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VOLUME 40, NUMBER 15 ARKANSAS TIMES (ISSN 0164-6273) is published each week by Arkansas Times Limited Partnership, 201 East Markham Street, Suite 200, Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201, phone (501) 375-2985. Periodical postage paid at Little Rock, Arkansas, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ARKANSAS TIMES, EAST MARKHAM STREET, SUITE 200, Little Rock, AR, 72201. 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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DECEMBER 12, 2013



Food stamps important to Arkansas While Congress participates in the nation’s least entertaining yet most problematic slap fight in history, impoverished citizens of the Natural State and Arkansan food pantries are gearing up for what could be the worst season in decades. Accessibility and affordability of food, and nutritious food at that, has already had a significant impact on the Arkansas Delta, which seems to steadily be regarded as the forgotten part of our state. Although problems surrounding poverty are numerous and complex in the eastern and southeastern portions of Arkansas there is at least one minor solution to help alleviate the problem: food stamps. Food stamps are part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and have been a feature point of American farm bills for decades. Approximately one-fifth of Arkansans receive food stamps. In the Delta this number is closer to a third, including over half of the region’s children. Furthermore, two out of three counties in the Delta are considered “food deserts” in which residents of the county are so far removed from access to supermarkets that they are almost dependent on diets consisting of fast food and items from gas stations. Unfortunately for these residents, the current farm bill debate not only appears stagnant, but it seems that both sides of the aisle are calling for spending reduction in the SNAP program. To choose the lesser of two evils should definitely steer one to oppose the plans of Tom Cotton (R-Dardanelle), who seems not to care about his fellow Arkansans. While the Democraticcontrolled Senate is proposing a $4.1 billion reduction in the program over the next decade, Tom Cotton and his merry band of House Republicans are calling for a cut 10 times that size. This constituency must make their voices heard so that this region of Arkansas, as well as many other impoverished areas of the state, is not forgotten yet again. Charlie Cunningham Fayetteville

Lottery should give more to scholarships As a current student at the University of Arkansas, I know how difficult it can be to pay for tuition, books, and fees, despite the fortune of being born into a solid middle-class family. Imagine being a recent high school graduate who lives as 22 percent of all Arkansans do — under the poverty line. This is the grim reality for many entering college freshmen. The difficult and very real question they have 4

DECEMBER 12, 2013


to face is “how will I pay for college?” Most people would agree that education is the greatest equalizer of all and that a college degree provides an opportunity to rise above socio-economic boundaries. However, as college tuition has increased, the Academic Challenge Scholarship, funded largely by the state lottery, has decreased. The scholarship initially provided $5,000 per year to each qualified Arkansas student attending a four-year university. For the 2013-14 school year, the scholarship only provides $2,000 to first-year students, with an increase of $1,000 each year thereafter. These cuts are extremely

discouraging to poor students relying on this scholarship to fund their education. What is more disheartening is that these cuts could have been prevented. In April, a bill went before an Arkansas House Rules Committee to mandate that 25 percent of lottery proceeds be designated for the scholarship program. The bill failed in committee. In Arkansas, approximately 20 percent of lottery proceeds are used for scholarships, less than most other states with lotteries. This is wrong. Our investment in education must come first. Jael Kimball Rogers

From the web

In response to last week’s cover story, “The time is nigh for Razorback football and basketball to reemerge from the cellar”: College athletics at UA have to be a major drag on finances to participate in the SEC. Yes, SEC games do draw big attendances but with teams like UA has had in the past few years folks here in AR can’t be too happy about spending the money that they do to see humiliation after humiliation. Fact is that the program is weak, coaching and leadership is weak which means that the blue chip players are going elsewhere to have a chance at a possible NFL career or whatever future being an athlete at a winning school allows. Paying a no-name coach from an established program $5M to come to Fayetteville is insane. No scientist, no physician, no anybody in this state makes $5M a year (unless your name is Stephens) so WTF? Time for this state to consider making its name by economic output, business development, academic excellence or some real world measure of what people can achieve. Uldviking You’re welcome to your thought, but the numbers suggest otherwise. U of A is one of a few schools in the nation, not to mention the conference, where the athletic department consistently contributes a positive cash flow to the university. Two dismal football seasons, bad as they may be, are unlikely to disrupt that trend over the long term. I’m happy to debate the relative virtues and vices of paying coaches such salaries, but calling Bielema a no-name coach is flatly a misrepresentation of the facts. He came to Arkansas after three consecutive berths in the Rose Bowl. No one coaches a winning program in a major conference to consecutive BCS bowl games while remaining a no-name. The fact that you didn’t know who he was is abundantly clear, but your ignorance isn’t necessarily representative of the whole of college football. A small state like Arkansas can only be helped by the type of exposure a successful athletic program can offer. Likewise, a lifting of the veil of ignorance along with a diminution of unrealistic expectations for cheap and easy success — whether athletic, educational, or economic — would take us a great deal farther than most people think. Unfortunately, we’ve got plenty who don’t know what they don’t know (or, more often than not of late, either happy in their ignorance or simply unwilling to acknowledge it), and those people are by and large the ones doing the most to hold back the progress of this state. John Hubanks


Impractical donuts “But Rhodes ruled that the size of Detroit’s debts and problems made it ‘impracticable’ for Orr to negotiate concessions from creators before recommending the Chapter 9 filing to Snyder. “ ‘It is impractical to negotiate with a stone wall,’ the judge said, referring to the unions’ reticence to make concessions on the pension issue.” I’ve fought the impractical/impracticable battle before. It’s left me with scars and not much else. This is the kind of help one gets from The Cambridge Guide to English Usage: “Is an impractical suggestion the same as an impracticable one? It could be, though the two words focus on slightly different things. A practical suggestion is one which comes to grips with the situation, while a practicable suggestion is one that’s feasible and could be put into practice. The tone of the two words is different, in that practical comments and commends in a straightforward way, while practicable is more detached and academic in its assessment.” Insufficient, Cambridge. The only real aid I got from the CGEU was this: “While British writers make considerable use of both words, their American counterparts incline much more toward impractical [in all uses].” God bless America.

I’ve not only been inclined toward, I’ve always insisted on, “doughnut” as the spelling for that DOUG sweet, fried deliSMITH cacy beloved of Homer Simpson and myself. (I doubt I’d trade my soul for one doughnut, as Homer did in an episode of “The Simpsons,” but I’d think about it.) But I’m finally acknowledging that donut has practically driven doughnut from the field. Even my old Random House accepts donut as an alternate spelling. I’ll still use doughnut, but I’m through “correcting” all those people who do otherwise. Die-hards can rally around Garner’s Modern American Usage, a rather conservative source. It says: “Donut — or worse do-nut — should be reserved for eatery names and advertising.” Let me be clear that I’m lowering my standards only in terms of spelling. The old-fashioned, glazed version is the only thing that qualifies as a doughnut or a donut. If it’s dripping with chocolate, if it’s mango-flavored, if it has bacon on top, it’s something else.


It was a good week for… BIBLE THUMPING. Sen. Mark Pryor talks about the Good Book in his latest commercial. “I’m not ashamed to say that I believe in God, and I believe in his Word,” Pryor says in the ad, while holding a Bible. “The Bible teaches us no one has all the answers. Only God does. And neither political party is always right.” In response, a tone-deaf Republican flack said Pryor was contradicting an earlier statement where he’d cautioned that the Bible isn’t a “rule book for political issues.” Both Pryor and opponent U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton’s campaign condemned the flack’s comments. TOM COTTON. Another week, another fawning magazine profile of U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton. The latest was in National Journal, which described Cotton as “The Immaculate Candidate” on its cover and asked “Is Tom Cotton Too Good To Be True?” in its web headline. To answer that question, we point readers to the long and terrible record Cotton’s amassed in just a short time in the House, including his opposition to the farm bill, his push for a government shutdown and his opposition to the Violence Against Women Act.

WEIRD WEATHER. A day after temps reached into the 70s over much of Arkansas, ice and snow fell, grinding pretty much all productivity to a halt for several days. GUS MALZAHN. The Henderson State alum, ex-UA assistant and last year’s head coach of Arkansas State, led his Auburn Tigers to a victory in the SEC Championship, which vaulted the team into the national championship game.

It was a bad week for…

REGGIE CORBETT. The embattled CEO of Little Rock Wastewater Utility was put on paid administrative leave by the Sanitary Sewer Committee after the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that the utility paid nearly $12,000 to move a mobile home belonging to operations manager Stan Miller to one of the utility’s treatment facilities, where he’s been living rent-free for several weeks. The committee also put Miller on paid administrative leave. A further investigation by the committee is to follow. PARROTHEADS. Jimmy Buffett fans were forced to eat their cheeseburgers in paradise at home. Ice forced the cancellation of Buffett’s return visit to Verizon Arena.

DECEMBER 12, 2013




Brother Mark speaks


A choice, not an echo

otton might try a different tack, appealing to a bloc usually ignored. In Oklahoma City, Satanists have applied to put a tasteful statue representing their cause on the steps of the Capitol, suggesting there are voters in this previously unrecognized interest group, voters probably ready to back any candidate who solicits them. Satanists are already running things in South Carolina. But we doubt there’s a sizable satanic vote in Arkansas. Spiritually, it’s a long way from Fort Smith to that big new casino across the river. Family Council members have assured us. 6

DECEMBER 12, 2013




ow far will Mark Pryor go to show that he’s not really a Democrat, or not much of one? Call Barack Obama a Muslim? Leave his hat on in Nancy Pelosi’s office? Demand reversal of Brown v. Board of Education? (The school integration decision was a bipartisan piece of work, but Democrats got blamed for it.) Pryor has recently taken to Bible-thumping, a political tactic more commonly used by Republicans, and one often denounced by Democrats. Waving the Holy Word at viewers, a shade threateningly, the senior and only Democrat in the Arkansas congressional delegation declared in a TV ad that his Christian faith is a reason, if not the reason, for Arkansas voters to return him to the Senate. “This is my compass, my North Star,” he testified. “It gives me comfort and guidance to do what’s best for Arkansas.” He didn’t say that his opponent, Rep. Tom Cotton, was his inferior in belief, though the unspoken comparison was left lying out there for those wanted to make it. And it’s a long way to the election. Cotton himself was probably shaken by Pryor’s ploy, having been claiming that his own service in the Army is a reason, if not the reason, to promote him to the Senate. Now he finds himself trumped. Around here, the Christian soldier is more highly regarded than the secular trooper. We’ll be hearing a lot about Cotton’s religion soon. But that’s what we expect of Republican candidates. Democrats would rend Mike Huckabee in quarters for saying what Pryor did. It’s fine for a politician to be religious, and to mention it on occasion. It’s not fine for a politician to say that his religion is reason to elect him. Not in a country that reveres the separation of church and state. Still, there’s no choice in the Senate race but Pryor. He supports affordable health care and decent schools. Cotton supports tax breaks for the rich and less food for hungry children. Democrats will have to remind themselves that Pryor is one of them, no matter how hard he tries to hide it.

BRRRR: Snow, sleet and ice blanketed much of the state this past weekend, making travel (even walking) treacherous.

The personal is political


fter months of nearly wholly negative ads in the ever-lengthening race for the U.S. Senate in Arkansas, most created by outside third party groups, both the Mark Pryor and Tom Cotton campaigns took back control of their messages in the last two weeks with personal, positive ads. The style and themes of the ads tell us much about the relative strengths of their candidacies just under a year away from the election which will determine which of the two has his congressional career continue and which sees his end. Congressman Cotton went up first with an ad featuring his mother recounting holidays spent worrying about her husband in Vietnam. With just the right amount of emotion in her voice, Avis Cotton then effectively shifts to how tough her Christmases were when her son was in Afghanistan. A series of photos of Cotton in uniform then floats across the screen as she notes that after he volunteered in lieu of a promising legal career, Cotton “insisted on the infantry, just like his Dad.” The goal, of course, is to highlight Cotton’s commitment to service and the need for those “who do the hard things” to serve in Washington. Cotton’s military service was a centerpiece of his 2012 campaign in which introduced himself to his district and Cotton’s campaign believes it the answer once again as he is now presented to a statewide audience. However, as effective as his mother is as a surrogate, it is striking that Cotton himself is personally absent (excepting photos) from this ad meant to humanize him. While Cotton’s resume is impressive, his campaign badly needs to add dimensions to him as a component of his introduction to the state. Having never seen Cotton work a crowd of Arkansans, I made it to his breakfastime appearance at the Political Animals Club just before Thanksgiving. His speech was a machinelike and well-delivered attack on Obamacare, exhibiting very little in the way of humor, passion or personality. In her cover article on Cotton this week, a writer for the National Journal oddly romanticized this aspect of the Cotton presence, noting the Congressman’s “stilted epistolary style, even with some of his closest friends.” Personal mysteriousness is not a recipe for success in this state’s electoral arena. Arkansas politics has unquestionably turned a page from the days when a candidates’ electoral fate was determined solely by an ability to relate to Arkansans at county square “speakings” and in country diners, but Cotton has to find a way to connect with voters himself rather than employing emissaries. In contrast, if Pryor is to pull out what is increasingly seen as a race where he is the underdog, it will

be because of a reaffirmed ability to relate to rank-and-file Arkansans. It’s crucial to note that a key to Pryor’s 2002 victory in a tough electoral environment for his party was how well — and how personJAY ally — he used the media. Reserved BARTH but eminently likable, Pryor, with mannerisms of his beloved father, performed amazingly well when talking directly to the television camera, the high-tech version of the state’s traditional retail politics. Looking older than the man elected in 2002, that Pryor was back this week with a large buy on stations across the state in an ad lit in a manner meant to reassert this warmth. Some of the most memorable Pryor ads from 2002 focused on the same theme found here — how his Christian faith guides his service: “[The Bible] is my compass. My North Star. It gives me comfort and guidance to do what’s best for Arkansas.” Pryor’s public embrace of his religious faith has made home-state secular progressives cool to the senior senator across his electoral career. As they grimaced again, national progressives went a tad apoplectic about the Pryor spot. In a column titled “The Bible as Bludgeon,” New York Times columnist Frank Bruni noted the ad’s “silliness” and the way it exhibited a more troubling entanglement of Christianity in electoral politics. No matter the accurateness of the broader critique, what these observers miss is Pryor’s authenticity in delivering a message that resonates with Arkansans across most social and political lines. As the ad closes, Pryor strongly avers, “This is who I am and what I believe.” He’s also a cagey politician, for the more outside political commentators attack his on his public expression of religion (be they columnists for the Times or operatives from the National Republican Senatorial Committee), the more that Pryor’s provincial “he’s one of us” theme is reaffirmed. National publications went to a new level of intensity in their coverage of the Pryor-Cotton race this week. In addition to the National Journal’s cover story on Cotton, front page articles ran in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. Just as it’s clear that the Arkansas contest may determine control of the Senate, it is also clear that Pryor’s advantage as a messenger will be one thing that keeps him in the game.

Max Brantley is on vacation.


The poor, with us again in 2014


merica’s poor have risen and fallen as objects of politics in cycles of 30 to 50 years, and in the era of Barack Obama and the tea party they have scaled yet another peak. The great battles of our time are altogether about whether to provide federal subsidies to buy health insurance for people who are too poor to afford it and whether to reduce or eliminate the government’s food aid, unemployment benefits, housing assistance and Medicare and Social Security benefits — the safety net that is supposed to relieve people of the circumstances of low incomes and meager assets. But for one side in this ancient skirmish, which we may generically refer to as the Republican Party, the terms of the poverty argument are starkly different from the past. The argument was always what to do about the underclass, what with all the Bible’s pronouncements about the prevalence of the poor and its exhortations that the privileged of society help them, sometimes with heaven or hell as the reward or punishment for doing so or not. Democrats proposed government intervention to help the poor — Social Security, unemployment insurance, the minimum wage, work programs and food and credit

relief in the Great Depression’s New Deal and the antipoverty programs of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. ERNEST Republicans had DUMAS a different, often vaguer, approach that generally included a smaller government role, but they did have an approach. President Nixon’s antidote to poverty and to the failures of Johnson’s Great Society was a universal health insurance program, much like Obama’s except it would have put the burden on all American employers to provide health insurance for their employees with the government taking care of the others. He proposed a guaranteed minimum income for all workers — the government, of course, providing the guarantee. Democrats didn’t give him the pleasure on either plan, although another Republican, Ronald Reagan, carried through modestly in 1986 on Nixon’s idea of a guaranteed income: the earned-income tax credit. Reagan bragged that he had achieved the biggest antipoverty program in history. He sent checks to people who didn’t earn enough to pay much if any federal income

Tis the season to remember the wall


e have just enough religion to make us hate,” wrote Jonathan Swift “but not enough to make us love one another.” A lifelong religious controversialist, the 18th century Irish satirist definitely knew whereof he wrote. After all, it’s fewer than 20 years since Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland quit dynamiting each other’s gathering places. Even here in the United States, it often seems that picking fights over religion increases during the Christmas season. Everywhere you look, somebody’s insulting somebody else’s religion. To me, the cultural left’s only marginally better than the right. I recently witnessed a remarkable online colloquy concerning a Catholic organization’s shipping 3,000 rosaries to the Philippines to victims of Typhoon Haiyan, “so that they can thank God” as one cynic wrote. “Do these people ever use their minds for one second?” one person asked. “Hearing this is thoroughly depressing. It shows how ignorant and warped so many people are and how daunting is the amount

of education there needs to be to cure the world.” Cure it of what, I wondered. Of typhoons? Of charGENE ity? Or merely of LYONS belief? Almost needless to say, Roman Catholic churches worldwide were taking up special collections for storm victims in that largely Catholic nation — along with religious and humanitarian organizations worldwide. News flash: the world will never be cured. Meanwhile, how this kind of free-floating rage differs from Bible-beating preachers who blame earthquakes and tornadoes on other people’s sexual sins escapes me. The main characteristic of the fundamentalist mind is an inability to refrain from expressing contempt for beliefs different from one’s own — whether one’s spiritual leader is Pat Robertson or Christopher Hitchens. Which brings us back to Sarah Palin’s remarkable appearance at the late Jerry

taxes. 2012 Republicans, following the lead of Mitt Romney, looked askance at the people Reagan bragged about helping — the freeloading 47 percent who didn’t, in 2011, owe income taxes. For three years, during the angriest national debate since secession, over whether the government should try to provide health insurance for people who can’t afford it, economic reports have steadily announced a widening disparity in incomes, a sharp growth in poverty, especially among children, a downward plunge in the prosperity of the median American and a rise in homelessness. Democrats have offered nothing new, except health reform and a continuation of the safety net, while Republicans, or at least the outspoken varieties, have offered something new, denial: Poverty is not a problem, or not one that begs to be solved, and those who are labeled as poor really don’t have it bad at all. The real problem is government efforts to help the poor. At root, that is the debate in 2014 elections across the country, including races for Congress here in Arkansas, notably the expensive battle for the Senate between the evangelical Sen. Mark Pryor, who cites the teachings of Jesus, and Rep. Tom Cotton,

who joined the fight to slash food aid, unemployment, Medicaid and Medicare. The slick ads put it in more elegant terms (it’s all about Barack Obama), but that is the fight. Both the deniers and the defenders are armed with research from the dueling ranks of academic economists, which tender their views in lengthy tracts and in op-ed articles in the likes of the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. Economists at George Mason University and the University of Michigan-Flint — and others as well — make the case that the life of the poor and the middle class has not been worsening and is much better than it seems. While middleand lower-class incomes have indeed been stagnant for quite some time while the rich get far richer, the inequality between what people actually consume from week to week — a measure of their relative well-being — has not been growing at all in recent years. The other side is not bereft. Joseph Stiglitz, former chief economist of the World Bank, wrote a piece contending that rapidly rising disparities in income and wealth was wreaking havoc on the country’s well-being and its future and is the principal reason for the nation’s economic collapse in 2008 and its continuing torpor. And then there are your own eyes. When food stamps were slashed Nov. 1, soup kitchens and food banks from Little Rock to New York City were overwhelmed.

Falwell’s Liberty University last week — ity scenes at courthouses, city halls and the last stop on a tour publicizing her book state capitols around the country are about. “Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting Instead, they’re about an “establishment of the Heart of Christmas.” religion” that the same First Amendment “I say in a very jolly Christmasy way,” categorically forbids. the Alaskan babbler claims “that, ‘Enough In typical scattershot fashion, Palin even invoked Virginia’s own Thomas is enough.’ Say enough is enough with this politically correct police out there that is Jefferson, a conventionally pious Foundacting to erode our freedom to celebrate ing Father in her mind, who would, like, and exercise our faith. Some Scrooge totally object to the persecution of people wants to force Christ out of Christmas like her who can’t make everybody admit and wants to ban Jesus out of the reason that their God is America’s God: for the season?” “I think Thomas Jefferson would cerTo hear Palin tell it, there’s a veritable tainly recognize it and stand up and he army of “angry atheists armed with an wouldn’t let anybody tell him to sit down attorney” who “want to try to abort Christ and shut up.” Now it’s definitely true that Jefferson from Christmas” by filing lawsuits “when they see a plastic Jewish family on some- was rarely shy about his religious views. body’s lawn — a nativity scene, that’s basi- Courtesy of Martin Longman in Washcally what it is right?” ington Monthly, here’s his opinion about Actually, no. what Palin calls “the reason for the seaBut never mind theology, here’s the son” from an 1823 letter to John Adams: deal: If Palin or anybody else can provide “the day will come when the mystical gena single, verifiable instance of somebody eration of Jesus, by the supreme being as being successfully sued for exhibiting a his father in the womb of a virgin will be crèche, a cross or any religious symbol classed with the fable of the generation of on private property anywhere in the U.S., Minerve in the brain of Jupiter.” they’d have something to complain about. Like Swift, Jefferson recognized the They’d also have the certain support dangers of religious strife. That’s precisely of the American Civil Liberties Union in why, he assured Connecticut Baptists in defense of their First Amendment rights. 1802, the First Amendment decreed “a wall But of course that’s not what these (to of separation between church and State.” A wall that protects us still. my mind overblown) fights over

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Is Michael Qualls the answer?


s Arkansas basketball has meandered toward irrelevancy over the years, there have two common contributing themes: 1. The Hogs have had a long-standing and pressing need for perimeter shooting, one that Rotnei Clarke was recruited specifically to resolve; and 2. The team has been, by and large, bereft of a true “floor general,” who can almost by himself alter the trajectory of any given game with an emotion-swinging play. Mike Qualls, are you that guy? Because so far in 2013-14, a genuinely pivotal campaign for the health of the program and whatever legacy Mike Anderson may cultivate here, it seems that the sophomore from Shreveport has the “it” factor. Even mega-talents like Joe Johnson and Ronnie Brewer, Jr. weren’t quite able to fit comfortably into the mold of team leader. That wasn’t necessarily an indictment of how they played in their time on the Hill: both shined plenty, but there was substantial team dysfunction in the way. Qualls happens to play on a team that, so far, seems to be a lot more enthusiastic and organized on the court. The vestiges of the John Pelphrey era are fading, and in its place, there’s a team with an actual nucleus and pulse. Off to a mostly commendable 6-2 start, these Razorbacks look far more engaged, and it’s largely stemming from the energy that transfer Alandise Harris has brought, and the myriad gifts that Qualls has displayed. He’s a likable character, too, anything but generic with his long wingspan, acrobatic flushes and distinctive hairstyle. When last year’s team was felled by another late-season swoon, Qualls was actually in full flourish as a player, scoring when he had to but mostly giving the squad whatever boost he could on the glass (11 boards against Tennessee, for instance) and on the defensive end (three blocks in a narrow loss at LSU). The effort that he gave was enough that it forced Anderson to wrest minutes away from other, more experienced players, and it’s what gave the lanky guard momentum going into a new year. Qualls has started this season afire, and it isn’t just the fact that he’s hit double figures in every game, but the shocking efficiency he’s shown. In an era where the average two-guard lofts

too many shots to net too few points, Qualls is the antithesis. He’s hoisting less than 10 attempts BEAU per game, which WILCOX is a testament to a mature brand of shot selection rather than a reticence to pull the trigger. His 55 percent shooting from the field is evidence enough of the strides he’s made, but when you factor in his excellent three-point stroke and free throw accuracy thus far (50 percent and 81 percent, respectively), you get a more complete picture of what may well become a complete player. The stat line he flaunted in the weekend win over Clemson, a possible tournament-quality team, was unimpeachable: 6-7 shooting, including two successful tries from long range, and six rebounds and two assists in only 27 minutes. Being a discriminating shooter is one thing, but Qualls is also fiendishly careful with the ball for someone with such dynamic abilities, turning it over only once in that game and only 13 times all season. So, sure, the competition thus far hasn’t been daunting. But if any truism has emerged in the last few years, it’s that the vault from non-conference play to SEC games isn’t quite what it once was. And that’s where the measure of Qualls’ progress will genuinely be on display. Arkansas is more than capable of contending for conference supremacy, because this is again a bottom-heavy league that likely won’t place more than four teams in the NCAA tourney field. Despite the softened quality of the league generally, Arkansas hasn’t been able to secure enough road wins and has been tagged by agonizing, bad losses. That’s why this team will continue to go as Qualls goes. When he committed to play for Anderson two years ago, he was something of a mystery, a threestar guy whose YouTube clips suggested five-star skill. Now that he is performing at a level commensurate with his gifts, he may have already evolved into the best asset of the post-Richardson era, physically well-rounded but, most importantly, court-savvy beyond his experience.


