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Pizza and beer aren't all that's great at this local brew pub.
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.
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/
Politico reports on the national dimension of an Arkansas political fight. Planned Parenthood is seeking nationwide to share in the money available under Obamacare to hire workers to help enroll people in the broadened health coverage it provides.
Republicans nationally, who hate Obamacare in the first place and who think the so-called navigation program is likely to be a boondoggle, particularly object to Planned Parenthood participating in the program because, among other medical services, it is an abortion provider. The Obamacare navigation initiative has nothing to do with abortion.
In Arkansas, Republican legislators have declared — absent any official vote — that the Insurance Department may not employ Planned Parenthood. A decision from Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford is pending.
Planned Parenthood is a natural for this work, as Politico points out.
The group’s more than 750 health centers across the country will be promoting the health law and helping women find out about new coverage options for themselves and their families before — and after — enrollment begins Oct. 1. They’re creating everything from refrigerator magnets to online apps that help people enroll in a health plan. Some affiliates will be applying to become official government-funded “navigators” to give people more hands-on help through the signup process.
Planned Parenthood says its health centers see nearly 3 million patients a year, many of them using the clinics as their primary point of care. More than nine out 10 are under age 40. About half are uninsured.
So the group sees itself as uniquely placed to reach those women, helping them get covered and serving as messengers to their families and communities. To that end, it’s training clinic staff, printing posters and pamphlets and incorporating information about the law into its educational programs.
...The organization aims to coordinate national messaging and education with very precise local specifics, according to Eric Ferrero, vice president for communications for Planned Parenthood Federation of America. It’s honing the communication with Enroll America, a nonprofit that’s coordinating a lot of the health law fundraising and messaging, an Enroll America spokeswoman said.
Never mind all that, Republicans say.
“Planned Parenthood is among the long list of liberal organizations that are expected to receive taxpayer-funded navigator grants. The navigator grants would further enable Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in America, to continue its misuse of taxpayer dollars to [supplement] their big abortion business,” said Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), who says she wants to eliminate the navigator program — for which $54 million in funds will be made available — even without a Planned Parenthood link because it’s “ripe for fraud and abuse” and violations of privacy.
Fox 16 reports on a federal Labor Department investigation of a children's consignment sale business, Rhea Lana's, over its practice of using volunteer workers to set up sales. In return, they get first crack at merchandise.
Fox 16 notes that the business, headed by Rhea Lana Riner of Conway, had entered a consent agreement earlier with the state Labor Department not to use volunteer workers. Riner contends the volunteer workers are legal and says they are an important part of her "business model." She operates in 22 states.
Yes, free labor is undeniably a good business model.
Riner got space in the USA Today opinion columns to defend herself yesterday. The notion of a requiring a minimum wage for labor in behalf of a profit-making business such as hers is outmoded, she argued.
A big part of our success are the hundreds of parents — both consignors and shoppers — who voluntarily work brief shifts to help set up before the sale starts. In exchange, these parents get to shop first with more choices and better merchandise.
In January, though, the Department of Labor noticed all this cooperation going on. Months later, investigators concluded that volunteers are "employees" under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
This means paying the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, filling out IRS paperwork and complying with who-knows-what other rules. And all for a pop-up business that lasts days.
Think about that for a second. I've offered regular parents the same opportunities that eBay gives independent resellers. When I do it in the real world to recycle used clothes, the Department of Labor says no way. That's bunk. My volunteers are not employees or independent contractors. They're customers.
By this dreadful logic, Build-a-Bear Workshop employs child labor when it lets its young customers assemble their own teddy bears.
I received this note overnight from Shaun Gains, who said he's 20 and attended Hall High School:
For over a year I have been having a conversation with concerned citizens, parents, and educators in the LRSD. I have heard the good and bad. I have heard that parents want more of a say in their child’s education. I have heard educators discuss how charter schools are hurting their schools by taking much needed funding out of the public schools, and I want to stand with those who have no other representative on the school board. I’ve decided that age and experience shouldn’t stop me from making a run to change the LRSD. It’s not about me, it’s about our students, it’s about our parents, and it’s about our teachers.
In the next three months I will be listening even further to those who I want to represent. I want to be a clear choice for the Second Zone. Electing me would bring integrity back to the second zone seat, it would bring a new face and fresh ideas back the school board. Please reach out to me, so I can know what you want from your school board representative.
Michael Nellums is the incumbent in Zone 2. The election is in September. Gains has a Facebook page up.
The Dig draws from the Brooklyn rock talent base that brought us bands like The Strokes and The Walkmen. After the dot-com bubble jacked up real estate prices on most every square inch of Manhattan real estate, penniless East Village hipsters countered by hopping the East River and setting up shop in the lofty warehouses of Williamsburg.
These concrete fortresses became the experimental grounds for much of the rangy tones and dreamy effects that now characterize contemporary indie rock. The Dig emerged from the thick of the indie cluster in 2010 with the release of their first album "Electric Toys." While the raw and sporadic guitar buzz of this initial effort lodged the band firmly within the indie fold, 2012’s "Midnight Flowers" signaled a distinctive departure and moved the group toward developing its own measured style and character. At Stickyz, fans and first-timers were treated to a cumulative sampling, including tracks from The Dig’s newest EP, "Tired Hearts."
The band’s progression shows a willful diminution from raw, physical buzz to a more nuanced soulfulness signaled and carried, part-and-parcel, in lyrical streams unabashedly born from pain. One cannot listen to The Dig without self-reflection. “I Already Forgot Everything You Said” showcased the vocal talents of singer/bassist, Emile Mosseri. Mosseri has an almost childlike sound that blends magically with weightier lyrical content. The effect is a juxtaposition of levity and gravity every bit as overwhelming and transcendent as a Richard Serra sculpture.
Here’s a lyric: “When you think of all the things that I said to you / They wouldn’t cut to the bone if they weren’t true / You can keep ‘em locked away inside your head / But I already forgot everything you said.”
With a head full of data, what do you hold on to, and what do you let slide? It’s a worthy contemplation, as we scurry into the thick of the Information Age. Are you hanging on, or moving on?
More recent songs suggest the band is moving forward into new musical territories. These tracks deliciously highlight the same refined, somber themes that define the group, but with poppier, groovier accompaniment. “How Can You Trust a Feeling” features a raw descending guitar riff that absolutely howls when played live, and “Without Your Love” is supported by a catchy surf rock beat.
It’s remarkably refreshing to occasionally catch a band like this. And some of us, perhaps, need bands like The Dig more than others. The crowd wasn’t rioting or bouncing off the walls, and sometimes a calm and collective sea of blank faces can actually be a surprising and uplifting source of fun and encouragement in the same way you might suspect hanging with a group of Zen masters might be kind of awesome. These aren’t the cool kids. These are the people the cool kids know are way cooler.
— Mark Holland
UPDATE: Congrats to Rock Candy reader Michael McSwain, who won our drawing for two tickets to see Johnny Winter at Juanita's Friday.
Hey there, how about this: you and a buddy get to go see Johnny Winter June 21 at Juanita's PLUS get to go to the meet-n-greet before the show and maybe get your picture made with the blues guitar legend. Sound cool? Well your old pals here at the Times are going to be giving away just such a prize.
All you need to do is send an email to robertbell at arktimes dot com with JOHNNY WINTER in the subject line. Send it in by noon on June 19. I'll draw names later that afternoon and announce the winner here on Rock Candy.
Shaun, you want to give parents more of a say in their child's education, yet…
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