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of Augusta talks like an old school agri-populist, and wants to be the next chairman of the Democratic Party of Arkansas





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Welcome proposals Thank you for the amazing article by Benjamin Hardy and Kathryn Joyce about the overhaul of our [state Division of Children and Family Services] system to be inclusive of relatives after all of these years (at least nearly three decades) of frequently excluding family members as foster parents. As the de facto kinship caregiver liaison in this state since 1994, I know these exclusions have been painful. I have heard the anguish of these families who lose touch with the children of their relatives. I have averaged four to six calls per day for the past 20 years of keeping documentation of relatives left behind by the system. Their tears and heartache were truly hard for me to bear, but I continued to receive their calls despite the little I could do to remedy their exclusions. I would call various caseworkers, or even senior management, nearly always to be told, “You don’t know the other side of the story.” I would then observe so many of these children remaining in foster care, never knowing there was a caring relative who wanted to be there for them but a 20-year-old marijuana charge was in the way, or a caseworker claimed their frequent calls were harassment, rather than full-blown anxiety on their part. I am so grateful for these remarkable policy changes. Thank you to all who helped make these changes possible. Personally, I would love to be part of this change happening, and I will certainly do everything I can to let our families know they will be better considered than in the past. And thank you to Hardy and Joyce and the Arkansas Times for the role your reporting may have had in pushing this policy change. Dee Ann Newell Little Rock

felt appeals to secular humanism’s color-blind benevolence. Pointing out decades of bigotry and ignorance have done nothing to convince the right to embrace a more socially tolerant and economically viable approach to government. To keep populist conservatives from voting against their own self-interest, Democrats are going to have to embrace a truly progressive message that shows them in no uncertain terms how voting for Republicans is the equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot financially. Stop focusing on the mean-spiritedness of those who placed Trump in the White House and show them how a progressively liberal approach to policy is better for most people, economically speaking. Continuing to focus on the racism and lack of education of rural white voters will do nothing but encourage them to keep voting Republican. Rich Hutson Cabot

Trump doesn’t want the job It would be better if Trump just admits he never expected to actually win the presidency and knows he is not up to the job. His wife knows it — she does not even want to go with him to Washington, D.C. They only wanted to enhance their brand to advance the chances of their various businesses. Now they’ll have to use a blind trust to avoid the appearance of profiteering from their high government positions. That’s got to be hard on a legendary capitalist’s capitalist. Now they clearly see all the thankless years of selfless work ahead and how it is all going to be an uphill daily battle — with already more than half the people in the nation disgusted by them and most of those who voted for him disillusioned before too long. Already you can tell the Trumps really just don’t want to do this and are look-

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DECEMBER 1, 2016





ing for a way out. The Electoral College unfaithful throwing their votes to Hillary might be it. Trump can even afford to pay all faithless elector’s fines — it will be cheaper than building that wall, deporting all the millions of immigrants or settling any more multimillion lawsuits with scammed students, vendors, workers, investors, etc. Hamilton would be rolling in his grave now — as would all the famous, quite white forefathers — to see the ham sandwich who got elected by their foolproof electoral college system designed to disenfranchise non-property owners, minorities, women and slaves. Well here’s the news — it’s now the 21st century and, like the actor sings in “Hamilton,” “We’re not throwing away our shot!” Mady Maguire Little Rock

Watch out for Social Security The Wolf of Wall Street is going to eat our Social Security. Realestate tycoon President-elect Donald Trump and Ayn Rand-fanatic House Speaker Paul Ryan will surely see to it that former President George W. Bush’s dream of funneling Social Security funds to Wall Street comes true. Remember Bush’s 2005 State of the Union address: “As we fix Social Security … the best way to reach that goal is through voluntary personal retirement accounts.” Thank God Bush failed! Right? Had he succeeded, millions of Americans would already have lost their retirement accounts on scams like Trump University and Trump real estate. Even worse, all that money would be gone from the national Social Security fund and retiree benefits would be a fraction of what they are today. Trump and Paul have at least four years to make this scenario come true. Seriously, when FDR presented the New Deal to America in his first term, Republicans opposed Social Security. FDR insisted that Social Security payments should be drawn straight from our paychecks, and he crowed, “With those taxes in there, no damned politician can ever scrap my Social Security program.” However, Republican presidents have been known to borrow heavily from the Social Security fund. The Wolf of the White House might not “scrap” our Social Security funds, but he sure will gobble them up. Gene Mason Jacksonville


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Quote of the week “Fidel Castro created hell on earth for the Cuban people. He will now become intimately familiar with what he wrought.” — Sen. Tom Cotton, in a statement released following the death of Castro, the longtime leader of Cuba. Cotton has opposed the Obama administration’s move to normalize relations with Cuba. But Governor Hutchinson has been supportive of the policy, and told the press that he hoped President-elect Donald Trump didn’t return to a “rigid embargo.” Cuba has high demand for rice, corn and soybeans, and Arkansas farmers are eager to provide them.

Tweet of the week


“Would you support a bill removing the names of Bill & Hillary Clinton from the Little Rock Airport? Arkansas does not support them.” — Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway, @ jasonrapert), perhaps angling to take over the Little Rock Airport Commission. The Central Arkansas Library System’s board of directors may be next, as Rapert will surely want to change the name of CALS’ Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library, too. THE OPEN ROAD: On Highway 65 north of Harrison.

President-elect Donald Trump’s appointment of U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) to be secretary of Health and Human Services could put Medicaid expansion — known in Arkansas as the private option and later rebranded as Arkansas Works — in trouble. But that’s just the beginning. Funding for the traditional Medicaid program — which covers the elderly in nursing homes, low-income kids, the disabled and other needy populations — is likely also on the chopping block, since Price supports changing Medicaid funding to block grants and cutting it by about $1 trillion over the next decade. The privatization of Medicare, cutting benefits and pushing costs onto the elderly, will probably be on the table as well. Price, a fierce opponent of Obamacare, is the author of a bill that would

repeal Medicaid expansion altogether and replace it with nothing, stripping health insurance from around 14 million Americans. That includes 300,000 lowincome Arkansans currently on Arkansas Works. Such a plan might see some pushback from red-state governors in states that expanded Medicaid, including Governor Hutchinson, who said earlier this year that he wanted to see coverage expansion continue under any replacement for Obamacare. One small glimmer of hope in that direction: Trump also said he will appoint Seema Verma, who oversaw a Republicanized version of Medicaid expansion in Indiana, to head the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.


DECEMBER 1, 2016


State anti-panhandling law struck down

Last week, federal Judge Billy Roy Wilson blocked enforcement of a state law that makes it a misdemeanor offense to beg. The ACLU sued on behalf of two homeless people who panhandle and have been cited by police before. The law made it a crime of loitering to remain in a public place or the premises of another “for the purpose of begging.” The judge said the law was, on its face, a violation of constitutionally protected speech. The ruling doesn’t apply to a variety of municipal ordinances around the state that make various attempts to prevent panhandling, such as one in Hot Springs that restricts solicitation in the public right of way. Michael Rodgers and Glynn Eilbeck sued the director of the State Police over the law.

Switch gives GOP supermajority State Rep. David Hillman, an Almyra farmer recently re-elected as a Democrat to a third term, announced last week that he was switching to the Republican Party, giving the GOP 75 of the 100 House seats. His switch gives the Republicans the ability to vote as a bloc to defeat even a minority effort to stop an appropriation bill, most of which require a 75 percent vote. Hillman represents portions of Arkansas, White, Prairie and Lonoke counties. Those counties all went heavily for Donald Trump, with the 63 percent margin in Arkansas County, Hillman’s home, the narrowest of the four. He was unopposed for re-election this year and in 2014, but narrowly defeated a Republican in 2012.


Health care overhaul looking more likely


Path to recovery


ecent research has shown that Arkansas is unique for its fastgrowing prison population. The state also ranks among the lowest in the U.S. for access to mental health care. That’s why Governor Hutchinson’s 2017 budget allotment for the establishment of three crisis stabilization centers should be applauded. We must get the mentally ill out of our prisons, especially in Arkansas. Not only will it save the state millions of dollars and reduce the looming problem of jail overcrowding, it will finally give the mentally ill in our community a fair chance at recovery. The proposed crisis stabilization centers would be places with four to 16 beds, where police officers could bring individuals needing emergency medical attention for mental health issues. These centers would be used to stabilize acute episodes through supervision and medication, and would not be available to individuals who have committed violent crimes. They are designed to provide an immediate alternative to emergency rooms and the county jails, and are a ready solution to the shocking fact that prisons remain the No. 1 men-

tal health provider in the country and the state — as well as the most expensive and cost-inefficient one. SUZANNE The Council of BESTLER State Governments Justice Center has been working with the governor and the Legislative Criminal Justice Oversight Task Force to study the impact of policy changes such as crisis stabilization centers, and the evidence is extremely promising. Recent reports estimate that justice reinvestment practices such as crisis centers could save the state $3 million in as little as three years and could lead to significant reductions in recidivism among the mentally ill. Crisis centers also provide a practical solution to overcrowding by connecting the estimated 1,600 incarcerated mentally ill individuals in the state to services in the community that are best suited to their needs. They represent the kind of humane, moral and evidence-based treatment that results in the best outcomes for the mentally ill. Law enforcement and social services agencies

Fake economics



ake news is a new phenomenon in the world of politics and policy, but hokey economic scholarship has been around as long as Form 1040 and is about as reliable as the news hoaxes that enlivened the presidential campaign. With the legislature assembling soon to tackle tax and spending issues, the old notion of corporate and personal income tax cuts as the magic bullet for a poor state arrived right on time the other day at the Capitol, as it has for the past 50 years. Economic salvation is always based on the studies of the Tax Policy Foundation, a “think tank” organized right before World War II by America’s largest corporations to promote tax and regulatory policies favorable to big business and its owners and executives. This time, the local purveyor of the scheme is the 2-year-old Arkansas Center for Research in Economics at the University of Central Arkansas’s College of Business. Its professors and researchers are funded by the Koch brothers (2016 net worth $82 billion, Forbes) and perhaps other right-wing philanthropists. Americans for Prosperity, the Koch broth-

ers’ advocacy front, issued a release praising the center’s study, “Arkansas: A Road Map for Tax Reform,” ERNEST when the profesDUMAS sors presented it to Republican legislators, who are hungry for expert support for their cherished goal of reducing taxes on big businesses and the well-to-do. The academicians quizzed rank-andfile Arkansans, studied the tax rates, read the Tax Policy Foundation’s annual reports and concluded that Arkansas was an economic wasteland because its income tax and taxes on manufacturers gave it one of the worst business climates in America. Lower those taxes, eliminate the little corporate franchise tax and then raise property and sales taxes on ordinary workers to offset the loss of tax receipts, they said, and industry will fight to get to Arkansas and hire people. Never again, they said, will Arkansas have to spend hundreds of millions to bribe a steel mill and a Chinese paper maker to come to

in Arkansas are advocating for crisis stabilization centers. These evidence-based practices have also inspired new federal legislation, such as the Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act of 2015. This bill, which is in the House after being approved by the Senate, also advocates for crisis stabilization centers. It does this by awarding states, counties and organizations grants to implement the changes most needed in their area. It also improves communication between agencies to increase access to mental health services for incoming offenders. This unique design of the bill has attracted bipartisan support. If decriminalizing mental illness could do so much for Arkansas, federally mandating this approach to treating mental illness outside of the justice system could be an important step toward permanently altering the criminal justice system in America for the better. At the very least, investing in the transition to alternative treatment options such as crisis centers is far less expensive than the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to build a new, state-of-the-art prison. This dilemma is looming on the horizon for Arkansas, and hopefully both the state legislature and our congressional delegation will not hesitate about implementing these policies quickly and effectively. The real

Arkansas. That made perfect sense to lawmakers and Governor Hutchinson, who want to get another tax cut under their belts before the next election. But you are probably dubious, and you should be. It is all based on phony numbers, hokey analysis and economy theories that fly in the face of most economic scholarship except that of the Tax Foundation, Americans for Prosperity and their sponsors. First, let’s get one small issue out of the way. The UCA economists agreed that the state needed tax receipts to pay for desirable things like highways and UCA, so the cuts in individual income taxes and sales taxes paid by manufacturing companies needed to be offset by hiking property taxes on your homes and businesses and by raising the sales tax and expanding it to cover services like your doctor visit, hairdresser, barber and dry cleaner. The legislature can do all that quickly and by spring Arkansas will become the promised land for corporations and individuals. Well, our constitution prohibits the legislature and governor from raising property taxes, and you can’t find five legislators who will vote to tax services. Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller found exactly one in 1969, when he tried desperately to raise taxes to improve the civilization of his

success of this new approach depends on politicians having faith in the research and adapting policy accordingly. The crisis intervention centers will take some amount of work and patience to establish, especially as they represent a new approach toward treating mental health. Furthermore, three crisis centers that can hold a max of 16 people each is not the single step necessary to initiate the changes the state sorely needs. They represent what is, at best, a small start that will need to be immediately followed by significant further investment for the model to be successful. Ideally, the use of crisis centers will clearly show within the first few years of use that they are a successful approach that is worthy of further investment and development. Additionally, the success of these crisis centers is dependent on residents having the courage and wisdom to welcome them into their community. The individuals served by these centers are, by design, not violent criminals. They are our neighbors, co-workers, friends and family members, and they deserve the benefit of our compassionate support. Suzanne Bestler of Fayetteville is pursuing her master’s degree in social work at the University of Southern California’s Virtual Academic Center.

adopted state. The professors’ report was based on the Tax Foundation’s 2016 business climate index, which purports to record all the tax collections of each state and rank them from 1 to 50 based on its own perverse formula, not on taxes the states actually collected. The Tax Foundation considers a high-tax state one that has a graduated personal income tax and a low-tax state one having no income tax or a flat one. Texas and Alaska are low-tax states because they have no income tax but reap huge sums from stratospheric tax rates on oil and gas production. Arkansas ranks 38th and the professors said their elixir would bring it to promised-land status next year. Next fall there will be jobs galore. The states that industry and individuals are supposed to be fleeing to are the best 10 tax climates: Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska, Florida, Nevada, Montana, New Hampshire, Indiana, Utah and Oregon. Wait ... only one, New Hampshire, has a lower jobless rate than Arkansas. Only one, Florida, has more headquartered Fortune 500 companies than poor Arkansas. Booming states like California and Maryland are at the bottom of the Tax Foundation’s business climate index

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DECEMBER 1, 2016


Identity politics



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mid the climate of disbelief and fear among Democrats following Donald Trump’s election, a fascinating debate has broken out about what’s called “identity politics” on the left, “political correctness” by the right. And about damn time, I say. The kind of race- and gender-based moral bullying prevalent on many college campuses and in certain media outlets has been extremely damaging to the Democratic Party. The whole thing was started by an essay, “The End of Identity Liberalism,” in the New York Times by Columbia University historian Mark Lilla. “In recent years,” Lilla writes, “American liberalism has slipped into a kind of moral panic about racial, gender and sexual identity that has distorted liberalism’s message and prevented it from becoming a unifying force capable of governing.” Instead of the Democratic Party’s core message of inclusion — all for one, and one for all — we’re fed a seemingly endless list of grievances and a litany of blame. That certainly wasn’t the message Hillary Clinton wanted to send. Her traditionally Democratic campaign slogan, after all, was “Stronger Together.” On the stump, however, she most often directed her rhetoric to discrete categories of voters: African-American, Latino, LGBT, women, etc. Anybody, it sometimes seemed, but the one group that can’t be named. They noticed. “If you are going to mention groups in America,” Lilla warns, “you had better mention all of them. If you don’t, those left out will notice and feel excluded. Which, as the data show, was exactly what happened with the white working class.” Bill Clinton used to bore pundits and attract voters with great laundry lists of specific policies addressing their needs. Hillary spent her energy and advertising dollars warning against the impending catastrophe that is Donald Trump — something this column also did plenty of. One result, however, was that ordinary voters across wide swaths of the country concluded that she had nothing to offer them. They’re wrong, but you can see how they got the idea. Just so you know what we’re up against, here’s how the top-rated comment about Lilla’s article on the Times website began: “This article is insulting to people who are not cisgendered, heterosexual white men. Identity is not something which can be quietly set aside in pursuit of common goals, since histor-

ically those goals were set by and for white men.” If you don’t understand how such nonsense is GENE creating young LYONS Republicans by the truckload, you’re not paying attention. As one of my smarter friends has observed, it also “tends to paralyze young Democrats. How can you work for social change when everybody is limited to their own class/race/gender?” Well, you can’t. My own experience has been that trying to reason with identity-obsessed social justice warriors is like being mobbed by crows — not so much harmful as exhausting. In practice, there are few ideas more illiberal than the notion that demography is destiny. Try reading “Until Proven Innocent,” Stuart Taylor and K.C. Johnson’s book on the infamous Duke University lacrosse team rape hoax, for a scary example of this kind of thinking in action. To a noisy minority of Duke’s faculty, the falsely accused athletes were guilty simply by virtue of being, yes, “cisgendered, heterosexual white men.” Most held to that conviction long after the lacrosse players’ complete innocence became clear. One unintentional result of such episodes, as Michelle Goldberg writes in Slate, has been “the politics of cultural revenge delivered by a billionaire in a gold-plated airplane.” She worries that Trumpism will lead to a new Dark Age descending over America’s racial and sexual minorities, and that “the focus of left-of-center politics in the dark years to come must be on protecting the groups of people who are targets precisely because of their identities.” Maybe so, although I suspect such fears are overblown. I’d never deny that being a straight white man has eased my way. But I didn’t create the world either, and I’m a Democrat precisely because I do believe we’re all in this together. A politics rooted predominately in race, gender and cultural identity invariably leads to tribalism — the great enemy of democracy. As Lilla reminds us, “the first identity movement in American politics was the Ku Klux Klan.” He’s correct. To succeed, Democrats need to address “Americans as Americans,” as citizens sharing common interests and the necessary protections of the rule of law.