Icepocalypse diary THE OBSERVER is seriously thinking about getting another cat. Mr. Kitty, grand old man of The Observatory, was fairly normal when he came there from the animal shelter 10 years back: a skinny black feline with a white patch on his chest, rescued on New Year’s Day, selected because he was the only cat in the shelter who didn’t ignore us like hired help as we walked past their cages. His name on the card was “Nightmare,� but that seemed to Spouse an invitation to drapery disaster, so the name was struck on the drive home, our new kitty yowling dejectedly in a cat carrier in the back seat. After a week of trying to come up with a new nom de chat for him — in which The Observer offered Monkey, Bill, General Beauregard, Gunpowder and Spot, all vetoed by our Beloved — she eventually settled on what she’d been calling him for days: Mr. Kitty. It’s a good thing the names of both The Observer’s grandpas were available when Junior was born, we told her, or else the poor lad would have been known as “Mister Baby� for the rest of his days. The Observer was always a dog person, but Mr. Kitty has grown on us over the years, always calm and sedate, ready to camp on a lap or the arm of a chair whenever there’s petting to be done. He loves to be patted, unlike most cats, for whom such behavior would probably be considered an act of war. He hovers over Yours Truly like Florence Nightingale whenever we’re feeling sickly, to the point that we suspect he’s preparing to eat us if we take a turn for the worse. One issue, however, is that as he’s grown on his owner, he’s also plain ol’ grown. He started out a normal-sized kitten, but over the years he’s become positively prodigious in size, toes hanging off one end of the ottoman and furry behind off the other, 20-plus pounds, beagle-sized, thick-necked, so big that we’d never let him outside for fear he’d be mistaken for one of the legendary black panthers that are said to have once roamed Arkansas and taken down by trophy hunters. We can’t figure it out. All he gets is one mediumsized bowl of dry cat food and a bowl of plain water every day. Unless he’s ordering out for pizza while we’re at work, he must have the damndest metabolism known to science. Even so, cats don’t live forever, especially

not those who are burning the growth candle at both ends (please send your letters suggesting diet cat food and kitty exercise routines to: Fat Cat, Republican Party Headquarters, Little Rock, AR). And so, it’s time to go from being a one-kitty household to a two-kitty household, God help us. How will the Panther of Maple Street take it? Time will tell, but we’re not letting him in on the plan until we bring home his new sibling Monkey or Bill or Max or Jesus Cat: Superstar. The Observer is handling the handle this time, friends. There’ll be no Mr. Kitty Jr. in our household. SPEAKING OF THE PASSAGE OF TIME, over the weekend, at the height of the Great 2013 Icepocalypse, The Observer’s dryer conked out. Push the start button, and it would only make a choked electric hum, with no spin and no fluff. With the clothes mounded up, we did the only thing a man can do: We pushed it into the middle of the kitchen, dug a screwdriver out of the junk drawer, tumped the dryer over on its face and gutted the beast right there, Spouse looking on warily and speaking ominously of house fires and electrocution. With the sheet metal backplate off and then the housing for the blower fan removed, we soon found the problem: double handfuls of wooden number two pencils, all of them broken to splinters and mulched in the dryer’s blower motor. Shards of at least a dozen, remnants of Junior’s tendency to shove a scribble stick in his pocket at school and then forget it there. Seems the holes in the dryer tumbler were the perfect size for a pencil to shoot through. Over the 10 years Junior has been incarcerated in the Temple of Learning, we’d collected quite a logjam. We were so touched by the sight of them all — red, green, familiar yellow, a kind of hidden clock that marked his age and progress — that we didn’t even mind cleaning them out. We will, however, frisk him thoroughly from now on when he comes in from school. As an added bonus, we plugged the dryer in, and it worked flawlessly. As of this writing, it hasn’t burned down The Observatory yet. Until it does, somebody owes this Handyman plentiful huzzahs and kisses. We’re looking in your direction, Spouse.

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Arkansas Reporter



Tommy Hodges, the developer of Otter Creek, earned deserved High Profile treatment in Sunday’s Democrat-Gazette for his decades-long pursuit of retail development there. The Arkansas Blog has saluted him before for doggedly working through an earlier bankruptcy and other setbacks in landing a Bass Pro Shops, now open, and now building a retail outlet mall, the Gateway Town Center. But we were surprised to learn that Hodges’ representation to the Arkansas Blog that the project was being done without Tax Incrementation Finance District (TIF) money some months ago has undergone a change. The city board of directors will hold a public hearing Dec. 17 on a plan to use TIF district authorization granted with little thought back in 2003 for an earlier unsuccessful plan to divert property tax revenue created by the new development into road improvements. City Manager Bruce Moore also happened to have omitted TIF plans when he told Times senior editor Max Brantley the city would contribute some economic development money to the project. State highway money was a certainty from the outset given the location at an already problematic junction of I-30 and I-430. What’s not to like about this? There are questions to consider. Most of the property tax money diverted to the project will come out of Little Rock School District millage — 9 mills not otherwise obligated to bond debt. An important legal question remains on whether any TIF district can constitutionally capture money voted for school taxes from schools. The Supreme Court left that question standing in an important Fayetteville case that put the first 25 mills of school taxes completely off limits. Have other commercial developers enjoyed improvement to roads in front of their developments; traffic signals and the like? By allowing this TIF district for this project is the city opening the doors to wholesale raids on school tax money for the benefit of other private developers? In an online description of the plan, the city asserts that the developer will still pay a majority of infrastructure costs and notes the school district will capture some increased revenue on 12 mills dedicated to bonds or ruled off-limits already. The city description is a bit disingenuous. It claims 37 mills of Little Rock’s school tax levy will enjoy increased revenue. Actually, 25 of those mills are the state’s base charge. The entire state effectively enjoys the benefit of that increased revenue because the CONTINUED ON PAGE 11 10

DECEMBER 12, 2013



The TIF question


Strong-arm tactics Realtors lobby goes after law professor. BY DAVID RAMSEY


hen it comes to the rights of tenants, Arkansas has among the most imbalanced laws in the nation, according to University of Arkansas at Little Rock law professor Lynn Foster. Foster served on a commission on landlord-tenant laws that recommended various reforms earlier this year. Not everyone was happy with the report — despite having a member serve on the commission, the Arkansas Realtors Association fired off a letter last October to Michael Schwartz, Dean of the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law, complaining about Foster’s work on the commission and other activities. Schwartz quickly determined that Foster had done nothing wrong. So why did the realtors lobby send a heavy-handed letter to the law school expressing “grave concerns” and alleging “a serious breach of the public trust”? The Arkansas Non-Legislative Commission on the Study of Landlord-Tenant Laws was created by the 2011 General Assembly to analyze landlord-tenant laws in Arkansas and other states and make recommendations. Foster was a vice chair of the commission and the primary author of its final report, which was submitted in January of this year. The report found that “Arkansas’s residential landlord-tenant law is significantly out of balance” and that “Arkansas residential tenants have significantly fewer rights than tenants in

any other state.” For example, Arkansas is the only state in the nation that makes failure to pay rent a criminal violation and the only state in the nation that does not require landlords to maintain safe, sanitary and fit premises for tenants to live in. The report made 15 recommendations, suggesting reforms to address those failings, as well as improving the civil eviction procedure, disallowing certain “unconscionable” provisions in leases, prohibiting “retaliatory evictions” when landlords evict a tenant who exercises legal rights and other suggestions for reform. The 10 members of the commission were, broadly speaking, split five-five between members with a background in the interests of landlords and members inclined to create additional protections for tenants. The commission’s 15 recommendations, and the report as a whole, were unanimously approved by all 10 commissioners. “It was a really diverse task force,” said commission member Jay Barth, a political science professor at Hendrix (and a columnist with Arkansas Times). “By the end everybody learned a lot. We worked together well. Those of us who were concerned about the potential abuse of tenants gained a lot of knowledge about how frustrating it can be for a landlord in terms of folks not paying their rent and there’s no

good process in Arkansas for getting that done. Conversely, I think some of the landlord folks in the room came to see some concerns about the potential abuse of tenants and the reality that in certain cases there are bad actors in the landlord community.” Barth said that, after the eight-month process, he believed the commission, despite some areas of disagreement, had found common ground. “There was a lot of consensus,” he said. “Everybody was giving up a little something and the system was going to be a lot better for everybody.” Commission Chair Stephen Giles, a Little Rock real estate attorney, agreed: “We got that cooperation from everybody. Everyone had a chance to chime in, object, or offer suggestions.” However, just a few weeks after the report was delivered to the governor and leaders in the House and Senate, five of the commission members released a “letter of clarification,” stating that “we have found it necessary to write a separate letter, as we do not believe the final report clearly reflected all viewpoints.” Foster said she was taken aback by this follow-up letter — which was not discussed with the other members of the commission — since all members had voted on the recommendations after a great deal of discussion. Everyone, she said, had seen the final language in the report, which had been tweaked multiple times after suggestions from commission members, including from members who signed the new letter. Foster kept the relevant e-mails confirming that the report’s recommendations were unanimous and that all members had voted to approve. “Everybody was willing to work together in that room,” Barth said. “I think when things got out of that room, something happened.” One of the signatories of the “letter of clarification” was Howard Warren, of the Landlords Association of Arkansas. Warren, in a comment on the Arkansas Blog a little more than a week prior to the release of the follow-up letter, wrote of the commission report: “The bottom line is that this document, while not perfect, is one that was unanimously agreed to by members both pro-tenant and pro-landlord. It is not actual legislation … it is still possible for bad legislation to be run. But it is a good place to start from.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 12





On Friday, evangelical pastors from across the country will gather at a conference at the Statehouse Convention Center. You’ll want to give them a wide berth. These aren’t run-of-the-mill evangelicals. The Arkansas Renewal Project conference is the latest gathering of pastors as part of anti-gay, Christian-Nation absolutist David Lane’s American Renewal Project. Lane is a political operative from California who’s credited with helping tilt the 2008 Iowa caucus for Mike Huckabee and ousting three Iowa Supreme Court justices after the court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage. He’s been linked to Rick Perry and Rand Paul. His mission is simple. He wants a culture war. “My intent is to put God, prayer and the Bible back into public schools as a principal component of education,” he’s written. There may be some casualties along the way, he warns. “The message to our federal representatives and senators? Vote to restore the Bible and prayer in public schools or be sent home. Hanging political scalps on the wall is the only love language politicians can hear.” Mike Huckabee will serve as the conference’s keynote speaker. Pastors from Iowa and South Carolina plan to meet with Huckabee to talk about him running for president in 2016, according to USA Today. Considering some of the things some of the other scheduled speakers have said (see below), there’s a better chance than usual Huckabee won’t give the conference’s craziest speech. But judge for yourself.

DAVID LANE American Renewal Project organizer; Ralph Reed 2.0. “As to the future of America — and the collapse of this once-Christian nation — Christians must not only be allowed to have opinions, but politically, Christians must be retrained to war for the Soul of America and quit believing the fabricated whopper of the “Separation of Church and State,” the lie repeated ad nauseum by the left and liberals to keep Christian America — the moral majority — from imposing moral government on pagan public schools, pagan higher learning and pagan media.” “Where are the champions of Christ to save the nation from the pagan onslaught imposing homosexual marriage, homosexual scouts, 60 million babies done to death by abortion and red ink as far as the eye can see on America? Who will wage war for the Soul of America and trust the living God to deliver the pagan gods into our hands and restore America to her Judeo-Christian heritage and re-establish a Christian culture?” WILLIAM FEDERER A three times failed Congressional candidate from Missouri; billed as a “historian.” On the threat of the radical homosexual agenda: “There are just a couple steps before the military could be used in a persecution of those that are viewed as enemies of the new state belief system.” Theorizing on a possible pre-election gambit by President Obama: “If he’s feeling desperate come November, President Barack Obama just might create a pretext to launch a war with Iran, then seize control of radio, television and Internet signals to ensure his reelection.” “So the question is, was Benghazi just inept actions by our government, was it something to put down negative speech that could affect the President’s reelection campaign or was it an Alinsky tactic to push an agenda to forbid free speech insulting Islam? We’re talking about a global goal of establishing Sharia law and we came very, very close to it happening right after the Benghazi attempt with this effort to forbid free speech insulting Islam.” DAVID BARTON Republicans’ favorite pseudo-historian, infamous for inventing supporting evidence to support myths to match current Republican doctrine. His latest book, “The Jeffer-

son Lies,” portrayed Thomas Jefferson as an orthodox Christian who didn’t believe in separating church and state. After critics pointed out the book’s factual flaws, Christian publisher Thomas Nelson pulled it. “… it is God and not man who establishes the borders of nations. National boundaries are set by God. If God didn’t want boundaries, he would have put everyone in the same world and there would have been no nations; we would have all been living together as one group and one people. That didn’t happen. From the Tower of Babel, he sent them out with different languages, different cultures. God’s the one who drew up the lines for the nations, so to say open borders is to say ‘God, you goofed it all up and when you had borders, you shouldn’t have done it’ ... And so, from a Christian standpoint, you cannot do that. God’s the one who establishes the boundaries of nations.” “We have a Department of Health and Human Services; we have health care bills; we have health insurance and we’re trying to stop all unhealthy things so we’re going after transfats and we’re going after transparency in labeling to make sure we get all the healthy stuff in there. … If I got to the Centers for Disease Control and I’m concerned about health, I find some interesting stats there and this should tell me something about health. Homosexual/bisexual individuals are seven times more likely to contemplate or commit suicide. Oooh, that doesn’t sound very healthy. Homosexuals die decades earlier than heterosexuals. That doesn’t sound healthy. Nearly one-half of practicing homosexuals admit to five hundred or more sex partners and nearly one-third admit to a thousand or more sex partners in a lifetime.… I mean, you go through all this stuff, sounds to me like that’s not very healthy. Why don’t we regulate homosexuality?” “You can’t drink Starbucks and be biblically right.” “Jesus did not like the minimum wage.” (Other things the Bible doesn’t approve of, according to Barton: progressive taxation, the capital gains tax, the estate tax, net neutrality.) MIKE HUCKABEE Florida TV personality “I almost wish there would be a simultaneous telecast and Americans would be forced…at gunpoint to listen to David Barton.”

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

INSIDER, CONT. money it produces offsets the base support the state provides each school district. It is money the district is not getting. It goes to the state. Every school dollar is important, particularly as the Little Rock district looks to a future loss of millions in state desegregation aid. Equal treatment of developers is also important, however elated we might be about a regional shopping lure in Southwest Little Rock.

Save the dates

Dec. 17 is the date for a long-delayedby-Mark-Martin legal filibustering of the FOI lawsuit filed by the Blue Hog Report’s Matt Campbell that arose from the office’s illegal use of outside counsel to defend the variety of legal screwups in which Martin seems to often find himself. Dec. 18 is the date the state Ethics Commission has set for a probable cause hearing on whether Lt. Gov. Mark Darr violated a slew of rules and statutes related to spending of, and accounting for, campaign money. The Ethics Commission review is apart from review of Darr’s spending of state taxpayer money in his expense account on travel unrelated to his official duties. In theory, the Division of Legislative Audit gets first look at that. Some day. Presuming the Republican-dominated SWAT team can be bothered to review a Republican politician.

ALEC time

As winter weather grinded nearly all state business to a halt in Arkansas last week, a handful of state legislators stayed busy at the annual American Legislative Exchange Council States & Nation Policy Summit. They had the opportunity to rub elbows with the likes of Paul Ryan and Ted Cruz and attend workshops with titles like “Expanding Medicaid: Compassionate or Corrosive?” and “The Solution: A Convention Of States To Restrain the Power, Scope, and Jurisdiction of The Federal Government.” Sens. Jane English, Michael Lamoureux, Jason Rapert and Jonathan Dismang and Reps. Justin Harris and David Meeks were among those who attended. A Senate spokesperson confirmed its attendees. The House said it couldn’t confirm its members who attended until after they returned and submitted reimbursement forms. Harris and Meeks talked about attending the conference on Twitter. The House and Senate will compensate all members who submit reimbursement forms for the expense of the conference.

DECEMBER 12, 2013


STRONG-ARM TACTICS, CONT. So did Warren have a change of heart? “The recommendations were unanimously passed, yes,” Warren said in an interview for this article. But he said there were subtle disagreements about word choice. “The reason for the letter of clarification was that we wanted people to understand that we voted unanimously on the recommendations but we may have slightly different opinions about the implementation of those recommendations.” Warren said that he was comfortable with what had been turned in but “we began getting questions from outside entities … we went back and looked at the language and realized some of the language was vague … the letter of clarification states yes, the five of us agreed with the commission recommendations but here are further details that did not make it into the report.” However, the substantive points raised in the letter of clarification don’t conflict with the report at all and are explicitly addressed in the report’s language. For example: The letter of clarification states that the five signatories would only be open to ending the criminal eviction statute if the process of civil eviction was reformed first. But the report, while acknowledging that five of the commissioners thought that criminal evictions could be eliminated immediately, clearly states that their unanimous recommendation is dependent on precisely that timing: “the Commission recommends the failure to vacate statute should not be repealed until a valid, satisfactory civil eviction statue for residential landlords is in place.” When asked about the fact that the issues raised in the letter of clarification merely echo what’s already in the original report, Warren said that his hope was to emphasize certain aspects of the report that people might have misinterpreted.

“The letter of clarification is not a minority report or an opposition report,” he said. “From my perspective, it was to reinforce certain points that might have been buried in the 38-page document.” The Arkansas Realtors Association, however, seems to have stronger disagreement with the commission’s findings. In their letter to Dean Schwartz they wrote, “Professor Foster, in her report, said the Task Force’s conclusions were ‘unanimous.’ In fact, five members of the ten member task force had such strong opposition to the commission’s ‘unanimous’ findings, they wrote and signed their own ‘Letter of Clarification.’ ” The letter accuses Foster of taking “what ARA believes to be inappropriate actions to promote her viewpoint over other Task Force members.” The ARA had a representative on the commission — Robin Miller — who approved the original recommendations along with other commission members. Miller declined to be interviewed for this article. The letter to the law school was signed by Wally Loveless, chairman of the ARA’s legislative committee, and Bill Olson, president of the ARA. In addition to complaints about the commission, the letter states that “we believe it is improper for a state employee to use state time, state resources and state facilities to promote a personal policy agenda” and claims that Foster “has actively engaged in lobbying against legislative positions of ARA.” Loveless and Olson complain about a symposium held at the law school on landlord-tenant law and claim that “Foster has recently been involved with Representative Jim Nickels’ attempt to repeal Arkansas’s non-judicial foreclosure laws.” The letter requests “that appropriate action be taken to ensure that the citizens of Arkansas can be confident

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their tax dollars are not funding activities to advance personal agendas of a state employee.” Schwartz replied to the ARA with his own letter, writing that “your letter reflects a misunderstanding of the idea of academic freedom and of the job expectations of law professors” and, noting that Foster had e-mail records of the commission’s deliberations, stated that “it appears you have been misinformed about the process and interactions of the … [Commission]. ... The errors concern me greatly because, based on those errors, your letter wrongly impugns Professor Foster’s character.” The ARA has not replied. ARA members declined to be interviewed for this article but Loveless sent the following statement by e-mail: “We have a fundamental disagreement on this issue and will continue to work to ensure that tenants in Arkansas enjoy among the lowest rental rates in the nation. We will also continue to support local option rules for cities and communities and will oppose any statewide mandates that are not in the best interests of tenants and landlords.” For her part, Foster said that she found the notion that she was some kind of rogue lobbyist “incredible.” She said she was not directly involved in the bills in the 2013 legislative session based on the commission’s findings. Amy Johnson, executive director of Arkansas Access to Justice (not a member of the commission), worked with Sen. Jon Woods (R-Springdale) to bring forward those bills, which ended up going nowhere. According to Warren, of the Landlords Association of Arkansas, the Woods bills were “absolutely unacceptable” to landlords and went beyond what had been agreed upon by the commission. Foster, Johnson, Warren, and others worked



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together on possible alternatives before eventually deciding there wasn’t time to complete a bill during the session. Foster said she wasn’t surprised that no legislation came out of the commission’s recommendations in 2013. “To rush into bills when we didn’t get our work finished until the eve of the session, it’s just too fast,” she said. As for the Nickels bills on non-judicial foreclosure laws, which are unrelated to the commission’s work and were referred to interim study, Foster said that she was approached by Nickels after the session because of an article she had written on the subject. In fact, Foster said, she doesn’t even oppose non-judicial foreclosure laws. “I think it’s possible that you could tweak the procedures but anything like that would need to studied and examined,” she said. The letter to the law school is not the first time that the ARA has used aggressive tactics and language regarding landlord-tenant laws. A recent KATV news item reported on an internal fundraising letter penned by Loveless regarding the Woods bills: “We have won the battle of 2013 Landlord Tenant engagement. All three bills will not make it out of committee. However, one of the big movers and shakers has issued a call to action to get more organized and funded for the 2015 session. If there was ever any question we are in a war — not a battle.” Foster said that the real issue when it comes to the commission on landlordtenant law is whether the state will bring balance to the law. “Do we want to take a look at our law and have a serious discourse about whether it should be changed and how?” she asked. “The commission was the first step. That’s the question for Arkansas, do we want to take the next step?”

