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A new Cajun/Creole restaurant in WLR serves up delightful stews and gumbos. It's a spicy, saucy success.
Little Rock continues to surprise with its wonderful hidden gems, and the fudge shop inside the Crown Shop is no exception. It’s a small shop that’s probably not on most people’s radar for delightful sweet treats, but I’d definitely check them out next time you’ve got a hankering for fudge.
Arkansas Cooks sits down with Liz Sanders of the Bernice Garden to talk farmers markets, local growers, and community.
The 8th annual exhibition kicks off with Argenta ArtWalk preview.
Don Bacigalupi has written a come-hither piece about the minimalist acquisition.
All the stops on tonight's gallery walk/trolley tour.
I've been among the speakers at Arkansas Boys State for 20 years. I talk about my left-leaning ideas. Conservative young men take vigorous exception, particularly on social issues such as abortion and sexual orientation. /more/
When the hunt for scandal produces only flaps, it is hard to recognize it when you're handed the real thing. /more/
One diverting aspect of The Guardian-inspired hullaballoo over NSA surveillance has been watching people bicker about it on Facebook. In the old Soviet Union, people walked in the woods or hid in the bathroom with the faucets running to whisper forbidden thoughts. Here in the USA, people post them online along with cute kitten videos and photos of Reuben sandwiches. /more/
The speed with which Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and U.S. Attorney Chris Thyer filed a lawsuit against ExxonMobil is unusual, according to pipeline experts InsideClimate News rounded up. No state or federal lawsuits have been filed as a result of the 2010 EnBridge spill in Michigan that sent more than a million gallons of tar sands oil into the Kalamazoo River.
Philadelphia attorney Andy Levine, a former senior assistant regional counsel for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, described the legal strategy being pursued in Arkansas as "a head scratcher."
"It makes you wonder what was happening behind the scenes that caused this to ramp up so quickly to full-blown litigation," Levine said.
Levine, the former EPA attorney, said a number of interim steps are usually taken before a lawsuit of this nature is filed.
The first step is asking for voluntary compliance, Levine said. The company and the regulators agree on what remediation is needed and what additional safeguards need to be put into place.
"Then there would be a period of time—longer than three months—where the company would act and regulators would monitor the progress," he said.
If a more formal plan is needed, Levine said regulators usually devise a consent order spelling out what the company needs to do. It is signed by both the regulator and company officials and can be enforced in court, if necessary.
A more aggressive form of compulsory compliance would be a consent decree, Levine said. Here a judgment confirms a voluntary agreement between parties to a lawsuit in return for withdrawal of the case.
Typically, consent decrees are orchestrated ahead of the litigation, Levine said, so by the time the case gets to court both parties have agreed to the terms.
It's usually only after these interim steps fail that regulators resort to litigation, he said.
"Environmental regulators have a wide variety of tools to gain compliance," Levine said. "In this instance regulators have chosen the most aggressive course of action from the beginning."
Politics is surely at least part of the answer. That ExxonMobil ignored regulators calls for it to move improperly stored contaminants from fracking tanks might reflect the company's cavalier treatment of state and federal officials. The lawsuit might be a play to get ExxonMobil to take the state and feds more seriously. It's also, of course, been a rehabilitative issue for McDaniel in the wake of him admitting to an extramarital relationship and withdrawing from the governor's race. He's sure to be eager to keep scoring points by standing up to a rich, multinational corporation many see as a bully.
Arkansas GOP Chairman Doyle Webb has released the following statement on the celebration of Juneteenth:
“Today we celebrate Juneteenth, marking the final abolition of slavery in Texas and the nation in 1865. The freedom and emancipation that this day represents is cause for great celebration among all Arkansans. The abolition of slavery marked an important milestone in the process of forming a more perfect union, and this anniversary is a great opportunity for all of us to renew our commitment to standing for justice and equality.”
Justice and equality. Are they embodied in opposition to affirmative action? Opposition to immigration reform? Opposition to women's medical rights? Opposition to equal treatment of gay people in the workplace? Opposition to universal health care? Opposition to equal access to state contracts for all legitimate nonprofit agencies?
But why look a gift horse in the mouth. The Republican Party's opposition to slavery is nonetheless welcome, given some of the people Webb and the party have promoted for public office as recently as the last election. Gone, but not forgotten:
"If slavery were so God-awful, why didn’t Jesus or Paul condemn it, why was it in the Constitution and why wasn’t there a war before 1861?" — former Republican Rep. Loy Mauch.
