Each year, when it comes time to plan our annual Readers Choice Restaurant issue, we survey the winners, start riffing on what readers got right or wrong and then pretty quickly get too hungry to concentrate and disperse to chow down. We tried to capture that approach in this edition.
Gov. Mike Beebe speaks to reporters Tuesday. Beebe had harsh words for Lt. Gov. Mark Darr, who signed legislation exempting the concealed-carry permit list from the state Freedom of Information Act as acting governor last week while Beebe was out of town.
If you've looked at the daily newspaper lately, you've undoubtedly seen the gray cinderblock of tiny text that proves one of the major growth industries in the city of Little Rock these days is jacking other people's stuff.
When Sally Mengel, 26, and Rachel Moore, 25, opened the soda fountain at the Green Corner Store on South Main to serve their Loblolly brand ice cream, it signaled another step in the progress of SoMa neighborhood's revitalization.
On Feb. 11, Gov. Mike Beebe signed a bill into law that alters the exemption in the concealed carry handgun statute that had prohibited permit holders from carrying their guns into houses of worship. Called "The Church Protection Act," the new addendum to the law says that church officials may now determine for themselves who can carry a concealed handgun into their place of worship. An emergency clause attached to the bill made the new law go into effect immediately after it was signed.
If you look in the back of the Arkansas Times this week, you'll notice something missing: The Observer's pal and spiritual Yoda, the great Bob Lancaster, retired from writing his weekly column a couple of weeks ago, which means he has retired from journalism and a career that stretched all the way back to the reign of Orval Faubus, who once hated Bob so much for something he'd written that Faubus personally saw to it that he was fired as editor of his college newspaper. We'd call that a badge of honor.
Also, for the use of school gun scans, Mike Beebe and Asa Hutchinson and those who don't believe guns solve all the world's problems. It was a bad week for women's reproductive rights and common sense and responding to a Craigslist advertisement.
As an older Arkansan, I'm very concerned about the bill SB 2 requiring all voters to present a photo ID before they are allowed to vote. I'm concerned for the friends that I take to the polls because they no longer drive and don't have a driver's license or a current photo ID from a job. I'm equally concerned about people with disabilities who may never have had a driver's license or photo ID from a job, or who may no longer have either due to a catastrophic accident or major health issue.
As they came into their leadership roles following the 2012 elections, the moderate, young GOP leaders of the House and Senate emphasized that they expected the current legislative session to be focused on the bread-and-butter issues of economic development, tax policy and Medicaid. In short, they indicated that they wanted to be Republican versions of Mike Beebe, a governor whom House Speaker Davy Carter regularly holds up as the best in the state's history.
No job is so small that it's not too big for somebody. Political scientists had thought it virtually impossible for any occupant to embarrass the office of lieutenant governor, the office itself being something of an embarrassment, serving no real purpose.
While the Senate was approving a Republican bill to discourage voting by non-Republicans (minorities, the poor, the elderly), Sen. Alan Clark, R-Lonsdale, was irked that Democratic opponents spoke frankly of the bill's objectives.
We have probably talked and heard more about the Academy Award nominations and winners this month than whether it is right or makes sense for a nation supposedly dedicated to life and civil liberty to be killing its citizens for taking unpopular stances in foreign countries. What does that say about our devotion to life and liberty? What does it say about our ethics?
With many Americans alternately bored and infuriated by the latest made-for-TV fiscal melodrama in Washington, something highly unusual happened. A prominent, name-brand pundit published a column about the "sequestration" battle that was not merely smug, lazy and condescending, but factually false.
Also, 'Sons of the Prophet' at Nadine Baum Studios in Fayetteville, Shinyribs and Kevin Kerby at White Water, Wayne Hancock and Bonnie Montgomery at Maxine's, "Relive your Prom" at Robinson and Ken Stringfellow at Stickyz.
Bret Bielema's goodwill tour through the state of Arkansas has been a customarily fleet and spectacularly engaging one, and even though Pearls doesn't want to harp on the distinctions between the new lead Hog and his predecessors, it's an impossible one to simply ignore.
Juanita's, the venerable Tex-Mex restaurant and music venue, is leaving the South Main Street location it's called home since 1986 for the River Market and the former home of Bill St., 614 President Clinton Ave.