NEWS + POLITICS + ENTERTAINMENT + FOOD / MARCH 27, 2014 / ARKTIMES.COM
LIFE UPENDED The Mayflower oil spill robbed Michelle Ward of her middle-class dream. BY BENJAMIN HARDY
OIL & WATER DON’T MIX.
SAVING LAKE MAUMELLE, ONE DROP AT A TIME.
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MARCH 27, 2014
Better than Detroit Really? You print a dated column (Ed Gray’s “Walking in East Little Rock,” March 20) spouting statistics without citing sources on an area of Little Rock that has had more money poured into it than most places, an article that wanders into a food stamps versus the farm bill debate, and ends in a full attack of the Republican party not caring about the poor. All written originally for a website so extreme that it borders on Inverse Tea Party Squared! Are there issues with poverty in Little Rock and Arkansas? Absolutely! Is the city addressing that particular area? Yes they are. Is it perfect? No. Is it better than say, Detroit? Without a doubt. Why would you allow that kind of writing in your paper? What purpose does it serve? Since you “invited” Mr. Gray’s comments, should I believe you agree with him and his website? Are you that extreme? Is that how you view good reporting? Have you been to Second Street? Are you forgetting what the Clinton Library, Heifer Project, Chamber of Commerce, the Airport Commission and the city have done for that area? Do you remember the area before all that money was poured into the zone? You thought it was a good idea to bring in a “Guest Writer” to do a smear campaign on Little Rock? Really? Thomas McCain Little Rock
1970s. It’s slow going, but at least a gravel road will eventually get you to a location with food and that all-important restroom. If the Works Progress Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps could have built dams, roads and other public projects without modern tools, then the state ought to be able to train prisoners to operate road construction equipment. They could even build a few paved exits, say one every five miles with gravel exits every mile. Give the prisoners job training and put them to work off the prison farms. If the highway department needs more money, then the legislature just needs
to dedicate sales taxes on vehicles and repair parts to a special appropriation fund to pay for improvements based on population. This means appropriating the funds back to the areas where the taxes were collected. Central Arkansas could have had access roads on both sides of an eightlane U.S. 67/167, a four-lane Hwy. 161 and a six-lane Hwy. 107 years ago if Governor Rockefeller and the legislature had done this in the 1960s. Lastly, legislators need to remember that transportation delays cost businesses more than the savings they get from tax
Let us find your underground utilities before you do.
Highway money I doubt the Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats on the General Assembly really want to support what the Highway Department director had to say about the state’s response to the icy conditions last week that led to thousands of motorists being stuck on I-55 and I-40 for hours. They just want to cut taxes for their big business pals. They forget that small cuts may look good, but they don’t really affect people or businesses much. However, combined, that money adds up to a lot of cash for much needed state improvements. But in the short term, let’s just solve some of that limited exit problem by putting state prisoners to work building gravel and dirt emergency off ramps connecting the interstates and major highways with nearby county and state roads. If I had been stuck on I-40 or I-55 for hours, then I would have gladly driven a couple miles down a gravel road if it would have gotten me rolling on the way to pavement and a store, restaurant or motel! I remember my parents driving a couple miles on gravel roads to get to my grandmother’s farm in Wisconsin in the 4
MARCH 27, 2014
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From the web In response to Gene Lyons’ March 20 column “Ryan needs Swift kick”: It surely seems like Gene Lyons is trying to put words in Paul Ryan’s mouth. Ryan simply stated a fact that there is a welfare mentality in the inner city, which has bloomed during the failed War on Poverty that was declared by President Lyndon Johnson. Ryan did not resort to name-calling, as Lyons did in throwing his (I assume) deceased grandfather under the bus and referring to Ryan as a “tinhorn.” And to associate Ryan’s statement to the genocide that the English were certainly guilty of during the Irish Potato Famine is outrageous! Ryan did not propose taking away food or benefits from any recipients. He stated the system is broken in certain areas, which is, unfortunately, the case. We can and should do better to help those who are down on their luck, but it is not a permanent solution and should not be thought of that way by anyone. chicago irish Ryan should have left out “tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular” if he did not want his comments to be perceived as a racist dog whistle, or, as Gene characterized it, a “GOP air-raid siren.” There are ways of talking about poverty that don’t send that message. Gene, I’m remembering a column of yours during the last presidential election where you said Ryan was good looking. We had a short discussion about it. I don’t share your opinion, but even if he looked like George Clooney, his black heart would cancel out the good looks. He certainly hasn’t been listening to the Catholic Church doctrine about social justice, our obligations to our fellows, etc. Do you suppose Ryan likes Ayn Rand for the rapey sex scenes as much as he likes her morally bankrupt political philosophy? chicago, you might want to spend some time with David Simon, creator of “The Wire.” He’s as good a chronicler of inner city life as you will find these days. theoutlier
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Bring the cauliflower too What is the sound of one brussel sprouting? “From Janice Hough of leftcoastsportsbabe.com: “For a number of Jets fans, isn’t NY releasing Mark Sanchez and signing Michael Vick like your mom saying you don’t have to eat the broccoli but she’ll replace it with brussel sprouts?” I’d always assumed those little cabbagey things were named for the capital of Belgium and were therefore correctly referred to as Brussels sprouts. But I see on the Internet that large numbers of people do what this writer did, omit the final –s and make the –B lower-case. An authoritative-sounding online source, Grammarist, says confidently that the plant was named for the city, even though some publications choose not to use the capital B. Dropping the final s is “a common misspelling,” Grammarist says. Merriam-Webster uses brussels sprout. On the fence, Wikipedia says that “The Brussels sprout has long been popular in Brussels, Belgium, and may have originated there.” I attended a dinner recently at which leftcoastsportsbabe’s imaginings actually occurred. After an announcement by the master of ceremonies, the broccoli
on the menu was replaced by Brussels sprouts. The change produced a kind of confused growling from the DOUG guests. SMITH firstname.lastname@example.org I’m among the small group that likes both broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Certainly better than I like Michael Vick. Ingrid Bergman was no iceberg: “Corruption of the judiciary: [Judge] Maggio the tip of the iceburg” Guy Lancaster, editor of the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture, writes: “Of course that is supposed to be iceberg, coming to us from Scandinavian languages and meaning ‘mountain.’ Burg, of course, also has an origin in Germanic languages, but it means ‘town’ or ‘village.’ Interestingly, I’ve been studying Swedish for a few years now, and the final g in berg is pronounced with almost the same sound an ending y makes in English. Ingmar Bergman , therefore, is more correctly pronounced as Ingmar Berryman. I’ve not done any digging to see if our English surname Berryman comes from Bergman, but I bet it does.”
Find A Present From the Past Search. Claim. Collect. www.ar.gov/claimit
The State Auditor has $8.7 million in unclaimed life insurance benefits for over 5,000 Arkansans who worked hard to provide for their families after they had gone. If you are a beneficiary, this money is rightfully yours. If you think a family member may have left a policy behind, search for their name and claim your present from the past now.
The Great Arkansas Treasure Hunt State Auditor Charlie Daniels
WEEK THAT WAS
It was a good week for… REP. JEREMY GILLAM. The Judsonia Republican was elected Arkansas House Speaker-designate, thanks in part to support from some Democrats. In public statements, Gillam has seemed to aim for the relatively moderate tone (and support for the private option) of his predecessor, Davy Carter. If Democrats manage to retake control of the House, another speaker would be chosen. ADVOCATES FOR A JACKSONVILLE SCHOOL DISTRICT. The state Board of Education signed off on the proposal to allow an election to create a Jacksonville School District separate from the Pulaski County Special School District. The long-running school desegregation case, now nearing completion, had blocked the separation previously. The new district will qualify for state facility construction money. The election will be in September. The district would include Jacksonville and a section of northern Pulaski County.
It was a bad week for…
JUDGE MIKE MAGGIO. Because recusal requests have disrupted the orderly administration of justice in Maggio’s
court in Faulkner County, the state Supreme Court took the extraordinary step of removing his docket, assigning special judges to handle all cases pending before Maggio and any filed while the order is in effect. STATE WORKERS. According to the Beebe administration, the legislature’s recent override of Gov. Mike Beebe’s veto of a $5 million tax break for sand used in fracking for gas will cost state employees a 1 percent pay raise. VALERIE BAILEY. Judge John Cole disqualified Bailey as a candidate for the 6th Circuit judgeship to which Judge Tim Fox is seeking re-election. Cole agreed with a lawsuit saying Bailey hadn’t been licensed a sufficient period of time to qualify for the judgeship. KERRY WAYNE EVANS. Evans, one of the stars of “Clash of the Ozarks,” a Discovery Channel “reality” show set in Hardy that the Times featured on our cover last week, pleaded guilty to illegally possessing an unregistered machine gun. He faces 10 years of jail time and up to $250,000 in fines. Sentencing is scheduled for June 20.
Centaurus A Galaxy NGC 5128
THE EVOLVING UNIVERSE
Photo by: NASA/CXC/CfA/ R. Kraft et al.; Submillimeter: MPIfR/ESO/APEX/A. Weiss et al.; Optical: ESO/WFI
JANUARY 25 – APRIL 6 Take a mind-bending journey with us from present-day Earth to the far reaches of space and the distant past. Explore how stars and galaxies—even the universe itself— change from birth to maturity to death, much like living things on Earth. The Evolving Universe is organized by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in collaboration with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and is circulated by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.
The Sun Photo by NASA/SDO-AIA Team, Lockheed Martin/SAO
Center of the Milky Way Galaxy Photo byPhoto: X-ray: NASA/CXC/ UMass/D. Wang et al.; Optical: NASA/ESA/STScI/D. Wang et al.; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSC/S. Stolovy
LAMAN LIBRARY 2801 ORANGE STREET • NORTH LITTLE ROCK 5 0 1 - 7 5 8 -1 7 2 0 • W W W. L A M A N L I B R A R Y. O R G www.arktimes.com
MARCH 27, 2014
EYE ON ARKANSAS
romoters of school vouchers argue tiresomely that voucher-school students do better academically than public-school students. It’s untrue, as every study shows. Wisconsin has the oldest private-school voucher program in the U.S. The most recent study shows that students participating in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program scored proficient or advanced on standardized tests at a rate of 34.4 percent in math and 55.2 percent in reading. Students in Milwaukee public schools scored proficient or advanced at a rate of 48.7 percent in math and 59 percent in reading on the same tests. 6
MARCH 27, 2014
udicial politics in Faulkner and Conway counties was a colorful, if smelly, business in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. A gang of judges, legislators and county officials regularly used the courts to advance the interests of themselves and their deep-pocketed friends, and they did it more or less openly as well as lightheartedly. Critics were called “naive” and “radical,” even occasionally clapped in jail when they got too bothersome. Those proponents of good, honest courts in the area included the state’s largest newspaper and Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller, the first Republican to hold the office in a century, a fighting liberal too rich and too honest to be corrupted. Over time, death and loss of office diminished the old bunch. But apparently there’s a would-be successor. A public-spirited blogger has exposed the questionable dealings of Circuit Judge Mike Maggio, a Republican but not the Rockefeller sort. With strong party and business support, Maggio had been running for the state Court of Appeals, until the blogger, Matt Campbell, revealed Maggio’s highly questionable receipt of funds from rich defendants in Maggio’s court. Maggio has now dropped out of the race and faces further investigation. Around the country, rich right-wing groups have been pouring money into state judicial races they never paid attention to before, believing that in this way they can change laws that don’t favor the fortunate 1 percent. Retired Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Robert L. Brown has, on the other hand, warned against the danger of Arkansas courts being corrupted by specialinterest money. He has made modest proposals to inhibit the wealthy ideologues who’d do it. And for this, he has been attacked by the state’s largest newspaper of today, a much different entity from the one that opposed corruption in the courtroom years ago. Vigilance is required of those who believe the courts are for everyone. We can’t have as much money as the radical 1-percenters. We can try to be as alert. We can be more patriotic.
DERBY NIGHT: The Breakneck Brawlers and Sisterhood of Steel met for a roller derby bout Saturday at the UALR Fieldhouse.
Open the closets
quality is winning, even when the victories seem like losses. Increasingly, gay people are being accepted into society’s mainstream. Legal barriers remain, but they are falling. There are setbacks — teachers fired from parochial school jobs and petty harassment of people like Taylor Ellis, a junior at Sheridan High School. The Yellowjacket yearbook staff wrote profiles of six students with personal challenges. One was Ellis, who’d made the decision, with some trepidation, to come out as gay. He found fellow students generally welcoming and is happier living openly. He’s joined the National Guard and will go to basic training this summer to serve his country. Schools administrators decided his story was unsuitable for a student publication, despite a state law that severely limits the occasions when school officials can censor student work. (Mostly they may act only to prevent libel, invasion of privacy or inciting of illegal acts.) “Too personal,” said the principal. Superintendent Brenda Haynes said the censorship was “consistent with the mission” of the district. She didn’t explain how. The Arkansas Times broke the news in Arkansas after a student press organization wrote about it. TV stations picked up the story. The Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights organization headed by Arkansas native Chad Griffin, a former Sheridan elementary student, rallied to the cause. The yearbook has gone to press. Some civil libertarians think a First Amendment lawsuit, should the student journalists file one, could force the district to print and distribute a supplement. Hannah Bruner, who wrote the profile and has stood upright beside Ellis, needs no court validation of her integrity. Her article on Ellis has now reached tens of thousands, reprinted first in the Arkansas Times and then many other places with enormous reach. Publication or no publication, lawsuit or no lawsuit, Taylor Ellis and Hannah Bruner have won. They have won, as countless others have won. People
who step out of the closet and into the sunlight have made America understand that gay people are our friends, neighbors, colleagues and relatives. It is easy to fear and loathe the unknown. It’s harder to MAX despise real people, though undeBRANTLEY niably Sheridan and the rest of the email@example.com world number many still eager to condemn. The national media attention inspired some backlash against Ellis from classmates. But, increasingly, it is the condemnatory who are being driven into closets. Just the other day, the CEO of Chickfil-A acknowledged that little good had come of having his fast-food chain identified as a symbol of intolerance toward gay people. For every person waving a chicken nugget in support of discrimination against gay people, the spectacle left others with little appetite for the chain’s unremarkable chicken. The world is nearly at the point that gay epithets are as unacceptable in polite company as racial epithets. Taylor Ellis and people like him have made that possible. See, too, the steadily rising poll numbers for equality, in employment and in marriage. Holdouts, including the Sheridan school superintendent and some brutish kids, remain. But even in small town Sheridan, with powerful conservative churches, the high school tells the story. The kids know Taylor Ellis is gay. Most of them say, “So what?” A civil liberties lawyer who’s battled bullying among children says the situation hardly surprises her. Most bullying cases aren’t a problem because of kids. School officials are the problem. They either tolerate bullying by a few or, worse, they are bullies themselves. The Sheridan school superintendent decided that Taylor Ellis wouldn’t be allowed to talk about who he was in HER school district. But if this bully thinks she won it’s because her only source of information is the censored Sheridan High Yellowjacket yearbook. The worldwide web went to press before the yearbook did.
At mid-term, it’s Obama vs. Koch
t is never a tribute to the savvy of voters when an election degenerates into a battle of surrogates or whipping boys, to borrow a great institution from the Tudor kings, who when the prince misbehaved had his best friend cudgeled.
Democracy depends upon the voters not being gulled so easily. But that is what we have in 2014 in Arkansas — and in many other places as well. If you are a Republican running for the U.S. Senate, or even the state legislature, your opponent is Barack Obama and maybe his evil friends, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Why shouldn’t you run against them? Since 2010 they have supplied the angst for many a Republican victory and you won’t have Obama for another election after this one. Democrats have badly needed to find their own stand-ins when the Republican candidates are themselves not quite scary enough. They may have found them in the Koch brothers, David and Charles. It remains to be seen whether the Kochs, who between them are rich enough to run
the whole state of Arkansas from their hip pockets for the next 16 years, can be made to be as scary as the black ERNEST man from ChiDUMAS cago who signed the Affordable Care Act and then killed Osama bin Laden. Probably not, but they are the best the Democrats have. They are the best that Sen. Mark Pryor has at the moment. If the election were to be decided on political philosophy and the self-interest of voters or even on personality, Pryor would run away with it. His cautious middle-ofthe-road stance on just about everything, which dismays liberals and enrages archconservatives, is where most voters think they are. Only the tea-party right agrees with Rep. Tom Cotton’s position on much of anything — Social Security, Medicare, the rest of Paul Ryan’s spending ideas, foreign policy and warmaking, wages or you name it.
