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JANUARY 11, 2018


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ARKANSAS TIMES (ISSN 0164-6273) is published each week by Arkansas Times Limited Partnership, 201 East Markham Street, Suite 200, Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201, phone (501) 375-2985. Periodical postage paid at Little Rock, Arkansas, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ARKANSAS TIMES, 201 EAST MARKHAM STREET, SUITE 200, Little Rock, AR, 72201. Subscription prices are $150 for one year. For subscriber service call (501) 375-2985. Current singlecopy 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.





From the web In response to last week’s cover story, “ ‘Protect and serve’ vs. ‘patrol and control’ in Little Rock”: Fact of the matter is murders have dramatically decreased after this past summer’s spike and the increased patrols coincide with the drop. Fact of the matter is, if you see a patrol car is close by, the odds of you breaking in that car, house, etc. go down. Either the P.D. takes steps to reduce crime, or the people will. I would rather the police do it. Case closed as far as I’m concerned. R ick 1

In response to Billy Fleming’s Jan. 4 column, “Will Arkansas join the red state revolt?” in which he wrote that 16 of the 76 seats held by Republicans were likely to f lip to Democrats in the state House of Representatives: It’s an exciting time to be a Democrat. As devastating as the current administration is, it’s likely to be digging its own grave. Hopefully seats will flip all over this country, but you’re right, the South is gonna have a huge impact. The longer the uber rich are in power the more these lower-

earning communities are starting to coming but it won’t be until after this see the light. next cycle of elections. Also, why Jason Bradberry is the left still being referred to as Well, it’s always funny to read “progressives” when that isn’t even the crazy stuff the AT has to offer. close to the truth? You can twist and Actually surprised they are still in spin it all you want, but the left has business. never been progressive, only passive whyme aggressive. Sean Cash Highly unlikely the left will get more than five seats. Former Gov. In response to Jay Barth’s Jan. 4 Mike Beebe and now Governor column, “Arkansas’s Trump?” about Hutchinson have both played down Hot Springs Jan Morgan’s decision to the middle in doing what is best for challenge Governor Hutchinson in the the state. Tax reform in the state is GOP primary: Arkansas politics is why I only drink bottled water. ShineonLibby

Reply to Rick 1: What are the odds that YOU would get followed to your home by a patrol car and have an officer unholster their gun while watching you? This isn’t about the cops stopping people, it’s about the systematic overreach or disregard by procedures by said cops. Nor is this crime control. It’s harassment and intimidation. I rishgirl 2012

Arkansas politics are why I drink. jhudd

The same fools who voted for sheer idiots like [state Sen. Jason] Rapert would vote for this numbskull. She is the backwoods “Deliverance” version of Michele Bachmann. Warren In response to the Jan. 8 Arkansas Blog post “Oprah for president?”:

It’s not community policing when the police officers don’t live in the community. If they’re going home to somewhere else, it’s not their community and they’re more focused on enforcing the law than in keeping the peace. Vanessa Little Rock had been experiencing for at least a year a disturbing increase in the number of murders, assaults and other violent crimes, culminating in the Power Ultra Lounge shooting on July. The community understandably and rightfully demands swift actions by city leaders that immediately restore safety and peace of mind. We also have a police force that is severely understaffed and underpaid, to the point that many of its officers can only afford to live outside the city they serve. It’s easy to be critical of the steps taken and some of that criticism may be warranted. But let’s say it’s now your job to address these concerns in ways that are both quickly effective and not seen as overreaching, intimidating and harassing, and, most importantly, you only have the same tools that are now available to the police chief, city manager and others. Go ... Buckdog


JANUARY 11, 2018


My girlfriends and I discussed this into the wee hours last night. Only thing we couldn’t agree on was who would make the perfect VP … Joe Biden, Tom Hanks or Michelle Obama. mountaingirl

Actively thinking? Wow! That would be a welcome change from all the self-glorification, self-adulation rhetoric, and of course all the suck-up talk (major part of the job description, I’m sure). Donald has such unique standards. M axifer


In a couple of days, the online Webster’s Dictionary will have a picture of Oprah next to the phrase BA R N BU R N ER ! The speech she gave last night is among the handful of speeches I’ve heard in my life that knocked my socks off and reduced me to tears while cheering. Ohmagod did Oprah knock one out of the park! And gentlemen, she put us on notice that the millions of years of male dominance and sexual harassment and sexual abuse of girls and women and second-class citizenship for women IS OVER! If you think male heads

have rolled in the last couple of months, we ain’t seen nothing yet! I personally think that Oprah isn’t willing to take a demotion in order to become the next president of the United States. She’s smarter than that and she’s of far more use to this country as a free agent, but she COULD run this country with her eyes closed. I predict our next president will be a woman! And Congress will turn pink over the next couple of election cycles. Ditto the Arkansas Legislature. Bring it! Deathbyinches The root question as I see it is whether or not being elected U.S. president and never having held a nother public of f ice is rational or even sane. In my opinion the clear answer is no.  The answer doesn’t depend on whether the views of someone agree wholly or partially with our own, but simply on whether the job of being president requires some prior experience that clearly indicates the individual can handle the job. We witness daily, and have for the past year, what happens when we elect a clearly unsuitable person, an ongoing train wreck, to the office. Must we turn the office of president into some realit y prog ram or celebrit y contest? If so, let me off that train. Sound Policy It would be worth it to have Oprah as president just to watch all the red necks turn purple. Silverback66 Why not? She is better qualified to hold the office than Obama was. R azorblade Well, yes, let’s elect another entertainer with absolutely no experience in government. It’s worked so well before.




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Correction Billy Fleming’s Jan. 4 column, “Will Arkansas join the red state revolt?” mistakenly dated state Republicans ending the Democratic supermajority in the state House and Senate as 2008 instead of 2010. It also misstated that Republicans have had a stranglehold on state government for more than a decade. JANUARY 11, 2018



Quote of the week

“Over the last 10 years, the tuition increases have ranged from a low of 3 percent to a high of 6.2 percent, so it’s time to give our students a break. It is time to help make college more affordable.” — Governor Hutchinson explaining to the Joint Budget Committee why he will ask all state four-year institutions to freeze in-state tuition next year and ask all two-year colleges to limit their increases to the consumer price index. Hutchinson pushed through a change in the higher education funding formula during the last legislative session that moves the state from a method based largely on student enrollment to one based on student performance. Hutchinson’s ask to colleges is based on improving “efficiency,” not on significant increases in state funding to keep up with rising costs and keep tuition in check. Neither Hutchinson nor the legislature directly control where state institutions set tuition.

Medicaid rolls fall


JANUARY 11, 2018


figure that could reach $72 million. A spokeswoman said UAMS is looking at other measures to both save money and generate revenues. It has contracted with Huron Consulting of Chicago to look at such changes. In UAMS’ statement to the public, Interim Chancellor Stephanie Gardner noted that UAMS is the state’s largest employer with 10,900 employees working in 73 of the state’s 75 counties, and has an estimated financial impact of $3 billion.

Big cuts at UAMS

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences is reducing its workforce by 600 positions to cut between $26 million and $30 million this fiscal year and up to $60 million in the 2019 fiscal year. More than half of the positions were unfilled;

Another casino push


The number of beneficiaries covered by the program fell from 1,048,000 on Jan. 1, 2017, to 931,000 on Jan. 1, 2018, Governor Hutchinson announced last week. That includes both the Medicaid expansion program known as Arkansas Works that covers low-income adults, and the traditional Medicaid program, which covers disabled and lower-income kids in ARKids, the elderly and many other vulnerable populations. Hutchinson credited a strong economy and low unemployment rate, as well as an effort by the state’s Department of Human Services to review eligibility, for the reduction in the rolls. The Medicaid program will now require $47 million less in state general revenue for the next fiscal year, according to Hutchinson, who will once again have to convince a supermajority of Arkansas legislators to reauthorize Arkansas Works in the

fiscal session of the legislature that begins Feb. 12. On Tuesday, Hutchinson presented his proposed $5.6 billion budget plan to the Joint Budget Committee. It includes an increase in state spending of $172 million and $64 million projected as surplus.

258 employees were laid off Monday, including faculty. Even with the cuts, UAMS is still running a deficit. The 2018 fiscal year budget included a $39 million deficit, a

A group calling itself Driving A rka nsas For wa rd  a nnounced last week that it was launching an effort to push for a constitutional amendment to allow three casinos to be built in the state. The first would be in Jefferson County, followed by one in Crittenden County and the third in either Miller, Mississippi, Pope, Union or White counties.  The g roup f iled the proposal with Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on Friday and will now await certification of the proposed popular name and ballot title. If certified, the amendment would need

to collect around 85,000 signatures of registered voters by July to make it on the ballot in November. The amendment would allocate 65 percent of casino tax revenues to the state’s Department of Transportation to pay for improvements to the state’s roads and bridges. The rest of the tax revenues would go to the city and county where each casino is located. John Berrey, chairman of the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, said the tribe would apply for a permit to open a casino in Jefferson County if the measure was approved by voters. The Quapaw own land in Pulaski County, but Berrey said the tribe does not plan to build a casino there at this time.

Share your Big Ideas to make Arkansas a better place The Arkansas Times is soliciting suggestions for its annual “Big Ideas” issue. As in years past, we’re searching for specific, potentially transformative suggestions for making Arkansas a better place to live. We’re open to practical, wacky and everything in between. Send your ideas to before Jan. 17.


Banned in 2018


ere’s some arcana reeking of 2017 that I’m banning from consideration, attention, even out-loud mention in 2018. I’m unfriending all this 2017-reminding shit. It’s dead to me in 2018. It’s history, and being only history, it’s nothing to worry about anymore, not a cause for further concern. As William Faulkner famously said (well, approximately): “The past is kaputski, Dude. Get over it.” This renunciation is a personal nu yrs resolution now — not trying to persuade anybody else to boycott or endorse anything. Or espouse or eschew or embrace or flee from. Or retweet. Not looking for likes or shares or smileys, nor ES&Ds or GFYs. So here at the ano changeover, check out this ripped-from-the-headlines basket of deplorables and be glad you’ll hear nothing more about any of it. At least from Ol’ Moi you won’t. Additional sexts of Weiner’s wiener. Sequel demigorgons in the Upside Down. The Bowling Green Massacre. Bizarre Duggar body piercings (as opposed to the customary plentitude of ordinary Duggar body penetrations). Breaches of whatever vital personal data is left that hasn’t already been breached. The

Great Antarctic Polynya. Selfie dysmorphia. 3200 Phaethon and 52 other “near earth” asteroids that slid silently by Rock 3 in 2017. Smishing. The old bad cheeseburger emoji BOB LANCASTER (cheese on the bottom). Space-alien bacteria takeover-plotting in secret bunker beakers in Putinia. “It’s OK to be white.” “The Traveling Butts.” Internet fast-laneing (now with neutrality’s orange cones gone). Fisting (yeah, they really do). LOLWUSS and other too-clever chat acronyms (“laugh out loud, with unintentional snorting sounds”). ‘The jellyfish takeover.” The Babadook. Exact-date doomsday hooey. The anthem-stand-or–kneel foolishness. The Confederate statue stay-or-go nonsense. The trans-banned bathroom freakout (“Get away from that peephole, Huck!”). Adult coloring books. Glowbowl lighted commodes (the purple gives your nether the look of royal decomposition). Newspeak at the CDC. Flashmobs. Airbnb. OGLE-2016-BLG1190Lb and other maybe habitable exos

