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VOLUME 40, NUMBER 2 ARKANSAS TIMES (ISSN 0164-6273) is published each week by Arkansas Times Limited Partnership, 201 East Markham Street, Suite 200, Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201, phone (501) 375-2985. Periodical postage paid at Little Rock, Arkansas, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ARKANSAS TIMES, EAST MARKHAM STREET, SUITE 200, Little Rock, AR, 72201. Subscription prices are $42 for one year, $78 for two years. Subscriptions outside Arkansas are $49 for one year, $88 for two years. Foreign (including Canadian) subscriptions are $168 a year. For subscriber service call (501) 375-2985. Current single-copy price is 75¢, free in Pulaski County. Single issues are available by mail at $2.50 each, postage paid. Payment must accompany all single-copy orders. Reproduction or use in whole or in part of the contents without the written consent of the publishers is prohibited. Manuscripts and artwork will not be returned or acknowledged unless sufficient return postage and a self-addressed stamped envelope are included. All materials are handled with due care; however, the publisher assumes no responsibility for care and safe return of unsolicited materials. All letters sent to ARKANSAS TIMES will be treated as intended for publication and are subject to ARKANSAS TIMES’ unrestricted right to edit or to comment editorially.


SEPTEMBER 12, 2013



Setting tax facts straight I’d like to thank, and praise, Ernie Dumas for once again shining the cold, hard light of fact on the age-old conservative argument that lower taxes increase general prosperity (“Setting the Dem-Gaz straight,” 9/5/13). I think the problem many people have in rejecting this fallacy is that they can’t imagine the mechanism by which it works. If there is more money tied up in government — well-documented to be the paragon of waste and largesse — there will most certainly be less to distribute among individuals. Right? But, as Mr. Dumas has illustrated many times in his valuable column, the facts don’t support that conclusion. Sometimes, a situation is too complex to yield to “horse sense.” Many economists have explained mechanisms by which lower taxes could lead to economic decline. But your average, self-absorbed citizen — of which our legislatures are increasingly comprised — is more interested in important things, like the defensive scheme that the Razorbacks will set against the Aggies, than in boning up on the grist that academic economists grind out in their ivory towers. Imagine a company that lets accounts receivable hoard all the revenue, never paying its other workers or performing maintenance on its equipment. Imagine a large fish trap, concentrating an entire river’s fish in, say, 1,000 cubic feet. Could the company survive? The fish? The basic premise is that excessive concentration of almost anything makes a system top-heavy and dangerous. And such self-destructive concentration of wealth is the natural outcome of capitalism that is allowed to run unchecked in a free market. The rich DO get richer, when their wheeling and dealing goes unchecked. One of the goals of taxation is to provide those resources that we know to work better as a collective, such as a national army or a system of roads. But no one should apologize for also expecting taxation to redistribute wealth — if only partially — such that inefficient hoarding is mitigated. Because, in truth, government is NOT the paragon of waste and largesse. That title belongs to the tycoon who accumulates money in such mass that he forgets its value. (I once saw a man spend $40,000 on a tobacco pipe. And no, it was not an archaeological artifact.) Most of us can see the truth in extreme examples and, accordingly, the need for some level of taxation. The major disagreement lies in the precise proportions by which we separate individual accumulation from general distribution. Personally, I feel that a system where just six members of Walmart’s founding family hold greater wealth than the bottom 120 million Americans combined (the status quo in the good 4

SEPTEMBER 12, 2013


ol’ U. S. of A.) is not the ideal. But don’t take my word for it; follow the numbers, starting with those that Ernie Dumas provides in a free and digestible format in many of his columns. Steve Barger Conway

Unsafe meat According to the lead story in yesterday’s Washington Post, the meat inspection program that USDA plans to roll out in meat and poultry plants nationwide has repeatedly failed to stop production of con-

taminated meat. The program allows meat producers to increase the speed of processing lines and replace USDA safety inspectors with their own employees. But plants operating under this program have experienced some of the worst health and safety violations that include failure to remove fecal matter and partly digested food, according to USDA inspector general. These contaminants may contain complex strains of deadly E. coli and listeria. Traditionally, USDA has catered more to the interests and profitability of the meat industry than health and safety concerns of American consumers. Consumer interests

come into play only when large numbers of us get sick. Having the USDA protect consumers is like asking the fox to guard the chicken house. The Obama administration must reallocate responsibility for consumer safety to the Food and Drug administration. In the meantime, each of us must assume responsibility for our own safety by switching to the rich variety of plant-based meats offered in local supermarkets. Luke Molina Little Rock

Fear of Hillary Up until the 2012 elections, North Carolina and Arkansas were islands of reason and sanity in the South, but not anymore. Why did Arkansas’s recently-elected Republican legislators pass an obviously unnecessary voter I.D. law? Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, correctly vetoed it because it was “a solution in search of a problem.” Our legislature did what the right-wing bill writers expected of them and passed it again over his veto with a simple majority vote. But if President Obama only got 37 percent of the vote in Arkansas in 2012, why are the state’s Republicans so eager to restrict voting? I suggest a one-word answer: Hillary. In the primaries of 2008, Arkansas voters strongly supported Hillary Clinton. On the issues, Hillary and Obama were virtually identical. However, once the Democratic nomination went to Obama, Arkansas voters stampeded from those issues to support John McCain, whose positions were completely opposite. I thought that the nomination and election of Barack Obama had permanently moved Arkansas into the Republican camp for the remainder of my life. If Arkansas’s anti-voter law means anything, it is that our Republican lawmakers don’t feel secure if Hillary is the Democratic presidential nominee in 2016. If it weren’t for the fear of Arkansans voting for their former state and national First Lady, why would they be working so hard to prevent people from voting who had voted Republican in the last four presidential elections — and by landslides when Barack Obama was on the ballot? Maybe if Hillary is on the ticket in 2016, Arkansas voters may forgive the Democratic Party for nominating Barack Obama sooner than I think — at least our Republican legislature seems to think so. David Offut El Dorado Submit letters to the Editor via e-mail. The address is arktimes@arktimes. com.



It’s a suds sippin’ safari at the Little Rock Zoo! Sample beer and party with the animals! Thursday, Sept. 19th, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. $25 per person Featuring “Requiem”, the choral masterpiece by John Rutter.

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SEPTEMBER 12, 2013




Rare bird


No songs

aline County gave us “The Ballad of Joe Broadway” (not to be confused with Broadway Joe, the quarterback) and “The Official Arkansas Waltz,” so designated by the state Senate years ago. Broadway was an outlaw who kept robbing the same bank; the ghastly “Waltz” was written by friends of a senator from Benton who demanded the endorsement of his colleagues. At a minimum, Saline County has done enough for Arkansas musically. We need to get this current Saline County situation resolved before somebody dashes off a “Ballad of Bruce Pennington.” Pennington is a hard-riding renegade sheriff who’s thus far eluded a posse of public officials, taxpayers, journalists and conventional law-enforcement officers. He was arrested in June outside a bar after witnesses reported a drunken man clambering into a car. When police arrived, a belligerent Pennington took a swing at one of his fellow lawmen. He was subsequently convicted of public intoxication and resisting arrest. That’s not the sort of conduct that inspires public confidence in a sheriff, as a sober Pennington seemed to realize. He gave notice to the Saline Quorum Court that he would retire Oct. 1. But then something got into him, and he recanted his resignation and said he would run for re-election. He’s made conflicting announcements since, and now nobody’s entirely sure what he’s going to do, possibly even the sheriff himself. Whatever, a song won’t help. 6

SEPTEMBER 12, 2013




ockefeller Republicans in Arkansas have dwindled like ivory-billed woodpeckers, and are even more sorely missed. Until this week, the only one we knew of was Bob Scott up in Rogers, once an aide to Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller, still a loyalist and an idealist after all these years. Now there are two, apparently. Bob Johnson of Jacksonville, a member of the Pulaski County Quorum Court who was elected as a Republican, has announced he’s joining the Democratic Party and will run for state representative next year as a Democrat. He said: “I grew up as a moderate Republican, my father was very close to Governor Rockefeller … the last several years, the party has just moved too far to the right and is dominated by people that say ‘no’ to everything. Because of that, I am better described now as a conservative Democrat.” Gov. Rockefeller and the small band of legislative Republicans during his administration said “yes” to a lot of things — aid for the underprivileged, equal rights for minorities, openness in government, fairer taxes. Most of what they supported was disapproved by the legislature, but that was because of opposition from old-line Democrats, the reactionaries of their day, no better than contemporary Tea Baggers. The descendants of those benighted Democrats turned Republican. Rockefeller would be shocked at what his party has become. Now that it finally has the legislative majority he sought, it could really help people, and it doesn’t want to.

LEARNING NEW THINGS: Arkansas fans attempt to “throw the A” Saturday at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. Arkansas defeated Samford 31-21.

Schools: Winners and losers


spent some time last week with a political consultant who’s part of the growing army of people funded by the Walton family and other wealthy Arkansans to reshape education in the billionaires’ image. One objective is to destroy the Little Rock School District as it currently exists because it has a teachers’ union. It happens that the consultant moved to her job in Little Rock not long ago, but chose to live in Cabot and commute. Why? The first reason she cited was to avoid placing her high-school-age daughter in the Little Rock School District. I pressed for her thinking, but couldn’t really get to the nub of it beyond a general reluctance. She also had friends in Cabot and Cabot has a good school district. Fair enough. Cabot students happen to be whiter and better off economically than Little Rock public school students, but I’ll take her word that these were non-factors. Still, many things the consultant said — including about “failing” Little Rock schools and misinformation about school assignments in the Little Rock district — demonstrated how effective the Billionaire Boys Club has been at selling a poisonous narrative about the Little Rock School District that many don’t investigate on their own. Like most things, it’s not so simple. The Waltons are, for example, financing a lobby group that is attempting to balkanize the Little Rock School District into innumerable independent school districts — quasi-private schools in that they are unaccountable to voters but operated with public money, sometimes by private money-making corporations — known as charter schools. The group is currently pushing to build a charter middle school that would grow into a high school to serve the affluent white neighborhoods of western Little Rock. They want to open before Little Rock can get its planned new middle school built. The battle cry: Avoiding the “failed” schools of Little Rock. Many of the “failed” schools are actually making progress, as measured by inching-up test scores, with

the predominantly impoverished populations they serve. And they’d do a lot better if they could have a dose of the economic integration that is a proven boon to student achievement. A shared MAX commitment to the entire disBRANTLEY trict would be beneficial to more children than the charter movement, which has failed nationally to demonstrate its superiority. One of the proven charter laggards, in fact, is the private Texas charter operator chosen by the Walton lobby to run the proposed Chenal Valley charter middle school. The school first must be approved by the state over the Little Rock District’s opposition for its segregative impact. All schools aren’t failing. Consider conveniently situated Parkview Arts and Science Magnet, which had four among Arkansas’s only 150 National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists this year. Any parent who wants to see the American public education system at work should turn on the cable TV educational access channel the next time they replay the March on Washington program by Parkview students at the Clinton Library. Beautiful singing, speaking and orchestra. The students were very nearly the red, yellow, black and white of hymn — Martin Luther King’s dream fulfilled in inspiring harmony. Parkview is not alone. Those parents who want a new west Little Rock high school (some of them, I’m told, find the county’s nearby Robinson High unacceptable on class grounds) could motor a few more minutes east on I-630 to Central High School, which provided 24 — one in every six — of Arkansas’s National Merit semi-finalists this year. Central was, for whatever reason, an uncomfortable choice for the Walton hired hand I lunched with. So I don’t expect her patron’s organizing effort to be pushing people in THAT direction. It doesn’t fit the anti-LRSD narrative. A successful Little Rock charter movement will inevitably destroy it, too.


Voter I.D. law based on fiction about fraud


t isn’t what we don’t know that causes us grief, but what we know, that simply isn’t true. That is a drearily recurring theme here, but there is no better illustration of the maxim than the voter-suppression drive in Arkansas and elsewhere in the South. It has spread outside the South to a few Midwestern states where Republicans control the legislatures. In the old days, sometimes known as the good old days, it was the Democratic Party that engaged in voter suppression, but demography and a changed political culture have switched the party roles. What we know that isn’t so is that dishonest voters — by the tens of thousands here in Arkansas and by the millions nationally — are going to the polls in every election and illegally casting other people’s ballots for them, in favor of people like Barack Obama and liberal Democrats. Both recent experience and the state’s long and sad history of elections show that it simply isn’t so, but it is the basis of the voteridentification law that Arkansas begins enforcing at some expense this winter and of other, far more draconian laws in

other states that seek to dampen voting by minorities, the elderly, the disabled and the poor. Much of the ERNEST impetus for the DUMAS Arkansas law came from legislators in Northwest Arkansas, where Republicans fear that Hispanics working in the poultry and service industries might be registering and voting before getting citizenship and that they might vote for Democrats. Republicans hope the photo ID might somehow deter them. The Arkansas law will soon be challenged in court and almost certainly will be struck down, perhaps before it deprives too many people of their right to vote. The Arkansas Constitution makes it clear that the legislature cannot add requirements for voting beyond a person’s permanent registration. People in Arkansas were easy to persuade that the photo-ID law was necessary to protect the sanctity of elections because we have a long history of

Ethics gone wild


n 2012, advocates of an initiated act on ethics in Arkansas initially put forward by the grassroots group Regnat Populus worked for months to interest national good government groups like Common Cause to invest in the effort to gain the signatures necessary to place the legislation on the ballot. If it had gotten there, all signs are that the initiative (ending corporate and union donations to Arkansas campaigns, employing the “Wal-Mart rule” to prevent lobbyists from providing gifts to legislators, and a two-year cooling-off period before outgoing legislators could be employed as a lobbyist) would have passed easily. Despite some last minute fundraising and spending by a bipartisan group working in tandem with Regnat Populus, the effort came up just short. As of last week, however, these national groups are finally engaged in an Arkansas initiative effort on ethics; unfortunately, despite the best of intentions, this new proposal is a thoroughly flawed one. Since 2012, Paul Spencer, the Catholic High School civics and history teacher who got Regnat Populus off the ground, has not let up in his effort to lessen the influence of big money in the Arkansas politi-

cal system. During the legislative session earlier this year, Spencer and fellow traveler David Couch worked with JAY state Rep. Warwick BARTH Sabin to get an ethics package, overlapping to a large degree with the 2012 proposal, placed before the voters at the 2014 election. Some are upset that the constitutional amendment also includes components that would extend term limits and create a mechanism for raising elected officials’ salaries necessitated to gain to votes of a sufficient number of legislators. Because of the need for both (decidedly less popular) reforms, I am actually hopeful that they can be pulled along by the “ethics” amendment. Decidedly more troubling in my eyes are other exceptions to the WalMart rule allowing lobbyists to purchase meals for identifiable groups of legislators and permitting interests to cover the cost of elected officials’ travel to conferences outside the state; their enshrinement in a constitutional amendment that would be difficult to alter in the future ratchets up

election fraud dating back to statehood and particularly since Reconstruction, when whites and the Democratic Party wrested power from Republicans and their freshly minted African-American voting allies. The state effectively removed the franchise from blacks through a variety of ruses — intimidation, whites-only primaries, the poll tax and the Australian ballot. It would be well after World War II that blacks began to have a token role in elections and the casting of public policy. Today, the African-American share of the popular vote is considerably less than its share of the population, about 15 percent. Poor people just do not vote in large numbers. Arkansas has one of the weakest democracies of all the states. Only 50.5 percent of Arkansas adults who were eligible to be voters cast a ballot in 2012, far below the national average and better than only four states, Texas, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Hawaii. The legislature this spring thought it could get the number even lower so it passed the law requiring people to flash an official photo identification before voting. Large numbers of the poor do not have an official photo ID and will have to go to considerable trouble to get one. Only a few Republican leaders admit that the purpose of the new voting laws — in some states they are shortening voting periods to make it harder for working

people to cast their votes — is to suppress votes. The generic explanation is that it is to stop fraud. But the ID laws won’t have any effect on any form of election fraud that we have known in this or any other state. Voting fraud is almost never committed by random individuals going to the polls to cast someone else’s vote for them, which is what the ID law might deter. Fraud is committed not by voters but by those conducting elections — sheriffs and county clerks — with the complicity of precinct judges and clerks, most often through the manipulation of absentee ballots. Even that is not much in evidence anymore but it can happen—and still could with photo IDs. Florida, where vote suppression decided the 2000 presidential election, and its sister states on the seaboard, particularly North Carolina, have taken more draconian steps to curtail voting by blacks and Hispanics, after they were given the green light by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Voting Rights Act decision. Florida’s governor, Rick Scott, said noncitizens were voting illegally in huge numbers. Republicans produced a pool of 182,000 names of voting noncitizens. It was winnowed down to 2,600 names, which were sent to election supervisors, who found that all but 198 were eligible to vote. Fewer than 40 had voted illegally. A photo ID wouldn’t have stopped them.

that concern. Still, there is decidedly more good than bad in “The Arkansas Elected Officials Ethics, Transparency, and Financial Reform Act.” Now Regnat Populus is back with an initiated act supported by Common Cause, Public Citizen, and other national groups who could not be lured to the state in 2012. In addition to very attractive (and unproblematic) rhetoric critiquing the 2009 Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC and emphasizing that “corporations are not human beings,” the initiative (now at the Attorney General’s office for review) would prohibit all corporations doing business in Arkansas from making political contributions or expenditures in Arkansas elections. Going well beyond the ban on corporate contributions to candidates found in the proposed constitutional amendment, this new proposal has the promise to undermine legitimate involvement in the political process that is at the heart and soul of the First Amendment. Imagine the following quite imaginable scenario: In the closing weeks of the gubernatorial campaign, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s political action fund decides to spend money on a direct mail campaign in Arkansas targeted at pro-choice voters educating them about Asa Hutchin-

son’s opposition to reproductive choice. Under this incredibly broad initiative, that expenditure would not be allowed. This is because Planned Parenthood is a corporation, albeit a nonprofit one, incorporated in New York, that would be engaged in an expenditure “with the intention of influencing public perception of a clearly identifiable candidate” barred under the initiative. Similar groups would be denied from engaging in ballot issue campaigns including, ironically, this ethics proposal itself. Progressives are divided between free speech purists who argue that any limitation on spending in politics is an intrusion into the First Amendment’s promise of free speech and egalitarians who contend that some reasonable controls on spending is necessary to maintain some semblance of equality in the American electoral system. I veer in the egalitarian direction and, following the Supreme Court’s truly radical decision in Citizens United with its devastating ramifications for the practice of democracy in the United States, have swerved even more sharply. Some controls on campaign spending, which is not pure speech, create a fairer system of governance. But, the possibility for deep intrusion into political expression found in the latest Regnat Populus effort just goes too far.

SEPTEMBER 12, 2013



Executive action

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“I’m a longtime supporter of Governor Beebe, but I must say I was disappointed when I saw in the paper ‘Beebe lashes Martin, says hiring illegal.’ Heaven knows the secretary of state can be annoying, and I wouldn’t have minded ‘Beebe pinches Martin,’ or maybe even ‘Beebe coldcocks Martin.’ But lashing is just too extreme.” — Mae Day. Ms. Day is too literal-minded, I’m afraid. Most people probably realized when they saw the headline that the lashing was only figurative, that Governor Beebe hadn’t actually chained Secretary of State Mark Martin to the Confederate-soldier statue on the Capitol lawn and applied the whip to him. No matter how much Martin may have deserved it. Rather, the governor had only criticized the lesser official, the lashing done only with the tongue. Like rap and flay, lash is a word much used by headline writers to mean “express disapproval of.” All are dramatic-sounding and, most importantly, short. “While conquistadors like Cortes and Francisco Pizarro are reviled throughout Latin America for their monstrous cruelty, the somewhat less ruthless but equally brutal Balboa is revered in Panama.” “Less ruthless but equally brutal” — the writer is making a distinction so fine as to

be almost invisible. Random House defines ruthless as “without pity or compassion; cruel; merciless” and bruDOUG tal as “savage; cruel; SMITH inhuman.” Sounds like six of one and half a dozen of the other to me. “Mankiw teaches Harvard’s introductory economics course; the class is consistently the most popular on campus, with enrollment often exceeding 700 students. All economics concentrators are required to take it, which makes Mankiw’s influence particularly far-reaching.” Is an economics concentrator what used to be called an economics major? Can landgrant universities have concentrators, or just the Ivy League? “John McCain, born in the Panama Canal, and Mitt Romney, born to a father born in Mexico, never faced conspiracy theories about whether they were ersatz Americans or Americans with divided loyalties.” Michael Klossner writes, “Born in the Panama Canal? That must have been traumatic.” Indeed. Maybe it explains his picking Sarah Palin.


It was a good week for...


9.19.13 9.19.13

ReStore and After features furniture and h i tAefmt es r f rf eoand Roe m S tefeatures od r eé caonrdfurniture amt uHhome r ea sb iftuadécor rtn’ si t R uitems re eS taonrfrom de ReStore and After Habitat’s r eh soaml ee sdhéocposr, ittreamn ss ffor romme dH ai nb ti toa w t ’ os rRk es Sotfo ra er t ReStore resale and brye slashops, olcea ls haotransformed r pt iss, t st r a n ds f osinto or m l de works i lweart no rt kby asu oclocal . di n i na t soof ft i aorntartists P rboyc el auction. lalue cdfun-filled oe cd as l f ra or tmiProceeds s t hs ias nrde lfrom saoxl eddthis i na nadrelaxed sfiul enn- ft iand t ieovne.n t sold in a silent event b i tt ahti sf or re lH P r bo ec ne e df ist fH oam xuemd a anni tdy fiunn t- h f iel li er df i eg vhet n t benefit Habitat for rHumanity in atheir fight against poverty housing. t ya nh iotuy s i n gt. h e i r f i g h t b e n e f i t H a gb ai ti ants tf opro vHeur m against poverty housing.

