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With issues of race and governance splitting the community, Little Rock school advocates make their case FOR and AGAINST the May 9 bond election

P LU S 30th Annual Eureka Springs May Festival of the Arts

CELEBRATE Cinco De Mayo with 20 of the best TACO restaurants in town!!!

On the heels of the (sold out) Arkansas Times Don Julio Tequila Margarita Festival on May 4th, we want to take the celebration to 20 restaurants in Central Arkansas. Stay tuned to the May 4 issue to see all the participants. Restaurants - if you think you have the best tacos outside of Mexico — call us to participate.

Five Commandments for Cinco De Mayo Arkansas Times readers: 1. Specials are good lunch or dinner, but get to the restaurant early – they will run out. 2. There will be a wait, we’ve been promoting this Taco week for over a month 3. Tip generously, you’re getting a great deal so show your appreciation to the server. 4. Buy a beverage, preferably the special or go for a good ole’ cold beer. 5. The week will fly by, stay updated with, Eat Arkansas, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and post about your experiences.

For more information contact or 501.492.3994 • 201 E. MARKHAM, SUITE 200 • LITTLE ROCK, AR 72203 • (501) 375-2985 2

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VOLUME 43, NUMBER 33 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 $42 for one year, $74 for two years. Subscriptions outside Arkansas are $49 for one year, $88 for two years. Foreign (including Canadian) subscriptions are $168 a year. For subscriber service call (501) 375-2985. Current 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.


UA-PTC advisors, financial aid officers and program representatives will all be in one place where you can get all the information you need to start college this summer or fall. • Talk to UA-PTC advisors • Tour the college • Talk to faculty from academic divisions • Learn about financial aid options and scholarships • Get help on-site completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) • Meet current students in Student Organizations • Connect with Programs such as Veterans Upward Bound, Career Pathways, TriO Scholars and STEM Success • Learn about Early College dual/concurrent classes for high school juniors and seniors





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From the web In response to an Arkansas Blog post reporting that Sen. Trent Garner (R-El Dorado) would not attempt to override Governor Hutchinson’s veto of Garner’s bill to criminalize “mass picketing”: Garner’s got so many anger issues, I’m surprised he could speak. Next year he’ll be armed and won’t have to speak. JJ In response to an Arkansas Blog post reporting that the U.S. Supreme Court denied the state’s motion to lift the state Supreme Court’s stay on the execution of Don Davis: Cato earlier posted that the victims’ families were not being remembered properly. I don’t see how you can say that for Gov. Asa [Governor Hutchinson] and Ms. Leslie [Attorney General Leslie Rutledge]. From their remarks, you would think that the death penalty’s entire existence is to bring “justice” to the victims’ families. Does life in prison without the possibility of parole not bring “justice”? Is it the responsibility of the state to bring “justice” to families? Or bring “justice” to society? I would never claim that any of these murderers is innocent. But neither are we if we have to kill them to find “justice.” Perplexed Do y’all think that an execution would be a panty-flinging occasion for Miz Rutledge? It seems that the final flutter of the condemned’s eyelids might make her eyes roll back in her head and she might not be able to control herself. Rutrow

In response to the Arkansas Blog’s videotape of the angry anonymous man in the red Trump T-shirt excoriating efforts to block the executions scheduled by Governor Hutchinson: Is there anyone out there who feels comfortable with this guy being able to carry a concealed weapon? Mountain girl In response to the Town Hall event held by Sen. Tom Cotton and Rep. French Hill streamed on the Arkansas Blog on Monday: Thank you, David Ramsey, Jake and Carol for your take on this BS town hall event. Mag and I could only watch about 10 minutes of it, so we missed the part where French Hill sat on Tom Cotton’s 4

APRIL 20, 2017


leg like the dummy Charlie McCarthy of old … . I’m hard to make mad, but nothing makes me see red like the lying, condescending Republican assholes our dumber brethren & sisteren voted into office. I’ve made it almost 62 years without socking an elected politician but I’m not so sure I could keep my cool in a room with people like Cotton, Hill ...


hell, anyone with an (R) behind their names in these insane times. If one only looks at the videos of Arkansas town hall events, it would seem we can beat these paid tools for the 1 percent in the next election if we’d all just get out and vote. But I know very well that nearly all of my close personal friends are like icebergs … their ugly parts are beneath the water. Such nice

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BIG crowd. Several people (on my liberal side of the isle) were so disruptive that it was impossible to hear some questions and answers. Not productive. Cotton is good at this.  He only squared his shoulders and all but raised his fist (finger) twice. Once to essentially say that if we don’t like the way he votes, we can find someone else to do the job. The other time was to say that he met with Governor Hutchinson this morning and told him he fully supports the planned executions.  I loved his explanation of his vote against the Violence Against Women Act. He objected because there would be confusion about jurisdiction on Indian Territories. Lots of disgruntlement in the crowd over that one. Carol D. Nokes In response to the April 6 article about chronic wasting disease in Arkansas’s elk and deer populations:

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people, hiding a really ugly side. Anyway, ladies and germs, we’re in the fight of our life and our children and grandchildren’s lives, too. Our real enemies are the people standing on that stage pictured above. They will strip us bare in the next four years and if we don’t stop the Red Team from coast to coast they might misrule over our nation forever! I thought Bush and Cheney were awful and they were, but they were light years better than the Trump Crime Family and Asa’s ship of fools. I want to thank all the people who took time out of their busy day to go attempt to change the minds of the Unchangeable. I think I know now why our ancestors took rotted fruit, spoiled eggs and tar and feathers with them when they attended political rallies back before cable TV was invented. Resist! Or face the darkest future we’ve had to face since the Civil War. Death by inches

Game and Fish and the U.S. Forest Service are responsible for the chronic wasting in our state by introducing elk and managing the entire ecosystem based on animals they can profit off of. They first said it wouldn’t get into deer even though many people told them it would. They’ll say it can’t transfer to humans until ... . We probably need to kill off 90 percent of the deer in the Ozarks before it spreads and get rid of their drive-through hunting elk scheme. Also hope we can hold AG&F responsible when people start getting prionrelated disorders. Thom Roberts

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Poetry, fiction and memoir readings, live in the big room at Stickyz Rock-N-Roll Chicken Shack.

Hosted by seth barl : o SATURDAY w , April 29 7-9 pm AT



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Tweet of the week “Why do we kill people to show that killing people is wrong? @AsaHutchinson @AGRutlege” — Sister Helen Prejean (@helenprejean), the Catholic nun, author of “Dead Man Walking” and anti-death penalty activist, took to Twitter on Easter weekend to criticize Governor Hutchinson, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton.

Quote of the week “I’m with Trump.” — U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, responding to a critical question on the Trump administration’s push to increase military spending by $54 billion. Pressed on Republicans’ desire to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a plan that covers fewer people and conditions, Womack seemed to suggest that some people have problems because they don’t work.

Hill and Cotton do Little Rock U.S. Rep. French Hill and Sen. Tom Cotton finally faced their Central Arkansas constituency on Monday with a town hall at a West Little Rock hotel, perhaps hoping that holding the event at 2 p.m. on a workday the day after Easter would keep the Resistance at bay, or at least pack the audience with retired oldsters who tend to lean Trump. Such was not the case, however, with over 700 people 6

APRIL 20, 2017


showing up by Cotton’s estimate, and the crowd trending heavily blue, based on response. Though there was a vocal pro-Trump wing to the crowd, Hill and Cotton got waylaid on a number of hot-button subjects, including Trump’s Great Wall, military spending, Russian hacking, the potential repeal of the Johnson Amendment that keeps churches from becoming Holy Rolling Super PACs, student loan debt, and, as one questioner put it, “What are you going to do to try and control our crazy president?” Hill seemed a bit rattled by it all, but it’s old hat by now to Cotton, who stressed that if people don’t like the job he’s doing, they can vote him out. With video of Cotton getting massively booed for defending Trump’s decision to not release his taxes going viral online soon after the event, he ought to be careful what he wishes for, because he and Hill just might get it.

Hastings loses civil suit A federal jury awarded $415,000 in damages in the civil lawsuit against

Josh Hastings, a former Little Rock police officer, in the 2012 slaying of Bobby Moore, a suspect in car burglaries at a West Little Rock apartment complex. Two trials of Hastings for manslaughter ended in hung juries. He has said he fired on a car that was about to run him down. Other witnesses and a police investigation said the car was backing up. The civil suit was filed by Moore’s mother, Sylvia Perkins. Little Rock and its police chief were ruled immune from suit by Judge Brian Miller, though attorneys for Perkins have said they will appeal that ruling.

Texas wins again The winner of the largest jackpot in the history of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery is a Texan. Eliberto Cantu, 71, of Lubbock, claimed his $177 million lottery win on Monday after purchasing the winning Mega Millions ticket on March 30 in Stuttgart. Cantu was working a construction job near Hazen. Cantu said he plans to do some traveling with his family,

as well as working on rebuilding his home church and sister church.

Mass picketing bill likely to die State Sen. Trent Garner (R-El Dorado) said this week he would not attempt to override Governor Hutchinson’s veto of his bill that would have criminalized some forms of protest. Garner’s bill would have made “unlawful mass picketing” a Class A misdemeanor, with penalties of up to a year in jail and a fine of $2,500. Picketing was defined so broadly that it was hard to see the bill as anything other than an assault on the First Amendment, part of a national trend of Republican lawmakers attempting to tamp down political demonstrations and protests in the wake of the election of President Trump. The governor vetoed the bill earlier this month, calling it “overbroad, vague and will have the effect of restricting free speech and the right to assemble.”




ppearances count. I was struck by a single sentence over the weekend in a full page of coverage in The New York Times devoted to the killing spree in Arkansas, beginning with a frontpage account of the recent flurry of legal filings on pending executions and continuing inside with an interview with Damien Echols, the former death row inmate. The sentence: “The crush of state-sponsored killings has reignited a national debate over capital punishment at a time of confusing crosscurrents in the United States, with President Trump, who has expressed support for the death penalty, ascending to the White House even as executions fell to a 25-year low last year, and polls showing pub-

lic support for it at its lowest level in decades.” Yes, the “crush of state-sponsored killings” MAX brought world BRANTLEY media to Arkansas’s door. And our rush to kill people unwittingly helped the cause of those who oppose capital punishment. Governor Hutchinson set a schedule over 240 hours (10 days on the clock) beginning at 7 p.m. April 17 and continuing through a double-header beginning at 7 p.m. April 27 (11 calendar days) to kill eight men. He didn’t want the state to be inconvenienced further by expiration dates in its illicit, street-corner-junkie style hunt for

Forward after Obamacare


he goal of an exclusive freemarket system has a long history, starting with Democratic President Grover Cleveland, who proclaimed, “Though the people support the government, the government should not support the people.” When the Panic of 1893 hit and Coxey’s Army of the unemployed marched on Washington asking for work, Cleveland did nothing. But he did use the Army to break the Pullman Car workers’ strike. Republican Herbert Hoover during the Great Depression saved corporations (Reconstruction Finance Corp.), but not people. He used the Army against World War I veterans seeking their promised bonus. While Hoover would feed starving mules in Arkansas during the Great Drought, he would not feed people. These two historical comparisons fit neatly into present conditions, so it is not surprising that Republicans want to expand military spending. Enter the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. If Republicans are going to make repeal work, as they off and on plan to do, one essential item has been left out. The Hospital Survey and Construction Act of 1946 (Hill-Burton) provided federal aid to hospitals, but

if they took the MICHAEL DOUGAN money they had to accept and treat anyone who could not pay. As result, before the adoption of Obamacare, which provided relief to hospitals and clinics, 673 rural hospitals were in danger of closing because of their unreimbursed care. In states that, unlike Arkansas, refused Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid to poor adults, community hospitals are shutting down. Absent Obamacare, we will be in the same boat. What will be needed to save our hospitals is to give them the freedom of the marketplace to reject persons without insurance or else demand full payment in advance. This should present no problem in Arkansas, where evangelicals make up 44 percent of Arkansas Protestants. Many of them espouse the prosperity gospel, which holds that money is God’s reward for the truly saved. The poor are not deserving in God’s eyes. When we marry the prosperity gospel with faith healing, it reads this way: Evangelicals don’t need insurance. As many Christians held in the past, insurance is sinfully betting against God. The final element in the new Republican plan to replace Obamacare is that

killing drugs. This sent it to improbable and dubious and unauthorized suppliers, conveniently kept secret by complicit legislators. No respectable drug manufacturer or supplier wants anything to do with supplying drugs intended to prolong life as instruments of death. The state lied repeatedly in at least one case to get its fix of killing dope. Had Hutchinson strung the deaths out over four to six months, they’d have proceeded with the usual lastminute legal wrangling, the occasional hiccup and, likely, a slow and measured resumption of the death penalty in Arkansas. (That is, presuming the use of the controversial sedative midazolam didn’t go awry as it has in other states.) The Arkansas death news would have been a few

older Americans will be priced out of the insurance market. So, as millions of Americans go without care and cannot afford maliciously manipulated drug prices, medical costs will go down. The Republican Party must be held to its ideologically rigid base. That is why it also is essential that there never be another farm bill. If people have no right to health insurance, there should be no crop insurance, either. And when the farm bill goes down, so does SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. If people won’t or can’t work, it’s their fault. If their children go hungry, it is only proof of how much God hates them. Arkansas is tied to Mississippi with 19.2 percent of the population experiencing food insecurity, and it leads the nation in insecurity among seniors. Progressives and liberals see these as problems, but the Republican government’s way to deal with the problem is by carrying guns to school and the Capitol, by having many more executions, by erecting a monument to a foreign legal system and, finally, by stamping out abortion and birth control. But more remains to be done. All I heard growing up was how Social Security was communism. It needs to go, too. The solution is simple: The government will repay those who have paid in but not received benefits. For those who have received more than they paid in, the government will send them a bill, and if it is not paid before they die the government will seize their estates and

paragraphs in AP roundups around the world. Instead, we have a circus. It’s of little political consequence in Arkansas. It probably even helps Hutchinson with the pro-death majority. I hope, however, that all those who support the death penalty aren’t as bloodthirsty as those who dominate Facebook threads on the executions or the Twitter posts of Republican legislators. Advocates of the U.S. Constitution, particularly the 8th Amendment, they are not. Many volunteered to serve on firing squads and bring their own rifles and ammo. I’d like to see one of those PR studies on the amount of free media Hutchinson’s Executionpalooza generated for Arkansas, much as cable TV fascination with President Trump powered his ascendancy to the presidency. You tell me: plus or minus for Arkansas?

collect from their families as necessary. As Justice Antonin Scalia said, “the rule of law is the law of rules.” Great benefits will accrue once these changes take effect. Arkansas ranks sixth in the nation in the diabetes epidemic. By ending food assistance for the aged, poor adults and schoolchildren, the poor will have trouble buying the junk foods and sodas on which they too often rely. Diabetes rates will decline. The mortality rates might rise, but one Arkansas governor dismissed the poor anyway as not worth the cost of a bullet. As we make America really great again, we can learn from the past how to give poor people what they deserve. Every Arkansas county once had a poor house, often rural enough to be called a poor farm. There the indigent were stripped of even wedding rings and, where possible, made to grow their own food. Their bodies were dumped unmarked into paupers’ cemeteries. All this is not surreal. When I was growing up in Neosho, Mo., we had a small private hospital. An elder citizen was found beaten and robbed, but because no one recognized him and there was no assurance he could pay for his care, the local hospital refused to treat him. He died en route to the Cardwell Osteopathic Hospital in Stella. Michael B. Dougan is distinguished professor of history emeritus at Arkansas State University and author of Arkansas Odyssey, a definitive history of Arkansas.

Follow Arkansas Blog on Twitter: @ArkansasBlog APRIL 20, 2017



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PARTY WITH A HEART Girls’ Night Out Dance Party

Saturday, April 29, 2017, 8:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.

Cocktail Attire, Argenta Community Theatre in downtown NLR $60.00 (includes full bar and food)

Limited tickets available. Buy now!


