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Arkansas Blog

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Music, art and eats in Arkansas


Arkansas's guide to medical cannabis

Dining Review

Head to Hoots

February 22, 2018
Head to Hoots
When traveling through Southeast Arkansas. /more/

Dining Search

A&E Feature

Q&A with Ashlie Atkinson

February 22, 2018
Q&A with Ashlie Atkinson
On 'Black Klansman,' calling the Hogs and the 'Jon Lovitz principle.'



Max Brantley

Meanwhile, back in Arkansas

Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin got some glowing coverage in Sunday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for arranging an award from the national association of secretaries of state for the Little Rock Nine and their brave desegregation of Central High School 60 years ago. /more/

Ernest Dumas

Russian trump

Read the Russian indictments. It is a civic duty. Likewise, Donald Trump's tweets on the matter. /more/

Gene Lyons


Amid the shock and horror accompanying yet another mass shooting of schoolchildren in Florida, an anonymous White House official exhibited the sheer moral squalor of Trumpism. /more/

Movie Reviews

Wakanda for the win

February 22, 2018
for the win
'Black Panther' is thoroughly, joyously, unabashedly black. /more/

Pearls About Swine

Playing for seed

February 22, 2018
Paradoxically, the Arkansas basketball team has cratered at the worst possible time and seemingly is peaking at the perfect time. /more/

Blog Roll

Arkansas Blog

Hourly news and comment

Rock Candy

Music, art and eats in Arkansas


Arkansas's guide to medical cannabis

Arkansas Blog

Thursday, February 22, 2018 - 07:46:00

Trump's prep for victim meetings: 'I hear you'

click to enlarge CNN
  • CNN
Donald Trump met with gun victims Thursday and a photographer captured a shot of a card on which written talking points were provided to the president.

"I hear you," said one suggestion on the crib sheet.


Thursday, February 22, 2018 - 07:37:00

Free food for legislators, but they have to drive to Rogers to get it

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Interesting note on the free swill beat for legislators today:

A designated "special event" — which means state legislators can legally attend and accept free food and drink — is the Rogers-Lowell Chamber of Commerce dinner tonight at the John G. Hammons Center. With no legislative meetings scheduled Friday, Northwest Arkansas area legislators can make it to Rogers tonight. Others most likely won't make the trek.

Slippery slope here. If the legislature can declare any meeting anywhere open to all legislators — even if practically not really intended for all legislators — it further widens the gaping loophole in the laughingly named ethics amendment the legislature got voters to approve under the false pretense it was a term limits amendment (when it actually extended term limits).

Free booze, like water, will find an outlet, not to mention a legislative swamp in which it collects.

The chamber of commerce owes the legislature for the taxpayer welfare handouts they now may enjoy. They probably should give a trophy at the meeting to former Republican Sen. Jon Woods, even though he has some pressing felonious court issues nearby that are currently occupying his time. He not only was the lead engineer of the bogus ethics amendment, he also engineered the constitutional amendment that legalized taxpayer subsidies of chambers of commerce. Every chamber of commerce in the state should name its annual dinner after Woods. Surely to goodness if an FBI agent's screwup gives him a technicality to beat the kickback rap he faces, one of them will put him on their payroll.


Thursday, February 22, 2018 - 07:21:00

A chance to meet the NRA and win an assault rifle in Jonesboro

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Between Moms Demand Action and mobilization of young people nationwide, the gun control movement has been jump-started to the discomfort of many politicians. But there IS another side.

For example, the Northeast Arkansas Friends of the NRA will convene at 5:30 p.m. tonight at the Nettleton Baptist Church Fairgrounds in Jonesboro. It's not free. The basic ticket costs $15 for young people and $25 for adults, with other packages available that include dinner and raffle tickets on gun giveaways. Top package, as you can see from the flyer, includes a chance to win a semi-automatic rifle of the sort much in the news these days for its effective non-sporting use.

A Jonesboro law enforcement officer called the event to my attention. We briefly discussed Moms Demand Action. I wonder if they have a chapter in Jonesboro?

Not to worry if you can't make this gathering. Other NRA events are scheduled March 1 in Searcy, March 3 in DeQueen, March 10 in Fort Smith and March 24 in El Dorado. and the link tells you how to get tickets. I don't know if they are open to questions from high school students, such as CNN's remarkable forum last night where Sen. Marco Rubio was jeered for opposing a ban on assault weapons and politicians were encouraged to give up NRA backing.

Speaking of young people: Columbia Journalism Review rounds up here the remarkable work of student journalists in covering the Florida massacre, an effort that has contributed to more sustained interest than has marked past gun massacres.


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Rock Candy

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

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

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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."


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

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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.


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Bitter pill

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Arkansas is second in the nation when it comes to opioid prescription rates. Those numbers are edging down, but some say the worst of the epidemic may be yet to come. /more/


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Arkansas Reporter

Righting Governor's School

February 22, 2018
Righting Governor's School
Summer program at Hendrix targeted once more. /more/

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