This year's Arkansas Literary Festival packs nearly 100 authors into three short days, its organizers putting together an encyclopedic event for all tastes and habits of reading. That's a good thing, and a bad thing: Those with a broad range of interests are going to be tearing their hair out trying to decide what sessions to sacrifice.
Summertime almost always makes The Observer think of the dogs of my youth, those constant companions who were always there as I tromped the wilds near Lawson Road in Little Rock, and later the fields and canebreaks of Saline County. It says something about the way that The Observer came up that the memory of summer always smells like wet dog.
I find it particularly suspicious, that when addressing issues that impact the older parts of our city [the ordinance to require conditional use permits for stores that sell beer or wine], the sentiment is always "something is better than nothing."
You have to feel a little sorry for the Arkansas Republican Party. After a lifetime of haplessness nearly unrivaled among state political parties in the United States, it is now in the midst of its first legitimate run for control of the state legislature since Reconstruction.
You know it's an election year, and people have been looking at polls, when politicians start shedding previously cherished convictions. U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford of the First Congressional District, for one, is showing a newly acquired flexibility. Democrats think they have a good chance to beat the Republican freshman.
Sheffield Nelson is an odd person to be waging a one-man crusade against the business and political establishment to raise taxes on the Texas and Oklahoma gas producers who have been drilling in the Arkansas shale.
"New York City's new sensitivity guidelines for standardized tests ban 50 undesirable words that might 'evoke unpleasant emotions' in students, including 'dancing,' 'dinosaurs,' and 'birthdays.' Fundamentalists might be upset by dinosaurs and dancing, while Jehovah's Witnesses don't celebrate birthdays. Also banned are 'Halloween' and 'junk food ...' "
Sometimes I think that the more time I spend on the farm, the better I understand Washington journalists. Among cows, for example, virtually all decisions are group decisions, although it's often impossible to tell where a given idea originates. Sometimes the bull leads; sometimes he follows.
By the time you read this, Bobby Petrino's judgment may well be wrought, and may have taken the form of outright dismissal, pecuniary loss or some hybrid penalty with a suspension and an in-house checklist by which to abide.
Bowl games run the gamut, from the oddball and uninteresting to the compelling and rich (hat tip to Ron Burgundy). It's hard to imagine how Arkansas-Texas in any scenario would be a yawner, and the AdvoCare Texas Bowl next Monday night is a sellout for the first time in the game's relative infancy, so the appeal is unquestioned from the regional assessment and even on a broader scale will be embraced.
Last week, Rep. Josh Miller, a Republican legislator from Heber Springs, spoke against the private option Medicaid expansion last week. He invoked FDR's New Deal — a "hand up," he said, not a "handout."
Scott Ellington, the prosecuting attorney for Arkansas's Second Judicial District, said in a recent interview that, "There are no ongoing investigations by governmental investigative authorities" concerning the West Memphis Three case. Ellington may be the only person on the planet who believes there is "closure" in my case.