Proceeds benefit our annual nonprofit partner, Literacy Action of Central Arkansas

For more information, email us @ Thank you to our sponsors! Arvest Bank, Arkansas Times, Ben E. Keith Foods, The Property Group, E.Leigh’s, Bailey Family Foundation, Inviting Arkansas, Legacy Termite & Pest Control, MADDOX, Kiewit Infrastructure, 107 Liquor, Allegra Marketing 8

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Art bull


od, I hate art,” my late friend The Doctor used to say. The man had his reasons, and he was only half-kidding. The Doctor’s first wife had been an artist, and an argumentative one at that. As my friend was also inclined to be rather firm in his opinions, marital debate had a tendency to become spirited. Once a woman had played the art card, he’d complain, a man absolutely couldn’t win. To persevere rendered him a cad, a bully and an oaf of deficient sensibility. Particularly when she’d started the fight to begin with. I was reminded of The Doctor during the recent absurd public controversy over the “Charging Bull” vs. “Fearless Girl” in the New York financial district. Absurd because as in virtually all disputes about public art, inherently subjective differences of opinion led many combatants to become dogmatic and contemptuous toward persons holding different views. “What mighty contests,” Alexander Pope wrote, “rise from trivial things.” The whole thing started last month of the eve of International Women’s Day, when a statue of a little girl appeared in the New York financial district, boldly confronting a 6-ton bronze bull long seen as a global symbol of Wall Street. Hands on her hips, skirt blowing in the wind, the child seems to be staring the bull down — exactly as her creator, sculptor Kristen Visbal, intended. Commissioned as an advertising gimmick by State Street Global Advisors, the Boston-based investment giant, and its New York advertising firm, the “Fearless Girl” statue supposedly symbolizes “girl power.” A plaque at the child’s feet reads: “Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference.” “What this girl represents is the present, but also the future,” a State Street representative told The New York Times. “She’s not angry at the bull — she’s confident, she knows what she’s capable of, and she’s wanting the bull to take note.” Yeah, well at the expense of being a literal-minded bumpkin personally acquainted with a number of actual bulls, let me say this: Bulls do not take note of little girls, big girls nor even Donald Trump. While cattle can be outwitted by people who understand their behavior, you absolutely can’t stare them down or outrun them. We used to own a Simmental bull named Bernie that my wife — aptly deemed a “bold child” by nuns at the

approximate age of “Fearless Girl” — would feed apple slices out of her hand. (Over the fence only.) He GENE was a calm, easyLYONS going fellow that weighed around 2,300 pounds and had big horns. One afternoon when Bernie thought I was being too slow bringing his feed bucket, he slipped up behind me, lifted me effortlessly off the ground, carried me about six feet to the trough and carefully set me down. I never turned my back on the big rascal again. It follows that in the artistic scenario as depicted, the child is capable of nothing. What “Fearless Girl” symbolizes to me is an act of sheer folly. Somebody needs to sculpt an electrified barbedwire fence before the kid gets trampled. Nothing against women, even Wall Street women, but the deep message of female empowerment is lost on me. I can sympathize somewhat with Arturo Di Modica, the Italian sculptor who says that the intended meaning of his (to me quite striking) bull statue — “freedom, peace, strength, power and love” — has been irrevocably lost by what he sees as an act of esthetic vandalism. Alleging copyright infringement, he has asked the city of New York to move the smaller statue somewhere away from his work. Mayor Bill de Blasio has instead extended its city permit for a year, tweeting somewhat churlishly that “Men who don’t like women taking up space are exactly why we need the ‘Fearless Girl.’ ” I’m guessing de Blasio, a canny politician, may have glanced at the comment lines in local newspapers, where the debate quickly degenerated into what New York Post columnist Andrea Peyser aptly described as “a kind of feminist Rorschach test.” Scores of posters assailed the sculptor for the intolerable offense of being a man, and an old man at that. One went all Bernie Sanders on the poor guy: “Whatever Mr. Di Modica meant the Bull to mean 30 years ago, today it stands as a symbol of the corruption, greed and implacable immensity of a destructive financial sector … . The Bull now represents something that is fundamentally evil. The Girl is a response to that, a necessary response and counter.” Actually, it’s more on the order of a successful publicity stunt: a three-dimensional cartoon.

Remembering Elaine


few years back, I wrote of the need for the Little Rock community to appropriately remember the brutal 1927 lynching of John Carter with a physical marker to educate current and future residents of the race-based violence in our past. Carter’s lynching — the last known to have occurred in Little Rock — was once again noted in “Dream Land,” the outstanding documentary on race in the state’s capital city that recently aired on AETN. Still, no physical marker is yet present at Ninth and Broadway, the site of Carter’s brutalization, which has haunted the Little Rock African-American community for decades. As horrific as Carter’s vigilante attack was, an even more expansive assault on the state’s African-American community occurred in the East Arkansas community of Elaine a few years before. Elaine’s 1919 race massacre marked, probably, the deadliest event of racial violence in U.S. history. In that Phillips County community, rumors began to spread that a number of white plantation owners were being targeted for killing as part of sharecropper union organizing efforts. After gunplay at a union organizing meeting, dozens of whites were deputized by the Phillips County sheriff to put down the imagined uprising; whites began to arrive from surrounding communities to assist. An appeal was made to Gov. Charles Brough for support and he asked Washington to allow him to direct federal troops to the scene (skipping the typical first step of activating the Arkansas National Guard). Evidence suggests that some African-Americans were killed by the federal troops, but that number remains unclear. The exact number of the total killed across the days of the massacre similarly remains imprecise but likely is more than 200 African Americans and five whites. At the scene, Brough worked with local elites to develop a plan to prosecute several dozen African Americans for the violence in hopes of avoiding a mass lynching and to return some semblance of peace to Phillips County. Immediately, a dozen blacks involved with the union were identified by prosecutors and were quickly tried and sentenced to death. To their defense came Scipio Africanus Jones, the Little Rock-based

African-American attorney. As six of the 12 neared electrocution at the state penitentiary, Jones threw JAY a legal Hail Mary BARTH and the cases were accepted for review by the U.S. Supreme Court. There, in Moore v. Dempsey (1923), a majority on the court led by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes agreed with the NAACP’s arguments and significantly expanded the meaning of the 14th Amendment’s due process clause, setting the stage for further expansions of individual rights in the decades to come. As Grif Stockley’s excellent book “Blood in Their Eyes: The Elaine Race Massacres of 1919” shows, the exact scope of the massacre at Elaine remains unclear; indeed, everything about Elaine — including the exact role of the state government in the violence — remains fuzzy. As we move toward the 100th anniversary of the massacre, it’s time for the state of Arkansas to help bring clarity to the events at Elaine, to grapple fully with their short- and long-term impact on the state’s black citizens, and to determine appropriate ways to acknowledge the race-based violence in Arkansas’s past. Such a move has clear precedent to our west. As the 75th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Riots that destroyed the affluent black Greenwood neighborhood in 1921 approached, a bipartisan effort created the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. That entity thoroughly documented what happened during that Memorial Day weekend riot and its cost to human life and property (hundreds of blackowned businesses were destroyed or damaged). It concluded by recommending actions that the state of Oklahoma should take to partially compensate for state and local governments’ role in the events, including payments to the riots’ survivors and their decedents, creation of a special economic development zone in the Greenwood area and a memorial where remains of the victims could be reburied. While not all those recommendations came to pass, the state commission did bring about both reconciliation through acknowledgement of the state’s past sins and ongoing education about those important events.


In the Spirit 2 SUNDAY, APRIL 23, 3 PM MONDAY, APRIL 24, 7 PM THURSDAY, APRIL 27, 7 PM

All performances are free and open to the public. Second Presbyterian Church, 600 Pleasant Valley Drive Little Rock, AR 72227 501.377.1080 |


This year’s Wild Wines kicks off with an expanded VIP Reserve Room event at the Zoo on Friday, May 5, featuring high-end wine and food. On Saturday, May 6, the festivities continue at War Memorial Stadium with the Wild Wines Grand Tasting the public has grown to love, featuring more than 150 selections of wine and beverage samples carefully paired with delectable food provided by more than 50 of the best restaurants in Little Rock.

The Natural State’s Food & Wine Fest BEVERAGE SPONSOR

For more info & tickets, visit: APRIL 20, 2017


Not justice

T .

A celebration of Spring on the grounds of St. Joseph Center at 6800 Camp Robinson Road in North Little Rock Friday, May 12th 6pm-9pm Hors d’oeuvres prepared by

Chef Matt Bell of South on Main and booksigning by

Janet Carson

LIBATIONS | ART SHOW | SILENT AUCTION | LIVE MUSIC Tickets $50 at or by calling 501-993-4560 all proceeds benefit St. Joseph Center of Arkansas


APRIL 20, 2017


he strongest, most enduring calls for the death penalty come from those who feel deeply the moral righteousness of “eye-for-an-eye” justice, or retribution. From the depths of pain and the heights of moral offense comes the cry, “The suffering you cause is the suffering you shall receive!” From the true moral insight that punishment should fit the crime, cool logic concludes, “Killers should be killed.” Yet I say: retribution yes; death penalty no. We are wrong to move easily from the rightness of the call for proportionality between crime and punishment to demands for the death penalty. Consider: Despite the would-be fitness of crime to punishment, we do not abide the torture of torturers nor rape the rapists. Perhaps this is because we know it is wrong to turn someone into a torturer or a rapist in order that torturers and rapists might be punished to their full measure. But if so, why is asking someone to become a killer so that killers may be killed any different? That question has many angles worth pondering. Here is my angle: I think we as a society reject certain literal forms of eyefor-eye punishments because punishing people in those ways would entirely fail to achieve what justifies returning suffering for suffering in the first place. What, after all, does make it ethically right to cause wrongdoers to suffer in kind? How does suffering in exchange for suffering make a right? Sure, when our emotions are high it feels right, but lots of times our emotions just get it wrong. What, for example, makes an emotional plea for retribution morally justifiable, while the persistence in revenge is not? The answer to these questions lies in the notion of moral desert and its relationship to justice. Justice seeks to give people what they deserve. How can people come to deserve suffering? What do wrongdoers deserve? They deserve to be held accountable. When we stand up to those who deliberately and wittingly hurt us and say, “No, this shall not be done, and I demand better,” we give them the respect we owe them as persons. By demanding they suffer our reprimand, we acknowledge that they are beings with the moral capacity to choose and control their actions in accordance with standards of right and wrong, even though they got it wrong this time. For serious wrongs that tear at the fabric of society’s well-being and our life together, the state must do the holding accountable on behalf of all of us, and it

will not do PEG to slap the FALLS-CORBITT hand of murders, nor to lock up petty thieves for life. The latter holds the petty thief accountable for a degree of wrongdoing for which she is not responsible; the former leaves suffering unaccounted for and the murderer inadequately held responsible for his grave degree of wrongdoing. Why am I against the death penalty? Because as a retributivist I believe that only punishments that hold people accountable for their wrongdoing can be deserved, and the death penalty necessarily fails to meet this morally necessary criterion. We ought not to kill killers for the same reason we ought not to torture torturers, whatever our commitment to eye-for-an-eye justice. Torture does not and cannot hold a person accountable. Torture is the infliction of suffering to the point that the person is beyond all reason, reduced to a quivering mass of animal pain that will do anything to stop the torture. This is not an appeal to the person’s moral agency; quite the opposite, it aims to destroy the very powers for rational reflection that make moral response and accountability possible. Inflicting suffering that destroys the person’s capacity to make a moral response cannot constitute an act of holding someone accountable. That act — the one we owe one another and deserve from one another as moral agents; the one by which we respect persons as persons — that kind of act must appeal to the wrongdoer as a moral agent, as someone who can respond to the suffering as only moral agents can, namely by re-evaluating their behavior in light of a moral reprimand. Death is not a penalty to which response as a moral agent is possible. Sure, murderers can reflect on their wrongdoing while they are incarcerated on Death Row. However, under the death penalty, incarceration is but a practical necessity for assuring fair opportunity for appeal; it is not the punishment. Their punishment, death — the cessation of conscious life insofar as the state can determine — makes moral response, so far as the state knows, impossible. It therefore violates the only purpose that makes a return of suffering for suffering justified. Peg Falls-Corbitt is the Virginia A. McCormick Pittman Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Hendrix College.


Snapshots from an execution


he Observer stood in front of the Governor’s Mansion on Monday night in a periodic drizzle, waiting on the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on whether a man would die, not knowing there would be no execution that night. The protesters sat in lawn chairs before the closed gate, holding signs while a camera crew from the BBC shuttled around, getting a good variety of shots, short, long, medium. Was it the gravity of the preparations at the prison an hour away, or the silent looming of the great old houses along Center Street, or the ragged black clouds sweeping up from Texarkana, or the flickering gas lamps on the posts at either side of the gate? Whatever the case, The Observer was suddenly transported to the end of October, Halloween; the whole scene lent that same spooky air as if anything might emerge from the darkness. Halloween in April, The Observer thought. The Day of the Dead the day after the Resurrection. That’s what we have wrought. The Observer made it out to the mass protest at the Capitol on Good Friday, there with several hundred others who had come to see opponents of the death penalty speak, including Damien Echols, and got to breathe the same air as the actor Johnny Depp as a bonus. As Echols spoke on the Capitol steps — a powerful and moving speech about his time on death row, in a state he still has nightmares about — we couldn’t help but notice Joe Berlinger, who came to Arkansas as a young man to make the “Paradise Lost” documentaries with his late creative partner Bruce Sinofsky, standing not 5 feet behind him with a video camera in his hand. As Depp and Echols embraced as free men, Berlinger continued rolling on the scene, unapplauded and surely unrecognized by the vast majority of the crowd. There’s a moral there somewhere, maybe. A few weeks back, The Observer filled this space with our own argument against the death penalty, in which we told the

story of the trial of the man who murdered KATV, Channel 7, anchor Anne Pressly, and how the trial flipped the switch of Yours Truly when we decided how absurd it was for a judge and prosecutors and defense attorneys to spend weeks trying to drain the pitchfork rage out of terrible things, only to revert to the worst kind of mob-like impulse after they had proven themselves and our society to be more than vigilantes. That’s our opinion, anyway. Feel welcome to keep yours if you like it. Earlier this week, Yours Truly had posted something about the executions to Dr. Zuckerberg’s Book O’ Face when we got the following reply from our friend, the homeless advocate and champion Aaron Reddin, who not only talks the Christly talk, but walks the Christly walk, even where the road is rocky. Said Aaron: “I was at breakfast last week with a friend who has always been of a ‘kill ’em’ persuasion. He read The Observer that you wrote about death penalty. Then he looked up and said, ‘I think this writer just changed the way I see this.’ Just wanted to share that with you. Don’t stop writing.” Reading that, The Observer surprised himself by getting choked up. After newspaperin’ so long — 15 years this August, which must seem like a drop in the bucket to some of the more seasoned scribblers in the newsroom — it becomes easy to believe that you’re just making incredibly intricate paper airplanes every week and sailing them out the window to their doom, never to be seen again. Call us crazy, but it never fails to shock Your Correspondent to learn we might have touched somebody’s heart and mind. In times like these, there are always those who say we linger too much over the names of the accused, and not nearly enough over the names of the dead. So let us remember them: Jane Daniels, Rebecca Doss, Carol Heath, Debra Reese, Mary Phillips, Stacy Errickson, John Melbourne Jr. and Cecil Boren.



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Arkansas Reporter


Death penalty FAQ A primer on Arkansas’s execution plan. BY LINDSEY MILLAR

Why were the first two men scheduled to be executed, Bruce Ward and Don Davis, not put to death on Monday as scheduled? In 4-3 decisions, the Arkansas Supreme Court issued stays for the executions of Davis and Ward. Justices Karen Baker, Shawn Womack and Rhonda Wood dissented in each decision. Attorneys for Davis and Ward had asked the state Supreme Court to stop the executions until the U.S. Supreme Court could decide an Alabama case over adequate consideration of the mental state of people sentenced to death. The question in the case, which the U.S. Supreme Court is to hear April 24, is whether an indigent defendant had adequate access to experts to develop a defense based on mental health. An evaluation of a defendant’s competency by an expert shared by prosecution 12

APRIL 20, 2017




hy has the state’s execution plan received so much media attention from around the world? For one, there has been a lot to write about. All capital punishment cases inspire a flurry of appeals and other legal activity. Arkansas’s plan dramatically compounded that. Governor Hutchinson initially scheduled eight executions over the course of 11 calendar days, two a night on consecutive Mondays and Thursdays. Since 1976, when the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty, no state has executed so many people in so little time. The governor opted for the hurried schedule because the state’s supply of midazolam, one of the three drugs it uses in its lethal injection protocol, will expire on April 30, and the state does not know if it can obtain a new supply. The sprint to kill, beginning the day after Easter, struck anti-death penalty advocates around the world as especially barbaric.

20, Marcel Williams and Jack Jones on Monday, April 24, and Kenneth Williams on Thursday, April 27.  Jason McGehee had been scheduled for execution April 27, but after the state Parole Board recommended him for clemency, a federal judge halted his execution because a state law requires a 30-day comment period on the clemency recommendation. Governor Hutchinson has not indicated whether he will grant McGehee clemency.

