Blog Roll

Arkansas Blog

Hourly news and comment

Rock Candy

The guide to Arkansas entertainment

Eat Arkansas

For food lovers

Eye Candy

On art in Arkansas

Street Jazz

A view from Northwest Arkansas

Eat Arkansas

kBird: Little Rock's gem of a Thai place

kBird feels like your friend's house in college, but with way better food.

Ceci's Chicken and Waffles relocates to Conway

Slightly odd ordering system aside, Ceci's serves mouth-watering food you'll want a regular date with

Sashimi offered good service but mediocre dishes

While there was nothing terribly wrong with this experience, there wasn't anything truly great, either.

Dining Review

Cheers!

June 22, 2017
Cheers!
A different approach to the Heights stalwart. /more/

Dining Search

A&E Feature

Hard edges

June 22, 2017
Hard edges
The 59th Delta provokes thoughts about why we love our unnatural lawns, and what is real, anyway? /more/

To-Do List

Joo Won Kang at Wildwood

June 21, 2017
Joo Won Kang at Wildwood
Also, Esme Patterson, Little Rock Vegan Festival, Crystal Mercer, Ben Lee, Opera in the Ozarks, Sammy Kershaw and more /more/

Columnists

Max Brantley

A tax for NLR

North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith pitched me this week on a city sales tax increase. If still a resident, I'd be favorably inclined. /more/

Ernest Dumas

Obamascare

Republicans at long last may be about to see their most fervent wishes and wildest predictions materialize — millions of people losing their medical and hospital coverage, unaffordable insurance, lost jobs, a Medicare financial crisis, mushrooming federal budget deficits and fiscal crises across state governments. /more/

Gene Lyons

Megyn vs. Alex

As vigorously hyped broadcast events go, Megyn Kelly's televised confrontation with internet conspiracy cultist Alex Jones proved something of a dud. /more/

Movie Reviews

Vroom (again)

June 22, 2017
Vroom (again)
Pixar's 'Cars 3' gets a few things right. /more/

Pearls About Swine

Summer hopes

June 22, 2017
Bret Bielema is not, regardless of your possible venom toward him or the catastrophic way the 2016 season wrapped, going anywhere. /more/

Blog Roll

Arkansas Blog

Hourly news and comment

Rock Candy

The guide to Arkansas entertainment

Eat Arkansas

For food lovers

Eye Candy

On art in Arkansas

Street Jazz

A view from Northwest Arkansas

Arkansas Blog

Monday, June 26, 2017 - 10:13:00

VA nurses picket over working conditions

click to enlarge NURSES DEMONSTRATING: At VA. - MARCI MANLEY/KARK
  • Marci Manley/KARK
  • NURSES DEMONSTRATING: At VA.
KATV reports that nurses at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Little Rock picketed today about understaffing at the hospital that they say puts patient care at risk.

The VA has responded by saying it has put a plan in place to address the complaints, but also said:

Fierce competition in the local labor market, medical/surgical staff transfers, budgeting constrictions, and other personnel challenges are all affecting our nursing staff numbers.
About 30 nurses signed a letter about working conditions sent to the VA inspector general and the state Board of Nursing.

 

Monday, June 26, 2017 - 08:55:00

Supreme Court orders Arkansas to stop birth certificate discrimination

WINNER: Marissa Pavan was a named plaintiff in the case decided today by U.S. Supreme Court. - MICHAEL HIBBLEN/KUAR
  • Michael Hibblen/KUAR
  • WINNER: Marissa Pavan was a named plaintiff in the case decided today by U.S. Supreme Court.
The U.S. Supreme Court today summarily ordered Arkansas to place both names of same-sex couples on birth certificates.

Three justices dissented — new Justice Neal Gorscuh, Joseph Alito and Clarence Thomas. Gorsuch wrote the dissent.

The lead attorney for plaintiffs in the case had hoped for this outcome when he spoke to me last week. Arkansas, in a nonsensical Arkansas Supreme Court ruling, said there was a biological imperative to allow only a biological parent to be listed on birth certificates of children of same-sex couples, though it imposes no such condition on children of opposite-sex couples who achieved pregnancy without contributions from both parents.

Chief Justice John Roberts joined the majority. Said the court of Arkansas's discriminatory practice:

Because that differential treatment infringes Obergefell’s commitment to provide same-sex couples “the constellation of benefits that the States have linked to marriage,” we reverse the state court's judgment.
The opinion continued:

As already explained, when a married woman in Arkansas conceives a child by means of artificial insemination, the State will—indeed, must—list the name of her male spouse on the child’s birth certificate. And yet state law, as interpreted by the [Arkansas Supreme] court below, allows Arkansas officials in those very same circumstances to omit a married woman’s female spouse from her child’s birth certificate. As a result, same-sex parents in Arkansas lack the same right as opposite-sex parents to be listed on a child’s birth certificate, a document often used for important transactions like making medical decisions for a child or enrolling a child in school.  Obergfell proscribes such disparate treatment.
The Supreme Court, in an unsigned per curiam opinion, found little support for Supreme Court Justice Jo Hart's biology defense of discrimination.

