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VOLUME 39, NUMBER 19 ARKANSAS TIMES (ISSN 0164-6273) is published each week by Arkansas Times Limited Partnership, 201 East Markham Street, 200 Heritage Center West, P.O. Box 34010, Little Rock, Arkansas, 72203, phone (501) 375-2985. Periodical postage paid at Little Rock, Arkansas, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ARKANSAS TIMES, P.O. Box 34010, Little Rock, AR, 72203. Subscription prices are $42 for one year, $78 for two years. Subscriptions outside Arkansas are $49 for one year, $88 for two years. Foreign (including Canadian) subscriptions are $168 a year. For subscriber service call (501) 375-2985. Current single-copy price is 75¢, free in Pulaski County. Single issues are available by mail at $2.50 each, postage paid. Payment must accompany all single-copy orders. Reproduction or use in whole or in part of the contents without the written consent of the publishers is prohibited. Manuscripts and artwork will not be returned or acknowledged unless sufficient return postage and a self-addressed stamped envelope are included. All materials are handled with due care; however, the publisher assumes no responsibility for care and safe return of unsolicited materials. All letters sent to ARKANSAS TIMES will be treated as intended for publication and are subject to ARKANSAS TIMES’ unrestricted right to edit or to comment editorially.


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tes lots of standbuilder who incorpora You don’t need ing endurance poses. e for his class, tons of yoga knowledg the next day. Floatbut you will be sore only local place to ing Lotus is also the — although we don’t practice Jivamukti what that means. even pretend to know once classes begin, because, early Come First time is free, the studio is locked. for e-mails, you’ll and if you sign up free yoga events that also get invites to . Cassandra organizes Ave. 664-0172. $13 900 N. University $65 for unlimited per class. $40 for four. monthly.


FITNESS IN THE HEALTH AND and Fitness’s biHEIGHTS Health are a solid introducweekly yoga classes techniques, tion to poses and breathing y explained. both of which are thoroughl of environsoothing most the not It’s room is cold, and ments — the basement overhead. Classes clank gym weights , and first-time are free for members ip. membersh trial visitors get a week’s 280-997. $10 5116 Kavanaugh Blvd. month. per class. $29 per

G CENTER LITTLE ROCK CLIMBIN hammy of double-w If you’re up for a stretching, hit up strengthening and Center on a the Little Rock Climbing (6 or a Wednesday Monday (8 p.m.) BODY SPA We pass is less than CARACALLA, THE p.m.). The $12 day classes at Argenta some yoga studios, of fee drop-in used to adore Erin’s the in a few hours of since Argenta shutHealing Arts, and and you can squeeze found are all haven’t Classes we class. studio, lo. tered its yoga climbing before Hot, slow, day-g quite like her. Until involve stretching another instructor levels and usually a hot and supera light not morning It’s watery with shimmering, now. David’s Saturday and light balance work. Times, are reminison the front wall. e, but it works out ere at the Arkansas huge day-glo lotus yoga classes at Caracalla balance and sweaty experienc gurus. But core, how Barefoot’s own acid thing, the tight we’re no yogic We can easily see cent of Erin’s — reps, that forearm lactic to go with mat. Bring two climbing kinks. (they call it “glow sometimes we like version of yoga raves burn. Bring you own shoulders and other is you’ll do lots of vinyasa, of course. Caracalla’s floor the flow — meaning yoga”) go down. if you have them. If Scott’s at the helm, 661-8005. $15 aren’t many extras d, words like Bikram, you’ll hold poses for 3615 Old Cantrell Road. For the uninitiate concrete, and there chest-openers, and a about time, five classes. $75 for the restroom is in can be intimidating. Iyengar and Yin per class. $60 for lying around. Also, a bit. He’s never concerneda large class — go do you know which you and so, over. It’s What do they mean, unlimited monthly. whole other building, so class often runs heart-pounding means that topan open loft, which want? Which deliver before you come. in $10 Little therapeuNorth 280-0866. deliver are always audible. 5715 Kavanaugh Blvd. workouts, and which BLUE YOGA NYLA 40 climbing tunes a warm, welif you’re really into Glenn Road. 227-9500. Cash or check only. Colonel Blue Yoga Nyla is class. 12120 tic stretches? What Rock’s per chakra stuff? What lots of regulars. But that swirling magic coming space with $12 day rate. Oh how we classes may be not? Stressing over LOTUS certain really G yogis, really, if you’re for some THE FLOATIN oductive, so OK, so think of the studio is tiny is our go-to for hot yoga is pretty counterpr layperson’s too casual. First off, love the Lotus! This LITTLE ROCK YOGIS And yeah, yoga. Little Rock form of a also some flow and here’s help, in the and things get cramped. everything yoga, but there is this as special needs the Rock. Namaste, to block as a therapeutic and for those who don’t guide to om-ing in maybe the point is restorative stuff Yogis was founded n with pain. This to have a hard time about a year ago, but y’all. out, but we tend want to mix meditatio kiddie-yoga space wobbly folks are in town, temperahas phased in adult balancing when other is the hottest yoga slowly the studio distance. The If you want athand if you sweat a seasoned athlete, BAREFOOT STUDIO always within fingertip ture-wise. Bring water, classes. If you’re to cover your (Bikram Choudwill strike you don’t want to spend towel yoga you Yogis hot beach but LR a night at yoga letic Tuesday a lot bring nothing s get sweat-soaked and “for young athletes” is teaching, you’ll physical limitation the entire hour hury’s invention) mat. If Cassandra as intense. But if is led by the from yoga, this ng postures, with Breezy’s intermedi groaning, go with (so sayeth the webpage) a series of fast-movi have kept you away your new third It’s a great mix of who might be all and a shortage of ate/advanced class. studio owner’s son, a focus on breath studio could become class for the ning and balance. are plenty of verbal no-mat (chair and stretching, strengthe of 17. It’s a fun, energetic particularly explanation. There space. There are who but some try Kecia’s class. ol set, and we’re ted) classes for those you’re in a posture, once If you’re a beginner, high-scho tips wall-assis , after which has coerced s sprawled on Be prepared for She focuses on stretching impressed that someone you’re over background is helpful. can’t envision themselve y leaping from But if (What we mean body buzz. Barefoot yoga. them. lovely try of constantl a to or lots have boys you’ll teen planks, the floor with a distinctive There are classes practice unpunctu love your push-ups has two studios, each 18 and prefer your is, we hope you uttasana into plank. issues (Yogalistudio’s windows ) The studio’s other repartee and misusambiance. The small ated with giggles, slow and torturous. for folks with weight and the outside is a former bodysit this one out. We offer a view of greenery age of the verb “lie,” Bikram teacher, Jack, ly nice at sunset. Yoga Nyla classes world. It’s particular hear the other Blue womblike and trippy, The large studio is


l. are more traditiona Little Rock. 3718 JFK Blvd., North class. 753-9100. $12 per


Bent out of shape

Although I am grateful to be included in the yoga community with being so new, I really did not appreciate this comment in the “Yoga yoga yoga” article (Jan. 2): “The only thing about yin, or at least Stacey’s yin class, is that it practically ignores the upper body. After class, you’re floating from the waist down, and from the waist up, you’re still tight as a fiddle.” There are different levels and degrees of yin yoga. Extreme yin and most all yin classes focus on the area between the navel and the knees — rarely the shoulders. Those are the areas with the deepest bands of connective tissue. The upper body, including the shoulders, is held for a much smaller time frame, usually three minutes or less. In an extreme yin class we focus on the eight thick bands of connective tissue that run down the spine, holding postures for five minutes on up. So yes, in some yin classes you will not get a stretch for the shoulders. Sadly, if you would have done your research instead of attending just one class, you could have written an informative writeup for the public regarding this form of yoga that has never been taught in Little Rock before. Maybe next time get some information from the source. As for all the other studios, the 24

JANUARY 2, 2013


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mama bear in me wants to give my two cents about what you said about them also, but I’ll keep my mouth shut and let them decide if they want to defend themselves. Stacey Swanson, yogini/owner MeridiYIN’z Yoga Studio

Find middle ground Your newspaper recently published an editorial lamenting Michigan’s passing of a “right-to-work” bill (Dec. 19). The premise of the editorial was that this was bad for Michigan and that its citizens’ “standard of living would decline.” I enjoy reading your editorials and columnists’ writings although I have to admit frequently I will think to myself, “Surely they don’t really believe what they say … and they are just stating extreme positions for effect!” In the same manner as extreme conservative writers on the right, when you state far left positions as your beliefs it marginalizes your position and makes you appear inflexible and intractable. Just because a position is stated by a union does not make it right and being pro-union in all cases as your newspaper tends to do only damages your credibility for thoughtful readers. There is no place in actual governing for those extremities other than to make a point and good leadership (as well as good journalism) includes finding acceptable middle ground between extremists. While most of the time I do not know enough to make a meaningful comment about your editorials, I happen to have good knowledge about Michigan and the effect of its unions. I lived in Detroit for a number of years, was an employer of a

Michigan workforce and spent a good many years early in my career working in union-workforce factories in other states. I can assure you that much of the UAW-dominated Detroit area workforce was hostile, considered itself privileged, was unwilling to work hard and was frequently focused in opposition to producing quality work for their employers. In the case of the UAW, this attitude significantly contributed to the demise of the once-great U.S. automobile industry. Any change to reduce the bullying dominance of the UAW in Detroit will likely result in more employment and fair wages, not a reduced standard of living. There is more to the impact of a union workforce than higher wages. There is no doubt unions were a valuable addition to U.S. industry during the Industrial Revolution because of worker abuses by some companies. However, union power can and has been every bit as corrupting to sound business practices as the implied “corporate greed” your paper is so quick to write about. The UAW’s drive to secure wages that were higher than the value of the work performed, the onerous longterm financial impact of the uniondemanded retirement benefits and in particular the cumbersome work rules that breed factory inefficiency all led to a non-competitive workforce for the U.S. automobile industry and therefore a non-competitive product. Unions thrived in the post war 1950s and 1960s U.S. economy in all types of manufacturing and particularly the automobile industry. At that time the U.S. was the dominant world industrial power and most of its

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industries, including its automotive industry, were world leaders because there was minimal competition. Over time powerful unions tend to distort business economics toward workers and if there is no competition that is not a problem. In competitive markets however, that imbalance quickly shows up as high costs and low quality, which was apparent as U.S. industry faced worldwide competition and lost its leadership role. It is interesting to note that in today’s truly global economy, U.S. unions thrive only in the public sector — where there is no competition! Rather than take a pot shot at Michigan’s awkward attempt to improve its economy through legislation, why not instead write about the commendable success of the government-funded corporate bail-out of GM? It truly is working because the UAW had to concede its control significantly in order for GM to be competitive. In good companies, success comes when all employees, including management and the labor force, work together for the common good of creating high quality products and services over the long term. That was true in the past and is still true today. Anything that detracts from that common goal, and unions often do, is negative. Collins Andrews Little Rock

Submit letters to the Editor, Arkansas Times, P.O. Box 34010, Little Rock, AR 72203. We also accept letters via e-mail. The address is We also accept faxes at 375-3623. Please include name and hometown.

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The Legacy of Catholic High Now accepting Now Now accepting accepting applications for applications applications for for the the the 2007-08 2010-11 2013-14 school school year. year. school year.

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Images from the South This exhibit allows viewers to take a look at the southern culture through artists’ eyes. The South has rich traditions – friendliness, influential music, spirituality, storytelling, and closeness to the land. On Display in the Exhibit Hall from Jan. 4 – Jan. 20 Image is by Judith Betts Mardi Gras, watercolor on paper Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of the Mid-Southern Watercolorists. 1982.011

2801 Orange Street North Little Rock (501) 758-1720 “Images from the south” a travelIng exhIbItIon from the arkansas arts Center In lIttle roCk, arkansas

JANUARY 9, 2013




Stubbornly wrong



sa Hutchinson’s announcement that he’ll run for governor again next year inevitably brought Harold Stassen to mind. Like Hutchinson, Stassen was a frequently unsuccessful political candidate, running for president nine times. Like Hutchinson, he was a Republican. Voters tired of Stassen, and they must be tiring of Hutchinson. There are dissimilarities, of course. Stassen was a moderate, at a time when the Republican Party still admitted moderates. Hutchinson is a far-right ideologue of the sort that now run the party. Stassen lacked a mean streak. He never rousted cancer victims trying to relieve their pain with medical marijuana, nor helped impeach a popularly elected president for the offense of belonging to the wrong political party. Unlike Hutchinson, Stassen never avoided military service in wartime. But there’s no getting around the long losing records of both men. If a Stassenite is the best that Arkansas Republicans can offer for governor, the party’s not as strong as it pretends.


JANUARY 9, 2013




isguided and obstinate, proponents of school vouchers have promised that voucher legislation will be offered in the 2013 session. And with the new Republican majority, the chance of passage is good. Friends of the public schools, and believers in the separation of church and state, should be building their defenses. With bricks. They don’t work anywhere, but vouchers’ most prominent failure has been in the schools of Washington, D.C. In 2004, during the George W. Bush administration, Congress approved the use of public funds to pay the tuition of District of Columbia students attending religious and other private schools. This was supposed to be a five-year pilot program, to see if vouchers would improve academic performance. Vouchers didn’t, and yet the program is still going, thanks to the influence of powerful politicians such as Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio). Study after study, including the one done in 2010 by the U.S. Department of Education, has found no conclusive evidence that Washington’s voucher students do better on math and science tests than their public-school peers. Furthermore, it’s been shown that the vouchers, worth $8,000 to $12,000, don’t come close to paying the annual tuition at exclusive private schools in the area (most of whom don’t want voucher students anyway). The vouchers primarily are a taxpayer-funded bailout for struggling Catholic schools, and a means of establishing private schools of strange origin and dubious merit. The curriculum at one Washington voucher school is based on the theories of an obscure Bulgarian psychotherapist. Another voucher school is affiliated with the Nation of Islam, a sect that promotes racial separation and has a record of anti-Semitism and homophobia. Voucher programs elsewhere, including Boehner’s home state, are similar. Money spent on vouchers could be put to better use in the public schools that serve everyone, regardless of race or religion.

HE’S SORRY NOW: Dustin McDaniel seeks forgiveness at news conference.

Could we agree on ethics?


wo separate Arkansas legislators have spoken to me in recent days about their interest in pushing public ethics legislation. They were Democrats, but Republicans have not been totally AWOL on ethical matters. This could be an occasion to leave party dogma behind in a bipartisan push for a common good. Unless, that is, the new Republican majority is too anxious to cash in on the perks of majority and incumbency. Sen. Bruce Maloch, for example, tells me he definitely will introduce legislation to close the gaping loophole created by the state Ethics Commission in a law that was intended to prohibit use of campaign contributions to make contributions to other candidates. It’s a transparent way for fatcat donors to exceed gift limits by giving to one candidate and then giving the maximum to an unopposed incumbent who promptly turns around and maxes out to a candidate in need. Both parties, but particularly Republicans this year, have refined the practice. A group of legislators meet for lunch and declare the sitdown a “ticketed event.” They sell tickets to the legislators who attend and fork over campaign cash to another campaign. The sleazy practice should be stopped. Maloch, too, is interested in curbing abuse of corporate contributions. In this, a single person with multiple corporate entities can give multiple contributions in the name of each corporate entity. Jim Lindsey, the wealthy real estate developer, is adept at the practice. Lindsey, in fact, reminds me of a place where campaign finance reform is really in need — the local level. Ideally, Arkansas would do as Montana has done, outlaw all direct corporate contributions to political campaigns. Not to worry about corporations. The U.S. Supreme Court has conferred “personhood” on corporations for purposes of making unlimited financial speech in independent ways. But a little corporate money can go a long way. For $10,000, you can decide the outcome of many a state legislative race. It’s even more valuable at the local level.

See the influence of corporate money on the Little Rock Board of Directors, where seven are elected by wards and three at-large. The at-large seats, with a bigger voting audience, are MAX inevitably won by the richer BRANTLEY candidates and the richer candidates inevitably enjoy business establishment support. They carry the balance of power on the board. At-large incumbents Dean Kumpuris, Gene Fortson and Joan Adcock all heavily outspent opposition in wins this year. Fortson squeaked by, picking up only 47 percent of the vote, despite outspending runnerup Willard Proctor, with 39 percent, about $95,000 to $5,000. How did Fortson get his money? Tapping a blue ribbon list of some of the best-known names in corporate Little Rock. And direct corporate money. Fortson got $7,000 from industrialist Thomas Schueck and his son, including $3,000 from a Schueck farm and Schueck management corporation. Fortson got $11,000, in 11 separate contributions, from real estate LLCs that are part of the aforementioned Jim Lindsey’s real estate empire. Lindsey and Schueck money alone outspent Proctor more than 3-1. Fortson picked up more than 60 other contributions of about $19,000 in sum from corporations. Add more than $6,000 in PAC money and Fortson’s haul from nonindividuals was more than 40 percent of his take. Even without corporate money, Fortson would be a lot more likely to vote with the neighborhoods around the country clubs from which his private support flowed than lowincome neighborhoods targeted for demolition by the Chamber of Commerce-driven (and taxpayer-funded) movement to build that tech park. The tale of the finance reports make a case for both cleanup of ethics laws and the end of at-large election of city directors.



Gun nut club loses Dickey and Ross


hen gun-industry vassals like Jay Dickey and Mike Ross throw in the towel, you start to think that Congress may finally be ready to try to stop the carnage in schools, churches and public spaces by passing effective controls on mass-murder weaponry. After a gunman killed 20 children, six faculty members and himself at a Connecticut grade school, the TV networks searched everywhere for one of the gun fanatics to defend the National Rifle Association’s absolute gun-rights stand. There were no takers until Fox News finally found the clownish Texas congressman, Louie Gohmert, who went on the air to declare that if principal Dawn Hochsprung had kept a military M-4 carbine behind her desk, as she should have, she could have blown away the crazy young man before he killed very many children and maybe even have saved herself. She was killed lunging for the man. Even the NRA shut down its propaganda for a time, but when the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre and his new herald, Asa

Hutchinson, finally found their voice and came out guns metaphorically blazing (the solution, they explained, ERNEST is to pack America’s DUMAS schools with guns), things got back close to normal. We have been here before, and nothing important is going to happen, although President Obama and Vice President Biden seem intent upon proposing sweeping reforms. There will be more killing spectacles before Congress gets around to the first votes on gun control, if it does in this decade, and if something eventually passes it will be token. Dickey and Ross, it must be remembered, no longer represent Arkansas in Congress. The men who represent their old constituency in Congress — Tom Cotton and Rick Crawford — follow the NRA’s commands just as slavishly. They’re joined by the Second District’s Tim Griffin, who laps up more NRA campaign money than

The Old South fades


olitically speaking, we live by caricature. Particularly in the age of satellite TV news and Internet fulmination, the temptation is to melodrama. So I wasn’t terribly surprised to read a recent article in the online magazine Salon arguing that “even though it’s a truism of American public discourse that the Civil War never ended, it’s also literally true.” Never mind that author Andrew O’Hehir appears to be one of those overheated writers who use the adverb “literally” as an all-purpose intensifier meaning “figuratively.” Salon supposedly has editors. Elsewhere, O’Hehir concedes that the imagined conflict won’t “involve pitched battles in the meadows of Pennsylvania, or hundreds of thousands of dead.” So it won’t be a war at all then. As a Yankee long resident in the South, maybe I should be grateful for that. O’Hehir also acknowledges that while today’s “fights over abortion and gays and God and guns have a profound moral dimension,” they “don’t quite have the world-historical weight of the slavery question.” Um, not quite, no. But then as O’Hehir also categorizes Michigan as a “border state” for the sin of having a Republican governor, it’s hard to know what Democrats there should do. I suppose fleeing across the border into Ontario would be an option.