PROTESTORS: A crowd gathered at the state Capitol Friday for an anti-death penalty rally.

and defense is inadequate, the defense argues. Ward’s attorneys have said he suffers from severe and lifelong schizophrenia and delusions. Davis has an IQ low enough to approach disability, as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and psychoactive substance abuse disorders, according to a news release on his original court filing. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge appealed the state high court’s ruling on Davis to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to vacate the lower court’s order around 11:45 p.m. Monday, just minutes before the death warrant for Davis was to expire. Rutledge did not appeal the stay on Ward. What’s the remaining schedule for executions? As of press time Tuesday, the state was scheduled to execute Stacey Johnson and Ledell Lee on Thursday, April

What remaining legal challenges could disrupt the five scheduled executions? After a four-day hearing in U.S. District Court last week, federal Judge Kristine Baker on Saturday issued a preliminary injunction, halting all of the executions. But a majority of the conservative 8th Circuit Court of Appeals overruled Baker on Monday. Inmates’ attorneys planned to file appeal of that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday. The high court has also scheduled a conference on April 21 to discuss Johnson v. Kelley, a challenge inmates filed in state court that the state Supreme Court dismissed. It’s unknown whether the U.S. Supreme Court justices will move up that discussion, as the named petitioner, Stacey Johnson, and Ledell Lee are scheduled to die the day before. On Tuesday, attorneys for Marcel Williams asked Baker to stay his execution because lethal injection would

lead to a torturous death or fail to kill him because of his obesity. In 20 years in extreme solitary confinement, Williams developed “high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol,” accord to court filings. Additionally, an attorney for Stacey Johnson and the Innocence Project have asked the state Supreme Court to grant a stay and allow new DNA testing they say could prove his innocence. Another suit from the supplier of one of the execution drugs also re-emerged in state court (more below). At any point, Governor Hutchinson could grant any of condemned men executive clemency, though he has made no indication that is likely to happen. What crimes were the eight men convicted of? Don William Davis was sentenced to death in 1992 for the Oct. 12, 1990, murder of Jane Daniels of Rogers. Davis fatally shot Daniels, 62, executionstyle in her pantry with a .44 magnum revolver after breaking into her home during a string of area burglaries. Bruce Earl Ward was sentenced to death in 1990 for the Aug. 11, 1989, murder of 18-year-old gas station clerk Rebecca Doss of Little Rock, who Ward lured away from the register at the Jackpot convenience store on North Rodney Parham Road and strangled in the storeroom. Stacey Eugene Johnson was sentenced to death in 1994 for the April 1, 1993, murder of De Queen resident Carol Jean Heath, a young mother who was killed in her duplex apartment. Investigators found that Heath had been beaten, strangled and had her throat slashed while her two young children, ages 6 and 2, hid in a nearby closet. Johnson’s 6-year-old daughter identified Johnson as the murderer. Johnson has maintained his innocence. Ledell Lee was sentenced to death for the Feb. 9, 1993, murder of Debra Reese, 26, who was beaten to death in the bedroom of her home in Jacksonville. Investigators determined she was strangled and struck at least 36 times with a “tire thumper,” a club used by truckers to check tire pressure. Her husband, a truck driver, had given her the tire thumper for protection while he

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was on the road. Lee says he is innocent of the crime. Jack Jones Jr. was sentenced to death in 1996 for the June 6, 1995, rape and murder of Bald Knob bookkeeper Mary Phillips, 34, and the attempted murder of Phillips’ 11-year-old daughter, Lacy. Investigators found that after entering the accounting office where Mary Phillips worked, Jones told Phillips he was going to rob her, then tied Lacy — who was at the office visiting her mother — to a chair in another room before binding, raping and strangling Mary Phillips with the cord from a coffee maker. After Mary Phillips was dead, Jones returned and strangled Lacy Phillips until she passed out, then fractured her skull with repeated blows from a BB gun he was carrying until he believed she was dead. Lacy Phillips recovered, and later testified against Jones at trial. Marcel Wayne Williams was sentenced to death in 1997 for the Nov. 20, 1994, murder of Stacy Rae Errickson, 22, who Williams kidnapped at gunpoint as she was pumping gas at a Shell Stop gas station in Jacksonville. After taking Errickson to at least 18 ATM machines to withdraw a total of $350 from her account, Williams raped her at a ministorage facility, then beat and suffocated her to death at Riverview Park in North Little Rock. Her body was discovered in a shallow grave on Dec. 5, 1994. Jason McGehee was sentenced to death in 1997 for the Aug. 19, 1996, kidnapping and murder of 15-year-old John Melbourne Jr. of Boone County. Investigators found that McGehee and four accomplices, believing Melbourne had “snitched” on them to police, kidnapped Melbourne and took him to McGehee’s house in Harrison where the boy was severely beaten. The group later took Melbourne to another home near Omaha, Ark., where he was beaten again for two hours before being led into the woods and strangled. Two of McGehee’s co-defendants were convicted and received life in prison without the possibility of parole. Kenneth Williams was sentenced to death in 2000 for the Oct. 3, 1999, murder of farmer Cecil Boren, 57, of Grady. Williams shot Boren seven times after escaping — only 19 days into his sentence of life without parole — from Cummins Prison, where Williams was



Inconsequential News Quiz: GOTTA GET BACK IN TIME EDITION


Play at home!



1) In her 101-page decision that, for a time at least, halted the executions of six men by the state, federal Judge Kristine Baker employed a little-used term for the residents of Arkansas. What was it?


A) “Darkansans” B) “Death-Obsessed Murder Monkeys” C) “Arkansawyers” D) “Arkansassholes”


1950 OH-NO

2) A recent poll by Talk Business and Hendrix College found that the majority of Arkansas residents support the death penalty, with 38 percent supporting a specific method when asked for their preferred alternative to lethal injection. What was the most preferred method? A) Ravenous ferret up the poop chute. B) Death by chocolate. C) Public hanging. D) Move the inmates to Searcy, let them die a slow and agonizingly boring death from natural causes. 3) A 38-year-old resident of Fouke in Southwest Arkansas recently pleaded guilty on multiple charges and was sentenced to six years in prison. Which of the following is a key piece of evidence that prosecutors say would have been used against him had the case gone to trial? A) The frozen head of Gov. Orval Faubus. B) Cell phone video of him fornicating with a miniature horse. C) Sworn testimony from the giant crypto-hominid known as the Fouke Monster. D) Sixteen tubes of Fire In The Hole™ brand personal lubricant.



4) The city of Jacksonville recently hired a new police chief, Jeff Herweg, but critics say an aspect of his past should have disqualified him from the job. What’s the issue?


A) Helped Arkansas acquire its supply of execution drugs from a man known only as “Jabbo the Pimp” during a 1 a.m. cash buy behind the Protho Junction Zip Mart dumpster. B) He is Donald Trump’s former masseuse and back-waxer. C) He started that thing where people say “Question” before asking a question. D) A misdemeanor conviction stemming from a Christmas 2000 incident in which investigators said Herweg, then a sergeant with the Tyler, Texas, Police Department, left the scene of an accident and later reported his car stolen, with an incident report in the case alleging he told fellow officers he’d been drinking at the time of the accident. 5) While Governor Hutchinson’s octo-execution plan seems to have poised the state to leap boldly into the 18th century, there was some good news on the futuristic front for Arkansas this week. What was it? A) Electric automaker Tesla plans to build a sleek, new “supercharging” station for their cars at The Outlets of Little Rock, near the intersection of Interstate 30 and I-430. B) Rural development director Dr. Marvin Pickle announced that his agency is on track to have all outhouses in the state fully chromed by 2029. C) North Little Rock officials revealed plans to construct a $51 million transparent dome over Argenta, designed to keep out “any resident browner than eggnog.” D) Rock Region Metro rolled out its new Hovertrolley, which promises a smoother ride to the eight passengers who use the trolley system on an average day. IT’S


Answers: C, C, B, D, A


being held for the December 1998 kidnapping and murder of University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff cheerleader Dominique “Nikki” Hurd, 19. After stealing Boren’s truck, Williams fled to Missouri, where he was captured after a highspeed chase that ended in a crash that


killed truck driver Michael Greenwood, 24, of Springfield. In a June 2005 letter to the Pine Bluff Commercial newspaper, Williams admitted to also killing Jerrell Jenkins, 36, of Pine Bluff the same day he killed Hurd and attempted to kill her friend.

What drugs does the state plan to use to execute prisoners? The three-drug cocktail, injected intravenously, starts with midazolam, a sedative attorneys for the condemned men and many experts say does not sufficiently CONTINUED ON PAGE 39 APRIL 20, 2017


FIRST-TIME NO VOTER Humphrey Sr. says he’ll in a millage election bec Commissioner Johnny K



APRIL 20, 2017




NO VOTER: Judge Marion r. says he’ll cast his first no vote lection because he can’t trust er Johnny Key.

n May 9, residents of the Little Rock School District will vote on a ballot measure that would allow the district to make facilities improvements totaling $160 million, if approved. According to LRSD Superintendent Mike Poore, the measure is not a new tax, since it would not raise the rate of 46.4 mills now levied on property owners. Instead, by refinancing debt on an existing bond, the district would push back the expiration date of a portion (12.4 mills) of the current tax rate by 14 years, from 2033 to 2047. The LRSD says the projects to be funded by this extension of debt would include construction of a new high school in long-neglected Southwest Little Rock, major renovations to the McClellan High School campus and improvements to almost every school building in the district, from roof replacements to air conditioner upgrades to new windows. The work could begin as early as this summer, with some efforts completed in time for the 2017-18 school year. So why are many public school advocates — including the city’s most visible African-American civic leaders — urging a “no” vote on May 9? In a word, distrust. Since January 2015, when the district was taken over by a 5-4 vote of the state Board of Education, the LRSD has been governed not by a locally elected school board, but by Arkansas’s education commissioner, Johnny Key, a gubernatorial appointee. The proximate reason for the takeover was low student performance at six schools (out of the district’s 48 campuses) that were deemed to be in “academic distress” based on test scores over a three-year period. But many in Little Rock saw other reasons for the state’s actions: a racially motivated animus toward the majority-black local school board, which was dissolved by the January 2015 state board vote, and a desire to promote privately operated charter schools at the expense of public ones. For those critical of the takeover, the past two years have only confirmed these suspicions. Two charter operators in Little Rock, eStem Public Charter Schools and LISA Academy, are dramatically expanding and will likely draw many students away from the LRSD in the coming years — perhaps thousands. The state board authorized their expansion plans in March 2016 over the vocal protests of the district’s erstwhile superintendent, Baker Kurrus, who was fired by Commissioner Key shortly thereafter. Kurrus had served just one year on

‘Key has not made himself available to the general public to discuss why the millage extension is necessary.’ — Marion Humphrey Sr. the job, having been hired by Key in 2015. Then, in the 2017 legislative session, the Republican majority created a new law that will soon allow charters to force districts to sell or lease school buildings deemed “unused or underutilized.” The LRSD will close two buildings at the end of the current school year, and the ongoing migration of families toward charters raises the possibility of more closures in the future. And more charter operators are eyeing the Little Rock market: In March, a New Orleansbased operator called Einstein Charter Schools began the application process to open a campus in the city. All of this means the district is asking taxpayers to shoulder millions of dollars in additional debt to improve public buildings at a time when the future ownership of those buildings is itself in doubt. Those who believe racial prejudice propelled the takeover find fault both with charter growth and with the district’s priorities while under state control, especially the recent closure decisions. The LRSD soon will shutter two K-5 elementary schools, Franklin and Wilson, along with a pre-K facility, Woodruff Early Childhood Center. The LRSD’s alternative school, Hamilton Learning Academy, will move to the Wilson building, with the old Hamilton building likely to be used by adjacent Bale Elementary. Franklin and Wilson are located in majority-minority neighborhoods and their student populations are mostly African-American and Latino. Though many of the projects outlined in the LRSD’s list of capital improvements to be funded by the May 9 vote would benefit schools serving black and Latino students — the Southwest Little Rock high school most of all — many activists are deeply skeptical the district will follow through with those prom-

‘We are hampering our students’ ability to learn by denying them modern facilities.’ — Bobby Roberts

ises. Because the ballot measure does not specifically state which projects will receive funding, some warn the $160 million could be directed toward schools in more affluent, whiter neighborhoods rather than those with the greatest needs. Superintendent Poore is at the heart of this controversy. The decision to close or repurpose schools was his, and he defends it as a difficult but necessary choice. (Key, who acts as the district’s board while under state control, gave final approval.) For years, the LRSD received $37 million annually from the state as a result of a desegregation lawsuit — over 10 percent of its budget — but those payments will soon end. Although both Poore and his predecessor, Kurrus, made major cuts in other areas, the district still had to trim $11 million from the 2017-18 budget. Poore told the Arkansas Times recently that school closures were painful, but also long expected. “The reality was we had 2,300 vacant elementary seats — 4,100 when you add in the portable [buildings] — and so we took out of the mix two elementaries with maximum capacities being just under 1,000.” If the LRSD doesn’t close buildings, Poore argued, it would have to cut back on staff. “Yes, these two schools closing, and the preschool closing, that has an impact on our communities, but I’ll tell you what could have had a bigger impact. … When 80 percent of your business is people, now you’re talking about privatizing food service, privatizing custodial. … We could have been impacting hundreds of employees if we’d taken that route.” As for the charter school issue, Poore said he urged legislators to vote against the recent legislation, which will give charters the ability to wrest underutilized buildings away from districts. Poore has not been as outspoken as Kurrus on the potential harm that charter growth can deal to the LRSD, but he’s made it clear he doesn’t want the district’s facilities to be colonized by outside schools. For that reason, he is moving quickly to find a new use for the Franklin and Woodruff buildings, and the district is now reviewing proposals garnered by a recent RFP. “We’re trying to be aggressive about repurposing,” he said, adding later, “I don’t believe we want to enhance the number of charter seats [in Little Rock] right now.” Poore argued that capital improvements are necessary if the district hopes to retain students or to win back families APRIL 20, 2017


that have left the LRSD for charters or private schools. He pointed to studies showing modernized facilities can boost student achievement by several percentage points. “I can’t control [charter growth], but what I can control is what we do. … If you’ve improved academic performance and you’re creating a better learning environment and it’s a more pleasing building to kids and patrons, that prevents some of the issues that we’re already facing right now in terms of our competitiveness. And it ties into the bigger picture of what this district has to do to have the community believe that, and, more importantly, have families say, ‘I want my kid in Little Rock schools.’ ” Poore also said the proposed debt extension on the May 9 ballot is “just the first phase” in a larger, long-term plan to address the full $340 million in needs identified by a 2014 study of district facilities, which will eventually require a modest millage increase. Getting the ball rolling with an initial $160 million investment will build confidence for that future vote, Poore believes. “My No. 1 target that has been given me since I came in, from the governor, the commissioner and this community, is [to] get local control back. But the No. 1 thing to do is to serve kids well, and they deserve to not have a roof that leaks. They deserve to have air conditioning that creates fresh air [and] hallways that aren’t dark and dingy,” he said. Yet for many, the May 9 vote itself is a reminder that LRSD voters have not weighed in on a school issue since the September 2014 local board election — a few months before the state takeover dissolved that body. State board member Jay Barth, a Little Rock resident, recently pushed his colleagues to set a timeline for release of the district from state control, but the effort foundered. “There are people who are critical,” the superintendent acknowledged, “who say, ‘Really, Mike Poore? You’re coming to ask us in May to extend the debt, and you just closed schools? And really, you’re coming when we don’t even have local control?’ Well, on the local control issue — this does allow every citizen in this whole community right now [to speak]. You can’t get a truer form of democracy than everyone gets to go vote on this issue. So in that sense, it really is a deal to let the community say, ‘Here’s what we think.’ ” And what does the community think? To get a sense, we asked school advocates on both sides to make their case.

Maxine Allen I am a sixth-generation Little Rock residential property owner. I witnessed my parents paying a poll tax in order to vote. I am a product of the segregated and then newly integrated Little Rock School District. I attended the district at a time in which white schools received textbooks first. By the time black schools got the books, they were soiled, pages were missing and text had been marked through. In spite of all of that, I believed I received an excellent education. I am a parent who served as a “room mother” and whose children attended Woodruff, Pulaski Heights and Williams Magnet Elementary Schools; Pulaski Heights, Horace Mann Magnet and Forest Heights Middle Schools; and Parkview and Central High Schools. I believe my children received a quality education. I am a pastor who has served as a volunteer in public schools. I believe every child needs a great school where they are immersed in diversity, encouraged to think

State Sen. Joyce Elliott Little Rock School District students deserve not just better facilities, but


APRIL 20, 2017


critically and empowered to expand their worldview. As a United Methodist, I operate within our tradition that declares education is a right of all children. This is affirmed by scripture, which calls us to “train children in the way they should go” (Proverbs 22:6). However, I believe that we must regain local control of our schools BEFORE voting for any millage. The LRSD is no longer in academic distress (if it ever was, as six schools do not a distressed district make). While I have many friends on the opposite side of this issue, I cannot in good conscious vote for the millage until we have an elected LRSD board. There’s just something about the basic American principle, “No taxation without representation.” For these reasons, I urge you to vote against the millage! Rev. Maxine Allen is the president of the Christian Ministerial Alliance.

world-class facilities. So let’s just stipulate that we all agree on that point and try to understand why many of us feel as if we are redlined to bear the burden of a master plan not revealed to us. For example, most of the millage extension supporters I have observed do not have schools closing in their neighborhoods. LRSD students, parents/guardians, educators and others deserve to have their district back, not under state control. To this date, there has been no compelling reason put forth for the state to have assumed authority over the LRSD

when 42 of the 48 schools in the district — 87 percent — were not in distress. The number has since climbed to 45 schools, or 94 percent. It was a raw exercise of power by folks who gave vague answers such as, “Well, something needed to be done.” Yes — about the few schools in academic distress. Taking over the entire district was totally unwarranted. If I have a couple of teeth that need to be extracted, would you extract them all using the logic “something needed to be done”? Certainly not. But that’s just what the State Board of Education did. And now the extended apparatus of the board, Commissioner Key, has wielded power far beyond addressing the schools in academic distress by hiring a superintendent (Baker Kurrus), firing that superintendent, installing present Superintendent Michael Poore and unilaterally closing schools in historically underserved neighborhoods south of Interstate 630. And now, folks who advocated for the state board to seize control of the LRSD, such as the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, are leading the effort to extend the millage with glossy flyers and bright yard signs. I cannot vote for a tax without elected, accountable representation. I want the best for LRSD students, but I am not prepared to dishonor the bloodsoaked history of all those who sacrificed to guarantee me full citizenship rights. There are many voters who share my visceral feeling that a tax election imposed by one person is a betrayal of democracy. There are others, it appears, who have no problem with it and who are cheerleading to carry out a vote under conditions you might find in a developing country. This election is a deliberate attempt to force us into a false dilemma: On May 9, choose better facilities for students, or choose to insist on restoration of our rights as citizens. Let us not choose but work together to demand both. Let’s not give in to political extortion. Will the folks who pleaded for the takeover now join in the demand to return the LRSD to us? I hope so. I am ready to join hands with you. Joyce Elliott is a Democratic state senator representing a portion of Little Rock and a former teacher.

