ARKTIMES.COM / FEBRUARY 20, 2014 / NEWS + POLITICS + ENTERTAINMENT + FOOD
MAKING CHANGES But will Suggs make a difference in the LRSD? BY LESLIE NEWELL PEACOCK
2014 ARKANSAS TIMES
MUSICIANS SHOWC A SE 5 Rounds · 20 Competing Bands · 1 Winner
! A Showcase first!
Round 3 Winner Mad Nomad
Jan 30 - Round 1 Peckerwolf W I N N ER
Feb 6 - Round 2 John Willis W I N N ER
competing for cash (and other prizes) in 2014!
Feb 13 - Round 3 Mad Nomad W I N N ER
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to attend the 2014 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase. Show your support for some of the state’s finest original bands.
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9pm - The Talking Liberties 10pm - Crash Meadows 11pm - The Machete with Love 12am - Duckstronaut
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FEBRUARY 20, 2014
We treat our dogs better A couple of weeks ago we took Cork in to help him die. Quickly and free of pain. It strengthened my conviction that we should legally be able to do this for humans, too. For maybe two years my husband, Mike, and I have been watching our oldest dog’s slow deterioration, trying to figure out if his life had become more pain than pleasure, more chore than fun. The daily prescription arthritis and pain medicines he’s been taking for years definitely eased him and slowed his disease, but he was 16 and the deterioration, of course, had continued. Finally, together, we decided the time had come. From the top of the linen closet, we found a soft, thick flannel top sheet in a rich peach color that had survived long after the bottom fitted one became rags. That, I decided, would be perfect for laying over Cork’s bed on the 45-minute ride into the vet’s, then later for lowering him into his grave and covering him before shoveling in the dirt. Was it hard making all the arrangements and decisions for his death, knowing we were taking him on his last short walk to his favorite places to let him check his pee mail one more time, putting the posthole digger on the tractor to prepare his grave, then giving him the sedative for the ride in? You betcha. But not as hard as putting a bullet through his head or watching his suffering increase with no hope of getting better. Dr. Nixon and his staff could not have been more kind. He came out to the back of the vehicle to give the shots, speaking kindly to Cork as he mercifully ended what had been a long life most dogs could only dream about. While horribly sad, this was all in direct contrast to an agonizing end-of-life experience I experienced last fall. In order for his wife to go home and get some desperately needed rest, I spent the night in a hospital hospice room with a dear friend of 35 years. It was not a good night. Although unconscious and hooked up to a morphine pump that I could click throughout the night to administer more medicine, my friend choked, gasped, moaned and screamed for hours. Nothing I did seemed to help him. Talking, touching, singing, praying, reciting scripture, more touch, chanting, and more singing — nothing seemed to help. I called the nurses for help so often during that long night they would not look at me when my relief sitter came the next morning. Sitting with him that night challenged my illusion that all pain could be dealt with through the right medication. Maybe it can be somewhere somehow, but it certainly wasn’t in that hospital room a few months 4
FEBRUARY 20, 2014
ago. My friend’s wife is assertive, and during his long illness they consulted with numerous doctors on pain management. His hospice doc was a good one, but they only got his pain managed the final three or so days of his life. I made Mike swear that he would never, ever let that happen to me. He feels the same way about the matter, and we made a pact that if either of us is ever terminally ill and the pain cannot be controlled, we will not leave the other to suffer like that. No matter what. If worse comes to worst and we can figure out no other way, we both have guns and we both know how to
use them. Regardless of consequences, we have each other’s back on this one. We hope it won’t come to that. We’re in our late 60s now. We hope that by the time we reach our journey’s end that Arkansas law will have changed to allow Arkansas hospice patients with unmanageable pain to receive the help they want from a willing physician so they can exit this life with dignity. If you feel the same way, what can you do to make this possible? Let your legislators know, of course, but what else? Is there someone you know who might help, or some organization you might contact?
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What can you do, this week, to start the changes that will make it possible to treat humans with as much compassion as we show our pets? Lee Cowan Fox
Minimum wage misinformation On Jan. 31, the Arkansas DemocratGazette published a letter from letterwriter Dennis Bosch about the proposed ballot initiative to raise Arkansas’s minimum wage. That letter contained a number of inaccuracies. He refers to an “increase to $15 an hour.” The proposal that supporters hope to have on the ballot for Arkansas voters this November would raise the minimum wage in three steps from its current level of $6.25 per hour to $7.50 per hour on Jan. 1, 2015; $8 on Jan. 1, 2016, and $8.50 on Jan. 1, 2017. Over the 10-plus years since the minimum wage was last increased in 2006, the final increase would be about 3 percent a year. The writer also claims that in the fastfood industry, “about half the cost of that hamburger consists of the wages paid to employees.” The latest financial statements from McDonald’s Corp. for their company-owned stores indicate that the cost of “payroll and employee benefits” is about 25 percent of sales. This includes not just minimum wage workers’ wages, but also management salaries as well as fringe benefits such as payroll taxes. Between now and November, a lot of misinformation and disinformation will be spread about this reasonable proposal. Hopefully, Arkansas voters will not be misled. Mike Watts Little Rock
Segregation everywhere Your article about integration in public swimming pools in Little Rock (Feb. 6) brought back childhood memories. I was raised in the southern suburbs of Chicago, and in the late ’40s and early ’50s, my mother would drive me and my brother to a neighboring town, eight miles away, to swim. One day I asked one of my parents why we didn’t have a pool in our town, and I was told that “if we had one, we’d have to have two.” The meaning was clear, even to me as a child. So segregation in pools didn’t occur only in the South! Jan Bowen Maumelle
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WEEK THAT WAS
It was a good week for ...
grew up in Arkadelphia and is an alumnus of Arkadelphia High School and Ouachita Baptist.
HEALTH CARE IN ARKANSAS Republican Sen. Jane English of North Little Rock said on Tuesday she would vote to reauthorize federal money to support Arkansas’s private option for Medicaid expansion, thereby likely ensuring that more than 100,000 low- and moderate-income Arkansans won’t lose health insurance only months after they received it. English voted against the private option during last year’s general session. After two other Senate votes flipped from “yes” to “no,” English became the swing vote.
HEALTH CARE IN ARKANSAS The state private option appeared headed towards passage earlier this week, but in a somewhat crippled form. Rep. Nate Bell (R-Mena) introduced special language amendments that, among other things, would require people making as little as $6,000 a year to pay a copay and end all outreach funding for the program.
HOG MEMORIES Former President Bill Clinton and former Razorback head basketball coaches Nolan Richardson and Eddie Sutton were on hand last Saturday to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Arkansas’s national championship.
WARREN STEPHENS An excerpt from a new book caught Stephens singing a joke-y song about Wall Street to the tune of “Dixie” at a secret fraternity meeting of the 1 percent of the 1 percent.
DEATH PENALTY OPPONENTS Judge Wendell Griffen struck down the state’s new lethal injection law because it gives too much discretion to the state Correction Department. JANE CHU The president of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City was named head of the National Endowment for the Arts. Chu
2014 collections are here!
It was a bad week for ...
SEN. MISSY IRVIN The Republican senator from Mountain View, one of the handful of retrograde legislators who’ve stood in the way of reauthorization of the private option, held a fundraiser while the legislature was amidst its special session. The House has a rule that prevents such fund raising; the Senate does not. That doesn’t mean Irvin passes the smell test.
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FEBRUARY 20, 2014
EYE ON ARKANSAS
End minority rule
FEBRUARY 20, 2014
s the Arkansas Times prepared to publish on Tuesday, it appeared that, after months of bluster, Arkansas lawmakers would reauthorize funds to cover the state’s private option to Medicaid expansion. That’s good news. For weeks it seemed that Obamacare opponents would stop the program before it really got started, leaving more than 100,000 low-income Arkansans uninsured only months after they’d received coverage. It’s more than a little maddening that the state even found itself in such a position. A majority in both the Arkansas House of Representatives and Senate supports the private option. A majority of Democratic and Republican legislators support the private option. The legislative jockeying in recent months has been all about securing a supermajority, 75 percent support in each chamber. That meant that 26 of 100 House members or nine of 35 senators could derail the plan. As Arkansas Times columnist Ernie Dumas has pointed out in recent weeks in these pages, Arkansas is unique among states for its requirement that three-fourths of both legislative chambers approve all appropriations. Minorities have taken advantage of the quirk in the past, usually to deleterious effect. Same song, new verse: This go-round we have Republican Rep. Nate Bell of Mena introducing special language amendments to the private option appropriation that will kill funding for spreading the word about the private option and require copays of Arkansans making as little as $6,000. Bell is candid that he wants to kill the policy as soon as possible, but says he doesn’t think it’s currently possible. The appropration with the amended language appeared likely to pass as we went to press, not because House members agree with Bell’s position, but because they believe not supporting it might encourage a minority large enough to block the funding for the private option altogether. That’s patently undemocratic. It’s probably for the best that lawmakers came up with a deal to preserve health expansion, but we’d almost hoped that a minority would block funding, and perversely spawn a court challenge. As Dumas has written in the paper and on the Arkansas Blog, there’s good reason to think a supermajority isn’t required to pass an appropriation, especially in the case of federally funded programs, like the current private option. By some means, it’s time to end minority rule.
STANDING TALL: Cypress trees in Hill Lake in North Little Rock.
ou thought Republican control of the legislature would change things? Evidence to the contrary follows that we dug up last week on the Arkansas Blog: First there was Sen. Missy Irvin holding a fundraiser at a luxury Little Rock condo (for reelection to her seat based in remote Stone County). The Senate rules allow in-session fundraising. House rules don’t. But even some of the sleazier members of the Senate recognize the ill-appearance of sticking a hand out to lobbyists while the voting machine is operating. Lobbyists packed Irvin’s fund-raiser. Irvin defended herself by saying the legislature is only passing budget bills, not setting policy. This, on the eve of the most critical policy vote in years, continuation of Medicaid expansion. Irvin, wife of a prosperous doctor, is an opponent. Then there was former Sen. Gilbert Baker, who left the legislature through an ethics loophole at the end of 2012 to become a $132,000 lobbyist for the University of Central Arkansas. It’s higher pay for essentially a job he already had, bundling campaign contributions for Republican candidates and like-minded judicial candidates. While in the legislature, Baker was paid $60,000 a year by the shadowy Faith and Freedom Coalition to use its secretively raised money to pump $200,000 into electing the Republican majority. Now he gets more than twice the pay and all from the public teat. Baker was point man on a recent $100,000 haul for Republican House candidate Stacy Hurst of Little Rock. He’s been tapping friends in the nursing home industry, developed during his on-the-floor work for tort reform, for this and judicial races. He helped Rhonda Wood of Conway, an Arkansas Supreme Court candidate, who got at least $70,000 of the $132,000 she reported in her first finance report from the nursing
home industry. The money came in bundles, with multiple contributions from different corporate entities of the same parent, such as Michael Morton of Fort Smith. Morton contributed heavily to MAX Wood, but other nursing home BRANTLEY friends did most of the heavy firstname.lastname@example.org lifting in providing a third of the campaign contributions of Conway Court of Appeals candidate Michael Maggio. Maggio gave a Morton nursing home a whopping $4 million reduction in a $5 million unanimous jury verdict for the suffering of a patient who died after his nursing home failed to follow a physician’s instructions for hospital admission. Maggio, a circuit judge, said the verdict “shocked the conscience.” This is the kind of conscience that nursing homes and Gilbert Baker want on the court. UCA President Tom Courtway told me he saw no problem with Baker’s bundling as long as Baker works on his own time — whatever that means. Baker doesn’t work on a time clock. Schmoozing the legislature is his primary reason for public employment. Where does representing UCA end and representing another lobby begin? Democrats raised hell about the disclosure of Baker’s activities and even held up the UCA budget for a day. Courtway has promised a new and cleaner day at scandal-plagued UCA. But I’m skeptical there will be much change in the behavior of the UCA-paid advocate for nursing home and Republican interests. I think Baker’s activities reflect a general Republican view that their total domination of Arkansas politics is at hand. They will be the sole deciders of what is proper in the political arena. Courtway, to keep UCA money flowing, has no choice, but to go along. Ethics and appearances don’t count. Only the bottom line.
People don’t matter; business, industry do
he campaign to stiffen the spines of the handful of lawmakers who want to stop health insurance for 100,000 to 200,000 Arkansans who are in economic misery perfectly mirrors the hardright crusade, the most successful political movement of our time. Bankrolled and guided by some of the nation’s richest men and most profitable industries, it has metamorphosed into a latter-day populist movement, where working-class folks vote against their self-interest and brood about all the outrages visited upon them by liberals, elites, the government, scientists, feminists, gun haters and atheists, all led by a cunning and vicious president who only happens to be black. Everything that is going wrong in their lives or that they fear will go wrong is part of the Obama plot. For three years Obamacare has been the dark menace that is going to take their jobs, destroy their futures and bankrupt their country. The vast fortune of the Koch brothers and heavily bankrolled front groups with civic-sounding names — Americans for
Prosperity, the Club for Growth, Americans for Tax Reform, the Center to Protect Patients’ Rights, Americans for Job ERNEST Security, AmeriDUMAS cans for Responsible Leadership — have kept Obamacare fears at the front of the national cerebral cortex. This month, little Arkansas has been the object of their attention and specifically the tea-party faction in the Arkansas legislature that wants to end the so-called “private option,” a plan devised by Arkansas Republicans to buy private health insurance for some 200,000 citizens whose incomes are so low they cannot afford to pay any of the premiums for a health policy. Obamacare anticipated that the government would pay hospitals and doctors for their care, as it does with most other Medicaid beneficiaries, but the Republicans, or many of them, thought it better that they enjoy the benefits of the real Obamacare — the private health insurance exchanges.
Back in Clintonland
ack in 1993, a Washington Post reporter asked me which Clinton was smarter, Bill or Hillary. As a magazine journalist long-residing in Arkansas, I’d never covered state government and would have described the President and First Lady as friendly acquaintances, nothing more. I said that we had a saying in the Central Arkansas Beagle Club that you can’t train no dog that’s smarter than you. Since both Clintons clearly topped me in the IQ department, I had no way to judge their relative brainpower. Needless to say, this was the wrong answer, deeply violating journalistic protocol. Making glib pronouncements about near strangers is what we do. So when I read that Hillary told her friend Diane Blair that the press has “big egos and no brains,” I’m neither shocked nor offended. Is there anybody in politics who doesn’t think that? Anybody in the world? Nor was I astonished that Hillary admitted to her friend during the 1996 Whitewater media feeding frenzy that “I know I should do more to suck up to the press … I know it confuses people when I change my hairdos, I know I should pretend not to have any opinions, but I’m just not going to. I’m used to winning and I intend to win on my
own terms.” And so she did. If you’ve forgotten, 1996 was the year all the best minds in the WashGENE ington press, heedLYONS ing Kenneth Starr’s leak-o-matic prosecutors, were predicting her imminent criminal indictment. To publicize an excerpt from James B. Stewart’s Whitewater book “Blood Sport,” Time published a cover photo of the First Lady that looked like a vampire movie poster. Maybe you remember Stewart, the eminent financial journalist who appeared on Nightline, NPR and anywhere else they’d have him, gravely accusing Hillary of bank fraud — all based, as it turned out, upon his own failure to read the second page of a two page loan document. Last I heard the eminent Judge Starr, once ticketed for the U.S. Supreme Court, was president of some Texas bible college. So yeah, Hillary won on her own terms. Now something called the Washington Free Beacon, which unearthed these nuggets from the collected papers of the late Diane Blair, the accomplished University of Arkansas professor who was Hillary’s dearest friend and confidante, pronounces her “ruthless” and a
If nine members of the Senate — only 7 percent of the legislature — will stand firm at this month’s fiscal session and vote against the Medicaid appropriation, Obamacare foes think it will scuttle the program and score a huge symbolic victory nationally. Republican legislators who were backed by Koch and other front groups like Americans for Prosperity have been getting heat to stand against the private option, which they say is real Obamacare in Republican clothing. This week, the principal Koch group, Americans for Prosperity, which spent close to $2 million two years ago electing Arkansas Republicans and Obamacare foes, sent legislators a different message. Sensing that defeat of the program by a tiny minority might send a bad message for Republicans in an election year, the organization’s Arkansas chief said it would be all right to let the private option continue this year and then concentrate on killing it outright in 2015, after the election. Saturday, the state affairs manager for Grover Norquist’s lobby penned an op-ed in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, which carries anti-Obamacare diatribes almost daily on its editorial page, even while its news pages carry moving accounts of people helped by Obamacare. He explained why it’s important for the nine Republicans to
be steadfast and kill the private option now. The piece betrayed the real interest of the movement, and it was not the sons and daughters of toil. The only reason anyone has for not killing the private option now, he suggested, is the chamber of commerce’s warning that doing so might cause a few large employers in Arkansas that do not offer health insurance to their employees to pay new federal taxes because their low-wage workers would lose their health coverage. Scaring people like that is a dastardly plot, he said. He reassured legislators and the public that they need not worry: The business owners are not likely to pay higher taxes if insurance for the poor ends abruptly and forever. Everything will be peachy again. But what about more than 100,000 Arkansans who will lose their ability to get medical attention when they need it and another 100,000 or so who are expected to sign up over the next two years? That is the only real issue at the legislature, not whether a few business owners might pay a little tax for not helping their low-wage workers get health care. The Americans for Prosperity agent never mentioned them, even obliquely. See, everyone knows that businessmen really count, but poor working stiffs? They’re just in the way.
