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A way up When most foster kids turn 18, they have nowhere to go. Immerse Arkansas was there for Ed Phillips; now he's there for others.

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COMMENT

Obama to-do list It must be extremely frustrating for President Barack Obama to see our country heading for the end of the pier knowing there is nothing he can do about it. There are, however, some things he can alter and he should focus on those. 1) Change the national anthem. Nobody can sing the Star Spangled Banner outside of those sopranos at ballparks, and even half of them can’t get it right. How about something by Woody Guthrie, Ray Charles or, my favorite choice, ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man”? 2) Straighten out this dollar coin fiasco. People never did warm to Susan B. Anthony. I’m sure she was a fine person but she looked like Robin Williams in “Mrs. Doubtfire.” Sacajawea was an individual to be admired but the courage she displayed in going with Lewis and Clark was a bit overplayed. After all, she was living in North Dakota and married to a Frenchman. How much worse could things have gotten for her? Let’s put Marilyn Monroe on the coin. Put Elvis on the flip side and people will sew leather liners into their pockets just so they can carry more of them.

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3) Get rid of the designated hitter. You can mess with curling, cross-country skiing or synchronized swimming all you want to and nobody will give a flip. Change the rules of hockey or soccer if you must, but baseball is sacred. 4) One charger fits all. We don’t need half a dozen hanging out of every outlet like Rasta dreadlocks. And while we’re at it, let’s make all those checkout line touch pads universal as well.  5) Get Christmas under control. Only an outgoing president with nothing to lose could take this on. I’ve heard it said that we are at war with Christmas. We are, and we’re losing badly. Christmas has overrun Thanksgiving and sprinted across the open ground between there and Halloween like Hitler’s Wehrmacht across the Russian steppes. Appeasement doesn’t work with Madison Avenue. If we don’t do something, and do it soon, we will be listening to insipid Christmas carols piped into our lives all year long.  David Rose Hot Springs

Not a path forward Autumn Tolbert (“Stay the course,”

Dec. 18) doesn’t like it when some folks say Dems should back off “identity politics” in favor of a progressive economic message that will appeal to the populist right. What she doesn’t seem to get is that these rural white voters see themselves as the victims, as opposed to the groups normally identified by the left as being disenfranchised in this country. These people can’t be shamed into voting Democratic by pointing out how mean they are. The only chance to win their votes is by appealing to their pocketbooks. Without their votes Dems will remain virtually irrelevant, which certainly won’t do much for their “identity politics” agenda. Rich Hutson Cabot In response to Tolbert’s guest column from the web Thank you, Autumn. I agree that we cannot compromise an inch on the value of equality or tolerance under the law, not even in the prioritization of expressing those values. When equality is threatened for any individual or group, it is immediately the priority.

Aside from being a moral absolute, we have to assume that no one else will stand up for those threatened minorities. Votes can be swayed in other ways. Arguments can be reframed. An opposition party can halt the erosion of rights even in the minority. For inspiration, think of how good the Republicans have been at being a legislative roadblock, even from 20082010 when they were the minority in the House and Senate. Civil liberties are much harder to re-win than votes. Scott Brock “It’s not a matter of choosing our battles; they’ve already been chosen for us.” ... by the Republicans, of course. Do you really think they want to do anything truly substantive or final about any of those pretended concerns? They do not, in the main because those hot topics keep Republican voters very active. To resolve any of those issues would mean to lose those myopic voters and the rhetorical (and supposedly moral) upper hand against Democrats. In the meantime, the Democrats spend far too much time in this rhetorical twilight zone far from the concerns of the average voter. I think it can be stated flatly that people who are concerned about how to pay their bills or make the rent might not give a fuck what bathroom a transgender person has to use, even if they have nothing against transgender persons and even wish them well. They just don’t care. Democrats keep bringing knives to a gunfight. I can tell you who will win every time. A lot of you are going to have to realize that voting Obama into office wasn’t the great icebreaker a lot of us thought it was going to be. Instead we’ve mobilized the racists and haters as a kind of blowback for our socially progressive viewpoint. And just like Clinton before him, Obama was actually a bit to the right of center. The end result was a huge sacrifice for very little gain. In hindsight, it was probably the dumbest thing Democrats ever did. And I voted for him, too. I am just going to state it plainly: We put a black man in the White House and we thought everyone would be cool with it. Newsflash: They really weren’t cool with it! But hey, sure, whatever, keep poking fear-motivated voters like the average Republican into always voting against your causes. That’ll work for sure tiredofit


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EYE ON ARKANSAS

WEEK THAT WAS

Quote of the week: “Everybody dresses in a costume. I didn’t know there was no such a thing as blackface. If I step down, I’m just getting what these people want. I mean, I’m standing up for my rights as a United States citizen.” — Blevins School Board member Ted Bonner, explaining to reporters why he wore blackface for Halloween and sported a sign reading “Blak Lives Matters.” A picture of Bonner went viral on social media, prompting calls for his resignation. The Blevins School District (Hempstead County) includes about 480 students, around 80 of them black.

In a split decision, the Arkansas Supreme Court threw out a ruling by a circuit judge who said the state Department of Health had violated the U.S. Constitution by refusing to list both parents’ names on the birth certificates of children of same-sex couples. The children of the three plaintiffs in the case were conceived via sperm donation. Writing for the majority, Justice Jo Hart said the statute at issue “centers on the relationship of the biological mother and the biological father to the child, not on the marital relationship of husband and wife.” In a dissent, Justice Paul Danielson argued that listing a parent’s name on a birth certificate is “a benefit associated with marriage” and noted that “the United States Supreme Court held in Obergefell that states are not free to deny same-sex couples ‘the constellation of benefits that the States have linked to marriage.’ Importantly, the Court listed ‘birth and death certificates’ specifically as one of those benefits attached to marital status.”

Bills, bills, bills State legislators continued to prefile bills in advance of the 2017 session. Among the most controversial in the last week: Rep. Mary Bentley (R-Perryville) proposed legislation to force people 6

DECEMBER 15, 2016

ARKANSAS TIMES

JON NICHOLS

Court denies birth rights

TRUMPETER SWANS IN ARKANSAS: The small oxbow Magness Lake southeast of Heber Springs is the winter home of the beautiful waterfowl.

on the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to use their benefits only to buy food with “sufficient nutritional value,” as determined by the state Department of Human Services. Bentley’s proposal would require a waiver from the federal government and could create a massive access problem in rural and low-income areas in Arkansas, where some beneficiaries might find themselves unable to use food stamps because of a lack of retailers offering eligible items. Rep. Brandt Smith (R-Jonesboro) filed a bill that would strip state funding from public colleges and universities that adopt “sanctuary” policies that demonstrate tolerance toward the presence of undocumented immigrants. The attorney general would be responsible for enforcement. Rep. Karilyn Brown (R-Sherwood) proposed requiring all schoolchildren be vaccinated against highly contagious diseases like measles, removing the state’s current exemption for religious or philosophical objections. Arkansas has one of the lowest rates of child vac-

cination in the country.

Only honor King, city says The city of Little Rock passed a resolution to ask legislators to repeal the state’s dual celebration of Martin Luther King and Robert E. Lee in January, and instead let the King holiday stand on its own. In 2015, bills to remove the Lee celebration (including amended versions to split the celebrations into two different days) failed in committee, with a loud group of neo-Confederates in attendance. The resolution from the Little Rock Board of Directors, which passed 8-1, requests that the Little Rock legislative delegation try again during this year’s session. Governor Hutchinson has also requested that the legislature make MLK Day a stand-alone holiday. City Director Joan Adcock was the lone voice against the resolution and made a

special request that any letter sent to the legislature not include her name. Her excuse, according to a story in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: “I feel like we have enough problems in the city without trying to tell the state what to do. I don’t feel like we need to tell them what to do. ... I feel like we need to solve the problems of Little Rock.”

Jett-ing to the GOP Rep. Joe Jett of Success announced that he was switching to the Republican Party. Jett is the third member of the Arkansas House of Representatives to do so after being elected as a Democrat in November, leaving the Dems with just 24 members in the House. The move undoes the maneuvering that gave Democrats an unexpected majority on the Revenue and Taxation committee. That committee, which Jett chaired the last two years, is now split 10-10.


OPINION

Winners, losers

T

he Arkansas Lottery limps along with generally static revenue. It is under-producing money for college scholarships and the awards continue to lose ground against college tuition increases required by declining state general revenue support. The biggest losers have been the families who need help the most. New legislation made a 19 ACT score the single qualifying standard for lottery scholarships this year. Previously, a 2.5 GPA also was a qualifier. Everybody suspected the new rule would depress applications and, along with a reduced first-year scholarship award (from $2,000 to $1,000), make the lottery revenue go farther. At my request, the Department of Higher Education compiled data on scholarship applications and awards that included racial and economic impact.

Overall applications dropped 16.5 percent, from 19,842 to 16,566.  But broken down by race, MAX the difference was BRANTLEY stark. White applimaxbrantley@arktimes.com cations dropped 10 percent, to 11,748, while black applications dropped 40.5 percent, to 1,867. The number of whites receiving scholarships dropped about 8 percent, to 8,698, while the number of blacks receiving scholarships dropped 36.4 percent, to 1,117. Because scholarship applicants use a common scholarship/grant application form, most provide a figure for family income (not verified by tax returns in all cases). That provided another interesting figure: The average family income of scholarship recipients rose 7.5 percent, to $84,264. That’s more than double the

average family income in Arkansas. In short, white students from families on the upper end of the income ladder in Arkansas were most likely to receive scholarships financed by lottery ticket purchases. Poor, black students were far less likely to qualify than in years past. It is no secret that Arkansas lags in both college-going and graduation rates and that poor and minority students disproportionately lag in those categories. And yet the legislature just passed new legislation that seems to have helped those who needed help least. That is, they were students who were likely to be college-bound, lottery scholarship or no lottery scholarship. Sen. Jimmy Hickey, the Republican who led the push for different scholarship standards, acknowledged that the outcome was not unexpected. He said race wasn’t a concern, but making the money last was. He said students still could qualify for scholarships after starting college on their own if they achieved an acceptable grade point (and the award in subsequent collegiate years

is now higher, $4,000 a year up from $3,000). If the lack of financial help in getting started is a concern, he said the concern would be better directed at the shortcomings of a system that is producing students unable to meet the ACT standard. Hickey has a point. But those who make it would be better positioned to defend it with a record in support of universal pre-K and a range of other initiatives that help family development and education attainment. I still object to the use of a single test score as a measure of worthiness. Most educators believe grades are a better indication of college success than standardized test scores. That debate aside, the demographic impact of the law change is stark. Those most in need are getting less. I fear this will be a theme of legislation other than lottery scholarships in the era of Republican domination of the legislature. It was evident in past Hutchinson administration tax policy, which left the working poor out of the last round of income tax cuts.

been alarmed by Trump’s choice of Andrew Puzder, the CEO of fast-food chains, who opposes the ERNEST minimum wage DUMAS and government worker protections generally, to be secretary of labor, the man in charge of enforcing wage-and-hour and employment laws. But most businessmen were heartened, perhaps even with his support for immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship. Trump’s choice of Puzder may have been nothing more than just rewarding a kindred spirit. Both men are famous admirers of soft porn, in the presidentelect’s case nude photo shoots and risque palaver — on air and in private — and in Puzder’s case his famous soft-porn commercials starring the rich sex queen Paris Hilton and other nearly naked models doing sexually suggestive things to promote his burger chains. Puzder scoffed at the healthy-food movement. Americans want “decadent” food and should get it, he said. Even the showman’s big gesture to workers, Carrier’s agreement to keep 700 jobs that it had planned to ship to Mexico, had to be heartening to big business.

Carrier’s deal with Trump is that it will ship 1,300 jobs from Indiana to Mexico, reap $7 million from Indiana taxpayers to help the transition and sit by for Trump’s promise to permanently cut the taxes of United Technologies, Carrier’s parent, by half. Who’s next? The giant fossil-fuel industry was cool to the Trump candidacy early and properly nervous thereafter, recalling the fullpage the New York Times ad that he and three offspring signed in 2009 calling for radical steps by the government to cut carbon emissions and reverse global warming. All those fears perished quickly with the appointment of the Oklahoma attorney general, a climate-change denier and furious opponent of pollution restrictions on industry, as administrator of the agency created to protect Americans’ environmental health and restore clean water and air. The appointment of ExxonMobil’s CEO as secretary of state had to turn relief into bliss. Exxon for years financed the scientific subterfuge that carbon emissions were perfectly safe for the environment, although the company now says it sort of recognizes the reality. But the State Department will no longer be a champion of global carbon reduction. The Koch brothers are off their antidepressants. People who voted for Trump in the expectation that he would build a giant wall and deport 13 million immigrants must be in sorrow over his quiet assurances that he won’t do much of either. So who else is happier than on election night?

Obviously the Russophiles, who seem to be a larger quotient than we thought. Trump was the first pro-Russian candidate for president since Gus Hall’s last race in 1984, when Ronald Reagan beat him by a factor of 1,500 to 1, but all the pre-election talk about the Kremlin interfering in the election had to worry Russia’s defenders. Trump doubled down after the election, insisting that Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin loved him and would be great allies, even in the face of the assertions by Republican leaders in Congress that Putin was a nasty man who would never look after America’s interests. Trump named retired Gen. Michael T. Flynn, who peddled fake conspiracies about Hillary Clinton and others and considered himself a friend of Putin, as his national security adviser. Flynn appeared several times on the Kremlin’s television network and as a guest of Putin at a gala. Russophiles had to be relieved Tuesday when, in spite of Republican leaders vowing to expose Russian meddling in the election, Trump nominated as secretary of state the ExxonMobil CEO, who will face harsh questioning about his friendship with Putin, his company’s ties to the Russian oil oligarchy and his opposition to the crippling sanctions against Russia imposed by President Obama after the country’s takeover of Crimea and its incursions into Ukraine. That seals it. Russia is our partner, no longer an adversary. It’s time to be happy.

No fear

P

residential elections leave many fearful, more so Donald Trump’s than any other, but a month out from the inaugural some of the tormented are already breathing huge sighs of relief. None are more relieved than the top tenth of 1 percent, those we loved to call the plutocrats, who were alarmed at the populist turn of Trump’s candidacy, his insinuations that he would be a friend of the sunburned sons of toil, an enemy of Wall Street and particularly of the great investment house Goldman Sachs that owned Sen. Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton, and a scourge of the super-rich whose taxes he would raise. He was going to drain the swamp in Washington, where the rich and powerful always got their way through the dispensations of money and lobbyists. Now, not a happier band abides in the land. Some days it seems that Goldman Sachs will be in charge of half of the new government. Trump’s tax plan turned out to be a boon for all the super-rich and a bone for the middle class. Cabinet posts went mainly to the mega-rich, even the department serving public education in America, which will be run by a scion of the shady Amway fortune who does not believe in public education. If Trump’s millions of blue-collar fans paid attention, they might have

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Mass delusions

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mericans have always thought themselves a practical, commonsensical people, a nation of Thomas Edisons and Henry Fords. (Never mind that industrial genius Ford was also a political crank whose treatise “The International Jew,” influenced Nazi race theory.) In reality, we’ve always been a nation of easy marks. As Mencken wrote: “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.” I once had a neighbor with an artificially deep, booming voice I suspected he practiced in the shower. Although a businessman, his great passion was casting horoscopes. Upon hearing my wife complain about my disorderly home office, he chortled knowingly and said, “It’s a sure thing he’s not a Virgo.” Of the 12 signs in the Zodiac, a Virgo happens to be exactly what I am. On the cusp of Libra no less, which supposedly indicates what adepts of the rival Freudian superstition would call an “anal-retentive” passion for order. With odds of 11 to 1 in his favor, he’d flubbed the dub. If you think he was embarrassed, you’ve never met a serious astrologer. There’s always a deeper, more subtle way in which something laughably wrong is actually right. I couldn’t help but think of my former neighbor when I heard Donald Trump explain that losing the popular presidential vote by almost 3 million votes constituted the greatest landslide win in history. But I digress. To me, the two most astonishing events during my lifetime have been Jonestown and Heaven’s Gate. The 1978 suicide/mass murder of 909 members of Jim Jones’ religious and political cult in the jungles of Guyana constituted the most appalling episode of group psychosis in U.S. history. For sheer nuttiness, the 1997 Heaven’s Gate episode struck me as equally bizarre — involving, as it did, not merely crackpot religion but UFOs. Thirty-nine cult members died together in the rapt expectation that a spaceship hidden behind an approaching comet would soon transport them to planet Nutball and eternal glory. But seriously, is that any crazier than the invasion of a Washington pizza joint by an armed zealot from North Carolina last week? Thankfully, nobody died. But the ingredients for tragedy were all there: a preposterous conspiracy theory peddled by a talk show guru (and endorsed by White House appointee Gen. Michael Flynn) that supposedly involved Satanism, child sex slaves and infanticide, and

even the imagined participation of head witch Hillary Clinton and President Obama. How crazy do GENE you have to be to LYONS believe such rubbish? This crazy: “When I think about all the children Hillary Clinton has personally murdered and chopped up and raped, I have zero fear standing up against her,” Infowars talk show host Alex Jones said in a YouTube video posted on Nov. 4. “Yeah, you heard me right. Hillary Clinton has personally murdered children. I just can’t hold back the truth anymore.” Jones, whose website champions his new best friend Donald Trump and the president-elect’s boon companion Vladimir Putin, later alibied that he’d spoken metaphorically about Syria. But I don’t think that’s what “personally” means. Jones’ Infowars.com site also markets bottled potions promising “Super Male Vitality,” and “Brain Force Plus,” along with survivalist gear and “The Unholy See,” a book concerning the Vatican and “forthcoming events of the prophetic future.” In short, one-stop shopping for every impotent Froot Loop on your Christmas list. Just last summer, Jones provoked a panic in rural Texas with fevered allegations that the real purpose of U.S. Army maneuvers there was to install secret armies of ISIS fighters in underground tunnels connecting empty Walmart stores. He’s also persuaded thousands that the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre in Connecticut was a “false flag” hoax aimed at confiscating their guns. Anybody believing that shouldn’t be allowed to walk off-leash in a city park, much less to buy an AR-15. So, Alex Jones: absolutely psycho, or psycho like a fox? We report, you decide. However, I’d argue that “fake news” is a wholly inadequate term. Fake news is what Fox News and the New York Times too often do. The Comet Ping Pong pizza episode is more on the order of an organized psychiatric delusion — a collective mental illness. Alas, the internet has driven a scary number of our fellow citizens back to medieval levels of superstition and credulousness. But they can’t be reasoned out of it, only lampooned.


