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s ’ r e b m e m d r a . o o b l N o o ? h d a sc . Change r e t f a n n i o a i t g a n e t t e at ui l q a s b i o l s g n t ai 0 l h 1 g P u t E o n G r a b A P Pleas comments N O O K D l I u V f A e t D ha BY

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THE INSIDER Double-dip watch n The Insider was tipped to take a look at Rep. Allen Kerr’s recent uncomfortable appearance before the House to endorse SB 55, now Act 16, to bring the Arkansas State Highway Employees retirement system into compliance with federal law. The technical bill gives scant evidence of its purpose and brief debate enlightened no casual onlooker. In short, it was to accommodate Highway and Transportation Director Dan Flowers’ vested retirement benefits — now in the range of $195,000 a year. They had reached the point that, without this law, the state might fall out of compliance with federal IRS regulations aimed at curbing excessive pensions. Without the fix, others in the Highway Department and the state could have been liable for taxes on payments into deferred retirement accounts. The state could have incurred substantial penalties. “It looked like a deal to accommodate one guy with a high retirement package,” Kerr said, explaining his discomfort in testifying in support of protecting a high pension while he works to root out abuses in the state retirement system. “It looked right on the verge of a triple dip.” But, Kerr said, he became convinced that the change was necessary to “avoid fallout,” which he said would have been a lot more expensive.

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n Flowers, who makes $157,430 a year and has been department director since 1994, is in a favorable retirement situation because of a convergence of events. He went to work for the department when he was still in college and has 43 years of service. In 1998, he enrolled in the Tier 1 deferred retirement option program. That froze his future retirement benefit at roughly $73,000 a year (applying the standard formula against his three highest years of pay), plus 3 percent annual cost of living increases. Under the plan, 90 percent of that $73,000 was paid into a deferred retirement account, untaxed, while he continued to work and draw regular pay. Flowers no longer needed to make his 6 percent retirement contribution; the state didn’t have to make its 12 percent contribution. When that five-year period was complete, Flowers decided not to retire but to take advantage of a new Tier 2 retirement option adopted for all highway employees. There were givebacks. He resumed making a 6 percent contribution. The amount paid into the deferred account was 79 percent of his future benefit, not 90. Highway officials said those givebacks made his continued option cost-free to the system. Participants can stay in Tier 2 until their 65th birthday, Continued on page 15 • MARCH 2, 2011 3

Smart talk

Contents Don’t know much about history

No suds for Junior n If you work in a bar or restaurant that serves alcohol, look out: ABC is constantly on the prowl for those selling to minors. Carl Kirkland, director of enforcement with the Alcoholic Beverage Control of Arkansas, said he asks his agents to do at least one underage-sales sting in every alcohol-selling establishment in the state per year. In 2009 and 2010, ABC Enforcement performed 5,049 compliance checks in Arkansas, and wrote 561 tickets to bartenders, waiters and waitresses who served drinks to youthful imbibers. Kirkland said that depending on the county, those who are nabbed in the stings are either issued a citation and released, or taken to the county jail and processed there. Offenders must appear in court, and before the ABC board. Fines vary from county to county, but routinely go over $300 per violation. Kirkland said the underage buyers for the stings are recruited in a number of ways. “Believe it or not, I get a lot of calls from concerned parents, where the kids are buying and they want to see something done,” he said. “We’ll try to go out and recruit school kids, starting at age 17 up. We have a lot of police officers’ kids ... We use just regular teen-age kids from schools or church groups. We work a lot with the community.” Kirkland said that undercover buyers often wear a hidden body mic or hidden camera to record the sale, and are paid $10 an hour. Problem establishments often get a return visit. “If we’ve got a problem place, we’re going to hit that a little bit more,” Kirkland said. “If we run a sting and they sell, and two months later we get a report from a concerned parent or something saying this place is still selling, my kid is still buying there, we’ll run another sting.”

n The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative education think tank, has evaluated the states’ standards for teaching U.S. history in school and found that a majority of the standards, including Arkansas’s, are “mediocre to awful.” Arkansas was one of 10 states, including Texas, to receive a grade of D. Eighteen states earned an F, among them Alaska, Maine, North Carolina and Wyoming. South Carolina (of all places) got the only A. Six other states received an A-minus. Of Arkansas, the Institute said: “Little coherent development or causal understanding of history is possible in the confused, thematically organized morass of Arkansas’s social studies standards.” We’re skeptical of any ranking in which South Carolina finishes first. Especially history.

Harmonic Hendrix

n On March 9, with the help of the Hendrix College Dance Department, architect/artist/composer Christopher Janney will prove just how easy it is to dance to architecture. The occasion is a small unveiling of the latest of Janney’s urban musical MUSIC IS ALL AROUND US, MAN: An series, “Harmonearly sketch of Christopher Janney’s light ic Pass: Henand sound installation for Hendrix. drix.” Contained inside the two tunnels of the underpass beneath Harkrider Street that connect Hendrix’s main campus to its athletic complex, the “Harmonic Pass,” or as students voted to call it, “The Grotto,” is motion-activated sound and light sculpture. Each tunnel has 10 touch sensors, 17 computercontrolled LED lights and five speakers that will emit a group of harmonic tones, which, according to Hendrix’s Rob O’Connor, will harmonize in the middle opening where the two tunnels meet. The installation was paid for by an anonymous donor and the senior class gift of the class of 2010. Hendrix’s O’Conner said he hopes “it’s something the public will enjoy.”

8 Seismic testing

on Greers Ferry

The presence of crews testing for gas deposits beneath scenic Greers Ferry Lake has some in the neighborhood concerned. — By Gerard Matthews

10 Pleasant Plains

quiet again

A national controversy over homophobic remarks by a school board member roiled a small Independence County community last year. A visit indicates it didn’t change many hearts or minds. — By David Koon

16 Loan shark


With the ink barely dry on a new constitutional limit on consumer credit interest, installment loan companies are hoping to pass legislation to more than double the limit. — By Max Brantley

DEPARTMENTS 3 The Insider 4 Smart Talk 5 The Observer 6 Letters 7 Orval 8-15 News 16 Opinion 19 Arts & Entertainment 29 Dining 31 Crossword/ Tom Tomorrow 38 Lancaster

Words VOLUME 37, NUMBER 26

n Wreak not, lest you be wreaked: Ed Prell asks, “Can one wreak anything besides havoc, and can havoc come about by any means other than wreaking?” Wreak and havoc do seem to belong together, although I vaguely remembered somebody crying havoc. Turns out it was Mark Antony In “Julius Caesar”: “Cry ‘Havoc!’ and let slip the dogs of war.” (When I say I remembered this, I mean I remembered reading it or maybe hearing Marlon Brando say it in a movie. I’m pretty sure I didn’t hear the original oration.) Havoc is “destruction or devastation” and to cry havoc is “to warn of destruction or devastation.” There once was a movie actress named June Havoc. That may not be relevant here. Havoc also can be used for recreation, 4 MARCH 2, 2011 • ARKANSAS TIMES

Doug S mith

as in the phrase play havoc with, which means either “to create confusion or disorder in,” or “to destroy”: The dog played havoc with my tax return. So havoc does step out without wreak on occasion. What about the other way around? Wreak means “to inflict or execute (punishment, vengeance, etc.).” The first example of wreak’s usage given by Random House is, sure enough, “They wreaked havoc on the enemy.” But wreak can also mean “to carry out the promptings of (one’s rage, desire, etc.)”: He

wreaked his anger on the careless barber. n Softball is women’s version of baseball, so in the interest of gender equality I’ve declared Gidget Pambianchi eligible for our annual Best Baseball Name Award. She (I hope that’s the right pronoun) coaches the Arkansas Tech softball team. n The uproar in Africa has been instructive in more ways than one. A few weeks ago, I learned that residents of the Ivory Coast are Ivorians. More recently, I’ve discovered that people in Niger are Nigeriens, not to be confused with Nigerians, who are from Nigeria. This set me wondering what people from Zimbabwe are called. The official name, according to on-line sources, is Zimbabwean; the slang term is Zimbo.

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



he m! Meet tim a e T w S This dispatch comes from a Deputy Observer on her recent trip to see Bill Clinton in Little Rock. She had taken old photographs that she’d made of Bill and Hillary’s home during his years as attorney general to give to the former president. “A workmate from Ohio and I went to the presentation by the Little Rock Nine of their Congressional Gold Medal to the Clinton Library Saturday. I was miraculously able to find my pictures, taken in the early-mid 1990s, of Bill and Hillary’s old home on “L” Street where they lived when Clinton was the attorney general and took them along in hope of a chance to give them to President Clinton. “It was a beautiful program and, at the close, Pres. Clinton moved down to the first row to shake hands with notables there. Workmate thought the president would go down the front row and out the back door as the Secret Service were moving in that direction. Since we were boxed in on the fourth row, we worried that she would miss out on her dream of shaking his hand. But, fortunately, some old lady sitting next to her (aka me) began pushing chairs into any vacated inch available, and we were suddenly on the first row. “I sort of edged Mayor Stodola over — and there we were in line for Clinton ahead of the mayor! President Clinton spoke with our workmate, talked about her move to UALR, her work here, and her mother’s joy that she was meeting him. Then he signed her autograph book. I then handed him the pictures of his old home. He looked at them trying to register what I’d handed him and then began talking with me about the house. He and Hillary had recently discovered that they had no pictures of that house! He said they have pictures in their New York home of every house they have lived in except the one on “L” Street! He said I had made his day!  “Mayor Stodola then spoke and started to introduce someone to President Clinton, but I took a deep breath and said ‘Hey! You forgot to shake my hand!’ Clinton turned back

and said “You’re right” and held out his right hand. I looked at it for a moment, then looked him in the eyes and said, ‘This is the hand that shook President Kennedy’s hand — so I am shaking hands with both of you! And, now you are truly making my day twice!’ He smiled and said ‘Thank you!’ and then the Mayor claimed him.”

The Observer lives down in Capitol View, and the house next door to us has been empty for awhile — for sale sign out front, fresh coat of paint, new roof, older but with good bungalow bones, plenty of space for a young family. Even so, it just sat there for over a year. From time to time, folks would come and tour the place, open the cabinet doors, turn the ceiling fan on and off while the smiling realtor turned in circles and pointed out details. We know because we were watching; peeping though our curtains, hoping against hope that this would be the family that brought light back to those dark windows across the driveway. The Observer is a social fellow, prone to sitting on the porch on summer nights, listening to the cars rolling past and swatting the occasional mosquito. We love this city. We love its neighborhoods, and the fabric of community. And that empty house, seemingly so good and yet still unloved, unsettled us in ways we couldn’t bear. Over time, it became a symbol to us for all of America, where good houses sit dark because of the crummy economy. If a house is not a vessel for life, we thought, what is it? Then, one night this week, we saw headlights in the driveway. When we peeked out, we saw that a young couple had backed their small SUV to the door and were unloading all the flotsam and jetsam of family life: a vacuum cleaner, boxes of books, pots and pans and bed linens. It was only then that we noticed that the realtor sign was down. We couldn’t help but smile. The Observer doesn’t know if they will be good neighbors or bad, but we do know they’re a heck of a lot better than nothing. Welcome to Maple Street, friends.


Laura P. Nic

ch 5 Opening Mar • MARCH 2, 2011 5


On the fringe Firstly, I have been a member of both Republican and Democrat parties but not of any Tea Party or any other groups you call “fringe” in your Feb. 16 cover story. I write only because I was in Little Rock to file a federal lawsuit yesterday and happened upon your newspaper with a striking red/black cover and a most provocative headline: “BRINGING THE CRAZY” which in subliminal Orwellian double-speak is code for “don’t believe anything they say.” You go to great lengths to pillory white folks in the middle years (who you seem to punish for “knowing more about politics”) which you more rightly could have identified as “facts.” That just might mean they are not so crazy after all.  I remind you that this generation grew up on a movement against government cover-ups like Watergate and Iran-Contra. Then, the press actually found fault with lies and corruption but after many years of consolidation, we should be asking, just who owns you? Is it Rupert Murdoch, an Australian who controls media in America?  Back in my day, the press called our college-aged generation (who were dragged off to kill rice farmers in Asia) dirty and godless. Perhaps they were wrong then, just as they may be wrong now by suggesting there is something wrong with middle-aged white folks who believe in God and have a job. Maybe those are the same folks who brought about real change in the ’70’s that was eviscerated over the last 30 years by both parties. The false light cast upon them then and perhaps now has one common denominator — anybody who does not believe the big lies is somehow not mainstream.  I suggest that you check your facts and understand that we have lost so much that we may be at a boiling point. The press would do well to take heed before the bosses start burning newspapers in the public square like they did books in 1930’s Germany. V. Liptak Dallas

In memory Arkansas lost one of her best with the death of Carol Griffee on Jan. 24. To say that she was an outstanding journalist is an understatement. She loved Arkansas, but, more importantly, she loved truth and justice, and pursued both throughout her career.  Her excellence in reporting and her dedication to her career set a high standard.  She also left a precious legacy in journalism which should never be for6 MARCH 2, 2011 • ARKANSAS TIMES

gotten. Thank you, Carol. Don F. Hamilton Little Rock

Offended I am offended by the reference in the Orval cartoon Feb. 16 to white Christians. If you do not like Rep. Justin Harris that is fine. But it is racist to refer to white Christians like all of them are like him. Freedom of speech is great and you may talk about Representative Harris all you want, but do not bring all white Christians into it, Ralph Williams From the Internet

Shut it down Let’s examine this further: when your local grocery store shuts down, you no longer give them money. So, if the federal government shuts down, we no longer give them money right? No more taxes, etc. I like the whole idea — put ’em out of work for a month or so and we might be better off for their learning experience. Steve Gibson Little Rock

Shale woes Even though I’m short on some of the details in Arkansas, I know enough

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to keep me fuming when it comes to the natural gas exploitation that’s been going on there. The apparent complicity of state government institutions is nauseating and quite possibly scandalous. Now as I read stories about hundreds of tremors affecting the state and the possible link to “fracking,” it makes me all the more furious. Living in North Texas on top of the gasrich Barnett Shale I’m acutely aware of the hideous and under-regulated chemical injection methods used by the likes of Chesapeake Energy — whose gleaming Texas headquarters tower I can see from my balcony. The city of Fort Worth and surrounding Tarrant County are graced by over 15,000 football-field-sized “well pads” which pepper the landscape. That’s right: FIFTEEN THOUSAND. I can hear incessant fracking, (which curiously seems to happen only at night) from my porch and even from inside my house. It sounds like high volume bursts of steroidal firecrackers echoing across our neighborhood throughout the evening. Here’s what I’ve observed. Sites are selected and scraped bare. Temporary 30-plus-foot walls go up. Drill rigs go up. Fracking ensues. Then the wells are capped and the walls come down revealing yet another permanent eyesore. It all happens at breakneck speed. You never know when or where it will happen. But it’s everywhere. And yes, we’ve had similar earth tremors where I live. Flying in and out of DFW I have seen countless scars from these rectangular sites and their access roads stretching all across North and West Texas and throughout Colorado and Wyoming — even in what appear to have been pristine wilderness areas. I’ve seen them around Arkansas, too. Sadly, my city commission is blatantly ignoring persistent and vehement protests from the community about the noise, air and ground water pollution caused by these activities. Not only do we have some of the worst air quality in the country, but our aquifers are slowly being rendered useless. But that’s not what I’m writing to you about. I’m writing as an Arkansan. We’ve got to do something. This could be an environmental disaster of epic proportions. Please take advantage of the media attention focused on Arkansas right now. Let’s see some good old-fashioned muckraking. It’s time to call those responsible to account. I sincerely hope Arkansans won’t allow The Natural State to become The Hazmat State — unless it’s already too late. Tony Poe Fort Worth n Submit letters to The Editor, Arkansas Times, P.O. Box 34010, Little Rock, AR 72203. We also accept letters via e-mail. The address is maxbrantley@arktimes. com. We also accept faxes at 375-3623. Please include a hometown and telephone number.

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IMMIGRANTS. A House committee beat a bill that, in its original form, would have denied any sort of state benefit, except life-saving, to those without legal residency. It would have ended a pre-natal care program and any number of other humane services. SHEFFIELD NELSON. The former gas executive and Republican gubernatorial candidate continued his crusade to increase the severance tax on gas production to pay for road damage the drilling rigs have caused. TAXES. What? You thought this was the era of tax cuts? The highway lobby apparently has the legislature primed to send to voters proposals for a nickel increase in the diesel tax and a half-cent sales tax increase to pay for repairs and an unneeded four-lane program. Note to legislators: Deferring your responsibility to voters for tax increases doesn’t take the blood off your hands. You were elected to vote, not pass the buck. The LITTLE ROCK ZOO. It gave a sneak preview of a new penguin exhibit. Looks like it will be a hit. IT WAS A BAD WEEK FOR ...

POOR FOLKS. Legislation was introduced to open the door to loan sharks in Arkansas and virtually unlimited interest rates on small loans as bad as anything the payday lenders ever invented. (See Max Brantley.) MIKE HUCKABEE. His latest bookette, “Simple Government,” was ripped by national writers for simpleminded, mistake-ridden cliches from somebody more interested in money than governance. Uh, yeah. RANDEEP MANN. The Russellville doctor was sentenced to life in prison for orchestrating a bomb plot against Trent Pierce, the chairman of the state Medical Board. Still unanswered: Who did the actual bombing? FAULKNER COUNTY. Still more earthquakes, including a 4.7-scale tremor last Sunday that was the strongest in 35 years. It was felt all across Central Arkansas and might have even left a crack or two in structures here and there. 8 MARCH 2, 2011 • ARKANSAS TIMES

The Arkansas Reporter

Phone: 501-375-2985­ Fax: 501-375-3623 Arkansas Times Online home page: E-mail: ■


Looking for gas under Greers Ferry Concern grows over seismic testing. BY GERARD MATTHEWS

n In October last year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a license to Chesapeake Energy that allows the natural gas exploration company to begin seismic testing on Greers Ferry Lake. That was news to some local residents as the license was issued without a public hearing or notice in the newspaper. Now that testing has begun, the possibility of future gas drilling has some of the locals concerned. The license allows Chesapeake to conduct seismic tests until the end of September. In return, the company will fund the construction of docks on seven of the lake’s ramp sites. Laurie Driver, spokesman for the Corps of Engineers, says similar testing has been conducted on the lake twice before and the tests SEISMIC: A 30-foot seismic testing boat injects air into the lake at 2,000 PSI. should have a minimal impact on the environment and wildlife. “They go through and bounce sound “Obviously, when you see a helicopter flyLake and ‘on’ Greers Ferry Lake,” Raines waves through the ground through small ing around and putting down equipment at wrote. “To the contrary, the minerals under charges and they record the length of time locations on the shoreline on the lake, it’s the lake are not leased to our knowledge it takes for the sound waves to bounce probably going to spur your interest a little and we do not have any plans to extract back,” Driver says. “It makes a profile of bit. People are just trying to get clarificathose minerals.” the rocks under the surface. They dig a tion on what’s going on. I think that was But Uecker wonders why Chesapeake hole, they put a small charge in and once spurred on by an e-mail that was sent out would bother looking for gas if they didn’t that’s finished they have to fill up that to various members of the public from a plan to one day get it out of the ground. hole.” group called Save Greers Ferry Lake.” Driver says the company would not be alThe testing does not fall under the Len Uecker is president of that group lowed to drill on government property. purview of the Arkansas Department of and author of that e-mail. SGFL is made “They would not be able to go on govEnvironmental Quality or the Arkansas up of local residents and other concerned ernment land to get it, but if they were on Oil and Gas Commission, although an citizens who use the lake for recreation. private adjacent land, they could frack a ADEQ spokesman said the agency could He’s worried about what might happen if well and get under it that way,” she says. “step in if problems arise.” Cesapeake has Chesapeake actually finds gas reserves. Driver said a public hearing on the hired FTN, an environmental engineering “Of course, they try to play it down and testing was not necessary because it is firm, to conduct the tests and monitor the say ‘It’s just to get a picture of the struca “short-term activity and there are no impacts, which should be minimal, Driver ture of the lake.’ But anyway, it’s to drill long-term consequences to the lake.” But says. gas wells — only on private property — Uecker and others are afraid there will be. “We’ve put checks and balances in but close enough to the shore so they can He says they will continue to try to get the place. If they want to do a survey where do their horizontal drilling under the lake. word out. there are no roads, they are not allowed And that’s what we object to. The primary “If there had been a public hearing, to make roads, so they’ve been flying in concern is they’re going to put in a whole it could have been stopped,” he says. “If equipment with a helicopter,” she says. bunch of new wells as close to the lake as the word had gotten out, there would have And that’s led to a lot of inquiries about they can get them. That will clear land, been a lot of people there and a lot of anwhat exactly is going on around the lake. open up the watershed and there’s runoff ger.” Brent Watkins is the natural resource spefrom these well sites.” SGFL has scheduled a meeting in cialist for the Corps of Engineers at the Uecker’s email found its way to ChesaGreers Ferry for Thursday night to talk Greers Ferry Project Office. He says he’s peake’s communications manager, Mark about the seismic testing and the prospect received a lot of phone calls asking about Raines. He wrote Uecker in return: of future gas drilling. The meeting starts at the helicopters. “Regrettably, it is being communicated 6 p.m. The location will be announced on “People are curious,” Watkins says. that we are drilling ‘under’ Greers Ferry the group’s Facebook page.



