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GiGi's opens with soul food and 'old school R and B vibe'

GiGi’s Soul Cafe and Lounge at 10840 Maumelle Blvd., where the Nashville Rockin Grill was located, opened July 28 and co-owner Darrell Wyrick the restaurant is “bringing back the spirit of some of the places that have gone, like Porter’s and The Afterthought” with its soul food and “old school R and B vibe.”

Restaurant inspections now online

The state Department of Health is now posting retail food outlets inspection information on its website, and has posted a video on its Facebook page explaining its food inspection program and how to use the online search form.

It's been long, but looks like John Daly's Steakhouse will open

John Daly’s Steakhouse in Conway has a new tee time: Sept. 1, according to the Log Cabin Democrat.

Dining Review

A throwback

August 10, 2017
A throwback
H.B.'s barbecue stands out; the rest, not so much. /more/

Dining Search

A&E Feature

The Studio Theatre takes on 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch'

August 10, 2017
The Studio Theatre takes on 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch'
The queer culture classic opens Aug. 10. /more/

Columnists

Max Brantley

Mayoral thoughts

I took a few days off last week to attend a music festival outside Cooperstown, /more/

Ernest Dumas

Happy at defeat

After all the hydra heads of Trumpcare had been chopped off in one roll call after another, the Affordable Care Act and the health care system still lay in peril this week, subject to the whims of a vindictive president. /more/

Gene Lyons

Bad reality show

As reality TV programs go, the Trump administration is a badly scripted muddle. How much longer will loyal viewers stick around? /more/

Movie Reviews

Rom-com remix

August 3, 2017
Rom-com remix
'The Big Sick' subverts genre. /more/

Pearls About Swine

Arkansas Razorback 2017 football review, part 2

August 10, 2017
The second leg of the 2017 Arkansas football season is no picnic, metaphorically or otherwise. /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

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - 14:48:00

Wednesday's open line and a video double header


Here's the open line. And also Part I of today's news summary. A phone failure truncated this version and I wrapped it up on a second, shorter segment. Watch that part here if you dare.

 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - 14:31:00

Arkansas-linked Charlottesville marcher identified, apologizes to those misidentified

click to enlarge DODSON: Marching in Charlottesville.
  • DODSON: Marching in Charlottesville.

The Arkansas Times has identified the man photographed wearing an "Arkansas Engineering" T-shirt at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville as Andrew M. Dodson, a former student at the University of Arkansas Engineering school.

In a telephone interview with the Arkansas Times, Dodson apologized for the trouble he caused the state and, specifically, an Engineering professor at the University of Arkansas who was misidentified as the person carrying a torch at a march last Friday night. The professor became the target of social media vitriol.

“There's a couple of guys in Fayetteville that have been misidentified as me. ... It’s not those guys, it’s not them; it’s me," Dodson said. "I’m so sorry, I would never want to hurt you and your family. If they want my T-shirt back, I'll send it to them."

Dodson did not know personally the professor who was misidentified, who worked in a different branch of engineering than that studied by Dodson, but he did apologize to those with whom he studied for two years. He did not graduate from the university.

"I learned so much from these [engineering] guys," he said. "It makes my heart that I’m going to think I’m a Nazi, or a KKK, or a white supremacist."

"I did not put on that University of Arkansas shirt in order to represent them. It’s really like one of my favorite shirts and I was wearing it when I got on the plane," Dodson said. "I just didn’t put two and two together. It was dumb."

Dodson, 33, is from South Carolina, and now lives in New England (he refused to give specific towns). He moved to Arkansas in 2009 "after the economy crashed" and last visited the state a few months ago for a wedding. Dodson moved to Arkansas originally to work at a design firm he says and was sent back to school by the firm at the University of Arkansas to acquire more skills, where he got the shirt.

He said he had participated in the campaign to elect Ron Paul president in 2008, the Occupy Movement, and the Tea Party movement and, after these experiences, came to Charlottesville because he wanted to "see who these alt-right people were."

He knew they had been labeled racists but, Dodson said, the media often lied about Ron Paul and the Occupy movement.

"I found there was this group called Identity Europa and they were like, 'We are not racist, we are identitarians.' ... I asked, 'Is this going to be a thing where they’re doing whiteness [and white supremacy], swastikas and Sieg Heil?' And they said, 'No, that’s not what we’re about.'"

Those elements were part of the demonstration.