Sick health policy


he century-old drive to give everyone access to medical care has a new creed: Success is failure. We now measure the success of health care reform by how many people are driven off health insurance and denied reliable access to care. And success is raging in Washington, where President Trump and Congress have enacted legislation and rules they hope will drive up premiums and co-pays and force millions of people from the insurance rolls. Governor Hutchinson boasted last week that his health team had canceled Medicaid coverage for 117,000 poor Arkansans in the last year. When Trump’s bureaucrats give them permission in a few weeks, the governor can cancel insurance for another 60,000 who can’t keep jobs or are deadbeats in some other fashion. He hopes this will show that he is mean enough to satisfy the party’s extreme right wing in the legislature so it will continue coverage for the remaining 285,000 poor men and women on Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. If they don’t, the failure to continue their health care will be just another success

discovered in 2017 (including Wolf 1061c, at the Oscars). “Plutoshine.” SmashLHS 1140b, Ross 128b, and K2-18b et al.) mouth football. Sock puppet catfishBulldog tuxedos (at taxpayer expense!) ing. Spearphishing. “Boiling the ocean.” Dicamba on the pigweed. “Stunning” Geofencing. Belfies. Youies. Yakshaving. (when it’s really only mildly surpris- Mullets (still? really?) Prank swatting. ing). “Devastating” (when it’s only fairThe moth Neopalpa donaldtrumpi. to-middling negatory). The Paradise Gender-reveal parties. Extragalactic gravPapers. The Panama Papers. Quark itational waves. ‘The Deep State.” Adobe fusion. “Draining the swamp.” Quan- Flash. “Moderate to severe” Crohn’s tum computing. “Fuck, marry, kill” (Matt disease. Roy Moore jailbaiting. Hella. Lauer’s favorite office game). Frenemies. Mokillo streaks in the bananas. MileScromiting. Whitelisting. Covfefe. high bonks. Barn weddings. Snowflakes. Moon over Makemake. Necrotizing Three-peats. Horror clowns. “Unite fasciitis. “Enjoy the Go” (what bears the Right.” Bigly. Dropping the mic. do in the woods). Drones (not the bees Pussy hats. The Mooch. Roomba. Cigaror boring speakers, and not only Wolf shaped goo-slimed Oumuamua. All the Blitzer, who is called “the Drone With Alt-pricks. Avocado brownies. a Beard”). No-drone-zones. 3D printed VJJ, or va-jay-jay. The Hwasong-15 drones. Also 3D printed self-tying sneak- ICBM threat. Elf on a Shelf. Vaporware. ers. “Thoughts and prayers.” “Spot on” (c’mon, use of this expression Troll storms. “Merry Christmas” just tells the world you’re an asshole.”) (when it’s Foxwhistle). Bump stocks. Lincoln in the Bardo. Kratom-related Nuanced stuff. Optimization. Krack croaks (from “acute mytragnine intoxiattacks. Frorks. Tom Cruise’s fake butt. cation”). The triple talaq divorce. Media Blood coming out of your whatever. safaris into Trump Country. El Chapo in Fake news. Alternative facts. Bloatware. jailo. Romphims. Salt lamps. Monkey finPewDiePie. Skiggy diners-out parodied gerlings. Feathered eyebrows. The hot in the “Can I getta box?” YouTube video. interior-design color Millennial Pink (“a Fidget spinners. Grabbing puss- grapefruity shade of apricotty salmon”). ies. Zombie Nativity scenes (even the Good place to quit, enwrapped here babe). Beachgate ( bogarts nevertheless persisting in a grapefruity Jersey shore). Envelopegate (oopsies shade of apricotty salmon.

Washington. The president and his party seem to have no interest in continuing the for the party. Children’s Health Insurance Program, Hutchinson which insures millions of children gave legislators whose parents earn a little too much some impressive to qualify for Medicaid, or continuing figures about how subsidies for low-income people who many state dollars are buying insurance through the ACA were being saved exchanges. But men and women in both ERNEST by the state’s rigparties are scrambling to increase the DUMAS orous bureaucratic $32 billion budget of the National Instiefforts to find people who didn’t respond tutes of Health by $2 billion for research to queries or otherwise did not seem to in genetics and regenerative medicine meet one or another eligibility require- that may soon produce life-saving and ment the state set up. Talk about a night- -extending miracles for themselves and mare — that’s what it’s been for poor others rich enough to afford them. Arkansans to get enrolled in Medicaid Hillary Clinton and Sen. Ted Kenor a commercial health plan under the nedy instigated CHIP in 1997, which Affordable Care Act and to stay enrolled. may be why the president and his party From the start, the legislature barred have no ardor for extending it. CHIP the state from using $10 million sent and its Arkansas supplement, ARKids by Washington to help people navigate First (started by the liberal Mike Huckathe complexities of getting insured. If bee), have been a bonanza for Arkansas they are that dumb and/or poor, the children. state says, let them stay sick. Trump Arkansas still has the unhealthiest last fall halted aid to help people sign population in America, but the Affordup and shortened the enrollment period able Care Act, Medicaid expansion and to make it even harder. Huckabee’s little socialist program for Regardless of the biblical injunctions, children have helped. Arkansas has if you are poor, sick and unskilled you risen to 47th in infant mortality. It now have no friends at the state Capitol or is better than Mississippi, Alabama and

Louisiana. Arkansas is still No. 1 in obesity, the big killer of the poor. Delaware, where it is much less of a problem, has started to attack obesity and diabetes by having its Medicaid program cover obesity treatment visits. Did I mention that a new study shows that medical care for the poor reduces crime? Most inmates are in prison at least partly because of substance abuse and most have histories of mental illnesses that are treatable in a good health care system. Arkansas locks them up more than about any state in the country. But in Arkansas the big drive is to find reasons to deny Medicaid coverage, not extend it. See, those are just numbers, not people. The budget must be shrunk so that the legislature and the governor can further cut the taxes of the well-to-do. There is some peril for Hutchinson and lawmakers even in that. Sharply reducing the Medicaid rolls reduces federal spending in Arkansas even more sharply — by a ratio of more than 9 to 1. All that federal spending, including paying more than $20 million a year in premium taxes to the state, spurred employment, put the state budget far into the black and allowed them to cut taxes in 2015 and 2017.

Follow Arkansas Blog on Twitter: @ArkansasBlog JANUARY 11, 2018


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JANUARY 11, 2018


Playing to a crowd


brief confession: The only “reality TV” I ever watch is sports. Real, unscripted contests. Professional wrestling I gave up after eighth grade when the story lines became too predictable to be funny. I never saw “Jersey Shore” or “The Apprentice.” So it’s been a year of surprises. From what I could gather, “Jersey Shore” featured morons in undershirts competing for the charms of a dimwit with breasts the size of Ocean County. No need to watch; I grew up in New Jersey. “The Apprentice” was a scripted melodrama featuring a New York tycoon famous for tabloid sex scandals pretending to hire and fire scheming contestants largely based upon … what? Beats me. A real magnate would have better things to do. But then a genuine capitalist hero wouldn’t have gone bankrupt running casinos, would he? So I never saw the Donald Trump phenomenon coming. Good grief, the man has gold-plated toilets. He discussed his daughter as a “piece of ass” on the radio with Howard Stern. How could anybody take him seriously? I suppose because millions of Americans never got wise to prowrestling storylines: A Yankee George Wallace come to save them from the Kenyan Muslim usurper is how they saw it, and still do. That said, another form of infotainment I’ve personally boycotted is the White House “tell-all” book — gossip-mongering and score-settling leaked by disaffected aides to an author seeking what Nicholas von Hoffman once called “arrestingly irrelevant detail.” Joan Didion dubbed such narratives “political pornography.” Goodness, don’t people get enough White House infighting on the evening news? So the runaway success of Michael Wolff’s book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” has also surprised me. I’d have thought normal people were all-Trumped-out. Of course the president himself virtually guaranteed the book’s success by threatening to cancel its publication — legally impossible under the First Amendment. Ditto Trump’s threats to sue Wolff and his publisher. He’s about as likely to engage LeBron James in a fistfight. Indeed, the president’s bluster about Wolff’s book has been so self-defeating

it’s enough to make you wonder if he hasn’t got a piece of the action. At the rate “Fire and Fury” is selling, Wolff could end up buying Mar-a-Lago. Trump’s being in on the scam would also explain the sheer political stupidity of giving a journalist like Wolff unfettered White House access. That said, my resolve was wavering until a friend posted a few pages on Facebook describing GENE Trump’s postLYONS inauguration visit to CIA headquarters. Cheered on by White House staffers seated in the front row, the president told his bewildered audience a story of divine intervention. “God looked down and said we’re not going to let it rain on your [inauguration] speech. And in fact when it first started, I said, ‘Oh nooo ... ’ First line I got hit with a couple of drops, and I said, ‘Oh no, this is too bad, but … the truth is it stopped immediately and then it became really sunny and I walked off and it poured right after I left.” This isn’t something Sloppy Steve Bannon or Kellyanne Conway whispered to Michael Wolff. There’s a transcript, and video of both speeches. The choices are: A) Trump is fabulating, or B) Trump is delusional. Google it if you doubt me. A steady drizzle started when Trump began to speak and continued throughout. The sun never appeared, and it also never “poured.” When Grandpa starts rattling on like that, it’s time to take away his car keys. Anyway, reading even that much of Wolff’s book rendered me bilious and fatigued. So, more power to him, but I’ll take a pass. See, a guy who will lie to your face about the weather has no concept of truth. Any time Trump uses phrases like “believe me,” “honestly,” “trust me” or “to tell you the truth,” it’s a dead giveaway: Everything that follows is make believe. If you haven’t yet figured that out, perhaps you can’t. Also, here’s the deal: Anybody that needs to go on TV to brag about being a “stable genius” is definitely neither. Just as a smart person confident of his innocence in the Russia investigation would lay off special counsel Mueller and await vindication. But Trump can’t do that.

On Oprah


woke up Monday singing, “I’m statewide elected office. Black women Every Woman,” the Chaka Kahn are underrepresented as candidates and song that served as the theme as elected officials. to “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in the That’s why it is especially troubling early 1990s. After Winfrey’s Sunday to see so many, even on the left, flatnight speech at the Golden Globes, I, out claim that like many women, was moved and W i n f r e y is motivated. I’ve long been a fan, and unqualified. I’m that speech was Winfrey at her best. not advocating By Monday morning, social media for a n Opra h was overrun with calls for her to run 2020 ticket. It is AUTUMN for president in 2020, but by noon, the much too early for TOLBERT backlash was harsh and, frankly, out that. What I am of proportion. The common complaint advocating for is a re-examination of was the claim that she’s unqualified. what it means to be qualified to run for The reasons ranged from her celebrity public office. Right now, we are using status, to her lack of experience as an the criteria that are easiest to meet for elected official, to her wealth and to members of a certain demographic. her lack of control over her weight. Compare the number of white male Seriously. Only a handful listed the career politicians with the number of absence of many public positions on black female career politicians. The political issues and the troubling fact opportunities are just not there for that the woman who championed politicians of color, especially black Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou women. If progressives want to elevate also promoted the pseudoscience and women of color in all levels of politics, questionable practices of Dr. Phil, Dr. they must acknowledge that not Oz and anti-vaxxer Jenny McCarthy. everyone will have plotted the same I get some of the hesitation to traditional path to public office. They embrace Winfrey as a candidate. I, too, must acknowledge that, in spite of the am wary of our elevation of celebrities. damage political outsider President I’m also not sure a complete political Trump is doing to our democracy, there novice is the right person. However, it are skills and knowledge obtained from is frustrating to see many of the same the corporate and nonprofit arenas that people who are claiming Winfrey is can be just as valuable as the skills and unqualified go gaga over young Rep. knowledge obtained from holding Joe Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) as a elected office. possible candidate because he has spent Rumor is Winfrey may be interested a few years in Congress, has that good in running. She may not meet the hair and is a skilled orator. Winfrey traditional qualifications, but if we came from extreme poverty and built are looking for someone who is smart, a billion-dollar entertainment empire motivated and powerful, she is a all on her hard work. She is the epitome force. Dismissing Winfrey as a mere of the phrase “build your own table.” “celebrity” or “TV star” is an insult to But, if you believe what folks say, she is her accomplishments and influence. unqualified to run the country because, Before you say she is a bad choice, first unlike Kennedy, she did not come up let her talk. Let her tell us what she through the ranks of politics that plans to do and how she plans to get it rewards fundraising, getting re-elected done. Then, if you do not like what she and name recognition over all else. has to say, come after her for her policies The current method of electing our and plans. Don’t come after her because officials has failed a large segment of she doesn’t fit the mold of what we’ve our population. We face high mortality come to expect. rates for women and infants during Winfrey is every woman who childbirth, over-incarceration of our reaches the pinnacle of success only to communities of color and a political hear that she is not good enough. She’s system that, year after year, is every woman who dares to speak out dominated by white men. Since 1789, only to be told to stop rocking the boat. over 12,000 people have served the U.S. She is every woman who faces far more Congress. Only around 40 have been scrutiny and criticism than her male black women. No state has ever elected counterparts. She is every woman. And a black woman as governor. Fewer than if she does decide to run, she already a dozen black women have ever held a has a hell of a campaign theme song.