Is it possible to publish anything more half-baked and foolish? Oh, absolutely. Here in Arkansas, we had more than our share of cartoon-think before the 2012 election. Three would-be Republican state legislators GENE wrote manifestoes LYONS in favor of the old Confederacy. One Rep. Jon Hubbard of Jonesboro, delivered himself of a self-published book arguing that “the institution of slavery that the black race has long believed to be an abomination upon its people may actually have been a blessing in disguise.” Fellow GOP candidate Charles Fuqua of Batesville — like Jonesboro, a college town — self-produced an e-book entitled “God’s Law: The Only Political Solution.” In it, he not only called for expelling all Muslims from the United States, but returning to the Biblical practice of stoning disobedient children to death. Not many stonings, Fuqua thought, would be necessary to restore sexual morality and good table manners among American youth. Then there was Rep. Loy Mauch of Bismarck. An ardent secessionist, Mauch had written a series of letters to the Arkan-

nearly every congressman in America. Once LaPierre and Asa had spoken, Griffin dutifully let it be known last week that he was going to be found with the NRA. When the modern movement to control arms, supported then by the NRA, began in the 1960s in response to the threat of armed insurrection by the Black Panthers in California and the Kennedy and King political assassinations, Dickey and Ross were young men who weren’t studying politics. Dickey was a tennis player, not a hunter, but when he arrived in the House of Representatives in 1993 he became an immediate NRA subject. The spate of mass killings prompted the introduction of a ban on the sale of military assault weapons in 1987. But by the time Congress got around to acting on it in 1994 the NRA’s friends in Congress, including Dickey, had filled the legislation with so many loopholes that assault weapons actually multiplied rather than shrank during the 10 years the ban was in effect. The NRA could argue that the ban was ineffective, so the ban lapsed in 2004. Eleven years after his defeat by Ross, Dickey repented last summer. In an op-ed article in the Washington Post, Dickey said his amendment deleting $2.6 million for gun-violence research had sent a “chilling message.” Now, Dickey believes that research

should be resumed and that Congress should take bold steps to stop the staggering toll of gun violence. The government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars — $240 million since 1996 alone — researching automobile and traffic safety, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that it saved 366,000 lives from 1975 to 2009. Guns killed more people in the U.S. last year than vehicles, but nothing was spent on research to reduce that toll. Ross picked up the Dickey mantle and was an NRA point man, the head of the House gun caucus. Two years ago, he led 65 House Democrats in denouncing Attorney General Eric Holder for saying the assault-weapons ban should be reinstated. He introduced a bill to repeal the ban on semiautomatic guns in the District of Columbia. On his way out two weeks ago, Ross said the Connecticut slaughter had changed his mind and that he now thinks it is ridiculous that people should be able to get high-capacity assault weapons. More than that, he derided the old NRAencouraged notion that gun control was a foot in the door and that people needed big guns to overthrow a despotic government in Washington. “I think it is time we get beyond that,” he said.

sas Democrat-Gazette arguing that since Jesus never condemned slavery, it had biblical sanction. Mauch also condemned Abraham Lincoln as a “fake neurotic Northern war criminal,” frequently likened him to Hitler, and deemed the rebel flag “a symbol of Christian liberty vs. the new world order.” Comparing Hubbard’s views to those of Robert E. Lee and John C. Calhoun, New York Times columnist Charles Blow expressed alarm at “the tendency of some people to romanticize and empathize with the Confederacy.” Ah, but here’s the rest of the story, which Blow barely mentioned: All three “Arkansaw lunkheads,” as Huck Finn might have called them, were not only repudiated by the state Republican party but lost badly to Democratic opponents last November in what was otherwise a big year for the GOP here. Unimpeded by the burdens of office, they can now get back to self-publishing their neo-Confederate hearts out. The point’s simple: these fools certainly weren’t elected due to their crackpot fulminations, or even in spite of them. Their views were simply unknown. As soon as they became an issue, they became an embarrassment. Now they’re ex-state legislators. The end. This is not to deny that there’s a strong regional component to the nation’s current political impasse. The New Republic’s John R. Judis did the numbers on the recent “fiscal cliff” vote in the U.S. House

of Representatives. Altogether, 85 Republicans voted for the Senate’s resolution, 151 against. Broken down by region, however, the differences were stark. Republicans outside the South actually voted for the bipartisan compromise 62-36. GOP congressmen representing the old Confederacy voted against 83-10 — including unanimous opposition from Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee and South Carolina. But for Florida, opposition would have been nearly unanimous. For all the good it did them. Because the Old South is visibly shrinking. Florida and Virginia are already gone; given demographic trends, Texas is on its way. Even Arkansas, which voted for Bill Clinton something like eight times, seems unlikely to become a one-party state. As for the rest, Mike Tomasky correctly observes that “over time…the South will make itself less relevant and powerful if it keeps behaving this way. As it becomes more of a one-party state [sic] it becomes less of a factor.” From that perspective, few recent political events have been as telling as the outrage of northeastern Republicans Rep. Peter King and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at the House’s foot-dragging on Hurricane Sandy relief. A few more stunts like that, and the GOP could end up as fragmented and futile as Alabama Gov. George Wallace’s American Independent Party. No Civil War necessary.

JANUARY 9, 2013



Competing in the SEC






January 17


Argenta Community Theater

Admission FREE courtesy of William Laman Library


JANUARY 9, 2013


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he closure of another college football season came this week, and again an SEC team (more specifically, those ever-lovable, filthy rogues from Tuscaloosa) claimed the kingdom by way of a 28-point thrashing of Notre Dame that was in no way actually that close. You will read much about the conference’s string of seven straight national championships, but this heretofore-unseen dominance is truly a buzzkill like no other. Who wants to sit down on a sleepy Monday night and watch these kinds of slaughters year after year? Only Auburn’s title at the end of the 2010 season was fiercely contested. The last-minute field goal in that game against Oregon gave the Tigers a threepoint win, whereas the other six championship games have been decided by an average of 19 points, all being double-digit margins of victory. Assuredly this is factoring into the decision to put the Final Four-style championship mechanism in place come 2014, but let’s put aside logistics for a moment and turn the discussion inward. Arkansas will begin the next iteration of the Bowl Championship Series in the same familiar also-ran position it has dutifully assumed for decades. No team that sees its win total dip by seven in the span of 11 months can earnestly rejoice much in the successes of the conference at large, particularly when the league’s overall strength has increased exponentially. Vanderbilt has forcefully shed its former doormat status, Texas A&M authored an impossibly aggressive debut in the league, and there are ample signs that the Mississippi schools will continue to be competitive at worst. Houston Nutt was overly fond of declaring the SEC the “toughest conference in America” to the point that it became laughably trite, but he was both correct for the time and prescient about the future. If the Razorbacks are going to be more than an ancillary part of a national title conversation at any point, Bret Bielema has to treat his new venture differently than his predecessor did. Bobby Petrino’s bravado was refreshing and readily embraced — he wanted to prove that system could overtake substance, and on many occasions, he did extract triumph from that philosophy. Bielema clearly typifies a more old-school manner of thought, and isn’t necessarily obsessive about style points. That’s not to belittle Petrino retroactively, because his teams did

flash toughness and discipline here and there. The Petrino Hogs also won ugly on occasion, and BEAU that’ll certainly WILCOX do in a pinch. But Jeff Long was no doubt drawn to Bielema because, as mentioned here previously, his teams were almost never out of games. If Arkansas is to ever ascend to the heights that Alabama has, it can’t just crumple against those top-heavy teams and watch the game clock tick away. Power football may not have universal aesthetic appeal but it’s important to be able to play it in the current context of this BCS menagerie that has been constructed. Even when Gus Malzahn’s spread carried Auburn to the crown, the Tigers never shirked a commitment to emphatic line play. Nick Fairley was as dirty a player as any in recent memory, but he gave an otherwise average defensive line a genuine imposing presence. Cam Newton was gloriously gifted, but he wasn’t afraid to lower a shoulder and push for key inches, either. This isn’t patent advocacy for a return to a run-heavy offense, but it does echo Bielema’s theme of balance as stated in his introduction to Arkansans on Dec. 5. As each BCS national championship game enters the ledger, Arkansas appears further and further away from being a part of subsequent editions. The 2012 season may have been an aberration of sorts but it also shows that Bielema’s reconstruction task isn’t just about the usual bullet points. It’s not even within the realm of dispute that Arkansas needs to establish longer and wider recruiting pipelines to talent-rich states, or that it needs to utilize those avenues to galvanize the roster. It’s why Bielema has quickly extended his reach to the likes of Randy Shannon as linebackers coach or Jim Chaney as offensive coordinator. As everyone observes Alabama trampling roughshod over a reborn Fighting Irish program with recruits who are essentially so well-developed as to be plug-and-play, Heath Ledger’s memorable utterance from “The Dark Knight” comes to mind: “Our operation is small, but there’s a lot of potential for... ‘aggressive expansion.’ ” For arguably the first time ever, the athletic program has, and will clearly deploy, the financial resources to foster that.

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Mar. 4th – mar. 28Th Annual Student Competitive Exhibition 2013

Jan. 17th – feB. 24Th SwiShbone: New Paintings By Julie Evans Under The inflUence: New Ceramic Work By Curt Lacross AlTernATing cUrrenTS: A Mixed Media Art Installation By Mario Marzan before And AfTer: An Exploration Of The Art Conservation Process

apr. 4th – apr. 29Th BA/BEA Juried Senior Exhibition

The Baum Gallery of fine arT

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JANUARY 9, 2013


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JANUARY 9, 2013



He did, she did “This question may be due to the difference in generations. My 31-year-old friend Cheree says she learned in college that ‘she’ is now the standard generic pronoun to use. I, age 61, have never heard that and would use the male pronoun as a default. She also says that style guides now say avoid using ‘he’ as a generic reference and rewrite the sentence to leave out pronouns (that’s a little cumbersome!). Can you clarify this? — Anne” Clarification is my middle name, or would be if my mother hadn’t decided at the last moment that she preferred “Tyrone” instead. First off, I haven’t heard of professors teaching that she should be used in place of he as a singular pronoun that fits everybody, and I can’t see why they would. Suggesting that everyone is or should be female is no better than suggesting that everyone is or should be male, as the old rule does. Success With Words says that “Teaching children to use he in this way [when gender is unknown or unspecified] creates the impression that boys are the norm of humanity and girls are a secondary category or an exception.” I try to avoid choosing either he or she in cases like this. There are various ways, some of them clumsy but not so clumsy as cramming everybody into one gender.

You can write “he or she,” although this can grow tiresome  rather quickly. You can use plural rather DOUG than singular SMITH forms to generalize ­— “people” instead of “he” or “she” — so that you can also use a non-gendered plural pronoun like “them” or “they.” And while it’s true that rewriting can be cumbersome, some things are worth cumbering over. On review, this is perhaps not as much clarification as Anne hoped for. But then, one doesn’t always get what one hopes for, does one?   “Thurston’s epic fail creates a vacuum.’’ This use of a verb in place of a perfectly good noun sort of crept up on me, but a colleague says he frequently sees fail where failure belongs. Now I’ve seen reveal for revelation: “The reveal shocked the Cabinet.” The reason for this anomaly? I don’t know. Are people just becoming too lazy to use a correct but slightly longer word? Are we witnessing the disappear of concern for the language? 


It was a good week for… ARKANSAS STATE FOOTBALL. The Red Wolves defeated the Kent State Golden Flashes in the Bowl 17-13. ASU finished its season 10-3. A MEA CULPA. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel was contrite in a press conference on Tuesday during which he took questions about his admission of an extramarital affair with Hot Springs attorney Andi Davis. Key point, from McDaniel: “I continue to hear that rumors are swirling about whether some other shoe will drop. There is no other shoe to drop. There are no other women. No litigation was ever compromised. No rules of professional conduct were violated. No state resources, dollars or personnel were used for personal purposes.” THE CASE FOR MEDICAID EXPANSION. The RAND Corporation released a study, commissioned by the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, on how implementation of the Affordable Care Act will affect the Arkansas economy. The main takeaways: Various health program expansions will save 2,300 Arkansas lives a year. The act will mean 6,200 jobs, a half-billion in economic stimulus annually and insurance for 400,000 more Arkansans, against the alternative possibility of a half-million losing coverage.

SEN. JEREMY HUTCHINSON. He settled his self-reported campaign finance violation with the state Ethics Commission. He got a $500 fine and a warning letter, but no criminal prosecution, for the unreported expenditure of at least $2,700 in campaign money on his former girlfriend, Julie McGee. NORTH LITTLE ROCK. New North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith announced plans to settle a legal fight between the city and the North Little Rock School District over a Tax Increment Finance District former Mayor Pat Hays tried to create to annex school property taxes for downtown development.

It was a bad week for… REP. TOM COTTON. In his first week as a U.S. congressman, he voted against a bill authorizing flood insurance payments to Hurricane Sandy victims and, in the course of making a CNN appearance to express his opposition to President Obama’s nomination of Republican Chuck Hagel as Defense secretary, Cotton allowed that he not only supported the war in Iraq but that he still believes the “evidence is inconclusive” on whether Iraq and Saddam Hussein had a hand in 9/11. That notion has been ditched by all but the most deluded.


Hair! and a mystery no more THE OBSERVER POSED a puzzler in our pre-Christmas column, opening the floor to any old Central High alums who might know the purpose of the round, domed objects — which we called “bells,” due to their resemblance to the old fire-bells in our own rinky-dink high school — which are under nearly every seat we saw during a recent visit to the big auditorium at Central. As we figured, some among our smart readers knew the answer. Turns out, as we were informed by several folks, those “bells” are actually part of the old heating system, once tied into steam boilers in the basement to help keep tushies warm in the days before central heat and air. One of the most knowledgeable about these items was architect Terry Rasco of the firm Witsell, Evans & Rasco, P.A., who sent along the following detailed description: “The ‘mystery bells’ are part of the original ventilation system at Central High School auditorium. The ‘bells’ were noted as 8-inch Knowles mushroom ventilators on the original plans and there are 300 in the balcony floor, and 600 in the main floor. They were part of the ventilation system operating at low volume to avoid excessive air noise, and provide even distribution throughout the auditorium. The building was designed in 1926 by an association of five local architects: George Mann & Eugene J. Stern, John Parks Almand, George H. Wittenberg & Lawson L. Delony. It was extensively remodeled over a period of six years from 2000-2006 by Witsell, Evans & Rasco, P.A. “To the best of my knowledge, the original ventilation system is no longer used because the auditorium was air-conditioned many years ago, but of course the ‘bells’ remain.” Reader Rasco was even able to dig up a digital copy of a 1915 issue of “Heating and Ventilation” magazine, which shows the Knowles Mushroom Ventilator in cross section, as well as the surprising news that — like grand ol’ Central High — the Knowles Co. has survived through tough times into this modern age. The company is located in Philadelphia. That’s good news, in case the Little Rock School District is looking for replacement parts. THE OTHER DAY, The Observer’s pal,

Max Brantley, posted a photo of himself from 1973: a black and white snap of the young reporter — fresh off the boat from Lake Charles, La. — poring over the paper in the sunlit newsroom of the old Gazette building. The thing that caught our eye (other than the abject lack of computers on the desks ... how DID they do it back in The Old Days?) was Max’s hair: a wavy, perfect mane falling all the way to his shoulders. The hair of Zeus! Max’s photo got me thinking about hair and youth. Up until The Observer started here at the Times a little over 10 years ago, I actually hadn’t cut my hair — other than split-end trims — since I was in high school. At one point, I had my thengirlfriend-now-Spouse braid it up, and the plait worked out to be over 20 inches long and nearly as thick as her wrist at the nape of my neck. That’s a lot of hair, as our shower drain could attest in those days. Once I edged into semi-respectable fatherhood, though, The Observer’s lengthy locks started to seem a bit goofy. One day, a toddler-age Junior ran past the chair Dear Ol’ Dad was sitting in, latched onto my ponytail and swung like Tarzan, a yank that almost toppled me over and left my neck aching for a week. That — and my pending job interview with a no-longer godlike but still imposing Mr. Brantley — sealed the deal, and I tromped on off to a salon in the mall for my first haircut of adulthood. I settled into the chair of a young man with a pair of scissors in his belt, and for the next five minutes, he tried mightily to talk me out of it, fanning my tresses out over my shoulders, calling over other hairstylists to marvel at how it had never been touched by dyes or chemicals or any of the other noxious goodies women subject their pelts to. Looking at myself in the mirror, with my reddish hair arrayed about me, I wavered, but proceeded. Still protesting, the young admirer banded it off, whispered again what a shame it was, then started to cut. I, meanwhile, closed my eyes. When I opened them again 10 minutes later, my scalp was freezing, and I was on my way to looking like everybody else in the world. Sometimes, dear reader, that’s what’s best: Close your eyes and make a clean break with the past — or, in this case, a clean cut. Worked for me, anyway.