Dems’ path forward


o state political party in the modern era has had a more abrupt fall than Arkansas’s Democrats. Going into the 2010 election cycle, the Democratic Party of Arkansas controlled every statewide elected position, maintained solid majorities in both houses of the General Assembly and held five of six positions in the state congressional delegation. Barely six years later, that balance of power has been overturned: Republicans won a supermajority in the state House as a result of the 2016 election and two subsequent party switches by Democratic legislators served as the latest cymbal clang in the GOP rise. The question with which state Democrats are grappling: Is there any path back from this sudden darkness? To be clear, any Democratic recovery in the state will leave the party far short of its dominant status a decade ago. A more legitimate goal is a return to a true two-party state with Democrats growing support in key regions of Arkansas. To lay the groundwork, the state’s Democratic Party must do three things simultaneously. Most time-sensitive is for the party to take advantage of the activist energy created by the election of Donald Trump. Rather than running away from politics, all signs are that those most agitated by the Trump victory are, instead, looking for ways to voice their opposition. At Democratic Party meetings in Pulaski and Washington counties since the election, record crowds turned out and memberships swelled. Just as impressive is the energy shown on a variety of private, heavily female Facebook groups operating under the “Pantsuit” brand that is an homage to Hillary Clinton; those groups have also now begun having in-person strategy meetings in Arkansas, again with large crowds. The first necessity for the state Democratic Party is to harness this energy and engage new activists in the party infrastructure. State political parties are notoriously resistant to welcoming new players who have not “taken their turn” to move into leadership roles. Now is not the time for such organizational norms that might push out a new generation of leaders. Second, the party must prepare for 2018 by developing a candidate

recruitment plan that targets those nooks of the state where Democrats showed some signs of life in the JAY Trump tidal wave. BARTH Although Hillary Clinton won only eight Arkansas counties, she did improve on the performance of President Obama in a number of other counties across the state. Starting at the Justice of the Peace level, it is crucial for Democrats to develop a bench of candidates who will run for higher office in the next generation. Barring a national crisis like 9/11, the odds are quite good that antipathy towards the new administration will be significant by 2018 (think about the midterm elections of 1982, 1994 and 2010). In the language of state politics analyst Alan Ehrenhalt, the “customers” in elections (the voters) must have “products” (candidates) worth considering. The best investment of energy for the state party is to figure out the districts across the state where winning is feasible and convince activists to become the Democratic “products” in 2018 and begin the party’s reconstruction. In politics, demography is destiny. The significant shifts in the Democrats’ direction in recent election cycles in Virginia and North Carolina (shifts that are also underway in Georgia and Texas) have been driven by demographic change. Arkansas’s Democrats have only one place to look for similar demographic shifts that have the promise to propel the party back to competitiveness: Northwest Arkansas. It is the only portion of the state growing significantly that might be open to the Democrats’ core, future-oriented message. Some argue that a return to the populist themes (economic progressivism and respect for small-town values) that served the Democratic Party well for generations with rural Arkansans is the direction to head. But, there are two problems with that strategy: the continued shrinkage of the rural electorate and Trump’s dominance with white rural voters. Therefore, the Democratic Party should show its commitment to the voters of that increasingly diverse, that increasingly diverse, high-tech region.


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n Thanksgiving night, Bret Bielema could settle into his bed knowing that after a rather miserable 2013 inauguration, he had slipped comfortably into his job and the results were bearing some small but edible fruits for this ravenous fan base. He was only 25-24, but 18-10 with two bowl wins over his last 28 contests, a smattering of takedowns of ranked teams, and a stabilized roster that showed off the staff’s endeavors to enlist and develop a caliber of player that would lead to better days ahead in a rugged conference. Twenty-four hours later, the outlook went from rosy to rotten. Missouri, playing like a team desperate to avoid the 3-9 season that Bielema authored three years before, erased a 24-7 Hog lead in a matter of minutes in the third and fourth quarters, and held off two red zone charges by the Hogs late to emerge victorious, 28-24, in this latest chapter of a contrived and uninspiring “rivalry” featuring a trophy that is far more aesthetically sound than the football that’s been played, three years running, between the participants. Make no mistake: Mizzou played exactly like a three-win team even as it rallied. The Tigers dropped clean passes that would’ve inflated the margin to something greater than it ended up being, and whiffed on open-field tackles. The thing is, they also secured the football, which Arkansas failed to do (Austin Allen had two catastrophic red zone interceptions), and took chances that their nowhere season afforded. “What team runs a fake punt inside its own 10 in the second half?!” you might have mused. Then you might’ve said to yourself, seconds later, “Well, a 3-8 team that wants to wreck an opponent’s season does.” Murphy’s Law ate the Hogs alive over the final half hour of clock at aging, uninteresting Faurot Field. The aforementioned gaffes were significant, but it was the listless play on both sides of the ball that made defensive coordinator Robb Smith’s seat hotter — yet again, the Hogs generated no discernible pass rush against an offensive line that hardly qualifies as staunch — and even made Dan Enos’ offensive play selection worthy of intense scrutiny. The Razorbacks were scoreless after halftime and the old red zone woes resurfaced. Tight end Jeremy Sprinkle failed to cradle a potential game winner, but all things considered, would a 31-28 win snatched out of the jaws of

defeat mean that much? The whole second half was so aggravating that it didn’t even seem like a win would BEAU be either deserved WILCOX or celebrated. And as a result of this lifeless and erratic performance in a season fraught with them, Arkansas now faces a bowl prospect that is realistically no different or better than the Liberty Bowl nod it received last year, when it was more competitive and interesting to watch generally. Smith has a really tall task ahead if he wants to recapture whatever spark he had back in 2014, because the paucity of speed is now visible against teams that have little of it themselves. Missouri is reasonably well stocked at receiver but the Hogs got battered in the second half by a third-string tailback and Drew Lock had all the poise and confidence of a guy leading a team with an inverse win-loss record. Enos can likely remedy a few issues on the situational playcalling side, but he’s still dependent upon a terribly unsteady line to ensure those calls can be carried out. A bowl game of any kind is both important to and meaningless for this team. The seniors, save for Keon Hatcher and Drew Morgan, honestly failed to acquit themselves most of the year, and it would accordingly not be all that surprising if the entire April draft went by without any Hogs getting selected, Morgan’s utility as a slot and possession receiver notwithstanding. Sprinkle notably lacked any kind of chemistry with Allen, and wide receiver Dominique Reed was an utter disappointment. Linebacker Brooks Ellis is a hard-working guy and defensive lineman Deatrich Wise has all manner of physical tools, but neither is going to be terribly appealing to a professional team in need of depth. Yet there’s another month of practice to be gained and a chance for Bielema to get back above sea level record-wise, and push his bowl mark to 3-0, even if it will again be at the expense of a marginal power conference team like Iowa, Minnesota, Miami or North Carolina. For the next few weeks, the team is going to have to put in work to make fans forget one of the worst losses the program has sustained of late, and it isn’t unrealistic to believe that some of the staff may not be along for that excursion.


Writers blocked


K, back to basics, Observer. Get hold of yourself. Give the people what they want, which is escapism! If you don’t, this column is eventually just going to devolve into The Prophecies of Hickstradamus at some point in the next four years: “The Orange Vulture perches in the fig tree. The great snake eats Moonpies and Royal Crown Cola by starlight …” That kind of thing. Nobody likes that. Too much deciphering and such. So what to write about then? Surely not sleeping, as we’re not doing much of that, and what little we do get always ends with — and we’re not making this up — waking up thinking: “Thank God, it was only a dream!” before reality comes flooding back and we realize that, yes, we live in a time when a living cartoon who was such an asshole they didn’t have to tweak his personality at all to make him a heel on WWE wrasslin’ is now president-elect of the United States. Can’t write about history, of course, because we are all immersed in it up to our eyeballs right now, with The Observer trying to remember every fleeting, terrible moment — every unhinged tweet, every proud bigot named to the Cabinet, every YouTube video featuring a newly emboldened Trumpie tripping the light Klantastic on a stranger (inevitably punctuated by “WHOOOOO!”). That way, years hence, when we sit around the campfire in our rags and look into the faces of the filthy, starving children who grew up in the ruins, we can recall for them how it all went down. Not social studies, because who gives two shits about that anymore, with all its boring talk of democracy and dictatorship and the siren’s cry of the racist demagogue, drawing grand ships of state onto the rocks? Not us! No siree. We will, however, talk about the Electoral College, if only to say: Please Red State Electors, we’ve got our differences, but for the love of God, do something before it’s too late. Can’t you see there’s something terribly wrong with this guy? Can’t really talk about quantum physics, of course, as we’re fairly certain that some wayward time traveler caused all this mess, “Back to the Future II”style, by rolling over and smushing a moth after unwittingly impregnating

his own grandmother while on a jaunt back to witness the election of President Bernie Sanders. We’re trying to confirm that theory, but given that millions of people just cast a vote for president based on the Facebook equivalent of “Vanishing Hitchhiker” and “Hook-Handed Maniac Who Stalks Lovers’ Lane” stories (“And then Killary said … Wheeeere’s my golden serrrrrveeerrrrrrr?”), we might just make some shit up and call it true. Becoming a purveyor of assorted magical realism and more fragrant puckey seems to be a pretty good career path at this point. Who knew The Observer had been doing it wrong all these years with this “factual news reporting” stuff? What a fool we’ve been! Can’t write about math, given that Trump got on Twitter this week and swore and bedamned that he won the popular vote “if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” Which means, of course, that if you take Clinton’s 2 million-plus popular vote lead, then subtract the votes cast by invisible liberal Muslim Mexican Nargles, divide by seven and carry the two, you wind up with, yep, just as we suspected: Donald Trump is a dangerous moron who will soon have access to nukes, squared. Somebody check our math there, please. Can’t rightly write about chemistry, either, given that it gave us whatever hellish chemical soup it is that keeps Trump’s hair that color, hovering somewhere between “cheddar biscuit dough” and “pus.” Chemistry is also, come to think of it, responsible for his ridiculous orange skin, a fact that makes The Observer realize, with horror, that at some point in the next few months, frowning workmen will come to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. with their measuring tapes and tool belts for the express purpose of installing a goddamn spray tan booth in the White House, so that for the next four years, a doughy septuagenarian in a speedo and a hair net can get his weekly dip in liquid Doritos dust while speaking to a white supremacist through a frosted glass door about the future of this nation. That’s a lovely image, ain’t it? You can have that one for free, with hearty condolences. So, what to talk about? The weather, maybe. Finally got some rain. That’s good, right? Can’t really complain about that.

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Arkansas Reporter


Lessons from Standing Rock SPENCER HATCHER

A Fayetteville resident joins the ‘water protectors’ allied against the Dakota Access Pipeline. BY MATTHEW HENRICKSEN


nce we crossed over into the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, which straddles the central border between North and South Dakota, the multitude of reasons that impelled me to leave a week of work and family behind in Arkansas and to stand in solidarity with the anti-Dakota Access Pipeline water protectors cohered into an overwhelming clarity. Energy Transfer Partner’s Dakota Access Pipeline, intended to carry unrefined crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois, has seen construction halted in its late phases by opponents who have 12

DECEMBER 1, 2016


gathered in various camps at Standing Rock since April. In July, the Standing Rock Sioux sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in federal court, seeking an emergency halt in construction. A judge rejected their broad request in September; hours later, the U.S. Justice and Interior departments and the Army Engineers ordered a halt to construction near Lake Oahe, an ancestral site for the Sioux, until the Engineers reviewed previous decisions and decided whether to conduct a fuller cultural and environmental review. The government again delayed issuing

a permit on Nov. 14, saying that more consultation with Native American tribes was needed. Those who actively oppose the pipeline refer to themselves not as protestors but as “water protectors.” They cite the likelihood of a pipeline rupture destroying their drinking water, which comes from the Missouri River. The pipeline is also slated to slink under the river and through ancestral burial sites. Originally, the pipeline had been directed through Bismark, but the city objected and the oil company rerouted through Standing Rock.

Since early in the fall, I have been following the live feeds of the protest closely. News also reached me through a few friends who returned from Standing Rock inspired by the camp’s unity and determination. They found many intersecting social conflicts — environmental recklessness, corporate greed, police abuse and racism — in a fight that seemed winnable because so many broader concerns were concentrated in a single point of conflict. Several of these friends were planning eagerly, even desperately, to get back to Standing Rock, to help shore up the camp’s ranks as the harsh winter threatened. They urged me to go myself. The fight was worth dropping my responsibilities for a week or a month, they claimed. The Lakota Sioux elders, they said, accepted everyone and unified the camp in their single cause. Back in late October, a friend invited me to travel with her to Standing Rock. We both work at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Fayetteville, and she planned to bring donations and money to the camp and witness their direct actions as a supporter. I was too busy, I said. I’m a single dad, work a full-time job, teach night classes on the side, and volunteer in the prisons. Then I watched the presidential election results, first with trepidation, then with shock, and finally with a resolution to act. I told my friend to save a seat for me. I wanted to show my 7-year-old daughter, who was in tears on the night of the election, that we can transfer raw emotion in the face of injustice into concrete action on behalf of our beliefs. As we first entered the reservation on Nov. 15 for a three-day encampment, shallow angular hills waved out in all directions and captured the sunlight falling from an enormous sky. To carve up such pristine land and jab an oil pipeline up its middle, against the will of people who had formed a sacred union with the land before any written history, struck me as senseless, the opposite vision of any world I could accept. When we came over the hill and

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

caught our first glimpse of Oceti Sakowin Camp, the direct action camp at the frontline of the pipeline resistance, we gasped at hundreds of tents and teepees sprawled across the field all the way to the river. Flags from all points of the globe, from Turkey to New Zealand, flapped amid more native flags than I could tally. Our Lakota hosts welcomed us while asking us to follow their camp’s rules, simple precepts we should all carry with us anyway. What struck me particularly, though I am an atheist, is the practice of inhabiting a prayerful space. Pray in the morning and at night. Do all things prayerfully, whether chopping wood, eating a meal, or standing on the frontline of a direct action. At each turn, we met water protectors in a prayerful space united by a single cause. Environmentalists and anti-corporate activists converged with native and anti-racist activists to protect their drinking water. One morning we joined a direct action outside a pipeline work site. We met police in militarized gear who blocked our way. A line of water protectors, native and non-native, some of us clad in bandanas and goggles or gas masks, some of us in our bare skin, spread out to face a line of police, each with a gun, a baton and a gallon of mace. Some of the police looked eager for confrontation, while others looked shameful as a water protector shouted, “Where does the water come from that you bathe your children in?” Then there were cries from our far left wing. The cops were pushing. We heard a call for women to form a prayer circle, and just as my friend joined them I heard shouting for men to shore up the line. I jumped in and locked arms with other water protectors just before the police started violently shoving us with their batons, moving aggressively toward the circle of women holding hands in prayer. Then the police sprayed us with mace. We held firmly to each other and backed up slowly, fearful that if we turned around the police might fire rubber bullets into our backs or CONTINUED ON PAGE 46



Inconsequential News Quiz:


Play at home, while burying basic provisions and cherished books under your toolshed! 1) Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee told Fox News recently that he’d been offered a job in the Trump administration, but didn’t take it. Why, according to The Huckster, did he turn down the job? A) While considering it, his hands burned every time he touched a Bible. B) Too fat for the storm trooper uniform. C) Huckabee had recently returned from a vacation in Bermuda, and Very White House strategist-to-be Steve Bannon decided he was too brown for the job. D) Huckabee said of the offer, “I’m not sure it was the right fit.” 2) Sen. Bart Hester (R-Cave Man) recently told reporters he wants to place an additional tax on medical marijuana — a hike that would solely impact sick people. Why does Hester want the tax hike? A) To fund the purchase of a dedicated constitution-shredding machine for every state office. B) “Jackboots and fancy armbands ain’t cheap, bro.” C) So the state can cash in on the Trump Era by starting a chain of salons that specialize in giving stupid people wispy, piss-colored hair. D) To offset an income tax cut. 3) KATV, Channel 7, recently reported on the case of a truck-driving couple arrested by the Fort Chaffee Police Department and held in jail for two months before they were released, with all charges dropped. Why were they thrown in jail? A) Sheriff Buford T. Justice from “Smokey and the Bandit” is playing a little fast and loose with probable cause in his old age. B) They refused to help roll this truckin’ convoy across the U.S.A. C) They were trucking while black. D) They had a bag of white powder in the cab of their semi, and three different tests administered by the cops who pulled them over identified it as cocaine. Months later, the Arkansas State Crime Lab determined it was actually baking soda. 4) A hearing was recently held to determine the fate of a permit approved last summer by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality that environmentalists say could harm the Buffalo River. What does the permit give a company called EC Farms the right to do near Deer (Newton County), in the watershed of the Buffalo? A) Spray 6.7 million gallons of liquid hog manure on the ground every year, a system called “land farming.” B) No, for real. Almost 7 million gallons of hog turd soup. On the ground. On purpose. Every year. And, in a clear misunderstanding of the phrase “environmental quality,” ADEQ’s lawyers are actually arguing IN FAVOR of that proposal. C) OK, we get it. That’s like, a LOT of pig crap to get your mind around. Here, try this: Picture an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Now picture 10 of those, filled with murky, liquid swine dookum. That, dumped out on the ground, every year, uphill from the pristine beauty of the Buffalo River. That. Be thankful Arkansas Times can’t afford Smell-o-Vision. D) All of the above. All this. That’s right. 5) For a recent story about racism in Harrison, reporters with the British newspaper The Daily Mirror talked to several people there, including a local man who denied being racist even though he admitted voting for Trump because, among other things, he hoped The Orange One would ban Muslims from America. What, according to the Mirror, was the term the man said he preferred to be called instead of “racist”? A) “Dumbfuckstronaut.” B) “Ignoranto-American.” C) “Klanic-Depressive.” D) “Discriminist.” ANSWERS: D, D, D, D, D


DECEMBER 1, 2016


Vive la resistance!