Church politics

D

onald Trump’s historic success with white evangelical voters (with about four in five of their votes, according to exit polls, he met the high-water mark for GOP candidates in the modern era) was one of the keys to his narrow Electoral College victory. On the policy front and in other key ways, religious conservatives are now positioned to be a force within a Trump presidency. It is the progressive branch of Christianity that is benefiting in the immediate aftermath of the election, however, as Trumpism has become the foil for its New Testament-focused message. Throughout his campaign for president, Trump also talked regularly about his dedication to eliminate the “Johnson Amendment,” the provision of the tax code that bars all tax-exempt organizations from supporting or opposing candidates for electoral office or from lobbying on specific issues. While its origins had nothing to do with religion (the motivation behind the amendment was to prevent anti-Communist organizations from funneling money into the campaign of then-Sen. Lyndon Johnson’s opponent for re-election to the U.S. Senate in 1954), Christian right groups and churches have been most agitated by it as they repoliticized in the 1970s and have aggressively challenged it in a series of court cases, in which it has been upheld. Critics of the ban have framed it as an abridgement of free speech and, indeed, particularly for the individual clergy members whose speech is limited by the ban, it raises interesting First Amendment issues. However, the debate over the ban also ties to the political power of churches and other religious institutions, particularly in regard to political money. If the provision were eliminated, churchrelated political entities could become, in essence, tax-supported super PACs as large, tax-exempt donations were made to them to indirectly aid candidates’ campaigns. So, both in terms of policy and in important institutional ways, conservative Christian churches may be the long-term beneficiaries of the Trump years. However, there is evidence that the immediate beneficiaries have been religious institutions at the other end of the political spectrum. As an article by Emma Green in The Atlantic this week notes, churches across various liberal denominations have seen major bumps in church attendance in the aftermath of the election. While the evidence is only

anecdotal, progressive churches have been spaces where those questioning the cause and meaning of JAY Trump’s victory BARTH have sought solace in significant numbers. Green also notes that, perhaps even more important than any increase in attendance (and, indeed, the dramatic increase in nonbelievers in American society limits that growth potential significantly), the rise of Trump “might be theologically, morally and intellectually generative for progressive religious traditions.” Trump’s competitionfocused worldview and bombastic style is an implicit and explicit foil for a New Testament-centered theology focused on communitarian love. This array of sermons and essays serve as a spiritual extension of the secular slogan “Love Trumps Hate,” employed by the Clinton campaign. Considering my own ambivalent relationship with organized religion, I’m surprised to say that two of the most comforting events I’ve had in the aftermath of Nov. 8 resulted from sermons delivered from the pulpit of Christ Episcopal Church in downtown Little Rock (my friends, including my priest, who know well my secular sentiments are likely even more surprised). One came at a funeral that celebrated the life of a 95-year-old who evidenced communal love — rather than aggressive competition — in all his interactions with friends and with strangers. “God knows this world needs joy-fired lives like his more than ever,” Rector Scott Walters concluded. The other, two days later, came at an appearance by the Church’s new Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, the first African-American to hold the leadership position and a dynamic preacher. Curry also grappled with the meaning of these times, saying that our ultimate guidepost should be something we learned as kindergartners: the Pledge of Allegiance. After slowly repeating its closing words (“One Nation. Under God. Indivisible. With Liberty and Justice FOR ALL”), he bellowed: “That’s the America I love and those were the words that we needed then and the words we that we need now. We will make it through our differences. We will make it through hard times, standing on the rock that is the core of who we actually are as a nation.”

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DECEMBER 15, 2016

ARKANSAS TIMES

Juco impact

M

ike Anderson, of all people, should know well the value of premier junior college talent. The Arkansas head coach went to Jefferson State Community College in Birmingham, Ala., before Nolan Richardson plucked him away for two years at Tulsa, then Anderson rejoined Richardson on Tulsa’s coaching staff. Richardson, of course, won a national junior college championship at Western Texas in 1980 before taking the reins at Tulsa. As Richardson endeavored to rebuild an Arkansas program that was in tatters after Eddie Sutton crawled to Lexington, it wasn’t just his infiltration of the Memphis high school scene that facilitated that rebirth. He sprinkled in role players who transferred to Fayetteville, namely the likes of Lenzie Howell, Roger Crawford and Robert Shepherd. Anderson was so convicted in his belief that he needed to secure in-state high school talent that he might’ve overlooked the fact that in his first, largely undistinguished five years in charge of the program, one of his best all-around players was a guy named Coty Clarke. He wasn’t a superstar, and for the two seasons he manned the wing, the transfer from Lawson State Community College in Alabama wasn’t able to nudge the Razorbacks into the NCAA Tournament — they did so the year following his graduation with a solid 27-9 campaign — but his quiet leadership was obvious. He was a bit of a throwback to the aforementioned Howell, who was a standout for two highly accomplished seasons (1988-89, 1989-90) after arriving from San Jacinto College. With there being rising skepticism about whether Anderson could get the kind of results here that Arkansas fans craved after a decade of ineptitude from Stan Heath and John Pelphrey, the coach went back to the two-year college route and secured three of the top six JUCO guys in the nation. Arlando Cook’s interior impact has been a little limited thus far, but Daryl Macon and Jaylen Barford’s work in the backcourt is a reminder of just how invaluable it can be to have the short-term but ready-made production of transfers on your team. Macon was a Little Rock Parkview product who needed to head to Holmes Community College in Mississippi and promptly delivered a couple of All-American seasons there. Barford came out of Jackson, Tenn., with tremendous hype and ended up at Motlow State, where he similarly excelled. The two have

fairly similar skills and builds — both stand 6’3” and are more scorer than shooter — and they’re throwing BEAU in a healthy 22 WILCOX points combined per game through the Hogs’ 8-1 start. It was Barford who may have performed the earliest rescue work of the young season when he keyed a big 20-2 second-half rally against Texas-Arlington, which promptly reeled off seven straight victories and took down Texas and No. 12 St. Mary’s in that stretch. His 17-point effort was a season best, and he also had six rebounds and three steals in the win, overcoming some of his own gaffes (six turnovers) to be the kind of sparkplug that was needed after the Mavericks slugged the Hogs straight in the jaw over the first 15 minutes of that game. Macon’s turn to hit 17 came last week against Houston, which is the likely American Athletic Conference favorite, and he did it in a very efficient and timely fashion, dropping in three of his four three-point tries and shooting only nine shots from the floor and five from the line. It’s that kind of measured but impactful play that Macon was enlisted to provide, and so far he’s handled it with aplomb. When conference play starts in earnest, he’s going to likely need to loosen the reins on his shot, because he’s logging over 20 minutes per game and yet has only attempted double-figure shots twice in the first nine contests. The virtue of what both players are doing is seen in the third shooting guard’s numbers. Dusty Hannahs is an evolved and less flaky version of onetime appointed program savior Rotnei Clarke. Last year, the rounded nature of Hannah’s game was such a surprise that even with the team sliding to 16-16 at the end, there was lingering optimism behind because Hannahs had been so consistent that he could even flourish more with support. And that belief has been borne out, as after he placed in double figures in 28 of 32 games last season, Hannahs has started his senior year by hitting at least 11 points in all nine games, and doing more on-ball defensive work and penetrating the paint at the other end. In other words, this backcourt trio appears to be complementing each other masterfully, and that kind of quickly forged chemistry cannot be understated.


THE OBSERVER NOTES ON THE PASSING SCENE

I ❤ Emily

T

he Observer, being a known liberal, has been trying to do our part to shore up the sagging spirits of friends since the election. By making others feel like there’s some cause to get out of bed in the morning, we find reasons to rise from our own, even though there have been a peck of days since Nov. 9 when we have simply wanted to roll over when the alarm clock buzzed, remaining there even as our phone filled up with texts from The Boss, asking where in the hell we are and, if we ain’t coming back, could we please stuff the uniform through the mail slot? A friend was in despair the other day. So, as we do, we sent her a message, along with a photo of a smiling stick figure of a girl. Here’s what we said:

This is Emily. She’s 19 years old, and has never experienced that “right on the tip of my tongue” feeling, because since she can remember, she has had access to a supercomputer in her pocket that can tell her the flight speed of an unladen African swallow in 15 seconds or less. She has never known what it is to be prejudiced, because she grew up with heroes like Beyonce and Jon Stewart, Bruno Mars and Michelle Obama. She has never known what it is to be homophobic, because she grew up with TV shows where several of the characters are LGBT and nobody ever makes a big deal of it, because who gives a shit? She has never known what it is to be selfish about money, because she has had it drilled into her head since kindergarten that the only thing you get from being selfish is misery and sadness. She has never known what it is to be willfully ignorant, because she has heard since grade school that the American Dream only works these days for educated people — an idea she believes in enough that she is currently burying herself in student loan debt. She has, however, known what it is to be deprived of basic health care and a living wage, because she and her friends have so often been forced to make do with part-time service jobs that offer no insurance coverage and leave them clinging to the hem of middle class by their fingernails.

This year, according to the Pew Research Center, Emily and her friends between 18-29 almost matched the Baby Boomers as the largest demographic block of voting age U.S. citizens: 69.2 million Emilys versus 69.7 million Boomers. By the time we vote for president again in 2020, the Emilys will have handily surpassed the Boomers. Meanwhile, Emily’s Uncle Bob, who has been posting “Trumped That Bitch” memes all over Facebook since Election Day, is 60 years old, and walking to the graveyard on a path made of crushed Milwaukee’s Best cans and tater chip bags. The Uncle Bobs are shuffling off into oblivion, down from a voting age peak of 72.9 million in 2004 and falling like a rock ever since. His slice of the electoral pie gets smaller every moment of every day, while Emily’s slice grows and grows. While Uncle Bob bought into the con that Trump is going to Make America Great Again, Emily sees nothing great about looking back longingly on the economic bounty of a past she largely missed out on and which would have institutionally excluded her, her LGBT friends, her disabled friends and her friends of color from reaching their dreams. While you might be shaking your head right now, muttering the conventional wisdom that young people don’t vote, a Rock the Vote poll conducted before the election shows that 83 percent of Millennials are registered to vote. We just have to give them someone to vote for. Emily understands that her grandma, grandpa, mom, dad and Uncle Bob have royally screwed up this time. She knows the stakes. So if Emily and her friends can get some time off from their two part-time jobs and the cars they have put off replacing because they are drowning in student loan debt will start on Election Day 2020 — and, of course, if we can give them somebody to believe in and hope for in 2020 rather than just another left-center DemBot — Emily is coming to save us all. Keep the faith, sister. Teach the children well. A change is gonna come.

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Arkansas Reporter

THE

Medical marijuana commission gets rolling Anti-gay lawyer among the appointees. BY BENJAMIN HARDY

W

hen Arkansas voters last month approved a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana, a clock began ticking to establish a system for the drug’s production and distribution. On Monday, Dec. 12, the first piece of that new regulatory regime fell into place with the inaugural meeting of the fivemember Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission. Governor Hutchinson and legislative leaders announced the appointments to the panel the previous week. It should be emphasized that the commission’s authority is limited to licensing of dispensaries and cultivation facilities. The Alcoholic Beverage Control Division will handle day-to-day regulation of those businesses. The Department of Health will oversee the patient side of the equation. But with a limited number of potentially lucrative licenses to be allotted — the amendment mandates 20 to 40 dispensary licenses statewide, and four to eight licenses for cultivation centers — the commission’s work is of great interest to both pro-pot and anti-pot groups, as well as entrepreneurs eager to break into the marijuana business. That accounted for the large audience at the Dec. 12 meeting, which spilled into the hallway outside the ABC’s conference room. Hutchinson’s choice for the commission was Dr. Ronda Henry-Tillman of Little Rock, a surgical oncologist at the University of Arkansas for Medical Science who specializes in breast cancer. Two commissioners were selected by Arkansas Speaker of the House Jeremy Gillam: Dr. Stephen Carroll, a pharmacist from Benton, and Fayetteville lawyer Travis Story. Senate President Pro Tem Jonathan Dismang appointed Dr. Carlos Roman of 12

DECEMBER 15, 2016

ARKANSAS TIMES

HUTCHINSON: State will implement the people’s will on medical marijuana, but it remains to be seen how Trump administration will handle the conflict between federal and state law.

Little Rock, an anesthesiologist and pain management specialist, and James Miller of Bryant, a former chief of staff for the state Senate who is now a lobbyist for the Arkansas Railroad Association, among other private interests. Story’s name is the best known among the five. A vocal advocate for conservative social causes, he’s fought against Fayetteville’s civil rights ordinance extending protections to LGBT people. He also helped defeat a similar nondiscrimination ordinance in Texarkana earlier this year, campaigned unsuccessfully against another civil rights measure in Eureka Springs, and is among those working to install a monument of the Ten Commandments

on the state Capitol grounds. Rep. Bob Ballinger (R-Hindsville), who sponsored legislation in 2015 aimed at LGBT people, practices law at Story’s firm. When asked why Story was picked for the position — rather than an attorney with experience in state rules and regulations — Gillam replied, “There’s not a lot of folks that put forth their applications that had that specific background, had that experience. So what we looked for was someone who had relative experience in the law. For me at least ... that was one of the prisms of thought that I used in arriving at the conclusion that I thought that he would be an asset to this commission.” Gillam said that many of the lawyers intimately

familiar with rules and regulations are already employed by the state. Gillam, Dismang and the governor all publically opposed the marijuana measure, and Hutchinson, who was once director of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, fiercely campaigned against its passage. But since the election, the governor has said he’ll work faithfully to implement the law “fairly and responsibly.” He acknowledged at the press conference that implementing the law “was a position I hoped I would never be in” and added that he was still mindful that “what we are doing in terms of implementing the people’s will in medical marijuana ... remains a violation of federal law. It remains to be seen as to what the Trump administration will do in this regard. ... But until we get a change of policy from Washington, we proceed on with the will of the people.” The commission’s first meeting was strictly about housekeeping. Commissioners took an oath, elected HenryTillman as chair and heard from staffers at the Department of Finance and Administration and the attorney general’s office about the timeline for promulgating rules and compliance with the state Freedom of Information Act. The commission set its next meeting — which should prove more substantial — for 3 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 20. Application fees are established by the amendment itself: $7,500 for a dispensary and $15,000 for a cultivation facility. However, it remains to be seen how licenses will be distributed in Arkansas. The governor said last week that he’s inclined toward a lottery, after applicants demonstrate their basic capacity and financial wherewithal to open a dispensary or grow center. “A lottery system is what has worked well with ... alcohol permits across Arkansas, so we are very familiar with that. ... That would be my inclination.” Hutchinson also said he believes a lottery could help prevent large outof-state interests from dominating the marijuana market. The commissioners the Arkansas Times spoke to after the Dec. 12 meeting said it was too early to comment on a preferred method for distributing licenses.


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Neither Henry-Tillman nor Story would say whether they voted for or against the amendment. At last week’s press conference, Dismang admitted that he was aware that both of his appointees voted “no,” but Hutchinson and Gillam wouldn’t answer the question. “I’m here to carry out the intent of the [voters],” Henry-Tillman said. “I think it’s an exciting time.” She noted that “not everyone in the state voted for it, and we have to be conscious of that.” She also said she’s had patients ask for medical marijuana in the past. Roman, the anesthesiologist, has chaired the pain committee of the state Medical Board for 15 years, where he’s worked to limit the abuse of opiates, benzodiazepines and other medications. “I think that’s why they asked me to be on this, because of the work that I’ve done on overprescribing opiates,” he said. Roman said some states that have instituted medical marijuana — such as Colorado — have seen a decline in prescription painkiller abuse, but he said he is concerned about the effects of using marijuana in tandem with opiates or other substances. “You still have to deal with the synergism of drugs. … Overdose deaths are pretty much all from multi-substances.” Still, he also acknowledged marijuana is less addictive than alcohol (and vastly less so than opiates) and has a higher “safety margin” than many substances. “You can probably smoke your body weight in marijuana, if that were physiologically possible, and you will live to tell about it. You could take two or three pills of an opiate and not live to tell about it,” he said. “I’m open to the efficacy of it and all that. I did vote against the amendment. A lot of doctors, we’re a little skeptical of its application — particularly since we have Marinol, so it’s not like we’ve never had access to cannabinoids in medicine.” “It’s not a Snickers bar, but it’s not heroin,” Roman said. He said he has patients who would like to receive a medical marijuana prescription. Commissioners will serve a term of four years (although two of the initial members will serve two-year terms, so as to stagger future appointments).

The amendment says that they must “have no economic interest in a dispensary or cultivation facility.” The governor pointed out at last week’s press conference that the measure prohibits such “entanglements with the marijuana business,” as he put it. To be a

commissioner, Hutchinson said, “You really have to say, ‘We’re going to be part of the regulatory process and not be part of the marijuana business.’ ” Commissioners are unpaid, although they may receive a stipend of up to $85 per day when attending

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13


The givers honor roll CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL AMONG TOP RECIPIENTS OF CHARITABLE DOLLARS IN 2016.

