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eStem branches out Little Rock’s best known charter school plans to expand dramatically in partnership with UALR. That could help some kids — and hurt those left behind. BY BENJAMIN HARDY

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OCTOBER 22, 2015



What is lacking in Washington, and I know this sounds funny, is politicians. There is an excellent opportunity here for a moderate Republican in the House to gather together 120 like-minded folks, cross the aisle to get 120 Democrats on board, sit down and elect a speaker. The congregation could then set about working, like politicians used to do, to iron out compromises, put together deals  and get things moving in Congress again. It would take all the zealots and hotheads out of the picture. Whoever could pull that off would automatically become the front runner for the Republican nomination and stand a better chance in the national election than the likes of Trump, Carson and Cruz. I know the Hastert Rule forbids any Republican from so much as saying God bless you if a Democrat sneezes, but, seeing as he turned out to be a pedophile and is headed to prison, I doubt anybody will invoke his name.   David Rose Hot Springs

America. It gives us boring Al Gore, and whoever that was in 2004. If we can’t vote for who we want, why are we voting? odoketa

actual problems and do something about them to make things better. Everyone else simply plans on managing those same problems. They might rearrange the juggling order of the balls, or maybe paint the balls a different color to give I love the Burn. Unfortunately, if he can get past the gridlocked them a new sheen, but they simCongress, the cost of the programs ply do not want to really do anything that would actually change he wants will sink the economy, the more jobs will leave the country l status quo. The ori�ina� �ards�” Vanessa and the stock market will “tank. �ouse o � �ire�tor – �o� �u�� Lack of investment funds would In response to Ernest Dumas’ drive up interest rates. (See Jimmy Oct. 15 column, “Tea party a roadCarter’s presidency.) I’m for all block to new highway tax”: that he says, but at what cost? BIGMUSIC For those who believe in karma, Bernie Sanders is the only canthere is solace in the thought that didate who wants to address the someday the Koch brothers and

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In response to Max Brantley’s Oct. 15 column, “Bernie Sanders: forever young”: Your pragmatism means kowtowing to Goldman Sachs et al and the war machine that is paying for Hillary’s campaign, as it did Obama’s. That pragmatism is sinking the planet. locavoire

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“Gold star

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York Times


This line reveals much: “… a group of students committed to public service and learning how to do it at a school that owes its existence to Bill Clinton’s presidency.” Fact is, Hillary also owes her viability as an anointed establishment candidate to the existence of Bill Clinton’s presidency. Were she not his long-suffering missus, where would she be? John Ragland If not for Hillary Clinton, where would Bill be? Rob Qualls This is the attitude destroying 4 OCTOBER 22, 2015


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Grover Norquist are going to be on a highway bridge when it collapses. The anti-tax, anti-government crowd are like the corporate raiders who buy up a corporation promising to fix it, but instead sell off or embezzle everything of value until they can file for bankruptcy and leave it to someone else to suffer the losses and clean up the mess. Bow ties are back in style

Michael Stewart Allen (Macbeth) in Macbeth. Photo by John David Pittman.

Washington needs pols

In response to Gene Lyons’ Oct. 15 column, “The rise of Chicken Little”: That “Freedom Caucus” is a blight on the Grand Old Party. If the Republicans can’t come up with a common sense Speaker of the House who is willing to stand firm against those bratty little monsters, they won’t be the majority party after the next election. Eventually they’ll cease to exist. Tony Galati “Enthusiasm”! I love that! As if our Founding Fathers hadn’t contributed enough to this country already, that turns out to be one of the all-time best euphemisms covering our current crackpot electorate. They had their own crackpots then too, of course. Maybe that’s the best reason for their considerable foresight. Their Deist God didn’t give them the gift of true prophecy. Olphart In response to the Oct. 15 dining review of Del Frisco’s Grille: This place will do well with the Chenal Valley crowd that doesn’t mind overpaying for dining. I went to a soft opening and did enjoy the Prime Steak sandwich and fries. ... The crab cake sounds good but at that size and price I would never ordered it. In addition a lobster sauce served with a crab cake is unnecessary and over the top. I gave up years ago trying to find real Maryland crab cakes in Arkansas. There is no way in hell I’m paying $21 for fish and chips when The Pantry has the best in town for considerably less. This place is on the special occasion agenda for me given the price point. The bar and outdoor dining areas are gorgeous. Raven

| nO Am En

OCTOBER 22, 2015




Quote of the Week: “The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails.” — Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont to Hillary Clinton at last week’s Democratic presidential debate, defending his fellow candidate against the ongoing inquiry into the personal email server she used while secretary of state. CNN polling shows support for Clinton at 45 percent among Democrats, Sanders at 29 percent.

The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department will hold a public hearing on its $600 million plan to widen Interstate 30 to 10 lanes at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22, at the Friendly Chapel Church of the Nazarene, 116 S. Pine St., North Little Rock. So far, the idea has gotten a cool reception. Members of Metroplan’s Regional Planning Advisory Council had several questions for program manager Jerry Holder of Garver Engineers at their meeting last week. Primary among them: whether widening the interstate from U.S. Highway 67-167 in North Little Rock to Interstate 530 south of downtown wouldn’t simply create bottlenecks on connecting highways and roads elsewhere. A Metroplan engineer commented that the project would require the widening of all of Central Arkansas’s freeways to handle increased traffic, at an estimated cost of $4 billion. Members also expressed concern that the project’s new interchange south of the river — which would be the only exit into downtown Little Rock — would dismantle the River Rail trolley line to Heifer International and the Clinton Presidential Center, a $10 million project for which the AHTD would have to repay the federal government. Supporters of public transportation — which has not been included in the AHTD plan — and downtown cohesiveness have been critical of the design. State Rep. Warwick Sabin (D-Little Rock) issued a statement Tuesday saying he believed the project would “degrade the unique culture and economic development potential of the area.”

When 3 = 4 The Arkansas Department of Educa6 OCTOBER 22, 2015



Public hearing on I-30 widening

A CRYPT TALE: Will Frueauff portrays Edward Payson Washburn of “Arkansas Traveller” painting fame at the annual Mount Holly Cemetery fundraiser, “Tales from the Crypt.”

Huckabee’s primary slide, by the numbers Mike Huckabee continues to struggle to gain traction in the GOP presidential nominating contest, despite his off-kilter, shock-jock bids for attention. (Last week, he tweeted, “I trust @BernieSanders with my tax dollars like I trust a North Korean chef with my Labrador! #DemDebate”) Here’s the state of affairs in Huck land:

2.8 percent $1.24 million Huckabee’s share of Republican support, according to the polling aggregator website Real Clear Politics.

The money he raised last quarter, down from $2 million in the first quarter.

7th, 10th Huckabee’s rank among the crowded GOP field, in terms of polling and fundraising, respectively. tion was forced to do some backtracking last week after it issued a news release that identified a score of 3 on PARCC (the standardized test used by public schools last spring) as being “on track for college and career readiness.” However, according to PARCC’s own definitions, a score of 3 indicates a student only “approached academic expectations,” and a student must score a 4 to actually meet grade-level expectations. The difference matters because

only 28 percent of Arkansas students scored a 4 or above on PARCC, compared with 60 percent who scored a 3 or above. The Education Department chose to emphasize the latter, rosier figure … until the Washington Post pointed out that Arkansas seemed to be moving its goal posts. An FOI request from the Arkansas Times showed that federal education officials had also expressed their disapproval with Arkansas. Education Commissioner Johnny Key then

issued a statement saying that the previous release’s characterization of a Level 3 as being on track “was in error.”

Justice delayed for Tim Howard Although a recent retrial resulted in a reduced sentence for Tim Howard, the former death row inmate remains in prison while the state Parole Board defers a decision on his release. Howard was sentenced to death in 1999 for the murder of Brian and Shannon Day and the attempted murder of their son in Little River County, but the trial was marred by evidence of prosecutor misconduct. A retrial this spring found Howard guilty of lesser charges of second-degree murder, and the new jury sentenced him to a total of 38 years in prison. Given the time he’s already served, and the fact that he’s had a perfect record of behavior behind bars, that should make him immediately parole-eligible in Arkansas — but the parole board is dragging its feet. On Monday, it said it needed another month to gather more information about the case, even though every conceivable fact has already been brought out in court, twice.


The spoils system turns thuggish


epublicans’ smashing victories in the last two election cycles in Arkansas have had the usual results. More than governors Mike Beebe, a Democrat, and Mike Huckabee, a Republican, Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson has moved to stock state government with political supporters and soulmates. A losing Republican candidate or former party functionary needs work? Hutchinson has installed them high and low, no previous experience necessary. No big deal. Government runs most days on autopilot through its permanent staff. A new agency director can do as much or as little as she chooses, delegating operational duties to deputies and maybe just occasionally dipping into business to change the stationery or order new furniture or change a building’s architectural features. But there’s a discipline and even a

brutality to the Republican control that beats previous administrations (and Mike Huckabee was not MAX exactly known for BRANTLEY a generous spirit.) You see it particularly at the legislature. Just last week, Republican state Rep. Bob Ballinger moved to kill a $153,897 contract between the state Department of Workforce Service and the Arkansas AFL-CIO. The contract has existed for 38 years. It helps dislocated workers return to work. The contract was shortened to end in January. Then the state will decide whether the agency will do the work itself or hire an outside provider. I wouldn’t expect the eventual alternative to include the AFL-CIO. This puni-

Election won’t stop Hillary probes


illary Clinton gave such a bravura performance at the first Democratic presidential debate that many are ready to hand her the presidency more than a year before the election. Let it be said that she was smart (only a couple of forced factual errors), cheerful, personable, tough and even repentant — all qualities that a few or all of her critics from the right and the left said she did not have. Everyone knew she was a deft debater. Let it be said, too, that the debate helped both her and her party because both its tone and its message contrasted sharply with the Republican debates. The five mixed it up on issues but did not cast nasty slurs at each other or excite fears that the United States was at the mercy of ne’er-do-wells at home and foes around the planet and headed pell-mell to ruin. Listening to a Republican debate would scare the daylights out of Pollyanna.

But it remains to be seen whether hope and confidence play better than fear in a national election. ERNEST Franklin RoosDUMAS evelt and Ronald Reagan would say hope is the better card. A year into Reagan’s presidency, after he had passed mammoth tax cuts, the nation fell into the longest and deepest recession since the 1930s, running unemployment into double digits for 10 months and doubling its debt, and then in 1983 he sent 359 peacekeepers to Beirut to be killed or wounded by a truck bomb. But he told the country in 1984 that it was “morning in America” and voters happily obliged. The apostles of fear, on the other hand, have been winning elections lately. Still, whatever lift Clinton got from the debate, the dynamics of her politi-

tive action will be taken even though no one has complained about its work, not even during 12 years of Republican-led administrations. The difference now? Pure ideological vengeance. Ballinger was quoted in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: “The AFLCIO has got a very negative reputation amongst a lot of people. They have used thuggery tactics in other places. Here in Arkansas, Alan [Hughes] has done a great job. But across the country they’ve got a very bad negative reputation.” Ballinger cited no specifics of thuggery, which the dictionary says means to treat others violently or roughly. His aim is clear enough. It’s implementation of the Republican anti-labor policy in a right-to-work state where labor is already marginalized. Who’s a thug? We’d seen this ideological thuggishness at work already. Gov. Hutchinson ordered an end to Medicaid funding of Planned Parenthood, a trifling sum of $50,000 or so that provides essential medical services to poor women and a few men. Why? Unverified allegations that a distantly related Planned Parenthood affiliate in another state that par-

ticipated in a legal program to provide fetal tissue for medical research. This offends Republican values sufficiently that innocent parties in Arkansas should suffer, beginning with telling women which doctors they can and cannot see. A federal court has ruled this illegal here, as it has in other states. The world is full of bad actors — thugs, if you will. By the Ballinger standard, we should disqualify Republicans from holding public jobs in Arkansas on account of Richard Nixon, Dennis Hastert, Mark Darr, Dennis Milligan or whichever Republican miscreant you care to name. I feel a little of the pain firsthand. Arkansas Republicans are moving systematically to strip state advertising from those with differing viewpoints. That’s politics to a degree. But the ruling party is, in theory, serving everyone in the state. Is it the Republican view that public money contributed by all taxpayers should be put to use only with and for those with whom the ruling party agrees? Recent actions by Ballinger and Hutchinson provide clues about the answer.

cal career have not changed. The road inauguration found a rude note for Hillto the presidency will be no smoother ary that Clinton-hater Rush Limbaugh than it ever was. That is owing to two somehow got sneaked under a pillow in conditions that shaped her public the Lincoln Bedroom. She figured the career and, almost to an equal extent, White House was “haunted by temporal her husband’s. Those are her brooding entities.” She would find furniture in obsession with privacy and the media’s the living quarters moved around and manic obsession with everything about discover that security agents, without the Clintons. Those will continue to consulting her, had been looking for dog her until Election Day, and far bugging devices. beyond if she is elected, just as they Her privacy fixation lay behind did her husband. many of the White House’s troubles Both in Little Rock and in Wash- — Travelgate, the big national health ington, Hillary insisted on a zone of insurance bust in 1994, and, most tellprivacy for the family and she largely ingly, the epic Whitewater snipe hunt got it on her terms in Little Rock but that led to the president’s impeachment not in D.C. Privacy is one of Americans’ for womanizing. It was her refusal to most prized freedoms, but they do not give up her law firm’s flimsy billing grant it to politicians and their fami- records on work for Jim McDougal’s lies or to other public figures. Hillary thrift that led to the appointment of an Clinton never understood, or at least independent counsel and eight years of never gave in. hounding. The trifling legal work she She was the pivotal decision-maker did for private concerns back in the in Bill Clinton’s 12 years as governor 1980s was nobody else’s business, and just as I believe she was in his eight even her husband could not budge her. years in the White House but, except When the records finally surfaced years in her role as the school reformer in later, as people back in Little Rock who chief in 1983, she avoided and resented had examined them knew, there was media. She went to lengths to keep the nothing there — invoices for niggling family’s vacation spots secret, only to title work and the like. But the political get a call from a reporter. It got worse damage was huge and lasting. in Washington. There was the inevitable email Her memoir, “Living History,” dustup at the State Department. For brooded about privacy. A friend stay- convenience, she opened and paid for a ing over at the White House at the first single email account that would include CONTINUED ON PAGE 29

OCTOBER 22, 2015


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In defense of restraint


n awful lot of people think about foreign relations the way they think about football. That is, they view the United States as the beloved home team perennially competing for victories in a season that never ends. Trumpism, you could call it. To hear him talk, you’d think his followers’ personal prestige and happiness depended upon Team America being ranked No. 1. The New York blowhard is far from being alone. Lots of people are yelling, “Let’s you and him fight.” Talking to a group of Gold Star mothers recently, President Obama said, “Right now, if I was taking the advice of some of the members of Congress who holler all the time, we’d be in, like, seven wars right now. I’m not exaggerating. I’ve been counting.” Challenged, a National Security Council spokesman listed seven places where Obama has sent combat forces: Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, Afghanistan and Yemen. Anybody who’s paying attention could add Iran, Ukraine and the South China Sea. Sarah Palin wants troops sent to Lithuania and Estonia, although NATO just completed war games there. I’ve lost track of the countries John McCain and Lindsey Graham want to bomb. So no, Obama wasn’t exaggerating. “Nationalism,” Orwell wrote in 1945 “is power-hunger tempered by selfdeception.” With the smoke still rising from Europe’s ruins, he distinguished militant nationalism from patriotism, or love of kin and country. He saw it as a kind of moral and intellectual disease: “The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige,  not  for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality.” Few are immune. Even normally sensible Washington thinkers are troubled by Obama’s disinclination to kick ass. Washington Post  editorial page director Fred Hiatt concedes that “the next president will inherit an America in better shape — better positioned for world leadership — than the nation that George Bush bequeathed to Barack Obama. So why doesn’t it feel that way? Why does it feel as if we’re losing?” Brilliant New York Times’ columnist

Roger Cohen is made deeply uneasy by what he calls the president’s Doctrine of GENE Restraint. “Not LYONS since the end of the Cold War a quarter-century ago” he frets, “has Russia been as assertive or Washington as acquiescent.” He concludes that “Obama has sold America short … . Not every intervention is a slippery slope.” “Syria,” Cohen thinks, “is the American sin of omission par excellence, a diabolical complement to the American sin of commission in Iraq — two nations now on the brink of becoming ex-nations.” It’s a clever formulation, gracefully expressed. But what should Obama do? Cohen never really says. Is there any reason why Syria and Iraq should remain intact because Britain and France drew lines on a map to divide their spheres of influence 100 years ago? Should the United States send ground troops to fight there? Against whom? In support of what? There are a lot more than two sides, you know. Spend a half hour pondering the interactive maps and charts (“Untangling the Overlapping Conflicts in the Syrian War”) on the New York Times website and then tell me which should be our allies, and which our enemies. OK, the Kurds. We’re already on their side, although our other allies the Turks continue to fight their own Kurdish separatists. Does anybody believe that Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites can live together in peace? The 2003 U.S. invasion that deposed strongman Saddam Hussein broke the country apart, and the fabled “surge” so beloved of GOP pundits basically created ISIS. “Quit making us kill you, and take this money and these weapons,” Gen. David Petraeus essentially told the remnants of Saddam’s army. “We’ll soon leave you to each other.” As for Syria, University of Michigan Middle East expert Juan Cole explains that he has no dog in the fight: “I despise the al-Assad regime, which is genocidal and has engaged in mass torture. But I absolutely refuse to support any group allied with Ayman al-Zawahiri’s alCONTINUED ON PAGE 29

8 OCTOBER 22, 2015


An Arkansas EITC


alf the states now have a state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), reinforcing the benefit to the working poor provided by the federal EITC in place since the mid1970s. Despite efforts in recent years in Arkansas, a state EITC has not been created here, though a flurry of other laws have provided tax cuts benefitting higher-earning Arkansans. There are some signs that the time may be ripe for a real discussion about the creation of an Arkansas EITC. It’s a policy change that makes sense in terms of economic benefit to the working poor and to the state as a whole. The EITC is that rare bipartisan tax provision. Progressives like the EITC because of its impact in cutting poverty and in lessening inequality, citing the fact that each year approximately 6 million Americans (over half of them children) are propelled above the poverty line annually by the federal tax credit. Indeed, many contend that the real secret to dramatic poverty reduction in the United States during the Clinton administration was not the better-known 1996 welfare reform legislation, but was instead the significant expansion of the EITC included in Clinton’s 1993 deficit-reduction legislation. While some grumble (cue Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” comments) that the federal EITC means that a significant portion of Americans who receive government benefits pay no out-of-pocket taxes, many conservatives are drawn to it because of its explicit rewarding of work and family; President Reagan called the federal EITC “the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress.” State EITCs typically are set at a fixed percentage of the federal credit that takes into account workers’ income and number of dependents (it now nears $6,000 for a poor family with three or more children), making it relatively easy to administer. In almost all cases, as in the federal program, states allow taxpayers to actually receive a refund that can immediately be used to take care of their family’s pressing economic needs. Such families are not just living “paycheck to paycheck,” but instead are too often living “payday lender to payday lender.” Thus, the benefits from an EITC (federal or state) are typically plowed right back into the economy, unlike tax cuts for wealthier

individuals or for corporations. As a result, with the economy healthier and state budgets more flush, more JAY states are looking BARTH at adding EITCs. The primary legislative proponent of an Arkansas EITC, Rep. Warwick Sabin (D-Little Rock), will definitely introduce his “Working Families Opportunities Act” again. The question is whether that will be in the 2016 fiscal session or in the 2017 full session. Sabin knows he needs visible Republican support in the GOP-controlled legislature to have any chance of moving the legislation. Moreover, it is crucial that the state EITC be reframed from a benefit to the poor to a benefit to the broader Arkansas economy. Support from the business lobby becomes vital to that reframing. Corporations such as Entergy (which knows working families often have to make choices between paying an energy bill and buying food) and Walmart (from which many EITC beneficiaries purchase the necessities of life) have in recent years promoted (and hosted) free tax preparation services for the working poor to help them gain the federal EITC. The question is whether that charitable spirit will morph into lobbying support for a state EITC. The creation of an Arkansas EITC makes particular sense for two reasons. Because of the large percentage of Arkansans, especially kids, living at or near the poverty line, a state EITC here would have immediate impact on hundreds of thousands of Arkansans, much like the private option. Moreover, Arkansas’s overall tax system is graded the 11th most regressive in the nation by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The price tag on an Arkansas version of the EITC is not inconsequential — about $70 million annually in a tight budget. However, as Ernie Dumas wrote last week, there will be concern about any increase in a gas tax that must be at the heart of a new roads program for the state. A state EITC could partly balance out the impact of a gas tax both in terms of the tax increase itself as well as its regressive nature. The passage of an Arkansas EITC remains a long shot, but the pay off would be a significant one for the state.