Echoing the court below, the State defends its birth certificate law on the ground that being named on a child’s birth certificate is not a benefit that attends marriage. Instead, the State insists, a birth certificate is simply a device for recording biological parentage—regardless of whether the child’s parents are married. But Arkansas law makes birth certificates about more than just genetics.

As already discussed, when an opposite-sex couple conceives a child by way of anonymous sperm donation—just as the petitioners did here—state law requires the placement of the birth mother’s husband on the child’s birth certificate. And that is so even though (as the State concedes) the husband “is definitively not the biological father” in those circumstances. Arkansas has thus chosen to make its birth certificates more than a mere marker of biological relationships:

The State uses those certificates to give married parents a form of legal recognition that is not available to unmarried parents. Having made that choice, Arkansas may not, consistent with Obergefell, deny married same-sex couples that recognition.

The petition for a writ of certiorari and the pending motions for leave to file briefs as amici curiae are granted. The judgment of the Arkansas Supreme Court is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion. 
The dissenters argued that nothing in the Obergfell ruling prevented a birth certificate scheme based on biology and that there was a rational reason for such a scheme.

What, then, is at work here? If there isn’t a problem with a biology based birth registration regime, perhaps the concern lies in this particular regime’s exceptions. For it turns out that Arkansas’s general rule of registration based on biology does admit of certain more specific exceptions.

Most importantly for our purposes, the State acknowledges that §9–10–201 of the Arkansas Code controls how birth certificates are completed in cases of artificial insemination like the one before us. The State acknowledges, too, that this provision, written some time ago, indicates that the mother’s husband generally shall be treated as the father—and in this way seemingly anticipates only opposite-sex marital unions.

But if the artificial insemination statute is the concern, it’s still hard to see how summary reversal should follow ....

The full opinion can be found at this link,
after scrolling through the summary or orders issued today.

Seeking comments from Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, who defended the unconstitutional rule, and also from the Health Department on its plans to implement a legal procedure. Future hearings before the Arkansas Supreme Court could be interesting. The ruling majority there — only then Chief Justice Howard Brill and now Retired Justice Paul Danielson dissented from the ruling — sometimes reacts sharply to opposite opinions.

Said a Health Department spokeswoman:

ADH is currently reviewing the order to determine next steps and procedural changes required to comply.
In another gay rights case, the Supreme Court has decided to hear the appeal of a Colorado baker held by his state to be in violation of state law by refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex couple's marriage. The case is about businesses in which freedom of expression is also a part of the issue. But it seems to me that if a business can refuse to provide cake for a wedding for people who's sexual orientation bothers them it could also refuse to rent them a hotel room or serve them a hamburger or rent them an apartment in which to cohabitate.

And speaking of SCOTUS: It declined to take a California case where a lawsuit sought to win 2nd Amendment protection to carry guns outside the home despite a state law against open carry. Only two justices would have heard the case.

 

Monday, June 26, 2017 - 07:07:00

Arkansas officials sued over efforts to extradite man wrongly arrested

click to enlarge STEVEN DISHMAN: In 1985 and today is now in custody. But a false arrest lawsuit engendered by the search for him lingers on.
  • STEVEN DISHMAN: In 1985 and today is now in custody. But a false arrest lawsuit engendered by the search for him lingers on.

More here on the case of Steven Dishman, the escaped convict arrested in Springdale Sunday after 32 years on the lame.

We mentioned then the false arrest suit by James Soler of Alpine, Calif., arrested erroneously as Dishman and held for a week, apparently because of a busybody neighbor.

I've since learned that Soler has filed suit in federal court in Little Rock against Lisa Wilkins, an attorney for the Arkansas Correction Department, and Ray Hobbs, former department director, for efforts by Arkansas to extradite despite a lack of evidence that he was, in fact, Dishman. Eventually fingerprints proved California cops had the wrong man and he was released. But during this period, Wilkins asserted vigorously probable cause for Soler's extradition (without demonstrating any, the lawsuit alleges), a process approved at every step in Arkansas.

The lawsuit pending in Little Rock tells the whole tale from Soler's point of vidw.
A trial in that case is scheduled in April.

Among others, the suit says that Wilkins decided to seek extradition based solely on the allegation by a neighbor that Soler was Dishman.

She made that decision based solely on the statements that Ms. Lara made to Lt. Smart earlier that day witihout: ( 1) conducting any follow-up investigation, let alone a reasonable one, including sending Mr. Dishman's fingerprints to San Diego by email or overnight express; (2) asking any other person or entity to conduct any follow-up investigation, including asking whether Mr. Soler's fingerprints were on file in San Diego or AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification System) which was in wide use by 2013 and in Arkansas since 20003; or (3) obtaining any additional information to accurately assess whether Mr. Soler was the escapee Steven Dishman.