Next Level Events at Union Station N e x t L e 1v 4e 0l 0E W. v e nM t sa rakt hUa nmi oSnt .S t a t i o n 1L4i 0 k h6a m S t. . t t0l eW.R oMc akr • p.m Little Rock • 6 p.m.

Flowers by Greg Daniels Flowers by Greg Daniels

Tickets may be purchased online in advance for $35 or at the door for $40. Tickets may be purchased online in advance for $35 or at the door for $40. Visit to purchase. Visit purchase. Tickets may be purchased online in advancetofor $35 or at the door for $40. Visit to purchase. 8

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SIMMONS FIRST NATIONAL CORP. It purchased Metropolitan National Bank in an auction on Monday. The acquisition is expected to grow Simmons’ assets by nearly 50 percent.

UNPRECEDENTED AGREEMENT. Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton supports President Obama’s military action in Syria, a position he currently holds alone among the Arkansas congressional delegation and contrary to majority public sentiment. ALICE WALTON. Texas officials dropped DWI charges on the Walmart heiress and Crystal Bridges Museum founder after the trooper who arrested Walton was unable to testify. Twenty-three months ago, Walton was arrested after being stopped driving back to her ranch from a birthday celebration in Fort Worth. She refused a breath test. ARKANSAS DEMOCRATS. Justice of the Peace Bob Johnson of Jacksonville, who ran as a Republican, has announced he’s changing parties and will run as a Democrat for state representative for the seat currently held by Democrat Mark Perry, who’s term limited.

SALINE COUNTY. After pleading guilty to being drunk and resisting Benton police arrest at a nightclub and saying he would retire, then changing his mind and saying he would seek re-election, Saline County Sheriff Bruce Pennington again said he will retire effective Oct. 1. We’ll see what happens between now and then.

It was a bad week for...

THE LITTLE ROCK ZOO. On Sept. 8, Jewell, the zoo’s 62-yearold Asian elephant, was unable to stand on her own, and the zoo was forced to euthanize her. She was donated to the zoo by the Ringling Brothers Center for Elephant Conservation in 2011. PINE BLUFF. Police shot and killed Monroe Isadore, a 107-year-old man, after SWAT officers failed to negotiate a surrender following a standoff. ARKANSAS BAPTIST COLLEGE. Fitz Hill, president of Arkansas Baptist College, confirmed that the Little Rock college has been unable to make payroll — about $300,000 monthly — and has been unable to pay many vendors. Hill blamed the problem on computer problems.

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SEPTEMBER 12, 2013


The morale of this win — don’t look ahead


t was precisely one year ago that War Memorial Stadium was the backdrop for what this column (and much of the sporting public) termed the Hogs’ biggest football disaster ever, a pitiful lay-down against Louisiana-Monroe that set in motion nearly three more months of ill feelings about the Arkansas program. So, when the Hogs lethargically trotted onto the same turf Saturday night against an even lesser foe — FCS also-ran Samford — and went to the fourth quarter trailing 21-17, you probably instinctively reached for the ejector seat button. But it would’ve been panic built on pretext alone. Last fall, Kolton Browning minced a completely befuddled and undisciplined Hog defense to give the Warhawks the comeback victory in OT, and Arkansas, in a mystifying second half where Paul Petrino tried to make a freshman QB a machine-gunner, collapsed under the weight of its own hype. The 2013 team has no delusions of greatness, merely poking one hole a week on the 12-game punch list and hoping it will learn along the way. And nothing teaches a team resiliency more than a game like the one against the Bulldogs, which oh by the way, Arkansas eventually won on the strength of a strong fourth quarter, 31-21. It’s a trite point to drive home, but the Hogs’ handful of mistakes transformed a would-be rout into something that resembled a nailbiter in score only. The truth is that the Hogs dominated this one by generally all statistical measures but made a handful of crippling errors, specifically ill-timed fumbles and penalties. That largely offset a near 2-to-1 yardage advantage and yet another monster night for the tailback tandem of Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams, which has amassed very nearly 600 rushing yards total in two games. Where they’ve faltered, if at all, is in the exact domain where you’d expect young talents like this to stumble. Collins scored his first collegiate TD in the fourth quarter and promptly let his already-legendary exuberance get the best of him as he incurred an admittedly ridiculous penalty for jumping into the stands to celebrate it; Williams lost a fumble late in the third quarter that gave Samford a short field for its go-ahead score. The message both can take is pretty evident, even if the position they own is not resplendent with depth: secure the ball and skirt the NCAA’s obtuse celebration rules, or cede carries to the other.

Brandon Allen, meanwhile, continues to impress. If the final numbers don’t wow you — hitting 9 of BEAU 17 passes for 125 WILCOX yards sure as hell looks like something taken out of an SWC box from the Hatfield era — the young man’s ascension into the leadership role should. For beginners, some dropped passes put a modest sheen on his overall performance. He also took a slightly greater amount of punishment from Samford’s pass rush, but weathered it well in the end. This team’s progress will be in correlation with Allen’s. Provided that he continues to minimize errors (no picks in 39 attempts so far) and that he commands everything before the snap so the team doesn’t play behind the chains, there is cause to be ecstatic. Remember that Allen earned this job and his staff’s copious praise in the spring, knocking Brandon Mitchell clear out of Fayetteville. And if that Louisiana-Monroe debacle of a year ago ultimately was a catalyst for his maturity into the three-year starter of a winning program, then maybe it was worth the torture. The Hogs did also take the field against Samford without reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Week Trey Flowers, linebacker Jarrett Lake and safety Rohan Gaines. It was jarring to see the defense yield a couple of well-orchestrated drives, but it also may have benefited the team as a whole to get new blood into the mix. Again, for all the leaks that the ship sprung on a miserably hot night, with the nowstandard lot of half-attuned War Memorial fans checking their watches to make sure they weren’t missing some kind of telethon on PBS, the patching came quickly and forcefully enough to make sure that this year would not be another oh-fer in the Monolith on Markham. Once-proud Southern Mississippi arrives in Fayetteville this weekend with a 14-game winless albatross in tow, and it is as discouraging a time for Golden Eagles fans in Hattiesburg as they’ve ever experienced. As the schedule turns nasty in a hurry, Bret Bielema’s words of caution will have to resonate this week more than any other, because the tendency to look ahead is usually inescapable. Fortunately, Samford should’ve been just the scare tactic the Hogs needed.






8:00 PM




Arkansas Reporter



Little Rock School Board member Tommy Branch Jr., who faces two Zone 6 opponents in next week’s election, has long been challenged on the address he’s listed as his residency on campaign documents — 3719 Ludwig St. He told the Arkansas DemocratGazette last week that he rented a room across the street from a church member for a time and now lived with his family in the Timberland subdivision off Colonel Glenn. That’s still not much of an explanation for his residency in the past. A Freedom of Information Act request to Central Arkansas Water shows there’s been no service to the address on Ludwig since April 3, 2001. That’s not all. Opponents have also looked up county property tax records on the house. As of Monday, property taxes on the house for 2011 were listed as delinquent, with $735.65 owed, counting penalty. Taxes haven’t been paid on the $448.64 owed this year either, but the deadline for that payment is Oct. 15. The property tax bill was addressed to Tommy D. Branch Sr. and Tommy D. Branch Jr. at an address on Brown Street. Delinquency on taxes has a direct impact on the school district he oversees. The bulk of property taxes on that residence go to the Little Rock School District — $296.96 of the $448.64 owed for 2012. Assessors records show the property deeded to the Branches in 2011 by the land commissioner. Reached by the Times, Branch explained that the Ludwig house was bought at a tax sale for renovation and to live in, but the work had gone slowly. He said he used the address on forms because he was living across the street. He’s since rented the house on Timberland, which is in Zone 6. He said he was not aware taxes were owed for 2011 on the Ludwig house. He said he and his father own several properties together and, “We will be taking care of that.” The bills go to his father’s address.

Darr gone fishin’ More reporting from Matt Campbell’s Blue Hog Report blog on Lt. CONTINUED ON PAGE 13 12

SEPTEMBER 12, 2013


Heavy oil, ruptured pipe — connected? Experts say dilbit could have created pressure swings, hydrogen cracks. BY ELIZABETH DOUGLASS


n the five months since ExxonMobil’s Pegasus oil pipeline burst in Arkansas, two things have become clear. Flawed, 1940s-era welding techniques used when the Pegasus was built set the stage for the rupture, and an internal pipeline inspection failed to spot the problem just weeks before the spill. The most critiSPECIAL cal question of all, REPORT however, has yet to be answered — What caused the pipe’s longdormant flaws — assumed to be J-shaped “hook cracks,” in this case — to awaken and grow undetected until catastrophe struck? “It is the extension of the hook cracks that is the key to this failure,” said Patrick — because it’s heavier and harder to push Pizzo, a professor emeritus in materials through pipe, and because its ingredients engineering at San Jose State University. can vary more widely than conventional “You have to get those cracks in motion in crude oils. order to lead to a leak or a fracture.” Another theory holds that an excessive Pizzo and several pipeline failure experts amount of hydrogen accelerated or trigwho reviewed the publicly available Pega- gered the crack growth. In that scenario, sus reports say the pipe’s cracks probably the destructive hydrogen could have come grew because of large swings in the pres- from an overcharged corrosion protection sure inside the pipe. So-called “pressure- system or from the sulfur-heavy dilbit being cycle-induced fatigue” is one of the top four carried by the Pegasus. A metallurgical report on the ruptured threats in pipelines that — like the Pegasus — were built from pre-1970 pipe that segment of the Pegasus concluded that subis predisposed to cracking and corrosion standard manufacturing methods left tiny cracks near the pipe’s seam. Those cracks problems along lengthwise seams. But there could be other factors, too, grew until the steel pipe split, sending crude including problems associated with the oil gushing from a 22-foot-long gash. Hook type of product the Pegasus was carrying cracks are typically formed at the steel mill. — an oil-like substance called bitumen that But the metallurgical report said that in is mined in Canada and diluted to form this case the hook cracks were probably diluted bitumen, or dilbit. formed later, after micro-cracks from the One theory is that dilbit made pressure manufacturing process grew and merged swings inside the pipe larger and more fre- during service. The report didn’t say what quent — and thus more harmful over time caused the cracks to grow.


Who’ll pay the school taxes

Answering that question is vital, because 30 percent of the nation’s 180,000 miles of onshore hazardous liquid pipelines could have manufacturing flaws similar to those on the Pegasus. Operators of those pipelines need to know if they should conduct new inspections, rethink assumptions about crack growth, or adjust the way they operate their lines. If dilbit turns out to have been a factor in the Pegasus spill, it would further inflame the debate over U.S. imports of Canadian bitumen. That, in turn, would put the spotlight on other flawed pipelines that carry dilbit and would also provide fodder for opponents of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry dilbit from Canada to oil refineries on the Gulf Coast. The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is investigating the Pegasus failure but has not discussed its work. Exxon spokesman Aaron Stryk said the company would not comment on the matter until the probe is complete. PHMSA investigators are analyzing the toughness of the steel, residual stress, mechanical properties, chemical analysis of deposits and resistance to environmentally assisted cracking, among other things, according to an Exxon presentation to Arkansas officials. Pressure cycling and hydrogen cracking are types of environmentally assisted cracking.

Pressure in flux Pressure cycling is pervasive in pipelines that carry liquids because viscosity of the products inside the pipes is constantly changing. Hilly terrain can also add to the pressure swings. Operators also repeatedly stop and start a pipe’s flow to unload batches of oil or fuel along the length of the pipe or, in some cases, to take advantage of lower nighttime electricity rates, according to John Stoody, spokesman for the Association of Oil Pipe Lines, an industry trade group. To limit pressure variations, CONTINUED ON PAGE 38



Regular Joes have to make payments to the Razorback Foundation in order to get priority seating at University of Arkansas football games, but the state’s elected officials have a sweeter deal. The UA as a matter of policy exempts statewide officers, legislators, members of the Higher Education Coordinating Council, UA faculty and staff and Razorback letter winners from making the extra contribution for good seats. They are required to pay face value for their tickets. But that is a financial bargain, sometimes huge, compared with ordinary fans, who must pay hefty charges for better seats. Legislators also get free parking in Fayetteville. Under what laughably passes for “ethics” in Arkansas, tens of thousands of dollars worth of priority seating and parking is freely given by a public institution, happily taken by many officials and smiled on benignly by people with the title ethics regulators. Woo Pig Sooie. Below a look at the 39 legislators who scored a deal on seats, with the annual contribution they avoided.



Section 112 ($1,000-$2,000) ROW Rep. David Branscum (R-Marshall) 50 Rep. Mary P. “Prissy” Hickerson (R-Texarkana) 31 Rep. Lane Jean (R-Magnolia) 35 Section 107 ($500) Rep. Scott Baltz (D- Pocahontas) Rep. Andy Davis (R-Little Rock)

SEATS 32,31 24,23 21,20

Section 106 ($1,000-$2,000) ROW SEATS Sen. Bruce Holland (R-Greenwood) 12 19,20 Rep. John Payton (R-Wilburn) 12 21,22 Sen. Bobby Pierce (D-Sheridan) 13 49,50 Rep. Tommy Thompson (D-Morrilton) 15 12,13 Section 105 ($5,000-$10,000) ROW SEATS Rep. Denny Altes (R-Fort Smith) 6 37,38 Sen. Keith M. Ingram (D-West Memphis) 4 12,13 Section 103 ($5,000-$10,000) ROW SEATS Rep. Dan Douglas (R-Bentonville) 6 13,14 Rep. Deborah Ferguson (D-West Memphis) 6 5,6 Sen. Jim Hendren (R-Gravette) 8 9,10 Sen. Michael Lamoureux (R-Russellville) 9 13,14 Rep. Andrea Lea (R- Russellville) A 9,10 Sen. Larry Teague (D-Nashville) 6 3,4 Sen. Jon Woods (R-Springdale) B 9,10 Section 102 ($2,000-$3,000) ROW Rep. Jonathan Barnett (R-Siloam Springs) 56 Rep. Bruce Cozart (R-Hot Springs) 24 Rep. Robert Dale (R-Dover) 56 Sen. Bruce Holland (R-Greenwood) 9 Rep. Greg Leding (D-Fayetteville) 5 4 Rep. Betty Overbey (D-Lamar) 28 Rep. Terry Rice (R-Waldron) 40 Rep. John Walker (D-Little Rock) 53 Rep. Darrin Williams (D-Little Rock) B


Section 30 ($500) Rep. Kelley Linck (Yellville)

SEATS 21,22 43,44 15,16 45,46 19,20 17,18 15,16 11,12 11,12

Section 101 ($1,000) ROW Rep. Jon Eubanks (R-Paris) 11 Rep. Matthew Shepherd (R-El Dorado) 54 Rep. Richard Womack (R- Arkadelphia) 9 Rep. John K. Hutchison (R-Harrisburg) 23 Rep. Kelley Linck (R-Yellville) 37 Rep. Mary Lou Slinkard (R-Gravette) 50 Rep. Micah Neal (R-Springdale) 26 Rep. John Vines (D-Hot Springs) 54 Sen. Eddie Joe Williams (R-Cabot) 16

Section 9 ($1,000) ROW Rep. Jon Eubanks (R-Paris) 44 Rep. Mary P. “Prissy” Hickerson (R-Texarkana) 50 Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Hot Springs) 27 Rep. John Vines (D-Hot Springs) 53 Rep. John Walker (D-Little Rock) 46 Sen. Bruce Holland (R-Greenwood) 49 Rep. Matthew Shepherd (R-El Dorado) 53

SEATS 18,19 15,16 7,8 23,24 21,22 20,21 25,26

SEATS 3,4 32,33 23,24 28,29 25,26 11,12 20,21 30,31 35,36

Section 10 ($500) ROW SEATS Betty Overbey (D-Lamar) 26 13,14

ROW SEATS 27 14,13

Section 29 ($1,000) ROW Rep. Denny Altes (R-Fort Smith) 9 Rep. Scott Baltz (D- Pocahontas) 9 John K. Hutchison (R-Harrisburg) 14 Rep. Darrin Williams (D-Little Rock) 33 Rep. Richard Womack (R- Arkadelphia) 18 Lane Jean (R-Magnolia) 51 Micah Neal (R-Springdale) 16

SEATS 10,9 12,11 6,5 4,3 12,11 5,6 12,11

Section 28 ($1,000-$2,000) ROW SEATS Rep. Andy Davis (R-Little Rock) 5 8,7 Sen. Eddie Joe Williams (R-Cabot) 30 16,15 Rep. John Payton (R-Wilburn) 15 16,15 Section 27 ($2,000-$5,000) Rep. Deborah Ferguson (D-West Memphis)



Section 25 ($2,000-$5,000) ROW SEATS Sen. Jim Hendren (R-Gravette) 6 24,23 Sen. Bobby Pierce (D-Sheridan) 6 28,27


Section 513 ($500-$1,000) ROW SEATS Rep. Charles Collins (R-Fayetteville) 4 20,19

ROW SEATS 10 1,2 19 7,8


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

Section 23 ($1,000) ROW SEATS Rep. Bruce Cozart (R-Hot Springs) 55 16,15 Section 24 ($1,000-$2,000) ROW SEATS Sen. Michael Lamoureux (R-Russellville) 57 21,20 Sen. Bruce Maloch (D-Magnolia) 13 21,20

Gov. Mark Darr’s use of his taxpayerpaid office expense account: State records show the state paid $258.75 for a bill Sept. 8, 2012, at Gaston’s White River Resort. That same day, Darr posted a Twitter message about a successful trout fishing outing that day with his son and state Rep. Kelley Linck of Yellville. The tweet included pictures that are no longer available. Perhaps Darr had official business at Gaston’s that day, and his son rode along. The Arkansas Times sent a question to his office staff for an explanation. And again we asked if Darr intends to respond to the mass of evidence Blue Hog has compiled that suggests Darr doublebilled travel expenses — at one time to both a state credit card and in unadjusted mileage reimbursements and, at other times, in charges to his campaign account as well as taxpayers in per-mile reimbursements. Since this expenditure occurred in 2012, it will undoubtedly get searching attention from the Republican-led staff at legislative audit, currently reviewing the office. By the way: You’ll recall that Mark Darr took credit for pushing a “state checkbook,” a transparency website that is supposed to open government to inspection. Go to his office page on that site now and you can’t find information that Blue Hog dug up from past years. He got that through paper FOI requests. It shows summary spending in the fiscal year that began July 1. Darr has already run up $414 in mileage charges. From where to where for what? Remember, commuting is not allowed as an expense. And remember that payment beyond salary to constitutional officers for personal expenses is also prohibited. You can see the page of information on Darr is not fully transparent. Thanks to Blue Hog, we know politicians like Mark Darr demand closer inspection.

SEPTEMBER 12, 2013


THEY HAVE A VISION Twenty-five of the state’s creative thinkers.






ittle Rock native Matt Price started the online retailer Bourbon and Boots with partners Scott Copeland and Mike Mueller with one idea — Other e-commerce startups were doing it wrong. “When you’re selling something that sells, you’re going to lose,” Price said. “They’re going to beat you every day of the week. So we wanted to sell things differently, and we wanted to create a deeper relationship with out consumers.” Proudly Southern, featuring hip, handmade, artisan-quality items, the site has been a big hit with consumers who surf Pinterest for the next cute thing to add to their home, cupboard or wardrobe. The bottom line proves Price and Co. are onto something. With just six full-time employees, the company recently crossed the $1 million mark in sales, with a large percentage of that money going back to artisans. Price sees the company’s success as a kind of pocketbook response to the impersonal, massproduced items you might find at Target or the mall. “I think people want to have a more unique experience,” he said. “They want to know where their product came from. They want to know that someone locally made it, and a lot of people also want to keep the money in their local community.” DK.