YOU’RE IN GOOD COMPANY / 501.375.2985


JANUARY 9, 2013


Arkansas Reporter



Attorney General Dustin McDaniel insisted Tuesday in a field-all-questions news conference that the potential release of personal text messages in a Garland County homicide case didn’t prompt his decision to admit to a past affair with Hot Springs lawyer Andi Davis. McDaniel’s name came up in a court fight between Davis and her former husband over child visitation. McDaniel said he’d decided to clear the air after his name came up, not because of any fear that he’d be further mentioned in records gathered during the investigation of the killing of Maxwell Anderson at Davis’ home last February. No one has been charged in the killing; Davis has reportedly told authorities her brother shot Anderson when he attacked Davis with a golf club. Investigators, who initially led Davis from the scene in handcuffs, have copies of Davis’ phone records. They reportedly include dozens of texts between Davis and McDaniel. McDaniel acknowledged as much at the news conference, but said he had no copies of them and wouldn’t release the personal communication if he did. He’s said repeatedly that his interaction with Davis had no connection with any official business of the attorney general’s office. The phone records could eventually be released, with the rest of the investigative case file, when the case is closed. That would take either a prosecution or a prosecutor’s firm decision not to prosecute. As yet, the investigation remains open (and, thus, any words between McDaniel and Davis remain closed to the public).

UAMS deal in spotlight The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, on the eve of a legislative session in which the Little Rock institution will seek greater state support, finds itself answering uncomfortable questions about a lucrative deal cut with a former chief financial officer, Melony Goodhand. Goodhand announced late last year she was taking an unspecified job in Tennessee. News leaked last week that UAMS had cut a $312,000 deal with Goodhand to have her on call to answer any questions for the next year and for a non-compete guarantee. The size of that deal alone for someone employed elsewhere — someone for whom UAMS didn’t then have contact information — has raised questions from legislators, who say they intend to press UAMS for information. In response to a Freedom of Information request by the Arkansas CONTINUED ON PAGE 13 12

JANUARY 9, 2013



AG: Not influenced by text messages

LONG DISTANCE: The gates of Tucker Penitentiary.

Captive audience Inmate calls are profitable for the ADC, but FCC beginning to budge. BY DAVID KOON


s anyone who has ever had a loved one incarcerated long-term can tell you, prison can be a black box, throwing up barriers — both literal and figurative — to communication with family. After a while, that can make some of those inside start to feel like their true home is behind bars, which doesn’t do much to fight recidivism once they get out. While frequent phone calls can help alleviate some of that feeling of disconnection, there’s yet another hurdle in that case, one that exists only because it’s profitable: the inmate phone system. What most American inmates — or, more accurately, their families — pay to connect a phone call would have your average consumer on the street rushing to the next phone provider faster than you can say “free market.” But with no other options, inmates in some states pay up to 20 times what a similar call would cost a person on the outside. Change could be coming. The Federal Communications Commission recently signaled its interest in reforming the prison phone rate system. The Arkansas Department of Correction, through a contract with prison phone provider Global Tel-Link — one of a handful of niche telecom providers who hold sway over the inmate calling industry — collects a 45 percent commission on every inmate phone call placed. According to documents supplied by the ADC, commissions from inmate calls paid to the

department during the first 11 months of 2012 totaled $1,789,489, an average of $162,680.81 per month. That’s down from the ADC’s 2011 commission of $2.2 million, an average of $184,052.50 per month. While the ADC doesn’t keep track of how many calls were placed, they do track how many minutes were used by inmates. According to documents supplied by the ADC, during the first 11 months of 2012, ADC inmates placed 9,159,506 minutes of calls to in-state numbers, and 617,690 minutes of calls to out-of-state numbers. Currently, inmate calls are capped at 15 minutes for personal calls and 30 minutes for calls to an attorney. A spokesperson for the ADC said that calls to attorneys are free. For personal calls, inmates pay a surcharge of $3 per call for in-state calls and $3.95 to call out-of-state. On top of that, inmates are charged 12 cents per minute for in-state calls, and 45 cents per minute for out-of-state calls. Currently, a 15-minute in-state call would cost $4.80 before taxes, while a 15-minute interstate call would cost $10.70. An inmate making a once-a-week 15-minute call to a family member out of state would pay more than $550 per year. With all inmate calls being made collect or by a debit system that allows family members to put money on an inmate’s phone account, the cost of those calls is usually passed on to the inmate’s family. With the majority of inmates com-

ing to prison from poverty, those phone charges can add up quickly for families trying to stay in regular touch with their relatives. ADC spokesperson Shea Wilson said that all money collected by the ADC from inmate phone commissions goes into a “telephone fund” that is used to pay for operations, safety and security needs, metal detectors, computer equipment and maintenance, and other items. Wilson said the $100 “gate checks” given to inmates on their release are also drawn from the telephone fund. Costs for inmate phone calls have been much higher in the past, Wilson said. She noted that inmates have the option of visitation or writing letters if calls are too expensive for their families. She said the ADC is also working to develop an incoming email system that would allow families to send emails that would be screened and then given to the inmate. Wilson said that allowing inmates to call home is expensive for the state because every call must be monitored by prison employees. If the inmates and their families weren’t paying more to help offset the expense of running the monitoring system, Wilson said, the cost would have to be passed on to taxpayers, or inmate phone privileges would have to be scaled back. Wilson said that while many inmates don’t want anything to jeopardize their release, “there’s others who, given the opportunity, would continue their criminal enterprise behind bars. We have to have a mechanism in place to monitor that, and then, when we have things that we detect, that takes investigative time. There’s a lot of costs that are associated with that.” Steven Renderos is a national organizer for the Media Action Grassroots Network. A project of the Center for Media Justice, MAGN runs the website, which features an interactive U.S. map that allows visitors to drill down into the prison phone contracts struck between states and a handful of prison phone providers. Renderos said prison phone calls are a $362-million-a-year industry. Because inmates are a captive market, he said, the contracts between prisons and providers often aren’t brokered with value for the consumers in mind, only by which provider can return the highest rate of commission to the prison system in each state. Many families, Renderos said, have to make the choice between food or staying in touch with their relatives in prison. CONTINUED ON PAGE 17




FOLLOW YOUR LEGISLATOR Nearly half of the state legislators who will convene at the State Capitol on Jan. 14 for the start of the 89th General Assembly maintain Twitter accounts. By our count, that includes 46 state representatives and 15 state senators. To see a hyperlinked version of the list, visit Any legislators we missed? Send a note to Below, see a sample of the sorts of weighty topics on which legislators Tweet.

ARKANSAS SENATORS Sen. Cecile Bledsoe, District 3: @Cecilebledsoe Sen. Jonathan Dismang, District 28: @dismang Sen. Joyce Elliott, District 31: @Joyce4Congress (inactive) Sen. Bart Hester, District 1: @BartHester Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson, District 33: @JeremyHSentate (inactive) Sen. Keith Ingram, District 24: @KeithIngramAR Sen. Johnny Key, District 17: @SenatorJKey Sen. Michael Lamoureux, District 16: @Sen_Lamoureux Sen. Bruce Maloch, District 12: @bmaloch Sen. Jason Rapert, District 35: @jasonrapert Sen. David J. Sanders, District 15: @David_J_Sanders Sen. Gary Stubblefield, District 6: @G_Stubblefield Sen. Robert Thompson, District 20: @Thompson72450 Sen. Eddie Joe Williams, District 29: @eddiejoe4senate Sen. Jon Woods, District 7: @Jon_Woods

ARKANSAS REPRESENTATIVES Rep. Randy Alexander, District 88: @RepRandy88 Rep. Denny Altes, District 76: @DennyAltes Rep. John Baine, District 7: @Baine4Arkansas and @johnbaine Rep. Duncan Baird, District 96: @DuncanBaird Rep. Bob Ballinger, District 97: @Bob_Ballinger Rep. Nate Bell, District 20: @NateBell4AR Rep. Mark Biviano, District 46: @MarkBiviano Rep. Ken Bragg, District 15: @Bragg4StateRep Rep. John Burris, District 98, @john_burris Rep. Davy Carter, District 43, @DavyCarter Rep. Ann Clemmer, District 23, @AnnClemmer Rep. Charlie Collins, District 84, @CollinsARK Rep. Harold Copenhaver, District 58, @VoteCopeAR58 Rep. Andy Davis, District 31, @AndyDavis4HD31 Rep. Joe Farrer, District 44: @Joe_Farrer Rep. Deborah Ferguson, District 51, @Ferguson4Ark (no Tweets yet) Rep. Charlene Fite, District 80, @charlenefitear Rep. Bill Gossage, District 82, @BillGossage Rep. Kim Hammer, District 28, @KimDavidHammer Rep. Justin T. Harris, District 81, @harris4staterep Rep. Douglas House, District 40, @house4thehouse Rep. Lane Jean, District 2: @JeanForStateRep (inactive) Rep. Joe Jett, District 56, @joe_jett Rep. Patti Julian, District 38, @PattiJulian Rep. Allen Kerr, District 32, @RepAllenKerr Rep. David Kizzia, District 26, @DavidKizzia Rep. Andrea Lea, District 71, @RepAndreaLea Rep. Greg Leding, District 86, @gregleding Rep. Kelley Linck, District 99, @KelleyLinck Rep. Mark Lowery, District 39: @OnTheMark2012 Rep. James McLean, District 63: @RepJamesMcLean Rep. David Meeks, District 70: @DavidMeeks Rep. Stephen Meeks, District 67: @RepStephenMeeks Rep. Josh Miller, District 66: @Josh_Miller66 Rep. Micah S. Neal, District 89, @MicahNeal2012 Rep. Jim Nickels, District 41: @NickelsJim (protected) Rep. Warwick Sabin, District 33, @warwicksabin Rep. Matthew Shepherd, District 6: @Matt_J_Shepherd Rep. Nate Steel, District 19: @Nate_Steel Rep. Tommy Thompson, District 65: @tt4rep Rep. Wes Wagner, District 54: @wagnerlawmanila Rep. John W. Walker, District 34: @JohnWalker4rep inactive Rep. Jeff Wardlaw, District 8: @texas0799 (Curious Twitter handle for someone who, according to his official bio, is a lifelong resident of Hermitage, Ark.) Rep. Bruce Westerman, District 22: @bruce_westerman Rep. David Whitaker, District 85: @arkansas3rd Rep. Darrin Williams, District 36: @repwilliams

Rep. James McLean @RepJamesMcLean Jan. 7 It’s comforting to see that Arkansas State Legislators have a firm grasp of the obvious when it comes to football. Sen. Jon Woods @Jon_Woods Jan. 5 Gun show at Holiday Inn Convention Center in Springdale is packed. Coming back in few hours. Hundreds still in line to get in. Rep. Nate Bell @NateBell4AR Jan. 4 Here’s a #deal for #blue states. Y’all can have @BarackObama. We’ll keep God, guns and coal. That’s a compromise we’ll all like! #bipartisan Sen. David J. Sanders @David_J_Sanders I love these light bulbs!

Dec. 30

Sen. Jason Rapert @jasonrapert Dec. 27 The Puritans had laws requiring every family to own a gun, carry it in public, and train children in use of firearms. Rep. Stephen Meeks @RepStephenMeeks Dec. 13 StarCam caught 25 Geminids last night. This one went between the Big Dipper and Venus-star on right. #arwx #arsky

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

INSIDER, CONT. Times, UAMS released email outlining the specifics of the deal. Besides the pay, Goodhand, who has been hired by Bristol Regional Medical Center in eastern Tennessee, will also get her health insurance premiums covered by UAMS until her policy with her new employer begins. She will also capture the effective benefit of a 2010 deal that gave her a $500 monthly car allowance. This was a small revelation because Goodhand was reportedly among a group of state employees who lost state cars in a controversy that erupted over how many state employees had state vehicles. The documents showed that UAMS had kept Goodhand in her wheels, but off-loaded the cost to the private UAMS Foundation, which is beyond the reach of the state FOI law. Goodhand also attended law school classes (she eventually earned a degree) while in a full-time job at UAMS. That Goodhand is being paid with private money isn’t likely to quiet critics who see foundation assets as part of UAMS’ health care mission, not a slush fund to cover severance pay (Goodhand decided to leave UAMS after failing to win a higher job) or, worse, pay for the non-disclosure agreement Goodhand made to get the money. Meanwhile, Goodhand’s husband, Bob Goodhand, remains a UAMS employee. According to UAMS Vice Chancellor Leslie Taylor, Bob Goodhand has worked at UAMS for eight years in the Information Technology department. Effective Jan. 1, he became a part-time employee, working 20 hours a week at a salary of $50,931, while finishing leading the implementation of Epic, UAMS’ new electronic medical records software. His employment with UAMS will be completed no later than March 22, Taylor said.

Rising in the Koch ranks

Sen. Bart Hester @BartHester Nov. 21 @ArkansasBlog could you or any “freethinkers” point out in the constitution where it mentions “separation of church and state”? Sen. Robert Thompson @Thompson72450 Oct. 17 I’ve concluded that the most entertaining post-debate news coverage is on The Onion.

Teresa Oelke of Rogers, the hard-charging paid operative for the Koch-funded conspiracy to take over Arkansas government, has been rewarded for her efforts. She’s been named national vice president for state operations for Americans for Prosperity, the front group financed by billionaires David and Charles Koch to do nominal “education” work aimed at electing corporate stooge Republican state legislators to battle taxes, Obamacare and environmental regulation at the state level. Her Arkansas affiliate of the group, and allies, spent more than $1 million to help produce the new Republican legislative majority in Arkansas. In an email, Oelke said she plans on staying in Arkansas and remaining involved. “I am very invested in AFP’s work in Arkansas and do not foresee that changing despite the new role.”

JANUARY 9, 2013


QUILTING MATH: A+ Director Annette Butler listens to Helena KIPP student Ariel Bland talk about his composition.





JANUARY 9, 2013




PAUL LEOPOULOS: He saw what art did for his daughter, Thea.



n a sixth-grade math class in the Delta, students are making quilts. They’re cutting squares from colorful patterned paper and folding them to make triangles or rectangles. They’ve measured the squares to make sure they’re 3 inches on a side, because if they don’t make their squares right, the quilt will be off. They’re alternately laughing and concentrating, filling a larger square with their shapes to create their own designs. When they get a bit rowdy, Annette Butler claps her hands three times and the kids stop and clap back. Things settle down again. A reporter asked a grinning young man after he finished his work what he’d gotten from the activity. “I think I got a 100!” That would be an A+ — which also happens to be part of the name of the method that Arkansas A+ program director Butler was demonstrating. This student, enrolled in Arkansas’s newly revived A+ schools network, had learned how to measure, the importance of accuracy, some geometry and how to follow instructions on the board properly, but he wasn’t fed the information. He hadn’t been given a fill-in-the-

blank work sheet, but paper full of possibilities. He created art that incorporated the answers to what is a square, what is a rectangle, how many do I need to fill a larger square. And then he exulted, I did this right! The A+ method of arts-infused education, being promoted by the Thea Foundation in North Little Rock, puts the art in math, the drama in literature, the song in history, and has a proven record of raising test scores, improving discipline and heightening student and teacher satisfaction. Thea Director Paul Leopoulos is convinced of its ability to turn around Arkansas’s struggling schools and enriching its high-achieving ones, and he’s been knocking on the door of the state Department of Education for years trying to spread the word. A couple of months ago, the door opened a bit, when educators in the department’s Learning Services Division gave an audience to Leopoulos and John Brown of the Windgate Foundation, which initiated an A+ pilot program in Arkansas in 2003. Laura Bednar, the Education Department’s associate commissioner for learning services, wasn’t able to attend that meeting because of

Leopoulos’ passion for arts-infused education is fueled by what he saw the arts do for his daughter, who, he confessed, he’d once described as an “average student — shame on me.” He saw that his daughter’s achievements in art classes gave her the self-confidence she needed to excel in academic areas. When a beaming Thea Kay Leopoulos came home with her painting of musician B.B. King, “It was the first day of the rest of her life,” Leopoulos said. But it was a short life. The beautiful dark-haired teen-ager was killed in a single-car accident in 2001. After the tragedy, her trigonometry teacher called the family to tell them she would have earned an A, though she’d previously struggled in math. She was 17. The foundation Paul and Linda Leopoulos created honors their daughter’s memory by promoting arts education. Its headquarters at Fourth and Main in Argenta offers exhibit space for students and art-related public events, such as the Argenta Arts Festival; raises funds for art supplies for schools across the state, and awards annual visual and performing arts scholarships to graduating high school students. Since 2002, the foundation has distributed $1.5 million in scholarships to 197 students, money that is matched by 20 colleges in partnership with Thea. Seems like that would keep the foundation busy, but Paul Leopoulos is a driven man, who feels his daughter looking over his shoulder, approvingly. In 2007, Leopoulos took a trip to El Dorado to deliver an artwork from the

ACTING OUT TOLSTOY: Jordan Ellis and Draper Williams pose as characters for KIPP classmates to guess.



a bout with pneumonia. But she’d met Leopoulos, was impressed with A+ and set up the meeting with her staff, which is searching for ways to help the state’s 46 “needs improvement priority” schools and 109 “focus” schools that show a wide gap in student achievement. “When you look at the schools where this is implemented there are dramatic increases in student achievement and making students feel like they can use their creativity,” Bednar said. Principals from Fort Smith — where Cook and Woods elementary schools have been using the A+ model for nearly a decade — have told Bednar that their “students had come alive” because of the method, she said. Many educational improvement products are pitched to the Education Department; it is “hit with vendors every day,” Bednar said. She believes the Thea Foundation is pushing for A+ “for the right reasons. They are not trying to sell something.” But right now, only 12 schools in Arkansas are A+ schools. Leopoulos wants to change that.

Arts Across Arkansas program, a joint Thea and Clinton Foundation program that circulates paintings and drawings to schools, to Hugh Goodwin Elementary. The principal, Phillip Lansdell, “met me at the door. … If it wasn’t for that school and that man … . He said, ‘You ever hear of A+?’ He took me on a tour. I got goosebumps.” Here’s what Leopoulos saw: A school that in a previous year had had 80 suspensions, but by the third year of its adoption of A+ didn’t even have a discipline referral. A school that had been a “focus” school, whose third and fourth graders had scored only 23 percent proficient in literacy and 36 percent in math on the 2005 state benchmark exams, but by the third year of A+ were scoring at 50 percent proficient in literacy and 69 percent in math. “I called Linda and said, ‘I’ve just seen the answer.’ This is it,” Leopoulos said.