Hobby Lobby case affects more than just contraception
’ve known for years that the founders of Hobby Lobby and I diverged on some fundamental societal values. Still, lacking the patience for activities such as scrapbooking or candle-making, the store has never been relevant to me; avoiding it created as little personal sacrifice as veering away from Chick-fil-A (as a vegetarian, not much). Because of the corporation’s lawsuit challenging a provision of the Affordable Care Act, heard this week by the U.S. Supreme Court, it’s a company that soon may be deeply relevant to all Americans. In a compromise that was key to the law’s passage, most employers that provide employees health care coverage must now allow female employees to access all contraception methods without charging copays or other fees. Hobby Lobby (along with a Pennsylvania cabinet company in a separate case) argues that certain emergency contraception methods that must be covered veer into abortifacients and, therefore, the company is forced to choose between its core religious tenets and the large fine brought about by violating the act. Obamacare will ultimately be recognized
as one of the nation’s most important sex antidiscrimination measures and the contraceptive provision is a key comJAY ponent of its being BARTH a force for equality. American women vary dramatically in access to contraceptive coverage and myriad studies have shown that even when women’s insurers provide coverage, high copays often push women to use less effective methods or to use contraception in an inconsistent manner. The well-regarded Guttmacher Institute, which filed an amicus brief in the case, notes the disproportionate impact on working class women. Starting to use implants and IUDs have costs equal to a minimum-wage worker’s monthly pay; emergency contraception used in the most dire circumstances is similarly not fiscally feasible for many women. But, the import of the case goes far beyond women’s equality. Hobby Lobby grounds its claims in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) of 1993, a law that was overwhelmingly passed by Congress and signed by Presi-
But those are matters about which voters know very little and Pryor and his party have had and will have little success in educating them. Neither the president nor the Democrats in Congress who wrote it or voted for it could explain or convincingly promote the Affordable Care Act, at least with anything like the cleverness, gusto and often deceit of the opposition. So now Pryor will face an electorate hostile to the health reforms that he voted for, although the only 300,000 or so Arkansans directly affected by it so far — those who have won health insurance, most for the first time, or benefited from expanded coverage or benefits — should be grateful to him. But it is safe to say that many, perhaps most, of them won’t connect their better fortunes to either Obamacare or Pryor. So we have a proxy race for the Senate between Barack Obama and the Koch brothers, who with eight months to go have spent $30 million on attack ads against Pryor and the handful of other Democratic senators who are considered vulnerable this year. Whatever portals you go to on the Internet, you are liable to come across ads warning about Pryor’s “lies” or mischief. When you click on them, Barack Obama morphs into the scene. Now you’re seeing a few retaliations with the Kochs as the demons. They actually make pretty persuasive
ones, maybe more persuasive than Obama as a surrogate for Pryor. Pryor has been less supportive of the president than any other Democrat in the Senate. The Kochs’ $80 billion in personal wealth includes vast holdings in oil, gas, coal, pipelines and manufacturing, including ownership of much of the paper industry in Arkansas and across the country. The price for owning pivotal congressional seats and legislative factions in states like Arkansas, where their interests are so manifestly subject to pollution regulation and taxation, is trivial compared with the benefits. Despite throwing tens of millions of dollars at defeating Democrats in 2012, Charles Koch added $6 billion to his net worth that year, according to Forbes. Political bogeymen are nothing new. Al Smith and John F. Kennedy had to run with the pope as their proxy. Sen. Dale Bumpers’ opponents, Asa Hutchinson and Mike Huckabee, regularly accused him of voting with Sen. Ted Kennedy, so widely despised in the South, 96 or 98 percent of the time. They’re absolutely wrong, Bumpers would reply. “Kennedy votes with me 98 percent of the time.” He was going to have a stern talk with Kennedy about leaving the traces that 2 per cent. Humor doesn’t work in this climate, and Pryor doesn’t have the Bumpers touch anyway. Who does?
dent Clinton. Its purpose was, in essence, porations as “persons” in the eyes of the to overturn a 1990 Supreme Court case in Supreme Court. While the infamous Citiwhich a majority opinion by Justice Antonin zens United case in 2010 granted corporaScalia argued that religious practices should tions First Amendment protections in the not trump a “neutral law of general appli- realm of political speech, a favorable ruling cability.” The Supreme Court reasserted for the corporations here would extend the 1990 decision in striking down RFRA the constitutional rights of a corporation to as applied to state and local governments another component of the First Amendment in a 1997 case. — free exercise of religion. As two authors of The Hobby Lobby case centers on amicus briefs in the Hobby Lobby case point whether RFRA can be used to stymie a out, across the decades and across the ideofederal regulatory act. A victory by Hobby logical spectrum, Supreme Court justices Lobby would give rise to challenges to cur- have agreed that corporations should have rent and future federal laws that infringe only narrowly defined constitutional rights, upon some private entities’ religious tenets. differentiating them starkly from individuMoreover, it will send a signal for how state- als. Another positive outcome for corporate level RFRA’s (several around the country, personhood in this case would move us with more under consideration) will be ana- increasingly towards a reality where, indeed, lyzed by the federal courts. Most attention “corporations are people, my friend.” Such on this issue has focused on the implica- a reality would starkly limit the governtions of RFRA’s in “protecting” those with ment’s ability to control those corporations religious objections from being subject to even when they engage in practices that are laws that bar discrimination against gays harmful to society. and lesbians, but others have argued with The current Supreme Court has tended a straight face that minimum wage laws toward narrow decisions saving some and health and safety rules intrude into aspects in key cases to be answered later. their core religious beliefs. Thus, a win for Thus, the legal questions related to religious Hobby Lobby has the potential to create “a freedom and corporate personhood that are system in which each conscience is a law part of the Hobby Lobby case may not be unto itself” (to quote Justice Scalia from fully answered this year. Yet even a nudge in one direction or the other will have big the 1990 decision). Finally, a victory for Hobby Lobby ramifications for more than just access to would only further cement the rise of cor- contraceptives. www.arktimes.com
MARCH 27, 2014
PEARLS ABOUT SWINE
Hogs in disarray
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MARCH 27, 2014
he song remained the same, even until the last screeching notes. Arkansas’s first postseason basketball of any kind in the Obama tenure went about as you’d expect. The Hogs stormed into Bud Walton Arena for an NIT opener against Indiana State and really sort of electrified a halfenthused home crowd en route to a 20-point rout. They followed that by going to Berkeley to play Cal again, and thanks to it being late Monday night on spring break, not many people got to see them send a bunch of bad shots skyward. The Golden Bears pummeled the Hogs by 11, leading by well more than that until a late flurry trimmed the end margin to something more reflective of a competitive affair. Mind you, it wasn’t: Cal had 31 points before the Hogs broke 10, and even though Arkansas was clearly off-line from long range, missing 10 three-point tries in a row to start the game, the heaves just kept coming. By the end of the game and season, Arkansas’s four seniors had amassed a whopping eight points, and sadly Coty Clarke’s fine two-year stint here ended with him going scoreless. That’s not an indictment of his leadership by any means, as the juniorcollege product quietly contributed in many ways to a 22-win season. But that goose egg does still offer a lens through which to observe the state of this union, as it were. Even the Razorbacks’ most consistent and mature player isn’t immune to a no-show, and that encapsulates not only this campaign but also the Mike Anderson tenure generally. For all the uplifting moments, the SportsCenter vignettes, here sits a team that is still pretty much in disarray. Clarke’s absence will deprive Arkansas of one of its better “intangibles” players in the post-Corey Beck era next fall, at a time when the program needs something resembling Gibraltar. There’s athleticism aplenty on the roster that presumably will carry over to 2014-15, but we’ve been able to say that in many Marches before. What is the identity of Arkansas basketball now? This hashtagheavy era of puffery places marketing weight on Anderson’s claim to commandeer the fastest team in the country, but nobody would accuse
any of his three squads to date of playing with much composure. Would we not trade all BEAU this for “#smartWILCOX est40” any day of the week? Anderson’s leash is long, as it should be. He inherited a bad program and it has upticked slightly. That’s about the summation of it, and it’s not a particularly happy tale, but there it is. Had Arkansas fans been told three years ago upon hearing of Anderson’s hiring that three seasons later he’d have us winning an NIT game, the smirks and snorts of contempt would’ve been audible and numerous. The basketball program is now in that bizarre territory where the football program has long resided: generally inoffensive and occasionally dangerous, but far removed from being any kind of regular threat. You’ll no doubt recall that the Hogs punished highly rated teams here and there under Houston Nutt’s watch, only to stub toes against lesser foes often, and in infuriating fashion. Now that the Hogs’ season is over, what is the net gain? That they beat Sweet 16 entrant Kentucky twice in overtime? That they nearly pulled off the remarkable takedown of Florida? Where the curious disparity exists is in the grit-your-teeth-and-supportAnderson mantra relative to the enmity toward Bret Bielema. Arkansas hired an accomplished, relatively young and fairly well-respected football coach from a major conference for the first time in its history, and asked him to rebuild a program decimated by awful publicity brought on it by two head coaches whose combined efforts dragged the entire operation into the gulch. After a single 3-9 season, which was admittedly difficult to stomach but no less of a hair-pulling experience than the 4-8 campaign before it, some Hog “fans” are ready to throw Bielema on a pointy stake, tell him to take his boring-ass football back to the tundra, and hand the reins back to some hillbilly reprobate. Anderson skates along seemingly impervious to such criticism. Will that remain the case next season? We can all speculate.
THE OBSERVER NOTES ON THE PASSING SCENE
After the crash WE WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND why we do certain things, a rule for which The Observer can think of no better or more jarring example than the events of the recent ice storm, which struck Little Rock earlier this month when we least expected it. Many residents likely took one glance at the dire weather conditions and opted to stay in for the night. The Observer got in his car and jumped on I-40, more concerned with finding an appropriate radio station than with any safety precautions necessitated by these near-traumatic wintry circumstances. We went with Heartbeat 106.7, for whatever that’s worth. It seemed manageable, like a heavy rain. Why not? Somewhere near mile marker 202, as The Jacksons launched into “Goin’ Places,” the title track from their 1977 LP, we lost control of the Camry in a patch of slush, and it glided several degrees out of our reach. By the time we stopped, the car had sort of violently melded with the guard rail at the median, spun around so that the windshield faced oncoming traffic, which was sparse. We chewed on a cough drop while we surveyed the damage, which our polite insurance claims representative would later label a “total loss,” in the parlance of that industry. The police officer who arrived at the scene was unsympathetic, and we remember little of this encounter, except that his name was James Taylor. If The Observer had our wits about us, we might have made a “Fire and Rain” joke, though that would have been hacky, and anyway there was no rain, just sleet. This is all just a long and involved way of explaining why The Observer has been on foot lately, much more often than usual in fact. The better to appreciate Little Rock’s timeless and disparate architecture. Why drive through the Quapaw Quarter when you can walk? That’s a rhetorical question. The truth is, we live in a dynamic and beautiful city. It’s important that you appreciate this and do so now, while it is a luxury rather than an imperative. And if you happen to be driving to Kroger in the near future, why not see if your neighbor needs a ride? I know I do. AND SPEAKING OF WRECKS: The Observer is a law abiding sort. We try to keep our nose clean. We’re not down with the prigs down at the Ladies Temperance
League, or the Society for a Less Interesting Society, or the Church of the Tasteful Adoration of the Resurrected Almighty, but we try to stay as moral as we can none-theless. We try to be, to paraphrase the great Kurt Vonnegut, the kind of guy who will one day be able to stand a little shamefacedly before the throne of the Lord up in heaven and say: “You know, I had my doubts about whether You were really up here or not, Big G, but I was a stand-up Joe anyway. Put that in Your pipe and smoke it.” We’re hoping to win a few points with Him through pluck alone. We started thinking all this jazz about morality and doing what you ought when we pulled up Dr. Zuckerberg’s Fantabulastic Book o’ Faces the other day and saw where our friend, Brian Chilson, erstwhile shutterbug at the Arkansas Times, had been involved in a broad-daylight hit and run in downtown Little Rock. Brian was motoring along at Third and Scott on Monday when another driver cut across his lane and ran a newer, maroon pickup right into the front corner of Brian’s Ford compact, busting up the headlight real good and putting a gash you could slide a Pop Tart through in the grinning little Ford’s silver cheek. The two adversaries dismounted, paperwork in hand. Discussions ensued in the middle of the street over who had the green (both did, though Brian was going straight). With traffic blocked, Brian suggested they pull over into a nearby lot to exchange insurance info. Brian limped his steed on over there, parked, got out with his license and insurance information, then waited, and waited, and waited. Soon — after a long while of considering whether another human being could, in fact, be that big of a dookheel — it became apparent to Brian that the other driver had skedaddled. Yes, Brian, there are in fact jackasses in the barnyard, and they’re always the ones who make it so hard to remain an upstanding, empathetic duck or sheep or pony. We want to believe, however, and so we’ll just pretend that fella in the pickup truck had a wife giving birth to quadruplets across town or something. That said, we can’t help but suspect that somebody’s going to have some ’splaining to do if or when it comes time to face The Big G, and it ain’t gonna be Brian Chilson, upstanding citizen of Little Rock.
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MARCH 27, 2014
IN S IDE R
UN plot in Mountain View Secure Arkansas warns that a plan to create a historic district in Mountain View is a United Nations plot. No joke. A headline on the antiimmigrant group’s website reads, “Agenda 21 at the door of Mountain View.” Agenda 21 — for 21st century — is a voluntary UN initiative to support sustainable development. Its imagined peril has been a rallying cry among the foil-helmet crowd in Arkansas against everything from voluntary stewardship of the White River to bike paths in Jonesboro. The problem: A historic district has been proposed for a portion of Mountain View. A public hearing was set for Tuesday, after press time. Secure Arkansas never makes it clear why the UN is interested in a modest historic preservation effort in Mountain View. The town does a handsome tourism trade built around preserving old-school music with gatherings in the quaint downtown. But trust Secure Arkansas. They’re dead serious. If this isn’t stopped, they want the legislature to de-fund the Arkansas Heritage Department.
Reality show natural Arkansas ties are limitless in the unending diet of reality TV shows but here’s one with an Arkansas political angle sufficient to merit a mention. A Little Rock Republican politico is in the cast of Al Jazeera America’s “Borderland.” The show, which premieres April 13, features six Americans retracing the steps of migrants who died trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. Our angle is Alison Melder, 28, of Little Rock, described as a Republican state Senate aide. She holds up her end of the political spectrum. She thinks those who enter without permission take U.S. jobs and should be deported. Here’s her description on the show’s webpage: “A former beautician and bikini model who had never traveled outside the United States, Alison became intrigued when she saw a tweet from ‘Borderland’ producers offering to provide more information about immigration. “ ‘It was out of nowhere. I wrote and filled out an application — never CONTINUED ON PAGE 11 10
MARCH 27, 2014
S.O.S. Little Rock resident recounts nervous hours aboard a sinking schooner adrift in the Pacific. BY DAVID KOON
n the upside, Little Rock’s Mike O’Bryant will have a great yarn to tell his grandkids someday. A caddie at West Pulaski County’s private Alotian golf course, O’Bryant was one of three men aboard an 80-yearold wooden sailboat in February when it began to take on water 90 miles off the coast of Nicaragua. How it got there, and how he lived to tell the tale, is a brostory for the ages. See, O’Bryant has this friend named Zach Morrison. Morrison, a Mississippi native who O’Bryant met while they were both working as golf pros at a course in the Magnolia State, is sort of a free spirit. So it was par for the course, pun intended, when Morrison called up O’Bryant one day to tell him he’d bought a double-masted mahogany schooner built around the time Prohibition ended. There was only one problem: the boat was currently anchored in Los Angeles. Morrison eventually hit on the idea that he wanted to sail it from there to the Mississippi Gulf coast. “He has a lot of crazy friends, and I think I was one of his first calls,” O’Bryant said. “I was like, ‘Where is this sailboat? He said, ‘It’s in Los Angeles. I’m going to sail it home through the Panama Canal.’ I said, ‘Man, I’m in.’ ” Morrison and O’Bryant left Los Angeles aboard the schooner — rechristened Rebel Yell — on Dec. 15. By then, Morrison had been funded by a publisher
to write a memoir about the adventure. For a month, they cruised south down the west coast of Mexico, fishing, stopping in beautiful ports and soaking up the sun. Everywhere they went, the Rebel Yell drew a crowd. “It was beautiful boat,” O’Bryant said. “The fun thing was, anywhere we stopped, the boat itself was a celebrity ... anywhere we stopped and dropped anchor in a marina, everyone had to come look at the boat.” O’Bryant’s father, Robert O’Bryant, joined them in Cabo San Lucas, and the three pressed on, soon leaving the coast of Mexico behind. They were 100 miles off the coast of Nicaragua when they spotted the black wall of a storm ahead, between them and their next port in Costa Rica. They had no choice but to sail into it. Within hours, they were in a giant washing machine, tossed by 15- to 20-foot swells that rocked the boat every few seconds. Though they never saw much rain, O’Bryant said, the huge waves off the storm kept coming for days. “We were so tired,” he said. “I slept for about two hours one night, because I was so exhausted after two days. I woke up, and I had rugburns on my elbows and knees because I’d slid around in my bunk so much.” Exhausted, the days blurred together. The relentless seas began to take their toll on the schooner as well. First, the
jib sail at the front of the boat slipped out of the canvas cradle that held it and fell into the water, then the cables that held the mast began to snap. O’Bryant began to have a sense of impending doom. “Things kept going wrong, and I thought, ‘We’re never going to get to Costa Rica. The boat’s going to sink.’ ” That thought surely felt like a premonition when O’Bryant went below deck and noticed water standing in the bottom of the hold. At first, he didn’t really believe they were taking on water. The Rebel Yell was triple hulled and built on a solid oak frame, he said, a “tank” that could have sailed through a brick wall. Soon, however, he found the Achilles Heel by which the ship was eventually lost. At the rear of the boat, below the water line, the rudder shaft came through the hull by way of two metal plates with a piece of wood sandwiched between them, all of it held together by two large bolts to form a gasket and keep out the sea. At some point in the past, O’Bryant said, somebody had installed a piece of regular ol’ plywood in the middle of that sandwich. The relentless swells pushing and pulling the rudder had caused the rudder shaft to rock back and forth, which caused a small leak, which soon soaked the piece of plywood. Once the plywood was wet, it started to disintegrate, allowing the leak to grow. “A previous owner used an inferior piece of wood where he shouldn’t have and painted it black,” O’Bryant said. “This thing, it passed safety inspections, insurance surveys, but everyone just kind of overlooked it because it looked legit. ... When it started getting wet, of course, that piece of plywood just started falling apart. By the time we realized it, this thing’s falling apart, we’re taking on water, we can’t fix this, we’re too far offshore. The only way to have fixed it was to take the boat out of the water, and take the rudder off. It was a big problem.” Even when faced with the fact that the boat was probably going to the bottom of the Pacific in the middle of a storm, O’Bryant said that everyone on board kept their cool. “I said to my friend, ‘Man, we’re taking on water.’... I took him down there, and we’re watching this water just steady come into the CONTINUED ON PAGE 29
John “Bopper” Richardson is a tow-truck driver at Rick’s Automotive and Wrecker Service in Hazen, where he was born and raised.
y grandpa named me Bopper back when I was just a little kid, and nobody seems to know why. That’s just what they call me. Matter of fact, even up through school I actually signed my papers Bopper. I’ve been here 45 years and everybody around here knows me by that, a lot of them probably don’t even know what my name is. I been a truck driver my whole life, some kind of truck anyway. My uncle drove for a guy, and one day he asked me did I want to go on a trip with him. After that I co-drove for him for probably a year and a half and then I started driving myself. I’ve been driving a wrecker with Rick here for about eight years now, and before that I done about four years with another wrecking company down the road. There’s not a typical day on this job, and that’s just being honest. I might make seven, eight, nine hundred dollars this week, and then next week I might not make but a hundred. I’ve been doing it for so long now I don’t know any other way to do it. A lot of people will get their check and just go spend, spend, spend. I’m not like that. I’m pretty tight with my money. A typical deal is just you sit around and wait for the phone to ring. Pretty much I’m on call 24/7. But I actually go on, where I can’t leave town at all, after 5 o’clock until 7 in the morning. So I just sit around and watch a little TV and visit with my people. And I wait for the phone to ring. Physically, sometimes it’s awful. I worked one not too long ago that was out in the woods. The guy had run his truck off the road and gone out into the trees. We had two wreckers out there and it took us about seven hours to get it back to the highway, just pulling it six inches at a time. They don’t never come out as easy as they go in. You hear little things from people. When I start hearing
stuff I start watching the news, and my fiancee’s got the fancy phone where she can pull the weather up. So we just kinda keep a watch on that. But I’ve been doing it so long now I can just about go outside and just feel it. I ain’t the storm-whisperer, you know what I’m saying, but I can just about tell when it’s going to be ugly out there. I went to Tulsa right before that last big storm come in, and it caught me. It took me three or four hours to get up there but it took me 12 hours to get home. That was the storm that hit Little Rock so hard, where the cars were parked everywhere. I seen more wrecks around the Little Rock area than I seen in a long time. That’s like a Christmas morning deal, like a bonus. A lot of times I’ll go all night and not get no calls, but when it gets icy like that you know you’re going to make some money. All of us were on call probably 24 hours that night. But staying awake is just second nature, I just do. I don’t drink coffee. I just know I got to get home to my beautiful, beautiful lady. She’s always calling and texting and checking on me. Most of the time we take whoever was in the vehicle with us. I enjoy visiting with people. When you’re talking to different folks all the time, you’re always going to learn something from them. I usually try to lighten up the atmosphere. Maybe crack a couple of jokes with them, try to put them at ease. Of course, some of these folks that we pick up are buttholes. They actually think that we owe them something. It’s not our fault that they had a wreck. I worked one not too long ago, might have been a year or so now. A girl that I grew up with, her son got hit by a truck, on a four-wheeler. And when I got out there to get the vehicle, the kid was actually burned up underneath. I MATT AMARO
CONTINUED ON PAGE 38
Tune in to the Times’ “Week In Review” podcast each Friday. Available on iTunes & arktimes.com
INSIDER, CONT. thinking in a million years it would become real,’ says Alison, who earned a degree in political science in college. ‘I got my passport just for this show.’ “She works as a Republican state Senate aide in Little Rock and is ‘angry and frustrated with our system and our government’ MELDER when it comes to immigration. ‘I can’t understand how there could be 11 million-plus undocumented people in the U.S. and that we don’t know who they are,’ she says, adding that many are ‘welfare projects’ who undercut the ‘legal’ workforce. “A born-again Christian who had the word ‘saved’ tattooed on her arm, Alison says taking part in “Borderland” changed her. “ ‘Last year I knew I was a Christian, but I didn’t know how to be a Christian,’ she says. ‘I think this trip taught me to humble myself and love everyone equally.’ ” Perhaps that name is familiar to regular Arkansas Times readers. She’s the same Alison Melder who the website Deadspin.com revealed exchanged more than 200 text messages with former Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino. She’s also a past paid employee of the state Republican Party.