Bill Kopsky For the first time in my life, I will be voting AGAINST a bond measure for important civic infrastructure. My opposition to the bond extension comes down to trust, transparency, accountability and inclusion. A deep distrust rooted in more than a century of racial and economic segregation is the LRSD’s biggest challenge, not finances. The state takeover and Education Commissioner Johnny Key, our one-man appointed school board, have made it worse. Commissioner Key consistently refuses to meet with the community and has failed to produce any vision for the school district other than a massive, polarizing charter school expansion. He is barreling ahead despite clear data showing that charter schools fail to outperform LRSD schools with similar demographics. Those charters leave the LRSD with a more segregated student population and significantly fewer resources to meet their needs. The greatest tragedy of Commissioner Key’s charter mania is the distraction from effective education reforms we could be working on together. We should be expanding community schools, not closing neighborhood schools. We should be recruiting and developing more world-class teachers, not demoralizing and chasing them away. We should be building community partnerships to help our students meet their full potential, not alienating wide swaths of the city. We should be dramatically expanding early childhood education, summer and afterschool programs, and supports for low-income students and English-language learners. The LRSD is attempting some of these reforms, but it is constantly being undermined by the state. In 2015, legislators attempted to hand the entire district over to private charter corporations. Then, the commissioner fired our superintendent, Baker Kurrus, for telling the truth about charter expansion’s harmful effects. This year, the legislature passed a law requiring us to give closed school buildings to charter corporations while those in control of

the district simultaneously shut down schools in the most vulnerable parts of town in a sham public engagement process. Now with no trust, transparency or accountability, and no district-wide plan for the future, Commissioner Key asks for a bond extension? It’s outrageous. How could anyone trust him with a blank check? Those arguing for the bond extension rightly point out that LRSD facilities have many needs. They fail to make a case for the urgency of doing this while we remain under state control. The bond that we are being asked to extend doesn’t expire for years to come. There’s no reason why Little Rock taxpayers can’t make this decision once LRSD is back in local control. The schools our kids deserve are rooted in evidence-based and community-driven reforms. In the coming years I hope to vote for a transparent and accountable bond measure that unites our city. For now, VOTE AGAINST. Bill Kopsky is a Little Rock School District parent and public education advocate.

Marion Humphrey Sr. I intend to vote against extending this millage because I do not trust either Education Commissioner Johnny Key or the Arkansas State Board of Education. Key was placed in charge of the district after the state board’s racist and immoral vote on Jan. 28, 2015, to remove the lawfully elected and majority African-American district’s board of directors. The takeover came after the district’s board was notified by letter on July 10, 2014, that six out of its 48 schools were in academic distress. The district was given just one semester in which to correct the acknowledged problems with those schools. No further academic proficiency testing was done between the time of notification in July and the time of the takeover the following January. The fix was already in. The state board simply wanted someone other than the duly elected district

board members in control, even if that meant recklessly throwing the district into disarray and chaos in the middle of the school year. The majority of the state board removed a local school board composed of people whom the Walton Family Foundation and the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce did not want to be in charge of the district — and especially its $330 million budget. Yet Key has not made himself available to the general public to discuss why the millage extension is necessary. Whether he does not want to disclose what he intends to do with the additional money or whether he does not have time to be bothered with some of us, Key is simply not accessible to many district patrons. Perhaps he has targeted the voters he thinks he needs for passage of the millage extension and sees no need to waste his time with others. I am not convinced that additional money is needed to make the capital improvements that proponents suggest, and I am not confident in the judgment of Commissioner Key. If he cared about families living south of I-630, why would he close schools such as Wilson, Franklin, Woodruff and Hamilton? After all, Wilson received an exemplary rating from the Arkansas Department of Education. If our concern is truly about a great education for the children of this district, why would an intelligent and thoughtful educator close an exemplary school and do collateral damage to its neighborhood as well? For my first time ever, I intend to vote against a school millage. Marion A. Humphrey Sr. is a retired Pulaski County Circuit judge and a pastor at Allison Memorial Presbyterian Church.

Dr. Anika Whitfield It is really simple. The LRSD is currently being managed by two men, both of whom were appointed to their positions, are not natives of Little Rock, did not attend the LRSD and do not have children who attend the LRSD now or in the past. Education Commis-

sioner Johnny Key and Superintendent Michael Poore are making decisions for our district without locally elected representation or accountability. Key will argue that he appointed the LRSD Community/Civic Advisory Board to represent the people of this city. The problem with that argument is that Key chose persons who will serve his interest in supporting the expansion of charter schools. Key has been publicly lobbying to replace traditional public education options for students with private-public charter schools. In addition, Key has refused to meet in public settings to engage with parents and community members who have questions about school closures, community impact studies, plans for academic improvements in schools designated to be in academic distress, ways to assist traditional public schools, and ways to help advertise, recruit and promote the great programs and opportunities for students, parents and teachers in the LRSD — just to name a few of his denied requests for public meetings. Given the fact that Key is the sole board member of the LRSD, the only person who makes the final decisions for the LRSD, and the sole person who has the power to overrule Poore’s decisions, it would be unwise to hand more tax money over to this appointed leader who has shown little to no respect for the residents of Little Rock, the students who attend the LRSD and their parents. Key has publicly said that he would not be open to yielding to the Little Rock Board of Directors and mayor to conduct neighborhood impact studies before closing schools, displacing students and school personnel and taking away public, anchoring institutions from people who fund and support them. Voting for the May 9 LRSD millage tax extension would be like Walmart giving Target money and expecting Target to use those funds to improve Walmart’s business. Not going to happen. It would be like giving a thief keys to your home and expecting the thief to protect your home and possessions. Not a wise choice. I strongly encourage voters to vote AGAINST the May 9 LRSD millage tax extension. A better investment of taxpayers’ dollars, time and resources would be to directly invest in students, schools, teachers and families in the LRSD. This way, you know that your dollars will be spent on students and teachers that need these resources, and not on brick and mortar. Invest directly in students, teachers, families and schools in a way that you can ensure is actually APRIL 20, 2017


ful and not destructive to the vitality of the LRSD. Dr. Anika T. Whitfield is an LRSD graduate, an alumna of Franklin Elementary and a volunteer in the district.

Bobby Roberts

Faith Madkins Mollie Campbell I am the proud mother of two, soon to be three, young children. My oldest is in pre-K at Forest Park Elementary. My younger two will follow their big sister to Forest Park, Pulaski Heights Middle School and eventually Central High. My family is committed to being in the Little Rock School District for the next 18 years. That is why this vote is so important to me. Schools all over our district are seriously overdue for upgrades and improvements. The buildings are on average 53 to 68 years old and have gone without any major capital investments since 2000. Our kids deserve the best possible learning environment. They should not be in buildings with leaky roofs or cafeterias without air conditioning. Every student in the district deserves modern, clean, safe facilities. This vote will invest millions back into our schools and will impact the entire district — every school and every student. Roof repairs, window replacements, new security systems, restroom renovations and heating and air conditioning replacements will improve the lives of every student, teacher and staff member in the district. The list of improvements to be made comes from a study conducted in 2014, and the funds generated will go directly toward these capital improvements … no surprises. Our kids deserve better. After talking with several people about this vote, I acknowledge that some would rather wait until a local school board has control of the money. I, too, look forward to the swift return of our local school board. On this issue however, how long should we ask our kids to wait and allow their education to suffer in the meantime? We cannot let perfection be the enemy of the good when we have a chance to improve all of our kids’ classrooms and 18

APRIL 20, 2017


As I walk the halls of McClellan High School each day, I see a small community high school filled with Lion pride, exceptional talent and growing potential. Unfortunately, with the good also comes the bad. I have immense pride in my school, but sadly I cannot say the same about my district. I have been in the Little Rock School District all of my life since kindergarten — bouncing around from school to school — and I’ve seen most of what the district has had to offer. Our buildings are older than most of our parents. In fact, most of our grandparents can remember these schools being built. That means everything in these buildings is outdated. Things that would have sufficed 60 years ago would never make the cut today. To further explain what I mean, I want to place you in my shoes. So, here we are at the doors of McClellan. It’s springtime and the flowers are blooming. The sun is out, and it is beautiful outside. The bell sounds, and it is time for first period. The main halls are so cramped that it’s difficult to pass through the crowd. It’s hard to not feel a shoulder or a backpack invade my personal space

learning experiences immediately. By voting FOR this ballot measure on May 9, my daughter will enter kindergarten this fall in a school that was improved this summer. Every day, as my 4-year-old walks into school, I expect her to do everything she can to maximize her learning experience. As her parent, I know it is my responsibility to do the same for her, and right now that means support-

and even harder to not trample over someone’s feet. I can avoid going to my locker; I stopped using it due to the fact it frequently jammed. There wasn’t enough space in there, anyway. I finally get to class and take my seat. As my teacher is talking, I can’t help but be distracted by what’s going on next door. Most of our walls either (a) don’t reach the floor or (b) are paper-thin. Yet I am expected to focus. A teacher of mine once said, “You know you have a friendship when you can have a conversation with disagreements and still go out for lunch.” Now that I am 18, I am able to sit down at that table with you and join the conversation. Let’s establish a friendship based on the well being of the students in this district. With all of our agreements and disagreements, let’s at least be able to agree that the students deserve better. I deserved better, and I had to settle. Don’t force other kids to do the same. Let’s go out for lunch May 9. Faith Madkins is a senior at McClellan High School.

ing this investment in her school and schools across the district. The time is NOW to invest in our kids and our community, so I look forward to voting FOR our kids on May 9. Mollie Campbell is a Little Rock School District mom.

In 2014, the Little Rock School District commissioned a facilities study that indicated that approximately $300 million in facilities upgrades and improvements were needed. In January 2015, the school board voted unanimously to approve a $375 million facilities plan. At that same time, the Central Arkansas Library System had just opened a new library and revitalized our facilities throughout the region. These new facilities helped bring the joy of reading and learning to thousands of students. It was amazing to see the impact that a new library could have on a community by providing a place for people to read, gather, access the internet and learn. These libraries gave students the tools and resources they needed to study, learn and excel. Many of these fine new buildings were constructed when voters approved the refunding of existing bonds. This is exactly the same funding method that the LRSD is proposing to voters. I saw firsthand what a difference investing in our libraries made in our city and in the lives of children. I know that investing in our schools would have an even greater impact. We need to give students the tools for success, and reinvesting in our aging, outdated academic facilities is the best way to do that. These old buildings do not do that, and we are hampering our students’ ability to learn by denying them modern facilities. If we vote now to extend our bonds, we will raise an additional $160 million to begin addressing the needs of our school facilities. Every school, and therefore every community, in the district will feel the investment of this money by the 2017-18 school year. This investment in our neighborhoods will save us huge dividends by lowering the operational costs of our schools and making them more energy efficient, with better lighting and renovated restrooms and roofs. By providing them with new facilities, modern technology and a better learning environment, we will empower our students to succeed. By improving their schools, we can increase academic

achievement while also providing them with a safer and healthier learning atmosphere. Join me in supporting our kids; join me by voting FOR on May 9. Bobby Roberts is the former director of the Central Arkansas Library System.

Gary Smith

Keith Jackson As the founder of P.A.R.K., I understand the importance of investing in education. We see the impact that P.A.R.K’s modern facility in Southwest Little Rock has on the success of our students. By supporting this vote, you are ensuring that every student in the district will be able to learn in a new and improved learning environment. In Southwest Little Rock, this vote means that over $95 million will be invested into the community. At a cost of $55 million, a new high school off of Mabelvale Pike would be built beginning this summer and would serve hundreds of students. This school would open in the fall of 2019 and would be equipped with the newest classroom and athletic facilities. With 21st century sports facilities that would be available for community usage, this new high school would benefit everyone in the community. McClellan High School would also receive a $40 million investment, completely revitalizing the school. Improvements like updated HVAC, roof and window repairs, classroom remodeling and technology updates would create energy savings and enhance the learning environment for our students. This repurposing of McClellan will change the lives of every student that will go through the school. Improved schools throughout the district can only be a good thing for Little Rock and our community. A vote FOR on May 9 will be a major boost for Southwest Little Rock. With your support, we can give our kids the modern learning environment and facilities they deserve! Keith Jackson is the founder of Positive Atmosphere Reaches Kids, a nonprofit based in Southwest Little Rock that provides afterschool and summer programming for youth.

There have been no new major capital improvements in our schools since 2000. That means that a student graduating this year will have gone through his or her entire academic career in schools that are outdated and in dire need of improvement. By voting to extend the debt on our bonds for an additional 14 years, we will be able to invest $160 million into rebuilding and rehabilitating every school in our district — all without raising the tax rate. On average, district elementary school buildings are 68 years old, middle school buildings are 69 years old and high school buildings are 53 years old. A successful election will allow the district to make much-needed improvements districtwide before the start of the 2017-18 school year, including lighting, heat and air conditioning repair and window and roof replacements. These improved facilities will not only support the increased academic achievement of our students by improving their learning environment, but will also create a return on investment by decreasing energy costs. These improvements were selected as priorities after holding 46 community forums. I’m tired of Little Rock being a donut hole. I’m tired of being surrounded by other cities that are investing in their schools and making a difference in their students’ lives. We have watched surrounding districts pass millage increases, build new schools and improve existing ones, and we have done nothing for nearly 20 years. We have a chance now to make a difference. This choice should be an easy one. We cannot have a great city and a great community without a strong, viable school district. Students are going to go to school tomorrow in a school that desperately needs help. They are going to use outdated technology and go to class in buildings with leaky roofs. This is something we can change. We need to create a better atmosphere for our students, and this vote is the way to do that. Gary Smith is the chairman of the Committee to Rebuild our Schools Now!

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Arts Entertainment AND


everal years ago, comedian Dave Chappelle came to Little Rock on an impromptu tour after he’d been on hiatus for seven years. The crowd called the Hogs. Chappelle was baffled. “Ladies and gentleman, I’ve done a million shows in my life. I’ve never heard a crowd make that noise before,” he said. Later, he wondered aloud about famous Arkansans. Someone from the crowd suggested Joe Johnson. Chappelle was baffled again. He said that was a made-up famous person. A bunch of people in the crowd hollered out exasperatedly: C’mon, it’s Joe Johnson. But like most of the famous Arkansans who are not Bill Clinton, Billy Bob Thornton or Mary Steenburgen, Joe Johnson is not actually that famous in the broader world. He’s famous only in the world of basketball fans, where he’s known as a solid small forward who, at one time, was said to be overpaid to such a degree that some commentators called his contract the worst in sports. Do people in other states chart the relative fame of native sons and daughters as dedicatedly as we do in Arkansas? Probably not, based on our experience discussing minor celebrities with people who are not from Arkansas, whose eyes typically get squinty or go dull as we talk and who usually try to change the subject quickly. So this isn’t for them. For those invested in Arkansas pride arcana, here are a few expats who are doing notable work outside our state:

Ben Dickey The former Little Rocker has long had a small but devoted following for his music. He was a vocalist and guitarist in Shake Ray Turbine, a late and lamented post-hardcore band that was popular in the late ’90s, in the last days of the Towncraft era. He went on to lead Blood Feathers, a vintage-sounding rock band based in Philadelphia, before moving several years back to a 5,500-acre cotton and corn farm in Caddo Parish, La., where he recorded a delightful solo album, “Sexy Birds & Salt Water Classics,” which was released last year. His longtime friend Ethan Hawke directed two videos of songs on that album, and this year directed Dickey in the lead role in “Blaze,” a feature film adaptation of a memoir by Sybil Rosen about her life with cult country songwriter 20

APRIL 20, 2017



summer Night’s Dream.” She’s probably stopped more often on the street, though, by cultish fans of a noir comedy called “Bored to Death,” directed by graphic novelist, essayist and amateur boxer Jonathan Ames and starring Ted Danson, Zach Galifianakis and Jason Schwartzman (who, confusingly, plays a character named Jonathan Ames, while Ames guest stars as “Irwin”). In a second-season episode called “Super Ray is Mortal!” the egomaniacal George Christopher (Danson) becomes obsessively preoccupied with meeting the woman in the legendary superhero costume at a comic convention. That woman is Ferren. Oh, and she sings big-band and honky-tonk music on the side. Check her out at SS

Shea Hembrey

‘RADIUS’: A detail of Shea Hembrey’s work made of wheat straw, foam, wood and plastic.