“cutthroat political strategist.” This because she’d confided to Blair that President Clinton’s inability to “fire people, exert discipline, punish leakers,” and his lack of a strategy to deal with Whitewater, Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Arkansas state troopers and other partisan mercenaries made her crazy. “Inability to organize, make tough choices,” Blair wrote “drives her nuts.” Indeed, history records that it was Hillary, who once served on the staff of Watergate independent counsel Leon Jaworski, that warned her husband it would be a terrible mistake to agree to an open-ended inquisition to finesse a temporary political problem. No independent counsel, no Monica Lewinsky, no Linda Tripp, no Lucianne Goldberg, no blue dress. None of it. So if that’s ruthless, cutthroat political strategy, the Clinton White House could have used a lot more of it. So do I buy Hillary’s rationalization for Bill’s infamous sexual misbehavior? First, let me repeat something I wrote back then: Other people’s marriages are a foreign country where you don’t know the language. Second, this whole business of pundits hiding their own naughty secrets while moralizing about the sins of others is both hypocritical and sadistic. That said, no I don’t put much stock in that psychologist who told her that Bill’s
infidelity had its roots in his childhood, and that “most men with fidelity problems [were] raised by two women and felt conflicted between them.” I’d suggest it had its roots in his pants. Truth to tell, Bill Clinton’s behavior wasn’t so different from men in other occupations — athletes, musicians, actors, even the occasional professor — that attract groupies. (Journalists, of course, are universally known for their virtue.) Did she privately call Monica a “narcissistic loony toon?” Most wives would have said much worse. Bill Clinton once described the White House to a mutual friend as “the jewel of the federal penitentiary system.” At the time, I remember thinking: Well, you asked for it, pal. But then a politician’s life is incomprehensible to me. Blair summarized Hillary’s thinking in September 1998: “Ever since he took office they’ve been going thru personal tragedy ([the death of] Vince [Foster], her dad, his mom) and immediately all the ugly forces started making up hateful things about them, pounding on them.” “[Hillary] didn’t realize toll it was taking on him,” Blair continued. “She thinks she was not smart enough, not sensitive enough, not free enough of her own concerns and struggles to realize the price he was paying.” Well, she loves the man, is all I can say. And he’s damned lucky to have her. www.arktimes.com
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The University of Central Arkansas’ College of Fine Arts and Communication, supported by a group of community volunteers, presents
A biennial gala fundraising cocktail party and dinner featuring the Piano Puzzler,
Bruce Adolphe March 21, 2014
Guests will enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail party and dinner on the stage of Reynolds Performance Hall at UCA. Known as the “Piano Puzzler” on American Public Media’s Performance Today, Adolphe will perform his puzzlers on the stage of Reynolds Performance Hall. Guests will also enjoy a performance of selections of Adolphe’s most recent new work, commissioned by UCA, Mary Cassatt: Scenes from her Life, inspired by works of art at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Your support of Bravo! will allow students in the UCA Music Department to attend professional conferences in the United States and abroad.
$100 per person - Cocktail attire Seating is limited, so reserve your tickets now!
For information, please visit uca.edu/cfac/bravo For tickets and information, please contact Joshua Miller in the CFAC at (501) 450-3293 or email@example.com
FEBRUARY 20, 2014
mercurial team might as well have a mercurial day of the week. Saturdays have been equal parts heaven and hell for Arkansas basketball of late, and that’s been aptly shown in February alone. The Hogs started this critical month in horrid fashion: They went to Baton Rouge to play a resurgent LSU team, limping after a home loss to Missouri, and did so without the services of the suspended Michael Qualls and Alandise Harris. Predictably, they were down by 20 points in a near-instant, and even a feisty second-half effort would only draw them within six points before they fell, 88-74. That Feb. 1 loss was, it seemed, just the latest low point in a season replete with them. Since then, though, Arkansas has experienced modest confidence gains, and ironically it might be that showing in Louisiana that sets them on a proper path to some kind of postseason bid for a change (let’s not even eyeball the coveted reentry into the NCAA field just yet). On a day when they were shorthanded and utterly steamrolled for the first 15 minutes or so, the Hogs actually did something they haven’t commonly done on the road, which is demonstrate composure and competitive fire. Looking backward now might seem cavalier, but after halftime and with the season crumbling at a disturbingly quick pace, Arkansas thwarted the Tigers’ endeavor to make the game a laugher. An 18-4 run in the closing minutes wasn’t enough to alter the outcome, but it did apparent wonders for Mike Anderson’s team in the following ways: • The Hogs shot horribly that day, knocking down only 21 of 64 attempts from the floor while LSU canned 35 shots in the same number of tries. Coupled with the Tigers’ decisive plus-12 rebounding advantage, it was a statistical marvel that Arkansas even stayed in the game at all. So how the hell did they? Simply put, they got aggressive, but smartly so — an 18-of-19 free throw effort over the last 16 minutes was atypically sound, but the confidence in knocking down those freebies bled over to the following games, too. In the four ensuing games — three wins and an agonizing one-point defeat to Missouri at Columbia — the Hogs hoisted 106 total free throws, hitting
an impressive 79, and showed a renewed vigor in getting into the paint. The primary aggressor BEAU has been Rashad WILCOX Madden, whose light-years improvement in 2013-14 may be the single most inspiring story of this frustrating season. • In that first tilt against LSU, the Tigers’ dynamic freshman post Jordan Mickey was an unrepentant terror. He blocked six shots in addition to having an artful double-double of 22 points and 11 boards, but maybe most damning of all was the fact that the rangy Dallas product only committed a single foul in 35 minutes. For all of the Hogs’ assertiveness in getting to the stripe at Baton Rouge, they weren’t effective at creating contact where it mattered. So they resolved that issue, rather forcefully, in the rematch at Bud Walton this past weekend. Mickey was checked offensively — his eight-point output was only his third game in single digits all year — but mostly he was a non-factor at the defensive end thanks to foul trouble. And although his brawny companion, Johnny O’Bryant, had another impressive showing against the Hogs (20 points, 16 boards), the Hogs didn’t suffer greatly for it with Mickey and other frontcourt staples getting shackled. • Perhaps the most significant byproduct of the road loss to LSU was an intangible one. Arkansas didn’t quit in a road tilt when it easily could have and, as a result, the team took the floor the next week at Vandy with a sense of cohesiveness it hasn’t had away from home for ... well, almost two decades. Losing at Missouri was unfortunate, but yet again the Hogs demonstrated uncommon fortitude in that one, negating a double-digit margin and battling back repeatedly to take a couple of slim leads late. There is, for the first time in a good while, a sense that Arkansas truly loathes its well-earned reputation as a road patsy. This team, more than Anderson’s first two and by miles more so than any of John Pelphrey’s, seems unwilling to fold. On one hand it’s reassuring to see a team show in-season maturation; on the other, it’s frustrating that it seems to be happening too late to make a substantive difference.
Lights, Camera, aCtion THE OBSERVER NOTES ON THE PASSING SCENE
The bird IT’S A LOVELY DAY OUTSIDE as The Observer writes this, one of those rare February days when we wish we still worked outside, or at least at some job that included outdoor naptimes on the list of employee perks. On days like today we can’t help but recall tales from our days working a roofing crew. Why, here’s one now: When The Observer was 16 or 17, we — brother, Dad and Yours Truly — went out on a patch job in Little Rock somewhere, a bunch of identical houses in a cul de sac. Dad went up to the door and knocked and wiped his feet and went inside to stare grimly at dark ceiling spots with the homeowner. The Brothers Observer, meanwhile, hung around the truck, lounging there, lean as wolves. It was springtime, for once. It was beautiful. After awhile, the garage door went up — clack! whirrrrrrrrrrr — and then this very old man came hobbling out on a walker. He shuffled down the driveway, the wheels on the walker going “squeak, squeak, squeak” in The Observer’s memory, even though we know they didn’t in real life, because that would just be too perfect. A mummy risen, he shuffled down to where we were standing and rattled to a stop at the line where the driveway met the street. “BURDS!” said he. “Been trying to tell her. Peckin’ holes in the roof. She don’t listen to an edgewise word, why I oughta, to da moon, BURDS! etc.” The Brobservers, meanwhile, stood there in our holey concert T-shirts and ball caps with sweat crusted around the brim, nodding, trying to figure out how to handle the situation through glances, saying the teenage equivalent of “that’s nice,” which sounds like “Uh-huh,” only more condescending. Soon, through passed frowns, we had come to the completely unanimous agreement that the old dude was completely peanut butter-and-pickle-sammich crazy. After a while, the old guy’s daughter came out of the house and rushed down the driveway with the tails of her cardigan flapping, saying: “Oh, dad!” and “I’ve been looking for you!” and “Stop bothering these men about the birds” and “Come along dear.” She took the old
man by the shoulders, bodily turned him, then steered him away up the driveway: squeak, squeak, squeak. As they went, she turned and made that face, the Apology Face, that So Sorry to Have Been Any Trouble Face. Now, grown enough to decipher, The Observer is touched by the humanity of that gesture — the connection that existed in the space of a pained smile, even though she was wearing an outfit from M.M. Cohn’s and the two of us were wearing day-old flashing cement around the rim of our cuticles. They disappeared back inside, and then we were standing there again in the sun, ready to work, feeling young, feeling glad that we aren’t some addled old fart who had to be led like a child back into a bland, comfortable, identical house in this cul de sac. And so we exchanged a glance of guilty relief, both of us not quite buying yet that one of these days we might be the old man — squeak, squeak, squeak — or that the broken-strapped watch on the dash of our father’s Dodge was, even then, saying tick, tick, tick. It was at that moment when we saw the crow. Black as asphalt, winging out of a stand of trees behind the cul de sac, just a sparkling obsidian flake at first, but bigger and bigger as it came. We stood there in a dream and watched it come. Watched the crow light on the ridge of the house. Watched it stalk up and down the wood shake, looking, looking, looking. And then it stopped. Thirty feet away, The Observer could imagine the hot-tar eye of the bird, which cocked his head. And then, in one practiced movement, a Zen archer, the bird genuflected, grasped the crown of a shiny roofing nail in his beak, and then tug, tug, tugged it free. Prize gathered, the crow fluttered its broken umbrella wings and flew off, back the way it came. It’s hard to keep from assigning some kind of moral to our own stories, friend, these old books The Observer carries in our head. In the end, we have to just keep telling ourselves: Nobody likes a blowhard, and besides, the world just isn’t orderly enough most of the time to create fiction, neat as French polish over walnut grain. Existence is inherently messy, and the best you can do is just tell the story and let people get out of it what they will. Sometimes, a crow is just a crow. Maybe not in this case, however.
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The 2014 Arkansas Baptist College Supper & Soul Gala will be held Thursday, February 27, 2014 · 6:00 in the evening Statehouse Convention Center, Wally Allen Ballroom
Sherra & Eddie Armstrong
will accept the 2014 Arkansas Baptist College Growing Hope Award
Join us for the cocktail reception and silent auction. After the seated dinner, dance the night away to the sounds of the
Dress is cocktail attire. Sponsorships start at $3000, tickets are $250 and tables of ten are $2500.
Arkansas Baptist College is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
For more information contact: Department of Development 1621 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, Little Rock, Arkansas 72202 501-414-0853 office, 501-414-0861 fax, firstname.lastname@example.org
FEBRUARY 20, 2014
IN S ID E R
New York magazine recently provided a book excerpt from writer Kevin Roose, who went undercover in the secret initiation dinner of a Wall Street fraternity — the 1 percent of the 1 percent. Shades of Mitt Romney, the sights he saw at the dinner in January 2012. They included Little Rock tycoon Warren Stephens singing new lyrics, tailored to Wall Street, to “Dixie.” The performance was captured on audio, which you can hear at arktimes.com/dixie. From the excerpt: “Warren Stephens, an investment banking CEO, took the stage in a Confederate flag hat and sang a song about the financial crisis, set to the tune of ‘Dixie.’ (‘In Wall Street land we’ll take our stand, said Morgan and Goldman. But first we better get some loans, so quick, get to the Fed, man.’)” Roose’s conclusions: “The first and most obvious conclusion was that the upper ranks of finance are composed of people who have completely divorced themselves from reality. No self-aware and socially conscious Wall Street executive would have agreed to be part of a group whose tacit mission is to make light of the financial sector’s foibles. Not when those foibles had resulted in real harm to millions of people in the form of foreclosures, wrecked 401(k)s, and a devastating unemployment crisis. “The second thing I realized was that Kappa Beta Phi was, in large part, a fearbased organization. Here were executives who had strong ideas about politics, society, and the work of their colleagues, but who would never have the courage to voice those opinions in a public setting. Their cowardice had reduced them to sniping at their perceived enemies in the form of satirical songs and sketches, among only those people who had been handpicked to share their view of the world. And the idea of a reporter making those views public had caused them to throw a mass temper tantrum.” The first report on Kappa Beta Phi appeared in the New York Times and noted Stephens for his appearance there in drag, required of new inductees in the fraternity.
An opponent for Bell Rep. Nate Bell is a troglodyte by progressive political standards, but he’s a hard-working politician. Does his homework. (Scores F on most tests, by our lights.) Attends lots of local meetings. But he will not go unchallenged this election season, a sign that the Democrats are recruiting hard to try to win the House back and elect Mike Ross as governor. CONTINUED ON PAGE 11 10
FEBRUARY 20, 2014
C&H HOG FARM
Hogs near the Buffalo Errors in Mt. Judea farm’s permit draw criticism. BY DAVID RAMSEY
&H Hog Farm, located in the Buffalo National River watershed and the first facility in the state to get a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) permit, continues to stir controversy amid fears from conservationist groups that the farm poses environmental risks. Its permit allows C&H to house 6,503 hogs, which belong to Cargill, by revenue the largest privately held company in the nation and the sole customer for C&H. Last September, the legislature approved the expenditure of $340,510 in state funds to implement pollution testing and monitoring by a team of University of Arkansas water and soil experts at the Mt. Judea farm, which is in close proximity to a major tributary of the Buffalo River. (Should the legislature approve it, testing in future years would cost around $100,000 annually.) A coalition of public interest groups
— including the Buffalo River Watershed Alliance, the National Parks Conservation Association and the Ozark Society — has been sharply critical of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality’s oversight of the state permitting process. The groups also filed suit last August against the federal agencies that backed C&H’s loan guarantee, over alleged problems with the environmental assessment and public notice requirements. The latest complaint from the coalition involves errors in the nutrient management plan (NMP) for spreading hog waste as fertilizer, submitted by C&H as part of its permitting process and approved by ADEQ. The coalition wrote a letter to ADEQ last week suggesting that these errors in the NMP — incorrectly mapping three of the 17 fields used by the farm for spreading hog waste — may have led the state-funded pollution monitoring to take place on the
wrong fields. In fact, according to Andrew Sharpley, the soil scientist leading the C&H monitoring project, the UA team became aware of the errors before the testing and only tested in the proper areas. However, the coalition believes that the errors in the plan continue a pattern of mistakes, omissions and flaws in the regulatory process and should prompt ADEQ to reopen the permitting process. ADEQ first discovered the mapping errors when officials did their first inspections of the site in July and again in January. Most of the fields that C&H uses to spray waste as fertilizer are owned by local farmers and leased to C&H. In the permit’s NMP, two of the fields — Field 12 and Field 16 — had erroneous borders that included small portions of land that had not been leased to C&H. Another field, Field 5, was in the wrong location entirely. The agency sent C&H letters informing the farmers of the errors; C&H responded by acknowledging the mistakes and stating that they would revise the map as requested by ADEQ. ADEQ Director Teresa Marks said that the hog farm had not spread manure on any of the areas that are not in fact owned or being leased by C&H. They have also not spread manure on the proper Field 5 that is being leased by C&H, because that CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
ASK THE TIMES
Tune in to the Times’ “Week In Review” podcast each Friday. Available on iTunes & arktimes.com
INSIDER, CONT. The candidate is Chase Busch, 26, a self-described “fifth-generation” Arkansan. Normally it’s Republicans this election season touting their ancestors. Nobody has yet topped 2nd District congressional candidate French Hill’s claim of ninth-generation roots. Busch’s campaign announcement news release emphasizes jobs, education and infrastructure. It speaks unkindly of the politics of Washington in Arkansas, which may be a veiled reference to recent minority Republican opposition, from Bell and others, to the health insurance expansion passed by an overwhelming legislative majority last year. Busch, who is completing a degree in mechanical engineering at Arkansas Tech, stays positive, but remarks that he “wants to represent and lead with the same character, honor, and respect as the great men who served this area in the past.” Bell’s penchant for hurling insults at people with whom he disagrees has included comparing liberals with Nazis and setting the whole of Boston on fire against him after some ill-chosen remarks about the Boston Marathon slaughter.