Blanche and Sheldon Everybody’s entitled to a lobbyist, right? Even Sheldon Adelson, the Republican casino mogul. He’s hired Blanche Lincoln’s lobbying firm in his battle to make Internet gambling illegal. From the Hill: “Adelson, a casino magnate, argues that the Internet betting is bad for society and could put the traditional casinos out of business. He created the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, as part of the effort. Top casino competitors like Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts have split with Adelson, forming their own lobbying and advocacy coalitions.” Casinos? Good for society. We wonder if the legislation goes after the rise in Internet wagering on horse races. Oh, wait. Forgot. That’s a game of skill. Just like those slot machines down at the Oaklawn Racino. www.arktimes.com
MARCH 27, 2014
MICHELLE WARD: Holding out for what she believes Exxon owes her.
One year later, residents and stakeholders in Mayflower consider the toll exacted by Exxon’s oil spill.
BY BENJAMIN HARDY
n the spring of 2009, Michelle Ward was her way toward a solid foothold in the middle mate cause to be a 60-year-old manufacturing defect finishing her last semester at UCA. She class. She was a supervisor in a three-person in the pipe. Microscopic cracks in the steel slowly was on her own, supporting her 2-year- office for a firm that provided sales and account- evolved into a total failure of the metal, and a 22-foot old daughter, Kayla. The economy was in ing services to larger companies. She had a sec- split ripped open along a welding seam that Good recession, and the future looked uncer- ond daughter, an infant, and Kayla had made Friday afternoon. Technicians shut down the line tain, but she decided to take a leap: She secured a friends with the neighbor children living on soon after the spill was reported, and it has remained loan to build a home. By October, she had moved North Starlite Road. Ward wasn’t quite where turned off since. Oil soaked into yards and poured through drainout of the Conway apartment she’d shared with she wanted to be just yet — her credit was not her college roommate for the previous six years good, her bills caused concern some months — age ditches as it ran beneath Interstate 40 and into an and into a brand new brick house in a subdivi- but she’d come a long way. inlet of Lake Conway called Dawson Cove. Fumes “The stability came with the home,” she said. hung heavy in the air throughout town, sparking sion, Northwoods, that is located in a sleepy town just off Interstate 40 heading south towards her “It helped to ground things and make things headaches, nausea and respiratory problems. Local, hometown of North Little Rock. seem somewhat OK even when everything else state and federal authorities teamed with Exxon “I knew nothing about Mayflower,” said Ward, wasn’t, because no one was going to take the to manage the unfolding crisis under the banner now 29. “I mean, it’s like you blink and you miss house from me.” of “Mayflower Unified Command,” and residents Then, on March 29, a pipeline burst open in and first responders sprang into action to plug the it — I didn’t even know it existed. But it was quiet and nice and I found a builder ... who was build- the easement behind her house and spilled an culverts that separate Dawson Cove from the rest of ing homes already and could do it in my price estimated 210,000 gallons of crude oil into her the lake. Residents of 22 homes in the Northwoods range. I’d be an idiot to have turned it down. street and beyond. subdivision were evacuated immediately, including Some people said, ‘Don’t do it, you can’t have Michelle Ward and her daughters. Exxon provided a home, you need to just stay in an apartment.’ speedy assistance to these families — free lodging, You know, I don’t make that much money, but It’s been one year since ExxonMobil’s Pegasus helpful claims personnel, and an offer to directly it was an opportunity to better my life and bet- pipeline ruptured in Mayflower. Although it’s still buy any of the 22 houses at their pre-spill appraised ter Kayla’s life.” not entirely clear why the disaster happened when value. Along with the other 40 families in NorthFour years later, in 2013, Ward was groping and where it did, an investigation found the proxiCONTINUED ON PAGE 14
THE SPILL AND AFTER
MARCH 27, 2014
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
woods, each was given a $10,000 check to compensate them for “nuisance.” Meanwhile, although oil remained standing on the ground for days afterward, Mayflower residents living outside of the Northwoods subdivision received no evacuation notice and little or no compensation from Exxon in the following months. Some complained that the company was attempting to mask its larger negligence with its apparent generosity toward “the golden 22,” as one aggrieved citizen put it last summer. As public attention faded, the gilding wore away. By October — the four-year anniversary of her purchase of the house on Starlite Road — Ward and her kids had been living in a hotel room for seven months. She was now working at her parents’ business, having lost her job in the chaos after the spill. Between attending town hall meetings, changing hotel rooms, and juggling her kids, she missed too much work at a peak time and her branch office was shut down. “It just was all bad timing. It was right in the middle of our every-six-years new contracts. A corporate office in another state — they really don’t care what’s going on in your neighborhood with the oil spill when you’re messing with their money. Of course, they were somewhat nice. They said, ‘Go file your unemployment, you won’t have any issues.’ ” “But that’s just a side note,” she continued. “You know, crap happens. It was my fault. I should have been on top of my game, and I wasn’t.” Ward did not take up Exxon’s offer to buy her home because it made no financial sense for her. The terms of her loan 14
MARCH 27, 2014
SPILLWAY: The oil traveled down ditches that lead to a cove of Lake Conway.
ONE OF MANY FOR SALE ON STARLITE: A model home will open soon to encourage sales.
stipulate penalties for an early sale, and she holds little equity in her home. Selling to Exxon, she said, would leave her without the cash (or credit) to easily start over. The company also offered a one-time settlement check as an alternative to selling, but Ward said it wouldn’t be enough to put a down payment on a new home. “They would have put us in a hole,” she said. “A huge hole. It’s crazy. It took everything for me to even be able to build that home. They didn’t want to individualize and help people. I can’t tell you how many
times I’ve cried to them and asked them to help me find a different alternative than A, B or C, because A, B and C did not work for me. And I wasn’t about to sell them my home and ... what? Then what? What do I do with my children? We wouldn’t have a home; we wouldn’t have shelter. “I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve had to struggle, or that things might have been difficult at times. The fact is that I wasn’t planning on selling this home. And because of that, there’s certain things that now they’ve messed up.
“I’ve worked really hard to move up the ladder in life, and they’ve taken me down the ladder so far in such a short time.”
THE LITIGATION AHEAD Records from the Faulkner County Assessor’s office show that ExxonMobil has closed on 25 houses in the Northwoods subdivision. “For sale” signs speckle many of the other yards. Recently, on a wet, chilly March weekend similar to the one that saw the spill, the Times asked Northwoods
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
BEFORE AND AFTER: Crude oil surges from the backyard of a Northwood’s subdivision house. Exxon dug the contaminated soil out and leveled the home.
residents to talk about their experiences over the past year. To a person, they were remarkably friendly to a reporter disturbing their weekend, but except for Ward, none would speak on the record. “The problem is that Exxon’s got most everyone around here to sign nondisclosure agreements,” apologized a 30ish man, clad in Sunday afternoon pajama pants. A slender woman in a sleep cap politely declined an interview as a small crowd of children watched from the dim safety of the living room. She’d like to talk, she said, but she said she was in the middle of a lawsuit. “You’re going to have a hard time finding someone in the neighborhood who isn’t.” One of the many parties suing ExxonMobil is Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel. The attorney general and the Department of Justice have jointly sued to collect penalties for violating environmental statutes, including the federal Clean Water Act and the Arkansas Hazardous Waste Management Act. Exxon has filed for a motion to dismiss the case, which McDaniel said isn’t likely to be granted. “Obviously, the federal government and the state of Arkansas are on pretty solid ground here,” he said. “It was their pipe, it was their oil — they clearly violated the law in allowing the pollutants to be released. They are, as all major corporations who are in high-stakes litigation tend to do, doing all that they can to slow the flow of discovery. [They’re] protesting what should be given and how quickly they can give it. They’ve told us they’ve just got too much litigation going to promptly respond to our requests. That’s not atypical. That’s par for the course.” The lawsuit isn’t scheduled to go to trial until February 2015, by which point McDaniel will be out of office. The state will also file a Natural Resources Damages Claim against Exxon, to assess “damages as to the broader scope
of what’s the long-term impact to the environment — what are the financial costs to all of this. [It’s] a much more comprehensive set of litigation that can and will be brought by ... the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.” McDaniel said he does not anticipate that lawsuit being filed until 2015. Yet another lawsuit could come from Central Arkansas Water (CAW), the local utility that manages Lake Maumelle. If the Pegasus rupture had occurred just a few miles further south, the oil would have spilled into the reservoir that provides water to 400,000 residents of the Little Rock metropolitan area. Alarmed by that nightmare scenario, CAW has filed its intent to seek a federal injunction against Exxon should the company announce plans to turn on the Pegasus again without satisfying CAW’s demands. The utility wants the pipe rerouted out of the watershed. CAW spokesman John Tynan said that the company still has not provided CAW with sufficient evidence that a breach like the one in Mayflower isn’t likely to happen again. “We had known the Exxon pipeline was a risk, but given the information we had prior to the Mayflower rupture, the assumption that we had was that there was a very low risk of a rupture occurring,” said Tynan. “Obviously, that calculus has changed. ... The information we have to date still doesn’t give us confidence that [Exxon] can reliably identify cracks. At this point, we want to keep all actions on the table.” Exxon is known for stretching lawsuits out for years. The major damages claim related to the 1989 tanker spill in Valdez, Alaska, for example, was not resolved until 2008 — almost 20 years after the spill. Considering Exxon’s profits last year were $45
billion (nine times the budget of the state of Arkansas) such action may at first seem petty, if not malicious. But Exxon’s size is also its vulnerability. When a company operates such a messy, dangerous trade on a global scale, the next accident is always around the corner. Exxon does not want to take actions that will establish legal precedent. “They have been very explicit over time that they don’t want to settle claims in Arkansas that in any way would set a bad precedent for them going forward,” McDaniel said. “For instance, if they’d gone in and bought every home in that subdivision, they had indicated that that would set a bad precedent for the next time this happens. What if it’d been more homes? What if they’d been more expensive homes? What if they’d been businesses? What if it’d been beneath the Dillard’s headquarters? What if it’d been in the Lake Maumelle watershed? ... They are not just looking at this from their current perspective, but also what could happen in two years or five years.” That also helps explain the company’s refusal to negotiate terms with Michelle Ward, right down to the minutia. By late summer, most of her neighbors were in the process of selling their homes to the company. The friendly claims people she’d dealt with at first had left town, replaced by a hardball negotiator — “a killer,” said Ward — who pressured the remaining families to accept the deals as offered. “I had no problem with Exxon this entire time. Things got rough in about July, August, and that’s when it all went downhill,” Ward said. “It went from me really thinking they cared and were sorry and were going to make it right to they were going to screw us any way they could and they really didn’t care. And I understand that. It’s a job. It’s their job.”
When asked about compensation, Exxon spokesperson Aaron Stryk replied, “Property owners outside of Northwoods and along the Cove are able to address any harm they feel they have incurred due to the spill through the claims process. We will continue to honor all valid claims, which will be handled on a caseby-case basis.” The money Exxon provided for Ward’s hotel room ran out on Oct. 23, the date Exxon set for “forced re-entry” of homes that it had not yet bought. Ward stayed for a couple more weeks anyway, though she couldn’t really afford it. She was still waiting for Exxon to replace ruined items that had sponged up the smell of the oil and had to be thrown out or cleaned. “We had just been waiting for a phone call saying, ‘Your home’s finished, we’ve replaced all of the items that we’ve moved,’ which was four beds, two couches, every item of clothing, toys ... we didn’t have any pillows in the house, no towels. We didn’t have anything. Exxon was nonstop emailing my lawyer wanting to know why we hadn’t returned home. He said, ‘Do you expect them to sleep on the floor?’ ” “They turned around and said, ‘Here’s a $1,500 check to go get the mattresses.’ ” Her voice rose. “You know, why don’t you just replace the stuff that you removed from the home and said you would replace and put it all back to normal?” “They did not reimburse us for any of the items except for the four mattresses,” she said. Workers cleaning her home had filled 15 contractor-sized garbage bags with various possessions, which were thrown out before she had a chance to make an inventory list. Then there was the refrigerator, which had sat untouched for months. “We went there to check on the house after they CONTINUED ON PAGE 16 www.arktimes.com
MARCH 27, 2014
ECOLOGY Robin Lang and her boyfriend, Marty Garrity, live in a house on the shore of Dawson Cove, the terminal point of the spilled oil. On the afternoon of the break, Lang recalled, they were hit by the stench before they saw it. “The way we found out about it was
cleaned it to do an inspection,” Ward recalled. “I opened the fridge, and there was like a million gazillion maggots and I almost passed out. I started screaming.” She insisted on a new fridge, given its condition; Exxon suggested it simply be cleaned instead. “They did replace the fridge but after, you know, a ruckus.” Well before the move-in deadline arrived, the company stopped reimbursing kennel fees for her dog; that cost her more than a thousand dollars. Because the homes adjacent to hers had been demolished (due to oil found under their foundations) she requested a follow-up soil test from Exxon; it was delayed for weeks. The claims negotiator, she said, continued to lean heavily on all the families remaining. “There was no negotiating. We were told ‘Take it or leave it, but this is the best you will ever get.’ They will continue to file appeal after appeal and draw it out as long as they can, and you will end up with nothing in the end. The scare tactics were not only to me. It caused most of the others to just settle and be done, because they were already moving on to their new homes. “It was a tactic of bullying. Basically, we’ll bully you until you break and you either sell to us or you settle with us, and I wouldn’t do either.” At the moment, Ward and her lawyer are still weighing her options. They have not ruled out a lawsuit.
BOOM BLOCK: Dawson Cove still has an oil sheen on occasion.
the smell. At first we thought it was gasoline, because that’s what it smelled like. It smelled like raw fuel. And then we were told it was a pipeline, and from there Marty and his brother and a couple other guys ran to the woods to where we were told it was at. ... They were trying to help them stop up that drainage ditch.” But by the next day, oil was sloshing around the trunks of trees not far from their house. The oil smelled of gas because it contained chemicals similar to those in gasoline. The oil carried by the Pegasus was diluted bitumen, a heavy crude extracted from Canadian tar sands and intended for a refinery on the Gulf Coast. Bitumen has the consistency of cold molasses on its own; to move it through a pipeline it must be diluted with volatile hydrocarbons (gasoline-like chemicals) to reduce its viscosity to that of conventional crude. Some 1.2 million gallons of water and oil were recovered in the following months, according to ADEQ, not including what
was soaked into debris and soil and cleaning materials. Exxon declared the initial “response” phase of the cleanup to be complete by late summer. A round of extensive soil and sediment testing followed, performed by a third-party contractor and paid for by Exxon. Water samples were taken on a daily basis until January 2014. The two state agencies charged with monitoring the cleanup, ADEQ and the Game and Fish Commission, approved the data contained in Exxon’s environmental status report in March. “To date, ADEQ does not feel there is any risk to human health or undue risk to the environment,” said Tammie Hynum, chief of the agency’s Hazardous Waste Division. Most of the oil has been removed from the land, and tests indicate the oil’s progress through the water was indeed halted at Dawson Cove. “We found nothing in the water [in the rest of the lake] that ever suggested there was any contamination of the water by the oil,” agreed Ricky Chastain,
deputy director of Game and Fish. However, Chastain also said Exxon’s report incorrectly downplays the environmental situation. “There are no unacceptable ecological risks in the drainage ways, Dawson Cove, and Lake Conway,” the company report concludes, adding that no further action is necessary. ADEQ and Game and Fish disagree. “We don’t dispute any of the data,” said Chastain, “but what we dispute is some of their conclusions to the data. ... The bottom line is we would not say definitively across the board that there is absolutely no risk, no contamination, that would cause problems environmentally down the road.” Oil sheen still regularly coats the waters of Dawson Cove, especially after a rain. The sorbent booms that are still installed in the cove keep trapping oil. ADEQ and Game and Fish want Exxon to implement further remediation steps, which might consist of removing additional soil, capping areas of sediment with a layer of clay, or injecting air into the sediment to force lingering petroleum to the surface. “We want to make sure we evaluate several viable alternatives ... and select the most appropriate technology to restore Dawson Cove and the drainage areas back to pre-spill conditions,” Hynum said. For homeowners on the cove, things are definitely not back to pre-spill conditions. Cleaning up an oil spill necessitates a massive disruption to the environment. Between March 29 and Aug. 15 last year, crews of workers collected some 8,000 tons of fouled soil, sediment, vegetation, cleanup materials and other debris from Mayflower. To remove the contamination, much of the ecosystem itself had to be scraped away. “It’s nowhere near looking like it did,”
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the bernice garden Lang said. “They took out the woods; there’s no replacing that. And they took out the wildlife when they took out the woods; there’s no replacing that either.” She and other residents say they miss watching deer from their backyards, and they’ve stopped planting gardens out of fear of soil contamination. They’ve also stopped fishing in the cove. “We were avid fishermen,” Lang continued. “Every day, if we had a chance. If work permitted, we were in the lake fishing or on the bank fishing. But we haven’t eaten fish out of there since this all took place. There’s no way.” (Game and Fish and ADEQ say fish in Lake Conway are entirely safe to eat.) What bothers her the most, Lang said, is the feeling that Exxon has played down the damage done to Dawson Cove by defining it as something apart from Lake Conway. “Exxon generally refers to this back here as the marsh like, ‘It’s just a marsh,’ ” Lang said. “Well, it wasn’t just marsh to us — it’s our property. Our deed says this is lakefront property on a cove of Lake Conway. Now we feel like when you look at that, it’s just marsh. It wasn’t that before, but that’s what it was brought to.”
