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VOLUME 39, NUMBER 14 ARKANSAS TIMES (ISSN 0164-6273) is published each week by Arkansas Times Limited Partnership, 201 East Markham Street, 200 Heritage Center West, P.O. Box 34010, Little Rock, Arkansas, 72203, phone (501) 375-2985. Periodical postage paid at Little Rock, Arkansas, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ARKANSAS TIMES, P.O. Box 34010, Little Rock, AR, 72203. Subscription prices are $42 for one year, $78 for two years. Subscriptions outside Arkansas are $49 for one year, $88 for two years. Foreign (including Canadian) subscriptions are $168 a year. For subscriber service call (501) 375-2985. Current single-copy price is 75¢, free in Pulaski County. Single issues are available by mail at $2.50 each, postage paid. Payment must accompany all single-copy orders. Reproduction or use in whole or in part of the contents without the written consent of the publishers is prohibited. Manuscripts and artwork will not be returned or acknowledged unless sufficient return postage and a self-addressed stamped envelope are included. All materials are handled with due care; however, the publisher assumes no responsibility for care and safe return of unsolicited materials. All letters sent to ARKANSAS TIMES will be treated as intended for publication and are subject to ARKANSAS TIMES’ unrestricted right to edit or to comment editorially.


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From the web In response to last week’s cover story about Fort Smith workers left jobless by Whirlpool’s plant closing: Thanks for this article. The testimonials of the people left behind by capitalism should break anyone’s heart. The fact that nearly half, and more than that in Fort Smith, sucked hook line and sinker the conservative tripe that capitalism and the free market, if only let loose from pesky regulations like a livable wage, or safe working conditions, or environmental protections, would restore America should scare the hell out of us all. How many of these displaced workers do you think voted for the fairy tale? Once you believe the Easter Bunny left that quarter under your pillow there’s no telling what you will vote for. Chelydra We have seemed to become a disposable culture or at least tending that way. Honest hard-working people are disposed of like so much used tissue paper by management that is solely focused on the next quarter’s stock market affecting reports and have never made anything except anger and pain in their careers. And what is really sad is the lies they sell and promulgate for political gain supporting outsourcing to pittance wage countries for the quarter or two of additional profits while U.S. employment and U.S. infrastructure languish and sink lower and lower from government/public inaction. We can’t afford to help our unemployed, or rebuild the infrastructure necessary for our country to maintain the standard of living we grew up with, but we can afford “a military capable of fighting two global conflicts simultaneously.” Even though the “cold war” died 20 years ago and U.S. military expenditures exceed the total military spending of the top 15 other countries expenditures by over 30 billion dollars. We spend on our military spending five times the next highest expenditure (China)! Dottholliday And now there’s talk of raising the retirement age to 67. Two extra years in the corner office is no hardship. The people who worked with their hands to build this country, a different story. Springdaleliberal In response to the Nov. 28 Pearls about Swine column (“Smile, the John L. Smith era is over”): Nice to see a few fans had to say farewell to Mr. Smith. The way I see it you ought to be commenting on your AD as 4

DECEMBER 5, 2012


well. Let’s look at the facts. 1. He backstabs the Atlanta Falcons to hire BP. The way BP left Atlanta should have been a tad bit of insight on his character, but hey, when you’re winning that doesn’t matter. 2. Long fires BP for doing the Texas Two Step with a Texas cutie. BP wasn’t fired for the dalliance, noooo, he was canned because he lied to the AD & pushed thru a job for his cutie! The AD had no choice but to fire him. That act wasn’t just the right thing to do but the only thing to do or as we said in the military, the AD was merely Covering His A**. 3. Instead of appointing an

assistant to coach for 10 months and a debacle of a season would have been a bit less distasteful, nooo, he had to sneak behind another back and ask poor old John L. from a head coaching job at his alma mater no less to come and save the day for a salary that was only a few dollars more than what was paid to a team that came in and whupped butt! Yes, John had his moments, but the man is in bankruptcy, due to his own greed, and has recently lost his brother. C’mon give him a break! Lastly, 4. Do you think offering Les Miles a ton of cash to come to the UA was a good idea?

Let me see a show of hands. All that did was ensure that Les got a raise and will be haunting Hog fans for the next seven years! Still, I hope that the AD finds a coach that will be a winner, honest & forthright bring honor and glory to the program. This may sound funny coming from an LSU fan, but we’re both in the greatest division in college football, the SEC WEST! Saudiwoof In response to the “Week that Was” Nov. 14: It was not a good week for healthcare or women’s rights. Assuming you think everyone that works to earn a living should have to pay for someone else’s sex life. It is not a good week for the working women who have their own families to take care of. It is a disgrace to suggest that it is OK to usurp the U.S. Constitution and force people to pay for someone else’s sex life. It is a disgrace that Planned Parenthood is funded at all beyond health screenings, since they insist on interfering in parental rights and could leave someone’s teen-age child dead or traumatized for life without the parent (or judge) having any input let alone consent. You are a freaking moron. Karen Marlatt In response to the Oct. 24 story on the LRPD’s use of license plate scanners: I wish that people were more concerned about our privacy. If people were as concerned about privacy as people are about guns something would get done. People wake up — the government does NOT CARE OR WANT YOUR GUNS. They want your e-mails, cell phone conversations, license plate numbers, what you look at on the web. And guess what — they have it because no one is paying attention and the ACLU, the only folks that TRY to stop some of this, can’t do anything about most of it because our government says they are just using the info to “fight terrorism” and “win the war on drugs.” Conwaykram On the Nov. 14 profile on Mike Nichols, set designer at the Arkansas Repertory Theater: Mike has done Morrilton proud and I’m very proud of one of my former 7th grade English students. Mona Kay Calhoun Scroggins

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




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Give us that old-time religious freedom



he Razorbacks’ dreary season is finally over, they having managed to avoid a bowl game, which is difficult these days. Yet Arkansans still have reason to cheer. The Arkansas State University Red Wolves will represent the Natural State in the Bowl. Instead of calling the Hogs we’ll be howling for the Wolves. Surely, the Red Wolves have a cheer that involves howling. If not, they should get one quickly. 6

DECEMBER 5, 2012




ne is reluctant to write about Florida’s proposed Amendment 8 for fear of stirring up the Arkansas Family Council, always eager to import bad ideas. But the defeat of Amendment 8 calls for recognition. A wise man has observed that this year’s presidential race between President Obama and Mitt Romney was “very much an election pitting the interests of the very rich against those of the middle class and the poor.” The Amendment 8 contest in Florida very much pitted the supporters of religious freedom against those who seek to force their own religious beliefs on others. The freedom faction prevailed. Hallelujah. Amendment 8 was backed by a coalition of the fundamentalist Religious Right, the Roman Catholic hierarchy, and prominent members of the Republican Party, including U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, already being mentioned as a Republican presidential candidate in 2016. (The temptation to call this an “unholy alliance” is very strong. We’re glad we resisted.) Amendment 8 would have stripped the Florida Constitution of the provisions, similar to those in the U.S. Constitution, that protect the individual’s right to choose his own religion, or no religion at all. The amendment would have allowed houses of worship, religious schools and other ministries to lay their hands on taxpayers’ money. One of its main purposes was to clear the way for taxpayer-funded vouchers at church schools, thus enabling atheists to help pay for Catholic indoctrination, and Jews to subsidize Baptist proselytism. A champion of public schools open to all students, the Florida Education Association was a leading opponent of Amendment 8. The schoolteachers were joined by Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Anti-Defamation League and the ACLU, among others. Large numbers of clergy spoke out against the amendment, correctly identifying it as a threat to religious liberty. The largest newspapers in the state opposed the amendment too. (Could Arkansas count on that?) And so religious discrimination was rejected, by 57 percent of Florida voters. Barry Lynn of Americans United said afterward “The defeat of Amendment 8 will ensure that no Floridian has to financially support any belief system that he or she does not subscribe to.” The founders of this country intended that no American should have to financially support a belief system not his own. That includes Arkansans, but we need to stay alert.

WHERE IN ARKANSAS?: Know where this slice of life in Arkansas is? Send along the answer to Times photographer Brian Chilson and win a prize. Once a month in this space, he’ll post a shot from a relatively obscure spot in Arkansas for Times readers to identify. We also invite photographers to contribute submissions of both mystery and other pictures to our eyeonarkansas Flickr group. Write to to guess this week’s photo or for more information. Last month’s photo was taken on Hwy. 65 at St. Joe. The winner was Sandra Jackson.

Big(ish) government is back


n 1978, the voters of California overwhelmingly ratified Proposition 13, the so-called “taxpayer revolt” measure that sharply limited property tax increases in that state. The ramifications of Prop 13 went well beyond property taxes and well beyond California. For nearly two generations, American politics has been haunted by that initiative with nearly any tax increase seen as a third rail not to be touched by the nation’s governmental leaders. The result has been decreased taxes across the board in the United States, particularly on the wealthiest of our citizens (as shown by an extensive analysis in the New York Times this week), budget deficits at the federal and state levels to pay for the most essential of services and for the national security needs of the nation, and diminished governmental services for those most in need. This spirit of small government was summed up, of course, by Republican Ronald Reagan in his 1981 inaugural address: “Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem.” Even post-Reagan Democrats, of course, partially joined in the rejection of government as Bill Clinton stated in his 1996 State of the Union address: “The era of big government is over …” Clinton continued in that famous quote: “... but we cannot go back to a time when Americans must fend for themselves.” The results of the 2012 elections and analysis of the public attitudes that drove those outcomes indicate that it is the sentiments expressed in this second part of his quote that are in ascendance as an era of renewed faith in government shows itself across the country. On Nov. 6, another California initiative showed that the taxpayer revolt is unquestionably over in that state. Proposition 30, an expansive package increasing income and sales taxes in the state to the tune of at least $6 billion annually passed with nearly 55 percent support. The increased revenues go primarily to education and public safety, two sectors hit hardest by the Prop 13 reforms. Appearing personally in many ads for the initiative was Gov. Jerry Brown; his personal advocacy of the tax increase shows that such measures are now more of a fake log than a third rail. Across the nation, tax increases

were passed by voters, particularly when they were tied to an identifiable governmental goal. This was true even in Arkansas, where a healthy majority of voters chose a 10-year sales tax JAY increase to upgrade the state road BARTH system. In other states, efforts to make tax increases more difficult were rejected by voters. Having run, and won, twice on the notion of allowing the highest earners’ tax rates to be raised, President Obama rightly feels that he does have a mandate to fight for this change to the tax code. While it remains unclear exactly what components will make up the package of revenue increases and spending cuts that will allow the government to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” it’s clear that tax increases on the wealthy will be part of the deal. Most important for future trends, however, are the attitudes of the youngest American voters. They show comfort with expanding government and covering the costs of that expansion. According to the Pew Research Center’s analysis of exit polls in the 2012 election, nearly six in 10 voters under 30 believe that the government should do more to solve societal problems. This generation has not voted Democratic because of the party’s stances on social issues or the president’s distinctive connection with them; they have voted Democratic because of their belief in government. Let’s not be mistaken, Great Society-style “big government” is not on its way back immediately. Republicans who see President Reagan’s inaugural address phrase as their mantra remain in positions of tremendous influence in Congress. But, those views are too harsh for the middle of the American electorate. More importantly, they are decidedly out of step with voters under 30 who will soon be in the driver’s seat in U.S. politics. For those of us who will be in their golden years when that generation takes the reins, that is a comforting notion indeed.

Max Brantley is on vacation.



What the presidency’s for


wice in a year, the arts have given maneuvered Conus rare insight into the use of politi- gress into referring cal power that is both grand and to the states the dispiriting — grand in its purpose and 13th Amendment dispiriting in its exercise. prohibiting slavery. In the spring came “The Passage of We don’t often ERNEST Power,” the fourth book in what eventually yoke Lincoln and DUMAS will be Robert Caro’s five-volume biogra- Johnson in our phy of President Lyndon B. Johnson, this minds — the likable, thoughtful, someone dealing with his political marriage to times sublime man who saved the union the Kennedy clan in 1960 and his ascen- and the crude, self-pitying, bullying man sion to the presidency three years later who would leave office despised by a good upon the assassination of President John part of the country, mainly for the Vietnam F. Kennedy. It recounts in stunning detail War. But they are linked in history, mainly the most fertile few months in U.S. gov- by Lincoln’s emancipation of the slaves ernment history when Johnson forced — and Johnson’s efforts a full century later yes, forced — a reluctant Congress to pass to bring fulfillment to the promise of abolithe whole languishing Kennedy program, tion, but also, we now see, by a shared trait including the first serious civil rights law — the rare cunning and sheer will to use in nearly a century and, soon afterward, the awesome potential of the presidency the beginnings of a universal health-care to achieve ends they believed were noble and the nation’s destiny. system, which had escaped presidents No one will be surprised to learn from since Teddy Roosevelt. Next was the release last month of “Lin- the tapes and notes Caro unearthed that coln,” Steven Spielberg’s film about the last Lyndon Johnson cajoled, bullied and lied days before Abraham Lincoln’s assassina- to keep the Kennedy team on board after tion when, against all odds, the president their leader’s death, to trap the chief jus-

The Susan Rice farce


ven in a news environment dominated by melodramatic, often bogus, group narratives, the Susan Rice affair stands out. What began as a tragedy in Benghazi has degenerated into a classic Washington farce: with Fox News and its allies pushing GOP political correctness, politicians faking indignation for TV cameras, and “mainstream” pundits advancing a false story line for dramatic purposes. Thank heaven the United States faces no serious foreign policy issues. Because otherwise, you’d have to think this is a crazy way to choose a Secretary of State. Unless, as my mentor Bob Somerby speculates at his indispensible website, we’ve degenerated to where the dopiest possible answer to a problem is always the default option. I hold no particular brief for Susan Rice. President Obama can nominate the current U.S. ambassador to the United Nations to replace Hillary Clinton, or he can nominate somebody else. It’s all the same to me. Maybe a touch of nostalgia is even in order. To see a Washington media pile-on this transparently phony, one would have to hark back to 2000, when Al Gore supposedly claimed he’d invented the Internet. Or to even to 1996, when Hillary Clinton’s indictment in the make-believe White-

water scandal was supposedly a done deal. Even more remarkable is that Susan Rice’s supGENE posed participaLYONS tion in the Benghazi “cover-up,” as Rush Limbaugh and various Fox News pundits have called it, took place on national TV. Anybody with a computer can watch the video clips or read the posted transcripts. Upon which a person with an ounce of intellectual honesty would be forced to concede two things: first, Rice never said what dishonest paraphrases say she did; second, that she DID say exactly what her vociferous critics insist she denied. It all started, as the world knows, on Sept. 11, 2012, when a mob armed with rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and automatic weapons stormed the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya — murdering U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three aides. Five days later, Rice appeared on all the Sunday political talk shows to give the Obama administration’s response. Speaking from “talking points” written by the CIA, she made essentially the same statement everywhere she went.

tice and a right-wing Southern Democrat into leading the national investigation of the assassination when both told him no, to maneuver Southern Democratic chairmen who were inimical to civil rights and the whole Kennedy program into letting all that legislation go through, and to massage the egos of Republican leaders so that they went along reluctantly, too. Caro, whose books reflect his personal dislike of Johnson, is filled with transparent admiration for a man who used the baser skills he had learned in roiling Texas politics to fulfill the American promise for its dispossessed — the descendants of Lincoln’s freed slaves, the disabled, the destitute farmers of the Dust Bowl, Texas hills and the Deep South, the low-paid workers and their families, the uneducated, the masses of aged poor. Rejecting counsel that he should not squander his sudden power and popularity on hopeless causes that parts of the nation would condemn (“then what the hell’s the presidency for?” he is supposed to have snapped), Johnson gave the country three civil rights laws, a tax cut, Head Start, Medicare, Medicaid, broad federal aid to education, food stamps and an array of anti-poverty programs — all those things that drive the Tea Party bonkers. The poverty rate fell by half during his five years in office. Caro’s final book, the Vietnam years, will restore his

scoundrel veneer. But who, besides the historians and the Confederate sympathizers among us, knew that Abe Lincoln, he of the Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural, was on occasion a knave and a deceiver. Lincoln knew that his emancipation proclamation did not carry the majesty of law and that if slavery was to be abolished, totally and forever, it needed to be done constitutionally and that it needed to be adopted by Congress and referred to the states before the war ended and the Southern states were restored to the union and to Congress. So he wanted it done in a lame-duck session rather than with a new, more favorable Congress that would take office in the spring, perhaps after Confederate surrender. If Congress thought that peace could be had instantly, many would not have voted for the amendment, so at a critical moment before the vote Lincoln kept the emissaries cooling their heels and sent a note to Congress that was technically true but misleading. Regardless, a triumphal moment in American history. Perhaps there is a divine purpose in all things, and here it was for Caro and Spielberg to light the path for another president, who needs at another critical juncture for the nation to temper his idealism with a little of the toughness and stealth of Lyndon and Abe.

Repeatedly stressing that a prelimi- Whether they were al Qaeda affiliates, nary FBI investigation had yet to estab- whether they were Libyan-based extremlish basic facts, Rice said it appeared that ists or al Qaeda itself, I think is one of the “extremist elements with heavy weapons” things we’ll have to determine.” had “hijacked” what began as a “spontaGot that? Contrary to Sean Hannity, neous reaction” to violent demonstrations Rush Limbaugh, Charles Krauthammer, in Cairo sparked by a video insulting the Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, prophet Muhammad. Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank Now in a criminal courtroom, taking and New York Times resident fruitcake a grenade launcher to a political demon- Maureen Dowd, Rice never denied that stration would be considered evidence of the Benghazi tragedy was a terrorist attack. premeditation. Just as, in a rational world, Furthermore, Rice specifically specuthe phrase “extremist elements with heavy lated that al Qaeda might be responsible weapons” would be seen as synonymous — not that U.S. intelligence has established with “terrorist.” Indeed, somewhat to Mitt a connection even at this late date. “MeanRomney’s subsequent embarrassment, while,” Bob Somerby asks, “why wouldn’t President Obama had already described ‘al Qaeda sympathizers’ take part in a sponthe Benghazi tragedy as an “act of terror” taneous demonstration over the anti-Muson Sept. 12. lim video?” However, many observers suspected Yet even CBS’s Schieffer has joined a more elaborate plot. So on “Face the the attack. Interviewing the irascible Sen. Nation” Bob Schieffer asked Rice a pointed McCain, Schieffer pointedly endorsed his question: Was there — as one Libyan poli- highly inaccurate version of Rice’s comtician had claimed — evidence of a link ments —characterizations directly contrawith al Qaeda? dicted by transcripts of his own program. Rice answered cautiously. “We do not “The dirty little secret here,” writes have information at present,” she said, Washington Post’s David Ignatius, “is that “that leads us to conclude that this was our intelligence analysts don’t know, even premeditated or preplanned.” now, how all these factors came together Then she added, and do pay attention outside the consulate on the night of Sepconspiracy theorists, because this last bit tember 11 so that the consulate was overhas eluded some of our esteemed Wash- run.” ington press corps’ deepest thinkers: “It’s Alas, the rest of us have come to underclear that there were extremist elements stand all too well the chronic ineptitude that joined in and escalated the violence. of our nation’s celebrity press corps.

DECEMBER 5, 2012


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Native confusion A public-library newsletter referred to a certain writer as a “native Arkansan.” As this was a person I know is not a native Arkansan, the reference reminded me that native is much misused. Residing in Arkansas does not make one a native Arkansan. Being born in Arkansas does. That’s true in general usage anyway. Garner’s Modern American Usage says that “in American law, the noun native has come to mean either (1) ‘a person born in the country’; or (2) ‘a person born outside the country of parents who are (at the time of the birth) citizens of that country and who are not permanently residing elsewhere.’ ” I’m fairly sure the second definition wouldn’t apply to the writer in the newsletter either. Nor, for that matter, would what I believed was the definition of native when I was growing up and going to Tarzan movies on Saturday afternoon: “A halfdressed black person carrying a spear.”   Rhoticity rocks: I was unfamiliar with rhoticity until I read an article purporting to explain why British singers sound American when they sing. “Because that’s the way everyone expects pop and rock musicians to sound,” the article said. “British pop singers have been imitating American pronunciations since Cliff Richard, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones began recording in the 1960s. ... Imitating an American


It was a good week for ...

It was a bad week for ...

COACHES COMING AND GOING. At our Tuesday press deadline, Wisconsin head coach Brett Bielema was reportedly scheduled to be named the new head football coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks. Meanwhile, multiple sources were reporting that Gus Malzahn was leaving Arkansas State University, after just one season, to return to coach Auburn.

THE GREAT PASSION PLAY. Thanks to declining interest, it’s curtains for the outdoor performance detailing Christ’s death, created in 1968 by anti-Semite Gerald L.K. Smith and Elna M. Smith outside Eureka Springs on land beneath the towering Christ of the Ozarks. Citing anonymous sources, the Lovely County Citizen weekly in Eureka reports that the Elna Smith Foundation owes $1.2 million in mortgage payments and $35,600 in back taxes and property penalties to Carroll County on its 167 acres.

U.S. REP. TIM GRIFFIN Arkansas’s 2nd District congressman was named to the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. He said because of his new position would keep him from running for Senate or governor in 2014.

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accent involved the adoption of American vowel sounds and rhoticity: the pronunciation of r’s wherever they DOUG appear in a word. SMITH (Nonrhoticity, by contrast, is the habit of dropping r’s at the end of a syllable, as most dialects of England do.)” So when Frank Broyles used to talk about the Razorbacks getting bettah and bettah, he was practicing nonrhoticity. He wouldn’t have occasion to use that on the current Razorbacks. I haven’t yet worked rhoticity into a conversation. Maybe I’ll use it as a compliment — “I like your rhoticity” — and see how the other person responds.   “Election Day is less than a week away, and with my campaign running neck-in-neck with Mitt Romney’s, I fully recognize this is probably not the ideal moment to introduce a controversial new proposal widely ignored in mainstream politics.” This is not President Obama talking, it’s from a spoof in The Onion, but the “neck-in-neck” caught my eye. Are people actually using that in place of “neck and neck”? I wouldn’t be greatly surprised. Butt naked seems to have just about caught up with buck naked.   

SURPRISES AT THE LEGISLATURE. Arkansas House Speaker-Designate Davy Carter, a Republican from Cabot, hired Gabe Holmstrom, the former executive director of the Democratic Party in Arkansas, as House chief of staff, and gave the former chief of staff, Democrat Bill Stovall, the new position of chief operating officer. Holmstrom, who is a Cabot native, and Carter are old friends. Some House Republicans will no doubt be chapped.

REDISTRIBUTION OF SCHOOL WEALTH. The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that school districts can keep property tax revenues that exceed minimum school funding levels required by state law. Gov. Beebe and the attorney general, concerned that the ruling will undo the 15-year effort by the state to create equitable funding under the Lake View School District ruling, will ask the Supreme Court to rehear the case. (See more on page 12.)