drivers Please be aWare, it’s arkansas state laW: Use of bicycles or animals

Every person riding a bicycle or an animal, or driving any animal drawing a vehicle upon a highway, shall have all the rights and all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle, except those provisions of this act which by their nature can have no applicability.

overtaking a bicycle

The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on a roadway shall exercise due care and pass to the left at a safe distance of not less than three feet (3’) and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken bicycle.

yoUr cycling friends thank yoU! • Go to “Arkansas Code,” search “bicycle” • march 2, 2011 9

Midland’s moment


Facebook, Clint McCance, and a teaching moment about hate. But was anything learned? BY DAVID KOON


he way former Midland School Board vice president Clint McCance filled that intoxicating little window at the top of his Facebook page — the one that urges users to reveal What’s On Your Mind? — is pretty much indefensible, except maybe by the flintiest of homophobes and religious zealots. For those who never read what McCance wrote but despised him for what they heard he said, or never read it and defended him as a warrior of Christ anyway (and there were plenty of both), his comments appear below, taken from the screenshot captured in October by his Facebook friend and fellow Midland High School alum Anthony

Turner. Turner eventually forwarded those screenshots to gay and lesbian advocacy groups and the media. They were later broadcast around the world. McCance, apparently upset that some had suggested people wear purple to honor 11 gay kids from all across the nation who committed suicide in September of that year after being bullied at school, originally posted: “Seriously they want me to wear purple because five queers committed suicide. The only way im wearin it for them is if they all commit suicide. I cant believe the people of this world have gotten this stupid. We are honoring the fact that they sinned and killed thereselves because of their sin. REALLY PEOPLE.” Later, after a Facebook friend chided him for saying

THE SPARK: McCance’s comment on Facebook, which set off an international furor.


what he did, McCance came back with: “No because being a fag doesnt give you the right to ruin the rest of our lives. If you get easily offended by being called a fag then dont tell anyone you are a fag. Keep that shit to yourself. I dont care how people decide to live their lives. They dont bother me if they keep it to thereselves. It pisses me off though that we make a special purple fag day for them. I like that fags cant procreate. I also enjoy the fact that they often give each other aids and die. If you arent against it, you might as well be for it.” Later still, after the same poster berated McCance, asking him what he would think if someone talked about one of his children that way, McCance posted this: “I would disown my kids if they were gay. They will not be wel-


THE COUNTER-PROTEST: Matt Martin (center) stands with other local residents in opposition to the Midland protest. down, and a day-long picket in Pleasant Plains, where Midland School District is located. Though he remained frustratingly silent in the early days of the controversy, McCance eventually made an apology of sorts on CNN, and formally resigned on Halloween, with his resignation accepted by the school board the next day. The scars of that kind of business tend to linger, though, both in the hearts of those who felt old wounds opened by McCance’s venom, and those who feel like outsiders came to Pleasant Plains to force their un-Christian values on the town. While many of the protestors there that day see the whole incident as an enlightening moment, maybe even a kind of turning point, nearly everyone from Pleasant Plains we talked to — from school administrators to townsfolk to

preachers to students — say that it has little to teach, little to say about the town, and is best forgotten.


t was fairly warm in Little Rock on the morning of Oct. 28, 2010; brisk, but comfortable. By the time the line of protestors’ cars had snaked its way 80 miles north from the capital city to the town of Pleasant Plains, however, they had driven into the first breath of winter; a stiff wind that turned the bright, blue-sky morning into a deep freeze. Turned away by police from the front of Midland High School, where they said they had been told they could stand, the 35 to 40 protesters were instead directed to the edge of grassy ditch along Highway 167 at the rear of the school grounds, behind the ball fields and dugouts. There,


come at my home or in my vicinity. I will absolutely run them off. Of course my kids will know better. My kids will have solid christian beliefs. See it infects everyone.” Given the circumstances — such a hateful statement, from a school official, said in response to an effort to honor young men who were literally bullied to death by peers spouting just that kind of speech — it’s easy to see why the smelly breeze of Clint McCance’s comments soon blew itself into a hurricane. Within a few days, a comment that might have been ignored only a few years before had focused the bright light of worldwide attention down on McCance and his town. This included an Oct. 26 story on the website of the gay and lesbian magazine The Advocate that drew so much traffic it reportedly shut their servers

COUNTERPOINT: Protestors at Midland Schools. • MARCH 2, 2011 11



with the big trucks growling past, the protesters stood in a long line, almost none of them dressed for the weather, and shivered in silence. Some held signs that bore the names of the 11 boys who had killed themselves. Others held signs that said All Kids Matter, or one word in bold black: RESIGN. Fifty feet away, a cluster of Arkansas state troopers and local law enforcement lingered in the sun beside their cruisers. Edie Love was one of the protestors that day. A graduate of Midland, she was a student there from 1985 to 1990. She had brought her yearbook that day to prove it, showing a younger version of herself in a cheerleader’s uniform and thick curls. Love came out of the closet a few years back. The morning of the protest, she had driven from Memphis, where she lives with her partner and four children, to be there. “This is my school,” Love said. “I was one of these kids who he wants to see die ... You can’t say things like that to children. He’s in a position of influence. It’s not right.” While Love didn’t know she was gay when she was a student at Midland High, she said McCance’s post would have been a crushing blow to any student who might be struggling with his or her sexuality. “He has a right to his opinion,” Love said. “But that right stops when it gets to the point of harming children. The things that he said, as a member of a school board, in a position of influence, are a danger to any child that could be struggling with their orientation.” Just down the line stood Rita Jernigan. A retired math teacher who served in the Little Rock School District for 25 years, Jernigan was there with her partner, Pam Hendrick. “It’s hard enough growing up without people spewing hate and anger,” Jernigan said. “I find it very ironic that he calls himself a Christian when Jesus’ teachings were about compassion and love.” “When Mr. McCance put his comments on Facebook, he made it a worldwide matter,” Hendrick said. “Maybe he isn’t intelligent enough to know that what he did can influence many people.” Randi Romo is the director of the Center for Artistic Revolution, the Little Rock gay and lesbian advocacy group that organized the protest, which she called a “vigil.” Short and solid, tough as a 16-penny nail — a Texas native who grew up gay in a small town a lot like Pleasant Plains — Romo is a veteran of protests for gay and lesbian rights in Arkansas. Asked what she thought about the reaction of the town, where some began claiming almost immediately that the protesters were trying to foist an un-Christian homosexual agenda on them, Romo said it was fairly predictable. “I’ve heard a lot of people saying we are trying to cram a gay agenda down their throats,” Romo said. “Yes, I have a gay agenda: I don’t want you to encourage our kids to kill themselves, and I don’t want you to kill me. You think I’m trying to cram that down your throat? By all means: I’m cramming that down your throat.” A counter-protest of around 15 local residents assembled up the hill soon after the protesters arrived, one group showing up in a big four wheel drive pickup that flew the Christian and American flags from its bed. The television cameras in attendance soon drew themselves around Matt Martin, a 2007 Midland graduate who became the group’s de facto media spokesperson solely because — as often happens — he was the loudest. Wearing a homemade “Pro Bible” T-shirt, Martin told the assembled reporters that the people of Pleasant Plains were “good ol’ redneck country folks,” and made it clear that he believed things had been

PRODIGAL DAUGHTER: Edie Love, a protestor from Memphis, shows photos of her time at Midland. blown out of proportion. “Around here, we believe in what the Bible says, and the Bible says that marriage is between a man and a woman, and that’s what we believe and that’s the way it’s going to stay, and that’s the end of the story,” Martin told reporters. “Right now it would be nice if they’d just go on back to the city and leave us alone, and if everything would be deleted off of Facebook and Google or whatever it’s on. Just wipe it out and drop it. It’s that simple.” Martin said that all the coverage might have given people the impression that the town is “full of homosexuals.” “No, it’s not,” he said. “It’s not at all. We don’t need the gay rights people to come in and support our homosexuals, because there is none. If there is, they’re in the closet.” Lajeana Franklin was one of those standing with the counter-protest, and is the parent of children who attend Midland Schools. She said she was there because the protest had disrupted the school and the community. “They have a list of demands that they want,” Franklin said. “How’s that different from bullying? I have the God-given right as a Christian to teach my kids the way I want them to be raised at home. I can protect them from the Internet, but I cannot protect them from protesters outside their school ... Their kids don’t go to school here. They don’t live in this community and they don’t know us.” Because she said she didn’t want to “put myself out there to be slandered,” Franklin wouldn’t comment directly on what McCance said on Facebook, but did say that everyone makes mistakes. “I think it’s his God-given right in a private forum to speak his mind. Maybe he said way too much, and maybe he didn’t literally mean what he said.

But he was trying to be forced to do something he didn’t agree with and we would all be defensive,” Franklin said. Standing nearby, Katie Pate called herself a “concerned, aggravated parent.” The mother of children who attend the school, Pate said she was there for the kids. While Pate called what McCance said “extreme,” she added that the situation wasn’t handled right. If someone had a problem with the things McCance posted on Facebook, Pate said, they should have taken it up with McCance, or the school board — not spread it all over the Internet. “I was friends with Clint on Facebook,” Pate said. “I saw what he wrote. Had I had a gay kid, I would not have taken it to the media. I would have confronted Clint. If Clint kept backing up what he said, then I would have gone to the school board and I would have said, ‘You might want to look into this member. This isn’t right what he said’ ... They should have dealt with it between the school board and him, not the whole nation.” As I was talking to another protestor, Donna Puentez drove up, got out with her Bible, and literally yelled her opinions at my back until I turned and acknowledged her. Raised just outside of Chicago, Puentez moved to Pleasant Plains a few years back with her husband and adopted children, and said it’s a wonderful place to live, where kids routinely pray after basketball games. Her daughter is the only black child enrolled at the school, she said, and has never been bullied or picked on. “Not one child has ever — or parent, or anyone — has ever looked bad at my daughter,” she said. “And she’s not mixed. She is completely black. She’s black! And I adore her. They take good care of my daughter.”

Leona Siler said: “Some people say that the Bible says (homosexuality) is an abomination, but still yet it also says that we’re not to judge.” “It’s just a mess,” Pankey said.



STANLEY: Believes the McCance controversy is a “dead issue.” Puentez said she hadn’t read McCance’s comments, but understands from what she’s heard that he made them in the midst of a heated discussion. She said she was there because, “I don’t want the homosexual agenda pushed down the throats of my children.” Political correctness, Puentez said, is killing our nation. After the reporter told her some of the things McCance said in his Facebook post, Puentez said he was “wrong,” but added that she stands with him against homosexuality as an affront to God. She said the people in the counter protest weren’t there because they want to see gays hurt. “I know there’s not a one of them here because they want all homosexuals to be beat up and killed, I know that. It’s that they’re standing against what’s coming. No one is here because they’re 100 percent for what (McCance) said.” She then held up her Bible. “They’re here because they’re for what He said.” Meanwhile, in his office at the school, Superintendent Dean Stanley looked like he hadn’t slept in a week. He sipped from a glass, periodically crunching ice, and spoke in a soft, drowsy monotone. Stanley had been out of state on school business when the story broke, but had been dealing with it for several days by then. His e-mail inbox was crammed with over 15,000 angry notes from all over the world. The phone in the front office, he said, had rung non-stop for three days. The protestors by the highway had vowed to come back to the school every day until McCance resigned. “I was surprised how quickly it snowballed to what it did,” Stanley said. “But because of the organizations — the strong political base — that got hold of (the story), probably not so much.” Stanley said he had talked to McCance several times by then, and was concerned about his well-being. He said McCance had expressed remorse, but

wouldn’t elaborate. While the law didn’t give the school board the option to fire an elected official, Stanley said most of the e-mails he had received called just for that. McCance was his own man and would have to decide for himself what to do, Stanley said, but added that he didn’t see a way out of the controversy without McCance bowing out. “I would have a hard way to see it,” Stanley said. “I don’t see an easy way out. I think that would be the easiest way out. I don’t think it’s going to go away without resignation, but I don’t know that’s the case.” Down the street from the school at the Pleasant Plains Flea Market, town resident Shaney Pankey said McCance needed to resign. The mother of a son who is a senior at

he night after the protesters packed up their signs for the day and left Pleasant Plains, McCance found the way out on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 program. By then, no less than U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan had weighed in on the controversy, telling CNN that McCance had “no business being an education leader,” before adding: “To have an elected educational official spouting off that kind of hatred is absolutely unimaginable to me.” Wearing a sweater and the slightly shell-shocked expression of a late-round boxer, McCance told Cooper that he had received hate mail and death threats from around the world — so many that he had decided to send his wife and two children out of state for their own safety. Eventually, McCance announced his intention to resign from the school board. He had made “ignorant comments,” and used “strong language,” he said, but didn’t mean for his words to advocate bullying or teen suicide. When Cooper pressed him on whether his mind had been changed about the issue of homosexuality, McCance said: “My core beliefs don’t change as far as what I read in the Bible.” As to whether he’d use words like “fag” and “queer” in the future, McCance said: “That’s in the future. I would hope not.” When Cooper asked if he would, in fact, run his children off if they turned out to be gay, McCance said: “I don’t know what I’d do yet. Time will tell.” Even as he announced his resignation, McCance left the door open for a return to the Midland School Board. “I don’t want [the town] to receive bad press or have a distraction because of some ignorant comments that I made. If they decide later, a year, five years, 10 years from now to vote me back in, if my constituents want that, then I’ll run again.” Though he initially seemed receptive to the idea, Clint McCance eventually turned down our request for an interview for this story, after we had submitted questions to him in writing and agreed to print his answers in a question-and-answer format to prevent them from being taken out of context. In a series of phone calls while discussing the possibility of an interview, McCance said that his words had

“I don’t want (the town) to receive bad press or have a distraction because of some ignorant comments that I made. If they decide later, a year, five years, ten years from now to vote me back in, if my constituents want that, then I’ll run again.” the high school, Pankey said that while she likes McCance personally, he took a “wrong turn” with his comments. “I think everyone is entitled to their opinion,” Pankey said, “but I think that with him being on the school board, he ought to know better. That was very ugly the way he said it, and I think he should have thought about what he was doing, especially since he was on the school board.” Seated nearby among the knick-knacks, Pankey’s neighbor

often been taken out of context by reporters, and he didn’t want to get things started again. “You’ve got to understand where I’m coming from,” McCance told Arkansas Times. “Sure, I’d love to get my statement out there, but I don’t want to flare this all up again if I don’t have to. From the looks of things, I looked at you guys online, and it looked like there was a lot of, kind of, pro-homosexual stuff on there.” McCance said the experience made him “pretty • MARCH 2, 2011 13


PANKEY: Believes it was right for McCance to resign. worldly in just a few days.” “I made some outlandish, heated statements. You’ll never hear me say I agree with what I said 100 percent. I just won’t. I was mad, and I popped off, and there you go,” he said. “I apparently didn’t understand the privacy laws on Facebook well enough, but it doesn’t matter. I shouldn’t have said it that way. It happened. I dealt with it.”




he funny thing about time is that it can turn love or anger or fear or even hate into a lens, one that allows us all to see better through it. Four months since the Midland School board officially accepted McCance’s resignation, the district has largely gone back to normal, said Superintendent Dean Stanley. “We’ve gone on with life and we’re clicking along here,” Stanley said. Asked if there had been any change in the student body over the controversy, Stanley said he didn’t think so. “It turned into a media circus, and unfortunately it had an effect on our educational process,” he said. We asked Stanley if he would ask members of the Midland High School student body if they’d be willing to chat with Arkansas Times about the controversy, but he refused to even mention it to students, saying, “as far as we’re concerned, it’s a dead issue” and there was no benefit in rehashing the story. Reached through Facebook, “T” is a student at Midland High School who spoke to the Times on the condition of anonymity. T said that during the media attention and protests, school went on as normal — though students did talk about it, with some signing out to join the counterprotest, and others hearing that the annual Fall Festival had been cancelled at the elementary school because protesters went to that campus (which doesn’t seem to be the case as far as we’ve been able to ascertain). T said there are gay students at Midland High School, but they are not treated differently by their classmates “They have their group and we have ours,” T said. “It’s not our way of lifestyle, but we don’t really care what they choose to do.”

ROMO: Her “homsexual agenda” is don’t kill gay kids. While classes went on mostly as normal, T said that having protestors outside made it “kind of scary, because we had no idea what they were fixing to do.” Some students at the school worried that the media attention might cause the gay students there to disrupt classes, or tell the visiting media they had been discriminated against. “People thought that the ones that were that way [gay or lesbian] would just start acting like they could do whatever they wanted to just because we had the news people and everybody else coming up there, and they’d say that any little thing that would happen was discrimination or whatever.” As for McCance’s resignation, T doesn’t agree with what he said, but adds that he shouldn’t have been forced to leave the board. “That really is what ended it all,

so I guess it was the best thing to do. But I don’t think he should have had to.” While the controversy was a big topic of conversation among students back during the fall, they don’t talk much about it anymore, and administrators and teachers never bring the subject up (“We made gay jokes before, and we still make them,” T said). If McCance runs for school board again in a few years, he has T’s vote. “He was a good school board member,” T said, and added that it doesn’t matter whether his re-election brings protesters back to Pleasant Plains. “They can just shove it. I don’t care.” Midland School Board president Bryson Wood said that he has talked with McCance a few times since he resigned, and still considers him a friend. Though some questioned the apology on CNN, Wood said McCance is truly remorseful. That doesn’t mean that McCance’s beliefs on homosexuality have changed, but Wood insists McCance isn’t the hatemonger many tried to paint him as. “I think Clint is vehemently opposed to homosexuality, as many of us are — myself included,” Wood said. “He believes it’s not something that’s morally or should be socially acceptable.” The primary thing McCance and people in Pleasant Plains learned from the controversy, Wood said, was that you have to choose your words carefully when using social media like Facebook. “That’s not necessarily the place to be putting some of your personal feelings out there,” Wood said. “I think Mr. McCance learned that for sure and everybody else who has observed that has as well.” Pleasant Plains, Wood said, is not a hotspot for “gay haters,” but it is like a lot of small, Southern communities when it comes to the question of homosexuality, in that the vast majority of people in the community call it sin. “The homosexual agenda has been to try to slowly evolve into creating homosexuality as a choice and a lifestyle,” Wood said. “And nobody wants to call it what it truly is, which is a sin against God.” When asked what he would say to his friend if McCance decides to run for school board again in a few years, Wood said that decision would be up to the voters, but added that he would encourage McCance to “really consider the consequences” and his motivations for running. “If he decided in his own mind and heart that his reason was to contribute his knowledge and experience to making the school district a better place to get an education, that would be his decision,” Wood said. “I would just want him to make sure his intentions are in the right place.” Down the street from the high school, inside the dim, one-room feed store he runs near the four-way stop in the middle of town, Mike Vaughn lit a thin cigar and said that outsiders can’t change a town like Pleasant Plains. Vaughn said his father was the chief of police in a small town down in Louisiana “during the ’60s when we had all the integration shit,” so he’s used to protesters and reporters asking questions. While he’s not for homosexuality, he said everyone has their own opinion and their own rights. That includes the right of the residents of Pleasant Plains to make their own decisions. “If you’ll notice, you don’t see nobody from Pleasant Plains going down to Little Rock telling them damn folks how to live,” he said. “I’m afraid that you will find that most everybody around here has my opinion: that ya’ll need to go back to Little Rock and let this thing die a natural death.”

