes or retirement homes ... . You can make the argument that 22 jobs in a sand mine certainly more than displaces jobs in the construction of new and vacation homes in the tourism industry. And

the general willingness of people to move to this area is going to be impacted, wondering, is there going to be a sand mine two miles from my house?” he said. In fact, if things go according to his neighbor’s plan, there will be a frac sand mine less than half a mile from his house. A few years ago Joe Collins, an optometrist living in Jacksonville, bought about a thousand acres next to Alexander’s property and began testing core samples for frac sand. Alexander learned of Collins’ plans secondhand and later found an investment proposal for Petros Energy online. A phone conversation with Collins confirmed the plan, so Alexander spread the word to roughly 50 households in a three-mile radius — the area where he thinks property values would be most affected. Collins refused to talk to the Arkansas Times about Petros, saying only that the company hasn’t done any mining or even applied for permits yet. Alexander believes that Petros may never materialize. “There may not even be any sand … the guys taking the core sample said they didn’t find any,” he said. But he worries that amateur efforts may lead to another B&H/Bluebird-flavored episode, resulting in environmental trauma. Other neighbors are worried for more personal reasons. “There’s a couple that lives at the end of Red Sanders Road, and they’re extremely private people. But they contacted me and asked if I could meet with them, and they showed me their view. If Dr. Collins builds a mine, instead of a view, they’ll be looking at a processing plant. It’s just not fair that someone can come in to enrich themselves at the detriment of a lot of other people,” Alexander said.  In the spring of 2011, 16 legislators formed the Fayetteville Shale Caucus to advocate for the fracking industry on behalf of its economic benefits. Because frac sand mining is still largely speculative here, it hasn’t warranted much attention from them. Sen. David Wyatt (D-Batesville), who represents Izard and Independence counties, said while the caucus hasn’t spent much time discussing frac sand mining, he thinks of the frac sand as a boon for the area. “If it creates jobs, I don’t see it as a problem,” he said. He termed the fine paid by the Bluebird mine “extraordinary, since what happened was like what happens in nature, when there comes a big rain and sand gets flushed back into the creek.” His Izard County colleague in the Senate, Sen. Missy Irvin (R-Mountain View),



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also welcomes frac sand mines. At a caucus meeting last February, she said she had worked with the ADEQ to help Bluebird Sand secure permits. “My district … has a very large deposit of sand, which is used for fracturing … and there’s going to be an influx of those. Right now we have, I believe, two or three slated to operate, open up business ... so it’s really going to dramatically change the landscape and everything,” she said. Emily Lane, an environmental advocate from Faulkner County, attended the caucus meeting. “I think it’s funny how she means it will change the economic landscape, but clearly we all know it will change the natural landscape as well,” she said. Local nonprofits such as the Sierra Club, Arkansas Policy Foundation and the Arkansas Wildlife Federation refer frac sand questions to Friends of the River — and the group does seem more versed on the matter. But Weber is quick to dis-

tance the Friends from a blanket antimining sentiment. “We want any business that’s done here to be done in a way that it doesn’t destroy the environment, because we still have such high water quality in the Ozarks. We believe if we work with industry, we can get them to change their processes, like we did with Evergreen … . We don’t want to keep them from doing this, but to do this in a way that it doesn’t interfere with environment,” he said. For Ed Alexander, the debate hits home because the Ozarks are home. He just wants to protect his land and that of his neighbors. “I’ve hiked the area that [Petros] is proposed for, and it’s incredibly beautiful. It has a small stream, canyons on both sides. It’s beyond my imagination why anyone would want to destroy it … . It’s impossible to put a dollar value on the peace people feel when they visit or live in this area. That has a value as well,” he said.

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JANUARY 23, 2013


Arts Entertainment AND

Showcase kickoff

2013 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase starts Thursday. BY ROBERT BELL


t the risk of sounding like a broken record, or perhaps a corrupted MP3, this year’s passel of showcase entries has once again proven that Arkansas is loaded with talented musicians. We had dozens of entries, and as with previous years, it was tough to winnow them down. But there’s only room for 20. This year’s Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase lineup has something for just about everyone. We’ve got earnest singer/songwriters, electro-tinged rockers, lo-fi oddballs, hi-fi hip-hop, scrappy punkers, heartfelt indie-folk, heavy riff dealers, blooze-altar kneelers, retro-FM pop worship, prog-informed post-rock and some that don’t fit into any of those tidy little categories. At stake (besides bragging rights, of course)? Spots playing at some of the most high-profile stages in the state (Riverfest, Valley of the Vapors, Arkansas Sounds, the Arkansas State Fair); recording time at Blue Chair Studio; a gift certificate to Jacksonville Guitar; a photo session with Times photographer Brian Chilson; a T-shirt package from Section 8, and more. We’ll also be doing audience giveaways, including passes to the Bonnaroo, Wakarusa and Thunder on the Mountain music festivals, concert tickets, gift certificates and oodles more fun stuff. We’ll have a drawing for the Bonnaroo, Wakarusa and Thunder on the Mountain passes during the finals at Revolution, Friday, March 1. You can enter the drawing for each festival once at each show, including the finals. So if you really want to win, you’ll help your odds by coming out to each round. The fun gets started Thursday at 9 p.m. at Stickyz. All you not-quite-drinking-age folks take note: The showcase is now an all-ages shindig. It’s $5 for 21 and older, $10 for 20 and younger.

ANNALISA NUTT OK, just to get this out of the way right at the outset, yes, Hampton native Annalisa Nutt is a distant 22

JANUARY 23, 2013


relative of former head Hog football coach Houston Dale Nutt. Key word: distant. It’s not like he comes to family reunions or anything. Back to the matter at hand — Nutt’s spectral, spare songs, which include somber meditations on topics such as negotiating the sometimes choppy waters of love, wrestling with her faith and other evergreen singer/songwriter topics. Her voice is clear as a bell one moment, smoky and subdued the next. Check out the somber “I’m Sorry,” which displays the full range of Nutt’s vocal abilities, with Joni-like vocal trills and haunting reverb.

TREY HAWKINS BAND Hailing from tiny Hamburg, Trey Hawkins got his musical start early. He was barely out of toddler territory when he sang a rendition of the Willie ’n’ Waylon classic “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow up to be Cowboys” at his grandmother’s kitchen table. He was hooked after that, influenced by the sounds coming out of his father’s home stereo. He wrote his first song at 14, and from then on he was singing and songwriting. He performs solo and with the Trey Hawkins Band (Aaron Murphy, Mark Bolin and the Breedloves — Andrew and Jonathan), and has created a body of work informed by country and Southern rock of classic and more recent vintage and inspired by his small-town upbringing. Exhibit A: The contemplative “Purple Skies and Dragonflies,” which finds Hawkins examining how our earliest experiences shape us. CONTINUED ON PAGE 33

THE JUDGES MANDY MCBRYDE Observers of the Central Arkansas musicscape are no doubt familiar with Mandy McBryde. With her band The Holy Ghost, she made it to the Musicians Showcase finals in 2011 on the strength of her barroom-rockin’ country and sharp wit.

GRAYSON SHELTON Another Showcase alum, Grayson Shelton fronts War Chief, the standout local rock outfit which durn near won the whole kit ’n’ caboodle last year. The band has had some lineup changes but its mission remains the same: smart, literate Southern rock.

CT As the vocalist for metal behemoths Rwake and powerblues heavies Iron Tongue, CT (short for Christopher Terry) has long been a fixture on the Central Arkansas metal scene. Look out for Iron Tongue’s forthcoming full-length soon on Neurot Recordings.

Guest Judges BOBBY MISSILE BILL SOLLEDER With their band The Holy Shakes, Missile and Solleder took the top honors at last year’s showcase. Unfortunately, the band called it quits last summer, but the two are still active on the Hot Springs scene, Missile with his Ballistic Missile Booking and Solleder as one of the founders of the nonprofit Low Key Arts, which organizes numerous concerts, film screenings and events like the Valley of the Vapors and Hot Water Hills music festivals.

ROCK CANDY Check out the Times’ A&E blog

A&E NEWS LOCAL ACTORS TAKE NOTE: THE ARKANSAS REPERTORY THEATRE will host auditions for Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” on Feb. 10. It’s open to union and nonunion actors, and all ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to audition. However, if you’ve got the sweaty, nervous, mumbling-to-yourself thing down, you should know that the role of Willy Loman has already been cast. But the Rep is still looking for folks to be Linda, Biff, Happy, Charley and the rest of the cast. Actors will be provided with sides from the script, and the show will be directed by Robert Hupp. Rehearsals start April 2 and the production runs April 26-May 12. MANY TIMES READERS ARE LIKELY ALREADY FAMILIAR WITH artist, musician and North Little Rock native Nate Powell, whose 2008 graphic novel “Swallow Me Whole” won a boatload of awards. Powell was one of the founders of Soophie Nun Squad, the longrunning, sugar-fueled, arts-inspired punk band that began in the early ’90s and continued well into the next decade, even as the band members moved all over the country. From 1994 to 2010, Powell also ran a record label, Harlan Records, which released tons of music from Soophie Nun Squad, Red Forty, The Stranger Steals, Rainy Day Regatta, Tem Eyos Ki and many others. Last month, Powell started an archival blog at harlanrecords.blogspot. com, offering downloads of the Harlan discography, starting with the earliest Soophie demos and progressing chronologically. It’s a treasure trove of underground Arkansas music, and if you hung out in Little Rock in the ’90s and early ’00s, it’s a great trip down recollection boulevard, with lots of pictures, pressing info, notes and other tidbits. It’s interesting to note how many of the folks involved in these bands have gone on to bigger stages and wider renown, with bands like Lucero, The Body, Callers, !!!, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, Bloodfeathers and probably several more. WAKARUSA HAS REVEALED THE THIRD AND FINAL INSTALLMENT of its 2013 lineup, and among the headliners are STS9, The Black Crowes, Snoop Lion, Gogol Bordello, Del the Funky Homosapien and Galactic. The addition of STS9 will hopefully appease some of the “Dude, no Bassnectar, I’m not going. Waaaaah” crowd. Whatever. This is probably one of the best, most (relatively speaking) diverse lineups in the festival’s history. There has been a bit of online complaining about how there’s not as much bluegrass as in the past, but hey, there’s an entire bluegrass festival at Mulberry Mountain in the fall.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013 This one-day, nonpartisan event will facilitate an open discussion about vital education reforms.

Education Rally | 9:15 am Capitol Rotunda | Little Rock, AR Keynote Speaker: Governor Jeb Bush

Education Summit | 11:30 am DoubleTree | 424 West Markham Street | Little Rock, AR Afternoon events will include a free lunch, followed by panel discussions on education reform and the path forward. Speakers at the Education Summit include: Jim Walton, Walter Hussman, Claiborne P. Deming, and Bill Dillard III. Seating is limited. RSVP for this free event at or call 501-259-3921 today. For questions call 501-259-3921.

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JANUARY 23, 2013







8 p.m. Revolution. $22.

Man, it’s shaping up to be a great year for fans of Americana and bluesy Southern rock in Central Arkansas. In the span of a month, Revolution hosts American Aquarium (Saturday), Bob

Schneider (Feb. 2), Reckless Kelly (Feb. 8), Old 97s (Feb. 20) and North Mississippi Allstars (Feb. 23). And Wednesday, arguably one of the best and most popular bands of the whole genre comes to Rev Room. By this point, The Drive-By Truckers are revered elder statesmen in

the contemporary Southern rock scene. The band’s extensive catalog of studio and live album is an embarrassment of riches, a remarkably consistent body of work that feels of a piece without feeling repetitious. Band founders Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, along with

former member Jason Isbell, have really carved out their own place in the Southern rock landscape, with great songwriting, unconventional subjects and a guitar sound that hits that total sweet spot of Neil Young-ian tone like few others. Opening the show is Houndmouth.





6:30 p.m. Philander Smith College. Free.

West Memphis native T.J. Holmes has had the type of career that many of his broadcast media colleagues no doubt envy. After graduating from the University of Arkansas, Holmes took successively higher profile positions at network affiliates, including KNTV in the San Francisco Bay Area. He joined CNN in 2006, covering a number of big stories for the news network. He’s a contributor and guest on MSNBC, and in 2011, he made a deal with BET. His late-night show “Don’t Sleep” is an engaging mix of political discussion, social commentary and entertain-

9 p.m. Stickyz. $6.

DON’T SLEEP: And don’t miss Arkansas native T.J. Holmes, who speaks at Philander Smith College Wednesday.

ment. He’s speaking at Philander Smith as part of the college’s Black Male Initiative

Program, which was founded by former President Walter Kimbrough.



8:30 p.m. Revolution. $15.

Back in the ’90s, there were few groups hipper than the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. They exuded effortless, leatherjacket cool. They were rawer, nastier and more tastefully tasteless than contemporaries like Sonic Youth or Pavement (without taking it to Royal Truxlevel extremes). Remember the video for “Talk about the Blues,” in which Spencer, Judah Bauer and Russell Simins were portrayed by, respectively, Winona Rider, Giovanni Ribisi and John C. Reilly? Damn, what a great song and video. Although I guess if you were born after say, 1988 or so, you might not remember that video (Also for you youngsters: Winona Rider was a very famous person). Long about the mid-aughts, the band took a break for a minute or two or eight years, but, revitalized by 2010’s album reissue campaign, the JSBX roared back in 2012 with “Meat + Bone,” proving they can still pump out raw, live-wire rock ’n’ roll like few ever have. “We had nothing to prove 24

JANUARY 23, 2013


BLUES POWER: The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion plays at Revolution on Thursday.NEW

— yeah we had something to prove, we want to make a great record,” Spencer told PitchforkTV recently. “We’re punks, we really try to look after ourselves and we do exactly what we wanna do.” True that. Opening the 18-and-older show will be The Jam Messengers. The duo is

made up of underground blues legend Rob Kennedy (check his recordings with Workdogs — Jon Spencer was a frequent collaborator) and Brazilian one-man band dynamo Marco Butcher. The Messengers just released “Kick Out!” on Thick Syrup Records.

First off, yeah, I know. Ha-ha. Grow up. Let’s try to be mature about this, OK? Jeeeeez. Anyways, Pujol (nom de rock of Daniel Pujol) first showed up on the radar of my listenings last March, when he played at the Valley of the Vapors down in Hot Springs. His tune “Mayday,” the leadoff from the 2011 EP “Nasty, Brutish, and Short,” is an endlessly listenable bonbon of earworm-y garage pop. I blasted it into the ol’ earholes probably a dozen times and again just now. Lucky listen No. 13 and it’s still totally good. He’s got a new-ish full-length album out late last year, “United States of Being.” It’s a big step forward from the very enjoyable “Nasty,” a more diverse collection of tunes that at times recalls the gentler moments of the late Jay Reatard, especially the track “Endless Mike.” I bet by now purveyors of smart, sharp, melodic garage rock are tired of being “The Next Jay Reatard” (let’s ask Ty Segall. Or King Tuff. Or Mind Spiders.) But hey, as long as we get albums like “United States of Being,” I don’t care who’s the next whoever. Of Diarrhea Planet: great band, great name. I don’t care what anybody says, if your band is called Diarrhea Planet and sounds like a Thin Lizzy record fighting a Ramones record at 78 rpm and you have a song called “Ghost with a Boner” and that song rules, then your band is rad and your song is rad, period. The show is 18-and-older.





7 p.m. Downtown Music Hall. $8$25.

In what is fast becoming a January tradition in Central Arkansas, Knuck Fest returns to transform the normally innocent confines of Downtown Music Hall into a vortex of anguished screams, guttural howls, ear-splitting amp-abuse and perhaps a lively moshpit or two. Actually, I guess that would

describe Downtown Music Hall on many nights, but these three will be especially loud and mosh-y, being overrun as they will be with punk, metal, hardcore and metalcore. Here are the lineups: Friday features Bitter Times, Pose No Threat, Distiller, The Muddlestuds, Motives, Jungle Juice and Snakedriver. Saturday has Soundcult, A Traitors Funeral, A Darkend Era, Strange as Fiction, Fallen Empire, Mainland Divide, Legions Await,

Crankbait and Living Sacrifice. Sunday sees brutal sets from Slamphetamine (killer name!), Rawhead, Deshoveled, Decay Awaits, Killing Souls and Fuck the Facts. All in all, at $25 for a threeday pass, this is one of the best bargains in crushing, evil heaviness all year. And remember, all ye headbangers and moshmaniacs — you can sleep when you’re dead. The festivities continue at 4 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday.



The latest laugh-filled offering from the hardest working comedy troupe in Argenta premieres Friday, but unless you already procured tickets, you’ll have to wait until Saturday. The Main Thing (Vicki and Steve Farrell and Brett Ihler in all roles) once again takes viewers on a trip to lil’ ol’ Dumpster, Ark., where the local honkytonk is closing up shop. The last night promises to be a doozy, and the house band, Country Wayne Conaway and His Swingin’ Sidekicks, provide the tunes. (“Country Wayne” huh? Could that be a sly reference to Wayne County, later Jayne County, of Wayne County & The Electric Chairs renown?) Once again, this is suitable-for-all-ages comedy, so don’t worry about having to sit through any uncomfortable moments with your in-laws or children or pastor or whatever. The show runs Friday and Saturday nights through April 27.

8 p.m. Robinson Center Music Hall. $14-$52.

The fourth installment of this season’s Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Masterworks Series features works by Respighi, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, all under


The Clinton School of Public Service hosts a panel discussion with members of the cast and crew of the Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s production of “Gee’s Bend.” They’ll discuss performing the play, which is based on the true story of a remarkable women’s sewing circle in Gee’s Bend, Ala., noon, free. If burly rock music is what your Thursday night needs, White Water Tavern can hook you up with that in the form of Brother Andy & His Big Damn Mouth and Pecan Sandy, 10 p.m., $5. Austin-based duo Mobley plays a free show at Maxine’s, 8 p.m. Murry’s Dinner Playhouse has a production of Neil Simon’s “I Ought to Be In Pictures,” 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, $15-$33.


Vino’s has pop singer/songwriter Randy Harsey, power-pop explorers The Dangerous Idiots and rocker Jason Greenlaw, 9 p.m., $5. If you dig booze-soaked, roadhardened troubadours, don’t miss Scott H. Biram, who returns to Maxine’s, with A.J. Gaither, 8 p.m., $6 adv., $8 day of. Stiff Necked Fools can get you some of that bayou reggae at Midtown Billiards, 12:30 a.m., $5. Lightnin’ Malcolm, one of the best bluesmen around, returns to White Water Tavern, 10 p.m., $7. Genine Perez plays at The Afterthought with Lagniappe, 9 p.m., $7. Americana roots rockers American Aquarium play an 18-and-older show at Revolution, 9 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of.


NEW MAIN THING: Comedy trio The Main Thing unveil their latest show, “The Last Night at Orabella’s,” on Friday at The Joint.



Downtown Music Hall hosts an evening of heavy alt-rock, with Queen Anne’s Revenge, Found Fearless, The Toneados and Lost Machina, 8 p.m., $5. Over at Stickyz, you can get a midweek fix of electronic dance music, with Psymbionic, Wolf-e-Wolf and Kichen. It’s 18-and-older, 10 p.m., $6.

the direction of guest conductor Guillermo Figueroa. ASO’s Conductor Philip Mann said in a preview that Respighi’s “Ancient Airs and Dances” offers listeners “a charming work full of all kinds of tuneful melodies.” Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 in D Major is “one of the great classical symphonies, partly in the style of Haydn, but giving you a picture of the great Beethoven and that forceful sound that is

to come.” The program also features what Mann called one of the season’s highlights, Tchaikovsky’s “Variations on a Rococo Theme” for solo cello and orchestra. “It’s an opportunity for principal cellist David Gerstein to step forward and demonstrate the extraordinary talents that are present within your Arkansas Symphony Orchestra,” he said. The show will be performed again Sunday at 3 p.m.

If you’re looking to hear some So-Cal rock, Juanita’s has Augustana Acoustic and Lauren Shera, 10 p.m., $13 adv., $15 day of. The Luke Williams Band brings it to W.T. Bubba’s Country Tavern, 9 p.m. Mayday By Midnight returns to West End Smokehouse and Tavern, 10 p.m., $5. The Waka Winter Classic 2013 rolls into Stickyz for an 18-and-older show with Stephen Neeper Band, War Chief, This Holy House, Joey Farr & The Fuggins Wheat Band and Interstate Buffalo, 8 p.m., $5. The Symphony of Northwest Arkansas presents Masterworks II, featuring works by Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky and more, Walton Arts Center, 7:30 p.m., $5-$48.

JANUARY 23, 2013


AFTER DARK All events are in the Greater Little Rock area unless otherwise noted. To place an event in the Arkansas Times calendar, please e-mail the listing and all pertinent information, including date, time, location, price and contact information, to


UALR Women’s Trojans vs. Florida Atlantic. Jack Stephens Center, UALR, 7 p.m., $5-$38. 2801 S. University Ave.





Acoustic Open Mic. The Afterthought, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www. Brian & Nick. Cajun’s Wharf, 5 and 9 p.m.; Jan. 30, 5 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. www.cajunswharf. com. Drive-By Truckers, Houndmouth. 18-andolder. Revolution, 8:30 p.m., $20 adv., $22 day of. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. Jim Dickerson. 7 p.m. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-3242999. Karaoke at Khalil’s. Khalil’s Pub, 7 p.m. 110 S. Shackleford Road. 501-224-0224. Karaoke. Bear’s Den Pizza, 8 p.m.; Jan. 25, 8 p.m. 235 Farris Road, Conway. 501-328-5556. Karaoke Extravaganza. Includes drink and food specials and cash prizes. Montego Cafe, 9 p.m., $5. 315 Main St. 501-372-1555. www. Karaoke with Big John Miller. Denton’s Trotline, 8 p.m. 2150 Congo Road, Benton. 501-3151717. Live Karaoke and Dueling Pianos. Featuring Dell Smith and William Staggers. Montego Cafe, 9 p.m. 315 Main St. 501-372-1555. www. Psymbionic, Wolf-e-Wolf, Kichen. 18-andolder. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 10 p.m., $6. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. Queen Anne’s Revenge, Found Fearless, The Toneados, Lost Machina. Downtown Music Hall, 8 p.m., $5. 211 W. Capitol. 501-376-1819. Ricky David Tripp. Rocket Twenty One, 5:30 p.m. 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-603-9208. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 5 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. www.


The Joint Venture. Improv comedy group. The Joint, 8 p.m., $5. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501372-0205. Standup Open Mic Night. Hosted by local come­di­ans of the com­edy col­lec­tive Come­di­ ans of NWA. UARK Bowl, 9 p.m., free. 644 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-301-2030. Tommy Blaze, Roy Haber. The Loony Bin, 7:30 p.m.; Jan. 25, 7:30 and 10 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555. www.


Little Rock Bop Club. Beginning dance lessons for ages 10 and older. Singles welcome. Bess Chisum Stephens Community Center, 7 p.m., $4 for members, $7 for guests. 12th & Cleveland streets. 501-350-4712. www.littlerockbopclub.


JANUARY 23, 2013


ARKANSAS’S AMERICAN IDOL: Kris Allen might have a squished paw from a harrowing car wreck late last year, but that hasn’t stopped the singer from hitting the road. He’ll perform at Revolution on Saturday, with opener Jillette Johnson, 8:30 p.m., $12 adv., $15 day of, $50 VIP (with meet ‘n’ greet and photo ops!).


Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms Conference. The Peabody Little Rock, 8 a.m. p.m., $170. 3 Statehouse Plaza. 404-797-0496. Preschool Art Class: Lines & Shapes. For children ages 3 to 5 with a caregiver. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, 1:15 p.m.; Jan. 30, 1:15 p.m., $30 per session. 600 Museum Way, Bentonville. 479-418-5700. Studio Studies Series | Figure Drawing from a Thomas Eakins Perspective. Explore the figure-

drawing style of the great American painter Thomas Eakins. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, 6:30 p.m.; Jan. 30, 6:30 p.m., $65. 600 Museum Way, Bentonville. 479-418-5700. T.J. Holmes. Philander Smith College, 6:30 p.m., free. 900 W. Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive.


Wednesday Night Poetry. 21-and-older show. Maxine’s, 7 p.m., free. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-321-0909. html.

2013 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase Round 1. With Annalisa Nutt, Trey Hawkins Band, Collin vs Adam and Damn Arkansan. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9 p.m., $5 21 and older, $10 20 and younger. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. Adrenaline (headliner), Rob & Tyndall (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. www. Brother Andy & His Big Damn Mouth. White Water Tavern, 10 p.m., $5. 2500 W 7th St. 501375-8400. Dan Welcher: Murphy Visiting Librettist. Hendrix College, 7:30 p.m. 1600 Washington Ave., Conway. Downtown Battle of the Bands Round 2. With Siversa, Break the Silence, Comeback of the Year, The Supporting Cast. Downtown Music Hall, 7 p.m., $6. 211 W. Capitol. 501-376-1819. “Inferno.” DJs play pop, electro, house and more, plus drink specials and $1 cover before 11 p.m. Sway, 9 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-907-2582. Jason Brunett. The Tavern Sports Grill, 7 p.m., free. 17815 Chenal Parkway. 501-830-2100. www. Jim Dickerson. 7 p.m. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, The Jam Messengers. 18-and-older. Revolution, 8:30 p.m., $15. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-8230090. Josh Green. Thirst n’ Howl, 9 p.m., free. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501-379-8189. www.thirst-n-howl. com. Karaoke. Zack’s Place, 8 p.m. 1400 S. University Ave. 501-664-6444. Karaoke night. Cornerstone Pub & Grill, 8 p.m. 314 Main St., NLR. 501-374-1782. Karaoke with Kevin & Cara. MacDaddy’s Bar and Grill, 9 p.m., free. 314 N. Maple St., NLR. Karaoke with Larry the Table Guy. The Afterthought, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. Karaoke with Ron Powell. W.T. Bubba’s Country Tavern, 9 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501244-2528. Krush Thursdays with DJ Kavaleer. Club Climax, free before 11 p.m. 824 W. Capitol. 501-5543437. Mobley. Maxine’s, 8 p.m., free. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. Open jam with The Port Arthur Band. Parrot Beach Cafe, 9 p.m. 9611 MacArthur Drive, NLR. 771-2994. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 5 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474.


Tommy Blaze, Roy Haber. The Loony Bin, through Jan. 24, 7:30 p.m.; through Jan. 26, 7:30 and 10 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555.


IMMERSION: Celebrating Light and Architecture. Celebratory closing party for See the Light and the Moshe Safdie exhibition. 21-and-older. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, 7:30:30 p.m., $25. 600 Museum Way, Bentonville. 479-418-5700. crystalbridges. org. “Gee’s Bend” panel discussion. Members of the cast and crew of the Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s production of “Gee’s Bend” will discuss performing the play, which is based on the true story of a remarkable women’s sewing circle in Gee’s Bend, Ala. Clinton School of Public Service, 12 p.m., free. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501-683-5239. www.clintonschool. Imagine Central Arkansas interactive workshop. Presented by Metroplan. Main Library, 5:30 p.m., free. 100 S. Rock St. Live horse racing. Thu.-Sun. every week until April 13, plus Martin Luther King Day and Memorial Day. Oaklawn, $2. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4411. Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms Conference. The Peabody Little Rock, through Jan. 26, 8 a.m.-8 p.m., $170. 3 Statehouse Plaza. 404-797-0496. www.ssawg. org.


“Imagine Central Arkansas interactive workshop.” Interactive workshop lead by Metroplan, Darragh Center. More information at Main Library, 5:30 p.m. 100 S. Rock St.


UALR Men’s Trojans vs. Florida Atlantic. Jack Stephens Center, UALR, 7 p.m., $5-$38. 2801 S. University Ave.