Dodson claims that even Friday night he didn't "see any Nazi flags, just a bunch of guys in khakis and polos," so he continued to participate. He contends that the people who were "Nazis and the KKK" were bused in. He also believes that counter-protesters were brought into Charlottesville by outside groups.

"I wonder if the same people that bused in the Black Live Matters [movement] and the [Anti-Fascists] and the Communists — are the same people busing them in and the same people busing in the Nazi and the KKK?" Dodson said.

He described the problem as people "trying to instigate racial violence — people on both sides — as an excuse to stop us from having our free speech. Because I want to talk about the money that is corrupting our systems.

"I am not going to say that there wasn’t racism there. There was. And, I also think it was on both sides," he said. "God bless, Trump. He’s telling the truth. I condemn racism on both sides."

Dodson said he was also the same Andrew Dodson who had been interviewed in an article for The Atlantic but claimed that the article was inaccurate. He said he was not a "racial realist," as the article described, but, instead, felt that the current conversation about race, especially the Black Lives Matter movement was instigating a "fake conversation" that is "funded by this guy George Soros."

"It’s not even that they misquoted me. I think they just … the guy [in The Atlantic] says I’m a racial realist. It was a lot of stuff going — it’s like there are people, like these Black Lives Matter people — I'm not saying I’m anti black people. … But I think the things that they are saying are kind of fake news."

On James Alex Fields Jr., the man accused of driving his car through a crowd in Charlottesville, killing one 32-year-old woman and injuring 19 others, Dodson said, "Free speech was also a casualty ... I share their pain and suffering."

Dodson lost his job, he said, because of participation in the rally.

When asked if now, after apologizing and realizing that Nazi flags, fascism and racism were part of the Charlottesville demonstration, he would participate in future events, Dodson said that he may still go.

"How else am I going to figure out what these guys are about?" he said.


 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - 13:33:00

Democratic Party blasts Trump's remarks on Charlottesville demonstration

The Democratic Party of Arkansas has excoriated Donald Trump should apologize for his remarks about the clash at the white nationalist demonstration in Charlottesville.

There is only one side to blame, said Party Chair Michael John Gray:

“Just to be clear, a neo-Nazi murdered a woman, wounded nineteen others, and committed an act of terrorism against peaceful demonstrators. Yesterday, President Donald Trump expressed sympathy with those standing with Nazis and blamed the violence on “both sides.” No, sir, Mr. President. There is only one side to blame for the violence and murder in Charlottesville last weekend. The statements made by President Trump yesterday were reckless, harmful, and demonstrably false.

Whether intentional or not, the President’s statements provided encouragement to hate groups around the country and were cheered by despicable humans like former Ku Klux Klan leader, David Duke, who publicly thanked the President for his statements. Our President is providing comfort to enemies of the state, known domestic terrorists, and avowed hate groups. This is simply beyond the pale. It is time to demand an apology from this President and the demands for the apology should come from every side of the aisle and from leaders in both the public and private sector. Providing encouragement and comfort to hate is not an American value and hate is not valued in Arkansas. We should all stand united in condemning President Trump’s hurtful words and incredibly reckless behavior. Silence is no longer acceptable.”
Gray , who said Trump should issue an immediate apology, raises some of the questions that seem relevant for every public official in Arkansas today, but particularly those in Donald Trump's Republican Party.

* Do you agree with or repudiate Donald Trump's finding of equal blame for events in Charlottesville?

* Are there two legitimate sides to white nationalism and racial discrimination and those who oppose it?

* Should any of the monuments to the Confederacy in Arkansas be removed or relocated from public government grounds?

Has any state Republican official criticized Trump personally for his remarks. A few, but only Gov. Asa Hutchinson as early as Saturday, have denounced neo-Nazis, white supremacists and white nationalists.

 

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - 14:39:00

GiGi's opens with soul food and 'old school R and B vibe'

click to enlarge gigi.png

GiGi’s Soul Cafe and Lounge at 10840 Maumelle Blvd., where the Nashville Rockin Grill was located, opened July 28 and co-owner Darrell Wyrick the restaurant is “bringing back the spirit of some of the places that have gone, like Porter’s and The Afterthought” with its soul food and “old school R and B vibe.”