Just outside of town at Flippo Chapel Baptist Church, we caught fifth-generation pastor Joe Helms, who happened to be there on a Friday because he was moving so the parsonage could be remodeled. Helms said that some members of the school administration attend church there, and were “heartbroken” by the controversy. “We’re not a bunch of hatemongers,” Helms said. “We love people, even those who don’t believe the things we believe outside of town Flippo andJust stand for. We realizeat that all Chapel people Baptist sin.” Church, we he caught commit He said didn’tfifth-generabelieve the tion pastor Joechanged Helms, by who to town had been thehappened protests, or be there on a Friday because he was that the belief that homosexuality is sinmovcan ingchanged so the parsonage could be remodeled. be by outside influence. Helms Helms of the said thatsaid he that had some heard members that the threats school administration church there, directed at McCance attend were “a whole lot and were byboard the controworse” than“heartbroken” what the school memversy. ber originally said on Facebook. “With the “We’re a bunch of hatemongers,” people whonot were protesting against Clint, Helmswas said. “WeHelms love people, even those there hate,” said. “Everybody who don’tbebelieve thebut things believe is saying, tolerant, it’s awe one-sided and stand for. We realize all people tolerance,” Helms added.that “Everybody commit sin.” He said he didn’t believe the town had been changed by the protests, or that the belief that homosexuality is sin can be changed by outside influence. Helms Continued from page 3 said that he had heard that the threats directed at McCance wereThen “a whole lot in December for Flowers. they must worse” than what the school board memretire. berThe originally Facebook. “With the moneysaid hason piled up. By federal forpeople Flowers who were protesting against mulas, this year reached theClint, point therethe was hate,”worth Helms “Everybody that vested of said. his guaranteed reis saying,benefits be tolerant, but annuitized it’s a one-sided tirement plus the worth tolerance,” Helms added. account “Everybody of his deferred retirement was wants to pick andAt choose subjects, and $195,000 a year. that the level, states must if you don’tamounts agree, you’re intolerant.” roll excess accumulated by such Though into Anthony Turner employees a different typeoriginally of retiredidn’tplan wantortorisk comment this story ment seriousfor penalties for due their to concern for family entire retirement plan. members who still liveLarry in Arkansas, he eventually provided Dickerson, who supervises the Arkansasretirement Times withsystem, a written statement. highway said there are The Clint helpedyears by at least twoMcCance employeessituation with enough raising awareness, and by and sufficient pay toTurner qualifysaid, eventually for letting gay kids all over countryFlowers know similar consideration in the future. that me there those willing to stand up for told heare wouldn’t have agreed to the leg-

wants to pick and choose the subjects, and if you don’t agree, you’re intolerant.” Though Anthony Turner originally didn’t want to comment for this story due to concern for family members who still live in Arkansas, he eventually provided Arkansas Times with a written statement. The Clint McCance situation helped by raising awareness, Turner said, and by letting gay kids all over the country know that there are those willing to stand up for their rights. “Beyond that,” Turner wrote, their rights. “Beyond Turner “this was a single stepthat,” on the long,wrote, hard “this to wasequality a singleand stepacceptance on the long, path forhard all path to beings. equalityThe andpeople acceptance all human of my for home humanour beings. Theour people of are myfundahome town, state, and country town, ourgood state,atand fundamentally heart We are are all human mentallyWe good heart We are all human beings. all at have the...same dreams, the beings. Weand all have the same the same joys, the same fears.dreams, We all desame to joys, same We all deserve liveand freethe from hatefears. and prejudice.” serve livepart, freeRandi from hate anddoesn’t prejudice.” Fortoher Romo buy For her part, Randi“IRomo doesn’tthink buy McCance’s apology. just don’t McCance’s “I the justhate don’t he really everapology. addressed andthink the he reallyofever addressed the ugliness what he said.the Hehate was and calling ugliness said. calling for peopleoftowhat die. he I felt likeHe hewas skirted the for people to die. I felt like he skirted the issue and was trying to get out of it with his skin intact. that heonly would say: islation had it The beenfact to benefit him. ‘Well, in five years, they’ll re-elect Kerr added, “Itmaybe otherwise would have me.’ costReally?” the state a lot of money.” Romo said that she doesn’t think the controversy will change the heart of anyBottom line one in Pleasant it comes to n Flowers havePlains been awhen popular and effechomosexuality, but she with does unprecedented think it will tive highway director make folks there choose words that moreextenure. He’ll retire withtheir a benefit carefully public, that’s a start.near Eventhe ceeds hisinpay, butand likely nowhere though an former old hand on the picket multipleshe’s some legislators used to line, Romo admits these months later that cadge by leveraging multipliers of legislashe worried about what might tivewas service with a few years of happen high pay atinMidland. She wasjobs. glad,But shethe said, to see appointed state issue of an the line of state there.program might extended Tier troopers 2 retirement wasreconsidering. with a great deal of trepidation be“It worth If not a double-dip, that we went she said. “I wasn’t payment of thethere,” equivalent of retirement taxgoing to put fear in my folks, but inside, free into a deferred account for 13 years I while was scared to deathstill of what hapan employee drawscould regular pay pen But you’ve got to to hold thedoubleline, hastoa us. certain resemblance pure you’ve gotwhich to stand and youishave to dipping, thisup, legislature working move forward.” to end.

issue and was trying to get out of it with his skin intact. The fact that he would say: ‘Well, in five years, maybe they’ll re-elect me.’ Really?” Romo said that she doesn’t think the controversy will change the heart of anyone in Pleasant Plains when it comes to homosexuality, but she does think it will make folks there choose their words more carefully in public, and that’s a start. Even though she’s an old hand on the picket

line, Romo admits these months later that she was worried about what might happen at Midland. She was glad, she said, to see the line of state troopers there. “It was with a great deal of trepidation that we went there,” she said. “I wasn’t going to put fear in my folks, but inside, I was scared to death of what could happen to us. But you’ve got to hold the line, you’ve got to stand up, and you have to move forward.”

“I just don’t think he really ever addressed the hate and the ugliness of what he said.

He was calling for people to die. I felt like he skirted the issue and was trying to get out of it with his skin intact.


The fact that he would say: ‘Well, in five years, maybe they’ll re-elect me.’ Really?”

“my voice is my instrument. i can’t let it be damaged by smoke. CODY BELEW, Singer “


Everyone deserves a smoke-free workplace. Comprehensive smoke-free policies do not hurt business. To learn more, visit •• MARCH MARCH 2, 2, 2011 2011 15


Editorial n Many former legislators become lobbyists, and it’s usually to their discredit, unless they’ve been largely discredited already. Even those who had decent legislative records tend to turn sour. The special interests who hire lobbyists — the utilities, the insurance companies, the nursing homes, the Chamber of Commerce, etc. — value efficiency more than virtue. Former speakers of the House seem to be particularly sought as spokesmen for less-than-worthy causes. Robbie Wills, who was speaker in the last legislative session, is working for a lenders’ group this time, and seeking passage of legislation that would expose Arkansas consumers to more of the loan sharking that was believed to have been ended. Every shark is entitled to one more bite seems to be the idea. Possibly more than one more. It was only last November that voters approved a constitutional amendment allowing lenders to charge up to 17 percent interest, a ceiling that seemed generous, especially at a time when financial institutions are paying practically no interest to depositors. But 17 was far below what “payday lenders” charged their low-income customers before those lenders were run off. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, who helped run them, has rightly declared his opposition to the bills (SB 568 and HB 1572) that Wills is promoting. Those bills would amend the newly adopted Amendment 89 to remove the 17 percent ceiling on small loans and allow the legislature to set the maximum. Because it would amend a constitutional amendment, the legislation would require a three-fourths vote for approval. Follow-up legislation to set the new maximum would require only a majority vote. Here is a chance for the newly empowered Republican Party to show its legislative muscle as well as its good intentions. There are enough Republicans in the General Assembly now to block any bill that needs a three-fourths vote. But we won’t get our hopes too high. Wills is or was a Democrat, but half the sponsors of the two bills are Republicans. n Like family pretending not to notice that Uncle Charlie is drunk, the other members of the Southeastern Conference have tried to overlook Tennessee’s misbehavior. But something must be done, after the Volunteers were caught cheating in football AND basketball simultaneously. Perhaps the Tennesseans should be declared ineligible to compete in the SEC for a few years, while they “get their act together,” as the kids say. In the interim, the Sun Belt Conference would probably accept them. n The surname of state Rep. Jim Nickels of North Little Rock was misspelled in a Feb. 23 editorial.

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Double jeopardy

MEET THE PENGUINS: Laura, a member of the Little Rock Zoo’s new Penguin Pointe exhibit, introduces herself. The exhibit opens Saturday at 10 a.m.

Enter the loan sharks n Last November, Arkansas voters approved a constitutional change that raised the interest limit on consumer loans to 17 percent. Barely 100 days later, the so-called “installment loan industry” has lobbyists at work on legislation to remove the interest cap on loans of less than $5,000. Former House Speaker Robbie Wills signed up almost immediately after leaving office to lead the lobbying. Wills and the industry paint this as almost a public service for needy people. Pay no attention to the 11 percent signature loans on offer at credit unions if you put down $25 in a savings account. The loan sharks have proposed a 36 percent interest rate for starters — expressed less ominously as $3 monthly for every $100 borrowed. But that is not the whole story. Every loan will also carry a 10 percent origination fee, upfront. In other states where these loan sharks operate, some carrying charges are also applied. Miss a payment by a day and you’ll incur a 5 percent late fee. These “charges” are all cloaks for interest. One expert in the lending industry told me the installment lenders will take more out of the pockets of consumers than the blood-sucking payday lenders, only recently run out of the state. Testimony offered in Oklahoma in 2006 by a lawyer who’d sued the industry describes how the lenders talk borrowers into renewing loans, with punishing new origination fees each time. The lawyer, who won a huge court verdict against the lenders, said the lenders preyed on, among others, mentally and physically handicapped with disability check income. He said the companies made enormous profits, but managed to avoid Oklahoma tax liability with a variety of accounting tricks. There’s no demonstrated need to open the door to loan sharks this soon. Nor is there evidence that 50 percent interest rates are necessary to make a profit in a day when financial institutions pay barely 1 percent on deposits.

Max Brantley

Nonetheless, an unholy alliance comprising primarily Republicans and black Democratic legislators (the latter nominally representatives of poor people, though you couldn’t tell it by many of their corporate campaign contributors) has emerged to push the loan sharks’ cause. Notable was an aggressive freshman, Sen. Jason Rapert of Bigelow. He’s a preacher, financial adviser and sponsor of some of the worst legislation this session — more guns on college campuses, a big tax break for the wealthy, drug testing for unemployment recipients. Though he wants smaller government — and has a constitutional amendment to make tax increases all but impossible — he’s also a hypocrite. He’s filed a clutch of bills to direct state pork barrel spending to his district. But what got me most about Rapert was his comment on Jason Tolbert’s blog in which he drew a parallel between the loan shark bill and microfinance. Microfinance has been employed wondrously in the Third World to make tiny loans to encourage small businesses. It’s about adding value to people, not piling ruinous interest on them. Rapert declaimed with a straight face: “This concept is virtually the same as the concept of microfinance — which is embraced by humanitarian organizations around the world as the savior of poor people who are denied access to credit.” Humanitarian Rapert said that should he get any indication the poor were being taken advantage of, he’d work to defeat the legislation. Given the persuasive testimony of consumer advocates and experience in other states plundered by the loan sharks, it would seem to be time for Rapert to get to work.


Paranoid politics n Richard Hofstadter died way too soon because, more than anyone today, the great historian of American political thought would have a keen fascination with the wacky politics of the day. Hofstadter’s most popular work was a collection of essays on the flaky intellectual currents in American history. It was published in 1965 under the title of one of his essays, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics.” It was his notion that a small minority of people of any society, not just the United States, is susceptible to suggestions that the country is being victimized by a giant conspiracy of secret forces that have a plan to take over the country and undermine its values and institutions. The secret agents have variously been Jews, Catholics, Mormons, Freemasons, immigrants, international bankers, socialists, communists, European potentates and the United Nations. (Add unions to the list today.) The animosities and passions of the small quotient of true believers, Hofstadter said, can occasionally leverage big changes in the political order, but only once, in the mid-1890s, did it nearly wrest power from the centrist parties that have always governed by compromise and consensus. That is, only one time until today, when the tea-party forces have commandeered the Republican Party and are close to being the

Ernest Dumas governing power. There are eerie similarities between today and the 1890s, when a latter-day Arkie, William Hope “Coin” Harvey, sent much of the South and West into a frenzy over the free coinage of silver. The nutty and paranoid silverites captured the Democratic Party from the centrists in 1896 and nearly elected William Jennings Bryan, who expected to be crucified on a cross of gold. But that is another column. Remind me. The latent paranoia, Hofstadter concluded, is usually triggered and reaches a crescendo after fierce economic traumas like a depression or intense social conflicts like racial integration (and gay rights perhaps?). Daniel Bell, the great sociologist, who died the other day at the age of 91, once described the mindset better than Hofstadter, at least insofar as paranoids were not left-leaning populists like Coin Harvey but right-wingers. The true believers down through history, Bell wrote in 1963, believe that America has been taken away from them and their kind, and they are determined to repossess it and

Huckabee knows his place n Mike Huckabee continues to behave more as a man who wants to make money and revel in his own celebrity and glibness than as a serious candidate for president. He purposely barreled into political headlines over the last few days, but all we we can say for sure about his motivation is that he has yet another book out and was trying sell copies. He remains for now a media performer first, a politician second and a preacher last. He ran for president in 2008 to get a talk show on Fox. Now that he has landed the show, he no longer needs to bother wintering in Iowa. But there still is smart crosspollination to be done. Getting speculated about as a presidential candidate again might bolster the show. Thus Huckabee poses personally the same question that Fox poses institutionally: Is it media or is it politics or is there any difference? If Huckabee was seriously running for president, he would need to demonstrate a burning passion similar to that which is

John Brummett

palpable in, say, Mitt Romney. But what Huckabee has displayed lately is passive acquiescence. He said in one of his myriad public pronouncements last week that, because of his profile and poll standing, he could afford to keep making money in the private sector while he waited to assess the Republican field that develops ahead of his decision. That is fire in his belly, all right . . . for money in the form of personal income, not for the campaign money he would do well to be raising already if he intended to do battle with, say, the wealthy and self-funding Romney. If Huckabee was seriously running for president, he should not have given Romney a pass Sunday on Fox for sponsoring

prevent the final subversion of the country. American values have been eaten away by intellectuals and elitists; capitalism is being undermined by socialist schemers; our minds are being softened up for socialism or communism by chemical agents like fluoride in our water supplies; national security is being undermined by agents of foreign interests; and a tide of immigrants who are hostile to free institutions and our values are mongrelizing the country, running up our taxes, filling the jails and poorhouses, multiplying violence and filling the voter rolls so that they can lay their inexperienced and ignorant hands upon the helm of government. How many of those sound familiar? Remember the screams “Give us back our country!” at the town-hall meetings across the state in 2009 when people were yelling about the health-insurance reform bill and taxes? The 88th Arkansas General Assembly makes a wonderful laboratory for the study of the paranoid style. The fluoridation scare entered the dialogue this year for the first time since Arkansas leaders of the National States Rights Party raised it in 1960. Back then, fluoridation and integration were the twin socialist plots to bring down America. Now it seems to be water and bike trails, and the provocateur is the United Nations. A committee of the House of Representatives killed the fluoridation bill or else it might have got traction in the full body, which now has 44 Republicans, most of whom are committed to stick together on capricious legislation to punish the people

who are trying to do the country in and their unwitting agents, the children. The anti-immigrant caucus has swelled to a near majority in both houses, but so far good committees have kept the legislation bottled up. Mike Huckabee has jumped in front of this mob, as he is wont to do. He used to praise the illegal immigrants for their hard work, called for the government to allow them to pay a reasonable fine and wanted to let them attend college on in-state tuition. His latest book, which came out last month, ridicules Democrats for holding such ideas. The dispossessed believe that the critical moment for the nation has arrived, and if the subversion is to be halted draconian steps must be taken. The financial crash of 2008, the bailouts and the election of a silver-tongued black president with mixed parentage triggered the current hysteria. Last week, a Republican congressman from Georgia who had said the president was a socialist who intended to set up a Gestapo security force and a Marxist dictatorship held a town-hall meeting and invited questions. The first one was from an elderly man who asked, “Who’s going to shoot Obama?” Rep. Paul Broun laughed heartily along with the rest of the crowd and said he understood the frustration with Obama. When the incident went viral, he repudiated the question. Despite the dramatic 2010 election, the paranoids are a distinct minority. But scary? You bet.

a kind of health care reform as governor of Massachusetts that was essentially the same as the national health care program of President Obama. Huckabee explained to Chris Wallace that states are laboratories for such experimentation and that Romney should not be faulted for trying something at the state level that all good conservatives now know will prove a disaster at the federal level. A real candidate would have taken the easy and straight shot at his strongest competition. He would have declared that Republicans should not be asked to go to war against dreaded Obamacare under the leadership of a man who had embraced something tantamount to it.  Huckabee has always seemed more enamored of his ability to gab his way through an issue than committed to serious contemplation of that issue. He is smart enough, but talent is easier.  For that reason, he often gets credited with being independent in his thinking when, actually, he simply has not done much homework and is relying instead on his pants-seated ability to talk.  He usually falls back on an overheated metaphor or an extreme superficiality. He also usually manages to carve out territory for himself on the moral high ground, or at least at a moral elevation equivalent to that

of the garden-variety pulpit. You can go on YouTube and find a clip of Huckabee in 2007 supporting cap-and trade. It must have sounded righteous to him at the time. He says now he never said it. It is indeed possible that he does not remember saying it, considering that he never gave much thought to it when he said it. He once said that persons trying to deny services to illegal immigrants were drinking a “different Jesus juice” from his. Now columnist Gail Collins of The New York Times catches Huckabee in this new book decrying the very tolerance of illegal immigrants that he had previously advocated. Huckabee knows where he belongs and thrives. It is in the studio, at the banquet dais and cozy in the celebrity host’s complimentary cabin on a cruise ship. It is not the Oval Office. The only thing that would make this wrong is if Huckabee honestly believes that he is another Ronald Reagan. It is possible that he convinced himself of that doing that eerily spot-on impersonation of Reagan in his after-dinner speech. John Brummett is a columnist and reporter for Stephens Media’s Arkansas News Bureau. You can read additional Brummett columns in The Times of North Little Rock. • MARCH 2, 2011 17



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This week in

Sugarland to Verizon PAGE 20


Little Rock Marathon this weekend PAGE 21



Showcase Double Feature





ANDY WARR ON MANDY MCBRYDE AND THE UNHOLY GHOST. “You can’t deny it — Mandy and the guys live in ‘beast mode.’ ”

Last semi-final Thursday; finals Friday at Revolution. BY JOHN TARPLEY

ast week, after the weekly tornado sprint through Central Arkansas was finished, Stickyz filled up for the penultimate semi-finals round. The lineup was the most varied — and, some said, the most competitive — of this year’s showcase so far. Ultimately, Mandy McBryde, the quick-lipped progeny of a touring country music family, led her rockin’ country (not the other way around) backing band, the Unholy Ghost, to a well-deserved victory and our fourth of five spots for Friday night’s finals at Revolution. With jaunty melodies in a minor key, McBryde’s songs, she said from stage, are about “gettin’ [her] heart broken, but mostly about drinkin’ whiskey.” They’re also steeped in empowered Loretta Lynn sass. But to box her in as merely a female in a man’s world is unfair. She’s as much a product of Merle Haggard’s “misery and gin” as she is a resident of Loretta’s “Fist City.” While she’s been an engaging solo performer for years, her new drum/bass/pedal steel backing, all done nearflawlessly, has launched her into a completely new, more confident stratum, one that’s as much Texas psych as Texas two-step. Still, one might argue that the big win of the fourth round belonged to the night’s opener, Thunder Thieves. While the unknown four-piece from Perry (population: teeny) didn’t advance to the finals round, the Thieves bowled over the night’s crowd with their quaking, dynamic indie rock. Founded by brothers J.D. and Justin Parker, who share vocal duties on both bass and guitar, the multiinstrumentalist newcomers tossed instruments back and forth between songs, drove through early-Modest Mouse rhythms and Cold War Kids-esque melodies, leaving our judges asking “Where the hell are these guys from?” and “When the hell can I see them again?” Even cooler: It was their debut show. Even cooler than that: Drummer/vocalist J.D. Parker recently returned home



TRAVIS HILL ON MANDY MCBRYDE AND THE UNHOLY GHOST. “This band sounds like my Saturday night. Badass.”



FOURTH ROUND WINNER: Mandy McBryde. from his second tour of Iraq. Something definitely tells me we may have seen the Next Big Thing with these guys. Ginsu Wives, probably the most established band of this year’s showcase, proved exactly why the deep grooving, designer-drugged robot rockers have earned the band its reputation as one of the state’s weirdest, most loved and gleefully slimy acts. During its abbreviated set of “greatest hits,” the act delivered its signature grimy mash of soul, metal, funk and post-punk with front-man Chris Hairston (alias F.A.C.T.S., one of the most compelling, experimental emcees in town) twiddling his vocal pedal from death Continued on page 24

MIKE BROWN ON MANDY MCBRYDE AND THE UNHOLY GHOST. “I love her! Always singing with a smile.” CHEYENNE MATTHEWS AND CHRISTY EWING OF “SHOOG RADIO,” GUEST JUDGES ON MANDY MCBRYDE AND THE UNHOLY GHOST. “Artists as humble and talented as Mandy McBryde and her Ununholy Ghosts deserve a win like this one.” • MARCH 2, 2011 19

■ to-dolist BY JOHN TARPLEY

THU R SD AY 3/ 3


10 p.m., White Water Tavern. $6.

n Apart from having one of the bitingly best names in the history of Central Arkansas rock music, The Reparations (formerly Jonathan Wilkins and the Reparations) have maintained their reputation as top-tier Arkansas bar rockers. Since sharpening its pointed folk sound with Matt Floyd (Smoke Up Johnny) on bass and Will Boyd (American Princes) on drums, the trio has doled out roughhewn, sharp-tongued American music about, well, just about everything worth singing about: immoral wars, truck payments, the perks of having a steady girl and, on their latest album, “Ride or Die,” “Mrs. Huxtable” and “Jewish Girls.” Ever political, Wilkins even gives a whiskey-wetted finger to a former Republican senator from New Hampshire on “John Sununu.” It’s that anything-goes songwriting that pairs so well with the Reparations’ primitive roots-punk and keeps our hometown trio a few steps ahead of its sonic peers. And it keeps their CD plugged in my car stereo, too. The night opens with sets from the Brother Andy and His Big Damn Mouth and The See, which is taking a break from recording its debut album to hit the stage.

