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Best of Arkansas 2012 

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click to enlarge Jose Hernandez at work on the Arkansas Times image.

From subwoofers to spas, the readers of the Arkansas Times have spoken, and provided, for the 17th year running, a list of Arkansas's best. Besides the results for the zillions of categories voted on, the Times offers several features, and we might just win a Pulitzer with one of them. That's because this year, the Times blows the lid off the mysterious Forbidden Hillcrest, scoring an interview with reclusive blogger Paul Carr.

Other stories: Where to drop several large on audio equipment for your car. A profile of Amasa Hines, a band that has everything going for it. A defense of the River Rail, which our voters named Best Misuse of Public Funds but which makes our writer David Koon misty-eyed. The place men have gotten their pants for nearly a century and will for a century more. Onion rings and how they crumble.

Of course, there are our own personal picks, where readers will discover the best place to see painted buntings and big cats and the best mobile phone game invented by an Arkansas company and the best place to buy sardines while you're waiting for a prescription to be filled and best place to find a cheap desk.

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  • Executionpalooza

    Appearances count. I was struck by a single sentence over the weekend in a full page of coverage in The New York Times devoted to the killing spree in Arkansas, beginning with a front-page account of the recent flurry of legal filings on pending executions and continuing inside with an interview with Damien Echols, the former death row inmate.
  • Art bull

    "God, I hate art," my late friend The Doctor used to say.
  • Not justice

    The strongest, most enduring calls for the death penalty come from those who feel deeply the moral righteousness of "eye-for-an-eye" justice, or retribution. From the depths of pain and the heights of moral offense comes the cry, "The suffering you cause is the suffering you shall receive!" From the true moral insight that punishment should fit the crime, cool logic concludes, "Killers should be killed." Yet I say: retribution yes; death penalty no.
  • Judge Griffen writes about morality, Christian values and executions

    Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, who blogs at Justice is a verb!, sends along a new post this morning.
  • The Ledell Lee execution thread

    Arkansas Times contributor Jacob Rosenberg is at the Cummins Unit in Grady filing dispatches tonight in advance of the expected execution of Ledell Lee, who was sentenced to death for the Feb. 9, 1993, murder of Debra Reese, 26, who was beaten to death in the bedroom of her home in Jacksonville.

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