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rkansas basketball is the great deceiver. The minute you start sensing that a special team is coalescing, a quick road swing will jar you back toward Earth. The Hogs were a team on the rise as 2017 came to a close, playing a sluggish 37 minutes in a home opener against Tennessee and then scraping together a fine rally in the waning minutes of regulation and overtime to win by two. That kind of excitement permeated the fan base as the calendar turned over, the team nudged into the Top 25, and the Hogs were executing their coach’s vision to the tune of an 11-2 start. It took all of seven days for the temperament to alter, and let’s face it, Arkansas cannot thrive without Jaylen Barford and Daryl Macon both contributing. It’s really that transparent at this point. The senior g uard tandem exploded against the Vols, amassing 61 points and each notching career-high totals. Against Mississippi State three days later, the Bulldogs were energized to go up against a ranked foe to open their conference slate. And the Hump is always a weirdly difficult place to play. Barford, so dependable for weeks, finally had his dud game, bricking all six of his three-point tries and finishing with a pedestrian 11 points. The Hogs scrapped masterfully and had a 73-69 lead late, but State roared back and stole the win. Against Auburn on Saturday night, Macon’s motor stalled and the Hogs dug a prompt hole against Bruce Pearl’s band of potentially impermissible bandits. Macon did help trigger a late flourish that carved a 21-point deficit to six, but again the Hogs lacked lategame composure, the rally was snuffed, and Arkansas had suddenly lost as much in four days as it had in the eight preceding weeks. No more ranking. No more optimism. Not much surprise, either — this is a team that lost its defensive identity primarily, and failed to have enough perimeter firepower to offset that deficiency. CJ Jones, Trey Thompson, Dustin Thomas and Arlando Cook are all seen, in fairness, as complementary role players. But they’ve struggled to embrace any roles at all. And it’s hampering a team that has Sweet 16-level skill on the whole. There’s a prescription for fixing the road woes. Arkansas got embarrassingly

outdone at the free throw line in Starkville — 40 shots by the hosts to a meager dozen for the Hogs — but that’s not exclusively the domain of the usually incapable officials. No, the Razorbacks have abandoned interior penetration save for BEAU WILCOX Barford, and he’s simply not doing enough of it. Knowing that the referees will be incorrigible on the road, why waste time vesting them with trust to make timely and proper calls? Get thee to the rack and forsake the 22-footer, brethren. That even goes for Macon, too, who is a hell of a three-point shooter but commonly relies on his stroke when he could be getting easier points from the 15-foot stripe. He’s a deft driver even if he lacks Barford’s raw strength, and he’s a superior free throw shooter, too. This also benefits the Hogs’ gifted but hopelessly foul-addled freshman post. Daniel Gafford has regularly found himself with three or four fouls too early in the second half, and it materially impacts the Razorbacks’ approach. Gafford needs to harness his ball-swatting instincts on occasion, sure, but a better approach is for the El Dorado product to continue to camp out down low and get easy buckets on the offensive side so he gains confidence on the opposite end. The times where Gafford has pursued a huge block are roughly correlated to how things are going with the ball in his hands. If he’s a frustrated or limited offensive asset, then he tends to be an understandably overzealous rim protector, trying to make an impact defensively when he’s not getting it done in the scoring column. Certainly this is all armchair quarterbacking. But seven years into Mike Anderson’s tenure, it is evident that he’s not terribly interested in chewing a naughty ref’s ear when his mentor would have probably uttered things suitable for a terroristic threatening police report. (I kid, Nolan, I kid!) The officiating, you see, is not going to improve and it may well regress. So it’s time for Anderson to accept this as a variable that does exist, and is one he cannot genuinely control. The team has to play with measured but increased aggression and smarts, and that goes for home games as well.


Giving up the ghost


he Observer has waivered on let go of that, too, and admit that there religion throughout our life, is, more than likely, no Big Rock Candy from a good church-going lad Mountain in the sky. Don’t think we in our younger years to where we are gave it up easy. We mourned. now, with our belief in hocus-pocus Lest you think Your Old Pal is one of all types shed at some point like of those folks looking to persecute The the paper skin of an onion. It’s been a Believers, we don’t have a problem long, strange trip to get here, one that with people being religious, as long puts us at odds, we know, with some of as they don’t turn it into a club to the people we love most in this world. beat other people. That said, having Maybe the spirit of belief will return given up the idea of heaven also meant to us in our old age if we make it that accepting one of the most unjust things far. But for now, that’s where we are. we can think of: that if there truly is It was, in the end, the lack of actual no After to the Afterlife, then folks magic in the world that finally drove us like the 9/11 hijackers, abortion clinic over the edge. We’re not talking about bombers, those who used the Bible the magic of a sunset in Bali or the to justify slavery and Jim Crow and magic of a child’s smile on Christmas parents who kick out their gay kids morning. Nor are we talking about “We because of some passage in Leviticus prayed for Grandma, and she got better will never know they were wrong. If … in this billion-dollar hospital … full Yours Truly is right, folks like that die of highly trained doctors and nurses.” confident in the belief that God smiles No, not that. We’re talking burning on their actions and will welcome them bushes and talking snakes, Lazarus in heaven with open arms. Then their coming forth and Sampson’s magic brain function stops, their porch light hairdo, the Red Sea parting and water winks out, and their consciousness into wine and 40 days and 40 nights, ceases to exist, while still believing the ark tempest tossed. Where is all they were right. that? Where, oh Lord, is all the Harry The Observer is OK with the idea Pottering? A version of that question that there’s probably not a heaven. was one of our first as a precocious, Really and truly. We’ve made peace still-religious child: Why did all the with it. We’ve found it makes one live undeniable miracles seem to peter life without putting stuff off until out the minute whatever holy hand later, and makes us tell the people wrote the Bible lay down his pen? we love that we love them right now Why are we left with this world that instead of waiting for Eternity to make is — while so full of natural wonder amends. But we’re still a little pissed and beauty — explainable? In the end, that there’s probably not a hell, either. those questions stretched the thread Because there are some people in this of our belief until it snapped. world who are surely in dire need of In giving up religion, we’ve been one. Or, at the very least, 10 minutes forced to give up other things, of in a white room, in a kitchen chair course, including our hope to see before a sign that reads: “You were Dear Ol’ Pa again someday, restored to wrong about everything, and you made health and good cheer in the afterlife. other peoples’ lives harder and more That thought alone kept us invested for unhappy because of it.” A few moments a long while. But eventually, we had to to reflect, and then: lights out.

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ast week, U.S. Attorney Gen- will continue to exercise our prosecueral Jeff Sessions rescinded an torial discretion and evaluate criminal Obama-era memo that discour- cases on an individual basis as it relates aged enforcement of federal marijuana to the law and the facts as presented.” restrictions on states where cannabis A spokesman for Kenneth Elser, acthas been legalized. ing U.S. attorney for the Western DisThis does not necessarily mean the trict of Arkansas (Duane “Dak” Kees budding medical marijuana industry assumed the role on Friday), referred in Arkansas, approved by a 2016 bal- the Times to the DOJ’s main office. lot initiative, will be subject to pros- Asked during a Jan. 4 press conference ecution by federal officials. But unless about Sessions’ announcement, GovCongress keeps in the 2019 budget the ernor Hutchinson said he believes the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment DOJ and Sessions should distinguish to stop the Department of Justice from between medical and recreational use spending money on medical marijuana when it comes to federal enforcement crackdowns, law enforcement could of existing laws. Hutchinson said Sestarget the marijuana industry. sions “should look at where President Last May, Sessions called for a bud- Trump has been” on the subject. “Presiget that did not include the amendment. dent Trump has recognized medical The Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amend- marijuana as an appropriate excepment is set to expire Jan. 19. tion to federal enforcement policy,” A majority of states have decriminal- Hutchinson said, “but he’s not said ized marijuana, made recreational use the same thing about recreational use.” legal or approved medical marijuana, “I think it’s a very significant developaccording to NORML, which tracks can- ment,” Hutchinson said of Sessions’ nabis laws. move. “The question is what he’s going In response to the DOJ’s policy to replace that guidance with … [and] change, the Arkansas Medical Mari- whether there’s going to be any carvejuana Association called on Arkansas’s out exception in federal enforcement congressional delegation to reauthorize policy.” Rohrabacher-Blumenauer. In a stateHutchinson, a former head of the ment, the association said it “will work federal Drug Enforcement Administrawith the congressional delegation to tion, said Arkansas particularly needs ensure that Arkansas continues to have guidance on whether banks can legally the right to administer a successful med- perform transactions related to canical marijuana program.” nabis sales without the Obama adminNone of Arkansas’s congressional istration’s Cole memorandum, which delegation responded to questions from Sessions rescinded. the Arkansas Times about their support Hutchinson believes federal law for the amendment. should be enforced against recreational Even if the amendment were not marijuana. “I do not want Arkansas to included in the budget, federal prosecu- become a recreational use state. The tors would still have discretion in bring- people passed medical marijuana; ing federal cases against the marijuana they did not adopt recreational use, industry. In announcing the decision to and I do not believe they would. And rescind the memo, the DOJ painted it as so I don’t want to see that national adding a tool to the belt of prosecutors trend working its way into Arkansas, “to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle and federal enforcement is an importhe growing drug crisis and thwart vio- tant part of where we go as a country.” lent crime across our country.” More blunt was the assessment by state Cody Hiland, the U.S. attorney for Rep. Doug House (R-North Little Rock), the Eastern District of Arkansas, said in who shepherded the medical marijuana a statement that the decision by Sessions policy framework through the legisla“underscores his continued commitment ture and who has worked to find banking to entrust prosecutorial discretion to institutions that will handle the state’s the U.S. attorneys throughout the coun- medical cannabis industry. House said try. We are a nation of laws and not men. the DOJ’s move could cause financial I took an oath to uphold the Constitu- institutions to bail out of banking with tion and the laws of the United States, cannabis-related businesses nationwide, and that is what this office has done requiring cash transactions with dispenand will continue to do throughout my saries and cultivators, which House has term as U.S. attorney. To that end, we called a potential public safety hazard.



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‘LOCK UP LAST’ In Benton and Washington counties, jailing youth is increasingly used as a last resort. Can the rest of the state follow suit? BY BENJAMIN HARDY ARKANSAS NONPROFIT NEWS NETWORK


n 2008, Wendy Jones’ teenage son, Corby, began getting into trouble with the law: skipping school, doing drugs, stealing. His behavior soon landed him in Benton County Juvenile Court, followed by a stay in the local juvenile detention center, or

JDC, a 36-bed, jail-like facility in Bentonville, not far from the home offices of Walmart. KRIS JOHNSON

Corby was just the sort of youth who might be expected to stop dabbling in illegal activity after a brush with the juvenile justice system. His mother had a good job with the city of Rogers, and, though she was raising Corby and his sister alone, she had a strong social network in her community. In theory, a night or two of detention at the JDC would have provided the jolt needed to make such a kid reassess his future. But as with so many other teenage offenders, being locked up did little to alter Corby’s trajectory for the better. His drug use continued, and the court responded by clamping down harder, creating a cycle familiar to observers of the system. “I had connections that most parents didn’t when I was going through the JDC with my son,” Jones said recently. “But as a parent, regardless of who you are, where you work, or who you know, it’s the most lonely, terrifying experience to go through with your child.” “Basically, [JDC] was the only high PARENT ADVOCATE: After her son’s experience with the juvenile justice system, school he went to, because he was Wendy Jones became part of the board that implemented JDAI in Benton County. in and out so much,” she recalled. “He went through all the counseling, all the rehab … really, anything own verdict about JDC detention, at shouldn’t have to keep building pristhat was offered.” Yet the court’s least for Corby: “It was worthless. ” ons for children.” default response to Corby’s behavior “It was kind of at that point where But then, around the time that was always yet another round of the it’s like, ‘OK, this isn’t working,’ ” she Corby aged out, things began to juvenile equivalent of jail. said. “They’re still getting locked up change in Northwest Arkansas. Jones describes herself as a over and over and over.” She pointed Juvenile detention rates dropped. “tough-love mom” who is “all for pun- to statistics showing that the juve- Alternatives to incarceration ishment” when necessary. But by the nile incarceration rate in the United expanded. In 2013, a national protime her son aged out of the juvenile States is the highest in the devel- gram called the Juvenile Detention system in 2011, she had reached her oped world. “That’s pathetic. … We Alternatives Initiative began partner-