“If all schools in Arkansas did this, we wouldn’t need the Thea Foundation.” Lansdell had been a coach and school administrator, but, like Paul Leopoulos, changed course because of a little girl: His daughter had crawled up into his lap and asked why he was too busy to come to her events. Lansdell took the principal’s job at Hugh Goodwin, which had just been made an arts focus school and which was one of the first five schools in Arkansas to pilot the A+ program, then funded by the Windgate Foundation. The others were in Fort Smith, Clinton and Little Rock. “Everybody was a little hesitant” at first, Lansdell said of the teachers. “We’d had a lot of scripted programs in our school … there wasn’t a lot of getting out of the box.” Teachers worried it was just one more thing to deal with, and they wouldn’t have time. But, Lansdell said, the A+ method offered teachers a way to return to “the

way elementary teachers used to … . It allowed them to get back having fun.” You might expect a coach to have different ideas about discipline, but Lansdell said the fact that the kids were engaged “and wanting to learn” took care of previous problems. The kids, he said, were “walking down the hallways smiling.” About the time factor? “They never have enough time,” said Connie Reed, who succeeded Lansdell four years ago when he returned to the administration as athletic director; “It wouldn’t matter if we had A+ or not.” In October, Hugh Goodwin third-grade teacher Tobie Sprawls looked happy, too, though she was overseeing mildly noisy and active 8-year-olds who were learning what makes a place urban, suburban or rural, a social studies exercise. StuCONTINUED ON PAGE 16

JANUARY 9, 2013



A+ ≠ A+ A

AT HUGH GOODWIN: Teacher Tobie Sprawls says “payoff is bigger” with A+.

dents grouped at tables were looking up definitions of the words on their schoolsupplied iPads. Sprawls called on them to tell her what they learned and wrote their definitions on the board. Then she handed out little booklets — stapled sheets of blank paper — in which students were to draw pictures that illustrated each word. The exercise made it easy to see the difference in the way children think and learn, a difference A+ addresses. Some children labored hard over writing their names a certain way before getting to the task at hand. One child asked for larger paper because the country (rural) is so big; a symbolic thinker drew just a gravel road to signify that word. A boy drew a messy room and called it urban because it was crowded and disorganized; a bigpicture-thinker mapped a town from a bird’s eye view. Girls sitting together at one table all made detailed farms pictures amid much giggling. Sprawls moved constantly around the room, giving help when asked, encouragement to all. It’s a little noisy and it’s a little messy and that’s all right in the A+ method, because ideas are percolating in young minds. “It’s much easier if they turn to page 17 in their book,” Sprawls said later about teaching. It’s harder on the teacher to devise ways where the kids can create their way to the answer; she spends hours planning. “But the payoff is a lot bigger,” she said. Students remember what they’ve been taught, because they were more engaged in the lesson, she said, having fun. Sprawls said she believes the method could have an even bigger impact on a struggling school, by giving students the


JANUARY 9, 2013


stimulation they aren’t receiving at home. They might learn a rap song about the number of sides in a pentagon (and then sing it to themselves during their benchmark tests, as one teacher observed), or act out an event in history, or create the parts of a plant cell with cotton pompoms and construction paper. A+ didn’t invent teacher creativity; it just allows it, and, teachers say, it meshes beautifully with the new Common Core curriculum that integrates subject matter and promotes critical thinking. (“What did you do today in math?” a teacher asked a younger boy at Hugh Goodwin as a reporter walked down the hall. “Science,” he answered.) You can’t credit A+ entirely with Hugh Goodwin’s leap in math and literacy scores; it takes good teachers, too, Principal Reed said. “But it has made a huge effect on our scores, climate and attitude of our school.” In 2012, combined benchmark scores for math for Hugh Goodwin’s third and fourth graders were 88 percent proficient or advanced; their combined literacy scores were 87 percent proficient or advanced. It’s a two-and-a-half hour drive to El Dorado from North Little Rock, and Leopoulos, 66, leaves no dead air. He talks about his daughter; his past; his friendship with Bill Clinton, who has pondered the possibility of introducing A+ to Haiti, and artist George Rodrigue, who is starting A+ in Louisiana through his foundation. He talks about the withering of unattended creativity as we age, theories of learning. He is 100 percent sure that A+ could make a huge difference in state schools for pennies on the dollar compared to other

rkansas A+ is a teaching methodology that incorporates the arts into academics. It’s been shown to help students learn and retain knowledge no matter how they’re wired to absorb new information, and its sponsor, the Thea Foundation, will work with any school — public, private, charter — that wants to implement it. A+ Arkansas is an organization created by the Walton-funded Arkansas for Education Reform Foundation to promote charter schools and other school “choice” programs. The name Arkansas A+ has been around since 2003, when the model, created in North Carolina, was first introduced to pilot schools here. Thea Foundation director Paul Leopoulos, concerned that the public would confuse the two organizations and think that Arkansas A+ was for charter schools only, asked A+ Arkansas leaders to consider a name change. He got nowhere with that suggestion, and is finding that educators are confused already — even some in North Little Rock, where Arkansas A+ is headquartered. A+ Arkansas did agree to put a disclaimer on its website: “While we are strong supporters of the Thea Foundation, there is absolutely no affiliation between the A+ Arkansas Campaign and Thea Foundation’s Arkansas A+ Schools whole school reform initiative.” Leopoulos hopes the Arkansas A+ Schools model will be adopted by the state Department of Education as a way to help struggling schools and enhance high-achieving schools. A+ Arkansas, on the other hand, advocates for creating taxpayer-supported schools that operate outside the public school system, like e-STEM in Little Rock, rather than working with established school districts that must serve all students. Its spokesman is Laurie Lee, formerly known as Laurie Taylor, who is a right-wing ideologue: She has been a lobbyist for Americans for Prosperity, created by billionaires Charles and David Koch, and in 2004 created “Parents Protecting the Minds of Children,” which sought to remove books from the Fayetteville public schools that Lee (then Taylor) said were pornographic and promoted homosexuality. A way to remember the teaching method that Thea supports is that its name puts Arkansas first.

programs embraced by school districts, and the resulting achievement would in turn boost the state’s attractiveness to new business. His zeal for better education for children fuels hours of talk. “The power of her life, the power of her soul is what drives me every day,” Leopoulos said of Thea. “It’s all about this amazing young girl.” He compared his daughter’s influence to that of the young girl in Pakistan who was shot for advocating girls’ education; that girl is “going to change the frickin’ world. … the women’s movement has taken a rocket ride to the moon.” The A+ method “meets kids where they are and takes them where they can go,” Leopoulos said. “I’m not a flaming liberal” who thinks “failure is impossible,” he said, but A+ gives students confidence, a huge part of learning. “My vision is everyone has incredible potential.” To hell, he says, with the bell curve, and writing off 25 percent of your students. The A+ method, which originated in

North Carolina, has been adopted by more than 70 schools in Oklahoma. The Windgate Foundation funded the group that brought A+ to Oklahoma — a consortium of Oklahoma college educators called the DaVinci Institute — and made grants of more than a half million dollars in 2002 and 2003 to the University of Arkansas’s Great Expectations project, which oversaw the A+ pilot in Arkansas. Teacher buy-in is critical to the success of any method; A+ is no different. A+ requires whole-school buy-in, summer and monthly training and more preparation. The principal plays a crucial role in the continuing commitment to the program. Thanks to personnel changes, a couple of the state’s pilot A+ schools backed off the program, and Windgate dropped its funding in 2006. Hugh Goodwin, Cook Elementary and Woods Elementary, however, embraced the model and kept teaching it. Then, a newly-inspired Leopoulos picked up the ball, turning to the Oklahoma A+ office

for advice and training help, getting the Windgate Foundation involved again and organizing the Arkansas A+ Schools network within Thea. This year, 12 schools in Arkansas are A+ schools. New to the network are Arkansas KIPP schools in Helena-West Helena and Blytheville; Boone Park and Pike View elementary schools in the North Little Rock School District, and Rockefeller Elementary in Little Rock. Baldwin Elementary in Paragould has rejoined the network. “Paul has given new life and energy” to the project, Windgate’s John Brown said. “It helps that he’s in Little Rock,” because of its proximity to the state’s education bureaucracy. “He’s very eloquent and impassioned. … I’m very pleased. I hope the model will grow and will be embraced more broadly.” Cook Elementary Principal Paul Spicer is also glad Leopolous has gotten involved. “It’s been very beneficial to us knowing we have an advocate who’s not afraid to talk to educators and legislators … to help us keep this program going,” he said. “Plenty of research shows kids who participate in art will score better. We know kids who are involved tend to stay in school” as they progress to graduation. The Windgate Foundation is subsidizing A+ teacher training, conducted by A+ fellows, many of them retired teachers. One of them, Linda Glickert, is retired from the Paragould School District, which had an A+ program until a principal left. She witnessed a sea change in attitude in the teachers as well as the students: “It was almost like being born again as a teacher.” There is no A+ manual, and fellows don’t lay down rules for teachers to follow. The method is fluid, adaptable, fed

by the teachers’ own creativity. After a long day of in-class training, fellows will “debrief” the teachers on what tweaks are needed to reach all students, no matter their learning style. Sandy West worked for 31 years in the Batesville School District, which at one time had two A+ schools. She was happy to be back in school as an A+ fellow. “I absolutely loved it,” she said of the arts-infused method. “It put the joy back in teaching,” she said. A month ago, West was at KIPP middle school in Helena, where 87 percent of its students receive free or reduced lunches. She was snapping her fingers in front of a room of seventh-graders while she asked them questions, using the beat to bring them to attention. Her task: to teach the word “infer.” Her tool: A short story by Leo Tolstoy and what she called “frozen tableaus,” in which the students posed to act out a part of the story. Those watching had to infer what the students’ poses conveyed: How the boy on his knees with downcast eyes was the story’s beggar, for example, though at no time in the story was the beggar on his knees. The only quiet time during the exercise was when students were reading the story. Afterwards, they got to put their heads together with partners on how to do their tableaus, and then got to jump up out of their chairs and pose. “Some learn by what they read, some by what they hear and some by what they see,” West told the kids, and that’s all right. The reading, talking and posing addressed all three. Anna Kryzminski, who teaches the sixth-grade class at the KIPP middle school that A+ director Butler was guiding, said the school’s math curriculum gets good results, “but it never gives an oppor-

tunity for the kids to do things … pushing their thinking.” It may take longer to complete an exercise in the A+ method, she said, but student retention of information is such that it speeds subsequent exercises. KIPP is in its second year of A+ training at the elementary and middle-school level and its first in high school. KIPP executive director Scott Shively said one reason the school wants to bring more art, music and drama into the classrooms is that he believes it’s key to college success, by helping students integrate socially. Another is to keep KIPP enrollment up: “The target, what we wanted to look at, is increasing the joy factor, and decreasing mobility.” Shively talked about how the logical right brain — fed by academics — must sometimes call on the creative left brain to come up with solutions, and he said a KIPP geometry class was an example in giving the left brain more attention. Students wrote personal ads for the denizens of “Quad City”: “Parallelogram looking for a similarly congruent parallelogram,” read one ad. To do that, the “students not only have to know the material, but tap into their creative side.” “We’ve always had a strong reputation for academics,” Shively said. “What’s been powerful is to see how the campus has come to life in a different way.” In August last year, Leopoulos spoke at a joint meeting of the House and Senate education committees about A+, and the idea of arts-infused education was met with enthusiasm by several members, including Sens. Joyce Elliott, Mary Ann Salmon and Jimmy Jeffress, the thenchair of the Senate’s committee. Elliott said there was plenty of evidence that the arts got students “turned

on. … I’m not just ready to get out of the box, I’m ready to burn the box.” Salmon said she’d been an advocate of arts-infused education “since I was a teacher a hundred years ago.” “We know infusion works,” Jeffress said. He said it was one reason why upperincome children succeed: “they have [these] experiences available to them.” “I’ve been aware of Paul and this program for a number of years,” Jeffress said. “We’ve funded everything in the world except this.” Rep. Johnnie J. Roebuck, vice chair of the House committee and another supporter of Arkansas A+, asked to hear from Tom Kimbrell, the director of the state Department of Education. Kimbrell’s did not match the legislators’ enthusiasm. “There are hundreds of programs that could make a difference,” he said. He didn’t think one method would work for every school. It appears, however, that Leopoulos’ doggedness is making inroads into the state’s education establishment. In December, the Education Department’s Bednar said her office intends to ask its specialists to “spread an awareness of the A+ model.” That’s not the same as adopting it, but it’s a start. The A+ model is also cheap: $60,000 for three years of training for up to 30 teachers: only enough to keep it going. Bednar, the education commissioner for learning services, said program costs vary widely, some exponentially more expensive than A+, but “I believe the A+ Model certainly has promise and lends itself to not only helping improve student performance but also transforming schools and communities — something we can’t put a price tag on.”

CAPTIVE AUDIENCE, CONT. It’s not hard to figure out which choice is going to win. The worm, however, seems to be beginning to turn. On Dec. 28, the FCC issued a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” regarding interstate prison phone calls, the first step toward potentially taking action on the issue. The notice, written in response to a 9-year-old petition filed with the FCC by an inmate’s mother, cites a 2012 report by the Government Accountability Office that said keeping in contact with family by phone has been shown to lower recidivism and aid inmates’ transition back into society once they’re released, but adds that “regular telephone contact between inmates and their loved ones at high rates places a heavy burden on inmates’ families, because families typically bear the burden of paying for the calls.” “As such,” the FCC notice states, “we

believe that regular telephone contact between inmates and their families is an important public policy matter, and that we should consider the impact that [rates inmates pay for interstate calls] have.” In a statement attached to the notice, FCC commissioner Mignon L. Clyburn writes that helping lower inmate phone charges will be not only beneficial to inmates and their families, but to society as a whole. “There are well over two million children with at least one parent behind bars.” Clyburn wrote, “and regardless of their circumstances, both children and parents gain from regular contact with one another. ... With 700,000 individuals released every year from [American prisons], it is crucial that we do whatever we can to strengthen family ties before these individuals return home.” North Little Rock resident Peggy Borel, whose son was released in November

2010 from a state prison after serving seven years, said that at times the phone charges arising from their once- or twicea-week chats were “astronomical,” but she believed those calls were crucial to helping her son feel more connected to the outside world and making sure his life was productive after prison. Borel (who asked us not to use her son’s name because he is trying to rebuild his life) said her phone bills in the first six months after he went to jail totaled around $1,800, due to a different phone plan at a detention center in Bentonville, where he was housed while waiting for a bed in the Arkansas Department of Correction. Once her son got to the ADC, the phone charges dropped somewhat, but Borel still estimates she spent more than $5,000 on calls during the years of his incarceration. “Not everybody can do that,” she said,

“and there were times when it was hard.” Borel said that even though the calls were expensive, she insisted that her son call so they could talk about the up-todate happenings in their family. Borel said that the calls made him feel like he was part of his family and had a life to return to once he’d served his time. Though there are sure to be those who ask what Borel’s son could have gotten from a phone call that he couldn’t get from a letter, Borel said that calls get across a depth of feeling that doesn’t come through on paper. “When you’re on the phone with somebody, you hear them,” Borel said. “You’re hearing the emotion in their voice. You’re hearing the encouragement. It’s the act of hearing the reassurance and the hope in someone’s voice. Or maybe the sadness in someone’s voice, or the despair. ... When they’re happy, you’re happy. It’s just like being in the same room with them.”

JANUARY 9, 2013


Arts Entertainment AND


Mel White’s ‘Angry Birds’ lays out feathered facts. BY LESLIE NEWELL PEACOCK


JANUARY 9, 2013




ngry Birds, as everyone with an electronic device and time on his hands knows, despise those blinking pigs. They’ll hurl themselves at those swine to keep them away from their eggs. The Northern fulmar just hurls. This smallish seabird “can accurately aim a stream of stinky stomach oil at targets up to six feet away and has the ability to expel barf bombs several times before running out of ammunition.” So writes Mel White, the Little Rock writer and former editor of the Arkansas Times, in the National Geographic book “Angry Birds, 50 True Stories of the Fed Up, Feathered, and Furious” released just before Christmas. Where some ornithological books might make readers take flight, White’s wit — and a wide-eyed passion for birds that even years of study haven’t jaded — make this book about avian hooliganism a great read, especially for younger readers for whom the subjects of barf and poop hold special appeal. The book — a collaboration between game maker Rovio and National Geographic — is meant promote Angry Birds with fun avian facts, and includes information (not written by White) in which the game’s characters’ “true names and personalities” are revealed, along with White’s text and with lots of crazy bird pictures that National Geographic and other photographers have captured over the years. The fulmar’s vomiting portrait is one; another is the shot of an Australasian magpie (a level 4 furious bird) dive-bombing a bicyclist. White has seen most of these birds — has in fact been chased by the creepiest-looking bird on the planet, the masked lapwing (level 2, testy) — in his 25-year freelance career with National Geographic Books, National

AUTHOR MEL WHITE: Knows to say “duck!” when confronted by an angry bird.

Geographic Traveler and National Geographic magazine, work that recommended him to the editor working with Rovio. An article he wrote for National Geographic last July about the goshawk, a bird so aggressive, White said, that Attila the Hun had its image on his helmet, showed him to be familiar with the angry ways of birds. The book, White said, “was right up my alley. It wasn’t super hard to do.” The hardest part was cutting the essays to the 200 or so word limit. He learned a lot

along the way. For example: The male ruff (Philomachus pugnax, or pugnacious battle-lover), their long feathers puffed up around their necks and foreheads, jabs and pecks furiously at other males when wooing on the lek (their mating grounds). That’s the norm. But a few males, their colors duller, pretend to be females — they even let the aggressive males mate with them — so they can sneak in some heterosexual lovemaking without having to fight. (The

book omitted the homosexual trysting, but now you know.) Besides his run-in with the lapwing — he was trying to photograph a female on the nest, in a park in Australia, when its mate charged him — White’s been personally confronted by a bluejay. He was returning a fledgling to a nest when a jay flew at his head, piercing his forehead with his beak. An inch lower, he would have lost an eye (and been in good company, he said, with bird photographer Eric Hosking, who lost an eye on the job and whose memoir is titled “An Eye for a Bird”). So yes, birds have a temper, especially when they are “hopped up on hormones,” White said. Even the sweet yellow warbler (it sings “sweet, sweet, I’m so sweet!”) has a taste for murder: When it detects a cowbird egg in its nest (the cowbird doesn’t make a nest of her own; she lays them in other birds’ nests, often to the detriment of that mother’s own chicks) it suffocates it, by building up the walls of its nest and making a new floor over the egg. White notes that the hero in Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” does the same thing — seals up his enemy alive in a tomb. Talk about a blind rage — greater honeyguide hatchlings, which, like cowbirds, are parasites since their mothers lay them in other birds’ nests and which are born equipped with sharp hooks at the ends of their bills, will stab their hatching nest mates to death, even before they can see. Young male readers will no doubt crow over the habit of the fieldfare, a European songbird with the coincidentally appropriate Latin name Turdus pilaris. These birds team up to splatter their enemies with their droppings, and because a coat of poop will destroy a bird’s feathers’ ability to keep it warm, the enemy may die. Turdus, by the way, does not mean what it appears to mean. It is Latin for thrush, which is what the fieldfare is, as is the American Robin, Turdus migratorius. Such is the stuff that White, the author of 15 National Geographic books and numerous articles and a contributing editor in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s “Living Bird” magazine, has crammed in his head. He says he’s been able to make a career writing about what he loves best, thanks to “a mother that made me a birdwatcher as a little kid.”