House Minority Leader Michael John Gray 14

DECEMBER 1, 2016


Follow X X X X X X on Twitter: @X X X X


t’s appropriate that in the corner of state House Minority Leader Mi-

chael John Gray’s office in Augus-

The Democrats were a desperate minority, he said, shipwrecked on an island in the red sea, trying to

the White River, is a stuffed and mounted loggerhead snapping turtle so big it wouldn’t fit in a wash tub. Legend has it that once a snapping turtle gets a bite on you, it will grimly hang on until it hears a clap of thunder. It’s a fitting symbol these days for the Democratic Party of Arkansas, which has seen its power dwindle over the past 25 years from unquestioned statewide dominance to bare smatterings of blue; the Delta, Fayetteville, Little Rock and Pine Bluff. Red State Yellow Dog Democrats like Gray know all about grimly hanging on. GRAY, 40, IS ONLY THE THIRD Democratic minority leader in the Arkansas House since Reconstruction, and he recently announced his candidacy for chair of the Democratic Party in the state. The representative for District 47, which includes parts of Jackson, Woodruff, White and Independence counties, he now rides herd over a whopping 25 Democrats in the House, the caucus thinned by 10 members since the last session alone. When an Arkansas Times reporter visited his cluttered office in Augusta the day before Thanksgiving, Gray was on the phone talking strategy and shoring up nervous partisans in the wake of another defection: State Rep. David Hillman of Almyra (Arkansas County), who, citing a desire to “better represent the changing views of the people in our district,” announced on Nov. 22 he would be flipping to the Republicans. He follows State Rep. Jeff Wardlaw of Hermitage, who announced on Nov. 9 that he would change parties. Hillman had been re-elected after running unopposed this year, but he believed the writing was on the wall in Lonoke, Prairie, Arkansas and White counties, which he represents.

figure out how to be relevant and salvage what they could.

that look out on a picturesque bend in


House Minority Leader Michael John Gray wants to chair the Democratic Party of Arkansas. His plan to lead the party back to relevance: Start listening to Arkansas again.

ta, next to the floor-to-ceiling windows

DECEMBER 1, 2016


In public, it looks as if he came to fight.

If Gray is taking up his post-election hair shirt with a lot of other Democrats in the state, however, he must be doing it in private.

man’s switch gave the Republicans a 75-member supermajority in the 100-member House, meaning that if Republicans move as a bloc, they can do pretty much whatever the hell they want if a vote makes it to the floor without fear of veto or an end-run around from opponents. That news might look like rock bottom for a lot of Democrats in the state, but there’s still room to fall. Gray’s own home county of Woodruff, a reliably Democratic bastion that clings to the western edge of the Blue Belt along the Mississippi River in East Arkansas, voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012, but broke for Trump this year by 9 percentage points over Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, the same voters dropped down a few spots on the ballot and gave Conner Eldridge, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, a 24-point edge over Republican incumbent Sen. John Boozman. It was that kind of year. If Gray is taking up his post-election hair shirt with a lot of other Democrats in the state, however, he must be doing it in private. In public, it looks as if he came to fight. He was, for instance, one of the architects of the Nov. 10 effort by Democrats to stack the crucial House Revenue and Taxation Committee, a surprise maneuver that left the Irrelevant Party in control of 11 of 20 seats and at least slightly dimmed House Republicans’ post-election afterglow. It’s a move that could potentially allow Democrats to haggle over or block tax cuts in the next session; cuts that Gray and others believe could be disastrous to programs helping children, the poor and the elderly all over the state. With Democrats wandering in the wilderness two days after an election when the worst impulses of far-right conservatism seemed to hold sway from dog catcher to the door of the White House, it was a little sweet to watch Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin go on a huffy Twitter rant in which he called the Revenue and Taxation Committee stack “an affront to voters” before crying that “just because the Dems did it doesn’t make it right.” The Arkansas Senate has since passed a rule change that allows the minority party to hold only three seats on any committee. Standing committees in the Senate have eight members. Gray said he expects a rules change to deny Democrats committee majorities in the House in future sessions. That’s a fight for tomorrow, though. Gray said he and other Democrats see no upside to obstructing simply for the sake of obstruction on Revenue and Taxation. But for now, for this session, the gang of 25 will still have at least some say in how the ship of state is run. Though Democratic numbers are down in Arkansas and almost everywhere but the coasts right now, Gray believes the 2016 election is actually something of an opportunity for the party here and nationwide. While having cold water thrown in your face is never pleasant, he notes that it does tend to wake a person up. He’s running for party chair, he said, because if Democrats are ever going to rebuild enough to make a comeback in the state, they’re going to have to stop seeing everything but the larger cities and

the Delta as a lost cause. Most of that shift of perception, he believes, will have to be accomplished with shoe leather out in the little towns of Arkansas, with Democrats talking to poor and working class voters about their hopes and fears. That’s not going to be easy, but Gray believes there’s a way back for Democrats: offering a message of hope and opportunity, especially in the forgotten corners of the state that look like they have none. Michael John Gray’s family has been farming in Woodruff County since time out of mind. Though he and his wife, Amy, and their young son live in Augusta, in a 100-year-old house with a backyard that slopes down to the White River and includes a tree swing, his family farm is six miles outside of town. A row crop farmer, he grows soybeans and peanuts there, but has made a go of everything from catfish to cotton over the years. “Farming is a tough life,” he said. “It’s an interesting lifestyle, but it’s a rocky road. … For every one of those guys that’s portrayed as wealthy landed aristocracy, there’s the guy who has everything his family has ever worked for mortgaged to the hilt. They’re all betting on the come, and there’s no summer vacations or spring breaks.” When he was a kid, Gray said, there were 12 family farms in the six miles between downtown Augusta and his family’s spread. Today, there are just three. That’s the evolution of the industry, he said, but it’s also indicative of why little towns are struggling all over the state. That’s families gone. That’s jobs gone that once paid for refrigerators and rent and new Fords. Standing in Gray’s backyard, a visitor can see the looming bulk of two huge tin grain mills that once loaded the harvested bounty of the White River delta onto barges. Both are closed now. Though Gray himself sees promise in Augusta, pointing out the local businesses and waving to folks who leave their cars running on the street while they dash into the post office for some stamps, it looks like a lot of faded towns in the rural corners of the state. To an outsider, it might easily seem that the best thing Augusta has going for it at this point is the fact that the nearest Walmart is more than 20 miles away. Gray said the tough life is why his father tried to do all he could to steer his kids away from farming. Straight out of high school, Gray left Augusta to attend the University of Arkansas, but eventually dropped out when it became clear he wasn’t living up to his own expectations. He worked the night shift at a foundry, and then spent time on the road with a company that moved heavy equipment. Eventually, he came back home and started working alongside his dad on the family farm. At his father’s urging, he went to night school and eventually got his degree at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. He went on to get a law degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s William H. Bowen School of Law in 2004. That June, at the height of activity on the farm, his father died in a car accident. It’s a moment in his story that Gray glosses over, but that seems to comes


DECEMBER 1, 2016


back to haunt our conversation later, when he talks about the simple things people in his district need: another ambulance, hospitals and clinics closer than 25 miles away, rumble strips on the edge of the road to warn inattentive or sleepy motorists, highway shoulders that aren’t so high they cause drivers to drop off and crash out on the lonesome prairie. During his stint at the UA in the mid-1990s, Gray was bitten hard by the political bug, citing the era as “the height of Arkansas politics.” More interested in other pursuits, however, he said he missed “the Clinton window” that other politically minded friends jumped through. “I still regret, today, that I missed taking advantage of some of the opportunities my friends had to take political jobs or take internships, things like that,” he said. Back home on the farm by 2002, driving back and forth to school at night to pursue his degree, Gray was approached to run for the Augusta City Council. He got beat, but in 2008 he ran again and won. He would go on to serve two terms. While he’d been interested in government, he said actually participating in government was a real wake-up call. “You’ve got to love where you’re from if you’re from a small town in Arkansas,” he said. “I want to do whatever I can to help the town. But I saw what we could do and what we couldn’t do. The limitations. Once you see it from that side of the table, you realize there are things you’d like to do but you can’t do.” Though Woodruff County has long been a Democratic stronghold, buttressed by a sizable AfricanAmerican population and an abundance of what Gray calls Roosevelt Democrats and their descendants, one of the disadvantages of Woodruff County being reliably Democratic is that the Republicans didn’t campaign there and the Democrats didn’t have to. “It was easy to overlook us,” he said. “In recent years, it felt like we needed to make sure we had a

seat at the table. That’s why I ran [for House].” He’d done some soul-searching in the years before with regard to his political ideology, but had eventually come to the conclusion that he was a Democrat, and wanted to stay one, even as the rural parts of the state tracked steadily more Republican. “I’m a contrarian,” he said. “All my friends growing up were [St. Louis] Cardinals fans, but because they were, I was a [Chicago] Cubs fan. There were probably times in my life that my parents were Clinton supporters that I was trying to find a way to support the Republican Party. … But while I pride myself on wanting to be fiscally responsible, I didn’t line up with the Republican Party. It just wasn’t a fit for me.” It was a hell of a time to settle on being a Democrat in Arkansas. The 2014 election, when Gray won his first term in the House, was another crushing blow. The Democratic freshman class that year was all of eight people. “A lot of the Northeast Arkansas relationships I’d made — First [Congressional] District relationships I’d made, people I’d looked forward to serving with — got beat that night,” he said. “So I’m down here [in Little Rock] to draw for seniority and committees the Friday after that election, and everybody is shell-shocked. Heck, even the majority didn’t think they were going to win that many seats. They took Democrats down to 36 members at that point.” The Democrats were a desperate minority, he said, shipwrecked on an island in the red sea, trying to figure out how to be relevant and salvage what they could. In the face of such hopelessness, his contrarian nature kicked in, and he soon became known among his colleagues as someone constantly throwing ideas against the wall to see what would stick. In September of last year, he was elected as House Minority Leader, taking over from Rep. Eddie Armstrong of North Little Rock.

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“My goal, from day one, was to never have that feeling again,” he said. “No matter what our numbers were, everybody was going to feel like they were a part of something, part of a team. Wednesday, a couple of weeks ago, when we got just beat down again, I was like, ‘You know, there are 25 other people out there that I’m a part of.’ In a year, we accomplished that.” One result of playing team ball was the Democratic capture of the majority on the House Revenue and Taxation Committee, which Gray said was about hitting the Republicans where they didn’t expect when it came time for committee selections. Though Gray said some of his Republican colleagues are worried Democrats on the committee plan to throw up stumbling blocks for Governor Hutchinson every chance they get, the plan is to work with the governor and allow Hutchinson to take the lead. “Our goal is to make sure that everything gets a good,

WORKING THE PHONE: Gray, in his home office in Augusta, had to reassure Democratic colleagues after former Democratic state Rep. David Hillman switched parties last week.


DECEMBER 1, 2016


responsible look,” he said. “Let’s take the political ideology out of taxpayer dollars. Let’s look at what’s responsible with taxpayer money. That’s our only goal. I think it would be absolute political malpractice for me to just lay a gauntlet down and say, ‘We’re not doing this!’ Our goal is to look at it and have conversations with the governor. To say, ‘We respect that, but what about this? Can this work, too? What about this family where mom and dad are both working two jobs 60 hours a week and making too much money to qualify for pre-K? How can we affect the topside of their check? What about the schoolteacher who has to dig in his or her pocket to buy school supplies? What about that person? Are we giving incentives to out-of-state companies to pay lip service to job creation in Arkansas? What about the opportunity to really bring jobs into some of these communities that are hurting for them?’ I’m not saying that’s what the

governor is doing, but we want to make sure those people are involved in the conversation.” There is, of course, the issue of whether a party with 25 people in the House (and only nine in the Senate) can actually have enough sway to get things done for the people in their districts. It’s a question that may plague Democrats in coming years, finding new rocks under rock bottom: Have the fortunes of the party sunk so low in Arkansas that voting Democratic is a lost cause if you want a politician who can get things done? Gray said it’s a fair point, but misses how much cooperation still goes on in the House between Democrats and Republicans. “Are there some votes made here politically? Absolutely,” he said. “But I can go talk to someone at the [Highway and Transportation Department] or reach out to [the Department of Human Services] because a constituent asked me to, or reach out to my friends across the aisle and say, ‘Here’s a problem we’re having in my district, I bet you’re having it in yours, too.’ You just have to go about things a different way. Maybe, because we’re in the minority, the Democrats aren’t going to get to carry the banner of the big legislation sometimes, but people have reasonable conversations.” The question he gets asked most since the election is, what will the coming of Trump mean to Arkansas and the nation? “I’ve had a million conversations since [election] night, people from every walk of life,

every class, talking about being scared, talking about moving out of state or out of the country. Legitimately, too. Not just saying it,” he said. “I’m scared for them. But I’m more saddened. I have friends who voted for Trump. They didn’t vote for Trump because they’re racists, or because they are condemning everybody to hell who doesn’t go to their church. They just wanted a reset. They wanted change.” Part of his sadness, he said, is that people were so desperate for a reset that they didn’t stop to think if Trump had the temperament or experience to do the job. The other part is what has everybody still reeling from the election: the uncertainty of it all. “I would have never thought in 1988,” Gray said, “when I was reading about internment camps in my social studies class in Augusta, that 40 years later, we would be thinking about modern day internment camps. Who would have thought that?” (A Trump supporter suggested after the election that the Japanese internment camps set a “precedent” for a Muslim immigrant registry.) Democrats have hit the wall in Arkansas and the country, he said, but the way forward — even in Red or Dead Arkansas 2016 — is for the Democratic Party and Democratic politicians to go out into the state and talk to the people who have consistently been voting against them in recent years. “Instead of being angry, have that open dialogue,” he said. “Will we leave some of those conversations

DECEMBER 1, 2016



Augusta, that 40 years later, we would be thinking about modern day internment camps. Who would have thought that?”

“I would have never thought in 1988,” Gray said, “when I was reading about internment camps in my social studies class in

just as mad as when we started? Absolutely. But you don’t have any chance of gaining ground if you don’t have those conversations.” While Gray said the Democratic Party has done a wonderful job of advocating for working people over the years, the message has been co-opted by those who paint Democrats with the broad brushes of the culture wars. The antidote to that, he believes, is to get back to the basic message: that the Democratic


DECEMBER 1, 2016


Party is the one that would lift all boats instead of telling people to sink or swim. “Unfortunately, we’ve allowed the national brand and the state brand to be defined by that message of ‘All they’re worried about is forcing change down your throat,’ ” he said. “I really think Democrats are about, ‘Change is happening. Too fast for some, not fast enough for others, but we’re all in this together, and we should treat each other decently.’ … You can’t

THE WAY BACK: For Democrats, Gray says, it means offerings a message of hope and opportunity, especially in the forgotten corners of the state.

compromise that at all. You have to say, ‘We have a moral obligation to treat our neighbors with decency and respect. Period.’ However, I do think there are ways to have that conversation with people without wagging a finger at them. There needs to be a balance. We need to do more talking to and less talking at.” When people try to write off Arkansas as lost to the Republicans, Gray points out that the state is six years removed from Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe carrying all 75 counties. That victory, Gray believes, wasn’t about party or ideology. It was about hope. “Why did Governor Beebe carry 75 counties?” Gray asked. “Because when he talked about his single mother and living in a shack and waiting tables, and he could say, ‘By God, I can’t make your groceries cheaper, but I can make sure you don’t pay taxes on them when you buy them.’ People believed that, and they lived that. He felt their pain. He understood their interests. He didn’t say, ‘You’re voting against your interests.’ … That’s a mistake we say about people, right? We say, ‘Those people are out there voting against their own self-interest!’ Well, it’s pretty arrogant to say that. Do you know what their interest is? I can say that guy’s economic policy doesn’t address a certain income level of people or his tax cuts are going to hurt a single mom or working family, I can say that. But to say somebody is voting against their self-interest without being out there listening to what their interests really are?” While Democrats are understandably despondent over the election of Trump, Gray said, the way to understand the rise of Trumpism is to understand that Trump is only the symptom of the real issue: Struggling people felt their concerns weren’t being heard and wanted change so badly that they made a desperation vote. “Frankly, I don’t think either party is really hearing what Arkansans fear, what they need, what they hope,” he said. “The Democratic Party is doing a great job of being inclusive. We’ll never stop. We’ve always been a big tent party. But we’re going to have to do a better job of listening to the issues that aren’t the headlines — that aren’t the coffee shop topics. … You drive down Highway 64 from Bald Knob to Marianna, and there’s an empty factory building in every town. People want jobs. They want opportunities so that their kids can not only go to college, but when they graduate from

college, they can move back home because there’s something there for them. We shouldn’t quit fighting for the things we’re fighting for, but we should be addressing those issues, too.” If he’s elected chairman of the Democratic Party of Arkansas, Gray said, he doesn’t want to couch his approach in the same rural vs. urban political warfare that was so crucial in the election of Trump. Instead, he wants to try to get back to the idea of one Arkansas — that Arkansans in both rural and urban areas want the same things in the long run: jobs, good schools, safe roads, clean air and water, and support for the most vulnerable people. While Gray acknowledges he probably can’t bring a shirt factory or valve plant back to Arkansas from China, he said Democrats can make sure that communities are ready for investment, while working to help people in need until opportunity comes knocking. That’s the oldest of old saws about good politicians: “He fights for the little guy.” The fight is the thing, and Gray clearly has some fight in him. “I can’t bring those 12 farmers back and have all those jobs,” he said. “But I can dang sure make sure that if you live in Augusta, Ark., or Huntsvile, Ark., or Gurdon, Ark., and you want your 3- or 4-year-old to have a quality pre-K education to get a good start, I can fight every day to make sure they get it. Arkansas is No. 2 in senior hunger. I can fight every day for us to address that.”