This too shall pass THE OBSERVER MEETS a lot of folks while tramping through the hills and hollers of Arkansas with a tape recorder and a reporter’s notebook in our pocket. One of the folks we met awhile back was Little Rock boy-made-good P. Allen Smith, gardener-turned-lifestyle guru, Martha Stewart of the South (or is it that Martha is the P. Allen of New England?), who we interviewed for a well-received cover story back in August. Earlier this week, we were thrilled to open our e-mail inbox and find an invitation from P. Allen’s peeps, urging our attendance at a Christmas shindig at his paradisical spread up near Roland. Always looking to score points in the Game of Matrimony, we had to e-brag immediately to Spouse — who is a fan of Mr. Smith’s — that Her Beau is thought of well enough to tread Smith’s rugs and drink his sureto-be delectable eggnog, even without the PRESS tag in the band of our fedora. “Check this s*** out,” The Observer trumpeted to her in an e-mail with the invite attached. “And you say I never take you any place cool!” Only problem was, instead of sending said e-mail to Spouse, we’d hit “reply.” If the invitation still stands at this point, we figure the only way Yours Truly could embarrass himself further is if we showed up to the party wearing only bib overalls and carrying a Pabst in a “Boobies Make Me Smile” beer koozie. Probably a good thing we’re not the party-going type.

in art — when we’re overwhelmed, bored, broke (lots of the best museums are free). Doesn’t take long, a mere half hour or so, ’til a Zen-like emptiness washes over us. Next we meandered through the River Market, thrilled to discover that at Sweet Soul, it was $1 pie day. Among the heartier autumn offerings, they had lemon icebox. Lemon icebox — even the name is poetic. And the pie itself is so pale and pretty, so Southern and summery, topped with two smart rosettes of whipped cream. Our grandmother used to make it. Our mother adores it. Guess the Sweet Soul ladies figured this was the last time they could get away with it for a good five months. We’ll take it! So we did, down to the river. We sat on the highest grassy point, letting the breeze whip our scarf, watching the water ripple in the wake of a speed boat, parting the reflection of the purple-slate clouds. The clouds were parting too, revealing a clean pastel sky. To our left, a little boy was trying to roll a barrel up a grassy hill. He pushed with both hands, made a bit of progress, and then dropped his arms, turned and ran, squealing gleefully as the barrel chased him down the hill. To our right, we saw a parking attendant in his purple polyester uniform, wandering Riverfront Park. He must also be on a late lunch. Below us, the rocks had sprouted fiery orange vines. Above us, a curious blue-jeaned couple was climbing the stairs to Junction Bridge. We watched them for a long while, as they rounded IT’S BEEN ONE OF THOSE besotted corners and shadowed beams, dipping weeks, when nothing feels like it will ever in and out of our view. be OK again. Actually, it’s been one of They were the only people on the besotted years. Thank Julius it’s almost bridge, and they were having an excelover. The Observer needed some perspec- lent time. We couldn’t figure out if they tive so, it being an unseasonably warm were lovebirds or father and daughter. day — one of those brief respites before She was tiny, much shorter than he, and winter truly settles — we set off to take in she kept flinging long dark hair. They the River Market district. chased each other. He snatched her up First we hit up a few galleries at the and swung her in a wide circle. She did a Arkansas Studies Institute. When we first cartwheel, her body a quick, unexpected, came to the Fortress of Employment, we upside-down X. The pie was rich and creamy. We did wiled away many a lunch hour there. But in recent months, we’ve let life get in the our best, but we couldn’t put it all away. way of art — even though, not so long So The Observer got up and floated back ago, we sort of thought life was art. Or to the Fortress of Employment. Those maybe, art was life — some conflux of the clouds that lifted, they weren’t all literal. two. Right now ASI is hosting a fabulous We remembered our grandmother again, exhibit of student work. The colors, com- her flippantly delivered counsel when positions, marks and textures, worked we were frustrated by some childish task. their magic. We’ve always sought solace “This too shall pass,” she’d said.

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Doorbusters Part of the deposition of Little Rock Police Department Officer Donna Lesher, who after a brief struggle shot and killed 67-year-old Eugene Ellison in his apartment near Asher Ave. on Dec. 9, 2010, is now part of the public record as one of the filings in an ongoing federal civil rights lawsuit, and contains some doozies. Lesher and her partner, Officer Tabitha McCrillis, were working off-duty security at the Big Country Chateau Apartments when they came upon Ellison’s open apartment door. Looking inside, they said, they saw Ellison sitting on the couch with his shirt open, shaking uncontrollably. After Ellison told the officers to get out, a fight ensued, with Ellison reportedly whacking them with his cane. Later, after backup arrived, Lesher shot Ellison twice in the chest with her department-issued sidearm. An internal investigation by the LRPD cleared McCrillis and Lesher of any wrongdoing. The most interesting part of the partial deposition — and possibly the most instructive, if you’re a citizen of Little Rock — might be Officer Lesher’s without-hesitation reply to what she’d have done if Ellison had simply closed the door in her face. Namely, call in the SWAT team. From the deposition, with Ellison family attorney Michael J. Laux asking the questions: LAUX: Isn’t it true that the reason that you walked in Mr. Ellison’s apartment is because you thought he was going to shut the door on you and Tabitha McCrillis? LESHER: Yes. LAUX: What would you have done if Mr. Ellison had gotten up off the couch, walked to his front door, and shut his front door on the two of you as you stood out on the concrete walkway? LESHER: I would have called for SWAT. LAUX: You would have called for SWAT? LESHER: Yes. LAUX: What would be the purpose of calling the SWAT team? LESHER: I didn’t know what was wrong with him. LAUX: Why are you assuming there’s something wrong with him? Is it just his open shirt and the twitching? LESHER: It’s the whole — whole picture. LAUX: Let me ask you this question — LESHER: I wanted to know what was going on in that apartment. LAUX: Let me ask you this question, and it’s just a straight-up question. Didn’t Mr. Ellison have the legal right to shut his front door on the CONTINUED ON PAGE 11 10

DECEMBER 5, 2012


Split Supreme Court alters school funding Jury out on whether ruling undermines landmark Lake View case. BY LINDSEY MILLAR


t took nearly 25 years of legal battles and legislative wrangling for Arkansas to settle on a formula for level public school funding. A split decision by the Arkansas Supreme Court last week, however, may undo all that. The court ruled, 4-3, in a case involving Fountain Lake and Eureka Springs school districts, that those districts can keep property tax dollars that exceed the state’s per-student funding minimum. Chief Justice Jim Hannah wrote in his dissent, “The state’s carefully crafted constitutional system of state-funded public education is obliterated by the majority’s decision.” Gov. Mike Beebe, who as a legislator and as attorney general was involved in school funding legislation and litigation, told reporters that decorum prevented him from saying what he thought about the decision. He did say he agreed with the dissenters. What has Hannah and Beebe so riled? Not the direct and immediate consequence of the ruling over an arcane tax question affecting only Fountain Lake and Eureka Springs. The amount of money, while significant for the two districts, didn’t account for much in the state’s school funding plan. Instead, it’s the precedent the majority set for all school districts that has officials concerned. At issue are notions of adequacy and equity, two words that came to define the epic Lake View School District court battle waged for more than 15 years. The difference between the two concepts is perspective, according to David Matthews, an attorney in Rogers who represented the Rogers School District during a long stretch of the Lake View case. “Equity says we’ve got one great big pie. Are you dividing the pie evenly? Adequacy asks, is the pie big enough?” Lake View, a Phillips County district that no longer exists, initially sparked



the court battle by alleging that the state’s system of public education violated the Arkansas Constitution’s equal protection clause and promise of a “general, suitable, and efficient system of free public schools.” The question of equity — whether Lake View and the other districts were receiving an equal slice of Arkansas’s educational pie — initially dominated the proceedings. When the case entered his court, Pulaski Circuit Judge Collins Kilgore changed the course of the legal argument by determining that adequacy, rather than equity, should be the key criterion. In response, the state General Assembly came up with a definition for adequacy, partly by creating a “foundation funding” amount guaranteed to all school districts. Every year, the legislature determines a new foundation funding amount per student. The latest figure is $6,267. The recent Supreme Court ruling dealt with the intersection of adequacy funding and Arkansas Amendment 74. Passed by voters in 1996, Amendment 74 requires school districts to levy a uniform rate of property tax of 25 mills to be used towards the maintenance and operation of schools. The revenue districts generate from the 25 mills goes to the state before returning to the district as foundation funding. When a school district’s 25 mills of property tax revenue don’t produce the

foundation funding amount, a common occurrence since many school districts are located in areas with low property values, the state makes up the difference, primarily through its Educational Adequacy Fund. The court ruling undoes the converse of previous example: When a district’s 25 mills add up to more than foundation-funding, the state had been redistributing the excess revenue to other districts. Now, the court says that the 25 mills of property tax cannot be considered state revenue and districts can rightfully keep dollars in excess of what is necessary to meet the per-pupil foundation funding. All district shortfalls on foundation funding going forward will be made up solely by the state’s Educational Adequacy Fund. Chief Justice Hannah — along with Justice Robert Brown and Special Justice George Ellis, who each wrote their own dissents — argues that the majority decision will lead to inequity: Some districts’ foundation funding will be more than others. Brown, in his dissent, acknowledges that the Lake View cases dealt with adequacy, but says the majority ignores the constitutional mandate that funding be equal, as affirmed in the 1983 school-funding case Dupree v. Alma School District No. 30. It’s important to remember that, in defining adequacy, the state legislature CONTINUED ON PAGE 12





The health-insurance exchange coming to Arkansas as part of the Affordable Care Act features subsidies to help folks making between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) buy insurance. There are no subsidies for folks making below 100 percent of the FPL because they were supposed to be covered by the Medicaid expansion. If the legislature says no to Medicaid expansion? Folks aged 19-64 making below 100 percent of FPL but above Arkansas’s stingy income max for Medicaid will be left out in the cold. That would leave a hole in coverage that looks pretty ugly: poor folks without kids or making more than a fraction of FPL have no safety net, while the government subsidizes (relatively) more affluent citizens.

Already covered by state Medicaid program Without Medicaid expansion, out of luck

Any non-disabled adult without dependent children is not eligible for Medicaid under current state law, no matter how little money they make.

A freelancer making $40,000 a year will be eligible for subsidies in the form of tax credits beginning on Jan. 1, 2014.

Eligible for subsidies in health-insurance exchange

100%-400% OF FPL

A parent with Medicaid-eligible children gets Medicaid if they make less than 13 percent of the FPL if not working, 17 percent of the FPL if working.

17%-100% OF FPL 17% of the FPL $1,899 for an individual, $3,919 for a family of four

100% of the FPL $11,170 for an individual, $23,050 for a family of four

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

INSIDER, CONT. both of you if that’s what he wanted to do? LESHER: Yes. LAUX: So you’re saying that if he had exercised his legal right to shut his door on the two of you, he would have had to deal with a SWAT team showing up moments later? LESHER: Yes.

News robots in the sky Rick Fahr, former publisher of the Log Cabin Democrat, has found a new job, taking the publisher’s seat of the River Valley Leader in Russellville on Nov. 26. The more interesting news is the direction he’s thinking of taking news collection, as in: straight up, via unmanned, news-collecting drone aircraft. Recently on his Facebook page, Fahr said that he’s had theories he’s wanted to put into action for years, and will pursue those with his new position. “First wild thing we’re gonna pursue?” Fahr wrote, “Eye in the Sky. We’ll probably call it RVL1 — a camera-equipped helicopter or drone that will give us the ability to cover all sorts of happenings like never before (at least for any media outlet not a major TV station).” Crazy idea? Sure. But not as crazy (or expensive) as you might think — even for a small media outlet like the River Valley Leader. Politico reported in November on a project by a Missouri NPR affiliate that would use a $25,000 grant from the University of Missouri to research and build several news-collecting drone aircraft. The FAA has strict regulations on drones and slip-ups can lead to catastrophic crashes — not to mention death, given that a drone is basically a flying lawnmower. But if the red tape ever clears, media drones would be loads cheaper than the news helicopters of yesteryear.

Pre-K funding robocalls: GOP wants cut?

A single parent with two kids making $16,000 a year makes too much to qualify for Medicaid (without expansion), but not enough to get subsidized on the exchange. *All FPL figures in 2012 dollars.

400 percent of the FPL $44,680 for an individual, $92,200 for a family of four* Note: People who are disabled for 12 consecutive months currently qualify if their income is 75% or less of FPL; pregnant women qualify if their income is 200% or less.

An attorney making $90,000 a year to support a family of four can get help from the government if the family buys private health insurance on the exchange.

Even with the election in the rear view mirror, robo-polling continues in Arkansas. Calls that appear to come from a Republican group have been going out, asking about the favorability of the Tea Party and gubernatorial candidates, opinions on tax cuts, and other issues. A number of commenters on our Arkansas Blog have received the calls. Former Democratic political operative Michael Cook noted on his blog that the poll described the cost of the state’s pre-K education program. “Do Arkansas Republicans plan to put PreK on the chopping block to pay for their planned tax cuts?” Cook asked. CONTINUED ON PAGE 20

DECEMBER 5, 2012



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set a funding floor, not a ceiling. The state required that only the minimum foundation funding be equal. Amendment 74 allows districts to levy as much millage above the required 25 mills as voters will approve. Many school districts raise more money to spend on students by levying more than 25 mills. The Little Rock School District, for instance, taxes property at a 46.4 mill rate. Districts may keep the revenues raised by the additional mills. The disparity between districts like the LRSD and those that only levy the state-required 25 mills shrinks thanks to National School Lunch Act Funds that poorer districts receive. But education advocates say the system is still inequitable; in fact, many predicted even before last week’s ruling that a lawsuit over inequity could be on the horizon. In his majority opinion, Justice Paul Danielson (joined in the majority by Justices Karen Baker, Courtney Hudson Goodson and Donald Corbin) suggested that, if the state wanted to return to redistributing the excess revenues produced by the 25 mandated mills, it could provide a legislative solution. But Gov. Beebe and other officials fear that by proposing a statutory update to constitutional Amendment 74, the court is inviting litigation, or the dismantling of the current school funding system by future legislatures. On Friday, Arkansas Education Association president Donna Morey said her group would ask the legisla-

ture “to modify the statutes to clearly define the funding structures for schools.” Asked in a news conference if such a remedy might invite litigation, Bill Kopsky, executive director of the Arkansas Public Policy Panel, which partners with the AEA to advocate on education issues, said, “There are different ways to achieve a fix. I don’t think we know enough yet, but we’re going to hold [legislators’] feet to the fire.” In a Republican-controlled legislature, it would likely be difficult to convince a sufficient number of Republicans, who have been generally sympathetic to ideas of local control of school districts, to institute a fix. House Majority Leader Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Hot Springs), who previously served on the school board of the Fountain Lake School District, a defendant in the Supreme Court case, has said he agreed with the court ruling. Meanwhile, the governor has indicated that the state plans to ask the Supreme Court to rehear the case. From his perspective, attorney David Matthews said he doesn’t see the decision as cause for alarm. “Everyone that’s been involved in Arkansas educational progress over the last 10 years feels proud of what’s happened, but also lives in abject fear that the least little decision could overturn that work. Any change causes folks to become very concerned. I don’t think this decision does that.”


Wary judges weigh calls for electronic access to courtrooms. BY MARA LEVERITT


ast July, the state of Arkansas condemned a man to die. Few actions by government are weightier. But, while any kid could have recorded a prank on his cellphone that day and uploaded it quickly to YouTube, Jerry Lard’s trial for killing a police officer was not electronically recorded. No one outside the courtroom saw — or will ever see — the drama that led the jury to reach its profound decision. Circuit Judge Herbert W. Wright of Little Rock thinks that’s for the best. After watching some highprofile trials on television, Wright has concluded that the presence of cameras in a courtroom serves no purpose “other than for people’s entertainment.” He worries that some judges and attorneys end up “performing” for cameras and being “more concerned about how their actions are going to be perceived than about what they’re supposed to be doing.” There’s also the matter of retaliation. Wright said that when he practiced as an attorney, he had first-hand experience with witnesses who wanted to cooperate in a trial but harbored the “legitimate concern” that, as they put it, if they testified, “These folks will hurt me.” In fairness, the judge acknowledged that cameras do have a potential upside. He said, “I think a lot of judges would behave better if cameras were on them.” And in elections where voters face a “vacuum of information on judicial candidates,” Wright said, “seeing how judges or attorneys handle themselves in court


DECEMBER 5, 2012


would be a benefit.” Judges fret perennially about declining confidence in courts, while citizens, faced with mounting evidence of wrongful convictions, want assurances that, should those occur, they have a way of learning about them — and seeing that they are corrected. Yet, newspapers are cutting back their coverage of courts, while Americans turn increasingly to electronic media for news. Livestreaming of court proceedings is being tried in some states, but most judges, like Wright, recoil from the conflicts they perceive between justice and having a camera in court. As courts nationally wrestle with how to respond to modern media, Arkansas’s case of the West Memphis Three has come to symbolize the civic importance of cameras to courtroom transparency. Because both trials in that case were recorded, events that unfolded in a nondescript Jonesboro court in 1994 have now been seen the world over. As a direct result, three men who are now widely presumed to be innocent were released from prison. All odds were against such an outcome. Most courts in Arkansas, as elsewhere, ban cameras to this day. Though judges here may allow them, few do. Only a phenomenal set of circumstances brought to the world’s attention the convictions of three teen-agers who, but for the cameras at their trials, would almost surely be forgotten today.


The crime (the murder of three children), the age of the accused (all teen-agers), and the alleged motive (Satanism) were sensational enough to attract a television network’s attention. Working for HBO, filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky spent eight months “embedding” themselves in East Arkansas, as Berlinger put it, in hopes of getting permission to film the two upcoming trials. The effort proved essential, because Circuit Judge David Burnett, who would officiate at the trials, told the filmmakers that he would not allow filming unless both prosecutors, all six defense lawyers and the families of both the victims and the defendants approved. Berlinger and Sinofsky succeeded. But, Berlinger said, “Obviously, convincing all parties is a very high threshold … and, in my opinion, allowing interested parties to determine public access is contrary to the public good gained by having cameras in the courtroom.” Two years later, HBO released “Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills,” a documentary about the case that included extensive trial footage. Many viewers were stunned by the lack of evidence that resulted in sentences of life in prison for Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin, and death for Damien Echols. A movement to free them was born. Ironically, however, because of complaints that arose because the trials were filmed, no cameras were allowed at any of the men’s


HOW IT WORKS: Sinofsky (left), Baldwin and Berlinger confer.

BURNETT: Allowed cameras after all parties approved.

appeals, from 1995 to 2009. Recording trials would not assure that anyone, let alone distinguished filmmakers, would ever look at them, much less use them to make a compelling documentary. It is enough, proponents of electronic recording say, that such records exist — to be used, or not, in the future.



merica’s tradition of public trials is rooted in British Common Law. The Founding Fathers believed that holding trials in public would protect them against such corrupting influences as petty prosecutions, lying witnesses and vain or inane judges. The Constitution’s Sixth

Amendment guarantees defendants the right to a public trial. But what about the public? Does it have a right to see and hear what happens when their government tries someone for a crime? The answer is yes. As Judge Wright put it: “People are welcome to come and watch whatever they want to.” If practicalities such as work, childcare, or the limited size of a courtroom make attending in person impossible, courts have ruled that the public has the right to know what transpired in court — to whatever extent someone who was physically present, such as a newspaper reporter, may relate it. A central purpose of the First Amendment is to ensure that citizens can par-

ticipate effectively in self-government by holding informed discussions of governmental affairs. As a Massachusetts court ruled in 1884, “It is desirable that [judicial proceedings] should take place under the public eye, because it is of the highest moment that those who administer justice should always act under the sense of public responsibility, and that every citizen should be able to satisfy himself with his own eyes as to the mode in which a public duty is performed.” But bringing direct citizen observation of courts from 1884 to 2012 has proven difficult. The trial in Harper Lee’s book “To Kill a Mockingbird,” where the whole town showed up, was fictional. But it represented a time when it was at least conceivable that a fair number of citizens could cram into a courtroom to watch with their “own eyes.” Today, in terms of technology, most U.S. courtrooms hunker about a halfcentury behind the nation that buzzes outside their doors. In an era when a crime can be recorded on a passerby’s cell phone and broadcast instantly on YouTube, any trial that might result will likely occur in a courtroom that is closer, with regard to technology and media, to the quill than to the computer.



hat is especially true in federal courts. Just this year the U.S. Supreme Court refused media requests to permit even audio recording of the oral arguments it held on the nation’s sweeping healthcare reform law — an issue of profound public interest. When guards at the federal courthouse in Little Rock turn away people who try to enter with a camera, including one on a cell phone, they are enforcing a federal rule that’s existed since 1946. States have been modestly more venturesome. When Texas businessman Billy Sol Estes, a friend of President Lyndon Johnson, was charged with fraud, TV networks were anxious to broadcast his trial. The judge allowed them to do so with parts of it. But in 1965, the U.S. Supreme Court CONTINUED ON PAGE 16

DECEMBER 5, 2012


ruled that the presence of cameras had violated Estes’ right to a fair trial. Yet, even as they made that ruling, the justices observed: “It is said that the ever-advancing techniques of public communication and the adjustment of the public to its presence may bring about a change in the effect of telecasting upon the fairness of criminal trials.” As technology pushed ahead, state courts struggled with how to handle it within the constraints of the Estes ruling. Eventually, in 1981, the U.S. Supreme Court changed its stance. Without overturning Estes — or changing the rules for federal courts — it ruled that states could allow cameras and broadcasting at criminal trials. A decade later, Court TV (now TruTV) began offering cable subscrib-



rkansas is not one of those states. In 1993, after the West Memphis murders, filmmakers Berlinger and Sinofsky brought their camera crew to Crittenden County and began begging permission to film the upcoming trials. “They weren’t sure they wanted cameras in the courtroom,” Berlinger recalled. At one point, while discussions were underway, Circuit Judge David Burnett allowed the crew to film a meeting he held with the sheriff and other officials about security. Burnett mentioned that he was concerned about the adequacy of the sound system in the courthouse at Corning, where the first trial was to be held. “We offered to install a PA system,” Berlinger said. “I think that was our win-

cameras altogether. “So it’s a weird situation,” said Jeff Hermes, director of Harvard University’s Digital Media Law Project. “The Supreme Court said we can’t presume that the mere presence of cameras violates a fair trial. But it did not go so far as to say that there’s a First Amendment right on the part of citizens to have trials photographed or broadcast.” As a result, Hermes said, “we have a patchwork,” with decisions about recording, broadcasting and archiving trials made “on a state-by-state, judgeby-judge basis.” That presents a problem, he said, when the focus turns to what he termed “the public’s access to the courtroom in the modern era.” In Hermes’ view: “Most adults don’t have the freedom to attend court between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Mon-

three regarding, in particular, new DNA evidence. That same year, the state’s high court decided that it would livestream oral arguments on the appellate cases it heard. Whether by coincidence or not, an oral argument concerning DNA in the West Memphis case became the first in the state Supreme Court’s history to be streamed — and archived on the court’s website. The ruling that followed that hearing would prove pivotal, not just for the three in prison, but for future interpretation of state DNA law. Yet, while the court has forged ahead into the digital era for its own proceedings, it holds lower courts to a rule that’s been in place since 1993 — the year that Intel Corp. shipped its first Pentium chip. That rule grants judges the discretion to permit cameras in their court-

“Most adults don’t have the freedom to attend court between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. As a result, we rely on proxies, often the press. But the press is a filter. It makes determinations about which cases to cover, and which parts of those cases are important. That does not necessarily accord with the citizenry being able to observe the functioning of the courts on a day-to-day basis.” ers continuous live coverage of highprofile criminal trials. The network came into its own with its coverage of the Menendez brothers’ first trial in 1993 and, two years later, the trial of O.J. Simpson. Tim Sullivan, who headed the network’s news department, recalled: “Before we started, some trials had been televised on an ad hoc basis, but Court TV was the first television network to do it nationwide on a regular basis. So we had to educate judges and the public about what it was going to be like. There was a lot of reluctance at first. But, as the years went on, they got used to it, and it sort of became accepted in many states.” Sullivan said that almost all trials the network broadcast came from within “a group of 16 to 18 states.”