I got a drone for Christmas. Can I fly it anywhere I want? Will the government come get me? Is it true I can get my textbooks delivered by Amazon the way the kid did in the comic strip?
Answer to question 1: You can fly your drone for “personal enjoyment,” says Lynn Lunsford, the Mid-State Public Affairs Manager for the Federal Aviation Administration. To question 2: If your drone can fly above 400 feet, which is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration, the government might come get you, so stay under 400 feet. If you are a newspaper, said Lunsford, using a drone with a camera attached so you can take photographs of, say, oil leaking into Lake Conway to put in the paper, then the answer to your first question is no, because the FAA does not permit any commercial use of private drones. Lunsford actually said such use was “not yet permitted,” which means that Amazon is not laboring in vain developing its drone delivery system, “Prime Air.” Amazon’s website cautions, however, that “putting Prime Air into commercial use will take some number of years as we advance the technology and wait for the
necessary FAA rules and regulations.” If you live in Australia, however, you can get your rental textbooks delivered by a startup company, Zookal. It will make deliveries in Sydney. The FAA announced in December that it has given permission to six public organizations to develop drones (unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS in govspeak) and test them to determine how they may be used safely in American airspace. The six test site operators are the University of Alaska, which will test drones in Hawaii and Oregon; the state of Nevada, which will focus on air traffic control questions; New York’s Griffis International Airport in Rome, N.Y.; which will work on testing and evaluation; the North Dakota Department of Commerce, which will test in varying airspace; Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, safety and airworthiness testing, and Virginia Tech, which will do “failure mode” testing. Read more at www.faa.gov under the News tab.
Hate never takes a holiday, not when a vote is pending on reauthorizing spending on the private option expansion of Medicaid. With a major vote scheduled this week, the Arkansas Family Council — a “Christian” group dedicated to discrimination against gay people and making abortion a crime — has written legislators to notify them that Arkansas Blue Cross is extending insurance coverage to same-sex couples legally married in other states. The Arkansas Family Council argues that, if the Blue Cross policy includes coverage to same-sex couples under the federally financed private option Medicaid expansion plan adopted by the state, it conflicts with the “spirit” of the Arkansas Constitution. A constitutional amendment pushed by the Family Council prohibits same-sex marriage and the providing of any benefits of marriage to same-sex couples. There’s no question of “if” the new Blue Cross policy extends to Arkansas’s private option. All private option plans are for individuals only. But the Family Council never misses an opportunity to promote bigotry. It’s cold comfort that the Family Councils of the world will eventually lose this battle. In Arkansas, meanness is all too abundantly available, not just against gay people, but the poor generally. www.arktimes.com
FEBRUARY 20, 2014
A new day
in the LRSD Enter Suggs, STEM, exit Reading Recovery.
BY LESLIE NEWELL PEACOCK
n a world without nuance, new Little Rock School District Superintendent Dexter Suggs, on the job since last summer, is either a forward-thinking administrator who is making radical, needed changes in the district ... or an inexperienced (if wellintended) leader importing practices from his former job in Indianapolis.
FEBRUARY 20, 2014
SUGGS, 45, CHARACTERIZES HIMSELF as a former teen-age thug who ran with an inner city gang in St. Louis and has knife and bullet scars to prove it. He credits his transfer to a high school away from bad influences and where he took up sports as turning his life around. He attended Southern Illinois University on a track scholarship and did a tour of duty in Iraq with the Army Reserve. As principal of Donnan Middle School in Indianapolis, he won the prestigious Milken Family Foundation Award for academic and discipline changes he wrought at what had been a struggling school. When he was hired to come to Little Rock, he had risen to deputy superintendent and chief of staff for the Indianapolis School District. He is soft-spoken, well-spoken and has a sense of humor. He knew what he was in for when he came to Little Rock, which he described as having a “rich history” in education — one that includes the crisis at Central High, the battles over busing and school assignments that started in the 1970s, white flight, the desegregation lawsuit that put Pulaski County’s three districts under court order for 30 years and, now, attacks by the billionaire Walton family’s charter school proponents. (Even the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce — a body you would think would want to attract newcomers to Arkansas’s capital city — created an organization, Speak Up for Schools, to publish criticism of Little Rock’s schools. It’s defunct, replaced by the Walton-funded
Arkansas Learns, which lately seems to exist solely to attack the way the district is run.) Suggs believes the district lacks respect because “we haven’t been telling our story. ... For so long we have been humble.” He believes Little Rock needs to tout its excellent teachers, its National Merit scholar numbers, and its schools that are high achieving.
SUGGS RAISED EYEBROWS right off the bat when, in August, he issued “cultural imperatives” (copied from Indianapolis) to employees and came up with the less-than-awesome slogan “The NEW
He is bringing to Little Rock innovative ideas in teaching reading ... or he is wrecking Little Rock’s results-proven program, Reading Recovery. He’s helping students failed by “priority” schools by changing the schools ... or helping the schools by changing the students. The members of the Little Rock School Board are pulling together and finding common ground ... or are still divided along racial lines, lines that have paradoxically aligned black superintendents with the white minority on the school board. The teachers’ union, which supported Dr. Suggs when he was a candidate for the job, has begun to question its wisdom; its membership cast a “no confidence” vote in the superintendent last year after rejecting the district’s pay offer. Thorny John Walker, the sometimes-confrontational lawyer in the just-concluded 32-year school desegregation case, calls Suggs the “most incompetent of the black superintendents we’ve had.” Moving from cold to warm, school board member C.E. McAdoo, who represents Zone 2 in Central Little Rock, says Suggs is doing a “reasonable job.” Diane Curry, who represents Little Rock’s southernmost neighborhoods, describes him a “first-time superintendent” climbing a learning curve. Board president Greg Adams, who represents West Little Rock’s Zone 4, says he’s feeling “encouraged and optimistic” about the district and that Suggs “is a significant part of that.” Leslie Fisken, the Zone 3 representative from the Heights, calls Suggs a “team leader” who is innovative and “laser-focused on students.”
Little Rock School District — Where WE Put Children First.” That was followed by his instituting a dress code — the teacher handbook had already addressed this, saying teachers should dress appropriately — that noted that “foundation garments” should be worn, a caveat that some thought was unneeded. Since, Suggs has instituted more substantive changes: Faced with having to take $3 million from the district’s reserves to make budget this year, Suggs is laying off administrators. That may or may not be a good idea — the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette editorial page, which supports Suggs as it did his
Walton-blessed predecessor Roy Brooks, thinks it is — but there’s little question that Suggs blundered in including the names of positions he wants to end, and the employees, all women, who fill them, in a list of personnel changes presented at the School Board meeting in January. Questioned about the appearance of the names, the district’s lawyer, Chris Heller, explained that the employees had a right to due process and that it would be improper for the board to review them prior to that process. By laying off six employees and ending a stipend for a seventh, the district would save more than $500,000 a year. The employees Suggs intends to fire include Karen DeJarnette, director of the Planning, Research and Evaluation office; Wanda Huddle, director of curriculum/social studies; Linda Newbern, English Department secretary; Irma Routen, grant project director and music director; Blondell Taylor, curriculum and social studies secretary; Marion Woods, director of physical education and health, and Suzanne Davis, middle school and secondary education supervisor. These layoffs are just a start, Suggs said. He expects to eliminate 25 positions, which will save the district almost $2 million. The cuts are necessary, he said, to have a “sustainable system.” By sustainable, he means the district has to figure out a way to operate when state desegregation dollars — $37.3 million a year for the 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17 and (for construction) 2017-18 — dry up. The district has $40 million in reserves. The $3 million deficit stems from lower than expected enrollment and a decrease in tax revenues due to declining property values. Suggs believes, however, he can grow the district by 2,000 students in the next few years, partly by transforming Geyer Springs Elementary to the Geyer Springs High Ability Academy, approved last week by the school board, and Forest Heights Middle School to Forest Heights STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) Academy. GEYER SPRINGS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL is one of seven Little Rock schools designated by the state Department of Education as “priority” schools; its literacy and math scores on the Arkansas Benchmark Exam over the past several years put it among the lowest 5 percent in the state. Such schools threaten the Little Rock district with a state takeover. In the 2014-15 school year, however, the Southwest elementary school will be transformed into the Geyer Springs High Ability Academy for students identified as gifted and talented. All of its 13 teachers will be certified as gifted and talented. It will open with grades 1 through 5, but will drop the first and second grades and add sixth, seventh and eighth over the next three years. It will not have a kindergarten; because registration has already started, the district will have to find space for those already registered in other schools. Suggs’ first proposal would have required all Geyer Springs students to reapply to the school. By moving low-achieving students out of Geyer CONTINUED ON PAGE 14
FEBRUARY 20, 2014
FEBRUARY 20, 2014
“those left behind” will not receive an equal education. Does that sound like grounds for a new lawsuit against the district? Not one filed by him, Walker said. “My hands are full ... I don’t have another 20 years to devote to this.” Nor did he think the court would hold that the unequal distribution of resources would necessarily cause disparities in student achievement. Walker — and others — have been particularly galled by the technology-focused superintendent’s program to provide some 800 laptops to fourth- and
Springs and into other schools, Geyer Springs’ test scores would no doubt go up and its status as a priority school be cured. The idea was a no go, however, after board member Tara Shephard, whose Zone 6 includes Geyer Springs, protested that the plan would only change the population, rather than address the problems of the 175 students she said would be displaced. Suggs reworked the plan to allow all current students to stay at the school. At last week’s board meeting, where the board approved the reworked plan, board member Jody Carreiro (Zone 5, west central Little Rock) called Geyer Springs a “great experiment” to see whether low-achieving pupils would benefit by the different instruction that gifted and talented teachers offer. Shephard made an emotional speech, declaring that no longer would zip codes “determine the quality of education you receive” and forcefully reminding school patrons that it would take three years to know how well the school was working and to keep their criticism at bay until then. The “high ability” moniker did not go down well with McAdoo or Curry. McAdoo asked Suggs what seems to be an obvious question: If Geyer Springs is high ability, “are you saying that other schools are ‘low ability’?” The vote to transform the school was unanimous, but McAdoo and Curry asked the superintendent to consider renaming it. Not surprisingly, lawyer John Walker is disgusted with the notion of a “high ability” school, which he said meant “having some kids labeled as dumb and others as smart. What that does is create a blueprint for continued disaster” in closing the gap between low-achieving students — most poor and African American — and middle-class whites. Suggs’ proposal to change the under-attended Forest Heights Middle School to a K-8 STEM should address under-enrollment at the school. Suggs told the board last week that more than 700 students have applied for admission to Forest Heights, which is a couple dozen more than currently attend, and that he expects that number to double. If that happens, half will be rejected; there are only 715 available seats. At the minimum, only students who score at the basic level or above on the Benchmark test and who have a grade point average of C or above will be eligible. Additionally, a survey will be used to measure each applicant’s interest in STEM education. (There will be no requirements for kindergartners.) The idea of creating the STEM school has in general been well-received, though there have been questions from the public — and board member Norma Johnson — about why STEM education isn’t the focus of every school. Other concerns include budgeting for equipment — each student is to be provided a laptop, for example — and the potential for resegregation. Asked about the possibility of the latter, Suggs asked a reporter why she would assume that only students of one race would be interested in STEM education. He said he will ensure that both Geyer Springs and Forest Heights are diverse. Lawyer Walker believes, however, that “more middle-class kids will take advantage” of it and
fifth-graders at four high-achieving elementary schools (Forest Park, Gibbs Magnet, Otter Creek and Roberts). “Most [of the students] come from homes where they already have computers,” Walker said. “You may presume that most poor children do not have them at home. That means that if computers are a methodology for promoting educational achievement, to be on an equal footing you would address delivery of computers to [poor kids] first instead of letting those who have [computers] get further ahead.” Suggs has defended starting the computer pro-
gram at schools with more affluent students rather than priority schools, saying difficulties in implementing the program would be a burden on priority school teachers because of their already heavy workload. Walker suggested Suggs was trying to curry favor with the white community. However, all students will eventually be provided laptops under Suggs’ plan to digitize the district. This is truly the hot-button topic of Suggs’ administration. Reading Recovery, first implemented as a pilot program in 1995 in the Little Rock School District, provides specially trained teachers for one-on-one instruction with first-graders whose reading skills have been identified as extremely low. The goal is to address their deficits early and quickly; the overall goal is that all third-graders should read at grade level by 2015. The program has earned high praise from parents, teachers, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (which has granted $100,000 to the Arkansas program) and the U.S. Department of Education for its successes. A parent — who asked not to be named — could not praise the program enough. She said her son, Cooper, was “significantly behind” in his reading skills, something she knew, thanks to her experience with her other children, but could not help, though she read to him nightly. “I was doing everything I could possible do,” she said. “I was at my wits’ end.” Fortunately, Cooper’s teacher at Roberts Elementary noticed his deficit in reading the first week of school and scheduled him with the Reading Recovery teacher, Renee Heard. “She’s a godsend,” Cooper’s mother said. He worked every day with Heard for 20 weeks, then met with her once a week for a while; she continues to check on his progress. He’s reading so well he does not need the program anymore. In fact, one day recently, Cooper’s mother couldn’t find him after school and figured he’d gone down the street to play. He wasn’t. He was in his room, reading. “I can’t imagine if they take this out of the school system,” Cooper’s mother said. “It’s a program I will be very sad to see go, for other kids in the same position as Cooper.” Suggs is ending Reading Recovery, he said, because it doesn’t reach enough students and the cost-benefit ratio is skewed. He will replace it with a program of his own design, LEAP (Learning and Accelerated Progress), which employs what Suggs calls 14 “best practices.” One of those is to encourage parents to read to their children, something he exhorts parents to do at the close of every school board meeting. The program will not include oneon-one instruction — the critical element of Reading Recovery — but will instead put a reading teacher at every elementary school who will work with children K-3 in groups of nine. He said he hopes teachers now certified by Reading Recovery will apply for those jobs. Suggs and Reading Recovery advocates, including the Little Rock Education Association, do not
agree on how many students the literacy program reaches. Suggs says only 175 students were served in the 201213 school year, at a cost of nearly $1.5 million. He figures the per pupil cost at $8,371.94. It is correct that there were 175 students served one-on-one in 2012-13, but, teachers and the LREA note, as a companion piece the Reading Recovery teachers also work with small groups of three to five students K-5 once their two-hour one-to-one sessions have ended. In 2012-13 Reading Recovery certified teachers worked with 724 students, an average of 34 students for each of the 21 teachers. No teachers would talk on the record about the program for fear of antagonizing the superintendent. But Linda Dorn, the director of the Center for Literacy at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where Reading Recovery teachers are trained, admits to being frustrated with Suggs’ change. She said the number of pupils in third, fourth and fifth grade who are reading at proficient levels have increased by 21 percent to 25 since 2009 thanks to the early intervention. ACTAAP scores since 2008 have shown the literacy gap between white and African-American third-graders decreasing from a 40 percentage point spread to 20 percent. “Here comes Suggs and he says let’s forget this whole history and let’s go with an experimental program he’s dreamed up.” The issue, she said, “is almost explosive.” Suggs, however, is not looking at ACTAAP scores. He offers research by the district’s Department of Testing and Evaluation that shows that students in Reading Recovery — for the most part poor and African American — do not score as highly on the Iowa test as the general population of their race and economic peers. Asked if it was appropriate to compare children with known reading deficiencies to a general population of kids, Suggs said yes. While Suggs has prepared documents showing the program does not work, it wasn’t until Feb. 11 that he asked the director of the program, Dr. Karen James, to provide him with information on Reading Recovery — what job expectations are, a program overview, how students are selected and so forth — emails provided under the state Freedom of Information Act show. Suggs also asked James to provide him a list of children served. CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
Tuesday, Feb. 25 • 5:45 pm Fribourgh Room • Main Library Downtown Little Rock Central AR MVFR will meet on the 4th Tuesday each month, except April & December when meetings will be on the 3rd Tuesday. mvfr.org
Yellow Fever, Malaria, Tuberculosis, Cholera, Flu and Hookworm A Fascinating History of Arkansas’s 200 Year Battle Against Disease and Pestilence
STory of a narraTIvE HI nSaS aS SE E In arka HEaLTH and dI Art, M.D. by Sam Tagg
tes, M.D. Joseph H. Ba Preface by
This is a great history of Arkansas that tells how public attitudes toward medicine, politics and race have shaped the public health battle against deadly and debilitating disease in the state. From the illnesses that plagued the state’s earliest residents to the creation of what became the Arkansas Department of Health, Sam Taggart’s “The Public’s Health: A Narrative History of Health and Disease in Arkansas” tells the fascinating medical history of Arkansas. Published by the Arkansas Times.
