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Sen. Missy Irvin’s one vote could take away health coverage from 100,000 Arkansans. BY DAVID RAMSEY

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JANUARY 30, 2014



In defense of Christian Scientists This statement in your editorial of Jan. 16, “Little sister is watching,” provides an opportunity for clarification: “Presumably a boss who was a Christian Scientist could prohibit his employees from participating in any health-care plan. Another might pass out poisonous snakes to his employees.” Your readers deserve to know that Christian Scientists are not taught nor are they likely to force or prohibit any kind of health care. The choice for spiritual treatment through prayer is strictly an individual decision, which every Christian Scientist is free to make for himself. Because it is effective, the Christian Scientist tends to choose this method, but he is always free to turn to medical care without fear of censure or even criticism. Also, a number of nationally known employers now include Christian Science care in the health insurance plans they offer their employees. Among these are Boeing, General Electric, IBM, Intel, Screen Actors Guild, Smucker’s and United Airlines. Joe Pelphrey Rogers

Against TPP A decade ago, Ross Perot said if the NAFTA trade bill passed we’d hear a “giant sucking sound” as American jobs were drained to Mexico and other countries. NAFTA passed and we all now know Ross got that right. A new trade bill, the Trans Pacific Partnership, is near passing. The TPP is described far and wide as NAFTA on steroids. It is being negotiated in deep secrecy. What little we know of the specifics of the TPP are that it is constructed to guarantee profits for drug companies, elimination of food safety, labor and environmental laws that would “infringe” on corporate profits. This bill will allow corporation “rights” to override United States laws! I phoned Congressman Tom Cotton’s office to urge him to oppose the TPP until we have a full and open accounting of what all it contains and what it would mean to the American people. I received a letter indicating he is all for it because it will be great for Arkansas businesses and will lead to a higher standard of living for us all. I was flabbergasted. Keep in mind, our elected representatives are being kept in the dark about the specifics of 4

JANUARY 30, 2014


the TPP. Rep. Cotton does not know what it contains, yet he is all for it. Why? I encourage all Arkansans to do some online research. Educate yourselves about the Trans Pacific Partnership now. And ask Rep. Cotton to explain specifically why he is in favor of this corporate-backed monster. Gene Warren Magnolia

Conspiracy theory about public education In the 1980s a new term was coined that entered the American lexicon largely unchallenged: “achievement gap.” It ostensibly described the gap in education of American kids compared to those in other countries. In actuality the only gap that existed was that of kids who came from poor backgrounds as opposed to those who didn’t. When measured separately, middle and upper class American kids’ achievement was on a par with that of kids in other countries. Only the poor in the U.S. did not measure up. While this is an inexcusable abomination in the richest country in the world, it is also no surprise; the American poor have mostly been viewed as expendable. Nevertheless, most Americans drank the Kool-Aid of the so-called achievement gap, and the term precipitated a growing antagonism toward public education in general and against teachers in particular. Thus began a long-term plan to dismantle public education. In the 1990s, the notion of teacher accountability took hold. Since schools were apparently failing our kids, teachers needed to be held accountable. New

requirements were instituted, including greater surveillance of teachers doing their jobs. Suddenly, teachers had to justify the methodology of their profession. They were put on the defensive as politicians, pundits and even many parents repeatedly placed the blame of our schools’ unproven failures squarely in teachers’ laps. At the same time, cultural changes had transformed the landscape of public education and deprived teachers of powerful tools: ability grouping was abolished in a misguided effort to shore-up self-esteem; school districts severely curtailed teacher autonomy; corporal punishment was phased out; a huge percentage of parental support dwindled; and respect for the profession eroded precipitously. In spite of all this, teachers continued teaching, and the middle and upper class students maintained pace with their nonU.S. peers. The new millennium ushered in an era of hostility against public education unknown up to that time. It began with a pampered and privileged C-student president claiming to want to be the “education president.” With his “no child left behind” doublespeak, he successfully initiated a series of attacks against public education that astronomically increased paperwork, slashed school budgets to all-time lows, and enshrined a system of increasingly impossible mandates that ensured public school failure. Schools were told that if their students could not pass standardized tests, they would lose federal funding. These were the threats while layoffs became commonplace and the amount of work schools had to do ballooned, leaving fewer people

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to shoulder the extra work. No one can do a job well when there’s simply too much job to do. No one can be an exemplary teacher when buried in paperwork unrelated to the betterment of young minds. And certainly, no school can produce welleducated students when the tools for keeping students on track and in line have all but disappeared. Until our country embraces certain realities, public education will die. One reality is that not all students can perform well academically regardless of how many instructional hours or how much people power you throw at them. The human capacity for intelligence (or lack thereof) is too widely varied for that to be possible. Secondly, it is inefficient and unrealistic to place students of such broad intellectual abilities in one classroom and expect an excellent job to be done. While an open flow between tracks should be maintained throughout one’s public education experience, if you cannot prove your potential for success in higher mathematics, for example, then you need to remain at the basic level. Also, teachers need to have returned to them the power of failing students who perform poorly and correcting them, even physically, when they behave badly. Without these powers, students have little reason to take their teachers or their studies seriously. Additionally, student performance needs measuring beyond standardized tests. Plenty of people can pass standardized tests, yet they remain idiots. Conversely, many people fail standardized tests in spite of their massive intellectual prowess. Finally, we need to accept that teachers are teachers, not entertainers. Good teaching certainly can involve entertainment alongside education, but there is no reason to expect that every shred of learning must be made palatable. Education is about growing and training the human brain, and sometimes that requires doing things that are not necessarily entertaining. With regard to the parental role in education, there was a time when they strongly backed up teachers. Would that they would again! Leeann Bennett Little Rock

Submit letters to the Editor, Arkansas Times, 201 E. Markham St., Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201. We also accept letters via e-mail. The address is arktimes@ Please include name and hometown.


Of quants and crackers “How quants have led us astray,” the headline said, and I thought, “What have those Dionne girls been up to now?” But it turns out the article was not about the Canadian sisters at all. Here’s an excerpt: “Over the past three decades, many fields and institutions have witnessed the rise of the quants — that is, the ascent to power of people whose native tongue is numbers and algorithms and systems rather than personal relationships or human intuition. ... Just look at the financial world, where the rise of quantification could concentrate decision-making — and money-making — within a relatively small group of people at a bank’s headquarters.” Huh. I’m still wrestling with quarks and now they’re throwing quants at me. “The cast is small, mainly keeping to a family of three crackers in the Florida scrub in the early 1870s.” Various authorities say that cracker is a derogatory term for white people, especially for poor, rural whites in the South — and even more especially for poor rural whites in Georgia and Florida. But the characters in Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’s “The Yearling,” the novel under discussion, are sympathetic. Wikipedia says that while cracker is generally pejorative,

“In reference to a native of Florida or Georgia it is sometimes used in a neutral or positive context DOUG and is sometimes SMITH used descriptively with pride.” Much like redneck, which means about the same thing. Most of us know other words that are considered negative unless used by an insider. Lauren Groff writes in Harper’s magazine that “Nobody knows how the name [cracker] arose — perhaps as a bastardization of ‘Quaker,’ or as a reference to the bullwhips they cracked when herding cattle or the corn they cracked to make cereal, or from some name the Seminoles bestowed on them. ...” I hope Jimmy had something to do with it. He so loved cracking corn. I was largely indifferent. Old-timers can remember when Atlanta did not have a major-league baseball team. Instead, it had a minor-league team, a member of the old Southern Association, where it competed against the Little Rock Travelers (now known as the Arkansas Travelers). For more than half a century, Atlanta’s baseball team was called the Atlanta Crackers.

02.02 .14




It was a good week for ...

UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS CHANCELLOR DAVID GEARHART. The University of Arkansas Board of Trustees approved a resolution in support of Gearhart. He was praised for acknowledging past mistakes — not enumerated, but obviously including advancement division budget shortfalls and public accountability lapses — and working to avoid them in the future. The university will do better, Chair Jane Rogers pledged. FORT SMITH. The recently passed catch-all federal appropriations bill included $40 million that will go in part to pay for a transition of mission of the 188th Air National Guard fighter wing at Fort Smith to drone operation. That means jobs. COLD. Yet another “polar vortex” swept through the state, dropping much of the state to temperatures in the teens. The Arkansas Forestry Commission classified the entire state as being at high risk for wildfires because of windy conditions and cold, dry air.

It was a bad week for ...

UAMS. In the face of a $29 million deficit for the fiscal year, UAMS is planning in advance for cuts of $9 million over the second half of the fiscal year. Chancellor Dan Rahn said the university’s “goal is to avoid layoffs.” If the legislature doesn’t reauthorize money for the state’s private option, that’ll be impossible. THRILL-SEEKING KIDS. Vandals torched the popular Burns Park rocket slide, leaving it heavily damaged. MIKE HUCKABEE. He ignited the commentariat once again with his latest provocation. To a Republican group, he said, “Our party stands for the recognition of the equality of women and the capacity of women. That’s not a war on them, it’s a war for them. If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control, because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it.”

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JANUARY 30, 2014




Maybe both

Libido wrangler


old showers instead of birth-control pills may be a plank in the next Republican platform, if Mike Huckabee has his way. Huckabee seems to be concerned about women’s libidos, a subject rarely addressed by politicians, most of whom privately want to let those libidos run free. In a murky speech at a Republican gathering, Huckabee said: “If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe they are hopeless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing them with their prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it — let us take that discussion all across America.” Huckabee becomes the first presidential candidate to work libidos into an otherwise typical round of good solid Republican drivel. Presumably Nancy Pelosi will reply, if she can ever find the point.   6

JANUARY 30, 2014




he debate over whether Jerry Cox is hateful or merely misinformed has resumed with the campaign to put another medical marijuana proposal on the ballot. The leader of a Religious Right group called the Family Council, Cox was the noisiest of the opponents to a medical marijuana act in 2012. That one was defeated, in a vote much closer than anyone could have envisioned a few years ago, and proponents say they’ll try again in November. Cox is on record as saying that support for medical marijuana in the state has waned since 2012 because voters know more about the issue. “I think there’s a growing number of people beginning to understand it and see it the way it is,” Cox said. If Cox’s analysis is correct, then the rest of the country must be getting dumber. Across the nation, the tide is running strongly in favor of medical marijuana. A medical marijuana proposal on a state ballot these days is almost sure to be approved, unless voters instead choose to legalize marijuana for all purposes, as a couple of states have done. Twenty states and the District of Columbia have approved marijuana for medical purposes alone. Colorado and Washington are the two that have approved marijuana even for recreational purposes. Remember the misnamed “drug war” of a few years ago, and those flamboyant drug warriors like Asa Hutchinson? This is precisely what they meant to prevent. (We predict that Hutchinson, now a Republican candidate for governor, will reveal that he’s grown fonder of marijuana. Cox isn’t running for office; Hutchinson is.) Many thousands of grievously ailing Americans have testified they got relief from marijuana when nothing else provided it. That should count for something with their fellows, even if the Tea Party demands that we all hate each other. It’s true that misused marijuana can cause problems, but marijuana isn’t nearly so harmful as alcohol, and the U.S. found painfully almost 100 years ago that prohibition of alcohol brought on the worst crime wave in our nation’s history. Today, the problem of grossly crowded prisons cannot be solved without reform of the drug laws. Prejudice is the main source of the arguments against medical marijuana. This is a new century. We can’t afford this sort of prejudice anymore.

RATTLER: A handler shows off a rattlesnake at last weekend’s Big Buck Classic at the Arkansas State Fairground.

UA problems? What problems?


hough behind-the-scenes talk was sometimes heated, the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees presented a united front on the Gearhart Affair last week. For a year now, the UA flagship campus at Fayetteville has made the wrong sorts of news: A huge deficit in its fund-raising department, still uncorrected. Firing of Brad Choate, once Chancellor David Gearhart’s good friend. Firing of John Diamond, the campus’ chief spokesman. Diamond’s accusation that Gearhart resisted press accountability. Testimony that Gearhart told staff to “get rid” of budget documents. Failure of top officials to mention known problems to auditors. Reluctant compliance with better accounting controls. Prosecutorial reviews of university officials, including Gearhart. Some loose ends remain. But the big question was whether Gearhart still had the confidence of his superiors. UA System President Donald Bobbitt seemed on board. The Fayetteville campus wags the UA dog, after all, and Gearhart is beloved among the rich people whose favor he’s curried for contributions. But what about the 10-member Board of Trustees? Reliable sources indicated problems with at least some members. Those who believed they saw a pattern of confusion, obfuscation and arrogance in campus governance had some evidence for their opinions. We don’t know what was said in a three-hour executive session of the UA Board last Friday. But we do know that when it was over, Board Chair Jane Rogers read a personal statement of support for Gearhart. It said he’d taken responsibility for “problems” surrounding the deficit, had taken steps to improve accountability and ensure “fiscal health” and otherwise had led the campus on an “upward course.” Trustee John Goodson recommended that Rogers’ statement be put in the form of a resolution and it was approved unanimously. This was a little confusing, in that Rogers’ statement was written in the first person. Did all mean to share in her statement of “full support of the chancellor”? Gearhart interpreted it that

way, naturally. Absent public dissent, that seems fair enough. The Board also adopted new system policies on Freedom of Information compliance and ethical standards. Purely coincidenMAX tal, you understand, a system wide BRANTLEY measure not aimed at Fayetteville. The FOI policy designates a coordinator for handling information requests. Fayetteville had one of those before. The problem was, according to Diamond, that Gearhart overruled advice from him and attorneys. The new policy won’t change that. Diamond thinks the UA System legal counsel should have the final say when a chancellor and other campus officials disagree on what should be released. An FOI policy and an ethics policy are both only as good as the people who live under them. The Do-Right Rule already should have been in place at UA. It was routinely ignored. Gearhart began resisting disclosure — and you may do this legally — because he grew weary of press inquiries. Other acts — loose compliance with budgets and bookkeeping procedures and failure to report problems to auditors — also find no justification under a Do-Right Rule. Whether embarrassment, malice or incompetence explains the problems uncovered by press and auditors, it fell something short of an “upward course” in management. The big question now is whether the administration has been chastened and righted those parts of campus management in need of correction. Or will the resolution orchestrated by Chair Rogers be taken as evidence that the administration is bulletproof? We’ll have opportunities to judge. On a giant campus, where some very smart people are paid a whole lot less than an enormous group of six-figure administrative bureaucrats whose pay was enriched while the minions struggled, things eventually tend to leak out. FOI or no FOI.

Hazard to health: Minority rule


rkansas is not the only state to fool around with minority rule, but killing health insurance for 100,000 or so citizens next month will push the state far into the vanguard of states that have experimented with it. Giving a small minority absolute power over how the government will raise and spend taxes seems dangerous, doesn’t it? Well, the history of minority rule is as woeful as you would expect it to be. Either nine of the 35 members of the Senate or 26 of the 100 representatives can stop almost any of the hundreds of government spending programs, and it looks like nine Republicans in the Senate will do exactly that with the federal program to insure the state’s poorest workers and their families. No other state allows a fourth of one house of its legislature to dictate how the state will spend its money. Since the adoption of Amendment 19 in 1934, no appropriation can become law unless it gets the votes of 75 percent of both houses, unless the money is for Confederate pensions, checks to bondholders, education or highways. Those exceptions can be funded by the simple majority that passes


other acts, including laws that can take away your life, liberty or property. But the other 600 or so spending bills can ERNEST be killed by as few as DUMAS nine of the 135 lawmakers. If the legislature at its fiscal session next month does not reach the huge majority needed to continue using federal money to pay health insurance premiums for the working poor, it will be because nine or 10 senators united to show that they were against President Obama and his health insurance law. Blocking the expenditure of hundreds of millions of federal dollars on health care for Arkansas people won’t save the state a dime and it will plunge the state budget into deficit and hospitals all across the state into crisis. If that seems spiteful and witless, it applies to the whole history of Amendment 19. Let’s return to 1932, when the nation repudiated President Hoover’s pinched fiscal policies, which people believed deepened if they had not caused the depression.

Partying like it’s 1999


ov. 8, 2016, remains more than a thousand days away, but the 2016 race for president moved into a decidedly higher gear this week. At its party meeting, the Republican National Committee established its calendar for the key early nomination events and moved toward selecting its convention site. The “super PAC” that was central to President Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012 — Priorities USA Action — lined up clearly behind the prospective candidacy of Hillary Clinton and the nation’s paper of record carried a long-form piece titled “Planet Hillary” on the complex campaign-in-waiting (with a heavily Arkansas flavor) for the 2008 Democratic runner-up. Finally, key Republicans began trying out a 2016 line of attack on the former first lady and secretary of state centering on Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. It is a throwback script that shows that the Republican Party learned little from the battles of the last years of the 20th century. Focusing its attacks on the Monica Lewinsky case not only created a backlash against the GOP then but it also was crucial to the rise of Hillary Clinton’s political career. To try it once again shows just how devoid of creative ideas the modern GOP is and

what a challenging opponent Clinton represents. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, perhaps the biggest benefiJAY ciary of the GOP BARTH 2016 nominating calendar that combines states where his father has thrived in recent years with South Carolina, got the Lewinsky chatter going in responding to questions about whether Mike Huckabee’s quickly-infamous “libido” comments are indicative of a broader problem for his party in reaching out to women voters. After babbling about how well the women in his life are doing professionally, Paul quickly pivoted to Lewinsky. “Someone who takes advantage of a young girl in their office? I mean, really. And then they have the gall to stand up and say, ‘Republicans are having a war on women?’ ” said Paul on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” When host David Gregory asked if the Lewinsky matter should really play a role in evaluating Hillary Clinton as a presidential candidate, Paul said that the former secretary of state should be judged on her own merits. But he then connected her to her husband anyway, saying, “Sometimes

Hoover got only 12 percent of Arkansans’ that on March 1, 1935 federal relief to Arkanvotes. But the same year they elected a new sas would end if it did not bear some of the governor, who promised fiscal policies that load like other states. Fearing mobs when all the relief ended, would make Hoover look like a socialist. Arkansas was the poorest and most a panicky Futrell recalled the legislators. debt-ridden state, tied for last in per-cap- “We’re sitting on a powder keg,” he told ita income but first in per-capita public debt. them. They enacted a passel of new taxes, Arkansas had invested heavily on road and including a 2 percent sales tax on necessibridge building with borrowed money but ties, and the appropriations to spend them. the floods of 1927 washed them away, and Since then, a small band has occasionthe state borrowed again to rebuild them. ally held an appropriation hostage to the 75 Although it had the nation’s worst schools, percent. A senator from Marked Tree got his the state was left with no money for edu- pals to block money for the state Pharmacy cation. Board until it dropped sanctions against his So Marion Futrell promised that if druggist. South Arkansas senators stymied elected he would cut taxes and slash spend- the prison appropriation until Governor ing by 50 percent. He got only 44 percent Bumpers fired the reformist prison director of the votes but that was enough. hired by the previous Republican governor. He kept his promise. He and the legis- Bumpers refused but the guy quit to keep lature cut spending by 51 percent so that the prisons open. virtually all the state’s meager tax receipts A clique once blocked the appropriation went to pay bondholders, Confederates and for executive, legislative and judicial offices, a few essentials like patronage government but the speaker pronounced it a “just debt employees. Futrell thought spending was of the state,” like bondholders, so it was the cause of all suffering so to prevent future allowed to pass by a majority. Legislative spending and taxing he got the legislature in leaders might try that with the Medicaid 1933 to refer Amendment 19, which allowed appropriation. as few as nine legislators to defeat spendOr else include a pension in Medicaid for ing or to block increases in existing taxes. descendants of the Confederate hero David Bewildered, only half the people who went O. Dodd, which would make it important to the polls in 1934 voted either way on it, enough that a majority could pass it … and but it was ratified. even the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette would President Franklin Roosevelt announced endorse it. it’s hard to separate one from the other.” The next day, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough picked up the line of attack, “[I]f Hillary Clinton attacks the Republican Party’s … treatment of women and disrespect for women, and suggests they’re misogynists … it does seem to be a fair question to ask right now, a few years out, does the media have a responsibility to say, ‘Well, let’s see what happened when you were in the White House, and how women were treated when you were in the governor’s mansion and the White House?’ ” For the 24 hours that followed, Fox News looped the images that became iconic throughout the scandal and brought in talking heads to “analyze” the role of the Lewinsky scandal on 2016 politics. What those who want to talk about the events of the late 1990s anew forget is how well Hillary Clinton performed under the pressure of that scandal and how reminders of it only benefit her politically. Unquestionably, the Lewinsky affair was personally scarring to the first lady. But, politically, it was an event that sent her to stratospheric heights (to borrow imagery from the controversial New York Times Magazine cover article), setting the stage for her candidacy for the U.S. Senate from New York and all that has followed. In polling just before the 1996 re-election of her husband, Hillary Clinton was viewed favorably by less

than half of the voting public (49 percent favorable and 43 percent unfavorable); in contrast, Elizabeth Dole was seen as favorable by nearly six in 10 voters with only a quarter viewing her unfavorably. But, as the scandal broke and Hillary Clinton showed public grace under the pressure of the events, her public persona grew (topping out at 66 percent in a February 1999 Gallup survey). It was from that base of popularity that Clinton began her successful Senate campaign. In 2008, as best analyzed in Anne Kornblut’s “Notes from the Cracked Ceiling,” the Clinton campaign consciously downplayed gender issues until late in that primary campaign. All signs are that a 2016 campaign will be different and that Clinton will emphasize the historic nature of her candidacy and the symbolic and substantive benefits for American women (and society as a whole) that would accompany her victory. Part of that argument will, of course, focus on GOP foot-dragging on the Violence Against Women Act, opposition to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and, yes, concerns about required contraceptive coverage. It appears many Republicans will not be able to hold back from trekking back in time and focusing anew on Lewinsky. There also is little doubt a veteran Clinton can play her role in any revival of that docudrama with aplomb.