FRI D AY 3/ 4


7:30 p.m., Reynolds Performance Hall, UCA. $30-$40

n The University of Central Arkansas wraps up this season’s “Nostalgia Series” with a night of squeaky-clean AM radio classics from The Buckinghams and Blood, Sweat & Tears, two mainstay bands on golden oldie compilations, state fairs and record store bargain bins. Don’t take that as a slam, though. The Buckinghams’ breakthough song, “Kind of a Drag,” is a canonical piece of late ’60s white-boy pop and only suffers from being too tight. That’s a great problem to have. Likewise, Blood, Sweat & Tears’ early ’70s fusion of bigband, jazz and rock on display in their self-titled album is undeniably great, even beating out “Abbey Road” and “At 20 MARCH 2, 2011 • ARKANSAS TIMES

BLACK AND WHITE: The Reparations, Little Rock roots rockers with a punk edge and an unbelievable name to match, release their new album, “Ride or Die,” Thursday at White Water Tavern. San Quentin” for the Grammy album of the year award back when the honor was an honor.


n Why not double up on Showcases? Before checking out some of the best music in the state at our Musicians Showcase finals at Revolution, check out some of the best homecrafted beers in the area at ACAC. Members of the Central Arkansas Fermenters Association bring an array of their best signature brews to the Arkansas Community Arts Cooperative for a tasting-slash-chance to show off the members’ hop and barley skills. If your throat is sick of choking down Stroh’s and your brain is tired of acting like major brewer “specialty” beers, like Shock Top (Michelob) or Blue Moon (Coors), are anything better than nasty, this night’s for you. And if you see a sweet potato beer like the one my neighbor Grant brings to my house on occasion don’t pass it up.


7:30 p.m., Verizon Arena. $25.75-$55.75

n How in the name of Megachurch Jesus can two people make music so sickly sweet and so eggshell bland all at once? If you like your country music factory-made with extra layers of dulleyed plainness, you’re not going to miss out on Sugarland, the multi-platinum, Grammy-winning, No. 1 single-manufacturing duo. The band’s 2004 debut, “Twice the Speed of Life,” sold a trijillion copies and set the Atlanta singer/ songwriters on the fast track to big-time

SUGARY: Nu-country megastars Sugarland bring their chart-topping brand of twangy pop to Verizon Arena this Friday night.

■ inbrief THURSDAY 3/3

n The Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase wraps up its semi-finals at Stickyz with the blues monsters of Brethren, troubadour folk from Michael Leonard Witham, shoegaze pop by The Pink Drapes and harmonic indie from This Holy House, 9 p.m., $5. Sway hosts its weekly “V.I.P. Thursday” with DJ Silky Slim in the booth, 8 p.m., $3. The Ted Ludwig Trio holds down its regular session of guitar jazz at Capitol Bar & Grill, 5 p.m., free. Cajun’s Wharf hosts singer Steve Bates for the happy hour crew, 5:30 p.m., and local rockers Typhoid Mary for the late night crowd, 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. The first Thursday of the month means the return of Hillcrest Shop and Sip, with neighborhood shops and restaurants offering discounts, free live music, 5 p.m.



TAKIN’ IT TO THE STREETS: Thousands of runners descend into Little Rock for the eighth Little Rock Marathon, this weekend. nu-country megastardom. Since, Sugarland has released three more enormously successful records, a healthy spray of chart-topping singles and, in one of the craziest live collaborations in memory, buddied up with The B-52s during the 2009 CMT Music Awards for a cover of “Love Shack.” The same year, the group put a stop to the great Brooks & Dunn’s nine-year run as the Academy of Country Music’s best vocal duo award winners. You have to credit the band for writing the bulk of its own songs: an admirable feat that becomes more and more of a rarity in Nashville every year. Sugarland is joined by fellow megastars (and occasional collaborators) Little Big Town and “American Idol” bronze medalist Casey James.

TRUE SOUL REVUE 10 p.m., White Water Tavern.

n It’s been a crazy few months since True Soul Revue, the pride of Arkansas soul-funk, took the stage for a shaking October gig at White Water Tavern. Now Again Records, a specialty funk/soul/ psych imprint label under Stones Throw’s experimental hip-hop tent, is set to release a comprehensive two CD/DVD, four LP retrospective of highlights from Lee Anthony’s celebrated label. The group has been the object of beat-digger fetishization since DJ Shadow gave the studio house band a shout out years ago. But now, with the upcoming anthology being prepared for release, a new audience of backpackers may end up adoring the seven-piece the way Arkansans do. Few acts in the area

have such a fervent following. And even fewer, if any, can start a party like these guys. Bring a pair of groove boots in case your dancing shoes bust.


QUEER PROM 2: DIRTY SOUTH 8 p.m., ACAC. 8 p.m. $10.

n After an inaugural year packed out a private, albeit enormous, loft in Little Rock, the organizers of the straightfriendly Queer Prom have decided to up and move their now-annual fundraising party to the public space at the downtown ACAC space. What to expect? This being a “dirty South” prom, look out for people boozing it up while dressed in everything from hay-stuffed overall dresses to knock-off gold grills. Also, in addition to shows from three local drag queens and a DJ set from local poet/music guru Michael Inscoe, the prom offers up old-time music from Montgomery Trucking, reverbed country and western from Mandy McBryde and the Unholy Ghost (who may be coming off of a win from the Musicians Showcase finals the night before) and rowdy roots folk from Jonathan Wilkins and the Reparations. Also in the mix: a rumored creamed corn fight. Dang it, boy. The night requires you be 18 to enter, 21 to drink. All genders and sexual persuasions are invited.


LITTLE ROCK MARATHON n The city’s largest gathering of selfharmers gathers downtown for another year of unbelievable athleticism during the eighth annual Little Rock Marathon. As of print time, all 3,700 spots for the 26.2 mile race have been filled, as have all 2,100 openings for the 13.1 mile halfmarathon. Personally, I’ve never been big on public barfing, so I keep my running sequestered to my treadmill. However, friends who have tackled multiple marathons seem to enjoy our local course, which winds downtown before hooking off to the Governor’s Mansion district, up to Kavanaugh, down Lookout and over to Rebsamen Park Road and Riverfront Drive. Saturday kicks off the marathon weekend with an 8 a.m. Fun Run/ Walk that starts in the River Market before Statehouse Convention Center doors open at 10 a.m. for a Health and Fitness Expo geared towards runners. Saturday afternoon offers runners a chance to carb up with the official Little Rock Marathon Pasta Party at The Peabody, 4 p.m., $20. The starting line fills up Sunday morning: 6 a.m. for early starters and 8 a.m. for marathon, half marathon and relay participants. After all the day’s craziness, the Clinton Presidential Center hosts a postrace party with music from the Greasy Greens, barbecue from Whole Hog Cafe, more pasta (this time from Olive Garden) and hog dogs from the master, Hot Dog Mike.

n And it’s a wrap! The five semi-final winners of the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase face off against each other at Revolution. Post-blues duo Tyrannosaurus Chicken, electrorockers The Year of the Tiger, driving folk-rockers Sea Nanners, country and western act Mandy McBryde and the Unholy Ghost and the winners of Thursday’s semi-final round take to the stage to determine who leaves with this year’s honors — and a whole slate of prizes, 8:30 p.m. The Afterthought hosts the great Isaac Alexander, who, tonight, does his thing with a backing band, 9 p.m., $7. Midtown Billiards hosts Memphis heavy-country act Joecephus and the George Jonestown Massacre, 12:30 a.m., $8 non-members. Cabot Community Theater’s modernday comedy of manners, “The Nerd,” opens at Cabot Community Center, 6:30 p.m. And in Conway, Michelangelo’s plays home to “Launchapalooza Extravaganza,” in which Kevin Brockmeier, Marck Beggs, Times contributor Bernard Reed and many more celebrate the release of the new Toad Suck Review (formerly Exquisite Corpse) with readings, food, drink and more, 8 p.m.


n Verizon Arena hosts this year’s installment of Winter Jam, the annual Christian music festival, featuring Newsboys, David Crowder Band, Kutless, Francesca Battistelli, Sidewalk Prophets, Chris Sligh of “American Idol” and many, many more, 6 p.m., $10 at the door. The Mo Dedz of Arkadelphia, featuring members of Life Size Pizza, make their Little Rock debut with Musicians Showcase semifinalists The Yipps at Town Pump, 10 p.m., $3. Acoustic duo Team Lieblong lands in Markham Street Grill and Pub, 9 p.m. And Fayetteville gets a visit from a Cuban jazz icon when trumpet legend Arturo Sandoval swings at the Walton Arts Center, 8 p.m., $18-$26. • MARCH 2, 2011 21

(happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351.



John Wesley Austin. The Loony Bin, through March 3, 8 p.m.; March 4, 8 and 10:30 p.m.; March 5, 7, 9 and 11 p.m., $6-$9. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555.


Tango Fire’s “Tango Inferno.” Ten dancers from Buenos Aires, singer and quartet Quatrotango perform. Walton Arts Center, 7 p.m., $24-$38. 495 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-443-5600.


Hillcrest Shop & Sip. Shops and restaurants offer discounts, later hours, and live music. Hillcrest, first Thursday of every month, 5-10 p.m. P.O.Box 251522. 501-666-3600. www.hillcrestmerchants. com.


Craig Detweiler. The acclaimed religion and pop culture commentator discusses “Hidden Power: The Spiritual Secrets of Filmmakers” in Cone Chapel. Harding University, 7 p.m. 900 E. Center Ave., Searcy. George Yancy. The race theorist and Duquesne University professor delivers his lecture entitled “White Gzes and Black Bodies, Or What It Feels Like to be an Essence.” University of Central Arkansas, 7:30 p.m., free. 201 Donaghey Ave., Conway. www. Shirley Sagawa. The leading expert on national service policy and author of “The American Way to Change” speaks about AmeriCorps members. For reservations or more information, call 683-5239 or e-mail Clinton School of Public Service, 6 p.m., free. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501-683-5239.

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



John Wesley Austin. The Loony Bin, 8 p.m.; March 4, 8 and 10:30 p.m.; March 5, 7, 9 and 11 p.m., $6-$9. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555.



Acoustic Open Mic with Kat Hood. The Afterthought, 8 p.m. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. Bolly Open Mic Hype Night with Osyrus Bolly and DJ Messiah. All American Wings, 9 p.m. 215 W. Capitol Ave. 501-376-4000. allamericanwings. com. Brian & Nick. Cajun’s Wharf, 5 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. Jim Dickerson. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. Karaoke at Khalil’s. Khalil’s Pub, 7 p.m. 110 S. Shackleford Road. 501-224-0224. www.khalilspub. com. Karaoke. Hibernia Irish Pub, 9 p.m. 9700 N Rodney Parham Road. 501-246-4340. Karaoke with Big John Miller. Denton’s Trotline, 8 p.m. 2150 Congo Road, Benton. 501-315-1717. Lucious Spiller Band. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9:30 p.m., $5. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. New Music Test with At War’s End, Burning the Past, Evacuate the City. Revolution, 9 p.m., $5, $8 under 21. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 5 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. Typhoid Mary (headliner), Steve Bates (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351.

‘OH HAPPY DAY’: Members of The Rep’s annual Summer Musical Theater Intensive program bring their enthusiasm and vocal styling to The Rep’s MainStage for “Review the Revue,” an evening of dance and musical numbers that celebrate five years of the SMTI program. The opening night curtain goes up at 7 p.m. Friday, March 4. You’ll have a chance to re-view “Review the Revue” through March 12. All tickets are $20.

Karaoke. Zack’s Place, 8 p.m. 1400 S. University Ave. 501-664-6444. Ol’ Puddin’haid. Thirst n’ Howl, 7:30 p.m., free. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501-379-8189. The Reparations record release with The See, Brother Andy & His Big Damn Mouth. White Water Tavern, 10 p.m. 2500 W. 7th. 501-3758400. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 5 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. Typhoid Mary (headliner), Steve Bates

Your March Madness Headquarters!


Lunch Specials Monday Through Friday • Happy Hour 4-7p.m. • Kitchen Open Till Midnight




Horse racing. Oaklawn, $2.50-$4.50. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4411. www.


UCA Arkatext Literary Festival. See March 2.


p.m. 11321 W. Markham St. 501-224-2010. www. “V.I.P. Thursdays” with DJ Silky Slim. Sway, 8 p.m., $3. 412 Louisiana. 501-907-2582. Iration, Eyes Lips Eyes, The Supporting Cast. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $10 adv., $12 d.o.s. 1300 S. Main St. 501-372-1228. Jeff Coleman. The Afterthought, 9 p.m., $7. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. Jim Dickerson. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999.

UCA Arkatext Literary Festival. The annual literary festival highlights prose and poetry from students, faculty and more. University of Central Arkansas, through March 4. 201 Donaghey Ave., Conway.

“Arkansas Scene Night.” Vino’s, 8 p.m., $5. 923 W. Seventh St. 501-375-8466. www.vinosbrewpub. com. Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase Round Five with Brethren, Michael Leonard Witham, The Pink Drapes, This Holy House. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9 p.m., $5. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. Brian Nahlen. Markham Street Grill And Pub, 9


A. Van Jordan. Hendrix College, 7:30 p.m. 1600 Washington Ave., Conway.

No Cover! Where friends get together!

Live Music Thurs, Fri & Sat Nights! Free Wifi

11321 W. Markham St. Ste 6 • We are smoke friendly, so 21 and up please.

Alize. Fox And Hound, 10 p.m., $5. 2800 Lakewood Village, NLR. 501-753-8300. www.foxandhound. com/locations/north-little-rock.aspx. Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase Finals with Tyrannosaurus Chicken, Year of the Tiger, Sea Nanners, Mandy McBryde & the Unholy Ghost and TBA. Revolution, 8 p.m., $10. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. revroom. com. The Buckinghams; Blood, Sweat and Tears. Reynolds Performance Hall, UCA, 7:30 p.m., $30-$40. 350 S. Donaghey, Conway. Colin Hay. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $25 adv., $30 d.o.s. 1300 S. Main St. 501-372-1228. Corey Fontenaut. Cregeen’s Irish Pub, 9 p.m. 301 Main St., NLR. 501-376-7468. Daryl Edwards. Markham Street Grill And Pub, 9 p.m. 11321 W. Markham St. 501-224-2010. www. DJ Ja’Lee. Sway, 8 p.m., $5. 412 Louisiana. 501-907-2582. Ed Burks. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, March 4-5, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-3242999. The Gettys. Denton’s Trotline, 9 p.m. 2150 Congo Road, Benton. 501-315-1717. Groove Connections. Grumpy’s Too, 9 p.m. 1801 Green Mountain Drive. 501-225-9650. Isaac Alexander & Co. The Afterthought, 9 p.m., $7. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www. Jet 420 (headliner), Richie Johnson (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. www. Joecephus and the George Jonestown Massacre. Midtown Billiards, March 5, 12:30 a.m., $8 non-members. 1316 Main St. 501-372-9990.

UPCOMING EVENTS Concert tickets through Ticketmaster by phone at 975-7575 or online at unless otherwise noted. MARCH 12: Baths. 9 p.m., $10. Stickyz, 107 Commerce St. 372-7707, MARCH 14: Wild Flag/Times New Viking. 8:30 p.m., $10. Stickyz, 107 Commerce St. 372-7707, MARCH 14: Damien Jurado. 10 p.m. White Water Tavern, 2500 W. 7th. 375-8400, MARCH 15: Nicholas Sparks. 7:30 p.m., $10. UCA, Reynolds Performance Hall, 350 S. Donaghey, Conway. 866-810-0012, MARCH 18: 8Ball & MJG. 9 p.m. Revolution, 300 President Clinton Ave. 823-0090, revroom. com. MARCH 27: Destroyer. 9 p.m., $10 adv., $12 d.o.s. Stickyz, 107 Commerce St. 372-7707, APRIL 6: Cage the Elephant/Biffy Clyro. 9 p.m., $20. Revolution, 300 President Clinton Ave. 823-0090, APRIL 29: James Taylor. 8 p.m., $47-$71. Verizon Arena. 975-9000, MAY 24-26: “Beauty and the Beast.” 7:30 p.m. Robinson Center Music Hall, Markham and Broadway. 244-8800, MAY 27-29: Riverfest 2011. Downtown Little Rock. Josh Love Band. Faulkner County Library, 7 p.m., free. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-327-7482. www. Mojo Depot. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9:30 p.m., $5. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. The Reparations, The Walking Lawsuits, The Sound of the Mountain. Maxine’s, 8 p.m., $5. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. “Rock the Mic” Finals. Vino’s, 7 p.m., $8. 923 W. Seventh St. 501-375-8466. www.vinosbrewpub. com. Shannon McClung. Flying Saucer, 9 p.m. 323 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-7468. Streetlight Manifesto, Terrible Things, A Loss For Words, Larry & His Flask. Downtown Music Hall, 6:30 p.m., $15 adv., $17 d.o.s. 211 W. Capitol. 501-376-1819. Sugarland, Little Big Town, Casey James. Verizon Arena, 7:30 p.m., $25.75-$55.75. 1 Alltel Arena Way, NLR. 501-975-9001. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 9 p.m. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. www.capitalhotel. com/CBG. True Soul Revue. White Water Tavern, 10 p.m. 2500 W. 7th. 501-375-8400.


John Wesley Austin. The Loony Bin, March 4, 8 and 10:30 p.m.; March 5, 7, 9 and 11 p.m., $6-$9. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555.


Arkansas Women in Agriculture Conference. Sessions on agriculture, rural issues, family and heaths as well as workshops and career fairs. For more information, visit Wyndham Riverfront Hotel, $65. 2 Riverfront Place, NLR. 501-371-9000. Homebrewer’s Showcase. A number of homebrewers from the Central Arkansas Fermenters Association bring their craft beers for an evening tasting. All proceeds benefit the ACAC. ACAC, 7 p.m., $20. 608 Main St. 501-244-2974. LGBTQ/SGL Youth and Young Adult Group. Diverse Youth for Social Change is a group for LGBTQ/SGL and Straight Ally Youth and Young Adults age 14 to 23. For more information, call 244-9690 or search “DYSC” on Facebook. 800 Scott St., 6:30 p.m. 800 Scott St. Little Rock Marathon Health & Fitness Expo.

A free, two-day trade show focused on health and fitness. For more information, visit Statehouse Convention Center, March 4, noon; March 5, 10 a.m., free. 7 Statehouse Plaza.


Horse racing. Oaklawn, $2.50-$4.50. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4411. www. UALR Men’s Baseball vs. IPFW. UALR, March 4-6, 3 p.m. 2801 S University Ave. 501-569-8977.


“Launchapalooza Extravaganza.” The Toad Suck Review (formerly the Exquisite Corpse) celebrates the publication of its inaugural review with readings from Kevin Brockmeier, Marck Beggs and more, music from Don’t Stop Please, food and drinks. For more information, visit toadsuckreview. org. Michaelangelo’s Italian Ristorante, 8 p.m. 1117 Oak St., Conway. 501-329-7278. UCA Arkatext Literary Festival. See March 2.


Alize. Denton’s Trotline, 9 p.m. 2150 Congo Road, Benton. 501-315-1717. Arturo Sandoval. Baum Walker Hall. Walton Arts Center, 8 p.m., $18-$26. 495 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-443-5600. Ben & Doug. Flying Saucer, 9 p.m. 323 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-7468. stores/littlerock. Big Stack (headliner), Grayson Shelton (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. D-Mite and Tho-d Studios Showcase. Cornerstone Pub & Grill, 8:30 p.m. 314 Main St., NLR. 501-374-1782. Dala. Walton Arts Center, 8 p.m., $20-$30. 495 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-443-5600. DJ Ja’Lee. Sway, 8 p.m., $5. 412 Louisiana. 501-907-2582. Ed Burks. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. www. Jay Jackson Band, Angelyn Jolly & Co. The Afterthought, 9 p.m., $7. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. Karaoke at Khalil’s. Khalil’s Pub, 7 p.m. 110 S. Shackleford Road. 501-224-0224. www.khalilspub. com. The Last Straw, Starroy. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9 p.m., $6. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. Michael Shane (disco); Brandon Peck (theater); Kandy Kayne, Liyah Alize, Dominique Sanchez; The Gettys. Discovery Nightclub, 10 p.m., $12. 1021 Jessie Road. 501-664-4784. The Mo Dedz, The Yipps. Town Pump, 10 p.m. 1321 Rebsamen Park Road. 501-663-9802. Mountain Sprout. Maxine’s, 8 p.m., $6 adv., $8 d.o.s. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. maxinespub. com. Randy Rogers Band. Revolution, 9 p.m., $16 adv., $20 d.o.s. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-8230090. Runaway Planet. White Water Tavern, 10 p.m. 2500 W. 7th. 501-375-8400. Steepbanks, Hourglass. Vino’s, 7 p.m. 923 W. Seventh St. 501-375-8466. www.vinosbrewpub. com. Steve Bates. Cregeen’s Irish Pub, 9 p.m. 301 Main St., NLR. 501-376-7468. Team Lieblong. Markham Street Grill And Pub, 9 p.m. 11321 W. Markham St. 501-224-2010. www. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 9 p.m. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. www.capitalhotel. com/CBG. Third Degree. Fox And Hound, 10 p.m., $5. 2800 Lakewood Village, NLR. 501-753-8300. Tyrannosaurus Chicken. Midtown Billiards, March 6, 12:30 a.m., $8 non-members. 1316 Main St. 501-372-9990. UCA Percussion Festival. A day of clinics, workshops, performances and special guest Payton MacDonald. University of Central Arkansas. 201

Donaghey Ave., Conway. University of Central Arkansas Department of Music: “Moonlight Serenade.” The big band gala dance will be held in the Student Center Ballroom. University of Central Arkansas, 8 p.m., $12.50 general, $7.50 students. 201 Donaghey Ave., Conway. Wes Jeans, Cody Ives band. Juanita’s, 10 p.m., $10 adv., $13 d.o.s. 1300 S. Main St. 501-372-1228. Winter Jam 2011. With Newsboys, David Crowder Band, Kutless, Red, Francesca Battistelli, NewSong, emcee KJ-52, speaker Tony Nolan and a “pre-jam” party with Sidewalk Prophets, Chris August and American Idol’s Chris Sligh. Verizon Arena, 6 p.m., $10. 1 Alltel Arena Way, NLR. 501-975-9001.