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FEBRUARY 20, 2014
SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT GREG ADAMS praises Suggs for bringing in “new determination and energy.” The board has had its own share of criticism, especially over its apparent unfamiliarity with Roberts Rules of Order, its meetings marked with sometimes lengthy debates over the appropriateness of motions and so forth. But Adams said the fact that Suggs was hired with a 6 to 1 vote (former board member Michael Nellums cast the no vote) was a sign that the board, not historically known for felicity, was willing to work together for the common good. He said he could recall only four votes along racial lines by the current board, but those four were significant.
Two were on the election of officers: He was elected president by the three white members plus Diane Curry, and Leslie Fisken lost the secretary position after black board members Curry, McAdoo and Johnson voted no, with Shepard abstaining. The third was the rezoning of districts and the fourth was on whether to go into executive session to discuss a “demotion.” That session was called for by McAdoo after Suggs presented the personnel changes to the board that included the six positions he proposed to eliminate. No vote was taken when the board returned from the session. But Adams says he is “more optimistic about things,” noting that “progress can be messy.” He
said the public should not despair when things do get messy. “Name another large, multicultural, multiracial institution with a multicultural, multiracial board that functions smoothly all the time. Can you give me one? What we’re trying to do is really hard. And plus, it’s in the context of a school system with a difficult history where people have been mistreated and neglected ... in our lifetime.” Adams said the public cynicism “is deadly for us. The next step is apathy. Apathy does not help us.” The board does not always agree, and those disagreements are “honest,” Adams said. “I think this is better for kids in the long run.”
“I don’t question his intentions,” Cathy Koehler, president of the teachers union, said of the superintendent. “I believe he wants what is best [for the students].” But, she said, she believes Suggs has not asked the right questions or listened to teachers — something that’s surprised her. “We believed we were going to be partners,” she said, after teachers’ first encounter with him as a candidate for the superintendent’s job. When Suggs was hired last summer, in fact, Koehler called it a “great day” for the district, and said he was by far the best candidate. Interviewed a couple of weeks ago, Koehler said he was the best candidate — but that she would like to see the district use a different search firm and come up with better candidates next time the board is seeking a new superintendent, something that happens, on average, every two to four years or so.
HOGS ON THE BUFFALO, CONT. Continued from page 10 field is not correctly included in the NMP, which instead incorrectly listed land not leased by C&H as Field 5. “They will not land-apply on that field until the discrepancy is resolved,” Marks said. She said that there was no hard and fast timeline for C&H to make the necessary corrections. “It’ll be a minor revision,” she said. “We don’t feel as if the mistakes that were made in the permit, at this point … are something that we’re going to call in the whole NMP over. Especially since there’s been no harm caused — there’s been no spreading on those fields that was not appropriate. We want it to be corrected, but there has been no unlawful spreading at this point.” Hannah Chang, an attorney with EarthJustice, a California-based environmental law firm that is part of the legal team representing the coalition, sharply disagreed with Marks’ assessment. “If they want to add this new Field 5 … that’s north of the current Field 5, that is 16
FEBRUARY 20, 2014
not in the NMP,” Chang said. “It’s not even in the picture. That’s a substantial change under their general permit. So they need to get public notice and comment and follow an actually transparent process that involves the public, everything that didn’t happen in the first place.” Further confusing matters, the first quarterly report from the UA testing team used the incorrect maps from the NMP, leading the coalition to believe that the scientists had tested the wrong areas altogether, and causing alarm among some landowners that their property — not leased to C&H — had been tested without their permission. These Mt. Judea landowners sent a letter to the UA research team expressing their concern. Sharpley, the scientist heading the testing, said that he didn’t correct the maps on the quarterly report because UA’s role, by design, is supposed to be completely independent of both state agencies and the relevant stakeholders. “The fields were improperly designated,” Sharpley said. “We knew those fields were mapped wrong … before we did any testing.
We’ve been monitoring the fields that we have permission to monitor, the fields that were permitted to receive manure.” Since the errors in the NMP were a matter to be resolved between ADEQ and C&H, Sharpley didn’t think it was his place to highlight the errors in his quarterly report. “In hindsight, I would have done things differently,” he said. “It’s a lot of confusion, and it’s unfortunate.” Regarding the concerned landowners, Sharpley said that the UA group did not do testing on any land not leased to C&H. The scientists did test on the field leased to C&H but not correctly labeled in the NMP. Though C&H cannot spread on that field until the NMP is corrected, Sharpley and ADEQ said that this testing would be useful in establishing a baseline for future monitoring. “If there is a clarification that makes this all make sense, we’re happy to know it,” Chang said. “If the UA study could be revised in a way that actually tests the land that will be receiving impacts from C&H waste, then all the better.” But, Chang said, these problems
don’t inspire confidence in the NMP or the regulatory process. “These misrepresentations confirm the fact that it really did fly under the radar and that there just wasn’t a careful eye to this application,” she said. “The fact that these misrepresentations took place are reason enough to reopen the whole permit. It’s not just reopening it with respect to this field, but with respect to the entire permit because the permit was applied for and approved based on information that was not fully disclosed. Under the regulations, that’s plenty of grounds for ADEQ to reopen it and at least get public comment.” Gov. Mike Beebe’s spokesperson Matt DeCample said that the important point was that “they tested the fields where the nutrients were being spread. They didn’t miss any of those fields. “There’s no bad news [in the first report], which is great. But to really allay concerns, it’s going to take more than the first round of tests, and we know that. We have confidence in the process and the science.”
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Arts Entertainment AND
bones and melt your brain,” a mission statement I don’t think they mean to sound as threatening as it does.
SAVED BY MAD NOMAD
Duped at the Showcase. BY WILL STEPHENSON
t was toward the end of the third round of the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase that we realized we’d been had. Onstage were backup dancers, one in an orange fox costume with a hood and paw-gloves and the other in some demonic red and black get-up with a long horn protruding from her forehead. The bass player wore a sailor’s cap, and the singer played an electric green guitar. He spoke occasionally in a jarring fake British accent and said things like “It is plainly obvious to me that y’all need to chill the fuck out.” I was on my fourth or fifth beer and the whole thing was as awful as it sounds. What we realized — or what others realized and then relayed to me — was that this band, The Flameing Daeth Fearies, shared exactly the same members (minus the colorful wigs and neon, mall-punk vibes) as a band that competed in the first round of this year’s competition as The People’s Republic of Casio Tones. They entered the contest twice and then lied about it. Apparently, they believed that some elements 18
FEBRUARY 20, 2014
within the Arkansas Times editorial staff held a grudge against them, and in their defense, this is absolutely true. Anyway, neither band won. The night started off strong with the Chris Alan Craig Band, which judge “Big” John Miller, in his notes, wrote, “sounds just like the Chris Alan Craig Band!” Judge Stacie Mack was reminded of Bon Jovi, which makes sense to me: Craig is an earnest performer who shuts his eyes during guitar solos and frequently points to the ceiling. At one point he held up his drink and said, “That’s wine in a cocktail glass,” which impressed me. The greatest moment of his set, though, came when he asked the crowd, “Who’s getting laid?” as his girlfriend, out in the audience, started handing out Hawaiian leis. Craig then pulled out a ukulele and said, “I wrote this song on the beaches of Hawaii.” Fayetteville’s Flight Machine was up next and led off their set by claiming, “We’re from North Korea.” I don’t know what their deal is with North Korea, but
they’re consistent about it: Their online bio is cribbed from Kim Jong-il’s Wikipedia page. Also, the lead singer wore goggles. Judge Bryan Frazier noted “obvious nods toward Devo & Talking Heads,” and said they “could’ve been the live band at the ‘Weird Science’ house party,” which I’m betting they would take as a huge compliment. They closed out with the announcement that “A clean Korea is a good Korea.” The night’s winner was Little Rock band Mad Nomad, which looked angry and sounded angrier. They had to switch out guitars mid-set because, as singer Joe Holland mumbled into the mic, “Jesse broke a damn string.” John Miller was serious about his endorsement: “This is your new rock show, people,” he wrote. “As Grandpa used to say, ‘Tight as Dick’s Hatband.’ ” I don’t know what Grandpa meant by that, but I can guess. “Mad Nomad walked into the Times Showcase,” judge Stephen Neeper wrote, summing up the general sentiments of the crowd, “and said, ‘This is how it’s done!’ ” The semifinals continue with round four at 9 p.m. Thursday at Stickyz. Here’s a preview:
The Talking Liberties Whatever else happens, there will be no better song titles Thursday night than those by Little Rock’s The Talking Liberties, whose latest EP, “Don’t Trust the Humans,” includes tracks with names like “Between Some Lions” and, incredibly, “Paul Reubens Holding Wasps.” The band, fronted by trippy-synth mastermind Wes Acklin, specializes in widescreen glow-stick rock indebted to MGMT or The Flaming Lips, and claims to exist “solely to groove your
Prepare to sober up a bit for the bluesy alt-rock group Crash Meadows, who hail from Hot Springs and, according to their Facebook page, have opened for The Spin Doctors and Joan Jett. More impressively, they were recently featured in a wellreviewed travel book called “Follow the Money,” which started out as an article for The Guardian: Purely by chance, a couple of years ago, they hosted a British journalist named Steve Boggan as he attempted to track a single $10 bill across America for 30 days. They got the 10 bucks as payment for a gig and held on to the bill for a weekend before singer Dean Agus mailed it to a friend in Illinois to pay the dues for his fantasy football league.
The Machete With Love Like a more laid-back Rage Against the Machine, The Machete With Love often open their rock-rap songs with samples of news broadcasts and rap about things like Syria and Scooter Libby. Rapping isn’t quite the word though — what they do sounds more like R.E.M. on “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine),” impressively crowding fast-spoken syllables into a loud-quiet-loud rock structure. They are first and foremost a loud, gripping rock band, with harmonica and guitar solos (sometimes in the same song) and a righteous, mocking tone, something that comes through in lines like “everyone’s guilty, just give me someone to fire at.”
Duckstronaut Last up is the new project by Dangerous Idiots founder Aaron Sarlo and his fellow Laundry for the Apocalypse member (and expert washboard player) Adrian Brigman, and with a name like Duckstronaut I predict great things. They are committed to this duck thing, too: At their first show, at White Water Tavern in October, drummer Bryan Baker wore an eerie duck mask and Brigman occasionally set aside his washboard for a duck call. In their own words, the band sounds like a “haboobforce zydegasm with pearly electric dulcimer beauty.” That’s a lot to parse, I know. Two things it might help to know: One, a haboob is an enormous dust storm; two, Duckstronaut frequently features an electric dulcimer.
ROCK CANDY Check out the Times’ A&E blog
2014 Arkansas Custom Knife Show
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A&E NEWS THE LITTLE ROCK HORROR PICTURE SHOW, which will be held March 20-23 at the Ron Robinson Theater, has announced its first two screenings: Zach Parker’s “Proxy” and Brian Netto’s “Delivery.” The festival will also present an “encore screening” of the film that won last year’s Audience Award, “Jug Face,” on Feb. 21, followed by a post-screening Q&A with director Chad Crawford Kinkle. Bring “three or more non-perishable food items” to any of these screenings and save $5 on a festival pass or $3 on a day pass, thanks to the Arkansas Food Bank. Passes for the Horror Picture Show are on sale now.
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Saturday, Magic Hassle w/ The February 22 Dangerous Idiots Tuesday, February 25 Bonnie Montgomery Thursday, February 27 Paleface Check out additional shows at whitewatertavern.com
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL has announced that it will bring its production of “Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour,” featuring 49 dancers, musicians and acrobats, to North Little Rock’s Verizon Arena on April 22-23. Tickets range from $50 to $150 and are available at cirquedusoleil.com/MichaelJackson or by calling 1-800-298-4200. DISCOVERY CHANNEL will premiere a new six-episode show Feb. 25 about a family rivalry in Hardy titled “Clash of the Ozarks.” According to the press release, Hardy is “a land where emotions and territory conflicts outweigh a law-abiding society as the townspeople fight to protect what is theirs.” One of the main characters of the show is named Crowbar and is described as seeking “only to work his land and hunt for what he needs to survive.” His nemesis is a man named Kerry Evans, who was “raised on the south side of the tracks in a tiny oneroom house.” Secondary characters include “a mountain man who doesn’t own a pair of shoes and hasn’t lived in a house for years” and “Sevella, a tough gun-toting elderly woman who is fiercely protective of her family and is rumored to be clairvoyant.” THE ARKANSAS EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION NETWORK (AETN) is now accepting entries for its 2014 student film showcase, highlighting works by students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Select films will be broadcast on AETN (or online at aetn. org) and screened at the Little Rock Film Festival and the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival. Scholarships are also awarded. Entries can include documentaries, narrative or animated shorts and music videos and should be submitted by March 28. Winners will be decided in May. More information at aetn.org/studentselects. www.arktimes.com
FEBRUARY 20, 2014
BY WILL STEPHENSON
Dismemberment.” The cover is wild and sort of beautiful: a three-eyed, green-robed figure has a skull for a face, a long serpentine tongue and werewolf hands, with which he’s holding up an hourglass. In the background are steep
8 p.m. Vino’s. $10.
The opening track of “Summon the Faithless,” last year’s debut album by Portland metal band Lord Dying, is called “In a Frightful State of Gnawed
crags, a winged demon and a moon with a face. The band says Portland is “a region where the inhabitants are plagued with nerve and joint damage due to lack of sunlight,” which rings true. Based only on the information
I’ve provided here, you can probably make a pretty informed decision as to whether or not this is a show you’ll enjoy. If you’re on the fence, go. Also on the bill are Enchiridion, Iron Tongue and Godcity Destroyers.
ROBERT EARL KEEN
8:30 p.m. Revolution. $25 adv., $30 d.o.s.
7 p.m. Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.
Like Guy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker and countless others before him, Robert Earl Keen has spent decades as one of progressive country’s key cult figures, a musician’s musician who’s productive and beloved but in the margins, just barely out of frame. There’s a great moment in Jan Reid’s book “The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock” where Keen’s car breaks down on his way back from a gig in Kansas. While he’s looking under the hood, the enormous tour bus of the more successful Steve Earle flies by without noticing him. And after he’s spent all the money he made at the gig fixing his car, he gets home to find that someone has broken into his apartment and robbed him. Pretty soon after, he decides to give up on Nashville stardom and go home to Texas. Good thing, too.