ROCK CANDY Check out the Times’ A&E blog

Little Rock’s Down-Home Neighborhood Bar 7th & Thayer · Little Rock · (501) 375-8400

A&E NEWS LITTLE ROCK HAS LOST A PILLAR OF THE ELECTRONIC dance music scene. Concert promoter Jeffrey Hudnall, a.k.a. Bushy, passed away Jan. 3. According to a Facebook post from his older brother Scott, Hudnall “passed quietly in his sleep.” Hudnall was one of the founders of Cybertribe and brought some of the biggest names in electronic music to the area. Friends and family have posted numerous remembrances and tributes on his Facebook page. You can donate to the Jeff Hudnall Funeral Fund at to help his family with expenses. On Saturday, Revolution hosts Bushy Luv, a fundraising event celebrating his life (see To-Dos). WAKARUSA UNVEILED THE FIRST PART OF ITS LINEUP last week, and one of the headliners at the 10th annual music festival will no doubt have the Spreadnecks rejoicing. That’s right, jam-band favorites Widespread Panic will be among the groups playing Mulberry Mountain this summer. Some of the other names include: Icelandic folk-pop outfit Of Monsters and Men, sure to be a hit with the mustache/skinny suspenders/vest/little hat crowd (they’re “the new Arcade Fire,” according to Rolling Stone); Canuck electro duo Zeds Dead; laid-back reggae-inspired bro jam band Rebelution; alt-country stalwarts Son Volt, bluegrass perennials Yonder Mountain String Band and many more. The next lineup announcements will be made Jan. 10 and Jan. 17. Check Rock Candy for details. AS PROMISED LAST YEAR, ARGENTA COMMUNITY THEATER is gearing up for its second in-house theatrical production, “Jesus Christ Superstar,” which will run July 23-28. Open audition and dance calls at ACT are scheduled for 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Jan. 10 and 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Jan. 12. Rehearsals start in June. The show will be produced by Judy Tenenbaum, directed by Vincent Insalaco and choreographed by Christen Pitts, with music and orchestrations by Kurt Kennedy and technical set by Sara Cooke. Last summer, ACT hosted its first in-house show, “Cabaret.” Insalaco told the Times that the upcoming production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” would be an homage to his late wife, Sally Riggs. Riggs was in the original production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock musical in London. “It’s a great show that needs to be done here locally, and I think it will capture a lot of people’s attention,” Insalaco told the Times.

Wednesday, January 9

David Olney & Sergio Webb (Nashville, TN) w/ Mark Currey

Friday, January 11 The See w/ Sea Nanners

saturday, January 12

Valley Of The Vapors Music Fest Documentary w/ Blue Screen Skyline and Ben Robbins

check out additional shows at

LIMITED TIME ONLY Nathan Sawaya and Dean West

December 12, 2012 – February 1, 2013

Back by popular demand!

Artist Nathan Sawaya, the Picasso of LEGO® bricks, returns to the Clinton Center with a new show. “In Pieces” partners seven large-scale, highly stylized photographic images with uniquely constructed threedimensional LEGO® brick sculptures.

1200 President Clinton Avenue • Little Rock, Arkansas 72201 • 501-374-4242 •

JANUARY 9, 2013







8:30 p.m. White Water Tavern. $7.

We’ve been digging on David Olney and Sergio Webb for a while now, and if your musical tastes run toward the dark end of the folk/country/blues genres and you haven’t checked them out yet, what are you waiting for? The late, great

Townes Van Zandt gets trotted out a lot when it comes to grizzled singer/ songwriters, but Olney is one of the few who you could honestly say could be heir to the throne of good ol’ TVZ. The latest Olney album, “Robbery & Murder,” is the third in a trilogy, available individually or as a set called “Body

of Evidence.” The songs include new numbers and new versions of classic Olney cuts like “Jerusalem Tomorrow,” which was on his 1989 album, “Deeper Well.” That track was the standout on Emmylou Harris’ 1993 record “Cowgirl’s Prayer,” which is really saying something considering the fact that

the album also boasted compositions from such heavies as Leonard Cohen, Lucinda Williams and Tony Joe White. Olney and Webb have played Maxine’s several times, but this will be their first visit to the White Water Tavern. Also on the bill is Mark Currey, of rootsrock faves Monkhouse. RB

story of overcoming adversity to start off 2013, here you go. Because Martinez didn’t let his terrifying injuries stop him from getting out there and living. He became an activist for veterans, an author and motivational speaker and an actor as well. You might be familiar with Martinez from his role as veteran Brot Monroe on “All My Children” or his victory on Season 13 of “Dancing with the Stars.” The key, as he told Ellen DeGeneres: “If I have a good attitude, if I stay positive, if I continue to smile every day, something good will happen to me and all of this will make sense.” Arkansas connection: Martinez lived in Hope for a while as a youngster. RB

‘BABY’ NO MORE: Pop megastar Justin Bieber returns to Verizon Arena Thursday.



7 p.m. Philander Smith College. Free.

After his truck rolled over a landmine in Iraq in 2003, J.R. Martinez suffered severe burns over more than 30 percent of his body and over the course of his recovery he’s had 33 different surgeries. So yes, I understand that we all get bummed out about stuff, like how work sucks or nobody understands us or the Internet is being slow. But the vast majority of us will never experience anything as painful as what Martinez has gone through. If you could use a bit of hopefulness and a heartwarming

INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE: J.R. Martinez speaks at Philander Smith College Thursday.



One of my favorite tracks of 2010 was Justin Bieber’s hit “Baby” slowed down 800 percent and stretched to nearly 15 minutes. I’ve never listened to the normal speed version, but the slow one is maybe the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever heard, like Brian Eno and Sigur Ros playing God’s own personal synthesizers and blissing out in a floating castle made out of dreams. It was a hit as far as quasi-joke Internet thingies go, generating all sorts of parodies and copycats. One dude took a 10-minute Sigur Ros song and sped it up 800 percent to see if it sounded like Justin Bieber (it didn’t). It’s ancient history as far as memes go, but it was kind of a big thing at the time. The song still sounds great though. I guess Justin Bieber’s

done some other stuff since then. Put out another massive hit album; became a man; went through a voice change; went to a party where he maybe tried out one of those funny-smelling cigarettes, if photos published Monday on TMZ are to be believed. A paparazzo died last week while trying to get a picture of him. That was weird and sad. Some dudes got arrested last month in a bizarre scheme to kidnap the Biebs and harm him in a brutal fashion that I will not describe here. That was plain crazy. But, it’s all just part of growing up, I suppose. He’ll make it through these awkward years just fine, and I predict he will have a rewarding acting career later in life, starring in a buddy cop movie in 2022 with Marky Mark, Justin Timberlake and a 3D hologram Dennis Hopper. RB

shot after breathtaking shot of strippers, brass bands, drunks, buskers, drag queens at work and at play. All of it is grounded in the rhythms of the city, both the music — from bounce beats to crappy street bands to traditional jazz — and the voices of the folks that taunt, tease and philosophize in the wee hours. The best voice of all is William, the youngest of the three brothers, who

peppers the movie with preteen chatter, both in scene and in voice-over. The languid shots and meandering voiceovers have a Terrence Malick vibe, but the Ross brothers are more funky and playful. The result is a small and quiet movie but its exuberance and lightness are unforgettable. “Tchoupitoulas” was the most fresh and vibrant film I saw last year. Don’t miss it this week. DR

7 p.m. Verizon Arena. $52-$94.



See movie listings for show times. Market Street Cinema.

Good news for movie buffs who missed the gorgeous “Tchoupitoulas” at the Film Festival last summer: The film is playing at Market Street. Loosely speaking, it’s a documentary that follows three young brothers on a dusk20

JANUARY 9, 2013


till-dawn night out in New Orleans. Very loosely: Bill and Turner Ross, the filmmakers (and brothers themselves), are more invested in dreamy impressionism than either reportage or narrative. The camera follows the boys and their adventures but also veers away from the protagonists to dabble in slices of night life. Unhurried and lovingly observant, the Ross brothers capture





1 p.m. Oaklawn Park. $2.

With the new year upon us, it’s time for my favorite Arkansas tradition, opening weekend at Oaklawn in Hot Springs, which has been one of the premier sites for live horse racing for more than a century. Fancy sun hats! Corned-beef sandwiches! Racing forms! Friday is opening day and Saturday features those famous sandwiches on sale for $0.50, which means they’ll go through about four tons of corned beef (they’re actually kind of forgettable, but a little ambience goes a long way — that pickled/salty pile of meat

has the taste of history). The mix of debutantes and debauchery leads to the best people-watching of the year as drunken gamblers curse their luck and highfalutin families show up to their box seats dressed like it’s Easter in paradise. Oh yeah, and the races — horse racing is one of those athletic spectacles that you just have to see in person. Part of it is the sensory overload as you get a chance to see up close just how big and fast the animals are, plus the rapid-fire live announcing over the speakers, dirt flying from hooves, the smell of cheap beer and manure. Most of all, it’s the suspense of each race, as experts

and amateurs alike track their favorites around the track and murmurs from the crowd grow to a roar when the horses come down the final stretch. Then the lucky few scream in triumph. The first race I ever saw at Oaklawn, I won $300 on a $2 bet. My advice is pick a funny name with medium odds. Note for the true racing aficionados: Legendary jockey and three-time Kentucky Derby winner Calvin Borel is likely to notch his 5,000th career victory this season, just the 26th jockey ever to reach that mark; Oaklawn will give out free commemorative trading cards when he does. DR



8 p.m. Revolution. Donations of $5 and up.

Last week, the Arkansas electronic dance music scene was dealt a sad and unexpected blow with the death of Jeffery Hudnall, or Bushy as he was known to his many friends. He was a pioneer of bringing EDM to the area, booking big-name artists and throwing some of

the most massive Arkansas raves of last decade. I didn’t really know Bushy, having met him only briefly once, but reading through the outpouring of emotions from friends and family on his Facebook page made me well up. So many people loved the guy, and it’s obvious that he brought an enormous amount of joy to people. This night will be a chance to celebrate his life through the beauty of music. There’ll

be local and out-of-town DJs, a massive lighting system and they’ll be screening photos of Bushy all night. It’s 18-andolder, and if you can’t make it but want to donate to help his family with their expenses, you can go to DJ Revolvr, who plays at Discovery later Saturday night, will close out the show, which will be good news for those ages 18-20, as Discovery is 21-and-older. RB



5 p.m. Dunbar Community Garden. Donations.

Travis McConnell, sous chef at the Capital Hotel Bar and Grill, plans to open Butcher and Public, his own brick and mortar space in Little Rock at some point down the road. To tide us over until then, he’s hosting this event — a whole local roasted pig party — to show off his vision. McConnell plans to offer a full meal that’s cooked over the fire. He’ll roast a pig from Freckle Face Farms on a spit that he and his dad recently built; use produce from Little Rock Urban Farming, Armstead Farms and others, and serve beer from Diamond Bear and Vino’s. He said the menu is a reflection of his cooking philosophy: whole butchered animals and fixin’s, locally and regionally sourced. McConnell first worked as sous chef at the Capital Bar from 2007 until 2009, before departing for Revival Bar and

Over in Arkansas County, you can hear some of the R&B and soul sounds of yesteryear with tribute act Masters of Motown, Grand Prairie Center, Phillips Community College, Stuttgart, 7 p.m., $15-$30. Singer/songwriter Shawn James brings his soulful, country-inflected blues tunes to Maxine’s, 8 p.m., free. If you’ve been meaning to get your eardrums blasted clean with some caustic metal, hardcore and power violence, Downtown Music Hall can help you out. They’ve got Holy Angell, Snakedriver, Chronic Ritual, Kruds and Lord, 8 p.m., $7. Hip-hop heads will probably want to check out T. Jay and A Glorious Bang, with Michael Leonard Whitman, The Stick Figures and Black Rambo, The Joint, 9 p.m., $7.


The Weekend Theater opens its production of “The Metal Children,” 7:30 p.m., $12-$16. The play concerns a young-adult lit author who travels to a small town whose school board has banned his book, only to find that the work has inspired chaos among the populace. Local MC Epiphany hosts Battle of the Bars Part 2. The three-round MC battle features a prize package including $100, a video shoot and studio time for the winner. Downtown Music Hall, 10:30 p.m., $5-$10. Live at Laman hosts standout singer Nicky Parrish and Kemistri, Laman Library, 7 p.m., free. Blues-harp wailer R.J. Mischo performs with the band Unseen Eye, Markham Street Grill and Pub, 8 p.m. The See and Sea Nanners will ease you into the weekend with rock music, White Water Tavern, 10 p.m., $5. We’re still a ways off from lake weather, but you can check out the new boats and gear at the Arkansas Marine Expo 2013, Statehouse Convention Center, through Sunday, 10 a.m., $5, free for children younger than 12.


LOCAL ROAST: Chef Travis McConnell hosts a pig roast Sunday at Dunbar Community Garden.

Kitchen in Berkeley for three years. He returned to the Capital in September after a trip to Italy, where he got to spend a few days studying under Dario Cecchini, who Anthony Bourdain has

called “the most famous and respected butcher in Italy and, maybe, the world.” He’s said Cecchini’s butcher shop is a model he aspires to for Butcher and Public. LM

Dikki Du & The Zydeco Krewe return with their party-starting bayou-country Louisiana jams, 18-and-older, Stickyz, 9 p.m., $5. White Water Tavern screens a documentary about the Valley of the Vapors music fest that will have you anticipating this year’s festival. The show includes a live performance from post-rockers Blue Screen Skyline, 10 p.m. The UALR Trojans basketball teams take on Florida International University, with the women squaring off at 1 p.m. and the men at 3:30 p.m., Jack Stephens Center, $5-$38. Up in Conway, Whale Fire plays a free show at Bear’s Den Pizza, 8 p.m.

JANUARY 9, 2013


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



Art of Motion: Tango. Includes lessons from local and national tango instructors. No partner needed. Arkansas Arts Center, through May 9: second Thursday of every month, 7-10:30 p.m., $10, free for members. 501 E. 9th St. 501-3724000. Soul Spirit Zumba with Ashan. Dunbar Community Center, 6 p.m., $5. 1001 W. 16th St. 501-376-1084.

Michael Mack, Nat Baimel. 18-and-older. The Loony Bin, 7:30 p.m. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555.



Acoustic Open Mic. The Afterthought, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www. Brian & Nick. Cajun’s Wharf, 5 and 9 p.m.; Jan. 16, 5 and 9 p.m.; Jan. 23, 5 and 9 p.m.; Jan. 30, 5 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. David Olney and Sergio Webb with Mark Currey. White Water Tavern, 8:30 p.m., $7. 2500 W 7th St. 501-375-8400. Jim Dickerson. 7 p.m. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. Kingdom of Giants, Mureau, We the Gathered, Through the Looking Glass, Achaia, Vespers. Downtown Music Hall, 6 p.m., $6. 211 W. Capitol. 501-376-1819. Ricky David Tripp. Rocket Twenty One, 5:30 p.m. 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-603-9208. www. Smooth Spirit, Harlo Maxwell, Jordan Anderson, Carli & Corinne. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 5 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474.


The Joint Venture. Improv comedy group. The Joint, 8 p.m., $5. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501372-0205. Michael Mack, Nat Baimel. 18-and-older. The Loony Bin, 7:30 p.m. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555. Standup Open Mic Night. Hosted by local come­di­ans of the com­edy col­lec­tive Come­di­ ans of NWA. UARK Bowl, 9 p.m., free. 644 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-301-2030.


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: Bob Nash. Main Library, 12 p.m., free. 100 S. Rock St.


Rock Town Slam. Arkansas Arts Center, 7 p.m., $5-$10. 501 E. 9th St. 501-372-4000. www.arkarts. com. Wednesday Night Poetry. 21-and-older show. Maxine’s, 7 p.m., free. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-321-0909. shows.html.


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


JANUARY 9, 2013



J.R. Martinez. The author, actor, military veteran and Dancing with the Stars winner will discuss his book, “Full of Heart.” Philander Smith College, 7 p.m., free. 900 W. Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive.


MUSIC SOLO SOUND: Keller Williams, a.k.a. the one-man jam band, brings his guitars and drums and pedals and samplers and all-around genre-agnostic musical good vibes to Revolution Friday for an all-ages show, 9:30 p.m., $20.



Chris Henry. The Tavern Sports Grill, 7 p.m., free. 17815 Chenal Parkway. 501-830-2100. Holy Angell, Snakedriver, Chronic Ritual, Kruds, Lord. Downtown Music Hall, 8 p.m., $7. 211 W. Capitol. 501-376-1819. “Inferno.” DJs play pop, electro, house and more, plus drink specials and $1 cover before 11 p.m. Sway, 9 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-907-2582. Justin Bieber. Verizon Arena, 7 p.m., $52-$94. 1 Alltel Arena Way, NLR. 501-975-9001. Krush Thursdays with DJ Kavaleer. Club Climax, free before 11 p.m. 824 W. Capitol. 501-554-3437. Masters of Motown. Phillips Community College Stuttgart, $15-$30. 2807 Hwy. 165 S., Stuttgart. 870-673-4201 ext. 1895. Open jam with The Port Arthur Band. Parrot

Beach Cafe, 9 p.m. 9611 MacArthur Drive, NLR. 771-2994. Randy Harsey, Dangerous Idiots, The Fable & The Fury, 5 Point Cove. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. Shawn James. Maxine’s, 8 p.m., free. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. Steve Wynter. Cajun’s Wharf, 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. www. T. Jay and A Glorious Band featuring Michael Leonard Whitman and The Stick Figures. The Joint, 9 p.m., $7. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501372-0205. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 5 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. Thomas East. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, Jan. 10, 7 p.m.; Jan. 18-19, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999.