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rkansas basketball hasn’t been helping the mood lately so let’s talk again about football, that months-ago corpse you piled wet mud onto after it fudged the last nine games of the 2013 season in myriad ways. If you weren’t sold on Bielema a year ago when he boldly struck out on a public relations-boosting effort across the state, you at least felt reasonably comfortable about the competency of the staff he was putting together. Now, defensive coordinator Chris Ash has taken off for reasons that are unknown but freely speculated upon, and defensive line coach Charlie Partridge got himself a head-coaching job at Florida Atlantic, and so there’s this veneer of disharmony in the ranks. But consider that Arkansas had already secured the services of linebackers coach Randy Shannon, late of TCU but also well known for trying to clean up his alma mater in a success-flecked four years at Miami. He’s a guy whose name titillated Hog fans when Bobby Petrino dismissed Willy Robinson at the end of the 2011 season, but Petrino secured Paul Haynes from Ohio State instead. Shannon’s known for being a fair but hard-nosed guy, which meshes well with Bielema’s style; for my money, Ash hardly distinguished himself in any way last year, though concededly, he was working with limited personnel resources. The defensive gameplans were sporadically effective, and if Shannon is being eyeballed as Ash’s successor, it probably has financial merits: Shannon could get a pay bump to be DC, but also continue to shepherd the linebacking unit. The speculation now is that without Partridge and Ash, Bielema is losing those guys to whom he was tethered at Wisconsin, for better or worse. It’s arguable as to what effect this sort of staff morphing has when the first team went 3-9. Some would assert that continuity is critical to this team getting back to a sustainable and consistent degree of success. It’s also possible that Bielema, cognizant of just how far the program has to come, realizes some new sparks are needed. In fairness, nobody’s going to deny a position coach like Partridge a chance to flourish in a head-coaching job anywhere. Ash’s circumstances are a little stranger, no doubt. He leaves an SEC job with a sizable paycheck to essentially share defensive coordinator duties at Ohio State. You can read into it what you

must, but there’s no point talking about why Ash departed when the critical choice is who succeeds BEAU him. If it’s ShanWILCOX non, there’s currency beyond theoretical measure in the hiring of a highly respected, stillyoung African-American former head coach who has honed his craft at various locales. There’s also the risk that he gets the same kind of opportunity that Partridge seized upon, which you again can’t begrudge. The reason all this coaching upheaval is significant is obviously because it’s January and signing day looms in a matter of days. Arkansas already was down in the pecking order regionally and for the Razorbacks to excel with this class and those beyond, player-coach rapport is more essential than it’s ever been. We saw that Bielema had a dramatic influence on Alex Collins — a Miami-area kid with worlds of talent never winds up here unless he’s forged a bond with a staff or at least one of its key members. It isn’t that Arkansas suffers quantifiably from Partridge and Ash leaving, per se, but it’s the fear that this kind of movement causes ripples of uncertainty among 17- and 18-year-old kids who may not know fully what they want, but can figure out quickly where they want to spend three or four years plying their trade and soaking up the social scene. This incoming class for the Hogs is, by all measures, a pretty fair one. There may not be much in the way of scene-stealing headliners, like what Collins was a year before, but you have to remember that the Hogs’ absence of depth was just flat crippling in 2013. Key injuries like those suffered by cornerback Will Hines and receiver Demetrius Wilson, neither of whom were even all that proven to begin with, sheared down the talent pool in an area where it was shallow enough. Bielema’s reconstructing his staff while reconstructing his roster, and that would be a bad harbinger in most circumstances, but there’s an obviously less cynical view to take: Retooling is exactly what this program needs after an historically inept year, and whether some of it comes by way of defection or by disinterest, the project that Bielema has in front of him is a challenge that he doesn’t seem scared of facing.


Peckers and boobies ON JAN. 18, THE OBSERVER was reminded of that day several years ago when we set out for the Bayou DeView in search of the ivory-billed woodpecker. We were part of a team assembled by Cornell University, so we felt pretty swell. It was a cold morning when we scraped the kayak over the hood of our car to the roof; that technique scratches the hell out of a hood but makes it possible for one person to load a boat. Then off to Brinkley and the state Hwy. 38 bridge over the bayou. En route, crossing the Hwy. 17 bridge, we observed the stillness of the bayou and, knowing we were foolishly going to kayak in waders, felt at ease. Once at the Hwy. 38 bridge, we unloaded on the bank: kayak, spare clothes, lunch, camera, the GPS borrowed from Cornell University, notebook, wooden box and knocker to make ivory-bill sounds, the paddle, and dragged it all to the water. Which was about as still as you can get, given that it was frozen solid. So we pushed out onto the ice and bounced, figuring we could break the ice. We might as well have been Shackelton. We went nowhere. It was yet one more screwup in our attempts to hunt for the ivory-bill. An earlier try, with a young woman who had never stepped foot in the woods and believed that snakes lived in crawdad holes, had been similarly stymied: A) She forgot to bring a kayak, so B) we had to borrow a canoe and C) got lost on the way back to the bayou, so, seeking directions, hailed a man driving a truck who turned out to be deaf and mute so D) the young woman, squealing with delight at encountering this young man because she could practice her sign language with him, could not get her message across, so E) it took us a while to get back to the bayou. Then into the water, where it became clear she did not know one bird from another. It was a short trip, our excitable canoe-mate nearly tumping us, and our major discovery was that a video camera we had with us did not work. Now, in January, we once more found ourselves in a ridiculous situation. But we would not be defeated: We tied the boat back atop the car and took off into the woods along the bayou with our lunch and GPS and notebook. The ice was thinner here so we sloshed and cracked and slipped and perched on tupelo stumps and in the notch of trees and banged on the box. We made notes every place we stopped to bang, and sloshed on. We didn’t see any ivory-bills — or hardly any birds, since the sound of a

woman in waders stomping through ice to make her way up the bayou would drive off any animal, extinct or thriving. We spent several hours in this pursuit before returning to the car, the sun low and shafts of light coming in horizontally through the swamp. We were feeling pretty good from our effort despite not finding the ivory-bill and were de-wadering and packing up when we realized we’d lost Cornell’s GPS. Back on went the waders and back into the swamp for another hour we went, trying to retrace our steps among the tupelos and cypress that, frankly, don’t distinguish themselves much. So we returned to the car, spirits dampened, getting out of the waders resignedly, feeling like a fool, wet and cold in the setting sun. We had not advanced science. We had hardly advanced our person into the swamp. And we cost Cornell a GPS. It did not help a bit when, crawling into the car, we remembered: It was our wedding anniversary. Jan. 18. The Observer had sailed out the front door in the morning thinking only of birds and swamp. No greetings to our spouse. No gift hidden away, no meal at home in celebration. Fortunately, we could count on him to be just as forgetful, and forgiving. We wouldn’t have been within 100 miles of a swamp had it not been for his making birds a crucial part of our courtship. This year, together, we saw seven sandhill cranes, big old birds and rare, too … from a car. THE OBSERVER IS (IN THIS CASE) a heterosexual male, so we’ve got an understandable appreciation for female boobies. Rugrat food source, pleasing aesthetic, doodad to keep your sweater from looking all baggy, call and consider them what you will. We just like ’em. To that end, The Observer believes breasts should be cradled in comfort and style, so we’d like to direct your attention to an effort by the homeless outreach non-profit The Van, Barbara Graves Intimate Fashions and Arkansas Times. Between now and March 31, we’re collecting bras for women in grave need. We’ll take them all, friends: big, small, new, used, pretty or industrial-strength. As long as it’s clean and gently used, we’ll take it. Donations can be made at Barbara Graves Intimate Fashions, at Breckenridge Village on Rodney Parham, or at the offices of the Arkansas Times, 201 E. Markham, second floor. You’d be surprised how much hope you can bring to a lady in dire straits, just by giving her a little support.


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JANUARY 30, 2014


Arkansas Reporter



Moll picks up endorsement


Tommy Moll hopes to be the next Tom Cotton. He’s jet back to Arkansas after years away and is using deep-pocketed conservative money to buy the 4th District congressional seat, now that the Club for Growth hopes to buy the U.S. Senate for current Republican Rep. Cotton. Moll promises to be a carbon copy of Tom Cotton politically as well, judging by news that FreedomWorks has chosen Moll along with a couple of other Republicans in contested races elsewhere as its favored Republican candidates. More “economic freedom” loving than his opponent, Republican state Rep. Bruce Westerman? Hard to imagine a candidate farther right than Westerman, but FreedomWorks apparently thinks it’s found one. The Republican winner faces, most likely, former FEMA Director James Lee Witt, as the Democratic nominee. You’ll find FreedomWorks identified as “libertarian.” You’ll also find, surprise, that it grew from a group originally funded by one of the billionaire Koch brothers. Extremist luminaries such as Dick Armey, Steve Forbes and Bill Bennett (who likes big government when it comes to funding his for-profit home schooling enterprise) have been among its leaders. Oh, and by the way, FreedomWorks has been described as an essential organizer of the Tea Party movement. Anti-union, antienvironmental regulation, anti-Obamacare. You know the drill. Hard to see what’s not to like in Westerman on those counts.

West Little Rock race to watch Mike Ross’ race for governor is critical. But even more important in a state with a structurally weak governor (majority vote veto override, for one thing) is the balance of power in the state House of Representatives. With a bare 51-vote majority in 2013 and a sane Republican speaker, Republicans still marched resolutely forward on GOP agenda items, from suppressing minority votes to curbing rights of women to cutting taxes on the wealthy. With a solidified majority after 2014 (the Senate is not in reach for Democrats), we become Oklahoma and Alabama. Democrats are raising money, recruiting candidates and taking comfort from a higher number of term-limited Republicans and some districts where historic voting patterns don’t automatically line up against them. Is it enough to regain the House? November will tell. Critical will be seats where pickups are possible. CONTINUED ON PAGE 11 10

JANUARY 30, 2014


A mistrial in 140 characters Social media use by jurors a worry for attorneys, judges. BY DAVID KOON


iven that the vast majority of people are carrying around a little gadget in their pocket with all the information in the Library of Congress inside of it — plus instant connection to dozens or hundreds of their friends through social media — it’s amazing that more jurors don’t succumb

to the same electronic temptation that recently helped win a convicted kidnapper a new trial in Pulaski County. Quinton Riley Jr., 26, was convicted in December 2013 of kidnapping by a Pulaski County jury after a two-day trial before Circuit Judge Herbert Wright. On May 14, 2012, a 20-year-old woman

told investigators, Riley had offered her a ride on Wright Avenue in Little Rock. Once she was in his car, the woman told police, Riley had shown her a gun before forcing her to strip, then ducttaped her hands, mouth and eyes and raped her repeatedly before stashing her, still bound hand and foot, in a North Little Rock shed. The woman told police she was able to break the duct tape and escape from the shed, seeking help at a nearby house. Riley was acquitted of rape at the December trial, but was convicted of one count of kidnapping, and sentenced to life in prison. Riley will get another trial on June 24, however, because a juror in the case was posting to social media during the original trial. Brittany Lewis, who was seated as Juror No. 1 in the case, made several Facebook posts while the case was being heard, including posts in which she said, “We can’t come to a decision. Ugh FML,” and “Still in this courtroom. Lord I’m ready to go home. I’m sleepy and tired and my red wine is calling my name.” In another Facebook post, shared after the verdict, Lewis said, in part: “After being a juror on a serious trial I just want to let all of the young women know to be careful of the company you keep ... I can’t speak on the case at all but I want to let all the young men on my timeline know that what u talk about on the phone while in jail will bite you in the ass in court. We sentenced a man to life without parole today in front of his Mama.” Riley’s attorney, Bobby R. Digby, learned of the posts and filed a motion for a new trial on Dec. 16. On Dec. 31, Judge Herbert Wright granted that motion, writing in his order that jurors are told multiple times during trials in his court to not only do justice, but to “give the appearance of doing justice.” “By posting her thoughts to Facebook,” Judge Wright wrote, “Lewis disregarded and violated the court’s clear order. ... The law presumes that all jurors are unbiased in following the court’s instructions. In this case, Lewis’ conduct has overcome that presumption. While the Court acknowledges that the defendant is entitled to a fair trial and not a perfect trial, in this case the Defendant received neither.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 12





Tune in to the Times’ “Week In Review” podcast each Friday. Available on iTunes &



1. In our Jan. 16 story about the City of Little Rock considering cutting off alcohol sales at 2 a.m. — a move that might shutter several Little Rock clubs with licenses that allow them to sell booze until 5 a.m. — City Director Joan Adcock offered an opinion as to why last call should be capped at 2. What did she say? A) “If you haven’t found yourself a bedwarmer by 2 a.m., honey, just call it a night.” B) “Lots of people, when you go out and drink until 5 a.m., then you go home and you’re not very willing, probably, to get up and get the kids off to school or visit and spend time with the family. One thing we desperately need in this city and this state and this country is more family time.” C) “The vampire menace is among us.” D) “I follow Ben Franklin’s advice: Early to bed, early to rise makes you the one fun people despise.”

2. The Southern Poverty Law Center recently reported that The Knight Riders, an arm of the Ku Klux Klan with chapters in Arkansas and five other states, officially disbanded in early January. What reason did the leader of the Knight Riders give for the decision when questioned by the SPLC? A) Secretly black. B) Just can’t find a Confederate flag made in America anymore. C) Worried about being sent to prison, which he said is “full of blacks and Mexicans.” D) Tired of answering questions about David Hasselhoff and his gatdamn talking car.

3. Cpl. Tom Weindruch was fired by the Arkansas State Police on Jan. 16, with his termination letter citing an altercation with a janitor at Flippin High School, a warning for parking in a handicapped space in his patrol car, and a certain post the trooper had made on his Facebook page. What was Weindruch’s Facebook problem? A) Picked Team Gale, shoulda went with Team Peeta. B) Spammed Pepsi’s Facebook page with heartfelt pleas to bring back Crystal Pepsi. C) Threatened to kidnap Grumpy Cat, who he called the “cutie-wootiest.” D) Called State Rep. Andy Mayberry (R-Hensley) “a fool” for introducing a bill that would require UA to play ASU.

4. Several residents of Northwest Arkansas were alarmed last week when they heard an earth-shaking boom. What was the cause of the boom? A) Alice Walton piloting her F35 Joint Strike Fighter to the Piggly Wiggly. B) Duggar family finally reached critical mass. C) A bunch of good ol’ boys packed an old dryer with explosives, then shot it. D) Somebody lit a match at UA’s Kappa Delta house the morning after Burrito Nite.

One seat Democrats are targeting is House District 32 in western Little Rock, held by term-limited Republican Rep. Allen Kerr. Democrats thought they had a potential winner in 2012 with former City Director Barbara Graves. She ran a strong campaign, but Kerr finished with a comfortable win. Nonetheless, a Democrat won a JP race against a solid Republican candidate in the same area. This year? John T. Adams, a young lawyer who made a Democratic race for Congress four years ago, has been running hard. Jim Sorvillo, an extreme-right Republican, is in the race. He’s been a JP, but lost a 2012 race for Senate, a bigger district that includes some strong Democratic areas. Now comes a Republican challenger, Mrs. Pat Hays, a lawyer. The “Mrs.” is not our sexist invention, but was used in her announcement press release, to avoid confusion, presumably, with the Patrick Henry Hays running for Congress as a Democrat. She invokes the GOP mantra, “conservative values,” in paragraph two. Farther along, though, she also says the legislature needs “thoughtful, reasonable” members. Do we infer too much in seeing this as a reference to her Republican primary opponent? It certainly isn’t a reference to Adams, who undoubtedly differs politically with Hays on many issues but who is nothing if not thoughtful and reasonable. She has been a deputy city attorney, a Southwestern Bell attorney and general counsel for Vestcom International, a retail marketing company. She’s been active in Republican politics, including a couple of years as Arkansas GOP counsel.

Keep singin’ Deejays with 103.7 The Buzz recorded a song last week in which they warble about their yearning to be on the cover of the Arkansas Times. Their Dr. Hook rip off was inspired, station marketing director Matt Couch says, by an on-air conversation about Dawn Scott’s appearance on the cover of the Jan. 2 “Natives Guide” issue. Unlike an appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated, being on the Times cover brings only good luck and prosperity, so we can understand why the Buzz cutups would want to be there. Well, here’s a start.

CORRECTIONS 5. On Thursday of last week, when thermometers in Central Arkansas dipped to a chilly 12 degrees, which of the following cities actually had a warmer average daily temperature than Little Rock?

Answers: B, C, D, C, B

A) The Hell City of Dis B) Fairbanks, Alaska C) Witch’s Teat, Minnesota D) Hoth City, Hoth

Last week’s editorial referred to Congressman Tom Cotton’s “gubernatorial” campaign. He is running for Senate. “The library goes to the movies” (Arts and Entertainment feature, Jan. 16) incorrectly reported that Robinson Center Music Hall is currently closed for renovations. Construction isn’t expected to start until July.

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Continued from page 10 Wright is considering whether to hold Lewis in contempt for her actions. She had a hearing before Wright on Jan. 14. Another is scheduled for Feb. 24. Jurors’ use and abuse of social media is a growing concern all over the country, and it’s not the first time an errant post has thrown a digital monkey wrench in the gears of Arkansas justice. In December 2011, citing a juror’s posts to Twitter during trial, the Arkansas Supreme Court threw out the 2010 conviction of death row inmate Erickson Dimas-Martinez, who had been convicted of the 2006 robbery and murder of a Washington County teenager. After Dimas-Martinez was convicted and sentenced to death, it was found that a juror in the case had posted to Twitter, including: “Choices to be made. Hearts to be broken. We each define the great line.” In another Tweet, the juror posted “It’s over” an hour before the jury notified the court that they had reached a verdict. The Dimas-Martinez case was cited by both sides during arguments for and against a new trial for Quinton Riley Jr. The issue is not limited to criminal cases, either. In March 2009 in Washington County, a $12.6 million civil verdict against building material company Stoam Holdings was challenged after it was found that during the trial a juror had posted several times to Twitter, including posts that read: “oh, and nobody buy Stoam. It’s bad mojo and they’ll probably cease to Exist now that their wallet is 12m lighter,” “So Jonathan, what did you do today? Oh nothing really, I just gave away TWELVE MILLION DOLLARS of somebody else’s money,” and “And the verdict is... Penguin Eds can not make fries.” A judge dismissed a motion by Stoam attorneys that sought to throw out the verdict because of the Tweets. Digby, the Little Rock attorney who represented Riley, said Lewis’ posts came to light after his client’s sister’s friend, who was a friend of Lewis on Facebook, reported that Lewis had been talking about her involvement in the case on social media. While a cranky Facebook or Twitter post about a juror being tired might not seem prejudiced one way or the other, Digby said any social media post by a juror sends the wrong impression. “It’s not only important, I think, for people to have confidence that a jury [will] act fairly and do justice, it’s important that they appear to be fair and do justice,”

he said. “If not, people lose faith in the system. Because of the nature of social media, it’s ripe for abuse. ... The legal standard is not whether prejudice occurred, but whether there’s a reasonable possibility of prejudice.” To ensure that everybody gets a fair trial, Digby said, it’s important to minimize the chances that a juror might be — or appear to be — prejudiced. “I think the Court of Appeals and the people who make the rules of criminal procedure are wondering how to deal with it,” Digby said. “It’s not like it was even 10 years ago. Ten years ago, nobody had even heard of Facebook. I don’t even know if we were texting 10 years ago. I think the Court of Appeals and the judges are struggling with that. You don’t want to take peoples’ right to a phone away, but it’s a problem.” Not speaking specifically about the Riley case, Pulaski County Chief Deputy Prosecutor John Johnson said that while the “rubber meets the road issue” is that jurors should follow the instructions of the court, he tends to worry about cell phone use by jurors in general. That said, he questions the idea that any post by a juror to social media should automatically be seen as evidence of bias against the defendant in a case. “I don’t know that just because one is on Twitter or Facebook that there’s always prejudice to the defendant,” he said. “And it makes you wonder: Does all disregarding of the judge’s instructions automatically result in prejudice to the defendant? You should follow the court’s instructions, of course, but it seems like there could be an innocuous or inadvertent failure to follow the court’s instruction that would not result in prejudice to the defendant.” Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen said that while jurors posting to or reading social media is a threat to the administration of justice, he doesn’t like the idea of taking away jurors’ phones as a precaution. “My experience and the experience of most judges is, most jurors are going to work extra hard to follow the instructions,” Griffen said. “The juror who goes up on social media is the exception, not the rule.” Griffen, who gives lengthy instructions to juries about avoiding social media before and during trials in his courtroom, called social media an invasion of the courtroom process and a violation of the integrity of the trial. The problem of social media, Griffen said, is twofold. First, social media can expose jurors to information that

A MISTRIAL IN 140 CHARACTERS, CONT. wasn’t heard inside the courtroom. Second, social media postings transmitted by a juror can be seen as a kind of deliberation, before all the proof in the case has been presented. Jurors are forbidden from any form of deliberation until the case has been handed over to them. “When a juror engages in social media postings, they are, by definition, sharing insights and ideas about the case,” Griffen said. “They are thinking about it. They are deliberating in a real sense, without giving both sides a chance to have all the proof in, and they are deliberating without giving all the other jurors a chance to respond to and challenge any misconceptions or misimpressions. There’s a fundamental injustice that happens whenever jurors are social media posting, whether it’s Facebook, on Twitter, Instagraming, email or anything else.” But Griffen believes that the idea of asking jurors to give up their phones during trials would be pointless. The temptation — Facebook, Twitter, plus all the information they could find on their smartphone while court is in session — will still be there after court adjourns. “At some point, we’re going to have

to deal with the issue of trust,” Griffen said. “The same information that is in the world during the time the juror is in the courthouse is accessible to the juror at their fingertips as soon as the juror steps out of the courthouse. If a juror cannot be trusted, then we respond to that. But I think it would be unfair to assume that jurors are, by definition, unable to resist the temptation.” Deputy Prosecutor Johnson said the danger of a juror gathering outside information that might prejudice them existed long before the Internet. Still, he believes the time may be approaching when it just makes sense to ask jurors to surrender their phones during trials. “You hate to do it,” Johnson said, “but when the risk is that you’ve got to drag a victim back into court and have him or her go through the whole situation again, or — if it’s a homicide case — to have the family relive it, simply because one couldn’t keep themselves from getting on social media, then that’s what I would want, rather than risk that. And you certainly want the defendant to have a fair trial. If social media renders the defendant incapable of getting a fair trial, then that’s just as valid a reason.”


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IN SEARCH OF A SUPERMAJORITY The private option could be in trouble at the legislature, leaving health coverage for 100,000 Arkansans in jeopardy.