Alpha Sigma Alpha St. Jude’s Fundraiser. With Backroad Anthem, Medic, The Cons of Formant, Randy Young, Lucas Hitch, Ashley Fleener, Allie Burnett. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $10. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www. American Aquarium. 18-and-older. Revolution, 9 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. Brian 101.1. Cornerstone Pub & Grill, 9 p.m. 314 Main St., NLR. 501-374-1782. Brian Ramsey. Flying Saucer, 9 p.m., $3. 323 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-8032. www. Club Nights at 1620 Savoy. Dance night, with DJs, drink specials and bar menu, until 2 a.m. 1620 Savoy, 10 p.m. 1620 Market St. 501-2211620. D. Harp Entertainment. Luigi’s Pizza and Pasta, 6 p.m. 22000 I-30, Bryant. 501-847-1110. Friday night at Sway. Sway, 9 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-907-2582. Genine Perez with Lagniappe. The Afterthought, 9 p.m., $7. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. Just Sayin’ (headliner), Richie Johnson (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. www.

Karaoke. Bear’s Den Pizza, 8 p.m. 235 Farris Road, Conway. 501-328-5556. Knuck Fest 2013. With Snakedriver, Jungle Juice, Motives, The Muddlestuds, Distiller, Pose No Threat, Bitter Times. Downtown Music Hall, 7 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of. 211 W. Capitol. 501376-1819. Len Holton. Hibernia Irish Tavern, 8 p.m., free. 9700 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-246-4340. Lightnin’ Malcolm. White Water Tavern, 10 p.m., $7. 2500 W 7th St. 501-375-8400. www. Pujol, Diarrhea Planet. 18-and-older. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9 p.m., $6. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. Randy Harsey, Dangerous Idiots, Jason Greenlaw. Vino’s, 9 p.m., $5. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. Scott H. Biram, A.J. Gaither. Maxine’s, 8 p.m., $6 adv., $8 day of. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. Shannon Boshears Band. W.T. Bubba’s Country Tavern, 9 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501244-2528. Shannon McClung. Cregeen’s Irish Pub, 9 p.m. 301 Main St., NLR. 501-376-7468. Shipp. Denton’s Trotline, 9:30 p.m., $7. 2150 Congo Road, Benton. 501-315-1717. Stiff Necked Fools. Midtown Billiards, 12:30 a.m., $5. 1316 Main St. 501-372-9990. Synergy, DJ Sleepy Genius. Montego Cafe, 8:30 p.m. 315 Main St. 501-372-1555. www. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 9 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. Thread. Thirst n’ Howl, 9 p.m., free. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501-379-8189. Thunder Thieves. West End Smokehouse and Tavern, 10 p.m., $5. 215 N. Shackleford. 501-2247665. Trey Johnson. The Tavern Sports Grill, 8:30 p.m., free. 17815 Chenal Parkway. 501-830-2100. www. “YOLO.” Featuring four DJs and beach volleyball, 18-and-older. Flying DD, $5. 4601 S. University. 501-773-9990.


The Main Thing: “The Last Night at Orabella’s.” Original two-act comedic play about the residents of tiny, fictional Dumpster, Ark. The Joint, through April 27: 8 p.m., $20. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. Mo Alexander. UARK Bowl, 8 and 10:30 p.m., $7. 644 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-301-2030. Tommy Blaze, Roy Haber. The Loony Bin, through Jan. 26, 7:30 and 10 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555. www.


LGBTQ/SGL Youth and Young Adult Group. Diverse Youth for Social Change is a group for LGBTQ/SGL and straight ally youth and young adults age 14 to 23. For more information, call 244-9690 or search “DYSC” on Facebook. 800 Scott St., 6:30 p.m. 800 Scott St. Live horse racing. See Jan. 24. Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms Conference. The Peabody Little Rock, through Jan. 26, 8 a.m.-8 p.m., $170. 3

Statehouse Plaza. 404-797-0496. www.ssawg. org.



Arkansas Symphony Orchestra: “Ancient Airs & Dances.” Featuring guest conductor Guillermo Figueroa, with David Gerstein on Cello, performing works by Respighi, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven. Robinson Center Music Hall, Jan. 26, 8 p.m.; Jan. 27, 3 p.m., $14$52. Markham and Broadway. Augustana Acoustic, Lauren Shera. Juanita’s, 10 p.m., $13 adv., $15 day of. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. Cadillac Jackson. Midtown Billiards, 12:30 a.m., $5. 1316 Main St. 501-372-9990. midtownar. com. Chris Henry. Flying Saucer, 9 p.m., $3. 323 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-8032. www. Club Nights at 1620 Savoy. See Jan. 25. Darril Harp Edwards Reggae Night. The Afterthought, 9 p.m., $7. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. Hired Guns (headliner), Third Seven (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. Jason Campbell & Singletree. Denton’s Trotline, 9 p.m., $10. 2150 Congo Road, Benton. 501315-1717. Karaoke at Khalil’s. Khalil’s Pub, 7 p.m. 110 S. Shackleford Road. 501-224-0224. Karaoke. Casa Mexicana, 7 p.m. 6929 JFK Blvd., NLR. 501-835-7876. Karaoke with Kevin & Cara. All-ages, on the restaurant side. Revolution, 9 p.m.-12:45 a.m., free. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. Katmandu. Thirst n’ Howl, 9 p.m., free. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501-379-8189. K.I.S.S. Saturdays. Featuring DJ Silky Slim. Dress code enforced. Sway, 10 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-492-9802. Knuck Fest 2013. With Living Sacrifice, Crankbait, Legions Await, Mainland Divide, Fallen Empire, Strange As Fiction, A Darkend Era, A Traitor’s Funeral, Soundcult. Downtown Music Hall, 4 p.m., $10 adv., $12 day of. 211 W. Capitol. 501-376-1819. Kris Allen, Jillette Johnson. Revolution, 8:30 p.m., $12 adv., $15 day of, $50 VIP. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. Luke Williams Band. W.T. Bubba’s Country Tavern, 9 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501244-2528. Mayday By Midnight. West End Smokehouse and Tavern, 10 p.m., $5. 215 N. Shackleford. 501-224-7665. Pickin’ Porch. Bring your instrument. All ages welcome. Faulkner County Library, 9:30 a.m. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-327-7482. www. Reckless Endeavor. Cornerstone Pub & Grill, 9 p.m. 314 Main St., NLR. 501-374-1782. Singer/Songwriters Showcase. Parrot Beach Cafe, 2-7 p.m., free. 9611 MacArthur Drive, NLR. 771-2994. CONTINUED ON PAGE 28

Share the Road

Share the road For Cyclists

Tips for SAFE cycling on the road.

• Bicycles are vehicles on the road, just like cars and motorcycles. Cyclists must obey all traffic laws. Arkansas Uniform Vehicle Code #27-49-111 • Cyclists must signal, ride on the right side of the road and yield to traffic normally. Code #27-51-301/403 • Bicycles must have a white headlight and a red tail light visible from 500 feet and have a bell or warning device for pedestrians. Code #27-36-220 • Make eye contact with motorists. Be visible. Be predictable. Head up, think ahead. • On the Big Dam Bridge... go slow. Represent! • As you pass, say “On your left... thank you.” • On the River Trail... use a safe speed, don’t intimidate or scare others. Watch for dogs and leashes.

Tips for prEVENTiNG iNjury or dEaTh.

For more information... Bicycles are vehicles on Bicycle Advocacy of Arkansas the road, just like cars and League of American Bicyclists motorcycles. Cyclist should Share the Road obey all traffic laws. Arkansas For Cyclists Tips forVehicle SAFE cycling on the road. Uniform Code #27-49-111

• Bicycles are vehicles on the road, just like cars and motorcycles. Cyclists must Cyclists should signal, rideobey on all traffic laws. Arkansas Uniform Vehicle Code the right side of the road, and #27-49-111 •yield traffic likeside Cycliststo must signal,normally ride on the right of the road and yield to traffic normally. any other road vehicle. Code Code #27-51-301/403 •#27-51-301/403 Bicycles must have a white headlight and a red tail light visible from 500 feet and have a bell device for pedestrians. Giveor 3warning feet of clear space when Code #27-36-220 passing (up to a $1000 fine!) • Make eye contact with motorists. Be visCodeBe#27-51-311 ible. predictable. Head up, think ahead. • On the Big Dam Bridge... go slow. Cyclist by law can not ride on Represent! •the As you pass, say “On left... thank you.” sidewalk in your some areas, • On the River Trail... use a safe speed, don’t some bikes can only handle Share the Road intimidate or scare others. Watch for dogs and leashes.roads For Cyclists smooth (no cracks, For morecycling information... Tips for SAFE on the road. potholes, trolley tracks).

Advocacyonofthe Arkansas • BicyclesBicycle are vehicles road, just like LR Ord.#32-494 cars andLeague motorcycles. Cyclists must obey of American Bicyclists traffic laws. Arkansas Uniform Vehicle Code Make eye contact with cyclists. #27-49-111 • Cyclists must signal, ride on the right side Drive predictably. of the road and yield to traffic normally. Code #27-51-301/403 prevent bikes. and a •Please Bicycles must have aghost white headlight red tail light visible from 500 feet and have a bell or warning device for pedestrians. Code #27-36-220 • Makefor information: eye more contact with motorists. Be visible. Be predictable. Head up, think ahead. Bicycle advocacy of arkansas • On the Big Dam Bridge... go slow. Represent! • As you pass, say “On your left... thank you.” • On the River Trail... use a safe speed, don’t intimidate others. Watch for dogs Leagueorofscare American Bicyclists and leashes. For more information... Bicycle Advocacy of Arkansas programs/education League of American Bicyclists

JANUARY 23, 2013




‘GEE’S BEND’: Monica Parks, Nambi E. Kelley and Shannon Lamb star in The Rep’s production.

Piecing life with history The Rep brings “Gee’s Bend” to the stage. BY CHEREE FRANCO


ee’s Bend,” which opens at the Arkansas Repertory Theater Jan. 25, follows a mother and two daughters in an insular Alabama community as they quilt, marry, fight and fight for their dreams. Commissioned by the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and written by Elyzabeth Wilder in 2006, the play takes its inspiration from the real life women of Gee’s Bend, a riverside community 60 miles south of Montgomery, made up of the descendants of slaves. The women of Gee’s Bend are known nationally for their quilt tradition, their designs geometric and African. But, as Gilbert McCauley, director of The Rep’s production of Wilder’s play says, “Gee’s Bend is not about the quilts. It’s about these women and their lives, how they were able to piece together a richness from the meagerness around them.” The story begins in 1939, when the families of Gee’s Bend became landowners, and tracks one family through the Civil Rights era and to their quilts’ first large-scale museum exhibit in 2002. Wilder’s main character, Sadie Pettway, is based on Mary Lee Bendolph, who was a key source for J.R. Moehringer’s Pulitzer Prize-winning series in the Los Angeles Times on the women of Gee’s Bend. Moehringer wrote, “Gee’s Bend is the last place on Earth still safe enough for children and dead folks to go walking after dark.” The history of Gee’s Bend was first recorded by New Deal photographer Dorothea Lange, who visited a farming project there initiated by the federal government in 1930. In 1965, after Martin Luther King Jr. visited the community, the white folks across the river in Camden, Ala., shut


JANUARY 23, 2013


down the ferry to Gee’s Bend. That ferry wasn’t restored until 2006. Gee’s Bend residents lived in near seclusion, even as the efforts of a priest guided their quilts to the shelves of major department stores. Wilder’s characters are intuitive, intimate and ultimately far-sighted. To help the cast connect with each other and their own intuition, McCauley, a theater professor at the University of Massachusetts, gives the actors an exercise. He chooses a word — “dream,” “freedom,” “song” — and asks them to present a poem, gesture, sound or visual representation of that word. “That’s how you get those personal stories, so that everybody contributes to a different way of seeing this play. It’s definitely going to be different and much richer than I saw it in my head, because everybody is putting their little scrap into it. It’s like the quilts,” he said. Gee’s Bend is also known for its music — a cappella field songs rendered in harmonious rounds. The Rep show will incorporate music from a 37-track recording made in Gee’s Bend in 1941 and 2002. “One of the challenges we’ve had is trying to figure out ways that the music doesn’t feel forced, so that there’s a meaning behind it. It’s introducing us to something, or commenting what’s going on, or there’s juxtaposition with what’s going on,” said Adewunmi Oke, the dramaturgist for the production. There will be play previews Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 23 (pay-what-youcan-night) and Jan. 24, with pre-show director talks at 6:15 p.m. There will be a cast meet and greet after the official opening performance Jan. 25. The play runs through Feb. 10, with curtain at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $25-$40.

The Skies Revolt, The Mansion Family. Maxine’s, 8 p.m., $5 adv., $7 door. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. Stiff Necked Fools. Cregeen’s Irish Pub, 8 p.m., $5. 301 Main St., NLR. 501-376-7468. Symphony of Northwest Arkansas: Masterworks II. Performing works by Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky and more. Walton Arts Center, 7:30 p.m., $5-$48. 495 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-443-5600. The Tambourine Machine. Bear’s Den Pizza, 8 p.m., free. 235 Farris Road, Conway. 501328-5556. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 9 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. www. Waka Winter Classic 2013. 18-and-older, with Stephen Neeper Band, War Chief, This Holy House, Joey Farr & Fuggins Wheat Band and Interstate Buffalo. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 8 p.m., $5. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. www.stickyz. com. Whitman, Neuraal, JMZ Dean, Sleepy, Brandon Peck, DJ Joseph Huge. Plus, Dominique Sanchez & The Discovery Dolls. Discovery Nightclub, 9 p.m. 1021 Jessie Road. 501-664-4784. www.latenightdisco. com.


The Main Thing: “The Last Night at Orabella’s.” See Jan. 25. Tommy Blaze, Roy Haber. The Loony Bin, 7:30 and 10 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555.


Little Rock West Coast Dance Club. Dance lessons. Singles welcome. Ernie Biggs, 7 p.m., $2. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-247-5240.