Arkansaw Toothpick Theater Front Porch Jubilee. Musical variety show for all ages. The Public Theatre, Jan. 11, 7 p.m.; Jan. 12, 7 p.m., $15. 616 Center St. 501-374-7529. Battle of the Bars Part 2. Three-round MC battle, with $100 prize, video shoot and studio time for the winner. Downtown Music Hall, 10:30 p.m., $5-$10. 211 W. Capitol. 501-376-1819. Chris Henry. Flying Saucer, Jan. 11, 9 p.m.; Jan. 26, 9 p.m., $3. 323 President Clinton Ave. 501372-8032. 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. Crankbait, Akris, Rat Babies. Vino’s. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. Donna Massey & Blue Eyed Soul (headliner), Richie Johnson (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. FreeVerse Duo. The Tavern Sports Grill, 8:30 p.m., free. 17815 Chenal Parkway. 501-830-2100. www. Friday night at Sway. Sway, 9 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-907-2582. Keller Williams. All-ages. Revolution, 9:30 p.m., $20. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. Live at Laman: Nicky Parrish and Kemistri. Laman Library, 7 p.m., free. 2801 Orange St., NLR. 501-758-1720. Midas Coven. Cornerstone Pub & Grill, 9 p.m. 314 Main St., NLR. 501-374-1782. Mr. Mayhem. West End Smokehouse and Tavern, Jan. 11, 10 p.m.; Jan. 12, 10 p.m., $5. 215 N. Shackleford. 501-224-7665. RJ Mischo and Unseen Eye. Markham Street Grill And Pub, 8 p.m. 11321 W. Markham St. 501-224-2010. Rodney Block & The Real Music Lovers. The Afterthought, 9 p.m., $10. The Afterthought, 9 p.m., $10. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. The See, Sea Nanners. White Water Tavern, 10 p.m., $5. 2500 W 7th St. 501-375-8400. www.

Smokey. Cregeen’s Irish Pub, 8 p.m. 301 Main St., NLR. 501-376-7468. The Sound of the Mountain, Blue Screen Skyline, Mainland Divide. Maxine’s, 8 p.m., $5 adv., $7 door. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. Synergy, DJ Sleepy Genius. Montego Cafe, 8:30 p.m. 315 Main St. 501-372-1555. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 9 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. “YOLO.” Featuring four DJs and beach volleyball, 18-and-older. Flying DD, $5. 4601 S. University. 501-773-9990.


The Main Thing. Two-act original comedy play “A Fertle Holiday,” 8 p.m. The Joint, $20. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. Michael Mack, Nat Baimel. 18-and-older. The Loony Bin, through Jan. 12, 7:30 and 10 p.m. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555.


Little Rock Salsa Night. Juanita’s, 10 p.m., $5. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www.


2012 Arkansas Preservations Awards Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas. Governor’s Mansion, 6 p.m., $100. 1800 Center St. 501372-4757. Arkansas Marine Expo 2013. Statehouse Convention Center, Jan. 11-13, 10 a.m., $5, free for children younger than 12. 7 Statehouse Plaza. 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. 800 Scott St., 6:30 p.m. 800 Scott St. Live horse racing. Thu.-Sun. every week until April 13, plus Martin Luther King Day and Memorial Day. Oaklawn, $2. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4411. Rep. Davy Carter. The Speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives will discuss the upcoming 89th Arkansas General Assembly, which starts Jan. 14. Clinton School of Public Service, 12 p.m., free. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501-683-5239.



Arkansaw Toothpick Theater Front Porch Jubilee. Musical variety show for all ages. The Public Theatre, 7 p.m., $15. 616 Center St. 501374-7529. Bushy Luv. Tribute to Jeffrey “Bushy” Hudnall, 18-and-older. Revolution, 9 p.m. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. Club Nights at 1620 Savoy. See Jan. 11. Dikki Du & The Zydeco Krewe. 18-and-older. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9 p.m., $5. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. Evacuate The City, She Breathes Fire, A Plea for Mercy, Stuart Thomas. Juanita’s, 10 p.m., $7 adv., $10 day of. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. The Hollywood Kills, Brother Andy & His Big Damn Mouth, Pecan Sandy, Quiet Hollers. Maxine’s, 8 p.m., $5 adv., $7 door. 700 Central

Ave., Hot Springs. Integrity. The Afterthought, 9 p.m., $10. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. Jim Dickerson. 7 p.m. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. Just Sayin’. Denton’s Trotline, 9 p.m., $10. 2150 Congo Road, Benton. 501-315-1717. Katmandu (headliner), R & R (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. K.I.S.S. Saturdays. Featuring DJ Silky Slim. Dress code enforced. Sway, 10 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-492-9802. Mr. Mayhem. West End Smokehouse and Tavern, 10 p.m., $5. 215 N. Shackleford. 501-224-7665. Pickin’ Porch. Bring your instrument. All ages welcome. Faulkner County Library, 9:30 a.m. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-327-7482. Revolvr, Rufio, Platinumb, Andy Sandler, Brandon Peck, Joseph. Plus, Dominique Sanchez & The Discovery Dolls. Discovery Nightclub, 9 p.m., $10. 1021 Jessie Road. 501664-4784. RJ Mischo and Unseen Eye. Fat Jacks Oyster Sports Bar, 8 p.m. 101 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-5225. Rodge Arnold. Flying Saucer, 9 p.m., $3. 323 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-8032. Saturday night at Discovery. Featuring DJs, dancers and more. Discovery Nightclub, 9 p.m., $10. 1021 Jessie Road. 501-664-4784. Singer/Songwriters Showcase. Parrot Beach Cafe, 2-7 p.m., free. 9611 MacArthur Drive, NLR. 771-2994. Steve Bates, Midas Coven. Cregeen’s Irish Pub, 8 p.m., $5. 301 Main St., NLR. 501-376-7468. www. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 9 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. Whale Fire. Bear’s Den Pizza, 8 p.m., free. 235 Farris Road, Conway. 501-328-5556.


The Main Thing. Two-act original comedy play “A Fertle Holiday,” 8 p.m. The Joint, $20. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. Michael Mack, Nat Baimel. 18-and-older. The Loony Bin, 7:30 and 10 p.m. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555.


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


Antique Alley Arkansas Antique Show. Conway Expo Center and Fairgrounds, Jan. 12, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Jan. 13, noon-5 p.m., $1-$3. 2501 E. Oak St., Conway. 501-513-3586. Argenta Farmers Market. Argenta, 7 a.m.-noon. Main Street, NLR. Arkansas Marine Expo 2013. Statehouse Convention Center, through Jan. 13, 10 a.m.,

$5, free under 12. 7 Statehouse Plaza. Drop-In Studio. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, noon, free. 600 Museum Way, Bentonville. 479-418-5700. Falun Gong meditation. Allsopp Park, 9 a.m., free. Cantrell & Cedar Hill Roads. Hillcrest Farmers Market. Pulaski Heights Baptist Church, 7 a.m.-noon. 2200 Kavanaugh Blvd. Made From Scratch: Everything Breakfast. Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, 10 a.m., $80. 1 Rockefeller Drive, Morrilton. 727-5435. www. Opening weekend at Oaklawn Park. Oaklawn, through Jan. 13, 11 a.m., $2. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4411.

“Live from the Back Room.” Spoken word event. Vino’s, 7 p.m. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. www. Opening weekend at Oaklawn Park. Oaklawn, 11 a.m., $2. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501623-4411.



UALR Men’s Trojans vs. FIU. Jack Stephens Center, UALR, 3:30 p.m., $5-$38. 2801 S. University Ave. UALR Women’s Trojans vs. FIU. Jack Stephens Center, UALR, 7 p.m., $5-$38. 2801 S. University Ave.

7th Street Peep Show. Featuring three or four bands per night. Bands sign up at 6:30 p.m. and play 35-minute sets (including setup) on a first-come, first-served basis. House band is The Sinners. Solo artists, DJs and all other performers welcome. Vino’s, 7 p.m., $1. 923 W. 7th St. 501375-8466. Irish Traditional Music Session. Hibernia Irish Tavern, Fourth and second Monday of every month, 6 p.m. 9700 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-246-4340. KABF Jazz: Julia Buckingham. The Afterthought, 8 p.m., $5. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. Reggae Nites. Featuring DJ Hy-C playing roots, reggae and dancehall. Pleazures Martini and Grill Lounge, 6 p.m., $7-$10. 1318 Main St. 501376-7777.




Valley of the Vapors documentary. Includes live performance from Blue Screen Skyline. White Water Tavern, 10 p.m. 2500 W 7th St. 501-3758400.


Arkansas Author Connection: Akasha Hull. Pyramid Art Books and Custom Framing, 1:30 p.m. 1001 Wright Ave. 501-372-6822.



Afton: Kinfoke Clique, G.M.G. & Guests. Allages Downtown Music Hall, 7 p.m., $11 adv., $13 door. 211 W. Capitol. 501-376-1819. Framing the Red, Red Devil Lies, Sychosis. Juanita’s, 8 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. January Tea Dance with the Stardust Big Band. Arlington Hotel, 3 p.m., $8, free for high school and younger. 239 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-7771. Michael Eubanks. Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon, 7 p.m. 10901 N Rodney Parham Road. 501-227-8898. Successful Sunday. Featuring live music and DJs. Montego Cafe, 7 p.m. 315 Main St. 501-372-1555. Sunday Jazz Brunch with Ted Ludwig and Joe Cripps. Vieux Carre, 11 a.m. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196.


Antique Alley Arkansas Antique Show. Conway Expo Center and Fairgrounds, 12 p.m., $1-$3. 2501 E. Oak St., Conway. 501-513-3586. www. Arkansas Marine Expo 2013. Statehouse Convention Center, 10 a.m., $5, free for children younger than 12. 7 Statehouse Plaza. Drop-In Drawing. Free, informal drawing session. Materials are provided. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, 1 p.m., free. 600 Museum Way, Bentonville. 479-418-5700. Isaac Farris Jr. Farris, nephew of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will be keynote speaker at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission’s “Day of Service.” Bethel AME Church, 5 p.m. 600 N. Cedar St., NLR. 501-374-2891.


Jim Dickerson. 7 p.m. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. Knox Hamilton. Bear’s Den Pizza, 8 p.m., free. 235 Farris Road, Conway. 501-328-5556. www. Lucious Spiller Band. Copeland’s Restaurant of Little Rock, 6-9 p.m. 2602 S. Shackleford Road. 501-312-1616. Mad Nomad. White Water Tavern, 10 p.m. 2500 W 7th St. 501-375-8400. Rex Bell Trio. The Joint, 8 p.m., free. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. Ricky David Tripp. Rocket Twenty One, 5:30 p.m. 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-603-9208. Tuesday Jam Session with Carl Mouton. The Afterthought, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196.


“Latin Night.” Revolution, 7 p.m., $5 regular, $7 under 21. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-8230090. Soul Spirit Zumba with Ashan. Dunbar Community Center, 6 p.m., $5. 1001 W. 16th St. 501-376-1084.


Arkansas Children’s Hospital: The New South Wing. Kent Taylor of Cromwell Architects and David Berry of Arkansas Children’s Hospital will discuss the design and construction of the $121 million addition of the South Wing to Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Clinton School of Public Service, 6 p.m., free. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501-683-5239. Francis Coppola Wine Tasting. The Joint, 7 p.m., $10. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. CONTINUED ON PAGE 25

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JANUARY 9, 2013



JAN. 11-12

Market Street Cinema times at or after 9 p.m. are for Friday and Saturday only. Breckenridge, Chenal 9, Lakewood 8 and McCain Mall showtimes were not available by press deadline. Find up-to-date listings at NEW MOVIES Chicken with Plums (PG-13) — An Iranian violinist mourns the loss of his beloved instrument and plumbs the depths of memory as he awaits death. Market Street: 1:45, 4:00, 6:45, 9:00. Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel (PG-13) — A documentary exploring the life and farreaching influence of the fashion icon. Market Street: 2:15, 7:15. Gangster Squad (R) — Hardboiled gangster drama set in 1940s Los Angeles, with Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Rave: 11:25 a.m., 2:15, 5:00, 7:45, 10:45. Riverdale: 9:20 a.m., 11:40 a.m., 2:05, 4:35, 7:10, 9:35. A Haunted House (R) — All your favorite midto late-2012 pop-culture references, all conveniently stapled onto a single parody of the “Paranormal Activity” flicks. Rave: 11:10 a.m., 11:50 a.m., 1:30, 2:20, 4:00, 4:45, 6:30, 7:15, 9:15, 9:45. Riverdale: 9;15 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 1:15, 3:15, 5:15, 7:15, 9:15, 11:10. Hitchcock (PG-13) — Starring Sir Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock, Dame Helen Mirren as the director’s wife and Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh. Market Street: 2:00, 4:30, 7:00, 9:15. Hyde Park on Hudson (R) — In which Bill Murray is FDR. Rave: 11:35 a.m., 2:15, 5:35, 8:10, 10:50. The Impossible (PG-13) — Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts star in this tale of a family that survives the 2004 Asian tsunami. Rave: 11:10 a.m., 2:05, 5:10, 8:05, 11:05. Not Fade Away (R) — From writer and director David Chase, a story of a young garage rocker in ’60s New Jersey who yearns for the freedom of the East Village and the promise of rock ’n’ roll, starring James Gandolfini. Market Street: 4:30, 9:00. Riverdale: 1:10, 3:30. Promised Land (R) — “Hi, Gus Van Sant and Matt Damon here, reminding you that fracking is bad, as if the people who’ll go see this needed to be reminded of that fact.” Rave: 11:15 a.m., 11:30 p.m. Riverdale: 9:30 a.m., 12:15, 3:00, 5:50, 8:45. Naayak (PG-13) — Telugu romance starring Ram Charan Teja, from director V.V. Vinayak. Rave: 2:00, 6:50, 10:55. Silver Linings Playbook (R) — Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star as two dysfunctional yet charming weirdoes who are just trying to make their way in this crazy world, OK? Jeez! Rave: 11:00 a.m., 1:55, 4:50, 7:50, 10:45. Tchoupitoulas (NR) — This impressionistic masterpiece is an unforgettable slice-of-night-life documentary about three young boys out on the town in New Orleans. Market Street: 2:15, 4:15, 7:15, 9:00. Texas Chainsaw 3D (R) — Heartwarming tale of a misunderstood social outcast who makes friends with people by killing them with a chainsaw and it’s in 3D. Rave: 4:15 (2D), 11:20 a.m., 1:45, 6:45, 9:30 (3D). Riverdale: 9:25 a.m., 11:35 a.m., 1:35, 3:40, 5:45, 7:50, 9:55, 11:50. Zero Dark Thirty (R) — This is a Major Serious Film that raises Big Important Questions about the implications of … eh, whatever. Let’s just give this the Best Picture Oscar now and call it a day. Rave: 11:00 a.m., 2:45, 7:00, 10:30 (XTreme), 12:15, 4:25, 8:00, 11:30. Riverdale: 9:10 a.m., 12:30, 3:45, 6:55, 10:10.

‘ZERO DARK THIRTY’: Apparently, this movie about the killing of Osama bin Laden from director Kathryn Bigelow is pretty good. RETURNING THIS WEEK Alex Cross (PG-13) — Pretty much “Tyler Perry’s ‘Death Wish’ meets ‘Seven.’ ” Movies 10: 12:25, 2:50, 5:01, 7:30, 10:15. Cloud Atlas (R) — Based on the sci-fi novel, with Tom Hanks and Halle Berry. Movies 10: 1:00, 4:30, 8:00. Django Unchained (R) — Another revenge flick from Quentin Tarantino, with Jamie Foxx and the guy from “Titanic.” Rave: 11:05 a.m., 12:10, 3:00, 3:50, 6:45, 7:45, 11:10. Riverdale: 9:05 a.m., 12:25, 3:55, 7:05, 10:20. Frankenweenie (PG) — A young boy resurrects his departed pooch in Tim Burton’s latest gothlite animated feature. Movies 10: 1:35, 3:40, 5:40, 7:50, 9:55 (2D), 12:15, 4:35, 8:50 (3D). Here Comes the Boom (PG) — “The Zookeeper” star Kevin James is a teacher in this one. Movies 10: Noon, 1:15, 2:30, 3:45, 5:00, 6:15, 7:25, 8:45, 10:10. The Hobbit (PG-13) — Slate’s headline: “Bored of the Rings – The Hobbit looks like Teletubbies and is way too long.” Ooh … burn. Whatever, it’ll probably gross bajillions. Rave: 11:35 a.m., 7:30, 11:20 (2D), 3:40 (3D). Riverdale: 5:55, 9:20. Hotel Transylvania 3D (PG) — Animated kids movie in which Dracula is an overprotective father who hosts a big monster mash, starring the voice of Adam Sandler, of course. Movies 10: 12:45, 3:25, 5:35, 7:45, 10:00 (2D), 2:25, 6:40 (3D). Jack Reacher (PG-13) — Cliche-a-thon action thriller starring Tom Cruise and, for some reason, Werner Herzog. Rave: 11:05 a.m., 2:10, 5:15, 8:20, 11:25. Riverdale: 5:20, 8:05, 10:45. Les Miserables (PG-13) — Latest version of Victor Hugo’s classic, starring Anne Hathaway, Gladiator, Wolverine and Borat. Rave: 11:55 a.m., 3:45, 7:25, 11:00. Riverdale: 9:00 a.m., 12:20, 3:35. Lincoln (PG-13) — Steven Spielberg’s biopic about Abraham Lincoln, with Daniel Day Lewis and Sally Field. Rave: 11:45 a.m., 3:30, 7:25, 11:25.

Parental Guidance (PG) — Boomer grandparents Billy Crystal and Bette Midler are outmatched by their bratty post-millennial grandkids. Rave: 11:30 a.m., 2:10, 4:55, 7:40, 10:35. Riverdale: 1:00, 3:10. Pitch Perfect (PG-13) — Competitive groups of singers have singing competitions and so forth. Movies 10: 12:05, 2:35, 5:05, 7:35, 10:05. Robot & Frank (PG-13) — Frank Langella stars as a retired cat burglar who enlists the help of his robotic caretaker to restarts his life of stealing jewelry from rich jerks. Also stars Susan Sarandon. Movies 10: 12:30, 2:40, 4:50, 7:00, 9:30. The Sessions (R) — Helen Hunt is a sex surrogate who helps the seriously disabled John Hawkes. This has gotten universally great reviews. Market Street: 2:00, 4:20, 7:00, 9:00. Skyfall (PG-13) — An aging Bond still can’t be beat. Riverdale: 6:45, 9:25. Taken 2 (PG-13) — Sequel to the kidnappingbased action film, with Liam Neeson. Movies 10: 12:20, 2:55, 5:20, 7:40, 9:50. This is 40 (R) — Remember how in “Knocked Up” there was that joyless yuppie couple played by Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann? Here is a movie all about them. Rave: 1:25, 4:35, 7:55, 11:05. Chenal 9 IMAX Theatre: 17825 Chenal Parkway, 821-2616, Cinemark Movies 10: 4188 E. McCain Blvd., 945-7400, Cinematown Riverdale 10: Riverdale Shopping Center, 296-9955, Lakewood 8: 2939 Lakewood Village Drive, 7585354, Market Street Cinema: 1521 Merrill Drive, 312-8900, Rave Colonel Glenn 18: 18 Colonel Glenn Plaza, 687-0499, Regal Breckenridge Village 12: 1-430 and Rodney Parham, 224-0990, Regal McCain Mall 12: 3929 McCain Blvd., 7531380,


AFTER DARK, CONT. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission’s “Day of Service Celebratory and Service Component.” Keynote speaker is Harrison Mayor Jeff Crockett, with Gov. Mike Beebe and more. Philander Smith College, 12 p.m. 900 W. Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive. 501-683-1300.