One of the greatest comedians of all time, Dick Gregory, will be in Little Rock on Friday, but he will most likely not be doing comedy. Gregory, 81, started performing in the 1950s, and was a seminal and controversial presence on Jack Paar’s and Johnny Carson’s late-night shows in the ’60s. His stand-up persona, for that matter, influenced a generation, though his history as an activist is just as impressive and significant. He spoke in Selma, Ala., in ’63, protested the Vietnam War and marched with Gloria Steinem for the ERA. He ran for mayor of Chicago in ’66 and for president in ’68. He also believes the moon landing was faked, but then I’m not entirely convinced either. Anyway, he once told the New York Times it was “a badge of honor” to be called a “conspiracy theorist.” On Friday he will discuss the documentary “COINTELPRO: The FBI’s War on Black America.”
HILL COUNTRY: Robert Earl Keen will be at Revolution Thursday night.
JOHN PAUL KEITH & THE ONE FOUR FIVES
9:30 p.m. White Water Tavern. $7.
The Memphis singer-songwriter and Motel Mirrors co-founder John Paul Keith
will return to Little Rock this weekend with his band The One Four Fives. Keith plays tight rockabilly that aims for the same space occupied by records like Nick Lowe’s “Labour of Love” or maybe Tom Petty’s “Damn the Torpedoes.” I think most things written about
Keith use the word “twang” at some point, and I understand why they do. I’ve seen him at White Water before, and I remember thinking he reminded me of the cover of Nick Tosches’ book “Hellfire,” where a black-and-white Jerry Lee Lewis is singing in flames.
DENISE PARKINSON BOOK SIGNING
4 p.m. Old State House Museum.
Hot Springs writer Denise Parkinson spent her childhood summers in a houseboat along the White River, a background 20
FEBRUARY 20, 2014
she draws on in her new book “Daughter of the White River: Depression-Era Treachery & Vengeance in the Arkansas Delta.” The book concerns the Arkansas houseboat culture of the ’20s and ’30s, and more specifically the strange case of
a person named Helen Spence, described in the foreward as “a woman who went right into the DeWitt Court House and shot a man dead before she was sent to prison and later killed trying to escape.” In her day, Spence was an outlaw with
nationwide notoriety, gaining notices in the Washington Post and the New York Times, and in the book she appears as a haunting representative of the now-vanished river culture. Parkinson will discuss and sign copies of the book Saturday.
GOLDEN DRAGON ACROBATS
7 p.m. Walton Arts Center, Fayetteville. $24-$35.
RAP GAME DARIA: Kari Faux performs at Revolution Sunday night.
9 p.m. Revolution. $8.
“I do it for the one’s that’s cool as fuck but not cool enough,” says Kari Faux on her single, “Rap Game Daria,” and the line’s not a bad introduction to the young Little Rock rapper and producer, whose new mixtape, “Spontaneous Generation,” will come out Feb. 20. She’s released several tapes in the last couple of years, but has been gaining a lot of well-deserved momentum in recent months especially, with mentions at MTV
Hive and Spin. On “Vince Carter,” she claims, “I do my own stunts,” and on “Fauxreign Threatz” she raps over the instrumental from Goodie Mob’s “Cell Therapy.” What I mean is, she’s awesome, and one of the most exciting young talents in Little Rock at the moment. Her new tape is her best collection yet, and I’m not just saying that because there’s a song on it called “Arkansas Times.” Come see her Sunday night at Revolution to celebrate the release — C-Port, Fresco Grey and Taylor Moon will also be performing.
The Golden Dragon Acrobats troupe was founded by one Chang Lien Chi, who began performing in 1949. It is his son, Danny Chang, who now leads the troupe, having made his first appearance in their company at age 7. In their new program, Cirque Ziva, the acrobats perch above precariously stacked chairs, ride a single bicycle in units of seven or eight while waving fans, juggle hats while sprinting in circles, hang by one hand from spinning ropes with their bodies extended outwards in physically improbable straight lines. In one segment I found on YouTube, they hold up spinning plates with both hands, and while you’re busy puzzling over the mechanics of that, one of them jumps on another’s back and wriggles herself upright and upside down, so that her head is balanced on the other’s head — all the while, they’re still spinning those plates. I almost choked on my coffee watching that.
‘GO GRANNY D’
7:30 p.m. Weekend Theater. $10.
From January 1999 to February 2000, a 90-year-old woman walked 3,200 miles across the country, an event worthy of respect in and of itself, but particularly so in this case because she did it to raise awareness
about campaign finance reform. Her name was Doris Haddock, but she preferred to be called Granny D. Barbara Bates Smith, a longtime Off-Broadway veteran, will portray Granny D in the Weekend Theater’s one-nightonly production of the new play about her cross-country walk, “Go, Granny
D!” The city of Little Rock makes an appearance in a scene that Smith said is “the highlight of the show, for me”: On Haddock’s stop here, she gave a rousing speech at the First Missionary Baptist Church, where she claimed, “We are walking together on the high road of history.”
in a swamp and meet the ghost of the pirate Redbeard? Not me. But there is, of course, more to the team than their ventures in animated children’s television. They’ve been touring since the 1920s, for one thing. They performed in Moscow in 1959 and were given the Order of Lenin medal by Krushchev
himself. Wilt Chamberlain was on the team then. Jesse Jackson is an Honorary Globetrotter, as is Henry Kissinger. When I was maybe 9 or 10, I saw them perform in a civic center in South Georgia. Afterward, I walked around the court with a basketball, and they all signed it.
7 p.m. Verizon Arena. $23-$113.
If you’re my age, your earliest memories of the Harlem Globetrotters might be from their guest appearances on “Scooby-Doo.” Who could forget the episode where they get lost
The Little Rock Film Festival’s Argenta Film Series continues with a free screening of “Dallas Buyers Club,” Argenta Community Theater, 7 p.m. Gathr Films, the new Thursday night screening series at the Ron Robinson Theater, presents “Next Goal Wins,” a documentary about the American Samoan Football team, followed by a discussion led by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Philip Martin, 7 p.m., $10.
The Little Rock Horror Picture Show presents a screening of last year’s Audience Award Winner, “Jug Face,” at the Ron Robinson Theater, 6 p.m., followed by a Q&A with director Chad Crawford Kinkle. UCA’s literary magazine will launch its new issue at the Toad Suck Review Launchapalooza at Bear’s Den Pizza, featuring readings by staff members Audrey Carrol, Becca Hawkins, T.J. Heffers and Ben Sneyd, 7 p.m. Houndmouth, from New Albany, Ind., will be at Revolution with Willie Watson, 9 p.m., $10. Fayetteville’s Randall Shreve and the Sideshow will perform at Stickyz, 9 p.m., $6-$8.
The sixth annual Big Red Ball Charitable Foundation’s Chili with a Kick to benefit Youth Home will be held at DickeyStephens Park beginning at 11 a.m. The event is all ages and will feature a chili cook-off, a jalapeno eating contest, live music, face painting, kickball, etc. The UCA Music Department will present the sounds of Glenn Miller, Count Basie and Duke Ellington at their Big Band Gala Dance, “Moonlight Serenade.” All levels of dancers welcome. Magic Hassle and The Dangerous Idiots will play at White Water Tavern, 10 p.m., while Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Rodge and the Dirt Road Republic will be at Juanita’s, 10 p.m., $10. Discovery Nightclub will offer glow sticks and body painting “under the black lights,” at their Winter Glow party, featuring Ewell, Big Brown and Brandon Peck, 12:30 a.m.
Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress and counselor to the Center for American Progress Action Fund, will speak at the Clinton School’s Sturgis Hall at noon. Donna Ulisse and the Poor Mountain Boys will play at the Collins Theater in Paragould as part of KASU’s Bluegrass Monday concert series, 7 p.m., $5.
Bonnie Montgomery will perform at White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m., and Star and Micey will be at George’s Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville with Carolina Story, 9 p.m., $5. www.arktimes.com
FEBRUARY 20, 2014
AFTER DARK All events are in the Greater Little Rock area unless otherwise noted. To place an event in the Arkansas Times calendar, please e-mail the listing and all pertinent information, including date, time, location, price and contact information, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
$8 adv., $10 day of. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. revroom.com. John Calvin Brewer. Markham Street Grill And Pub, 9 p.m. 11321 W. Markham St. 501-224-2010. www.markhamst.com. John Paul Keith & the One Four Fives. White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m., $7. 2500 W. 7th St. 501375-8400. www.whitewatertavern.com. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-372-4782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Nace Brothers, Uncrowned Kings, Space Camp. George’s Majestic Lounge, 6 p.m. 519 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-442-4226. Randall Shreve & The Sideshow. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9 p.m., $6-$8. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. www.stickyz.com. Rouxster, Riverbottom Debutante. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 9 p.m., $7. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www.afterthoughtbar.com. Sweet Mother. West End Smokehouse and Tavern, 10 p.m., $5. 215 N. Shackleford. 501-2247665. www.westendsmokehouse.net. Sychosys, NeverAfter. Vino’s, 9 p.m., $6. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. www.vinosbrewpub.com. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 9 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. www.capitalhotel.com/CBG.
THURSDAY, FEB. 20
Brian Ramsey, Funk Hammer. Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 and 9 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-3755351. www.cajunswharf.com. Cornmeal, Cutty Rye. George’s Majestic Lounge, 9 p.m., $10. 519 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-442-4226. “Inferno.” DJs play pop, electro, house and more, plus drink specials and $1 cover before 11 p.m. Sway, 9 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-907-2582. Jim Dickerson. 7 p.m. every Tue., Wed. and Thu. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. www.sonnywilliamssteakroom.com. Krush Thursdays with DJ Kavaleer. Club Climax, free before 11 p.m. 824 W. Capitol. 501-554-3437. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-372-4782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Lord Dying, Enchiridion, Iron Tongue, Godcity Destroyers. Vino’s, 8 p.m., $10. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. www.vinosbrewpub.com. Michael Eubanks. Newk’s Express Cafe, 6:30 p.m. 4317 Warden Road, NLR. 501-753-8559. newks.com. Open jam with The Port Arthur Band. Parrot Beach Cafe, 9 p.m. 9611 MacArthur Drive, NLR. 771-2994. Robert Earl Keen, Andrea Davidson. Revolution, 8:30 p.m., $25 adv., $30 day of. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. revroom.com. RockUsaurus. Senor Tequila, 7-9 p.m. 10300 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-224-5505. www. senor-tequila.com. Soul Embraced, The Order of Elijah, All is at an End. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $7. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www.juanitas.com. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 7:30 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. www.capitalhotel.com/CBG. Violist Jennifer Stumm. Sponsored by the Chamber Music Society of Little Rock. Trinity United Methodist Church, 7:30 p.m., $25. 1101 North Mississippi St. 501-666-2813. www.tumclr.org. Xavier Díaz-Latorre. Baroque guitarist in concert at the Recital Hall of the Fine Arts Center. Arkansas State University, 7:30 p.m. 2105 Aggie Road, Jonesboro. 870-972-2100. astate.edu.
Tommy Blaze. The Loony Bin, 7:30 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555. www.loonybincomedy.com.
Antique/Boutique Walk. Shopping and live entertainment. 4 p.m., free. 100 Central Ave., Hot Springs. Brown Bag Lunch Lecture: A Living History Performance of Charlotte Andrews Stephens. Performed by Dr. Gwendolyn Twillie. Old State House Museum, noon. 500 Clinton Ave. 501324-9685. www.oldstatehouse.com.
Argenta Film Series: “Dallas Buyers Club.” 22
FEBRUARY 20, 2014
AMERICANA: Bonnie Montgomery will play at White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m. Tuesday Little Rock Film Festival’s Argenta Film Series continues with a free screening of “Dallas Buyers Club.” Reserve tickets online. Argenta Community Theater, 7 p.m. 405 Main St., NLR. 501-353-1443. www.eventbrite.com/o/little-rockfilm-festival-2563449410. “Next Goal Wins.” Gathr Films presents a documentary about the American Samoan Football team. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with Philip Martin of Arkansas DemocratGazette. Ron Robinson Theater, 7 p.m., $10. 1 Pulaski Way. 501-320-5703. www.cals.lib.ar.us/ ron-robinson-theater.aspx.
Janis Kearney. Kearney will discuss her book “Daisy: Between a Rock and a Hard Place,” a biography of civil rights leader Daisy Bates. Mullins Library, 3:30 p.m. University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.
POETluck. Literary salon and potluck. The Writer’s
Colony at Dairy Hollow, 6 p.m. 515 Spring St., Eureka Springs. 479-253-7444.
Horse racing. Oaklawn, 1:30 p.m., $2.50-$4.50. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4411. www.oaklawn.com.
FRIDAY, FEB. 21
Club Nights at 1620 Savoy. Dance night, with DJs, drink specials and bar menu, until 2 a.m. 1620 Savoy, 10 p.m. 1620 Market St. 501-2211620. www.1620savoy.com. DJ 1-Up. Deep Ultra Lounge. 322 President Clinton Ave. Ed Burks. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, Feb. 21-22, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501324-2999. www.sonnywilliamssteakroom.com. Funk & Gonuts. Prost. 322 President Clinton Blvd. 501-244-9550. Houndmouth, Willie Watson. Revolution, 9 p.m.,
Tommy Blaze. The Loony Bin, 7:30 and 10 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501228-5555. www.loonybincomedy.com. “Winter Sucks.” Original sketch comedy by The Main Thing. Call to make reservations. The Joint, 8 p.m., $20. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-3720205. thejointinlittlerock.com.
Salsa Night. Begins with a one-hour salsa lesson. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $8. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www.littlerocksalsa.com.
23rd Annual Arkansas Flower & Garden Show. Statehouse Convention Center, Feb. 21-23, 10 a.m., $6-$8. 7 Statehouse Plaza. Dick Gregory. A screening of the documentary “COINTELPRO: The FBI’s War on Black America,” and a talk by comedian and activist Dick Gregory. Reservations required. Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, 7 p.m. 501 W. 9th St. 501-376-4602. www. mosaictemplarscenter.com. Fantastic Friday. Literary and music event, refreshments included. For reservations, call 479-968-2452 or email artscenter@centurytel. net. River Valley Arts Center, Every third Friday, 7 p.m., $10 suggested donation. 1001 E. B St., Russellville. 479-968-2452. www.arvartscenter.org. 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.
“Jug Face.” Screening of “Jug Face,” last year’s Audience Award winner at the Little Rock Horror Picture Show. Ron Robinson Theater. 1 Pulaski Way. 501-320-5703. www.cals.lib.ar.us/ron-robinson-theater.aspx.
“Flip your Classroom: Reach Every Student in
The Bigg Fat Tuesday Party Is Coming Back! Every Class Every Day.” Lecture and booksigning by Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams. Sturgis Hall, 6 p.m. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501-683-5200. clintonschool.uasys.edu.
Horse racing. Oaklawn, 1:30 p.m., $2.50-$4.50. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4411. www.oaklawn.com.
Toad Suck Review Launchapalooza. Celebrate the release of the UCA literary magazine’s fourth annual volume, The Lost Issue. Featuring readings by Audrey Carrol, Becca Hawkins, T.J. Heffers, and Ben Sneyd. Bear’s Den Pizza, 7 p.m. 235 Farris Road, Conway. 501-328-5556. www.bearsdenpizza.com.
SATURDAY, FEB. 22
Almost Infamous. Prost. 322 President Clinton Blvd. 501-244-9550. Brian Nahlen. Markham Street Grill and Pub, 9 p.m. 11321 W. Markham St. 501-224-2010. www. markhamst.com. Club Nights at 1620 Savoy. See Feb. 21. DJ Man E. Faces. Deep Ultra Lounge. 322 President Clinton Ave. Ed Burks. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. www. sonnywilliamssteakroom.com. Karaoke at Khalil’s. Khalil’s Pub, 7 p.m. 110 S. Shackleford Road. 501-224-0224. www.khalilspub.com. Karaoke. Casa Mexicana, 7 p.m. 6929 JFK Blvd., NLR. 501-835-7876. Karaoke with Kevin & Cara. All ages, on the restaurant side. Revolution, 9 p.m.-12:45 a.m., free. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. revroom.com. K.I.S.S. Saturdays. Featuring DJ Silky Slim. Dress code enforced. Sway, 10 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-492-9802. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-372-4782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Magic Hassle, The Dangerous Idiots. White Water Tavern, 10 p.m. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-3758400. www.whitewatertavern.com. Mayday by Midnight. West End Smokehouse and Tavern, 10 p.m., $5. 215 N. Shackleford. 501-224-7665. www.westendsmokehouse.net. Nothing Til Blood, Strengthen What Remains, After Me the Flood, Fear the Aftermath. Vino’s, 8 p.m., $10. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. www.vinosbrewpub.com. Pickin’ Porch. Bring your instrument. All ages welcome. Faulkner County Library, 9:30 a.m. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-327-7482. www.fcl.org. Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Rodge and the Dirt Road Republic. Juanita’s, 10 p.m., $10. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www.juanitas.com. Robert Earl Keen, Andrea Davidson. George’s Majestic Lounge, 9 p.m., $25. George’s Majestic Lounge, 9 p.m., $25. 519 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-442-4226. 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.capitalhotel.com/CBG.
Winter Glow. Free glow sticks and body painting “under the black lights,” featuring Ewell, Blade, Big Brown, and Brandon Peck. Discovery Nightclub, 12:30 a.m. 1021 Jessie Road. 501664-4784. www.latenightdisco.com.
Tommy Blaze. The Loony Bin, 7:30 and 10 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501228-5555. www.loonybincomedy.com. “Winter Sucks.” See Feb. 21.
Big Band Gala Dance: Moonlight Serenade. UCA Music Department presents the sounds of Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman; all levels of dancers welcome, plenty of seating available. Conway Country Club, 8 p.m., $20 adv., $25 door. 555 Country Club Road, Conway. 501-513-3444. www.conwaycountryclub.com. Little Rock West Coast Dance Club. Dance lessons. Singles welcome. Ernie Biggs, 7 p.m., $2. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-247-5240. www. arstreetswing.com.
23rd Annual Arkansas Flower & Garden Show. Statehouse Convention Center, 10 a.m., $6-$8. 7 Statehouse Plaza. Falun Gong meditation. Allsopp Park, 9 a.m., free. Cantrell & Cedar Hill Roads. Hillcrest Farmers Market. Pulaski Heights Baptist Church, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. 2200 Kavanaugh Blvd. Historic Neighborhoods Tour. Bike tour of historic neighborhoods includes bike, guide, helmets and maps. Bobby’s Bike Hike, 9 a.m., $8-$28. 400 President Clinton Ave. 501-613-7001. Insure Affordable Care. Get free help enrolling in the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace. Laman Library, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., free. 2801 Orange St., NLR. 501-758-1720. www.lamanlibrary.org. Pork & Bourbon Tour. Bike tour includes bicycle, guide, helmets and maps. Bobby’s Bike Hike, 11:30 a.m., $35-$45. 400 President Clinton Ave. 501-613-7001.
Vengeance in the Arkansas Delta,” about Helen Spence. Room 124. Butler Center Galleries, 4 p.m. Arkansas Studies Institute. www.butlercenter.org/art.
SUNDAY, FEB. 23
Karaoke with DJ Sara. Hardrider Bar & Grill, 7 p.m., free. 6613 John Harden Drive, Cabot. 501-982-1939 . Kari Faux “Spontaneous Generation” release show. Mixtape release show for Little Rock rapper Kari Faux’s latest, “Spontaneous Generation.” Also featuring C-Port, Fresco Grey and Taylor Moon. Revolution, 9 p.m., $8. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. revroom.com. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-372-4782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Sea Wolf Acoustic, Cliff Hutchinson, Nick Flora. Juanita’s, 7:30 p.m., $10 adv., $12 day of. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www. juanitas.com. Shovels and Rope, Hurray for the Riff Raff. George’s Majestic Lounge, 9 p.m., $15. 519 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-442-4226.
Cirque Ziva. The latest theatrical performance by the Golden Dragon Acrobats. Walton Arts Center, 7 p.m., $24-$35. 495 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-443-5600.
Donna Ulisse and the Poor Mountain Boys. Part of the Bluegrass Monday concert series presented by KASU 91.9 FM. Collins Theater, 7 p.m., $5. 120 W. Emerson St., Paragould. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-372-4782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Monday Night Jazz. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 8 p.m., $5. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www.afterthoughtbar.com.
Big Red Ball Charitable Foundation’s Chili with a Kick. The sixth annual Big Red Ball Charitable Foundation’s Chili with a Kick event benefiting Youth Home. All ages, featuring a chili cookoff, a jalapeno eating contest, live music, face painting, kickball, etc. Dickey-Stephens Park, 11 a.m. 400 W. Broadway St., NLR. 501-664-1555. www.travs.com.
Denise White Parkinson, “Daughter of the White River” book signing. Parkinson appears to sign and discuss her book “Daughter of the White River: Depression-Era Treachery &
Do it BIGG! Open 7 Days A Week • 8pm-2am Shows Start at 8:30pm
Located in the Heart of the River Market District 307 President Clinton Avenue 501.372.4782 www.erniebiggs.com
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Horse racing. Oaklawn, 1:30 p.m., $2.50-$4.50. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4411. www.oaklawn.com.
MONDAY, FEB. 24
Horse racing. Oaklawn, 1 p.m., $2.50-$4.50. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4411. www. oaklawn.com.
A Chicago style Speakeasy & Dueling Piano Bar. This is THE premier place to party in Little Rock. “Dueling Pianos” runs seven days a week. Dance & Club music upstairs on Wed, Fri & Sat. Drink specials and more!
23rd Annual Arkansas Flower & Garden Show. Statehouse Convention Center, 10 a.m., $6-$8. 7 Statehouse Plaza. “Live from the Back Room.” Spoken word event. Vino’s, 7 p.m. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. www. vinosbrewpub.com.
“The Abolitionists.” Screening followed by a discussion led by Dr. Carl Moneyhon, UALR professor of history and a specialist in the history of the American Civil War and the South. Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, 1 p.m. 501 W. 9th St. 501-376-4602. www.mosaictemplarscenter.com.
Make plans now to join us March 4 at the best Fat Tuesday spot in the Rock! Contests, Giveaways, Specials, Good Times and More!
All American Food & Great Place to Watch Your Favorite Event
Neera Tanden. Lecture by the president of the Center for American Progress and counselor to the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Sturgis Hall, 12 p.m. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501-683-5200. clintonschool.uasys.edu.
Downtown Tip Off Club: Andy Kennedy. Wyndham Riverfront Hotel, 11:15 a.m.-1 p.m., $15-$20. 2 Riverfront Place, NLR. 501-371-9000. www.wyndham.com. CONTINUED ON PAGE 24
Rockin’ Mondays! $2 Off all Rock Town products after 6pm
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FEBRUARY 20, 2014
AFTER DARK, CONT.
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TUESDAY, FEB. 25
American Lions, Sick/Sea. Bear’s Den Pizza, 11 p.m. 235 Farris Road, Conway. 501-328-5556. www.bearsdenpizza.com. Blameshift, Burning Addison, At War’s End. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www.juanitas.com. Bonnie Montgomery. White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-375-8400. www.whitewatertavern.com. Irish Traditional Music Sessions. Hibernia Irish Tavern, second and Fourth Tuesday of every month, 7-9 p.m. 9700 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-246-4340. www.hiberniairishtavern.com. Jim Dickerson. 7 p.m. every Tue., Wed. and Thu. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. www.sonnywilliamssteakroom.com. Karaoke Tuesday. Prost, 8 p.m., free. 322 President Clinton Blvd. 501-244-9550. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-372-4782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Lucious Spiller Band. Copeland’s Restaurant of Little Rock, 6-9 p.m. 2602 S. Shackleford Road. 501312-1616. www.copelandsrestaurantlittlerock.com. Music Jam. Hosted by Elliott Griffen and Joseph Fuller. The Joint, 8-11 p.m., free. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. thejointinlittlerock.com. Star and Micey, Carolina Story. George’s Majestic Lounge, 9 p.m., $5. 519 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-442-4226. Tuesday Jam Session with Carl Mouton. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www.afterthoughtbar.com.
“Latin Night.” Revolution, 7:30 p.m., $5 regular, $7 under 21. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501823-0090. www.littlerocksalsa.com.
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. www.starvingartistcafe.net. Trivia Bowl. Flying Saucer, 8:30 p.m. 323 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-8032. www.beerknurd. com/stores/littlerock.
DRINK LOCAL 24
FEBRUARY 20, 2014
“Can You Hear It? Music vs. Noise.” Science Cafe Little Rock, co-sponsored by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, holds a public forum on the cultural impact of sound. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 7 p.m. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www.afterthoughtbar.com.
Harlem Globetrotters. The Harlem Globetrotters come to North Little Rock for their 2014 “Fans Rule” World Tour. Verizon Arena, 7 p.m., $23$113. 1 Alltel Arena Way, NLR. 501-975-9001. verizonarena.com.
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 26
Acoustic Open Mic. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www.afterthoughtbar.com. Eli Nichols. George’s Majestic Lounge. 519 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-442-4226. Jim Dickerson. 7 p.m. every Tue., Wed. and
Thu. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. www.sonnywilliamssteakroom.com. Karaoke at Khalil’s. Khalil’s Pub, 7 p.m. 110 S. Shackleford Road. 501-224-0224. www.khalilspub.com. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-372-4782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Local Live: The Smittle Band. South on Main, 7:30 p.m., free. 1304 Main St. 501-244-9660. facebook. com/SouthonMainLR. Open Mic Nite with Deuce. Thirst n’ Howl, 7:30 p.m., free. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501-379-8189. www.thirst-n-howl.com. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 7:30 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. www.capitalhotel.com/CBG.
The Joint Venture. Improv comedy group. The Joint, 8 p.m., $7. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501372-0205. thejointinlittlerock.com. Mike Speenberg. The Loony Bin, Feb. 26-March 1, 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 28-March 1, 10 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555. www.loonybincomedy.com.
Little Rock Bop Club. Beginning dance lessons for ages 10 and older. Singles welcome. Bess Chisum Stephens Community Center, 7 p.m., $4 for members, $7 for guests. 12th & Cleveland streets. 501-350-4712. www.littlerockbopclub.
Sarah Brown lecture. Sarah Brown, CEO of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, will give a talk, “Improving outcomes for children and families: A focus on teen pregnancy prevention.” Sturgis Hall, noon. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501-683-5200. clintonschool.uasys.edu.
Wednesday Night Poetry. 21-and-older show. Maxine’s, 7 p.m., free. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-321-0909. maxineslive.com/shows.html.
THIS WEEK IN THEATER
“Almost, Maine.” Nine short plays by John Cariani. University of Central Arkansas, Snow Fine Arts Center Recital Hall, through Feb. 21, 7 p.m., $10. 201 Donaghey Ave., Conway. “Baby.” Musical by Sybille Pearson, David Shire and Richard Maltby Jr. Bring a pair of gently used running shoes and receive $1 off your admission. The Public Theatre — CTLR, through Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 23, 2 p.m.; Fri., Feb. 28, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., March 1, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., March 2, 2 p.m., $8-$18. 616 Center St. 501-410-2283. www.ctlr-act.org. “Go, Granny D!” One night only, starring Barbara Bates Smith. The Weekend Theater, Mon., Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m., $10. 1001 W. 7th St. 501-374-3761. weekendtheater.org/event-registration/?ee=65. “Good People.” Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lindsay-Abaire’s dramedy about a South Boston woman. Walton Arts Center, through March 9: Thu.-Sat., 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 2 and 7 p.m., $10-$32. 495 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-443-5600. “Hair.” The Celebrity Attractions Broadway Series presents the award-winning hippie-Broadway classic, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18-20. Robinson Center Music Hall, $16-$47. Markham and Broadway. www.littlerockmeetings.com/conv-centers/robinson. “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.” The Weekend Theater, through Feb. 22: Fri., Sat., 7:30 p.m., $12-$16. 1001 W. 7th St. 501-374-3761. www. weekendtheater.org.
“Shakespeare in the South.” The Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre presents Tales from the South. South on Main, Tue., Feb. 25, 7:30 p.m. 1304 Main St. 501-244-9660. facebook.com/ SouthonMainLR.
NEW EXHIBITS, EVENTS
ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER: Lecture by architect Michael Rotondi, 6 p.m. (5:30 p.m. reception) Feb. 25, sponsored by the Architecture and Design Network. 372-4000. GALLERY 221 & ART STUDIOS 221, Pyramid Place: “Breathe in the Air,” fundraiser for American Lung Association, silent auction of works by Gino Hollander, Sean LeCrone, Greg Lahti, Mary Ann Stafford, Rae Ann Bayless, Ally Short, Kesha Stovall and Lilia Hernandez, 5-8 p.m. Feb. 22. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. 801-0211. GALLERY 360, 900 S. Rodney Parham Road: “Fascination,” paintings, sketches, multi-media work and jewelry by Kelley Naylor Wise and Anna Tanner, opens with reception 6-10 p.m. Feb. 22, show through April 5. 993-0012. GREG THOMPSON FINE ART, 429 Main St., NLR: Work by Carroll Cloar, open 5-8 p.m. Feb. 21, Argenta ArtWalk. 664-2787. HEARNE FINE ART, 1001 Wright Ave.: “From a Whisper … to a Conversation … to a Shout,” work by Lawrence Finney, Feb. 25-April 22, receptions 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. March 7, gallery talk by the artist 2 p.m. March 8. 372-6822. THEA FOUNDATION, 401 Main St., NLR: “Specifically Universal,” paintings by Emily Wood as part of “The Art Department” series of work by young artists, 5-8 p.m. Feb. 21, Argenta ArtWalk. 379-9512. JONESBORO ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY: “Wish You Were Here,” work by Bethany Springer, through March 13, Fine Arts Center Gallery. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. 870-972-3050. NEWPORT DOWNTOWN NEWPORT: 6th annual “Delta Visual Arts Show,” 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Feb. 22, exhibits of works by 180 artists from five states at 11 locations and workshops for adults and children, sponsored by the Blue Bridge Center for the Delta Ats. 870-523-1009 to reserve for workshops. PINE BLUFF ARTS AND SCIENCE CENTER FOR SOUTHEAST ARKANSAS, 701 Main St.: “Shaping Our World,” science exhibit on acts of nature, Feb. 22-Aug. 31; “Glazed with Fire,” ceramics by Joe Bruhin, through Feb. 24. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 1-4 p.m. Sat. 870-536-3375.
CALL FOR ENTRIES
The Arkansas Arts Center is taking entries now through April 17 for its 56th annual Delta Exhibition, open to artists in Arkansas and contiguous states. Show dates are June 27-Sept. 28. Juror will be Brian Rutenberg. Prizes include the $2,500 Grand Award, two $750 Delta Awards and a $250 Contemporaries Delta Award. Artists may register and upload images at www.arkansasartscenter.org. Plein Air on the White River 2014, to be held April 30-May 3, is accepting entries from artists to show work at the Vada Sheid Community Center at Mountain Home and to compete in the Quick Draw competition at the “Art, Music and Barbecue” dinner in Cotter May 2. Landscape artist Bruce Peil will be judge. Artists registration will be April 30 thru May 2nd. Pre-registration of
AFTER DARK, CONT. artists is encouraged. For more information go to White River Artists on Facebook, email email@example.com or call 870-424-1051.
ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, MacArthur Park: “Ties that Bind: Southern Art from the Collection,” atrium, through April 27; “Earthly Delights: Modern and Contemporary Highlights from the Collection,” through April 20, Strauss and Smith galleries; “The People There: Paintings by Emily Moll Wood,” through Feb. 23. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. 372-4000. ART GROUP, Pleasant Ridge Town Center, suite 910: Work by Ron Almond, Loren Bartnicke, Matt Coburn, Louise Harris, Debby Hinson, Marsha Hinson, Mickie Jackson, Sheree King, Jeff McKay, Michelle Moore, Ned Perme, Ann Presley, Diana Shearon, Bob Snider, Holly Tilley and Marie Weaver, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-6 p.m. Sun. 690-2193. BOSWELL-MOUROT, 5815 Kavanaugh Blvd.: Paintings by Dennis McCann, sculpture by Michael Warrick, gouache by Astrid Sohn, oils by Ron McGehee. 664-0030. BUTLER CENTER GALLERIES, Arkansas Studies Institute, 401 President Clinton Ave.: “Unusual Portraits: New Works by Michael Warrick and David O’Brien,” through March 22; “Reflections in Pastel,” through Feb. 22, main gallery; “Native Arkansas,” early Arkansas through the writings of early explorers and Native American artifacts, including Mississippian period, Caddoan and Carden Bottoms objects, Concordia Hall, through Feb. 22. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 320-5790. CANTRELL GALLERY, 8206 Cantrell Road: “Music, Myth & The Hard Travelin’ Man,” linoleum cut prints by Neal Harrington, through March 1. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 224-1335. CHRIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 509 Scott St.: Work by Scotty Shively, Herb and Patty Monoson, Glenda Josephson, Dr. L.P. Fraiser, Dee Schulten, Judy Johnson, Susie Henley and Maka Parnell, through March. CHROMA GALLERY, 5707 Kavanaugh Blvd.: Work by Robert Reep and other Arkansas artists. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat. 664-0880. THE EDGE, 301B President Clinton Ave.: Paintings by Avila (Fernando Gomez), Eric Freeman, James Hayes, Jerry Colburn, St. Joseph Thomason and Stephen Drive. 992-1099. L&L BECK ART GALLERY, 5705 Kavanaugh Blvd.: “Ducks in Arkansas,” paintings by Louis Beck, through February, drawing for free giclee 5:15 p.m. Feb. 22. 660-4006. STEPHANO’S, 1813 N. Grant St.: Opening reception for exhibition of paintings by Mike Gaines and Morgan Coven, through March 7. 563-4218. UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS AT LITTLE ROCK, 2801 S. University Ave.: “Primary Clay,” Gallery III, through March 27; “Say It With Snap! Motivating Workers by Design, 1923-29,” historic posters, through March 16; “Conundrum,” recent work by David Clemons, multimedia work, through Feb. 26, Gallery II. 569-3182. BENTONVILLE CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART, One Museum Way: “Born of Fire: Ceramic Art in Regional Collections,” works on loan from the Arkansas Arts Center, the Springfield Art Museum and the Sequoyah National Research Center, through March 2; “At First Sight,” watercolors from the personal collection of museum founder Alice Walton, through April 21; “Edward Hopper: Journey to Blackwell’s Island,” preliminary sketches on loan from the Whitney Museum of American Art, the finished painting and other
ONE PLACE. COUNTLESS WAYS TO FEEL GOOD.
watercolors by Hopper, through April 21; permanent collection of American masterworks spanning four centuries. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon., Thu.; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Wed., Fri.; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat.-Sun. 479-418-5700. CONWAY UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS: “Deb Schwedhelm: Whispers from the Sea,” black and white photographs; “Kristen Kindler: Cut Paper Sculpture”; “Drawing Blood and Guts: The Best of Contemporary Medical Illustration,” top U.S. medical illustrators selected by Alexandra Baker; “A Place for All Bad Memories,” interactive art installation inspired by Miranda July’s website “Learning to Love You More,” Baum Gallery, all through Feb. 20. FAYETTEVILLE BOTTLE ROCKET GALLERY, 1495 Finger Road: “Makeshift Theatre,” photographs by Logan Rollins. 479-466-7406. UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS: “Wisdom of the Ages Athenaeum,” rare books from Remnant Trust, including a cuneiform tablet (2200 B.C.) to the first printing of the Emancipation Proclamation (1862), Mullins Library, through May 12. 479-575-4104. HOT SPRINGS ARTISTS WORKSHOP GALLERY, 610 A Central Ave.: Work by Pati Trippel and John Keller, through February. 623-6401 BLUE MOON GALLERY, 718 Central Ave.: “My Watercolor Images,” work by Kay Aclin, through February. 318-2787. GALLERY CENTRAL, 800 Central Ave.: Work by Houston Llew, Amy Hill-Imler, Gloria Garrison, James Hayes and others. 318-4278. JUSTUS FINE ART, 827A Central Ave.: Work by Kari Albright, Donnie Copeland, Steve Griffith, Matthew Hasty, Robyn Horn, Dolores Justus, Rebecca Thompson, Dan Thornhill and Emily Wood, through February. 321-2335.
ONGOING MUSEUM EXHIBITS
CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL MUSEUM VISITOR CENTER, Bates and Park: Exhibits on the 1957 desegregation of Central and the civil rights movement. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily. 374-1957. CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CENTER, 1200 President Clinton Ave.: “Spies, Traitors and Saboteurs: Fear and Freedom in America,” from the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., through April 27; permanent exhibits on the Clinton administration. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. $7 adults; $5 college students, seniors, retired military; $3 ages 6-17. 370-8000. ESSE, 1510 S. Main St.: “What’s Inside: A Century of Women and Handbags (1900-1999),” purses from the collection of Anita Davis, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tue.-Sun., $10-$8. 916-9022. HISTORIC ARKANSAS MUSEUM, 200 E. 3rd St.: Mid-Southern Watercolorists “44th Annual Juried Exhibition,” through April 6; “Chasing the Light,” photography of Brian Chilson, through March 10; “A Sure Defense: The Bowie Knife in America,” through June 22; “Arkansas Made,” ongoing. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 324-9351. MOSAIC TEMPLARS CULTURAL CENTER, 501 W. 9th St.: “Repurposed Wonders: The Sculpture of Danny Campbell,” permanent and changing exhibits on black entrepreneurship in Arkansas. 683-3593. MUSEUM OF DISCOVERY, 500 President Clinton Ave.: “Wiggle Worms,” science program for pre-K children 10 a.m.-10:30 a.m. every Tue., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun., $10 ages 13 and older, $8 ages 1-12, free to members and children under 1. 396-7050.
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FEBRUARY 20, 2014
february 21 IN THe
arGeNTa T DISTrICT
‘RoboCop’ reboot forgets what made original compelling. BY SAM EIFLING
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CELEBRATING EXCELLENCE YEARS IN DINING
We’ve tallied your votes, and the results are final. March 6 we reveal your favorite restaurants in Arkansas. Finalists in the 2014 Readers Choice Awards will receive an invitation to a celebration of 33 Years in Fine Dining on March 12. HOSTED AT THE Pulaski Technical College Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute
FEBRUARY 20, 2014
he original “RoboCop” — and here we must underscore the word “original” — worked, as so many unlikely classics do, on a number of levels. Let’s reduce that number to two, for easy contrast with its flaccid offspring, also named “RoboCop” but unworthy of the mantle. One: The 1987 “RoboCop” was a violent, vulgar, inventive, chilling, hilarious action movie. It had not one, not two, but at least three of the most memorable villains of the ’80s, in the form of a couple of suits from the wicked multinational OCP and a casually ruthless street-gang leader named Clarence Boddicker (played full of venom by Kurtwood Smith, later of “That ’70s Show” fame). To get it into theaters, director Paul Verhoeven had to keep excising violence, to scrape off the MPAA’s initial X rating. Still, it emerged as a touchstone, enshrined by the Criterion Collection and later dubbed the No. 14 best action movie ever by Entertainment Weekly. The 2014 “RoboCop” occasionally springs to life with a decent action sequence, but for the most part it plays the violence incredibly safe, to the point of anesthesia. (Thank you, PG-13 rating. You’re increasingly a reminder that marketability trumps all other merits.) We begin with a Bill O’Reilly-esque Samuel L. Jackson flogging the latest advancement in U.S. peacekeeping efforts: fully robotic patrol bots that, Terminatorstyle, scan and assess people in lands America aims to pacify. We’re not doing it at home, though, naturally, because the idea of robots with license to push around and maybe blow away Americans skeeves us out. An OCP-like entity named OmniCorp stands to make a bazillion bucks if they can convince Americans to replace the local gendarme with a cold-metal assassin. The CEO is Michael Keaton, a pleasant enough fellow with Francis Bacon triptychs on the walls and antifreeze in his veins. He wants to fold a human, emotions and memories and all, into a robot frame, so Americans will cotton to the image. Luck turns his way when a Detroit cop named Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) runs afoul of a local crime kingpin who blows Murphy up.
‘ROBOCOP’: Joel Kinnaman stars.
The cop’s remains are reanimated, in rather horrific form, by an OmniCorp doctor (Gary Oldman, who against all odds has still been nominated for just one Oscar, people) who, as the film progresses, winds up carrying its moral conscience. Except no one who’s in a theater to see a movie called “RoboCop” much cares about a scientist’s reservations around creating a robot cop. Strangely, almost maddeningly, this new “RoboCop” insists on telling the story from the perspective of the corporate cronies who run the RoboCop program, when we could be hanging out with a bona fide cyborg police officer. We want to hear more from the RoboCop himself, and this is where 2014 “RoboCop” goes painfully astray. Because, two: The 1987 “RoboCop” was deeply aware and afraid of what was happening to American cities, and still turned that into a subversive sci-fi action flick. The 2014 “RoboCop” has a terrific point to raise about the automation of the military and rise of the police state in post-9/11 America, but it can’t get out of its own way to make a cool movie. Director Jose Padilha wants you to think deeply about the prospect of drones and killing machines intertwined with nihilistic corporate profit motive. And you totally ought to notice that, and do some hard thinking about it, because they’re coming to an airspace near you, if not a block. If you want to write that op-ed to the Washington Post, well, then, sweet. But if you’re going to make a movie about those concerns and name the thing “RoboCop,” you really ought to make a much better movie. Because those are big, hydraulic shoes you’ve announced you’re trying to fill.
ALWAYS ENJOY RESPONSIBLY. ©2013 Stella Artois® Cidre Premium Cider, produced for Stella Artois Cidre Company, Baldwinsville, NY 13027 www.arktimes.com
FEBRUARY 20, 13, 2014
Dining WHAT’S COOKIN’ THE SIXTH ANNUAL BIG RED BALL CHARITABLE FOUNDATION’S CHILI WITH A KICK returns to Dickey-Stephens Park from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22. The event includes a kickball tournament, local music, kids activities, a jalapeno-eating contest and a chili cook-off. The chili cook-off is open to the public beginning at 11 a.m. The jalapeno-eating contest runs from 2 p.m. until 3 p.m. The entry fee is $5. Proceeds benefit Youth Home. For more information, go to chiliwithakick. com. OUR DAILY FOOD BLOG, EAT ARKANSAS, is seeking submissions for a monthly photo contest that’ll begin in March. Send your best food-related pics to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 7. Eat Arkansas contributors will then whittle down the entries to six, which will be posted on the Eat Arkansas Facebook page on March 14. The picture that gets the most “likes” wins the prize. The winner will be announced March 21.
4 SQUARE CAFE AND GIFTS Vegetarian salads, soups, wraps and paninis and a broad selection of smoothies in an Arkansas products gift shop. 405 President Clinton Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-244-2622. BLD daily. ARKANSAS BURGER CO. Good burgers, fries and shakes, plus salads and other entrees. 7410 Cantrell Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-663-0600. LD Tue.-Sat. ASHLEY’S The premier fine dining restaurant in Little Rock. The menu is often daring and always delicious. 111 W. Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-374-7474. BLD Mon.-Sat. BR Sun. THE BLIND PIG Tasty bar food, including Zweigle’s brand hot dogs. 6015 Chenonceau Blvd. Full bar, CC. $-$$. 501-868-8194. D: Tue.-Sun., L Sat.-Sun. BRAY GOURMET DELI AND CATERING Turkey spreads in four flavors and the homemade pimiento cheese are the signature items at Chris Bray’s delicatessen, which serves sandwiches, wraps, soups, stuffed potatoes and salads and sells the turkey spreads to go. 323 Center St. Suite 150. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-353-1045. BL Mon.-Fri. CAPITAL BAR AND GRILL Big hearty sandwiches, daily lunch specials and fine evening dining all rolled up into one at this landing spot downtown. 111 Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-374-7474. LD daily. CAPITOL BISTRO Serving breakfast and lunch items, including quiche, sandwiches, coffees and the like. 1401 W. Capitol Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-371-9575. BL Mon.-Fri. FEBRUARY 20, 2014
2300 Cottondale Lane 663-2677 bravenewrestaurant.com
QUICK BITE File these tidbits away: 1) There is no better spot for warm-weather patio dining than Brave New’s, with its view of the Arkansas River and the downtown skyline; 2) the heirloom tomato platter appetizer is a joy like few others, teaming all manner of homegrown jewels; mid-July is usually prime time for this one. HOURS 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. OTHER INFO Full bar, credit cards and reservations accepted. SPECTACULAR LUNCH: Brave New Restaurant’s mahi-mahi.
Brave New still winning Food is as good as ever at Peter Brave’s classic.
Brave New Restaurant
here’s never been a better time to be a “foodie” in Arkansas. Much as the talent trained at the famed Restaurant Jacques and Suzanne opened so many great restaurants decades ago — Alouette’s, Andre’s, Graffiti’s and Cafe Prego come to mind — Ashley’s at the Capital Hotel is today’s breeding ground for another generation of fine new restaurateurs. Our recent lunch at South on Main was perhaps our best meal in a year, with Ashley’s alum Matt Bell knocking our culinary socks off. A couple of weeks later we ate dinner and then 12 hours later were back for breakfast at the amazing Hive at the 21C hotel in Bentonville, where Matt McClure is expanding on his Ashley’s training. And the raves continue to pour in for Natchez, the downtown Little Rock restaurant with Ashley’s veteran Alexis Jones presenting her take on refined Southern cuisine. These glory days led one local foodie to ask publicly if Brave New Restaurant was still relevant — to which several of us older types quickly responded with
something resembling “oh hell yes.” Stake firmly planted in the ground of the Eat Arkansas blog, we figured it was time to head back to see if Brave New would live up to our lofty opinions of a restaurant Times readers have voted the best in Central Arkansas 11 of the last 17 years. Does Brave New Restaurant still offer one of the very best dining experiences in these parts? Oh hell yes. And best we can tell, it’s because Peter Brave hasn’t slipped into in-absentia “celebrity chef” status, even though he certainly is a recognizable celebrity wherever he goes. At dinner, that’s back and forth between the kitchen and the dining room, where he greets generally familiar faces with hearty hellos and is there to fix anything that might need fixing. Little of which ever does, we’re sure. We bumped into Peter early one summer Saturday morning years ago at the farmers market, both on a quest for Arkansas tomatoes. Peter pointed us to his primary supplier — we stuck with that guy for years — before scurrying off to get other fresh stuff to cook that
night at Brave New. He was doing “farm to table” before most knew the term. Another constant is the amazing treatment of fresh fish at Brave New. You just can’t go wrong ordering the fish special, an always succulent, flaky filet topped with a subtle fruit-tinged beurre blanc. Our lunch option ($15.50) was a deck of cards-sized filet of mahi-mahi, and minimally applied cherry-flavored sauce. It was served with Peter’s amazing roasted potatoes, preternaturally creamy at their core; a zucchini boat filled with diced celery, zucchini, peppers and onion, and a large mound of tangy purple cabbage. Nothing against the last two items, but we treated them as garnish and focused on the tender, flavorful fish and amazing potatoes. Driving home the same point as the fish — straightforward presentation that lets the highlighted item shine — were the five onion soup ($6.50) and wild mushroom tart ($10.75). The much more commonly found “French” onion soup seems more about bread, cheese and usually over-salted beef broth than onions. This soup is all about onions, as the menu attests: “shallots, red, yellow and white onions, sauteed, simmered in chicken stock, then garnished with fresh chives.” Simple and delicious (though we do wonder where that fifth onion went). The wild mushroom tart is similarly focused: “porcini, shitake, morels, cepes, etc., sauteed with shallots and cream, baked in a flaky tart CONTINUED ON PAGE 30
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.
CATFISH HOLE Downhome place for wellcooked catfish and tasty hushpuppies. 603 E. Spriggs. NLR. Beer, All CC. $-$$. 501-758-3516. D Tue.-Sat. CIAO BACI The focus is on fine dining in this casually elegant Hillcrest bungalow, though excellent tapas are out of this world. The treeshaded, light-strung deck is a popular destination. 605 N. Beechwood St. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-603-0238. D Mon.-Sat. DOE’S EAT PLACE A skid-row dive turned power brokers’ watering hole with huge steaks, great tamales and broiled shrimp, and killer burgers at lunch. 1023 W. Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-376-1195. LD Mon.-Fri., D Sat. EJ’S EATS AND DRINKS The friendly neighborhood hoagie shop downtown serves at a handful of tables and by delivery. The sandwiches are generous, the soup homemade and the salads cold. Vegetarians can craft any number of acceptable meals from the flexible menu. 523 Center St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-666-3700. LD Mon.-Fri. FILIBUSTER’S BISTRO & LOUNGE Sandwiches, salads in the Legacy Hotel. 625 W. Capitol Ave. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-374-0100. D Mon.-Fri. FLYING FISH The fried seafood is fresh and crunchy and there are plenty of raw, boiled and grilled offerings, too. The hamburgers are a hit, too. 511 President Clinton Ave. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-375-3474. LD daily. GRUMPY’S TOO Music venue and sports bar with lots of TVs, pub grub and regular drink specials. 1801 Green Mountain Drive. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-225-3768. LD Mon.-Sat. GUS’S WORLD FAMOUS FRIED CHICKEN The best fried chicken in town. Go for chicken and waffles on Sundays. 300 President Clinton Ave. Beer, CC. $-$$. 501-372-2211. LD daily. HOMER’S Great vegetables, huge yeast rolls and killer cobblers. Follow the mobs. 2001 E. Roosevelt Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-374-1400. BL Mon.-Fri. 9700 N Rodney Parham. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-224-6637. LD Mon.-Sat. IRONHORSE SALOON Bar and grill offering juicy hamburgers and cheeseburgers. 9125 Mann Road. Full bar, All CC. $. 501-562-4464. LD daily. J. GUMBO’S Fast-casual Cajun fare served, primarily, in a bowl. Better than expected. 12911 Cantrell Road. Beer, All CC. $-$$. 501-916-9635. LD daily. JIMMY’S SERIOUS SANDWICHES Consistently fine sandwiches, side orders and desserts for 30 years. Chicken salad’s among the best in town, and there are fun specialty sandwiches such as Thai One On and The Garden. Get there early for lunch. 5116 W. Markham St. No alcohol, CC. $-$$. 501-666-3354. L Mon.-Sat., D Mon.-Sat. (drive-through only). K. HALL AND SONS Neighborhood grocery store with excellent lunch counter. The cheeseburger is hard to beat. 1900 Wright Avenue. No alcohol, CC. $. 501-372-1513. BLD Mon.-Sat. (closes at 6 p.m.), BL Sun. KRAZY MIKE’S Po’oys, catfish and shrimp and other fishes, fried chicken wings and all the expected sides served up fresh and hot to order on demand. 200 N. Bowman Road. Beer,
B Breakfast L Lunch D Dinner $ Inexpensive (under $8/person) $$ Moderate ($8-$20/person) $$$ Expensive (over $20/person) CC Accepts credit cards
Check out the Times’ food blog, Eat Arkansas arktimes.com
All CC. $$. 501-907-6453. LD Mon.-Sat. LOCA LUNA Grilled meats, seafood and pasta dishes that never stray far from country roots, whether Italian, Spanish or Arkie. “Gourmet plate lunches” are good, as is Sunday brunch. 3519 Old Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-4666. BR Sun., LD Mon.-Fri., D Sat. MILFORD TRACK Healthy and tasty are the key words at this deli/grill that serves breakfast and lunch. Hot entrees change daily and there are soups, sandwiches, salads and killer desserts. Bread is baked in-house, and there are several veggie options. 10809 Executive Center Dr., Searcy Building. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-223-2257. BL Mon.-Fri., L Sat. NATCHEZ RESTAURANT Smart, elegant takes
* FEB. 19-25
on Southern classics. 323 Center St. Beer, Wine, CC. $$-$$$. L Tue.-Fri., D Wed.-Sat. OYSTER BAR Gumbo, red beans and rice, peeland-eat shrimp, oysters on the half shell, addictive po’ boys. Killer jukebox. 3003 W. Markham St. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-666-7100. LD Mon.-Sat. PURPLE COW DINER 1950s fare — cheeseburgers, chili dogs, thick milk shakes — in a ‘50s setting at today’s prices. 8026 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-221-3555. LD daily, BR Sat.-Sun. 11602 Chenal Pkwy. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-224-4433. LD daily, BR Sat.-Sun. 1419 Higden Ferry Road. Hot Springs. Beer, All CC. $$. 501-625-7999. LD daily, B Sun. THE RELAY STATION This grill offers a short
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menu, which includes chicken strips, French fries, hamburgers, jalapeno poppers and cheese sticks. 12225 Stagecoach Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-455-9919. LD daily. THE ROOT CAFE Homey, local foods-focused cafe. With tasty burgers, homemade bratwurst, banh mi and a number of vegan and veggie options. Breakfast and Sunday brunch, too. 1500 S. Main St. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-414-0423. BL Tue.-Sat., BR Sun. SALUT BISTRO This bistro/late-night hangout does upscale tapas. 1501 N. University. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-660-4200. L Mon.-Fri., D Tue.-Sat. SANDY’S HOMEPLACE CAFE Specializing in homestyle buffet, with two meats and seven vegetables to choose from. It’s all-you-can-eat. 1710 E 15th St. No alcohol, No CC. $. 501-3753216. L Mon.-Fri. SCALLIONS Reliably good food, great desserts, pleasant atmosphere, able servers — a solid lunch spot. 5110 Kavanaugh Blvd. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-666-6468. L Mon.-Sat. SHORTY SMALL’S Land of big, juicy burgers, massive cheese logs, smoky barbecue platters and the signature onion loaf. 1100 N. Rodney Parham Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-224-3344. LD daily. SONNY WILLIAMS’ STEAK ROOM Steaks, chicken and seafood in a wonderful setting in the River Market. Steak gets pricey, though. Menu is seasonal, changes every few months. 500 President Clinton Ave. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-324-2999. D Mon.-Sat. SOUTH ON MAIN Fine, innovative takes on Southern fare in a casual but well-appointed setting. 1304 Main St. Full bar, CC. $-$$. 501-244-9660. L Mon.-Fri., D Tue.-Sat. STAGECOACH GROCERY AND DELI Fine po’ boys and muffalettas — and cheap. 6024 Stagecoach Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-455-7676. BLD Mon.-Fri., BL Sat.-Sun. TABLE 28 Excellent fine dining with lots of creative flourishes. Branch out and try the Crispy Squid Filet and Quail Bird Lollipops. 1501 Merrill Drive. Full bar, CC. $$$-$$$$. 224-2828. D Mon.-Sat. TERRI-LYNN’S BBQ AND DELICATESSEN High-quality meats served on large sandwiches and good tamales served with chili or without (the better bargain). 10102 N. Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-227-6371. L Tue.-Fri., LD Sat. (close at 5pm).
A.W. LIN’S ASIAN CUISINE Excellent panAsian with wonderful service. 17717 Chenal Parkway. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-821-5398. LD daily. HANAROO SUSHI BAR One of the few spots in downtown Little Rock to serve sushi. With an expansive menu, featuring largely Japanese fare. Try the popular Tuna Tatari bento box. 205 W. Capitol Ave. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-3017900. L Mon.-Fri., D Mon.-Sat. LEMONGRASS ASIA BISTRO Fairly solid Thai bistro. Try the Tom Kha Kai and white wine alligator. They don’t have a full bar, but you can order beer, wine and sake. 4629 E. McCain Blvd. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. 501-945-4638. LD daily. CONTINUED ON PAGE 30 www.arktimes.com
FEBRUARY 20, 2014
DINING REVIEW, CONT.
hearsay ➥ Much like Mary Poppins, we are “practically perfect in every way” here at Hearsay, but there are times when we do get it wrong. Last week, for instance, when we told you about the “Arkansas Weather Report” exhibit by Daniel Coston of Fayetteville, which will be presented by CANTRELL GALLERY. The exhibit doesn’t open until March 7, and there will be an opening night reception at the gallery from 6 to 8 that night. You’ll have a chance to enjoy some light refreshments and meet the artist. The exhibit runs through April 27. ➥ There are a couple of interesting shows and sales scheduled for Feb. 22-23. The first is the ARKANSAS CUSTOM KNIFE SHOW at Robinson Center. Admission is $10 and times are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 22 and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 23. The second is the DEPRESSION ERA GLASS SHOW AND SALE, scheduled for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 22 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Hall of Industry at the State Fairgrounds. Admission is $5. ➥ MOXY MODERN MERCANTILE is now open at 1419 S. Main. For more information, visit their Facebook page. ➥ Luxe Giftables are now half off at B. BARNETT. ➥ The locally famous ROCKET SLIDE AT BURNS PARK in North Little Rock was damaged beyond repair recently when vandals set fire to it. A fund has been set up at CENTENNIAL BANK to collect donations toward the $5,000 insurance deductible needed to replace the slide. The fund is halfway to its goal, so visit any Centennial Bank branch to help make sure the slide provides hours of fun for generations of children to come. ➥ Speaking of the kiddos, WHIPPERSNAPPERS LITTLE ROCK has new spring inventory in store. Be sure to stop by there and pick up some fashionable Easter togs for your child. ➥ Miltonia orchids are back by popular demand at ABOUT VASE. These gorgeous plants have a long bloom life and will rebloom.
FEBRUARY 20, 2014
shell.” The cream delicately bound the delectable fungi with no extraneous ingredients to muck things up. The avocado crab salad ($13.50) kept with the theme: outstanding ingredients simply presented — bibb lettuce covered left to right by ruby red grapefruit sections, lump crab and avocado slices. Tangy balsamic vinaigrette topped the crab with a sweeter dressing on the grapefruit. Cheese and fruit garnished. At dinner we chose “duck with duck” ($27), pairing tender slices of duck breast with grilled smoked duck sausage. While not your gamey, shot-outside-Humnoke variety, the duck breast
still was rich and flavorful. We couldn’t have nailed the lean, smoky sausage as duck, but it was wonderful. A scoop of slightly over-salted wild rice and the zucchini boat/purple cabbage combo accompanied. Creme brulee has become ubiquitous. Brave New was an early adopter, and there are legions of fans who swear Brave’s dense, creamy chocolate variety ($6.50) is the quintessential version. Who are we to argue? We adored the large goblet of homemade butterscotch ice cream ($6.50) at lunch — subtly flavored with a frozen custard consistency vs. rock hard — and enjoyed the variety
of the sampler of five tiny cones at dinner, though at $8.50 there’s not nearly as much ice cream as in the cheaper, single-flavor serving. We were glad, but not surprised, that Brave New shines on. Launched in 1991 in the tiny former Steak and Egg Kitchen at the bottom of Cantrell Hill (now the front section of Red Door), the restaurant moved some years later to an office building near the Verizon complex on the river. Peter Brave is the rare restaurateur who can thrive over the long haul in a hard-to-find location with no exterior sign. Again, we remember why.
DINING CAPSULES, CONT. MIKE’S CAFE VIETNAMESE Cheap Vietnamese that could use some more spice, typically. The pho is good. 5501 Asher Ave. Beer, CC. $-$$. 501-562-1515. LD daily. MR. CHEN’S ASIAN SUPERMARKET AND RESTAURANT A combination Asian restaurant and grocery with cheap, tasty and exotic offerings. 3901 S. University Ave. $. 501-562-7900. LD daily. PHO THANH MY It says “Vietnamese noodle soup” on the sign out front, and that’s what you should order. The pho comes in outrageously large portions with bean sprouts and fresh herbs. Traditional pork dishes, spring rolls and bubble tea also available. 302 N. Shackleford Road. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-312-7498. LD Mon., Wed.-Sun. WASABI Downtown sushi and Japanese cuisine. For lunch, there are quick and hearty sushi samplers. 101 Main St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-374-0777. L Mon.-Fri., D Mon.-Sat.
CHIP’S BARBECUE Tasty, if a little pricey, barbecue piled high on sandwiches generously doused with the original tangy sauce or one of five other sauces. 9801 W. Markham St. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-225-4346. LD Mon.-Sat.
EUROPEAN / ETHNIC
ANATOLIA RESTAURANT Middle of the road Mediterranean fare. 315 N. Bowman Road. No alcohol, CC. $-$$. 501-219-9090. L Tue.-Sun., D Tue.-Sat.
CREGEEN’S IRISH PUB Irish-themed pub with a large selection of on-tap and bottled British beers and ales, an Irish inspired menu and lots of nooks and crannies to meet in. Specialties include fish ‘n’ chips and Guinness beef stew. Live music on weekends and $5 cover on Saturdays, special brunch on Sunday. 301 Main St. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-376-7468. LD daily. ISTANBUL MEDITERRANEAN RESTAURANT This Turkish eatery offers decent kebabs and great starters. The red pepper hummus is a winner. So are Cigar Pastries. Possibly the best Turkish coffee in Central Arkansas. 11525 Cantrell Road. No alcohol, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-223-9332. LD daily. LAYLA’S GYROS AND PIZZERIA Delicious Mediterranean fare that has a devoted following. All meat is slaughtered according to Islamic dietary law. 9501 N Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-227-7272. LD daily (close 5 p.m. on Sun.).
CAFE PREGO Dependable entrees of pasta, pork, seafood, steak and the like, plus great sauces, fresh mixed greens and delicious dressings, crisp-crunchy-cold gazpacho and tempting desserts in a comfy bistro setting. 5510 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-5355. LD Mon.- Fri, D 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,
Meet Lucy and Linus. Their owner died recently and these four-years old brother and sister kitties desperately need a home. They have all of their shots and are completely house broken to a litter box. They are very affectionate, accustomed to children and love to be held. Linus went in a week ago to have a kidney stone removed and we were waiting till that was finished before putting them up for adoption. They must go together. If you are interested please call Alan at 501-580-4212
All CC. $$. 501-372-0238. L Mon.-Fri., D Thu.-Sat. ZAFFINO’S BY NORI A high-quality Italian dining experience. Pastas, entrees (don’t miss the veal marsala) and salads are all outstanding. 2001 E. Kiehl Ave. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. 501-834-7530. D Tue.-Sat.
COTIJA’S A branch off the famed La Hacienda family tree downtown, with a massive menu of tasty lunch and dinner specials, the familiar white cheese dip and sweet red and fieryhot green salsas, and friendly service. 406 S. Louisiana St. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-244-0733. L Mon.-Fri. FONDA MEXICAN CUISINE Authentic Mex. The guisado (Mexican stew) is excellent. 400 N. Bowman Road. Full bar, CC. $$-$$$. 501-3134120. LD Tue.-Sun. 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. LOS TORITOS MEXICAN RESTAURANT Mexican fare in East End. 1022 Angel Court. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-261-7823. LD daily. TAQUERIA SAMANTHA II Standout taco truck fare, with meat options standard and exotic. 7521 Geyer Springs Road. No alcohol, No CC. $. 501-744-0680. BLD daily.
ARKANSAS TIMES MARKETPLACE Call Center Customer Service Agent Needed Position is full time with benefits starting at $9.00/hr. Must be flexible to work any hours between 7:30 am and 9:00 pm. Applicant must be dependable and professional. We are a drug free and smoke free company. EOE
Mental Health Services of Southern Oklahoma (MHSSO) is searching for an Executive Director with excellence in organizational management. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director has overall strategic and operational responsibility for staff, programs, expansion, and execution of its mission. All candidates should possess proven leadership, the ability to manage and develop highperformance teams, set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget. Other qualifications include: MBA in hospital administration, public health, or mental health related field with 3 years of senior management experience preferred; Candidates with a BA and 5 years of administrative experience will be considered. Please contact: Stacy Leach @ (580) 223-5070 or sleach@ mhsso.org Ardmore is home to businesses, cultural and tourist areas and is considered the central hub of a ten county region - a bustling metropolis with a population of over 25,000 that lies 30 miles North of the Texas border and 90 miles South of Oklahoma City on Interstate 35. MHSSO provides services in Bryan, Carter, Garvin, Johnston, Love, Marshall, Murray, Pontotoc, and Seminole counties.
Send resumes to: Account Advisor Position P.O. Box 384 Bryant, AR 72089 email@example.com Note: Office is located in Bryant, Arkansas
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FEBRUARY 20, 2014
FEBRUARY 20, 2014