DECEMBER 5, 2012


dow to getting them to agree.” With that opening, Berlinger and Sinofsky negotiated a deal with Burnett to allow two cameras at both trials. One, set up near the judge and facing the audience, was a pool camera, for all electronic media. The second, set up near the jury box, with a view of the judge, witnesses and side views of the audience was exclusively HBO’s. While the makers of “Paradise Lost” secured that extraordinary access for what would become two of Arkansas’s most extraordinary trials, most other criminal trials begin and end in obscurity. In Arkansas and many other states, the concerns of judges — not to mention those of prosecutors, defense attorneys, jurors, witnesses, defendants and even families — have led most courts to opt for the simple expediency of banning

day through Friday. As a result, we rely on proxies, often the press. But the press is a filter. It makes determinations about which cases to cover, and which parts of those cases are important. That does not necessarily accord with the citizenry being able to observe the functioning of the courts on a day-to-day basis.”



or decades, the Arkansas Supreme Court has overseen a technology patchwork of its own, and again, the West Memphis case figures prominently in that history. The release of “Paradise Lost” generated so much interest in the West Memphis case that huge sums of money were contributed for new lawyers and investigations. In 2010, the Arkansas Supreme Court agreed to consider petitions from the

rooms, “provided that the participants will not be distracted, nor will the dignity of the proceedings be impaired.” But there are several exceptions, the most important of which is that judges may not permit cameras if any attorney or witness objects. The rule also requires that cameras may not record jurors, minors, victims of sexual crimes, undercover police agents or informants, matters involving probate or domestic relations, drug courts, or discussions that occur in the judge’s chambers. In light of those constraints — and media’s lack of interest in most proceedings — it’s not surprising that cameras remain a rarity in Arkansas courts, or that guidelines where they are used are few. “Everybody’s sort of winging it,” one broadcaster said. At a recent hear-

ing in Marion — again, related to the West Memphis case — the judge allowed an array of news cameras to line the back of the courtroom, but guards turned away observers who tried to enter carrying a cell phone. As director of the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission, David Stewart is required to understand what the state Supreme Court expects of judges. He sees the issue of cameras as one that needs careful sorting. “I think it is being intellectually honest to say that if it is constitutional to

permit the public to attend a trial of any nature, there should be no legal impediment to a live broadcast or streaming of a trial,” Stewart wrote in an e-mail. “However, I also believe that there are constitutional issues to deal with in determining what types of trial can, or should, be prohibited from public scrutiny.” In short, Stewart said he thinks that Arkansas’s current rule gets it right. “Crimes are against the state, therefore criminal trials, as a rule, should be open to the public,” he wrote. But other issues, such as divorces and probates

“are nobody’s business, with the exception that they must be dealt with under a structured legal environment for the parties’ protection.”



ther states are taking a more proactive approach to letting citizens see into courts. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of Illinois invited circuit courts and media to participate in an experimental program that would allow electronic trial coverage. Chief CONTINUED ON PAGE 18

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DECEMBER 5, 2012


“I also think the media are responsible. They are sensitive to those issues, and if they’re allowed access, they sure don’t want to mess it up. So I think the [courts’] fears are valid, but I also think they can be addressed.”




Justice Thomas L. Kilbride described the move as “another step to bring more transparency and more accountability to the Illinois court system.” Kilbride wrote: “The provisions of this new policy keep discretion in the chief circuit judge and the trial judge to assure that a fair and impartial trial is not compromised, yet affords a closer look at the workings of our court system to the public through the eyes of the electronic news media and news photographers.” Other states have also enacted rules establishing how smart phones, laptop computers and other wireless devices can be used in court. Several permit people, except jurors, to use electronic devices to silently take notes and to transmit them, as text, to news outlets, blogs, and sites such as Twitter. Sullivan, formerly of TruTV, said such rules are needed. “We’ve gotten to a place technologically in which there is no difference between a video camera and the eyes and ears of a reporter from a newspaper. In fact, in many ways, the technology is more reliable because the camera can only be accurate.” Where courts have refused to allow cameras, the results have sometimes been absurd. Interest was high nationally in California’s Proposition 8, which limited marriage to a man and a woman. But broadcast of a federal hearing on it was not allowed. Enterprising producers filled the void by having actors recreate what happened in the courtroom using transcripts from the hearing and notes taken by observers who’d attended. Later, U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, who presided, asked rhetorically: “Would you rather have people know what happened by way of reenactments or by the real thing?” He answered: “The real thing is always much better.”



n May 2, 2011, a National Public Radio station in Boston began livestreaming civil proceedings from a district court in the nearby town of Quincy. The experimental project, called OpenCourt, was funded with a $1 million


DECEMBER 5, 2012


grant from the Knight Foundation. The goal, as a producer put it, was to allow the public to see “how justice is done.” The staff at WBUR worked with court officials to address concerns, such as those raised by Judge Wright, about who could be recorded, by whom and when. Rules are being developed as the experiment continues. Ultimately, court officials decided to leave Wright’s main concern, about participants “performing” for the cameras — and another, about certain media decisions — to the parties’ sense of professional responsibility. Thus, for the past year and a half, anyone with an Internet connection has been able to see and hear live proceedings from that court. In June, OpenCourt began placing its archives of those proceedings online. According to the project’s website, its creators hope that by confronting legal and technical issues in this one “test kitchen,” it can help other courts “by highlighting our most important mistakes and successes.” The project was permitted under a Massachusetts high court rule, approved in 2000. That rule, like Arkansas’s, permits the use of cameras in district courts with certain limitations. But once livestreaming from the Quincy court began, it was immediately challenged by a prosecutor, a group of defense attorneys, and a defendant. Last March, in an important ruling titled “Commonwealth vs. Norman Barnes,” the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ordered that, once a court has granted permission for electronic recording, any restriction on the right to stream, broadcast, publish or archive what is recorded “represents a form of prior restraint on the freedoms of the press and speech protected by the First Amendment.” Hermes, of Harvard’s Digital Media Law Project, who is an advisor to OpenCourt, sees the resulting legal situation as a “three-part structure.” Here’s how he describes that: First, “There is a First Amendment right to be in a criminal court.” Second, “There is no constitutional right to run a camera there.” Third, “But, if the judge allows

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HARRIS: The media are responsible.

the camera to run, there is a nearly absolute First Amendment right on the part of the media outlet to disseminate the recording.” OpenCourt, having survived two supreme-court challenges, livestreamed its first criminal trial from Quincy in September. More challenges followed, but OpenCourt prevailed and continues. As one justice wrote: “There is no reason to single OpenCourt out and impose on it a variety of restrictions that do not apply to other media organizations.” Said another: “It’s always been my position that the more the public knows about what happens in the judicial system, the more confidence they’ll have that the judicial system is protecting their rights.”



n August 2011, when word leaked that attorneys for the West Memphis Three may have reached an agreement with state prosecutors that would allow for the men’s release, Circuit Judge David Laser of Jonesboro, who would be presiding, expected “a media event.” And he was not looking forward to it. He had already announced a ban on cameras. But by then, the times — and technology — had changed. The role of cameras in the West Memphis case was about to come full circle. As requests from media poured in, Stephanie Harris of Little Rock, who works as communications counsel for the Arkansas Supreme Court, e-mailed Laser an offer to help. Harris, an attorney with newspaper experience, considers it part of her job to assist courts with the logistics of working with media. Besides abiding by the Supreme Court’s

rules, she said, her only constraint is that she remain neutral. Laser accepted her offer, and within about 24 hours the two coordinated a plan to allow a single pool camera in the courtroom. Harris praised the judge’s cooperation. “He was very aware of the interest in this case,” she said. “He was very sensitive to the feelings on all sides, and he wanted the public to have access. He wanted the media to have access and he wanted to have transparency.” “Although courts are open to the public,” she observed, “I would say that traditionally, there’s been a practical obscurity.” She understands courts’ many reasons for that, but adds, “I also think the media are responsible. They are sensitive to those issues, and if they’re allowed access, they sure don’t want to mess it up. So I think the [courts’] fears are valid, but I also think they can be addressed.” On the day that the West Memphis Three were freed, media of all kinds clambered outside the courthouse. The scene was almost a circus. But inside, Laser’s courtroom was calm. One pool TV camera, operated by Little Rock’s KARK, stood on a tripod in the jury box, a point from which it could record the judge, the three men who had agreed to enter a plea, and the rest of the courtroom. “It all went really smoothly,” Laser said later. Noting that he’s been a judge for 13 years, he added, “Except for the hullaballoo around the courthouse, it was like any other day in criminal court.” (For more about the OpenCourt pilot project, see:

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INSIDER, CONT. At least a few Republicans might be loath to stop the public flow of money. Rep. Justin Harris (R-West Fork) owns Growing God’s Kingdom pre-school in West Fork, which received $534,000 in state funding this year from Arkansas Better Chance. Sen. Johnny Key (R-Mountain Home) owns Open Arms Learning Center and Noah’s Ark Preschool in Mountain Home, which have also received ABC funds. Harris and Key have both come under fire for offering Bible study at the pre-schools despite the public funding, prompting new rules from the Arkansas Board of Education banning religious instruction from publicly funded pre-schools.

Take that Speaking of Harris, he offered the ultimate screw-you-we’re-better-at-sharing quote on Twitter early this week. Responding to the news that newly elected House Speaker Davy Carter (R-Cabot) had named Democrat Gabe Holmstrom as his chief of staff and created a new position for the current chief of staff, Bill Stovall, who is also a Democrat, Harris Tweeted: “In less than 30 days the (R) Majority has demonstrated more bipartisanship than the (D)s have done in 138 years!”

Westerman: Nursing cuts won’t be needed The cuts recommended by the Department of Human Services to plug the state Medicaid program’s budget shortfall in 2014 and 2015 have caused a stir because they include cuts to Level 3 nursing-facility care. The image of grannies getting the boot from nursing homes is, to say the least, not politically popular, but Republican lawmakers insist that these cuts will not really come to pass. “Personally, I don’t think it will have to be cut,” House Majority Leader Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Hot Springs) told the Times last week. “I think there are other ways to find the money in the system to make it more efficient and effective.” However, DHS’s proposed budget already factors in significant savings from the program’s new Payment Improvement Initiative, a major reform of the payment system that would seek efficiencies both in how providers are paid and how services are provided. This is worth highlighting: that idea of saving money by making Medicaid more efficient and combatting waste, fraud, and abuse — it’s already in the budget. Indeed, Arkansas Medicaid Director Andy Allison told the Times recently that the projected savings from the Initiative — $15 million in 2014 and $65 million in 2015 — are “very aggressive.” Republicans’ insistence that there are other ways for the state Medicaid program to save money comes despite a program review undertaken by Allison and his staff that examined every possible avenue of cuts. Allison, a health economist with more than a decade of experience researching and running Medicaid programs, called it the most thorough review ever undertaken at DHS. Allison has been adamant that, though the proposed cuts are harmful, they are the least harmful option legally available (some spending is locked in because of federal law). In other words, according to Allison, any “other ways” to


DECEMBER 5, 2012


trim money are even worse than what’s been proposed. Undaunted, Westerman says that he is “doing research to find out where we can provide a higher level of care at lower cost.” He said he was hopeful that “some of these reforms we’re studying” would help plug the hole in lieu of cutting Level-3 nursing-facility care, but said he was “not ready to start discussing them yet.” We asked him to call when he’s ready to go public with any ideas. We’ll see. How does Medicaid expansion fit into this discussion? Both Allison and Gov. Mike Beebe have said that projected savings from expansion could be used to plug part of the hole and avoid the cuts to nursing facilities and, as we reported last week, DHS recently projected expansion would save Arkansas much more money than originally thought: $700 million between 2014 and 2025. Westerman said that Medicaid expansion and the proposed DHS cuts were “two separate issues ... I don’t think we should be blending them. We need to focus on reform of the existing Medicaid system and make it sustainable before we talk about expanding it.”

Submit your Big Idea Later this month we’ll unveil our fourth annual Big Ideas for Arkansas issue. You probably know the gist by now: We’re looking for ideas that would transform Arkansas for the better. Feasibility is always a plus, but not a requirement. A few ideas from last year: Automatic voter registration at 18. An iconic performing arts center in Little Rock (from the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s Philip Mann). A post-graduate fellowship program for Arkansas’s collegiate entrepreneurs. Think you’ve got a big idea? Send an e-mail to lindseymillar@ with your idea this week to have it considered for the issue.

Travs finally make statement After avoiding questions from the Arkansas Times and other media and seeing a Facebook protest group called Take Me Out of the Ballpark swell to nearly 2,000 members, the Arkansas Travelers finally issued a media release Nov. 30 commenting on the Nov. 12 dismissal of general manager Pete Laven and assistant general manager David Kay. The release includes a statement from Travelers team president Russ Meeks, who has refused to answer questions from the media. Some of those involved with the Facebook protest have suggested that Meeks wields too much power over the fan-owned club. “The Executive Committee of the Travelers conducted an extensive review of the club’s operations and felt that a change in front office leadership was necessary to ensure the success of the ballclub in the long term,” Meeks said in the press release. “We want our fans, sponsors and partners to know that the Travelers are in the process of conducting a nationwide search to find the right person to lead the Travelers into the future.” The release notes that, as previously reported, Paul Allen is serving as interim general manager. It also announces a number of new hires: Leslie Baker as director of community relations and Jeff Daley, Ben Harrington and Eric Schrader as account executives.

Arkansas Times, Little Rock Film Festival, & Clinton School of Public Service present

"Cameras and the West Memphis 3" Two days of events

7 P.M. - DEC. 12 ARGENTA COMMUNITY THEATER ARGENTA FILM SERIES: 'PARADISE LOST: THE CHILD MURDERS AT ROBIN HOOD HILLS' Including a post-screening discussion with Jason Baldwin, director Joe Berlinger and Mara Leveritt RSVP for a free ticket at Visit Crush Wine Bar before the film and again for the after party • 318 N. Main Street

6 P.M. - DEC. 13 CLINTON SCHOOL FOR PUBLIC SERVICE "THE CASE FOR CAMERAS IN COURT" Panel discussion with Jason Baldwin, Joe Berlinger and Mara Leveritt" RSVP to the free event at or by calling 501-883-5238

Arts Entertainment AND


HAS DESIGNS ON SCHOOLS Conway hip-hop crew expanding audience.


entral Arkansas hip-hop crew Arkatext has had a helluva 2012, what with the spring offering them opening gigs for venerated rappers like Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Eminem protege Yelawolf. But the Faulkner County hip-hop trio is eyeing a new target audience. “We’re looking to do more shows at schools,” Ike Preston Linck, or “Ipl,” says, unflinching. Given Arkatext’s general distaste for being pigeonholed, it’s not shocking that these 30-somethings from Conway are now mining academia for a fresh batch of avid listeners. For more than a decade, Linck, John “Metrik” Garrett and Peyton Rose have embodied persistence in the face of the responsibilities of adulthood, 22

DECEMBER 5, 2012



carving out all sorts of atypical niches in the Arkansas hip-hop scene. These latest, off-the-path pursuits don’t just include tour stops on the education circuit. “It was ‘Cookie Monster’ that got us in” to Bryant’s Lawson Elementary in a recent show, Linck said. “We got there, and the kids knew all the lyrics.” You read that correctly: Arkatext penned and crafted a rather brilliant track about one of Sesame Street’s most notorious denizens. And thanks to its catchy hook and stripped instrumental style, it’s become something of a cult hit among the kids. That makes it all worthwhile, Garrett and Linck both said. “We have lots of material that’s positive, that’s not hardcore,” Linck explains. “It’s good to show kids that

hip-hop can be that way.” Garrett freely acknowledges that Arkatext hasn’t eschewed customary, raw hip-hop themes. After all, the three late-’90s Conway High grads didn’t exactly set out in the rap game with notebooks full of upbeat fare and surgically precise rhymes about childhood icons. “As you mature in your art, and in life, things just change,” Garrett said. “We are almost finished with another full-length album that’s more traditional hiphop, but more self-reflective and inspirational. It’s completely clean. We want to have more purpose.” With an estimated dozen albums under its belt (“A lot of them,” Linck quips, “we wouldn’t really want people to hear”) Arkatext is still riding high from the success of “Game & Fish,” another themed album that sprang from Rose’s sporting passion. Garrett doesn’t hunt and Linck has only been enamored with the outdoor life for a few years, but that didn’t stop the three from going full-tilt on a slickly produced, 16-track album with titles like “Chatterbait” and “Backstrap Assassins.” Rose said the inspiration was fittingly natural: “I’ve been fly-fishing like a madman for 10 years and hunting like I’m dying of hunger for eight.” “Peyton kind of originated the idea — well, he latched onto it,” Garrett said. Linck initially characterized “Game & Fish” as being a “gimmick” but paused, observing that the connotation wasn’t fair. “ ‘Gimmick’ may not be the right word,” he said. “It’s a concept album,” Garrett said. “And people have really responded to it.” That’s the measure of Arkatext’s jarring longevity in an industry where three easygoing white dudes with 8-to-5s (Linck is a claims adjuster, Garrett is a project manager at Acxiom and Rose is a community organizer for the Arkansas Public Policy Panel) typically wouldn’t thrive, much less excel. Acknowledging that their artistic ventures are a “hybrid” between hobby and hard labor, their upcoming slate of projects suggests they’re committed to expanding the scope of their unique brand. An album titled “Wolves” is on its way, along with a compilation of side projects called “Bang.” Even a spiritual album is in the offing, and what would you expect from a group whose manager, Matt Joyce, is a renowned Elvis impersonator? “We’re just trying to grow the audience,” Garrett said. The outreach has included a deft, fun paean to Razorback football, “Go Hogs Go”, which earned airtime on local radio and which the group has performed live at tailgate parties. “There are tons of people who are Hog fans who might not be hip-hop fans, and we want to change that,” Garrett said, then wryly noting the football squad’s misfortunes this fall joked, “We jinxed them, obviously.” Arkatext’s next gig of note is a songwriting showcase on Friday at the Alchemy Songwriting Competition in Conway (see To-Dos). To listen to some of the group’s material, and order a fresh-pressed copy of “Game & Fish,” visit

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A&E NEWS FLEETWOOD MAC IS SCHEDULED TO PLAY VERIZON ARENA on Friday, May 3. The lineup is the same as it was on the 2009 “Unleashed” tour: Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. Tickets are $39-$147 with no additional fees and they go on sale Monday, Dec. 17, at 10 a.m. Call 800-7453000 or go to to get yours. There’s a limit of eight tickets. Nicks told Rolling Stone that the band will likely have two new songs on the setlist and that “2013 is going to be the year of Fleetwood Mac.” Also, as with the “Unleashed” tour, the band isn’t promoting a new album, so expect to hear plenty of hits from the band’s deep catalog. Buckingham told Rolling Stone that “We always have to play ‘Dreams,’ ‘Rhiannon,’ ‘Don’t Stop,’ ‘Tusk,’ ‘Big Love,’ ‘Landslide’ and all our most famous songs,” and that “there are areas of our catalog that are more under-explored. Maybe we’ll play more songs from ‘Tusk.’ ”

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SPEAKING OF VERIZON ARENA, RICK ROSS — The Teflon Don himself — will be at Verizon Sunday, Dec. 23. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. with openers Ballhawg featuring Playboy Shane and Ekco. Tickets go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. and they’re $71-$115, with no other fees added. Call 800-745-3000 or go to to get yours. YOU KNOW THAT FAINT, YET UNDENIABLY AUDIBLE thumping sound you’ve been hearing lately? No, not that one. We don’t know anything about that one (you might wanna talk to a doctor about it, though). We’re talking about the other sound you’ve been hearing. That one is the Arkansas Times pounding the annual Showcase drum. It’s a sort of rhythmic siren call for Arkansas folks who play original music and enjoy good times. That’s right, if you fit that description, we want you and your band (or just you if it’s, you know, just you) to enter the 2013 Arkansas Times Musician’s Showcase. We’ve gotten quite a few entries already, but like a pack of ravenous wolves descending on a big plate of nachos, we’re simply insatiable, so go ahead and send us your tunes, and maybe some nachos, if you can figure out a way to do that over the Internet or through the mail. There will be great prizes for the winners, plus it’s just a lot of fun. For more info, check

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6 p.m. Argenta. Free.

While the Times staff tends to prefer being anchored to a rocksolid bar stool while drowning our considerable sorrows in suds, we can’t help but see the charm in a pub crawl, one of those shambling pilgrimages that — in our experience, at least — inevitably ends in prayer at the porcelain altar. Now we’ve got a crawl of our own, a sorta-spinoff of our recent, wildly successful Arkansas Times Craft Beer Festival. On Wednesday, Schlafly Beer of St. Louis and the Times will shepherd a North Little Rock pub crawl to benefit the Argenta Arts Foundation, with specials on Schlafly beers. First stop will be Cornerstone Pub and Grill, where Schlafly Brewery co-founder Dan Kopman will debut a rare craft beer for the brew-geek faithful. Second hour will be at Reno’s Argenta Cafe with yet another rare Schlafly brew on the menu, then a wobble up the street to Cregeen’s Irish Pub for the third hour and yet another rarity. There will be specialty and market beers at each stop, with Kopman answering questions and talking about the secrets of brewing. Bonus: Free Schlafly pint glasses while supplies last, and people who show up at all three bars will be eligible for a free raffle to win more Schalfly’s gear, including T-shirts, caps and a personalized neon sign. DK

DRINK IN HIS HAND: Outlaw country singer Eric Church plays at Verizon Arena Thursday.



7:30 p.m. Verizon Arena. $49-$59.

Now this right here is a pairing of what Nashville tells us is Outlaw Country. Firstly, you’ve got Eric Church, who’s written songs like “Drink In My Hand,” “Hungover & Hard Up,” “Jack Daniels” and “I’m Gettin’ Stoned” (and those are just off his most recent album). When I saw that he has a tune called “Two Pink Lines” I thought, man, this dude really is an outlaw. But alas, the lines Church refers to are those on a home pregnancy test, not the kind that got Ty Herndon

FRIDAY 12/7 12:30 a.m. Midtown. $5.

This weekend, Central Arkansas gets not one but two shows from Eric Sommer, without a doubt one of the most battle-tested road warriors on the singer/ songwriter circuit today, and certainly one of the most fleet-fingered guit-pickers around. He’s got some serious range, from power-pop to upbeat slide blues ravers to earnest Americana and chiming Fahey-type instrumental fingerpicking. Sommer usually plays Midtown when DECEMBER 5, 2012

in Grant County. Or at least that’s what they tell me. Moore loves guns so much he wrote a song called “Guns.” When the Times staff heard it last year, we couldn’t resist pokin’ a little bit of good-natured fun. How could we resist, especially with bons mots like “Why don’t you go bust them boys that’s sellin’ crack” and “Come on man it ain’t like I’m a slingin’ ’em on the block.” Get it? Wink-wink. Moore’s the right kind of gun-owner, not like, you know, those other ones. Opening the show is Kip Moore, no relation to Justin, so probably don’t ask about it if you run into him. RB




and Jeff Bates in trouble. Still, the song fits into a couple of well-worn country modes that Church has down pat: songs that celebrate partying and songs that lament the repercussions of partying. Second on this bill is Arkie Justin Moore. Now, your big-city, pinko, commie, bleedin’ heart, Democrat-Partylovin’, Kombucha-drinkin’, yoga-doin’ gun-grabbers probably don’t care too much for ol’ Moore because he loves guns and freedom. He’s a small-town feller (raised in Poyen) who only moved to Nashville on account of it’s hard to have a big-time country career there


he comes through the area, and from what I hear he’s built up a good following there. But if Midtown’s smoky 12:30 a.m. start time is a little on the late side for you, you can check out Sommer at a free 18-and-older show at 7 p.m. Sunday at Stickyz. He’s got new tunes in store, including the sunny-sounding “Sunny Afghanistan,” a mocking paean to the life of a gun runner, “dealing automatic weapons by the ton” and “Doin’ Wrong,” a tale of a plague of bad luck that ends with the protagonist “livin’ in a Laundromat.” RB


7:30 p.m. The Ford Theater. $10.

The second annual Alchemy Songwriting Competition kicks off Friday in Conway, featuring 10 finalists who will perform their original tunes for a panel of judges that includes Academy Award winner and Arkansas native Mary Steenburgen (who’s been writing songs herself, lately), singer/songwriter Treva Blomquist and Andy Davis, founder of the Music Empowers Foundation. The com-

petition is also a fundraiser for Blackbird Academy of Arts, an arts education nonprofit based in Conway. The grand prize is a trip to Los Angeles and a recording sesh with producer Tim Pagnotta. On deck for the competition are Arkatext of Conway (see page 22), Rachel Pearl of Springhill, Tenn., Tom Mix and Shawn Keeter of Mt. Vernon, Sally Howell of Benton, Half Priced Hearts of Conway, The Outset of Tulsa, Jordan Anderson of Lonoke, Austin Jones of Little Rock, Brandon Alanis of Cabot and Allison Pierce of Little Rock. RB



White Water Tavern has a rowdy night in store, with genuine country-punk hellraiser Joe Buck, blues-rockers The Hooten Hallers and local hardcore troupe The God City Destroyers, 9 p.m., $7.




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

Pinkish Black hail from Fort Worth (my old stomping grounds — shouts out to West Creek Elementary, Kincaid’s Hamburgers and the Tandy Subway [R.I.P.]). Their self-titled debut full-length came out earlier this year on the Handmade Birds label and they recently signed to Century Media. The shorthand on this duo is that they play doom metal with synthesizers in lieu of guitars. That’s true, but this is doom metal with a host of other sinister sounds clawing their way into the mix, e.g. the buzzing evil of Suicide, the narcoticized droning of Spacemen 3, the sturm und drang of Joy Division at their most alienated and furious and the outer space shoegazing of maybe Bailterspace. Bursts of black metal filth rip to the surface occasionally (“Tell Her I’m Dead,” for example), and there’s a coldwave/goth streak throughout the record. The band has a penchant for the darkly dramatic. Singer Daron Beck has a haunting bari-

METAL BUZZ: Fort Worth metal duo Pinkish Black plays at Downtown Music Hall Friday.

tone that often is stacked up on top of itself in multi-tracked walls, sounding like the chanting of the world’s most bummedout monks. Droning synths and a fiendish Theremin-like tone create huge waves of sound, reminding me at times of an evil, bad-trip version of Silver Apples. Every once in a while though, as on “Passerby” and “Tastes Like Blood,” a ray of major key sunlight cuts through the dense clouds of hateful darkness for a moment. Despite

the preceding litany of comparisons, Pinkish Black really does possess a distinct, cohesive sound, one that’s a good deal more than the sum of the band’s influences. Pallbearer, by this point, needs little in the way of introduction in these pages. The band has had a huge year, releasing a universally adored debut album and touring the country with some of metal’s leading lights. Opening the show are Russellville post-rockers Sound of the Mountain. RB

Siberian Orchestra tickets around the holidays. Big, loud and flashy, with light shows and spectacle that would make Gene Simmons of KISS fire his production designer, TSO definitely takes Christmas music out of the realm of

Grandma sweaters with embroidered reindeer and into “Mistress Claus in her red latex catsuit” territory. Definitely a good time for kids, especially if they’ve only heard the Muzak version of most Christmas tunes. DK


TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA 8 p.m. Verizon Arena. $59-$80.

While I haven’t really liked a rock/ classical music mashup since Falco’s big 1985 hit “Rock Me Amadeus,” I get why people tend to clamor for Trans-



8 p.m. White Water Tavern. $15.

The genesis of this event was as a celebration of Last Chance Records founder Travis Hill’s birthday. But it’s grown into a three-day blowout that’s as much a gift for everyone else in the roots/Americana music community as it is one for Hill himself. Hill has joined forces with the White Water Tavern and Mary Chamberlin’s Tree of Knowledge distribution for this bonanza of barroom country rock. It starts off Friday with singer/songwriter Austin Lucas, Memphis rock ’n’ rollers John Paul Keith & The One Four Fives, Texas rabble-rousers Slobberbone, Ohio cow-punkers Two Cow Garage, and the soulful country rock of Tennessee’s Glossary. Saturday will see an acoustic in-store performance from Lucas, Brent

HANGIN’ OUT: Glossary plays at this weekend’s White Water Tavern Holiday Hangout.

Best of Slobberbone, Jason Kutchma of Red Collar and Joey and Kelly Kneiser of Glossary. That night’s lineup includes Little Rock’s finest, Kevin Kerby, with Kutchma, Two Cow Garage, Glossary and Slobberbone again, and a high likelihood of an all-hands-on-deck jam session with all those folks. Sunday sees the welcome return of the “Breakfast, Books & Booze” brunch book and record sale. That starts at noon and there’s no cover

’til after 5 p.m., when there’ll be acoustic music from Iron Tongue, Andy Warr, Bonnie Montgomery, Adam Faucett, Joshua of Velvet Kente, Shane Sweeney, Micah Schnabel, John Moreland and Cory Branan. Oh, and if all that weren’t enough, Jonathan Wilkins will be satisfying your hunger for delicious food from the kitchen with a variety of specials that I’m told will include barbecue, catfish and grits and a big birthday cake. RB

All you metal maniacs can get a Metallica fix, with tribute act Battery — Masters of Metallica, 18-and-older, Revolution, 9 p.m., $5. White Water Tavern hosts “Comin’ on Christmas: Little Rockers Sing Songs of Joy and Peace,” featuring Isaac Alexander, Adam Faucett, John Willis, Amy Garland, Sydney Hunsicker, Phillip Huddleston, Mandy McBryde, Audrey Dean Kelley, Phillip Huddleston and more, with readings by Michael Inscoe, Rhett Brinkley and Matt Carey, 9:30 p.m. Cocktails for Crohn’s is a fundraiser for the Arkansas chapter of Crohn’s Colitis Foundation of America. The 18-and-older show features Amy Garland and Nick Devlin, Stickyz, 6 p.m., $8. The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center hosts an evening in remembrance of legendary jazz pianist Charles Thomas with Chris Parker, Joe Cripps and Brian Withers performing, 7 p.m., free (but RSVP to 683-3593 required). The Funkanites play at The Joint in North Little Rock, 9 p.m., $7. The Little Rock Wind Symphony’s “A Christmas Celebration” is at Second Presbyterian Church, 7:30 p.m., $8-$10, free for students. The “Tie One On” fundraiser for Our House homeless shelter includes food, drinks, entertainment and more. Pavilion in the Park, 6 p.m., $55.


Ballet Arkansas presents its production of the holiday classic “The Nutcracker,” Robinson Center Music Hall, 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, $15-$20. Fayetteville’s The 1 Oz. Jig plays Vino’s, 9 p.m., $5. The Arkansas Chamber Singers present “Singing for Joy,” 7:30 p.m., Old State House Museum, free (see calendar for additional performances). Electrorockers Super BOB play Juanita’s, with openers After the Fifth and Cinders to Ascension, 9 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of. Maxine’s has an evening of tasty psych-blues, with Tyrannosaurus Chicken and Deep Fried Squirrel, 8 p.m., $5 adv., $7 door. Weakness for Blondes plays The Afterthought, 9 p.m., $7. Low Key Arts screens the “Valtari Film Experiment,” which consists of several short films to accompany the release of the new album from Sigur Ros, all ages, 8:30 p.m., $7.


The Shannon Boshears Band brings blues rock to The Afterthought, 9 p.m., $7. Maxine’s hosts singer/ songwriters Amy LaVere and Adam Faucett, 8 p.m., $5 adv., $7 door.


The riotously funny musical act/comedy troupe 10 Horse Johnson is at The Joint, 8 p.m., $10, and again on Dec. 13, 8 p.m., $10.

DECEMBER 5, 2012


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



Acoustic Open Mic. The Afterthought, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www. Affiance, Sirens & Sailors, Deception of a Ghost. Downtown Music Hall, 7 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of. 211 W. Capitol. 501-376-1819. Brian & Nick. Cajun’s Wharf, through Dec. 26: 5 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. Dr. Kelly Johnson. Johnson will perform with the UCA Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band. Reynolds Performance Hall, UCA, 7:30 p.m., free. 350 S. Donaghey, Conway. Gil Franklin & Friends. Holiday Inn, North Little Rock, first Tuesday, Wednesday of every month. 120 W. Pershing Blvd., NLR. Jim Dickerson. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, through Dec. 6, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. Joe Buck, The Hooten Hallers, The God City Destroyers. White Water Tavern, 9 p.m., $7. 2500 W. 7th. 501-375-8400. Karaoke at Khalil’s. Khalil’s Pub, 7 p.m. 110 S. Shackleford Road. 501-224-0224. Karaoke with Big John Miller. Denton’s Trotline, 8 p.m. 2150 Congo Road, Benton. 501-3151717. Land of Mines, Pose No Threat. All-ages. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 7:30 p.m. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. Live Karaoke and Dueling Piano. Featuring Dell Smith and William Staggers. Montego, 9 p.m. 315 Main St. 501-372-1555. Michael Carenbauer and Bill Huntington. RJ Tao, 7 p.m.; Dec. 12, 7 p.m.; Dec. 19, 7 p.m.; Dec. 26, 7 p.m. 5501 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-603-0080. Ricky David Tripp. Rocket Twenty One, 5:30 p.m. 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-603-9208. www. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 5 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474.


The Joint Venture. Improv comedy group. The Joint, 8 p.m., $5. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. Standup Open Mic Night. Hosted by local come­di­ans of the com­edy col­lec­tive Come­di­ ans of NWA. UARK Bowl, 9 p.m., free. 644 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-301-2030. Valarie Storm. The Loony Bin, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 7, 7:30 and 10 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555.


Little Rock Bop Club. Beginning dance lessons for ages 10 and older. Singles welcome. Bess


DECEMBER 5, 2012


MUSICAL DREAMER: “Billy Elliot the Musical,” based on the hit British film, opens Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville. The production runs through Sunday (see calendar for more details). Chisum Stephens Community Center, 7 p.m., $4 for members, $7 for guests. 12th & Cleveland streets. 501-350-4712. www.littlerockbopclub.


IRS Tax Workshop for Small and Medium-Sized Non-Profit Organizations. At the Donaghey Student Center, Ledbetter Rooms A, B and C. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Breakfast and lunch provided. UALR, 9 a.m.:30 p.m., $30. 2801 S. University Ave. 501-569-8977. “Lights in the Landscape.” Holiday lighting display. Closed Christmas Day. Garvan Woodland Gardens, through Dec. 31, 5 p.m., $5-$10. 550 Akridge Road, Hot Springs. 501-262-9300. www. River Market ice skating. Go to for rink times. River Market Pavilions, Continues through Jan. 6, $9. 400 President Clinton Ave. 375-2552. Schlafly Pub Crawl. Also includes stops at Reno’s Argenta Cafe and Cregeen’s Irish Pub, with one rare Schlafly beer at each stop as well as Schlafly beer specials, raffles and more. Cornerstone Pub & Grill, 6 p.m. 314 Main St., NLR. 501-3741782. Special Gallery Tour: “Paint Matters.” Presented by Tyson Scholar Matthew Bailey. Register online. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, 1 p.m.; Dec. 7, 6:30 p.m., free. 600 Museum Way, Bentonville. 479-418-5700.


Legacies & Lunch: Annie Abrams. Arkansas Studies Institute, 12 p.m. 401 President Clinton Ave. 501-320-5700. Lynn Stout. The Cornell Law School professor and author of “The Shareholder Value Myth” will discuss her work. Clinton School of Public Service, 6 p.m., free. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501-683-5239.


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



“An Evening of Remembering and Celebrating the Legendary Charles Thomas.” Featuring music from Chris Parker, Joe Cripps and Brian Withers. Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, 6 p.m., free, donations encouraged. 501 W. 9th St. 501-683-3593. Battery — Masters of Metallica. 18-and-older. Revolution, 9 p.m., $5. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. Brian Martin. Maxine’s, 8 p.m., free. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. Chamber Music Society of Little Rock Presents

Narek Arutyunian. Includes works by Brahms, Bernstein, Debussy and more. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 7:30 p.m., $10-$25. 1000 N. Mississippi Ave. Cocktails for Crohn’s. 18-and-older show featuring Amy Garland and Nick Devlin. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 6 p.m., $8. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. “Comin’ on Christmas: Little Rockers Sing Songs of Joy and Peace.” Featuring John Willis, Amy Garland, Sydney Hunsicker Phillip Huddleston, Mandy McBryde, Audrey Dean Kelley and many more. White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m. 2500 W. 7th. 501-375-8400. www. Eric Church, Justin Moore and Kip Moore. Verizon Arena, 7:30 p.m., $49-$59. 1 Alltel Arena Way, NLR. 501-975-9001. Funkanites. The Joint, 9 p.m., $7. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. thejointinlittlerock. 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. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. John Sutton Band (headliner), Brian Ramsey (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-3755351. Karaoke. Zack’s Place, 8 p.m. 1400 S. University Ave. 501-664-6444. Karaoke night. Cornerstone Pub & Grill, through Dec. 27: 8 p.m. 314 Main St., NLR. 501-374-1782. Karaoke Thursday. Twelve Modern Lounge, first Thursday of every month, free before 9 p.m., $5 after 9 p.m. 1900 W. Third St. 501-301-1200. Karaoke with Kevin & Cara. MacDaddy’s Bar and Grill, 9 p.m., free. 314 N. Maple St., NLR. Karaoke with Larry the Table Guy. The Afterthought, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. Krush Thursdays with DJ Kavaleer. Club Climax, free before 11 p.m. 824 W. Capitol. 501-554-3437. Little Rock Wind Symphony: “A Christmas Celebration.” Second Presbyterian Church, 7:30 p.m., $8-$10, free for students. 600 Pleasant Valley Drive. Open jam with The Port Arthur Band. Parrot Beach Cafe, 9 p.m. 9611 MacArthur Drive, NLR. 771-2994. Queen Anne’s Revenge, Mainland Divide, The Supporting Cast. Downtown Music Hall, 8 p.m., $5. 211 W. Capitol. 501-376-1819. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 5 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474.


Valarie Storm. The Loony Bin, through Dec. 6, 7:30 p.m.; through Dec. 8, 7:30 and 10 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501228-5555.


Soul Spirit Zumba with Ashan. Dunbar Community Center, 6 p.m., $5. 1001 W. 16th St. 501-376-1084.


Brown Bag Lecture: “The Spence Family and the Civil War in 1862.” Old State House

Museum, 12 p.m., free. 500 Clinton Ave. 501324-9685. Hillcrest Shop & Sip. Shops and restaurants offer discounts, later hours, and live music. Hillcrest, first Thursday of every month, 5-10 p.m. P.O.Box 251522. 501-666-3600. “Lights in the Landscape.” Holiday lighting display. Closed Christmas Day. Garvan Woodland Gardens, through Dec. 31, 5-9 p.m., $5-$10. 550 Akridge Road, Hot Springs. 501-262-9300. www. Nguyen Quoc Cuong. Presentation from the ambassador of Vietnam to the United States. Clinton School of Public Service, 12 p.m. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501-683-5239. www. Our Kwanzaa Celebration. Includes a variety of events and performances. Thursday’s event is $25, Friday and Saturday are pay-what-youcan. Shorter College, Dec. 6, 6 p.m.; Dec. 7, 7 p.m.; Dec. 8, 2 p.m. 604 Locust St., NLR. 501374-6305. River Market ice skating. Go to for rink times. River Market Pavilions, Continues through Jan. 6, $9. 400 President Clinton Ave. 375-2552. “Tie One On.” Fundraiser for Our House homeless shelter includes food, drinks, entertainment and more. Pavilion in the Park, 6 p.m., $55. 8201 Cantrell Road.


MFA students from the University of Central Arkansas read original works. Students read their poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. Faulkner County Library, 7 p.m. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-327-7482.



The 1 Oz. Jig. Vino’s, 9 p.m., $5. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. 30-Something Party Fridays. Twelve Modern Lounge, first Friday of every month, free before 10 p.m., $5 after 10 p.m. 1900 W. Third St. 501301-1200. Alchemy Songwriting Competition. The Ford Theater, 7:30 p.m., $10. 1020 Front St., Conway. 501-358-1755. Arkansas Chamber Singers: Singing for Joy. Old State House Museum, Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 9, 3 p.m., free. 500 Clinton Ave. 501-377-1121. Chasing Daylight. 18-and-older. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9:30 p.m., $5. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. 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. Eric Sommer. Midtown Billiards, 12:30 a.m., $5. 1316 Main St. 501-372-9990. Friday night at Sway. Sway, 9 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-907-2582. Just Sayin’. Denton’s Trotline, 9 p.m., $6. 2150 Congo Road, Benton. 501-315-1717. Mayday By Midnight. West End Smokehouse and Tavern, 10 p.m., $5. 215 N. Shackleford. 501-224-7665. Pallbearer, Pinkish Black, Sound of the Mountain. Downtown Music Hall, 8 p.m., $7. 211 W. Capitol. 501-376-1819. downtownmu- Ramona & The On Call Band (headliner), Richie Johnson (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. Ronnie Simmons Band. Thirst n’ Howl, 9 p.m., free. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501-379-8189. www. Starr Tippy. Cornerstone Pub & Grill, 9 p.m. 314 Main St., NLR. 501-374-1782. Super BOB, After the Fifth, Cinders to Ascension. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 9 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. Thomas East. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, Dec. 7, 7 p.m.; Dec. 8, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. Tragikly White. 18-and-older. Revolution, 9:30 p.m., $7. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-8230090. Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Verizon Arena, 8 p.m., $44-$89. 1 Alltel Arena Way, NLR. 501-975-9001. Tyrannosaurus Chicken, Deep Fried Squirrel. Maxine’s, 8 p.m., $5 adv., $7 door. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. Weakness for Blondes. The Afterthought, 9 p.m., $7. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. White Water Tavern Holiday Hangout. Featuring Austin Lucas, John Paul Keith & The One Four Fives, Slobberbone, Two Cow Garage, Glossary. White Water Tavern, 8 p.m., $15. 2500 W. 7th. 501-375-8400. “YOLO.” Featuring four DJs and beach volleyball, 18-and-older. Flying DD, $5. 4601 S. University. 501-773-9990.


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


Ballet Arkansas presents “The Nutcracker.” Robinson Center Music Hall, Dec. 7-8, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 9, 2 p.m., $15-$20. Markham and Broadway. Little Rock Salsa Night. Juanita’s, 10 p.m., $5. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www.

Frances Flower Shop, Inc. Located in beautiful downtown Little Rock two blocks from the Arkansas State Capitol building. We send flowers worldwide through Teleflora. Proudly serving the Greater Little Rock area since 1950. 1222 West Capitol • little RoCk, aR 72201 501.372.2203 • WWW.fRanCesfloWeRshop.Com



90th Annual Time & Talent Fair. Holiday lunch is Friday at 11:30 a.m., $8. First Presbyterian Church, Dec. 7, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; Dec. 8, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. 800 Scott St. 501-372-1804. Arkansas Craft Guild’s 34th Annual Christmas Showcase. Statehouse Convention Center, Dec. 7, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Dec. 8, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Dec. 9, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 7 Statehouse Plaza. Holiday Tour of Homes. Begins with a breakfast at Wildwood, followed by tour of several Little Rock area homes. Wildwood Park for the Performing Arts, 9 a.m. p.m., $25-$75. 20919 Denny Road. CONTINUED ON PAGE 28


DECEMBER 5, 2012


AFTER DARK, CONT. 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. “Lights in the Landscape.” Holiday lighting display. Closed Christmas Day. Garvan Woodland Gardens, through Dec. 31, 5-9 p.m., $5-$10. 550 Akridge Road, Hot Springs. 501-262-9300. www. Our Kwanzaa Celebration. See Dec. 6. River Market ice skating. Go to for rink times. River Market Pavilions, Continues through Jan. 6, $9. 400 President Clinton Ave. 375-2552. Sandwiching in History: Tower Building. Tower Building, 12 p.m. Fourth and Center Streets. Special Gallery Tour: “Paint Matters.” Presented by Tyson Scholar Matthew Bailey. Register online. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, 6:30 p.m., free. 600 Museum Way, Bentonville. 479-418-5700.


“Valtari Film Experiment.” Screening of short films to accompany the release of the new album from Sigur Ros. All-ages. Low Key Arts, 8:30 p.m., $7. 118 Arbor St., Hot Springs.



AC Connections. Cornerstone Pub & Grill, 9 p.m. 314 Main St., NLR. 501-374-1782. Almost InFamous. Grumpy’s Too, 9 p.m., free. 1801 Green Mountain Drive. 501-225-3768. Amy Lavere, Adam Faucett. Maxine’s, 8 p.m., $5 adv., $7 door. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. Arkansas Chamber Singers: Singing for Joy. Old State House Museum, Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 9, 3 p.m., free. 500 Clinton Ave. 501-3771121. Bad Mustard. West End Smokehouse and Tavern, 10 p.m., $5. 215 N. Shackleford. 501224-7665. Boom Kinetic. 18-and-older. Revolution, 9:30 p.m., $10. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-8230090. Brandon Peck, Ewell, Spencer Rx, Stetra. Also featuring Dominique Sanchez and The Discovery Dolls. Discovery Nightclub, 9 p.m. 1021 Jessie Road. 501-664-4784. Brent Best, Jason Kutchma, Austin Lucas, Joey and Kelly Kneiser. Arkansas Record-CD Exchange, 3 p.m. 4212 MacArthur Drive, NLR. 501-753-7877. Club Nights at 1620 Savoy. See Dec. 7.

