City officials this morning dedicated the latest addition to the sculpture collection in Riverfront Park — "Breaking the Cycle" by Little Rock artist Kevin Kresse. The piece was donated by Lisenne Rockefeller and joins 64 other pieces worth almost $2.5 million installed since 2003. The Kresse work is near the belvedere and a future play area under the Main Street Bridge. Kresse's son, Roman, was the model for the little boy pushing the wheelbarrow.
Check in later with Eye Candy, Leslie Newell Peacock's art blog, for more on the new addition.
It's the work of a young filmmaker, Clint Fullen, and includes narration by Lindsey's old teammate Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys.
Fullen tells me this about opportunities to view the film:
The film is scheduled to release this coming football season. We are currently in the process of organizing the premiere. Public screenings will be held in Fayetteville, Little Rock and Forrest City. If there is demand, additional locations will be added. DVDs will be available upon the film's release.
Lindsey's brief fling with electoral politics was a victim of the story editing process, Fullen tells me. The news release follows.
It comes to mind again from a New York Times story about an effort in West Virginia to make a tourist attraction of the Hatfield-McCoy feud.
Local tourism departments, along with members of the Hatfield and McCoy families, are working to transform feud folklore into a dependable source of jobs and revenue for Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia, a region grappling with the decline of coal. In the past year, communities along the Tug Fork, the stream that is the state boundary in the area, have witnessed a surge in out-of-town foot traffic, tourists by the thousands drawn to the region in search of history.
Officials on both sides of the river attribute the increase to “Hatfields & McCoys,” a 2012 History Channel mini-series that told the families’ story. There is an urgency to capitalize on the show, Mr. Hatfield said, and to promote the feud as a draw to the region.
What else do we have? The Brooks-Baxter war isn't bad. The 1969 civil rights march of Lance "Sweet Willie Wine" Watson across the Delta is a fine story with many witnesses still around to talk about it. In fact, it's at the center of Arkansas native C.D. Wright's book, "One With Others," which she talked about at the recent Arkansas Literary Festival.
A kicker on where this rumination started: Harlan County, Ky., is already equipped with a website that separates fact from fiction about Harlan as depicted in "Justified." I learned, for one thing, that the series pilot, with the long view of a town, was actually filmed in Pennsylvania, Kittanning to be precise.
Brian Chilson has lots of photos from Fleetwood Mac's show at Verizon Arena last night at his Facebook page. I notice Twitter feeds that say Bill and Hillary Clinton were in the house, or so it was announced when the band played "Don't Stop," the theme song to the 1992 presidential campaign. UPDATE: I now see, thanks to our all night readers, that the Stevie Nicks Facebook page has a photo by Paige Lafleur of the Clintons in the house applauding.
Boomer fan comments on Twitter were enthusiastic about the show, which ran more than two hours.
But all that was yesterday.
It's a quiet Sunday morning, but here's a winning note of someone with an Arkansas connection.
Linda Bloodworth Thomason ("Designing Women" and more) was a winner in the Tribeca Film Festival for best documentary.
UPDATE FROM LINDSEY: The movie is screening at the Little Rock Film Festival in three weeks.
Bridegroom chronicles the emotional journey of Shane and Tom, two young men in a loving and committed relationship. Unfortunately, their love is cut short by Tom’s accidental death, and his partner finds himself facing the failure of same sex marriage protections that leave him completely shut out and ostracized. Linda Bloodworth Thomason sheds light on the often-overlooked struggles that same sex couples face as a result of marriage inequality. As the United States Supreme Court deliberates this issue, Bridegroom is poised as a timely and moving documentary about love and perseverance through loss.
Bill Clinton. Heard of him? He's on Twitter now, too.
Above is what appears to be his first twitpic, not taken by him obviously, at the opening of George W. Bush library in Dallas.
But now that a majority of Republican legislators have approved implementation of Obamacare in Arkansas, maybe some of them will want to turn out to cheer one of the architects of passage of the plan to funnel billions of Obamacare money into Arkansas.
She's set to speak at noon Thursday, May 2 as part of the Clinton School lecture series. The first announcement puts the appearance at the Clinton School, but surely they'll need to move to a bigger room, what with all the new Republican admirers of her policy triumph who'll want to attend.
Saturday night's all right for fighting isn't it. The open line commences with:
* REPUBLICAN SCHISM: Well. It is a given when you become the majority party, rifts will develop, even in a party as monochromatic and dogmatic as the Republican Party of Arkansas.