Argenta Farmers Market. Argenta, 7 a.m.12 p.m. Main Street, NLR. Diamond Dames Burly-Q Revue. Miss Kitty’s Saloon, 10 p.m., $10. 307 W. 7th St., Little Rock, AR 72201. 501-374-4699. Dr. Paul Fair. Fair is the last surviving member of the MacArthur Honor Guard. He’ll speak about his experiences protecting Gen. Douglas MacArthur and his family during World War II. MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, 12 p.m., free. 503 E. 9th St. 376-4602. Falun Gong meditation. Allsopp Park, 9 a.m., free. Cantrell & Cedar Hill Roads. Hillcrest Farmers Market. Pulaski Heights Baptist Church, 7 a.m.-12 p.m. 2200 Kavanaugh Blvd. Live horse racing. See Jan. 24. Made From Scratch: Seafood Simplified. Learn how to properly sear scallops, butter poach lobster, prepare shrimp ceviche, and more. Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, 10 a.m., $80. 1 Rockefeller Drive, Morrilton. 727-5435. Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms Conference. The Peabody Little Rock, 8 a.m. p.m., $170. 3 Statehouse Plaza. 404-797-0496.


D.K. Caldwell. The author will be available to sign copies of his novel, “Days of the Dragon.” Hastings, 1 p.m. 915 W. Main St,, Jacksonville. 501-982-3027.



Arkansas Symphony Orchestra: “Ancient Airs & Dances.” See Jan. 26. Break the Silence, No Commercials. Juanita’s, 7 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. Karaoke with DJ Sara. Hardrider Bar & Grill, 7 p.m., free. 6613 John Harden Drive, Cabot. 501-982-1939. Kentucky Knife Fight, The Goodtime Ramblers. 18-and-older. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 8 p.m., $5. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. Knuck Fest 2013. With Fuck the Facts, Killing Souls, Decay Awaits, Deshoveled, Rawhead, Slamphetamine. Downtown Music Hall, 7 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of. 211 W. Capitol. 501-3761819. Michael Eubanks. Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon, 7 p.m. 10901 N Rodney Parham Road. 501-227-8898. The Robinsons. Faulkner County Library, 2 p.m., free. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-327-7482. www. Successful Sunday. Featuring live music and DJs. Montego Cafe, 7 p.m. 315 Main St. 501372-1555. Sunday Jazz Brunch with Ted Ludwig and Joe Cripps. Vieux Carre, 11 a.m. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196.


“Live from the Back Room.” Spoken word event. Vino’s, 7 p.m. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. www. Live horse racing. See Jan. 24.



7th Street Peep Show. Featuring three or four bands per night. Bands sign up at 6:30 p.m. and play 35-minute sets (including setup) on a first-come, first-served basis. House band is The Sinners. Solo artists, DJs and all other performers welcome. Vino’s, 7 p.m., $1. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. Irish Traditional Music Session. Hibernia Irish Tavern, Fourth and second Monday of every month, 6 p.m. 9700 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-246-4340. KABF Jazz. The Afterthought, 8 p.m., $5. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. Reggae Nites. Featuring DJ Hy-C playing roots, reggae and dancehall. Pleazures Martini and Grill Lounge, 6 p.m., $7-$10. 1318 Main St. 501-376-7777. bargrill.


Drawing Explorations: A Close-up Study of Martin Johnson Heade. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, 1:30 p.m., $45. 600 Museum Way, Bentonville. 479-418-5700. Lynnette Watts. The CEO of Women’s Foundation of Arkansas presents “The Status of Women in Arkansas 1973: Four Decades Later.” Clinton School of Public Service, 12 p.m., free. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501-683-5239.



Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. The ASO will perform works by Rossini, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky and Vaughn Williams. The Fowler Center, 7:30 p.m., $6-$30. 201 Olympic Drive,

AFTER DARK, CONT. Jonesboro. 870.972.3471. Karaoke Night. Cornerstone Pub & Grill, 8 p.m. 314 Main St., NLR. 501-374-1782. Karaoke Tuesday. Prost, 8 p.m., free. 322 President Clinton Blvd. 501-244-9550. Karaoke with Big John Miller. Denton’s Trotline, 8 p.m. 2150 Congo Road, Benton. 501-315-1717. Lucious Spiller Band. Copeland’s Restaurant of Little Rock, 6-9 p.m. 2602 S. Shackleford Road. 501-312-1616. Miss Riss and the Artful Dodgers. Bear’s Den Pizza, 8 p.m., free. 235 Farris Road, Conway. 501328-5556. Ricky David Tripp. Rocket Twenty One, 5:30 p.m. 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-603-9208. www. Tsar Bomba, Peckerwolf. White Water Tavern, 10 p.m. 2500 W 7th St. 501-375-8400. www. Tuesday Jam Session with Carl Mouton. The Afterthought, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196.


“Latin Night.” Revolution, 7 p.m., $5 regular, $7 under 21. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-8230090.


Tales from the South. Authors tell true stories; schedule available on website. Dinner served 5-6:30 p.m., show at 7 p.m. Call for reservations. Starving Artist Cafe, 5 p.m. 411 N. Main St., NLR. 501-372-7976. Trivia Bowl. Flying Saucer, 8:30 p.m. 323 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-8032. www.beerknurd. com/stores/littlerock.


Vino’s Picture Show: “Slaughterhouse 5.” Vino’s, 7 p.m., free. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466.


Walter Dean Myers. The author and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature presents “Reading Is Not Optional.” Clinton School of Public Service, 6 p.m., free. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501-683-5239. www.clintonschool.


“Gee’s Bend.” Based on the true story of an isolated rural Alabama community and the interconnected lives of the women who live there and whose quilts are hailed as works of art. Arkansas Repertory Theatre, through Feb. 10: Wed., Thu., Sun., 7 p.m.; Fri., Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m., $25-$40. 601 Main St. 501-378-0405. “I Ought to Be In Pictures.” Neil Simon’s play about a screenwriter whose family past comes back to find him. Murry’s Dinner Playhouse, through Jan. 26, 6 p.m.; Wed., Jan. 23, 11 a.m.; Sun., Jan. 27, 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.; through Feb. 2, 6 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 3, 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.; through Feb. 9, 6 p.m., $15-$33. 6323 Col. Glenn Road. 501-562-3131. “The Metal Children.” A young-adult lit author travels to a small town whose school board has banned his book, only to find that the work has inspired chaos among the populace. The Weekend Theater, through Jan. 26, 7:30 p.m., $12-$16. 1001 W. 7th St. 501-374-3761. www. “The Three Little Pigs and Three Billy Goats Gruff.” Presented by Arkansas Arts Center’s Children’s Theatre. Arkansas Arts Center, through Feb. 10: Fri., 7 p.m.; Sat., 3 p.m.; Sun.,

2 p.m., $12. 501 E. 9th St. 501-372-4000. www. “West Side Story.” Leonard Bernstein’s version of “Romeo and Juliet.” Robinson Center Music Hall, Jan. 29-31, 7:30 p.m., $25-$63. Markham and Broadway. conv-centers/robinson.



More art listings can be found in the calendar at BOSWELL-MOUROT, 5815 Kavanaugh Blvd.: “Exodus of Dreams — Cuba to America,” works by Ernesto Capdevila, Eloy Perera, Maydelina Lezcano and Lourdes Porrata, opens with reception 6-9 p.m. Jan. 26, show through Feb. 16. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat. 664-0030. CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CENTER, 1200 President Clinton Ave.: “Arkansas Travelers,” exhibit about supporters who traveled the country to campaign for Clinton, opens Jan. 27; “In Pieces,” multimedia exhibit of Nathan Sawaya sculpture and Dean West photography, through Feb. 1; “Tokens of Friendship: Foreign Heads of State Gifts,” through Feb. 24; permanent exhibits on policies and White House life during the Clinton administration. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. $7 adults; $5 college students, seniors, retired military; $3 ages 6-17. 370-8000. GALLERY 360, 900 S. Rodney Parham: “Bunker Dogs Art Expo Opening,” paintings, drawings, comics and more by Matthew Castellano, X3MEX and Everett Gee, opens with reception 7 p.m.-midnight Jan. 25, through Feb. 23. HEARNE FINE ART, 1001 Wright Ave.: “Celebrating Cultures, Liberating Minds,” 2013 V.I.T.A.L. artist collective exhibition, work by Arkansas artists Rex Deloney, Melverue Abraham, Ariston Jacks, LeRon McAdoo, LaToya Hobbs and Michael Worsham, through Feb. 4, interactive talk and workshop with painting demonstrations, rap session, presentations, 1-3 p.m. Jan. 26. 372-6822. LAMAN LIBRARY, 2801 Orange St.: “For All the World to See,” the struggle for racial equality 1940s-1970s in photographs, television clips, artifacts, Jan. 28-March 16. 758-1720. OVOLUTION, 707 N. Main St., NLR: “Ovolution,” show by women artists Tanya Hollifield, Chelsye Garrett, Amanda Heinbockel, Hannah May, Mitchell Crisp, Morgan Hill, Bethanie Newsom Steelman, Mia Hall, Deitra Blackwell, Emily Galusha, Snow, Ally Short, Linda Hollaway, Julia Baugh, Heather Harmon Beckwith, Megan Douglas, Kelly Abernathy, Rachel Trusty, Heather Canterbury, Shannon Wallace, Diane Harper, Leslie Romine, Erin Holliday, Breanna Peterson, Christina Gordon and others, extended through Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Thirty percent of profits go to Safe Places shelter. FAYETTEVILLE FAYETTEVILLE UNDERGROUND, 101 W. Mountain St.: “Old Men Telling Lies,” talks about art by Jan Gosnell, 11 a.m. Jan. 26. 479871-2722. UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS: Lecture by Dr. Tanya Paul on Monet, 6:30 p.m. Jan. 24, Room 213, Fine Arts Building. MONTICELLO UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS: “Pursuing Disegno,” works by Randall M. Good, Jan. 24-March 3, closing reception 1-3 p.m. March 3.


The Thea Foundation, 401 Main St., North Little

Rock, is taking submissions for its 11th annual scholarship competitions for high school seniors. Competition and submission deadlines are Feb. 1 (creative writing), Feb. 2 (performing arts), Feb. 23 (performance poetry) and April 5 (filmmaking). For more information, go to the or call 379-9512. Thea is also taking applications from artists who want to set up booths for the 2nd annual Thea Arts Festival to be held April 27 in Argenta. Deadline to apply is Feb. 1; there will be an anonymous jurying process and successful applicants will be notified Feb. 28. For more information, go to


ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, MacArthur Park: 55th Annual “Delta Exhibition,” through March 10; “Museum School Faculty Exhibition: Past and Present,” through March 10. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. 372-4000. BUTLER CENTER GALLERIES, Arkansas Studies Institute, 401 President Clinton Ave.: “Clinton for Arkansas 1974-1992,” “From the Vault: Works from the Central Arkansas Library System’s Permanent Collection,” through March 23; “Arkansas League of Artists” exhibition, through Jan. 26; “Solastalgia,” work by Susan Chambers and Louise Halsey, through Jan. 26. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 320-5700. CANTRELL GALLERY, 8206 Cantrell Road: “ELEMENTAL Copper. Zinc. Clay. Wood. Bone. Stone. Oil. Watercolor,” multimedia work by Bob Crane, through March 2. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 224-1335. CHRIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 509 Scott St.: “Beating Hooves,” pen and ink drawings by Mary Shelton, through March 4. 375-2342.  CHROMA GALLERY, 5707 Kavanaugh Blvd.: Work by Robert Reep and other Arkansas artists. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat. 664-0880. GALLERY 221, 2nd and Center Sts.: “Expressions of Light,” work by Sean LeCrone, Jennifer Cox Coleman, Jennifer “Emile” Freeman and Peggy Roberson, also work by Michael Freeman, Mary Ann Stafford, Laurens Hare, Carolyn Hendrix and Amanda Wyman, through January. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri. 801-0211. GALLERY 26, 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd.: Mindy Lacefield, Jeff Waddle, Emily Wood, recent works, through March 9. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.Sat. 664-8996. GORRELL GALLERY OF FINE ART, 201 W. 4th St.: Work by established and emerging artists, including Doug Gorrell. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., noon-4 p.m. Sat. 607-2225. GREG THOMPSON FINE ART, 429 Main St., NLR: “18th Anniversary Exhibition,” through March 9. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. 664-2787. L&L BECK GALLERY, 5705 Kavanaugh Blvd.: “Landscapes,” through January. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.-Sat. 660-4006. M2GALLERY, 11525 Cantrell: “Holiday Show,” work by Dan Holland, Suzanne Koett, Charles Henry James, Dan Thornhill and Jason Gammel. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.-Sat. 225-6257. PAINT BOX GALLERY AND FRAME SHOP, 705 Main St., NLR: Paintings by Karlyn Holloway. 374-2848. STUDIOMAIN, 1423 Main St.: The Pettaway Neighborhood plan. BENTON DIANNE ROBERTS ART STUDIO AND GALLERY, 110 N. Market St.: Work by Chad