By Leslie Newell Peacock

T

he generosity of Arkansans has put the state at No. 10 on the World Giving Index, the Charities Aid Foundation reported in November. The rating took into account all sorts of altruistic factors, such as the volunteer rate, percentage of income donated and the percentage of sheltered homeless. Arkansas’s volunteering rank was 32nd, but its charitable giving rank was second only to No. 1 Utah, home of the Mormon Church, whose members are serious about tithing. Arkansas’s charitable giving rank is good news for Arkansas Children’s Hospital, which announced in June a $70 million capital campaign to build Arkansas Children’s Hospital Northwest in Springdale. Since then, individual gifts of $1 million have been rolling in, and Tyson Foods and the Tyson Family Foundation joined to donate $15 million to the hospital, scheduled to open in 2018. ACH Northwest will house 24 in-patient beds, a 24-hour emergency room, a surgery center, an outpatient clinic and other services in a 233,613-squarefoot facility. The hospital estimates construction and equipment costs at $167 million and total costs, including operations, at $427.7 million over the next five years. The families of Robin and Gary George and Cathy and David Evans donated the 37 acres on Interstate 49 between Don Tyson Parkway and U.S. Hwy. 412 that the hospital will be built on. The land value was estimated at $7.5 million.

BESIDES THE TYSON FAMILY, other announced benefactors to Arkansas Children’s Hospital Northwest include: Fadil Bayyari of Springdale and his children, Sara Boelkins, Sophia Bayyari and Joseph Bayyari, who have pledged $1 million. Kirk and Cynthia Dupps of Northwest Arkansas, who donated $1 million. Their grandson, Jimi, was diagnosed in 2014 with acute myeloid leukemia and received 100 days of treatment at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. He is now in remission. Karen and Darren Horton of Northwest Arkansas, whose grandson was treated for a life-threatening heart condition when he was only a few days old, are giving $1 million.

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DECEMBER 15, 2016

ARKANSAS TIMES

The J.B. and Johnelle Hunt family, which is giving $1 million. The dining area will bear their name. Robin and Gary George of Springdale, who made a gift of $1 million to the hospital for the Robin George Chapel. Gifts from businesses to the hospital include $8 million from Wal-Mart Inc. and the Walmart Foundation, $5 million from J.B. Hunt Transportation, $5 million over five years from the Will Golf 4 Kids and Color of Hope fund-

raisers and $1 million from Premier Concepts LLC.

Charles and Kay Luter made a gift of $1 million to the College of Business at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, which both attended. COLLEGES, UNIVERSITIES AND Rush and Linda Harding of Little HOSPITALS have also announced the following gifts since January 2016: Rock have pledged $500,000 to the The Clark Family Foundation of Norbert O. Schedler Honors College Florida made a gift of $2.5 million to at the University of Central Arkansas at Conway. Arkansas Children’s Hospital to estabNabholz Contruction Co. made a lish the David M. Clark Center for Safe $500,000 gift to the University of Cenand Healthy Children at Battery and 12th tral Arkansas at Conway to establish a streets. Bunny and Carol Adcock have simulation center in the Doyne Health established a $1 million endowment to Sciences Center. help students at the University of CenFormer Acxiom CEO Charles D. tral Arkansas in Conway study abroad. Morgan has made a gift of $300,000 to the University of Central Arkansas for the Charles D. JOHNELLE Morgan Endowed Chair of HUNT: The founder, Computer Science Fund. with her late The family of the late husband, of J.B. William E. “Bill” Clark Hunt Transport gave $300,000 to the UniServices is versity of Arkansas for Medmaking a gift of $1 million to the ical Sciences to establish a construction distinguished endowed chair of Arkansas in honor of J. Thomas May. Children’s The gift adds to a previous $1 Hospital million to endow the chair. Northwest. Joe Whisenhunt Sr., Joe Whisenhunt Jr., Kari TYSON Whisenhunt and family TOWER: A gift gave $250,000 to the Uniof $15 million versity of Central Arkansas combined to provide equipment purfrom the Tyson Family chase for a practice room Foundation in the department of music, and Tyson including a grand piano and Foods will other instruments. build the Tyson Charles F. “Micky” Family Tower at Arkansas Mayfield Jr. and his wife, Children’s Marybeth, are contributHospital ing $212,000 toward the Northwest. creation of scholarships for undergraduates in the THE HORTONS: Department of Electrical Karen and Engineering at the UniverDarren Horton sity of Arkansas. made a gift John and Jane Alford of $1 million to Arkansas of Fort Smith gave $100,000 Children’s to the University of ArkanHospital, where sas School of Law to endow their grandson, scholarships for members of Brayden Wiley, federally recognized Native 7, was treated as an infant for American tribes. a life-threatJim McClelland and ening heart his wife, Pat, of Little Rock condition. The have pledged $100,000 to gift will support the planned Civil Engineerconstruction of Arkansas ing Research and Education Children’s Center at the University of Hospital Arkansas. Northwest in Springdale.


that women desperately need, not only for their physical health, but also to overcome the stigma of homelessness.”

website, arkansaswomensoutreach. org, includes a page where visitors can order items, including condoms and pads, from their Amazon.com wish list, for direct shipping to the charity’s post office box. Simmons and Achor also attend the Wednesday night “dinner and a movie” event at the homeless-friendly Canvas Community Church on Seventh Street in Little Rock, where they speak to women about what they need, distribute supplies and host educators and health professionals.

“We were surprised to find that nothing like Arkansas Women’s Outreach existed,” Simmons said. “There are a ton of great homeless support systems in Little Rock, incredible organizations that just go above and beyond to help the homeless community, but nothing that specifically addresses women’s health and women’s hygiene in the homeless community. That’s kind of when we decided, ‘Hey, we’re going to do this.’ ” The pair formed a nonprofit and began accepting donations. Their

“We’re able to see all the women who come there, and we’re able to talk to them about what they’re needing,” Achor said. “That’s how we not only inform what kind of donations we need, [but] we also tailor our educational and health services to that.” Since founding the organization, Achor and Simmons have partnered with Planned Parenthood, the Little Rock Community Mental Health Center and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences to provide services

Arkansas Women’s Outreach BRINGING A MEASURE OF DIGNITY TO THE LIVES OF HOMELESS WOMEN.

W

hen you think of donating to charities that help the homeless, your first thought of what to give might immediately go to things like socks, gloves, coats, secondhand clothes, canned food or sleeping bags. There are, however, items that are rarely donated, but which can add more than you know to the dignity and health of a woman facing life on the streets: pads, tampons and cleansing cloths to help homeless women deal with their periods. If you just did anything other than nod after reading that sentence, written by a strapping male who will never have to deal with menstruation, you’re on your way to understanding why those crucial items aren’t donated nearly as often as they should be. One Central Arkansas group that’s working to help provide ready access to feminine hygiene products is Arkansas Women’s Outreach. Along with collecting and distributing those badly needed items, they also accept donations of condoms and new women’s underwear, and coordinate with local hospitals and clinics to arrange mammograms, HIV and STD testing, mental health intervention and other health screenings for homeless women. In addition to helping women avoid sometimes life-threatening infections that can be caused by using unsanitary substitutes for tampons and pads, the founders say they’re helping women find hope. Arkansas Women’s Outreach was started in 2015 by Little Rock residents Katy Simmons and Rachel Achor. After becoming friends on Facebook and noting how their interest in helping the homeless meshed, Simmons and Achor met up at Vino’s Brewpub in March 2015 to talk about how they could do more. That meeting led them to reach out to several local organizations that help the homeless, including Our House and The Van. A pattern soon emerged. “We started hearing that feminine hygiene products are consistently underdonated,” Achor said. “No one ever has enough of them — pads, tampons, baby wipes, bras, underwear. All of this stuff

BRIAN CHILSON

By David Koon

and education events at Canvas, including an event a few weeks back in which UAMS brought out a portable mammogram unit. Health care provider ARcare has provided free HIV and STD testing, Simmons said. A partnership between Arkansas Women’s Outreach and the Little Rock Community Mental Health Center has counselors visiting with homeless people at Canvas one Wednesday night a month. “They sit down and do one-on-one discussions with the women and men,” Simmons said. “They can’t actually hold a formal counseling session, but … Little Rock Community Mental Health CenFILLING A NEED: Arkansas ter will help them find Women’s access to transportaOutreach tion and schedule cofounders much needed mental Katy Simmons health appointments.” (left) and Rachel Achor Simmons said a provide femirecently formed partnine hygiene nership with UAMS products will soon see student to homenurses providing less women in Central guidance to homeArkansas. less women about their health concerns. In addition to helping women receive donations and services, Simmons and Achor also distribute condoms and information about safer sex. Simmons said that’s important, because they often work with women who are involved in prostitution in order to survive. It’s all part, Simmons said, of helping homeless women deal with “the layers of demoralizing situations” to which they are particularly vulnerable. “Women deal directly with periods and the sex trade and a lot of other topics that people aren’t comfortable openly discussing,” Simmons said. “I think that it kind of falls to the wayside, because it makes people uncomfortable. What we hope to do is create a space for these women where they can talk to us about women’s health issues, where there are no judgments. … By creating a positive space, and kind of reducing the stress of worrying about what they’re going to do when they have their next period, they find hope.” For more information or to donate to Arkansas Women’s Outreach, visit arkansaswomensoutreach.org and click the “Take Action” tab. Donations of feminine hygiene products, baby wipes, condoms and new bras and women’s underwear can also be dropped off every Wednesday night between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. at Canvas Community Church, 1111 W. Seventh St., Little Rock. arktimes.com

DECEMBER 15, 2016

15


Arkansas’s top grantmakers AND WHERE THEIR MONEY GOES.

By Leslie Newell Peacock

B CASA of Pulaski County HELP THE KIDS WHO NEED IT THE MOST

By Cristina Little

“I

magine in the middle of the night someone who is a total stranger to you barges into your home with the police, walks up and says, ‘We are going to move you to a different home,’? ” Xanthoula Groom asks. “So they grab a trash bag, throw in some of your clothes, and take you to a stranger’s house and say you have to live there right now. Imagine as an adult having to go through that, let alone a child.” That is the experience of many children who the state takes into custody because of findings of abuse or neglect. But juvenile judges can bring in a Court Appointed Special Advocates volunteer to work on behalf of children in state custody to ensure their interests aren’t lost in the bureaucracy of the child welfare system. “We work for the children,” said Groom, a volunteer for CASA of Pulaski County. “They can be any kid, from [a child at home aged] 17 to newborn infants, taken into care straight from the hospital. It varies tremendously, just as the reasons children have come into care for. My job is to get to know the case and the people involved in it very well so I can make recommendations to the judge regarding the best interest of the children.” Groom has been appointed to four cases in the two years that she has been a volunteer. She visits the kids from her cases in their foster homes, school or daycares; meets their biological parents and any other relative involved in the case; testifies in court; and participates in school meetings. She studies the children’s backgrounds, medical 16

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records and other relevant factors to make recommendations to the judge that will directly affect the future of these children. Giving emotional support is a big part of her job, Groom says. “No matter how you slice it and dice it, all of this is extremely traumatic to kids,” she said. “These children that end up in foster care, even though the circumstances may be a million times better than they ever were before, are dealing with the grief from being separated from their parents or caretakers, the conflicting emotions of ‘I love that person’ and ‘I can’t see them right now’ so I miss them, but yet that person may have harmed me or neglected me. There are so many dimensions to our feelings and the same person who may have beaten you or starved you is the same person who raised you and the first person you ever touched.” CASA receives 55 percent of its funding from Pulaski County, 35 percent from an Arkansas State CASA Association grant and 10 percent from individual or corporate donors. All cash donations go directly into services for children via volunteer recruitment, training and support staff to supervise the volunteers. Though volunteering for CASA is not a job for everyone, anyone can apply. Advocates need to go through a 35-hour pre-service training that consists of classes that relate to the dynamics of human behavior associated with child abuse and neglect, as well as the relevant state and federal laws. For more information or to donate, visit pulaskicountycasa.org or call 501-3406741.

ecause Sam Walton and Winthrop Rockefeller called Arkansas home, this state has some substantial grantmaking foundations. The Walton Family Foundation, in fact, was the 29th largest charitable foundation in the U.S. in 2014, according to the Foundation Center, and the 17th largest in giving. (Not all their charity stays in Arkansas, of course.) Rockefeller’s estate created the Winthrop Rockefeller Charitable Trust, which in turn established the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, which in turn established the Arkansas Community Foundation. Nonprofits in Arkansas received at least $180 million from the 15 foundations listed below. The largest single gift was made by the Walton Charitable Trust Foundation, which gave $31 million to the Arkansas Community Foundation. The Windgate Foundation’s largest Arkansas grants were $13 million to the Degen Foundation at the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Smith and $10 million to the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith for the school’s visual arts building. Not all grantmaking foundations accept grant requests; many invite nonprofits to apply for grants. Here’s information on Arkansas’s top grantmakers: their assets and giving (in rounded up numbers), the causes they fund, and whether they accept applications for grants or choose the nonprofits or schools they wish to support.

The Walton Family Foundation The Walton Family Foundation, headquartered in Walmart Inc.’s birthplace of Bentonville, makes grants in three major areas: K-12 education, including public charter school startups; environmental causes; and “home region” gifts, which go largely to the Delta and Northwest Arkansas. For 2015, the family foundation reported assets of $2.6 trillion and grant awards totaling $373 million. Of those grants, $35 million went to “home region” projects, the lion’s share to Northwest Arkansas concerns; $180 million in grants to educational institu-

tions, $20 million of which went to charter school startup grants; $80 million to environmental concerns, and $80 million to “special projects.” The foundation makes hundreds of grants, from gifts as little as $1,000 for the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion Association to $14.5 million to the Environmental Defense Fund and $14.1 million to the Charter Fund Inc. The foundation does not accept unsolicited grant proposals except those from public charter school developers. (For more information, go to waltonfamilyfoundation.org.) “Home region” grants of $1 million or more included $7 million to the Walton Arts Center; $6 million to Camp War Eagle; $5.3 million to the Children’s Museum of Northwest Arkansas; $4 million to the Walmart Associates in Critical Need Fund; $3.6 million to the Community Development Corp. of Bentonville Bella Vista; $3 million to Arkansas Children’s Hospital Northwest to create the Amelia Faulk Labyrinth and Nature Trail; $3 million to the University of Arkansas Foundation; $2.7 million to the University of Arkansas Foundation Inc.; $1.9 million to the Bentonville Bella Vista Trailblazers Association Inc.; $1.8 million to the Northwest Arkansas Council Foundation; $1.5 million to Teach for America; $1.3 million to Theatre Squared Inc.; $1.3 million to the city of Rogers; $1.2 million to the Bentonville Child Care and Development Center; $1.1 million to the Peel Compton Foundation in Bentonville; $1 million to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation; $1 million to the city of Fort Smith; $1 million to the Arkansas Public School Resource Center; and $1 million to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville.

The Walton Charitable Support Foundation This Walton foundation supports the University of the Ozarks, the Arkansas Community Foundation, Harding University, John Brown University and the University of Arkansas Foundation. It does not accept unsolicited requests. The foundation reported $680 million in net assets and $39 million in grants in 2015. Its giving over $1 mil-


lion included $31 million to the Arkansas Community Foundation, $2.8 million to the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville; $2.6 million to John Brown University in Siloam Springs; and $2 million to Harding University in Searcy.

The Arkansas Community Foundation The ACF primarily manages funds for donors wishing to make charitable gifts without having to establish and run a foundation. Most grants are donor-directed. The ACF also awards grants directly from its own foundation. Nonprofits may apply for grants directly to the foundation for its Giving Tree grants, which support a broad range of causes; Arkansas Black Hall of Fame grants, which serve African-American and other minority communities; Arkansas Delta Endowment for Building Community grants; and Bridge Fund grants for education and the promotion of the study of Arkansas history. The ACF is also a supporter of Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. It also has 27 affiliates across Arkansas. For 2015, the ACF had net assets of $245.4 million and oversaw grants totaling $15 million. It also makes loans: Communities Unlimited Inc., which works to develop rural areas, received a $1 million loan from the ACF, which it will repay, with interest, by 2025.

The Windgate Charitable Foundation Inc. Windgate, in Siloam Springs, makes grants to institutions that teach art and contemporary crafts; to Christian higher education, especially John Brown University; and projects that promote marriage and family. Submission deadlines are March 1, July 1 and Oct. 1. Requests should be sent to Windgate Charitable Foundation, P.O. Box 826, Siloam Springs, AR, 72761-0826. Call 479-524-9829 for more information. At the end of 2015, according to the foundation’s latest 990 tax return, Windgate had net assets of $238 million and its 2015 grants totaled $72.3 million. The form lists grants made in 2015 as well as grants paid so far in 2016 and scheduled for 2017 and 2018. Windgate rivals the Walton Family Foundation for grants made to Arkansas institutions. Gifts of $1 million or more in 2015 included the $13 million for the Degen Foundation and $10.7 million to the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith already mentioned as well as $5 million

to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art; $4.5 million to John Brown University; $4.1 million to the First United Methodist Church of Fort Smith; $2 million to the art department of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville; $1.6 million to the Thea Foundation; and $1 million to Pulaski Technical College. Among the gifts of $1 million or more reported as paid or scheduled to be paid to Arkansas entities this year were $13 million to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, part of a $20.3 million gift to build the new UALR visual arts building; $5 million to the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation, a conditional challenge grant for its operating fund; $5 million to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (toward a $15 million pledge); and $1 million to John Brown University. Scheduled for 2017 are $5.6 million to UALR and $4.9 million to Crystal Bridges.

The Endeavor Foundation This Springdale foundation, created with proceeds from the sale of two hospitals, has emerged from a year of planning to change its giving focus. Chief Executive Officer Anita Scism said the foundation, which once gave in the general areas of education, health and community-building, is now working to ensure “that all residents of Northwest Arkansas are mentally and physically healthy, safe, and economically and socially stable. The foundation initiates its grantmaking. For 2015, the foundation reported $146.1 million in net assets and $6.8 million in grants. Among its largest gifts for 2015 were $1.7 million to the Early Childhood Center in Springdale, $516,600 to the Huntsville School District, and $494,070 to the Jones Center for Families Inc.

The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation The WRF, in Little Rock, created by the Winthrop Rockefeller Trust, makes grants to charities that work to reduce poverty, increase educational opportunities and graduation rates, and improve economic mobility in Arkansas, all part of its Move the Needle plan. It has been instrumental in the creation of several nonprofits that benefit life in Arkansas, including the Arkansas Community Foundation and Arkansas Advocates for Children and Family. Nonprofits and schools in Arkansas may apply; find instructions at wrfoundation.org. For 2015, the foundation reported net

assets of $134.2 million and grants totaling $3.9 million. Giving in 2015 included grants totaling $435,000 for Arkansas Community Foundation, $377,000 for Arkansas Advocates, $320,000 for the Arkansas Public Policy Panel, $200,000 for Our House and numerous other initiatives.