JANUARY 11, 2018


ing with the court in Benton County and its counterpart in adjacent Washington County. Jones was asked to serve as the parent representative on the local JDAI board. “They asked me because they really wanted the parents’ perspective, instead of it just being law enforcement, judges, prosecutors, defenders — you know, all the typical people involved,” she said. “When you’re talking about your child, and you’re in it, it’s completely different from being on the outside looking in. You’re living it, day to day.” Jones served on the board for two years as the program got off the ground. Today, she said, she sees the county “actually working with kids. We’re not just locking them up. … I can’t say enough about the system and [Benton County Circuit] Judge [Tom] Smith right now. I truly believe in what they’re doing.” Smith, who has been the county’s juvenile division judge since 2013, said his court uses confinement only “when we have to use it. We don’t use it just to use it. … The philosophy is lock up last, not lock up first.” In 2009, 859 kids cycled through the Benton County JDC. In 2016, JDC intakes had decreased to 467, a 46 percent drop. Youths spent a total of 6,557 days detained at the JDC in 2009; in 2016, total detention days had declined to 2,844. Smith’s JDC average daily population is now so low — it averaged between six and seven youths per day in 2017 — that a portion of the facility will soon be permanently converted into an emergency shelter. Smith succinctly made the argument for reducing juvenile confinement: “It saves money, it saves resources, but more importantly, the data shows that once you start locking up a kid, the propensity to get locked up [again] increases tenfold. Once you start that process, their propensity is to be in the system longer.” Locking up fewer kids hasn’t led to more juvenile crime. In fact, the number of delinquency petitions filed by the Benton County prosecutor dropped by 32 percent from 2009 to 2016. And at the same time that the JDC population was shrinking, the population of Benton County as a whole was rapidly expanding — it’s now the state’s second-largest county — meaning the per capita decrease in confinement has been even greater.

ber of youths committed to the DYS abuse treatment, mental health treat- triage person to get what the kid needs plummeted over the last decade. In ment, shelters and group homes, fam- and what the family needs.” 2007, according to DYS data, Benton ily counseling, mentorships, job trainWhen Zimmerman first took the County committed 29 kids to state ing — all are alternatives the judges bench in 1999, there were no diverfacilities. A decade later, in 2017, the may deploy in lieu of detention or com- sion officers in Washington County. number was five. mitment to the DYS. She now has two staff devoted to the Washington County sent 35 kids Zimmerman cited an expansion of role full time. to the DYS in 2006 — more com- diversion efforts as one key to reducing Crucially, Smith said, alternative mitments in a single year than the confinement in Washington County. programs are not necessarily inter29 made by the same juvenile court Those include an “adventure club” that changeable from case to case, even over the five-year period from 2013 provides outdoor activities such as when the offense is the same. One to 2017. (The statewide DYS commit- kayaking or hiking; “Girls Circle,” a youth arrested for theft may be feedment rate also dropped from 2007 to peer-to-peer support group; and a fam- ing a drug problem; another may have 2017, but the percent decrease was ily therapy program, Creating Lasting never touched drugs but could have just one-third as much as the decline Family Connections. With the assis- serious problems at home. Calibrating in Washington and Benton counties tance from the Washington County the right response requires a careful over that period.) Quorum Court, several on Zimmer- examination of what is happening in “If a kid comes to DYS out of Ben- man’s staff have become certified a child’s life to contribute to his or her ton County, we’ve exhausted all of our instructors in the program. delinquent behavior — in the jargon, options. That’s just the way we view Diversion cases are those that do a “risk assessment.” it,” Judge Smith said. He ticked off various alternatives to the DYS, including Youth Challenge — a program of the Arkansas National Guard — or vocational training through Job Corps. Typically, Smith said, he will only commit a youth to the DYS who has committed rape or a violent crime involving a firearm. Even in some of those cases, he will first try inpatient psychiatric treatment at a facility such as Piney Ridge, in Fayetteville. “It’s when they refuse to get help … that we have to put them in DYS.” Though such reforms stand out in Arkansas, what’s happening in Benton and Washington counties is consistent with national trends. The OJJDP’s ‘LOCK UP LAST’: Benton County Circuit Judge Tom Smith has cut detention rates census found 108,000 juvenile dramatically. offenders locked up in the U.S. in 2000, a number that includes both detentions and commitments. not progress to a formal hearing before “We do testing to find out what the In 2015, there were about 48,000. Zimmerman, the judge explained. “A kid needs that might have caused the Arkansas is one of the few states in diversion officer meets with a kid who behavior,” Smith said. “We don’t just the nation that has failed to reduce receives a ticket for some nonviolent, go, ‘You did this, so we’re going to confinement by double digits since non-felony crime, like shoplifting … do X to you.’ We need to know what the 1990s. before the kid is even filed on with caused it. That’s why testing is such a a [delinquency] petition, before the big part of the rehabilitation process *** kid even comes in the courtroom to for juveniles. It dictates what to do.” see me. Drew Shover, the chief juvenile IN ONE SENSE, the reforms are as “Each kid is different. Maybe it’s probation officer in Benton County, simple as two judges concluding that just going to be a meeting with the said his staff has been trained to they must incarcerate fewer young kid, and they’re already scared to depend on risk assessments to deterpeople. In another sense, though, the death, and they’re like ‘OK, I’ll never mine how to handle each youth. In changes are anything but simple. It’s do this again,’ and the [officer] just March, the county began using a not that Zimmerman and Smith are warns and dismisses it. Maybe the specialized tool called the Strucignoring delinquent behavior; it’s that kid needs some counseling, so the tured Assessment of Violence Risk in they’re using different, finer tools than officer calls the counselor and gets Youth, or SAVRY, which was designed the blunt instrument of punitive con- an appointment set up. Or maybe the by researchers to identify criminofinement. parent needs some parenting classes. genic risk factors in different categoElectronic monitoring, substance So that diversion officer is kind of a ries: substance abuse, family stabilMEREDITH MASHBURN

Similar trends have unfolded next door. In 2008, the Washington County JDC detained 915 kids over the course of the year; in 2016, intakes stood at 507. Like its neighbor to the north, the county’s general population has surged over the past 15 years as the economy has boomed in Northwest Arkansas. Circuit Judge Stacey Zimmerman, who has presided over juvenile court in Washington County for 19 years, echoed Judge Smith on the hidden costs of excessive lockups. “The more entrenched they are in the juvenile justice system, the greater the chance they’re going to end up as an adult criminal,” she said. To that end, Zimmerman’s court has also embraced alternatives to detention, including a new evening reporting center that opened in April. The changes in Northwest Arkansas are all the more striking when contrasted with the state as a whole. Other reform-minded jurisdictions in Arkansas have successfully reduced confinement in recent years — among them, juvenile courts in Pulaski and Faulkner counties — but the state overall continues to lock up large numbers of children. There is little statewide data on the use of detention at county facilities, but a national census of residential facilities performed every two years by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention provides limited information. According to the OJJDP, there were about 99 kids held in the 14 JDCs across Arkansas on an average day in 2007. (In rural areas, a single JDC serves multiple counties.) In 2015, the most recent year that the OJJDP performed its snapshot, the one-day detention count for Arkansas had increased to 210. Local juvenile detention centers are only half of the youth incarceration picture. The juvenile justice system distinguishes between “detentions” at county-run JDCs and “commitments” to treatment facilities operated by the state Department of Human Services’ Division of Youth Services, which is intended to rehabilitate more serious offenders. Detentions are typically measured in periods of days or weeks; kids committed to the DYS by a judge’s order may remain confined for months or even years as they complete the terms of their treatment plan. In Northwest Arkansas, the num- JANUARY 11, 2018


way he approaches his job. “I’ve learned more in the past four or five years than the first 13 working here,” he said. “People will ask me, ‘So you were wrong before?’ And yeah, I was wrong.” ***

[other] kids who have been in the system for a while — and we don’t want kids learning negative behaviors from kids who are in detention for more serious offenses.” Although JDAI is focused on what happens to youths between arrest and adjudication, Szanyi said cutting back on short-term lockups tends to also reduce long-term commitments to the DYS. “By reducing the detention population, what we find is that we get fewer kids who move into the ‘deep end’ of the system, where they may be placed with DYS or end up in the adult criminal justice system,” he said. A recent Casey Foundation study of JDAI sites across the nation found a 57 percent reduction in state commitments over the time that the initiative was operational in each location. “Benton and Washington county have had that experience, too, but they were already committing far, far fewer kids to DYS than many other counties in Arkansas [before JDAI].” Shover said JDAI has helped the county in two key areas: community partnerships and data. “We collaborate a lot more with our community stakeholders now … And also, we collect data so much better than we used to. It used to be [only] simple stuff — detentions, commitments. But now we’re looking at how effective our programming is: The things that we do, do they have an impact?”

JASON SZANYI, a deputy director at the D.C.-based Center for Children’s Law and Policy, has worked with the juvenile courts in Benton and Washington counties since 2013 to implement the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative. A project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, JDAI has now been deployed in some 300 communities throughout the U.S. (In 2018, Pulaski County will become Arkansas’s third JDAI site.) Though many of the changes in Northwest Arkansas were underway before JDAI arrived, Szanyi’s role is to help the counties continue pushing forward with reform. “The best way to think of it is that we’re kind of like coaches,” he said. “We’re really trying to educate folks in the system about what the best practices are and how to use their data strate*** HIGHER POPULATION, LESS INCARCERATION: Despite rapid growth over the last 12 years, gically. … The JDAI model Washington and Benton counties now send one-fourth as many kids to the Division of Youth Services as they did a decade ago. involves bringing together THE JDAI MODEL also encourages those who have a stake in sharing information across its many ity, education, and so on. Youth, and ity,” which categorizes the many dis- the juvenile justice system — public sites, which has led to major new inisometimes their families, undergo an positional options available to Shover schools, law enforcement, commu- tiatives in both Northwest Arkansas exhaustive battery of questions, the and Judge Smith, from drug court to nity-based service providers and oth- counties. After Zimmerman and her answers to which guide the youth’s after-school programming to inpa- ers — to think and collaborate and try staff studied successful JDAI proeventual disposition by the court. tient mental health. The matrix is to come up with better, more effective grams elsewhere in the country (the “When we started getting trained intended to pair each kid with the interventions for kids.” DYS paid for site visits, she said), the on risk assessments in 2014, that right program. Szanyi said the focus of JDAI is judge concluded that Washington really helped out,” Shover said. “Staff “We don’t just put them in this to reduce unnecessary detentions County needed an entirely new prowere looking at cases differently. You program here because it’s available,” before adjudication (the equivalent gram: an evening reporting center. can put only so much of your profes- Shover said, pointing to one column. of a trial). “So, I’m not talking about At the center, offenders are sionalism into a case and you can be “Because what’s the point of using a placement and commitment to DYS. required to spend their afterschool dead wrong … A [juvenile] officer says, tool involving a risk rating if you’re I’m talking about: If a kid gets arrested, hours (from 4 to 8 p.m.) under super‘Oh, I really know my kids’ — then not going to follow the model?” are they brought to detention? Are vision but return home for the night. they can read a SAVRY and quickly Shover has been in the juvenile jus- they released? Are they released to Established in collaboration with realize how much they don’t know tice field for 23 years. During that time, an alternative program?” Teen Action and Support Center, a about their kids. … It basically gives he has filled many roles at the BenResearch shows that even short- Rogers-based nonprofit, the evening you facts. Takes all the subjectivity ton County probation office — intake term detentions can have a harmful reporting center opened in April in a out of it.” officer, probation officer, supervisor — effect, he said. “Two or three days rent-free space in downtown SpringAbove Shover’s desk is posted a but he said the use of risk assessments may not sound like a lot, but it’s dale provided by the Jones Trust, a document titled “Benton County Ser- to guide the disposition of juvenile enough time for a kid to fall behind local foundation. It provides a sancvice Matrix: Risk/Need/Responsiv- cases has fundamentally changed the in school, for a kid to associate with tion for offenders that is more restric-


JANUARY 11, 2018


ALTERNATIVES IN ACTION: (top) Juvenile Court Director Norma Frisby shows off Washington County’s new evening reporting center. BLUEPRINTS FOR REFORM: (bottom) Drew Shover, chief juvenile probation officer for Benton County, leafs through plans for the new emergency shelter to be constructed in one wing of the JDC.