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OCTOBER 22, 2015



Auburn awaits



Michel Leidermann Moderator

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 29 AT 10:30 PM In Spanish with English subtitles


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Primary Care | Specialty Clinics | Urgent Care Hospitals | Home Health | Rehabilitation | Surgery Centers 10 OCTOBER 22, 2015


ight weeks ago, as I became the latest utterly helpless victim of the hype train that Bret Bielema engineered all offseason, projecting the Razorbacks to plow through the opening six games with a 5-1 record and the only blemish being a loss to Tennessee, I was pretty leery of this little midseason bye week. Seemed like it could really stunt a flourishing team’s growth. Fast forward to Oct. 21, 2015, with the same renegade spirit that vaulted Marty McFly to this fated day in history, and note how stupid I look and feel. The Hogs are 2-4, and their one conference win was against … Tennessee. They’ve been a confounding mess so far, but now I take a less jaded view of the off weekend that just passed. After all manner of insanity reigned in Ann Arbor and Memphis on Saturday, I was practically relieved that Arkansas wasn’t right there in the middle of it, taking a fifth loss in some inane and inconceivable fashion. At this midway point, we’re leery of looking ahead and unwilling to glance in the rear view. Two bad out-of-conference losses in September and two blown second-half leads against highlevel league foes have the program teetering on the brink. Salvation, if it is to come, will have to arrive with immediacy, because Auburn is slowly getting its bearings (even if the Tigers are anything but the title threat they believed themselves to be). Gus Malzahn brings his flotsamand-jetsam to Fayetteville for an 11 a.m. game, and if you extrapolate any kind of relevance from kickoff times, know this: Arkansas and Auburn have done the morning thing before, many times, and the Hogs demolished the Tigers in 2001, 2002, 2006, 2009 and 2012 when the first boot came before noon. This is a sketchy Tiger team on unsteady ground. They’ve won one conference game against a middling East team, just like Arkansas did, and lost two less impressively: Mississippi State handcuffed the Tigers completely, and LSU flat-out bombed them. But Auburn did take care of business in its three nonconference tilts, or at least just enough, beating Louisville, San Jose State, and FCS member Jacksonville State by less than 10 points on average. The Tigers’ 4-2 mark is smoke, mirrors and scheduling witchcraft. Beating Auburn will simply and perhaps singularly require Arkansas to get its red-zone offense fixed. The Hogs move the ball well until the plane of the end zone becomes sharp in the field of vision,

and then it generally ends up creaky. That is literally the entire prescription this time, because the Tigers aren’t BEAU churning at anyWILCOX where near the octane level they reached two years ago, and not even last fall when the team suffered through a five-loss campaign. We mentioned the undesirable prospect of reviewing the first six weeks of play, but it’s not a fruitless or totally joyless exercise. Rather, it may well be essential to determine how this last half of the slate plays out, so we stay with an optimistic angle on the way through the latter half of the schedule. Brandon Allen has been as imperfect and frustrating as ever, and he’s simply not the vocal guy that the position seems to demand. But had I told you in midAugust that Allen’s first six games would yield a 62.4 percent completion rate, 256 passing yards per outing, 10 touchdown throws, only four interceptions, and even 108 rushing yards with only five sacks, you would have rejoiced and sworn that I hit the mark with that regrettable 5-1 projection. Instead, Allen’s numbers have even been sabotaged somewhat by injuries to his best skill players, subpar routes by his tight ends and inconsistent performance by his offensive line. He’s played well, but Hog fans are deluded into believing that his younger brother or some other alternative should be plugged into the offense right now. It’s folly. Allen’s done his job. The defensive line is starting to develop swagger, albeit belatedly, thanks to two very competent efforts in the losses to Texas A&M and Alabama. There is a semblance of a pass rush, but it hasn’t borne fruit in the way of sacks or hurries yet. Tevin Beanum, DeMarcus Hodge and Jeremiah Ledbetter are all playing well, but someone has to become an outright force against the Tigers, a game-changer who can disrupt the timing-oriented Auburn offense. Beanum is arguably the defensive MVP of the first half of the year, but averaging a quarter of a sack per game isn’t going to cause any quarterback to tremble. If the Hogs are to surge back into bowl contention, the offense must produce points, but the defense can no longer simply deny them. Last fall’s second-half rebound was triggered by a unit that created and exploited mistakes, and it will take that sort of effort again if this bunch can scramble back toward respectability in the final analysis.


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Vultures circling


lack vultures have been in the news lately, thanks to a bit of upset in Eureka Springs over the damage to a man’s roof. Since it was Eureka Springs, not only was there a complaint, there was also a counter love-offering: Another resident said she bought her home purposely near a roost because it presented “an opportunity to study” the birds. But that article was followed up by another that called black vultures “an invasive species” and quoted a man whose expertise is in fishing and boating saying that the species should be “eradicated.” The Observer had so many “huhs?” reading the article it sounded like a locomotive was coming down Markham Street. Vultures as winged kudzu? Deserving of eradication? Where The Observer is ineloquent, however, wildlife biologist Joe Neal, author of “Arkansas Birds: Their Distribution and Abundance” (UA Press), has a way with words. In the online birder listserv sponsored by the University of Arkansas, he wrote about the characterization of black vultures as invading body-snatchers and gave The Observer the OK to pass it on to the general reading public: “Lately we’ve been reading articles in the daily paper about problems with Black Vultures in Arkansas. I don’t know if we have reached Threat Level RED, but it’s headed there. This is a divine truth for folks who consistently see all wild creatures as a threat to farmers and American Civilization, generally speaking. “Last year it was the proposed listing of two bivalves that was going to end all farming in Arkansas. Then it was the attempt to control water pollution. Now Black Vultures (BVs), the black scare. “First, a few actual facts: BVs are more native to Arkansas than people. Check out Arkansas Birds (pp 131-132). They’ve been here all along. “My casual assessment is that BVs have probably increased in northern Arkansas. Since BVs have a more southerly range, increasing temperatures could

be helping them move northward. This would seem to be supported by the Audubon data, that demonstrates the center of their winter abundance in the past 40 years has shifted northward by 52 miles. “So what is the cause for this increase in temperature and range shift? Must be the BVs, right, with their Dodge Ram trucks and coal-fired power plants? “Since BVs feed heavily on deer carcasses, and such carcasses have increased, I suspect this might help explain some of the population change and shift. But from reading the papers I’d have to assume BVs are killing deer and dragging their carcasses out on the highways where it is easier for a bunch of BVs to congregate. “BVs also eat chickens — I guess they must be walking into the big chicken houses and draggin’ ’em out, too. “Another silly factoid oft repeated and wrong: BVs demonstrate some southward shift on the northern end of their breeding range in hard cold, but they otherwise do not migrate. Scare mongers do not distinguish between winter roosts and true migration. BVs do migrate, though there are almost always at least some present. “And yes, when they run out of the deer, skunks, possums, armadillos, cats, dogs, hawks, owls and all the other stuff we kill on every roadway in Arkansas — yes, in addition, BVs have been known to attack cattle, including animals said to be alive at the time. “BVs are always out in the hay fields after hay is cut. Do you suppose they are killing cattle out there? But I never see cows there. Could it be BVs are interested in the deer fawns, rabbits, snakes, foxes, etc., killed by the mowers? “BVs: the new black face of menace. Too bad they’re not red.” By the by, Arkansas has two vulture species. The turkey vulture, common all over the state, soars with its wings in a V. The black vulture is a clumsy thing, all flappy, and has pale white wing tips; turkey vultures are paler on the undersides of their wings. Up close, neither will win the Miss Arkansas pageant.

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OCTOBER 22, 2015


Arkansas Reporter



The constitutional amendment nominally described as an ethics measure has drawn our ire before. Through it, legislators have gotten a huge pay raise and looser term limits. It supposedly limited freebies, but last legislative session lawmakers had a full assortment of free meals and drinks to choose from almost daily. “Fine-tuning” of that amendment by the legislature preserved free travel and feeding by lobbyists while on those junkets. It also gave legislators a mulligan on ethics violations, allowing them to “correct” any “errors” brought to their attention. The ethics amendment also didn’t prevent a lobbyist, Mullenix and Associates, from rounding up special interest money to pay for lavish dinners honoring the legislative kingpins, House Speaker Jeremy Gillam and Senate President Pro Tem Jonathan Dismang. The ban on post-legislative lobbying has proven meaningless. Former legislators just call themselves consultants — see John Burris and Tommy Wren, to name two — and instantly start drawing pay from special interest admirers. At least, you might say, the amendment stopped corporate contributions to legislative campaigns. Not exactly. PAC contributions are still allowed. Where do PACs get their money? From corporations, of course. And there’s a new development — the lobbyist-run PAC that draws money from multiple interests, not just a special interest PAC like those long established by affinity group lobbies for realtors, bankers, lawyers and the like. The big difference now is that these PACs are being cloned and sometimes the same contributors are giving the maximum $5,000 to multiple PACs. A good example is lobbyist Bruce Hawkins, a former Democratic legislator and son of infamous former local political boss, the late Sheriff Marlin Hawkins. He was on the fringe of the multiple PAC creations that contributed to former Judge Mike Maggio’s downfall. And he’s at it again. Hawkins, who also runs a lucrative insurance business with a big state contract, has set up seven political action committees, The DBH Management Consulting PACs, numbers 1 through 7. So far, No. 1 has been most active. It took in $20,000 recently — $5,000 each from Delta Dental, the Arkansas Association of Police Chiefs, and Crown Cork and Seal (a company helped out of paying asbestos injury claims by Hawkins’ lobbying), and a total of $5,000 from two Paragould insurance companies with the same mailing address, United Home Insurance and Farm


Post-ethics Arkansas

COMING UP SHORT: Maples says she went through her savings to fund her work on the same-sex marriage case.

The heavy lift Judge in state same-sex marriage case awards attorneys $33K each. One calls that ‘a slap in the face.’ BY DAVID KOON


fter a hearing on Oct. 14 at which Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza awarded attorneys Jack Wagoner III and Cheryl Maples $33,000 each for their work on the May 14 case in which Piazza ruled the state ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, Maples sat in her car on Spring Street in the shadow of the Pulaski County Courthouse, smoked a cigarette, and wept. “I thought it was worth more than that,” she said. “So I’m disappointed. I could have done better at McDonald’s, slinging hamburgers, for less

than $15,000 a year.” She noted the award was the lowest she knew of in the nation for an attorney who fought for same-sex marriage. She called the award “a slap in the face.” Maples had asked the court for $256,060 in attorney fees and $3,243 in costs for her work, and had argued that the meritorious nature of the case entitled attorneys to have their fees multiplied by one-and-a-half to two times. A separate request by Wagoner had asked for $95,000. Attorneys for the state had objected, calling the amounts “outrageously

excessive and unreasonable.” In a brief expressing opposition, Assistant Attorney General Colin Jorgensen wrote: “This case lasted less than a year from the filing of the original complaint until a final order was entered by the Court. There was no discovery in this case. There were no disputed facts. There was no trial. The case required only pleading preparation and oral argument at two hearings. For the reasons explained in this response, the fee requests submitted by the Plaintiffs’ attorneys should be denied.” Wagoner later told the Arkansas Times that he agreed with much of Jorgensen’s filing relative to Maples’ fee request. Piazza appears to have agreed as well. He allowed for no testimony on the issue at last week’s hearing, calling the amount requested “exorbitant” before awarding both Maples and Wagoner $30,000 in fees and $3,000 in costs. Wagoner rose to tell CONTINUED ON PAGE 28

12 OCTOBER 22, 2015




Inquizator: Barrett Baber

Fayetteville’s Barrett Baber is a country singer-songwriter and contestant on the current season of NBC’s “The Voice.” A Marion native and former teacher, Baber quit his job to pursue music full time in 2014, when he won a contest hosted by the Grammys. Watch him perform on NBC at 7 p.m. Mondays and 8 p.m. Tuesdays.

You went from being a family man and high school teacher to a contestant on one of the most watched television programs in America. Did you ever see this coming? Yes and no. I never gave up hope that I would make it in the music business as a songwriter, but I definitely resigned myself to the fact that as a 35-year-old guy living in Fayetteville, that I probably wasn’t going to be a bigtime recording artist. I had accepted that my life was going to be rooted in my family, writing songs and working day jobs as a teacher or a salesman, but “The Voice” has single-handedly revived that dream and shown me that I still have some life in those dreams and now I’m watching them come true with everyone else. Before “The Voice” you were a high school teacher. Is performing on stage at all similar to teaching? My road to the classroom was a little bit different than most people’s. I went to school and got my degree in communication and public relations and worked many years in radio and television as an advertising sales rep. Three years ago I decided I wanted to do something different with my life and serve my community. I got my teaching license through the nontraditional licensure program and found myself standing in front of 30 high school students at Fayetteville High School with zero teaching experience. There is no tougher crowd than 15-, 16- and 17-yearolds. Lucky for me, I had spent 10 years plus playing my guitar all over Arkansas and had learned how to reach people with performance. Teaching is a performance in and of itself. Every day I had to find a way to make them smile, laugh and learn. It’s a tough crowd being on “The Voice” sometimes, too. There’s an audience full of people that you don’t know and four successful celebrities who are going to be nitpicky and very critical of what you’re doing because that’s their job. Your sound has been described as country-soul. That’s a great description. My upbringing in the Delta

— Marion, near West Memphis — really exposed me to soul, R&B and country. That’s what shaped my sound. Four or five years ago I realized that some of the most well-written songs were country songs. As a songwriter I decided to take what I do vocally — a soulful Southern sound — and put it on some really great country lyrics and that’s what gave birth to my sound. As I continue in the competition I’m certain that my coach, Blake Shelton, will have some input on the songs I choose and perform, but I’m going to continue to sing the way that I sing. I hope that he’ll continue to let me do my thing and rock out with this country-soul thing, but I am also confident in my ability and I trust him to point me in the right direction. How are you feeling coming off of your recent win? What was it like to have to battle your roommate [Dustin Christensen]? I feel really great. I’m excited; I’m to the next step and looking forward to the upcoming knockout round. So far it has been an incredible experience. Battling my show bro, Dustin, was difficult, to be honest. We had joked about it before we got our pairings, and as fate would have it we got paired off against each other. Once we got our song and wrapped our heads around it, we decided to go out, make some music together and do the best we possibly could to make each other sound great and both advance whether by winning the battle or being stolen by another coach. What’s your favorite part about being home in Arkansas? Walking through the grocery store, the gas station, the post office, and just the amount of people that stop me and say, “Hey, we’re proud of you, we’re glad that you’re doing great things, you’re representing the state well.” That means so much to me. This whole experience is another example of why Arkansas is the best place on earth in my mind. Not necessarily just because of anything here, but because of the people here, who support other Arkansans who are doing big things on a national level.


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INSIDER, CONT. and Home Mutual. And out the money went to 16 legislators, mostly Republicans, plus the Senate Republican Caucus and the Arkansas Republican Party. Sen. Bart Hester (R-Cave Springs), Rep. Kim Hendren (R-Gravette), Rep. Charlie Collins (R-Fayetteville), Rep. Ron Caldwell (R-Wynne) and Sen. Eddie Joe Williams (R-Cabot) all got at least $2,500. It’s legalized laundering of corporate money into legislators’ campaigns. And it was done by a single lobbyist sure to win friends and influence people with his redistribution of corporate cash. Those same two Paragould insurance companies also put $5,000 into DBH PAC 3. It has spent $2,000 so far on the campaign by Courtney Goodson for chief justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court. DBH PACs 4, 5, 6 and 7 all report $5,000 contributions each from the Conway County Legal Beverage Association, a group that works to protect the lucrative Conway County liquor business from competition from the likes of neighboring Faulkner County. Its efforts helped defeat a wet referendum in Faulkner County in 2014. So far, the money raised by Hawkins hasn’t been put to work for a candidate on the ballot next year. We’ll be looking more at these multiple PACs, particularly the wad of PACs set up by Joe Maynard and Brenda Vassaur Taylor — likely to advance the causes of tea party candidates to unseat people who voted for the private option version of Obamacare.

Maggio case postponed again Noted: Sentencing of former Judge Mike Maggio, who’s pleaded guilty to bribery, has been delayed again — until 10:30 a.m. Feb. 26 in federal Judge Brian Miller’s court. That’s more than 13 months after his initial plea in the case. The hearing was rescheduled last Thursday. It had been set for Nov. 20. The brief order makes no mention of a reason for another delay. Past speculation has been that sentencing has been delayed while prosecutors work with Maggio on information that could expand the case against others. Maggio has said he accepted campaign contributions in return for lowering a jury verdict in a nursing home negligence case. No one else has been indicted and the charge against him identified no other participants by name. But the record indicates that Fort Smith nursing home owner Michael Morton gave campaign money to Maggio with the encouragement of former Republican Sen. Gilbert Baker. Maggio reduced a $5.2 million verdict against a Morton nursing home to $1 million.

OCTOBER 22, 2015


Charter school rising eStem’s expansion at UALR could help more disadvantaged kids, but further entrench a system of winners and losers in public education.

14 OCTOBER 22, 2015





providing a quality education to many thousands of students even while many thousands of others — especially those in schools at or near the “academic distress” line established by the state Education Department — are being failed by the district. The nine-person state Board of Education voted 5-4 in January to dissolve the local school board and take over the LRSD because the district contained six academically distressed schools in 2014, out of 48 districtwide. The distress designation means fewer than 49.5 percent of students in those schools performed “proficient” or above on

the most underserved by the LRSD. The charter operator currently serves a much smaller percentage of poor and minority students than does the district, but it still contains a diverse mix: About 34 percent of eStem’s current enrollment comes from low-income homes and about 45 percent of its student body is African American, according to Education Department data for the 2013-14 school year (the latest year for which testing data is fully available). For the LRSD as a whole, 72 percent of students are low-income and 66 percent are black. Another 12 percent of LRSD students are Hispanic, compared to

the Arkansas Times. “We think that by recruiting families from that area, and [with] the ease of public transit from anywhere in the city to the [UALR] campus … we’ll be able to attract an even more diverse population than what we currently have.” Does the potential benefit that eStem might bring to those children outweigh the potential harm its expansion may inflict upon the LRSD and its students? This is the key question facing the state Board of Education, which may vote on approval of the charter’s growth plan as soon as December, less than a year after the LRSD takeover. If one focuses on eStem alone, the expansion looks impressive. Broaden the focus to include Little Rock as a whole, however, and things become more complicated.

‘Proximity matters’



he college that we now know as the University of Arkansas at Little Rock came into being in 1927 as the brainchild of Central High Principal John A. Larson — although at the time the college was named Little Rock Junior College, and Central, which had been completed that same year, was simply called Little Rock High School. College classes met in unused space at the massive new high school building with the blessing of the board of the Little Rock School District. (The school board, college and high school all were, of course, exclusively white institutions.) It wasn’t until 1949, as postwar enrollment exploded, that the fledgling college moved across town into a pair of newly constructed buildings on Hayes Street — later renamed University Avenue — one of which was named after its founder. Larson Hall, laden with asbestos, today sits vacant while a bustling, diverse campus has sprung up around it. Now, some 65 years after the LRSD birthed the university, some fear UALR may soon play a major role in the district’s unraveling, even if motivated by the best of intentions. In August, UALR and leaders of eStem Public Charter Schools announced a plan to relocate eStem’s high school from downtown Little Rock to the UALR campus. Grades 11 and 12 would be housed in a renovated Larson Hall, and a new facility for ninthand 10th-graders would be built on the corner of 28th Street and Fair Park, at UALR’s northeastern corner. eStem hopes to have both schools up and running by the 2017-18 school year. The move would eventually allow the charter operator to triple its high school enrollment, from 500 students this school year to an eventual 1,500 in 10 years. And that’s only for grades 9-12. After the high school moves out of its current downtown location at the Federal Reserve Bank Building, that space could be used for additional elementary and middle school classrooms; and, in September, eStem announced plans to further enlarge its K-8 footprint with the purchase of a new building near the Clinton Presidential Center. Its goal is to reach a total of 5,000 K-12 students by 2025, some 20 percent of the 2015 student population of the LRSD. If achieved, that would place eStem among the 20 largest school districts in Arkansas. Meanwhile, the LRSD soldiers on,

TREND-SETTER: Retiring UALR Chancellor Joel Anderson knows of no college-charter school partnership like the one proposed in Little Rock. In background, Larson Hall.

standardized testing in math and literacy over the past three-year period. The new LRSD superintendent, Baker Kurrus, was appointed by Education Commissioner Johnny Key in May to turn things around, a daunting task made even harder by an array of fiscal and political challenges. Against that woeful backdrop, increasingly aggressive competition from charters like eStem could pose an existential threat to the Little Rock School District. If the district suffers, the children it serves suffer. At the same time, eStem’s expansion into UALR has the potential to benefit some of the very children among

only 6 percent of eStem students. Over half the students at eStem come from families in which their parents did not attend college, eStem CEO John Bacon said. Bacon said that the move to UALR is driven in part by a desire to reach more kids in Southwest Little Rock, which is home to most of the city’s Latino population, as well as the predominately African-American neighborhoods near the university. “I believe that it’s important that we take schools to where families are, rather than building a school over here [in downtown] and helping them figure out how to get to it,” Bacon told

UALR Chancellor Joel Anderson began his career at the university in Larson Hall in 1971, teaching political science. When he retires this June after 13 years as chancellor, he’ll leave his successor an unprecedented partnership. “To our knowledge, there’s no other place in the country where this is happening,” he told the Times. Collegecharter partnerships, yes; installing a high school on a college campus, no. “My own reaction to charter schools through the years has been one of reservation and tentativeness. … My general impression is that there are a handful of them that are very good, and then there are a good number that are working hard but aren’t necessarily strong schools. By and large, that’s still my perception.” However, when eStem’s leaders approached UALR at the beginning of the year, several things caught Anderson’s attention. First, there was John Bacon’s stated intent to serve kids from Central and Southwest Little Rock. Second, Anderson said, the school’s emphasis on the “STEM” disciplines — science, technology, engineering and math — was attractive, because state and national leaders alike have long exhorted higher education to produce more graduates in those fields. (The extra “e” in “eStem” stands for “economics.”) Third, the chancellor sees unprecedented opportunities to create a “seamless transition from high school to college” in terms of the curricula of both institutions. “Proximity matters,” Anderson said. “The two faculties can actually get to

OCTOBER 22, 2015


16 OCTOBER 22, 2015


Bacon emphasized that the lower grades will be set well apart from the rest of campus, in their own self-contained building. “Generally, ninth- and 10th-graders will not be mixing with college students. If they are moving on the campus, it’ll most likely be as a group — a class going to the gym, or to the auditorium.” With 11th- and 12thgraders, “we’ll want to do … expectation-setting on the front end, making sure guidance counselors are talking with students.”

depend on its willingness to open itself up to the community: “They can’t be an outsider standing in the neighborhood.” He was encouraged to see eStem basketball coaches attend a recent “National Night Out” event sponsored by the neighborhood association — but was disappointed that the school’s official in charge of recruitment wasn’t there. “I think it’s wonderful,” said Phillis Poche, an employee of UALR who lives on Fillmore Street. “I think people


know each other and can jointly determine what [students are] going to do in high school.” If those seniors matriculate into UALR upon graduating, that should provide the university with students better prepared for college. “If we have close cooperation, we should see students who come to [UALR] from eStem do better in terms of retention, graduation rates [and] time to degree, and the result would be a decreased cost to the student, to their family and also to the state.” And, he added, “having a school with the freedom and flexibility of a charter school is a plus there,” because charters can seek waivers from state law and regulations, allowing more experimentation. Bacon echoed those thoughts from the K-12 perspective. “Even in our best high schools” — he listed the LRSD’s Central and Parkview as examples, and North Little Rock High — “when [students] make this transition to college, you hear over and over again about how difficult it is when they get out on their own. … We wanted to figure out, how do we prepare them for that now? … So that’s when we approached UALR and talked about how to do some programming.” It’s likely that some eStem students will actually take UALR classes. That leads to questions about costs, logistics and public safety. Will eStem pay college tuition for those students? How freely will they travel around campus? And will eStem students (who are mostly minors, after all) be allowed to mingle and socialize with their older counterparts? Anderson is confident an arrangement on tuition can be worked out, considering UALR already offers reducedcost concurrent enrollment to several high schools, including eStem and Central. Under that model, UALR allows a high school teacher with an advanced degree to teach an approved collegelevel curriculum at the high school; the student receives both high school and college credit. As for safety, he said, “we’re certainly going to need to plan far in advance and make sure the right people are trained. Our chief of police here on campus has already been training our officers for dealing with teenagers.” But, he added, UALR is used to having minors on campus, from summertime basketball camps to academic programs. “We’re already very much conversant in legal expectations and dealing with that.”

STRONG OPINIONS: State Sen. Joyce Elliott (D-Little Rock) worries about the effect an expanded eStem will have throughout the Little Rock School District.

To pay for construction and renovation at both UALR and the site near the Clinton Center, eStem plans to issue some $50 million in bonds, an unusual move for a charter school. “It’s an option that not many people have taken advantage of,” Bacon said. eStem has also received a $1.7 million grant from the Walton Family Foundation for expanding its administrative office space in the Arkansas Capital Commerce Building downtown, adding central office positions and designing and planning the new school facilities. Joe Busby is president of the University District Neighborhoods Association, a coalition of civic groups in the UALR area. He’s heard concerns about increased road traffic and the charter school’s potential impact on the LRSD, but most nearby residents seem to support the expansion. Still, Busby cautioned that “the University District neighborhoods’ support for the eStem high school … is by no means a blanket endorsement of the charter school system.” Busby said eStem’s success will

were upset that it wasn’t discussed with them before they made the announcement … but there are a number of people who were opposed to it in the beginning who are not now.” Marsha Vault, who lives on 31st Street, sent her four sons to Little Rock public schools (first Booker, then Horace Mann, then Parkview). They’ve grown up and moved away, though, and Vault now feels skeptical about the district, which she said, “has a lot of problems.” “Students everywhere need to benefit from the advantages that a school like [eStem] can bring,” she said. “The friends I have who have children or grandchildren in eStem like it. I am ecstatic about it being in our area.”

LRSD vs. eStem

But the potential benefits of the expansion tell only half the story. State Sen. Joyce Elliott (D-Little Rock) has strong opinions on educational matters — she was a teacher for 30 years — but the eStem expansion hits especially close to home, since she

lives only a few blocks from the UALR campus. “I think it’s going to be good for our neighborhood. It’s just, I think, a little bit further than just my neighborhood. My concern is the impact this is going to have on the school district, and on the city itself as a result. We can’t keep divvying up the students and the resources in our city and expect to have a good outcome for all of our children. Every time we take resources away from the traditional school district, that diminishes the capability of serving all of the students.” Since the Central High desegregation crisis in 1957, private and parochial schools have bled the LRSD of a large number of middle- and upper-class families, a trend exacerbated by white flight to suburbs and nearby cities. Today, charters are drawing away even more students from the district. With them goes not only the per-pupil funding that is a public school’s lifeblood, but also a cohort of students that (generally speaking) would have buoyed the district academically, including a significant number of kids from middleclass African-American families. While open-enrollment charter schools can’t turn students away outright, they tend to have fewer kids with special needs, including learning disabilities, and kids who grew up speaking a language besides English at home. Those children therefore concentrate in the traditional public schools. Compared to the LRSD, eStem has fewer “special education” students (11 percent of LRSD students are special-education eligible, while only 8 percent of eStem students are). There are far fewer “English language learners” at eStem — only 1 percent. LRSD is 10 percent. Moreover, critics of charters allege that they benefit from other, less-measurable advantages. Although eStem provides a monthly transit pass from Rock Region Metro, it doesn’t operate its own buses. Parents who go through the trouble of getting their children into a charter may be more motivated and engaged than average — no matter what their income level or ethnicity — leaving traditional schools drained of the sorts of highly involved parents they most need. That siphoning effect raises the dismal prospect of a diminished Little Rock School District that, in the coming years, could contain an ever-higher density of poverty and its comorbidities: teen pregnancy, post-traumatic stress disorder, extreme behavioral

Just what is a charter school? CHARTERS ARE SCHOOLS THAT ARE publicly funded but administered independently of traditional public school districts. Traditional school governance is all about geography: Voters in a district elect a local board to run the schools, and property owners pay taxes to fund the education of children living within the district. A charter school operates with a mandate from the state — that is, a charter — that allows it to receive per-pupil tax dollars to educate kids whose families want an alternative to the traditional district. A charter school is not governed by a democratically elected board. Many charters are also freed from state-level regulations under which traditional school districts operate, although they are still answerable

problems, homelessness and on and on. The more that traditional public schools struggle to deal with those problems, the more parents will seek out charters, private schools or home school, in an unhappy feedback loop. With eStem now proposing to expand its enrollment from about 1,400 to

to the Education Department for their academic and financial results. Originally, charters were conceived of as “laboratories” where innovative ideas could be tested, such as extended school years. More controversial is the theory that charters, by competing with traditional public schools for students, inject marketplace forces into a complacent education system. Charter opponents point out that charter schools generally perform no better than traditional public schools on tests, and allege that they enjoy unfair advantages over their traditional counterparts. While charters in Arkansas cannot turn away students based on grades or other academic measures or charge tuition, more subtle pressures may conspire to make it less likely that

5,000, and another ambitious expansion proposal in the works from a different charter, West Little Rock’s LISA Academy, it’s no surprise the district feels threatened. All of this is why LRSD Superintendent Baker Kurrus in August told the state Board of Education that its

certain students attend charters. For example, because most charters don’t operate buses, parents must arrange their own transportation to and from school. The politics surrounding charter schools don’t cleanly correspond to partisan lines. President Obama has pushed for more charters during his time in office, but they’re also favorites of Republicans such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who like their free-market flavor. The Walton Family Foundation in Northwest Arkansas has aggressively pushed for more charters around the country, and to a lesser extent here in Arkansas — although it has encountered resistance from traditional public school organizations in Arkansas and some community groups.

members should “do some thinking and … seek some data” before approving charter expansions in Little Rock. “These are not charter schools — they’re school districts now,” he said. “They’re big, they’re powerful, they have a lot of students and they want to grow.” He didn’t mention eStem

by name, but his meaning was clear: “What if we take the best students from Southwest Little Rock and we put them in a high school in a university setting? What is that going to do to the charge that you gave me, which is to get these schools out of academic distress? … Think about it. I’m not going to

OCTOBER 22, 2015


whine about it, and you’re going to get 100 percent from me no matter what, and our team is ready to compete, but I think the rules have to be considered.” Kurrus’ frustration was palpable. When the Board of Education took over the district in January, its stated reasoning was that the LRSD had become too dysfunctional to govern itself. When it installed Kurrus as superintendent in May, it entrusted him as the leader who could turn the district around, a staggeringly difficult task by any measure. Charter expansions make the climb all the steeper. Elliott put it like this: “The same state that took over the school district is now poised to give an OK to an enterprise that’s a threat to the school

district and the kids who’ve been left behind? I don’t think that’s a good scenario.” eStem submitted its proposal to the state’s Charter Authorizing Panel this month, and will appear before that body on Nov. 17. But because the panel’s decision can be appealed either way, final authority rests with the state Board of Education, which would likely take up the matter either in December or January. Vicki Saviers, a state Board of Education member appointed by former Gov. Mike Beebe, sat on the founding board of eStem when the charter school opened for business in 2008. Perhaps surprisingly, she expressed reservations about eStem’s expansion.

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“I honestly struggle with this. … I surely understand where Baker is coming from,” Saviers told the Times. “I so desperately want the LRSD to be the best that it can be, however we get there.” Saviers, who voted for the takeover in January, said she’s hoping to see Kurrus deliver some signs of improvement in the district, especially in Southwest Little Rock, but “the truth is that nobody’s really done it well, because it’s so hard … and the jury’s still out on whether eStem can do a better job with those kids.”

Et tu, UALR?

Might the LRSD and expanded charter networks be able to coexist, side by side? John Bacon says he believes they can. “I’m excited about the work that [Kurrus is] doing and the opportunities they’re trying to create,” he said. “We want to provide opportunities to kids, but I’m proud to see LRSD stepping up, too, because we need multiple options for kids.” Bacon worked in the LRSD for almost 14 years before moving to eStem, including as principal of Dunbar Middle School and, later, Hall High. The district might have fewer students when eStem ramps up, he acknowledged, “but the money goes with the kids, so it’s kind of the chicken and the egg. You need less teachers, less facilities.” Elliott argued that reasoning ignores the reality of running a school with declining enrollment: “If you have to hire two special education teachers, and next school year you barely have enough students [to need two teachers], you don’t get a pass on that. You still have to have two teachers.” She’s also concerned about the advantages charters face when it comes to attracting a more motivated cohort of parents. If eStem grows, Elliott said, it should “proactively recruit the kids who are having the biggest issues with learning.” Under current state law, an open-enrollment charter can’t save seats specifically for low-income or otherwise disadvantaged students (nor can it do so for any particular group). However, that law could be changed. “If you’re really serious about it and you want to serve the kids that we ought to be serving anyway … then make that request [to the legislature],” Elliott said. In the meantime, “the school could very proactively go after those kids with unmotivated parents and those kids who have real issues — that is very possible — to spend extra

READY TO GROW: John Bacon, CEO of eStem, believes will only create more opportunities for children in Little

effort in those communities.” Bacon said eStem intends to do exactly that in the neighborhoods around the university and in Southwest Little Rock: “Absolutely. … It’s just a matter of getting out into the community and letting people know what’s there.” Within about 10 days of announcing the UALR expansion plans, he said, the school had about a thousand new applicants, mostly from the neighborhoods near the school. (Bacon said the new applications pushed the number of names on eStem’s waiting list to over 6,000, a figure often cited as proof of the public’s hunger for charters. However, it should be noted that eStem only removes a name from its waiting list if a family asks to be removed; otherwise, they’re carried forward to the next school year. Bacon said eStem sends out “clean up” emails every year to ask parents if they want to be taken off the list, but acknowledged that “there are probably some on there who aren’t interested anymore and have just been carried” from year to year.) Although Bacon insists charters and traditional schools can live with one another, when asked about Kurrus’ statements to the Board of Education, he seemed to admit that an expanded eStem might well weaken the LRSD. “I understand where Baker’s coming from, because that’s the job he’s been given … but my job is not to fix the Little Rock School District. My goal is to fix public education in Little Rock and Central Arkansas, and I see it as a much bigger picture. “Is our goal to save the Little Rock

and I understand that. I am sympathetic to those concerns.” But, he continued, “if you had not had the 1995 state legislation that authorized charter schools, and if we had none today in Little Rock, I’m not at all confident that the state of affairs in the LRSD would be a bit different. … I do know that within that period of time, eStem has provided some high-quality educational opportunities to children, not B:6.875”otherwise have all of whom would gotten those.” T:6.875”

Searching for apples to apples

Yet here again, the picture is more complicated. By most measures, eStem is a good school. But, it is far less clear whether it is categorically better at educating students than is the Little Rock School District. In a comparison of 2014 standardized test results, eStem outperforms the LRSD in aggregate numbers. For all grades, 82 percent of eStem’s students


district’s high schoolers. Lately, UALR has invested in an ambitious summer bridge program, the Charles W. Donaldson Scholars Academy, aimed at helping Pulaski County high school grads who need remediation before entering college. (Anderson’s three sons, who are now grown, are all graduates of the Hall High.) Anderson said he understands the skepticism over his decision to embrace eStem. “I’ve got dear and good friends who are troubled by it,

m, believes the charter school’s expansion en in Little Rock.

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School District? Is that the only way that Little Rock can be successful? No. I think when we provide quality public school options for every family, then our community will be successful, and I think charter schools have to be part of that. We just have to have more options, because if you look at the long track record, as a community, we have not been getting the job done.” Chancellor Anderson phrased it in even starker terms. “I just despair over the fact that the Little Rock Nine have grandchildren and LRSD is still struggling. Now we’re going on 60 years ago,” he said. “You’ve got division in the community and it keeps getting played out through school politics. It’s the reason many people in the community — white, and an increasing number of African Americans — despair. They’re just disillusioned about the prospects for the public schools, though that’s where their hearts are. That’s what they want to see in place and succeeding; but, you know, they’ve got kids who are growing up, and they want to do the best they can for their kids.” Still, Anderson insisted that UALR is not turning its back on the LRSD. “Nothing could be further from the truth. eStem doesn’t have an exclusive on a partnership with the university,” he said, and cited the many ways in which UALR has contributed to the district over the years. For two decades, it’s coordinated a program with the nonprofit Children International to provide dental services, health screenings and afterschool programing for kids in the LRSD. It provides concurrent enrollment opportunities to the


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scored “proficient” or “advanced” on literacy tests compared to 65 percent for the LRSD; for math, those percentages are 77 and 60, respectively. That’s a 17-point spread in both cases. Bacon acknowledges part of that advantage is due to socioeconomics. “In some ways when you do compare different schools — even within the LRSD, but certainly charters to Little Rock as a whole — you’re comparing apples to oranges, because you’re not comparing the same demographics of kids. I break it down to performance within subgroups. … Are poor kids performing? African-American kids? Hispanic kids?” Indeed, African-American kids at eStem score proficient/advanced more often than their counterparts in the LRSD by spreads of 15 points in literacy and 11 in math. eStem has few Hispanic students, but they perform well: 26 points higher than the LRSD in literacy, 17 in math. For students classified as “economically disadvantaged,” the spreads between eStem and LRSD students are 21 points in literacy, 13 points in math. Critics of charter schools would be wrong to ignore those numbers,

or dismiss them as solely a function of motivated parents. eStem does an impressive job educating subgroups of students often left behind. The question is why. A contributing factor may be eStem’s extended school year — the school has 190 instructional days in its academic year, 12 more than the state norm of 178 days. Having a committed, experienced leader in John Bacon surely helps. But far from demonstrating the superiority of charters vs. traditional public schools, it seems more likely that eStem delivers a good education to disadvantaged students in large part because it is integrated across racial and socioeconomic lines. Most national studies have shown charters perform no better than traditional schools, on average. Among the nine open-enrollment charter schools operating within the geographic boundaries of the LRSD, some perform better than the LRSD and others perform worse. Meanwhile, research since the 1960s has consistently confirmed that when poorer kids attend school alongside children from better-off homes, their academic prospects sharply increase. The converse

is true as well: When poor children are concentrated in buildings and isolated from middle-class children, their performance usually plummets. The five middle and high schools in the LRSD labeled “academically distressed” have low-income populations ranging from 81 to 94 percent and are overwhelmingly black and Latino. Rather than comparing subgroups from the LRSD as a whole to eStem, then, it may be more telling to compare eStem’s high school to LRSD high schools with a healthy demographic mix, such as Central and Parkview. Both of these LRSD high schools have a significantly higher percentage of students who are low-income (46 percent at Central and 50 percent at Parkview, compared to 30 percent at eStem High) and African American (56 percent and 55 percent, respectively, against eStem High’s 46 percent). Yet they have comparable performance when it comes to the percentage of students scoring proficient or advanced on the benchmark measures reported by the state for high school in 2014, both for students in general and for disadvantaged subgroups of kids (see chart, next page).

LRSD Low-income: 72 Not Low-income: 28

eStem System Low-income: 32 Not Low-income: 68

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eStem outperforms the LRSD as a whole…

…but eStem High is on par with Central and Parkview.

As of this story’s publication, 2014-15 testing results by school and district have not yet been released by the Arkansas Department of Education, so all data is for the 2013-14 school year. Academic proficiency data is available online at Income data was provided courtesy of ADE. “Low-income” or “economically disadvantaged” here means “eligible for free or reduced lunch,” meaning a household that earns less than 185 percent of the federal poverty line. In 2013-14, 185 percent of the poverty line was $43,568 for a family of four.

Disturbingly, though, research also suggests that charters in general tend to increase de facto segregation by income and race. A Duke University study of North Carolina schools published earlier this year compared the changing racial makeups of charters and traditional public schools in that state from 1998 to 2014, including the percentage of students who attend highly segregated campuses (defined as schools that are either more than four-fifths white or less than one-fifth white). About 30 percent of traditional public school students in North Carolina attend highly segregated schools. The number is over 60 percent for charters in North Carolina. And the Duke researchers found the state’s charter population, in general, has become much whiter over the past 16 years. Because considerations of race and class still play an undeniably important role in consumer choice, the parent-as-consumer model that underpins charters would seem to abet the decades-old drift of white, affluent families from the traditional public schools. eStem is a diverse school, but many other charters in Pulaski County are not. Quest Middle School, the new charter that opened last year in West 22 OCTOBER 22, 2015


Little Rock with financial backing from the Walton Family Foundation, is 63 percent white and only 14 percent low-income, and charter advocates are eager to build more schools in predominantly white West Little Rock. A number of charters in Little Rock are virtually all minority, including Covenant Keepers in Southwest Little Rock (58 percent black, 40 percent Hispanic, 2 percent white, 91 percent low-income) and Little Rock Preparatory Academy (93 percent black, 5 percent Hispanic, 1 percent white, 100 percent low-income). As the city’s charter schools mature, most will probably not look like eStem — but eStem’s expansion, by weakening the LRSD, creates fertile ground for charter growth in general. The Duke University study also found evidence for the “tipping point” theory of racial balance in schools, which can be bluntly summarized like this: While most white parents are fine with a school containing a distinct minority of students of color, once the student population crosses a certain percentage threshold, they begin leaving. This is a tightrope that eStem itself will have to walk in the years ahead. If it attracts more and more kids from

Southwest Little Rock and the central part of the city, will its current racial equilibrium be disrupted? “I don’t think so,” Bacon said. “I think that one of the things that we’ve done over these eight years is to establish school environments where people see diversity. … I think the people who are still in the public schools in Little Rock completely embrace and understand that’s an advantage to their kids, that they’re going to learn how to function in a diverse society.” That may be so — indeed, the loss of such parents is exactly what Kurrus and supporters of the LRSD fear — but what about the people who aren’t in the public schools in Little Rock? The core of the problem is that so many white families have left already, either for private schools or for other cities. Bacon is hopeful that increasing numbers of private school parents will consider eStem, too. Elliott said that she’s particularly bothered by the fact that those who brand the Little Rock School District an unmitigated failure — which includes much of the city’s predominately white business community — are often the same people who left it behind. “I am in no way suggesting that

what’s happening in the Little Rock School District is OK … but the very reason it is not OK is that people have pulled apart. … And now that you’ve created a district that’s struggling, we’re going to point the finger back at the district and say we need to pick off this piece and this piece? “I have nothing negative to say about parents who make the choices they make for their kid [to go to charter schools], but I have every reason to question these folks who had choices to remain with this school district and helped created this situation. You’re moving away from the city. You’re taking your kids out of the district. You’re talking the school district down. You’re not even wanting to raise taxes when we need to. … I think that is irresponsible, and I see that irresponsibility happening all across the country. “The whole point is that we can’t keep pretending that … institutions like school districts work well when your only concern is your self-interest. This district fell apart because we stopped working together. It will get back together the way it should be and be a great school district for everybody when we start working together.”

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or everything she has created — a successful business, educated young minds, a family — Theresa Allred is even better at breaking things. During her career she broke barriers, shattered stereotypes and tore down the narrow confines of what the times said was her place in life. “Pablo Picasso stated,‘Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.’ My life is reflected in working my business,” she said. “My business setting allowed me to express what I learned about people during my time in the classroom. People want to be valued and presented information that will improve their lives. People are inspired in the classroom as well as a retail store, it’s the perfect venue to make a difference in the community.” Allred credits two early influences for setting an example of independence and passion that’s become her trademark. Her father, Guy Fitzhugh, owned a retail business, and in taking his wideeyed daughter along to the Dallas market, opened up another world to her. “That was a very inspiring moment in me,” she said. “It left a mark on me even years later in how I talked in the classroom as a teacher. I always wanted people to feel inspired. What I picked up when I was 12 years old in Dallas was that you can arrange and present things in such a way that people feel good, regardless of what they’re dealing with.” Allred learned how to put that passion to work thanks to another mentor, Betty Higman, her high school home economics teacher and, later, a retail entrepreneur in her own right. “Betty was very vivacious in the classroom, always lots of projects, nothing was ever the same. You looked forward to going to Betty’s class,” Allred said. “When she got out of teaching, she operated a store and it was something new all the time. She brought in clothes from Nieman Marcus for all of us who were in college to go out and pick out a formal. I can still remember 24

OCTOBER 22, 2015

24 OCTOBER 22, 2015



how awesome and how special it made me feel that she brought in these things for us to choose.” Allred taught or served as a school counselor in Little Rock, Cabot, Conway and in Arizona before stepping down in 2004, just as Allred Enterprises was gaining steam dealing in antiques and vintage merchandise. Ten years later, her store The Southern Fox settled into the historic Argenta neighborhood in North Little Rock. The artsy, creative vibe along the city’s old Main Street suits her one-ofa-kind store to a tee. Along the way, she has held positions of leadership in the Cabot Junior Auxiliary and Classroom Teachers Association; Conway Progressive Club; and both the Mayflower and North Little Rock chambers of commerce. She’s even kept her hand in teaching, serving as an adjunct professor at Pulaski Technical College. “I’m not as old as my biological age; I’m actually younger than my children, emotionally and mentally,” she said with a laugh. “I think shopping and playing and having fun and looking for ways to improve what you have are the ways that you can stay young and involved with life.”




he idea for Tulips in Little Rock came to Emily Brown while she was out of town. Brown was a special education teacher in the Highland Park Independent School District in Dallas, but she moved to Little Rock in 2002 when she and her husband married. “I saw a market for a women’s contemporary business in Little Rock. I had a lightbulb moment while I was traveling in New Orleans,” she said of her epiphany. “I just knew Tulips would be a neighborhood hit on Kavanaugh Boulevard. We will celebrate Tulips’ 13th birthday this fall.” The store’s interior is decorated in a lot of girly pink tones, but the racks hold clothes in all of the trendiest styles and colors. “Over the years, I have sold hundreds and hundreds of brands,” said Brown, who has a graduate degree in special education from the University of Arkansas. “My tried and true that have been with me since day one are Free People, Seven For All Mankind, Citizens of Humanity, Ella Moss, Splendid and Beje jewelry. These brands are extremely popular due to a consistent good fit and they are always ahead of the current fashion trends.” During the five years she taught, she worked at Harold’s in Highland Park Village on weekends to supplement her teaching salary. “Harold Powell was legendary in the retail world back in the ’80s-90s,” she said. She learned from the experience. “Tulips is successful due to our exceptional customer service, friendly staff and pretty clothes,”she said.“It’s also successful because it’s neighborhood-driven. A majority of our business is from the local families supporting their neighborhood stores, eating local and shopping local — just living local. Without them we could not survive.” Tulips does not sell clothing online, choosing instead to offer a focus on personal attention, but sites such as Facebook and Instagram have been amazing tools. “We usually sell out of every item we

post on Instagram or Facebook in a quick time frame. Social media has changed my world,” she said. “Thirteen years ago, I would come to work, open the doors and lock up at 5. Today in my retail industry, all of us store owners are managing our social media accounts 24 hours a day from our iPhones. It’s not just me monitoring it, it’s our entire staff.” Brown fields frequent questions from young women who want to follow in her fashionable entrepreneurial footprints. “I believe you have to start very small and have low overhead,”she said. “You also must find your niche and focus on your business. If you are worried about what someone else is doing in their store, you are not doing a good job in your own store. You must also be extremely creative and stay on budget. Retail is often mistaken as a glamorous position, but that is very misleading.” Finally, she advises, don’t try to go it alone. “The most rewarding part of my job is having my mom by my side working countless hours so that I can run to golf games and cheerleading for my son and daughter,” she said. “She keeps the fort up so that I can always be a mom first.”

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amie Darling has called the Delta home her whole life, and she has made it her mission to bring nice things to the people who live there with her. “I grew up in a time when we had many nice stores in Newport and many people still did much of their shopping at home where quality goods were available locally. You didn’t have to go somewhere out of necessity. [It was] a big treat to go to Little Rock or Memphis or Dallas to shop for something really special,”said Darling, who has watched countless clothing stores and other small businesses in her area close over time. “We like the idea of keeping something good here at home.” Her family has an independent pharmacy that for years sold gifts and jewelry and then added some off-the-rack clothing. About 10 years ago, the pharmacy had become a bit crowded, and Darling decided to champion an expansion. Her “baby” — Darling’s Fine Things — fills a 2,000-square-foot space adjacent to the pharmacy. Darling’s stocks special items from lines she and her customers love, such as Love Tokens Jewelry, one of her favorites, which offers “jewelry made from antique pieces that are fabulous, like old turquoise, pearls, old prayer beads and vintage coins.” There is also North Little Rock-based G. Spinelli Jewelry. “They have a mix of old and new,” Darling said. “They take classic pieces and give them a modern twist while keeping the look timeless and adding stones and gems and other unexpected treasures.” And Y’allsome is exclusively found in Arkansas at Darling’s. “We try to focus on lines made in the U.S.A. and particularly made in the South,” she said. “Y’allsome is shopping with a purpose by contributing a portion of their sales to helping foster children in the South transition out of the system and into independent adulthood.” Her offerings bring people to the store from all over eastern Arkansas and beyond, not to mention the many online shoppers from around the country on social media.

WOMEN Entrepreneurs



“We are destination shopping,” she said. “The Internet changed that for us, too, because that’s allowed us to reach another audience altogether. We have a lot of great customers we’ve built relationships with through the years who have shopped with us but have never set foot in the store because of convenience of social media and technology that has helped changed that in a positive way.” She bought a vintage Airstream trailer, dubbed“The Delta Darling”last year, in which she travels to various festivals and events across the state to sell her merchandise. Darling feels like it took people in her community a while to take her seriously when she started helping with the family business after deciding law school wasn’t her calling back in 1997. Back then, she thought of hometown Newport as a temporary stop while she figured out where she wanted to go next. She has since married — her husband, Scott Shumate, is a farmer — and settled down, even investing in a 50 percent partnership to run the McCrory Flower Shop and Marketplace in nearby McCrory. She took her father’s advice and found mentors in women who were running similar businesses elsewhere, and worked hard to get where she is today. “You learn that sometimes it’s still a man’s world and sometimes you have to be like a duck, smooth on top and paddle like the dickens underneath,” Darling said. “You pour all of your heart and soul into something, work like a dog, and then people start taking you seriously. There’s no doubt now that women are changing the rules of the retail game.”

hether through race sponsorship, special events, weekly training that builds community as well as endurance, or just supporting others with the Go! Go! Girls race day cheering squad, Erin Taylor has gently led legions off the couch and outside their comfort zones to discover the joys of running. Taylor,wholaunchedGo!Running with her husband, Gary, in 2010, is a mother of four, president of her own firm Taylor’d Marketing, a former collegiate runner and one of the most inspiring boosters that running and runners ever had. “We’re trying to create a strong sense of community where people can get together and, whether it be running or walking, support each other towards living a healthy, happy, long life. That’s been our mission from the very first day we opened the store,” she said. “Gary and I have been given this great gift in our lives where we have a talent for running and it’s exposed us to some incredible people, experiences, travel and a wealth of health and understanding. It was fun and it gave us a sense of accomplishment. We want to pass that along to others.” Every Thursday evening, up to 50 runner and walkers of all shapes, sizes and speed show up at Go! Running’s parking lot for weekly training as much for the fellowship as the exercise. Many more turn out for the store’s events, including the Turkey Trot at Thanksgiving, which has collected thousands of pounds of donated food — the race’s entry fee — for the Arkansas Food Bank. “We really try to be a community partner, not just through lip service, but we truly try to be a part of things whether we’re on the organizing committee or we’re out on the starting line,” she said. Of all the events the store gets behind — including sponsoring the pace runners at the Little Rock Marathon and more than 40 local races annually — none are

as indicative of Taylor’s mission as the Go! Mile, held every Father’s Day weekend. The event features divisions for men and women and children, novice to elite. “Go! Mile is a way for us to celebrate a historic running distance,”she said.“People look at the mile and they’ll always say,‘Well, how fast can you run one mile?’ It’s just an iconic race. But it’s also a great chance for people to get out there and give it a go who are uncertain about racing at a 5K distance.” Contesting the iconic one-mile distance, the race is often the culmination (or start) of much longer journeys. “We love the First Mile heat because it features newbie runners who aren’t afraid to put their toe on the line for a mile, like my 83-year-old father,” Taylor said. “We have had many people who have gone from running their very first mile in that race to run 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons and marathons. “It’s absolutely exhilarating to have the opportunity to be a part of that race environment and see what an accomplishment that is for people. We can walk away from that day knowing we made a memorable difference. I can sleep well to that accomplishment.”


OCTOBER 22, 2015


OCTOBER 22, 2015


WOMEN Entrepreneurs

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t took sisters Mona Thompson and Talena Ray 15 years to become an overnight success. Or so joked the North Little Rock natives and founders of Providence Design, their Little Rock antique store turned interior design firm. “It took a little longer than we thought,” Thompson said. “But then we started blogging and getting really heavy into social marketing, and one thing led to another. All of a sudden it seemed like it happened overnight, which obviously it didn’t.” Their journey started in 2000 with a foray into the fine antiques business, which they operated out of various antique malls in Little Rock and Memphis. Before long, they were regularly lending interior design advice to friends and family, and decided to focus on that full time. Business was steady but unremarkable until about seven years ago when the sisters began deciphering social media to better communicate and keep up with customers, such as through their blog, website and Facebook. “Little Rock has always been a little behind the national trends and still is. But, that gap is narrowing because of the influence of social networking,”Thompson said. “In fact, I blogged once that if your interior designer or decorator is not blogging or is not engaged in what’s going on, then you need to get another one.” They generated such a following that when they opened their own Little Rock storefront two years ago, blog readers from several surrounding states showed up to visit the shop. The exposure also helped land high-profile projects, including staging and decorating the Southern Living Idea House in west Little Rock in April. “We are constantly searching for new ideas and trying to keep up with what’s happening in the marketplace,” Ray said. “Our clients are doing that, you know. More and more of them are on all of these 26

OCTOBER 22, 2015

26 OCTOBER 22, 2015



different venues as well. They’re a little bit more sophisticated in terms of what they want, they just don’t necessarily know how to get it.” Years later and with scores of satisfied — not to mention high-end — clients, the twosome are still at it, adding beautiful photographs to their online gallery and blogging about whatever suits them. Write-ups in local and national magazines — including a cover story in Country French, a piece in Tuscan Style and mention in Southern Living — have added to their reputation. “Finally, luckily, prayerfully we’ve gotten to that point that people are calling us all the time with business,” Thompson said. “We also do a lot of repeats and that’s where you want to be, that’s when you know you’re doing a good job.” Their new goal is to pass along their love of the industry to the next generation. The sisters have hosted several interns through the years and are looking to train more. “When you have a small business like we do, you wear a lot of hats. It’s really kind of fun to be able to expose them to different things because there’s so many different ways you can go in this business,” Ray said. “We love to be that mentor, to help somebody along the way.”





ike a lot of people whose parents who owned a small business, Lawrie Rash helped out as a teen in her folks’ Memphis retail store, Ken Rash’s Casual Furniture. The experience would serve as a launching pad for her own business in Little Rock. “Mine was definitely a choice to go into retail,” she said. “I have a degree in design and worked in the interior design field when I lived in Florida. But I chose to go into retail and I do love it. I enjoy helping customers find what they need. I also like being in the small business sector vs. the corporate world; it’s a lot more personal.” She launched Ken Rash’s Casual Furniture in Little Rock in 1992 and was committed to providing the same business ethics and quality merchandise as the original. The strategy has held up: Even as big box and online retail competition has intensified, her store has stood the test of time. “We feel very confident in our merchandise because of the quality. We provide the client with product knowledge so they can make an educated decision,”she said. “Most importantly I think the reason we’re still here is customer service. “We assist the customer with their selection and finding what best suits their needs, deliver it and set it up on their patio. It’s not just getting online and hitting a number and having it come in wrong and then having to deal with someone in cyberspace to get it taken care of.” Rash describes herself as “a little bit cautious as far as technology goes,” but added that the company’s paper recordkeeping system lends to its ability to better serve multiple generations of customers. “It’s funny the way people think; they want to match a chair that they bought in the ’90s today and expect the fabric to still be available,” she said. “By knowing what they have, usually we can help them find

something that coordinates with it. I can go back to a file and find out what someone ordered in 1996.” Operating a store that bears her late father’s name meant years of customers asking for the owner and having to be convinced who she was. While Rash now enjoys a level of recognition among her regular customers, she said people still expect to see a man at the helm. “I had to become a strong independent woman out of necessity but have instilled

that in my daughters to be that way as well,” said the mother of two. “They truly are my priority and joy in life.” In addition to running her retail business, Rash has also stayed involved in the wider community. A member of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, she regularly donates and lends merchandise to local and national charities’ special events. She’s also contributed to local charities in another unique way: An accomplished ballroom dancer, she’s performed for a variety of events supporting Wildwood Park for the Performing Arts and Dreamland Ballroom, among others.

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MARY Adkins





ary Adkins shopped consignment stores for 14 years before she opened her own. “I would always shop at them for my children locally and when we traveled,” said Adkins, owner of Caroline’s Consignment in the Heights. “I would always ask questions to store owners on how it all worked. In September of 2005 I just woke up in the middle of the night and got on the computer and typed in how to open a consignment store. I bought a 25-page manual for $29.95. It came in the mail, and I still go back and look at it sometimes after 10 years in the business.” She sent about 400 letters to everyone she knew, letting them know of her plans, and for several months she picked up clothing, took it home and washed it and had her mother help her iron it. “I bought a couple of racks and put them in my guest bedroom,” she said. “A month later, I bought my software, it cost $600. I started to input my inventory into the computer. On January 17, 2006, I opened Caroline’s at 5915 H Street with about 800 square feet. I opened it on my daughter’s 12th birthday for whom the store is named after, Caroline.” She’s made many new friends in her business, dealing mostly with mothers and their babies. “I have literally watched the children grow up,” she said. “Several have even outgrown me, but that’s what’s so great about having a children’s store. There are always going to be new customers.” Adkins’ own daughter has outgrown the items sold in her namesake store. She works in the store, though, often bringing her son, 8-month-old Easton. Adkins has had about 3,000 consignors through her business, with whom she splits commissions 50/50. She holds items for 60 days, after which they are replaced with fresh inventory; consignors can pick up their unsold items or request that they


be donated. She’s closed on Sunday and Monday and open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. “Tuesday and Wednesday are very big drop-off days — I average six to eight drop-offs daily,” she said. Consignors may drop off up to 40 cleaned and folded items at a time. “Sales remain steady throughout the week,” she added. “My busiest months are when we transition to a new season. My business has grown steadily every year.” She tells others who want to open stores to start small and go against the stereotypes. “Start with low rent and build up. Consignment stores have a stigma of being dirty and smelling bad. My biggest goal when I started this business was to have very clean, high-end clothing,” she said. “I don’t like to dig at stores, and I don’t want my customers to, either. My daughter and I put out over 150 items daily. I also tell people I have wonderful software and keep plenty of post-it notes. Organization is also the key to a successful business. And, last but not least, I never forget a face and name. I always try to call each of my customers/consignors by name when they walk through the door.”

WOMEN Entrepreneurs


hen Emese Boone was a little girl, she loved to pretend she had a store. Now that she’s all grown up, she really does. Her store, Box Turtle in Little Rock’s Hillcrest neighborhood, is an artist-driven, eclectic haven where you can find artisan jewelry,homedécoritems,clothing, quirky gifts, toys, scrumptiously scented candles and more. “When I got a little older, I was inspired by a deli/food shop in Market Place and Central Grocery in New Orleans,” Boone said. “My original ideas were to open an ethnic gourmet food store. I did a lot of research and was working towards that goal. As things progressed, my love for artisan wares and global products grew and my thoughts shifted to opening a boutique carrying these items. For years I put my ideas on hold, but when this old house came available my husband and I went for it!” Boone loves the thrill of finding just the right wares to sell in her store. “There are so many great artists and designers out there, I sometimes have a hard time narrowing it down because I want to support all of them and bring them to our customers,” she said. “Local artists have been a huge opportunity that has helped us. Our customers love to find new things by local designers and artists and we love supporting them.” As a business owner, Boone has weathered recessions and battled a shift toward online shopping. Customers can shop online at, but that avenue is no substitute for what she can offer those who come in. “Our store is special because you can feel the warm and fun atmosphere when you walk in the door,” she said. “From the items we sell, to the people who work here, there is something so special when you hold something that has been made by someone else, which is many of our

products, and then you find something else that is so fun and silly you can’t quit laughing. I think this keeps our customers coming back, along with our staff who truly care about them and want to make sure they are happy. “I love being here. I’m surrounded by

things that put a smile on my face. Even when the store is upside down and things aren’t looking great, I get energized to try to make it better.” The First Thursday Shop & Sip and HarvestFest events held regularly in Hillcrest bring new people to the area — and to Box Turtle, too. Boone’s feminine side is a big benefit in her business. “It’s definitely helpful since many of our customers are female or the customer is buying for a female. It keeps me in touch with what they are interested in,” she said. As for other little girls who dream of someday owning their own stores, Boone says, “Go for it! Be sure to listen to what your customers, clients and peers tell you and adjust, but stay true to your vision. If you truly have a passion for what you are interested in and you put the time into it, you will succeed. Don’t give up; it may take longer than you think.”


OCTOBER 22, 2015


OCTOBER 22, 2015



the court that he accepted, saying he didn’t get into the case for the money. Maples, who had been brought into court in a wheelchair, as she was during many of her appearances in the case, did not speak. Struggling at times to regain her composure after the hearing, Maples said she wasn’t sure she had heard Piazza right until another attorney repeated the award amount he’d ordered. While the ruling can be appealed, Maples said, such an appeal would be difficult and

unlikely to prevail. And it would cost even more of her time. “I went through our savings,” Maples said. “My husband is retired, and we lived off of our savings.” Maples said taking up the case was a risk, but she felt that following the Supreme Court’s June 2013 Windsor decision striking down sections of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, her clients would surely prevail in a challenge of the Arkansas ban on same-sex marriage. She represented over 40 clients, and said there were

many hours for which she didn’t bill. She said that an attorney can make $30,000 “in a nasty divorce case in six months or less.” “A lot of people benefited,” Maples said. “But it really ended up costing me a lot.” In a statement emailed to the Times later that day, Wagoner said, “I’m grateful that I got paid for some of the work, pleased as I can be to have donated the time I did not get paid for, and grateful and privileged to have had the opportunity to play



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Join us at LOST FORTY BREWING in your ʻDay of the Deadʼ inpsired costumes for short ride, tacos and beer, cash prizes for costumes, a bike giveaway from Chainwheel and a trike toss. Proceeds benefit Recycle Bikes for Kids. RIDE INFO:

28 OCTOBER 22, 2015


a role in the advancement of human rights.” Friends of Maples have set up a fundraising drive on the crowdfunding site for Maples. At press time, just under $3,500 had been collected toward a goal of $10,000. Asked whether she thought the amount awarded in the case might have a chilling effect on the willingness of lawyers to take up civil rights cases, and LGBT rights cases in particular, ACLU of Arkansas staff attorney Holly Dickson avoided commenting directly on the amount awarded to Wagoner and Maples, but did say civil rights law rarely results in large awards for attorneys. “I don’t know of any lawyers who have gotten wealthy from taking civil rights work, to put it mildly,” she said. “Break-even is often best-case scenario in these cases. They are just such a heavy lift in terms of time and expense. It’s very difficult to receive a fair fee and cost award on them. They’re beasts.” Dickson said 70 percent of civil rights and employment discrimination cases are dismissed at the summary judgment stage. She called civil rights litigation “a very tricky area of the law” that can often be labor intensive for an attorney. For example, Dickson said that in cases of alleged abuse by police, the shield of qualified immunity afforded to law enforcement allows officers, even before the first court date, to appeal a ruling that they stand trial. In prisoner rights cases, Dickson said, what she called “the so-called federal Prison Litigation Reform Act” of 1996 limits fee recovery to 150 percent of what the inmate recovers in the case. Inmates are sometimes awarded as little as a dollar, even when they prevail in court, which means the inmate’s attorney wouldn’t even make enough to buy a fountain drink on the way home from the courthouse. Hourly rates aren’t as high in civil rights law, Dickson said, even though the cases are complex. “A lot of times, the victims of a rights violation are not in the position to pay fees or costs,” Dickson said. “A lot of times you see the lawyers take those costs on. They’ve got to keep the doors open and the office going while they’re investing time and money into the case.”


her everyday personal business with family and friends. Although no one will turn up any harm done to the country, it was a stupid blunder, driven again by her privacy complex. The FBI will turn up email exchanges involving matters that the government would stamp as secret, even though the knowledge was harmless and even though there will be no evidence that any enemy got hold of it. Maybe the agents will leak a juicy scrap sent to her wayfaring and perhaps wayward hubby. And it will go on and on, just as everything the Clintons have ever done will continue to be pawed through for evidence of personal or political aggrandizement. Reporters every day are digging through state records and archives looking for long-ignored tidbits or new insights into all the arcane Arkansas events that made headlines from 1992 until 2001. That would be especially the New York Times and the Washington Post, once known as the establishment liberal media. The two papers still drive both print and electronic media coverage of the Clintons and have since 1992, when the Times printed the first and sometimes erroneous stories about trifling

Clinton financial dealings in the 1970s and ’80s — the little Whitewater land development in Marion County, Hillary Rodham’s short-lived trading in cattle futures when she arrived at Fayetteville to teach law, her law firm’s work for an ill-starred little thrift, Madison Guaranty, and all the rest. For more than two years, the Times has assigned a reporter full time to track the Clintons — their foundation’s fundraising and global philanthropic work, and their ancient associations, all picked up by other media. Other Times reporters have raced with the Post and other papers to develop new angles, often erroneous, on the emails or Benghazi. Its columnists, both liberal and conservative, snark about the Clintons’ too-smart explanations and even her self-control, which enraged the liberal Frank Bruni. The Times’ public editor, who investigates complaints about the paper, concluded a couple of times that it was all a little too much and strange, but quoted the editors as justifying all the scrutiny because the Clintons were important and, well, fascinating people and, besides, they bring it on themselves. A good debate won’t change that.


Qaeda or which envisions Syria as a hardline Salafi emirate where Christians, Alawites, Druze and Kurds (altogether maybe 40 percent of the population) as well as secular Sunni Arabs (another 45 percent) are second class citizens … . For the fundamentalists to conquer Alawite Latakia or the Druze regions would result in an enormous tragedy.” “Fundamentalists” includes just about all the “moderate rebels” the Russians are bombing. Putin argues that even the Assad government beats no government, and represents the only

hope of avoiding genocide. Is he wrong just because he’s Russian and a cynic? Yes, President Obama’s 2011 “red line” was a bad mistake. So were Secretary Clinton’s toothless pronouncements that Assad had to go. But that was then. This is now. Fareed Zakaria gets it right: “If Russia and Iran win, somehow, against the odds, they get Syria — which is a cauldron, not a prize.” And if the U.S. fights and wins? Same deal.


Wayne & Lynda Hear the train a comin’ it’s rolling round the bend; wait! It’s Southern Fox, so glad she is here again. **I’ve not seen the sunshine since I don’t know when, I’m stuck in Southern Fox just building again

** When I was just a baby, our

Coco said to me, always be good and always shop with me


1. Publication Title: Arkansas Times. 2. Publication Number: 454-190. 3. Filing Date: 10-1-2015. 4. Issue Frequency: Weekly. 5. Number of Issues Published Annually: 52. 6. Annual Subcription Price: $42.00. 7. Complete Mailing Address of Known Office of Publication: 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, Pulaski County, AR 72201. Contact Robert Curfman (501) 416-0749. 8. Complete Mailing Address of Headquarters or General Business Office of Publisher (not printer): See Line 7. 9. Publisher: Alan Leveritt, 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201. Editor: Lindsey Millar, 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201. Managing Editor: Leslie Newell Peacock. 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201. 10. Owner: Arkansas Times Limited Partnership, 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201. 11. Known Beholders, Mortgagees, and Other Securities: None. 12a. Tax Status Has Not Changed During Preceding 12 Months. 13. Publication Title: Arkansas Times Newspaper. 14. Issue Date for Circulation Data: 9/2/15. 15. Extent and Nature of Circulation: Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months; No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date. 15a, Total Number of Copies (Net press run): 25,000; 25,000. 15b. Legitimate Paid and/or Requested Distribution (By Mail and Outside the Mail): (1) Outside County/Requested Mail Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541 (Include direct written request from recipient, telemarketing and internet requests from recipient, paid subscriptions including nominal rate subscriptions, employer requests, advertiser’s proof copies, and exchange copies): 637; 605. (2) In-County Paid/Requested Mail Subscriptions stated on PS Form 3541 (Include direct written request from recipient, telemarketing and internet requests from recipient, paid subscriptions including nominal rate subscriptions, employer requests, advertiser’s proof copies, and exchange copies): 178; 167. (3) Sales Through Dealers and Carriers Street Vendors, Counter Sales, and Other Paid or Requested Distribution Outside USPS®; 13,290; 12,977. (4) Counter Sales, and Other Paid or Requested Distribution Outside USPS (e.g. First-Class Mail®): 0;0. 15c. Total Paid and/or Requested Circulation: (Sum of 15b (1), (2), (3), and (4)): 14,105; 13,749. 15d. Nonrequested Distribution (By Mail and outside the Mail): (1) Outside County Nonrequested Copies Stated on PS Form 3541 (Include Sample copies, Requests Over 3 years old, Requests Induced by a Premium, Bulk Sales and Requests including Association Requests, Names obtained from Business Directories, Lists, and other sources): 0;0. (2) In-County Nonrequested Copies Stated on PS Form 3541(Include Sample copies, Requests Over 3 years old, Requests, Names obtained from Business Directories, Lists, and other sources): 0;0. (3) Nonrequested Copies Distributed Through the USPS by Other Classes of Mail (e.g. First-Class Mail, Nonrequestor Copies mailed in excess of 10% Limit mailed at Standard Mail® or Package Service Rates): 0;0. (4) Nonrequested Copies Distributed Outside the Mail (Include Pickup Stands, Trade Shows, Showrooms and Other Sources): 7,824; 7,980. 15e. Total Nonrequested Distribution (Sum of 15d (1), (2), 3 and (4)): 7,824; 7,980. 15f. Total Distribution (Sum of 15c and e): 21,929; 21,729. 15g. Copies not Distributed: 3,071; 3,271. 15h. Total (Sum of 15f and g): 25,000; 25,000. 15i. Percent Paid and/or Requested Circulation (15c divided by f times 100): 64.32%; 63.27%. 16. 0;0. 17. Publication of Statement of Ownership for a Requester Publication is required and will be printed in the 10/21/15 issue of publication. 18. Signature and Title of Editor, Publisher, Business Manager, or Owner: Alan Leveritt, Publisher. Date: 10/1/15. I certify that all information furnished on this form is true and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleading information on this form or who omits material or information requested on the form may be subject to criminal sanctions (including fines and imprisonment) and/or civil sanctions (including civil penalties).

Roger Allred

**Allison, Melody, Gordon &

Blake in the dining car, I bet folks are eating non-GMO while sippin’ coffee and I know it can’t be free, but shopping at Southern Fox is what tickles me Suzie Yielding on parole after serving at LR HolidayHouse & Conway Dazzle Days; but, the Southern Fox whistle blows my blues away. 2002 to 2025 serving time shopping at the Southern Fox and that’s where I want to be Recently released and I hear the game whistle blowing, you will see me going to Southern Fox for more salsa I escaped the rush by making a list of southern gifts from Southern Fox because Christmas is rolling on the tracks

Moving on Down the line, Saturday, December 12th, 3 pm To 5 pm for Christmas Open House Strolling Style Show & Refreshments & thanks for your time. **nepotism suspected

OCTOBER 22, 2015


Arts Entertainment AND

STATE OF THE FAIR Midway the heart, livestock the brains.



THE IVES BROTHERS’ WALL OF DEATH: But not really, which is why we enjoy this State Fair attraction.


t the 2015 Arkansas State Fair, which ran Oct. 9-18, a visitor entering by the front gates and walking in a straight line down the midway would have witnessed many of our national bugaboos made into harmless entertainment. This is America’s id on display. There were the shooting games, like Machine Gun Alley. The rides that simulate natural disasters (Typhoon, Tornado, Riptide). Games of chance masquerading as skill. Pop culture characters made into inexplicably desirable plush toys. The caloric excess and gluttony. And everywhere, fear — a manufactured fear stripped of any real danger by height requirements and safety harnesses. At the far terminus of the midway, past the aging metal relics of earlier eras when space travel and the Cyrillic alpha-

bet dominated the national subconscious, at the turning-around point for most fairgoers, squats a low tan-brick building with a metal roof. This is the swine barn. Few people unintentionally ventured into the swine barn on the 90-plus degree day I was there. (This year’s fair witnessed the hottest October day on record.) Those who did wander in quickly left. The smell of pig excrement and pine shavings hung in the air. Most of the competitors and their spectators didn’t seem to notice. A woman ate a corndog, a baby suckled a bottle, pigs trotted underfoot from pen to show ring. The swine barn felt like a different world from the one just outside. Out there was brilliant sunlight; in here, cavernous shade. The sounds were different, too. The barking gamesmen, the hydraulic

grinding of fair rides, and the distorted hair-band music outside were replaced by the guttural grunts, the squeaking sty gates, and the rapid calls of the judge over the PA system, in his show-ring patois: “There’s one for me that serves as the top quite handily. ... Tall-shouldered, square-made, great shape down its top. ... Probably need to drive that hog, give it its head back just to make it more flexible on both ends of its skeleton. ... The young man’s belted hog wins this class.” It is tempting to divide the State Fair into two distinct, separate events that merely happen at the same time — the midway carnival, with all of its excess and spectacle and calories and color and noise and faux danger; and the livestock barns that ring the midway, with their animal knowledge and quaint manners

and belt buckles and tangy odors. But this is too easy a division, the type that politicians and advertisers exploit when they talk about makers vs. takers, rural vs. urban, real Americans vs. the rest of us. But what is the State Fair about? What is its true heart?

Leaving the swine barn, you could walk the entire perimeter of the fair while hardly leaving the livestock barns. I dipped briefly back into the sunlight before ducking into a cattle barn, where large fans hummed and the smell was sweeter somehow. A few cows lolled in their stalls under signs for 4-H and Future Farmers of America clubs from small Arkansas towns: Horatio, Fouke, CONTINUED ON PAGE 46

30 OCTOBER 22, 2015


ROCK CANDY Check out the Times’ A&E blog

A&E NEWS NEXT UP IN THE ARKANSAS Times Film Series, we’re partnering with the Clinton School for Public Service and Noble Impact to present a free screening of the new documentary “Most Likely to Succeed” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, at the Ron Robinson Theater. Directed by Greg Whiteley, the film explores the history of education in the U.S. and focuses on “compelling new approaches that aim to revolutionize teaching as we know it,” looking in particular at San Diego’s High Tech High. Producer Ted Dintersmith will be on hand for a post-screening discussion.

LUAKA BOP, THE WORLD MUSIC record label founded by Talking Heads front man David Byrne, has released a reissue of Arkansas native Doug Hream Blunt’s 1980s bedroom pop LP “Gentle Persuasion,” which has been cited as a favorite by artists like Ariel Pink and Dam-Funk. Born in Arkansas, Blunt moved to San Francisco as an adolescent. He met a music teacher and aspiring record producer named Victor Flaviani and they recorded “Gentle Persuasion” in a matter of days. For a while he had a regular gig at a local hospital. He appeared on a public access TV show called “CITYVISIONS,” clips from which have circulated on the Internet for years. He had kids. He had a stroke. He spent his free time learning to play the congas and the trumpet. What little we know about Blunt, we know thanks to a blogger based in New Zealand named Martyn Pepperell, who stumbled on one of Blunt’s songs and decided to track him down. He found Blunt at home in the Bay Area, spending time with his three children. “They really are a handful,” Blunt told him. The record is available on LP, CD and MP3, and the release features liner notes by Oxford American contributing editor Amanda Petrusich. Learn more (and buy a copy) at Blunt’s new website:

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Cache Mask-erade Break Out Your Best Mask And Be A Superhero This Halloween $10 Suggested Donation Benefiting Arkansas Children’s Hospital Cache Will Match All Donations Made At The Door For The Evening The Haunting Starts at 9:00pm on Oct. 31st In The Cache Upstairs Lounge with DJ Hollywood #Cachemaskerade

425 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock | 501-850-0265 | CacheRestaurant


OCTOBER 22, 2015







7:30 p.m. South on Main. $12.

Leo Bud Welch was born in 1932, the same year as Patsy Cline, Little Richard, Glenn Gould and Sylvia Plath. It was the beginning of the Dust Bowl. Welch was in Sabougla, Miss., where he’d hang around for the next few decades,

working on logging crews and playing blues guitar in cafes and Baptist churches and juke joints like the Blue Angel, where he first saw Ike Turner and B.B. King. Now he lives in a town called Bruce, which is about 20 minutes away. Since being “discovered” by Oxford blues label Fat Possum, though, Welch

has ventured outside his home region, and recorded albums and performed at festivals and venues all over the country, with his gruff jokes and pink electric guitar. Lately he’s been called things like “the last of the Mississippi Delta blues guitarists,” which seems a little obtuse (and a little familiar),

but he’s 83 years old, remains a remarkable and fluent guitarist, and deserves our attention. Performing with him at South on Main this week will be Jimbo Mathus, front man of the beloved psychoblues outfit Tri-State Coalition, fresh off the release of his new LP, “Blue Healer.”

nia, physical cowardice, poor penmanship — but they are above all known for their drinking, which is why we are proud to present the fourth annual Arkansas Times Craft Beer Festival this weekend. Over

50 brewers will be present, offering over 250 beers for your enjoyment. Plus: food samples from local restaurants like Whole Hog Cafe, Doe’s Eat Place, Cafe Bossa Nova, Zaffino Italian and Raduno Pizza.

And the Fayetteville Americana band Arkansauce, which seems to have named itself just for the occasion, will provide live music. Get your tickets at ASAP. This typically sells out.

able vibes. He injected his own albums with boggy, drawling, Delta majick and did the same for the songs he produced for others, like Bob Dylan and Joe Cocker. You get the sense that his life has been one long Rolling Thunder Revue, a parade of face-paint and handlebar

mustaches and unruly organ solos. He is one of classic rock’s great acquired tastes — as simultaneously addictive and off-putting as, say, clove cigarettes or the city of New Orleans. And anyway, as David Berman said once, “All my favorite singers couldn’t sing.”

FRIDAY 10/23


6 p.m. Argenta Farmers Market Plaza. $35. Rain or shine.

As a species, journalists are known for many things — insom-

CARNEY: Leon Russell is at Revolution at 8:30 p.m. Friday, $25.

FRIDAY 10/23


8:30 p.m. Revolution. $25.

It can be funny to approach the idea of Leon Russell in a vacuum. How do you justify the continued cultural significance of this person, with his wild, rangy beard and tall hats? His shady 32 OCTOBER 22, 2015


preoccupation with circus folk and his admittedly kind of silly voice? A Tulsa native, Russell is one of the artists who helped solidify our notion of the 1970s as a gaudy, corduroy-and-patchouli carnival of a decade, full of lavishly produced concept albums and clammy, question-



IF THE ROSES DON’T KILL US: Christopher Denny performs at South on Main at 10 p.m. Saturday, $10.



10 p.m. South on Main. $10.

One night last October, after I’d spent a half-hour huddled in a restaurant bathroom during a tornado warning, I drove to the White Water Tavern to see Christopher Denny play. As soon as I got off I-630 I noticed the entire area had lost power. The houses were all dark, and so were the traffic lights, which was ominous. White Water was open, though. I walked in and they’d spread candles around the room, so

that you could see just enough to find your way to a chair. Everyone had to be quiet to hear Denny play, and mostly everyone was. He played John Prine and Townes Van Zandt covers and his own songs. When the lights finally came on everyone groaned. It was one of the most memorable shows I’ve attended in Little Rock — and Denny seems to have that effect on people. “It’s too obvious to say the kid sounded like he was from another time,” David Ramsey wrote in the Times last year of seeing a 20-something Denny play at

a house party. “Hell, he sounded like he was from another planet.” A North Little Rock native, his career has long been the subject of torturous, vaguely voyeuristic interest in Arkansas. He has been on the verge of greater success before, particularly in 2009, when things didn’t work out due to anxiety, heroin and dissolution. But last year marked his return to form, and to Little Rock. On stage at Juanita’s last summer, he said, “This has been a dangerous place for me, but it’s been a good place. Man, I’m so happy to be here.”

SUNDAY 10/25


3 p.m. Wildwood Park for the Performing Arts. $35.

The Vienna Boys Choir is the only band playing in Little Rock this week that can honestly claim to have been started by a Holy Roman emperor. In this case, Maximilian I, the man credited with kick-starting the Habsburg

dynasty in Spain. In the literature on the period, he has been described as “morbidly depressed” — he used to refuse to travel anywhere without his coffin. After his death, according to his very specific instructions, his hair was cut off, his teeth knocked out, his body covered in lime and ash and “publicly displayed to show the perishableness of all earthly glory.” Nevertheless! He was a great supporter

of the arts, Maximilian was, and in 1498 he wrote a letter insisting that the Vienna Boys Choir be started. They worked with all the hot composers of their day (over centuries): Schubert, Bruckner, Mozart, even Salieri. Joseph Haydn was a member. There are around a hundred of them today, all between the ages of 10 and 14, still performing in sailor outfits, touring the world.

Nicolo Gagliano. Gagliano was trained by his father, and as a family they established Naples as the new center of forward-thinking violin design in the late 18th century. I’m not entirely clear on how they did this. They abandoned slowdrying oil varnish for shellac, for instance, and perfected well-proportioned archings, but what does that actually mean? For that, you’ll have to go Tuesday night to see the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s

tribute to the violin, which will feature pieces by Mozart, Shostakovich, Oeste and Grieg, all of them with violin solos performed by Irvin. “Mr. Irvin’s violin is a direct connection to musical history,” says Philip Mann, the symphony’s musical director. “Its previous masters’ preferences are infused in its tone, their gaffes inscribed upon its body, and its surface is a story of centuries of perspiration and effort in service to art.”



Andrew Irvin is the concertmaster of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, where his primary instrument is a violin that was built approximately 250 years ago by the legendary Italian violin-maker

Brad Austin gives a talk titled “Democratic Sports: Men’s and Women’s College Athletics during the Great Depression” at the Clinton School for Public Service’s Sturgis Hall at 6 p.m., free. Loft 1023 hosts a book launch and tasting party for the new cookbook “The Modern Arkansas Table” at 6 p.m., $50. Comedian Jerrod Harris is at the Loony Bin at 7:30 p.m., $7 (and at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, $10). Cowpunk band Wood Chickens play at Vino’s with The P-47s. The Smittle Band plays at The Joint in Argenta. The Buh Jones Band plays at the Afterthought, 8 p.m., $7. Tremonti Wilson is at Juanita’s at 9 p.m., $20. Don’t Stop Please, the indie rock group formerly based in Conway, reunites at the White Water Tavern at 9:30 p.m.

FRIDAY 10/23 Cupidon’s Halloween Fashion Show is at the Statehouse Convention Center at 6:20 p.m., $49.99. L.A. songwriter David Ryan Harris plays at Juanita’s, 7 p.m., $12. Louisiana rock group The Seratones plays at Stickyz at 9 p.m. Red Devil Lies plays at Vino’s with The Raleigh Experience, Sylo and Super Heavyweight. Austin indie pop artist Mobley performs at Maxine’s in Hot Springs, 9 p.m., $5.

SATURDAY 10/24 The Mud Run 5K is at Two Rivers Park at 9 a.m. PopUp in the Rock aims to highlight potential development opportunities on West Ninth Street, from Broadway to State. There’ll be food trucks and music from Nisheedah Golden, Opera in the Rock, Charles Woods, Big Piph and more, 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., free. The Rock Town Bacon Throw Down is at War Memorial Stadium at 1 p.m., $25. Kidstock 2015 is at the CALS Children’s Library, with Trout Fishing in America and Big Still River, 2:15 p.m., free. Revolution hosts a benefit for the family of Todd Mills, with Raising Grey, Mayday By Midnight, The Gettys, John Neal Rock N Roll, Third Degree and more, 5 p.m., $20. The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra performs “Cirque Musica: Crescendo” at Pulaski Academy’s Connor Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. (and 3 p.m. Sunday), $19-$59. Little Rock indie pop band Knox Hamilton plays at Juanita’s with Canopy Climbers and Brothers & Company, 9 p.m., $10. Whale Fire plays at White Water with Collin vs. Adam and Austin’s The Sour Notes, 9:30 p.m.

OCTOBER 22, 2015


AFTER DARK 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



The Buh Jones Band. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 8 p.m., $7. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. Danger*Cakes, The P-47s. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9 p.m., $5. 107 River Market Ave. 501-372-7707. Don’t Stop Please (reunion). White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-375-8400. www. “Inferno.” DJs play pop, electro, house and more, plus drink specials and $1 cover before 11 p.m. Sway, 9 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-907-2582. Jim Dickerson. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. Karaoke. Zack’s Place, 8 p.m., free. 1400 S. University Ave. 501-664-6444. Leo Bud Welch, Jimbo Mathus. South on Main, 7:30 p.m., $12. 1304 Main St. 501-2449660. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 President Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. Open Jam. Thirst n’ Howl, 8 p.m. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501-379-8189. Open jam with The Port Arthur Band. Parrot Beach Cafe, 9 p.m. 9611 MacArthur Drive, NLR. 771-2994. RockUsaurus. Senor Tequila, 7-9 p.m. 10300 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-224-5505. Smittle Band. The Joint. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 8 p.m., free. 111 W. Markham St. 501-370-7013. www. Tragikly White (headliner), Morning Side (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 and 9 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. Tremonti, Wilson. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $20. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www. Wood Chickens, The P-47s. Vino’s. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466.


Jerrod Harris. The Loony Bin, 7:30 p.m., $7. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555. www.


#ArkiePubTrivia. Stone’s Throw Brewing, 6:30 p.m. 402 E. 9th St. 501-244-9154.


“Democratic Sports: Men’s and Women’s College Athletics during the Great Depression.” A talk by professor Brad Austin. Sturgis Hall, 6 p.m., free. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501-683-5200.


“The Modern Arkansas Table” release. Book launch and tasting party. Loft 1023, 6 p.m., $50. 34 OCTOBER 22, 2015


BEFORE YOU RUN: Little Rock’s Whale Fire plays at White Water Tavern with Collin Vs. Adam and Austin’s The Sour Notes, 9:30 p.m. Saturday. 1023 W. Seventh St.



All In Fridays. Club Elevations. 7200 Colonel Glenn Road. 501-562-3317. David Ramirez. The Lightbulb Club, 9 p.m. 21 N.

Block Ave., Fayetteville. 479-444-6100. David Ryan Harris. Juanita’s, 7 p.m., $12. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www. Halloween Cover Up Show: Oasis. White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-375-8400. Leon Russell, Lucious Spiller. Revolution, 8:30

Come see, be seen and explore the true flavor of our city. Join us on our beautiful patio...the weather is amazing! HOURS: LUncH & DinneR, Opening at 11 a.m. mOnDay–SatURDay

p.m., $25. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-8230090. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 President Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. Mobley. Maxine’s, 9 p.m., $5. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. Red Devil Lies, The Raleigh Experience, Sylo, Super Heavyweight. Vino’s. 923 W. 7th St. 501375-8466. Route 66. Agora Conference and Special Event Center, 6:30 p.m., $5. 705 E. Siebenmorgan, Conway. Seratones. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9 p.m. 107 River Market Ave. 501-372-7707. www. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 8 p.m., free. 111 W. Markham St. 501-370-7013. www. That Arkansas Weather. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 9 p.m., $7. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501663-1196. Third Degree (headliner), Richie Johnson (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 and 9 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. Upscale Friday. IV Corners, 7 p.m. 824 W. Capitol Ave.


“Lou Tells a Bog One.” An original production by The Main Thing. The Joint, 8 p.m., $22. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. Jerrod Harris. The Loony Bin, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., $10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501228-5555.


Gourmet. Your WaY. all DaY.

3rd & Cumberland Streets • (501) 375-3333 •

Ballroom dancing. Free lessons begin at 7 p.m. Bess Chisum Stephens Community Center, 8-11 p.m., $7-$13. 12th and Cleveland streets. 501221-7568. Contra Dance. Park Hill Presbyterian Church, 7:30 p.m., $5. 3520 JFK Blvd., NLR. “Salsa Night.” Begins with a one-hour salsa lesson. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $8. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228.


Arkansas Times Craft Beer Festival. Argenta Farmers Market, 6 p.m., $35. 6th and Main St., NLR. 501-831-7881. argenta-farmers-market. “Cupidon’s Halloween Fashion Show, You vs. Designers!” Statehouse Convention Center, 6:20 p.m., $49.99. 7 Statehouse Plaza. Fantastic Friday. Literary and music event, refreshments included. For reservations, call 479-968-2452 or email artscenter@centurytel. net. River Valley Arts Center, Every third Friday, 7 p.m., $10 suggested donation. 1001 E. B St., Russellville. 479-968-2452. LGBTQ/SGL weekly meeting. Diverse Youth for Social Change is a group for LGBTQ/SGL and straight ally youth and young adults age 14 to 23. For more information, call 501-244-9690 or search “DYSC” on Facebook. LGBTQ/SGL Youth and Young Adult Group, 6:30 p.m. 800 Scott St.


“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Arkansas Arts Center, through Nov. 8: 7 p.m., $12.50. 501 E. 9th St. 501-372-4000.



Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Cirque Musica: Crescendo. Connor Performing Arts Center, Pulaski Academy, 7:30 p.m., $19-$58. 12701 Hinson Road. Burning Nursery, Cemetery Rapist. Vino’s. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. www.vinosbrewpub. com. Christopher Denny. South on Main, 10 p.m., $10. 1304 Main St. 501-244-9660. Just Sayin (headliner), Robb McCormick (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 and 9 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. Karaoke at Khalil’s. Khalil’s Pub, 7 p.m. 110 S. Shackleford Road. 501-224-0224. Karaoke. Casa Mexicana, 7 p.m. 7111 JFK Blvd., NLR. 501-835-7876. Zack’s Place, 8 p.m., free. 1400 S. University Ave. 501-664-6444. Karaoke with Kevin & Cara. All ages, on the restaurant side. Revolution, 9 p.m.-12:45 a.m., free. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. Kidstock 2015: Trout Fishing in America, Big Still River. CALS Children’s Library, 2:15 p.m., free. 4800 W. 10th St. K.I.S.S. Saturdays. Featuring DJ Silky Slim. Dress code enforced. Sway, 10 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-492-9802. Knox Hamilton, Canopy Climbers, Brothers & Company. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $10. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 President Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. Open Fields, Sounds Del Mar, People’s Republic of Casiotones. Maxine’s, 9 p.m., $5. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. Pickin’ Porch. Bring your instrument. All ages welcome. Faulkner County Library, 9:30 a.m. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-327-7482. Psalmfest. Westover Hills Presbyterian Church, 1 p.m. 6400 Richard B. Hardie Drive. Sol Def Band. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 9 p.m., $7. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 8 p.m., free. 111 W. Markham St. 501-370-7013. www. Whale Fire, Collin Vs. Adam, The Sour Notes. White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-375-8400.


“Lou Tells a Bog One.” An original production by The Main Thing. The Joint, 8 p.m., $22. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. Jerrod Harris. The Loony Bin, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., $10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501228-5555.


Falun Gong meditation. Allsopp Park, 9 a.m., free. Cantrell and Cedar Hill Roads. Hillcrest Farmers Market. Pulaski Heights Baptist Church, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. 2200 Kavanaugh Blvd. Historic Neighborhoods Tour. Bike tour of historic neighborhoods includes bike, guide, helmets and maps. Bobby’s Bike Hike, 9 a.m., $8-$28. 400 President Clinton Ave. 501-613-7001.

Little Rock Downtown Navigators Tour. Starts at La Petite Roche Plaza. Downtown Little Rock, through Oct. 31: 4 p.m., free. Downtown. Little Rock Farmers’ Market. River Market pavilions, through Oct. 31: 7 a.m. 400 President Clinton Ave. 375-2552. Pop Up In The Rock-West Ninth. Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, 10 a.m., free. 501 W. 9th St. 501-683-3593. Pork & Bourbon Tour. Bike tour includes bicycle, guide, helmets and maps. Bobby’s Bike Hike, 11:30 a.m., $35-$45. 400 President Clinton Ave. 501-613-7001. Rock Town Bacon Throw Down. War Memorial Stadium, 1 p.m., $25. 1 Stadium Drive. 501663-0775.


The Mud Run 5K. Two Rivers Park, 9 a.m. Rivercrest Drive.


Piano Bar Tue– e Bar Martini & Win Sat

e • 35 By The Gla ss 33 5 Sel ect ion s Of Win The Wo rld Fin e Spi rits Fro m Acr oss ion Of Sco tlan d Reg ry Eve m Sco tch Lis t Fro Op en unt il 10 pm • ns 6 Sin gle -Ba rrel Bou rbo


Todd Mills Benefit. Raising Grey, Mayday By Midnight, The Gettys, John Neal Rock ‘n Roll, Third Degree and more. Revolution, 5 p.m., $20. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. www.


“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Arkansas Arts Center, through Nov. 8: 7 p.m., $12.50. 501 E. 9th St. 501-372-4000.

In The River Market District 501.324.2999

Free Valet Parking



Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Cirque Musica: Crescendo. Connor Performing Arts Center, Pulaski Academy, 3 p.m., $19-$58. 12701 Hinson Road. Big Smo. Juanita’s, 8 p.m., $15. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. Fossil Youth, Daisyhead. Vino’s. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. Irish Traditional Music Session. Hibernia Irish Tavern, 2:30 p.m. 9700 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-246-4340. Karaoke. Shorty Small’s, 6-9 p.m. 1475 Hogan Lane, Conway. 501-764-0604. Karaoke with DJ Sara. Hardrider Bar & Grill, 7 p.m., free. 6613 John Harden Drive, Cabot. 501-982-1939. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 President Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. Talk Bernie To Me: Tyrannusaurus Chicken. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 7:30 p.m., $10. 107 River Market Ave. 501-372-7707. www. Vienna Boys Choir. Wildwood Park for the Performing Arts, 3 p.m., $35. 20919 Denny Road.


Artist for Recovery. A secular recovery group for people with addictions. Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church, 10 a.m. 1601 S. Louisiana.


Men of Little Rock Against Domestic Violence. Revolution, 8 p.m., $10. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. new.

OCTOBER 22, 2015






Vino’s Brewpub Cinema presents 8 The Lost Boys (1987)


| Wood Chickens (Madison, WI) | | The P-47’s |

F R I D AY O C T O B E R 2 3

| Red Devil Lies | The Raleigh Experience | | Sylo (Texarkana, TX) | Super Heavyweight (Texarkana, TX) | S AT U R D AY O C T O B E R 2 4

| Burning Nursery | Cemetary Rapist (Rockford, IL) | PLUS: Horror Film Special Feature at 7PM | Fossil Youth (Enid, OK) | Daisyhead (Nashville, TN) | T U E S D AY O C T O B E R 2 7

Vino’s Brewpub Cinema presents 8 Dementia 13 (1963)

F R I D AY O C T O B E R 3 0

| Pallbearer | The Dirty Streets (Memphis, TN) |

S AT U R D AY O C T O B E R 3 1

| I Was Afraid | Knocked Loose (Louisville, KY) | | Terminl Nation | Lowered A.D. (Marion, IL) | | No Victory (Gary, IN) | S U N D AY N O V E M B E R 1

Live From The Back Room 8 Poetry, Prose, Short Fiction, and more!

“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Arkansas Arts Center, through Nov. 8: 7 p.m., $12.50. 501 E. 9th St. 501-372-4000.


T H U R S D AY O C T O B E R 2 2

S U N D AY O C T O B E R 2 5


Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 President Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. Monday Night Jazz. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 8 p.m., $5. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. Open Mic. The Lobby Bar. Studio Theatre, 8 p.m. 320 W. 7th St. Radio Moscow. Juanita’s, 8 p.m., $10. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www. Richie Johnson. Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. www.cajunswharf. com. Such Gold, Shai Hulud, I Was Afriad, Headcold, Raw Head. Revolution, 8 p.m., $12 adv., $15 day of. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090.


“The Last Season: A Father, a Son and a Lifetime of College Football.” A talk by former Mitt Romney campaign strategist Stuart Stevens. Sturgis Hall, 6 p.m., free. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501-683-5200.



We’re Showing “Most Likely to Succeed” With an appearance by executive producer Ted Dintersmith

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, “Anniversary of a Violin.” Clinton Presidential Center, 7 p.m., $23. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 370-8000. www. deFrance. White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-375-8400. Futurebirds, Blank Range. The Lightbulb Club, 9 p.m. 21 N. Block Ave., Fayetteville. 479-444-6100. Jeff Ling. Khalil’s Pub, 6 p.m. 110 S. Shackleford Road. 501-224-0224. Jim Dickerson. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. Karaoke Tuesday. Prost, 8 p.m., free. 322 President Clinton Blvd. 501-244-9550. Karaoke Tuesdays. On the patio. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 7:30 p.m., free. 107 River Market Ave. 501-372-7707. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 President Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. Music Jam. Hosted by Elliott Griffen and Joseph Fuller. The Joint, 8-11 p.m., free. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. Tuesday Jam Session with Carl Mouton. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196.


Stand-Up Tuesday. Hosted by Adam Hogg. The Joint, 8 p.m., $5. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501372-0205.


“Latin Night.” Juanita’s, 7:30 p.m., $7. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228.


Trivia Bowl. Flying Saucer, 8:30 p.m. 323 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-8032. www.beerknurd. com/stores/littlerock.


“The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” George’s Majestic Lounge, 8 p.m. 519 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-442-4226.


John Hennebeger. A talk by the co-director of the Texas Low Income Housing information Service. Sturgis Hall, noon, free. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501-683-5200.



Acoustic Open Mic. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-6631196. Barrett Baber, Luke Wade, David Adam Byrnes. Revolution, 7:30 p.m., $10. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. www. Brian and Nick. Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. Drageoke with Chi Chi Valdez. Sway. 412 Louisiana. 501-907-2582. Jim Dickerson. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-3242999. Karaoke at Khalil’s. Khalil’s Pub, 7 p.m. 110 S. Shackleford Road. 501-224-0224. www. Karaoke. MUSE Ultra Lounge, 8:30 p.m., free. 2611 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-6398. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-4782. Open Mic Nite with Deuce. Thirst n’ Howl, 7:30 p.m., free. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501-3798189. Sounds So Good. South on Main, 7:30 p.m., free. 1304 Main St. 501-244-9660.


The Joint Venture. Improv comedy group. The Joint, 8 p.m., $7. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. Scott White. The Loony Bin, Oct. 28-31, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 30-31, 10 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555. www.


Little Rock Bop Club. Beginning dance lesCONTINUED ON PAGE 43

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LONG LIVE THE NEW FLESH: David Cronenberg’s “Videodrome” and more weird horror for the Halloween season.

Horror off the beaten path An alternate canon for Halloween movie season. BY WILL STEPHENSON


he first movie to really viscerally upset me was “Space Jam,” the chilling 1996 story of a retired athlete kidnapped by animals and forced to compete against extraterrestrial mutants. The aliens in the film sucked the life force out of Patrick Ewing and Charles Barkley — American heroes — transforming themselves in the process into hulking, slobbering gargoyles. I didn’t sleep for days. A few months later it was Halloween, and my dad was insisting we all watch “The Shining,” one of the most wrenchingly realistic films ever made about writing and how boring it can be. My relationship with my dad has never recovered, to say nothing of my relationship to writing. How strange is it that there’s a major genre of popular culture that exists primarily to make us feel horrible? It would seem to violate all the rules of capitalism and rational choice theory

— that we would line up and pay money to be repulsed and offended. But we do, repeatedly, particularly at this time of year. If the horror canon has gotten musty and predictable — and I’d argue that it has — that’s only a testament to our eagerness for disgust. For those of you looking to branch out this Halloween season, here are our recommendations for further research:

1. “I Walked With a Zombie” (1943) While “Cat People” is probably the

most famous film made by the legendary horror unit at RKO Studios, “I Walked With a Zombie” is the best and the strangest — a loose adaptation of “Jane Eyre” set on a Caribbean sugar plantation. The RKO team was supervised by producer Val Lewton, who was given total artistic freedom as long as he kept the budgets low and used the lurid titles (e.g. “I Walked With a Zombie”) generated by the studio’s market research unit. Lewton and director Jacques Tourneur took advantage of this bureaucratic neglect and pioneered a new kind of horror movie, drenched in shadows and atmosphere and existential despair. This one especially: It’s quiet and odd and hard to forget. 2. “At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul” (1964) Usually credited as the first Brazilian horror film, this is the first in a trilogy directed by José Mojica Marins, who also starred in the films as the villainous undertaker Coffin Joe. The character was so infamous and popular in Brazil that Marins would appear in public in full Coffin Joe regalia (black cape, top hat, long fingernails), and went on to star in car commercials, music videos and comic books. The film dovetails with all sorts of other fascinating Brazilian cultural trends of the 1960s — Tropicália music, poetic depictions of vampirism, etc. I also recommend the follow-up, “This

Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse.” 3. “The Shiver of the Vampires” (1971) My favorite of a series of lowbudget vampire thrillers directed by the French filmmaker Jean Rollin. A justmarried couple on their honeymoon visit a pair of cousins who, we soon learn, have recently died. The bride is quickly seduced by a mysterious vampire, who in turn is seduced by the two cousins, recently risen from the dead — the sexual politics of the thing get pretty complicated. At its best, the film has a kind of manic, punk energy, where stylized sloppiness allows for an infinite range of absurd possibilities. This is one of those rare movies that can credibly be called completely unpredictable. Drenched in garish primary colors and soundtracked by French psych-rock group Acanthus, it veers from laughable to disturbing at a dizzying rate. 4. “Eaten Alive” (1977) Also known as “Horror Hotel,” this is the first film Tobe Hooper directed after the enormous success of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” It was not a success, though I can’t understand why. It has everything: sexual frustration, scythe attacks, pet crocodiles. CONTINUED ON PAGE 46

OCTOBER 22, 2015



Information in our restaurant capsules reflects the opinions of the newspaper staff and its reviewers. The newspaper accepts no advertising or other considerations in exchange for reviews, which are conducted anonymously. We invite the opinions of readers who think we are in error.

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

WHAT’S COOKIN’ ZOËS KITCHEN, WHICH WILL SERVE healthy “Mediterranean-inspired” dishes both for dine-in and takeout, will give away 500 free entrees to celebrate its opening Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 12900 Chenal Blvd., just west of Target. The new Zoës, which is located in 17 states, is the second to open in Arkansas; the first opened in Fayetteville. According to the restaurant’s website, a third Zoës will open in Park Plaza “soon.” The restaurant serves “lean proteins that are predominantly preservative and additive free,” a news release from the company says. The menu includes chicken and salmon kabobs, steak rollups, hummus and salads, as well as vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free offerings. No food is fried or nuked, the news release said. The restaurant, which also sells food by the pint, will seat 84 in the Chenal site dining room and 40 on the patio. Hours will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. The restaurant has applied for a license to serve beer and wine. DAMGOODE PIES IN HILLCREST, long under renovation, has reopened — now with a new bar and tap system where Damgoode’s popular craft beers are available. THE ARKANSAS TIMES, BIKE Arkansas and El Latino are teaming up with Lost Forty Brewing, Chainwheel Bikes and Arkansas Outside to celebrate the end of this year’s cycling season with “Dia de Lost Muertos” at Lost Forty Brewing, 501 Byrd Street. If you like to bike, eat and/or dress up, this event is for you. Activities include a Dia de los Muertos costume fun ride, a lowrider bike styling competition, tacos, Mexican brunch items, cash prizes for best dressed riders, lots of free swag, a trike toss to benefit Recycle Bikes for Kids of Arkansas and some of Lost Forty’s finest beers. Registration for the ride begins at 2 p.m., the ride starts at 2:45 p.m. and food is served at 3:30 p.m. with the trike toss, awards and giveaways to follow. The ride is free, but you’ll need cash for tacos, ice cream and beer.



1515 CAFE This bustling, business-suit filled breakfast and lunch spot, just across from the state Capitol, features old-fashioned, buffetstyle home cookin’ for a song. Inexpensive lunch entrées, too. 1515 W. 7th St. No alcohol. $-$$. 501-376-1434. L Wed.-Fri., D Mon-Sat. 4 SQUARE CAFE AND GIFTS Vegetarian 38 OCTOBER 22, 2015


Cregeen’s Irish Pub

301 Main St., North Little Rock 376-7468 QUICK BITE With 29 beers on tap and a selection of more than 70 bottled beers, folks are sure to find something good to drink at Cregeen’s. As a bonus, the pub serves most beers in true, 16-ounce pint glasses, making its beer selection a great value, too. HOURS 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Wednesday, Saturday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday and Friday; 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday.


The ideal Irish pub Cregeen’s meets the standard.


ar food. Pub grub. Often said with a dismissive sneer or the sort of resigned acceptance that comes from needing to eat after a night of pounding a few cold ones at a local watering hole. Because, let’s face it: There are places that specialize in good drinks, and there are places that specialize in good food. Finding a place that can do both well is a bit like seeing a flying unicorn. That is, of course, unless we’re talking Cregeen’s Irish Pub in North Little Rock, which manages to keep true to its Irish pub roots while still serving up some of the tastiest food in Central Arkansas. The bar itself has a great atmosphere, all warm wood fixtures and cheeky Guinness advertisements along the walls. Sure, it’s exactly what every Irish pub in the United States tries to go for, but we find something comforting and compelling about that familiarity. Whether we’re bellying up to the bar for a pint and a shot of Jameson, enjoying some Argenta-style people-watching on the patio outside, or ordering up an Irish breakfast spread at one of the tables, Cregeen’s just feels like a hometown pub should feel. Service is generally pretty friendly, although we recommend a bit of patience during peak hours — this can be a very busy bar. It’s also a bar where the eating is almost as much fun as the drinking, from appetizers to dessert. Tops on our list for starters are the Duck Wings ($6.99 for six, $10.99 for 12), either dry or coated with wing sauce. Don’t be afraid of the

dollar-plus-per-wing price tag on these — they are large, meaty and full of the sort of flavor that the chicken variety can only dream of possessing. An order of six wings can easily feed two people, unless you’re like us and completely obsessed with them. Given Arkansas’s status as duck capital of the world, we find the lack of duck items on local menus disappointing, but these wings are a star. Not in the mood for wings? Go for one of the pretzel dishes. Pretzels at Cregeen’s fulfill their duty of soaking up beer admirably, and with style. Buttery and crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, these delightful carb creations are among some of the best bar eats we’ve ever had, no matter how they’re prepared. For a large group, we recommend the Pretzel Fondue ($6.95), a large plate of warm, salty pretzel bites served with wooden skewers and a bowl of creamy, spicy white queso. For a more intimate sharing experience, the Irish Pretzel ($7.95) is a treat — it takes a whole soft pretzel and tops it with corned beef, spicy sauerkraut, Gouda cheese and whole grain mustard. The result is almost like an open-faced Reuben on a pretzel, and we can’t get enough of it. Speaking of Reubens, Cregeen’s ($8.95) is not to be missed. Sliced corned beef floats atop the house-made sauerkraut, and the whole affair is smothered in Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing to make for bite after glorious bite. Want to get your corned beef on without the Thousand Island? The Irish

OTHER INFO Full bar, all major CC.

Dip ($8.95) puts all that delicious corned beef and kraut on a hoagie roll, tops it with Gouda, and serves the whole thing up with a creamy horseradish sauce. The pub also serves a Veggie Wrap ($7.95) full of spinach artichoke dip, mixed greens, Kalamata olives and feta that might alleviate the guilt of multiple beers — but we just think it tastes good. When we’re in the mood for something more substantial than a sandwich, we generally turn to the Classic Fish and Chips ($11.95). This tasty pub grub mainstay consists of three large cod fillets coated with a Harp Lager-based batter and fried to a crunchy golden brown. The chips are hand-cut and Cregeen’s manages to be one of the few places around that serve this style of fry crisp on the outside and creamy in the center, just as God intended. The tangy coleslaw served as a second side is nothing to be upset about either, and it makes a wonderful addition to the fish. Folks with a heartier appetite would do well to add a bowl of Guinness Onion Soup ($5.95), a delightful take on French onion soup that is great on cold days — or any other day, for that matter. Cregeen’s is, of course, a great place to drink with friends. The atmosphere is festive, the music is good, and the selection of potent potables is among the best around. But even if tying one on isn’t what you’re looking for, there are still plenty of reasons to stop into the North Little Rock pub, and most of them are topped with corned beef and sauerkraut. It’s pub grub at its best, and whether it’s lunch, Sunday brunch or an Irish-flavored dinner, we’re always pleased with what we find.

BELLY UP Check out the Times’ food blog, Eat Arkansas

Great Grill Tools For Easy Grilling, Find Them Here!

DINING CAPSULES, CONT. salads, soups, wraps and paninis and a broad selection of smoothies in an Arkansas products gift shop. 405 President Clinton Ave. No alcohol, all CC. $-$$. 501-244-2622. BLD Mon.-Sat., L Sun. ANOTHER ROUND PUB Tasty pub grub. 12111 W. Markham. Full bar, CC. $-$$. 501-313-2612. D Mon.-Thu., LD Fri.-Sun. APPLE SPICE JUNCTION A chain sandwich and salad spot with sit-down lunch space and a vibrant box lunch catering business. With a wide range of options and quick service. Order online via 2000 S. University Ave. No alcohol, all CC. $$. 501-663-7008. L Mon.-Fri. (10 a.m.-3 p.m.). ARKANSAS BURGER CO. Good burgers, fries and shakes, plus salads and other entrees. Try the cheese dip. 7410 Cantrell Road. Beer and wine, CC. $-$$. 501-663-0600. LD Tue.-Sat. BELLWOOD DINER Traditional breakfasts and plate lunch specials are the norm at this lostin-time hole in the wall. 3815 MacArthur Drive. NLR. No alcohol, No CC. $. 501-753-1012. BL Mon.-Fri. THE BLIND PIG Tasty bar food, including Zweigle’s brand hot dogs. 6015 Chenonceau Blvd. Full bar, CC. $-$$. 501-868-8194. D Wed-Fri., LD Sat. BONEFISH GRILL A half-dozen or more types of fresh fish filets are offered daily at this upscale chain. 11525 Cantrell Road. Full bar, all CC. $$$. 501-228-0356. D Mon.-Fri., LD Sat-Sun. BONEHEADS GRILLED FISH AND PIRI PIRI CHICKEN Fast-casual chain specializing in grilled fish, roasted chicken and an African pepper sauce. 17711 Chenal Parkway. Beer and wine, CC. $-$$. 501-821-1300. LD daily. BRAVE NEW RESTAURANT Chef/owner Peter Brave was doing “farm to table” before most of us knew the term. His focus is on fresh, highquality ingredients prepared elegantly but simply. Ordering the fish special is never a bad choice. His chocolate crème brulee sets the

pace. 2300 Cottondale Lane. Full bar, all CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-2677. LD Mon.-Sat. BRAY GOURMET DELI AND CATERING Turkey spreads in four flavors — original, jalapeno, Cajun and dill — and the homemade pimiento cheese are the signature items at Chris Bray’s delicatessen, which serves sandwiches, wraps, soups, stuffed potatoes and salads, and sells the turkey spreads to go. 323 Center St. Suite 150. No alcohol, all CC. $-$$. 501-353-1045. BL Mon.-Fri. CAFE BRUNELLE Coffee shop and cafe serving sweets, tasty sandwiches and Loblolly ice cream. 17819 Chenal Parkway. No alcohol, all CC. $-$$. 501-448-2687. BLD daily. CAFE@HEIFER Serving fresh pastries, omelets, soups, salads, sandwiches and pizzas. Located inside Heifer Village. 1 World Ave. No alcohol, all CC. $. 501-907-8801. BL Mon.-Fri. CAPITAL BAR AND GRILL Big hearty sandwiches, daily lunch specials and fine evening dining all rolled up into one at this landing spot downtown. Surprisingly inexpensive with a great bar staff and a good selection of unique desserts. 111 W. Markham St. Full bar, all CC. $$-$$$. 501-370-7013. LD daily. CAPITOL BISTRO Serving breakfast and lunch items, including quiche, sandwiches, coffees and the like. 1401 W. Capitol Ave. No alcohol, all CC. $-$$. 501-371-9575. BL Mon.-Fri. CATERING TO YOU Painstakingly prepared entrees and great appetizers in this gourmetto-go location, attached to a gift shop. Caters everything from family dinners to weddings and large corporate events. 8121 Cantrell Road. No alcohol, all CC. $-$$. 501-614-9030. Serving meals to go: LD Mon.-Sat. CIAO BACI The focus is on fine dining in this casually elegant Hillcrest bungalow, though excellent tapas are out of this world. The treeshaded, light-strung deck is a popular destination. 605 N. Beechwood St. Full bar, all CC. $$$. 501-603-0238. D Mon.-Sat.


5501 Kavanaugh Blvd., Suite K

We have an NEW Gluten-Free lunch menu and beautifully decorated Halloween cookies! Egg, Dairy and Sugar-Free options available.

323 Cross St. Little Rock, AR 72201

New Fall Arrivals

5924 R STREET LITTLE ROCK 501.664.3062

THE EVERYDAY SOMMELIER Your friendly neighborhood wine shop. #theeverydaysommelier

2013 DOMAINE SERENE EVENSTAD RESERVE CHARDONNAY ELSEWHERE (NOT AVAILABLE) - SPECIAL $52.99 “I’ve attempted to acquire this wine for over two years for my Shamrock Selections club and have finally gotten a few cases to share with you. Rated 95 by James Suckling (Wine Spectator), the 2013 offers a complex bouquet of aromas that develop from citrus fruit to floral characteristics. It is characterized by notes of minerality, lemon meringue and citrus zest. On the palate, the wine shows lovely purity and length, with the right balance of weight and acidity and a long and persistent finish. 1500 cases produced. Only a few cases available.” – O’Looney


Rahling Road @ Chenal Parkway • 501.821.4669 • •

OCTOBER 22, 2015


3:00 P.M.- 9:00 P.M. classic games | live music | carnival fare Hayride • Inflatables Haunted Forest • Games Food Trucks• Costume Contest Plus much more! Free Admision Tickets required for attractions and games. 7 P.M.- Live music by Adam Faucett and the Tall Grass Carnival Fare & BBQ Fusion with Louis Williams of Next Level Barbecue & The Ronin Chef Porter Visit for more info

40 OCTOBER 22, 2015


DINING CAPSULES, CONT. CRAZEE’S COOL CAFE Good burgers, daily plate specials and bar food amid pool tables and TVs. 7626 Cantrell Road. Full bar, all CC. $-$$. 501-221-9696. LD Mon.-Sat. DEMPSEY BAKERY Bakery with sit-down area, serving coffee and specializing in gluten-, nutand soy-free baked goods. 323 Cross St. No alcohol, all CC. $-$$. 501-375-2257. Serving BL Tue.-Sat. DOE’S EAT PLACE A skid-row dive turned power brokers’ watering hole with huge steaks, great tamales and broiled shrimp, and killer burgers at lunch. 1023 W. Markham St. Full bar, all CC. $$-$$$. 501-376-1195. LD Mon.-Fri., D Sat. EJ’S EATS AND DRINKS The friendly neighborhood hoagie shop downtown serves at a handful of tables and by delivery. The sandwiches are generous, the soup homemade and the salads cold. 523 Center St. Full bar, all CC. $-$$. 501-666-3700. LD Mon.-Fri., BR Sun. FIVE GUYS BURGERS & FRIES Nationwide burger chain with emphasis on freshly made fries and patties. 2923 Lakewood Village Drive. NLR. No alcohol, all CC. $-$$. 501-246-5295. LD daily. 13000 Chenal Parkway. No alcohol, all CC. $-$$. 501-225-1100. LD daily. FLYING FISH The fried seafood is fresh and crunchy and there are plenty of raw, boiled and grilled offerings, too. The hamburgers are a hit. It’s counter service; wander on through the screen door and you’ll find a slick team of cooks and servers doing a creditable job of serving big crowds. 511 President Clinton Ave. Beer and wine, all CC. $$. 501-375-3474. LD daily. GREEN LEAF GRILL Cafeteria on the ground floor of the Blue Cross-Blue Shield building has healthy entrees. 601 S. Gaines. No alcohol, CC. 501-378-2521. GRUMPY’S TOO Music venue and sports bar with lots of TVs, pub grub and regular drink specials. 1801 Green Mountain Drive. Full bar, all CC. $-$$. 501-225-3768. D Mon.-Sat. GUS’S WORLD FAMOUS FRIED CHICKEN The best fried chicken in town. Go for chicken and waffles on Sundays. 300 President Clinton Ave. Beer, CC. $-$$. 501-372-2211. LD daily. 400 N. Bowman. Beer. $-$$. 501-400-8745. LD daily. HOMER’S Great vegetables, huge yeast rolls and killer cobblers. Follow the mobs. 2001 E. Roosevelt Road. No alcohol, all CC. $-$$. 501-374-1400. BL Mon.-Fri. 9700 N Rodney Parham. Full bar, all CC. $$. 501-224-6637. BLD Mon.-Sat., BL Sun. IRA’S PARK HILL GRILL Inventive and toothsome fine dining in a casual setting. 3812 JFK Blvd. NLR. Full bar, CC. $$-$$$. 501-771-6900. L Tue.-Fri., Sun.; D Tue.-Sat. IRONHORSE SALOON Bar and grill offering juicy hamburgers and cheeseburgers. 9125 Mann Road. Full bar, all CC. $. 501-562-4464. LD daily. J. GUMBO’S Fast-casual Cajun fare served, primarily, in a bowl. Better than expected. 12911 Cantrell Road. Beer, all CC. $-$$. 501-916-9635. LD daily. JERKY’S SPICY CHICKEN AND MORE Jerk chicken, Southern fried chicken, Southern fried jerk chicken, along with burgers, sandwiches, salads. 2501 Arch St. No alcohol. 501-246-3096. JIMMY’S SERIOUS SANDWICHES Consistently fine sandwiches, side orders and desserts for 30 years. Chicken salad’s among the best in town, and there are fun specialty sandwiches such as Thai One On and The Garden. Get there early for lunch. 5116 W. Markham St. No alcohol, CC. $-$$. 501-6663354. LD Mon.-Fri., L Sat. JOUBERT’S TAVERN Local beer and wine haunt

that serves Polish sausage and other bar foods. 7303 Kanis Road. Full bar, CC. $-$$. 501-6649953. D Mon.-Sat. K. HALL AND SONS Neighborhood grocery store with excellent lunch counter. The cheeseburger is hard to beat. 1900 Wright Ave. No alcohol, CC. $. 501-372-1513. BLD Mon.-Sat. (closes at 6 p.m.), BL Sun. KILWINS Ice cream, candies, fudge and sweets galore made in-house and packaged for eat-itnow or eat-it-later. 415 President Clinton Ave. No alcohol, CC. $-$$. 501-379-9865. LD daily. LAZY PETE’S FISH AND SHRIMP Southern and Cajun pub grub. 200 N. Bowman Road. Full bar, CC. $$. 501-680-2660. LD daily. LE POPS Delicious, homemade iced lollies (or popsicles, for those who aren’t afraid of the trademark.) 5501 Kavanaugh Blvd. Ste. J. No alcohol, CC. $. 501-313-9558. LD daily. LOBLOLLY CREAMERY Small batch artisan ice cream and sweet treats company that operates a soda fountain inside The Green Corner Store. 1423 Main St. No alcohol, CC. $-$$. 501-3969609. LD Mon.-Sat., L Sun. LOCA LUNA Grilled meats, seafood and pasta dishes that never stray far from country roots, whether Italian, Spanish or Arkie. “Gourmet plate lunches” are good, as is Sunday brunch. 3519 Old Cantrell Road. Full bar, all CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-4666. BR Sun., LD Mon.-Fri., D Sat. LOST FORTY BREWING Brewery and brewpub from the folks behind Big Orange, Local Lime and ZAZA. 501 Byrd St. Beer and wine, all CC. $$. 501-319-7335. LD Wed.-Sun. NEXT BISTRO AND BAR Live music, on the outdoor patio in nice weather, bar with specialty drinks like cheesecake shots, strawberry fizz martinis. No cover. 2611 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-6398. ONE ELEVEN AT THE CAPITAL Inventive fine dining restaurant helmed by Jöel Attunes, a James Beard award-winning chef. 111 Markham St. Full bar, all CC. $$$. 370-7011. BD daily, L Mon.-Fri, BR Sun. THE OYSTER BAR Gumbo, red beans and rice (all you can eat on Mondays), peel-andeat shrimp, oysters on the half shell, addictive po’ boys. Killer jukebox. 3003 W. Markham St. Beer and wine, all CC. $-$$. 501-666-7100. LD Mon.-Sat. OZARK COUNTRY RESTAURANT A longstanding favorite with many Little Rock residents, the eatery specializes in big country breakfasts and pancakes plus sandwiches and several meat-and-two options for lunch and dinner. 202 Keightley Drive. No alcohol, all CC. $-$$. 501-663-7319. BL daily. PANERA BREAD This bakery/cafe serves freshly-baked breads, bagels and pastries every morning as well as a full line of espresso beverages. Panera also offers a full menu of sandwiches, hand-tossed salads and hearty soups. 314 S. University. 501-664-6878. BLD daily. 11525 Cantrell Road. No alcohol, all CC. $-$$. 501-227-0222. BLD daily. 1050 Ellis Ave. Conway. 501-764-1623 10701 Kanis Road. No alcohol, all CC. $-$$. 501-954-7773. BLD daily. PURPLE COW DINER 1950s fare — cheeseburgers, chili dogs, thick milk shakes — in a ‘50s setting at today’s prices. 8026 Cantrell Road. Full bar, all CC. $$. 501-221-3555. LD daily, BR Sat.-Sun. 11602 Chenal Pkwy. Full bar, all CC. $$. 501-224-4433. LD daily, BR Sat.-Sun. 1419 Higden Ferry Road. Hot Springs. Beer, all CC. $$. 501-625-7999. LD daily, B Sun. RACK’UM SPORTS BAR AND GRILL Burgers, pub food and free wi-fi. 2817 Cantrell Road. Full bar. 501-603-0066. D daily. THE RELAY STATION This grill offers a short

menu, which includes chicken strips, french fries, hamburgers, jalapeno poppers and cheese sticks. 12225 Stagecoach Road. Full bar, all CC. $-$$. 501-455-9919. LD daily. THE ROOT CAFE Homey, local foods-focused cafe. With tasty burgers, homemade bratwurst, banh mi and a number of vegan and veggie options. Breakfast and Sunday brunch, too. 1500 S. Main St. Beer, all CC. $-$$. 501-414-0423. BL Tue.-Sat., BR Sun. SALUT BISTRO This bistro/late-night hangout does upscale tapas. 1501 N. University. Full bar, all CC. $$-$$$. 501-660-4200. L Mon.-Fri., D Tue.-Sat. SANDY’S HOMEPLACE CAFE Specializing in home-style buffet, with two meats and seven vegetables to choose from. It’s all-you-can-eat. 1710 E 15th St. No alcohol, No CC. $. 501-3753216. L Mon.-Fri. SCALLIONS Reliably good food, great desserts, pleasant atmosphere, able servers — a solid lunch spot. 5110 Kavanaugh Blvd. Beer and wine, all CC. $-$$. 501-666-6468. BL Mon.-Sat. SCOOP DOG 5508 John F. Kennedy Blvd. NLR. No alcohol, No CC. 501-753-5407. LD daily. SLIM CHICKENS Chicken tenders and wings served fast. Better than the Colonel. 4500 W. Markham. No alcohol, all CC. $-$$. 501-9070111. LD daily. 301 N. Shackleford Road. No alcohol, CC. $-$$. 954-9999. LD daily. SONNY WILLIAMS’ STEAK ROOM Steaks, chicken and seafood in a wonderful setting in the River Market. Steak gets pricey, though. Menu is seasonal, changes every few months. 500 President Clinton Ave. Full bar, all CC. $$$. 501-324-2999. D Mon.-Sat. SOUTH ON MAIN Fine, innovative takes on Southern fare in a casual, but well-appointed

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setting. 1304 Main St. Full bar, CC. $-$$. 501-244-9660. L Mon.-Fri., D Tue.-Sat. WEST END SMOKEHOUSE AND TAVERN Its primary focus is a sports bar with 50-plus TVs, but the dinner entrees (grilled chicken, steaks and such) are plentiful and the bar food is upper quality. 215 N. Shackleford. Full bar, all CC. $$. 501-224-7665. L Fri.-Sun., D daily. WINGSTOP It’s all about wings. The joint features 10 flavors of chicken flappers for almost any palate, including mild, hot, Cajun and atomic, as well as specialty flavors like lemon pepper, teriyaki, Garlic parmesan and Hawaiian. 11321 West Markham St. Beer, all CC. $-$$. 501-224-9464. LD daily.


HANAROO SUSHI BAR One of the few spots in downtown Little Rock to serve sushi. With an expansive menu, featuring largely Japanese fare. Try the popular Tuna Tatari bento box. 205 W. Capitol Ave. Beer and wine, all CC. $$. 501-301-7900. L Mon.-Fri., D Mon.-Sat. KBIRD Delicious, authentic Thai. 600 N. Tyler. No alcohol, CC. $$-$$$. 501-352-3549. LD Mon.-Fri. MIKE’S CAFE VIETNAMESE Cheap Vietnamese that could use some more spice, typically. The pho is good. 5501 Asher Ave. Beer, CC. $-$$. 501-562-1515. LD daily. MR. CHEN’S ASIAN SUPERMARKET AND RESTAURANT A combination Asian restaurant and grocery with cheap, tasty and exotic offerings. 3901 S. University Ave. $. 501-562-7900. LD daily. NEW CHINA A burgeoning line of massive buffets, with hibachi grill, sushi, mounds of Chinese food and soft serve ice cream. 4617 John F. Kennedy Blvd. NLR. No alcohol, all CC.

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OCTOBER 22, 2015



Join Cosmo and the gang for the magical music of

Saturday, Nov. 7

11 a.m. - 4 p.m. on South Main in Little Rock

$-$$. 501-753-8988. LD daily. 2104 Harkrider. Conway. No alcohol, all CC. $-$$. 501-764-1888. LD Mon.-Sun. SEKISUI Fresh-tasting sushi chain with fun hibachi grill and an overwhelming assortment of traditional entrees. Nice wine selection, also serves sake and specialty drinks. 219 N. Shackleford Road. Full bar, all CC. $-$$. 501-2217070. LD daily. SHOGUN JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE The chefs will dazzle you, as will the variety of tasty stir-fry combinations and the sushi bar. Usually crowded at night. 2815 Cantrell Road. Full bar, all CC. $$-$$$. 501-666-7070. D daily. THREE FOLD NOODLES AND DUMPLING CO. Authentic Chinese noodles, buns and dumplings. With vegetarian options. 215 Center St. No alcohol, all CC. $$-$$$. 501-3721739. LD Mon.-Fri. TOKYO HOUSE Defying stereotypes, this Japanese buffet serves up a broad range of fresh, slightly exotic fare — grilled calamari, octopus salad, dozens of varieties of fresh sushi — as well as more standard shrimp and steak options. 11 Shackleford Drive. Beer and wine, all CC. $$-$$$. 501-219-4286. LD daily. WASABI Downtown sushi and Japanese cuisine. For lunch, there’s quick and hearty sushi samplers. 101 Main St. Full bar, all CC. $-$$. 501-374-0777. L Mon.-Fri., D Mon.-Sat.


Discounted pre-sale tickets at

SWEET SOUL Southern classics by the proprietors of the late, great Haystack Cafe in Ferndale: Chicken fried steak (just about perfect), catfish, collards, cornbread, blackeyed peas and fried chicken. 400 President Clinton Ave. No alcohol, all CC. 501-374-7685. L Mon.-Fri.


ANATOLIA RESTAURANT Middle of the road Mediterranean fare. 315 N. Bowman Road. No alcohol, CC. $-$$. 501-219-9090. LD Mon.-Sat. CREGEEN’S IRISH PUB Irish-themed pub with a large selection of on-tap and bottled British beers and ales, an Irish inspired menu and lots of nooks and crannies to meet in. Live music on weekends and $5 cover on Saturdays, special brunch on Sunday. 301 Main St. NLR. Full bar, all CC. $$. 501-376-7468. LD daily. ISTANBUL MEDITERRANEAN RESTAURANT This Turkish eatery offers decent kebabs and great starters. The red pepper hummus is a winner. So are Cigar Pastries. Possibly the best Turkish coffee in Central Arkansas. 11525 Cantrell Road. No alcohol, all CC. $$-$$$. 501-223-9332. LD daily. KEBAB HOUSE Turkish style doners and kebabs and a sampling of Tunisian cuisine. Only place in Little Rock to serve Lahmijun (Turkish pizza). 11321 W Markham St. No alcohol, CC. $-$$. LD Mon.-Sat. LAYLA’S GYROS AND PIZZERIA Delicious Mediterranean fare — gyros, falafel, shawarma, kabobs, hummus and babaganush — that has a devoted following. All meat is slaughtered according to Islamic dietary law. 9501 N Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, all CC. $-$$. 501-227-7272. LD daily (close 5 p.m. on Sun.) 6100 Stones Road. No alcohol, all CC. $-$$. 501-868-8226. LD Mon.-Sat. MYLO COFFEE CO. Bakery with a vast assortment of hand-made pastries, house roasted coffee and an ice cream counter. Soups and sandwiches, too. 2715 Kavanaugh Blvd. Beer, CC. $-$$. 501-747-1880. BLD Tue.-Sun. ROSALIA’S BAKERY Brazilian bakery owned by the folks over at Bossa Nova, next door. Sweet 42 OCTOBER 22, 2015


and savory treats, including yucca cheese balls, empanadas and macarons. Many gluten-free options. 2701 Kavanaugh Blvd. No alcohol, all CC. $-$$. 501-319-7035. BLD Mon.-Sat. (closes 6 p.m.), BL Sun. SILVEK’S EUROPEAN BAKERY Fine pastries, chocolate creations, breads and cakes done in the classical European style. Drop by for a whole cake or a slice or any of the dozens of single serving treats in the big case. 1900 Polk St. No alcohol, all CC. $$. 501-661-9699. BLD daily.


CAFE PREGO Dependable entrees of pasta, pork, seafood, steak and the like, plus great sauces, fresh mixed greens and delicious dressings, crisp-crunchy-cold gazpacho and tempting desserts in a comfy bistro setting. Little Rock standard for 18 years. 5510 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, all CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-5355. LD Mon.- Fri, D Sat. IRIANA’S PIZZA Unbelievably generous handtossed New York style pizza with unmatched zest. Good salads, too; grinders are great, particularly the Italian sausage. 201 E. Markham St. Beer and wine, all CC. $-$$. 501-374-3656. LD Mon.-Sat. MELLOW MUSHROOM Popular high-end pizza chain. 16103 Chenal Pkwy. Full bar, all CC. $$-$$$. 501-379-9157. LD daily. THE PIZZERIA AT TERRY’S FINER FOODS Tasty Neapolitan-style pizza and calzones from the people who used to run the Santa Lucia food truck. 5018 Kavanaugh. Full bar, all CC. $$-$$$. 501-551-1388. Tue.-Sat. RADUNO BRICK OVEN AND BARROOM The South Main neighborhood’s renaissance continues with Raduno, an upscale pizza joint that also features sandwiches and unique appetizers (think roasted bone marrow). 1318 S. Main St. Full bar, CC. $-$$. 501-374-7476. LD Tue.-Sat., L Sun. U.S. PIZZA Crispy thin-crust pizzas, frosty beers and heaping salads drowned in creamy dressing. 2710 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, all CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-2198. LD daily. 5524 Kavanaugh Blvd. Beer and wine, all CC. $$. 501-664-7071. LD daily. 9300 North Rodney Parham Road. Beer and wine, all CC. $$-$$$. 501-224-6300. LD daily. 3307 Fair Park Blvd. Beer and wine, all CC. $$-$$$. 501-565-6580. LD daily. 650 Edgewood Drive. Maumelle. Beer and wine, all CC. $$-$$$. 501-851-0880. LD daily. 3324 Pike Avenue. NLR. Beer and wine, all CC. $$-$$$. 501-758-5997. LD daily. 4001 McCain Park Drive. NLR. Beer and wine, all CC. $$-$$$. 501-753-2900. LD daily.


BAJA GRILL Food truck turned brick-and-mortar taco joint that serves a unique Mexi-Cali style menu full of tacos, burritos and quesadillas. 5923 Kavanaugh Blvd. CC. $-$$. 501-722-8920. LD Mon.-Sat. CANON GRILL Tex-Mex, pasta, sandwiches and salads. Creative appetizers come in huge quantities, and the varied main-course menu rarely disappoints, though it’s not as spicy as competitors’. 2811 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, all CC. $$. 501-664-2068. LD daily. CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL Burritos, burrito bowls, tacos and salads are the four main courses of choice — and there are four meats and several other options for filling them. Sizes are uniformly massive, quality is uniformly strong, and prices are uniformly low. 11525 Cantrell Road. All CC. $-$$. 501-221-0018. LD daily.

AFTER DARK, CONT. sons for ages 10 and older. Singles welcome. Bess Chisum Stephens Community Center, 7 p.m., $4 for members, $7 for guests. 12th and Cleveland streets. 501-350-4712. www. littlerockbopclub.


“Requiem: Death, Deception and Stories of the Afterlife.” A Halloween-themed performance by the magician Paul Prater. 109 & Co., through : 7 p.m., $10 adv., $13 day of. 109 Main St. 501-374-3710. https://www.


“Winning a Child’s Heart: Creating Readers with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.” A talk by Jeff Conyers, executive director of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Sturgis Hall, 6 p.m., free. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501-683-5200.


Wednesday Night Poetry. 21-and-older show. Maxine’s, 7 p.m., free. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-321-0909. shows.html.



“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” Arkansas Repertory Theatre, through Nov. 8: Fri., Sat., 8 p.m.; Wed.-Sun., 7 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m., $30-$65. 601 Main St. 501-3780405. “Arsenic & Old Lace.” Murry’s Dinner Playhouse, through Nov. 7: Tue.-Sat., 6 p.m., $25-$35. 6323 Col. Glenn Road. 501-562-3131. “The Devil’s Supper.” Ron Robinson Theater, Fri., Oct. 23, 7 p.m., $20 adv., $25 day of. 1 Pulaski Way. 501-320-5703. ron-robinson-theater.aspx. “Elvis Lives!.” Maumelle High School, Oct. 23-24, 8 p.m.; Oct. 24-25, 2 p.m., $30-$60. 100 Victory Drive. 501-851-5350. “Water By The Spoonful.” Walton Arts Center, through Nov. 8: Wed.-Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Sun., 2 p.m.; Sun., 7:30 p.m., $15-$40. 495 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-443-5600.

NEW GALLERY EXHIBITS, EVENTS ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, MacArthur Park: “Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art,” 93 works by 72 artists from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, through Jan. 17, screening of episode 2 of “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History,” Episode 2: Empire of Dreams (1880-1942), 2 p.m. Oct. 25; “Feed Your Mind Friday” with artist

X3MEX, noon Oct. 23; 3rd annual “Fountain Fest,” fundraiser, 5:30-8 p.m. Oct. 22, $40; “Life and Light: Photographic Travels through Latin America with Bryan Clifton,” Oct. 27-Feb. 14; A Little Poetry: The Art of Alonzo Ford,” through Oct. 25. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. 372-4000. M2GALLERY, Pleasant Ridge Town Center: “Fall Group Show,” work by Brian Fender, Nancy Hillis, R.F. Walker, Taylor Shepherd, Tansill Stough and Catherine Nugent, 6-9 p.m. Oct. 24. 225-6271. UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS AT LITTLE ROCK: “Marianela de la Hoz: SpeculumSpeculari,” through Dec. 8; “Selections from the Serie Project,” screenprints by Vicki Meek, Carlos Fresquez, Pepe Coronado, Benjamin Varela, Benito Huerta, Jose Cisneros and Mike Parsons from the UALR permanent collection, Gallery II (MannersPappas Gallery), through Oct. 23. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sat., 2-5 p.m. Sun. 569-8977. WILDWOOD PARK FOR THE ARTS, 20919 Denny Road: “Park’s Pants,” a project by photographer Nancy Nolan in collaboration with Dave Anderson, through Nov. 22, “Tales from the South Tin Roof Project” with Nolan Oct. 22; “Community Conversation: Art as Therapy,” with Nolan, Anderson, Park Lanford, Ken Clark and others, Nov. 17. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., noon-5 p.m. Sun. 821-7275. Bentonville CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART, One Museum Way: “Alfred H. Maurer: Art on the Edge,” 65 works spanning the artist’s career from the Addison Gallery of Phillips Academy, through Jan. 4; “UNOde50,” Spanish artisans’ showcase, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 22-23, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 24; “Orphan Riders,” performance by Alison Moore and Phil Lancaster, 7-8 p.m. Oct. 22, $5 ($4 for members), register at 479657-2335; 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. Fayetteville GEORGE DOMBEK STUDIO, 844 Blue Springs Road: “Open Studio 2015,” retrospective of paintings and works on glass by Dombek, noon-6 p.m. Oct. 24-25, Oct. 31-Nov. 1, Nov. 7-8. 479-442-8976. Jasper NELMS GALLERY, Church Street: Paintings by Cynthia Dollard, through October; also work by Winston Taylor, Don Nelms, Pamla Klenczar and Scott Baldassari. 870-4465477.

Did yoouw? kn

you can at Franke’s g in in d n e Wh beverage. own adult r u o y g n ri b ide glasses e will prov (BYOB) W openers. and bottle Franke’s Market Place 11121 N. Rodney Parham Little Rock


KENDRA SCOTT LOVE TOKENS JEWELRY NALLY & MILLIE NEELY PHELAN JEWELRY NIVEN MORGAN RAILS LA Y’ALLSOME Franke’s Downtown & "Sack It” by Franke’s Regions Center Building | 400 Broadway, Little Rock


OCTOBER 22, 2015





t’s time to update wardrobes and accessories for

SO LONG, FAREWELL… All good things must come to an end. For 6 years, Ember has brought stylish comfort and forward fashion to the Heights. A huge sale has begun on everything in the store including new arrivals. Come check out the 25%-65% off sale going on now! Mon-Sat, 10-6p.m.

fall. Cooler temps mean more layering opportuni-

ties, the return of boots, richer colors and more. Shop

these pages for pieces to add to, or complete, your

Ember, 5709 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock, 225.3220

autumn looks.NEW SEASON, NEW BAG

A new season means it’s time to update accessories. A camel color is the perfect complement to autumn and the rich, earthy tones of this season’s clothing. This Liebeskind Berlin bag from Box Turtle is the perfect choice to take you through fall and beyond. Stop in to browse the many different styles and colors from the Liebeskind fall/winter collection.

SOPHISTICATED & STYLISH Shop Mr. Wicks, The Gentlemen’s shop for the finest in both men’s dress clothing and quality sportswear lines, like these Peter Millar favorites. These layer-friendly essentials are the building blocks of a solid, stylish wardrobe this fall. Mr. Wicks will be offering the partners card at the end of this month, so get your holiday shopping done early. Gift wrapping available.

Box Turtle, 2616 Kavanaugh Blvd., 661.1167


Mr. Wicks, 5924 R St, Little Rock, AR 72207, 664.3062

Keep it simple this fall with gear from Culture Clothing co. Neutrals, burgundys and coppers will be the colors to look for! This sherpa lined jacket from Hippytree is perfect for hayrides and bonfires! Pair it with a brixton henley, and of course nothing says fall like corduroy with this snapback from Iron and Resin!

IT’S ALL IN THE LAYERS One of the best things about fall is being able to layer! What better way to show off your autumnal style by mixing key pieces together to create a unique outfit? Head over to Southern Fox to pick up layering items like the ones featured here. The best part about layers? Multiple outfits can be created from just a few finds.

Culture Clothing, 11220 N. Rodney Parham Rd., Ste. 3, 246.5466

The Southern Fox, 304 Main St., NLR, Inside Galaxy Furniture, 375.DESK (3375)

AND THE SHIPPIN’ IS EASY… It’s southern comfort in this Goddis cardigan, My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys tee, and Current Elliott Stiletto Jean. Darling’s Fine Things, purveying life’s better goods for you. McLain St in Newport, we will ship! Call in an order at 870.523.5887 or shop online at, Facebook and Instagram.

Hot Springs Village Fall Fest October 24





he 1st annual Hot Springs Village Fall Festival, sponsored by Arvest Bank is a one-day event at Balboa Beach in Hot Springs Village on Saturday the 24th from 3 pm until 9 pm. Classic carnival games for kids and adults, hay rides, inflatables, funnel cakes, caramel apples, kettle corn, etc. Along with great food vendors around the Balboa Pavilion and sponsored by Jahna’s Restaurant of Hot Springs. This collaboration is between Next Level Barbecue with Louis Williams and The Ronin Chef T. Porter Montgomery – an array of smoked meat cravings with their delectable fusion cuisine. Children’s Costume Contest begins at 3:30 pmon the main stage and the adults at 6:30 pm. Check out the cast of “Young

Frankenstein: The Musical” as they hand out candy to the kids. The Musical performs Friday, October 30 until Sunday, November 1 at the Woodland’s Auditorium. Tickets: www. HSVTicket After the sun goes down, the hayride for youth will transform into a haunted forest! Evening concludes with a live performance, sponsored by US Stations, by a great Americana band – Adam Faucett and the Tall Grass. Music begins at 8 pm. For more information visit www. or call 501.922.4231

Locally Labeled


TASTING BAR AT ROCK TOWN DISTILLERY, tours and tastings daily.

BLUE CANOE BREWING COMPANY on 3rd Street in The River Market District area.



FRUIT WINES NOW OFFERED by River Bottom Winery at Bo Brook Farms in Roland.


eep it local. That’s what we do in Greater Little Rock. Culinary tourism is on the rise in the United States. Millions of travelers are basing their travel decisions on foodrelated tourism, and one of their interests lie in discovering local establishments doing great things with food and drink. As one of Forbes Travel Guide’s 2014 “Five Secret Foodie Cities,” Little Rock’s culinary scene is on the rise, and our brand new Locally Labeled adult beverage tourism initiative is a great way to encourage both visitors and residents to learn more about Little Rock’s growing craft beer, winery and distillery options. The Little Rock and North Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureaus

have developed a special passport program that rewards participants for visiting our local partners. By visiting visit at least seven locations, passport holders can receive an Arkansas-made sandstone coaster – if they visit all ten locations – they can receive a vintage “Drink Like A Local” t-shirt. Locally Labeled is a great way to explore our homegrown craft breweries, wineries and distillery in Little Rock and North Little Rock. Here, you’ll taste our commitment to quality libations and the passion that goes into every drop. Here, you’ll drink like a local. Learn more at

3 Floors 3 Stores 1 Location HIP CLOTHING


PROVISIONS FOR THE CULTURED GENTLEMAN 11220 N Rodney Parham Rd. Suite 3 501.246.5466

OCTOBER 22, 2015


MOVIE REVIEW, CONT. Best of all is Hooper’s command of odd color palettes; as in “Chainsaw Massacre,” it’s completely gorgeous in a way that complements rather than subverts its gruesome subject matter. It’s an impressionistic, Deep South nightmare about loneliness and the horrors of the swamp. 5. “House” (1977) A Japanese horror classic about a young student who takes her friends along to visit her father and new stepmother, only to see them all bizarrely picked off one by one by supernatural forces. Directed by the experimental film-

maker Nobuhiko Obayashi, it’s full of the most vivid and dreamlike psychedelic imagery — killer pianos and floating heads and skeletons and haunted cats. 6. “Altered States” (1980) There should probably be more great horror films about psychoactive drugs, but “Altered States” should do until the next one comes along. Directed by Ken Russell, the British visionary responsible for The Who’s rock opera “Tommy,” “Altered States” is about a professor of abnormal psychology (William Hurt) who begins to experiment with sensory deprivation tanks and ayahuasca. It goes really badly, in ways I couldn’t explain if I tried. 7. “Videodrome” (1983)

AE FEATURE, CONT. Star City, Cedar Ridge. The fairground’s livestock office is a utilitarian hive made by enclosing a few stalls in the middle of Cattle Barn 3. This was where I found Sherman Lites, livestock director, sitting behind his desk in a small, windowless room. I expected Lites to defend his area as the most important, the real heart of the fair. But instead, he had a more nuanced view. “They all mingle, they all feed off of each other,” he said of the midway carnival and the livestock show. One without the other is only half a fair. Lites told me a story that one of his livestock judges told him last week. This year, Virginia’s state fair was shut down early when Hurricane Joaquin blew through, but the livestock shows were still being held. And this judge had pulled up to the fairgrounds, only to find it almost empty. Without the midway to draw in fairgoers, there were just a few trucks clumped around the livestock barns, the judge had told Lites. While he said this, Lites’ phone rang and rang. When he was finished with his story, Lites lifted the receiver half an inch, set it back down without answering, and continued with our conversation. I pressed the issue a bit further, asking what he thought the fair was really about. Lites conceded that the primary purpose of the State Fair is to promote agriculture. “All of this,” he said, motioning to the carnival beyond his paneled walls, “is just bonus. That’s the way it was set up years and years ago.” Lites is an apostle of the livestock program. He believes it teaches the participating kids, and the fairgoers, about where their food comes from. And he believes that programs like 4-H and FFA mold young people (“You’re not going to 46 OCTOBER 22, 2015


find any better kids than what you find in here”). He is proud to have nieces and nephews and grandchildren all showing livestock at the fair. And yet, Lites said, when they are done showing, they will all head out onto the midway.

After I left Lites, I stuck to the outer ring of the fair as long as I could, through the other cattle barns and finally into the fluorescent calm of the Arts & Crafts building, with its display cases of inverted jars of jams and pickles, its oversized watermelons and pumpkins, its quilts and handmade clothes. Then I was forced to head back into the crush of the midway, for one last push back toward the front gate. I hurried past the fried Oreos, the ring toss and the $20 helicopter rides. But there at the geographical heart of the fair was the one ride against that I could not pass up — the Ferris wheel (though this one was called The Giant Wheel, I suppose for trademark reasons). On that hot day, there was no line for the Ferris wheel. I climbed into a gondola and quickly swung above the midway games, the giant slide, even the smoke from the turkey legs. For just a moment at the top of each revolution, the noise from the speakers and generators died away, and I could see the midway for what it is — a parking lot full of transients, an RV park where we vacation for a few hours and let some neglected part of ourselves run free. In a few days, everything would be folded up and stowed in trailers and hauled away for another year. Everything except those low, nondescript livestock buildings that ring the midway.

Shattering and cosmic and genuinely gross, “Videodrome” is one of the smartest films ever made about screens and our relationship to the televisual. A conspiracy thriller that becomes something else — something darker and more mysterious — it’s a body-horror classic, and one of David Cronenberg’s best. It’s also one of the only mainstream movies ever to fully engage with how frightening and disgusting our total submission to technology can be. As the original trailer put it, “Television can change your mind, ‘Videodrome’

will change your body.” 8. “Pulgasari” (1985) A North Korean monster epic by the South Korean filmmaker Shin Sang-ok, who directed it at gunpoint — he’d been kidnapped for that purpose by Kim Jong-il, a huge movie buff. What could be scarier than a horror movie made under those conditions? It’s essentially a take-off on “Godzilla,” though the Japanese team behind that franchise later claimed they much preferred “Pulgasari” to Roland Emmerich’s 1998 remake with Matthew Broderick.

Share the Road

Share the road For Cyclists

Tips for SAFE cycling on the road.

• Bicycles are vehicles on the road, just like cars and motorcycles. Cyclists must obey all traffic laws. Arkansas Uniform Vehicle Code #27-49-111 • Cyclists must signal, ride on the right side of the road and yield to traffic normally. Code #27-51-301/403 • Bicycles must have a white headlight and a red tail light visible from 500 feet and have a bell or warning device for pedestrians. Code #27-36-220 • Make eye contact with motorists. Be visible. Be predictable. Head up, think ahead. • On the Big Dam Bridge... go slow. Represent! • As you pass, say “On your left... thank you.” • On the River Trail... use a safe speed, don’t intimidate or scare others. Watch for dogs and leashes.

Tips for prEVENTiNG iNjury or dEaTh.

For more information... Bicycles are vehicles on Bicycle Advocacy of Arkansas the road, just like cars and League of American Bicyclists motorcycles. Cyclist should Share the Road obey all traffic laws. Arkansas For Cyclists Tips forVehicle SAFE cycling on the road. Uniform Code #27-49-111

• Bicycles are vehicles on the road, just like cars and motorcycles. Cyclists must Cyclists should signal, rideobey on all traffic laws. Arkansas Uniform Vehicle Code the right side of the road, and #27-49-111 •yield traffic likeside Cycliststo must signal,normally ride on the right of the road and yield to traffic normally. any other road vehicle. Code Code #27-51-301/403 •#27-51-301/403 Bicycles must have a white headlight and a red tail light visible from 500 feet and have a bell device for pedestrians. Giveor 3warning feet of clear space when Code #27-36-220 passing (up to a $1000 fine!) • Make eye contact with motorists. Be visCodeBe#27-51-311 ible. predictable. Head up, think ahead. • On the Big Dam Bridge... go slow. Cyclist by law can not ride on Represent! •the As you pass, say “On left... thank you.” sidewalk in your some areas, • On the River Trail... use a safe speed, don’t some bikes can onlyRoad handle Share the intimidate or scare others. Watch for dogs and leashes.roads For Cyclists smooth (no cracks, For morecycling information... Tips for SAFE on the road. potholes, trolley tracks). Advocacy Arkansas • BicyclesBicycle are vehicles onofthe road, just like LR Ord.#32-494 cars andLeague motorcycles. Cyclists must obey of American Bicyclists traffic laws. Arkansas Uniform Vehicle Code

Make eye contact with cyclists. #27-49-111 • Cyclists must signal, ride on the right side Drive predictably. of the road and yield to traffic normally. Code #27-51-301/403 prevent bikes. and a •Please Bicycles must have aghost white headlight red tail light visible from 500 feet and have a bell or warning device for pedestrians. Code #27-36-220 • Makefor information: eye more contact with motorists. Be visible. Be predictable. Head up, think ahead. Bicycle advocacy of arkansas • On the Big Dam Bridge... go slow. Represent! • As you pass, say “On your left... thank you.” • On the River Trail... use a safe speed, don’t intimidate others. Watch for dogs Leagueorofscare American Bicyclists and leashes. For more information... Bicycle Advocacy of Arkansas programs/education League of American Bicyclists

MAUMELLE CIVIL SERVICE ENTRY LEVEL FIRE EXAM The CITY OF MAUMELLE announces Civil Service examination for the position of entry level Fire Officer will be given on Saturday, October 31, 2015.

QUALIFICATIONS FOR TAKING THE EXAM ARE: 1. Be a United States Citizen 2. Be the age of 21 on date of the exam (Fire Exam) 3. Be able to pass a background check, a drug test, and/or physical examination 4. Possess a high school diploma or equivalent 5. Possess a valid Arkansas driver’s license Beginning salary is $30,334.00 per year; the City offers an excellent employee benefit package. The application process will begin immediately. For additional information visit “EOE – Minority, Women, and disabled individuals are encouraged to apply.” This ad is available from the Title VI Coordinator in large print, on audio, and in Braille at (501) 851-2784, ext. 233 or at

Saturday, November 7, 2015 - 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, November 8, 2015 - 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.



617 S. Broadway Street • Little Rock, AR 72201 ADMISSION:

$6 per day or $10 for the weekend. FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Sharlette Pumphrey 501.955.2063

Heart Connections Body, Mind & Soul Expos

APPLICATIONS SYSTEMS ANALYST/ PROGRAMMER Staff Specialist for University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences to work at our Little Rock, AR loc. Pos will work w/ IT + business teams in consult role for SAP apps. Provide proj leadership for creation, improvement + adoption of dev methods. Plan + implement infrastructure projs. Focus on tech industry + bus sol providers (SAP). Understand + validate current + future trends relating to ERP sys + apps. Train + instruct analysts, programmers, ops + other internal personnel. Communicate sys mods + procedures to users. Provide proj leadership to implement new business/techl functionality. Maintain tech integrity of SAP apps. Dev + modify apps. ID + analyze user reqs for software (SW). Design + define app logic. Write specs for programming dev. Direct testing, debugging + implementation of sys. Make tuning mods to enhance efficiency. Address sys failures. Participate in acquisition of new SW; review + eval requests for sys enhancements. Research + eval SW/hardware. Req to be on-call and respond outside general work hours. Must have Bach in Comp. Sci. or rel and 4 yrs rel exp. Rel exp to include SAP technologies (ABAP, BASIS, NetWeaver, Web Dynpro), perf tuning, functional config procedures, and leading teams. May undergo background checks. Apply online at





Children and Adults

We accept: AR-KIDS, Medicaid, Care Credit and all types of insurance.



Gentle Teeth Cleaning • Tooth Extractions • Ceramic Crowns & Bridges Tooth Colored Fillings • Implants • X-rays • Root Canals • Orthodontic Braces • Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Faith Dental Clinic 7301 Baseline Rd · Little Rock Monday–Saturday


(501) 565-3009 (501) 562-1665

MAUMELLE CIVIL SERVICE ENTRY LEVEL POLICE EXAM The CITY OF MAUMELLE announces Civil Service examination for the position of entry level Police Officer will be given on Saturday, November 21, 2015.

QUALIFICATIONS FOR TAKING THE EXAM ARE: 1. Be a United States Citizen 2. Be the age of 21 on date of the exam (Police Exam) 3. Be able to pass a background check, a drug test, and/or physical examination 4. Possess a high school diploma or equivalent 5. Possess a valid Arkansas driver’s license Beginning salary is $30,334.00 per year; the City offers an excellent employee benefit package. The application process will begin immediately. For additional information visit “EOE – Minority, Women, and disabled individuals are encouraged to apply.” This ad is available from the Title VI Coordinator in large print, on audio, and in Braille at (501) 851-2784, ext. 233 or at

OCTOBER 22, 2015


Fo N od OV se E M r v BE ed R at 14 6: ! 30





Argenta Arts District


RAIN OR SHINE Argenta Farmers Market Events Grounds , 5 until 9 PM

Tickets $15/$20 Day of





Arkansas Ale House The Country Club of Little Rock Midtown Billiards SO Restaurant-Bar Clinton Presidential Center Simply the Best Catering (Brian Kearns, Winner in 2013)

Cowboy Cafe Smokin’ ButZ Smoke City Limits Argenta Boosters Billy Bob’s Smokin’ Butts Kermit’s X



Gated festival area selling beer & wine ($5 each). Loblolly ice cream will be for sale.

• Ticket holders will cast all the votes via “Tokens” • Three tokens will be provided to all ticket holders, additional tokens are available for sale • Three Winners will be chosen: PEOPLE’s CHOICE FOR Best Professional Team, Best Amateur Team and the Best Amateur “No Butts About It” Team.


AMATEUR AND PROFESSIONAL TEAMS Deadline to enter: October 30

To enter, contact Drue Patton or Phyllis Britton 48 OCTOBER 22, 2015



Arkansas Times - October 22, 2015  

eStem branches out - Little Rock’s best known charter school plans to expand dramatically in partnership with UALR. That could help some kid...