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PEOPLE WHO NEED PEOPLE There are many, and you can help the social service agencies who help them. BY LESLIE NEWELL PEACOCK


hen the Arkansas Times put out its first annual philanthropy issue a couple of decades ago, we focused on big givers: People of great wealth, like Jack Stephens, who were showing other Arkansans how to give. At that time, Stephens’ gift — $5 million — to the Arkansas Arts Center was a sum almost unheard of, particularly in the arts. Since then, we’ve written about the grantmaking institutions created by the Waltons and the Walmart millionaires that have created colleges, established medical institutes and built a museum and hung art on its walls. Now we’re talking a billion dollars when we’re talking about that arts institution up in Bentonville, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. This issue includes, as always, major gifts gleaned from the 2012 tax returns of non-profit grantmakers and announced gifts. But it has a new focus: On the people who have been helped by the generosity of non-profit social service agencies. Teenagers who’ve been abused. Parents with substance abuse issues. Medically fragile infants in foster care. A young transgender person. A child whose father is in prison. Fellow Arkansans who, thanks to big-hearted, forward-thinking organizations, can better cope with the present and have a future to look forward to. There are dozens and dozens of social service agencies. Our stories highlight the work of only five. We hope that we will encourage people to give — either of their time or their fortune — to help them and the many others that provide services to people in need. The Arkansas Times is putting its money where its mouth is by launching a year-long philanthropic endeavor in 2014. Our departments have selected non-profit service agencies they will help, with donations, volunteer hours, free advertising and the like. The production department has chosen the Thea Foundation, created by Paul and Linda Leopoulos to honor their daughter’s memory by promoting better teaching through the arts. The advertising department has chosen The Van, a non-profit that feeds the homeless. Editorial has chosen The Center for Artistic Revolution, which works to secure rights for the LGBT community. Sister publication El Latino


DECEMBER 12, 2013


➧ TOP FOUNDATIONS — PAGE 21 ➧ THE HONOR ROLL — PAGE 22 has chosen Just Communities of Arkansas, which addresses social justice issues. Maybe you don’t have $10 million to toss around, like Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and three other donors pledged to the Catholic High School. Or the $6 million an anonymous donor gave John Brown University for its nursing program. Social service nonprofits are striving to do great things, usually on small budgets. Those that benefit from public dollars face an uncertain funding future as Congress moves to cut federal spending. All are grateful for contributions, even if they are modest. The Walton Family Foundation — now approaching $2 billion in assets and ranked 42nd largest funder in the country — continues to invest heavily nationally in charter schooling and other educational projects; in Arkansas, education grants totaled more than $9 million. Northwest Arkansas grants totaled $15 million in 2012. Total “home region” giving from the Walton Family Foundation was $30.3 million. Big institutions — like Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the Jones Center for Families in Springdale — have been the recipients of major gifts to fund particular initiatives in the past couple of years. Children’s, which went public with a $160 million capital campaign last March, has since raised $41 million in cash and pledges to add to the $100 million it raised during the silent part of the campaign. The money will go to children’s care, research, prevention programs and education. It has received $4 million toward its $6 million goal toward a single facility, its Children’s House, which serves children suspected to have been victims of abuse. The Jones Trust, which in 2012 launched a campaign to endow the Jones Center with gifts of $10 million from both the Walton Family Foundation and the Care Foundation, this year won a pledge from Tyson Foods to give $1 million over the next five years to the center.



FOSTER FAMILY: Jenia and Arzo Johnson with Lindsey and Richard (below).

GIVING OF THEMSELVES A fragile baby and his sister find a foster home, thanks to Centers for Youth and Family and a big-hearted couple. BY LESLIE NEWELL PEACOCK


hen the Centers for Youth and Family contacted Jenia and Arzo Johnson about fostering a sick 13-month-old baby, they were told he had respiratory problems thanks to his underdeveloped lungs, and was on oxygen. He’d been born 27 weeks premature, so little he fit in his mother’s hand at birth. He could not swallow, so he had what’s called a “G button,” for his gastrointestinal feeding tube. He could not sit up. He also had a little sister, 3 months old. Would they take the children for 10 days while a permanent foster home was found? Jenia Johnson said she was a bit overwhelmed at the request, since she had no medical training, though did know CPR. But then she thought, “OK, what would I do if he was my child?” She looked at her husband and they agreed: “We said we can do this.” The Johnsons, who have fostered around 60 children since their first work with the Centers in 1993, picked up Richard and Lindsey (not their real names)

from Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Both babies had been abused. Richard had fractured ribs, a fractured thigh, a fractured finger. Lindsey had fractured ribs. The respiratory therapist explained how to use the machine that monitors Richard’s pulse oxygen, with a little band attached to his toe. Then the Johnsons took the babies home, becoming part of the Centers’ Therapeutic Foster Homes for the medically or emotionally fragile. “We were on pins and needles,” Jenia Johnson said. A beep that told them Richard’s pulse ox was low went off several times in the night and either Jenia or Arzo would go in and check on him. If his oxygen was too low, off they’d go to the ER. Once he was so sick that Children’s transported him by ambulance from one of its own clinics to its emergency room. The children have now been with the Johnsons for 10 months, not 10 days. When Centers tried to find a permanent placement for the siblings, they could only find people who wanted Lindsey, but not her ailing brother. The Johnsons

have agreed to keep them until they can be fostered together, rather than split up. Both Arzo and Jenia are 53 years old. They have a foster son, 12, and an adopted son, 13; taking care of them along with an infant would be a lot of work with a well child, much less a delicate baby and his little sister. But the Johnsons want to help. They are “comfortable,” Jenia said, and she can stay home. (Arzo works as an absconder agent for the state; he was the agent who urged the state not to release Darrell Dennis, who after he was freed was charged in the murder of

The Centers for Youth and Family Therapeutic Family Homes Program is run from the Elizabeth Mitchell Children’s Center at 6601 W. 12th St. Leah Williams is director. Centers also operates the Elizabeth Mitchell Adolescents’ Center, a Youth Emergency Shelter, offers day treatment in North Little Rock and is headquartered at 5905 Forest Place, where it does outpatient counseling and operates a parent center. The therapeutic foster program allows for some reimbursement for travel and medical care from Medicaid. Centers also has programs in Monticello and Eudora. To donate to or find out more about the Centers for Youth and Family and its Therapeutic Family Homes Program, call 666-8686 or 888-868-0023.

an 18-year-old.) The Johnsons live in a large home in Otter Creek that was the cleanest house this reporter has ever stepped inside, with sweet decorations in the nursery and a little Christmas tree. They have adopted four of the children they have fostered over the years. “It takes two mature people to render services to these children,” Jenia Johnson said. She did not criticize Richard and Lindsey’s mother, saying she was too young and had no support system. “I am so glad I have a community of support,” Jenia said. Her “team,” as she calls them, includes therapists for the children from both the Department of Human Services and Youth Home, and therapeutic day care for Richard, where he receives speech and physical therapy at the Kids First program of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. They have case workers and the staff at Children’s have been a great help: “They don’t look at me like I am out of my mind” when Jenia takes Richard in because “he doesn’t look right” and she wants their advice, Jenia said. They have a large van to drive the kids around. Arzo’s parents lend a hand; his mother also fostered children. Richard has thrived under the team’s care. He no longer uses the G Button, but can drink Pediacare and eat pudding and he can hold his spoon. He can now sit up. He can say “ball” and “baby.” Little sister Lindsey has a bigger vocabulary — but, of course, she is a girl. “It keeps you on your toes,” Jenia said. “I feel as though I’m doing something, making a difference.”

DECEMBER 12, 2013




Youth Home Inc., at 20400 Colonel Glenn Road, serves around 200 children ages 12-17 a year in its residential facility. It has 70 intensive inpatient beds and eight community inpatient beds. The residential facility has a 24-hour nursing staff, as well as psychiatrists and other staff. Ten therapists, half off-campus in elementary and middle schools in the Pulaski County Special School District, see patients at Youth Home. Its outpatient clinic offers services to all comers for all problems. Many of the children served by Youth Home have suffered physical and sexual abuse; some suffer from organic disease. Youth Home is reimbursed by Medicaid for those patients who are eligible. That reimbursement level has not risen since 2001, director of development Chrissy Chatham said, and the organization fears the future will hold less reimbursement, not more. Youth Home’s main fundraiser is Eggshibition, a live and silent auction of egg-shaped objects created by artists and celebrities. Some of the children who live at Youth Home will not be able to return home on Christmas Day. Donations of gifts for the children are much appreciated. Gifts should be delivered before Dec. 14, when volunteers will start wrapping the gifts in the gymnasium. Gift wrapping volunteers are welcome; Chatham will post a volunteer update on the Youth Home Facebook page. To donate to Youth Home or get more information, call 821-5500 or 800-728-6452. TOGETHER AGAIN: Tyler, Tiffany and Travis French.

HELPING THE WHOLE FAMILY An ex-con finds ‘magic’ for himself, his troubled teens, at Youth Home. BY LESLIE NEWELL PEACOCK


hen Travis French was in prison, he thought about his kids, the troubles he heard they were having, and resolved to get them and care for them when he got out. “I’ve been shot, been stabbed, lived rough. But the most painful thing is watching your kids grow up from behind bars,” French, 51, said. French was crying, and apologizing for it, though he did not need to. His tears were of joy. He’s out of prison, he’s clean, he has his kids. His daughter is about to graduate from Youth Home’s school for outpatients. His life “is the best it’s ever been,” he said, and he credits Youth Home’s help for that. Youth Home is sort of a misnomer. The agency is widely known for its inpatient care for kids ages 12 to 14 with behavioral issues. But Youth Home also operates an outpatient clinic for anyone needing help and the French family made use of both to get their lives back on track. That French wanted to talk publicly about the problems his family has overcome — he asked to be interviewed, instead of the other way around — is “pivotal in our field,” Chrissy Chatham, director of development for Youth Home, said.


DECEMBER 12, 2013


Mental health problems are largely swept under the rug, unlike breast or prostate cancer, she said, and so don’t have spokesmen. French is letting people know “you don’t have to do it alone,” she said. Said French, “I don’t think that, if it weren’t for Youth Home, that I’d be clean.” French, of North Little Rock, who himself came from a family wrecked by drug addiction and alcoholism, began to use drugs — methamphetamines and alcohol — at an early age. His first trip to prison was when he was “15 or 16,” he said, on burglary and theft of property charges. “I didn’t have a clue,” he said of his thinking. He served three years. After prison, he struggled. He eventually had two children, Tyler, now 20, and Tiffany, who will be 18 on Dec. 15. He could not stay clean and “got in a world of trouble,” going back to prison for seven-and-a-half years, when Tyler was 9 and Tiffany 7. Even in prison, he was able to keep using, but when he was released in 2009, he’d been clean for several months. He wanted his kids back. While he was in prison, his children had suffered, shuffled around between various family members. Both suffered physical abuse; Tiffany was also sexually abused. He promised his son that they’d

go into business together when he was released. He took custody of them immediately after he was. “I was flat broke. I had two kids that were a mess,” French said. What he did know was that if he could stay off drugs, “they’d have a chance.” The kids were wary. “I didn’t know crap about him,” Tyler French said of his father. “I wanted to be a father, but I didn’t know how,” French said. He felt so guilty about not being there for them when they were growing up that “they got away with murder” at his home, he said. Tiffany, dressed in a loose white shirt and tie and with her blonde hair pulled back tightly, said that while her father was in prison, “I was miserable all the time,” Tiffany said. “My brother had a big part of taking care of me. He didn’t hit me.” Both recalled being told by a family member at dinner, “Eat it or you wear it.” That was the least of it. When the jailed French heard about what was happening, “all I could do was tell them to hang on.” Luckily, French knew about Youth Home. Tyler had already seen a therapist at Youth Home. (Tyler and his father did not want to talk about how that came about.) Tiffany, failing school and misbehaving, needed help as well. “Me and Tiffany went in” to Youth Home, French said, for family counseling. And here is where the story differs from that of many troubled families. The therapist, Tammy Rhyne, told French he needed therapy, too. “She could see it,” his need, “and brought it up,” French said. “I said, ‘You’re crazy.’ ” But he thought about it, gave in to it. “And then the magic started happening ... the better I got, the better they got.” After getting outpatient help, Tiffany

was admitted to residential treatment in June 2012 for six months. “I was wanting to kill myself. I hadn’t gotten over the abandonment stuff,” she said. And like most troubled kids, she hated the new, strict environment she encountered at Youth Home, where behaviors were noted and met with consequences. But, she shrugged, “I got used to it.” More than that, Tiffany learned “how to process” her thoughts, and “how to write about what I’m feeling.” After she completed residential treatment, she continued to go there for school. She has completed school there, and plans to get a GED and work. Like most teens, Tiffany wasn’t forthcoming with an adult, especially one she did not know. But finally she told a reporter, “There is a void in my stomach,” one she’d filled with smoking and other comforting, but bad, behavior. “It used to be this big,” she said, stretching her arms wide, “and now it’s like [this],” she said making a little circle with her hands. And while she expressed relief she was graduating and not having to attend Youth Home’s school any longer, as the interview was about to wrap up, she spoke up again. “Please mention Miss Bright,” she said, and please mention Mr. Lawrence. Bright Woodward and Lawrence Russell are the paraprofessionals that Tiffany worked with while in residential treatment. They clearly had helped fill the void. French still spoils his kids. He’s bought a car for Tiffany that she can use to get a job. He’s also made good on the promise he made Tyler: Both had paint on their hands from their painting/carpentry business. French was still wiping away tears as the interview ended. All will continue outpatient therapy at the clinic.



SAVING RAIN Without the Center for Artistic Revolution’s DYSC program, Rain Calabotta wouldn’t be alive. BY DAVID KOON


rowing up for any kid is hard, but there is often a special kind of hell for those growing up gay or lesbian in Arkansas. This is the Bible Belt. We’re slow to change, and for all our Southern politeness, the prejudices of older folks tend to percolate through the generational strata whether we want them or not. There is a place, however, that can bring hope and help to young people struggling with gender and sexual identity issues: Little Rock’s Center for Artistic Revolution, and its Lucille Marie Hamilton Youth Center. Headquartered at First Presbyterian Church at 800 Scott St., the center is home to the Diverse Youth for Social Change (DYSC) program, which holds weekly meetings to offer young LGBT people and their friends — ages 13 to 22 — a safe place to socialize, create, talk about their victories and setbacks, and

simply feel comfortable in their own skin. Rain Calabotta, 20, who identifies as “queer” and prefers to be referred to by neutral pronouns such as “they” or “them,” is an intern with CAR, and has been attending DYSC meetings for two years. In high school, Rain says, they can remember a lot of homophobia among classmates, including slurs being shouted in the hallway and threats of violence against those who were thought to be gay. As Calabotta came to the realization that they were different than others, growing up in that environment fostered “a deeprooted, internalized homophobia in my mind.” That confusion soon evolved into depression, and a kind of self-hatred. “I didn’t want to tell people because they would think it was a joke, or they would think I was seeking attention,” Calabotta said. “I really didn’t want to draw attention

to myself and get bullied for other things. ... I didn’t want add that axis of frustration to my life.” During their first semester in college, Calabotta learned about the DYSC program at CAR from a friend. By then, Calabotta’s depression had worsened. “At that point, I didn’t have a job and I wasn’t in college anymore because I couldn’t handle it,” Calabotta said. “I felt like I had nothing.” Eventually, near their end of their first semester as a college freshman, the feelings of loneliness and frustration got bad enough that Calabotta tried to commit suicide. “I tried to kill myself because I didn’t understand my life and who I was,” Calabotta said. “Once I got out of the hospital, after a week, I started to go to DYSC more frequently. It provided me an outlet that wasn’t harmful. It gave me an opportunity to do something where I could acknowledge my own being as worthy: Going to a group of 30 people every Friday who can lift you up and hug you and make you feel loved. ... They just cared. They’ve spent the past two years lifting me up and showing me that I’m a good person and that I can help other people.” The DYSC meetings, Calabotta said, are always laid back and fun, full of movies, improv games, creativity, and education about how to deal with dayto-day frustrations. Most importantly, the meetings are an opportunity to talk to other young people who know what it is to be different and know what an LGBT kid is going through. “Sometimes we’ll talk about, what was the best thing that happened to you that week and what was the worst thing?” Calabotta said. “Then we have the space to talk about what bothers us. Not always do youth have a place to talk about their emotions.” As an intern for CAR, Calabotta said they see many young people coming into

Randi M. Romo founded CAR in 2003 and is its executive director. The DYSC youth program meets at First Presbyterian every Friday night from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Meetings usually host 30-35 young people per week. CAR is also the sponsor of the Little Rock chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), the Arkansas affiliate of the National Gay Straight Alliance Network, hosts Gender Equality Arkansas, which offers support for transgendered people, and stages protest actions against LGBT prejudice and homophobia all over the state as the need arises. For more information or to make a donation, visit its website at, call 501-244-9690, or email to

the DYSC program who are in the same place they were two years ago: depressed, alone, feeling worthless and suicidal. For Calabotta, surviving that time in their own life was a game of minutes. DYSC, Calabotta said, does nothing less than save young lives. “I took it by the minutes,” Calabotta said. “If I can take it 10 minutes, I can make it 10 more minutes. Eventually, it got to a place where I could take it a few hours. Then a few days. Then I got to where I could make it a week. And when it got to where I could make it a week, DYSC was what I was looking forward to. Being able to go to a safe place, with people who I have adopted as my family, whose faces I look forward to seeing, whose hugs I look forward to having — just that human need for reassurance and touch and support, through people who have found a way to impact my life — they were the people I was looking forward to seeing. ... They were my light. They were my light at the end of the tunnel.”

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DECEMBER 12, 2013




MOTHER AND SON: Lakeyea Johnson got help for Chase at Arkansas Voices for the Children Left Behind.

LEFT BEHIND Chase Brown, whose father is in prison, gets a helping hand from an Arkansas charity that helps the children of the incarcerated. BY DAVID KOON


n a rare warm afternoon in early December, Chase Brown, 9, his mother, Lakeyea, and his sisters, Peyton and Madison Johnson, were in the front yard of their house in Southwest Little Rock, soaking up the last bit of sun the city would see for more than a week. Still in their school clothes and the weekend stretched out before them, the kids were a knot of activity, Chase and his sisters all smiles, chasing each other around the yard as their mother and a friend looked on,

unable to keep from smiling themselves. It’s a far cry from where Chase was headed a few years ago, his mother said, before he started counseling and group sessions with Arkansas Voices for the Children Left Behind, which (among other services) helps children who have a parent in prison. A shy, smiling boy who gave only one-word answers to the reporter’s questions, Chase has been in programs offered by Arkansas Voices since he was 7. When Chase was 2 and a half,

his father was tried and convicted on several charges, including, Lakeyea said, armed robbery, eluding police, and kidnapping. He’s currently serving a 27-year sentence at a federal penitentiary in Oklahoma. He’ll be eligible for parole around the time Chase graduates from high school. The family hasn’t had the money to go visit him since he went to jail, and the lack of a male role model for her son weighs on Lakeyea Brown. “Him being a boy, I really can’t guide him and teach him how to be a man,” Lakeyea said. “It’s going to be hard in his teenage years, because I really don’t know how to deal with his feelings and emotions about his father being incarcerated.” Lakeyea said she has friends and family members with children with a parent in prison. Often, she said, “those are the more troubled kids. They get in trouble, bad grades, a lot of acting out at home and in school.” Early on, Lakeyea worried that her son might fall victim to those same forces. When he was around 4 or 5, she noticed a change in him. “I found out that he was getting bullied over the fact that his dad was incarcerated,” she said. “It took a toll on his personality. He wasn’t the same kid that I was used to seeing. He was scared to speak his mind.” After seeing a pamphlet for free counseling and intervention programs offered by Arkansas Voices for the Children Left Behind at the Head Start office at UAMS, Brown called director Dee Ann Newell and has been working with her ever since. “It’s trying to help children cope with the fact that their parent is incarcerated,” Brown said. “They give them counseling, have meetings once a month. They try to help financially, but they really

Arkansas Voices for the Children Left Behind is headquartered at 1818 N. Taylor St. in Little Rock. Dee Ann Newell is the director. In addition to counseling for the children of incarcerated parents, the non-profit offers parenting classes in prisons and at the Arkansas State Hospital, re-entry programs to help connect prisoners and their families prior to release, advocacy for children in foster care, and support for “kinship caregivers” who are raising the children of incarcerated or otherwise absent relatives, and other services. For more information or to make a donation, visit, call 366-3647, or email Newell at

don’t have any funds to do anything right now. [Newell] helped with his birthday and Christmas and Thanksgiving, too. Sometimes she comes out of her pocket to help because she doesn’t have the funds.” Since Chase started programs with Arkansas Voices for the Children Left Behind, Brown has noticed changes in him that often set him apart from other children she knows have a father in prison. He gets As and Bs in school, she said, and rarely gets into any kind of trouble. He’s very respectful to everyone he meets. And that smile. Though children with an incarcerated parent are much more likely to go to prison themselves, Brown said she believes the help and counseling Chase is receiving through the program will help him break that cycle. “I really do,” she said. “In the program, there’s a lot of kids who are in the same situation he’s in, and they can talk about it openly and not be judged. Maybe they can help each other to deal with their parent being incarcerated.”