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


A fracking feature Damon’s ‘Promised Land’ avoids polemic. BY SAM EIFLING


romised Land” sees a naturalgas company rep named Steve, played by writer/producer Matt Damon, visit a small northeastern town with the aim of buying leases from landowners. This routine trip goes sideways when the townsfolk, spurred first by a kindly science teacher (Hal Holbrook) and then reinforced by a cocky environmental activist (John Krasinski, sharing a screenwriting credit) decry the dangers of drilling. Steve’s offering the promise of money: a few thousand per acre for the rights, plus a cut of later revenue. The detractors point to risk: evidence of poisoned streams, fields and drinking water. The townsfolk propose a vote on whether to allow the gas company to come and drill, leaving a few weeks for this debate to unfold. Now, as “Promised Land” is decidedly a Message Movie, and painfully self-aware of that fact, it does its best not to clonk you over the head with the argument that gas exploration is bad. It nearly succeeds in making a movie for adults. But it falters, no more baldly than in a scene midway through, as Krasinski’s do-gooder shows school kids what happened to his family’s dairy farm after gas drilling. He pours some household chemicals, meant to represent the hodgepodge of hydro-fracking agents that get pumped into underground rock to release trapped natural gas, into a plastic bag pregnant with water and sand. Then he lets the witches’ brew leak onto a toy farm set, and lights it aflame. The point is that fracking might be dangerous, you see? Did you catch that? Or does the nice man at the front of the room need to set more toys on fire? To the credit of Damon and director Gus Van Sant, “Promised Land” avoids polemic by offering a pretty solid prodrilling case. Steve hails from rural Iowa, where the shuttering of a Caterpillar plant meant economic death. A town with tens

of millions of dollars’ worth of fossil fuels beneath its feet could, he argues, provide for itself in ways otherwise unthinkable. He posits the following: subsistence agriculture is an untenable grind, American manufacturing is a shell, we all consume fossil fuels, Americans don’t want to have a conversation about cutting their consumption, and it’s better to burn a domestic energy source than to rely on foreign oil or to burn ever more coal. It’s hard to argue strongly against any of those points, even for anyone who tends toward the “Gasland” view of things. (By the way, go see “Gasland.”) But ultimately there’s much to appreciate in “Promised Land” for anyone who doesn’t particularly care for fracking or the way energy companies do business. For one, the film probably uses the word “fracking” more than any previous Hollywood feature, a step toward a wider and, yes, adult conversation. Steve’s increasing reluctance to make his pitch mirrors America’s own ambivalence to the toxic downside of domestic energy development. People somewhere are always going to be willing to let corporations pillage their land so long as the rest of us like to drive cars and keep our lights on late and watch flatscreen TVs and buy plastics and eat beef fed by grains grown with oilbased fertilizers and keep central air running in the summer. That doesn’t mean we have to accept it without acknowledging the consequences. If we don’t want to foul our own nest, we have to use less. Until the day when we want to have that discussion, to really have it, you can get the gist of “Promised Land” in much less time by recalling the allegedly Native American quote that Greenpeace likes to deploy: “When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.”

“Catch Me If You Can.” Broadway musical based on the hit film. Walton Arts Center, through Jan. 10, 7 p.m.; Fri., Jan. 11, 8 p.m.; Sat., Jan. 12, 2 and 8 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 13, 2 and 7:30 p.m., $39-$59. 495 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-443-5600. “I Ought to Be In Pictures.” Neil Simon’s play about a screenwriter whose family past comes back to find him. Murry’s Dinner Playhouse, Sun., Jan. 13, 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.; Jan. 15-19, 6 p.m.; Wed., Jan. 16, 11 a.m.; Jan. 22-26, 6 p.m.; Wed., Jan. 23, 11 a.m.; Sun., Jan. 27, 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.; Jan. 29-Feb. 2, 6 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 3, 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.; Feb. 5-9, 6 p.m., $15-$33. 6323 Col. Glenn Road. 501-562-3131. “Jesus Christ Superstar” auditions. Argenta Community Theater, Thu., Jan. 10, 6 and 8 p.m.; Sat., Jan. 12, 6 and 8 p.m. 405 Main St., NLR. 501-353-1443. “The Metal Children.” A young-adult lit author travels to a small town whose school board has banned his book, only to find that the work has inspired chaos among the populace. The Weekend Theater, Jan. 11-12, 7:30 p.m.; Jan. 18-19, 7:30 p.m.; Jan. 25-26, 7:30 p.m., $12-$16. 1001 W. 7th St. 501-374-3761. “My Fair Lady.” Production by The Young Players. Royal Theatre, Thu., Jan. 10, 7 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 13, 2 p.m., $5-$12. 111 S. Market St., Benton. “Steel Magnolias” auditions. Production dates are March 7-10 and 14-17, with director Gina Welch. Royal Theatre, Jan. 14-15, 6:30 p.m. 111 S. Market St., Benton.



More art listings can be found in the calendar at ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, MacArthur Park: “Museum School Faculty Exhibition: Past and Present,” Jan. 11-March 10. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. 372-4000. BUTLER CENTER GALLERIES, Arkansas Studies Institute, 401 President Clinton Ave.: “Clinton for Arkansas 1974-1992,” reception 5-8 p.m. Jan. 11, 2nd Friday Art Night, with music by Scott Odena. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 320-5700. CANTRELL GALLERY, 8206 Cantrell Road: “ELEMENTAL Copper. Zinc. Clay. Wood. Bone. Stone. Oil. Watercolor,” multimedia work by Bob Crane, opening reception 6-8 p.m. Jan. 11, show through March 2. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 224-1335. CHRIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 509 Scott St.: “Beating Hooves,” pen and ink drawings by Mary Shelton, opens with reception 5-8 p.m. Jan. 11, 2nd Friday Art Night, show through March 4. 375-2342.  CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CENTER, 1200 President Clinton Ave.: “In Pieces,” multimedia exhibit of Nathan Sawaya sculpture and Dean West photography, through Feb. 1, lecture by Sawaya 6 p.m. Jan. 14; 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.

COURTYARD AT THE MARRIOTT, 521 President Clinton Ave.: Work by ArtGroup Maumelle, 5-8 p.m. Jan. 11, 2nd Friday Art Night. 975-9800. GALLERY 221, 2nd and Center Sts.: “Expressions of Light,” work by Sean LeCrone, Jennifer Cox Coleman, Jennifer “Emile” Freeman and Peggy Roberson. Open 5-8 p.m. Jan. 11, 2nd Friday Art Night. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri. 801-0211. GALLERY 26, 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd.: 18th annual “Holiday Art Show,” work by 60-plus artists, through Jan. 12; “Influences of the Gurdjieff Tradition in Art,” work by Andre Enard, Vala Hafsted Enard, Christopher Fremantle, Paul Reynard, William Segal and others, noon-6 p.m. Jan. 13. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.-Sat. 664-8996. HEARNE FINE ART, 1001 Wright Ave.: “Celebrating Cultures, Liberating Minds,” 2013 V.I.T.A.L. artist collective exhibition, work by Arkansas artists Rex Deloney, Melverue Abraham, Ariston Jacks, LeRon McAdoo, LaToya Hobbs and Michael Worsham, through Feb. 4, reception 5-8 p.m. Jan. 11, 2nd Friday Art Night, artist talk 1:30 p.m. Jan. 12, interactive talk and workshop with painting demonstrations, rap session, presentations, 1-3 p.m. Jan. 26. 372-6822. HISTORIC ARKANSAS MUSEUM, 200 E. Third St.: “Perfect Balance,” paintings by Marty Smith, opens with reception 5-8 p.m. Jan. 11, 2nd Friday Art Night; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 324-9351. LAMAN LIBRARY, 2801 Orange St.: “Images from the South,” works from the collection of the Arkansas Arts Center, through Jan. 20. 758-1720. MacARTHUR MUSEUM OF ARKANSAS MILITARY HISTORY, MacArthur Park: “Korea: The Forgotten War” and permanent exhibits. Now open on Mondays. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.Fri., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat., 1-4 p.m. Sun. 376-4602. OLD STATE HOUSE MUSEUM, 300 W. Markham: Open 5-8 p.m. Jan. 11, 2nd Friday Art Night, with music by classical violinist Geoff Robson; “Battle Colors of Arkansas,” 18 Civil War flags; “Things You Need to Hear: Memories of Growing up in Arkansas from 1890 to 1980.” 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 324-9685. STUDIOMAIN, 1423 Main St.: The Pettaway Neighborhood plan, 5-8 p.m. Jan. 11, 2nd Friday Art Night. UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS AT LITTLE ROCK: “Collecting Prints,” works from the permanent collection, Jan. 14-March 11, Gallery I; “Surface Space (Sundial Face),” paintings by Artist in Residence Taimur Cleary, Jan. 14-Feb. 8, Gallery II. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sat., 2-5 p.m. Sun. 569-8977. BENTONVILLE CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART, 600 Museum Way: “Abstractions on Paper: From Abstract Expressionism to Post Minimalism,” Jan. 12-April 29, works from the collection of the Arkansas Arts Center by Lee Krasner, Helen Frankenthaler, Ellsworth Kelly and others. EL DORADO SOUTH ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, 110 E. 5th St.: 2013 “Small Works on Paper,” 37 works in juried Arkansas Arts Council touring show, through Jan. 29. 9 a.m.5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. 870-862-5474. FAYETTEVILLE FAYETTEVILLE UNDERGROUND, 101 W. Mountain: “Old Men Telling Lies,” talk by glass artist Ed Pennebaker, 11 a.m. Jan. 12, first in series. (Hank Kaminsky, Jan Gosnell in following weeks.) 479-871-2722.

JANUARY 9, 2013



tive chef, Joel Antunes, plans to bring an international flair to Ashley’s and the Capital Bar and Grill, but is committed to maintaining the local (and Southern) flavors that have made the restaurants city favorites. “Little Rock is not going to change for me,” Antunes said in an interview at Ashley’s before the holidays. “I have to change for Little Rock.” That’s music to the ears of locals worried that Antunes might put a heavy French accent on the popular restaurants. Antunes has a stellar reputation and background (James Beard award, Michelin star) grounded in classic French cooking, but his turn at the Oak Room in New York’s storied Plaza Hotel ended in disaster, reportedly in part because of a refusal to offer more American dishes. “I’m going to continue and learn the local influence because it’s very important,” Antunes said, adding that he had learned from the mistakes of the Oak Room. “My goal is to keep the strong influence of food from Arkansas and from Louisiana.” He said that he was eager to continue to make use of local farmers. That’s not to say that we won’t also benefit from Antunes’ cosmopolitan expertise — including influences from Tokyo, Bangkok and Singapore, where Antunes has spent time. “It’s very nice if I can bring a little touch from Japan, from the south of France,” he said. “I think the world is smaller and smaller because people travel everywhere. I can bring my little twists and find a niche for our customers and bring happiness to the people.” Keeping the core — Southerntinged gourmet — intact while adding some diversity of style and influence sounds pretty great. It will be another month or so before we know for sure. Antunes said that we can expect to start seeing his revisions to the menu in February, and additions will continue to trickle in as he trains his staff. What do we have to look forward to? “Japanese-style himache with citrus dressing, crawfish from New Orleans, Provencal salad with baby artichokes and tuna confit, some nice ceviche and tuna tartare. And of course we are in Arkansas, we need to have nice pieces of meat. I’m going to make a nice cote de boeuf, I’m going to make a beef filet with potato gnocchi and truffle sauce.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 28


JANUARY 9, 2013




LOST IN TIME: But that’s a good thing.

Old faithful Cafe Prego still delivers.


n a neighborhood that’s seen an explosion of sleek, modern restaurants and opulent housing, Cafe Prego is a welcome throwback to a simpler time. Sure, the restaurant across the road may advertise itself as an “ultra lounge,” but Prego remains the rustic, run-down charmer on the block, blanketed in vintage prints, neon beer signs, and at least three nonfunctional analog clocks. The dining room is close and cozy, lit by a hodge-podge of Christmas lights and, on the night we recently dined, the fading winter sunset. Working off some old information, we hit the dining room right after five, and while the door was open, we were politely informed that the kitchen didn’t actually start serving until 5:30. This wasn’t a big deal, as they were more than happy to start us with some drinks and salads. We ordered the Prego Salad ($3.95, a dollar more to split), a fresh plate of mixed greens, mild red onions, tomatoes, and a tangy house Italian as good as any we’ve ever had. By the time we finished with the salads, the kitchen was ready to go and we dove right into the menu. We’ve always thought that bread is the most proper way to begin a meal, and the half-order of Foccacia Bread ($1.95) at Prego is one of our favorites. The half-order is four large pieces of crispy, chewy bread served with a dish of olive oil and freshground pepper; we can’t imagine a full order for a table less than six people. The bread is piping hot, with a firm texture that

Cafe Prego

5510 Kavanaugh Boulevard 663-5355

QUICK BITE Although the decor and menu are the same, Prego is under new ownership as of December 2012, a change reflected in the enthusiasm of the staff. Husband and wife Brian Lane and Maureen Martin replaced long time owner Jacqueline Petit on Dec. 6. HOURS 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Fri., 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Sat. OTHER INFO All major CC, full bar.

goes from a crunchy, slightly oily outside to a tender, full-flavored center. The olive oil for dipping could have been one of the more floral varieties to cut the fresh pepper, but the bread was good enough that the oil was just an afterthought for us anyway. Ordering pasta is a treat at Prego: pick your favorite noodles (fettuccine, vermicelli, or penne) and then your favorite sauce from a list of classics from marinara to pesto. This mix-and-match method of ordering pasta seems so simple that we found ourselves wondering why more places don’t do pasta this way. We decided on Vermicelli Bolognese ($9.50), and were treated to a bowl of well-cooked pasta cov-

ered in a healthy amount of meat sauce. Tucking into the bowl, we discovered the downside of ordering pasta this way: the noodles were obviously cooked separate from the sauce, leaving the bolognese rather watery, lacking the necessary addition of starch that comes from finishing the noodles in the sauce. The sauce itself was tasty, if a touch sweet, but that’s more of a matter of personal preference than an actual complaint. If the bolognese had some weak points, our second dish, Tortellini Carbonara ($12.95), more than made up for them. Each bite was a wonderful combination of firm, tender pasta stuffed with savory cheese and coated with a thick cream sauce. Bits of mushroom and prosciutto round out the flavor profile of the dish to make the whole thing a decadent and delicious experience. Tortellini is notoriously prone to both drying out or getting soggy if not sauced correctly, and the Prego version threaded the needle of texture quite nicely, impressing even those of us who aren’t usually fans of tortellini or cream sauce. People who aren’t fans of basic pasta dishes can still find something worthwhile, including a rib eye steak with Cabernet demi-glace, a pork tenderloin with mustard sauce and the spinach-stuffed Chicken Roberto. There are also a couple of seafood dishes on the menu, including salmon and shrimp, as well as Italian classics like eggplant Parmesan and veal piccata. For dessert, we ordered a cup of Chocolate Creme Brulee, a dish that seems to be the most popular meal-ender in Little Rock. But if a restaurant is going to offer a dish that’s found so many other places, take Prego’s example: this was one of the best examples of creme brulee we’ve yet tried. A thin veneer of caramelized sugar over a smooth chocolate mousse delighted, and the fresh whipped cream on top brought the whole thing together into a blissed-out chocolate dream. Given the choices that surround Cafe Prego, it would be easy to overlook the small wooden house with the terrible parking, and there’s certainly nothing cutting edge or modern about the place. But if you’re like us, there are times when a cozy dining room trumps any sleek stainless steel bar, and that’s when Cafe Prego is our favorite destination. It’s down-home cooking, Italian-style, and the food, atmosphere, and staff all come together to provide a place to have some comfort food and step back from the modern world.

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.

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

BELLY UP Check out the Times’ food blog, Eat Arkansas



ACADIA A jewel of a restaurant. Unbelievable fixed-price, three-course dinners on Mondays and Tuesday, but food is certainly worth full price. 3000 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, CC. $$-$$$. 501-603-9630. D Mon.-Sat. BIG ORANGE: BURGERS SALADS SHAKES Gourmet burgers manufactured according to exacting specs (humanely raised beef!) and properly fried Kennebec potatoes are the big draws. 17809 Chenal Parkway. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-821-1515. LD daily. BLACK ANGUS CAFE Charcoal-grilled burgers, hamburger steaks and steaks proper. 10907 N. Rodney Parham. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-228-7800. LD Mon.-Sat. BOBBY’S CAFE Delicious, humungo burgers and tasty homemade deserts at this diner. 12230 MacArthur Drive. NLR. No alcohol, No CC. $. 501-851-7888. BL Tue.-Fri., D Thu.-Fri. BREWSTERS 2 CAFE & LOUNGE Downhome done right. Check out the yams, mac-and-cheese, greens, purple-hull peas, cornbread, wings and catfish. 2725 S. Arch St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-301-7728. LD Mon.-Sat. BUTCHER SHOP Several menu additions complement the calling card: large, fabulous cuts of prime beef, cooked to perfection. 10825 Hermitage Road. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-312-2748. D daily. CAJUN’S WHARF The venerable seafood restaurant serves up great gumbo and oysters Bienville, and options such as fine steaks for the non-seafood eater. 2400 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-375-5351. D Mon.-Sat. CAPERS A menu that covers a lot of ground — seafood, steaks, pasta — and does it all well. 14502 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-868-7600. LD Mon.-Sat. COPPER GRILL Comfort food, burgers and more sophisticated fare at this River Marketarea hotspot. 300 E. Third St. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-375-3333. LD Mon.-Sat. DAVE’S PLACE A popular downtown soupand-sandwich stop at lunch draws a large and diverse crowd for the Friday night dinner, which varies in theme, home cooking being the most popular. 201 Center St. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-372-3283. L Mon.-Fri., D Fri. DELICIOUS TEMPTATIONS Decadent breakfast and light lunch items that can be ordered in full or half orders to please any appetite or palate, with a great variety of salads and soups as well. 11220 N. Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-225-6893. BL daily. THE FADED ROSE The Cajun-inspired menu seldom disappoints. Steaks and soaked salads are legendary. 1619 Rebsamen Park Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-9734. LD daily. FRONTIER DINER The traditional all-American roadside diner, complete with a nice selection of man-friendly breakfasts and lunch specials. 10424 Interstate 30. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-565-6414. BL Mon.-Sat. GADWALL’S GRILL & PIZZA There’s mouthwatering burgers and specialty sandwiches, plus zesty pizzas with cracker-thin crust and plenty of toppings. 12 North Hills Shopping Center. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-8341840. LD daily. J & S CAFETERIA Home-cooking, with daily

specials. Also offers burgers from the grill or a salad bar. 601 S Gaines St. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-378-2206. L Mon.-Fri. MARKHAM STREET GRILL AND PUB The menu has something for everyone. Try the burgers, which are juicy, big and fine. 11321 W. Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-2242010. LD daily, BR Sun. RED DOOR Fresh seafood, steaks, chops and sandwiches. 3701 Old Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-666-8482. BL Tue.-Fri. D daily. BR Sat. RIVERFRONT STEAKHOUSE Steaks are the draw here — nice cuts heavily salted and peppered, cooked quickly and accurately to your specifications, finished with butter and

served sizzling hot. 2 Riverfront Place. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-375-7825. D Mon.-Sat. ROUTE 66 DINER Kid-friendly ’50s diner with a menu of classics, including chicken and waffles. 7710 Cantrell Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-223-3366. BLD Mon.-Sat. SHARKS FISH & CHICKEN This Southwest Little Rock restaurant specializes in seafood, frog legs and catfish, all served with the traditional fixings. 8824 Geyer Springs Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-565-0300. LD daily. VIEUX CARRE A pleasant spot with specialty salads, steak and seafood. The soup of the day is a good bet. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-1196. LD Mon.-Fri., D Sat., BR Sun.