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A team of ADH epidemiologists coordinated air quality testing at multiple sites around Mayflower for weeks after the spill and concluded that concentrations of benzene and other chemicals were well within the threshold of hazardous exposure. A year after the spill, the agency says it made no mistakes. “A good job, an outstanding job was done by the Mayflower community in getting residents evacuated,” Dr. William Mason, the lead ADH official assigned to the disaster, said recently. “The community itself, other agencies and our agency really responded appropriately.” Attorney General McDaniel, who was also involved in the initial response, disagrees. “Local officials did a good job under the circumstances,” he said. “I said then
Mason after a telemedicine session. Though the PTSD diagnosis was ridiculed, the mental health effects of such a disruptive event are serious and real, according to Dr. Dale Sandler, a researcher at the National Institutes of Health. Sandler is leading a landmark study into the longterm health effects of BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Sandler said there’s not a clear line between the physical and psychological trauma associated with such a disaster. “You’ll also see increases in other symptoms that might be associated with neurological effects of the chemicals in high doses, like depression,” she said. “You have people with unexplained pain, with depression, with fatigue. ... And it’s hard to know whether this is all because of exposure to oil — which we know in high doses,
the bernice garden
Despite the sampling data, it’s going to take a long time to rebuild public confidence in the health of the environment near Mayflower. Likewise, fears persist about the effects of the spill on human health. The principal public health concern among Mayflower residents is exposure to airborne toxins released in the spill’s aftermath — including known carcinogens such as benzene. Since only the 22 families on Starlite Road were evacuated, others living nearby continued to breathe the fumes. One of those residents is Ann Jarrell, whose story appeared in the Times last fall. Jarrell’s house lies on the other side of the pipeline from the Northwoods subdivision, only 300 yards from the rupture site, but because oil didn’t touch her property, she was told by local police and Exxon employees that there was no need to evacuate. Jarrell said she’s acquired a suite of alarming health issues since the spill, including sometimes debilitating lung problems. Jarrell has lived with a friend in North Little Rock since her symptoms arose after the spill. Even visiting her house in Mayflower makes her sick today, she said, and she’s fearful for her future. “I still make my payments even though I can’t live in it,” she said. “I’m stuck.” The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) insists that there was no need for other homes to have been evacuated, based on the recommendation of experts at the
Opening Day: Sunday, April 6
ANN JARRELL: Suffering lung problems.
and still believe that the evacuation area should have been much larger.” He also cuts ADH some slack for their lackluster response, noting that the agency wasn’t designed to handle such a crisis. It was only after being pushed by Gov. Beebe that ADH began offering health screenings to Mayflower residents, five months after the spill. ADH said it’s unable to disclose any information about the results of the program due to health privacy laws, but the agency conducted 26 screenings, all in 2013. Some Mayflower residents have criticized it as too little, too late. Linda Lynch, a neighbor of Jarrell’s who also was not evacuated, said her screening was “a joke and a waste of my time.” Lynch’s complaints of spillrelated health problems were diagnosed as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by
exposure to benzene and those kinds of chemicals have been associated with diagnosed depression — or whether it’s totally explained by the fact that you’ve got this mess in your backyard where you eat and where you fish and you can’t go about your business.” Sandler also emphasized the slippery nature of identifying direct cause-andeffect relationships between exposure to hazardous materials like oil and serious health problems later on. “We know from occupational studies of people who have had heavy exposures to things like benzene that over a lifetime they are at increased risk for developing certain cancers, notably the blood cancers like leukemia. But that’s steady exposures over CONTINUED ON PAGE 18
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a long amount of time and at higher levels than what we believe people involved in an oil spill would be exposed to.” And, she continued, oil is only one carcinogenic substance out of many. “One of the major contributors to benzene exposure is cigarette smoke.” The results of the study Sandler is leading won’t be available for some time, she said, because there are so many variables at play. “We don’t want to get it wrong. It’s really important to make sure we don’t alarm people unnecessarily and it’s also important that we don’t pretend there’s no effect if there is one.”
THE FUTURE OF THE PEGASUS Not far from Mayflower, the path of the Pegasus intersects with that of another manmade conduit for fossil fuels that dwarfs the Exxon pipeline in terms of breadth and length. Its fuel payload is hidden away in the gas tanks of the 58,000 vehicles that pass by on that stretch of Interstate 40 on an average day. The Union Pacific rail line also runs through Mayflower, more or less parallel to the interstate. Because rail carriers consider the information proprietary, it’s hard to say how many barrels of oil travel through the town by freight train each
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month, but it’s probably substantial. A single DOT-111 tank car carries about 30,000 gallons of crude; seven of them filled to capacity would equal the volume of oil estimated to have spilled from the Pegasus. Mayflower has two gas stations. One is an Exxon. The other is a Valero, a company the Times recently reported is proposing to build its own crude oil pipeline across the state of Arkansas. Disasters like the Pegasus rupture “mask a bigger issue of having a petroleumdependent economy,” said Matt Moran, a professor of biology at Hendrix College who has closely followed the Mayflower spill. “It’s not that oil is an absolute necessity, but we’ve tied ourselves to it with the system we have in place. We are sort of at the moment stuck. It would take decades to wean ourselves off.” The biggest remaining question about the Pegasus is whether Exxon will attempt to restart the line. Thus far, it’s only requested to restart a portion of the line in Texas, according to the federal regulator responsible for pipelines. Damon Hill, spokesperson for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), said the agency is reviewing the request. The company is taking an unusually long time to restart the remainder of the line, considering that every day the Pegasus is shuttered amounts to an estimated $450,000 in lost revenue, based on regulator records of shipping rates. That works out to as much as $160 million over the course of the past year. After a much larger spill of diluted bitumen from a ruptured Michigan pipe in 2010, its operator, Enbridge Inc., petitioned PHMSA to restart the line just two weeks later. (PHMSA gave its permission in another six weeks.) The delay could indicate that Exxon’s post-spill inspections are finding serious problems along the length of the Pegasus, or it may be that the company is simply being cautious. Another spill on a reopened Pegasus line might cause regulators to shut it down permanently and jeopardize other pipeline projects. Stryk, the Exxon spokesperson, offered this explanation: “We recognize this process is not as expedient as some would like but EMPCo [Exxon Mobil Pipeline Co.] believed it was prudent to take the additional time to better understand the root cause of the failure before submitting the work plan. In the meantime, the Pegasus Pipeline remains shut down, and it will only be restarted when we are convinced it is safe to do so.” Before Exxon can restart the Pegasus, it must submit a work plan to PHMSA that explains how any lingering problems with the pipe will be addressed. It’s asked for and received multiple extensions on its
deadline for submitting the plan. The company’s new deadline is April 7, but PHMSA said that Exxon could request additional extensions indefinitely. PHMSA has also announced that it will fine Exxon $2.66 million for pipeline safety violations that may have contributed to the Mayflower spill. True to form, the company is disputing the fine and has requested an administrative hearing, scheduled for June 11. It’s unclear what the future holds for the Northwoods subdivision. Landscaping and construction crews are busy sprucing up the long row of empty houses on Starlite, and the property management company hired by Exxon will soon open a model home to encourage sales. Four of the original 22 evacuated homes are still occupied. Two have accepted Exxon’s settlement for potential loss of property value and are staying put for the time being. Michelle Ward and one other are still holding out. There has been one purchase of a Northwoods home other than the 25 bought by Exxon, though it’s not on the street where the spill happened. Bobby Hunter, the new owner, said that he bought the home for $158,000. He’s not too concerned about the property value falling, or any lingering health worries. Hunter and his wife were eager to move back from Arkadelphia to Mayflower, which is where he’s originally from. “We just fell in love with the house,” he said, smiling. Two streets away, Ward is not so sanguine. She remembers her block as it was before. “Our neighborhood used to be so vibrant, with children out playing nonstop,” she said. She’s angry about the disregard she feels Exxon has shown toward her situation after so many reassurances at first that everything would be taken care of. About a month ago, she received a letter in the mail letting her know that a pipeline was buried in the easement out back. It’s a routine notice, she’s aware, but there’s an undeniable symbolism to it that galls her — a form letter, written to a woman whose life for the past year has been upended by the Pegasus, blithely informing her of the pipeline’s existence. “I know, we get them every year,” said Ward. “Something telling you about the pipeline — it tells you to call before you dig and has the number to the ExxonMobil pipeline company. Well this year, it was like a packet, addressed to ‘The Homeowner.’ You. Jerks. Like, of all the crap you’ve caused in our life on this one street, you couldn’t just put our freakin’ names? You own the whole damn street anyway! But it’s the fact that they don’t even know us, they don’t even know our names. ... We’re just something to clean up.”
Arts Entertainment AND
E-DUBB ON THE OUTSIDE LOCAL RAP LEGEND CHARTS A NEW BEGINNING.
n a sunny Wednesday afternoon in February, Errol Westbrook stepped out of the state penitentiary unit in Benton, smiled and hugged his wife, who’d come to take him back to Little Rock. For two and half years, he’s filled his days with television and exercise, manual labor and reading — novels mostly, by James Patterson and John Grisham. He’s been shuffled around the state, from Cummings to Calico Rock and Wrightsville, and has finally been granted a work release. As his wife drove them home, she asked what he wanted to do now, and he didn’t hesitate: “I need a haircut,” he said. Word first spread that Westbrook was going to prison (for drug and firearm possession) in the summer of 2011, and the city took notice. Westbrook, the rapper better known as E-Dubb, is in his own 20
MARCH 27, 2014
way an eminent local presence, a universally respected figure in the Little Rock rap scene, having been performing and recording now for two decades. A clip uploaded to Youtube in late September of that year, a music video for his song “I’m Still Breathing,” was billed as “the last video E-Dubb shot before his incarceration.” Midway through the song, an introspective ode to persistence and survival, the music fades out and Westbrook addresses his fans directly. “I’m fixing to have to go away and do a little time, hopefully it won’t be too long,” he says smiling. His voice, on record and in conversation, is gravelly, low and somehow paternal, and here he seems unworried, even comfortable with the idea. “I will be back, and it’s not a problem,” he stresses. “I will be back.”
BY WILL STEPHENSON
The Times reached Westbrook by phone on a recent morning at 10:30 and like pressing a snooze button on an alarm clock, he politely but firmly mumbled a request that we call back later that day. Sleeping late is a new luxury for a guy who, as he explained later, has been for so long consistently woken up at “three or four” in the morning for breakfast. “They tell you when to eat, sleep and shit,” he says of his time served. “It ain’t nothing nice. Once you get used to it, adapt to what’s going on, you get your own routine.” In prison, he worked on the hoe squad, in which inmates line up in rows and hoe weeds or just dig holes in unison. “If you ain’t built for it,” he says, “you don’t really want to go there.” Lately, Westbrook has been spending much of his time listening to the radio. “I got to try to get used to the new way
they’re doing music and the new music feel out here,” he says. “I ain’t been really recording for a while, so I gotta see what’s fresh and what ain’t fresh. It’s weird what music they’re liking now. When I got locked up it was Jeezy and T.I. and those type of guys. This new music sounds crazy to me. My son will put in a disc and say ‘This is Migos,’ and I can’t even understand what they’re saying.” “They screamed Free E-Dubb for two and a half years,” he says. “Well now I’m fixing to Free Little Rock, ’cause I don’t know what they got going on.” WESTBROOK GREW UP ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF TOWN, on Battery Street. “My father was around, but he wasn’t around,” he says. “It wasn’t his fault, just circumstances.” Born in 1980, he was just the right age to be swept up in the height of Little Rock’s gang era, and he fell for the lifestyle hard. He rapped and sold drugs all through high school — or really high schools, plural. “I been kicked out of every high school in Little Rock,” he says, before rattling off an impressive list of institutions. “I’m not proud of that, don’t get me wrong. It’s just my past is kinda rocky,” he says laughing. Along with a number of other gang members, Westbrook was expelled from Central High School for fighting on the school’s campus. Desperate and ready to try something new, then-mayor Jim Dailey invited him, as the head of his gang, the 8-Ball Pirus, to have lunch at the DoubleTree Hotel to negotiate a ceasefire. By the end of the meal, Westbrook had successfully gotten all of his classmates reinstated. If high school wasn’t a priority, Westbrook took his rap career seriously from the beginning, idolizing such ’90s local legends as Durdy Jack Lex Ball, SuitedN-Booted and Major League. He played open mics, talent shows, the Fairgrounds and, eventually, bigger venues like the Barton Coliseum. “I’ve been on stations you can’t even get on now, like [Hot] 96.5,” he says. “There’s clubs in Little Rock that people will never get to perform in that I have performed in. Like the White Diamond, people probably don’t even know what the White Diamond is. The Palace, it’s burnt down now. I’ve been doing this rap thing for a minute.” In the early aughts, Westbrook joined the rap group A-State Hustlers, who CONTINUED ON PAGE 30
ROCK CANDY Check out the Times’ A&E blog arktimes.com
A&E NEWS RIVERFEST has announced its final set of headliners: CeeLo Green, CMA Song of the Year winner Jamey Johnson and pedal steel virtuoso Robert Randolph and the Family Band. They will join a lineup that also includes Hank Williams Jr., Salt-N-Pepa, Lee Brice, Chicago, The Wallflowers, Easton Corbin, Three Days Grace, The Fray and Buckcherry. This year’s festival will be held May 23-24; three-day passes will go on sale at halfprice ($20) starting April 1. THE LEGENDS OF ARKANSAS MUSIC FESTIVAL, which will be held May 31 at Riverfront Park, is asking fans to vote for its headliners from a list that includes this year’s Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase winners Mad Nomad (and participants Peckerwolf, Basement Brew and Shawn James & the Shapeshifters) as well as local favorites Mulehead, Isaac Alexander, Stephen Neeper and the Wild Hearts, The See, Collin Vs. Adam and more. Vote now online at legendsofarkansas.com; organizers will accept “one vote per valid email address, per day.” THE CBS REALITY SHOW “BIG BROTHER” will hold an open casting call for its 16th (!) season this Sunday in Benton from 1-6 p.m. The show, as CBS explains it, “follows a group of people living together in a house outfitted with 65 cameras and 98 microphones recording their every move, 24 hours a day.” The grand prize is $500,000. THE WALMART AMP, in Rogers, still in construction, has added Darius Rucker and Pat Green to its already active summer concert lineup. That concert will be at 7 p.m. June 20; tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. March 28, $27-$79. Other concerts announced at the venue include Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, Willie Nelson and Family with Alison Krauss (featuring Jason Isbell) and Jake Owen.
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THE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS has announced its April visual and performing arts schedule, which will include a University Theatre production of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” which will open April 18, and a reading by author Joyce Carol Oates on April 21, 7 p.m., at the Fayetteville Town Center. JAZZ IN THE PARK will return in April with performances by a different jazz band every Wednesday night at 6 p.m. that month at the History Pavilion in Riverfront Park. First up, on April 2, will be Dizzy 7, followed by the Johnny Burnette Band, TwiceSax, That Arkansas Weather and the Art Deco Trio.
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Pictured: Douglas Webster as Jean Valjean. www.arktimes.com
MARCH 27, 2014
7:30 p.m. Ron Robinson Theater. $13.50.
Writer, actor and filmmaker Del Shores will be in Little Rock this weekend presenting the bulk of his recent output and more, thanks to the Weekend Theater and the Little Rock Film Festival team. First up, Friday night, there’s a screening of his latest film “Southern Baptist Sissies,” an adaption of his 2000 play about a group of kids struggling with religion and sexuality in Texas. The Hollywood Reporter says, “Its heartfelt emotionalism is sure to strike a chord with younger viewers, especially those struggling with similar issues themselves.” The next day, Shores will lead an acting workshop called “Trust Your Gut!” at 11 a.m., $125. At 7:30 p.m. that night, he’ll perform his one-man show “My Sordid Best,” $28.50.
BY WILL STEPHENSON
CHER, “Dressed to Kill Tour”
NO PLACE IN PARTICULAR: A CELEBRATION OF SOUTHERN POETRY AND MUSIC
8 p.m. Verizon Arena. $36.50-$127.
Before she married Sonny Bono, Cher, who was born Cherilyn Sarkisian, worked as his housekeeper. Bono worked in promotions for the producer Phil Spector, who first recorded Cher as a backup singer on wall-of-sound anthems like The Ronette’s “Be My Baby.” That was 1963. Twenty-six years later, she would film the music video for “If I Could Turn Back Time” aboard the U.S.S. Missouri, at the site of Japan’s surrender in World War II. “Words are like weapons,” she sang on that song. “They wound sometimes.” In 1997, “The X-Files” aired an episode centering mysteriously around the Cher single “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore,” a cover of the song made famous by The Walker Brothers in 1966. The episode was titled “The Post-Modern Prometheus.” That was 17 years ago.
6 p.m. South on Main. $7.
“No Place In Particular” is an odd name for an event so explicitly focused on a sense of place, but I think I understand what the hosts mean: the South as a nonspecific and abstract grid of countless places united by a set of principles or interests which may or may not even exist. The Oxford American magazine will hold a night of poetry and music more or less on the theme, featuring readings by Southern (in one way or another) poets Carter Monroe, Justin Booth, Verless Doran, R.J. Looney and N. A’Yara Stein. Seating is first come first served, and the show will be capped off by a performance by Delta swamp rock wild man Jimbo Mathus.
7 p.m. Ron Robinson Theater. $5.
NOMADS: Jucifer will be at Vino’s Friday night, 9 p.m., $6.
9 p.m. Vino’s. $6.
Even metal bands come out strange in the weird confluence of the Southern Gothic and the psychedelic that’s always marked the Athens, Ga., music scene. Think of Harvey Milk, the great, growling noise rock band that never could settle on a volume, much less a genre. Jucifer, which sprang out of the same early ’90s scene, shares this ambivalence, opting out of 22
MARCH 27, 2014
the esoteric rules of metal subgenre to focus more generally on making bracing, experimental rock music, whatever it’s called. The duo — singer and guitarist Gazelle Amber Valentine and her husband and drummer, Edgar Livengood — have left Athens behind for a more deliberately nomadic existence, touring and living out of an RV, and their reputation has blossomed. Their live shows are sludgy, sonic broadsides, with a wall of amps designed for your discomfort. They’ll share a bill with Iron Tongue and Crankbait.
Movies about current events can sometimes seem too timely, too ripped-from-the-headlines and almost cynically opportunistic in their celebrity reenactments of actual issues or tragedies. Think of “World Trade Center,” which was a devastating and despondent viewing experience for reasons completely apart from its real world source material. “Fruitvale Station” doesn’t fall into this trap, partly because its subject, the apparently pointless killing of 22-year-old Oscar Grant by an Oakland police officer, deserves wider attention and partly because it’s genuinely well-made. The film blends actual cell phone footage of the incident with a recreation of the last day of Grant’s life, expertly evoking the tensions and rhythms of Bay Area life (with help from a great soundtrack featuring Mac Dre and The Jacka). Grant is played by Michael B. Jordan, best known for his role as Wallace on “The Wire.”
THURSDAY 3/27 AfroZep will perform at Stickyz at 9 p.m., $7. Air Loom will be at Maxine’s, in Hot Springs. This week’s Gathr Film Series screening, at the Ron Robinson Theater, will be Daniel Patrick Carbone’s coming-of-age drama “Hide Your Smiling Faces,” an official selection at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival, 7 p.m., $10. Comedian Steve McGrew will be at the Loony Bin through March 29, 7:30 p.m., $8-$12.