Oppenhuizen, Dan McRaven, Gretchen Hendricks, Rachel Carroccio, Kenny Roberts, Taylor Bellott, Jim Cooper and Sue Moore. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Wed.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat. 860-7467. BENTONVILLE CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART, 600 Museum Way: “Abstractions on Paper: From Abstract Expressionism to Post Minimalism,” through April 29, works from the collection of the Arkansas Arts Center by Lee Krasner, Helen Frankenthaler, Ellsworth Kelly and others; “See the Light: The Luminist Tradition in American Art,” light in art from the 19th century through today, through Jan. 26, “Moshe Safdie: The Path to Crystal Bridges,” through Jan. 28; permanent collection of American masterworks spanning four centuries. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon., Thu., Sat.-Sun.; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Wed.-Fri. 479-418-5700. CALICO ROCK CALICO ROCK ARTISTS COOPERATIVE, Hwy. 5 at White River Bridge: Paintings, photographs, jewelry, fiber art, wood, ceramics and other crafts. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tue.-Thu., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Fri.-Sat., noon-4 p.m. Sun. CONWAY UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS: “Swishbone: New Paintings by Julie Evans,” “Under the Influence: New Ceramic Work by Curt LaCross,” “Alternating Currents: A Mixed Media Art Installation by Mario Marzan,” “Before and After: An Exploration of the Art Conservation Process,” Baum Gallery, through Feb. 24. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Wed., Fri.; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Thu., 1-5 p.m. Sat. 501-450-5793. EL DORADO SOUTH ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, 110 E. 5th St.: 2013 “Small Works on Paper,” 37 works in juried Arkansas Arts Council touring show, through Jan. 29. 9 a.m.5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. 870-862-5474. FAYETTEVILLE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS, Fine Arts Center Gallery: “Employing Voice, Embracing Agency: Contemporary African American Artists,” works from the collection of Darrell Walker by Radcliffe Bailey, Chakaia Booker, Michael Ray Charles, Willie Cole, Wardell Milan, Demetrius Oliver, Xaviera Simmons, Hank Willis Thomas, Mickalene Thomas and Kara Walker, through Feb. 28, reception and talk by Charles 5 p.m. Feb. 18; “Amos Kennedy Prints!” letterpress broadsides, exhibition cases, through Feb. 28; “SOLO Show,” plastic dinnerware reconfigured by Kelly Brenner Justice, Anne Kittrell Art Gallery, through January, Fine Arts Center gallery. 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 2-5 p.m. Sun. 479575-7987. WALTON ARTS CENTER, 495 W. Dickson St.: “Tectonics,” sculpture by Scott Carroll, through April 14. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri., noon-4 p.m. Sat. 479-443-5600. FORT SMITH FORT SMITH REGIONAL ART MUSEUM: “The Secrets of the Mona Lisa.” 479-784-2787. HARRISON ARTISTS OF THE OZARKS, 124 ½ N. Willow St.: Work by Amelia Renkel, Ann Graffy, Christy Dillard, Helen McAllister, Sandy Williams and D. Savannah George. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thu.-Sat., noon-4 p.m. Sun. 870-429-1683. CONTINUED ON PAGE 32

JANUARY 23, 2013



JAN. 25-26

SERIOUSLY?: They green-lighted “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters,” starring Jeremy Renner, over “Oliver Cromwell: Leprechaun Decimator” and “Paul Bunyan: Chupacabra Wrangler”? The one with Abe Lincoln and the vampires was bad enough, but jeez... Market Street Cinema times at or after 9 p.m. are for Friday and Saturday only. Breckenridge, Lakewood 8, Riverdale and McCain Mall showtimes were not available by press deadline. Find up-to-date listings at

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JANUARY 23, 2013


NEW MOVIES Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (R) — They’re just running out of ideas, aren’t they? Starring Jeremy Renner. Chenal 9: 11:00 a.m., 1:30, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00 (IMAX 3D). Rave: 11:30 a.m., 2:45p 5:15p 7:45p 10:15 (2D), 2:00, 4:30, 7:00, 9:30 (3D), 10:30 a.m., 1:00, 3:30, 5:55, 8:30, 11:00 (3D XTreme). Movie 43 (R) — Probably not as good as “Movie 42,” but most likely better than “Movie 44” will be. Chenal 9:11:15 a.m., 1:40, 4:15, 7:15, 10:20. Rave: 11:35 a.m., 2:10, 4:45, 7:15, 9:55. Parker (R) — You’d think movie bad guys would learn to never mess with Jason Stratham, but they just keep messing with him. Rave: 10:35 a.m., 1:30, 4:25, 7:30, 10:30. Race 2 (NR) — Bollywood action flick about the Indian mafia in Turkey. Rave: 11:25 a.m., 2:55, 6:35, 10:10. RETURNING THIS WEEK Alex Cross (PG-13) — Pretty much “Tyler Perry’s ‘Death Wish’ meets ‘Seven.’ ” Movies 10: 2:35, 7:45. Argo (R) — A group of Americans in revolutionary Iran make an improbable escape, based on actual events, from director Ben Affleck. Movies 10: 12:30, 1:50, 3:10, 4:30, 5:50, 7:10, 8:30, 9:50. Broken City (R) — Marky Mark is an ex-cop PI hired by Gladiator to see if his wife is cheating on him. Chenal 9: 11:05 a.m., 1:45, 4:25, 7:05, 10:05. Rave: 12:40, 3:35, 7:35, 10:25. Django Unchained (R) — Another revenge flick from Quentin Tarantino, with Jamie Foxx and the guy from “Titanic.” Rave: 11:15 a.m., 3:10, 7:05, 10:45. Flight (R) — Denzel Washington is a pilot with a substance abuse problem, from director Robert Zemeckis. Movies 10: 12:10, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00. Frankenweenie (PG) — A young boy resurrects his departed pooch in Tim Burton’s latest gothlite animated feature. Movies 10: 12:15, 2:40, 4:45, 7:20, 9:30. Gangster Squad (R) — Hardboiled gangster drama set in 1940s Los Angeles, with Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Emma Stone and Ryan

Gosling. Chenal 9: 11:10 a.m., 1:50, 4:30, 7:10, 10:10. Rave: 12:20, 3:15, 7:15, 10:05. A Haunted House (R) — All your favorite midto late-2012 pop-culture references, all conveniently stapled onto a single parody of the “Paranormal Activity” flicks. Rave: 11:00 a.m., 1:45, 4:20, 7:20, 9:45. Here Comes the Boom (PG) — “The Zookeeper” star Kevin James is a teacher in this one. Movies 10: 12:25, 2:50, 5:15, 7:40, 10:10. Hitchcock (PG-13) — Starring Sir Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock, Dame Helen Mirren as the director’s wife and Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh. Market Street: 2:00, 4:30, 7:00, 9:15. The Hobbit (PG-13) — Slate’s headline: “Bored of the Rings – The Hobbit looks like Teletubbies and is way too long.” Ooh … burn. Whatever, it’ll probably gross bajillions. Rave: 3:20, 10:20. Hotel Transylvania 3D (PG) — Animated kids movie in which Dracula is an overprotective father who hosts a big monster mash, starring the voice of Adam Sandler, of course. Movies 10: noon, 2:15, 4:25, 6:35, 8:45 (2D), 1:05, 3:15, 5:25, 7:35, 9:45 (3D). Hyde Park on Hudson (R) — In which Bill Murray is FDR. Market Street: 2:00, 4:20, 7:00, 9:15. The Impossible (PG-13) — Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts star in this tale of a family that survives the 2004 Asian tsunami. Market Street: 2:15, 4:30, 7:15, 9:00. Rave: 12:15, 7:10. Jack Reacher (PG-13) — Cliche-a-thon action thriller starring Tom Cruise and, for some reason, Werner Herzog. Rave: 10:40 a.m. The Last Stand (R) — The Governator returns to the silver screen to blow up bad guys with Johnny Knoxville and Luis Guzman. Chenal 9: 11:25 a.m., 2:00, 4:35, 7:25, 10:30. Rave: 11:10 a.m., 2:20, 5:10, 8:00, 10:55. Les Miserables (PG-13) — Latest version of Victor Hugo’s classic, starring Anne Hathaway, Gladiator, Wolverine and Borat. Chenal 9: 11:30 a.m., 3:00, 6:30, 10:00. Rave: 10:30 a.m., 2:05, 5:35, 9:10. Life of Pi (PG) — Based on the smash-hit book of the same name, from director Ang Lee. Market Street: 1:45, 4:15, 6:45, 9:15. Rave: 11:20 a.m. (3D). Lincoln (PG-13) — Steven Spielberg’s biopic about Abraham Lincoln, with Daniel Day Lewis and Sally Field. Rave: 11:40 a.m., 3:05, 6:30, 10:20.

Mama (PG-13) — From “Pan’s Labyrinth” helmer, rising star Jessica Chastain confronts a bunch of terrifying something or other. Chenal 9: 11:20 a.m., 1:55, 4:20, 7:20, 10:25. Rave: 11:35 a.m., 2:15, 4:00, 5:05, 6:45, 7:50, 9:35, 10:35. Pitch Perfect (PG-13) — Competitive groups of singers have singing competitions and so forth. Movies 10: 12:05, 5:05, 10:05. Promised Land (R) — “Hi, Gus Van Sant and Matt Damon here, reminding you that fracking is bad, as if the people who’ll go see this needed to be reminded of that fact.” Market Street: 2:15, 7:15. Red Dawn (PG-13) — Not so much a “remake” as an act of cinematic necrophilia — and an unnecessary one at that. Movies 10: 12:35, 2:45, 4:55, 7:05, 9:35. Rust & Bone (R) — Marion Cotillard is a recently disabled whale trainer who must find the will to live. Market Street: 4:15, 9:00. Silver Linings Playbook (R) — Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star as two dysfunctional yet charming weirdoes who are just trying to make their way in this crazy world, OK? Jeez! Chenal 9: 11:15 a.m., 2:00, 4:45, 7:30, 10:15. Rave: 11:50 a.m., 3:50, 6:55, 10:00. Taken 2 (PG-13) — Sequel to the kidnappingbased action film, with Liam Neeson. Movies 10: 12:20, 2:55, 5:20, 7:30, 9:40. Zero Dark Thirty (R) — This is a Major Serious Film that raises Big Important Questions about the implications of … eh, whatever. Let’s just give this the Best Picture Oscar now and call it a day. Chenal 9: 11:00 a.m., 2:30, 6:00, 9:30. Rave: 11:45 a.m., 3:20, 7:05, 10:40. Chenal 9 IMAX Theatre: 17825 Chenal Parkway, 821-2616, Cinemark Movies 10: 4188 E. McCain Blvd., 945-7400, Cinematown Riverdale 10: Riverdale Shopping Center, 296-9955, Lakewood 8: 2939 Lakewood Village Drive, 7585354, Market Street Cinema: 1521 Merrill Drive, 312-8900, Rave Colonel Glenn 18: 18 Colonel Glenn Plaza, 687-0499, Regal Breckenridge Village 12: 1-430 and Rodney Parham, 224-0990, Regal McCain Mall 12: 3929 McCain Blvd., 7531380,


e r u t a Mkansas ar 013 ARY, 2 JANU

‘BROKEN CITY’: Mark Wahlberg stars.

Joe schmo Mark Wahlberg doesn’t bring anything to the bland ‘Broken City.’ BY SAM EIFLING


he time has come to admit that for as much fun as he sometimes is to watch, Mark Wahlberg is an actor in name only. It doesn’t matter which Mark Wahlberg character he’s playing, really. They’re all variations on the same blue-collar Joe who can take a punch on the way to getting to the bottom of things and will always stick up for his family while he’s at it. Andy Samberg’s “Say hi to your mother for me” impression of Wahlberg stuck because Wahlberg carries that strangely reassuring air about him, as if he’s just a nice young man from the neighborhood who might just swing a bat against a guy’s spine if he’s backed into a corner. But he is always, always Mark Wahlberg. In “Broken City,” the new perfunctory political crime thriller, Wahlberg stars as an ex-cop private eye who gets caught up in some shady business with New York’s ruthless mayor, played by Russell Crowe. The mayor has some dirt on the dick, and then hires the dick to get some dirt on his wife, the ornate Catherine Zeta-Jones. The mayor thinks she’s cuckolding him and hires Wahlberg the week before the mayoral election to find her paramour, mumbling something about how imperative it is that the opposing camp not leak the affair. Also, the city’s just getting into a big real estate deal that stinks, and the mayor plays racquetball with some rich dudes who expect him to win the election. Wahlberg, per usual, has got to get to the bottom of things, and quickly, using all of his wits and both of his facial expressions. The dots here are not particularly hard to connect, but in the interest of not actually spoiling what comes

next, let’s just say there’s an excellent movie to be made about the connection between Wall Street financiers, politically connected developers, a billionaire mayor and New York real estate deals that throw poor people out on their asses. Unfortunately “Broken City” is not that movie. That’s not to say it’s a total wash. It presents a strong undercurrent of pervasive casual corruption without pretending it’s pulling the scales from our eyes. Crowe’s imperialistic mayor doesn’t even find it terribly interesting to be able to buy, direct and squash people. In the final act, when a car runs Wahlberg’s detective off the road, he asks a cop how long it’ll take to pull the footage from a public security camera that captured the wreck. The cop tells him that depends on whether he’s got a powerful uncle he can call. “Broken City” falters by building in only one real plot twist (a non-stunning one at that) and by putting an oddly bland P.I. at the center of the action. Wahlberg evinces street smarts but little in the way of the dark charm or ingenuity that has made immortals of other movie detectives over the years. Director Allen Hughes (of The Hughes Brothers fame) handed Wahlberg a character with layers but no depth, and adding depth is simply not Wahlberg’s expertise. He winds up guilty of the two great sins a movie character can commit: With a few exceptions, he neither does anything nor says anything particularly entertaining. He plays a great regular Joe. But there’s a reason we go see movies, and it ain’t generally to watch the fellow from down the block.

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Mature arkansas CELEBRATES your achievements and inspirational stories ADVOCATES for you and your concerns—social, financial, political ENTERTAINS by featuring the best in events, dining, culture, volunteering, so you can live life to the fullest EDUCATES with health and consumer news to stay healthy, independent, and ready to embrace new beginnings and opportunities

Central Arkansas monthly distribution — Find us in Pulaski, Saline, Garland, Lonoke and Faulkner counties. If you are interested in learning more about Mature Arkansas or how you could reach Arkansas’s active retirees, please contact Katherine Daniels at or call 501-375-2985.

JANUARY 23, 2013





‘THE ARTIST AS TEACHER’: Rex Deloney’s painting in the 55th annual Delta Exhibition.