Blaze Foley, a Malvern native who spent much of his rambling life in Texas. Alia Shawkat, Sam Rockwell, Steve Zahn, Richard Linklater and Kris Kristofferson co-star. No word yet when the film will be released. LM

Musicophilia’s mix maker Even though the days of the Recording Industry Association of America aggressively prosecuting grandmas and teenagers for illegally downloading or sharing music seem to be in the past, we’re still going to preserve the anonymity of this brilliant creator of music mixes, because, technically, he’s putting music out in the world without permission from its creators. The Little Rock native is most well known for his 10-disc box set of CDs of postpunk music recorded in 1981. It became massively coveted in the mid-aughts, with music journalists like Simon Reynolds singing its praises. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, a digital ver-

sion of that collection is preserved on the mix maker’s website, musicophilia., along with dozens of other compilations he’s created over the years. Especially recommended: the four-volume “Young Lady’s Post-Punk Handbook.” LM

Heidi-Marie Ferren You won’t find as many IMDb credits for Bentonville High School alumnus Heidi-Marie Ferren as, say, the ridiculously accomplished Hendrix grad Ashlie Atkinson, but Ferren has saluted her way around the world as the 2009 Miss USO, appeared on ABC’s “American Housewife,” and carved out a spot for herself in Los Angeles theater companies, most recently as the lead in The Actors Company’s production of Matthew Sprosky’s “bloodbath” allegory, “Malicious Bunny.” She’s also starred in a number of big-budget Shakespeare productions, notably, as Helena/Puck/ Flute in PBS’ broadcast of “A Mid-

Shea Hembrey, 43, born in Hickory Grove (Newton County), hit the big time in 2011 with his publication “Seek: 100 in 2011 — The Inaugural Biennial,” a catalog of work by unknown artists from around the world. The catalog noted such performance art pieces as “Dig Jig,” in which the artist created a new Tennessee tradition to dance joyfully on one’s grave, and recorded another artist’s efforts to paste all the leaves back on a tree one autumn. The catalog included paintings and drawings and art made of lichen. One ink and chalk drawing, by a former prostitute, was of a man’s buttocks. Another was a strip of frozen grass made by an artist blowing on her yard on a cold night to create weather on her body’s scale. The 100 artists were unknown because they, and their work, derived from Hembrey’s imagination. The book was itself performance art and people were so taken with it that he was invited to give a TED Talk about it. He was later featured in a long article in The New York Times, where he was described as “a gentle presence” who “tells looping stories involving things like tornadoes, all-terrain vehicles and wandering armadillos” (exotica to the NYT writer). The artwork photographed for “Seek” was both funny — one of the criteria Hembrey applied to the work was that it had to be understood by his grandmother in five minutes — and skillful. His trompe l’oeil paintings of strings and sticks are technically amazing. His

A&E NEWS LITTLE ROCK’S PARTICIPATION in the national March for Science on April 22 is featured in this week’s To-Do List, but Earth Day is being celebrated in other ways around the Little Rock area, too, including: A variety of free beekeeping classes will take place at Bemis Honey Bee Farm and Supplies’ Bee Day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., 12501 Punkin Patch Road. Food for purchase will be available onsite from David’s Burgers. The Central Arkansas Trail Alliance is hosting a day of trail clearing, repair to erosion issues, tread beautification and litter removal at Allsopp Park. The Alliance encourages attendees of all ages to join, and to bring along trail tools like loppers, hoes and pick-axes. At 5 p.m., clergy from local Episcopal churches will hold an Earth Day Eucharist in the park, and a labyrinth will be constructed using natural objects as part of an initiative called The Sacred Places Project.

own description of himself is as “hick” artist and trickster. Since his rise to fame, Hembrey has returned to the South from his home in New Jersey to give a talk at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, create a mixed-media installation “The Secret Ingredient” for the Southern Foodways Alliance in Oxford, Miss., and, most recently, to show work made of feathers and corn husks inspired by natural forms at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. LNP

Kenneth Culver Johnson While you may not know the name, if you grew up in the ’70s and ’80s, you surely know the work. Might I direct you to a little series called “The Incredible Hulk,” starring Bill Bixby and bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno as Bixby’s big green id? Johnson, a Pine Bluff native, created that show, which ran from 1977 to 1982, along with yet another 1970s example of must-see TV, “The Bionic Woman.” He also wrote and directed the 1984-85 sci-fi series “V,” in which reptilian, rat-eating aliens take over the planet, and 1997’s “Steel,” starring basketball star and noted Giganto-American Shaquille O’Neal as some kind of cyborg robot … or something. Don’t hold that last one against him, though. The man is a sci-fi legend! Now walk away slowly, thumbing a ride while sad piano music plays. DK


Check out the Times’ A&E blog

Audubon Arkansas holds a Native Plant Market at its headquarters, 4500 Springer Blvd., featuring plants from Pine Ridge Gardens, New South Nursery and Roundstone Seed Company, 8 a.m., with a $3-$5 admission. The Central Arkansas Library System hosts an Earth Day tree planting at the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center, noon, 4800 W. 10th. Close-toed shoes are encouraged. THE ARKANSAS REPERTORY Theatre is offering three free theater classes at its new education annex at 518 Main St. on Saturday, April 29. A workshop in acting,

“Act It Out!” begins at 10 a.m., followed by “Broadway Dance” at 10:45 a.m. and “Improvisation” at 11:30 a.m. All are designed for children in grades K-5. To register or for more information on The Rep’s year-round curriculum, visit COMEDIAN CHRIS GETHARD (“Broad City,” “Parks and Recreation,” the “Beautiful/Anonymous” podcast) will give a free performance at Hendrix College, 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 26. Gethard’s one-man show, “Career Suicide,” produced by Judd Apatow, debuts at 9 p.m. May 6 on HBO.

THE FILM SOCIETY of Little Rock announced a portion of the lineup for its Fantastic Cinema and Craft Beer Festival, to take place May 3-7 at the Ron Robinson Theater. The event opens with “All The Birds Have Flown South” screening at 6 p.m. May 3; tickets are $15. At 5 p.m. May 5, film composer Alan Howarth (“Big Trouble in Little China,” “The Thing,” “Poltergeist”) will play pieces from those scores live against a backdrop of images from the films; tickets are $20. Following that, the Society screens “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,” 9 p.m., with an original live score from Mainland Divide. For updates, visit


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KEEP UP: Solo Jaxon is among the performers at Capitol View Studio for “No Longer Unnoticed,” a concert and documentary screening celebrating the launch of a new creative advocacy group called The Influence.



7 p.m. Capitol View Studio. $5.

Jasmine Blunt, senior communications major and track and field runner at UA Little Rock, founded The Influence last year with the idea of shedding light on creative work that might otherwise, as this event’s name makes clear, go unnoticed. In partnership with teammate Kendrick Dunn and content manager (and fellow mass communications

student) Al Warren, Blunt was looking to “support the work that our artists here at home are doing,” as she stated in a press release. “So many times do we complain about the things that Arkansas is lacking, but I find beauty in the fact that we have so much underground and unknown talent. The state is full of creatives. You just have to open up your eyes to see them.” One of the talents Blunt alludes to took home top honors at the 25th annual Arkansas Times

Musicians Showcase this year: the duo Dazz & Brie. Anyone who caught their striking performance at the Showcase finals can attest to their energy and strength, along with their endlessly talented (did bass player Kamille Shaw just casually whip out a flute?) backing band, The Emotionalz. They’ll perform at The Influence’s launch event, along with always-bombastic fellow Showcase finalist Solo Jaxon (check out “Keep Up,” produced by Jaxon’s

deceptively named collaborator Idle Kid), Lo Thraxx (check out “XAN” or Arkansas Times’ feature on the rapper, “Swimming with Sharks”) and Price the Poet (check out “Nu Fone, Hu Dis?”). A short documentary film from Blunt’s group, “No Longer Unnoticed,” will be screened; it depicts “a day in the life” of a handful of Arkansas creatives, including Dylan Rodriguez and fashion designer Maxi Dominguez (Raiz Apparel). SS

up in an Indian environment speaking English and equally comfortable with Jimi Hendrix and Ravi Shankar from an early age, well versed with all the influences of post-colonial India, mixing styles and genres was a natural process of assimilation. We own it and can practice it with easy irreverence.” Reddy has become known for that blending of styles, able to mix Indian styles and time

signatures with European harmonies. Since 1993, he’s lived in rural Bangalore, where he hosts the biennial World Guitar Nights, a showcase of fingerstyle guitarists from around the world, and runs the Infinite Souls Farm and Artists’ Retreat. He comes to Arkansas as part of the Argenta Arts Acoustic Music Series, held every third Thursday of the month at The Joint. SS



7:30 p.m. The Joint Theater & Coffeehouse. $25.

Though any evidence of it would be covered by his salt-and-pepper beard, Konarak Reddy burned his chin in a chemistry experiment as a child and had to stay home from school for a while. His parents — a Tamil filmmaker and 22

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a Spanish actor/flamenco dancer who Reddy says “lived for their art” — had given Reddy’s sister a guitar, which he used to keep busy during his educational hiatus. He grew up in the early years of India’s independence, surrounded by people who spoke English and were “not afraid to break with tradition,” as Reddy told the Dream Guitars blog in an interview. “For people like me who grew Follow us on Instagram: ArkTimes





7 p.m. Ron Robinson Theater. $15.


By now, fans of The Wildflower Revue have had a chance to get acquainted with the group’s eponymous album, 10 original tracks and three covers (Talking Heads’ “Psy-

cho Killer,” Johnny Cash’s “Bad News” and Blondie’s “Heart of Glass”) that run the gamut from divorce farewells (“Cut You A Check”) to commentary on the current status of country music (“Don’t Call It Country”) to an elegy set in White County (“Seventeen”). The self-described “Southern gothic girl

‘UNUSUAL REPERTOIRE:’ Pianist Tatiana Roitman Mann highlights underperformed works in her New Deal Salon series, to feature Peter Schickele’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and Ravel’s “Piano Trio in A Minor.”



7:30 p.m. New Deal Studios and Gallery, 2003 S. Louisiana St. $15 per person, $25 per couple (suggested donation).

group” — Amy Garland Angel, Bonnie Montgomery and Mandy McBryde — takes the stage again this weekend as part of the Arkansas Sounds series, and if you’ve got Waylon or Emmylou anywhere in your playlist, you should be there, too. SS

Though Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Conductor Philip Mann is often in the public eye, he’s by no means the only talent in the family. Tatiana Roitman Mann, a graduate of London’s Royal Academy of Music and the Manhattan School of Music, who has recorded Villa-Lobos’ “Sextour mystique” for NPR’s Performance Today and Gershwin for the Naxos label, is an absolute force on the piano. Her biography notes a remark from the BBC about her rendition of “Rhapsody in Blue” with the Oxford Pops Orchestra: “formidable ... both accurate and with rarely seen joy.” We’re as fortunate to have her in Arkansas as we are her husband, and probably even luckier that she has a penchant for music from the margins — or, as her profile on the ASO website puts it, “underperformed” music. With John Hardy and Lee Weber, Tatiana established the New Deal Salon, a concert series that highlights “programs of unusual repertoire in an intimate setting,” as her website states. “We hope to create a musical experience that is of exceptional quality — one that is exciting for the most sophisticated concert-goer and at the same time is accessible to the most novice listener.” For this concert, Roitman Mann takes the lead in Ravel’s “Piano Trio in A Minor,” a piece Ravel finished in a frenzy so he could enlist to aid France’s efforts in World War I (he didn’t make the cut). Then, an ensemble of Roitman Mann’s colleagues — violinist Trisha McGovern Freeney, cellist Ethan Young, violist Tze-Ying Wu and oboist Beth Wheeler — performs Peter Schickele’s adaptation of the classic (and timely, if you’ve watched any Trump administration press conferences this month) tale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” with Philip Mann as narrator. Doors open at 7 p.m. SS



6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun., River Market Pavilions.

The 10th annual Sculpture at the River Market show and sale kicks off Friday with the $100-a-ticket preview of the 800-plus sculptures by 50 artists being brought in this year. Guests at this event will get to vote for their

favorite proposal for a $60,000 commissioned sculpture for the city; the winner will be announced at 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free Saturday and Sunday, and both days will include docent-led tours of the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden in Riverfront Park. Food trucks will be out for the Sunday crowd. Among the Arkansans whose works will be included in this year’s show are woodworker Gene Sparling of Hot Springs; bronze sculptor Pat-

rick Fleming of Roland; Arkansas-born stone and bronze sculptor Ryan Mays (he has decamped to Vermont); ceramic artist Shelley Buonaiuto of Fayetteville; metal artist John Mark Baker of Glenwood; wood and metal sculptor Tod Switch of Little Rock; stone sculptor Bryan Winfred Massey Sr. of Conway; metal artist Hunter Brown of Conway; glass artist Ed Pennebaker of Osage; and bronze artist Michael Warwick of Little Rock. LNP

Terence Blanchard and The E-Collective round out Oxford American’s Jazz Series at South on Main, 8 p.m., $25-$52. The Arkansas Travelers baseball team goes up against the Springfield Cardinals at Dickey-Stephens Park, 7:10 p.m. Thu.-Fri., 6:10 p.m. Sat. and 2:10 p.m. Sun., $7-$13. Hungarian-born stand-up comic Zoltan Kaszas performs at The Loony Bin, 7:30 Thu.-Sat., 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat., $8-$12. Hayes Carll, a Hendrix College graduate who swept this year’s Austin Music Awards, performs at the Rev Room, with Band of Heathens, 8:30 p.m., $20. Michael Dean Damron takes his tirades against Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church to the White Water Tavern with Cory Call and Shane Sweeney, 9 p.m. The Little Rock Wind Symphony performs a concert featuring a work of parody, “Godzilla Eats Las Vegas,” at Second Presbyterian Church, 7:30 p.m., $8-$10. In partnership with AETN, Pulaski Technical College screens the next in PBS’s “American Masters” series, “Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise,” 9:30 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., Center for Humanities and Arts Theater (CHARTS), 3000 W. Scenic Drive, free. Pianist Tommy Priakos entertains at Central Arkansas Library System’s Roosevelt Thompson Library as part of the “Sounds in the Stacks” series, 38 Rahling Circle, 6:30 p.m., free. Third Degree plays at Cajun’s Wharf, 9 p.m., $5. The 2017 Arkansas Jazz Festival kicks off with a concert at Central High School, 7 p.m., $10. Activist, author, Nobel Peace Prize nominee and priest Rev. John Dear gives a talk, “Peace, Politics and Protest,” at the Clinton School of Public Service’s Sturgis Hall, noon, free. Comedian Ron “Tater Salad” White goes for laughs at Robinson Center Performance Hall, 8 p.m., $42-$53.

FRIDAY 4/21 Fayetteville’s Youth Pastor brings its “praisin’ and blazin’ ” set to Four Quarter Bar with Solo Jaxon, 10 p.m., $7. Dizzy 7 and Arkansas Circus Arts perform at Wildwood Park for the Arts for the organization’s 19th annual Wine & Food Feastival, 6:30 p.m., $65. Soul singer Charlotte Taylor performs at Cajun’s Wharf, 9 p.m., $5. Georgia country recording artist Brantley Gilbert performs at Verizon Arena, 7 p.m., $35$40. Mentalist Paul Prater performs at The Public Theatre for “Aetheric: A Trip Inside Your Mind,” 8 p.m., $12-$15. The UA Little Rock Trojans baseball team takes Gary Hogan Field, pitted against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, 6 p.m. Fri., 2 p.m. Sat., 1 p.m. Sun., free. Punk rockers The Crisco Kids, Junkbomb and Black Horse share a bill at the White Water Tavern, 9 p.m., $5. The Southbound Music Festival kicks off in Helena, featuring performances from Ray Wylie Hubbard, Lee Roy Parnell, Adam Faucett and more, 5:15 p.m. Fri., 11 a.m. Sat., $20-$30. Rayland Baxter channels Paul Simon’s locktight arrangements and breezy melodies with tunes from “Imaginary Man” at the Rev Room, with Elise Davis, 8 p.m., $15. Against the Grain plays a free show at Markham Street Grill and Pub, 8:30 p.m. Tragikly White takes the stage at Stickyz, 9:30 p.m., $10. Guitarist and songwriter Christine DeMeo performs at Maxine’s, Hot Springs, 9 p.m., $5. Vino’s hosts a metal show with Becoming Saints and

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7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sat.-Sun., Ballet Arkansas at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre. $35-$40.

When I visited Ballet Arkansas’s new digs on Main Street in mid-February, the 13 full-time dancers in the company were rapt, completely attuned to choreographer Jimmy Orrante as he worked through a few bars in his head before relaying it to the ensemble. Orrante, a Los Angeles

native, won Ballet Arkansas’s 2016 Visions Competition, and was in residence teaching the dancers “Luminous,” the finale, set to spirited music by Don Gillis, of Ballet Arkansas’s spring repertoire show. The dancers would run eight or 16 bars, work out any kinks and then piece the segment together with the previous section with a degree of focus I suspect many choirmasters and bandleaders would envy. All of that work will be on stage at the Arkansas

Repertory Theatre, in a revue that begins with what is possibly the most prominent example of “grand pas classique,” Marius Petipa’s “Paquita.” The dancers will also perform the world premiere of Kiyon Gaines’ “Obscura,” a piece with music by Avi Lasser and Garrett Overcash that Ballet Arkansas says is “the second installment of three commissioned works Gaines will bring to Arkansas audiences and is a departure from his choreographic

style as it demonstrates more spherical movement than quicksilver footwork.” Then, there’s George Balanchine’s “ValseFantasie,” set to music by Mikhail Glinka, and finally, the Orrante collaboration. If you’re skittish about the idea of committing to an entire ballet, this is a wildly varied show and a perfect opportunity to see what your local dance company is up to. SS




9 a.m. Little Rock Urban Farm. 5910 G St. Free admission.