The Winthrop Rockefeller Trust The Rockefeller trust supports the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, the University of Arkansas’s Winthrop Rockefeller Institute and entities that support the archives and study of the former governor of Arkansas. The foundation initiates its grantmaking. For 2015, the foundation reported net assets of $112.2 million and grants of

$5.8 million. Of that total, $5.6 million went to operations for the Rockefeller Institute, which has been approved for a future grant of $4.5 million.

The Ross Foundation This Arkadelphia foundation, established by Jane and Esther Ross, makes health and education grants primarily in Clark County. Information on how to apply for a grant is on the foundation’s website, rossfoundation.us. For 2015, the foundation reported $90 million in net assets and $617,852 in grants. Its major grant recipient is the Arkadelphia Promise program, which awards college scholarships to graduating high school seniors in Arkadelphia. The program received a grant of $351,684 in 2015.

2016 ARKANSAS PRESERVATION AWARDS • JANUARY 27, 2017 Join us as we honor Cheryl Griffith Nichols, recipient of the Parker Westbrook Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the best historic preservation projects in Arkansas from 2016! Albert Pike Memorial Temple, 712 Scott St., Little Rock 6 p.m. Reception • 6:45 p.m. Dinner & Program Tickets: $125 each ($100 for Preserve Arkansas Members) More information is available at PreserveArkansas.org.

EVERY CHILD IN FOSTER CARE HAS A CHANCE – IT’S YOU!

Court Appointed Special Advocates FOR CHILDREN ARKANSAS

For more information: e-mail casa@arcourts.gov W W W. A R K A N S A S C A S A . N E T arktimes.com

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Founded in 1999 in Springdale, the Schmieding Foundation funds the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ Schmieding Center for Senior Health and Education and numerous other charities benefiting children and adults in Washington, Benton and Pulaski counties. The foundation takes grant requests; deadlines are March 31 and Sept. 15. For more information, call 479-751-8639. For 2015, the foundation had net assets of $38 million and paid $2.1 million in grants. Its major gift in 2015 was $800,000 to the Endeavor Foundation. The foundation also made grants of $617, 218 in 2015 and $768,795 in 2016 to the Schmeiding Center.

The Pat and Willard Walker Charitable Foundation The Walker Foundation was founded in 2004 in Fayetteville and funds charitable, religious, scientific, literary and educational projects. Find application information at walkerfoundation.org. For 2015, the foundation reported net assets of $35.3 million and made grants totaling $3.5 million. Its major gifts in 2015 included $1.5 million to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, $726,000 to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and $402,000 to Arkansas Children’s Hospital. The Walton Arts Center announced in October a foundation gift of $2 million to the arts center’s capital campaign for its new addition.

The Charles A. Frueauff Foundation The Frueauff Foundation, named for its founder, a New York lawyer, awards grants in the areas of education, human services and health in several states. Information on how to apply for a grant can be found at frueauff.org. For 2015, the foundation reported $79 million in net assets and $4.6 million in more than 100 grants under $100,000.

The Murphy Foundation The Murphy Foundation of El Dorado, founded in 1959, provides scholarships to every college-bound high school senior in El Dorado, as well as gifts to nonprofits working in a variety of areas and schools. For 2015, the foundation reported

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$12.6 million in net assets and $2.9 million in grants. Among its larger grants were $1.2 million to the city of El Dorado for festivals and events; its scholarship grants totaled $578,075.

The Horace C. Cabe Foundation The founder of the Gurdon Lumber Co. established this foundation in 1992. The foundation prefers to fund capital projects with specific needs within a defined time frame. The foundation board of directors initiates grants, but all inquiries are provided to the board; contact the foundation at 903-794-2223. For 2015, the foundation reported $30.9 million in net assets and $1.5 million in grants. The foundation made numerous grants under $50,000, with the exception of a grant of $175,000 for Wildwood Park for the Arts and two grants totaling $211,000 for the Baptist Health Foundation.

BRIAN CHILSON

The Schmieding Foundation

The Tyson Family Foundation Inc. The late Tyson Foods CEO Don Tyson established the family foundation in 1970. It provides funds to the Jones Trust in Springdale and scholarship grants to colleges and universities. For 2015, the foundation reported net assets of $25.3 million and gifts of $1.5 million to colleges and universities for scholarships and $500,000 to the Jones Trust. In 2016, the Tyson Family Foundation and Tyson Foods gave a combined $15 million to Arkansas Children’s Hospital Northwest, where the main tower will be dedicated to the Tyson family.

Preserve Arkansas THOSE BUILDINGS HAVE A STORY, AND IT’S YOURS.

The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation This Las Vegas-headquarter foundation, created by the founder of Donrey Media Group to benefit projects in Arkansas, Nevada and Oklahoma, is spending down its corpus and making its final grants. Its 2015 giving in Arkansas included $5 million to the Mid-America Science Museum in Hot Springs for its renovation; a $2.6 million challenge grant to Positive Atmosphere Reaches Kids; $1 million to the Arkansas Foodbank; and $1 million to Camp Aldersgate. Its announced gifts in 2016 include $1 million for the Walton Arts Center and $1.5 million for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences for an endowed chair in the Reynolds Institute on Aging.

By Leslie Newell Peacock

P

reserving old buildings benefits people in ways one might not think about. Preserve Arkansas, the new branding for the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas, is not just sentimental about 19th century houses or early 20th century examples of commercial buildings by prominent architects. Its mission is not just to preserve the architectural styles of the past, or aesthetics. Preservation is about more than that: It’s about telling a story about who we were, which is why we are who we are. It keeps history tangible. And, if dollars and cents are important to you, it

is also a way to encourage economic growth: Keeping significant old buildings standing makes an area more attractive to business, offers tax advantages to developers and creates jobs for laborers, designers, architects and so forth. Preserve Arkansas’s core mission is to advocate, educate and provide technical assistance to people wanting to know how to pursue grants and tax credits. Rachel Silva, the director of Preserve Arkansas since July and a former employee of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, noted the nonprofit’s work in 2009 with the state legislature to pass the Rehabilitation Tax Credit


ered for worship and community events in rural Arkansas. The Ray House at 2111 Cross St. in Little Rock was the home of the first two African-American professional employees of the Arkansas Agricultural Extension Service and where Gloria Ray Karlmark, one of the Little Rock Nine, was raised. Preserve Arkansas’s “One to Remember” list in 2016 includes the Cox/Burrow House in Morrilton, a National Register house that, when it was demolished in April, was described by its nominator as “one of the last remaining links between Morrilton and the parent community of old Lewisburg.” A couple of Preserve Arkansas’s biggest successes: the preservation of Johnny Cash’s boyhood home in Dyess, which was acquired by Arkansas State University after being on the 2006 “Most Endangered” list, and the renovation of the White-Baucum House at 201 S. Izard St. in Little Rock by John Chandler, who bought the house in 2013 after its 2011 listing. Besides its serious work, accomplished with only the director and an assistant, Preserve Arkansas also knows how to throw a good fundraiser. Its “Preservation Libations Master MixOff” has in recent years let supporters and competing mixologists mingle over wildly alcoholic drinks that hearken to pre-Prohibition days. It also has a Fall Ramble; this year’s bus tour was themed around the history of beer-making in Arkansas and took participants to the Potts Inn in Pottsville and on to Fort Smith and Van Buren. The nonprofit also pays homage to intangibles. This year its “Behind the Big House” program at Old Washington State Park focused on Arkansas’s slavery period; Preserve Arkansas has applied for a grant to present the program again at Lakeport Plantation in Chicot County. “It’s easy to interpret the history of Arkansas when you have a building standing rather than a vacant lot,” Silva said. Unlike colorless strip malls, which all look alike, historic buildings create a sense of place. To support the preservation of your history and identity, go to preservearkansas.org, read about its work, how to help (including volunteering) and click on the Donate Now! button.

BRIAN CHILSON

THE WHITEBAUCUM HOUSE: Rachel Silva stands in front one of Preserve Arkansas’s successes, a once “Most Endangered” house restored by John Chandler.

and its continuing work to improve on the law. The program allows the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program of the heritage department to award up to $4 million in tax credits statewide to individuals or corporations that improve historic buildings. That amount, while good, isn’t competitive with surrounding states — including Mississippi — that have higher caps; Preserve Arkansas hopes to raise the cap so more developers may take advantage of it. Following Preserve Arkansas’s “Most Endangered Places” list each year is a good way to tuck into Arkansas history. For example: The 1937 Union Chapel Community Center outside Springfield (Conway County), listed this year, is part of a continuing story of AfricanAmerican migration from South Carolina and Georgia to the town after the Civil War; the building, constructed on the footprint of a Rosenwald School that burned, was once a school for the children of Union Chapel. The Sweet Home Chapel near Mount Ida, built in 1908, is an example of how people gath-

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SERIOUS. BARBECUE. LeBron James does basketball. Paul McCartney does music. WE DO BARBECUE . . . And just like them, we do it because we love it, but also just like them we take it seriously. After competing nationally for more than 30 years, we opened our doors to the public in 2007. From the beginning you’ve told us over and over, “This is a completely different experience.” Well, that’s no accident. In North Little Rock, you’ll see the owners, boots on the ground, EVERY DAY to make sure it never stops feeling that way. We still use original sauces and recipes. We offer a sensational dry-rubbed rib daily, and beef ribs every Tuesday. Our meat is meticulously handrubbed, cured and slow-smoked — seriously. It’s also no mistake that you continue to see the same faces here, these faces — day after day, year after year. We all love what we do; and we genuinely like one another. We cook and serve with style, character and passion. We’re a unique culture here, a family. We believe in the 4 “R’s”: Respect, Responsiveness, Responsibility and Resilience. Our family attitude extends to you, our customers, as well as our vendor partners and the community partners we routinely support — schools, military organizations, charities, festivals and benefits of every stripe. Giving back is why we’re here. Giving back is who we are. Smoking real, unpolished, authentic barbecue every day is just what we do. And, you guessed it, we take that very seriously. 20 20

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El Zócalo Immigrant Resource Center SUPPORTING FAMILIES LOOKING FOR A BETTER LIFE.

By Lindsey Millar

immigrant families each time. Galicia is part of an El Zócalo women’s group. It’s all about education and nurturing, Lam said. “It’s helped for teaching skills and information for how to educate my children, for how to think about my children’s future and my own future,” Galicia said through an interpreter. “It’s also a time to think about myself, because most of the time I’m thinking of my children and husband.”

BRIAN CHILSON

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hen Maria Galicia thinks of the future, she sees her children. Like many immigrants, she’s oriented her life around ensuring that they have opportunities that she and her husband haven’t. “In my eyes, they have one option, to study and do better and find a career,” she said through an interpreter last week. She doesn’t want to see them working construction, she said, and returning to Mexico isn’t an option. Galicia, who wasn’t able to attend school beyond the elementary level, followed her husband from Mexico to the United States 20 years ago. After harvesting nuts for several years in Texas, they moved to Arkansas, where Galicia has worked in a factory, provided childcare, operated a food truck and, most recently, started a cleaning business. She and her husband, who works as a custodian for the North Little Rock School District, now have six children, ages 24, 18, 16, 13, 9 and 3. Galicia was one of El Zócalo Immigrant Resource Center’s first clients. Sara Mullally Broussard and Kelsey Lam co-founded El Zócalo (“town square” in Spanish) in 2011 to connect immigrants from any background with services and promote community-wide understanding through education. At the time, Galicia owned and operated La Herradura, a food truck that specialized in authentic Mexican cuisine. Broussard helped her expand her business by introducing her to people and venues in parts of Little Rock she didn’t know well. Galicia ultimately decided the food truck didn’t mesh with her families’ needs — her cleaning work allows her to be with her children in the morning, clean houses while they’re at school, and then be home when they get out — but she’s remained involved with El Zócalo. Galicia regularly volunteers her time to cook at the twice-monthly

food pantry El Zócalo offers out of the Geyer Springs United Methodist Church. In addition to food, the pantry provides clothes and health outreach, including dental services, nutrition education and sessions on emotional health. It serves about 15

Until she started her cleaning business, Galicia worked with or around other Spanish-speakers, and, with the demands of her family, she said she didn’t feel like she had time to learn English. But now she is taking an English class El Zócalo pro-

vides. Now, when her non-Spanish speaking clients speak slowly, she understands them. Broussard led El Zócalo until 2015, when she moved to New Orleans. As director, Lam works 30 hours a week, coordinating the nonprofit’s programming, supervising and recruiting volunteers, pursuing grants and other fundraising and manning a hotline that immigrants can call when they need help. In answering hotline calls and providing information HOPE FOR THE at English language FUTURE: Maria Galicia sees it classes or the food in her six chilpantry on things dren. El Zocalo like how to manImmigrant age finances, open Resource a ba n k accou nt Center has helped provide and interact with her with tools to schools, Lam and better provide volunteers a re for her family. of ten acting like social services case workers. More funding would allow El Zocalo to expand that side of its work, Lam said. “A lot of our clients are in very desperate situations. Over the years, some have lived in homes without electricity or water, had untreated, life-threatening illnesses, survived violence and crime, both in their own countries and here. … We’ve provided some ‘lifeline’ services, helped them get connected to things they desperately need, and at other times the services needed have, sadly, simply not been available in our community. “A lot of time [donors] want to see a physical thing that [the people they’re giving to] get, but I feel like our time is the greatest gift we give to people, especially one-on-one.” As El Zócalo expands, Lam hopes to expand its outreach to the nonimmigrant. “There are some people out there who have a genuine fear of losing their jobs to immigrants,” she said. But the hatred she saw directed at immigrants during the presidential election this year and the degree to which it was tolerated affected her, and she said she hopes to do more events with nonimmigrants who “have legitimate questions.” For more information, to volunteer or donate to El Zócalo, visit zocalocenter.com, email LRimmigrantcenter@gmail.com or call 501-301-4652. Send checks to P.O. Box 2520953, Little Rock, AR 72225.

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Ozark Natural Science Center SPARKING A LOVE OF THE OUTDOORS.

T

OZARK NATURAL SCIENCES CENTER

his writer has loved the Ozark Natural Science Center outside Huntsville since we took our child on an owl walk there many years ago. I don’t remember if we heard any owls, but I do remember watching her bite into a Wint-O-Green Lifesaver candy and seeing it spark. And getting up close and personal with a snake. And taking a hike with the late great botanist Carl Hunter. And the Ozark landscape, the lodge, the porch with the big rocking chairs. How great, I thought, that this place, tucked away on 90 acres within the state’s 300-acre Bear Hollow Natural Area, surrounded by 15,000 acres of wildlife management areas, exists for children and adults alike.

These days, the ONSC has even more to offer. There are still the zillions of school children who get to spend the night in its lodges and hike and learn about geology and plants and birds and things that creep and swim. (There is no more caving, unfortunately, because of white-nosed syndrome, a fungal infection that is causing widespread die-offs of American bat populations.) But there are also workshops for what you might call interior nature, such as journaling, yoga, music, art and cultural history. The entire facility, in fact, can be rented out for special events deep in the woods of Madison County. Children and adults can also take part in citizen science of the first order at ONSC, helping with the Northern sawwhet owl research being conducted by University of Arkansas student and birding prodigy Mitchell Pruitt, or help the UA’s Dr. Steven Beaupre with his research into timber rattlesnakes. (The latter involves collecting and counting hickory nuts and acorns to correlate with 22

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winter populations rather than getting up close and personal with a rattler.) The ONSC was founded in 1990 by Ken and RuAnn Ewing of Rogers and has held residential programs since 1992. The outdoor science classes for elementary and secondary students are tailored to track with Arkansas school standards and are taught by members of ONSC staff, each bringing his or her own particular expertise to bear, Executive Director Matthew Miller said. Most of the students are in grades 4 through 6; they get to spend two full days and a night tramping the 8 miles of trails and enjoying special programming and a campfire at night. (One class is called “Hunger Games,” and teaches kids about the food web.) “They are running and playing and HAPPY ASP learning at the same GASPS: time,” Miller said. Children in Most students Kristina Burja’s class at the are from Northwest ONSC stand Arkansas, but ONSC back from the works to get children snake she’s from more distant picked up. areas of the state by matching up schools with funders. (The Murphy Oil Corp. helped subsidize a trip by students from El Dorado, for example, and the Walton Family Foundation donations keep tuition down. “We are always looking to keep tuition assistance available,” Miller said). “It’s amazing. You get the students out here and they’ve never been hiking or seen wildlife. They’ve never been outside of a city. ... It’s their first time in a creek, to see a night sky without light, to hear owls … so many firsts.” The kids also help out at dinner in the Ewing Center, with some serving as table helpers, sometimes a new experience for them. “And we have students who they might get a bowl of soup at home or might not have supper,” Miller said. To donate to the Ozark Natural Science Center so more kids can hike to Teakettle Falls, see the stars, track owls and create a little triboluminescence by biting into a Lifesaver, go to onsc.us and click on “Give the Gift of Nature.” ONSC has a shop as well; your purchases also help support the nonprofit.