Fayetteville’s Benjamin Del Shreve will play at Stickyz at 8:30 p.m., $7, and Almost Infamous will be at Cajun’s Wharf, 9 p.m. The Pineapple Tree Dance Company will be at the Walton Arts Center Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m., $20. Mya’s Madams will be at Maxine’s and The Salty Dogs will be at White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m.
SATURDAY 3/29 ALL THE WORLD THERE IS: Amasa Hines will perform at South on Main Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
7:30 p.m. South on Main. Free.
Amasa Hines, which plays indie rock with vivid scope and a spacedout, jazz-funk texture, has inspired a pretty remarkable local following; and, because they’re not exactly common, its
concerts each have an urgency to them — they’re events. The two, back-to-back album release shows it played at White Water in January were packed, and the album itself, “All The World There Is,” deserved the attention. Frontman Joshua Asante (also of Velvet Kente) thinks in visionary widescreen, and the
record is all momentum and ambitious post-punk with horns and emotional intelligence. To see Amasa Hines live this year is to see one of the best, most inventive and exciting bands in Little Rock at a key moment in its development. It’s a good thing to do, is what I mean. And this time it’s even free.
7 p.m. Robinson Center Music Hall. $50-$80.
“I’ve never known of any singer with a quality voice to last past 60 years old.” That’s something Merle Haggard, who is now 76, told The New Yorker’s Bryan Di Salvatore in 1990, and it’s only
SUNDAY 3/30 become more obvious in the interim how entirely and strangely mistaken this notion is, Haggard himself being only one of the more notable exhibits to the contrary. You can look up recent live videos on Youtube and see for yourself — he’s a little stiff, maybe tired, but his voice is strong. The Outlaw Country legend, who started out playing shows for
OZARK FOOTHILLS FILMFEST
The Ozark Foothills FilmFest, held each spring in Batesville, returns this April with screenings of narrative and documentary features, short films and animation, plus presentations by vis-
iting filmmakers and a screenwriting workshop. The festival will also host a new panel this year, “Breaking Through: Promoting Cultural Understanding Through Film,” featuring the documentaries “Sweet Dreams,” “I Learn America” and “Fambul Tok,” and the
Violinist Rachel Barton Pine will perform with the Arkansas Youth Symphony Orchestra at Wildwood Park for the Performing Arts, 3 p.m., $20. iWrek, D.I., Montana Cash, King Juice and Gotti Man will perform at Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $10.
free beer in the ’50s after working long shifts in the oil fields, quit smoking cigarettes in 1991, so maybe that’s his secret. And so what if he’s tired? Remember the Darrell Scott song “Long Time Gone,” later a hit for the Dixie Chicks, which calls out contemporary Nashville songwriters? “They sound tired,” he sings, “but they don’t sound Haggard.”
feature “Detroit Unleaded,” made possible in part by a festival grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (only 23 of which are given out each year). Regular admission for single screenings will be $5 and “Red Eye” festival passes will be $25.
Starlifter will give a free outdoor concert at the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History at 6:30 p.m. Satirical singer-songwriter Roy Zimmerman will perform at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Little Rock, 7 p.m., $18. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new production of “The Wizard of Oz” opens at the Walton Arts Center, 7:30 p.m., with daily performances through April 6, $26-$83. Band of Heathens will be at George’s Majestic Lounge at 9 p.m., $10.
WEDNESDAY 4/2-4/6 Various venues in Batesville. $5-$25.
The 7th Annual Designer’s Choice Fashion Preview, hosted by Anthony Lucas, Meagan Good and designer Korto Momolu, will be at the Clear Channel Metroplex, 7:30 p.m., $35. Folk singer Arlo Guthrie will be at the Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View, 7 p.m., $30. Graham Wilkinson and Sarah Hughes will perform at White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m., and Roses Unread, Wreckless Endeavor and Chris Crawford will be at Vino’s. Matt Stell and Deep Roots will be at Revolution, 9 p.m., $10, and Steve Hester and DejaVooDoo will be at Juanita’s with Akeem Kemp, John Michael Vance and Justin Payne, 9 p.m., $8.
MARCH 27, 2014
AFTER DARK All events are in the Greater Little Rock area unless otherwise noted. To place an event in the Arkansas Times calendar, please email the listing and all pertinent information, including date, time, location, price and contact information, to email@example.com.
Horse racing. Oaklawn, 1:30 p.m., $2.50-$4.50. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4411. www.oaklawn.com.
THURSDAY, MARCH 27
“The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” Arkansas Arts Center, 7 p.m., $12.50. 501 E. 9th St. 501-372-4000. www. arkarts.com.
AfroZep. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9 p.m., $7. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. www.stickyz.com. Air Loom. Maxine’s. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. www.maxinespub.com. “Inferno.” DJs play pop, electro, house and more, plus drink specials and $1 cover before 11 p.m. Sway, 9 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-907-2582. Krush Thursdays with DJ Kavaleer. Club Climax, free before 11 p.m. 824 W. Capitol. 501-554-3437. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-372-4782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Michael Eubanks. Newk’s Express Cafe, 6:30 p.m. 4317 Warden Road, NLR. 501-753-8559. newks.com. Open jam with The Port Arthur Band. Parrot Beach Cafe, 9 p.m. 9611 MacArthur Drive, NLR. 771-2994. RockUsaurus. Senor Tequila, 7-9 p.m. 10300 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-224-5505. www. senor-tequila.com. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 7:30 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. www.capitalhotel.com/CBG. Tragkly White. Cajun’s Wharf, 9 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. www.cajunswharf.com.
Steve McGrew. The Loony Bin, 7:30 p.m., $8-$12. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555. www.loonybincomedy.com.
“Hide Your Smiling Faces.” Gathr Film Series screening. Ron Robinson Theater, 7 p.m., $10. 1 Pulaski Way. 501-320-5703. www.cals.lib.ar.us/ ron-robinson-theater.aspx.
Horse racing. Oaklawn, 1:30 p.m., $2.50-$4.50. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4411. www.oaklawn.com.
FRIDAY, MARCH 28
The Salty Dogs. White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-375-8400. www.whitewatertavern.com. Almost Infamous. Cajun’s Wharf, 9 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. www.cajunswharf. com. Benjamin Del Shreve. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 8:30 p.m., $7. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. www.stickyz.com. Cher. Cher’s “Dressed to Kill” Tour, featuring special guests Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo. Verizon Arena, 8 p.m., $36.50-$127. 1 Alltel Arena Way, NLR. 501-975-9001. verizonarena.com. Club Nights at 1620 Savoy. Dance night, with DJs, drink specials and bar menu, until 2 a.m. 1620 Savoy, 10 p.m. 1620 Market St. 501-2211620. www.1620savoy.com. Graham Wilkinson, Sarah Hughes. George’s 24
MARCH 27, 2014
SATURDAY, MARCH 29
FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH: Burnt Ones will be at White Water Tavern with Black Horse Tuesday night, 10 p.m. Majestic Lounge. 519 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-442-4226. Jucifer, Iron Tongue, Crankbait. Vino’s, 9 p.m., $6. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. www.vinosbrewpub.com. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-372-4782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Mya’s Madams. Maxine’s. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. www.maxinespub.com. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 9 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. www.capitalhotel.com/CBG.
Steve McGrew. The Loony Bin, 7:30 p.m., 10 p.m., $8-$12. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555. www.loonybincomedy.com. “Winter Sucks.” Original sketch comedy by The Main Thing. Call to make reservations. The Joint, 8 p.m., $20. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-3720205. thejointinlittlerock.com.
Ballroom Dancing. Free lessons begin at 7 p.m. Bess Chisum Stephens Community Center, 8-11
p.m., $7-$13. 12th & Cleveland streets. 501-2217568. www.blsdance.org. Pineapple Tree Dance Company. Walton Arts Center, March 28-29, 7:30 p.m., $20. 495 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-443-5600. “Salsa Night.” Begins with a one-hour salsa lesson. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $8. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www.littlerocksalsa.com.
LGBTQ/SGL weekly meeting. Diverse Youth for Social Change is a group for LGBTQ/SGL and straight ally youth and young adults ages 14 to 23. For more information, call 244-9690 or search “DYSC” on Facebook. LGBTQ/SGL Youth and Young Adult Group, 6:30 p.m. 800 Scott St.
Del Shores’ “Southern Baptist Sissies.” The Weekend Theater and the Little Rock Film Festival present Del Shores’ film “Southern Baptist Sissies” to kick off Shores’ appearance at the Ron Robinson Theater. Ron Robinson Theater, 7:30 p.m., $13.50. 1 Pulaski Way. 501320-5703. www.cals.lib.ar.us/ron-robinson-theater.aspx.
Be Sure Not to MiSS thiS Show oNe of the BeSt out of AuStiN, tx
Not iN the fAce
@ Maxines Live In Hot Springs Saturday, March 29th • $5 @ 9:00 With Peckerwolf + The Dangerous Idiots
EvEry Thursday WEdnEsday March 27 Karaoke Contest Air Loom (AR) $50 Nightly Prize -americana $500 Grand Prize FREE SHOW!!! No cover 9:00pm 9:00pm
Friday March 28 Mya’s Madams DRAG SHOW $7 @ 9:00pm *Hello Glitter*
www.maxineslive.com 700 Central Ave, Hot Springs • 501.321.0909
Arlo Guthrie. Ozark Folk Center State Park, 7 p.m., $30. 1032 Park Ave., Mountain View. Club Nights at 1620 Savoy. See March 28. Crisis. Cajun’s Wharf, 9 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. www.cajunswharf.com. Graham Wilkinson, Sarah Hughes. White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-375-8400. www.whitewatertavern.com. Karaoke at Khalil’s. Khalil’s Pub, 7 p.m. 110 S. Shackleford Road. 501-224-0224. www.khalilspub.com. Karaoke. Casa Mexicana, 7 p.m. 6929 JFK Blvd., NLR. 501-835-7876. Karaoke with Kevin & Cara. All ages, on the restaurant side. Revolution, 9 p.m.-12:45 a.m., free. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. revroom.com. K.I.S.S. Saturdays. Featuring DJ Silky Slim. Dress code enforced. Sway, 10 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-492-9802. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-372-4782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Matt Stell and Deep Roots. Revolution, 9 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. revroom.com. Not In The Face, Peckerwolf, The Dangerous Idiots. Maxine’s. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. www.maxinespub.com. Pickin’ Porch. Bring your instrument. All ages welcome. Faulkner County Library, 9:30 a.m. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-327-7482. www.fcl.org. Roses Unread, Wreckless Endeavor, Chris Crawford. Vino’s. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. www.vinosbrewpub.com. Singer/Songwriters Showcase. Parrot Beach Cafe, 2-7 p.m., free. 9611 MacArthur Drive, NLR. 771-2994. “Smoke and Mirrors.” Featuring JMZ Dean, Blade, Sleepy and the Absolute Acrobatics Crew. Discovery Nightclub. 1021 Jessie Road. 501-664-4784. www.latenightdisco.com. Steve Hester and DejaVooDoo, Akeem Kemp, John Michael Vance, Justin Payne. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $5 adv., $8 day of. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www.juanitas.com. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 9 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. www.capitalhotel.com/CBG. Terrapin Flyer, Tom Constanten, Bob Bralove. George’s Majestic Lounge, 9 p.m., $18. 519 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-442-4226.
Steve McGrew. The Loony Bin, 7:30 p.m., $8-$12. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555. www.loonybincomedy.com. “Winter Sucks.” See March 28.
Little Rock West Coast Dance Club. Dance
lessons. Singles welcome. Ernie Biggs, 7 p.m., $2. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-247-5240. www. arstreetswing.com. Pineapple Tree Dance Company. Walton Arts Center, 7:30 p.m., $20. 495 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-443-5600.
7th Annual Designer’s Choice Fashion Preview. Hosted by Anthony Lucas, Meagan Good and designer Korto Momolu. Benefiting the Timmons Arts Foundation. Clear Channel Metroplex, 7:30 p.m., $35. 10800 Col. Glenn Road. 501 804 0669. www.clearchannelmetroplex.com. The American Lung Association’s “Fight for Air Climb.” War Memorial Stadium. 1 Stadium Drive. 501-663-0775. Falun Gong meditation. Allsopp Park, 9 a.m., free. Cantrell & Cedar Hill Roads. Hillcrest Farmers Market. Pulaski Heights Baptist Church, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. 2200 Kavanaugh Blvd. Historic Neighborhoods Tour. Bike tour of historic neighborhoods includes bike, guide, helmets and maps. Bobby’s Bike Hike, 9 a.m., $8-$28. 400 President Clinton Ave. 501-613-7001. Insure Affordable Care. Get free help enrolling in the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace. Laman Library, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., free. 2801 Orange St., NLR. 501-758-1720. www.lamanlibrary.org. Pork & Bourbon Tour. Bike tour includes bicycle, guide, helmets and maps. Bobby’s Bike Hike, 11:30 a.m., $35-$45. 400 President Clinton Ave. 501-613-7001.
Horse racing. Oaklawn, 1 p.m., $2.50-$4.50. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4411. www. oaklawn.com.
Trust Your Gut! Acting Workshop with Del Shores. Ron Robinson Theater, 11 a.m., $125. 1 Pulaski Way. 501-320-5703. www.cals.lib.ar.us/ ron-robinson-theater.aspx.
SUNDAY, MARCH 30
“All-Schubert Concert.” Arkansas Symphony Friends, 7 p.m., free. St. Luke’s Episcopal Church , 4106 JFK Blvd. 753-4281. Dublin Guitar Quartet. Christ Episcopal Church, 3:30-5 p.m., $10-$15. 509 Scott St. iWrek, D.I., Montana Cash, King Juice, Gotti Man. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $10. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www.juanitas.com. Karaoke with DJ Sara. Hardrider Bar & Grill, 7 p.m., free. 6613 John Harden Drive, Cabot. 501-982-1939. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-372-4782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Michael Eubanks. Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon, 7 p.m. 10901 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-227-8898. www.lonestarsteakhouse.com. Rachel Barton Pine and the Arkansas Youth Symphony Orchestra. Wildwood Park for the Performing Arts, 3 p.m., $20. 20919 Denny Road.
“Live from the Back Room.” Spoken word event. Vino’s, 7 p.m. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. www. vinosbrewpub.com.
If you’re not HERE, we’re having more fun than you are!
INTRODUCING THE BUD LIGHT PLATINUM ALUMINUM BOTTLE
There’s still time, GET HERE!
“No Place in Particular: A Celebration of Southern Poetry and Music.” Featuring a performance by Jimbo Mathus and readings by poets Carter Monroe, Justin Booth, Verless Doran, R.J. Looney and Ayara Stein. South on Main, 6 p.m., $7. 1304 Main St. 501-244-9660. www.facebook.com/SouthonMainLR.
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Horse racing. Oaklawn, 1:30 p.m., $2.50-$4.50. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4411. www.oaklawn.com.
MONDAY, MARCH 31
Kissing Candice, The Hollowed. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www.juanitas.com. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-372-4782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Monday Night Jazz. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 8 p.m., $5. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www.afterthoughtbar.com.
“The Heavens Are Telling the Glory of God: C.S. Lewis, Narnia, and the Planets.” Hendrix College, 6:30 p.m. 1600 Washington Ave., Conway. 501-450-1423. www.hendrix.edu.
A Chicago style Speakeasy & Dueling Piano Bar. This is THE premier place to party in Little Rock. “Dueling Pianos” runs Monday through Saturday. Dance & Club music upstairs on Wed, Fri & Sat. Drink specials and more! Do it BIGG! Open 7 Days A Week • 8pm-2am Shows Start at 8:30pm
Located in the Heart of the River Market District 307 President Clinton Avenue 501.372.4782 www.erniebiggs.com
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TUESDAY, APRIL 1
Band of Heathens. George’s Majestic Lounge, 9 p.m., $10. 519 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-442-4226. Burnt Ones, Black Horse. White Water Tavern, 10 p.m. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-375-8400. www.whitewatertavern.com. Gil Franklin & Friends. Holiday Inn, North Little Rock, first Tuesday, Wednesday of every month. 120 W. Pershing Blvd., NLR. Karaoke Tuesday. Prost, 8 p.m., free. 322 President Clinton Blvd. 501-244-9550. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-372-4782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Lucious Spiller Band. Copeland’s Restaurant of Little Rock, 6-9 p.m. 2602 S. Shackleford Road. 501-312-1616. www.copelandsrestaurantlittlerock.com. Music Jam. Hosted by Elliott Griffen and Joseph Fuller. The Joint, 8-11 p.m., free. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. thejointinlittlerock.com. Starlifter. A free outdoor concert. MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, 6:30 p.m. 503 E. 9th St. 376-4602. www.arkmilitaryheritage.com. Tuesday Jam Session with Carl Mouton. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www.afterthoughtbar.com.
Roy Zimmerman. Unitarian Universalist Church of Little Rock, 7 p.m., $18. 1818 Reservoir Road.
“Latin Night.” Revolution, 7:30 p.m., $5 regular, $7 under 21. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501823-0090. www.littlerocksalsa.com. CONTINUED ON PAGE 26
PARTY AT OUR PLACE!
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BASSNECTAR The Flaming Lips STS9* Umphrey’s McGee* Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros All American Food & Great Place to Watch Your Favorite Event
Michael Franti & Spearhead John Butler Trio Infected Mushroom FUNGUSAMONGUS Adventure Club Rusko Dr. Dog Lettuce Xavier Rudd Walk Off The Earth and many many more!
Rockin’ Mondays! $2 Off all Rock Town products after 6pm
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June 5 - 8 2014 th
Mulberry Mountain :: Ozark, Arkansas
OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK | 11AM - LATE 225 E MARKHAM • LITTLE ROCK, AR
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MARCH 27, 2014
AFTER DARK, CONT.
Tales from the South. Authors tell true stories; schedule available on website. Dinner served 5-6:30 p.m., show at 7 p.m. Call for reservations. Starving Artist Cafe, 5 p.m. 411 N. Main St., NLR. 501-372-7976. www.starvingartistcafe.net. Trivia Bowl. Flying Saucer, 8:30 p.m. 323 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-8032. www.beerknurd. com/stores/littlerock.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2
Acoustic Open Mic. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www.afterthoughtbar.com. Dizzy 7. Jazz in the Park. River Market Pavilions, 6 p.m. 400 President Clinton Ave. 375-2552. www. rivermarket.info. Gil Franklin & Friends. Holiday Inn, North Little Rock, first Tuesday, Wednesday of every month. 120 W. Pershing Blvd., NLR. Karaoke at Khalil’s. Khalil’s Pub, 7 p.m. 110 S. Shackleford Road. 501-224-0224. www.khalilspub.com. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-372-4782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Local Live: Amasa Hines. South on Main, 7:30 p.m., free. 1304 Main St. 501-244-9660. www. facebook.com/SouthonMainLR. Merle Haggard. Robinson Center Music Hall, 7 p.m., $50-$80. Markham and Broadway. www. littlerockmeetings.com/conv-centers/robinson. Open Mic Nite with Deuce. Thirst n’ Howl, 7:30 p.m., free. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501-379-8189. www.thirst-n-howl.com. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 7:30 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. www.capitalhotel.com/CBG.