tive than regular probation but stops for our evening reporting center. far short of incarceration. That was huge.” “Our medium- to high-risk kids are Even with support from the getting services where they are, where county and partner nonprofits, they go to school,” Zimmerman said. the evening reporting center “It’s really keeping our kids in our com- operates on an uncomfortably munity and getting them the help they tight margin. Due to limited staff, need — for the kids that are not violent it closes down during the winter threats to society.” holidays, Frisby said. Washington County Juvenile “Obviously, the program could Court Director Norma Frisby said be so much bigger and better, the evening reporting center is most and the need is there,” she said. often used as a graduated sanction for “And also the location — we could youths who violate their terms and always use one of these in Fayetteconditions of release. Since it opened ville, too, but at the time when we last spring, about 60 teens have been collected the data to see where we assigned to the reporting center rather needed an ERC, we were getting than being locked up at the JDC. the most referrals from Spring“We’re trying to reduce the number dale.” of kids that go into detention for minor “It always comes down to violations or technical violations,” money. … Hopefully, eventually, Frisby said. “Instead of requesting a we’ll have more staff.” petition for revocation of probation, the officer can just give them this as *** a sanction. If you committed a new offense, between now and the time BENTON COUNTY, MEANthat you have to come to court for that WHILE, is undertaking the ambinew offense, you’re going to come to tious project of transforming the ERC for 14 or 20 days or whatever a wing of its JDC into a shelter it might be … instead of putting them rather than a lockup. in detention for 20 days. Like the evening reporting cen“They have to be picked up and ter, the shelter will serve as a lessdropped off by a parent, and it’s just restrictive alternative to incarceration for with a grant from the Endeavor that inconvenience of them not being for certain youths who get arrested Foundation, a local entity, along with able to be free during those evening or violate their probation. But it will a smaller appropriation from the Benhours. It reduces them getting into also provide a safe place for runaways ton County Quorum Court. more trouble.” If a youth repeatedly and for youth that need to be removed Construction will begin in early fails to show up, he may still be sent from their homes temporarily. 2018 and will include a separate to the JDC. Until last year, Shover said, Ben- entrance to keep the space entirely The DYS provided a $10,000 grant ton County sent such youth to a shel- distinct from the JDC. to buy equipment, including furni- ter in nearby Centerton operated by To be licensed as a shelter, Shover ture and laptops for the center, Frisby Youth Bridge, the nonprofit provider said, “it has to be out of sight and said, but most of the resources origi- officially contracted by the DYS to sound from the detention population. nated locally. The building, which is provide community-based services These kids are not in a secure facility. … undergoing renovations, will even- to Northwest Arkansas. Last Decem- So now, law enforcement gets to bring tually house several nonprofits that ber, Youth Bridge moved its shelter kids into a shelter and not a detention serve youth in the area. to Springdale in Washington County center.” It’s a distinction that matters, “We were hopeful that DYS would instead, citing a greater need in that he said. “Getting strip-searched is a big continue to help us financially to start community. deal, and getting deloused is a big deal.” these programs up and carry them on “They kind of pulled the plug on us “We’re going to have kids flee through state money,” Zimmerman a little bit,” Shover said. “That’s a big from here; that’s inevitable,” Shover said. “That happened on a very small challenge when you have alternatives acknowledged. “But we also know that level, but not as much as we hoped … and you lose one.” After the Centerton our kids who shouldn’t be in a locked and so that’s when I went to our Wash- shelter closed, Shover said, detentions facility are not going to be in a locked ington County Quorum Court. They in Benton County began to rise as a facility. … Most of the time kids do saw our data, they heard what we had result — so the county decided to start not run away from shelters … and that to say, and they funded us two proba- its own. The project, which will cost goes to show that those alternatives tion officers and a full-time counselor an estimated $328,000, is to be paid are OK. We go with the majority, not

the minority.” “It’s similar with ankle bracelets,” he noted. “We don’t have a big, big problem with kids cutting off ankle bracelets. I mean, we have some that do — but the majority don’t. … It’s an exchange. Either you’re going to pay for them to be locked up, or you’re going to pay for them to have some alternatives, and I can assure you that that’s a cost savings: using alternatives.” Though Benton County has dramatically cut detentions and commitments, the goal is to keep pushing the needle downward. “We’re looking to reduce the confined youth population another 40 percent. That’s our performance indicator,” Shover said. The shelter will be one key to doing that, he added. “It gives us options. It’s going to be quite the endeavor, but it’s exciting.” *** JANUARY 11, 2018



THE I-49 CORRIDOR from Fayetteville to Bentonville can seem a world apart from the rest of Arkansas. Powered by Walmart, Tyson Foods and other corporate behemoths, the region’s economy and population have exploded over the last several decades. The prosperity isn’t shared by everyone — there are an estimated 19,000 children living in poverty in Benton and Washington counties, according to U.S. Census data — but it’s obvious that the rapid growth is a good problem for local policymakers to have. Can the reforms in Northwest Arkansas be replicated across the state? Or will they be limited to those few places in Arkansas with the human and economic capital to create and sustain alternatives? “I think it’s a struggle for rural communities and rural juvenile courts, because they don’t have a lot of money,” Zimmerman said. “They don’t have the tax base that other, bigger counties do, and they might not have foundations that they can go and ask for grants and such things.” But, she added, judges and probation officers everywhere can benefit from JDAI — its emphasis on data,

SHORT ON FUNDS: Darryl Rhoda, the CEO of Youth Bridge and president of the Arkansas Youth Service Provider’s Association, says the state must invest more in community alternatives.

its philosophy on the risks inherent in even short-term detentions. “You can bring that back to your jurisdiction and be more mindful,” she said. “I have to tell you, it is a lot of work, and you have to be really committed to your kids and your families and be willing to try new things. Sometimes they might work, sometimes they might not. … If there are judges in the

state — or out-of-state — that want to come and see the things we’re doing in Washington and Benton counties to see if they can replicate it, we would welcome people to come.” Jason Szanyi said many JDAI sites across the country are located in areas without booming economies. “In a jurisdiction that has fewer resources … it’s even more important to take a look

at how they’re using the folks within the system and the limited resources that are available to work with young people,” he said. “The initiative has a structure to it that is designed to help any system become more efficient and more effective.” Smith acknowledged Benton County enjoys advantages. “Northwest Arkansas has a lot of resources in place and a lot of people trying to do this, so we’re very blessed. … I’m sure we have less juvenile violent crime than in some areas … because our economy is so good — I get all that.” However, he noted, some alternatives don’t require a huge infusion of cash. “Anybody can have home monitoring units. Anybody can get programs set up through a church or a nonprofit. A lot of this is not high-tech stuff. … I got some volunteers from one of our local CrossFit guys to come over and team up with the sheriff to use their gym, and we just gave these boys something to do three days a week to be proud of. That didn’t cost any money. Now, it took some time, but ... all those kids have done well.” In a small, rural county, Smith said, “you would really have to have outside-









Saturday, January 20, 2018 Lineup begins at 11:00 am at the corner of West Capitol and South Pulaski in Little Rock. RSVP here: 18

JANUARY 11, 2018


around $87,000 annually that the agency’s long-term goal is to per youth housed at the “rebalance our funding more toward state’s largest secure facil- community-based [alternatives], ity, the Arkansas Juvenile because we know that’s more effecAssessment and Treatment tive in the long run.” However, lockup Center.) facilities eat up most of the agency’s “I have folks working in funding each year, and there is little emergency shelters mak- appetite in the state legislature for ing barely minimum wage, increasing the DYS’ budget. trying to supervise eight “We use our money for residenkids per worker. … There’s tial treatment — kids that are comsomething wrong with that,” mitted to us and those that are going Rhoda said. “We should back [home], for aftercare,” Guhman have twice the amount of said. “It doesn’t leave a lot of money dollars we had 20 years ago, for diversion.” or three times — but we That’s why some reform-minded don’t, and you’re going to judges have decided local resources get what you pay for.” are their only option. He also voiced frustra“There’s a lot of money spent if HIGHER POPULATION, LESS INCARCERATION: Despite rapid growth over the last 12 years, tion that the DYS contracts you have to lock up kids,” Smith said. Washington and Benton counties now send one-fourth as many kids to the Division of Youth are unclear about desired “Well, if you’re going to keep them from Services as they did a decade ago. outcomes. “My pressure as being locked up, you need to be willthe CEO of Youth Bridge is ing to spend some money to do that, the-box thinking” to come up with we haven’t gotten a raise [from the that the courts keep demanding more too.” alternatives. “I would immediately state] … and our costs just keep going and more of my agency, and I’m not think, well, OK, we’re going to have up. They don’t give us enough money.” getting any more resources. … If someThis reporting is courtesy of the to shift toward law enforcement, fire In addition to its shelter in Spring- body’s critical of providers, I’m going Arkansas Nonprofit News Network, an department, municipal organizations dale, Youth Bridge operates an inpa- to be very defensive, because they’re independent, nonpartisan news project being my mentors. … You’re not going tient substance abuse treatment facil- not the issue. It’s that we need a more dedicated to producing journalism that to have as many big churches … but ity, Journey House. It also provides competent system.” matters to Arkansans. Find out more you can get small ones to do it, too. outpatient drug counseling, electronic DYS Director Betty Guhman said at You have to be willing to get out there monitoring and various forms of therand get people involved.” apy for children and families. Youth Theoretically, a system does exist Bridge coordinates with Smith, Zimto provide alternatives throughout the merman and other juvenile judges in state: the DYS. In addition to operat- an eight-county service area to detering the eight secure residential facili- mine how to spend the limited money ties, the DYS’ mission also includes it receives annually from the DYS. providing “community-based prevenZimmerman agreed that Youth tion [and] diversion” programs. It con- Bridge lacks the funding to deliver tracts with 13 nonprofit providers to the array of alternatives needed by deliver those services statewide. her court. In Northwest Arkansas, the com“We have to prioritize,” Zimmermunity-based provider is Youth man said. “I don’t want to take away Bridge — yet Youth Bridge is not the from inpatient drug treatment, sheldelivery mechanism for most of the ter beds, ankle monitors or individOld Chicago Pizza & Taproom - new beer garden room alternatives that have been deployed ual counselors for our kids that need 1010 MAIN ST, CONWAY, AR, 72032 to such positive effect in Benton and counseling. So when we’re looking Washington counties. Instead, Smith at what’s most important with that and Zimmerman have sought and DYS money … those are the things we paired with selected craft brews and gift bag. found assistance from other entities: really need from our provider. By the nonprofits, foundations, local govern- time that they provide those things, Ticket gets you food, drink, and goodie bag. We will have live backment, businesses, churches and so on. there’s really not any money left over ground music and a Certified Beer Guide/Cicerone hosting the event “Youth Bridge is not a big percent- for JDAI stuff.” and describing the flavor combinations. age of it,” Smith said. “They’re our “I think everybody knows that we Proceeds to benefit the state provider, but they’re just one need more community alternatives,” Children Advocacy Alliance in Conway Arkansas. stakeholder.” Rhoda said. Statewide, he said, “we’re Darryl Rhoda, the CEO of Youth spending $18-19 million on commuSponsored by: Bridge, is also the president of nity alternatives, and we’re spendthe Arkansas Youth Service Provider’s ing about twice that on incarceratAssociation. He had a simple answer ing about 500 kids” in DYS facilities. when asked why providers like his (The DYS budgeted $27.6 million organization don’t offer more alterna- for residential services in the 2017 tives to juvenile judges: “In 20 years, state fiscal year. Taxpayers spend

Brewers Dinner 1-25-18 • 6:30pm

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Arts Entertainment AND


Socks must be worn

Abandoned Arkansas’s Ginger Beck wades into the ruins. BY STEPHANIE SMITTLE


nside the former Conway Roller Rink, a white roller skate is flopped over in front of a felt marquee board that reads “SOCKS MUST BE WORN” and “ASK ABOUT PRIVATE PARTIES” in tiny plastic letters. An arcade-style carpet with a neon paint-splatter design curls up at its edges, otherwise littered with debris and crumbling Sheetrock. In the audio area, a piece of hot pink duct tape holds up a rough script, scratched out on yellow construction paper: “Alright skaters stop on your skate & go the other direction, this next song is a reverse skate.” We know all this because of Michael Schwarz, Eddy Sisson, James Kirkendall and Ginger Beck, the team behind Abandoned Arkansas. Together, the four volunteers identify abandoned locations, obtain permission to enter them and photograph what’s inside. They’ve been at it since 2012. We talked with Beck, Abandoned Arkansas’s new communications director, about the process of exploring places that highways, urban development and economic upheaval have pushed into the margins. Where do you live, and what other projects do you have working right now? I live in downtown Little Rock. I teach high school alternative students and have for 16 years. I also just opened my own private tattoo studio (One Ninety-Six Private Studio) downtown, and I run the Little Free Pantry-Little Rock located at Dunbar Garden. What drew you to this project? Do you remember a specific moment or location that sparked 20

JANUARY 11, 2018


URBAN DECAY: Abandoned Arkansas sheds light on forgotten places, like the Majestic Hotel, the Conway Roller Rink (pictured) and Dogpatch U.S.A.

your interest? I’ve always been drawn to abandoned and derelict buildings. Seeing old houses boarded up has always made me insanely curious about the life they once held. My first major exploration was the Alexander Human Development Center. Getting into abandoned places can be tricky. Can you talk me through how you all navigate your way safely (and legally) past those “No Trespassing” signs? Are there any places on your wish list? We always attempt to get permission from owners or relatives of owners. Many cities have left places to ruin and basically said, “Have fun.” ... One place on my list is the old VA Hospital off Roosevelt [Road] here in Little Rock. The bottom floor is leased to the [Little Rock Police Department] and used for SWAT [team training] a couple floors above that. The floors above are empty. I’ve been in contact with the LRPD, but they said I have to gain permission from the actual owner, whom I’ve yet to speak with. I know that you read tarot cards.