ERE WE GO AGAIN. Last year, the news in Arkansas was dominated by months of tense debate over health care reform and a major decision for the state. With key provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act set to go into effect in 2014, should the state accept billions of dollars of federal money in order to expand eligibility for the Medicaid program for low-income Arkansans? Given the strong anti-Obamacare tenor of a campaign that swept in a new Republican majority in the Arkansas General Assembly, the prospects for expansion seemed dicey, if not impossible. The drama took an unexpected turn in late February when the feds gave the state permission to pursue a unique approach, which became known as the “private option.” Arkansas would use Medicaid funds to purchase private health-insurance plans for low-income residents. Republicans took ownership of the new plan, and after a protracted battle at the Capitol, it eventually passed with a bipartisan supermajority in both houses, with Gov. Mike Beebe signing it into law in April. For Republican backers of the plan like Sen. David Sanders (R-Little Rock), the private option is “innovative, pioneering and transformative.” The idea of a conservative version of Medicaid expansion received national attention as well; in recent testimony before the legislature, 14

JANUARY 30, 2014


former Bush administration Health Secretary Michael Leavitt applauded the effort underway: “You couldn’t get the federal government to do this countrywide. But you can do it in Arkansas. And when you do, others will follow.” But for some conservatives, the plan was a betrayal, relying on an increase in government spending granted by the hated Obamacare. The split within the Republican Party in Arkansas (what Rep. Joe Farrer [R-Austin] calls “the conservatives and the real conservatives”) remains raw. Coverage under the private option just started on Jan. 1, and — even as enrollment in the new marketplaces created by the federal ACA has faced massive hiccups — the implementation of the private option in Arkansas has been going as well as proponents could have hoped, with around 100,000 gaining coverage thus far. Just as the private option is getting off the ground, its future appears to be in serious jeopardy in the fiscal session of the General Assembly, which begins Feb. 10. In order to continue the policy past the end of the fiscal year this summer, three-fourths of both houses of the legislature must once again approve the appropriation to accept the federal money that funds it. The rump group of Republicans who opposed the policy are gearing up for another fight, and the path to another supermajority is uncertain at best. Rep. Nate Bell (R-Mena), who opposes the private option, said that there was “no question” that as of now, there are enough




and bring the policy to a screeching halt. In the coming months, there will be endless arguments at the Capitol and in the media over policy nuts and bolts, but this vital question will now come down to a scattering of Arkansas lawmakers, folks from all over the state elected to a parttime job. It will come down to personalities and individual preferences. And politics, of course. The future of the private option is in their hands.

COUNTING VOTES MISSY IRVIN OBJECTS to the notion that she is the key swing vote. “I’m not the only person making these determinations or these votes,” she said. “There are 100 members in the House and 35 in the Senate. The notion that so much comes


down to me is ludicrous in my opinion. It really doesn’t.” Her protestations notwithstanding, Irvin will inevitably attract attention as the one senator who has publicly flipped from a yes to a no, making her, for now, the deciding vote that would block the appropriation. If Irvin won’t budge, the path forward in the Senate becomes extremely hazy. Several lawmakers and others close to the process told me that there were a few senators who voted no last time who could possibly be convinced to vote for the appropriation this time if Irvin is lost for good. But given the makeup of the small group of hardcore no votes, flipping any of them will be a very tall order (see sidebar for more). Senate President Pro Tem Michael Lamoureux

(R-Russellville), who supports the private option, said he has been doing due diligence and touching base with the no votes but “there just doesn’t seem to be a lot of room for negotiation.” “I don’t want to speak for individual members, but I’ve always said that it was very unlikely, if not impossible, that a senator who voted no was going to switch to yes,” Lamoureux said. “Basically, we need the same 27 people to vote yes.” One thing to note: Irvin went back and forth last session multiple times, eventually voting for the appropriation after getting a few last-minute amendments she requested. Reading between the lines in her statements, it’s possible to imagine a path by which she could support the appropriation again this time in the end. Her two chief complaints — Blue Cross Blue


votes to block the funding. “I think anybody in the Capitol building would agree with that,” he said.              The private option passed last year with one vote to spare in the Senate, but one of the yes votes, Sen. Paul Bookout (D-Jonesboro), resigned in August after a scandal over misuse of campaign funds. In the special election held in mid-January to take his place, Republican John Cooper — who campaigned explicitly on fervent opposition to the private option — easily won the seat by more than a thousand votes. All of a sudden, the margin for error was reduced to zero. That same week, in an interview with the Times, Sen. Missy Irvin (R-Mountain View) said she was unhappy with the private option and “right now I cannot support it.” A few days later, she released a statement with even stronger language: “I am opposed to moving forward and will not vote to fund the appropriation for the private option.”  Heading into the fiscal session, that leaves the Senate one vote short. Sen. Linda Chesterfield (D-Little Rock) declared in a recent committee meeting that the private option was “on life support.” Still, many Republican and Democratic lawmakers supportive of the policy, while acknowledging the uphill battle ahead, express confidence that they can find a way forward to gather the support to continue the policy. “We had great collaboration with Democrats and Republicans [last year],” said Keith Ingram of West Memphis, the Democratic minority leader in the Senate. “We found a way to reach across the aisle. That is so different than what’s going on with Washington. I think people applaud that. ... I feel like in some way, shape or form, we’ll find a way to get it done during the fiscal session.” “At the end of the day, I think once we go through this process again that we’ll pass it because it continues to make sense to pass it,” said House Speaker Davy Carter (R-Cabot). The private option brings in billions of federal dollars into the state economy, saves the state more than $600 million over 10 years according to an independent actuarial report, and provides a lifeline to local hospitals absorbing the ACA’s Medicare reimbursement cuts. That’s not to mention the 100,000 (and counting) Arkansans who have gained health coverage under the private option who would lose it in July if the state defunds the policy. In short, the policy stakes — for Arkansas and for the future of health care reform nationally — are enormous. But the supermajority requirement means that just nine lawmakers in the Senate, or 26 in the House, could block the appropriation

Shield’s reimbursement cut to specialists and her belief that there has not been enough progress and clarity on the Health Savings Account set to go into effect in 2015 — both could be resolved by the time she faces a vote. While the spotlight is pointed on Irvin, she is certainly right that she’s not the only legislator vote-counters will be monitoring closely. Our sidebar (page 17) takes a detailed look at possible swing votes, in the Senate and in the House, where the appropriation reached the supermajority threshold by just two votes. The fiscal session will likely see a repeat of last year’s roller-coaster, with many lawmakers on the fence until the last minute, or changing sides too rapidly for anyone to keep track (“like nailing Jell-O to a wall,” the saying

went), and both sides engaging in a fierce battle to hold the ones they have and flip the ones they don’t. Republican primaries in Arkansas have lately turned into who-hates-Obamacaremore competitions, and with the filing deadline approaching, politics will come into play. Irvin is one of a number of Republican incumbents likely to face a primary challenger who will make their private option vote an issue. Rep. Justin Harris (R-West Fork), a private-option opponent, described the appropriation this year as a “no-go” and said, “I don’t think we’re going to have to flip anyone. I think they’ve already made their decision to go ahead and vote no. I think they realize it wasn’t a good thing.” That said, Harris added, “We’ve seen a lot of deal-making before. If I was a betting person right now I would not bet what’s going to happen.” Proponents of the policy say they’ll focus on the data now available about the private-option implementation. “What has happened before this point in terms of people assessing the private option has been abstract,” Sanders said. “Now we’re actually starting to see real operational, functional aspects that are pretty significant.” The costs of the private option thus far are in line with the actuarial projections produced during the original debate, Sanders noted, and the enrollees are leaning younger than the population in the rest of the marketplace. “Because of the private option, I think we’ll be the only state that hits our targets in terms of a young, healthy population enrolling,” said Rep. John Burris, another key Republican backer of the plan. “That’s significant long term in terms of keeping premiums low for all Arkansans and attracting more carriers to the market.” “The governor has said all along, the facts of this and what it does for the state are pretty indisputable and that continues to be the case,” said Matt DeCample, spokesman for Gov. Mike Beebe. “We’re on a lot more steady ground than we were last time around because everything is in place. It’s doing what we said it could do for the state. There’s more real information, real people, real results to show.” While the focus naturally falls on Republican swing votes, the private option was only possible with Democrats voting as a block in favor of the policy. Both Senate Minority Leader Ingram and House Minority Leader Greg Leding (D-Fayetteville) said that they expected Democrats to continue to support the private option. “We have some members who have questions about the way some of the things have CONTINUED ON PAGE 16

JANUARY 30, 2014


‘WE HAVE NO SAY-SO’ “RIGHT NOW THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE is the Blue Cross Blue Shield issue,” Leding said. Blue Cross, by far the largest health insurance carrier in the state, cut its reimbursement rate to specialist doctors by 15 percent for patients on the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace, which includes the private-option beneficiaries. This move angered the specialists — singling them out for a particular cut was an unprecedented and unfair maneuver, they argue. Lawmakers have taken note. “I can assure you that if you’re not involved, you might ought to be,” Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway), who voted for the private option last year, told DHS officials in a recent legislative meeting. “Because it has become a critical issue and a critical one for me.” Here’s the thorny part for privateoption proponents: Blue Cross’s controversial decision is only tangentially connected to the private option itself, and ultimately is an issue that state lawmakers and officials don’t have much direct control over. Any attempt at a legislative fix would amount to the state enforcing price controls on a private company. “I don’t think anyone wants to go there,” Leding said. Lamoureux agreed: “I’m not in the business of setting the prices of milk or bread or health care and I wouldn’t know how to do it if I was.” Instead, lawmakers are hoping that Blue Cross can come to an agreement through ongoing talks with specialists and lawmakers. “We are offering a statewide product at the lowest rate,” Blue Cross spokesperson Max Greenwood said. “That was one of the elements that was used to price the products. We’ve been asked to have discussions about it and we are listening to people’s concerns.” Greenwood declined to speculate on possible adjustments to the fee schedule. Rep. Deborah Ferguson (D-West Memphis), whose husband is a radiologist, has 16

JANUARY 30, 2014


been one of the lawmakers raising vocal objections. “I think Blue Cross will be reasonable in the end,” she said. “I think they realize they’re putting the private option at risk.” Ferguson said she was undecided about how she would vote on the private option if a resolution over the Blue Cross reimbursement issue could not be found. “Unlike Medicaid, where we have some legislative oversight, we really don’t have any legislative oversight with their reimbursement,” Ferguson said. “We can complain and make suggestions, but in terms of having any legal authority, we don’t. I would hope because Blue Cross is 80 or 85 percent of the market that they would listen to legislators’ concerns. Unfortunately, the only hammer we have is to not vote for the private option.” Greenwood objected to linking the private-option vote to the specialist cuts.


“Nearly 100,000 Arkansans now have access to health care that otherwise didn’t,” she said. “That to me is the issue. With regard to our reimbursement schedule, are you willing to take away coverage for this population based on a reimbursement schedule that still compensates specialists twice as much as primary care doctors overall even under the new schedule?” Rep. Steve Magie (D-Conway), an ophthalmologist, is one of the legislators involved in talks with Blue Cross. “They were under the gun to put a product out there for the marketplace, and they made a decision that was really unfair between physician groups,” Magie said. It might be difficult in practice to amend the contracts already in place this year, Magie said, but “if [Blue Cross said] we’ll see actuarially what we need to do and change it for the 2015

year, I think people would understand that.” Magie said that it was a good sign that Blue Cross made an offer during negotiations to allow specialists to opt out of accepting Blue Cross members on the Health Insurance Marketplace at the lower rate while still seeing other Blue Cross members. Regardless of what happens with the negotiations, Magie will not revoke his support for the private option. “The bottom line is, if you vote down the private option, you’re penalizing the most vulnerable segment of our population,” he said. “I can’t do that. ... That’s not the right thing to do.” This issue hits close to home for Irvin, whose father is an orthopedic surgeon (her husband is a family practitioner who wouldn’t be impacted by these cuts, but Irvin has been outspoken throughout the private-option debate about protecting reimbursement rates for all providers).


unfolded,” Leding said. “But I believe that when it comes time to vote we will all be on board.” Leding said that last year, Democratic legislators made a strategic decision to remain relatively quiet as the internal debate within the Republican Party unfolded. “This time around, I don’t want to be that quiet again,” Leding said. “We have about 100,000 Arkansans out there that now have health insurance and are counting on it, and I really don’t want to stand by quietly while people debate the possibility of taking that away.”

“Obviously we do not have the ability to affect that policy decision that Blue Cross has made,” Irvin said. “As we move forward, how are we going to deal with that? Yes, they’re a private company, but they’re receiving taxpayer dollars. I’m elected to make sure that taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely and correctly. ... In effect, you can’t necessarily just hand the keys over to private industry. ... They make policy decisions and we have no say-so in it. That’s a little bit problematic, for not just me but for a lot of folks on the other side of the aisle.” Irvin doesn’t quite come out and say that the state should be in control of the reimbursement rates, but that seems to be the implication. That’s more than a little ironic given that Irvin is now an ally of the opponents of coverage expansion, who ostensibly want less government involve-

ment in health care. The debate over health care reform is often cast as an ideological struggle, but it’s just as often a political battle in which current stakeholders seek to protect their own interests. While private-option proponents may hope that Blue Cross will make adjustments to appease Irvin and company, some may be uneasy with the political muscle being flexed by the providers. After all, the private option was supposed to control costs by encouraging private carriers to innovate and compete. If carriers have politicians looking over their shoulder, some might ask, what’s the point of the private option?

‘TWEAKS AND ADJUSTMENTS’ “I THINK IT NEEDS FIXING,” said Rep. John Hutchison (R-Harrisburg), who voted for the private-option appropriation last year. “It needs tweaking. At this point, I cannot vote for it, because it’s not structured right.” A common sentiment among Republican lawmakers — not just those who supported the policy, but even those who voted against the appropriation last year — is that their support in the fiscal session is contingent on “tweaks and adjustments” to the private option, though most were unwilling to get into specifics about what sorts of changes they were hoping for. “There’s no doubt that the private option emerges from this fiscal session looking somewhat different,” Nate Bell said. “The question becomes — can there be a point found where everybody can agree that this is how we move forward. ... We can get in a big standoff and nobody wins. So my whole goal is to sit down — and I’ve been doing this for several months now — sit down with people on both sides of this thing and say, OK, what’s the wish list look like. ... It’s certainly not something we’re going to float out to the public yet, but there’s several drafts floating around, seeing if there can be some agreement.” The key Republican backers of the private option say they encourage new ideas for how to shape it going forward. “I’m in receiving mode,” Burris said. “A lot of people that were opposed have some really good ideas for how to make this even better policy.” “We haven’t heard anything specific,” DeCample said. “That’s not something we’re examining or initiating ourselves, but the governor has always said he’ll sit down and talk to anyone.” DHS spokesperson Amy Webb said the agency is “open to discussing tweaks, so long as we protect the integrity of the law and what it was designed to do.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 18



With the margins tight and the political momentum seeming to run against the private option for now, vote counters are focused on Republicans who supported the appropriation last year but might flip this time. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but these are the names most commonly heard at the Capitol. REP. ANN CLEMMER (BENTON): ON THE FENCE. Clemmer is facing off against businessman French Hill in the Republican primary for the second Congressional district seat vacated by Tim Griffin. “I’ve always taught that what I wanted in a representative is someone who says what they believe and votes their conscience and stands for election at the end,” she said. “But I have a great deal of ambivalence about [the private option]. And then the politics can push.” REP. LES CARNINE (ROGERS): ON THE FENCE. “It was a difficult vote but I felt like for business and jobs in the state that was probably the right thing to do at that time,” Carnine said. Carnine voted against the appropriation on the penultimate vote and is considered close to Rep. Terry Rice, who was slated to be Speaker until Davy Carter won the position, leaving lingering ill feeling.

REP. KELLEY LINCK (YELLVILLE): ON THE FENCE. “I’m probably as much on the fence this time as I was last time,” Linck said. REP. STEPHANIE MALONE (FORT SMITH): ON THE FENCE. “I can’t say I’m committed either way because so many things have changed since we were in session,” Malone said. “I’m just going to sit back and listen to both sides.” REP. ANDY MAYBERRY (HENSLEY): LEANING YES. Mayberry is running for lieutenant governor. His most prominent opponent in the Republican primary, Rep. Charlie Collins, has been a strong supporter of the private option. “It would be an easier path to a Republican nomination to say, hey, I’m against the private option,” Mayberry said. “I’m just trying to do the right thing. If I were to vote right now, I would vote to fund it again.” REP. SUE SCOTT (ROGERS): LEANING YES. Scott is facing a primary challenge and will likely be attacked for her vote, but said, “I stand with the decision that I made.” 

REP. JON EUBANKS (PARIS): LEANING NO. “If the employer mandate had been delayed when we voted on it, I don’t think it would have passed the first time,” Eubanks said. “I think people have a trust issue with D.C. if they’re going to follow through with their parts of everything. … I would have to say I’m [leaning against it] but I am not firm one way or the other.”

REP. MARY LOU SLINKARD (GRAVETTE): ??? Slinkard did not respond to a request for comment.

REP. JOHN HUTCHISON (HARRISBURG): LEANING NO. Hutchison has a credible Democratic challenger, so unlike some of the Republican swing voters, he may have to worry about an opponent who is for the private option. “At this point, I cannot vote for it,” Hutchison said. “There’s got to be a few changes, got to be some major looking in to.” 

SEN. BRUCE HOLLAND (GREENWOOD): ??? Holland faces a primary challenge from private-option foe Rep. Terry Rice but sources at the Capitol believe that Holland will vote for the appropriation again. Holland did not respond to a request for comment.

REP. ALLEN KERR (LITTLE ROCK): LEANING NO. “If you made me vote today, I’d vote no,” Kerr said. “The bottom line is I’m going to need a whole lot more information. They’re going to have to re-sell this thing from the get-go.”

SEN. MISSY IRVIN (MOUNTAIN VIEW): NO. Irvin has released a statement that she plans to vote against the appropriation this time, making her the deciding vote for now. Supporters are holding out hope that she

might come back around if her pet issues — Blue Cross reimbursement cuts and Health Savings Accounts — are addressed. SEN. EDDIE JOE WILLIAMS (CABOT): ??? Williams was considered a swing vote in the final days last year. Sources at the Capitol believe that he would support the appropriation if his vote was needed to put it over the top, but would be content with voting no if they’re short of the supermajority. Williams did not respond to a request for comment.

WHAT ABOUT NO TO YES? SENATE: A quick perusal of the list of NO votes in the Senate reveals why private-option proponents are so worried about Irvin’s flip. It’s almost unthinkable that Sens. Bryan King, Alan Clark or newcomer John Cooper would vote for the appropriation. We’ve been told that Bart Hester and Jim Hendren aren’t impossible in the right circumstances but … We’ll believe it when we see it. That leaves Gary Stubblefield (considered a swing vote last time but close to King), Cecile Bledsoe and Jane English as possible targets if Irvin is unmoveable. Yikes. HOUSE: A number of lawmakers believe it’s possible to add support in the House, with some even hopeful of getting YES votes into the 80s. Randy Alexander said last year that he supported the policy but needed more time; Kim Hammer, as always, says he’s keeping an open mind; Karen Hopper and Jonathan Barnett could perhaps be amenable to the policy. Nate Bell remains opposed to the policy but has been active in working on “tweaks and adjustments” and he may be a bellwether of whether other conservatives feel they get enough to support the appropriation this time, given the constraints of the fiscal session. David and Stephen Meeks, Bill Gossage, Charlotte Douglas and Charlene Fite are unlikely to fully embrace the private option, but might okay the appropriation in the right circumstances.

AND THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE? If any Democrats peel off, the private option would be doomed. Leadership says that won’t happen, but the Blue Cross reimbursement cuts loom as a sticky issue. Rep. Deborah Ferguson claims that with that unresolved, she is undecided on the private option.

JANUARY 30, 2014




It would theoretically be possible to with, though they will be on guard against anything that chips away too much at the amend the law itself (with two-thirds spirit of the coverage expansion. approval in both houses, the constitution “It is something we’re going to have to allows the legislature to take up non-appropriation legislation during the fiscal seswatch closely,” Leding said. “We can’t necsion). Far more likely is special language essarily just take the 48 Democrat votes tied to the appropriation, tying up the funds for granted. I don’t know where that line would be but I suspect if it was changed if certain criteria weren’t met by next fiscal year. too much, it might become unpalatable What might the tweaks include? Some for some of us. And then we’re in a very of it may come down to creating clearer difficult position.” language and a specific timetable for some Another issue that may come up in negotiations: federal grant money for features already mentioned in the law. DHS is planning during the session to send a outreach, such as advertisements and the trained guides who help with enrollment request to the feds to offer health savings on the newly created Marketplace. Some accounts (a pet issue for Irvin, not to menof these funds have already been blocked tion Sanders and many other Republicans) by Legislative Council, and the outreach to private-option beneficiaries starting in 2015. Republicans could make the appromoney is technically geared not toward priation contingent on federal approval. the private option, but the rest of the Marketplace. The give here would be a condiSimilarly, there may be a request for costsharing or small co-pays for some privatetional surrender of sorts for Democrats; option beneficiaries below the poverty line. Arkansas would have near-universal coverage available but no outreach budget to Again, this is in the law, but Republicans spread the word and facilitate enrollment. are eager for specifics and progress. “It’s a fair concern,” Burris said. “People want While lower enrollment in the Marketplace assurance that we’re on the path we need could lead to higher premiums, opposition to be on with those things.” to become an important antiHeavyoutreach HorshasD’oeuvres Another likely request: a waiver of the Obamacare symbol for many Republicans. requirement that the state pick up the tab Quality As one lawmaker put it, he might be open libations to giving the private option a chance, but for non-emergency medical transportahe didn’t want to have to see “Obamacare tion, a benefit under Medicaid not covered one-on-one Convo WitH tHe artist ads” during the Super Bowl. by private plans. Iowa, which is pursuing a similar privatized version of Medicaid Part of the reason someone like Bell live PerformanCe from tHe funk a nites expansion, recently got a one-year waiver — who would prefer to do away with the on providing this “wraparound benefit” private option altogether — is willing to *Pro tiP $3 off WitH event from the feds. negotiate is the lack of a clear endgame PassWorD tofisbe revealeD All of these would fall under the catto a pure defund strategy during this via soCial meDia egory of “making Medicaid more Republical session. can,” as the Washington Post’s Sarah Kliff “I think it’s fair to say I’ve pushed my put it, noting that the Obama administrano button more than anyone,” Bell said. tion’s desire to get red states to agree to “But I’m only going to vote no when I can accomplish something by voting no. ... So Medicaid expansion has opened the door for conservative reforms. many people believe that because you have thea foundatio That said, these are likely the sorts of the votes to beat an appropriation, you can changes — making implicit portions of the actually accomplish something, and that’s law more explicit, attaching firm deadlines, just not the case. ... At the end of the day, it’s in the best interests of the state if we @theasta following the lead of other states using a can move away from [the private option]. similar approach — that Democrats can live

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But completely moving away from it in a fiscal session with the divided opinions that we have in the legislature is simply not possible.” No one is quite sure how things would play out if the appropriation can’t muster the votes. For one thing, the underlying law redefining Medicaid eligibility would still be on the books (it’s hard to imagine that private-option opponents would be able to get the two-thirds they would need to take up a legislative change, or even the simple majority they would need to change the law), raising all sorts of open questions. The entire state budget would also need to be renegotiated on the fly, since eliminating the private option would leave an $89 million shortfall next fiscal year, according to the Department of Finance and Administration. More simply, if the appropriation fails, would private-option opponents have the votes to refer it back to committee? To amend it on the floor? This gets back to Bell’s point — a minority of lawmakers could block an appropriation but, facing a motivated opposition, they wouldn’t even be close to having the votes to pass something in its place. That conceivably could put the Medicaid budget, or even the entire DHS budget, in limbo. “Then you’re just at a standstill,” Burris said. “And then you’re in to the question of who gets the blame. I don’t know. But I just know that it’s not a situation we want to find ourselves in. I think a lot of Republicans wisely want to avoid it.” That’s certainly not to say that these various procedural hurdles are insurmountable for those dead set on stopping the private option, but things would get very messy and complicated very quickly. Farrer has said he would be willing to hold up the entire DHS budget into the summer if that’s what it took to stop the private option. Leding said, “I know we’ve had a few members come out and say they’d be willing to stand in front of that particular train but I don’t see anybody casting that vote.” “That is not in the best interests of Arkansas,” Bell said. “I didn’t come here to burn the house down just to make a point.”

well be changes and compromises that are necessary to create the best policy.” The private option still has many powerful state interests and talented political operators pushing it ahead. The logistical complications in the way of fully defunding it this year are real. On the other hand, never underestimate the political power in Arkansas of proving that you hate Obamacare more than the next guy. Mileage will vary on whether the private option is an innovative conservative reform or a sellout to Obamacare, but enough GOP primary voters believe the latter to scare the pants off of Republican politicians. Moreover, the math on a three-fourths threshold will always be tough. Some lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed concern about the precedent of what amounts to demanding an annual supermajority to support the policy itself. Traditionally lawmakers have been willing to approve an appropriation even if they didn’t agree with everything in it; a few Republicans pointed out that while Democrats voted in block against Voter ID, they still voted for the Secretary of State’s appropriation that spent a quarter-million dollars to implement it. The need for an annual supermajority for the private option in particular means that the policy will always be in danger, and it means — as we’re already seeing — tight margins that give enormous political leverage for individual lawmakers and special interests. DHS spokesperson Webb said the agency has begun having conversations about the defunding scenario. “We have to know what the implications are,” she said. The ripple effects on the Medicaid program, the insurance Marketplace, various state agencies and municipalities, and hospitals across the state would be immense. And tens of thousands of letters would go out, to the people who had gained coverage in January, informing them that it would come to an end on June 30. “In terms of that aspect of it, it’s that simple,” Webb said. “We inform folks that this program ends, we have no additional funding for it.” If the private option is to survive, not just this year but in the years to come, perhaps it will be because lawmakers are unwilling to send those letters. Asked about the people who would lose coverage without the private option, Rep. Stephanie Malone (R-Fort Smith), who supported the appropriation last time but describes herself as on the fence now, said, “That’s something we’d have to figure out a way to fix. That’s a strong reason — to the people against it, if you’re opposed to it, then bring me a solution to that.”

A Young ProfessionAl series Presented by  IS SEN. CHESTERFIELD RIGHT? Is the private option “on life support”? That’s probably a fair assessment at this point, though there were times when that was true last year, too. “I always have faith in the process,” Burris said. “I don’t say that lightly. The legislature has a remarkable way of working itself out. I’ve got faith that the right outcome will prevail. And that could very

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chickens. The museum is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 1 - 5 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for children and senior citizens, and group rates are available. For more information on Mardi Gras in Lake Charles/ Southwest Louisiana as well as information on the Mardi Gras app, visit or call the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 456-7952.

Mardi Gras in Cajun Country

In Louisiana, Mardi Gras is statewide

Mardi Gras in Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana

In Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana, Mardi Gras does not just mean parades and costumes — it’s a combination of Carnival krewes with community spirit and tradition. Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana boasts the second largest Mardi Gras in the state with over 60 krewes, more than 20 family-friendly events, and a new Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras smartphone app. The magic of Mardi Gras kicks off the Friday before Fat Tuesday and the fun does not stop until the last float rolls during the Krewe of Krewes Parade on Fat Tuesday, March 4. The Merchant’s Parade starts the festivities on Friday night, Feb. 28. Throughout the weekend, there is Children’s Day, with educational activities for kids followed by a Children’s Parade. The Krewe of Barkus parade of royal dogs and the Iowa Chicken Run are sights to see! The flavor of Mardi Gras wouldn’t be complete without food events such as the World-Famous Cajun Extravaganza and Gumbo Cook-off and the Taste de La Louisiane or music festivities such as the free Zydeco Dance. Kings, queens and captains for each krewe, known as royalty, usher in the Mardi Gras season by promenading at the Royal Gala, held the Monday before Fat Tuesday, March 3. Lake Charles is the only place in the state where the public can see all royal courts in their full regalia. In Southwest Louisiana local traditions and costumes from past seasons are archived in the Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu open year-round. The museum, located in the Central School Arts & Humanities Center at 809 Kirby Street, houses the largest collection of costumes in the South. The museum encompasses six rooms, and includes animated narrators, videos, a parade float and even talking

Mardi Gras in Cajun Country can mean different things depending on which area you are referring. From traditional parades most common with city celebrations to the traditional courir located in rural areas, Mardi Gras in Cajun Country has a rich history that is distinctively unique and rooted in tradition. Mardis Gras celebrations in both the city and country contain the traditions of a procession, ritual disguise, role-playing and ceremonial begging that came to Louisiana when France began to develop its colony in 1699. French Canadian explorer Pierre le Monye, Sieur de Iberville was exploring the Mississippi River when he and his men camped on a bend of the river 60 miles south of New Orleans on March 3. Knowing Mardi Gras was being celebrated back in France, Pierre decided to christen the site Pointe du Mardi Gras. This location has remained a Mardi Gras symbol for more than 300 years and is now commemorated with a plaque at the site. The first formal Mardi Gras balls and parades now associated with the city celebrations of Lafayette dates back to 1869. The first Mardi Gras king and organized parade was held in Lafayette in 1897. Formal Mardi Gras balls and parades after 1897 seemed to come and go into 1934 when the Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras Association was created. Modern day city Mardi Gras celebrations have evolved, but the customs and the rituals are still intact. The procession has taken the form of colorful Mardi Gras floats carrying disguised members of local krewes that throw beads, doubloons and other trinkets to people begging, “Throw me something mister,” along the parade route. The city celebrations of Lafayette tend to be more approachable and familyfriendly than its rural counterparts. In the country celebrations, or Courir de Mardi Gras, the original traditions are still integral, but are different from the city celebrations. The procession is made up of masked revelers in costume who are herded from house to house by the capitaine begging for ingredients to make a large gumbo for the community. Le Capitaine is a caped but unmasked captain who stops his revelers at a distance while he approaches homes in the community with a white flag and asks permission for his riders to enter the property. If permission is granted, the captain lowers his white flag and the riders charge toward the house. There, they dismount and proceed to dance and sing for live chickens and other donations such as rice, onions, and flour to be used in the gumbo. The day’s festivities usually end with a fais-do-do and lots of gumbo for Mardi Gras revelers. While both the city and country celebrations are deeply rooted in tradition, the form these take is what makes Mardi Gras in Cajun Country distinctively unique. For a complete list of Mardi Gras events taking place in Lafayette and the surrounding areas, visit or call (337) 232-3737 for more information. Photo Credits: (top left) Monsour’s Photography; (top right); (bottom right) Philip Gould






In Louisiana, Mardi Gras is more than one day in one city. It is a statewide celebration, and it is never the same party twice. This time, bring something better back from your vacation–stories you will be telling for years. ©2014 Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism

Arts Entertainment AND



t’s that time of the year again. After months of hype and weeks of whittling down, we’re ready to begin the local battle of the bands to end all battle of the bands — the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase. For 21 years running, the showcase has served as a launch party for some of Arkansas’s finest. Past winners include the likes of Ho Hum, Runaway Planet, The Salty Dogs, Eden’s Edge, 607, Velvet Kente and Tyrannosaurus Chicken. As usual, this year’s contest pits 20 semifinalists against each other over the course of five Thursdays at Stickyz. The winners from each semifinal round will square off in the finals on Friday, March 7 at Revolution. At stake (besides bragging rights) includes a cash prize; spots playing at Riverfest, Valley of the Vapors and Arkansas Sounds; recording time at Blue Chair Studio; a gift certificate at Jacksonville Guitar; a T-shirt package from Section 8; a drink named after the winner at Stickyz and Revolution; a congratulatory party at Stickyz and a photo shoot with Times photographer Brian Chilson. We’ll also be doing audience giveaways, including for passes to Wakarusa and more. Personalities from KKPT, The Point 94.1 FM, will be on hand to host. New this year, everyone who comes through the door will receive a ticket that they can deposit in a box with their favorite band’s name on it. The crowd 22

JANUARY 30, 2014


vote will be weighted to count the same as one judge’s. The fun gets started 9 p.m. Thursday at Stickyz. It’s an all-ages affair, $5 for 21 an older and $10 for 20 and younger. Here are your first-round semifinalists:

The Fable and The Fury Searcy’s The Fable and The Fury call their style “folk ’n’ roll,” but pressed in an interview with KLRT-TV, Fox 16, front man Jake Reeves elaborated, “We’re a rock band, but we can strip down ... and play acoustic, too.” That often means you’ll see three acoustic guitars strumming at once, but sometimes there’ll be a banjo or mandolin in the mix, too. Look for grand harmonies and lyrics of both existential poetry (“For the world/is reduced to just an object/floating somewhere deep inside us/betwixt our double crown and calloused toe”) and historical odes (“Next to Traveler on thy knee/Mister Lee of Virginee/Not a soul enslaved by thee”).

The Fable and The Fury

Basement Brew “I only say strange words when I try to talk,” claims Basement Brew on their song “Sweet Release,” and having heard their debut EP, “Pimp Safari,” we wouldn’t disagree. But then even their band name evokes something illicit, homemade, dank. A five-member folkCONTINUED ON PAGE 31

Basement Brew


7th & thayer, Lr

(501) 375-8400

Check out the Times’ A&E blog

A&E NEWS NATE POWELL’S “MARCH” WINS CORETTA SCOTT KING HONORS. The American Library Association announced this week that “March: Book One” has been named a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. “March,” the first graphic novel in a trilogy on Civil Rights hero Congressman John Lewis, was illustrated by North Little Rock native Nate Powell, who worked closely with Lewis and co-author Andrew Aydin on the project. The honor marks only the second time that the Coretta Scott King committee has selected a graphic novel. “March” has been on the New York Times bestseller list for more than 20 weeks.

Thursday, January 30

Swampbird w/ The Kid Carsons & W.B. Givens

Friday, January 31

Big Silver

Saturday, February 1


Friday, February 7

The Hudson Falcons w/ The P-47s

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THE THIRD-ANNUAL LITTLE ROCK HORROR PICTURE SHOW, the creepy little sister of the more straight laced Little Rock Film Festival, will be held March 20-23 at the new Ron Robinson Theater in the River Market, and organizers are making it easier than ever to see every bloody minute. For the first time, those attending the LR Horror Picture Show will be able to purchase a $50 “Full Festival Pass,” which grants the holder entry into every event associated with the festival, including all screenings and parties, plus priority seating. The horror festival will also for the first time be offering $20 day passes which allow a fan to see every screening held on a given day. For more information or to purchase passes, visit Organizers plan to release this year’s schedule of films over the next few weeks, so keep an eye on the website. BEGINNING MONDAY, FEB. 3, THE CENTRAL ARKANSAS LIBRARY SYSTEM will add to its already great free digital media offerings with the launch of a system that offers library cardholders free, instant streaming of movies, TV shows, albums and audiobooks. The system is managed through Hoopla Digital, and the materials can be viewed on smartphones, tablets and computers once a patron has downloaded the free Hoopla Digital app from Google Play or the Apple App Store. Once the app is downloaded, patrons can browse titles and digitally “check out” up to five titles a month. Once checked out, videos are available for three days, music for seven days, and audiobooks for 21 days. The content can be viewed or listened to at any time during the specified period. For more information about Hoopla, hit the CALS website at

JANUARY 30, 2014







9:30 p.m., White Water Tavern.

Put this one on your weekend list if you dig extremely tasteful and wellexecuted pop music with stick-in-yourhead melodies and a dusty American edge to it, informed in equal part by The Beatles as by The Band. If that description makes your ears perk up, then by all means check this out. But the odds are good that if you dig that sound and have lived in Central Arkansas for longer than 10 minutes, you’re already aware that Big Silver is among the finest practitioners of such fare. Frontman Isaac Alexander is one of the region’s keenest songwriters (evidenced by his many bands and his excellent solo albums, including 2012’s ace “Antivenin Suite”), so don’t miss this one.



WAKA WAKA: Atlanta MC Waka Flocka Flame is at Juanita’s on Friday.

9:30 p.m., White Water Tavern.

he still performs plenty of his numbers from a couple years ago, including plenty from “Flockaveli,” like the hit “Hard in da Paint,” “Grove St. Party,” and others. “I can’t dodge ’em,” he said. In addition to all that, the whole beef with Gucci Mane is settled. They’ve moved on, so we should too, so don’t ask about it, all right? Also on this bill: WKiddB & Wayne’ D and Kodak.

This here will be what you could reasonably call a foregone conclusion for a good many White Water regulars and maybe a good number of irregulars, too. First up you’ve got the formerly erstwhile Mulehead, long-time torchbearers for the country-rock sound in Arkansas. And then you’ve got your Brent Best, one of the founders of Texas stalwarts (and WWT faves) Slobberbone. Add it all up and you’ve got what promises to be a hell of an evening of live music.

instance, early rock ’n’ roll and those ghostly, reverb-slathered girl-group hits of the early ’60s and maybe The 13th Floor Elevators. Then later on they move away from that somewhat and they get real into The Ramones but also artsier stuff, and they make videos with all their friends shakin’ their asses to an upbeat tune that sounds like something off the first Donnas album, and it’s the kinda thing that makes cynical, jerkwad music critics go, “Aw man, who cares about the

lineup changes and the stylistic 180s, that’s some pretty excellent ass-shakin’ right there.” And then you think, “Hey, that’s a pretty good song even it there wasn’t any ass-shakin’ video.” You follow? So go see Those Darlins doing their thing, because even though it’s not the thing they were doing a couple of years ago, it’s a real good thing right now. Also performing at this 18-andolder show: Darlins tourmates Bully and sultry electro-pop maestros Collin Vs. Adam.



10 p.m., Juanita’s. $40.

Despite what has to have been a tough few weeks, Atlanta MC Waka Flocka Flame is soldiering on. Waka’s younger brother and fellow rapper Kayo Redd took his own life back in late December. Waka told Washington, D.C., radio station WKYS, “That boy had a lot of stress on him. It’s a lot of things that go

on behind doors that people don’t know about,” he said. But it’s important to keep going on even in the face of tragedy: “Life goes on,” he said. “That’s the motto for me, life goes on.” So he’s still touring, still working on new music, including his third studio album, “Flockaveli 2,” which is scheduled to be released this year along with an electronic album he’s got in the works as well. He also said



9 p.m., Stickyz. $10.

TENNESSEEIN’ IS TENNEBELIEVIN’: Nashville’s Those Darlins perform at Stickyz on Saturday.


JANUARY 30, 2014


I guess folks get into certain things and then one day they’re not so into those things and they’re on to some different thing. Maybe one day it’s all the thing to be wearin’ cowboy boots and cloggin’ and singin’ songs about a-drankin’ and a-hell-raisin’ while donning all manner of twangy, oldtimey affectations. Then a little while later that’s not so much the thing, and they get into different things like, for





8 p.m., Revolution. $10.

OK, so at first I got kinda excited when I saw this was coming up because I misread it as African Head Charge, the experimental dub/sound collage outfit that’s been crafting vertigo-inducing reggae deconstructions since the early ’80s (check out their recent album “Vision of a Psychedelic

Africa” to get your head rearranged). But this is actually an industrial/ Nu metal band from Minneapolis called American Head Charge. Weird coincidence. According to ye olde Wikipedia, co-founder Chad Hanks said, “It turns out that there is actually a band called African Head Charge; it’s so hard to be original these days.” Ain’t that the truth. Anyways, no sticky dub jams

here. American Head Charge should appeal to masochistic folks whose ears require chugging, screaming, amp-abusing heaviness. Recommended if your smartphone/MP3 player/Walkman is full of the likes of Slipknot, System of a Down, maybe later period Ministry, and so forth. Also on the bill of this allages mosh-fest, Christian headbangers Righteous Vendetta.

Perfect Timing solo tour. Few who were around back in those olden times could forget the horrorcore-pioneering, Grammy-winning outfit behind such hits as “1st of tha Month,” “East 1999” and “Tha Crossroads,” a tribute to their

late mentor Eazy-E. So Layzie’s stopping by Revolution for a performance with Mo Thugz N Harmony, Howse Entertainment, Julius CZR, Country Boyz, 870 Underground and Rozay Thrower.



10:30 p.m., Revolution. $10-$25.

All right all you ’90s hip-hop heads, check this out: Layzie Bone, of Cleveland legends Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, is stepping out on what’s billed as The



8 p.m., Vino’s.

My buddy John had this deal where if you were in, he’d say you were “from the farm.” Basically, it was his shorthand for indicating that somebody was a solid dude. I don’t know these guys in Pontiak from Adam, but man, it just seems like they’re from the farm. And not just because they’re three brothers who play in a band together and are actually from farms in Virginia. They also make some righteous and refreshingly unpretentious psychedelic rock music as well. They’ve released several discs via Chicago tastemakers Thrill Jockey. I checked out some tunes off of 2012’s “Echo Ono,” which included heroic doses of Midwest heavy psych a la The MC5 (“Lions of Least”); throbbing drone dirges (“Left with Lights,” “Royal Colors”); blissed out folk (“The Expanding Sky”) and various points in between. The brothers have a new album out this year, called “Innocence,” and it promises another step out into uncharted territory, including the triumphant acoustic ballad “Wildfires.” Super killer stuff, do not skip this. Also performing: local bruisers Peckerwolf and Black Horse.

Of course, you should be at the first round of the 2014 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase, 9 p.m., Stickyz, $5-$10. If you’re looking for something on the mosh-ier end of the spectrum, Pennsylvania metalcore outfit This of the Apocalypse headlines an all-ages show at Revolution, with Sworn In, Shai Hulud and Sirens and Sailors, 8:30 p.m., $12 adv., $15 day of. Bluegrass lovers will probably want to check out Runaway Planet, who’ll be picking up a storm at The Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 9 p.m., $7. Funkanites bring the funk jams to The Joint, 9:30 p.m., $7. They also play at The Afterthought Friday night, 9 p.m., $7. The Rep’s production of “Clybourne Park” continues, 7 p.m. Wed.-Thu. and Sun., 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat. and 2 p.m. Sun., $35.

FRIDAY 1/31 The Joint’s in-house comedy team The Main Thing continues its wintertime production, the appropriately titled “Winter Sucks,” consisting of sketch comedy bits that riff on how, well, winter sucks, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, $20. John Michael Vance & The Delta Funk play an 18-and-older shindig at Stickyz, 9:30 p.m., $5. Red Dirt troubadour Reckless Kelly headlines an 18-and-older show at Revolution, 9 p.m., $15. Moonshine Mafia provides your late-night sounds, Midtown Billiards, 12:30 a.m., $5.


PSYCH SOUNDS: Pontiak plays at Vino’s on Wednesday.

Country hitmaker Joe Diffie is at Juanita’s, with local talents Rodge & The Red Dirt Republic and Canvas opening the show, 9 p.m., $25 adv., $30 day of. One More Time: A Tribute to Daft Punk will be getting lucky at an 18-and-older show at Revolution, 9 p.m., $12 adv., $15 day of. Foreign Tongues Presents: “Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Piece,” featuring 2012 National Poetry Slam Champion Tarriona “Tank” Ball, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, 6 p.m., free. VJ Street is the billing for an evening featuring VJ g-force, who’ll be performing on a brand new visual system in the Discovery lobby, with expanded visuals in the Disco-Tech. Also, DJs Crawley, Noah Beaudin & The Sleep Genius, Dominique and The Disco Dolls, Discovery Nightclub, 9 p.m.-5 a.m. Professional Bull Riders will be doing their thing at Verizon Arena, 8 p.m., $13-$55. The Rep’s annual black-tie fundraiser, “Saints and Sinners,” will be happening at the Statehouse Convention Center, 6 p.m., $400.

JANUARY 30, 2014


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

a.m., $5. 1316 Main St. 501-372-9990. Reckless Kelly. 18-and-older. Revolution, 9 p.m., $15. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 9 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. www. Waka Flocka Flame, KiddB & Wayne’ D, Kodak. Juanita’s, 10 p.m., $40. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228.



Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase Round 1. With Secondhand Cannons, Basement Brew, Peckerwolf and People’s Republic of Casio Tones. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9 p.m., $5 21 and older, $10 18-20. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. Funkanites. The Joint, 9:30 p.m., $7. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. Hometown Bluegrass. Faulkner County Library, 7 p.m., free. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-3277482. “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. Isotones. ASU Jonesboro, 7:30 p.m., free. 101 N. Caraway Road, Jonesboro. Jim Dickerson. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. Krush Thursdays with DJ Kavaleer. Club Climax, free before 11 p.m. 824 W. Capitol. 501-554-3437. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs 307 Clinton Ave. 501-372-4782. Michael Eubanks. Newk’s Express Cafe, 6:30 p.m. 4317 Warden Road, NLR. 501-753-8559. Open jam with The Port Arthur Band. Parrot Beach Cafe, 9 p.m. 9611 MacArthur Drive, NLR. 771-2994. RockUsaurus. Senor Tequila, 7-9 p.m. 10300 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-224-5505. www. Rodge Arnold. The Tavern Sports Grill, 7:30 p.m. 17815 Chenal Parkway. 501-830-2100. Runaway Planet. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 9 p.m., $7. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. Strings of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra And Music Director Philip Mann. The Fowler Center, 7:30 p.m. 201 Olympic Drive, Jonesboro. 870-972-3471. Swampbird, The Kid Carsons, W.B. Givens. White Water Tavern, 9 p.m., $5. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-375-8400. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 7:30 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. This or the Apocalypse, Sworn In, Shai Hulud, Sirens and Sailors. All-ages. Revolution, 8:30 p.m., $12 adv., $15 day of. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. Tragikly White (headliner), Steve Bates (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351.

Jose Sarduy, John Stites. The Loony Bin, 7:30 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555. JANUARY 30, 2014

JAZZ QUARTET: The acclaimed Harlem Quartet will perform Monday at Arkansas State University, 7:30 p.m., free.


Arkansas Travelers present: The Hot Stove. Embassy Suites, 6 p.m., $25. 11301 Financial Centre. 501-312-9000.


Horse racing. Oaklawn, 1:30 p.m., $2.50-$4.50. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4411. UALR Men’s Trojans vs. Louisiana. Jack Stephens Center, UALR, 7 p.m., $5-$38. 2801 S. University Ave.


Gaston Lectures: Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly. Vada Sheid Community Development Center, 7 p.m., free. 1600 South College St., Mountain Home. 1-800-514-3849.



Big Silver. White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-375-8400. Charles Woods Band. Prost. 322 President Clinton Blvd. 501-244-9550. 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. Coolzey, The Herding Kittens, OGMUDBONE, Teach Me Equals. All-ages. Vino’s, 8 p.m., $5. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. DJ g-force. Deep Ultra Lounge. 322 President Clinton Ave. Ed Bowman (headliner), Alex Summerlin (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-3755351. Ed Burks. Jan. 31-Feb. 1. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-3242999. Funkanites. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 9 p.m., $7. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www. Joe Pitts. Thirst n’ Howl, 8:30 p.m. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501-379-8189. John Michael Vance & The Delta Funk. 18-andolder. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9:30 p.m., $5. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs 307 Clinton Ave. 501-372-4782. Moonshine Mafia. Midtown Billiards, 12:30



Salsa Night. Begins with a one-hour salsa lesson. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $8. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228.


Christina Bejarno. The associate professor of political Science, University of Kansas presents “The Latino Gender Gap in U.S. Politics.” Clinton School of Public Service, 12 p.m., free. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501-683-5239. www. Fantastic Friday. Literary and music event, refreshments included. For reservations, call 479-968-2452 or email River Valley Arts Center, every third Friday, 7 p.m., $10 suggested donation. 1001 E. B St., Russellville. 479-968-2452. 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.


Horse racing. Oaklawn, 1:30 p.m., $2.50-$4.50. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4411.



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Jose Sarduy, John Stites. The Loony Bin, through Feb. 1, 7:30 and 10 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555. www. “Winter Sucks.” Original sketch comedy by The Main Thing. Call to make reservations. The Joint, 8 p.m., $20. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205.


Cadillac Jackson. Midtown Billiards, 12:30 a.m., $5. 1316 Main St. 501-372-9990. Club Nights at 1620 Savoy. See Jan. 31. Dylan Sneed. Thomson Hall, Unitarian Universalist Church of Little Rock, 7:30 p.m., $8-$15. 1818 Reservoir Road. 501-663-0634. Ed Burks. Jan. 31-Feb. 1. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. Jam Rock Saturday. Twelve Modern Lounge, first Saturday of every month, 9 p.m. 1900 W. Third St. 501-301-1200. Joe Diffie, Rodge & The Red Dirt Republic, Canvas. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $25 adv., $30 day of. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. Karaoke at Khalil’s. Khalil’s Pub, 7 p.m. 110 S. Shackleford Road. 501-224-0224.

If you’re not HERE, we’re having more fun than you are! 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. K.I.S.S. Saturdays. Featuring DJ Silky Slim. Dress code enforced. Sway, 10 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-492-9802. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs 307 Clinton Ave. 501-372-4782. Mulehead, Brent Best. White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-375-8400. www. New Era Saturdays. 21-and-older. Twelve Modern Lounge, first Saturday of every month, 9 p.m., $5 cover until 11 p.m. 1900 W. Third St. 501-301-1200. One More Time: A Tribute to Daft Punk. 18-and-older. Revolution, 9 p.m., $12 adv., $15 day of. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. Pickin’ Porch. Bring your instrument. All ages welcome. Faulkner County Library, 9:30 a.m. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-327-7482. www. Singer/Songwriters Showcase. Parrot Beach Cafe, 2-7 p.m., free. 9611 MacArthur Drive, NLR. 771-2994. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 9 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. Those Darlins, Bully, Collin Vs. Adam. 18-andolder. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9 p.m., $10. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. VJ Street. Featuring VJ g-force performing on brand new visual system in the lobby, with expanded visuals in the Disco-Tech. Also, DJs Crawley, Noah Beaudin & The Sleep Genius, Dominique and The Disco Dolls. Discovery Nightclub, 9 p.m.-5 a.m. 1021 Jessie Road. 501664-4784.


Jose Sarduy, John Stites. The Loony Bin, 7:30 and 10 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555. www.loonybincomedy. com. “Winter Sucks.” See Jan. 31.


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


Community Health Fair. Free health screenings. Laman Library, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., free. 2801 Orange St., NLR. 501-758-1720. Falun Gong meditation. Allsopp Park, 9 a.m., free. Cantrell & Cedar Hill Roads. Hillcrest Farmers Market. Pulaski Heights Baptist Church, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. 2200 Kavanaugh Blvd. Historic Neighborhoods Tour. Bike tour of historic neighborhoods includes bike, guide, helmets and maps. Bobby’s Bike Hike, 9 a.m., $8-$28. 400 President Clinton Ave. 501-613-7001. Insure Affordable Care. Get free help enrolling in the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace. Laman Library, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., free. 2801 Orange St., NLR. 501-758-1720.

Pork & Bourbon Tour. Bike tour includes bicycle, guide, helmets and maps. Bobby’s Bike Hike, 11:30 a.m., $35-$45. 400 President Clinton Ave. 501-613-7001. Professional Bull Riders. Verizon Arena, 8 p.m., $13-$55. 1 Alltel Arena Way, NLR. 501-975-9001. Saints & Sinners. Annual black tie gala benefiting Arkansas Repertory Theatre, includes cocktails and a silent auction, followed by a dinner and live entertainment. Statehouse Convention Center, 6 p.m., $400. 7 Statehouse Plaza.


Foreign Tongues Presents: Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Piece. Featuring 2012 National Poetry Slam Champion Tarriona “Tank” Ball. Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, 6 p.m., free. 501 W. 9th St. 501-376-4602.


Bicycle Ride with Arkansas Bicycle Club. Ride goes to a pre-opening Sneak and Peak at Spokes-Orbea USA’s new store. Two Rivers Park, 10 a.m. Rivercrest Drive. www.littlerock. org/ParksRecreation. Horse racing. Oaklawn, 1 p.m.; Feb. 2, 1 p.m., $2.50-$4.50. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4411.



American Head Charge, Righteous Vendetta. All-ages. Revolution, 8 p.m., $10. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. Haskell Small. Performing piano piece inspired by paintings of Mark Rothko. Arkansas Arts Center, 2 p.m. 501 E. 9th St. 501-372-4000. www. Irish Traditional Music Session. Hibernia Irish Tavern, first and third Sunday of every month, 2:30 p.m. 9700 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501246-4340. Karaoke with DJ Sara. Hardrider Bar & Grill, 7 p.m., free. 6613 John Harden Drive, Cabot. 501-982-1939. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs 307 Clinton Ave. 501-372-4782. Shawn James and The Shapeshifters. 18-andolder. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707.


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


Horse racing. Oaklawn, 1 p.m., $2.50-$4.50. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4411. www.



Harlem Quartet. ASU Jonesboro, 7:30 p.m., free. 101 N. Caraway Road, Jonesboro. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs 307 Clinton Ave. 501-372-4782. Sound So Good. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 8 p.m. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www.


There’s still time, GET HERE!

Downtown Tip Off Club: Bryant “Big Country” Reeves. Wyndham Riverfront Hotel, 11:15 a.m.-1 p.m., $15-$20. 2 Riverfront Place, NLR. 501-371-9000.



Gil Franklin & Friends. Holiday Inn, North Little Rock, first Tuesday, Wednesday of every month. 120 W. Pershing Blvd., NLR. Karaoke Tuesday. Prost, 8 p.m., free. 322 President Clinton Blvd. 501-244-9550. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs 307 Clinton Ave. 501-372-4782. Lucious Spiller Band. Copeland’s Restaurant of Little Rock, 6-9 p.m. 2602 S. Shackleford Road. 501-312-1616. Music Jam. Hosted by Elliott Griffen and Joseph Fuller. The Joint, 8-11 p.m., free. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. Shoog Radio KABF 88.3 Benefit Show. White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-3758400. Tuesday Jam Session with Carl Mouton. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196.

A Chicago style Speakeasy & Dueling Piano Bar. This is THE premier place to party in Little Rock. “Dueling Pianos” runs Monday through Saturday. Dance & Club music upstairs on Wed, Fri & Sat. Drink specials and more! Do it BIGG! Open 7 Days A Week • 8pm-2am Shows Start at 8:30pm

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“Latin Night.” Revolution, 7:30 p.m., $5 regular, $7 under 21. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501823-0090.


It’s in the Bag: Lunch ‘n Learn Series. Bring a bag lunch. Drinks will be provided. Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, 11:30 a.m., free. 501 W. 9th St. 501-376-4602. Shane Gring. The founder of BOULD and Program Lead at USGBC presents “An Unhirable Graduate’s Guide to Career Success-ish.” Clinton School of Public Service, 6 p.m., free. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501683-5239. 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.


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“The Trials of Muhammad Ali.” Laman Library, 6:30 p.m., free. 2801 Orange St., NLR. 501-7581720.



Acoustic Open Mic. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. Effective Immediately, Charon Creek. 18-andolder. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9 CONTINUED ON PAGE 28

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AFTER DARK, CONT. p.m., $3-$5. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. Gil Franklin & Friends. Holiday Inn, North Little Rock, first Tuesday, Wednesday of every month. 120 W. Pershing Blvd., NLR. Karaoke at Khalil’s. Khalil’s Pub, 7 p.m. 110 S. Shackleford Road. 501-224-0224. www. Layzie Bone, Mo Thugz N Harmony, Howse Entertainment, Julius CZR, Country Boyz, 870 Underground, Rozay Thrower. Revolution, 10:30 p.m., $10-$25. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs 307 Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. Local Live: Rosen Music Little Big Band. South on Main, 7:30 p.m., free. 1304 Main St. 501-244-9660. https://www.facebook. com/SouthonMainLR. Open Mic Nite with Deuce. Thirst n’ Howl, 7:30 p.m., free. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501379-8189. Pontiak, Peckerwolf, Black Horse. Vino’s. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 7:30 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474.


The Joint Venture. Improv comedy group. The Joint, 8 p.m., $7. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. Rajun Cajun. The Loony Bin, Feb. 5-6, 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 7-8, 7:30 and 10 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-2285555.


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.


Legacies & Lunch: “Lessons from an Old School.” With Grace Blagdon and David Ware. Arcade Building, 12 p.m., free. 100 River Market Ave.


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


“Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type.” Arkansas Arts Center, through Feb. 9: Fri., 7 p.m.; Sat., Sun., 2 p.m., $13. 501 E. 9th St. 501-372-4000. “Clybourne Park.” The winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for Best Play, “Clybourne Park” examines the intersection of race and real estate with biting humor and sharp social commentary. Contains adult language. Arkansas Repertory Theatre, through Feb. 9: Fri., Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; Wed., Thu., Sun., 7 p.m., $35. 601 Main St. 501-3780405. “Furry Tails with a Twist.” Children’s show performed by UCA’s The Cadron Company. Reynolds Performance Hall, UCA, Sat., Feb. 1, 10 a.m., free. 350 S. Donaghey, Conway. “I Love Lucy Live on Stage.” Adaptation of 28

JANUARY 30, 2014


the classic sitcom “I Love Lucy.” Walton Arts Center, Feb. 4-6, 7 p.m.; Feb. 7-8, 8 p.m.; Feb. 8-9, 2 p.m., $29-$59. 495 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-443-5600. “Mama Won’t Fly.” Comedy in which a woman must transport her mother from Alabama to California in time for her brother’s wedding, but her mother refuses to fly. Murry’s Dinner Playhouse, through Feb. 2: Tue.-Sat., 6 p.m.; Sun., 5:30 p.m., $15-$35. 6323 Col. Glenn Road. 501-562-3131. “Still Awake Still!” Walton Arts Center, Fri., Jan. 31, 7 p.m., $6. 495 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-443-5600.



ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, MacArthur Park: Original compositions inspired by Mark Rothko, written and performed by Haskell Small, 2 p.m. Feb. 2, free with ticket to exhibition; “Crossroads of Conversation: Carroll Cloar,” panel discussion with Richard Gruber, David Lusk and Patty Bladon, moderated by Stanton Thomas, 5:30 p.m. reception, 6 p.m. lecture Feb. 6, $10 non-members, reserve at 372-4000. BOSWELL-MOUROT FINE ART, 5815 Kavanaugh Blvd.: “Art and Soles,” sale of Munro Icon graffiti shoes, wall art by Woozel, ceramics by Beth Lambert decorated by Woozel, fund-raiser for the Friends of Contemporary Craft, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Jan. 30. 664-0030. L&L BECK ART GALLERY, 5705 Kavanaugh Blvd.: “Ducks in Arkansas,” paintings by Louis Beck, through February, drawing for free giclee 5:15 p.m. Feb. 22. 660-4006. MOSAIC TEMPLARS CULTURAL CENTER, 501 W. 9th St.: “Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Piece,” poetry reading by Tarriona “Tank” Ball, and Central Arkansas youth and college poets, 6 p.m. Feb. 1, free, limit two tickets per person. 683-3593. UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS AT LITTLE ROCK, 2801 S. University Ave.: “Say It With Snap! Motivating Workers by Design, 192329,” historic posters, through March 16; Receptions 5-7 p.m. Jan. 31. “Conundrum,” recent work by David Clemons, multimedia work, through Feb. 26, Gallery II; “Scholarship Exhibition,” Feb. 1-14, Gallery III. 569-3182. BATESVILLE LYON COLLEGE, 2300 Highland Road: “See the Sound,” work by Emily Wood, through Feb. 21, Kresge Gallery. 870-307-7000. BENTONVILLE CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM AMERICAN ART, One Museum Way: “Born of Fire: Ceramic Art in Regional Collections,” works on loan from the Arkansas Arts Center, the Springfield Art Museum and UALR’s Sequoyah National Research Center, Feb. 1-March 2; panel discussion, “Celebrating the Life and Artwork of Arkansas Native Carroll Cloar,” in association with Arkansas Arts Center exhibition, 6:30 p.m. Feb. 5, free, tickets required. 479-418-5700. EL DORADO SOUTH ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER: “Arts in the Hearts for Decades,” 50th anniversary exhibition of work created through SAAC’s arts in education program, reception 6 p.m. Feb. 1, show through Feb. 7. 870-862-5474.

FAYETTEVILLE SUGAR GALLERY, 1 E. Center: Two and threedimensional art by V.L. Cox, opens with reception 5-8 p.m. Feb. 6, First Thursday, show through Feb. 26. 870-403-4649. THE DEPOT, 548 W Dickson St.: “Everything That Hasn’t Happened Yet,” collages by Vince Griffin, opens with reception 7 p.m. Feb. 6, First Thursday, show through March 2. 479-443-9900. UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS: “Recent Works,” sculpture and shadowbox art by Bryan Winfred Massey Sr., Mullins Library, through March. WALTON ARTS CENTER, 495 W. Dickson: “Divide Light: Operatic Performance Costumes of Lesley Dill,” Feb. 6-April 13, with reception 5-7 p.m. March 6. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri., noon-4 p.m. Sat. 479-443-5600. RUSSELLVILLE RIVER VALLEY ARTS CENTER, 1001 E. B St.: Art by college students, opens with reception 1-3 p.m. Feb. 2. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.Thu., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Fri. 479-968-2452.


ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, MacArthur Park: “Face to Face: Artists’ Self-Portraits from the Collection of Jackye and Curtis Finch Jr.,” through Feb. 9; “Mark Rothko in the 1940s: The Decisive Decade,” Winthrop Rockefeller Gallery, show through Feb. 9; “Portraiture Now: Drawing on the Edge,” Jeannette Rockefeller Gallery, through Feb. 9; “The People There: Paintings by Emily Moll Wood,” through Feb. 23. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. 372-4000. ART GROUP GALLERY, Pleasant Ridge Town Center: “Holiday Art Sale,” work by Ron Almond, Matt Coburn, Louise Harris, Ned Perme, Ann Presley, Vickie HendrixSiebenmorgen and Holly Tilley. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-6 p.m. Sun. 690-2193. BOSWELL-MOUROT, 5815 Kavanaugh Blvd.: Paintings by Dennis McCann, sculpture by Michael Warrick, gouache by Astrid Sohn, oils by Ron McGehee. 664-0030. BUTLER CENTER GALLERIES, Arkansas Studies Institute, 401 President Clinton Ave.: “Unusual Portraits: New Works by Michael Warrick and David O’Brien,” through March 22; “Reflections in Pastel,” through Feb. 22, main gallery; “Native Arkansas,” early Arkansas through the writings of early explorers and Native American artifacts, including Mississippian period, Caddoan and Carden Bottoms objects, Concordia Hall, through Feb. 22. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 320-5790. CANTRELL GALLERY, 8206 Cantrell Road: “Music, Myth & The Hard Travelin’ Man,” linoleum cut prints by Neal Harrington, through March 1. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 224-1335. CHRIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 509 Scott St.: Work by Scotty Shively, Herb and Patty Monoson, Glenda Josephson, Dr. L.P. Fraiser, Dee Schulten, Judy Johnson, Susie Henley and Maka Parnell, through March. 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. THE EDGE, 301B President Clinton Ave.: Paintings by Avila (Fernando Gomez), Eric Freeman, James Hayes, Jerry Colburn, St. Joseph Thomason and Stephen Drive. 9921099. ELLEN GOLDEN ANTIQUES, 5701 Kavanaugh Blvd.: Paintings by Barry Thomas

and Arden Boyce. 664-7746. GALLERY 221 & ART STUDIOS 221, Pyramid Place: Artists cooperative, plus gallery of work by Gino Hollander. 801-0211. GALLERY 26, 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd.: “Finishing Touches,” recent works by Erin Lorenzen, through March 8. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.-Sat. 664-8996. GINO HOLLANDER GALLERY, 2nd and Center: Paintings and works on paper by Gino Hollander. 801-0211. GOOD WEATHER GALLERY, 4400 Edgemere, NLR: Photographs by Trisha Holt. GREG THOMPSON FINE ART, 429 Main St., NLR: Work by Southern artists. 664-2787. HEARNE FINE ART, 1001 Wright Ave.: “Evolu- tion,” exhibit celebrating the gallery’s 25th anniversary, with work by Lawrence Finney, Mario Robinson, Kevin Cole, Adger Cowans, Samella Lewis, Paul Goodnight and others, through Feb. 2. 372-6822. MUGS CAFE, 515 Main St., NLR: Buddhist paintings by Ruth Pasquine. 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 C RY S TA L B R I D G E S M U S E U M O F AMERICAN ART, One Museum Way: “At First Sight,” watercolors from the personal collection of museum founder Alice Walton, through April 21; “Edward Hopper: Journey to Blackwell’s Island,” preliminary sketches on loan from the Whitney Museum of American Art, the finished painting and other watercolors by Hopper, through April 21; “The Artists’ Eye,” Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz collection, including works by O’Keeffe, Stieglitz, Arthur Dove, John Marin and others, shared collection with Fisk University, through Feb. 3; permanent collection of American masterworks spanning four centuries. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon., Thu.; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Wed., Fri.; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat.Sun. 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: “Deb Schwedhelm: Whispers from the Sea,” black and white photographs; “Kristen Kindler: Cut Paper Sculpture”; “Drawing Blood and Guts: The Best of Contemporary Medical Illustration,” top U.S. medical illustrators selected by Alexandra Baker; “A Place for All Bad Memories,” interactive art installation inspired by Miranda July’s website “Learning to Love You More,” Baum Gallery, all through Feb. 20. FAYETTEVILLE BOTTLE ROCKET GALLERY, 1495 Finger Road: “Makeshift Theatre,” photographs by Logan Rollins. 479-466-7406. CONTINUED ON PAGE 30


MUSICIANS SHOWC A SE 5 Rounds · 20 Competing Bands · 1 Winner

! A Showcase


first! Artists are competing for cash (and other prizes) in 2014!


Jan 30 - Round 1 9pm - The Fable & The Fury 10pm - Basement Brew 11pm - Peckerwolf 12am - People's Republic of Casio Tones

Round 1 JANUARY 30

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Feb 6 - Round 2 9pm - Fox Blossom Venture 10pm - John Willis 11pm - Deadend Drive 12am - Bombay Harambee

Make Plans Now to attend the 2014 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase. Show your support for some of the state’s finest original bands.

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Visit showcase

for T-shirts,

Feb 27 - Round 5 9pm - My Brother My Friend 10pm - Shawn James & the Shapeshifters 11pm - John Neal Rock'n'Roll 12am - The Vail

Finals Friday March 7 at The Rev Room


Feb 13 - Round 3 9pm - Chris Alan Craig 10pm - Flight Machine 11pm - Mad Nomad 12am - Flameing Daeth Fearies Feb 20 - Round 4 9pm - The Talking Liberties 10pm - Crash Meadows 11pm - The Machete with Love 12am - Duckstronaut

Every Thursday starting January 30 at 9 p.m. at Stickyz


Crowd response is part of the judging for the semi-final rounds. Fans be sure to come out and support each band.

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Showcase News, Photos, Video, & Artist Info!











Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Round 4

Round 5


All ages welcome $5 over 21, $7 under 21

Watch this page For weekly ResultS or Visit

Register for Wakarusa tickets each week. We'll draw during the final round on March 7.


AFTER DARK, CONT. UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS A: “Wisdom of the Ages Athenaeum,” rare books from Remnant Trust, including a cuneiform tablet (2200 B.C.) to the first printing of the Emancipation Proclamation (1862), Mullins Library, through May 12. 479-575-4104. 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.


LITTLE ROCK located at Pavilion in the Park


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JANUARY 30, 2014


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. PINE BLUFF ARTS AND SCIENCE CENTER FOR SOUTHEAST ARKANSAS, 701 Main St.: “Glazed with Fire,” ceramics by Joe Bruhin, through Feb. 24. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 1-4 p.m. Sat. 870-536-3375. SPRINGDALE ARTS CENTER OF THE OZARKS, 214 S. Main St.: “Momentary Responses,” work by Sharon Killian, through January. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat. 479-751-5441.


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. CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CENTER, 1200 President Clinton Ave.: “Spies, Traitors and Saboteurs: Fear and Freedom in America,” from the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., through April 27; permanent exhibits on 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. ESSE, 1510 S. Main St.: “What’s Inside: A Century of Women and Handbags (1900-1999),” purses from the collection of Anita Davis, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tue.-Sun., $10-$8. 916-9022. HISTORIC ARKANSAS MUSEUM, 200 E. 3rd St.: “Chasing the Light,” photography of Brian Chilson, through March 10; “A Sure Defense: The Bowie Knife in America,” through June 22; “Dream and Imagery Entailed: Kerrick Hartman and LaToya Hobbs,” sculpture and printmaking, through Feb. 9; “Arkansas Made,” ongoing. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 324-9351. MacARTHUR MUSEUM OF ARKANSAS M I L I TA R Y H I S T O R Y , M a c A r t h u r Park: “American Posters of World War I”; permanent exhibits. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-4 p.m. Sun. 376-4602. MUSEUM OF DISCOVERY, 500 President Clinton Ave.: “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: “Lights! Camera! Arkansas!”, the state’s ties to Hollywood, including costumes, scripts, film footage, photographs and more, through March 1, 2015; “Things You Need to Hear: Memories of Growing up in Arkansas from 1890 to 1980,” oral

histories about community, family, work, school and leisure, through March 2014. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 324-9685. 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. FORT SMITH REGIONAL ART MUSEUM, 1601 Rogers Ave.: “Valentines: The Art of Romance,” 100 cards, postcards and foldouts from the early 19th century to 1930s, through April; “RE: History,” 25 two- and three-dimensional works by James Volkert, through Feb. 16. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 479-784-2787. 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. JONESBORO ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY MUSEUM, 320 University Loop West Circle: “Shaping Our World,” science exhibit developed by Arkansas Discovery Network, through Feb. 16, 2014. 870972-2074. 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. 479-9689369. ROGERS ROGERS HISTORICAL MUSEUM, 322 S. Second St.: “Art from the Earth: A Pottery Exhibit,” prehistoric, historic and contemporary ceramics, through Feb. 22. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 479621-1154. 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.




rock band from Fayetteville, these guys are surely the most laid-back outfit on the night’s bill, with all the good vibes and hippy, swamp-rock bass lines of a jam band but at a much more manageable and enjoyable length. They call themselves “mild-mannered” and their sound “canoe rock,” and if that isn’t endearing we don’t know what is.

Peckerwolf Peckerwolf played last year’s Showcase, so this time it’s serious. If you missed them last time around, just know that these guys are anything but mildmannered. Little Rock fixtures since they formed in 2012, the group has an energy that is brash, bearded and powerful, and they do biker-rock bluster as well as anybody this side of Motorhead. Even their love songs are angry.

People’s Republic of Casio Tones

As one of last year’s judges wrote: “Beer drankin’ music, as in, I seriously didn’t order a beer until these guys came on. Some thunderous shit.”

People’s Republic of Casio Tones The youngest band in the first round, People’s Republic of Casio Tones features no actual Casio tones, as far as we can tell, but you won’t miss them for the group’s wailing, moody grunge rock. They write what they know: songs about guitar shops, burritos and “Star Trek.” Also, the suburbs (they’re based in Sherwood). They’ve also made flyers for the Showcase’s first round featuring portraits of dour, well-dressed cats, along with a reminder to “Vote for Casio.” They advise all concertgoers to “wear your best scarf.”



Mention Hotel Code: PARSTY






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THE JUDGES JOHN MILLER If you’ve attended weddings or made the club rounds in Arkansas anytime in the last decade, chances are you know him as Big John Miller, perhaps Arkansas’s greatest blue-eyed soul man. Those who’ve played or attended the Central Arkansas Library’s 2-yearold Arkansas Sounds Music Festival know him as the festival organizer. STEPHEN NEEPER He’s front man of Stephen Neeper & The Wild Hearts, Little Rock’s favorite blues-infused Southern rawk outfits. The Times’ Robert Bell called him “a shred-meister extraordinaire.” BRYAN FRAZIER As assistant program director at KABF, he’s overseen the development of some of the strongest programming the station has seen in years. As a pop musician, he’s been a steady presence around town for almost a decade, releasing dreamy, hooky material with regularity. STACIE MACK She’s a local hairstylist and makeup artist who’s worked with everyone from GWAR to Saliva. She also wrote a longtime column about the Central Arkansas music scene for The Little Rock Free Press. GUEST JUDGE BILL SOLLEDER The front man for erstwhile rock acts The Blue Meanies and The Holy Shakes (the winner of the 2012 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase) is also arguably the driving force in Hot Springs independent arts and culture as the co-founder of Low Key Arts, The Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival and the Hot Water Hills Music & Arts Festival.

JANUARY 30, 2014




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JANUARY 30, 2014


‘I, Frankenstein’ flops. BY SAM EIFLING

4523 WoodlAWn (HiSToric HillcreST) 501.666.3600

Lumbering nowhere

Over 25 soups from local restaurants, plus live music, and a silent auction *aLSO, JOIN US FOR NORTHWEST ARKANSAS SOUP SUNDAY IN sPRINGDALE ON fEB. 23RD!


ollywood could use a primer in churning out proper schlock these days. By rights, a movie as shamelessly doofy as “I, Frankenstein” ought to generate a heap more fun. Here you have Aaron Eckhart, a semi-serious actor of such films as “Thank You for Smoking” and “The Dark Knight,” getting gussied in eyeblack and body-length stitches to play literature’s greatest stiff: Frankenstein’s monster, now 200-something years old and still ticking right along. Except this movie supposes that as a walking miracle/ abomination, he draws the attention of, uh, demons, who want to crack the code of animating the dead. And that gargoyles, who operate sort of as an order of warrior angels battling said demons, reluctantly take in the monster to keep him from falling into the hands of the enemy. They give this patchwork zombie, name of Adam, a couple of slick, heavy ninja sticks, and he turns out to be a quick study at bashing demons back to hell. Gargoyles vs. demons, with a gothic man-monster caught in the middle? The proper place for a tale of this cracked ambition is either 2 a.m. on a cable channel you forgot you even subscribed to, or at 8:30 a.m. on a network cartoon 8-year-olds cackle at while mainlining Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs. Presumably the producers and director Stuart Beattie had an audience in mind other than stoned insomniacs and third-graders. But the story originated as a graphic novel by Kevin Grevioux, which seems about right: Sci-fi/fantasy cheese comes off most convincing when you have to imagine the voices, as in comics and pulp paperbacks. Watching live adults in actual costumes explain, with community-theater “King Lear” earnestness, all the pseudoreligious pseudoscience behind this Sunday school holy war will make you squirm in your seat, as when a substitute teacher breaks into song. A simple laugh track would triple the entertainment value. Or maybe a wacky sidekick for Frankenstein. As it stands, though, the demons are stodgy and dull, led by the slightly less dull but relentlessly stodgy Niberius (Bill Nighy, taking his attempts at world conquest waaay too seriously). And the gargoyles, who in their human forms dress like American Gladiators attempting “Stargate” cosplay, are

‘I, FRANKENSTEIN’: Aaron Eckhart stars.

so deathly dull you’ll pine for the sly, selfaware prose of the white pages. In their gargoyle form, well, let’s just say you’ve seen similar CGI featured in fast-food commercials. At least we get a sexy science woman (Yvonne Strahovski) to add a laugh when she realizes the Very Serious Experiments she has been running are actually in the service of this gothic Dan Brown fan fiction. Otherwise, we’re left with a miserable, soulless jumble of reanimated corpses to carry the Q-rating. Eckhart’s monster is spryer and more articulate than the Boris Karloff gold standard, rather more a vigilante superhero in hoodie and trenchcoat. He’s cranky and reclusive and has abs that could juice a grapefruit half. Does he have a personality to offset all the brooding? Meh. He’s mostly content to let his swinging ninja sticks do his talking. After one demon slaying, he attempts a Schwarzeneggerian one-liner that thuds like a tipped cow. The script decides better of giving him another and instead sets about digging a couple of plot holes you could drive a camper through without glancing twice at the overhead clearance. You’ve seen worse movies than “I, Frankenstein.” We all have. But movies that suck more flagrantly than “I, Frankenstein” tend to skid into such laughable badness that they wander back to popcorn-withred-wine watchable. “I, Frankenstein,” like its undead protagonist, is mostly content to lurch ruefully into the cold and stay lost, well out of the view of human eyes. We should take the hint.

Hey, do this!

f e b r u a rFUN!y

Food, Music, Entertainment and everything else that’s The People’s Republic of Casio Tones


JAN 30

Tonight is Round One of the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase at Stickyz. The Fable and the Fury, Basement Brew, Peckerwolf and The People’s Republic of Casio Tones compete. All ages welcome. Crowd response is part of the judging, so show up and support your favorite act. Stay tuned for info on the next round as we make our way to the finals on March 7 at Rev Room. Check out a complete list of acts at


Local shops, restaurants and galleries are open after hours for Hillcrest’s Shop & Sip. Enjoy live music, wine and hors d’oeuvres and special discounts. The event takes place every first Thursday of the month.

FEB 14

The Old State House Museum hosts Second

Calling all animal lovers. To celebrate the opening of the new exhibit, Presidential Pets, the Clinton Presidential Center and Park hosts a free kickoff event from 10 a.m-2 p.m. with pony rides and a petting zoo. The Humane Society of Pulaski County will have on-site adoptions available. Governor and Mrs. Beebe’s German shepherd, Viper, the “first dog” of Arkansas, will make an appearance. n The annual Saints & Sinners Ball takes place at 6 p.m. in the Wally Allen Ballroom at the Statehouse Convention Center. The black tie gala benefits the Arkansas Repertory Theatre and includes cocktails, live and silent auction, dinner and dancing. Tickets are $400. Visit for tickets.

“The Rothko Room: Journeys in Silence” at 2 p.m. at the Arkansas Arts

Center. The event is free with admission to the exhibit. Mark Rothko in the 1940s: The Decisive Decade runs through February 9. For more info, call 501-372-4000 or visit

Weekend Comedy opens at Murry’s Dinner

Playhouse. A misunderstanding leads two couples to rent the same cabin in the woods on the same weekend. For show times and tickets, visit www. n Winner of the 2013 Van Cliburn Piano Competition, Vadym Kholodenko, will perform solo works and concerto accompanied by the Conway Symphony Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. at Reynolds Performance Hall on the UCA campus. For tickets, visit publicappearances.

FEB 13


performs as part of the “Live at Laman” series at Laman Library in North Little Rock. The free concert starts at 7 p.m.

Feb 18-20

Jeff Dunham and crew

HAIR, the electrifying musical of the 60’s, comes to Robinson Center Music Hall as part of Celebrity Attractions’ Broadway season. This exuberant musical about a group of young Americans searching for peace and love in a turbulent time has struck a resonant chord with audiences young and old. The long list of chart-topping songs like “Aquarius” and “Let the Sun Shine In” became anthems of counter-culture and the sexual revolution and continue to have a profound impact on audiences. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. each night. Tickets are $26.50-$64.50 and are available by phone at 501-244-8800, at the Celebrity Attractions Ticket Office or online at

Friday Cinema.

This month’s film is Hallelujah, one of the earliest Hollywood feature films shot on location in Arkansas. The screening begins at 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public. n Comedian

Jeff Dunham

FEB 25

Leon T Switzer

brings his famed troupe of sidekicks to Verizon Arena on his “Disorderly Conduct” tour. The act starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $44 and available at www. or 800-745-3000. n 2nd Friday Art Night is a once-a-month event in downtown Little Rock’s River Market district. Take the free trolley from venue to venue, or enjoy free parking at 3rd and Cumberland and behind the River Market Pavilions.

Mark Rothko’s work has inspired numerous responses in poetry, prose, dance and music. Noted pianist Haskell Small performs his piece

FEB 11

Feb 7

The Art Department, a quarterly young professionals series and project of the Thea Foundation, features the work of painter Emily Wood in “Specifically Universal”. Opening reception begins at 6:30pm and $10 at the door covers heavy hors d’oeuvres, open bar, live music from the Funk a Nites, and a chance to win an original painting by the artist. Log on to Facebook and Twitter at 5pm for event password and $3 off the cover.


The world famous Harlem Globetrotters bring their “Fans Rule” tour to Verizon Arena at 7 p.m. This unique concept takes fan interaction to a whole new level. Vote online rule to choose which game-changing rules and trick plays you would like to see on the court. Tickets to the show are $23-$113 and available at or 800-745-3000.

FEB 27

Arkansas Baptist College’s Supper and Soul Gala takes place at 6 p.m. in the Wally Allen Ballroom at the Statehouse Convention Center. The event includes a cocktail reception, silent auction, seated dinner and music by the S.O.S. Band. Dress is cocktail attire. Tickets are $250. For more information, call 501-414-0853. january 30, 2014


Dining WHAT’S COOKIN’ THE ARGENTA MARKET, which opened in 2010 on Main Street in North Little Rock, will close Feb. 8. In a statement, the market said that the grocery store “in its current iteration is not the answer to the needs of the residents and businesses in Argenta.” The grocery store is selling all perishables at half price until closing. Argenta Market was the first grocery store in Central Arkansas to focus on bringing Arkansas-grown vegetables and meats and other local products to market.




4 SQUARE CAFE AND GIFTS Vegetarian salads, soups, wraps and paninis and a broad selection of smoothies in an Arkansas products gift shop. 405 President Clinton Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-244-2622. BLD daily. ARGENTA MARKET The Argenta District’s neighborhood grocery store offers a deli featuring a daily selection of big sandwiches along with fresh fish and meats and salads. Emphasis here is on Arkansas-farmed foods and organic products. 521 N. Main St. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-379-9980. L daily, D Mon.-Sat., B Sat., BR Sun. ARKANSAS BURGER CO. Good burgers, fries and shakes, plus salads and other entrees. Try the cheese dip. 7410 Cantrell Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-663-0600. LD Tue.-Sat. ASHLEY’S The premier fine dining restaurant in Little Rock. The menu is often daring and always delicious. 111 W. Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-374-7474. BLD Mon.-Sat. BR Sun. BELLWOOD DINER Traditional breakfasts and plate lunch specials are the norm at this lostin-time hole in the wall. 3815 MacArthur Drive. NLR. No alcohol, No CC. $. 501-753-1012. BL Mon.-Fri. THE BLIND PIG Tasty bar food, including Zweigle’s brand hot dogs. 6015 Chenonceau Blvd. Full bar, CC. $-$$. 501-868-8194. D: Tue.-Sun., L Sat.-Sun. BONEFISH GRILL A half-dozen or more types of fresh fish filets are offered daily at this upscale chain. 11525 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-228-0356. D Mon.-Sat., LD Sun. BRAVE NEW RESTAURANT The food’s great, portions huge, prices reasonable. Diners can look into the open kitchen and watch the culinary geniuses at work slicing and dicing and sauteeing. It’s great fun, and the fish is special. 2300 Cottondale Lane. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-2677. LD Mon.-Fri. D Sat. BRAY GOURMET DELI AND CATERING Turkey spreads in four flavors — original, jalapeno, cajun and dill — and the homemade pimiento cheese are the signature items at Chris Bray’s delicatessen, which serves sand34

JANUARY 30, 2014


EXCELLENT: Guadelajara’s Bistek a la Mexicana.

For good south of the border, go north To Guadalajara on Camp Robinson Road.


hen thinking about great, authentic Mexican food, our minds tend to wander towards the southern parts of our city — our “south of the border.” But let’s consider what’s going on north of the river — the Arkansas, not the Rio Grande. We’ve been hearing rumors for some time now that the North Little Rock neighborhood known as Levy is one of Central Arkansas’s undiscovered culinary treasure troves. One such gem is the popular Mexican standby, Taqueria Guadalajara. Without being told to stop, you’d probably easily pass by the place a dozen times, perhaps more. It’s in a nondescript brown building with plain, unimpressive signage. There’s no nicely groomed patio, no sleek branding. But the parking lot packed with cars at the lunch hour should tip you off to the fact that locals know there is much good going on within Guadalajara’s walls. On our visit, the place was bustling. At least 80 percent of the seats were full — families, workers on their lunch hour, Latinos and gringos alike. Very promising. On our way to our table, we quickly eyed the surrounding tables filled with food to get an idea of what others were eating. We knew we had to sample the Bistek a la Mexicana ($7.49) — it was highly recommended by a Guadalajara regular and our waitress, who said it was the


3811 Camp Robinson Road 753-9991 QUICK BITE What might be some other important times to visit Guadalajara? Saturday and Sunday, perhaps, if you enjoy steeping bowls of menudo. And for the morning folks, you might not want to miss its “desayunos,” breakfast plates such as eggs and chorizo or eggs and steak. HOURS 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily OTHER INFO Credit cards accepted, beer.

best item on the menu. The bistek plate begins with a few generous hunks of thinly sliced steak, marinated and cooked on the flat-top. The steak finishes up tender, juicy (despite its relative thinness), with scattered crispy bits around the edges from the sear of the hot metal. On top of this rests a lovely assortment of grilled vegetables that included strips of white onion, tomato, and jalapeños. Lastly, there’s a fresh salad — lettuce, tomato, and avocado with a dollop of sour cream. All of this is to be scooped into the provided tortillas, which are sourced from a local producer, Tortilla Brenda in Little Rock. The results were superb — flavors and textures were spot on, and it was easy to see how this had

become such a popular item. Also from the “Platillos de la Casa,” we sampled the Milanesas ($7.49). The tenderized and flattened steak was breaded and fried in oil. The result is something akin to a chicken-fried steak, but the breading is much lighter and less salty. We thoroughly enjoyed it — tender, just slightly crunchy. It came alongside a similar assortment of fresh vegetables and a small stack of tortillas. We should also mention the accompanying beans and rice were quality specimens, the beans thick and flavorful and the rice nicely seasoned. Both dishes were all-around winners. We tasted Guadalajara’s sizable burritos ($4.49), one al pastor (with seasoned pork), lettuce, tomato, sour cream, beans, rice and cheese. We’ve eaten many such burritos around town, but this was certainly among the best. Shower this thing in gobs of spicy red or cool, slightly sweet tomatillo salsas and you’ve got an unbeatable and very portable meal, perfect if you’re on the go. We also last sampled the pork tamales ($0.99 each); they were the least impressive of the lot. The filling was ample but the flavors seemed a little dull compared to our earlier favorites. The masa felt a little weighty and probably detracted from the tamale overall. After emptying the last of our bottles — which included several fruit-flavored Jarritos, a Mexican Coke, and a few Mexican beers — our table was wholly satisfied in Guadalajara’s ability to deliver exceptional Mexican cuisine. One need look no further than the total at the bottom of the bill to realize that this is surely one of the greatest values in town — good enough, perhaps, to even lure those hard-headed folks on the other side of the water to see what’s happening in Levy.

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.

wiches, wraps, soups, stuffed potatoes and salads and sells the turkey spreads to go. 323 Center St. Suite 150. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-353-1045. BL Mon.-Fri. CAPITAL BAR AND GRILL Big hearty sandwiches, daily lunch specials and fine evening dining all rolled up into one at this landing spot downtown. Surprisingly inexpensive with a great bar staff and a good selection of unique desserts. 111 Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-374-7474. LD daily. CAPITOL BISTRO Serving breakfast and lunch items, including quiche, sandwiches, coffees and the like. 1401 W. Capitol Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-371-9575. BL Mon.-Fri. CATERING TO YOU Painstakingly prepared entrees and great appetizers in this gourmetto-go location, attached to a gift shop. Caters everything from family dinners to weddings and large corporate events. 8121 Cantrell Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-614-9030. Serving meals to go: LD Mon.-Sat. CATFISH HOLE Downhome place for wellcooked catfish and tasty hushpuppies. 603 E. Spriggs. NLR. Beer, All CC. $-$$. 501-7583516. D Tue.-Sat. CELLAR 220 Ecclectic menu and strong wine list. 220 W. 6th St. Full bar, CC. $$$. 501-3745100. LD Mon.-Fri., D Sat. CIAO BACI The focus is on fine dining in this casually elegant Hillcrest bungalow, though excellent tapas are out of this world. The tree-shaded, light-strung deck is a popular destination. 605 N. Beechwood St. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-603-0238. D Mon.-Sat. CRAZEE’S COOL CAFE Good burgers, daily plate specials and bar food amid pool tables and TVs. 7626 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-221-9696. LD Mon.-Sat. DIXON ROAD BLUES CAFE Sandwiches, burgers and salads. 1505 W. Dixon Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-888-2233. D Fri.-Sat. DOE’S EAT PLACE A skid-row dive turned power brokers’ watering hole with huge steaks, great tamales and broiled shrimp, and killer burgers at lunch. 1023 W. Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-376-1195. LD Mon.-Fri., D Sat. EJ’S EATS AND DRINKS The friendly neighborhood hoagie shop downtown serves at a handful of tables and by delivery. The sandwiches are generous, the soup homemade and the salads cold. Vegetarians can craft any number of acceptable meals from the flexible menu. 523 Center St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-666-3700. LD Mon.-Fri. FIVE GUYS BURGERS & FRIES Nationwide burger chain with emphasis on freshly made fries and patties. 2923 Lakewood Village Drive. NLR. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-246-5295. LD daily. 13000 Chenal Parkway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-225-1100. LD daily. FLYING FISH The fried seafood is fresh and crunchy and there are plenty of raw, boiled and grilled offerings, too. The hamburgers are a hit, too. 511 President Clinton Ave. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-375-3474. LD daily. GRUMPY’S TOO Music venue and sports bar with lots of TVs, pub grub and regular drink specials. 1801 Green Mountain Drive. Full bar,


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

Check out the Times’ food blog, Eat Arkansas

All CC. $-$$. 501-225-3768. LD Mon.-Sat. GUS’S WORLD FAMOUS FRIED CHICKEN The best fried chicken in town. Go for chicken and waffles on Sundays. 300 President Clinton Ave. Beer, CC. $-$$. 501-372-2211. LD daily. HOMER’S Great vegetables, huge yeast rolls and killer cobblers. Follow the mobs. 2001 E. Roosevelt Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-374-1400. BL Mon.-Fri. 9700 N Rodney Parham. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-224-6637. LD Mon.-Sat. IRONHORSE SALOON Bar and grill offering juicy hamburgers and cheeseburgers. 9125 Mann Road. Full bar, All CC. $. 501-562-4464. LD daily. J. GUMBO’S Fast-casual Cajun fare served,









primarily, in a bowl. Better than expected. 12911 Cantrell Road. Beer, All CC. $-$$. 501-916-9635. LD daily. JIMMY’S SERIOUS SANDWICHES Consistently fine sandwiches, side orders and desserts for 30 years. Chicken salad’s among the best in town, and there are fun specialty sandwiches such as Thai One On and The Garden. Get there early for lunch. 5116 W. Markham St. No alcohol, CC. $-$$. 501-666-3354. L Mon.-Sat., D Mon.-Sat. (drivethrough only). K. HALL AND SONS Neighborhood grocery store with excellent lunch counter. The cheeseburger is hard to beat. 1900 Wright Avenue. No alcohol, CC. $. 501-372-1513. BLD

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For over 30 years considered one of the best in Arkansas. Topped with our traditional lemon-butter steak sauce.

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Mon.-Sat. (closes at 6 p.m.), BL Sun. KRAZY MIKE’S Po’Boys, catfish and shrimp and other fishes, fried chicken wings and all the expected sides served up fresh and hot to order on demand. 200 N. Bowman Road. Beer, All CC. $$. 501-907-6453. LD Mon.-Sat. LOCA LUNA Grilled meats, seafood and pasta dishes that never stray far from country roots, whether Italian, Spanish or Arkie. “Gourmet plate lunches” are good, as is Sunday brunch. 3519 Old Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-4666. BR Sun., LD Mon.-Fri., D Sat. MILFORD TRACK Healthy and tasty are the key words at this deli/grill that serves breakfast and lunch. Hot entrees change daily and there are soups, sandwiches, salads and killer desserts. Bread is baked in-house, and there are several veggie options. 10809 Executive Center Dr., Searcy Building. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-223-2257. BL Mon.-Fri., L Sat. NATCHEZ RESTAURANT Smart, elegant takes on Southern classics. 323 Center St. Beer, Wine, CC. $$-$$$. L Tue.-Fri., D Wed.-Sat. OYSTER BAR Gumbo, red beans and rice (all you can eat on Mondays), peel-and-eat shrimp, oysters on the half shell, addictive po’ boys. Killer jukebox. 3003 W. Markham St. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-666-7100. LD Mon.-Sat. OZARK COUNTRY RESTAURANT The eatery specializes in big country breakfasts and pancakes plus sandwiches and several meatand-two options for lunch and dinner. Try the pancakes and don’t leave without some sort of smoked meat. 202 Keightley Drive. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-663-7319. BL daily. PANERA BREAD This bakery/cafe serves freshly baked breads, bagels and pastries every morning as well as a full line of espresso beverages. Panera also offers a full menu of sandwiches, hand-tossed salads and hearty soups. 11525 Cantrell Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-227-0222. BLD daily.; 314 S. University. 501-664-6878. BLD. PURPLE COW DINER 1950s fare — cheeseburgers, chili dogs, thick milk shakes — in a ‘50s setting at today’s prices. 8026 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-221-3555. LD daily, BR Sat.-Sun. 11602 Chenal Pkwy. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-224-4433. LD daily, BR Sat.-Sun. 1419 Higden Ferry Road. Hot Springs. Beer, All CC. $$. 501-625-7999. LD daily, B Sun. THE RELAY STATION 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. $-$$. 501-455-9919. LD daily. THE ROOT CAFE Homey, local foods-focused cafe. With tasty burgers, homemade bratwurst, banh mi and a number of vegan and veggie options. Breakfast and Sunday brunch, too. 1500 S. Main St. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-414-0423. BL Tue.-Sat., BR Sun. SALUT BISTRO This bistro/late-night hangout does upscale tapas. 1501 N. University. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-660-4200. L Mon.-Fri., D Tue.-Sat. CONTINUED ON PAGE 36

JANUARY 30, 2014


DINING CAPSULES, CONT. SANDY’S HOMEPLACE CAFE Specializing in home-style buffet, with two meats and seven vegetables to choose from. It’s allyou-can-eat. 1710 E 15th St. No alcohol, No CC. $. 501-375-3216. L Mon.-Fri. SCALLIONS Reliably good food, great desserts, pleasant atmosphere, able servers — a solid lunch spot. 5110 Kavanaugh Blvd. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-666-6468. L Mon.-Sat. SHORTY SMALL’S Land of big, juicy burgers, massive cheese logs, smoky barbecue platters and the signature onion loaf. 1100 N. Rodney Parham Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-224-3344. LD daily. SLIM CHICKENS Chicken tenders and wings served fast. Better than the Colonel. 4500 W. Markham. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-9070111. LD daily. SONNY WILLIAMS’ STEAK ROOM Steaks, chicken and seafood in a wonderful setting in the River Market. Steak gets pricey, though. Menu is seasonal, changes every few months. 500 President Clinton Ave. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-324-2999. D Mon.-Sat. SOUTH ON MAIN Fine, innovative takes on Southern fare in a casual, but wellappointed setting. 1304 Main St. Full bar, CC. $-$$. 501-244-9660. L Mon.-Fri., D Tue.-Sat. STAGECOACH GROCERY AND DELI Fine po’ boys and muffalettas — and cheap. 6024 Stagecoach Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-455-7676. BLD Mon.-Fri., BL Sat.-Sun. TABLE 28 Excellent fine dining with lots of creative flourishes. Branch out and try the Crispy Squid Filet and Quail Bird Lollipops. 1501 Merrill Drive. Full bar, CC. $$$-$$$$. 224-2828. D Mon.-Sat. TERRI-LYNN’S BBQ AND DELICATESSEN High-quality meats served on large sandwiches and good tamales served with chili or without (the better bargain). 10102 N. Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-227-6371. L Tue.-Fri., LD Sat. (close at 5pm). WEST END SMOKEHOUSE AND TAVERN Its primary focus is a sports bar with 50-plus TVs, but the dinner entrees (grilled chicken, steaks and such) are plentiful and the bar food is upper quality. 215 N. Shackleford. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-224-7665. L Fri.-Sun., D daily. WINGSTOP It’s all about wings. The joint features 10 flavors of chicken flappers for almost any palate, including mild, hot, Cajun and atomic, as well as specialty flavors like lemon pepper, teriyaki, Garlic parmesan and Hawaiian. 11321 West Markham St. Beer, All CC. $-$$. 501-224-9464. LD daily.


A.W. LIN’S ASIAN CUISINE Excellent panAsian with wonderful service. 17717 Chenal Parkway. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-8215398. LD daily. CHINESE KITCHEN Good Chinese takeout. Try the Cantonese press duck. 11401 N. Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, CC. $-$$. 501-224-2100. LD Tue.-Sun. HANAROO SUSHI BAR One of the few spots in downtown Little Rock to serve sushi. With an expansive menu, featuring largely Japanese fare. Try the popular Tuna Tatari bento box. 205 W. Capitol Ave. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-301-7900. L Mon.-Fri., D Mon.-Sat. LEMONGRASS ASIA BISTRO Fairly solid Thai bistro. Try the Tom Kha Kai and white wine alligator. They don’t have a full bar, but 36

JANUARY 30, 2014


you can order beer, wine and sake. 4629 E. McCain Blvd. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. 501-945-4638. LD daily. MIKE’S CAFE VIETNAMESE Cheap Vietnamese that could use some more spice, typically. The pho is good. 5501 Asher Ave. Beer, CC. $-$$. 501-562-1515. LD daily. MR. CHEN’S ASIAN SUPERMARKET AND RESTAURANT A combination Asian restaurant and grocery with cheap, tasty and exotic offerings. 3901 S. University Ave. $. 501-562-7900. LD daily. PHO THANH MY It says “Vietnamese noodle soup” on the sign out front, and that’s what you should order. The pho comes in outrageously large portions with bean sprouts and fresh herbs. Traditional pork dishes, spring rolls and bubble tea also available. 302 N. Shackleford Road. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-312-7498. LD Mon., Wed.-Sun. ROYAL BUFFET A big buffet of Chinese fare, with other Asian tastes as well. 109 E. Pershing. NLR. Beer, All CC. 501-753-8885. LD daily. SEKISUI Fresh-tasting sushi chain with fun hibachi grill and an overwhelming assortment of traditional entrees. Nice wine selection, also serves sake and specialty drinks. 219 N. Shackleford Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-221-7070. LD daily. SHOGUN JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE The chefs will dazzle you, as will the variety of tasty stir-fry combinations and the sushi bar. Usually crowded at night. 2815 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-666-7070. D daily. WASABI Downtown sushi and Japanese cuisine. For lunch, there’s quick and hearty sushi samplers. 101 Main St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-374-0777. L Mon.-Fri., D Mon.-Sat.


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. Better known for the incredible family recipe pies and cheesecakes, which come tall and wide. 9801 W. Markham St. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-225-4346. LD Mon.-Sat.


ANATOLIA RESTAURANT Middle of the road Mediterranean fare. 315 N. Bowman Road. No alcohol, CC. $-$$. 501-219-9090. L Tue.-Sun., D Tue.-Sat. CREGEEN’S IRISH PUB Irish-themed pub with a large selection of on-tap and bottled British beers and ales, an Irish inspired menu and lots of nooks and crannies to meet in. Specialties include fish ‘n’ chips and Guinness beef stew. Live music on weekends and $5 cover on Saturdays, special brunch on Sunday. 301 Main St. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-376-7468. LD daily. I S TA N B U L M E D I T E R R A N E A N RESTAURANT This Turkish eatery offers decent kebabs and great starters. The red pepper hummus is a winner. So are Cigar Pastries. Possibly the best Turkish coffee in Central Arkansas. 11525 Cantrell Road. No alcohol, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-223-9332. LD daily. LAYLA’S GYROS AND PIZZERIA Delicious Mediterranean fare — gyros, falafel, shawarma, kabobs, hummus and babaganush — that has a devoted following. All meat is slaughtered according to Islamic dietary law. 9501 N Rodney Parham Road.

No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-227-7272. LD daily (close 5 p.m. on Sun.). L E O ’ S G R E E K C A S T L E Wonderful Mediterranean food — gyro sandwiches or platters, falafel and tabouleh — plus dependable hamburgers, ham sandwiches, steak platters and BLTs. Breakfast offerings are expanded with gyro meat, pitas and triple berry pancakes. 2925 Kavanaugh Blvd. No alcohol, CC. $-$$. 501-666-7414. BLD Mon.-Sat., BL Sun. (close at 4 p.m.). LITTLE GREEK Fast casual chain with excellent Greek food. 11525 Cantrell Road. Beer, All CC. $$. LD daily. NEXT BISTRO & BAR Mediterranean food and drinks. 2611 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. 501-663-6398. D Tue.-Thu., Sat.


CAFE PREGO Dependable entrees of pasta, pork, seafood, steak and the like, plus great sauces, fresh mixed greens and delicious dressings, crisp-crunchy-cold gazpacho and tempting desserts in a comfy bistro setting. Little Rock standard for 18 years. 5510 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-5355. LD Mon.- Fri, D Sat. CIAO ITALIAN RESTAURANT Don’t forget about this casual yet elegant bistro tucked into a downtown storefront. 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. $$. 501-372-0238. L Mon.-Fri., D Thu.-Sat. GRADY’S PIZZA AND SUBS Pizza features a pleasing blend of cheeses rather than straight mozzarella. The grinder is a classic, the chef’s salad huge and tasty. 6801 W. 12th St., Suite C. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-663-1918. LD daily. IRIANA’S PIZZA Unbelievably generous hand-tossed New York style pizza with unmatched zest. Good salads, too; grinders are great, particularly the Italian sausage. 201 E. Markham St. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-374-3656. LD Mon.-Sat. MELLOW MUSHROOM Popular high-end pizza chain. 16103 Chenal Pkwy. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-379-9157. LD daily. PIZZERIA SANTA LUCIA A mobile pizza oven, imported from Italy, that churns out fine pies. They’re on the smaller side and not topped to excess, but quite flavorful. 1401 S Main St. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-666-1885. Various times. 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. 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 New rendition of a 65-year institution in Little

Rock is a totally different experience. Large, renovated space is a Heights hangout 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. $-$$. 501-663-9956. LD daily, BR Sat-Sun. CANON GRILL Tex-Mex, pasta, sandwiches and salads. Creative appetizers come in huge quantities, and the varied main-course menu rarely disappoints, though it’s not as spicy as competitors’. 2811 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $$. 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. Sizes are uniformly massive, quality is uniformly strong, and prices are uniformly low. 11525 Cantrell Road. All CC. $-$$. 501-221-0018. LD daily. COTIJA’S A branch off the famed La Hacienda family tree downtown, with a massive menu of tasty lunch and dinner specials, the familiar white cheese dip and sweet red and fiery-hot green salsas, and friendly service. 406 S. Louisiana St. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-244-0733. L Mon.-Fri. EL CHICO Hearty, standard Mexican served in huge portions. 8409 Interstate 30. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-562-3762. LD daily. FONDA MEXICAN CUISINE Authentic Mex. The guisado (Mexican stew) is excellent. 400 N. Bowman Road. Full bar, CC. $$-$$$. 501-313-4120. LD Tue.-Sun. LA HERRADURA Traditional Mexican fare. 8414 Geyer Springs Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-565-6063. LD Tue.-Sun. LAS MARGARITAS Sparse offerings at this taco truck. No chicken, for instance. Try the veggie quesadilla. 7308 Baseline Road. No alcohol, No CC. $. LD Tue.-Thu. LA REGIONAL A full-service grocery store catering to SWLR’s Latino community, it’s the small grill tucked away in the back corner that should excite lovers of adventurous cuisine. The menu offers a whirlwind trip through Latin America, with delicacies from all across the Spanish-speaking world (try the El Salvadorian papusas, they’re great). Bring your Spanish/English dictionary. 7414 Baseline Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-565-4440. BLD daily. LAS AMERICAS Guatemalan and Mexican fare. Try the hearty tamales wrapped in banana leaves. 8622 Chicot Road. $-$$. 501-565-0266. LD daily. LOS TORITOS MEXICAN RESTAURANT Mexican fare in East End. 1022 Angel Court. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-2617823. LD daily. SENOR TEQUILA Cheap, serviceable Tex-Mex, and maybe the best margarita in town. 2000 S. University Ave. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-660-4413. LD daily. TAQUERIA KARINA AND CAFE A real Mexican neighborhood cantina from the owners, to freshly baked pan dulce, to Mexican-bottled Cokes, to firstrate guacamole, to inexpensive tacos, burritos, quesadillas and a broad selection of Mexican-style seafood. 5309 W. 65th St. Beer, No CC. $. 501-562-3951. BLD daily. TAQUERIA SAMANTHA II Stand-out taco truck fare, with meat options standard and exotic. 7521 Geyer Springs Road. No alcohol, No CC. $. 501-744-0680. BLD daily.

Racing season is here again! with it comes a high energy atmosphere and a whole lot of fun that has crowds from all over flocking to the beautiful Spa City. But, the races form only a small fraction of what Hot Springs has to offer. So take a break, venture outside the park for a bit and take in the award-winning food and entertainment this great and unique town offers up. The Arlington We start this year’s section off with what some consider the heart of Hot Springs; The Arlington is a self-contained resort with all of the ambiance and hospitality of a traditional, grand old Southern hotel. Established in 1875, it features a full spa service, which was recently named in the top 100 Spas in the country by Healthy Living and Travel, and some outstanding restaurants with an awardwinning Sunday brunch and a Friday Night Seafood Feast. The Arlington’s Lobby Bar was recently rated in the top 15 bars of the world (#6) by Refinery 29 and has live entertainment Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The hotel veranda is a perfect place to relax with your favorite cocktail. During the racing season, a handicapper will review the day’s races every Saturday morning in the lobby for hotel guests.

The Arlington entrance

Guests may swim year-round in the twin cascading pools or relax in the hot tub on the mountainside pool deck. 239 Central Ave., (501) 623-7771.

Steinhaus Keller One of the newest additions to Central Avenue and Arkansas’s newest German Restaurant and Biergarten, Steinhaus Keller is located in the grotto of Spence’s Corner only minutes away from the Arlington. It has a unique cave-like atmosphere with a wide selection of your favorite German beers along with a full service restaurant and live entertainment. If you are looking for a cozy place with great food to take that






Advertising Supplement to Arkansas Times

special someone to Valentine’s Day, try Steinhaus Keller. Call and make your reservations. 801 Central Ave, Ste. 15. (501) 624-7886.

Café 1217

Arkansas’s Newest German Restaurant & Biergarten

Featuring the largest selection of German bier in the state!

Full Service Bar & Live Entertainment




Join us for Valentine’s Day Weekend! Specials and Entertainment



Tues – Fri: 3pm – 10pm, Fri – Sat: 3pm -2am Sun: 3pm – 9pm

(501) 624-7866

Lower Level of Spencer’s Corner

JapaneSe SteakhouSe & SuShi bar

Winner of Best Deli Gourmet-to-go in Arkansas Times 2013 Readers Choice Awards, Café 1217 prides itself on the fact that anything that comes from their kitchen is created from scratch, using only the freshest, finest ingredients. In this spirit, the café’s menu is changed monthly. Keeping its base of customer favorites such as the Southwest Cobb Salad, Shrimp and Crawfish Cakes and a wide variety of homey desserts. Café 1217 offers catering services in Hot Springs and the surrounding areas. Lunch and dinner. 1217 Malvern Ave. #B, (501) 318-1094.

Taco Mama Just across the way from Café 1217 you’ll find Taco Mama, one of the tastiest Mexican restaurants in the area. Voted Best Mexican in the state in 2013 by the readers of the Arkansas Times, all the food at Taco Mama is hand-prepared and made daily. Head there to enjoy daily happy hour drink specials with some of the coldest margaritas and draft beer in town. Lunch and dinner. 1209 Malvern Ave., (501) 624-6262.   

Osaka Hot Springs’ largest Japanese restaurant offers up a broad range of selections, always prepared from the highest quality ingredients. The menu features delicious hibachi, tempura, teriyaki, noodles and sushi rolls. Osaka just added seven new rolls to their Delicious sushi dish Cowboy Roll from Osaka menu including the favorites Cowboy Roll and the Candy Crush Roll. The exotic atmosphere offers a variety of seating options, including private tatami, dining tables, a party room, sushi bar and the always exciting hibachi tables. Lunch and dinner. 3954 Central Ave., (501) 525-9888.

Blue Monkey Grill The Bleu Monkey Grill offers diners one of the most diverse menus found anywhere in the country serving up everything from burgers and fries to the highest quality, hand-prepared salmon cooked to perfection. Co-founders Joey and Ozzy, scowered the country for great dishes to add to their menu and have crafted one that caters to each and every age and palette. The Monkey Nacho’s, the Kobe Burger with sautéed mushrooms and onions and the Napa Chicken are must tries. So stop by! 4263 Central Ave., (501) 520-4800.

Private tatami tables & Party room

Rolando’s, Latino Restaurant

Full Cocktail lounge Daily lunch specials 3954 Central avenue (behind StarbuCkS) hot SpringS · 501.525.9888 oSakahotSpringS.Com mon-thu 11am-3pm, 4:30-10pm Fri 11am-3pm, 4:30-10:30pm Sat-Sun 11am-CloSe Advertising Supplement to Arkansas Times

Rolando’s cuisine is authentic Latin Fusion at its finest. Chef Rolando’s recipes, include handmade tamales, traditional Cuban black beans and rice with pulled pork, and their most popular dish, the tantalizing Pescado de Mesias (fish of Jesus)— grilled tilapia on a bed of white rice with pureed mango and a buttery caper sauce served with black beans. You’ll come for the food, but you’ll linger for the atmosphere. Adding to the ambiance, there’s live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Rolando’s also caters events and offers a wide variety of dishes,

Photo by Artfully Bound Photography

including items not listed on the menu. Lunch and dinner. 210 Central Ave., (501) 318-6054. Just above Rolando’s and fitting for the history of Hot Springs comes a new bar by the owners of Rolando’s. Rolando’s Speak Easy, as the name implies is a prohibition era bar with a themed drink menu and servers in flapper dresses on weekends, which makes patrons feel like they have entered a 1920’s time capsule.

The Spa City Sweethearts Burlesque Revue The art of burlesque, with roots extending to the late 1800’s, is enjoying a revival in modern day America. Hot Springs is no exception to the current fascination with classical, theatrical strip tease. Beautiful women, in elaborate costumes, often handmade are timeless high entertainment. “The Spa City Sweethearts Burlesque Revue,” features over two dozen performers, who performed to a sold out audience at Low Key Arts for the first time in February 2011, making it the largest fundraiser of the year for

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The Heart of Historic Hot Springs National Park

Thermal baths and spa A national park outside any door. Venetian Dining Room and Lobby Lounge with weekend entertainment. Private beauty and facial salon Championship golf courses.