The Joint Venture. Improv comedy group. The Joint, 8 p.m., $7. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501372-0205. thejointinlittlerock.com.
Little Rock Bop Club. Beginning dance lessons for ages 10 and older. Singles welcome. Bess Chisum Stephens Community Center, 7 p.m., $4 for members, $7 for guests. 12th & Cleveland streets. 501-350-4712. www.littlerockbopclub.
Ozark Foothills FilmFest. In addition to screenings of narrative and documentary features, shorts and animation, the festival will host visiting filmmakers and offer a screenwriting workshop. April 2-6, $25.
Wednesday Night Poetry. 21-and-older show. Maxine’s, 7 p.m., free. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-321-0909. maxineslive.com/shows. html.
THIS WEEK IN THEATER
Behind MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History in MacArthur Park 503 E. 9th Street, Downtown Little Rock bandofmi damerica.af.mil 26
MARCH 27, 2014
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Wizard of Oz.” Walton Arts Center, Tue., April 1, 7:30 p.m.; April 2-3, 7 p.m.; Fri., April 4, 8 p.m.; April 5-6, 2 p.m., $26-$83. 495 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-443-5600. Del Shores’ “My Sordid Best.” Del Shores’ oneman show. VIP tickets available. Ron Robinson Theater, Sat., March 29, 7:30 p.m., $28.50-$48.50. 1 Pulaski Way. 501-320-5703. www.cals.lib.ar.us/ ron-robinson-theater.aspx. “Fool for Love.” A play by Sam Shepard. The Public Theatre, through March 30: Thu.-Sat., 7
p.m., $14. 616 Center St. 501-374-7529. www. thepublictheatre.com. “The Fox on the Fairway.” Dinner and a new comedy by Ken Ludwig. Murry’s Dinner Playhouse, through April 19: Sun., 5:30 and 11 a.m.; Tue.-Sat., 6 p.m., $25-$35. 6323 Col. Glenn Road. 501-5623131. murrysdinnerplayhouse.com. “Les Miserables.” The Rep presents an allnew production of Alain Boublil and ClaudeMichel Schonberg’s “Les Miserables.” Arkansas Repertory Theatre, through April 6: Wed., Thu., Sun., 7 p.m.; Fri., Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m., $30$55. 601 Main St. 501-378-0405. www.therep.org. “Ripped and Wrinkled.” An original rock musical about a world famous band from North Little Rock called The Dogs. The Joint, through May 31: Fri., Sat., 8 p.m., $20. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. thejointinlittlerock.com.
NEW EXHIBITS, EVENTS
J.W. WIGGINS NATIVE AMERICAN ART GALLERY, Sequoyah National Research Center, 2801 S. University Ave.: “Art from Above the Arctic Circle,” Inuit basketry, prints, drawings, carvings, beadwork, pottery, wool appliques, Greenland tupilaks, through May 16. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. 658-6360. L&L BECK ART GALLERY, 5705 Kavanaugh Blvd.: “Student Art Show,” 2-4 p.m. March 30; “Spring Flowers,” paintings by Louis Beck, through April; free giclee drawing 7 p.m. April 17. 660-4006. EUREKA SPRINGS EUREKA FINE ART GALLERY, 63 N. Main St.: Paintings by Jody Stephenson, through April, reception 6-9 p.m. April 12. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. 479-363-6000. JONESBORO ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY: Photographs of Rohwer by Paul and Ann Faris, 1945, 2-5 p.m. April 2, Wilson Auditorium, with discussion by Professor Sarah Wilkerson Freeman. 870-972-2227. YELLVILLE PAL’S FINE ART GALLERY, 300 Hwy. 62 W: Woodcarvings by Jack Ryan, through April, reception 4-6 p.m. April 11. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.Fri., 10 a.m.-noon Sat. www.paletteartleague.org.
CALL FOR ENTRIES
The Arkansas Arts Council is taking applications for $4,000 artist fellowships in short story writing, theater directing and artworks on paper. Deadline to apply is April 18. Fellowships are awarded based on artistic ability and to encourage development of the fellows. For more information, call the Arts Council at 324-9766 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Arkansas Arts Center is taking entries now through April 17 for its 56th annual Delta Exhibition, open to artists in Arkansas and contiguous states. Show dates are June 27-Sept. 28. Juror will be Brian Rutenberg. Prizes include the $2,500 Grand Award, two $750 Delta Awards and a $250 Contemporaries Delta Award. Artists may register and upload images at www.arkansasartscenter.org. Plein Air on the White River 2014, to be held April 30-May 3, is accepting entries from artists to show work at the Vada Sheid Community Center at Mountain Home and to compete in the Quick Draw competition at the “Art, Music and Barbecue” in Cotter May 2. Landscape artist Bruce Peil will be judge. Artists’ registration
AFTER DARK, CONT. will be April 30-May 2nd; entry fee is $50. Cash prizes to be awarded. Pre-registration is encouraged. For more information go to White River Artists on Facebook, email whiteriverartists@ gmail.com or call 870-424-1051.
ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, MacArthur Park: “The Crossroads of Memory: Carroll Cloar and the American South,” 70 paintings by the late Arkansas native, curated by Memphis’ Brooks Museum, through June 1; “Ties that Bind: Southern Art from the Collection,” atrium, through April 27; “Earthly Delights: Modern and Contemporary Highlights from the Collection,” through April 20, Strauss and Smith galleries. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. 372-4000. ART GROUP GALLERY, Pleasant Ridge Town Center, suite 910: Work by Ron Almond, Loren Bartnicke, Matt Coburn, Louise Harris, Debby Hinson, Marsha Hinson, Mickie Jackson, Sheree King, Jeff McKay, Michelle Moore, Ned Perme, Ann Presley, Diana Shearon, Bob Snider, Holly Tilley and Marie Weaver, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.Sat., 1-6 p.m. Sun. 690-2193. BOSWELL-MOUROT, 5815 Kavanaugh Blvd.: “New Works by Eric Maurus,” through April 22. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat. 664-0030. BUTLER CENTER GALLERIES, Arkansas Studies Institute, 401 President Clinton Ave.: “2nd annual Arkansas Printmakers Membership Exhibition,” work by Warren Criswell, Samantha Kosakowski, Robert Bean, Diane Harper, Dominique Simmons, David Warren, Shannon Rogers, Win Bruhl, Debi Fendley, Jorey May Greene, Melissa Gill, Neal Harrington, Tammy Harrington, Evan Lindquist, Houston Fyer, Thomas Sullivan and Sherry O’Rorke, through June 28; “Southern Voices,” contemporary quilts by the Studio Art Quilts Associates, through May 24. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 320-5790. CANTRELL GALLERY, 8206 Cantrell Road: “Arkansas Weather Report,” new paintings by Daniel Coston, through April 27. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 224-1335. CHRIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 509 Scott St.: Work by Scotty Shively, Herb and Patty Monoson, Glenda Josephson, Dr. L.P. Fraiser, Dee Schulten, Judy Johnson, Susie Henley and Maka Parnell, through March. CHROMA GALLERY, 5707 Kavanaugh Blvd.: Work by Robert Reep and other Arkansas artists. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat. 664-0880. COX CREATIVE CENTER, 120 River Market Ave.: Staff works in “A Thousand Words” gallery. 918-3093. THE EDGE, 301B President Clinton Ave.: Paintings by Avila (Fernando Gomez), Eric Freeman, James Hayes, Jerry Colburn, St. Joseph Thomason and Stephen Drive. 992-1099. ELLEN GOLDEN ANTIQUES, 5701 Kavanaugh Blvd.: Paintings by Barry Thomas and Arden Boyce. 664-7746. GALLERY 221 & ART STUDIOS 221, Pyramid Place: New work by Greg Lahti, also Tyler Arnold, Kathi Couch, Emile, Gino Hollander, Sean LeCrone, Mary Ann Stafford, Byron Taylor, Siri Hollander and Rae Ann Bayless. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. 801-0211. GALLERY 26, 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd.: Recent works by Ben Krain, Logan Hunter and Jason Smith, through May 10. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.Sat. 664-8996. GALLERY 360, 900 S. Rodney Parham Road: “Fascination,” paintings, sketches, multimedia work and jewelry by Kelley Naylor Wise and Anna Tanner, through April 5. 993-0012.
GINO HOLLANDER GALLERY, 2nd and Center: Paintings and works on paper by Gino Hollander. 801-0211. GREG THOMPSON FINE ART, 429 Main St., NLR: “Carroll Cloar: A Road Less Traveled,” 23 paintings and drawings, through April 12. 664-2787. HEARNE FINE ART, 1001 Wright Ave.: “From a Whisper … to a Conversation … to a Shout,” work by Lawrence Finney, through April 22, receptions 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. April 11, gallery talk by the artist 2 p.m. April 12. 372-6822. MUGS CAFE, 515 Main St., NLR: “Breaking Eggs,” group exhibit of paintings, drawings, wall sculpture, art jewelry and metalwork by the Art Bunch: Christie Young, Emily Wood, Michael Warrick, Denise White, Dan Thornhill, Dominique Simmons, MJ Robbins, Ruth Pasquine, Bonnie Nickol, Marty Justice, Jeannie Hursely, Marianne Hennigar, Diane Harper, Judith Faust, V.L. Cox, Robert Bean and Fran Austin, through April 15. STEPHANO’S FINE ART, 1813 N. Grant St.: Scott Carle, botanical paintings. 563-4218. UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS AT LITTLE ROCK, 2801 S. University Ave.: “Primary Clay,” work by Summer Bruch, Ty Brunson, Aaron Calvert, Dawn Holder, Jeannie Hulen, Beth Lambert, Linda Lopez, Mathew McConnell, Adam Posnak, David Smith, Liz Smith and Kensuke Yamada, Gallery III, through March 27. 569-3182. BENTONVILLE CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART, One Museum Way: “The William S. Paley Collection: A Taste for Modernism,” works by Paul Gaugin, Andre Derain, Henri Matisse, Paul Cezanne, Edgar Degas, Pablo Picasso and others, through July 7; “At First Sight,” watercolors from the personal collection of museum founder Alice Walton, through April 21; “Edward Hopper: Journey to Blackwell’s Island,” preliminary sketches on loan from the Whitney Museum of American Art, the finished painting and other watercolors by Hopper, through April 21; permanent collection of American masterworks spanning four centuries. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon., Thu.; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Wed., Fri.; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat.-Sun., closed Tue. 479-418-5700. FAYETTEVILLE ARSAGA’S AT THE DEPOT, 548 W. Dickson St.: “Positive Negatives,” works by Lindsy Barquist, Kat Wilson and Crystal McBrayer, through March 30. 505-795-8293. BOTTLE ROCKET GALLERY, 1495 Finger Road: “Makeshift Theatre,” photographs by Logan Rollins. 479-466-7406. SUGAR GALLERY, 1 E. Center St.: Paintings by V.L. Cox. 479-575-5202. UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS, “Faith and the Devil,” installation by Lesley Dill, through April 4, Fine Arts Center Gallery; “Wisdom of the Ages Athenaeum,” rare books from Remnant Trust, including a cuneiform tablet (2200 B.C.) to the first printing of the Emancipation Proclamation (1862), Mullins Library, through May 12. 479575-4104. WALTON ARTS CENTER, 495 W. Dickson: “Divide Light: Operatic Performance Costumes of Lesley Dill,” through April 13. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri., noon-4 p.m. Sat. 479-443-5600. HOT SPRINGS ARTISTS WORKSHOP GALLERY, 610 A Central Ave.: June Lamoreux, Virginia Hodges, paintings. 623-6401. BLUE MOON GALLERY, 718 Central Ave.: “My Watercolor Images,” work by Kay Aclin, through CONTINUED ON PAGE 30
Come have an amazing arts experience on Main Street in Argenta and see the Festival’s featured artist, Emily Wood.
10am – 4pm Kids Arts Activities | 30 Jewelry Artists | 3 Live Bands And More
10-11:30am | John Willis and The Misses 12:15-1:45pm | The FUNKANITES 2:30-4pm | The Lagniappes
April 28, 2014 • 6:30pm - 9:00pm The Capital Hotel Don’t miss an evening of delicious food from some of Little Rock’s most talented chefs, rub elbows with local celebrities, and be an integral part of funding the Thea Foundation’s life-changing scholarship program.
$100 Per Ticket • Purchase Tickets At governorsculinarychallenge.com 8 Chefs • 2 Mixologists 10 Local Celebrities
MARCH 27, 2014
Hey, do this!
A P R I L FUN!
Food, Music, Entertainment and everything else that’s MARCH 29
Merle Haggard performs live at Robinson Center
Music Hall at 7 p.m. Presented by Celebrity Attractions, this is a rare show by the legendary troubadour who has penned dozens of songs about hard living and good loving. Tickets are $50.50-$77.50. Call the Celebrity Attractions box office at 501-244-8800 for more info.
THROUGH APRIL 6
Don’t miss the unforgettable Les Misérables, the world’s longest-running musical, at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre. The captivating classic depicts passion and destruction in 19th century France and went on to become an Academy Award-winning motion picture. But there is no substitute for experiencing Les Mis onstage. For tickets and show times, visit www.therep.org.
Root root root for the home team as the Arkansas Travelers take on the Midland RockHounds in their season opener at Dickey-Stephens Park gates open at 6:10 p.m., game starts at 7:10. For more info, call 501664-1555 for more information or “like” them on Facebook at Facebook. com/ArkansasTravelers.
biggest nights for local fashion. The event will take place at the Clear Channel Metroplex at 7 p.m. and showcase the collections of rising designers in the industry.
Map the night sky from 6:45-8:45 p.m. The event is $10 for zoo members and $12.50 for non-members. Register online at www. littlerockzoo.com and check out upcoming events, including feeding the animals. Save the date for Wild Wines (May 3) and the Cheetah Chase (June 7).
Neil Simon’s first hit play and a delightful family comedy. The show runs through May 17. For tickets and show times, visit www. murrysdp.com.
The Little Rock Zoo hosts an evening under the stars.
UCA Public Appearances presents An Evening with Chick Corea and Bela Fleck at 7:30 p.m. These Grammy Award winners put out an album together in 2007 and they’re now on tour. Tickets are $3040. Don’t miss a rare chance to see these legends live. For tickets, visit www.uca.edu/publicappearances.
Murry’s Dinner Playhouse presents Come
Blow Your Horn,
Verizon Arena hosts the
Cirque du Soleil Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour at 8 p.m. Tickets are
$52.50-$152.50 and available through Ticketmaster online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at 800-745-3000.
Stop by the farmer’s market at
Bernice Garden from
10 a.m.-2 p.m. It’s the first market of the season. Shop for fresh produce, quality proteins and arts and crafts made in Arkansas.
Tail Waggin’ and Tailgaitin’ for Kathy’s Cause! Out of
the Woods Animal Rescue of Arkansas will be hosting a fun filled afternoon to honor Kathy Woods. The event will include live music, a silent auction, a raffle, a wine pull and BBQ from Cross Eyed Pig. Hosted at Stephano’s Fine Art Gallery from 2-5 p.m. Folks will also be able to browse and meet the artist. 1813 N Grant, Little Rock.
The Arkansas Literary Festival brings prestigious award-winning authors and artists to Little Rock each year. This year’s big names include Congressman John Lewis; painter Kadir Nelson; singer-songwriter Rhett Miller; novelist Catherine Coulter; and chocolate makers The Mast Brothers. On Saturday night, Sticky Fingerz hosts Pub or Perish, a fun night of readings by festival authors, beginning at 7 p.m. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.arkansasliteraryfestival.org.
performed on the Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s MainStage. Directed by the ballet’s newly appointed Artistic Director, Michael Bearden, this production brings the beauty of dance to life through exceptional variations of movement choreographed by Kiyon Gaines, Pacific Northwest Ballet’s soloist. Performance times are 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $30-$35 and available at the Rep’s box office at 501-378-0405 or online at www.therep.org.
is back at an all-new location – War Memorial Stadium. The festivities kick off with a classic Jewish breakfast of lox, bagels and cream cheese plus blintzes and kugel at 8:30 a.m. with the full festival beginning at 10 a.m. In addition to the food, events include music, dancing and family friendly activities until 4 p.m.
opens. Pick from farm-fresh produce, homemade products and handmade arts and crafts in two open-air pavilions. Open Tuesdays and Saturdays, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. through October 26.
Ballet Arkansas presents Momentum
Thea Arts Festival
Saturday, April 26th 401 Main Street, North Little Rock Come have an amazing arts experience on Main Street in Argenta and see the Festival’s featured artist, Emily Wood. 28
The Designer’s Choice Fashion Preview is one of the
It’s Cher. She needs no introduction. The worldwide superstar takes the stage at Verizon Arena on her Dressed to Kill Tour with special guests Pat Benetar and Neil Giraldo. Tickets are $36.50-$127 and available online at www. ticketmaster.com.
march 27, 2014
The Jewish Food Festival
The River Market’s farmers market
2014 Governor’s Culinary Challenge
Monday, April 28 • 6:30–9:00pm Don’t miss an evening of delicious food from some of Little Rock’s most talented chefs, rub elbows with local celebrities, and be an integral part of funding the Thea Foundation’s life-changing scholarship program. Tickets are $100 and can be purchased at www.governorsculinarychallenge.com
Kermit caper ‘Muppets’ get assist from Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey. BY SAM EIFLING
uppets Most Wanted” begins with a song-anddance number spoofing the fact that the Muppets are making another sequel and hinting on the sly that “the sequel’s never quite as good.” Alas, despite several shameless laughs and a terrific villain Muppet (a sinister Kermit doppelganger named Constantine) it doesn’t quite have the heart of “The Muppets” (2011), which starred and was written by major Muppet fanboy Jason Segel. Still funny, yes. Also, not quite as good. The sequel sees sleazy manager Dominic Badguy (the perfectly oily Ricky Gervais) hustle the Muppets onto the road for a European tour, over the objections of their leader and patriarch, Kermit the Frog. It turns out the whole tour is a cover for Badguy and Constantine to have access, via some of the most iconic venues in Europe, to tunnel into vaults and museums on an escalating jewel heist. Constantine, a dead ringer for Kermit with a mole and an underbite, swaps lives with Kermit by getting our hero sent to the same Russian gulag that Constantine broke out of. So while Kermit rots in the clink under the cold gaze of the warden (Tina Fey), Constantine is running the Muppet Show into the ground, lazily romancing Miss Piggy and leaving behind a trail of havoc. The dastardly Bizarro-World Kermit, in fact, is the funniest thing about the movie. He’s got a great faux-Russian accent and is so casually uninterested in running the show that he lets all the Muppets try whatever they like
(Gonzo wants to do an indoor running of the bulls in Spain? Constantine is cool with that). He also gets the best songs (Bret McKenzie, of Flight of the Conchords, writes those) including a show-stopper called “I’ll Get What You Want,” which is waiting for you to YouTube it even now. Singing Muppets, Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais … what could go wrong? Well, “Muppets: Most Wanted” makes a few tactical errors that set it back. Foremost, as a factor of its criminal switcheroo, it spends a lot of time wallowing in the gulag. Now, not that we don’t all get a belly laugh from seeing people thrown into situations such as military jails, work prisons, concentration camps and such — but something about the setting, where millions of people in the 20th century were worked to death, never quite screams “comedy.” Maybe it’s the olive-and-cement color scheme. The world tour premise also saps some of the fun. The movie sprints among five cities, not counting the Russian detours, and the result is a sense of restlessness that borders on the frantic. The Muppets rose to universal fame because they’re silly puppets and because at least two generations of children learned life lessons from them and considered them friends. This is going to sound like a corny reason to ding “Muppets: Most Wanted,” but so be it: For all the capering and high play, the movie feels slack, because it doesn’t build its story around strong friendships. No doubt another sequel is coming, somewhere down the road. Maybe that one could be as good, if even a little better.