Can you talk a little bit about your experience doing that, and do you feel that work has affected your connection to these locations? Tarot has been an exciting and enlightening part of my life for several years. It is often misunderstood; many people avoid discussing it, but it is basically a positive tool to focus and improve a person’s life. I’ve helped many people wanting clarity with decisions or feelings, and tarot has definitely helped me do the same. The connection I feel toward buildings and homes feels much more like energy than psychic connections. Some places feel full of energy, usually positive, as if the building is almost happy to have respectful visitors again. Other places feel completely void of energy, such as the Branch Davidian compound remains in Waco, Texas, which I explored with my two best friends years after the siege, heading home from seeing Acid King in Austin. So far, I have not come across a site where I feel uneasy or unsafe.

there? We’re seeing the bygone, the abandoned and, sometimes, the tragic. Are there any places you’ve come across that you found beautiful? One of the most beautiful places was Carden Bottoms School [Yell County], post fire. It was an amazing little schoolhouse that tragically burned back in October of 2017, but the stonework that remains is absolutely gorgeous. Knowing that some beautiful old homes are now decayed and could be saved if only there were investors willing to put the money and work into projects is sad. I wish I could fix and live in them all.

There’s an inherent sort of sadness to this project, isn’t

Abandoned Arkansas’s online archive is at

Graffiti: art or vandalism? There is some amazing graffiti out there. In places where there isn’t going to be any restoration, I see no harm in making a beautiful mural. Simple spray-painted phrases and messy scrawlings, however, is more [like] vandalism. I don’t like seeing any scrawled graffiti on outsides of buildings, either.

ROCK CANDY Check out the Times’ A&E blog


entering the 2018 Arkansas Times Musicians

Showcase is Jan. 15. Finalists will be asked to perform in one of four semifinal rounds to be held at Stickyz Rock ’n’ Roll Chicken Shack

every Thursday night in February. Winners from each round will compete for a prize package in the final round at Revolution Taco & Tequila


READ read


Lounge on Friday, March 9. The prize package includes cash, a live spot at the Arkansas State Fair Bud Light Pavilion, a live spot at Musicfest El Dorado, a live spot at the Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival, a Thursday Night Live series performance at Griffin Restaurant in El Dorado, eight hours of artist development at The Hive Studio and a PRS SE 245 Standard 22 electric guitar provided by Sunrise Guitars. To enter or to find out more, visit general/showcase18. THE THIRD SEASON of the HBO series “True

Detective,” to be filmed in Fayetteville this year,

is “the largest and most expensive production we’ve ever had in the state,” Arkansas Economic Development Commission Director Mike Preston says in a press release. Last week, “True Detective” announced the addition of Stephen Dorff (“Blade,” “Somewhere”) to its cast, which already includes Mahershala Ali (“House of Cards,” “Moonlight,” “Hidden Figures”) and Carmen Ejogo (“Selma”). The production is expected to qualify for extensive tax credits. Chris Crane, director of the state film office, said applications filed to qualify for taxpayer assistance are exempt from disclosure, but the amount rebated will be released at the end of production. He said he expected somewhere between $40 million and $80 million to be spent in Arkansas. At the high end, that could mean a tax rebate of $16 million or more. IN PARTNERSHIP WITH Arkansas Sounds, a project of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, the Arkansas Times presents the first Central

Arkansas Music Awards on Tuesday, Jan. 23. Winners nominated by the public and chosen by the CAMA board will be announced at a ceremony at the Central Arkansas Library System’s

Join us for

JOIN FOR EASTER JoinUS Us for HappyBRUNCH Hour 10 am - 2 pm

Monday through Friday • 4Bloody p.m. until 7 p.m. Enjoy Regional Brunch Specials, Live Music, Mary and Mimosa Specials

Ron Robinson Theater at 7 p.m. that evening. Kevin Kerby will host and Dazz & Brie, Brethren (Zakk & Big Papa Binns and special guests), The Legendary Pacers, Yuni Wa, Adam Faucett, Princeaus and The Brian Nahlen Band will perform. Tickets, $5, are available at centralarkansastickets. com and include complimentary drinks. There’ll be a pre-party beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Cache restaurant and an after-party at Revolution.

CacheRestaurant | 425 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock | 501-850-0265 | | CacheLittleRock Brunch served every Saturday and Sunday 10am - 2pm

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7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat, 2 p.m. Sun. through Jan. 21. The Studio Theatre. $15-$18.

For a sense of whether or not to take the kids to this one, refer to the YouTube montage titled “Glengarry Profanity Supercut” at a site called justtheswearing. com, just scant of 3 minutes long and filled to the nanosecond with unsavory exclamations. The 1992 film put playwright David Mamet’s foul, fiery words into the mouths of Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin and Kevin Spacey to great effect, eviscerating the optimism of the American dream with a portrait of a sales environment as he saw it: cutthroat and cruel. Without “Glengarry,” there might not have been a “Reservoir Dogs” or “The Wolf of Wall Street,” and it’s easy to see how a 2018 production could operate as critique of all the ways in which financial

success in America has been linked with a toxic brand of masculinity. Or, perhaps that’s just easier to imagine with this particular production, since there’s a woman — Heather Norris — in the director’s chair. She’s an actor herself, and one with a knack for putting anger and betrayal under the spotlight. Norris dazzled, for example, with her wry retrospection as Alison in The Studio Theatre’s production of “Fun Home” last September, and with the heat and danger of her emotional tumult as May when Precipice Theater put on Sam Shepard’s “Fool For Love” in 2014. These eight performances of “Glengarry Glen Ross” are the work of Precipice Theatre, a self-described “actor’s co-op” founded in 2011 with the idea that actors are at their best when they have some control over their choice of repertoire. Tickets are at centralarkansastickets. com. SS

“THE HAUNTS OF YOUTH”: Nashville’s Fort Defiance returns to Hot Springs with a show at Maxine’s.



9 p.m. Maxine’s, Hot Springs. Free.

As adorable spousal country duos go, Fort Defiance (Jordan Eastman and Laurel Lane) crosses off a lot of the more predictable boxes: a winsome Dust Bowlera wardrobe; plaintive, high-lonesome harmonies; mid-show flirtations; and a van that doubles as a hotel bed after the show. The crowdfunders that footed the bill for their 2017 release, “The Haunts of Youth,” didn’t dismiss them as a Johnny-



12:30 p.m. first post. Oaklawn Racing & Gaming. $2 parking.

The horses are running again at Oaklawn and, depending on how long the rain lasts, Friday could be a great day to put the “Gone Fishin’ ” sign on the desk at work and go pick a trifecta. Or, bundle up and go Saturday for a nine-race card and the track’s annual Corned Beef 22

JANUARY 11, 2018


Day. When the Arkansas Times went to press, the forecast was mostly sunny in the high 30s, likely chilly enough to keep the lines for the track’s famous 50-cent corned beef sandwiches and 10-cent soft drinks to a manageable minimum. On both Friday and Saturday, Hwy 124 kicks off a live music set in the casino’s Pops Lounge at 5 p.m., and Mister Lucky entertains at the track’s Silks Bar & Grill from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. SS

June fantasy, though, and neither should you. Lane’s Iris Dement-ish treble carries live performances of uptempo ditties like “Goetta Picnic” — the only song I know that ends with the word “sausage” — into do-sido territory, but my favorite is the album’s bitter, Dylanesque bonus track, “Warzone Serenade”: “The buzzards all came flying in to feed on what was dying, and I found myself the victim of their ways/I guess I’m just the kind of kid who’s had so much given to him/I’d claim I hit a triple when I was born on third base.” SS


JOHN SYKES, NANCY WILSON 6-9 p.m. Boswell Mourot Fine Art.

Barbie heads and No Cash Value tokens are combined in one of photographer John Sykes’ digital “Psykographs” that will go on exhibit starting Saturday at Heights gallery Boswell Mourot. “What I try to evoke in my art … is a reaction,” Sykes wrote in his artist’s statement, “but something a bit more than being asked, ‘What were you thinking when you created this?’

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I want something akin to the effect a great poem or short story has. A feeling of having come upon a bizarre surreal scene or an overheard conversation between illicit lovers.” A wine and cheese reception for Sykes and artist Nancy Wilson, who is showing drawings (her statement: “We are made of water, we are born of water and by a river’s water, I learned not to be afraid.”), is set for Saturday; the shows run through Feb. 3. LNP


THURSDAY 1/11 Ralphie Roberts takes the stage this week at The Loony Bin, 7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat., $8-$12. The Arkansas Repertory Theatre hosts trivia night at Stone’s Throw Brewing, 6:30 p.m., free. Buh Jones performs for happy hour at Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 p.m., free; a DJ set from G-Force follows at 9 p.m., $5. At The Joint Theater & Coffeehouse, A.J. Marlin hosts a Comedy Bowl competition, 8 p.m., $10. Namazu, Apothecary and Tranquilo share a heavy bill at The Sonic Temple, 4603 E. Broadway. The Rodney Block Collective entertains for “Block, Beer and Bourbon,” a fundraiser for KUARFM, 89.1, and KLRE-FM, 90.5, 7 p.m., Junior League of Little Rock, 401 Scott St., $75-$150.



7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat. through Jan. 27, 2:30 p.m. Sun., Jan. 21 and 7:30 p.m. Thu., Jan. 25. The Weekend Theater. $12-$16.

In retrospect, it’s pretty amazing that a play centered so incisively on someone who’s “famous for being famous” opened back in 1997, presocial media “influencers,” preKardashians, pre-Instagram. Douglas Carter Beane’s ingenue, Alexa Vere de Vere, shares DNA with quasi-fictional predecessors like Truman Capote’s Holly Golightly, and her attempts to craft her own public identity without regard to its truth make “As Bees in Honey Drown” arguably more relevant 20 years later, although were it set in 2018, Vere des Vere could have told her own fabulous fiction via social media instead of hiring a writer to do it for her. The story the play presents, Director Kayla Esmond told the Times last week, is one “everyone can relate to, but it is exceptionally relevant for artists.” Walter Dodd plays the rising literary star Evan Wyler, and Amy Young plays Vere de Vere, the glam socialite conscripting Wyler to write her life story as a screenplay. SS



10 p.m. Four Quarter Bar. $8-$12.

If your New Year’s Eve plans didn’t include Mike Dillon at Four Quarter Bar, here’s your chance to see a formally trained percussionist gone gonzo. Dillon, a beast of a vibraphonist and bandleader, has been getting punk rock with some decidedly un-punk instruments for years — timpani, chimes, timbales. And, with the rotating showcase of percussionists he invites onstage as part of his Pocket Percussion Consortium, he’s dragging the likes of Ween’s Claude Coleman and Clutch’s Jean-Paul Gaster along with him. For this show, he’s invited Jim Loughlin, longtime percussionist for jam gurus Moe, to collaborate and improvise. SS


“UNCERTAIN, BUT UNAFRAID”: A photography show from Joshua Asante and Matt White opens Friday evening, on view for Second Friday Art Night.



5-8 p.m. Downtown galleries. Free.