Hazynation. 18-and-older. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9:30 p.m., $8. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. Joe Pitts. Thirst n’ Howl, 9 p.m., free. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501-379-8189. Karaoke at Khalil’s. Khalil’s Pub, 7 p.m. 110 S. Shackleford Road. 501-224-0224. Karaoke. Casa Mexicana, 7 p.m. 6929 JFK Blvd., NLR. 501-835-7876. Karaoke with Kevin & Cara. All-ages, on the restaurant side. Revolution, 9 p.m.-12:45 a.m., free. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. K.I.S.S. Saturdays. Featuring DJ Silky Slim. Dress code enforced. Sway, 10 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-492-9802. Livid, Playing with Karma, Hourglass, Wreckless Endeaver, Calcabrina. Downtown Music Hall, 8 p.m., $7. 211 W. Capitol. 501-3761819. Matthew Dickson, Chris Parker and Ted Seibs. 1620 Savoy, through Dec. 29: 10 p.m., free. 1620 Market St. 501-221-1620. Mayday By Midnight. Denton’s Trotline, 9 p.m. 2150 Congo Road, Benton. 501-315-1717. Mondo Boogie (headliner), Greg Madden (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-3755351. The Ozarks Chorale. The Auditorium, 7:30 p.m. 36 Main St., Eureka Springs. 479-366-4996. Pickin’ Porch. Bring your instrument. All ages welcome. Faulkner County Library, 9:30 a.m. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-327-7482. www. Shannon Boshears Band. The Afterthought, 9 p.m., $7. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. Singer/Songwriters Showcase. Parrot Beach Cafe, 2-7 p.m., free. 9611 MacArthur Drive, NLR. 771-2994. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 9 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. www. Thomas East. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. White Water Tavern Holiday Hangout. Featuring Kevin Kerby, JKutchma, Two Cow Garage, Glossary and Slobberbone. White Water Tavern, 8 p.m., $15. 2500 W. 7th. 501375-8400.


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



Ballet Arkansas presents “The Nutcracker.” Robinson Center Music Hall, through Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 9, 2 p.m., $15-$20. Markham and Broadway. Little Rock West Coast Dance Club. Dance lessons. Singles welcome. Ernie Biggs, 7 p.m., $2. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-247-5240. www.


90th Annual Time & Talent Fair. Holiday lunch is Friday at 11:30 a.m., $8. First Presbyterian Church, 9 a.m. p.m. 800 Scott St. 501-3721804. Argenta Farmers Market. Argenta, 7 a.m.-12 p.m. Main Street, NLR. Arkansas Craft Guild’s 34th Annual Christmas Showcase. Statehouse Convention Center, Dec. 8, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Dec. 9, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 7 Statehouse Plaza. “Christmas in the Wild.” Meet Santa and enjoy treats, hot cocoa, arts and crafts, and more. Reservations are necessary. Little Rock Zoo, Dec. 8, 9:30 a.m.; Dec. 15, 9:30 a.m., $10 members, $15 nonmembers. 1 Jonesboro Drive. 501-666-2406. Falun Gong meditation. Allsopp Park, 9 a.m., free. Cantrell & Cedar Hill Roads. Hillcrest Farmers Market. Pulaski Heights Baptist Church, 7 a.m.-12 p.m. 2200 Kavanaugh Blvd. “Holly Trolley Day.” Free trolley rides from 8:30 a.m.-midnight. Includes special events at River Market on Ice all day. River Market Pavilions, 8:30 a.m. 400 President Clinton Ave. 375-2552. Jingle Bell Run 5K run/walk. Benefits the Arthritis Foundation. Garvan Woodland Gardens, 7:30 a.m. 550 Akridge Road, Hot Springs. “Lights in the Landscape.” Holiday lighting display. Closed Christmas Day. Garvan Woodland Gardens, through Dec. 31, 5-9 p.m., $5-$10. 550 Akridge Road, Hot Springs. 501-262-9300. Our Kwanzaa Celebration. See Dec. 6. River Market ice skating. Go to for rink times. River Market Pavilions, Continues through Jan. 6, $9. 400 President Clinton Ave. 375-2552. White Wagon Farm Retrospective and Holiday Celebration. Art show and crafts sale, with refreshments and music by Loyd and Barbara Henson on Saturday from 1-3 p.m. White Wagon Farm, Dec. 8, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Dec. 9, 1-5 p.m., free. 24627 Hwy. 365 N., NLR. 501-352-9473. whitewagonfarm. com.


“Age of Champions.” Documentary about the National Senior Olympics, includes talk with the film’s producer, Keith Ochwat. River Market Tower, 1:30 p.m., free. 315 Rock St. 501-379-8957.



Afton: Dusty Hanes, Native Son, Strayaway Incorporated, Drunkin’ Kol. All-ages. Downtown Music Hall, 7 p.m., $11. 211 W. Capitol. 501-376-1819. Arkansas Chamber Singers: Singing for Joy. Old State House Museum, 3 p.m., free. 500 Clinton Ave. 501-377-1121. “A Celtic Christmas.” Concert by Celtic Crossroads. Reynolds Performance Hall, UCA, 3 p.m., $23-$40. 350 S. Donaghey, Conway. Civil Twilight, Harlo Maxwell, Audrey Dean Kelley. Juanita’s, 8 p.m., $10 adv., $14 day of. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www. Community Orchestra of Carroll County. Christmas concert. The Auditorium, 2:30 p.m. 36 Main St., Eureka Springs. Eric Sommer. 18-and-older. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 7 p.m., free. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. Hurt, Smile Empty Soul, Black Oxygen. Allages. Revolution, 8 p.m., $12 adv., $15 day of. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. Karaoke with DJ Sara. Hardrider Bar & Grill, 7 p.m., free. 6613 John Harden Drive, Cabot. 501-982-1939 . Michael Eubanks. Lone Star Steakhouse, 7 p.m. 10901 N. Rodney Parham Rd. 501-227-8898. “A Real Music Lovers Christmas.” Featuring Rodney Block & The Real Music Lovers with special guests. Cocktail/semi-formal attire. Montego, 9 p.m., $15. 315 Main St. 501-3721555. Sunday Jazz Brunch with Ted Ludwig and Joe Cripps. Vieux Carre, 11 a.m. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196.


Ballet Arkansas presents “The Nutcracker.” Robinson Center Music Hall, 2 p.m., $15-$20. Markham and Broadway.


Arkansas Craft Guild’s 34th Annual Christmas Showcase. Statehouse Convention Center, 10 a.m. p.m. 7 Statehouse Plaza. CONTINUED ON PAGE 31

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and I think everyone else is too, because it’s just a riot to play. If I could humbly suggest another addition to your catalog, I’d love to hear your take on “Bertha” by the Grateful Dead. “Bertha” by the Grateful Dead. Really? That’s interesting because I’ve never done a Grateful Dead song. I was imagining that you hadn’t. But we need to explore all frontiers. You are The Frontier Circus. That’s right, and I am looking for some new tunes, because once this thing comes out we’ll need new tunes.

THE FRONTIER CIRCUS: From left, Victor El Valente, Lightnin’ Lou, Daredevil Dave and Frontier Dan.

New Frontiers Frontier Circus takes on Nancy & Lee, Velvets, Cher, Glen Campbell on new EP. BY ROBERT BELL


he Frontier Circus has a Christmas present for all you fans of twisted, feedback-drenched garage rock: a four-song self-titled EP out Tuesday on Max Recordings. The follow-up to the band’s 2011 LP “A Little Bit Psycho … A Little Bit Western” has covers of songs by Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra, The Velvet Underground, Cher and Glen Campbell. The band’s lineup includes Frontier Dan (Danny Grace), Daredevil Dave (Dave Hoffpauir), Lightnin’ Lou (Louisa Rook) and Victor El Valente (Jason Weinheimer). The Times caught up with Frontier Dan to chat about the record. You played in The Rockin’ Guys for a long time, a band that also mutilated the rock canon. We like to think that we helped move it along. What prompted you to start messing with country in The Frontier Circus? I don’t know if we talked about this before, but it was just something to do. I’ve always liked all these songs, this particular sort of country music. I have no interest in most of what’s coming out there today, but all these sorts of songs, especially people like George Jones and 30

DECEMBER 5, 2012


Waylon Jennings and those guys, I’ve always listened to that music. I started a band with my friend Lindsay Moore, a.k.a. Red Neckerson; he’s the king of real country music. We call it the old sad stuff, and when he had his radio show “The Radio Roundup” on KABF, I’d call him up and say, “Red, play me some of that old sad stuff.” It’s the kind of stuff that The Frontier Circus is so fond of doing from that genre of music. Some of the country things we’re doing aren’t necessarily that old stuff. We’ve added a Gram Parsons tune to the mix. Which Gram Parsons tune? Tuesday night we’ll do “Sin City.” We just added that and we just added a version of “Long Black Veil” that we had been toying with. We went back and really committed to it. We also added, it’s not a country song, but heck what is Leonard Cohen anyway? We’re doing “Tower of Song,” that great Cohen tune. We try to pick great songs and songs that other people probably aren’t doing because they don’t have a cover band. We have the luxury of an incredible cornucopia of tunes that we can select. We’re not just bound by our unfortunate and inadequate songwriting skills. We can just choose great songs. And so I don’t think we have a song in our set

that’s not in some way a great song. That’s what we tried to do on the EP, is go to the studio and make sure that we got some of the songs that we’d been doing since the LP came out, so it didn’t get lost. That’s why we quickly did this project. We did it in a very short period of time. Back in February of this year, I told you that you guys needed to cover some Lee Hazlewood. So, imagine my surprise when I saw “Some Velvet Morning” listed on your new EP. Was this already in the works or am I just a Svengali-like tastemaker? You and I were talking, I think we were talking about loving that “Nancy & Lee” album. I’d been listening to it and I wanted to do that song. I mentioned it to the band and I thought they’d go, “Oh God, no.” Man, Louisa goes “I love that song!” Dave: “I love that song!” Jason: “I love that song, man!” That came off, Victor just hit on that lick that he does on it, and he loves it. And when your guitar player likes it, you’re in good shape. We just kind of took it from there and worked on the transition thing from the lead of Nancy. It’s a tricky song to do. It’s a little tricky. To take something with that much production sheen and sort of boil it down to garage rock, that’s a pretty handy trick. I think that’s what happened, the way Louisa, Jason and Dave worked that song, you’d think it’d be kind of terrifying to do it, but it’s not. It’s a song that I’m looking forward to in the set

Was “Rhinestone Cowboy” recorded as a way of paying tribute to Glen Campbell? Absolutely. The reason we did that song goes all the way to a year ago in September. There was an article in the Demo-Gazette recently about him, mentioning how he played 126 shows since he made his announcement. When he made that announcement, Lindsay was still playing with us then and I said “We need to do a Glen Campbell song. He’s a great artist, he’s from Arkansas.” We listened to a bunch of Glen Campbell music and wanted to do one of the big hits and that was the one that seemed to fit my abilities, limited as they are, and it was also a song that the band could play and they do a great job on it. We’ve added a little bit of flourish to it, it’s got that cascading guitar that I threw in there and Victor has that cool guitar deal that goes on and Louisa and David are rock solid on it. And it sounds a lot like the Glen Campbell tune, except for the fact that I can’t sing as good. I was going to say, it probably hews closer to the original than most of your other deconstructions. I think you’re probably right there. The only thing different about it is how we deal with the guitar and the fact that it’s got that Theremin going on, and that always changes the landscape. But when we start that song up and you’re looking at the audience and they go, “hmm,” and then I go, “I’ve been walking these streets…” and then you can see them mouthing it, you can see them going “Rhinestone Cowboy,” and it’s just a hoot!

The Frontier Circus plays a record release show Tuesday at White Water Tavern, with Jab Jab Suckerpunch, 9:30 p.m., $5 at the door. You can pick up the new 12” vinyl EP at the show for $16.

AFTER DARK, CONT. Breakfast, Books & Booze. Book and vinyl sale from Tree of Knowledge. Live acoustic music starting at 6 p.m. from Iron Tongue, Andy Warr, Bonnie Montgomery, Adam Faucett, Joshua (Velvet Kente), Shane Sweeney, Micah Schnabel, John Moreland and Cory Branan. White Water Tavern, 12 p.m., $5 after 5 p.m. 2500 W. 7th. 501375-8400. “Christmas in the Quarter.” Tour of homes in Quapaw Quarter. Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church, 2 p.m., $20-$25. 1601 S. Louisiana. 501-375-1600. “Lights in the Landscape.” Holiday lighting display. Closed Christmas Day. Garvan Woodland Gardens, through Dec. 31, 5-9 p.m., $5-$10. 550 Akridge Road, Hot Springs. 501-262-9300. www. “Live from the Back Room.” Vino’s, 7 p.m. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. River Market ice skating. Go to for rink times. River Market Pavilions, Continues through Jan. 6, $9. 400 President Clinton Ave. 375-2552. White Wagon Farm Retrospective and Holiday Celebration. See Dec. 8.



7th Street Peep Show. Featuring three or four bands per night. Bands sign up at 6:30 p.m. and play 35-minute sets (including setup) on a first-come, first-served basis. House band is The Sinners. Solo artists, DJs and all other performers welcome. Vino’s, 7 p.m., $1. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. Irish Traditional Music Session. Hibernia Irish Tavern, Fourth and second Monday of every month, 7 p.m. 9700 N Rodney Parham Road. 501-246-4340. KABF Night. The Afterthought, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www. Ol’ Puddin’haid. Norm’s, 7:30 p.m. 6416 Col. Glenn Road. Reggae Nites. Featuring DJ Hy-C playing roots, reggae and dancehall. Pleazures Martini and Grill Lounge, 6 p.m., $7-$10. 1318 Main St. 501-376-7777. bargrill. Surrender the Fall, Apocalypse, Fortune N Flames. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www.


Diamond Bear beer tasting. The Joint, 5 p.m., $15. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. “Lights in the Landscape.” Holiday lighting display. Closed Christmas Day. Garvan Woodland Gardens, through Dec. 31, 5-9 p.m., $5-$10. 550 Akridge Road, Hot Springs. 501-262-9300. www. River Market ice skating. Go to for rink times. River Market Pavilions, Continues through Jan. 6, $9. 400 President Clinton Ave. 375-2552.


Betty Makoni. The founder of the Girl Child Network Zimbabwe will discuss her work. Clinton School of Public Service, 6 p.m., free. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501-683-5239. www.


Finding Family Facts. Rhonda Stewart’s genealogy research class for beginners. Arkansas

Studies Institute, second Monday of every month, 3:30 p.m. 401 President Clinton Ave. 501-320-5700 .



10 Horse Johnson. The Joint, Dec. 11, 8 p.m.; Dec. 13, 8 p.m., $10. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. The Asteroid Shop, Airplanes Above Us, Rad Rad Riot. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www. The Frontier Circus (record release). White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m. 2500 W. 7th. 501-3758400. Heavy Metal Karaoke. Downtown Music Hall, Dec. 11, 8 p.m.; Dec. 18, 8 p.m., free. 211 W. Capitol. 501-376-1819. downtownmusichall. com. Jeff Long. Khalil’s Pub, 6 p.m. 110 S. Shackleford Road. 501-224-0224. Jim Dickerson. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, Dec. 11-13, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. www.sonnywilliamssteakroom. com. Karaoke Night. Cornerstone Pub & Grill, 8 p.m. 314 Main St., NLR. 501-374-1782. cstonepub. com. Karaoke Tuesday. Prost, 8 p.m., free. 322 President Clinton Blvd. 501-244-9550. Karaoke Tuesdays. Cornerstone Pub & Grill, through Dec. 17: 8 p.m. 314 Main St., NLR. 501-374-1782. Karaoke with Big John Miller. Denton’s Trotline, 8 p.m. 2150 Congo Road, Benton. 501-3151717. Lucious Spiller Band. Copeland’s Restaurant of Little Rock, 6-9 p.m. 2602 S. Shackleford Road. 501-312-1616. Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis. Walton Arts Center, 4 and 7:30 p.m., $59-$79. 495 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479443-5600. Michael Carenbauer. RJ Tao, Dec. 11, 6:30-9 p.m.; Dec. 18, 6:30-9 p.m.; Dec. 24, 6:30-9 p.m. 5501 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-603-0080. www. Ricky David Tripp. Rocket Twenty One, 5:30 p.m. 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-603-9208. www. Touch, Grateful Dead Tribute. Bring a hula hoop for dancing. Ernie Biggs, 8 p.m. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-372-4782. Tuesday Jam Session with Carl Mouton. The Afterthought, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196.


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


“Festivus for the Best of Us.” Benefit for the Quapaw Quarter Association includes open bar, silent auction and appetizers. Governor’s Mansion, 6 p.m., $35-$40. 1800 Center St. 501377-1121. “Lights in the Landscape.” Holiday lighting display. Closed Christmas Day. Garvan Woodland Gardens, through Dec. 31, 5-9 p.m., $5-$10. 550 Akridge Road, Hot Springs. 501-262-9300. www. Live Trivia by Challenge Entertainment. The Tavern Sports Grill, 7 p.m., free. 17815 Chenal Parkway. 501-830-2100. www.thetavernsports- River Market ice skating. Go to for rink times. River Market Pavilions, Continues through Jan. 6, $9. 400 President Clinton Ave. 375-2552. Roger D. Hodge. The new editor of the Oxford American will discuss his vision for the magazine. Faulkner County Library, 7 p.m., free. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-327-7482. Tales from the South. Authors tell true stories; schedule available on website. Dinner served 5-6:30 p.m., show at 7 p.m. Call for reservations. Starving Artist Cafe, 5 p.m. 411 N. Main St., NLR. 501-372-7976. Trivia Bowl. Flying Saucer, 8:30 p.m. 323 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-8032. www. Wiggle Worms: “Look Ma, No Thumbs!” Designed for pre-K children. Museum of Discovery, 10:30 a.m., $8-$10, free for members. 500 Clinton Ave. 396-7050, 1-800-8806475.


“The Bishop’s Wife.” Market Street Cinema, 7 p.m., $5. 1521 Merrill Drive. 501-312-8900. www. Vino’s Picture Show: “What Happened to Kerouac?” Vino’s, 7 p.m., free. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466.


Patricia Crisafulli and Andrea Redmond. The authors of “Rwanda, Inc.” will discuss the African nation’s remarkable turnaround. Clinton School of Public Service, 12 p.m., free. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501-683-5239. www.clintonschool.


“Annie.” Royal Theatre, Dec. 6-8, 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 9, 2 p.m.; Dec. 13-15, 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 16, 2 p.m., $5-$12. 111 S. Market St., Benton. Auditions for “All the King’s Women.” Play calls for three to six women, ages 20-70 and one man, age 30-70. Lantern Theatre, Mon., Dec. 10, 6:30 p.m. 1021 Van Ronkle, Conway. 501-733-6220. “Billy Elliot The Musical.” Musical adaptation of the hit British film about a young boy who pursues his dreams despite all odds. Walton Arts Center, Wed., Dec. 5, 7 p.m.; Thu., Dec. 6, 7 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 7, 8 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 8, 2 and 8 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 9, 2 and 7:30 p.m., $49-$73. 495 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-443-5600. “A Christmas Carol.” A Christmas classic by Peter DeLaurier, based on the Charles Dickens novel. Pocket Community Theater, through Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 9, 2:30 p.m., $5-$15. 170 Ravine St., Hot Springs. “City Mouse, Country Mouse, Christmas Mouse.” Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre production of the Christmas favorite. Arkansas Arts Center, through Dec. 15: Fri., 7 p.m.; Sat., 1 and 3 p.m., $12. 501 E. 9th St. 501372-4000. “The Outsiders.” S.E. Hinton’s classic tale of class rivalries and socioeconomic struggles between youth groups. The Weekend Theater, through Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m.; through Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m., $12-$16. 1001 W. 7th St. 501-374-3761. www. “Pajama Tops.” Farce in which a would-be philandering husband gets a surprise when his wife secretly invites the girl he’s been seeing on the side to spend the weekend with them. Murry’s Dinner Playhouse, through Dec. 30: Tue.-Sat., 6 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., $15-$33. 6323 Col. Glenn Road. 501-562-3131. “Period of Adjustment.” Rarely performed com-

edy from Tennessee Williams, recommended for ages 13 and older. Walton Arts Center’s Nadine Baum Studios, Thu., Dec. 6, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 9, 2 and 7 p.m.; Thu., Dec. 13, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 14, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 15, 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 16, 2 and 7 p.m.; Thu., Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 21, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 22, 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 23, 2 and 7 p.m.; Thu., Dec. 27, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 28, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 29, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 30, 2 and 7 p.m., $10-$22. 505 W. Spring St., Fayetteville. 479-443-5600. “Spectacular Exploding Christmas.” From The Vagabond Theatre Company, an R-rated Christmas comedy show. The Public Theatre, Dec. 7-8, 10:30 p.m., $8. 616 Center St. 501-3747529. “White Christmas.” Based on the classic Hollywood film and the Broadway show, with the timeless Christmas music of Irving Berlin. Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Wed., Dec. 5, 7 p.m.; Thu., Dec. 6, 7 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 7, 7 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 8, 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 9, 2 and 7 p.m.; Wed., Dec. 12, 7 p.m.; Thu., Dec. 13, 7 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 14, 7 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 15, 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 16, 2 and 7 p.m.; Wed., Dec. 19, 7 p.m.; Thu., Dec. 20, 7 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 21, 7 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 22, 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 23, 2 and 7 p.m.; Wed., Dec. 26, 7 p.m.; Thu., Dec. 27, 7 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 28, 7 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 29, 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 30, 2 and 7 p.m. 601 Main St. 501-378-0405. www.



More art listings can be found in the calendar at BERNICE GARDEN, 1401 S. Main St.: 4th annual “Tree Lighting and Craft Market,” 5:30-8 p.m. Dec. 6. 617-2511. BOSWELL-MOUROT, 5815 Kavanaugh Blvd.: “Great Escapes: Art by Animals of the Little Rock Zoo,” silent auction of paintings , ornaments painted by animals for sale, 6-9 p.m. Dec. 12, benefit for the Little Rock Chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers. 664-0030. FAYETTEVILLE EAST PROSPECT EXHIBITION II: ART FOR THE HOLIDAYS: Work by Megan Chapman, Michele Maule, Amber Perrodin, Linda Sheets, Craig Colorusso and others, 5-8 p.m. Dec. 6, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 8. 545 E. Prospect. HOT SPRINGS ALISON PARSONS GALLERY, 802 Central Ave.: Mobiles by Gerald Lee Delavan, through December, open 5-9 p.m. for Dec. 7 Gallery Walk. 501-625-3001. ARTCHURCH, 301 Whittington Ave.: “Group Exhibit,” open 5-9 p.m. for Dec. 7 Gallery Walk. BLUE ROCK STUDIO ANNUAL OPEN HOUSE, 262 Hideaway Hills: Mixed media by Carol Small, “Santas and Chicks” by Karen McInturff, hand-carved flutes by Carole Kane, paintings and cards by Glenda Field, notebooks and cards by Nancy Dunaway, “mouse traps” by Terri Davy, felt art by Barbara Cade, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 8. 501-262-4065. Directions at FINE ARTS CENTER, 626 Central Ave.: “Wintertide,” Dec. 6-29, open 5-9 p.m. for Dec. 7 Gallery Walk. 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.Sat. 501-624-0489. GALLERY CENTRAL, 800 Central Ave: Paintings by Charles Harrington, featured artist; also paintings by Jacqueline Ellens, Janis Wylie CONTINUED ON PAGE 34

DECEMBER 5, 2012



DEC. 7-8

Market Street Cinema times at or after 9 p.m. are for Friday and Saturday only. Rave showtimes are valid for Friday only. Breckenridge, McCain Mall and Riverdale showtimes were not available by press deadline. Find up-to-date listings at

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Give a give gift this holiday season that will help save homeless animals! Purchase the Humane Society of Pulaski County’s 2013 Day Planner… this functional calendar makes a great gift!