DECEMBER 1, 2016


Arts Entertainment AND

IN THE GLOW OF THE LEG LAMP Reclaiming ‘A Christmas Story’ at the Rep. BY JAMES SZENHER


Christmas Story” is etched into American pop-culture consciousness. Like a living, breathing Norman Rockwell painting, it both celebrates and takes a few jabs at America’s nostalgic view of “simpler, more innocent times.” The film evokes a series of images and sounds: a tongue stuck to an icy pole, stretched too far; Santa Claus kicking a pudgyfaced blonde and bespectacled Ralphie down the slide with a menacing “HO HO HO”; the nightmarish chorus of “‘You’ll shoot your eye out”; the leg lamp. But, strip away the cultural references and what’s left? What do we remember about the actual story at the heart of the film? Something about a BB gun? The humorous pains of growing up? Whatever your relationship with the film is, set that aside and come to the Arkansas Repertory Theatre fresh and ready to receive a joy-filled present wrapped in humor, love and a genuine passion for storytelling. By unfortunate consequence of being repetitively aired for 24 hours nonstop every Christmas, “A Christmas Story” has become relegated to background noise for many of us, something amusing that we mostly ignore as we unwrap presents. As the actors performing “A Christmas Story” at The Rep will tell you, this doesn’t do the story — or its author — justice. Today, Jean Shepherd’s name might not be especially well-known, but his voice is: Shepherd narrated and cowrote the script of the film, based on 22

DECEMBER 1, 2016


his own stories that he shared to many faithful listeners on his various radio shows throughout his career. From his late-night show on Manhattan’s WOR-AM, 710, in the 1950s through his late-career appearances on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” he captivated listeners with his wry sense of humor and his honest approach in tackling the challenges of growing up. “I grew up listening to Jean Shepherd on the radio, listened to him every night,” said John Ottavino, who plays a grown-up Ralphie, narrating the story onstage as a full participant in the play. “I’m excited to see if I can find his sense of humor and sense of humanity. He’s a master storyteller and he made it look easy, but it’s not,” Ottavino said. Having Ralphie as an adult on stage creates a different dynamic for the play. He’s an actual character rather than just a voiceover, so the audience can more directly share in the story he’s telling. “There’s a different sense of why we’re here. With the narrator onstage, we get a sense of why we need to be present for this play, and present for this holiday,” said Claire Brownell, who plays Mother. Justin R.G. Holcolmb, who plays The Old Man (Ralphie’s father), shared that sentiment. “This is a real communion, where performers are there, the audience is part of the energy, and with a show as joyous as this, knowing everyone has come to celebrate childhood and Christmas. You won’t get that from watching the TBS marathon.”

Director Mark Shanahan is no stranger to plays focused on childhood and growing up. He directed “Peter and the Starcatcher” at The Rep last spring. “The play is much funnier than the film,” he said. “Making plays is also just different. A play is one of the last non-downloadable forms of entertainment we have, and it’s a complete break from our phones. Looking at the setting, in the late ’30s and ’40s, there were no screens, just a radio, just people listening to stories,” he said. The play might seem timeless, but its setting is relevant. “Coming out of the Great Depression and into World War II, America was losing its innocence, and growing up itself. In this story, the family wants to hang onto each other as the world seems to be coming apart,” Shanahan said. The essence of the play, though, is still the joy and the humor of childhood. Even though it’s partly a nostalgic look back, the story is also directly told through watching the young version of Ralphie and his hilarious interactions with other kids. “It’s a perfect way to introduce kids to the theater,” Brownell said. The young actors in the play, who have come up through The Rep’s theater education programs, seem to be having a blast. “It’s fun watching them watch the scenes, seeing what they think is funny. It’s different than what I’m laughing at,” said Rosemary Loar, who plays Miss Shields, the teacher. “The play doesn’t talk down to kids, and that’s what I love about it,” she said. “This is going to be a special event for many people. They might only bring their whole family to theater like this once a year, or less,” Shanahan said. “We want kids to come and see the possibilities of what the theater can be, to get them interested and working in the theater. It helps them become more compassionate, smarter, more integrated into the community. And the kids in this play are amazing.” As an added bonus, The Rep will have booths set up from the documentary project StoryCorps so that kids

and grown-ups can record their own stories of their favorite Christmases, which will then be sent to the Library of Congress. “A Christmas Story” opens Friday, Dec. 3, and plays through Monday, Dec. 26. Sign Interpreter Night is Wednesday, Dec. 8. More information is available at therep. org/attend/ productions/ achristmasstory.


Check out the Times’ A&E blog

A&E NEWS NORTH LITTLE ROCK’S Argenta Arts District took first place in a public vote held by The Mortimer and Mimi Levitt Foundation, securing its candidacy for a $25,000 matching grant to launch its own free outdoor Levitt Amp music series in 2017. As part of an effort to increase public access to the arts in U.S. cities with populations under 400,000, the Levitt Foundation will award funds to up to 15 nonprofits from the list of 25 finalists, to be announced Jan. 5, 2017.

FRA-GEE-LAY: The Old Man (Justin R.G. Holcomb) in a state of leg lamp-induced bliss in The Rep’s production of Jean Shepherd’s “A Christmas Story.”

THE REMOVAL OF A PHOTOGRAPH from the Fayetteville Underground gallery of a woman worshiping before a semi-erect penis caused a mass exodus of the gallery’s “resident artists” including such well-known Ozark artists as Hank Kaminsky, Sabine Schmidt, William Mayes Flanagan, Mike Haley, Susie Siegele, Ed Pennebaker and Alli Woods Frederick, the photographer whose work was censored. Those refugee artists have formed an unofficial alliance, Fenix, and will hold their first event Dec. 9-18, the Pop-Up Holiday Art Sale, to be held in the former Beaver Electric building at 208 N. Block St. in Fayetteville. The sale opens with a ticketed reception at 5 p.m. Dec. 9 ($5). Fenix has not applied for nonprofit status; artist Helen Maringer said the group will give itself six months to a year to decide how and if it wants to organize.


AFTER FOUR YEARS of fostering conversations about music and art, the Garland House concluded its series of informal house shows in October with a “Gilmore Girls”-themed finale, but the artwork isn’t headed for the attic. Donated art will be part of a silent auction hosted by Garland House show founder Phillip Rex Huddleston. The fundraiser will take place at the White Water Tavern at 9 p.m. Dec. 13, and will benefit Arkansas Women’s Outreach, an organization that focuses on women’s health in the homeless community, providing access to items like underwear, tampons and condoms. THERE’S STILL TIME to enter 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, and include the following: band name, hometown, date band was formed, age range of members (all ages welcome), contact person, phone, email. All genres of music are welcome. Selected semifinalists must perform 30 minutes of original material. Entry deadline is Dec. 31. Follow Rock Candy on Twitter: @RockCandies

DECEMBER 1, 2016








6-8 p.m. Applied Design Studio. $15 students, $20 UALR employees, $45 general admission. (Also 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Fri., free.)

Get a jump on other acquisitive

fine art fans by heading to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Friends of the Arts’ fundraiser “6X6,” a silent auction of artwork by UALR faculty, alumni and students that precedes a free-admission sale the following day. The event is at the school’s Applied Design Studio at University

Plaza, Suite 300. In keeping with a tradition started with the first “6X6” six years ago, small works on canvas will be auctioned, along with work in other media. Artists will demonstrate art-making while guests enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres, wine and locally brewed beer. Then, from 10 a.m. to 8




9 p.m. Stickyz. $10-$12.

From calypso beats to thickrimmed glasses, Buddy Holly borrowed liberally from Bo Diddley. About 60 years later, from somewhere along the aesthetic line that connects those two giants, Nick Waterhouse emerged. Sporting the kind of infectiously fat, staccato sax beats that helped the Squirrel Nut Zippers’ “Hell” skyrocket to the top of the charts, Waterhouse’s sound is thick, fuzzy and, at moments, exactly the kind of surf rock you’d expect to come from someone who spent his adolescence browsing Bay area used-record stores like Rooky Ricardo’s. Though you’d have to forgive the cursory listener’s inclination to classify Waterhouse in the category of throwback music — his music videos lean heavily toward “Mad Men” suits and dry martinis, and he’s collaborated with Leon Bridges — he’s come by the sound honestly. “When I was making the record, I was making exactly what I wanted to make,” he told the Chicago Tribune about his first record, “Time’s All Gone.” “It’s not about, ‘You’re into old stuff.’ It’s a matter of taste. ... I hear people playing music indebted to other times and never felt like I fit in with them, because it sounds mannered to me, not as direct.” In September, he released his third full-length, “Never Twice,” which sounds as if it had been recorded in a real room, avoiding the sort of overproduced sheen that might otherwise have relegated his sound to the realm of the banal and derivative. SS 24

DECEMBER 1, 2016


p.m. Friday, shop what wasn’t snapped up at UALR’s Holiday Art Sale at the studio, no admission charged. Last year, work by 25 artists was featured; expect around the same number this year, Mia Hall, head of UALR’s furniture design program, said. LNP


5-9 p.m. Art galleries on Central Avenue and at other locations.

NICK CAVE: The performance artist and creator of the soundsuit speaks at Crystal Bridges.



7 p.m. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville. $10.

Performance artist and educator Nick Cave, famed for his body-covering wearable soundsuit sculptures that rustle and make music with movement (Crystal Bridges has two), will talk with museum curator Chad Alligood about his art and philosophy. As an example of Cave’s aesthetic goals, consider his immersive exhibition “Until” (at MassMOCA in North Adams, Mass., through Sept. Follow us on Instagram: ArkTimes

3): It includes millions of beads, ceramic birds, gilded pigs, 10 miles of crystals and cast-iron lawn jockeys; he said the idea for the installation arose from thinking about gun violence and racism. “And then I wondered: Is there racism in heaven?” he told the New York Times. “That’s how this piece came about.” Cave is a professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Crystal Bridges’ soundsuits include one made with tin toy noisemakers and another with long strands of loosely attached buttons. LNP

The Spa City’s galleries are pulling out the stops and putting out the wine and cheese for more than Friday’s Gallery Walk: They’ve got a weekend planned of festivities, including art demonstrations, ornament painting, children’s activities, fine art shopping and the second annual “Ugly Sweater Contest.” Friday night, you’ll find mosaics by Suzie Burch and Erma Steelsmith, paintings and ceramics by Polly Cook, mobiles by Gerald Lee Delevan and a demonstration of painting by Patrick Cunningham at Alison Parsons Gallery; a pine needle basket-weaving demonstration at American Art Gallery; live music, elves and a craft corner at the Artists Workshop Gallery; a demonstration of spirit stick-making at Blue Rock Studio; Linda Palmer signing copies of her book “The Champion Trees of Arkansas” at Gallery Central; work by Beverly Buys, Robyn Horn, Kristin DeGeorge, Randall Good, Emily Wood and others at Justus Fine Art and a book-signing at Legacy Gallery. On Saturday, there will be ornament painting with Carole Katchen and Elizabeth Weber and more; Artists Workshop Gallery will host live holiday music and children’s events on Sunday. And don’t forget: Emergent Arts will feature small works of original art in its Art-O-Mat vending machines during Gallery Walk. Find the schedule and more events on Facebook at It’s a Wonderful Life in Hot Springs. LNP



AT THE CRAFT GUILD: Kate Baer will sell her fossilimprinted necklaces and rings in gold and silver at the Christmas Showcase.



10 a.m.-8 p.m. Fri., 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun. Statehouse Convention Center. $5 (free 5-8 p.m. Fri., 8-10 a.m. Sat.).

The Arkansas Craft Guild’s Christmas Showcase has been going on longer than most of the reporters at the Arkansas Times have been alive. For 38 years, the Arkansas Craft Gallery in Mountain View has sent its artisans down from the hills to Little Rock to sell their jewelry, weaving, ceramics, jams, glass, woodworks, and, yes, wooden swords to us big-city types longing for things made by Arkansas hands. There will be craft beer tastings, door prizes and live music,

along with the crafts for sale: fine turnedwood vessels by Gene Sparling, silver and stone jewelry by Ryan Rathje and fossilimpressed necklaces and such by Kate Baer, stained glass by Christy Marchand, Santas by Doris Fountain, leather by Larry and Rebecca Brockman, fiber art by Jeanette Larson, ceramics by S&J Pottery, blown glass beads by Sage Holland, hats by Leigh Abernathy, brooms, quilts, photographs, honey, watercolors, soaps … you get the picture. Oh, the swords — they’re from Hollow Earth Swordworks, up there in Newnata (Stone County). More than 100 artisans are participating. Get a gander at some of what you can snap up at the Arkansas Craft Guild Annual Christmas Showcase page on Facebook. LNP



Tickets for Last Chance Records/ White Water Tavern’s venerated Holiday Hangout concerts were gone in a couple of days, but you can still catch some auxiliary acoustic music at Lost Forty, the hangout’s offsite venue, on Saturday afternoon. “Holiday Hangout: The B-Side” will feature performances by the Belfast-born frontman of Minneapolis’ Romantica, Ben Kyle, along with Roger Hoover, an Ohio songwriter whose Arkansas connections run deep. Hoover’s latest solo effort on Last Chance Records, “Pastures,” opens with a memory Hoover made in Little Rock, “Get What You Give Back.” “Pastures” was recorded at a cabin in northwest Pennsylvania and at producer Ryan Foltz’ house on Lake Erie, an 11-song catalogue of lit-

erate middle-American anthems, alternatively raucous (“Dust”) and melancholy (“St. John”). Aaron Lee Tasjan, the wry wordsmith who shared a stage with Ray Wylie Hubbard at the White Water Tavern earlier this year, brings tunes from his October release, “Silver Tears.” Produced by Father John Misty’s bassist, Eli Thomas, the album’s been polished to more pearlescence than was evident on 2015’s “In the Blazes,” but shows its teeth with the same punchline-laden cultural criticism: “There’s a redneck bummer in an H-2 Hummer, and he sure does hate the queers/I guess some life choices are cries for help that nobody ever hears.” And, for anyone who’s sound-tracked a weekend house-cleaning session or a walk to work with 2008’s “See Thru Me “ or 2012’s “Antivenin Suite” but has yet to see him live, here’s a rare chance to hear resident mensch Isaac Alexander play before the sun goes down. SS

Singer-songwriter Joe brings hits from his new album, #MyNameIsJoeThomas, to the Robinson Center with Eric Benet, 8 p.m., $50-$60. Pulaski Technical College hosts “An Evening with Natalie Canerday,” CHARTS Theater, 6 p.m. Songwriter and Music City Roots host Jim Lauderdale takes the stage at South on Main, 8 p.m., $25-$34. L&L Gallery opens the show “Religious Art,” paintings by Louis Beck. The Central Arkansas Library System screens “The Loving Story,” Nancy Buirski’s documentary that inspired Jeff Nichols’ film “Loving,” the Ron Robinson Theater, 6 p.m., free. The Thrive Arts artists in residence will present their final shows, 310 Cherry St. and other venues in Helena, 6:30-9 p.m. Trixx goes for laughs at the Loony Bin, 7:30 p.m., $8, also 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat., $12. Country music duo Love and Theft comes to the Rev Room, 8 p.m., $16-$20. Mayday by Midnight performs at Cajun’s Wharf, 9 p.m., $5.

FRIDAY 12/2 Preserve Arkansas hosts its wet networking event Preservation Libations at 5:30 p.m., the Rooftop at Argenta Place. Low Key Arts in Hot Springs hosts a show from Shreveport powerhouse The Seratones, with The Uh Huhs, 8:30 p.m., $10. ComiCon-way kicks off the weekend of comics and cosplay at the Faulkner County Library, 10 a.m., migrating to the Conway Expo Center Saturday and Sunday, free. Chris Milam, Jim Mize and Mark Edgar Stuart share a Songwriter’s Round at South on Main, 9 p.m., $10. Crowbar and Goatwhore get heavy at the Rev Room, with Hell Camino, 8 p.m., $20. Former Razorback and five-time NBA All-Star Sidney Moncrief comes to the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library for a book signing, 5 p.m., free. Guitarist Steve Kimock opens a two-night run at George’s Majestic Lounge, Fayetteville, 9 p.m. Fri.-Sat., $20. Brian Ramsey and Carey Griffith play a show at Markham Street Grill & Pub, 8:30 p.m., free. Phillip Cottingham signs copies of his new book, “Carnival Guts, a Short Story Collection,” River City Coffee, 6 p.m., free. Eighties hitmaker Robert Tepper gives a concert at Wildwood Park for the Arts, 7:30 p.m., $20. Trumpeter Chris Botti gives a concert at Walton Arts Center’s Baum Walker Hall, Fayetteville, 8 p.m., $45-$75. Eddie and the Defiantz, Attack the Mind and 6 Ways From Sunday share a bill at Vino’s, 8:30 p.m., $7. At Oaklawn, Susan Erwin performs at Pops Lounge, 6 p.m. Fri.-Sat., and Ghost Town Blues Band plays Silk’s Bar & Grill, 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat., free.

RIVERDALE 10 VIP CINEMA 2600 CANTRELL RD 5 0 1 . 2 9 6.9 955 | R I V E R DA LE1 0.CO M


SHOW TIMES: FRI, DEC 2 - THURS, DEC 8 MOONLIGHT R | 2:15 4:30 7:15 9:30

DOCTOR STRANGE PG13 | 1:45 4:15 6:45 9:30

MOANA PG | 2:15 4:30 7:15 9:25

LOVING PG13 | 2:00 4:20 7:00 9:35

ALLIED R | 1:45 4:15 6:45 9:25

RULES DON’T APPLY PG13 | 2:00 4:30


BAD SANTA 2 R | 7:00 9:15

ALMOST CHRISTMAS PG13 | 2:00 4:25 7:15 9:25 ARRIVAL PG13 | 2:00 4:25 7:00 9:25 HACKSAW RIDGE R | 1:45 4:20 7:00 9:30






Follow Rock Candy on Twitter: @RockCandies

DECEMBER 1, 2016








6 p.m. South on Main.

Spice up what would most likely be a lazy Sunday and get ahead on holiday shopping with seasonal drinks and Arkansas crafts for sale by talented locals AR-T’s, Bang-Up Betty, Bumble Bri, Crow and Arrow, Dimestore Diamonds, Dower, Electric Ghost Screen Printing, Lane Emily Pottery, Little Mountain Bindery, Noah Noble Jew-

HIGH-FLYING HOLIDAY: Contortionists, acrobats and stilt walkers from Arkansas Circus Arts interpret Christmas traditions for the “Holiday Cirque Spectacular” at Wildwood Park for the Arts’ Cabe Theater, 7:30 p.m. Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., $15-$25.

elry, Roll & Tumble Provisions, Sally Nixon, Southern Girl Soapery and StephSpace. Lucie’s Place will be around to wrap up the gifts so they can go straight from there to under your tree as you catch a buzz. The event is hosted by South on Main, so you know the food is guaranteed to be fantastic. There will be a raffle; you’ll get one ticket just for showing up and will get an additional ticket for each purchase

you make from the artists. There will also be a photo booth, run by the gifted Katie Childs. Doors will open for free at 6 p.m., but if you want to beat the crowd and get the first pick of what the vendors have to offer, join them at the 5 p.m. preview party. Preview tickets are $25 and include a welcoming cocktail and a shopping tote; they’ll be limited, so act quickly. CL



Barnum & Bailey hasn’t elbowed out the moms-and-pops of the circus world just yet. What started as a network of friends interested in partner yoga and aerial arts blossomed into the business Arkansas Circus Arts, now the state’s only professional circus arts troupe. The acrobats specialize in dangling from aerial silks hung from the ceiling, juggling, playing with fire, double point trapeze and walking on stilts — usually in elaborate costume. With trainer Camille Rule at the helm and membership in American Circus Educators and the American Youth Circus Organization, the company’s made a home at Re-Creation Studios (1101 Cumberland St.), complete with 8-inch thick crash mats and a 25-foot ceiling from which to dangle. There, its company develops routines for parties and teaches youth and adult classes in aerial arts, circus tumbling and hoop dance. For this event, Rule and Bekah Poland directed the company’s acrobatic Christmas show, featuring contortionists, stilt walkers and “other circus surprises.” For Saturday’s performance, there’s a cocktail hour beforehand, at 6:15 p.m., with beer from Stone’s Throw Brewing, wine from Chateau Aux Arc Vineyards in Altus, delights from The Southern Gourmasian food truck parked outside the theater and Kent Walker’s artisan cheeses. SS 26

DECEMBER 1, 2016


Chris Casella

7:30 p.m. Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Wildwood Park for the Arts Cabe Theater. $15-$25.

INDESTRUCTIBLE MACHINE: Bloodshot Records’ Lydia Loveless joins labelmate Cory Branan, along with Brent Best, Roger Hoover and JKutchma at Breakfast, Books and Booze, the conclusion to Last Chance Records’ Holiday Hangout concerts, 5 p.m., White Water Tavern, $10.



Noon. White Water Tavern. Free-$10.

Travis Hill’s birthday is Dec. 2, and thank heavens for that. If the Last Chance Records founder had been born in July, he might not have thrown himself the birthday party he did in 2009, featuring, as he told us, “three of [his] favorite bands — Glossary, Slobberbone,

Follow us on Instagram: ArkTimes

and Two Cow Garage.” The party has grown into the annual Holiday Hangout concerts and its auxiliary events: the Holiday Hangout offsite sessions (at Lost Forty this year, and mentioned earlier in this To-Do List) and Breakfast, Books and Booze. The latter is exactly what it sounds like, and has become a hallmark of the season for music lovers in Capitol View and Stifft Station. (Even when a paralyzing early Decem-

ber ice storm hit in 2013, Hill said, “we prevailed and filled the White Water with fans and music.”) The White Water Tavern will open at the crack of noon, filling the dive up with books and zines from Mary Chamberlin’s literature distribution company Tree of Knowledge, brunch from the Southern Salt Food Co. and, starting at 5 p.m., acoustic sets from Cory Branan, Lydia Loveless, Brent Best, Roger Hoover, JKutchma and more. SS





The state Department of Arkansas Heritage does its bit to get families in the holiday spirit with “Holiday Cheer” open houses at its museums and at the home of the governor and first lady of Arkansas. The Historic Arkansas Museum celebrates a 19th century Christmas with living history, carols, re-enactments, live music, readings of “The Night Before Christmas,” dancing, photos with Santa and other activities at its 48th annual Christmas Frolic from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The Mosaic Templars Cultural Museum will host its annual “Say It Ain’t Say’s” sweet potato pie contest and live entertainment from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. (take part in the judging!); a toy to support Say McIntosh’s Holiday Toy Drive gets you in. Children can make holiday cards and more at the Old State House Museum, which will also feature caroling and cookies from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The Governor’s Mansion, which has been decorated around the theme of Handel’s “Messiah” and which turned the Grand Hall into a Renaissance cathedral, will be open to the public from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. LNP


Historic Arkansas Museum, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, Old State House Museum, Governor’s Mansion.

CHORDS OF INQUIRY: Songwriter John Willis celebrates his birthday with a tribute to Joni Mitchell at South on Main Wednesday evening, 8:30 p.m., $10.



8:30 a.m. South on Main. $10.

Late Romantics frontman, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist John Willis celebrates his birthday Wednesday evening with a tribute to his favorite songwriter, someone whose music he’s been studying for 20 years: Joni Mitchell. Willis was born long after “paved paradise, and put up a parking lot” had entered the popular lexicon, but found a gateway to Mitchell’s music by way of other piano-forward artists like Tori Amos, whose list of influences led Willis to dig around in Mitchell’s discography. Eventually, he picked up the guitar to “figure out her songs and her ‘weird chords,’ ” Willis told us. “To this day, the songs I write on guitar have a different feel, maybe a different muse, than my piano songs, although I’ve “branded” myself more as a piano guy. I don’t really write in her tunings anymore — because I can’t afford the multiple guitars or guitar techs to tune to all of them when I perform!




But the awareness and the place that working with that vocabulary created within me is one that is very native to me now, like a second home.” For this show, Willis (along with a host of other local musicians, including this writer) pays homage to Mitchell’s music thematically, rather than chronologically, working in lesser-known bits from the corners of her repertoire as well as mainstays like “Big Yellow Taxi.” “I mean, Amy Grant did it, so little gay Southern boys like me knew it,” Willis said. “Big Yellow Taxi” is “perhaps her most-covered, best-loved hit … but it’s also a song about the negative impact our human selfishness is having on the planet and on each other, a cautionary message that just gets stronger with ‘Slouching Towards Bethlehem,’ her 1991 reworking of Yeats’ poem ‘The Second Coming,’ and reaches a crescendo with ‘Bad Dreams’ and ‘Shine,’ from her last album of original material in 2007.” Tables can be reserved by calling 244-9660. Check out our interview with Willis on the Arkansas Times’ entertainment blog, Rock Candy. SS

Atlanta artist Alfred Conteh, whose paintings are on exhibit at Hearne Fine Art, will give a talk about his work at the gallery, 2-3 p.m., with a reception to follow, free. Mississippi’s self-described “no hit wonder” Cory Branan performs at Wilson Gardens in Wilson (Mississippi County) with Greg Spradlin, 7:30 p.m., $8-$10. Wayne “The Train” Hancock brings his Ameripolitan swing to Smoke & Barrel Tavern, Fayetteville, 10 p.m., $15. Trenton Lee Stewart signs his new book, “The Secretkeepers,” at WordsWorth Books & Co., 1 p.m., free. A reception at Gallery 360 opens the show “deviant,” featuring work by six artists, with music by Rhiannon and Audrey Cortez, 7-10 p.m. The UALR Trojans men’s basketball team takes on the Tulsa Hurricanes at the Jack Stephens Center, 3 p.m. Conway’s MotherFunkShip brings its “groove fusion” to Vino’s with Rogue Planet, 9 p.m., $7. Journalist and author Suzi Parker speaks at Lattes & Lit, Kollective Coffee and Tea, Hot Springs, 6 p.m., free. Bill and Gloria Garrison will be painting live at Gallery Central in Hot Springs, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The Schwag hosts a tribute to the Grateful Dead at the Rev Room, 9 p.m., $10. Crisis takes the stage at Cajun’s Wharf, 9 p.m., $5. Jimmy “Daddy” Davis performs at South on Main, 9 p.m., $10.

MONDAY 12/5 “It’s A Wonderful Life” screens at the Ron Robinson Theater, 6 p.m., $5.

TUESDAY 12/6 Pulitzer Prize winner Joby Warrick traces the roots of a terrorist movement in “Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS,” followed by a book signing, Clinton School of Public Service, noon, free. Frontier Circus brings a psychedelic rodeo to the White Water Tavern, with local super-group Marvin Berry, 9 p.m., $7. Diamond Bear Brewery hosts a screening of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” 7 p.m., $8. The Ron Robinson Theater screens “A Place at the Table,” a documentary examining America’s hunger epidemic, 6 p.m., free with donation of nonperishable food item.

WEDNESDAY 12/7 The Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum holds a ceremony to commemorate the attack on Pearl Harbor, 11:55 a.m. “Home Alone” screens at the Ron Robinson Theater, 6 p.m., $5. Author and Arkansas Historic Preservation Program outreach coordinator Mark H. Christ speaks about the impact of the Civil War on Arkansas history at the Darragh Center in CALS’ Main Library, noon, free. Follow Rock Candy on Twitter: @RockCandies

DECEMBER 1, 2016



BETROTHALS BE GONE: In “Moana,” Disney acknowledges its princess-pushing past and attempts to move beyond it.

Not a princess ‘Moana’ subverts the Disney ‘wedding bell’ formula. BY GUY LANCASTER


alfway through the movie, the title character of “Moana” tells the demigod Maui that she is “not a princess.” “Daughter of the chieftain,” says Maui. “Same thing.” Of course, this conversation is less between the two main characters and more between the filmmakers and their audience: Disney, the company behind “Moana,” is well known for pushing its princess culture to impressionable young girls the world over. Recent films like “Brave” and “Frozen” may have subverted the typical wedding bells and happiness-ever-after endings, but “Moana” takes the next step by removing romantic attachments from the story of its “princess” character altogether. She is not defined by her suitors — she defines herself. Moana (voiced by Auli’i Cravalho) is the strong-willed daughter of Tui


DECEMBER 1, 2016


Waialiki (Temuera Morrison), the chief of a Polynesian community on Motunui Island. Moana dreams of a life at sea (their people were once voyagers), but her father has forbidden anyone from traveling beyond the reef. However, when their crops begin to fail and the fishermen come back with empty nets, Moana’s grandmother, Tala (Rachel House), tells the young girl that their fate is due to an ancient crime. Long ago, the Prometheus-like demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson) stole the heart of Te Fiti, an island goddess, and thus unleashed evil death and decay upon their ocean world, where once life abounded. Moana has been chosen by the sea itself to find Maui and force him to return the heart, thus restoring balance to the world. And so Moana defies her father and ventures out into the great unknown, filled with

monstrous beings and immense danger, accompanied only by her dimwitted chicken Heihei (Alan Tudyk). At times, the fact that “Moana” is a Disney movie makes it difficult to appreciate as a standalone story, for everywhere we see bits and pieces of other iconic films. The dad who wants his child to remain safe and never venture too far — that’s “The Little Mermaid” and “Finding Nemo.” The young daughter who dreams of life out in the bigger world — that’s “Beauty and the Beast.” The charismatic supernatural sidekick — that’s “Aladdin.” Granted, there are only so many plots and characters in this world, and so any story will contain some recycled elements, but the Disney logo at the beginning of “Moana” makes these parallels stand out and, consequently, they seem the result of lazy storytelling. That’s rather a shame, because “Moana” works fairly well outside the Disney context. For one, the musical numbers are much more integrated into the plot of the movie, rather than as a means of expositional monologue. Many will probably attribute this to the songwriting work of Lin-Manuel Miranda, who collaborated with long-

time Hollywood composer Mark Mancina and Samoan singer/songwriter Opetaia Foa’i. More crucially, though, there’s the character of Moana herself. She is the chosen one, going on the hero’s quest (and there is no lack of training montages as she slowly learns how to navigate the seas like her ancestors did.) But her character is presented with so little trace of pretension, and the story told so naturally that (if you’re a big, dumb guy like myself ) you realize only afterward that you’ve probably never seen a female character going on the typical hero’s journey before. Most other Disney women have been seeking (or, here lately, avoiding) romantic entanglements. Moana, by contrast, represents the company’s first female hero in every sense of that word. And then you also realize that, unlike so many other movie heroines, Moana isn’t simply a woman doing what a man can do. After all, the men on her island have given up sailing across the seas. She is doing what no man can do. She is the first. None of the baggage that comes with the Disney brand can erase the power of such a person, of such a story.

ALSO IN THE ARTS All events are in the Greater Little Rock area unless otherwise noted. To place an event in the Arkansas Times calendar, please email the listing and all pertinent information, including date, time, location, price and contact information, to

THEATER “Sorry, Wrong Chimney.” A Christmas comedy from Murry’s Dinner Playhouse. 6 p.m. dinner, 7:30 p.m. curtain Tues.-Sat., 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. dinner, 12:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. curtain Sun. through Dec. 31. $15-$36. 6323 Colonel Glenn Rd. 501-5623131. “A Fertle Holiday,” The Main Thing’s holiday production. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat. through Jan. 14. $22. 301 Main St., NLR. 501-3720210. “Great Expectations.” TheaterSquared’s production of the Charles Dickens classic. 7:30 p.m. Wed.-Fri., 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. through Jan.1. $10-$45. 505 W. Spring St., Fayetteville. 479-4435600. “A Christmas Story.” Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s production of the Turner Entertainment film. 7 p.m. Tues.-Sun., 2 p.m. Sat.-Sun. through Dec. 25. 501-378-0405. $25-$50. 601 Main St. “Elf: The Musical.” A Broadway musical adaptation of the holiday film. 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Sat., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Robinson Performance Hall, 426 West Markham St. 501-244-8800. $28-$73. “The Elves and the Shoemaker.” An Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theater production. 7 p.m. Fri., 2 p.m. Sat.-Sun. through Dec. 18. $10-$12.50. 9th and Commerce St. 501-372-4000. “Sordid Lives.” The Weekend Theater’s production of Del Shores’ irreverent cult favorite, a self-described “black comedy about white trash.” 7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 2:30 p.m. Sun. through Dec. 18. $12-$16. 1001 W. 7th St. 501-374-3761.

VISUAL ARTS, HISTORY EXHIBITS MAJOR VENUES ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, MacArthur Park: “Collectors Show and Sale,” through Jan. 8; “Little Dreams in Glass and Metal: Enameling in America, 1920 to Present,” 121 artworks by 90 artists, and “Glass Fantasies,” retrospective of work by Thom Hall with 40 enamels, both through December. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.5 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. 372-4000. ARTS AND SCIENCE CENTER FOR SOUTHEAST ARKANSAS, 701 S. Main St., Pine Bluff: “Exploring the Frontier: Arkansas 1540-1840,” Arkansas Discovery Network hands-on exhibition; “Heritage Detectives: Discovering Arkansas’ Hidden Heritage.” 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 1-4 p.m. Sat. 870-536-3375. BUTLER CENTER GALLERIES, Arkansas Studies Institute, 401 President Clinton Ave.: Studio Art Quilts Associates show, through December; “Fired Up: Arkansas Wood-Fired Ceramics,” work by




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AT HEARNE FINE ART: “Two Fronts,” an exhibition of work by Alfred Conteh, including “Ol’ School” (above), continues through Dec. 17 at Hearne, 1001 Wright Ave.

Stephen Driver, Jim and Barbara Larkin, Fletcher Larkin, Beth Lambert, Logan Hunter and Hannah May, through Jan. 28; “Little Golden Books,” private collection, through Dec. 3. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 320-5790. CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL MUSEUM VISITOR CENTER, Bates and Park: Exhibits

DECEMBER 1, 2016







Natives Guide – 2017 WHO WHAT WHEN wHERE HOW Arkansas Times annual summary of what every Native Arkansan needs to know about their home in central Arkansas. Useful information you can impress your friends and family with like: EDITORIAL FOCUSES:


2017 Predictions

Hiking & Biking Trails

Annual Festivals

School Districts

Elected Officials

Higher Education

Real Estate – top home sales

Retiring in Central Arkansas

Cultural Scene: museums,

2017 Hot Springs – what’s

galleries, sculptures and other cultural centers •

Dog Parks & Patios

Healthcare Excellence in Arkansas

Central Arkansas’s Library System


See our special focus on Home Decor Businesses

Space Deadline December 15

For more information contact Phyllis Britton at or 501-490-3994

ARKANSAS TIMES 201 East Markham, Ste. 200, Little Rock · 501-375-2985

Issue Date December 29

ALSO IN THE ARTS on the 1957 desegregation of Central and the civil rights movement. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily. 374-1957. CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CENTER: “Ladies and Gentlemen … the Beatles!” Records, photographs, tour artifacts, videos, instruments, recording booth for singalong with Ringo Starr, from the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE, through April 2. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun., $10 adults, $8 seniors, retired military and college students, $6 youth 6-17, free to active military and children under 6. CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART, One Museum Way, Bentonville: Talk by artist Nick Cave, 7-8:30 p.m. Dec. 2; “The Art of American Dance,” 90 works spanning the years 1830 to now, through Jan. 16; “Shaking Hands and Kissing Babies,” campaign advertising artifacts, through Jan. 9; American masterworks spanning four centuries in the permanent collection. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon., Thu.; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Wed., Fri.; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat.Sun., closed Tue. 479-418-5700. ESSE PURSE MUSEUM & STORE, 1510 S. Main St.: “A Walk in Her Shoes,” women’s footwear from the beginning of the 20th century, through Jan. 15; “What’s Inside: A Century of Women and Handbags,” permanent exhibit. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tue.-Sat., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sun. $10, $8 for students, seniors and military. 916-9022. HISTORIC ARKANSAS MUSEUM, 200 E. 3rd St.: Christmas Frolic and Open House, 1-4 p.m. Dec. 6; Kimberly Kwee, multimedia drawings, and David Scott Smith, ceramics, through Feb. 5; “Heinbockel, Nolley and Peterson: Personal Rituals,” watercolors by Amanda Heinbockel, fiber art by Marianne Nolley and mixed media by Brianna Peterson, through Dec. 4; “Tiny Treasures: Miniatures from the Permanent Collection,” through Jan. 9; “Hugo and Gayne Preller’s House of Light,” historic photographs, through Jan. 3; ticketed tours of renovated and replicated 19th century structures from original city, guided Monday and Tuesday on the hour, self-guided Wednesday through Sunday, $2.50 adults, $1 under 18, free to 65 and over. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 324-9351. MacARTHUR MUSEUM OF ARKANSAS MILITARY HISTORY, 503 E. 9th St. (MacArthur Park): “Waging Modern Warfare”; “Gen. Wesley Clark”; “Vietnam, America’s Conflict”; “Undaunted Courage, Proven Loyalty: Japanese American Soldiers in World War II. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-4 p.m. Sun. 376-4602. MOSAIC TEMPLARS CULTURAL CENTER, 9th and Broadway: “Treasured Memories: My Life, My Story,” debut of new works in museum’s 2016 Creativity collection by Barbara Higgins Bond, Danny Campbell, LaToya Hobbs, Delita Martin, Aj Smith, Scinthya Edwards and Deloney, through December; permanent exhibits on African-American entrepreneurship in Arkansas. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat. 683-3593. OLD STATE HOUSE MUSEUM, 300 W. Markham St.: “True Faith, True Light: The Devotional Art of Ed Stilley,” musical instruments, through 2017; “We Make Our Own Choices: Staff Favorites from the Old State House Museum Collection,” through December; “First Families: Mingling of Politics and Culture” permanent exhibit including first ladies’ gowns. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 3249685. MUSEUM OF DISCOVERY, 500 President Clinton Ave.: “Wiggle Worms,” science program for pre-K children 10 -10:30 a.m.

every Tue. Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun., $10 ages 13 and older, $8 ages 1-12, free to members and children under 1. 396-7050. REGIONAL ART MUSEUM, 1601 Rogers Ave., Fort Smith: “Pulled, Pressed and Screened: Important American Prints,” through Jan. 5. 479-784-2787. TOLTEC MOUNDS STATE PARK, U.S. Hwy. 165, England: Major prehistoric Indian site with visitors’ center and museum. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., noon-5 p.m. Sun., closed Mon. $3 for adults, $2 for ages 6-12. 9619442. UNIVERSITY GALLERIES ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY, Bradbury Art Museum, Jonesboro: “Embellish,” paintings, fiber art and sculpture by Liz Whitney Quisgard, through Dec. 9; “Tools for Thought: Jewelry,” miniature sculptures by Kiff Slemmons, through Dec. 9. Noon-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat., 2-5 p.m. Sun. 870-972-2567. UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS AT LITTLE ROCK, 2801 S. University: 6X6 Holiday Art Sale, preview and reception 6 p.m. Dec. 1. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sat., 2-5 p.m. Sun. 569-8977. UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS AT FAYETTEVLLE: “ABOUT FACE,” work by Philip Guston, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Rashid Johnson, Mary Reid Kelley, Arnold Kemp, Amy Pleasant and Carrie Mae Weems, through Dec. 4, Fine Arts Gallery, lecture by Pleasant 5:30 p.m. Dec. 8, Hillside Auditorium. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 2-5 p.m. Sun. 479-575-7987. UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS, Conway: “Senior BA/BFA Exhibition,” work by 11 seniors, through Dec. 1, Baum Gallery. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Wed. and Fri., 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Thu. 450-5793.