Republicans led the fight for adoption of Obamacare in Arkansas, albeit a version dressed-up to appear to be hewing to a conservative line while growing government by billions. The ruse didn't go unnoticed, either in the legislature — where a significant portion of the Republican delegation wouldn't go along — or among the party rank and file.
KFSM/KXNW reports here on a most unhappy letter to Republican lawmakers in the Benton County Republican newsletter. The author suggests a 2nd Amendment solution for lawmakers who backed the Medicaid deal.
In the letter, [Chris] Nogy appears to conclude that political action and other steps against those Republicans is desirable since they can’t be shot.
“If we can’t shoot them, we have to at least be firm in our threat to take immediate action against them politically, socially, and civically if they screw up on something this big,” he writes. “Personally, I think a gun is quicker and more merciful, but hey, we can’t.”
This is probably the money quote:
The 2nd amendment means nothing unless those in power believe you would have no problem simply walking up and shooting them if they got too far out of line and stopped responding as representatives.
I can't much recommend Chris Nogy's letter except for its shock value and window into the soul of a Republican shock troop. It's one of those dense screeds familiar to newspaper editors (often written in tiny, crabbed handwriting on many, many sheets of notebook paper). The peril of impending socialism is, naturally, invoked. Happily, KFSM finds even a fellow conservative traveler unhappy about Nogy's implication of violent means of dealing with apostate Republicans.
The Conservative Arkansas Facebook page, which posts his missive, finds plenty of sympathizers for Nogy's point of view, including Pulaski JP Shane Stacks who sees a situation that requires a "war footing" — not an "actual war" with guns, he hastens to add. Hate Muslims, gays, Barack Obama, taxes? Love Nate Bell? This Facebook page has something for you.
PS — Various Republicans are shocked and dismayed by Nogy's remarks. Lt. Gov. Mark Darr tweeted:
The party that gets rid of its crazies first will be the long term majority party in Arkansas.
The question is whether Darr could have been elected without the crazies like Nogy. And Jon Hubbard. And Charlie Fuqua. And Loy Mauch. And Nate Bell. And Bob Ballinger. And John Payton. And Jim Dotson. And Richard Womack. To name just a few of the out-there legislative candidates and sitting lawmakers, not the rank-and-file.
* AND SPEAKING OF NATE BELL: Oh, why not? One more letter from Boston on Mena's gift to intellectual discourse:
You can tell Nate Bell that any time he or any of his fat ass, tiny brained, toothless followers want to come up here and see how big a bunch of pansies we are this particular 'liberal' will be happy to show him how I handle my Glock! Or better yet, real men have it out with fists. Tell that ahole I'll send my name and address directly to him. Any time he wants to back up the tough talk. Talking is for pussies and I'm betting he is one.
Just in this announcement:
Entergy to Announce Major Community Enhancement Project
Hosted by the cities of Little Rock & North Little Rock
Monday, April 22, at 9:00 a.m.
The Peabody Little Rock
Entergy Arkansas President and CEO Hugh McDonald
Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola
North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith
An informed guess: This will be the details of a project I mentioned earlier. Entergy is going to contribute to a plan to festoon the coming replacement for the Broadway Bridge with lights. Since the project hasn't even been bid yet, it's safe to say we're a good two years from seeing the finished product if I'm correct. And if we live through the downtown traffic catastrophe that is going to accompany the construction period, when the current Broadway bridge is demolished.
PS — It could be we might get a taste of the future with lighting on existing structures downtown.
Harold Allen Smith, 47, of Greenbrier, pleaded guilty to transferring a false birth certificate via the United States mail. Authorities say it was part of a political dirty trick when he ran for Faulkner County sheriff in the 2012 Republican primary.
The U.S. attorney's office said:
During February and March, 2012, Smith had meetings with people to discuss the election and how to prevent another Republican candidate, Andy Shock, from winning the primary. Some of the people who met with Smith had suggestions including that Smith drop out of the race to run an anti-Shock campaign, and that it would be funny if a birth certificate surfaced showing that Shock was the father of an illegitimate black child. As a result, Smith, with the help of another person, created false Texas birth certificates showing that Shock was the father of an illegitimate black child.
On March 28, 2012, Smith and another person drove to Hooks, Texas where Smith mailed approximately 12 envelopes containing a note and a false Texas birth certificate to residents in Faulkner County, Arkansas, who it was believed would vote in the Republican primary.
In spite of the efforts of Smith, Andy Shock won the Republican primary and in November, 2012, won the general election for sheriff of Faulkner County.
The sentencing date will be set by the Court at a later date. Smith faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.00 when he is sentenced.
I'm happy to say I finished tax returns last night. You? Some other odds and ends:
* STRAIT TALK: George Strait drew 17,036 to Verizon Arena last night. Times photog Brian Chilson has plenty of shots at this Facebook link. The night included the gift of a home to a military veteran, also among Brian's photos.
* HAPPY TALK: There'll be lots of news as colleges and scholarship programs announce winners of big awards for freshmen in next fall's entering class. I got a note last night of one that interested me. The University of Virginia, a prestigious public institution, offers about 30 full-ride scholarships on a competitive basis each year, an award worth more than $200,000 over four years to out-of-state students. This year's winners haven't been posted yet, but a proud granddad tells me there two Jefferson Scholars selected from Arkansas this year out of a finalist group of more than 100 — Drew Ricciardone of Little Rock Central and Laura Jackson of Pulaski Academy.
* TECH TALK: As Little Rock struggles through a messy process of selecting a site for a building that it hopes will incubate technology businesses, more word comes of what seems like a surer ticket to success than another office building. First Kansas City, and now Austin, have been chosen by Google for installation of an ultrafast broadband network. I"ve written before about the commercial possibilities that Kansas City thinks may come of this. If nothing else, it encourages competition among other broadband providers, good for all users. Anybody have Google's phone number?
* SOCIAL MEDIA TALK: Yes, there's the occasional downside to high-speed Internet access. Or even low-speed for that matter. Police at the UA campus in Fayetteville yesterday arrested a fourth-year architecture student for sending a message on Twitter that was interpreted as threatening. It prompted authorities to clear the architecture building as a precaution. From the UA release
The Twitter message was cryptic: “UPDATE: Someone screams over the mezzanine and shoots all the forth [sic] year.”
The clip above comes from Bill Clinton's appearance on the Colbert Report.
This link takes you to an edited clip of the segment, on which Colbert gets Clinton to send his first "tweet" from a Twitter account set up for the occasion, @PrezBillyJeff (it already has 46,000 followers).
It has legislative relevance. For reasons unclear to me, Rep. Prissy Hickerson of Texarkana won legislative approval of a bill that expands the range of unlicensed golf carts on city streets, when cities are willing. Where the law had allowed operation of golf carts only between homes and golf courses on streets not designated as highways, Hickerson's law expands golf cart access to streets citywide, with municipal approval.
The problem with these unlicensed and unregistered vehicles is their expanded use, both by people not licensed to drive and by operators not bound by driving rules applicable to conventional vehicles. Writes a Little Rock resident:
As a person who grew up in the Heights and has recently moved back, I have watched the golf cart traffic increase to dangerous levels.
You stated the sightings of teenagers in golf carts. This is true, but it goes much further than that.
Yesterday I saw a 12- or 13-year-old girl driving a golf cart with a friend and her mother. It appeared they were just out driving to enjoy the day. I saw an adult male holding his toddler in one arm and driving the golf cart with the other. I saw a front yard party of multiple families with a golf cart parked on the street. 2 weeks ago, I saw an adult male with his elementary aged son on the sidewalk in their golf cart at Starbucks.
My understanding from speaking with Little Rock Police that it is illegal in the city of Little Rock to drive a golf cart on the streets. They also stated that folks must be caught in the act before anything can be done and gave me the non-emergency number to call when I see a golf cart on the street.
I am horrified that a state representative would even consider a law allowing anyone to drive golf carts on the streets legally. No seatbelts? No passenger limits? No lights? Where is the benefit to the community for a law like this?
Max, I am trying to put a stop to this in my neighborhood before someone is hurt or killed. Any ideas?
Not really. My only idea is 1) to stay in touch with the City Board to make sure Little Rock doesn't expand the reach of marauding golf carts. 2) Whether anything can be done about existing abuses, I just don't know, I indicated. My correspondent wrote back
I'll keep calling the non-emergency number when I see them. I didn't get out of the house until late this afternoon and guess what I saw! Middle aged couple in their golf cart, with two dogs on the back in a cage. Can't walk the dogs in the Heights ya know, gotta take em for a ride! When did the folks living in the Heights begin to think they were so entitled? Or maybe they always have, though I don't remember feeling entitled when I grew up here in the 60's and 70's.
I wonder if the police would speak at the next Heights Association meeting on April 22nd?
UPDATE: After work today, my original correspondent sent in a response to some of the robust commenting today. It follows on the jump.
Noted, the article on which the headline above is based is written by Andy Borowitz, a humorist for New Yorker.
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—The National Rifle Association leader Wayne LaPierre today defended his decision to purchase the former congressman Asa Hutchinson, after an outspoken N.R.A. member complained that the organization should be using its funds to buy current congressmen only.
Shortly after Mr. Hutchinson appeared at a press conference in Washington to present the N.R.A.’s plan to arm teachers and other school personnel, N.R.A. dissident Tracy Klugian blasted the purchase of the former Arkansas representative.
“Members of the N.R.A. fork over millions of dollars to this organization,” he said. “That money should be used to buy people who are actually in Congress now, not some has-been like Hutchinson who doesn’t even have a vote anymore.”
Ah, but he may be governor of Arkansas some day. Not that the NRA hasn't already pimped out our legislature sufficiently already.
ON A SERIOUS NOTE: Hutchinson is getting worked over on MSNBC tonight because 1) his security report was based on the work of security consulting firms that could stand to profit in many ways, including in providing the training Hutchinson advocates for in-school security people, including, potentially, trained teachers and administrators, and 2) there were no school officials or women on the 13-member committee that came up with the report.
Last Thursday, amendments to SB387 — Sen. Missy Irvin’s body modification bill — removed the ban on scarification and clarified the definitions regarding implants. These needed, ahem, modifications changed the legislation from a clumsy and unnecessary ban to more reasonable regulation. Max mentioned this Thursday in his legislative roundup but I thought I’d add a quick post given all the coverage we’ve given the bill.
The original nanny-state bill sailed through the Senate Public Health committee and the Senate with very little in the way of substantive discussion. The amendments to the bill represent a victory for the citizen activism of Misty Forsberg and other body artists and their consumers, who kept showing up to testify and flooded legislators with e-mails. Yes, ultimately Forsberg was advocating for the interests of her industry, but these are small businesses without much political clout, and they were never opposed to strong regulation. They simply did not want the government establishing unreasonable restrictions on what folks could do with their own bodies.
The key victory here was removing the ban on scarification entirely. The bill was also amended to remove the prohibition on dermal implants, which were defined in such broad and vague terms that arguably navel piercings would have been banned. Subdermal implants, a significantly more invasive procedure in which the skin is completely closed over the implant, will not be allowed in body-art studios. In practice, federal regulations on plastic surgery already keep body artists from doing subdermal implants; the body artists and body-art enthusiasts in attendance at the committee meeting told me that federal law and a lack of regulatory structure in the state makes subdermal implants unrealistic for body artists in Arkansas at this time.
Body artists there to testify against SB387 ended up testifying for it instead, along with SB388, a second body modification bill addressing training and professional standards. "It takes it from a gray area to legitimizing what we're doing and making it a legal, regulated form of body art in this state," Forsberg told me afterwards. She said that initially lawmakers had not taken their concerns seriously and she was happily surprised when she heard about the amendments at the last minute.
After Irvin's frankly embarrassing performance in Senate committee, it was nice to see Rep. Deborah Ferguson , who came on as a co-sponsor to the amended bills, give a reasoned presentation. "Everyone has a different idea of beauty but we should try to ensure that it’s done safely," she said.
In a great summary of a regulation-not-prohibition approach, Ferguson said, "We can actually prevent a lot of unnecessary disease by not rejecting people’s desire to decorate their bodies. I’m not for banning anything. There’s not a culture in the world that didn’t practice some form of tattooing at some point in its history. It’s not a fringe practice — it’s a natural desire to create meaning and beauty in the world."
The bills are on the House calendar today.
Previous coverage: You can read our initial report of the Senate committee meeting here, a further explanation of why the original bill was such a bad idea here, and an argument for why the principle matters here.
Isnt the Dem party looking for an ED?
Heres the woman for the job!!!
@Citizen1 ... The FBI guys and girls did not just show up on Saturday and…
What about beebe appointing his buddies the various boards and commissions? I hear its $60k…
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