Over the next several weeks, Ms. Wilkins periodically apprised Mr. Hobbs of her efforts with respect to the Dishman/Soler matter, and she advised Mr. Hobbs that ( 1) there was probable cause to believe that Mr. Soler was the escapee Steven Dishman, and (2) there was probable cause to support Mr. Soler's arrest in, and extradition from, California. Yet, they completely lacked probable cause. 
The lawsuit, filed by John W. Hall, seeks actual and punitive damages for violation of Soler's constitutional rights. It says his detention was prolonged by actions of the Arkansas officials.

The State Police said today it is continuing to investigate Dishman's escape and where he's lived the last 32 years.

The investigation into where a state prison escapee has spent the past thirty-two years is in the hands of the Arkansas State Police. Investigators are questioning people who knew him by another name. A statement said a person who met Dishman about five years after the escape came forward last weekend to give information that led troopers to the Springdale residence where he was arrested.

 

More Arkansas Blog

Featured Videos

STAFF BLOGS: ARKANSAS BLOG

Today's headlines: The rich get richer

Rock Candy

Monday, June 26, 2017 - 09:57:00

Tedeschi Trucks Band lands at Robinson Center in September

click to enlarge tedeschi-trucks-band_photo-credit-tedeschi-trucks-band_band-general-2.jpg
The 12-piece, Grammy Award-winning band led by spouses Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks announced this morning that they'd include a stop at Robinson Center as part of the third installment of the band's "Wheels of Soul" tour. Members of The Wood Brothers and Hot Tuna join the lineup for the concert, 7 p.m. Sunday, September 17.

Tickets range from $30-$80, and go on sale this Friday, June 30 at Ticketmaster or by calling 800-745-3000.

Here's a jam from the band's February CD/DVD release, "Live From The Fox Oakland."

 

Friday, June 23, 2017 - 09:15:00

Guns 'N' Roses launches SiriusXM channel

unnamed.jpg
Looking to brush up on your Guns 'N' Roses repertoire before Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan descend on War Memorial Stadium August 5th?

From Rolling Stone comes news of a GNR-focused SiriusXM channel devoted to the Los Angeles rockers.
Guns N' Roses Radio will air from July 13th to July 22nd on SiriusXM's channel 41, with the station playing GNR tracks alongside live performances, rarities and songs by artists that inspired Axl Rose and company.

 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 - 10:50:00

Kirsten Johnson's documentary memoir screens at Riverdale tonight

click to enlarge SAMIRA BOUAOU
  • Samira Bouaou
Kirsten Johnson — the cinematographer behind "Citizenfour," "Fahrenheit 9/11," "Darfur Now" and "The Invisible War" — delved into her personal connections with the subjects of her lens in "Cameraperson," released last September. She talked with Variety in January about the catalyst for the film.

I had the idea of making “Cameraperson” after working on a documentary which fell apart because its protagonist, a young Afghan girl who had initially accepted to be filmed, changed her mind after three years when she saw the almost-completed film and she feared it would put her life in danger.

The extent of the ethical conflict that we face as filmmakers at this moment in history, now that the Internet exists, really dawned on me in that moment. In this new territory we’re in, we can’t control where images go. This has an impact on people being filmed and the people making images as well: we can all be traced. It used to be that when you filmed someone in a foreign country who needed protection, you could tell people that footage would never be seen in their country. Today we can’t. In many ways, “Cameraperson” is about representation and misrepresentation, about political, ethical questions, as much as it is about trauma, love and tenderness.

Those questions came home to roost for Johnson, who interspersed scenes of massacre and desperation with scenes of her own mother's mental decline, as the symptoms of Alzheimer's set in. As Arkansas Times Film Series curator Omaya Jones wrote in this week's To-Do List, Johnson says she is is "not in the film, yet [she's] everywhere in the film."

Tonight's screening begins at 7 p.m. at Riverdale 10 Cinema, and tickets are $8.50. RSVP here.


 

More Rock Candy

Most Shared

  • Obamascare

    Republicans at long last may be about to see their most fervent wishes and wildest predictions materialize — millions of people losing their medical and hospital coverage, unaffordable insurance, lost jobs, a Medicare financial crisis, mushrooming federal budget deficits and fiscal crises across state governments.
  • Megyn vs. Alex

    As vigorously hyped broadcast events go, Megyn Kelly's televised confrontation with internet conspiracy cultist Alex Jones proved something of a dud.
  • Monkey wrenches

    Junior is 17 now, and shows no interest in driving, or even taking the driving test. It's got his Old Man a little concerned, and not just because we're running a car service for one these days.

Cover Story

You're doing your 401(k) wrong

June 22, 2017
You're doing your 401(k) wrong
Hundreds of thousands of retirement dollars could be at stake. /more/

VIEW PRINT EDITION

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Arkansas Reporter

Two suits challenge new abortion laws

June 22, 2017
Two suits challenge new abortion laws
Arkansas legislators "matched cruelty with creativity" this year with the passage of new laws to block women from getting legal abortions, the deputy director of the ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project said Tuesday in announcing the filing of two suits in federal court challenging new laws. /more/
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation