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CAN YOU SPARE A PENNY? Little Rock votes on first sales tax increase in 17 years. By Leslie Newell Peacock PAGE 12


Vote For Little Rock’s Future Tuesday, September 13th

Vote FOR Our Future and we can: n Hire more police officers and firefighters n Build new police and fire stations in growing neighborhoods n Invest in attracting new business, industry, and good paying jobs n Repave roads, repair sidewalks, and fix drainage infrastructure n Improve and maintain our parks, trails and ball fields

LITTLE ROCK’S FUTURE ELECTION DAY IS THIS COMING TUESDAY, SEPT. 13TH Vote at your normal polling location from 7:30 am – 7:30 pm


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VOLUME 38, NUMBER 1 ARKANSAS TIMES (ISSN 0164-6273) is published each week by Arkansas Times Limited Partnership, 201 East Markham Street, 200 Heritage Center West, P.O. Box 34010, Little Rock, Arkansas, 72203, phone (501) 375-2985. Periodical postage paid at Little Rock, Arkansas, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ARKANSAS TIMES, P.O. Box 34010, Little Rock, AR, 72203. Subscription prices are $42 for one year, $78 for two years. Subscriptions outside Arkansas are $49 for one year, $88 for two years. Foreign (including Canadian) subscriptions are $168 a year. For subscriber service call (501) 375-2985. Current single-copy price is 75¢, free in Pulaski County. Single issues are available by mail at $2.50 each, postage paid. Payment must accompany all single-copy orders. Reproduction or use in whole or in part of the contents without the written consent of the publishers is prohibited. Manuscripts and artwork will not be returned or acknowledged unless sufficient return postage and a self-addressed stamped envelope are included. All materials are handled with due care; however, the publisher assumes no responsibility for care and safe return of unsolicited materials. All letters sent to ARKANSAS TIMES will be treated as intended for publication and are subject to ARKANSAS TIMES’ unrestricted right to edit or to comment editorially.



Vote yes for tax increase After reading Kathy Wells’ letter in your paper asking voters in Little Rock to vote against the proposed sales tax increase on the ballot Sept. 13, I felt compelled to write a letter of my own describing why Little Rock voters should vote for the tax. First, of the 50 most populated cities in the state, the City of Little Rock has the lowest sales tax with the highest population of citizens to serve. Let me repeat that: Little Rock has the lowest sales tax in the state with the highest population of citizens to serve. In addition, city officials have stated over and over again that next year the city will go into its budget cycle at least $8 million in the hole. That means that this isn’t even a discussion about whether or not to keep things as they are or make them better — it’s a question whether or not to make them worse or make them better. I vote for better! Ms. Wells seems to think that “impact fees” charged to those of us who live in West Little Rock will solve all the problems of the city. This solution is incredibly naive. First, charging impact fees to developers in West Little Rock wouldn’t even come close to collecting the amount of revenue needed to fund projects that benefit the entire city. Projects like purchasing a new communications tower for 911, buying new fire trucks and fixing our streets benefit all sections of the city, not just West Little Rock. The truth of the matter is that the upcoming one-cent sales tax proposal is necessary and provides benefits to all citizens of Little Rock. I was absolutely horrified to learn that our 911 communication tower is so antiquated that our city can’t even purchase the parts to fix the tower properly and has to call engineers out of retirement to come and help repair the thing. It was equally horrifying to me when I learned that the only ladder truck our fire department has is one from 1976! As a park lover I’ve watched the last few years as our parks become more and more dilapidated. As a volunteer and supporter of the zoo, one of the largest tourist attractions in our city, I worry that continued cuts will cause our zoo to lose accreditation and backtrack from all the progress it’s made in the last few years. Remember, the question before us is not to keep things as they are or improve them — it’s a vote for regression or progression. I say vote for progress. And speaking of progress, Little Rock will never be able to attract the kind of jobcreating businesses it wants to attract if it doesn’t have funds for economic development. The Panama Canal will double in size in 2014 meaning that more and more shipping will come up through the Gulf Coast. Little Rock is in a unique situation to attract additional businesses to our port but not if we don’t have port land available 4 SEPTEMBER 7, 2011 ARKANSAS TIMES

and ready for businesses to operate. In addition, one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. economy is medical technology. The creation of a technology park where universities and businesses can collaborate and innovate could mean the creation of thousands of new jobs. Other cities in Arkansas are putting revenue aside for economic development and if our city doesn’t we will lose jobs, not create them. Little Rock deserves better and we can get better if we vote for the tax increase on Sept. 13. Jennifer Owens Little Rock

No new taxes in Little Rock When Little Rock fairly distributes its resources from Chenal to Granite Mountain or the refurbishing of downtown looks closer to completion, I could consider raising taxes. When the I-630/430 interchange is completed, I might never use it, but when previous government projects across this city have been successful, I might think about paying higher taxes. When the I-440 (Airport) Exit 2 to 3M begins and major streets east of University and south of I-630 have sidewalks and covered sewers, I will be encouraged. The river port was here well before people started



strolling across the river on the two bridges or the trolley needed redesigning. Jobs moved away from east Little Rock causing higher cost to commute to them than is practical and reducing payroll tax revenues. These eager minds, the common denominator in decision-making, should consider changing something and it is not the taxes. I am talking about the recycling of abandoned manufacturing buildings the length of Roosevelt Road and particularly near the airport. This city, instead of planning any commercial upgrade at Roosevelt Road, watched as Bank of America plans to leave and the Kroger Co. allows one of its longest standing facilities in Arkansas to self-implode. Why should we pay more taxes on food there? Ask not what increased tax dollars will do for you, but what your city has done with your tax dollars. Gloria E. Springer Little Rock



/ AUGUST 31, 2011





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This project was supported by Grant No. 2007VNCX0006 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the Office for Victims of Crime. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not represent the official position or policies of the United States Department of Justice.

Thank you so much for your wonderful article on atheism in Arkansas. We make no apologies for our being smart, well-read, welleducated, rational, thinking human beings. Contrary to religious myth, we are productive, well-adjusted, happy, ethical individuals and, I’m sure, appreciative of your letting the world know we exist in Arkansas (and in greater numbers than most people suspect). We serve neither gods nor demons. We don’t hate entities not proven to exist, which would be irrational. We stand in awe of those who doubted through the ages; in fact, we stand on their shoulders as a society and as a species. Besides, we gave up sacrificing babies, puppies and kittens weeks ago. Linda Farrell Bella Vista This morning I read a letter in the Democrat-Gazette suggesting a “nonreligious page” to counter the religion page. Fine idea. Then I pick up the Arkansas Times, and your cover article discusses atheism. The tide seems to be shifting. If anyone asks me who the guests at my fantasy dinner party would be, I’d pick Jesus and Christopher Hitchens. Now THAT would make for some interesting dinner conversation.  Mary Waters Little Rock Submit letters to the Editor, Arkansas Times, P.O. Box 34010, Little Rock, AR 72203. We also accept letters via e-mail. The address is We also accept faxes at 375-3623. Please include name and hometown.


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God’s pickpockets

Still for progress


s we explained last week, the Arkansas Times supports the proposed one-cent increase in the city sales tax that has been submitted to voters by the Little Rock Board of Directors. Early voting is underway. Election Day is Sept. 13.




gang of parochial-school promoters hit town last month, soliciting public money to advance their private religious views. That such use of public tax dollars is unconstitutional, indeed baldly un-American, was not mentioned by them. An omission so great is like advocating war without conceding that people will die. Failure to disclose vital information is not exactly lying, but it’s close. The Heritage Foundation, a right-wing group that keeps the First Amendment under siege, sponsored a panel discussion at the Statehouse Convention Center. Foundation agents argued that Arkansas should create taxpayer-funded vouchers that could be used to send children to church schools and other private schools. This would further weaken the public schools that are among this country’s grandest achievements, but are always at risk from theocrats and plutocrats. Even worse, the proposal would violate the great American principle of separation of church and state, which lets the common people, not just the priests and the preachers, decide America’s direction. Most of the common people would prefer that the USA not be like Iran, say, or the other countries where church and state are one. If Rod Paige prefers the Iranian model, he should say so. Instead, Paige, who was U.S. secretary of Education under G.W. Bush, claims to fear “monopoly” in education, fear it so much that he’s willing to sacrifice freedom of religion. He can relax. There is no monopoly. People who want to send their kids to church schools can do so right now, they just can’t make the rest of us pay for it. That they also have the choice of sending the kids to public schools run by elected friends and neighbors is not monopoly. It’s democracy. Another of the speakers was Virginia Walden Ford, who was said to have helped spearhead a school voucher program in Washington that has sent many children to private schools, mostly Catholic. The Roman Catholic hierarchy has long been the most avid lobbyist for school vouchers. Now it’s picking up support from right-wing fundamentalist groups willing to align themselves with the Papists solely for the purpose of wiping out the public schools. Once that’s done, the two factions can take up arms again. It’s unimaginable that Rick Perry and Antonin Scalia could tolerate each other for very long.

BRING ON FALL: Sightseers enjoyed cooler temperatures at the Old Mill during the long Labor Day weekend.

The quiet election


ittle Rock city officials have been running a stealth campaign — targeted mail and phone calls — for their effort to increase the city sales tax by 200 percent. But this electoral secrecy is nothing compared with the lack of attention given the Little Rock school election, which comes Sept. 20. If you look at the ballot, you’d think there’s nothing to vote on. No millage increase is proposed. The 46.4mill tax continues regardless. Zone 5 board member Jody Carreiro has no opposition. In the only other open race, Zone 1, only Norma J. Johnson filed for the ballot. But … Loretta Hendrix filed as a write-in candidate. Write-ins typically pose little threat, but in an election with little turnout it might not take many votes to win. In 2008 and 2005, fewer than 100 people cast ballots in Little Rock school elections when no contested races appeared on the ballot. In 2002, when Katherine Mitchell was elected by a narrow margin, two names appeared on the ballot and there was strong neighborhood interest. Still, only 716 people voted. So there’s cause to watch this race and — if you live in Ward 1 — to vote. Johnson brims with energy in talking about schools. Hendrix has less to say. She said she ran because Katherine Mitchell decided not to seek reelection and she appreciated Mitchell’s representation. Johnson declines to look back at Mitchell and the leadership debates in which Mitchell was a key player, most recently in the minority on a superintendent change. “I’m not running AGAINST anybody,” Johnson says. “I’m running for the position.” A state Highway and Transportation Department permits analyst, Johnson, 52, holds a master’s degree in adult education and is studying for a certificate in mediation and conflict resolution. Her son is a senior at Central High School, where she was a graduate.

Why is she running? “I can’t understand how kids can be in school 12 years and can’t read. I can’t understand why we’re failing a number of children.” She said school districts need MAX to be more open to change and BRANTLEY different approaches — “to take risks.” She said she has an open mind on charter schools, but she also said traditional public schools should receive no less consideration. Hendrix, 62, daughter of City Director Erma Hendrix, told the Education Advocate, a local publication, that she wasn’t ready to talk about issues because she hadn’t been keeping up with them. She also said she had intended to file conventionally, but missed the deadline. She works in real estate and has a master’s degree in teaching people with learning disabilities. She has no children. “My one great issue is to make sure children get an equitable education and are well prepared at end of school year,” she said. Both candidates say that, so far, they’ve primarily paid for small campaign expenditures themselves. Hendrix said she’s knocking on 75 doors a day. She distributes a flyer that says, “You write in, we win!” and lists her education at Hall High and UAPB. Both candidates have been interviewed by the Little Rock Education Association, the union for district employees. The LREA supported Katherine Mitchell. But I’ll be surprised if the LREA doesn’t endorse Johnson, who seems more directly engaged in the district and aims to get other parents equally engaged. But if few people vote in a ward that has traditionally turned out few voters and has lost population besides, the outcome is anyone’s guess.


Know your presidents


ll the Republican candidates for president and all the party’s congressional establishment want to take the country back to the halcyon days when Democratic presidents were not spending riotously, raising taxes, running up debt and bloating the federal government. Those would be the days of Ronald Reagan. So it’s past time for a little multiplechoice quiz on the fiscal records of the presidents of recent memory, based on historical records of the Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. The answers will follow. 1. Which post-World War II president raised more taxes than any other? (a) Dwight Eisenhower (b) Lyndon Johnson (c) Ronald Reagan (d) George H. W. Bush (e) Bill Clinton (f) Barack Obama. 2. Under which president (or presidents) did Americans see their taxes reduced but no taxes raised during his (their) first three years in office? (a) Ronald Reagan (b) George H. W. Bush (c) Bill Clinton (d) George W. Bush (e) Barack Obama. 3. Rank these presidents on the amount that the outstanding national debt was increased during their terms in office: (a) Jimmy Carter (b) Ronald Reagan (c) George H. W. Bush (d) Bill Clinton (e)

George W. Bush. 4. Rank these presidents on the average amount that federal spending increased per fiscal ERNEST year during their DUMAS tenures: (a) Ronald Reagan (b) George H.W. Bush (c) Bill Clinton (d) George W. Bush (e) Barack Obama. 5. Under which president did all federal tax receipts sink to the lowest share of the economy (GDP) since 1950? (a) Richard Nixon (b) Gerald Ford (c) Jimmy Carter (d) Ronald Reagan (e) Bill Clinton (f) George W. Bush (g) Barack Obama. 6. Since Jimmy Carter, which presidents increased the size of the federal government, as measured by federal employment, and which ones decreased it? The answers: 1. (c) Ronald Reagan raised more taxes than any other president. The Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 reversed many of the business tax reductions in 1981 and was calculated to raise $214 billion over five years. He (always with Congress, of course) raised gasoline taxes to produce $4.9 billion in 1982. His Social Security amendments in

Right, wrong and UCA


here’s right and there’s wrong and there’s UCA.” I don’t even know what that means. I doubt that the Conway insider who uttered it to me Friday afternoon does either. I use it, though, because it conveys the relevant utter frustration. A few years ago the University of Central Arkansas was the hottest college in the state. It was located in a booming suburban college town. It had a politically astute president. Enrollment was skyrocketing. Television advertising was Landersesque. Then that politically astute president, Lu Hardin, got caught cutting ethical corners to gin up some bonus money for himself to pay gambling debts. He will be going to prison any day now, surely. The UCA Board of Trustees, looking around for the anti-Lu, found its man in Dr. Allen Meadors, a campus graduate with experience as a small-college president and a meek manner. Not long ago I made a crack about Hardin’s ethical wasteland in the presence of a leading UCA staff member. It angered

her. She explained that she loved the school and that it was steadily righting itself and, essentially, that a JOHN smart-aleck press BRUMMETT commentator ought to watch his mouth. But now this: Meadors was revealed this week to have misrepresented to the UCA board that the campus food vendor, a company called Aramark, was donating $700,000 to fix up the president’s official home across the street from the campus. The board, initially as blindly obeisant to administrative happy talk as with Hardin before, said sure, yes, without delay, we accept this gift for this most urgent academic need and we authorize preliminary architectural designs and cost estimates. Then came that pesky reporter for the statewide daily, famous for bedeviling Hardin, and still wielding the Freedom of Information law like a switchblade.

1983 raised payroll taxes by $165 billion over seven years. The Railroad Retirement Revenue Act of 1983 raised $1.2 billion. The Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 raised $25.4 billion. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 raised $2.9 billion. The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 raised $600 million. The Continuing Resolution of 1987 raised $2.8 billion. The Continuing Resolution for 1988 raised $2 billion. The tax increases only partially offset the revenue reductions from the Economic Recovery Act of 1982, but the combined effect of all the tax acts was to shift federal tax burdens from high incomes to middleclass workers through payroll and excise taxes. 2. Both (d) George Bush and (e) Barack Obama made only tax cuts. Obama’s stimulus package gave income tax relief in 2009 and 2010 and a temporary reduction in the payroll tax rate (still in effect). He sought to restore Clinton-era tax rates on incomes above $250,000 for couples but failed and signed an extension of the tax cuts. If it is upheld, his healthinsurance reform law starting in 2014 will raise Medicare taxes on high incomes and levy more taxes on pharmaceutical and insurance companies and makers of tanning beds. 3. Outstanding national debt was increased by (e) George W. Bush $6.1 trillion in eight years, (b) Reagan $1.9 trillion in eight years, (c) George H. W.

Bush $1.6 trillion in four years, (d) Bill Clinton $1.4 trillion in eight years (despite budget surpluses the final four), (a) Carter $288 billion in four years. (The numbers include the accumulation of interest so that the total debt goes up even when the government runs a surplus.) 4. (d) George W. Bush increased federal spending 11.1 percent a year, (a) Reagan 8.6 percent a year, (b) George H.W. Bush 5.8 percent a year, (e) Obama 4.25 percent a year, (c) Clinton 4 percent a year. 5. Federal tax receipts fell to the lowest share of GDP under (g) Obama. For the fiscal year that ends this month, total tax receipts are projected to be slightly more than 14 percent of GDP. They have ranged from 17 to 20 percent of GDP for most of the past 40 years. 6. Carter reduced the federal workforce by 23,000, Reagan increased it by 310,000, George H. W. Bush reduced it by 534,000, Clinton reduced it by 626,000, and George W. Bush increased it by 298,000. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management indicates that the workforce rose slightly in 2010, Barack Obama’s first budget year, owing to temporary hiring of tens of thousands of census workers. All that suggests that in immediate political terms it doesn’t matter what you do as much as what you say you did. And it suggests one last question: Which political party is historically better at promoting its message, even if it is a misleading one?

She asked board members if they had known a little detail: Aramark actually would donate the money from one hand only if it was guaranteed that it would reel more money from UCA into the other hand by getting its food service contract renewed without competitive bidding for a period at least long enough for a guaranteed realization of enough profit to get back the gift. Why, no, we didn’t know that, said some of these board members, and, by golly, we are just a little bit ticked. They called themselves to a special meeting. This was not charity, but amortizing. It was a food service vendor seeking to escape a new round of competitive bidding by going into the home improvement lending business on the side. It was an advance on marked-up grub the kids would eat later in their hostage environment. I’m advised that this kind of arrangement is not uncommon. But it ought to be. And if it is common, why conspicuously neglect to mention it? Meadors, going all-in for damage control, told the board in this second special meeting that he had erred and that he would recommend that the school not accept the money as offered. He recommended that the school open the food service contract

for bidding. The board withdrew its previous approval for a housing allowance by which Meadors and his wife could rent suitable quarters elsewhere until the presidential home was renovated. Meadors’ wife, a stronger personality, has been spending quite a bit of time with family in North Carolina. Just 24 hours later, on Friday afternoon, the board met in special session again, this time by phone. Then the board reconvened in public and bought out Meadors’ contract. The board could have restored Meadors’ authority to live temporarily off campus. But that might simply have kept matters festering — a la Hardin — and nobody wanted to go through that again. Meadors may be a bit of a victim, just as UCA. He clearly erred by not revealing the full nature of the arrangement with the food vendor. But it is entirely possible that he considered such deals commonplace. He may have felt some pressure close to home about inadequate living arrangements, the short-term solution to which got sacrificed in this fast-roiling controversy. So now UCA will start trying again to right the ship. SEPTEMBER 7, 2011 7

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The leisure of her company “ ‘The Library is exceeding expectations in pretty much every area,’ Barr said. ‘I’m very, very proud of that, and that has been under Edna’s leadership.’ ” “Thordown has served at the leisure of the board since 2009, when members unanimously voted to hire her as executive director.” Leisure can be a pleasure, but the words are not exactly the same. Thordown is serving at the pleasure of the board.

Burma is “unofficial.” The dictionary acknowledges both Bombay and Mumbai, but lists Bombay first. It’s still more DOUG common among SMITH English speakers, I suspect, while regarded by some Indians as an unhappy relic of British colonial rule.

Stanley Johnson of Little Rock asks about certain “geographic puzzles.” His question would be better addressed to almost anyone else. I can get lost between the living room and the bathroom. But we’ll proceed. “The daily paper persists in calling the capital of Maharashtra state in India ‘Bombay.’ Shouldn’t that be ‘Mumbai’ now? And did ‘Myanmar’ revert to its old name? Everyone seems to be calling it ‘Burma’ again.” Politics is mixed up in both these puzzles, and fairly recent politics at that. My old Random House from the late ’80s lists neither Mumbai nor Myanmar. But the up-to-date Merriam-Webster online says that Myanmar is the “official” name of the Southeast Asian country now, and

“ ‘If you go through with this, you’re opening Pandora’s box,’ he hollered before deputies led him out of the courtroom.” I see holler in the paper frequently these days. I didn’t used to. Holler is one of many variations of a word that means “a shout to attract attention,” or “a call of greeting” — words like hello, halloo, and so on. But holler isn’t listed with those other words in a 1940s dictionary, and a 1957 Dictionary of Contemporary American Usage says that holler, unlike the other versions, is “commonly regarded as dialectal or nonstandard.” I think reporters wrote “yelled” or “shouted” back then, but holler is accepted as standard by contemporary dictionaries.




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It was a good week for…

It was a bad week for…

THE PROSPECTS OF THE LITTLE ROCK SALES TAX PROPOSALS. A poll commissioned by the Arkansas Times by the polling firm Impact Management suggests broad support for both the 5/8ths of a cent tax for city operations (62 percent for, 27 against) and the 3/8ths of a cent for capital needs (55 percent for, 32 against).

THE UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS. The university Board of Trustees voted to buy out the contract of embattled president Allen Meadors after he failed to acknowledge that a gift for presidential house renovation from Aramark was contingent on a new contract for the food service contractor. Meadors will be paid roughly $525,000 in state and private money. Meadors followed the controversial Lu Hardin, who resigned in a bonus scandal that ultimately led to a federal indictment on wire fraud and money laundering, to which he pleaded guilty. General counsel Tom Courtway will serve as interim president, just as he did following Hardin’s departure.

ARKANSAS FOOTBALL. The Razorbacks drubbed the Missouri State Tigers 51-7 in their season opener. ESCAPING JAIL. Frederick Young, 37, and Joe Patton, 44, both of Little Rock, escaped from the Pulaski County jail Friday night. At press time, they were still at large. WEATHER. Labor Day Weekend was like heaven for those with time off, with significantly cooler temperatures, a steady breeze and lots of sunshine.

STATE REVENUE. Arkansas general revenue dropped about 1 percent in August compared to the same month last year and fell short by $7 million of what the state had forecast. Lower sales tax collections were largely to blame.



Here comes fall LABOR DAY WEEKEND turned out to be the best weekend — bar none — of the year so far for your old pal. We always love that first kiss of cooler weather, that day when you realize that the heat of summer has broken like a fever, and it’s downhill to Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas from here. Soon, The Observer will be taking down the jacket from the hook on the bedroom door and slipping it on. Soon after that: the coat. Soon, The Observer will be flipping the lever in the Mobile Observatory from “Cool” to “Heat” and leaving it there. Soon, we’ll go outside at night and think: “Wouldn’t a fire be nice? A small, well-stoked fire of cured oak, periodically crackling handfuls of sparks into the night and with a tunnel of orange coal at its blast-furnace core — that, and perhaps a long stick to poke around in its ashes. Wouldn’t that be nice?” Ah, fall. Welcome back, old friend. How we have missed you.

of the cooler weather on Labor Day to pack up the family and head to Hot Springs. There’s something about that town that always makes us smile. It’s not a particularly tidy place, but there’s a charm in that too — a bit of gone-to-pot elegance that keeps us coming back. Strolling Bathhouse Row, we stopped in a shop that happened to have rings in The Observer’s size. We’ve got sausage fingers, size 14 on the wedding digit, so it’s a rare bird to find a ring our size that we don’t have to order. Too, over the past decade-and-a-half of marriage, The Observer has also developed a bad habit of losing wedding bands — there one second and gone like a puff of smoke the next. We’ve lost three so far, the most recent just a few months back. Spouse has suggested The Observer suffers from some sort of underlying, Freudian annoyance with wearing a symbol of wedded bliss. We, on the other hand, suspect that elves are making off with them in the night, perhaps for fancy hula-hoops. The rings this particular shop had on hand were particularly of the biker variety: lots of writhing snakes, bats and bones. We selected one from the case — a fetching, sterling-silver band of interlocked skulls — and tried it on. It looked kinda cool there on our finger, that grinning circle symbolizing — what?


something, surely. We smiled, and thought of how our beskulled finger would look wrapped around the throttle of a burbling Harley. When we looked at Spouse, though, she was grinning as well. We began to suspect she didn’t see the same symbolism in placing a ring of skulls where the ol’ hitchin’ shackle should be. Deterred from our impulse buy, we put the ring back in the foam tray and let the clerk slide it back under the counter. Then we went down a few doors and bought a chocolate cashew cluster and a block of fudge as big as a paperback book. As we ate chocolate on the cool sidewalk with Sweetie and Son, we thought: Who needs a ring, anyway? If all these years have taught us nothing else, it’s that what is in the heart, not on the finger, is what counts. JIMMY BRYANT, THE DIRECTOR OF ARCHIVES AND SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, put out an inquiry recently on what colleges have in the way of archival material on 9/11. Bryant sent The Observer a link to UCA’s collection: Newspaper reports, from the Log Cabin Democrat and UCA’s The Echo to the New York Times; television reports, photographs, reactions from Arkansans, magazines, Internet posts, video. Letters written by children who were at school near the World Trade Center on 9/11. The text of the USA Patriot Act. UCA’s alerts and protocols issued after the attacks. A white T-shirt in remembrance. The collected “Portraits of Grief” from the NY Times. A biography of Osama bin Laden. “Liberty Poker” playing cards. In the distant future, some student will pull out these boxes and learn something of the disbelief the United States felt that day. He may find the material bewildering, experience his own disbelief that America could suffer such attacks on our supposedly safe, ocean-buffeted expanse. What he may not learn is the very different place the U.S. was pre-911, when we walked to airport gates with our shoes on, without passing through machines that examine our naked bodies for bombs. When library records were safe, and phone calls, too. When it was OK to go to Lake Maumelle’s dam and look at the bald eagles there. Now those eagles are behind barbed wire, and too distant to see clearly. For more info on the UCA archive, visit

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Open Daily 11-10 - ARK TIMES 1/4 PAGE DISPLAY AD Katherine Smith SEPTEMBER 7, 2011 9

Arkansas Reporter



Natural gas violations The Arkansas Public Policy Panel has released an analysis of state inspection records of natural gas drilling and production sites compiled by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality showing frequent violations of state environmental regulations, that companies operating in the Fayetteville Shale are not following their own best management practices and that ADEQ is doing little to make sure corrective actions are taken by the violators. The panel looked at 538 inspection forms filed by ADEQ between July 2006 and August 2010. Violations were found in more than half of those inspections, for a total of 544 individual violations, from overflowing waste pits to unauthorized discharge into state waters. Panel director Bill Kopsky says the report is timely. A joint legislative committee on agriculture, forestry and economic development will discuss a number of bills dealing with regulating the natural gas industry at a hearing on Sept. 13. The bills were deferred to interim study during the legislative session. “We’re going to have a bunch of testimony on why we need these bills,” Kopsky says. “I’m sure the industry will maintain the steady drumbeat that we don’t. They have said that they don’t need state regulations because they’re following best management practices that are more strict. This report shows they’re not even following the weak laws that Arkansas does have.” ADEQ Director Teresa Marks says her agency has been doing a better job at inspecting well sites thanks to the addition of more inspectors. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission provided funding for four additional inspectors. ADEQ now has a total of 21. As of July, there were 3,427 permitted gas wells in the state, according to the panel report. “With our increased personnel, we’re doing significantly more inspections,” Marks says. “When the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission goes out on inspections, they’re looking for violations as well. Certainly when you have development there are going to be pollution concerns. There are going to be impacts to the environment. But we are doing our best to make sure those impacts are short lived and as minimal as possible.” ADEQ officials will be on hand for the Sept. 13 hearing to answer questions and provide information to legislators. CONTINUED ON PAGE 11


WIMBERLY: Says she’s taking a stand for equality.

Race 101 In McGehee: Highest GPA, but not valedictorian. Was it racial? BY DAVID KOON


hough the race of a student shouldn’t matter at any public school in America in 2011, it matters to this story that former McGehee High School student Kymberly Wimberly is black. Back in May, even though officials at her high school determined Wimberly’s grade point average was the highest in her graduating class, and even though the superintendent of schools actually informed her she would be named valedictorian — the first black valedictorian at the school since 1989; a dream she’d been working for since grade school, and which she had fought to keep after finding out she was pregnant in her junior year — the high school principal came back a day after informing Wimberly’s mother of the honor and told her they’d been mistaken. Another calculation had been made, taking into account the fact that the second-place student, a white student, had taken exactly one-half credit hour more than Wimberly. Given that, officials told her, Wimberly would have to share the honor with a white co-valedictorian. With the help of Little Rock civil rights

attorney John Walker, Wimberly filed suit in federal court on July 21, alleging that there was a pattern of racial favoritism at McGehee Schools, with teachers pushing whites into advanced-placement courses while blacks —who make up 46 percent of the student body — were encouraged to take “regular” classes. School officials, the lawsuit alleges, had taken away Wimberly’s status as sole valedictorian because she was “an African-American young mother.” The lawsuit seeks a declaratory judgment naming Wimberly the sole valedictorian of her class, $75,000 in punitive damages, and “other relief to which she may be entitled.” School officials, meanwhile, say the co-valedictorian status was solely academic and had nothing to do with race. Bridgette Frazier is an attorney working with John Walker’s firm on the Wimberly lawsuit. She said that attorneys for Wimberly tried to resolve the issue without filing suit in federal court. She said she finds Wimberly’s experience disappointing. “I can’t believe this still happens in Arkansas,” Frazier said. “I can’t tell you how

many people have called up our office after this story broke and said, ‘that happened to me, or that happened to my niece.’ ” Frazier said attorneys have since uncovered similar cases of disenfranchised black scholars in several places around the state. She doesn’t buy McGehee Schools’ explanation of why Wimberly wasn’t the sole valedictorian, and believes a rule allowing for a student with more credit hours to share the honor with a student with a higher GPA isn’t reasonable. “Her transcript says that she’s number one,” Frazier said. “They pointed to this rule, but the counselor is familiar with this rule, and the counselor is the one that always decides the GPA. With this rule in mind, the counselor declared Kymberly first. And then, a day later, the principal goes to the superintendent and somehow gets it changed.” Thomas Gathen is the superintendent of McGehee School District. Gathen — along with McGehee Schools as a whole and McGehee High School principal Darrell Thompson — was named as a plaintiff in Wimberly’s lawsuit. Gathen denies that Wimberly being made co-valedictorian was due to her race. He said the reason it came down to one-half credit hour was because Wimberly’s GPA was less that 1/100th of a point higher than the next-highest GPA. Wimberly’s GPA was 4.0943. Gathen said there was a similar situation in 2006 in which four white students CONTINUED ON PAGE 31


“They’re trying to capitalize on a budget pinch to go for the big tuna.” Jim Lynch, referring to the city, in this week’s cover story on Little Rock’s sales tax proposal.

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



Is the Tea Party’s influence in Arkansas 43.4% growing or waning? GROWING 56.7% WANING

Secretary of State Mark Martin has indicated he doesn’t want to run for office again. Do you believe he will run for elected office in the future?

30% NO










Mark Darr




Mike Ross

51.7% NO

Will the economy, or social issues, have a bigger impact on the next election cycle?


Dustin McDaniel

48.3% YES


Will Republicans win control of the state legislature in 2012?

Little Rock businessman and state Highway Commissioner John Burkhalter seems to have a knack for hangups with regulatory agencies. His plan to build a five-story office building at Sixth and Woodlane in front of the state Capitol has run into objections from neighbors and the staff of the Capitol Zoning Commission, who want to preserve the three-story height limitation in the area intended to prevent obstruction of Capitol views. Just down Capitol Avenue, at the Little Rock office of the Army Corps of Engineers, plans for a Burkhalter marina on the Arkansas River are in flux because of fears that his plan could pose a danger to barge traffic on the river. Burkhalter has proposed to build the Rock City Yacht Club on the south side of the river about a half-mile downstream from the Clinton Library. His original plan called for a fueling operation, restaurant, store and docking for about 480 boats. State and local officials have supported the project as an economic boon. Federal agencies have raised questions about environmental and wildlife habitat, but particularly navigation safety. The most serious objections have come from the navigation section of the Corps, which opposed the plan as originally filed. And, last week, the Coast Guard, which oversees river traffic, also said it opposed the marina because of navigation concerns. However, a Corps spokesman said, the Coast Guard based its objection on one, but not the latest, of four versions of the marina that have brought construction progressively closer to shore from the navigation channel. The latest plan brings the farthest extension of the marina to inside the reach of the rock dikes that jut into the river to protect the navigation channel. The navigation channel hugs the shoreline on the stretch of the river where the marina would be built, and the Corps says maneuverability at that point is difficult for the commercial traffic, particularly in times of high water and fast current. Mark Redder, project manager for the Holloway Firm, which is overseeing engineering for Burkhalter, said the last revision of the plan would reduce marina capacity to 400 boats. He said that would begin to approach a tipping point on economic viability of the project.



For our first Arkansas Times Insiders Poll, we asked politicians, lobbyists, journalists, bloggers and other politicos their opinions on some of the most pressing political questions of the day. It’s an attempt to dissect the conventional wisdom on all things political, straight from the minds of those in-the-know. The partisan split of our participants, at least by our accounting, is practically right down the middle. There were only two more respondents from the Left than the Right and eight independents. Some of the survey’s most interesting findings: the Tea Party’s influence is on the decline, Mark Darr is emerging as a Republican star and, at least according to one of our Insiders, Rep. Loy Mauch is a contender for the Republican gubernatorial nominee (but then again, someone else suggested Mickey Mouse).



Marina hits snag




70% YES







Thanks to our participants: Andrea Lea, Terry Benham, Bradley Phillips, Bill Simmons, Bud Jackson, John Burris, Charlie Collins, Candace Martin, Robert Coon, Clint Reed, David Meeks, David Sanders, David Branscum, Davy Carter, Denver Peacock, Donna Hutchinson, Duncan Baird, Fred Love, Gabe Holmstrom, Greg Leding, Homer Lenderman, Hoyt Purvis, Jack Heinritz, Jake Files, Jane English, John Brummett, Jeff Wardlaw, Jeremy Hutchinson, Jerry Taylor, Jim Luker, Jimmy Jeffress, Johnnie Roebuck, Johnny Key, John Hardin, Jordan Johnson, John Vines, Justin Harris, Katherine Vasilos, Kathy Webb, Keith Emis, Kelley Linck, Kelly MacNeil, Keith Ingram, Larry Teague, Linda Chesterfield, Malcom Glover, Mark Myers, Michael Lamoureux, Nathan Vandiver, Pat Lynch, Robert Thompson, Roby Brock, Steve Barnes, Steve Harrelson, Tiffany Rogers, Tim Summers, Tommy Thompson, Uvalde Lindsey, Warwick Sabin, Jonathan Dismang SEPTEMBER 7, 2011 11

If you want better streets, you have to vote for a research park. BY LESLIE NEWELL PEACOCK


he Arkansas Times is as good a place as any to illustrate the divided thinking on the city’s penny sales tax to be voted on Sept. 13 (early voting started Tuesday). The Times editorial board has endorsed the tax (which is itself divided: 5/8ths of a cent for city operations and 3/8ths for capital needs, the latter to be collected for 10 years), but Times senior editor Max Brantley has been fairly biting, characterizing, for example, the economic development portion of the capital tax as a “steaming pile of bull.” From talks with civic group heads, friends and political types — certainly not a scientific survey — it appears that community-minded people who usually don’t mind paying taxes are swallowing hard this time, choking particularly on the capital tax. Here’s one reason why: Should the combined penny increase tax pass and meet revenue projections of a 2 percent increase per year, the city will be awash in money — $500 million over 10 years. The penny would add $50 million a year to a city whose operating budget is now $191 million — a 26 percent increase. That’s a pile of 12 SEPTEMBER 7, 2011 ARKANSAS TIMES

money for the city board and mayor to spend. Not all are ambivalent. Businessmen, particularly realtors, uniformed and other overburdened employees of the city, and university types who support the research park funding included in the capital tax — those who stand to gain something — resoundingly support the penny; activists, like those who formed the underfunded but persistent “$500 Million Tax — Too Much!” ballot committee, think the penny is excessive and the city can’t be trusted to spend money in declining areas of town. Mayor Mark Stodola and the city board of directors, sensing that after three years of flat tax revenues (no longer do people in growing cities around Little Rock need to come here to shop at big box stores) and cutbacks in city spending and jobs voters might be receptive to raising the current half-penny sales tax (approved in 1994, it is the lowest in the state, as everyone knows by now), voted in July to call an election. To balance the budget, the city has left 230 jobs vacant (including uniformed personnel) and cut back

on maintenance, funding to outside agencies and money for crime prevention and intervention programs. It’s made one-time transfers of millions of dollars from solid waste and fleet funds to the general fund to make up for tax revenues that didn’t rise to expectations and utility franchise fees lowered by state law a couple of years ago. Revenues are projected to come up $8 million short this year; the city came up short in budget years 2007, 2008 and 2009 as well. There was only one no vote, from Ward 2 Director Ken Richardson, and one present vote, from Ward 1 Director Erma Hendrix. Ward 7 Director B.J. Wyrick tried but failed to separate out the economic development tax. There are some obvious needs that all can agree should be addressed. The streets are in bad repair. Code enforcement is stretched past the limit. The fire department is using a 1976 ladder truck whose ladder is off limits to firefighters. The radio tower used by police, fire and ambulance to communicate is antiquated; a lightning strike put it out of business for a while last year. Our parks go unmowed and unkempt for lack of maintenance dollars.

Poll: tax will pass



CAPITAL PROPOSAL The woes are city policies come home to roost, long time activists Jim Lynch and Kathy Wells say, the proof that growth does not pay for itself, contrary to what the city leadership has said in annexing land without imposing impact fees on new development. What the city is proposing, Lynch said, is a “huge, record-breaking tax increase for the same old, same old … no changes in growth policies.” Wells hit the roof recently at a Downtown Neighborhood Association debate on the tax with Lynch and Stodola when the mayor suggested that the downtown Ward 1 had grown in population. (It turns out he was thinking of certain census tracts within the ward.) There is evidence of some uncertainty across town, in prosperous Ward 5. Susan McFarlin, who heads a Chenal property owners association with the cumbersome name of Gibralter Heights Pointe West Timber Ridge, expressed her view on the tax: “I’m conflicted.” McFarlin said she’d been “covered-up” with pro-tax literature and even had a “door-to-door from a fireman.” She sees a need for new revenues, but says the proposal is poorly timed and “so regressive. It hits the wrong people.” She also sees a need for new jobs, but is skeptical about the economic development portion of the capital tax, calling the $22 million research park the tax would fund “an amorphous thing.” The economic development part of the tax includes the research park, $10 million for purchase and infrastructure of land in the Little Rock Port area and $6 million for job recruitment, also known as the “slush fund” by detractors. For many of those voters who fall into the “never met a tax they didn’t like” category, this is a major stick in the craw. As the “500 Million Tax — Too Much!” ballot committee points out, the way the tax is structured means if you want street repairs and public safety infrastructure, you’ve got to vote for the research park. A rundown on the items the tax would pay for, why the pro-forces say we need them, why the anti-forces say we don’t: CONTINUED ON PAGE 14

were in favor of the operational tax. But conventional wisdom is that the tax will not pass in black precincts, and only 17 percent of those who responded to the poll were African-American; 67 percent were white. And while 70.5 percent of the majority black Ward 1 respondents were in favor of the operational tax and 52.9 percent for the capital tax, only 8.5 percent of the total respondents were from Ward 1. Most of those who responded were from Ward 5, the westernmost zone that includes the wealthy Chenal area, at 30.5 percent; 59 percent of those voters favored the operational tax, and 54 percent the capital tax. To the question “Do you generally approve or disapprove of the job that Little Rock City Government is doing?” 48.2 percent approved, 29 percent disapproved and 27.7 percent didn’t know or had no opinion. Mayor Stodola got a 50 percent approval rating.

olling commissioned by the Arkansas Times last week showed support for the proposed city sales tax hike across the city, with 62 percent indicating they’d vote for the 5/8ths cent operational tax and 55.75 percent favoring the 3/8ths cent capital tax. Most of the 400 respondents, all registered to vote in Little Rock, were Democrats, women and white. A caveat: A hefty two-thirds of respondents said they definitely were going to vote. Turnout won’t match that. More Democrats (73 percent of those who identified themselves as Democrats) than Republicans (43.96 percent) support the operations tax. Among Democratic respondents, the capital tax won 65.9 percent approval; among Republicans, 40.6 percent. Support for the operational tax was broad racially, with 67.6 percent of African American respondents and 64.5 percent of white respondents indicating approval. Forty-eight percent of Hispanics

FOR 55.75%

AGAINST 32.75%




73.10% 17.26% 9.64%













5/8 PROPOSAL For — 64.79% Against — 28.17% Undecided — 7.04% 3/8 PROPOSAL For — 56.34% Against — 33.80% Undecided — 9.86%

FOR 62%

AGAINST 26.75%



5/8 PROPOSAL For — 66.67% Against — 26.98% Undecided — 6.35% WARD 4 WARD 5






INDEPENDENTS FOR AGAINST 10% UNDECIDED 3/8 PROPOSAL For — 65.08% Against — 31.75% Undecided — 3.17%

5/8 PROPOSAL For — 70.59% Against — 17.65% Undecided — 11.76%

3/8 PROPOSAL For — 52.94% Against — 29.41% Undecided — 17.65%

5/8 PROPOSAL For — 59.02% Against — 27.87% Undecided — 13.11%

5/8 PROPOSAL For — 58.33% Against — 25.00% Undecided — 16.67%

5/8 PROPOSAL For — 66.67% Against — 21.21% Undecided — 12.12%

5/8 PROPOSAL For — 48.28% Against — 37.93% Undecided — 13.79%

3/8 PROPOSAL For — 54.10% Against — 33.61% Undecided — 12.30%

3/8 PROPOSAL For — 56.25% Against — 31.25% Undecided — 12.50%

3/8 PROPOSAL For — 54.10% Against — 33.61% Undecided — 12.30%

3/8 PROPOSAL For — 37.93% Against — 41.38% Undecided — 20.69% SEPTEMBER 7, 2011 13



WENDELL GRIFFIN: The Pulaski County Circuit Court judge protested with other members of the “$500 Million Tax — Too Much” group.

Public works: $72 million capital over 10 years, $1.4 million operations annually. Though developers are supposed to build sidewalks, Stodola says he thinks it’s a city’s responsibility. The public works tax, in addition to raising $67.5 million over 10 years for streets, street resurfacing and maintenance and drainage, would give the city $4.5 million over 10 years for sidewalk repair. If there’s no clamor one year for sidewalk repair, the $450,000 in the fund could presumably go to other things, but Stodola says the tax money will be spent in the way the ordinance proposes and a citizen’s committee will provide oversight. There has been no money for street resurfacing for five years. This expenditure should be among the most wel-


Public safety: $41.2 million for capital needs (over 10 years), $14.8 million yearly for operations At year four (the year on which the city has based all its projections for annual operating revenues from the new tax), the 5/8ths cent for operations would bring in about $15 million yearly, $5.6 million of which would be used to employ 52 additional police officers in the police department and keep 27 officers now funded by stimulus grants. (That would fill the 45 or so vacant uniformed positions that the LRPD has now.) Lynch, one of the founders of the “$500 Million Tax — Too Much!” group, and others have pointed out a certain irony in Mayor Mark Stodola’s State of the City boasts of an “astonishing” decrease in violent crime in Little Rock and his position that the city needs 79 new police officers. But Stodola says the city needs to fill its vacancies to improve response time, increase its community policing and reopen closed alert centers, man the 911 line (he said callers have on occasion gotten a busy signal) and the 311 non-emergency line. While the operations money would hire the LRPD and COPP officers, the 3/8ths cent for capital would pay the lion’s share of the cost of 911/311 communications and call takers ($2.6 million over 10 years for 12 positions). The operations tax would also let the city add 36 new firefighter positions and retain 18 grant positions ($3.9 million annually). The capital tax would build two new police stations — one in midtown and a new headquarters and courts building — at a cost of $9 million each over 10 years. Southwest Little Rock and West Little Rock would get new fire stations. (There is already $2 million available in federal recovery funds for the West Little Rock station, a sum short about $800,000.) Backers of the tax, including businessman Gary Smith, who spoke at an August rally by the Little Rock’s Future pro-tax ballot committee, have suggested that unless we build more fire stations and hire more firefighters, we might have to pay more in homeowner insurance. Those who oppose the tax (and some of those who don’t) scoff at that idea. Jay Bradford, the state insurance commissioner (and a supporter of the tax), called the warning a “stretch,” but added that it was certainly possible that people could pay more for homeowners insurance if the fire department was underfunded. “If funding for the fire department is dramatically reduced, it could well affect class rating,” he said.

come, if the 3/8ths capital tax passes. If it doesn’t pass but the operations tax does, the city would allocate $716,000 annually to streets. Jobs/economic development: $38 million If you think channeling public dollars to private business ventures is a bad idea, this part of the 3/8ths capital tax could be a deal killer. A controversial — or at least “amorphous” — proposal is the $22 million research park. The 3/8ths capital tax would raise $10 million to buy land and $12 million for a building and infrastructure. The push for the park began in 2005 with realtor Dickson Flake, who in 2009 presented a report from ANGLE Tech-

nology Group (which consults and manages research parks). Envisioned was a 30-acre park close to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Arkansas Children’s Hospital, where scientific minds could help industry commercialize their research. UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn called the research park an “investment in the future,” and a continuation of the work that UAMS’ BioVentures does. BioVentures Director Mike Douglas said that “what we’re doing is really peanuts” compared to what a research park could bring to the region. He cited the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park in Richmond, Va., where 66 biotech firms are located, as “a great model for us.” Douglas described the scientists and engineers at UAMS and UALR as an “underutilized resource” for biotech and pharmaceutical companies and start-ups. Started 12 years ago, BioVentures has generated a total of 130 patents, Rahn said, and 48 or 50 companies have formed, though not all of them successful. An economic analysis in 2009 of 21 of the companies said they’d created 532 jobs in Arkansas and had an economic impact of $26.5 million. However, BioVentures has not yet broken even, because of the cost of patent filings nationally and internationally, Rahn said. “Long term,” Rahn said, “it would be wonderful if there was revenue in excess of expense to allow us to invest in infrastructure,” since BioVentures is at capacity. But he said UAMS has made no commitment to contributing to construction at the research park. Its contribution to the park would be “intellectual assets.” While the park is yet to exist, a park authority has already been appointed. On the board are five businessmen: Flake and C.J. Duvall (Allied Wireless Communications, Stodola’s appointees); Ed

Drilling (president of AT&T), Rahn’s appointee; Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Jay Chessir in a seat reserved for the chamber, and former state Sen. Bob Johnson. Only two appointees have a background in science: Dr. Mary Good (UALR Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology) and BioVentures’ Douglas. Tax opponent Lynch said he is “somewhat sympathetic” to the idea of a research park, but said if it is “so damn important” to build, the county ought to share in the tax burden, as it did in the creation of Verizon Arena. Stodola doesn’t buy that at all. “It’s not a county issue,” the mayor said. The park has also come under fire from the “$500 Million Tax” and Arkansas Community Organizations for its potential deleterious impact on Ward 2, where it might be located. “$500 Million Tax” co-founder Robert Webb said the park could displace low-income residents in Ward 2 and would not provide jobs for them unless it was “to sweep up.” In a letter opposing the sales tax, ACO wrote, “We remember urban renewal, the building of I-630 and the destruction of neighborhoods in the name of progress.” Stodola has taken offense at the “slush fund” nickname given to another proposal, to invest $6 million over 10 years in a job recruitment fund. “That’s so far from the truth,” he insisted. He said a portion would be used as a required match to state funds for infrastructure needs and the total is “equivalent of 1/13 of a penny.” If Little Rock had a job recruitment fund, it might have been able to compete for an M&M/ Mars production plant; instead, the company chose Topeka, Kan., which with county assistance provided $9 million in incentives. Stodola also said that, contrary to the fears of detractors, the job recruitment dollars will “remain with the city” and not go to the Chamber of Commerce, which gets $200,000 annually from the city but declines to be specific on how it spends the money. The capital tax would also provide $10 million over 10 years to add 715 acres to the Little Rock Port and provide infrastructure. Stodola says that over the past four years, the port has created 2,100 jobs; he dismisses criticism that most of the employees at the park do not live in Little Rock. They still buy things here, he said. This much-debated job creation portion of the tax accounts for only 7 percent of the penny tax revenues, Stodola repeats.

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Complex. There’s also money for MacArthur Park, War Memorial, Crump, Otter Creek and the burned 12th Street senior center (which is also getting insurance money) in the capital budget. Other priorities: $16.2 million in capital revenues, $11.2 million in annual operating revenues. The capital tax would provide $9.2 million over 10 years to replace the city’s fleet, and $7 million for “information technology capital” and related maintenance. The operations tax would create two new CATA bus routes, to Pulaski Tech and John Barrow, and add $4 million to police, fire and non-uniform pension funds. One-time revenue items could draw from a $4.3 million account funded by the operations tax. On Tuesday, after the Times has gone to press, a panel is to speak at the Clinton School of Public Service on the tax. Bill Vickery, a Republican strategist, is one of the panelists. “If I had to guess,” Vickery said last week, “I’d guess that it will not pass.” The environment — political and economic — “is extremely difficult.” The Tea Party, predictably, has come

Congratulations to Bob and Virginia Wright On Your 50th Wedding Anniversary May You Have Many More Loving Years Together! With Love From Kaytee and Alan


DOWNTOWN DEBATE: Jim Lynch and Mayor Mark Stodola gave their opposing views before the Downtown Neighborhood Association.


Parks and Recreation, zoo and tourism: $28.2 million capital revenues over 10 years, $4 million in annual operating revenues. The Parks and Recreation Department budget is the first to be raided by the city when it has unexpected revenue needs. It’s got 17 unfilled positions, which means it can only do so much maintenance. As a result, Little Rock — “The City in a Park,” as parks would like it to be known — has an embarrassing “C” rating. War Memorial Park is getting an overhaul thanks to the parks bond re-issue of $7 million — but the department hasn’t got a penny for maintenance. The operations tax would provide $1.5 million to bring the system up to a “B” rating. The Museum of Military History in MacArthur Park would get a $75,000 boost annually. A big ticket in the 3/8ths cent: $8 million for the Little Rock Zoo. Too, City Director Doris Wright will finally get to see her West Central Community Center built, to the tune of $6 million (and $634,000 in operating money annually). The capital tax would also provide $4.5 million in park upgrades over 10 years. Western Hills Park, which is undeveloped, would get $1 million over 10 years, and so would the Natural Steps Ball

out against the tax. But Vickery said that with local issues, “partisanship flies out the door and it’s more whose ox is being gored.” The research park idea, Vickery believes, is “very innovative and interesting and something I support personally, but politically it’s almost impossible to explain to voters.” If you want to get voters motivated these days, Vickery said, you’ve got to focus on the negatives, on the dire results of not voting for something. Stodola expressed surprise at Vickery’s pessimism, saying that of 11 sales tax elections in Arkansas this year, only Conway had been unsuccessful. He said his own polling showed the tax would pass. And though he wasn’t responding to Vickery, Stodola did express some negatives. “Do you want 15 percent of your police department vacant?” Cratered streets? A 1976 firetruck? A busy signal when you call 911? Panelist Bobby Roberts, the Central Arkansas Library System director who has been involved in several successful millage campaigns, will talk about which precincts the tax must carry to be successful — those just west of Mississippi. He predicts voters in the Heights and Hillcrest neighborhoods will pass the tax (and if yard signs are any indication, he’s right there) and voters in parts of Chenal will, too, but the tax will have a harder time in low-income precincts downtown and in Southwest Little Rock. “I don’t get the sense that there’s been a sudden burst of new confidence in Little Rock city government” in his neighborhood, said attorney (and former Republican state Rep.) Dan Greenberg, who lives in Chenal. “My experience as a person who lives out here is that people … I represented as a state legislator are relatively anti-tax. That’s the disposition of a significant number of people who live out here.”

But Greenberg doesn’t speak for the residents of the small Chenal neighborhood of Hallen Court, whose neighborhood association head Gregory Bruce took a poll and found “90 percent” of his neighbors (about 18 people) in favor of the tax and “the other 10 percent weren’t even aware of the potential tax increase.” (He offered the neighborhood demographics: 50 percent are doctors, 40 percent are business owners and 10 percent are CEOs or CFOs.) “My family is voting for it,” Bruce said. “If you stop and think about it it’s logical. The cost of living has gone up.” But half the amount the city is asking would do, Jim Lynch says. “We ought to be talking half of this, max.” He said the city is “trying to capitalize on a budget pinch to go for the big tuna.” City Director Ken Richardson sounded a similar note after the pro-tax rally earlier in August. He wore a wry grin at the rally when the mayor proclaimed that the tax had the full support of the board. Richardson voted against it, after his proposal to sunset the capital tax after four years failed to pass. He said he is not actively campaigning against the tax, however. The proposal for the penny tax “is not connected to any vision,” Richardson complained. “One thing I recommended [to the board] was that we look at Future Little Rock” and see what of that 2004 initiative was left undone. He would have liked to see dollars directed to employers to encourage the training and hiring of disconnected youth and others having trouble finding work. “When you do … they become taxpayers,” he said. There’s nothing in the plan “I could see that addresses urban blight,” Richardson said. And finally, he said the mayor, by characterizing the penny’s burden on middle-income folks as “only” $50 a year, “may be out of touch.”

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Arts Entertainment AND

‘DYING EVERGREEN FOREST’: A post-incarceration drawing by Henry Sugimoto.

PORTRAIT OF A MAN: By an unknown internee.


PRISON CAMP Rohwer artists’ work on display at ASI. BY LESLIE NEWELL PEACOCK


he exhibition that opens Friday in Concordia Hall of the Arkansas Studies Institute is not just about art. These drawings, carvings, paintings, shoes, bird pins and belts were made, with and on whatever materials they could find, by incarcerated Japanese Americans at the Rohwer Relocation Camp, and they are evidence of people who were determined to bring beauty into the injustice of their lives. The exhibition is called “The Art of Living.” The U.S. government’s decision to move some 110,000 Japanese Americans into internment camps — not pussyfooting around, Roosevelt called them “concentration camps” — during World War II is an ink-black spot on American history. It’s a history Arkansans are perhaps more familiar with than many Americans since Arkansas had two of the coun18 SEPTEMBER 7, 2011 ARKANSAS TIMES

try’s 10 relocation centers, at Rohwer, near McGehee, and Jerome, near Dermott. There, 16,000 Japanese Americans, uprooted from their homes and stripped of their positions, lived in tiny 25-by-25 foot spaces carved out of communal barracks. The work in “The Art of Living” — skillful portraits in pastels and pencil, camp scenes, watercolors of floral arrangements in both Eastern and Western styles, patriotic posters, birds made from scrap wood — was saved by Jamie Vogel, who gave art lessons to the children and adults at Rohwer, along with other artists among the internees. One of those incarcerated artists was Henry Sugimoto, whose images of his fellow internees and camp life were on display at the Cox Creative Center during the “Life Interrupted” reunion of internees in 2004.

SCENCE OF CAMP: By Fred Mayeda.

Vogel left her collection to Rosalie Santine Gould of McGehee when she died and Gould donated the collection to the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, located in the Arkansas Studies Institute, last year. There is much beautiful work here, though the subject matter is not — scenes of the camp mess hall, the guard tower, swampy grounds. Posters stirring people to buy war bonds — including a drawing of a sword-wielding Uncle Sam marching across the ocean toward Hitler — showed the patriotism of these people who had been treated with such suspicion. Some of the work is signed, some isn’t; Colin Thompson, art administrator

and gallery manager, said the Butler Center will work to fill in the gaps in what is known about the artists. Sugimoto, who is represented by three post-incarceration works in the exhibition, had a successful career in New York City; others, Thompson speculates, may have made art only at the camp. Internees’ return to freedom was difficult, since many had lost everything before or during their incarceration. Only one Japanese family stayed in Arkansas. A reception at Concordia Hall, 401 Clinton Ave., from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, is part of the 2nd Friday Art Night walking and trolley tour of participating Little Rock galleries. Hearne Fine Art (1001 Wright Ave.) will feature paintings by Charly Palmer, Christ Episcopal Church (509 Scott St.) will show work by Arkansas Arts Center students and the Historic Arkansas Museum features work by Jorge Villegas and Jim Volkert in its gallery of contemporary art.


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ebrated Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival says the show will go on, some of its fans are worried. The 20th festival is scheduled for Oct. 14-23 at the old Malco Theater, but the festival has financial problems, and its board of directors has been at odds with some local businessmen and tourism officials. “They haven’t paid the bills from last year’s festival,” says Steve Arrison, chief executive officer of the Hot Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau. In the past, the Bureau has given $5,000 to the festival every year. Not this year. “We want to support it,” Arrison said. “But I don’t see how we can fund an organization that doesn’t pay its bills.” The Malco itself is mortgaged to a local bank, and the festival has been unable to pay the amount owed. “They may not even have a theater to show their films in,” Arrison said. Festival Director Dan Anderson said that though there have been rumors to the contrary, the festival will proceed on schedule, but operating on a tighter budget than before. Large numbers of filmmakers have attended the festival in the past, because their lodging and some of their travel was paid for, and that attendance has been a big part of the festival’s success, Anderson said. This year, the festival has little money for such expenses. Anderson said he’s looking for private donors to pick up some of the slack. On the other hand, the selection committee has completed its work, and the festival will show about 110 films, the same as last year, he said. And the festival has begun mobilizing its large number of volunteers, who have historically kept the festival going. There’ll be 200 to 300 volunteers working this year, Anderson said. (A 19-year volunteer said the notices went out later this year than ever before. “Usually we get them by June,” she said.) Some of those volunteers and selection committee members believe their efforts will be sufficient to carry the festival through one more year, but perhaps no more than that, unless changes are made.

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‘MEMPHIS HEAT: THE TRUE STORY OF MEMPHIS WRASSLIN’ ’ 7 p.m., Market Street Cinema. $6-$8.