Same artists, different juror Plus some great new Delta entries. BY LESLIE NEWELL PEACOCK


he gentleman who guards the galleries at the Arkansas Arts Center gets to see a lot of art, and so he knows whereof he speaks when he notes that there are lots of familiar names in the Delta Exhibition this year: The Grand Award winner, for example, is Mark Lewis, who in 2012 won the Contemporaries Delta Award. Both of the Oklahoma City artist’s winners are graphite and paper collages titled “Peoria Avenue” (No. 5 in 2012, No. 7 in 2013). The other award winners, however, are new to the Delta, my (digital) records tell me, and welcome additions

they are. Arkansas artists Neal Harrington of Russellville and Rex Deloney of Little Rock are represented by super work: Harrington won a Delta Award for his “Snake Shaker’s Shack” woodcut of snake handlers dancing around a woodstove, hooch in the back pocket of the man and R Crumb lurking (virtually) in the shadows; Deloney won an honorable mention for his commanding “Self Portrait/The Artist as Teacher,” painted in a palette of rich blues, reds and purples. William Killebrew of Nashville won the other Delta Award for his Fairfield Porter-under-water

“Sun Porch,” and Brandice Guerra of Skokie, Ill., won an honorable mention for “Neonate,” a small oil on panel rendered in exquisitely fine strokes of a male and female bluebird standing guard over a tiny human infant. Guerra’s second entry, of a two-headed cow and a tornado in the distance, is also superbly wrought. The guard, Bob Thornton, also commented that while some artists have been chosen repeatedly, it’s been by different jurors every time, which says something about the appeal of their work. It’s not a Delta without paintings by Dennis McCann; his son, Jason McCann, has also racked up a number of Delta appearances (five if I’m counting right). Work by photographers Kat Wilson and Steven Jones, painters Liz Noble and Joey Borovicka and sculptor Niles Wallace may also be familiar to Delta faithfuls. About Wallace: The Memphis artist won an honorable mention in 2005 and should have gotten some kind of mention this year for “New Normal,” his long black table groaning under the weight of what appear to be dozens of cut glass bowls and wine glasses and vases but which in fact are plastic reproductions. The plastic pieces, some misshapen, catch the light and bounce it in all directions. (A commenter on “Eye Candy” on the Arkansas Times website complained about the lack of sculpture in the exhibit. It could be that few sculptors were among the 800 entries juror Monica Bowman viewed before she selected the 45 works from 34 artists for the show, though that’s unlikely. At any rate, besides Wallace’s piece, there are a couple of nice small works on pedestals by Marianne Munro of Hot Springs, one a composition in found metal and the other three-dimensional rectangular wood, and an installation by Louis Watts.) While we’re on Delta works that

should have won something, Steven Jones’ “Red, White and Blue” is an absorbing photograph of three children on the State Fair midway: an indifferent boy with two girls, one with a teen-aged come-hither look and the other with a practicing-come-hither look. Behind them, the lights of the Himalayan ride sparkle red against a black sky; the boy, who is black, carries a blue balloon. Very American, indeed. Add Catherine Rodgers’ “My Summer Vacation,” a large painting in various shades of gray of misty bathers in lake backed by textured mountains, to the list as well. Her painting has got a 19th century impressionist spin. I was kind of fascinated by Springfield, Mo., artist Borovicka’s “The Scientist,” a weird scene of a shed/laboratory stocked with wood and batteries and a figure draped in a sheet with hairy hands and hooves, and much impressed by Herbert Reith’s 120-inch by 140inch stitched and painted fabric piece, “Marsyas and Appollo.” Something should also be said about Tad Laurentzen Wright’s wall of scribbles and paintings, “Smile Heavy Sessions,” comical paintings of smiling creatures placed on a wall covered in pages of sketches. Though who am I to criticize? I have to say two things. One, why use two canvases when one will do? Liz Noble’s separated her figure’s fantastically painted head from its body on a second canvas. Why? Also: Why draw a line around your paintings when the edge of the canvas itself creates the border? This is a Southernism that Jason McCann has used in both his paintings in the Delta, “Waterpark No. 1” and “Red Escape.” Dare to go to the edge! There’s a lot to see in this 55th annual Delta. It runs through March 10 in the Winthrop Rockefeller Gallery. The exhibition is supported by the Andre Simon Memorial Trust in memory of all who have died of AIDS.

AFTER DARK, CONT. HEBER SPRINGS BOTTLE TREE GALLERY, 514 W. Main St.: Work by Maeve Croghan, Jonathan Harris, George Wittenberg. 501-590-8840.

Thomas Petillo, Chuck Dodson and Marcus Menefee, and paintings by Warren Criswell, John Robinette, Darrell Loy Scott, Daniel Mark Cassity, James Wu and others. 501-624-0516.

HOT SPRINGS GALLERY CENTRAL, 800 Central Ave.: Paintings by Charles Harrington, featured artist; also paintings by Jacqueline Ellens, Janis Wylie and Jennifer Wilson. 501-318-4278. JUSTUS FINE ART, 827 Central A: New work by Rebecca Thompson and Dolores Justus, along with jewelry and Christmas ornaments by Kari Albright and Jay Justus. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.Fri. 501-321-2335. TAYLOR’S CONTEMPORANEA, 204 Exchange St.: Mixed media etchings by Kelly Moran, featured artist; also ceramics by Polly Cook, Nat Mitchell and John Wolfe; photographs by

JONESBORO ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY: 18th annual “Delta National Small Prints,” national juried exhibition, Bradbury Gallery, through Feb. 20. Noon-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat., 2-5 p.m. Sun. 870-9722567.


JANUARY 23, 2013


PERRYVILLE SUDS GALLERY, Courthouse Square: Paintings by Dottie Morrissey, Alma Gipson, Al Garrett Jr., Phyllis Loftin, Alene Otts, Mauretta Frantz, Raylene Finkbeiner, Kathy Williams and Evelyn Garrett. Noon-6 p.m. Wed.-Fri, noon-4 p.m. Sat. 501-766-7584.

RUSSELLVILLE RIVER VALLEY ARTS CENTER, 1001 E. B St.: Hollis Shadden, photography. 479-968-2452 NEW YORK SACRED GALLERY, 424 Broadway: “Moving Forward; Looking Back,” drawings, collages and crafts created on Death Row by Damien Echols, through Jan. 31. A portion of sales will be donated to Dharma Friends Prison Outreach Project. Noon-8 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 212-226-4286.


ARKANSAS INLAND MARITIME MUSEUM, NLR: Tours of the USS Razorback submarine. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wed.-Sat., 1-6 p.m. Sun. 371-8320. ARKANSAS SPORTS HALL OF FAME MUSEUM, Verizon Arena, NLR: 10 a.m.-4:30

p.m. Mon.-Sat. 663-4328. CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL MUSEUM VISITOR CENTER, Bates and Park: Exhibits on the 1957 desegregation of Central and the civil rights movement. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily. 374-1957. HISTORIC ARKANSAS MUSEUM, 200 E. Third St.: “Perfect Balance,” paintings by Marty Smith; “Beyond the Expected: Norwood Creech, Paulette Palmer and Edward Wade Jr.,” through Feb. 3; “A Collective Vision,” recent acquisitions, through March. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 324-9351. MacARTHUR MUSEUM OF ARKANSAS MILITARY HISTORY, MacArthur Park: “Korea: The Forgotten War” and permanent exhibits. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat., 1-4 p.m. Sun. 376-4602. MUSEUM OF DISCOVERY, 500 President Clinton Ave.: “Grossology: The Impolite

AFTER DARK, CONT. Science of the Human Body,” through May 26; “GPS Adventures,” ages 6 to adult, through April 1; “Wiggle Worms,” science program for pre-K children 10 a.m.-10:30 a.m. every Tue., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun., $10 ages 13 and older, $8 ages 1-12, free to members and children under 1. 396-7050. OLD STATE HOUSE MUSEUM, 300 W. Markham: “Battle Colors of Arkansas,” 18 Civil War flags; “Things You Need to Hear: Memories of Growing up in Arkansas from 1890 to 1980,” oral histories about community, family, work, school and leisure. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 324-9685. THEA CENTER, 401 Main, NLR: John Sykes, photography, through Jan. 25. 9 a.m.-noon, 1-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 1-5 p.m. Sat. 379-9512. UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS AT LITTLE ROCK: “Collecting Prints,” works from the permanent collection, through March 11, Gallery I; “Surface Space (Sundial Face),” paintings by Artist- in- Residence Taimur Cleary, through Feb. 8, Gallery II; “Scholarship Exhibition,” through Feb. 7. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sat., 2-5 p.m. Sun. 569-8977. WITT STEPHENS JR. CENTRAL ARKANSAS NATURE CENTER, Riverfront Park: Exhibits on wildlife and the state Game and Fish Commission. CALICO ROCK CALICO ROCK MUSEUM, Main Street: Displays on Native American cultures, steamboats, the railroad, and local history. ENGLAND TOLTEC MOUNDS STATE PARK, State Hwy. 165: Major prehistoric Indian site with visitors’ center and museum. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat.,

noon-5 p.m. Sun., closed Mon. $3 for adults, $2 for ages 6-12. 961-9442. JACKSONVILLE JACKSONVILLE MUSEUM OF MILITARY HISTORY, 100 Veterans Circle: Exhibits on D-Day; F-105, Vietnam era plane (“The Thud”); the Civil War Battle of Reed’s Bridge, Arkansas Ordnance Plant (AOP) and other military history. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. $3 adults; $2 seniors, military; $1 students. 501-241-1943. MORRILTON MUSEUM OF AUTOMOBILES, Petit Jean Mountain: Permanent exhibit of more than 50 cars from 1904-1967 depicting the evolution of the automobile. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 7 days. 501-727-5427. POTTSVILLE POTTS INN, 25 E. Ash St.: Preserved 1850s stagecoach station on the Butterfield Overland Mail Route, with period furnishings, log structures, hat museum, doll museum, doctor’s office, antique farm equipment. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wed.-Sat. $5 adults, $2 students, 5 and under free. 479-968-9369. SCOTT PLANTATION AGRICULTURE MUSEUM, U.S. 165 S and Hwy. 161: Artifacts and interactive exhibits on farming in the Arkansas Delta. $3 adults, $2 ages 6-12. Open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 501-961-1409. SCOTT PLANTATION SETTLEMENT: 1840s log cabin, one-room school house, tenant houses, smokehouse and artifacts on plantation life. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Thu.-Sat. 351-0300.





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The only app you need after 5 o’clock. The new Cocktail Compass is faster, easier, and knows exactly what you want: the nearest Happy Hour, and fast. COLLIN VS. ADAM Collin Vs. Adam started as a selfdescribed two-dude band, made up of Collin Buchanan and Adam Hogg. Last spring and summer, they added Mike Motley and Mason Mauldin, both of Sugar and the Raw, Big Boots and other Little Rock bands. They opted to keep the name the same as, opposed to the slightly unwieldy Collin Vs. Adam Vs. Mike Vs. Mason. The band’s new members helped expand their sonic palette, but subdued synthesizer-infused pop remains the focus. The group’s full-length album “Centuries” offers icy sonic textures and heavily delayed guitars aplenty. The new track “Aurelia” is a haunting piece of instrumental synth pop that starts off with a pinging drum machine, delicate guitar line and lush synthesizer, slowly unfolding over the course of three minutes, 15 seconds.

DAMN ARKANSAN Fayetteville’s Damn Arkansan is a relatively young band, but to listen to their full-length debut, you’d think they’d been playing together for much longer. It’s clear that Will Eubanks, Chris Fletcher, Caleb Rose and Drew Walls have listened carefully and often to the Great Americana/Roots Rock/Folk Catalog. They’ve absorbed the work of The Band, The Dead, Bob ’n’ Neil, “Sweetheart of the Rodeo”-era Byrds and more recent acts like Wilco and Old 97s. Check out the track “Hard to Sleep,” which boasts some deft fingerpicking, swell pedal steel, stacked harmonies, with a propulsive rhythm and charmingly unaffected vocals. Long about the middle of the song, the tempo picks up and the harmonica joins in, recalling prime midto late-’60s Dylan.


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JANUARY 23, 2013


Dining SMALL TOWN ARKANSAS loves its local joints, and one we’re eager to get to is The Tamale Factory in the tiny hamlet of Gregory, a few miles east of Searcy. We’ve heard really good things about their steaks and tamales since they opened in early November, and owner George Eldridge said they’re swarmed on Friday and Saturday nights to the point where they’re now requiring reservations of groups of six or more. The restaurant, which has a private club permit for drinks, is situated in a barn on Eldridge’s farm, and gets its name because that’s where he makes the tamales served in the Little Rock outlet of Doe’s Eat Place, which Eldridge owns. The menu — as seen on their Facebook page — looks fairly bare-bones, almost identical to the menu at Doe’s. Tamales are a big seller at The Tamale Factory, of course, with three and a side of chili going for $4.25, but you’ll also find massive steaks, cheeseburgers, catfish, fried shrimp, boiled shrimp and a baked salmon platter. Eldridge said the place has been packed every night they’ve been opened, so if you’re planning on making a road trip, you might want to call ahead. The restaurant is located at 19751 Highway 33 South in Gregory. The phone number is 870-347-1350. Hours are 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.



ALL AMERICAN WINGS A small chain of wing shops that feature 13 flavors of wings, from hot to not. 801 W. Markham. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-375-0000. LD Mon.-Fri., D Sat. 7706 Cantrell Road. No alcohol, All CC. $. 501-223-3355. Serving LD Mon.-Fri., D Sat. ARGENTA MARKET A deli featuring a daily selection of big sandwiches along with fresh fish and meats and salads. 521 N. Main St. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-379-9980. L daily, D Mon.-Sat., B Sat., BR Sun. ASHLEY’S Marries Southern traditionalism and haute cuisine. The menu is often daring and always delicious. 111 W. Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-3747474. BLD Mon.-Sat. BR Sun. BEV & GUY’S FISH & CHICKEN This restaurant specializes in fried catfish fillets and chicken and all the trimmings. 3319 John Barrow Road. No alcohol, No CC. $. 501-224-2981. L Fri.-Sat. D Thu., Sat., Sun. BRAVE NEW RESTAURANT The food’s great, portions huge, prices reasonable.


JANUARY 23, 2013




SLINGIN’ SAUSAGE: The grill at Mr. Dunderbak’s.