Musician Joshua Asante and White Water Tavern-owner Matt White are also photographers, and they have collaborated on an exhibition, “Uncertain but Unafraid: Contemporary Portraits of the American South,” opening Friday at the Central Arkansas Library System River Market Books & Gifts (aka the Cox Creative Center, 120 River Market Ave.) for the monthly downtown gallery walk. The show features photographs, mostly portraits, taken in Arkansas and the region. (Later, hit the after-party at White Water where Adam Faucett & The Tall Grass will play.) The Butler Center Galleries (409 President Clinton Ave.) opens “Education in Exile: Student Experience at Rowher,” from its collection of art and artifacts from the WWII Japanese internment camp. The Historic Arkansas Museum (200 E. Third St.) opens two new shows of items made more than 100 years apart: “These Various Threads I Drew” is an exhibition of 19th century needlepoint samplers from the permanent collection and “Going Unnoticed: Dustyn Bork and Carly Dahl” features the work husband-and-wife artists addressing the theme of the overlooked in different media. Water Buffalo Brewing will serve its craft beer and singer/songwriter Rena Wren of Hot Springs will perform. Catch a movie at the Old State House Museum (300 W. Markham St.), which is showing “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” a nice accompaniment to its exhibition “Cabinet of Curiosities,” artifacts from the University of Arkansas Museum. Other participating exhibitors are Gallery 221, Bella Vita, Matt McLeod Fine Art and Gallery and Mariposa Studio. LNP

Trombonist Emanuel “Tiko” Brooks performs at Gigi’s Soul Cafe & Lounge, 10840 Maumelle Blvd., 9 p.m. Howard Hewett, the former lead singer of Shalamar, the R&B trio that brought you “Dancing in the Sheets,” performs at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center as part of the King Holiday Legends Concert Series, 6 p.m., free. Judgmental, Hell Camino and Red Devil Lies keep it heavy at Vino’s, 8 p.m., $8. Len Holton, host of “Albion and Beyond” on KUAR-FM, 89.1, performs at Hibernia Irish Tavern, 8 p.m. It’s the last weekend to catch comedy trio The Main Thing’s run of “A Fertle Holiday” at The Joint, 8 p.m., $24. If you missed Todd Snider’s sold-out show at South on Main last week, catch him at George’s Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville, 9:30 p.m., $25. Jeff Coleman entertains at happy hour at E.J.’s Eats & Drinks, 6 p.m., free. Nexus Coffee & Creative hosts “Pour Over Prose,” an open-mic literary session, 6 p.m., free. The Lovers take the stage at Kings Live Music in Conway, 8:30 p.m., $5, with an opening set from Taylor Nealey. Katmandu performs at Thirst N’ Howl Bar & Grill, 8:30 p.m., $5. The Rodney Block Collective kicks off 2018 with “The One,” a concert at Cajun’s Wharf featuring the trumpeter’s “future house” music with appearances from G-Force and Bijoux, 9 p.m., $15. Mister Morphis plays a happy hour set at Loblolly Creamery, 5 p.m., free. Cantrell Gallery opens “Completely Consolidated Experience: 48 Years in the Making,” new work by gallery artists, with a reception, 6-9 p.m.

SATURDAY 1/13 Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and the Arkansas Educational Television Network screen Raoul Peck’s “I Am Not Your Negro,” based on the writings of James Baldwin, 2 p.m., MTCC, free. The Akeem Kemp Band takes its CONTINUED ON PAGE 25

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BIG ON BACH: Violinist Lisa Shihoten and organist Ken Cowan play a recital at Christ Episcopal Church as guests of the Central Arkansas chapter of the American Guild of Organists.





8 p.m. Christ Episcopal Church. Free.

Between the two of them, violinist Lisa Shihoten and organist Ken Cowan have either studied or taught at nearly every formidable conservatory in the U.S.: Juilliard, Yale, Curtis, Princeton, Westminster College. The couple has made a career as recitalists between their commitments in New York City, playing virtuosic Bach behemoths in some of the finest acoustic spaces in the world, with some Korngold and Saint-Saens thrown in for romance. For this program, they’ll take on Bach’s “Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir,” the “Sinfonia from Cantata No. 29” and Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” — that villainous theme you know from “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” and pretty much every other movie that’s ever wanted to broadcast “This is the bad guy!” to its audience. They’ll also interpret a couple of violin sonatas from Belgian composer Eugene Ysaye; Max Reger’s fantasy on “How Brightly Shines the Morning Star” and an organ version of Wotan’s “Farewell and Magic Fire Music” from Wagner’s “Die Walkure” on this organ, fashioned in 1990 by Little Rock’s own Nichols & Simpson Inc. SS




doing them anyway. Maybe that song felt similarly uplifting to you. Maybe When Katy Perry’s “Firework” you gave up on Katy Perry after came out in 2010, I was making plans watching her sum up her longstanding to take my mother — a lifelong rural feud with Taylor Swift by breaking Arkansan who had never set foot on into “Let It Go” during “Witness a plane — to San Juan, Puerto Rico. World Wide,” an event in which Perry I’ll confess: Sometime between the moved into a house outfitted with inception of the plan and the days cameras everywhere for four days and leading up to takeoff, the empowered live streamed every minute. Maybe anthem (or workout staple, if that’s it’s both. Either way, you’re probably how you roll) sloughed off its guilty in luck with this arena show; recent pleasure, eye roll-inducing qualities setlists run the gamut from “I Kissed and became a sort of theme for the a Girl” to “Teenage Dream” to “Swish trip — a soundtrack for identifying Swish.” Carly Rae Jepsen opens the experiences that scare you a little and show. SS 7:30 p.m. Verizon Arena. $51-$151.


JANUARY 11, 2018


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7 p.m. Center for the Humanities and Arts (CHARTS), Pulaski Technical College. $10-$125.

The brilliance and acclaim of last year’s “Trinity Lane” mean that some of us may have spent spent more time listening to Lilly Hiatt than to her father John, especially that letter from daughter to father, “Imposter.” That first line — “He said, ‘I feel like an imposter/Took me ’til 62 to realize I’m good at what I do’ ” — is a bit difficult to imagine a songwriting sage like Hiatt uttering. After all, he’s been backed by the likes

of Ry Cooder and Nick Lowe, and the songs on 1987’s “Bring the Family” have been covered by Jewel, Bon Jovi, Bill Frisell, Delbert McClinton and Carl Perkins. Hiatt’s a musician’s musician and has been writing in the “Americana” idiom since before we called it that. As for an album to dig into for an introduction or a refresher before this show at Pulaski Tech’s expansive auditorium space, you’ve got 22 records to choose from, but I’ll throw in a vote for the first one I fell in love with after hearing Hiatt at the River Market-era Juanita’s, 2012’s “Mystic Pinball.” SS


HEIST: “Rififi,” the 1955 flick that scored the blacklisted Jules Dassin the award of best director at Cannes, is next up in the Arkansas Times Film Series.



7 p.m. Riverdale 10 Cinema. $9.

“Ocean’s Eleven,” “Bottle Rocket,” “The Usual Suspects?” If you ask Roger Ebert, none of them exist without “Rififi,” made on a shoestring budget in France by a director who was blacklisted from Hollywood during the so-called “Red Scare.” “The modern heist movie,” Ebert said in a 2002 review, “was invented in Paris in 1954 by Jules Dassin,” who “built his film around a 28-minute safecracking sequence that is the father of all later movies in which thieves carry out complicated robberies.” Join us for this, the next film in the Arkansas Times Film Series, hosted in partnership with Film Quotes Films and Riverdale 10 Cinema. SS

solid Conway County blues set to Kings Live Music in Conway, 8:30 p.m., $5, with an opening set from Apartment 208. BiJoux, Dee Dee Jones, Crissy P, Haywood King, Jeron, Tawanna Campbell, Tammie-Jai and more perform at Gigi’s Soul Cafe & Lounge for the “Red and Black Affair,” 8:30 p.m., $20. Bree Ogden celebrates the release of her debut country album, “Untamed,” with a concert at Revolution Taco & Tequila Lounge, 8 p.m., $7. Josh Ward brings “Whitley & Whiskey” and other country singles to the stage at Stickyz Rock ’N’ Roll Chicken Shack, with an opening set from Mike Johnson & Southern Express, 8:30 p.m., $12-$15. Foul Play Cabaret burlesque troupe is “Polished to Demolish” at Maxine’s in Hot Springs, with music from Dazz & Brie, 9 p.m., $12-$15. Museum of Discovery explores the science behind the “Star Wars” franchise, 10 a.m., $8-$10. Billy Jeter celebrates the release of his new album “Songdog Blues,” with a party at Skinny J’s Argenta, 314 N. Main St., 7 p.m., free. “Tommy Terrific’s Wacky Magic Show” entertains children at the Central Arkansas Library System’s Main Library, 10:30 a.m. Greg Madden performs for happy hour at Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 p.m., free, and Canvas performs at 9 p.m., $5. The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas screens Raoul Peck’s portrait of James Baldwin, “I Am Not Your Negro,” 1 p.m., 701 S. Main Street, Pine Bluff, free. Author Jasmine Harris signs copies of her book “I May Have Been In My Feelings” at the Faulkner County Library, Conway, 2 p.m. The Hounds take the stage at Thirst N’ Howl, 8:30 p.m., $5. Dave Miller and Rocktown Revival celebrate the release of a debut album, “Southern Dreams,” at the White Water Tavern, 9 p.m., $7. Dallas psych-rockers Monoculture land at Four Quarter Bar, 10 p.m., $7.

SUNDAY 1/14 Doug Dicharry, the multi-instrumentalist who departed from the Ben Miller Band last year, plays a free show at Four Quarter Bar, 5 p.m. R&B outfit SYNRG performs for Sunday brunch at A Touch of Quality Event Center, 1715 Scott St., noon, $22.



6:30 p.m. Kollective Coffee + Tea, Hot Springs. Free.

If you’re looking for proof positive that poets aren’t as flaky as television makes them out to be, consider this: This weekly open mic and poetry showcase has spent time in 14 different venues over the last 29 years and has not missed a week since it was founded Feb. 1, 1989, according to the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism. It’s currently hosted by its founder, Bud Kenny, and is home to a weekly feature poet, whose 20- to 30-minute set at 7 p.m. is bookended by two open mic sessions open to all ages. SS

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and the Department of Arkansas Heritage coordinate a day of volunteer service in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day at MTCC, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m., register at

TUESDAY 1/16 The American Spiritual Ensemble performs at Arkansas State University’s Fowler Center, Jonesboro, 7:30 p.m. The MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History screens “VA: The Human Cost of War,” 6:30 p.m., free. Follow Rock Candy on Twitter: @RockCandies JANUARY 11, 2018



THURSDAY, JAN. 11, is your last chance to get the city’s best Thai food. After that, kBird will close for a month. The purveyor of authentic Southeast Asian cuisine in Hillcrest, at 600 N. Tyler St., will cut off the curry and pause the papaya salad for an “annual regrouping” until Feb. 12. Owner and cook Richard Glasgow typically uses part of the time to make a trip to Thailand to get inspired. THE OWNERS OF Cantina Cinco de Mayo, at 3 Rahling Circle, have applied for a liquor license for a second location, 521 Center St., the former home of Jerky’s. Juan Valadez, who identifies himself as a mesero (waiter) is the listed applicant. 26

JANUARY 11, 2018



ARKANSAS FRESH BAKERY closed abruptly Friday, leaving many local restaurants scrambling. Since it opened in 2012, the Benton-based commercial bakery labored largely in anonymity. Aside from 2015-16, when owner and head baker Ashton Woodward had Arkansas Fresh Cafe in Bryant, and Arkansas Fresh’s long participation in the Hillcrest Farmers Market, most people probably didn’t realize they were eating Arkansas Fresh Bread when they dined at The Root Cafe, Diamond Bear Brewing Co.’s Ale House or Big Orange. The Arkansas Times wasn’t able to reach Woodward, but he told Rock City Eats, “My family and I decided it was time to close. We love this business, but the wholesale business is not always lucrative.” The end of Arkansas Fresh means an uptick in commercial accounts for the other two big commercial bakers in Central Arkansas, Boulevard Bread Co. and Old Mill Bread. Leila King, co-owner of @ the Corner, which has used Arkansas Fresh bread since opening, said she would get bread from Boulevard at least in the short term. “It’s great bread — and owned by two women!” she said. Sonia Schaefer, who co-owns Boulevard with Christina Basham, said that in addition to @ the Corner, the commercial bakery operation had picked up Diamond Bear, The Pantry and The Root Cafe. It already supplied District Fare, Dugan’s Pub, Brave New Restaurant, Cache, Petit and Keet, Raduno Brick Oven & Barroom, Red Door and Table 28, among others. Schaefer said Boulevard could easily absorb additional commercial clients. Ditto for Old Mill Bread, manager John Graham said. “Come to Old Mill around Christmas” to see how much the bakery can pump out, Graham said. He declined to name any new clients Old Mill had acquired, but said the bakery was doing the best it could to help out former Arkansas Fresh customers.

MEMORY LANES: The Dust Bowl decor hearkens to the past with vintage touches.

