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Eat Arkansas

A kitchen and pick-up counter for Humble Crumb

Cinnamon roll lovers who buy from The Humble Crumb bakery on Saturdays at the Little Rock Farmer’s Market will be able sometime this fall to get their pastries weekdays in Sherwood.

Cleanse living: Roots Juices coming to the Heights

Cold-pressed juices — concoctions of pounds of vegetables and fruits masticated and squeezed in a refrigerated press to keep with their nutrients intact — are coming to the Heights in September, when Roots Juices opens at 5501 Kavanaugh Blvd., near Eggshells and Le Pops.

Skinny J's grand opening today in Argenta

Skinny J's restaurant at 214 Main St. in North Little Rock, in the spot where the Cornerstone Pub used to be, is having its grand-opening ribbon-cutting at 3:30 p.m. today (Thursday) with the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce.

Dining Review

Mi Hacienda should be su Hacienda, too

July 30, 2015
Mi Hacienda should be su Hacienda, too
Good cheese dip, great tamales, margaritas and more. /more/

Dining Search

A&E Feature

LGBT cinema comes to Little Rock

July 30, 2015
LGBT cinema comes to Little Rock
With the Kaleidoscope film festival. /more/

To-Do List

Kenny Chesney comes to the Walmart AMP

July 30, 2015
Kenny Chesney comes to the Walmart AMP
Also, Vile Pack at Vino's, Ghost Bones at Stickyz, Great American Beer Festival, Rakim at Discovery and Kurt Braunohler at Juanita's. /more/

Columnists

Max Brantley

Supremely discredited

Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Rhonda Wood and her allies continue to discredit the state's highest court. /more/

Ernest Dumas

Consultants provide cover

Arkansas is laying out a few million taxpayer dollars for corporate consultants to tell legislators and the governor how to handle some political hot potatoes, principally a moribund lottery and the expansion of Medicaid to poor adults, which is the biggest feature (in Arkansas) of the still unpopular Obamacare. /more/

Gene Lyons

Obama takes long view

Right now, it's beginning to look as if President Obama will end up deserving the Nobel Peace Prize he was so prematurely awarded in 2009. /more/

Movie Reviews

Sherlock baffled

July 30, 2015
Sherlock baffled
Ian McKellen ages gracefully in 'Mr. Holmes.' /more/

Pearls About Swine

Bad time for Arkansas basketball to be rebuilding

July 30, 2015
This program went from bull market to disarray in record time, and at the worst possible time, too. /more/

Blog Roll

Arkansas Blog

Hourly news and comment

Rock Candy

The guide to Arkansas entertainment

Eat Arkansas

For food lovers

Eye Candy

On art in Arkansas

Street Jazz

A view from Northwest Arkansas

Arkansas Blog

Saturday, August 1, 2015 - 16:31:00

Saturday night's all right for grilling

click to enlarge ts025.jpg

What you got? I got a top sirloin steak, Arkansas tomatoes, Arkansas corn on the cob and Arkansas peaches. And some Arkansas beer, now that I come to think about it. The line is open.

 

Saturday, August 1, 2015 - 09:54:00

Two dead in shooting-suicide, Little Rock police report

Little Rock police say Donna Galvin, 54, was fatally wounded and David Galvin, 58, died of a self-inflected gunshot about 4 a.m. this morning at their home at 6 Glendale.

Police found the Galvins in a bathroom. Donna Galvin had wounds to the upper body. She died after being taken to a hospital. David Galvin had been shot in the head and police said his wound appeared self-inflected. He was dead at the scene.

Donna Galvin's mother, reportedly in poor health, was at the home at the time but said she'd slept through the shooting. Donna Galvin asked her 17-year-old son to call 911 and he did so from a neighbor's house.

Donna Galvin's slaying was the city's 18th homicide of the year.



 

Saturday, August 1, 2015 - 06:58:15

Chief Justice Jim Hannah plans early retirement

click to enlarge CHIEF JUSTICE JIM HANNAH: Set to retire.
  • CHIEF JUSTICE JIM HANNAH: Set to retire.
Reliable sources say that Chief Justice Jim Hannah will retire Sept. 1, on account of health problems that have slowed him in recent weeks.