John Wesley Austin. The Loony Bin, 7, 9 and 11 p.m., $6-$9. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555.


Falun Gong meditation. Allsopp Park, 9 a.m., free. Cantrell & Cedar Hill Roads. Little Rock Marathon Health & Fitness Expo. See March 4. Little Rock Marathon Pasta Party. The chefs at the Peabody Hotel prepare a pasta buffet for marathon runners. Music from Kevin Clay. For more information, visit The Peabody Little Rock, 4 p.m., $20. 3 Statehouse Plaza. 501-906-4000.


Horse racing. Oaklawn, ; March 6, $2.50-$4.50. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4411. Sun Belt Basketball Conference Tournament. The tournament starts at 12:30 p.m. at Summit Arena, after the 10 a.m. Drive to the Summit children’s event at Hill Wheatley Plaza. Call 501-620-5003 or 800-745-3000 for game information and tickets, or go to Hot Springs Convention Center, March 5-8. 134 Convention Blvd., Hot Springs. 501-321-2027. UALR Men’s Baseball vs. IPFW. UALR, through March 6, 3 p.m. 2801 S. University Ave. 501-5698977.


Sculptural felting. The UALR Department of Art will teach participants how to use simple tools and techniques to manipulate wool and other fibers into traditional objects and free-standing sculpture. The focus will be on sculpting with a felting needle, free embroidery, knitting with alternative materials. Open to all skill levels. For information and registration forms go to University of Arkansas at Little Rock, March 5-6. 2801 S. University.


Karaoke. Shorty Small’s, 6-9 p.m. 1475 Hogan Lane, Conway. 501-764-0604. www.shortysmalls. com. “S.I.N. Sunday” with Father Maple, Stephen Neeper Band, Pari-Mutuel. Ernie Biggs, 10 p.m. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-372-4782. littlerock. Sunday Jazz Brunch with Ted Ludwig and Joe Cripps. Vieux Carre, 11 a.m. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196.


Conway Community Dance: “Every Piece of the Puzzle.” Staples Auditorium. Hendrix College, 7:30 p.m., free. 1600 Washington Ave., Conway.


Little Rock Marathon Post Race Party. The annual after-marathon meet and greet offers barbecue from Whole Hog Cafe, pasta from Olive Garden, hot dogs from Hot Dog Mike and music from the Greasy Greens. For more information, visit Clinton Presidential Center, 4 p.m., $20. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 370-8000.


Horse racing. Oaklawn, $2.50-$4.50. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4411. www. Little Rock Marathon. The annual feat of endurance returns with full, half and relay marathons, a 5K fun run/walk and more. For more information, visit Downtown Little Rock. downtown. Sun Belt Basketball Conference Tournament. See March 5. UALR Men’s Baseball vs. IPFW. UALR, 3 p.m. 2801 S University Ave. 501-569-8977.


Sculptural felting. See March 5.


Karaoke. Thirst n’ Howl, 8:30 p.m. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501-379-8189. Mozart’s Requiem. UALR Community Chorus, directed by Bevan Keating. Reserve tickets by calling 569-3294. Robinson Center, 7:30 p.m. 426 W. Markham St. 501-376-4781. Sea Nanners, Timber!, The Last Cigarette. ACAC, 9 p.m., $5. 608 Main St. 501-244-2974. Steve Suter, trombonist. The Afterthought, 9 p.m., $5. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. UCA Concert Choir: “Season of Light.” University of Central Arkansas, 7:30 p.m. 201 Donaghey Ave., Conway. The University of Arkansas Campus Band and Symphonic Band Concert. Walton Arts Center, March 7-8, 7:30 p.m., $5. 495 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-443-5600.


David Hunt. The former curator of the Gilcrease Museum of Art in Tulsa, Okla., discusses his work in compiling his upcoming book, “The Art of the Old West.” For reservations or more information, call 683-5239 or e-mail publicprograms@clintonschool. Clinton School of Public Service, 6 p.m., free. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501-683-5239.


Sun Belt Basketball Conference Tournament. See March 5.


MONDAY, MARCH 7 Sign Language Classes. Bonny Hill will teach classes on finger spelling, high frequency signs, key phrases, health, time, food, people and more. Faulkner County Library, 6 p.m. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-327-7482.


Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Augustin Hadelich. The Symphony’s River Rhapsodies chamber series features violinist Hadelich playing Ysaye and Mendelssohn. Clinton Presidential Center, 7 p.m. 1200 President Clinton Avenue. 370-8000. DJ g-force. Cajun’s Wharf, 5 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. The Fox Hunt, Whisky Bent Valley Boys. White Water Tavern, 10 p.m. 2500 W. 7th. 501-375-8400. Harding University Orchestra. Harding University, 7 p.m. 900 E. Center Ave., Searcy. Jim Dickerson. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. Karaoke Night. Cornerstone Pub & Grill, 8 p.m. 314 Main St., NLR. 501-374-1782. Karaoke Tuesday. Prost, 8 p.m., free. 120 Ottenheimer. 501-244-9550. Karaoke with Big John Miller. Denton’s Trotline, 8 p.m. 2150 Congo Road, Benton. 501-315-1717. Lucious Spiller Band. Copeland’s, 6-9 p.m. 2602 S. Shackleford Road. 501-312-1616. “Mardi Gras at the Governor’s Mansion.” With jazz pianist Louis Heard. For more information, visit Governor’s Mansion,

Continued on page 25 • MARCH 2, 2011 23

■ media An alternative news outlet in Conway

THINK: All those hokey Midwestern folkies with worn guitars, except really, really good. THIS HOLY HOUSE. It’s Indie, capitalized, itali-


n “The Conway Post is now following you on Twitter.” I get these types of e-mails all the time, but most of them are from Angel21 or Hotgirl88. This one didn’t seem to be from a porn operation at all. It had the name, at least, of what could be a credible news organization. The key word is “could.” The Conway Post, as it will be called when it launches in May, will serve as an alternative news site for Conwegians, much like the Fayetteville Flyer does for the Fayetteville community. It’s basically an alt-weekly without the paper. The site is the brain child of Bobby Kelly, a University of Central Arkansas graduate, who currently works for a local nonprofit. If it’s like most Internet start-ups, the Post will run out of steam once everyone involved realizes there’s not much money to be made in the news business. If it succeeds, like Kelly thinks and hopes that it will, it will be proof that alternative news sites in smaller markets can fill a niche that other outlets just don’t cover, and possibly thrive doing so. It’s worked for the Flyer. Dustin Bartholomew and Todd Gill started the site in their spare time and wrote most of the content, focusing on Fayetteville’s arts and entertainment scene. Soon, The Flyer started to cover more and more news, traffic increased and it wasn’t long before ads started to pop up on the home page to help fund the site. “Traffic is continuing to grow,” Gill says. “We’re currently up 45 percent on the year with a total of 1.1 million page views in the past 12 months. Since our content is mostly Fayetteville-specific, the majority of our traffic is from the Fayetteville/ Springdale area. That creates a lot of advertising value for local businesses. Plus, with nearly no overhead, we’re able to keep our rates well below what local businesses are used to spending.” Gill says the use of social media tools also creates advertising value for their sponsors. “We have a few dozen sponsors now and the site is definitely paying for itself,” he says. “Our sponsors get exposure on both the Flyer and Local540 [a sister site 24 MARCH 2, 2011 • ARKANSAS TIMES

that allows local business to create their own pages]. We also utilize various social media tools (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr and most recently, Instagram) to not only interact with the community, but also to promote our stories and to help spread our sponsors’ messages.” Kelly hopes to follow a similar formula. “I’m not getting paid for it,” he says. “I’m shelling out this money out of my own pocket. There is a plan in place to where if it does take off and pick up speed and we’re getting the unique visitors and page-views that we’re wanting, then we’re going to have paid staff writers.” Excluding the Echo, UCA’s student newspaper, The Log Cabin Democrat has been the only game in town for some time. Kelly says he doesn’t really see The Conway Post as a competitor, just something different. “What we’re trying to do is really like what the Arkansas Times does,” Kelley says. “We want to be the alternative voice and promote culture, art, music, theater and dabble in a little bit of politics here in Conway. Because there’s a lot to do here. There’s a lot to be seen. There’s a lot of entertainment going on. We’re trying to fight that stereotype that Conway is a boring place. “The Log Cabin — and I’m not knocking them at all — they cover the city beat really well. And they cover crime really well. They do a lot of things well, but when it comes to letting the people know that there’s a group of banjo players that pick on the front steps of the Faulkner County Courthouse every Saturday, that just gets lost. One thing I’ve noticed is that here in Conway, that art community doesn’t have a voice.” One thing that both the Flyer and the Post have going for them is that a web site offers flexibility that a print publication does not. “Who knows what direction we’re headed,” Gill says. “We may end up being more focused on news or we might become strictly arts and entertainment if that’s what the demand is. These days, you never know who’s going to enter your local online media scene.”


SHOWCASE Continued from page 19

metal Megatron bass to Chip and Dale squeakiness, both to terrifyingly awesome effect. Also, Ginsu Wives was the first band in recent memory to earn a perfect score from a judge. A last-minute addition to the fourth round, The Safe and Sounds, closed out a diverse night with a jam-infused take on harmonic pop. By keeping its set conversational and loose and the music peppy and tight (its four-part harmonies may have been the most impressive vocals on display in the entire showcase), the Conway’s keyboarddriven pop act handily won over the latenight crowd.

ROUND FIVE, 8:30 P.M. THURSDAY, MARCH 3, STICKYZ, $5 BRETHREN. Surely one of the best blues bands in the state, this Hot Springs outfit has spent years providing a versatile, driving backing force for CeDell Davis, the roots legend and a proto-punk if the blues ever had one. From Clarksville to Minnesota and everywhere in between, the band’s brought the bumping, grinding sound of the Delta to blues festivals the nation over. THINK: Party music. No: party music for real parties.

THE PINK DRAPES. “Shoegaze” pops to mind immediately, but behind the blankets of reverb and billows of distortion, The Pink Drapes offer an ’80s pop melodicism not found in the bulk of fellow My Bloody Valentine-loving fuzz-fiends. Regulars in the Little Rock and Fayetteville underground house show circuits, the trio will play one of its first club dates on Thursday. THINK: Textures, colors, movement and warmth with a twist of high school crush. MICHAEL LEONARD WITHAM. Fingerpicking his way through the sounds of the Dust Bowl, Laurel Canyon, Omaha and Joshua Tree, Calif., Michael Leonard Witham and his harmonica rasp and bend their way through minor-key melancholy with a contagious sense of humor and colorful eye for characters in song.


New site a good test for smaller markets.

cized and bolded. Raised in Greenbrier and uprooted to Conway, brothers David and James Velek and frontman Elliott Cotton offer a certain musical whimsy beside their sonic sincerity. Treading the same ground as Band of Horses or Pedro the Lion, This Holy House had the chops to make the cut and the ambition to do well for themselves Thursday night. THINK: The band your college’s Erosophic Society and Bible study group can agree on.

FINALS, 8 P.M. FRIDAY, MARCH 4. REVOLUTION, $10. TYRANNOSAURUS CHICKEN. I still can’t figure out whether this ramshackle duo is the band to beat or the finals’ dark horse upsetter to watch out for. The group swept the first night — the only decisive victory of all four rounds — and still stands out from the competition with its fantastically wrecked blues revisionism that’s reckless and sloppy and ear-bendingly musical all at once. WHY IT’LL WIN: It’s simple: T. Chicken is irresistible. And the duo doesn’t sound like anyone else, anywhere, ever.

THE YEAR OF THE TIGER. The second round got an injection of hard, electronic rock that’s viscerally assaulting, unsettlingly dystopian and undeniably catchy. All four members of the band are old hands on Little Rock stages, used to this kind of acclaim from their other bands, notably Underclaire and The Moving Front. But this type of fresh project could be a source of new inspiration for the local vets. WHY IT’LL WIN: Because in music, intensity always sells. And these guys have intensity by the amp full.

SEA NANNERS. Fresh out of the stable and sporting a new name, Sea Nanners (formerly Reptar) kept it focused and unbelievably creative during the third round win. Although the show was one of the young band’s first, the wiry, purposely jittery act propelled though its reverbed, dusky Americana, drawing overflowing accolades from the judges and amplifying its already cacophonous buzz even louder. WHY IT’LL WIN: In a town rich with throwback rockers, it’s refreshing to hear a fiercely fashionable, ultra-current band ready for blogs, not bars.

MANDY MCBRYDE AND THE UNHOLY GHOST. Well, just see above. WHY IT’LL WIN: Because accessibility isn’t a bad thing. The group’s “modern sounds in country and western music” are so good, they don’t need an angle.

THE WINNER OF THURSDAY’S NIGHT’S SEMIFINALS. ? WHY IT’LL WIN: It won the night before, didn’t it?


New on Rock Candy

(tickets on sale Friday, March 11).

n Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band comes to Verizon Arena on Tuesday, April 26. Tickets are $67 and are available, via, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 12.

n Willie Nelson’s Country Throwdown and Willie’s Picnic are coming to the Osage Creek Amphitheater, a new venue west of Springdale. The concert, scheduled for July 3, includes Willie, Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser, Lee Brice, Jack Ingram and more artists to be announced. It’s the first Willie’s Picnic ever staged in Arkansas. Tickets, ranging from $43 to $95, are on sale at Willie Nelson’s Country Throwdown (but not Picnic) will land in North Little Rock a month earlier, Saturday, June 4, for another all-day festival at North Shore Park. The Braided One will be joined by Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser, Lee Brice, Brantley Gilbert, Craig Campbell and Lukas Nelson & the Promise of the Real. Tickets, which range from $34 to $74, are available via Ticketmaster.

n One of the longest tenured divas in R&B music, Patti LaBelle, will bring her Vegas revue to the Statehouse Convention Center on March 17. n The Walton Arts Center has announced a trio of shows at the Arkansas Music Pavilion, the Fayetteville amphitheater it recently acquired. The biggest show: Lucinda Williams and Billy Joe Shaver on Sunday, May 1. Tickets, which range from $17 to $77, are on sale at Also announced: The Band Perry on Thursday, May 26 (tickets on sale now), and Primus on Friday, May 27


Continued from page 23 6:30 p.m., $75. 1800 Center St. Mardi Gras with 1st Impressions. Grumpy’s Too, 9 p.m. 1801 Green Mountain Drive. 501-2259650. Tuesday Jam Session with Carl Mouton. The Afterthought, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. The University of Arkansas Campus Band and Symphonic Band Concert. Walton Arts Center, 7:30 p.m., $5. 495 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-443-5600.


“Latin Night.” Revolution, 7 p.m., $5 regular, $7 under 21. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-8230090.


Charity Bingo Tuesday. ACAC, 6:30 p.m. 608 Main St. 501-244-2974. acacarkansas.wordpress. com. “Discovering a Sense of Place” workshop. The Arkansas Earth Institute discusses ways in which residents can learn more about and protect the places we live in the face of urban expansion. For reservations or more information, call 907-2697. Heifer Village, 5:30 p.m., $40. 1 World Ave. 501-376-6836.


Sun Belt Basketball Conference Tournament. See March 5. UALR Men’s Baseball vs. Southeast Missouri State. UALR, March 8, 6 p.m.; March 9, 3 p.m. 2801 S University Ave. 501-569-8977.


Acoustic Open Mic with Kat Hood. The Afterthought, 8 p.m. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. Bolly Open Mic Hype Night with Osyrus Bolly and DJ Messiah. All American Wings, 9 p.m. 215 W. Capitol Ave. 501-376-4000. Brian & Nick. Cajun’s Wharf, 5 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. David Mayfield Parade. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9 p.m., $5. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. Jim Dickerson. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999.

Karaoke at Khalil’s. Khalil’s Pub, 7 p.m. 110 S. Shackleford Road. 501-224-0224. Karaoke. Hibernia Irish Pub, 9 p.m. 9700 N Rodney Parham Road. 501-246-4340. Karaoke with Big John Miller. Denton’s Trotline, 8 p.m. 2150 Congo Road, Benton. 501-315-1717. Lucious Spiller Band. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9:30 p.m., $5. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 5 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. Westley Hartley and the Traveling Trees, Adam Faucett and the Tall Grass, William Blackart. Maxine’s, 8 p.m., $3. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs.


Jason Russell. The Loony Bin, March 9, 8 p.m.; March 10, 9 p.m.; March 11, 8 and 10:30 p.m.; March 12, 7, 9 and 11 p.m., $6-$9. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555. www.


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7th & Thayer • Little Rock • (501) 375-8400

The To-do lisT


The comprehensive list of everything worth doing this weekend from Times entertainment editor, Lindsey Millar. Whether it’s live music, dance, theater or an exhibit, Lindsey steers you to the best. The To-Do List email newsletter arrives in your in-box every Wednesday afternoon with an eye toward planning for your weekend. The To-Do List is a sure bet for your active life!


“Abie’s Irish Rose.” Abe “Abie” Levy brings home his Irish bride, Rosemary Murphy, and introduces her as “Rosie Murphyski.” Papa Levy is fooled until Rosie’s father, Patrick Murphy, arrives. A comic war erupts. Murry’s Dinner Playhouse, through March 13: Tue.-Thu., Sat., 6 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., $22-$30. 6323 Col. Glenn Road. For more information, call 562-3131 or visit “Crimes of the Heart.” Three sisters return to Mississippi to await news of their dying grandfather. Pocket Community Theater, March 3-6, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., March 6, 2:30 p.m.; March 10-12, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., March 13, 2:30 p.m., $5-$10. 170 Ravine St., Hot Springs. For tickets or more information, visit “A Few Good Men.” Three Navy lawyers who set out to defend two stubborn Marines accused of murdering a colleague wind up unearthing a cover-up that reaches to the highest echelons of





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UALR Men’s Baseball vs. Southeast Missouri State. UALR, 3 p.m. 2801 S University Ave. 501-569-8977.





The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies presents

“Finding Family Facts” A new monthly genealogy course

Monday, February 14, 2011, 3:30 to 5 p.m. Arkansas Studies Institute, Room 204 401 President Clinton Ave. A beginners’genealogy class taught the second Monday of every month by Rhonda Stewart, the Butler Center’s local history and genealogy expert. Learn to use online databases, city directories, and archive family documents. Jump-start your genealogy research with this fun and creative way to learn about the past.

Continued on page 27 • MARCH 2, 2011 25



Friday, March 4 -Thursday, March 11 bIuTIFuL R 1:30 4:15 7:00 9:30

Javier Bardem, Maricel Alvarez, Hanaa Bouchaib 2 Oscar Nominations

ThE wAY bAck PG13 1:30 4:15 7:00 9:30

Ed Harris, Colin Farrell, Jim Sturgess, Saoirse Ronan Oscar Nominee


127 houRS R 2:00 4:20 7:15 9:15

James Franco, Kate Mara, Amber Tamblyn. 6 Oscar Nominations

bARNEY’S VERSIoN R 1:30 4:15 7:00 9:30

Paul Giamatti, Dustin Hoffman, Minnie Driver, Rosamund Pike, Rachelle Lefevre, Scott Speeman. Oscar Nominee

bLuE VALENTINE R 2:15 6:45

Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams 2 Golden Globe Nominations, 1 Oscar Nomination

ANoThER YEAR PG13 4:25 9:00

Jim Broadbent, Lesley Meanville, Ruth Sheen Oscar Nominee, Cannes, Toronto, Telluride, New York Film Fest

Ghost Busters • PG • tues 3/8 • 7Pm • only $5 9 PM ShowS FRI & SAT oNLY





hAve fun. See reSultS!

‘RANGO’: In spite of being domesticated in a terrarium, Rango, a pet chameleon, has always thought of himself as a heroic daredevil. When he escapes his house, only to wind up in Dirt, an Old West town full of gunslingers, Rango declares himself marshal and vows to clean up the bad guys that have taken over.


movielistings All theater listings run Friday to Thursday unless otherwise noted.

Check for updates. Market Street Cinema showtimes at or after 9 p.m. are for Friday and Saturday only.

Northside WomeN’s Boot Camp is the QuiCkest, easiest Way to Jump-start your FitNess program.

A specialized program of fitness instruction, nutritional counseling provided by Certified Class Instructor/ Personal Trainer Kaytee Wright.

LoCATIon: Lakewood nLR, classes at 5:15am and 8:30am M,W,F

call Kaytee Wright 501-607-3100 For more information and the Women’s Boot camp calendar, visit

Northside A c h i ev e . B e l i ev e . S u cc e e d.

FitNess 26 MARCH 2, 2011 • ARKANSAS TIMES

NEW MOVIES The Adjustment Bureau (PG-13) – A man soon to be elected to the U.S. Senate falls in love with a ballet dancer, but mysterious men keep them apart. With Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. Breckenridge: 1:45, 4:45, 7:40, 10:10. Chenal 9: 11:25, 1:45, 4:10, 7:30, 9:50. Rave: 11:00, 12:15, 1:45, 3:00, 4:30, 5:45, 7:15, 8:30, 10:00, 11:15. Riverdale 10: 11:20, 1:45, 4:20, 7:00, 9:25. Beastly (PG-13) – A modern-day, teen-age retelling of “Beauty and the Beast,” using New York City as the backdrop. Breckenridge: 1:40, 4:40, 7:15, 9:35. Rave: 11:30, 2:15, 5:00, 7:45, 10:30. Riverdale 10: 11:55, 1:50, 3:45, 5:40, 7:35, 9:30. Biutiful (R) – A man entrenched in the seedy underworld of modern-day Barcelona tries to reconcile his business with his role as a family man. With Javier Bardem. Market Street: 1:30, 4:15, 7:00, 9:30. Carmen 3D (PG-13) – The Royal Opera Chorus performs the Bizet classic for 3D cameras. Rave: 12:00, 4:00, 8:00. Rango (PG) — A quixotic chameleon has to succeed at being the daredevil he thinks he is after winding up in an Old West town. Breckenridge: 1:20, 4:20, 7:35, 10:05. Chenal 9: 11:20, 1:45, 4:15, 7:00, 9:35. Rave: 10:30, 11:15, 12:00, 1:15, 2:00, 2:45, 4:00, 4:45, 5:30, 6:45, 7:30, 8:15, 9:30, 10:15, 11:00. Riverdale 10: 11:00, 1:15, 3:30, 5:45, 8:00, 10:15. Take Me Home Tonight (R) – Four post-grads get into a heap of trouble during one crazy weekend in the late ’80s. With Anna Faris, Topher Grace. Breckenridge: 1:10, 4:25, 7:10, 9:40. Rave: 11:45, 2:30, 5:15, 8:00, 10:45. RETURNING THIS WEEK 127 Hours (R) – Based on the true story of a mountain climber who resorts to desperate measures after being trapped under a boulder. With James Franco. Market Street: 2:00, 4:20, 7:15, 9:15. Another Year (PG-13) – A character study of a year in the life of a happily married older couple and their unhappy friends. Directed by Mike Leigh. Market Street: 4:25, 9:00. Barney’s Version (R) – A hard-drinking, dirtymouthed television producer reflects on his life, his family and his many marriages. With Paul Giamatti. Market Street: 1:30, 4:15, 7:00, 9:30. Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (PG-13) – FBI agent Malcolm Turner (Martin Lawrence) makes his son (Brandon T. Jackson) join him in going undercover in drag at a performing arts school. Breckenridge: 1:15, 4:10, 7:05, 9:30. Rave: 11:25, 2:35, 5:25, 8:25, 11:25. Blue Valentine (R) – Love at first sight takes a

turn for the worse in this portrait of a young, contemporary family falling apart. With Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams. Market Street: 2:15, 6:45. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (PG) — The latest adaptation of the beloved C.S. Lewis fantasy series. Movies 10: 12:00, 2:35, 5:10, 7:45, 10:20. Country Strong (PG-13) – In the world of country music, a rising star and a burn-out cross paths, both musically and romantically. With Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw. Movies 10: 1:00, 4:00, 7:15, 10:00. Drive Angry 3D (R) – A father escapes from hell to avenge his daughter’s death and granddaughter’s kidnapping in three dimensions. With Nicolas Cage, William Fichtner. Rave: 2:20, 5:20, 8:20, 11:20. Gnomeo and Juliet (G) – Romeo and Juliet with gnomes. Voiced by James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Michael Caine. Breckenridge: 1:50, 4:50. Chenal 9: 11:35, 1:40, 4:00, 7:25, 9:30. Rave: 1:50, 4:15, 7:10, 10:25 (2D); 1:50, 4:50, 7:25, 9:45 (3D). Riverdale 10: 11:05, 1:35, 3:45. The Grace Card (PG-13) – After a death in the family, a rising policeman resorts to bitterness and self-pity. With Michael Joiner, Louis Gossett Jr. Breckenridge: 1:05, 4:05, 7:00, 9:25. Rave: 10:45, 1:30, 4:25, 7:20. Gulliver’s Travels (PG) – Jack Black and a pack of shameless producers neuter Jonathan Swift’s brilliant, biting satire. It barely even resembles the original story. Couldn’t they have at least changed the name out of respect? Movies 10: 12:40, 2:45, 4:50, 7:00, 9:25. Hall Pass (R) – The Farrelly Brothers (“There’s Something About Mary”) return with this comedy about two couples engaging in mutual, extramarital booty calls. Breckenridge: 1:30, 4:25, 7:25, 9:55. Chenal 9: 11:15, 1:30, 4:05, 7:10, 9:30. Rave: 10:40, 1:40, 4:20, 7:40, 10:20, 11:10. Riverdale 10: 11:40, 2:15, 5:15, 7:35, 10:05. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I (PG-13) — With Voldemort in control over Hogwarts and the Ministry of Magic, Harry, Ron and Hermione have to race against time to overthrow the evil lord. Movies 10: 12:15, 2:55, 5:15, 7:25, 9:55. I Am Number Four (PG-13) – A teen-age fugitive with special powers is on the run from agents trying to kill him. With Alex Smith and Timothy Olyphant. Breckenridge: 7:30, 10:00. Chenal 9: 11:15, 1:50, 4:25, 7:15, 9:45. Rave: 10:50, 1:55, 4:55, 7:50, 10:35. Riverdale 10: 7:40, 10:15. Just Go With It (PG-13) – On a weekend trip to Hawaii, a plastic surgeon convinces his long-time assistant to pretend she’s his wife in order to fool his younger girlfriend. With Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston. Breckenridge: 1:15, 4:15, 7:05, 9:45. Chenal 9: 11:30, 2:05, 4:40, 7:20, 10:00. Rave: 10:55, 2:05, 5:05, 8:10, 11:05.

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never 3D (G) – Justin Bieber being Justin Bieber. With young Justin Bieber and teen-age Justin Bieber. Breckenridge: 1:25, 7:30. Chenal 9: 11:15, 1:50, 4:30, 7:15, 9:45. Rave: 10:35, 1:25, 4:15, 7:10, 10:25. Riverdale 10: 11:15, 1:45, 4:20, 7:10, 9:30. The King’s Speech (R) – After being crowned George VI of an England on the verge of turmoil, “Bertie” (Colin Firth) works to fix his debilitating speech impediment with help from eccentric Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). Breckenridge: 1:00, 4:00, 6:50, 9:30. Chenal 9: 11:30, 2:05, 4:40, 7:20, 10:00. Rave: 11:20, 2:10, 5:10, 8:25, 11:30. Riverdale 10: 11:25, 1:50, 4:15, 6:40, 9:05. Megamind (PG) — A blue maniacal supervillain turns into a restless mess when his sworn superhero enemy is accidentally killed. Voiced by Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Brad Pitt. Movies 10: 12:20, 2:40, 4:55, 7:10, 9:35. Season of the Witch (PG-13) – A band of 14th century knights discover an evil witch’s black magic may be the source of the Black Plague. With Nicholas Cage. Movies 10: 12:30, 3:00, 5:20, 7:55, 10:15. Tangled (PG) — Daring bandit Flynn Rider, Princess Rapunzel and Rapunzel’s 70 feet of hair find adventure and romance during their journey through the outside world. Voiced by Mandy Moore. Movies 10: 1:45, 4:05, 6:25, 8:45 (2D); 12:35, 2:55, 5:15, 7:35, 9:55 (3D). Tron: Legacy (PG) — The reboot of the 1982 classic has Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) entering the virtual gladiator arena to find his lost father (Jeff Bridges). Movies 10: 1:30, 4:30, 7:20, 10:05. True Grit (PG-13) — Rugged U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) helps a stubborn girl track down her father’s killer. Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. Riverdale 10: 11:35, 2:05, 4:40, 7:20, 9:55. Unknown (PG-13) – A man wakes up from a coma, discovers that his identity has been stolen and that no one believes he is who he says he is. With Liam Neeson and January Jones. Breckenridge: 4:35, 7:20, 9:50. Chenal 9: 11:25, 1:55, 4:20, 7:05, 9:40. Riverdale 10: 11:55, 2:25, 4:50, 7:25, 9:50. Unstoppable (PG-13) — Denzel Washington has to stop an unmanned freight train full of explosives and poisonous gas from wiping out a city. Movies 10: 12:10, 2:30, 5:05, 7:25, 9:45. Rave: 10:45, 1:55, 4:55, 7:50, 10:40. The Way Back (PG-13) – During the dawn of World War II, prisoners of a Soviet labor camp escape and flee thousands of miles across Siberian terrain. With Ed Harris, Colin Farrell. Market Street: 1:30, 4:15, 7:00, 9:30. Chenal 9 IMAX Theatre: 17825 Chenal Parkway, 821-2616, Cinemark Movies 10: 4188 E. McCain Blvd., 9457400, Cinematown Riverdale 10: Riverdale Shopping Center, 296-9955, Market Street Cinema: 1521 Merrill Drive, 3128900, Rave Colonel Glenn 18: 18 Colonel Glenn Plaza, 687-0499, Regal Breckenridge Village 12: 1-430 and Rodney Parham, 224-0990,

■ booknotes

The debut of Toad Suck Review, Nicholas Sparks to UCA and more. BY LINDSEY MILLAR

DRIVE ANGRY’: David Morse and Nicolas Cage star.

■ moviereview The nadir of Nicolas Cage? ‘Drive Angry’ mostly bad bad, occasionally so-bad-it’s-good bad. n Nicolas Cage has become the actor you cast not because people clamor to see Nic Cage films or because he evinces more than a vague interest in his craft, but because he brings a name people recognize and apparently needs the work. So if you’re planning, as “Drive Angry 3D” director Patrick Lussier (of the “Scream” trilogy) apparently did, to make a big-budget B-movie chockablock with exploding tanker trucks, constant gunplay, redneck Satanists, muscle car chases, constant explosions, well-lookie-here Oklahoma lawmen, human sacrifice, murder by garden implement, spontaneous resurrection, Xbox-grade CGI, gratuitous 3-D parlor tricks, naked fake ta-tas and a singa-long to a certain notorious Peaches track, then you sign Cage so you don’t go straight to video. (Household name? Check.) Then herd an ensemble of character actors, disposable nobodies, Amber Heard’s gams and one indelibly wicked William Fichtner to have yourself a pulpy gore-orgy that only 14- to 16-year-old dudes will find worth the price of admission. “Drive Angry” is by any reasonable definition a pretty lousy movie (which is why it’s far more fun to restrict ourselves to unreasonable definitions). It’s not just that waitresses keep referring to Cage as handsome when he clearly looks like he’s been sleeping face-down on a park bench, or that Heard’s makeup survives multiple fistfights, or that the story’s single compelling character is Fichtner’s incarnation of a devil’s minion who calls himself the Accountant. The whole schlockstain would be a total loss of your 104 minutes if not

for nuggets of unadulterated high camp that burst through the miasma. At times it hits that perfect pitch of sublime awfulness. When it misses, though, it’s a starter pack for a migraine, with physics so daft they could fill a season of “Mythbusters.” At the risk of infecting readers with the particular brand of hilarious stupid that radiates out of “Drive Angry,” here’s the plot. Basically, Cage plays this guy named Milton who breaks out of hell to avenge the murder of his daughter by a cult leader (a scenery-munching Billy Burke) who also plans to sacrifice Cage’s infant granddaughter in some ritualistic something or other, and he runs into this hot blonde with a Dodge Charger and ... whatever, you get the idea. The twist here is that the Accountant shows up to fetch Milton back to hell, and he’s fantastic, the Terminator crossed with a crooked CFO — cold, blunt, brutal, relentless, deadpan. The movie is afflicted with these long stretches of bang bang bang and blah blah blah, a bunch of wizzbang action sequences and attempted character development that are really just excuses to throw Viewmasteresque axes and hubcaps and bullets at the audience, yee-haw. But all you’re really waiting for is the next Accountant scene, sort of like how Satan steals the show in “Paradise Lost.” You can thank the antecedent of Cage’s “Drive Angry” Milton for that particular tome; might as well read it till you can Netflix this flaming zeppelin of a movie. A DVD will blessedly allow you to exercise your free will via a fast-forward button. — Sam Eifling

n Toad Suck Review, the new incarnation of the UCA Department of Writing-based Exquisite Corpse Annual, will celebrate its release on Friday, March 4, with the Toad Suck Review Launchapalooza on the rooftop of Michelangelo’s, 1117 W. Oak St., Conway. The inaugural edition of the review — described by editor Mark Spitzer in an introduction as “an incandescent stew of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, translations and review; a place-based, pomo-inspired, international literary journal” — includes contributions by Kevin Brockmeier, C.D. Wright and Times contributor Bernard Reed. Brockmeier, Reed and more contributors will launch the Launchapalooza with readings beginning at 8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. n Best-selling novelist Nicholas Sparks, author of chick-flick fodder like “The Notebook,” “Message in a Bottle,” and “A Walk to Remember,” is coming to UCA’s Reynolds Performance Hall at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 15. He’s touring behind his latest novel, “Safe Haven.” Tickets, available by calling 1-866-8100012 or visiting, are $10 for the general public. n Jim Young, former UALR chancellor and author of books such as “A Labor of Love: Weaving Your Own Virgin Birth on the Loom of Love” and “God’s Pocket Dictionary,” has a new book published by O-Books. “2013! The Beginning Is Here” (paperback, $19.99) is a collection of essays about the significance of the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012. n On May 3, Charlaine Harris will publish “Dead Reckoning,” the 11th novel in


Continued from page 25 military power. For tickets or more information, call 410-2283 or visit community The Public Theatre, through March 6: Sun., 2 p.m., $14. 616 Center St. 501-374-7529. “The Nerd.” A young architect’s birthday party goes awry when the ex-GI who saved his life during Vietnam shows up unexpectedly at his party.

March Books Calendar 3 Shirley Sagawa (“The American Way to Change”), 6 p.m., CS. 4 Howard Zehr (“What Will Happen to Me?”), 12 p.m., CS. 4 Toad Suck Review Launchapalooza, 8 p.m., Michelangelo’s Rooftop, Conway. 5 Janet Carson (“In the Garden”), 1 p.m., Terry Library, 2015 Napa Valley Drive. 7 David Hunt (“The Art of the Old West”), 6 p.m., CS. 10 Carla Killough McClafferty (“The Many Faces of George Washington”), 6:30 p.m., Amy Sanders Library, Sherwood. 11 Faulkner County Library Book Sale, 6 p.m., FCL. 12 Faulkner County Library Book Sale, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., FCL. 15 Nicholas Sparks (“Safe Haven”), 7:30 p.m., UCA’s Reynolds Performance Hall, Conway. 15 Janet Carson (“In the Garden”), 10 a.m., Nixon Library, Jacksonville. 15 Cookie’s Book Club discusses Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink,” 7 p.m., TBIB 19 Les Standiford (“Bringing Adam Home”), 7 p.m., TBIB. 29 Leo Honeycutt (“Edwin Edwards: Governor of Louisiana”), 6 p.m., CS. 31 Sheena Iyengar (“The Art of Choosing”), 6 p.m., CS. Area bookstores and libraries: CS: Clinton School of Public Service, Sturgis Hall, 1200 President Clinton Ave., 683-5200. FCL: Faulkner County Library, 1900 Tyler St., Conway, 501-327-7482 LL: Laman Library, 2801 Orange St., North Little Rock, 501-758-1720 ML: Main Library, 100 Rock St., 918-3000 SAC: Starving Artist Cafe, 411 Main St., North Little Rock, 372-7976 TBIB: That Bookstore in Blytheville, 316 W. Main St., Blytheville, 870-763-3333 WW: WordsWorth Books & Co., 5920 R St., 663-9198

her Southern Vampire series. Fans best savor it: Only two more (contractually-obligated) editions of the Sookie Stackhouse saga will follow. “It’s been a big part of my life and I hate to see it go,” Harris recently told the Wall Street Journal. “But it’s kind of taken over my professional life, and I’m excited for new opportunities.” Those new opportunities, according to the WSJ, include providing story guidance on “Dying for Daylight,” a computer game based on Dahlia, a she-vampire from one of Harris’ short stories. For more information, call 501-941-2266 or visit Cabot Community Center, through March 12: Fri., Sat., 6:30 p.m. 508 N. Lincoln, Cabot. “Review the Revue.” Members of the Rep’s Young Artists program perform musical numbers from a wide selection of Broadway classics. For tickets or more information, call 501-378-0405 or visit Arkansas Repertory Theatre, March 2-4, 7 p.m.; Sat., March 5, 2 and 7 p.m.; March 10-11, 7 p.m.; Sat., March 12, 2 and 7 p.m., $20. 601 Main St. 501-378-0405. • MARCH 2, 2011 27




Mandy McBryde and the Unholy Ghost Round Five - 3/3 Brethren This Holy House Michael Leonard Witham The Pink Drapes Finals - 3/4 Tyrannosaurus Chicken The Year of the Tiger Sea Nanners Mandy McBryde and the Unholy Ghost TBA




JUST $10

n The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration recently closed Kent’s Downtown, the barbecue and home cookin’ booth in the River Market’s Ottenheimer Hall, for non-payment of sales tax. Reached at his Gravel Ridge restaurant and butcher shop, The Meat Shoppe, owner Kent Berry said he “just fell behind” with tax payments on Kent’s. While he said he planned to “make things right with the state,” he said he had no “immediate plans” to try to reopen Kent’s. Berry said his tax problems would not affect The Meat Shoppe. n Ashley’s Lee Richardson has, for the third year in a row, been nominated for a James Beard Award, the restaurant world’s top honor. Richardson is a semi-finalist in the Best Chef: South category. He’s the nominated only Arkansas chef. n The latest update on Browning’s Mexican Grill opening date, according to owner Stephen Davis: mid-April.

Restaurant capsules Every effort is made to keep this listing of some of the state’s more notable restaurants current, but we urge readers to call ahead to check on changes on days of operation, hours and special offerings. What follows, because of space limitations, is a partial listing of restaurants reviewed by our staff. Information herein 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. Restaurants are listed in alphabetical order by city; Little Rock-area restaurants are divided by food category. Other review symbols are: B Breakfast L Lunch D Dinner $ Inexpensive (under $8/person) $$ Moderate ($8-$20/person) $$$ Expensive (over $20/person) CC Accepts credit cards

LITTLE ROCK/ N. LITTLE ROCK AMERICAN 4 SQUARE GIFTS Vegetarian salads, soups, wraps and paninis and a daily selection of desserts in an Arkansas products gift shop. 405 President Clinton Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-244-2622. L daily. D Mon.-Sat. ARGENTA MARKET The Argenta District’s neighborhood grocery store offers a deli featuring a daily selection of big sandwiches along with fresh fish and meats and salads. Emphasis here is on Arkansas-farmed foods and organic products. 521 N. Main St. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-379-9980. BL daily, D Mon.-Sat. ARKANSAS BURGER CO. Good burgers, fries and shakes, plus salads and other entrees. Try the cheese dip. 7410 Cantrell Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-6630600. LD Tue.-Sat. ASHLEY’S The premier fine dining restaurant in Little Rock marries Southern traditionalism and haute cuisine. The menu is often daring and always delicious. 111 W. Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $$$-$$$$. 501-374-7474.

