Blog Roll

Arkansas Blog

Hourly news and comment

Rock Candy

Music, art and eats in Arkansas

Cannabiz

Arkansas's guide to medical cannabis

Dining Review

Poke vs. poke

February 15, 2018
Poke vs. poke
Poke Hula and Ohia Poke open; everyone wins. /more/

Dining Search

A&E Feature

In the margins

February 15, 2018
In the margins
A rediscovered violin concerto brings an oft-forgotten composer into the limelight. /more/

Columnists

Max Brantley

Love, Ark Blog

Things you might have missed if you don't read the Arkansas Blog: • If you /more/

Ernest Dumas

Conley's plea

Even with his facial stubble, Garrard Conley looks and acts like a diffident teenager, not a 33-year-old man who is a leading exponent of the "gay agenda," as right-wingers refer to the movement to gain equal treatment for sexual minorities. /more/

Gene Lyons

Out of control

Unlike now infamous White House aide Rob Porter, I didn't have a Harvard professor and presidential confidant for a father. My old man was a New Jersey Irish working stiff, who taught me most of what I know about being a man. Among the enduring lessons he'd learned during his service as an artillery sergeant was that ethnic tribalism could be a trap. /more/

Movie Reviews

Mixed feelings

February 8, 2018
Mixed feelings
Within (and about) 'Phantom Thread,' Paul Thomas Anderson's Oscar-bound period piece. /more/

Pearls About Swine

Up and down

February 15, 2018
Arkansas's hyper-frustrating basketball team sorely needed a week with two home games against lesser teams to get out of a potentially season-killing swoon. Dutifully, both South Carolina and Vanderbilt obliged, and permitted the Razorbacks to press back to a .500 SEC record with the Hogs rolling to by far their easiest two wins of calendar year 2018. /more/

Blog Roll

Arkansas Blog

Hourly news and comment

Rock Candy

Music, art and eats in Arkansas

Cannabiz

Arkansas's guide to medical cannabis

Arkansas Blog

Monday, February 19, 2018 - 07:21:00

Conner Eldridge forms NWA law firm

click to enlarge CONNER ELDRDIDGE
  • CONNER ELDRDIDGE
Conner Eldridge, the former western district U.S. attorney who made an unsuccessful Democratic race for U.S. Senate in 2016, has announced formation of a new law firm, based in Rogers, with Steve Brooks, a former Friday Firm partner.

The news release on the new Eldridge Brooks firm says it will work in a variety of corporate law areas as well as white collar criminal defense.

Eldridge's resume includes a stint as CEO of Summit Bank. Brooks is also a CPA and partner in New Road Capital Partners.

 

Monday, February 19, 2018 - 07:10:00

Government holiday includes Hutchinson news conference

click to enlarge QUIET TODAY: The Arkansas House will be empty today on account of the government holiday. But Gov. Asa Hutchinson will talk about the budget session and a potential special session on health coverage issues.
  • QUIET TODAY: The Arkansas House will be empty today on account of the government holiday. But Gov. Asa Hutchinson will talk about the budget session and a potential special session on health coverage issues.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson
won't take today's government holiday off. He's holding a 3 p.m. news conference to respond to a call from leaders of the House and Senate to hold a special session on the issue of pharmacy reimbursements under the state's expanded Medicaid health insurance coverage.

I suspect he'll be amenable, particularly if the deal somehow brings enough people over to approve his budget with its continuation of the Arkansas Works program. But that might have to wait for a special session, too, when three Senate seats currently vacant are filled by special elections.

As Benji Hardy wrote Friday, the legislature likes to limit the so-called fiscal session to strictly budget matters. A change in policy would not be a budget matter. But it can take up other matters by a two-thirds vote. And it may do the same even in a special session with an agenda set by the governor.

Speaking of which: A former lawyer for the legislature, David Ferguson, has outlined this procedure in an essay posted by Conduit for Action, the conservative interest group that would like to kill the Medicaid expansion entirely and which is working to win Senate seats to prevent the three-fourths vote necessary to approve appropriation bills.

Ferguson sees the efforts of House Speaker Jeremy Gillam and Senate President Pro Tem Jonathan Dismang to work out a special session agenda in advance with early filing of legislation supported by two-thirds of members as an assault on "representative democracy."  He sees their "suggestions" for preparing for an expeditious special session as an end-run around rules of the houses. It's political maneuvering, no doubt.

But as Ferguson himself notes, all he needs is 67 representatives and 24 senators to agree with him on a different course of action. It's called representative democracy. The noise suggests he doesn't have them.

Ferguson is right about the power that has come to be vested in chamber leadership, particularly the House with the speaker's control of committees. But that was a product of a vote, too.