SEPTEMBER 12, 2013



n the spirit of our Big Ideas issue, an annual showcase of proposals that would make Arkansas a better place to live, and last year’s celebration of the influential Arkansans shaping Arkansas in myriad ways, this week we present a group we’ve dubbed Visionary Arkansans. Why are they visionary? Because they have ideas of transformative power. From Carol Reeves, the University of Arkansas’s “entrepreneurship ambassador” on our cover who is working to develop a new school for innovation, to Epiphany, a Little Rock rapper who’s using hip-hop as an international relations tool, to Geania Dickey, an early childhood education advocate who helped secure $100 million in funding for the state’s pre-K program, many of those featured in this issue have taken — or are taking — a big idea and making it happen. OK, fair enough, others featured have a vision that is largely unto themselves, but without art and culture and food, what good is life? On Sept. 21, many of the visionaries featured in this week’s issue will participate in the second annual Arkansas Times Festival of Ideas at the Clinton School for Public Service, the Historic Arkansas Museum, Heifer International and the Old State House. Sessions will run concurrently at each venue from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. There’ll be demonstrations, presentations and panel discussions, like our own version of Ted Talks. See the schedule on page 37. Sessions are free and open to the public, but reservations are requested. Reserve your seat at





heo Witsell stood still in a thicket at Lorance Creek Natural Area just south of Little Rock and started naming off the plants encircling him. Southern high bush blueberry. Muscadine. Sweet gum. Willow oak. Yellow passion flower. Cinnamon fern, bracken fern, Southern lady fern, netted chain fern, Virginia chain fern, royal fern. Edible ground nut. Hardhack spirea. Wood-oats, plume grass, rough-leaved goldenrod. Sessile bell wort. White flat-topped aster; that’s a rare one, he said. Over there, elephant’s foot, partridge berry, lots of crane-fly orchid. St. John’s wort. Grape fern. Sphagnum moss, spongy in the sandy soil beneath our feet. He was just getting going naming the 471 species of native plants that grow in Lorance Creek; the greatest diversity lies in a boggy area where, thanks to the power line mowing, sunlight has made its way in and allowed dormant seeds to sprout to life. He was there on this particular day collecting a sedge — Carex bullata — to send to a colleague in North Carolina who believes it’s a little different from its eastern family. It looked like any old grass to the uneducated eye, but Witsell could distinguish it —even without its fruit. The 38-year-old botanist for the Natural Heritage Commission and Little Rock native can identify about 5,000 plants, a skill he says he works on constantly to maintain. (He started out in wildlife biology, he said, but found plants easier to catch.) In 2001 he identified a new species endemic to Arkansas, Pelton’s rose gentian, which he named for the amateur botanist who found it in Saline County and showed it to him. Witsell and others are now working on identifying eight or nine plants not previously described, many from the shale glades in the Ouachita Mountains. They are working to add to the state’s knowledge of its natural history, helping write the story of how the Arkansas landscape has changed by reading its seeds. You can’t know what’s out there unless you look, and that’s something fewer and fewer people are doing. “There’s a low and declining level of ecological literacy in our society,” Witsell said. “People don’t go outdoors anymore,” and are further alienated from the natural world. And that’s a pity, not only because diversity is beautiful and fascinating but because who knows what more we can learn from the plants? He regrets being born too late to see the Arkansas of the past, with its bison and prairie plants, the things Thomas Nuttall saw. But look to Witsell to make his own mark and add new chapters to the state’s natural history. LNP. CONTINUED ON PAGE 16

SEPTEMBER 12, 2013




SEPTEMBER 12, 2013





j Smith, who like his wife, Marjorie Williams-Smith has taught art at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock since the early 1980s, considers himself “blessed.” “I never had to wonder about what I was going to be when I grew up,” the master of portraits in prints and graphite, said. It was always to be an artist. What this couple, he a Queens College grad, she a Pratt Institute grad, did not know was that that a move to Little Rock from New York in 1982 so Aj could take a job as artist-in-residence at the Arkansas Arts Center would be permanent. Aj, who had been recommended by artist Benny Andrews, first said no to Arts Center Director Townsend Wolfe. Marjorie said no to Aj. Then Aj thought, “Just for a year.” He told Marjorie she could take the year off. They came to Arkansas. After the first year, they had a baby. And another. “The art community befriended us,” Aj said. And so it goes. The couple are known in Arkansas and beyond for their deft draftsmanship and approach to art. Marjorie works exclusively in metal point, a difficult and time-consuming medium that produces an exquisite line with copper and silver, especially with Marjorie holding the stylus. She took up the art form after a 1985 exhibition at the Arts Center. Marjorie’s drawings of dried flowers are meticulous and delicate beauties. Aj also draws in silverpoint, which he describes as provoking an intimate connection with the viewer, but he’s probably best known for his larger-than-life portraits in graphite, which “jump out and shout at you.” Rembrandt would be proud to own their work. Lately Aj’s been traveling to East Arkansas and his native state of Mississippi, talking to strangers, getting to know them, and drawing them for his Faces of the Delta series. As the world was glued to news of the birth of an English prince this summer, Aj said, he was celebrating the “majesty of ordinariness” that he found in such places as Marvell, where he met an 85-year-old man who was on the first amphibian vehicle to land at Normandy. The unassuming couple have worked steadily, perfecting their work, passing their knowledge on to students and enriching Arkansas’s arts scene. LNP.





rish Flanagan’s time as a dual graduate student at Clinton School of Public Service and the Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas taught her to multitask. While traveling in Southeast Asia on her international service project for the Clinton School, she had to wake at 4 a.m. to participate in a business class via Skype. “Buddhist monks were chanting their morning prayers in the background. It was surreal.” One of her professors, Dr. Carol Reeves, had taken note. “I was literally in my seaside cabana and checked my email and she said, ‘You seem like you can get things done in difficult circumstances, do you want to be my teaching assistant?’ When you’re with Carol, doors start to open.” The first door opened in Reeves’ twosemester new venture development class, where Flanagan’s team included a student pursuing a Ph.D. in Microelectronics-Photonics who’d invented a more efficient solar cell. The company they and two others developed, Picasolar, won more than $300,000 in graduate business plan competitions, includ18

SEPTEMBER 12, 2013


ing the prestigious MIT NSTAR Clean Energy Prize. Flanagan and her business partners are currently “trying to figure out how to transition from student business plan competitions into real life.” The second opened when Reeves introduced Flanagan to Chad Williamson, a Clinton School alumnus with a background in teaching and startups who wanted to marry the two somehow. Once Williamson hooked up with Steve Clark, cofounder of the massively successful, Bentonville-based Rockfish Interactive, the two circled back around to Flanagan. In short order, the three had founded Noble Impact, a startup aimed at engaging students to pursue public service as entrepreneurship. It’s a trendy combination often called social entrepreneurship that Flanagan and her partners hope will one day be known as noble impact. Noble Impact teaches — and practices — a “no nonsense, results-oriented strategy just like you would in a for-profit. We want to see an impact,” Flanagan said. “We’re looking at increasing educational

options and outcomes for students who aren’t very much engaged in some of the traditional settings,” Flanagan said. To that end, she and her partners are working to develop a curriculum that even teachers without public service or entrepreneurship experience can apply. Meanwhile, Flanagan is serving as director of social entrepreneurship initiatives at the University of Arkansas, a position supported by Noble Impact. She’s currently putting together a seminar for MBA students on social entrepreneurship and working on other ways Noble Impact can partner with the university. Flanagan doesn’t come to education wideeyed. She has years of experience teaching around the world — in Ireland and Brownsville, Texas, at an after-school program in San Francisco, at a school in Honduras. Her time in Honduras exposed her to “some of the most marginalized people in the world,” but also to the mixed results of international aid. That’s what led her to the Clinton School. “I’m very familiar with [school] politics that can help or hinder. What’s important is that our product can be helpful for teachers. It has to be world-class. We’re not looking to compete in a market that in many cases is saturated with alternative class structures. Instead, we’re really looking at how our curriculum can be infused in core subjects.” LM.


ous vintage photos — snaps of parks, schools and long-gone businesses. Sales of those photos have since turned the Rogers Archive into the biggest individual seller on eBay. Having recently opened a new, 15,000 square-foot facility in North Little Rock, Rogers struck the archive’s first international agreement in April — a deal to digitize the photos of Australia’s Fairfax Media. Fairfax, which owns more than 70 newspapers in Australia and New Zealand, recently shipped what Rogers called “the first wave” of their materials to North Little Rock. Rogers said technology is helping the archives bump up its efficiency and digitizing speed, which helps it turn around projects faster. With the McClatchy papers, Rogers said, he was able to fulfill an 18-month contract in just 11 months, a speed the archive recently repeated with the digitizing of the photos of the Minnesota Star Tribune. “[The Star Tribune was] 1.2 million photos, and we finished it in four months,” Rogers said. “It shows the speed with which we can do this process.” DK.



orth Little Rock’s John Rogers took a bit of luck and a good idea and — with plenty of 70-hour work weeks — made himself a multi-millionaire. While seeking out sports memorabilia for his trading card shop in the late 1990s, Rogers began purchasing the archives of old photographers, licensing the sports photos to trading card companies and the images of celebrities and politicians to books and magazines. Eventually, Rogers built up an archive of around 3 million images to which he owned the rights. It was when a friend suggested the untested idea of buying the photo morgues of newspapers and selling and licensing the images, however, that Rogers broke new ground. Since buying the photo archive of the Detroit News in 2009 for $1 million — a deal that required Rogers to return a digitized copy within one year — the Rogers Archive has since bought the photos of a host of great American newspapers, including the Chicago Daily News, the Boston Herald, and every paper in the McClatchy chain. In addition to selling photos of the famous, Rogers also pioneered the idea of online bulk sales of innocu-


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Arkansas Times Advetorial_Layout 1 9/10/13 1:08 PM Page 1

INNOVATIONS AT ARKANSAS STATE At Arkansas State University, innovation takes many forms. The vision to start a bold initiative with an American university campus in northern Mexico. Transformative moves that could bring an Osteopathic Medicine program to the Delta region. Sometimes it is reinvigorating traditions like the residential campus. Or it is breaking new ground through requiring all freshmen to utilize the latest learning technology. These major programs and many others allow Arkansas State to fulfill its mission of educating leaders, enhancing intellectual growth and enriching lives. Our educators are world-class in their research but connected to the classroom to focus on individual student success. With more than 200 degree offerings and high academic standards, A-State provides tremendous value for students. We are large enough to attract research scholars yet small enough to ensure a truly individual educational experience to prepare our graduates for the real world. That is why this fall, we welcomed our the most academically prepared freshman class in university history, including the largest number of Honors College students ever and record numbers of students with ACT scores of 28 and higher. Jonesboro is the classic college town in one of Arkansas’ fastest growing business and manufacturing regions. We invite you to see why we are a destination university.

VISIONARY PROGRAMS Two visionary programs – an osteopathic medical school in Jonesboro and an American-style college campus in Mexico – are in the early stages at Arkansas State. Doctors of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) are fully trained physicians completing four years of medical school and state licensure. Many serve in primary care physician roles, an area in need of attention across the state. While D.O.’s are one of the fastest growing segments of health care professionals in the U.S., there are only 29 accredited osteopathic medical colleges at 37 locations across the nation. The nearest to Jonesboro are nearly 400 miles away in Tulsa, Okla., and Hattiesburg, Miss.


This fall, Arkansas State became the first public university in the state and among the first in the country to require every freshman to use iPad technology. A-State is a national frontrunner by implementing a required freshman course that is exclusively digital. Each freshman enrolled in the “Making Connections” class starting this fall will use an iPad to take advantage of a faculty-implemented multimedia curriculum. “Making Connections” is a first-year experience course designed to help students transition into education and gain skills that will lead to success in the classroom. “Our faculty are developing multimedia content that will be available for students to access anytime and anywhere they want,” Provost Lynita Cooksey says. “We’re confident this will enhance the traditional classroom experience.” Students will be able to download and use e-textbooks and apps with iPad and the A-State Connect initiative focuses on an immersive experience in which technology is embedded in the curriculum.

The word most often heard regarding A-State’s exploration of a D.O. school: transformative. Similar feelings exist for A-State’s plans to open a campus in the northern Mexican state of Queretaro. Labeled by the New York Times as the “other Mexico,” Queretaro is a hub for medical and aeronautical research institutes. It is the northern terminus of the first high-speed rail line to be built in the Western Hemisphere. Once completed, Arkansas State’s Queretaro campus assists with growing higher education needs in the region and serves as a study abroad location for Jonesboro-based students.


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Schedule your visit to A-State Phone: 870-972-2782 Email: Scan to see how you can be known!

RESIDENCE LIFE Arkansas State’s commitment to being a destination university begins at the heart of campus – residence life. Arkansas State made major investments in student housing, and the numbers are showing the results. A-State’s growing retention rates – the number of students who stay in school after the first and second years – are tied to encouraging students to live on-campus. The impressive 73.3 percent first-year retention rate jumps up to 76 percent for first-year students who live in on-campus housing. The fourth Honors Living-Learning Center opened this fall, and Honors College welcomed the largest freshman class, leading to the largest total Honors enrollment. And the opening of not one, but five new residential houses reinvigorated Greek life as A-State’s Sorority Row led to a 42 percent increase in student participation.

The fourth building in the Honors Living-Learning Community

One of the five new houses that compose Sorority Row



SEPTEMBER 12, 2013






s director of business outreach and public policy at Yelp, the online recommendation site, Luther Lowe spends much of his time explaining to policymakers and government agencies how his company’s platform can help them. Lately, he’s been focused on convincing cities across the country to make their restaurant health inspection data easy to access and read, so Yelp can include them among the details it provides about restaurants. “Usually the private sector, where the success of businesses relies on beautiful and functional products, is better equipped to take a [data] file and make it useful,” Lowe explained. “Taxpayers sort of subsidize creation of that information, but it doesn’t see the light of day because governments aren’t the best at putting the data in a place that’s easy to access. You’re not going to go to a site before you go out to dinner; you’re going to go to Yelp.” Lowe can back that contention up with data. In negotiations with a North Carolina municipality about making its restaurant inspection scores machine readable, Lowe dug up Yelp user data for the county and got the local environmental health director to provide him with analytics on users visiting the local restaurant hygiene page. In a recent month, 70,000 people in the county had visited Yelp compared to 444 who went to the local page. “So people using Yelp would be 150 times more likely to see [the county’s] data.” Lowe predicts initiatives like Yelp’s are going to become increasingly more common. “This open data thing is a freight train and it’s going to open new markets.” Perhaps none bigger than in the health sector as the Affordable Care Act goes into effect. Next up for Yelp? Working with federal data sets like patient quality scores and cost metrics. LM.



ayetteville’s Jason Moore is proof that starry-eyed dreams can, in fact, come true. Over the past 20 years Moore has sweated a passion for musicals into a career as an in-demand director of theater, film and TV. After working behind the scenes on “Les Miserables” on Broadway for several years, he hit the big time by shepherding the groundbreaking puppet musical comedy “Avenue Q” to rave reviews and three Tony Awards. Hot off that success,


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Moore headed west to Hollywood, where he turned a $17 million budget and a cast of unknowns into the toe-tapping cult fave musical “Pitch Perfect.” Moore’s dance card has been full since then, including a new TV show for ABC coming this fall, directing duties for Tina Fey’s new film “The Nest,” and a deal to adapt the Archie comic books into a live action film. “I feel so grateful and bewildered,” Moore said. “This is what I had dreamed of.” DK.

Please make plans to attend the lecture of

Mayor Julián Castro presented by the

Winthrop Rockefeller Distinguished Lectures “The Political Implications of Shifting Demographics In the 21st Century”

4:30 p.m., Tuesday, September 17 Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall Fine Arts Building University of Arkansas at Little Rock Mayor Julián Castro is the youngest mayor of a top 50 American city, San Antonio, Texas. He gained national attention when he delivered the keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Named to the World Economic Forum’s list of Young Global Leaders, Mayor Castro also landed on Time magazine’s “40 Under 40” list of rising political stars. This event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. Call 501.569.3296 Co-sponsors UALR Chancellor’s Office UALR College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences






t’s a busy and momentous time to be a health policy analyst. The early provisions of Obamacare were beginning to go into effect when Anna Strong was hired on as health policy director at Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families in December 2011. A little more than six months later, the Supreme Court upheld the law, which will expand coverage options to hundreds of thousands of Arkansans (“I may or may not have done cartwheels in the Advocates office,” Strong said), but threw the question of Medicaid expansion to the states. Strong was confident that expanding coverage was a good deal for children and families in the state, but it would take approval from three-fourths of the legislature to make it a reality. “Our state has a great history of compromise and a great history of working together to do what’s best for our citizens,” she said. “We did a lot of work

trying to think about the best way to frame this opportunity we have.” In the end, coverage for more than 200,000 low-income Arkansans was achieved via the so-called “private option,” and there was no stronger advocate at the Capitol than Strong. She knew the numbers and the rules and regs inside out. (“That’s one of the reasons I love what we do — everything is researched-based.”) She also had a passion for finding common ground. “For the most part, we all want similar big-picture outcomes,” she said. “We all want families to be self-sufficient, for kids to learn and succeed, for families to be safe. The difference in opinion occurs in how we get there. And that’s OK. I think it’s important to sit down and talk about those differences so we can understand each other and find a way to achieve those outcomes we want to achieve.” DR. CONTINUED ON PAGE 24

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SEPTEMBER 12, 2013







t was the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom the day this reporter interviewed Rita Sklar, and the radio was recalling the Rev. Martin Luther King’s famed oratory. In his address to the crowd at the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march in 1965, paraphrasing earlier words about human dignity, King asked, how long must we wait for our rights? “Not long,” he said, “because the arc of the moral universe is

long, but it bends toward justice.” Sklar, director of Arkansas ACLU for two decades, believes that. Despite the Arkansas legislature’s recent descent into a dishonorable territory long thought past, making voting harder and curtailing reproduction rights, the New York native believes that progress is inevitable and Arkansas could be a leader in a Southern progressive movement in the 21st century. It will take time.

“Some are in a state of despair over the conservative backlash,” Sklar said, “and that is what we have to watch.” Despair and hopelessness will get you nowhere. Sklar says she’s seen much progress during her 20 years at the helm of the ACLU. She’s also seeing an invigorated population of young Arkansans who are not content to see their rights chipped away. Sklar even found good in the latest General Assembly, praising legislation that protects privacy rights, including the nation’s first law that regulates what the police may do with license plate data. Sklar gave another example of progress — “Look at Walmart! They just announced they’re going to give domestic partner benefits.” Walmart is responding to national pressure, of course, not homegrown, though the gay rights movement is no longer in the closet in Arkansas. Sklar also noted the 750-strong crowd of men and women who turned out at the state Capitol for a women’s rights rally. “It’s the largest progressive gathering I’ve been to,” she said. Yet Arkansas took a few steps back during its last legislative session, something the ACLU is trying to correct in the courts. It’s in federal court, to get the state’s new law that would prohibit abortion at 12 weeks thrown out as unconstitutional. The judge granted the ACLU’s motion for an injunction, so the law has been stalled. The ACLU plans to challenge the state’s new law requiring government-issued identification to vote. Such laws happen “when we get complacent and forget our power,” she said. “I come from a place where one person was a small drop in the ocean. Less than insignificant.” Sklar said she tries to “remind people of the power they have in this small state to move mountains.” LNP.



ep. John Burris (R-Harrison) is a bullheaded, sharp-tongued, canny, relentless, petulant son of a gun. He is both genuinely funny and ferociously blunt in measures we are simply not accustomed to in public figures. At the ripe old age of 27, Burris, in his final term, serves the role of wily veteran in a freshman-heavy legislature. Love him or hate him, he’s a preternaturally talented politician, quick on his feet, with a knack for policy detail and adept at maneuvering to get his way. He’s a bit like the scrappy player on a rival sports team — you might jeer and boo, but boy, would you love to have him on your side. Funny thing is, that’s more or less what happened on the healthcare front. Burris, a diehard Obamacare opponent who never met a government program he didn’t want to cut, became


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one of the architects (and the most effective advocate) of the “private option,” the Arkansas version of Medicaid expansion. To Burris, this wasn’t the reversal that you might think. He fervently believes that Medicaid is a broken system; with many of the tenets of Obamacare coming no matter what, he saw an opportunity to influence policy in what he views as a more conservative, market-based direction. His longterm vision for healthcare would recast Medicaid as a program for the aged, disabled and the blind, while assisting working-aged adults in buying private health insurance. That leaves plenty of room for arguments to come about the future of the safety net, but in a reddening state, Burris’ pitch was the only workable option for expanding health coverage to more than 200,000 low-income Arkansans. In the



coming years, progressives will likely go back to cursing him instead of cheering him on. But credit Burris with this — At a time when most Obamacare opponents refused to negotiate, Burris and his allies were willing to come to the table, shading the law’s implementation to more closely fit their vision (love it or hate it). DR.

35 years


Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families would like to congratulate Anna Strong, A “Visionary” who makes a difference in health coverage for children and families in arkansas every day.



r. Ann Robinson, who founded and runs the Jodie Mahony Center for Gifted Education at UALR, never wanted to be a teacher. Born in Wyoming to a family that included a long line of educators, Robinson said that seeing how hard her schoolteacher mother worked turned her off to the profession from a young age. Nevertheless, after landing a job teaching migrant workers, she went on to become a high school English teacher. Robinson said that the resilience and intellect of the smartest kids in her class was a big part of her going back to Purdue to get her degree to try and understand how to serve gifted children better. One of only 25 centers for gifted education in the country, the Mahony Center (originally called the Advanced Placement Professional Development Center, but later named after the state legislator who wrote some of the early legislation to help establish gifted education in the state) was founded in 2001, funded by a grant proposal written by Robinson. While there has been giftedand-talented education on the UALR campus since the 1980s, the center allows Robinson and her staff to cover the waterfront in the field — doing original research, teaching gifted children, and educating teachers on spotting and teaching talented kids. “If you’re going to make any headway,” Robinson said, “you need to look at something a little more global — integrate what you do for kids, for teachers, for school in an active research paradigm. You really need to just pull that

all together, and a center is a good way to do that.” Last summer, the Mahony Center presented professional development classes to over 800 AP and pre-AP teachers, and their annual Summer Laureate for Youth program brings in hundreds of gifted kids from around the state for a week of fun and brainbuilding enrichment. American society, Robinson said, has a “love-hate relationship” with talented people. While we want the innovations, art, music, poetry, computer skills and engineering know-how that talented and intelligent people have, our education system isn’t always good at helping those people develop and grow. “It’s a little bit of an uphill climb,” she said. “You kind of have to explain to people why what you’re doing is ultimately going to give them the things society is asking for.” Part of getting there, Robinson said, is learning how to spot intelligent children from a young age — a task that can be made harder, she said, by issues like poverty, physical disabilities and learning disabilities, which can “drop a screen over talent.” Robinson, a board member of the National Association for Gifted Children, feels like her career has made a difference. “They pay me to do what I love to do,” Robinson said with a smile. “In a state like Arkansas, you can effect change. We are a small state in that, if you really want to get something done, you can work hard here and get it done.” DK.