“Wouldn’t life for blacks in America today be more enjoyable and successful if they would only learn to appreciate the value of a good education?” — former Republican state Rep. Jon Hubbard.
But speaking of Juneteenth, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center has a Juneteenth observation at 6 p.m. Thursday at the center, which chronicles the black experience in Arkansas. The 2nd Infantry Regiment of United States Colored Troops Re-enactment Unit — including men, women and children in civil war era dress — will "guide visitors on a journey back in time."
And here's something I KNOW Doyle Webb will want to attend. At 7 p.m. Thursday at the center, Denver sculptor Ed Dwight will be talking about his "Inauguration of Hope," life-sized bronze statues inspired by the 2008 inauguration of Barack Obama. If Doyle can't make the talk, he can get by the center through June 30 to admire the sculptures.
PS — Isn't today also the day hearings were held to impose voter ID rules that will make it harder for many poor people — and thus many minorities — to vote. This type of legislation has been found constitutionally suspect elsewhere, but Arkansas Republicans had it as No. 1 agenda item in 2013 because they want to hold down black voter participation with something that amounts to a back-door poll tax.
The University of Arkansas news bureau covered a breaking news story on Twitter and even Storify today, complete with photos. A construction crew apparently hit a gas line on Dickson Street, prompting a temporary evacuation of several buildings until the gas was shut off and buildings cleared for a return to classes.
Details from release:
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — A construction crew ruptured a 1.5 inch gas line under Dickson Street, near the Hillside Auditorium, at about 10:50 a.m. An area south of Dickson Street, west of Harmon Avenue, north of Fairview St. and east of Garland Avenue was evacuated as a precaution. Buildings evacuated included Brough Commons, Yocum Hall, Humphries Hall, Kimpel Hall, Walton College, the Reynolds Center, Walker Hall, Hunt Hall, Hillside Auditorium, the Heating Plant and Mechanical Engineering.
A SourceGas emergency crew successfully stopped the leak at about 12:10 p.m., the air quality in the area was tested and found safe, and an all-clear was issued, ending the evacuations.
Crews are now working to restore gas service to many of the buildings on campus.
THE NEW 22'
6:30 p.m., MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History. Free.
Back in January, when the Arkansas Literary Festival slate of authors was announced, perhaps you scanned it and seized onto "The New 22," featuring hotshot novelists David Abrams ("Fobbit") and Ben Fountain ("Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk") and marked it as a "must-attend."
Then you noticed in the small print that, strangely, the event wasn't scheduled until two months after the literary festival. Well, two months has come and gone. The event's still a must-attend.
I haven't read "Fobbit," but it was one of the best-reviewed books of last year. It's set in a military base in Baghdad ("fobbit" is slang for a soldier stationed at a Forward Operating Base who avoids combat by hanging at the base). Abrams draws on his experience as an active-duty Army journalist.
"Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" is one of the best books I've read. Lots of other people agree. It won this year's National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and was a finalist for the National Book Award last year. It's about the surviving members of a group of Iraq War soldiers who've become minor celebrities after video of them in a firefight with insurgents goes viral. They've been sent home for a Victory Tour that culminates with an appearance at a Dallas Cowboys game on Thanksgiving Day. It's a darkly funny satire written with more style and insight than anything in recent memory.
Juanita's has some buzz-y indie rock, with Brooklyn pop outfit Companion and psychedelic Oklahomans The Evangelicals. Locals Ten Sentences open the show, 9 p.m., and hey, it's $3!
It's going to be a "'90s Throwback Concert" at The Joint, with Rodney Block & The Real Music Lovers, 8:30 p.m., $10-$15.
Pop singer/songwriter Shining Rae is back in town for an all-ages show. She'll be showcasing new material, Downtown Music Hall, 7 p.m., $11.
Singer/songwriter Daniel Amedee might be from New Orleans, but his sound is "more King Crimson than King Oliver, more Mars Volta than Mardi Gras." Also on the bill: Gold Beneath the Highway and James Rose, Maxine's, 8 p.m., free.
Why bother with the law and waste the time and expense of a trial? Why…
McDaniel sees there is time before the next election and no real candidates…
Whatever motivation you're comfortable imputing to McDaniel I just want to say I'm damn glad…
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