 

Sunday, February 18, 2018 - 17:21:00

The kids are marching open line

click to enlarge screen_shot_2018-02-18_at_5.09.06_pm.png

Here's the Sunday open line. Young people seem to be getting organized for a March 24 march on Washington to encourage Congress to do so far what it has refused to do: Consider anything but expansion of the availability of guns.

The March for Our Lives says it is time to talk, however little Republican leaders wish to do so.

The Trump effort to blame the FBI for failing to check a complaint about the Florida shooter is a misdirection. He had no criminal record. He'd not been judged mentally incompetent. He was not under a domestic order. He was 18 and he could buy all the guns and high-capacity magazines he wanted.

Which brings up a common-sense gun measure that even some gun lovers have mentioned to me — a gun violence protective order, described here by the foundation set up by Gabbie Giffords
Laws enacted in 2014 and 2016 in California and Washington provide loved ones with lifesaving tools that can prevent gun tragedies before they occur. Gun violence protective order laws, also known as gun violence restraining orders and extreme risk protection orders, allow families and household members, as well as law enforcement officers, to petition a court to remove a person’s access to guns if he or she poses an imminent danger to self or others.
We have some protection in state law, but not against someone not adjudicated mentally ill.  Domestic protection orders can be entered to protect a specific person, but not to generally restrain someone.

Here's the ugly fact — the NRA and the Arkansas legislature are reluctant to restrict gun use by even demonstrably dangerous people. The gun lobby threw in the scrap heap legislation offered by Rep. Clarke Tucker in 2017 to prohibit firearm possession by someone convicted of misdemeanor domestic battery or stalking.  Also trashed was legislation to make it a misdemeanor to negligently allow a child access to a firearm. If Tucker wins the Democratic primary to oppose NRA millionaire Republican Rep. French Hill, you can guess where the gun lobby money will go.

As luck would have it, I just received Congressman Hill's newsletter. His complete comment on the latest gun slaughter:

I would ask you to keep the community of Parkland, Florida, in your prayers as they reconcile the evil perpetrated against their community. The loss of 17 innocent lives at Stoneman Douglas High School is a heartbreak that no community should have to endure. As a parent of a high school and college student, Martha and I praise the first responders who took action and we remain prayerful at this time.
He couldn't even bring himself to write the three-letter word that ended those innocent lives.

I remain prayerful somebody — Gwen Combs, Paul Spencer, Clarke Tucker, — will send this gun apologist packing.





 

More Arkansas Blog

Featured Videos

STAFF BLOGS: ARKANSAS BLOG

Today's headlines: Indictments for Russian election meddling

Rock Candy

Friday, February 16, 2018 - 16:26:00

No Small Talk Ep. 6: Point Break and even more Musicians Showcase

click to enlarge no_small_talk_1.png
This week's "No Small Talk" features continuing coverage of the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase plus a preview of "Point Break," the next movie in our film series at Riverdale.

As always, we've got the links you need to follow along:

*Here's the most recent Musicians Showcase update on Round 3

*You can grab more information from our To-Do List about the Arkansas Times Film Series screening of "Point Break." (Or grab tickets on Riverdale's site.) The To-Do List also has the information you need on what to do this week — including Stephanie's move for the weekend, a reading with Molly McCully Brown.

*The Riverdale film series that's going on throughout 2018 is online here; it includes "The Room," "Blazing Saddles," "Clockwork Orange."

*Dig into light pollution info, courtesy of Omaya's recommendation.

*Listen to "A Very Fatal Murder"

*And you must, if on Android, follow in Stephanie's footsteps with the live earth background.

Happy weekend!


 

Friday, February 16, 2018 - 11:47:00

Sabine Valley wins round three of the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase

And Round 3 of the 2018 Arkansas Times Musician's Showcase goes to: Sabine Valley!

We've got another great lineup for Round 4. You can check out the schedule here. And come out this Thursday, February 22 to Stickyz, to see who will join The Rios, Couch Jackets and Sabine Valley at the finals at The Rev Room on Friday, March 9.

The winner of that final round receives: cold hard cash, an in-studio showcase at Capitol View Studio, a live spot at Patio on Park Hill 2018, live spot at the Arkansas State Fair Bud Light Pavilion, a live spot at Musicfest El Dorado, a live spot at Low Key Arts' Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival in Hot Springs, a Thursday Night Live performance at Griffin Restaurant in El Dorado, eight hours of artist development at The Hive Studio, a PRS SE 245 Standard 22 Electric Guitar from Sunrise Guitars and more.

Here's a rundown of last night's show with comments from our four judges; Sarah Woolf of the "Follow the Woolf" series, Robert Locke of Shindig Music, J. Bradley Minnick of KUAR's "Arts & Letters," Drew Pickens and our guest judge for the night, host of the latest "Nasty Women" comedy showcase, Willow Wheeler.

Sabine Valley

Judge's comments:

"Lead singer owns it. Fugazi, Garbage, Pavement-y."

"Jesus, these kids are how old? Very impressive."