A Home in the Heart of it All. From natural landscapes to wonderful amenities, the neighborhoods of Chenal Valley bring to life everything you could dream of in a community. It makes coming home more like a walk in the park. To begin your search for a new lot or home in Chenal Valley, go to


SEPTEMBER 12, 2013







hen you think of big policy changes, you probably think of the lawmakers that make headlines or the full-time lobbyists working the halls of the Capitol. But when it comes to early childhood education, Geania Dickey has had an outsized impact in Arkansas as a motivated citizen donating her own time. “My family tells people I do public policy as a hobby,” said Dickey, a mother of two whose day job is Program Coordinator for Arkansas State University Childhood Services. A key facilitator for the Invest Early Coalition, which formed in 2002 to build support for the Arkansas Bet-

ter Chance (ABC) pre-K program, Dickey was deeply involved in the push to expand the ABC program a decade ago. That expansion carried a price tag of $100 million. “When you decide what you need, and you’re right about it, you walk up to people just like saying I need 50 cents for a Coke,” she said. “I gotta say, when we said we need $100 million — people laughed in my face.” But they kept at it, working closely with legislative champions like Leroy Dangeau and Joyce Elliot to build support. “I said, if [legislators] just knew what we knew then they’d have to do it,” Dickey said. So the coalition produced one-pagers that

began with “We know...” and cited research on the brain development of children before they ever stepped into kindergarten, or the return on investment of dollars spent on early childhood ed. Sitting in a committee meeting one day, Dickey realized that there were limits to what she and the other volunteers, managing fulltime jobs and kids of their own, could do. She sketched out a plan “probably no more sophisticated than a telephone tree our mothers used for PTA. We had a system that kept spreading the word. That’s how we did it. If I have a talent, it’s for seeing what needs to be done and finding people with the skills and interest to help me do it.” The coalition was a force to be reckoned with at the Capitol, said Rich Huddleston, executive director of Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. “Geania is just a phenomenal facilitator,” he said. “She was the glue within the early childhood ed community that kept those folks on the same page, and that’s where her vision and her advocacy work has just made a huge difference.” Over the course of three sessions, the legislature funded the $100-million expansion of ABC. That funding has been sustained through the recession while many states have gone backward, which Dickey views as a victory. But, she said, there’s much work to be done. She is focused on maintaining and improving the quality of early childhood education and providing more opportunities for infants and toddlers in the state, and is hopeful that the national Early Childhood Initiative will help on both fronts. “We have to do this, it’s the right thing to do, so we will,” she said. “That’s just how we work.” DR.



he glue.” That’s how Courtney Pledger describes the role of a movie producer. “[The producer] holds it all together. It’s someone who plans the party, has the party and then stays afterwards to clean up.” Pledger should know. The Little Rock native produced the Emmy-winning “A Killing in a Small Town” TV movie in 1990, executive-produced “Cirque du Freak — The Vampire’s Assistant” starring John C. Reilly and Salma Hayek in 2009 and has two highprofile animated movies in the works now — “B.O.O” featuring the voice of Seth Rogen and due in 2015 for Dreamworks Animation and Ricky Gervais’ “Flanimals.” Pledger said


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she’s fallen hard for animation. “I love the people, the creators, and the process is so malleable as you move along. It’s not like you plan, plan, plan until the day the cameras roll and whatever you get is what you get. You literally get to grow it and change it ’til way down the line.” As an executive producer of an animated film, she also is able to work from afar, which allowed her to move back to Little Rock in 2011. A year after she arrived, she was tapped to lead the Arkansas Motion Picture Institute, a nonprofit aimed at supporting film culture in the state. Her first job was pulling the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival away from the brink of financial ruin. Now in her second year guiding the festival, she’s

helped put together easily the best line-up the festival has screened in its two decades. Aside from working on more animated films, Pledger said she’d like to make some documentaries and do some work in Arkansas. “I’d love, love, love to help produce some movies made here in Arkansas on a real micro-budget. Just roll up your sleeves and have no studio to tell you what to do.” LM.





wo great issues emerged in the 2013 Arkansas legislature — health care and crime — and Sen. David Sanders of Little Rock, a 38-year-old policy wonk, was in the big fat middle of both of them. In a previous term in the House, Sanders studied and ultimately opposed the legislation that loosened parole for non-violent offenders. He feels vindicated in concluding then that the parole system was too flawed to handle the additional business. The evidence isn’t pleasant, including the infamous multiple parole violator who was charged with killing a Little Rock man. Sanders got interested in parole and commutation issues as an aide to Gov. Mike Huckabee, whose commutation decisions, if motivated by redemption, were flawed by favoritism and poor judgment. Today, Sanders’ mantra is “mend not end” the parole system. He thinks inevitably it DOES mean putting more people in prison for longer times, but he’s not ready to say that will mean a greater expenditure of money, considering current wasteful spending and the societal costs of repeat violators. A Walnut Ridge Baptist preacher’s kid, Sanders cut his teeth after graduation from Ouachita Baptist University working for Republican politicians. He thought for a time he wanted to be the next Bob Novak, a conservative syndicated political writer. He wrote a col-

umn for Stephens Media and became a familiar figure on AETN public affairs programs. But politics lured him back and many expect him to aim inevitably for higher office. He does his homework. On crime and punishment, he can talk knowledgeably — and lengthily — about how recidivism rates are fudged; about trial delays, and about the importance of his legislation ending automatic parole for the worst sex offenders. He says repeat burglary offenders, though not technically violent criminals, also deserve a “discussion.” The next session of the legislature is supposed to be restricted to budget matters, but Sanders has hopes of opening the floor to crime proposals. “Parole is a joke,” he said. “Parole should be earned.” In Little Rock, he notes that there are more parolees in three ZIP codes than the balance of the state combined. It makes it hard to avoid associating with the wrong people. Sanders says he believes in rehabilitation (if not for everyone). But he said he’s been told by corrections experts that the pressure to reduce prison population has caused a revolving cell door that means prisoners leave before they can fully take advantage of abundant education and training programs in stir. “Thank you sir. May I have a few more months behind bars?” MB.




10:49 AM








An Arkansas Visionary



Congratulations to Luther Lowe for being selected as one of Arkansas' Visionaries! The Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts is proud to call you one of our alumni!



/ARMathSciArts SEPTEMBER 12, 2013






early half of Arkansas’s immigrant population lives in Northwest Arkansas, and studies show that half of the immigrant population goes without legal representation. The Law School at the University of Arkansas founded the Immigration Clinic in 2008 to address that. Its director, Elizabeth Young, laughs that she “willed it into being.” Young had told one of her professors at George Washington University Law

School, where she became interested in issues of asylum and “the intersection of international law and domestic law,” that it was her dream to return to Arkansas and start such a clinic. Young, 36, was, in fact, director of George Washington’s clinic when she heard the U of A was starting its program, “and here I am,” she said. Young, whose interest in immigration law was “solidified” at Oxford University, where she had the opportunity




ing Biscuit Blues Festival executive director Munnie Jordan loves Helena, but she didn’t start out loving the blues. Jordan, who lives in the Mississippi River town that draws tens of thousands of blues fans for the festival every October, wasn’t a fan when she was talked into helming King Biscuit in 1992 after the original director stepped down. One of Jordan’s first acts was to go after a big fish — funding from Splash Casino, which had just opened across the river. With that sizeable check from its neighbor, King Biscuit grew like cotton in July. Jordan went on to direct the festival until 1997. After a hiatus of more than a decade — during which time legal wrangling snatched away the famous “King Biscuit” name, leaving the annual affair to be called the much-less-colorful 28

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Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival — Jordan returned as director for the 2009 year. The next year, the festival’s 25th anniversary, Jordan was instrumental in getting back the name, with firms hired by the festival eventually tracking down the owner of the “King Biscuit” trademark in California. The name is now licensed in perpetuity for use by the festival. While Jordan said the logistics behind King Biscuit are a huge undertaking, it’s still going strong, and gets a little bigger and better every year. Though she’s still not “a guru,” she said the blues has grown on her. “We keep it going one way or the other,” she said. “It’s got a heartbeat ... nothing can kill this festival. It just keeps popping like a heartbeat.” DK.

to focus on asylum for women, oversees the third year “student attorneys” in the clinic. Whether they decide to go into practice as immigration lawyers or not, they still learn how to “ask the right questions” and “understand clients from different backgrounds, which is important no matter what you practice,” Young said. Her students — who take indigent cases only — handled the widely publicized case of Jonathan Chavez, the UA honors student who was brought to Arkansas as a child from Peru and who was arrested in an immigration sting when he went to visit his mother in Florida over the Christmas holidays. Chavez is the only member of his family who is undocumented — he turned 18 before his naturalization application could be approved. The clinic’s student lawyers got Chavez a temporary reprieve from the Department of Homeland Security so he could finish his degree and continue his effort to stay in the states. The clinic takes about 25 cases a semester and has 30 pending and not all of its clients are from south of the border; some are Africans, Asians and Europeans seeking green cards. The clinic, Young says, is “definitely serving a need. ... all the practitioners [in the area] were, like, thank God, they’ve called in the cavalry.” Young will talk about the intricacies of immigration law at the Festival of Ideas, addressing such things as why marriage isn’t the automatic ticket to a green card people believe it is, how victims of domestic violence or other crime can get what is called a U Visa that allows them to stay in the U.S. for a period of time in return for assisting in the prosecution of the crime, and deferred action, President Obama’s directive that provides high school graduates who came to the U.S. before 2012 temporary stays of removal. LNP.







September 3 – OctOber 5


When a conservative radio host announces on the air that he and his wife will renew their vows in Sin City, all of the residents of Tuna, Texas come along for the ride. Favorite characters from past Tuna productions return, and new ones are introduced! “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but what happens when Tuna hits the slots may lodge delightfully in your head for a lifetime.” - L.A. Times



FEST THURS., SEPT. 19 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.



rant Tennille, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission since 2011, is overflowing with more ideas about the future of economic development than could possibly fit in these pages. While he’s best known for big projects, such as the incentives package to bring Big River Steel to the state, Tennille said that much of the crucial work to come is in refining the educational pipeline to give Arkansans the skills they’ll need to grab job opportunities in the state (and to make the state more attractive for industries considering whether to locate here). “Education and workplace development is far and away the most important thing that we can do and need to continue to do in terms of securing economic prosperity for the future,” he said. “It’s at every level from pre-K all the way up through 2-year schools and 4-year schools.” The state has achieved a lot on that front, he said, but there “is a big hole for us in the next tier up, the more highly skilled training. For example, today’s manufacturing jobs take more skill than they used to. We need more mid-level engineers, people who can run entire systems, people who can design.” That means working closely with companies to figure out their specific needs and creating centers of excellence at 2and 4-year colleges in the state tailored


to those needs. “It’s pretty obvious, but nobody is doing it really well right now,” he said. “If you can be one of the first states to crack the nut, then you’ve got an advantage.” Tennille also made headlines this year for his support of gay marriage, arguing that a more welcoming environment would be good for business. “I would apply that same logic to anything that’s different,” he said. “If you’ve got smarts and a great idea — and even better, some capital to back you up — we want you here. Whatever we can do as a state and a society to say, ‘Hey, come on down,’ we oughtta be doing. The interesting thing is, we do it in practice much better than we do it on the front page of the newspaper or in the halls of the Capitol. A perfect example is Welspun — they’ve got a Hindu temple out there. Great people, who have made homes here. And they’re comfortable here. ... Arkansans in the microcosm are some of the most welcoming people on the planet Earth. ... Whenever I fret about the macro, I kind of look at the micro — in reality we do a much better job than we preach, in making all welcome. But we have got a reputation — right, wrong or indifferent — that stretches back to the ’50s. That hurts us. Anybody that tells you it hasn’t hurt us is lying to themselves. Because we’re starting 25 yards back from the starting line, I feel like we’ve got to do more.” DR. CONTINUED ON PAGE 30


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For more information, contact Liz Sanders at 501.617.2511, e-mail, or visit

LRSD Open Houses

If you want your child to get better grades and test scores and less behavior problems, then getting more involved in your child’s education can make a big difference. Making a personal connection with your child’s teachers at Open House is a great place to start.

High Schools Tuesday, September 17 Middle Schools Thursday, September 19

Town Hall Meetings

The Little Rock School District Board of Directors and the Superintendent are seeking input about the direction The New Little Rock School District is taking, the reforms underway, and the future of the school district. For a complete list go to

Mon., September 23 6:30 p.m. Dunbar Community Center

Mon., October 14 6:00 p.m.

Willie Hinton Neighborhood Resource Center Little Rock School District

The NEW Little Rock School District Where WE Put Children First



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hane Morrow, better known as Little Rock rapper Epiphany, has quite possibly discovered a new niche within the business of rap music — He’s a rap ambassador. In the last year and a half, he’s traveled to The Gambia, Mauritius, Seychelles and Thailand to perform and teach hip-hop. Embassies in Africa sponsored him and local producer Dondrae Vinson, better known as Ferocious, through their cultural exchange budgets. An embassy in Bangkok referred Epiphany to the American Chamber of Commerce, which underwrote his time in Thailand. It’s a gig Epiphany happened onto via a college friend from his time at Stanford. “It’s the closest thing since I started rapping where I’m doing what I want to do all day long,” he said. There’s a sort of formula to his visits — He talks to students about the history of hip-hop and the lessons they can take from the culture and apply to everyday life — creativity, communication and discipline. He also often works collaboratively with local musicians. The trips culminate with a concert, where Epiphany weaves in guest appearances from local performers.

In The Gambia, 7,000 people came out for the show. “Beat boys” spun on their heads and flipped off each other’s shoulders. On songs with vocal hooks, Epiphany had locals come out and sing in their native Wolof/Mandinka. After his travels, Epiphany took some time for self-reflection and came up with a new personal mission statement. He said he wants all his projects to “be rooted in entertainment, be challenging to the viewer and creator, have a sustainable financial aspect, have a sustainable community aspect and have cohesive, narrative aspect.” Another big focus — working to bring Global Kids to Little Rock. The New York-based nonprofit teaches high school kids from at-risk communities about international relations and sends some of them abroad for handson learning. Epiphany is working with the Hot Springs foundation KYE-YAC, Arkansas Business Publishing Group’s Olivia Farrell and others in the community to raise $100,000 to bring the program to Central Arkansas. They’ve already raised $10,000 through concerts, music sales and other initiatives. LM.

UALR Congratulates Our Visionaries Dr. Ann Robinson Center for Gifted Education

A.J. Smith Department of Art

Marjorie Smith Department of Art

University of ArkAnsAs At LittLe rock




arlon Blackwell, 56, a practicing architect and department head and distinguished professor of architecture at the University of Arkansas’s Fay Jones School of Architecture in Fayetteville, says he doesn’t consider himself a visionary. “Give me a product and I’ll provide a vision,” he says; his philosophy — buildings can be both pragmatic and beautiful at the same time and there’s no reason design can’t be part of any structure, for anyone — is “more of a goal than a vision.” Take, for example, the St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Springdale, which started life as a metal shop building. “We took metal siding and used that material to make a beautiful church,” Blackwell said. The firm earned a 2013 American Institute of Architects National Honor Award for the structure. One of the great challenges of the architect, he says, is, “How do you take architecture of any type, whether a bicycle shed or a courthouse, and develop it in such a way that it contributes to the fundamental civic dignity of the place?” Architecture can change the way people react to space. “Watch someone who walks into a great cathedral,” he said.

They’re elevated by the light and proportions and soaring space. “My argument is, why can’t we do that with a car dealership? With a library? Why don’t we invest in that?” That’s what he tells his students, who he describes as “very hungry and not particularly worldly ... they tend not to be very cynical, and this is good.” Blackwell’s prize-winning architecture reflects a range of ideas, from the soaring, skinny skeleton of the Keenan Tower House in Fayetteville to the wooden rain-screen cladding that students in the UA Design-Build program have embraced in their designs for downtown Little Rock’s Pettaway Neighborhood. He may be most known in Central Arkansas for his design for the Creative Corridor in downtown Little Rock, a building and streetscape plan that would transform four blocks of Main into a cohesive arts-business-residential zone, a concept that won the 2013 Congress for the New Urbanism Charter Award. The world, the German-born architect says, is his inspiration, but Arkansas — its people and history and environment — is in his work’s DNA. LNP. CONTINUED ON PAGE 32

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Congratulations Aj Smith & Marjorie Williams-Smith Fine Artists & Art Educators


1001 Wright Ave. Suite C • Little Rock, AR 501-372-6822 • Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 10am-6pm, Sun By Appt.



hen her husband’s job took them to France more than 10 years ago, Tandra Watkins decided to train as a pastry chef. “I’d been cooking for years but hadn’t any formal training,” she said. “I felt

like that was my opportunity. It was really intimidating, but my husband really encouraged me to just do it. He said, ‘You’re either going to talk about it or you’re going to do it.’ So I said, ‘I’m going to do this.’ ” The tricky part — Watkins

didn’t speak French. She enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and decided she would take notes on what she saw and try to follow by visual example. “It was crazy, but I learned really quick,” she said. “You just pick up on things, and slowly as time went by I caught on and learned culinary French.” Watkins worked in pastry shops and catering jobs in France and Portugal until she and her husband moved back to Little Rock in 2007, and she became executive pastry chef at Ashley’s in the Capitol Hotel. It was a fitting landing spot for Watkins, who grew up in Cabot and said she’s always felt connected to the South. “I really am just that person that loves pies, loves banana pudding, loves all those things that we grew up with,” she said. While she employs the finesse and technique she learned from French cooking, she thinks her success comes from sticking to the basics. “The food that I make is still the food that I grew up with,” she said. “I’ve gone around the world and I’ve done some things and seen some things that have influenced me and influenced the food. But it’s still me and approachable. We like to think that we like all this frilly and overly complicated stuff. But honestly I think that we just like simple food that’s good.” Whatever she’s doing, it’s working — This year, Watkins was named a James Beard semifinalist. DR.




SEPTEMBER 12, 2013


ince 2008, students from Dr. Carol Reeves’ new venture development class at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas have won 18 national business plan competitions, more than twice as many as any other school in the country. What’s that mean? Money! UA teams racked up $1.7 million in winnings during that stretch. That early validation and investment helped 10 of them become viable businesses in the last five years. Reeves names Bentonville’s Movista, a retail analytics company with 23 employees, and Fayetteville’s cycleWood Solutions, which makes biodegradable and compostable plastic bags and appears poised to be acquired soon, as perhaps the program’s two greatest success stories. Why has Reeves’ two-semester class been so successful at starting up viable businesses? “We work really, really hard,” said

Reeves. “That’s not very glamorous, but it’s the truth.” Reeves guesses she probably reads and provides feedback on teams’ business plans 100 times during the course. The makeup of the new venture teams is key, too, Reeves said. The class typically includes veteran executives pursuing an MBA as well as students pursuing a Ph.D. in the sciences. (In 2006, the university developed a graduate certificate program for non-business students.) Two years ago, Reeves became associate vice provost for entrepreneurship, a position that didn’t exist previously, and travels the state promoting start-ups. “Someone summed [the position] up as ‘entrepreneurship ambassador,’ ” Reeves said. “That sounded about right.” She still spends about half her time teaching graduate students. Last week, university higher-ups gave her the green light to begin exploring the creation of a school of innovation and entre-

preneurship at the UA. (Universities are made up of colleges that contain departments; a school would extend across colleges). “I was given permission to dream big,” Reeves said. “The state of Arkansas really needs something like this. Until we have a really strong educational system, it’s going to be hard for us to have a strong entrepreneurial community,” Reeves said. “I’ve heard [Arkansas Economic Development Commission Executive Director] Grant Tennille say he’s never had a company not want to come here because of tax breaks, but he’s had a lot who don’t come here because they can’t get an educated workforce. I believe that wholeheartedly.” LM.

The ACLU-Arkansas Board of Directors wishes to congratulate ExEcutivE DirEctor

Rita SklaR

on being recognized as one of Arkansas’s true VISIONARIES!


The greatest enemy of liberty is not tyranny but apathy. And the latter has no greater enemy than you, Rita.



hile getting Internet Famous isn’t exactly on most peoples’ bucket list — mostly because it usually involves video of you running from the police, crapping your pants in public, or drunkenly making out with a domesticated animal — Sherwood’s Joseph Birdsong got Internet Famous the old fashioned way — by being funny enough to cut through the jungle of online content that sprouts up bigger every day. Since Birdsong started making his hilarious, viciously self-deprecating YouTube videos in 2007, he’s become a genuine Big Deal on the Internet, with over 95,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel and more than 15,000 views every time he puts a new episode online. Raised in Greenbrier, Birdsong said he never quite felt like he fit in as a kid. “It was difficult in a lot of ways,” he said. “I never felt like I could be myself in high school, or in any school.” After starting college at UCA, Birdsong often found himself alone in his dorm room, with only his computer for company. Looking for a way to express himself, Birdsong started watching video blogs uploaded to YouTube, then a little over two years old. “I thought, let’s just give it a go and see where it could take me,” he said. While his first videos only got a handful of views, Birdsong slowly developed his shtick — geeky, confessional, pop culture obsessed, hilariously navel-gazing about his own thoughts, fixations and shortcomings. “A few people with more subscribers began to notice me, and then they would share me with their audience,” he said. “I kinda got lucky in that aspect. I made some friends who were also really good at making videos and

really enjoyed it. We’ve all sort of grown as the site has grown.” These days, in addition to making new videos every week and blogging for his website,, Birdsong does a video advice column on sex and relationships for Next month, he plans to restart a podcast he’d shelved when he decided to get a degree in visual merchandising at the Art Institute in Philadelphia a few years back, and recently started up a new weekly radio show called “The Big Gay Radio Show,” which airs from noon to 2 p.m. Fridays on KABF in Little Rock. Though Birdsong said many popular video bloggers have “bought really nice apartments” over the years by doing product endorsements in their videos, he hasn’t really cashed in on his fame. “I’ve turned down probably 99 percent of the opportunities that I’ve been presented with, because that’s just not me,” he said. “As much money as I could have made by now, I probably could have had no student loans, but I know I wouldn’t feel good about that.” Birdsong returned to UCA to get a second degree (in creative writing) and is back living at home with his parents, a fact that he says helps keep him connected to viewers who are in the same situation. He said he tries to make his videos about things actually going on in his life. “I think people like to see that there is someone else in the world who is just sitting there, may not have a whole lot to do, and just wants to talk.” As for the secret of being funny online — “A lot of cranberry juice mixed with a lot of alcohol,” Birdsong said. “That’ll do it.” DK. CONTINUED ON PAGE 34

Thank you for 20 years of service to the preservation of civil liberties for all Arkansans! Paid for by individual donations.

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in Nashville, Tenn. Bethel comes to the company with a wealth of business experience in the healthcare sector, including stints covering the industry at CitiBank and Stephens. So far he’s sold the Angel Eye system to Texas Health Resources, a large health system in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and he’s actively marketing it nationally and internationally, while the company looks to broaden the reach of its technology. Bethel said that might include making it more interactive for use in adult intensive care units. “Arkansas, being a very rural state, has been a real innovator in terms of telemedicine,” Bethel said. “When you come to deliver [at UAMS] and your baby ends up in the NICU, then there’s no way to stay connected with the patient if home’s three or four hours away. Angel Eye was an offshoot of trying to keep families and friends connected with the patient even when they’re far away.” LM.



teve Bethel leads Angel Eye, a healthcare start-up with a proposition anyone who’s ever had a baby in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) can appreciate — A web video camera system that allows family and friends of babies in the NICU to see live footage of the infant from home. Additionally, parents, through one-way audio, can talk to the child. The prototype system was created in the mid2000s by Dr. Curtis Lowery and other clinical staff at the Center for Distance Health at UAMS (“the true visionaries,” Bethel said). The system was installed at UAMS and refined over time. Lehigh Valley Health Network in Pennsylvania started using it in late 2012. That encouraged UAMS to move forward on monetizing the technology, and in January, Angel Eye Camera Systems LLC was born. The new company has received startup capital from local investors and TriStar Technology Ventures, an early-stage venture fund based



arbara Satterfield is proof that if you are in your 40s and want to fulfill a dream to become a potter, you can. In her 40s, Satterfield, who had been a theater major at Hendrix College, decided to get a degree in art. She went to the University of Central Arkansas, studied under Helen Phillips — who couldn’t believe Satterfield had never worked in clay — and got a bachelor’s degree, then headed to George Washington University to earn her MFA. A friend said, “Barbara, you know you’ll be 50 by the time this is over.”

She replied, “I’m going to be 50 anyway.” Satterfield — who was also the director of UCA’s Baum Gallery from 2001 to 2011 — uses a borosilicate glaze to create a surface like a shiny egg — white, smooth, touchable. Her vessels, hand-built rather than thrown, are organic in shape. She sometimes adds material from nature to the pots — such as her work “Tethered,” in which arms of a vessel both embrace a kelp pod and echo it. The work was worth the wait. LNP. CONTINUED ON PAGE 36


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t’s been a good year for Mark Christ. As the state continued to observe the 150th anniversary of the Civil War (1861-1865), Christ was selected to receive the Booker Worthen Literary Prize for best literary work in Arkansas for his book, “Civil War Arkansas, 1863 — The Battle for a State,” and was also awarded the 2013 State Leadership Award from the Civil War Trust, which honors battlefield preservationists. Christ is not a re-enactor. He is not an apologist. He tries, he says, “to be openminded.” The community outreach director for the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program and a member of the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, he has worked to create a “thoughtful commemoration” of the war “without judgment.” (He praised Helena’s “holistic treatment” in its commemoration of the battle there.) Along with writing a history, Christ has worked for many years recording the state’s 770-plus war-related operations, identifying and interpreting battlefields and seeking money to preserve them, mapping out Civil War trails and a battlefield tour for the public in the Passport Program (which, he said, gives visitors a “visceral

connection” to the past). Christ laments the fact that Arkansas history — Civil War and otherwise — is so lacking in school curriculum, given the special place he believes the state holds. Do Arkansas schoolchildren know that the battlefield at Pea Ridge is one of the “most pristine, unchanged” battlefields of the Civil War? Do they know Arkansas was second only to Tennessee in the number of union troops produced in Confederate states? That the Union captured Fort Smith without a fight in what Christ calls the “coolest battle in Arkansas”? That the first scene in the film “Lincoln” is set at the Battle of Jenkins Ferry in Grant County, where generals on both sides were lost? What about earlier than that — does the public in general know that the last battle of the Revolutionary War was fought at Arkansas Post, as Chickasaws and British brigands attacked the fort? “It was a right smart skirmish,” Christ said. History is, of course, more fascinating than factoids, which is why Christ’s book won the Worthen Prize. Christ has gone above and beyond in his history outreach duties, making a subject that many shy away from out of shame or fear of boredom an enjoyable foray into Arkansas’s past. LNP.

See demonstrations and hear lectures from many of the


Arkansas Visionaries profiled in this week’s issue of the

Arkansas Times. The Festival of Ideas will run from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Old State House,

SEPT. 21

Historic Arkansas Museum, the Clinton School and Heifer International. The festival is free and open to the public, but reservations are requested. Go to festivalofideas to reserve your seat.


Noon COURTNEY PLEDGER Movie producer, festival organizer “The glue: Secrets of producing big budget movies and small budget film festivals”

1 p.m. MUNNIE JORDAN Festival organizer


“What King Biscuit means for Helena”

“Rehabilitate or Incarcerate?: Crime and parole in Little Rock”

3 p.m. ANN ROBINSON Gifted education expert “What should we do with the children from Lake Wobegon? Innovative education for talented learners.”


11 a.m. MARK CHRIST Civil War historian “Civil War Arkansas 101”



“Fascination with fragility”

“Two artists/two visions”

2 p.m. GARBO HEARNE Art collector/dealer

3 p.m. MARLON BLACKWELL Architect

4 p.m. THEO WITSELL Botantist

“Why collect art”

“No ideas, but in things”

“Arkansas’s native grasslands: natural history, conservation and recreation”


11 a.m. EPIPHANY Rapper “I’m not down: community development through hip-hop”


1 p.m. CAROL REEVES Entrepreneurship ambassador

“Making a Noble Impact through social entrepreneurship”

“Teaching innovation”

4 p.m. PANEL DISCUSSION “Fostering a start-up culture in Arkansas” 2 p.m. LUTHER LOWE Expert on intersection between public policy and tech “The open data revolution”


Noon GEANIA DICKEY Early childhood education advocate “Early childhood education: much more than bubbles, blocks and babysitting”

1 p.m. ANNA STRONG Health care policy expert

2 p.m. ELIZABETH YOUNG Immigration lawyer

“Taking Care: Looking out for kids and families as the healthcare landscape changes”

“An education in immigration: teaching law through practice”

3 p.m. GRANT TENNILLE Arkansas Economic Development Commission director “Economic development in Arkansas: where we are, where we’re going”

4 p.m. JOHN ROGERS Photo archivist “From baseball cards to the biggest collection of photos in the world”


hearsay ➥ BOX TURTLE has a huge sale going, with sale items now 60-75 percent off, and they’re adding all kinds of new stuff to the sale room. ➥ TULIPS is now selling the Cooper and Ella line of blouses. The company’s website describes its first collection as “romantic, chic and modern in design and quality but affordable,” and says “the beauty is in the details, fabrics and prints as well as a perfected and flattering fit.” The blouses are “meant to be worn every day. They are for work, date night, girls’ night, running around town and living your life in.” ➥ Jonesboro-based GEARHEAD OUTFITTERS recently announced they’re opening a second Little Rock location at the Promenade at Chenal. The opening is scheduled for October. ➥ Speaking of expansions, E. LEIGH’S just announced a fall opening for a third store, this time in Conway at 830 Front St., on the corner of Oak and Front streets. We’ll keep you posted as we get more information. ➥ Leather is in for fall, and VESTA’S has plenty of it in the store. From leggings to jackets to booties, you can find the leather items you’re looking for there. ➥ Downtown’s SECOND FRIDAY ART NIGHT is from 5-8 p.m. Sept. 13. The COX CREATIVE CENTER will feature works by artists published in the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Equinox literary magazine. GALLERY 221 and ART STUDIOS 221 will show “Rockstars and Razorbacks A Tribute to Liberty,” an exhibit by Tyler Arnold. In addition, SPIR-

ITED ART LITTLE ROCK will host a painting class at 6 30 p.m. in the COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT lobby. Register for the class by visiting my ➥ Save the date for the Times’ annual FESTIVAL OF IDEAS event, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in various locations downtown. Check for the full lineup in this week’s edition. 38

SEPTEMBER 12, 2013


Frank Deford

Comes to Little Rock Thursday, September 19 7 p.m. Embassy Suites Acclaimed sportswriter and commentator to be featured at fundraiser benefiting public radio. Admission is $100, and $50 is a tax-deductible donation. Rex Nelson, Master of Ceremonies.

Reservations are available at or 569-8485.

Continued from page 12 operators can adjust their pumping systems and carefully monitor the viscosity of the batches of liquids moving through the line. Some operators may change their pumping pressures and their cycles to accommodate customers or to push more crude through the pipe faster, which generates more fees. Exxon, for example, increased the amount of dilbit flowing through the Pegasus by 50 percent in 2009. To accomplish that without installing larger pipe, Exxon had to send oil through the pipe faster, either by adding pumping stations or increasing the overall operating pressure, or a mix of the two. Three years earlier, in 2006, Exxon also reversed the direction of the pipeline’s flow, a move that would automatically alter the impact of pressure cycles by changing where the highest and lowest pressures hit along the pipeline. Big changes in the internal pressure cause pipe to repeatedly flex, and that can cause special problems in crack-prone vintage pipes like the Pegasus. Exxon’s pipe was doubly challenged, however, because its pipe was known to be exceptionally brittle around the seams. Brittleness can cause pipes to fracture instead of flex, just as the way wire will break after being bent back and forth repeatedly. “Pressure cycling has the ability to seriously affect, vary, and accelerate crack growth rates,” pipeline safety consultant Richard Kuprewicz said in a report filed with Canada’s National Energy Board about an Enbridge Inc. pipeline project that would carry dilbit to Montreal. Kuprewicz, who is assisting an Arkansas water district in the Pegasus case, has not aired his conclusions about the Pegasus failure, but his Aug. 5 report underscores the dangers of adding pressure cycling and dilbit to an already vulnerable pipe. “Changing (types of) crude, especially running dilbit, can significantly increase pressure cycles that can accelerate crack growth,” he said in the report. “The movement of dilbit in pipelines at risk to cracking threats presents a higher potential to cause pipeline ruptures if not adequately managed.” Cases of pressure cycle fatigue often leave telltale “striations” along the fracture surface that resemble wave lines on a beach, said Pizzo, the materials expert from San Jose State. The Pegasus metallurgical report found no evidence of striations, but Pizzo said that doesn’t rule out pressure cycling as a cause of the problem. “What that means is that either there wasn’t fatigue, or there were striations there, but they were obliterated by the activity post-failure,” said Pizzo. “It’s very difficult to read and see what’s there. So it doesn’t

RUPTURED PIPE, CONT. mean there’s no fatigue.”

Hydrogen overload Excess hydrogen could also have played a role — or could even have been the primary factor — in the Pegasus failure, according to Pizzo and a failure analyst who did not want to be identified because of ongoing work with oil companies. Hydrogen is found in and around oil and gas pipelines as a matter of course. The cathodic protection systems that operators use to prevent corrosion can give off hydrogen atoms if the systems are overcharged. The products that flow through pipelines also usually contain hydrogen in the form of hydrogen sulfide. “Sour” crude oil, which includes many forms of dilbit, tends to have more hydrogen sulfide than typical U.S. crude oils. The Pegasus, for example, was carrying a diluted bitumen called Wabasca Heavy. That variety has the second-highest sulfur content of the 29 kinds of Canadian crude oil and dilbit listed in a reference guide from Crude Quality Inc., which operates a website that tracks the chemical makeup of Canadian crudes. Hydrogen sulfide becomes a problem only if it decomposes and the hydrogen atoms move into fragile areas of the pipe. Pizzo said it works like this — An especially brittle area, like the seam weld region of the Pegasus, will draw hydrogen atoms into the steel pipe. The atoms congregate at the tips of cracks, where the internal stress is higher. Then they weaken the steel by creating larger gaps between the iron atoms that form the pipe. As the atomic hydrogen cluster grows, the pressure builds until the tip of the crack is extended. Then the hydrogen atoms move to the new tip, and the process repeats itself. When the crack grows large enough, the pipe breaks. This phenomenon is well documented in the world of metals and has had catastrophic consequences for bridges, ships, liquid tanks, pipelines and other metal structures. Studies have found that cracks in steel pipelines grow when higher levels of hydrogen sulfide are involved. One study found that cracks grew up to 10 times faster, Pizzo said. “If it’s 10 times faster, then the consequence is that [the pipe] fails, but instead of in years, it fails in months.” The failure analyst who asked not to be identified said that’s a strong possibility with the Pegasus, based on the information that’s been made public. The presence of cracks, a brittle fracture and no evidence of fatigue crack growth over time, “certainly, all the pieces are there that would support that conclusion — but I don’t know which source the hydrogen was from,” the analyst said. “Take one or two of those things away, and maybe you don’t have a problem.”

Although hydrogen is rarely cited in liquid pipeline failures, the Pegasus is exactly the kind of pipe where it’s most likely to occur, according to a recent report on pipes that fail along their long seams. The failed segment of the Pegasus was made in either 1947 or 1948 by Youngstown Steel & Tube, using low-frequency electric resistance welded (ERW) seams, according to PHMSA. The pipeline’s seam area therefore was more vulnerable to cracks as well as particularly receptive to taking in hydrogen atoms that can create cracks or accelerate their growth. Kiefner & Associates, which is conducting pipeline research for PHMSA, analyzed 280 seam failures in pipe made electric resistance welding or a similarly faulty process. One of its 19 findings, published a year ago, was specific to Youngstown pipe from the 1940s and 1950s — “Operators who have that vintage pipe have to take steps to minimize the chances of atomic hydrogen being generated at the (internal) surface of the pipe from internal sour components or from excess cathodic protection at the [outside] surface.” The report cited a case that closely mirrors the circumstances of the Pegasus. That incident involved a 1949 Youngstown pipe that fractured even though, like the Pegasus, it was operating well below its maximum stress levels. The pipe had a small hook crack that had survived multiple hydrostatic pressure tests, but it ultimately grew and fractured in part because it was located in the extra brittle seam area. Kiefner’s report called the accident a case of hydrogen-induced cracking, saying the pipe sustained a “sudden hydrogen embrittlement failure, with the hook crack providing the stress concentration needed” to attract extra hydrogen atoms. Kuprewicz, the pipeline safety expert, said he isn’t convinced there’s a link between excess hydrogen and the Pegasus failure, but that he “can’t rule it out 100 percent.” No matter what caused the cracks to grow, the Pegasus rupture will have ripple effects in the pipeline industry and at PHMSA, which is charged with ensuring the safety of the nation’s pipelines. “There’s so many miles of these pipelines ... that even though it may be a fraction of those or a percentage of those [with similar problems], it’s still a big number,” said Pizzo, the pipeline materials expert.

This story is part of a joint investigative project by Arkansas Times and Pulitzer Prize-winning InsideClimate News. Funding for the project comes from readers who donated to an������������������  ����������������� crowdfunding campaign that raised nearly $27,000 and from the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

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SEPTEMBER 12, 2013


Arts Entertainment AND


So a Bill Maher crowd is a Bill Maher crowd is a Bill Maher crowd? Yeah, however there is an extra bit of enthusiasm in these states you’ve mentioned, what they call the red states, because I think it’s more unique for someone like me to be in a state like that and the progressive people who live in those states, I think they find it more of a special event that someone who thinks like them who they don’t usually see comes to their state. I also want everybody to know in states like that I don’t write off the whole state. You know, just because North Carolina is going insane, I understand that there are lots of people in North Carolina who don’t like it that their state is going insane. So yes, I come to every red state I can and I have fun.


BILL MAHER ‘Real Time’ comedian coming to Arkansas. BY ROBERT BELL


few weeks ago, the Times chatted with comedian and host of HBO’s “Real Time,” Bill Maher. Maher will perform Saturday at 8 p.m. at Robinson Center Music Hall. Tickets are $60-$86.

You’re not going to do any wolfshooting yourself? No, not myself, I’m a wolf lover. I’m on the side of the wolf.

I saw that you’re going to Alaska this weekend. Correct.

You’re on the board of PETA too, right? That’s right. But yeah, I’m really looking forward to that.

Is this your first time to go there or did you finally decide to take the fight directly to Sarah Palin? I was last there in 1996, so it’s been quite a while, I’ve been anxious to go back. And of course it’s beautiful this time of year. I’m not just going to be working, I’m going to be enjoying a little bit of the sights. I’ve got a helicopter ride organized for Saturday so I can see it from the air and hopefully spot some of the people who were trying to shoot the wolves.

Looking at some of your show dates from earlier this year I see you’ve been to Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Kansas — some of the reddest of red states. How do the crowds differ there versus some progressive utopia like Portland or San Francisco? The truth is they’re the same anywhere. This is true of anyone who does personal appearances. You know, like if you stand outside a Prince concert you’ll mostly find Prince fans?


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Are there jokes that you just know aren’t going to fly in Oklahoma? Do you ever tailor it a little bit? No, I feel like the people who are progressive, free-thinking people, they want that even more. The stand-up crowd is so far superior to any crowd I could ever get anywhere else. They’re different than the HBO studio audience — they’re a good audience, but they’re not nearly as freethinking and tolerant as the stand-up audience. Those people are the real fans, they want you to go to the edge, and I will. Is the material you’re performing now as political as the stuff on your show? Is it more general-purpose laughs? I think for folks who watch the show, they would be very comfortable and familiar with the type of material that material that I’m interested in. I was never, even when I was a young comedian, I was never interested in trivial stuff, I never did dogs and cats and all that stuff. Isn’t it funny when ...? Yeah, “Have you ever noticed that ...” I was never that kind of comedian, so I think that the subject matter is similar but the difference with stand-up is that, unlike the show, which is a mixture of the serious and the funny, the standup is supposed to be just funny. You should just really make it your business to get them laughing, laughing, hysteri-

cally laughing and then “Goodnight.” So nothing gets through a stand-up performance that isn’t ... if I want to talk about a subject and I don’t have the jokes, then I’ll just wait until I have the jokes. Gotcha. So, you’re in Little Rock Sept. 14 and you’ve got a TV show the 13th, so it’s not like stuff from the show would work its way into the act? Not really. I mean, there are a few jokes like that that people want to see again, but in general, a stand-up act is a different animal, it’s just a different kind of creature. It’s more passionate and more direct and it’s more laugh-driven. Getting back to the show, the arguments can get pretty heated, obviously when you’ve got people on there who disagree pretty strongly about things, but it all seems pretty agreeable even when there are disagreements. But have you ever had a guest on the show who you just really ended up disliking or were like, ‘That asshole is never coming back?’ I’ve felt that way. There are definitely people who we would never have back, but not really for that reason, because it’s a show that is supposed to be putting on different points of view. And what we are looking for are different points of view. Now I don’t want the yelling, you are correct about that. That I think is very ’90s. We did that on my old show “Politically Incorrect,” you know, put the snake against the mongoose and watch them fight. That’s not really what we’re trying to do here. It’s a little more of an adult discussion. People can have different points of view, but they should really keep it civil. Now there are people whose opinions I find loathsome. But that’s not really a reason not to have them back. If they can articulate what they have to say well and they’re sincere about their point of view, that’s not a reason I would ever ban them from the show. I wanted to ask you a little about some local Arkansas politics. A few months back you called Arkansas’s 4th District Representative Tom Cotton an asshole, which he most certainly is. It was regarding his CONTINUED ON PAGE 55

ROCK CANDY Check out the Times’ A&E blog

A&E NEWS THE HOT SPRINGS DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL unveiled arguably its best ever lineup last week. The festival runs Oct. 11-20 at the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs. The big draw is likely to be “Good Ol’ Freda,” a portrait of The Beatles’ longtime secretary and fanclub manager, Freda Kelly, who’ll be in attendance. A new hook for the festival that’s also likely to pull in big audiences — sports. The new McKinnis Sports Documentary series, named in honor of Jerry McKinnis, the outdoor sports TV pioneer, features at least eight sports docs, including “The Big Shootout,” which debuted at the Clinton Presidential Center last week; a biographical look at Arkansasborn football coach Bear Bryant called “Mama Called,” which makes its world premiere at the HSDFF; “1,” a look at the evolution of Formula One; “The Trials of Muhammad Ali,” about the boxer’s conversion to Islam, refusal to serve in the military and exile from boxing, and “Wilt Chamberlain: Borscht Belt Bellhop,” an ESPN 30 for 30 short that features footage from 1954 of the then-high school junior working as a bellhop at Kutscher’s Country Club, a Jewish resort in the Catskills, and playing on the club’s basketball team, coached at the time by Red Auerbach. “The Jim Lindsey Story” and “The Identity Theft of Mitch Mustain” are on the line-up, too. And, even if you’ve already seen the Oscar-winning “Undefeated” about a Memphis high school football team, you’ll want to make plans to see it again and stick around to hear the team’s hugely charismatic coach, Bill Courtney, talk afterwards.

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CHRIST CHURCH LITTLE ROCK is hosting soul diva Mavis Staples in concert at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 11. Tickets, which range from $20 to $35, go on sale Monday, Sept. 23.  The Staples Singer great has hardly slipped into the nostalgia circuit in her golden years. In June, she put out “One True Vine,” her second collaboration with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy (the first won a Grammy). Both find her mostly interpreting other people’s songs.  FOLK ROCK HEROES THE AVETT BROTHERS will play Verizon Arena Friday, Nov. 8. They’re still touring behind “The Carpenter,” their seventh fulllength. It was produced by Rick Rubin. Tickets are $46 and $53. They go on sale noon Friday, Sept. 13, via the Verizon Arena Box Office or Ticketmaster.

SEPTEMBER 12, 2013







9:30 p.m. White Water Tavern. $5.

The Kid Carsons is a fairly new outfit hailing from New Orleans. Brother and sister duo Chad and Morgan Carson started the band as an outlet for their interests in country music, soaring har-

monies, swelling lap steel, sweetly sad melodies that stick in your head and so forth. They joined forces with some of their top buddies and cut this EP called “Settle Down.” I think they mean that as in like get married and put down some roots, not like what you tell your friend so he’ll stop throwing chairs into the street. I hear tell from the Swampbird

camp that the last time The Kid Carsons came to Capital City, they found out at the last minute that their show had been canceled, so they moseyed on over to the WWT and caught a show and really dug the place. Now they’re gonna be back with a proper booking to perform alongside their spiritual colleagues (and Bear America Records

labelmates) in the ’Bird. These Central Arkansas boys have a new video out for a song off their latest album, “On Being Alone.” It’s for the song “What I Start” and it’s all dudes having what looks to be the funnest day ever, with carousing, beer-drinking, revelry, shirtlessness, gunplay, and then they go down to south Louisiana.



10 p.m. White Water Tavern. $7.

This should be really good: Memphis mainstays Amy LaVere and John Paul Keith went and recorded a very nice duet EP of some highly tastefulsounding country-influenced rock ’n’ roll, under the moniker of Motel Mirrors. These two artists should be familiar to Central Arkansas audiences, as they’ve both played the circuit quite a bit in the last few years. The self-titled record somehow manages to sound offthe-cuff and utterly perfectionist at the

same time. As Keith put it in a press release, “One thing that is important to me about the project is that it’s not hokey or corny or campy or anything. Sometimes when people try to do something with a classic country influence they can get hokey or self-righteous. I wanted to avoid all that and do something that was kind of romantic. The themes are classic — that’s stuff you don’t see a lot of anymore. I wanted to just explore that and do something that’s timeless.” This mix of originals and covers sounds like exactly that.

FUSION FARE: Spyro Gyra headlines the 2013 Jazz Eureka Festival, Saturday night at The Auditorium.

FRIDAY 9/13-SATURDAY 9/14 Various times and venues.

So Spyro Gyra is headlining the Jazz Eureka Festival this year. I hadn’t ever listened to them but my dad digs them and so I thought, what the hey, I’ll give it a go. Turns out that the band’s pop/smoothfusion jazz music is so severely mellow and laid-back and tropical-sounding that listening to a few minutes of it made me have a mild panic attack. In fact I had to listen to Slayer’s “Reign in Blood” and “Hell Awaits” just to calm back down. To clarify, this is not a criticism of Spyro Gyra’s

music, because tons of people seem to like them and popularity certainly counts for a lot. But if you’re more of a sensitive-type listener like I am, you might want to just know what you’re getting into. Spyro Gyra plays at The Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and tickets are $20-$43. There’s also lots of free music all weekend at Basin Spring Park, with the 18-piece Fayetteville Jazz Collective performing Friday from 7-9 p.m. Starting at noon on Saturday, you can catch Alan Gibson & First Line, Richard Brunton Quartet, Walter Savage Trio and NSU Jazz Quartet. The Missouri State Jazz Band performs Sunday at 1 p.m.

MEMPHIS DUO: John Paul Keith and Amy LaVere will perform together at White Water Tavern Friday night.

musical performances, dancing and a generally fun and festive atmosphere? If so, then y’all should seriously consider coming out to the North Point Latino Food and Music Festival. As you have perhaps surmised from the title, the Times is one of the sponsors

of this celebration of Latino food and music, along with North Point Ford, Budweiser, Pulaski Technical College Culinary Institute, our sister pub El Latino, Edwards Food Giant and The Argenta Arts Foundation. There’ll be salsa, merengue and cha-cha-cha music





6-10 p.m. Argenta Farmers Market Plaza. $15-$20.

Do you or a loved one enjoy delicious food and drinks, captivating live 42

SEPTEMBER 12, 2013


from CruzWay, Papa Rap’s Mambo Jam and Mariachi America, as well as vendors serving food of Brazilian, Colombian, Mexican and Argentine influence and origin. Beer and wine will be available for $3. It’s free admission for children 12 and younger.


THURSDAY 9/12 The Arkansas Repertory Theater’s production of “Pal Joey” continues, with performances at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday, $47-$57. Country singer Jace Everett performs at Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $10. The Dangerous Idiots and Poor Ol’ Uncle Fatty will be at The Joint, 9:30 p.m., $5. If you’ve got a hankering for Southern rock of a certain vintage, Lynyrd Skynyrd performs at the Arkansas Music Pavilion in Fayetteville, 7:30 p.m., $35-$77. Genre-transcending soul/pop diva Dionne Warwick performs at Oaklawn, 7:30 p.m., $20-$30.


HOUSTON LEGENDS: The Geto Boys perform Saturday night at Discovery.



$10 adv., $15 before midnight, more later. Discovery. Late.

Mike “Mandonna” Brown has had a strong streak of bookings over the last few months at Discovery — DJ Muggs, DJ Paul, Yung Joc, 8 Ball & MJG and Mike Jones, among others, usually hosted by personnel from Power 92. But this latest one is a real doozy: The Geto Boys, featuring the main trio of Willie D, Bushwick Bill

and Scarface. This Houston crew was largely responsible for not only the horrorcore subgenre, with its focus on shocking subject matter, but for putting Southern hip-hop on the map with classics like “My Mind Playing Tricks on Me,” “6 Feet Deep” and “Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta.” And after seeing it even just once, who could forget the album cover for their breakout “We Can’t Be Stopped,” with Bushwick Bill getting wheeled into the

hospital after he just got his dadgum eye shot out by a girlfriend. Well, here’s your chance to see some true hip-hop pioneers. They go onstage at 2:30 a.m. or thereabouts, so wear your stayin’-out-late pants, assuming that’s something you own. Advance tickets are $10 at or it’s $15 before midnight at the door, but if you wait until fashionably late o’clock, they’re liable to run you a bit north of $15.

was in The Jackson 5 and who went on to have a fairly successful career. Presley’s most recent album, “Storm & Grace,” was produced by walking cred-generator T-Bone Burnett, and it garnered positive reviews in the music press. This show costs $20 for a GA ticket, but I believe

the early birds got all the $100 VIP tickets and all of the enticements that came with them: a meet-n-greet, photo-op, autographed merch and that kind of stuff. Opening the show will be the Central Arkansas Southern rock/Red Dirt favorites in The Trey Hawkins Band.

of electronic music. That’s Hooray for Earth’s bag, but this crew adds to that mix a huge, unironic dose of early ’80s, big-sounding pop production, e.g. “Bring Us Closer Together” and “Same,” from 2011’s “True Loves.” That was the band’s last album, and it was well received, but they seem poised to reach a larger audience with this upcoming

long-player, due out early next year. “Never/Figure,” a two-song EP from last year, pointed toward somewhat sparser sound. I hear tell that Hooray for Earth will be playing new material on this brief jaunt through Texas and the mid-south, so you can check out these tunes before they’re released to the masses.



8 p.m. Juanita’s. $20.

Here’s an interesting one: Lisa Marie Presley. Her father was a singer of some renown who lived in Memphis and recorded several hit songs, and she was married for a time to one of the guys who



9 p.m. Stickyz. $7.

The influence of Animal Collective and the first MGMT album continues apace. Which is a fine thing if you dig squiggly weirdo psychedelic pop tunes with beautiful vocal harmonies and traces of various strains

If you’re looking to hear some kitchen-sink style folk/jam/rock/country whatchamacallit, don’t skip Dumptruck Butterlips at Stickyz, 9:30 p.m., $7. “Pathways to Peace” is a panel discussion in which six speakers will talk about the peace movement in Arkansas, 7 p.m., Unitarian Universalist Church of Little Rock. Party people listen up: Zodiac: Virgo Edition featuring Dank, Lawler, Rufio, Crawley, JDawg and Mr. Napalm will be going down at Revolution, 8 p.m., $10.

SATURDAY 9/14 Tireless guitar guru Eric Sommer swings back through town for good tunes, high times and late hours at Midtown Billiards, 12:30 a.m., $5. Over at Cajun’s Wharf, Ed Bowman and The Rock City Players handle headlining duties and Brian and Nick keep happy hour hopping, 5:30 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. Down in Spa City, Matthew and the Arrogant Sea, Collin vs. Adam and Brother Rabbit play at Maxine’s, $5. Weakness for Blondes brings the good vibes to White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m., $5. AETN presents Family Day Conway 2013, with public service projects, entertainment and activities celebrating popular public television programs, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Up on the Hill, the Arkansas Razorbacks take on the Golden Eagles of the University of Southern Mississippi, 11:21 a.m., $45.

SUNDAY 9/15 The first “Legends of Arkansas” all-day concert takes place at First Security Amphitheater and features a boatload of Natural State bands, as well as food trucks, arts and crafts vendors and more, 11 a.m., $5 adv., $10 gate, free for children 12 and younger.

SEPTEMBER 12, 2013


AFTER DARK Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 9 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. Wandering, The Couch, The Coasts. Maxine’s. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. “YOLO.” Featuring four DJs and beach volleyball, 18-and-older. Flying DD, $5. 4601 S. University. 501-773-9990. Zodiac: Virgo Edition featuring Dank. With Lawler, Rufio, Crawley, JDawg and Mr. Napalm. Revolution, 8 p.m., $10. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090.

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



21st Annual Hot Springs Jazz Festival. Various venues and times, 501-627-2425 or for more information. Downtown Hot Springs, through Sept. 15, $35-$75. Central Avenue, Hot Springs. Aces Wild (headliner), Lyle Dudley (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. www. Dangerous Idiots, Poor Ol’ Uncle Fatty. The Joint, 9:30 p.m., $5. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. Dee Dee Jones. Ladies night, $5 after 9 p.m., free before. Montego Cafe, 8 p.m. 315 Main St. 501372-1555. Dionne Warwick. Oaklawn, 7 p.m. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4411. www.oaklawn. 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. Irish Traditional Music Sessions. Dugan’s Pub, 7-9 p.m. 401 E. 3rd St. 501-244-0542. www. Jace Everett. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $10. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. Jonathan Trawick and Aarun Carter. Musical performances, demonstrations and discussions of Arkansas roots music. Faulkner County Library, 7 p.m. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-327-7482. Krush Thursdays with DJ Kavaleer. Club Climax, free before 11 p.m. 824 W. Capitol. 501-554-3437. Little Rock Irish Song Session. Dugan’s Pub, second Thursday of every month, 7 p.m., free. 401 E. 3rd St. 501-920-8534. Lynyrd Skynyrd. Arkansas Music Pavilion, 7:30 p.m., $35-$77. 2536 N. McConnell Ave., Fayetteville. 479-443-5600. Michael Eubanks. Newk’s Express Cafe, 6:30 p.m. 4317 Warden Road, NLR. 501-753-8826. Mya’s Madams Drag Show. Maxine’s, $5. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 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. Swampbird, The Kid Carsons. White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m., $5. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-3758400. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 5 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474.


Kristen Key. The Loony Bin, 7:30 p.m., 7:30 and 10 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555.


Art of Motion: Tango. Arkansas Arts Center, 7 p.m.-9 p.m., $10 for non-members. 501 E. 9th St. 501-372-4000. 44

SEPTEMBER 12, 2013



FREE FOLK: The Indigo Girls perform at Hendrix College Wednesday night at 8 p.m. Tickets are free and a limited number are available at Village Books on campus.


Woodlawn Farmer’s Market. Shoppes on Woodlawn, 4:30 p.m. 4523 Woodlawn. 501-6663600.


“NOURISH: Food + Community.” Arkansas Interfaith Power and Light will show the film. Oyster Bar, 5:30 p.m., $10 suggested donation. 3003 W. Markham St. 501-666-7100.


Sixth Annual Red Carpet for Research event “Dancing with Our Stars.” Benefits the Arkansas Chapter of the Children’s Tumor Foundation. Clear Channel Metroplex, 6:30 p.m. 10800 Colonel Glenn Road.


“Top Dog” co-author Ashley Merryman. Merryman will discuss her book about the science of competition. Clinton School of Public Service, 6 p.m. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501683-5239.



2013 Jazz Eureka Festival. Performances by Spyro Gyra, Fayetteville Jazz Collective and more. for more information. Downtown Eureka Springs, Sept. 13-14, $20-$43. 21st Annual Hot Springs Jazz Festival. See Sept. 12. Brian Nahlen. Cregeen’s Irish Pub, 8 p.m. 301 Main St., NLR. 501-376-7468. 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. 501-221-1620. Down 2 Five (headliner), Richie Johnson (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. www. Dumptruck Butterlips. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9:30 p.m., $7. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. Friday night at Sway. Sway, 9 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-907-2582. Goldy Locks. West End Smokehouse and Tavern, Sept. 13-14, 10 p.m., $5. 215 N. Shackleford. 501224-7665. Motel Mirrors. White Water Tavern, 10 p.m., $7. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-375-8400. Steve Bates. Cornerstone Pub & Grill, 9 p.m. 314 Main St., NLR. 501-374-1782. Stiff Necked Fools. The Afterthought, 9 p.m., $7. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www. Synergy, DJ Sleepy Genius. Montego Cafe, 8:30 p.m. 315 Main St. 501-372-1555.

Kristen Key. The Loony Bin, 7:30 and 10 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-2285555. The Main Thing presents “Arkansanity.” Original two-act comedy play lampooning life in Arkansas. The Joint, 8 p.m., $20. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205.


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. Salsa Night. Begins with a one-hour salsa lesson. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $8. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228.


LGBTQ/SGL Youth and Young Adult Group. Diverse Youth for Social Change is a group for LGBTQ/SGL and straight ally youth and young adults age 14 to 23. For more information, call 244-9690 or search “DYSC” on Facebook. 800 Scott St., 6:30 p.m. Main Street Food Truck Fridays. Capitol and Main, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Main Street. “Pathways to Peace” Panel Discussion. Six speakers will discuss the peace movement in Arkansas. Unitarian Universalist Church of Little Rock, 7 p.m. 1818 Reservoir Road.


Alicia Kozakiewicz. Founder of The Alicia Project, dedicated to Internet safety education and legislation. Clinton School of Public Service, noon. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501-683-5239. www.


“Daughter of the White River” reading and book signing. Journalist and author Denise White Parkinson will read from and sign copies of her book. Historic Arkansas Museum, 6-8 p.m. 200 E. Third St. 501-324-9351. “Fast and Furious Family Meals” cookbook signing. Self-taught chef and author Rocquelle Devine will share tips and sign copies of her new cookbook. Hearne Fine Art, 5-8 p.m. 1001 Wright Ave. 501-372-6822.



2013 Jazz Eureka Festival. See Sept. 13. 21st Annual Hot Springs Jazz Festival. See Sept. 12. Club Nights at 1620 Savoy. See Sept. 13. Daddy Man Blues Band. Cornerstone Pub & Grill, 9 p.m. 314 Main St., NLR. 501-374-1782.



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Little Rock West Coast Dance Club. Dance lessons. Singles welcome. Ernie Biggs, 7 p.m., $2. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-247-5240. www.


All American Food & Great Place to Watch Your Favorite Event

Closing Date: 8/2/13 QC: CS



Argenta Farmers Market. Argenta, 7 a.m.-noon. Main Street, NLR. Falun Gong meditation. Allsopp Park, 9 a.m., free. Cantrell & Cedar Hill Roads. Family Day Conway 2013. With public service projects, entertainment and activities celebrating popular public television programs. Arkansas Educational Television Network, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 350 S. Donaghey, Conway. Garden Gourmet Chef Series. Local chefs cook with ingredients from the Little Rock farmers’ market. River Market Pavilions, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. 400 President Clinton Ave. 375-2552. Hillcrest Farmers Market. Pulaski Heights Baptist Church, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. 2200 Kavanaugh Blvd. Latino Food and Music Festival. Live music featuring Salsa, Merengue and Cha Cha Cha, plus food vendors with fare from Brazil, Argentina, El Salvador, Mexico and more. Argenta, 6-10 p.m., $15 adv., $20 day of. Main Street, NLR. Little Rock Farmers Market. River Market Pavilions, 7 a.m. 400 President Clinton Ave. 3752552. Made From Scratch: Desserts. Cooking class with WRI Executive Chef Robert Hall. Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., $80. 1 Rockefeller Drive, Morrilton. 501-727-5435. South Main Vintage Market. Vintage and antique goods for sale. The Bernice Garden, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. 1401 S. Main St. “Thea Paves the Way.” Annual student chalk art event on the Clinton library lawn sidewalks, with music, Parkview Mimes and free admission to Clinton library. Go to sponsoring Thea Foundation for more information. Clinton Presidential Center, 8:30 a.m. p.m. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 370-8000.

Publication: Arkansas Times


Bill Maher. Robinson Center Music Hall, 8 p.m., $60-$86. Markham and Broadway. Kristen Key. The Loony Bin, 7:30 and 10 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501228-5555. The Main Thing presents “Arkansanity.” Original two-act comedy play lampooning life in Arkansas. The Joint, 8 p.m., $20. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205.

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Ed Bowman and The Rock City Players (headliner), Brian and Nick (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. www.cajunswharf. com. Eric Sommer. Midtown Billiards, 12:30 a.m., $5. 1316 Main St. 501-372-9990. The Geto Boys. Also, DJ Brandon Peck, Lawler, Rufio, Danny Enzo and more. Discovery Nightclub, 1:30-4:30 a.m., $10 adv., $15 door before midnight. 1021 Jessie Road. 501-6644784. Goldy Locks. West End Smokehouse and Tavern, 10 p.m., $5. 215 N. Shackleford. 501-224-7665. Jonathan Trawick and Aarun Carter. Musical performances, demonstrations and discussions of Arkansas roots music. Faulkner County Library, 9 a.m. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-327-7482. K.I.S.S. Saturdays. Featuring DJ Silky Slim. Dress code enforced. Sway, 10 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-492-9802. The Lonely Wild. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9 p.m., $7. 107 Commerce St. 501-3727707. Matthew and the Arrogant Sea, Collin vs. Adam, Brother Rabbit. Maxine’s, $5. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. Pickin’ Porch. Bring your instrument. All ages welcome. Faulkner County Library, 9:30 a.m. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-327-7482. Ramona Smith. The Afterthought, 8 p.m., $7. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. Saturday night at Discovery. Featuring DJs, dancers and more. Discovery Nightclub, 9 p.m., $10. 1021 Jessie Road. 501-664-4784. Singer/Songwriters Showcase. Parrot Beach Cafe, 2-7 p.m., free. 9611 MacArthur Drive, NLR. 771-2994. Steve Bates, Midas Coven. Cregeen’s Irish Pub, 8 p.m. 301 Main St., NLR. 501-376-7468. www. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 9 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. Weakness for Blondes. White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m., $5. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-375-8400. www. Youth & Young Adult Music & Fine Arts Showcase. All-state Christian rap fest, part of Arkansas Gospel Music Heritage Month. Shorter College, 8-10 p.m., $5-$7 donation. 604 Locust St., NLR. 501-374-6305. www.shortercollege.4t. com.


(501) 324-2449

If you’re not HERE, we’re having more fun than you are! There’s still time, GET HERE!

Dames for Danes. Central Arkansas Roller Derby vs. Wichita Falls Derby Dames. Portion of proceeds go to Humane Society. Skate World, 7 p.m.-9 p.m., $10. 6512 Mabelvale Cut Off. University of Arkansas vs. University of Southern Mississippi. University of Arkansas, 11:21 a.m., $45. 1 University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.


16th Annual Terry Paul Thode Lupus Memorial Golf Tournament. Benefits Lupus Foundation of America Arkansas Chapter. Online registration at Diamondhead Country Club, 1 p.m., $45-$55. 245 Independence Drive, Hot Springs.


Baobab Story Time with CC. With featured authors Tony and Lauren Dungy. Children ages 2-10 welcome. 501-372-5824 for reservations. Pyramid Art Books and Custom Framing, 10:30 a.m. 1001 Wright Ave. 501-372-6822.



21st Annual Hot Springs Jazz Festival. Sept. 12. Corey Smith. With Cale Dodds. Revolution, 8 p.m., $20. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-8230090. CONTINUED ON PAGE 46

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


SEPTEMBER 12, 2013


AFTER DARK, CONT. Dinner and a Suit. With Harlo Maxwell, Randy Harsey and Smooth Spirit. Revolution, 7 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. Irish Traditional Music Session. Hibernia Irish Tavern, 2:30 p.m.9700 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-246-4340. “Legends of Arkansas.” All-day, family friendly music and arts festival featuring all Arkansas artists and musicians. First Security Amphitheatre, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., $5. 400 President Clinton Ave. Michael Eubanks. Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon, 7 p.m. 10901 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-227-8898. Reggae Sundays with First Impressions. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 7:30 p.m., $5. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. Sasha Cooke. Mezzo-soprano to open UALR’s

2013 Artspree season. UALR, Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall, 3 p.m., $10-$15. 2801 S. University Ave. 501-569-8977. Stardust Big Band. With guest vocalist Lydia deSambourg. Arlington Hotel, 3 p.m., $8. 239 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-7771. Successful Sunday. Featuring live music and DJs. Montego Cafe, 7 p.m. 315 Main St. 501-372-1555. The Muses Fall Concert: Opera Classics. Garvan Woodland Gardens, 3 p.m., $25. 550 Akridge Road, Hot Springs.


Bernice Garden Farmers Market. The Bernice Garden, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 1401 S. Main St. www. “Live from the Back Room.” Spoken word event.

Vino’s, 7 p.m. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. www.



Night Jazz. The Afterthought, 8 p.m., $5. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. Sons of Fathers. Juanita’s, 8 p.m. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228.


“Zero Charisma.” Part of the GATHR film series, a dark comedy from SXSW. Market Street Cinema, 7 p.m. 1521 Merrill Drive. 501-312-8900. www.


David Batstone. Co-founder and President of Not For Sale, an organization that fights modern day slavery. Clinton School of Public Service, 6 p.m. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501-683-5239. www.


Little Rock Touchdown Club: Jeff Long. Embassy Suites, 11 a.m., $20 members, $30 non-members. 11301 Financial Centre. 501-312-9000.


Breakfast at The Salvation Army. In honor of National Breakfast month, the public is invited to meet Capts. Roger and Dee Ann Glick and hear stories about feeding breakfast to the homeless at the shelter. The Salvation Army, 9 a.m. 1111 W. Markham St.



Lisa Marie Presley. Juanita’s, 8 p.m., $20. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www. Lucious Spiller Band. Copeland’s Restaurant of Little Rock, 6-9 p.m. 2602 S. Shackleford Road. 501-312-1616. Music Jam. The Joint, 8-11 p.m., free. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. Ricky David Tripp. Rocket Twenty One, 5:30 p.m. 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-603-9208. www. Sol Cat. Bear’s Den Pizza, 9 p.m. 235 Farris Road, Conway. 501-328-5556. www.bearsdenpizza. com. Thirst N’ Howl Blues Jam with Joe Pitts. Thirst n’ Howl, 7:30 p.m., free. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501-379-8189. Tuesday Jam Session with Carl Mouton. The Afterthought, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196.

May 18, 2013 – December 1, 2013


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

1200 President Clinton Avenue Little Rock, Arkansas 72201 501.374.4242


This seminal fashion exhibition celebrates the world-renowned work and inspiring life of designer Oscar de la Renta. The exhibit will feature more than 30 of his iconic creations worn by leading arbiters of style, from First Ladies to Hollywood’s brightest stars. In the 1960s, Dominican-born Oscar de la Renta moved to the United States, where he launched his !"#$%&'()*()%+,-&.-/)%(*0%1)0*%$+*2'"340,*1)3%5)*4$./$*%!*%*0)%+"$#*6#'()*"$*"$&)($%&".$%0*7%!8".$* +)!"#$9*:!3%(*+)*0%*;)$&%<!*%/%(+-/"$$"$#*3%())(*!=%$!*6>)*+)3%+)!*%$+*8)*3.$&"$')!*&.*=(.+'3)*%$* exceptional body of work – a testament to his enduring creative vision.

Boulevard Beer Tasting. The Joint, 7-9 p.m., $10. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. Julian Castro. The mayor of San Antonio will present “The Political Implications of Shifting Demographics in the 21st Century.” UALR, Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall, 4:30 p.m. 2801 S. University Ave. 501-569-3296. Little Rock Farmers Market. River Market Pavilions, 7 a.m. 400 President Clinton Ave. 375-2552. 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. Tenth Annual Arkansas Chef’s Culinary Classic. Wine and beer tasting included in ticket purchase. Statehouse Convention Center, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., $45. 7 Statehouse Plaza.


Photographer: Louis Faurer, via Conde Nast


SEPTEMBER 12, 2013


“Stoning the Devil” book reading and signing. Author Garry Craig Powell will read from and sign copies of his debut novel. Pulaski Technical College, 6 p.m. 3000 W. Scenic Drive, NLR.




Acoustic Open Mic. The Afterthought, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www. Cody Canada and the Departed. With Rob Baird. Revolution, 8:30 p.m., $10 adv., $20 day of. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. Hooray for Earth. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9 p.m., $7. 107 Commerce St. 501-3727707. Indigo Girls. Will call reservations available by emailing Hendrix College, 8 p.m. 1600 Washington Ave., Conway. Karen Jr. Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. www. MacPark Music: Southern Rock. Kirk Anderson and Quentin May will perform and food will be available from Clyde and Kiddo’s. MacArthur Park, 5:30-7:30 p.m. 503 E. Ninth St. Ricky David Tripp. Rocket Twenty One, 5:30 p.m. 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-603-9208. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 5 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. The Wedding. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www.

Public Theatre, through Sept. 29: Fri., Sat., 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m., $6-$16. 616 Center St. 501374-7529. “Pal Joey.” A reconceived version of the 1940 Rodgers & Hart musical, from director Peter Schneider. Arkansas Repertory Theatre, through Sept. 29: Wed., Thu., Sun., 7 p.m.; Fri., Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; Tue., Sept. 17, 7 p.m.; Tue., Sept. 24, 7 p.m., $47-$57. 601 Main St. 501-378-0405. “The Spiritualist.” An English widow channels the spirits of dead classical composers in this comedic drama by Robert Ford, artistic director for TheatreSquared. Walton Arts Center’s Nadine Baum Studios, through Sept. 15: Thu.Sat., 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 2 and 7:30 p.m., $22-$36. 505 W. Spring St., Fayetteville. 479-443-5600.

“Tuna Does Vegas.” A conservative radio host and his wife renew their vows in Vegas, a small Texas town comes along for the ride, hilarity ensues. Murry’s Dinner Playhouse, through Sept. 29: Tue.Sat., 6 p.m.; Wed., 11 a.m.; Sun., 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., $15-$35. 6323 Col. Glenn Road. 501-5623131.



New exhibits in bold-faced type. CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CENTER GROUNDS: “Thea Paves the Way,” chalk art event for students sponsored by the Thea Foundation, free admission to library, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Sept. 14. ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, MacArthur Park:

Friends of Contemporary Craft Conversation with found-art jeweler Jennifer Trask, 5-7 p.m. Sept. 15, lecture hall, $5 for FOCC members, $10 for non-members, students free. 372-4000. BUTLER CENTER GALLERIES, Arkansas Studies Institute, 401 President Clinton Ave.: “Abstract AR(t),” work by Dustyn Bork, Megan Chapman, Donnie Copeland, Don Lee, Jill Storthz and Steven Wise, Sept. 13-Nov. 23; “Mid-Southern Watercolorists 43rd Annual Juried Exhibition,” through Oct. 27; “Get a Simple Landscape,” drawings by Jerry Phillips, through Sept. 29; retail shop featured artist Sharrell Holcomb, 5-8 p.m. Sept. 13, 2nd Friday Art Night with music by guitarist Michael Carenbauer. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.Sat. 320-5700. CONTINUED ON PAGE 49

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The Joint Venture. Improv comedy group. The Joint, 8 p.m., $5. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501372-0205. Standup Open Mic Night. Hosted by local come­ di­ans of the com­edy col­lec­tive Come­di­ans of NWA. UARK Bowl, 9 p.m., free. 644 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-301-2030.


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.


Bikes, Blues and BBQ Motorcycle Rally. Various venues and events. for more information. Dickson Street, Sept. 18-21. Dickson and West streets, Fayetteville. Political Animals Club: Gov. Mike Beebe and founder Skip Rutherford. Lunch will be served as well. Governor’s Mansion, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., $20. 1800 Center St. 501-377-1121.


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


“100 Saints You Should Know.” A priest must reconcile his desires with his role in the church, a teenage boy confused about his sexuality and a young woman desperate for spiritual validation. The Weekend Theater, through Sept. 14, 7:30 p.m.; through Sept. 21, 7:30 p.m., $12-$16. 1001 W. 7th St. 501-374-3761. Cirque Eloize “Cirkopolis.” Cirque Eloize troop combines the worlds of circus, dance and theater, with an original music score, video projections and acrobatics. Reynolds Performance Hall, UCA, Sat., Sept. 14, 7:30 p.m. 350 S. Donaghey, Conway. “Lost in Yonkers.” Neil Simon’s classic about two boys left to contend with their dysfunctional family and the strange new world of Yonkers, N.Y. The

SEPTEMBER 12, 2013



‘RIDDICK’: Vin Diesel stars.

‘Riddick’ true to form It’s big, dumb and explodey. What did you expect? BY DAVID KOON


ne of the dangers in reviewing is the urge to measure everything with the same yardstick. It seems like a good idea: “I have standards! There are rules!” But I’m here to tell you, if you use the same set of demands for Oscar-bait costume dramas as you do with big, dumb summer flicks whose only job is to help you get to the bottom of the popcorn bucket, you’re not only going to wind up having a crummy time, you’re going to become that person everybody hates to go to the movies with — that ass who pronounces everything without subtitles to be the next stumble in the fall of Western civilization. Here’s the secret: Some films are a scalpel. Others are a wiffleball bat. They both get their respec-


SEPTEMBER 12, 2013


tive jobs done. Straight out of Wiffleballville is the new action flick “Riddick,” the third in the trilogy of films that feature Vin Diesel as intergalactic man of mystery Richard B. Riddick, king of the gravelly one-liners, a guy so incorrigibly bad ass that the bounty on his head doubles if he’s brought back dead. This installment, a sequel to 2000’s cult fave “Pitch Black,” and 2004’s “The Chronicles of Riddick,” is — to some extent — an if-it-ain’t-broke retread of the earlier films. The opening scene finds Riddick buried under a rockslide on a barren, desert world, his seeming corpse circled by that planet’s lizardy, bat-winged version of buzzards. Through flashbacks, we soon learn that

Riddick has been stranded there, left for dead by the pseudo-religious cult he came to lead in “The Chronicles of Riddick.” Or something — not that it matters. True to form, with glowing eyes set to hi-beam, Riddick soon kills and eats said sorta-buzzards before splinting his own broken leg, building himself an obsidian sword, befriending a dingo/hyena/leopard/Great Dane puppy-thing that (weirdly) seems to grow to adulthood overnight, and duking it out with the scorpion/slug/ snake/CGI monsters that guard the only source of fresh water (which requires, of course, slowly inoculating himself with their venom to build up a tolerance). Having mastered the landscape like a boss and tired of waiting around for asses to kick, he and his loyal werewolf/puppy/tiger thing strike out across the desert. Coming upon a remote mercenary station, he activates the distress beacon, which sends out his photo and Social Security Number to every bounty-hunter in the galaxy. In less time than you can say “Boba Fett,” a passel of them have landed with only one goal: to kill Riddick deader than Rick James. Did I mention the bounty doubles if he’s dead? Made on a budget of only $38 million

(which wouldn’t even touch the wardrobe and catering line on most Hollywood blockbusters), Riddick ain’t gonna be up for Best Picture this winter. The characters are, for the most part, wooden and disposable — either oily villains with targets on their backs, or conflicted everymen who will either survive or live just long enough to give Riddick a bro-hug and say they’re sorry before they croak. That said, for a certain film fan, “Riddick” is Vin Diesel and trilogy director David Twohy doing what they do best, which is big, dumb action. Sure, the script is cutand-paste (“Will the bounty hunters eventually team up with Riddick in a moment of desperation? Press 1 for ‘yes,’ 2 for ‘hell yes’ ... ”) but that is, oddly enough, what a lot of people want: the cinematic equivalent of the McDonald’s Quarter Pounder. And no matter what the dude with all the books on Truffaut tells you, there’s nothing wrong with that. In the plus column, most of the CGI work in the film looks great. That a film with a budget this light didn’t turn out with “Riddick vs. Sharknado” special effects is a testament to how much the cost of doing good CGI has come down to earth in recent years. Bonus: This installment, at the request of fans, is R-rated, which means blood, boobies and the f-word, which lends a certain panache to the proceedings. Diesel isn’t Sir Lawrence Olivier, but he does yeoman-like work here in the character he created, even touching a few times on something I wish the script had made more of: That even superheroes (or should that be “superantiheroes”?) eventually get old and slow. If you’re a film buff looking for deep and meaningful character development, you should probably just go ahead and cryogenically freeze yourself between May and October. If, however, you’re just looking for a film to get to the bottom of a $9 bladder buster soda, “Riddick” might be the flick for you. It’s dumb, even for a summer movie. But when it’s 101 outside, sometimes dumb is what you need.


BENTONVILLE CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART: Lecture by painter Tom Uttech: “Tale Teller aka ‘Adiosokewini,’ ” 3-4:15 p.m. Sept. 14. Free, reserve seats at 479-418-5700. EL DORADO SOUTH ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, 110 E. 5th St.: “Third Floor,” work by Hamid Ebrahimifar, Tim Ellison, Catherine Siri Nugent, Dominique Simmons and David Warren, through Sept., “Country Living,” drawings by M. Angela Reeder, through Sept.; reception 6-8 p.m. Sept. 14. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. 870-862-5474. MOUNTAIN VIEW OFF THE BEATEN PATH STUDIO TOUR: Open studio event 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 13-14, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 15, all studios within 30 miles of courthouse square, guide to studios available at Paper, Scissors; Community Bakery; the Green Corner Store, Cantrell Gallery, Historic Arkansas Museum, the Clinton Museum Store, WordsWorth Bookstore and the Paint CONTINUED ON PAGE 51

De d a ss er

a re


NE NEW W M O e w n nu er ! s!

d o o F t




CO-OP ART, Tanglewood Shopping Center, lower level, Cantrell and Mississippi: Gallery open house, 5-8 p.m. Sept. 12, with work by co-op members Suzanne Brugner, Dr. L. P. Fraiser, Susie Henley, Glenda Josephson, Patty and Herb Monoson, Maka Parnell, Joyce Redetsky, Dee Schulten and Scotty Shively. COURTYARD MARRIOTT, 521 President Clinton Ave.: Painting class hosted by Spirited Art, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 13, 2nd Friday Art Night. 975-9800. COX CREATIVE CENTER, 120 River Market Ave.: “Equinox,” works by artists published in UALR’s journal of literature and art, 5-8 p.m. Sept. 13, 2nd Friday Art Night. 918-3093. GALLERY 221 & ART STUDIOS 221, Pyramid Place: “Rockstars & Razorbacks: A Tribute to Life and Liberty,” work by Tyler Arnold; also work by EMILE, Kathi Crouch and others, 5-8 p.m. Sept. 13, 2nd Friday Art Night. 801-0211. GALLERY 26, 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd.: “Mapping the Darkness,” photographs by Ray Chanslor and Rita Henry, photographs and drawings by Betsy Emil, Sept. 14-Oct. 26, reception 7-10 p.m. Sept. 14. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.-Sat. 664-8996. HISTORIC ARKANSAS MUSEUM, 200 E. Third St.: “Reflections from the Monday Studio Artists,” work by Hot Springs Village artists Shirley R. Anderson, Barbara Seibel, Sue Shields and Caryl Joy Young; “Heeding the Call: The Firefighter Collection of Johnny Reep,” through Jan. 5; “The Sense of Nature: David Mudrinich, John Van Horn and Judy Wright Walter,” through Oct. 6; “Jason A. Smith: Stills”; “Arkansas Made,” ongoing; “The Curious World of Patent Models,” through Sept. 29. Open 5-8 p.m. Sept. 13, 2nd Friday Art Night. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 324-9351. OLD STATE HOUSE MUSEUM, 300 W. Markham: Music by Big Silver, 5-8 p.m. Sept. 13, 2nd Friday Art Night; “Lights! Camera! Arkansas!”, the state’s ties to Hollywood, including costumes, scripts, film footage, photographs and more, through March 1, 2015; “Things You Need to Hear: Memories of Growing up in Arkansas from 1890 to 1980,” oral histories about community, family, work, school and leisure, through March 2014. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 324-9685. PAPER SCISSORS LITTLE ROCK, 300 River Market Ave., No. 105: Alecia Walls-Barton, altered photographs, featured artist 5-8 p.m. Sept. 13, 2nd Friday Art Night.

FREE DESSERT with your entreé purchase in the restaurant Good through 9.30.2013

Enjoy DINNER in either the restaurant or bar Sat & Sun BRUNCH, 10-2 LUNCH Mon-Fri, 11-2

Live Music in the Bar Mon-Sat Nights Friday, September 13

Stiff Necked Fools 9 pm, $7 cover Saturday, September 14

Ramona Smith 8 pm, $7 cover

2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. Little Rock


SEPTEMBER 12, 2013



Fine Art At UCA Fall Exhibits Feature: Maysey Craddock Jen Lewin Jennifer Shaw



SATURDAY • SEPT 14 • 8PM Robinson Center Music Hall Tickets: Celebrity Attractions Box Office • • 800.745.3000


SEPTEMBER 12, 2013


The Rep’s ‘Pal Joey’ is compelling. BY KELLEY BASS


al Joey” was a modestly successful Broadway play in 1940 revived on the big screen in 1957. And now it’s back more than five decades later — with some major plot revisions — in a world-premiere run to kick off the 38th season at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre. We never saw the movie but can’t imagine it could be anywhere close to as compelling as the new version, the brainchild of director Peter Schneider, who could safely be called “legendary” based on his blockbuster resume, which includes producing “The Lion King” on Broadway and for 17 years leading the Disney team that created a gaggle of classic films. In Schneider’s version — which he’s been working on for 5 and a half years — Joey is black and the play is set in 1948, a time of post-World War II optimism and glimmers of hope for black Americans to have a shot at success in a still-whitedominated business world. It seems like a no-brainer: We couldn’t imagine Joey not being black and the play packing the same punch. Joey (Clifton Oliver) is a singer with as much or more ambition and ego than talent starring at a semi-struggling club. The fact he’s black creates much of the plot’s context and tension as the white cast members adapt to supporting a black star and as the club’s patrons — particularly the drunk ones — adjust to something many of them had never seen, especially in a “white” club. The tension accelerates rapidly when Joey brings Linda (Stephanie Umoh), a black waitress he’s sweet on, and her black coworker from a diner to the club and plops them down at a front table in better seats than the white patrons occupy. Later, Joey engages in an affair with Vera (Erica Hanrahan-Ball), a wealthy, married, white woman who buys the club, which is renamed Chez Joey, a dreamcome-true for the now owner/star whose decision-making quickly takes a turn for the worse — personally and professionally. The race-related tension more often than not is subtle, which is effective, and every character is developed fully, including the other singers/dancers in the show and especially Ted (Jonas Cohen), a character new to this version of the musical and based on Lorenz Hart, the lyricist


Baum Gallery of


A winning revamp

‘PAL JOEY’: Clifton Oliver stars in the Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s production.

in the famed Rodgers and Hart duo. Ted serves as the narrator, tying together the plot as he wrestles with his role as the piano player at the club and a relationship with Joey we learn more about late in the play. The action is engaging, and the cast is talented across the board. A bonus of course — a major bonus — is all the great singing and dancing of classic Rodgers and Hart tunes, many carried over from the original “Pal Joey” and others plucked from the vast Rodgers and Hart catalog and plugged into this play unobtrusively. Interestingly, Oliver — while the compelling star of the show — is arguably the least accomplished as a vocalist. His voice is clear, on pitch and pleasant but doesn’t soar like every one of his co-stars’ voices do. But that’s more of an observation than a complaint. The development of the JoeyLinda relationship isn’t given much attention. One minute they are just meeting; the next they are an item; it’s a bit jarring. The stellar house band is right on stage, fully exposed when playing numbers in the club and behind a translucent curtain when playing other songs — a nice approach. “Pal Joey” runs through Sept. 24. Performances are 7 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $25 to $55.

AFTER DARK, CONT. Box Gallery in Argenta. Artists include potters Joe Bruhin and David and Becki Dahlstedt, woodworker Owen Rein, fiber artists Jeanette Larson and Shawn Hoefer, painter Jim Tindall, mixed media artist Lee Cowan and dozens more. Offthebeatenpathstudiotour on the web or Facebook.


The city of North Little Rock and the Park Hill Neighborhood Association invite sculptors and artists to submit qualifications for the commissioning of an outdoor sculpture to be located along the John F. Kennedy corridor bordered by “A” and “H” Streets. The sculpture should represent the natural beauty and historic significance of the neighborhood and its brand, “Perfectly Park Hill.” Deadline for applications is Sept. 15; the project must be complete by Dec. 31. For more information e-mail The Fort Smith Regional Art Museum is accepting entries for its “Portraits of Hope” exhibition Oct. 24-Nov. 30. All proceeds from sales will benefit the Ozark Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Entries will be accepted through Oct. 13. Call 479-784-2787 for more information.


ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, MacArthur Park: “Bauhaus Twenty-21: An Ongoing Legacy,” photographs by Gordon Watkinson, through Sept. 22; “50 Works / 50 Weeks / 50 Years,” Alice Pratt Brown Atrium, through 2013; “Ryan Sniegocki: Museum School Ceramic Artist in Residence,” pottery; “Interwoven,” works on paper and crafts from the permanent collection, through Nov. 17. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. 372-4000. BOSWELL-MOUROT, 5816 Kavanaugh Blvd.: “Windows,” new work by Peggy Port, through Sept. 28. 664-0030. CANTRELL GALLERY, 8206 Cantrell Road: 4th annual Arkansas League of Artists juried exhibition, through Oct. 29. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.Sat. 224-1335. CHRIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 509 Scott St.: Paintings from the Arkansas League of Artists and Local Colour. CHROMA GALLERY, 5707 Kavanaugh Blvd.: Work by Robert Reep and other Arkansas artists. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat. 664-0880. 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 360, 900 S. Rodney Parham Road: “Edgy & Goofy,” collage and mixed media work by Amy Edgington and Byron Werner, through Oct. 19. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat. 663-2222. GINO HOLLANDER GALLERY, 2nd and Center: Paintings and works on paper by Gino Hollander. 801-0211. LAMAN LIBRARY, 2801 Orange St.: “Recovery: The World Trade Center Recovery Operation,” 65 photographs and 56 recovered artifacts from the 911 attack, from the New York State Museum, through Dec. 1. 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat. 758-1720. L&L BECK, 5705 Kavanaugh Blvd.: “14 Holes of Golf,” paintings by Louis Beck, Sept.; free giclee drawing 7 p.m. Sept. 19. 660-4006. M2 GALLERY, 11525 Cantrell Road: 4th annual “Clothing Optional” online art auction, with work by Kathy Lindsey, Dan Holland and Jeaneen Barnhart for September. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.-Sat. 225-6257.

PAINT BOX GALLERY, 705 Main St., NLR: Jewelry by P.J. Bryant, through Sept. 15. 374-2848. UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS AT LITTLE ROCK, 2801 S. University: “Transformation 8: Contemporary Works in Small Metals,” wearable objects and sculptural objects, Gallery I, through Oct. 2; “Figurative Forms: Work from the UALR Permanent Collection,” Gallery II, through Sept. 25. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., also, after Labor Day, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sat., 2-5 p.m. Sun. 569-3182. BENTONVILLE CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART, One Museum Way: “This Land: Picturing a Changing America in the 1930s and 1940s,” 44 paintings, prints and photographs with digital audio tour featuring musical selections by Fayetteville Roots Festival director Bryan Hembree, through Jan. 6; “Angels & Tomboys: Girlhood in 19th-Century American Art,” work by John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, Mary Cassatt and others, through Sept. 30; “Surveying George Washington,” historical documents, through Sept. 30; permanent collection of American masterworks spanning four centuries. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon., Thu., Sat.-Sun.; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Wed.-Fri. 479-418-5700. CONWAY HENDRIX COLLEGE: “The Plan Keeps Coming Up Again,” painting and printmaking by Dustyn Bork, Art Building A Gallery, through Sept. 27; public demonstration on alternative material printing 10:10 a.m.-noon Sept. 25, Art Building B, Room B107; lecture 5 p.m. Sept. 26 with reception to follow. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. 501-505-1562. UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS, Baum Gallery: “Nature/Nurture,” photographs by Jennifer Shaw; “Angle of Repose,” photographs by Maysey Craddock; “Artistic Eye: Works from the Personal Collections of the Art Faculty,” through Oct. 27. McCastlain Hall 143. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10-7 p.m. Thu., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 501-450-5793.


CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CENTER, 1200 President Clinton Ave.: “And Freedom for All: the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom,” photographs by Stanley Tretick of the 1963 march, through Nov. 17; “Oscar de la Renta: American Icon,” designs worn by Laura Bush, Jessica Chastain, Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton and others, and other couture pieces, through Dec. 1. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. $7 adults; $5 college students, seniors, retired military; $3 ages 6-17. 370-8000. ESSE, 1510 S. Main St.: “What’s Inside: A Century of Women and Handbags (1900-1999),” purses from the collection of Anita Davis, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tue.-Sun., $10-$8. 916-9022. MacARTHUR MUSEUM OF ARKANSAS MILITARY HISTORY, MacArthur Park: “The Colors That Bind: Regimental Flags of the 3rd Iowa Cavalry and the 37th Arkansas Infantry,” through Oct. 19. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-4 p.m. Sun. 376-4602. MOSAIC TEMPLARS CULTURAL CENTER, 9th and Broadway: “Shades of Greatness,” collaborative art exhibition inspired by the history of the Negro Leagues; permanent exhibits on African-American entrepreneurship in Arkansas. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat. 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.

presented by the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, a department of the Central Arkansas Library System

SEPTEMBER 12, 2013


Dining WHAT’S COOKIN’ IF YOU’VE BEEN TO a farmers’ market lately, you know the line at the Mylo Coffee Co. stand is long, thanks to its java and baked items — croissants, savory breads, brownies, vegetarian Scotch eggs and puff pastries called kouign (pronounced queen) amann. Now, the line will move to 2715 Kavanaugh, where Stephanos and Monica Mylonas will be taking over the home of River City Tea, Coffee and Cream (which is moving down the street). The brick and mortar store means those Scotch eggs can have meat in them, and they’ll serve other non-vegetarian treats like quiche with bacon, etc. The Mylonases will bring in brother Markos to roast beans on site, so they’ll be able to sell small-batch bags. MORE FOOD NEWS FROM KAVANAUGH BOULEVARD: Hillcrest Artisan Meats is selling takeout dinners on Friday nights between 4:30 and 6 p.m. A recent dinner: Toulouse sausage seasoned with white wine and garlic served with smoked pork belly and braised pork shoulder, French green lentils and creamed leeks. Dinners will run $10 to $13. TEXAS BARBECUE is coming to Bryant with the opening of a Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franchise there at 3213 Main St., just off Interstate 30 near Walmart. On Thursday, Sept. 12, the first 50 customers will get a gift card worth $50, and on Friday there will be a drawing for a $500 gift card and $2 pulled pork sandwiches during lunch hours. KSSN FM radio will broadcast from the restaurant too, and give away prizes.




1620 SAVOY Food is still high-quality and painstakingly prepared — a wide-ranging dinner menu that’s sure to please almost everyone. 1620 Market St. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-2211620. D Mon.-Sat., BR Sun. ALLEY OOPS Plate lunches, burgers and homemade desserts. Remarkable Chess Pie. 11900 Kanis Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-221-9400. LD Mon.-Sat. BR Sun. B-SIDE This little breakfast place turns tradition on its ear, offering French toast wrapped in bacon on a stick, a must-have dish called “biscuit mountain” and beignets with lemon curd. 11121 Rodney Parham Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-716-2700. BL Wed.-Sun. BIG WHISKEY’S AMERICAN BAR AND 52

SEPTEMBER 12, 2013


KILLER CHOP: K. Hall and Sons deep-fried pork chop.

Lunch counter delight Burger, pork chop are the ticket at K. Hall.


Hall and Sons operates as a small market and grocery store with a take-out restaurant within. Go during lunch and you’ll see a swarm of folks lining up at the order counter to get their hands on classic homestyle favorites. The restaurant is certainly nothing fancy, but the smells issuing from the grease traps, flat tops, and ovens are so intoxicating, you’ll forget all about those creature comforts you might expect from more elegant eateries. Naturally, we had to sample the “jumbo” bacon cheeseburger ($4.69). In a place like this, it’s almost criminal not to. We were not disappointed — this burger is special. It’s a no-nonsense, no-frills cheeseburger. They grind the beef in house. This fact is evident in the freshness and texture of the beef. This beef isn’t the sort of compact, previously frozen mess you’d find at other inferior burger establishments. It’s tender, flavorful, and almost crumbles when bitten into. It’s delightful. The fixins’ are standard but adequate. The cheese wraps the hot beef like a velvety blanket, infiltrating each nook and cranny of the loosely packed beef patty. The bacon was nothing to scoff at either, thick, crisp, and deliciously curled

upon itself multiple times. There are a handful of fried options on the menu that warrant your attention as well. We’re not sure if we’ve ever eaten a deep-fried pork chop ($1.99) before visiting K. Hall. Sure, we’ve had pan-fried pork chops, but never one batter-dipped and deep-fried. The chop has a little more chew than what you’d get from fried chicken. It’s not a knife-and-fork deal either — this chop is handheld in its design. And sitting on a street corner, with a chop in one hand and a Mexican Coke in the other — there’s not a finer dining experience in Little Rock. The fried chicken ($1.19) was adequate, but a bit dry. There was some inconsistency between pieces, some faring better texturally than others. But it was served piping hot, the skin was crispy, and the bird was better when doused in a bit of their hot sauce. We’d order it again — if they were out of fried pork chops. We finished with a slice of their sweet potato pie ($1.99), which sat beside the cash register at checkout. It was buried in a small round bowl, wrapped in wax paper—we almost missed it entirely. Thank heaven we didn’t. The pie was

K. Hall and Sons 1900 Wright Ave. 372-1513

QUICK BITE Be sure to check out some of K. Hall’s breakfast options — ideal for a quick drop-in on your way to work. They’re offering bacon or sausage breakfast sandwiches with egg and cheese on white or wheat toast. Or if you’re on your way back home for the evening, pick up one of their whole desserts for the family — cheesecake, red velvet cake, peach cobbler and sweet potato or pecan pie — or some of the New Orleans-centric products they started stocking post-Katrina, like frozen Leidenheimer French bread and Camellia Brand red beans. HOURS 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Sunday. OTHER INFO Credit cards accepted, no alcohol.

soft, creamy and sweet. We would have enjoyed taking our slice home and adding a dollop of whipped cream, but it was too tasty to delay consumption. It was gone before we even sat down. We’ve yet to drop by on a “Seafood Saturday,” but we hear they can’t keep the food coming out fast enough. Here, when the season’s right, you’ll find a grand seafood bake when K. Hall is dishing up heaping piles of crawfish, crab legs, shrimp and lobster tail. This all comes stacked up alongside red potatoes, corn, and sausage. Not really a better way to satisfy your craving for crustacean.

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.

GRILL A modern grill pub in the River Market with all the bells and whistles, plus boneless wings, burgers, steaks, soups and salads. 225 E Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-324-2449. LD daily. BOBBY’S COUNTRY COOKIN’ One of the better plate lunch spots in the area, with some of the best fried chicken and pot roast around. 301 N. Shackleford Road, Suite E1. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 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. CATFISH CITY AND BBQ GRILL Basic fried fish and sides, including green tomato pickles. 1817 S. University Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-663-7224. LD Tue.-Sat. CHEERS Good burgers and sandwiches, vegetarian offerings and salads at lunch and fish specials, and good steaks in the evening. 2010 N. Van Buren. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-6635937. LD Mon.-Sat. 1901 Club Manor Drive. Maumelle. Full bar, All CC. 501-851-6200. LD daily, BR Sun. CHICKEN KING Arguably Central Arkansas’s best wings. 5213 W 65th St. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-562-5573. LD Mon.-Sat. DAVID’S BUTCHER BOY BURGERS Serious hamburgers, steak salads, homemade custard. 101 S. Bowman Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-227-8333. LD Mon.-Sat. 4000 McCain Blvd. NLR. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-353-0387. LD Mon.-Sat. HILLCREST ARTISAN MEATS A fancy charcuterie and butcher shop with excellent daily soup and sandwich specials. 2807 Kavanaugh Blvd. Suite B. No alcohol, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-671-6328. L Mon.-Sat. THE HOP DINER The downtown incarnation of the old dairy bar, with excellent burgers, onion rings, shakes, daily specials and breakfast. 201 E. Markham. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-2440975. KITCHEN EXPRESS Delicious “meat and three” restaurant offering big servings of homemade soul food. 4600 Asher Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-666-3500. BLD Mon.-Sat., LD Sun. 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. $$. 501-372-8714. LD Tue.-Sat. LYNN’S CHICAGO FOODS Outpost for Chicago specialties like Vienna hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches. 6501 Geyer Springs. No alcohol, All CC. $. 501-568-2646. LD Mon.-Sat. MADDIE’S PLACE If you like your catfish breaded Cajun-style, your grits rich with garlic and cream and your oysters fried up in perfect puffs, this is the place for you. 1615 Rebsamen Park Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-6604040. LD Tue.-Sat. PACKET HOUSE GRILL An up-to-date take on sophisticated Southern cuisine served up in a stunning environment. 1406 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-372-1578. L Mon.-Fri., D Tues.-Sat.

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

SLICK’S SANDWICH SHOP & DELI Meatand-two plate lunches in state office building. 101 E. Capitol Ave. No alcohol. 501-375-3420. BL Mon.-Fri. 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. $-$$. 501-791-0990. LD Mon.-Sat. SPORTS PAGE One of the largest, juiciest, most flavorful burgers in town. Grilled turkey and hot cheese on sourdough gets praise, too. Now with lunch specials. 414 Louisiana St. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-372-9316. LD Mon.-Fri. 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. VICTORIAN GARDEN We’ve found the fare quite tasty and somewhat daring and different with its healthy, balanced entrees and crepes. 4801 North Hills Blvd. NLR. $-$$. 501-758-4299. L Tue.-Sat. WAYNE’S FISH & BURGERS TO GO Offers generously-portioned soulfood plate lunches and dinners - meat, two sides, corn bread - for $6. 2221 South Cedar St. 501-663-9901. WHITE WATER TAVERN Excellent, locallysourced bar food. 2500 W. 7th St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-375-8400. D Tue.-Fri., L Fri.





1619 Rebsamen Rd. 501-663-9734


great steak



BENIHANA JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE Enjoy the cooking show, make sure you get a little filet with your meal, and do plenty of dunking in that fabulous ginger sauce. 2 Riverfront Place. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-374-8081. BLD Sun.-Sat. CHI DIMSUM & BISTRO A huge menu spans the Chinese provinces and offers a few twists on the usual local offerings, plus there’s authentic Hong Kong dim sum available. 6 Shackleford Drive. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-221-7737. LD daily. 17200 Chenal Parkway. No alcohol, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-821-8000. LD Mon.-Sat., D Sun. FAR EAST ASIAN CUISINE Old favorites such as orange beef or chicken and Hunan green beans are prepared with care. 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. $$. 501-225-8989. LD daily, BR Sun. IGIBON JAPANESE RESTAURANT It’s a complex place, where the food is almost always good and the ambiance and service never fail to please. 11121 N. Rodney Parham Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-217-8888. LD Mon.-Sat. KIYEN’S SEAFOOD STEAK AND SUSHI Sushi, steak and other Japanese fare. 17200 Chenal Pkwy, Suite 100. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. CONTINUED ON PAGE 54

SEPTEMBER 12, 2013


501-821-7272. LD daily. KOBE JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE & SUSHI 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. STAR OF INDIA The best Indian restaurant in the region, with a unique buffet at lunch and some fabulous dishes at night. 301 N. Shackleford. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-2279900. LD daily. TASTE OF ASIA Delicious Indian food in a pleasant atmosphere. 2629 Lakewood Village Dr. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-812-4665. LD daily. VAN LANG CUISINE Terrific Vietnamese cuisine, particularly the way the pork dishes and the assortment of rolls are presented. 3600 S. University Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-570-7700. LD daily.


CAPITOL SMOKEHOUSE AND GRILL Beef, pork and chicken, all smoked to melting tenderness and doused with a choice of sauces. 915 W. Capitol Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-3724227. L Mon.-Fri. CROSS EYED PIG BBQ COMPANY Traditional barbecue favorites smoked well such as pork ribs, beef brisket and smoked chicken. 1701 Rebsamen Park Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-265-0000. L Mon.-Sat., D Tue.-Fri. FATBOY’S KILLER BAR-B-Q This Landmark neighborhood strip center restaurant features tender ribs and pork by a contest pitmaster. 14611 Arch Street. No alcohol, All CC. $$.

501-888-4998. L Mon.-Wed. and Fri.; L Thu. HB’S BBQ Great slabs of meat with fiery barbecue sauce, but ribs are served on Tuesday only. 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.


KHALIL’S PUB Widely varied menu with European, Mexican and American influences. 110 S. Shackleford Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-224-0224. LD daily. BR Sun. MAISON TERRE TEA ROOM & HERB SHOP Teas and traditional European fare, as well as medicinal and culinary herbs and spices. 304 Main St. NLR. No alcohol, All CC. 501-516-1464. THE PANTRY The menu stays relatively true to Czechoslovakian roots, but there’s plenty of choices to suit all tastes. 11401 Rodney Parham Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-353-1875. LD Mon.-Fri., D Sat.


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. 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. $$-$$$. 479-4447437. LD daily. GUSANO’S They make the tomatoey Chicagostyle deep-dish pizza the way it’s done in the Windy City. 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.


CASA MANANA Great guacamole and garlic beans, superlative chips and salsa and a broad selection of fresh seafood. 6820 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-280-9888. LD daily 18321 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-868-8822. LD daily 400 President Clinton Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. BL Mon.-Sat. CASA MEXICANA Familiar Tex-Mex style items all shine, in ample portions, and the steakcentered dishes are uniformly excellent. 6929 JFK Blvd. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-835-7876. LD daily. EL PORTON 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. ELIELLA You’ll find perhaps the widest variety of street style tacos in Central Arkansas here. The menu is in Spanish, but the waitstaff is accomodating to gringos. 7700 Baseline Road. Beer, All CC. $. 501-539-5355. L Mon.-Sat. 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 HACIENDA Creative, fresh-tasting entrees and traditional favorites, all painstakingly

prepared in a festive atmosphere. 3024 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-661-0600. LD daily. 200 Highway 65 N. Conway. All CC. $$. 501-327-6077. LD daily. 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. MERCADO SAN JOSE One of Little Rock’s best Mexican bakeries and a restaurant in back serving tortas and tacos for lunch. 7411 Geyer Springs Road. Beer, CC. $. 501-565-4246. BLD daily. MEXICO CHIQUITO Some suggest cheese dip was born at this Central Arkansas staple, where you’ll find hearty platters of boldly spiced, inexpensive food that compete well with those at the “authentic” joints. 102 S. Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-224-8600; 13924 Cantrell Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-217-0700. LD daily.; 4511 Camp Robinson Road. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-771-1604. LD daily. RIVIERA MAYA Typical Mexican fare for the area, though the portions are on the large side. 801 Fair Park Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-663-4800. LD daily. ROCK ’N TACOS California-style cuisine that’s noticeably better than others in its class. Fish tacos are treated with the respect they deserve, served fresh and hot. Tamales are a house specialty and are worth sampling as well. 11121 North Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-812-3461. LD Mon.-Sat. TAQUERIA Y CARNICERIA GUADALAJARA Cheap, delicious tacos, tamales and more. 3811 Camp Robinson Road. NLR. Beer, All CC. $-$$. 501-753-9991. BLD daily.



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MAHER, CONT. statement about how “There were no terrorist attacks under Bush if you don’t count 9/11.” But now he’s running for Senate against another Arkansas politician you had some interactions with, Mark Pryor [who was featured none-too-flatteringly in Maher’s film “Religulous”]. Ah yeah, Mark Pryor, Mark Pryor... I think it’s fair to say he’s been nothing but a disappointment to liberals in Arkansas, but I think most of us will end up voting for him. So what I wanted to ask you opinion on was, do you think holding your nose and voting for the lesser of two evils is the right thing to do, even when the lesser evil is a buffoon? Yeah, unfortunately it is. I think I learned that lesson with Ralph Nader in 2000. I think a lot of people were disenchanted with Al Gore for a lot of

good reasons — No. 1, he didn’t stand up for his own signature issue, which was the environment, but what we learned I think was, the lesser of two evils does make a difference. And when you sit on the sidelines or you vote for someone who has no chance of winning, you wind up electing the person who you like the least and I think the world would be in a very different place if Al Gore had been elected in 2000. I don’t think we would have fought a war in Iraq, just for one giant reason. I loved your New Rule from earlier this month about Art Pope and the insanity in North Carolina. Obviously nobody’s going to mistake Arkansas for North Carolina in terms of being progressive, but it was a similar thing that happened here where Koch brothers money just flowed into the local elections

and the Republicans took over the state legislature for the first time in 138 years. And I was shocked at how quickly things turned horrible, with some of the worst legislation we’ve ever seen immediately. So getting back to that New Rule and what you were ribbing Jay Z about a little bit, are we at a turning point now with regard to political spending, where it’s really going to take sensible rich people to step up because that’s the landscape now? Yeah, that was the point of the editorial on that. Sure, we had our fun with Jay Z, but the point that we were trying to make that I hope people heard amid the fun was that, Citizens United, which got a lot of publicity on a national level, really didn’t have that big of an effect on a national level. Yes, Obama was outraised by the billionaires and the Republican party, but it was not

enough to defeat him obviously, and eventually a lot of the liberal rich people finally stood up and gave enough money to Obama that he was able to pretty much square off against Mitt Romney. But on the local level, that’s what we were trying to make people understand, because I have not seen that reported anywhere in the national press. On the local level, Citizens United is having a tremendous impact, and when you talk about Art Pope, he took over the state by only spending like $4 or $5 million. It’s pocket change. Nicolas Cage spends that on castle insurance. I just think that’s a story that the press really needs to get into is how, on the local level, the Citizens United ruling — and I didn’t know this thing you were just telling me about was happening in Arkansas, but I knew it was going to happen in other states because it’s inevitable that it will. September 2013 55 55 SEPTEMBER 12, 12, 2013

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SEPTEMBER 12, 2013

Arkansas Times - Sept. 12, 2013  

Arkansas Times entertainment, culture, politics, Visionary Arkansas

Arkansas Times - Sept. 12, 2013  

Arkansas Times entertainment, culture, politics, Visionary Arkansas