Before cable got involved, local and regional wrasslin’ was big business, and nowhere was it bigger than in Memphis, Tenn. The new documentary “Memphis Heat” captures the movement’s heyday, beginning in the late ’50s with the likes of Sputnik Monroe (an early civil rights champion with a skunk-colored pompadour) and continuing into the ’70s and ’80s, when modern wrestling legends like Jerry “The King” Lawler and Jimmy Hart dominated the scene. The Southern territory wrestlers traveled, which included Jonesboro, Blytheville and Fayetteville, merits some coverage. And Lawler, the doughy, trash-talking, self-styled king of the ring, gets a lot of welcome screen time, both in archival footage and from contemporary interviews. Reliving his feud with Andy Kaufman, from the Memphis wrestling community’s perspective, is great fun. And of course fans of piledrivers, top-rope dives and folding chair smashes can look forward to dozens of montages. The film sticks around at Market Street for one week. Co-producer Ron Hall will be on hand Friday to sign copies of his book “Sputnik, Masked Men, and Midgets,” which inspired the film and makes a fantastic coffee table book. LM

THE KING OF THE RING: Memphis wrasslin’ legend Jerry Lawler stars in ‘Memphis Heat.’



6:30 p.m. Wildwood Park for the Arts. $75.

BORDER-TOWN GET-DOWN: The three-day Festival on the Border in Fort Smith includes performances from The Fray (pictured), Dierks Bentley, Girl Talk and more.


FESTIVAL ON THE BORDER 7 p.m. Harry E. Kelley Park, Fort Smith. $10.

Well here’s something that few people saw coming: an awesome, multi-day music and theater festival in good ol’ Fort Smith. The inaugural Festival on the Border seems to have something for just about everyone: classical, pop, country, rock and “Hairspray.” Oh, and Girl Talk. If there’s one thing seemingly everyone loves, it’s Girl Talk, the dude who plays a laptop while dancing around in his skivvies. Friday night’s show kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at Harry E. Kelley Park downtown, with red-dirt maestros The Randy Rogers Band and the modern country troubadour Dierks 20 SEPTEMBER 7, 2011 ARKANSAS TIMES

Bentley. Saturday night includes two venues. Starting at 7 p.m., the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith hosts the emptycalorie pop sounds of Andy Grammer, the aforementioned mash-up giant Girl Talk and The Fray, a rock quartet that will satisfy those who just can’t get enough majestic, sweepingly Coldplay-esque balladry. At 8 p.m., the Fort Smith Convention Center hosts The Fort Smith Symphony Orchestra, featuring Mark O’Connor, the virtuoso violinist and composer. At 4 p.m. on Sunday, The Young Actor’s Guild presents the musical “Hairspray,” also at the convention center. Tickets are $10 a day, and proceeds from the festival will benefit 10 charities in the region. RB

This whole “foodie” whatchamacallit is getting a bit tiresome, but mainly because it’s frustrating that it’s taken this long for so many Americans to get on board with the idea that of course food and drink are among the most enjoyable, essential elements of life. Well nobody can accuse the folks at Wildwood of being late to the party. This is the 14th year that the park has hosted the Wine

& Food Festival. Little Rock has some pretty good restaurants, and this event gives you the chance to sample a bunch of them, including Ferneau, Acadia, Lulav, Ashley’s, ZaZa’s, Dizzy’s Gypsy Bistro and more. The festival also includes scores of wines from all over the world, a grape stomping, silent auction, prizes and music from The Meshugga Klezmer Band and The Itinerant Locals. Proceeds from the festival benefit Art To Go!, which takes Wildwood’s touring show to elementary schools around the state. RB



7:30 p.m. The Weekend Theater. $12-$16.

There has been no shortage of creative efforts — films, books, visual art, music, theater — that have sprung from the unmitigated heartbreak of Sept. 11. Those that will most likely prove to be enduring works of art, though, will be those that center on people — on the individual stories of loss that too often are swept up in the big-picture narrative. Journalism professor Anne Nelson wrote “The Guys”

in the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11. She had volunteered to help a New York City fire captain write eulogies for the eight men he lost. The two-character, one-act play is based on those eulogies, and tells the story of four firefighters’ lives through a series of overlapping monologues and dialogues between Jane, a journalist, and Nick, a fire captain who is overwhelmed by grief. The play has been performed all over the country, as well as overseas to glowing reviews. The Weekend Theater’s production runs through Sept. 24. RB





6 p.m., War Memorial Stadium. $55.

It’s a given, we’re going to pound the hapless Lobos, who’ve won two games in their last 25. But as Joe Adams’ miraculous punt return in the season opener demonstrated, you can find

drama even in blowouts. Also, you get to do a lot of chest thumping and hear the names of newcomers — like Alonzo Highsmith, Kody Walker and Marquel Wade — who seem poised to contribute this year. At press time, there were still some tickets available in the southeast

corner of the stadium. But even if it’s a sell-out, there’s always tailgating; it’ll be glorious in these spring-like temps. If drinking too much and playing Baggo with the masses and paying $55 for a ticket isn’t your bag, the game is on ESPNU, too. LM


HANDMADE PUPPET DREAMS 7 p.m. University of Central Arkansas. Free.

If there is such a thing as puppetry royalty, Heather Henson would certainly qualify. Though puppetry has been around for millennia, Henson’s father Jim Henson has had an incalculable influence on the art form. “The Muppets,” “Sesame Street,” “Fraggle Rock,” “The Dark Crystal,” “Labyrinth” and his other works were, without question, massive touchstones of 20th century American popular culture.

The youngest of five, Heather Henson is a puppeteer, artist and co-producer of Handmade Puppet Dreams, a series of films showcasing the work of an emerging generation of puppeteers. She’ll be screening four volumes of films, all of which run for 75-90 minutes and include five or six short pieces. Though certainly suitable for children, the films are aimed at an adult audience. On Sept. 17, Henson will screen Handmade Puppet Dreams Children’s Program at the Faulkner County Library at 11:30 a.m. This should be awesome. RB


DON’T ‘WALK ON BY’: See the legendary Dionne Warwick at the University of Central Arkansas, Tuesday night.

TUESDAY 9/13 BLEAK COLLABORATION: The Body and Braveyoung are touring as a collaboration, bringing apocalyptic downer metal to Downtown Music Hall, Tuesday night at 8 p.m.



8 p.m. Downtown Music Hall. $6.

If ever there were a metal band that created bitchin’ studio albums while retaining a live show that must be heard/ felt to be believed, it is The Body. “Loud” describes The Body in the same way that “prolific” describes Robert Pollard or “weird” describes Jandek — that is to say, accurately, but incompletely. The Body’s last album, “All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood” has been widely hailed as a left-field doom metal masterpiece. The band’s current tour is some sort of collaborative thingy with their buddies in Braveyoung, a North Carolina quartet that

traffics in slow-build, instrumental sadness epics. The two bands recently recorded an album called “Nothing Passes.” I haven’t heard it yet, but it includes another off-thewall cover (something of a hallmark for The Body, which has covered tunes by Danzig, Crass and, naturally, Sinéad O’Connor) with a take on “Vision” by Exuma, the Bahamian psychedelic calypso madman who’s way overdue for the deluxe-reissue treatment. I have a hard time imagining how loud it’s gonna be to add a whole other loud-ass band’s gear to The Body’s already cripplingly, transcendently loudass show, but I’m excited to experience it firsthand. RB

According to rapper G-Eazy’s MySpace profile, yes, he is that rapper that you found on your girlfriend’s iPod and couldn’t help but say that shit is dope. And yes, he is playing Stickyz at 9 p.m., $5 adv., $8 d.o.s. Goonie, J. Smith and Weekend Warriors open. Over at Dugan’s Pub, local singer-songwriter Ashley McBryde takes to the stage at 8:30 p.m., free. Check out Katmandu’s roots-y, contemporary pop at Laman Library, 7 p.m., free. The Denton, Texas, combo Old Warhorse plays retro-minded blues at White Water Tavern, 10 p.m., free. Stars Go Dim specializes in the type of tunes that are the soundtrack for all those really significant scenes in movies and TV shows when something super emotional is happening to attractive white people. The band plays Revolution at 9 p.m., $5.


7:30 p.m. University of Central Arkansas. $30-$40.

There was a time when Dionne Warwick was known more for her endorsement of the Psychic Friends Network than for her remarkable voice. According to longtime partner Burt Bacharach, Warwick possessed “a delicacy when singing softly — like miniature ships in bottles.” It seems though, that her affiliation with the psychic hotline has faded into the background, just an odd footnote to a long career — 50 years and counting — in the music biz. She had a string of hits that spanned several decades, including “Walk On By,” “Then Came You,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” and “That’s What Friends Are For,” among many others. This concert kicks off UCA’s Public Appearances series. RB

AlgoRhythm and Paul Anthony provide the pulsing, pounding, mind-erasing beats for you to dance your ass off to at Juanita’s, 8 p.m., $15 or $18 if you’ve not yet had your 21st birthday. Funny-lady Julie Scoggins will be bustin’ guts at The Loony Bin, starting at 8 p.m. and again at 10:30 p.m., $10. The ever-reliable Ryan Couron plays Denton’s Trotline at 9:30 p.m., or for some country of a slightly different style, The Salty Dogs are at White Water Tavern at 10 p.m., $5. The Little Rock chapter of the 48-Hour Film Project screens the best of this year’s entries at Argenta Community Theater, 7 p.m., $10. Richie Johnson soundtracks your happy hour at Cajun’s Wharf starting at 5 p.m., and if that hour stretches out for a while, you can catch The Wes Hart Band, $5 after 8:30.


The awesomely named Tuxedo Flamethrower plays Fox and Hound at 10 p.m., $5. According to the Internet, Benjamin del Shreve is “a traveler by heart” who “has made the bohemian lifestyle a trademark of all his work” and whose “songwriting is a constant wrestling match between the lover and the poet, and the asskicker.” Which songwriting element will prevail this time? Find out at Stickyz, 9 p.m., $6. Charlotte Taylor and Matt Stone play an acoustic set at Hibernia Irish Tavern, 9 p.m., free. Maxine’s hosts a benefit for the Hot Springs Documentary Film Fest, with Vail, Holy Shakes, Amyjo Savahhah and The Unpaid Celebrities, 8 p.m., $6 adv., $8 door. SEPTEMBER 7, 2011 21

AFTER DARK All events are in the Greater Little Rock area unless otherwise noted. To place an event in the Arkansas Times calendar, please e-mail the listing and all pertinent information, including date, time, location, price and contact information, to



Acoustic Open Mic. The Afterthought, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. Alternative Wednesdays. Features alternative bands from Little Rock and the surrounding areas. Mediums Art Lounge, 6:30 p.m., $5. 521 Center St. 501-374-4495. Bolly Open Mic Hype Night with Osyrus Bolly and DJ Messiah. All American Wings, 9 p.m. 215 W. Capitol Ave. 501-376-4000. Brian & Nick. Cajun’s Wharf, 5 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-3755351. Evolve Thru Scars, Land of Mines, Rehab Superstar. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $3. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www.juanitas. com. Jim Dickerson. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, through Sept. 8, 7 p.m.; through Sept. 15, 7 p.m.; through Sept. 22, 7 p.m.; through Sept. 29, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-3242999. Karaoke at Khalil’s. Khalil’s Pub, 7 p.m. 110 S. Shackleford Road. 501-224-0224. www. Karaoke. Hibernia Irish Tavern, 9 p.m. 9700 N Rodney Parham Road. 501-246-4340. www. Karaoke with Big John Miller. Denton’s Trotline, 8 p.m. 2150 Congo Road, Benton. 501-315-1717. “New Music Test” with Sol Inertia, The Sesh, Found Fearless, Poet Fury. Revolution, 8 p.m., $5-$10. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 5 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. www.


Julie Scoggins. The Loony Bin, 8 p.m.; Sept. 9, 10:30 p.m.; Sept. 10, 7, 9 and 11 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-2285555.

DROPPING IN FROM PLANET PEELANDER: The pop-punk outfit Peelander-Z – natives of Japan who live in New York City – meld monster-movie looks to melodic, buzz-saw hooks and an insane amount of energy. The group plays Low Key Arts in Hot Springs Thursday at 7 p.m., $7. Ginsu Wives and White Glove Test open the show.


2011 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. This official LPGA Tour event returns to Northwest Arkansas, with ticket sales benefiting 12 regional charities. Pinnacle Country Club, through Sept. 11, free Sept. 5-8, $25 a day Sept. 9-11, $50 all three days. 3 Clubhouse Drive, Rogers. (479) 715-6100. Arkansas Travelers. Dickey-Stephens Park, 7:10 p.m., $6-$12. 400 W Broadway St., NLR. 501-664-1555.


“Legacies and Lunch.” Stephanie Bayless will discuss “Obliged to Help,” her biography of pioneering Arkansas progressive Adolphine Fletcher Terry. Butler Galleries, Arkansas Studies Institute, 12 p.m., free. 401 President Clinton Ave. 501-320-5792. That Bookstore in Blytheville 35th anniversary party. That Bookstore in Blytheville, 4 p.m. 316 W. Main St.


SeniorNet: Fundamentals for Beginners. Computer class for ages 50 and older. UAMS,

through Sept. 28: 10 a.m., free. 4301 W. Markham St. 501-603-1262. SeniorNet: Word Processing. Computer course for ages 50 and older. UAMS, through Sept. 23: 1 p.m., free. 4301 W. Markham St. 501-603-1262.



Ashley McBryde. Dugan’s Pub, 8:30 p.m., free. 403 E. 3rd St. 501-244-0542. www.duganspublr. com. “BLISS.” Music by DJ Greyhound. Deep Ultra Lounge, 10 p.m. 322 President Clinton Ave. G-Eazy. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9 p.m., $5 adv., $8 d.o.s. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. Giovanni & Friends. The Afterthought, 8 p.m., $5. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www. Grim Muzik presents Way Back Wednesdays. Cornerstone Pub & Grill, through Sept. 28: 8:30 p.m. 314 Main St., NLR. 501-374-1782. Jason Greenlaw. Markham Street Grill And Pub, 9 p.m., free. 11321 W. Markham St. 501-224-

2010. Jim Dickerson. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, through Sept. 8, 7 p.m.; through Sept. 15, 7 p.m.; through Sept. 22, 7 p.m.; through Sept. 29, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-3242999. Karaoke. Zack’s Place, 8 p.m. 1400 S. University Ave. 501-664-6444. Katmandu. Laman Library, 7 p.m., free. 2801 Orange St., NLR. 501-758-1720. Nocturnal. Juanita’s, Sept. 8, 9 p.m.; Sept. 15, 9 p.m.; Sept. 29, 9 p.m., $5. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. Ol’ Puddin’haid. Thirst n’ Howl, 7:30 p.m., free. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501-379-8189. Old Warhorse. White Water Tavern, 10 p.m., $5. 2500 W. 7th. 501-375-8400. “ONE.” 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. Peelander Z, Ginsu Wives, White Glove Test. Low Key Arts, 7 p.m., $7. 118 Arbor St., Hot Springs. Port Arthur Band. Parrot Beach Cafe, 9 p.m. 9611 MacArthur Drive, NLR. 771-2994. Sad Daddy. Maxine’s, 8 p.m., free. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. Stars Go Dim. Revolution, 9 p.m., $5. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. revroom. com. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 5 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. Wes Hart Band (headliner), Fire & Brimstone (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-3755351.


Julie Scoggins. The Loony Bin, through Sept. 9, 8 p.m.; Sept. 9, 10:30 p.m.; Sept. 10, 7, 9 and 11 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555.


Hot Springs Motorcycle Rally. Includes performances from Sawyer Brown Sept. 9 and John Kay with Steppenwolf Sept. 10. Hot Springs Convention Center, Sept. 8-10, 8 a.m., $25-$45. 134 Convention Blvd., Hot Springs. 501-2827076.



Heart of Arkansas United Way Campaign Kick-Off. Includes booths with games and information on services and volunteer opportunities as well as entertainment by Lyle Dudley and a free lunch. Dickey-Stephens Park, 11:30 a.m., free. 400 W Broadway St., NLR. 501-376-4567. Rally to Defeat Turk. Enjoy free pizza and rally in support of clean air and to stop construction of the Turk coal-fired power plant in Hempstead County. Pulaski County Courthouse, 12 p.m. 401 W. Markham. 501-301-8280.

A Natural Landscape in Your Backyard. Katherine Larson and UCA grad students use Conway’s native prairie remnant as a model for demonstrating how backyards can be converted to beautiful spaces that support native species and reduce your home’s negative impacts on the environment. Faulkner County Library, 7 p.m. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-327-7482. Robert Fogarty. The founder of and Dear World, a nonprofit photography program, will discuss his work. Clinton School of Public Service, 6 p.m., free. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501-683-5239. www.clintonschool.



:59 Minutes with Gov. Mike Beebe. Philander Smith College, 7:30 a.m., $25-$35. 900 W. Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive.


2011 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. See Sept. 7. Arkansas Travelers. Dickey-Stephens Park,


7:10 p.m., $6-$12. 400 W Broadway St., NLR. 501-664-1555.


Genealogical research class. Arkansas Studies Institute, 6 p.m., free. 401 President Clinton Ave. 501-320-5700. SeniorNet: Basic Spreadsheet/Excel. Computer course for ages 50 and older. UAMS, through Sept. 29: 1 p.m., free. 4301 W. Markham St. 501-603-1262. SeniorNet: File Management. UAMS, through Sept. 29: 10 a.m., free. 4301 W. Markham St. 501-603-1262.



AlgoRhythm, Paul Anthony. Juanita’s, 8 p.m., $15, $18 (under 21). 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. Armor For The Broken. Downtown Music Hall, 7 p.m. 211 W. Capitol. 501-376-1819. Barrett Baber. Dugan’s Pub, 8:30 p.m., Free. 403 E. 3rd St. 501-244-0542. www.duganspublr. com. Big Shane Thornton. Markham Street Grill And Pub, 9 p.m., free. 11321 W. Markham St. 501-224-2010. Boom Kinetic. Revolution, 9:30 p.m., $10. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. revroom. com. Brown Soul Shoes. Gusano’s, 9:30 p.m., $5. 313 President Clinton Ave. 501-374-1441. www. DJ Silky Slim. Top 40 and dance music. Sway, 9 p.m., $5. 412 Louisiana. 501-907-2582. Festival on the Border. Includes performances from The Randy Rogers Band and Dierks Bentley. Harry E. Kelley Park, 7:30 p.m., $10. North A. Street and Clayton Expressway, Fort Smith. The Hippie Holler Band, Oona Love. Maxine’s, 8 p.m., $5 adv., $7 door. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. Jeff Coleman. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, Sept. 9-10, 7 p.m.; Sept. 23-24, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. www. Jet 420. Fox And Hound, 10 p.m., $5. 2800 Lakewood Village, NLR. 501-753-8300. www. aspx. Raising Grey. West End Smokehouse and Tavern, 10 p.m., $5. 215 N. Shackleford. 501-224-7665. Rodney Block & the Real Music Lovers. The Afterthought, 9 p.m., $10. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www.afterthoughtbar. com. Ryan Couron. Denton’s Trotline, 9:30 p.m. 2150 Congo Road, Benton. 501-315-1717. The Salty Dogs. White Water Tavern, 10 p.m., $5. 2500 W. 7th. 501-375-8400. Shannon McClung. Flying Saucer, 8:30 p.m., $3. 323 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-7468. www. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 9 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. www. Wes Hart Band (headliner), Richie Johnson (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-3755351.


Rodney Parham Road. 501-246-4340. www. Chris Henry. Flying Saucer, 8:30 p.m., $3. 323 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-7468. www. D-Mite and Tho-d Studios Showcase. Cornerstone Pub & Grill, 8:30 p.m., free with Razorback ticket stub. 314 Main St., NLR. 501-374-1782. Dave Hardy. Markham Street Grill And Pub, 9 p.m., free. 11321 W. Markham St. 501-2242010. Festival on the Border. Includes Andy Grammer, Girl Talk and The Fray. University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, 6 p.m., $10. 5210 Grand Ave., Fort Smith. FOS Project (headliner), Jim Mills (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. “Inferno” with DJs SilkySlim, Deja Blu, Greyhound. Sway, 10 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-907-2582. Jeff Coleman. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, through Sept. 10, 7 p.m.; through Sept. 24, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. Jttygart, People in the Paper, Queen Anne’s Revenge. Downtown Music Hall, 8 p.m., $6. 211 W. Capitol. 501-376-1819. Karaoke at Khalil’s. Khalil’s Pub, 7 p.m. 110 S. Shackleford Road. 501-224-0224. Lucious Spiller Band. Revolution, 9:30 p.m., $5. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. The Meanies. Dugan’s Pub, 8:30 p.m., Free. 403 E. 3rd St. 501-244-0542. www.duganspublr. com. Mojo Depot. The Afterthought, 9 p.m., $7. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www. Rodney Block & the Real Music Lovers. Midtown Billiards, 1 a.m., $10. 1316 Main St. 501-372-9990. Seth Freeman. West End Smokehouse and Tavern, 10 p.m., $5. 215 N. Shackleford. 501-224-7665. The Smittle Band. Artchurch Studio, 6 p.m., $5. 301 Whittington Ave., Hot Springs. 501-3186779. Stereo Down. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $5. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www. Subdue. Denton’s Trotline, 9:30 p.m. 2150 Congo Road, Benton. 501-315-1717. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 9 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. www. Tuxedo Flamethrowers. Fox And Hound, 10 p.m., $5. 2800 Lakewood Village, NLR. 501-7538300.




Julie Scoggins. The Loony Bin, through Sept. 9, 8 p.m.; Sept. 9, 10:30 p.m.; Sept. 10, 7, 9 and 11 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555.


14th Annual Wine & Food Festival. Food and wine from the area’s finest restaurants. Wildwood Park for the Performing Arts, 6:30 p.m., $75. 20919 Denny Road. 16th Annual Arkansas Hot Air Balloon State Championship. Activities kick off Friday night with tethered balloon rides for $5 a person. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, balloons will launch from various locations and the Hare and Hound Race starts at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. North Arkansas College, Sept. 9, 6 p.m.; Sept. 10-11, 7:30 a.m., free. 1515 Pioneer Drive, Harrison. 870-741-1789. “Cruisin’ in the Rock.” Includes awards for best cruiser, truck and motorcycle, as well as music, door prizes and more. River Market Pavilions, 6 p.m. 400 President Clinton Ave. 375-2552. Hot Springs Motorcycle Rally. See Sept. 8. LGBTQ/SGL Youth and Young Adult Group. Diverse Youth for Social Change is a group for LGBTQ/SGL and straight ally youth and young adults age 14 to 23. For more information, call 244-9690 or search “DYSC” on Facebook. 800 Scott St., 6:30 p.m. 800 Scott St. Outdoor Expo. A combination of vendors, activities and programs designed to educate and equip guests interested in outdoor activities, highlighted by, but not limited to, boating, hunting, fishing, and a fishing tournament. The event will also include a free fishing derby to be held on Saturday morning. DeGray Lake State Park, Sept. 9-11, 8 a.m., free. Hwy. 7. “Sandwiching in History.” Bring your lunch for this tour of the historic Quapaw Quarter Methodist Church. Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church, 12 p.m., free. 1601 S. Louisiana. 501-324-9880.


Best of the 48-Hour Film Project. Argenta Community Theater, 7 p.m., $10. 405 Main St., NLR. 501-353-1443.


2011 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. See Sept. 7.


SeniorNet: Word Processing. Computer course for ages 50 and older. UAMS, through Sept. 23: 1 p.m., free. 4301 W. Markham St. 501-603-1262.

Benefit for Hot Springs Documentary Film Fest. Includes Vail, Holy Shakes, Amyjo Savahhah, The Unpaid Celebrities. Maxine’s, 8 p.m., $6 adv., $8 door. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. Benjamin del Shreve. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9 p.m., $6. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. Charlotte Taylor and Matt Stone (acoustic). Hibernia Irish Tavern, 9 p.m., free. 9700 N

Angry Patrick’s Comedy Bunker: Xavier King. Juanita’s, 7:30 p.m., $10. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. Julie Scoggins. The Loony Bin, 7, 9 and 11 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555.


16th Annual Arkansas Hot Air Balloon State CONTINUED ON PAGE 25

Friday September 9, 2011 6 - 9 pm

“HERE AND THERE” Arkansas Artist Samuel Gray September 9 September 30, 2011 5815 KAVANAUGH BLVD. LITTLE ROCK, AR 72207 (501) 664.0030 WWW.BOSWELLMOUROT.COM


September 22 You can...

Featuring the

Shannon Boshears Band & Hot Dog Mike! 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Little Rock Zoo $20 per person (includes souvenir pilsner glass!)

Last year’s event was a sell-out success! Get your tickets now at or call (501) 661-7208 *No one under 21-years-old admitted. ID’s will be checked at the door. Promotional Sponsor: SEPTEMBER 7, 2011 23


Culture Shock: The ’80s

Take-aways from a blow-out win BY BEAU WILCOX


This Tony Award musical is a buoyant mix of comedy, romance and wisdom, and its soulsoaring, foot-stomping score, PURLIE inevitably sends audiences out of the theater singing, smiling and believing in a better tomorrow.

Colonel Glenn & University • • 562-3131 The William F. Laman Public Library System presents

“Waging a Living” with Panel Discussion to Follow Panel includes:

State Representative Kathy Webb Arkansas Foodbank CDO, Roger Simon Hunger Relief Alliance Executive Director, Rhonda Sanders Monday, Sept. 12 at 6 p.m. 2801 Orange Street North Little Rock 501-758-1720 Cost: Free 24 SEPTEMBER 7, 2011 ARKANSAS TIMES

can say, with a measure of certainty, that Arkansas’s casual dismemberment of Missouri State to open the 2011 campaign was actually meaningful. You’d think quite the opposite. This is how virtually all Top 20 programs start their march toward a BCS game. Trot out the first unit, score a bunch of points, let off the gas and cruise to 1-0. Seems as mundane as brewing the morning laxativ — er, coffee. I do not suppose anyone expected anything other than what happened Saturday night at Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Tyler Wilson distributed the football accurately among his charges. Ronnie Wingo got to run between the tackles a little more, as the coaching staff prepares him for heavier duty down the road. Joe Adams flaunted his unsurpassed ball skills (and maybe a little of his sporadic judgment) on a couple of punt-return scores. The defense marauded the Mizzou State backfield for a little while before letting charity take over after halftime. Zach Hocker launched kickoffs, knocked in a mid-range field goal and even gagged on a PAT for the first time ever, just to give the proceedings a bit of shock value. Beyond the box score, though, even this vanilla opener had some sprinkles on it. For beginners, Brandon Mitchell’s first extended game action as a Razorback was largely excellent, even if he coughed up a third-quarter fumble that preceded the opposition’s only score of the night. After his well-documented struggles in the spring Red-White game, Mitchell may have been a little fragile. Wilson was always expected to assume the starting job when Ryan Mallett departed, but Mitchell arrived in Fayetteville two years ago with considerable fanfare due to his size and his basketballer’s athleticism, and the coaches raved publicly about his development. Mitchell may have never been competing for the starter’s role in earnest, but after hitting 10 of 11 passes Saturday (with a drop as his lone incompletion) he looks like he will be comfortable if pressed into action. Camden Fairview product DeAnthony Curtis all but disappeared after a costly fumble at Kentucky in 2008. He caught a few passes out of the backfield in ‘09, then moved to cornerback last season to shore up the depth there. After the season-ending injuries to Knile Davis and Broderick Green, Curtis has returned to running back out of necessity for his senior

year. Against substandard competition, Curtis nonetheless ran with power and vision, and it would not shock me if he winds up being quite an asset this fall. There has been plenty of fuss made about Marquel Wade the past few months. His modest numbers Saturday — three catches for 28 yards, one kickoff return for 18 — belied the fact that he creates fresh migraines for coaches who think they can simply boot it away from Adams or Dennis Johnson. The defensive line continues to be coached up by defensive coordinator Willy Robinson and position coach Steve Caldwell. Just as Wade will find ways to distinguish himself among a crowded pack, there are some ends and tackles who will offer up big moments this fall even if they aren’t grabbing the bulk of the playing time. Alfred Davis and Lavunce Askew have been mainstays for a while now but their ability to rotate in for Robert Thomas, DeQuinta Jones and Byran Jones is going to be of greater gravity in conference play, when the likes of Marcus Lattimore, Isaiah Crowell, Trent Richardson and Michael Dyer are hammering at the interior. One less flavorful morsel from Saturday: The offensive line clearly hasn’t jelled yet, and that’s probably not shocking under the circumstances. The talent is obviously abundant but there were a few missed assignments in the game that drew notice. Of course, all the quibbles about thumping an FCS team are trivial. Things get only marginally more challenging this week when another anemic opponent arrives at War Memorial Stadium for its undressing. New Mexico won a single game last fall, and is presently representing the state about as well as lawyer Saul Goodman does on “Breaking Bad.” This is a Lobos squad that somehow managed to be equally inept on both sides of the ball last year, statistically ranking as one of the worst offensive and defensive teams in all of Division I. We won’t see much drama Saturday, but the most compelling story will again be the running game, and whether it excels or stagnates after a pedestrian output against Missouri State. But even if the running game stays unspectacular, this will be another September slaughter. Y’all be careful out on the golf course Saturday and relish the pre-game “atmosbeer” because the ride gets a lot rougher in very short order.

AFTER DARK, CONT. Championship. See Sept. 9. Arkansas Farmers Market. Locally grown produce. Certified Farmers Market, 7 a.m.-12 p.m. 6th and Main, NLR. Falun Gong meditation. Allsopp Park, 9 a.m., free. Cantrell & Cedar Hill Roads. Farmer’s Market. River Market Pavilions, through Oct. 31: 7 a.m. 400 President Clinton Ave. 375-2552. “Garden Gourmet” Chef Series. Celebrating sustainable food and culinary traditions, the series features Little Rock chefs demonstrating their use of fresh, local ingredients. River Market Pavilions, through Oct. 8: second Saturday of every month, 9 a.m. 400 President Clinton Ave. 375-2552. Good Gardens presents Phyllis Haynes. Phyllis Haynes, CEO of the Arkansas Food Bank shares her vision for the Food Bank’s new community garden and how she hopes it will be an example of how to help hungry people in local neighborhoods. Laman Library, 10 a.m., free. 2801 Orange St., NLR. 501-7581720. Helena Second Saturdays. Enjoy art and live music along Cherry Street. Cherry Street, through Nov. 12: second Saturday of every month, 5 p.m. 223 Cherry St., Helena. Hillcrest Farmers Market. Pulaski Heights Baptist Church, 7 a.m. 2200 Kavanaugh Blvd. Hot Springs Motorcycle Rally. See Sept. 8. Outdoor Expo. See Sept. 9. Sunday Jazz Brunch with Ted Ludwig and Joe Cripps. Vieux Carre, 11 a.m. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. Taco & Da Mofos, Booyah! Dad. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9 p.m., $6, military, police and fire personnel free with credentials. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. www.


16th Annual Arkansas Hot Air Balloon State Championship. See Sept. 9. Beauty Extravaganza. Unique clothing, accessories, hair, facial and body products, makeup, health and wellness products and more, for women, children and men. Statehouse Convention Center, 1 p.m., $5. 7 Statehouse Plaza. 501-952-0608. Outdoor Expo. See Sept. 9.

2011 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. See Sept. 7. 26th Annual Bike MS Arkansas: Ride the Rock 2011. See Sept. 10.


“Healing on the Spiritual Path: The Key to Tomorrow’s Health.” Arkansas Studies Institute, Sept. 10, 1:30 p.m.; Oct. 1, 1:30 p.m., free. 401 President Clinton Ave. 501-320-5700.



The Power Poetry Slam. Monthly poetry slam hosted by Rigsby St. Claire. Vino’s, 7 p.m., $5. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466.


2011 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. See Sept. 7. 26th Annual Bike MS Arkansas: Ride the Rock 2011. The National Multiple Sclerosis SocietyArkansas presents this benefit ride. Day two starts at Williams Junction in Little Rock. River Trail Station, Sept. 10-11, 7 a.m. 140 Riverfront Drive, NLR. 501-663-8104, ext. 35304. www. Arkansas vs. New Mexico. War Memorial Stadium, 6 p.m., $55. 1 Stadium Drive. 501-6630775. Terry Paul Thode Lupus Memorial Golf Tournament. Golf tournament and silent auction to benefit Lupus Foundation of America, Arkansas Chapter. Diamondhead Country Club, 12 p.m., $40-$55. 245 Independence Drive, Hot Springs. 501-5259380.


“Good Gardens.” A monthly garden program. Laman Library, through Oct. 6: second Saturday of every month, 10 a.m. 2801 Orange St., NLR. 501-758-1720.



Blindside, Write This Down, Intohimo. Revolution, 8:30 p.m., $15 adv., $17 door. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. revroom. com. Karaoke. Shorty Small’s, 6-9 p.m. 1475 Hogan Lane, Conway. 501-764-0604. www.shortys-

Blues Bus99 to the $

PerPser on


National Day of Service: Supporting Troops and Firefighters. Clinton School students will participate in the Sept. 11 National Day of Service by conducting a letter and card writing campaign to support U.S. military who are serving overseas. The public is encouraged to join the letter writing from 1-5 p.m. Donations will be accepted to support firefighters in the region. Clinton School of Public Service, 1 p.m. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501-683-5239.


ride the

rve SAT., OCT. 8 AT HeLenA e s e R seat Price Includes: yourday! • Round-Trip Tour Bus Transportation • Tickets Into The Gated Concert Area • Live Blues Bus to from ct. 8 .m. O t 10 a and Main a s e d av rns 2n Bus le d retu ge at Blues rking gara e Rock an tl a . it y the p ntown L same da w in Do e concert th after

• Lunch at Craig’s Barbecue in Devalls Bluff Performance by Bluesboy Jag

Charge by phone (all major credit cards), at 501-375-2985. Or mail check or money-order to Arkansas Times Blues Bus Box 34010, Little Rock, AR 72203 Bus transportation provided By arrow CoaCh Lines


Karaoke. Thirst n’ Howl, 8:30 p.m. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501-379-8189. Rosen’s Big Band and ballroom dancing. Juanita’s, 7 p.m., free. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. Traditional Irish Music Session. Khalil’s Pub, Fourth and second Monday of every month, 7 p.m. 110 S. Shackleford Road. 501-224-0224.


Garland County Fair. Garland County Fairgrounds, Sept. 12-17, 9 a.m., $1. Higdon Ferry Road, off the Martin Luther King Jr. Expressway, Hot Springs. garlandcountyfair. net.


“Handmade Puppet Dreams.” Heather Henson, artist and puppeteer and the daughter of the late Jim Henson, will present four volumes of puppet films, including marionettes, paper cutouts, finger puppets and more. University of Central Arkansas, Sept. 12-15, 7 p.m., free. 201 Donaghey Ave., Conway. “Waging a Living.” This documentary chronicles the day-to-day challenges of four lowwage earners struggling to make ends meet. Panel discussion to follow. Laman Library, 6 p.m., free. 2801 Orange St., NLR. 501-7581720.


“Preventing Another 9/11.” Raindrop Turkish House, 6 p.m. 1501 Market St. 501-223-2155. CONTINUED ON PAGE 29 SEPTEMBER 7, 2011 25



Friday, September 9 – Thursday, September 15 MeMphis heat: the true story of MeMphis Wrasslin’ nr 2:00 4:00 7:00 9:00

Rocky Johnson, Jerry Lawler, Jimmy Hart the Guard r 2:00 4:15 7:15 9:15 Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Mark Strong Sundance & Berlin Film Fest sarah’s Key pG13 1:45 4:20 6:45 9:15 Kristin Scott Thomas, Melusine Mayance, Niels Arestrup MidniGht in paris pG13 1:45 4:00 7:00 9:15 Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates Directed by Woody Allen another earth pG13 2:15 6:45 Brit Marling, William Mapother, Matthew-Lee Erlbach Sundance Film Fest the trip nr 4:15 9:00 Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, Claire Keelan

scREEn yOuR FEAtuRE, shORt, dOcumEntARy OR musIc vIdEO! EmAIl cInEmA8@csWnEt.cOm FOR dEtAIls

An Officer and a Gentleman TUES 9/13 • R • 7PM • ONLY $5



SEPT. 9-10

FREE WI-FI In thE lObby


501-312-8900 1521 MERRILL DR.

Downtown Little Rock Partnership & the Main Street Revitalization Committee Present

Saturday, Oct. 1 11am – 7pm Everyone’s favorite Food Truck Vendors, Live Entertainment, Cold Beer and an Arts & Crafts Main Street will be blocked from 3rd to 7th Streets – Loads of free parking Free entrance and $1 Food Tickets will be sold. Call 501.375.0121 or follow us on Facebook Main Street Food Truck Festival - Little Rock Free Parking • Free Admission


INTERNATIONAL ODD COUPLE: Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle star in “The Guard,” a buddy-cop-thriller-comedy about a racist Irish policeman and an African-American FBI agent. Showtimes for Breckenridge, Chenal 9, Lakewood 8, Rave, Riverdale and Movies 10 were not available by press deadline, so some listings are synopses only. Market Street Cinema showtimes at or after 9 p.m. are for Friday and Saturday only. Visit for complete showtimes. NEW MOVIES Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star (R) – Looks like Nick Swardson will assume the role of idiot man-child muse for Happy Madison magnate Adam Sandler. Contagion (R) – Matt Damon, Kate Winslett, Laurence Fishburn, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, John Hawkes and Marion Cotillard star in Steven Soderbergh’s movie about a virus that kills everybody. The Guard (R) – Brendan Gleeson plays an Irish policeman who must team up with an FBI agent played by Don Cheadle in this comedy. Market Street: 2:00, 4:15, 7:15, 9:15. Memphis Heat: The True Story of Memphis Wrasslin’ (NR) – Apparently, Memphis has a history of crazy wrestling (see To-Do List). Market Street: 2:00, 4:00, 7:00, 9:00. The Warrior (PG-13) – What could be more inspirational than the story of a schoolteacher who has to go back to beating the crap out of dudes for money because the economy sucks? RETURNING THIS WEEK Another Earth (PG-13) – A young astrophysics student’s life become irrevocably intertwined with a young composer’s after she sees a new planet on the horizon that is a mirror image of Earth. Market Street: 2:15, 6:45. Apollo 18 (PG-13) – “The Blair Witch Project” goes to the moon. Colombiana (PG-13) – A Colombian girl witnesses the murder of her parents and

grows up to become a killer herself, as a hired assassin working for her uncle’s criminal enterprise. Conan the Barbarian (R) – In art, as in life, all things must pass. Except for lucrative film franchises, which apparently must be rehashed every couple decades until time itself ceases. Cowboys & Aliens (PG-13) — Exactly what it sounds like, from director Jon Favreau. The Debt (R) – Two retired Mossad secret agents learn a dark secret about their former colleague and the mission they undertook back in the 1960s. With Helen Mirren. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (R) – If you hear sinister voices begging to be released from the basement of your creepy Gothic mansion, probably don’t open the door to find out what’s in there. Final Destination 5 3D (R) — The fight for teenagers’ precious, precious disposable income continues. Fright Night (R) – The remakes never end. The Help (PG-13) — Emma Stone and Viola Davis star in this adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s novel about the African-American maids who work in white households in 1960s Mississippi. Midnight in Paris (PG-13) — Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams hang out with literary heavyweights of the 1920s in Paris. Market Street: 1:45, 4:00, 7:00, 9:15. One Day (PG-13) – Life and love have a funny way of working out when you’re incredibly attractive and also when it’s just a movie, and not actually real life. Our Idiot Brother (R) – You know, these people are supposed to be all exasperated with their stoner moron brother, but the trailer makes him seem really likeable. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (PG-13) — The resurrected ’70s sci-fi franchise continues in this origin story of just how those primates

got to be so smart. Seven Days in Utopia (G) – After a talented young golfer blows his first big shot, he learns the true meaning of life from an eccentric Texas rancher who bears a striking resemblance to Robert Duvall. Shark Night 3D (PG-13) – A “salt-water lake” in Louisiana? That just happens to be filled with sharks? Sure, Hollywood. Whatever you say. Sarah’s Key (PG-13) – An American journalist stumbles upon a family secret while researching a notorious Nazi roundup of Jews in Paris. Market Street: 1:45, 4:20, 7:00, 9:15. Spy Kids: All The Time In The World 3D (PG) – Jessica Alba and Jeremy Piven – a.k.a. The Pivert – star in this family friendly romp about … wait, what? This was directed by Robert Rodriguez? Seriously? God, his alimony payments must be crippling. The Trip (NR) — Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, who are actors and British, travel ye olde English countryside, impersonating famous actors and eating food and generally being irascibly hilarious. Market Street: 4:15, 9:00. Chenal 9 IMAX Theatre: 17825 Chenal Parkway, 821-2616, Cinemark Movies 10: 4188 E. McCain Blvd., 945-7400, Cinematown Riverdale 10: Riverdale Shopping Center, 296-9955, Lakewood 8: 2939 Lakewood Village Drive, 758-5354, Market Street Cinema: 1521 Merrill Drive, 312-8900, Rave Colonel Glenn 18: 18 Colonel Glenn Plaza, 687-0499, www.ravemotionpictures. com. Regal Breckenridge Village 12: 1-430 and Rodney Parham, 224-0990, www.fandango. com.





NatioN’s Greatest BLUES MUSIC FESTIVAL Columbus Day Weekend - October 6-8


KEB’ MO’ G))))))))g DELBERT McCLINTON BUDDY GUY ‘THE DEBT’: Helen Mirren stars.

and many more!

‘Debt’ pays off Smart thriller stars Helen Mirren.



he action of “The Debt,” a satisfying take on the post-War thriller, slips between the cloak-and-dagger ’60s to a grayer ’90s, by which point a trio of Israeli Mossad agents, so sleek and coolly mod in the opening, have succumbed to time. Michael (Ciarán Hinds) is haggard and haunted; Stephan (Tom Wilkinson) has risen in the bureaucracy but maintains a savage edge, and Rachel (Helen Mirren) puts an inscrutable exterior over her scars, notwithstanding the faded slashmark on her cheek. If not the first movie that imagines younger spies of the Cold War era as middle-aged, “The Debt” does so with more realism than the genre usually engenders, and with something like equal time for both the younger and older versions of the leads. Between the two halves we have what feels like a complete story, pockmarked by the pains of aging, artfully told, neatly booby-trapped with twists. Its release now reminds us that summer’s braindead blockbuster season is giving way to movies that feel smarter, more dangerous and worthy of repeat viewings. The screenplay, credited to British noir veteran Matthew Vaughn plus Jane Goldman and Peter Straughan, and adapted from a 2007 Israeli film of the same title, metes out details like monkeybars — at intervals to keep you swinging but never stuck hanging. The story is, in a sense, a Holocaust thriller on extensive time-delay. Young Rachel (Jessica Chastain), Michael (Sam Worthington) and Stephan (Marton Csokas) are sent to divided Berlin to identify and capture a former Nazi, Doktor Bernhardt (a chilling Jesper Christensen), the so-called Surgeon of Birkenau, who eluded capture after a war career of sadistic experiments on Jews to become, of all things, a practicing ob-gyn. When we meet

him, he is concerned now only for the curiously accented patient who turns up in his office claiming she’s unable to conceive. The examination scenes — Rachel vulnerable in hospital gown and propped supine in stirrups, Bernhardt as cold and precise as his instruments — are models of calm tension, and genuinely unsettling. Long after you forget other moments in “The Debt,” these will linger. From this point of vulnerability, Rachel is the fulcrum on which the mission will turn. Because of her it is a success, and because of her that success is only partial, and because of her a rift between Michael and Stephan forms, then widens. The quieter Michael, so consumed with the desire to bring Bernhardt to trial, assumes the role of Rachel’s husband for their cover, holding her hand and escorting her to her appointments, yet pulls away when his feelings for her flare. Stephan, more brazen, less single-minded, flaunts his charms and is too happy to pick up where Michael leaves Rachel dangling. The director, John Madden, an old hand at period romances, spins this love triangle like a top. The pull of duty is strong — duty to a young Israel, duty to family, duty to extract, if only through a bloodless court system, a measure of revenge for the crimes against Jews — but for their fealty to the cause, the three young agents are still fallible, at turns soft, at turns cruel. When the mission falters, their frailties are largely to blame. The fear of shame leads to lies that amplify over the years. All four major characters try, at some point, to evade the truth, but none really escape it. As dark as “The Debt” turns for its protagonists, even for the Israelis, it is a comforting conceit after the Holocaust that justice, truly blind, will sniff us all out eventually.


870-572-5223 for more information.

Opening September 9, during 2nd Friday Art Night

The Art of Living: Japanese American Creative Experience at Rohwer

Internee art and other objects from the World War II–era Rohwer Relocation Center in Desha County Presented by the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies Concordia Hall, Arkansas Studies Institute • 401 President Clinton Ave. September 9 – November 26, 2011

eat local support your community SEPTEMBER 7, 2011 27

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’m not the kind of person to read a book in one sitting, but Justin Torres’ debut novel “We the Animals” isn’t a typical kind of book. First, it’s 124 pages long. Second, it escapes being classified as a novella because it does as much in its slim measure as anything you’ve read in a couple of decades. Reading it may not take long, but it’s the literary equivalent of punching out your relatives and eating the Thanksgiving turkey by yourself. That’s an appropriate metaphor because “We the Animals” is about family, the best and GRAHAM worst elements. GORDY It’s written in the first person plural of three young brothers, a narrative choice that would normally be reserved for a grad school indulgence and classified as trickery, but once you’re faced with these three boys clinging together for their collective emotional life, Torres shows you just where and how you were wrong. Written not so much in vignettes as bursts, the three and four-page chapters give us peeks, as through a peephole into a dim room, of about half a dozen years in the lives of these three adolescents in upstate New York. Their Puerto Rican father and white mother flail and grapple at each other for years, getting bits of clothing, hair and skin in their clutches, between their teeth, under their fingernails, and all within view of these three seemingly doomed kids. Irreconcilably, the book feels at once spare, and then like its seams will fail from all its author is laying before us. The prose is so dense that it feels there’s no way it could be more than that, the assemblage of scenes finally giving way to a portrait. Torres writes with the emotional distance of a 7-year-old watching his life unfurl in scenes he doesn’t understand, only to bring it back with moments so eviscerating as to leave no doubt of their consequence. In other words, he makes us adults. We grow hard to the world as our protagonists do. As the characters mature, the narrative “we” becomes “they” and “I” as one of the brothers becomes more cerebral, emotional. He goes through a sexual awakening and is excluded. But the details here are unimportant. This is a book about youth and brotherhood. It’s a book about bad parenting. But more than anything, it’s a book about how the worse things are out there, the more you embed yourselves in anything safe that’s around you. Annie Dillard said, “... in order to write so much as a sonnet, you need a warehouse.”

The youth of boys is filled with fire. Some are flung against the world so hard as to have it smothered out of them. If there’s assurance to be found in “We the Animals,” it’s that no matter how cold we grow — huddled, pensive, with curved backs — sometimes it’s only family that can warm us again. I imagine Torres in a stockroom, pen and paper spread out on top of a cardboard box, surrounded by books and anguished memories. The youth of boys is filled with fire. Some are flung against the world so hard as to have it smothered out of them. If there’s assurance to be found in “We the Animals,” it’s that no matter how cold we grow — huddled, pensive, with curved backs — sometimes it’s only family that can warm us again. Family gives us our heat. It then takes our heat away from us. It is in both love and hate that we are all forged. Torres has spilled onto the scene, big beating heart in hand. The book is short because it must’ve been absolutely exhausting to write. But that doesn’t matter because you’ll read it three times. But most of all, “We the Animals” will enrapture the literary world, as it should, because of its lyricism. It feels like reading James Agee by lightning strike. Torres writes like this is the only book he has in him. I certainly hope that’s not the case.


Powell’s new one And a new teen section for the Main Library. BY LINDSEY MILLAR


orth Little Rock native Nate Powell’s new graphic novel “Any Empire” (Top Shelf, $19.95, hardcover) is available now. The follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2008 comic “Swallow Me Whole,” which won the Eisner Award (the top prize for a graphic novel), “Empire” examines how the culture of war seeps into the lives of three children in middle America. It’s grounded in rich, nostalgic detail familiar to anyone (especially any boy) who grew up in the early ’80s, but also at times — like much of Powell’s work — eerily surreal.

The Central Arkansas Library System’s Main Library will open its new teen section on Saturday, Sept. 17. In addition to books and DVDs aimed at teens, the 9,700 squarefoot space features 10 computer stations and a gaming section with Wii, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles. The library says it plans to offer programming geared towards college-prep, Internet safety and cooking. The section will be open 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

September books 10 J. Maxwell West (“For the Love of Money”), 1 p.m., TBIB. 13 David Jauss (“Alone With All That Could Happen”) and Nickole Brown (“A Book of Birds”), 6:30 p.m., RJ Wills Lecture Hall in the Pulaski Tech Campus Center, 3000 W. Scenic Drive, North Little Rock. Free. 15 Delphine Hirasuna (“The Art of Gaman”), 6:30 p.m., Main Library. 20 Camille T. Dungy (“Smith Blues”), 6:30 p.m., Main Library. 20 Cookie’s Bookclub discusses Terry Brooks “Sometimes the Magic Works,” 7:30 p.m., TBIB. Area bookstores, libraries and venues: CS: Clinton School of Public Service, Sturgis Hall, 1200 President Clinton Ave., 683-5200. FCL: Faulkner County Library, 1900 Tyler St., Conway, 501-327-7482. LL: Laman Library, 2801 Orange St., North Little Rock, 501-758-1720. ML: Main Library, 100 Rock St., 918-3000. TBIB: That Bookstore in Blytheville, 316 W. Main St., Blytheville, 870-763-3333. WW: WordsWorth Books & Co., 5920 R St., 663-9198.

Local publisher Parkhurst Brothers announced it will publish the debut novel from local artist Jane Hankins sometime in the first half of 2012. The novel is an adaptation of a script of a play originally staged in the Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s Black Box that Parkhust Brothers describes as “part Greater Tuna, part Lake Woebegone, and a touch of Fannie Flagg with a local flavor.”

AFTER DARK, CONT. more. University of Central Arkansas, Sept. 12-15, 7 p.m., free. 201 Donaghey Ave., Conway. “Waging a Living.” This documentary chronicles the day-to-day challenges of four lowwage earners struggling to make ends meet. Panel discussion to follow. Laman Library, 6 p.m., free. 2801 Orange St., NLR. 501-7581720.

0211. The Body, Braveyoung. Downtown Music Hall, 8 p.m., $6. 211 W. Capitol. 501-376-1819. Brian Martin. Maxine’s, 8 p.m., Free. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. Dionne Warwick. Reynolds Performance Hall, University of Central Arkansas, 7:30 p.m., $23-$40. 201 Donaghey Ave., Conway. Hawthorne Heights, Boom the Wheel, Flameing Daeth Fearies. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $10 adv., $12 door. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. Jim Dickerson. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, through Sept. 15, 7 p.m.; through Sept. 22, 7 p.m.; through Sept. 29, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. Karaoke Night. Cornerstone Pub & Grill, 8 p.m. 314 Main St., NLR. 501-374-1782. Karaoke Tuesday. Prost, 8 p.m., free. 120 Ottenheimer. 501-244-9550. Karaoke with Big John Miller. Denton’s Trotline, 8 p.m. 2150 Congo Road, Benton. 501-315-1717. Lucious Spiller Band. Copeland’s, 6-9 p.m. 2602 S. Shackleford Road. 501-312-1616. Tuesday Jam Session with Carl Mouton. The Afterthought, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www.afterthoughtbar. com.


“Preventing Another 9/11.” Raindrop Turkish House, 6 p.m. 1501 Market St. 501-2232155.


Finding Family Facts. Rhonda Stewart teaches this genealogy research class for beginners. Arkansas Studies Institute, second Monday of every month, 3:30 p.m. 401 President Clinton Ave. 501-320-5700. SeniorNet: Fundamentals for Beginners. Computer class for ages 50 and older. UAMS, through Sept. 28: 10 a.m., free. 4301 W. Markham St. 501-603-1262. SeniorNet: Word Processing. Computer course for ages 50 and older. UAMS, through Sept. 23: 1 p.m., free. 4301 W. Markham St. 501-603-1262.



20th Annual Hot Springs JazzFest. The weeklong festival kicks off Tuesday night with a concert at The Arlington Hotel’s Conference Center and wraps up Sunday night at the hotel’s Crystal Ballroom. Venues and ticket prices vary. Arlington Hotel, Sept. 13-18, 6 p.m. 239 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-767-


“Latin Night.” Revolution, 7 p.m., $5 regular, $7 under 21. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. CONTINUED ON PAGE 31

Delta Cultural Center’s special King Biscuit Blues Festival programming for Oct. 6-8

FALL SIGNINGS September 8 Robert Olen Butler A Small Hotel October 4 Charles Frazier Nightwoods November 28 Hillary Jordan When She Woke

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• “the biscuit is back” – new exhibit! • 2011 blues heritage youth art Competition exhibit! • live radio broadcasts of “king biscuit time” (all three days!) and “delta Sounds” (oct. 7) • Presentation of the “Sonny award” of lifetime achievement to James Cotton (oct. 6) • a tribute to robert Johnson (1911-2011)” featuring music by marcus Cartwright (oct. 7) • blues Symposium: “Pass the biscuits: king biscuit time radio’s 70th anniversary, 1941-2011,” oct 8, 10:30 a.m. a discussion of “king biscuit time” radio’s history, personalities, and legacy, featuring speakers, audio-visual components, and live music, with dCC assistant director terry buckalew and an appearance by Sonny Payne.

LIVe music! oCt. 7 • bob Corritore with bob margolin and willie Smith, noon • earnest roy, 2 p.m. • live wire band, 3 p.m.

oCt. 8 • donna herula, 1 p.m. • dave riley with bob Corritore, 2:30 p.m.

141 Cherry Street • helena, ar. For more inFormation, Call (800) 358-0972 or visiT www.deltaCulturalCenter.Com www.FaCebook.Com/deltaCulturalCenter The DelTa CulTural CenTer is a museum of The DeparTmenT of arkansas heriTaGe SEPTEMBER 7, 2011 29




PLEASE JOIN US! Friday, September 16

HRC WELCOMING RECEPTION AT BOSWELL MOUROT FINE ART 5:30–9 p.m. | Boswell Mourot Fine Art 5815 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock Please join the Human Rights Campaign for our opening event on our Arkansas stop of the “On the Road to Equality” Bus Tour. Graciously hosted by our friends at Boswell Mourot Fine Art, this event is sure to be an evening of great conversation, music, hors d’oeuvres and wine, amidst the gallery’s lovely artwork. OPEN HOUSE & HRC PARTY AT TRINITI 9 p.m.–2 a.m. | Triniti Nightclub 1021 Jesse Rd., Little Rock Join HRC and Triniti on Friday night as we raise awareness and money for the Lucille Marie Hamilton Youth Center – Arkansas’ first LGBT youth center. Working with our friends at Triniti, it will be a night you won’t want to miss, so come out and have some fun for a great cause!

Saturday, September 17

EQUALITY BUS OPEN HOUSE 10 a.m.–2 p.m. | Central Arkansas Library River Market, Little Rock Join HRC and local LGBT groups for an Equality Bus open-house. Walk through the Equality exhibit and participate in HRC’s “On the Road to Equality” photo and video booths. Come explore and share what equality means to you.

ON THE CUSP OF EQUALITY: ARE WE AT A TIPPING POINT ON LGBT EQUALITY? 6–8:30 p.m. | Arkansas Art Center Lower Lobby, 501 E. Ninth St., Little Rock Join HRC to learn about the state of the LGBT movement. HRC National Field Director Marty Rouse will participate in a presentation and Q & A. Learn what’s happening all around the nation. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and wine will be available. This event is co-sponsored by the Arkansas Stonewall Democrats. RSVP required.

Sunday, September 18

FAITH, FAMILY AND ACCEPTANCE 2–4 p.m. | Philander Smith College Nugent Room of Kendall Center 900 W. Daisy Bates L Gatson Bates Dr., Little Rock On this panel, you’ll hear about the crossroads facing faith communities and families when learning to accept the LGBT people in their lives. What are some of the cultural dynamics that affect African Americans and Hispanics in this journey? How can there be acceptance in the faith community? Stories of many families and friends will be shared. Join us to hear their stories. All are welcome. This event is co-sponsored by Just Communities of Arkansas and Philander Smith College.

AFTER DARK, CONT. “An Officer and a Gentleman.” 1982. dir. Taylor Hackford. Market Street Cinema, 7 p.m., $5. 1521 Merrill Drive. 501-312-8900.


David Jauss, Nickole Brown. The poets and UALR instructors will read from their works. Pulaski Technical College, 6:30 p.m., free. 3000 W. Scenic Drive, NLR.


Hunger Action Breakfast. This breakfast benefits Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance. Governor’s Mansion, 8 a.m., $50. 1800 Center St. 501-3999999.


SeniorNet: Basic Spreadsheet/Excel. Computer course for ages 50 and older. UAMS, through Sept. 29: 1 p.m., free. 4301 W. Markham St. 501-603-1262. SeniorNet: File Management. UAMS, through Sept. 29: 10 a.m., free. 4301 W. Markham St. 501-603-1262.


“Customary Monsters.” This play, written by Hendrix alum Kyle T. Wilson, examines the lives of progressive Londoners in the Victorian era. Hendrix College, Fri., Sept. 9, 7:30 p.m., free. 1600 Washington Ave., Conway. “The Guys.” In commemoration of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, The Weekend Theater presents this tribute — based on a true story — to the firefighters and other heroes who lost their lives trying to rescue others. A special preview benefiting the Arkansas Fallen Firefighters Memorial Fund will be hosted Sept. 7. Admission is $25 and includes catering and refreshments. The Weekend Theater, through Sept. 24: Wed., Sept. 7, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Sat., 7:30 p.m., $12-$16. 1001 W. 7th St. 501-374-3761. “Purlie.” Purlie Victorious Judson returns to his hometown as a preacher, with a plan to save the town, its church and its people, in this Tony Award-winning musical. Murry’s Dinner Playhouse, through Oct. 2: Tue.-Sat., 6 p.m.; Wed., 11 a.m.; Sun., 11 a.m., $23-$33. 6323 Col. Glenn Road. 501-562-3131. “Ring of Fire.” Jason Edwards, who starred in the Broadway production, brings Johnny Cash’s life and times to the stage through the Man in Black’s songs, including “I Walk The Line,” “Five Feet High and Rising” and many more. Arkansas Repertory Theatre, through Oct. 9: Wed., Sept. 14, 6 p.m.; Thu., Sept. 15, 7 p.m.; Fri., Sat., 8 p.m.; Wed., Thu., 7 p.m.; Sun., 2 and 7 p.m., $30-$40. 601 Main St. 501-378-0405. “Smoke on the Mountain.” This gospel music comedy set in 1938 includes 18 old-time and gospel tunes. Center on the Square, through Sept. 10, 6:30 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 11, 12:30 p.m., $10-$27. 111 W. Arch Ave., Searcy. 501-3680111.



ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, MacArthur Park: “The Arts in Art: Tango,” wine, tango dancing and art, 7-10:30 p.m. Sept. 8, free; “In Search of Norman Rockwell’s America,” paintings by Rockwell paired with photographs by Kevin Rivoli, through Sept. 18, “Building the Collection: Art Acquired in the 1980s,” through Oct. 9; “Texting: Selections

from the Permanent Collection,” through Sept. 11. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. 372-4000. BUTLER CENTER GALLERIES, Arkansas Studies Institute, 401 President Clinton Ave.: “The Art of Living,” artwork by Japanese Americans interned at Rohwer, Concordia Hall, opens with reception 5-8 p.m. Sept. 9, 2nd Friday Art Night, runs through Nov. 26; “Shep Miers: now & then,” wood sculpture; “Renee Williams: New Works,” acrylic on paper; “The Art of Robin Tucker,” Atrium Gallery. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 320-5791. CANTRELL GALLERY, 8206 Cantrell Road: 2nd annual “Arkansas League of Artists Juried Show,” Stephen Cefalo juror, opening reception 6-8 p.m. Sept. 9, show through Oct. 29. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 224-1335. CHRIST CHURCH, 509 Scott St.: “Studio 8 Exhibit,” third in a series of work by students at the Arkansas Arts Center Museum School, opens with reception 5-8 p.m. Sept. 9, 2nd Friday Art Night. 375-2342. CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CENTER, 1200 President Clinton Ave.: “A Ceremony of Remembrance and Unity,” 9/11 commemoration with Gov. Mike Beebe, performance by Parkview high school students of “The Long Goodbye,” 2:30 p.m. Sept. 11; “In Memoriam,” helmet of FDNY firefighter who died in the World Trade Center, Sept. 11-Nov. 30; “Elvis at 21, Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer,” 56 black and white images taken in 1956 by RCA Victor photojournalist, through Sept. 11; exhibits about policies and White House life during the Clinton administration. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. $7 adults; $5 college students, seniors, retired military; $3 ages 6-17. 370-8000. BOSWELL-MOUROT, 5815 Kavanaugh: “Here and There,” charcoals by Samuel Gray, reception 6-9 p.m. Sept. 9, show through Sept. 30. 664-0030. HEARNE FINE ART, 1001 Wright Ave.: “Kaleidoscope, Remembering the Past,” stained glass window series by Charly Palmer, through Oct. 10. Reception 5-8 p.m. Sept. 9, 2nd Friday Art Night. 372-6822. HISTORIC ARKANSAS MUSEUM, 200 E. Third St.: “The J.V. Double: Jorge Villegas and Jim Volkert,” drawings and sculpture; through Nov. 6; “Digital Exposure: Ross Burnham and Brittany McDonald,” through Oct. 9; “Playing at War: Children’s Civil War Era Toys,” from the collection of Greg McMahon, through Jan. 10; “Reel to Real: ‘Gone with the Wind’ and the Civil War in Arkansas,” artifacts from the ShawTumblin collection, including costumes and screen tests, along with artifacts from the HAM collection, including slave narratives, uniforms and more; through April 30, 2012. Open 5-8 p.m. Sept. 9, 2nd Friday Art Night. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. $2.50 adults, $1.50, $1 children for tours of grounds. 324-9351. LOCAL COLOUR GALLERY, 5811 Kavanaugh Blvd.: Paintings by Robin Parker, featured artist for September; art and jewelry by members of artists’ cooperative. 265-0422. OLD STATE HOUSE, 300 W. Markham St.: Brown Bag Lunch, “Reflections on 9/11,” with former U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder, former Secretary of State Sharon Priest, former Mayor Jim Dailey, noon-1 p.m. Sept. 12; “An Enduring Union,” artifacts documenting the post-war Confederate and Union veteran reunions in the state; “Arkansas/Arkansaw: A State and Its Reputation,” the evolution of the state’s hillbilly image. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 324-9685.

RACE 101, CONT. were named co-valedictorians, due to “equivalent” grades. He said that he didn’t know if he could adequately explain the GPA calculation method in layman’s terms. “If two or more students have similar or equivalent grades,” he said, “then you don’t penalize one student because that student has more courses or credits than the other. ... By dividing the smaller units of credit into the points, you come up with a slightly different grade point average.” The GPA computation method used in determining the 2011 valedictorian in McGehee — and, Gathen says, “about 75 percent of the school districts in the state of Arkansas” —was also employed in the 2006 case. “We had four valedictorians in 2006 following this same rule,” Gather said. “It just so happens that these four were not African-American. They were all of the same race, and as a result of that, there was no contention and no one contended it was racially motivated.” When the Arkansas Times talked to Kymberly Wimberly, she was boxing up things to move to the dorms at UAPB, where she plans to study biology with the hope of eventually becoming a doctor. It says something about her that her first thought is to make sure people know that her hometown isn’t a bad place. “Just because this situation happened with the administration — or a few people [in the administration] — I’d hate for that to reflect on the entire town as a whole. I don’t want their decision to make everyone in McGehee look like an awful person.” Wimberly said that from an early age, she was taught that education was important. Her grandmother, who passed away in 2009, would make her count coins as a child, getting her ready for math. By the time she reached high school, the drive to succeed was ingrained in her. She was ranked first in her class in her freshman and sophomore years. Wimberly said that she often noticed white students and black students were treated differently at McGehee High School. “One kid may do something, and he’s black, and he’s suspended for three days,” she said. “A white kid may do [the same thing], and he kind of gets a tap on the wrist and goes to in-school suspension.” Some teachers also treated blacks and white different academically, she said. In one instance, while waiting in line to get a packet to enroll in an advanced-placement course, Wimberly heard a white teacher tell a white student, “Honey, you’ll be OK,” when the student expressed concern that she might have trouble passing the course. When Wimberly got to the head of the line, however, the teacher had a different tune. “I walked up to get my packet, and she’d run out,” Wimberly said. “She said, ‘Well, are you sure you’re going to take my class?

Because, like I said, Kym, it’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be a hard class’ ... Do I feel like that was because I was black and that was a discouragement to take her class? Yes, I do. By all means, I do.” The summer before her junior year, Wimberly found out she was pregnant. Her baby is now 19 months old. Her initial response to the news, she said, was that it was the end of her academic life. “Every teen mom’s response, I think, is that it’s the end of the world,” she said. “But, like I said, with God, with my family, with my church family, with my friends, it was easier for me to cope with it. They let me know: It’s not the end of the world. You’re not the first teen mom. You’ll be okay.” That year, Wimberly made the only B of her high school career, which she said caused her to cry off and on for a week. Because of that, her GPA fell to third in the class ranks. Wimberly said she buckled down and tried even harder. “My junior year was the hardest I’ve ever worked,” she said. “I had a lot more to prove now. I wasn’t just doing it for me.” Eventually, Wimberly was able to pull her GPA back up to number one in her class. On Tuesday of the week of graduation, superintendent Gathen approached Wimberly’s mother — who works at McGehee Schools — and told her Wimberly would be named valedictorian. The next day, principal Darrell Thompson came to Wimberly’s mother and told her Wimberly would have to share the honor. While Wimberly said she was “devastated” by the news, she handled it with grace, even sitting down to talk with her co-valedictorian to let her know she wasn’t mad about what had happened, and re-writing her speech to acknowledge the girl who shared the stage with her. After graduation, Wimberly said her family held a meeting to decide how to proceed. Soon after, Wimberly’s father called attorney John Walker. Wimberly said she’s willing to pursue the case as long as it takes. It’s about more than a title, she said. “What if the president had to be co-president?” she said. “That’s just a title.” Given that she had the highest GPA, Wimberly said that it was her right to be recognized as the sole valedictorian of her school. She believes that was taken away from her because of her race. Just because a person has the power to do that, she said, doesn’t mean they should. “This is not the first time something like this has happened to a black person in McGehee,” Wimberly said. “With me being the first to actually stand up and say, ‘This isn’t fair, we don’t want to take it anymore,’ that’s sending a message out. A lot of people are backing me up because they’re sick of taking it too. It’s my right to have equality, so why can’t I have it?” SEPTEMBER 7, 2011 31



The poll is open in the Times’ annual survey of booze and bars, Toast of the Town. Vote at toast11

CARNIVORES WHO LIVE in Hillcrest or anywhere even relatively close, this is the best news you’ll hear all week: Former Boulevard chef Brandon Brown plans to open Hillcrest Artisan Meat — HAM for short — by Nov. 1 (or if everything goes well in time for Hillcrest Harvest Fest on Oct. 15) at 2807 Kavanaugh next to Kroger and the U.S. Post Office. Brown moved to Little Rock with his family about a year ago from Eugene, Ore., where he was charcuterie chef at King Estate Winery for four years. Brown said HAM will be a fullservice butcher shop and charcuterie, where he’ll butcher, cure and make everything on-site: bacon, ham, sausage, turkey breasts, pork chops, pastrami, brisket, various confits, salami, pate and other charcuterie. Everything will be sourced locally, except, initially, prosciutto, which Brown said takes a year to cure. YOUR MAMA’S GOOD FOOD is moving, which means for the month of September during the transition downtown diners are going to have to do without fried chicken, brown gravy and those massive rolls. The restaurant is headed to the Pyramid Building at 221 W. Second St., where owners Barbara and Fleming Stockton say they’ll have twice the space of their location at 220 W. 4th St. Fleming Stockton, who talked about retiring in a recent Q&A with the Times, said he and his wife will continue on in the new location, but that the September break will afford them “a much-needed vacation.” Stockton said he hopes to open Sept. 1.



ADAMS CATFISH CATERING Catering company with carry-out restaurant in Little Rock and carry-out trailers in Russellville and Perryville. 215 N. Cross St. All CC. $-$$. 501-374-4265. LD Tue.-Sat. ALL AMERICAN WINGS Wings, catfish and soul food sides. 215 W. Capitol Ave. Beer. $-$$. 501-376-4000. B-SIDE The little breakfast place in the former party room of Lilly’s DimSum Then Some turns tradition on its ear, offering French toast wrapped in bacon on a stick, a must-have dish called “biscuit mountain” and beignets with lemon curd. Top notch cheese grits, too. 11121 Rodney Parham Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-554-0914. B Wed.-Fri.; BR Sat.-Sun. 32 SEPTEMBER 7, 2011 ARKANSAS TIMES



Burgers. Shakes. Salads. Beer. Booze. Let me at ’em.


hat’s the formula at Big Orange, the new Scott McGehee/John Beachboard/Herren Hickingbotham concept in The Promenade at Chenal. But each portion of the formula comes with custom flair, beginning with a highly designed space, which seats about 120, counting the patio. The cheery space is welcoming despite the generally hard finish (butcher block-style table tops; tubular aluminum chairs; a high ceiling with exposed mechanicals). Mike Huckabee, who hates the color orange, isn’t likely to eat here except by a to-go order. They coated the place with gallons of soda poporange paint. Calling it a super-charged Purple Cow would be a little unfair given the attention to slow food-style culinary detail, but the Cow deserves acknowledgment for going the burger/shakes/salads route long ago. Custom? Consider the burger. It’s a halfpound patty — 81 perfect lean, 19 percent fat. It comes from Creekstone Farms black angus cattle, said to be pasture-raised without hormones or antibiotics and humanely treated. It’s a thick patty that hasn’t been ground to paste. It’s just a touch irregular in texture and engagingly chewy. When you bite into it, it drips. Perfect. It’s cooked medium-well unless you like less cooking and we had one with a nice streak of pink through the middle. The bun? As good as you’ll find anywhere. No, it’s not made by McGehee, who founded Boulevard Bread. But a former Boulevard

Big Orange: Burgers Salads Shakes 17809 Chenal Parkway 821-1515 QUICK BITE Gourmet burgers manufactured according to exacting specs (humanely raised beef!) and properly fried Kennebec potatoes are the big draws, but you can get a veggie burger as well as fried chicken, curried falafel and blacked tilapia sandwiches, plus creative meal-sized salads. Shakes and floats are indulgences for all ages. Adults will find a huge bar including craft beers and esoteric wine. It’s kid friendly, too, with a $4.95 tots’ platter. HOURS 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.-10 p.m. daily OTHER INFO Full bar. Credit cards.

baker, who’s now at Mama’s Manna, arrived at the recipe through much experimentation with flour, egg washes and other elements to get a tall, mellow bun with a little bit of chew and strength to stand up to the juices, but soft enough not to delay the attack on the meat of the matter. Toppings? All kinds. There’s a burger with Petit Jean bacon, avocado and fontina. Another with caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms and fontina and Swiss cheese. We tried the Atom Bomb — a belly blaster with pickled jalapenos, Sriracha sauce, chipotle mayo and pepper jack cheese. Bring

on the endorphins. (It’s really not THAT hot.) Burgers cost from $6.50 for a standard cheeseburger to $11.50 for a truffle-arugulafig concoction. Spuds are extra and you’ll want them, another custom product. Big Orange uses Kennebec potatoes, a suddenly trendy hybrid. It’s round and not as elongated as the standard russet, so it trims down into shorter fries (cut a little thicker than McDonald’s.) They do here what few other places do, but all should: They blanch them (fry them briefly), set them aside to rest and then fry them a second time when ordered. This produces a potato that’s almost creamy inside, but perfectly crisp and golden outside. Big Orange also slices the Kennebecs into chips and serves them as a side or by the bucket as a starter. Fries run from $2.75 with a side of BOB sauce (Belgium-style mayonnaise dipping sauce, perhaps pinkened with ketchup or something similarly perky) to $4 for fries with truffle oil and a side of garlicky aioli. Sweet potato fries are $3. And, hey, split these orders. One order per person is way too much. (I think they’ll bring you a squeeze bottle of ketchup if you ask.) They’ve been selling Big Orange as a place where you can indulge or be healthy. Healthy, I guess, means the celery and carrot sticks with hummus and tzatziki. Surely they don’t mean the crispy deep-fried asparagus tempura appetizer, served with a side of sambal mayo. There are six meal-sized salads in the $8 to $9.50 range, but unless you put the rich custom dressings on the side and dip sparingly, you’ll pile up some calories with toppings like, say, bacon, avocado and blue cheese. Most intriguing: The Thai Chop, which has sauteed steak, red and jalapeno peppers, peanuts, cilantro and basil atop romaine and cabbage with a ginger-soy vinaigrette. The Border Town Wedge also sounded promising with fried, chicken,

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.

t e f f Bu

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

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$ 1 5 .9 9 Two Appetizers, Twrtos Entrees, Two Desse

Join Us Via social Media to Get saVinGs, specials & More! 13924 Cantrell Rd.



Little Rock • 501-217-0700

BIG ORANGE: What it is is hamburgers, custom made.

avocado, corn, onion and jalapeno ranch dressing on an iceberg wedge. Healthy? Hell, who cares? Don’t go pretending healthy with the shake and float menu. It consists of lots of mashups of ice cream, syrups, fruits, cookies and candy, but we’d recommend the dulce de leche ice cream with caramel sauce stirred in and a cloud of whipped cream on top ($4). There’s a “pie of the moment,” a daily changing choice from several different local suppliers including Hunka Pie. We couldn’t possibly try a slice after a burger and whole order of fries with BOB sauce. What about the namesake oranges? They serve them fresh squeezed — 12 ounces for $3 and in a “creamysicle” float with Fanta and vanilla ice cream. Want stronger beverages? A well-stocked bar beckons, along with an absolutely choice if small selection of the world’s wines, from a house pinot grigio for $5 a glass to a $90 bottle of brunello. There are eight craft beers

on draft and lots more unusual stuff in the bottle, plus $7.50 house special cocktails. Orange Negroni or Pimms Cup, anyone? We found the $3 cooler of fresh squeezed lemon and lime juice with seltzer just the thing to cut the sublime grease of a juicy burger and twice-cooked fries. Service: Surprise. A McGehee eatery with conventional service. You sit at a table, a server takes your order, you pay the server after eating. Despite a crush of customers from day one, the staff handled a door-busting crowd a recent Sunday with surprising dispatch. Friendly, too. We only wish the fries had been a touch crisper, but it’s all about perfecting kitchen practices for new people and Big Orange is well on its way there. Posted hours say 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily, but openings have been delayed until 11 in the early going. Brunch is also planned on weekends, but no start date is set.

11406 W. Markham St.

Mex-To-Go • 501-217-0647

4511 Camp Robinson Rd.

North Little Rock • 501-771-1604

1524 W. Main St.

Jacksonville • 501-982-0533

1135 Skyline Dr.

Conway • 501-205-1985

Kids eat free on Thursday at dine-in locations


Gyro Sandwich, FrieS & drink $6.65 oFFer expireS 10/5/11

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

fresh, delicious Mediterranean cuisine


Monday-Friday 9-6 Saturday NEW 9-5


CORNERSTONE PUB & GRILL A sandwich, pizza and beer joint in the heart of North Little Rock’s Argenta district. 314 Main St. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-374-1782. LD Mon.-Sat. DAVE AND RAY’S DOWNTOWN DINER Breakfast buffet daily featuring biscuits and gravy, home fries, sausage and made-toorder omelets. Lunch buffet with four choices of meats and eight veggies. All-you-can-eat catfish on weekend nights. 824 W. Capitol Ave. No alcohol. $. 501-372-8816. BL daily. DOGTOWN COFFEE AND COOKERY Although the down-home name might suggest to some a down-home, meat-and-three kind of place, this is actually an up-to-date sandwich, salad and fancy coffee kind of place, well worth a visit. 6725 John F. Kennedy Blvd. NLR. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-833-3850. CONTINUED ON PAGE 34


BOBBY’S COUNTRY COOKIN’ One of the better plate lunch spots in the area, with some of the best fried chicken and pot roast around, a changing daily casserole and wonderful homemade pies. 301 N. Shackleford Road, Suite E1. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-2249500. L Mon.-Fri. BUFFALO GRILL A great crispy-off-the-griddle cheeseburger and hand-cut fries star at this family-friendly stop. 1611 Rebsamen Park Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-296-9535. LD daily. 400 N. Bowman Road. Full bar, Beer, All CC. $$. 501-224-0012. LD daily. CATFISH CITY AND BBQ GRILL Basic fried fish and sides, including green tomato pickles, and now with tasty ribs and sandwiches in beef, pork and sausage. 1817 S. University Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-663-7224. LD Mon.-Sat.

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


• GREAT FOOD • GREAT SERVICE • GREAT EXPERIENCE Buffet & Lunch Mon-Sat 11-3:30 aduLtS $7.35 chiLdren (3-5) $3 (6-10) $4.50 dinner Mon-Sat 4-9:30 aduLtS $10.95 chiLdren (3-5) $4 (6-10) $5.50 Sunday all day $10.95 • SeniorS 60+ 10% diScount Party rooM avaiLaBL e

Shackleford Crossing Interstate 430 2604 South Shackleford, Suite G Little Rock, AR 72205

(501) 224-8100 SEPTEMBER 7, 2011 33

Across 1 Transact business on the Internet 6 TV/radio host John 10 Turkey club? 14 Travelers alternative 15 Toss in a chip 16 Touched down 17 Tricky driving condition 18 Tax-exempt educ. groups 19 Times Roman, for one 20 Traditional use for henna 23 Tackle-to-mast rope on a ship 24 Tiny bit 25 Typistʼs key: Abbr. 28 Transmitter of waves 31 Train stop: Abbr. 34 Tear-gassing cause 36 Tevyeʼs “good”

37 The Beatlesʼ meter maid and others 39 Team in the A.F.C. South 43 Tallow sources 44 To the ___ degree 45 Trouble with a lid? 46 Time period on a financial stmt. 47 Takes a step toward biting? 51 Took a chair 52 Trap or record preceder 53 Teleflora competitor 55 Tilt-boarding 63 Techieʼs address starter? 64 Topic lead-in 65 Take as a given 66 The U.N.ʼs Kofi ___ Annan 67 Tranquilizer gun projectile 68 Two-color horse 69 Tensed
























GREEN CUISINE Daily specials and a small, solid menu of vegetarian fare. Try the crunchy quinoa salad. 985 West Sixth St. No alcohol, CC. $-$$. LYNN’S CHICAGO FOODS Outpost for Chicago specialties like Vienna hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches. Plus, other familiar fare — burgers and fried catfish, chicken nuggets and wings. 6501 Geyer Springs. No alcohol, All CC. $. 501-568-2646. LD Mon.-Sat. SAY MCINTOSH RESTAURANT Longtime political activist and restaurateur Robert “Say” McIntosh serves up big plates of soul food, plus burgers, barbecue and his famous sweet potato pie. 2801 W. 7th Street. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-664-6656. LD Mon.-Sat. L Sun. SLICK’S SANDWICH SHOP & DELI Meat-and-two plate lunches in state office building. 101 E. Capitol Ave. 501-375-3420. L 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. $-$$. 501-791-0990. LD Mon.-Sat. VICTORIAN GARDEN We’ve found the fare quite tasty and somewhat daring and different with its healthy, balanced entrees and crepes. 4801 North Hills Blvd. NLR. $-$$. 501-758-4299. L Tue.-Sat.

70 Terminal approximations: Abbr. 71 Towel ends? Down 1 Toward sunrise 2 The “T” of TV 3 “Time to rise!” (“Up and ___!”) 4 Tending to bungle things 5 Tito Jacksonʼs sister 6 Toledo tidbit 7 Theaterʼs ___ʼacte 8 Take the night off from partying, say 9 “The Ten Commandments ” star 10 Three-country agreement of ʼ94 11 Tons 12 Two-time All-Star Martinez 13 “The Touch of Your Hand” lyricist Harbach 21 Tears 22 Tempest game maker 25 Trying to look cultured 26 Title for Sulu on “Star Trek”: Abbr. 27 Tempered, with “down” 29 Talking-___ (scoldings) 30 Track meet component 31 TDs and interceptions 32 Tucker with the #1 country hit “Hereʼs Some Love” 33 Thing of value

















37 41















44 47







24 28

















51 54












Puzzle by Paul Guttormsson

35 “The Closer” airer 38 T.G.I.F. part 40 “Terminal Bliss” actress Chandler 41 Third-person ending of old 42 Thugʼs crime, often 48 TD Waterhouse online competitor 49 Torments

50 Treeless tract 52 Time-honored Irish cleric, for short 54 Tout ___ (straight ahead: Fr.) 55 To the extent ___ 56 “Tell Mama” singer James 57 Traitorʼs rebuke

58 Tomásʼs “other” 59 Tykes 60 “This ___ what I expected” 61 TVʼs Nick at ___ 62 “Three deuces and a fourspeed” cars of old

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



CHI’S 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. FU LIN Quality in the made-to-order entrees is high, as is the quantity. 200 N. Bowman Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-225-8989. LD daily. KOBE JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE & SUSHI Though answering the need for more hibachis in Little Rock, Kobe stands taller in its sushi offerings than at the grill. 11401 Financial Centre Parkway. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-225-5999. L Mon.-Sat. D daily.


CAPITOL SMOKEHOUSE AND GRILL Beef, pork, sausage and chicken, all smoked to melting tenderness and doused with a choice of sauces. The crusty but tender backribs star. Side dishes are top quality. 915 W. Capitol Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-372-4227. BL Mon.-Fri. CROSS EYED PIG BBQ COMPANY Traditional barbecue favorites smoked well such as pork ribs, beef brisket and smoked chicken. Miss Mary’s famous potato salad is full of bacon and other goodness. Smoked items such as ham and turkeys available seasonally. 1701 Rebsamen Park Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-265-0000. L Mon.-Sat., D Tue.-Fri. 6015 Chenonceau Blvd. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-227-7427. LD daily. MICK’S BBQ, CATFISH AND GRILL Good burgers, picnic-worth deviled eggs and heaping barbecue sandwiches topped with sweet sauce. 3609 MacArthur Dr. NLR. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-791-2773. LD Mon.-Sat.


KHALIL’S PUB Widely varied menu with European, Mexican and American influences. Go for the Bierocks, rolls filled with onions and beef. 110 S. Shackleford Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-224-0224. LD daily. BR Sun. STAR OF INDIA The best Indian restaurant in the region, with a unique buffet at lunch and some fabulous dishes at night (spicy curried dishes, tandoori chicken, lamb and veal, vegetarian). 301 N. Shackleford. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-227-9900. LD daily.


GUSANO’S They make the tomatoey Chicago-style deep-dish pizza the way it’s done in the Windy City. It takes a little longer to come out of the oven, but it’s worth the wait. 313 President Clinton Ave. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-374-1441. LD daily. 2915 Dave Ward Drive. Conway. Beer, All CC. $$. 501-329-1100. LD daily. PALIO’S Not quite artisan-grade, but far better than the monster chains and at a similar price point. With an appealingly thin, crunchy crust. 3 Rahling Circle. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. LD daily. VESUVIO Arguably Little Rock’s best Italian restaurant is in one of the most unlikely places – tucked inside the Best Western Governor’s Inn within a non-descript section of west Little Rock. 1501 Merrill Drive. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-225-0500. D daily. VILLA ITALIAN RESTAURANT Hearty, inexpensive, classic southern Italian dishes. 12111 W. Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-2192244. LD Mon.-Sat.


CASA MEXICANA Familiar Tex-Mex style items all shine, in ample portions, and the steak-centered dishes are uniformly excellent. 6929 JFK Blvd. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-835-7876. LD daily. EMMA’S TAQUERIA Try the torta hawaiiana — a pork sandwich with avocado, pineapple and onions — even more enticing. 4818 Baseline Road. No alcohol, No CC. $. 501-310-1171. LD daily.



Kim Harper of kay•dee•h bags stands in her home studio.

hearsay ➥ À la moda. MODA women’s boutique in Pleasant Ridge is under new ownership. Look for more detailed news about new owners, model and stylist Kim Forsyth and her husband, Jared Pitney, in an upcoming issue. ➥ Going green pays off. The National Association of Home Builders presented the HBA OF GREATER LITTLE ROCK with three awards at a recent ceremony in Naples, Fla.—Best Public Relations Program (GREEN BUILT Model Home), Best Membership Recruitment/Retention Plan Implemented and Best Council Development Program (GREEN BUILT Council). ➥ Seeing NARS. Head to B. BARNETT for a NARS Artistry Event, Thursday, September 8, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., and meet the artist who works for Fashion Week. Call (501) 223-2514. ➥ BARBARA JEAN hosts a Mary James Jewelry Trunk Show, September 13-14. Found in select boutiques throughout the southeast, her jewelry incorporates antique watch fobs and medals as well as crosses. ➥ Pick a painting. LOCAL COLOUR GALLERY in the Heights announces impressionist painter Robin Parker as their featured artist of the month. Every Third Thursday at Local Colour, you can join artists for wine, cheese and mingling. Don’t miss the next Happy Hour in the Heights, September 15, 5-7 p.m. at Local Colour. ➥ Head East. Celebrate CYNTHIA EAST FABRIC’S 34th birthday with a series of sales! 20% off storewide Thursday, September 8, Friday, September 9, and Saturday, September 10. Get 20% off fabric, gifts and furniture in stock as well as all trim and fringe and 30-75% off select merchandise. Hours: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

in the bag

A local entrepreneur creates an eco-friendly, socially responsible cottage industry BY KATHERINE WYRICK PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRIAN CHILSON


hen we arrive at designer Kim Harper’s home studio in Kingwood, the operation is in full swing—an apprentice from Jamileh Kamran School of Fashion Design stands at a drafting table cutting swaths of leather and canvas, tubs of completed projects sit ready for sale, and bolts of fabric line one wall waiting to be transformed into stylish, carefully crafted handbags. Harper explains that she had to reclaim the rec room from her four boys, age 7 to 15, to set up shop and has also had to annex the basement to store shipping supplies and extra

thread for her growing enterprise, kay•dee•h. The petit, fresh-faced Harper doesn’t look old enough (or tired enough) to be a mother of four and the founder of a newly launched business. (Does she also have reserves of boundless energy in that basement?) Officially introduced to the world on August 4, kay•dee•h (Harper’s initials) is already experiencing success. In Little Rock, you can find the bags exclusively at Box Turtle, which reports brisk sales. They will also soon be available in a Fayetteville boutique, though which one remains to be seen. Harper Continued on page 37


SEPTEMBER 7, 2011 35

These popular metal winged pigs fly off the shelves.

Good Earth now offers fresh, local produce and Boulevard Bread, and customers are eating it up!

Community-minded Good Earth grows and gives back


f you’ve recently been to The Good Earth Garden Center, you’ve no doubt noticed there are changes afoot. There is, of course, always some exciting new discovery awaiting in the gift shop—whether a hammock, tote or unusual piece of garden art—but bigger changes are in the works. Last spring, The Good Earth and neighboring Arkansas Garden Center-West made a natural and seamless merger. Each building still has its own impressive gift shop, but you will now see a cross-pollination of products. The former Arkansas Garden Center gift shop, however, still carries some items unique to it, like the pottery of local artist Piper Thomas and locally made goat milk soap. Both shops definitely warrant a visit (as do the expanding grounds, bursting with plants and pots). Since the merger, The Arkansas Garden Center-West building now also houses some exciting new additions: bins of local produce, a freezer full of tasty dishes from Catering to You, and a sampling of Boulevard Bread. Always a community-minded business, Good Earth even donates leftover produce to the Little Rock Zoo. (So if you see a warthog enjoyed a slightly

bruised peach, you’ll know where it came from.) Opened in 1974, The Good Earth began as primarily a retail store and growing facility but has since developed into a full service garden center, complete with landscape design/build services, irrigation installation and repair, lawn and landscape maintenance, and the aforementioned gift shop (now shops). They still grow most of their perennials, and have the largest perennial selection in the state. Growth is good!  

wars, social injustices in homes, and premature parent deaths caused by HIV/AIDS.  One child’s needs including education, housing, food, supplies, medical and social welfare cost $105 US dollars per month. Through the sale of these Ugandan goods, The Good Earth hopes to raise funds and awareness for SASCU so that more children get the help they need. When you buy one of these handworks, every dollar is sent back to SASCU. The jewelry is made from magazine strips that are wound around pins


One special new addition to the gift shop is a display of eye-catching handcrafts, bags and jewelry from Uganda. After visiting Uganda on a mission trip with his son Keaton, Gregg Curtis, owner of The Good Earth, became interested in the Save Street Children Uganda Orphanage, the organization that creates these handworks. In Kampala, Curtis met the Executive Director of SASCU, a former street child himself, who is working to safeguard children and other marginalized groups in Ugandan society. Uganda has a staggering number of street children as a result of internal


An antique wheelbarrow adds charm and whimsy to any garden.

All proceeds from sales of Ugandan handcrafts go directly to children in need. tightly, then shellacked several times and strung with accent beads.; every piece is handcrafted and unique. For more information about Ugandan Handworks and the Save Street Children Orphanage, visit www.



explains that she wants to establish a retail presence but also hopes to drive a lot of traffic to their web site, www. Harper began this endeavor after leaving a two-decade-long career in corporate marketing; she’s that rare combination of versatile artist and savvy businesswoman. She knew she wanted to do something that used her creative talents, and after extensive research, she and her partner, Jeff Stinson, found that “handbags had the most potential and lucrative possibilities.” “I’ve always been a creative person and would do things after hours on the weekends, whether it was painting or making jewelry,” Harper says. It wasn’t until about 10 years ago, however, that she discovered sewing after inheriting her mother’s sewing machine. She began making handbags just a few years ago when a friend asked her to make a tote, and the business evolved from there. Relying on word of mouth, Harper made one-of-a-kind bags for friends—a backpack here, a tennis bag there. “It just took off,” she says. Though she initially didn’t even know how to make a pattern, Harper, being the self-starter that she is, taught herself how. The handsome bags come in four styles—hipster, hobo, tote and convertible—and others are in the works. “I’ve a couple of new bags percolating in my head that I plan to roll out in the next month or so,” muses Harper. Stinson, a graduate of Vanderbilt Business School, brings a background in venture capital and serious business acumen to the company. He says, “There was an enormous learning curve when we were trying to find out about the handbag business, the fabrics, the hardware . . . We spent about 10 months prior to launch working on this, trying to identify the best suppliers we could . . . One of the things I applaud Kim on is that every step of the way she’s tried to do everything she can to make the best, first-class bag of the highest quality, and I think when you hold them you see that.” Harper adds, “I wanted the bags to be hefty and feel rich, like nice high-end bags and not like a recycled bag. That’s why we chose sustainable materials such as vegetable-tanned leather, waxed canvas, and the organ-

ic cotton and hemp lining. We also knew that we also wanted to try to do something that was responsible, that had some level of social consciousness.” The level of quality and attention to detail found in each kay•dee•h bag simply doesn’t exist in massproduced goods. For instance, the leather Harper uses comes from a German company that raises freerange bulls for food and hides. “The bulls don’t have to travel far from the fields to the tannery, so they don’t have to treat the hides with chemicals and can use tree bark and vegetables instead,” she explains. Harper chose the waxed canvas for its sustainability but also because as it ages, it will develop a patina like leather. Harper and Stinson have attended to every detail, down to the hand stamped leather tags that adorn each finished bag. And then there’s that sturdy stitching rarely found on bags anymore because, says Stinson, “it’s so difficult to work with. It gives our industrial machines fits.” Speaking of the industrial sewing machines—they bought two— Stinson adds, “Another challenge was learning how to use industrial sewing machines and then finding someone who could service them.” Not an easy task considering most manufacturing has been sent overseas and few factories remain. This is also something Harper and Stinson would like to change; both are committed to keeping production in Little Rock as the business grows. “We would love to revive a manufacturing presence here in Little Rock ... employ people, create jobs,” says Stinson. You could say Harper and Stinson think outside of the bag—and dream big. “My dream with this company is two-fold: to make beautiful bags using materials that are of the highest quality and are gentle on the planet and to give back,” says Harper. After much research, Harper and Stinson decided to partner with Girls for Change, an organization that seeks to empower girls globally, and plans to donate a portion of all sales to them. She adds, “It’s important to help other people, and we thought if we could set up a company that, from day one, had that as its mission, then that would be good thing.” When we applaud her for her farreaching vision, Harper laughs, “Well, it’s sort of pie in the sky, but we’ll see.” If the initial success of kay•dee•h is any indication, the sky’s the limit.

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A test for them


ow that they’re in, they want to make it harder for you to vote them out. So they’re proposing all kinds of obstacles and restrictions. If you’re a college student, an old-timer, a person of the minority persuasion, they want to make voting such a hassle for you that you’ll leave it with them. They aim to hamper voter registration efforts. They want to cage you if you don’t fit the profile. Inconvenience you getting to and from the polls. Make you show photo IDs. Burden you with affidavits and depositions. Require you to pass qualifying tests. Here’s an idea. Make them pass a test. They can’t get on the ballot if they flunk. Have to go back and take remedial classes. Passing the test would show they know as much about American history and American government as a fencepost does. But make it easier for them — an Obama-worthy concession — by making it multiple choice. And they could squeak by with a D-minus. Here are a few sample questions I’ve worked up. I don’t think they’re too hard, but if they are, maybe we can get Louis Gohmert or Justice Thomas to dumb them down to the contemporary average. OK:   Near what Civil War battlefield did Lincoln give the Gettysburg Address? (a) Get-

tysburg, (b) Some other battlefield besides Gettysburg, (c) No, Michelle, think about this one now, (d) GetBOB tysburg, (e) GettysLANCASTER burg. Fill in the blank, “Give me liberty or give me _____.�  (a) squirrels, (b) a flesh wound, (c) a copy of “The Fountainhead,� (d) refutiation, (e) Velveeta. The Shot Heard Round the World was (a) Jed Clampett shooting at some food, (b) Burr shooting Hamilton in the duel, (c) Ernest Hemingway shooting himself, (d) J.R. Ewing getting his,  (e) the one in New Hampshire that started the Revolutionary War. Finish the quotation. Gen. Phil Sheridan said, “The only good Indian is _____.� (a) Tonto, (b) Little Beaver, (c) a dead Indian, (d) Mahatma Gandhi, (e) Noc-A-Homa. Where does it say that the government should promote the general welfare? (a)  the Communist Manifesto, (b) the Socialism Handbook, (c) the Democrat Party platform, (d) on MSNBC, (e) in something called the Preamble, which means “walking around beforehand.� Who wrote the Federalist Papers? (a) Hamilton, Madison, and John Jay, (b) Mas-

terson, Kelley, and Wally Hall, (c) Peter, Paul, and Mary (Travers), (c) Dan Brown, (d) John Grisham, (e) Dewey, Cheatem, and (Irving) Howe. A current presidential aspirant names John Quincy Adams as one of the Founding Fathers. Who among these greats was also an American Founder? (a) Goose Tatum, (b) Joe Garagiola, (c) Gen. Tom Thumb, (d) Hank Snow, (e) Petroleum V. Nasby. After Booth shot Abraham Lincoln, he yelled some Latin words. What did those words mean approximately? (a) Feets don’t fail me now, (b) They’ll have to pry it from my cold dead hand, (c) Which way to the egress?, (d) My bad, (e) Rut Row. Henry Clay (or perhaps it was Clay Henry) said which of the following? (a) “I’d rather be right than president,� (b) “I’d rather be kicked in the nads with a hobnailed boot than president,� (c) “I’d rather be married to Orly Tate than president,� (d) “I’d rather go bird-hunting with Dick Cheney than president,� (e) “I’d rather have spelling vegetables as my category and Dan Quayle as my lifeline than president.� Which of the following is neither a movie cowboy nor someone you’d particularly want to brag about being from your same hometown? (a) John Wayne, (b) John Wayne Gacy. (You get two guesses here.) When young George Washington was asked who chopped down the cherry tree, what was his reply? (a) “I cannot tell a lie,� (b) “Some guy,� (c) “I am not a crook,� (d)


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“It depends on what your definition of ‘is’ is,� (e)    “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.� When JFK said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,� what the hell was he talking about? (a) Marilyn Monroe, (b) Vietnam, (c) the same thing GWB was talking about when he said “Heckuva job, Brownie,� (d) the Olympics, (e) the Jackie Wilson standard “Lonely Teardrops,� Fill in the blank. “Millions for defense but not one cent for _____.� (a) entitlements, (b) infrastructure, (c) disaster relief, (d) family planning, (e) stem-cell research, (f) hungry children, (g) any of the above. Which candidate said the office of vice president isn’t worth a pitcher of warm piss? (a) the same one who introduced himself to voters by saying “Who am I? What am I doing here?� (b) the same one who told TV viewers, “Never mind that man killing the turkey in the picture beind me,� (c) the same one who promised to put the quietus on nattering nabobs of negativism, (d) the same one who was given to telling detractors to go bleep themselves, (e) the same one who was so short a footman once mistook him for a lawn jockey. That ewer of warm urine is often prestidigitated by the delicate-eared into a bucket of warm spit, and the quote is sometimes misattributed to (f) Harry Truman or (g) Lyndon Johnson. Sounds more like Truman to me. The correct answer, of course, is (h). 






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Arkansas Times  

Arkansas Times Newspaper of Politics and Culture

Arkansas Times  

Arkansas Times Newspaper of Politics and Culture