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DECEMBER 19, 2013
Votes count The 6.1 percent turnout for the $73.5 million bond issue to renovate Robinson Center resulted in 5,183 votes supporting the project. In effect, each vote for the project supported the issuance of over $14,000 in bonds. And citizens think that their votes don’t count! Mike Watts Little Rock
We know our dogs The weather break and closed K-12 schools gave me the time to sit down and catch up on my reading, which included a stack of the Arkansas Times that had accumulated as other things ate up my time. I was both surprised and pleased to see the review of The Blind Pig in the Nov. 14 issue, touting Zweigle hot dogs. The New York origin in question is Rochester, where I grew up with these hot dogs as the local gold standard. I have been touting them for some time and actually have a connection with an Italian deli in Rochester that distributes Zweigle meats nationwide, albeit via the costly mode of overnight shipping. They actually have quite the clientele all over the nation. I don’t know who does the reviews for you, but his/her judgment is now officially excellent. Both the red and white Zweigle hot dogs are superb! Mark R. Killenbeck Fayetteville
Drug testing not justified This legislative session, Arkansas joined the national trend of maligning the poor with mandatory drug testing for public benefits. The bill, SB 38, would have instituted mandatory drug testing for unemployment benefits. Since 2011, state legislators have proposed at least 85 bills requiring drug tests for public benefits. In February the 11th Circuit found Florida’s blanket testing statute for all TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) applicants to be an unreasonable search under the Fourth Amendment. The 11th Circuit’s decision demonstrates only one of three problems with mandatory drug testing. Lawmakers must strongly consider constitutionality, finances and the factual justification for such testing. Only time and justiciable cases will answer the constitutional questions, but there is enough data to show that these policies are rarely factually or financially justified. Few states have published their 4
DECEMBER 19, 2013
financial outcomes from these programs, but those that have paint a wasteful picture. Florida’s unconstitutional law netted the state a $45,780 loss — a figure that does not even include implementation or litigation expenses. Utah, implementing a testing policy based on reasonable suspicion from a pre-screening process, claims savings of $360,000 from the first year, but it is unclear where these savings come from. It appears to be based on the number of applicants who refused a test after they were flagged in the pre-screening process, but those applicants may reapply after a 6- to 12-month penalty period so the actual savings may be much lower due to those screened out eventually joining the rolls. Notably, the 12 individuals who took the test and failed may still receive benefits if they enroll in a state-funded treatment program. Oklahoma’s program demonstrates the high cost of pre-screening, even when it does not provide funding for treatment. The state is responsible for the $20 prescreening test and the $140 test for flagged individuals, so even a moderate net savings is improbable. Financially, these policies are very difficult to justify. In states that have issued their data, there are rarely enough people
screened out of the program to validate the expense. The high cost of these programs point out their greatest flaw: applicants for public benefits simply are not using drugs at the rate politicians want constituents to think, making these policies an unjustifiable expense. During the first year of testing in Utah, 12 welfare applicants tested positive. During a three-month period in Oklahoma, 29 out of 1,300 applicants tested positive. Arkansas must look to other states for guidance. A blanket testing policy, like SB 38, will not pass Constitutional muster. These policies have proven economically wasteful, and unfairly miscategorize the poor as drug users. They are based on the unjustified assumption that poor people are more likely to use drugs. Casey Trzcinski Fayetteville
From the web In response to the Dec. 12 article about the Center for Artistic Revolution’s assistance for kids with gender issues: Having seen firsthand the work of Division of Youth Services and the folk at CAR, I have to say that Arkansas
is fortunate to have such a resource. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students and the third leading cause of death for teens to younger adults, age 15-24 years. The statistic for LGBTQ youth are worse, with up to 3-5 more suicide attempts for these folk when compared to their heterosexual counterparts. Social marginalization, harassment, lack of family support and overt aggression directed to these young people all contribute to their vulnerability. Thank goodness for CAR, DYSC and the First Presbyterian Church for their welcoming arms, support and outreach. If we could only convince more social leaders in the Arkansas community of the need for this type of institutions, we could protect the lives and enrich the development of our most precious resource, our youth. A.J. Zolten Board member, Arkansas Chapter, American Foundation For Suicide Prevention
In response to the Dec. 12 article about Fishnet Missions helping a family in need: AMEN. I feel the same way. Dewey and Barbara [Sims] are “GIFTS FROM GOD” and if it wasn’t for them as well as Fishnet Missions I don’t think we would have made it through the tough times either. They really treat us as family and always are there for us in any situation. Fishnet allows me to volunteer my time so that I am able to help others and gives me an outlet to get a little relief from home for a few hours since I am also my wife’s full-time care giver. They mean so much to myself and my family I couldn’t imagine where we would be without them. It’s hard to find people that will call to check on you or drive out of their way to go to the hospital and visit with my wife when she was in there for so long. They mean more to my family then they will ever know. I thank GOD every day for placing them in our lives as well as Fishnet Missions and all the volunteers that are there. I just want to say THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts and I hope they continue to touch and bless many others the way they have us. Charles Hunsucker
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Butterball up creek “A 26-year-old North Little Rock man who told police he abandoned a woman ‘butterball naked’ outside an empty house after breaking a promise to pay her for sex was sentenced to life in prison Thursday by a jury that convicted him of kidnapping.” Butterball naked is foreign to me. A chubby person is called a butterball, but that applies whether the person is clothed or unclothed. Is “butterball naked” unique to North Little Rock, or North Little Rock kidnappers? “The note said that unless the ransom was paid, the victim would be left butterball naked on the steps of Verizon Arena.” As far as I can tell, butterball naked is unconnected with the continuing dispute over buck naked and butt naked, which we’ve discussed before. For those who missed those discussions, buck naked is the right one. More research is needed on butterball naked. Call your kidnapping friends. In another courtroom, a judge was entering rough waters. “The issues
raised in the suit ... require careful consideration before he can make a decision, the judge told a DOUG standing-roomSMITH only courtroom.” firstname.lastname@example.org “ ‘I’m floating on a creek right now, and I don’t know which way I can go,’ said the judge.” Usually, that infamous creek of difficulty is named, and the suggestion made that lack of a paddle worsens the situation. The judge may have felt this terminology would be inappropriate in court. “When working a team of oxen, they are set up as the nigh and far ox. The nigh ox is the one you walk beside and the far ox is on the nigh one’s right side. The far ox is usually the dominant one capable of working with less supervision. Thus, Adam’s far ox would generally be his best.” Some people, including my father, used off instead of far. Discussing a total stranger, he’d say “I don’t know him from Adam’s off ox.”
WEEK THAT WAS
It was a good week for ... UA OFFICIALS UNDER FIRE. On Thursday, David Bercaw, deputy prosecutor for the Fourth Judicial District, released a summary of his investigation into the budget shortfall in the advancement division at the University of Arkansas, finding no evidence of criminal activity. That still leaves lots of questions, not just about financial practices but about the university’s questionable approach on public transparency and accountability. But a bipartisan cohort of legislators at a joint audit committee meeting at the Capitol declined to dive deeper, allowing UA Trustee John Goodson to testify but denying ousted advancement employees Brad Choate and Joy Sharp a chance to tell their side of the story. “People here aren’t interested in the facts,” Choate said.
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counsel without first obtaining the statutorily required approval of the attorney general’s office. The secretary of state’s office first claimed not to have the documents Campbell sought, but provided them after he sued, so Campbell himself (who authors the Blue Hog Report) could be called the overall winner. But on this final matter, over redactions on one document, Martin came out on top. Campbell will appeal.
It was a bad week for ...
MARK DARR. Legislative Audit found that the lieutenant governor had illegally used more than $10,000 in taxpayer money for personal use. Darr pleaded ignorance and said he’ll pay back the state. That was enough for Republican allies in the legislature, who greeted Darr only with a few polite questions, in stark contrast to their histrionics over ethical violations of Democrats in recent months. The other shoe may be about to drop — as we go to press, Darr is set to go before the Ethics Commission, which may look into strong circumstantial evidence that Darr double-charged for some expenses on both campaign and taxpayer accounts.
BIPARTISAN BUDGET DEALS. The budget agreement between Republican Rep. Paul Ryan and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, which would guide the federal budget into 2015, sailed through the House and got a cloture vote in the Senate, making final passage nearly assured. Reps. Tom Cotton and Rick Crawford and Sen. John Boozman were part of the rump tea party contingent ARKANSAS STATE FOOTBALL. For the opposing the budget deal. third straight season, the Red Wolves found a talented head coach to lead them to a MARK MARTIN. Circuit Judge Tim Fox dis- conference title only to have a bigger school missed Matt Campbell’s Freedom of Insnatch him up after just one season. Bryan formation Act lawsuit against Secretary of Harsin is heading to Boise State next year, State Mark Martin on Tuesday. The lawsuit just as Gus Malzahn left for Auburn after originally arose from Campbell’s inspection 2012 and Hugh Freeze left for Ole Miss after of records on Martin’s use of outside legal 2011. www.arktimes.com
DECEMBER 19, 2013
EYE ON ARKANSAS
DECEMBER 19, 2013
he world, through the magic of television, saw the bizarre incident at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela: A supposed interpreter for the deaf stood next to President Obama and other world leaders as each delivered a eulogy. He was close enough to touch each speaker, or worse, as he gestured mightily with his hands, believed by people who don’t know sign language to be interpreting the speakers’ remarks. He was doing no such thing, it was soon revealed. Not an authorized interpreter, but a sometime mental patient, he had made his way into the funeral program in a way unknown or at least un-admitted to by South African authorities. The imposter’s alleged sign language was, experts said, total gibberish. Government investigators promised to get to the bottom of the matter, but as their credentials and abilities seem hardly superior to those of the impostor, expectations are not great. It was a sad, strange blot on a tribute to South Africa’s greatest son, and some Westerners believed it the sort of thing that would not happen in a more advanced country. Having coffee at the Republican state headquarters in Little Rock a couple of days later, we heard a party leader remark, sorrowfully, “Only in Soweto.” But within the week, a similarly shocking oddity occurred at the Arkansas State Capitol, where a legislative committee met to investigate alleged misdeeds by the little-known lieutenant governor of Arkansas, said now to be one Mark Darr. A man took the assigned witness chair but it soon became evident that he was ignorant of, or pretended to be, long-established state laws governing public officials’ use of public and private funds, such as prohibitions against making personal purchases with government credit cards. Speculation that someone other than Darr was testifying spread through the Capitol until Republican state senators claiming to know Darr well vouched for the witness. But they were as indifferent toward retribution as the South African authorities had been. Some even suggested that by being asked to obey the law, Darr was being picked on. An expert in the field, Dr. Vincent Insalaco, did offer an opinion on the matter: “Mark Darr’s blatant abuse of government resources is deplorable. Today’s report confirms that the Lt. Gov. has abused his office and state resources by nearly $10,000, which is nearly half of the average working Arkansan’s income every year. The rules about using state funds for personal expenditures are clear and Darr clearly broke many of them. His record of irresponsibility is an embarrassment to our state and he should apologize to Arkansas for his transgression.” More than apologize, he should resign. The real Darr, that is. If there’s an imitator, he could be barred from the Capitol, now that people know what Mark Darr is supposed to look like.
CHAMPIONS: The Bentonville Tigers celebrate their 39-28 victory over the Cabot Panthers in the Arkansas Class 7A high school championship football game last Friday at War Memorial Stadium.
ust back from a long vacation, I don’t feel my usual dislocation. Internet connections were sketchy, but I read the Arkansas Times and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and stayed up with e-mail. I mostly resisted interjecting cheers and jeers from afar, so in case you wondered: • I was happy to see voters approved a renovation plan for Robinson Center. I’d have spent even more than the Advertising and Promotion Commission dared, adding a couple hundred million to convert the Broadway Bridge to a public plaza and build a new bridge upriver. • Is the Lottery Commission serious? Add video bingo at bars and restaurants to shore up an already eroding scholarship base and make a bad idea worse? • The University of Arkansas. Sheesh. Chancellor David Gearhart finally shut down legislative talk about the financial disaster in the advancement division under his so-called leadership. But he’s forever stained by the mess in a division that continued to run as he ran it — on the come from the secretive UA Foundation. To rejoice that you haven’t been charged with a crime is to damn yourself with the faintest of praise. • Sick of the race for U.S. Senate yet? Will Arkansans really respond to an aloof extremist with weird ideas about women and poor people (Tom Cotton) because he utters Obamacare as tiresomely as a Chatty Kathy doll? Mark Pryor, meanwhile, keeps on being Mark Pryor. His mushy centrism aggravates ideologues like me at times, but it’s almost refreshing in harshly partisan times. • New polling indicates the governor’s race between Democrat Mike Ross and Republican Asa Hutchinson will be tight. Republicans are spoiling to make the race about Ross’ vague departure from customary pro-gun dogmatism. They think Ross is a sure loser for once saying we should talk about the necessity of 100-round killing machines. Are national polls that find this a reason-
able idea really that out of touch with Arkansas? Maybe. Sigh. • The state Board of Education decided to review a departmental panel’s approval of the Quest charter school for West Little MAX Rock. It’s the least they could BRANTLEY do after organizers first claimed email@example.com with a straight face that a school designed to scoop up kids from a high-income white neighborhood would attract a population 78 percent poor enough to qualify for a subsidized lunch. Board member Diane Zook, a charter school advocate, wondered why the state board should even worry about skimming well-to-do white kids out of the Little Rock school district. Brown v. Board of Education is so 1954, I guess. As a supporter of Quest, Zook shouldn’t even have participated in the discussion. Vicki Saviers, an eStem charter founder and another person intent on undermining the good left in the Little Rock School District, joined Zook. But others, notably Jay Barth, Sam Ledbetter and Brenda Gullett, won the day on a clearheaded call for a better examination of Quest’s grandiose curriculum promises and its cockamamie enrollment numbers (counting children of wealthy Asian doctors as minorities is one ploy). With Walton billions behind them, they’ll probably prevail in time. But the public might at least get some consciousness raising. • Let me say this about 25 days at sea: 1) Have I got a fish restaurant for you in Tangier. 2) Pleasant surprises: Madeira, Honduras, Guatemala. 3) I didn’t buy any of the ganja on sale roadside in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, but I did go to the Jerk Centre. Best barbecued chicken ever, accompanied by a reggae band covering “Brown Eyed Girl.” 4) Viva Mexico, even the tourist traps of Cozumel. Call for details. Or check my Facebook page.
Populist Huck may turn off bucks
veryone but Mike Huckabee seems to have forgotten that he finished second in the 2008 Republican presidential sweepstakes, ahead of Mitt Romney, and most people, notably excepting Huckabee himself, are now writing him off as an anachronism. So Huckabee has undertaken what seems to be a one-man crusade to insert himself into the fevered speculation about the 2016 presidential race. The assumption has been and still is that Huckabee will not run because he would have to give up his lucrative media career and might not get it back if he floundered badly in the race. But let’s assume that Huckabee genuinely thinks that 2016 offers him a better chance than did either 2008 or 2012, when he deferred to Romney and a gang of misfits who flamed out even quicker than the field in 2008. It is actually pleasant to imagine that Huckabee is right that Republicans by 2016 will be eager to choose a person like him who, much of the time, shuns the values that breed success nowadays in Repub-
lican precincts: spite for the poor, immigrants, blacks and the works of government, and uncompromising ERNEST war against DemoDUMAS crats and liberals. Huckabee’s political coterie is altogether the evangelical movement, a great force for the Republican Party since President Reagan’s latter days and a movement the Baptist preacher exploited better than Pat Robertson or any of the others. Invoking the Bible and God’s blessings, he brought out swarms of fundamentalists in New Hampshire and Southern and Midwestern primaries. When his poll numbers surged in the early winter of the election season he said God did it, the same as He had “helped a little boy with two fish and five loaves feed a crowd of 5,000.” Huckabee’s smarmy piety turned off secular and libertarian Republicans. When he ran TV ads in Iowa that showed a glowing cross behind him, Rep. Ron Paul, one of
The activist pope
omewhere in the midst of an ava- monarchial traplanche of sickening revelations about pings, Francis has child sex abuse by Catholic clergy it made a shift to occurred to me that if the Vatican sought an return even the most appropriate penance for its sins, it would formalized ritual to go mute on issues of sexual morality for its roots in the gosGENE about 100 years. pel. Rather than LYONS Needless to say, that’s not about to hap- re-enacting Jesus’ pen. washing of his apostles’ feet on Holy ThursInstead, habemus papam. (We have day with carefully groomed young priests a pope.) Catholics have witnessed the — as was long the custom — the new Pope unprecedented resignation of Pope Bene- appeared at an Italian prison. dict, widely seen to have failed utterly to There, Carroll writes, “he washed, dried, cope with the church’s grave crisis — per- and kissed the feet of twelve young inmates, haps even in his own estimation — and the some of them bearing tattoos. Two were remarkable accession of Pope Francis. Muslim. More pointedly, in violation of During the months since his selection, Church tradition, two of the apostolic standthe 76-year-old Argentine has stirred an out- ins were women. When one of the inmates size response throughout the world — galva- asked the Pope why he had come to them, nizing not only the world’s 1.2 billion Roman he said, ‘Things from the heart don’t have Catholics, but members of other faiths and an explanation.’ ” even the irreligious with a shrewd blend of Elsewhere, the new pope has stressed public theater and spiritual humility. a less legalistic, rule-bound encounter Writing in the New Yorker, James with the faith, seeking always to forgive Carroll reports that “even ‘kick the Pope’ rather than to judge. In a remarkable interOrangemen in Northern Ireland love Pope view with the Jesuit magazine America Francis. The press is obsessed with him. he stressed that “we must always consider Time recently named him Person of the the person.” “This is … the great benefit of confession Year.” as a sacrament, evaluating case by case and Who else, indeed? discerning what is the best thing to do for a Renouncing many of the papacy’s
his foes, recalled the (fictitious) warning of Sinclair Lewis that “when fascism comes to this country, it will be wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross.” Huckabee corralled 10 delegates to each one for Paul, whose son Rand may be a big contender in 2016. But evangelicals in 2016 will get Huckabee no further than they got him in 2008, so if he runs where will he sow? Republicans, he said, have to quit denigrating poor people and instead make war on the real “axis of evil,” Washington and Wall Street. Republicans haven’t had a real populist candidate since Teddy Roosevelt and Robert M. “Fighting Bob” LaFollette, who is enshrined with Henry Clay as one of the two greatest senators in U.S. history. LaFollette eventually left the Republican Party when he realized that the antislavery party had become the party of the railroads, Wall Street and big industry. It’s hard to imagine “Fighting Mike” in LaFollette mode, but there he was last week outdoing Barack Obama and telling the preachers about the vast and growing gulf between rich and the middle class and poor and how the middle class had lost ground while the 1 percent had prospered. He took on the Club for Growth, Freedom Works and Heritage Action, the bigmoney PACs that fight federal taxes, spending and Obamacare and coincidentally, in
the case of the Club for Growth and Freedom Works, Mike Huckabee. The Club for Growth blunted Huckabee’s momentum in 2008 with ads attacking him as a big-government liberal who raised taxes, spending and debt in Arkansas. Huckabee still complains about the group’s “lies” about him, but the rich bullies actually were factual. Huckabee raised more taxes than any governor in Arkansas history, more than doubled the state debt, raised the government job roster by 22 percent, vastly expanded government health care and in his last months in office got a waiver from the Bush administration for an Obamacare-style pilot program to extend Medicaid to working childless adults, the riff-raff that Republicans everywhere but in Arkansas have tried to block from the Medicaid rolls. He promised in 2000 to extend health insurance to every Arkansan before he left office, but a school crisis intervened and he never got around to it. But there is a disconnect in Huckabee’s strategy. To get his 2016 campaign rolling he would like to tap into the Republican superPACs like those favored by billionaire gambling mogul Sheldon Adelson, who single-handedly kept Newt Gingrich in the presidential race last year. Governor, those bucks don’t go to populists.
person who seeks God and grace,” Francis elaborated. “The confessional is not a torture chamber, but the place in which the Lord’s mercy motivates us to do better. I also consider the situation of a woman with a failed marriage in her past and who also had an abortion. Then this woman remarries, and she is now happy and has five children. That abortion in her past weighs heavily on her conscience and she sincerely regrets it. She would like to move forward in her Christian life. What is the confessor to do?” It’s a rhetorical question with no onesize-fits-all answer. But the torture chamber metaphor has particular resonance coming from an Argentine, who presided as bishop of Buenos Aires during that country’s “Dirty War,” when dissidents against the military government were kidnapped, tortured and flung out of airplanes into the Atlantic Ocean. Harping on abstract doctrine, Francis stresses, distorts the essence of belief. “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods … . The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.” At the New York Times, this came out “Pope Says Church Is ‘Obsessed’ With Gays, Abortion and Birth Control.” Actually, writes Mark Shea in the National Catholic Register, he said no such thing. He stressed that not all rules are of equal importance,
and that none should supersede compassion and forgiveness. Anybody expecting immediate transformation of Catholic teaching about what Shea calls “the Pelvic Issues” is apt to be disappointed. On the other hand, an American cardinal who made a point in a recent TV interview of stressing that, contrary to the new pope, “we can never talk enough” about abortion and “the integrity of marriage as between one man and one woman” was quickly reassigned. The Catholic Church has never been a democracy. It’s also true, Carroll reports, that a Papal synod will convene in 2014 to ponder “The Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelization.” The Vatican has asked Catholic dioceses to distribute “a questionnaire that asks about divorce, birth control, unmarried people living together and gay marriage.” So why ask if no changes are possible? Particularly when many Catholics feel the church has basically been selling annulments to the likes of Newt Gingrich and Teddy Kennedy, while treating divorce as a terrible sin. Hardly anybody thinks birth control wicked. The church, of course, never claimed to be God. As a human institution, it’s prone to all the sin, folly and corruption we’re all capable of. In his own way, Pope Francis appears to be seeking forgiveness. www.arktimes.com
DECEMBER 19, 2013
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t’s at least anecdotal evidence that Arkansas basketball is on a meaningful upswing, in this columnist’s opinion, that a 29-point demolition of a MEAC school is your low point to date. Even in two losses to California and Gonzaga, the Hogs showed quite a bit of potency for a team trying to cobble together a semblance of chemistry in Chaminade’s crackerbox gym. When they listlessly plodded through the first half against Savannah State last week and carried a two-point lead to the locker room, though, this was that moment that had become queasily familiar over recent years. It isn’t that Mike Anderson’s teams have scuffled badly during non-conference games over his three seasons, but there have been some nervous junctures. In 2011-12, the Hogs were bedeviled until the end by Utah Valley and Southeastern Louisiana; last winter, they were unsteady in the season opener against Sam Houston State and then struggled to put away Robert Morris, two wins that each came by a five-point margin. For context’s sake, Arkansas bombed SELA this year by a healthy 46 points, so it was already established that these guys are a quite a bit more dutiful and focused. Savannah State took full advantage of Michael Qualls’ first-half sitdown — I guess we’ve got an inadvertent Pearls’ jinx going here, since we had just sung his praises here last week —and employed a methodical pace. It worked. Only Rashad Madden’s deft touch and smart shot selection gave Arkansas that slim 27-25 lead it had at the break. That last sentence ought to tell you something. Yes, THAT Rashad Madden, the same one who was a favorite whipping boy for fans the past two seasons, was lighting it up from the very same territory that nipped at his Achilles heel for two solid seasons. Madden has shaken off all that, displayed confidence and maturation at both ends, and transfigured his game from liability to asset nicely. Before you dismiss his 21-point output as a byproduct of the competition, be reminded that the junior guard had only two double-digit scoring games all last year, and is now up to five such performances in nine games this season. With Madden’s confidence brim-
ming and Qualls playing at a high level (both of their early season discipline issues notwithBEAU WILCOX standing and hopefully aberrations), there’s something very odd afoot: Arkansas has two electric and athletic two-guards who are stroking it from the perimeter and penetrating like mad. That doesn’t even include Anthlon Bell, who is in the midst of a major funk but is certainly capable of springing loose at any moment, and Mardracus Wade, who as a friend recently put it, has been practically buried beneath the bench due to ineffectiveness and lost confidence. The consensus going into this campaign was that Arkansas would again struggle to make shots from outside. One-third into the schedule, we simply aren’t seeing that. It’s unreasonable to expect this squad to keep pumping in threes at a 39 percent clip, but imagine for a moment that any scaling back there is offset by the advancement of frontcourt players like Bobby Portis and Moses Kingsley, and suddenly there’s a pang of enthusiasm that hasn’t been there for quite some time. When BJ Young and Marshawn Powell were here last year, the Hogs had two gloriously talented players whose motivations ebbed and flowed. The flashes were too sporadic, though, and Arkansas was again stuck at home in the postseason for the fifth straight year. But the more pressing issue a season ago was that guys like Madden, Wade and Hunter Mickelson simply regressed when the circumstances demanded that they excel. Mickelson is gone and Wade seems resigned to his fate, but this has been the kind of start the Hogs needed, with even great things happening in the two defeats. Anytime a team wakes up like the Hogs did against Savannah State, posting a 45-18 second half to end up blowing out the hapless Tigers, there’s something working. Portis, showing an awful lot of prescience for an 18-yearold, flatly said the Hogs played down to the level of their competition for a half. The fact that their youngest player recognizes this and finds it intolerable now is one hell of a nice sign.
THE OBSERVER NOTES ON THE PASSING SCENE
Samaritans on ice A FINAL ENTRY from the Icepocalypse Diary 2013, delivered late by a Deputy Observer and thus after our press time last week. Too fun to hold onto, however: “The Observer lives on the side of a ski jump nestled in the midtown area of Little Rock, well off the radar of the city’s elusive snow and ice removal crews, if such creatures indeed exist. Given the state of Greater Little Rock’s bridges, side streets and overpasses for most of five days, we suspect those crews may, in fact, be as imaginary as Bigfoot and the Wampus Cat. “In the midst of Icepocalypse 2013, two impressive-looking SUV’s found themselves marooned in front of The Observer’s apartment building, having found out too late that ice spares no vehicle on a 45-degree slope and that they were unable to do anything but slide and spin. Much to our face-palming delight, one of the stranded drivers insisted on compounding the problem by bringing out pitcher after pitcher of hot water to pour under her tires. Said hot water, of course, froze solid brief seconds after it was poured, eventually forming an ice slick of a size and thickness suitable for the figure-skating competition of the Lilliputian Olympic Winter Games. “After watching several misguided efforts to free the behemoths — and having helped free hundreds of similarly stuck vehicles in our younger, snowbound days up north in St. Louis — The Observer decided to do the charitable thing, which was to put on our boots and lend a hand, with the aid of three other good Samaritans, one with a Jeep and a soon-to-break tow rope. A neighbor suggested the use of kitty litter as a traction aid under the tires, and The Observer dutifully ran to retrieve a recently purchased jug of litter. We poured it under the tires, then watched helplessly as the driver dumped yet another pitcher of hot water on top of it. Within seconds, the litter went from hard grip to a wet, slushy goo that coated every item placed under the wheels, from cardboard to planks of wood to carpet scraps, with a viscous slime just a tiny bit less slippery than whale dook on the bottom of the ocean. “Manhood must be served, however, so with much pushing and pulling and a
new tow strap attached to a more mobile and ice-worthy Jeep, the driver was finally freed. Last we saw of her, she was disappearing over the hill to shouts of: ‘Just keep driving ‘til you hit flat pavement.’ ” AND A SUNNIER DISPATCH from a Deputy Observer who resides north of the river: “Quoth the T-shirt: ‘It’s Nicer in Dogtown.’ That shirt speaks truth, and some of the clearest evidence is creeping along North Little Rock’s boulevards and avenues as we write this missive. Behold the glory that is the North Little Rock leaf vacuum! “Whilst our southern neighbors must suffer aching backs as they stuff leaves into bags and frozen fingers as they finagle with fiddly twist-ties, we on the sunny side of the river merely pile our leaves by the curb, to await their date with the most magnificent municipal amenity imaginable. “It arrived at the Observatory’s Argenta Annex this past Monday, heralded by the basso rumble of the slow-moving truck and the attendant throaty howl of the vacuum. We were more than happy to answer an early morning (for us) knock, moving our car at the request of a disheveled but well-mannered Street Department employee. Then we took to the Observation Platform just outside the front door, the better to witness the spectacle. “It’s a three-person operation: One to crawl the truck along the curbside at the speed of a toddler, one to man the massive vacuum tube, and one to rake madly and ensure no leaf goes unsucked. Our own pile was fairly modest, the mistletoe-ridden willow oak having yielded only a few cubic yards of leaves — hardly enough to warrant jumping into. But it was still fun to watch them vanish, lickety-split, into the maw of the vacuum and be flung into the back of the truck, ultimately destined for a compost heap. After 30 seconds, at most, our curbline was clear of the offending vegetation.” That giant sucking sound you hear across the river is northsiders never having to bag leaves again. Things really are nicer in Dogtown.
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DECEMBER 19, 2013
IN S IDE R
David Huckabee, son of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, confirmed to ABC News that his father plans the startup of an online news operation, the Huckabee Post, after the first of the year. The subject surfaced after a Craiglist ad sought employees in Washington and New York for the operation. If Arianna Huffington can make millions from her Huffington Post, why not a Huckabee Post? Clever name, too. The new venture will cover everything from politics to pop culture, the article said. “Huckabee’s son confirmed the forthcoming publication to ABC News, saying that Huckabee Post would be a ‘natural extension and expansion’ for a political figure whose political career has taken him from the campaign trail to the Fox News studios.” When he starts wearing an editor’s hat, Huckabee might take a different view of politicians who reject the Freedom of Information Act, destroy computer hard drives, hide payments to themselves through secretive non-profits, make bad judgments on releasing criminals from prison and such as that.
Heights House race A polling firm has been testing names for a state House race in the Heights area, the seat held by termlimited state Rep. John Edwards. The names: Justice of the Peace Tyler Denton, City Director Stacy Hurst and lawyer Clarke Tucker. Our guess would put Denton as the likeliest entrant of the three. Jodie Mahony, son of the late former El Dorado legislator, has already announced for the seat as a Democrat. French Hill had announced a Republican candidacy before turning his eyes to Congress when U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin said he would not seek re-election. We’re told, though not by her, that Stacy Hurst has said if she runs it will be as a Republican.
Heights mystery development Property was recently cleared along the 6000 block of R Street, including a building on the north side that once housed a church. By whom? For what purpose? The property is owned by R Street Springdale LLC. The property remains CONTINUED ON PAGE 11 10
DECEMBER 19, 2013
Length, breadth, depth Teacher Nicholas Seward’s 3D printer designs are pushing the tech envelope, and helping stretch young minds. BY DAVID KOON
n a recent weekday in a sunny, computer-strewn classroom at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts in Hot Springs, one of teacher Nicholas Seward’s printers was busily whirring out a squirrel. Not a picture of a squirrel. Not a drawing of a squirrel. An actual, three-dimensional toy squirrel: bright orange, plastic, tough enough that when the reporter managed to drop a similar piece on the hard concrete, it simply bounced with a bright, ping-pong ball clink. The machine — called “Simpson” after the scientist George Gaylord Simpson, who came up with the idea that when animals evolve, they do so abruptly — is about the size of a beer keg. Seward designed it. To his knowledge, it’s one of the first 3D printers in the world that doesn’t use linear rails, polished steel guide rods that require expensive bearings and machining. Watching the printer work is a mechanical ballet: three articulated arms that allow a heated tip to float over a polished printing surface. As the computercontrolled arms move, the tip liquefies a plastic filament about the size of a pencil lead, extruding the melted plastic in layers, an object slowly sprouting in its wake. As impressive is the fact that Seward printed most of the parts used to build the printer on yet another printer. Into 3D printing for less than a year, Seward has already managed to move the ball in 3D printer design, giving his plans away for free on the Internet and developing even more advanced designs that can print in curves or on top of existing objects. He’s using his printer designs to teach a generation of young Arkansas geniuses to think about a future where we won’t buy things, we’ll print them. Seward said his involvement in 3D printing has progressed very quickly. A Fayetteville native with a degree in physics who grew up in Gentry, Seward said his
Huckabee the publisher
PRINTING THE FUTURE: Seward, with one of his printer designs.
wife gave him a 3D printer kit last March. As he was putting it together, he said, “I was cursing it, saying: ‘Oh, I would have done that different, or this different.’ ” Though the printer was fun at first, that itch to improve the design soon got the best of him. “I did some squirrels and some owls and I got bored,” he said. “I started feeling guilty, actually, for using this awesome piece of technology for silly things, so I started building things for around the house. Eventually, it was like: Oh, I’m going to build a 3D printer — I’ll try it.”
Soon after setting out to design and build his own printer, he heard about a competition that offered $20,000 to the person who could make a 3D printer that was the most self-replicating — that is: with the most parts that could be 3D printed, and the least amount of bearings and rails and springs and wires. Seward built his first version of a rail-less 3D printer in just 15 days, and managed to come in second in the competition. By contrast, the person who won, a builder he’s since been collaborating with on new CONTINUED ON PAGE 22
WHERE ARE WE WHEN WE ARE HERE? The Arkansas Times occasionally runs a photograph on its editorial page challenging readers to identify the spot. As opposed to the Big Picture, here are little ones that also say something about the state. How well do you know your Arkansas byways? Here’s a quiz based on the year’s selection of the Where In Arkansas? photos from the Eye on Arkansas feature. Good luck.
Tune in to the Times’ “Week In Review” podcast each Friday. Available on iTunes & arktimes.com
INSIDER, CONT. zoned single-family residential (customary for churches) and there are no applications on file to change the use of the property. Hal Kemp, a Little Rock lawyer, is listed on corporate papers as manager of the LLC. He politely declined to answer any questions about the property. Except, he said he would debunk one hot rumor — that the property was owned by Witt Stephens Jr. Not so, he said. One rumor had it that luxury condos were envisioned. Kemp said he’d give a shout when there are developments to report. However, one of the Times’ careful records checkers notes that a post office box listing for the R Street LLC is the same as that listed for the Carol and Witt Stephens Charitable Foundation. Further checking of county treasurer records shows the taxes on the property are paid by Campbell Ranch LLC, whose officers include Elizabeth and Craig Campbell. She is Witt Stephens’ daughter.
Heritage Department eyes new headquarters
The Department of Arkansas Heritage is negotiating to buy 4.168 acres at 1100 North St., just east of the Union Pacific Bridge and north of Markham, as the location for a new 50,000-square-foot headquarters. The purchase price is $2.5 million; owners are the Hoffman family. The assessor puts the current appraisal at $608,000. DAH wants to build a headquarters so it can bring its many divisions — the Arkansas Arts Council, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, the Historic Preservation Commission and their subsets, now located on three floors in the Tower Building — under one roof. The site is next to DAH’s collection management facility (the former site of the Clinton archives pre-construction of the presidential library). DAH spokesperson Melissa Whitfield said the department has the money for the land purchase in hand. DAH has also spoken to the Arkansas Building Authority and the Arkansas Development Finance Authority about a bond issue to build the building, the cost of which Whitfield said is estimated now at $6 million or $7 million. The agency has issued a request for proposals for architectural and engineering services. Application deadline is Dec. 31. www.arktimes.com
DECEMBER 19, 2013
ANSWERS: 1. Grotto at Petit Jean State Park on the Seven Hollows Trail; 2. Jacksonville off Military Road; 3. Bird houses behind the Clinton Museum Center in Riverfront Park; 4. Railroad tracks off of Rebsamen Road; 5. Highway 65 just north of Clinton; 6. Big Creek near Mt. Judea; 7. Off Highway 10, just past Lake Maumelle; 8. Caddo River in Glenwood; 9. Highway 67 going through Swifton; 10. Caney Creek in Conway.
GO BIG With ideas for a better Arkansas.
s is annual tradition, the Arkansas Times recently solicited suggestions from readers and a variety of experts on how to make Arkansas a better place to live. We present their ideas here and hope you find them as inspirational as we do. If any especially strike a chord with you, help make them happen. Many are works in progress; those that aren’t only lack the right collection of advocates to be realized.
ENCOURAGE YOUTH ENTREPRENEURSHIP BY LINDSEY MILLAR
ast summer, while his peers were lifeguarding and waiting tables, Josh Moody started a company. Accepted into the highly competitive ARK Challenge startup accelerator in Fayetteville, the 17-yearold Catholic High School student developed Overwatch, a mobile application that brings features of combat video games to live Airsoft, paintball or laser-tag shoot ’em ups. By the end of the four-month ARK Challenge, Overwatch had signed a marketing agreement with Cybergun, the largest manufacturer of Airsoft guns in the country, and secured $150,000 in funding as one of ARK’s three winners. Josh has a lot of things going for him. He’s a tech wunderkind, a self-taught coder and tinkerer whose creations include a custom Xbox, a modified PlayStation Portable that controls TVs and a waterproof speaker that streams music wirelessly through Bluetooth and can float or be sunk. 12
DECEMBER 19, 2013
His father, David Moody, is an active investor and mover and shaker in Arkansas’s startup scene. The elder Moody introduced his son to Bentonville developers Michael Paladino and Joe Saumweber, cofounders of the digital products startup RevUnit. Out of respect for David Moody and despite their initial skepticism, Paladino and Saumweber took a meeting with Josh and were sufficiently impressed with his vision for Overwatch to agree to team with him to develop the company. Without them and the support he got at the ARK, Josh couldn’t have moved from idea to prototype — or at least not as as quickly as he did. Josh and his circumstances are unique, but if a number of new Arkansas initiatives gain traction, there will be more young people starting businesses soon. “I think it’s the new sports,” said Noble Impact cofounder Chad Williamson of youth entrepreneurship. Even if a kid isn’t a prodigious
talent like Josh — who, to extend Williamson’s metaphor, might be the Lebron James of the Arkansas youth startup set — the experience of trying to build a company has value, Noble CEO Eric Wilson said. “Entrepreneurship is a medium where kids can learn about teamwork and critical thinking and problem solving, so they can be more adaptive in a 21st century economy.” Earlier this year Williamson cofounded Noble Impact with fellow Clinton School alum Trish Flanagan and Steve Clark, a cofounder of Rockfish Interactive and Fort Smith supply-chain company Propak. They’re working to develop an education model that encourages public service while teaching entrepreneurship. The Clinton School is a partner. Williamson and co. have been developing its curriculum in the field, with a class called Noble Impact 101 at eStem High School. It seems to be getting through to the students.
AT WORK AT THE ARK CHALLENGE: Josh Moody, working on a prototype for Overwatch.
In November, six eStem students won a prize at Startup Weekend in Fayetteville (see below). Meanwhile, Little Rock’s Matt Steely wants Central Arkansas “to become the summertime youth innovation mecca.” Steely, who has 25 years of experience in startups and technology, recently worked with the Arkansas Capital Corp. to develop and implement a four-hour program on innovation and entrepreneurship for students across the state. “We could take a kid who knew nothing, and get him to have an understanding of what it means to be innovative.” But the program didn’t allow for crucial follow-up, and when the federal grant money that supported the project ended, Steely decided to create Sparkible, an education startup focused on hosting events and mentoring engaged young people, while it develops a tool that’ll pay for its good works. David Moody, Josh’s dad, is working with Steely to develop the company. Steely thinks Arkansas is especially well positioned to
grow young entrepreneurs because of how eager established entrepreneurs are to help. “The community supports this so well. We may not be the wealthiest or biggest state, but if we have an opportunity to mentor or work with someone, especially a youth, to help them grow something, we have people who’ll come out from all industries. That raises the level of potential of success that we can have.” Josh Moody can speak to the power of mentorship. Early in the ARK Challenge, he said he was “incredibly intimidated.” But as he worked with his peers — in this case, many of whom were decades older — and began meeting with business connections the ARK supplied, his confidence grew. Today, he says proudly, “I am a legitimate business person. I may not have all the book knowledge. But I know how to run day-to-day operations and manage a team. Whether they’re six years older or 10 years or 30 years, being able to communicate with someone is the
most vital part of business.” As he finishes college applications and hunts for scholarships, Josh is keeping his hand in every stage of Overwatch’s development. He built and designed the product’s website, overwatchapp.com. Last week, he and the team launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise $50,000 to finish some of their app development, but more importantly, Josh said, to create a community of supporters invested in Overwatch’s success. As the efforts of Noble Impact and Sparkible — not to mention those of similar programs like Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub’s Art Connection and the Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation’s Youth Entrepreneur Showcase — take hold, their supporters predict a sustained impact on Arkansas’s economy. When a reporter expressed mild skepticism that new Joshes could be fostered, his father said, “It’s the age-old conversation: ‘Are entrepreneurs born or made?’ And the answer is, ‘Yes.’ ”
START A BUSINESS IN A WEEKEND, ARKANSAS HIGH SCHOOLERS BY LINDSEY MILLAR
he idea behind Startup Weekend is pretty simple: Put a bunch of creative people together over a weekend, have them pitch business ideas, form teams around the best ideas and present a fleshed-out presentation of their business Sunday evening. Along the way, folks with a track record starting up businesses serve as mentors. At the end of the weekend, a panel of judges, made up of business people with startup understanding, select winners. The Startup Weekend idea seems to be flourishing. More than 45,000 people in more than 500 cities —
including in Little Rock and Fayetteville — have participated. Almost 40 percent of the startups that are created over the 54-hour weekend continue to progress three months after they were created, according to organizers. Now, the global network is expanding into a new demographic. In March, Arkansas will host Startup Weekend’s first high school-only session. Fifteen teams of four to six students will come from around the state to the Clinton School. Noble Impact, the Little Rock organization working to develop an educational model
that teaches public service through entrepreneurship, persuaded Startup Weekend to expand its ranks after CEO Eric Wilson and cofounder Chad Williamson took six students from eStem who take Noble’s pilot class on innovation to the Fayetteville Start Up Weekend. “The judges didn’t water down their questions,” Wilson said. “These kids competed with entrepreneurs 10-15 years older.” They ended up winning the best team award, which came with a 3D printer. For info on the Arkansas High School Startup Weekend or to register, visit arkansashs.startupweekend.org. www.arktimes.com
DECEMBER 19, 2013
BUILD AN ICONIC GATEWAY INTO LITTLE ROCK BY LESLIE NEWELL PEACOCK
ob Callans, a landscape architect in business in Little Rock for 38 years, has a big idea he’s been working on “only since the 1980s.” As it turns out, the idea is actually 100 years old, which Callans discovered when he read John Nolen’s “Report on a Park System for Little Rock.” Great minds think alike. Nolen conceived of a 5th street that would provide a sight line for the state Capitol on the west and an important building — his idea was a relocated Choctaw train station — on the east. Like Pennsylvania Avenue, the ceremonial street would state the importance of the city and welcome people to it. Callans finally found the right vehicle, at the right time, to move his and Nolen’s idea from words into design. The chairman of Keep Little Rock Beautiful approached the building and landscape architects’ collaborative StudioMain with his notion, and the Envision Little Rock 2013 Ideas Competition was born. Nolen’s ideas “are as relevant today as they were then,” Callans said. James Meyer, with StudioMain and an architect with Witsell Evans Rasco, loved the idea for a gateway into the city, something that would capture the attention of travelers as they “fly by on Interstate 30.” Announced in February, the Envision Little Rock 2013 group met with amateurs and professionals on site at I-30 and Capital to elaborate on what they wanted. In the end, 11 groups entered the competition, producing ideas that ranged from replacing parking lots with gardens (“AgriCity” by Maury Mitchell) to building a tall “Silver Spire” east of I-30 that would reflect city lights and when ascended provide a clear view west to the state Capitol and beyond. Callans sees a lot of potential for the development on the east side of I-30, whether the continuation of nonprofits to complement Heifer International or as a transportation hub. Metroplan has considered the east side of I-30 as station for a light-rail terminal. Whatever the path, Callans hopes Nolen’s vision figures in. He quoted from “Report on a Park System”: “A certain complement of fresh air, of open space, of touch with nature, proves in the experience of cities vitally essential for wholesome development.” 14
DECEMBER 19, 2013
LITTLE ROCK ENVISIONED: The Envision Little Rock 2013 competition attracted architectural ideas to create a gateway (see images lower right and left) to the city that would draw the eye down Capitol Avenue to the State Capitol, creating a ceremonial corridor in the way of Pennsylvania Avenue. Among the winners (clockwise from top) were James Krug (professional category, overall) for his “Gateway” design of a new road over Interstate 30; Chris Sheppard (public choice, establishing connections category) for his “Urban Greenway” design along Capitol, and Adel Vaughn and Mary Patterson (student, overall) for their “Silver Spire” iconic sculpture design and park at the east end of the corridor.
HOTELS.COM FOR COLLEGE COURSES BY DAVID KOON
n addition to working as a reporter for the Arkansas Times, I’ve been a part-time college professor for going on 15 years now. Since moving back to Little Rock with my family in 2001, I’ve taught two courses per semester, and sometimes one in the summer, at my alma mater, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. It’s a fulfilling — at times awe-inspiring — job, especially given that I teach in the arts: creative writing and film. I spend two nights a week, fall, spring and summer, selling people on the idea that even if they aren’t rich, famous, well-connected or even particularly brilliant, they deserve to have a voice in the conversation. Sometimes, they even tell me I’ve helped change the way they see the world. That’s a hell of a good time. One thing that gets on my nerves, however, is empty seats. I have a few empty chairs some semesters, as many profs do, and it always strikes me as something of a waste: I’m supposed to teach 25, but I wind up only teaching 23 or 24. The reasons for that are many, of course. (Feel free to insert your “maybe you’re a crummy teacher and word gets around” joke here.) Some are bound to be financial. College is incredibly expensive these days, and some people, as much as they might want to take a course, just can’t afford to attend. So then, a Big Idea not just for Arkansas, but for everywhere — one that could have the added bonus of putting at least a little money in the pockets of community colleges and universities at the same time: Somebody needs to come up with a kind of Hotels.com approach to college courses.
The website Hotels.com sells unsold hotel rooms for drastically reduced prices. Instead of an empty bed for a night, the hotel gets a percentage of what they might have made and a filled room, the principle being that even a little something is better than nothing. The same thing could be done with empty seats in college-level history classes, film classes, creative writing courses, welding courses, painting classes, Internet technology classes, and every other discipline taught today. No credit, no grade, no student activities fee, just a drastically reduced rate for the course ($20-$25 per credit hour sounds like a nice, round number) a filled seat, and a purely educational opportunity for someone who might not have been able to afford it otherwise. The state already does this for older folks, allowing them to pick up empty seats in college courses for free. If we truly believe in education, why not do something similar for everyone? As an added bonus, once you get people on campus and let them see what
GIVE ALL PERMANENT RESIDENTS WHO ARE LEGAL NON-CITIZENS THE RIGHT TO VOTE IN LOCAL ELECTIONS
’m a permanent resident with a green card, and I’ve been here for a long time, but I’m a noncitizen. Through my activities with Fayetteville Underground and Art Amiss, and now as a teacher at Fayetteville charter school Haas Hall Academy, I’ve been really interested in participating in anything artsrelated in the city. There are a number of committees and commissions like the Fayetteville Arts Council that I’m interested in only persons who are registered to vote may serve. I can’t because I’m not a citizen. That got me to thinking, obviously I’m not the only one in that position. Especially up here in Northwest Arkansas. There’s a significant community of people up here and other places in Arkansas who are residents but not citizens and therefore can’t participate. For me, I would love to be able to be more involved because of the arts. For other people, there are other issues impor-
tant to them that they can’t weigh in on because they can’t vote. I’m originally from Germany and all European Union countries have alien suffrage [all EU member countries extend the right to vote to people from other EU countries; some extend the right to non-EU foreigners in certain circumstances]. If you are a citizen of Spain, and you live in Germany, you vote in the German election. I would love to see that in Arkansas — start it on the lo-
BY SABINE SCHMIDT
attending a college course is like, maybe they’ll take the leap and sign up for real. Yes, the idea is a little cockamamie, and doesn’t take a lot of issues into account. How, for example, would you allow for the mad shuffle of paying customers dropping and picking up classes the first week of any semester? Also, if you’re not looking at high school GPAs and entrance exams and personal essays, how would you know the person who wants to be in a given class has the intellectual stuff to avoid gumming up the works for those who paid full price to be there? Maybe the biggest drawback is that it would potentially put more work on already beleaguered college professors, many of them (like me) lowly adjuncts. The idea of being paid the same amount to grade 25 essays every week instead of 22 probably wouldn’t appeal to a lot of folks. Still, we’re not talking medium-sized ideas here. It’s BIG Ideas. And Big Ideas almost always involve challenges like these. Romantic fool that I am, I tend to believe in the grand, classical idea of the university, that it’s a place that exists not to ring cash registers and sell team jerseys, but to expand minds. The paycheck is nice — and thank God it isn’t my only source of income, or my family would be eating a lot of ramen noodles — but money isn’t the point of why I teach and never has been. My thinking is, if I can fill a seat in my class that would otherwise be empty, especially if the person filling it wants to be there for no other reason than to learn, that’s a definite win.
cal level, just allow people in Fayetteville or Springdale or Rogers to be able to participate as non-citizens but residents in local politics. Based on the looks people give me when I mention it, this may seem like a wild idea. But Arkansas allowed foreigners to vote until 1926 [alien suffrage was common in the United States in the 19th century; Arkansas was the last state in the nation to end the practice]. So it wouldn’t be something that’s never been done before. You could have a requirement for legal residents that they have to live in the city or county for X number of years, and they have to prove residence here. These are people who are part of the community. A lot of people don’t seem to know that there’s a difference — there’s something in between being a citizen and being an undocumented immigrant. If people like me could participate in local elections, we would feel more like a member, like our voice is important. That would strengthen our ties to the community. Sabine Schmidt is a writer, translator and photographer. Originally from Germany, she currently teaches at Haas Hall Academy in Fayetteville. www.arktimes.com
DECEMBER 19, 2013
ESTABLISH A PUBLIC-PRIVATE URBAN REHABILITATION PARTNERSHIP BY JENNIFER CARMAN
DECEMBER 19, 2013
ur downtown neighborhoods are special places, rich with diversity, important history and dedicated residents. Despite some 40 years of reaping the benefits of private preservation efforts, the city of Little Rock still falls far behind in helping those who want to invest in the future of central Little Rock. As noted sustainability expert Carl Elefante has said, “The greenest building is the one that’s already built.” Changing city policies such that they encourage rehabilitation rather than demolition is not only decades overdue, it is crucial to the stability and future of our city. Since 2009 Little Rock has spent more than $2.3 million dollars demolishing residential properties throughout Ward 1 deemed “unsafe and vacant,” despite the fact that there are often tax credits of up to $25,000 available for their rehabilitation. This demolition derby has created a staggering number of weed lots throughout our core communities. Unfortunately, these neglected weed lots will be every bit as unsightly as the neglected houses they replace, stripped not only of their homes, but also of any financial incentives for improvement. A weed lot inevitably becomes a dumping ground for bags of trash, mattresses, discarded tires and used condoms. Once the bulldozers pulls away there’s little chance that existing residents in surrounding homes will ever have neighbors to befriend or a reasonably attractive property to gaze upon. If nobody was buying the lot with a house and tax credits, why is it logical to think that a weed lot with a $5,000 demolition lien and no tax credits would result in any chance of progress? While current city policy appears to consist of tunnel vision towards hasty demolitions, I believe that these core communities matter, and their existing infrastructure needs to be built up, not torn down. One way the city could collaborate with citizens to improve these central communities would be through the creation of a public-private partnership with a revolving urban rehabilitation fund. In one scenario, private investors with a proven track record of certified historic rehabilitations could borrow from the fund free of interest, provided that the money will be used to rehabilitate eligible properties on the city’s list of “unsafe and vacant” properties, with the commitment that every penny borrowed would be returned. In exchange for creating this interest-free pool of money, the city would benefit by saving tax dollars that would have otherwise been directed toward demolition and landfill fees, while simultaneously growing the tax base and seeing our fair city’s core transformed before their eyes — all without spending a single taxpayer penny! The potential snowball effect of such a fund is
ON THE ‘UNSAFE AND VACANT’ LIST: Carman in front of 2004 W. 22nd.
incalculable. Its presence would spur new investors to prove themselves by cultivating a track record to become eligible for the funds, and the blossoming rehabilitation of vacant properties would inspire existing long-term residents in these blighted areas to take the plunge and invest in their homes, without fear that unsightly weed lots will be popping up next door. In a city that is not known for thoughtful or sensitive infill of weed lots, such peace of mind would be priceless. On Tuesday, Dec. 16, after this issue went to press, the city board was expected to approve an ordinance allocating $45,000 for the demolition of 13 homes in Ward 1. This money would be better allocated paying the salary of an individual who could serve as a liaison between owners of “unsafe and vacant” properties on the demolition list and prospective buyers. Such an individual would need only to create one successful seller-buyer relationship each month in order to
fund her own salary with the saved taxpayer demolition dollars, and such a position would dovetail nicely with the presence of a revolving fund. City directors and staff, I know your intentions are good, and I know you get complaints about the neglected houses, but take a lesson here: Downtown residents hate the burden of weed lots far more than they dislike houses awaiting rehabilitation. Demolition should not be a policy, but a last resort, as it is not the only (and is rarely the best) solution. Downtown Little Rock is a marvelous place to call home, and I eagerly look forward to developing and nurturing ideas that will enable more Arkansans to experience its joys. Jennifer Carman is the president of J. CARMAN Inc., a Little Rock fine art advisory and appraisal firm based in Little Rock. She’s also behind the Facebook community page, facebook.com/StopTheDemolitionsLittleRock.