8 p.m. Robinson Center Performance Hall. $28-$53.

‘LET’S EXPLORE DIABETES WITH OWLS:’ Satirist David Sedaris (“Naked,” “Me Talk Pretty One Day,” “When You Are Engulfed in Flames”) speaks and signs books at the Robinson Center Performance Hall.

It’s sort of a shame David Sedaris’ books are always right there at eye-level on the shelves at every airport bookstore, because the type of person that will purchase a David Sedaris book at an airport bookstore is probably also the type of person moved to guffaw loudly at his early adventures in French butcher shops (“Is thems the thoughts of cows?”) right there on the plane, and that’s rude. If you’ve been into Sedaris since “Santaland Diaries” (which the


APRIL 20, 2017


If you’ve eaten at The Root, Mylo Coffee Co. or Three Fold Noodles and Dumpling Co., chances are you’ve sampled something that was grown at Little Rock Urban Farming, a community food cooperative located on a little plot down the hill from Central Arkansas Library System’s Fletcher Library. LRUF’s gardens, founded in 2007 on an intensive plot of less than 1,000 square feet, now covers more than an acre and encompasses high tunnel hoop houses, shiitake logs, rainwater harvesting installations and walking paths. Every year, the headquarters is home to one of the most undersung plant sales in town, and those savvy enough to have got-



Arkansas Repertory Theatre will stage in its black box theater in December), or discovered the author via his essays in The New Yorker or on NPR’s “This American Life,” you probably got your ticket the moment this show was announced. If not, now’s your chance to get “Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls” signed; Wordsworth Books & Co. will have some of his catalog for sale, and Sedaris will sign books after the show. SS

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ten there the last few years undoubtedly reaped the tomatoey benefits in years where tomatoes were a little unpredictable. This year, until closing time at 3 p.m., you can grab organically grown seedlings from LRUF, as well as Bell Urban Farm in Conway, Homecreek Farm in Cowell or the New South Nursery in Roland. At 10 a.m., Karl Heinbockel of LRUF hosts a Gardening 101 Workshop, followed by a Composting 101 Workshop at 11 a.m. from Claire Hodgson and Read Admire of The Urban Food Loop, a composting business that collects food waste in Central Arkansas to, in their words, spin it into “black gold.” A seed exchange is slated for 1 p.m., and LRUF will have a kid’s planting table and food vendors in place. Since most of the space at the farm is taken up by blooming vegetation, visitors are advised to park on North Pierce or near Fletcher Library. SS

1 p.m. Capitol and Pulaski Streets. Free.

Once upon a time, it was the case that if someone read the following sentence to you, one of the first to appear on the national March for Science’s website, “Science, scientists and evidence-based policymaking is under attack,” you’d assume they were referring to climate change. If you ask organizers of the Little Rock March for Science, though, that attack’s impact is much broader — and much more immediate for Arkansas. “Good science matters to everyone: hunters, farmers, anglers, environmentalists, health care professionals, parents and, yep, even scientists,” Arkansas Sierra Club Director Glen Hooks told us. In partnership with the Museum of Discov-

ery, the Sierra Club is sponsoring a rally at the state Capitol in the name of fact-based policy, featuring keynote speaker Kevin Delaney (of Discovery’s “Street Science”); graduate student Haleigh Eubanks and Dr. Gwendolyn Carter of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences; Sarah Thomas, founder of MSDream, a nonprofit that advocates for those diagnosed with multiple sclerosis; and more. Following that, attendees will head to the Museum of Discovery for a science advocacy event and huddle with science-focused community groups. “Too often, our lawmaking seems to be about “governing by anecdote” instead of relying on science and data as a basis for decision-making,” Hooks added. “We want our lawmakers to respect science, fund it, and rely upon it.” SS

IN BRIEF My Hands At War, 8 p.m., $5. The Squarshers PRINT jam at King’s Live Music in Conway, 8:30 p.m., $5. Splendid Chaos performs at West End Smokehouse, 10 p.m., $7.



Trim: 2.125" x 5.5" Bleed: none" Closing Date: 3.3.17

Publication: Arkansas Times



8 p.m. Verizon Arena. $52$102.

You’re entitled to agree with Nick Cave, who famously remarked, “I’m forever near a stereo saying, “What the fuck is this garbage? And the answer is always the Red Hot Chili Peppers.” Still, I bet even the haters know all the words to “Under the Bridge.” It probably did rip off that riff from T. Rex’s “Rip Off,” but it’s one of the more glorious odes to the Big H in rock history

(and with a song title like that, wasn’t T. Rex sort of asking for it?). That was 1991, and despite being perpetually at the bottom of a dogpile of critics (google “Mr. Bungle Halloween show” for a most notable example), RHCP has stayed at it, only last year ditching the Rick Rubin touch for “Getaway,” produced by Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton and Nigel Godrich, widely regarded as Radiohead’s answer to George Martin. Babymetal opens the show. SS



7:30 p.m. Verizon Arena. $40-$130.

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers kick off their 40th anniversary tour the day this Arkansas Times issue hits newsstands. The four-month tour ahead was a daunting enough prospect for Petty to suggest it might be “the last big one,” he told Rolling Stone. “We’re all on the backside of our 60s. I have a granddaughter now I’d like to see as much as I can. I don’t want to spend my life on the road.” (His longtime bandmates insist he’s pulled the “farewell” card before, to no avail.) Since the Mudcrutch days (reprised in an American tour last

summer), Petty’s no-frills rock has aged so gracefully it’s got its own Sirius XM channel; he’s always ballsy, but never so vogue he relegates himself to fad territory. Diehards will be happy to hear the band’s not eschewing tracks like “American Girl” on the 2017 tour, but is working deeper cuts into the set list (fingers crossed for “When the Time Comes” or “I Should Have Known It”). Joe Walsh, the best thing that ever happened to The Eagles and one-third of the revered James Gang — a gritty, swaggering powerhouse trio whose influence can still be heard in contemporary trios like Dirty Streets and Mothership — opens the show. SS

MONDAY 4/24 The Supersuckers will make a Monday night feel like a Friday night with their R-rated rock, 9 p.m., Four Quarter Bar in Argenta, $10-$12. The Film Society of Little Rock hosts “Good Things/Small Packages,” an evening of “microshorts” at The Joint Theater & Coffeehouse, 7 p.m., $8.


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‘FREAKY STYLEY:’ Red Hot Chili Peppers bring tunes from 2016’s “The Getaway,” produced by Nigel Godrich and “Danger Mouse,” to Verizon Arena.





Live: 1.875" x 5.25"

The Arkansas Times Blues Bus departs at 9 a.m. for the culmination of the 14th annual Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale, Miss., from the old Ray Winder Field parking lot, $125/single ticket, $199/two tickets. The Dangerous Idiots and Vintage Pistol share a bill at Discovery Nightclub, 10 p.m., $10-$12. I Was Afraid and Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase winners Ghost Bones perform at Maxine’s, Hot Springs, 9 p.m., $5. Human rights activist Ajamu Baraka speaks at Philander Smith College as part of his “Power to the People” tour, 6 p.m., free. King’s Live Music in Conway hosts a Dueling Piano Show with TK Cowboy and Matt Rikard, 8:30 p.m., $5. Arkansauce releases its new album with a show at George’s Majestic Lounge, Fayetteville, 8:30 p.m., $10. Shannon Boshears brings her blues-tinged rock to Cajun’s Wharf, 9 p.m., $5. Country songwriter Phil Vassar performs at The Delta School’s Wildwood Mansion as part of the Wilson (Arkansas) Music Series, 8 p.m., $75. Pine Bluff R&B ensemble The On Call Band performs at South on Main, 9 p.m., $15. Conway’s Murkryth and Russellville’s For Godless Sake bring some earplug-required black metal to the back room at Vino’s, 9 p.m. Weakness for Blondes takes the stage at Four Quarter Bar in Argenta, 10 p.m., $7.

ENJOY RESPONSIBLY © 2017 A-B, Bud Light® Beer, St. Louis, MO

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TUESDAY 4/25 Kesha lands at the University of Central Arkansas’s Farris Center, 8 p.m., $28. Frontier Circus and the P-47s share a bill at the White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m., $7. Science Cafe Little Rock explores “The Science of Memory,” 7 p.m., Whole Hog Cafe, 12111 W. Markham St., free. Auras, Levels, Census and Eva play on the top level of the Low Key Arts Building, Hot Springs, 7 p.m., $8-$10.

• Private apartments • Enriching activities • Convenient leases • And much more! Call 501-242-4091 to enjoy a visit and complimentary meal.

WEDNESDAY 4/26 Boston brings its tried and true sound to Verizon Arena, 7:30 p.m., $36-$79. The Funkanites take the stage at South on Main for the Sessions series, 8 p.m., $10. Blues-rock legend Delbert McClinton plays a show at Pulaski Technical College’s Center for Humanities and the Arts (CHARTS), 7:30 p.m., $10-$200. Six comedians face off at The Loony Bin for a chance to advance to the World Series of Comedy, 7:30 p.m., $8. This year’s Jazz in the Park series ends with Sounds So Good, River Market History Pavilion, 6 p.m., free.

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2601 Andover Court Little Rock, AR 72227

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MAY 4 | 6-9pm

Benefiting Cash bar

Argenta Arts District


river market pavilionS

D L O S T OU Join the fun as Don Julio, the world’s first ultra-premium tequila, presents •

Thursday, May 4 at the Little Rock River Market for the first annual Margarita Festival

It’s a salute to the perfection of a great margarita

Sample tastings on the classic cocktail from the city’s best bartenders and VOTE for your favorites and crown one margarita best of the fest

Competing Bars & Restaurants 109 & Co.


Big Whiskey Bleu Monkey Boulevard Bistro Cache Restaurant Cajun’s Wharf Copper Grill Ernie Biggs

Loca Luna O’Looney’s & Loblolly The Pizzeria Revolution Taco and Tequila Bar


Little Rock Salsa

Current Ticket Price: $35

APRIL 20, 2017


A Decade of Diamond Chef is in the books and history was made April 13th as Chef Mary Beth Ringgold was named the first-ever female chef champion in the history of Diamond Chef Arkansas. She went head-to-head in the final round against Donnie Ferneau of Club 1836 and Jimmy Carter, formerly of the Pine Bluff Country Club, after they “fished” out their secret ingredients from the watery tanks that held a school of large-mouth bass.   The final two scores were only tenths of a point apart between Chefs Ferneau and Ringgold.  However, Ringgold reigned supreme over the field of other talented chefs that competed. Pictured above is Chef Ringgold with her sous chefs, Franco Reta and UA-PTC culinary student King Joseph.  Also, pictured below is her winning large-mouth bass creation. More than 600 attendees were wowed by the fierce competition and were treated to fantastic culinary experiences and signature chef cocktails throughout the UA-PTC Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute.  More than $110,000 was raised overall for the event that will be used through the UA-PTC Foundation to support the students and programs of the college.

Thank you for making this one of the best Diamond Chef events ever!



Named “A Decade of Diamond Chef” Champion

Taco Mama

Taco Mama

Tickets are limited. Purchase early.

Mary Beth Ringgold


Latin Salsa tunes & Jimmy Buffett standards from Club 27

Arkansas Times Congratulates

Thank to everyone who made this evening possible, from the sponsors, chefs, committee, co-chairs, volunteers, supporters, faculty, staff, judges and attendees.

Food Available for Purchase from Loca Luna

Ticket price includes 15 three-ounce Margarita Samples. Frio Beer For Sale.

Sous chef Franco Reta, Chef Mary Beth Ringgold, UA-PTC student sous chef King Joseph





“During Wind and Rain: A Delta Family Album 1895-1900.” An Argenta Community Theater production, with an original score from Michael Rice and librettist Margaret Bolsterli, based on Thomas Hardy’s poem of the same name. 7 p.m. Wed.-Thu., 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., through April 23. $13-$30. 405 Main St., NLR. 501-353-1443. “The Graduate.” Terry Johnson’s adaptation of the 1967 film from The Studio Theatre. 7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 2:30 p.m. Sun., through April 30. $15-$20. 320 W. 7th St. 501-374-2615. “The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time.” A touring production of Simon Stephens’ Tony Award-winning play-within-a-play. Walton Arts Center’s Baum Walker Hall. 7 p.m. Tue.-Thu., 11 a.m. Thu., 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sat.Sun., through April 23. $35-$65. 495 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-443-5600. “Rough Night at the Remo Room.” The Main Thing’s two-act musical comedy. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., through June 17. $24. The Joint Theater & Coffeehouse. 301 Main St., NLR. 501-372-0210. “Smokey Joe’s Cafe.” Murry’s Dinner Playhouse presents the Lieber and Stoller tribute. 7:30 p.m. Tue.-Sat., dinner at 6 p.m.; 12:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. Sun., dinner at 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., through April 29. $15-$37. 6323 Colonel Glenn Road. 501-562-3131.

FINE ART, HISTORY EXHIBITS MAJOR VENUES ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, MacArthur Park: “Drawing on History: National Drawing Invitational Retrospective,” works from the permanent collection, through Sept. 24. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.5 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. 372-4000. BUTLER CENTER GALLERIES, Arkansas Studies Institute, 401 President Clinton Ave.: “The American Red Cross in Arkansas,” artifacts covering 100 years, through July 1; “Angela Davis Johnson: Ritual II,” paintings, through April 29; “Bruce Jackson: Cummins Prison Farm,” photographs, West Gallery, through May 27, “The American Dream Deferred: Japanese American Incarceration in WWII Arkansas,” Concordia Gallery, through June 24. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 320-5790. CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART, One Museum Way, Bentonville: “Border Cantos: Sight and Sound Explorations from the Mexican-American Border,” collaboration between photographer Richard Misrach and Mexican American sculptor and composer Guillermo Galindo, through April 24; “Roy Lichtenstein in Focus,” five large works, through July; American masterworks spanning four centuries in the permanent collection. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon., Thu.; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Wed., Fri.; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat.Sun., closed Tue. 479-418-5700. ESSE PURSE MUSEUM & STORE, 1510 S. Main St.: “Reflections: Images and Objects from African American Women, 1891-1987,” through April; “What’s Inside: A Century of Women and Handbags,” permanent exhibit. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tue.Sat., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sun. $10, $8 for students, seniors and military. 916-9022. FORT SMITH REGIONAL ART MUSEUM, 1601 Rogers Ave.: “Gloria Garfinkel: Vibrancy of Form,” etchings, painted aluminum and oil on canvas, April 21-June 18; “Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad,” through May 28. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.-Sat.,

1-5 p.m. Sun. 479-784-2787. HISTORIC ARKANSAS MUSEUM, 200 E. 3rd St.: “The Great War: Arkansas in World War I,” study gallery; “Paintings by Glenda McCune,” through May 7; “Modern Mythology: Luke Amran Knox and Grace Mikell Ramsey,” through May 7. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 3249351. OLD STATE HOUSE MUSEUM, 300 W. Markham St.: “Cabinet of Curiosities: Treasures from the University of Arkansas Museum Collection”; “True Faith, True Light: The Devotional Art of Ed Stilley,” musical instruments, through 2017; “First Families: Mingling of Politics and Culture” permanent exhibit including first ladies’ gowns. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 324-9685. RIVER MARKET PAVILIONS: “2017 Sculpture at the River Market,” preview party 6:30 p.m. April 21, $100; show and sale 10 a.m.-5 p.m. April 22, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. April 23. UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS AT LITTLE ROCK: “Capstone Exhibition,” April 21May 5; “BFA Senior Exhibition,” April 22-May 8; “Student Competitive,” Zina Al-Shukri juror, through April 30, Gallery I, Fine Arts Building. 569-8977. WALTON ARTS CENTER, 495 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville: “The Fabric of Nature,” mixed media by Andrea Packard, through April 24, Joy Pratt Markham Gallery. Noon-2 p.m. daily, one hour before performances in the Arts Center. 479-4435600.

