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BLOOD BIAS When parents fail their children, relatives often want to step up. But Kimberlee Herring and Karisa Hardy say the system shut them out — and instead placed three kids into a home where they were abused. by KATHRYN JOYCE


an Arkansas Times special investigation

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Holiday Open House ARKANSAS’S SOURCE FOR NEWS, POLITICS & ENTERTAINMENT 201 East Markham Street, Suite 200 Little Rock, Arkansas 72201 Twitter: @ArkTimes Instagram: arktimes PUBLISHER Alan Leveritt EDITOR Lindsey Millar SENIOR EDITOR Max Brantley MANAGING EDITOR Leslie Newell Peacock CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Mara Leveritt ASSOCIATE EDITORS Benjamin Hardy, David Koon, COPY EDITOR Jim Harris ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR Will Stephenson

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YO U R # 1 H O S P I TA L . VOLUME 42, NUMBER 8 ARKANSAS TIMES (ISSN 0164-6273) is published each week by Arkansas Times Limited Partnership, 201 East Markham Street, Suite 200, Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201, phone (501) 375-2985. Periodical postage paid at Little Rock, Arkansas, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ARKANSAS TIMES, 201 EAST MARKHAM STREET, SUITE 200, Little Rock, AR, 72201. Subscription prices are $42 for one year, $74 for two years. Subscriptions outside Arkansas are $49 for one year, $88 for two years. Foreign (including Canadian) subscriptions are $168 a year. For subscriber service call (501) 375-2985. Current single-copy price is 75¢, free in Pulaski County. Single issues are available by mail at $2.50 each, postage paid. Payment must accompany all single-copy orders. Reproduction or use in whole or in part of the contents without the written consent of the publishers is prohibited. Manuscripts and artwork will not be returned or acknowledged unless sufficient return postage and a self-addressed stamped envelope are included. All materials are handled with due care; however, the publisher assumes no responsibility for care and safe return of unsolicited materials. All letters sent to ARKANSAS TIMES will be treated as intended for publication and are subject to ARKANSAS TIMES’ unrestricted right to edit or to comment editorially.


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OCTOBER 29, 2015



Not enough love for Leon From the preview write-up of Leon Russell (To-Do List, Oct. 22), who graced our city with a visit last week, you wouldn’t know the author was talking about one of the great rock ’n’ roll musical talents. Whatever one thinks of Russell’s voice or “style,” or “the ’70s,” for that matter, the man deserves more respect. Leon Russell started as a session musician, recording piano for such greats as Frank Sinatra and Aretha Franklin. He was the bandleader on Joe Cocker’s phenomenal “Mad Dogs & Englishmen” touring revue in 1970 and also “anchor[ed] the house band for George Harrison’s Bangla Desh benefit in 1971.” (From the website of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which inducted him in 2011). His songs have been covered by, among others, Ray Charles, George Benson, Dusty Springfield and Willie Nelson. He has played and/or recorded with the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Elton John, Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan. As a producer, he “launched the careers of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, J.J. Cale, Phoebe Snow and Dwight Twilley. It was on [one of his labels] that venerable Texas bluesman Freddie King revitalized his career.” (Same source) If his hits “A Song for You,” “Delta Lady” or “Stranger in a Strange Land” aren’t your cup of tea, perhaps his rendition of George Harrison’s “Beware of Darkness” would strike a chord. Great musicians think he’s one of the great rock pianists of all time. And millions of fans, like me, find his music and performances charged with musical virtuosity and emotionally and sensually engaging on the deepest levels. Rita Sklar Little Rock

The Pulitzer Prize winner based his negative comments on the discredited “body parts” video. Rather than write about the unfairness of a clandestine, edited video taken in a lounge, let’s consider the real problem — abortion. “Right to Life” members, and there are many, absolutely consider the moment an egg and sperm unite, a human with all the rights of a minor child. They insist on calling the zygote a baby. There is no room for compromise.

Nature causes between 10 to 20 percent of pregnancies to miscarry. We accept that sad event, but cannot accept a woman doing the same thing for whatever her reason. There is no compromise because they see no qualitative difference between a blastocyst, fetus and human. If these folks stuck to their convictions, we would not have enough space to entomb the recovered clots of miscarried “children.” As Roe v. Wade approaches

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From the web in response to “eStem branches out” (Oct. 22):

Anti-choicers war on Roe The Oct. 26 editorial cartoon in the state newspaper illustrates women’s loss as a result of defunding Planned Parenthood. It balances somewhat the Inky Wretch’s Sunday attack column. 4

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50 years as the law of the land, there is a realization it will not be changed. Anti-choicers now use guerrilla war schemes such as the edited smear video with the ultimate goal of making abortion illegal. There is no regard for the female carnage caused without the availability of medical abortions. Nope, if you remove the conceptus, you are a murderer. Causing a woman to die from a back alley abortion, well, that’s OK. The murderer deserves it. Roe v. Wade gives deference to fetal growth allowing essentially unregulated abortion during the first three months, more regulation during the middle three months and rigorous regulation (for example, to save the mother’s life) the last three months. Rather than improving on these regulations, anti-choicers continue to push the limits of the law in an attempt to destroy the law. One of their favorite tactics is to impose pointless and unnecessary medical requirements on abortion clinics. At some point, one hopes the anti-choice folks will realize that their uncompromising position does not respect life. Richard Emmel Little Rock

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Sen. Joyce Elliott hit the nail on the head. Self-interest is healthy to a point and then it becomes pathological. Our society is so ultra-competitive and meanspirited. We expect oppressed people who work at two or three crappy jobs just to keep food on the table to drop their kids off at eStem. We should reject the designation of failing when it comes to the schools where kids aren’t doing well. Of course, they are not doing well. Their families and their neighborhoods have been set up to fail, and they have been shunted into schools that distinctly segregate on the basis of income and race. It’s just short of criminal. Bernie Sanders is right. Things and status will never make up for basic decency in a country. We would do well to follow the Scandinavians and care about the society as a whole. Am I blaming

parents? Hell no, the waters are so shark infested in this nation, a person would be a fool not seek an edge for their children. Is that a good scenario? Hardly. Polk Salad Annie It’s funny to me that after eight years the Little Rock School District is still crying over the opening of eStem. Dr. Roy Brooks, the former superintendent of the LRSD, was trying to implement the philosophies used at eStem today, but met much resistance from the district and staff. When Brooks helped prepare the community for the opening of this fantastic charter school and set the foundation for eStem, many parents were excited to hear that we had options for the education we wanted for our children. The LRSD had a great leader with a great vision, and the LRSD blew it! LRSD needs to fix their own problems and quit attacking the charter schools. I am a proud parent of three students at eStem public charter schools and wouldn’t let them go


back to the LRSD if you paid me. Angela Scroggins Charter schools are not under the control of local school districts. They are not required to follow all the rigorous standards that public schools do. They are usually financed and run by those who have the money to do so. For example, Walter Hussman (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette owner) finances eStem. The Waltons finance Quest in West Little Rock. The original intended purpose of charter schools was supposed to be that they would try new and innovative techniques and attempt to teach kids that were struggling in traditional schools. Then, those techniques were supposed to be shared with and used in more traditional schools, if they were proven effective. This has not happened. Many charter schools recruit and retain the better and best public school students and put out the kids who are struggling academically, behaviorally, etc. Michelle Cantley Mills

Charter schools give Republican leaders a way to get their hands into the public school funding cookie jar because, of course, someone who can run a successful business surely knows how to educate children. These schools are the current version of the old voucher system they have been trying to sell for the last 30 years. We have always known this would be the downfall of public schools in Arkansas. Sounds very similar to separate but equal. I’m sure they are concerned about the whole child and believe every child can learn. Lisa Taylor Lawrence And all you haters of charter schools, you must have never had your child in a terrible school! We have been in Maumelle Middle and High School, and the years spent there were a complete waste academically. I am so thrilled to have my kids at eStem! They are actually learning, and excited about it. The teachers pay attention and provide help and tutoring where needed.

If a child is not being challenged, they will move them up a grade. My senior gets to do an internship with a design company during his last two periods of the day. It’s been amazing! And they offer “regular” classes. It is not AP or nothing. I am a huge fan of the Arkansas Times, but when you guys just bitch and moan about charter schools it makes me crazy. Libra Shepherd Snyder


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10/27/15 5:08 PM



Quote of the Week: “I would imagine I’ve thought more about what happened than all of you put together. I’ve lost more sleep than all of you put together. I have been racking my brain about what more could have been done, or should have been done.” — Hillary Clinton, at last week’s congressional hearing on the 2012 Benghazi attack in Libya that killed four Americans. The former U.S. Secretary of State kept her cool throughout 11 hours of mostly hostile questioning, while her antagonists appeared to be grasping at straws. Even most conservative commenters admitted afterward that the nationally televised hearings had been a PR mistake for Republicans.

Tweet of the Week: “@ArkansasBlog Why do you think people are moving to Cabot? It’s not because of highways.” — Arkansas Highways and Transportation Director Scott Bennett, responding to the Times’ Max Brantley and other critics of the proposed Interstate 30 expansion, which would build four more lanes of traffic through the heart of downtown Little Rock (see column, opposite page).

Supreme Court stays executions Last Tuesday, the Arkansas Supreme Court stayed the executions of two men scheduled for the following day, along with seven other executions planned for the coming months. Don Davis and Bruce Ward, whose death sentences date to 1992 and 1990, have argued for a hearing on the constitutionality of the lethal injection protocol and say they should be able to get information about the drugs to be used in the execution, which is secret under state law. The high court said that litigation (currently in Pulaski Circuit Court) must first be resolved before the state can proceed. 6

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Unsportsmanlike conduct Last week, the Elkins Police Department filed charges against Coach Kevin Lea of Cedarville High after an altercation at an Elkins-Cedarville football game on Oct. 16. The charges against Lea — son of state Auditor Andrea Lea — include inciting a riot and endangering the welfare of a minor. Evidently, after referees broke up a fight between students towards the end of the game (which Elkins won, 16-6) Lea began screaming and cursing at the refs, and allegedly directed a racial slur toward his rival coach. When told to leave the field with his players, he refused, the police report states, and the conflict only escalated from there. Lea was suspended from Cedarville’s game last Friday — and Elkins canceled a planned junior high game in Cedarville.

Same-sex marriage = marriage Same-sex couples can now get married anywhere in the country, of course, but some Arkansas laws and regulations still have yet to catch up with the times — such as a rule in state employee policy that until recently prohibited family medical leave for same-sex spouses, explicitly. Last week, the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration changed its rule to make it clear family leave is now available to all. One more small step toward equality.

Last week, the Associated Press’ Claudia Lauer found that Michael Lamoureux, chief of staff for Gov. Asa Hutchinson, received a handsome payment on the side during his time leading the Arkansas Senate. In 2013, while serving as Senate president pro tempore, Lamoureux’s law firm was hired as a “consultant” for a conservative nonprofit called the Arkansas Faith and Freedom Coalition, which has since folded. The nonprofit received almost all of its money from a group of wealthy lobbyists and their corporate clients, tax documents indicate. Lamoureux said in a statement that his work for “F&F” included recruiting candidates, organizing volunteers and educating candidates on issues, adding that “this position in no way influenced my job as a state senator.”

Buying a legislator, by the numbers:



The amount F&F paid to Lamoureux’s law firm in 2013.

F&F’s total expenditures in 2013 after paying Lamoureux’s “consulting” fee.



Lamoureux’s salary in the Senate, which was less than one-sixth the amount F&F paid his firm.

The amount donated to F&F in 2013 from two tobacco industry groups.



The amount donated to F&F in 2013 from DBH Management Consultants, a firm headed by Bruce Hawkins, one of the state’s most prominent lobbyists.

The amount donated to F&F by Michael Morton, a Fort Smith nursing home magnate who’s lobbied for restricting the amount of damages awarded in legal actions.

$2,000 The maximum amount that any one lobbyist (or any individual) could give directly to a candidate per election in 2013. F&F didn’t donate to Lamoureux, you see. It merely paid his law firm for consulting services.


STOP I-30 widening Brave progressives stood tall in Little Rock in 1958 when Gov. Orval Faubus tried to fire school teachers suspected of supporting desegregation. STOP, for Stop This Outrageous Purge, was formed to support school board members who fought Faubus and oust those who didn’t. They stopped the purge. We need another STOP campaign. Stop This Outrageous Project — the 30 Crossing project to widen Interstate 30 through downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock to as many as 10 lanes and replace the Arkansas River Bridge. The bridge may need to be replaced. The south and north terminal interchanges could use improvement. But the city doesn’t need a wider Berlin Wall between east and west in our city. Some other cities have stopped building — even torn down — freeways. They carry huge subsidies from non-

user taxpayers. They don’t ease congestion. San Francisco rose up to stop a freeway that would have MAX ruined what is BRANTLEY now one of the finest parts of town. Does it create some rush hour traffic jams? Yes. And so what? The Arkansas Highway Department’s ONLY interest in the 30 Crossing project is to move I-30 traffic through town quicker and to reduce congestion during perhaps 10 hours a week, a brief benefit to long-distance commuters, but at great cost to people who live here. In churlish Twitter posts over the weekend, Highway Department Director Scott Bennett, who lives in Bryant, indicated congestion was his primary concern and that there were reasons (hint, hint)

Tax cuts: They still don’t help


rookings Institution economists have taken a fresh look at the effect that tax cuts for high earners have on economic growth and jobs, 35 years after Jude Wanniski and Arthur Laffer persuaded Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp that it would be nothing short of spectacular. Here’s a shocker: It turns out that the effect is the same as it was then, none. That has been true when the federal government tested it and the results have been the same when state governments tried it. But faith in such a simple and rosy theory doesn’t die easily. Republican candidates for president promise that they will make it work and a sizable element of the congressional party, not merely the “freedom caucus,” say they will get it done if they get control of the executive branch. Despite the cataclysmic results of drastic tax-cutting experiments in the nearby and economically similar states

of Kansas and Louisiana, the Arkansas legislature set out on the same course when the GOP took control ERNEST of the legislature in DUMAS 2013 and again this year. Legislators were respectful enough of their new governor, who was wary of plunging the state into a fiscal crisis in his first two years, that it did not get too far out of hand. But Hutchinson joined the euphoria about the impact that income-tax rate cuts would have. People are going to pick up stakes and leave California, Massachusetts and Connecticut to enjoy Arkansas’s lower taxes, they said. It was an absurd notion. When you factor the loss of federal deductions from the old, higher tax rates, the tax savings from the rate cuts will be hardly noticeable for an Arkansas taxpayer, and for a transient Californian the greater tax

people wanted to flee Little Rock. He complained at TV coverage of a recent public hearing, marked by criticism of the project. State Rep. Warwick Sabin (D-Little Rock) wrote cogently for the department to rethink this project. So has a consortium of architects, designers and builders. State Rep. Clarke Tucker (D-Little Rock) urged the Heights Neighborhood Association to oppose the project as planned and it did. If work must be done, it should take every effort to mitigate damage to the city. I-30 was planned at a time when mayors thought it good to blast highvolume freeways through the hearts of cities. The Mills Freeway, finally built after a protracted fight, created decay along its path and segregated the city. I-30 is lined by decay. Make it wider and it will only increase the decay. A current plan also calls for a ruinous new path between I-30 and Cantrell Road, along Second Street; truncation of the streetcar line east of the freeway, and other roadblocks to ready connections between the east and west sides of town. This comes just as the east side of Little Rock is blooming. Already it

has the Clinton Library and Heifer International, two brew pubs, a distillery and new plans for a mixed-used development anchored by the Cromwell architecture firm and a charter school. Hanger Hill has a row of new $200,000 homes, which are close enough to the freeway as it is, without encroachment of more lanes. The neighborhood is ripe for redevelopment. One of the state’s most historic homes is being preserved there. A wall of concrete, particularly if done with the Highway Department’s customary disdain for pedestrians and bicycles, will discourage all this. They call this a half-billion project, but Metroplan says it’s more like $4 billion counting maintenance. That doesn’t count time lost during construction. It doesn’t count future traffic accommodations for the disruptive influence. The Highway Department has been rapped for facilitating public discussions through an employee of a firm that will be paid commensurate with the size of the project. What, Bennett snarked on Twitter, they should use Warwick Sabin stead? No, but somebody without self-interest would be better. It’s time to look for alternatives to

transfer to the IRS by moving to Arkansas would eliminate the incentive to move simply for tax purposes. Even a casual review of tax history, both nationally and in Arkansas, ought to explode the myth that tax cuts for high incomes produce big growth and a flood of jobs, but the siren song never loses its allure. I’ve written that before, and there always is a chorus, “What about the big Reagan tax cuts of 1981?” The revisionist history is that Reagan inherited a jobless rate of 10.8 percent from Jimmy Carter, slashed taxes and spending and sent the economy on a stratospheric binge of growth. Here’s the real history. A mild recession in Carter’s last year raised unemployment well above 7 percent and it had declined to 7.4 percent when Reagan took office. Congress quickly cut spending as Reagan asked and passed the giant Kemp-Roth tax bill. The economy fell into recession and the jobless rate was above 10 percent from September 1982 through July 1983, still the longest and steepest recession since World War II. Revisionists might take the word of Martin Feldstein, Reagan’s chief economist, and Doug Elmendorf, former director of the Congressional Budget Office, whose study found that the 1981 tax cuts

had virtually no net impact on growth and jobs. Who knows whether the results would have been different had Reagan not gotten Congress to raise taxes five times over the next seven years to try to stanch the flow of red ink? Champions of the old supply-side nostrum are free to claim that they would have. Then you had George W. Bush’s three rounds of tax cuts, 2001-03. No one now will claim that Bush was right when he proclaimed that he was “unleashing” the American economy. Tax rates on capital gains, ordinary income, dividends and estates were all slashed and they produced the most sluggish period in 70 years. Stretch it over a longer history and compare us with the European democracies. Between 1960 and 2012 the top income tax rate in the United States fell by more than 40 percentage points and the country grew by 2 percent per capita, the same rate as Germany and Denmark, which kept their high marginal rates. Regardless of the history, “lower tax burdens for high incomes equal higher growth” remained a maxim for Republicans and the 2007-09 recession gave it a fresh lease. Everything was about jobs. If one party or the other favored anything, it



OCTOBER 29, 2015


Dowd’s make believe






OCTOBER 29, 2015


ere’s a controversial opinion: Fiction doesn’t belong in newspapers unless clearly labeled as such. Anonymous sources are tricky enough, but journalists simply have no business contriving dramatized scenes with dialogue and characters —describing their innermost thoughts and feelings with no attribution whatsoever. To do so is inherently deceptive. Which brings us to the curious Case of the Redhead and the Vice President — specifically New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd and Joe Biden. Now for partly subjective reasons, I’ve always responded favorably to Biden. In accent and demeanor, he resembles my late father — not a flawless but a big-hearted, fundamentally decent man with a disarming smile and a touch of what the Irish call “blarney” about him. Or maybe more than a touch, given the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of the term: “talk that is not true but that is nice and somewhat funny and that may be used to trick you.” And maybe not so nice, sometimes. You be the judge. On CBS’ “60 Minutes” last Sunday, Biden confronted what he described as a false narrative about the death of his beloved 46-year-old son, Beau, of brain cancer. “[P]eople have written that, you know, Beau on his death bed said, ‘Dad, you’ve got to run,’ and, there was this sort of Hollywood moment that, you know, nothing like that ever, ever happened,” Biden told Norah O’Donnell. “Beau all along thought that I should run and I could win,” he added. “But there was not what was sort of made out as kind of this Hollywood-esque thing that at the last minute Beau grabbed my hand and said, ‘Dad, you’ve got to run, like, win one for the Gipper.’ It wasn’t anything like that.” The vice president mentioned no names, but he didn’t need to. The author of a melodramatic Aug. 1 column setting off a months-long carnival of rumor and speculation about Biden’s entry into the Democratic presidential race was Maureen Dowd — Washington journalism’s No. 1 obsessive Hillary Clinton hater. Check out Media Matters’ exhaustive list of Dowd columns comparing Hillary to movie villains from Godzilla to “Mommie Dearest” to Glenn Close in “Fatal Attraction,” if you doubt me. Starting off with a labored comparison

between Hillary and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady as “two controlling superstars ... GENE wanting to win at LYONS all costs and believing the rules don’t apply to them,” Dowd’s column soon descended into Dickensian melodrama. Neither citing nor alluding to a single source, Dowd employed what novelists call third-person omniscient narration to describe the dying Beau Biden begging his father to save America from the Clintons: “ ‘My kid’s dying,’ an anguished Joe Biden thought to himself, ‘and he’s making sure I’m O.K.’ “ ‘Dad, I know you don’t give a damn about money,’ Beau told him, dismissing the idea that his father would take some sort of cushy job after the vice presidency to cash in. “Beau was losing his nouns and the right side of his face was partially paralyzed. But he had a mission: He tried to make his father promise to run, arguing that the White House should not revert to the Clintons and that the country would be better off with Biden values.” It was news from nowhere, immediately bolstered by a same-day front page Times article citing what Dowd supposedly “reported” about Beau Biden’s dying declaration and his father’s strategy meetings with advisors. So now Joe says it ain’t so. Which begs the question of why the vice president waited almost three months to speak up. But it would appear to disconfirm Politico’s troubling Oct. 5 story citing “multiple sources” that Dowd’s unacknowledged source was Joe Biden himself. An unsympathetic observer could almost wonder if Biden wasn’t trying to have it both ways: encouraging speculation about his political intentions without confirming or denying his dying son’s disparaging of “Clinton values.” Not a pretty picture, although perhaps understandable in view of the man’s terrible grief. As for the New York Times, its editors are taking shelter behind Dowd’s lame alibi that her column didn’t literally mention a “deathbed” and, that yes, the vice president definitely thought about running for president. Mind-reading and make-believe dialogue are apparently no problem.




NOV. 7

Full of interesting voices and colorful portraits of 17 Little Rock and North Little Rock neighborhoods, this book gives an intimate, block-by-block, native’s view of the place more than 250,000 Arkansans call home. Created from interviews with residents and largely written by writers who actually live in the neighborhoods they’re writing about, the book features over 90 full color photos by Little Rock photographer Brian Chilson.

11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Main Street Downtown Little Rock

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Also Available: A HISTORY OF ARKANSAS A compilation of stories published in the Arkansas Times during our first twenty years. Each story examines a fragment of Arkansas’s unique history – giving a fresh insight into what makes us Arkansans. Well written and illustrated. This book will entertain and enlighten time and time again.

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ALMANAC OF ARKANSAS HISTORY This unique book offers an offbeat view of the Natural State’s history that you haven’t seen before – with hundreds of colorful characters, pretty places, and distinctive novelties unique to Arkansas. Be informed, be entertained, amaze your friends with your new store of knowledge about the 25th state, the Wonder State, the Bear State, the Land of Opportunity.

Payment: CHECK OR CREDIT CARD Order by Mail: ARKANSAS TIMES BOOKS 201 E. MARKHAM ST., STE. 200, LITTLE ROCK, AR 72201 Phone: 501-375-2985 Fax: 501-375-3623 Email: ANITRA@ARKTIMES.COM Send _____ book(s) of The Unique Neighborhoods of Central Arkansas @ $19.95 Send _____ book(s) of A History Of Arkansas @ $10.95 Send _____ book(s) of Almanac Of Arkansas History @ $18.95 Shipping and handling $3 per book Name _________________________________________________ Address ________________________________________________ City, State, Zip ____________________________________________ Phone _________________________________________________

Memorabilia of the great American author — Mark Twain, is on exhibit here, as well as an impressive collection of Thomas Edison’s works! This classic 1891 structure is the oldest purpose built museum in the State of Arkansas. Articles dating from the nation’s earliest days include an extensive display of Native American and Civil War artifacts. Come explore the rich heritage of Helena for yourself. Located in the heart of the Delta, where history comes alive! Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesdays through Saturdays. Group tours available by appointment at 870.338.7790, or contact

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OCTOBER 29, 2015




A fun-filled fundraiser featuring






Wednesday, November 11 6-9 p.m. CALS Ron Robinson Theater $50 Join us for live entertainment and an exciting raffle to raise funds for the CALS Foundation, which provides support for educational and cultural programming for the Central Arkansas Library System. Price includes admission, heavy hors d’oeuvres and beverages. Tickets available online at Email for more information. CALS Next Chapter is the young professionals network for the CALS Foundation.

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OCTOBER 29, 2015




t’s difficult to categorize the kind of catharsis that Arkansas rightly earned Saturday in its four-overtime, 54-46 win over Auburn, but that’s what we’ll endeavor to do here. Obviously, the fable starts with Brandon Allen’s emphatic murder of the albatross that’s been slung around his neck the past three years. Arkansas bolted out to a 14-0 lead and Allen was on point in the process, firing three accurate darts to Hunter Henry on an opening scoring drive, then finding Jeremy Sprinkle on a nifty tight end throwback for the second touchdown. Dominique Reed also got heavily involved in the offense, a development that couldn’t be more timely given the Hogs’ general dearth of perimeter speed with Keon Hatcher and Jared Cornelius still at least a week away from returning. Thereafter, against all discernible logic, Dan Enos’ derring-do went astray for a while, Allen got pressured into a bad toss midway through the second quarter that ended up as the game’s only turnover, and Auburn went 96 yards off that mistake, then ground out another long drive to start the third quarter and tie the game. Allen was unflappable, though. Twice after halftime he engineered go-ahead scoring drives, the first coming after a horrifying neck injury to Rawleigh Williams III sent the stout freshman tailback off the field on a cart. The Hogs were torched for a quick score in the first overtime period, but Allen coolly took the field and completed a third-and-8 strike to Henry for 10, then found Drew Morgan with a dart on a fourth-and-3 drag route to keep Arkansas alive. In the next overtime period, Allen picked up 11 yards on a receiver throwback from Damon Mitchell, and in the third extra frame he fired another short-range rocket to Jeremy Sprinkle for a resuscitating two-point conversion. It was that play that truly stirred the Hog crowd into believing that this wasn’t going to end up another late-game faltering, and Allen and Morgan validated that faith immediately with a 25-yard screen play that ended with Morgan sailing horizontally past the pylon. The senior quarterback dropped in a nifty conversion toss to Kody Walker to set the final margin — the Hog defense held firm for a game-ending three-and-out — and was appropriately photographed during the postgame euphoria flashing visage that reflected vindication. His fourth quarter and overtime ledger read like something out of an inspirational sports novella: He hit 10 of his 14 passes, two for touchdowns, and completed the aforesaid two-point

conversion passes. Arkansas’s official social media feeds posted the pic and those daunting numbers shortly after proceedings ended, and astutely, if even BEAU defiantly, summaWILCOX rized the effort with one word: “Clutch.” The backdrop was fitting. Arkansas had inarguably its three best SEC outings last year in Fayetteville in rainy, cool conditions, losing narrowly to Alabama and then blasting LSU and Ole Miss on consecutive Saturdays in November. Whereas the projected downpour didn’t happen, it was still a grayish day in the Ozarks, and that seems to be the proper climate for Arkansas to employ its grinding style. Auburn’s defense, yet again, is flush with athletes but bereft of big-play swagger, and the Hogs exposed and exploited that to the tune of 213 rushing yards, outgaining the Tigers by 51 yards on three less carries in that category. Quarterback Sean White, meanwhile, suffered through the indignity of catastrophic drops by his receivers all day, sabotaging an otherwise fine effort in only his fourth start. Auburn is now reeling harder than the Hogs were, assigned to last place in a vicious division after losing six of its last seven in league play, while the Razorbacks (a modest 3-4, 2-2) have emerged from the West cellar for the first time under Bret Bielema’s tutelage. A three-year conference mark of 4-16 is garish at first glance, to be sure, but all four of those wins came after the polarizing coach dropped his first 13 SEC decisions. And now, in the aftermath of a bitter-pill defeat against Texas A&M, the Hogs have won a nip-and-tuck road game at Tennessee and vanquished a division foe in the longest college game all season. Those kinds of conquests are not plentiful for any team in this league; winning close is something of a lost art, and maybe it’s one that Arkansas has rediscovered. The Hogs should be able to have a fine encore for homecoming. Tennessee-Martin is a fair Ohio Valley Conference squad, but the Skyhawks were abused by Ole Miss 76-3 in the season opener and don’t figure to have enough hands on deck to pose anything beyond a first-quarter threat to the Razorbacks. A win squares up the Hogs’ overall record at 4-4 en route to November, and the likelihood of Hatcher and Cornelius returning means that Arkansas can enter the last month with many of its oncedashed dreams being reborn anew.


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Cash rules everything


he Observer’s friend Mr. Photographer got over to Dyess a while back to shoot some pictures of the restored childhood home of the late singer Johnny Cash. It’s a beaut now, restored back to the way it looked when the Cash family first moved in during the darkest days of the Great Depression, complete with period furnishings inside. It’s a far cry from when The Observer first saw it several years ago, a crumbling shack at the wavering and muddy edge of a soybean patch, appointed by a gnarled tree under a wool overcoat of sky. Considering the condition it was in — peeling white paint and plentiful rot, with red trim that looked like it had been painted with a sock on a stick — and the fact that what had once been one of a whole row of identical frame houses on the dirt road, all of which had long since been ground under to make room for the plows, it’s kind of a miracle it survived at all. The Observer and Mr. Photographer went out there with a representative from the Arkansas Department of Heritage, who was then working on getting the money together to buy and restore the sad little house where a giant found his voice. She introduced us to the old gent who had lived there for decades, and who really saved the house, such as it was, from oblivion. Things fall apart. And they fall apart very quickly if there’s not a person there to at least patch the roof and put a piece of cardboard over the broken windows. We followed him inside. While broke down and shabby, the magic was still there. For a Cash fan like Yours Truly, standing in the middle of that little room was a very strange sensation. You could almost hear the train a’comin’, rollin’ round the bend. The Observer still has a picture of our self standing on the leaning and decrepit porch of that house, all smiles in our coat, the old gent in the background, Your Correspondent looking so heavy that Future Me sometimes fears Past Me will plummet through the rotten porch and thus

contribute to the house’s further decrepitude. We haven’t been back since the restoration was completed, but we should. You should, too, especially if you’ve ever been moved by The Man in Black. There’s ghosts there, kids. Not the kind you’re thinking of here on the cusp of Halloween. But there’s ghosts there all the same. A CASH-RELATED ADDENDUM. Flicking through the Internet one night earlier this year, we discovered an old novelty country record released in 1970 and titled “Singing Rice-ipes.” Recipes, in other words, all having to do with rice, and all made into country songs. The track titles included “Texarkana Rice,” “Sunnyside Rice,” “Cripple Creek Casserole” and “Houston Hash.” And the voice on the record sounded unmistakably like Johnny Cash’s voice. It’s a strange find, a goofy vestige of the pop radio-jingle era. “They scream and shout when he brings it out, that Texarkana Rice,” Cash sings. The whole project was sponsored by the rice company Riviana, and we enjoyed it better than we thought we should have, given its corporate provenance. The real mystery, of course, is why Cash would have done something like this. We knew times got bad for him — we’ve read the stories of him taking an axe to a hotel room wall, or prying open someone else’s dashboard with a crowbar. He had a roller-coaster of a relationship with methamphetamines. Could that have been the culprit? Could he have been so geeked up or desperate that a rice commercial eventually struck him as a good idea? Well, no. As it turns out — when we finally got around to reading the fine print — the voice on the record wasn’t Cash’s, it was that of a Cash impersonator. In our defense, he’s a good one. So what I want to know is, what was a Johnny Cash impersonator doing making a record about rice? And maybe more importantly — and more mysteriously — what the hell was I doing enjoying it?

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OCTOBER 29, 2015


Arkansas Reporter



Charles Allbright, a retired newspaperman and former speechwriter for Winthrop Rockefeller, died Oct. 22 at the age of 86. Allbright worked for the Arkansas Gazette from 1955 until 1966, when he joined the Winthrop Rockefeller campaign for governor, Rockefeller’s first victory. He wrote speeches for the governor and stayed on his staff after his defeat by Dale Bumpers in 1970. He told an interviewer that he brought Rockefeller’s ashes back to Arkansas after his death in 1973. Allbright then went back to work at the Gazette, as a general assignment reporter, and also a Sunday city editor, where his tasks included overseeing a young Max Brantley. We all marveled at his ability to inject bright color into the most mundane of assignments — a Shrine convention stands out in my mind. Before long, he became the newspaper’s Arkansas Traveler columnist and built a huge audience that fed him stories about their lives that he sharpened into gold. He traveled the state, too, looking for uniquely Arkansas characters — a collector of books in Southeast Arkansas and a memorable drummer at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff come to mind. He also put together a lasting project — a book of Arkansas Gazette photography still available at used bookstores. His eye and the value of his captions added immeasurably to the work. Like all the great columnists, he worried over every word. He bled on the page. “I have never turned anything loose that I wouldn’t like a little more time with,” he said in an interview. After the Gazette closed in 1991, Allbright was hired by the surviving Arkansas Democrat-Gazette to continue his Arkansas Traveler column. The newspaper retired him in 2004. Allbright was born in Mississippi and spent some early years in Southeast Arkansas, when his parents taught at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. He graduated from Little Rock Central and attended the University of Arkansas, where he remembered listening to Charlie Rich play a frat house piano. After a brief time at the Arkansas Democrat and a stint in the Army, he went to work at the Gazette and became the Our Town columnist in 1956. He was a columnist for most of the rest


Charles Allbright, former columnist, dies at 86

NOT YOUR AVERAGE ADOPTIVE FAMILY: The "20/20" team failed to mention that Rep. Justin Harris (shown here with his wife, Marsha, at a March press conference) wielded political influence over the state agency that oversees adoptions and child welfare.

Twenty problems with ‘20/20’ show on Justin Harris ABC's news magazine’s hour on the ‘rehoming’ scandal leaves out half the facts. BY BENJAMIN HARDY


ast Friday, ABC’s “20/20” aired a six-months-in-the-making special on the failed adoption of three young girls by Rep. Justin Harris (R-West Fork) and his wife, Marsha, a story originally reported by the Arkansas Times in March. Given the outrage the Harris rehoming attracted both in Arkansas and beyond, ABC’s take on the issue was eagerly anticipated. Unfortunately, “20/20” anchor Elizabeth Vargas and her team all but ignored one of the most impor-

tant parts of the entire ordeal: Harris’ influence within the Arkansas Department of Human Services. There are thousands of other children in the state who are in the care of DHS’ Division of Children and Family Services, so the agency’s integrity is a matter of grave importance. But for tens of thousands of viewers introduced to the story for the first time on Friday night, the issue of political influence was never raised. The central facts of the Harris adoption are by now well known: In

late 2013, only months after becoming the legal adoptive parents of two young children, then ages 3 and 5, the Harrises gave the girls away to another family in Northwest Arkansas where one of them was then sexually abused by the father in the household, Eric C. Francis. Francis was an employee at the Harrises’ preschool. (Months previously, the Harrises had disrupted their adoption application for the girls’ older sister, returning her to state care.) Remarkably, the Harrises' actions were legal at the time, as they are in most states. After news of the Harris rehoming broke, the Arkansas legislature passed a new law to make such under-the-table transfers of physical custody of children a felony. CONTINUED ON PAGE 22


OCTOBER 29, 2015





Arkansas Times Recommends is a weekly series on our Rock Candy blog in which Times staff members (or whoever happens to be around at the time) highlight things we’ve been enjoying lately. This edition is all about Halloween.


I know anything is possible but if you can top this costume for Most Obviously Phallic and Most Subtly Phallic and Most Off-Putting costume, you win. I recommend you try. — Bryan Moats

THE IRONY OF PEOPLE THINKING THERE ARE GHOSTS IN THE CEMETERY, somebody told me once, is that while there are plenty of dead folks in your average boneyard, very few of them probably shuffled off their mortal coil INSIDE the cemetery — which, if I remember my superstitious bullshit correctly, is how ghosts get attached to a place to begin with. That said, the dead do speak, and if we want to understand where we’re going as a city, a community and a species, we should probably listen. To that end, my Halloween pick is the free cell phone tour of the storied Oakland & Fraternal Cemetery, at 2101 Barber St. in East Little Rock. Founded in 1860, Oakland & Fraternal is one of the city’s largest graveyards, containing the mortal remains of scores of the famous and infamous lost to the misty fog of time. While the tombs are aesthetically pleasing — the Victorians, that dark and moody lot, sure could get up to building a quality sepulcher — Oakland’s cell phone tour allows a visitor to get the historical background on the people planted below by calling in on their cell phone, and then either walking or driving from stop to stop. Behold as enlightening and surprising information about Little Rock high rollers of yore arises from the speaker of your phone like the scabby claws of the flesh-hungry dead. They’re coming to get you, Barbara, and they’re bringing burial custom trivia. — David Koon

Because we’re all obsessed with categories, the books written by London author China Mieville are sometimes called “New Weird.” It’s a label meant to connote early 20th century macabre writers like H.P. Lovecraft, in a time before speculative fiction had fully calcified into the genres of horror and fantasy and science fiction. Mieville has none of Lovecraft’s raging, childlike Anglo-Saxon chauvinism, but he’s got the same brilliance for pushing well beyond the boundaries of the uncanny and heading straight for the mountains of madness. I suggest you read his 2000 novel “Perdido Street Station,” which takes a machete to the suffocating (and thoroughly conservative) elf-and-dragon tropes of D&D fantasy, constructing in its place a metropolis writhing with poverty and crime, corruption and class struggle, sexual and mercantile predation, dream-devouring parasites and robot insurrection and apocalyptic insect cults, decay and life. — Benji Hardy

Of all the frightening things that come with Halloween, perhaps nothing is more terrifying than bad candy. I’m not here to pass judgment, but nobody wants to be that person on the block giving out terrible candy — better you just hide in your bedroom with all the lights off and the television on low. But don’t fret: We’re here to help with this official tiered guide: Gold Tier: First things first — some people maintain that the best Hallow-

een candy is full-size candy bars, but that simply isn’t the case. Giving out full-sized candy is ostentatious, and it makes your neighbors look bad. In addition, the philosophy behind Halloween candy should be “death by a thousand cuts,” not immediate sugar overload. So the “fun size” versions of candy like Snickers, Kit Kat and Twix bars are the true gold standard. Mix things up — throw some Sour Patch Kids, Twizzlers and small packages of Skittles into the mix for people like me who prefer fruit candy over chocolate. Silver Tier: Being cost-conscious on Halloween means buying your candy in bulk, usually in huge variety pack bags. The downside to doing things this way is that you’re going to wind up with some also-ran candies mixed in with the good stuff. Giving out things like Almond Joys, Whoppers or little boxes of Milk Duds is perfectly acceptable, though, especially if you mix it up with some Lemon Heads, Sour Punch Straws or Airheads. Keep in mind that Airheads and Laffy Taffy are not the same, and should not be treated as equals. Questionable Tier: This level of candy includes things like fruit-flavored Tootsie Rolls, non-Jelly Belly jellybeans and the Halloween version of the Cadbury Creme Egg. Candy of this sort is acceptable in only one instance: toward the end of the night when you have either given out or eaten all of the good candy. By that time, people should be happy with what they get. Never Tier: Unfortunately, this is the type of candy that makes up the majority of most people’s Halloween haul. Candy corn, Smarties and Necco Wafers are part of this group, and should never be handed out under any circumstances. Also falling into the “never tier” are candies like Sixlets, individual boxes of raisins and those weird chewy peanut butter candies wrapped in black or orange paper that somehow mysteriously appear at this time of year and hide the rest of the time. Have some selfrespect and avoid these at all costs. — Michael Roberts


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

INSIDER, CONT. of his career, except for the time with Rockefeller. But he was called to write editorials at the Gazette for a couple of years, which he speaks of memorably as a poor fit for him in the interview he did with Michael Haddigan for the Gazette oral history project. He was kind, soft-spoken and patient in our association and a font of stories about his time with Rockefeller, from sometimes humorous mishaps to the deadly serious business of the governor’s decision to commute the sentences of all the men on death row as a final act of office. He saw the world with Rockefeller. One good story in the Haddigan interview is about Dwight Eisenhower grilling steaks for Rockefeller and Allbright, right on the coals.

D-G’s Sync closes The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette announced last week it was ending publication of its free weekly, Sync, begun in 2007. Of five remaining employees, one will lose his job. Three moved to other jobs with the newspaper and one found other employment, according to a Democrat-Gazette article posted online. The Democrat-Gazette was among many daily newspapers that started free weeklies to compete with free news weeklies such as the Arkansas Times. The dailies hoped to reach younger people, who have tended to not become daily newspaper subscribers. Dailies have begun giving up on the experiment to focus on core publications. The Democrat-Gazette, like newspapers nationwide, is coping with declining circulation and advertising revenue — products of both changing reader habits and the Internet’s capture of digital advertising, particularly classified. The article announcing the decision quoted Lynn Hamilton, the Democrat-Gazette president: “ ‘The decision to end Sync is bittersweet. ... It’s sad to see this publication go away after so many of us have invested so much time and energy into putting it on the street. However, a strength of our company always has been an ability to reassess our changing environment and move forward in creative new ways to better serve our readers and advertisers.’ “ The Democrat-Gazette has continued to beef up its online presence, including by softening considerably the hard paywall it originally erected on digital access.

OCTOBER 29, 2015


PUSHED AWAY: Kimberlee Herring's three grandchildren were given up for adoption despite protests from the family — and then were physically abused in their new home.

The apple and the tree CHILDREN IN CRISIS:

an Arkansas Times special investigation Funding for this reporting — the latest in an ongoing series — was provided by people who donated to a crowdfunding campaign on and the Arkansas Public Policy Panel.

The child welfare system in Arkansas often discriminates against the extended families of neglectful or abusive parents. BY KATHRYN JOYCE



ast February, as Kimberlee Herring, a 43-year-old grandmother in Cabot, was browsing online, something caught her eye: a mug shot of Jacqueline Ferguson, a former special needs teacher, foster parent and the woman who’d adopted Kimberlee’s three grandchildren — two boys and a girl, aged 3, 4 and 5 — a year and a half before. When family members dug deeper, they found court records: Ferguson was being prosecuted for domestic battery of one of the adopted children. The family hadn’t even known the children had been removed from Ferguson’s Cabot home, where all three had been adopted in 2013. But an arrest affidavit from April 2014 detailed the

allegations made by other children in the family. Ferguson, who had eight children in her home at the time, including multiple foster children, was accused in the affidavit of hitting Kimberlee’s grandsons with a vacuum cleaner attachment, spraying the children in the face with water forceful enough to blacken their eyes and shoving the boys to the floor at night in an effort to prevent them from wetting the bed. The case had come to police attention after two of the children’s older foster and adoptive sisters surreptitiously took photos of one of the boy’s injuries: numerous red welts across his legs, arms and back that a forensic doctor at Arkansas Children’s Hospital later identified as consistent with the vacuum cleaner wand. Ferguson claimed the marks were a form of hives. In February, Ferguson was sentenced to six years in prison for second-degree domestic battery of one of the younger boys, and this summer her and her husband’s parental rights for all three children were terminated. (A source says the foster children in her care were placed with other foster families, and that the adoptive children were sent to live with a relative of the Fergusons.) Ferguson’s attorney, Jonathan Streit, says she denies all the allegations and is currently appealing both the criminal conviction and the termination of her parental rights. For Kimberlee and a sprawling network of her family and friends, the abuse findings were difficult enough to take. What made it worse was later learning that there had been suspicions of abuse before the Fergusons’ adoption was ever approved. After Jacqueline Ferguson’s trial, Kimberlee’s 22-year-old daughter, Karisa Hardy, was contacted by Britney Kelley, who had cared for the three children at a daycare center in Cabot while they were still being fostered. Kelley said that she and another colleague reported Ferguson to the childabuse hotline after seeing the two boys repeatedly come in with bruises, marks and scratches (and once a black eye) over a period of months. (Confidentiality laws prevent the state’s Division of Children and Family Services — the child welfare arm of the Arkansas Department of Human Services — from commenting on specific cases, or even confirming whether or not there was an investigation.) Worst, the family thought the children’s placement

with the Fergusons had always been unnecessary. As with most cases handled by DCFS, the story was complicated. The children’s parents were Kayla McPherson (Kimberlee’s daughter and Karisa’s sister) and Billy Ray Turner, each of whom struggled with serious mental health conditions, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, which led to further difficulties with money, employment and stable housing. Billy Ray also had a learning disability and had dropped out of school in the seventh grade. They’d grown up in a poor community punctuated by violence — Kayla was present as a teenager when a friend of hers was murdered — and Billy Ray got in trouble with the law, serving time for crimes like burglary and theft by receiving. They had their three children in rapid succession: one every year for three years, starting when Kayla was 20 years old and Billy Ray 26. They loved the children intensely and were never physically abusive, but they were also never stable. Relatives tried to help, volunteering to take care of the children as the couple split up and got back together, or during their frequent moves from house to house. In a community where many people are intimately familiar with DCFS processes, Billy Ray’s family prided itself that, among its dozens of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, none had ever been permanently removed. Family friends stepped in too, sometimes caring for one or more of the children for days, or even weeks, at a time. “We were aware that they had mental disorders, and they reached out to all of us every time they needed help,” said Amber Butera-Turner, one of Billy Ray’s six older sisters. “If Kim couldn’t provide, they were calling me; if I couldn’t, they were calling my sister.” After the birth of their youngest son in 2010, Kayla struggled with severe postpartum depression and suffered what family members described as a mental break. An altercation at a relative’s home, during which Kayla was tasered by police while holding her 3-week-old son, led to initial DCFS interest in the family. A year later, when Kayla and Billy Ray left the baby with a family friend for at least several days, the friend called in a report of child abandonment, and in 2011 DCFS took custody of all three children, cit-

ing inadequate shelter. After stints in different foster homes, it seems two of the children came to live in the Fergusons’ home in 2011, and the third joined them in 2012. The agency opened a case plan for the young couple. Kayla would have to address her mental health treatment and show proof of income and stable housing; Billy Ray said DCFS told him that if he turned himself in on an open warrant for failing to appear for a probation revocation hearing, the agency would help him. He did so, and went to jail. After the children were placed in foster care, family members contacted DCFS to ask whether they could instead live with them. But from the start, the agency seemed to regard both sides of the family with suspicion. Kimberlee was among the few ever approved for visitation, but she said that when she showed up for the first visit — confident that the children would be coming home that day, if not to Kayla, at least to her — the DCFS caseworker supervising their visit treated her like “scum.” When Kimberlee asked why one of the children’s hair had been cut, she said the DCFS worker told her the children had been filthy and infested with lice. “They made me feel so little, you know?” she said. “Like we were beneath her, and we didn’t take care of the kids.” Over the course of the year that followed, Kayla struggled to meet the objectives of her case plan. Sometimes she didn’t take her medication; sometimes she missed visitation; she came unprepared to court. Her family, however, didn’t think she was given a fair chance; Kayla wasn’t informed of the support services available to her, they said, nor were her mental health issues treated with enough consideration. They also felt DCFS was holding her to impossible and changing standards. When Kayla found an adequate place to live with family, DCFS told her she had to live on her own; when Kimberlee offered to sign her house over to Kayla, DCFS responded that Kayla had to pay for her housing herself; when Kayla rented a trailer, she was told that it wasn’t big enough; and when she moved to a bigger trailer, the fact that she’d moved so many times within several months was cited as proof of her instability. In the end, in July 2012, Kayla’s parental rights were terminated, and the case plan for the children was changed to adoption.

OCTOBER 29, 2015


From the pioneering collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Our America T H E L AT I N O P R E S E N C E I N A M E R I C A N A R T

Nuestra América L A P R ES E N C I A L AT I N A E N E L A R T E ES TA D O U N I D E N S E

October 16, 2015 – January 17, 2016 Free Admission Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Generous support for the exhibition has been provided by Altria Group, the Honorable Aida M. Alvarez, Judah Best, The James F. Dicke Family Endowment, Sheila Duignan and Mike Wilkins, Tania and Tom Evans, Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino, The Michael A. and the Honorable Marilyn Logsdon Mennello Endowment, Henry R. Muñoz III, Wells Fargo and Zions Bank. Additional significant support was provided by The Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center. Support for “Treasures to Go,” the museum’s traveling exhibition program, comes from The C.F. Foundation, Atlanta. Our America is sponsored in Arkansas by (at time of printing):

Donna and Mack McLarty The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston Consulate of Mexico in Little Rock Alan DuBois Contemporary Craft Fund

501 East Ninth Street, Little Rock Above: Joseph Rodríguez, Carlos, from the series Spanish Harlem, 1987, chromogenic print, 12 x 18 inches, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the artist, © 1987, Joseph Rodríguez


OCTOBER 29, 2015


Throughout parts of that year, Billy Ray was incarcerated and simply left out of most proceedings. In September 2012, he was brought to court for his own termination hearing. There, Billy Ray claimed, a DHS lawyer told him that if he voluntarily relinquished his rights, custody would be given to an older brother, William Turner, a 37-year-old home health aide and nurse in Cabot who had contacted DCFS about taking the children. And so, Billy Ray said, “I signed my rights away. I thought I was giving them to my brother.” (DCFS declined to comment on Billy Ray’s claim, citing confidentiality laws.) But William, it turns out, wasn’t even in contention for the children. When he called DCFS to explain his qualifications — he had a stable income, no criminal background, and a large, two-story house where he took care of his own three children as well as a disabled nephew — he said the worker he spoke to told him that he shouldn’t have a problem getting the kids, and DCFS would send someone to inspect his home. But no one ever followed up, and no home study was ever done. William wasn’t the only family member turned down. At least five other family members and one close family friend, representing seven separate homes, each contacted DCFS offering to take the children. All were turned down for one reason or another: Kimberlee because her husband had a 10-year-old felony drug possession charge in his background check that predated their marriage. Terri Turner, Billy Ray’s mother, who for years has cared for her quadriplegic grandson, was told first that she was too old, then that she needed to get a misdemeanor charge expunged from her record; after she did so, she said, no one at DCFS ever returned her calls. An aunt wasn’t old enough. And so on. “There’s no reason for denial for anybody,” Kimberlee said. “But if you have a problem with one of us, then what’s wrong with the other one? Or the other one? Or the other one?” “It must be understood that it is not an automatic ‘right’ for relatives or grandparents to have the children placed with them,” said Department of Human Services spokesperson Amy Webb. “It is always our goal to reunify children with their parents or with their family, when it is safe to do so. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.” A close family friend and former

neighbor of the family, who asked not to be named, came closest. She and her husband had cared for two of the children before, and had bonded with them enough that they’d likely qualify as what DCFS calls “fictive kin” — family members in spirit. She wasn’t optimistic that any members of the parents’ actual family would have been approved. (“If they don’t like you, they’re not going to work with you, period,” she said.) But she knew that she and her husband would have. Their lives were very stable — “almost boring” — and after they applied to foster Kayla and Billy Ray’s children, they passed through enough of the DCFS approval process to begin taking foster training classes. They showed up for every one of Kayla’s court hearings, although they were never allowed to stay, and when DCFS told them their home didn’t have enough bedrooms, they began building another. But as construction was underway, first Kayla’s rights were terminated, then Billy Ray’s. DCFS decided to let the Fergusons adopt all three. “The caseworker knew that we wanted the kids. The judge knew. Everyone knew,” said the family friend. “They never gave us a reason why.” When they found out last winter what had happened to them in the Fergusons’ care, she said, “It broke our hearts. We fought for those kids.” É In 2008, Congress passed the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act, a sweeping bill that touched on many aspects of the child welfare system. Some of its most significant provisions concerned kinship relationships, where grandparents or other extended family members care for children whose parents have lost custody. The act enshrined in law something that children’s welfare experts have long acknowledged: that, as a whole, foster children fare better with relatives than strangers. Arkansas followed up in 2009 with two laws of its own: Act 1311, which requires DCFS to notify all adult relatives when a child has been taken into DCFS custody, and Act 325, which amended the Arkansas Subsidized Guardianship Act so that the state could use federal funding to subsidize relative foster parents. The same year, the Arkansas legislature called for a study by the House Interim Committee on Aging, Children and Youth that would look into

to requirements like bedroom numbers or size, even though, the report noted, most relative caregivers are already low-income, with nearly 40 percent below the poverty line, and most living in the poorest areas of the state. When relatives couldn’t get custody of their young family members, they often risked losing touch with them completely — a situation that can traumatize both children and families, leaving them to grapple with “ambiguous loss” and symptoms akin to post-

percentage than in surrounding states, according to a report produced by Paul Vincent, an Alabama-based child welfare consultant who was tapped by Gov. Asa Hutchinson this spring to perform a review of DCFS practices. In Texas and Oklahoma, Vincent found, 29 percent of foster care placements are with relatives. Meanwhile, the number of Arkansas kids in foster care far exceeds the available foster beds in the state. “And given the recent increase in the number of children placed in out-of-home


how DCFS practices impact grandparents and other relative caregivers. In 2010, the committee’s report found that although some 33,600 grandparents were responsible for around 42,000 children in Arkansas, there were only 913 foster children living with relatives (out of over 4,000 kids who entered the foster system at some point that year). The reasons for the discrepancy between the high numbers of grandparents caring for children outside of DCFS and their low representa-

"DE FACTO KINSHIP NAVIGATOR": Dee Ann Newell, director of Arkansas Voices for the Children Left Behind, tries to help families seeking custody.

tion within it seemed a combination of infrastructural and cultural barriers. Grandparents and other relatives were often unfamiliar with the resources available to them and bewildered by DCFS processes. DCFS staff reported they rarely had enough time to adequately track down and vet family members for consideration in determining placement, and a significant minority felt they hadn’t been adequately trained on DCFS policy regarding relative caregivers. Some reported that their supervisors, or the judges who oversaw their cases, were opposed to relative caregivers on principle. And others noted that many such families were unfairly held to strict “foster parent standards” when it came

traumatic stress disorder. Caseworkers reported that they recommended ongoing visitation between children whose parents had lost their rights and other members of their extended family less than 40 percent of the time. As one relative caregiver quoted in the legislative report put it, “When the biological parents were deemed ‘not fit’ and their rights were terminated, not only was a branch severed from the child’s family tree, the entire biological family tree was chopped down.” The situation that existed in 2010 seems to persist today: For the last four years, the fraction of the state’s foster children who are living with relative caregivers in Arkansas has hovered between 13 and 16 percent, a far lower

care, the problem is getting worse,” Vincent wrote in the report, released this July. “Increasing the use of relative placements is the simplest and most promising next step toward expanding placement options.” Other states are demonstrably better at protecting relative caregivers’ interests. Eight states, mostly clustered on the East and West coasts, have active kinship navigator programs, such as 1-800 numbers or websites maintained by private groups or state governments that grandparents and other relatives can turn to for support, counseling and practical assistance. In New York, recognized as having a model kinship support system, the program offers access to attor-

neys familiar with kinship care law. In some states with kinship navigator programs, like Florida and Hawaii, 43 to 46 percent of all foster children live with relatives, according to a 2012 Annie E. Casey Foundation report. As part of the legislative study process, DCFS created a guide to provide relative caregivers with information about the system. But Arkansas has no dedicated kinship navigator program, and that role effectively falls to one nonprofit group: Arkansas Voices for the Children Left Behind. Its founding executive director, Dee Ann Newell has become the state’s “de facto kinship navigator,” spending hours on the phone each day talking with grandparents and other relatives who are trying to find ways to keep their family together, even as, in some cases, their grandchildren are being advertised for adoption on the nightly news. From 2006 until 2012, Arkansas Voices, which also works with incarcerated parents, qualified as a “family formation” program under the state’s administration of federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds. The money enabled it to run 10 offices around the state to serve grandparents, each with a dedicated site coordinator who helped relatives identify the meager resources available to them outside the DCFS system. (Many qualify only for food stamps and small TANF child-only subsidies of $81 a month, topping out at $457 for nine or more children. But even that’s often denied, Newell said, as many county operations staff, who distribute TANF funds, are unaware of relative caregivers’ eligibility.) Since budget cuts in 2012, however, Arkansas Voices has gone unfunded and its physical offices and toll-free hotline are shut down. “The populations I work with aren’t very popular,” Newell said. She now fields all requests for help on her home phone, as she and a group of professional volunteers continue on unpaid as a labor of love. Often, the issues relative caregivers bring up point to another set of problems in supporting kinship care: that DCFS staff and other child welfare workers view the family members of parents who lost custody with suspicion, as though the parents’ issues are common to their entire family. It’s an attitude that Newell calls “The Apple Tree”: the assumption that, when it comes to child welfare cases, the apple never falls far from the tree. “That these are the bad parents who raised

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the bad parents, so why would for them,” Newell said. “That’s a we want to give the children to hard thing to clarify for yourself. them?” You have to think long and hard. The 2010 legislative study I’ve been at this a long time: found this as well. One relative Do I want to send a child back caregiver, a grandmother, testiinto a home where there’s not fied that when she sought cusenough means, but that’s where tody of her grandchildren after their parents are and the people their alcoholic father lost his they’re most attached to? My rights, she was greeted with a answer is yes.” barrage of questions about her DCFS spokesperson Webb own drinking habits, as though said considering relative careshe must have a drinking probgivers is a focus of the agency, lem, “or some other problem and that the agency proposed that caused her son to be that successful legislation in 2013 to way.” (The study noted that allow fictive kin — people like such issues were not only found godparents, teachers or family within the Department of Human friends — to qualify as proviServices, but that the courts and sional foster parents. However, the state’s ad litem attorneys, she said, there are numerous which are appointed to serve reasons why Arkansas still has as children’s advocates in legal such relatively low rates of relaproceedings, mirrored some tive placements: Sometimes the of these attitudes.) Caseworkagency isn’t aware of the exisers also reported to the study’s tence of all family members; authors that they believed relasometimes there are problems tives could be problematic carewith background checks or givers: too likely to make excuses KARISA HARDY: Says the family is "ready and willing" to insufficient financial resources for the parents, or to allow ongo- take over care of her niece and nephews. or space in family homes that ing contact. (“As though that’s preclude placement there. the worst thing in the world that There are also, she said, judges could happen,” Newell said, pointing tor from DCFS who had been willing and DCFS staff who “may question out that other states, notably Califorto sit on her couch. And one new hire [grandparents’] parenting/relationthe staffer was asked to train told her nia, have successfully taken a different ship skills with their own children that she refused to work with “these approach to allowing ongoing contact and question why [or] how they may hillbillies, because every time I come after the termination of parental rights be different with their grandchildren.” out here, I swear I’m hearing ‘Duelin some cases.) Despite recognition that the state ing Banjos.’ ” Newell suspects that, at root, some needs to do better with relative placeincidents of kinship care gone wrong It’s a truism in the child welfare ments, there seem to have been few — a child harmed when placed with a world that lower-income communities concrete improvements since the 2010 family member — have scared DCFS receive the brunt of DCFS attention. legislative study. In 2011, DCFS’ Subsiand judges away from allowing more Assessing adequate supervision and dized Guardianship Program began to families a chance. “Somewhere, there care of children looks different across support relative caregivers who qualis something that is haunting DCFS class lines. Last spring, after an upperify as foster parents, in cases where about kinship care.” middle-class family in Maryland was adoption or family reunification has But after working with more than reported for neglect for letting their already been ruled out, with a stipend 8,000 relative caregivers over the children walk to a park alone, the roughly equivalent to regular foster last 10 years, Newell said, she’s seen case garnered rare mainstream outparents’ board payments ($400-$600 “unconscionable” disrespect shown to rage and calls that child protective per month). But the program is woethese families, often by DCFS workservice departments have gone too fully small. In 2014, it included just ers from middle-class backgrounds far in policing families’ decisions. But six families across Arkansas, caring who can’t identify with the poorer while middle-class white families are for 12 children. grandparents seeking custody. “You lately gathering online to discuss their Partly this is because Arkansas, like wouldn’t treat your worst enemy the right to raise “free range children,” a handful of other states, did not have way these relatives are treated,” she poorer families and families of color a state-funded guardianship program said. have faced these threats for decades. before the 2008 Fostering ConnecA former DCFS caseworker in And the preconceptions that lead to tions Act. That legislation allowed fedWashington County agreed. When greater monitoring of the poor also eral funds to support guardianship she visited poor, agricultural areas in filter through when placement deciprograms in 29 states and Washington, sions are made. Northwest Arkansas, she encountered D.C., explained Stefanie Sprow, dep“You may not like it that children families who said that other DCFS uty director of child welfare and menlive in poverty, and I certainly would staff had called them “welfare trash” tal health at the Children’s Defense or “baby machines.” One grandmother like to change that, but just because Fund, a national advocacy organization. It was understandable that caring for her grandchildren told the they’re living in poverty doesn’t mean caseworker that she was the first visithat their parents are inept at caring states newer to the program would

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shoes and it wouldn’t be worth it. They didn’t want to have anything to do with DCFS.” É


lag behind those with longer practice identifying and qualifying relative caregivers — the precondition of qualifying for the guardianship subsidy. However, Sprow noted, other states in the same situation, such as Texas, have managed to “hit the ground running.” Although Texas has a far larger foster care population than Arkansas, Sprow attributes its exponentially higher rates of approved guardians to the state’s focus on getting relative caregivers licensed as foster parents. Between 2009 and 2012, a Children’s Defense Fund report found, Texas increased the number of relative foster homes nearly twentyfold. “I do think that some states are a bit further along in recognizing the important role that relative caregivers have in this and the space they’re providing,” Sprow said. “These are the families that are preventing kids from falling into foster care.” What’s more notable is that most relative caregivers don’t even want to apply for the guardianship program, said Amanda Krotke-Crandall, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Arkansas, who is writing her dissertation on the program. In Krotke-Crandall’s conversations with two focus groups

BILLY RAY TURNER: His brother and other relatives offered to take custody of Billy Ray's three kids, but they were adopted into a home that turned out to be abusive.

of relative caregivers — mostly single women caring for grandchildren or nieces and nephews — not one member participated in the program. When she asked them why they’d walk away from “money on the table,” she said, “it was like they were watching a tennis game — they were just shaking [their heads] back and forth. They were not going to turn their children over to DCFS. Again and again: ‘We’re scared

we’re going to lose them.’ ‘We don’t know if we could get them back.’ ‘We don’t feel this is a safe system for our children.’ ” Some of the relative caregivers had past experiences with the DCFS system themselves; most lived in communities where DCFS intervention was common. “That board payment wasn’t worth it to them,” Krotke-Crandall continued. “You could have offered them diamond

When relatives call Dee Ann Newell about crises they’re facing, she often gives them a standard line of advice. She directs them to talk to their county DCFS supervisors and gives them DCFS Director Cecile Blucker’s email. She also tries to coach them on how to talk to DCFS: to be calm, polite and deferential. Not to call too much, lest a caseworker complain that they’re harassing them, and to try not to reveal how angry or distraught they feel. She’s seen too many cases where relatives who advocate too strenuously end up getting “dumped” — their phone calls unreturned, a virtual black mark next to their names. When that fails, Newell teaches families how to document their cases, and how to contact their legislators, whose influence can often help to bend otherwise inflexible, and often opaque, DCFS decisions. In a situation where there’s scant opportunity for oversight, given state confidentiality laws regarding children in care, families who feel

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For the last four years, the fraction of foster children living with relative caregivers in Arkansas has hovered between 13 and 16 percent, far lower than in surrounding states. they’ve gotten a raw deal can often only turn to elected officials for help. Sha’ Burke-Stephens knows this well. A relative caregiver who adopted two of her distant cousins this month, she became a provisional foster parent after their mother, who struggled with substance abuse, had her children placed in foster care. When BurkeStephens learned where the children were, she contacted DCFS in Independence County, where they lived, to ask about taking them in. The county sent her to her local DCFS office, in Pulaski County, to pick up an application, but when Burke-Stephens arrived, she encountered resistance: DCFS staff who said they’d never heard anything about her, who “looked me up and down,” and told her she had to wait for Independence County to notify them. Burke-Stephens, who is the executive director of a statewide disability-rights nonprofit, Arkansas Independent Living Council, was better prepared than many relative caregivers to navigate the system. She called Pulaski County’s area director and told him she expected to be helped. “I said, ‘It’s sad if I have to drop names, but I sit in meetings with [outgoing DHS Director] John Selig. I don’t want to go as far as calling the governor’s office,’ ” she said. “The next day when I took the background checks back, they met me at the door: One caseworker was doing this, another doing that. They were helping.” Her home was opened in 48 hours — what seems like unprecedented efficiency — and she was able to adopt the children within a year. Since having to grapple with the system herself, Burke-Stephens has become part of an informal network of relative caregivers, and has heard stories of what other, less-privileged family members have gone through: grandmothers court-ordered to undergo psychiatric exams before they can care for their relatives; caseworkers who use caregivers’ non9-to-5 work schedules as a pretext to argue they won’t get the children to school on time; judges who veto

family caregivers as a rule. The time she’s spent with other provisional foster parents since then has convinced her that DCFS needs dedicated liaisons, outside of DCFS resource workers or foster parent associations, to help this group of caregivers find their way through the system, and to help DCFS recognize the needs of poorer families. Burke-Stephens said that her own caseworkers have agreed that some sort of intermediary is needed, but on the several occasions when she has contacted DCFS officials to offer her own services — whether with big-picture application concerns, or smaller details like locating training classes and keeping medical records to DCFS standards — she said no one ever responded. “Our story is a success story. I was able to go around those barriers, but only because of what I do,” she said. “I don’t know what all they consider, what makes them say yes or no.”

still wanted them. Her caseworker said she’d note her interest, but never called back. When she called again, another DCFS worker told her that the children weren’t in the foster system anymore — the family learned that they’d been placed with Jacqueline Ferguson’s brother — and that, in any case, one of her bedrooms was too small by 10 square feet — a matter of being a few inches too short on all sides of the room. Kimberlee, Karisa and the child’s paternal aunt, Amber Butera-Turner, said they were granted a meeting with several senior DCFS staff members, including Director Blucker. In the wake of publicity following Ferguson’s conviction, Kimberlee said, the family was treated well. (“You’d have thought we hung the moon. They were nice as could be.”) But afterward, she said, no

one from DCFS ever contacted them again, and nothing resulted from their appeals. They began to write about the case online, setting up fundraising pages to collect donations for a lawyer to help get the children back, and have sat at tables outside a Cabot Walmart, passing out homemade pins that read, “I gave support to help bring [the three children] home.” At the very least, they hope their efforts will leave enough of a paper trail that, once the children are older, they’ll be able to find them again. “They’re going to wonder where we went. They’re not going to understand,” Butera-Turner said. “People are going to say, ‘They didn’t want you,’ and they’re going to look at us like ‘You all didn’t fight for us.’ We didn’t want them to ever think that we would willingly give them up.”


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É In Cabot, the sentencing of Jacqueline Ferguson for abusing Kayla McPherson’s and Billy Ray Turner’s three children didn’t end the family’s ordeal. When Kayla became pregnant again, with a new partner, she was so concerned that DCFS would try to take custody of that child too that she preemptively signed over legal guardianship to her sister, Karisa. But the first three children remain out of reach. After the family found out about Ferguson’s charges, they frantically contacted DCFS, asking again about taking the children themselves. “Any one of us is ready and willing right now to take all three of them in, to any of the homes,” Karisa said. “A family friend, my house, an aunt’s house — any of us. We just want them home where we know that they’re safe.” The family friend who’d come close to getting custody of the children in 2012, and who’s since been approved by DCFS to adopt a different child, contacted her caseworker to say she

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The Harris rehoming was always two stories at once: the wrenching, intimately personal story of three victimized children, and a story of political influence being deployed to serve powerful people. ABC did a fair job presenting the first, but failed to even acknowledge the existence of the second. The “20/20” team presented these facts, complete with on-camera interviews with many of the people the Times spoke with in March: Cheryl and Craig Hart, who fostered the two youngest children before their adoption; Chelsey Goldsborough, the Harrises’ former babysitter; Jan Wallis, a former DCFS adoption specialist who was assigned to the case and who spoke to the Times in March under the condition of anonymity, but has since allowed us to identify her; the Harrises themselves, and the girls’ current adoptive family. The show even included footage of the children themselves, their identities concealed. Yet this is an incomplete picture. The Harris rehoming was always two stories at once: the wrenching, intimately personal story of three victimized children, and a story of political influence being deployed to serve powerful people and marginalize the

interests of others. ABC did a fair job presenting the first, but failed to even acknowledge the existence of the second. Here’s some of what was left out: 1) No explanation was given as to why the Harris adoption proceeded even after others urged against it. The Harrises were never ideal candidates to adopt three young girls with a history of abuse, in part because their household included three biological sons. While Jan Wallis and the Harts stated on camera that they urged against the adoption, “20/20” did not explain why the adoption was then approved by a judge anyway. The Harts and Wallis have told the Times that DCFS Director Cecile Blucker exerted influence on local DHS workers to change their recommendations at the last minute. Both parties said they told “20/20” as much, on camera, but that footage was not shown.

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On Thursday, before the program aired, the Times asked Elizabeth Vargas whether the special would include those allegations. “I think that’s more a local angle on the story,” she replied. “We have lots of lawyers here at ABC that don’t let us report gossip or opinions [that are] unsubstantiated. … I can just tell you that I drilled deep on that, and I certainly might have opinions on that that I can’t share, [but] that’s not what I’m supposed to do on prime time television. ... If we had a smoking gun, we would have reported it.” 2) Rep. Harris had direct influence over the DCFS budget. ABC mentioned Harris is a legislator, but only in passing. The show almost seemed to take pains to portray the Harrises as an average Arkansas family, but of course Harris is in a position of power in state government. An email exchange from March 2013 shows that he wasn’t shy about using his power as a lawmaker in regard to DHS. In March 2013, he took to the House floor to ask his colleagues to not pass a routine DHS spending bill until an unnamed issue with the agency was resolved. In an email afterward, obtained under the FOIA, Harris told Cecile Blucker that the bill “failed miserably” after he spoke out against it. (That particular budget hold did not concern the fateful adoption hearing itself.) 3) Rep. Harris also sat on two legislative committees with power over DCFS. Harris served on Joint Performance Review, which executes periodic inquiries into state agencies and services, and served as vice-chair

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of the House Committee on Aging, Children and Youth. Legislation pertaining to DCFS often originates from the latter committee. He’s since resigned from JPR and stepped down from the vice-chairmanship of Children and Youth, though he remains a voting member. Yet “20/20” didn’t mention the fact that Harris’ position gave him unusual leverage over DCFS. 4) Harris claimed that DCFS Director Cecile Blucker knew the children had been rehomed all along. Soon after the Times broke this story, Harris began attempting to spread blame for the rehoming fiasco. “Cecile Blucker knew where the kids were. They kept up with the kids. I don’t know how,” he said at the time. A DHS spokesperson said the agency couldn’t comment due to the confidentiality of adoption cases. But if the producers looked into this fairly remarkable accusation by a state legislator against the state’s top official for child welfare, it didn’t make the final cut. 5) Though he’s not running for a fourth term, Rep. Harris has another full year in elected office. He’ll receive another year’s salary (boosted this year from $15,869 to $39,400), plus thousands more in per diem expenses. He’ll also continue to sit on committees and exert influence over the state’s budget. Again, “20/20” barely mentioned that Harris is an elected official. 6) “20/20” provided a misleading impression of Reactive Attachment Disorder. The term “Reactive Attachment Disorder,” or RAD, is often mistakenly used as a catchall for


disruptive, violent behaviors among child victims of abuse and neglect. Absolutely, such behaviors sometimes exist among such children — but RAD itself is a description simply of an inability to form healthy social bonds, not of violence. On its website, ABC includes supplementary footage that seems to equate RAD with violence. The show also made no mention of the controversial “therapies” for RAD embraced by the Harrises, including radical punitive measures espoused by author Nancy Thomas, which the Harrises have cited as an influence on their approach to raising the adopted girls. 7) Workers at Growing God’s Kingdom, the Harrises’ West Fork preschool, say the couple believed the children were possessed by demons. The Times has interviewed multiple workers at the preschool who had firsthand knowledge of the girls. They all backed up the claims made by Chelsey Goldsborough and now Jan Wallis: that the couple believed their adopted children were possessed and had an “exorcism” performed on the girls. On camera, the Harrises categorically denied those allegations. Workers have told the Times that ABC filmed inside Growing God’s Kingdom, but no such footage appears in the final cut. 8) According to those same workers, the young girls frequently were signed in at the preschool on days when they weren’t there. The Harrises have denied this claim. 9) Growing God’s Kingdom is paid for almost entirely by taxpayer funds, via DHS. This seems

necessary to mention as another example of the Harrises’ complex relationship with the agency. In 2013, the Harrises together earned about $177,500 from both Justin’s legislative salary and the preschool. About 90 percent of the preschool’s revenue was from public money. 10) The Harrises continue to be responsible for the well-being of scores of children at their preschool. “20/20” didn’t say much about the preschool at all, or the question of whether the Harrises’ alleged beliefs in demons might carry over to their treatment of children at their facility. Recently, a 3-year-old child was left for most of the day in a van at Growing God’s Kingdom. (It was a cool day and she was unhurt.) 11) All sexual abuse aside, it’s traumatic for a young child to be given away to a new home. ABC should have dwelled more explicitly on just how damaging it can be for children to be kicked out of their home, even if it’s not a happy home. 12) The sexual abuse in the Francis household was mentioned almost as an afterthought. ABC rushed through the section about the Francis household. Comments on ABC’s Facebook page after the show aired indicated suggest that many viewers were left confused about whether there was indeed abuse at the Francis home, or just allegations. Yes, there was abuse: Francis admitted it to police, and it’s now known that he abused at least two other children in the community. He’s now serving a 40-year prison sentence. Bizarrely, this

almost gets lost in the shuffle. 13) Yes, one can be charged with abandonment for giving up adopted children. That’s the way it should be. The Harrises say they were terrified of being charged with child abandonment by DHS if they tried to give up the girls. Adoptive parents should have access to support, but shouldn’t be able to simply give up their children without facing consequences once the adoption is complete, and “20/20” should have stated this more forcefully. The Harrises had six full months living with the two youngest sisters before the adoption was finalized, but they forged ahead. Eight months after that, they kicked the children out of the house. 14) “20/20” made no mention of Marsha Harris’ diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. This is an odd omission from the show: The Harrises have said repeatedly that a major factor in giving up the children was that Marsha was “dying of pancreatic cancer” in 2013. Why was this not mentioned by ABC? (Justin Harris has stated that Marsha’s cancer was later cured.) 15) The Harrises may have received an adoption tax credit of up to $25,940 for both girls in 2013. The couple has not responded to questions about whether they received tax benefits for the children. 16) The actions of Rep. Harris have never been condemned by any Republican Party official in the state. 17) Justin Harris was recently presented with an award from the Family Council, an influential con-

servative group, for sponsoring anti-abortion legislation. The point here is that far from being politically isolated, Harris still seems to have the backing of conservative allies. 18) Had the law criminalizing rehoming been in effect in the fall of 2013, the Harrises would have clearly been guilty of a felony. The change in law was mentioned by “20/20,” as is the fact that Harris voted for it. But Vargas could have asked whether Harris believed rehoming should be a crime. If so, then he believes that what he did was, well, criminal. If not, that means he voted for making something that he believes is not wrong into a felony. 19) No explanation has yet been given for why exactly the girls were moved from the Francis household to the “third family” where they remain today. This remains perhaps the single largest unanswered question in the story. The children were sent to live with the Francises in October 2013. The abuse likely occurred in January 2014, according to prosecutor documents in the criminal case against Eric C. Francis. By March, the children had been moved to a new family and were later adopted. Who made the decision to move them out of the Francis household, and why? 20) The Arkansas Times established most of the facts presented in the “20/20” special back in March. The Times did not receive any acknowledgement for breaking the story throughout the entire course of the program.

Congratulations to our friend and community leader,

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Brownlee House before and after restoration.


istoric Arkansas Museum’s 20th

Candlelight Gala on Nov. 7 will kick off

the museum’s yearlong


20th Candlelight Gala kicks off Historic Arkansas Museum’s 75th Diamond Anniversary.

celebration of its 75th Diamond Anniversary. The museum opened as the Arkansas Territorial Capitol Restoration on July 19, 1941. What is now a showcase for Arkansas’s history and heritage began as a diamond in the rough — a half-block of dilapidated houses. It took someone to notice the historic fabric that still stood on that downtown Little Rock block — and the potential it had to be a source of pride for the state — to reveal the luster of the landmark that shines today.


Historic Arkansas Museum wouldn’t exist today without the vision of one woman, Louise Watkins Loughborough. She led a heroic campaign to save the shabby but significant structures on Block 32, now museum property and a remnant of life in Territorial and Antebellum Arkansas in our capital city. In 1938, through her role on the Little Rock Planning Commission, Loughborough learned that the remaining structures on Block 32 would be condemned for demolition. Where others saw an eyesore, an impediment to future growth, Louise saw a diamond in the rough, an asset for future growth and education. Although this news of imminent demolition gave urgency to her interest, she had begun thinking about the fate of Block 32 much earlier. Born in 1881, young Louise occasionally walked down both Third and Cumberland streets to visit her favorite candy store and to see the busyness of the steamboat landing. Block 32 intrigued her. Young Louise perceived a squandered greatness here — a greatness she hoped to one day reclaim. She would later claim that part of her goal in founding the museum was to show the “courage and fineness” of those sent to Arkansas to govern the territory. But 1938 was not an easy time for grandiose visions. Many still felt the pang of the Great Depression. President Franklin Roosevelt was attempting to remain neutral even as the Nazis made threats of invasion in Europe and there were already whispers of a second World War. It would take more than a young girl’s musings and family stories to save these structures. She had to find a way to communicate their cultural value to the public and officials. Historic preservation

was not yet a widely accepted or respected pursuit. Pioneering preservationist Louise Loughborough would save these historic structures and ultimately found the museum in large part due to her public relations acumen. In her effort to rally support and communicate significance, she described Little Rock as the “town of three Capitols” in allusion to both the current state Capitol, Old State House and Little Rock’s past role as the Territorial capital with Block 32’s Hinderliter Grog Shop rumored to be the last meeting place of the Territorial Legislature, which she labeled as “Territorial Capitol.” She gathered an impressive variety of federal, state and private funds. She went to the director of the local Works Progress Administration. By his own admission, when asked by Loughborough how much the proposed restoration effort would cost, he told her an intentionally impossible number, $30,000, and that it would have to be appropriated by the Arkansas General Assembly, believing that this tall order would overwhelm her and keep her from asking him again. If she was successful at meeting his requirements, the WPA would take on the project. With her 30-second pitches around the state Capitol, she successfully lobbied the General Assembly to appropriate the necessary funding that would also allow her to secure the partnership of the WPA. Act 338 of the General Assembly created the Arkansas Territorial Capitol Restoration Commission in 1939, naming Loughborough as chairwoman. She shared the news with a surprised WPA director to lay claim to his promise of support. With the help of the commission and her friend, architect and artist Max Mayer, she directed the restoration of the half-block of ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT

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Louise Watkins Loughborough houses. She directed a solicitation week to accumulate small donations from local citizens, and they solicited donations of furnishings for opening day on July 19, 1941. The site would become a model of historic preservation for the state and a precedent for the state’s commitment to its history. Loughborough’s foundational leadership set the stage for future museum leaders Ed Cromwell and Bill Worthen.


Central Avenue, Hot Springs, AR


200 RIVER MARKET AVE., STE 400 Q 501.374.9247 Q WWW.ARCAPITAL.COM 26 26

OCTOBER 29, 2015 OCTOBER 29, 2015



In 1962, architect Edwin B. Cromwell inherited the role of commission chair from Loughborough and began expanding the site to provide more space for programs and to cushion the original half-block from future development, adding the adjoining half-block. In 1972, the museum hired its first professional staff and began re-examining its mission and programs in light of continuing research and changing museum and preservation standards. In December of 1972, Bill Worthen was hired as the museum’s first executive director — a title he has held for more than four decades. At the end of 2016, at the close of the museum’s yearlong 75th Anniversary celebration, Worthen will retire with 44 years of service. Worthen made his first goal gaining museum accreditation — a complicated and rigorous process that he led museum staff in pursuit of for nine years, achieving accreditation from the American Museums Association in 1981. Historic Arkansas Museum was the first accredited history museum in the state. Under Worthen’s leadership the museum adopted policies and procedures reflecting modern museum standards. Over the years, Worthen also developed and expanded the log house farmstead that has been central to the museum’s education programs and teachings. The most profound expansion was of the reception center, which opened in 2001. Renamed the Museum Center, the project doubled the size of the old reception center with 10,000 square feet of exhibits, a theater, a hands-on history classroom, an entrance atrium with views of the historic grounds

Peg Newton Smith, standing, on opening day. and other amenities. The museum also authentically reproduced the back yard of the historic Brownlee House, reconstructed William Woodruff ’s print shop that had been lost and added a blacksmith shop and other structures to the Log House Farmstead. These projects were done thoughtfully with appropriate research and construction processes. Other developments include the Living History program, Giving Voice dedicated to those enslaved on what is now museum property, events such as the Frolic, Territorial Fair, Frontier Fourth of July and 2nd Friday Art Night in partnership with several downtown businesses and cultural institutions, the exhibit We Walk in Two Worlds: The Caddo, Osage and Quapaw in Arkansas, and the museum’s public art sculpture, pARTy for Peg by Arkansas artist Alice Guffey Miller, dedicated to longtime museum friend and commissioner Peg Newton Smith.


As a part of Worthen’s mission to standardize and modernize museum procedures, the museum created accurate furnishing plans for museum houses. This research in material culture exposed a void in the academic study of Arkansas’s artists and artisans, which the museum has worked toward filling with its Arkansas Made program since 1972.

Created and led by deputy director and chief curator Swannee Bennett and executive director Bill Worthen, the Arkansas Made research project was the first project of its kind. For nearly four decades, the field portion of the project has taken curator, researcher and photographer to all corners of the state and beyond, peering into chests of drawers and behind family portraits and under pottery hoping to find makers’ marks. Over time, Historic Arkansas Museum has amassed the most extensive and bestdocumented collection of Arkansas-made objects, including portraits by Edward Payson Washbourne, Henry Byrd and George Catlin, knives made by James Black, including the illustrious Bowie No. 1, as well as firearms, pottery, furniture, silver, photography and other artifacts representing our Arkansas material culture through decorative, fine and mechanical arts. In addition, Worthen and Bennett have co-authored two volumes of Arkansas Made: A Survey of the Decorative, Mechanical and Fine Arts Produced in Arkansas, 1819-1870. Third and fourth volumes are forthcoming. Beyond the academic research, the museum’s pursuit of everything #ArkansasMade has informed everything from contemporary exhibitions by Arkansas artists to the museum’s choice of beer served at its popular 2nd Friday Art Night events. The museum’s Trinity Gallery for Arkansas artists has hosted more than 2,000 Arkansas artists since 1973. The Trinity Gallery is the state’s oldest gallery dedicated to the display of active Arkansas artists.


This sparkling occasion will kick off the 75th Diamond Anniversary celebration of Historic Arkansas Museum. The biennial fundraising event will raise funds to purchase Arkansas-made art and artifacts for Historic Arkansas Museum’s permanent collection. Past galas have helped save the best of Arkansas’s cultural and creative legacy for the citizens of our state for years to come. This gala is set to be the best yet, appropriate for the occasion with a nod to

Futuristic vision of historic houses drawn by architect Max Mayer in 1938. This was drawn before the restoration project was begun; several buildings were not built or were torn down by the time the museum opened in July 1941. Historic Arkansas Museum’s permanent collection (ND122.36a)

Director Worthen dancing in the restored Hinderliter Grog Shop.

Together we’ve made history. From saving the oldest buildings in Little Rock to showcasing new artists, thank you for 75 years of telling the stories of Authentic Arkansas.

The Arkansas Times would like to congratulate


75th Diamond Anniversary ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT

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diamonds and 1940s swagger. Guests will vie with friends to win silent-auction items while enjoying cocktails and canapes. Cork vendors dressed a la 1940s will walk among the crowd selling chances to take home a bottle of Krug Grand Cuvee Brut , a divine champagne valued at more than $200 in this year’s wine pull, sponsored by 107 Liquor. The party will transition to an intimate dinner under the stars in lit tents on the historic grounds, and guests will bid on exciting live-auction trips and experiences. Later, the 1940s make their big comeback with dancing to the sounds of the Delta Brass Big Band. More than a really great party, the gala will empower Historic Arkansas Museum to continue collecting, preserving and sharing our Arkansas-made material culture for present and future generations. ■


BLACKSMITH’S APPRENTICE FOR A DAY A unique opportunity to learn the art of historic blacksmithing from Lin Rhea, Master Bladesmith, in the museum’s Blacksmith Shop. Ages 12 and up. 19TH CENTURY PIONEER COOKING EXPERIENCE Dress in pioneer clothing and learn the proper way to prepare a meal over a fire in our historic Brownlee Kitchen. You can take home the fixins!

Hinderliter Grog Shop before and after restoration.

LIVE-AUCTION HIGHLIGHTS DIAMOND BRACELET Add sparkle to your wardrobe with an elegant diamond bracelet donated by the people who know diamonds, Stanley Jewelers in historic Park Hill. With white and rose gold, the diamonds are full cut and set in a flower loop. Valued at $5,500. NOLA AT ITS FINEST Fly direct, round trip courtesy of Glo Airlines to The Big Easy. Enjoy a personal tour of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum


28 28

OCTOBER 29, 2015 OCTOBER 29, 2015


with lunch at the museum. Then dine at Shaya, the most talked about restaurant in the Crescent City, recently named best new restaurant in America.

HISTORIC CHARLESTON Explore historic Charleston while staying in a private, downtown residence that is yours for the week. Travel stipend included.

CULTURE-LOVERS NWA TRIP Stay two nights at The Dickson overlooking the famous Fayetteville street or in historic Carnall Hall, your choice, and dine at Ella’s Restaurant. Take in a show at the Walton Arts Center and enjoy a personal tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Bachman-Wilson House.

CUSTOM TOMMY FARRELL TABLE WITH DESIGN CONSULTATION Your chance to own your own piece of Arkansas Made by one of Arkansas’s finest craftsmen.

Gary Blakney

Jordan Haas

John Porter, secretary

Jordan Carlisle, chair, tickets and tables committee

Michael Hutchinson

Micky Rigby, vice president

Robin Loucks, chair, event committee

Marci Riggs, president

Anne Orsi

Jessica DeLoach Sabin

Paul Parnell, treasurer

Mike Wilson

Don Castleberry Leah Elenzweig, chair, auction committee Paula Guajardo


Ken McRae, chair, sponsor committee

Come sparkle with us at our diamond anniversary Gala. This year’s Candlelight Gala celebrates our beginning. It will be an evening that will sparkle as we kick off a yearlong diamond anniversary celebration—75 years as the showcase of our state’s history.

Nov. 7

Vie with friends to win silent auction items while enjoying cocktails and canapés. Then, dine under the stars in lit tents on the grounds and bid on exciting live auction trips and experiences. Later, the 1940s make a comeback as you dance to the sounds of the Delta Brass Big Band. For tickets, call 501-324-9351 or go online at

A Museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage

A Museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage

Thanks to our sponsors:

MARCI RIGGS Arkansas Craft Distributors

and thank you to Riggs Benevolent Fund for their generous donation.

OCTOBER 29, 2015



OCTOBER 29, 2015


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Aaron R


honda Aaron, CEO and founder of Sister Friends United, is great with a one-liner. On the need for a support group: “We can only write so long before we need to be sharpened.” On determination: “We fail our way to success.” On mentors: “We can’t be what we can’t see.” And then there’s an excerpt from a speech given by former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders in 2011 as Elders accepted Sister Friends United’s Woman of Excellence Award. “Something that she said during her speech that has always stuck with me was when she quoted an old proverb that says, ‘A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.’ That is Sister Friends United. We get involved in the community to find out the needs and challenges to help make a difference.” Aaron founded the organization in 2007 as a means for women of all walks of life to find support and inspiration as they worked toward equal opportunity in the workplace and society. More recently, the group has expanded to address issues facing high school age girls, issues that often derail promising academics and careers. “There are so many challenges for young girls, trying to be a perfect person or be a model,”Aaron said.“Because of the Internet and TV, they think, ‘Oh, this is a perfect person, I want to be that perfect,’ and they deal with so many self-esteem issues.” Such issues are made worse by social media that, while nearly irresistible for the age group, can quickly and savagely mobilize against a young person, Aaron said. “Back in my day when somebody said they didn’t like you, it was just you and couple of people around the block; now it’s everybody on the Internet,” Aaron said. “We’re trying to help them in their struggle with peer pressure and low self-esteem and give them a lifeline to like-minded people to uplift and encourage and empower them.” This year, Sister Friends United started a recognition program for high achievers and those who are taking a stand against 32

OCTOBER 29, 2015



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bullying. A recognition program for academic performance is also on tap to help nurture positive behaviors and keep young women on track. “Young girls turn into adult women, and we want to be sure that we’re being that role model and providing that inspirational leadership within the community,” Aaron said. It’s Aaron’s form of paying back the same investment others made in her during her formative years. Growing up in Dumas, Aaron discovered a local organization known as Deb’s Teen Club. The achievement-oriented programming and mentorship she experienced through the club changed her life, and she wants Sister Friends United to have the same kind of impact, particularly in those instances when she comes face to face with a younger version of herself. “It means absolutely everything when you see someone and you see yourself and you see where you were at that time,” she said.“If you’ve actually walked the walk and talked the talk, they listen to you because you’ve been there and you speak from experience. “That’s really what life is all about — you go through situations and everything you do in life is really for someone else.”





alk toTraci Berry long enough and the subject will eventually turn to her love of public school teaching and coaching, things that dominated her time and energies as recently as 2013. Trying to move on from that chapter of her life is complicated by the fact there are many reminders walking around of the many lives she impacted during that time. “Since I’ve been out of education and coaching I’ve reconnected with a lot of my students,” Berry said. “Some of them still can’t get away from calling me coach, or they’ll tell me, ‘Hey, I ran a mile today and it made me think of volleyball practice.’ It makes me think about how I’ve affected other people, hopefully in a positive way.” Berry may not report to a classroom or gym these days, but her range of pursuits covers land (directing the Raid the Rock Adventure Race), water (communications director for Six Bridges Regatta put on by the Arkansas Boathouse Club) and air (working a zip-line course outside Ponca). In whatever she does, Berry still can’t shake her God-given ability to shape people’s lives. This is particularly true in her work as an LGBT activist, including co-founding Little Rock’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce and creating and producing Woo Gurl, a weekly podcast tackling LGBT issues. She said that even with the relatively high-profile LGBT issues these days, the wheels of progress are still turning slowly. “I am maybe a little bit torn because I know that, of course [LGBT issues are] out there and being talked about, but sometimes I feel like they’re not being talked about by the right people,” she said. “You’re not hearing it, a lot of times, from LGBT people; you’re still hearing it from our local sources of news if they cover it at all. And so what we have found is we have to talk about these issues that are going on within our community with a voice of our community.” Into that void steps Berry, shining a light

on timeless questions that face people of every walk of life — love, identity and acceptance — but tailored to a community still struggling to enjoy equal opportunity under the law. Hers is a voice as frank as it is funny. “Yeah, I think humor does help,” she said. “I’ve always found that bringing the humor part in makes me more comfortable and helps me, I guess, get what I’m trying to say across to other people. It tends to keep them engaged rather than turning them off.” Not that Berry ever fails to keep in mind the emotional punch her subject matter holds for real people. As someone who’s only come out in the last decade, the memory of living a double life and fearing rejection from those she loved most is still fresh in her mind. “Never in a million years did I think that I would be a part of a movement,” she said. “From 14 years ago to today being completely out there with everything to everybody was not something that I thought I would be doing. But it feels good to do, and I think that’s allowed me to do more things, to open up more over the podcast. Maybe through other people hearing that, I can be some type of inspiration for them, too.”

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Davenport J


an Hearn Davenport filled in for someone who needed a break at one of her favorite places, and she ended up staying. At age 76, she’s now about three years into her third career — as Oakland and Fraternal Historic Cemetery Park’s historian. “I had done projects out here before because my main focus for almost 30 years has been family history,” Davenport said. She located the grave of Asa Richmond, a man she discovered was a descendant of one of her Revolutionary War ancestors, at Oakland. Richmond was a former slave who became one of Little Rock’s largest black landowners, and she secured a grant from the Black History Commission to get a headstone for him. “Also, when I discovered him, Charlotte Stephens, who was the first black school teacher in Little Rock, was buried right next to him in an adjoining lot. Her mother, her stepfather and her husband had headstones but she didn’t, so we also did one for her,” Davenport said. The woman who was working as historian at that time wanted to take a month off, and because of Davenport’s experience on the grounds, she asked her if she would fill in. “I did, and she didn’t come back,” said Davenport, who worked in the hotel industry before going to work for the Arkansas History Commission. “I have had an interest in this particular cemetery for years because it’s beautiful and it’s actually the largest in Pulaski County and, I guess, it’s probably one of the largest in Arkansas, besides the national cemeteries. “There are two adjoining Jewish cemeteries plus a small Confederate, and Little Rock National Cemetery is next door to us, so there are all these cemeteries together. It used to be 100-plus acres and now it’s 63 acres.” When she took the historian job, she also took over adding stops to a cell phone tour that had begun the year before. The tour allows visitors to dial a number and punch in one of 97 stop codes along the way to hear a recorded biography of the person buried there.

“The biggest challenge to me is to make Oakland more known to the people of Little Rock. I can’t believe how many people don’t even know this cemetery exists,” she said. “We started in the oldest section two years ago, just walking it street by street, probing for the headstones, and when we find them we clean them and reset them and I research them and do what we call ‘history tours’ and that’s how we earn the money to preserve the stones.” She and the sexton, John Rains, have found about 400 headstones in that time, each of them covered up and marking the graves of people not in their records. Davenport researched the ones they found and added them to the cemetery’s 40,000 or so other records. “A lot of them you can read, a lot have been buried so long that you can see the imprint in the sod when you lift the headstone,” Davenport said. Davenport has created a Facebook page for the cemetery and is working on a website. The cemetery is included in the visitors guide of Little Rock that’s available at the city’s Convention Center, and she puts together brochures she can distribute in various places as well. The Arkansas Forestry Commission recently designated the cemetery as an arboretum, which she hopes will also heighten its visibility. “It’s not the names and the dates, it’s the stories behind them and the way they lived. It’s just something I love to do,” Davenport said. “You wouldn’t believe the history that’s here. I just love it. I love what I do.”

WOMEN Entrepreneurs




or Dr. Monica Verma there is great joy in being able to offer medical treatment or surgery for children with eye problems. Verma is one of just a handful of Arkansas pediatric ophthalmologists, doctors who can most effectively diagnose and manage several eye conditions that are unique to children, like amblyopia, strabismus, retinopathy of prematurity, ptosis and blocked tear ducts. “The need for pediatric ophthalmologists in the state of Arkansas is huge. I was able to get busy very quickly.  In most areas of the country, a city the size of Little Rock has at least six to eight pediatric ophthalmologists,” she said. “Once the word was out, I was immediately busy.” In fact, she’s so busy that the wait time for an appointment for a child who needs to be seen in her office can sometimes be several weeks — sometimes even months. While she finds it rewarding to successfully treat a child, the process is often arduous. “Compliance with many of the medical treatments for several eye conditions in children is very challenging and has to be done at a very young age and can be frustrating for the patient, the family and the physician — this is what I like least about this subspecialty,” Verma says. It was her uncle, an ophthalmologist at the Cleveland Clinic, who influenced her decision to enter the field. “I had spent time with him when I was a college student in Cleveland, Ohio, and his passion and love for his work inspired me to choose this field,” said Verma, who attended the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She’s had several other mentors who have helped her along the way. “I am very fortunate to have had the chance to train and work with outstanding mentors,”she said. “This started back when I was in college and continues today in my workplace. My colleagues are outstanding physicians and compassionate individuals.  I continue to learn from them and my

mentors every day.” She did her residency at NEOUCOM (Northeast Ohio University College of Medicine) in Akron, Ohio. “My residency program had a very strong emphasis on pediatric ophthalmology and, luckily, I found myself drawn to this subspecialty,” she says. Verma knew from the start of her pediatric ophthalmology fellowship at Baylor/ Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston that the subspecialty was right for her. “There is no better privilege than being involved in the care of a child,” said Verma, a new mother herself. “I had outstanding fellowship preceptors and my experience at Baylor was indescribable.  I was able to see and participate in the treatment of children from around the world with rare eye conditions under the direction of leaders in the field.  In particular, my mentor, Dr. Paul Steinkuller, taught me that patience and a love for what you do is key to being an excellent pediatric ophthalmologist. “My practice is largely devoted to treating children, but I do see adult patients for comprehensive ophthalmology needs as well as cornea/external disease.”| For Verma, being female in a practice typically still dominated by males has been an asset. “I think being a female is a help in my field,” she said. “When families are in need of a pediatric provider for their child, more often than not they are more comfortable with a female.”


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Cunningham C


athy Cunningham says she was in the right place at the right time to make a difference, but she’s done it a few too many times for it to have just been happenstance. In 1981, for starters, she joined forces with a group of friends in Helena to turn a dilapidated Victorian structure built in 1905 into the Edwardian Inn. “This was the beginning of my love for the planning and restoration of historic structures,” she said. Cunningham served as managing partner of that project for years and was named Arkansas Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Association in 1994 because of her involvement. Since then, she has worked with her husband, Ernest, and others in the area to plan and fund the construction of the Helena River Park, ultimately reconnecting that Delta town with the Mississippi River. Cunningham is a community development consultant with Southern Bancorp and, as such, has led the development and implementation of the Civil War Helena project and several other efforts that have increased tourism to that part of the state. “The Civil War Helena project included the building of a three-fourths replica of the original Fort Curtis, which was a Union fort in Helena during the war; the creation of Freedom Park, which tells the story of freedom seekers following the Union Army into Helena; and the interpretation of Battery C — a Civil War artillery battery located on a hill overlooking the town,”she said. “The project includes more than 100 interpretive panels, bronzes, canons, etc. These projects would not have occurred without the tremendous partnerships with so many groups in Helena-West Helena and the state. We are blessed to have many dedicated and hard-working persons in our community.” In 2001, Cathy and Ernest Cunningham 34

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helped attract a Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) charter school to their community, having learned about it through a “60 Minutes” program on CBS Television. “I could not believe it when the Department of Education called to see if we would visit with some of the founders about locating somewhere in the Arkansas Delta,” she said. “We, along with Mayor Robert Miller and community members, did our best to make sure it was Helena.” She’s enthusiastic about other projects, but this one has a special place in her heart. “I am probably still most passionate about KIPP and the impact that this school is having and will continue to have on our community. It is very rewarding to see the tremendous opportunities that KIPP Delta Public Schools makes available for children and families in the Delta — through schools in Helena-West Helena, Blytheville and now also Forrest City,” she said. The Cunninghams have remained involved with the school and have even been known to host KIPP students for gardening lessons at their own painstakingly restored historic home in Helena. She has some advice for others who want to make a difference in their communities. “Choose a project that you are passionate about — for me early on that was preservation of older structures,” she said. “Take advantage of opportunities and learn about new things by getting involved with something that may be outside your comfort zone. Maintain a positive attitude — be patient and persistent. Meaningful changes do not happen overnight.” The last bit is particularly relevant for her going forward. “The challenge has been and will continue to be working to determine best practices for sustained development in a rural impoverished community,” she said. “This is a daily challenge but I feel we are beginning to see some differences.”




business mindset may seem antithetical to leading a community’s artistic revival, but it was precisely what led Donna Hardcastle to become executive director of the Argenta Downtown Council. Or, more accurately, it led her back to Argenta in 2009, and the neighborhood she fell in love with early in life. “I’m a North Little Rock native, lived here all my life,” she said. “I have a strong affection for our downtown and was very interested in our downtown being brought back, the revitalization of the area and all the things that went along with that.” It was during her highly successful banking career that she began to give back to her hometown, serving on the board of the Argenta Downtown Council (ADC). Later, when consolidation in the banking industry brought about changes, she decided it was time to change direction. “Argenta Downtown Council decided they wanted to hire an executive director,” she said.“The chairman asked me if I would like to do that, and after many conversations, I decided yes, I would. My affection for downtown had a lot to do with it.” Her title may have changed, but Hardcastle’s business skills, developed over 35 years in the corporate world, were just as effective in the nonprofit realm. “The background I had in everything from retail to commercial lending to finance and working with executives, all the skills that came along with me, were definitely things [Argenta was] looking for,” she said. That included visionary leadership: Six months after she accepted the new role, the ADC started the Argenta Arts Foundation (AAF) and it also was brought under Hardcastle’s leadership. A local arts organization, the AAF is responsible for creating an environment where art and artists can thrive by producing artistic and cultural events, providing financial and marketing support to other art endeavors, and advocate for art, education and economic development. Hardcastle was also instrumental in the creation of the Argenta Art Connection, an

after-school and summer jobs program for North Little Rock High School students. As well, she played a major role in creating the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub located at the Argenta Innovation Center and serving on its board of directors. Such efforts suggest she was creating a bohemia on the north side of the river, but one look at the historic downtown reveals there’s a business mindset at work. Main street buildings are nearly all occupied, most either renovated or in the process of being restored. Cafes and performance venues sidle next to retail and sparkling new apartments, while empty nesters browse the galleries alongside millennials. “We found that throughout the country, art is a great economic development strategy because people want to live and work in a place that has a lot of cultural activity,” Hardcastle said. “That includes everything from art galleries to music venues to performance venues; and we have all of those things. For all of the new activity, development and events, some of the best parts of the neighborhood haven’t changed, Hardcastle said. “Our history commission has done a fabulous job helping to retain the integrity of our historic buildings,” she said. “Businesses are all individual, locally owned. A lot of them have been there through all the good and bad times and are now back to enjoying good times. It’s been quite a revitalization over the last eight to 10 years.”

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hen Carole Baxter graduated from the University of Central Arkansas, her mother sent her a quote from Helen Keller that she would remember for the duration of what was to become a distinguished career. The quote, “Be happy, talk happiness. Join the forces of those who make the barren places of life fruitful with kindness,” reflected her childrearing philosophy. “Mom was very clear that ‘kindness’ was supporting me in dealing with the consequences of my own decisions, not making decisions for me and not absorbing those consequences,”she said.“I framed the quote in its entirety and continue to have it displayed in my home.” Baxter has embodied the sentiment over the past 40 years, all of it spent helping others cope with their substance-abuse issues, starting as a counselor and rising through the ranks of program administrator and, since 1997, as executive director of Recovery Centers of Arkansas. Through her leadership, the program has grown to be Arkansas’s largest substance-abuse treatment program. Growing up in an alcohol-free household — her father was a Baptist deacon — devoting her life to those struggling against addiction seemed a classic fishout-of-water tale. Baxter sees it differently. “My initial exposure to addiction was not to someone homeless, but to people in recovery,”she said.“I saw in those people a focused attention on how to live right and how to be responsible for one. I liked that; that was very much like what I had grown up with and was taught. “I find those people to be amazingly inspirational. I feel pretty sure that if I had become addicted, I would have been one of the ones who died from it.” Not that Baxter lets her respect for those going through recovery get in the way of the often-painful process that it takes to get clean. Far from it, she said. “I do think it takes a little bit of being

WOMEN Entrepreneurs


calloused to people as opposed to being empathetic, necessarily,” she said. “I can let somebody cry in front of me and recognize they are in a tremendous amount of pain, and that’s OK because it is dealing with that pain that gets them to do something different, hopefully healthier.” By 1988, Baxter’s work in the field earned her the Distinguished Service Award from the Mental Health Council of Arkansas, but she was just getting warmed up working to improve the quality of behavioral health treatment in Arkansas across the board. From 2005 to 2008, she managed a federal grant awarded to integrate services for those with mental illness and/or substanceuse disorders — concurrent conditions in about 60 percent of patients. Earlier this year, Gov. Asa Hutchison appointed Baxter to the Behavioral Health Treatment Access Legislative Task Force to address the state’s level of services in dealing with mental health and addiction issues within the criminal justice system. “Most people don’t realize the criminal impact substance abuse and mental illness issues have on today’s society,” she said. “Aside from the humanitarian value, the economic value to us as a society to effectively treat mental illness and substance-use disorders is significant. How many jails do we really want to build?”


ince taking over as president of Arkansas Tech University, Dr. Robin Bowen hasn’t wasted any time spearheading a campus-wide agenda of inclusiveness. In fact, from the moment she arrived in Russellville in July 2014, hers has been a vision of openness and acceptance. “I want all students to feel like they belong on campus, that they can be who they are and be valued for who they are,” she said. “That’s the culture I want to make sure we have, not implying that we don’t have that now, but I always believe that it can be better.” Bowen came to the school after serving as executive vice president and provost at Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts. Before that, she held vice president roles at Donnelly College in Kansas City, Kan., and Washburn College in Topeka, Kan. At each stop, the career academic and administrator charged headlong at barriers that prohibit educational opportunity for all. “Whenever someone has fewer financial resources, it is difficult for them to provide the same opportunities for their children; but education opens the door to higherpaying jobs that can then provide those opportunities,” she said. “A passion of mine is for all students to have the same opportunities and the same rights regardless of color, gender, religious choices, sexual orientation or socioeconomic background. That’s very important to me, that’s part of my core.” Stickers on faculty office doors, the mark of a safe listening environment and indicative of completing new Safety Zone training, are among the most visible new initiatives. “I am pleased that we have been able to develop an office for diversity and inclusion as well as an African-American chapter in our alumni association,” Bowen said. “Making higher education available to all people is not only the law, it’s the right thing to do.” The campus and general community have endorsed the efforts with their pocketbooks: Grants awarded by the Mexican

Consulate and the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council total more than $1 million, and enrollment this year hit a record high. “I find the student body more accepting, but I think that goes also for society in general, not just the students,”Bowen said. “I’m not feeling any pushback from anyone on campus or really from anyone else.” But it’s not big checks, enrollment figures or even public endorsement that underpin her efforts; Bowen’s motivation is something far more personal. “My husband and I were foster parents for 12 years; in fact, we had foster children before we had biological children,” she said. “We lived in a community that was predominantly white while most of the foster children we had were from minority groups. That was intriguing to me in itself. “Whenever we had foster kids, I did not feel these children were just in my house passing through. I loved them as my own and experienced racism on a secondary level as a result. People would assume the children were my biological children and would say racist things to me. That was very powerful, you know, how dare they say something hateful to me or, in turn, hateful to that child, a 2-year-old who’s an absolute delight? “That’s why I’m doing what I’m doing. It’s mainly to benefit our students, but in the long run I think it benefits our entire society.”


OCTOBER 29, 2015


OCTOBER 29, 2015


Arts Entertainment



GHOSTLY GHOST HUNTERS: At the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History.

Beyond belief True adventures in the Little Rock paranormal. BY JAMES MATTHEWS


n the night of Oct. 8, more than 20 people climbed the front steps of the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History (where the smell of cigar smoke has been reported wafting up from the basement when no one was in the building). They continued up the central staircase inside (where there have been reports of a woman in white), past a small screen-

ing room on the second floor (where a male voice has been heard), and into a large classroom. If everything about the classroom itself was normal — rows of tables, a podium, a projector and screen — the topic of the night’s class was not. It was, in fact, paranormal. The students were all gathered at the MacArthur Museum in downtown Little Rock for a Ghost Hunting 101 class,

a once-a-year offering through Pulaski Technical College. Of the 23 students, 16 were women. Most were over 40, though there was a quartet of 20-somethings and two preteen girls. When asked, most people indicated that they were there out of a general curiosity. Some attendees, like Peggy Hill, had already had paranormal experiences. Hill, who described herself as “a very deep believer,” has had dreams in which her loved ones visited her, and more recently was taking a picture of a grandchild when “this thing” appeared in the mirrored wall in the background of the photo. “Nobody can explain to me what it is,” she said. “That really got me interested in spir-

its.” She was there to learn more about the equipment. “I wanted to learn how to communicate, like through my iPad.” The class description made a lot of promises. Yes, students would learn about the equipment and methods used during an investigation. But there would also be evidence of spirits and proof of their attempts to communicate with us. And most enticing: “You will then put your skills to work while participating in an investigation at MacArthur Museum, one of the most HAUNTED buildings in Arkansas!” And leading the class would be Rhonda Burton, co-founder of Arkansas Ghost Catchers and, as CONTINUED ON PAGE 38


OCTOBER 29, 2015


Stop Looking. Start Living.

ROCK CANDY Check out the Times’ A&E blog

A&E NEWS NORTH LITTLE ROCK NATIVE and free jazz legend Pharoah Sanders has been named as one of the recipients of a 2016 Jazz Masters Award from the National Endowment for the Arts, along with vibraphonist Gary Burton, saxophonist Archie Shepp and Wendy Oxenhorn, director of the Jazz Foundation of America. Sanders, who turned 75 last week, will receive “a $25,000 cash award and perform a free concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on April 4 that will be streamed live on” THE OXFORD AMERICAN, the quarterly literary magazine based in Little Rock, announced this week that interim editor Eliza Borné will take over as editor-in-chief, the magazine’s third since it was founded in 1992. A Little Rock native, Borné has been an editor at the magazine since 2013, and previously worked at the Nashville publication Bookpage. (She also wrote theater reviews for the Arkansas Times while in high school.) “This is wonderful news,” said former editor Roger Hodge, who left earlier this year to work as national editor at The Intercept. “Eliza is a brilliant editor and wonderful person — the Oxford American could not have made a better choice. I look forward to reading her magazine for many years.” “I am incredibly proud of the work we have done under Roger’s leadership for the past three years,” Borné said. “We have published great stories that transcend genre and give our readers new perspectives on the South. With every issue, I am astounded again by the brilliance of our amazing writers, artists and contributors. I am honored to have the opportunity to lead our talented editorial staff as we continue creating this vital and spirited magazine that I have loved since I was a teenager.” The magazine has also announced that Little Rock writer Jay Jennings will be joining as senior editor. Jennings is the author of “Carry the Rock: Race, Football and the Soul of an American City,” the editor of “Escape Velocity: A Charles Portis Reader,” and has previously worked for Sports Illustrated, Time Out New York and Artforum. Borné’s first issue as editor-inchief will be the magazine’s annual music issue, which this year focuses on Georgia music, and can be preordered now at

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THE RULES OF GHOST HUNTING: No alcohol, no drugs, no provoking of spirits.

she was introduced to the class, “the most highly respected paranormal investigator in the area.”

p Two weeks before the class, I met up with Rhonda Burton at the fifth annual Arkansas Paranormal Expo, also held at the MacArthur Museum. Burton is the expo’s founder and director, responsible for the lineup of psychics, ghost hunters, Bigfoot experts and UFO chasers. We found a quiet room in which to talk, away from the noise and energy of the crowd. Burton’s sojourn in the paranormal realm started in earnest more than a decade ago, when she saw the show “Ghost Hunters” on the Syfy Channel, though she says that she and her family have always been interested in anything 38

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to do with ghosts or UFOs. After watching an episode, Burton dug an old Sony camera out of her closet. She went to her husband’s dentistry office, which is in an old medical building (“Somebody is bound to have died in there”), and proceeded to get the “poo” scared out of her. She was by herself (“You’re never supposed to go by yourself”) and all of a sudden there was a huge bang and a white blur streaked in front of the camera. “I screamed bloody murder and ran out of the office and said I’d never go back. But I worked there, so ...” By day, Burton is the office manager for her husband’s dental practice. She describes her husband as supportive, though not a paranormal believer. “Some people have their doors open. Some people have their doors cracked. Others have their doors shut. My husband is one who has his door shut.”

Burton later reviewed the tape from her after-hours visit to the office and found that the loud bang was a refrigerator’s compressor kicking on. And the white blur? “I freeze-framed it to watch it go by, and it was a moth,” she said. “You could see the wings.” Nevertheless, she was hooked.

p As the classroom filled up, I found a seat at the front table and pulled out my camera and recorder, but it would be nearly two hours before I needed them. The classroom portion of the night proceeded in typical fashion, with a lecture and Powerpoint. First, the rules of ghost hunting (no alcohol, no drugs, no provoking of spirits), then recommendations on ghost meters and audio software and digital cameras. “Everything

we do is about research,” Burton said several times during her talk, stressing the need for scientific rigor. After half an hour, distractions set in. Dust motes swam through the projector’s light. A moth’s shadow drifted across the screen. At one point, the bathroom door downstairs closed, a sound that would normally go unnoticed, but this night caused half the heads in the room to turn and exchange raised eyebrows. I perked up when Burton began explaining electronic voice phenomena, or EVPs. EVPs are snippets of audio, isolated background sound, in which there seem to be voices that were not audible at the time of recording. Burton played several EVPs she has captured, first priming the class for what they were supposed to hear. When she said the voice in one clip said “Goodbye,”

BEYOND BELIEF, CONT. I strained to hear it. Even so, while most of the audio files were inconclusive noise to me, several of them contained what sounded like words, in human-like voices. Burton demonstrated for the class how she collects EVPs using her laptop and an external microphone. She asked for silence, began recording, and then announced who she was and what she was doing. “Any spirits that would like to talk to us?” A long silence. “Thank you.” She stopped recording and immediately played it back. Burton usually amplifies the sound and removes some of the background noise using digital audio software. If she hears anything — “like if there’s a ‘Help me’ ” — she will respond to what she hears, recording again, then stopping again to listen, in a sort of stop-and-start conversation. Burton went through four years of training with the American Association of Electronic Voice Phenomena to learn how to do this well. Burton said her EVPs usually come in two- or three-word bursts. “It might be ‘I love you.’ It might be ‘hello,’ ” she said. “My daughter came through, and she just said, ‘Hi, mom.’ ” Sometimes they come through in a voice or from a time period that would make you more comfortable, she explained, and then told me a story about her daughter, who died eight years ago. “I was making her a Christmas ornament the year after she died, and I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to make her angel wings or a halo with her initials in it.” Burton decided on angel wings, and that night, when she was recording a session, her daughter came through in a child’s voice and said, “Mommy, I’m an angel.” “Clear as a bell,” Burton said.

p The night of the ghost-hunting class, the room was too noisy for recording EVPs using the laptop and mic, so Burton switched to another technique. She turned on an FM sweep, or Spirit Box as it’s called, a handheld device that simply scans through radio stations without ever stopping. The result is a constant ticking of white noise broken by the occasional word or snippet of music when the sweep crosses an active station. “The scientific community doesn’t believe in it because they say it’s random broadcasts,” Burton said. But she has heard the words, “Hi, Rhonda.” “That,” she said, “is not a random broadcast.” Burton played for the class an FMsweep recording from the Dreamland

Ballroom, the partially restored 1930s jazz venue on the top floor of what is now the Arkansas Flag and Banner building in downtown Little Rock. “I’ve never recorded anything like this. It’s a horn,” she prompted. There was the ticking of white noise between stations and, for a split second, a clarinet — two or three notes — before more white noise. “There could have been a ghost up there playing a horn for me,” Burton said. “But it could have been residual, too, just something in the past that came through.” Burton demonstrated the technique for the class, holding the FM sweep to her left ear and saying, “Hello? This is Rhonda. I’m recording.” White noise, white noise, blip of talking, white noise, blip of music, on and on up the dial. Playing it back, she deciphered a “Hey, Robbie” and “Excuse me.” And in response to her question, “If you hear me, can you tell me your name?” Burton heard the name “Robert.” Suddenly, a woman sitting at the side table, one of Burton’s fellow Ghost Catchers, got up and rushed out of the room. In an email to the class a few days later, which included several audio files from the FM sweep session, Burton said that it was her sister, Robbye, who had suddenly left the room, and then explained why: “If you remember the first thing I heard was my sister’s name, Robbye, and then we heard her deceased son’s name [Robert] being said by a spirit. During that short two-minute session, everything being said was for Robbye and about Robert. It was an amazing session and one my sister wasn’t prepared for. So we are in a haunted location, in a ghost hunting class and my deceased nephew came through to his mom for the first time.”

p With the classroom portion done, we were released into the dark museum to explore for ourselves. With so many people clomping around, collecting EVPs was out of the question. Most people wandered around pointing their digital cameras into black rooms and taking flash photos, hoping to capture orbs. I headed for the tower. When I had been here two weeks earlier at the expo, Rhonda had taken me to the uppermost floor of the tower, up a narrow curving staircase into what she told me was the most haunted part of the museum. “This is where Sarge hangs out,” she said,

referring to the male ghost. An air conditioning unit squealed and squawked. White paint peeled from the high ceiling, and a single light hung from the center. The museum uses the room for storage. Dummy torsos, fake poinsettias, posters and enlarged photos from a Civil War exhibit five years ago. “Those eyes are creepy looking,” Burton said, pointing to a mid-1800s photographic portrait. This was the only time I heard her using a word like “creepy.” I explained that the long exposures required in the early days of photography meant that if a person blinked, it resulted in foggylooking eyes. The night of the class, I again climbed up the narrow tower steps to the top floor. Everything looked the same, only more shadowy. I ran into Nick, Micah, Lily and Corey, the four 20-somethings from the class. They were all ghost hunting for the first time, on a lark, really. I asked them what they thought about what they’d learned. “I tend to not really believe it,” Lily said. Nick added, “I’m definitely considered a skeptic.” In fact, when I asked them whether the class had swayed them in any way, Nick told me it had actually pushed him farther away from believing. The methodology seemed to rankle them as well. “I don’t really believe in the FM,” Corey said. “Whenever she said she heard the trumpet, I was thinking ... .” “It’s a radio!” Micah said.

p I wandered the museum a while longer, taking photos of my own and stopping to look at other people’s. As I made my way back toward the front door to leave, I ran into Chris and Katherine Gentry, who are siblings. By way of greeting, we asked each other, “Did you get any orbs?” None of us had. The Gentrys are young, urban, well-educated — she’s a real estate agent a few years out of college; he’s a few years younger. The sort of people you might expect to attend a ghost-hunting class as an ironic exercise. And yet: “I 100 percent believe in ghosts,” Chris told me. Katherine was a little less sure. “If something really concrete happened to me then I would absolutely say, yes, 100 percent,” she said. “I’m more like 90 percent right now.” And coming to this class, where other people discussed the paranormal with equal sincerity, helped

the Gentrys to “not feel like [they were] crazy.” They grew up listening to their grandmother tell stories of the paranormal, and they watch ghost-hunting shows. But they have also fit their belief into their larger religious framework. “We’re both Catholic, and so we believe in saints and miracles and all that kind of stuff,” Katherine said. She is willing to include ghosts with that stuff. Chris, too. “I kind of view ghosts as like a purgatory-type scenario,” he said. Not a far leap, really, in a religion where one-third of the godhead is referred to as a ghost or spirit. And then there’s the fact that, as Chris said, “The theory of ghosts has been around since people could cognitively think.” And he’s right. Ghosts are a mainstay of our stories. But far from being proof, Chris wondered, “Were people making those stories up because they were fearful of death and just wanted that afterlife or to talk to their relatives?” There’s no easy answer. Even the attempts at scientific validation, the Gentrys both said, are helpful only as a sort of “reaffirmation.” Personal experience would trump it all. “I’m still kind of waiting for that confirmation,” Katherine said, “but I do believe.” It is easy to dismiss this belief in ghosts and the search for proof. But the heart of it all, the bitter pill we never seem to get down, is that none of us — not the doctor, nor the priest, the philosopher, the paranormalist — not one of us knows a damned cent more than anyone else about what happens when we die. Sure, there are groups who swear they are privy to the ways of the afterlife, and others who are just as certain that the very word “afterlife” is an oxymoron. But we cannot know, not in the evidence-based, Enlightenment way we are comfortable with. Because it’s not about knowing; it’s about believing, and we’re not very good at talking about belief. I left the Gentrys, and on my way out of the building I passed the front desk, where the clerk sat patiently, waiting for everyone to leave. I asked him what he thought about it all. “I’ve never seen or heard anything that doesn’t sound like old building noises to me,” he said. No voices, no woman in white, no cigar smoke. But then he admitted, “Maybe I’m not sensitive.” I thanked him and headed out into the night. Behind me, the door slowly swung shut.

OCTOBER 29, 2015







7:30 p.m. Reynolds Performance Hall, UCA. $32-$35.

“When I turned fifty,” Rick Springfield wrote in the preface to his 2010 memoir, “I wrote a song about my life so far, to see if I could fit it into a three-minute pop tune. I could.” Then came the lyrics to the song, which is called “My Depression.”

It’s his whole life, as he said it would be, from his birth, through the postwar baby boom, JFK’s assassination, his introduction to drugs and music, his experience in Vietnam (“killed a man”), his move from Australia to the U.S. and early encounter with TV stardom on “General Hospital” (“Hollywood sex-rat, been there, done that”), his father’s death, the

collapse of his personal life and the loss of his faith, his downward spiral into gray despair (“Prozac, lithium, could never get enough of ’em”), his infidelity, his sleeping pills, his fame, his pain. This is the Springfield I like, the one who wakes up in the video for 1983’s “Affair of the Heart” in a sweaty, neon nightmare — who shatters his mirror and struts fear-

lessly into the depths of the dream. It’s worth mentioning that he also shatters a mirror in the video for his biggest hit, “Jessie’s Girl,” a fragile ode to sexual jealousy. He’s always shattering mirrors. He explains that in “My Depression,” too: “Looking in the mirror and thinking how it used to be,” he writes. “Oh my God, it’s my life.” WS

FRIDAY 10/30


7 p.m. Ron Robinson Theater. $5.

Number of Holly wood executives who passed on “Gone with the Wind”: 6. Number of Academy Awards won by the film: 10. Amount paid for the f ilm rights: $50,000. Amount earned by the film in the year of its release: $59 million. Number of actresses auditioned for the role of Scarlett O’Hara: 1,400. Number of days it took Ben Hecht to write his first draft of the screenplay: 7. Number of days spent on the film by director George Cukor: 18. By his replacement, Victor Fleming: 93. By his replacement, Sam Wood: 24. Leng th of the film’s rough cut: four hours and 25 minutes. Number of people present at the premiere in Atlanta: 300,000. Number of the film’s many black actors invited to the premiere: 0. Percentage of TV viewers who watched its network TV debut: 65 percent. Total worldwide earnings, adjusted for inf lation: $3.44 billion. WS

FOUNDATIONS OF BURDEN: Pallbearer plays at Vino's with Dirty Streets at 9 p.m. Friday, $10.

FRIDAY 10/30


9 p.m. Vino’s. $10.

If Halloween weekend is about immersing yourself in negativity — dark colors, minor-key emotions like fear and revulsion, the grotesque as an aesthetic — there is no better or more profound way to do this than to go see Pallbearer. It will

be like sinking into a sensory deprivation tank of negativity, so that we can all better focus on the profound void at the center of existence. The group’s members, who are also probably the most successful and visible and widely acclaimed exports from Little Rock’s music scene around at the moment, draw from a vast tragic canvas of despair, doom metal at

its most satisfying and sonically thrilling. If you live here and haven’t seen them, you’re missing something big — like living in Athens, Ga., in the 1980s and skipping out on R.E.M. Opening will be Memphis band Dirty Streets, and Vino’s will also screen the 1987 vampire classic “The Lost Boys” outside on the patio at 7:30 p.m. WS



Noon. Bernice Garden. $8 adv., $10 day of.

There’s something poignant and almost pitiful about Arkansans thinking 40

OCTOBER 29, 2015


they invented cheese dip. I’ve long since stopped trying to have this argument, but speaking for everyone who didn’t grow up in this state: Huh? Historians of Mexican cuisine passing through town must feel like Chuck Berry fans at an Elvis conven-

tion — how did this rumor get started? My deep skepticism notwithstanding — and I mean really deep; bottomless maybe — I wouldn’t dream of missing the World Cheese Dip Championship, which returns to the Bernice Garden this Saturday from

noon to 3 p.m. The lesson here is: You don’t have to have invented something to be really good at making it. Admission is $10, but all proceeds will go to the Harmony Health Clinic, a “free medical clinic for poverty-level Arkansans.” WS




HALLOWEEN NIGHT Various venues.

The Ron Robinson Theater presents “Paranormal Theater,” a program of local horror and sci-fi short films, 7 p.m., free, followed by a screening of “The Amityville Horror.” There will be a live production of Richard O’Brien’s “The Rocky Horror Show” at Sway, 8:30 p.m., starring Queen Anthony James

Gerard and “a colorful cast of talented locals” (“Audience participation is almost required,” they stress), $20. Little Rock punk band I Was Afraid plays at Vino’s with Terminal Nation, Knocked Loose, Lowered A.D. and No Victory. Revolution hosts a “Zombie Apocalypse Party” featuring Four on the Floor, Iron Tongue and deFrance, 8:30 p.m. A Halloween party at Juanita’s (“a Killer night of Dancing, Goblins,

Drinks and Bass to the face”) starts at 9 p.m., featuring a costume contest and several DJs, $5. Afrodesia Studio hosts a tribute to Parliament’s classic “Mothership Connection,” with performances by Pam Bam, Dino D, Tonya Leeks, Jammin JC, Carter and more, 10 p.m., $10 adv., $15 day of. Discovery Nightclub hosts a Halloween party for the late-night crowd; it calls it “our biggest event of the year.” WS


DIA DE ‘LOST’ MUERTOS 2 p.m. Lost Forty Brewing. Free.

If you haven’t been keeping up with your calendar, I have bad news for you: Get ready for 5 o’clock darkness. Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday. If you’re a cyclist who does not like riding in the dark or during lunch or in the cold (which, presumably, will come at some point), this is especially bad news. So for you — as well as noncyclists who like to drink beer, eat tacos and gawk — Lost Forty Brewing has teamed with Chainwheel, Arkansas Outside, Arkansas Times and our sister publications Bike Arkansas and El Latino to host a Dia De Los Muertosthemed fun ride. Registration for the free ride begins at 2 p.m. Riders are encouraged to dress in costumes. The ride starts at 2:45 p.m., and organizers promise it will be manageable even for those who don’t have fancy bikes and are out of shape. The ride returns at 3:30 p.m. Then there’s a trike toss. Then, at 4:45 p.m., awards will be given for costumes and lowrider bikes, and at 5 p.m. there’s a raffle giveaway of a Townie Electra bike from Chainwheel. LM

Ari Berman, a political correspondent for The Nation, gives a talk titled “Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America” at the Clinton School for Public Service’s Sturgis Hall, noon. Ten museums and the state Capitol host the 20th Annual Big Boo!seum Bash, with games, food, door prizes and costume contests, 6-8:30 p.m. Edwidge Danticat, winner of a MacArthur Fellowship (a “genius grant”) and the National Book Critics Circle Award, gives a talk titled “Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work” at Hendrix College’s Reves Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m. Comedian Scott White 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). Local rappers Osyrus Bolly and Duke Stigall perform at the White Water Tavern, 9 p.m., $7. Mat Kearney plays at Juanita’s with Parachute, 9 p.m., $25. Colony House is at Stickyz with The Rocketboys, 9 p.m., $12 adv., $15 day of.

FRIDAY 10/30 MacArthur Park hosts “An Evening in the Park with Hot Air Balloons and Mac-O-Lanterns” at 5 p.m. The year’s final Science After Dark event, focusing on “Dreams & Nightmares,” is at the Museum of Discovery, 6 p.m., $5. Marquis and the Mood play at the Afterthought, 9 p.m., $7. Alt-country favorites Old 97s play at Revolution with Banditos, 9 p.m., $20.


BRUISE VIOLET: A reunited Babes in Toyland play at Juanita's with Kitten Forever at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, $22.



8:30 p.m. Juanita’s. $22.

One of the many great fringe art-punk bands to implausibly find themselves on a major label in the Nirvana era — back when they allowed bands like Sonic Youth and the Butthole Surfers on television — Babes in Toyland has sadly become reduced to its context. They are remembered as proto-riot grrrl, or as Courtney Love associates (she apparently robbed them once; they really hated her; their Wikipedia page seems like one long awkward attempt to set the record straight on this issue). They made three good albums in the 1990s — real sear-

ing, fuzz-and-outrage punk rock, like The Breeders but a lot more spiteful. And as of late last year, they’ve reunited, financed (I read in Rolling Stone) by a corporation created specifically for that purpose by three ex-Google employees. The three band members have struggled in the intervening years with addiction, mental health issues and trauma. “I said I’d never, ever do a reunion,” singer and guitarist Kat Bjelland told Rolling Stone. “I just got older and changed my mind, I guess. My son is 15, and I wanted him to see us play. I’ve played in bands after Babes in Toyland, but I missed my friends.” WS

The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center presents a “Lunch ‘n Learn” panel discussion on the Arkansas Civil Rights Movement at 11:30 a.m. The Joint in Argenta hosts Stand-Up Tuesday, hosted by Adam Hogg, 8 p.m., $5. North Little Rock metal band Splattered in Traffic plays at Revolution with Dendritic Arbor, Sol Inertia and Apothecary, 8 p.m., $7. Nashville folk group The Vespers plays at Stickyz, 8:30 p.m., $7.

WEDNESDAY 11/4 South on Main presents a free Tulsa Music Showcase as part of the Oxford American’s Local Live series, featuring Tulsa songwriters Paul Benjaman, Jacob Tovar, Beau Roberson and Kyle Reid, 7:30 p.m. The Fabulous Miss Wendy performs at Stickyz with the Flameing Daeth Fearies, 8:30 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of.

OCTOBER 29, 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

Ave. 396-7050, 1-800-880-6475.


“Gone With the Wind." Ron Robinson Theater, 7 p.m., $5. 1 Pulaski Way. 501-320-5703. www.cals.



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


Colony House, The Rocketboys. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9 p.m., $12 adv., $15 day of. 107 River Market Ave. 501-372-7707. 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. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 President Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. Mat Kearney, Parachute. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $25. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www. 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. Osyrus Bolly, Duke Stigall. White Water Tavern, 9 p.m., $7. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-375-8400. www. Rick Springfield. Reynolds Performance Hall, University of Central Arkansas, 7:30 p.m., $32$35. 201 Donaghey Ave., Conway. RockUsaurus. Senor Tequila, 7-9 p.m. 10300 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-224-5505. “The Rocky Horror Show Live.” Sway, 8:30 p.m., $20. 412 Louisiana. 501-907-2582. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 8 p.m., free. 111 W. Markham St. 501-370-7013. www.


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


20th Annual Big Boo!seum Bash. Games, food, door prizes and a costume contest. Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, 6 p.m. 501 W. 9th St. 501-683-3593. #ArkiePubTrivia. Stone’s Throw Brewing, 6:30 p.m. 402 E. 9th St. 501-244-9154.


“Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America.” A talk by Ari Berman, a political correspondent for The Nation. Sturgis Hall, noon 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501-6835200.


The Next Course. A wine reception, cooking course and benefit for Youth Home. Clinton Presidential Center, 6 p.m., $125. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 370-8000.


“Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at 42

OCTOBER 29, 2015




CREATE DANGEROUSLY: Edwidge Danticat, winner of the MacArthur "genius grant" Fellowship and the National Book Critics Circle Award, gives a free talk titled "Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work" at Hendrix College's Reves Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

Work” by Edwidge Danticat. A talk at Reves Recital Hall. Hendrix College, 7:30 p.m. 1600 Washington Ave., Conway.



MUSIC Upscale Friday. IV Corners, 7 p.m. 824 W. Capitol Ave.

All In Fridays. Club Elevations. 7200 Colonel Glenn Road. 501-562-3317. Halloween Cover Up: Sea Nanners as The Strokes. White Water Tavern, 10 p.m. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-375-8400. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 President Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. Marquis and the Mood. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 9 p.m., $7. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501663-1196. Old 97s, Banditos. Revolution, 9 p.m., $20. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. Pallbearer, The Dirty Streets. Vino’s, 9 p.m., $10. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. “The Rocky Horror Show Live.” Sway, through Oct. 31, 8:30 p.m., $20. 412 Louisiana. 501-9072582. Route 66. Agora Conference and Special Event Center, 6:30 p.m., $5. 705 E. Siebenmorgan, Conway. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 8 p.m., free. 111 W. Markham St. 501-370-7013. www.

“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. Scott White. The Loony Bin, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., $10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501228-5555.


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.


Balloon Glow and Mac-O-Lanterns. MacArthur Park, 5 p.m. 503 E. Ninth St. 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 501-2449690 or search “DYSC” on Facebook. LGBTQ/ SGL Youth and Young Adult Group, 6:30 p.m. 800 Scott St. Science After Dark: Dreams & Nightmares. Museum of Discovery, 6 p.m., $5. 500 Clinton

Give us a call.


“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. Scott White. The Loony Bin, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., $10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501228-5555.


Is it budget time?

Maybe it’s time for an award winning plantcare company.

Almost Infamous. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9 p.m., $7. 107 River Market Ave. 501372-7707. Auric, Barren, Dissonant Possession. The Lightbulb Club, 9 p.m. 21 N. Block Ave., Fayetteville. 479-444-6100. The B Flats. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 9 p.m., $10. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www. Four On The Floor, deFrance. Revolution, 8 p.m., $10. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. Haunting at Juanita’s. Party and costume contest. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $5. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. Hundred Visions, Ghost Bones, Landrest, Enchiridion. Maxine’s, 8 p.m., $10. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. I Was Afraid, Terminal Nation, Knocked Loose, Lowered A.D., No Victory. Vino’s. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. K.I.S.S. Saturdays. Featuring DJ Silky Slim. Dress code enforced. Sway, 10 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-492-9802. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 President Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. Pickin’ Porch. Bring your instrument. All ages welcome. Faulkner County Library, 9:30 a.m. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-327-7482. “The Rocky Horror Show Live.” Sway, 8:30 p.m., $20. 412 Louisiana. 501-907-2582. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 8 p.m., free. 111 W. Markham St. 501-370-7013. www. Tribute to Parliament’s Mother Connection: Pam Bam, Dino D, Tonya Leeks, Jammin JC, Carter and more. Afrodesia Studio, 10 p.m., $10 adv., $15 day of. 9700 Rodney Parham Road.

Certified Interior Landscape Professionals 5514 Crystal Hill Road North Little Rock, AR 72218 (501) 812-5600

5th Annual World Cheese Dip Championship. Bernice Garden, noon, $8 adv., $10 day of. 1401 S. Main St. 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.,

AFTER DARK, CONT. Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. The Vespers. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 8:30 p.m., $7. 107 River Market Ave. 501-3727707.


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.


Lunch ‘n Learn Series: Arkansas Civil Rights Movement. Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, 11:30 a.m. 501 W. 9th St. 501-683-3593. www.



Acoustic Open Mic. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. Brian and Nick. Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. www.cajunswharf. com. Drageoke with Chi Chi Valdez. Sway. 412 Louisiana. 501-907-2582. The Fabulous Miss Wendey, Flameing Daeth Fearies. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 8:30 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of. 107 River Market Ave. 501-372-7707. Gil Franklin & Friends. Holiday Inn, North Little Rock, first Tuesday, Wednesday of every month. 120 W. Pershing Blvd., NLR. Jim Dickerson. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 President Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. Open Mic Nite with Deuce. Thirst n’ Howl, 7:30 p.m., free. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501-379-8189. Tulsa Music Showcase: Paul Benjaman, Jacob Tovar, Beau Roberson, Kyle Reid. South on Main, 7:30 p.m., free. 1304 Main St. 501-2449660.


The Joint Venture. Improv comedy group. The Joint, 8 p.m., $7. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501372-0205.


Little Rock Bop Club. Beginning dance lessons 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.


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



OCTOBER 29, 2015


“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. 501-378-0405. “Arsenic & Old Lace.” Murry’s Dinner Playhouse, through Nov. 7: Tue.-Sat., 6 p.m., $25-$35. 6323 Col. Glenn Road. 501-562-3131. “Dracula Unearthed.” A collaboration between Arkansas Festival Ballet, Praeclara and the Wildwood Park for the Arts. Wildwood Park for the Arts, Oct. 29-31, 6:30 p.m., $25-$50. 20919 Denny Road. “Reefer Madness.” Studio Theatre, through Oct. 31: Thu.-Sat., 7 p.m., $40. 320 W. 7th St. “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.


ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, MacArthur Park: “20th annual Boo!-seum Bash,” Halloween event with cast of Children’s Theatre production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” 6-8:30 p.m. Oct. 29; “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 3: War and Peace (1942-1954), 2 p.m. Nov. 1; “Life and Light: Photographic Travels through Latin America with Bryan Clifton,” through Feb. 14. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. 372-4000. BOSWELL MOUROT FINE ART, 5815 Kavanaugh Blvd.: "Drawing Value," trompe l'oeil charcoal drawings by Trevor Bennett, opening reception 6-9 p.m. Nov. 4, 20 percent of sales benefit the Friends of Contemporary Craft. 664-0030. HEARNE FINE ART, 1001 Wright Ave.: Closing artist’s reception for “Beautiful Influences,” fired clay and mixed media paintings by Chukes, 5-7 p.m. Oct. 29. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat. 372-6822. HENDERSON STATE UNIVERSITY: "125th Anniversary Alumni Art Exhibition," work by Beverly Buys, Jonathan Cromer, Carey Roberson, David Dahlstedt, Meghan Hawkes, Sara Dismukes, Nicole Brisco, Lana Taliaferro, Chrystal Seawood and V.L. Cox, Russell Fine Arts Gallery, reception 2-4 p.m. Nov. 4. 870230-5000. L&L BECK ART GALLERY, 5705 Kavanaugh Blvd.: “Still Life,” paintings by Louis Beck, month of Nov., free giclee drawing 7 p.m. Nov. 19. 660-4006. LAMAN LIBRARY ARGENTA BRANCH, 420 Main St: Arkansas Art Educators Association show, Oct. 30-Nov. 25. 665-0030. TRIO’S PAVILION ROOM, 8201 Cantrell Road (Pavilion in the Park): “Wet Nose Series,” works by Stephano Sutherlin. UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS AT LITTLE ROCK: Lecture by ceramic artist Trevor Bennett, 6 p.m. Nov. 5, Fine Arts 161; “Marianela de la Hoz: Speculum-Speculari,” through Dec. 8. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sat., 2-5 p.m. Sun. 569-8977. BENTONVILLE CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART, One Museum Way: Lecture by Drury University professor Nancy Chikaraishi, “Creating Space in Art and Architecture,” discussion of “Life Interrupted” paintings and

drawings about life in Rohwer internment camp, 7-8 p.m. Nov. 4; talk by Jerry Gorovoy on Louise Bourgeois’ “Maman,” 2-3 p.m. Nov. 5; “Alfred H. Maurer: Art on the Edge,” 65 works spanning the artist’s career from the Addison Gallery of Phillips Academy, through Jan. 4; 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. 31-Nov. 1, Nov. 7-8. 479442-8976.

NEW MUSEUM EXHIBITIONS, EVENTS MACARTHUR MUSEUM OF ARKANSAS MILITARY HISTORY, 503 E. Ninth St. (MacArthur Park): Celebration of culmination of conservation of WWI posters donated by Helen T. Leigh, 5:30-7 p.m. Nov. 5; “Waging Modern Warfare”; “Gen. Wesley Clark”; “Vietnam, America’s Conflict”; “Undaunted Courage, Proven Loyalty: Japanese American Soldiers in World War II. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-4 p.m. Sun. 376-4602.


The Department of Arkansas Heritage is taking applications for grants for Heritage Month events in May 2016. The year’s theme is “Arkansas Arts: Celebrating Our Creative Culture.” Deadline to apply for the grants of up to $5,000 is 4:30 p.m. Dec. 7. The arts theme was chosen in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Arkansas Arts Council. Application packets and more information are available at or from the agency, 323 Center St., Suite 1500, fax 501324-9154, The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program and the Arkansas Humanities Council are sponsoring a filmmaking contest for high school students. Films must be between five and 15 minutes long and be about an historic site (including archeological sites, buildings, or other places with historic significance at least 50 years old or older) for AETN’s “Student Selects: A Young Filmmakers Showcase.” Winning films will be screened in May 2016 at the Ron Robinson Theater. Find more information at The Arkansas Arts Council is accepting applications for Arts in Education and Arts for Lifelong Learning minigrants to schools and other institutions for 10-day residencies. For more information, contact Cynthia Haas, Arts in Education program manager, at 324-9769. The Arkansas Arts Council is seeking nominations for the  2016 Arkansas Living Treasure designation, which honors an outstanding Arkansas traditional crafter who has significantly contributed to the preservation of the art form. Deadline for nominations is Nov. 6. Nomination forms are available at or by calling 324-9766. Nominations of artists who work in traditional craft forms such as weaving, broom making, leatherworking, metalsmithing and wood carving, toy making and doll making are encouraged. For more information, contact Robin Muse McClea, artist services program manager, at  324-9348  or email  robinm@

The Ozark Foothills FilmFest in Batesville is accepting submissions for the 15th annual festival scheduled for April 1-2 and 8-9 next year. Cash prizes will be awarded in several categories; entry deadline is Dec. 15. For more information, go to ozarkfoothillsfilmfest.

CONTINUING GALLERY EXHIBITS AFTERTHOUGHT BISTRO AND BAR, 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd.: Drawn, painted and printed portraits by Jennifer Perren, through Nov. 2. 5:30-9:30 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sun. 663-1196. ARKANSAS CAPITAL CORP., 200 River Market Ave., Suite 400: “Unresolved Spaces,” sculpture by Patrick Fleming; “Infiniti No. 1,” work by Christa Marquez. 374-9247. BUTLER CENTER GALLERIES, Arkansas Studies Institute, 401 President Clinton Ave.: “Photographic Arts: African American Studio Photography,” from the Joshua and Mary Swift Collection, “Gene Hatfield: Outside the Lines,” through Dec. 26; “Disparate Acts Redux,” paintings by David Bailin, Warren Criswell and Sammy Peters, through October; “Weaving Stories and Hope: Textile Arts from the Japanese Internment Camp at Rohwer, Arkansas,” through October. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 320-5790. CANTRELL GALLERY, 8206 Cantrell Road: 6th annual “Arkansas League of Artists” juried show, through October. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.Sat. 224-1335. CHRIST CHURCH, 509 Scott. St.: Paintings, mixed media and printmaking by Diane Harper, through December. 374-9247. CHROMA GALLERY, 5707 Kavanaugh Blvd.: Work by Robert Reep and other Arkansas artists. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat. 664-0880. COX CREATIVE CENTER, 120 River Market Ave.: “Mid-Southern Watercolorists Special Open Membership Exhibition,” through October. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 918-3093. GALLERY 221, Second and Center streets: “Two Boobs Think Pink,” “From the Ground Up,” paintings by Jennifer “EMILE” Freeman, through Nov. 3. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. 801-0211. GALLERY 360, 900 S. Rodney Parham Road: “Pressure,” printmaking by Nora Messenger, Christian Brown, Kristin Karr, Amery Sandford, Slade Bishop, Alli Thompson, Jack Sims, Emily Brown and Jennifer Perren, through Dec. 24. GINO HOLLANDER GALLERY, 2nd and Center: Paintings and works on paper by Gino Hollander. 801-0211. GREG THOMPSON FINE ART, 429 Main St., NLR: “Best of the South,” work by John Alexander, Walter Anderson, Gay Bechtelheimer, Carroll Cloar, William Dunlap, Pinkney Herbert, Robyn Horn, Dolores Justus, Sammy Peters, Kendall Stallings, Donald Roller Wilson and others, through Nov. 14. 664-2787. HEARNE FINE ART, 1001 Wright Ave.: Paintings by Mason Archie and Dean Mitchell, Gallery II. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat. 372-6822. HISTORIC ARKANSAS MUSEUM GALLERIES, 200 E. 3rd St.: “Layers,” photographs by Kat Wilson, through Dec. 6; “Growing Up … In Words and Images,” paintings by Joe Barry Carroll, through Jan. 3; “Katherine Rutter & Ginny Sims,” paintings and pottery, through Nov. 8; “Art. Function. Craft: The Life and Work of Arkansas Living Treasures,” works

win a 2015


electra bike. proceeds from bike raffle & beer go to recycle bikes for kids! cash prize for best

pm - 5:30pm cash prizes

save the date

join us and




fun ride

beer &



taqueria karina

loblolly ice cream


treats breakfast

build out

trike toss

tacos & brunch

dia de “Lost” muertos LOST FORTY pints & procession bike ride nov.1 2015 RIP summer CYCYLING SEASON

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

OCTOBER 29, 2015


South on Main’s free Local Live Series takes place each Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. and showcases some of the best Arkansas talent. This month, don’t miss



Cantrell Gallery is pleased to host an exhibit of paintings by John Deering entitled, “IN ARKANSAS TERRITORY.” The opening night reception is on Friday, November 6 from 6-8 p.m. Admission is free. The show will continue through December 24. Regular gallery hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. ■ VINE & WINE, a wine reserve dinner, will be held on Friday, November 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the Chenal Country Club. Tickets are $200 with tables of 10 for $2,000. All proceeds benefit Wildwood Park for the Arts.

NOV 7-8

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra presents “BEETHOVEN & BLUE JEANS” with Kelly Johnson on clarinet at the Maumelle Performing Arts Center. Saturday’s show is at 7:30 p.m. with a Sunday matinee at 3 p.m. Tickets are $19$58 and available at www.

Hey, do this!


You are invited to welcome SOUTH MAIN CREATIVE to the SoMa district at the official grand opening party this Friday night from 5:30-8 p.m. Meet artists and merchants, and enjoy sips and snacks at the 1600 Main Street location.


Reception for TREVOR BENNETT “DRAWING VALUE” at Boswell Mourot Fine Art Gallery from 6-9pm. . This is also a fundraiser for the Arkansas Arts Center Friends of Contemporary Craft. This event is open to the public. The show runs through Nov 21. 5815 Kavanaugh Blvd, 501-664-0030.



The legendary STEVIE WONDER will perform Songs in the Key of Life for one night only on Thursday, November 5 at 8 p.m. at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock. Tickets are still available at ■ It’s BEER NIGHT AT THE ARKANSAS REPERTORY THEATRE with Lost 40 and the Arkansas Times. Get your evening started with a pre-show beer at 6 p.m. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee runs through November 8, so don’t miss it. For more info, visit

Stevie Wonder


Arkansas Cornbread Festival Arkansas Cornbread Festival

The annual ARKANSAS CORNBREAD FESTIVAL takes place on South Main Street on Saturday, November 7. Now in its 4th year, the event celebrates a staple in the Southern kitchen. Everybody does their cornbread a little differently, so come out and sample the many varieties prepared by the best local chefs and bakers. Tickets are on sale now online for $7 for adults and $3 for kids 6-12. Children 5 and under are free. Admission at the gate, day-of, is $10 for adults and $5 for kids 6-12. ■ The 20TH CANDLELIGHT GALA benefitting the Historic Arkansas Museum will take place on Saturday, November 7 at 6 p.m. It’s a special night honoring Arkansas history, heritage and arts. Tickets are $200 each or available as a table of 10 for $2,000. Sponsorships are available. Visit www. to purchase tickets and learn more.

NOV 10-11, NOV 12-14, NOV 17-DEC 31 It’s a big month at Murry’s Dinner Playhouse with two upcoming shows that are not to be missed: ETTA MAY, THE QUEEN OF SOUTHERN SASS, takes the stage for two nights only, November 10 and 11, and acclaimed artist MANDY BENNETT performs “SWEET DREAMS,” November 12-14. The award-winning Ray Cooney farce, OUT OF ORDER, opens November 17 and runs through December 31. Visit for tickets.

NOV 18

Food, Music, Entertainment and everything else that’s

In honor of Native American Heritage Month and Veteran’s Day, MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History will screen the PBS documentary WAY OF THE WARRIOR on Wednesday, November 18 at 6:30 p.m. as part of “Movies at MacArthur.” The event is free with free popcorn and beverages served. To learn more about this and other events at the museum, visit

NOV 11

The Central Arkansas Library System’s Young Professionals Group, CALS NEXT CHAPTER, will present LIVE! with CALS Next Chapter, a fundraiser for the library foundation, on Wednesday, November 11 at 6 p.m. at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater with performances by local stand-up comic Michael Brown and The Sandman, comedy hypnotist. Tickets are $50 and include heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks. For more info, visit

NOV 28-29

Celebrate the first anniversary of AN ENCHANTING EVENING, Little Rock’s premier winery and wedding venue. All wine purchases will be 10%. Wine makes a great Christmas gift. Visit www. anenchantingevening. com for directions.


NOV 12

Wildwood Park for the Arts presents a “COMMUNITY CONVERSATION: ART AS THERAPY” with a panel discussion led by featured exhibiting artist Nancy Nolan as well as Dave Anderson, Park Lanford and Ken Clark of Chenal Family Therapy. Doors open at 6 p.m. with a Q&A at 6:30 p.m.

UALR art exhibitions are free and open to the public. This month, check out MARIANELA DE LA HOZ: SPECULUMSPECULARI which engages viewers in the symbolism of mirrors and their functions. The exhibit runs through December 8. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and Sunday 2-5 p.m. For questions, contact Gallery Director Brad Cushman at 501-569-8977.

NOV 13

The “REPRESENTED ARTIST GROUP SHOW” opens on Friday, November 6 at Gallery 221 with the Art Walk Reception to be held the following Friday, November 13 from 5-8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public with refreshments served. The show, which will feature the works of Tyler Arnold, Kathi Couch, EMILE, Victoria Gomez Mayol, Tracy Hamlin, Greg Lahti, Sean LeCrone and more, will run through Monday, December 27. Gallery 221 is open from 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday.

NOV 12


Come celebrate their anniversary at 523 S. Louisianna St., Ste. 175 on November 12th from 5-8 p.m., inside the Lafayette building. Drinks and cake will be provided and a special discount will be offered to58 those who donate to the coat/blanket/under garment drive supporting The Van. For more info, call Brandy at 1-479-200-1824.

NOV 14

The annual ARKANSAS TIMES WHOLE HOG ROAST pits some of the best chefs in Central Arkansas and for the first time local amateur teams. Ticket holders will vote for their favorite teams in the People’s Choice for Best Professional Team, Best Amateur Team and the best “No butts about It” team. The event takes place from 5-9 p.m. at the Argenta Farmers Market. Food will be served at 6:30. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the gate. Beer and Wine Garden for $5 each. Visit for details. We are still accepting Professional and Amateur Teams, email SPONSORED BY BEN E. KIETH, SCHLAFLY ST. LOUIS BREWERY AND EDWARDS FOOD GIANT.


OCTOBER 29, 2015


Thank you!



'STEVE JOBS': Michael Fassbender portrays the Apple chief.

Speak of the devil Michael Fassbender stars in “Steve Jobs.” BY WILL STEPHENSON


ver the weekend I was thinking about “Steve Jobs” — the movie, not the person — and I remembered a sentence from something I couldn’t place: “The avant-garde need not be moral.” Who said that? I thought it might have been someone like Stravinsky or Andy Warhol or Oppenheimer or, I don’t know, Steve Jobs. It sounds like something he would have said — a way to excuse the vagaries of his personal (or professional) life, to refocus our attention on his products. It’s one of those aphorisms that seem ineluctably true as soon as you hear it. But then you roll it over a little in your fingers, and it begins to look thin and confusing, not at all self-evident. Whether or not it’s true, it begins to look like the worst sort of rationalization. In turn, this reminded me of a news item from last month. Tim Cook, Jobs’ successor as CEO of Apple, was asked about “Steve Jobs,” and suggested that its production was “opportunistic.” Aaron Sorkin, who wrote the film, replied, “If you’ve got a factory full of children in China assembling phones

for 17 cents an hour, you’ve got a lot of nerve calling someone else opportunistic.” Anyway, I was wrong. It wasn’t any of those people; I looked it up, and the “avant-garde” line was from a review of an album by the rapper Cam’ron. I don’t know if that makes any difference. *** Aaron Sorkin, from a recent interview with New York Magazine: “I can’t write if there’s someone else in the house, even in another room with the door closed. Because I’m talking out loud as I’m writing — I’m performing all the parts, I’m jumping around, smoking. At some point, when you’re ready, you just gotta start having this argument with yourself.” It’s an interesting way to think about this movie: one man’s argument with himself. ***


The “biographical fallacy” is the idea that an artist’s work can be meaningCONTINUED ON PAGE 54


OCTOBER 29, 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’ THE MOSAIC TEMPLARS CULTURAL CENTER, 501 W. Ninth St., is doing the Lord’s work in encouraging the baking of sweet potato pies. The museum will hold its fourth annual “Say It Ain’t Say’s” sweet potato pie baking contest from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 6. Say, of course, is Robert “Say” McIntosh, whose sweet potato pie has no parallel. The museum of AfricanAmerican entrepreneurship in Arkansas keeps the pies coming with the contest, which awards first- and second-place prizes in both professional and amateur categories and a people’s choice award to boot. Competitors pay no money but must bring a toy to donate to Say’s “Black Santa” toy drive. Find registration forms on the Mosaic Templars website. Last year’s professional winners included Sweet Soul (“Sweet Potato Praline Cheesecake”) and Sweet Love (“Sweet and Sassy Sweet Potato Pie”). Amateur winners were Sylvia Tyler (“Southern Sweet Potato Pie and Tonita Lard (“Straight from the Patch”). Call 683-3593 for more information.


BEST IMPRESSIONS The menu combines Asian, Italian and French sensibilities in soups, salads and meaty fare. A departure from the tearoom of yore. 501 E. Ninth St. Beer and wine, All CC. $$. 501-907-5946. L Tue.-Sun., BR Sat.-Sun. BJ’S RESTAURANT AND BREWHOUSE Chain restaurant’s huge menu includes deep dish pizzas, steak, ribs, sandwiches, pasta and award-winning handcrafted beer. In Shackleford Crossing Shopping Center. 2624 S. Shackleford Road. Beer, All CC. 501-404-2000. BLACK ANGUS CAFE Charcoal-grilled burgers, hamburger steaks and steaks proper are the big draws at this local institution. Now with lunch specials like fried shrimp. 10907 N. Rodney Parham. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-228-7800. LD Mon.-Sat. BOBBY’S CAFE Delicious, humungo burgers and tasty homemade desserts at this Levy diner. 12230 MacArthur Drive. NLR. No alcohol, No CC. $. 501-851-7888. BL Tue.-Fri., D Thu.-Fri. BOSTON’S Ribs and gourmet pizza star at this restaurant/sports bar located at the Holiday Inn by the airport. TVs in separate sports bar area. 3201 Bankhead Drive. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-235-2000. LD daily. BOUDREAUX’S GRILL & BAR A homey, seatyourself Cajun joint in Maumelle that serves up all sorts of variations of shrimp and catfish. With particularly tasty red beans and rice, jambalaya and bread pudding. 9811 Maumelle Blvd. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-753-6860. LD daily. OCTOBER 29, 2015

Letdown at Lulu’s South American restaurant needs tweaks.



THE SPECIALTY: Chicken with quinoa and black beans and rice.



tore-bought rotisserie chicken is pretty amazing. You can get a whole tender, juicy, well-herbed bird at the Walmart Neighborhood Market for $4.99. That’s a lot of really good eating for less than a typical drivethrough meal. So when your specialty is rotisserie chicken, as it is at Lulu’s Latin Rotisserie and Grill, you’d do well to elevate yourself above grocery store food. And, frankly, Lulu’s doesn’t. Our quarterchicken — the thigh, leg combo — was fine, but not only wasn’t it any better than store-bought chicken, it wasn’t quite as good. It was $7.50, with two sides, not an exorbitant price at all for a filling lunch, but still. (The breast/wing combo is $8.50.) Lulu’s is a cool spot, a clean, smart space with a bit of South American art and framed prints on the wall, and soft Latin jazz with vocals on the jam box. But the menu is small, and nothing we had was exceptional. We got the empanadas ($6) to start

and opted for one of each type offered — cheese, spinach and cheese, and beef. The fillings were fairly sparse, with air pockets between the filling and the crust, but each was tasty. The cheese was OK; adding spinach helped. The beef version was the best but it wasn’t boldly flavored. You’ll get about three bites out of one. The chicken, as we said, was fine but not close to exceptional — less moist and flavorful than store-bought. The Lulu’s green sauce was fresh and tasty. (Chimichurri and Aji Amarillo or yellow pepper are the other sauce choices.) We chose the least familiar two sides — fried yucca and fried plantains — and found both pretty boring. Yucca is a root vegetable, not too unlike potato. This yucca was cut like fries and tasted a bit like them, just not as creamy inside and missing the salt. The plantain did not taste like much of anything. Lulu’s offers three sandwiches: grilled steak, grilled chicken and Choripan ($7.95), which we opted for. The sausage in the Choripan, traditionally

Lulu’s Latin Rotisserie and Grill 315 N. Bowman Road 501-228-5564

QUICK BITE Lulu’s, which does dinner only three nights a week (down from six when it opened), has a small, nice selection of beer and wine, including the fabulous Dale’s Pale Ale ($5), which hit the state only in the last couple of months. HOURS 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. OTHER INFO Credit cards accepted, wine and beer served.

made with chorizo, wasn’t as flavorful or greasy (and greasy is good in our book) as the chorizo we are used to. There was an exceedingly high bread-to-meat ratio, and the accompanying fries were nothing special. The best thing we had was the dessert empanadas, mini-apple pies with plenty of spice and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce. Lulu’s is owned by chef Heinz Kurt, a Bolivia native who has worked with the Yellow Rocket brain trust at ZAZA’s. He was on the floor greeting customers and seems like a nice guy. But for Lulu’s to survive, he will need to figure out a way to make his food more distinctive.

DINING CAPSULES, CONT. rooms and the servings are ample. A small grocery accompanies the River Market cafe. River Market. No alcohol, All CC. 501-244-9964. GIGI’S CUPCAKES This Nashville-based chain’s entries into the artisan-cupcake sweetstakes are as luxurious in presentation as they are in sugar quantity. 416 S. University Ave., Suite 120. No alcohol, All CC. $. 501-614-7012. BLD daily. GRAMPA’S CATFISH HOUSE A longtime local favorite for fried fish, hush puppies and good sides. 9219 Stagecoach Road. Beer and wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-407-0000. LD Tue.-Sat, L Sun. GUILLERMO’S GOURMET GROUNDS Serves gourmet coffee, lunch, loose-leaf tea, and tapas. Beans are roasted in house, and the espresso is probably the best in town. 10700 Rodney Parham Road. CC. 501-228-4448. BL daily. HONEYBAKED HAM CO. The trademark ham is available by the sandwich, as is great smoked turkey and lots of inexpensive side items and desserts. 9112 N. Rodney Parham

Road. No alcohol, All CC. 501-227-5555. LD Mon.-Sun. (4 p.m. close on Sat.). IZZY’S It’s bright, clean and casual, with snappy team service of all his standbys — sandwiches and fries, lots of fresh salads, pasta about a dozen ways, hand-rolled tamales and brick oven pizzas. 5601 Ranch Drive. Beer and wine, All CC. $$. 501-868-4311. LD Mon.-Sat. LITTLEFIELD’S CAFE The owners of the Starlite Diner have moved their cafe to the Kroger Shopping Center on JFK, where they are still serving breakfast all day, as well as plate lunches, burgers and sandwiches. 6929 John F. Kennedy Blvd. NLR. No alcohol. 501-771-2036. BLD Mon.-Sat., BL Sun. MAGGIE MOO’S ICE CREAM AND TREATERY Ice cream, frozen yogurt and ice cream pizza. 17821 Chenal Parkway. No alcohol, All CC. $. 501-821-7609. LD daily. MARKHAM STREET GRILL AND PUB The menu has something for everyone, including mahi-mahi and wings. Try the burgers, which are juicy, big and fine. 11321 W. Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-224-2010. LD daily.




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OCTOBER 29, 2015


MCBRIDE’S CAFE AND BAKERY Owners Chet and Vicki McBride have been serving up delicious breakfast and lunch specials based on their family recipes for two decades in this popular eatery at Baptist Health’s Little Rock campus. The desserts and barbecue sandwiches are not to be missed. 9501 Baptist Health Drive. No alcohol, All CC. $. 501-3403833. BL Mon.-Fri. MOOYAH BURGERS Kid-friendly, fast-casual restaurant with beef, veggie and turkey burgers, a burger bar and shakes. 14810 Cantrell Road, Suite 190. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-868-1091 10825 Kanis Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-313-4905. LD daily. OLD MILL BREAD AND FLOUR CO. CAFE The popular take-out bakery has an eat-in restaurant and friendly operators. It’s selfservice, simple and good with sandwiches built with a changing lineup of the bakery’s 40 different breads, along with soups, salads and cookies. 12111 W. Markham St. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-228-4677. BL Mon.-Sat. BR Sun. RED DOOR Fresh seafood, steaks, chops and sandwiches from restaurateur Mark Abernathy. Smart wine list. 3701 Old Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-666-8482. BL Tue.-Sat. D daily. ROBERT’S SPORTS BAR & GRILL If you’re looking for a burger, you won’t find it here. This establishment specializes in fried chicken dinners, served with their own special trimmings. 7212 Geyer Springs Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-568-2566. LD Tue.-Sat., D Sun.-Mon. SAMANTHA’S TAP ROOM & WOOD GRILL An eclectic, reasonably priced menu has something for just about everyone. Excellent selection of wines on tap and beers on tap. 322 Main Street. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-3798019. LD Mon.-Sat. SHARKS FISH & CHICKEN This Southwest Little Rock restaurant specializes in seafood, frog legs and catfish, all served with the traditional fixings. 8722 Colonel Glenn Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-562-2330. LD daily. SO RESTAURANT BAR Call it a French brasserie with a sleek, but not fussy American finish. The wine selection is broad and choice. Free valet parking. Use it and save yourself a headache. 3610 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-1464. LD Mon.-Sat., D Sun. STICKYZ ROCK ‘N’ ROLL CHICKEN SHACK Fingers any way you can imagine, plus sandwiches and burgers, and a fun setting for music and happy hour gatherings. 107 River Market Ave. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-372-7707. LD daily. SWEET LOVE BAKES Full service bakery with ready-made and custom order cakes, cookies and cupcakes. Plenty of in-store seating. 8210 Cantrell Road. No alcohol, CC. $-$$. (501) 613-7780. BL Tue.-Sat. TEXAS ROADHOUSE Following in the lines of those loud, peanuts-on-the-table steak joints, but the steaks are better here than we’ve had at similar stops. Good burgers, too. 3601 Warden Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-7714230. D daily, L Sat.-Sun. 2620 S. Shackleford Rd. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-224-2427. D Mon.-Fri., LD Sat.-Sun. TOWN PUMP A dependable burger, good wings, great fries, other bar food, plate lunches, full bar. 1321 Rebsamen Park Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-663-9802. LD daily. TRIO’S Fresh, creative and satisfying lunches; even better at night, when the chefs take flight. Best array of fresh desserts in town. 8201 Cantrell Road Suite 100. Full bar, All CC.

$$-$$$. 501-221-3330. LD Mon.-Sat., BR Sun. WHOLE FOODS MARKET Get barbecue, beer — at a bar or in growlers to go — pizza, sandwiches, salads and more at the upscale grocery chain. 501 Bowman Road. Beer and wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-312-2326. BLD daily. WILLY D’S DUELING PIANO BAR Willy D’s serves up a decent dinner of pastas and salads as a lead-in to its nightly sing-along piano show. Go when you’re in a good mood. 322 President Clinton Ave. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-244-9550. D Tue.-Sat. YANCEY’S CAFETERIA Soul food served with a Southern attitude. 1523 Martin Luther King Ave. No alcohol, No CC. $. 501-372-9292. LD Tue.-Sat. ZACK’S PLACE Expertly prepared home cooking and huge, smoky burgers. 1400 S. University Ave. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-6646444. LD Mon.-Sat. ZIN URBAN WINE & BEER BAR This is the kind of sophisticated place you would expect to find in a bar on the ground floor of the Tuf-Nut lofts downtown. It’s cosmopolitan yet comfortable, a relaxed place to enjoy fine wines and beers while noshing on superb meats, cheeses and amazing goat cheesestuffed figs. 300 River Market Ave. Beer and wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-246-4876. D daily.


BANGKOK THAI CUISINE Get all the staple Thai dishes at this River Market vendor. The red and green curries and the noodle soup stand out, in particular. 400 President Clinton Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-374-5105. L Mon.-Sat. CHI’S CHINESE CUISINE No longer owned by Chi’s founder Lulu Chi, this Chinese mainstay still offers a broad menu that spans the Chinese provinces and offers a few twists on the usual local offerings. 5110 W. Markham St. Beer, All CC. $-$$. 501-604-7777. LD Mon.-Sat. FLAVOR OF INDIA Southern Indian food, including chaat (street food), dosas with lentils, rice and other ingredients, lentil soup, coconut chutney, and northern dishes as well. 11121 N. Rodney Parham, Suite 40B. 501-554-5678. GENGHIS GRILL This chain restaurant takes the Mongolian grill idea to its inevitable, Subwaystyle conclusion. 12318 Chenal Parkway. Beer and wine, All CC. $$. 501-223-2695. LD daily. KEMURI Upscale Japanese from Little Rock restaurateur Jerry Barakat features entrees grilled on robatas (charcoal grills), sushi bar and other Asian dishes, plus American favorites given a pan-Asian twist. You’ve never had baby back ribs likes these cooked on a robata. 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd., No. 2. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-660-4100. L Mon.-Fri., D daily. LILLY’S DIMSUM THEN SOME Innovative dishes inspired by Asian cuisine, utilizing local and fresh ingredients. 11121 N. Rodney Parham Road. Beer and wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-716-2700. LD Tue.-Sun. MT. FUJI JAPANESE RESTAURANT The dean of Little Rock sushi bars offers a fabulous lunch special and great Monday night deals. 10301 Rodney Parham Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-227-6498. L Mon.-Sat., D daily. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-227-6498. OSAKA JAPANESE RESTAURANT Veteran operator of several local Asian buffets has brought fine-dining Japanese dishes and a well-stocked sushi bar to way-out-west Little Rock, near Chenal off Highway 10. 5501 Ranch Drive. $$-$$$. 501-868-3688. LD daily. SKY MODERN JAPANESE Excellent, ambi-


tious menu filled with sushi and other Japanese fare and Continental-style dishes. 11525 Cantrell Road, Suite 917. Full bar, All CC. $$$-$$$$. 501-224-4300. LD daily.


CHATZ CAFE ‘Cue and catfish joint that does heavy catering business. Try the slow-smoked, meaty ribs. 8801 Colonel Glenn Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-562-4949. LD Mon.-Sat. CORKY’S RIBS & BBQ The pulled pork is extremely tender and juicy, and the sauce is sweet and tangy without a hint of heat. Maybe the best dry ribs in the area. 12005 Westhaven Drive. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-954-7427. LD daily. 2947 Lakewood Village Drive. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-753-3737. LD daily, B Sat.-Sun. WHITE PIG INN Go for the sliced rather than chopped meats at this working-class barbecue cafe. Side orders — from fries to potato salad to beans and slaw — are superb, as are the fried pies. 5231 E. Broadway. NLR. Beer, All CC. $-$$. 501-945-5551. LD Mon.-Fri., L Sat. WHOLE HOG CAFE The pulled pork shoulder is a classic, the back ribs are worthy of their many blue ribbons, and there’s a six-pack of sauces for all tastes. A real find is the beef brisket, cooked the way Texans like it. 2516 Cantrell Road. Beer and wine, All CC. $$. 501-664-5025. LD daily 12111 W. Markham. Beer and wine, All CC. $$. 501-907-6124. LD daily. 150 E. Oak St. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-513-0600. LD Mon.-Sat., L Sun. 5107 Warden Road. NLR. Beer and wine, All CC. $$. 501-753-9227.


CAFE BOSSA NOVA A South American approach to sandwiches, salads and desserts, all quite good, as well as an array of refreshing South American teas and coffees. 2701 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-614-6682. LD Tue.-Sat., BR Sun. DUGAN’S PUB Serves up Irish fare like fish and chips and corned beef and cabbage alongside classic bar food. The chicken fingers and burgers stand out. Irish breakfast all day. 401 E. 3rd St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-244-0542. LD daily. GEORGIA’S GYROS Good gyros, Greek salads and fragrant grilled pita bread highlight a large Mediterranean food selection, plus burgers and the like. 2933 Lakewood Village Drive. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-753-5090. LD Mon.-Sat. HIBERNIA IRISH TAVERN This traditional Irish pub has its own traditional Irish cook from, where else, Ireland. Broad beverage menu, Irish and Southern food favorites and a crowd that likes to sing. 9700 N. Rodney Parham Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-246-4340. D Mon.-Sat., LD Sun. LAYLA’S GYROS AND PIZZERIA Delicious Mediterranean fare — gyros, falafel, shawarma, kabobs, hummus and babaganush — that has a devoted following. All meat is slaughtered according to Islamic dietary law. 9501 N Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-227-7272. LD daily (close 5 p.m. on Sun.) 6100 Stones Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-868-8226. LD Mon.-Sat. THE PANTRY CREST Czech and German comfort food with a great bar menu. 722 N. Palm St. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-725-4945. D Mon.-Sat. TAJ MAHAL The third Indian restaurant in a one-mile span of West Little Rock, Taj Mahal

offers upscale versions of traditional dishes and an extensive menu. Dishes range on the spicy side. 1520 Market Street. Beer, All CC. $$$. 501-881-4796. LD daily. TAZIKI’S MEDITERRANEAN CAFE Fast casual chain that offers gyros, grilled meats and veggies, hummus and pimento cheese. 8200 Cantrell Road. Beer and wine, All CC. $$. 501-227-8291. LD daily. 12800 Chenal Parkway. Beer and wine, All CC. $$. 501-225-1829. LD daily. THE TERRACE MEDITERRANEAN KITCHEN A broad selection of Mediterranean delights that includes a very affordable collection of starters, salads, sandwiches, burgers, chicken and fish at lunch and a more upscale dining experience with top-notch table service at dinner. 2200 Rodney Parham Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-217-9393. LD Mon.-Fri., D Sat. YA YA’S EURO BISTRO The first eatery to open in the Promenade at Chenal is a date-night affair, translating comfort food into beautiful cuisine. Best bet is lunch, where you can explore the menu through soup, salad or half a sandwich. 17711 Chenal Parkway. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-821-1144. LD daily, BR Sun.


BOOK NOW FOR YOUR HOLIDAY PARTY! Come see, be seen and explore the true flavor of our city. Join us on our beautiful patio...the weather is amazing!

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HOURS: LUncH & DinneR, Opening at 11 a.m. mOnDay–SatURDay 3rd & Cumberland Streets • (501) 375-3333 •


BRAVO! CUCINA ITALIANA This upscale Italian chain offers delicious and sometimes inventive dishes. 17815 Chenal Pkwy. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-821-2485. LD daily. BR Sun. BRUNO’S LITTLE ITALY Traditional Italian antipastos, appetizers, entrees and desserts. 310 Main St. Full bar, CC. $$-$$$. 501-372-7866. D Tue.-Sat. GRAFFITI’S The ever-popular Italian-flavored bistro avoids the rut with daily specials and careful menu tinkering. 7811 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-224-9079. D Mon.-Sat. JIM’S RAZORBACK PIZZA Great pizza served up in a family-friendly, sports-themed environment. Special Saturday and Sunday brunch served from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Flat-screen TVs throughout and even a cage for shooting basketballs and playing ping-pong. 16101 Cantrell Road. Beer and wine, All CC. $$. 501-868-3250. LD daily. OLD CHICAGO PASTA & PIZZA This national chain offers lots of pizzas, pastas and beer. 4305 Warden Road. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-812-6262. LD daily. 1010 Main St. Conway. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-329-6262. LD daily. PIZZA CAFE Thin, crunchy pizza with just a dab of tomato sauce but plenty of chunks of stuff, topped with gooey cheese. Draft beer is appealing on the open-air deck — frosty and generous. 1517 Rebsamen Park Road. Beer and wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-664-6133. LD daily 14710 Cantrell Road. Beer and wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-868-2600. LD daily. PIZZA D’ACTION Some of the best pizza in town, a marriage of thin, crispy crust with a hefty ingredient load. Also, good appetizers and salads, pasta, sandwiches and killer plate lunches. 2919 W. Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-666-5403. LD daily. RISTORANTE CAPEO This excellent, authentic Italian restaurant was the trailblazer in the now-hot Argenta neighborhood of downtown North Little Rock, the Isaac brothers opening it in 2003. It remains a popular destination for classic Northern Italian favorites and features an outstanding wine list and cellar. 425 Main St. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-376-3463. D Mon.-Sat. SHOTGUN DAN’S PIZZA Hearty pizza and sandwiches with a decent salad bar. Multiple locations, at 4020 E. Broadway, NLR, 945-0606;


OCTOBER 29, 2015


OCTOBER 29, 2015

Rep’s Production Manager Rafael Castanera Mastermind Behind The Little Mermaid’s Magical Costumes


ven though winter is fast approaching, it’s going to feel like the tropics at Arkansas Repertory Theatre when The Little Mermaid takes the stage. And one person helping to transport audiences to this enchanted world where mermaids and other sea creatures come together is Costume Designer Rafael Castanera. In his 15th Season as Production Manager at The Rep, Castanera has doubled as a designer for several productions including Les Miserables, The Wiz, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, as well as last season’s hit musical, Disney’s Mary Poppins. When The Little Mermaid was selected as the holiday show for The Rep’s 40th Anniversary Season early in 2015, the design process for the costume collection began. To kick-start his creative process for creating the costumes for The Little Mermaid, he got down to the basics: the 1989 Disney classic film. 52

OCTOBER 29, 2015


“[I wanted to] go back to where everything began,” Castanera said. “That’s what people are going to compare it to.” Ariel, Mer-Sisters, Flounder, Sebastian, King Triton, Ursula and Flotsam and Jetsam are just some of the colorful characters who make up this underwater paradise, so he knew he had to let his creativity run wild. Because the whole show is centered on Ariel, a mermaid, he had many questions as to how to create who she was. “What is a mermaid?” Castanera said. “And how do mermaids move?” Once he answered those questions and decided what this majestic underwater world was, the next step was to listen to the music. And after listening to the soundtrack, it was the colorful beat of “Under the Sea” that struck a chord with his creativity. “That is just one of the most fun moments in the show,” he said. “It had this Mardi Gras-New Orleans-CalypsoVegas quality to it and I knew that’s

what I wanted to do. I didn’t even have to close my eyes and I could see them dancing in it.” This larger-than-life idea was something that had to be carried out carefully, he said, without mimicking the Broadway show. “You can honor an element of the design or something but when you try to imitate a lot, you end up with a bad imitation,” Castanera said. The process to create these vibrant pieces began in May with just a pencil, eraser and paper-- and the rest is history. His sketches, which look like fine works of art, began as line drawings and were later colored with Copic markers, Faber-Castell Sharpies and Sharpies. It took more than three months to create 53 sketches. But his work isn’t done. From vibrant sequined tops, geometrical headpieces and ornate belts to flowy skirts and more, the collection encompasses a spectrum of beautiful pieces fit for an underwater utopia. To make these spectacular pieces, tons of materials are being used for

the more than 80 costumes you’ll see onstage, including 300-plus yards of fabric, plastic and thermoplastic, spandex, wood, rhinestones and more-- all created by dozens of hands in The Rep’s in-house costume shop since August.. Something else that you will see a lot of? Tights. “There is not one pair of pants in the show,” he said. With the various components that make up each outfit, there is a lot of labor that goes into making a collection of this caliber. But, with the right staff in place working far in advance, things have just come together, Castanera said. At the end of the day, the awardwinning designer hopes that audiences will be sent to a sea of color and sparkle that he helped create. “Hopefully, they will see something that is really beautiful and magical,” Castanera said.



CANTINA LAREDO This is gourmet Mexican food, a step up from what you’d expect from a real cantina, from the modern minimal decor to the well-prepared entrees. We can vouch for the enchilada Veracruz and the carne asada y huevos, both with tasty sauces and high quality ingredients perfectly cooked. 207 N. University. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-280-0407. LD daily, BR Sun. CHUY’S Good Tex-Mex. We’re especially fond of the enchiladas, and always appreciate restaurants that make their own tortillas. 16001 Chenal Parkway. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-821-2489. LD daily. JUANITA’S Menu includes a variety of combination entree choices — enchiladas, tacos, flautas, shrimp burritos and such — plus creative salads and other dishes. And of

course the “Blue Mesa” cheese dip. 614 President Clinton Ave. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-372-1228. LD Tue.-Sat. LA SALSA MEXICAN & PERUVIAN CUISINE Mexican and Peruvian dishes, beer and margaritas. 3824 John F. Kennedy Blvd. NLR. Full bar, All CC. 501-753-1101. LD daily. LOCAL LIME Tasty gourmet Mex from the folks who brought you Big Orange and ZaZa. 17815 Chenal Parkway. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-448-2226. LD daily. LUPITA’S ORIGINAL MEXICAN FOOD Mexican, American food and bar specializing in Margaritas. 7710 Cantrell Road. Full bar. SENOR TEQUILA Typical cheap Mexican dishes with great service. Good margaritas. 10300 N. Rodney Parham Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-224-5505. LD daily. 9847 Maumelle Blvd. NLR. 501-758-4432; 14524 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-8687642. LD daily. TACOS GUANAJUATO Pork, beef, adobado, chicharron and cabeza tacos and tortas at this mobile truck. 6920 Geyer Springs Road. No alcohol, No CC. $. LD Wed.-Mon. TAMALITTLE RESTAURANT Authentic Mexican food, including pastes, flour-based small empanada-like pastries stuffed with a variety of Mexican ingredients, and other traditional dishes. 102 Markham Park Drive. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-217-9085. BLD Mon.-Fri., LD Sat. TAQUERIA EL PALENQUE Solid authentic Mexican food. Try the al pastor burrito. 9501 N. Rodney Parham Road. Beer, CC. $-$$. 501-312-0045. Serving BLD Tue.-Sun.

Ember’s Golden Glow will soon leave The Heights!


fter 6 influential years of providing young, affordable style, Jamie Richardson has announced the stunning decision to close her contemporary boutique, EMBER. This Tuesday, October 20th, Jamie and her savvy staff launch an unprecedented and huge Going Out of Business Sale to say “goodbye” to Greater Little Rock, and to celebrate her store’s unique charm and fashion leadership. EMBER has been the top destination for contemporary apparel in The Heights, distinctively serving her clientele with the best of style, service, and distinctive fashion in a warm, relaxed shopping atmosphere. In early 2009, Jamie and her sisterin-law rented a tiny space in West Little Rock, curating and crafting one-of-akind items that they could not find in Little Rock at affordable prices. After experiencing immediate success, Jamie

moved EMBER to 5709 Kavanaugh in May of that same year. Young women sized 0 to 14 could finally enjoy chic California-inspired looks at prices under $75! Quoting Jamie, “ The economic crash actually worked in EMBER’S favor … We were the perfect retail ‘cocktail’ … Great location, unbelievable prices and looks that no one else had.” During her 6 impressive years of selecting the right looks at the best time and price for her discerning clientele, Jamie has married husband Adam, delivered her 3 year-old son Sawyer, and her beautiful baby girl, Aubrey. Jamie and Adam will soon move their family to Colorado where Adam has a brilliant new business opportunity compelling them to throw one final EMBER farewell before they begin their NEW life in Denver.


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

CO-SPONSORED BY al “The ori�ino� �ards�” se u o � tor � �u��� �ire� – �o

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

4203 E. Kiehl Ave., Sherwood, 835-0606, and 10923 W. Markham St. Beer, CC. $-$$. 501-224-9519. LD Mon.-Sat., D Sun. VINO’S Great rock ‘n’ roll club also is a fantastic pizzeria with huge calzones and always improving home-brewed beers. 923 W. 7th St. Beer and wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-375-8466. LD daily. ZAZA Here’s where you get wood-fired pizza with gorgeous blistered crusts and a light topping of choice and tempting ingredients, great gelato in a multitude of flavors, callyour-own ingredient salads and other treats. 5600 Kavanaugh Blvd. Beer and wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-661-9292. LD daily. 1050 Ellis Ave. Conway. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-336-9292. LD daily.



Directed by bob Hupp | Produced by W.W. and Anne Jones Charitable Trust

SePTeMber 11-27, 2015 (501) 378-0405 |


Come try a sampling before the show!





“Gold star

s all aroun

– The New

York Times



Thursday, November 5, 5:30 - 7pm Lobby at The Rep

For tickets, call the Box Office at (501) 378-0405 or visit

OCTOber 16 — NOVeMber 8 sponsored by ARKANSAS TIMES (501) 378-0405 |


OCTOBER 29, 2015



was said to create or protect jobs; if the party opposed something, it was to be a huge job killer. Health insurance reform terrified the country because Republicans, the Chamber of Commerce and other groups advertised that it would lay off a large part of the workforce. In practice, it was a major job creator. (Track the job figures in Arkansas starting with the Medicaid expansion and subsidized private insurance in 2013.) Some dozen states have cut personal or corporate income taxes significantly since 1992, but only those favored in the financial boom or the oil and gas production boom (New Mexico and Oklahoma) experienced a net gain in their employment share over the period. Kansas and Louisiana are our role models. Govs. Sam Brownback and Bobby Jindal came into office promising to take axes to the states’ tax systems. Brownback said his tax cuts, which heavily slashed rates on high incomes, would be “like a shot of adrenaline into the heart of the Kansas economy.” Kan-

sas would point the way for the whole country. Jindal also planned to mount a campaign for the presidency on his incredible growth record in Louisiana. You know what happened — plummeting tax receipts, sharp cuts in public services to avert illegal deficits and finally, this year, major tax increases begged by both flailing and intensely unpopular governors. The most familiar scenario is that when states pull themselves out of the fiscal holes created by big tax cuts, the new taxes fall heavily on low- and middle-income wage earners and not the well-to-do who were favored with the tax cuts. That’s what happened in Kansas and Louisiana. Jindal also won the wrath of Louisianans, including Republican lawmakers, by insisting that no one call them tax increases. Arkansas, as yet, has not been as rash as Brownback or Jindal, but if the worst still happens in 2017 the Republican authors already have an explanation. Obamacare did it.

BRANTLEY, CONT. unending freeway construction. Why should it be state policy to subsidize suburban growth? Why not design feeder routes from ring bypasses, as the great cities do? Let people work out alternate schedules, or move, if they don’t like weekday morning traffic jams. But don’t punish Little Rock. The Highway Department haughtily dismissed alternatives for its unimaginative Broadway Bridge replacement plan, accepting cosmetic

embellishments only because the county paid for it. This bigger, more disastrous project also seems precooked. But study has begun on the possibility of a public interest lawsuit. Local people have begun speaking loudly, and must. The Corps of Engineers — and the “Keep Busy” attitude famously lampooned in George Fisher cartoons years ago — are but Tinker Toy builders compared with the highway lobby.



OCTOBER 29, 2015


MOVIE REVIEW, CONT. fully interpreted through the lens of his or her life. That the relationship is direct and causal. This is very often an easy thing to criticize and find funny about biopics, how heavy-handedly they sketch the pathways from personal tragedy (or whatever) to artistic breakthrough. But “Steve Jobs” has a different problem, because Jobs himself, in life, was the one committing the biographical fallacy, staking his claim to every Apple innovation by referencing some personal vignette — an acid trip, a calligraphy class, an absent biological father. So the project of the film becomes about something else, about the dissonance between Jobs’ narrative and the narratives of others. And the dissonance is great. It’s awful. The movie-Jobs is some sort of radical solipsist monster. It’s not that he wants us to dislike him, he explains at one point. It’s that he’s indifferent as to whether we dislike him or not. And so we do. As Judy Garland said once, supposedly: “If I am a legend, then why am I so lonely?”

DIRECTOR CLINIC/OPERATION SUPPORT SERVICES Supervises and coordinates specific functions and activities of various outpatient departments and physician practices including, but not limited to, accounting/financial, materials management, human resources, marketing, and information systems. Provides assistance and support to all members of the administrative team in pursuit of the successful achievement of its goals and objectives.


Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare or Business Management preferred. A Master’s Degree in Healthcare or Business Management is highly preferred. Relevant job experience may be substituted for advanced degree.

*** Aaron Sorkin again, in New York Magazine: “When it comes to a line of dialogue, a couplet, a scene, a speech, or an entire act — I care as much about what it sounds like as what it means. I don’t care more about what it sounds like than what it means, but I care as much.” The film is all high-wire drama and momentum, three acts each building up to seminal product launches, the story of a life in three afternoons. Every character is in possession of a blinding insight into Jobs’ personality, which they usually deliver in near-theological syntax: “Things don’t become so because you say so,” etc. Every interaction is about friction (at a macro and micro level), conversations doing battle with and flowing into one another. It’s a ballet of arguments, a kind of Silicon Valley “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.” I think the ending is supposed to be a happy one, though I couldn’t say for sure. It occurs around the time the iMac computer was introduced to the public in 1998. I never had an iMac, but my friend Robbie did. It was blueberrycolored, and looked more fun than my family’s computer, which was a Dell or something. I cared a lot about how things looked. I didn’t care more about how they looked than how they worked, but I cared as much.


Practice management and project and program development experience with a healthcare system. Experience should include working among healthcare providers, clinic settings, healthcare administration, hospital department directors, clinical and clerical staff, and task-oriented teams. Healthcare Strategy Group 9900 Corporate Campus Drive, Suite 2000 Louisville, Kentucky 40223

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

Can ihelp you?

Learn to get the most from your Apple products at home or your office. • Show how to build and maintain your own websites and social media. • Guide you to the perfect Mac or device for your needs and budget. • Everything Apple: Macs, iPads, iPhones, Apple TV and Apple Watch

• Data Recovery & troubleshooting • Hardware & software installations • Computer upgrades • Organize and backup all your documents, photos, music, movies and email on all your devices with iCloud.

Follow @MovingtoMac on Twitter and Like Moving to Mac Facebook for news and deals. Call Cindy Greene Satisfaction Always Guaranteed

MOVING TO MAC • 501-681-5855


Saturday, November 7, 2015 - 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, November 8, 2015 - 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. LA QUINTA INN & SUITES



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

Sharlette Pumphrey 501.955.2063

Heart Connections Body, Mind & Soul Expos

CAT 420E SN: DJL00159. 4x4 powered by Cat diesel engine, equipped with EROPS, air, ride control, pilot controls, extandahoe, rear auxiliary hydraulics, 4-in-1 front bucket, 24in rear digging bucket, 12.5/80-18 front tires, 19.5L-24 rear; 3424 hours; $52,900. Please call Joe at 406-581-9500


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



617 S. Broadway Street • Little Rock, AR 72201



Affectionate, Financially Secure Family Joyfully Awaits Miracle First baby. Excited Grandparents too. Expenses paid.

(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

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

OCTOBER 29, 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, Apple Blossom BBQ Buford’s Dogtown Smokers


BEER & WINE GARDEN Gated festival area selling beer & wine ($5 each).

• 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 Phyllis Britton or Donna Hardcastle 56

OCTOBER 29, 2015



Arkansas Times - October 29, 2015  

Blood bias - When parents fail their children, relatives often want to step up. But Kimberlee Herring and Karisa Hardy say the system shut t...

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