BRIAN CHILSON

By Leslie Newell Peacock

Immerse Arkansas HEALING TRAUMA THROUGH BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS

By Benjamin Hardy

I

n 2009, Ed Phillips turned 18 and left behind eight tumultuous years in Arkansas’s foster care system. The state Department of Human Services offers children who “age out” of foster care the option of remaining in state care until age 21, but Phillips was more than ready to move on. Like many foster kids, he’d bounced from home to home throughout his adolescence and spent several years in institutions, from behavioral health hospitals to juvenile detention centers. When he turned 18, Phillips recalled recently, his caseworker told him that in order to receive con-

tinued services from DHS, he’d have to start college immediately after graduating high school. That just didn’t seem feasible to him. “Needless to say, after all the places I got shifted around when I was in state custody, I wasn’t able to receive an effective education,” he said. Instead, he moved to New Jersey to live with a father he hadn’t seen since age 10. It didn’t work out. His father’s mental health issues led to “a lot of codependency,” Phillips said, which led to conflicts. He’d picked up a substance abuse problem while institutionalized in Arkansas; out on his own, his addiction


worsened. “I resorted to illegal, risky behaviors to fill that need,” he said. Three years later, desperate for a change, he used the last of a paycheck to buy a Greyhound bus ticket back to Little Rock and showed up at the door of his last and most stable foster placement. At 21 years old, he had nowhere else to turn. He describes the moment as “a foxhole prayer that was answered, in the sense that I felt led to come back here.” Phillips’ former foster mother connected him with Immerse Arkansas, a nonprofit whose mission is to help youth who’ve aged out of foster care (and other young adults in crisis) by providing transitional housing and outreach services. He began meeting with the Immerse staff on a weekly basis. With the help of a 12-step program, he managed to shake his addiction. In March 2013, Phillips was asked to step into a position with Immerse as a residential assistant at one of the organization’s houses for young adults. He’s now been an RA for three years while taking classes at Pulaski Technical College (he hopes to eventually pursue a degree in psychology). Immerse operates four shared homes in Little Rock — two male, two female — each with one RA and three youth, typically ages 18-22. Eric Gilmore, the nonprofit’s co-founder and executive director, said RAs provide “unstructured supervision, so youth can be on their own without being on their own.” They’re trained by Gilmore and other Immerse staff to provide “transitional coaching,” including weekly meetings, activities, cleaning inspections and more. Although they receive a small monthly stipend and rent-free housing, Phillips and the other RAs are volunteers. “It’s a sacrifice. It’s a commitment,” Gilmore said. Phillips said his three years as an RA have been “amazing and ... horrible. It’s been challenging, and it’s been easy at times.” Most of his work involves teaching healthy outlets for energy and appropriate interpersonal boundaries, he said. “I have a lot of youth that I work with who haven’t had a chance to establish a relationship with their family. They don’t understand what’s a healthy boundary, either for themselves or the people they’re around.” In addition to the shared homes, HELPED AND NOW HELPING: After aging out of foster care, Ed Phillips turned to Immerse Arkansas. Today, he serves as a resident advisor for one of the nonprofit’s houses for young adults.

Immerse also places some youths with host families — a situation similar to foster care but for individuals over the age of 18. Others are placed in apartments or dorms. Between housing and outreach, the nonprofit served around 50 youths in 2016, Gilmore estimated. Gilmore and his wife, Kara, started Immerse after spending a period of time post-college as “house parents” in a group foster home. “It was fantastic — the best thing we ever did,” he recalled. “But we quickly saw youth turning 18 and having a really hard time.” When the organization first opened its doors in 2010, things did not go well, Gilmore admitted. “We bit off more than we could chew. So, we scaled it back down. People came with different resources and we took it one youth at a time until we figured out what we wanted to do.” One lesson has been that there are many non-foster youths in the city who desperately need services: young people who are homeless, who are victims of human trafficking, who are coming out of the juvenile justice system, who have run away from home or have been kicked out by their families. “Our best guess is there are about 1,000 youth in

the Little Rock, North Little Rock area that meet the criteria for the support we provide.” Immerse intends to add four more shared homes as soon as next year. But the next big step is to create a drop-in center to deliver life skills classes and provide a community space including showers, laundry, a nursery, a teaching kitchen and more. Immerse recently moved from Mosaic Church on Colonel Glenn Road, its original site, to a building on Asher Avenue that will one day house the drop-in center. Gilmore is now contemplating the organization’s first capital campaign, which will likely need to raise $800,000 to $900,00. “We have the plans; we don’t have any money,” he said. The group also needs volunteers: “People who can teach a class, who can cook a meal for our Tuesday night gathering. It could be mentoring, or teaching youth how to drive.” Much of Immerse’s work, Gilmore said, involves repairing the “relational trauma” experienced by youths, whether in the foster system or within their own families. “Trauma that happens in relationships is healed in relationships. Part of our goal is to give them safe, supportive relationships where they can learn to trust. Learn that they have

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value. That they can be loved, and that they can love without risking harm.” That’s something Ed Phillips is trying to both teach and learn as he continues to piece together his own history. His father’s parental rights were terminated in 2001 after he left his son in the home of a relative who then called DHS; the relative said Phillips’ father was threatening himself and others with violence, but Phillips is skeptical. “I still don’t know the whole story and don’t think I’m ever going to get it,” he said. His mother, who had divorced his father years earlier and was living in Missouri at the time DHS became involved, has told Phillips that she tried to gain custody of him but could not do so. As always is true with child welfare cases, it is almost impossible to sort out the facts, because court proceedings and other records are strictly confidential. Still, Phillips says he believes DHS needs to take fewer kids into custody overall, because “sometimes you’re doing more damage by removing them from a situation.” While he said his DHS caseworker “had the best of intentions and was doing the best she knew how to do,” he described the unhappiness of being a teenage boy with behavioral issues in a system in which foster parents can always choose to end a placement or decline a placement. “It’s similar to if you were to do something at your job. They would put the word out, ‘don’t hire this person.’... You get a kid who’s said to be doing something that they’re not. Or perhaps it’s that they’re expecting the kid to take on a responsibility that they’re not quite ready for. Once you build that reputation, it’s hard to find housing. … It becomes their identity. And when they get into [an institution] it’s only compounded.” Phillips urged more community involvement with young people in need of help. “They need more examples of what to be and what not to be … and see what a community should look like,” he said. (And when it comes to avoiding bad decisions, “the youth have to hear it from a hundred people before it means anything.”) Ultimately, he hopes to help his youths be more self-sufficient, “so they can teach their kids how to do it the right way. My goal is … giving back while you’re on your way up. … My work is more meaningful because they have the opportunity to do the same thing [and] can pass that on to somebody else. I think that’s what we’re trying to do here at Immerse.” To get more information or donate, visit immersearkansas.org or email info@ immersearkansas.org. arktimes.com

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Arts Entertainment AND

M

aybe Christmas, to paraphrase the Grinch, doesn’t come from a big-box store. What if it comes from a hat maker? A feminist website? Your own pen? Here are some ideas that members of the Arkansas Times’ staff and friends can offer, and acquiring them requires absolutely no elbowing your fellow man for that last whatsit or standing in a long line to get to the cash register: For that happy, creative person who doesn’t give a tinker’s damn about what others think of them, may I suggest giving him or her one of Leigh Abernathy’s felted wool hats? Perhaps you saw them at the Craft Guild show recently? The tall purple cone that ends in a twist and sports a big purple flower on the side? The cat hat? Civil War-inspired hats? Monks’ hoods? The Santa hat? Furful hats with ears? They’re $75; worth every penny. Check out Abernathy’s hattery at twiningvinedesigns.com. She’s a jeweler, too.  — Leslie Newell Peacock The Oxford American recently published its annual music issue (with companion CD), and as usual it’s essential reading and listening. Unlike the previous seven versions of the magazine’s annual bestseller, which were all themed around a state, this new edition is all about a genre — the blues. Naturally, the OA takes a big-tent approach throughout its 160 pages and 23 tracks. Prince and Gil Scott-Heron make appearances; Jimi Hendrix and Francis Bacon meet in Jeffrey Renard Allen’s short story; and the accompanying CD is truly a mix, with songs from names you might expect (Charley Patton, John Lee Hooker) along with a number you wouldn’t (Mali’s Bassekou Kouyate and Alexis Zoumbas, a little-known Greek violinist who recorded in the 1920s). Another reason this should be on your shopping list for the music nerd in your life — the Arkansas-related material, including former Arkansas Times associate editor David Ramsey’s definitive 24

DECEMBER 15, 2016

ARKANSAS TIMES

The Times’ 2016 holiday gift guide BY ASHLEY GILL, LINDSEY MILLAR, LESLIE NEWELL PEACOCK, STEPHANIE SMITTLE AND SARAH STRICKLIN

profile of Pine Bluff’s CeDell Davis; Hot Springs native (and Arkansas Times Academic Allstar) Rashod Ollison’s affecting memoir about the Jackson, Miss., label Malaco and his grandmother’s house parties; and Oxford American senior editor Jay Jennings’ fascinating exploration into the early life of Robert Palmer, the Little Rockborn rock critic, producer and musician. You can get the music issue at independent bookstores and at oxfordamerican. org. It’s $15.95. — Lindsey Millar We all bemoan the slow creep of the holiday retail messaging’s sensory assault ever backward into early fall, but I’d suspect that the head start doesn’t actually make gift shopping any less harried for most people. The average American’s workweek doesn’t leave much room for pensive strolls along rows of glowing tinsel-clad boutiques, tidy list clutched in hand. With only a handful of exceptions, I’m able to recall in much more detail the handwritten letters I’ve received from friends and relatives than I am the contents of the packaged gifts I’ve opened. For these reasons, I’m inclined to suggest we forgo a substantial chunk of our gift-giving altogether, sit in the comfort of our own homes and write

letters to our friends and family instead. Before you roll your eyes, I’ve anticipated (and tried to assuage) a couple of potential objections. 1. Won’t that come across as cheap? You mean cheaper than it came across when you bought the tree ornament or the noise-canceling headphones at the Walgreen’s down the street from your aunt’s house, and then wrapped it in the car? They were never the wiser, but isn’t that sort of … not the point? For most people, gift shopping is a trade-off between time and money. That is, “I don’t have enough time to think a lot about the gifts I am giving, so I am spending a $20 bill so that I’ll have something.” But how many times are we buying the something because it’s what you knew the recipient wanted? 2. I don’t have time! Yeah, that’s a hard one. Worse, the rest of the world goes on Christmas break and into gift crisis mode at roughly the same time you do, which means gift shopping is an activity rife with stoplights,  congestion or — if y o u avoid all that mess and do it online — shipping costs and wait time. Either way, it takes time, and time is hard to come by. There’s a reason we refer to

it as a “commodity,” and a reason why productivity experts are treated like the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. But here’s the thing: Spending your time connecting with your loved ones is a pretty sure bet. You might leave the Best Buy empty-handed and starving at 8:30 p.m., but a letter’s a letter, and I’d be willing to wager that even the most cynical of your relatives would remember the effort you made, even if they don’t remember a word you wrote.  3. I don’t know what to write.  Start with this: “I thought I’d try something different this year, and wanted to write a little bit to let you know what’s been going on in my life, and to find out what’s going on in yours.” Then, scroll through your social media posts. Or your phone camera gallery. Chances are, you’re gonna find something notable that happened this year to write about. If you don’t, ask the recipient some questions. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who’s interviewed any of his or her family members and regretted doing so. You might find that, having widened the circle of your correspondence past the bounds of your digital connections, you’ve started up a conversation with someone who’s been there in your life all along, but whom you barely knew.  —Stephanie Smittle The only positive feeling I experienced on election night this year was the assurance I felt standing literally arm in arm with women at a watch party. And now, still, nearly every woman I know is alive with an almost desperate determination to create a world where we never again underestimate the prejudices of our neighbors and the apathy of our friends. In that vein, smashing the patriarchy is about the jolliest holiday wish I can muster this season. Here are some suggestions for clever, mischievous and amusing gifts for all the feminists in your life (which should be EVERYONE IN YOUR LIFE): Visit amysmartgirls.com. Founded by artist Amy Poehler and producer Mer-


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A&E NEWS edith Walker, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls organization is dedicated to “helping young people cultivate their authentic selves.” If you don’t know about this project yet, you’re welcome. Check their shop for merch. Visit wildfang.com, whose creators describe themselves, in part, as “modern-day female Robin Hoods raiding men’s closets and maniacally dispensing blazers, cardigans, wingtips and bowlers …” and also selecting choice stocking stuffers from across the internet for their curated brand including the “Smash the Patriarchy” Black Sparkle Pen Pack (check getbullish.com for more like this) and the “Super Discrete Pouch,” with the words “Just a super discrete way to carry tampons around” written pretty boldly across it. Visit fab.com and search for “Broad City,” where you’ll find the fruits of the collaboration between the design company Fab and “Broad City” creators and costars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, two icons in every sense of that word. It’s impossible to choose a highlight. — Sarah Stricklin

TOM PETTY ANNOUNCED in a sketch on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” recently that he and his longtime band, The Heartbreakers, will be reuniting for a 40th anniversary tour with Joe Walsh, and will make a stop at Verizon Arena on April 23, 2017. Tickets range from $40-$130, and go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 16. The band has also pressed its entire catalogue of studio albums onto 180-gram vinyl for a massive double box set.

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INSTALLATION ARTIST SONDRA Perry, whose work was described as “brutally forthright” in the New York Times, will be part of the exhibition “Sigh-Fi” coming Jan. 14 to Gallery I in the Fine Arts Building at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The show will include a “collapsible platform for exhibiting contemporary art” designed by architect Aaron Jones; other artists in the installation, which explores the theme of cognitive dissonance, include Hartmut Austen, Lap Le, Anne Libby, Martine Syms and Tan Zich. TIME IS DWINDLING for submissions to the 2017 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase, in which 20 semifinalists will compete for prizes worth over $2,500. Send a link to your band’s material on Facebook, Reverbnation, Bandcamp or Soundcloud to showcase@arktimes.com, and include the following: band name, hometown, date band was formed, age range of members (all ages welcome), contact person, phone and email. Submission deadline is Dec. 31. THE CLINTON SCHOOL of Public Service launched clintonschoolspeakers.com this week, a website that makes past lectures in its speaker series available online for free. Past speakers include George Takei, Elizabeth Warren, Buzz Aldrin and Sanjay Gupta. The series will livestream future lectures so viewers can watch remotely. Clinton School Director of Programs Nikolai DiPippa interviews many of the speakers for radio, and those sessions are available as a podcast at clintonschoolpodcasts.com.

I moved into a new home this year, so I’ve been prowling for art, prints, art prints, ephemera, et cetera to adorn my sad, naked walls. If anyone on your list is a homebody — and if his or her home could really use a little aesthetic toe dip into a Laurel Canyon vibe — check out the Etsy store of Capricorn Press.   — Ashley Gill

LONGTIME HARLEM GLOBETROTTER and Philander Smith College alumnus Hubert “Geese” Ausbie will be honored with a ceremony retiring his No. 35 jersey during the Globetrotters’ appearance at Verizon Arena on Jan. 31. Ausbie joined the Harlem Globetrotters in 1961 — despite having attracted the attention of the L.A. Lakers, 200 college scholarship offers and a contract to play baseball with the Chicago Cubs — and entertained audiences in over 100 countries as a Globetrotter until 1985. Follow Rock Candy on Twitter: @RockCandies

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BY OMAYA JONES, LINDSEY MILLAR, LESLIE NEWELL PEACOCK AND STEPHANIE SMITTLE

FRIDAY 12/16

THIRD FRIDAY ARGENTA ARTWALK 5-8 p.m. Downtown North Little Rock.

FUNERAL PYRE: Greenwich duo Phantogram takes its dark visuals and haunting pop anthems to the Clear Channel Metroplex with Foreign Air, 8 p.m., $25.

THURSDAY 12/15

PHANTOGRAM

8 p.m. Clear Channel Metroplex. $25.

The cover of Phantogram’s new album, “Three,” is a photo that guitarist/vocalist Josh Carter took of a fire, a blaze of charcoals and molten reds against a cerulean sky that suggests the possibility of a rosier outlook a couple of blocks westward. The duo returns to the image frequently when discussing “Three,” particularly when the topic of its inspiration comes up. In the wake of Sarah Barthel’s sister’s suicide (and Prince’s and Bowie’s deaths just before that), Carter and Barthel created songs like “Answer” and “Run Run

Blood” from a place that seems … well, definitely more like that burning fire than like the sky behind it. The twisted defiance and molly-laced hubris that defined the pair’s 2015 collaboration with Big Boi (under the name Big Grams) couldn’t be more distant to the dysphoria of tracks like “Answer” and “Destroyer,” and even the made-for-the-stadium pop single “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” stares down the listener with heavy-lidded eyes like it’s the soundtrack to a “Matrix”-themed underground S&M scene: “Used to take one/Now it takes four/You don’t get me high anymore.” In a collaboration they did in October with photographer Ben

Zank for Tumblr, Barthel crouched on the floor over an effects pedal with a guitar as Carter wandered toward the front of the stage, averting his eyes from audience as he intoned the opening lines to “Barking Dog”: “Memories of peace and love/Killing to reconstruct/And what will the label do?/Hurt people, hurt people too,” his voice fading to a warble and staving off tears as the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline appeared on the screen. They make no bones about their live show being, in their words, “kickass,” whether they deliver by way of patent leather fringe and fog or by bracing emotional intimacy. SS

William Dunlap, Mississippiborn and working in Virginia, is a Southern artist in the way that the Hudson River School artists were romantic Yankees: His works include broad panoramas of farm scenes, with a twist here and there — like a dog lifting its leg — to add narrative. Greg Thompson Fine Art, which shows Southern regional artists, hosts a reception for the new exhibition, “William Dunlap, Landscape and Variable: Recent Works” during Argenta’s after-hours gallery walk. Impressionist painter Barry Thomas joins ArtWalk with an exhibition of his paintings at his new gallery/studio in recently renovated space at 711A Main St. The 2016 “Women to Watch” exhibit of the Arkansas Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, featuring work by Katherine Rutter, Dawn Holder, Sandra Luckett and Melissa Wilkinson, comes to Laman Library’s Argenta Branch for a short show ending Jan. 6. Mugs Cafe continues “Figure It Out,” work by Claire Cade, Lilia Hernandez and Catherine Kim. Argenta Gallery, the new home of studioMAIN, will feature works by gallery artists, including new members Sue Henley, Dee Schulten and Suzanne Brugner, and blown glass ornaments by Ed Pennebaker. LNP

THURSDAY 12/15

SIDESHOW TRAGEDY

9 p.m. White Water Tavern.

Almost exactly a year before the socalled “SEC” Super Tuesday cemented Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as the leading candidates in the race for the presidency, guitarist Nathan Singleton introduced the opening track to Sideshow Tragedy’s fifth album, “Capital” to PopMatters as follows: “I 26

DECEMBER 15, 2016

ARKANSAS TIMES

just feel that our culture often tends to value ‘winning,’ as if we’re all in a big competition, and we focus on protecting ourselves from each other instead of helping each other. We buy weapons and huge tank-like automobiles to feel ‘safe’ and ‘tough,’ but that seems illusory to me because I don’t think anyone is secure when such a large portion of people are broke, dis-

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enfranchised and desperate.” After a false start and a bare-bones riff, the duo tear into a tirade about “fugitives and feudal lords and software engineers on life support” that’s musically ultra-lean and lyrically post-apocalyptic, recalling the “savage parade” depicted in the Rimbaud poem that inspired the band’s name. When Sideshow Tragedy’s bassist left, the band

embraced a pared-down sound, White Stripes-style, relying on Singleton’s staccato rock riffs and National Resonator steel guitar solos to provide the melody against Jeremy Harrell’s drums. The two share a damned-neartelepathic sense of rhythm, and that’s essentially the reason this duo works, and why it doesn’t really need anything else. SS


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THURSDAY 12/15

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Live: 1.875" x 5.25"

Just back from a romp around Spain where Nikki Hill was spreading her gritty rock and roll “face to face, amp to ass” to packed houses, Hill and her band return to the White Water Tavern ahead of an appearance at Lucero’s Family Christmas Party. The North Carolina siren’s been honing her stage prowess — and her stellar T-shirt collection, which she spoke about with us earlier this year. “I was trying to wear my vintage dresses and all onstage at first, because they are so beautiful and unique, but I started moving and sweating, and they started ripping, and I said ‘oh no, not happening,’ and so I started wearing my T-shirts.” Even on a cozy stage like the one at the Tavern, it’s easy to see why Hill’s set would strain aging threads; her vocal fireballs come from

the gut, able to slide suddenly from a sultry intonation to a Bon Scott wail at a moment’s notice, projecting that sound with the heft and power of singers twice her size. Like a lot of artists who claim straight-up “rock ’n’ roll” as their modus operandi, her influences come from different corners of time, tonality and geography: “I really enjoy those that stood out in their time: Little Richard; Sister Rosetta Tharpe; The Staple Singers using blues as the base of their gospel sound; The Duchess, who played guitar with Bo Diddley … . I would also, and still do, seek out black rock ’n’ roll bands like Fishbone or Bad Brains, trying to find where I fit into all the musical tastes I loved. I saw how these bands weren’t afraid to incorporate all their musical influences and still make it their own.” The band’s album is called “Heavy Hearts, Hard Fists,” as apt a mantra for welcoming 2017 as any. SS

Trim: 2.125" x 5.5" Bleed: none"

NIKKI HILL

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

Closing Date: 12.9.16

AM:

FRIDAY 12/16

Pub: Arkansas Times

HEAVY HEARTS, HARD FISTS: Blues shouter Nikki Hill is back in the U.S., and she wails at the White Water Tavern Friday, Dec. 16, 9 p.m., $10.

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FRIDAY 12/16 Samantha Fish brings her blues-heavy riffs to the Rev Room, 8:30 p.m., $10-$15. Se7en Social Lounge hosts an “80s vs. 90s Party” with music from DJ Monkey, with $100 prize for best costume, 10 p.m., $8-$10. Dance band CosmOcean return to King’s Live Music in Conway with Amber Wilcox, 8:30 p.m., $5. Nerd Eye Blind takes the stage at Cajun’s Wharf, 9 p.m., $5. Adam Faucett & the Tall Grass join William Blackart and Birdcloud at Maxine’s, 9 p.m. The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and special guests perform the annual variety show “Home for the Holidays” at Robinson Center, 7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat. 3 p.m. Sun., $39-$67. The Usual Suspects promise “absolutely no Christmas songs” during their set at The Copper Penny in Hot Springs, 9 p.m. Groovement brings the funk to Four Quarter Bar, 9 p.m. Ben Byers plays a free show at the Tavern Sports Bar & Grill, 7:30 p.m. Pianist and songwriter Jim Brickman plays a Christmas program, “Comfort & Joy” at Maumelle Performing Arts Center with Anne Cochran on electric violin and Tracy Silverman on vocals, 7:30 p.m., $30-$65. Singer Brae Leni brings his neo-soul outfit Evergreen Groove Machine to Stickyz, 9:30 p.m., $10. Low Key Arts holds a “Holiday Potluck and Bingo Revue,” 6:30 p.m. Matt Paul plays an acoustic set at The Main Cheese, 6 p.m. At Club Sway, catch a drag homage to Tim Burton at “Rhiannon Presents: The Nightmare Before Christmas,” 9 p.m. Hibernia Irish Tavern hosts a “Roast of Santa Claus,” 7 p.m., $5. At Next Bistro & Bar, Soulcom Collective hosts a benefit for Toys for Tots with “Cool Yule,” featuring DJ sets from John Baugh, Chris Rodriguez, Craig Howell and Whitman Bransford, 8 p.m.

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It’s the last weekend to catch the Studio Theatre’s musical production of “Beauty and the Beast,” 7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 2:30 p.m. Sun. through Dec. 18. $15-$25. Worldrenowned spinto soprano and Little Rock native Kristin Lewis joins vocal ensemble Praeclara for “An Advent Celebration Concert” benefitting her scholarship fund for up-and-coming singers, Second Presbyterian Church, 7:30 p.m., $35 minimum suggested donation. Macawbre, Splattered in Traffic and Severe Headwound share a bill at Vino’s, 8:30 p.m., $5. The Lantern Theater in Conway hosts a Holiday Homebrewers Meet-Up & Tasting, 6 p.m., $15. Arkansas Chamber Singers perform works from Bach, Glinka and Praetorius at Holy Souls Catholic Church for “Heaven Came Down to Earth,” 7:30 p.m., $10-$18. Christine Stedman gives an R-rated stand-up comedy routine about life as a grandmother, The Loony Bin, 7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat., $8-$12. The Muscular Dystrophy Association hosts a Wild West-themed benefit gala at Embassy Suites with live music from Tragikly White, 6 p.m., $150.


THE

TO-DO

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BY OMAYA JONES, LINDSEY MILLAR, LESLIE NEWELL PEACOCK AND STEPHANIE SMITTLE

SATURDAY 12/17

LIVING SACRIFICE

8 p.m. Vino’s. $10.

Whatever image pioneering “Christian death metal band” conjures in your head, it probably doesn’t capture what a force Living Sacrifice has been in

Little Rock and beyond for almost 30 years. As former Times entertainment editor Robert Bell noted several years back, “if there’s another more widely critically respected Christian metal band, then I’ve never heard of them.” The metalcore band isn’t to the point

of only playing annual holiday shows, but it doesn’t gig in Central Arkansas often, so don’t miss your chance, particularly considering the bands who will share the bill: local throw-back metal supergroup Iron Tongue, which recently released an EP, “Witches,”

with cover art by National Book Awardwinner Nate Powell; I Was Afraid; a local shoe-gazey, post-grunge act; and R.I.O.T.S., a local hardcore group featuring longtime scene vets Everett Hagen, Alan Disaster, Will Boyd and Mark Lierly. LM

TO THE DANGER: Self-described “girl gang” Dazz & Brie (Dazzmin Murry, Brie Boyce) release their new album, “Can’t Afford California,” at the White Water Tavern Monday. Dec. 19 with Ashley and Abbie, 7:30 p.m., $7.

MONDAY 12/19

VODKASODABURG: Birdcloud’s Jasmin Kaset and Makenzie Green channel Sarah Palin’s “real America” with raunchy honky-tonk parody and two-part harmonies at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, at Stickyz, $8-$10.

SUNDAY 12/18

BIRDCLOUD

8:30 p.m. Stickyz. $8-$10.

If, as the Wall Street Journal’s Rebecca Dana wrote in 2009, Garfunkel & Oates are “the female ‘Flight of the Conchords’,” Birdcloud is most assuredly the Nashville Garfunkel & Oates, albeit a much more odious correlate. Somewhere between Pussy Riot’s “Straight Outta Vagina” and Ween’s “Japanese Cowboy,” Jasmin Kaset and Makenzie Green parody country music with ukuleles, white lace blouses paired with trucker hats reading ‘I’m From Here” and as many junior high gross-out words as they can fit into a two-minute ditty. Their 2012 video for “Saving Myself for Jesus” was yanked from YouTube (and later rein28

DECEMBER 15, 2016

ARKANSAS TIMES

stated), and their video for “I Like Black Guys” ended up causing a kerfuffle in Knoxville after local band Psychic Baos — set to join Birdcloud for an August date at a club called The Pilot Light — dropped out from the bill without comment, causing several other local musicians to boycott the show based on the lyrical content. (Nashville Scene reported that Birdcloud ended up playing to a packed house and making around $500 on merchandise.) In a set performed with the pair facing each other center stage, Birdcloud’s deadpan drawl occasionally gives way to bouts of snickering; songs often end with the two women bro-bumping each other’s instruments, assuring us with lyrics like those on the “Funny or Die” hit “Indianer” that challenges to political correctFollow us on Instagram: ArkTimes

TOM GRISOCOM

DAZZ & BRIE RECORD RELEASE SHOW

ness can come just as readily from left-leaning honky-tonk as they can from, say, the president-elect. Kaset and Green satirize what they refer to on their website as Sarah Palin’s “real America … a nation of indulgent reprobates and boastful imbeciles, laughing maniacs and horny high school dropouts — the desperate, absurd place we all inhabit in one way or another,” where “a Desert Storm veteran dispenses ancient wisdom while driving drunk and toppling birdbaths in the suburbs; a coked up blackout drunk on a spree fellates a rodeo clown and tells her friend’s children that Santa doesn’t exist.” If you can’t catch them at this show, they’ll also be at Maxine’s in Hot Springs Friday, Dec. 16, with Adam Faucett and the Tall Grass and William Blackart, 9 p.m. SS

7:30 p.m. White Water Tavern. $7.

The “girl gang” that is Dazzmin Murry and Brie Boyce release their debut project “Can’t Afford California” with this show, and no doubt the house will be full of people who were at the kind of buzzworthy performances Dazz & Brie pulled off at Lucie’s Place, House of Art and Next Bistro and Bar, eager to hear what these women do next. On the teaser trailer for the upcoming release, Brie relates, “I feel like my loudest when I’m doing music, and I feel the most like myself.” With a self-professed mission of “trying to change the world, one weirdo at a time,” Dazz & Brie started as a songwriting/production duo, and when they found themselves disenchanted with the process of shopping songs around, they decided to do it for themselves. Dazz — who grew up playing drums in church — and Brie, who grew up around “big loud singers,” point to a particularly bad recording session in Dallas with a hyper-critical sound engineer as the point when the duo decided they’d self-record and distribute their first record. “After that session, we were like, ‘OK, we’re gonna go and buy our own equipment and nobody else is gonna make us feel bad about our art.’ ” They’ve done it, and they’ve managed to carve out a crunchy rock-based sound in scene the duo told World Arts was filled with “a lot of R&B and neo-soul.” If their half-tempo cover of “Crazy in Love” at the Main Street Food Truck Festival and their video for the single “To the Danger” is representative of what’s on the new album, expect guitarforward rock instrumentation with super-polished pop/soul vocal grooves overhead. Catch them at this release show if you haven’t already gotten hip, and on the KABF-FM, 88.3, show “Girls!” the preceding Thursday, Dec. 15, 9 p.m. SS


IN BRIEF

SATURDAY 12/17

WEDNESDAY 12/21

BIG PIPH CHARITY BIRTHDAY CONCERT

RETT PEEK

9 p.m. Stickyz. $10.

THE ANCIENT ART OF LEAVING: The Big Cats band (Jason White, Colin Brooks, Burt Taggart, Josh Bentley) reunites for its yearly performance at the White Water Tavern at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 20, with fellow Towncraft-era pioneer John Pugh’s Vision Control, $8.

TUESDAY 12/20

THE BIG CATS, VISION CONTROL 9 p.m. White Water Tavern. $8.

You will get one chance to hear Big Cats each year, and this is it. The quartet — patchworked together in 1993 from members of Towncraft-era pioneers like Substance and Chino Horde —reunites most years around Christmastime, when Little Rock expats (drummer Colin Brooks and guitarist Jason White, in this case) tend to make the pilgrimage back home. Remarkably, the band’s stayed connected over the years despite their distance from one another, weathering distractions that range from fatherhood to the death

of original member Shannon Yarbrough to White’s world tours with Green Day, and they put out a massive, fizzy 25-song triple LP in 2011-2012 on frontman Burt Taggart’s record label Max Recordings, “The Ancient Art of Leaving.” The quartet is joined by another Towncraft trendsetter (and prodigal son home for the holidays) John Pugh with his project Vision Control, a series of experiments in rhythm with modified speakers and objects placed on drum heads, which Pugh — formerly of dance/punk revivalist bands !!! and Free Blood — renders live with a guitar and loop machine to great effect. SS

TUESDAY 12/20

ARKANSAS TIMES PRESENTS: ‘WE ARE THE BEST’ 7 p.m. Riverdale 10 Cinema. $8.

Lukas Moodysson’s “We Are the Best!” (“Vi är bäst!”) is adapted from the semiautobiographical comic “Never Goodnight” by Coco Moodysson (the director’s wife), who wanted to tell a story about “girls who could be ugly and make noise and do what they want.” Set in 1982, the film is a coming-of-age story about Klara (Mira Grosin) and Bobo (Mira Barkhammar), adolescent girls in Stockholm who decide to start a punk band mostly out of spite to get back at a group of teenage boys who’ve slighted them. They then befriend Hedvig (Liv LeMoyne), the only one of them that can actually play an instrument.

The operative word in “We Are the Best!” is “fun.” The typical coming-of-age tropes of first loves and first kisses are pushed to the background and the film is primarily concerned with friendship and playing first gigs. The film is infused with a spirit of disrespect for authority and decorum, which matches the director’s own reputation (he was known for a time as “the most hated man in Sweden”’ after giving an audience the finger and going on a tirade about taxes and vegetarianism while accepting an award for best director for his film “Show Me Love.”) Join us at the Riverdale Cinema 10 for the last Arkansas Times and Film Quotes Film presentation of the year, and catch the Film Quotes Film podcast that morning on Soundcloud. OJ

Pine Bluff native and Stanford graduate Big Piph (known to some as Chane “Epiphany” Morrow) continues to roll out content by way of his “living album,” the result of Piph’s collaboration with an app development team to create an interactive experience based on “The Legacy Project,” the studio album released earlier this year. The app’s filled with timed releases of music videos, stories, links to social media platforms and ways to engage with the charity work that Piph does with kids, primarily through two organizations: jUSt (pronounced “just-us”), which describes itself as an organization “focused on sustainable youth empowerment and healthy community building” through events like “Books & Bagels” and through his role as lead coordinator for Global Kids-Arkansas, a program that identifies exceptional students in underserved communities and sends them abroad to complete social service projects. He told tech.co a couple of weeks ago that his goal with the living album was to “create something that was greater than the sum of its parts,” and the same could be said of his birthday parties. “I don’t like celebrating my birthday at all,” he told us. “I usually get a pizza and chill by myself. However, the jUSt squad convinced me to do so because we could raise some money.” So, for the third year, Big Piph has rounded up his band Tomorrow Maybe along with a host of musicians, many of whom are featured on the album. “I was reluctantly convinced, and despite my ‘complaining’ they tend to be some of the shows at which I have the most fun. Plus, raise money for some good causes, so cool.” The concert benefits jUSt and Global KidsArkansas initiatives lined up for 2017. Big Piph & Tomorrow Maybe are joined by Tawanna Campbell, Dee Dee Jones, Bijoux, Aaron, Rodney Block, S.A. and SeanFresh. SS

Central Arkansas Ballet presents “The Snow Queen” at Reynolds Performance Hall in Conway, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., $7-$15. The Rodney Block Collective hosts a “Holiday Jam Music Night” at Zin Wine Bar, 9 p.m., $15. Country musician Barrett Baber plays tunes from his latest, “A Room Full of Fighters,” at the Rev Room with Hot Springs’ Gable Bradley Band, 8:30 p.m., $12-$15. Central Arkansas Library System hosts a Holiday Open House with music from one-man band Mister Morphis, Dee Brown Library, free. Jeff Coleman and the Feeders play rock about women, drinking and dinosaurs at Live at TC’s, TC’s Midtown Grill in Conway, 9 p.m. The White Water Tavern offers root rock from Lake Charles’ Dylan Earl and Maine’s The Mallett Brothers Band with Fayetteville’s Willi Carlisle, 9:30 p.m. $7. The Clinton Presidential Center hosts holiday activities for children with “Santa at the Center,” Clinton Library, 10 a.m., free. Stephen Neeper and the Wild Hearts channel Southern rock heroes at Stickyz with Luke Williams, 9 p.m., $6. The Kris Lager Band brings its self-described “heavy soul and boogie trance” to Four Quarter Bar, 10 p.m. Andy Frasco headlines the “Local Holiday Showdown” at George’s Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville, 10 p.m., $8. Shannon Boshears and her longtime band bring their blues-rock set to Cajun’s Wharf, 9 p.m., $5. Still Married and friends perform at Hibernia Irish Tavern, 7:30 p.m., free. Hot Springs’ Muses Creative Artistry Project sings a concert, “Voices of Angels” at the Muses Cultural Arts Center, 428 Orange St., NLR, 6 p.m., and again at Garvan Woodland Gardens’ Anthony Chapel in Hot Springs Dec. 18, 3 p.m., $30. Comedians Kris Pierce and Joshua McClane perform stand-up for Comedy Night at the Conway Zaza’s location, 10 p.m., free.

SUNDAY 12/18 The Rev Room hosts a “Christmas Singers Extravaganza,” 6:30 p.m., $5-$20. Hot Springs’ The Big Chill raises money to send an upcoming blues star to the International Blues Challenge with a show from The Steepwater Band, Hoodoo Blues Revue and Don Foshee & Jelly Brown, 5 p.m. Comedian Nate Williams does a special Sunday show at The Loony Bin, 7 p.m., $15-$25. Duo Fire & Brimstone perform a free set at the Faulkner County Library, 2 p.m. Seahag, Goat Pope, Apothecary and Jeremiah James Baker play a show at the White Water Tavern to benefit Mike Williams of Eyehategod, 7 p.m., $6.

MONDAY 12/19 Film Society of Little Rock’s Monday Night Shorts series concludes the year with alternative holiday films “Red Christmas,” “The Carol Heard ‘Round the World” and “The Day Santa Didn’t Come” at The Joint Theater & Coffeehouse in Argenta, 7:30 p.m., $8.

Follow Rock Candy on Twitter: @RockCandies

arktimes.com

DECEMBER 15, 2016

29


MOVIE REVIEW

SAY, WHAT’S IN THIS DRINK?: Kate McKinnon (from left), Jason Bateman, T.J. Miller and Olivia Munn try to save their imperilled company with a lavish corporate bash that, predictably, derails into debauchery.

Yuletide yawner UPCOMING EVENTS ON CentralArkansasTickets.com DEC

La Terraza

DEC

The Root Cafe

15

Tacky Christmas Fiesta

23

Root Cafe Xmas Eve Eve Dinner

JAN

Argenta Arts Acoustic Music Series AAMS Presents Michael Chapdelaine

JAN

Centers for Youth and Families

19 28

EVOLVE 2017: Rooted in the South

FEB

Argenta Arts Acoustic Music Series AAMS Presents Michael Chapdelaine

MAR

Argenta Arts Acoustic Music Series AAMS Presents Peter Janson & Aaron Larget-Caplan

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LOCAL TICKETS, One Place

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ARKANSAS TIMES

From your goin’ out friends at

“Office Christmas Party” starts slow, then sappy. BY SAM EIFLING

W

hy anyone would think “Office Christmas Party” needed to be written, let alone made, will remain one of the holidays’ enduring mysteries. Perhaps a studio producer saw “Horrible Bosses” and the teen party epic “Project X” backto-back and decided they deserved a mashup. Or someone accidentally unwrapped a spare Jason Bateman and decided to whip up yet another fungible straight-man role for him, stat. Either way, what we have here is two hours of attempted mayhem that really makes you wait before anything funny happens. (The phrase that comes to mind is “slower than Christmas.”) Directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck (“Blades of Glory”) devote the first hour to sketching a downtown Chicago tech office full of drones and dweebs who start out slow so they can eventually find their freak flags and fly ’em proudly. The rub, though, is that to have boring characters who later get nuts — and the office rager, it does have its moments — we have to slog through a lot of chaff on the way there. Bateman, the head of technology at ZenoTek, manages to get his divorce finalized right before Christmas, always good to get you into the holiday drinking spirit. His boss and son of the company’s founder is played by T.J. Miller (Erlich Bachman in “Silicon Valley”) as an alternate-dimension Will Ferrell who was raised by a library. He’s determined to throw at least a perfunctory Christmas party — until his sister and the company’s CEO, a sharky Jennifer Aniston, tells him she’s planning to close his underperforming branch office. His one chance is to land a big account, so Miller decides to rev things up to impress the potential

client, Courtney B. Vance. You also get Olivia Munn as a tech wiz and generally delightful person to have on screen at any time, and Kate McKinnon as the HR wet blanket who eventually cracks out of her shell, as you knew anyone played by Kate McKinnon must. Instead, a party destined for cheese logs and Bing Crosby on Spotify gets cranked up to a 12. Beer can pyramids. Live reindeer. Office schlub Sam Richardson moonlighting as a DJ with a penchant for ’90s jams. A Chicago Bull shows up, and good ol’ cocaine makes a cameo. As everything unravels, word about the party gets out to the city at large, and the building is flooded with revelers/looters/more people dressed in Nativity outfits. In hindsight, it’s a surprise the producers didn’t spring for the obligatory police helicopter, but a couple of ambulances do get a workout. This is, of course, what needs to happen in a dopey comedy named for literally the most awkward social gathering on the calendar. Offices and Christmases and Parties are three things that definitely exist alone; any two may even be paired without too much fuss. But put all three together, and you’ve got an oxymoronic event in which people who care about one another only situationally — and who can get each other fired for making bad decisions — are expected to cut loose and/or maybe express genuine feelings. “Office Christmas Party” pulls up shy of fully roasting the underlying absurdity of this ritual, deciding that the party should be an occasion for people to decide they actually care for one another. It’s a slow-starter that winds up two shades too sap-sticky to really land its punch.


ARKTIMES.COM/RESTAURANTS17

ENTER NOW ENTER NOW ENTER NOW

ENDS JAN. 13

2017

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Dining WHAT’S COOKIN’

WHAT TO DO on Dec. 23, Christmas Eve Eve? Have dinner at The Root, which will serve a five-course holiday season meal around a communal table. Chef Jonathan Arrington’s menu is omnivorous, but vegetarians may request a non-meat main course. As ever, the food will come from local farms and producers. The Root’s owner, Jack Sundell, said the communal meals are lots of fun; you can add your own fun with the separate purchase of wine or local craft beer. Dinner is 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased at centralarkansastickets.com. The Root will also be open 5-9 p.m. for table service the following Friday, Dec. 30; no reservations are necessary. THE SEVENTH TAZIKI’S Mediterranean Cafe debuted Tuesday near the Outlets of Little Rock, at 10800 Bass Pro Parkway with fanfare; mayors, Chamber of Commerce folks and representatives from Arkansas Children’s Hospital attended the grand opening. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds went to the hospital’s Festival of Stars fundraiser to buy toys for patients. The new Taziki’s, which is owned and operated by the Jim Keet family, seats 90 and has an outdoor patio and a drivethrough for meal pickup. The restaurant is still hiring; email gateway@tazikiscafe. com for more information. The Keets chose to support Children’s Hospital because its staff saved the life of Jim Keet’s grandson when he was only 16 days old. ALSO OPENING TUESDAY was David’s Burgers in the River Market. Business was brisk when we called; the restaurant’s opening date had been delayed several times. The menu is the same as all David’s Burgers: burgers ground fresh from Grade A chuck beef; fries fresh cut all day and double-fried; chicken burgers, etc. Hours at the River Market David’s are 10:45 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10:45 to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Phone is 400-8371. A CHEESE DIP from Heights Taco and Tamale Co. beat a Texas queso in a contest our busy congressmen devised last week. Republican Sens. Tom Cotton and John Boozman challenged Republican Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas to put Uncle Julio’s of Dallas against the Heights dip in a blind taste test that other senators took part in. Arkansas beat Texas. Now, back to work, fellas.

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JUST GARLICKY ENOUGH: The garlic mashed potatoes were among the best of the eight side dish offerings.

Chain champ Bonefish still stands out.

W

e are intensely loyal to local enterprises, particularly where restaurants are concerned. The great news is that with the explosion of outstanding locally owned and operated eateries in our area, we never go hungry. And we never have to go to chains. But we do on very rare occasions, and as often as not the chain we choose is Bonefish Grill. We know Bonefish is owned by Outback, a restaurant for which our disdain knows no bounds. (What is grosser in concept and reality than a grease-soaked bloomin’ onion?)

Follow Eat Arkansas on Twitter: @EatArkansas

Bonefish, however, does lots of things right, and that’s why the West Little Rock restaurant stays packed about every minute it is open. It was a logical choice for a recent family birthday lunch for eight with very different palates. We’re glad we made reservations, even for a 6 p.m. dinner, because we were by no means the first ones there. And there was a throng of people waiting for a table by the time we left. We start where seemingly everyone does at Bonefish — with Bang Bang Shrimp ($10.70). Whoever dreamed up

this dish must be in the chain restaurant hall of fame, and even locals sometimes try to copy it. The spicy/sweet sauce on the firm, meaty shrimp was really something special. Even fellow diners who didn’t think they liked shrimp, or spicy dishes, scarfed down some Bang Bangs. Three of our party did what we never would, ordering steak at a seafood restaurant. (And you won’t find us getting salmon at Sonny Williams’ Steak Room either.) But they declared their filets ($21.90 for 6 ounces, $25.10 for 8, both coming with two sides) excellently tender and flavorful. Two others were even more delighted with their entree choice, Tilapia Imperial ($20.30, also with two sides). This large fillet of succulent white fish is stuffed with three stars of seafood: shrimp, scallops and crabmeat, improved even more by a serious shot


BELLY UP

Check out the Times’ food blog, Eat Arkansas arktimes.com

CHEESY: The potatoes au gratin were a star accompaniment.

of lemon caper butter. Our salmon fan spoke highly of her generous slab of fish, served on a wood plank ($18.10). We chose the ahi tuna

Bonefish Grill

11525 Cantrell Road 228-0356 bonefishgrill.com/locations/ar/little-rock QUICK BITE Many local restaurants could learn from Bonefish Grill in planning and executing a comprehensive wine list with broad selections across a broad price range. The reserve list is superb, and the prices are reasonable. HOURS 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. OTHER INFO You can make reservations for parties of 5 or fewer online. All credit cards accepted, full bar.

sashimi ($12.30 small, $18.90 large). This one is on the starters section of the menu, and the small portion was ample as an entree. It was nicely seared and the sesame-seed coating, the soy, the potent wasabi and pickled ginger provided all the taste variation you could want. The eight available side items were pretty predictable but uniformly well prepared and presented. The cheesy potatoes au gratin and just-garlickyenough garlic mashed potatoes were the stars. The steamed broccoli, fries and coleslaw were a step behind. Each of the six desserts was compelling, but we were headed home for birthday cake so we had to pass on those. Bonefish is a loud, bustling place, and not the setting for private or intimate conversation. But it’s fun, it’s lively, and the servers are friendly and attentive. And the food, though chain-generated, is consistently good.

Four Quarter Bar

December

15 - Matt Treadway Trio (free show) 16 - Groovement 17 - Kris Lager Band 22 - Greyson Shelton (free show) 23 - Big Damn Horns 30 - Electric Rag Band 31 - NYE party w/ Brown Soul Shoes (open until 2am New Year’s Eve!)

Open until 2am every night!

415 Main St North Little Rock • (501) 313-4704 • fourquarterbar.com arktimes.com

DECEMBER 15, 2016

33


Holiday Gift Guide S

P

till need ideas for your gift buying list? Find something for everyone in this

roundup of goodies from your favorite roun local retailers.

Pick up

a copy of the Colonial Holiday Gift Guide at the store or visit ColonialWineShop.com/GiftGuide. You’ll find great gift ideas for everyone on your list.

WOW !

Find something perfect for

your most special someone at Cupid’s Lingerie, or buy a gift card and go shopping together.

Boneless Prime Rib

Roast for $8.98/lb at Edwards Food Giant, the Meat People Prime Rib, Ribeye Roast : Rich flavor, juicy tenderness and majestic appearance. The grand champion of beef roasts. One of the most tender beef cuts. Fine-grained with generous marbling throughout.

CCooking

wo be dull won’t when using this wh set of confetti se mixing bowls mi by Zak Design. Available in sets Av of four at Krebs Brothers. The Br chefs on your list ch will thank you! wi

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DECEMBER 15, 2016 DECEMBER 15, 2016

ARKANSAS TIMES ARKANSAS TIMES

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giving with a “one of a kind” knife from Byron Bradshaw available at Ozark Outdoor Supply. Leather goods and knives made in Arkansas; buy local this holiday season.

The perfect companion to take with you to your holiday dinners and parties…WINE !!! Warehouse Liquor has special holiday pricing Woodbridge Wines 750 ml & 1.5 L • Reg. $11.99 &$14.99 Sale $5.99 & $9.99 Chateau St. Michelle Red Blend • Reg. $16.99 Sale $13.99 Chateau St. Michelle Riesling • Reg. $12.99 Sale $8.99 Freixenet Carta Nevada Brut 187 ml • Reg. $2.99 Sale $1.49

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CUPIDS LINGERIE 3920 W 65th St. 565.2020 9700 North Rodney Parham Rd. 227.8282 (NLR) 5400 John F Kennedy Blvd. 753.3353 (Cabot) 6111 John Harden Dr. 241.2777 (Hot Springs) 1910 Albert Pike Rd. 623.1250 (Conway) 2585 Donaghey Ave. 764.0404 shopcupids.com

KREBS BROTHERS RESTAURANT SUPPLY 4310 Landers Rd., NLR 687.1331 krebsbrothers.com

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MR. WICKS 5924 R St. 664.3062 mrwicks.com OZARK OUTDOOR SUPPLY 5514 Kavanaugh Blvd. 664.4832 ozarkoutdoor.com

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New Year’s Eve RINGING IN 2017

Break out the bubbly. It’s time to celebrate as we ring in 2016 with a bang! From private and elegant locations for dinner, super big parties with dancing to a quiet evening with friends and family, there’s something for everyone this New Year’s Eve. Check out the happenings at area hot spots as we present a special end of the year party guide. BUDWEISER reminds you to make a plan to make it home for the holidays and every time you go out! Do whatever it takes to get home safely. Call a friend, arrange for a cab or designate a driver.

ARKADELPHIA

LITTLE ROCK

DEGRAY LAKE RESORT STATE PARK

$235.89 per couple! The New Year’s Eve Overnight Package is the way to go. It includes two champagne flutes, dinner for two, admission to the party and lodge accommodations at DeGray Lake Resort State Park for $235.89 per couple. RSVP at 800-737-8355 or degray.com

BOULEVARD BISTRO

1920 N. Grant Street, Little Rock 663.5949 Boulevardbread.com Boulevard Bistro will have happy hour specials all night from 4:30 p.m. until close. They will be serving the regular dinner menu. There will also be a 3-course prix fix menu that will include a soup OR salad, an entrée of fish OR steak and a dessert choice with a free glass of prosecco. Taking reservations now!

CACHE RESTAURANT

425 President Clinton Ave. 850-0265 cachelittlerock.com Join us at Cache to ring in 2017 in style. Start the night off with Chef Payne Harding’s 3 course Prix Fixe meal for $125 – includes a ticket to the after-dinner New Year’s Eve celebration (tax and gratuity are not included). For reservations and seating options call 501.850.0265. You can also purchase tickets for our after-dinner celebration upstairs separately; they are $75 and include hors d’ouevres, a champagne toast and a personalized photo to remember the evening. The Soul Shockers will be playing us into 2017, so be sure to wear your dancing shoes. Festive attire always encouraged. Learn more about the

DeGray Lake Resort State Park

event online at eventbrite.com/e/cache-new-years-evebash-2016-tickets-29959760450.

COLONIAL WINE AND SPIRITS

11200 W. Markham St. 223-3120 colonialwineandspirits.com facebook.com/colonialwines Stock up on your pre-party and after-party supplies with the best selection and the friendliest staff in town. There’s no need to stop the party when the clock strikes midnight though! See owner Clark Trim’s personal recommendations for New Year’s Day on the following pages.

THE EMPRESS OF LITTLE ROCK BED AND BREAKFAST

2120 Louisiana St. (Quapaw Quarter) 374-7966 theempress.com Skip the noise and noisemakers and attend the “Downton Abbey”dinner party at The Empress of Little Rock. Plans are for an evening inspired by“the opulence of Downton Abbey”with food, wine, dancing and entertainment. The chef will prepare four, elegant courses paired with hand-selected wines from the wine sommelier. After dinner, guests will dance and be entertained by live musicians playing music from the 50’s to present and toast the New Year with champagne. The event is black tie and begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $250 per couple

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Join Us For New Year’s Day JAZZ BRUNCH! S LIVE JAZZ PROVIDED BY MICHAEL EUBANK -3P 10A M FROM 11A-2P, BRUNCH SERVED FRO

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WWW.ARKTIMES.COM 36 36

DECEMBER 15, 2016 DECEMBER 15, 2016

ARKANSAS TIMES ARKANSAS TIMES

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A holiday Favorite! PRIVATE PARTY ROOM AVAILABLE • 7811 Cantrell Rd #6 • Little Rock (501) 224-9079 • www.littlerockgraffitis.net

New Year’s Eve…Empress Style Join us New Year’s Eve for a

“Downton Abbey”

Wine Dinner Dance hosted by The Empress of Little Rock. Book your reservations now for this exclusive Black Tie New Year’s Eve Dinner Party. Known as one of the top New Years Eve events in Central Arkansas, The Empress of Little Rock will host an evening of food, wine, dancing, entertainment, excitement and the beginning of the New Year in a Downton Abbey experience.

More information at www.theEmpress.com 2120 Louisiana St. 501.374.7966


Reserve Now For New Year’s Eve!

We will be serving a special four-course prix fix menu that will include a soup or salad, a cheese board, an entrée, a dessert choice and a free glass of Prosecco. We will also be serving our regular dinner menu. Happy hour specials all night from 4:30pm until close!

Seafood Fettucini from Graffiti’s or $200 per couple with a two-night stay. Seating is limited. Call to make reservations early for this exclusive event.

THE FADED ROSE

1619 Rebsamen Rd. 663-9734 thefadedrose.com Want to go out but not fight the crowds and then pay twice as much because of the holiday? The Faded Rose is your place to be on New Year’s Eve. Go to this neighborhood favorite and enjoy the same great food, drinks and service they provide every day.

FOUR QUARTER BAR

415 Main Street, North Little Rock 313.4704 Fourquarterbar.com Ring in the New Year with Brown Soul Shoes at Four Quarter Bar, the best new bar in town! Cover is $15 per person or $25 a couple.  A champagne toast at midnight is included. AND Four Quarter Bar’s NYE Party keeps going while all others shut down--for those not ready for their party to END they have extended their hours. The band starts at 10:30 and the kitchen will be serving a full menu until 1:30 a.m.  

GRAFFITI’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT

7811 Cantrell Road 224-9079 Littlerockgraffitis.net Celebrate a 32-year-tradition of Italian cuisine with a stylish NewYear’s Eve dinner at Graffiti’s. They will have a 5 p.m. seating and an 8 p.m. seating. Special NewYear’s Eve Dinner specials will be available that evening along with your favorites off of their regular menu. Make your reservations today.

O’LOONEY’S WINE & LIQUOR

3 Rahling Rd. at Chenal Parkway 821-4669 If you’re more into having a house party or get-together instead of a night on the town, the folks at O’Looney’s can get you stocked with all the necessities. They have excellent pricing and offer case discounts on wine and champagne.

REBEL KETTLE BREWING

822 E. 6th Street 374.2791 Rebelkettle.com Start celebrating New Year’s early with Rebel Kettle, who will be launching new brews the week leading up to New Year’s Eve. On New

Year’s Eve, Rebel Kettle will have food and beer specials ALL DAY LONG and stick around as they will stay open late so you can ring in the New Year with your favorite rebel! Some featured food specials are gumbo, wings, sliders and more.

THE ROOT CAFE

1500 South Main Downtown Little Rock (501) 414-0423 The Root will be open for New Year’s Day Brunch on Sunday from 9 am to 2 pm. We’ll have lots of delicious specials along with all the usual suspects. Have you seen our new dining room yet? Come get your 2017 started in style with NewYear’s Day Brunch atThe Root!

WAREHOUSE LIQUOR

10th & Main St., 374-0410 860 E. Broadway, NLR, 374-2405 Stock up on all your party needs with a stop at either location for Warehouse Liquor. They have everything you need to complement your New Year’s Eve dinner and New Year’s Day brunch. Check out our Gift Guide Section for specials from Warehouse.

NORTH LITTLE ROCK

SKINNY J’S

314 Main St., NLR 916-2645 skinnyjs.com Kick off the NewYear in Argenta with Skinny J’s for Brunch! Jazz will be provided by Michael Eubanks from 11am to 2pm, and your brunch favorites will be served from 10am to 3pm!

1920 N. Grant St. | 501.663.5951 www.boulevardbread.com

Pinnacle Mountain State Park

ENJOY

A HIKE

ON NEW YEAR’S DAY

THE WHOLE HOG CAFE

5107 Warden Road, North Little Rock 501.753.9227 www.wholehogcafenlr.com Whether keeping a low profile, going to a house party or looking for something different for New Year’s Eve, check out the Whole Hog experience in North Little Rock. Enjoy an upscale atmosphere, original entrees and legacy sauces. Their superior service makes for a truly enchanting experience. For Serious Barbecue, slow-smoked daily and served with style - go North.

In step with America’s State Parks’ “First Day Hikes” health initiative, state parks around Arkansas will host guided hikes on January 1. It’s a great way to get outside, connect with nature, and start the new year on the right foot. Visit ArkansasStateParks.com for a participating state park close to home.

#FirstDayHikes

HOT SPRINGS

THE ARLINGTON RESORT HOTEL & SPA

239 Central Ave., Hot Springs 623-7771 arlingtonhotel.com The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa offers three

ArkansasStateParks.com My park, your park, our parks

#ARStateParks

ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT www.arktimes.com DECEMBER 15 2016 37 arktimes.com DECEMBER 15, 2016 37


ways to ring in your New Year with a New Year’s Eve Celebration Buffet in the Venetian Dining Room, the Gala Dinner Dance in the Crystal Ballroom with the Stardust Big Band or the Festival Party in the Conference Center with live music from White Chocolate. At 12 am, a Black Eyed Pea Reception will commence in the Magnolia Room for guests of both parties. Start the New Year right with the breakfast buffet at 7 a.m. or your favorite beverage in the Lobby at 8 a.m.

SILKS BAR & GRILL

THE HOTEL HOT SPRINGS & SPA

3400 Choctaw Rd, Pocola, OK 74902 (918) 436-7761 choctawcasinos.com/choctaw-pocola Choctaw Casino Pocola is hosting a $150,000 NYE Extravaganza, with special cash drawings and prizes! Ring in 2017 with two tributes to music’s top stars at the casino’s CenterStage. The Fab Four will bring The Beatles’ biggest hits to life on December 30. Then King Michael will play the biggest hits from pop’s biggest name on New Year’s Eve. Save on both with our exclusive weekend ticket package—on sale now at Ticketmaster! Win your share of $150,000 including a brand new Jaguar 2017 F-type! Take pictures with Madonna, Loretta Lynn, David Bowie and Bon Jovi impersonators. Celebrate with FREE party hats and noise makers. Stick around for a ball drop event with KISR on December 31, 2016 at Midnight.

305 Malvern Ave., Hot Springs 623.6600 Hotelhotsprings.org Come ring in the New Year at the Hotel Hot Springs & Spa. Come enjoy the music of Mike Mayberry on NewYear’s Eve Weekend, Friday and Saturday 9pm-1am, at the Inside Track Grill & Sports Lounge. Complimentary champagne toast at the midnight hour inside our restaurant. Enjoy complimentary Hors D’Oeuvres inside our restaurant while watching the big game from 6pm-8pm

Inside Oaklawn Racing & Gaming 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs 623.4411 oaklawn.com Wrap up your 2016 and ring in the New Year at Oaklawn! Join us for the biggest celebration in town on Saturday, December 31st. Oaklawn will ring in 2017 with one of the biggest NewYear’s Eve parties in the area featuring live music by Moxie, a $7,500 drawing, Prime Rib Dinner and New Year’s morning breakfast buffet!

POCOLA, OK

CHOCTAW CASINO – POCOLA

In Step with America’s State Parks’ “First Day Hikes” health initiative, state parks around Arkansas will host guided hikes on January 1. It’s a great way to get outside, connect with nature, and start the New Year on the right foot. Visit ArkansasStateParks.com for a participating state park close to home!

COLONIAL CHAMPAGNE AND SPARKLING WINE PICKS VALUE – KorbelCalifornia Sparkling Wine CHOICE – Gloria Ferrer SPLURGE – Taittinger Brut La Francais WILD CARD – Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque

HOW TO OPEN CHAMPAGNE

Undo the cork cage. Hold the cork firmly between your thumb and index finger and turn the bottle, not the cork, toward you.

RECIPE:

New Year’s Midnight Kiss INGREDIENTS ½ OZ Hennessy Cognac 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier Chandon Brut Sparkling Wine Lemon twist for garnish

DIRECTIONS Pour the Hennessy and Grand Marnier into a Champagne flute. Top with Chandon Sparkling Wine. Garnish with lemon twist. Enjoy.

NEW YEAR’S EVE EVENTS SPARKLE AT THE ARLINGTON! NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATION DINNER

Dec. 31, 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm Venetian Dining Room Make it a great start to a memorable evening by enjoying this festive buffet in the Venetian Dining Room. Adults $36, Children (Age 6 - 12) $17 No charge children 5 & under (Tax & gratuity not included.)

GALA DINNER DANCE

FESTIVAL PARTY

In the Conference Center 8:30 pm - 1:00 am Dancing to the music of a live band. White Chocolate, party favors, champagne toast at midnight and tax are included. $45 per person At 12 am, a Black Eyed Pea Reception will commence in the Magnolia Room for guests of both parties.

7:30 pm • Crystal Ballroom Stardust Big Band from 8:30 pm - 12:30 am Five-course gourmet dinner, two drink tickets, wine with dinner, champagne toast at midnight, party favors, tax and gratuity included. (Also includes visiting the Festival Party next door.) $175 per person Reservations required

For more information call or email 800.643.1502 or info@arlingtonhotel.com • visit www.ArlingtonHotel.com 38 38

DECEMBER 15, 2016 DECEMBER 15, 2016

ARKANSAS TIMES ARKANSAS TIMES

ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT


ARKANSAS TIMES MARKETPLACE

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 like they were meant to.

PRICE ARKANSAS GRASS FEDLIST LAMB FRESH RAW HAM $7 lb.

PORK LOIN $8 lb

HAM BREAKFAST STEAKS $7 lb

BREAKFAST SAUSAGE $9 lb PORK BRATWURST $10 One pound package

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 STEAKS $10 lb

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.

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

LEG OF LAMB

$10 lb

HEARTS, LIVERS, KIDNEYS, $5 lb

TANNED SHEEPSKINS,

PORK TENDERLOIN SHOULDER $12 lb (about 4 to 5 lbs) $12 lb.

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

SPARE RIBS $9 lb

$100-$150

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

BABYBACK RIBS $12 lb

Electrical Engineer needed in Malvern, AR to provide engineering & technical oversight at fossil fuel power plants. Req: BS, Electrical Engineering; minimum six months exp with: project management; power systems design & troubleshooting; switchgear & relay design & operation, including equipment protection, programmable logic computer (PLC) & digital control systems, & NERC compliance. Employer: Entergy Arkansas, Inc. (Multiple openings) Send CV & cvr ltr to Lori Hendler, Entergy Services, Inc., 639 Loyola Ave., Floor 22, New Orleans, LA 70113 within 30 days and refer to Job #15144 to be considered.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE COUNSELING

DOT SAP Evaluations Christopher Gerhart, LLC

(501) 478-0182

An affectionate, protective, fun married couple looking for a healthy newborn to love, tell stories to, be silly with, and explore all life’s offerings. Legal/Confidential Call-Heidi & Jay

1-855-643-3822 text 1-347-344-8242

BONELESS LOIN $8 lb TENDERLOIN $20 lb LAMB BRATWURST LINK SAUSAGE

(one-lb package) $10 lb

NECKBONES

(for stew or soup) $5 lb

India Blue

ARKANSAS GRASS FED LAMB F a r m

TO ADVERTISE IN THIS SECTION, CALL LUIS AT 501.375.2985

12407 Davis Ranch Rd. | Cabot, AR 72023 Call Kaytee Wright 501-607-3100 alan@arktimes.com

12407 Davis Ranch Rd. | Cabot, AR 72023 Call Kaytee Wright 501-607-3100 alan@arktimes.com

ARKANSAS GRASS FED LAMB ARKANSAS GRASS FED LAMB

SCIENCE TEACHER (Sherwood, AR)

Teach Science to secondary school students. Bachelors in Science Edu., any subfield of science, or Engineer + 1 yr exp as Science Tchr. Mail res.: Lisa Academy, 21 Corporate Hill Dr. Little Rock, AR 72205 Attn: HR, Refer to Ad#KE.

Drivers Please be aWare, it’s arkansas state laW: Use of bicycles or animals

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. 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. We offer first quality one-year-old lamb raised on our farm

PRICE LIST

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.

You can pick up your meat at our farm off Hwy 107 in North WeROAST offer first quality one-year-old lamb raised on our farm RIB NECKBONES Pulaski County (about 25 miles north of downtown Little

Rock) or we can meet you in downtown Little Rock weekdays. in North ismeatfree of steroids or any contains aboutPulaski eight ribs County. Our meat (for stew or soup) $5 lb All is aged and then frozen. (lamb $17 lb. TESTICLES lb otherchops) chemicals. The only time we use $10 antibiotics is if the

PRICE LIST:

LEG OF LAMB has been injured which isHEARTS, LIVERS, KIDNEYS lb $10 RIB ROAST lb animal extremely rare., $5TESTICLES All meat is contains about eight ribs (about 4 to 5 lbs) $12 lb. (lamb chops) $17 lb. , HEARTS, LIVERS, KIDNEYS, $5 lb TANNED SHEEPSKINS USDA inspected. SHOULDER LEG OF LAMB $100-$150 TANNED SHEEPSKINS,

(about 4 to 5 lbs) $12 lb. $100-$150 (bone cook this slow, like a pot roast. (Our sheepskins are on tanned in farm Wein, offer first quality one-year-old lamb raised our (Our sheepskins are tanned in You can up your farm inahas North SHOULDERoff Hwy 107 Meat falls offpick the bone). $11 lb. meat at our a Quaker Town, Pa. tannery (bone in, cook this slow,tannery like Quaker Town, Pa. that that has specialized in sheepin North Pulaski County. Our meat is steroids or any a potfree roast. Meatof falls off the Pulaski County (about 25 miles north of downtown Little skinsfor for generations.) BONELESS LOIN $8 lb specialized generations.) bone). $11 lb.in sheep-skins otheror chemicals. The only time we use antibiotics is if the BONELESS LOIN $8 lb Rock) Little Rock weekdays. TENDERLOIN $20we lb can meet you in downtown

animal beenand injured is extremely TENDERLOIN $20 lb rare. All meat is LAMB BRATWURST All meathas is aged thenwhich frozen. LAMB BRATWURST USDA inspected. LINK SAUSAGE LINK SAUSAGE 

India You can pick up your meat at our farm off Hwy 107 in North NECKBONES Blue PRICE LIST:

(one-lb package) $10 lb

(one-lb package) $10 lb

12407 Davis Ranch Rd. | Cabot, AR 72023 Pulaski County (about 25 miles north of downtown Little 12407 Davis Ranch Rd. | Cabot, AR 72023 Call Kaytee Wright 501-607-3100 Call Kaytee Wright 501-607-3100 Rock) or we can meet youalan@arktimes.com in downtown Little Rock weekdays. RIB ROAST TESTICLES $10 lb alan@arktimes.com All meatabout is aged andribs then frozen. contains eight (lamb chops) $17 lb. HEARTS, LIVERS, KIDNEYS, $5 lb PRICE LIST: (for stew or soup) $5 lb

LEG OF LAMB

TANNED SHEEPSKINS,

F a r m

Every person riding a bicycle or an animal, or driving any animal drawing a vehicle upon a highway, shall have all the rights and all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle, except those provisions of this act which by their nature can have no applicability.

overtaking a bicycle

The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on a roadway shall exercise due care and pass to the left at a safe distance of not less than three feet (3’) and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken bicycle.

anD cyclists, Please remember...

You’re vehicles on the road, just like cars and motorcycles and must obey all traffic laws— signal, ride on the right side of the road and yield to traffic normally. Make eye contact with motorists. Be visible. Be predictable. Heads up, think ahead. arktimes.com

DECEMBER 15, 2016

39


107 LIQUOR!

EVERY DAY IS WINE DAY AT EVERYDAY SPECIALS

Lower prices everyday than most store’s “Wine Day”discounts ITEMS Crane Lake 750ML, Chardonnay, Riesling, Petite Sirah, Cabernet, Pinot Grigio, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Moscato, Sweet Red, Red Blend Liberty Creek 1.5L, Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sweet Red, Chard, Pinot Grigio, Moscato, White Zin Casasillero Del Diablo 750ML, Cabernet, Carmenere, Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc Cocobon, Red Blend 750ML - One of the best selling wines in the store right now! Handcraft 750ML, Pinot Noir, Malbec, Cabernet, Chardonnay, Petite Sirah, Pinot Grigio - Great Value! Gnarly Head 750ML, Merlot, Chardonnay Protocolo 750ML, Tempranillo Leese-Fitch 750ML, Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Sauv Blanc Clean Slate 750ML, Riesling Noble Vines 750ML, 181 Merlot, 446 Chardonnay Matchbook 750ML, Chardonnay Bogie 750ML, Essential Red Blend Finca El Origen 750ML, Malbec Picpoul de Pinet 750ML, French White (Dry) - Try if you like Sauvignon Blanc! Sean Minor Four Bears 750ML, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Noble Vines 750ML, 337 Cabernet, 667 Pinot Noir Montinore 750ML, Borealis - White Blend Nobillissima 750ML, Pinot Grigio (IGT) - New on the scene and selling fast! Apothic 750ML, Red Blend, Dark Columbia Crest Grand Estates 750ML, Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay 14 Hands 750ML, Cabernet, Merlot - Best price in town! Souverain 750ML, Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonay Chateau Ste Michelle 750ML, Indian Wells Cabernet Kermit Lynch 750ML, Moscato D’Asti - Our favorite Moscato! Force of Nature 750ML, Red Blend Michael David 750ML, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc 7 Deadly Zins 750ML, Zinfandel Cavit 1.5L, Pinot Grigio True Grit 750ML, Cabernet Parcel 41 750ML, Merlot Force of Nature 750ML, Cabernet, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Tempranillo **UNHEARD OF PRICING ON THESE HOT BRANDS**: Meiomi Pinot Noir Locations Wine Freixenet Brut

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TIL IT’S GONE SALES

Closeouts, Inventory Reductions and Blowouts for new vintages

TOO MANY TO LIST!

You have to see to Believe! HUGE LIQUOR SALES

FREE GIFT WRAPPING ON BOTTLES!!!

ITEMS

SALE PRICE

REGULAR PRICE

Pie Hole Flavored Whiskey Liter, Cherry and Apple, Til it’s gone..., Pyramid Vodka 750ML, Til it’s gone..., Fireball Cinnamon Whisky 750ML Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey 750ML, Black, Fire, Honey Bulleit Rye & Straight Bourbon 750ML Jefferson’s Small Batch Whiskey 750ML Jameson Irish Whiskey 750ML Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum 1.75L Courvosier VS Cognac 750ML Knob Creek Bourbon 750ML Don Julio Blanco 750ML Beefeater Gin 1.75L Glenlivet 750ML Grey Goose Vodka 1.75ML Glenlivet 1.75L

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EVERYDAY SPECIALS Bota Box 3LT Box, Cabernet, Chardonnay, Malbec, Merlot, Moscato, Old Vine Zin, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Redvolution, Riesling, Shiraz, Nighthawk Black, Sauv Blanc Black Box 3LT Box, Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Sauv Blanc

ITEMS

PRICE

Russel’s Reserve (10 years old) - Caramel/Vanilla/Wood Knob Creek 120 Proof (9 years 9 months) - nicknamed “Crushable” Elijah Craig (11 years old) - Like normal Elijah, but on steroids

INDIVIDUAL

BY CASE

40

167/67N

JFK BLVD.

DECEMBER 15, 2016

ARKANSAS TIMES

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HIGH QUALITY SELECTION FOR OUR MIX-A-SIX PROGRAM. $8.99

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FRANZIA 5LT BOX Our Franzia prices are already the lowest in town. Buy a case of 4 and get 10% off for even more savings!

TOP TIER Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay, Dark Red Blend White Grenache, White Merlot, White Zinfandel LOWER TIER Chillable Red, Sunset Blush, Crisp White, Fruity Red Sangria

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Arkansas Times - December 15, 2016  

A way up - When most foster kids turn 18, they have nowhere to go. Immerse Arkansas was there for Ed Phillips; now he's there for others. Th...