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

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.

The Arkansas Times & the Root Cafe proudly present Little Rock’s

LITTLE ROCK AREA GALLERIES CANTRELL GALLERY, 8206 Cantrell Road: David Mudrinich, “Connecting with the Land,” paintings, through Dec. 24. 2241335. CHRIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 509 Scott St.: “The Fourth of July and Other Things,” paintings by Diana L. Shearon, through December. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 9 a.m.-noon Fri., all day Sun. 375-2342. CHROMA GALLERY, 5707 Kavanaugh Blvd.: Work by Robert Reep and other Arkansas artists. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat. 664-0880. COX CREATIVE CENTER, 120 River Market Ave.: “Chronicas de lo Efimero,” paintings by Maria Botti Villegas. 918-3093. GALLERY 221, 2nd and Center Sts.: Work by William McNamara, Tyler Arnold, Amy Edgington, EMILE, Kimberly Kwee, Greg Lahti, Mary Ann Stafford, Cedric Watson, C.B. Williams, Gino Hollander, Siri Hollander and jewelry by Rae Ann Bayless. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. 801-0211. GALLERY 360, 900 S. Rodney Parham Road: “Deviant,” Shane Baskins, M. Crenshaw, House of Avalon, Mark Monroe, Myriam Saavedra and Michael Shaeffer, through Jan. 7. GINO HOLLANDER GALLERY, 211 Center St.: Paintings and works on paper by Gino Hollander. 801-0211. GREG THOMPSON FINE ART, 429 Main St., NLR: “Best of the South,” through Dec. 15. 664-2787. HEARNE FINE ART, 1001 Wright Ave.: “Two Fronts,” multimedia drawings by Alfred Conteh. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10




THIS WEEKEND OFFICIAL S H AV E O F F Shave-in Dates: Saturday & Sunday, December 3 and 4 at the Root Cafe. Come smooth and get "Certified Clean-Shaven"

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DECEMBER 1, 2016



AT LONG LAST, DAVID’S Burgers in the River Market is expected to be open for business on Friday, Dec. 2. Diana Long, director of River Market operations, said David Bubbus, owner, had hoped to open the establishment on Black Friday, but said this Friday is a pretty sure bet. Floors are being finished, furniture is due for delivery, an inspection from the city is expected Thursday and by Friday the first downtown and fourth Little Rock outlet of David’s Burgers should be open. The Arkansas chain first announced it would locate in the River Market in April 2015, but other projects got in the way. The River Market David’s has brought what was once the outdoors eating area east of the market into the restaurant and done other remodeling. Like its cousin CJ’s Butcher Boys in Russellville, the local chain is known for its handcut and ground beef, served up in hearty hamburgers alongside ample piles of french fries. Find David’s Burgers before Friday at the Park Plaza Mall, 101 S. Bowman Road and 6 Bass Pro Drive in Little Rock and 3510 Landers Road in North Little Rock. YOU’VE GOT TO LOVE a beer called Thunder Thighs. That’s a brew coming out Dec. 7, an imperial gold stout concocted by Joe Mains of Leap of Faith Brewing Co. and Stephaney Tucker of Stone’s Throw. Mains, a “gypsy brewer” who’s been turning out small batch beers for Flyway, Stone’s Throw and The Water Buffalo, said Thunder Thighs is Tucker’s answer to Skinny Girl beers. “It plays a trick on your mind,” Mains said, because it’s a pale brew with the body and flavor of a stout. Flyway will serve up Thunder Thighs. Mains is also coming out with Righteous Indignation, a Belgian abbey ale, at The Water Buffalo, and is collaborating with Jess McMullen of Flyway on Fruitcake ale, to be released in mid-December. Mains hopes to have his own brewery someday, but for now is experimenting and brewing up 15-gallon batches one to three times a month. 32

DECEMBER 1, 2016


IF YOU KNEW GNOCCHI LIKE CANVAS KNOWS GNOCCHI: You might be able to come up with this soup of tender potato dumplings with shiitake mushrooms and cubes of butternut squash.

Culinary art Canvas, the new restaurant in the Arkansas Arts Center, impresses.


owntown diners need to put Canvas, the newly renamed restaurant at the Arkansas Arts Center, on their must-try list. New owner Brian Kearns — who bought the business, as well as Simply the Best Catering, from Martha and Rob Best — has definitely elevated the fare at both lunch and brunch. Kearns came to town with the original opening crew at YaYa’s EuroBistro and later made his mark at Arthur’s, Oceans, Kemuri and the Country Club of Little Rock. He’s ratcheted up the Canvas menu by doing fairly simple things well and using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. Our day-after-Thanksgiving lunch started with a pair of soups, one we were supposed to have and one we weren’t. Follow Eat Arkansas on Twitter: @EatArkansas

We asked about the soup of the day and were told it was a spicy chicken gumbo. When the waiter brought it to us he told us that fabulous gumbo was actually something the chef (not Kearns this day) had made to take home, but he let us have a bowl anyway and we paid the same $5 we would have paid for cream of mushroom, the true soup of the day. The always-available tomato soup ($5) was as thick as tomato pudding. It is well-spiced — cumin, we think — and not crazy rich, despite its consistency. Our Reuben sandwich ($10) and gnocchi ($12) were definite winners — and both were huge, two meals’ worth. Canvas makes its own corned beef and the effort is worth it. The beef wasn’t as marbled or as salty as we’re used to,

but it was tasty and tender. Where Canvas found such gargantuan marbled rye we’ll never know, but each half — piled high with sauerkraut and topped with Swiss cheese and Russian dressing — was the size of a normal sandwich. A cup of baked potato salad — mayonnaise-andsour cream-based with bits of celery — accompanied. (Chips and fruit are the other two options). At least 20 firm but tender gnocchi were swimming in a rich broth and paired with plenty of shiitake mushrooms (from Sweden Creek Farms in Kingston) and cubes of not-quite-tenderenough butternut squash. A dusting of Parmesan added a nice touch. Rosemary is dominant in this dish. If you like rosemary you’ll love it; if not, you won’t. A suggestion: Serve bread with the gnocchi and the soup, for sopping purposes. Two days later we were back for brunch, which features the same lunch options except the gnocchi and 10 breakfast items, including four Benedict choices. We started with a couple of barely


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Check out the Times’ food blog, Eat Arkansas


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Open until 2am every night!

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TASTY: The smoked chicken salad sandwich is worth a try.

orange mimosas ($6), just the way we like them. Our sweet-toothed companion went for the French toast waffle ($5 alone; an extremely reasonable $9 with two eggs and three strips of fabulous, thickish Wright’s bacon). It was cinnamony, crisp and absolutely fabulous. So was the quiche du jour ($9), a generous slice that featured small cubes of chicken, bits of broccoli and cheddar. We opted for a ramekin of War Eagle Mill grits over roasted pota-


Arkansas Arts Center 501 E. Ninth St. 501-907-5946 QUICK BITE The patio is nonsmoking and dog-friendly. HOURS 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. OTHER INFO Beer, wine and takeout available. All credit cards accepted.

toes, and they were tasty (not something we have ever said about grits sans cheese before). War Eagle mills its grits on the coarse side. We’d guess they were cooked in broth. The side of cantaloupe, honeydew melon and pineapple was appreciated, but basically ignored. Apropos for the season, the two homemade dessert options on both our trips were pumpkin creme brulee ($6) and pumpkin pie ($5). Both were rich and nicely flavored with spices. Canvas feels just like Best Impressions, the name the space went by formerly, which is fine, as there is little way to improve this glass-walled, light-filled space that overlooks Little Rock’s first city park and benefits from an enormous skylight that is a design feature of this section of the museum. Guests can enter the restaurant either from the patio (parking in the circle drive in front of the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History) or through the Arts Center’s gift shop.

WORK OUT WITH AN EXPERT Kathleen Rea specializes in helping men and women realize their physical potential, especially when injuries or just the aches and pains of middle age and more discourage a good work out. With a PH.D. in Biomedical Engineering, Kathleen understands how your body works and how to apply the right exercise and weight training to keep you fit and injury free. Workout in the privacy of a small, well equipped gym conveniently located in Argenta with one of the state’s best private trainers. For more information call Kathleen at 501-324-1414.


(501) 324-1414 117 East Broadway, North Little Rock Email:

DECEMBER 1, 2016



UPCOMING EVENTS ON Arkansas Craft Guild



38th Annual Arkansas Craft Guild Christmas Showcase The Root Cafe



Root Cafe 5-Course Vegan Dinner Argenta Arts Acoustic Music Series AAMS Presents Michael Chapdelaine



AROUND ARKANSAS BENTONVILLE MUSEUM OF NATIVE AMERICAN HISTORY, 202 SW O St.: 1930s sandpainting tapestry by Navajo medicine man Hosteen Klah, from the collection of Dr. Howard and Catherine Cockrill, through December. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 479-273-2456. HELENA DOWNTOWN VENUES: “Zoned,” the final exhibition of the Thrive Arts Artists in Residence Kelli Black, Matthew Cardenas, Laura Miller, Ruth Linford, Erin Lorenzen, Haynes Riley and Cheeto Ryan, 6:30-9 p.m. Dec. 1, various venues. HOT SPRINGS ALISON PARSONS GALLERY, 802 Central Ave.: Paintings by Polly Cook and Patrick Cunningham and photographs by Jim Pafford. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wed.-Sat. 655-0604. GALLERY CENTRAL, 800 Central Ave.: Sculpture by Rod Moorhead, watercolors by Doyle Young, glass ornaments by James Hayes. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 318-42728 JACKSONVILLE JACKSONVILLE MUSEUM OF MILITARY

Argenta Arts Acoustic Music Series AAMS Presents Patrick Donohue



Go to to purchase these tickets!



a.m.-6 p.m. Sat. 372-6822. L&L BECK ART GALLERY, 5705 Kavanaugh Blvd.: “Religious Art,” paintings by Louis Beck, through December, free giclee giveaway 7 p.m. Dec. 15. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.-Sat. 660-4006. LAMAN LIBRARY, 2801 Orange St., NLR: “Dia de los Muertos,” work by members of the Latino Art Project, through Jan. 6. 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fri.-Sat. 758-1720. LAMAN LIBRARY ARGENTA BRANCH, 420 Main St., NLR: 2nd annual “Juried Arkansas Art Teacher Exhibition.” 687-1061 M2 GALLERY, 11525 Cantrell Road: “Holiday Art Sale,” work by Neal Harrington, Phoenix Murphy, Maddox Murphy, Cathy Burns, Dan Thornhill and others. Noon-5 p.m. Mon., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat. 225-6257. McLEOD FINE ART GALLERY, 108 W. 6th St.: “Landscapes/Dreamscapes: At the Crossroads of Observation and Memory,” drawings, pastels and paintings by Jeannie Lockeby Hursley and Dominique Simmons. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. 725-8508. MATTHEWS FINE ART GALLERY, 909 North St.: Paintings by Pat and Tracee Matthews, glass by James Hayes, jewelry by Christie Young, knives by Tom Gwenn, kinetic sculpture by Mark White. Noon-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat. 831-6200. MUGS CAFE, 515 Main St., NLR: “Figure It Out” work by Claire Cade, Lilia Hernandez and Catherine Kim. 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 379-9101.

DECEMBER 1, 2016


From your goin’ out friends at

HISTORY, 100 Veterans Circle, Jacksonville: Exhibits on D-Day; F-105, Vietnam era plane (“The Thud”); the Civil War Battle of Reed’s Bridge, Arkansas Ordnance Plant (AOP) and other military history. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. MonSat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. $3 adults; $2 seniors, military; $1 students. 501-241-1943. MORRILTON MUSEUM OF AUTOMOBILES, Petit Jean Mountain: Permanent exhibitION of more than 50 cars from 1904-1967 depicting the evolution of the automobile. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 7 days. 501-727-5427. POTTSVILLE POTTS INN, 25 E. Ash St.: Preserved 1850s stagecoach station on the Butterfield Overland Mail Route, with period furnishings, log structures, hat museum, doll museum, doctor’s office, antique farm equipment. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wed.-Sat. $5 adults, $2 students, 5 and under free. 479-968-9369. SCOTT PLANTATION AGRICULTURE MUSEUM, U.S. Hwy. 165 and state Hwy. 161: Permanent exhibits on historic agriculture. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. $4 adults, $3 children. 961-1409. SCOTT PLANTATION SETTLEMENT: 1840s log cabin, one-room school house, tenant houses, smokehouse and artifacts on plantation life. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Thu.-Sat. 351-0300.


The Arkansas Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (ACNMWA) is taking applications for its biennial online registry of Arkansas women artists, which allows selected artists to showcase their work. Deadline for application is Dec. 31. To apply, go to Juror is Rana Edgar, director of education and programs at the Arkansas Arts Center. ACNMWA was founded in 1989 to support the efforts of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) in Washington, D.C. The Arkansas Arts Council is accepting applications for Arts in Education Mini Grants and Arts for Lifelong Learning Mini Grants, residency programs, through August 2017. Artists must match the grant award of $1,000 with either cash or an in-kind contribution. For more information, go to the Available Grants section of Wildwood Park for the Arts invites printmakers to submit works with a theme of nature for the February 2017 “Nature in Print” exhibit. Deadline to submit proposals online is Dec. 1. Find more information at

DUMAS, CONT. owing to their high graduated income taxes. The comparisons get more absurd. The bedrock assumption in the professors’ and the Tax Foundation’s reports is that low taxes and cutting taxes produce growth and that the opposites always produce stagnation. You don’t have to be a scholar but only a casual observer to see the foolishness of the theory. Big tax cuts at both the national and Arkansas levels the past 40 years have nearly always been followed by recessions and stagnation while modest tax increases have usually been fol-

lowed by growth. Go figure. The indisputable fact is that state and local taxes are far down the list of considerations for job-creating investment — behind a skilled or educated work force, proximity to markets, raw materials and suppliers, climate, transportation infrastructure, affordable and reliable energy and, yes, things like the levels of bigotry and acceptance. The Arkansas legislature will buy the professors’ theories because that is what they long to hear. Except the part about taxing services and property.


Armed Services Joint Color Guard INVOCATION

Chaplain (MAJ) Jeremy Miller NATIONAL ANTHEM

Nikki Brooks Winn, Gold Star Sister to SSG Paul F Brooks (KIA May 21, 2009) WELCOME

Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin ARKANSAS PEARL HARBOR SURVIVOR MARCH

North Little Rock Community Band MOMENT OF SILENCE, KEYNOTE

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson TAPS

Armed Services Joint Color Guard CLOSING REMARKS

Mayor Joe Smith, City of North Little Rock BENEDICTION

Chaplain (MAJ) Jeremy Miller The Arkansas Secretary of State and the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum would like to thank and acknowledge the following supporters and partners: Arkansas Army National Guard Arkansas Arts Center Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum Board of Directors Arkansas National Guard Association Arkansas National Guard Museum Arkansas Portable Toilets



D E C E M B E R 7, 2 0 16 , 1 1 : 3 0 A . M . Ark an sas Inl and Maritime Mus eum North Little Rock

Special advertising section -

Arkansas State Fairgrounds Armed Services Joint Color Guard Bank of England


Pearl Harbor

Arkansas Repertory Theatre

DECEMBER 1, 2016

KARN News Radio 102.9 FM MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History Moon Distributors Mosaic Templars Cultural Center North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce North Little Rock Community Band North Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau North Little Rock Heritage Center North Little Rock Parks & Recreation Department

Bobby’s Bike Hike

North Little Rock Police Department

Butler Center


Cajun’s Wharf

Pinnacle Mountain State Park

Camp Robinson/Camp Pike Community Council

Reylance Bank

Central Arkansas Library System

St. Joseph Center of Arkansas

City of North Little Rock

Taggart Architect

Clinton Presidential Library

The Joint Theater & Coffeehouse

Copper Grill Esse Purse Museum Galaxy Entertainment Eagle Bank Jacksonville Museum of Military History


United States Submarine Veterans USAA Webster University William F. Laman Library


Pearl Harbor DECEMBER 5 – DECEMBER 11, 2016


MONDAY, DECEMBER 5 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. (all day)

Planes of World War II William F. Laman Public Library, 2801 Orange St., North Little Rock (501) 758-1720 | LamanLibrary. org Families are invited to make paper airplanes representing all types of planes from World War II.

William F. Laman Public Library - Argenta Branch, 420 Main St., North Little Rock (501) 687-1061 | The movie Pearl Harbor will be shown. Free brown bag lunches provided; please call to RSVP. TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. (all day)

Planes of World War II 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Holiday Remembrance– Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary William F. Laman Public Library, 2801 Orange St., North Little Rock (501) 758-1720 | Send Christmas cards to the service men and women who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor and their families. 10 a.m.

Pinnacle Mountain State Park Lake Cruise 11901 Pinnacle Valley Road, Little Rock (501) 868-5806 | PinnacleMountain/ Pinnacle Mountain State Park interpreters will highlight different topics and themes while cruising Lake Maumelle on a pontoon boat. Cost is $8 for veterans, $15 for others. 12:30 p.m.

Argenta Monday Movies: Pearl Harbor

(see Monday for details) 10 a.m.

Pinnacle Mountain State Park Lake Cruise (see Monday for details) 11 a.m.

National Geographic’s Pearl Harbor: Legacy of Attack Ron Robinson Theater, 100 River Market Ave., Little Rock (501) 320-5715 | RonRobinson Doors open at 10:30 a.m. The screening is free with complimentary refreshments provided.

THE ARKANSAS STATE ARCHIVES houses an extensive collection of military records, including the Revolutionary War service record index, Civil War service records, casualty lists, official correspondence, muster rolls, and narrative battle reports, Civil War veterans’ questionnaires and pension records, and WWI draft registrations and abstracts of service, as well as other records from the War of 1812 and the Spanish-American War. Manuscript collections and vertical files at the Arkansas State Archives include WWII materials such as soldiers’ letters home to their families, collections of newspaper clippings regarding WWII events and Arkansas veterans, personal accounts of D-Day, records of home front efforts in Arkansas, defense plant employees, and German prisoners of war, scrapbooks, photographs, propaganda, and

other materials. The Arkansas State Archives also has the largest collection of Arkansas newspapers available anywhere, stretching from 1819 to the present day and including titles from each of the state’s seventyfive counties. The Arkansas State Archives, created in 1905 as the Arkansas History Commission, is one of Arkansas’s oldest state agencies. The State Archives maintains three research locations: the main offices and research room in Little Rock, open8:00am-4:30pm every Monday through Saturday, and the Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives in Historic Powhatan State Park and the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives in Historic Washington State Park, both open 8:00am-4:30pmevery Tuesday through Saturday.

ARKANSAS STATE ARCHIVES One Capitol Mall / Little Rock, Arkansas 72201 501.682.6900 /

4 p.m.

Honoring Our Veterans William F. Laman Public Library Children’s Department, 2801 Orange St., North Little Rock

Previous Page: ASBF photograph, December 1943. Aerial photo of a

(501) 758-1720 |

calm Waipio Peninsula, INSET: U.S.S. Shaw and Pearl Harbor ablaze

Families are invited to make paper poppies for veterans.

during the Japanese attack.


Special advertising section -

DECEMBER 1, 2016


Career Benefits: • Part-time Service • Career Training in One of 200 Fields

Education Benefits: • Money for College • Student Loan Repayment (for existing student loans)

Programs and Benefits Subject to Change

DECEMBER 1, 2016


“Uncle Sam Brings Home His Wounded from Pearl Harbor,” one of more than 4,600 original WWII press photos in our collection.




(see Monday for details)

REMEMBERING PEARL HARBOR DEC. 7, 1941 Today, 75 years after the United States was drawn into World War II, we remember. Visit the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History to see how we preserve and honor the role of Arkansans who have served our nation in every conflict.

The USS Hoga (YT 146) played an important role in Pearl Harbor during the attack. 4 p.m.

William F. Laman Public Library Teen Center, 2801 Orange St., North Little Rock (501) 758-1720 | Screening of The Monuments Men, a film about men and women from 13 nations who join the frontlines of World War II to save art and preserve history. The movie is free for ages 12 to 18.

The Arkansas State Archives recognizes and honors the service and sacrifice of our WWII veterans on the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. (all day)

Pearl Harbor Day William F. Laman Public Library Adult Services Department, 2801 Orange St., North Little Rock

501-682-6900 1 Capitol Mall, Little Rock

(501) 758-1720 | Complimentary coffee and donuts for patrons. 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. (all day)




Arkansas Remembers Pearl Harbor Ceremony Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum, 120 Riverfront Park Drive, North Little Rock (501) 371-8320 |

The Monuments Men and Lost Art

503 E. Ninth St., Little Rock 501-376-4602

11:30 a.m.

Planes of World War II (see Monday for details)

The Arkansas Secretary of State’s office will host a formal ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The tugboat Hoga will be available for public viewing, along with the museum’s exhibitions including a diorama of Pearl Harbor from December 7, 1941, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. 2 p.m.

National Geographic’s Pearl Harbor: Legacy of Attack William F. Laman Public Library - Argenta Branch, 420 Main St., North Little Rock (501) 687-1061 | Free screening followed by a discussion of the events surrounding Pearl Harbor. Refreshments available. 4 p.m.

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day William F. Laman Public Library Teen Center, 2801 Orange St., North Little Rock

10 a.m.

(501) 758-1720 |

Pinnacle Mountain State Park Lake Cruise

Free educational activities, including trivia, made especially for teens. Only for ages 12 to 18.

50 3 E . 9T H S T R EE T, LITTL E ROCK, A R. | A RKMILIT ARYHERIT AGE. C OM Special advertising section -

DECEMBER 1, 2016


DECEMBER 1, 2016


5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Remembering World War II through the Eyes of St. Joseph’s Orphans St. Joseph Center of Arkansas, 6800 Camp Robinson Road, North Little Rock (501) 993-4560 | Tours and talks with people who were residents at St. Joseph Orphanage during World War II. Free, donations accepted.

All additional adults admitted at the group rate of $8 per adult. 11:30 a.m.

Arkansas’s Date with Infamy History Roundtable and Lunch Arkansas National Guard Museum, 6th Street & Missouri Avenue (Camp J. T. Robinson), North Little Rock

2801 Orange St., North Little Rock 6 p.m.

(501) 758-1720 |

SOS Supper and a Show

Free lunch served to veterans before the showing of Tora! Tora! Tora!. Veterans who would like to participate are asked to RSVP by calling (501) 758-1720. Reservations first-come, first-served.

Jacksonville Museum of Military History, 100 Veterans Circle, Jacksonville (501) 241-1943 | A traditional World War II supper called “SOS” will be served that

1:30 p.m.

Reel Movies: Tora! Tora! Tora! William F. Laman Public Library Adult Services Department, 2801 Orange St., North Little Rock

6 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. show

(501) 758-1720 |

Military Night at A Christmas Story

8 p.m.


Arkansas Repertory Theatre, 601 Main St., Little Rock (501) 378-0405 | TheRep. org

Military Night at A Fertle Holiday The Joint Theater & Coffeehouse, 301 Main St., North Little Rock

Active-duty military, (501) 372-0210 | www. retired service personnel and their families receive Veterans receive a 20 percent $5 off each ticket and discount on tickets to A are invited to a private Fertle Holiday, an original pre-show reception with two-act comedy chronicling family-friendly activities, Pearl Harbor survivors during a moment of silence at the 2015 Arkansas Remembers Pearl the Fertle Family’s troubleincluding coloring projects, Harbor Anniversary Ceremony. ridden holiday reunion in a special photo opportunity the tiny town of Dumpster, and free hot chocolate. includes chopped beef on toast. Tora! Arkansas. Call for reservations. (501) 212-5215 | Limited number of seats available. Tora! Tora! will be shown. Seating To book, call the box office at (501) limited to the first 75 people. Free, Learn how men from the Land of SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10 378-0405 and tell them you want to donations accepted. Opportunity impacted the Pearl book into the Military Night section. Harbor attack while some men met Offer not valid online. their final date with infamy. Allison 9 a.m. & 11:30 a.m. 7 p.m. lesson, 8 p.m. open dance Hiblong with the Arkansas Inland Military Discount at “Art of Motion: Tango” Maritime Museum will share stories THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8 Bobby’s Bike Hike by Arkansas servicemen from Arkansas Arts Center, 501 E. 9th St., 400 President Clinton Ave., Little December 7, 1941. Free and open to Little Rock 9:30 a.m. Rock the public. (501) 372-4000 | Day of Infamy: 24 Hours (501) 613-7001 | BobbysBikeHike. that Changed History com/LittleRock/ 5 p.m. Tango lesson for all skill levels Clinton Presidential Library, 1200 Military receive a 10 percent Living History: The followed by open dance. No partner President Clinton Ave., Little Rock discount on rentals and services, Japanese-American required, refreshments provided. and special discounts on tours (call Internment Guests are welcome to dress up in (501) 370-5050 | for prices). Discover Little Rock’s 1940s attire. Free for Arkansas Arts William F. Laman Public Library High school students are invited rich, colorful history on the Historic Center members, $10 for general Teen Center, 2801 Orange St., to examine President Franklin D. Neighborhoods Bicycle Tour at 9 public. North Little Rock Roosevelt’s actions taken in the 24 a.m. or sample the South’s favorite hours following the Pearl Harbor (501) 758-1720 | LamanLibrary. delicacies on the Pork and Bourbon attack. After the virtual field trip FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9 org Bicycle Tour at 11:30 a.m. of the new temporary exhibit at Teens can listen to stories from Roosevelt Presidential Library, 12 p.m. Japanese-Americans interned in 8 p.m. school groups may visit The Anne Arkansas following the bombing Lunch at Laman before Frank Tree and tour the Clinton Military Night at A Fertle of Pearl Harbor. Free, only for Tora! Tora! Tora! Presidential Library. Free admission Holiday ages 12 to 18. for students, homeschool groups and William F. Laman Public Library, (see Friday for details) school personnel with reservation. Special advertising section -

DECEMBER 1, 2016


Holiday Gift Guide F


inish your holiday shopping early this year! Each week we until December 15, we are

gift ideas from your favorite local bringing you g everyone on your list. retailers for ev

Find Jane HHankins’

2016 Mystical Elves Collection at the C Arkansas Arts Center Cent Museum Store.

Give the

gift of meat from the meat experts at Edwards Food Giant this holiday season!

Shop the

38th Annual Arkansas Craft Guild Christmas Showcase on December 2-4 at the Statehouse Convention Center and see more wonderful work from artists like these. Don’t wait in line, get your tickets now at $5.

Flowers, Gift Baskets & More! Mention this ad for $10 off for every $50 spent on a fresh design or gift purchase.* 2101 Main Street North Little Rock (501) 372-6501 VVV MNQSGKHSSKDQNBJűNVDQRGNO BNL 2NLDQDRSQHBSHNMR@OOKX ĝ Offer expires 1/1/17.

Have a holly jolly holiday season!


Drug Store

A Traditional Pharmacy

with eclectic Gifts. Since 1922

2801 Kavanaugh Little Rock 501.663.4131 ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT

DECEMBER 1, 2016 41 DECEMBER 1, 2016 41


Open 1 to 4 on Sundays And gift wrap available 5924 R STREET LITTLE ROCK 501.664.3062




Sale begins on November 14 and runs through December 23.

Ready to

spruce up your décor for the holidays? Need a gift for your boss? Hodge Podge has this amazing Waterford Marquis Crystal Sleigh bowl on sale now. w. While you are there…have them add a fresh bouquet for you too.

(501) 687-1331 4310 Landers Road, NLR M-F 8-5 Sat. 9-5

Bring a


Bring Joy

ICY WHIRLPOOL COCKTAIL GLASS Hand-blown enchantment from West Bank




1002623 42 42

DECEMBER 1, 2016 DECEMBER 1, 2016

301 President Clinton Ave, Suite A, Little Rock Offer valid at participating stores until 12/24/16. Not valid with other discounts, or on the purchase of gift cards, Oriental rugs, Traveler’s Finds or consumables. One coupon per store per customer.



little French culinary inspiration to the chefs on your list with a wide range of French cookware from Krebs Brothers Restaurant Store. Stop in to see all of the available items and colors.


Shop Mr. Wicks

for the perfect stocking stuffers to an add stylish elements to the wardrobes of the men in your life.

Johnstons of Elgin cashmere scarves St. Croix and Lorenzo Uomo socks Martin Dengman alligator belts

Join us for the 38th Annual Arkansas Craft Guild’s Christmas Showcase! December 2nd, 3rd & 4th 2016

Statehouse Convention Center in Downtown Little Rock Friday 10am-8pm • Saturday 8am-6pm Sunday 10am-4pm


Friday 5-8pm • Free Admission • Live Music Stone’s Throw Brewery Beer Sampling

EARLY BIRD SHOPPER SPECIAL Saturday 8-10am • Free Admission

Find more information at Showcase or call 870-269-4120 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.

Go to to purchase tickets!


DECEMBER 1, 2016 43 DECEMBER 1, 2016 43


Be sure

to check out O’looney’s gift guide online at or in store for all of the best gift ideas this Christmas!

Shop Ten Thousand Villages

for Authentic Fair Trade, ethically-sourced jewelry, handcrafted in Colombia.

All that glitters... The Geode Lined Box available at Box Turtle

Choose unique

gifts for friends and family of all ages at Rhea Drug Store.

44 44

DECEMBER 1, 2016 DECEMBER 1, 2016




Find the featured items at the following locations: ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER MUSEUM STORE 9th & Commerce 372.4000 ARKANSAS CRAFT GUILD’S CHRISTMAS SHOWCASE, DEC 2-4 Statehouse Convention Center BOX TURTLE 2616 Kavanaugh Blvd. 661.1167

Get cozy

COLONIAL WINE AND SPIRITS 11200 W. Markham St. 223.3120

in the cold with the RAB Pioneer Jacket from Ozark Outdoor Supply.

EDWARDS FOOD GIANT locations statewide HODGE PODGE 2101 Main St., NLR 372.6501

MR. WICKS 5924 R St. 664.3062 O’LOONEY’S WINE & LIQUOR 3 Rahling Cir., Ste 2 821.4669 OZARK OUTDOOR SUPPLY 5514 Kavanaugh Blvd. 664.4832 RHEA DRUG 2801 Kavanaugh Blvd. 663.4131 TEN THOUSAND VILLAGES 305 President Clinton Ave. 374.2776 WAREHOUSE LIQUOR 1007 Main St. 374.0410 860 E Broadway St., NLR 374.2405


KREBS BROTHERS RESTAURANT SUPPLY 4310 Landers Rd., NLR 687.1331 KYLE-ROCHELLE JEWELERS 523 Louisiana St, Ste M100 375-3335

*Holiday Hours *Gift Cards Available *Free Gift Wrap

Kyle-Rochelle Jewelers

specializes in custom jewelry manufacturing, diamonds and jewelry repairs. Be sure to stop in this holiday season to find that perfect gift for your loved ones.

Handmade ceramic trees by local artist Julie Holt

M-F 10-6 • SAT 10-5 • SUN 12-5 2616 KAVANAUGH BLVD. LITTLE ROCK 501.661.1167 • WWW.SHOPBOXTURTLE.COM


DECEMBER 1, 2016 45 DECEMBER 1, 2016 45

tackle and arrest us. The menace I had only heard of as a middle-class white person I now saw on faces of those paid and sworn to protect me. I saw the police turn viciously on us as we protected women while they prayed. I understood entirely why the water protectors stood where they stood, and I could no longer accept my complacency with their opposition. The next day we committed ourselves to work in the camp. We helped a Sioux woman who runs a kitchen with her husband, daughter and granddaughter. We replaced her tattered summer tents with winterized tents, built shelves and organized her goods. It took most of the day, and at the end she toured her tents gleefully. Her work would be easier. She could do more for the other water protectors because we broke away from our lives long enough to donate one precious day of labor. When we set out for Standing Rock, my friend and I decided to in all cases follow the wishes of our Lakota hosts and also to bring in far more resources than we took out. We raised money in our community but bought all our own food, far more than we were able to eat. We donated the remaining food and some of our gear to neighboring campers. Our community fundraising leading up to the trip had exploded: We raised over $5,000, which local alternative energy company Richter Solar allowed us to convert to at-cost solar panels, which were delivered just before Thanksgiving. Members of St. Paul’s also delivered a semi truck loaded with firewood. We used nothing from the camp other than the latrines. More importantly, we honored the camp rules and ceremonial customs. We did not look for an experience at the camp: We set out to work. As a result, we inhabited a prayerful space, and we remained in that prayerful space as we drove home. The night after we got home, we held onto prayer as we watched the police spray water hoses in freezing temperatures on water protectors we knew would remain peaceful. I woke in prayerful space when I turned on the live feed in the morning and saw the water protectors still standing on that bridge. I had been terrified that I would fail to contribute to the camp, that I would be a white tourist, that I would do nothing to help the bravest and most determined people I had ever 46

DECEMBER 1, 2016




STANDING TALL AT STANDING ROCK: Many people have united in solidarity to protect the drinking water from a pipeline.

met. Doing my best to embrace the ethos of the camp established by the elders and abandoning myself into a singular cause, I gave all that I could in that moment and found my heart inextricably tied to their struggles and triumphs. Now people back in Arkansas ask me if the anti-pipeline movement has a chance. I have to consider the Diamond Pipeline, which is cutting through Central Arkansas, near the White River National Wildlife Refuge, which protects a gorgeous patch of old-growth cypress trees. Stopping the Diamond Pipeline seems utterly daunting. I attended a meeting of opponents who have been working hard, but have almost no funds, little information and very few committed to their ranks. Before I went to Standing Rock, I

would have said that I am a realist. I once settled for the belief that we can only resist but rarely stop the inevitable. Now I am changed. Standing Rock is Selma, Wounded Knee and statesponsored eco-terrorism all at once. Whatever injustices my 7-yearold and I felt the night of the election, whatever bullying I tried to resist as a kid on the playground, and whatever helplessness I felt when I saw another young black man shot in the back by police, I could face down, arms locked in body or prayer with the water protectors. I can resist what once seemed inevitable because at Standing Rock I learned that our only future is what we find in solidarity together. Whatever labor and resources my friends and I brought to Standing Rock, whatever donations the Fay-

etteville community poured into the camp through us, we have been paid back by the camp with the ability to bring prayerfulness to direct action. We have been shown how to unify diverse visions around a single cause. As many friends from Arkansas went to Standing Rock before me, three times as many have set out from Arkansas for North Dakota since. They will come back with that vision affirmed, deepened and educated. Many who have been to Standing Rock believe as I do that the water protectors cannot be moved and the pipeline will indeed be stopped. Standing Rock taught me that reality resides not in a cynical acceptance of what is likely, but in cohering our collective strength around the possibilities that stem from the best of our natures.




2017 marks 36 years since the Arkansas Times first started the Restaurant Readers Choice Awards. You can walk in many restaurants and see a wall full of posters. Voting is all online - arktimes. com/restaurants17 - and the final round ends January 31. Arkansas has some great


restaurants, now’s the time to show your love. Winners will be announced March 16 and an awards celebration party sponsored by our good friends at Ben E. Keith will be held at the Pulaski Technical Culinary and Hospitality Institute on March 14.

Vote now!

DECEMBER 1, 2016




12th Ever Nog-Off

Gourmet. Your Way. All Day.

300 Third Tower • 501-375-3333

• Opening reception for REx DElONEy Diverse Colors for a Diverse World • Live music by Charlotte Taylor • Museum Store shopping

“Heaven Down to Earth” a free holiday concert by the

~Arkansas Chamber Singers~ Friday, December 9, 7 pm

Seating is limited; reserve seats in advance at

Performances will also be held Saturday, Dec. 10, 7pm & Sunday, Dec. 11, 3pm 300 W. Markham St.




Holiday Show

Ceramics by

Amber Lea

& Cocoa Belle


523 S. Louisiana

In the Lafayette building

These venues will be open late. There’s plenty of parking and a FREE TROLLEY to each of the locations. Don’t miss it – lots of fun!

DECEMBER 1, 2016


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. 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.








Free parking at 3rd & Cumberland Free street parking all over downtown and behind the River Market (Paid parking available for modest fee.)

Your bike is a vehicle on the road just like any other vehicle and you must also obey traffic laws— use turning and slowing hand signals, ride on right and yield to traffic as if driving. Be sure to establish eye contact with drivers. Remain visible and predictable at all times.


Neighborhood Dining Guide 2016



DECEMBER 1, 2016 DECEMBER 1, 2016

49 49


One of the biggest(andbest!)reasons

dining out is such a big part of our social life is the number of great restaurants in our area. Our annual Neighborhood Dining Guide is a great collection of dining establishments — some old, some new — to give ideas on places to choose from for a romantic dinner for two, a place to meet up


CACHE RESTAURANT — Cache Restaurant is the combined vision of Rush Harding and his son, Payne Harding. For Rush, a businessman and philanthropist, Cache is the opportunity to bring a stunning vision of the most urbane, contemporary dining experience to downtown Little Rock. For Payne, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Cache is the canvas on which to create an extraordinary dining experience where no detail is left unattended. Chef Payne Harding’s vision for Cache is one that transcends food — where every guest encounter receives as much care as what emerges from the kitchen. From the architecture of the building to the linens on the tables, Payne believes that every detail is significant

About The Cover Artist with friends, festive family dinners, parties, etc. ■ Be sure to check out page 47 for the sample ballot for the 2017 Readers Choice Restaurant Awards. Voting runs Nov. 23-Jan 13. Vote for your favorite restaurants online at ARKTIMES.COM/ RESTAURANTS17. Winners will be announced in the March 16 issue of Arkansas Times.

and impacts the experience of Cache patrons. With the infrastructure now firmly in place, Payne is immersed in crafting what promises to be a constantly evolving and dynamic culinary story at Cache. 425 President Clinton Ave, Little Rock, (501) 850-0265. DOE’S EAT PLACE — What has become a Little Rock landmark of national renown -- Doe’s Eat Place -- has its orgins in the unlikeliest of models, a no-frills diner deep in the delta. But then nothing about Doe’s is quite what one would expect from a world-class steakhouse -- except fabulous steaks, that is. Another favorite—tamales, from their sister restaurant, The Tamale factory are never a disappointment. 1023 West Markham St., Little Rock, (501) 376-1195.

CAROLE KATCHEN Carole Katchen has been a professional artist for nearly 50 years. Her whimsical paintings of chefs, musicians, dancers and socialites have sold in 30 countries. She has also written 3 children’s books and 14 art instruction books, total sales over 1 million copies. Her art can be seen in Hot Springs at Legacy Gallery. Carole teaches weekly classes at her Hot Springs studio. For classes and commissions, contact the artist at For more information visit her website or


PRESENT THIS AD FOR 15% OFF YOUR MEAL Not Valid With Any Other Offer, Alcohol Or Tax. Offer expires 12/31/16.

Lunch: Mon- Fri 11am-2pm Dinner: Mon-Thur 5:30-9:30pm • Fri & Sat 5:30-10pm FULL BAR & PRIVATE PARTY ROOM

406 W 47th St • North Little Rock 501-771-1575

1023 West Markham • Downtown Little Rock 501-376-1195 •


Your Friendly neighborhood Seafood Joint for 40 years Happy Hour Mon - Sat: 3pm - 6:30pm




Neighborhood Dining Guide ■ 2016 RIVERDALE

THE FADED ROSE — As Little Rock’s most award-winning restaurant, this 34 yearold jewel has an authentic New Orleansinspired menu that never disappoints. Not only do they serve up Cajun and creole staples, but their steaks and soak salads are legendary. There is something for everyone! And be sure to check out their Facebook page for regular contests. 1619 Rebsamen Park Rd., (501) 663-9734.


CAFÉ BOSSA NOVA — Stands alone as the place that introduced Brazilian food to Little Rock. And it rates up there as consistently the best. One unusual favorite is the Salpicao, a Brazilian take on chicken salad – served on a warm bed of rice, a mixture of shredded chicken breast, Fuji apples, carrots, English peas, herbs and spices mixed with just a little mayonnaise served with a side of Mista salad. Lunch and dinner offers wonderful options Tuesday — Saturday, and don’t miss their Sunday Brunch! 2701 Kavanaugh Blvd, 614-6882 (NOVA). LA TERRAZA RUM & LOUNGE — Come experience this amazing Venezuelan restaurant and one of the best decks in town. Any place that has “rum” in its name

should back that up, and La Terraza does — with a broad selection of top-shelf rums and also the best mojito we’ve tasted, primarily because it’s not too sweet. Their signature arepas will want you coming back for more. Also follow them on Facebook for some awesome events including Rum Dinners, Fiestas and more! 3000 Kavanaugh Blvd., (501) 251-8261. THE OYSTER BAR — Open for business since 1975, The Oyster Bar continues to thrive in Little Rock’s historic Stifft Station/ Hillcrest neighborhood. They serve shrimp, oysters, Cajun soups, po’ boys, catfish, chef salads and non-seafood items in their family-friendly restaurant. Play a tune on the jukebox, order a mug of the coldest beer in town and find out why locals have been dining at The Oyster Bar for over 40 years. Private party room and catering is available. 3003 W. Markham St., (501) 6667100, ROSALIA’S FAMILY BAKERY — perfect relaxing place to enjoy a coffee drink, imported teas, Italian sodas, and imported soft drinks.. Rosalia’s fresh baked breads, pastries, desserts along with Brazilian and European confections give the setting a European flair. It’s also a rare place to find gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan

BUY 1 MEAL GET ANOTHER 1/2 OFF* *expires 12/31/2016; cannot be combined with other offers ATDG-LR-FALL16

$2 OFF ANY Meal *expires 12/31/2016; cannot be combined with other offers ATDG-LR-FALL16

10301 N. Rodney Parham Rd Suite A-4 Little Rock, AR 72227 501.222.8055


Simply Good Food





See our full menu and learn more at LITTLE ROCK | In the Heights Theater

Find traditional Brazilian food at Café Bossa Nova.

5600 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock, Ar 72207 501-661-9292

CONWAY | In The Village at Hendrix 1050 Ellis Ave., Conway, Ar 72034 501-336-9292


DECEMBER 1, 2016 DECEMBER 1, 2016

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Neighborhood Dining Guide ■ 2016 owned and operated restaurant with two beautiful locations to serve you. Join us for $5 classic craft cocktails during happy hour, and for new , chef created burger and shake specials each month. See specials on Instagram @bigo_midtown & @bigorange_west. 207 N University Ave, Ste 100 Little Rock, GRAFFITI’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT — A 32-year tradition in Little Rock. Serving up Italian Food with American flair. Our menu items have been a pleasing standard since the beginning, but we serve up specials daily. Generations have made Graffiti’s the place they call home. Open MondaySaturday. 5-9 weekdays, 5-9:30 Friday and Saturday, closed on Sunday. We accept reservations and book your party in the Graffitis Party Room. We have a private dining room for those special occasions. Come enjoy the Graffiti’s special martini or a fine glass of wine. Spend your holidays with us at Graffiti’s. 7811 Cantrell Rd., Ste. 6, Little Rock, (501) 224-9079.

Big Orange — two great locations. treats. Stop in for quick soup and sandwich specials. Nice outdoor seating in the heart of Hillcrest. 2701 Kavanaugh Blvd., 3197135,


ZAZA — Join us around the fire for authentic Wood-Fired Napoli-style Pizza, Hand-Tossed Salads made with the freshest produce available featuring house-made dressings & 60 ingredients to choose from, House-made Italian-style Gelato, and an always rotating selection of local craft beers and wine. Be sure to join us on Instagram @zazapizza or Facebook/zazapizza to see our Salad-Of-Month featuring local produce. Thank you Arkansas for an

incredible 9 years of serving you quality, handmade pizzas, salads, and gelato in Little Rock and Conway! Changed up the order a little bit? Might not work - see what you think. Join us around the fire for authentic Wood-Fired Napoli-style Pizza, House-made Italian-style Gelato, an always rotating selection of local craft beers and wine, and Hand-Tossed Salads made with the freshest produce available featuring house-made dressings & over 60 ingredients to create your own unique salad. Be sure to join us on Instagram @ zazapizza or Facebook/zazapizza to see our Salad-Of-Month featuring local produce. Thank you Arkansas for an incredible 9 years of serving you quality, handmade

pizzas, salads, and gelato in Little Rock and Conway! 5600 Kavanaugh Blvd. (in the Old Heights Theater), Little Rock, www.


BIG ORANGE — Big Orange invites you to join us in our fun, energizing space for Bold Burgers, Inspired Salads, HandDipped and Fresh-Whipped Shakes, SodaBottle Floats, Over 100 Craft Beers, Draft Wine, and expertly crafted Cocktails. From decadent White Truffle Pecorino Burgers and Barrel-Aged Cocktails to late snackworthy State Fair Cheese Fries and cold local draft beer. Big Orange offers something delicious for everyone. We are an Arkansas


BIG ORANGE — 17809 Chenal Pkway, Ste. (in The Promenade at Chenal), Little Rock. EAT MY CATFISH — Great seafood — fresh, never frozen — right here in Central Arkansas! Voted Arkansas’ Best Catfish, Eat My Catfish now operates three dine-in restaurants (Benton, Conway and Little Rock) and has two on-site catering trailers. They catered over 350 events last year and sell more live and cooked crawfish than anyone in Central Arkansas. In addition, they also serve world-class shrimp, crab legs, fried pies, chicken tenders, and fried


SAVE $200

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A Taste of Brazilian Cuisine pickles. So stop in and dine or let them cater your next big gathering! 10301 N Rodney Parham, Ste. A-4, Little Rock, (501) 222-8055. Sunday: 11am – 2p.m.; Monday – Saturday: 11a.m. – 9p.m. LOCAL LIME — This month Local Lime celebrates 4 years of serving our Little Rock community fresh Mexican cuisine, Arkansas’s best margaritas, and award winning cocktails. Join chefs Scott McGehee and Ben Brainard for beautiful modern mexican cuisine with coastal twists and Arkansas influence. We start each day by preparing 6 salsas for you to enjoy while you sip on Texas Two-Step Margaritas and decide between the Ahi Citrus Ceviche or Grilled Ribeye Tacos. In a hurry? Try our PRONTO Lunch Menu served Mon. - Thurs. each week. Join the taco conversation at @locallime. 17815 Chenal Pkwy, Ste F-105, (in The Promenade at Chenal), Little Rock.


MURRY’S DINNER PLAYHOUSE — Murry’s Dinner Playhouse is celebrating 50 YEARS this upcoming season! How about dinner and a show? Chef Larry Shields has been in the industry for 30 years. As a former

saucier, he uses his sauces to give many of his dishes an unexpected twist. Buffet food often lacks seasoning and can be bland, but Larry ensures that every dish is seasoned to perfection. Chef is also having a little fun by creating themed menus to go with the shows. Check out the latest shows and menu at 6323 Colonel Glenn Road, (501) 562-3131.


FOUR QUARTER BAR — Opened by long-time Midtown Billiards bartender, Conan Robinson, Four Quarter Bar is quickly becoming the late night staple in the Argenta Arts District. Recently voted best new bar in the AR Times, they offer great BBQ food options like a Pulled Pork Hash or the “Porkaletta”, and also have one of the best burgers around. Kitchen is open until 1:30am every night.   A nice craft beer selection is on tap, with many rarities often available. (Ask about the secret tap!) Live music starts around 10pm on the weekends. Look for great upcoming shows like Groovement or the Kris Lager Band. Full line-up at  415 Main St., North Little Rock, (501) 3134707. Open Mon-Sat 3p.m.-2a.m.; Sunday 5p.m.-2a.m.







$5 classic cocktails



THE PROMENADE AT CHENAL 17815 Chenal Pkwy., Ste. G-101 Little Rock, AR 72223 • 501-821-1515 /BigOrangeBurger

Local Lime


MIDTOWNE SHOPPING CENTER 207 N. University Ave., Ste. 100 Little Rock, AR 72205 • 501-379-8715 /BigOrangeMidtown


DECEMBER 1, 2016 DECEMBER 1, 2016

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Mention This Ad For 10% Off Sunday Brunch Or Lunch Lunch 11am-4pm • Sunday Brunch 11am-3pm

3000 KAVANAUGH BLVD • (501) 251-8261


your average steak & burger JOINT!

Neighborhood Dining Guide ■ 2016 VOTE ONLINE FOR 2017 READERS CHOICE RESTAURANT AWARDS: SKINNY J’S — The first thing you should know about Skinny J’s is that they’re not the average steakhouse. It’s a burger joint, a meeting place, somewhere to celebrate or a favorite place to relax and enjoy the company. From their appetizers (we’re partial to the Reuben eggrolls!) to the desserts, your taste buds will delight in dining at Skinny J’s. While they’re known for their hand-cut steaks, their menu covers a full range of choices from chicken and beef, fish and oysters, wraps and salads and a full range of sandwiches and burgers. Nightly drink specials make dining here the perfect choice. And don’t forget Sunday Brunch! Skinny J’s also has locations in Jonesboro and Paragould. 314 Main St., North Little Rock, 916-2645,


EL PAISANO serves up authentic Mexican food that won’t break the bank! It is a little off the beaten path, but totally worth the drive. They also have a grocery store attached for those of you that like to use authentic ingredients for your Taco Tuesday supper clubs. 406 W 47th St., North Little Rock, (501) 812-5693. Open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.


EAT MY CATFISH — 2125 Harkrider St., Conway, (501) 588-1867. ZAZA — 1015 Ellis Ave., (At the Village at Hendrix), Conway. www.zazapizzaandsalad. com.

314 Main St. North Little Rock | 501.916.2645 • @skinnyjsAR

Join us in December for c h i c k en, sp inach, & pobla no

tamales featuring Tomatillo sauce, Fresh Corn, and topped with tangy Queso Fresco and Cilantro

pair it with one of our

expertly crafted, seasonal cocktails

Skinny J’s signature burger and sidewinder fries.

CANDLELIT. ARTSY. NEIGHBORLY. Reserve now for Christmas and New Year’s Eve!

SO MUCH cocktail crafting GOODNESS




A holiday Favorite! PRIVATE PARTY ROOM AVAILABLE • 7811 Cantrell Rd #6 • Little Rock Butcher Shop (501) 224-9079 •



December 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 2016


DOT SAP Evaluations Christopher Gerhart, LLC

(501) 478-0182

Thu, Fri, Sat 7:30PM • Sun 2:30PM


$16 Adults • $12 Students & Seniors $2 Off Thursday Discount

READ read


1001 W. 7th St., LR, AR 72201 On the corner of 7th and Chester. 501.374.3761


Support for TWT is provided, in part, by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the DAH, and the NEA. Our 24th Season Is Sponsored by PIANO KRAFT


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


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 chops) $17 lb. TESTICLES lb other chemicals. The only time we use $10 antibiotics is if the


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 pick up your meat at our farm ina North SHOULDERoff Hwy 107 Meat falls off the bone). $11 lb. a Quaker Town, Pa. (bone in, cook this slow,tannery like Quaker Town, Pa. that has tannery that has specialized in sheepin North Pulaski County. Our meat is steroids or any a potfree roast. Meatof falls off the Pulaski (about 25 miles north downtown skinsfor forLittle generations.) BONELESS LOINCounty $8 lb specialized sheep-skins generations.) bone).of $11 other chemicals. The only time we use antibiotics is if the BONELESS LOIN $8 lb Rock) or$20we Little Rock weekdays. TENDERLOIN 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 LINK SAUSAGEinspected. LINK SAUSAGE  (one-lb package) $10 lb

(one-lb package) $10 lb


(for stew or soup) $5 lb

F a r m

You can pick up your meat at our farm off Hwy 107 in North NECKBONES Blue PRICE 12407 Davis Ranch Rd.LIST: | 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 in downtown Little Rock weekdays. RIB ROAST TESTICLES $10 lb All meatabout is aged andribs then frozen. contains eight (lamb chops) $17 lb. HEARTS, LIVERS, KIDNEYS, $5 lb PRICE LIST:




DECEMBER 1, 2016




Submission deadline:

December 31, 2016 acts must be able to perform minimum of 30 minutes of original material with


Semi-finalists announced on

January 9th 56

DECEMBER 1, 2016





TO ENTER, send streaming Facebook, ReverbNation, Bandcamp or Soundcloud links to and include the following:

1. Band Name 2. Hometown 3. Date Band Was Formed 4. Age Range of Members (All ages welcome) 5. Contact Person 6. Phone 7. Email all musical styles are welcome.

Arkansas Times - December 1, 2016  

Fight the Power - House Minority Leader Michael John Gray of Augusta talks like an old school agri-populist, and wants to be the next chairm...

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