Spare time for the Dust Bowl For good food, drink and fun. “Really there are two types of people that go bowling. There are people that really, really love bowling, and then there are the people that are like, ‘Wouldn’t it be hysterical if we went bowling?’ ” —Jim Gaffigan

person crew descended on Dust Bowl to topple some pins and crush some dinner after. Dust Bowl shimmers with a 1970s-’80s vibe both in the decor (lots of paneling and brown/burnt orange) and on the playlist (happily heavy on magine what would happen if you the funk). We’d wisely acted on a tip to tried to do something nerdy, only call ahead for a lane reservation — with ironically, but then accidentally only six public lanes and two lanes in the had fun? VIP room for parties, the place tends to That could happen at downtown fill up quickly. Lanes are generally $20 Little Rock’s new Dust Bowl Lanes an hour, but go for $30 an hour after 4 & Lounge, a compact eight-lane p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, plus $3.50 bowling alley, bar and surprisingly for shoe rental. good restaurant, Dust Bowl. On a With only six non-VIP room lanes, chilly Saturday afternoon, our six- the bowling area is cozy rather than


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spacious, so expect to get to know your neighbors in the next lane. You’ll also get to know your server well — ours did a fine job of keeping drinks coming while we did our dead-level best to keep all the bowling gutters full and our scores in the double digits. Bowling alleys are not often known for their fare, but be assured: Dust Bowl is well-past an alley’s usual “snack bar” status. The menu featured 25 beers to choose from, ranging from the humble Pabst Blue Ribbon to a solid selection of local craft beers and regional favorites, along with eight signature cocktails. Our vodka drinkers were keen on the citrusy Trackflare (with a base of Clementineinfused vodka) and the “Ice and Rug” (pomegranate-infused vodka and ginger beer). Dust Bowl also plans to soon offer three larger Punch Bowl drinks, which will serve from 4 to 8. When it comes to the food, Dust Bowl isn’t playing around. We tried a selection of delicious-sounding options, but the overwhelming favorite at our table were the “Totchos” — think nachos


Check out the Times’ food blog, Eat Arkansas BRIAN CHILSON

Little Rock’s Most Award-Winning Restaurant 1619 REBSAMEN RD. 501.663.9734

serving better than bar food all night long January

ALLEY FOOD: The Totchos (pork, potatoes and beans) are just one of Dust Bowl’s betterthan-bar-food items.

with tater tots taking the place of corn chips and topped with delicious pulled pork, refried beans, cheese and chipotle aioli. It’s offered as an appetizer, but could easily be a meal in itself. Other highlights included the Jumbo Onion Burger, made with a patty that’s 50-50 beef and onion; a spicy “hot chicken” sandwich that disappeared almost instantly; a flavorful and satisfying Veggie Gyro; and an extraspicy bacon cheeseburger that was 10 times more spicy than anticipated. The only so-so item we encountered was the Beet Hummus appetizer. Served with kettle chips, carrots and cucumber, the hummus appeared to be essentially just ground beets. The addition of some spices could easily turn this appetizer around. The kitchen is still working out some opening kinks and waiting for several menu items to be available. I’m looking forward to trying the Duck Fat Fries on a return visit, as well as what looks to be a solid selection of milkshake flavors — including the standards, plus offerings like Salted Butterscotch, Caramel Butter Pecan, White Chocolate Raspberry and an Extreme Shake with added caramel, hot chocolate, whipped cream, sprinkles and a house-made cookie. Also opening soon: a small karaoke room big enough for 15 people or so. One word of caution for those used to normal bowling alley prices: Dust Bowl

12 - Mike Dillon’s Pocket Percussion Consortium featuring Jim Loughlin of moe. 13 - Monoculture 14 - Dance Monkey Dance (free show - 6pm) 19 - The Matt Spinks Trio 20 - Alan Jackson after party w/ The Salty Dogs 26 - Low Society Blues Band 27 - OpalAgafia and the Sweet Nothings

Dust Bowl Lanes & Lounge 315 E. Capitol Ave. 501-353-0775 Quick bite

The VIP room’s two lanes can accommodate 16 to 20 bowlers and costs $100 an hour (two-hour minimum) and includes shoe rental. No one under 21 is allowed in after 8 p.m.

Open until 2am every night!


4 p.m.-2 a.m. weekdays, noon to 2 a.m. Saturday, noon to midnight Sunday.

Other info

Full bar. Credit cards accepted.

is a bit dear, comparatively. Keep an eye on your allotted time in the lanes — we’d reserved an hour, spilled over several minutes to finish the game, and got charged for an extra half-hour. Drinks and food are delicious here, but don’t be expecting a fast-food-sized check at the end of the night. Dust Bowl Lanes & Lounge is a welcome and fun addition to the downtown Little Rock scene, both for its sporty activity and its upscale food and drink offerings that are far more oriented toward lounge than lanes. Once it gets over the opening bumps, we predict that Dust Bowl will fast become a local favorite for the latenight crowd. Lace ’em up!

415 Main St North Little Rock • (501) 313-4704 •


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APPOINTMENT ONLY! • Call or text 501-952-5735 or email JANUARY 11, 2018



GOING MICRO: Hong Chau and Matt Damon star in Alexander Payne’s exercise in deflation, “Downsizing.”

‘Downsizing’ dwindles

new one, and setting up the big world vs. small world metaphor, that the comparison falls flat. It doesn’t help that Damon’s loser doesn’t have any gravity to him — he’s a Joe, but not quite Average Joe enough Alexander Payne’s conceit goes big, falls flat. for us to care about. At its best, when the characters are dealing with life’s BY JACOB ROSENBERG mundanity and cruelty in a shrunken but unchanged world, the film is about wanting too much from life. tried to see “Downsizing” — a movie about reduces himself — not for the good of the world, but to At its worst, “Downsizing” is a case of a director who solving overpopulation/mass human waste by get more equity on his and his wife’s meager middle- wants too much from his film. the shrinking of people to 5 inches tall — and failed class savings (classic Payne twist). The solution to Safranek’s problems, and the because of an overpopulated ticket line clogged with Here’s the big conceit, it seems, that Payne’s always twist that breaks the film, is the second-half plotline dating teens that stretched almost to the pretzel shop wanted. A giant metaphor to highlight the way that revolving around a Vietnamese dissident Ngoc Lan near the double-door entrance of McCain Mall and modern American living (or, if you’re into this way of Tran (played admirably, despite a role calling for a nearly parallel to the Sears store. By 7:20 p.m., I was thinking, “capitalism”) has made human connection potentially offensive accent, by Hong Chau), who still in line, alone, for a 7 p.m. showing, watching the difficult. And made all of us, literally, small. teaches Paul to care about other people. teens snapchat. I gave up. I did not see it until 10:25 But the conceit just ends up getting in Payne’s way. If that solution feels rushed, well, it is. Our best art, p.m. that night, with one other person in the theater. Thirty minutes in, when it looks like Damon and his and Payne’s best work, makes cliché messages take I figured this would be a decent allegory for wife, Audrey (Kristen Wiig), will be spending the next on resonance. Jordan Peele’s “Get Out,” for example, whatever was to come. A good example of how an two hours interacting with nouveau-riche suburbanites connects with audiences not because the idea of overpopulated planet is tilting us toward doomsday (like a polo-shirt-wearing Jason Sudeikis) in a small- racism causing fear is a new one, but that the audience (as in, we all die from the planet heating up), but also person development called “Leisureland,” you hope feels that fear. Payne’s message in “Downsizing” is just banal and annoying (as in, it’s hard to get a parking for a plot twist. It happens, but it’s a good idea that downright motionless. spot). should’ve been cut, the perfect line the writer must The message is still important, though, if only Indeed, that was the promise of “Downsizing,” begrudgingly throw out. because takes on two ideas directly: 1) that a human the latest Alexander Payne project. Its trailers have The fun montage of Matt Damon being shrunk — apocalypse matters and, 2) that finding meaning in life projected the movie as a combination of the humanistic which works both in the film and in the larger “that’d means looking inward. Payne, I think rightly, tells us director’s witty impulses with a perfect sci-fi hook. be nice in real life” feeling — is an outlier. Most times, that meaning comes from caring for other people. If A Norwegian doctor invents miniaturization — an adventuring around the small world with Safranek is all humanity went extinct, after all, it wouldn’t really ecological magic bullet for our doomed world — and a burden in learning all the semi-interesting ways the be sad unless there was one lonely person left to miss we follow Matt Damon as Paul Safranek, a Midwestern injustices of the big world are reflected in this small us. That lesson is more crucial now than ever, but white male occupational therapist dissatisfied one. Payne’s past works — “Election,” “Nebraska” and Payne’s work fails to punch your heart with it. Instead, with his life (classic Payne lead) with a constantly “The Descendants” — delved deeper into a world we all you think: “Yep, that’s true” and also “I kind of hate mispronounced last name (classic Payne humor), who knew. But Payne spends so much time introducing this Matt Damon.”



JANUARY 11, 2018


UPCOMING EVENTS The Studio Theatre


11-14 18-21

Glengarry Glen Ross

Performed by Precipice Theatre

Four Quarter Bar Mike Dillon’s Pocket Percussion Consortium feat. Jim Loughlin of moe.


12 JAN

The Weekend Theater As Bees in Honey Drown

12-13 19-21 25-27

CALS Ron Robinson Theater 2018 Central Arkansas Music Awards



An Arkansas Times & CALS Event

Old Chicago Conway



Old Chicago Charity Brewers Dinner CALS Ron Robinson Theater I Am Emily Doe



Sponsored by the Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault


van Wyler captures the attention of Alexa Vere de Vere, a black-clad woman of mystery who has made the work of celebrity her home. Maybe she’s a record producer, maybe she’s a film agent, what is clear is that she wants Evan to write the screenplay of her life story. Evan discovers a chain of people who have fallen under her spell and acted as her meal ticket. JANUARY 12, 13, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 2018 $16-ADULTS • $12-STUDENTS & SENIORS THURSDAY, FRIDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT CURTAIN TIME IS 7:30 PM. SUNDAY AFTERNOON CURTAIN TIME IS 2:30 PM.

Please arrive promptly. There will be no late admission. The House opens 30 minutes prior to curtain. Box office opens one hour before curtain time. For more information contact us at 501.374.3761 or OUR 25TH SEASON IS SPONSORED BY PIANO KRAFT to purchase tickets and flex passes.

1001 W. 7th St. • Little Rock, AR 72201 • 501-374-3761


The Weekend Theater



Carnival Cabaret


8-11 16-18

The Studio Theatre Breakfast at Tiffany’s


Barkus on Main DLRP


presented by


A Mardi Gras Parade of Pet Proportion The Studio Theatre



Pet Parade, Live Music, Beer Garden, Hurricane Station, Gumbo, and a Crawfish Boil! A free family friendly event!

Sunday, February 11, Noon – 5 pm

FTW - Family Theatre Workshop

Go to to purchase these tickets and more! 300 Block of Main Street • Parade begins at 2:30 PM at 7th & Main

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Arkansas Times new local ticketing site! If you’re a non-profit, freestanding venue or business selling tickets thru eventbrite or another national seller – call us 501.492.3994 – we’re local, independent and offer a marketing package!

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Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute

This March, the Arkansas Times will put out the 37th edition of our Readers Choice restaurant awards. That makes us the oldest and most respected readers survey in Arkansas. Walk in many restaurants around the state and you’ll see our posters on the walls. Be a part of the tradition: Vote online for your favorite chefs and restaurants in dozens of different categories. Winners will be announced in the March 15 issue and an awards celebration sponsored by Ben E. Keith Foods, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, Glazer’s Beer & Beverage will be held at the UA Pulaski Tech Culinary Arts and Hospitality Institute who will prepare all the food for the celebration March 13.




A beer & bourbon tasting to benefit UA Little Rock Public Radio featuring entertainment from The Rodney Block Collective

Thursday, January 11th, 2018 Junior League of Little Rock SUPPORTIN G SPONSORS:


NOVEMBER 23, 2017




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Roger Armbrust Book Signing January 20 from 6-9 p.m. Boswell Mourot Fine Art 5815 Kavanaugh Blvd. Little Rock, 72207 501.664.0030

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Sue Cato Gennings Book Signing January 20 from 1-2:30 p.m. Wordsworth Books 5920 R St. Little Rock, 72207 501.663.9198

Little Rock Water Reclamation Authority is seeking a Buyer. This position is responsible for processing the procurement of products. The Arkansas procurement laws and regulations govern the activities of this position.  Minimum 2 years’ experience in business related practices; procurement experience preferred. Position closes January 26, 2018 Apply online at Equal Opportunity Employer • 501-681-5855

Parkhurs t CelebrBartoethers Arkansas Talent! JANUARY 11, 2018


A Ceremony of Recognition



ADAM FAUCETT Limited tickets available



Nominees selected by the public, winners selected by an esteemed board. 32

JANUARY 11, 2018


Arkansas Times - January 11, 2018  

Youth Unbound - How Northwest Arkansas learned to stop incarcerating juvenile offenders and embrace reform. By Benjamin Hardy - Arkansas Non...

Arkansas Times - January 11, 2018  

Youth Unbound - How Northwest Arkansas learned to stop incarcerating juvenile offenders and embrace reform. By Benjamin Hardy - Arkansas Non...