"Nice crowd enthusiasm and support."

"She owned the stage and possibly the night."

"That lead singer is a live wire and I am loving it. Gives me Sleater-Kinney meets Bikini Kill vibes."


Crankbait


Judge's comments:

"Solid, dark metal."

"These guys have earned their place in the Central Arkansas music scene. So influential and respected."

"The introduction of a synth into a genre that would otherwise shun it is a great touch."

"These guys just scared half the crowd. Somewhere the Devil is proud."



All the Way Korean



Judge's comments:

"P.I.L. Public Image Limited. Commanded the stage with cool bass lines. Points for suits."

"Best showmanship of the night."

"Professional musicians. These guys know and love what they're doing."

"Spa City dance punk with a late 70s London filter. Nice."



Deep Sequence



Judge's comments:

"Hella groove. Vintage tones."

"Can't wait to be out on a festival field this summer in the sunshine, cold drink in my hand dancing to this band."

"This is definitely something I could jam to. I think if you made it a little more synth heavy and experimental you could have done something nobody has ever heard before."

"Tight. Funky. Solid at every turn."





 

Friday, February 16, 2018 - 10:39:00

Arts Center to reveal architectural plan — finally

click to enlarge concept-design-presentation-postcard-invite_for-building-page.jpg

The architectural firm designing the renovated Arkansas Arts Center will reveal its concept at the Arts Center starting with champagne at 6 p.m. and the presentation at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27. Jeanne Gang, whose Studio Gang Architects firm of Chicago has been working on the design, and Arts Center Director Todd Herman will preside.

The reveal was first set for October 2017, but was canceled when it was decided that the original $46 million budget given the architects wasn't quite enough to come up with an Arts Center the public — which is giving up $37.5 million in tourism taxes to bond the project — would necessarily embrace. There are so many infrastructure issues with the Arts Center that improvements under the old budget might not have been immediately apparent.

Herman said in January that he was "cautiously optimistic" that fundraising would meet the needs of an increased budget, though he declined to say how much more money would need to be raised. Presumably, that will be revealed along with the new concept next Tuesday.

The new Arts Center is slated to open in 2021.

 

More Rock Candy

Most Shared

  • In the margins

    A rediscovered violin concerto brings an oft-forgotten composer into the limelight.
  • Donald Trump is historically unpopular — and not necessarily where you think

    My colleagues John Ray and Jesse Bacon and I estimate, in the first analysis of its kind for the 2018 election season, that the president's waning popularity isn't limited to coastal cities and states. The erosion of his electoral coalition has spread to The Natural State, extending far beyond the college towns and urban centers that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. From El Dorado to Sherwood, Fayetteville to Hot Springs, the president's approval rating is waning.
  • Arkansans join House vote to gut Americans with Disabilities Act

    Despite fierce protests from disabled people, the U.S. House voted today, mostly on party lines, to make it harder to sue businesses for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. Of course Arkansas congressmen were on the wrong side.

Cover Story

Locked away and forgotten

February 14, 2018
Locked away and forgotten
In 2017, teenagers committed to rehabilitative treatment at two South Arkansas juvenile lockups did not receive basic hygiene and clothing supplies and lived in wretched conditions. /more/

VIEW PRINT EDITION

Most Viewed

  • Pharmacy reimbursement fight prompts special session call

    Since Jan. 1, Brandon Cooper, a pharmacist at Soo’s Drug Store in Jonesboro, has turned away a number of patients seeking to fill routine prescriptions. The problem is not that the pharmacy lacks the drugs in question or that the patients don’t have insurance, Cooper said. It’s that the state’s largest insurance carrier, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, recently changed the way it pays for pharmaceuticals.
  • Locked away and forgotten

    In 2017, teenagers committed to rehabilitative treatment at two South Arkansas juvenile lockups did not receive basic hygiene and clothing supplies and lived in wretched conditions.
  • Donald Trump is historically unpopular — and not necessarily where you think

    My colleagues John Ray and Jesse Bacon and I estimate, in the first analysis of its kind for the 2018 election season, that the president's waning popularity isn't limited to coastal cities and states. The erosion of his electoral coalition has spread to The Natural State, extending far beyond the college towns and urban centers that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. From El Dorado to Sherwood, Fayetteville to Hot Springs, the president's approval rating is waning.

Most Recent Comments

Arkansas Reporter

Pharmacy reimbursement fight prompts special session call

February 18, 2018
Pharmacy reimbursement fight prompts special session call
Since Jan. 1, Brandon Cooper, a pharmacist at Soo’s Drug Store in Jonesboro, has turned away a number of patients seeking to fill routine prescriptions. The problem is not that the pharmacy lacks the drugs in question or that the patients don’t have insurance, Cooper said. It’s that the state’s largest insurance carrier, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, recently changed the way it pays for pharmaceuticals. /more/
 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation