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MARCH 20, 2014

ARKANSAS TIMES

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MARCH 20, 2014

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COMMENT

Hope for something better Occasionally, letters to the editors of our various media outlets here in Arkansas reveal the sentiments of those who do not put much stock in the Bible. But observe closely and you will see that, more often than not, these letters convey the sense that many, if not most, Arkansans place a great deal of importance in the scriptures. It is not surprising since we live on the buckle of the Bible Belt. So it is to the scriptures that we can turn for words of guidance, direction and, yes, hope. But before doing that, we want to commend our Senate and House of Representatives for their approval, albeit narrowly, of the private option funding. Why did we need this legislation? Take a look at some sobering statistics. According to americashealthrankings.org 2010, among the 50 states Arkansas ranks 42nd or worse in the areas of stroke, occupational fatalities, infant mortality, obesity, premature death, immunization coverage, per capita health spending, lack of health insurance, children in poverty, physical activity, cardiovascular deaths, poor physical health days and cancer deaths. Do we want our hospital emergency rooms to have to cover all of these — and then pass on the costs to the Arkansas taxpayers? Are not so many of our legislators concerned with budgets, as they claim to be? Can we not collectively, as a people, hope for something better? Hope is one of the most powerful words in our vocabulary, as well as the Bible. Often born of adversity, it longs for a better day when the fortunes of one’s self, and others, will be better than they happen to be at the present time. Arkansas is filled with people hoping for something better in their lives. Many of the folks in Arkansas who quote the scriptures find themselves described by them. For example, there is Leviticus 19:1, 9-10: The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the Lord your God.” We have rich and we have poor, we have those who harvest the land and those who can only be described as “the poor and the alien.” From the beginning, the Bible’s mandate is clear that those who reap have the responsibility to share with those who cannot. If our scriptures have one single values theme, it is certainly this! Apart from the political reasons for supporting the bill, we commend its suc4

MARCH 20, 2014

ARKANSAS TIMES

cessful passage from the standpoint of biblical faith. Too long we have turned our collective back on those described in Hebrew scripture as “the poor and the alien,” and in the gospels as “the least of these.” Now we have the impetus to step up and do that which is right and good, that which will offer hope to the people of Arkansas who otherwise might find it in very short supply. Rabbi Gene Levy and Rev. Randy Hyde Little Rock

Thanks to Blue Hog If anyone in Central Arkansas deserves a laurel and a hearty handshake for his work lately, it’s Matt Campbell with his Blue Hog Report. His record of outing the venal and miscreant in Arkansas public office is laudable. Campbell’s success at ferreting out and bringing to light unpleasant truths about some of our public officials and business leaders is an example of how a “citizen journalist” empowered by the FOIA can make an important difference. Our late Gov. Rockefeller and those legislators who gave us the Freedom of Information Act in 1967 deserve thanks, as well. Their desire for increased transparency in state government and their

willingness to face down those who preferred that the drapes remain closed are what have made investigative journalism like Campbell’s possible. As a small minority of our lawmakers, law enforcers and bureaucrats, both grand et petit, sometimes fails to recognize malfeasance when it occurs within its own environs, the ability of the press, both establishment and upstart, to peer behind the curtains and rummage through the files provides a necessary check on misconduct by our officials. Government functions best when its actions and those of its officers are open to public scrutiny. Eternal vigilance is still the price of liberty and is absolutely required if honest, competent government is to be had. Tom Norrell Conway

No kids at Oaklawn, please This past weekend we ventured over to Oaklawn Park for a day of fun at the races, and though we had a great time, I strongly believe the facility should be renamed to include Oaklawn Park Racing and Day-Care Center. We have never seen so many children under the age of 8 running around screaming, playing tag

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and making a mockery of what once was considered “adult entertainment.” If you will not allow your child or children into a bar, why then allow them into a gambling facility that allows smoking, drinking and cursing? There is no excuse for children under 16 being allowed into Oaklawn, none. We sat and listened to others complain at Oaklawn and the general consensus was: why? Once upon a time you had to be 16 years of age to get in; now it is baby strollers everywhere you look, babies being carried in arms or on backs, children screaming at the top of their lungs at each other and having popcorn fights. We sat in amazement and watched as a woman carrying a stroller maneuvered down the stairs with four children under the age of 5 tagging behind. Again, why? We also ventured outside and there was another boy about 11 with his basketball bouncing it up and down and not realizing that there were floods of people walking by. Then, of course, you have the strollers. Everywhere you look there is someone pushing a stroller in and out of folks trying to bet or get a bite to eat. They run into you and then stare as if you did something wrong, as if seeing a stroller and babies is not bad enough as it is. They clog the aisles and race from one end of the track to the other; they run into you, keep going and pay no attention to what is going on around them. It is a shame that Oaklawn felt the need to open up a gambling and drinking facility that was once considered an adult venue and tried to make it family friendly. Must every place that once was considered an “adult venue” be subjected to what society feels is “correct” and allow children in? Are there not already enough venues where children are freely welcomed without pushing the boundaries of what was once considered adult entertainment? Do I hate children? No, but there is a time and a place for everything, and as an adult I (and apparently several thousand others) feel Oaklawn should realize that the race track is not a family outing, and that betting/gambling, drinking and having an adult good time is not the place for young children. All Oaklawn is doing is pushing away the adults who were once considered the main target of racing and letting their facility become one huge daycare center. Gary Lemons Benton

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Livestock report This being an election year, many trite old political terms will be brought out for another interminable go. One such is dark horse. I recently stumbled across the fact that dark horse was created by none other than the Ol’ Diz. No, not the great right-handed pitcher from Arkansas, Dizzy Dean. The other one: “After explaining that a  dark horse candidate is an originally obscure politician who comes from nowhere to win the race, John Ciardi writes: ‘Coined by Benjamin Disraeli, British statesman and popular novelist. In “The Young Duke” (1831) he wrote: ‘A dark horse which had never been heard of (swept to triumph).’ The term passed at once into British race track idiom, was soon after adopted on American tracks, and then acquired its (now dominant in America) political sense.’ ” The baseball Dizzy had nothing to do with stalking horse either, as far as we know. A stalking horse is “a decoy; a candidate put forward to split a vote

or deadlock a convention, concealing another candidate’s plan.” That would have been too tricky for DOUG Ol’ Diz. He just SMITH dsmith5201@comcast.com threw it by ’em. (It would be too tricky for modern politics too. Television pretty well ended that sort of backroom maneuvering. And a good thing for politicians’ health. The old backrooms were traditionally smoke-filled.) The young Dizzy Dean probably came out of the bullpen a few times near the beginning and near the end of his career. A baseball bullpen is “The area of a ballpark where the relief pitchers and warm-up catcher are situated during the game. … The primary purpose of the bullpen is as a place where relief pitchers can prepare and warm up for entry into the game.” Disraeli might have hidden a stalking horse out there too.

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WEEK THAT WAS

It was a good week for ... MORRIL HARRIMAN. Gov. Mike Beebe appointed his longtime friend and chief of staff to the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees. U.S. REP. TOM COTTON. He got married to Virginia lawyer Anna Peckham.

It was a bad week for ... JUDGE MIKE MAGGIO. The Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission is reviewing circumstances of campaign contributions made to Maggio’s aborted race for Arkansas Court of Appeals. The panel already was investigating comments Maggio made under a pseudonym to an LSU fan website, including remarks about women, race and sexual orientation, as well as his revealing information about the confidential adoption of a child in Faulkner County by actress Charlize Theron. Since then, reports have emerged noting the coincidence of timing in creation of political action committees by Little Rock lawyer Chris Stewart. All the PACs got initial contributions from the nursing home empire of Michael Morton of Fort Smith. He also controlled a nursing home on the losing end of a $5.2 million jury verdict in Maggio’s court. Maggio ul-

timately reduced the verdict to $1 million. SHERIDAN HIGH SCHOOL. School officials ordered the school yearbook to scrap six planned student profiles rather than include one on Taylor Ellis, a gay student who talked about his experience. ARKANSAS’S 12-WEEK ABORTION BAN. Federal Judge Susan Webber Wright completed the job she’d started with an earlier injunction: She struck down the 2013 law that prohibited most abortions beginning with the 12th week of pregnancy. JACK GILLEAN. The former University of Central Arkansas chief of staff was convicted by a jury in Clinton of six burglary charges in supplying a student with a master key to gain access to professors’ offices to obtain copies of tests.

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MARCH 20, 2014

5

EDITORIAL

EYE ON ARKANSAS

Still the same

I

We can see clearly now

f Asa Hutchinson has been wildly overrated over the years, Mike Beebe has been, by many of us, vastly underrated. “Oh sure, he’s been a successful legislative operator,” we’ve told each other. “But to what ends? And he’s had some questionable friends and allies.” As the time for Beebe’s first gubernatorial term drew near, we began to pay more attention. People we knew and admired in state government were themselves great admirers of Mike Beebe, eager to work in a Beebe administration. Facing conditions about as difficult as any governor in modern times has — including a legislative majority both hostile and uninformed — Beebe has kept the state on an even keel, even a progressive keel, in some cases, financially and philosophically. He may be the last governor to do this. It’s all right to tell him. 6

MARCH 20, 2014

ARKANSAS TIMES

MATT AMARO

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atching a young Asa Hutchinson operate in the smartest-guys-in-the-room-style of Washington politics in the 1990s, the Republican Party’s Grand Old Man, Richard Nixon, said, “I find the way his jib is trimmed appealing. What about you, Hank?” “Ach du lieber,” Kissinger replied. Congressman Hutchinson, who’d been a federal prosecutor devoid of scruple, was at the time pursuing Bill Clinton for the offense of being elected president while Democratic. Hutchinson was also courting the media tirelessly, persuading many pundits that he was an honorable and genteel man, far from the other boundless brutes of the Republican prosecution. Republican leaders promoted the dishonest notion that Hutchinson deserved credit for prosecuting in a nonpartisan manner. The truth was that Hutchinson had been chosen for the assignment because he represented a safely Republican district, one the party was sure to retain control of, regardless of the outcome of the Clinton prosecution. And that Hutchinson looked like a comer in Republican politics. Hutchinson accepted the assignment for these reasons. He knew there was no case against Clinton. An honorable man would have declined a place on the Republican prosecutorial team. That Hutchinson could rise above honor is what won him Nixon’s admiration, and the backing of his party in several elections. He lost every one of them. Voters are almost always more discerning than pundits. We were reminded of the shabby Hutchinson record last week. Now a Republican gubernatorial candidate, he sought the endorsement of the Arkansas Education Association, the school teachers’ union, friend and defender of the state’s school children and their working-class parents. On losing the endorsement, Hutchinson derided the AEA as an affiliate of the “left-leaning” National Education Association and said the AEA endorsement of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross put Ross in a league with Barack Obama and union bosses. Former President Nixon was heard to say “That’s my boy.”

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Labor baiting lives

A

rkansas Republicans think if they say Obama often enough they’ll sweep the November election ballot. But you can’t be too careful. So the GOP presses all the other hot buttons, too, from God and gays to guns. And, of course, unions. Union representation is withering nationally and it never amounted to much in Arkansas. We’re a Right to Work for Less state. Still, it’s the rare Republican who will miss an opportunity to beat up on organized labor. The latest: Asa Hutchinson, the likely Republican nominee for governor. The former D.C. lobbyist hopes his fourth race for statewide office will be the charm, though it’s the same old Asa — tax cuts conquer all. And, boy, does he enjoy labor baiting. He sought the endorsement of the Arkansas Education Association knowing he wouldn’t get it. That set the stage for a headline-stealing news release in advance of the AEA’s endorsement of Democrat Mike Ross that said Ross put the interests of liberals, Obama, Nancy Pelosi and “labor bosses” ahead of children. He doubled down in a TV interview last week saying the AEA was nothing but a bunch of Democratic leftists. He’s for teachers, Hutchinson said, just not those of the AEA. There are a couple of things wrong with what Hutchinson said: AEA teachers are for kids, too. And “labor bosses” are well-intentioned humans, too. Somebody’s kids, even. Hutchinson ignores the AEA that fought for equal rights under the law for black children. The AEA that fought for teaching science, not religion, in Arkansas classrooms. The AEA that fought for preschool education, smaller class sizes, a certified workforce, more efficient school districts. If he’s attended, he’s paid little attention to AEA conventions devoted to better teaching and other ways to serve children. Hutchinson wants the public to think of the AEA as a newsreel of arm-breaking goons. The AEA is a volun-

tary membership organization of professionals. It doesn’t bargain for its members. A single school district, Little Rock, has an affiliate that operates like a union. The AEA doesn’t strike or enter state MAX contracts. It works for its members BRANTLEY and kids, to the benefit of both. maxbrantley@arktimes.com Then there are those “union bosses.” The phrase is Pavlovian Republican rhetoric. It carries no positive connotation. It’s shorthand for thugs interested only in squeezing maximum pay for minimum work. Asa Hutchinson knows it’s unfair to broadly apply such a caricature to all in the labor movement. His own son, Seth, is a lead organizer for the Texas state employees union. He’s been a progressive since college days. Hutchinson told me once, in acknowledging his son’s different political bent, that he was proud of him. He should be. Seth Hutchinson wrote a perceptive piece in 2010, when unions were backing Bill Halter for U.S. Senate and getting cold receptions from Sens. Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln. He said: “... the South really must be organized if the United States is to reverse its decade’s long trend of fleecing the working and middle classes. And speaking as a union organizer working in Texas, I absolutely know that it is at least possible to build the labor movement in the South if only the resources are there to do it. It must be a longterm project though, or else unions will be continually portrayed as something removed from the interests of voters instead of the voice of American workers. “ Four years later, the portrayal continues. In Congress, Asa Hutchinson voted against increases in spending for special education, after-school centers, Head Start and smaller classes. He’s a captive, you might say, of George W. Bush, Newt Gingrich and the conservative “boardroom bosses.”

OPINION

Corruption of the judiciary: Maggio the tip of the iceburg

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e owe a debt to Matt Campbell for exposing the ethical breaches of public officials like Lt. Gov. Mark Darr and Circuit Judge Mike Maggio but even more for alerting us to a graver danger, corruption of the judiciary. Could someone give him the Alexander Hamilton Award? It was Hamilton who argued that an independent judiciary was essential to the constitutional system because only courts free from the duress of government, private interests and public passions could guarantee people’s rights. Campbell is the blogger who exposed Maggio’s slurs against women, blacks, gays and the poor on a sports website under the pseudonym “Geauxjudge” and then revealed confidential adoption information from the Faulkner County courthouse where he toiled, all in violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct. Maggio, a Republican who was running for a seat on the state Court of Appeals with wide support from his party and business interests, promptly pulled out of the race when the state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission opened an investiga-

tion of his conduct. But Campbell went further. He revealed that after a jury in Maggio’s court awarded $5.2 ERNEST million in damages DUMAS to the family of a woman who died from neglect in a home owned by the state’s largest chain of nursing homes and after the owner asked Maggio to throw the verdict out or reduce it, six political action committees formed by a Republican supporter of Judge Maggio got big contributions from the nursing home owner, which were then directed to Maggio’s campaign treasury. Maggio promptly reduced the judgment against the man’s nursing home by $4.2 million to $1 million. Even Michael Morton, the Fort Smith owner of the nursing home (he has an interest in about 70 of them), admitted there was a terrible appearance but that he had done nothing illegal. Maggio’s campaign asked for the money and he gave it. Soliciting or even accepting money from a litigant in your court is about as clear of a

Ryan needs Swift kick

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eflections upon the recent holiday: The first time my wife saw tears in my eyes was in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, at the tomb of Jonathan Swift. The brilliant 18th century Irish satirist was my first and most enduring literary hero, a towering figure who Yeats thought “slept under the greatest epitaph in history” — composed by Swift himself. I knew the Latin by heart, but seeing it engraved in stone moved me, although Swift had been dead since 1745. “It is almost finer in English,” Yeats wrote “than in Latin: ‘He has gone where fierce indignation can lacerate his heart no more.’ ” Reading Swift taught me more about Ireland and my Irish-Catholic ancestors than I ever learned at my alcoholic grandfather’s knee, I can tell you that. An Anglo-Irish churchman who considered himself exiled from London to the city of his birth, Swift condemned British misrule of Ireland in the most memorable satires written in English or any other language. His 1729 pamphlet “A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland from Being a Burden to Their Parents” retains the capacity to shock after almost 300 years. Impersonating the everso-reasonable voice of a public-spirited reformer of the sort who might today issue

proposals from the Heritage Foundation, the narrator advocated genteel cannibalism. “I rather recomGENE mend buying the LYONS children alive and dressing them hot from the knife,” he suggested, “as we do roasting pigs.” It’s the laconic “rather” that chills to the marrow, precisely revealing the pamphleteer’s inhumanity. Swift was certainly no Irish nationalist. A Tory by temperament and conviction, he’d have been appalled by the idea that the island’s Roman Catholic majority could govern itself. Even so, Professor Leo Damrosch’s terrific new biography makes a compelling case that both his voice and his personal example were instrumental to an evolving Irish national consciousness. I thought of Swift’s “Modest Proposal” the other day listening to the ever-so-reasonable Rep. Paul Ryan explain that America’s poor have only themselves to blame. “We have this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular,” Ryan explained “of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work.”

serious violation of judicial ethics as there can be, grounds for removal from office, but the commission will have to get all the facts. Maggio may say he is shocked that big bucks from Morton wound up in his campaign account. Candidates for judge are prohibited from raising money and are instead to have friends do it for them, and then the candidates must avoid learning where their money came from, so as not to feel obliged to anyone who might be interested in a case before you. Knowing how foolish it is to expect candidates not to find out who is supporting them, the authors of the code were a little vague about it. Judicial candidates “should, as much as possible, not be aware” of their contributors, the canon says. But this is not merely about one rogue judge. Tides of money from corporate interests are flowing into judicial campaigns, liberated by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010, which removed all practical restraints on corporations, associations and individuals funneling unlimited money into elections — those of legislative and executive candidates as well as judicial. Justice Robert L. Brown, who retired last year, warned in a scholarly article that the Arkansas judiciary was about to be corrupted by the wash of money into judicial campaigns from groups with an ax to grind, Any question who he was talking about? As several commentators have noted, this business about “inner city” men not working isn’t so much Republican “dog whistle” as GOP air-raid siren. Ryan has since alibied that he’d been “inarticulate” and wasn’t trying to implicate “the culture of one community.” This came soon after a speech in which he’d told a heartfelt tale of a small boy who didn’t want a “free lunch from a government program,” but a Mommy-made lunch in a brown paper bag that showed somebody cared about him. Coming from a guy busily trying to cut funding for school lunch programs and food stamps, this was pretty rich. Also apparently, apocryphal. The witness who’d told Ryan the tale in a congressional hearing had not only swiped it from a book called “The Invisible Thread,” but reversed its meaning. Which wasn’t so much that government assistance, as Ryan warned, threatens to leave children with “a full stomach and an empty soul,” as that sermon means very little to hungry children. Delivered just before St. Patrick’s Day, Ryan’s disquisition upon the undeserving poor earned him the scorn of the New York Times’s Timothy Egan. Taking note of Ryan’s great-great grandfather, who emigrated to the United States during the catastrophic Irish famine of the 1840s, Egan pointed out that Ryan’s words echoed the rhetoric of Victorian Englishmen content to let his

which had happened in Texas and California and he figured was coming to Arkansas. Sure enough, the Republican Party’s Johnny Rhoda of Clinton announced plans last year for a political action committee that would be sort of independent of the party to raise money to elect right-thinking judges. You may remember “Dr.” Johnny Rhoda from 2010, when Tim Griffin announced that the esteemed scholar Dr. Rhoda was running his congressional race in a northern county. Rhoda got a mailorder doctorate from “Belford University.” A neighbor also sent a short letter and a check for $549 and got a framed PhD in animal reproduction from the same “university” for his experienced bulldog, Dr. Max Sniffingwell. That caused Judge David Stewart, recently retired as head of the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission, to write an article warning of the horror that was coming, when special interests through gifts or campaign checks bought judges who would take the bench to carry out political agendas. Mike Maggio is the first case study. Nursing homes have always had an interest in electing judges and legislators, and open checkbooks. The money is raining CONTINUED ON PAGE 14

ancestors die lest they become dependent upon charity. It’s not always understood in this country that the mass starvation of Irish peasants— more than a million died, and another million emigrated — resulted not from the failure of the potato crop but English government policy. Ireland remained a net exporter of food throughout, with British soldiers guarding shipments of foodstuffs as they were loaded. Rhetoric, see, has consequences. From Swift’s time onward, the native Irish had been depicted in terms justifying their subjugation. Virtually every negative stereotype applied to our “inner city” brethren today was first applied to Paul Ryan’s (and my own) ancestors. Irish peasants were called shiftless, drunken, sexually promiscuous, donkey strong but mentally deficient. They smelled bad. Understanding that history is exactly what makes Irish-Americans like Timothy Egan, Charles P. Pierce and me — if I may include myself in their company — so impatient with a tinhorn like Ryan. If he wanted to understand his own ancestry, it’s authors like Swift, Yeats and James Joyce that Ryan ought to be reading, instead of that dismal ideologue Ayn Rand. Nobody should let ethnic groupthink determine his politics. But if a politician like Paul Ryan hopes to be respected, it would help if he showed some sign of understanding the past. www.arktimes.com

MARCH 20, 2014

7

MATT AMARO

OPINION

ROUGH SHAPE: The house at 1821 E. Sixth Street, sits boarded up and in disrepair.

Walking in East Little Rock

B

ecause I wanted to see where the sidewalks and the city end, I walked to East Little Rock. First there is the thoroughly gentrified River Market area bustling with bars and banks, expensive restaurants and new construction, then a walk through the tangle of the Interstate 30 ramps. I am the only pedestrian. Finally there are the sidewalks, the wide expanse of manicured and watered lawns, the benches and trees of the beautiful Clinton Library, where East Second Street ends. You cannot go through the Library to get back to Second Street farther east without paying, so you go around, still on the wide sidewalks, then to Third Street, where the sidewalks lead to the Heifer Project’s giant center — like the Library, another architectural wonder. Strolling through Heifer’s immaculate grounds, I realized that from this isolated center near downtown Little Rock help goes out to the poor in dozens of thirdworld countries — a worthy and noble project. Yet when the sidewalks and lawns end, just blocks east of the modern offices of the Chamber of Commerce, there is a stout and permanent barricade, as if to say “the East and the West shall not meet.” The barricaded Second Street picks back up, and here, after a world of commerce and food and drink, there is another thirdworld country, a forgotten and desolate world of dilapidated houses and abandoned cars, litter and empty streets. There are no sidewalks. The atmosphere of neglect and abandonment is tangible, almost palpable. It is eerily quiet here, and thoroughly 8

MARCH 20, 2014

ARKANSAS TIMES

depressing. There are no sounds of ED traffic and the only GRAY GUEST COLUMNIST perceptible smell is that of a decaying cat in a gutter on this hot day in mid-July. This is the invisible other America that Michael Harrington wrote about in his book “The Other America” that began the War on Poverty. We are still losing. The unemployment rate here is more than 16 percent. The poverty rate is more than 37 percent. The income level per capita is less than $15,000. In other terms, the income per capita in this area is 50.1 percent less than the Little Rock average. The median household income is 48.2 percent less than the Little Rock average. The poverty level in East Little Rock is 164 percent greater than the Little Rock average. Poverty and crime are inextricably linked, anywhere. The estimated crime index here is 34 percent higher than the Little Rock average. Violent crime is estimated to be 34 percent higher than the Little Rock average and the Little Rock violent crime rate is 270 percent higher than the Arkansas average. The estimated property crime rate is 34 percent higher than the Little Rock average. These statistics are about the same for South Little Rock, south of the Wilbur D. Mills freeway (Interstate 630), which, just as Interstate 30 does, splits areas away from each other, generally on racial lines. And in the midst of this landscape, there is a Department of Human Services office. People go there, the unlucky and invisible

ones, to apply for what once were called food stamps. (If you have a criminal record, you shouldn’t bother to go there.) Going in and out of fashion since inception in 1939, the program ended with the end of the Depression and the country’s gearing up fully for the WWII industry, then an 18-year lull of studies, reports and legislative proposals ensued. President Kennedy restarted the program in 1961. The USDA’s idea for the first FSP is credited to various people, most notably Secretary of Agriculture Henry Wallace and the program’s first administrator, Milo Perkins, who explained that “the program operated by permitting people on relief to buy orange stamps equal to their normal food expenditures; for every $1 worth of orange stamps purchased, 50 cents worth of blue stamps were received. Orange stamps could be used to buy any food; blue stamps could only be used to buy food determined by the Department to be surplus.” Perkins expressed his idea this way: “We got a picture of a gorge, with farm surpluses on one cliff and under-nourished city folks with outstretched hands on the other. We set out to find a practical way to build a bridge across that chasm.” The plan was to improve agriculture while at the same time improve nutrition of poor people. The basics of the program have changed over time, but the theory remains the same: Poor people who cannot find jobs that pay enough to live need supplemental food assistance. You cannot live on food stamps alone, by any means; the benefits supplement what you already have. And the rules have changed so that there are hurdles, such as a verifiable income level, and the poor must provide documents that are investigated. Fraud is rare. Now a phony food stamp war has been declared by certain politicians in Washington, where, we absolutely must remember,

it takes $1.4 million to be elected to a House seat. Where once food assistance was tied to agricultural subsidies, the food stamp program would be cut from the farm subsidy program, and food stamp spending would be drastically reduced. It is as if Mitt Romney’s “makers and takers” theory has come alive. The leader of the jihad on the poor, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), has said that the social safety net is at risk of becoming a “hammock.” He needs to take a walk on the East Side of Little Rock. And he must have repressed from his memory that disastrous debate and the election results. Republican after Republican warned in the House debate on the farm bill that the food stamp program needed to be reformed. It’s not the economy anymore, stupid. James B. Stewart wrote recently in the New York Times: “But the bitter and much publicized debate leading up to the party-line vote tended to obscure what happened to the rest of the bill in the House: many of the same legislators up in arms about government spending and welfare abuse nonetheless voted for an increase in federal subsidies to wealthy farm interests. “ ‘What’s remarkable and extraordinary about the farm bill is that, at a time of record crop prices and federal deficits, the House overwhelmingly passed a bill to increase subsidies,’ Scott Faber, vice president for governmental affairs at the Environmental Working Group, told me this week. ‘Only an evil genius could have dreamed this up.’ “ ‘The debate over food stamps provided a smoke screen for the agriculture subsidies,’ he said. ‘Unless you read the fine print in the agricultural press, you wouldn’t have noticed.’ ” Even Jesus has arrived on the scene, and he has press spokesmen: K. Michael Conaway (R-Texas), said in response to a Democrat who noted that Jesus urged that we take care of the least among us: “Jesus didn’t really mean we should all do that together as a nation. I take Matthew 25 to mean me as an individual, not the U.S. government.” Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.), said: “The poor will always be with us” in his defense of cuts to the food stamp program, seeming to mean that we just forget them. Fincher, who has received more than $3 million in farm subsidies since 1999, including $70,000 in his re-election year of 2012, also quotes the Bible about those unwilling to work not eating. He misses the point. It is still the economy.

A version of this column originally ran at Salon.com.

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rkansas will keep playing basketball past the Ides of March 2014. Whether you met that news with modest applause or audible scoffing is your call, but after the way the Hogs capped off the fixed portion of their schedule, it’s hard to muster anything but gross indifference. The Razorbacks played their way to an inside track toward one of the final NCAA at-large berths in the unwieldy field of 68, then imploded in Atlanta as they have done many, many times before regardless of coaching regime. South Carolina — mind you, losers of 19 games and likely a little dead-legged after beating Auburn Wednesday night —exacted superiority over the Hogs in every way over the final 30 minutes. Frank Martin outclassed Mike Anderson from a gamesmanship standpoint. Carolina knew Arkansas was soft in the paint and prone to being overly physical on the perimeter, so ultimately the Gamecocks parlayed those relative strengths into one more win in the tourney. Arkansas was worked over in the paint by some unheralded Lithuanian, and despite getting popped by the overzealous officials for hand-checks and such, the Hogs stayed in that mode, surrendered about 98 free throws, and ended up petering out at the end in the most critical game of the season. This is why the Anderson era has been perplexing to many, myself included. The team’s obvious strengths and weaknesses remain so. Yes, it’s going to be hard to rebound when you are not manning the middle with much girth; but again, the baffling insistence on rarely putting Bobby Portis and Moses Kingsley on the court together seems to be one of the most glaring of many curious personnel decisions that Anderson makes from time to time. Then there was this moment late in the first half of the game, with South Carolina turning back an early and modest deficit into a slowly swelling lead. The Hogs were flubbing at both ends, so Anderson’s presumed fix was a lineup consisting of steady senior anchor Coty Clarke and four of the more nondescript players in the program’s recent memory (Rickey Scott, Jacorey Williams, Fred Gulley and Alandise Harris). At a juncture when the squad sorely demanded some offensive spunk, they were represented by an utterly punchless and puzzling array of role players. Anderson’s leaving much to chance right now, betting on the come, think-

ing that every wart that pops up throughout a season will be Compound W’d with some rising frosh BEAU the next fall. The WILCOX dependency on Bobby Portis this year was mostly met with great results and, in fact, Portis probably wasn’t leaned on enough. He has to reach another level of physical maturity so his frame is bolstered for hard contact in the paint, but honestly, Portis’ already copious production should balloon next fall. Now, I guess, we hope that the thing that takes this team above the “sputters to NIT” stage is another young kid, Anton Beard, who happens to play point guard. There are numerous teenagers all over the country stepping into this role now, since predecessors are bailing on off to the NBA as soon as the scouting analysis is complete, so it’s not quite the position that requires mastery as it once was. Arkansas could excel with a Corey Beck again, a guy who will be rugged and fiery but will also complement that with basketball smarts. Gulley was too skinny and neutered offensively to matter. Rashad Madden ably accepted the role for now and progressed this fall for certain, but his money will be made on the wing and not in the pilot’s seat. The NIT bid, all vexatious handwringing aside, we hope will be something good for the program regardless of how long the stint ends up being. Postseason basketball and all the additional practice time that accompanies it is a source of positive energy for a team that has been bereft of it for far too long. It was an NIT bid in 1986-87 that Arkansas slowly parlayed into something greater over the next decade; when the Hogs slipped in 1997 to an NIT berth, they ate it up, played their way to the final four, and got back to the NCAA tournament the next year. It’s not an ideal territory to be in, but it’s territory that can be mined for value. Just realize that the value is plateaued. With the fans starved for success, the only real consolation for losing that shot at the big dance is a good three- or fourwin run in this tourney. Ironically, doing that would give the team its most wins since 1995, so volume matters. A demonstration of pride and commitment, something unlike what Kentucky gave last year in tossing away a first-round NIT game at Robert Morris, would have consequence.

THE OBSERVER NOTES ON THE PASSING SCENE

Call me Trimtab THE OBSERVER WENT OVER to the Statehouse Convention Center on Monday for an appearance by Jeff Bridges, AKA Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski, AKA Rooster Cogburn 2.0, AKA Otis “Bad” Blake from “Crazy Heart,” the role for which he won an Oscar. Bridges was in town, sharing the stage with the governor and the CEO of Share Our Strength and an elementary school principal, to promote Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, which seeks to give school kids a nutritious breakfast first thing in the morning before class. Hard as it might be to believe, there’s a certain incredibly wealthy industrialized nation in this world in which there are millions of kids whose parents either won’t or can’t afford to pour up a bowl of Cheerios with a side of O.J. and toast for their children in the morning before school. Go figure. Bridges had a lot to say, in his familiar, surfer dude voice. He talked about kids going to school hungry. He talked about ketchup as a vegetable. He talked about “True Grit,” and gave an obligatory Charles Portis shout-out. He talked about what he had for breakfast and his exercise routine (he’s hoping for a “fit part” right now so he’ll have a reason to get buff) and how childhood obesity often comes from kids not being able to get healthy food. Then he talked about his friend, the late futurist and deep-thinker Buckminster Fuller, who came up with, among other nifty stuff, the geodesic dome. Bucky, as Bridges called him, had an idea that was so simple and profound to him that Fuller had it carved on his tombstone: the idea that individuals can be a trimtab. “Call me Trimtab,” Fuller’s headstone says. No, seriously. You can look it up. What’s a trimtab, you might ask? Well, when it comes to vast, oceangoing ships — think oil tankers, cargo ships, the Queen Mary II and the like — the amount of force required to turn the barn door-sized rudder at full steam is monumental. Somewhere back in history, however, engineers realized that they could put a much, much smaller rudder — a trimtab — at the tail end of a big ol’ rudder. It takes a lot less effort to turn a trimtab. When the trimtab turns, it creates a low-pressure spot in the

water. That low-pressure spot helps pull the larger rudder around, and that, in turn, turns the ship. Fuller saw this as an idea that could be applied to people getting things done. Think you’re too small and powerless to change the world? Turn in the direction you want to go. Move in the direction you wish to see the world move. Reach out to those who have more influence than you do and pull them in that direction. Thereby you can turn the ship of society. Or so the theory goes. A little wacky, yes. But so was Bucky Fuller. That’s what Bridges was doing in Arkansas on Monday, he said: Call him trimtab. Years ago, somebody with much less fame and money and Academy Awards than he has today bent his ear on the issue of childhood hunger. They trimtabbed him into caring. Thirty years later, he’s still turned in that direction. On Monday, for example, he was trimtabbing the good ol’ governor of the Great State of Arkansas, a man of power and political influence, who surely wanted an autographed “Tron” poster for Ginger. And thus, somebody you never heard of — who talked to somebody, who talked to somebody, who talked to an actor named Jeff Bridges around 1985 — has incrementally moved the world. The Observer, come to think of it, is trimtabbing you right now, come to think of it. Here goes: For more information about Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, visit its website at nokidhungry.org.

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SIDE NOTE: After the comments from the panel assembled at the Statehouse Convention Center, the moderator opened the floor for questions. Hands shot up, and microphones circulated. Deep and meaningful questions about childhood hunger and the impact of breakfast on test scores were asked. The Observer, meanwhile, had to put his hand in a pocket to keep it down, lest we embarrass our self by asking the question that has haunted Yours Truly since 1998: In “The Big Lebowski,” is Sam Elliott supposed to be God? That’s one query we’d like to trimtab to a definitive answer. www.arktimes.com

MARCH 20, 2014

11

Arkansas Reporter

THE

IN S IDE R

Entered into the covenant?

CONTINUED ON PAGE 13 12

MARCH 20, 2014

ARKANSAS TIMES

CRUDE MAP: The red line on this map provided to Game and Fish shows where the pipeline would cross public lands.

Crude oil pipeline planned

Cache River, its bottomlands filled with giant cypress trees and water tupelos and rich with bird and animal life. A brochure provided to conservation agencies describes the Valero and the Plains All American Pipeline Co.’s Diamond Pipeline Project as an $800 million initiative that will build 424 miles of 20-inch pipeline to Valero’s refinery in Memphis. The pipeline is “expected” to transport oil produced from the Permian Basin, Bakken Shale and Mid-continent oil regions. A pipeline company spokesman declined to comment, saying the project was “still being evaluated.” Valero referred questions to the pipeline company. The brochure for the pipeline says the companies will finalize engineering plans

Diamond’s cut through WMAs has Game and Fish, other agencies, scrambling. BY LESLIE NEWELL PEACOCK

A

crude oil refiner and a pipeline company are contemplating running an east-west gas line through Arkansas’s mid-section, connecting Cushing, Okla., on the west and Memphis on the east. A route under consideration would take the pipeline through three Game and

Fish wildlife management areas, and Game and Fish is finding out that its options to keep the crude oil pipeline out of the Steve Wilson Raft Creek WMA, the Henry Gray Hurricane Lake WMA and the Rex Hancock Black Swamp WMA are limited. The Black Swamp is 5,590 acres along the

CONTINUED ON PAGE 14

Vet lab loses accreditation But recognition voluntary; lab making changes. BY LESLIE NEWELL PEACOCK

T

he state veterinary lab of the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission, which offers a wide variety of services to the state, such as testing chickens for avian influenza, cattle for brucellosis, pigs for diarrhea, various pet diseases and more, has had in the past five years or so three directors, three deputy directors and three lab directors. That turnover led to lax record-keeping, according to Commission Director Preston Scroggin and interim lab director Linda Meola, and slowed the laboratory’s action to conform to accreditation requirements imposed by the American

MATT AMARO

Few details have emerged about Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton’s marriage over the weekend. The bride is Anna Peckham, an attorney in Virginia who grew up in Nebraska, Cotton’s campaign office confirmed. Otherwise, all the public got was that the wedding took place in front of friends and family and that the couple plans on settling down in Arkansas and raising a family after a honeymoon. Other questions — where the wedding took place, where the couple will be honeymooning, biographical info about Peckham — weren’t answered. Nor was whether Cotton and Peckham entered into a “covenant marriage,” for which Cotton expressed appreciation while in school at Harvard. He wrote then about his informal survey of women students, whom he said had a great fear of being left by husbands. He had some ideas, including improving men. He praised the Promise Keepers movement in that respect. He wrote about the ills of feminism and no-fault divorce. Men might choose divorce “thoughtlessly,” he wrote, and it often leaves women worse off financially. Said Cotton: “... we have state politicians, most of whom are men, taking on no fault divorce. Louisiana recently became the first state to attack this 1970’s innovation. Louisiana’s new law creates something called ‘covenant marriage.’ Couples who choose a covenant marriage undergo counseling before they marry and can divorce only with fault, defined as abandonment, physical abuse, adultery or conviction of a capital crime. State legislator Tony Perkins, the author of the law (and an active member in PK), expects covenant marriages will soon account for half of all new marriages in Louisiana. Many states are expected to follow Louisiana’s lead. “Presumably, women should encourage such developments since divorce leads to their ‘greatest fear in life.’ And most women probably do support them, but not the putative potentates of feminism.” He concluded: “Ordinary women must not only defend these men against feminism, but also demand that all other men accept the lifelong nature of marriage. If not, one-half of all women who marry see their ‘greatest fear’ come true. If so, they can have their ‘deepest hopes’ fulfilled.” If Cotton married in Arkansas, covenant marriage would have been available to him; Gov. Mike Huckabee led its adoption in 2001. Maybe High Profile can get the scoop.

MEOLA

Association of Veterinarian Laboratory Diagnosticians after a 2012 site visit. The result: The lab was informed by the AAVLD Feb. 26 that its accreditation, earned in 2010, has been withdrawn.

But accreditation by the AAVLD is voluntary, rather than required, so the work of the lab is unchanged, both Scroggin and Meola emphasized. However, Meola said, it’s important to the lab that it be accredited, and work is ongoing to meet the AAVLD requirements. The lab has not lost its membership in the National Animal Health Lab Network, which handles large-scale disease outbreaks, and so can run avian influenza and other testing for NAHLN. However, without its AAVLD accreditation, the lab must submit extra paperwork to the NAHLN and will receive a site visit from NAHLN. Meola, a veterinary pathologist who trained at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., has been interim laboratory CONTINUED ON PAGE 14

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Q.

Wouldn’t it be a good idea if pedestrians could get extra time to cross busy streets before cars traveling their direction begin to make their right or left turns?

A.

Yes it would, and the city of Little Rock has installed new firmware in its traffic control boxes at eight intersections to make that happen. At the intersections — on Broadway at Sixth, Fifth, Third and Second, on Louisiana at Fourth and Third, Cumberland at Third, and Rodney Parham and Markham — eastbound and westbound pedestrians get a green walking man sign five seconds before eastbound and westbound traffic gets a green light. That gives them a head start into the intersection and will make them more visible to drivers turning into the crosswalks. The light delays are for east and westbound traffic only. Bill Henry, the city’s traffic manager, said the city started making the changeover at various heavily trafficked intersections about a year ago when new controller firmware became available. Henry said it takes about a day to make the switch inside the intersection control boxes. The Downtown

Partnership’s traffic committee suggested the first intersection to get the light delay, at Sixth and Broadway. Henry said he himself saw an accident there in which a woman crossing Broadway was hit by a driver turning left from Sixth. Henry said his office has gotten thankyou calls from pedestrians trying to cross Broadway at Second and Third, where county offices are located. In general, the walking man is green “anywhere from four to seven seconds” depending on the intersection. He blinks red for another 15 seconds. Pedestrians should only leave the curb while the walking man is green, he said. Downtown Little Rock used to have a “Denver Light” or “intersection shuffle” at lights downtown, which stopped traffic in all directions so pedestrians could cross. Henry said that would snarl traffic downtown to include such a delay.

Sheridan High School administration ordered the school yearbook to scrap six planned student profiles rather than include one on junior Taylor Ellis, a gay student who talked about his experience. Principal Rodney Williams has refused to discuss the issue with media. Here’s a slightly edited version of the story on Ellis, written by classmate Hannah Bruner: “ ‘I use to be scared to say that I’m gay,’ Taylor Ellis, junior, said. ‘It’s not fun keeping secrets; after I told everyone, it felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.’ Ellis’s ‘secret’ was first shared in the summer of 2012, with his friend Joelle Curry, junior, and his mother, Lynn Tiley. “ ‘I wasn’t surprised at all,’ Tiley said. ‘I don’t care because he’s my son, and I know he’s happier.’ “Ellis struggled before telling his family. “Ellis waited until spring break of 2013 to tell the rest of his peers; he did so through the social media site, Instagram. “ ‘I put it in my bio, and hashtagged pictures,’ Ellis said. ‘When people would ask me about it, I just said “yes I am,” and that was that.’ “Although the thought of coming out, and the repercussions of doing so, frightened Ellis at first, he found that most of the student body, as well as the teachers, were very accepting of him. “ ‘I wrote about it in Mrs. Williams class; it was when I first came out,’ Ellis said. ‘She told me she was glad I shared that with her. We had a stronger bond after that, I think.’ “ ‘He had poured himself into it,’ Summer Williams, sophomore English teacher, said. ‘It was one of the best ones I read. I was just so proud of his openness, and his honesty. It was a risk; sharing that with his classmates, but they were very accepting. It was good for him. I could tell he felt better after writing about it.” “Ellis found that while people do not treat him with disrespect, some do seem to be more distant. “ ‘Some guys are more reserved around me now,’ Ellis said. ‘But not a lot of people have been mean about it, thank God. I’m actually in a good situation. I’m very lucky.’ ”

CORRECTION In last week’s editorial, “Two flags,” we mistakenly said that former U.S. Sen. Max Cleland lost his legs in World War II. He was injured in the Vietnam War. www.arktimes.com

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CRUDE OIL PIPELINE PLANNED, CONT. Continued from page 12 and permits and right-of-way acquisition this year and begin construction in 2015 with a goal to be in service by 2016. Arkansas has no law governing oil pipeline siting, though state agencies have jurisdiction over projects where they cross navigable waterways (the state Public Service Commission) and do require stormwater construction, hydrostatic testing and stream crossing permits (the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality). The federal government leaves authority over pipeline routing to the states (the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regulates only natural gas line siting, and the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration regulates pipelines once constructed). That leaves the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which requires permits for work in all waterways, navigable or not, as the best conduit for Game and Fish to try to limit intrusion on state-owned sensitive natural

areas and prevent habitat fragmentation. Game and Fish Deputy Director Ricky Chastain said his agency is working with partners, including the state Health Department, the Arkansas Department of Natural Heritage (which has easements on some Game and Fish lands), and the state Natural Resources Commission — “everybody that has a stake” in protecting health of both people and natural areas — to ask the Corps to impose individual permit requirements rather than a nationwide permit that would cover the entire pipeline. Individual permits require a formal review process, requiring public comment and triggering public notice to all concerned agencies. That would “provide an avenue for additional review,” Chastain said. The WMAs lie in the Corps’ Memphis district. The pipeline passes through the Tulsa and Little Rock districts as well. Cynthia Blansett, environmental protection specialist for the Little Rock district of the Corps, said Valero and Plains All American had a “pre-application” meeting with the Little Rock district and the Tulsa

and Memphis districts last fall. They have submitted a proposed route to the Corps and said they hope to have an application in by late spring or early summer. Blansett said the application will include environmental impact information. The Corps will use that information to determine whether the applicant will fall under nationwide permit guidelines for least impact. Chastain said the agency did not know about the pipeline until its real estate section sent higher ups a notice that the Diamond Project partners had asked permission to survey Game and Fish property. “So we threw up some red flags,” Chastain said, to get more information before allowing the surveying. The pipeline company provided draft routes (“not very good in detail,” Chastain said) to Jennifer Sheehan, the agency’s federal regulatory liaison. “We are concerned that this thing is headed down a path that we will not have a lot of input” in, Chastain said. The Natural Heritage Commission has

an easement on the Black Swamp of 937 acres called the Cache River Natural Area. As a remnant of what east Arkansas was like in its natural state, the land is protected in perpetuity by both Heritage and Game and Fish. “We would like to see this project at least get a little more public review. Normally we would weigh in through some sort of federal nexus, and to our knowledge that formal review has not occurred,” said Heritage Director Chris Colclasure. Though Game and Fish has allowed fracking on some of its lands, Chastain said the lease agreement includes “all sorts of extraordinary protection measures. ... It’s not your standard back 40 lease, in our opinion what they all should look like.” He said he did not think the oil company would be happy to meet such conditions. An initial plan would have taken the plan through the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge, but the agency, which is part of the federal Fish and Wildlife Service, could, and did, say no to the plan. That moved the route to the south, and through the state wildlife management areas.

VET LAB LOSES ACCREDITATION, CONT. Continued from page 12 director since Nov. 1. “We’re not the only ride that’s fallen off the track,” Meola said of the AAVLD accreditation. Thirty-four states are accredited by the AAVLD; some state labs do not seek accreditation at all. Still, the lab wants to be accredited because “it ensures that a benchmark level of excellence is met,” Meola said. The lab will also be eligible for grant money once it regains accreditation, and Meola anticipates accreditation may be required in the future and wants the lab to be ready for it. Because AAVLD seeks to improve lab performance and changes its own requirements over time to reflect that, there will always be nonconforming issues found during a site visit, Meola said. What happened at the state lab was that corrections required by AAVLD were not timely: The lab was given a year to implement changes and did not meet its deadline. That delay was caused by “turnover in key positions”

and a loss of continuity in responses to the accrediting agency, Meola said. In its 2012 audit report, the AAVLD found numerous nonconformances, from an organizational chart that did not include all key personnel, control system documents that weren’t always current or available, purchasing records that did not meet AAVLD standards, poor record keeping, a lack of documentation of personnel competence, and other nonconformances. Meola said the quality system documentation for purchasing has been updated and brought into compliance, though the lab is still working to bring the invoicing into compliance. Quality systems software has also been purchased. The organizational chart has been updated to include all key personnel and reflect internal staffing hierarchy. She said 75 percent of the examples of poor record keeping have been brought into compliance, as have about half the quality systems documents. The accrediting agency also expressed concern about low pay for the veterinar-

ians, “especially for board certification,” and recommended the state “work on raising professional salaries to market level.” The agency’s noncompetitive salaries make it hard for the lab to recruit the most highly qualified personnel, Meola said, in particular the supervisory job in the microbiology department. The laboratory has had high employee turnover for the past nine years, a stumbling block to implementing quality controls in the lab, Meola said. Meola is doing double duty as lab director and pathologist. Also doing double duty is Kay Shuttleworth, who is both quality manager and acting supervisor in the microbiology lab. There are four vacancies total in the lab right now, for a director, a virologist and two administrative analysts. One of the primary concerns of the Livestock and Poultry Commission is seeing that the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus, a disease fatal to piglets that has killed 5 million pigs nationwide since last spring, does not come to Arkansas, Direc-

tor Scroggin said. “I feel like for a change we’re on top of it,” Scroggin said. He said Arkansas is fortunate in that most of its hog operations are isolated and most are for growing out pigs, rather than farrowing, or producing, piglets. “Show stock is our biggest concern right now,” Scroggin said. “What we put into place about two months ago, any swine who come in have to be certified by a veterinarian that it came from a herd that is PEDV-free for at least 60 days.” Scroggin said the commission has about 30 field agents, and they go to every fair where pigs are shown in the state. Scroggin said he expects the agency will get back in touch with the AAVLD within the next six months. He said there are some issues that the agencies need to come to “consensus on.” Saying the AAVLD had at one time said the lab needed a bigger parking lot but withdrew that issue, Scroggin said, “You can always have a dream list.” He added that he plans to “stay more and more involved.”

DUMAS, CONT. Continued from page 7 on judicial candidates of Maggio’s persuasion. Two other former Faulkner County judges who are unopposed for the Supreme Court this year, Justice Karen Baker and Judge Rhonda Wood, are big beneficiaries of Morton, the nursing home industry and allied groups, along with another candidate for judge in Faulkner County, 14

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ARKANSAS TIMES

Doralee Chandler. Wood didn’t draw an opponent for a rare open Supreme Court seat because no one wanted to take on the money she would have. When she was asked about the money, Wood didn’t feign ignorance of who was giving it. She had percentages. She knew exactly how much, though she fudged on the details. Even before Maggio’s cave, it was no

secret what the industry and allied groups like the chamber of commerce wanted: curbs on jury awards for negligence, cruelty and malpractice. Legislative gifts always paid off. In 2001, the legislature and Gov. Mike Huckabee obeyed the industry and levied a huge daily tax on nursing home beds, a charade that produced hundreds of millions of federal Medicaid dollars to nursing homes, improving care but also lining the

pockets of the owners. Then the legislature passed the long-sought law restricting jury verdicts. The Arkansas Constitution flatly says the legislature can never do that, and the Supreme Court said twice that it couldn’t find a way around that prohibition and uphold the act. Now we may see what a group of “rightthinking judges” can do about that constitution.

Pub or Perish! XI

Women Rule!

Pub or Perish will present a celebration of the double-X chromosome, with readings by some of the best female poets, essayists and fiction writers on the local scene.

W Kara Bibb, Kita Marshall and other great writers from the 2014 Arkansas Literary Festival.

Saturday, April 26 7 - 9 pm For more information, contact David Koon at (501) 375-2985 ext. 389, or david@arktimes.com.

arktimes.com

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DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS

DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS

DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS

THE MAN WITHOUT SHOES: Jimmy Haney in one of the show’s main promotional images.

HARDLY

HARDY

Small town Arkansas gets caricatured in ‘Clash of the Ozarks,’ locals welcome it. BY WILL STEPHENSON

O

ne morning last summer, Dennis Horton, the longtime owner of Horton’s Music in the town of Hardy, population 772, heard a strange noise coming from outside his shop. Like a “weed eater or something,” he said. He put aside the guitar he was fixing to step outside, and was stunned by what he found: a helicopter drone affixed with a camera, hovering over the sidewalk. “Flying back and forth up and down Main Street,” he said, “under the power lines. I thought, ‘What in the heck is that?’ ” A few doors down from Horton’s, Ron and Susan Wolfe run a cluttered antique store called Memories on Main Street. Ron loves talking to customers, and keeps a guest book behind the counter for people to sign. “I talk to everybody who comes in here,” he said. “So I find out where they’re coming from.” Around the time of Dennis Horton’s run-in with the drone, Ron noticed an influx of customers from major cities. He was stumped. “One little lady was from New York and one was from California,” he said. “I told ’em, ‘Man, you all are lost.’ ” They weren’t. They had come to Hardy to film a television show, a six-episode series for Discovery Channel titled “Clash of the Ozarks,” that began airing in late CONTINUED ON PAGE 18

COVER ILLUSTRATION BY ISAAC ALEXANDER

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MATT AMARO

February and will continue throughout this month. The show follows a blood feud that it claims has ravaged two Hardy families, the Russells and the Evanses, since the mid-19th century, continuing into the present day with the bitter rivalry between Crowbar Russell, who, the show’s press release notes, “seeks only to work his land and hunt for what he needs to survive,” and his nemesis, Kerry Wayne Evans, who “has a fondness for money” and will “do just about anything to build up his empire.” Hardy, a quiet tourist community at the northern edge of the state, is described as resembling “a town right out of the Wild West,” in which “emotions and territory conflicts outweigh a law-abiding society.” Other characters include “a mountain man who doesn’t own a pair of shoes and hasn’t lived in a house for years” and “a tough gun-toting elderly woman who is fiercely protective of her family and is rumored to be clairvoyant.” The promo clip that circulated before the show started airing set the tone by emulating the rough Southern grit of shows like “True Blood” and “Justified,” a stylized, high-contrast collage of snakes and moonshine and river baptism. Men in straw hats wielded bowie knives

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HORTON

SUSAN AND RON WOLFE

and chased trains, and a country preacher in a dilapidated church made pronouncements like, “If we stop fighting the good fight, it will open the door to the devil.”

Hardy residents didn’t expect this slant. According to Al Corte, who runs a historic preservation society in town, “We thought it was going to be a hunting and fishing show.”

the bernice garden

MATT AMARO

the bernice garden

HARDY MAIN STREET

 IN A 1969 NEW YORKER ARTICLE, “A Stranger With a Camera,” Calvin Trillin writes about a film crew that visits a small Appalachian community in Jeremiah, Ky., to document its lower class residents. “It was an extraordinary shot — so evocative of the despair of that region,” one of the filmmakers told Trillin about a segment involving a coal miner. The owner of the land, however, turned up to interrupt the shoot and eventually shot and killed the leader of the crew, a crime for which he was later acquitted by a local jury, because what was a film crew doing in Jeremiah, Ky., anyway? We have come a long way since “A Stranger With a Camera.” From “Duck Dynasty” and “Swamp People” to “Moonshiners” and “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” a disproportionate number of the most popular reality shows on television today are set in the rural South, a phenomenon that Brooks Blevins, a Missouri State University professor of Ozark Studies, calls the “redneck reality renaissance.” The trend, of course, is only the most recent and profitable manifestation of a whole vibrant history of Southern caricature, something Blevins argues has particularly deep roots in Arkansas. “There seems to be no scientific way to quantify the level of stereotyping to which Arkansas has been subjected in comparison with other states,” he writes in his book, “Arkansas / Arkan-

saw: How Bear Hunters, Hillbillies and Good Ol’ Boys Defined a State.” “But the general consensus around the Natural State is that Arkansas was at some point in the murky past singled out and given a special place in the American consciousness. And it’s a specialness that many in the state would just as soon do without.” Once a primarily science and education outlet, Discovery Channel has evolved its focus over the years, a philosophical awakening that can be tracked by the changes to the company’s tagline: From “Explore Your World,” the channel mellowed and rebranded with the more easy-going “Entertain Your Brain,” before settling a few years ago on “The World Is Just Awesome.” The show that airs after “Clash of the Ozarks” on Discovery, incidentally, is called “Amish Mafia.” David George, executive vice president of programming at Leftfield Pictures, the company that produced the series for Discovery, offered some insight into the making of the show. Having made his name at MTV, George has gone on to produce such programs as “Truck Stop Missouri,” “Guntucky,” “Hillbillies for Hire,” and “Cajun Pawn Stars.” “It’s kind of an interesting story,” he said of the show’s origins. “We were down in the area, in the Ozarks, casting for a completely different concept. We were looking for people who really lived off the land, and we came across Crowbar Russell.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 20

Opening Day: Sunday, April 6 Market Hours: Every Sunday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. We are in our third year and growing! We welcome you to enjoy a beautiful covered market space with Arkansas growers and artisans selling quality products to you every Sunday from mid-April to mid-November. For information about the Bernice Garden Farmers’ Market visit our website at thebernicegarden.org or you can also email Bo Bennett at bernicegardenfm@gmail.com. 1401 South Main St. Downtown Little Rock www.arktimes.com

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“You’d rather try to pour hot butter up a wildcat’s ass than mess with him when he’s mad.” Russell, the backwoods moral center of the show whose quest to save his own land from the bank and from Kerry Wayne Evans’ plotting provides much of its conflict, is well known in the area for his TV work, particularly the local-access show, “Ozark Outdoors,” which he produced with his cousin, Jason. Episodes usually consisted of handheld footage of the two of them noodling for catfish, bowhunting hogs or shooting crows. “I’m sure that’s how he popped up on our radar,” George said of Russell’s previous work. “But when he started talking about his own personal history and the issues that he was personally facing down there, we realized it was much bigger than just that one little nugget that we had gone for.” In conversation, George projects a sort of innocence about the criticisms someone like Blevins might have for the shows he produces, and his almost utopian enthusiasm for “Clash of the Ozarks” is contagious. Describing whether the series was a reality show or a drama, he said, “It doesn’t really fall into any one particular category — I think that’s what makes it unique. The show is about ideology, what people believe in and their way of life and how that impacts their surroundings.” It’s easy to forget, speaking with George, that this is one of the minds behind

MTV’s “Pranked.” “At first, there was definitely some confrontation,” George said of the early days of the “Clash of the Ozarks” production. “I think anytime a production team from New York City waltzes into Hardy, Arkansas … if there wasn’t any hesitation, I’d be a little bit nervous.” Having made it through this initial awkwardness, he said, “We really let [the locals] take the lead.” “Production companies make a big mistake when they try to stereotype the South,” he said. “And we consciously made a decision that we were not going to go down that road.”  “YOU’D RATHER TRY TO POUR hot butter up a wildcat’s ass than mess with him when he’s mad.” That’s what one character says about Crowbar Russell on the show, and it’s hard to disagree, as most of his screen time is spent railing furiously against “poachers,” “flatlanders” and “those bastards who busted up my moonshine.” His dialogue is generally subtitled, presumably because his accent might be a challenge for some viewers. Still, Crowbar is the show’s hero, a bulwark of traditional values and domesticity, as opposed to his rival, Kerry Wayne Evans, described as “one

of the Ozarks’ most controversial businessmen.” On “Clash,” Russell says Evans is “money hungry” and “ain’t worthy shit for nothing,” and later compares him to a coyote. Evans embraces the role: “I can finally get the Russell clan out of the Ozarks for good,” he says in episode one, “Blood Land,” with evident villainous glee. Like all great family feuds, the original impetus for their grudge is vague, but the show claims it started with a fight at a “family dance,” and has persisted for over a century. The poet Justin Booth, who got to know both Crowbar and Kerry Wayne when he worked at a bar in Cherokee Village, a few miles from Hardy, in the late ’80s, said there may be some truth there. He told a story about Crowbar’s cousin, Brad — they looked similar enough that people were often mistaking them — being jumped once by “this other family,” who “beat him nearly to death,” thinking he was Crowbar. “As soon as he gets out of the hospital,” Booth said, “he comes back to the club and he has a T-shirt on that says ‘My name is not Crowbar.’ ” Of Kerry Evans, Booth recalled, “He punched me in the mouth one time. He was not nice, is my opinion.” Most of the current Hardy residents, though, were less certain about its authenticity. “It’s a

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RON MARTIN

fictional story,” said Dale Maddox, who runs a local pottery shop. “It’s television, entertainment.” Ron Martin, owner of an antique store called Memory Lane Mall, said, “The plot’s all hooey, but it’s entertaining.” Ernie Rose, Hardy’s police chief, laughs when I ask if Crowbar and Kerry Evans get along: “Yes, to my knowledge.” Rose should know, as he went

to high school with both of them and goes fishing with Crowbar from time to time. His own father, he said, worked closely alongside Crowbar’s and Kerry Wayne’s fathers in the early days of Cherokee Village. “Them three men were the three key people in the whole water system,” he said, “installing it and making it operate.” This shared history could explain why, as the local newspa-

per, The Villager Journal, has it, Crowbar and Kerry Wayne both recently served as pallbearers at each other’s parent’s funeral. The more you talk to people in Hardy, for that matter, the less certain you become about which character would belong on which end of a hero-villain dynamic. “He’s kind of a local CONTINUED ON PAGE 22

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MATT AMARO

legend, and not all in a good way,” said Tammy Curtis, The Villager Journal’s managing editor, about Crowbar. “He’s a convicted felon. So if you see him with a gun [on the show], he’s probably not even supposed to have it.” While Discovery’s press release says that “Everyone in Hardy has their own story of how Crowbar got his name,” Curtis said there’s pretty much just one story. “His name came from some nasty fights,” she said. “People call him that because he’s more apt to pick up a crowbar and hit you in the back of the head than to fight you face to face.” Kerry Wayne, meanwhile, who on the show claims to “do business with rough folks, people with blood on their hands,” actually owns and operates a fairly innocuous business in town called N-Sta-Smile. It manufactures disposable toothbrushes. When an interview was requested with the cast through Discovery (everyone who appears on the show is under a strict contract not to speak to the press, which led to a handful of awkward interactions while reporting this story), it was Kerry Wayne who was made available. “At first I was reluctant to get involved,” Evans said of his part in the show. “They had a preset notion of what we were going to be like, and I refused to be involved in that. I wanted people to see what we were really like, overall. And I’m pretty proud of what it turned out like, to tell you the truth.” About the feud, he said, “I’m not going to speak for my family, because I wasn’t there. But I’m sure our families butted heads.” And about the

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DALE MADDOX

contrast between the show’s Hardy and the real Hardy? “There’s an element of truth in everything you seen on the show,” he said. “Nothing in life is 100 percent accurate.”  ONE WEEKEND, once a couple of episodes had aired, I decided to drive up to Hardy to get a better sense of the city I’d been watching on television. The day before I visited, maybe fittingly, there was a bank robbery in town. According to The Village Journal’s Tammy Curtis, “A lot of people here thought it was funny, they were saying, ‘I think Crowbar did it.’ And it got to where some people were even believing it.” The real perpetrator turned herself in that same day. She’d hidden the money under a log. Driving into Sharp County, you’ll pass through Cave City, self-proclaimed home of the World’s Sweetest Watermelons, and Evening Shade, population 432, the setting for an early ’90s sitcom starring Burt Reynolds. Along the highway, confederate flags hang from dead trees and horses graze in patches of ice. “Welcome to Historic Hardy: Home of Lauren Gray,” one sign for the city reads, referring to a onetime contestant on “American Idol.” Fans of “Clash of the Ozarks,” can immediately begin recognizing landmarks within the city limits. There’s the old church that reappears in the opening credits and throughout the series. In reality, it’s an abandoned building in a cemetery, and the preacher is a local TV and radio person-

ality named Tommy Garner, but there it is all the same, just as it looks in the show. At any moment, one expects to see Jimmy Haney, the shoeless, shirtless, overall-wearing mountain man who lives in the woods hunting for mushrooms. For the record, almost everyone I met seemed confident that he actually does live in the woods. Dennis Horton said his son recently asked Haney’s daughter about the show and his role in it, and she responded, “Well, best I can say is I’m glad he dressed up.” There’s nothing revelatory in the notion that a reality show isn’t entirely real, but there is something interesting about these real people’s eagerness to package themselves for a worldwide audience in the way that they have. They’ve used their real names, after all, and have created, or at least acted out, narratives about their own real families. Most people in town, despite some initial hesitation or confusion, now embrace the show as well, and discuss it in proud and hopeful terms. Horton, so confounded by the crew’s first appearance outside of his store, now has a huge cardboard “Clash of the Ozarks” poster displayed in his window. He plans to get it autographed by all the cast members, and only has a few left to go. “I think anytime that you can shine a spotlight on your community, that’s got to be a good thing for your town,” he said. “One of the characters was in here earlier today, just before you came in as a matter of fact.” And he said he took a count and the title of the city Hardy was displayed 14 times during one episode of that show. “So lots of people all over the world are at least seeing the name of our town.” “This is a tourist-oriented place, we’re dependent on the tourist dollar,” he said. “Whatever it takes to bring people here, we’re for it.” With a sly grin, he adds, “I just hope Kerry and Crowbar can work out their differences without somebody getting hurt.” Dale Maddox, who moved to Hardy in 1980, at a time when the city was “pretty much decimated” economically, agreed. “I understand over a million people watched the first episode [1.1 according to Nielsen ratings], and if 5 percent of those people seek Hardy out,” he said, trailing off. “I think a lot of people are going to be looking for Hardy, Arkansas, that never had a clue it was here.” Tammy Curtis sees things differently. “I see it as being more negative than positive, personally,” she said. “But then I think it’s like any other show. In a few months, after it’s over with and the episodes are gone, it’s kind of like your moment of fame. And I think it’ll die out. I don’t think there’s going to be people on the other side of the world saying, ‘I watched this and I want to go to Hardy.’ ” For his part, Chief Rose is mostly indifferent. “I don’t watch much television,” he said gruffly. “I live the life, I don’t have to watch it on TV.”

READERS CHOICE AWARDS

CONGRATULATIONS to all the finalists and thanks for attending a fantastic 33rd Readers choice awards anniversary celebration!

2014

top votegetters

the hive  12 awards south on main  11 awards big orange  7 awards zaza  6 awards gaskin’s cabin  6 awards trio’s  5 awards

READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2014

33

CELEBRATING EXCELLENCE

YEARS IN DINING

READERS CHOICE AWARDS 2014

33

CELEBRATING EXCELLENCE

YEARS IN DINING

TOP VOTE-GETTER, THE HIVE photo by matt amaro

In honor of celebrating 33 years of recognizing restaurants, a 33-rpm album was given to all winners in addition to the normal poster.

Special Thanks to

the Pulaski Technical College Culinary and Hospitality management institute

Arts Entertainment AND

‘PROXY’

NIGHTMARE ON CLINTON AVENUE Little Rock Horror Picture Show brings the scares, sci-fi to Ron Robinson this weekend. BY DAVID KOON

I

t’s always seemed a little sad that as a culture we try to shoehorn our celebration of everything disturbing, creepy and horrific into damp ol’ October. Horrible stuff happens year-round, after all, not just in the month leading up to Halloween, and we as human beings pretty much always need to blow off steam, even when the birds are singing and the daffodils are popping up all over. The folks at the Little Rock Horror Picture Show clearly get that. The festival, which will kick off its third year on March 20, features four days of horror cinema in all its gory glory, smack dab in the middle of mostly-sunny March. The LRHPS, one of the festivals under the Little Rock Film Festival 24

MARCH 20, 2014

ARKANSAS TIMES

umbrella, has been especially kind to indie filmmakers since its inception, celebrating horror made on tight budgets by up-and-coming directors, often with casts of unknown actors. While the festival is branching out a bit to include sci-fi, fantasy and animated fare this year, Horror Picture Show coordinator Justin Nickels said most of the more than 40 films on the schedule are still about the scares. Nickels believes the genre hits a particular nerve with many fans. “I think people like horror films because we get to live out our fears and just have a good time,” Nickels said. “It’s generally fun, because with some of them, you don’t have to think too hard, but there are others that are interesting in an intellectual way as well.”

Below are some horrific highlights from this year’s slate of films. For a full schedule, visit the LRHPS Facebook page at facebook.com/LittleRockHorrorPictureShow. Day passes to the festival are $20 and a festival pass is $50. If you bring three or more non-perishable food items with you, you’ll get $3 off a day pass or $5 off a festival pass. Full passes get you priority seating and full access to all afterparties.

“All Cheerleaders Die” 7 p.m. Thursday Ron Robinson Theater

Though high school is often a Jello shot-flavored dream for the jock princes and cheerleader princesses that always seem to run the joint, it’s usually partly cloudy with a 60 percent chance of suckage for the peasant classes, often due to the machinations and mockery of those previously mentioned high school royals. In “All Cheerleaders Die,” co-

writers/directors Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson play on all that teen angst with a remake of their own 2001 shot-on-video film of the same name. The plot is a supernatural twist on the ugly duckling story, with geeky Maddy (Caitlin Stasey) returning to school her senior year as a hottie, intent on seeking vengeance against the cheerleader mean girls who make life a living hell for everybody without tooth veneers. Maddy joins the squad to put her plan in motion, but after her rivals are killed in an accident involving the corresponding jerks on the football team, Maddy brings them back to life with the help of a little black magic, and things quickly get all grrrl powery and weird. There will be a Q&A with stars Brooke Butler and Tom Williamson after the screening, followed by an afterparty at W.T. Bubba’s in the River Market district featuring music by Bonnie Montgomery and Gossip’s Nathan Howdeshell. CONTINUED ON PAGE 34

ROCK CANDY Check out the Times’ A&E blog arktimes.com

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KOKY’s BLUES ON THE RIVER will return on May 3 at the First Security Amphitheater. Seminal 1970s soul group Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes will headline, and also performing will be Tawanna Campbell, Billy “Soul” Bonds, OB Buchana, Willie P. and Jaye Hammer. Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 on the day, and will be available at Uncle T’s Food Mart, the Record Rack (in Pine Bluff), Lindsey’s Bar-B-Que, Butler Furniture Depot and Ugly Mike’s. RIVERFEST has announced its latest round of 2014 headliners, adding The Fray, The Wallflowers, and Easton Corbin to a lineup that also includes Chicago, Three Days Grace, Lee Brice, Hank Williams, Jr., Salt-N-Pepa and Buckcherry. This year’s festival will be held May 23-25, and three-day passes will be on sale at half-price ($20) starting April 1. JAZZ IN THE PARK will return in April, with performances by a different jazz band every Wednesday night at 6 p.m. that month at the History Pavilion in Riverfront Park. Participating bands include Dizzy 7, the Johnny Burnette Band, TwiceSax, That Arkansas Weather and the Art Deco Trio. ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY will hold its annual Delta Symposium, a lecture-concert series supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, beginning April 2. The symposium will include a Roots Music Festival featuring a performance on April 5 by blues musician John Hammond, inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2011. Further information is available at altweb.astate.edu/ blues.

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MARCH 20, 2014

25

THE TO-DO THURSDAY 3/20

SWEET CHARITY

7:30 p.m. Reynolds Performance Hall, Conway. $30-$40.

“Sweet Charity,” written by Pulitzer-winner Neil Simon and choreographed by idiosyncratic Broadway legend Bob Fosse (with characteristic weird sensuality), is a loose adaptation of the great 1957 Federico Fellini film “Nights of Cabiria,” about a prostitute with uncommonly bad luck in romance. The musical was nominated for nine Tony Awards when it premiered in 1966, and was later adapted into a film (the first directed by Fosse) starring Shirley MacLaine. Here the protagonist is a Times Square dancer-for-hire who spends the play looking for love with a painfully oblivious optimism. The production, presented here for one night only, features music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Dorothy Fields, a pair who also collaborated on 1973’s “Seesaw.” It was right before the opening night performance of the 1987 revival of “Sweet Charity” that Fosse collapsed and died on the sidewalk outside the theater in Washington, D.C.

LIST

BY WILL STEPHENSON

FRIDAY 3/21

PATRICK SWEANY

10 p.m. White Water Tavern. $7.

Patrick Sweany is from Ohio and is often associated with fellow Ohioans The Black Keys, whose frontman Dan Auerbach produced a couple of his records, including 2007’s “Every Hour Is a Dollar Gone.” That album

featured the laid-back and instantly recognizable blue-rock anthems “Hotel Women” and “Them Shoes,” the latter of which is still Sweany’s best known song and maybe for good reason — it just sounds like a “natural” hit, all straightforward ’70s rock swagger with an iconic melody and a cool,

trebly David Crosby-ish guitar solo. Since then, Sweany’s gone deeper into his blues roots, and his latest record, “Close to the Floor,” is a case in point. For an intro, just check out the video for “Working for You,” in which he plays a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman.

FRIDAY 3/21

RICH HOMIE QUAN

9 p.m. Clear Channel Metroplex. $20-$50.

Rich Homie Quan’s “Type of Way” was one of a semi-elite group of songs that became inevitable on rap radio last year, just an absolute, no-questions-asked standby that you could feel confidant would pop up at least once every hour (more often than that if you happened to be in Atlanta). Repetitive and cocky and pitched somewhere in the murky zone between rapping and Auto-Tune singing, the song is clearly indebted to the world that Atlanta rapper Future created, with that clipped, helicopter “Karate Chop” flow and the daydreamy synth gurgles that have become like wallpaper in the A. It’s a great song, and odds are Quan has another hit in him — his last tape “I Promise I Will Never Stop Going In,” was quietly pretty good, with weird moments like “Man of the Year,” which just sounds lonely. 26

MARCH 20, 2014

ARKANSAS TIMES

THE CALM: Big Piph will be at Stickyz Saturday at 10 p.m. with his band Tomorrow Maybe, $10.

SATURDAY 3/22

BIG PIPH

10 p.m. Stickyz. $10.

Not long ago I went to see Big Piph at South on Main, not the most likely hip-hop venue in town. As he rapped, patrons ate grilled quail and rabbit boudin and drank cocktails with mezcal and honeysuckle vodka. He didn’t seem fazed by this, but then why would

he? The rapper more formally known as Epiphany has made a habit of performing in unlikely venues all over the world — recently doing shows (and lecturing) in Mauritius, Seychelles and The Gambia. He’s back in the Rock at the moment, and has a new tape out this week called “The Calm” that sounds anything but. It’s a diverse and mature and sometimes

startling collection, with spoken word interludes alongside 808 slaps and live band workouts. “It’s kind of wild that my smirk turned to a smile,” he says on the single “Balance (Let ’Em Know),” which loops a spooky operatic screech over slow-ride country rap vibes. Piph will celebrate the release at Stickyz with his band Tomorrow Maybe.

IN BRIEF

THURSDAY 3/20

SATURDAY 3/22

KEVIN KERBY

9 p.m. White Water Tavern.

Pulaski County’s (unofficial) poet laureate Kevin Kerby has been playing music with Brent Best for decades now — since back before Kerby made his name in seminal local groups like Ho-Hum and Mulehead. Best, the for-

mer front man for Denton, Texas, altrock group Slobberbone, who Stephen King once said wrote one of the three greatest rock and roll songs ever, has since started The Drams and toured solo. The two will share a bill at White Water Saturday night with Dentonbased garage rock duo RTB2, who

shoot music videos in Super 8mm and once released an 8-track tape, if that gives you some idea of where they’re coming from. Last time I saw Kerby play, he opened the floor up to audience requests, but by theme rather than song title — so that’s something to think about in advance.

meet. Vendors sign up and set up tables to sell or trade all manner of bike-related things, from bike parts and gear both obscure and necessary to old-school, collectible BMX stickers, not to mention actual bikes. Loblolly Creamery will be in the building, and local biking organi-

zations will be on hand to sign up new members or answer questions. Also, anyone with an old, out-of-commission or just unused bike can donate it to Recycle Bikes for Kids, a local organization that rebuilds and repairs bikes and gives them to kids who need them more than you do.

SATURDAY 3/22

PEDAL-PALOOZA

10 a.m.-4 p.m. First Security Amphitheater. Free.

The River Market is partnering with Recycle Bikes for Kids and Chainwheel Bike Shop this Saturday for PedalPalooza, Arkansas’s biggest bike swap

The Historic Arkansas Museum will host a screening of the documentary “The Cherokee Word for Water” at 6 p.m., followed by a Q&A session with director Charlie Soap and writer Kristina Kiehl. The all-volunteer theater group Precipice Theatre will kick off its production of Sam Shepard’s “Fool for Love” at The Public Theater, 7:30 p.m., $14. Performances are every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sundays, through March 30. A cappella group Pentatonix, season three winners on NBC’s “The Sing-Off,” will be at the Robinson Center Music Hall at 8 p.m., and Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds will be at Juanita’s at 9 p.m. with Stays in Vegas.

FRIDAY 3/21 Blues singer-songwriter Carolyn Wonderland will be at George’s Majestic Lounge at 6 p.m., $5, followed by Jimbo Mathus and the Tri-State Coalition at 9 p.m., $7. Crooked Roots will be at Vino’s with Jab Jab Sucker Punch, $6, and Stiff Necked Fools will play at Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 9 p.m., $7.

SATURDAY 3/22 South on Main will hold a fundraiser for the Oxford American magazine at 6 p.m. hosted by Mary Steenburgen, featuring a live auction and music by American Idol winner Kris Allen, $200. The Randy Rogers Band will be at Revolution with Adam Craig at 9 p.m., $25, and the Good Time Ramblers will be at Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 9 p.m., $7. In Conway, Jumpship Astronaut will play at Bear’s Den Pizza with Sit Kitty Sit, 9 p.m. Sea of Echoes with play at Vino’s at 9 p.m. alongside Fortune N Flames and System Avenue, $6, and Memphis metal group Medieval Steel will be at Juanita’s with Enchiridion and Never After, 10 p.m. Later on, Discovery Nightclub will host its Spring Break party, featuring DJ Brandon Peck, Ewell, Crawley and Big Brown.

SUNDAY 3/23 The Lost and Nameless Orchestra will be at Stickyz at 7:30 p.m., $5, and Protest the Hero will be at Juanita’s with Battlecross, Safety Fire, Intervals and Night Verses, 7 p.m., $15.

HONK AND TONK: The Salty Dogs will play at South on Main Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., free.

WEDNESDAY 3/26

THE SALTY DOGS

7:30 p.m. South on Main. Free.

On March 25, Little Rock favorites The Salty Dogs, self-proclaimed “quartet of Honk and Tonk,” will release their new six-song EP, “Too Old To Fight.” The group, which was named “Best Original Band in Arkansas” by

this paper, has since shared stages with Hank Williams Jr. and Kinky Friedman, and the new release finds it at its best. It’s a strong, soulful group of vintage country songs underpinned by Brad Williams’ heartfelt drawl. There’s a great, tightly wound cover of Merle Travis’s “Nine Pound Hammer,” some hyperactive fiddle playing and classic

lines like “Sometimes I want to kiss you and sometimes I want to kill you.” On Wednesday night they’ll celebrate the release with a free show as part of South on Main’s Local Live series. If you miss them Wednesday, they’ll also be at White Water Tavern the following Friday night with the Buffalo City Ramblers.

TUESDAY 3/25 David Brock, founder of Media Matters for America, will give a lecture titled “Countering the Culture of Clinton Hating” at the Clinton School, noon. Giant on the Mountain will play at Vino’s at 8:30 p.m. with Mothwind and Slamphetamine, $5. Air Loom will play at White Water Tavern at 10 p.m. www.arktimes.com

MARCH 20, 2014

27

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 calendar@arktimes.com.

capitalhotel.com/CBG.

COMEDY

“Winter Sucks.” Original sketch comedy by The Main Thing. Call for reservations. The Joint, 8 p.m., $20. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. thejointinlittlerock.com.

THURSDAY, MARCH 20

DANCE

MUSIC

Blackberry Smoke. George’s Majestic Lounge, 9 p.m., $17.50. 519 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-442-4226. Carolyn Wonderland. Texas blues singer with guitarist Carolyn Wonderland at South on Main. South on Main, 8 p.m., $10-$20. 1304 Main St. 501-244-9660. www.facebook.com/ SouthonMainLR. “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. Krush Thursdays with DJ Kavaleer. Club Climax, free before 11 p.m. 824 W. Capitol. 501-554-3437. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Michael Eubanks. Newk’s Express Cafe, 6:30 p.m. 4317 Warden Road, NLR. 501-753-8559. newks.com. Open jam with The Port Arthur Band. Parrot Beach Cafe, 9 p.m. 9611 MacArthur Drive, NLR. 771-2994. Pentatonix. Robinson Center Music Hall, 8 p.m. Markham and Broadway. www.littlerockmeetings.com/conv-centers/robinson. RockUsaurus. Senor Tequila, 7-9 p.m. 10300 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-224-5505. www.senor-tequila.com. Sister Sparrow and The Dirty Birds, Stays in Vegas. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $10 adv., $12 day of. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www.juanitas.com. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 7:30 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. www.capitalhotel.com/CBG.

EVENTS

Antique/Boutique Walk. Shopping and live entertainment. Downtown Hot Springs, third Thursday of every month, 4 p.m., free. 100 Central Ave., Hot Springs. Around the World Thursday: Lyon, France. A five-course tasting menu and cultural entertainment. Forty Two, 6:30 p.m., $27.95. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501-537-0042. www.dineatfortytwo.com.

FILM

“The Cherokee Word For Water”. Documentary screening followed by a q&a session with director Charlie Soap and writer Kristina Kiehl. Historic Arkansas Museum, 6 p.m. 200 E. Third St. 501-324-9351. www. historicarkansas.org. “Girl Rising.” Gathr Film Series screening. UA Breckenridge Village, 7:30 p.m., $10. 1200 Breckenridge Drive. 800-326-3264.

LECTURES

“Archaeology and the Camden Expedition, 1864.” Brown Bag Lunch lecture with Dr. Carl Drexler, a specialist in battlefield and 28

MARCH 20, 2014

ARKANSAS TIMES

“Salsa Night.” Begins with a one-hour salsa lesson. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $8. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www.littlerocksalsa.com.

EVENTS

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 244-9690 or search “DYSC” on Facebook. LGBTQ/SGL Youth and Young Adult Group, 6:30 p.m. 800 Scott St. DOWN AND OUT: The Randy Rogers band will be at Revolution Saturday at 9 p.m., $25. conflict archaeology. Old State House Museum, noon. 500 Clinton Ave. 501-3249685. www.oldstatehouse.com. Bless the Mic: Paula White. Philander Smith College, 7 p.m. 900 W. Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive.

POETRY

POETluck. Literary salon and potluck. The Writer’s Colony at Dairy Hollow, third Thursday of every month, 6 p.m. 515 Spring St., Eureka Springs. 479-253-7444.

SPORTS

Horse racing. Oaklawn, 1:30 p.m., $2.50$4.50. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501623-4411. www.oaklawn.com.

CLASSES

Ozark Folk School. Classes in blacksmithing, pottery, weaving, soap making, broom making and more. Ozark Folk Center State Park, through March 21, $20. 1032 Park Ave., Mountain View.

FRIDAY, MARCH 21

MUSIC

Carolyn Wonderland. George’s Majestic Lounge, 6 p.m., $5. 519 W. Dickson St.,

Fayetteville. 479-442-4226. Club Nights at 1620 Savoy. Dance night, with DJs, drink specials and bar menu, 10p.m.-2 a.m. 1620 Savoy. 1620 Market St. 501-221-1620. www.1620savoy.com. Crooked Roots, Jab Jab Sucker Punch. Vino’s, $6. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. www. vinosbrewpub.com. Dizzy 7 Band and Craig Wilson. Dizzy’s Gypsy Bistro, 7:30 p.m. 200 River Market Ave. 501-375-3500. www.dizzysgypsybistro.net/. Jimbo Mathus and the Tri-State Coalition. George’s Majestic Lounge, 9 p.m., $7. 519 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-442-4226. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Patrick Sweany. White Water Tavern, 10 p.m., $7. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-375-8400. www. whitewatertavern.com. Rich Homie Quan. Clear Channel Metroplex, 9 p.m., $20-$50. 10800 Col. Glenn Road. 501-217-5113. www.eventbrite.com/e/ rich-homie-takeover-metroplex-tickets-10584405241. Stiff Necked Fools. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 9 p.m., $7. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501663-1196. www.afterthoughtbar.com. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 9 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. www.

FILM

Little Rock Horror Picture Show. 3rd annual. Day passes can be purchased for $20, festival passes for $50. Ron Robinson Theater, 10 p.m., $20. 1 Pulaski Way. 501-320-5703. www.cals.lib.ar.us/ron-robinson-theater.aspx.

SPORTS

Horse racing. Oaklawn, 1:30 p.m., $2.50$4.50. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501623-4411. www.oaklawn.com.

CLASSES

Ozark Folk School. See March 20.

KIDS

“The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” Arkansas Arts Center, through March 28: 7 p.m., $12.50. 501 E. 9th St. 501-372-4000. www.arkarts. com.

SATURDAY, MARCH 22

MUSIC

Big Piph, Tomorrow Maybe. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 10 p.m. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. www.stickyz.com. Club Nights at 1620 Savoy. See March 21. Discovery Spring Break. Featuring DJ Brandon Peck, Ewell, Crawley and Big Brown. Discovery Nightclub. 1021 Jessie Road. 501-664-4784. www.latenightdisco. com. Good Time Ramblers. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 9 p.m., $7. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www.afterthoughtbar.com. Jumpship Astronaut, Sit Kitty Sit. Bear’s Den Pizza, 9 p.m. 235 Farris Road, Conway. 501-328-5556. www.bearsdenpizza.com. Karaoke at Khalil’s. Khalil’s Pub, 7 p.m. 110 S. Shackleford Road. 501-224-0224. www. khalilspub.com. Karaoke. Casa Mexicana, 7 p.m. 6929 JFK Blvd., NLR. 501-835-7876. Karaoke with Kevin & Cara. All ages, on the restaurant side. Revolution, 9 p.m.-12:45 a.m., free. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501823-0090. revroom.com. Kevin Kerby and Brent Best, RTB2. White Water Tavern, 9 p.m. 2500 W. 7th St. 501375-8400. www.whitewatertavern.com. K.I.S.S. Saturdays. Featuring DJ Silky Slim.

If you’re not HERE, we’re having more fun than you are! Dress code enforced. Sway, 10 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-492-9802. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Medieval Steel, Enchiridion, Never After. Juanita’s, 10 p.m. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www.juanitas.com. Pickin’ Porch. Bring your instrument. All ages welcome. Faulkner County Library, 9:30 a.m. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-3277482. www.fcl.org. Randy Rogers Band, Adam Craig. Revolution, 9 p.m., $22 adv., $25 day of. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. revroom.com. Sea of Echoes, Fortune N Flames, System Avenue. Vino’s, 9 p.m., $6. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. www.vinosbrewpub.com. Singer/Songwriters Showcase. Parrot Beach Cafe, 2-7 p.m., free. 9611 MacArthur Drive, NLR. 771-2994. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 9 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. www. capitalhotel.com/CBG. Voltaire. George’s Majestic Lounge, 9 p.m., $15. 519 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479442-4226.

COMEDY

“Winter Sucks.” See March 21.

DANCE

Little Rock West Coast Dance Club. Dance lessons. Singles welcome. Ernie Biggs, 7 p.m., $2. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-247-5240. www.arstreetswing.com.

EVENTS

Beyond Hunger. All-ages activities, guided tours and presentations on family farming. Heifer Village, 10 a.m. 1 World Ave. 501-3766836. www.heifer.org/communities. Falun Gong meditation. Allsopp Park, 9 a.m., free. Cantrell & Cedar Hill Roads. Hillcrest Farmers Market. Pulaski Heights Baptist Church, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. 2200 Kavanaugh Blvd. Historic Neighborhoods Tour. Bike tour of historic neighborhoods includes bike, guide, helmets and maps. Bobby’s Bike Hike, 9 a.m., $8-$28. 400 President Clinton Ave. 501-613-7001. Insure Affordable Care. Get free help enrolling in the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace. Laman Library, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., free. 2801 Orange St., NLR. 501-758-1720. www.lamanlibrary.org. Pork & Bourbon Tour. Bike tour includes bicycle, guide, helmets and maps. Bobby’s Bike Hike, 11:30 a.m., $35-$45. 400 President Clinton Ave. 501-613-7001.

SPORTS

Horse racing. Oaklawn, 1 p.m., $2.50-$4.50. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-6234411. www.oaklawn.com. Pedal-palooza. Bicycle swap meet. River Market Pavilions, 9 a.m. 400 President Clinton Ave. 375-2552. www.rivermarket.info.

BENEFITS

Chili Cook Off. Sponsored by the Amboy Neighborhood Association and the Chili Appreciation Society International.

Featuring “celebrity” judges, all ages welcome. The Church at Burns Park, 11:30 a.m. 295 Military Drive, NLR. Mary and Friends, Oxford American fundraiser. Featuring music by American Idol winner Kris Allen, food and beverages provided by South on Main and a live auction. South on Main, 6 p.m., $200. 1304 Main St. 501-244-9660. www.facebook.com/ SouthonMainLR.

There’s still time, GET HERE! MARGARITA WITH A TWIST

KIDS

“The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” Arkansas Arts Center, through March 23: 2 p.m., $12.50. 501 E. 9th St. 501-372-4000. www.arkarts.com.

SUNDAY, MARCH 23

MUSIC

Karaoke with DJ Sara. Hardrider Bar & Grill, 7 p.m., free. 6613 John Harden Drive, Cabot. 501-982-1939. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. The Lost and Nameless Orchestra. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 7:30 p.m., $5. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. www.stickyz. com. Lucas Murray. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 11 a.m. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www.afterthoughtbar.com. Protest the Hero, Battlecross, Safety Fire, Intervals, Night Verses. Juanita’s, 7 p.m., $12 adv., $15 day of. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www.juanitas.com.

EVENTS

“Live from the Back Room.” Spoken word event. Vino’s, 7 p.m. 923 W. 7th St. 501-3758466. www.vinosbrewpub.com.

SPORTS

A Chicago style Speakeasy & Dueling Piano Bar. This is THE premier place to party in Little Rock. “Dueling Pianos” runs Monday through Saturday. Dance & Club music upstairs on Wed, Fri & Sat. Drink specials and more! Do it BIGG! Open 7 Days A Week • 8pm-2am Shows Start at 8:30pm

Located in the Heart of the River Market District 307 President Clinton Avenue 501.372.4782 www.erniebiggs.com

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Horse racing. Oaklawn, 1:30 p.m., $2.50-$4.50. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4411. www.oaklawn.com.

KIDS

“The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” Arkansas Arts Center, through March 23: 2 p.m., $12.50. 501 E. 9th St. 501-372-4000. www.arkarts.com.

MONDAY, MARCH 24

MUSIC

All American Food & Great Place to Watch Your Favorite Event

Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Monday Night Jazz. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 8 p.m., $5. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501663-1196. www.afterthoughtbar.com.

TUESDAY, MARCH 25

MUSIC

Air Loom. White Water Tavern, 10 p.m. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-375-8400. www.whitewatertavern.com. Giant on the Mountain, Mothwind, Slamphetamine. Vino’s, 8:30 p.m., $5. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. www.vinosbrewpub.com. Irish Traditional Music Sessions. Hibernia Irish Tavern, second and fourth Tuesday of every month, 7-9 p.m. 9700 N. Rodney Parham CONTINUED ON PAGE 30

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AFTER DARK, CONT. Road. 501-246-4340. www.hiberniairishtavern.com. Karaoke Tuesday. Prost, 8 p.m., free. 322 President Clinton Blvd. 501-244-9550. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Lucious Spiller Band. Copeland’s Restaurant of Little Rock, 6-9 p.m. 2602 S. Shackleford Road. 501-312-1616. www.copelandsrestaurantlittlerock.com. Music Jam. Hosted by Elliott Griffen and Joseph Fuller. The Joint, 8-11 p.m., free. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. thejointinlittlerock.com. Tuesday Jam Session with Carl Mouton. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www.after-

thoughtbar.com.

DANCE

“Latin Night.” Revolution, 7:30 p.m., $5 regular, $7 under 21. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501823-0090. www.littlerocksalsa.com.

EVENTS

Tales from the South. Authors tell true stories; schedule available on website. Dinner served 5-6:30 p.m., show at 7 p.m. Call for reservations. Starving Artist Cafe, 5 p.m. 411 N. Main St., NLR. 501-372-7976. www.starvingartistcafe.net. Trivia Bowl. Flying Saucer, 8:30 p.m. 323 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-8032. www. beerknurd.com/stores/littlerock.

LECTURES

David Brock, “Countering the Culture of Clinton Hating.” Lecture by the founder of Media Matters for America Sturgis Hall, noon. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501-683-5200. clintonschool.uasys.edu.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 26

MUSIC

Acoustic Open Mic. Afterthought Bistro & Bar, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-6631196. www.afterthoughtbar.com. Icon For Hire. George’s Majestic Lounge, 8:30 p.m., $12. 519 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-442-4226. Karaoke at Khalil’s. Khalil’s Pub, 7 p.m. 110

S. Shackleford Road. 501-224-0224. www. khalilspub.com. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Local Live: The Salty Dogs. South on Main, 7:30 p.m., free. 1304 Main St. 501-244-9660. www.facebook.com/SouthonMainLR. Open Mic Nite with Deuce. Thirst n’ Howl, 7:30 p.m., free. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501-3798189. www.thirst-n-howl.com. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 7:30 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. www.capitalhotel.com/CBG.

COMEDY

The Joint Venture. Improv comedy group. The Joint, 8 p.m., $7. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. thejointinlittlerock.com.

DANCE

Yellow Fever, Malaria, Tuberculosis, Cholera, Flu and Hookworm A Fascinating History of Arkansas’s 200 Year Battle Against Disease and Pestilence

Health THE

PUBLIC’S

STory of a narraTIvE HI nSaS aS SE E In arka HEaLTH and dI Art, M.D. by Sam Tagg

tes, M.D. Joseph H. Ba Preface by

This is a great history of Arkansas that tells how public attitudes toward medicine, politics and race have shaped the public health battle against deadly and debilitating disease in the state. From the illnesses that plagued the state’s earliest residents to the creation of what became the Arkansas Department of Health, Sam Taggart’s “The Public’s Health: A Narrative History of Health and Disease in Arkansas” tells the fascinating medical history of Arkansas. Published by the Arkansas Times.

$1995

Payment: Check Or Credit Card Order By Mail: Arkansas Times Books P.O. Box 34010, Little Rock, AR 72203 Phone: 501-375-2985 Fax: 501-375-3623 Email:jack@arktimes.com 96 PP. Soft Cover • Shipping And Handling: $3 30

MARCH 20, 2014

ARKANSAS TIMES

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 & Cleveland streets. 501-350-4712. www.littlerockbopclub.

LECTURES

Wild Jobs Lunch and Learn, Fish Wrangler. The Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center, noon. 602 President Clinton Ave. 501907-0636. www.centralarkansasnaturecenter. com.

POETRY

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

THIS WEEK IN THEATER

THEATER

“Fool for Love.” A play by Sam Shepard. The Public Theatre, through March 30: Thu.-Sat., 7 p.m., $14. 616 Center St. 501-374-7529. www.thepublictheatre.com. “Les Miserables.” The Rep presents an allnew production of Alain Boublil and ClaudeMichel Schonberg’s “Les Miserables.” Arkansas Repertory Theatre, through April 6: Wed., Thu., Sun., 7 p.m.; Fri., Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m., $30-$55. 601 Main St. 501-3780405. www.therep.org. “Ripped and Wrinkled.” An original rock musical about a world famous band from North Little Rock called The Dogs. The Joint, through May 31: Fri., Sat., 8 p.m., $20. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. thejointinlittlerock.com. “Sweet Charity.” Neil Simon and Bob Fosse’s 1966 musical. Reynolds Performance Hall, University of Central Arkansas, Thu., March 20, 7:30 p.m., $30-$40. 201 Donaghey Ave., Conway. “The Water Children.” The Weekend Theater, through March 22: Fri., Sat., 7:30 p.m., $12$16. 1001 W. 7th St. 501-374-3761. www. weekendtheater.org.

GALLERIES, MUSEUMS

NEW EXHIBITS, EVENTS

BOSWELL-MOUROT, 5815 Kavanaugh Blvd.: “New Works by Eric Maurus,” opens with reception 6-9 p.m. March 22, show through April 22. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat. 664-0030. HISTORIC ARKANSAS MUSEUM, 200

AFTER DARK, CONT. E. 3rd St.: film “The Cherokee Word for Water,” screening 6 p.m. March 20, Q and A with filmmakers to follow, reserve at 324-9351; “Ciara Long: A Different Perspective,” sketches, through May 4; Mid-Southern Watercolorists “44th Annual Juried Exhibition,” through April 6; “A Sure Defense: The Bowie Knife in America,” through June 22; “Arkansas Made,” ongoing. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 324-9351. MUGS CAFE, 515 Main St., NLR: “Breaking Eggs,” group exhibit of paintings, drawings, wall sculpture, art jewelry and metalwork by the Art Bunch: Christie Young, Emily Wood, Michael Warrick, Denise White, Dan Thornhill, Dominique Simmons, M.J. Robbins, Ruth Pasquine, Bonnie Nickol, Marty Justice, Jeannie Hursely, Marianne Hennigar, Diane Harper, Judith Faust, V.L. Cox, Robert Bean and Fran Austin, March 21-April 15, Argenta ArtWalk reception 5-8 p.m. March 21. FAYETTEVILLE ARSAGA’S AT THE DEPOT, 548 W. Dickson St.: “Positive Negatives,” works by Lindsy Barquist, Kat Wilson and Crystal McBrayer, through March 30, reception 7-9 p.m. March 20. 505-795-8293. JONESBORO ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY:  “You Lookin’ Good, Goin’ Goin’ Gone!” photographs by Rogerline Johnson Sr., Dean B. Ellis Library, through March 30; “Disparate Acts,” paintings and drawings by David Bailin, Warren Criswell and Sammy Peters, Bradbury Gallery, Fowler Center, through March 30. Noon-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat., 2-5 p.m. Sun. 870-972-3471. ROGERS ROGERS HISTORICAL MUSEUM, 322 S. Second St.: “Hog Wild: Our Area’s Love Affair with the Pig,” farm tools, sausagemaking gadgets, folk art, books, Razorback memorabilia, March 22-Aug. 9. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 479-6210-1154. SCOTT PLANTATION AGRICULTURE MUSEUM, U.S. 165 S and Hwy. 161: Artifacts and interactive exhibits on farming in the Arkansas Delta. $3 adults, $2 ages 6-12. Open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 501-961-1409.

CALL FOR ENTRIES

The Arkansas Arts Council is taking applications for $4,000 artist fellowships in short story writing, theater directing and artworks on paper. Deadline to apply is April 18. Fellowships are awarded based on artistic ability and to encourage development of the fellows. For more information, call the Arts Council at 324-9766 or email robinm@ arkansasheritage.org. The Arkansas Arts Center is taking entries now through April 17 for its 56th annual Delta Exhibition, open to artists in Arkansas and contiguous states. Show dates are June 27-Sept. 28. Juror will be Brian Rutenberg. Prizes include the $2,500 Grand Award, two $750 Delta Awards and a $250 Contemporaries Delta Award. Artists may register and upload images at www.arkansasartscenter.org. Plein Air on the White River 2014, to be held April 30-May 3, is accepting entries from artists to show work at the Vada Sheid Community Center at Mountain Home and

to compete in the Quick Draw competition at the “Art, Music and Barbecue” in Cotter May 2. Landscape artist Bruce Peil will be judge. Artists’ registration will be April 30-May 2nd. Pre-registration is encouraged. For more information go to White River Artists on Facebook, email whiteriverartists@gmail.com or call 870-424-1051.

CONTINUING EXHIBITS

ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, MacArthur Park: “The Crossroads of Memory: Carroll Cloar and the American South,” 70 paintings by the late Arkansas native, curated by Memphis’ Brooks Museum, through June 1; “Ties that Bind: Southern Art from the Collection,” atrium, through April 27; “Earthly Delights: Modern and Contemporary Highlights from the Collection,” through April 20, Strauss and Smith galleries. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. 372-4000. ART GROUP GALLERY, Pleasant Ridge Town Center, suite 910: Work by Ron Almond, Loren Bartnicke, Matt Coburn, Louise Harris, Debby Hinson, Marsha Hinson, Mickie Jackson, Sheree King, Jeff McKay, Michelle Moore, Ned Perme, Ann Presley, Diana Shearon, Bob Snider, Holly Tilley and Marie Weaver, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-6 p.m. Sun. 690-2193. BUTLER CENTER GALLERIES, Arkansas Studies Institute, 401 President Clinton Ave.: “2nd annual Arkansas Printmakers Membership Exhibition,” work by Warren Criswell, Samantha Kosakowski, Robert Bean, Diane Harper, Dominique Simmons, David Warren, Shannon Rogers, Win Bruhl, Debi Fendley, Jorey May Greene, Melissa Gill, Neal Harrington, Tammy Harrington, Evan Lindquist, Houston Fyer, Thomas Sullivan and Sherry O’Rorke, through June 28; “Southern Voices,” contemporary quilts by the Studio Art Quilts Associates, through May 24; “Unusual Portraits: New Works by Michael Warrick and David O’Brien,” through March 22. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 320-5790. CANTRELL GALLERY, 8206 Cantrell Road: “Arkansas Weather Report,” new paintings by Daniel Coston, through April 27. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 224-1335. CHRIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 509 Scott St.: Work by Scotty Shively, Herb and Patty Monoson, Glenda Josephson, Dr. L.P. Fraiser, Dee Schulten, Judy Johnson, Susie Henley and Maka Parnell, through March. 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.: Staff works in “A Thousand Words” gallery. 918-3093. THE EDGE, 301B President Clinton Ave.: Paintings by Avila (Fernando Gomez), Eric Freeman, James Hayes, Jerry Colburn, St. Joseph Thomason and Stephen Drive. 9921099. ELLEN G OLDEN ANTIQUES, 5701 Kavanaugh Blvd.: Paintings by Barry Thomas and Arden Boyce. 664-7746. GALLERY 221 & ART STUDIOS 221, Pyramid Place: New work by Greg Lahti, also Tyler Arnold, Kathi Couch, Emile, Gino Hollander, Sean LeCrone, Mary Ann Stafford, Byron Taylor, Siri Hollander and Rae Ann Bayless. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. 801-0211. CONTINUED ON PAGE 32

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AFTER DARK, CONT. GALLERY 26, 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd.: Recent works by Ben Krain, Logan Hunter and Jason Smith, through May 10. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.-Sat. 664-8996. GALLERY 360, 900 S. Rodney Parham Road: “Fascination,” paintings, sketches, multimedia work and jewelry by Kelley Naylor Wise and Anna Tanner, through April 5. 993-0012. GINO HOLLANDER GALLERY, 2nd and Center: Paintings and works on paper by Gino Hollander. 801-0211. GREG THOMPSON FINE ART, 429 Main St., NLR: “Carroll Cloar: A Road Less Traveled,” 23 paintings and drawings, through April 12. 664-2787. HEARNE FINE ART, 1001 Wright Ave.: “From a Whisper ... to a Conversation ... to a Shout,” work by Lawrence Finney, through April 22, receptions 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. April 11, gallery talk by the artist 2 p.m. April 12. 372-6822. L&L BECK ART GALLERY, 5705 Kavanaugh Blvd.: “Potpourri,” paintings by Louis Beck, through March. 660-4006. STEPHANO’S FINE ART, 1813 N. Grant St.: Scott Carle, botanical paintings. 563-4218. UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS AT LITTLE ROCK, 2801 S. University Ave.: “The ERUDITE,” metalworks by non-traditional students in applied arts, through March 17, Gallery II; “Primary Clay,” work by Summer Bruch, Ty Brunson, Aaron Calvert, Dawn Holder, Jeannie Hulen, Beth Lambert, Linda Lopez, Mathew McConnell, Adam Posnak, David Smith, Liz Smith and Kensuke Yamada, Gallery III, through March 27. 5693182. BENTON DIANNE ROBERTS ART STUDIO AND GALLERY, 110 N. Market St.: Work by Dianne Roberts, classes. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Wed.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat. 860-7467. BENTONVILLE C RY S TA L B R I D G E S M U S E U M O F AMERICAN ART, One Museum Way: “The William S. Paley Collection: A Taste for Modernism,” works by Paul Gaugin, Andre Derain, Henri Matisse, Paul Cezanne, Edgar Degas, Pablo Picasso and others, through July 7; “At First Sight,” watercol-

ors from the personal collection of museum founder Alice Walton, through April 21; “Edward Hopper: Journey to Blackwell’s Island,” preliminary sketches on loan from the Whitney Museum of American Art, the finished painting and other watercolors by Hopper, through April 21; permanent collection of American masterworks spanning four centuries. 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. CALICO ROCK CALICO ROCK ARTISTS COOPERATIVE, Hwy. 5 at White River Bridge: Paintings, photographs, jewelry, fiber art, wood, ceramics and other crafts. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tue.-Thu., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Fri.-Sat., noon-4 p.m. Sun. calicorocket.org/artists. FAYETTEVILLE BOTTLE ROCKET GALLERY, 1495 Finger Road: “Makeshift Theatre,” photographs by Logan Rollins. 479-466-7406. SUGAR GALLERY, 1 E. Center St.: Paintings by V.L. Cox. 479-575-5202. UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS: “Faith and the Devil,” installation by Lesley Dill, through April 4, Fine Arts Center Gallery; “Wisdom of the Ages Athenaeum,” rare books from Remnant Trust, including a cuneiform tablet (2200 B.C.) to the first printing of the Emancipation Proclamation (1862), Mullins Library, through May 12. 479-575-4104. WALTON ARTS CENTER, 495 W. Dickson: “Divide Light: Operatic Performance Costumes of Lesley Dill,” through April 13. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri., noon-4 p.m. Sat. 479-443-5600. FORT SMITH REGIONAL ART MUSEUM, 1601 Rogers Ave.: “Coin,” installation by Dayton Castleman, through May 25; “Valentines: The Art of Romance,” 100 cards, postcards and foldouts from the early 19th century to 1930s, through April. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 479-784-2787. HARRISON ARTISTS OF THE OZARKS, 124½ N. Willow St.: Work by Amelia Renkel, Ann Graffy, Christy Dillard, Helen McAllister, Sandy

Williams and D. Savannah George. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thu.-Sat., noon-4 p.m. Sun. 870-429-1683. HELENA DELTA CULTURAL CENTER, 141 Cherry St.: “Songs from the Fields,” exhibit about Delta music; “We Must Stand or Fall Alone: The Civil War in Arkansas,” women’s journals, slave narratives, letters from soldiers, uniforms and weapons, through June 28. 870-338-4350. HOT SPRINGS ARTISTS WORKSHOP GALLERY, 610 A Central Ave.: June Lamoreux, Virginia Hodges, paintings. 623-6401. BLUE MOON GALLERY, 718 Central Ave.: “My Watercolor Images,” work by Kay Aclin, through March. 318-2787. GALLERY CENTRAL, 800 Central Ave.: Work by Houston Llew, Amy Hill-Imler, Gloria Garrison, James Hayes and others. 3184278. JUSTUS FINE ART, 827 Central Ave.: Abstract paintings, mixed media and sculpture by Robyn Horn, Dan Thornhill, V. Noe and others, through March. 501-321-2335. PERRYVILLE SUDS GALLERY, Courthouse Square: Paintings by Dottie Morrissey, Alma Gipson, Al Garrett Jr., Phyllis Loftin, Alene Otts, Mauretta Frantz, Raylene Finkbeiner, Kathy Williams and Evelyn Garrett. Noon-6 p.m. Wed.-Fri, noon-4 p.m. Sat. 501-766-7584. PINE BLUFF ARTS AND SCIENCE CENTER FOR SOUTHEAST ARKANSAS, 701 Main St.: “Shaping Our World,” science exhibit on acts of nature, through August. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 1-4 p.m. Sat. 870-536-3375. RUSSELLVILLE GALLERY 307, THE FRAME SHOP, 307 W. C St.: “The Conceptual Art Show,” work by Arkansas Tech University students, through March 29. 479-747-0210.

ONGOING MUSEUM EXHIBITS

ARKANSAS INLAND MARITIME MUSEUM, North Little Rock: 371-8320.

ARKANSAS SPORTS HALL OF FAME MUSEUM, Verizon Arena, NLR: 10 a.m.4:30 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 663-4328. CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL MUSEUM VISITOR CENTER, Bates and Park: Exhibits on the 1957 desegregation of Central and the civil rights movement. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily. 374-1957. CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CENTER, 1200 President Clinton Ave.: “Spies, Traitors and Saboteurs: Fear and Freedom in America,” from the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., through April 27; permanent exhibits on the Clinton administration. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. $7 adults; $5 college students, seniors, retired military; $3 ages 6-17. 370-8000. ESSE, 1510 S. Main St.: “What’s Inside: A Century of Women and Handbags (19001999),” purses from the collection of Anita Davis, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tue.-Sun., $10-$8. 916-9022. MacARTHUR MUSEUM OF ARKANSAS M I L I TA R Y H I S T O R Y , M a c A r t h u r Park: “American Posters of World War I”; permanent exhibits. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.Sat., 1-4 p.m. Sun. 376-4602. MOSAIC TEMPLARS CULTURAL CENTER, 501 W. 9th St.: “Repurposed Wonders: The Sculpture of Danny Campbell,” permanent and changing exhibits on black entrepreneurship in Arkansas. 683-3593. MUSEUM OF DISCOVERY, 500 President Clinton Ave.: “Wiggle Worms,” science program for pre-K children 10 a.m.-10:30 a.m. every Tue., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun., $10 ages 13 and older, $8 ages 1-12, free to members and children under 1. 396-7050. OLD STATE HOUSE MUSEUM, 300 W. Markham: “Lights! Camera! Arkansas!”, the state’s ties to Hollywood, including costumes, scripts, film footage, photographs and more, through March 1, 2015; “Things You Need to Hear: Memories of Growing up in Arkansas from 1890 to 1980,” oral histories about community, family, work, school and leisure, through March. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 324-9685. WITT STEPHENS JR. CENTRAL ARKANSAS NATURE CENTER, Riverfront Park: Exhibits on wildlife and the state Game and Fish Commission.

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ARKANSAS TIMES

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‘NEED FOR SPEED’: Aaron Paul stars.

Need for more acting

Hosted by

But ‘Need for Speed’ will satisfy gearheads. BY SAM EIFLING

W

hile “Need for Speed” carries a generic name apparently dreamt up by a 12-year-old, it turns out it was merely a title meant for 12-year-olds. “The Need for Speed” is a video game first released in 1994 on PC and, nostalgia alert, the 3DO and Sega Saturn. The series has spawned 19 more iterations since, with titles such as “Shift,” “Most Wanted,” “Nitro” and “Hot Pursuit.” For the past 20 years, if you’ve wanted to push a Lamborghini Aventador to 180 mph in a beachside town, or floor a Porsche Boxster Spyder past the police on a cracked desert highway, some “Need for Speed” game was probably the safest way to go about that, and undoubtedly the cheapest. Usually in such games the player starts with a standard-issue roadster and unlocks better cars by winning races. The cinematic version works similarly, to a degree. After each race, you unlock such plot point as “hero earns $5,000” or “guy you knew was gonna die finally goes ahead and dies.” Alas, it’s hard to unlock such key features as “characters learn and change over time” or “logic prevails” — but we should note that it was directed by an actual stuntman, Scott Waugh. The ride is fine enough so long as you remember it’s only a movie, and one loosely based on a video game, at that. Aaron Paul (forevermore Jesse from “Breaking Bad,” speaking of speed) plays Tobey Marshall, the black sheep of a racing family, who runs a custom garage in upstate New York. He’s the local legend who never made good, a fact made even starker by the success of rival Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper), an IndyCar racer back in town to ask a favor: help build a monster Mustang that Dino got hold of, and split the profits. The car’s sale brings fetching gearhead Imogen Poots into the mix, but when Tobey and

Dino start puffing their chests, a bad thing happens during a street race. Dino has the alibi. Tobey goes to prison. Act I ends with orange jump suits. Revenge takes many splendored forms, none more so than when a street racer has a couple of years in the hoosegow to plot against another. Tobey’s return will require him to join a super elite, super secret road race assembled by an oxymoronically shadowy talk-radio figure called the Monarch (Michael Keaton, as a sort of drive-time Beetlejuice). This will require him first to drive cross-country in less than two days’ time, pulling a series of increasingly ridiculous stunts to catch the Monarch’s attention, to evade bumbling cops and to dodge bad guys. A coterie of his buddies, including Scott Mescudi (a.k.a. Kid Cudi) as a seemingly omniscient pilot, assists. The immediate comparison that comes to mind is to the “Fast and the Furious” franchise, and at times it feels the “Need for Speed” crew determined that horsepower, rather than star power, would be the equalizer. Aside from an opening scene of muscle-car street racing and the (albeit $2 million) Ford Mustang that Tobey has to drive crosscountry, there’s not much in the way of consumer-accessible wheels here. The Koenigseggs that appear in a scene of lunatic highway racing are Swedish hypercars straight out of a futuristic anime. Your eyes will bug out at the — Bugatti Veyron, is it? And so on down the line. It’s like half a season’s worth of “Top Gear” shoehorned into two hours. Unlike its all-digital predecessors, this “Need for Speed” spends a lot of money showing real cars and treating them rather roughly. It really needed a few more skilled actors. All that speed, though, ain’t such bad consolation.

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NIGHTMARE ON CLINTON AVENUE, CONT.

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hearsay ➥ Save the date for the fourth annual INDIE ARTS AND MUSIC FESTIVAL PRESENTED BY ETSY LITTLE ROCK, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 26 in Hillcrest. Enjoy live local music, shopping Etsy vendor booths and delicious food truck nibbles along Kavanaugh Boulevard from Walnut to Palm streets. Some of the participating Etsy artists include Am’s Tin Can Studio, Beautiful Baltic Designs, Bella Vita Jewelry, Bijou Booth, Boknita and many more. Music will be provided by Booyah! Dad, Isaac Alexander, Midwest Caravan, Ming Donkey, Paul Morphis, Reed Balentine and Whale Fire. Participating food trucks include kbird, Kona-Ice of West Little Rock, Loblolly Creamery and Southern Gourmasian. If you’re an Etsy seller and are interested in having a booth, the early registration fee is $40 until March 31. After that, the fee is $50 and registration will end April 23. If you’re not an Etsy artist, you can still have a booth at the event for a $400 sponsorship. Visit the Etsy Little Rock Facebook page for more information. ➥ Young fashion designers have been learning valuable skills the last couple of months through free workshops at the CALS HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON CHILDREN’S LIBRARY & LEARNING CENTER. Come see the culmination of their hard work at the D.I.Y. Youth Community Fashion Show, scheduled for 5 p.m. March 26 at the children’s library theater. For more information, visit www.cals.org. ➥ Update on the RELAUNCH THE ROCKET SLIDE IN BURNS PARK campaign: The community effort raised $6,412, exceeding the $5,000 goal originally set. According to the campaign’s Facebook page, the city’s insurance payment has been received; once the money is transferred to the North Little Rock Parks Department by the city council, the new Rocket Slide will be ordered. It’s estimated it will take 90 days after the order is placed to get the slide and have it installed. So who’s going to be the first down the slide? 34

MARCH 20, 2014

ARKANSAS TIMES

‘ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE’

Continued from page 24

“Proxy”

7 p.m. Friday Ron Robinson Theater

While it may seem like horror cinema eventually gets around to exploiting every conceivable idea that might terrify, horrify or just plain disturb the hell out of the audience, there’s still a sort of third rail in the genre that few want to approach, and that’s the idea of a child’s death. Those films that edge into that territory quickly gain a sort of notorious reputation, even in today’s anything-goes horror film climate. One of the latest films to take hold of that rail is “Proxy,” by director Zack Parker. It’s the story of Ester Woodhouse (Alexia Rasmussen), a woman who is heading home from a doctor’s appointment in her ninth month of pregnancy when she’s jumped in an alleyway and brutally attacked by a hooded assailant, causing her to miscarry. Seeking help from a support group for those who have lost loved ones to violence, Ester meets a woman named Melanie (Alexa Havins), who is there because she lost her husband and son to a drunk driver. Soon, however, Ester realizes that her new confidant may not be everything she claims. Q&A with director Zack Parker after the screening.

ror Picture Show will teach you how with three filmmaker panel discussions. First up at 11 a.m. Saturday is a panel on acting in horror, featuring stars from films highlighted at the festival. Next, at 3 p.m., is a panel on writing and directing. Last, at 5 p.m., you can learn how to get your spewing brains, spraying blood and foam rubber tentacles on during a panel discussion on the all-important subject of horror makeup and special effects.

“Metropolis,” featuring an original score by Sound of the Mountain 10:30 p.m. Saturday Ron Robinson Theater

The Horror Picture show has branched out into sci-fi and fantasy this year, and in the landmarks of early sci-fi, the Rock of Gibraltar might be “Metropolis,” director Fritz Lang’s lush, 1927 German Expressionist masterpiece, which features the Frankenstein-ian story of a mad scientist who builds a mechanical copy of his dead love. Rather than just screen the silent film and leave it at that, however, the festival has lined up a real treat for lovers of classic cinema: an all-original score for the film, written and performed live by 2013 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase winners Sound of the Mountain. Should make for a fun, interesting time at the movies, with a legendary sci-fi film on tap.

Saturday panel discussions

11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies

Looking to get into making horror films yourself? The Little Rock Hor-

World shorts screenings

Sunday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Butler Center, Ron Robinson Theater

One of the primary ways to break

into big-budget filmmaking these days is to shoot a short film that goes viral on the Internet, eventually reaching the eyes of someone with enough pull to give you some real money to make a feature. Because horror and sci-fi are such attention-grabbing genres to begin with, the short films in those genres have a reputation for being consistently strong. The Little Rock Horror Picture Show will be screening more than 25 shorts from around the world this year, scattered throughout the festival. On Saturday, however, they’ll show them all in three blocks. Check the LRHPS Facebook page for more information.

“Point B”

Sunday, 3:30 p.m. Ron Robinson Theater

One thing this writer misses from the 1980s is the sci-fi comedy — think “Weird Science,” “Real Genius,” “Ghostbusters,” etc. — a genre you really don’t see that much of anymore. Science and scientists in film these days are all dire and dreary, and who wants to sit through that? The folks behind the crowdfunded science-fiction comedy “Point B” hope to fill the gap. Shot on a shoestring budget in the Salt Lake City area and billed as an “ ’80’s influenced sci-fi comedy,” the film centers on four grad students who accidentally build a teleportation device while trying to create a “clean energy” machine. As you might imagine, things quickly go to hell in a handbasket for everyone involved. Q&A with the filmmakers after the screening.

17 whole hogs! 17 chefs!

live music! Saturday, may 3rd

Argenta Farmers Market Plaza 6th & Main St., Downtown North Little Rock (across from the Argenta Market)

SCHEDULE — 5 p.m. —

­— 6:30 —

Doors Open

Public Serving Time

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

Dine on 17 pit roasted, whole,

LIVE MUSIC ALL DAY

heritage breed hogs from

headliner

Falling Sky Farm Saturday, May 3rd. Doors open at 5p.m.

Ghost town blues band

with craft beers and wine

Ticket Supply Limited! Purchase Now at r ain or ArkTimes.com/ shine HeritageHogRoast

ALL-Day Tickets - $25 ($30 day-of) Includes roast hog, sides and live music

MUSIC-ONLY Tickets - $10 (Admission after 7 p.m.)

available. presenting resTaurants

Cache Restaurant

Café 42

Café Bossa Nova

Cheers

Cregeen’s Irish Pub

Crush Wine Bar

The Fold

Maddie’s Place

Midtown Billiards

Natchez

REno’s ARgenta Café

Ristorante Capeo

The Root

Southern Gourmasian

South on Main

Taco Mama

Whole Hog

Dining WHAT’S COOKIN’ THE CAPITOL ZONING DISTRICT COMMISSION will consider a request Thursday to use a former restaurant on West Third across from the Capitol as a site to host food trucks. The staff of the commission has recommended approval. Jim Powell Inc. has applied to use the property at 1706 W. Third, most recently a pizza restaurant, as a host spot for food trucks. A diagram of the idea shows up to four trucks parked alongside the building in addition to some landscaping. No details are provided on the types of trucks contemplated. The Commission oversees planning around the Capitol and Governor’s Mansion to preserve historic characteristics. The staff figures a food truck gathering would resemble a drive-in restaurant, which is allowed as a conditional use with commission approval. The master plan for the neighborhood recommends mixed uses and encouragement of pedestrian activity. Capitol workers indeed might like to walk across the street for a little lunchtime variety. The current structure was built as a service station in 1965 and has had a variety of uses since. The meeting is at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

DINING CAPSULES

LITTLE ROCK/ N. LITTLE ROCK

AMERICAN

ACADIA A jewel of a restaurant in Hillcrest. Unbelievable fixed-price, three-course dinners on Mondays and Tuesday, but food is certainly worth full price. 3000 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, CC. $$-$$$. 501-603-9630. D Mon.-Sat. BIG ORANGE: BURGERS SALADS SHAKES Gourmet burgers manufactured according to exacting specs (humanely raised beef!) and properly fried Kennebec potatoes are the big draws, but you can get a veggie burger as well as fried chicken, curried falafel and blackened tilapia sandwiches, plus creative meal-sized salads. Shakes and floats are indulgences for all ages. 17809 Chenal Parkway. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-821-1515. LD daily. 207 N. University Ave. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-3798715. LD daily. BLACK ANGUS CAFE Charcoal-grilled burgers, hamburger steaks and steaks proper are the big draws at this local institution. 10907 N. Rodney Parham. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 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 Fri. 36

MARCH 20, 2014

ARKANSAS TIMES

CLASSIC: The Main Cheese’s Main Cheese.

Cheesy

The Main Cheese

Comfort food gone gourmet.

I

n the spirit of reinvented and restructured comfort foods, The Main Cheese, Little Rock’s first gourmet grilled cheese restaurant, opened recently in West Little Rock on Cantrell Road. The old Saigon space is nearly unrecognizable from its former self. There are new walls, fresh paint in orange and blue, dark wood, and a brick wall that lines one entire side of the restaurant. The place is bright and clean, comfortable and well designed. A restaurant devoted to grilled cheese clearly hopes to capitalize on fanatical love for the sandwich. A good grilled cheese is comforting and warming inside — it’s gooey, hot and buttery. It’s a simple concoction, but The Main Cheese hopes to build upon this cherished favorite, offering several new takes on the classic dish. A quick perusal of the rest of the menu reveals a handful of appetizers (artichoke and cheese dip, hummus, and a cheese plate), a few salad options (like the “Thai Peanut Fusion” with Napa cabbage, carrots, cucumber, edamame, cilantro, fried wonton strips, peanuts and Thai dressing) or soups (such as the creamy potato cheese

or tomato dill). Diners choose from around a dozen sandwich options that range from the basic grilled cheese to slightly-more-exotic options like the “Two Rivers” with slowroasted pork with mojo, salami, shaved ham, Swiss and pickles. A cup of slaw comes standard with every sandwich but diners can substitute fries for an extra $1.50 or housemade seasoned chips for $1. If you are worried about caloric intake, there are several healthier options to be had — a side of fresh fruit, those aforementioned salads, and sandwiches such as the “Farmers Market” with avocado, muenster, grape tomatoes, arugula and parmesan on multigrain bread. Bread comes from the locally owned Arkansas Fresh Bakery (a very wise move, indeed). They roast and slice up all meats in house, and vegetarians and gluten-free diners will also find something they can eat here. We started with the classic “Main Cheese,” ($5.25), a take on a basic grilled cheese. However this one is filled with Muenster, Fontina and cheddar and stuffed into grilled sourdough. The sandwich was

14524 Cantrell Road 367-8082 themaincheese.com

QUICK BITE One nice option offered here is the “make your own” grilled cheese. Choose from a number of meats to throw on your sandwich, including roasted chicken breast, slow roasted pork, shaved ham, roast beef, or applewood bacon. Then opt to include a number of veggies — such as avocado, spinach, onions, or sundried tomatoes — and finish with one of the house sauces. HOURS 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday. OTHER INFO Credit cards accepted, beer and wine.

passable, but we felt it could have benefitted from a bit more cheese and butter. It’s not a bad grilled cheese; but with our ideal grilled cheese, we crave that stringy, gooey melted cheese stretching from mouth to sandwich with each bite — this sandwich really had none of that. To accompany this, we decided to order a cup of their tomato dill soup ($3.95). It was hearty but simply done — it made for a nice vessel to dip one’s sandwich into. The dill was a little

BELLY UP

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

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

BOSCOS RESTAURANT & BREWERY CO. This River Market brewery does food well, too. Along with the tried and true, like sandwiches, burgers, steaks and big salads, they have entrees like black bean and goat cheese tamales, open hearth pizza ovens and muffalettas. 500 President Clinton Ave. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-907-1881. LD daily. BOSTON’S Ribs, gourmet pizza star at this restaurant/sports bar located at the Holiday Inn by the airport. TVs in separate sports bar area. 3201 Bankhead Dr. Full bar, All CC. $$. 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. L Sat., D Mon.-Sat. BOULEVARD BREAD CO. Fresh bread, fresh pastries, wide selection of cheeses, meats, side dishes; all superb. Good coffee, too. 1920

N. Grant St. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-6635951. BLD Mon.-Sat. 400 President Clinton Ave. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-374-1232. BL Mon.-Sat. 4301 W. Markham St. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-526-6661. BL Mon.-Fri. 1417 Main St. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-375-5100. BL Mon.-Sat. BREWSTERS 2 CAFE & LOUNGE Down-home done right. Check out the yams, mac-andcheese, greens, purple-hull peas, cornbread, wings, catfish and all the rest. 2725 S. Arch St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-301-7728. LD Mon.-Sat. BUTCHER SHOP The cook-your-own-steak option has been downplayed, and several menu additions complement the calling card: large, fabulous cuts of prime beef, cooked to perfection. 10825 Hermitage Road. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-312-2748. D daily. CAJUN’S WHARF The venerable seafood restaurant serves up great gumbo and oysters Bienville, and options such as fine steaks for the non-seafood eater. In the citified bar, you’ll

Pastas • ImPorted Cheese • VInegars

Pastas • ImPorted Cheese • VInegars • olIVe oIl • loCal Farmstead ProduCts

We’re Pleased To HaVe Carrie HenCyk & Billy “Wild Bill” lePPerT on our Team! Purveyors of Gourmet Products · Serving Little Rock, Memphis & Oxford (901) 794-4800 · www.gallerfoods.com

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CONNOISSEuRS ChOICE SPIRITS 750ML

2014

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11200 W. Markham Street · 501-223-3120 · colonialwineshop.com · facebook.com/ColonialWines

Veal • olIVes • CharCuterIe • ChoColates

understated, though, and we felt it could have benefited from a bit more richness or cream and perhaps a touch more seasoning. We weren’t overly impressed with our side of slaw (standard with each sandwich). It’s very lightly dressed, and we prefer a creamier slaw, but the cabbage was fresh and crisp. We also sampled the “Big Dipper,” which was composed of carved roast beef, melted provolone and horseradish sauce on a toasted baguette served au jus ($8.45). The bread used here was delightful — perfectly crunchy exterior with soft and light interior. The inner components were adequate, though we would have liked to see the roast beef a bit more on the rare side and the cheese (again) could have had a stronger presence overall — the horseradish, on the other hand, felt very prominent here, maybe overly so. With such little cheese and without any real “grilled” component to the bread, we began to wonder if this (and other sandwiches here) actually qualifies as “grilled cheese,” anyway. On a return visit, we sampled “The Gut Shot,” ($7.95) with blackened chicken breast, bacon, pepper jack cheese, grilled jalapenos and a spicy “knock-your-socksoff” sauce all on a toasted brioche bun. The brioche was lovely (you’ll find the same Arkansas Fresh bread used at various restaurants around town), but unfortunately the sandwich suffered terribly from a very dry chicken breast, which was quite hard to ignore even with the generous addition of toppings. From the salad list, we decided upon the “Southwest Quinoa,” with fresh spring mix, organic quinoa, sliced avocado, black beans, bell pepper, corn, cilantro and house vinaigrette ($7.95). We were quite happy with the salad; the produce tasted crisp and fresh, the flavors and textures married together nicely. For dessert, we couldn’t pass up the intriguing grilled cheese donut ($3.25). Here, they take a glazed donut, slice it in half, slide a slice of cheese (Fontina, cheddar, or Muenster) in between, and toast it on the flat-top. It’s an interesting sweet and savory combination that definitely leans more toward dessert than otherwise. It was tasty, but still a little difficult for us to wrap our brains around. Perhaps it’s the donut purist in us that found it difficult to understand. But it’s a novelty, and will likely be something everyone will want to try at least once — much like The Main Cheese as a whole.

Pork • lamb • antIPasta • graIns • desserts • Flours • duCk • WIld game

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.

find nightly entertainment, too. 2400 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-375-5351. D Mon.-Sat. CAPERS It’s never been better, with as good a wine list as any in the area, and a menu that covers a lot of ground — seafood, steaks, pasta — and does it all well. 14502 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-868-7600. LD Mon.-Sat. COMMUNITY BAKERY This sunny downtown bakery is the place to linger over a latte, bagels and the New York Times. But a lunchtime dash for sandwiches is OK, too, though it’s often packed. 1200 S. Main St. No alcohol, CC. $-$$. 501-375-7105. BLD daily. 270 S. Shackleford. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-224-1656. BLD Mon.-Sat. BL Sun. COPPER GRILL Comfort food, burgers and more sophisticated fare at this River Marketarea hotspot. 300 E. Third St. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-375-3333. LD Mon.-Sat. DAVE’S PLACE A popular downtown soupand-sandwich stop at lunch draws a large and diverse crowd for the Friday night dinner, which varies in theme, home cooking being the most popular. Owner Dave Williams does all the cooking and his son, Dave also, plays saxophone and fronts the band that plays most Friday nights. 201 Center St. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-372-3283. L Mon.-Fri., D Fri. DAVID FAMILY KITCHEN Call it soul food or call it down-home country cooking. Just be sure to call us for breakfast or lunch when you go. Neckbones, ribs, sturdy cornbread, salmon croquettes, mustard greens and the like. Desserts are exceptionally good. 2301 Broadway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-3710141. BL Mon.-Fri., L Sun. DELICIOUS TEMPTATIONS Decadent breakfast and light lunch items that can be ordered in full or half orders to please any appetite or palate, with a great variety of salads and soups as well. Don’t miss the bourbon pecan pie — it’s a winner. 11220 N. Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-225-6893. BL daily. DIZZY’S GYPSY BISTRO Interesting bistro fare, served in massive portions at this River Market favorite. 200 River Market Ave. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-375-3500. LD Tue.-Sat. THE FADED ROSE The Cajun-inspired menu seldom disappoints. Steaks and soaked salads are legendary. 1619 Rebsamen Park Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-9734. LD daily. FLYING SAUCER A popular River Market hangout thanks to its almost 200 beers (including 75 on tap) and more than decent bar food. It’s now non-smoking, so families are welcome. 323 President Clinton Ave. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-372-8032. LD daily. FOX AND HOUND Sports bar that serves pub food. 2800 Lakewood Village. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-753-8300. LD daily. FRANKE’S CAFETERIA Plate lunch spot strong on salads and vegetables, and perfect fried chicken on Sundays. Arkansas’ oldest continually operating restaurant. 11121 N. Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-2254487. LD daily. 400 W. Capitol Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-372-1919. L Mon.-Fri. FRONTIER DINER The traditional all-American CONTINUED ON PAGE 38

C E L E B R AT E R E S P O N S I B LY.

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MARCH 20, 2014

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DINING CAPSULES, CONT. roadside diner, complete with a nice selection of man-friendly breakfasts and lunch specials. The half-pound burger is a two-hander for the average working Joe. 10424 Interstate 30. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-565-6414. BL Mon.-Sat. GADWALL’S GRILL Once two separate restaurants, a fire forced the grill into the pizza joint. Now, under one roof, there’s mouth-watering burgers and specialty sandwiches, plus zesty pizzas with cracker-thin crust and plenty of toppings. 12 North Hills Shopping Center. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-834-1840. LD daily. B Fri.-Sun. GUILLERMO’S GOURMET COFFEE Serves gourmet coffee, lunch, beer, wine and tapas. Beans are roasted in house, and the espresso is probably the best in town. Happy hour is $1 off beer and $5 wine, from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. every day. 10700 Rodney Parham Road. Beer, Wine. 501-228-4448. BL daily. 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, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-868-4311. LD Mon.-Sat. LITTLEFIELD’S CAFE The owners of the Starlite Diner have moved their cafe to the Kroger Shopping Center on JFK, where they are still serving breakfast all day, as well as plate lunches, burgers and sandwiches. 6929 John F. Kennedy Blvd. NLR. No alcohol. 501-771-2036. BLD Mon.-Sat., BL Sun. MARKHAM STREET GRILL AND PUB The menu has something for everyone, including mahi-mahi and wings. Try the burgers, which are juicy, big and fine. 11321 W. Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-224-2010. LD daily. 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 Lile Drive. No alcohol, All CC. $. 501-340-3833. BL Mon.-Fri. MOOYAH BURGERS Kid-friendly, fast-casual restaurant with beef, veggie and turkey burgers, a burger bar and shakes. 10825 Kanis Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-313-4905. LD daily.; 14810 Cantrell Road, Suite 190. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-868-1091 10825 Kanis Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-313-4905. LD daily. OLD MILL BREAD AND FLOUR CO. CAFE The popular take-out bakery has an eat-in restaurant and friendly operators. It’s self-service, simple and good with sandwiches built with a changing lineup of the bakery’s 40 different breads, along with soups, salads and cookies. 12111 W. Markham St. #366. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 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.-Fri. D daily. BR Sat. RENO’S ARGENTA CAFE Sandwiches, gyros and gourmet pizzas by day and music and drinks by night in downtown Argenta. 312 N. Main St. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-3762900. LD Mon.-Sat. RIVERFRONT STEAKHOUSE Steaks are the draw here — nice cuts heavily salted and peppered, cooked quickly and accurately to your specifications, finished with butter and served sizzling hot. 2 Riverfront Place. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-375-7825. D Mon.-Sat. ROBERT’S SPORTS BAR & GRILL If you’re looking for a burger, you won’t find it here. 38

MARCH 20, 2014

ARKANSAS TIMES

This establishment specializes in fried chicken dinners, served with their own special trimmings. 7212 Geyer Springs Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-568-2566. LD Tue.-Sat., D Mon., Sun. ROCKET TWENTY ONE The former Hillcrest fine-dining restaurant, now in a new location by the Riverfront Wyndham hotel. 2 Riverfront Drive. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$$-$$$$. 501-6039208. L Mon.-Fri., D Tue.-Sat. ROUTE 66 DINER Kid-friendly ‘50s diner with a menu of classics, including chicken and waffles. 7710 Cantrell Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-223-3366. BLD Mon.-Sat. RUDY’S OYSTER BAR Good boiled shrimp and oysters on the half shell. Quesadillas and chili cheese dip are tasty and ultra-hearty. 2695 Pike Ave. NLR. Full bar, All CC. 501-771-0808. LD Mon.-Sat. SHARKS FISH & CHICKEN This Southwest Little Rock restaurant specializes in seafood, frog legs and catfish, all served with the traditional fixings. 8824 Geyer Springs Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-565-0300. LD daily. SO RESTAURANT BAR Call it a French brasserie with a sleek, but not fussy American finish. The wine selection is broad and choice. Free valet parking. Use it and save yourself a headache. 3610 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-1464. LD Mon.-Sat., D Sun. STICKYZ ROCK ‘N’ ROLL CHICKEN SHACK Fingers any way you can imagine, plus sandwiches and burgers, and a fun setting for music and happy hour gatherings. 107 Commerce St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-372-7707. LD daily. TOWN PUMP A dependable burger, good wings, great fries, other bar food, plate lunches, full bar. 1321 Rebsamen Park Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-663-9802. LD daily. TRIO’S Fresh, creative and satisfying lunches; even better at night, when the chefs take flight. Best array of fresh desserts in town. 8201 Cantrell Road Suite 100. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-221-3330. LD Mon.-Sat., BR Sun. WILLY D’S DUELING PIANO BAR Willy D’s serves up a decent dinner of pastas and salads as a lead-in to its nightly sing-along piano show. Go when you’re in a good mood. 322 President Clinton Ave. Full bar, All CC. $$. 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. YOUR MAMA’S GOOD FOOD Offering simple and satisfying cafeteria food, with burgers and more hot off the grill, plate lunches and pies. 215 Center St. No alcohol, All CC. $. 501-3721811. L Mon.-Fri. ZACK’S PLACE Expertly prepared home cooking and huge, smoky burgers. 1400 S. University Ave. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-6646444. LD Mon.-Sat. ZIN URBAN WINE & BEER BAR It’s cosmopolitan yet comfortable, a relaxed place to enjoy fine wines and beers while noshing on superb meats, cheeses and amazing goat cheesestuffed figs. 300 River Market Ave. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-246-4876. D daily.

ASIAN

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. CRAZY HIBACHI GRILL The folks that own Chi’s and Sekisui offer their best in a three-inone: tapanaki cooking, sushi bar and sit-down

dining with a Mongolian grill. 2907 Lakewood Village. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-8129888. LD daily. FANTASTIC CHINA The food is delicious, the presentation beautiful, the menu distinctive, the service perfect, the decor bright. 1900 N. Grant St. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-663-8999. LD daily. LILLY’S DIMSUM THEN SOME Innovative dishes inspired by Asian cuisine, utilizing local and fresh ingredients. 11121 N. Rodney Parham Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-716-2700. LD Tue.-Sun. MT. FUJI JAPANESE RESTAURANT The dean of Little Rock sushi bars offers a fabulous lunch special and great Monday night deals. 10301 Rodney Parham Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-227-6498. LD daily. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-227-6498. OSAKA JAPANESE RESTAURANT Veteran operator of several local Asian buffets has brought fine-dining Japanese dishes and a well-stocked sushi bar to way-out-west Little Rock, near Chenal off Highway 10. 5501 Ranch Dr. $$-$$$. 501-868-3688. L Tue.-Sat., D Tue.-Sun. SKY MODERN JAPANESE Excellent, ambitious menu filled with sushi and other Japanese fare and Continental-style dishes. 11525 Cantrell Road, Suite 917. Full bar, All CC. $$$-$$$$. 501-224-4300. LD daily. SUSHI CAFE Impressive, upscale sushi menu with other delectable house specialties like tuna tataki, fried soft shell crab, Kobe beef and, believe it or not, the Tokyo cowboy burger. 5823 Kavanaugh Blvd. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-663-9888. L Mon.-Sat. D daily.

BARBECUE

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. 516 Cantrell Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-664-5025. LD Mon.-Sat. 12111 W. Markham. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-907-6124. LD daily. 150 E. Oak St. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-513-0600. LD Mon.-Sat., L Sun. 5107 Warden Road. NLR. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-753-9227.

EUROPEAN / ETHNIC

ALADDIN KABAB Persian and Mexican cuisines sound like an odd pairing, but they work fairly well together here. Particularly if you’re ordering something that features charred meat, like a kabab or gyros. 9112 N Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, All CC. 501-219-8787. LD daily. 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. $$. 501-246-4340. D Mon.-Sat., L Sun. LAYLA’S GYROS AND PIZZERIA Delicious Mediterranean fare — gyros, falafel, shawarma, kabobs, hummus and babaganush — that has a devoted following. All meat is slaughtered according to Islamic dietary law. 9501 N Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-227-7272. LD daily (close 5 p.m. on Sun.). TAJ MAHAL The third Indian restaurant in a onemile 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. $$$. 501-8814796. LD daily. TAZIKI’S GREEK FARE Fast casual chain that offers gyros, grilled meats and veggies, hummus and pimento cheese. 8200 Cantrell Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-227-8291. LD daily. 12800 Chenal Parkway. Beer, 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.

ITALIAN

BRAVO! CUCINA ITALIANA This upscale Italian chain offers delicious and sometimes inventive dishes. 17815 Chenal Pkwy. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-821-2485. LD daily. BR Sun. BRUNO’S LITTLE ITALY Traditional Italian antipastos, appetizers, entrees and desserts. Extensive, delicious menu from Little Rock standby. 310 Main St. Full bar, CC. $$-$$$. 501-372-7866. D Tue.-Sat. GRAFFITI’S The casually chic and ever-popular Italian-flavored bistro avoids the rut with daily specials and careful menu tinkering. 7811 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-2249079. D Mon.-Sat. JIM’S RAZORBACK PIZZA Great pizza served up in a family-friendly, sports-themed environment. Special Saturday and Sunday brunch served from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Flat-screen TVs throughout and even a cage for shooting basketballs and playing ping-pong. 16101 Cantrell Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-8683250. LD daily. PIZZA CAFE Thin, crunchy pizza with just a

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DINING CAPSULES, CONT. 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, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-664-6133. LD daily 14710 Cantrell Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-868-2600. LD daily. PIZZA D’ACTION Some of the best pizza in town, a marriage of thin, crispy crust with a hefty ingredient load. Also, good appetizers and salads, pasta, sandwiches and killer plate lunches. 2919 W. Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-666-5403. LD daily. THE PIZZA JOINT Cracker-thin crusts with a tempting variety of traditional or nontraditional toppings. Just off Cantrell Road. 6100 Stones Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-868-9108. D daily. RISTORANTE CAPEO Authentic cooking from the boot of Italy is the draw at this cozy, brick-walled restaurant on a reviving North Little Rock’s Main Street. Familiar pasta dishes will comfort most diners, but let the chef, who works in an open kitchen, entertain you with some more exotic stuff, too, like crispy veal sweetbreads. They make their own mozzarella fresh daily. 425 Main St. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-376-3463. D Mon.-Sat. ROCKY’S PUB Rocking sandwiches an Arkie used to have to head way northeast to find and a fine selection of homemade Italian entrees, including as fine a lasagna as there is. 6909 JFK Blvd. NLR. Beer, Wine. $$. 501-833-1077. LD Mon.-Sat. SHOTGUN DAN’S PIZZA Hearty pizza and sandwiches with a decent salad bar. Multiple locations, at 4020 E. Broadway, NLR, 945-0606; 4203 E. Kiehl Ave., Sherwood, 835-0606, and 10923 W. Markham St. Beer, CC. $-$$. 501-2249519. LD Mon.-Sat., D Sun. VINO’S Great rock ‘n’ roll club also is a fantastic pizzeria with huge calzones and always improving home-brewed beers. 923 W. 7th St. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 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, call-yourown ingredient salads and other treats. 5600 Kavanaugh Blvd. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-661-9292. LD daily. 1050 Ellis Ave. Conway. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-336-9292. LD daily.

LATINO

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. ROSALINDA RESTAURANT HONDURENO A Honduran cafe that specializes in pollo con frito tajada (fried chicken and fried plaintains). With breakfast, too. 3700 JFK Blvd. NLR. No alcohol, No CC. $-$$. 501-771-5559. BLD daily. SENOR TEQUILA Typical cheap Mexican dishes with great service. Good margaritas. 10300 N. Rodney Parham Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-224-5505. LD daily. 9847 Maumelle Blvd. NLR. 501-758-4432; 14524 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-868-7642. LD daily. TACO MEXICO Tacos have to be ordered at least two at a time, but that’s not an impediment. These are some of the best and some of the cheapest tacos in Little Rock. 7101 Colonel Glenn Road. No alcohol, No CC. $. 501-4167002. LD Wed.-Sun. 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. TAQUERIA EL PALENQUE Solid authentic Mexican food. Try the al pastor burrito. 9501 N. Rodney Parham Road. Beer, CC. $-$$. 501-3120045. Serving BLD Tue.-Sun.

AROUND ARKANSAS

BENTON

DAN’S I-30 DINER Home cooking and blueplate specials are the best things to choose at this Benton diner. Check out the daily special board for a meat-and-two-veg lunch — and if chicken stuffing’s on the menu, GET IT. 17018 Interstate 30. Benton. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-778-4116. BL Tue.-Sat. LA VALENTINA There are touches of authenticity on La Valentina’s “real Mexican” menu, including specialties like palmadas meat pies, but otherwise you’ll find tacos, burritos, chimichangas and the like here. 1217 Ferguson Drive. Benton. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-776-1113. LD daily. SULLIVAN’S DINER Tasty chicken-fried steak and other home cookin’ standards paired with well-executed Thai dishes. 520 Lillian St. Benton. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-778-4630. BLD Mon.-Sat., BL Sun.

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CONWAY

DOMOYAKI Hibachi grill and sushi bar near the interstate. Now serving bubble tea. 505 E. Dave Ward Drive. Conway. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-764-0074. L Mon.-Fri., D Mon.-Sat. THE FISH HOUSE The other entrees and the many side orders are decent, but this place is all about catfish. 116 S. Harkrider. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. 501-327-9901. LD Mon.-Sun. GUSANO’S They make the tomatoey Chicagostyle deep-dish pizza the way it’s done in the Windy City. It takes a little longer to come out of the oven, but it’s worth the wait. 2915 Dave Ward Drive. Conway. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-329-1100. LD daily. www.arktimes.com

MARCH 20, 2014

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Arkansas Times - March 20, 2014