I was unable to reach the judge in phone calls this evening. The Supreme Court is in its customary summer recess, when justices are rarely in chambers. Hannah is vacationing with his family, but friends have learned of his decision.

Hannah, previously a trial court judge, joined the Supreme Court in 2001 and became chief justice in 2005. His current term expires at the end of 2016. His seat will be on the ballot next year, but Hannah wasn't expected to run because he turns 70 before the term ends. Under current law, a judge who is elected to another term after turning 70 forfeits judicial retirement. That law is under challenge in a pending lawsuit, but its future, including when it might be decided, is uncertain. Justice Paul Danielson has already announced he'll retire and not seek another term in 2016 because of the law.

Hannah is soft-spoken, if a strong advocate for his legal views with sharp political and people skills that elevated him to the state's highest court. He has, however, seen the chief justice's traditional administrative prerogatives usurped by what is now a functioning controlling administrative bloc that typically includes Justices Courtney Goodson, Jo Hart, Karen Baker and Rhonda Wood. The infighting blocked his choice for clerk of the Supreme Court after the retirement of Les Steen. That bloc also  recently pushed through some big pay raises for their staff over the objections of Hannah and Danielson, who favored a fairer apportionment of available money among all staff. One of Baker's clerks, for example, got a 36 percent raise. Most state employees got 1 percent raises this year. Hannah also objected to this bloc's scheming to change which justices voted on the same-sex marriage case, maneuvers that prompted Hannah to recuse from a derivative case that he called a delaying tactic. Despite being expedited, the Supreme Court never issued a decision in the case in eight months and then dismissed it  without an opinion after the U.S. Supreme Court's marriage equality ruling.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson will appoint someone to the seat until the 2016 election, where Courtney Goodson now has clear sailing for her plans to run for chief justice. She hasn't announced, but has been making plans for months. No one else has indicated a public intention to make the race.

Many fear Hutchinson will appoint Circuit Judge Shawn Womack, the  former Republican senator from Mountain Home, to chief justice spot in the interim Womack is best known for his laughable statement that judges were entitled to a huge pay raise because of equal protection with judges in other states. He's also a dedicated anti-gay figure who wanted to recrininalize homosexual acts and prevent gay people from adopting children, much less marrying. Hutchinson appointed Womack among a threesome of Republicans that delivered — over Hannah's objections — a vote in a procedural case on who should hear the same-sex marriage case. Hutchinson's Republican appointees said Republican Justice Rhonda Wood should get the vote, not the special justice who'd been appointed to the case in 2014 by Gov. Mike Beebe. The title of chief justice would aid Womack in his race for retiring Justice Danielson's seat. He currently has no announced opposition and has been making frequent public appearances with Republican politicians to make it clear to voters where his allegiances lie.

Judges nominally run as nonpartisan candidates, but the practice of Womack, Wood and others in recent years has been to make partisan proclivities clear in a state that has grown increasingly Republican. Wood, for example, used to appear together with her Conway friend, Circuit Judge Mike Maggio, who planned a state court of appeals race before he got caught up in a bribery scandal. It involved campaign contributions from the nursing home lobby also arranged by Gilbert Baker.

Hannah was a centrist, I think it safe to say. He undoubtedly delivered some decisions the business lobby didn't like, but he was no ideologue. The court is turning rapidly in the lobby's direction. With a relatively modest expenditure of money in a couple of key races and circumstances such as the retirement age, the court seems on the verge of control by the business lobby and, worse, the Republican legislative preference of the day. Gilbert Baker's direction of big nursing home money to Rhonda Wood was unseemly, but still small change by, say, Texas standards. The same for the dark money that propelled Robin Wynne with a smear campaign against Tim Cullen. Also: If Goodson is elected chief justice, that will give Hutchinson yet another court seat to fill with a Republican for two years before her seat is filled by election.

The people of Arkansas will miss Jim Hannah. He might not miss the current court.




 

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Friday, July 31, 2015 - 14:49:00

Staff Picks: Stephen Hawking, San Miguel de Allende, procastination, '70s yacht rock and more

click to enlarge Richard McGuire's "Here"
  • Richard McGuire's "Here"

Arkansas Times Recommends is a weekly series in which Times staff members (or whoever happens to be around at the time) highlight things we've been enjoying this week.

If you should happen to find yourself in the lovely colonial town of San Miguel de Allende, the guidebooks will advise on all sorts of fun stuff to do and sights to see but really the most important thing in San Miguel, and arguably the most important thing on the planet, is the taco stand on Insurgentes, which opens around dusk and goes until 3 or 4 in the morning. The pastor tacos with pineapple (I prefer flour tortillas but the corn tortillas are good too; oh, and with Oaxaca cheese if you like) — I mean, you really can't hardly eat other regular tacos after you eat these. I mean it's like trying to read a contemporary novel after reading the King James Bible. You can eat them right there at the stand, where they have fresh limes, peppers, five kinds of hot sauces, etc. It's very confusing how to pay, but things work out, and they cost about 75 cents a taco. I'm coming back to the States on Sunday so I may need to reconsider this, but right now my position is that I do not want to eat ANYTHING but the tacos on Insurgentes. I'd rather starve.

Also, down the road a bit ... perhaps as a paired evening with the tacos: La Cucaracha, the dive bar that serves as the Midtown of San Miguel. Charles Portis fans may remember that it's featured in "The Dog of the South." It still has a great juke box and it is still gross. Chances are high that you will see a cucaracha. — David Ramsey

"Here" is a graphic-novel by Richard McGuire I grabbed as the kids and I were being final-intercommed out of the library earlier this week. It is thick and smells great. Inside is page after page of hundreds of moments that took place on one spot of land, the "here" in the story, over billions of years. Panels within panels glimpse into time, many families, many arguments, a few deaths, jokes, native americans hunting in the woods, natural disasters (at one point we are entirely underwater,) future tour guides explaining things that no longer exist ("It was called a watch because it was looked at so often"), Benjamin Franklin consoling his grandson, the place in the room people tend to always put their bookshelf. It is a scattered bumpy ride through the past and future and it gets intense at times. And then calms down. And finally circles back around to come to a good stop.

It is an enthralling book that had it's origin 26 years ago when McGuire published a 6 page black and white version of the same thing. It was pretty radical for a comic then, and the idea has seen it's full potential materialized this year in "Here." — Bryan Moats 

This song is what a good mood sounded like in the summer of 1976. It's the soundtrack to a dinner party hosted by Steely Dan, Leon Ware and a young James Caan. Featuring a water-slide oiled up with tequila and lime juice and patchouli oil and sweat. Imagine what it would feel like to pry open a time capsule filled with Atari ads, old Playboys, a "Logan's Run" t-shirt and three or four grams of coke: That's this song. Ned Doheny was infamously un-famous, despite being close friends with guys like Jackson Browne and David Geffen, and despite Rolling Stone calling his first record "a Southern California 'Astral Weeks.'” It makes no sense. There's no justice to any of this, that's the message of Ned Doheny's commercial failure. I hope this song plays at my funeral, basically, that they fire my ashes out of a cannon amidst a fireworks show on a beach — they'll sprinkle down into the ocean as Ned Doheny's voice rings out over the roaring surf. You did it, Ned. As far as I'm concerned, you did it. — Will Stephenson

Hello, my name is Kaya and I am a procrastinator. "Hello, Kaya, welcome." I'm not sure if they have a Procrastinators Anonymous group but i'm pretty sure I'm a prime candidate. I can spend days being very busy while doing absolutely nothing productive. Hours on YouTube, chasing posts on Tumblr that disappeared when I refreshed my feed, checking my email even though I haven't gotten any notifications — these are some of my favorite ways to procrastinate. In my recent procrastination adventures I came across a master list of time wasting websites — yes, more procrastination — and stumbled upon an article about procrastination that I think everyone needs to read. It described my life and brain so accurately it hurt. Hopefully it can help someone else. — Kaya Herron

I recommend taking a look at the AMA (Ask Me Anything) session with Stephen Hawking happening at /r/science, his first ever.

Hawking focuses on his rising concern over potential dangers lurking within future advances in machine intelligence, a sci-fi threat that he’s warned might become reality. (He declared to the BBC last fall that, “the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.") Because the professor's physical limitations mean he’s unable to respond rapidly, the moderators are collecting questions in advance for him to answer.

People are pitching him hypotheticals about aliens and black holes that range from the silly to the deeply technical. A 16 year old girl scout named Zoe from Los Angeles asks a thoughtful series of questions on “Alternative Augmented Communication” devices (i.e., technology that helps the severely disabled communicate). And this is the top query right now:

Professor Hawking-
Whenever I teach AI, Machine Learning, or Intelligent Robotics, my class and I end up having what I call "The Terminator Conversation." My point in this conversation is that the dangers from AI are overblown by media and non-understanding news, and the real danger is the same danger in any complex, less-than-fully-understood code: edge case unpredictability. In my opinion, this is different from "dangerous AI" as most people perceive it, in that the software has no motives, no sentience, and no evil morality, and is merely (ruthlessly) trying to optimize a function that we ourselves wrote and designed. Your viewpoints (and Elon Musk's) are often presented by the media as a belief in "evil AI," though of course that's not what your signed letter says. Students that are aware of these reports challenge my view, and we always end up having a pretty enjoyable conversation.
How would you represent your own beliefs to my class? Are our viewpoints reconcilable? Do you think my habit of discounting the layperson Terminator-style "evil AI" is naive? And finally, what morals do you think I should be reinforcing to my students interested in AI?

I don’t frequent Reddit on a regular basis and frankly find its culture baffling, especially the episodes of obscure internecine warfare over things like the inalienable right to shame fat people. But the endless hall of wonders that is /r/science makes for a pretty good argument that information technology still retains the possibility of contributing to the healing of humanity rather than, you know, its ultimate annihilation. — Benji Hardy

click to enlarge Medusa, Lockjaw & Ms. Marvel
  • Medusa, Lockjaw & Ms. Marvel

G. Willow Wilson has written a memoir about converting to Islam during the height of the War on Terror and living in Egypt, where she taught at an English-language school and met and married an Egyptian man; essays on Egypt and Islam for the likes of The Atlantic and the New York Times; and a fantasy novel that mixes Arabian myth and techno-politics that's been favorably compared to the work of Philip Pullman and Neil Gaiman. These days she's perhaps the most acclaimed writer working in mainstream comics.

I exclusively read comics through Marvel's Netflix-style Unlimited iPad app, which only makes contemporary titles available six months or so after they debut at comic bookstores, so I'm not up on A-Force, the all-female Avengers title she's doing now. But I highly recommend her work on the new Ms. Marvel, about a Pakistani American, shape-shifting teenager named Kamala Khan. It's a total delight. Kamala's endearingly geeky. She struggles with her faith and family. She has trouble figuring out how to use her new polymorphing powers. Plus, the art, by Adrian Alphona, is whimsical in a way that mainstream comics usually aren't.

Still unconvinced? The first villain Kamala faces off against is a clone of Thomas Edison, created by a mad scientist from a DNA sample that was contaminated by the mad scientist's pet cockatiel. So the reanimated Thomas Edison looks like a bird, and he's very sensitive about it. ALSO: When Kamala gets in over her head with bird-Thomas Edison, her sort of fairy godmother, Medusa, queen of the Inhumas, sends in backup: a giant, teleporting bulldog who once led the Pet Avengers. — Lindsey Millar

 

Thursday, July 30, 2015 - 17:11:00

Artists abroad: Dawn Holder in D.C., Virmarie DePoyster in Rome

click to enlarge "Monoculture," Dawn Holder.
  • "Monoculture," Dawn Holder.

Dawn Holder's ceramic installation "Monoculture," made up of hundreds of porcelain blades of grass, is part of the National Museum of Women in the Arts' exhibition, "Organic Matters — Women to Watch 2015," a show of work by emerging artists expressing "women's relationship with nature," NMWA says in a press release.

The subject was chosen, NMWA Director Susan Fisher says, because the connection between women and nature is "fraught with gendered stereotypes and discriminatory assumptions," beliefs the show attempts to turn "upside-down."
 
The international show features work by 13 women, including artists from the U.S., France, Britain, Italy and Chile. NMWA Associate Curator Virginia Treanor selected Holder's work, which the NMWA release says "obliquely references humans’ detrimental manipulation of nature through her manicured porcelain 'lawn.' " In an interview published on the NMWA website, "5 Questions With Dawn Holder," the artist says she has become interested in the idea of the "necropastoral, a term explored at length by poet and critic Joyelle McSweeney."

Holder is an assistant professor of art at the University of the Ozarks at Clarksville. "Monoculture" will tour Arkansas next year.

click to enlarge "Land of Opportunity," Virmarie dePoyster.
  • "Land of Opportunity," Virmarie dePoyster.

Even farther afield will be works by Virmarie DePoyster, whose exhibition "Revelation: New Works by Virmarie DePoyster" opens Sept. 1 at the Tri-Mission Art Gallery in the U.S. Embassy in Rome. Her artist's statement:

I was fifteen and my life was about to change in every conceivable way. The next day, we were moving to America. The humidity of the tropical night clung to me as a chorus of tree frogs sang in the darkness surrounding our rural farm on the outskirts of Vega Baja. My sisters and I, barefooted in long faded dresses with slicked back hair, dirty feet, and tired eyes, sat on twin beds poring over our color-filled books. Spanish words filled the pages of my children’s Bible and the bold colors of its illustrations blasted my vision, bringing the characters to life inside my head. Raised in a strict religious household, I was only allowed to read religious materials. The familiarity of these images and text comforted me, yet I longed for the freedom to question the meaning of those Bible stories and to explore the wisdom they imparted. Those words and images molded my view of the world and ultimately influenced all that I create. Little did I know, on that muggy Puerto Rican night long ago, one chapter of my life was closing and another was about to begin. I wouldn’t see my children’s Bible again, but I would carry its influence with me, and it would resurface in my new life, in my new home, all these years later.

In these works, words manifest as layers of my past that shape my current human experience; I explore issues of spirituality, identity, and human connection within the context of the natural world, the source of my passion and inspiration. Each piece has as its base layer printed words that have been lifted from the Bible or other sources that are personally meaningful. As always, color is a technique, a tool, and a language I use to emphasize an overall mood. Abstracting the subject matter, manipulating shapes, and incorporating texture that evokes an emotional response unify these paintings, however diverse. At first glance, it may be these elements that capture the viewer’s eye, but with closer observation, the words arise from the background and therein the deepest layer of each piece, both literally and symbolically, is revealed. 


DePoyster's work is finding its way to Rome because of her connection with a friend who is a collector of her work and who works at the embassy. She and her husband, David, will travel to Rome for the opening. The show runs through September. The image above, "Land of Opportunity," "addresses issues of immigrant women in the U.S. workforce," DePoyster told me in an email. 

 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - 12:27:00

New episode of 'My Favorite Guitar' with American Aquarium's BJ Barham

Here's the new episode of Gerard Matthews' web series "My Favorite Guitar," featuring BJ Barham of American Aquarium and filmed at White Water. Also check out the previous clip, which starred John Willis

 

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Best of Arkansas 2015

July 30, 2015
Best of Arkansas 2015
To prove that Arkansas's variety of exemplary places, people and things is inexhaustible, the Arkansas Times once again presents the Best of Arkansas. /more/

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A Q&A with LRPD Chief Kenton Buckner

July 29, 2015
A Q&A with LRPD Chief Kenton Buckner
Little Rock's top cop on Baltimore, body cams, mass incarceration and more. /more/

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