A.W. LIN’S ASIAN CUISINE Traditional Chinese dishes, several Thai dishes and a variety of sushi rolls. 17000 Chenal Pkwy. 501-821-5398. LD daily. CHI’S CHINESE CUISINE Offers a broad menu that spans the Chinese provinces and offers a few twists on the usual local offerings. 5110 W. Markham St. Beer, All CC. $-$$. 501-604-7777. LD Mon.-Sat. FANTASTIC CHINA The food is delicious, the presentation beautiful, the menu distinctive, the service perfect, the decor bright. 1900 N. Grant St. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-663-8999. LD daily. MT. FUJI JAPANESE RESTAURANT The dean of Little Rock sushi bars offers a fabulous lunch special and great Monday night deals. 10301 Rodney Parham Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-227-6498. LD daily. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-227-6498. RJ TAO RESTAURANT & ULTRA LOUNGE Upscale Asian and exotic fare — like Kangaroo burgers and African prawns. 5501 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-603-0080. D Mon.-Sat. SKY MODERN JAPANESE Excellent, ambitious menu filled with sushi and other Japanese fare and Continental-style dishes. 11525 Cantrell Road, Suite 917. Full bar, All CC. $$$-$$$$. 501-224-4300. LD daily.



CHATZ CAFE ‘Cue and catfish joint that does heavy catering business. Try the slow-smoked, meaty ribs. 8801 Colonel Glenn Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-562-4949. LD Mon.-Sat. PIT STOP BAR AND GRILL A working-man’s bar and grill, with barbecue, burgers, breakfast and bologna sandwiches, plus live music on Friday and Saturday nights. 5506 Baseline Road. Full bar, No CC. $$. 501-562-9635. BLD daily. WHOLE HOG CAFE The pulled pork shoulder is a classic, the back ribs are worthy of their many blue ribbons, and there’s a six-pack of sauces for all tastes. 516 Cantrell Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-664-5025. LD Mon.-Sat. 12111 W. Markham. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-907-6124. LD daily 150 E. Oak St. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-513-0600. LD Mon.-Sat., L Sun. 5107 Warden Road. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-753-9227.


ALADDIN KABAB Persian and Mexican cuisines sound like an odd pairing, but they work fairly well together here. Particularly if you’re ordering something that features charred meat, like a kabab or gyros. 9112 N Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, All CC. 501-219-8787. LD daily. DUGAN’S PUB Serves up Irish fare like fish and chips and corned beef and cabbage alongside classic bar food. 401 E. 3rd St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-244-0542. LD daily. HIBERNIA IRISH TAVERN This traditional Irish pub has its own traditional Irish cook from Ireland. Broad beverage menu, Irish and Southern food favorites. 9700 N. Rodney CONTINUED ON PAGE 28

JANUARY 9, 2013







1 Decked out 5 Like the DVD

10 14 15 16 17 18 20 22 23 24 26 28 30 32

version of a movie, maybe Bay Area force: Abbr. Time for eggnog Challenge for movers Rock’s Mötley ___ Deice, in a way Chinese appetizer Henry VIII’s house Did some modeling Opposite of raises Line of symmetry R and R all by oneself Slop trough locale F.D.I.C. part “America’s Got Talent” network

37 39 40 42


46 49 50 52 53 55 57 59 61 64 67 68

Grade option that doesn’t affect one’s grade point average Worldwide Big work Campaign season org. Grp. joined by Albania and Croatia in 2009 When dodgeball may be played Limburger cheese quality “Shame!” Guilty one Satisfied sighs Canine coating Blessing More in need of liniment Bridal bio word Major bollix Having dual props Arena section Saab or Tahari of fashion












70 71 72 73

Feature of this puzzle’s three long Down answers Has the bug, say Fraternity letters 2010 mining disaster locale Bread with tabouli


1 Dermatologist’s

concern 2 Party with a roast pig, perhaps 3 Treat on a 69-Across 4 Betty Ford Center program, for short 5 Co. with a brown logo 6 Sips from flasks 7 Treat on a 69-Across 8 George W. Bush, selfdescriptively 9 Quantity of bricks 10 “Take a hike!” 11 Treat on a 69-Across 12 Act the crybaby 13 Singers Shannon and Reeves 19 Barbecue 21 Jazz line 25 Privateer’s domain 27 Cause of a baseball out 28 Hurling or curling 29 Nixon’s undoing in Watergate











21 24





44 50









41 46

42 47












23 26



















56 61











Puzzle by JIM HILGER

31 33 34 36 38 41 44

Dance move Cookie baker’s yield Becomes tiresome Vane dir. Start of a longdistance call Junkyard dog Near miss, perhaps

45 47 48 51 54 56 57

Bottom line Penpoint Classic muscle cars 120 yards, for a football field Spanish babies Like some beer at a bar Dance move

58 60 62 63 65 66

Messengers at Hogwarts S.A.S.E., e.g.: Abbr. Sharpie tip material Celestial beast Iran- contra org. Barely make, with “out”

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


Parham Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-246-4340. D Mon.-Fri., BR, L, D Sat.-Sun. TAJ MAHAL Offers upscale versions of traditional dishes and an extensive menu. 1520 Market Street. Beer, All CC. $$$. 501-881-4796. LD daily. THE TERRACE MEDITERRANEAN KITCHEN A broad selection of Mediterranean delights. 2200 Rodney Parham Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-217-9393. LD Mon.-Fri., D Sat.


BRAVO! CUCINA ITALIANA This upscale Italian chain offers delicious and sometimes inventive dishes. 17815 Chenal Pkwy. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-821-2485. LD daily. BR Sun. GRAFFITI’S The casually chic and ever-popular Italian-flavored bistro avoids the rut with daily specials and careful menu tinkering. 7811 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-224-9079. D Mon.-Sat. PIZZA CAFE Thin, crunchy pizza with just a dab of tomato sauce but plenty of chunks of stuff, topped with gooey cheese. 1517 Rebsamen Park Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-664-6133. LD daily. THE PIZZA JOINT Cracker-thin crusts with a tempting variety of traditional or nontraditional toppings. 6100 Stones Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-868-9108. D daily. ROCKY’S PUB Rocking sandwiches and a fine selection of homemade Italian entrees, including as fine a lasagna as there is. 6909 JFK Blvd. NLR. Beer, Wine. $$. 501-833-1077. LD Mon.-Sat. VINO’S Great rock ‘n’ roll club also is a fantastic pizzeria with huge calzones and always improving home-brewed beers. 923 W. 7th St. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-375-8466. LD daily.


BUMPY’S TEXMEX GRILL & CANTINA The menu includes Tex-Mex staples but also baby back ribs, fried fish and a grilled chicken salad. 400 N. Bowman Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-379-8327. LD daily. JUANITA’S Menu includes a variety of combination entree choices plus creative salads and other dishes. 614 President Clinton Ave. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-372-1228. LD Mon.-Sat. LA SALSA MEXICAN & PERUVIAN CUISINE Mexican and Peruvian dishes, beer and margaritas. 3824 John F. Kennedy Blvd. NLR. Full bar, All CC. 501-773-1101. LD daily. ROSALINDA RESTAURANT HONDURENO A Honduran cafe that specializes in fried chicken and fried plaintains. 3700 JFK Blvd. NLR. No alcohol, No CC. $-$$. 501-771-5559. LD daily.

WHAT’S COOKIN’, CONT. And some desserts are in the works: Kit-kat with peanut butter, crispy rice with marshmallow, crepe soufflé with passion-fruit caramel. “I have to learn the customer and after a few months I can see exactly the direction I have to take,” Antunes said. Antunes also said that he is interested in coming up with a “special treat for lunch that is very good value for the money” at Ashley’s. “I don’t want this restaurant only for special occasions. I’d like to see the restaurant busy every day like [the Capital Bar].” That’s welcome news indeed and while he was diplomatic about the Ashley’s decor (“the room is beautiful; maybe we’re going to tweak little things”), here’s hoping that the arrival of a world-class chef encourages the folks at Capital to loosen up the needlessly stuffy-hotel vibe at Ashley’s. FOR ALL THOSE OLD-TOWN BURGER-LOVERS who feel that

driving to the Promenade at Chenal is like driving to Conway, good news: Big Orange, the immensely popular West Little Rock burger joint, is expanding to midtown. John Beachboard, a partner with Scott McGehee and Herren Hickingbotham of a burgeoning restaurant group that also includes Local Lime and ZaZa (which Beachboard and McGehee own alone), confirms that the long negotiations over space along Markham and University (which we first reported on back in July 2012) have concluded. A second Big Orange is slated in the former space of Relax the Back in the open air shopping complex Midtowne Little Rock sometime early this summer. Beachboard said the Midtowne location will have more seating than the West Little Rock location with a similar allweather patio set-up as Local Lime. They’ll aim for a familyfriendly vibe, but, Beachboard said, they’re hoping to have a vibrant bar crowd, too. To that end, they’ll have 16 to 20 specialty beers on tap, and they hope to be the first restaurant in the state to offer wine on draft, casks of house red and house white that are changed constantly (draft wine is more eco friendly and fresher, according to Beachboard; it’s also really trendy). 28

JANUARY 9, 2013


Supper Soul: JANUARY 9, 2013


An Evening with The Commodores

Fund-raiser to benefit Arkansas Baptist College



eed your body and your senses by attending Supper and Soul, a fund-raiser for Arkansas Baptist College scheduled for Jan. 24 at the Statehouse Convention Center. Legendary funk/soul band The Commodores will perform from their catalog of No. 1 hits like “Nightshift”, “Brick House”, and “Three Times a Lady”. This is the third Supper and Soul event, with Al Green performing in 2010 and Gladys Knight in 2012. Event cochair Janelle Mason said it’s an occasion not to be missed. “It’s a blast,” she said. “It’s like a private concert … when the band starts up, people get up and never sit down.” It will be an evening to remember, not only for the awesome music, but because attendees will help the historically black liberal arts college expand its infrastructure to meet recent growth. Proceeds from the event will ben-

efit the college’s Growing Hope Capital Campaign, which has already funded the recent restoration of Old Main, construction of classrooms, additional men’s dormitory space, parking lots and an expanded cafeteria. Plans for 2013 include a women’s dorm and a community/student center, Mason said. Along with Mason, Beth Coulson serves as event co-chair, and Dr. Tommy and Gloria Love are honorary co-chairs. Supper and Soul, which will take place in the Wally Allen Ballroom at the convention center, will begin with a reception at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7. Tickets are $250 per person or $3,000 for a table of 10. But don’t delay in purchasing those tickets — previous events were sold out, and Mason said more tables have been purchased this year to date than in total for last year’s event. For ticket information, email Devae Lucas at devae.

Arkansas Baptist College (ABC) homecoming queen Elessie Henderson (seen here in ABC’s Old Main building) is ready to attend Supper and Soul in a gorgeous green gown from PROPOSALS. Supper and Soul: An Evening with The Commodores, a fundraiser for the college, is scheduled for 6 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Statehouse Convention Center.

hearsay ➥ FABULOUS FINDS DECORATIVE AND ANTIQUE MALL will host a huge customer appreciation sale Jan. 19-27. Fabulous Finds is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 1-5 p.m. Sunday. They are located at 2905 Cantrell Road. ➥ Help the MUSEUM OF DISCOVERY celebrate the first anniversary of its reopening following a $9.2 million renovation made possible by a Donald W. Reynolds Foundation grant. Visitors to the museum on Jan. 12-13 are invited to participate in the anniversary celebration with complimentary punch and cookies. For more information, call 501-396-7050 or visit

➥ VESTA’S, located in the Pleasant Ridge Town Center, has all of its fall and winter merchandise marked down 50 percent for a limited time. ➥ L&L BECK GALLERY’S January exhibit will be on landscapes. This month’s giclee giveaway will be a piece titles, “Sullivan’s Island - Charleston, SC”. The exhibit will run through the month of January, and the giclée drawing will be at 7 p.m. Jan. 17. ➥ If you missed the first iteration of SOHOMODERN’S New Year Sale, you have one last chance to take advantage of the 30 percent markdowns on all interior items in the store when the sale resumes Jan. 11-13. For more information, call 501-372-4884.

➥ Get your dancing shoes on for The Arts in Motion: Tango at the ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 10 at the museum. An event suited for dancers at all skill levels, dance lessons will begin at 7, and no partner is needed. Once participants have the moves down, they will be able to put their skills to use on the dance floor. The cost is $10 and free for AAC members. ➥ Now is THE time to head to Hillcrest for the start of the BOX TURTLE winter sale. With 20 percent off everything in the store, 40 percent of all winter clothing, handbags and shoes, plus 50 percent off Christmas and more, you’re sure to find something fabulous at great prices. ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT TO ARKANSAS TIMES

JANUARY 9, 2013


Getting serious


ne of my resolutions for the new year is to fill this space only with serious commentary. No more frivolity here. There’s been entirely too much of that for 20 years now. The Pulitzer jury year after year after year delivers the same weary verdict on what appears here: “Too much frivolity.” So no more kidding around. No more hoorawing. No more pulling your yang. No more joshing. No more puns. No more Indian burns or redbelly. No more bantering with the domino necks. No more laughter — guffawing or giggling or even smirking. No more levity at all. Of course that means no more of the signature riffs: No more of psycho-analyzing dog-peter gnats. No more of etymological investigations of bar pits. No more rapture scheduling. No more sorties into Ranger Wipe World. No more whipping okra. No more of Dick Morris sucking skanks’ toes, or vicey versey, or Gennifer Flowers live on the radio peeing in a brass bowl. No more chortling over pious Doughboy superficialities, over Poke flops that leave old Drumface seething, over pizza-piemen and chicken hawkers looking to phobe sales by nuggeteering scripture. No more whorehoppers hopping or dingleberries dingling or assmunchery doing its do. No more moody grass

or Win at Wynne wondering where he needed to go to find out where he was at. No more of Ol’ BOB Moi pulling down LANCASTER the big bucks for what amounts to hebdomadal jerking off. No more of political incorrectness just for the sake of being an a-hole or being thought one by the other a-holes. No more of banjo-strumming “Camptown Ladies” as the annual Boy Martyr cortege passes. No more unembarrassed hogcalling, or Sanhedrin hissing at the Passion Play. No more of taking refuge in the demimonde. No more turtle derbies. No more yarns. Hereafter this space will treat only timely, important topics, and in a dignified somber way like they do it at a funeral home. Topics like entitlements. Topics like Assad amuck. Like filibuster reform. Like disaster relief. Like outsourcing. Like torture. Like ebola. Like Mohammad cartoons. Like gun crazies. Like the moocher out-taxing the billionaire. I’d like to do this along the lines of the classical Walter Lippmann-Ernest Dumas serious commentary model, but I don’t have that particular skills set, as the coaches say. I lack the breadth, the

depth, the conscience, and the attention span, and I’m too easily distracted, but otherwise I’m good to go. Ready to give it a shot. I can promise you this: those serious topics won’t be razzed — at least not here, not any more. They won’t be parodied. They won’t be burlesqued. And they won’t be abused from the other extreme by being reduced or subjected to rant. They won’t be talk-radioed or Foxxed. They won’t be spelled with an extra e, like with Dan Quayl. If they’re Geraldoed, it won’t out of disrespect, it’ll be because I’ve been blown sideways by a hurricane and am trying to pundit in all seriousness while hanging on for dear life to a yet-unsnapped metal street-marker pole. In short, they’ll get the dourest, most ponderous public mulling that I know how to give them — the unaffected, unpompous kind of consideration that Robert Bartley and Al Newharth used to give their chosen topics. Or meant to. Or tried to. And might’ve tried harder to if they’d ever been able to remove the poker from 18 inches up their recto-versi. So that’s the plan. Grow the column from one that horses around all the time to one that shares essential wisdom. I might borrow some of the wisdom from other magi from time to time, and in fact I gleaned some from Bro. Billy Graham for this week’s inaugural Ol’ Moi Gets Serious stab.

Pronouns matter was the theme of a recent Bro. Billy religion column that appeared in the local daily. They matter to the extent that you might wake up in Hell if you repeatedly use the wrong one, the irreverent one. Bro. Billy’s concern here was that so many of the otherwise faithful have taken to making second reference to the Holy Ghost as It, rather than as Him. The Holy Ghost is a Him, not an It, Bro. Billy avers, and being called an It is something up with which a self-respecting Him is not going to put. At least not for long. It’s a small concession eschewing It and going with Him, so why not? Some good wisdom here. My only quibble would be with the implication that Bro. Billy believes the Holy Ghost has a penis. Maybe an invisible one or only a telltale pooch in the sheet, but still … . How can Bro. Billy be so confident that this is so? Do SBC evangelists have some kind of spook gaydar? My hunch is that if the Holy Ghost is nadded at all, cosmic seemliness would demand that the parts be of the hermaphroditic variety, and that overgrown with some sort of smooth organic breechclout, unlumped and uncleft, perhaps with a chia texture. This might allay suspicions of spiritual misogyny or neuterogyny, and assure believers of all genders and prefs that the H.G. — It or He or She — can be trusted to fairly represent them in Trinity parleys or executive sessions.






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