The chef is Flint Flenoy, who is also executive chef at the Holiday Inn Express-Airport. The lunch menu includes burgers, beef brisket, meatloaf, hot dogs, smoked wings and more; the dinner menu adds, among other things, barbecue, burgers, pork chops, ribs, catfish and fried chicken. The house band, The Blue Candle, named for a jazz lounge in the Bay area that Wyrick’s wife, Helen Andrea Wyrick, used to visit, plays Friday and Saturday night. (Its four members are also part of SynRG.) In the future, GiGi’s may add nightly music and Wednesday night karaoke, Darrell Wyrick said.

GiGi’s is open for lunch and dinner, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. or 10 p.m., “depending on the traffic,” Tuesday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday; and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday).

 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - 11:32:00

Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

click to enlarge Mavis Staples, coming to Robinson Auditorium. - HBO
  • HBO
  • Mavis Staples, coming to Robinson Auditorium.

Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.

The Robinson Center concert starts at 7 p.m.; tickets are $45-$65. There will a cocktail reception before the concert starting at 5:30 p.m.; tickets for the concert and reception range from $170 to $190. The concert is a fundraiser for the Little Rock Nine Foundation.

Here's what Staples said in a recent interview with NPR before the release of her latest album, "Living on a A High Note":

So before we let you go, I wonder if you have any thoughts for some of the artists coming up today who are singing about a lot of the same concerns that you had. I mean, "Why? (Am I Treated So Bad)" — somebody could have written that today.

Yes, that's true. And I tell you, I watch the news sometimes and I think I'm back in the '60s. It's all happening all over again. This kid Chance The Rapper, he's very good at explaining what's happening in the world today. There are very few; I wish there were more who would sing songs like "Respect Yourself," and "Reach out, touch a hand / make a friend, if you can."

Pops used to tell songwriters, "If you want to write for the Staple Singers, read the headlines. We want to sing about what's happening in the world today, and if it's something bad, we want to sing a song to try to fix it."
If only.

The performance is part of numerous events scheduled to mark the 60 years since Melba Patillo (now Beals), Carlotta Walls (now LaNier), Elizabeth Eckford, Ernest Green, Gloria Ray (now Karlmark), Jefferson Thomas, Minnijean Brown (now Trickey), Terrence Roberts and Thelma Mothershed (now Wair) desegregated Central High after the President Eisenhower federalized the National Guard to escort them in past the white mob. The problem was not, as our current president would say, "on many sides." Thomas, who attended the 50th anniversary, is deceased.

Numerous events scheduled around the commemoration include the Arkansas Arts Center's exhibition "Will Counts: The Central High School Photographs," which includes one of the most famous integration pictures ever taken, the heckling of Eckford, on exhibit now; "The Surface of the Sky," UCA faculty member Blake Tyson's original composition for percussion commemorating the courage of the Little Rock Nine, to be performed at the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies 6-8 p.m. Sept. 8; various ACANSA-related musical performances, like the Dirty Dozen Brass Band show; and many more, including multiple events Sept. 23 at Central High School, the outdoor stage at the Magnolia/Mobil Service Station across from the school and the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site Visitor Center, and "An Evening with Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Tania Leon: Turning History into Art" at Reynolds Performance Hall on the UCA campus at Conway. Events run into next year, and include a book release of Beals' book "March Forward, Girl: From Young Woman to Little Rock Nine."

 

Friday, August 11, 2017 - 16:15:00

2nd Friday Art Night: Photographs from Rohwer, UA Little Rock

click to enlarge "Contiguity," digital photography by Jessica Frazier at HAM.
  • "Contiguity," digital photography by Jessica Frazier at HAM.

It's 2nd Friday Art Night downtown, and that means new art exhibitions to see and music to hear from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Read about the show "The Art of Injustice" at the Butler Center Galleries here and a summary of what's happening at the other participating venues here.

UA Little Rock provided us yesterday with a bit more information on the Historic Arkansas Museum exhibition “Identity of Us” by photography club "No-Type," whose members are both students and graduates.

Members of the club showing their work are Benjamin Deaton, Megan Douglas, Jessica Frazier, Robert Harpool, Trinity Kai, Rayna Mackey, Adrian Quintanar, Nathaniel Roe, Alecia Walls-Barton, Craig Wynn and Dylan Yarbrough.

The name "No-Type," Mackey explained in the UA Little Rock press release, reflects the fact that "no one specific type of photography is used with mediums ranging from digital to analog to alternative process photography.”

It is the club's first exhibit, and runs through Oct. 8.

 

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