MAKE INTERACTING WITH ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES EASY ENOUGH TO ENCOURAGE GRASSROOTS ACTIVISM BY LINDSEY MILLAR
THE CENTRAL ARKANSAS LIBRARY SYSTEM SHOULD CONTRACT WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES TO ADMINISTER SOCIAL SERVICES OUT OF THE LIBRARY
ne night, several months ago, David Hudson found himself reading the Arkansas Constitution. How he came to be reading it and what in particular he was reading, he won’t say. “I really want to tell you,” he told the Times. “But if I tell you what the issue was, I’m afraid people will pin me in one direction or another.” In any case, the issue so upset Hudson that he was compelled to write to state legislators. But by the time he’d found stamps and envelopes and crawled the web for addresses, he hadn’t put pen to paper and 30 minutes had already passed. That’s when Hudson, a website developer whose credits include a tourism site for the state of Texas, said to himself, “ ‘I bet there’s a website that does this.’ Being a tech guy, I just assumed someone had solved this problem.” No one had. Two-months later, with the help of designer/co-founder Arlton Lowery, Hudson had built a solution: WriteGov.com, a service that automates the tedium of writing to elected representatives. With a clean, intuitive interface, users can craft a message and, by merely selecting a few checkbooks, choose to send a letter, email or fax (or all three) to their entire state legislature, the U.S. Congress, the president, the vice-president and the U.S. Supreme Court — or any subset thereof. No basic civics required. Enter an address, and the site tells you who your state and federal representatives are. That’s all handy if you’re of the activist bent and consider the opportunity cost of lost time greater than what WriteGov charges — $1.75 per letter, $1 per fax, 25 cents per email. But where the service really gets interesting is how easy it allows users to go from writing notes themselves to broadening their message into a cause supported by others. The site’s campaign feature allows users to create a message and share it publicly on WriteGov, like a digital form letter. The moment another user chooses to employ a campaign, the campaign’s message becomes private and the user is free to customize the language as she sees fit. “I want to make your voice heard and amplify it,” Hudson said, noting that he sees the massive budgets and sophisticated software special interest groups have at their disposal as competition. In the coming weeks, he plans to add a feature that could further empower grassroots activism. Users, including organizations, will be able to create public profiles other WriteGov users can follow and receive alerts every
BY BENJAMIN HARDY
time they update their profiles with new campaigns. If WriteGov’s user pool grows large enough, public profiles could be a way for low and no-budget activists to crowdsource massive lobbying efforts. Hudson describes WriteGov as “vehemently nonpartisan,” and said, “I would never accept investment or sell to another company that would make this partisan.” For now, the project is “bootstrap hardcore,” Hudson said. “We’re running on passion right now, not money.”
s in any city, homeless people are a fixture of the main branch of the Central Arkansas Library System. This should be encouraged. Libraries should be re-envisioned as the venue for providing social services to people in need of aid. The mission of CALS should be expanded to provide addiction treatment, mental health services, child care and assistance with finding housing and employment. Not just for the homeless — for anyone. People down on their luck like the library for the same reason we all do: It’s a nice place to be. It’s a safe, warm, quiet space that belongs to everybody. It doesn’t discriminate or preach or demand you buy something in order to stay. In fact, libraries are pretty much the only truly public indoor spaces our society allows (malls do not count). And there are magazines! Why not build on that? Construct a major addition to the Main Library that functions as a community living room, both a clearinghouse for public aid and a place to just hang out. Instead of shunting away social services inside the geographically marginalized bunkers of DHS offices, bring them to the center of the public square. Another reason everybody feels welcome in libraries is that they don’t emit the vibe of charity — we don’t stigmatize free books as a handout. Nobody feels ashamed for borrowing “Game of Thrones” instead of buying it, nor should they be made to feel ashamed for applying for SNAP or Medicaid. Of course, it’s still the library, so we should make education the centerpiece of all of this: job training, adult literacy, tutoring for kids, English-as-a-second-language classes. Partnerships with colleges and universities and workforce development programs are highly recommended. Corporate sponsorships aren’t allowed, sorry. We need one ad-free space. This would all take a huge expansion of CALS workforce and facilities, but with persistent long-term unemployment, there’s plenty of labor available. In fact, I expect some of the potential future staff are looking for work on Craigslist at the Main Library right now. Benjamin Hardy is a writer for the Arkansas Legislative Digest and a contributor to the Arkansas Times. www.arktimes.com
DECEMBER 19, 2013
OPEN UP SPACE FOR MORE RIVER MARKET DEVELOPMENT BY STEVE STRAUSS
he Second Street/Cumberland Street exit off of southbound I-30 also includes a circular exit ramp to Ferry and Second streets. This branch carries very few cars off of the freeway. The off-ramp is bounded by Sherman Street, President Clinton Avenue and East Second Street. Tearing it down puts a piece of property back on the tax rolls and allows more development in the growing River Market area. More and more cities are removing underused portions of freeways and restoring their street grids.
Steve Strauss is a former Arkansan with more than 30 years working on transportation issues. He currently works in District of Columbia Department of Transportation.
GIVE COMPANIES WHO HIRE EX-FELONS TAX BREAKS AND PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT IN BIDDING FOR CITY CONTRACTS Ward 2 City Director Ken Richardson has been a staunch advocate in recent years of being more welcoming to exfelons coming out of prison as a strategy for paring back Little Rock’s crime rate. As he told us a few months back for a story about the state’s parole system: Those who work a double shift for a paycheck usually don’t have a motive or the energy left over to rob a bank after quitting time. That’s his way of saying that most crimes find their roots in poverty — desperation, not deviance. We called him and asked for a Big Idea, and a digest of his comments appears below.
or me, it would be a Big Idea if the city could adopt positive, supportive policies for the employment of ex-felons. Give tax incentives on proposals by companies that hire ex-felons, or incentives on their bids. I proposed an ordinance a couple of years ago that essentially gave incentives for companies that sought contracts with the city if they employed a certain percentage of people who are classified as disconnected adults and youth — those folks who fall into the category of unemployed or under-employed because of
DECEMBER 19, 2013
BY KEN RICHARDSON
felonies or lack of education. We’ve talked about this a lot: What’s driving the crime in our city, most of it, is just financial hardship. This is something we can’t “program” our way out of. So, Little Rock needs to adopt more supportive or positive policies that would help with our prisoner reentry efforts. All this economic development we tout in our city, it’s a sad joy for me — it’s an oxymoron. I’m always under the assumption that the lion’s share of these jobs go to people who don’t live in this city.
For the most part, most ex-felons and underemployed people end up getting pushed into certain parts of our community, and most of those parts are blighted. The city’s done a wonderful job of redevelopment downtown, a wonderful job of development out west, but you’ve got this hole in the middle. Most of the folks that are ex-felons, who are unemployed or underemployed, live in the middle. We could develop some policies or a policy to employ ex-felons, and then actually employ them to rebuild the inner part of our community. We could tie that to our revitalization efforts. With the new police station on 12th Street, I pushed that idea with the contractors and the subcontractors, and I’m happy to say we were able to get 10 or 12 folks who fit in that category hired on. But just imagine if we had a policy in place to hire ex-felons. That number could easily multiply times 10. That’s the kind of thing I’m talking about. When you’re doing those redevelopment efforts, if you’re employing the people that live in that community, then the redevelopment is something that’s done with them, instead of to them, or for them.
PROVIDE A LA CARTE LEGAL SERVICES BY AMY JOHNSON
he right to legal representation in criminal matters has been recognized since a 1963 U.S. Supreme Court decision. There is not, however, a categorical right to an attorney in civil matters — even those affecting such basic needs as access to safe and habitable housing, protection from domestic violence and economic security. Most Americans of modest means cannot afford the cost of attorney’s fees needed for representation in civil matters. The result is an enormous gap between the general expectation that everyone has access to the courts to resolve their civil disputes and the actual reality — that justice in most civil matters is available only to the well-to-do. Poor and middle class Americans are for the most part unable to obtain counsel to seek justice in the courts, or to defend themselves against legal actions brought against them — for instance, in eviction, debt collection, and foreclosure actions. Dissolution of marriage and allocation of parenting rights and responsibilities for children of unmarried couples can only be accomplished through a court order; persons unable to afford a lawyer often have to go without necessary court orders in dividing jointly owned property and in obtaining services for their children. A generation of efforts to provide adequate legal representation to those who need it, either through legal aid or through pro bono representation, has failed to make substantial progress because there is no way that legal aid and pro bono can possibly scale to the tremendous unmet need. More than half a million Arkansans (nearly 20 percent) are income-eligible for free civil legal aid. Many more have incomes that exceed the eligibility threshold, but still aren’t enough to pay for an attorney without sacrificing some other basic need.
Legal services for routine matters are therefore increasingly beyond what average Arkansans can afford or are willing to pay for. Meanwhile, legal publication and the mainstream press have made much of a number of negative trends for lawyers in the United States. As many as 45 percent of law school graduates are not able to find jobs requiring their new law degree. Lawyer income is falling in many parts of the country. Although most Americans cannot afford prevailing attorneys’ retainers to commence or defend civil matters, they are regularly paying hundreds of dollars to online legal services providers such as LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer. There is a way for persons to get assistance in representing themselves for reasonable hourly rates. Arkansas Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2(c) authorizes Arkansas attorneys to provide this form of representation. Often referred to as “limited scope representation,”
“unbundling” or “a la carte legal services,” this model of delivering legal services has been implemented in other states — including Alabama, Mississippi, and Montana, to name a few — but few Arkansas attorneys have actively utilized this business model. Unbundling allows clients (who would not otherwise go to a lawyer at all) to seek out and pay for the legal advice they want and need for aspects of the case that require legal expertise, and otherwise handle the more simple, routine aspects themselves. Unbundling also opens up to lawyers a market that has previously been nonexistent or unprofitable. Many clients who are unable or unwilling to pay $1,000 for a guardianship can afford $150 for an hour of an attorney’s time and, as a result, be adequately equipped to effectively represent themselves. The attorney will be able to provide a valuable service and be paid his hourly rate, without ending up with an account receivable. Unbundling is not and cannot be a substitute for full representation in cases where the legal issue is simply too complex or the client is incapable of understanding or participating in the representation. Rule 1.2 explicitly requires the attorney who accepts a limited scope engagement to do so only if “it is reasonable under the circumstances and the client gives informed consent.” These are the cases where pro bono representation or legal aid will be a necessity. By fully implementing and promoting unbundling in Arkansas, we can substantially increase meaningful and efficient access to our civil justice system while opening a potentially profitable new market for attorneys. Amy Johnson is executive director of the Arkansas Access to Justice Commission.
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MAKE ARKANSAS’S SCENIC BYWAYS BIKE FRIENDLY BY SAM LEDBETTER
he state Highway and Transportation Commission should adopt a master plan to designate our scenic byways as bike friendly. This may entail the addition of shoulders to those highways designated as scenic byways that don’t have them. Colorado has a “bike the byways” program through its Department of Transportation and all scenic byways are designated for cycling with “share the road” signs and other amenities to make them bike friendly. Arkansas would be an attractive destination for cyclists in spring and fall if we took steps to make our most beautiful highways bike friendly. For some of these roads, like Hwy. 7 north from Russellville, that don’t currently have adequate shoulders for cyclists, it may be a long-term project with securing funding and upgrading the roads to add shoulders. Others may already have shoulders and it would simply be a matter of adding signs, sharrows and taking other steps to make these highways bike friendly. Then they could be promoted through Parks and Tourism. Sam Ledbetter is a former state representative, current member of the state board of education and attorney with McMath Woods.
DECEMBER 19, 2013
TEACH ENGLISH WITH A FOREIGN LANGUAGE IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
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BY KATHRYN BIRKHEAD
esearch indicates that children are much better language learners than adults, yet in Arkansas we’re squandering a wonderful opportunity to help our children learn a second (or third or fourth) language during that critical childhood period. Many immigrant families provide that opportunity to us in the form of their children who are fluent native speakers of languages other than English. Current state law keeps schools from being able to take advantage of the skills that those children bring. Arkansas prohibits the use of any language other than English in school classrooms. There’s another approach, though, called English Plus, which uses English plus another language in the same classroom for instruction. It’s important not to confuse English Plus, which is a duallanguage approach, with a bilingual education program that pulls students with limited English skills out of their regular classrooms. In this program, everyone stays together, so they can learn from each other. There are scores of young people all across the state who are bilingual, but we are missing an opportunity to let them share their language skills with their peers and to help them build reading and writing skills in their native languages. A major focus of English Plus is the broadening experience we could provide to children from monolingual Englishspeaking homes by building their skills a second language. By allowing instruction in a foreign language and in English in elementary school, we could help our children develop skills and cultural perspectives that many adults can only dream of.
Kathryn Birkhead is director for diversity and inclusion for Northwest Arkansas Community College.
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DECEMBER 19, 2013
DISINCENTIVIZE PARKING LOT DEVELOPMENT BY SCOTT WALTERS
EMBRACE RESTORATIVE JUSTICE BY DEEANN NEWELL
n 1964 Lewis Mumford wrote, “The right to have access to every building in the city by private motorcar in an age when everyone possesses such a vehicle is the right to destroy the city.” We should have listened. Surface parking is the urban kudzu of too many cities. For a painful nearby example, more than 30 percent of downtown Little Rock is now set aside for parked cars. Counterintuitive as it may seem, too much parking is a leading indicator in the wrong direction. Consider the stories and the tax policies of two rustbelt towns. In Pittsburgh, parking lots are taxed as if buildings were present. In Detroit, they are assessed as if they were vacant. So it’s no surprise that parking lots cover 39 percent of Detroit. Pittsburgh has become the poster child for an industrial city turnaround. Maybe you’ve heard that all is not well in the motor city these days. In recent memory several buildings have been demolished on Main Street, the heart of downtown and an area struggling for revival, and they were replaced with … wait for it … parking spaces. Just this year a historic building was torn down to make way for parking on Seventh Street precisely in a stretch that a recent pop up event highlighted as an area ripe with potential for new life and redevelopment. Choose your own examples. There are plenty to pick from. My office is at Christ Episcopal Church on Scott Street, a historic building that sits between the Albert Pike Hotel and the Women’s City Club building, now home to the Junior League of Little Rock. Between these fine old buildings are little wastelands of badly patched asphalt, one of which you can park your car in — I kid you not — for $2.25 a day. Show me a thriving city where you can park for $2.25 an hour, much less for a day.
M We also know that significant, meaningful progress in public transportation needs pressure from below. The blunt truth is that parking needs to be a little more difficult and a little more expensive for us to push for the changes we know we need to be a more vibrant city. Sensible, progressive policies about parking are good for downtown businesses and good for lives of the humans who live there. But they are also a matter of justice. As long as we keep designing cities assuming a car for every inhabitant and lots of cheap or free slots spread around for each car, we ignore and exclude the poor and the old. Lose your driver’s license because of aging eyesight or work for too little to afford a vehicle and you’re stuck. Better land use policies would be better for all of us. So that’s the bad news. Our municipal leadership doesn’t even seem willing to slow this invasion of blank pavement. But let’s implement a big idea. Start taxing surface parking lots as if buildings were present, and then use the proceeds to fund grants to convert some of them into living public places — small public parks and pedestrian plazas with strict codes for upkeep. Let’s incentivize development that’s good for the city and its people, not just for their vehicles. Let’s make it pay to put something other than yellow stripes on the empty places in downtown Little Rock. The Rev. Scott Walters is rector at Christ Church.
ost modern justice systems focus on a crime, a lawbreaker, and a punishment. The Restorative Justice movement focuses on the harm done and how amends can be made. It brings offender, victim and the community together to find an appropriate consequence and restitution. The most well-known implementation of RJ was in the reconciliation process we all watched occur in South Africa with Nelson Mandela. RJ takes a number of forms. Perhaps the most prominent is RJ diversion, which is effective at reducing recidivism. Typically, an RJ-trained facilitator meets separately with the accused and the victim, and if both are willing to meet face to face without animosity and the offender is deemed willing and able to complete restitution, the focus shifts out of the legal system and into a parallel process. All parties — the offender, victim, facilitator, and law enforcement — come together in a forum called a restorative-community conference or circle. Each person speaks, one at a time, about the crime and its effects, and the participants come to a consensus about how to repair the harm done with meaning for the victim. RJ offers a way to interrupt the spiral of over-incarceration, rising costs, and unfavorable outcomes for victims, communities, and those responsible for crimes. It is especially valuable in dealing with juvenile offenders — in New Zealand, for example, only 50 or so youths are in lockdown for the entire nation. Arkansas Voices for the Children Left Behind, which works with children of incarcerated parents, would like to see a restorative justice system used in schools in place of suspension. DeeAnn Newell is director of Arkansas Voices for the Children Left Behind.
LENGTH, BREADTH, DEPTH, CONT. designs, had been working on his printer for two years, Seward said. Seward has since published his designs online for free, and there are more than 40 people currently building printers from those plans that he knows of. His philosophy on why he gives away what could be sold squares with the “open source” ethos of online programming and design culture. “I like the idea that if I can give it to somebody else and I don’t have to physically put myself out, then I should,” he said. “If I produce something that can benefit society, then everybody can use it. People come back and say: ‘Well, how are you going to make money off this?’ You can change your business model. It doesn’t necessarily work for everyone, but I can definitely figure out how it works for me.” For example, Seward said that if he wanted to, he could publish a new, free printer design every week on his website, 22
DECEMBER 19, 2013
conceptforge.org, and then have an online store where he sold the “vitamins” — the bearings and motors and wiring to complete the printer design. Seward said that 3D printing is full of too many programming and technical “gotchas” right now for there to be a consumer-model 3D printer coming to your local Best Buy any time soon, but that day is coming. More amazing is that Seward said there are technologies out there allowing parts to be printed in metal, systems that liquefy alloy powders with lasers or electrons to create objects in steel or aluminum, layer by layer. That could lead to a world, Seward said, where you don’t order a part for your washing machine or car, you order a print, and pick up the finished piece, ready to be installed, in a few hours from the local “printery.” Since beginning his work in 3D printing, Seward has brought the technology into his classroom at the Arkansas School
for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts, where students in his classes are building 3D printers and helping to refine designs and programming. One of those students is 17-year-old senior Alex Jaeger from Leslie, who first learned about 3D printing in Seward’s Modern Manufacturing class. Right now, for his Fundamentals and Research Methods project, Jaeger is working on a design for a robot for the Hot Springs Police Department that carries audio and camera equipment, and which will be able to go places that are too hazardous for officers. Twenty-five to 35 percent of the robot will be 3D printed plastic. It’s the tip of the iceberg for the future Jaeger will help shape. “In the future, I think there will be small, compact 3D printers for desktop applications, and then there will be large scale printers for industry,” Jaeger said. “Right now, computer parts are extremely expensive. If 3D printing can take on
computer parts, it can really decrease the price.” While Seward says that 3D printing is bound to be a “disruptive technology” that will change the manufacturing and consumer landscape, companies will “adapt and move” or be pushed aside. It’s going to be a whole different world than he grew up in, one that he believes will allow his students to dream bigger. “Whenever I was growing up, everything was shrouded in a little mystery: How does it work?” he said. “You could take it apart and kind of get an idea of it, but actually making your own? That’s out of the question. You couldn’t even think about it. But now, if [3D printers] are everywhere, now if you want to do something, it’s no longer impossible. ... Now you can actually start messing around with it and I think that’s pretty phenomenal. Now it’s: ‘Let’s go print something out. Let’s do it.’ ”
Downtown Little Rock’s newest project salutes the past while creating a unique multi-purpose destination for the future BY ERICA SWEENEY PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRIAN CHILSON
ulti-faceted is the best way to describe the newest addition to the River Market District. With a stateof-the-art theater, hip restaurant, research facilities, boutiques and office space, the Arcade Building is on its way to becoming a downtown destination for work and play. The three-story Arcade Building is a mixeduse property, located at the corner of President Clinton and River Market avenues. Its multiuse features run through all aspects of the building, from its tenants to its ownership and partnerships, all with the goal to further revitalize downtown Little Rock. Central Arkansas Library System director Bobby Roberts hopes the Arcade will become a “destination point” downtown. And, CALS and the building’s other major players – Moses Tucker Real Estate, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the Clinton School of Public Service – are doing all they can to make it happen. Some of the Arcade’s most unique features are the 325-seat, multi-purpose Ron Robinson Theater, a one-of-a-kind in central Arkansas, along with Cache Restaurant, owned by Payne and Rush Harding, serving upscale European cuisine in a see-and-be-seen atmosphere, and two retailers (so far): Fringe Clothing and Dandelion Herbs, Spices, and Teas.
On the research and educational end, archivists from CALS and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Center for Arkansas History and Culture will use much of the space to process materials for storage in the Arkansas Studies Institute, which is connected by a walkway. The Clinton School is setting up a classroom and student meeting space, and other office space has been claimed by AMR Architects, insurance agency Meadors, Adams & Lee, and the Little Rock Film Festival.
CREATING THE ARCADE The Arcade Building is about four years in the making. The project evolved from a plan to build a hotel at the site, explains Jimmy Moses of Moses Tucker Real Estate. “We had land under contract with the McKibbon Hotel group to build a hotel,”Moses said. That project required a waiver to the neighborhood’s building height regulations, which was met with opposition, mostly led by CALS. The idea of putting a hotel at the site was dropped, but the plan shifted and the Residence Inn Downtown was built down the street instead, he said. Moses said he continued to focus on development at President Clinton and River Market avenues, which he considers one of the “most important corners in downtown Little Rock.”
He said Moses Tucker met with CALS to create a strategy to build something together. They broke ground in October 2012, and the Arcade recently opened, though not all of the tenants are up and running yet. The nearly 60,000-square-foot, $15 million Arcade is a joint venture of CALS, which owns more than half of the building, and Moses Tucker and partners, which own about 30 percent, and Rush and Payne Harding of Cache Restaurant, owners of 16 percent. The library’s portion was funded by a voter-approved bond refinance, Roberts said. Always focused on expanding and revitalizing downtown, Moses Tucker is hoping the Arcade is the start of turning the River Market district into a shopping destination. The Arcade features more than 4,000 square feet of retail space, and two of its five retail spaces have been leased, said John Martin, director of brokerage at Moses Tucker. “We hope that this is the first real step to solidify retail in the River Market,” he said. “We’d love to have more specialty retail and are looking to build upon what we have in place to create something new and unique.”
PRESERVING HISTORY The new Arcade Building is named after another building of the same name that
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Cache Restaurant In the new Arcade Building 425 President Clinton Ave. Little Rock, AR 72201
Join us for lunch, dinner, and drinks beginning Jan. 7th.
existed more than 100 years ago at Center and Louisiana streets, between Sixth and Seventh streets, in downtown Little Rock. The building included a varied retail space, everything from a farmer’s market to a hardware store, Moses said. “It was the first enclosed mall ever developed in Arkansas,” he explains. “It had an interesting historic meaning to Little Rock. Ours is a more 21st century type Arcade Building, with a collection of retail, culture, food and beverage, and office space.” A permanent exhibit detailing the history of the building from the past will be housed in the new Arcade’s lobby. Featuring photographs and narrative, the exhibit is printed on a wallpaper-type material and fills the lobby, floor to ceiling. The project is a partnership with UALR’s Art Department, History Department, Center for Arkansas History and Culture and new George W. Donaghey Emerging Analytics Center, said Deborah Baldwin, dean of the UALR College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and associate provost for the Center for Arkansas History and Culture. “It moved from a fairly traditional history exhibit to something more visual,” Baldwin said. “It came from a modest idea to a very interesting project that’s truly interdisciplinary.” The UALR Center for A r k a n s a s H i s to r y a n d Culture has also long been a partner with Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, a department of the Central Arkansas Library System, in storing and processing its trove of archives. The two organizations’ collective archives have been processed and housed in the Arkansas Students Institute building, since it opened in 2009. The collection has grown more quickly than expected, Roberts said, to now include millions of photographs, manuscripts and other media, and space has become a little cramped in the ASI. The Arcade has opened up not just space, but many opportunities for CALS and UALR. Both organizations will move their archivists and other staff to the new building, where materials will be processed. A walkway connecting the two buildings allows collections to be safely transported to the ASI building for storage, Roberts explains. The move frees up space for UALR to upgrade its educational programming for its master’s of public history and provide workshops for professionals at the ASI. Creation of the digital services lab will provide training in preserving archives that have always existed in a digital format, so that they can be accessible to researchers throughout changing technology, Baldwin said. UALR will also share some of the Clinton School’s classroom space. Baldwin said the move to the Arcade for archival processing is
more accommodating and will also enhance their relationship with the Butler Center. Archivists will now have more space to work on large projects, like the recent acquisition of about 500 boxes from former Gov. Jim Guy Tucker’s tenure. “From UALR’s perspective, the opening of the new space builds on educational programs downtown,”Baldwin said.“It’s major move for us.”
DESIGNING FOR THE FUTURE Paying homage and respect to its neighbors and incorporating traditional and contemporary styles was the overall design aesthetic for the Arcade, said Frank Barksdale of AMR Architects, which designed all aspects of the building, except for the interior of Cache Restaurant, designed by the Johnson Studio of Atlanta. The traditional aspects include the brick veneer that matches the Cox Building next door, and modern styles and materials including aluminum and glass, Barksdale explains. “It’s important to respect the Cox and Arkansas Studies Institute buildings and pick up on some of the detailing,” Barksdale said. “But, at the same time, it’s a new building. So, that was the fun part.” The Arcade’s placement, adjacent to the Main Library, Cox Building and Arkansas Studies Institute building, creates a plaza of sorts, with alleys between the buildings, resembling pedestrian streets. Barksdale said he’s always interested in creating pedestrian-friendly environments downtown, and AMR jumped at the chance to be a part of the new multi-use property, when they were approached by Moses Tucker. AMR Architects and Moses Tucker have been close partners on many downtown projects. The Arcade will feature a work of art commissioned to honor the late Rick Redden, a founding member of AMR, who had worked on the project until his death in March 2012. AMR, which has been located in the Heritage West Building at Scott and Markham streets since the late 1980s, is setting up shop on the Arcade’s third floor. “We’re excited about our new home,” Barksdale said. “It’s a nice way to have a fresh start.” Everyone involved in the development of the Arcade Building sees the project as another step in creating a unique destination downtown. Every step is a step in the right direction, says Rhett Tucker of Moses Tucker, whose ultimate goal is to keep expanding and link up with the revitalization projects along Main Street. “Each project adds to the fabric of downtown,” Tucker said. “This is another brick in the wall.”
Everyone involved in the development of the Arcade Building sees the project as another step in creating a unique destination downtown.
Investing in the Future The Clinton School expands into the Arcade Building
reating more opportunities and connecting with students all over the world is the ultimate goal of the Clinton School of Public Service, as it expands into the Arcade Building. “The new Arcade Building presented us with some very timely opportunities,” said Skip Rutherford, the school’s dean. “I’m a big believer in multi-use space and collaboration and partnership. This provides us the opportunity to design, grow and expand. It’s great addition to downtown Little Rock.” In addition to its original campus in the restored train station next to the Clinton Presidential Center and classrooms and office space on the third floor of the Arkansas Studies Institute, which links to the Arcade via walkway, the school is adding two more facets in a third space. On the third floor of the Arcade, a new large multi-purpose room, called the Student Center, will provide an area for students to work on projects, hold meetings, hear lectures and more. What’s most unique about this space is that it will be entirely student designed and driven, Rutherford said. A student focus group is picking out the furniture, fixtures and equipment. Rutherford said everything will be ordered over winter break and up and running during the spring semester. The Arcade will also be home to an extra classroom focusing on distance learning. Cameras, sound and other equipment will be installed to allow students all over the world to participate the Clinton School’s programming and work on a master’s of public service. “The real purpose is to access distance learning in the future,” he explains. “We’ll be serving students all over Arkansas, the nation and the world. This is an enormous opportunity for outreach to them.” The new classroom will also give current students the chance to maximize their opportunities and participate in online classes offered at other institutions. Others, including the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, will be invited to also use this space. Implementing the distance-learning program is still several months away. Rutherford said staff is taking it one step at a time and, once all of the equipment is installed and tested, they plan to start training in the spring. The opportunity to expand into the Arcade Building was a “great investment” for the school, Rutherford said. The school is paying a projected cost estimate of $400,000 for space in the building, with a 20-year lease without rent plus renewable terms. Rutherford said the expansion to the Arcade Building will serve the school for years to come, and he doesn’t anticipate any more needed space in the near future. Its presence in the building will also allow students to network with other tenants, possibly leading to opportunities, like internships or part-time jobs. And, the Arcade’s Ron Robinson Theater will become another venue for the Clinton School’s Speaker Series.
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Ron Robinson Theater W New 325-seat venue creates a cultural destination
hen you ask those involved with the development and design of the Arcade Building what they are most excited about, the answer is always the same: The Ron Robinson Theater. This 325-seat multi-purpose theater will be unlike anything else in central Arkansas, and make all kinds of programming possible, including speakers, films, concerts, childrenâ€™s shows and more, explains Bobby Roberts, director of the Central Arkansas Library System. â€œIt adds to the diversity and urbanism of the city,â€? Roberts said. â€œLittle Rock is on the cusp of becoming a great city to attract young people with interests in arts, letters and culture. Weâ€™ll now have a 300-plus seat performance hall with the ability to show different kinds of programming.â€? Designed by AMR Architects of Little Rock, the theater was built for endless possibilities, said lead architect Frank Barksdale.
â€œIt was a unique challenge and something we had fun with,â€? he said, explaining that the challenge lied in making the acoustics work for both music and other events, like speakers and films. The staggered maple wall panels allow for sound to be acoustically reflected back to the audience. Thick curtains can be drawn when the theater is hosting films or speakers, Barksdale said. Curtains can also be used to divide the theater for smaller events. Roberts said, while â€œstill in the book business,â€? libraries all over the country are moving toward offering more varied programs and events, and CALS has outgrown its Darragh Center at the Main Library in the River Market District, which holds about 125. â€œThis gives us a lot of flexibility,â€? he said. â€œWeâ€™ll be able to offer bigger and better programming.â€? The Ron Robinson Theater features a
Weâ€™re pleased to be part of the downtown renaissance! The CLINTON SCHOOLLVWKHQDWLRQÂˇVĂ€UVWWR RIIHUDMASTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE (MPS) GHJUHH2XUVWXGHQWVVHUYHDQGVWXG\DOORYHU $UNDQVDVWKHFRXQWU\DQGWKHZRUOG:HDUH YHU\SURXGWREHSDUWRIWKHARCADE BUILDING DQGWKHUHYLWDOL]DWLRQRIGRZQWRZQ/LWWOH5RFN $GPLVVLRQDSSOLFDWLRQVIRU)DOODUH DYDLODEOHDWZZZFOLQWRQVFKRROXDV\VHGX 26 DECEMBER 19, 2013 ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT TO ARKANSAS TIMES
he Ron Robinson Theater.
Workers put the finishing touches on the Ron Robinson Theater. stage, balcony seating, a 26-foot screen, a state-of-the-art projection system and separate sound systems for music and other programs. Little Rock Film Festival co-founder Brent Renaud says the theater will be the most technologically sophisticated in the state, allowing for any film in any format to be screened. It is DCP (Digital Cinema Package) capable, which is required of all theaters by 2015. The theater will become the Little Rock Film Festivalâ€™s flagship. It will be the site of premier screenings, filmmakers lounge and ticket pickup. Smaller LRFF events, like the Reel Civil Rights Film Festival, Little Rock Horror Picture Show and 48 Hour Film Project, will also be held at the Ron Robinson Theater. â€œAll great festivals need a flagship cinema,â€? Renaud said. â€œThis gives us another step in becoming a nationally recognized festival and attracting the best filmmakers from around the world.â€? The Little Rock Film Festival is also moving its offices to the Arcade Building, and plans to offer weekly programming throughout the year, including first-run independent films, foreign films, documentaries and more, Renaud said. In addition to the film festival, the theater will be home to many CALS programs, like the Arkansas Sounds Music Festival and Arkansas Literary Festival, and become a major venue for the Clinton School of Public
Service Speaker Series. The theater is named after Ron Robinson, the former CEO of Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods, who donated a large collection of items to the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies. Most of the items donated have an Arkansas tie, including sheet music of songs about the state, Arkansas-related movie posters, recordings of the â€œArkansas Travelerâ€? on Edison disc and more. Showing off the theater to the public is whatâ€™s most exciting to those involved with its development. It officially opens to the public in mid January. â€œIâ€™m ready to let people see it for what it is as a multi-purpose theater,â€? Roberts said. Beginning Jan. 18 and continuing through the following week, LRFF is hosting several events to show off all that the theater has to offer, Renaud says. Events include screenings of the best of the festivalâ€™s local films from its past seven years, the best of the 48 Hour Film Project, the HBO film â€œWhoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mableyâ€? and Arkansas-native Jay Russellâ€™s â€œLadder 49,â€? which Renaud says will show off the theaterâ€™s sound and visual capabilities. â€œWe want to get as many people as we can into the theater,â€? Renaud said. â€œItâ€™s a real gem. A lot of different organizations are making the theater a really vital place, with great programming going on, I hope, as many as seven days a week.â€?
â€œWe want to get as many people as we can into the theater. Itâ€™s a real gem.â€?
Cache Restaurant O Fine dining in a casual, trendy atmosphere pening a restaurant with his father has been chef Payne Harding’s dream since he was a teenager. And, after years of planning, that dream will soon come true, when Cache Restaurant opens in early January in the Arcade Building. “It’s a large endeavor,” Harding said. “I feel good about our vision and the theme of the restaurant.” Cache will offer upscale European fare in a relaxed, but hip atmosphere. Great care has been taken with every detail in the design and experience, creating something new and different to Little Rock’s contemporary dining scene. Designed by the Johnson Studio of Atlanta, Harding says Cache’s interior is “not comparable” to any other local restaurant. The dining room features oak walls, mirrorpolished stainless steel ceilings, chandeliers and LED lighting. “It’s extremely state of the art, top of the line,” said Harding, a 2012 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. “Everything is brand new and beautiful. It’s fine dining in a different atmosphere. Cache is fun vibrant and high energy.” Chef and general manager, Matt Cooper, formerly of Chenal Country Club and Lulav, designed the menu, which he describes as “taking classic European back to its roots.” “We’re bringing the rustic side and putting it in a more modernistic view,” Cooper said. Cache’s lunch menu is classic bistro style, with an assortment of salads, sandwiches and wood-oven pizzas. Dinnertime entrees bring more slow-cooking processes, like braising, Cooper explains. Everything on the menu is homemade, including fresh-made pasta, with an effort to incorporate sustainable and local products from the likes of Boulevard Bread Company, Kent Walker Artisan Cheese, Hillcrest Artisan Meats, Dempsey Gluten-Free Bakery and Armstead Farms. “I’m really excited about coming onto the scene with a new concept and really put Little Rock on the map,” Cooper said. “We’ve worked really hard to make a restaurant that Little Rock needs and Little Rock wants.” Cache’s two stories will seat close to 200 inside, including the bar and lounge, with
more seating available on the patio, which overlooks the River Market. The open kitchen allows diners to watch the chefs in action, and there will also be a chef’s table. A glass, temperature-controlled wine case will hold around 400 bottles, and Cache is offering an array of craft beers and “oldschool craft” cocktails, designed around the menu, Cooper explains. Cooper is planning to work closely with the Arcade’s other tenants, like the Little Rock Film Festival and Central Arkansas Library System, to develop theme nights at the restaurant to coincide with events held at the Ron Robinson Theater. The restaurant is named after the Cache River in the Arkansas Delta, where Harding’s dad, Rush Harding, CEO of Crews & Associates in Little Rock, grew up. The father-son team first began discussions with Moses Tucker Real Estate about the prospects of opening a restaurant in the Arcade, about three years ago. The Hardings own 16 percent of the building. About 15 months into the project, Cooper was hired because of his extensive experience in the restaurant business, including working at Aquariva in Portland, Harding said. Cooper said he was ready to make a change and the chance to move to Cache came at the right time. “Rush needed a good hard worker, someone to step in and run the kitchen and write the menu,” Cooper said. “Payne and I collaborated on some things and agree on how we want our food and how the restaurant should be.” Despite labeling the cuisine as “upscale,” Cache has no dress code and menu items, cocktails and wines are available at varying price points. Each bringing their own expertise, Harding and Cooper have worked in tandem to create what they hope will become Little Rock’s new place to be seen. While Cache doesn’t officially open to the public until Jan. 7, private parties have been scheduled throughout the holiday season, and a big New Year’s party is in the works. “I’ve worked with other chefs in this city, and they are amazing,” he said. “Little Rock is making its mark, and we want to add to that.”
Visitors get a chance to sample Cache Restaurant’s menu during a holiday party.
“It’s extremely state of the art, top of the line.”
LIVE. WORK. PLAY. AND INVEST.
We welcome the Arcade Building to Downtown! ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT TO ARKANSAS TIMES DECEMBER 19, 2013
A sample of the exhibit in the new Arcade’s lobby.
A Tribute to City Market and Arcade
hough not located on the same site, the new Arcade Building in the River Market District pays homage to a building of the same name that existed nearly 100 years ago. The City Market and Arcade opened in June 1914 at Louisiana and Center streets, between and Sixth and Seventh streets, in the heart of the capital city’s business district. The Arcade was one-stop shop, where visitors could “could buy groceries from competing vendors, purchase household goods and furnishings, send a letter, or do their banking,” states an exhibit by University
of Arkansas at Little Rock Center for Arkansas History and Culture. Described as a “city under a roof,” when it opened, the Arcade was the brainchild of prominent Little Rock businessmen Fred W. Allsopp, Ike Kempner, Harry Lasker and Chris Ledwidge. The site, across the street from the Cathedral of St. Andrew, was owned by Diocese of Little Rock. Architects George R. Mann and Theodore M. Sanders, known for many prominent buildings in Little Rock, designed the structure. Considered state of the art at the time, the Arcade cost $300,000 to build. The design
28 DECEMBER 19, 2013 ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT TO ARKANSAS TIMES
featured columns supporting arched ceilings, large windows allowing air circulation and natural light, terra cotta roof shingles, marble stairways, plate-glass storefronts and white ceramic tile floors. Stores in the Arcade included Allen’s Confectionery, Altheimer Dry Goods Company, Cooperman Bros. Grocery and Terry Dairy Company. Eventually, the building transformed into a mall, with a department store, bookstore, beauty salon and gift shop. By the late 1950s, fewer people were shopping downtown and the building’s upkeep and revenue began declining. The
Arcade was demolished in 1960, after it was determined to be too expensive to rehabilitate and that it did not fit into the future of the city’s urban renewal. Through a collaboration of the UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture, History and Art Departments and the George W. Donaghey Emerging Analytics Center, a permanent exhibit in the lobby of the new Arcade Building tells the story of its namesake. A series of displays focus on early 20th century Little Rock, and the old Arcade’s origins, neighbors, design and construction.
Who’s Who in the Arcade
CALLING THE ARCADE OUR NEW HOME ON 12.17.13 100 RIVERMARKET AVE. STE 301 LITTLE ROCK AR, 72201 T. 501.375.0378 www.amr-architects.com
AMR ARCHITECTS The designers of the Arcade will set up shop on the third floor. The firm, which has been located in the Heritage West Building down the street since the 1980s, has designed many downtown projects.
CENTRAL ARKANSAS LIBRARY SYSTEM AND THE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS AT LITTLE ROCK CENTER FOR ARKANSAS HISTORY AND CULTURE Archivists and other staff from these two organizations will move to the second floor to process archival materials, which are stored in the Arkansas Studies Institute building, connected by a walkway.
CACHE RESTAURANT Serving upscale European fare in a trendy, but casual, environment, this restaurant will quickly become the place to be seen. It is located on the first and second floors.
CLINTON SCHOOL OF PUBLIC SERVICE A classroom and student center meeting room will be located on the second floor.
DANDELION HERBS, SPICES, AND TEAS Owned by Matt Cooper, chef at Cache, this shop offers bulk organic herbs, spices, teas, local honey, coffee and more.
FRINGE CLOTHING One of the newest retailers to downtown, this women’s clothing and accessories boutique faces River Market Avenue.
LITTLE ROCK FILM FESTIVAL The festival’s offices will be located on the third floor, and much of the festival’s programming will be held in the Ron Robinson Theater.
Celebrating Little Rock’s Innovative Arcade
Our forefathers knew something about innovation when they built Little Rock’s ﬁrst City Market and Arcade Relive that history through the City Market and Arcade Exhibit in the new Arcade Building — Coming Soon! A collaboration of the UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture, the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities, UALR Department of Art, and Moses Tucker Real Estate
MEADORS, ADAMS & LEE The offices of this independent insurance agency, in existence since the early 1900s, will be located on the third floor. The office was formerly located on Spring Street.
RON ROBINSON THEATER This multi-purpose, 325-seat theater is located on the first floor, with a balcony extending to the second. The theater was built for all kinds of programming, including film, speakers and music.
The UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture, a partner in the Arkansas Studies Institute, ensures that the history of the city and state is accessible through the collection and maintenance of archival material. The Center promotes an understanding of the past through scholarly exchange and public dialog and supporting academic achievement through the education of undergraduate and graduate students.
CENTER FOR ARKANSAS HISTORY AND CULTURE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS AT LITTLE ROCK ualr.edu/cahc
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DECISIONS MADE HERE FOR OVER
Y E A R S
OUR COMMITMENT TO DOWNTOWN remains strong. Next month, we are moving to the Arcade Building in the River Market. When presented the opportunity to relocate our office, we never considered going anywhere else.
100 river market ave. • Little Rock • 501.372.5200 • www.meadorsadamslee.com
DEC. 19, 2013
Helping animals ‘Because of Winn Dixie’ T
he Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s production of the musical “Because of Winn-Dixie” has proven so popular that The Rep is extending its run to Jan. 5, which is a good thing for animals waiting for adoption from two Arkansas organizations. During the run of “Winn Dixie”, which tells the story of a young girl and a dog she finds at a Winn Dixie supermarket, The Rep is partnering with several adoption organizations in December. Among them are Warm Hearts Humane Society of Montgomery County and Out of the Woods Animal Rescue (OOTW) to promote animals in need of good homes. Pictures of some of the cutest pooches around are featured on The Rep’s blog with information about Warm Hearts and OOTW. There’s also a Flickr page set for “Legally Blonde”), and music by Duncan up by the theatre to showcase photos of ani- Sheik, who is a Tony and Grammy award WARM HEARTS HUMANE SOCIETY mals up for adoption. You can access the winner for “Spring Awakening”. OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY “This story will melt your heart,” Robert page through the “Winn Dixie” performance PO Box 535 page at www.therep.org/attend/productions/ Hupp, The Rep’s producing artistic direcMount Ida, AR 71957 WinnDixie/. tor, said. “We are honored that the creative 870-490-0883 firstname.lastname@example.org The show is a must-see for animal lovers team of Winn Dixie approached us for this www.warmheartshumanesociety.us of all ages. Directed by Tony award nominee world premiere, and I think this project has John Tartaglia, “’Because of Winn Dixie’ is a tremendous potential to introduce a signifiOUT OF THE WOODS compelling, richly textured world-premiere cant new work into the American musical ANIMAL RESCUE musical full of fine performances, great songs theatre canon, and it all begins right here on PO Box 7365 Little Rock, AR 72217 and enough twists and turns to keep things our stage, for Arkansas audiences.” email@example.com interesting,” according to a recent Times ootwrescue.org About Warm Hearts review. Described as the real star of the show, Julia Landfair (who plays Opal) is an eighthWarm Hearts Humane Society of Montgrader at Episcopal Collegiate School. gomery County is a multi-breed rescue About OOTW “Because of Winn Dixie” is based on a organization with about 15 volunteers. As novel by Kate DiCamillo, with book and an organization without a shelter, all of the Out of the Woods Animal Rescue of lyrics by Nell Benjamin (a Tony Nominee animals in Warm Hearts’ care are fostered Arkansas was founded in 2007 to estabin volunteer homes. Warm Hearts fosters lish a different kind of rescue. Its misan average about 30 to 50 animals at a time. sion is to help people who find and take BECAUSE OF WINN DIXIE In 2012, Warm Hearts spayed and neu- in stray, abandoned and homeless aniA musical based on the novel by tered 142 animals for low-income families mals. OOTW assists these rescuers in Kate DiCamillo in Montgomery County and fostered and a supportive way, often paying for the Running now through Jan. 5 found homes for 105 abandoned animals. vetting, which always includes spaying Evening performances In addition, Warm Hearts provided pet or neutering, and when needed, provid7 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday oxygen masks to six volunteer fire depart- ing food and medications. Matinee performances ments in the county. OOTW has placed more than 1,800 2 p.m. Thursday, Saturday and One of its most successful programs animals into forever homes since its Sunday has been to provide spay/neuter vouchinception. Like Warm Hearts, OOTW Tickets are $30-$60 (half-price for ers to patrons of area food pantries, which has no shelter and is 100 percent volunchildren) helped reduce the number of unwanted teer based. It has more than 100 animals www.therep.org litters in the county. in its foster program at any time.
➥ GO! RUNNING has a couple of holiday promotions underway: stop by the store and enter to win free running shoes for a year, and receive a $10 gift card for every $100 spent. The giveaway ends Dec. 23 and the gift card offer ends Dec. 25. ➥ Over at B. BARNETT, their winter sale is underway, with clothing, shoes and accessories marked down 30 percent. ➥ If you don’t know about THE RED SARI, then you are missing out on great items like scarves, oneof-a-kind handbags and accessories that are socially conscious and provide work and income for women in Nepal. The Little Rock-based company was founded by Julie West, a Clinton School graduate who spends part of the year with the artists in the Kathmandu Valley, who create these beautiful items through a process that fuses wool fibers with vintage silk saris. Items from The Red Sari can be found in shops across the United States and Canada and at local stores like BOX TURTLE and BEYOND COTTON. You can also buy from The Red Sari online by visiting www. theredsari.com. ➥ Local foodies are buzzing about DANDELION HERBS, SPICES AND TEAS, a new store in the recently completed Arcade development downtown. You can find one of the largest selections of culinary herbs and spices around, as well as 150 varieties of teas, coffee, bath salts and essential oils.
We are also working with local animal shelters to feature adoptable animals in our lobby and local rescue organizations on our website throughout December. Please help us celebrate this special holiday production and raise awareness of animal adoption in Central Arkansas by making a donation to The Rep in honor of a special pet in your life. For every gift of $75 and above we receive before December 31, we’ll create an ornament with your pet’s name and display it in the lobby. Or make a gift to The Rep and we’ll recognize a pet from one of our local shelters and display their adoption information in our lobby. Ticket sales cover only half of what it costs to produce the work you see on our stage and to create the community partnerships and educational opportunities that reach thousands of Arkansans each year. The rest must come from good friends like you. From every rescue dog curled up in a loving home, and from all of us here at Arkansas Repertory Theatre, thank you for making what we do possible!
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DECEMBER 19, 2013
Arts Entertainment A S A E S N A K AR MENT N I A T R E ENT OM FR AND
Z A ual n n a r u O d year-en . roundup BY
B DECEMBER 19, 2013
is for The Body, whose new album “Christs, Redeemers,” was met with near universal acclaim. PopMatters gave the album an 8/10, noting that “The Body makes difficult music, and ‘Christs, Redeemers’ is that difficulty at its most masterful and controlled, even as it seems at every turn unruly, deeply and truly dangerous.” A Pitchfork review said that the album “finds The Body at the apogee of their brutality.” The duo, Little Rock natives Chip King and Lee Buford, is headed across the pond in April to play at the prestigious Roadburn Festival in the Netherlands.
T BELL ROBER
is for Ashlie Atkinson, the Arkansas native who has won serious acclaim onstage (she won the 2005 Theater World Award for Breakthrough Performance for her role as Helen in Neil Labute’s “Fat Pig”) and has taken on numerous roles of all stripes on the big screen (“Inside Man,” “Compliance,” “The Wolf of Wall Street”) and the small (“Law & Order,” “30 Rock,” “Louie”). She had a major role in Fox’s “Us and Them” (a Yankee remake of the U.K. hit “Gavin and Stacey”) that, unfortunately, wasn’t picked up. The six episodes that were filmed earlier this year will reportedly be aired at some point, though a solid release date hasn’t been announced.
is for Cruelty, such as that exhibited toward Colonial Wine & Spirits manager Paul Lewis by his underlings, Jake Dell and J.T. Jumonville, who played a brutal prank on their boss. The two cruel subordinates set up a hidden video camera in the stockroom, which caught Jumonville leaping out of a huge box and scaring the everloving crapola out of Lewis. Granted, Lewis’s terrified, arm-waving reaction was subjectively hilarious, which is probably why the video was a huge hit on YouTube. Back in October, late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel played the video on his show and interviewed the three about the in-store chicanery. Lewis was a good sport about it all, though, even if when frightened he does look, in Kimmel’s words, “like a baby pterodactyl being born.”
is for Downtown Music Hall. The venue closed its doors in December after several years of providing a home to the metal, hip-hop
and dance music scenes in Central Arkansas.
is for effortless, which is how the Razorback football team made it look all season long on their march to 12-0, an SEC title and a spot in the BCS National Championship Game. Psych! Just kidding! Wasn’t that hilarious? No, it wasn’t, and neither was the Hogs dispiriting 3-9, first-ever-winless-in-theconference inaugural season under head coach Bret Bielema. No need for another full autopsy on Hogpocalypse 2013 though; let’s just hope things get better next year.
is for festivals (again). There were several of note this year, including perennial favorites and newer entries. Riverfest is the biggest of the bunch of course, and this year there was plenty of bellyaching about the lineup from the usual collection of wet blankets and Debbie Downers. But odds are thousands of folks enjoyed music from Florida Georgia Line, Darius Rucker, Kelly Rowland, Peter Frampton, Lupe Fiasco and the other acts. Up on Mulberry Mountain, there was a wet and muddy Wakarusa, with music from Widespread Panic, Snoop Lion, The Black Crowes, Gogol Bordello and Of Monsters and Men, among others. The very next weekend saw the birth of Waka’s bootscootin’, whiskey-shootin’ little brother festival Thunder on the Mountain, which had Toby Keith, Luke Bryan, Big and Rich and plenty more big-time country artists. The Yonder Mountain Harvest Festival in October was a hit, with Tedeschi Trucks Band headlining alongside many more folk, Americana and bluegrass bands. King Biscuit boasted Robert Cray, Marcia Ball and Gregg Allman as headliners. There was also the Fayetteville Roots Festival, which featured Arkansas-born folk fave Iris Dement. The Johnny Cash Music Festival got a little more traditional this year with Vince Gill, Larry Gatlin and The Gatlin Brothers and Jimmy Fortune, along with Tommy Cash and Joanne Cash Yates. The Butler Center’s Arkansas Sounds festival was back with a great lineup for its second year, including Collin Raye, Tav Falco and Panther Burns, Dan Hicks and The Hot Licks, and many more. Down in Hot Springs, you had Valley of the Vapors in the spring and Hot Water Hills in the fall to bookend your summer. And of course Eureka Springs CONTINUED ON PAGE 39
ROCK CANDY Check out the Times’ A&E blog arktimes.com
A&E NEWS 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 lindseymillar@ arktimes.com.
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NEW “LOST” JOHNNY CASH ALBUM OUT IN MARCH: A new album by the great Johnny Cash, recently discovered in the singer’s expansive archives, will be out in spring. The album of 12 all-new songs, titled “Out Among the Stars,” was cut by Cash and producer Billy Sherrill in the early 1980s, but was never released by his record label due to the thinking that Cash’s sound was becoming old news as the “Urban Cowboy” era hit its peak. Cash was dropped by Columbia Records soon after, and the master tapes from the sessions went into the Cash memorabilia vaults. The recordings were rediscovered earlier this year, and his family moved quickly to get the album out to the public. Included on “Out Among the Stars” is a duet between Cash and his wife June Carter Cash, and a duet with Waylon Jennings. The album is scheduled to be released on Legacy Records on March 24. “MUD” PICKS UP SIGNATURE AWARD FROM SOUTHEASTERN FILM CRITICS: Among the winners announced Monday morning at the 2013 Southeastern Film Critics Association annual awards: Jeff Nichols’ “Mud,” which received the association’s signature Wyatt Award, named for the late Nashville Tennessean film critic Gene Wyatt. The award recognizes the film that “best embodies the spirit of the South.” Nichols is the first two-time Wyatt winner in the nine-year history of the award, after previously winning in 2008 for “Shotgun Stories.” The SEFCA awards are voted on by film critics in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. “Mud” was also cited as one of the top 10 films of 2013 this week by the Associated Press. www.arktimes.com
DECEMBER 19, 2013
BY ROBERT BELL
103.7 THE BUZZ CHRISTMAS CELEBRITY KARAOKE
AETN ROARING ’20S COCKTAIL RECEPTION
7 p.m. Verizon Arena. $35-$50.
6:30 p.m. Wildwood Park. $50.
Most of the time, unfortunately, we don’t get many opportunities to watch our favorite local celebrities do karaoke. Sure, you might just catch one of your favorite radio reporters at a neighborhood watering hole on a Tuesday night belting out, say, “Coat of Many Colors” by Dolly Parton. Or perhaps you lucked out and saw a certain cornfed state representative singing at an Irish pub after the end of a particularly contentious legislative session and were surprised by his angelic tenor and expressive version of “Friends in Low Places.” But those are rare and unpredictable occasions. You could go your whole life and never see something like that. But this Thursday, you can count on catching all manner of local celebs and radio hosts from 103.7 The Buzz offering their most heartfelt manglings, er, unconventional renditions of Christmas classics and other tunes, and they might just get in a joke or two. It’s become a holiday tradition around Central Arkansas, and it’s all to benefit a great cause — the nonprofit Youth Home, a psychiatric treatment center for troubled adolescents.
Long about this time last year, AETN hosted a reception to offer a sneakpreview of the forthcoming season of the runaway British TV hit “Downton Abbey,” which airs on PBS stations here stateside. Well, here we are at the brink of another season of the show about the rich family at the Abbey and their prob-
lems with the help and the war and the Irish Troubles and the Spanish flu and assorted other Gilded-Age goings-on. This show is just so dadgum popular that AETN will again be offering the good people of Arkansas a chance to catch a peek at the show before it officially premieres on Jan. 5 (of course, the show premiered in the U.K. back in September). To add to the whole atmosphere of the affair, there’s gonna
be a Roaring ’20s theme, which will be augmented if y’all dress up in your finest post-Edwardian finery. There will be a costume contest to determine whose outfit is the Roaring ’20s-iest, along with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a photo booth to capture you in your attire, music, dancing and, of course, the chance to gloat to all your (nonBritish) friends about what happens in season 4.
ASO HOLIDAY FANTASY
7:30 p.m. Robinson Center Music Hall. $10-$59.
If you’ve got musically inclined kiddos and you’re looking for something fun to do this weekend, here’s a sure bet: The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra presents “Holiday Fantasy,” a new show that was written and produced by Nicole Capri, director of education at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, in partnership with Phillip Mann, ASO conductor and music director. This new program will feature a Broadway-style presentation of Christmas carols, choirs and comedy performances. The Saturday performance is at 8 p.m. and Sunday’s is at 3 p.m., though there’s a pre-matinee holiday fair starting at 2 p.m., with crafts, an instrument petting zoo, a visit from Santa and music. 34
DECEMBER 19, 2013
WE WISH YOU A METAL CHRISTMAS: The Trans-Siberian Orchestra returns to Verizon Arena Friday night.
TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA 8 p.m. Verizon Arena. $45-$91.
YouTube comments are a special wonderland of commentary where the rules of grammar and punctuation and decorum and other forms of oppression don’t apply. Everybody can just let loose and tell you how they really feel. So that’s where I turned when I wanted to find out how a handful of random people around the globe felt
about the Christmas rock opera juggernaut known as The Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Here’s just a taste of what they had to say about the band’s hit “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo [Timeless Version]”: “This NEVER gets old ...”; “also when the song drops the base it sounds like halo music”; “why can’t my work play this instead of the old crap”; “This. This is what awesome is. There is no other definition of awesome
besides this”; “I LOVE THIS SONG I DO NOT KNOW WHY :D”; and something all of us need a reminder of once in a while, “Christmas doesn’t have to be so freakin, cheesy. To all you metal fans out there! Raise your fists, bang your heads and rock the hell out of 2013 and into 2014!!!!!!!” There you have it folks, go see the TSO and rock the H-E-double-hockeysticks on into the new year!
SMOKE UP JOHNNY, THE CANEHILL ENGAGEMENT
10 p.m. White Water Tavern. $10.
RAP AT REV: DJ Rap headlines Zodiac: Sagittarius Edition, Friday at Revolution.
ZODIAC: SAGITTARIUS EDITION WITH DJ RAP 8 p.m. Revolution. $10-$20.
The fans of dance music in Central Arkansas have no doubt been digging the Zodiac series, which has been going on at Revolution for the last couple years now. I hear tell that this installment features one of the top names to take to the turntables so far: DJ Rap. This British artist, a.k.a. Charissa Saverio, has been at it for
quite a while now, getting her start in the U.K. rave scene and emerging as a leading light in the drum ’n’ bass and jungle scene before segueing into more subdued triphop and house mode of production. Along the way she formed two record labels and released a handful of club favorites of her own and from other artists. Also, performing at this 18-and-older show will be Raydar & Shaolin, Sniz, Mix Mafia, Danny Enzo and Broseph Stalin.
Man it just wouldn’t feel like the holidays in Little Rock without a booze-soaked, debauched night out with the guys in Smoke Up Johnny. Since 2009 or so, it’s been an end-of-year tradition for these dudes to get together and crank up the amps and tear through a set of awesomely trashy rock ’n’ roll. Now that I think about it, I believe they took last year off, but that was probably on account of everyone needed at least two full years to recover before the next one. Well it’s here, so you might wanna dig out the Smoke Up Johnny survival guide I drew up back in 2011. It was full of great advice that I’m sure none of you heeded, but it’s never too late for second chances. Or third ones or fourth ones. This year the dudes will be joined by their brothers in beer-soaked anthems, The Canehill Engagement.
NIGHTFLYING 33RD ANNIVERSARY PARTY
7 p.m. Stickyz. $10.
The year-end traditions continue apace with the annual anniversary throw-down to celebrate Nightflying and the community of music-lovers it serves all over the state and the region, with more tiny fonts and concert listings than you could shake a tie-dyed bandana at. Providing the tunes will be Moonshine Mafia, Jason Greenlaw & The Groove, Salt & Pepper, Joe Pitts Band, The Beckham Brothers Band, Mojo Depot, One Man Down and Priceless. They’ll also be selling Nightflying T-shirts, so if you’ve always wanted one, here’s your chance to put one of those bad boys on your back. And if you buy it between 6-7 p.m., you’ll get $2 off. Plus, this might be your last chance to throw down for a couple of days, so best get your partying in before the holiday.
Rodney Block & The Women of Faith present VERSES & FLOW Open Mic “The Holiday Edition,” hosted by Sean Fresh, The Joint, 9 p.m., $5. You can help aspiring young musicians realize the dream of owning their own instrument at Hornucopia 2013. Performing will be Grumpy Old Men II, Woodpeckers and Flying Balloono Brothers, all-ages, Stickyz, 7 p.m., $20. 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. The Royal Players’ production of “A Christmas Carol” continues at the Royal Theatre, 7:30 p.m. through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, $5-$10. Get a reggae fix with Rising Lion at Revolution, 9 p.m., $7 adv., $10 day of. They’re gonna light up the lights on the the Junction, Main Street and Clinton Presidential Center bridges at River Lights in the Rock — Bridge Lighting Ceremony. The Natural State Brass Band and Big Dam Horns provide music, Riverfront Park, 5-8 p.m., free. Be there by 6 p.m. to see the lights turned on.
FRIDAY 12/20 White Water Tavern hosts electro-pop purveyors Collin vs. Adam and heavy riff-merchants Iron Tongue, 10 p.m. It’s your last chance to catch the Weekend Theater’s production of “Scrooge! The Musical,” 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, $16$20. Check out Old Soul New Shoes, the CD release show for Doe Boi, with Wasanamenem, Justin Paul, Fiyah Burnz and Kwestion, 521 Southern Cafe, 8 p.m., $5 early admission. The Soul Thieves and Interstate Buffalo play The Afterthought, 9 p.m., $7. ImprovLittleRock presents “Christmas Claus Vacation Story: The Movie” at The Public Theatre, 10 p.m., $8. They return Saturday, same time and place, for “ImprovLittleRock’s Family Christmas.” Preceding these shows on both nights will be performances from Armadillo Rodeo, Central Arkansas’s only teen improv comedy group, 7 p.m., $8.
FLY BY NIGHTFLYING: Jason Greenlaw & The Groove play at the Nightflying 33rd Anniversary Party Monday at Stickyz.
Trey Hawkins Band and The Cons of Formant play an 18-and-older show at Revolution, 9 p.m., $7. A Holiday Celebration: The Season for Giving includes music, comedy and poetry from Theme Musiq, Kim Pettus, Rigsby St. Claire, Kidd, Nathan Williams, Lyndsey Essence and Black Proctor, Vino’s, 9 p.m., $7 before 8:30 p.m. Time for some Hoop Hogs, with the University of Arkansas taking on South Alabama, Verizon Arena, 7 p.m., $25. www.arktimes.com
DECEMBER 19, 2013
AFTER DARK All events are in the Greater Little Rock area unless otherwise noted. To place an event in the Arkansas Times calendar, please e-mail the listing and all pertinent information, including date, time, location, price and contact information, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
501-773-9990. flyingdd.com. Zodiac: Sagittarius Edition with DJ Rap. Also, with Raydar & Shaolin, Sniz, Mix Mafia, Danny Enzo, Broseph Stalin. 18-and-older. Revolution, 8 p.m., $10-$20. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501823-0090. revroom.com.
THURSDAY, DEC. 19
Armadillo Rodeo improv comedy show. Central Arkansas’s only teen improv comedy group. The Public Theatre, Dec. 20-21, 7 p.m., $8. 616 Center St. 501-374-7529. www.thepublictheatre.com. ImprovLittleRock: “Christmas Claus Vacation Story: The Movie.” The Public Theatre, 10 p.m., $8. 616 Center St. 501-374-7529. www. thepublictheatre.com. The Main Thing: “A Fertle Holiday.” The Joint, through Dec. 28: 8 p.m., $20. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. thejointinlittlerock.com. Triple Feature LR. The Loony Bin, through Dec. 21, 7:30 and 10 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555. www.loonybincomedy.com.
Aces Wild (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.cajunswharf.com. Charlotte Taylor. Russo’s, 6 p.m., free. 2490 Sanders Road, Conway. 501-205-8369. Foliage. White Water Tavern, 9 p.m. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-375-8400. www.whitewatertavern.com. Hornucopia 2013. With Grumpy Old Men II, Woodpeckers and Flying Balloono Brothers. All-ages. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 7 p.m., $20. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. www.stickyz.com. “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. Jim Dickerson. 7 p.m. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. www.sonnywilliamssteakroom.com. Krush Thursdays with DJ Kavaleer. Club Climax, free before 11 p.m. 824 W. Capitol. 501-554-3437. Michael Eubanks. Newk’s Express Cafe, 6:30 p.m. 4317 Warden Road, NLR. 501-753-8826. newks.com. Open jam with The Port Arthur Band. Parrot Beach Cafe, 9 p.m. 9611 MacArthur Drive, NLR. 771-2994. Open Turntables. The Afterthought, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www.afterthoughtbar.com. Rising Lion. Revolution, 9 p.m., $7 adv., $10 day of. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. revroom.com. RockUsaurus. Senor Tequila, 7-9 p.m. 10300 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-224-5505. www. senor-tequila.com. Rodney Block & The Women of Faith present VERSES & FLOW Open Mic “The Holiday Edition.” Hosted by Sean Fresh The Joint, 9 p.m., $5. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-3720205. thejointinlittlerock.com. Snow Glow 2013. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $6 adv., $8 day of. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www.juanitas.com. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 26, 7:30 p.m.; Jan. 2, 7:30 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. www.capitalhotel. com/CBG.
Triple Feature LR. The Loony Bin, 7:30 p.m.; through Dec. 21, 7:30 and 10 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555. www. loonybincomedy.com.
103.7 The Buzz Christmas Celebrity Karaoke. Verizon Arena, 7 p.m., $35-$50. 1 Alltel Arena Way, NLR. 501-975-9001. verizonarena.com. AETN Roaring ’20s Cocktail Reception. With cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, music, dancing, a period photo booth, costume contest and door prizes. Period costumes encouraged. Wildwood Park for the Performing Arts, 6:30 p.m., $50. 20919 Denny Road. 36
DECEMBER 19, 2013
Salsa Night. Begins with a one-hour salsa lesson. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $8. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www.littlerocksalsa.com. CHRISTMAS CREEPS: The Argenta Film Series screens “The Nightmare Before Christmas” Thursday night. RSVP at LRFF.eventbrite.com, Argenta Community Theater, 7 p.m., free. Antique/Boutique Walk. Shopping and live entertainment. Downtown Hot Springs, third Thursday of every month, 4 p.m., free. 100 Central Ave., Hot Springs. Dr. Henry Rinne. Fort Smith Regional Art Museum, 6 p.m. 701 Rogers Ave., Fort Smith. 479-784-2787. www.fsram.org. Mya’s Madams. Drag show. Maxine’s. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. www.maxinespub.com. River Lights in the Rock — Bridge Lighting Ceremony. Riverfront Park, 5-8 p.m., free. 400 President Clinton Avenue.
Argenta Film Series: “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” RSVP at LRFF.eventbrite.com. Argenta Community Theater, 7 p.m., free. 405 Main St., NLR. 501-353-1443. argentacommunitytheater.org. “Dislecksia: The Movie.” Screening at Worsham Hall followed by Q&A with dyslexia experts. Hendrix College, 7 p.m., $8. 1600 Washington Ave., Conway. www.hendrix.edu.
POETluck. Literary salon and potluck. The Writer’s Colony at Dairy Hollow, third Thursday of every month, 6 p.m. 515 Spring St., Eureka Springs. 479-253-7444.
FRIDAY, DEC. 20
ASO Holiday Fantasy: Sing-alongs, Dancing Santas and Children’s Fair. A new show written and directed by the Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s Nicole Capri in partnership with Philip Mann, music director and conductor. Robinson Center Music Hall, Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 21, 8 p.m.; Dec. 22, 3 p.m., $10-$59. Markham and Broadway. www.littlerockmeetings.com/convcenters/robinson. Big Dam Horns (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. www.cajunswharf.com. 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. www.1620savoy.com. Collin vs. Adam, Iron Tongue. White Water Tavern, 10 p.m. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-375-8400. www.whitewatertavern.com. Crash Meadows. West End Smokehouse and Tavern, 10 p.m., $5. 215 N. Shackleford. 501-2247665. www.westendsmokehouse.net. Ed Burks. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, Dec. 20-21, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501324-2999. www.sonnywilliamssteakroom.com. Friday night at Sway. Sway, 9 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-907-2582. The Hi-Balls. Thirst n’ Howl, 8:30 p.m., free. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501-379-8189. www.thirst-n-howl. com. Mike Bars, Probable Cause, C.U.C.?, Ezzy Fortune$, Tahoe Boi, and KelsOh. Vino’s, 9 p.m., $7. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. www. vinosbrewpub.com. Old Soul New Shoes. CD release show for Doe Boi, with Wasanamenem, Justin Paul, Fiyah Burnz and Kwestion. 521 Southern Cafe, 8 p.m., $5 early admission. 521 Center St. 501-413-2182. Rocktown Rap Showcase. Featured artist is KillA-Flowz. Quarternote Nightclub, 9 p.m., $5 after 10 p.m. 4726 Asher Ave. The Soul Thieves, Interstate Buffalo. The Afterthought, 9 p.m., $7. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www.afterthoughtbar.com. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 9 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. www.capitalhotel.com/CBG. Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Verizon Arena, 8 p.m., $45-$91. 1 Alltel Arena Way, NLR. 501-975-9001. verizonarena.com. “YOLO.” Featuring four DJs and beach volleyball, 18-and-older. Flying DD, $5. 4601 S. University.
Arkansas Chamber Singers’ 9th Annual “A Capitol Event.” Dinner and silent auction with “Just in Time” Barbershop Quartet. The Little Rock Club, 6 p.m., $125. 400 W. Capitol, 30th Floor. Downtown Tip Off Club: Mike Anderson. Wyndham Riverfront Hotel, 11:15 a.m.-1 p.m., $15-$20. 2 Riverfront Place, NLR. 501-371-9000. www.wyndham.com. Fantastic Friday. Literary and music event, refreshments included. For reservations, call 479-968-2452 or email artscenter@centurytel. net. River Valley Arts Center, Every third Friday, 7 p.m., $10 suggested donation. 1001 E. B St., Russellville. 479-968-2452. www.arvartscenter.org. The Foul Play Cabaret. Maxine’s. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. www.maxinespub.com. 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.
SATURDAY, DEC. 21
Arkansas River Blues Society Jam. With host Bluesboy Jag. Markham Street Grill And Pub, 8 p.m. 11321 W. Markham St. 501-224-2010. www. markhamst.com. ASO Holiday Fantasy: Sing-alongs, Dancing Santas and Children’s Fair. See Dec. 20. Beckham Brothers, Delta Tones. Thirst n’ Howl, 7:30 p.m., free. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501-3798189. www.thirst-n-howl.com. Club Nights at 1620 Savoy. See Dec. 20. Cruz Way (headliner), Sarah Hughes (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. www.cajunswharf.com. The Dangerous Idiots, The P-47s, Black Horse. Maxine’s. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. www. maxinespub.com. Ed Burks. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, 7 p.m.
PARTY AT OUR PLACE!
Armadillo Rodeo improv comedy show. Central Arkansas’s only teen improv comedy group. The Public Theatre, 7 p.m., $8. 616 Center St. 501-374-7529. www.thepublictheatre.com. ImprovLittleRock: “ImprovLittleRock’s Family Christmas.” The Public Theatre, 10 p.m., $8. 616 Center St. 501-374-7529. www.thepublictheatre.com. The Main Thing: “A Fertle Holiday.” The Joint, through Dec. 28: 8 p.m., $20. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. thejointinlittlerock.com. Triple Feature LR. The Loony Bin, 7:30 and 10 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555. www.loonybincomedy.com.
Little Rock West Coast Dance Club. Dance lessons. Singles welcome. Ernie Biggs, 7 p.m., $2. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-247-5240. www. arstreetswing.com.
8th Annual Christmas Caravan & Homeless
Outreach Event. Santa and a caravan of more than 100 vehicles loaded with gifts, along with 200 volunteer helpers, will distribute gifts to homeless and near homeless guests. Clinton Presidential Center, 8 a.m., free. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 370-8000. www.clintonpresidentialcenter.org. Argenta Farmers Market. Argenta, 7 a.m.-12 p.m. Main Street, NLR. “Broadway on Ice.” Reynolds Performance Hall, UCA, 7:30 p.m., $10-$40. 350 S. Donaghey, Conway. Conway Regional Toy Run. Provides a variety of toys for children who are patients in the Pediatrics Unit of Conway Regional Medical Center. Includes music from Ed Bowman and The Rock City Players. Landers Toad Suck Harley-Davidson, 10 a.m. 1110 Collier Dr., Conway. 501-327-0817. www.landersharley. com/dealer-info/toadsuck. 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. 501-6137001. 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. 3708000. www.clintonpresidentialcenter.org.
University of Arkansas vs. South Alabama. Verizon Arena, 7 p.m., $25. 1 Alltel Arena Way, NLR. 501-975-9001. verizonarena.com.
Book Our Party Room Today!
All American Food & Great Place to Watch Your Favorite Event
500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. www. sonnywilliamssteakroom.com. Enter the Dragon. Half-price cover for Kung Fu attire; Plus, DJs Stetra, Big Brown, g-force, Joel A and Spencer Rx, plus, Dominique Sanchez & The Disco Dolls. Discovery Nightclub, 9 p.m.-5 a.m., $10-$15. 1021 Jessie Road. 501-664-4784. www.latenightdisco.com. Gold Diggin’ Mothers: A Kings of Leon Tribute. 18-and-older. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9:30 p.m., $5. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. www.stickyz.com. A Holiday Celebration: The Season for Giving. With music, comedy and poetry from Theme Musiq, Kim Pettus, Rigsby St. Claire, Kidd, Nathan Williams, Lyndsey Essence and Black Proctor. Vino’s, 9 p.m., $7 before 8:30 p.m. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. www.vinosbrewpub.com. Karaoke. Casa Mexicana, 7 p.m. 6929 JFK Blvd., NLR. 501-835-7876. Karaoke with Kevin & Cara. All-ages, on the restaurant side. Revolution, 9 p.m.-12:45 a.m., free. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. revroom.com. K.I.S.S. Saturdays. Featuring DJ Silky Slim. Dress code enforced. Sway, 10 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-492-9802. Mr. Happy. West End Smokehouse and Tavern, 10 p.m., $5. 215 N. Shackleford. 501-224-7665. www.westendsmokehouse.net. N’eff Henton Holiday Show. The Afterthought, 9 p.m., $7. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www.afterthoughtbar.com. Pickin’ Porch. Bring your instrument. All ages welcome. Faulkner County Library, 9:30 a.m. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-327-7482. www.fcl.org. Singer/Songwriters Showcase. Parrot Beach Cafe, 2-7 p.m., free. 9611 MacArthur Drive, NLR. 771-2994. Smoke Up Johnny, The Canehill Engagement. White Water Tavern, 10 p.m., $10. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-375-8400. www.whitewatertavern.com. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 9 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. www.capitalhotel.com/CBG. Trey Hawkins Band, The Cons of Formant. 18-and-older. Revolution, 9 p.m., $7. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. revroom. com.
ROck TOwn whiskey Now oN Tap! OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK | 11AM - LATE 225 E MARKHAM • LITTLE ROCK, AR
If you’re not HERE, we’re having more fun than you are! There’s still time, GET HERE!
Thursday, Dec 19
SUNDAY, DEC. 22
ASO Holiday Fantasy: Sing-alongs, Dancing Santas and Children’s Fair. See Dec. 20. Karaoke with DJ Sara. Hardrider Bar & Grill, 7 p.m., free. 6613 John Harden Drive, Cabot. 501-982-1939. Randall Shreve. 18-and-older. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 8 p.m., $5. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. www.stickyz.com. Reggae Sundays with First Impressions. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 7:30 p.m., $5. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. www.stickyz.com. A Very Feary X-Mas with Flameing Daeth Fearies. All ages, with Seven Eves, Uno Di’or, Thin Margins. Revolution, 8 p.m., $10. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. revroom.com.
5th Annual Ugly Sweater Party. Bring a donation of $5, a new unwrapped toy or at least 10 nonperishable food items. Ernie Biggs, 9 p.m. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-372-4782. littlerock. erniebiggs.com. “Live from the Back Room.” Spoken word event. Vino’s, 7 p.m. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. www. vinosbrewpub.com. CONTINUED ON PAGE 38
A Chicago style Speakeasy & Dueling Piano Bar. This is THE premier place to party in Little Rock. “Dueling Pianos” runs Monday through Saturday. Dance & Club music upstairs on Wed, Fri & Sat. Drink specials and more! Do it BIGG! Open 7 Days A Week • 8pm-2am Shows Start at 8:30pm
Located in the Heart of the River Market District 307 President Clinton Avenue 501.372.4782 www.erniebiggs.com
Taking donations for Our House Santa on Charlotte’s Porch 5:45 p.m. Mount St. Mary’s Concert Belles 6:00 p.m. 5811 Kavanaugh Boulevard · 501-664-5646
We Wish You & Yours Happy Holidays! CUSTOM FRAMING – 1813 N. GRANT · 661.0687
DECEMBER 19, 2013
AFTER DARK, CONT.
MONDAY, DEC. 23
Nightflying 33rd Anniversary Party. With Moonshine Mafia, Jason Greenlaw & The Groove and more. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 7 p.m., $10. 107 Commerce St. 501-3727707. www.stickyz.com.
THIS WEEK IN THEATER
“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. theatre2.org. “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. www.therep.org. “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. Dec. 22 is “Pay What You Can Night;” tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. day of show, $1 minimum. 501 E. 9th St. 501-372-4000. www.arkarts.com. “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 Col. Glenn Road. 501-562-3131. murrysdinnerplayhouse.com. “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. 19, 7:30 p.m., $16-$20. 1001 W. 7th St. 501-374-3761. www.weekendtheater.org.
NEW EXHIBITIONS, EVENTS
New events, exhibits in bold-faced type. ART GROUP GALLERY, Pleasant Ridge Shopping Center: “12 Days of Christmas,” work by Louise Harris, Debby Hinson, Ned Perme, Holly Tilley, Vickie Hendrix-Siebenmorgen, Matt Coburn, Ron Almond and Ann Presley, register for free painting to be given away Christmas Eve. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-6 p.m. Sun. BOSWELL-MOUROT, 5815 Kavanaugh Blvd.: Paintings by Dennis McCann, sculpture by Michael Warrick, gouache by Astrid Sohn. 664-0030. THE CREATIVE SPACE, 108 E. 4th St., NLR: Holiday Art Market, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 20. 772-7602. GREG THOMPSON FINE ART, 429 Main St., NLR: Work by Southern artists, open 5-8 p.m. Dec. 20, Argenta ArtWalk. 664-2787. HISTORIC ARKANSAS MUSEUM, 200 E. 3rd St.: “A Sure Defense: The Bowie Knife in America,” through June 22; “Dream and Imagery Entailed: Kerrick Hartman and LaToya Hobbs,” sculpture and printmaking, through Feb. 9; “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. 38
DECEMBER 19, 2013
Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 324-9351. GALLERY 26, 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd.: 19th annual “Holiday Show and Sale,” work by more than 50 artists in all media, with new paintings by Stephen Cefalo, owl jars by Lisa Crews, ornaments by James Hayes and more, through Jan. 11. 664-8996. 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. THEA FOUNDATION, 401 Main St., NLR: Work by patients and artists-in-residence Hamid Ebrahimifar and Elizabeth Weber at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, closing reception 5-8 p.m. Dec. 20, Argenta ArtWalk. 9 a.m.-noon, 1-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. 379-9512. HOT SPRINGS FINE ARTS CENTER OF HOT SPRINGS, 626 Central Ave.: “2013 National Diamond Art Competition,” juror Katherine Strause, Dec. 20-Feb. 1. 501-624-0489.
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. 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. a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 320-5700. 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 221 & ART STUDIOS 221, Pyramid Place: “Holiday Show.” 801-0211. GINO HOLLANDER GALLERY, 2nd and Center:
Paintings and works on paper by Gino Hollander. 801-0211. GOOD WEATHER GALLERY, 4400 Edgemere, NLR: “Trip,” work by Layet Johnson, through Jan. 1. www.goodweathergallery.com HEARNE FINE ART, 1001 Wright Ave.: “Evolu- tion,” exhibit celebrating the gallery’s 25th anniversary, with work by Lawrence Finney, Mario Robinson, Kevin Cole, Adger Cowans, Samella Lewis, Paul Goodnight and others, through Feb. 2. 372-6822. 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. UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS AT LITTLE ROCK: “The Abstraction of Toys,” MA thesis show of paintings by Dan Thornhill, through Dec. 20. 569-8977. BENTON DIANNE ROBERTS ART STUDIO AND GALLERY, 110 N. Market St.: Work by Chad Oppenhuizen, Dan McRaven, Gretchen Hendricks, Rachel Carroccio, Kenny Roberts, Taylor Bellott, Jim Cooper and Sue Moore. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Wed.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat. 8607467. 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. FAYETTEVILLE BOTTLE ROCKET GALLERY, 1495 Finger Road: “Makeshift Theatre,” photographs by Logan Rollins. 479-466-7406. FORT SMITH REGIONAL ART MUSEUM, 1601 Rogers Ave.: “RE: History,” 25 two- and three-dimensional works by James Volkert, through Feb. 16. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 479-7842787. HARRISON ARTISTS OF THE OZARKS, 124 ½ N. Willow St.: Work by Amelia Renkel, Ann Graffy, Christy Dillard, Helen McAllister, Sandy Williams and D. Savannah George. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thu.-Sat., noon-4 p.m. Sun. 870-429-1683. 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 and Thad Flenniken. 501-318-2787. 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. PERRYVILLE SUDS GALLERY, Courthouse Square: Paintings by Dottie Morrissey, Alma Gipson, Al Garrett Jr., Phyllis Loftin, Alene Otts, Mauretta Frantz, Raylene Finkbeiner, Kathy Williams and Evelyn Garrett. Noon-6 p.m. Wed.-Fri, noon-4 p.m. Sat. 501-766-7584.
ONGOING MUSEUM EXHIBITS
ARKANSAS INLAND MARITIME MUSEUM, North Little Rock: 371-8320. ARKANSAS SPORTS HALL OF FAME MUSEUM, Verizon Arena, NLR: 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 663-4328. CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL MUSEUM VISITOR CENTER, Bates and Park: Exhibits on the 1957 desegregation of Central and the civil rights movement. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily. 374-1957. 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 (1900-1999),” purses from the collection of Anita Davis, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tue.-Sun., $10-$8. 916-9022. 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. OLD STATE HOUSE MUSEUM, 300 W. Markham: “Lights! Camera! Arkansas!”, the state’s ties to Hollywood, including costumes, scripts, film footage, photographs and more, through March 1, 2015; “Things You Need to Hear: Memories of Growing up in Arkansas from 1890 to 1980,” oral histories about community, family, work, school and leisure, through March 2014. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 324-9685. WITT STEPHENS JR. CENTRAL ARKANSAS NATURE CENTER, Riverfront Park: Exhibits on wildlife and the state Game and Fish Commission. ENGLAND TOLTEC MOUNDS STATE PARK, State Hwy. 165: Major prehistoric Indian site with visitors’ center and museum. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., noon-5 p.m. Sun., closed Mon. $3 for adults, $2 for ages 6-12. 961-9442. JACKSONVILLE JACKSONVILLE MUSEUM OF MILITARY HISTORY, 100 Veterans Circle: Exhibits on D-Day; F-105, Vietnam era plane (“The Thud”); the Civil War Battle of Reed’s Bridge, Arkansas Ordnance Plant (AOP) and other military history. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. $3 adults; $2 seniors, military; $1 students. 501-241-1943. MORRILTON MUSEUM OF AUTOMOBILES, Petit Jean Mountain: Permanent exhibit of more than 50 cars from 1904-1967 depicting the evolution of the automobile. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 7 days. 501-727-5427.
A-Z, CONT. hosted its long-running annual blues, jazz, folk and bluegrass festivals.
is for glowing, which describes reviews of the Sundance Channel series “Rectify,” created, produced and directed by Ray McKinnon (an Oscar-winning director, actor and former Little Rock resident) and which counts former Times columnist Graham Gordy as one of its writers. The show centers on Daniel Holden (played by Aden Young), as a man just released from a long prison sentence after DNA evidence vacates his conviction in the rape and murder of his girlfriend. He’s free, but many in the small hometown he returns to aren’t so sure he’s innocent. The L.A. Times’ Mary McNamara wrote of the show that “it isn’t just good TV, it’s revelatory TV,” describing the series as “mesmerizing.” The New York Times’ Mike Hale wasn’t quite as taken (calling it a “slow and tepid bummer”) but he seems to be an outlier. In May, the Sundance Channel announced it had ordered 10 more episodes.
is for Hal Needham, the Arkansas-bred stuntman extraordinaire who passed away in October at 82. Needham spent the ’60s practically reinventing the profes-
sion, then later he got on the less dangerous side of the camera as director of car-chase movies such as “Smokey and The Bandit,” “The Cannonball Run,” “Stroker Ace” and the ’80s cult classic BMX flick “Rad.” Needham was awarded an honorary Oscar this year, only the second stunt performer or coordinator to earn one.
is for Iron Tongue. The Little Rock outfit released its debut longplayer “The Dogs Have Barked, The Birds Have Flown” this year on Neurot Recordings. Writing for PopMatters, novelist and critic David Maine praised the album as “a fuzzhead’s dream: layers of bluesy, sinewy guitars piled on more sinewy guitars, full-throated anthemic vocals and an overwhelming sense of fighting against the encroaching doom. Rock and roll redemption, indeed.”
is for Justin Moore. The native of Poyen has found success in Nashville in chart-topping singles, a No. 1 album and sold-out shows if not necessarily in industry awards and the little statues that come with them. When Moore was snubbed by the CMAs this year, he took to Twitter to clear the air with a few tweets: “For all you loyal, wonderful fans of mine. you keep askin why you never
see me on awards shows. I feel like I owe you a response. thruth is ... I have no idea. I would love for you to have the opportunity to see me on that stage. And be on that stage. As of yet, I’ve not been asked ... Nonetheless, you have given me a blessed life and career, which I’m thankful for. I owe that to you guys and COUNTRY RADIO! ... If awards come to me down the road, great. If not, that’s fine too. No matter what, I have you all. I have those sold out arenas on the road ... I have the opportunity to play my music across the country for a living thanks to country music. Thank you for your passion. I love you all ... Plus, my 4 year old just told me I’m her entertainer of the year. That’s better than any trophy...:) See y’all #offthebeatenpath..God bless ... Also, congrats to all the winners tonight.” And there you have it. As many of us tell ourselves about the Razorback football team, there’s always next year.
is for “King of the Cocktail Party,” John Willis’s excellent EP of sophisticated pop songcraft, which he released back in August. I wrote of the record that Willis’ musical influences (Motown, ’70s singer/songwriters, gospel) “certainly shine through on his new EP, especially on the title track, with its range of sounds: a gentle Brazilian lilt
here, a jaunty chorus of background singers, what sounds like a harmonium in the distance, and wry observations throughout. Opener “The Ladder” is a bouncy, pianoled number with rich, gorgeous vocal harmonies and an ending that recalls Harry Nilsson in his prime.” Willis also recorded an episode of AETN’s On the Front Row, which aired recently.
is for loss, which is what many in the area’s musical communities understandably felt when Jeffrey “Bushy” Hudnall and Mason Mauldin passed away. Hudnall, a concert promoter and pioneer of Arkansas’s electronic music scene, died in his sleep on Jan. 3 at age 38. He was one of the founders of Cybertribe and brought in some of the biggest names in EDM to the area. Mauldin played in numerous Little Rock bands, including Sugar and the Raw and Big Boots, and was also a pilot for Central Flying Service. He died at age 31 in a plane crash in Louisiana.
is for a move, which the Arkansas Music Pavilion will be making next year, leaving Fayetteville for Rogers. The outdoor venue, which opened in 2005 and was originally located at the Northwest Arkansas Mall, CONTINUED ON PAGE 40
DECEMBER 19, 2013
A-Z, CONT. was purchased by the Walton Arts Center in 2011 and moved to the Washington County Fairgrounds for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. In May, the WAC announced that the AMP would be moved to a new, permanent location just up I-540 near Pinnacle Hills. The move caused some consternation among music-lovers in Fayetteville, but it’s tough to argue with 91 percent of the $11 million budget (including the land) being donated by billionaire Johnelle Hunt. As I noted back in May however, “You gotta wonder what the reaction might be from the tony gated communities of Pinnacle Hills to hearing Ted Nugent or whoever playing at top volume at 11 p.m. on a Thursday night.”
vidual committed to renovating the building and making it available for future public use.” The festival itself also had a great year with many excellent sports documentaries, including “The Big Shootout,” about the 1969 “Game of the Century” between No. 1 Texas and No. 2 Arkansas, and “Jose Canseco: The Truth Hurts.”
is for Nate Powell. The North Little Rock native had a big year with the publication of “March,” the first in a trilogy of graphic novels about the life of legendary activist and U.S. Rep. John Lewis. Lewis and Andrew Aydin wrote the book and Powell illustrated it, working closely with the Civil Rights icon. Powell also began work this year on a graphic novel spinoff of “Percy Jackson and the Olympians,” a hugely popular YA fantasy series by author Rick Riordan.
is for overhaul — a $68.6 million overhaul to be precise, which is what voters in Little Rock approved earlier this month for Robinson Center Music Hall. The Depressionera venue hasn’t seen any major renovations since it was built in 1939, and while the redo looks impressive, with a huge glass wall facing north, it isn’t an expansion. There will be slightly more space, with an addition of about 4,500 square feet, but there will actually be fewer seats and the stage will be lowered to accommodate the bigger productions of today’s big-time Broadway shows. Funding will come from bonds issued and paid for with the city’s 2 percent hospitality tax, similar to how the Statehouse Convention Center was paid for. Construction is set to begin in July and be finished in September 2016.
is for premiere, as in the two world-premiere musicals the Arkansas Repertory Theatre produced this year — “Treasure Island” and “Because of Winn Dixie.” The first was a reimagining of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale of buried loot and Jim Hawkins’ quest to survive mutiny and crazed pirates and make it off of the island alive. It was a fun and funny family show with an impressive cast and evocative set design and costumes. The other world premiere was the “Because of Winn Dixie” (running through 40
DECEMBER 19, 2013
Dec. 29), based on Kate DiCamillo’s popular children’s book of the same name. As my colleague David Ramsey noted, it’s “the first pre-Broadway musical to star a live dog in a leading role.” It brought together an all-star creative team: music from Duncan Sheik (Tony and Grammy Award winner for “‘Spring Awakening”), lyrics and book by Nell Benjamin (Tony nominee for “Legally Blonde”) and direction by John Tartaglia (Tony nominee for “Avenue Q”). If that wasn’t enough star wattage, the Rep also staged the well-received first production of a newly reimagined version of the Rodgers and Hart musical “Pal Joey,” directed by Peter Schneider, the Tony Award-winning producer of “The Lion King.”
is for question, as in, “Can you please put that in the form of a question?” This wasn’t the first time someone from the Natural State was on the popular quiz show Jeopardy,
of course, but this year there were two who were on the show. First up was the totally awesome Little Rock high school senior Leonard Cooper, who won Teen Jeopardy (and $75,000) in stylish fashion in February and who was included in our annual Academic All-Stars issue. Conway native Brock Thompson, author of “The Un-Natural State: Arkansas and the Queer South,” was on the show earlier this month. He’s also a veteran of the cover of the Times; we printed an excerpt of his book in 2010. As if that weren’t enough Arkansas reppin’ on Jeopardy, Little Rock radiologist Shane Whitlock earned a spot on the upcoming “Battle of the Decades” tournament. Whitlock won the College Championship in 1996 and was featured on the Tournament of Champions that year and the Ultimate Tournament of Champions in 2005. He’ll compete on ’90s week, March 3-7.
is for Rothko and Rockwell. Our fine-arts critic Leslie Newell Peacock was impressed with the Arkansas Arts Center’s Rothko exhibit. The show “will renew your faith, if it had been lagging, that non-representational art can provoke a deep visceral response,” she wrote. “Go sit in the final room of the exhibit, in the Winthrop Rockefeller Gallery, and be quiet with the work and be convinced that Rothko’s application and placement of color were not random or decorative gestures, but nearly narrative expressions of emotion.” Crystal Bridges in Bentonville brought in a Rockwell show that drew more than 121,000 people, more than saw the show at any of the 12 museums that hosted the show prior.
is for solvent, which the Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute became this year after selling the historic Malco Theater to pay off the organization’s debt. Susan Altrui, chair of the HSDFI board, told the Times in June that the transaction “removes all debt owed on the theater and its related property by HSDFI and places it in the hands of an indi-
is for tasty, which our first annual Heritage Hog Roast undoubtedly was, featuring slow-roasted whole pigs from several of the region’s most creative cooks. This also could’ve fit in the C category, as in colder than a well-digger’s ass. Yes, it was unseasonably frigid for the first weekend in May in Arkansas. But the cold/nasty weather didn’t stop the inaugural celebration of all things porcine, slow-cooked. Eat Arkansas’s Michael Roberts noted that there were fewer than two points separating the first and third place teams. Ultimately, the Country Club of Little Rock won out with the judges, but as Roberts wrote, “there wasn’t a bad bite of food to be had at the event.”
is for Undercroft, one of Little Rock’s newest venues housed in one of its older establishments, Christ Episcopal Church, formed in 1839. Christ Episcopal started hosting concerts and arrived on the live music landscape with a bang, announcing shows with legendary soul diva Mavis Staples, acclaimed vocal group Cantus (each of which were staged in the church’s large sanctuary) and synth-heavy singer/songwriter Nedelle Torrisi (held in the more intimate Undercroft space).
is for victorious, which is what The Sound of the Mountain was at this year’s Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase. The Russellville quartet won on the strength of cinematic, sweeping instrumental post-rock realized with impressive chops from every member.
is for William Harrison, the author of several novels and short-story collections and the co-founder of the University of Arkansas’s renowned Creative Writing program, who died this year. Harrison was widely known as the screenwriter of “Rollerball,” the dystopian ’70s sci-fi film based on his short story “Roller Ball Murder,” which was published in Esquire in 1973. But his other works were critically praised and he earned many grants and fellowships over the course of his career. Harrison was a native of Dallas, but lived in Fayetteville from the mid-’60s until his death in October. CONTINUED ON PAGE 54
‘THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG’: Martin Freeman stars.
Missing magic ‘The Desolation of Smaug’ forgets story in quest for everything else. BY SAM EIFLING
hen Peter Jackson set about adapting J.R.R. Tolkien children’s novel “The Hobbit” as a sprawling trilogy of eight running hours, we felt we could expect certain things. One would be the best special effects money could buy; after the rake on Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” flicks, we know the Kiwi auteur is resting on a pile of coin that would make the titular dragon in this second installment, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” drool napalm. We knew the costumes and settings would give the film the weightless sensation of having been created in another world, as if the production crews teleported to Middle-earth to bear witness to a troupe of dwarves and a wizard and a hobbit and elves and orcs. We knew the sweep and scope would be epic or die trying. Aside from some irritatingly obvious digital effects, all of the above came true in the first and now the second film. So far so good. Now, to the deficiencies. “The Desolation of Smaug” is a movie made for everyone, and therefore, for no one. It’s a fantasy costume drama with action sequences straight out of Saturday morning cartoons, saggy middle stretches made logy by stultifying elf palace politics, blizzards of geographical scope and character names that make sense on a re-readable page but that become audio fuzz when spoken onscreen, and a tipsy notion of scale and pace. The climax of this 160-minute romp can barely be identified as such, because it cuts between a helterskelter inner-mountain dragon battle and a single ill dwarf miles away who’s dying on a kitchen table and needs a poultice. Then, because this is the middle child of a threepart series, the film ends almost literally on a cliffhanger. Tune in next year, kids! Our heroes’ journey to an ancient dwarf
fortress should be the simplest of quests, but even that gets bungled in the telling. Led by an heir to the dwarf throne, name of Thorin (Richard Armitage), the dwarves bring the brave hobbit Bilbo (Martin Freeman) so he can retrieve a single gem, a MacGuffin called the Arkenstone, from the Scrooge McDuckian avalanche of gold the dragon Smaug is guarding. Why is this mammoth bauble so valuable, such that the entire mission hinges on it? Something about uniting armies. Maybe so they can kill the dragon? But then Thorin doesn’t exactly make stealth a priority and, surprise, the dragon stirs, with nary an army to thwart it. The point, dear reader, is that it’s folly to assume “The Desolation of Smaug” knows what its characters are doing and why, because it does such a threadbare job of communicating these basic tenets of story. Why does the only female character of any consequence, the raging badass Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly), fall immediately for the dwarf Kili (Aidan Turner)? Why — really, like, specifically why — does Gandalf (Ian McKellen, greyer than ever) wander off to go muddle around an orc fortress alone? Why doesn’t Legolas (Orlando Bloom) exhibit any more personality than a garden gnome? Not everything here plods. Smaug, the trilogy’s raison d’être, is animated and voiced spectacularly. There’s an awesome, gruesome showdown between the dwarves and a gaggle of giant spiders. The floating lake town of Esgaroth is a triumph of set design and construction. But the movie’s missing something. If we may quote Tolkien back to Jackson, we could pull a line from “The Hobbit,” in which the author describes the titular race: “There is little or no magic about them.” Sounds about right.
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DECEMBER 19, 2013
Dining WHAT’S COOKIN’ CACHE RESTAURANT, the muchanticipated dining anchor of The Arcade in the River Market from Rush Harding and his son, Chef Payne Harding, had a preview party for a select group last week. New Year’s Eve is the grand opening and is billed as a “party like Little Rock has never seen.” The event includes vocalist and saxophonist Michael Eubanks, as well as local band Party Planet, with hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Tickets are $75 (see cachelittlerock.com for details). Cache (pronounced “cash,” named for the chef’s roots along the Cache River) will open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday in January. The menu is upscale, including a “hearth-fired cowboy rib-eye” entree for $74, though lunch offerings, like a crab cake burger and a fried chicken sandwich, will run in the $9 to $12 range.
7706 Cantrell Road 223-9756 QUICK BITE Luna Maya offers no seating, either indoors or out, and all ordering is done outside the building from the window. Orders come out quickly, so it makes a reasonable spot to grab a bite of lunch to go. Burritos are sizable and should keep you quite full until it’s time to start considering dinner plans. HOURS 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday. OTHER INFO Credit cards accepted.
FRESH: Luna Maya’s steak burrito with everything.
ACADIA A jewel of a restaurant in Hillcrest. Unbelievable fixed-price, three-course dinners on Monday and Tuesday, but food is certainly worth full price. 3000 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, CC. $$-$$$. 501-603-9630. D Mon.-Sat. THE AFTERTHOUGHT CAFE A pleasant spot in Hillcrest with specialty salads, steak and seafood. The soup of the day is a good bet. At lunch, the menu includes an all-vegetable sandwich and a half-pound cheeseburger. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-1196. LD Mon.-Fri., D Sat., BR Sun. BIG ORANGE: BURGERS SALADS SHAKES Gourmet burgers manufactured according to exacting specs (humanely raised beef!) and properly fried Kennebec potatoes are the big draws, but you can get a veggie burger as well as fried chicken, curried falafel and blacked tilapia sandwiches, plus creative meal-sized salads. Shakes and floats are indulgences for all ages. Adults will find a huge bar including craft beers and esoteric wine. It’s kid friendly, too, with a $4.95 tots’ platter. 17809 Chenal Parkway. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-821-1515. LD daily. BLACK ANGUS CAFE Charcoal-grilled burgers, hamburger steaks and steaks proper are the big draws at this local institution. 10907 N. Rodney Parham. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-228-7800. LD Mon.-Sat. BOBBY’S CAFE Delicious, humungo burgers and tasty homemade deserts at this Levy diner. 12230 MacArthur Drive. NLR. No alcohol, No CC. $. 501-851-7888. BL Tue.-Fri., D Thu.-Fri. BOSCOS RESTAURANT & BREWERY CO. This River Market brewery does food well, too. Along with the tried and true, like sandwiches, burgers, steaks and big salads, they have entrees like black bean and goat cheese tamales, open hearth pizza ovens and 42
DECEMBER 19, 2013
Take-out burritos come to Cantrell Luna Maya drive-in good for Mexico on the go.
hen you’re looking for a good burrito joint, you expect certain things. It must be quick and convenient; it should be relatively inexpensive but also of a certain quality. The burritos should be tasty, substantial, easy-to-handle, good-on-the-go. In the drive-in where the late Home Fresh Burgers on Cantrell (and before that the more remembered The Hop) once operated, Luna Maya has opened a casual, take-out-only burrito and taco joint. Its weathered home is a bit run down, but it appears to be clean and tidy on the inside where the frying vats are. You order your food from the walkup window. Menu options are relatively few — burritos (beef or chicken), tacos, quesadillas and tortas. Burritos are the house specialty and are assembled to-order. Customers are able to select from a small list of ingredients and tortillas to customize their selection. We first sampled the steak burrito ($6) “with everything,” which included
lettuce, tomato, cheese, black beans, seasoned rice, sour cream and fresh pico de gallo. We also ordered a chicken quesadilla ($7) and were presented with grilled white meat chicken and a blend of white and cheddar cheeses, all wrapped inside a 10-inch flour tortilla. The burrito was sizable and the ingredients fresh. The steak was tender and well-seasoned. The beans and rice were flavorful and suitably proportioned. The large flour tortilla just as exactly as we like them, soft and pliable but slightly chewy. The sour cream and guacamole added nice cooling elements, though we wished there had been a touch more guacamole. The accompanying green and red salsas were excellent — the green being, surprisingly, the spicier of the two. We also enjoyed the chicken quesadilla, despite its simplicity. Composed merely of melted cheese and chicken in a folded four tortilla, the quesadilla used tender, moist and perfectly seasoned white meat chicken. We slathered on
scoops of the accompanying sour cream and dunked the quesadilla in both the provided salsas. A bit more crisp on the tortilla would have served this dish well, but it remained enjoyable to the last bite. On a return visit we sampled a combination taco plate ($7). Taco options are also unfortunately limited at this point — chicken and steak, once again. We ordered a mix of both, received three beef and two chicken tacos. These were arrayed in traditional street taco garb — diced onion and cilantro. They come wrapped in a yellow corn tortilla and are accompanied by the standard green and red salsas. Both the chicken and the beef were dry and chewier than we would have liked. They lacked that lovely, runny taco juice that makes street tacos such a pleasure to eat. The salsas (particularly the red) added some muchneeded flavor. Luna Maya’s menu does run regular specials, especially during dinner hours — tamales, cochinita pibil (a Yucatan specialty of slow-cooked pork) and massive hamburguesas, just to name a few. But adding a few staple pork options — barbacoa, chorizo, etc.—to the permanent menu would do it some good. Beans and rice are never a bad idea, either. There’s a whole host of authentic Mexican offerings around Little Rock, but not so many in this corner of the city. Luna Maya offers something much needed to this part of town — good burritos on the cheap, available in a pinch. It’s not the first of its kind, its menu is traditional and small — but perhaps it will fare better than its burger joint predecessor. We sure hope it does.
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.
muffalettas. 500 President Clinton Ave. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-907-1881. LD daily. BOSTON’S Ribs, gourmet pizza star at this restaurant/sports bar located at the Holiday Inn by the airport. TVs in separate sports bar area. 3201 Bankhead Dr. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-235-2000. LD daily. BOUDREAUX’S GRILL & BAR A homey, seatyourself Cajun joint in Maumelle that serves up all sorts of variations of shrimp and catfish. With particularly tasty red beans and rice, jambalaya and bread pudding. 9811 Maumelle Blvd. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-753-6860. L Sat., D Mon.-Sat. BOULEVARD BREAD CO. Fresh bread, fresh pastries, wide selection of cheeses, meats, side dishes; all superb. Good coffee, too. 1920 N. Grant St. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-6635951. BLD Mon.-Sat. 400 President Clinton Ave. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-374-1232. BL Mon.-Sat. 4301 W. Markham St. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-526-6661. BL Mon.-Fri. 1417 Main St. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-375-5100. BL Mon.-Sat. BREWSTERS 2 CAFE & LOUNGE Down-home done right. Check out the yams, mac-andcheese, greens, purple-hull peas, cornbread, wings, catfish and all the rest. 2725 S. Arch St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-301-7728. LD Mon.-Sat. BROWN SUGAR BAKESHOP Fabulous cupcakes, brownies and cakes offered five days a week until they’re sold out. 419 E. 3rd St. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-372-4009. LD Tue.-Sat. (close at 5:30 p.m.). BUTCHER SHOP The cook-your-own-steak option has been downplayed, and several menu additions complement the calling card: large, fabulous cuts of prime beef, cooked to perfection. 10825 Hermitage Road. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-312-2748. D daily. CAJUN’S WHARF The venerable seafood restaurant serves up great gumbo and oysters Bienville, and options such as fine steaks for the non-seafood eater. In the citified bar, you’ll find nightly entertainment, too. 2400 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-375-5351. D Mon.-Sat. CAPERS It’s never been better, with as good a wine list as any in the area, and a menu that covers a lot of ground — seafood, steaks, pasta — and does it all well. 14502 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-868-7600. LD Mon.-Sat. COMMUNITY BAKERY This sunny downtown bakery is the place to linger over a latte, bagels and the New York Times. But a lunchtime dash for sandwiches is OK, too, though it’s often packed. 1200 S. Main St. No alcohol, CC. $-$$. 501-375-7105. BLD daily. 270 S. Shackleford. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-224-1656. BLD Mon.-Sat. BL Sun. COPPER GRILL Comfort food, burgers and more sophisticated fare at this River Marketarea hotspot. 300 E. Third St. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-375-3333. LD Mon.-Sat. CRUSH WINE BAR An unpretentious downtown bar/lounge with an appealing and erudite wine list. With tasty tapas, but no menu for full meals. 318 Main St. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-374-9463. D Tue.-Sat. DAVE’S PLACE A popular downtown soup-
B Breakfast L Lunch D Dinner $ Inexpensive (under $8/person) $$ Moderate ($8-$20/person) $$$ Expensive (over $20/person) CC Accepts credit cards
and-sandwich stop at lunch draws a large and diverse crowd for the Friday night dinner, which varies in theme, home cooking being the most popular. Owner Dave Williams does all the cooking and his son, Dave also, plays saxophone and fronts the band that plays most Friday nights. 201 Center St. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-372-3283. L Mon.-Fri., D Fri. DAVID FAMILY KITCHEN Call it soul food or call it down-home country cooking. Just be sure to call us for breakfast or lunch when you go. Neckbones, ribs, sturdy cornbread, salmon croquettes, mustard greens and the like. Desserts are exceptionally good. 2301 Broadway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-3710141. BL Mon.-Fri., L Sun. DELICIOUS TEMPTATIONS Decadent breakfast and light lunch items that can be ordered in full or half orders to please any appetite or palate, with a great variety of salads and soups as well. Don’t miss the bourbon pecan pie — it’s a winner. 11220 N. Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-225-6893. BL daily. DIZZY’S GYPSY BISTRO Interesting bistro fare, served in massive portions at this River Market favorite. 200 River Market Ave. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-375-3500. LD Tue.-Sat. THE FADED ROSE The Cajun-inspired menu seldom disappoints. Steaks and soaked salads are legendary. 1619 Rebsamen Park Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-9734. LD daily. FLYING SAUCER A popular River Market hangout thanks to its almost 200 beers (including 75 on tap) and more than decent bar food. It’s now non-smoking, so families are welcome. 323 President Clinton Ave. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-372-8032. LD daily. FOX AND HOUND Sports bar that serves pub food. 2800 Lakewood Village. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-753-8300. LD daily. FRANKE’S CAFETERIA Plate lunch spot strong on salads and vegetables, and perfect fried chicken on Sundays. Arkansas’ oldest continually operating restaurant. 11121 N. Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-2254487. LD Mon.-Fri. 400 W. Capitol Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-372-1919. L Mon.-Fri. FRONTIER DINER The traditional all-American roadside diner, complete with a nice selection of man-friendly breakfasts and lunch specials. The half-pound burger is a two-hander for the average working Joe. 10424 Interstate 30. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-565-6414. BL Mon.-Sat. FROSTOP A ‘50s-style drive-in has been resurrected, with big and juicy burgers and great irregularly cut fries. Superb service, too. 4131 JFK Blvd. NLR. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-758-4535. BLD daily. GADWALL’S GRILL & PIZZA Once two separate restaurants, a fire forced the grill into the pizza joint. Now, under one roof, there’s mouthwatering burgers and specialty sandwiches, plus zesty pizzas with cracker-thin crust and plenty of toppings. 12 North Hills Shopping Center. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-8341840. LD daily. IZZY’S It’s bright, clean and casual, with snappy team service of all the standbys — sandwiches and fries, lots of fresh salads, pasta about a CONTINUED ON PAGE 44
DED R FA O R E S TA U R A N T
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DECEMBER 19, 2013
DINING CAPSULES, CONT. dozen ways, hand-rolled tamales and (night only) brick oven pizzas. Wholesome, all-American food prepared with care, if rarely far from the middle of the culinary road. With full vegan and gluten-free menus. 5601 Ranch Drive. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-868-4311. LD Mon.-Sat. J & S CAFETERIA Home-cooking, with daily specials. Also offers burgers from the grill or a salad bar. 601 S Gaines St. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-378-2206. L Mon.-Fri. MARKHAM STREET GRILL AND PUB The menu has something for everyone, including mahi-mahi and wings. Try the burgers, which are juicy, big and fine. 11321 W. Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-224-2010. LD daily, BR Sun. MCBRIDE’S CAFE AND BAKERY Owners Chet and Vicki McBride have been serving up delicious breakfast and lunch specials based on their family recipes for two decades in this popular eatery at Baptist Health’s Little Rock campus. The desserts and barbecue sandwiches are not to be missed. 9501 Lile Drive. No alcohol, All CC. $. 501-340-3833. BL Mon.-Fri. MOOYAH BURGERS Kid-friendly, fast-casual restaurant with beef, veggie and turkey burgers, a burger bar and shakes. 14810 Cantrell Road, Suite 190. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-8681091. OLD MILL BREAD AND FLOUR CO. CAFE The popular take-out bakery has an eat-in restaurant and friendly operators. It’s self-service, simple and good with sandwiches built with a changing lineup of the bakery’s 40 different breads, along with soups, salads and cookies. 12111 W. Markham St. #366. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-228-4677. BL Mon.-Sat. BR Sun. RED DOOR Fresh seafood, steaks, chops and sandwiches from restaurateur Mark Abernathy. Smart wine list. 3701 Old Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-666-8482. BL Tue.-Fri. D daily. BR Sat. RENO’S ARGENTA CAFE Sandwiches, gyros and gourmet pizzas by day and music and drinks by night in downtown Argenta. 312 N. Main St. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-3762900. RIVERFRONT STEAKHOUSE Steaks are the draw here — nice cuts heavily salted and peppered, cooked quickly and accurately to your specifications, finished with butter and served sizzling hot. 2 Riverfront Place. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-375-7825. D Mon.-Sat. ROBERT’S SPORTS BAR & GRILL If you’re looking for a burger, you won’t find it here. This establishment specializes in fried chicken dinners, served with their own special trimmings. 7212 Geyer Springs Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-568-2566. D Mon.-Sat. ROCKET TWENTY ONE Great seafood, among other things, is served at the Ice House Revival in Hillcrest. With a late night menu. 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $$$-$$$$. 501-603-9208. L Mon.-Fri., D Tue.-Sat. ROUTE 66 DINER Kid-friendly ‘50s diner with a menu of classics, including chicken and waffles. 7710 Cantrell Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-223-3366. BLD Mon.-Sat. RUDY’S OYSTER BAR Good boiled shrimp and oysters on the half shell. Quesadillas and chili cheese dip are tasty and ultra-hearty. 2695 Pike Ave. NLR. Full bar, All CC. 501-771-0808. LD Mon.-Sat. SCOOP DOG Frozen custard, concretes, sundaes. 5508 John F Kennedy Blvd. NLR. No alcohol, All CC. $. 501-753-5407. LD daily. SHARKS FISH & CHICKEN This Southwest Little Rock restaurant specializes in seafood, frog legs and catfish, all served with the traditional fixings. 8824 Geyer Springs Road. No 44
DECEMBER 19, 2013
alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-565-0300. LD daily. SO RESTAURANT BAR Call it a French brasserie with a sleek, but not fussy, American finish. The wine selection is broad and choice. Free valet parking. Use it and save yourself a headache. 3610 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-1464. LD Mon.-Sat., D Sun. STARLITE DINER Breakfast stars here. 250 E. Military Road. NLR. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-353-0465. BL daily. D Thu.-Fri. STICKYZ ROCK ‘N’ ROLL CHICKEN SHACK Fingers any way you can imagine, plus sandwiches and burgers, and a fun setting for music and happy hour gatherings. 107 Commerce St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-372-7707. LD Mon-Sun. TOWN PUMP A dependable burger, good wings, great fries, other bar food, plate lunches, full bar. 1321 Rebsamen Park Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-663-9802. L Mon.-Sat. D daily. TRIO’S Fresh, creative and satisfying lunches; even better at night, when the chefs take flight. Best array of fresh desserts in town. 8201 Cantrell Road Suite 100. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-221-3330. LD Mon.-Sat., BR Sun. WHOLE FOODS MARKET Good sandwiches, soups and hummus to go; an enormous number of hot and cold entrees from the deli; extensive juice bar. 10700 N. Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-312-2326. BLD daily. W.T. BUBBA’S COUNTRY TAVERN Sloppy Joe’s, a fried bologna sandwich, a nacho bar and burgers and such feature on the menu of this bubba-themed River Market bar. 500 President Clinton Ave. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-244-2528. D Tue.-Sat. YANCEY’S CAFETERIA Soul food served with a Southern attitude. 1523 Martin Luther King Ave. No alcohol, No CC. $. 501-372-9292. LD Tue.-Sat. YOUR MAMA’S GOOD FOOD Offering simple and satisfying cafeteria food, with burgers and more hot off the grill, plate lunches and pies. 215 Center St. No alcohol, All CC. $. 501-3721811. BL Mon.-Fri. ZACK’S PLACE Expertly prepared home cooking and huge, smoky burgers. 1400 S. University Ave. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-6646444. LD Mon.-Sat. ZIN URBAN WINE & BEER BAR It’s cosmopolitan yet comfortable, a relaxed place to enjoy fine wines and beers while noshing on superb meats, cheeses and amazing goat cheesestuffed figs. 300 River Market Ave. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-246-4876. D daily.
A. W. LIN’S ASIAN CUISINE Traditional Chinese dishes, several Thai dishes and a variety of sushi rolls. 17000 Chenal Pkwy. 501-821-5398. LD daily. CHI’S CHINESE CUISINE No longer owned by Chi’s founder Lulu Chi, this Chinese mainstay still offers a broad menu that spans the Chinese provinces and offers a few twists on the usual local offerings. 5110 W. Markham St. Beer, All CC. $-$$. 501-604-7777. LD Mon.-Sat. CRAZY HIBACHI GRILL The folks that own Chi’s and Sekisui offer their best in a three-inone: tapanaki cooking, sushi bar and sit-down dining with a Mongolian grill. 2907 Lakewood Village. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-8129888. LD daily. FANTASTIC CHINA The food is delicious, the presentation beautiful, the menu distinctive, the service perfect, the decor bright. 1900 N. Grant St. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-663-8999. LD daily. LILLY’S DIMSUM THEN SOME Innovative dishes inspired by Asian cuisine, utilizing local
and fresh ingredients. 11121 N. Rodney Parham Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-716-2700. LD Tue.-Sun. MT. FUJI JAPANESE RESTAURANT The dean of Little Rock sushi bars offers a fabulous lunch special and great Monday night deals. 10301 Rodney Parham Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-227-6498. LD daily. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-227-6498. OSAKA JAPANESE RESTAURANT Veteran operator of several local Asian buffets has brought fine-dining Japanese dishes and a well-stocked sushi bar to way-out-west Little Rock, near Chenal off Highway 10. 5501 Ranch Dr. $$-$$$. 501-868-3688. LD Sun.-Thu., D Fri.-Sat. SAIGON CUISINE Traditional Vietnamese with Thai and Chinese selections. Be sure to try the authentic pho soups and spring rolls. 14524 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-8687770. LD daily. SKY MODERN JAPANESE Excellent, ambitious menu filled with sushi and other Japanese fare and Continental-style dishes. 11525 Cantrell Road, Suite 917. Full bar, All CC. $$$-$$$$. 501-224-4300. LD daily. SUSHI CAFE Impressive, upscale sushi menu with other delectable house specialties like tuna tataki, fried soft shell crab, Kobe beef and, believe it or not, the Tokyo cowboy burger. 5823 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-9888. L Mon.-Sat. D daily.
CHATZ CAFE ‘Cue and catfish joint that does heavy catering business. Try the slow-smoked, meaty ribs. 8801 Colonel Glenn Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-562-4949. LD Mon.-Sat. CORKY’S RIBS & BBQ The pulled pork is extremely tender and juicy, and the sauce is sweet and tangy without a hint of heat. Maybe the best dry ribs in the area. 12005 Westhaven Drive. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-954-7427. LD daily. 2947 Lakewood Village Drive. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-753-3737. LD daily, B Sat.-Sun. 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. $$. 501-562-9635. BLD daily. WHITE PIG INN Go for the sliced rather than chopped meats at this working-class barbecue cafe. Side orders — from fries to potato salad to beans and slaw — are superb, as are the fried pies. 5231 E. Broadway. NLR. Beer, All CC. $-$$. 501-945-5551. LD Mon.-Fri., L 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. A real find is the beef brisket, cooked the way Texans like it. 516 Cantrell Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-664-5025. LD Mon.-Sat. 12111 W. Markham. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-907-6124. LD daily 150 E. Oak St. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-513-0600. LD Mon.-Sat., L Sun. 5107 Warden Road. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-753-9227.
EUROPEAN / ETHNIC
ALADDIN KABAB Persian and Mexican cuisines sound like an odd pairing, but they work fairly well together here. Particularly if you’re ordering something that features charred meat, like a kabab or gyros. 9112 N Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, All CC. 501-219-8787. LD daily. CAFE BOSSA NOVA A South American approach to sandwiches, salads and desserts, all quite good, as well as an array of refreshing
South American teas and coffees. 2701 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-614-6682. LD Tue.-Sat., BR Sun. DUGAN’S PUB Serves up Irish fare like fish and chips and corned beef and cabbage alongside classic bar food. The chicken fingers and burgers stand out. Irish breakfast all day. 401 E. 3rd St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-244-0542. LD daily. GEORGIA’S GYROS Good gyros, Greek salads and fragrant grilled pita bread highlight a large Mediterranean food selection, plus burgers and the like. 2933 Lakewood Village Drive. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-753-5090. LD Mon.-Sat. HIBERNIA IRISH TAVERN This traditional Irish pub has its own traditional Irish cook from, where else, Ireland. Broad beverage menu, Irish and Southern food favorites and a crowd that likes to sing. 9700 N. Rodney Parham Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-246-4340. D Mon.-Fri., BR, L, D Sat.-Sun. LAYLA’S GYROS AND PIZZERIA Delicious Mediterranean fare — gyros, falafel, shawarma, kabobs, hummus and babaganush — that has a devoted following. All meat is slaughtered according to Islamic dietary law. 9501 N Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-227-7272. LD daily (close 5 p.m. on Sun.). TAJ MAHAL The third Indian restaurant in a onemile span of West Little Rock, Taj Mahal offers upscale versions of traditional dishes and an extensive menu. Dishes range on the spicy side. 1520 Market Street. Beer, All CC. $$$. 501-8814796. LD daily. TAZIKI’S GREEK FARE Fast casual chain that offers gyros, grilled meats and veggies, hummus and pimento cheese. 8200 Cantrell Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-227-8291. LD daily. THE TERRACE MEDITERRANEAN KITCHEN A broad selection of Mediterranean delights that include a very affordable collection of starters, salads, sandwiches, burgers, chicken and fish at lunch and a more upscale dining experience with top-notch table service at dinner. 2200 Rodney Parham Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-217-9393. LD Mon.-Fri., D Sat. YA YA’S EURO BISTRO The first eatery to open in the Promenade at Chenal is a date-night affair, translating comfort food into beautiful cuisine. Best bet is lunch, where you can explore the menu through soup, salad or half a sandwich. 17711 Chenal Parkway. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-821-1144. LD daily, BR Sun.
BRAVO! CUCINA ITALIANA This upscale Italian chain offers delicious and sometimes inventive dishes. 17815 Chenal Pkwy. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-821-2485. LD daily. BR Sun. BRUNO’S ITALIAN BISTRO Traditional Italian antipastos, appetizers, entrees and desserts. Extensive menu. 315 N. Bowman Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-225-5000. L,D Mon.-Sat. GRAFFITI’S The casually chic and ever-popular Italian-flavored bistro avoids the rut with daily specials and careful menu tinkering. 7811 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-2249079. D Mon.-Sat. JIM’S RAZORBACK PIZZA Great pizza served up in a family-friendly, sports-themed environment. Special Saturday and Sunday brunch served from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Flat-screen TVs throughout and even a cage for shooting basketballs and playing ping-pong. 16101 Cantrell Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-8683250. LD daily. OLD CHICAGO PASTA & PIZZA This national CONTINUED ON PAGE 55
Year’s eve A
nother year is almost over and we’re ready to ring in 2014 with a bang! This New Year’s Eve, there’s something in town for everyone. We’ve picked some great outfits for the big night to help you look your best. These chic, affordable looks are sure to make you the center of attention. We’d like to send a special thank you to Cache Restaurant, Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, Table 28 and 1620 Savoy for accommodating the photo shoot at their locations. Check out their plans, other restaurants/clubs and other special events around town in our special Counting Down to 2014 feature. 1620 Savoy 1620 Market St. 501-221-1620 Treat yourself to some fine dining, great music and dancing while ringing in the New Year at 1620 Savoy! This swanky restaurant will be the perfect place to bring in 2014 in style. Dinner will be served from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. by reservation only. Enjoy live music by Pat Henry’s band during dinner and then DJ Shaun Patrick takes over the party. There is guaranteed to be a lot of dancing and drink specials. No cover charge but reservations are required.
Afterthought Bistro & Bar 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196 afterthoughtbistroandbar.com Afterthought Bistro & Bar is the place to be for food, fun and live music. In the restaurant, enjoy an amuse-bouche plus a three-course dinner for $45 per person. Reservations are being taken for seatings at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. You won’t have to go far to complete the party. The bar opens at 4:30 p.m. with live music from 6-8 p.m. by Karen Jr. with no cover. The party continues from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. with That Arkansas Weather for a $15 cover charge. Call for more information or to make reservations. Ball Dropping Celebration North Shore River Walk 501-580-0232 or 501-580-0237 naturalstateofmusic.com Join Natural State of Music for their inaugural Ball Dropping Celebration along the banks of the Arkansas River on the North Shore River Walk in North Little Rock and start 2014 off right. Major celebrity appearances plus local artists and voices of the state means a good time to be had by all. The party is hosted by Bow Wow from BET’s 106 & Park, Lauren Clark, Tre’ Day, The perfect New Year’s Eve outfit is one that is sexy chic and exudes confidence. Mindy Van Kuren and Olivia Iriana are dinner and party ready with these great looks. On Mindy (left): ISIS short black Cha Cha Dress with fringe from Barbara Graves Intimate Fashions $100, with jeweled necklace ($128) from Box Turtle. Olivia: Michael Stars cowl neck halter dress in foil jersey ($98) and crystal bracelets ($22-26) all from Box Turtle. Shot on location at Table 28. ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT TO ARKANSAS TIMES
DECEMBER 19, 2013
NEW YEAR’S EVE AT LITTLE ROCK MARRIOTT HOTEL ROOM PACKAGES
Prices starting at $259: Includes a room, two tickets to the Party, breakfast for two and complimentary valet parking. Deluxe room packages are $269. Club Level Package is $359 and includes above in Club Level room (special key access), Champagne upon arrival, special reception menu/cash bar and 8 comp drink tickets in the Club Lounge (6:00 to 9:00pm). Plus applicable taxes/fees. For reservations go to www.Marriott.com/LITPB or call 1-877-759-6290.
PARTY TICKET INFORMATION
$50 in advance/$65 day of: Includes Hotel access to multiple bars and excellent entertainment including Tragikly White, a 70’s Disco, DJ Tre Day and G-Force (Lobby Bar), a New Orleans-styled DJ (Pinnacle Room) and Dueling Pianos (Velvet Humidor). Tickets available at the front desk or online at www.facebook.com/LittleRockMarriott.
DINNER SPECIAL IN THE RESTAURANT
Pancetta Regional Kitchen & Wine Bar - seating’s at 6:00 and 8:00 pm for a 5-course menu at $150 per person (includes party ticket, free valet parking , all taxes and gratuity; alcohol separate). Reservations call 501-399-8062. Menu available online at www.facebook.com/LittleRockMarriott.
COLONIAL WINE & SPIRITS GUIDE TO OPENING CHAMPAGNE Contrary to popular belief, you shouldn’t hear a “loud pop.” When properly opened, there will only be a quiet hissing sound. 1. Remove foil using the tab or a waiter’s tool. The muselet (wire cage holding the cork in place) will be visible. 2.Untwistthewirecagewhileholdingthebottleinthepalmofyourhand,pointedawayfromyouandeveryoneelse.
New Year’s Signature Cocktail 2014 Ingredients: 2 ounces Bombay Sapphire Gin 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon superfine sugar Sparkling Wine (or Champagne) recommend: Roeder Estate Anderson Valley Brut
3. Form a C with your thumb and forefinger, and lay the cork into the C. Grip the cork and hold it tightly while turning the bottle in the palm of your hand and keeping pressure on the cork. 4. Rotate slowly and the cork will begin to ease out of the bottle. Maintain plenty of pressure on the cork so that it eases out of the bottle with just a whisper. Always use extreme caution. There’s lots of pressure under that cork.
Combine gin, lemon juice and superfine sugar in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake very well. Strain into a coupe or martini glass and top off with sparkling wine or champagne. Garnish with a lemon twist.
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Dell Smith and Karla Parker with performances by American Idol Winner Kris Allen, Cody Belew of NBC’s The Voice, Amasa Hines, Tawanna Campbell-Berry, The Lucious Spiller Band, Flaeming Daeth Fearies, Crystal G, Terreigh Barnett, and DJ Fatality. Another highlight is the Korto Momolu fashion show featuring Epiphany flowing while the models strut the runway. Gates open at 6 p.m. A limited amount of VIP tickets are still available. Regular admission is $25 for advance tickets and $40 day of show. Big Whiskey 225 E. Markham St. 501-324-2449 Big Whiskey will be open for New Year’s Eve past midnight to celebrate the countdown to 2014 (regular hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.). If you’re headed downtown to pick up your car or are in need of a hearty meal after the previous night’s festivities, they will be open at 11 a.m. on New Year’s Day. Cache Restaurant 425 President Clinton Ave. 501-850-0265 cachelittlerock.com/events/new-years Don’t miss your chance to experience a New Year’s Eve party like Little Rock has ever seen. Get the first look inside Cache, Little Rock’s most anticipated restaurant, at the Cache Grand Opening on 12.31.13. This one-of-a-kind party will feature music by Arkansas’s legendary vocalist and saxophonist, Michael Eubanks, and one of the nation’s premier private party bands, Party Planet. Enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and of course, the chance to see Cache before it opens to the general public. Space is limited so call to reserve tickets. Don’t miss your one chance to attend the party everyone will be talking about. After all the parties are done, head over to the Wyndham to complete your New Year’s Eve celebration. Enjoy complimentary breakfast with a night’s stay. Not in the mood to party? Stay in and dine at one of the two restaurants on site.
RING IN THE NEW YEAR
Copeland’s 1602 S. Shackleford Rd. 501-312-1616 If you’re staying away from all the crazy parties and want to just sit down in a comfortable place and have some great New Orleans-inspired cuisine Copeland’s will be open for their regular hours from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
RING IN THE NEW YEAR RING IN THE NEW YEAR Dugan’s Pub PLAY STAY
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Dizzy’s Gypsy Bistro will be bringing in the New Year with a Little Rock Salsa Dance Party and spicy black eyed pea “shooters” for good luck. A Specal New Year’s Eve buffet and cocktail menu from 5PM onwards.
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Dizzy’s Gypsy Bistro 200 River Market Ave. 501-375-3500 dizzysgypsybistro.net facebook.com/DizzysGypsyBistro Dizzy’s Gypsy Bistro will be bringing in the New Year with a salsa dance party. All NYE patrons will be receive spicy black-eyed pea “shooters” for good luck in 2014. The celebration begins at 5 p.m. with a special New Year’s Eve buffet and cocktail menu. Stop by and get your salsa on! Dugan’s Pub 401 East 3rd St. 504-244-0541 duganspublr.com Dugan’s Pub will have the Shannon Boshears Band with no cover. Enjoy a filet and a glass of cabernet or pinot noir for $28 for dinner while you enjoy the great music. Be sure to stay for the champagne toast at midnight. Make sure your 2014 is full of luck! On New Year’s Day, they’re serving up black-eyed peas and cornbread for every order until they’re gone on a first come, first serve basis. Football will be on all day and don’t miss the Bloody Mary Bar and mimosa specials for $4. Ernie Biggs 307 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-4782 Count down to 2014 at Little Rock’s favorite piano bar. Ernie Biggs is throwing a New Year’s Eve party featuring their dueling pianos downstairs and the party continues upstairs. Get there early since the cover charge will go up as the events start to fill up. Call for more information. Faded Rose 1619 Rebsamen Park Rd. 501-663-9734 thefadedrose.com Just what you’ve come to count on at Faded Rose, good food, good time and good camaraderie. We’ll see you there.
Ringing in the New Year calls for sparkle! Kendall Thomas Sandifer owner of Fringe, the new women’s store in the Arcade Building is wearing a peach sequin dress ($61.99), bracelets by Fringe Vintage ($30), clutch bag ($34.99) and earrings ($12.99). Shot on location at Sonny Williams’ Steak Room.
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DECEMBER 19, 2013
An Exclusive N.Y.E. Event YOUR CHOICE IN EACH COURSE
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Insalata WEDGE SALAD Iceberg lettuce served with a creamy blue cheese dressing topped with tomato and pancetta
PUTROCULA Mixed Greens served with shrimp, green beans and tomato tossed in a red wine vinaigrette
Secondi OSSO BUCCO Braised prok shank served with mashed potatoes and green beans
SEA BASS Pan seared filet of sea bass served with mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus
RIBEYE OR BEEF TENDERLOIN Grilled steak prepared medium rare accompanied with gnocchi and topped with gorgonzola cream
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The Place to Be … NEW YEAR’S EVE
Looking for casual glam without having to wear a dress? Pair nice pants with a fabulous shirt. Add sparkle with a great piece of jewelry. On Oliva: Korto Momolu black faux leather top ($80) with Metro Tokyo metallic jeans in copper ($88) topped off with a jeweled necklace ($128) from Box Turtle. ($32) On Blake Sandifer: Scotch & Soda shirt ($89) and pants ($120), BonnerBell tie ($30) and Bedstu boots ($249) all from Brits & Turks. Shot on location at 1620 Savoy.
Flying Saucer 323 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-8032 Little Rock’s Flying Saucer features music by the Hiballs, champagne toast at midnight and free party favors. Cover is $10 for non-UFO members and $5 for UFO members. Hampton Inn 320 River Market Ave. 501-244-0600 littlerockdowntownsuites.hamptoninn.com Looking for a safe, convenient place to stay after the festivities are done? “Have Fun, Be Safe, Stay in the River Market!” Call for reservations.
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Little Rock Marriott Three Statehouse Plaza 501-906-4000 facebook.com/littlerockmarriott Bring on 2014 at Little Rock’s largest New Year’s Eve celebration. $50 in advance or $65 day of grants you access to five excellent parties including Tragikly White in the Grand Ballroom, a 70’s Disco in the Arkansas Ballroom, dueling DJ’s at the Lobby Bar, a New Orleans - style DJ in the Pinnacle Room, and dueling pianos in the Velvet Humidor. Have dinner before the parties with two seatings at Pancetta Regional Kitchen & Wine Bar (reservations required). Find deluxe hotel room packages, Club Level Package and so much more on their Facebook page.
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Sexy and fun go hand-in-hand on New Year’s Eve. Bring the sexiness to any gathering with these fantastic dresses. On Mindy: ISIS long black Cha Cha dress ($165) from Barbara Graves Intimate Fashions. Oliva: Greylin studded black dress ($106) from Box Turtle. Shot on location at 1620 Savoy.
Maduro Cigar Bar & Lounge 109 Main St. 501-374-3710 facebook.com/MaduroLounge Maduro stays open till 1 a.m. on New Year’s Eve night. Enjoy the signature Latin Jazz & Dance music while watching festivities on the large flat screen TVs. Murry’s Dinner Playhouse 6323 Colonel Glenn Road 501-562-3131 murrysdp.com Enjoy dinner from 6-7:30 p.m., a show starting at 7:45 p.m. and dancing from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. There will be party favors, champagne at midnight and a breakfast buffet at midnight. $60 per person. Rev Room 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090 revroom.com Ring in the New Year with live music at Rev Room with Boom Kinetic and Barrett Baber. Enjoy a balloon drop and champagne toast at midnight. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the music gets going at 9:30 p.m. $20 advance price, $25 at the door. Party favors are included with the price of admission. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999 sonnywilliamssteakroom.com Sonny Williams’ Steak Room will be offering a “New Year’s Eve Prix Fixe Menu” as well as its regular menu. As always, free valet parking. Thomas East will be playng from 7 and on at the piano bar.
To Our New Year’s Eve Party! Live music by
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There’s sure to be lots of dancing while counting down to 2014. These outfits are comfortable and chic. On Blake: one90one Unlimited shirt ($90), Citizens of Humanity jeans ($185), BonnerBell tie ($30) and 7Diamond jacket ($189) all from Brits & Turks. Kendall is wearing a black cocktail dress ($66.99), necklace ($21.99), gold bracelets ($18.99), Steve Madden bag ($48) and earrings by Fringe Vintage ($15). Shot on location at Cache Restaurant.
Stratton’s Market 405 East 3rd 791-6700 Stratton’s Market has a special between now and New Year’s Day: receive a 15% discount on all mixed cases of wine. Visit Stratton’s Market for all your holiday party needs. New Year’s Day come in for a Champagne Tasting from 5-7 p.m., enjoy some black- eyed peas and cornbead. Ask about the mimosa special set ups. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack 107 River Market Ave. 501-372-7707 stickyz.com Head down to the River Market for live music at Stickyz featuring Stephen Neeper & the Wild Hearts with Jeff Coleman & The Feeders. Enjoy a balloon drop and champagne toast at midnight. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the music begins at 9 p.m. $10 advance price, $15 at the door. Party favors are included with the price of admission. Table 28 1501 Merrill Drive 501-224-2828 facebook.com/Table28 Call now to reserve one of three available options: an early seating is 5-6 p.m. for $80 per person, the late seating is 8-9 p.m. for $100 per person and a package deal for $280 includes dinner for two with a night’s stay in a suite at the Best Western Premier Governor’s Suites. Enjoy a five-course meal with many choices and party favors. Late night hors d’oeuvres will be served. 52
DECEMBER 19, 2013
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The Fold Botanas Bar 3501 Old Cantrell Rd. 501-916-9706 thefoldlr.com facebook.com/thefoldbar The Fold is bringing the fun for their first New Year’s Eve party! Their dance party will feature live entertainment, tons of giveaways (gift cards & more), reverse happy hour starting at 10 p.m. with $1 off all beers, well and signature cocktails and a photographer on site. Champagne or warm cider will be provided for the countdown to 2014. Festive attire is encouraged. No cover charge. White Water Tavern 2500 W. 7th St. 501-375-8400 whitewatertavern.com In the mood to just enjoy your neighborhood watering hole as you ring in 2014? Then look no further than White Water Tavern. They will be open their regular hours from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. No bands are scheduled to play but that is subject to change. Call to check band details or simply stop in for a drink. Vesuvio Bistro 1315 Breckenridge Dr. 501-246-5422 vesuviobistro.com New Year’s Eve dinner will be served with various dishes that you’ll select from a four-course menu. Reservations are required, and seating is limited. Call today. Wyndham Hotel 2 Riverfront Dr. North Little Rock 501-371-9000 Celebrate New Year’s Eve with the Wyndham. Complimentary shuttle until 2 a.m. to all the downtown hot spots and complimentary breakfast the next morning. With two award-winning restaurants on the property, an amazing dinner is just steps away. Book your room for NYE today. Rooms are filling up fast. For more information, contact The Wyndham at 1-800-WYNDHAM. GET FIT The New Year always signals a time to make a serious assessment of your current state of health. In particular - loosing a few pounds and getting back on a regular exercise regime. And in the dark and cold month of January, most of us need a little discipline or help to get there. Little Rock is proud to welcome ClubHaus Fitness to the Riverdale area and happy to see longtime Jazzercise still “kicking it” in midtown. Check these places out — NOW. ClubHaus Fitness 1207 Rebsamen Park Rd. 501-916-9587 facebook.com/ClubhausFitnessLittleRock Education + Motivation = Results. With 2014 just around the corner don’t just make the resolution to get fit; begin a work out program at ClubHaus Fitness. You are valuable. Your time is valuable. Your family is valuable. Minimize your gym time; maximize your results. Looking for a great way to start your regimen? Here are five key steps from the ClubHaus trainers: “Determine your needs. Everyone’s needs are different and we are here to help you find out exactly what you need to achieve a healthier lifestyle.” Elisabeth Doty, Personal Trainer “Set goals with objectives. Let us help steer you down the right path to get the results you want.” Craig Williams, Personal Trainer “Plan to succeed. Not just long term, but daily. By focusing on today success, tomorrow’s success will be a lot easier.” Brad Hamilton, Personal Trainer “Get an accountability partner. The road does not have to be traveled alone.” Jennifer Thompson, Personal Trainer “Reward yourself.” — Glenn McCracken, director of training Jazzercise 9108 N. Rodney Parham Rd. 501-225-8222 jazzercise.com/dancing-days Want to shed some unwanted holiday weight and have fun doing it? Jazzercise is right for you. Let the music motivate you while you work out and get healthy for the New Year. Now’s the time to make your 2014 body feel stronger and more fit. For more information and class availability call or check them out on the web.
OUR HOLIDAY HOURS ARE 11-7 EVERY DAY!
Come see us and we’ll help you knock out your Christmas list and get you ready for New Year’s Eve!
Celebrate New Year’s eve with us!
Complimentary shuttle until 2am to all the downtown hotspots and complimentary breakfast the next morning. With two award winning restaurants on property, an amazing dinner is just steps away. Book your room today!
Located in the new Arcade Building in the River Market District 112 River Market Ave (501) 376-7000
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Lounge • Tobacco Shop • Bar • Cafe OPEN MONDAY-SUNDAY · 109 Main Street (between Markham & 2nd across from convention center) Downtown Little Rock • 501.374.3710 • facebook.com/MaduroLounge • ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT TO ARKANSAS TIMES
DECEMBER 19, 2013
is for “XX,” the debut from Little Rock’s long-running garage rock reanimators The Bloodless Cooties on Thick Syrup Records. The band first formed two decades ago. I wrote on Rock Candy that “the Cooties mostly play cover tunes, ranging from ’60s pop hits to ’50s country weepers to rockabilly rave-ups to garage-psych classics to obscure numbers from the oddest of oddball outsiders. While it took 20 years to arrive, this album-release show will no doubt prove to have been worth the wait. Oh yeah, the cover art for the album was created by none other than Raymond Pettibon, who created some of the most iconic punk album covers ever for the likes of Black Flag, Minutemen and Sonic Youth.”
is for yes, as in, “Is it a good idea for the Little Rock Film Festival to move downtown? Will people really walk from venue to venue in the summertime?” The answer was a resounding “yes!” to those questions. About 25,000 people watched more than 80 films at the seventh annual LRFF. Taking top honors with the Golden Rock awards were “Short Term 12” for narrative film and “Dirty Wars” for documentary. And next year, there will be the addition of the 325-seat theater at the newly
opened Arcade Building in the River Market along with ACT and The Rep.
is for zany, which could certainly describe 21c, Bentonville’s new hotel/restaurant/boundarypushing art gallery. It’s part of a chain based in Louisville, Ky., that has locations in Louisville and Cincinnati, with others planned for Lexington, Ky., and Durham, N.C. Times contributor Katherine Wyrick went to the opening and found “the space itself is airy and light-filled, welcoming and beguiling. A serpentine vintage Italian couch winds its way through the lobby, behind which hang the arresting photographs of South African artist Pieter Hugo. A striking photograph of a bison hangs behind the front desk; a sparkling pile of crystal encrusted antlers twinkle in the hallway; an interactive sculpture of whirring fans sits outside the elevators. It’s a full-immersion experience into the world of 21st century art, where no place is out-of-bounds — from bathrooms to the boardroom and gym.” Oh yeah, and then there are the penguins — giant, green plastic penguins that are moved throughout the building during the day. Wyrick found their presence to be “both playful and disorienting in a pleasant sort of way.” Sounds zany.
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To apply: https://jobs.uams.edu/ Position # 50043601
UAMS is an inclusive Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer and is committed to excellence through diversity.
54 december DECEMBER 2013 ARKANSAS TIMES 19, 201319, ARKANSAS TIMES 54
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University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Information Technology Division Data Warehouse Department Position: Applications Systems Analyst/Programmer – Intermediate Responsibilities: Formulate and define system scope and objectives. Develop and modify procedures and reports to solve complex healthcare business, patient care, healthcare regulatory, and medical research problems. Work on IT initiatives relating to data warehouse, i2b2 project, data extraction components, and reporting modules to contribute to the core UAMS data warehouse project. Build new custom reporting solutions and work with existing analytical tools. Must have functional knowledge of i2b2 system and be able to support it, including ability to create complex ETL processes. Support existing applications written in Java and develop new applications based on user requirements. Collaborate with other departmental technical teams to analyze and provide systems solutions. To view position description, education and experience requirements, and to apply: https://jobs.uams.edu, position 50047852. Location: 1123 S. University and 4301 W. Markham, Little Rock, Arkansas UAMS is an inclusive Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer and is committed to excellence through diversity.
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Friday 12-20, Juanita’s Little Rock Saturday 12-21, Cajuns wharf 8 pm - Little Rock
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DINING CAPSULES, CONT. chain offers lots of pizzas, pastas and beer. 4305 Warden Road. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-812-6262. LD daily. 1010 Main St. Conway. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-329-6262. LD daily. PIZZA CAFE Thin, crunchy pizza with just a dab of tomato sauce but plenty of chunks of stuff, topped with gooey cheese. Draft beer is appealing on the open-air deck — frosty and generous. 1517 Rebsamen Park Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-664-6133. LD daily 14710 Cantrell Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-868-2600. LD daily. PIZZA D’ACTION Some of the best pizza in town, a marriage of thin, crispy crust with a hefty ingredient load. Also, good appetizers and salads, pasta, sandwiches and killer plate lunches. 2919 W. Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-666-5403. LD daily. THE PIZZA JOINT Cracker-thin crusts with a tempting variety of traditional or nontraditional toppings. Just off Cantrell Road. 6100 Stones Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-868-9108. D daily. RISTORANTE CAPEO Authentic cooking from the boot of Italy is the draw at this cozy, brick-walled restaurant on a reviving North Little Rock’s Main Street. Familiar pasta dishes will comfort most diners, but let the chef, who
works in an open kitchen, entertain you with some more exotic stuff, too, like crispy veal sweetbreads. They make their own mozzarella fresh daily. 425 Main St. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-376-3463. D Mon.-Sat. ROCKY’S PUB Rocking sandwiches an Arkie used to have to head way northeast to find and a fine selection of homemade Italian entrees, including as good a lasagna as there is. 6909 JFK Blvd. NLR. Beer, Wine. $$. 501-833-1077. LD Mon.-Sat. SHOTGUN DAN’S PIZZA Hearty pizza and sandwiches with a decent salad bar. Multiple locations, at 4020 E. Broadway, NLR, 945-0606; 4203 E. Kiehl Ave., Sherwood, 835-0606, and 10923 W. Markham St. Beer, CC. $-$$. 501-2249519. LD Mon.-Sat., D Sun. VINO’S Great rock ‘n’ roll club also is a fantastic pizzeria with huge calzones and always improving home-brewed beers. 923 W. 7th St. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-375-8466. LD daily. ZAZA Here’s where you get wood-fired pizza with gorgeous blistered crusts and a light topping of choice and tempting ingredients, great gelato in a multitude of flavors, call-yourown ingredient salads and other treats. 5600 Kavanaugh Blvd. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-661-9292. LD daily. 1050 Ellis Ave. Conway.
Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-336-9292. LD daily.
CANTINA LAREDO This is gourmet Mexican food, a step up from what you’d expect from a real cantina, from the modern minimal decor to the well-prepared entrees. We can vouch for the enchilada Veracruz and the carne asada y huevos, both with tasty sauces and high quality ingredients perfectly cooked. 207 N. University. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-280-0407. LD daily, BR Sun. CHUY’S Good Tex-Mex. We’re especially fond of the enchiladas, and always appreciate restaurants that make their own tortillas. 16001 Chenal Parkway. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-821-2489. LD daily. JUANITA’S Menu includes a variety of combination entree choices — enchiladas, tacos, flautas, shrimp burritos and such — plus creative salads and other dishes. 614 President Clinton Ave. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-372-1228. LD Tue.-Sat. LA SALSA MEXICAN & PERUVIAN CUISINE Mexican and Peruvian dishes, beer and margaritas. 3824 John F. Kennedy Blvd. NLR. Full bar, All CC. 501-753-1101. LD daily. LOCAL LIME Tasty gourmet Mex from the
folks who brought you Big Orange and ZaZa. 17815 Chenal Parkway. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-448-2226. LD daily. ROSALINDA RESTAURANT HONDURENO A Honduran cafe that specializes in pollo con frito tajada. With breakfast, too. 3700 JFK Blvd. NLR. No alcohol, No CC. $-$$. 501-771-5559. LD daily. SENOR TEQUILA Typical cheap Mexcian dishes with great service. Good margaritas. 10300 N. Rodney Parham Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-224-5505. LD daily. 9847 Maumelle Blvd. NLR. 501-758-4432. SENOR TEQUILA Typical cheap Mexican dishes with great service. Good margaritas. 10300 N. Rodney Parham Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-224-5505. LD daily. 9847 Maumelle Blvd. NLR. 501-758-4432; 14524 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-868-7642. LD daily. TACO MEXICO Tacos have to be ordered at least two at a time, but that’s not an impediment. These are some of the best and some of the cheapest tacos in Little Rock. 7101 Colonel Glenn Road. No alcohol, No CC. $. 501-4167002. LD Wed.-Sun. TACOS GUANAJUATO Pork, beef, adobado, chicharron and cabeza tacos and tortas at this mobile truck. 6920 Geyer Springs Road. No alcohol, No CC. $. LD Wed.-Mon. www.arktimes.com december 19, 2013 55 www.arktimes.com
DECEMBER 19, 2013