Auferstehung! Thanks to an effort on Facebook, Mr. Dunderbak’s in McCain Mall gets a second bite at the bratwurst.


eturn with us, ye mortals, to a time called the early 1970s. A simpler time! No cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet. Just lots of dudes with questionable facial hair, cars that looked like Cleopatra’s pleasure barge, iffy fashion choices for both sexes and the stench of Old English cologne. Which brings us to Mr. Dunderkbak‘s in McCain Mall, a new/old place resurrected by a modern wave of retro-nostalgia. Opened in 1973 as a franchise of a widelyscattered chain (an online search found one still-surviving example in Florida), Mr. Dunderbak’s was one of the quirks that made McCain Mall so interesting in the days of yore: a joint straight out of the mall in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” purveyor of bratwurst, sauerkraut and cheese-slathered pretzels. This reviewer walked by the place a thousand times in our college days, but — not yet a fan of kraut and substantial Teutonic sausages — we didn’t manage to eat there during the first incarnation. Sold by the original owners in the early 1990s, Mr. Dunderbak’s held on until 2000, when it closed. For most restaurants, that would be the end of the menu. We’re here in the future now, though, and strange things can hap-

Mr. Dunderbak‘s

McCain Mall, lower level 753-1109

QUICK BITE Even if you‘re not in the mood to get your sausage or pretzel on while prowling the stores in the mall, Mr. Dunderbak‘s has a very nice coffee bar featuring pastries from Silvek‘s Bakery. HOURS 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. OTHER INFO All major CC, beer and wine.

pen, especially where social networking is involved. Along with using its powers to overthrow totalitarian regimes and put the very public smackdown on elected bigots who get out of line, Facebook has been a great tool for helping make culinary dreams a reality (we reported last year, for instance, on a Little Rock foodie’s successful Facebook effort to get Taco Bell to make a Dorito-shell taco). So it was that a while back, somebody put up a Facebook page called: “Mr. Dunderbak’s in McCain Mall – Bring it Back!!!!” At this writing, the page has more than 1,700 fans. The retired for-

mer owner of Mr. Dunderbak’s heard the call, and soon signed a lease on a space on the lower level of McCain. While we’re still waiting on our flying car, we’ll take the ability to resurrect beloved restaurants from the dead as a consolation prize. While the reborn Mr. Dunderbak’s gets a Memory Lane bump from lots of Central Arkansas diners who remember good times at the old place, even for someone who doesn’t recall the original, it’s a whole lot of fun, and definitely preferable to the chain joints that line the rest of the McCain food court. The owners have recreated the cozy vibe of an old-line watering hole completely, with exposed (fake) beams, big booths, a lounge area, and a deli counter full of meats and cheeses. Though you can sit outside in the mall, the better choice is to sit inside. While we were there, the stereo system was playing one disco hit after another, heavy on the Bee Gees and Elton John, so — other than the buzzing pocket computer in our jacket — we were easily able to transport ourselves back to the era of gas rationing and Billy Beer. Decor aside, a place is only as good as its food, and what we had at Mr. Dunderbak’s turned out to be pretty good. While the deli (where you can buy a beer, though not a Billy Beer) and coffee bar is a little deeper in the restaurant, the grill is at the front, and they have a nice slate of sausage offerings. We tried the smoked bratwurst with kraut ($4.95). Knowing that Mr. Dunderbak’s has a sizeable slate of vegetarian offerings, we also brought along our veggies-only Companion. She tried the veggie Polish sausage and the veggie club. While we haven’t always been a fan of the al dente texture of bratwurst, two years in Iowa cured this reviewer of his apprehension, and now we really enjoy a good brat. The one we got from Mr. Dunderbak’s was great: flavorful, smoky and juicy. Paired up with a little warm kraut, a soft hoagie roll and a squirt of spicy mustard, it really hit the spot. The bun was cold, however, something that could be remedied easily by asking the cook to toss it on the grill for awhile. As for the veggie offerings, we’ll let our herbivorous pal take this one: First impression of the Polish veggie sandwich is: there’s bread, lots of it. And nothing about that bread particularly stands out. Once you tunnel through all that spongy white stuff, you reach the tofu “sausage.” It’s a little sweet and a lot doughy. This quality, coupled with the sauerkraut, makes the whole thing come across as a

Information in our restaurant capsules reflects the opinions of the newspaper staff and its reviewers. The newspaper accepts no advertising or other considerations in exchange for reviews, which are conducted anonymously. We invite the opinions of readers who think we are in error.

great big hunk of slightly undercooked sourdough bread (doused with mustard, if you choose). But it’s at least twice as good as those pre-packaged veggie dogs you buy at Whole Foods, and if you’re veg, you’re probably used to the doughy sausage thing. So yeah, this one’s a go. The veggie club, which we had on pumpernickel (and which you could have on rye or cheese-free ciabatta), is three inches of fakin’ (fake bacon, for the uninitiated), tofurkey and veggie roast beef, topped with a square, plastic-y slice of vegan cheese and a slice of tomato. It was salty, the type of salty that induces instant hypertensive shock. This is a common shortcoming of fake meat products, which is why we usually avoid them. There’s no lettuce to temper the sodium overdose, either. But while we expected the former, we were only disappointed by the latter. (Word to the wise: We didn’t see much of anything green among Mr. Dunderbak’s offerings. If you’re cravin’ true veggies, this ain’t the place.) The tofurkey has a mild flavor and a believable texture. Okay, well, the texture isn’t anything like true deli turkey, but it’s almost exactly like the dense, processed grocery store deli turkey that comes in plastic tubs with clear windows. Frankly, we are grateful to Mr. Dunderbak’s for even trying, because there is no other veg offering vaguely resembling a deli club sandwich in all the land (by which we mean, the land of metro-Little Rock). There was a bit of smokiness behind the saltiness, and actually, we did enjoy the sandwich. Since meat substitutes are, by definition, one type of something that is processed to resemble another type of something, we can hardly blame the thing for tasting a bit over-manipulated. On the way out, we bought one of Mr. Dunderbak’s storied pretzels: a firm, sweet, doughy little twist, encrusted with salt and baked to a perfect brown. Not much to be said on that regard, other than the fact that the one we had was very tasty, and folks on the Bring Back Dunderbak‘s Facebook page rave over them, especially when slathered with sausage and cheese. Ah, what a time we live in, kids. This reviewer, like almost everyone else in the world, has restaurants we wish we could jump-start and bring back from the dishwater of history, even places we never ate a bite at (Jacques and Suzanne, anyone?). Good to know that in this strange modern world, that’s an option.


B Breakfast L Lunch D Dinner $ Inexpensive (under $8/person) $$ Moderate ($8-$20/person) $$$ Expensive (over $20/person) CC Accepts credit cards

It’s great fun, and the fish is special. 2300 Cottondale Lane. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-2677. LD Mon.-Fri. D Sat. CAFE@HEIFER Serving fresh pastries, omelets, soups, salads, sandwiches and pizzas. Located inside Heifer Village. 1 World Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $. 501-907-8801. BL Mon.-Fri. CAPITOL BISTRO Serving breakfast and lunch items, including quiche, sandwiches, coffees and the like. 1401 W. Capitol Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-371-9575. BL Mon.-Fri. CIAO BACI The focus is on fine dining in this casually elegant Hillcrest bungalow, though excellent tapas are out of this world. 605 N. Beechwood St. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-6030238. D Mon.-Sat.

Check out the Times’ food blog, Eat Arkansas

DEMPSEY BAKERY Bakery with sit down area, serving coffee and specializing in gluten-, nutand soy-free baked goods. 323 Cross St. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-375-2257. Serving BL Tue.-Sat. EJ’S EATS AND DRINKS The friendly neighborhood hoagie shop downtown serves generous sandwiches, homemade soup and salads. 523 Center St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-666-3700. LD Mon.-Fri. FIVE GUYS BURGERS & FRIES Nationwide burger chain with emphasis on freshly made fries and patties. 13000 Chenal Parkway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-225-1100. LD daily.; 2923 Lakewood Village Dr. NLR. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-246-5295. LD daily.


Angel needs A Forever Home!

We are currently looking for a foster home for her also. angel is a sweet and affectionate dog who comes to care from the conway animal shelter. she is very playful, intelligent and well mannered. angel participated in the Paws in Prison program, where she received obedience training. angel would do best in a home without other dogs or small children. she is 3 years old, and weighs 60 pounds. angel is spayed, micro chipped, and vaccinated. her adoption fee is $250.

GRUMPY’S TOO Music venue and sports bar with pub grub and regular drink specials. 1801 Green Mountain Drive. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-225-3768. LD Mon.-Sat. THE HOUSE A comfortable gastropub where you’ll find traditional fare like burgers and fish and chips alongside Thai green curry and gumbo. 722 N. Palm St. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-4500. D daily, BR, L Sat.-Sun. JIMMY’S SERIOUS SANDWICHES Consistently fine sandwiches, side orders and desserts for 30 years. 5116 W. Markham St. No alcohol, CC. $-$$. 501-666-3354. L Mon.-Sat., D Mon.-Sat. (drive-through only). LOCA LUNA Grilled meats, seafood and pasta. 3519 Old Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-4666. BR Sun., LD Mon.-Fri., D Sat. MILFORD TRACK Healthy and tasty are the key words at this deli/grill that serves breakfast and lunch. 10809 Executive Center Dr., Searcy Building. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-2232257. BL Mon.-Sat. OZARK COUNTRY RESTAURANT Specializes in big country breakfasts and pancakes plus sandwiches and several meat-and-two options for lunch and dinner. 202 Keightley Drive. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-663-7319. B daily, L Mon.-Fri., D Thu.-Sat. THE RELAY This grill offers a short menu, which includes chicken strips, French fries, hamburgers, jalapeno poppers and cheese sticks. 12225 Stagecoach Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-455-9919. LD daily. SALUT BISTRO This bistro/late-night hangout does upscale Italian for dinner and pub grub until the wee hours. 1501 N. University. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-660-4200. L Mon.-Fri., D Tue.-Sat. SCALLIONS Reliably good food, great desserts, pleasant atmosphere and able servers. 5110 Kavanaugh Blvd. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-666-6468. L Mon.-Sat. SONNY WILLIAMS’ STEAK ROOM Steaks, chicken and seafood in a wonderful setting. Menu is seasonal, changes every few months. 500 President Clinton Ave. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-324-2999. D Mon.-Sat. STAGECOACH GROCERY AND DELI Fine po’ boys and muffalettas — and cheap. 6024 Stagecoach Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-455-4157. BLD Mon.-Fri., BL Sat.-Sun. WEST END SMOKEHOUSE AND TAVERN Sports bar, but the dinner entrees are plentiful and the bar food is upper quality. 215 N. Shackleford. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-224-7665. L Fri.-Sun., D daily.


CURRY IN A HURRY Home-style Indian food with a focus on fresh ingredients and spices. 11121 North Rodney Parham. Beer, Wine, No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-224-4567. LD Mon., Wed.-Sun. LEMONGRASS ASIA BISTRO Fairly solid Thai bistro. Try the Tom Kha Kai and white wine alligator. 4629 E. McCain Blvd. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. 501-945-4638. LD Mon.-Sun. PHO THANH MY It says “Vietnamese noodle soup� on the sign out front, and that’s what you should order. 302 N. Shackleford Road. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-312-7498. LD Mon, Wed.-Sun. CONTINUED ON PAGE 36

501-603-CARE (2273) •

JANUARY 23, 2013




Bamboo muncher 6 Paparazzo’s target 11 “Very Funny” network 14 Like radon 15 Scout pack leader 16 Spinks’s opponent in two title fights 17 Start of a thought by British journalist Miles Kington 19 CD-___ 20 Falstaff’s princely friend 21 Flower-shaped decoration 23 Thought, part 2 27 Hardly a winwin situation? 28 Album track 29 A Monopoly token 30 Thought, part 3 34 Salon supply 1

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42 43 46 47 48 54 55 56 57 63 64


Places for mills, once Some varsity players “The lowing herd wind slowly o’er the ___” (Thomas Gray line) Thought, part 4 Morales of “Caprica” One of a deadly seven Pull down Thought, part 5 Anonymous one, in court Ingested Conquistador’s booty End of the thought O. J. Simpson trial judge “When thou ___ down, thou shalt not be afraid”: Proverbs Where Sanyo is headquartered





















SHOGUN JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE The chefs will dazzle you, as will the variety of tasty stir-fry combinations and the sushi bar. 2815 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-666-7070. D daily.

66 67 68

Alternative to “smoking” Brown ermine Skewered fare


Water ___, Inc. New England’s Cape ___ 3 “The Matrix” role 4 BBC timetraveling series 5 Counselor-___ 6 Insensitive sort 7 Heart chart, briefly 8 Eye lustfully 9 Poet whose work inspired “Cats” 10 Low man on stage 11 Calculus, familiarly 12 Pie-eyed 13 San ___ (Hearst Castle site) 18 Country music’s ___ Young Band 22 Actor Estevez 23 Commercial ending for Sun or Star 24 Warm, so to speak 25 “JAG” spinoff with Mark Harmon 26 ___ reaction 27 Frank McCourt memoir 31 One of baseball’s Alous 32 “Norma ___” (Sally Field film) 33 Thurman of “The Avengers” 34 Gloomy guy? 35 Wind down




















37 41








CHIP’S BARBECUE Tasty, if a little pricey, barbecue piled high on sandwiches generously doused with the original tangy sauce or one of five other sauces. 9801 W. Markham St. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-2254346. LD Mon.-Sat. PIT STOP BAR AND GRILL A working-man’s bar and grill, with barbecue, burgers, breakfast and bologna sandwiches. 5506 Baseline Road. Full bar, No CC. $$. 501-562-9635. BLD daily.










19 21







1 2



46 49






















37 38 39 40 42


Spirit of Islamic myth Onetime Dodge Nanette’s “nothing” Mach 1 breaker Super Smash Bros. Brawl console Prohibit by judicial order

44 45 46 49 50 51 52

Reach an altitude of When some do lunch Den system Eurasian range Tailored ___ (customized) Old gang heater “Things could be worse”


Pick on


G8 member


Cousin of TV’s Gomez


“CSI” setting


Rap sheet entry


Amount of cream

For answers, call 1-900-285-5656, $1.49 a minute; or, with a credit card, 1-800-814-5554. Annual subscriptions are available for the best of Sunday crosswords from the last 50 years: 1-888-7-ACROSS. AT&T users: Text NYTX to 386 to download puzzles, or visit for more information. Online subscriptions: Today’s puzzle and more than 2,000 past puzzles, ($39.95 a year). Share tips: Crosswords for young solvers:



CREGEEN’S IRISH PUB Irish-themed pub with an Irish inspired menu. Specialties include fish ‘n’ chips and Guinness beef stew. 301 Main St. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-376-7468. LD daily. ISTANBUL MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE This Turkish eatery offers decent kebabs and great starters. 11525 Cantrell Road. No alcohol, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-223-9332. LD daily. LAYLA’S GYROS AND PIZZERIA Delicious Mediterranean fare that has a devoted following. 9501 N Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-227-7272. LD daily (close 5 p.m. on Sun.). LEO’S GREEK CASTLE Wonderful Mediterranean food plus dependable hamburgers, ham sandwiches, steak platters and BLTs. 2925 Kavanaugh Blvd. No alcohol, CC. $-$$. 501-666-7414. BLD Mon.-Sat., BL Sun. (close at 4 p.m.).


CAFE PREGO Dependable entrees of pasta, pork, seafood, steak and the like, plus great sauces, fresh mixed greens and delicious dressings. 5510 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-5355. LD Mon.-Sat. CIAO ITALIAN RESTAURANT The fine pasta and seafood dishes, ambiance and overall charm combine to make it a relaxing, enjoyable, affordable choice. 405 W. Seventh St. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-372-0238. L Mon.-Fri., D Thu.-Sat. GRADY’S PIZZA AND SUBS Pizza features a pleasing blend of cheeses rather than straight mozzarella. 6801 W. 12th St., Suite C. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-663-1918. LD daily. IRIANA’S PIZZA Unbelievably generous hand-tossed New York style pizza with unmatched zest. 201 E. Markham St. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-374-3656. LD Mon.-Sat. PIERRE’S GOURMET PIZZA CO. EXPRESS KITCHEN The first RV entry into mobile food truck scene. With a broad menu of pizza, calzones, salads and subs. 760 C Edgewood Drive. No alcohol, No CC. $$. 501-410-0377. L Mon.-Fri. U.S. PIZZA Crispy thin-crust pizzas, frosty beers and heaping salads drowned in creamy dressing. 2710 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-2198. LD daily. 5524 Kavanaugh Blvd. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-664-7071. LD daily. 9300 North Rodney Parham Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-224-6300. LD daily. 3307 Fair Park Blvd. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-565-6580. LD daily. 650 Edgewood Drive. Maumelle. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-851-0880. LD daily. 3324 Pike Avenue. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-758-5997. LD daily. 4001 McCain Park Drive. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-753-2900. LD daily. 5524 John F Kennedy Blvd. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-975-5524. LD daily. ZAFFINO’S BY NORI A high-quality Italian dining experience. Pastas, entrees (don’t miss the veal marsala) and salads are all outstanding. 2001 E. Kiehl Ave. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. 501-834-7530. D Tue.-Sat.


BROWNING’S MEXICAN GRILL Large, renovated space with a huge bar, sports on TV and live music on weekends. Some holdover items in name only but recast fresher and tastier. Large menu with some hits and some misses. 5805 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-663-9956. LD daily, BR Sat-Sun. CANON GRILL Tex-Mex, pasta, sandwiches and salads. 2811 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-664-2068. LD daily. CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL Burritos, burrito bowls, tacos and salads are the four main courses of choice — and there are four meats and several other options for filling them. 11525 Cantrell Road. All CC. $-$$. 501-221-0018. LD daily. COTIJA’S A massive menu of tasty lunch and dinner specials, the familiar white cheese dip and sweet red and fiery-hot green salsas. 406 S. Louisiana St. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-244-0733. L Mon.-Fri. LA REGIONAL The menu offers a whirlwind trip through Latin America, with delicacies from all across the Spanish-speaking world. 7414 Baseline Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-565-4440. BLD daily. PEPE’S Better than average Tex-Mex. Try the chicken chimichanga. 5900 W 12th St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-296-9494. LD Mon.-Sat. SENOR TEQUILA Cheap, serviceable Tex-Mex. 2000 S University Ave. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-660-4413. LD daily.


JANUARY 23, 2013



1 JANUARY 23, 2013




It’s easy being green BY JANIE GINOCCHIO


ith the beginning of a new year, people look forward to spring and a time of growth and renewal, which is why it’s fitting that the Pantone Color Institute has chosen emerald green as the 2013 color of the year. This dark, traditional color is a great complement to last year’s color, tangerine tango. Local retailers said they’ve seen emerald green on a variety of wares in home décor and men’s and women’s fashion during their trips to market, and they share what’s in store for the coming months. Over at LEWIS LIGHTING AND HOME’S Edison Avenue blog, you can find inspiration for how to incorporate the new it color into your existing design scheme. If you don’t want to totally commit yourself, you can always add a few throw pillows, new drapes or some beautiful vases 1 — even adding more green plants to a room can bring in the green. The more adventurous might go for painting a single wall emerald as an accent color. For more design ideas, visit Emese Boone, owner of BOX TURTLE, said emerald green accessories were in abundance at market, while tangerine tango was still popular for women’s clothing. Box Turtle is still getting their spring inventory shipped in, but if you can’t wait to go green, they have several jewelry pieces in stock that will curb your

craving, including this gorgeous emerald and gold ring 2 and an emerald green bracelet made from tagua nut 3 (known as “vegetarian ivory”) from Andean Collection. Other spring trends Boone saw were lots of prints — especially on jeans — that ranged from florals and swirls to Aztecinfluenced designs. Pants and jeans were also loose and rolled up, and short boots in a variety of materials such as leather, suede, canvas and linen were also popular. In regard to men’s fashion, Greg Rudkin, owner of EVOLVE, said you’ll see emerald green incorporated into plaids or other patterns, mostly in woven shirts. He said he’s also seen some emerald green V-neck T-shirts, but overall, the men’s look for spring is “clean and back to basics — think blues, bright whites and reds. Over at KEN RASH’S CASUAL FURNITURE, you can find a variety of home and outdoor decor 4 in the season’s it color, including an emerald and white oil candle, an emerald green vase that can also be used as a water pitcher and an array of emerald green fabric options. And there’s the always popular Big Green Egg cooker, which has always sported a warm green exterior. Best of all, you can take this with you to use as a hot/cold beverage holder. So if you’re tired of the blacks, grays and creams of winter, get ready — spring, and color, is on its way.

➥ GALLERY 26 presents the recent works of Mindy Lacefield, Jeff Waddle, Emily Wood from now until March 9. Gallery 26 is located at 2601 Kavanaugh, Suite 1 and the phone number is 501-664-8996. ➥ If you’re even thinking about making some updates or renovations to your home, you’ve got to attend the grand opening of the CENTRAL ARKANSAS DESIGN CENTER AND SHOWROOM from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jan. 24. Located at 9205 Maumelle Blvd. in North Little Rock, the center is home to ProBuilder Supply, Gold Medal Flooring and Bath Planet. There will be door prizes and giveaways throughout the day, so don’t miss it. ➥ EVOLVE: A MODERN DAY CHARITY BALL Is scheduled for 6:30-9:30 p.m. Jan. 31 at Next Level Events. The proceeds from this Chinese New Year-themed party will benefit the Centers for Youth and Families. Tickets are $100. For more information, email cweekly@ or call 501-666-9436. ➥ BARBARA GRAVES INTIMATE FASHIONS’ January sale is on now, with casual wear, dresses and sleepwear are marked down 40 to 50 percent off. For a limited time, purchase any sale item and receive the second item at $19.99. For any purchase of a sale item priced $40 or less, the second item will be $9.99. ➥ THE FLOATING LOTUS YOGA is hosting a partner yoga and Thai yoga massage workshop from 4-7 p.m. Feb. 16. In this workshop, partners will learn yoga stretches and massage techniques to do with another person. No prior yoga experience is necessary. The cost is $25 for individuals and $40 for couples, so bring along a friend, a loved one or just go by yourself. For more information, call 501-664-0172.

Jewelry With A Purpose! 2616 Kavanaugh Blvd. • Little Rock 501.661.1167

The Floating Lotus Yoga Studio and Day Spa is a full-service health and well-being facility conveniently located in midtown Little Rock.

Chinese Acrobatic Team Soaring to Hot Springs Village


on’t miss a chance to see Cirque Ziva, the Chinese acrobatic troupe coming to Hot Springs Village next month. Critics call the 20-person troupe “an absolute joy,” noting “powerful music, simple themes and explosive choreography that tran-

scend culture.” Tickets are on sale now for the show, which is set for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Woodlands. Reserved seating tickets are $25 per person. To purchase tickets, go to or call 501-922-4231.








JANUARY 23, 2013


Did the alien pack?


’ve never been drawn to conspiracy theories, but I kinda like this latest one — the one claiming that the recent massacre of school children in Newtown, Conn., never happened. The whole thing was a hoax, you see, using “crisis actors” following an elaborate script, staged by the government, with bigtime support from a compliant news media, the objective being to rally public approval for new Orwellian gun-control legislation. Because everybody knows ol’ Obama wants to turn America into a totalitarian state, with himself as the lord high totalitarian. It’s what all politicians who get too big for their britches want. But becoming Big Brother first requires you to confiscate all the guns. Not just the guns of criminals and crazy people — your guns, my guns, Wayne’s guns, everybody’s guns. Probably BB guns. Paint guns, beanbag guns. Starter pistols. Round them up, melt them down, cite biblical authority and beat them into plowshares. Who can argue with Isaiah? So it’s up to you to nip these totalitarian ambitions in the bud. Superglue your piece to your triggie fingie lest your lunatic boy get the drop on you, colander your puss, and then clank off with the family arsenal to the grade-school to bag-limit him a mess of toddler. Hug your guns close, safeties

off; take them with you to church, to the Cozy Nook, to the Mad Butcher, wave them in the air when you crash BOB a homo or Democrat LANCASTER or heifer rally, and when you call b.s. on the totalitarian wannabees’ theatrical flim-flams. These aren’t my ideas, but I’m intrigued by some of them, by their sheer preposterousness; I feel their pain, though recognizing that it’s easy to go overboard with them, falling off into nuttery, and you don’t want to go there. I thought these Sandy Hook truthers leapt over into nuttery when they pulled the United Nations, the Agenda 21ers, the Jews, the Freemasons, and probably Damien Echols into this plot to disarm the trailered yeomanry. I don’t know why they can’t conceive a nefarious scheme that doesn’t have a Jew skulking in it, but they can’t. It’s a conspiracy theory rule any more: If it’s nefarious, it has to have at least one Jew. The problem with this particular conspiracy theory is the same one that bedevils most of them. That would be the insufficiency of evidence that there even is a conspiracy. Maybe ol’ BHO doesn’t even want your guns. Maybe he really couldn’t

care less if your dearest hankering is to go out and machine-gun Bambi. Maybe all he wants is just a slightly better chance of heading off the next gunsmoke atrocity. The conspiracy theory gives these possibilities no credit. It assumes the worst and refuses to budge. A hunch is all the evidence it feels obliged to provide. An analogy comes to mind: There was no evidence, or anyhow none ever surfaced, that Bill Clinton murdered Vince Foster or any of those 47 or 74 other people known by the cognoscenti to be on his personal hit-list. Bro. Jerry Falwell feigned an effort to dig up some such evidence, or manufacture some, or get God to tell him where some was hid, but he came up evidentially empty-handed, and was obviously relieved. Evidenced unburdened, he went ahead with “The Clinton Chronicles” Peckinpah-bloody, inference-heavy, and fact-free. Neither did he have any evidence that Tinky Winky was gay, or that God visited 9-11 on the USA to get back at us for our toleration of knobgobblers, ballbusters, and vacuumers-out of microscopic fruit of the womb. By then he had come to understand that sleaze doesn’t really need no stinkin’ evidence. You can leapfrog over empty evidence lockers, or harrumph around them. You can pretend to have the real goods stashed safely in your tailgunner valise yonder. You can substitute smug for evidence if you feel like it. Or you can just make shit up as you go along, like yellowcake.

The Founding Fathers, when they lacked evidence to back up a bold claim, or didn’t want to bother gathering any, simply declared their truths to be self-evident, and even that seems to have worked out OK. Evidence shortfall can hurt the timider conspiracy theory, though. It smothered those concerning the Bavarian Illuminati and the Trilateral Commission, and it squelched but never really extinguished the one that married drinkingwater fluoridation to the International Communist Conspiracy. There was a time when practically everybody knew that the Apollo “moon landings” were a hoax, but the evidence was so scant that only the Flat Earth Society and Fox News were willing to call NASA’s hand on it. And even the Flat Earthers bailed on the claimed authenticity of that alien autopsy, leaving Fox alone to flog the delusion that these were real Army surgeons slicing up a genuine ET pulled from an honest-to-God crashed UFO at Roswell, and to fearlessly rerun it as a documentary even after the prankster who’d hoked it up spilled his guts. Same network that now bugles the War on Christmas as a conspiracy foisted on traditionalists by Kwanzaans, Hanukkahns (those Jews again), and the Lost. To this day, though, nobody has mulled the question, suddenly relevant, of whether the autopsied alien packed. Doubtless a conspiracy of silence, the most nefarious kind.


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ADVERTISING DIRECTOR The Arkansas Times is looking for a highly motivated person to fill the position of Advertising Director for Savvy Kids, a growing monthly magazine. Must be focused and have excellent organizational and communication skills. If you have strong leadership skills, extensive sales experience and are interested in this great opportunity, please send your resume to or call Alan at 501-375-2985. 

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