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DECEMBER 5, 2012


NEW MOVIES The Flat (NR) — Documentary about an Israeli man who discovers a family secret among the papers of his recently deceased grandmother who fled Nazi Germany in the ’30s. Market Street: 1:45, 4:00, 6:45, 9:00. Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum (PG-13) — Telugu action film about a CBI informant investigating illegal mining activity. Rave: 10:00 p.m. Playing for Keeps (PG-13) — Rom-com about a former pro soccer player who returns home to mend fences with his son, only to be accosted by soccer moms because he’s so studly. Chenal 9: 11:15 a.m., 1:35, 4:15, 7:15, 10:15. Rave: 11:00 a.m., 1:45, 4:25, 7:05, 9:45. Riverdale: 9:30 a.m., 11:50 a.m., 2:10, 4:30, 6:50, 9:10, 11:25. Starlet (NR) — An unlikely friendship blossoms between a young, directionless stoner and an elderly woman. Market Street: 1:45, 4:00, 6:45, 9:00. RETURNING THIS WEEK Alex Cross (PG-13) — Pretty much “Tyler Perry’s ‘Death Wish’ meets ‘Seven.’ ” Movies 10: 12:05, 2:35, 5:05, 7:35, 10:05. Anna Karenina (R) — If director Joe Wright (“Pride and Prejudice,” “Atonement”) hates the term “Oscar bait,” maybe he should, you know, stop Oscar-baiting so much. Rave: 10:05 a.m., 1:00, 4:15, 7:30, 10:35. Argo (R) — A group of Americans in revolutionary Iran make an improbable escape, based on actual events, from director Ben Affleck. Lakewood 8: 2:05, 4:40, 7:15, 9:50. Rave: 11:10 a.m., 9:25. Riverdale: 1:05, 3:45, 6:25, 9:05. Brave (PG) – Animated fantasy tale of a Celtictype girl who must save her kingdom from something or other. Movies 10: 12:10, 2:40, 5:10, 7:30, 9:50. The Collection (R) — From the creators of the “Saw” films, who surely must have a factory running 24/7 that just churns out new and horrifyingly gory ways to kill attractive young actors. Rave: 12:45, 5:55, 8:25, 10:40. End of Watch (R) — Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena as a young team of cops in the midst of an all-out war with drug cartels. Rave: 2:00, 4:45, 7:35, 10:20. Riverdale: 9:40 a.m., 121:05, 2:30, 4:55, 7:20, 9:45. Finding Nemo 3D (G) — Pixar film about some fish and their adventures and it’s in 3D. Movies 10: 2:25 (2D), noon, 4:50, 7:15, 9:40 (3D). Flight (R) — Denzel Washington is a pilot with a substance abuse problem, from director Robert Zemeckis. Rave: 10:55 a.m., 2:15, 8:05, 11:20. Riverdale: 9:30 a.m., 12:25, 3:20, 6:15, 9:10. Here Comes the Boom (PG) — “The Zookeeper” star Kevin James is a teacher in this one. Lakewood 8: 2:00, 4:30, 7:00, 9:40. House at the End of the Street (PG-13) — Bunch of terror happens to “Hunger Games” star Jennifer Lawrence. Movies 10: 12:40, 3:05, 5:30, 7:50, 10:15. Ice Age: Continental Drift (PG) – Latest iteration in the series about a crew of wacky animated animals. Movies 10: 12:05, 2:35, 5:05. Killing Them Softly (R) — Awesome-looking mafia flick, with Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta and James Gandolfini (!). Chenal 9: 11:10 a.m., 1:50, 4:35,

SOCCER PLAYER: Gerard Butler stars in “Playing for Keeps” as a former soccer pro who tries to mend his relationship with his son. 7:10, 10:10. Lakewood 8: 2:30, 4:45, 7:05, 9:30. Rave: 11:50 a.m., 2:20, 4:55, 7:25, 9:55. Riverdale: 9:25 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 2:05, 4:25, 6:45, 9:05. A Late Quartet (R) — A veteran string quartet faces an existential challenge, with Christopher Walken, Catherine Keener and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Market Street: 4:30, 9:15. Life of Pi (PG) — Based on the smash-hit book of the same name, from director Ang Lee. Chenal 9: 4:40, 10:30 (2D), 11:00 a.m., 1:50, 7:35 (3D). Rave: 3:50, 6:55 (2D), 10:50 a.m., 12:50, 1:50, 4:50, 7:55, 10:55 (3D). Riverdale: 9:30 a.m., 12:10, 2:50, 5:30, 8:10, 10:50. Lincoln (PG-13) — Steven Spielberg’s biopic about Abraham Lincoln, with Daniel Day Lewis and Sally Field. Chenal 9: 12:45, 3:55, 7:05, 10:15. Rave: 12:10, 3:35, 7:00, 10:25 (XTreme), 10:00 a.m., 1:10, 4:35, 8:00, 11:25. Looper (R) — Time-travel action thriller with Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Movies 10: 1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 9:45. The Man with The Iron Fists (R) — Martial arts action flick, directed by and starring RZA, from producer Quentin Tarantino. Movies 10: 12:35, 3:00, 5:25, 7:40, 9:55. Paranormal Activity 4 (R) — Part four of the “Paranormal Activity” franchise finds this asdffzzzz … Oops, fell asleep at the keyboard on account of powerful boredom. Lakewood 8: 2:20, 4:50, 7:25, 9:45. ParaNorman (PG) – Stop-motion animated film about a kid who talks to ghosts, from the studio that made “Coraline.” Movies 10: 12:15, 2:50, 5:20, 7:45, 10:10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (PG-13) — Based on the bestselling coming-of-age novel, with Emma Watson. Lakewood 8: 2:10, 4:40, 7:00, 9:35. Pitch Perfect (PG-13) — Competitive groups of singers have singing competitions and so forth. Lakewood 8: 2:05, 4:35, 7:20, 9:50. Red Dawn (PG-13) — Not so much a “remake” as an act of cinematic necrophilia — and an unnecessary one at that. Chenal 9: 11:20 a.m., 2:05, 4:40, 7:25, 10:20. Rave: 10:10 a.m., 12:25, 3:10, 5:50, 8:30, 11:00. Riverdale: 5:30, 7:45, 9:50. Rise of the Guardians (PG) — Animated adventure story about a group of heroes who protect the imaginations of children from an evil spirit who wants to take over the world. Chenal 9: 11:25 a.m., 1:55, 7:15 (2D), 4:15, 9:45 (3D). Rave: 10:05 a.m., 12:40, 3:55, 5:30, 6:30, 9:05 (2D), 10:25 a.m., 1:35, 3:20 (3D). Riverdale: 9:25 a.m., 11:35 a.m., 1:45, 3:55, 6:05, 8:15, 10:25. The Sessions (R) — Helen Hunt is a sex surrogate who helps the seriously disabled John Hawkes. This has gotten universally great reviews. Market Street: 2:00, 4:20, 7:00, 9:00.

Silent Hill: Revelation (R) — Just what in the Sam Hill are Ned Stark and Jon Snow doing in this cheesy-looking horror flick about Hell or something? Movies 10: 7:20, 9:35. Sinister (R) — Bunch of terror happens to Ethan Hawke and his family. Lakewood 8: 2:25, 4:55, 7:30, 9:55. Skyfall (PG-13) — An aging Bond still can’t be beat. Chenal 9: 1:00, 4:10, 7:20, 10:25 (IMAX), Rave: 10:00 a.m., noon, 1:05, 3:30, 4:30, 6:50, 7:50, 10:15, 11:15. Riverdale: 9:15, 12:05, 2:55, 5:45, 8:35, 11:25. Smashed (R) — Harrowing portrait of a young married couple negotiating the fuzzy area between “raging alcoholism” and mere “extreme partying.” Market Street: 2:15, 4:30, 7:15, 9:00. Taken 2 (PG-13) — Sequel to the kidnappingbased action film, with Liam Neeson. Movies 10: 12:30, 2:55, 5:15, 7:25, 10:00. Talaash (PG-13) — Bollywood thriller about a detective investigating the suspicious drowning of a popular actor. Rave: 4:05, 7:40, 10:45. This Must Be the Place (R) — Sean Penn plays an aging Robert Smith-type goth rocker who goes hunting for the Nazi who persecuted his father at Auschwitz. Not kidding. Market Street: 2:00, 7:00. Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (PG-13) — Vampire movie sequel starring the girl who cheated on the guy, plus the other guy, the werewolf one. Oh yeah, get this: It’s the last one in the series! Chenal 9: 11:05 a.m., 1:45, 4:25, 7:05, 10:00. Rave: 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30, 2:30, 4:20, 5:20, 7:15, 8:15, 10:10, 11:10. Riverdale: 9:20 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 2:10, 4:35, 7:00, 9:25, 11:50. Wreck-It Ralph (PG) — Animated movie about a video game character. Chenal 9: 11:30 a.m., 2:00, 4:30, 7:30, 10:00. Rave: 10:35 a.m., 1:20, 4:00, 6:45. Riverdale: 1:10, 3:20. Chenal 9 IMAX Theatre: 17825 Chenal Parkway, 821-2616, Cinemark Movies 10: 4188 E. McCain Blvd., 945-7400, Cinematown Riverdale 10: Riverdale Shopping Center, 296-9955, Lakewood 8: 2939 Lakewood Village Drive, 7585354, Market Street Cinema: 1521 Merrill Drive, 312-8900, Rave Colonel Glenn 18: 18 Colonel Glenn Plaza, 687-0499, Regal Breckenridge Village 12: 1-430 and Rodney Parham, 224-0990, Regal McCain Mall 12: 3929 McCain Blvd., 7531380,


A gangster allegory with no soul

if the world is going to end ...

Brad Pitt’s ‘Killing’ is bleak. BY SAM EIFLING


n the long, proud lineage of American gangster movies, there are few with as short a plot arc as “Killing Them Softly.” Three fellas decide to knock over a card game. The men who oversee that game decide there should be consequences. Then: consequences. It goes further than that, but not by much, across 97 minutes. With a strong but limited storyline, the true marrow of the film falls to its characters, dialogue and texture, all of which ring powerful. Intellectually “Killing Them Softly” is a fine film — but it also pumps so much liquid nitrogen through its veins you might leave with mild hypothermia. It is hard and it is harsh, a cinematic battlefield surgery. The three guys who start this chain of unfortunate events get off to a rough start. Vincent Curatola (Johnny Sack from “The Sopranos”) owns a dry cleaner and has a foolproof plan to rob a high-stakes card game run by a guy named Markie, played by Ray Liotta. Markie is known to have orchestrated the armed robbery of his own game once before, so another such event would make him the prime suspect. After some consternation, a callow young ex-con named Frankie (Scoot McNairy, affectingly) and a strungout Aussie named Russell (Ben Mendelsohn) that the dry cleaner can’t stand wind up as the bagmen for this gig. The hold-up of the high-stakes backroom game is a masterful scene and the best argument for the taut, deliberate pacing that director Andrew Dominik (“The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”) establishes and, for the most part, holds throughout. In the aftermath, two men convene to address the events of that night: Brad Pitt, as Jackie, an apparent lieutenant in whatever criminal organization holds jurisdiction here (someone named “Dillon,” forever unseen but menacingly evoked, employs him); and Richard Jenkins (“The Cabin in the Woods”) as a character credited only as Driver, an emissary for what he laments are woefully corporatized higher-ups. The middle-managing mobsters summon an aging hitman played by James Gandolfini. This is really something for the erstwhile Tony Soprano: As a degenerate, whor-

spend your last night with us



December 21st

‘KILLING THEM SOFTLY’: Brad Pitt stars.



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ing, alcoholic murderer, Gandolfini has never been slimier. But herein, mid-film, “Killing Them Softly” stalls out. Everything seems to be working, then it doesn’t. Here’s one guess as to why. Dominik, who also adapted a George V. Higgins novel for this screenplay, has set the movie in an unnamed American city (though it’s plainly shot in New Orleans) during the beginning of the 2008 financial crisis. We know this because news clips routinely leak in via televisions and car radios. The connection isn’t especially subtle. While Wall Street’s shenanigans are threatening to topple the entire world economy, and George W. Bush is decrying the death of “confidence” that capitalism requires, we have these gangsters handling the Mafioso versions of the same predicaments. What needs to happen when a crime is committed? Who has to pay? It takes a couple of explanations for Driver to grasp what Jackie’s getting at when he explains the intricacies of who, precisely, needs to die. Then it hits him: Ah, the public angle. Everyone needs to believe these business ventures are on the up-and-up for the crooks in charge to stay in business. Dominik isn’t reaching terribly for the metaphor. Perhaps he just lets it trip him a bit. Pitt here is something like a corporate angel of death, killing as business, killing for business. By placing him at the center of the action and at the center of the allegory, Dominik courts a certain nihilistic flair. It’s risky, and it falters. You simply cannot put a man with no heart at the heart of your movie and expect it to resonate. Dominik does get his point across. But, oh, is it ever cold going down.

DECEMBER 5, 2012



A toy show for grown-ups BY LESLIE NEWELL PEACOCK


he first hint I got that the Arts (“Wowzers!” by Gary Schott) would Center’s 38th “Toys Designed spill something. by Artists” exhibit was a notch Rachel Trusty’s “The Flock,” little more mature this year was the fact that wailing faces on stuffed cotton heads set so many toys were protected behind on duck feet first exhibited at the Uniboxes of Plexiglas. There was no guard versity of Central Arkansas, is somehow with white gloves stationed in the galwonderful. My favorite works in the lery to turn cranks and pull knobs and show: Wendy Malinow’s “Dirty Root so forth, as in yesteryear. Rattle,” a polymer carrot/parsnip-type My feelings were confirmed finally root with multiple eyes and teeth, and when I got to a case that contained Douglas McKee’s nearly 4-foot-long small toys in silver, gold and copper, “Octopus Skateboard,” which is actuwhere I spied Miriam Saavedra’s clever ally a great idea for a toy. The show this year is in the perma“Playing With Myself (Dexterity Puzzle Ring),” a ring set with labial folds and nent collection gallery, but it doesn’t a little ball that you could make roll quite live up to the honor, in my view. There is nothing exquisite in the show, into an indentation where a clitoris would be. I could be wrong, but I don’t as there has been in the past, though remember the toy show having fun with there are finely made things, like Bill vaginas before. Price’s .38 Caliber Drake (a decoy with There is also a toyturned-political-symbol, Joe Casey Doyle’s “A Gay Boy Wished,” which features the back half of a “My Little Pony” with a long tail of pastel ribbons affixed to the gallery wall. It’s all fine of course — the show is toys designed by artists, after all. It’s included several sarOCTOPUS SKATEBOARD: Douglas McKee’s entry in the donic pieces in the Arts Center’s “Toys Designed by Artists” exhibition. past, including one I bought: A wooden crank toy in which a pistol head, much like his 2010 entry, a woman nods “yes” to a man nodding “Sheriff Rubber Ducky”), Chang Gon “no,” named “The Honeymoon’s Over.” Jung’s dragon “Pendant for Hoiw,” and A little anniversary gift it was. And there Dongwong Lee’s “Chimpalloon,” a silwas the army tank made of concertina ver chimp blowing a silicon balloon. wire and razor blades, and the dead rat The show runs through Jan. 6. ♦♦♦ pull toy, wheeled feet in air, made of Crystal Bridges Museum of Ameriwalnut. This year’s show is just a little can Art announced several new acquiwide of the traditional mark. There was one toy that gallery-goers sitions on Tuesday: an 1835 painting by can get their hands on: Elizabeth Barefolk artist Ammi Phillips, “Woman in nis’ “Freebird,” a musical toy that when a Black Ruffled Dress”; William Wetcranked plays “The Shadow of Your more Story’s marble sculpture “Sappho” Smile” and, like the ballerina atop the (1867); Miriam Schapiro’s “A Mayan little girl’s jewelery box, spins a small Garden” (1964), and Thomas Hart Benwooden cut-out that, lit by a small spotton’s “Tobacco Sorters” (1942/44). The light, casts a shadow of a flapping bird. museum also announced the acquisiI would also have liked to play with tion of 468 early 20th century prints Kevin Zust’s “Brass Rolling Ball Sculpfrom a private collection; selections ture” to see if the balls really made loopfrom the acquisition will be on exhibit de-loops on their way to the bottom of from Dec. 21 through April 22 in “Art the sculpture. And I would like to see Under Pressure: Early Twentieth Cenif the little coffee cup atop a coffee can tury American Prints.” 34

DECEMBER 5, 2012


AFTER DARK, CONT. and Jennifer Wilson. Open 5-9 p.m. for Dec. 7 Gallery Walk. 501-318-4278. JUSTUS FINE ART, 827 Central A: New work by Robyn Horn, Dolores Justus, Steve Griffith and others. Open 5-9 p.m. for Dec. 7 Gallery Walk. 501-321-2335. MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, 425 Central Ave.: “The Art of Christmas,” noon-4 p.m. Dec. 9, artist-made gifts; work by Carole Katchen, through Dec. 21. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tue.Sat., noon-3 p.m. Sun. 501-609-9966. TAYLOR’S CONTEMPORANEA, 204 Exchange St.: Mixed media etchings by Kelly Moran, featured artist; also ceramics by Polly Cook, Nat Mitchell and John Wolfe; photographs by Thomas Petillo, Chuck Dodson and Marcus Menefee, and paintings by Warren Criswell, John Robinette, Darrell Loy Scott, Daniel Mark Cassity, James Wu and others, open 5-9 p.m. for Dec. 7 Gallery Walk. JONESBORO ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY: “Fall 2012 Senior Exhibition,” work by Emily Ellis, Paisley Gray, Charlie Inboden, Sunnie McCarty and Danielle Smith, through Dec. 15, Bradbury Gallery, noon-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat., 2-5 p.m. Sun. 870-972-3471.


The Walton Arts Center is seeking proposals from visual and performing artists for naturethemed work for its “2013 Artosphere: Arkansas’ Arts & Nature Festival.” Up to three Artosphere Partner Grants worth up to $6,000 will be awarded for projects. Deadline to submit is 11:59 p.m. Jan. 7, 2013; award announcement Jan. 31, 2013. More information under the Get Involved tab at


ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, MacArthur Park: “44th Collectors Show and Sale,” through Dec. 30; “Toys Designed by Artists,” through Jan. 6; “50 for Arkansas,” work donated by Dorothy and Herbert Vogel, through Jan. 6; “Multiplicity,” exhibition on printmaking from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, through Jan. 6. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. 372-4000. THE ART LOFT, 1525 Merrill Drive: Work by Dan Thornhill, Catherine Rodgers, Rosemary Parker, Kelly Furr, Melody Lile and others, with music by Rico Novales. 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat. 251-1131. BUTLER CENTER GALLERIES, Arkansas Studies Institute, 401 President Clinton Ave.: “From the Vault: Works from the Central Arkansas Library System’s Permanent Collection,” including historical paintings by Donald Draper, works on paper by visionary artist Arthur Grain, sculpture by Mary Cockrill and more, through March 23, 2013, Arkansas League of Artists exhibition, through Jan. 26; “Solastalgia,” work by Susan Chambers and Louise Halsey, through Jan. 26. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 320-5700. CHROMA GALLERY, 5707 Kavanaugh Blvd.: Work by Robert Reep and other Arkansas artists. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat. 664-0880. GALLERY 26, 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd.: 18th annual “Holiday Art Show,” work by 60-plus artists, through Jan. 12. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.Sat. 664-8996. GREG THOMPSON FINE ART, 429 Main St., NLR: “Southern Abstraction,” work by Pinkney Herbert, James Hendricks, Robyn Horn, Sammy Peters, Robert Rector and Shannon Rogers. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. 664-2787. HEARNE FINE ART, 1001 Wright Ave.:

“Highlights of 2012,” work by Kennith Humphrey, Chukes, Kevin Cole and others, through Jan. 7; “And the Band Played On,” mixed media paintings and sculpture by Kevin Cole, through Jan. 7. 372-6822. J.W. WIGGINS GALLERY, Sequoyah National Research Center, 500 University Plaza: “Indian Ink: Native Printmakers in the J.S. Wiggins Collection of Native American Art,” curated by Bobby Martin, art professor at John Brown University, through Dec. 14. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.Fri. 569-8336. LAMAN LIBRARY, 2801 Orange St.: “Norman Rockwell’s Home for the Holidays,” exhibition from the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass., through Dec. 9. 758-1720. L&L BECK GALLERY, 5705 Kavanaugh Blvd.: “Religious Art,” through December, drawing for free giclee “Nativity” 7 p.m. Dec. 20. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.-Sat. 660-4006. M2GALLERY, 11525 Cantrell: “Holiday Show,” work by Dan Holland, Suzanne Koett, Charles Henry James, Dan Thornhill and Jason Gammel. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.-Sat. 225-6257. PULASKI TECHNICAL COLLEGE, 3000 W. Scenic Drive: “It’s About Time,” work by Warren Criswell, through Dec. 15, Bank of the Ozarks exhibition space, Ottenheimer Library. 8122200. UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS AT LITTLE ROCK: “Developed and Less Finished: Painting the Everyday,” M.A. thesis exhibition by Lauren Sukany, through Dec. 20, Gallery II; “BFA Senior Exhibition,” work by Sally Nixon, Linda F. Holloway and Kesha Lynn Stovall, Gallery III, through Dec. 10; work by seniors Logan Hunter, Daniel “Skye” Huggins, John Daniel Slaughter, Hwang Young Min, Ariel Mattive, Hannah May, Savana Matton, Gallery III, through mid-December. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.Fri. 569-3182. BENTONVILLE CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART, 600 Museum Way: “See the Light: The Luminist Tradition in American Art,” light in art from the 19th century through today, through Jan. 26, “Moshe Safdie: The Path to Crystal Bridges,” through Jan. 28; permanent collection of American masterworks spanning four centuries. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon., Thu., Sat.-Sun.; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Wed.-Fri. 479-418-5700.


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. 3741957. CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CENTER, 1200 President Clinton Ave.: Permanent exhibits about policies and White House life during the Clinton administration. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. $7 adults; $5 college students, seniors, retired military; $3 ages 6-17. 370-8000. HISTORIC ARKANSAS MUSEUM, 200 E. Third St.: “Beyond the Expected: Norwood Creech, Paulette Palmer and Edward Wade Jr.,” through Feb. 3, 2013, “Jared Hogue: Mini Faces,” through Jan. 6, 2013, “Barbie Doll: The 11 ½-inch American Icon,” through Jan. 6, 2013; “A Collective Vision,” recent acquisitions, through March 2013. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 324-9351. MOSAIC TEMPLARS CULTURAL CENTER, Ninth and Broadway: “A Voice through the Viewfinder: Images of Arkansas’ Black Community by Ralph Armstrong,” through Jan. 5, 2013; permanent exhibits on AfricanAmerican entrepreneurial history in Arkansas. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat. 683–3593.





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

The Holy Shakes 2012 Winner

!"#$%&'(!')*+ Semifinalists will compete throughout January and February at Stickyz. Weekly winners will then face off in the finals at the Rev Room in March. Check out for information on how to enter online and upload your files.


Door prizes will be given away to fans in attendance.



JAN. 7, 2013

DECEMBER 5, 2012

part two



here are only three short weeks left to get your Christmas shopping done, so if you’re still at a loss on what to get Aunt Gertrude or your BFF, we have more ideas for you: Bracelets are huge this year, and BOX TURTLE has many, many styles to choose from in a wide range of prices. The new I Heart AR tees and sweatshirts are in, and we love the new floral print. Box Turtle also has Arkansas charm necklaces. Extra bonus: they are now open from noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.

hearsay ➥ A new hub for your home building/remodeling/accessories needs is set to open in Maumelle: the CENTRAL ARKANSAS DESIGN CENTER, located at 9205 Maumelle Blvd. The center will house three businesses: ProBuilder Supply, Bath Planet and Gold Metal Flooring. They plan a soft opening this week, with a grand opening planned for January. ➥ THE GOVERNOR’S MANSION’S HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE will be from 2-4 p.m. Dec. 9. The public will have a chance to tour the mansion and view its holiday decorations. Admission is free. ➥ TULIPS has a great batch of statement necklaces in stock for under $45. ➥ The HILLCREST FIRST THURSDAY SHOP AND SIP will be from 5-9 p.m. Dec. 6. Visitors can browse merchants’ open houses, street sales and have


DECEMBER 5, 2012


a meal in one of the neighborhood’s many restaurants. ➥ MUSEUM OF DISCOVERY fans, take note: the EXPLORE STORE is now open in the museum, its first free-standing retail space. The Explore Store stocks unique, educational and fun items for all ages that are designed to foster learning and creative play. Regular store hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Special holiday hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10 and open until 7 p.m. Dec. 17-23. ➥ INRETROSPEC,a new store that carries posh modern and shabby chic antique furniture and clothing, located at 1201 Center St. They will have a preview from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 11-14, with the official grand opening scheduled for Jan. 2.

RAIMONDO WINERY, located on Lake Norfolk, is family-owned and specializes in Italian and Iberian wines, as well as boutique olive oils and vinegars. Notable products include their 2009 Crimson Kiss port, made from a blend of Portuguese grapes; the Tuscan Herb extra virgin olive oil; and the traditionalstyle Aceto Balsamico. The winery sells direct to the consumer, and items also be purchased at Hillcrest Artisan Meat, Argenta Market, Sullivan’s Liquor and

Eggshells Kitchen Co. For more information, call the winery at 870-467-5115. KREBS BROTHERS RESTAURANT STORE is the place to shop of the foodie in your life, and they’re running a great promotion on knives for the month of December. From now until Dec. 22, buy one regularly priced knife and get the second for 50 percent off on brands like Dexter, Jaccard, Victorinox, Wusthof, Wasabi Black, Kuhn Rikon,

“Don’t Make Me Choose!” THE HATTERIE Men & Women’s Fine Headware

Inside The Gangster Museum of America 510 Central Avenue • (501) 318-1717 Historic Downtown Hot Springs

Continued on page 39


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2009 Crimson Kiss (Port)                                 Our 2009 dessert wine is a classic port-style blend using Portugese grapes. It has inviting red fruit with spice and a rose petal bouquet of cherry raspberry. Pair this wine with the finest cheeses, nuts and dried fruits chocolate fondue and berry tarts. 

Visit Rhea Drug this Christmas season to pick up the perfect little stocking stuffers and gifts for all of your favorites. We have gifts galore for everyone on your list!

Tuscan Herb Extra Virgin Olive Oil Flavor: A delicious blend of herbs, sun-dried tomatoes and garlic infused olive oil. Suggested Uses: Use it on everything from salad dressings to marinades. Sprinkle with grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and a few twists of freshly ground pepper for an irresistible bread dipper.

Traditional-style Aceto Balsamico Flavor: Our dark condimento is of the highest quality and is made in Modena, Italy, from cooked, high quality caramelized grape must from Trebbiano and Lambrusco grapes. This balsamic is progressively aged in wood barrels according to the Solera Method. Suggested Uses: So smooth you could sip it after dinner. Use it as a drizzle on aged cheeses, cured meats, or as a desert sauce for vanilla ice cream. Delightful on top of tomatoes, it is especially delicious on strawberries and fresh fruit. 149 Country Road 820 Gamaliel, AR 870.421.2076

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Gallery 26 Give the gift of art by some of Central Arkansas’s most cutting edge and innovative artists.

Hand painted pets by Julie Holt. Available for commissions.

Hand painted ornaments by Mindy Lacefield.

Swarovski crystal bracelet wrap by Lee Acker.

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Scarab necklace by Erin Lang.

Little Rock Jams Little Rock Jams is THE premier private music school in Central Arkansas! Piano, voice, guitar, bass, banjo and drums are all available for lessons, as well as regular jam sessions and workshops. Lessons for all ages and any skill level. 10301 Rodney Parham 501.312.1800

Hillcrest Designer Jewelry We’ve got the perfect stocking stuffers for you! Come in today to check out California artist David M. Bowman and his handmade items. All items are made from silver, copper or bronze. Earrings are available for $68 and necklaces for $80. Don’t forget to check out our selection of engagement rings and estate pieces.

8am - 5pm MONDAY - FRIDAY • 7am - 1pm ON SATURDAY 38

DECEMBER 5, 2012


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Mosaic Templars Cultural Center You know that Mosaic Templars Cultural Center is the go-to place to explore Arkansas’s African American history, life and culture. But, did you know that the MTCC Museum Store has some great gift ideas for everyone on your list? Find one-of-a-kind items like wood carvings from African artist Ruel Myrie featuring fish, frogs, alligators and turtles or delve into their large selection of books like the classic Kahlil Gibran and other books with African American themes. Also find a large selection of jewelry and art in store. 501 W. Ninth Street 501.683.3593

Pure Komachi , and Shun. This deal can’t be combined with any other offers and only applies to knives currently in stock, so hurry on down. Know someone who’s making a new year’s resolution to get healthy? Then get them all the gear they need to get started running or walking at GO! RUNNING. From expert shoe fittings to apparel to community runs, Go! Running is the community running store for runners and walkers of all experience levels. Let their knowledgeable staff get your loved one off on the right foot. Head to GALLERY 26 to buy for an art lover and browse their huge holiday show that features 70 artists. They also have lots of jewelry, ornaments, hats and scarves for sale, and there’s still time to place custom framing orders. GOOD EARTH GARDEN CENTER is hosting an open house from 1-4 p.m. Dec. 8. There will be special deals during the event on gift shop and Christmas décor items. For more information, check out Good Earth’s Facebook page. A direct link can be found at For great deals on home accessories, there’s no place like DREAMWEAV-

ERS. They have pillows on sale for as low as $5 and throws for $20. Rugs, pictures and mirrors are also on sale. Dreamweavers also has extended hours from now to Dec. 14: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. RHEA DRUG has a great selection of stocking stuffers, as well as gourmet food items, including a variety of Arkansas-made products. Give the gift of glamour from THE FLOATING LOTUS, which is offering a holiday lash special. From now until New Year’s Eve, you can get a half-set of Holiday Xtreme eyelash extensions for $75 and it only takes an hour to apply. A full set is regularly $200 with a twohour time commitment. You can also get 10 percent off any gift certificate purchase from now until Christmas Eve. Know someone who loves music? Get them lessons at LITTLE ROCK JAMS, where they can learn to play the guitar, bass, drums or piano. Little Rock Jams also offers songwriting classes, jam sessions and workshops. For more information, visit www.littlerockjams. com. Continued on page 40



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Box Turtle There’s a reason why Box Turtle continues to win reader polls for best gift store. It’s the go-to gift store in town featuring home accessories and jewelry you won’t find elsewhere. These vintage fabric pieces are the perfect gift idea for those on your list. 2616 Kavanaugh Blvd. Hillcrest 501.661.1167


CUPIDS LINGERIE AND MORE is the perfect place to finish up your list for those who’ve been naughty or nice. Choose from a large selection of lingerie, lotions, potions or novelties. Or if you’re looking for something extra-special, check out the We-Vibe, the No. 1 selling couples toy on the market. Looking for an awesome car to park in the driveway with a big red bow? From now until the end of the year, get the best deals at MERCEDES BENZ OF LITTLE ROCK during the annual national Winter Event sale, which runs until the end of the year. From the sporty and affordable C250 to the luxurious S550, they have something for everyone’s budget. THE INDEPENDENT has great gift ideas for the guys, including handknit cashmere sweaters from Isaia, military inspired sportswear from Massif Collection, denim from Baldwin, handmade ties from Biagio Santo, handmade shoes from Scarpe Di Bianco and undergarments and socks from VK Nagrani, as well as a plethora of other unique gift giving ideas. And remember, gift certificates always make a perfect gift for the extra-picky. Be sure to check out the deals at CHAINWHEEL’s holiday sale, where you can save 10 percent every Sunday until Christmas. They’re open from 1-5 p.m. on Sundays. Kid’s bikes have never been so cool. From rough-neck boys to little ladies, Chainwheel offers the best kids bikes from Cannondale. Street or trail, Cannondale bikes have been built with one idea in mind — fun! Get your little one on a Cannondale and get them on the ride of a lifetime. For those who take their fashion cues from “The Godfather”, visit Hot Springs and THE GANGSTER MUSEUM OF AMERICA’s great gift shop and hat store known as The Hat-

terie. It offers headwear for men and women such as fedoras, panamas, top hats, ivys, cloche, and wide-brimmed straw and felt. The Hatterie also has a large selection of books pertaining to the gangster genre. Looking for extra-special stocking stuffer’s? HILLCREST DESIGNER JEWELRY has what you’re looking for with California designer David M. Bowman’s jewelry collection. All of his items are handmade from silver, copper or bronze. Earrings are $68, necklaces are $80. THE MUSEUM STORE AT THE MOSAIC TEMPLARS CULTURAL CENTER specializes in merchandise connected to Arkansas’s African-American history, life, and culture, including a large selection of children’s books and chapter books on African-American themes, as well as art, jewelry, and other one-of-a-kind items made by local arts and craftspeople. Do you have a friend that’s stressed and in need of a pick-me-up? AVA BELLA DAY SPA is offering a great two-and-a-half hour Christmas special package: stress reliever massage, express facial, express manicure and make-up application. You can also get gift certificates. Everyone loves U.S. PIZZA CO., and with their multiple locations, a U.S. Pizza gift certificate would be the perfect gift to give anyone of any age on your holiday shopping list — so stop by one of the locations and give the gift of delicious! Help out a great Arkansas institution by purchasing ARKANSAS CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL AUXILIARY holiday cards, which feature original art by ACH patients. All proceeds benefit the hospital. To order, visit

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Garmin is hot this year. A GPS sports watch is a popular gift for the active runner on your list. At the touch of a button see your: • Pace • Distance run • Calories burned • and “even” your time! Go! Running has plenty of models ranging in features and price. Strap one on today. A top Go! Running pick this Holiday.

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4310 Landers Road • North Little Rock, AR 72117 (501) 687-1331 • M-F 8-5 Sat. 9-5




DECEMBER 5, 2012


Dining WHAT’S COOKIN’ IN THE SPIRIT OF OUR CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL last month, Schlafly Beer out of St. Louis will team up with the Arkansas Times to throw a pub crawl benefiting Argenta Arts Foundation from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5. For the first hour, Schlafly’s co-founder Dan Kopman will be at Cornerstone Deli and Pub, debuting a secret specialty beer. From 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., Kopman will be at Reno’s Argenta Cafe, and from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., he’ll be at Cregeen’s Irish Pub. There’ll be specialty and market beers at each stop. Kopman will talk about the beers and be around to answer any questions, and people who show up at all three bars will be eligible for a free raffle to win Schalfly gear — Tshirts, caps and even a personalized neon sign. Schlafly brews 50,000 barrels of beer a year — the equivalent of 650,000 cases. It’s distributed in 12 states and the District of Columbia. GOURMET COFFEE JOINT GUILLERMO’S now has a beer and wine bar that stays open till 10 p.m. on weeknights and 1 a.m. on weekends. “If you look at the flavor wheel for coffee and beer and wine, they’re almost exactly the same. It seemed a natural fit,” said owner Hans Oliver. “Bright blueberry notes, with a full body and citrusy aftertaste — I could be describing wine or coffee.” Guillermo’s will serve only craft beers — Diamond Bear, Breckenridge Vanilla Porter, Boulevard Wheat and Flat Tire among them — and it will match its wine choices against its coffees. “Some Merlots are fruity and some coffees are fruity, such as Ethiopian Harrar, which has blueberry notes, or Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, which has notes of dark chocolate and cherry. Based on your coffee tastes, we can probably tell which kind of wine you would like and vice versa,” he said. Currently Guillermo’s is offering 10 reds, eight whites and eight beers, but these will all be rotated, just as the coffee offerings are rotated. Guillermo’s is also adding tapas, which will be served till closing. The menu is still developing, but so far there’s a meat, cheese and fruit plate, crispy baguette with goat cheese, tomato and pesto, and a hummus platter. The first visitors will be the lucky ones. According to Oliver, customers who check out the beer and wine bar now are likely to receive free samples in exchange for free opinions. “We love to take opinions as we hone our selections,” he said. Happy hour is from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. It’s $1 off beer and $5 wine, for open bottles. Guillermo’s is at 10700 Rodney Parham Road. The phone number is 228-4448. 42

DECEMBER 5, 2012


JUST ABOUT PERFECT: The chicken fried steak at Sweet Soul.

Sold on Soul River Market restaurant does right by the classics.


ew combinations of words get our mouths watering as quickly as “Hey, there’s a new soul food restaurant in town.” Pavlov’s pooches got nothin’ on us when we hear those words, filling our heads as they do with thoughts of crunchy chicken-fried steak smothered in gravy, fried pork chops, crispy fried chicken, smoky collard greens (with cornbread, natch), savory black-eyed peas, hush puppies, mac ’n’ cheese … mmm ... Sorry, got lost in thought there for a sec. If that list of deliciousness caused you to drift off too, then allow us to recommend Sweet Soul in the River Market’s Ottenheimer Hall. It’s a new-ish place, run by the proprietors of the late and lamented Haystack Cafe in Ferndale. The menu at Sweet Soul is simple, hewing toward home cooking, of course. The “Southern Classics” ($6-$9) include two sides and cornbread or a roll with chickenfried steak, catfish or pork chop, or a veggie plate with three sides and bread. Some of us at the Times have a weakness for chicken-fried steak that is so powerful as to be almost debilitating, rendering us unable to order, or even really see, the other items on the menu. So of course, that was what we tried on our first visit. The chicken-fried steak at Sweet Soul was just about perfect. Some places will use a ground beef patty in lieu of a cube steak, and some of us picky CFS lovers consider that to be cheating. Rest assured, comrades, this one is the real deal. It’s juicy,

Sweet Soul

400 President Clinton Ave. 291-9996 QUICK BITE Drink prices at Sweet Soul are crazy reasonable, as in, $1. Yes, $1 for iced tea or soft drinks.

HOURS 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. OTHER INFO CC accepted.

flavorful and importantly, it is very tender while still giving your teeth something to work on by not annihilating the steak’s connective tissue. It’s a tough thing to get just right, and Sweet Soul nailed it. For sides, we tried the mashed potatoes and collard greens. The mashed potatoes were creamy and dense. And they had both white and brown gravy on hand. As far as the greens were concerned, we could scarcely believe the Sweet Soul crew when they told us that they were cooked without the use of any pork products. That might sound sacrilegious to certain folks, but these greens were seriously tasty and cooked just right. Yellow cornbread was dry and somewhat crumbly with a barely detectable hint of sugar; in other words, it was done exactly right, perfect for soaking up the juice from the collards.

On our next visit, we opted for the catfish. Like the CFS, it’s fried to order (and it’s a big three pieces to an order) so it comes out piping hot with a fantastic cornmeal breading. In all honesty though, the fish tasted a little bottom-of-the-rivery. Thing is, we’ve heard from a couple folks in recent weeks about having similar experiences with catfish at other joints, places where that fishy taste is normally not an issue. So it’s possible that there’s something happening on the suppliers’ end. Other than that, Sweet Soul is doing everything right. For sides, the black-eyed peas were creamy and perfect. We got the collards again just because they were so, so good the first time. In addition to the Southern Classics plates, Sweet Soul offers several sandwiches ($7-$9; all served with fries or, for $1 extra, onion rings). These include chicken, pork chop and catfish varieties, as well as the Haystack Burger, which is a beef patty smothered in barbecue sauce with two strips of thick bacon and two onion rings on Texas toast. There’s a rotating array of daily specials as well, and if what we tried of the regular menu is any indication, these won’t disappoint. One of the specials we tried on our third trip was fried chicken, which was spectacular. It’s the fried chicken of childhood memories — crispy, salty (but not too salty), juicy and satisfying in the way that few dishes are. For the money ($7.50), this is one of the best lunch deals around. You get a leg, a thigh and a wing, mostly dark meat, which is the way it should be. Call us crazy, but those dry, flavorless, all-white chicken breasts hold zero appeal. We resisted the siren call of dessert on our first trip to Sweet Soul, but our willpower was waning on the second visit, so we opted for a personal apple pie ($3) and were very glad that we did, because it was uncommonly good. It came in one of those little individual pie tins, but if this crust was pre-fab, it’s the best pre-fab crust that’s ever been served — flaky, just barely salty, perfect. The filling was spot-on as well, not too sweet and with a hefty pinch of cinnamon. What seemed to be Golden Delicious apples were cooked just right, with a bit of resistance to them. Even if you don’t frequent the River Market area, Sweet Soul is worth a trip downtown for lunch. For those of us who are in the area regularly, well, we suspect Sweet Soul will be nourishing our bodies and spirits often.

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


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

Check out the Times’ food blog, Eat Arkansas



ARGENTA MARKET Neighborhood grocery store that offers a deli featuring a daily selection of big sandwiches along with fresh fish and meats and salads. 521 N. Main St. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-379-9980. L daily, D Mon.-Sat., B Sat., BR Sun. ARKANSAS BURGER CO. Good burgers, fries and shakes, plus salads and other entrees. 7410 Cantrell Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-663-0600. LD Tue.-Sat. ASHLEY’S The premier fine dining restaurant in Little Rock marries Southern traditionalism and haute cuisine. The menu is often daring and always delicious. 111 W. Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-374-7474. BLD Mon.-Sat. BR Sun. BELWOOD DINER Traditional breakfasts and plate lunch specials are the norm. 3815 MacArthur Drive. NLR. No alcohol, No CC. $. 501-753-1012. BL Mon.-Fri. BRAVE NEW RESTAURANT The food’s great, portions huge, prices reasonable. The fish is special. 2300 Cottondale Lane. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-2677. LD Mon.-Fri. D Sat. BRAY GOURMET DELI AND CATERING Turkey spreads in four flavors and the homemade pimiento cheese are the signature items. Also serves sandwiches, wraps, soups, stuffed potatoes and salads and sells the turkey spreads to go. 323 Center St. Suite 150. No alcohol, All CC. 501-353-1045. BL Mon.-Fri. CAPITAL BAR AND GRILL Big hearty sandwiches, daily lunch specials and fine evening dining all rolled up into one. 111 Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-374-7474. LD daily. CAPITOL BISTRO Serving breakfast and lunch items, including quiche, sandwiches, coffees and the like. 1401 W. Capitol Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-371-9575. BL Mon.-Fri. CATFISH HOLE Downhome place for wellcooked catfish and tasty hushpuppies. 603 E. Spriggs. NLR. Beer, All CC. $-$$. 501-758-3516. D Tue.-Sat. CIAO BACI The focus is on fine dining, though excellent tapas are out of this world. 605 N. Beechwood St. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-6030238. D Mon.-Sat. CRAZEE’S COOL CAFE Good burgers, daily plate specials and bar food. 7626 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-221-9696. LD Mon.-Sat. DOE’S EAT PLACE A skid-row dive turned power brokers’ watering hole with huge steaks, great tamales and broiled shrimp. 1023 W. Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-3761195. LD Mon.-Fri., D Sat. EJ’S EATS AND DRINKS The sandwiches are generous, the soup homemade and the salads cold. 523 Center St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-666-3700. LD Mon.-Fri. FLYING FISH The fried seafood is fresh and crunchy and there are plenty of raw, boiled and grilled offerings, too. 511 President Clinton Ave. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-375-3474. LD daily. GRUMPY’S TOO Music venue and sports bar with lots of TVs, pub grub and regular drink specials. 1801 Green Mountain Drive. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-225-3768. LD Mon.-Sat. HOMER’S Great vegetables, huge yeast rolls and killer cobblers. 2001 E. Roosevelt Road.

No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-374-1400. BL Mon.-Fri. 9700 N. Rodney Parham. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-224-6637. LD Mon.-Sat. THE HOUSE A comfortable gastropub where you’ll find traditional fare like burgers and fish and chips alongside Thai green curry and gumbo. 722 N. Palm St. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-4500. D daily, BR, L Sat.-Sun. JIMMY’S SERIOUS SANDWICHES Consistently fine sandwiches, side orders and desserts for 30 years. Chicken salad’s among the best in town. 5116 W. Markham St. No alcohol, CC. $-$$. 501-666-3354. L Mon.-Sat., D Mon.-Sat. (drive-through only). KRAZY MIKE’S Po’Boys, catfish and shrimp and other fishes, fried chicken wings and all the

expected sides. 200 N. Bowman Road. Beer, All CC. $$. 501-907-6453. LD daily. LOCA LUNA Grilled meats, seafood and pasta dishes. “Gourmet plate lunches” are good, as is Sunday brunch. 3519 Old Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-4666. BR Sun., LD Mon.-Fri., D Sat. LULAV Comfortably chic bistro with continental and Asian fare. 220 A W. 6th St. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-374-5100. L Mon.-Fri., D daily. OYSTER BAR Gumbo, red beans and rice, peel-and-eat shrimp, oysters on the half shell, addictive po’ boys. 3003 W. Markham St. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-666-7100. LD Mon.-Sat. OZARK COUNTRY RESTAURANT Specializes in big country breakfasts and pancakes plus

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free valet Parking • Piano Bar tues-sat 335 wine seleCtions Fine sPirits FroM around the world inquire about our Private CorPorate lunChes haPPy hour Mon-Fri 5-6:30PM now booking holiday reservations 500 President Clinton avenue (in the river Market distriCt) Call for reservations 501.324.2999 • www.sonnywilliaMssteakrooM.CoM

sandwiches and several meat-and-two options for lunch and dinner. 202 Keightley Drive. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-663-7319. B daily, L Mon.-Fri., D Thu.-Sat. THE ROOT CAFE Homey, local foods-focused cafe. With tasty burgers, homemade bratwurst, banh mi and a number of vegan and veggie options. 1500 S. Main St. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. BL Tue.-Sat., BR Sun. SALUT BISTRO This bistro/late-night hangout does upscale Italian for dinner and pub grub until the wee hours. 1501 N. University. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-660-4200. L Mon.-Fri., D Tue.-Sat. SCALLIONS Reliably good food, great desserts, pleasant atmosphere, able servers — a solid lunch spot. 5110 Kavanaugh Blvd. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-666-6468. L Mon.-Sat. SHORTY SMALL’S Land of big, juicy burgers, massive cheese logs, smoky barbecue platters and the signature onion loaf. 1100 N. Rodney Parham Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-2243344. LD daily. SONNY WILLIAMS’ STEAK ROOM Steaks, chicken and seafood in a wonderful setting. Menu is seasonal, changes every few months. 500 President Clinton Ave. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-324-2999. D Mon.-Sat. TERRI-LYNN’S BAR-B-Q AND DELI Highquality meats served on large sandwiches and good tamales served with chili or without. 10102 N. Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-227-6371. BL Tue.-Fri., BLD Sat. (close at 5pm). UNION BISTRO Casual upscale bistro and lounge with a new American menu of tapas and entrees. 3421 Old Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-353-0360. D Tue.-Sat., BR Sun.


CURRY IN A HURRY Home-style Indian food with a focus on fresh ingredients and spices. 11121 North Rodney Parham. Beer, Wine, No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-224-4567. LD Mon., Wed.-Sun. HANAROO SUSHI BAR One of the few spots downtown to serve sushi. With an expansive menu, featuring largely Japanese fare. 205 W. Capitol Ave. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-3017900. L Mon.-Fri., D Mon.-Sat. LEMONGRASS ASIA BISTRO Fairly solid Thai bistro. Try the Tom Kha Kai and white wine alligator. 4629 E. McCain Blvd. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. 501-945-4638. LD Mon.-Sun. MR. CHEN’S ASIAN SUPERMARKET AND RESTAURANT A combination Asian restaurant and grocery with cheap, tasty and exotic offerings. 3901 S. University Ave. $. 501-5627900. LD daily. PHO THANH MY The pho comes in outrageously large portions with bean sprouts and fresh herbs. Traditional pork dishes, spring rolls and bubble tea also available. 302 N. Shackleford Road. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-312-7498. LD Mon, Wed.-Sun. SEKISUI Fresh-tasting sushi chain with fun hibachi grill and an overwhelming assortment of traditional entrees. 219 N. Shackleford Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-221-7070. LD daily. SHOGUN JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE The chefs will dazzle you, as will the variety of tasty stir-fry combinations and the sushi bar. Usually CONTINUED ON PAGE 44

DECEMBER 5, 2012


ACROSS 1 Quick wit 7 Billy of “Titanic” 11 “Eternally nameless” Chinese principle 14 In harm’s way 15 Ruler of Asgard 16 Tool with a curved head 17 64-Across ingredient 19 “From my cold, dead hands!” sloganeer 20 “Elephant Boy” boy 21 64-Across ingredient 23 Bireme or trireme tool 25 “On the other hand …” 26 Andean wool source 27 Eve who wrote “The Vagina Monologues” 30 Commotion 31 Capt. Jean-___ Picard

32 Relax 36 “___ Ben Adhem” 40 64-Across ingredient 43 “Wait! There’s more …” 44 Relax 45 French seasoning 46 GPS display features: Abbr. 48 Strut one’s stuff, say 50 Illinois senator who became president 53 Jacuzzi sigh 56 Muscle car in a 1964 song 57 64-Across ingredient 60 Some calls to smokeys 63 Cousin ___ of ’60s TV 64 “Macbeth” recipe 66 Flock formation 67 Prefix with -logical

















crowded at night. 2815 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-6667070. D daily. SKY MODERN JAPANESE Excellent, ambitious menu filled with sushi and other Japanese fare and Continental-style dishes. 11525 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$$-$$$$. 501-224-4300. LD daily. TOKYO HOUSE Defying stereotypes, this Japanese buffet serves up a broad range of fresh, slightly exotic fare as well as more standard shrimp and steak options. 11 Shackleford Dr. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-2194286. LD daily.

68 Banned book of 1955 69 PC key 70 “A Doll’s House” wife 71 Playwright Bertolt

DOWN 1 Snacks on 2 Greek colonnade 3 Notable nose 4 Fraternity initiation, e.g. 5 Roughly: Suffix 6 Some referee calls, for short 7 “Fantabulous!” 8 Take up, as a cause 9 Zeros, in soccer 10 Wrap around 11 Tucker who sang “Delta Dawn” 12 Pertinent, in law 13 Conductor Seiji 18 It may be embarrassing if it’s open 22 Rose Parade entry R 24 Bassoon part in two pieces E E 27 Isle of exile L 28 Lacking value 29 Singer of 1976’s “You’ll Never B Find Another A Love Like Mine” Y 30 Church recesses 33 The Great R Lakes’ ___ E Locks R 34 Suffix with ranch A 35 Stalling-for-time N syllables












28 32




30 33














22 25





21 23




















49 56










60 65

Puzzle by Stu Ockman

37 Seat of a Catholic official 38 Draft-ready 39 Hard on the eyes 41 “Goodbye, ___ Jean …” 42 Grab onto 47 Australian city named after a naturalist

49 Hospital condition 50 Antipasto bit 51 What fishermen hope for 52 Member of an empire ruled by the Mexica 53 Cousin of a daisy 54 Name in kitchen foil

55 Villain’s chuckle 58 Lover of Aeneas 59 Peter ___, general manager of the Met 61 Aleph follower 62 Police jacket letters 65 College women’s grp.

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



CHIP’S BARBECUE Tasty, if a little pricey, barbecue piled high on sandwiches doused with the original tangy sauce or one of five other sauces. 9801 W. Markham St. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-225-4346. LD Mon.-Sat. DIXIE PIG Pig salad is tough to beat. The sandwiches are basic, and the sweet, thick sauce is fine. Serving Little Rock since 1923. 900 West 35th St. NLR. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-753-9650. LD Mon.-Sat.


4 SQUARE CAFE AND GIFTS Vegetarian salads, soups, wraps and paninis and a daily selection of desserts. 405 President Clinton Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-244-2622. BLD daily. CREGEEN’S IRISH PUB Irish-themed pub. Specialties include fish ‘n’ chips and Guinness beef stew. 301 Main St. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-376-7468. LD daily. ISTANBUL MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE This Turkish eatery offers decent kebabs and great starters. 11525 Cantrell Road. No alcohol, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-223-9332. LD daily. LEO’S GREEK CASTLE Wonderful Mediterranean food plus dependable hamburgers, ham sandwiches, steak platters and BLTs. 2925 Kavanaugh Blvd. No alcohol, CC. $-$$. 501-666-7414. BLD Mon.-Sat., BL Sun. (close at 4 p.m.).


CAFE PREGO Dependable entrees of pasta, pork, seafood, steak and the like, plus great sauces, fresh mixed greens and delicious dressings. 5510 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-5355. LD Mon.-Sat. CIAO ITALIAN RESTAURANT The fine pasta and seafood dishes, ambiance and overall charm combine to make it a relaxing, enjoyable, affordable choice. 405 W. Seventh St. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-372-0238. L Mon.-Fri., D Thu.-Sat. IRIANA’S PIZZA Unbelievably generous hand-tossed New York style pizza with unmatched zest. Good salads, too; grinders are great. 201 E. Markham St. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-374-3656. LD Mon.-Sat. U.S. PIZZA Crispy thin-crust pizzas, frosty beers and heaping salads drowned in creamy dressing. 2710 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-2198. LD daily. 5524 Kavanaugh Blvd. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-664-7071. LD daily. 9300 North Rodney Parham Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-224-6300. LD daily. 3307 Fair Park Blvd. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-565-6580. LD daily. 650 Edgewood Drive. Maumelle. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-851-0880. LD daily. 3324 Pike Avenue. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-758-5997. LD daily. 4001 McCain Park Drive. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-753-2900. LD daily. 5524 John F Kennedy Blvd. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-975-5524. LD daily. ZAFFINO’S BY NORI A high-quality Italian dining experience. Pastas, entrees and salads are all outstanding. 2001 E. Kiehl Ave. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. 501-834-7530. D Tue.-Sat.


BROWNING’S MEXICAN GRILL New rendition of a 65-year institution in Little Rock is a totally different experience. Some holdover items in name only but recast fresher and tastier. 5805 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-663-9956. LD daily, BR Sat-Sun. CANON GRILL Tex-Mex, pasta, sandwiches and salads. Creative appetizers come in huge quantities, and the varied main-course menu rarely disappoints, though it’s not as spicy as competitors’. 2811 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-664-2068. LD daily. CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL Burritos, burrito bowls, tacos and salads are the four main courses of choice — and there are four meats and several other options for filling them. Sizes are uniformly massive, quality is uniformly strong, and prices are uniformly low. 11525 Cantrell Road. All CC. $-$$. 501-221-0018. LD daily. COTIJA’S A massive menu of tasty lunch and dinner specials, the familiar white cheese dip and sweet red and fiery-hot green salsas, and friendly service. 406 S. Louisiana St. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-244-0733. L Mon.-Fri. LA REGIONAL The menu offers a whirlwind trip through Latin America, with delicacies from all across the Spanish-speaking world. 7414 Baseline Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-565-4440. BLD daily. LAS AMERICAS Guatemalan and Mexican fare. Try the hearty tamales wrapped in banana leaves. 8622 Chicot Road. $-$$. 501-565-0266. LD daily. CONTINUED ON PAGE 47 44

DECEMBER 5, 2012


These venues will be open late. There’s plenty of parking and a free trolley to each of the locations. Don’t miss it – lots of fun! FREE PARKING at 3RD & CUMBERLAND FREE STREET PARKING ALL OVER DOWNTOWN AND BEHIND THE RIVER MARKET (Paid parking available for modest fee.)

Featuring works of art from ArtGroup Maumelle.

decemBER 14

The 2nd Friday Of Each Month, 5-8 pm Home(Brew) for the Holidays Sample Holiday Beers

from the Central Arkansas Fermenters Club and Hear Acoustic Music Performed by

Mark Bilyeu & Cindy Woolf.

Free Admission Adults 21+

521 President Clinton Ave. River Market District (501) 975-9800

Gypsy Bistro

The Old State House Museum is a museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.


GALLERY 221 & ART STUDIOS 221 “Commending Angel” by Mel Fowler



(top right)

“Tiger in Snow” by Glenn Ledford


 Fine Art  Cocktails & Wine  Hor d’oeuvres

(bottom right)

“Coral Jewelry” by Rae Ann Bayless (left)

Pyramid Place ndPyramid Place 2 & Center St 2nd & Center St Artisan jewelry designer, Rae Ann Bayless, will be on site for a (501)801-0211 801-0211 special 2nd Friday Art Night trunk show featuring her exquisite(501) “Hartisan OT Sjewelry EATjust ” BY one-of-a-kind, in time for the holidays! Featured Exhibit “Let It Snow”  CATHERINE RODGERS

Join Us 5-8pm

♦ Fine Art ♦ Cocktails & Wine ♦ Hors d’oeuvres ♦

8th Ever Nog-Off A Friendly Eggnog Competition

Cast your vote for the best eggnog in town.


Shop local in the Museum Store.

A museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage

DEC. 14

Sponsored by

200 E. 3rd St. • 501-324-9351 •

Shop the Butler Center Galleries for gifts of original art by Arkansas artists. Register to win a $250 gift certicate in our Friends of Friends drawing. Enjoy Christmas carols by the CALS Choir and short lms by David O’Brien.

come ride the free trolley!

View the four current exhibitions: The Art of Living, Arkansas League of Artists, Solastalgia, and From the Vault: Works from the CALS Collection. • 320-5792

Gourmet. Your• 501-375-3333 Way. All Day. 300 Third Tower

december 5, 2012


If not fewer, better


know you people mean well but really, honestly you need to get over this annual urge to shower Ol’ Moi with Christmas presents as your way of saying thanks for the uplift that the weekly ruminations in this column have brought into your otherwise drab and dreary lives. My rumpus room is already full of Christmas packages this year with three weeks to go — and it’s a pretty big room. And the office mail room is so hopelessly clogged with gifts you’ve sent, postal sacks and bins of them, that cascades of them sluice out onto Scott Street, where the envious gnomish scriveners from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette come up and paw through them and make off with those that look most pawnable or regiftable. Truly, I’m rewarded enough without this seasonal outpouring. It’s reward enough just knowing I’m as beloved a local media figure as Gary Weir ever was, or Cactus Vick, or Smilin’ Joe Roper, or Sport Jackson, or Buff Blass, or Lelia Maude Funston, or Herbie Byrd, or Hambone. The nigh universal admiration, the handsome occupational emoluments, the perks, the props, the prizes, the endorsements … it’s almost enough to make me feel undeserving. Almost. But don’t let that “almost” fool you. Don’t think it’s a backdoor way of saying send more gifts instead of send fewer. It’s not. That would be unethical, duplicitous, Huckabesque, a cyn-

ical perversion of the Christmas spirit. And Homey don’t play that. The gifts might seem only geegaws and clutter to someBOB one of my standing, LANCASTER true enough, but I know how much they mean — how much the giving of them to the likes of Ol’ Moi means — to you little people. I’d much rather you spend your meager portions on yourselves, on each other, (do something about that hair, hire you a personal trainer, etc.), or on hard cases in your church or your employ, or on the ragged urchins whom Santa Claus has no time and only old lumps of coal for. I personally set aside a couple of dollars apiece for young’uns of that description who come around here looking pitiful, somehow get by my security, my posse, and the mass of celebrity-watchers who shadow me constantly, including paparazzi, to hit me up for an extra crust of bread, for a few measly coppers to help them purchase the rubber crutch tips they’ve dreamed about, a can of WD40 to loosen up their rusty leg braces or the bellows of the iron lung that their little brother is entombed in. I’m happy to fork over the happy-holidays $2, even knowing that at least 50 cents of it will go for some bagatelle, or toward some

killer app, and that they’ll be gulled out of the other buck-fifty by their deadbeat old daddies to put down on another bottle of fortified muscatel. I know it’s just throwing money away, but the spirit of Christmas doesn’t admit of practical considerations. So, please, no more Christmas gifts for Ol’ Moi. Or if you just have to, and I hate even to bring this up, maybe a little better class of gifts. I mean, even if you’re trailer trash it doesn’t mean you can’t be a little more tasteful, or artful, or je ne sais quoiful, in the Christmas-gift selection process. Being a prole, unschooled in classiness, and always a little short, doesn’t doom you to giving trashy presents relentlessly and inevitably, like the goob Magi who slipped the rubber vomit into the Holy Infant’s swaddling clothes. So work on this, perhaps over the summer. Discuss among yourselves. And promise me, no more pocket fishermen. No more garden weasels. No more moonstones from a deer shot dead by a six-year-old child. No more manger scenes folkarted out of Budweiser empties. No more dinosaur coprolite doorstops. No more ashtrays from the era when discreet butt-disposal in polite company was not an ejectable offense. No more tins of Lover’s Moon in notsubtle mockery of my political sympathies. No more glow-in-the-dark anythings. No more bacon neckties.

No more monogrammed cowhide billfolds obviously handtooled in the vo-tech leatherworking class. No more board-mounted talking fish, at least not one that speaks in the same Rastus patois as the magpie Heckle. No more little-boy-peeing car window decals, as I already have a full set. No more copies of “The Shack.” Inasmuch as the first 75 copies were sufficient to get the point across, whatever it was. No more reduced-fat burger grills of the kind endorsed and promoted by George Foreman, the ex-boxer, and his son George Foreman, and his other son George Foreman, and his other son George Foreman, and his other son George Foreman, and his other son George Foreman, and Georgette, Georgia, and others. No more souvenir TP rolls with President Obama’s likeness on every sheet. No more packages of stick-on fake bullet holes. No more splinters of gopher wood from Noah’s Ark, guaranteed authentic. No more Salad Shooters. No more Buttoneers. No more Smackover vistas hand-painted onto crosscut saws. No more Dick Chainys. No more Karl Rove bobbleheads, as the first one, suctioned onto my dashboard to serve as a kind of gargoyle, was mistaken by several myopic acquaintances of mine as a fleeing dildo.


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DENTON’S TROTLINE Saline county-ites love the buffet dining that, besides great catfish, offers shrimp, chicken, gumbos and snow crab legs. 2150 Congo Road. Benton. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-315-1717. D Tue.-Sat. ED AND KAY’S The pies alone are worth a stop at this Benton-area mainstay. “Mile-High” pies topped with meringue and including coconut, chocolate and the famous PCP (pineapple, coconut, pecan) are dang good; plate lunches feature Arkansas-grown produce like PurpleHull peas and fresh garden tomatoes. Breakfast is pretty good, too — try the Everything Omelet, and don’t pass up on the home fries. 15228 Interstate 30. Benton. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. (501) 315-3663. BLD. TAQUERIA AZTECA The best authentic Mexican in the Benton/Bryant area. Try the menudo on Saturday. 1526 Highway 5 N. Benton. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-7941487. LD Mon.-Sat.


FLYING FISH The fried seafood is fresh and crunchy and there are plenty of raw, boiled and grilled offerings, too. 109A Northwest 2nd St. Bentonville. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 479-6576300. LD daily. TUSK & TROTTER The dinner menu has everything from french fries to burgers to duck confit. 110 S.E. A St. Bentonville. Full bar, All CC.


HOME PLATE DINER This teal-and-chrome soaked diner in Bryant has drawn quite a following for generous breakfasts, great lunches, big burgers and an ever changing range of desserts each day. 2615 N. Prickett Road. Bryant. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-8473331. B Mon.-Sat. L Mon.-Fri. TASTE OF D’LIGHT The dinner entrees are gigantic; the $8.50 Chicken Delight contains

a full portion of General Gau’s, Chicken with Vegetables and Lemon Chicken and is easily enough for three people. Home of the fattest cheese rangoon in Arkansas (purportedly). 3200 N. Reynolds Rd. Bryant. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-847-6267. LD daily.


BEAR’S DEN PIZZA Pizza, calzones and salads at UCA hangout. 235 Farris Road. Conway. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-328-5556. LD Mon.-Sat. BLACKWOOD’S GYROS AND GRILL A wide variety of salads, sandwiches, gyros and burgers dot the menu at this quarter-century veteran of Conway’s downtown district. 803 Harkrider Ave. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. 501-329-3924. LD Mon.-Sat. BOB’S GRILL This popular spot for local diners features a meat-and-two-veg cafeteria style lunch and a decently large made-to-order breakfast menu. Service is friendly. 1112 W. Oak St. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-3799760. BL Mon.-Sat. CASA MARIACHI Mexican fare. 2225 Prince St. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-7641122. LD daily. CATFISH AND MORE As the name suggests, catfish and more — including an all-you-caneat buffet, sandwiches, individual dinners and fried pies. 1815 Highway 64 West. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-513-2252. L Tue.-Sun., D Tue.-Sat. DAVID’S BUTCHER BOY BURGERS Burgers, fries, shakes and drinks — that’s all you’ll find at this new Conway burger joint. 1100 Highway 65 N. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. (501) 327-3333. DUE AMICHE ITALIAN RESTAURANT Stromboli, pasta, pizza, calzones and other Italian favorites. 1600 Dave Ward Drive. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-336-0976. LD Mon.-Sun. FABY’S RESTAURANT Unheralded MexicanContinental fusion focuses on handmade sauces and tortillas. 1023 Front Street. Conway.

No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-513-1199. L daily, D Mon.-Sat. 2915 Dave Ward. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-329-5151. LD Mon.-Sun. FU LIN RESTAURANT Japanese steakhouse, seafood and sushi. Good variety, including items such as yam tempura, Karashi conch, Uzuzukuri and a nice selection of udon. 195 Farris. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-329-1415. LD Mon.-Sun. GREEN CART DELI Self-billed as “The World’s First Biocompostable Solar-Powered Gourmet Food Cart,” this hot dog stand serves up Sabrett-brand links with all sorts of inventive toppings. Simon Park. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-908-1656. L Mon.-Sat. (open until 5 p.m. usually on Sat.). HOG PEN BBQ Barbecue, fish, chicken 800 Walnut. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-326-5177. LD Tue.-Sat. HOLLY’S COUNTRY COOKING Southern plate lunch specials weekdays. 120 Harkrider. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $. 501-328-9738. L Mon.-Fri. LOS 3 POTRILLOS A big menu and lots of reasonably priced choices set this Mexican restaurant apart. The cheese dip is white, the servings are large, and the frozen margaritas are sweet. Try the Enchiladas Mexicanas, three different enchiladas in three different sauces. 1090 Skyline Dr. Conway. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-327-1144. LD Mon.-Sun. MICHELANGELO’S ITALIAN RISTORANTE Fine Italian dining in downtown Conway. Menu features brick oven pizzas, handmade sauces and pasta, salads, fish and seafood, steaks. Serves up champagne brunch on Sundays. Try the Italian Nachos, wonton chips topped with Italian sausage and vegetables coated in Asiago Cheese Sauce. 1117 Oak St. Conway. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-329-7278. LD daily. ORIENTAL KITCHEN Traditional, reasonably priced Chinese food favorites. 1000 Morningside Drive. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-328-3255. L Sat. D Mon-Sat.

PITZA 42 You’ll find pizza made on pita bread and a broad salad menu here. 2235 Dave Ward Dr. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-2051380. SMITTY’S BAR-B-QUE Meat so tender it practically falls off the ribs, and combos of meat that will stuff you. Hot sauce means HOT. 740 S. Harkrider. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-327-8304. LD Mon.-Sat. SMOKEHOUSE BBQ Hickory-smoked meats, large sides and fried pickles among other classics offered at this 40-year-old veteran of the Conway barbecue scene. 505 Donaghey. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-7644227. LD Mon.-Sat.


CAFE RUE ORLEANS Top quality Creole food and a couple of Cajun specialties from a cook who learned her tricks in Lafayette, La., and the Crescent City. 1150 N. College Ave. Fayetteville. Full bar, All CC. 479-443-2777. LD Tue.-Sat., BR Sun. COMMON GROUNDS All-day dining on Dickson Street with a broad selection of eats, including breakfast late in the day on the weekend and great coffee anytime. Probably the largest coffee drink menu in Northwest Arkansas. 412 W. Dickson St. Fayetteville. Full bar, All CC. $$. 479-442-3515. BLD. CORNER GRILL Hearty sandwiches, a tasty and inexpensive weekend brunch, friendly staff in new location away from Dickson Street. Highway 112. Fayetteville. 479-521-8594. BLD. DOE’S EAT PLACE This may be the best Doe’s of the bunch, franchised off the Greenville, Miss., icon. Great steaks, and the usual salads, fries, very hot tamales and splendid service. Lots of TVs around for the game-day folks. 316 W. Dickson St. Fayetteville. 479-443-3637. D. ELLA’S Fine dining in the university’s vastly reworked Inn at Carnall Hall. A favorite — it figures on the UA campus — is the razor steak. 465 N. Arkansas Ave. Fayetteville. 479-5821400. BLD. 2012 47 DECEMBERDecember 5, 2012 5,47

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