Steve Farrell, Vicki Farrell and Brett


Central Arkansas’ premier comedy company, The Main Thing, new show Rough Night At The Remo Room


RETAIL GALLERIES ARGENTA GALLERY, 413 N. Main St.: “FACES: Paintings by Stephano,” reception 6-9:30 p.m. April 21, Argenta ArtWalk, show through May 15. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat. 2588991. BOSWELL-MOUROT, 5815 Kavanaugh Blvd.: “Myths and Mysteries,” new works by Elizabeth Weber and Keith Runkle, through April 29. 664-0030. CANTRELL GALLERY, 8205 Cantrell Road: “The Making of an Artist: Creative Inspirations,” an exhibition of paintings by Jeffery Nodelman, through May 6. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 224-1335. FAYETTEVILLE UNDERGROUND, 101 W. Mountain St., Suite 222: “A Murder of Crows: The End Hate Collection,” installation by V.L. Cox, show through April. 10 a.m.-3 p.m., 5-8 p.m. Thu.-Sat. 479-8712772. GALLERY 360, 900 S. Rodney Parham Road: Third annual “IceBox,” work by Layet Johnson, Gillian Stewart, Stacy Williams, Matthew Castellano, Sulac, Woozle, Emily Parker, Tea Jackson, Ike Plumlee and Emily Clair Brown. GREG THOMPSON FINE ART, 429 Main St., North Little Rock: “Spring Exhibition,” including works by Alan Gerson, Jed Jackson, Dale Nichols, reception 5-8 p.m. April 21, Argenta ArtWalk. 10 a.m.5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. 6642787. GOOD WEATHER GALLERY, 4400 Edgemere St., NLR: “Citrus on Pico,” work by Amy Garofano, through May 20, by appointment only. 680-3763. LAMAN LIBRARY, 2801 Orange St., NLR: 2017 “Small Works on Paper,” through April 28. 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fri.-Sat. 225-6257. LAMAN LIBRARY ARGENTA BRANCH, 420 Main St., NLR: “Twenty,” works by Neal Harrington and Tammy Harrington, reception 5-8 p.m. April 21, Argenta ArtWalk, show through May 12. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sat. 687-1061. APRIL 20, 2017




apr riDE 22 ON thE arkansas times blues bus to the Clarksdale, Ms juke joint Festival UPCOMING EVENTS ON


The Joint


@ the Corner


Four Quarter Bar


UA - Pulaski Tech’s Center for Humanities and Arts

Argenta Arts Acoustic Music Series presents Konarak Reddy


WE ARE TURNING 2! And it’s anything but terrible.

20 24

The Supersuckers


Delbert McClinton Live at The Center for Humanities and Arts SOME TICKETS STILL REMAINING

Little Rock Zoo




War Memorial Stadium




Go to to purchase these tickets - and more!



APRIL 20, 2017


From your goin’ out friends at

MEDIUM AND MESSAGE: Kristen Stewart seeks divination from a departed twin brother in Oliver Assayas’ new film, “Personal Shopper.”

‘Personal Shopper’ resists label BY GUY LANCASTER


n one memorable episode of “Cheers,” Frasier, determined to force some literary culture upon his fellow barflies, begins reading “A Tale of Two Cities” to them. As the gang turns away from his “best of times, worst of times” recitation, clearly bored with Dickens only a few lines in, Frasier begins to improvise, adding into the mix “a bloodthirsty clown who beckoned innocent children into the sewer and swallowed them whole!” That gets their attention. Recently, my wife suggested that we see the movie “Personal Shopper.” “It stars Kristen Stewart of ‘Twilight’ fame,” she began. “Stewart — she plays Maureen, who works in Paris as the personal shopper for a big name celebrity, going around and buying all the clothes and jewelry needed for upcoming galas and photo shoots.” My eyes began to glaze over. “Oh, and Maureen is also a spiritual medium who’s only staying in Paris to attempt contact with her recently departed fraternal twin brother, but she soon gets caught up in a murder investigation.” That got my attention — though I suspected that she was making stuff up. True enough, though, that plot summary does not quite prepare the viewer for the oddity that is “Personal Shopper.” The film opens with Maureen spending the night in a large fixer-upper of a house, running toward every sound she hears and calling out for some kind of sign. (The scenes here are so fantastically over-miked as to put the viewer in her place, trying to distinguish between the rapping of spirits and random old-house noise.) In the morning, she reports back to three French people (are they friends? acquaintances?) that there is a presence in the home, but she cannot determine if it’s her brother, Lewis. Soon, Maureen is off to work, driving her scooter through the glamorous districts of Paris, where this awkward and dour woman in a worn Izod sweater browses through the latest offerings from Chanel and Cartier on behalf of

her celebrity employer, Kyra (Nora von Waldsätten), later dropping them off at Kyra’s empty apartment. And then it’s back to another night in that abandoned house or reading up on classical spiritualism for some guidance on communicating with the dead. Maureen clearly does not enjoy her day job, and though the two aspects of her life presented to us seem like total contrasts — materialist pursuits used to fund her immaterial quest — they prove entirely complementary. As we follow Maureen, it quickly becomes apparent how detached her communications are from those in her sphere; how little of her life is truly unmediated. She patiently awaits messages from the other side and from Kyra, the latter either abroad or too busy to share words face-to-face. Her only contact with her boyfriend, Gary (Ty Olwin), working on contract over in Oman, is through a bad Skype connection. Later in the movie, she receives a whole string of increasingly insistent and unnerving text messages from an anonymous source — perhaps the spirit of her brother, or perhaps some stalker. In fact, so many of Maureen’s encounters in this movie are indirect that, when she actually has a one-on-one conversation with someone, the moment feels filled with import. If “Personal Shopper” fails to resolve conveniently into a pure ghost story or a psychological thriller or the triumphant tale of grief overcome, it’s because the direct experience of reality is rarely so amenable to categorization, rarely so molded to our personal tastes as Frasier’s bloodthirsty clowns in Revolutionary France. Like David Lynch, French writer/ director Olivier Assayas plays with conventions, creating tension not just through plot developments but also by forcing us to question just what sort of movie we are watching at any given moment. Most films, like spirits from the other side, have a message to convey, but with “Personal Shopper,” the medium is the message.



APRIL 21-23, 2017 AT THE ARKANSAS REPERTORY THEATRE TICKETS: BALLETARKANSAS.ORG 501.378.0405 THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS Arkansas Arts Council · Arkansas Democrat Gazette · City of Little Rock · Footlights Dance Store Little Rock Athletic Club · Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau · Parker Audi · Pollution Management, Inc.




EAST VILLAGE — the neighborhood east of Interstate 30 — will be the site of the first Alley Party, a series of festive events organized by the Downtown Little Rock Partnership to celebrate the potential of downtown. There will be live music, craft beer from Lost Forty and Rebel Kettle, Rock Town Distillery liquor and food from taco trucks to soak up all the booze at the inaugural Alley Party, set for 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 27, at 1212 Sixth St. The music will be provided by the Going Jessies, a Conway country-folk group made up of guitarist and singer Derek Wood, singer Angela Paradis and percussionist James Breeding. Presenters are Rock Region Metro, Cromwell Architects Engineers, Moses Tucker Real Estate and the Paint Factory, an office/residential development of Cromwell and Moses Tucker. DLRP Executive Director Gabe Holmstrom said the Alley Parties will show off “tucked away” parts of downtown. “By bringing music and fun and life to new areas, we will hopefully spark people’s imaginations of what else might be possible,” Holmstrom said in a press release announcing the first party. Future Alley Parties will be held May 18 and June 15. A note: According to the Urban Dictionary, going Jessie is a Southern expression dating to the 1800s that means vigorously pursuing an activity. It’s like going bonkers, but going bonkers in a sane way. ANOTHER DOWNTOWN LITTLE Rock Partnership-sponsored chowdown: The DLRP’s Food Truck Fridays season begins Friday at the corner of Main and Capitol streets downtown. Four food trucks will serve from 10:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. The DLRP-organized event was designed to bring more foot traffic to the heart of downtown. Confirmed for this Friday: Bryant’s BBQ; Bragg’s Big Bites, which sells catfish, buffalo and chicken wing dinners; Katmandu Momo, which serves Nepali cuisine; and Loblloly Creamery, Little Rock’s homemade ice cream company. @ THE CORNER celebrates its second year in business from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday with tapas and cocktails. The menu will feature pulled pork and chicken sliders, teriyaki kabobs, sausage dip, house hummus, birthday cupcakes and Birthday Cake Champagne, Jalapeno Beer and Bday Punch. The $20 tickets include two cocktails or mocktails. 30

APRIL 20, 2017


SPICED RIGHT: Buenos Aires’ grilled bratwurst.

It’s a family affair At the promising Buenos Aires Grill and Cafe.


ew family-owned-and-operated restaurants scream “family” louder than Buenos Aires Grill and Cafe, newly opened in the River Market district in the former Juanita’s space, just east of the Museum of Discovery. On both recent visits — one at lunch and one at happy hour — Guillermo Bruzatori, the patriarch, was standing on the sidewalk near the top of the stairs leading down to the restaurant, greeting patrons and would-be patrons, a stack of menus in hand. Daughter Flo, the general manager, was, well, everywhere — behind the bar mixing drinks, working the floor, greeting and informing, supervising the waitstaff. As we sat at the bar sipping one of Flo’s fabulous mojitos, little sister Camila

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became our new best friend, telling us which drinks and menu items she liked best — and why. When we bragged to Flo on her mojito-making skills — it was potent, not too sweet, with pulverized mint swimming throughout — she said her twin brother, Willy, would have jumped behind the bar and done the honors, convinced his mojitos are superior to hers. Willy is gainfully employed elsewhere, but clearly he’s comfortable in the family business. We’ve seen matriarch Graciela behind the bar as well, and even when she isn’t there, “Graciela’s famous chimichurri sauce” is, the menu proclaims. And we’re pretty confident the Jose of “Jose’s homemade gelato” is an uncle or a cousin or something.

As we hear it, Guillermo, who traveled from the family’s native Argentina on several occasions to work with a North Little Rock company, decided 14 years ago to move the whole clan here. The dream of opening an authentic Argentinian restaurant here has been alive about that long, and now it’s happened. We love the vibe of Buenos Aires, particularly our warm spring lunch spent on the subterranean patio, soaking up the sun and serenaded by justloud-enough upbeat Argentinian music. We started our lunch with empanadas, which can be ordered solo ($3) or in increments of up to 12 ($30). We went for the six-pack ($16): two onion and cheese, two ham and cheese and two beef (caprese and chicken are also available). The dough on the empanadas was lighter and more pliable than what we’ve had before, both good things, and a delightfully salty cheese paired perfectly with both the green onion and the ham. The filling-to-dough ratio was decidedly higher with the beef empanada, a well-herbed ground beef mixture that included mint. We liked all


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Open until 2am every night! 415 Main St North Little Rock • (501) 313-4704 •

LIGHTER DOUGH, BIG DOUGH: The dough is pleasantly light, but at $3 each the empanadas are pricy.

varieties, though at $3 or almost $3 a whack, they’re a little expensive. Argentinian cuisine is meat-centric and that shows on the Buenos Aires lunch menu. Featured items include an Argentinian burger (ham and a fried egg atop a cheeseburger for $13 with fries or a salad), flank steak ($14) and our choice, Choripan ($8.50), a meaty grilled bratwurst on baguette with that wonderful chimichurri sauce. The signature sauce is just-right oily with a good dose of green herbs and not at all spicy. Our only quibble was with the fries, which were a little limp. Our Good Friday lunch party Buenos Aires Grill and Cafe 614 President Clinton Ave. 904-2133 Quick Bite There’s much on the menu to recommend Buenos Aires. But don’t overlook it as a great place to catch some rays, enjoy upbeat Latin music and sip on a refreshing beverage on the subterranean patio. Hours 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Other info Full bar, all credit cards accepted.

included one no-red-meat-on-Fridaysduring-Lent devotee, so she was glad to see grilled shrimp on the menu ($10). The nine medium-sized shrimp were cooked perfectly, firm but not tough, with just enough herbs. The chimichurri was a nice alternative to more common shrimp accompaniments. Save room for dessert at Buenos Aires. The flan ($7) was rich, served with a side of caramel that wasn’t really needed but still appreciated. We also loved the moist Cuatro Leches cake ($6), a thin ribbon of dolce (caramel) converting the more common tres leches to cuatro. Everything on the lunch menu is available at dinner at Buenos Aires, as are three pasta dishes ($14.50-$16), pizza, veal and chicken Milanesa, owing to the great Italian influence on Argentinian culture and cuisine; more entrees from the grill; and three mixed-grill options for sharing ($22 for vegetarian to $55 for flank steak, skirt steak, beef ribs, bratwurst, sweetbreads, chicken and blood sausage). We’ll get back with a group for some of that — and the hopes of learning whether or not Willy’s mojito is really superior to his twin sister’s.

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Max Elbo, one of Eureka Springs most celebrated artists, created the 1st official May Festival of the Arts poster in 1990. His decades of work was appreciated world wide. This reproduction was generously donated by Max’s wife, Selena. We miss Max, but his incredible work lives on.

May 4 - Launch of “The Eurekan Spectacle” at Basin Park • 6pm May 5 - Unveiling of “Four Seasons” at Basin Park • 6pm Plein Air Painters of Eureka Springs reception at Main Stage • 5-8pm May 6 - ArtRageous to the Max Parade down Spring Street • 2pm Drumming in the Park at Basin Park • 6-8pm May 7 - “Dance of Deceit” live theater production at the Auditorium • 2pm May 8 - Unveiling of “Bridge of Love” at Basin Park • 10am May 12-14 • Various and throughout town Nuits Rose Eureka Springs May 13 - Art & Music in the Park at Basin Park • 10am-4pm Make Your Own Mobile Event at Basin Park • 10am-4pm Spirited Wine Tour at Brews, Keels Creek Winery and Railway Winery • 1-4pm • Ozarks Chorale Spring Concert in the Auditorium • 7:30pm • Grand Gallery Stroll down Spring Street • 6-9pm


APRIL 20, 2017


May 14 - “Bridge of Love” community photo on the Basin Bath House bridge • 1:30pm • John Two-Hawks Mother’s Day Concert in the Auditorium • 2pm May 19 - White Street Walk on White Street • 4-10pm May 20 - The Birdcage Art Bazaar at the Birdcage on Spring Street • 10am-5pm • Music in the Park with Grady Nichols at Basin Park • 5-7pm Art in the Park at Basin Park • 10am-4pm May 21-25 • All day and some evenings Eureka Springs Plein Air Festival at various locations around town May 21 - Books in Bloom at the Crescent Hotel • Noon-5pm May 24 - Eureka Springs Plein Air Festival at Basin Park • 8am-5pm May 28 - Dancing in the Park at Basin Park • 1-3pm

Highlighted Events 4 Seasons Project

MAY 5, 6-7 P.M., BASIN SPRING PARK Catch the unveiling of this month-long exhibit on May 5. The 4 Seasons Project consists of four separate mobiles representing the beauty of our four seasons. Each large-scale mobile is unique structurally, and approximately six to eight feet in diameter.

ArtRageous Parade

MAY 6 2- 3 P.M., DOWNTOWN The ArtRageous Parade is the official kick-off to the festival. It’s a colorful, quirky and energetic collection of floats, art cars, walkers, dancers, musicians, jugglers, drummers and dancers. The ArtRageous Parade

Art in the Park

MAY 13; 11 A.M.-5 P.M. & MAY 20; 10 A.M.-3 P.M., BASIN SPRING PARK Come enjoy a day of artistry of every form in lovely Basin Spring Park in downtown Eureka Springs. Artists will offer textiles, jewelry, painting, sculpting and fine wood designs, and be available all day to discuss their process and medium.

Bridge of Love Flower Market


ureka Springs is a town known widely for its artistic spirit. More than 350 artists live and work in this creative Northwest Arkansas artist hub, and fill the many galleries and shops all year long with handmade works, perform in local theaters and contribute to the laid-back bohemian vibe along the winding, historic city streets. Each May, the city throws the May Festival of the Arts, an epic month-long party to shine a spotlight on the one-of-a-kind art community, which will be out in full force this year as it celebrates the 30th anniversary of the festival. The May Festival of the Arts officially kicks off with the fun and quirky ArtRageous Parade at 2 p.m. on May 6. Enjoy a lively lineup of floats, art cars, dancers, musicians, jugglers and more led by Grand Marshal and artist, Max Elbo. The May Festival of the Arts is the place to enjoy fine art with exhibits located throughout the city, and special events to give every artist in town a chance to showcase their work. One of the most well-attended events is the White Street Studio Walk, in which several artists who reside along this historic street welcome the public into their studios for an intimate art viewing. Artists

Bridge of Love

will also hold openings in venues across the town, and showcase their creations at events including Art in the Park, Art Bizarre at the Birdcage and more. There will also be ample opportunities for those who like to get their hands dirty and create their own masterpieces! Look for The Art of Acadian Weaving class, Uncorked with Rigdon Irvin and Eureka Springs Plein Air Festival at picturesque locations throughout the area. Music is always in the air at the May Festival of the Arts. Look for concerts by Dominic Balli and Jonathan Byrd and Corin Raymond, the four-day Phunkberry Music Festival, Drumming in the Park, Free Music in the Park, Ozarks Chorale Spring Concert and more. Performance artists will be on hand throughout the month with dance performances and a production of the full-length play, “Dance of Deceit,” written, directed and acted by locals. There’s something almost every night of the week in May to showcase the vast talent growing in Eureka Springs. Don’t miss the 30th anniversary of the May Festival of the Arts! For a full calendar of events log on to ❰❱

4 Seasons Project

MAY 13-14 11 A.M.-4 P.M., BASIN BATHHOUSE BRIDGE Contribute to this living art installation by tying a fresh flower to the Basin Bathhouse Bridge. A fresh flower market will be set up on the “Bridge of Love” with flowers available for a donation to Clear Spring School to help raise funds for their beekeeping project.

White Street Walk

MAY 19 4-10 P.M., WHITE STREET Visitors are invited to stroll along historic White Street, which is home to several Eureka Springs artists who will open their studios to the public for an intimate viewing of their latest works, and the works of more than 40 local guest artists. You’ll find weaving, watercolors, jewelry, oils, pottery, stained glass and much more. Meet the artists and see where they create!




hey came, they saw, they painted. In May of 2016 we anticipated bringing many artists from across the nation to the inaugural Eureka Springs Plein Air Festival…and we did! We had a vision to increase public awareness and enthusiasm for plein air painting…and we did! We wanted to attract new visitors to our unique town…and we did! Now we’re doing it all over again. We will be hosting the 2nd Annual Eureka Springs Plein Air Festival (May 21st-25th). The festival will host various paint outs and a final show for artists, art lovers and collectors. Last year we had over 60 participating artists and our expectation this year is to welcome more artists. Our inaugural event was an amazing success! Tourists and residents loved watching artists paint the town. We could not have done this without the support of our generous sponsors and in addition, a handful of local residents that opened their homes to traveling artists. This year we have participants from Maryland to California to Indiana. All traveling to our town to paint the beauty that resides here. This year our schedule will begin with Sunday Registration at the ESSA Campus. A brief demonstration will be held by Spencer Meagher. Spencer

We know the art of sleep.

was one of our winners in last year’s festival and his painting has been featured in Plein Air Magazine’s April/May ‘17 issue. Refreshments will be served. Monday, May 22nd will be our first paint out at Castle Rogue’s Manor. Painters will turn in their painting at Inn of the Ozarks Convention Center and enjoy a meet and greet. Tuesday, May 23rd will be a paint out at Blue Spring Heritage Center. Painters will turn in their painting (s) at Inn of the Ozarks Convention Center and enjoy a meet and greet. Wednesday, May 24th will be a paint out in Downtown Eureka Springs. Painters will turn in their painting (s) at Inn of the Ozarks Convention Center and enjoy a meet and greet. Nocturn paint outs are available for painters each evening. Thursday, May 25th is a half day paint out in Downtown Eureka Springs. Painters will gather early to turn in paintings at Inn of the Ozarks Convention Center. This cumulative show will then have each Purchase Prize Sponsor pick the painting of their choice. This will be followed by the judging of the remaining paintings for Best of Show, Blue, Red, Yellow and Honorable Mention. Appetizers and Cash Bar. After the judging the show will be open to the public and all paintings may be available for purchase. ❰❱


Plein Arts Festival

May 22-25

Inn of the Ozarks 207 W. Van Buren Eureka Springs, AR 72632 Reservations: 877.835.0509 | 34 APRIL 20, 2017 ARKANSAS TIMES ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT 34 APRIL 20, 2017 ARKANSAS TIMES



n the late 1970s, Don and Hilda Jackson rescued Bum, an emaciated African lion cub who became a saving grace for over 500 exotic and native animals that received compassionate care and lifetime sanctuary at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge (TCWR). The Refuge earned its nonprofit designation in 1992 and, although May 1 is the organization’s official birthday, they’ll be celebrating 25 years of accomplishments a little early on Sunday, April 23, 2017. Tanya Smith, current president and daughter of Don and Hilda Jackson, beams, “Our annual Cats at the Castle fundraiser [on Saturday, April 22] always attracts generous support, but this year is our 25th anniversary so

we’ve created a weekend long celebration.” While their Cats at the Castle fundraiser is sold out, on Sunday, April 23 past and present interns and the rest of the Refuge team invite supporters to join them for a day of family fun and fortunate felines. The Refuge has planned many activities including a morning brunch, a habitat release, guided tours and the Intern Olympic Games to name a few. Call (479) 253-5841 or visit www. to learn more about their 25th anniversary celebration. Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is turning 25 and still saving lives. Don, Hilda and Bum would be proud. ❰❱

NEW DELHI CAFE LIVE MUSIC IN MAY May 5th Brick Fields – Blues/Jazz May 6th Doctor NOLA & The Soul Shakers May 7th Melissa Carper & Friends May 12th Lindsay with Issues May 13th Whiskey Menders (124p.m.); Vibe Tribe (6-10p.m.) May 16th Melissa Carper & Friends May 19th Cory J. (6-10p.m.) May 20th Cory J. (6-10p.m.) May 21st Whiskey Menders (124p.m.)

May 26th Brick Fields (6-10p.m.) May 27th Dorian Cross (12-4p.m.); Pete & Dave (6-10p.m.) May 28th Dorian Cross (12-4p.m.); Pete & Dave (6-10p.m.) Come in and choose a table indoors or by the music stage, or sit outside on either the covered or the multiple elevated patios. The garden patio area features the main stage right next to the well into which Basin Spring flows.


The New Delhi Cafe is a three level restaurant and bar with 5 dining areas, including a garden patio. Located at Basin Spring Park right in the center of downtown Eureka Springs Arkansas.

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge resident, Thurston.

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he Eureka Springs School of the Arts (ESSA) is pleased to announce that Kelly McDonough has been named Executive Director after a regional search for candidates. ESSA brings together people with varied backgrounds, ages, and skill level to work with their hands in a supporting and encouraging way. Kelly comes to the ESSA with 15 years of experience in grant administration and non-profit management, as well as a Kelly McDonough passion for the arts. As an arts volunteer and enthusiast, Kelly has worked with art collectives and museums to support public art events, pop up shows and partnered with an internationally known dance organization to stage a large scale, non-traditional dance performance to raise awareness of the value of the arts in daily life. “We are grateful that ESSA’s new executive director comes to us with a diverse back-

ground of management at a large non-profit and extensive volunteer experience in the arts,” Elise Roenigk, ESSA’s Board President, said. “We are confident that ESSA will continue to be a tremendous success under her leadership.” “I have long been an admirer of ESSA, and when I learned of the opportunity to work with this team I was thrilled to apply. ESSA has a extraordinary future of growth and innovation ahead, due to the dedication and creativity of the Board of Directors, staff, instructors and volunteers. With the recent expansion of teaching studio space on the campus and strategic plans for growth, ESSA will continue to gain in status as a premier art school in America,” McDonough said. “I am proud to be a part of ESSA and excited to work with the ESSA community to build for the future.” The Eureka Springs School of Art’s Board of Directors and staff would like to extend our utmost gratitude to Peggy Kjelgaard who retired after over 10 years of service as Executive Director and welcome Kelly McDonough to the ESSA family. For more information about ESSA and its mission, please visit ❰❱

Eureka Springs School of the Arts (479) 253-5384 36 APRIL 20, 2017 ARKANSAS TIMES ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT 36 APRIL 20, 2017 ARKANSAS TIMES

Nathalia Holt, Craig Johnson, Laurie R. King


he Books in Bloom Literary Festival is Back and in glorious bloom this spring! The Carroll and Madison Public Library Foundation proudly announces its 12th annual Celebration for Readers and Writers on Sunday, May 21, from 12 Noon to 5 PM in the beautiful Gardens and Conservatory of the landmark Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs. A stunning line-up of bestselling authors including Craig Johnson, Laurie R. King, S.C. Gwynne, Nathalia Holt,“Pete the Cat” creators, Kimberly and James Dean and many others will read from their work, talk about writing, publishing and what inspires them. All authors will be available for book signing and conversation in the Crescent Gardens. This elegant yet casual literary festival is FREE and open to the public. LIKE Books in Bloom on Facebook and bring a friend for

an afternoon of literary fun. For more information visit www.BooksInBloom. org or call 870.423.5300. Books in Bloom is a celebration of writers and a gift to readers, made possible by the generous support of individuals and businesses, as well at the Arkansas Humanities Council, the Eureka Springs Advertising and Promotion Commission, and most particularly, Festival Underwriter, the 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa. Enjoy an afternoon of presentations and readings, book signings and perhaps the chance to chat with an admired author. It all takes place in a gracious, garden-party atmosphere. In case of inclement weather, the festival will move into the hotel. For more festival information: or phone at 870-423-5300. ❰❱


ome see the extraordinary beauty and rich cultural experience of the Blue Spring Heritage Center. Visit the historic bluff shelter, now on the National Register of Historic Places. Walk on ground that nurtured the Cherokee people during the Trail of Tears. Connect with the natural beauty of our many native gardens. See the power and wonder of Blue Spring, pouring 38-million gallons of cold, clear water each day into its trout-filled lagoon. Come discover the land of blue skies and laughing water. ❰❱ Blue Spring Heritage Center 1537 Co Rd 210, Eureka Springs, AR 72632 479.253.9244


hunkberry 2017 will be held at “The Farm” in the beautiful Ozark Mountains of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, May 4th-May 6th. The Fritz 4:40-6:10 p.m. Juno What 7:45-9:15 p.m. THURSDAY, MAY 4 – TENT Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band The Motet 10-11:30 p.m. Friends of the Phamily 7-8:30 p.m. 6:50-8:20 p.m. Russ Liquid 12:15-2 a.m. Heartbyrne 9-10:30 p.m. Kung Fu 9-10:30 p.m. Steady Flow 11-12:45 a.m. The Werks 11:10-12:40 p.m. FRIDAY, MAY 5 – TENT Henry + The Invisibles 1:15-2:30 a.m. Manic Focus 1:10-2:40 a.m. Back Up Planet 2-3:30 a.m. FRIDAY, MAY 5 – MAIN STAGE SATURDAY, MAY 6 TENT SATURDAY, MAY 6 – MAIN STAGE Cadillac Jackson 3:20-4:50 p.m. The 1 oz. Jig 2:40-4:00 a.m. Henna Roso 2:30-4 p.m. Sons of Funk 5:30-7 p.m.

Share the Road SHARE THE For Cyclists ROAD Tips for SAFE cycling on the road.

• Bicycles are vehicles on the road, just like cars and motorcycles. Cyclists must obey all traffic laws. Arkansas Uniform Vehicle Code #27-49-111 • Cyclists must signal, ride on the right side of the roadare andvehicles yield to traffic normally. Bicycles on the road, Code #27-51-301/403 just like cars and motorcycles. • Bicycles must have a white headlight and a Cyclist should obey laws. red tail light visible fromall 500traffic feet and have a bell or warning device for pedestrians. Arkansas Uniform Vehicle Code #27Code #27-36-220 49-111 • Make eye contact with motorists. Be visible. Be predictable. Head up, think Cyclists should signal, ride onahead. the • On the Big of Dam Bridge... slow. right side the road,goand yield to Represent! traffic other • As younormally pass, say “Onlike yourany left... thankroad you.” vehicle. CodeTrail... #27-51-301/403 • On the River use a safe speed, don’t intimidate or scare others. Watch for dogs Give 3 feet of clear space when and leashes.

Tips for PREVENTING injury or death.

passing (up $1000 fine!) For to moreainformation... Bicycle Advocacy of Arkansas Code #27-51-311

cars and motorcycles. Cyclists must obey

League American Bicyclists Cyclist lawof can not rideVehicle on the trafficby laws. Arkansas Uniform Code #27-49-111 in some areas, some bikes sidewalk • Cyclists signal,smooth ride on the right side can onlymust handle roads of the road and yield to traffic normally. (no cracks, potholes, trolley tracks). Code #27-51-301/403 LR Ord.#32-494 • Bicycles must have a white headlight and a

red tail light visible from 500 feet and have a

Make eye contact cyclists. bell or warning devicewith for pedestrians. Code #27-36-220

Drive • Makepredictably. eye contact with motorists. Be vis-

ible. Be predictable. Head up, think ahead. Please prevent ghost bikes. • On the Big Dam Bridge... go slow. Represent!

• As you pass, say “Oninformation: your left... thank you.” For more • On Bicycle the RiverAdvocacy Trail... use aofsafe speed, don’t Arkansas intimidate or scare others. Watch for dogs and leashes. For more information...

League American Bicyclists BicycleofAdvocacy of Arkansas League of American Bicyclists education

One of the most enchanting, romantic places in Eureka Springs. Choose from several breathtaking sites. To reserve your special date call or email: 479-253-9244 ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT ARKANSAS TIMES APRIL 20, 2017 37 APRIL 20, 2017 37






APRIL 20, 2017


REPORTER, CONT. render inmates unconscious and unable to feel pain. After emerging in recent years as an execution drug after other drugs became more difficult to purchase, midazolam has been used in executions where prisoners gasped for breath for long stretches in Alabama, Arizona, Ohio and Oklahoma. In Arizona in 2014, an inmate named Joe Wood writhed in pain for nearly two hours after being sedated by midazolam. Arizona, Florida and Kentucky have all stopped using the drug in executions. In Arkansas, after a prisoner is judged to be unconscious (we don’t know what method the execution team will use), an injection of vecuronium bromide will be given to paralyze the man. The paralytic has no medical role in the procedure; it only serves to mask the suffering for witnesses. Finally, the state will administer a lethal dose of potassium chloride to stop the inmate’s heart. Why is it important that prisoners not suffer during an execution? The Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. Inmates cannot be tortured before death. But what constitutes cruel and unusual punishment and how likely it is to occur are questions that inspire a wide range of legal interpretation. U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker found that midazolam “could” violate the Eighth Amendment, but the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals said the test was whether the drug was “sure or very likely to cause serious illness and needless suffering” and the inmates had not proved that case. But the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld a federal magistrate’s ruling that midazolam did violate the Constitution. The other part of Baker’s argument that the U.S. Supreme Court will consider is whether the risk of cruel and inhumane punishment is substantial when compared to “known alternatives.” Baker said it was and discussed several other methods, including using a better sedative, lethal gas or a firing squad. Other courts have said the available alternatives have to be already enshrined in law. Baker and the 6th Circuit say the state could change its law or get different drugs. Why is it so hard for the state to obtain new supplies of drugs? Drugmakers don’t want the drugs they develop to help save peoples’ lives used in executions. In 2015, the Arkansas Legislature passed a law that created a Freedom of Information Act exemption for information about where death penalty drugs come from, their manu-

facturers or how the state buys them. Still, the state has had a difficult time obtaining the drugs. In a recent lawsuit, drug supplier McKesson said it sold the state vecuronium bromide under the restriction that it would be used for medical purposes only in the Arkansas Department of Correction’s health facility. When McKesson learned the state was holding the drug for use in lethal injection, it requested the drug to be returned. According to McKesson, ADC officials said they would, but never did. ADC Director Wendy Kelley said in federal court that another drug had been “donated” by an anonymous supplier who was worried about his or her identity being revealed to the public through a payment process. Fresenius Kabi, maker of potassium chloride, and West-Ward, maker of midazolam, filed a brief in federal court objecting to the use of their drugs. McKesson filed a complaint in state court alleging that ADC had illegally obtained the vecuronium bromide. In response, Pulaski Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen issued a temporary order Friday afternoon restraining the state from using the drug. Shortly after, he joined a protest outside the Governor’s Mansion. On Monday, in light of federal district Judge Kristine Baker’s injunction against the executions, McKesson asked that its case be dismissed and the temporary restraining order be lifted. Later Monday, the state Supreme Court barred Griffen from hearing any death penalty cases and referred him to the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission. The state high court also vacated the temporary restraining order that Griffen issued against the use of vecuronium bromide. McKesson refiled its lawsuit. What’s the future of the death penalty in Arkansas? It’s unclear. The appeals process in death penalty cases can play out for years. Legal hurdles have kept the state from conducting an execution since 2005. Arkansas may struggle even more in the wake of massive publicity to buy drugs outside of normal supply chains. But in a meeting with state media last week, Governor Hutchinson said he had an idea for supplying drugs for executions. He said he had tried unsuccessfully to get the Obama administration to meet with him about it, but said he would try again with the Trump administration. Arkansas lawmakers could also change Arkansas’s method of execution to, say, firing squad. David Koon and Jacob Rosenberg contributed reporting.






Lab Tech

Responsible for performing basic and advanced laboratory analyses on treatment/industrial wastewater and QC samples. Responsible for analyzing, evaluating, interpreting, and preparing QC reports. Responsible for accurately maintaining records of tests conducted and general housekeeping. For more information visit Equal Opportunity Employer. Deadline to apply Friday 04/28/17

PASTURED OLD BREED PORK Our hogs are a cross between Large Black and Berkshire, old 19th century breeds. They are raised on our pasture and forage in the forest that adjoins our fields. They are never confined like industrial hogs. We do not use any kind of routine antibiotics. Our hogs live ARKANSAS GRASS were FED LAMB like they meant to. PRICE LIST FRESH RAW HAM $7 lb.




We offer first quality one-year-old lamb raised on our farm in North Pulaski County. Our meat is free of steroids or any other chemicals. The only time we use antibiotics is if the animal has been injured which is extremely rare. All meat is USDA inspected.

PORK BRATWURST $10 One pound package

You can pick up your meat at our farm off Hwy 107 in North Pulaski County (about 25 miles north of downtown Little Rock) or we can meet you in downtown Little Rock weekdays. All meat is aged and then frozen.

PORK STEAKS $10 lb PRICE LIST: RIB ROAST TESTICLES contains about eight ribs (lamb chops) $17 lb.

$10 lb


(bone in, cook this slow, like a pot roast. Meat falls off the bone). $11 lb.



(Our sheepskins are tanned in a Quaker Town, Pa. tannery that has specialized in sheepskins for generations.)


$20 lb


(one-lb package) $10 lb


(for stew or soup) $5 lb


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APRIL 20, 2017


Arkansas Times - April 20, 2017  

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