Continued from page 10 boat, and he says to me, ‘You got any ideas?’ ” When it was agreed that they couldn’t fix the boat, they decided to call out a mayday. No one answered. They sent out an S.O.S. No one answered. Finally, they decided to activate the boat’s Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon, or EPIRB, a satellitelinked system that sends a distress call out to the world via satellite. That call was picked up by the Coast Guard in San Diego, which relayed it to the Nicaraguan Navy, which relayed it to a 700foot, Indian-crewed oil tanker which was then steaming north 70 miles away. The tanker turned and began heading toward them, but the three men agreed it might be 12 to 24 hours before they were saved. With none of them wanting to brave the seas in a life raft, O’Bryant said, they devoted all their energy to keeping the Rebel Yell afloat as long as possible. While Morrison tried to slow the water coming in around the rudder shaft, O’Bryant started bailing water, carrying more than 75 heavy buckets up the steps from the hold during the next few hours and dumping them overboard before he couldn’t go on. “After awhile,” he said, “my arms and legs just completely burned out.” The ocean, meanwhile, kept coming. Luckily for O’Bryant and his crewmates, the tanker was faster than they thought, arriving in around 10 hours. Their trouble wasn’t over, however. As they tried to steer the Rebel Yell into position for a rescue, O’Bryant said, the schooner almost capsized once, and then the steering cable snapped, leaving
them adrift. Not wanting to risk running down the smaller boat, the tanker captain instead allowed them to drift in circles for another hour until they were finally close enough for the tanker’s crew to throw down ropes and pull them in. Finally a rope ladder was lowered. The three exhausted men climbed the ladder, and soon were safe. O’Bryant has one last picture of the Rebel Yell, sitting low in the water with her sails down, taken from the deck of the larger ship. The tanker captain, O’Bryant said, asked them if they wanted to stay there and watch her sink, but all three said no. “It was unanimous,” he said. “No, we don’t want to see it.” The tanker steamed on. On the ship’s powerful radar, the blip that represented the schooner held stubbornly on for another six hours before disappearing from the screen. Coincidentally, the tanker was heading back to Los Angeles, where they’d started out from 10 days before Christmas. O’Bryant said all three of them had their own cabins on the tanker. They spent their days on the return trip eating home-cooked Indian food, playing ping-pong, and exhaustively going over everything that had happened, asking each other if they did all they could to save the ship. It was a beautiful boat, O’Bryant said again, and a shame. After a few days, however, the three started looking ahead. “After that,” O’Bryant said, “it was Zach going: ‘Hey, if I got another boat, would you guys want to do this again? We said, ‘Hell yes, we would.’” Asked what he’ll do differently if he’s given another shot at a sailing trip like that, O’Bryant thought about it, laughed, then said, “I’ll make sure there’s no plywood on the boat.”
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MARCH 27, 2014
E-DUBB ON THE OUTSIDE, CONT. Continued from page 20 made manic, glossy country rap in the No Limit tradition, and had a string of local hits like “Robbery” and “Everyday Allday” (both from their 2004 album “Think It’s a Game”). He released a self-titled solo album in 2008, and made a handful of free mixtapes in the interim, all the while shooting videos for singles like “Turn It Down,” famous in the streets of Arkansas, if hardly known at all anywhere else. “Back then, I figured I already had local fame so I wasn’t even going to worry about it,” he says. “I was hustling and
I had the money, so I really wasn’t as focused on the music as I should’ve been. Plus, a lot of decisions I was making back then, I was high all the time. Now I’m sober. I’m a different person. I was arrogant before, now I’m humble.” He worries that picking up his career where he left off might not be as easy as he’d hoped. “To be honest, I think it’s going to be kind of tough,” he says. “Because the bar is set so high for me right now. I’m feeling like Andre 3000, scared to do another album. You ain’t got no beats in the penitentiary, and your imagination only goes so far. The expec-
tations are so high, I just don’t want to fail the town.” In a move that helped build Westbrook’s confidence considerably, 607 invited him to contribute a verse to a remix of the latter’s song “Block Monster,” one of last year’s biggest local hits. “I wanted him to have something to come home to,” says 607, who visited Westbrook regularly in prison. “Everybody in the penitentiary was singing ‘Block Monster,’” Westbrook says proudly. “So now they’re probably singing the remix.” Westbrook’s “Block Monster” verse is the first thing he’s written since com-
ing home, and right away you get the sense that readjusting won’t be as difficult as he thinks. He lunges onto the track, his voice as compelling and as iconic as it ever was. And he’s already planning upcoming releases, with two albums of unreleased material and a handful of new collaborations on the way. He’s gotten so many requests for guest verses, he says he’s already had to raise his price. It’s an encouraging sign for the artist who still calls himself the “King of Little Rock.” “They just let me out of jail,” as he raps on the “Block Monster” remix. “So you know I ain’t free.”
AFTER DARK, CONT.
18 whole hogs! 18 chefs! live music! SAtuRDAy, mAy 3RD Argenta Farmers Market Plaza 6th & Main St., Downtown North Little Rock (across from Mug’s Café)
— 5 p.m. —
— 6:30 —
Public Serving Time
BEER & WINE GARDEN
Gated festival area selling beer & wine ($5 each) h e a d l i n e r
GhoSt toWN BluES BAND TickeT supply limiTed!
Dine on 18 pit roasted, whole,
PuRChase NoW aT
rain or ArkTimes.com/ shine HeriTAgeHogroAsT
heritage breed hogs from Scott Heritage Farms Saturday, May 3rd. Doors open at 5p.m. with
+ RuNAWAy plANEt & thE SAlty DoGS
craft beers and wine available.
MARCH 27, 2014
Café Bossa Nova
The sChlafly souTheRN TaP RooM gouRMasiaN
NaTChez souTh oN MaiN
all-iNClusive TiCkeTs - $25 ($30 day-of) Includes roast hog, sides and live music MusiC-oNly TiCkeTs - $10 (Admission after 8p.m.)
CRegeeN’s iRish PuB ReNo’s aRgeNTa Café
CRush WiNe BaR RisToRaNTe CaPeo
March. 318-2787. GALLERY CENTRAL, 800 Central Ave.: Work by Houston Llew, Amy Hill-Imler, Gloria Garrison, James Hayes and others. 318-4278. JUSTUS FINE ART, 827 Central Ave.: Abstract paintings, mixed media and sculpture by Robyn Horn, Dan Thornhill, V. Noe and others, through March. 501-321-2335.
ONGOING MUSEUM EXHIBITS
CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL MUSEUM VISITOR CENTER, Bates and Park: Exhibits on the 1957 desegregation of Central and the civil rights movement. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily. 374-1957. CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CENTER, 1200 President Clinton Ave.: “Spies, Traitors and Saboteurs: Fear and Freedom in America,” from the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., through April 27; permanent exhibits on the Clinton administration. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. $7 adults; $5 college students, seniors, retired military; $3 ages 6-17. 370-8000. ESSE, 1510 S. Main St.: “What’s Inside: A Century of Women and Handbags (1900-1999),” purses from the collection of Anita Davis, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tue.-Sun., $10-$8. 916-9022. HISTORIC ARKANSAS MUSEUM, 200 E. 3rd St.: “Ciara Long: A Different Perspective,” sketches, through May 4; Mid-Southern Watercolorists “44th Annual Juried Exhibition,” through April 6; “A Sure Defense: The Bowie Knife in America,” through June 22; “Arkansas Made,” ongoing. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 324-9351. MacARTHUR MUSEUM OF ARKANSAS M I L I TA R Y H I S T O R Y , M a c A r t h u r Park: “American Posters of World War I”; permanent exhibits. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-4 p.m. Sun. 376-4602. MOSAIC TEMPLARS CULTURAL CENTER, 501 W. 9th St.: “Repurposed Wonders: The Sculpture of Danny Campbell,” permanent and changing exhibits on black entrepreneurship in Arkansas. 683-3593. MUSEUM OF DISCOVERY, 500 President Clinton Ave.: “Wiggle Worms,” science program for pre-K children 10 a.m.-10:30 a.m. every Tue., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun., $10 ages 13 and older, $8 ages 1-12, free to members and children under 1. 396-7050. OLD STATE HOUSE MUSEUM, 300 W. Markham: “Lights! Camera! Arkansas!”, the state’s ties to Hollywood, including costumes, scripts, film footage, photographs and more, through March 1, 2015; “Things You Need to Hear: Memories of Growing Up in Arkansas from 1890 to 1980,” oral histories about community, family, work, school and leisure, through March. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 324-9685.
Founders Pub Crawl In The argenta arts district Wednesday, April 2nd • 6-9pm 6-7 The Joint · 7-8 Cregeen’s Irish Pub · 8-9 Reno’s Argenta Café Signature beers At Each Location ComE onE, ComE ALL!
MARCH 27, 2014
Dining WHAT’S COOKIN’ BAJA GRILL will be the latest tenant to occupy the restaurant space on the corner of University and Kavanaugh, still popularly known as the former home of Satellite Cafe. Owners Craig and Melissa Roe have operated a food trailer with the same name in Benton since January 2012. Their MexiCali-style tacos and burritos earned Baja Grill awards for best food truck outside of Little Rock and best food in the Benton/Bryant area in our recent Readers Choice restaurant poll. Craig Roe told the Times that he takes possession of the restaurant April 1 and hopes to open as soon as possible. The move will signal the end of the trailer. STEPHANOS AND MONICA MYLONAS were still keeping the opening date of their much-anticipated Mylo Coffee Co. under wraps as the Times went to press this week. Their Facebook page is the best place to go for updates. Mylo is located at 2715 Kavanaugh Blvd. in the former home of River City Coffee. Eat Arkansas’s Daniel Walker got a sneak peek of the space last week. The previously multileveled space has been reduced to a single level and dividing walls have come down. The Mylonases plans to continue using raw beans from Rwanda to create its signature medium roast brew. They’ll be scooping out Loblolly ice cream from a large freezer, with about 6 to 10 flavors daily. They’re serving up juices from Garden Press and, of course, utilizing the abundance of local produce, cheeses and meats from local farms — something they’ve been committed to since the birth of their operation in the Hillcrest Farmers Market. Stephanos wasn’t ready to divulge everything on the menu to Walker — but expect a variety of influences in his dishes — Italian, Greek, Cypriot and Moroccan, to name a few. The weekday menu will be similar to what you’ve seen at the farmers markets. But there will eventually be a weekend brunch, which Stephanos calls a “fresh approach” to this beloved meal with a “strong European influence.” Of course, they’ll also be baking daily. 32
MARCH 27, 2014
1520 Market St. tajmahalar.com 501-520-4900/221-1503
QUICK BITE The restaurant has a lunch buffet that changes daily with some of the restaurant’s more popular dishes. Saturday and Sunday both feature an 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. brunch buffet. At dinner, Taj Mahal will prepare its dishes to the diner’s request, which is important here for American palates not quite ready to go for the all-the-way-hot Indian spicing. The restaurant offers “Mediterranean” choices in the form of kebabs.
AUTHENTIC EATS: Aloo gobi (cauliflower and potatoes), vegetable pakora and chicken tikka masala at Taj Mahal.
Taj Mahal is a dining wonder Indian fare makes West Little Rock restaurant a destination.
hen in Rome …” as the adage begins — that’s what we applied in making a recent visit to Taj Mahal in West Little Rock, amid the many shops and restaurants on Market Street. The Romans in this case — maybe we should rephrase the adage as “When in New Delhi” — are several Indian ex-pats now calling Little Rock their home and working at UAMS, and all who swear by Taj Mahal as a truly authentic Indian experience. It’s not like Little Rock has presented many choices in Indian food over the years. Star of India with its genial owner, Sami Lal, has generally reigned supreme as the regular favorite, while assorted other attempts at Indian cuisine seem to have quickly come and gone. Two came and went just in recent months. So off we went, and our first thoughts entering Taj Mahal were, “We love what you’ve done to the place.” We remember when, as a poor new resident of Little Rock, we’d chow on cheap Tex-Mex and drink $1 beers when this was Way Out Willie’s. It has housed other attempts at
various cuisines since, but the “WOW” today is for the interior makeover the space has undergone to become a comfortable, faux Mumbai setting of Taj Mahal. The couple that accompanied us and who have visited at lunch, noted that the owner appears to regularly invest in improving the decor. It has a more upscale feel than other Indian restaurants (current and historic). So, what we’re saying is: Don’t be fooled by the exterior, which fails to convey the feeling of “We’ve got great food here.” Taj Mahal succeeds because of attentive if undermanned service (this was a Sunday night, and we had one server working seven tables) and a chef that puts much effort into a vast menu with myriad flavors. There simply are too many choices for a first visit, so we leaned on our wellinformed (American, college-age) server to direct us to his personal favorite dishes and the most popular to handle our party of four. We sought one appetizer, a good sampling of naan (bread), and four main entrees. We’re not accustomed to fiery Indian flavor, and we’re pretty basic in
HOURS 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. OTHER INFO Credit cards accepted, beer and wine, full bar.
our Indian food likes (give us any curry every day and we’d be happy), so he took all that into consideration while highly recommending the goat. “Goat?” asked our one finicky dining companion, who quickly heard, “Yes, we’re having the goat and you don’t have to eat it,” from her grumpy life partner. The other couple, already experienced with Taj Mahal’s buffet, was game so we went all out: goat vindaloo. That would be the hottest offering, our server said, though he’d make certain it was less-than-Indian spicy. Taj Majal’s thinner masala sauce would be milder than vindaloo, he explained, and the curry was the least spicy of the three. Finicky companion raised her hand for chicken curry, but she would find it hotter than expected. Shrimp masala covered our range of heat in the entrees and was complemented by an entree portion of saag paneer (spinach and cubed cheese). Taj Mahal had us covered too with an assorted basket of naan (cheese, garlic, onion, etc.). But, before all that, we began with appetizers of chicken and vegetable samosa chatt ($5.95 each). The chicken samosa chatt was off the charts, both in flavor and in heat, and we knew in one bite why some of our UAMS friends were touting Taj Mahal so highly. This was Indian food spiced for the Indian palate, and it was going to take us some getting used to. The chicken samosa won out
Information in our restaurant capsules reflects the opinions of the newspaper staff and its reviewers. The newspaper accepts no advertising or other considerations in exchange for reviews, which are conducted anonymously. We invite the opinions of readers who think we are in error.
B Breakfast L Lunch D Dinner $ Inexpensive (under $8/person) $$ Moderate ($8-$20/person) $$$ Expensive (over $20/person) CC Accepts credit cards
DED R FA OS R E S TA U R A N T E
DINING CAPSULES over the veggie only by a close margin. One appetizer was enough for four, with a large pastry split four ways and filled with chickpeas, tomatoes and topped with chutneys. The naan was good, not great, with one piece slightly over-baked on the bottom. But the assorted basket ($7.95) also gave us enough info to suggest going immediately for the onion naan next time. The bone-in goat (this is important, you must be careful with smaller bones within the meat) was as good as advertised. The rich, dark red vindaloo sauce did not overwhelm our heat sensors — the samosa appetizer had prepped us well. At $15.95 for the dish, there was perhaps too much potato and bone and not enough meat, but it was tender and tasty. The sauce with the chicken curry ($11.95) was not as thick as we’ve experienced in restaurants here or in New York, but lack of thickness aside, it had a wonderful range of spices, and the chicken had been marinated spectacularly, offering scrumptious bite after bite. Indian dishes have relatives throughout the world, such as the Caribbean (or even south Louisiana, in the way shrimp curry has the look and feel, if not the taste, of an etouffee). Such was the case with the shrimp masala ($16.95), with its spicy, tomatoey sauce with bell peppers and onions, reminding us of a burninghot shrimp creole with a Jamaican touch. This masala ventured well past the vindaloo sauce in chili pepper heat, however. The star of the night was the saag paneer ($9.95), absolutely the best we’ve had around here and as good as any we can recall having. It was creamy, though not overly so, and it retained much of the spinach flavor while seasoned perfectly and, yet again, offering some kick. We had leftovers, to be sure, and the saag paneer was maybe better on day two, to sop with some leftover naan. We’d have tried some sweets — the menu has an overwhelming number of dessert choices as well — but between the naan and the complementary rice with the entrees, plus those oversized appetizers, t’was not to be. Maybe we should add that the beer also factored in — Taj Majal carries an assorted selection including Indianbrewed Taj Majal, Kingfisher and Flying Horse. Go for the Kingfisher ($6 per 22-oz bottle) and thank us later. Much more awaits for us to try at Taj Mahal, and rest assured we will.
1620 SAVOY Fine dining in a swank space. The scallops are especially nice. 1620 Market St. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-221-1620. D Mon.-Sat. ALLEY OOPS The restaurant at Creekwood Plaza (near the Kanis-Bowman intersection) is a neighborhood feedbag for major medical institutions with the likes of plate lunches, burgers and homemade desserts. Remarkable Chess Pie. 11900 Kanis Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-221-9400. LD Mon.-Sat. B-SIDE The little breakfast place in the former party room of Lilly’s DimSum Then Some turns tradition on its ear, offering French toast wrapped in bacon on a stick, a must-have dish called “biscuit mountain” and beignets with lemon curd. 11121 Rodney Parham Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-716-2700. B-BR Sat.-Sun. BOBBY’S COUNTRY COOKIN’ One of the better plate lunch spots in the area, with some of the best fried chicken and pot roast around, a changing daily casserole and wonderful homemade pies. 301 N. Shackleford Road, Suite E1. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-224-9500. L Mon.-Fri. THE BOX Cheeseburgers and french fries are greasy and wonderful and not like their fastfood cousins. 1023 W. Seventh St. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-372-8735. L Mon.-Fri. BUFFALO GRILL A great crispy-off-the-griddle cheeseburger and hand-cut fries star at this family-friendly stop. 1611 Rebsamen Park Road. Full bar, CC. $$. 501-296-9535. LD daily. CAFE 201 The hotel restaurant in the Crowne Plaza serves up a nice lunch buffet. 201 S. Shackleford Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-2233000. BLD Mon.-Sat., BR Sun. CHEERS Good burgers and sandwiches, vegetarian offerings and salads at lunch and fish specials, and good steaks in the evening. 2010 N. Van Buren. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-6635937. LD Mon.-Sat. 1901 Club Manor Drive. Maumelle. Full bar, All CC. 501-851-6200. LD daily, BR Sun. DAVE AND RAY’S DOWNTOWN DINER Breakfast buffet daily featuring biscuits and gravy, home fries, sausage and made-to-order omelets. Lunch buffet with four choices of meats and eight veggies. 824 W. Capitol Ave. No alcohol. $. 501-372-8816. BL Mon.-Fri. E’S BISTRO Despite the name, think tearoom rather than bistro — there’s no wine, for one thing, and there is tea. But there’s nothing tearoomy about the portions here. Try the heaping grilled salmon BLT on a buttery croissant. 3812 JFK Boulevard. NLR. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-771-6900. L Tue.-Sun., D Thu.-Sat. LASSIS INN One of the state’s oldest restaurants still in the same location and one of the best for catfish and buffalo fish. 518 E 27th St. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-372-8714. LD Tue.-Sat. MADDIE’S PLACE If you like your catfish breaded Cajun-style, your grits rich with garlic and cream and your oysters fried up in perfect puffs, this Cajun eatery on Rebsamen Park Road is the place for you. 1615 Rebsamen Park Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-660-4040. LD Tue.-Sat. CONTINUED ON PAGE 34
LITTLE ROCK’S MOST AWARD WINNING RESTAURANT 1619 Rebsamen Rd. 501-663-9734
For over 30 years considered one of the best in Arkansas. Topped with our traditional lemon-butter steak sauce.
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11200 W. Markham Street · 501-223-3120 · colonialwineshop.com · facebook.com/ColonialWines C E L E B R AT E R E S P O N S I B LY.
MARCH 27, 2014
DINING CAPSULES, CONT.
We’re Pleased To HaVe Carrie HenCyk & Billy “Wild Bill” lePPerT on our Team! (Both formerly of Gordon Foods) Purveyors of Gourmet Products · Serving Little Rock, Memphis & Oxford (901) 794-4800 · www.gallerfoods.com
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MARCH 27, 2014
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MARIE’S MILFORD TRACK II Healthy and tasty are the key words at this deli/grill, featuring hot entrees, soups, sandwiches, salads and killer desserts. 9813 W Markham St. No alcohol, CC. $-$$. 501-225-4500. BL Mon.-Sat. PACKET HOUSE GRILL Owner/chef Wes Ellis delivers the goods with an up-to-date take on sophisticated Southern cuisine served up in a stunning environment that dresses up the historic house with a modern, comfortable feel. 1406 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-372-1578. D Tue.-Sat. SPECTATORS GRILL AND PUB Burgers, soups, salads and other beer food, plus live music on weekends. 1012 W. 34th St. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-791-0990. LD Mon.-Sat. STARVING ARTIST CAFE All kinds of crepes, served as entrees or as dessert. The Black Forest ham sandwich is a perennial favorite with the lunch crowd. Dinner menu changes daily, good wine list. 411 N. Main St. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-372-7976. L Tue.-Sat., D Tue., Fri.-Sat. THE TAVERN SPORTS GRILL Burgers, barbecue and more. 17815 Chenal Parkway. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-830-2100. LD daily.
FAR EAST ASIAN CUISINE Old favorites such as orange beef or chicken and Hunan green beans are still prepared with care at what used to be Hunan out west. 11610 Pleasant Ridge Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-219-9399. LD daily. FORBIDDEN GARDEN Classic, American-ized Chinese food in a modern setting. Try the Basil Chicken. 14810 Cantrell Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-868-8149. LD daily. FU LIN Quality in the made-to-order entrees is high, as is the quantity. 200 N. Bowman Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-225-8989. LD daily, BR Sun. KOBE JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE & SUSHI Though answering the need for more hibachis in Little Rock, Kobe stands taller in its sushi offerings than at the grill. 11401 Financial Centre Parkway. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-225-5999. L Mon.-Sat. D daily. NEW FUN REE Reliable staples, plenty of hot and spicy options and dependable delivery. 418 W. 7th St. No alcohol, All CC. $. 501-664-6657. LD Mon.-Sat. THE SOUTHERN GOURMASIAN Delicious Southern-Asian fusion. We crave the pork buns constantly. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-9540888. L Mon.-Fri.
CAPITOL SMOKEHOUSE AND GRILL Beef, pork and chicken, all smoked to melting tenderness and doused with a choice of sauces. The crusty but tender backribs star. Side dishes are top quality. A plate lunch special is now available. 915 W. Capitol Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-372-4227. L Mon.-Fri. HB’S BBQ Great slabs of meat with fiery barbecue sauce, but ribs are served on Tuesday only. Other days, try the tasty pork sandwich on an onion roll. 6010 Lancaster. No alcohol, No CC. $-$$. 501-565-1930. LD Mon.-Fri. SIMS BAR-B-QUE Great spare ribs, sandwiches, beef, half and whole chicken and an addictive vinegar-mustard-brown sugar sauce unique for this part of the country. 2415 Broadway. Beer, CC. $-$$. 501-372-6868. LD Mon.-Sat. 1307 John Barrow Road. Beer, All CC. $-$$. 501-2242057. LD Mon.-Sat. 7601 Geyer Springs Road. Beer, All CC. $$. 501-562-8844. LD Mon.-Sat.
EUROPEAN / ETHNIC
ALI BABA A Middle Eastern restaurant and
grocery. 3400 S University Ave. No alcohol, All CC. 501-570-0577. LD Mon.-Sat. KHALIL’S PUB Widely varied menu with European, Mexican and American influences. Go for the Bierocks, rolls filled with onions and beef. 110 S. Shackleford Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-224-0224. LD daily. BR Sun. THE PANTRY Owner and self-proclaimed “food evangelist” Tomas Bohm does things the right way — buying local, making almost everything from scratch and focusing on simple preparations of classic dishes. The menu stays relatively true to his Czechoslovakian roots, but there’s plenty of choices to suit all tastes. There’s also a nice happy-hour vibe. 11401 Rodney Parham Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-353-1875. LD Mon.-Fri., D Sat. STAR OF INDIA The best Indian restaurant in the region, with a unique buffet at lunch and some fabulous dishes at night (spicy curried dishes, tandoori chicken, lamb and veal, vegetarian). 301 N. Shackleford. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-227-9900. LD daily.
DAMGOODE PIES A somewhat different Italian/pizza place, largely because of a spicy garlic white sauce that’s offered as an alternative to the traditional red sauce. Good bread, too. 2701 Kavanaugh Blvd. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-664-2239. LD daily. 6706 Cantrell Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-664-2239. LD daily. 10720 Rodney Parham Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-664-2239. LD daily. 37 East Center St. Fayetteville. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 479-444-7437. LD daily. GUSANO’S They make the tomatoey Chicagostyle deep-dish pizza the way it’s done in the Windy City. It takes a little longer to come out of the oven, but it’s worth the wait. 313 President Clinton Ave. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-374-1441. LD daily. 2915 Dave Ward Drive. Conway. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-329-1100. LD daily. JAY’S PIZZA New York-style pizza by the slice. 400 President Clinton Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-313-8611. L Mon.-Sat. VESUVIO Arguably Little Rock’s best Italian restaurant. 1315 Breckenridge Drive. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-246-5422. D daily.
CASA MANANA Great guacamole and garlic beans, superlative chips and salsa (red and green) and a broad selection of fresh seafood, plus a deck out back. 6820 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-280-9888. LD daily 18321 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-8688822. LD daily 400 President Clinton Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. BL Mon.-Sat. EL PORTON (LR) Good Mex for the price and a wide-ranging menu of dinner plates, some tasty cheese dip, and great service as well. 12111 W. Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-223-8588. LD daily. 5201 Warden Road. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-753-4630. LD daily. THE FOLD BOTANAS BAR Gourmet tacos and botanas, or small plates. Try the cholula pescada taco. 3501 Old Cantrell Road. Full bar, CC. $$-$$$. 501-916-9706. LD daily. LA VAQUERA The tacos at this truck are more expensive than most, but they’re still cheap eats. One of the few trucks where you can order a combination plate that comes with rice, beans and lettuce. 4731 Baseline Road. No alcohol, No CC. $. 501-565-3108. LD Mon.-Sat. LAS PALMAS Mexican chain with a massive menu of choices. 10402 Stagecoach Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-455-8500. LD daily 4154 E. McCain Blvd. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. LD daily.
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MARCH 27, 2014
Designers Abby Alba, Theresa Batson, Korto Momolu, Ngozi Okechukwu, Stefane Myles, Erik Sellers, Shonda Stroud Ali-Shamaa and Tiffany Pippins. Tamara Rudley is not pictured.
Designers Choice Fashion Preview Annual fashion show gives local designers a venue to show off their collections
March 29, VIP reception begins at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.
STORY BY ERICA SWEENEY PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRIAN CHILSON
or seven years, the Designers Choice Fashion Preview has provided an outlet for local fashion designers to showcase their talent and hard work. Theresa Timmons began the annual fashion show in 2007 after noticing that
Designers Choice Fashion Preview
several of her designer friends had no way to show their collections and get noticed by the community. “I wanted to help (designers) get out there a little more,” she said. “The show focuses on their collections and supporting local talent.”
Conversations about the first DCFP began in December 2006, and, with the help of her mother and brother, Timmons got the first show up and running by the following March. The first year, 200-300 people were expected, but more than 700 showed up.
Metroplex Event Center Tickets are $35-60. Purchase online at www.DCFPLR2014. Eventbrite.Com or call 501804-0669.
hearsay ➥ L&L BECK ART GALLERY will host a one-day student art show from 2-4 p.m. March 30. In addition, the gallery’s April exhibit will be “Spring Flowers”. The giclee giveaway of the month will be a piece titled, “Ladybug”. The giveaway will be at 7 p.m. April 17. ➥ 36
I.O. METRO’S got a 20 percent off sale through the end of the
MARCH 27, 2014
ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT TO ARKANSAS TIMES
month. The sale includes all beds, bedding and bedroom furniture. ➥ THE BERNICE GARDEN recently announced that its Sunday farmers market will return April 6. The market will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays through mid-November. For more information, visit thebernicegarden.org.
The Designers We asked each of the 2014 Designers Choice Fashion Preview’s nine local designers to share a little about their collections. Here’s what they told us. ABBY ALBA of Little Rock is the youngest designer in the show at 15. She designs for teens up to women in their 20s. THERESA BATSON is new to the design world. Her collection features 10 outfits, consisting of two or three pieces, with styles ranging from casual, formal, professional and semiformal. KORTO MOMOLU lives in Little Rock and is best known as being a Project Runway finalist. She originally showed her fall collection at New York Fashion Week in February. The collection features fall colors, in army green and eggplant, with an “urban cool” aesthetic. STEFANE MYLES of Memphis is showing 12 pieces in the DCFP, “inspired by the modern-day woman.” Her collection features a mix of casual and formal.
Jewelry designer Tamara Rudley (right) adjusts one of her pieces.
NGOZI OKECHUKWU of Little Rock will show 11 pieces inspired by the 1930s and ’60s. Her collection features lots of color and printed fabrics, and long, “flowy” gowns. TIFFANY PIPPINS is creator of Taylor-Made Crochet, named after her daughter. She creates crocheted pieces that are “classy, with an edge.” Her collection consists of 10 pieces. TAMARA RUDLEY is a Little Rock jewelry designer. Her collection features bold pieces in agate, coral and turquoise. At this year’s DCFP, she has teamed up with Shonda Stroud Ali-Shamaa to create accessories for her garments. ERIK SELLERS of Conway is the only menswear designer in the show. His collection has a tailored aesthetic, with a “respectful irreverence of the status quo.” SHONDA STROUD ALI-SHAMAA of Conway is showing a collection of “sophisticated and sexy” dresses. She has partnered with jewelry designer Tamara Rudley to accessorize her looks for DCFP.
Designer Ngozi Okechukwu gets her makeup touched up before a photo shoot.
“I was so nervous,” she said. “It was our first time doing something on this level. That’s when we knew there was a need for this. It’s been history ever since, and keeps getting bigger and bigger.” Last year’s show had more than 1,200 in attendance, she said. DCFP also expanded to Dallas in 2011. The 2014 Designers Choice Fashion Preview is scheduled for March 29 at the Metroplex Events Center, which Timmons’ family owns. This year’s show will be “totally different” from past years, Timmons said. Expect an old Hollywood, glamorous atmosphere, she said. In past years, the event has had an all-white setting, like New York Fashion Week. “It’s going to be a beautiful, elegant production,” she said. “There will be lots of surprises, and bells and whistles.” A casting call is held each January to select designers for the show, Timmons explains. Designers bring three garments and a portfolio, and a panel of
Models show off Shonda Stroud Ali-Shamaa designs and Tamara Rudley accessories.
judges makes the selection. This year, 27 designers attended the casting and nine were selected. Former Project Runway finalist Korto Momolu has been a part of the DCFP since the beginning. She has previously hosted or co-hosted the show, but this year said she didn’t want the extra pressure, since she’s pregnant and her due date is April 10, less than two weeks after the show. At the DCFP, Momolu, who lives in Little Rock, is showing the same collection that she showed at New York Fashion Week in February. She said the collection is “urban cool,” featuring fall colors, like army green and eggplant, and represents strong women in the fashion industry. “It’s things I love to wear for fall,”
she said. Actress Meagan Good and former Razorback football player Anthony Lucas are hosting this year’s show. Previous hosts have included supermodel Tyson Beckford, Project Runway contestants Jerrell Scott and Mychael Knight and actress Nicole Ari Parker. The DCFP benefits the Cultivating the Arts Youth Summer Camp, sponsored by the Timmons Arts Foundation, set up by the Timmons family in 2011. The free, four-week camp is for low- to moderate-income children, ages 7-14, and focuses on various components of art. Timmons said individuals can apply for the camp online (www.timmonsartsfoundation.org) beginning April 1. The foundation also partners with local schools to provide arts and music supplies. One grant purchased new recorders and art supplies for Chicot Elementary, she said.
“Our primary focus is really supporting at-risk youth and getting them into the arts,” she said. “When we have resources to help others, we should utilize them.” Timmons said this cause has been particularly important for her family, because “our family was raised in the arts.” She grew up playing the flute; her mom is a violinist; and her grandmother was a blues singer. Each year in organizing the DCFP, Timmons said she continues to be impressed by the level of talent in our community. “It shows me that fashion in the area is still growing, which is awesome,” she said. “I urge people to come out and support our designers and our camp. These local artists are doing a phenomenal job. “I hope people find a designer that they fall in love with and support. That’s what this show is about and where it originated. That makes it all worth it.”
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MARCH 27, 2014
SPEAK, ARKANSAS, CONT. Continued from page 11
night, you can think about it. I’ve been hit out there too. I was laying underneath the truck, hooking up my chain to pull it up on the flatbed, and I heard that rumble strip noise. There was a dump truck that was coming straight to us, like a magnet. I jumped up and took off running, and next thing I know, parts off the truck I was loading up was hitting me. I had to clean my britches up when I got home, but I was still alive. Every day’s a different day, and no tow is the same. Today I might not do nothing. Tomorrow, ain’t no telling where I’ll go. — As told to Will Stephenson
had to pick the truck up off the ground with the big wrecker, so they could get him out. He was 17, I think, had a kid on the way. Bad all the way around. Good hometown kid, everybody knew him and everybody liked him. But he just flat pulled out in front of a truck on a gravel road. And I still think about it from time to time. That was awful, what I had to see was awful. Knowing him too, that’s what makes it even worse. It’s bad enough when you don’t know them. I worked one probably a year and half
ago where the momma had gone to sleep. She actually lived, but it killed all her kids — they was like 6, 7 and 8. The vehicle had rolled over on top of them. It was just one of those kind of deals where you have to pick the vehicle up and let them drag the kids out. When you see them little-bitty body bags, that’s when it gets to you. Death is a part of life, period. Everybody’s got to do it. But there’s not any reason for a young kid. You get a little hard. It ain’t like you don’t care, it’s just that’s your job. You go do it, worry about the consequences later. Sometimes when you close your eyes at
Notice of filliNg applicatioNs for restauraNt wiNe & Native beer/malt beverages permit
Notice is hereby given that the undersigned has filed an application with the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division of the State of Arkansas for a permit to sell and serve wine food and Arkansas native beer and malt beverages at retail on the premises described as: 524 S. Main St. Little Rock, Pulaski County. Said application was on March 24, 2014. the undersigned states that he/she is a resident of Arkansas, of good moral character; that he/she has never been convicted of a felony or other crime involving moral turpitude; that no license to sell alcoholic beverages by the undersigned has been revoked within five (5) years last past; and, that the undersigned has never been convicted of violating the laws of this State, or any other State, relative to the sale of controlled beverages. Name of Applicant: Kent Walker. Name of Business: Kent Walker Artisan Cheese. Sworn to before me this 25th day of March, 2014. Linda L. Phillips, Notary Public. My commission Expires: September 28, 2016. #12350768.
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MARCH 27, 2014
travel with the Arkansas Times to see paintings by great French masters and others in the “The William S. Paley Collection: A Taste for Modernism” at Crystal Bridges museum of American Art in Bentonville. the exhibit of 60 works from the CBs mogul’s collection features work by Pablo Picasso, Paul Gaugin, Andre Derain, Henri Matisse, Paul Cezanne, Edgar Degas, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec and more contemporary artists, including Francis Bacon. the exhibition was organized by the museum of modern Art (momA) in new york.
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UAMS is seeking to fill two (2) positions for Assistant Professor of Family and Preventative Medicine in the Little Rock, Arkansas metro area. Clinical Position. The clinical physician will include directing residents, nurses and medical assistant. Duties include, prescribing or administering treatment, therapy, medication, vaccinations and other specialized medical care to treat or prevent illness, disease or injury. Monitor patients’ conditions and progress and reevaluate treatments as necessary. Coordinate work with nurses, social workers, rehabilitation therapists, pharmacists, psychologists, and other health care provides. Must have an MD, or foreign equivalent, Arkansas State Medical License, and must be board certified or board eligible in family medicine upon hire and if board eligible. Must complete board certification within one (1) year of hire. Send résumé to Jamie Rankins, firstname.lastname@example.org, 501-6866606, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Dept of Family & Preventative Medicine, 4301 W. Markham, Slot 530, Little Rock, AR 72205. EOE.
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MARCH 27, 2014
OIL AND WATER DONâ€™T MIX Central Arkansas Water (CAW) has been and will continue to work tirelessly to protect Lake Maumelle from risks posed by the ExxonMobil Pipeline and other threats to the water supply for 400,000 individuals throughout the region. Long before, during, and following the Mayflower rupture, we have taken significant steps to reduce and eliminate risks that the pipeline poses in our watershed. These steps include emergency response planning and exercises, staging of response materials, regular pipeline inspections, and other activities. As the protector of the water source for over 400,000 people, we continue to have significant concerns regarding the Pegasus pipeline due to the lack of information that has been shared with us regarding its integrity. Meanwhile, Central Arkansas Water continues to protect the Lake Maumelle Watershed by reducing risks posed by commercial timber operations, limiting the loss of forest cover to development, and improving land management of the 10,000 acres owned by CAW. Lake Maumelle is a critical asset to CAW and we will do what is necessary to protect it.
THIS IS YOUR DRINKING WATER. HELP US PROTECT IT.
Published on Mar 26, 2014