Make The Arlington your home for thoroughbred racing season. For Reservations: (800) 643-1502 239 Central Ave. • Hot Springs, AR 71901 Advertising Supplement to Arkansas Times

Mardi Gras Costume Ball Hot SprinGS Jazz SoCiety’S only fundraiSer Saturday, February 22 • 6:30 PM The Austin Convention Hotel And Spa 305 Malvern Avenue • Hot Springs Each ticket is a chance to win 1 of 20 precious gemstones from Lauray’s the Diamond Center

Amber, the Princess of Pop and Ray Michaels of KLAZ 105.9 to emcee Dancing • Zydeco & Dixieland Music Costume Contest W/ $500 Prize Money

The Valley of the Vapors Independent music festival. The Foul Play Cabaret have since performed regularly in Hot hot springs? Springs and have entertained upcoming events crowds in Chicago, New York, and many other cities across the USA. The Spa City Sweethearts Revue returns to Low Key Arts (118 Arbor Ave.) on February 14 and 15, the popularity of the show necessitating an additional performance. Doors open on both nights at 7PM, Show at 8PM. Tickets are $10 and are available on-line at or at Pale Horse Tattoo in The Spa City. For more information contact Low Key Arts at 501-282-9056. For ages 18 and up only.

what's bubbling in

Tickets Online At 501-627-2425 $60 Per Person • $600 For Table Of 10

Benefitting The Hot Springs Jazz Society’s Educational Programming & Annual JazzFest

Pictures from last year’s party.

Hot Springs Jazz Festival Second Annual Mardi Gras Costume Ball

Welcome To The World Of

Bleu Monkey Grill Serving Fine Cuisine From Around The Globe

Join the Hot Springs Jazz Society for the party of the year with the second annual Hot Springs Mardi Gras Costume Ball on Feb. 22 from 6:30-11 p.m. in the ballroom at The Austin Hotel and Spa. Find all the glamour of New Orleans beginning with the Spa City Stompers playing Dixieland music to get the party started. Delta Brass Express takes over as the headlining band bringing dancing music plus Cajun and Zydeco tunes. New Orleans specialty drinks and food will be available for purchase and all ticket holders will receive a personal King’s Cake. Twenty of these cakes will have the traditional “baby” inside that can be traded for prizes from Lauray’s: The Diamond Center. Costumes are optional but are a fun way to get in on the celebration and possibly share in the $500 prize money for best costumes. A photographer will be on hand to take pictures of guests in their Mardi Gras splendor. One of Hot Springs’ most elite silent auctions will also take place during the event. The Mardi Gras Costume Ball is in the only fundraising event presented by the Hot Springs Jazz Society. Proceeds from the evening will go toward the Society’s educational programming and the free, outdoor concert during the annual JazzFest in September. To check out the fun from last year’s party, purchase tickets or for more information, visit, email or call (501)627-2425.

Arkansas Furniture

Sun-Thur 11am-10pm • Fri & Sat 11am-11pm • Monkey Business Happy Hour Mon-Thur 3-7pm Bleu Monkey To Go & Catering Available

(501) 520-4800 4263 Central ave. Hot SpringS Advertising Supplement to Arkansas Times

Arkansas Furniture is a family owned and operated business with a dedicated staff that provides friendly, professional service each and every time you visit the three showrooms. There you’ll find unique furniture and accents for every room of your home, in all styles. You’ll also find the brands you love—including Ashley, Aspen, Bassett, , Broyhill, Hickory Chair, La-Z-Boy, Lane, Lexington, Massoud, Norwalk, Serta, Stanley and Stressless recliners to name a few. Arkansas Furniture is a place where all your accenting and furnishing needs can be met in one convenient spot! Open 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Saturday. 1901 Albert Pike Rd. (Hwy. 270 West), (501) 623-3849.

Jan 11-Apr 12 Feb 2 Feb 14-15

110th Annual Live Racing at Oaklawn

LOCATION: Oaklawn Racetrack

10th Annual Chocolate Festival

LOCATION: Embassy Suites Hot Springs Hotel & Spa, 1pm–3pm The Spa City Sweethearts Burlesque Revue The Spa City Sweethearts Revue returns to Low Key Arts, 118 Arbor on February 14 and 15, the popularity of the show necessitating an additional performance. Doors open on both nights at 7PM, Show at 8PM. Tickets are $10 and are available on-line at or at Pale Horse Tattoo in The Spa City. For more information contact Low Key Arts at 501-2829056. For ages 18 and up only.

Feb 22

Hot Springs Jazz Society Mardi Gras Costum Ball

Feb 28-Mar 2

Hot Springs Boat, Tackle & RV Show


Health Walks in the Garden

Mar 7-9

Star Systems Talent Dance Competitions

Mar 7-9

Murder Mystery Weekend

Mar 11

Mrs. Garvan’s Tea

LOCATION: The Austin Hotel, 6:30pm

LOCATION: Hot Springs Convention Center and Summit Arena LOCATION: Garvan Woodland Gardens LOCATION: Hot Springs Convention Center LOCATION: Prospect Inn Bed & Breakfast LOCATION: Garvan Woodland Gardens, Magnolia Room

mar MAR MAR MAR Mar Mar Mar Mar Mar MAR

13-15 16 16 17 23 29-30 7-9 11 11 14-18

Arkansas High School State Basketball Finals

LOCATION: Summit Arena, Stardust Big Band

LOCATION: The Arlington Hotel Crystal Ballroom, 3pm–6pm The Muses present The Four Seasons in Art and Song - Spring

LOCATION:Garvan Woodland Gardens, 3pm

First Ever 11th Annual World’s Shortest Saint Patrick’s Day

LOCATION: Downtown Hot Springs

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Concert

LOCATION: Garvan Woodland Gardens, Anthony Chapel, 3pm JAMfest Nationals

LOCATION: Summit Arena Murder Mystery Weekend

LOCATION: Prospect Inn Bed & Breakfast Mrs. Garvan’s Tea

LOCATION: Garvan Woodland Gardens, Magnolia Room Mrs. Garvan’s Tea

LOCATION: Garvan Woodland Gardens, Magnolia Room Valley of the Vapors The 10th Annual Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival will take place March 14 thru 18, 2014 in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The VOV is a small venue festival featuring the music, workshops and visual art of today’s artistic innovators. All events are all ages, smoke free, and handicap accessible. For information about The VOV, please contact

Coming Soon

We Have The #1 Customers In The State! Let Us Cater Your Event! Best Other Ethnic

Best in Hot Springs

Items On And Off The Menu Just Tell Us What You Want.

Open Daily at 11am 7 Days A Week 210 Central Avenue Hot Springs 501.318.6054

Full Bar With A Throwback Drink Menu Cigars Live Entertainment 210 Central Ave • Hot Springs Above Rolando’s Nuevo Latino Restaurante Advertising Supplement to Arkansas Times

Introducing “The Public’s Health:

A History of Health and Disease in Arkansas”


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Written by Dr. Sam Taggart, designed by Arkansas Times graphic artist Patrick Jones and edited by Erica Sweeney, editor of Savvy Kids magazine. This incredible book is a fascinating history of Arkansas, examining Arkansas politics, race, class, sex and social attitudes through the lens of medicine.

Enjoy the libations and food that Dizzy’s is so famous for and meet Patrick Jones and Erica Sweeney. Dr. Sam Taggart will be autographing books!

Join us at Dizzy’s Gypsy Bistro

in the River Market District for our launch party Thursday, January 30th from 5pm to 6:30pm.



JAN. 30, 2014

First Federal Bank presents the fourth annual Arkansas Baptist College Supper & Soul Gala


rkansas Baptist College (ABC) has figured out a way to combine the serious business of raising money with the fun of a throw-down party. Now in its fourth year, the college’s Supper & Soul event — scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 27 — is the occasion for music lovers and supporters of higher education. Its name describes the event perfectly — patrons are served a really great meal and beverages, and the soul in the room is larger than life. This year, the S.O.S. Band takes the stage to belt out familiar dance hits like 1983’s classic “Just Be Good to Me” and “Take Your Time (Do It Right)”, “Tell Me if You Still Care”, and “No One’s Gonna Love You” — just to name a few. Performers at past galas include The Commodores, Gladys Knight and Al Green. Supper & Soul is expected to raise $300,000 this year to help fund college operational expenses and tuition costs of students that are not covered by financial aid. This year an exciting new program called Fund a Future will be held in conjunction with the gala. Donors can donate directly to pay students’ outstanding tuition costs. Donations made to the Fund A Future program are 100 percent tax deductible and 100 percent goes to tuition costs — these donations do not go toward gala expenses. Sherra and Eddie Armstrong are this year’s Supper & Soul gala chairs. Sherra’s parents have been longtime ABC supporters and passed the torch to her, continuing a family tradition. For the Armstrongs, chairing the gala is a way for them to honor the school and its positive impact on the lives of its students. “It’s all about the community and the college and the lives [ABC] has changed and will continue to change,” they said. The couple extends a personal invitation to all readers to attend this year’s Supper & Soul Gala.

Co-Chairs, Sherra and Eddie Armstrong stop in Cache for a pre-dinner and dance cocktail.


ABC opened in 1884 and was established to serve the underserved and to provide an education to those who otherwise might not have access to one. It is the only Baptist historically black college west of the Mississippi. It has been a beacon of hope and it continues to provide the life-long gift of an education to so many. Since Dr. Fitz Hill took over as president in 2006 the enrollment has far exceeded the less-than 200 students when he arrived.


6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27

Statehouse Convention Center, Wally Allen Ballroom Cocktail reception and silent auction. After dinner, dance the night away to the sounds of the S.O.S. Band Cocktail attire Sponsorships start at $3,000, tickets are $250 and tables of 10 are $2,500.

➥ L&L BECK GALLERY’S February exhibit is “Ducks in Arkansas” and will run through the end of the month. The February giclee giveaway of the month will be “Mallards in Cypress Pond.” The drawing will be at 5:15 p.m. Feb. 22 at the gallery. ➥ VESTA’S needs to make way for spring shoes, so they’ve marked all of their boots down 50-75 percent off. Now is the time to stock up on styles by Old Gringo, Liberty Black, J Shoes and Kork Ease. ➥ To market, to market ... and home again: The folks at WHITE GOAT and RHEA DRUG have recently been to market and have picked up some amazing new stuff. Be sure to head down to these stores to take a look at the goodies they brought back with them. ➥ B. BARNETT has recently welcomed a new associate on staff, and her name is Gloria Washington. Stop by to say hello, and she’ll help you pick out some great deals – fall clothes, shoes, handbags and accessories at B. Barnett are now 75 percent off. ➥ Over in the Heights, men’s clothing store BRITS AND TURKS recently settled into their permanent location at 5909 R St, in the same shopping center as Haagen Dazs. ➥ Interested in learning a new hobby? The YARN MART has a beginning knitting class scheduled from 6-7:30 p.m. March 10. Cost is $45. Call 501-666-6505 to reserve your spot. ➥ Sad news: ARGENTA MARKET’S last day of business will be Feb. 8. It’ll be your last chance to pick up fresh organic produce; locally made cheeses, Lobolly Creamery ice cream and other tasty goodies in downtown North Little Rock. Best of luck to the owners and we’re hoping to see an Argenta Market 2.0 in the near future. ➥ The first PEDAL-PALOOZA is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 22 at the First Security Amphitheatre at the River Market. This bike swap meet will feature plenty of vendor booths to browse for bikes, gear, clothing and more.


JANUARY 30, 2014


A rundown of great local spots to take your special someone for Valentine’s day.

Dizzy’s Gypsy Bistro is offering a specialty pasta selection as part of it’s Valentine’s Day specials.

Treat your Sweetie

Guaranteed Date Night 10 Times a Year! 10 Shows & Dinners for

Only $160

announces on the air that he and his wife will renew their vows in Sin City, all of the residents of Tuna, Texas come along for the ride. Favorite characters from past Tuna productions return, and new through ones are introduced!Now “What happens in Vegas stays inFebruary Vegas, but8 what happens when Tuna hits the February 11 slots may lodge delightfully in your head for a lifetime.” - L.A. Times through

STariNG Candyce Hinkle

March 8

44 JANUARY 30, 2014

500 President Clinton Ave. (501) 324-2999

Spend a beautiful evening at Sonny Williams’ Steak Room with a Special Prix Fixe menu consisting of three courses, live piano music, and handcrafted cocktails.


1501 Merrill Drive (501) 224-2828

Celebrate a romantic evening at Table 28 with a four-course dinner for $60 per person or $90 per person with wine pairings. You’ll choose from selections such as short rib, potato dumpling, and saffron risotto. You can find the full menu posted on Facebook. Make your reservations now!

Upscale. . Downtown ay


SaveSeptember 3Greatest – Up To OctOberEntertainment 5 When a conservative radio VALUE! host $190



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Piano Bar Tue e Bar Martini & Win

Wine 335 Selections Of 35 By The Glass ld Across The Wor Fine Spirits From otland Sc Of n gio Re y Ever Scotch List From urbons 6 Single-Barrel Bo

DRINK ARKANSAS TIMES LOCAL In The River Market District • 501.324.2999

Free Valet Parking

Find us on Facebook!

LITTLE GREEK RESTAURANT Pleasant Ridge Town Center 11525 Cantrell Road, Little Rock (501) 223-5300

One of Little Rock’s newest additions, Little Greek Restaurant is gearing up for Valentine’s Day with a tempting special for two that includes a choice of one starter, any two dinner platters, any two desserts and a bottle of wine (usually valued at $50-$60) for $40. If you would prefer to skip the wine and include fountain drinks instead the price for two goes down to $30/couple. So if you are looking for a casual but cozy place with great food to take that someone special to, look no further and stop by Feb. 14-16!

ReseRve YouR Table Now FoR

Valentines Day

4 courses


$60 per person $30 For WIne WITh each course (WIne parIngs)

200 River Market Ave, Little Rock (501) 375-3500

Ruin one another at Dizzy’s Valentine’s Week y’all! Feb. 11-15, Dizzy’s Gypsy Bistro will be offering up a special that inlcudes a specialty pasta selection served with a salad and crostinis, along with Dizzy’s decadent Black Forest Brownie for $25/per person. Don’t forget to ask your server about the fun Valentine’s cocktails as well!

MURRY’S DINNER PLAYHOUSE 6323 Colonel Glenn Road, Little Rock (501) 562-3131

Make a reservation for a romantic comedy called Weekend Comedy. For $35, you’ll enjoy the show and dinner themed around the production.


In The Former VesuVIo BIsTro LocaTIon · mon–Thu 5-9pm ~ FrI-saT 5–10pm

1501 merrILL DrIVe · LITTLe rock · 501-224-2828

“Maybe…you’ll fall in love with me all over again.” “Hell,” I said, “I love you enough now. What do you want to do? Ruin me?” “Yes. I want to ruin you.” “Good,” I said. “That’s what I want too.” – Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

Bringing The Flavor Of The Mediterranean To Your Neighborhood Fresh • Delicious • Everything Is Made To Order

Pleasant Ridge Town Center • 11525 Cantrell Road • Little Rock 501-223-5300 • • 11am – 9pm Mon – Sun

ValEnTInEs TablE FOr TwO

$40 YOur ChOICE OF: Starter Any Two Dinner Platters Any Two Desserts Bottle Of Wine (red or white)

Ruin one another at

Dizzy’s Valentine’s Week ya’ll! See edit in thiS iSSue for our Valentine’S Special!


$50-$60 value. Good for 2/14 - 2/16. $30 Soft drink/no wine option available.


GY P S Y B I S TRO 200 S. River Market Ave. Ste. 150 Tue – Thu: 11am–9pm Fri – Sat: 11am–10pm


JANUARY 30, 2014




lanning a party can be a daunting task. But planning a Super Bowl party should be easy and fun! After all, it’s not going to be your gourmet creations that will be the center of attention — it will be the TV! Super Bowl foods should be simple and hearty. Choose foods that can be prepared ahead of time — you deserve to watch the game too. And remember, this is a much-anticipated day when football fans are not counting calories. A large Crock-Pot full of chili can be the basis of a whole Super Bowl buffet. It’s great served in a bowl by itself or can be the main ingredient of Frito chili pies, chili dogs or loaded nachos. Add pizza and wings, some salsa and chips, and a layered dip and your Super Bowl buffet will be, well, super. Spread around a few bowls full of candy footballs and get a cake decorated with the teams for a centerpiece. There is always lots of excitement about the commercials, especially BEER commercials. Bud commercials are always a game favorite. Coors and Coors Light are brewed in Colorado, so either would be a natural choice. But, remember, there are so many great options out there that can add interest and fun to your game day buffet. Here are some styles to consider. Pale Ale: Covers a broad spectrum from dry to sweet, bitter to floral, and any range in between. PICK: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale 12pk cans $16.99 Classic and well balanced, it’s tough to beat a cold can of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Aromatic and hoppy, it’s the ideal choice for big, juicy burgers or grilled meats.  Also goes well with big screen TVs. IPA: Higher alcohol content and very aggressively hopped. This is a very popular style. PICK: Green Flash West Coast IPA 4pk bottles $9.99 The fine wine of your game day spread, so to speak, West Coast IPA is a bold and beautiful IPA bursting with complex notes of citrus, grapefruit and pine. It’s meant to be sipped and savored. This is for the connoisseur who prefers a highergravity beer that is best enjoyed at a more modest pace. Goes great with barbeque and grilled fish. 46 JANUARY 30, 2014

Chateau Ste Michelle Horse Heaven Hills Merlot

Chateau Ste Michelle Columbia Valley Chardonnay

Broncos Mile High Manhattan

New Belgium Shift Pale Lager

Seahawk Old Fashioned

Clark Trim’s picks for the Big Game!

Lager: Different from Ales because of the way they are brewed. Styles vary greatly from very light pilsner to darker styles such as Bock. The beers you see advertised during the Super Bowl are all lagers, but a total different production than the ones mentioned here. PICK: New Belgium Shift Pale Lager Slam it in celebration or down it in defeat, Shift is one of the ultimate game day brews. Gentle hop bitterness and subtle malt sweetness keep this pale lager light bodied and sessionable so that you can enjoy it all day Sunday without regretting it on Monday. Weizen: this is a German wheat beer. PICK: Sudwerk Hefeweizen This hazy hefe from Davis, Calif. boasts the usual notes of citrus, clove and banana. But it’s the heavy peppercorn spice that makes this beer so enjoyable.  Definitely a must have for hot wings. ••• Don’t forget your guests who are not beer drinkers. Wine is a must! Seattle fans can easily choose a white and red from Washington. Chateau Ste Michelle Columbia Valley Chardonnay and Horse Heaven Hills Merlot by Chateau Ste Michelle are my picks.


For the cocktail lover here are two signature drinks, one from each team.

BRONCOS MILE HIGH MANHATTAN 2 1/2 oz Bourbon (Maker’s Mark recommended) 3/8 oz Vanilla Liqueur 3/8 oz Orange Liqueur (Grand Marnier recommended) 2 dashes Anise

For a pitcher: 8 servings 20 oz Bourbon (Maker’s Mark recommended) 3 oz Vanilla Liqueur 3 oz Orange Liqueur (Grand Marnier Recommended 1 oz Anise

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


Serve in a chilled cocktail glass.

For a pitcher: 8 Servings

1 1/2 oz Bourbon (Maker’s Mark recommended)

12 oz Bourbon (Maker’s Mark recommended)

1/2 oz dark crème de cacao (Dekuyper recommended)

4 oz dark crème de cacao (Dekuyper recommended)

1 1/2 oz water

12 oz water

1 oz espresso chilled

8 oz espresso chilled

1/4 oz simple syrup

2 oz simple syrup

2 dashes orange bitters

1 oz orange bitters

Finely ground coffee or coffee beans for garnish

Finely ground coffee or coffee beans for garnish

Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake well.

Mix all ingredients in a pitcher and stir blending together.

Strain into an old fashioned glass filled with ice.

Pour into an old fashioned glass filled with ice.

Optional: Garnish with ground coffee or grounds

Optional: Garnish with ground coffee or grounds.

ARKANSAS TIMES MARKETPLACE A terrible secret cripples a rural community...


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A novel by Arkansas author Jimmie von Tungeln Available at major on-line outlets in print and digital

Refractory workers and brick masons needed for shutdown job in Malvern, AR. MUST HAVE VERIFIABLE EXPERIENCE. Please call Michael 318-417-4377.

“One of those books I was sorry to see end. Gideon

Nelson is the consummate humble badass hero.” - Amazon reviewer

The Charmed Time

For information or to order: • 501-681-5855

Little Rock, 1104 B W. 29th St 2BR/1BA Single Family Fixer Upper • Lease or Cash $250 DN, $91/mo 855-664-8357

Evraz Stratcor, Inc. Position: technology engineer/researcher resPonsibilities: Assist sales and customers with technical issues; research and work on new product development; plant process troubleshooting; process development work for new/existing circuits; and project work as assigned. education and exPerience required: Master’s Degree in Chemistry located: 4285 Malvern Road, Hot Springs, Arkansas aPPly by mailing resume to: Human Resources Department, EVRAZ Stratcor, Inc., 4285 Malvern Road, Hot Springs, Arkansas 71901-8504

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♥ ADOPTION: ♥ A Nurturing Family for your baby. Stay-athome Mom, Education, Travel & Much More. Expenses paid. ♥ ♥ ♥ 1-800-775-4013 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Nathalie & Jerald ♥ ♥ ♥ Continued from page 43 “While you’re enjoying the evening, look around the room and see many of ABC’s students providing volunteer support,” they said. “These young people believe dreams do come true, they believe ABC can help them reach their goals through the life-long benefits of an education and they believe they can become an asset to the world in which they live and make a difference.” At the event, SCM Architects will accept the 2014 Arkansas Baptist College Growing Hope Award; this award is presented to a member of the community or a company who has greatly influenced the lives of others through generosity, service, volunteerism and leadership.


Proceeds from Arkansas Baptist College’s Supper & Soul Gala help fund capital improvement projects like the renovations to the college’s Old Main building, seen here before (left) and after (right). ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT TO ARKANSAS TIMES

JANUARY 30, 2014


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Arkansas Times entertainment, culture, politics

Ar times 1 30 14  

Arkansas Times entertainment, culture, politics