Continued on page 30

■ dining A little flat Pierre’s Pizza truck is good — but that’s the problem. n The local surge in quality cart food – think taco trucks, hot dog stands and various other food-mobiles – drew us out of the office this week to try out Pierre’s Gourmet Pizza Co. Express Kitchen, an RV-housed pizza place located, at least for the moment, at Third and Izard in Little Rock. While it was worth the trip, we found the offerings to be more satisfactory than sublime. Pierre’s opening marks the second coming of a once-popular pizza joint based on JFK Boulevard in North Little Rock. The location closed in September 2009 when owner Michael Ayers underwent neck and back surgeries. Contrary to what you might think, Ayers says the confines of his RV are actually bigger than the old kitchen and don’t seem to be hindering him from cranking out pizza, subs, calzones and salads once again. We started off with a couple different salad selections. Pierre’s Chef Salad (a small for $4.25 or a large for $8.50) was made with a mixture of greens, topped with turkey, banana peppers, red onions shredded cheddar cheese and croutons. The Grand Antipasto Salad (prices same as above) was very similar, just substitute salami and pepperoni for the turkey and add carrots, cucumbers and Parmesan cheese. Both salads were decent. That is to say, you’re not likely to find one that’s much better in the surrounding environs. But they weren’t great either. The lettuce was green, crisp and fresh. The same can’t be said for some of the other vegetable toppings, which seemed limp and previouslyfrozen. However, the pepperoni and banana peppers made for a nice zing and it’s hard to complain about the price. A small version fills up an entire to-go box for only $4.25. The main issue is that salads just don’t travel well, so a salad from Pierre’s is better for those in close proximity. As Italian sandwiches go, Pierre’s take on things (the Hot Italian Sub, $5.95) has all the guts right — nice cuts of salami, ham and pepperoni; a trio of slightly piquant pepper rings; lettuce; tomato and olive oil, pepper and some basil flakes. The sub bread was fine — nowhere near the high standard of Iriana’s and Pizza Cafe sandwich bread (perhaps the best in town) — but fine. The problem was that either the bread wasn’t sturdy enough or it wasn’t sufficiently toasted to avoid going a touch soggy. Another thing: An Italian sub needs salty chips to accompany it. Unless ours were forgotten, Pierre’s doesn’t include any. The pizza fared better in our taste



PIERRE’S FAVORITE: Fresh from the RV. test. We ordered up two specialty items, Pierre’s Favorite ($12.50 for a small, $15.50 and $17.50 for a medium and a large, respectively) and La Vegetarian ($12.10, $13.40 and $15.40). Pierre’s Favorite is basically a supreme, topped with pepperoni, Canadian bacon, salami, beef, Italian sausage, black olives, mushrooms, tomatoes, red and white onions and green peppers. It’s served with marinara sauce and mozzarella. Although the sauce tasted a little pasty, the toppings were nice and chunky. Big hunks of tomato, onion and peppers really set this pie off. The crust is soft and chewy and perfect for soaking up those juices that run off the selection of Italian meats piled atop. We think one mark of a good pizza is how it holds up in the fridge, waiting to become a midnight snack or a cold breakfast and this pie would be great for both. The vegetarian pizza — basically a meatless version of Pierre’s Favorite – will be good for the herbivores in your midst. While Pierre’s pizza wagon is good in a pinch — have we ever met a pizza outside of a grocery store frozen case that wasn’t good in a pinch? Let us think on it and we’ll get back to you — the problem is one that has killed off several other pizza parlors in Little Rock in the past few years: the bar for pizza here is set fairly high as far as we’re concerned (people who have lived in New York or Chicago, stop laughing). Why have pretty good

pizza when you could have excellent pizza at Olde World, or Iriana’s, or Vino’s downtown? Or at Damgoode Pies or Pizza Cafe, among others, a little further on down the road? Not to mention: BEER. We hate to kick Pierre while he’s just getting back on his feet — or in this case, wheels — and we love that someone is trying to add to the suddenly-interesting food truck/cart scene in Little Rock. But in a town with so many fine sit-down pizzas (served with BEER!), maybe mobile pies wasn’t the best choice. Might we suggest cheesesteaks, fried chicken or big ’n’ sloppy cheeseburgers?

Pierre’s Gourmet Pizza Co. Express Kitchen

Corner of Third and Izard Streets 501-410-0377 Quick bite

Next time we’ll take a crack at some of the other specialty pizzas like the Baja Mexico, topped with re-fried beans, beef, salsa, cheddar cheese, black olives, jalapenos, tomatoes, red onions and cilantro. Oh, and if you’re lazy, Pierre’s delivers – but not in the RV.


11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday

Other info

No credit cards. Cash and checks only. • MARCH 2, 2011 29

Restaurant capsules IT’S LIKE BEING DROPPED

NEW ORLEANS Runner-Up Best Steak and Best Over-All


Gyro Sandwich, FrieS & drink $6.65 oFFer expireS 03/30/11.

gyros • hummus • tabbouleh • baba ghannouj pizza • calzone • mediterranean salad

fresh, delicious Mediterranean cuisine

9501 N. Rodney Parham • 227-7272 Bryant: 612 Office Park • 847-5455

Bienvenue! Eat. Enjoy. Experience.

LITTLE ROCK’S mOST awaRd wInnIng RESTauRanT 400 N. Bowman Road 501-224-3377 1619 Rebsamen Road 501-663-9734

March 15 and 16 Now – March 13

Cultures clash when a Jewish boy wants to marry an Irish girl.

Branson On The Road has over 20 years of experience performing at top theatres in Branson, and we are bringing them to you!

Continued from page 29


Travis Ledoyt : ”The World’s Best Young Elvis” March 18-20 There is simply no way to describe his performance, except unbelievable!

Colonel Glenn & University • • 562-3131

BLD Mon.-Sat. BR Sun. BELWOOD DINER Traditional breakfasts and plate lunch specials are the norm at this lost-in-time hole in the wall. 3815 MacArthur Drive. NLR. No alcohol, No CC. $. 501-753-1012. BONEFISH GRILL A half-dozen or more types of fresh fish filets are offered daily at this upscale chain. 11525 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-228-0356. D daily. BRAVE NEW RESTAURANT The food’s great, portions huge, prices reasonable. Diners can look into the open kitchen and watch the culinary geniuses at work slicing and dicing and sauteeing. It’s great fun, and the fish is special. 2300 Cottondale Lane. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-6632677. LD Mon.-Fri. D Sat. BUFFALO WILD WINGS A sports bar on steroids with numerous humongous TVs and a menu full of thirst-inducing items. The wings, which can be slathered with one of 14 sauces, are the staring attraction and will undoubtedly have fans. 14800 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-8685279. LD daily. BY THE GLASS A broad but not ridiculously large list is studded with interesting, diverse selections, and prices are uniformly reasonable. The food focus is on high-end items that pair well with wine — olives, hummus, cheese, bread, and some meats and sausages. 5713 Kavanaugh Blvd. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-663-9463. D Mon.-Sat. CAFE HEIFER Paninis, salads, soups and such in the Heifer Village. With one of the nicest patios in town. 1 World Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-907-8801. BL Mon.-Fri., L Sat. CAPITAL BAR AND GRILL Big hearty sandwiches, daily lunch specials and fine evening dining all rolled up into one at this landing spot downtown. Surprisingly inexpensive with a great bar staff and a good selection of unique desserts. 111 Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-374-7474. LD daily. CAPITOL BISTRO Formerly a Sufficient Grounds, now operated by Lisa and Tom Drogo, who moved from Delaware. They offer breakfast and lunch items, including quiche, sandwiches, coffees and the like. 1401 W. Capitol Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-371-9575. BL Mon.-Fri. CATFISH HOLE Downhome place for well-cooked catfish and tasty hushpuppies. 603 E. Spriggs. NLR. Beer, All CC. $-$$. 501-758-3516. D Tue.-Sat. CIAO BACI The focus is on fine dining in this casually elegant Hillcrest bungalow, though tapas are also available, and many come for the comfortable lounge that serves specialty drinks until late. 605 N. Beechwood St. Full bar,

All CC. $$$-$$$$. 501-603-0238. D Mon.-Sat. CRAZEE’S COOL CAFE Good burgers, daily plate specials and bar food amid pool tables and TVs. 7626 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-221-9696. LD Mon.-Sat. CUPCAKES ON KAVANAUGH Gourmet cupcakes and coffee make this Heights bakery a great spot to sit and sip on a relaxing afternoon. 5625 Kavanaugh Blvd. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-664-2253. L Mon.-Sat. DIVERSION Hillcrest wine bar with diverse tapas menu. From the people behind Crush. 2611 Kavanaugh Blvd., Suite 200. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-414-0409. D Mon.-Sat. DOE’S EAT PLACE A skid-row dive turned power brokers’ watering hole with huge steaks, great tamales and broiled shrimp, and killer burgers at lunch. 1023 W. Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-376-1195. LD Mon.-Fri., D Sat. DOWNTOWN DELI A locally owned eatery, with bigger sandwiches and lower prices than most downtown chain competitors. Also huge, loaded baked potatoes, soups and salads. 323 Center St. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-3723696. BL Mon.-Fri. DUB’S HAMBURGER HEAVEN A standout dairy bar. The hamburger, onion rings and strawberry milkshake make a meal fit for kings. 6230 Baucum Pike. NLR. No alcohol, No CC. $-$$. 501-955-2580. BLD daily. EJ’S EATS AND DRINKS The friendly neighborhood hoagie shop downtown serves at a handful of tables and by delivery. The sandwiches are generous, the soup homemade and the salads cold. Vegetarians can craft any number of acceptable meals from the flexible menu. The housemade potato chips are da bomb. 523 Center St. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-666-3700. LD Mon.-Fri. FLYING FISH The fried seafood is fresh and crunchy and there are plenty of raw, boiled and grilled offerings, too. The hamburgers are a hit, too. It’s self-service; wander on through the screen door and you’ll find a slick team of cooks and servers doing a creditable job of serving big crowds. 511 President Clinton Ave. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-3753474. LD daily. GRUMPY’S TOO Music venue and sports bar with lots of TVs, pub grub and regular drink specials. 1801 Green Mountain Drive. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-225-9650. LD Mon.-Sat. THE HOUSE A comfortable gastropub in Hillcrest, where you’ll find traditional fare like burgers and fish and chips alongside Thai green curry and gumbo. 722 N. Palm St. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-4501. D daily, BR and L Sat.-Sun. JIMMY’S SERIOUS SANDWICHES Consistently fine sandwiches, side orders and desserts. Chicken salad’s among the best in town. Get there early for lunch. 5116 W.

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30 MARCH 2, 2011 • ARKANSAS TIMES TS-944.indd 1

2/24/11 9:43 AM

FORBIDDEN CITY The Park Plaza staple has fast and friendly service, offering up good lo mein at lunch and Cantonese and Hunan dishes. 6000 W. Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-663-9099. LD daily. GINA’S A broad and strong sushi menu along with other Japanese standards. 14524 Cantrell Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-868-7775. LD daily. HANAROO SUSHI BAR Under its second owner, it’s one of the few spots in downtown Little Rock to serve sushi. With an expansive menu, featuring largely Japanese fare with a bit of Korean mixed in. 205 W. Capitol Ave. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-301-7900. L Mon.-Fri., D Mon.-Sat. PHO THANH MY It says “Vietnamese noodle soup” on the sign out front, and that’s what you should order. The pho comes in outrageously large portions with bean sprouts and fresh herbs. Traditional pork dishes, spring rolls and bubble tea also available. 302 N. Shackleford Road. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-312-7498. SHOGUN JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE The chefs will dazzle you, as will the variety of tasty stir-fry combinations and the sushi bar. Usually crowded at night. 2815 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-666-7070. D daily. WASABI Downtown sushi and Japanese cuisine. For lunch, there’s quick and hearty sushi samplers. 101 Main St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-374-0777. L Mon.-Fri., D Mon.-Sat.


No. 0126 Edited by Will Shortz



Markham St. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-666-3354. L Mon.-Sat. KRAZY MIKE’S Po’Boys, catfish and shrimp and other fishes, fried chicken wings and all the expected sides served up fresh and hot to order on demand. 200 N. Bowman Road. Beer, All CC. $$. 501-907-6453. LD daily. LULAV Comfortably chic downtown bistro. 220 A W. 6th St. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-374-5100. BL Mon.-Fri., D daily. MILFORD TRACK Healthy and tasty are the key words at this deli/grill, featuring hot entrees, soups, sandwiches, salads and killer desserts. 10809 Executive Center Drive, Searcy Building. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-223-2257. BL Mon.-Sat. OYSTER BAR Gumbo, red beans and rice (all you can eat on Mondays), peeland-eat shrimp, oysters on the half shell, addictive po’ boys. 3003 W. Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-666-7100. LD Mon.-Sat. PERCIFUL’S FAMOUS HOT DOGS If you’re a lover of chilidogs, this might just be your Mecca; a humble, strip-mall storefront out in East End that serves some of the best around. The latest incarnation of a LR joint that dates to the 1940s, longdogs are pretty much all they do, and they do them exceedingly well, with scratch-made chili and slaw. Our fave: The Polish cheese royal, add onions. 20400 Arch St. No alcohol, All CC. $. 501-261-1364. LD Tue.-Sat. SCALLION’S Reliably good food, great desserts, pleasant atmosphere, able servers — a solid lunch spot. 5110 Kavanaugh Blvd. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-666-6468. L Mon.-Sat. STAGECOACH GROCERY AND DELI Fine po’ boys and muffalettas — and cheap. 6024 Stagecoach Road. Beer, All CC. $-$$. 501-455-4157. BL daily. D Mon.-Fri. TERRI-LYNN’S BAR-B-Q AND DELI 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. LD Tue.-Sat. (10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.).

Across 1 With 65-Across, the starts of 20-, 26-, 43- and 51Across taken together 5 Scopes Trial org. 9 Place for scrubs 14 Start of an incantation 15 “Double” facial feature 16 Normandy beach 17 Assault or battery 18 “Please?” 19 React to mold, perhaps 20 Alien abductions, e.g. 23 Command to a plow horse 24 Itʼs fairly insensitive to shock, fortunately 25 Houston-to-K.C. direction 26 “All kidding aside …” 32 Menu heading

35 “Au Revoir, ___ Enfants” (1987 film) 36 ___-chef 37 Backspace through 38 Get-up-and-go 39 Ring around the collar, say 40 Chamonix setting 41 Season box holder, e.g. 42 Like a par 5 hole vis-à-vis a par 3 43 Unwelcome sign for a sales rep 46 “Aladdin” prince 47 “Open wide” sound 48 Center of a ball? 51 Magazine opposed to the Cuban trade embargo 57 Old and gray 58 Signs, as a contract 59 Lena of “Chocolat”




B E T T E R ½



K E D A C O N O N E U E N K S R E ½ S H H E O A L E R A T D E Y D

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½ N E L S O N

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60 Composer Bruckner 61 Astringent fruit 62 Word with cut or exchange 63 Dry out, informally 64 Salon acquisitions 65 See 1-Across 1 2 3 4

Down “Why, of course!” Jungle menace You might wait for it at a stoplight “Fiddlesticks!”

5 Dialect coaches teach them 6 Monastery music 7 “The Mod Squad” role 8 Shop steward, briefly 9 Worldʼs thirdlargest island 10 Release 11 Mane area 12 Mother of Chaz Bono 13 Brinker of childrenʼs lit 21 Exercise on the keys 22 Aussie colleges 26 Low man at the Met 27 Nicholas Gage best seller 28 On drugs 29 Something to break into


































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Puzzle by David Murchie

30 Race in a chute

39 “Tiny Bubbles” singer 41 Adidas competitor 32 Rapper Combs a 42 Is a go-between k a Diddy 44 Adamʼs apple 33 Aliceʼs chronicler site 34 Swimmers do 45 Add later them 48 ___ Lama 49 Magazine jobs 38 Conscientious objector 50 Dice, slangily 31 River in a 1914 battle

51 2000 election scrap 52 Skye of “Say Anything …” 53 Intl. commerce pact replaced by the W.T.O. 54 Suffix with buck 55 “To Live and Die ___”

56 Whatʼs expected

For answers, call 1-900-285-5656, $1.49 a minute; or, with a credit card, 1-800-814-5554. Annual subscriptions are available for the best of Sunday crosswords from the last 50 years: 1-888-7-ACROSS. AT&T users: Text NYTX to 386 to download puzzles, or visit for more information. Online subscriptions: Todayʼs puzzle and more than 2,000 past puzzles, ($39.95 a year). Share tips: Crosswords for young solvers:

BARE BONES PIT BAR-B-Q A carefully controlled gas oven, with wood chips added for flavor, guarantees moist and sweet pork, both pulled from the shoulder and back ribs. The side orders, particularly the baked potato salad, are excellent. 5501 Ranch Drive, Suite 4. Beer, All CC. $-$$. 501-868-7427. LD daily. CHIP’S BARBECUE Tasty, if a little pricey, barbecue piled high on sandwiches generously doused with tangy sauce. Better known for the incredible family recipe pies and cheesecakes, which come tall and wide. 9801 W. Markham St. Beer, All CC. $-$$. 501-225-4346. LD Mon.-Sat.

EUROPEAN / ETHNIC ARABICA HOOKAH CAFE This eatery and grocery store offers kebabs and salads along with just about any sort of Middle Eastern fare you might want, along with what might be the best kefte kebab in Central Arkansas. Halal butcher on duty. 3400 S. University Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-379-8011. LD daily. CREGEEN’S IRISH PUB Irish-themed pub with a large selection of on-tap and bottled British beers and ales, an Irish inspired menu and lots of nooks and crannies to meet in. 301 Main St. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-376-7468. LD daily. LEO’S GREEK CASTLE Wonderful Mediterranean food — gyro sandwiches or platters, falafel and tabouleh — plus dependable hamburgers, ham sandwiches, steak platters and BLTs. Breakfast offerings are expanded with gyro meat, pitas and triple berry pancakes. 2925 Kavanaugh Blvd. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-666-7414. BLD daily. SILVEK’S EUROPEAN BAKERY Fine pastries, chocolate creations, breads and cakes done in the classical European style. Drop by for a whole cake or a slice or any of the dozens of single serving treats in the big case. 1900 Polk St. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-661-9699. BLD daily.

ITALIAN CAFE PREGO Dependable entrees of pasta, pork 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 Don’t forget about this casual yet elegant bistro tucked into a downtown storefront. The fine pasta and seafood dishes, ambiance and overall charm combine to make it a relaxing, enjoyable, affordable choice. 405 W. Seventh St. Full bar, 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, and the desserts don’t miss, either. 2001 E. Kiehl Ave. NLR. Beer, Wine. 501-834-7530. D Tue.-Sat.

MEXICAN CANON GRILL Creative appetizers come in huge quantities, and the varied main-course menu rarely disappoints, though it’s not as spicy as competitors’. 2811 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-664-2068. LD daily. CAPI’S The eatery has abandoned its previous small plates format for Nuevo Latino cuisine heavy on tamales, enchiladas and Central American reinterpretation of dishes. Fortunately, they kept the great desserts. 11525 Cantrell Suite 917. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-225-9600. LD Tue.-Sun., BR Sat.-Sun. 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 fiery-hot green salsas, and friendly service. 406 S. Louisiana St. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-244-0733. L Mon.-Sat. • MARCH 2, 2011 31

Food for Thought

a paid advertisement

To place your restaurant in Food For Thought, call the advertising department at 501-375-2985


SEAFOOD Cajun’s Wharf 2400 Cantrell Road 501-375-5351

Food and fun for everyone when you pair Cajun’s Wharf’s succulent seafood and steak with the ever-evolving live entertainment. Enjoy the fabulous fresh seafood or aged Angus beef while listening to the rolling Arkansas River on the famously fantastic deck! They also boast an award-winning wine list.

Black Angus

Homemade Comfort Food Daily Specials • Monday: Spicy Shrimp Stir-fry. Tuesday: Pot Roast. Wednesday: Meatloaf. Thursday: BBQ Plate or Shepherd’s Pie. Friday & Saturday: Fried Catfish.

Capers Restaurant

Indulge in the culinary creations and intimate environment that define Capers Restaurant. Food and wine enthusiasts agree Capers’ sophisticated approach to dining is key to it’s many accolades including receiving the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for six years running.

Copper Grill

Whether you’re looking for a casual dinner, a gourmet experience or the perfect business lunch, Copper Grill is the choice urban restaurant for Little Rock’s food enthusiasts. It’s where you can let go and relax in the comfortable dining room, enjoy a glass of wine at the lively bar or share a spread of appetizers outside on the street-side patio. No matter if you’re on the go or off the clock, Copper Grill is your downtown dining destination.

Butcher Shop

Tremendous steaks, excellent service, fair prices and a comfortable atmosphere make The Butcher Shop the prime choice for your evening out. In addition to tender and juicy steaks, The Butcher Shop offers fresh fish, pork chop, 24 hour slow roasted Prime Rib, char grilled marinated chicken and fresh pasta. Ideal for private parties, business meetings, and rehearsal dinners. Rooms accommodate up to 50-60 people.

Flying Saucer

“A great place to hangout, experience great beer and authentic German specialties”. The Flying Saucer definitely offers a unique range of domestic and international draft and bottled beers, carrying over 80 beers on draft and 120+ different bottled beers, many which are seasonal.  Accompanying their unique beer line-up is a menu packed with flare.  Bratwurst is the house specialty served with German coleslaw, or you can try Brat Con Queso or Beer Brat Nachos. Be sure to leave room for dessert: Young’s Double Chocolate Stout Ice Cream Float offers the best of both worlds.

Buffalo Grill

The crispy off the griddle cheeseburger and hand-cut fries star at this family friendly stop and will keep you coming back. The casual atmosphere will have everyone feeling right at home. The options are endless for whatever dining mood you are in. Grilled Tuna Steak sandwhich to a loaded foot long hotdog to the crispy chicken tender salad. Buffalo Grill does not disappoint. Fast and friendly staff. Very affordable prices!

10907 N. Rodney Parham Mon-Sat 10:30am-9pm Breakfast 6-10:30am 501-228-7800


220 West 6th St. 501-374-5100 Breakfast Mon-Fri 6:30 am -10:30 am Lunch Mon-Fri 11am-2pm Dinner Tues-Sat 5-10pm V Lounge til 1am, Thurs-Sat

Dizzy’s Gypsy Bistro

200 S. River Market Ave., Suite 150 (501) 375-3500 Tues-Thurs 11am-9pm Fri & Sat 11am-10pm

Fresh seafood specials every week. Prime aged beef and scrumptious dishes. Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, over 30 wines by the glass and largest vodka selection downtown. Regular and late night happy hour, Wednesday wine flights and Thursday is Ladies Night. Be sure to check out the Bistro Burger during lunch. Jump start your day with bistro breakfast from Lulav featuring scrumptious omlettes, pancakes and more. For the salad lover, Dizzy’s is an absolute paradise. Its list of eleven “Ridiculously Large Entrée Salads” runs the gamut of what you can do with greens and dressing. For example Zilpphia’s Persian Lime Salad, featuring grilled turkey breast, tomato, cucumber, onion, lime and buffalo mozzarella over romaine. For another: Mary Ann’s Dream, with grilled chicken breast, baby spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, cranberries, mandarin oranges, bourbon pecans and bleu cheese. Don’t that sound good?

chinese Fantastic China

Sharing good things with good friends is the motto at Fantastic China. A Central Arkansas favorite offering the Freshest Chinese Food in town. It’s made to order with 100% Vegetable Oil. The presentation is beautiful, the menu distinctive, and the service perfect. Fantastic China is one of the heights most reliable and satisfying restaurants and a local favorite. Full bar.

Hunan Oriental Cuisine

Hunan Oriental Cuisine is a Little Rock institution that has been serving great Chinese food for over 24 years. Come dine in a calm, relaxed atmosphere where the food can be enjoyed as it was meant to be enjoyed; fresh right out of the kitchen.  Or, if you prefer to order takeout, be prepared to come pick up your food quickly, since most orders are ready in 10 to 15 minutes.  Lunch Specials are available everyday.  Try something different.  You never know what you might come to like.

1900 N Grant St Heights 501-663-8999

Sunday 11:30 am to 9:30 pm Mon-Thur 11 am to 9:30 pm Fri 11 am to 10:30 pm Sat 11:30 am to 10:30 pm 11610 Pleasant Ridge Drive 501-223-9966

14502 Cantrell Road 501-868-7600

300 West 3rd Street 501-375-3333

Shackleford & Hermitage Rd. (501) 312-2748

323 President Clinton Ave 501-372-8032

mexican Casa Manana Taqueria

400 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-6637 6820 Cantrell Road • 501-280-9888 18321 Cantrell Road • 501-868-8822

Capi’s Nuevo Latino

11525 Cantrell Rd, Suite 917 Pleasant Ridge Town Center 501.225.9600

Voted Best Mexican 2007. Featuring authentic fare from the Puebla region of Mexico, the selections seem endless at your choice of 3 locations in the Little Rock area. You will find an array of dishes ranging from the salient Shrimp Veracruzana at La Palapa out west to great Guacamole in the River Market Taqueria. Or try tasty Tostadas that share the name of the original Cantrell location, Casa Manana. New South of the border comfort food menu with Southwestern and authentic Mexican specialties. Quesos, enchiladas, fajitas, quesadillas and tamales steamed in banana leaves.  Eclectic brunch menu Saturday and Sunday.  Creative cocktails, exceptional wine list.  Live music Friday nights at 8:30.  Serving Tuesday - Sunday 11:00 to close. 

Brazilian Café Bossa Nova 2701 Kavanaugh Blvd 501-614-6682 Tues-Sat 11am-9pm Sunday Brunch 10:30-2pm

Try something different! Café Bossa Nova serves up cozy atmosphere and unique Brazilian dishes guaranteed to satisfy and served with that special Latin flare. Don’t deny yourself one of the delectable desserts prepared fresh daily or for an A+ apertif, drink in the authentic flavor of the country in the Caipirinha~a perfect blend of lime, sugar and Brazilian sugar cane rum. Dine with them tonight!

brew pub Vino’s Pizza•Pub•Brewery 923 West 7th Street 501/375-VINO (8466)

Beer, pizza and more! Drop in to Vino’s, Little Rock’s Original Brewpub! and enjoy great New York-style pizza (whole or by-the-slice) washed down with your choice of award-winning ales or lagers brewed right on site. Or try a huge calzone, our new Muffaletta sandwich or just a salad and a slice with our homemade root beer. The deck’s always open, you don’t have to dress up and the kids are always welcome (or not). Vino’s is open 7 days, lunch and dinner. You can call ahead for carry-out and even take a gal. growler of beer to-go. And guess what?? The bathrooms have just been re-done!


Enjoy the cooking show, make sure you get a little filet with your meal, and do plenty of dunking in that fabulous ginger sauce. Full bar.

2 Riverfront Place North Little Rock 501-374-8081 Lunch Sun.-Fri. Dinner daily


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If you have not been to Sonny Williams lately, get there immediately and check out the martini/wine bar. Now you can enjoy 35 wines by the glass, 335 selections of wine, 6 single barrel bourbons and all different kinds of Scotch from the many regions of Scotland. Of course, don’t miss out on the nightly entertainment by Jeff at the piano. Sonny’s is a River Market mainstay and perfect for intimate private parties; free valet parking! As always, Sonny Williams has the best steaks in town along with fresh seafood and game. No Skinny Steaks… Call ahead for reservations (501) 324-2999

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Featuring the Best Steaks in town with a New Orleans flair from a New Orleans native. Also featuring Seafood and Creole Specialties. As Rachel Ray says “This place is one of my best finds ever.” Back by popular demand…Soft Shell Crab and New Orleans Roast Beef Po-Boys.

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asian panda Garden

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Fresh, flavorful, all-you-can-eat sushi. With fresh and authentic Chinese dishes, nice decor, great dessert choices and excellent sushi, Panda Garden raises the bar.

Mediterranean Layla’s

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Enjoy regional specialties such as Lentil soup, a huge serving of yummy Hummus, Baba Ghannnouj or Tabbouleh. And don’t forget about the Gyros, they’re sure to be heroes in your book!

A Smartgreen design for Shawn Reisman’s 3,200-sq.-foot home, complete with green roof.

MARCH 2, 2011


Yourself Transforming shipping containers into smart homes BY KATHERINE WYRICK PHOTOGRAPHY BRIAN CHILSON


obile homes in various stages of disrepair dot the landscape on the drive to the offices of Smartgreen Construction Co.—a noteworthy detail considering the purpose of this visit, but more on that later. Smartgreen is housed in a nondescript warehouse in an sparsely populated part of town; the only thing distinguishing it from its neighbors is an eyecatching red and mocha pod in the back, a thing more suited to the pages of Dwell magazine than a lot in southwest Little Rock. The rectangular unit stands in stark contrast to the dilapidated, weed-wrapped mobile home in the adjacent yard. Juan Carlos Rodriguez, CEO/ Engineer, and partner Shawn Reisman,

COO/Operations Manager, launched this business a little over a year ago after meeting at the ISBU Association convention. (ISBU stands for Intermodal Steel Building Units and Container Homes.) Rodriguez moved here from Puerto Rico and has over ten years of experience in the industrial construction business. He says, “I was looking for a way to construct something in a better, faster and cheaper way because down on the islands, it’s very high cost. Everything’s imported. I started researching container homes and found out that people in Europe and elsewhere were doing it with success.” In recent years, shipping container home construction has boomed worldContinued on page 34


➥ A trusted source fresh from Fashion Week offers this runway styling

tip on what to incorporate into your wardrobe now: red shoelaces for a cool hiker look. We found some at TARGET. ➥ Uncork your inner oenophile at EGGSHELLS where on March 31 at 6 p.m. Jonathan Looney of O’Looney’s offers a glimpse into the world of wine. The ever-popular Kids Cook and Donnie Ferneau events this month are already sold out. ➥ KITCHEN CO. offers a Mardi Gras Celebration/New Orleans Gumbo cooking class on March 3 from 6-8 p.m. On March 5 Aaron Walters offers Stuffed Crust Pizza, and on March 10, he serves up Fajitas, Homemade Guac, Pico and Tortillas. ➥ Lockheart Handbag Trunk Show at B. BARNETT, Thursday, March 3 at 10 a.m. ➥ Erno Laszlo Event, March 8-9 at BARBARA JEAN. ➥ Big box thrift. A month after opening, the newest GOODWILL in town is receiving good reviews from thrift store aficionados. The complete renovation of the former Circuit City on Markham Park Dr. includes a retail space, a computer lab and classroom for a job readiness program and a donation center. ➥ Check out KEN RASH’S Pre-Season Clearance Sale on lots of great outdoor furniture. They’re offering immediate delivery so you can start enjoying the warmer temps right away. ➥ CUFF CORRECTION: In the last issue, we misidentified the jewelry designer who made that rockin’ cougar bracelet from Jeante’. We identified her as Amanda Cobb when, in fact, her name is Amanda Babb Goodrum. ➥ This month, look for expanded coverage of men’s and women’s fashion in these pages, and let us know what you’re into these days. Leggings, hosiery, fringe, geometric patterns? What do you fancy? E-mail us at ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT TO THE ARKANSAS TIMES • MARCH 2, 2011 33

CONTAINER HOMES Continued from page 33

wide due to a surplus in containers—and lack of affordable housing. Somewhere along the way some forwardthinking individuals discovered that these modules are ideal for building and habitation. They’ve since become popular not only for homes, but for offices, student housing, safe rooms, emergency shelters, vacation retreats, studios and even hotels. Reisman likens the process to building with over-sized Legos. Because of their stack-ability and standardized sizing, they’re ideal for multi-story structures, and the environmental benefits are incontestable. Reisman says, “A lot of people want to go green and they want to build green, but they don’t know how to do it in a cost-efficient manner.” The first five homes he and Rodriguez build will be valued at $310,000 and sold at $189,000 which, he enthuses, “will give them $60,000 equity in their home.” Can’t beat that. Considering that Arkansas lies at the heart of tornado alley, a container home could very well be a wise investment. Reisman says, “You may lose a couple of windows, but this thing will stay standing.” Rodriguez adds, “Our slogan is safe, affordable living. That’s our company’s mission.” He might add stylish, too. There’s something so pleasingly boxy and modern about this kind of structure. Rodriguez explains that the containers come in varying lengths—20, 40, 45, 48 and 53 feet—and two heights, 9’6” and 8’, and can be put together any number of ways. The interior and exterior can also be customized to suit the client’s taste. Reisman says that all the homes will be outfitted with high-quality insulation that ensures energy efficiency. “We make our own insulation out of ceramic paint,” he says while retrieving a sample section of wall from the corner, the inner layer of which looks like strawberry taffy. Rodriguez adds, “It’s the same thing NASA uses.” A flooring sample of handsome recycled barn wood sits on the conference table, just one of the many green options available for the interior. Reisman says, “The foundation is unique, too, because you don’t have to have a full slab; you just have to have footings on the corners and metal that support it. . . . You can be living in this home in 6-8 weeks.” He stresses, “This kind of construction is 30% cheaper than stick construction. It’s steel, but you still have your exterior and interior, whatever you desire within your budget. Clients can get into these homes with 30% equity already in the home. They’re easy to finance and storm and termite resistant so homeowner’s insurance is cheaper. There are some real big benefits of this type of construction.” He recounts a recent conversation he had with a potential client whose mobile home had just burned to the ground. “That wouldn’t have happened in this type of home,” he says. Both men are currently in the process of building their own shipping container houses. Plans for Reisman’s cool looking 3,200-sq.-ft. home are tacked up on a bulletin board in the office. Juan shows us his designs for his future abode, complete with a multi-car garage, on his computer monitor. “I’m a car guy,” he confesses. His layout consists of two wings of adjoining containers conjoined by a spacious family room. The future of container construction in Arkansas remains to be seen. Only time will tell if it will eventually become part of the vernacular. One thing, however, is certain—as more designers push container architecture from fad to legitimate building system, it’s possible that one day they will widely be seen not only as units for shipping but also as containers for living. 34 MARCH 2, 2011 • ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT TO THE ARKANSAS TIMES

Reisman (left) and Rodriguez show off one of the shipping containers they’re working on in their warehouse.

The kitchen design for Reisman’s container home.

BENEFITS OF CONTAINER LIVING •Affordable •Strong and durable •Resistant to termites and mold •Capable of withstanding storms, high winds and earthquakes •Allows smaller environmental footprint with larger living area

•Reduced construction time •Unlimited potential for challenging sites •Flexible interior and exterior design •Environmentally friendly •Energy efficient

Smartgreen Construction Co. (501) 516-1941

Sporty Spice


thletic wear doesn’t have to look drab; as a matter of fact, it can be downright stylish. Dispense with those ratty gym clothes (and the ubiquitous velour tracksuit), because it’s time to put a spring (and Spring) in your step, or jump, or kick , or leg lift, or lunge ...

Accessorize while exercising in a sporty headband with an of-themoment skull-and-crossbones motif. GO RUNNING!

The clothes at MATCH POINT are so cute, you might just be inspired to pick up a racquet. I love Lucy (activewear)! Trench and sweatshirt pictured here.

SPOKES in Hillcrest, the new coffee bar and bicycle shop in one, just began selling these fun tees.

OZARK OUTDOOR isn’t all fleece and flannel. Check out these sporty yet sweet Terra Plana flats. They’re ecofriendly, fashion forward and super comfortable.

Even Nike is embracing the polka dot craze with its Vapor Lite Women’s Running Jacket, an ultra lightweight design with a print that pops. The dots serve a dual purpose—looking cute and wicking away sweat. GO RUNNING!

Unlike the word itself, skorts are sexy. Comfortable when running and running errands. GO RUNNING!

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special sign, clean look This well-positioned Little Rock home, previously featured in CUE, has a garage door that opens onto a pool deck.



HOME SHOW T get’s the Royal Treatment



he Home Show took place last weekend, and Royal Overhead Door, Inc. again made a big impression. Bob Strahan, general manager of Royal Family of Companies, says “The Home Show is the biggest event for us. We have one of the largest if not the largest booths full line of fireplaces, stoves, HVAC and garage doors. We also usually show something out of the ordinary like a nice high-end, attractive door. For a little money, you can transform the way your house looks with the right door.” Of what’s trending now, Strahan says that direct vent fireplaces offer a more modern look and are continuing to gain popularity. “They come with convenient thermostats and are also very efficient,” he says. Glass sectional doors (retractable “garage doors”) are also now being used both residentially and commercially. They’re practical and make quite a strong design statement. “We just did a remodel at Sushi Café and have used them at several homes along the river,” Strahan says (see photo above). Many homeowners are having them installed in family rooms so that they open up onto a deck or patio, expanding living space and letting the outside in.

complimentary “Halo” treatment witH any cHemical service

he other morning a lone cowboy stood at the corner of Cantrell and T. Street, that odd pie-piece of land across from Crazee’s Café. Wearing a sandwich board that read Nouveau Cleaners, he smiled and waved to oncoming traffic. That cowboy was Larry Wilkerson, owner of Nouveau Cleaners, located in the building formerly occupied by Eclectic Gift Co. (now next to Taziki’s). He and his wife Diane opened shop in mid-February, a business Larry describes as “a boutique laundry.” Yes, the urban cowboy caught my eye, but the sign he was holding made me turn around. And therein lies the magic of a sign by Steve Perry. You know one when you see one—the signature script, the retro appeal. The sandwich board is swell, but the pièce de résistance is the sign on the building itself, which looks like an illustration excised from a vintage text book. Bravo, Bruscraft Signs.

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More Q’s A’ed n Questions for the ’munch; his answers. Q. Could you give us a quick summary of how you think this legislature and this Congress rank with those of the past? A. The Arkansas legislature is a crosssection of all that is bad about Arkansas. The Arkansas congressional delegation is a distillation of all that is bad about Arkansas. The dogs bark; the caravan moves on. Q. Have you ever noticed that those who “beg your pardon” aren’t really begging? In fact, they usually seem sort of smug. A. No, I hadn’t noticed that. I have noticed, though, that none of them ever promised me a rose garden. Q. Here’s something I don’t understand concerning a certain vulgar four-letter word – the infamous s-word. Those who are said to give one don’t really give anything; and those who are said to take one don’t really take anything. And the give and take in these expressions are not only not opposites, they are more nearly synonyms. Can you explain? A. No, it’s an excremental mystery. Q. Bro. Billy Graham said in a newspaper column [last week] that there’s one thing God can’t do – He can’t sin. Well, I can sin. I’ve done it for years, and have got pretty good at it, if I do say so myself. Since I can do something that God can’t, I’m thinking

Bob L ancaster maybe He and I should change places on the totem pole. What do you think? A. I think Bro. Billy is senile, and has been since he and Nixon used to get together and diss Jews. The scribes who write the column that appears under Bro. Billy’s byline have obviously vegged a considerable distance toward the same theological kumquat, and there’s no longer any point in hoorawing them by way of direct quotation. His boy, now, is a different story. And Baptists don’t do totem poles. Except maybe the Eskimo Baptists. Q. What do you think of these legislators who are saying that two wrongs don’t make a right so the victims of rape or incest should be compelled to bear and rear the spawn of the crimes against them? A. If they want to crawl back where they came from, I’ll be glad to hold up the rock. Q. I think our civilization’s greatest achievement was putting men on the moon and getting them back home. What do you think it is? A. A friend of mine says it was invent-

ing the TV remote. I’d say concocting an effective underarm deodorant and persuading the generality to use it regularly, even most of the crackpots and misanthropes. Q. When does profiteering slip over into gouging? A. Gouging is like pornography – hard to define, but you know it when you see it. A telltale sign in the present epoch is when you feel a dipstick up the wazoo. Q. Have you been tempted to post a picture of yourself naked from the waist up on one of the social networks? It didn’t seem to work too well for Chris Lee (the congressman not the ball player). A. No, they didn’t have computer social networking back when I was young and ripped and working as a body double for the likes of Hulk Hogan and John Holmes. A good thing, too, because I might have been tempted, on account of I was pretty much a total idiot then, and vain, and impulsive. You’d never guess that seeing me now, stooped and world-weary from all the geezer wisdom I have to carry around. Q. Who do you think is or has been America’s greatest comedian? I’m torn between George Carlin and Richard Pryor. Groucho was a little before my time. A. My own favorite is Jonathan Winters, but I don’t think any of them can touch George W. Bush. Q. The authorities say that modern humans – pretty much the same beasts that we inhabit – have been extant for only about


40,000 years. How much longer do you think we’ll last? A. I’m hoping we last through 2012. Iffy, I know. I’m certain, though, that if there are three humans remaining in 3000 AD, one will be a Republican trying to screw the other two out of their share of whatever it is that they still use for money. Q. I heard the expression “playing footsie.” What does it mean? A. Maurice “Footsie” Britt was lieutenant governor of Arkansas back in the 1960s when Winthrop Rockefeller was governor. Britt was a hero of World War II. He lost an arm, I think at Anzio. It was said that after the war, although he could no longer play handsies, he kept his spirits up by “playing footsies.” I don’t know the game but it is said to resemble whist. Q. What do you think is the main difference between our time and T.S. Eliot’s time? A. In the same room our women come and go talking of Caravaggio. Q. Why do the heathen rage? A. When they’re driving, it’s usually because some lane-changer cut them off. Q. Are all these recent earthquakes the ones of prophesy that signify the onset of the End Times? A. No, these are a different bunch. They might indicate divine displeasure with the BCS series setup, but you never know. Sometimes an earthquake is just an earthquake.



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38 MARCH 2, 2011 • ARKANSAS TIMES 38 March 2, 2011 • ARKANSAS TIMES

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➤➤➤ The comprehensive list of everything worth doing this weekend from Times entertainment editor, Lindsey Millar. Whether it’s live music, dance, theater or an exhibit, Lindsey steers you to the best. The To-Do List email newsletter arrives in your in-box every Wednesday afternoon with an eye toward RIVERMARKET BAR & GRILL planning for your weekend. The To-Do List is a sure bet for your active life! CLUBS, CONCERTS & MORE @







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2616 KAVANAUGH HILLCREST 501.661.1167

Or call Phyllis at 375.2985 ext 364 or e-mail • March 2, 2011 39

ride the

Featuring John Legend & The Roots

Robert Plant & The Band of Joy Jeff Beck John Mellencamp Tom Jones Dr. John Wyclef Jean Arlo Guthrie Kenny G The Decemberists Bon Jovi Keb’ Mo’ Mighty Clouds of Joy Justin Townes Irma Thomas Robert Cray Ricky Skaggs Ivan Neville’s

April 29, 30th and May 1

$675 per person (double occupancy • $289 single supplement)

Price Includes:

Round-trip Transportation on the Arkansas Times Jazz Bus Three Nights at the Holiday Inn French Quarter Jazz Fest Tickets for Friday, Saturday and Sunday Louisiana Heritage Lunch On the Way to New Orleans Friday

Dumpstaphunk The Dixie Cups Vicki Winans Alejandro Sanz Jason Mraz Amos LeeRance Allen Ahmad Jamal The Avett Brothers Mumford & Sons… And a hundred other great musicians and groups. Go to for the full line up! Your tickets get you in to see all these acts and more!

Escorted by Times publisher Alan Leveritt and music editor Lindsey Millar.

rve Reseseat yourday! to

s u B z z Ja To The

Registration deadline is March 15

The Arkansas Times Jazz Bus leaves Little Rock early Friday morning and will arrive at the French Quarter Holiday Inn about 5 p.m. You will receive Jazz Fest Tickets for Friday night, all day Saturday and all day Sunday. The Jazz Bus will depart New Orleans mid-morning Monday and will arrive Little Rock about 8 p.m. that evening. Motor Coach Transportation Provided byArkansas Destinations/Little Rock Trailways

Charge by phone (all major credit cards) at 501-375-2985 or mail check or money-order to Arkansas Times Jazz Bus, Box 34010, Little Rock, AR 72203.

Arkansas Times  

Arkansas's Weekly Newspaper of Politics and Culture

Arkansas Times  

Arkansas's Weekly Newspaper of Politics and Culture