DECEMBER 12, 2013




Fishnet Missions was founded in 2001 by the Simses, after the small food pantry they had started at their local church grew to an operation feeding almost 1,500 families a month. Today, Fishnet Missions operates in Jacksonville from a 12,000-square-foot warehouse building and a 6,000-square-foot thrift store, which helps support their food pantry operation. The-all volunteer organization distributes eight tons of food each week to people in need. Fishnet Missions welcomes items for resale at their Thrift Store, donations of food for distribution, and financial donations (100 percent of which go to operational expenses). For more information, call 241-1211 or visit its website at In addition to individual donations, Fishnet relies on sponsors like Arkansas Foodbank, which acquires food and distributes it to 300 agencies like Fishnet across the state. For more information on Arkansas Foodbank or to donate, call 565-8121 or visit its website at

MEANS TO SURVIVE After health problems left him at the end of his rope, John Dubois and family turned to food pantry. BY DAVID RAMSEY


f it wasn’t for Fishnet, we wouldn’t survive, there’s no way,” John Dubois said. A myriad of health problems have left Dubois unable to walk without assistance, and he is struggling to make ends meet with his wife, Brenda, who is his caretaker, and their 15-year-old daughter, Elaina. Dubois moved to Jacksonville in


DECEMBER 12, 2013


2001 to be closer to doctors helping him with heart problems. “I had no job and it got rough,” Dubois said. “Fishnet Missions was the only place we could find that would help us. Everybody else kept turning us down.” Fishnet Missions, based in Jacksonville and run by Dewey and Barbara Sims, distributes food twice a week,

serving more than 40,000 people a month. “It got real rough,” Dubois said. “I would go to Fishnet, he would give us a little bag of leg quarters along with some canned goods. I’d come home, take my meat cleaver and I’d chop that leg quarter into three pieces. We were eating off that. We survived. Fishnet got us surviving until I could get on my feet.” Once Dubois started working and making enough to support his family without assistance, he began volunteering at Fishnet. “I wanted to pay it forward,” he said. “Because they helped me when we couldn’t go no more.” Dubois continued to volunteer with Fishnet for years, until his health deteriorated and he no longer could; his wife continues to volunteer. In 2004, Dubois landed a job with the

Pulaski County Public Works Department. Working with beaver traps in 2009, Dubois said, “a beaver nearly tore my arm off.” Attempting to re-set what he thought was an empty trap, the trap’s chain ended up mangling his arm when it turned out a beaver was in it and tried to escape. He dislocated his elbow and wrist and had extensive nerve damage in his wrist, sidelining him for more than a year. After using up all of his medical leave, he lost his job in January 2010. Dubois got workman’s compensation until his treatment ended. He also draws disability because of his heart problems, which date back to 2000 (he’s had five bypasses and 23 heart procedures). Shortly after he began looking for work again after recovering from his arm injury, he developed major blood clots in both legs, and was eventually diagnosed with peripheral artery disease. It put him in a wheelchair, and he’s had six operations in the last five months. Dubois is now able to get around with a walker, but still can’t walk or bathe himself without assistance. “I’m still fighting,” he said. “I’ve made it to a walker but I can’t walk unassisted very far. I keep trying. Just recently I’ve been able to do certain things. I’ll be honest with you, I’ve been down to my lowest.



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FAIR MARKET VALUE AT END OF 2012 (Foundations are required to donate at least 5 percent annually of this sum) Walton Family Foundation $1,999,066,369 Walton Family Charitable Trust $531,962,948 Arkansas Community Foundation $153, 814,677 Care Foundation Inc. (a fund of the Endeavor Foundation) $141,629,330 Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation $130,346,962 Winthrop Rockefeller Trust $115,622,360 Charles A. Frueauff Foundation Inc. $104,059,125 Windgate Charitable Trust $119,451,087 Ross Foundation $91,891,580 Murphy Foundation $53,368,629 The Jesus Fund $38,525,335 Horace C. Cabe Foundation $33,940,564 Tyson Foundation $27,458,868 Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation Inc. $24,528,303 Schmieding Foundation $24,115,359 Endeavor Foundation $19,896,547

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GRANTS PAID IN 2012 Walton Family Foundation $432,672,746 ($30,386,785 in “home region”) Walton Family Charitable Trust $31,139,174 Windgate Charitable Trust $26,485,421 up Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation Inc. $11,310,465 Arkansas Community Foundation $9,534,026 Winthrop Rockefeller Trust $5,299,513 The Jesus Fund $5,075,600 Charles A. Frueauff Foundation $4,475,560 Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation $4,559,370 Murphy Foundation $2,725,569 Care Foundation Inc. $2,616,663 Horace C. Cabe Foundation $1,760,132 Tyson Foundation $1,509,250 Endeavor Foundation $1,257,481 Schmieding Foundation $1,032,612 Ross Foundation $610,617

But I’m not giving up.” When he was able-bodied, he said, he’d work seven days a week, adding side jobs to his regular job. “Lazy ain’t in my vocabulary,” he said. “My health just got me down. It’s been whittling away at me ever since. I’m just breaking down.” Dubois is now completely unable to work and Brenda has become a fulltime caregiver. When his unemployment checks ended in 2012, they were left to rely fully on Dubois’s small disability check, leaving them at the end of their rope. In January of this year, they

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started going to Fishnet, where they had been volunteering for years, to get food for themselves. “We barely make it check to check,” Dubois said. “If it wouldn’t be for the food we get from Fishnet, we wouldn’t make it because I don’t have enough money by the time I pay all my bills. There’s just nothing there, man. I’ve got my daughter and my wife. It’s just tough. If it wouldn’t be for places like Fishnet, a lot of us would starve. That is our only avenue. You gotta have a roof over your head, you gotta pay your bills. Food is what you cut back on.”

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DECEMBER 12, 2013



THE HONOR ROLL Here is our annual honor roll, a look at major grants made by Arkansas foundations in year 2012, the most recent for which 990 tax forms are available, and gifts announced in 2013.



The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of disability. Landlords and otherThehousing mayAct notprohibits discriminate against federalproviders Fair Housing discrimination persons who are deaf or who have other hearing or in housing on the basis of disability. Landlords and The federal Fair Housing prohibits discrimination speech TheyAct may notdiscriminate refuse to commuotherdisabilities. housing providers may not against in housing basis ofyou disability. Landlords and nicate withon youthe because contact themhearing through persons who are deaf or who have other or other housing providers mayrelay not discriminate TTY, video relay, or other systems. speech disabilities. They may not refuse Landlords to against commupersons who are or accommodations who otherthem hearing or must make reasonable orthrough allow nicate with youdeaf because youhave contact speech They may not systems. refuse to Landlords commureasonable modifications forrelay persons with disabiliTTY, disabilities. video relay, or other nicate with becausea you contact make reasonable accommodations or allow ties,must such asyouallowing hearing dogthem in a through no-pets TTY, videoor relay, or other systems. Landlords reasonable modifications for persons disabilibuilding approving the relay installation ofwith strobes in must make allow ties, suchreasonable as allowingaccommodations a hearing dog in aorno-pets an apartment. reasonable forinstallation persons with disabili-in building modifications or approving the of strobes Foranmore or to dog file ina ahousing apartment. ties, such asinformation allowing a hearing no-pets building or approving the installation of strobes in discrimination complaint, contact HUD at For more information or to file a housing an apartment.

1-800-669-9777; 1-800-927-9275 (TTY) discrimination complaint, contact HUD at

For more information or to file a housing or visit 1-800-669-9777; 1-800-927-9275 (TTY) discrimination complaint, contact HUD at visit

1-800-669-9777; 1-800-927-9275 (TTY)


or visit


Fair IsYour YourRight. Right.Use UseIt.It. Fair Housing Housing Is Fair Housing Is Your Right. Use It.

A public service message from the National Fair Housing Alliance. The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits A public service message from the National Fair Housing Alliance. The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex,familial familialstatus statusorordisability. disability.

A public service message from the National Fair Housing Alliance. The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status or disability. 22

DECEMBER 12, 2013


WALTON FAMILY FOUNDATION, GIFTS OVER $1 MILLION The foundation’s largest grant to an Arkansas institution was $4.9 million given to the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission. Major education grants include $2 million to Arkansans for Education Reform Foundation; $1.3 million to Responsive Education Solutions, $1.2 million to Southern Arkansas University Foundation and $1.1 million to Arkansas AIMS — the Advanced Initiative for Math and Science. Northwest Arkansas grants include $1.7 million to the Bentonville Bella Vista Trailblazers Association; $2.1 million to the Endeavor Foundation; $1.3 million to the Walton Arts Center and $1 million to the Jones Trust. The largest Delta region gifts were $2 million to Southern Bancorp and $1.9 million to Teach for America-Arkansas. The family foundation also contributed $110 million to the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation. WALTON CHARITABLE SUPPORT FOUNDATION, GIFTS OVER $500,000 The Walton charitable foundation, while smaller than the family foundation, actually awarded a bit more than the family foundation to Arkansas nonprofits, its biggest gift being $21.4 million to the Arkansas Community Foundation. It also gave $1.8 million to the University of the Ozarks, $860,321 to John Brown University and $500,000 to the University of Arkansas Foundation. THE WINDGATE CHARITABLE TRUST, GIFTS OVER $250,000 The Siloam Springs foundation provides operating support to John Brown University, including $3 million in 2012 and $1.3 million in 2013, and makes significant gifts to the arts, including 2012 grants and gifts of $441,685 to the Arkansas Arts Center; $1.8 million to the Fort Smith Regional Art Museum; $950,000 challenge grant to the First Assembly of God Church; $500,000 to the Nature Conservancy of Arkansas; $456,000 to the Thea Foundation, $350,000 to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (in two grants) for the Reynolds Institute on Aging and related funds and $250,000 to UAMS for its art acquisition fund. WILLARD AND PAT WALKER CHARITABLE FOUNDATION, GIFTS OVER $250,000 The foundation gave $2 million challenge grant to the New School in Fayetteville; $1 million to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art; $625,000 to Razorback Athletics Answer the Call campaign; $500,000 to Hendrix College; $500,000 to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for scholarship support; $500,000 to the Walton Arts Center for program support; $400,000 to Arkansas Children’s Hospital for its capital campaign; $333,333 to UAMS’ Jones Eye Institute; $333,333 to UAMS’ Institute on


Aging; $300,000 to Youth Bridge capital campaign; $250,000 to EOA Children’s House capital campaign; $250,000 to the Circle of Life Hospice capital campaign, $250,000 to John Brown University and $250,000 to the University of Arkansas Foundation. WINTHROP ROCKEFELLER TRUST, GIFTS OVER $250,000 The trust, which is smaller than the foundation, outranked the foundation in giving, including $4.2 million to the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute for operations and $290,000 to the WRI for capital.

million to Catholic High School’s capital campaign. An anonymous donor gave $6 million to John Brown University for a 20,000-square-foot education building and to endow the university’s new nursing program. Ellen and Don Edmonson made a gift of $1.5 million to Arkansas Children’s Hospital for the Cappy and Charlie Whiteside Endowed Fund. The estate of Betty Anne Lowe gave $1.2 million to ACH to endow and chair in pediatric rheumatology and other

endeavors. Jack R. Jacobs of Tulsa made a planned gift of $1 million to the U of A to endow the Dana Jacobs Memorial Endowed Scholarship in the College of Engineering. Julian and Nathan Stewart made a $1 million donation to establish the Julian C. and Nana B. Stewart AACE Access Arkansas Scholarships for 10 students annually at the U of A College of Engineering. Walter and Terry Quinn and the Heartland Bank Foundation gave $1

million to ACH’s Children’s House for abused children. Rebecca Rice and Associates gave $1 million to ACH’s Children’s House. An anonymous donor gave $1 million to UAMS to establish the Laura Hutchins M.D. Distinguished Chair for the division of hematology/oncology. Cindy and Charles Fuller gave $707,776 to ACH to endow a chair for the treatment of burns. J. Floyd Kyser gave $500,000 in honor of Dr. James Suen for a professorship in otolaryngology at UAMS.

THE CARE FOUNDATION OF SPRINGDALE, GIFTS OVER $250,000 Care, a fund of the Endeavor Foundation, gave $500,000 to the Jones Center for Families, $500,000 to Endeavor, $367,000 to the Springdale School District and $300,000 the University of Arkansas Foundation. THE ENDEAVOR FOUNDATION, GIFTS OVER $250,000 The foundation, formerly the Northwest Arkansas Community Foundation, gave $670,000 to the Northwest Arkansas Council. THE SCHMEIDING FOUNDATION, GIFTS OVER $250,000 Schmeiding gave $725,000 to UAMS. THE DONALD W. REYNOLDS FOUNDATION, GIFTS OVER $1 MILLION The Reynolds Foundation, created from the estate of the founder of Donrey Media, based in Nevada, makes gifts to Arkansas, Nevada and Oklahoma. In 2012, the foundation made a grant of $14 million to UAMS toward a pledge of $30 million made in 2009; $8 million to the Razorback Foundation toward a $10 million pledge made in 2011 and another $1 million; $7.1 million to the Food Bank of Northwest Arkansas; $5.6 million to the U of A toward a $10 million pledge made in 2010; $2.9 million to the Arkansas Museum of Science and History (the Museum of Discovery); $2.7 million to the Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter, $2.2 million to the Committee Against Spouse Abuse shelter in Pine Bluff and $2.1 million to the Arkansas Foodbank Network. ROY AND CHRISTINE STURGIS TRUST OF DALLAS Roy Sturgis was a native Arkansan and the Dallas trust funds the Sturgis fellowships at the University of Arkansas. In July, it gave $1 million to Hendrix College for completion of athletic facilities. INDIVIDUAL GIFTS (ANNOUNCED IN 2013) The Gene and Jerry Jones Family Charities, Denise and John York of San Francisco and an anonymous Catholic High alumnus pledged nearly $10

DECEMBER 12, 2013



Exercise —for mind and body


For some people, it seems like there’s not enough time to exercise, or they’re too tired once they get home after a long day at the office to get on the treadmill. For others, all of that seemingly complicated gym equipment can be more than a little intimidating. Fortunately, if you live or work downtown or in West Little Rock, then there’s a Snap Fitness facility near you. Snap Fitness is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and has the best exercise equipment in the business, including Cybex weight machines. They have treadmills, elliptical trainers and stationary bikes, along with a free weight area and an open area for body-weight exercises, stretching or yoga. The downtown facility is on the Owner Bill Rahn (right) and club manager Mark Davidson look ground floor of the Victory Building, forward to serving you at the downtown Snap Fitness location. a convenient distance from the state after a long commute,� he said. Capitol, Arkansas Children’s Hospital and surrounding “Snap Fitness also offers personal training sessions. offices. You can fit in a 30-minute workout during lunch Whether a member chooses to do personal training or hour, shower and make it back to the office on time. And not, we like every member to take advantage of a free the lunch hour exercise break can re-energize you for the session with a certified trainer to help gain a better rest of the workday. knowledge of what they can do to achieve their fitness “ We h ave a l o t goals,� Rahn said. “Our west Little Rock club offers small of members living group sessions throughout the day, which for a lot of in places like Cabot, people makes personal training more affordable and adds Bryant or Benton,� Bill a fun dimension that comes from exercising alongside Rahn, owner of Little 7)4(!##%33 up to three others.� Rock’s Snap Fitness &/2-%-"%23 The West Little Rock location is at 400 N. Bowman Road, facilities, said. These and members can use either facility at any time, which is members often come especially convenient for people who live in West Little in after work, which Rock and work downtown, or vice versa, Rahn said. helps them avoid the If you are thinking about joining a gym but aren’t sure, rush hour traffic on the Snap Fitness is currently offering a 30-day trial for prospecway home and encourtive new members at both locations for only $8.95. For ages them to exercise holiday shoppers thinking about something that promotes regularly. ."OWMAN  s7#APITOL   a healthy lifestyle, gift certificates are available, too. There “They say once they SNAPlTNESSCOMLITTLEROCK are many reasons to visit Snap Fitness and so much to gain get home, they don’t SNAPlTNESSCOMLITTLEROCKDOWNTOWN -- your physical and mental health. want to go anywhere

e’ve heard all along that exercise is good for your body, but a recent study shows that it’s good for your brain function, too. In the study, sedentary adults completed four months of high-intensity interval training, and according to results presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in October showed their ability to think, recall and make quick decisions improved significantly. “If you talk to people who exercise, they say they feel sharper. Now we’ve found a way to measure that,� Dr. Martin Juneau, director of prevention at the Montreal Heart Institute, said in a press release. The test subjects’ average age was 49, and they were overweight and inactive. Juneau said the increase in cognitive ability was proportional to the changes in exercise capacity and body weight. Other studies have shown that stress hormones can damage brain cells – even kill them, and one of the most recommended stress-reducers is physical exercise, so it’s not surprising that exercise can have a positive impact on brain function. Health professionals have long touted exercise as a way to combat chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Combined with these recently discovered effects exercise can have on the brain, it should be more than enough motivation to hit the gym, right?



Rivendell specializes in mindful healing for adolescent behavior disorders school, with classes such as English, social studies and math. School is in session from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Patients also participate in an hour of recreational therapy seven days a week. Other patient responsibilities include keeping a daily diary card which tracks emotions and urges, a part of the DBT program. Patients also clean their own rooms, do their own laundry and are expected to follow facility rules. T h e A c a d e m y ’s rewards system is structured into five levels: prep, freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior. The higher the level, the more privileges allowed; for example, juniors and seniors are rewarded with a weekly outing. The main forms of consequences for negative behavior are block out boundaries (BOBs) and back one level (BOLs). BOBs are used when there is ineffective (a word we use in place of inappropriate) interaction with a peer. BOLs are used when there is an infraction of the rules. The number of ŠPHOTOS.COM, TIM NEWMAN


n the best of circumstances, adolescence is an unpredictable, difficult period in a person’s life marked by major physical, mental and emotional growth and change. Combined with the pressures of school, peer relationships and a desire for independence, these changes can result in behavioral and emotional problems that need specialized treatment beyond what a primary care physician or outpatient therapy can offer. At Rivendell Behavioral Health Services of Arkansas, The Academy is a residential treatment program for youth ages 12-18, located on Rivendell’s main campus in Benton. Residents at The Academy enjoy the private, serene and natural setting of Rivendell’s 77-bed behavioral health center. The Academy staff consists of therapists, case managers, physicians, nurses, and psychologists trained specifically to treat chronic behavioral and emotional disorders in adolescents. The average stay for a patient is three to six months, although this varies from patient to patient. The treatment model used at The Academy is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), the ultimate goal of which is to create a life worth living through teaching patients four modules: The Academy is a residential treatment program Mindfulness: Paying attention for youth ages 12-18. on purpose, being in the “here and dealing with the emotions, not just in now� and experiencing life as it happens. individual therapy, but throughout their This helps with distractibility, awareness of treatment. This is what makes DBT unique self and others, and cognitive regulation. from Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Each Emotion Regulation: Understanding, module is interconnected with the other, identifying and managing emotions. This with mindfulness as the backbone to all addresses mood dysregulation, overwhelmother modules. Each week patients focus ing emotions, anxiety, anger, shame, etc. on one of the modules, not just in therapy, Distress Tolerance: Learning to manbut in everything the patients do on the age difficult emotions such as anger, unit, and the mindfulness module recurs frustration and disappointment that can every other week. come from difficult situations. We address Once admitted to The Academy, impulsive and suicidal behaviors, self-injury, patients participate in therapy groups emotional outbursts, etc. for a minimum of twice a week for two Interpersonal Effectiveness: Learning hours, with additional groups offered daily. to effectively get needs met and improvIndividual therapy with a psychiatrist is held ing relationships with others as well as weekly and family therapy is scheduled themselves. This addresses social skills, twice a month. family issues, self-esteem, etc. In addition to attending group therRivendell has adapted DBT to take its apy sessions, patients are responsible for program a step beyond behavioral modiattending school. Rivendell provides edufication. The goal is for patients to express cational programming much like the public emotions, feel those emotions and practice

negative consequences affects a patient’s advancement to the next reward level. After a certain amount of time in treatment, patients are eligible for a leave of absence (LOA) so they can practice skills learned in treatment with their families. (Families are taught these skills as well). LOAs are occur in increments, usually in four-, eight-, 12-, 24- and 48-hour blocks. While approval for an LOA is not based on behavior alone, behavior can prevent an LOA. The determining factor in granting or preventing an LOA is safety. If a patient reaches a crisis point, Academy therapists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for coaching. There are rules concerning phone calls made to the therapists, but staff is always available if needed for crisis intervention. Physicians, clinicians, case managers, teachers, juvenile officers, nurses and other professionals as well as family members and friends can make a referral to The Academy. To make a referral, call the assessment and referral line at 800-264-5640. Once a referral is made, a prospective patient must meet the following admission criteria: Primary care physician referral Letter of recommendation for residential treatment from current mental health provider Documented outpatient treatment attempts IQ of 80 or above Clinical records indicating presence of severe psychiatric impairment not amenable to less restrictive care (progress notes, social history, medications)





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Arts Entertainment AND

SUPREME BY JUSTIN BOOTH Justin Booth, whose non-fiction piece appears below, is something of a rising star in the the small literary world of Central Arkansas. Raised in Northeast Arkansas, Booth is a veteran of the U.S. Army who worked as a bricklayer, rode with a motorcycle gang, and did time in prison before falling into heroin addiction that eventually left him homeless on the streets of Little Rock for more than five years. In all that time, writing was his salvation and what carried BOOTH him through. Since the publication of his first poetry chapbook, “Hookers, Ex-Wives and Other Lovers,” in 2012, he has found a job and a home, left the streets, and has seen his work published in magazines and anthologies both in the U.S. and abroad. His new book of poetry, “Trailer Park Troubadour,” was published in November, and is available at local booksellers and Booth lives and works in Little Rock. The following story is part of a planned memoir about his life.


letus had called earlier and told us that he was getting a new car, something he had spotted in the paper and badgered his mother into buying for him. He’d always been able to get his way with her but now that he was dying, she didn’t have a chance. On the way


DECEMBER 12, 2013


to Walmart with my wife Melanie and our three kids, I stopped by to give it a look. We parked in the street out in front of his place, and Cletus was out the screen door before we could even get out of the car. “She’s a good looking ride,” I said. “What is it?” my wife asked. She already knew, but afforded him the opportunity to say. She stood in as a woman he could brag to — a feminine ear to listen to his woes. By those days, he had only the ghost of a woman and her memory haunted his mind. He flirted shamelessly with my wife in front of me. We all knew that it was totally harmless, and that he might be dead soon. “That there is a 19 and 77 Olds Cutlass Supreme,” he said, “just like the one I had back just after high school.” He carried a plastic tumbler filled with coffee in his good hand, the other — the one curled eternal by a teenage accident — held a Marlboro 100, ash two inches long but holding on as if by some stubborn mojo learned from Clete himself.   I could count, if I tried, the number of times I had seen him without these two things, caffeine in one hand and nicotine in the other. He had given up booze and methamphetamine before I met him, and these took their place.  The car was a sort of cross between silver and grey, the color of impending storms, and looked as if it might lurch forward at any moment of its own volition. The lines of it reminded me of some great African cat that

was able to project great speed and power while sitting completely still. “She’s got a 350 Rocket V8 and three speed Hydromatic transmission.” He looked over at me and added, “You know, they actually made these with a stick.” He wore a rare smile, he had been heartbroken a decade since his wife left him, maybe even a little before. She was still his favorite topic of conversation unless some grand event, like the purchase of this car, took place and took his mind from her for a moment. I was as close to him as anyone in the world. I was a bricklayer then and, on days that rain made the work I did impossible, I would ride with him to some spot or other across the state for dialysis. His temper had gotten the best of him in our hometown of Jonesboro and he was no longer allowed treatment at the local hospital. He had also been removed from “the list.”  He would get no kidney unless someone he knew ponied one up. I had already started the tedious process of finding out if mine were suitable. Initial tests looked promising. If things continued to go well, and I prayed they would, I would have to quit shooting smack. “Look at those head lights,” he said. They were square and there were four of them, giving it a much more menacing appearance than its round-eyed Cutlass cousins. He droned on and on about the Supreme, CONTINUED ON PAGE 37

ROCK CANDY Check out the Times’ A&E blog

A&E NEWS THIS FRIDAY’S 2ND FRIDAY ART NIGHT after-hours gallery walk/trolley ride will include eight venues: Arkansas Capital Corp. Group (Jason Smith, Diane Harper, Dominque Simmons); Butler Center Galleries (“Reflections in Pastel” and other shows); Gallery 221 (holiday show of gallery artists); Hearne Fine Art (group show); the Historic Arkansas Museum (with its “9th Ever Nog-off”), the Old State House (performance by the Arkansas Chamber Singers); Paper, Scissors, Little Rock and Stratton’s (Barry Thomas, Christie Young). Rubber wheeled trolleys will provide transport, 5-8 p.m. Stratton’s is a new addition to the lineup. For gallery addresses and more information, check the arts listings in the calendar section.

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RIVERDALE 10 CINEMA AND CAFE at 2600 Cantrell Road in the Riverdale Shopping Center has closed. A first-run, ten-screen theater that opened as part of the Carmike chain in 1995, the independently owned movie house had tried various strategies to make ends meet over the years, including selling a menu of inexpensive fried food items like French fries and catfish, but it was apparently not enough. The theater was also, until recent years, the home of various Little Rock Film Festival projects, including the 48 Hour Film Series, the LR Film Festival, and the Little Rock Horror Picture Show. A notice on the door to the theater said, “If you have interest in owning a First Run movie location, please contact us at the number below.” It’s 501-2969468. DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE ARKANSAS TIMES MUSICIANS SHOWCASE. If you’re based in the Natural State and you’ve got at least 20 minutes of original material, you are eligible to enter the competition. Twenty bands will be selected for the showcase, which will start in late January. Once a week for five weeks, four bands will square off for a panel of judges at Stickyz. The winner of each semi-final round will advance to the finals, which will be at Revolution. Find a link to enter at arktimes. com/showcase14. If you’ve got any questions or concerns, email

DECEMBER 12, 2013







8 p.m. The Cavern (in Russellville).

If you’ve been digging the ongoing ’90s indie rock fixation/revival of the last few years, what with these groups of youngsters getting together to craft fuzzy guitar rock with catchy melodies and a Pavement/Dinosaur Jr./Yo La Tango kinda vibe (Yuck, Weekend, PAWS, many others), then you really ought to check out Swearin’ of Philadelphia. This crew has released two albums since last year, both rooted in buzzsaw pop-punk and that enduring Pixies-style quiet/loud dynamic. Singers Kyle Gilbride and Allison Crutchfield offer appealing sweet ’n’ gruff vocal counterpoints that suit this style of music well. The group’s new record, “Surfing Strange,” finds them stretching out from their DIY, house-show roots, from scrappy punk to something with a bit more nuanced. That said, it’s not a radical shift in direction or anything. Also on this bill: Pecan Sandy and Rad Rad Riot.

PUNK SHOW: Swearin’ plays at The Cavern in Russellville Thursday.



8 p.m. The Public Theater. $8-$10.

If ever there were a holiday that needed an occasional smart-alecky jab to take the wind out of its sails just a bit, it’s Christmas. And for more than two decades, Red Octopus Theater has been taking that jab, with sketches that (lovingly) skewer those sentimental Yuletide traditions. This year marks the

22nd edition of Pagans on Bobsleds, and it will be marked with sketches old and classic, as well as songs, songs, songs. Some of the ol’ faves will include The Solvecki Brothers (“selling their collection of emotional songs for guys”), Fauzio (with “Christmas party fashion tips”) and the Old Lady (who’ll be “wheeled out for a reading from her memoirs”). New sketches include: “Santas from Around the World,” “Celebrity Wish List,” “Law & Order: North Pole” and “Unjustified Elves.”

FRIDAY 12/13


7 p.m. Downtown Music Hall. $10.

As we’ve noted previously, the countdown to Downtown Music Hall’s closing is nearly done. Cool Shoes (“Little Rock’s Notorious Monthly Dance Party”) has been throwing shows at Downtown 28

DECEMBER 12, 2013


Music for the last five years, so it’s only appropriate that they’d get together to have one last blowout before the place closes for good. The lineup includes Cool Shoes vets Wolf-e-Wolf and Kichen, plus GDash and Andy Chen and lighting provided by Balance Lighting Systems. It’s an all-ages deal and it starts early so don’t dilly-dally and miss it.

FRIDAY 12/13


For this one, I’ll defer to Times contributor Joe Meazle, because I think he nailed it on this description: “If you think of Alvin Youngblood Hart only as a Handy and Grammy award-winning interpreter of roots and blues music of bygone eras (as many seem to continue to try to do), you would be missing the majority of what the multifaceted artist has thus far and continues to create. It would be akin to judging a bowl of gumbo base solely on a single ingredient, a folly to be sure. That fine gumbo has a roots and blues component, sure enough, but there is also R&B, soul, and good ol’ fuse-blowing Southern rock ’n’ roll, just to name a few of the ingredients.” I can’t put it any better than that. As far as Vision Control goes, you should know that it’s a project of Little Rock native John Pugh, surely one of the most restless and creative artists this state has produced. He was integral in the ’90s LR punk scene, performing in a grip of bands (Uptown Prophets of Armageddon, Crown of Glory,

BLUES CONTROLLER: Alvin Youngblood Hart plays at White Water Tavern Friday night.

No City No State and Jet Jangua, among many others). He anchored the drumkit for Sacramento-to-Brooklyn dance mavens !!!, providing the driving beat for that band for several years before leaving to focus on the duo Free Blood. I haven’t heard Vision Control yet, but according to press materials, “using only a guitar, a loop pedal and his voice, Pugh creates a minimalist landscape where syncopated pointillist patterns interlock with heavy proto-punk R&B vamps liberally peppered with bursts of no wave dystopia.” Sounds intriguing, brainy and sultry all at the same time, which is to say, it sounds like a project from John Pugh.


THURSDAY 12/12 Live at Laman is back with a performance from John Two-Hawks, Laman Library, 7 p.m. Up in Jonesboro, Mark O’Connor and Friends present An Appalachian Christmas Show, ASU Jonesboro, 7:30 p.m., $6-$30. Waco Red Dirt rocker Wade Bowen is back in town for an 18-and-older show with Six Market Blvd. at Revolution, 9 p.m., $12 adv., $15 day of. The Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s production of the family musical “Because of Winn Dixie” continues, 7 p.m. Wed.-Sun., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, $47-$57.



10 p.m. Juanita’s. $25 adv., $28 day of.

Though she’s still definitely young at 25, singer/songwriter Kacey Musgraves is nonetheless a veteran performer, having been onstage and writing songs since she was in grade school. She was a contestant on “Nashville Star,” and while she didn’t win, it did open doors for her, including an opening spot on tour with Lady Antebellum and a deal with Mercury Records. On her debut single, “Merry Go ’Round,” Musgraves sketches a picture of small-town life that’s miles away from the sort of small-town hagiography so many contemporary country performers indulge in. In the narrator’s hometown, “Mama’s hooked on Mary Kay / Brother’s hooked on Mary Jane / And Daddy’s hooked on Mary two doors down.” The song offers other sharp observations about how the small-town life isn’t necessarily all that healthy. The title of the album — “Same Trailer, Different Park” — is also a sly riff on this theme. Elsewhere on the album, specifically the follow-up

FRIDAY 12/13

FOLLOW HER ARROW: Kasey Musgraves performs at Juanita’s Saturday night.

single “Blowin’ Smoke” and the double-standard debunking “Follow Your Arrow,” she continues to cast a skeptical eye on the world of everyday middle America. She certainly seems to have

good instincts not only for pop-country songwriting, but also for distinguishing herself in a crowded field of other upand-comers. Opening this show will be John & Jacob and Rodge Arnold.

covered packages did you tear through as a kid without a second thought? Can you imagine not getting a single one just because things are tough for your folks and they straight-up can’t afford it? That’s why Toys For Tots exists, to try to make sure that every child has something to look forward to on Christmas. The guys in Kingsdown have done a Toys For Tots benefit for the last five

years. So make sure and bring a new, unwrapped toy or, heck, bring two or three. If it could make one little kid’s Christmas a little happier it’d be worth it. Plus there’s the rock music for you to enjoy, which will include Kingsdown, natch, as well as Stereo Down, students from the House of Melody music school in Sherwood and Nashville rockers Advocate. It’s an all-ages show.

business. But for every shady promoter who rips off bands or fans, there are exponentially more who are just trueblue music lovers at heart who saw a need and tried to fulfill it. And so it is that another Arkansas venue will be closing its doors. Downtown Music Hall has, for the better part of a decade, provided a home to the area’s metal, hardcore, hip-hop and dance scenes. It’s

a shame that it’s closing, but I really believe the odds are good that owner Samantha Allen will be back before long to continue booking shows and doing what she loves. This final night at Downtown Music will, quite appropriately, be one that’ll have heads banging and eardrums ringing. The lineup is Seahag, Napalm Christ, Iron Tongue, Crankbait and Jungle Juice.



8:30 p.m. Revolution. $5 and a toy or $10.

Man, outside of the realm of utter tragedy there’s just not a whole lot that’s sadder than the thought of a little boy or girl not getting a Christmas present. How many bow-tied, wrapping-paper



8 p.m. Downtown Music Hall.

Over the last 20 years or so, I’ve seen venues come and go. Ask anyone who has ever put his or her own ass on the line to make a great show happen and that person will undoubtedly testify that it is a fickle, nerve-wracking, even cruel

Eclectic folk ensemble Harpeth Rising plays a makeup date for the album release show from last weekend, Unitarian Universalist Church, 7:30 p.m., $8$15. It’s time for the Arkansas Chamber Singers Holiday Concert: Spirit of the Season, with traditional carols and new works by Arkansas composers, Old State House Museum, Dec. 13-14, 7 p.m.; Dec. 15, 3 p.m. The Afterthought hosts Christmas Karaoke and an Ugly Sweater Contest, 9 p.m., free. The “Belew Christmas” show with Cody Belew was rescheduled from last weekend to this Friday, 8 p.m. Wildwood Park for the Arts, $20-$50. The Main Thing’s “A Fertle Holiday” Christmas comedy show continues at The Joint, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. through Dec. 28, $20. Eggnog lovers rejoice, for the 9th Ever Nog-off is upon us, at the Historic Arkansas Museum, 5-8 p.m. Swampbird and The Winston Family Orchestra will be bringing the rock hedonism to Stickyz, 9 p.m., $5.

SATURDAY 12/14 Thirst n’ Howl hosts a food drive with Blues Boy Jag and Joe Pitts. Be sure to bring canned food donations, 8 p.m., free. Booyah! Dad, Brother Andy & His Big Damn Mouth and Adam Faucett & The Tall Grass Buffalo sounds like a pretty dang good evening of fine local rock music, White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m. Over at Stickyz, you can get down with the Good Time Ramblers and The Mansion Family, 18-and-older, 9 p.m., $5. San Antonio’s Jared Harville brings some intriguing lo-fi singer/ songwriter tunes to Mugs Cafe, 7 p.m. War Chief plays at The Afterthought, 9 p.m., $7.

TUESDAY 12/17 Stop your grinnin’ and drop your linen, because The Frontier Circus is gonna be at White Water Tavern to rearrange your mind with psychotic country reimaginings, 10 p.m.

DECEMBER 12, 2013


AFTER DARK Katmandu. Thirst n’ Howl, 8:30 p.m. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501-379-8189. Swampbird, The Winston Family Orchestra. 18-and-older. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9 p.m., $5. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. www. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 9 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. Thomas East. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, Dec. 13-14, 7 p.m.; Dec. 31, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. Tragikly White Band. 18-and-older. Revolution, 9:30 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. “YOLO.” Featuring four DJs and beach volleyball, 18-and-older. Flying DD, $5. 4601 S. University. 501-773-9990.

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



Ben Coulter. Russo’s, 6 p.m., free. 2490 Sanders Road, Conway. 501-205-8369. Chris Milam. The Afterthought, 9 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. Christmas Concert Singalong. With Lydida de Sambourg and Kenny McKay. Woodlands Auditorium, 7:30 p.m., $10. 1101 De Soto Blvd., Hot Springs Village. 501-922-4231. “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. Irish Traditional Music Sessions. Dugan’s Pub, 7-9 p.m. 401 E. 3rd St. 501-244-0542. www. Jim Dickerson. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. Krush Thursdays with DJ Kavaleer. Club Climax, free before 11 p.m. 824 W. Capitol. 501-554-3437. Little Rock Irish Song Session. Dugan’s Pub, second Thursday of every month, 7 p.m., free. 401 E. 3rd St. 501-920-8534. Live at Laman: John Two-Hawks. Laman Library, 7 p.m. 2801 Orange St., NLR. 501-758-1720. www. Malcolm Holcombe. White Water Tavern, 9 p.m. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-375-8400. Mark O’Connor and Friends: An Appalachian Christmas Show. ASU Jonesboro, 7:30 p.m., $6-$30. 101 N. Caraway Road, Jonesboro. Matt Reeves. Maxine’s. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. Michael Eubanks. Newk’s Express Cafe, 6:30 p.m. 4317 Warden Road, NLR. 501-753-8826. Open jam with The Port Arthur Band. Parrot Beach Cafe, 9 p.m. 9611 MacArthur Drive, NLR. 771-2994. RockUsaurus. Senor Tequila, 7-9 p.m. 10300 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-224-5505. Swearin’, Pecan Sandy, Rad Rad Riot. The Cavern. 316 W. B St., Russellville. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 7:30 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. Tragikly White (headliner), Brian and Nick (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. www. Wade Bowen, Six Market Blvd.. 18-and-older. Revolution, 9 p.m., $12 adv., $15 day of. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. War Chief. The Joint, 9:30 p.m. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205.


Claude Stuart. The Loony Bin, 7:30 p.m. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555. www. “Pagans on Bobsleds XXII: Nice and Naughty.” Sketch comedy show from Red Octopus Theater. 30

DECEMBER 12, 2013



CAROLINA TROUBADOUR: Acclaimed singer/songwriter Malcolm Holcombe returns to White Water Tavern Thursday at 9 p.m. The Public Theatre, 8 p.m., $8-$10. 616 Center St. 501-291-3896.


Art of Motion: Tango. Arkansas Arts Center, 7 p.m., $10 for non-members. 501 E. 9th St. 501372-4000.


Travis Dixon. The associate professor of communications at UCLA presents “Media Stereotypes and their Role in Racial Healing and Equity: Community Philanthropy and News Portrayals.” Clinton School of Public Service, 12 p.m., free. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501-683-5239. www.


UCA MFA Program Reading. The Locals coffee shop, 7 p.m. 1024 Van Ronkle Street, Conway.



7th Annual “A Jazzy Christmas.” Featuring Legoria Payton & Friends. Pine Bluff Convention Center, 8 p.m., $15. 500 E. 8th Ave., Pine Bluff. 870-413-1667.

Alvin Youngblood Hart, Vision Control. White Water Tavern, 10 p.m. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-3758400. Arkansas Chamber Singers Holiday Concert: Spirit of the Season. With traditional carols and new works by Arkansas composers. Old State House Museum, 7 p.m. 500 Clinton Ave. 501324-9685. “Belew Christmas.” Holiday concert with Cody Belew. Wildwood Park for the Performing Arts, 8 p.m., $20-$50. 20919 Denny Road. Big Bad Gina (headliner), Richie Johnson (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-3755351. Christmas Karaoke and Ugly Sweater Contest. The Afterthought, 9 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. 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. Cool Shoes: Farewell to Downtown Music Hall. Downtown Music Hall, 7 p.m., $10. 211 W. Capitol. 501-376-1819. Friday night at Sway. Sway, 9 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-907-2582. Harpeth Rising. Little Rock Folk Club, 7:30 p.m., $8-$15. 1818 Reservoir Road.

Claude Stuart. The Loony Bin, through Dec. 14, 7:30 and 10 p.m. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555. The Main Thing: “A Fertle Holiday.” The Joint, 8 p.m., $20. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-3720205. “Pagans on Bobsleds XXII: Nice and Naughty.” Sketch comedy show from Red Octopus Theater. The Public Theatre, 8 p.m., $8-$10. 616 Center St. 501-291-3896.


Ballroom Dancing. Free lessons begin at 7 p.m. Bess Chisum Stephens Community Center, 8-11 p.m., $7-$13. 12th & Cleveland streets. 501-2217568. Salsa Night. Begins with a one-hour salsa lesson. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $8. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228.


9th Ever Nog-off. Historic Arkansas Museum, 5-8 p.m. 200 E. Third St. 501-324-9351. LGBTQ/SGL Youth and Young Adult Group. Diverse Youth for Social Change is a group for LGBTQ/SGL and straight ally youth and young adults age 14 to 23. For more information, call 244-9690 or search “DYSC” on Facebook. 800 Scott St., 6:30 p.m. 800 Scott St. Main Street Food Truck Fridays. Capitol and Main, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Oaklawn job fair. Oaklawn, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4411. www. Table for Two: Seared Duck Breast with Cherry Sauce. Hands-on cooking course includes dinner and overnight stay for two with continental breakfast. Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, 5 p.m., $200 (couple). 1 Rockefeller Drive, Morrilton. 501727-5435.



5th Annual Kingsdown Toys for Tots Christmas Party. All-ages, also featuring Stereo Down, students from the House of Melody Music School in Sherwood and Advocate. Revolution, 8:30 p.m., $5 and unwrapped toy or $10. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. Arkansas Chamber Singers Holiday Concert: Spirit of the Season. With traditional carols and new works by Arkansas composers. Old State


Claude Stuart. The Loony Bin, 7:30 and 10 p.m. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555. The Main Thing: “A Fertle Holiday.” The Joint, 8 p.m., $20. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-3720205. “Pagans on Bobsleds XXII: Nice and Naughty.” Sketch comedy show from Red Octopus Theater. The Public Theatre, 8 p.m., $8-$10. 616 Center St. 501-291-3896.


Little Rock West Coast Dance Club. Dance

lessons. Singles welcome. Ernie Biggs, 7 p.m., $2. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-247-5240. www.


Argenta Farmers Market. Argenta, 7 a.m.-noon. Main Street, NLR. Big Jingle Holiday Parade. Little Rock's Christmas parade, led by Cody Belew and ending at the State Capitol. 2 p.m. Christmas in the Wild. Meet Santa and enjoy hot cocoa and more. Little Rock Zoo, 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., $15-$20. 1 Jonesboro Drive. 501-666-2406. DYSC’s Big Gay Variety Show. Unitarian Universalist Church of Little Rock, 7 p.m., $8-$15. 1818 Reservoir Road. 501-244-9690. Falun Gong meditation. Allsopp Park, 9 a.m., free. Cantrell & Cedar Hill Roads. Hillcrest Farmers Market. Pulaski Heights Baptist Church, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. 2200 Kavanaugh Blvd. Historic Neighborhoods Tour. Bike tour of historic neighborhoods includes bike, guide, helmets and maps. Bobby’s Bike Hike, 9 a.m., $8-$28. 400 President Clinton Ave. 501-613-7001. Junior Auxiliary of Conway’s Frozen Feet 5K. Conway High School West Campus, 8 a.m., $20. 2300 Prince St., Conway. 501-450-4880. Oaklawn job fair. Oaklawn, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4411. www. Pork & Bourbon Tour. Bike tour includes bicycle, guide, helmets and maps. Bobby’s Bike Hike, 11:30 a.m., $35-$45. 400 President Clinton Ave. 501-613-7001. Santa at the Center. Free photos with Santa Claus. Clinton Presidential Center, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., free. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 370-8000.


Hot Springs Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis. Benefits the Arthritis Foundation, to register. Garvan Woodland Gardens, 9 a.m. 550 Akridge Road, Hot Springs.

House Museum, 7 p.m. 500 Clinton Ave. 501324-9685. Blues Boy Jag, Joe Pitts. Bring canned food donations. Thirst n’ Howl, 8 p.m., free. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501-379-8189. Booyah! Dad, Brother Andy & His Big Damn Mouth, Adam Faucett & The Tall Grass Buffalo. White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m. 2500 W. 7th St. 501375-8400. Brian Nahlen, Nick Devlin. Cregeen’s Irish Pub, 8 p.m. 301 Main St., NLR. 501-376-7468. www. Cadillac Jackson (headliner), Rob and Tyndall (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. Club Nights at 1620 Savoy. See Dec. 13. Dikki Du and The Zydeco Krewe. Maxine’s. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. Final Downtown Music Hall Show. With Napalm Christ, Seahag, Iron Tongue, Crankbait and Jungle Juice. Downtown Music Hall, 8 p.m. 211 W. Capitol. 501-376-1819. Go Go & Glow Competition. With DJ Brandon Peck, plus, Dominique Sanchez & The Disco Dolls. Discovery Nightclub, 9 p.m.-5 a.m., $10$15. 1021 Jessie Road. 501-664-4784. Good Time Ramblers, The Mansion Family. 18-and-older. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9 p.m., $5. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. www. Jared Harville. Mugs Cafe, 7 p.m. 515 Main Street, NLR. Kacey Musgraves, John & Jacob, Rodge Arnold. Juanita’s, 10 p.m., $25 adv., $28 day of. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www. K.I.S.S. Saturdays. Featuring DJ Silky Slim. Sway, 10 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-492-9802. The Ozarks Chorale: Holiday Concert. The Auditorium, 7:30 p.m. 36 Main St., Eureka Springs. Pickin’ Porch. Bring your instrument. All ages welcome. Faulkner County Library, 9:30 a.m. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-327-7482. Singer/Songwriters Showcase. Parrot Beach Cafe, 2-7 p.m., free. 9611 MacArthur Drive, NLR. 771-2994. Symphony of Northwest Arkansas: Christmas Concert. Walton Arts Center, 7:30 p.m., $5-$48. 495 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-443-5600. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 9 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. www.capitalhotel. com/CBG. Thomas East. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. www. War Chief. The Afterthought, 9 p.m., $7. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196.

If you’re not HERE, we’re having more fun than you are! There’s still time, GET HERE!


Book Our Party Room Today!


Tom Bennett. Book signing with the author of “Hunting Strategies for Grand Prairie Snow Geese.” Hastings, Benton, 5-8 p.m. 1421 Military Road, Benton. 501-778-5116.



4th Annual Holiday Music at the Arsenal. MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, 2 p.m., free. 503 E. 9th St. 376-4602. Arkansas Chamber Singers Holiday Concert: Spirit of the Season. With traditional carols and new works by Arkansas composers. Old State House Museum, 3 p.m. 500 Clinton Ave. 501324-9685. Irish Traditional Music Session. Hibernia Irish Tavern, 2:30 p.m. 9700 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-246-4340. Native America, Open Fields, Rad Rad Riot. 18-and-older. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 8 p.m., $5. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. Reggae Sundays with First Impressions. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 7:30 p.m., $5. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. www. CONTINUED ON PAGE 32

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DECEMBER 12, 2013


AFTER DARK, CONT. Simona Donova and Michael Yoder. Faulkner County Library, 2 p.m., free. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-327-7482.


Art of the Bar: A Handmade Holiday Market. South on Main, 4-8 p.m. 1304 Main St. 501-244-9660. SouthonMainLR. Bernice Garden Farmers Market. The Bernice Garden, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 1401 S. Main St. www. “Live from the Back Room.” Spoken word event. Vino’s, 7 p.m. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. www.



Joby Bell. Pulaski Heights Methodist Church, 8 p.m. 4823 Woodlawn Drive. 501-664-3600. Tom Cox Trio. The Afterthought, 8 p.m., $5. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196.



Cherish the Ladies: A Celtic Christmas. Walton Arts Center, 7 p.m., $18-$32. 495 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-443-5600. The Frontier Circus. White Water Tavern, 10 p.m. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-375-8400. Jim Dickerson. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. Lucious Spiller Band. Copeland’s Restaurant of Little Rock, 6-9 p.m. 2602 S. Shackleford Road. 501312-1616. Music Jam hosted by Elliott Griffen and Joseph Fuller. The Joint, 8-11 p.m., free. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. REAL Entertaining. Laman Library, Argenta branch, 6 p.m., free. 506 Main St., NLR. 501687-1061. Ricky David Tripp. Rocket Twenty One, through Dec. 18: 5:30 p.m. 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501603-9208. Thirst ‘n Howl Blues Jam. Thirst n’ Howl, through Dec. 17: 7:30 p.m., free. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501379-8189.


Tales from the South. Authors tell true stories; schedule available on website. Dinner served 5-6:30 p.m., show at 7 p.m. Call for reservations. Starving Artist Cafe, 5 p.m. 411 N. Main St., NLR. 501-372-7976. Trivia Bowl. Flying Saucer, 8:30 p.m. 323 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-8032. stores/littlerock. Yule Full Moon Farm-To-Table Dinner. Robinwood Bed & Breakfast, 5:30-8 p.m., $45. 2021 S. Arch St. 501-772-9906.



Acoustic Open Mic. The Afterthought, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www. Amanda Shires. White Water Tavern, 9 p.m., $7. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-375-8400. Ben Byers. Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. www. Consumers. 18-and-older. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9 p.m. 107 Commerce St. 50132

DECEMBER 12, 2013


372-7707. Jim Dickerson. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. Mockingbird. South on Main, 7:30 p.m. 1304 Main St. 501-244-9660. https://www.facebook. com/SouthonMainLR. Open Mic Nite with Deuce. Thirst n’ Howl, 7:30 p.m., free. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501-379-8189. Ricky David Tripp. Rocket Twenty One, through Dec. 18: 5:30 p.m. 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501603-9208. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 7:30 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474.


The Joint Venture. Improv comedy group. The Joint, 8 p.m., $5. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501372-0205. Standup Open Mic Night. Hosted by local come­ di­ans of the com­edy col­lec­tive Come­di­ans of NWA. UARK Bowl, 9 p.m., free. 644 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-301-2030. Triple Feature LR. The Loony Bin, 7:30 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501228-5555.


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. Tango Night. Dance lesson begins at 7:30 p.m. Chi’s Asian Cafe, 7:30-10:30 p.m., free. 3421 Old Cantrell Road. 501-916-9973.


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


“A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.” Walton Arts Center’s Nadine Baum Studios, through Dec. 29: Thu.-Sat., 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 2 and 7 p.m. 505 W. Spring St., Fayetteville. 479-443-5600. “Because of Winn Dixie.” World premiere of new musical based on the novel by Kate DiCamillo about a young girl and a dog she finds at a Winn Dixie supermarket. Arkansas Repertory Theatre, through Dec. 29: Wed.-Sun., 7 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m., $47-$57. 601 Main St. 501-378-0405. “Christmas Belles.” The story of the Futrelle sisters’ Christmas Eve misadventures. Pocket Community Theater, through Dec. 14, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 15, 2:30 p.m., $5-$10. 170 Ravine St., Hot Springs. “A Christmas Story.” Produced by The Royal Players. Royal Theatre, through Dec. 22: Thu.Sat., 7 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m., $5-$10. 111 S. Market St., Benton. 501-315-5483. “The Little Engine That Thought It Could.” Presented by Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre. Arkansas Arts Center, through Dec. 22: Fri., 7 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 4 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m. 501 E. 9th St. 501-372-4000. “Run For Your Wife.” Cab driver John Smith is mugged one day and is taken home by a helpful policeman, who takes him to the wrong home. It seems Smith has two homes and two wives, and according to his carefully laid out schedule he is supposed to be with wife No. 2. Murry’s Dinner Playhouse, through Dec. 29: Tue.-Sat., 6 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., $15-$35. 6323

AFTER DARK, CONT. Col. Glenn Road. 501-562-3131. “Scrooge! The Musical.” Musical version of the classic holiday tale “A Christmas Carol.” The Weekend Theater, through Dec. 22: Fri., Sat., 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 2:30 p.m.; Thu., Dec. 12, 8 p.m.; Thu., Dec. 19, 7:30 p.m., $16-$20. 1001 W. 7th St. 501-374-3761.



New events, exhibits in bold-faced type. ARKANSAS CAPITAL CORP. GROUP, 200 River Market Ave.: “Arkansas Tales: Visual Stories from Artists Jason Smith, Diane Harper and Dominique Simmons,” reception 5-8 p.m. Dec. 13. 374-9247. BUTLER CENTER GALLERIES, Arkansas Studies Institute, 401 President Clinton Ave.: “Reflections in Pastel,” through Feb. 22, main gallery; “Native Arkansas,” early Arkansas through the writings of early explorers and Native American artifacts, including Mississippian period, Caddoan and Carden Bottoms objects, Concordia Hall, through Feb. 22; the photography of Barney Sellers, Loft Gallery, through Dec. 28; open 5-8 p.m. Dec. 13, 2nd Friday Art Night. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 320-5700. GALLERY 221 & ART STUDIOS 221, Pyramid Place: “Holiday Show,” reception 5-8 p.m. Dec. 13, 2nd Friday Art Night. 801-0211. GOOD WEATHER GALLERY, 4400 Edgemere, NLR: “Trip,” work by Layet Johnson, through Jan. 1. HEARNE FINE ART, 1001 Wright Ave.: “Evolu- tion,” exhibit celebrating the gallery’s 25th anniversary, with work by Lawrence Finney, Mario Robinson, Kevin Cole, Adger Cowans, Samella Lewis, Paul Goodnight and others, through Feb. 2, receptions 1:30 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. Dec. 13, 2nd Friday Art Night, talk by gallery director Garbo Hearne 2 p.m. Dec. 15. 372-6822. HISTORIC ARKANSAS MUSEUM, 200 E. 3rd St.: “9th Ever Nog-off,” eggnog competition, 5-8 p.m. Dec. 13, 2nd Friday Art Night; “Christmas Frolic,” 1-4 p.m. Dec. 15 (rescheduled); “Heeding the Call: The Firefighter Collection of Johnny Reep,” through Jan. 5; “Jason A. Smith: Stills”; “Arkansas Made,” ongoing. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 324-9351. OLD STATE HOUSE MUSEUM, 300 W. Markham: “Spirit of the Season,” Arkansas Chamber Singers, 7 p.m. Dec. 13-14, 3 p.m. Dec. 15; “Lights! Camera! Arkansas!”, the state’s ties to Hollywood, including costumes, scripts, film footage, photographs and more, through March 1, 2015; “Things You Need to Hear: Memories of Growing up in Arkansas from 1890 to 1980,” oral histories about community, family, work, school and leisure, through March 2014. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 324-9685. PAPER SCISSORS LITTLE ROCK, 300 River Market Ave.: Gifts by local crafters, artworks. Open 5-8 p.m. Dec. 13, 2nd Friday Art Night. STRATTON’S, 405 E. 3rd St.: Paintings and prints by Barry Thomas, jewelry by Christie Young, 5-8 p.m. Dec. 13, 2nd Friday Art Night. 791-6700. UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS AT LITTLE ROCK: “The Abstraction of Toys,” MA thesis show of paintings by Dan Thornhill, through Dec. 20, reception 5-7 p.m. Dec. 13. 569-8977.


ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, MacArthur Park: “45th Collectors show and Sale,” contemporary works from New York galleries, though Jan. 5; “Mark Rothko in the 1940s: The Decisive Decade,” Winthrop Rockefeller Gallery, through Feb. 9; “Face to Face: Artists’ Self-Portraits

from the Collection of Jackye and Curtis Finch Jr.,” Townsend Wolfe Gallery, through Feb. 9; “Portraiture Now: Drawing on the Edge,” Jeannette Rockefeller Gallery, through Feb. 9; “50 Works / 50 Weeks / 50 Years,” Alice Pratt Brown Atrium, through December; “The People There: Paintings by Emily Moll Wood,” through Feb. 23. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. 372-4000. ART GROUP GALLERY, Pleasant Ridge Town Center: “Holiday Art Sale,” work by Ron Almond, Matt Coburn, Louise Harris, Ned Perme, Ann Presley, Vickie Hendrix-Siebenmorgen and Holly Tilley. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-6 p.m. Sun. 690-2193. CANTRELL GALLERY, 8206 Cantrell Road: “Bill Lewis Retrospective, 1932-2012,” watercolors and oil paintings, through December. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 224-1335. CHRIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 509 Scott St.: Paintings from the Arkansas League of Artists and Local Colour. CHROMA GALLERY, 5707 Kavanaugh Blvd.: Work by Robert Reep and other Arkansas artists. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat. 664-0880. COX CREATIVE CENTER, 120 River Market Ave.: “Equinox,” works by artists published in UALR’s journal of literature and art. 918-3093. THE EDGE, 301B President Clinton Ave.: Paintings by Avila (Fernando Gomez), Eric Freeman, James Hayes, Jerry Colburn, St. Joseph Thomason and Stephen Drive. 992-1099. ELLEN GOLDEN ANTIQUES, 5701 Kavanaugh Blvd.: Paintings by Barry Thomas and Arden Boyce. 664-7746. GALLERY 26, 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd.: 19th annual “Holiday Show and Sale,” work by more than 50 artists in all media, through Jan. 11. 664-8996. GINO HOLLANDER GALLERY, 2nd and Center: Paintings and works on paper by Gino Hollander. 801-0211. L&L BECK ART GALLERY, 5705 Kavanaugh Blvd.: “Religious art,” paintings by Louis Beck, through December; giclee drawing 5:15 p.m. Dec. 21. 660-4006. M2 GALLERY, Pleasant Ridge Town Center: Mother-daughter exhibit of found-art sculpture by Anita Davis and works on paper honoring Ghana artist El Anatsui by Betsy Davis, through December. 225-6257 or 944-7155. PAINT BOX GALLERY, 705 Main St., NLR: Jewelry by Damon Chatterton, tree sculptures by P.J. Bryant, fused glass by Ali Stinespring. 374-2848. THEA FOUNDATION, 401 Main St., NLR: 3799512.


For more information on our organic growing programs, visit

BENTONVILLE CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART, One Museum Way: “The Artists’ Eye,” Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz collection, including works by O’Keeffe, Stieglitz, Arthur Dove, John Marin and others, shared collection with Fisk University, through Feb. 3; “This Land: Picturing a Changing America in the 1930s and 1940s,” 44 paintings, prints and photographs with digital audio tour featuring musical selections by Fayetteville Roots Festival director Bryan Hembree, through Jan. 6; permanent collection of American masterworks spanning four centuries. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon., Thu.; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Wed., Fri.; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat.-Sun. 479-418-5700. HOT SPRINGS ARTISTS’ WORKSHOP GALLERY, 610a Central Ave.: Watercolors by Terry O’Dell, paintings by Christine Lippert. 501-623-6401. BLUE MOON GALLERY, 718 Central Ave.: Work by Suzi Dennis , Caren Garner, Randall M. Good CONTINUED ON PAGE 36

Arkansas Times 12-11-13.indd 1

DECEMBER 12, 2013


11/13/13 9:15 AM


MUSICIANS SHOWC A SE C ash pri z e to winnin g ban d!

The search is on. It’s the return of the annual Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase with performers competing for an array of prizes. All acts that have at least four songs of original material are encouraged to enter. All styles are welcome.

Deadline for Entry December 30 2014 Prize Package Cash Prize Celebration Party at Stickyz Drink Named after the Winner plus much, much more!

2013 Winner The Sound of the Mountain

Ark ansa s Times Musicians Showc a se Entry Form

Semifinalists will compete throughout January and February at Stickyz.


Weekly winners will then face off in the finals at the Rev Room in March.






Enter online and upload your music files at


Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase PO BOX 34010, Little Rock, AR 72203


For more info e-mail


‘OUT OF THE FURNACE’: Woody Harrelson and Christian Bale star.

Rock ’em, sock ’em in the Rust Belt Cast makes “Out of the Furnace’ worth seeing. BY SAM EIFLING


he joys of “Out of the Furnace” are nearly enough to overcome its ultimate letdown. The cast, for starters, is an embarrassment of riches: Christian Bale as a sturdy steel mill worker; Casey Affleck as his warhaunted brother; Woody Harrelson as a scummy backwoods bare-knuckle boxing

czar. The story moves quickly but without hitting rote notes. The sets and the setting — a crumbling steel town full of claustrophobic houses — imbue it with a sense of authenticity it almost maintains. The Rust Belt noir skids in the third act, but until then, it’s a fun, dark dip into American corrosion. The Pennsylvania

of “Furnace” recalls the old James Carville quote about that state being Pittsburgh and Philadelphia with Alabama in between. The Appalachian locales scored with banjo pickin’ recall “Deliverance,” as surely as an excursion into the woods rhymes with “The Deer Hunter,” another Pennsylvania steel picture. Director Scott Cooper (“Crazy Heart”) is taking big bites in his second feature, and for most of the film, it’s clear he knows what he’s doing. For Bale’s virtuousness in the early going — laughing in bed with his girlfriend (Zoe Saldana) and trying to keep his little brother in good with a loan-sharking bar owner (Willem Dafoe) — he avoids the earnest blandness that befalls so many blue-collar film heroes. Then, he makes a grave mistake, and needs to go away for a while. When he returns, his brother has done another tour in Iraq, his lady has taken up with the local police chief (Forest Whitaker) and he has little to do but put his life back in order. His brother, though, seems intent on getting mixed up with illicit mill brawling. He gets connected to the Harrelson contingent — Dafoe sneeringly derides them as, simply, “the inbreds” — and some bad things happen. Opportunity’s slow fade hangs low over the characters. There’s a freedom

that comes with reduced options; Bale, for one, checks into the same mill where his father worked, and seems content to put beer on the table, take care of his home, hunt with his uncle. This is an oldfashioned American life, except, perhaps, for the unremarked-upon miscegenation of Bale bedding Saldana. The cars are throwback muscle or else they are trucks. The cell phones flip shut. Even as modern men these guys are late adopters. Affleck’s soldier can’t see taking up this life. He gambles and he fights, and he refuses to join his brother at the mill. He’s falling apart, and if that gives him any shred of clarity, it’s in his refusal to seek refuge on a sinking ship. Instead he stands nose-to-nose with Harrelson, who, in playing perhaps the darkest character of his career, stares right back at the irascible vet and eats a sucker (hello, foreshadowing). The Harrelson thug is so chilling and raw that he deserves a richer explanation, in fact. He and the others are a part of a darkly satisfying version of rural-industrial grit. But where’s the vision, when it’s all done? Without a stronger sense of what the hell it all means, the story deadends. “Furnace” builds high hopes, on real merits. It winds up somewhere south of where it was aiming.

DECEMBER 12, 2013




hearsay ➥ Due to the recent inclement weather, GOOD EARTH GARDEN CENTER rescheduled its open house for 1-4 p.m. Dec. 14. ➥ CANTRELL GALLERY will host an exhibit of original prints by Arkansas Tech University associate professor Neal Harrington, entitled “Music, Myth & The Hard Travelin’ Man” from Jan. 10 to March 1. There will be an opening night reception 6-8 p.m. Jan. 10. The artist will be present, and admission is free. ➥ Northwest Arkansas has a new retail entrepreneur: 9-year-old Ellie Boswell, with the help of her mom Holly, have launched WWW. PICKLESSHOP.COM, an online store that features “cool stuff for girls.” You can find embroidered iron-on patches from acclaimed UK illustrator Jennie Maizels, handmade 1-inch buttons and hair accessories by the Boswells, temporary tattoos from Brooklyn-based Tattly Tattoos and educational toys and games from Orchard Toys. Almost all of the items are less than $20 and would make perfect stocking stuffers for any kids in your life. ➥ Dreading holiday cookie baking and decorating? KREBS BROTHERS RESTAURANT STORE has the gadget to make the task less painful this year: Cookease cookie cutters that allow you to cut five cookies at once. It also comes with a handy template to make decorating easier. ➥ ABOUT VASE continues a Christmas tradition started by the store’s founder Phil Cato, who passed away in late November: Christmas Hellebores are in stock at the shop. Be sure to pick up one and enjoy this wonderful Southern tradition of the Christmas rose. According to About Vase’s Facebook page, myth has it that an angel gave a Christmas rose to a young shepherdess who had no present for the infant Jesus. The genus is an ancient Greek name for the plant. As they are perennials, they can go in your yard to be enjoyed outside after their time inside. ➥ If you froze during the bad weather, visit TULIPS and pick up one of the stylish coats they have in stock. There’s a variety of styles, fabrics and colors to choose from so you almost certain to find one you love. 36

DECEMBER 12, 2013


'BECAUSE OF WINN DIXIE": Danny Phillips and Julia Nightingale Landfair star with Taran as Winn Dixie in The Rep's production.

‘Winn Dixie’ delights Rep stages premiere of musical. BY KELLEY BASS


ecause of Winn Dixie” is a compelling, richly textured world-premiere musical full of fine performances, great songs and enough twists and turns to keep things interesting. Its star ostensibly is a lumbering Irish wolfhound named for the grocery store where he was found, but while Winn Dixie is on stage for most of both 50-minute acts, he is more prop than actor. And that’s just fine; he’s amazingly well behaved and compliant — thanks to the expertise of “animal director” Bill Berloni. But he’s not an “actor” like Toto, Lassie, Rin Tin Tin or Arnold Ziffel. Much of the plot centers on Winn Dixie; but his acting consists of lying down, walking around

and lumbering on and off the stage. Just wanted to get that straight. The real star of the show is Julia Landfair, who plays Opal, the new-preacherin-town’s daughter who finds Winn Dixie and convinces her dad to let her keep him, even though she can’t make any headway in training him. An eighth-grader at Episcopal Collegiate School, Landfair is one of three actors in this musical who are veterans of the Rep’s Summer Musical Theatre Intensive (SMTI) program run by Nicole Capri. The others are Danny Phillips (Stevie Dewberry) and Sydni Whitfield (Sweetie Pie Thomas), two of Opal’s friends and two of the brightest spots in the cast. That these youngsters are more than ready and able to contribute to a

major holiday-season, main-stage Rep production is further proof of the amazing youth theater culture here and the power of SMTI. You get to meet many of the cast members as they come to schmooze their new pastor (Jonathan Rayson) with such delights as Oreo salad. Opal laments the stereotypes she deals with as she beautifully sings “Preacher’s Kid,” and she and her dad are both dealing with the wounds of their mom/wife deserting the family. All the cast members, in fact, are trying to bear up through trying times, and it’s those stories, which unfold gradually, that provide the rich plot textures that make “Winn Dixie” a success. Those stories … and the music. Repgoers are the beneficiaries of an all-star team that created this musical, which is based on a novel by Kate DiCamillo. The lyrics are by Nell Benjamin, a Tony nominee for “Legally Blonde.” The music is by Duncan Sheik, who began his career as a minor mid-’90s pop star (search YouTube for “Barely Breathing” — you’ll almost surely know it) before turning to theater. He wrote the music for “Spring Awakening,” a Broadway production; the original cast album won a Grammy for Best Musical Show Album in 2008 and the production won two Tonys, including Best Original Score (Music). There are highlights galore throughout “Winn Dixie,” none better than the amazing vocal performance of the unfortunately named Gloria Dump (Aisha de Haas) on “Bottle Tree Blues,” performed under a stunningly beautiful bottle tree set. “Because of Winn Dixie,” directed by John Tartaglia (Tony nominee for “Avenue Q”), will run through Dec. 29, with shows at 7 p.m. Wednesdays (including Christmas night) through Saturdays and 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays, with additional 2 p.m. performances Dec. 26 and Dec. 28, at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, at Sixth and Main streets in Little Rock. Tickets are $30-$60 (half-price for children). For more information, call 501-378-0405 or visit

AFTER DARK, CONT. and Thad Flenniken. 501-318-2787. FINE ARTS CENTER OF HOT SPRINGS, 626 Central Ave.: Artwork inspired by Kenji Muyazama’s poem “Be Not Defeated by the Rain” by artists from Hanamaki, Japan, through Dec. 14. 501-624-0489. GALLERY CENTRAL, 800 Central Ave.: Glass by James Hayes. JUSTUS FINE ART, 827 Central Ave.: Work by Dolores Justus and others. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.Sat. 501-321-2335.


CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL MUSEUM VISITOR CENTER, Bates and Park: Exhibits on the 1957

desegregation of Central and the civil rights movement. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily. 374-1957. CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CENTER, 1200 President Clinton Ave.: Permanent exhibits on the Clinton administration. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. $7 adults; $5 college students, seniors, retired military; $3 ages 6-17. 370-8000. ESSE, 1510 S. Main St.: “What’s Inside: A Century of Women and Handbags (19001999),” purses from the collection of Anita Davis, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tue.-Sun., $10-$8. 9169022. MacARTHUR MUSEUM OF ARKANSAS M I L I TA R Y H I S T O R Y , M a c A r t h u r

Park: “American Posters of World War I”; permanent exhibits. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-4 p.m. Sun. 376-4602. MUSEUM OF DISCOVERY, 500 President Clinton Ave.: “Robots and Us,” interactive exhibit on robotics, through Jan. 26; “Wiggle Worms,” science program for pre-K children 10 a.m.-10:30 a.m. every Tue., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun., $10 ages 13 and older, $8 ages 1-12, free to members and children under 1. 396-7050. WITT STEPHENS JR. CENTRAL ARKANSAS NATURE CENTER, Riverfront Park: Exhibits on wildlife and the state Game and Fish Commission.

SUPREME, CONT. but the truth was, I wasn’t really much of a car guy and I wasn’t listening. I was worried about him. I saw a man whose life under the best conditions would be much too short, hardly fair since he was one of the best people I had ever hung out with in my life. My wife kept circling the car with him. He kept pointing out details. Leather seats, yadda yadda this, yadda yadda that. We kept nodding and smiling but the kids were still buckled into car seats and getting restless. Cletus just barely had time to point out the ball hitch someone had added, before I let him know that we had to go. He had no boat, but loved to spend his troubled, sleepless nights catfishing. I knew the purchase of some small craft would not be far behind this. After all, he already had the ball hitch. We said our goodbyes, Cletus hugged Melanie and we got in the car and drove off. ◆◆◆ In those days I laid brick every day I could, but with a growing family, and work subject to the whims of nature, I had a plan B.   In spring I enjoyed a rain day as much as anybody, riding shotgun in the Supreme and smoking weed with Cletus, happy to listen to stories of better days, when good health and a woman had still been his. Winters, though, the weather would sometimes be too cold for the mortar to set properly before it would freeze. There were times when the temperature would shut down our whole crew for a week or more. Those weeks and bills to pay, I caught work with my pot dealer, Robbie. He was a painter. While I didn’t make the wages I normally earned laying brick, at least nobody would starve. Since he was a block away and had more pot than I did, I would ride to the job every morning in his truck.  We were coming into Jonesboro from Bono, coming up on Culberhouse Street where Cletus lived. I had just snuffed out a joint when I saw the lights and my heart fell through my gut. One ambulance was parked in the street in front of Cletus’ house, another in the yard. “Wonder what all that is?” Robbie said in a weed-induced stupor. “It’s my friend Cletus,” I said. “Let me out.” The EMTs had just slammed the door on the van. “What happened? Where is he?”  “We are going to St. Bernard’s” the medics said. It was a moment or so before I came back to myself because by the time I looked around, the ambulances were both

gone. I stood alone in the yard, next to the ’77 that Cletus was so proud of, the car he had browbeat his mother into buying for him less than a year before, shamelessly guilting her with the fact that his life was short, that she would bury him soon. I looked through the window and saw his car keys. He never took the keys from the ignition. Everyone in this old part of town knew him and I guess it just didn’t seem like a real big deal to him, all things considered. I jumped in and fired it up, dropped it into gear and peeled out, heading for the hospital, the same one that had denied him treatment, the very same hospital that had ruined his arm and hand as a young man, when his life was all before him.

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◆◆◆ His mother and sisters were all there. I didn’t need to hear anything. When I turned to take off, his 70-yearold mother caught me before I could get back to the car. She talked to me gentle and low, offering me comfort. I was ashamed that it was not me consoling her but could do nothing about it. She wiped at my tears, then went to her purse and handed me the money to get high. We were family after all, and she knew me too well. I didn’t go home that night. I still don’t know who called my wife. There was no way I could have told her. At the funeral, I was so loaded that I stumbled carrying the casket, but we got through it. After me and the other pallbearers helped the guys pick up the folding chairs at the cemetery, Cletus’ mom pressed his car keys into my hand.  “He would have wanted you to have it,” she said.


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◆◆◆ I drove it for a while. My kids called it the Batmobile. They loved how I could coax the big, heavy car into getting a little sideways as we would turn the last gravel corner on our way home. It always made me a little sad, though. Finally, when another close friend of Cletus’ had a son who was turning 16, I gave it to the boy. I was never really a car guy, and Cletus would have been prouder to have a budding young gearhead have it than me, I was sure. I saw it sometimes, sitting on the side of Nettleton Avenue when I would go into town — the car always freshly washed and shining. Ol’ Cletus would have loved that, I think:  His ’77 Supreme sitting on the strip for all of the other car guys to admire. It gave me peace.

A local resource guide for everything you need to know about building, buying & renovating in central Arkansas. look for you r copy jan uary 3 For info contact Phyllis Britton at 501.375.2985 or

DECEMBER 12, 2013


Dining WHAT’S COOKIN’ A FRANCHISE OF THE PITA PIT restaurant chain will open at 12911 Cantrell Road in West Little Rock on Jan. 6. The franchisee is Colby Ruple. With the inclusion of the Little Rock store, the Pita Pit chain, which was founded in Ontario, Canada, in 1997, will have a location in every Southern state except Mississippi. The chain currently has more than 350 locations in the U.S. and Canada. Pita Pit restaurants offer fast casual dining, centered around (as the name suggests) white and wheat pita bread wraps. At its website,, the company lists 25 varieties of pita wraps, including chicken souvlaki, Philly cheesesteak, gyro and prime rib, along with salads, soups, smoothies and more.

Waffle Wagon

Various locations 501-319-3132 Twitter: @wafflewagonLR

QUICK BITE Like all mobile eateries, the best way to hunt down the Waffle Wagon is to follow it on social media for locations and daily menu specials. Chef/owner Matt Clark works a 9 to 5 as chef at Acxiom, so you’ll typically only find him in the evenings and weekends. The wagon takes phone and text orders, too. HOURS Vary, check social media. OTHER INFO All major CC, no alcohol




4 SQUARE CAFE AND GIFTS Vegetarian salads, soups, wraps and paninis and a broad selection of smoothies in an Arkansas products gift shop. 405 President Clinton Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-244-2622. BLD daily. ALL AMERICAN WINGS The downtown location of a small chain of wing shops that feature 13 flavors of wings, from hot to not. 801 W. Markham. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-3750000. LD Mon.-Fri., D Sat. 7706 Cantrell Road. No alcohol, All CC. $. 501-223-3355. Serving LD Mon.-Fri., D Sat. ARGENTA MARKET The Argenta District’s neighborhood grocery store offers a deli featuring a daily selection of big sandwiches along with fresh fish and meats and salads. Emphasis here is on Arkansas-farmed foods and organic products. 521 N. Main St. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-379-9980. L daily, D Mon.-Sat., B Sat., BR Sun. ARKANSAS BURGER CO. Good burgers, fries and shakes, plus salads and other entrees. Try the cheese dip. 7410 Cantrell Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-663-0600. LD Tue.-Sat. ASHLEY’S The premier fine dining restaurant in Little Rock marries Southern traditionalism and haute cuisine. The menu is often daring and always delicious. 111 W. Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-374-7474. BLD Mon.-Sat. BR Sun. BELWOOD DINER Traditional breakfasts and plate lunch specials are the norm at this lostin-time hole in the wall. 3815 MacArthur Drive. NLR. No alcohol, No CC. $. 501-753-1012. BL Mon.-Fri. BEV & GUY’S FISH & CHICKEN Seating is limited to eight, so customers might want to consider the carry-out option. This restaurant specializes in fried catfish fillets and chicken and all the trimmings. 3319 John Barrow Road. No alcohol, No CC. $. 501-224-2981. L Fri.-Sat. D Thu., Sat., Sun. 38

DECEMBER 12, 2013


NOT AWFUL WAFFLE: A pear waffle from the Waffle Wagon.

Waffles for every meal The Waffle Wagon is worth tracking down.


ow that the food truck is a fixture on our culinary landscape, those who would succeed must develop a menu to separate it from all the various chow trucks roaming the streets of Little Rock. One of our newest trucks, the Waffle Wagon, has managed to do just that by taking the ordinary waffle concept and bending it into such a wide variety of sweet and savory offerings that folks used to their morning Eggo will hardly recognize these tasty waffles as even being the same sort of pastry. Being used to waffles of the butterand-syrup-drenched variety, we were initially intrigued by the savory options available from Waffle Wagon. Lucky for us, the truck’s signature Chicken and Waffles ($10) combines the best of both worlds into a thick, Belgian-style waffle topped with real maple syrup, then topped again by three large buffalo-style chicken strips. We expected the typical pre-breaded and frozen chicken and

were pleasantly surprised to see fresh chicken breaded to order, fried up right there in front of us, then tossed in a spicy sauce — all in just about the exact time it took our waffle to come out piping hot from the waffle-maker. Our second savory option was a cornbread waffle topped with slow-cooked purple hull peas and jalapeno jelly ($8). We’ve eaten a lot of peas across the state, and these beauties could stand up to any of them with their good texture, bits of ham hock, and a pot liquor that soaked into that cornbread waffle perfectly. And while we’re not normally fans of pepper jelly, the dollop of bright green jalapeno on top of this dish was a good addition, spicy and sweet. For folks who want their waffles to be sweet, the Waffle Wagon skillfully rises to the challenge. A waffle flecked with pear, grown locally at Dunbar Garden and diced, and small crystals of sweet brown sugar ($8) was delicious. First timers might be expecting

a heavy, goopy, overloaded waffle here, but Waffle Wagon’s offerings are anything but. The sweet waffle was light and airy, yielding under the lightest touch of a fork. The pear and brown sugar was stuffed inside the waffle batter, to good result. We were so impressed with their pear waffle, we decided to see what they could do with banana on our follow-up visit. We chose the banana brown sugar waffle ($8) that came lightly drizzled in maple and topped with another generous pat of butter. Banana and brown sugar have been dear friends since the dawn of man, and for good reason, too. Here the maple accentuated the aromatic, ripe banana perfectly. The entire waffle was consumed in record time. The same can be said for a similar sweet waffle stuffed with Granny Smith apples ($8), again showcasing the truck’s ability to combine fresh fruit with their light batter to create a dish that truly becomes greater than the sum of its parts. It takes a brave chef to stake his culinary reputation on something like a waffle, but after the first taste of the Waffle Wagon’s wares we had no doubt chef/owner Matt Clark and his truck would be a valuable addition to our local food scene. Clark’s menu changes with the seasons, guaranteeing that much of the fruit is at its peak of freshness and flavor. Besides, is there anything more fun than indulging one’s inner child by having waffles for dinner? When the waffles in question are this good, we submit that there is not.

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.

THE BLIND PIG Tasty bar food, including Zweigle’s brand hot dogs. 6015 Chenonceau Blvd. Full bar, CC. $-$$. 501-868-8194. D: Tue.-Sun., L Sat.-Sun. BRAVE NEW RESTAURANT The food’s great, portions huge, prices reasonable. Diners can look into the open kitchen and watch the culinary geniuses at work slicing and dicing and sauteeing. It’s great fun, and the fish is special. 2300 Cottondale Lane. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-2677. LD Mon.-Fri. D Sat. BRAY GOURMET DELI AND CATERING Turkey spreads in four flavors — original, jalapeno, cajun and dill — and the homemade pimiento cheese are the signature items at Chris Bray’s delicatessen, which serves sandwiches, wraps, soups, stuffed potatoes and salads and sells the turkey spreads to go. Arkansas Fresh Breads supplies the bread; the olive oil sourdough is an exclusive. You can buy loaves, too. Petit Jean supplies the ham and peppered beef. Breakfast features cinnamon rolls and muffins. 323 Center St. Suite 150. No alcohol, All CC. 501-353-1045. BL Mon.-Fri. BY THE GLASS A broad but not ridiculously large wine list is studded with interesting, diverse selections, and prices are uniformly reasonable. The food focus is on high-end items that pair well with wine — olives, hummus, cheese, bread, and some meats and sausages. Happy hour daily from 4-6 p.m. 5713 Kavanaugh Blvd. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-663-9463. D Mon.-Sat. CAFE@HEIFER Serving fresh pastries, omelets, soups, salads, sandwiches and pizzas. Located inside Heifer Village. 1 World Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $. 501-907-8801. BL Mon.-Fri. CAPITAL BAR AND GRILL Big hearty sandwiches, daily lunch specials and fine evening dining all rolled up into one at this landing spot downtown. Surprisingly inexpensive with a great bar staff and a good selection of unique desserts. 111 Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-374-7474. LD daily. CAPITOL BISTRO Serving breakfast and lunch items, including quiche, sandwiches, coffees and the like. 1401 W. Capitol Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-371-9575. BL Mon.-Fri. CATERING TO YOU Painstakingly prepared entrees and great appetizers in this gourmetto-go location, attached to a gift shop. Caters everything from family dinners to weddings and large corporate events. 8121 Cantrell Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-614-9030. Serving meals to go: LD Mon.-Sat. CATFISH HOLE Downhome place for wellcooked catfish and tasty hushpuppies. 603 E. Spriggs. NLR. Beer, All CC. $-$$. 501-758-3516. D Tue.-Sat. CIAO BACI The focus is on fine dining in this casually elegant Hillcrest bungalow, though excellent tapas are out of this world. The treeshaded, light-strung deck is a popular destination. 605 N. Beechwood St. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-603-0238. D Mon.-Sat. CRAZEE’S COOL CAFE Good burgers, daily plate specials and bar food amid pool tables and TVs. 7626 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-221-9696. LD Mon.-Sat. CUPCAKES ON KAVANAUGH Gourmet cupcakes and coffee, indoor seating. 5625


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

Kavanaugh Blvd. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-664-2253. LD Mon.-Sat. 11525 Cantrell Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-224-2253. LD Tue.-Sat. DEMPSEY BAKERY Bakery with sit down area, serving coffee and specializing in gluten-, nutand soy-free baked goods. 323 Cross St. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-375-2257. Serving BL Tue.-Sat. DIXON ROAD BLUES CAFE Sandwiches, burgers and salads. 1505 W. Dixon Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-888-2233. BLD Mon.-Sat. DOE’S EAT PLACE A skid-row dive turned power brokers’ watering hole with huge steaks, great tamales and broiled shrimp, and killer burgers at lunch. 1023 W. Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-376-1195. LD Mon.-Fri., D Sat. EJ’S EATS AND DRINKS The friendly neighborhood hoagie shop downtown serves at a handful of tables and by delivery. The sandwiches are generous, the soup homemade and the salads cold. Vegetarians can craft any number of acceptable meals from the flexible menu. The housemade potato chips are da bomb. 523 Center St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-666-3700. LD Mon.-Fri. FILIBUSTER’S BISTRO & LOUNGE Sandwiches, salads in the Legacy Hotel. 625 W. Capitol Ave. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-374-0100. D Mon.-Fri. FIVE GUYS BURGERS & FRIES Nationwide burger chain with emphasis on freshly made fries and patties and over 15 toppings for you to create your own burger. 13000 Chenal Parkway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-225-1100. LD daily.; 2923 Lakewood Village Dr. NLR. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-246-5295. LD daily. FLYING FISH The fried seafood is fresh and crunchy and there are plenty of raw, boiled and grilled offerings, too. The hamburgers are a hit, too. It’s counter service; wander on through the screen door and you’ll find a slick team of cooks and servers doing a creditable job of serving big crowds. 511 President Clinton Ave. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-375-3474. LD daily. GRUMPY’S TOO Music venue and sports bar with lots of TVs, pub grub and regular drink specials. 1801 Green Mountain Drive. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-225-3768. LD Mon.-Sat. HOMER’S Great vegetables, huge yeast rolls and killer cobblers. Follow the mobs. 2001 E. Roosevelt Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-374-1400. BL Mon.-Fri. 9700 N Rodney Parham. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-224-6637. LD Mon.-Sat. IRONHORSE SALOON Bar and grill offering juicy hamburgers and cheeseburgers. 9125 Mann Road. Full bar, All CC. $. 501-562-4464. LD daily. J. GUMBO’S Fast-casual Cajun fare served, primarily, in a bowl. Better than expected. 12911 Cantrell Road. Beer, All CC. $-$$. 501-916-9635. LD daily. JIMMY’S SERIOUS SANDWICHES Consistently fine sandwiches, side orders and desserts for 30 years. Chicken salad’s among the best in town, and there are fun specialty sandwiches such as Thai One On and The Garden. Get there early for lunch. 5116 W. Markham St. No alcohol, CC. $-$$. 501-666-3354. L Mon.-Sat., D Mon.-Sat. (drive-through only).

Check out the Times’ food blog, Eat Arkansas

K. HALL AND SONS Neighborhood grocery store with excellent lunch counter. The cheeseburger is hard to beat. 1900 Wright Avenue. No alcohol, CC. $. 501-372-1513. BLD Mon.-Sat. (closes at 6 p.m.), BL Sun. KRAZY MIKE’S Po’Boys, catfish and shrimp and other fishes, fried chicken wings and all the expected sides served up fresh and hot to order on demand. 200 N. Bowman Road. Beer, All CC. $$. 501-907-6453. LD daily. LE POPS GOURMET ICE LOLLIES Delicious, homemade iced lollies (or popsicle for those who aren’t afraid of the trademark). 400 President Clinton Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-554-3936. L Mon.-Sat. LOCA LUNA Grilled meats, seafood and pasta dishes that never stray far from country roots, whether Italian, Spanish or Arkie. “Gourmet plate lunches” are good, as is Sunday brunch. 3519 Old Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-4666. BR Sun., LD Mon.-Fri., D Sat. MILFORD TRACK Healthy and tasty are the key words at this deli/grill that serves breakfast and lunch. Hot entrees change daily and there are soups, sandwiches, salads and killer desserts. Bread is baked in-house, and there are several veggie options. 10809 Executive Center Dr., Searcy Building. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-223-2257. BL Mon.-Sat. OYSTER BAR Gumbo, red beans and rice (all you can eat on Mondays), peel-and-eat shrimp, oysters on the half shell, addictive po’ boys. Killer jukebox. 3003 W. Markham St. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-666-7100. LD Mon.-Sat. OZARK COUNTRY RESTAURANT A longstanding favorite with many Little Rock residents, the eatery specializes in big country breakfasts and pancakes plus sandwiches and several meat-and-two options for lunch and dinner. Try the pancakes and don’t leave without some sort of smoked meat. 202 Keightley Drive. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-663-7319. B daily, L Mon.-Fri., D Thu.-Sat. PANERA BREAD This West Little Rock bakery/ cafe serves freshly-baked breads, bagels and pastries every morning. Choose from a full line of espresso beverages. Panera also offers a full menu of sandwiches, hand-tossed salads and hearty soups. 11525 Cantrell Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-227-0222. BLD daily. PURPLE COW DINER 1950s fare — cheeseburgers, chili dogs, thick milkshakes — in a ‘50s setting at today’s prices. 8026 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-221-3555. LD daily, BR Sat.-Sun. 11602 Chenal Pkwy. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-224-4433. LD daily, BR Sat.-Sun. 1419 Higden Ferry Road. Hot Springs. Beer, All CC. $$. 501-625-7999. LD daily, B Sun. THE RELAY This grill offers a short menu, which includes chicken strips, french fries, hamburgers, jalapeno poppers and cheese sticks. 12225 Stagecoach Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-455-9919. LD daily. THE ROOT CAFE Homey, local foods-focused cafe. With tasty burgers, homemade bratwurst, banh mi and a number of vegan and veggie options. Breakfast and Sunday brunch, too. 1500 S. Main St. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. BL Tue.-Sat., BR Sun. SALUT BISTRO This bistro/late-night hangout does upscale Italian for dinner and pub grub

until the wee hours on the weekends. 1501 N. University. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-660-4200. L Mon.-Fri., D Tue.-Sat. SANDY’S HOMEPLACE CAFE Specializing in home style buffet, with two meats and seven vegetables to choose from. It’s all-you-caneat. 1710 E 15th St. No alcohol, No CC. $. 501-375-3216. L Mon.-Fri. SCALLIONS Reliably good food, great desserts, pleasant atmosphere, able servers — a solid lunch spot. 5110 Kavanaugh Blvd. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-666-6468. L Mon.-Sat. SHAKE’S FROZEN CUSTARD Frozen custards, concretes, sundaes. 12011 Westhaven Dr. No alcohol, All CC. $. 501-224-0150. LD daily. SHIPLEY DO-NUTS With locations just about everywhere in Central Arkansas, it’s hard to miss Shipley’s. Their signature smooth glazed doughnuts and dozen or so varieties of fills are well known. 7514 Cantrell Rd. No alcohol, All CC. $. 501-664-5353. B daily. SHORTY SMALL’S Land of big, juicy burgers, massive cheese logs, smoky barbecue platters and the signature onion loaf. 1100 N. Rodney Parham Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-224-3344. LD daily. SLIM CHICKENS Chicken tenders and wings served fast. Better than the Colonel. 4500 W. Markham. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-9070111. LD daily. SONNY WILLIAMS’ STEAK ROOM Steaks, chicken and seafood in a wonderful setting in the River Market. Steak gets pricey, though. Menu is seasonal, changes every few months. 500 President Clinton Ave. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-324-2999. D Mon.-Sat. SOUTH ON MAIN Fine, innovative takes on Southern fare in a casual, but well-appointed setting. 1304 Main St. Full bar, CC. $-$$. 501-244-9660. L Mon.-Fri., D Tue.-Sat. STAGECOACH GROCERY AND DELI Fine po’ boys and muffalettas — and cheap. 6024 Stagecoach Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-455-4157. BLD Mon.-Fri., BL Sat.-Sun. TABLE 28 Excellent fine dining with lots of creative flourishes. Branch out and try the Crispy Squid Filet and Quail Bird Lollipops. 1501 Merrill Drive. Full bar, CC. $$$-$$$$. 224-2828. D Mon.-Sat. TERRI-LYNN’S BAR-B-Q AND DELI Highquality meats served on large sandwiches and good tamales served with chili or without (the better bargain). 10102 N. Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-227-6371. BL Tue.-Fri., BLD Sat. (close at 5pm). WEST END SMOKEHOUSE AND TAVERN Its primary focus is a sports bar with 50-plus TVs, but the dinner entrees (grilled chicken, steaks and such) are plentiful and the bar food is upper quality. 215 N. Shackleford. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-224-7665. L Fri.-Sun., D daily. WINGSTOP It’s all about wings. The joint features ten flavors of chicken flappers for almost any palate, including mild, hot, Cajun and atomic, as well as specialty flavors like lemon pepper, teriyaki, garlic parmesan and Hawaiian. 11321 West Markham St. Beer, All CC. $-$$. 501-224-9464. LD daily. CONTINUED ON PAGE 46

DECEMBER 12, 2013


CHAINWHEEL 10300 N. Rodney Parham Rd. 501.224.7651

Pat Barron, co-owner



he biggest, busiest shopping season is upon us, so now is the time to start thinking about who’s been naughty and nice. Coming up with the perfect gift for everyone on

the ever-growing list can stress out even the merriest of shoppers. To keep everyone’s holiday shopping spirit in check, local shop owners are here to help. They’ve shared their picks for what’s popular this holiday season. 40

DECEMBER 5, 2013


BONTRAGER CONVERTIBLE WINDSHELL – SALE $79.99 (was $99.99) Cyclists love to layer up — This convertible jacket keeps bicycle riders warm and happy without the bulk. Converts to a wind vest as the temperatures rise and packs away when not in use.

BONTRAGER TRIP 5 CYCLE COMPUTER – SALE $39.99 (was $59.99) Keep track of the miles ridden on a bicycle with this wireless cycle computer — features odometer, trip distance, current speed, maximum speed, average speed, clock, timer and even current temperature!


BOX TURTLE 2616 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501.661.1167

Breckenridge Village Rodney Parham Road Little Rock 501.227.5537


OVERSIZED FEED GUATEMALA POUCH — $38.50 Show your loved ones you care about others when you gift this season. These oversized FEED Guatemala pouches are a great way to do just that. For every pouch purchased, 70 packets of micronutrient powder go to children in Guatemala.


For the kitchen savvy or the coffee addicted, this set of ceramic cappuccino mugs makes a colorful gift. You’ll brighten up any space with these on display. Each set comes with a stand.


Great casual wear is available at Barbara Graves. Like this bronze and taupe skinny jean by MiracleBody (which means great fit) for $110 and this matching top by ISLE Apparel for $55. Perfect for that night out on the town any time of the year!




Drug Store Located in the heart of Hillcrest.

2801 Kavanaugh Little Rock, AR 501.663.4131


DECEMBER 5, 2013


HOLIDAY SHOP TALK KYLE-ROCHELLE JEWELERS Harold Murchison, owner W 6th St, Little Rock, AR 72201 (501) 375-3335

Diamond Stud Earrings Many sizes available.

Yanni B 14K Two Tone Diamond (22 dia .45 CTW-white & 28 dia .38 CTWyellow) and Emerald (2.90 CTW) Fashion Ring

Ancora Designs 14K Gold Two Tone Diamond (7dia 2.0 CTW) Bridal Set

Kyle-Rochelle Jewelers

We’re giving away a pair of diamond stud earrings for the holiday season. (Two diamonds, approx. ½ carat each for one carat total weight)

Harold MurcHison

Come in to sign up for your ChanCe to win!

523 South Louisiana, Suite M100 – Little Rock, AR 72201 501-375-3335 – M-F 9am–5pm –

Drawing winner on Friday, Dec. 20th

(No need to be present to win on the day of drawing) 42

DECEMBER 5, 2013



❆ Baby it’s Cold ❆ ❆ Outside! ❆


HEIFER INTERNATIONAL Heifer Village 1 World Avenue


One of the toughest animals out there, water buffalo lead a family out of hunger by providing milk to drink and sell, the strength to till soil and plant rice. A farmer can plant four times more rice with the help of a water buffalo than he can by hand. Strong enough to haul heavy loads to the market, Heifer families often rent out their buffalo to neighbors to earn extra income.

GOAT — $120

These versatile creatures can survive in even the most extreme climates. They supply up to a ton of milk a year (used also to make cheese, yogurt and butter), leading the way for better nutrition in improversihed communities. And, because they have two to three kids a year, it’s easier for Heifer families to pass on the gift of a goat to another family in need.

❆ ❆ ❆ Sizes S-M-L $59-$69

This holiday season give a gift from “The Most Important Gift Catalog in the World®” and provide the tools families need to end hunger and poverty.

— Shannon Boshears, Heifer International’s director of community and public affairs

❆ “There is no better gift to give than one that keeps on giving to help others, and that’s a Heifer gift.”

❆ ❆

❆ Breckenridge Village 501-227-5537

❆ ❆

Our Shop at Heifer Village is brimming with Earth- and artisan-friendly gifts for the holidays, and you can even buy a goat or two while you’re here. All purchases benefit Heifer’s work to end hunger and poverty. Or, give a gift from “The Most Important Gift Catalog in the World®” at

Monday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. 1 World Avenue, Little Rock (Behind the Clinton Library)

DECEMBER 5, 2013


hot springs


from Capone to Costello

OZARK OUTDOOR SUPPLY When the government dismantled the boardwalk empire, a new resort for gangland luminaries began to “light up” central avenue in hot springs, arkansas. read all about the glory days of the southern club, the Vapors, the Belvedere and Bathhouse row in Hot Springs From Capone to Costello by the director of the gangster museum of america, robert K. raines. available at Barnes and noble, Books-amillion, the hatterie, and other fine gift shops.

just in time for christmas!

5514 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501.664.4832


Stove and cook set. This is a three-piece backpacking cook system that combines the Crux stove and a 0.95L heat exchange pan and lid/frypan.


510 Central avenue · (501) 318-1717 Historic Downtown Hot springs tgmoa.Com @tgmoa

2801 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501.663.4131


Treat yourself or a loved one to a Food Slab. The first farm-to-table stone food plate makes a great addition to any holiday table.

THE GANGSTER MUSEUM OF AMERICA 510 Central Avenue Historic Downtown Hot Springs 501.318.1717


CALL 224-7651


DECEMBER 5, 2013


In Hot Springs From Capone to Costello, Gangster Museum of America director Robert K. Raines writes about the glory days of the Southern Club, The Vapors, the Belvedere and Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs. The book is available at the museum’s gift shop, The Hatterie.

HOLIDAY SHOP TALK COLONIAL WINE AND SPIRITS Look for the Colonial Gift Guide in this issue!

11200 W. Markham St. 501.223.3120 Your holiday wine and spirits headquarters! Clark Trim, owner

Just in time for


2616 Kavanaugh Blvd. · Little Rock 501.661.1167 ·

DON JULIO — 1942

This special Anejo is produced in small batches as a tribute to the year Don Julio started producing Tequila. It’s smooth and silky with a long intense finish of vanilla and oak.


I love it because of the quality, flavor profile, and price. It’s a made in USA product we are proud of!

Find Something for Everyone on Your List!

View our Holiday Gift Guide at or on facebook.


One of my favorite growing regions, this wine is my favorite with southern style turkey and dressing.


This is certainly a special occasion wine, or a wine for a collector. 100 points Wine Spectator. (1997 Wine of the Year & Cellar Selection)

Open Sundays 1:00-5:00 pm for the holidays 5514 Kavanaugh • Little Rock 501-664-4832

DECEMBER 5, 2013

Ozark Outdoor - Holiday AR Times 2.125”x5.5”




A.W. LIN’S ASIAN CUISINE Excellent panAsian with wonderful service. 17717 Chenal Parkway. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-821-5398. LD daily. CHINESE KITCHEN Good Chinese takeout. Try the Cantonese press duck. 11401 N. Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, CC. $-$$. 501-2242100. LD Tue.-Sun. CURRY IN A HURRY Home-style Indian food with a focus on fresh ingredients and spices. 11121 North Rodney Parham. Beer, Wine, No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-224-4567. LD Mon., Wed.-Sun. HANAROO SUSHI BAR One of the few spots in downtown Little Rock to serve sushi. With an expansive menu, featuring largely Japanese fare. Try the popular Tuna Tatari bento box. 205 W. Capitol Ave. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-3017900. L Mon.-Fri., D Mon.-Sat. LEMONGRASS ASIA BISTRO Fairly solid Thai bistro. Try the Tom Kha Kai and white wine alligator. They don’t have a full bar, but you can order beer, wine and sake. 4629 E. McCain Blvd. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. 501-945-4638. LD Mon.-Sun. MIKE’S CAFE VIETNAMESE Cheap Vietnamese that could use some more spice, typically. The pho is good. 5501 Asher Ave. Beer, CC. $-$$. 501-562-1515. LD daily. MR. CHEN’S ASIAN SUPERMARKET AND RESTAURANT A combination Asian restaurant and grocery with cheap, tasty and exotic offerings. 3901 S. University Ave. $. 501-562-7900. LD daily. PHO THANH MY It says “Vietnamese noodle soup” on the sign out front, and that’s what you should order. The pho comes in outrageously

large portions with bean sprouts and fresh herbs. Traditional pork dishes, spring rolls and bubble tea also available. 302 N. Shackleford Road. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-312-7498. LD Mon, Wed.-Sun. SEKISUI Fresh-tasting sushi chain with fun hibachi grill and an overwhelming assortment of traditional entrees. Nice wine selection, also serves sake and specialty drinks. 219 N. Shackleford Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-221-7070. LD daily. SHOGUN JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE The chefs will dazzle you, as will the variety of tasty stir-fry combinations and the sushi bar. Usually crowded at night. 2815 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-666-7070. D daily. TOKYO HOUSE Defying stereotypes, this Japanese buffet serves up a broad range of fresh, slightly exotic fare — grilled calamari, octopus salad, dozens of varieties of fresh sushi — as well as more standard shrimp and steak options. 11 Shackleford Dr. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-219-4286. LD daily. WASABI Downtown sushi and Japanese cuisine. For lunch, there’s quick and hearty sushi samplers. 101 Main St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-374-0777. L Mon.-Fri., D Mon.-Sat.


CHIP’S BARBECUE Tasty, if a little pricey, barbecue piled high on sandwiches generously doused with the original tangy sauce or one of five other sauces. Better known for the incredible family recipe pies and cheesecakes, which come tall and wide. 9801 W. Markham St. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-225-4346. LD Mon.-Sat. DIXIE PIG Pig salad is tough to beat. It comes with loads of chopped pork atop crisp iceberg,

doused with that wonderful vinegar-based sauce. The sandwiches are basic, and the sweet, thick sauce is fine. Serving Little Rock since 1923. 900 West 35th St. NLR. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-753-9650. LD Mon.-Sat. PIT STOP BAR AND GRILL A working-man’s bar and grill, with barbecue, burgers, breakfast and bologna sandwiches, plus live music on Friday and Saturday nights. 5506 Baseline Road. Full bar, No CC. $$. 501-562-9635. BLD daily.


CREGEEN’S IRISH PUB Irish-themed pub with a large selection of on-tap and bottled British beers and ales, an Irish inspired menu and lots of nooks and crannies to meet in. Specialties include fish ‘n’ chips and Guinness beef stew. Live music on weekends and $5 cover on Saturdays, special brunch on Sunday. 301 Main St. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-376-7468. LD daily. ISTANBUL MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE This Turkish eatery offers decent kebabs and great starters. The red pepper hummus is a winner. So are Cigar Pastries. Possibly the best Turkish coffee in Central Arkansas. 11525 Cantrell Road. No alcohol, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-223-9332. LD daily. LAYLA’S GYROS AND PIZZERIA Delicious Mediterranean fare — gyros, falafel, shawarma, kabobs, hummus and babaganush — that has a devoted following. All meat is slaughtered according to Islamic dietary law. 9501 N Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-227-7272. LD daily (close 5 p.m. on Sun.). L E O ’ S G R E E K C A S T L E Wonderful Mediterranean food — gyro sandwiches or platters, falafel and tabouleh — plus dependable hamburgers, ham sandwiches, steak plat-

ters and BLTs. Breakfast offerings are expanded with gyro meat, pitas and triple berry pancakes. 2925 Kavanaugh Blvd. No alcohol, CC. $-$$. 501-666-7414. BLD Mon.-Sat., BL Sun. (close at 4 p.m.). LITTLE GREEK Fast casual chain with excellent Greek food. 11525 Cantrell Road. Beer, All CC. $$. LD daily. NEXT BISTRO & BAR Mediterranean food and drinks. 2611 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. 501-663-6398. D Tue.-Thu., Sat. SILVEK’S EUROPEAN BAKERY Fine pastries, chocolate creations, breads and cakes done in the classical European style. Drop by for a whole cake or a slice or any of the dozens of single serving treats in the big case. 1900 Polk St. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-661-9699. BLD daily. TAZIKI’S GREEK FARE Fast casual chain that offers gyros, grilled meats and veggies, hummus and pimento cheese. 12800 Chenal Parkway. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-225-1829. LD daily.


CAFE PREGO Dependable entrees of pasta, pork, seafood, steak and the like, plus great sauces, fresh mixed greens and delicious dressings, crisp-crunchy-cold gazpacho and tempting desserts in a comfy bistro setting. Little Rock standard for 18 years. 5510 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-5355. LD Mon.-Sat. CIAO ITALIAN RESTAURANT Don’t forget about this casual yet elegant bistro tucked into a downtown storefront. The fine pasta and seafood dishes, ambiance and overall charm combine to make it a relaxing, enjoyable, affordable choice. 405 W. Seventh St. Full bar,

ARKANSAS TIMES CLASSIFIEDS Find US On FACEBOOK Adoring couple; Financially Secure, Sport, travel, Art, Music awaits 1st baby.

❤ Maggie & pat ❤


❤❤❤❤❤❤ Dwayne e. LoughriDge LMT

Located at a design and Color SaLon 200 north Bowman Ste 11 Little rock, arkansas (501) 217-3500 Chair Massage Specialist

Employment CLEMENCY PsYChiC. The key to success - Real gifted. Tel: 1-888-576-6179 www. (AAN CAN) PhONE OPERATORs From Home. Must have dedicated land line And great voice. 18+ Up to $16.20 per hour. Flex hrs/ some Wknds.1-800-403-7772 hELP WANTED!! Make up to $1000 a week mailing brochures from home! Helping home workers since 2001! Genuine opportunity! No experience required. Start immediately! www.process-brochures. com (AAN CAN)


❤ Adoption ❤

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Research Associate

Research Associate: Little Rock, AR: Conduct research on role of apoptotic proteins in mechanisms of acute and chronic tissue injury related to cancer and toxic injuries; Elaborate and study several models of tissue injury in vitro, such as hypoxia model and drug-induced toxicity, as well as in vivo models of hypoxia- and chemotherapy-induced toxicity in cancer and physiologically intact tissues/organs; Work as a part of collaborative effort in the project on multiple aspects of testing drug toxicity, cell viability, protein expression, and gene regulation both in vitro and in vivo; Perform animal surgery and intravital radiological diagnostics; Test several potential tissue injury protectors from the chemically synthesized pool of inhibitors and nanoparticles and analyze biological samples by using experimental pathology & molecular biology techniques such as PCR, real time RT-PCR, gene expression arrays, cloning and RNA/DNA/protein blotting as well as techniques of confocal fluorescent microscopy, intravital microscopy, time-lapse microscopy, quantitative image colocalization and quantitative image analysis; Req: MS in Biology or a related field plus 3 years research experience, Ph.D preferred. Must know multicolor flow cytometry/cell sorting, live cell biology, microscopy and nanotechnology.

To apply: Position # 50043601

UAMS is an inclusive Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer and is committed to excellence through diversity.

12, 201312, ARKANSAS TIMES 46 46 december DECEMBER 2013 ARKANSAS TIMES

Advertising Sales. Arkansas Times has one position open in Advertising Sales. If you have sales experience and enjoy the exciting and crazy world of advertising then we’d like to talk to you. In addition to our popular weekly issue, we also publish our “over the top” website and blogs. Annually we have special focus issues that cover everything from education, careers and dining. What does all this translate to? A high income potential for a hard working advertising executive. We have fun, but we work hard. If you have a dynamic energetic personality – we’d like to talk to you. Please send your resume and cover letter to Phyllis at: EOE.

My name is Smidgen and I’m about 2 yrs old. I have had all my shots and have been fixed. I get along w other cats. My owner has had to leave me and go to a assisted living care. So I need a forever home.

Please adopt me!





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MOVING TO MAC • 501-681-5855


Friday 12-20, Juanita’s Little Rock Saturday 12-21, Cajuns wharf 8 pm - Little Rock

501-313-9345 501-313-6123 DINING CAPSULES, CONT. All CC. $$. 501-372-0238. L Mon.-Fri., D Thu.-Sat. GRADY’S PIZZA AND SUBS Pizza features a pleasing blend of cheeses rather than straight mozzarella. The grinder is a classic, the chef’s salad huge and tasty. 6801 W. 12th St., Suite C. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-663-1918. LD daily. IRIANA’S PIZZA Unbelievably generous handtossed New York style pizza with unmatched zest. Good salads, too; grinders are great, particularly the Italian sausage. 201 E. Markham St. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-374-3656. LD Mon.-Sat. MELLOW MUSHROOM Popular high-end pizza chain. 16103 Chenal Pkwy. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-379-9157. LD daily. PIZZERIA SANTA LUCIA A mobile pizza oven, imported from Italy, that churns out fine pies. They’re on the smaller side and not topped to excess, but quite flavorful. 1401 S Main St. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-666-1885. Various times. ROMANO’S MACARONI GRILL A chain restaurant with a large menu of pasta, chicken, beef, fish, unusual dishes like Italian nachos, and special dishes with a corporate bent. 11100 W Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-2213150. LD daily. ZAFFINO’S BY NORI A high-quality Italian dining experience. Pastas, entrees (don’t miss the veal marsala) and salads are all outstanding. 2001 E. Kiehl Ave. Sherwood. Beer, Wine, All CC. 501-834-7530. D Tue.-Sat.


BROWNING’S MEXICAN GRILL New rendition of a 65-year institution in Little Rock is a totally different experience. Large, renovated space is a Heights hangout with a huge bar, sports on TV and live music on weekends. Some holdover items in name only but recast fresher and tastier. Large menu with some hits and some misses. 5805 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-663-9956. LD daily, BR Sat-Sun. CANON GRILL Tex-Mex, pasta, sandwiches and salads. Creative appetizers come in huge

quantities, and the varied main-course menu rarely disappoints, though it’s not as spicy as competitors’. 2811 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-664-2068. LD daily. CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL Burritos, burrito bowls, tacos and salads are the four main courses of choice — and there are four meats and several other options for filling them. Sizes are uniformly massive, quality is uniformly strong, and prices are uniformly low. 11525 Cantrell Road. All CC. $-$$. 501-221-0018. LD daily. COTIJA’S A branch off the famed La Hacienda family tree downtown, with a massive menu of tasty lunch and dinner specials, the familiar white cheese dip and sweet red and fieryhot green salsas, and friendly service. 406 S. Louisiana St. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-244-0733. L Mon.-Fri. EL CHICO Hearty, standard Mexican served in huge portions. 8409 Interstate 30. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-562-3762. LD daily. FONDA MEXICAN CUISINE Authentic Mex. The guisado (Mexican stew) is excellent. 400 N. Bowman Road. Full bar, CC. $$-$$$. 501-3134120. LD Tue.-Sun. LA HERRADURA Traditional Mexican fare. 8414 Geyer Springs Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-565-6063. LD Tue.-Sun. LAS MARGARITAS Sparse offerings at this taco truck. No chicken, for instance. Try the veggie quesadilla. 7308 Baseline Road. No alcohol, No CC. $. LD Tue.-Thu. LA REGIONAL A full-service grocery store catering to SWLR’s Latino community, it’s the small grill tucked away in the back corner that should excite lovers of adventurous cuisine. The menu offers a whirlwind trip through Latin America, with delicacies from all across the Spanish-speaking world (try the El Salvadorian papusas, they’re great). Bring your Spanish/ English dictionary. 7414 Baseline Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-565-4440. BLD daily. LOS TORITOS MEXICAN RESTAURANT Mexican fare in East End. 1022 Angel Court. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-261-7823. BLD daily.

MAMACITA’S Serviceable Mexican fare in attractive cafe. 5923 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-916-2421. LD daily. TAQUERIA KARINA AND CAFE A real Mexican neighborhood cantina. Freshly baked pan dulce, to Mexican-bottled Cokes, to firstrate guacamole, to inexpensive tacos, burritos, quesadillas and a broad selection of Mexicanstyle seafood. 5309 W. 65th St. Beer, No CC. $. 501-562-3951. LD Tue.-Thu.



BLACKWOOD’S GYROS AND GRILL A wide variety of salads, sandwiches, gyros and burgers dot the menu at this veteran of Conway’s downtown district. 803 Harkrider Ave. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. 501-329-3924. LD Mon.-Sat. BOB’S GRILL This popular spot for local diners features a meat-and-two-veg cafeteria style lunch and a decently large made-to-order breakfast menu. Service is friendly. 1112 W. Oak St. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-3799760. BL Daily. DAVID’S BUTCHER BOY BURGERS Burgers, fries, shakes and drinks — that’s all you’ll find. 1100 Highway 65 N. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. (501) 327-3333. DUE AMICHE ITALIAN RESTAURANT Stromboli, pasta, pizza, calzones and other Italian favorites. 1600 Dave Ward Drive. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-336-0976. LD Mon.-Sun. FABY’S RESTAURANT Unheralded MexicanContinental fusion focuses on handmade sauces and tortillas. 1023 Front Street. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-513-1199. L daily, D Mon.-Sat. 2915 Dave Ward. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-329-5151. LD Mon.-Sun. PITZA 42 You’ll find pizza made on pita bread and a broad salad menu here. 2235 Dave Ward Dr. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-205-1380. SMITTY’S BAR-B-QUE Meat so tender it practically falls off the ribs, and combos of meat that

will stuff you. 740 S. Harkrider. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-327-8304. LD Mon.-Sat. SMOKEHOUSE BBQ Hickory-smoked meats, large sides and fried pickles among other classics offered at this 40-year-old veteran of the Conway barbecue scene. 505 Donaghey. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-764-4227. LD Mon.-Sat. 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. 150 E. Oak St. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-513-0600. LD Mon.-Sat., L Sun. ZAZA The Conway spin-off of the beloved Heights wood oven pizza, salad and gelato restaurant is bigger than its predecessor, with a full bar and mixed drink specials that rely on a massive orange and lime juicer. 1050 Ellis Ave. Conway. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-336-9292. LD daily.


CULINARY DISTRICT A coffeehouse and lunch cafe inside a kitchen store/gourmet grocery with delectable sandwiches and such. The grilled cheese with blue-cheese mayo is addictive. 510 Ouachita Ave. Hot Springs. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-624-2665. L Tue.-Sat. THE PANCAKE SHOP The Pancake Shop’s longevity owes to good food served up cheap, large pancakes and ham steaks, housemade apple butter and waitresses who still call you “honey.” Closes each day at 12:45. 216 Central Avenue. Hot Springs. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-624-5720. BL daily. VINA MORITA RESTAURANT AND WINE BAR The chef and therefore the cuisine are from central Mexico, so while there are many items familiar to Arkies for whom “Mexican” means “Tex-Mex,” there are many more options, including amazing fish dishes and daily specials that impress. 610 Central Ave. Hot Springs. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-6257143. LD daily. december 12, 2013 47 47 DECEMBER 12, 2013

from Here

Retirement looks good


fun people, gourmet food


and activities! • Nightly Dining Prepared By Our Executive Chef

• Small Pets Welcome

• Indoor Heated Saltwater Pool & Whirlpool • Happy Hour Nightly Before Dinner • Emergency Pull-Cords • 24 Hour Controlled Access • Large Apartments With Balconies/Patios • Scheduled Transportation Available • All Utilities Paid • Weekly Housekeeping & Linen Service

• Billiards & Game Room • Beauty Salon & Barber Shop • Fitness Room, Exercise Classes & Activities/Fitness Director

Call Wendy Hudgeons to schedule your tour today!



reathtaking views of the surrounding hills, deluxe modern amenities and more – the luxurious high-rise residences of Woodland Heights take retirement living to a whole new level. Tucked away in the serenity of nature yet only minutes from the bustle of the city, you’ll love life from our point of view.

•C  lose To Four Of Arkansas’s Best Medical Facilities


8700 Riley Drive | Little Rock |

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Arkansas Times entertainment, culture, politics

Ar times 12 12 13  

Arkansas Times entertainment, culture, politics